ministry · Refreshment

Refreshed at a Retreat

Oh friends, every time I get the blessing of sharing God’s Word with a group of women, I am in awe that my great God that would use a small, insignificant person like me!  Going to speak to women is ALWAYS more about what God has taught me as I’ve prepared than it is them hearing from me.  I am nothing, but God’s Word is EVERYTHING and I love being His messenger!

Last weekend I got to travel to Grass Valley, CA to speak at Wolf Mt. Camp.  There were around 65 women who filled the camp and came to fellowship, rest, have fun and get refreshed in their spiritual lives.  I loved every minute of being there and thought I would “take you along” via my pictures today.

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Christlikeness · Responding to trials · trials

Look Like Him

Image result for Colossians 1:27 image

The funniest occurrence happened this week and I’ve lost track of how many times this scenario has happened in the past.  I was out shopping and a couple walked past me and greeted me…warmly, with that recognition kind of “Hello!”  I kept walking because I have never seen them before.  Then they called a name ~

“Dianne!”

It was at that moment that I realized this person thought they were seeing my twin sister, Dianne!  I turned and confessed that “Dianne” wasn’t being rude and ignoring them, but that I am her twin, Denise! They responded with,

Oh my!  You look just like her!

These situations have happened out of the state in which she lives, which makes it even more crazy!  Even as adults, I guess we must still look alike.! There’s something in me that makes them think they’re seeing Dianne.

The following day after this happened, I was thinking of a difficulty I’m facing and was praying about my responses.  It’s so easy to turn cynical, sarcastic and even want to pull away, but then I was reminded that when others see me, they should see Christ in me.  He should be so recognizable in my words, my actions, and even what my expression reveals.  Is there…

  • Worry?
  • Anger?
  • Depression?
  • Disgust?

If so, others will walk right on by, seeing only Denise instead of Jesus.  But what if I allow the Lord to help me be mindful of His responses towards me so that I can show those same traits to others by His power?  They will see:

  • Joy!
  • Love!
  • Trust!
  • Forgiveness!

Could people walk past you and me and see Jesus?  Oh no, we’ll never be perfect this side of heaven, but there should be something so familiar about  our lives and responses, that they would be reminded  of Christ! Let’s pray that we look more and more like Him as the years pass!

I’m thankful for a twin so the Lord could remind me today that I need to look like Him!
Who are you showing to a watching world?

denise a

 

 

Chicken · Dinner · Mexican Food

White Chicken Enchiladas

On a busy day before my recent trip to California, I needed a hearty dinner that didn’t take lots of time to prepare.  These White Chicken Enchiladas were perfect! I roasted chicken breasts early in the day and cut them up and refrigerated them so that part of the meal would be ready.  You could purchase a rotisserie chicken and simplify it even more!

The creamy white sauce in these enchiladas is simple to make and is so good! It’s a really nice change from the traditional red sauce!  If you like Queso dip, I think the sauce tastes very similar.  Mmm.

I served it with tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

White Ench 1

Ingredients:

  • 10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 cups Colby & Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4oz) can of diced green chilies

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan or any baking dish.

2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up tortillas and place into the prepared pan.

3. In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil. You don’t want to curdle the sour cream.

5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 min; then under high broil for three additional minutes until the cheese browns slightly.

white ench 3

 

White ench 2

We loved this recipe!  I hope you’ll try it!

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

 

Favorites

Fall 2019 Favorite New Things

I always enjoy hearing from others what they buy or love!  It helps me to make some good choices for myself!  Here are a few things I’m enjoying that you might like, too!

  • Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. I don’t indulge in this very often, but when I want a cold coffee, this is my choice!! I’m not usually a fan of pumpkin flavor in my coffee, but this one is absolutely delicious!  I love Starbucks  Sweet Cream cold brew, but this one is over the top with the frothy pumpkin goodness that’s floating above the coffee!

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  • Profusion Matte Eyeshadow palette – $5.95?  Are you kidding me?  This palette has no shimmer.  It is a really nice size!  I love the colors. Also, the color is nicely pigmented!!  It’s such a great deal and a wonderful product! I found it here on Amazon.
  • Maybelline Tattoo Studio Brow Gel – Though I haven’t tried this, my mom recently purchased it and loves it.  It looks perfect on her and it really does last 24 – 48 hours.  If you’re looking for an eyebrow color that stays put, this is your product!
  • Weiman Washing Machine Cleaner – I found this at TJ Maxx and had to try it.  It doesn’t necessarily help with the rim of the washer, but it freshens up the inside of the machine.  I was noticing a stale smell inside the washer, even though I leave the door open after a load has finished.  This really makes the machine smell clean and fresh!
    Weiman Washing Machine Cleaner -24 Ounce 2 Pack - High Efficiency HE Compatible for Samsung LG Top Loader Front Loader Cleans and Deodorizes
  • The Cozy Minimalist Home – I read this book a month ago and it has been such a help!  She doesn’t really emphasize having nothing for decor, but using what you love  in a way that makes an impact.  If you have a space you don’t love, she will guide you through steps to get it in shape.  Her process is so wise and helpful.  I’ve only applied this process to one room so far, but I can’t wait to get to the next rooms!

  • Chocolate Stuffed Marshmallows – As you know from this post, I am a huge fan of S’mores!  Recently while visiting my parents, my mom brought out a tiny plate for me with a melted marshmallow on it.  I spooned a bite into my mouth and then tasted melted chocolate that was inside the marshmallow!  Oh my word!!!  These are so good.  What fun way to make a simple s’more without a fire!  Pop it into the microwave and place it on a graham cracker and Voila!  These are dangerous, folks (in the very best sense of the word!)!
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I hope my loves give you something new to try!

What new thing are you loving?

I’m in California this weekend speaking at a retreat.  Pray for me, will you?  Pray that Christ will be exalted and that women will be challenged and changed by the Word of God! Thank you!

Refresh yourself with something new!

denise a

 

 

acceptance · aging · Women's roles

Embracing the Season

fall scene.jpg

I took a trip recently and saw some beautiful foliage in the trees.  The picture above was part of my drive and I have to say, it made me smile at the onset of fall!  How beautiful it is!

Change of seasons from summer to fall is all about acceptance. After all, there’s nothing we can do to stop its approach.  So, rather than screaming, pouting or even moving south, we decide to decorate the porch, build a fire, sigh at the beauty of the colors, and just enjoy it.  It’s all about embracing the season.

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breakfast · Make-Ahead

Breakfast At Its Best

Bakedoatmeal1

A good breakfast just starts the day out right, but for me it’s so hard to find a good time in the morning to stop the routine and go fix something delicious!  So whenever I can find a recipe that can be made ahead of time, and ready in 30 minutes, I’m all over that!

Bakedoatmeal1 (1)

I’ve made a couple of Baked Oatmeal recipes and they’ve been good, but Southern Living published a new one in their recent magazine that caught my attention and I knew I had to try it.  I’m so glad I did!  This was declared by my husband to be the BEST Baked Oatmeal he’s had!!! I agree!  The apple and cranberry addition are so delicious.  There’s just the right amount of sweetness.  It’s hearty and filling plus, it’s ready to put in the oven when you get up in the morning.  It only takes 30 minutes to bake, so I can pop it into the oven and finish getting ready while it’s baking!

Here’s the recipe:

Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Cranberries and Pecans

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
  • 2 cups small cubed, peeled apple (about 1 large apple)
  • 3 1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned regular rolled oats, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, divided

How to Make It

Step 1

Lightly coat an 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, apple pie spice, salt, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and 5 tablespoons of the melted butter in a large bowl. Add apple cubes, 3 cups of the oats, 1/2 cup of the pecans, and 1/2 cup of the cranberries; stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; cover with plastic wrap.

Step 2

Stir together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup oats, and 1/2 cup pecans in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place covered baking dish and covered bowl in refrigerator; chill 8 hours or overnight.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 350°F. While oven preheats, remove baking dish and bowl from refrigerator; remove plastic wrap. Stir apple-oat mixture in baking dish to redistribute wet ingredients. Sprinkle top evenly with oat-pecan topping mixture.
Step 4
Bake in preheated oven until mixture is set in the middle and topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm.

 

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If you’re like me and need a little less fussy breakfast you’ll love this simple answer to your morning meal!

Refresh breakfast by making it ahead!

denise a

 

Dates · Refreshment in marriage

S’More Group Date Night Idea

The perfect S’more Date night weather is finally upon us!  My husband and I invited couples from church to come over for a date night that we called, “Amore’ S’mores.”  The temperatures were perfect, the skies were clear, and the fire felt really good when the sun went down!  Let me share with you the events of our fun group date night!

Continue reading “S’More Group Date Night Idea”