What To Do With Worry

It was 2:30 am and I had done more tossing and turning in my bed than a two year-old in a church service. My heart was anxious.

Plans had been changed, circumstances were upside down causing my heart to fret instead of rest and sleep.

I finally decided the best action would be to rise and head to my Quiet Place.  Odd how different this place looks in the darkest time of the night.  I turned on the lamp beside my chair and reached for my Bible.  How comforting to just hold this book in my hands.  I turned its crinkled pages to my daily Bible reading for the day and found that I was on a familiar and loved chapter – Jeremiah 29.  It was God’s voice speaking to me like a parent rocking their child in the middle of a thunderstorm.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  

Finding my pen and my journal, I wrote,

“I know the thoughts that I think toward you. (God thinks on me!)
Thoughts of peace (calming my turmoil)
and not of evil (He is a good God who can only do good);
to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).  In this I can rest.”  

I closed my journal and my Bible and talked to the Lord, thanking Him for this promise.  I gave Him the situation that had me anxious.  Then I snapped off the lamp and fumbled my way down the darkened hallway back to the comfort of my bed.  The time or two that I awoke, I rehearsed in my mind what I had just read…

“God is thinking about me.  He has a good plan that will not harm me,” 
and I slept.  

If you have a decision to make, rehearse this promise in your thoughts rather than letting it make you worried and fretful.  The Lord will be up through the night thinking about you so you can rest.

Comfort Food · dessert · Fall · pumpkin · soup · sweet breads

Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

Tomorrow is the first day of fall and aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your autumn to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn ChowderThis is an all-star recipe that always gets rave reviews!!
Butternut Squash Soup – Panera Bread has a similar soup…heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc., just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

Which recipe will you try first?!

With love from my country kitchen,

home accessories · Home decor

Just Keeping It Real, Folks!

Last year I read The Cozy Minimalist and I loved it! Myquillyn Smith, the author, doesn’t tell you to clear everything off your counters or have an undecorated home. Rather, she tells you how to use what you have in a wise way. I read the book because I felt like I was being inundated by stuff. I still have lots of it, but I’m learning to decorate with less, and I love the look so much more!

Recently, Myquillyn shared a live chat on Instagram about how to use greenery in your home in a way that is beautiful. She went to Michael’s and World Market looking for branches of leaves that looked real. She’d pick up a branch of silk fall leaves and say,

We can do better than this!

I have to agree. Plastic leaves that LOOK fake won’t fool anyone else’s eye if they don’t fool mine.

Her strong suggestion was to go outside and cut branches from your own yard, or from the area (with permission, of course!). Arrange the branches in a vase of water and enjoy! Every few days you may need to switch them out, but they’ll look far better than the cheap ones do! Here’s my recent attempt to add some greenery to my dining area ~

The very next morning while I was walking, I found a beautiful tree branch that had fallen from a tree on the street and was on the side of the road. I picked it up and carried it home with me and here’s where its new home is…

I look forward to finding some branches with colored leaves in the weeks ahead. I may not always have fresh branches in my vases, but I’ll definitely look for fresh more often!

Take a look around you and consider fresh greenery for fall, and even in winter. Those trees and bushes that need a little trim could add just the right touch to mantles and table scapes!

Have you ever used branches from your yard to add green touches around your home?

Consider refreshing your indoor greenery by keeping it real!

Here’s how I “minimalized” my home last year after reading The Cozy Minimalist. Be sure to scroll down and see the side by side before and after pictures!


Being the Best Mom of a Young Adult Child

Nearly every day my daughter sends me pictures from one or two years ago when her twin sons were babies or just little one year-olds. We both lament about how quickly these three years have gone. In my heart I think,

In just a snap, you’re going to be sending them off to college, just you wait and see.

It seems like it happened that quickly in my girl’s lives. It was as if one day we were pushing them on their swing set in the backyard, and the next day we were unloading totes and suitcases from the back of our mini van into their college dormitory. I had dreaded their move from home because I remembered from my own personal experience that when they come back home for a weekend visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

Now don’t cry! If you’ve just sent your child off for the first time, I’m sure the emotions are still raw and fresh, but be sure I’m not writing to discourage you, but to congratulate you! You have entered a new season of parenting. You’re in a new phase in your relationship as their mom, but it’s still no one but you can fill. I messed up plenty of times during these years and I learned many lessons along the way. Let me take what I learned and share with you how to be the best mom of a young adult child.

  1. You still need to be the one who prays specific prayers for your child.
    You know them so well, which means you know how to pray for their weaknesses and their needs.
    Pray for godly influences to pour into the heart of your young adult child.
    Pray they will have a godly mentor who can speak truth into their hearts.
  2. You still need to be the one who prays with your child. When they’re struggling, disappointed or hurting, take them to the Lord. Keep their dependence on Him – not on you as their mom. This can be hard for us moms because we’re used to fixing every problem in our children’s lives, but we won’t always be there! God will though! Teach them to depend on Him!
  3. You still need to be the one who cheers them on when they are tired and want to quit school or their job or serving the Lord.
    I’ll never forget calling home one day when I was in college. My accounting class was taking me down for the count, and I was so ready to pack up and go home. My mom gave me the pep talk I needed, telling me that if God had called me there in the first place (and I knew He had!), then His will had not changed. She encouraged me to do my best as I trusted in Him for His help. I passed the accounting class! I sure was thankful I didn’t give up!
  4. You still need to be the loving woman in their life. Do the little gestures the Proverbs 31 woman does – send a package of cookies, a Scriptural text, or a Chick-Fil-A gift card when you feel the Lord prompting your heart to do so. Invite them to come to vacations or holidays and bring a friend, but don’t expect it or demand it.
  5. You still need to be their dad’s wife. The greatest blessing you can give your young adult child is to have a strong marriage for them to see when they call or come home. It’s important to remember that you child is NOT your spouse, so they should get less attention than your husband does. Of course you miss them and love them, but you do still have a marriage that must be your priority. When your child does visit home, they’ll be coming into a loving, happy environment!

Now let me talk about a few things that you should NOT to be doing during this time in a young adult’s life…

  1. Don’t be making decisions for them. This is the time for your training during their early years to take over. If you see them moving in a way that concerns you, pray about it and then also pray about the opportunity to speak to them, then do so with a respectful, loving attitude. My husband put it in this wise way – “Now is the time to be asking them questions, rather than telling them what to do. If you see your young adult child making a poor decision, ask them questions like, ‘Can you tell me why you feel this is a wise choice?‘”
  2. Don’t post things on social media that keep reminding them and others that they are your baby. Their “adorable” baby or toddler pictures” will only serve to embarrass them and reveal your denial of the truth. Give them the kind consideration you would have wanted at that age.
  3. Don’t make them feel guilty for not joining in your family events. Give them the opportunity to choose for themselves how they will spend holidays or special days. Be honest – if you “guilt them” into coming, no one is really going to have the best time!

I promise you, I have had to apologize to both of my girls for breaking these rules from time to time! I think it’s because motherhood runs so deep in our hearts, it’s just hard to suddenly stop being what we’ve been for eighteen years! But I firmly believe that we will help to build a strong adult relationship when we let them be the young adult that we’ve trained them to be. This is God’s plan and His purpose for their lives. We can either aid in that or damage our part in encouraging them.

What questions do you have regarding this time in your child’s life? Where do you struggle?

Refresh your relationship with your young adult child by being a blessing to them at this time in their life, rather than a hindrance.

Comfort Food · Crock Pot · Dinner · Ground turkey · Main dish.

Turkey Meatloaf in the Crock Pot

My husband loves Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf and with good reason – it’s delicious! However, it’s also high in calories. Because we’ve both been trying to eat more healthy, and are avoiding those high cal Cracker Barrel entrees, I looked for a meatloaf recipe using ground Turkey. That was when I came upon this gem – BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf that turned out to be FANTASTIC and also cooked in the crock pot! What? Meatloaf in the crock pot? You talk about easy! This recipe is a winner all the way around!! Take a peek!

BBQ Glazed Meatloaf – Cooked in the Crock Pot!

Clean-up was a cinch! Pull the foil out of the bottom of the crock pot and wipe it out! Ta-da! Friends, this recipe is for you if you’re looking for:

  • Delicious
  • Healthy
  • Easy to make
  • Easy to clean up

A friend of mine told me she steers away from ground poultry because it just doesn’t seem right! Well, I understand, but you need to give it a try! It’s so good, and so much better for you! Now for the recipe!

BBQ Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/4 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup shredded Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp Dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbl ketchup
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp spicy brown mustard (I used Dijon)

1. Fold a 24-inch length of foil in half lengthwise. Fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 5-6 quart slow-cooker.

2. Put the turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the foil in the slow cooker.

3. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meatloaf juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 3–4 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low.

4. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture over the meatloaf, spreading it smooth. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the glaze is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. With the help of the foil, lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker and transfer to a platter. Discard foil and cut the meatloaf into 6 slices. Yields 1 slice meatloaf per serving.

This meal was absolutely delicious! My husband isn’t pining away for his Cracker Barrel meatloaf anymore!

I made this meal for our Sunday dinner and it was so great that it was ready when we got home from church! I mixed up the meatloaf the night before, then popped it into the crock pot before we headed out the door. What a great meal when you need something savory and have time to let the crock pot do the work!

Do you eat ground poultry? If not, I really hope you’ll get some turkey and try this recipe! I believe it will convert you!

Here are a couple other turkey recipes we love.

With love from my country kitchen,