22 April 2012

Easy New FAVE!!

This is an easy and DELICIOUS new favorite meal in the Wauhop home!

The first, is Crock-pot BBQ Chicken (taken from here - and actually this whole blog post is really helpful for crockpot meals in general)!  So good and juicy and tender!

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (i threw them in frozen... even easier! and, I used tenderloins instead of breasts.)
1 bottle BBQ sauce 
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. place chicken in crockpot. pour sauce over it and cook on 
LOW for 4-6 hours. you pretty much don't even have to stir it... how easy is that!? 

Then, I served that with these AMAZING Sweet Potatoes (...recipe found here)!  Robert practically inhaled these!  They are apparently a copy cat of Ruth Chris, where I've never been, but trust me, these are to die for!  And, SO bad for you ;)  {I cut the recipe in half, FYI, and there were more than enough for leftovers the next day.}

1 cup brown sugar 
1/3 cup flour 
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup butter, melted 

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside. 

Sweet Potato Mixture 
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes 
1 cup sugar 
½ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs, well beaten 
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted 
(splash of milk if needed)

Note: To cook sweet potatoes first wash and dry them carefully then you can either: 1) Bake them at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes 2) Boil them for 30 minutes or 3) Pierce them with a fork and microwave them for about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a medium-size casserole dish with nonstick spray. 

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large mixing bowl in the order listed. Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer for about 3-4 minutes to increase the fluffiness of the sweet potato mixture. Add a splash of milk if needed and mix.

Pour mixture into the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. At this point, dish can be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days.

Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture and return to oven for 10 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving. 
The brown sugar and pecan crust should be slightly browned and crunchy. Makes 12 servings.

And then, most importantly ENJOY (and don't even think about the calories)!!!

16 April 2012

5) The Honor of Working at Home

Titus 2:4-5 is very clear, "...so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." Yet, this seems to be interpreted so many different ways by so many believers, truly trying to please the Lord with the way they live their lives.  Being a homemaker is offensive to some, outdated to others, and to others still it is the greatest joy!  There is only one correct interpretation of this verse, and I do believe that to be that a woman's place is in the home...even a working woman with no husband or children should cultivate a love for the home.  In the short amount of time I've been a full-time stay at home wife and mom I've had many people say, "It's so nice that you can do that..."  Implying that it is a nice option I've been afforded.  Praise the Lord, He has provided for me to stay at home without greatly altering our style of living.  But my "choice" to stay home with Maggie is something that I am actually called to - not just as a seminary wife, or a future pastor's wife, but as a believer!  When family or friends see homemaking as a burden, an unnecessary sacrifice, or even to the other extreme as a luxury, it becomes all too easy to "succumb to worldly thinking rather than viewing my profession as the Bible portrays it - a high calling from God."


In this chapter Carolyn Mahaney writes, "What we need is a biblical perspective.  For in God's economy, homemaking is a high and noble calling...By 'working at home' we can present the gospel as attractive to unbelievers.  Our homes can actually be a showcase for the gospel!"  How awesome and daunting is that!  It is my ultimate goal, as a homemaker to create an environment for all who enter to think of Jesus Christ, to be refreshed, encouraged, and happy.  Playdates, Bible studies, recipe parties, new neighbors, friends, family, you name it - there are countless opportunities to share the gospel and encourage one another in love and good deeds in the home!  And as a wife, that's my job!  

Think back to the beginning...why was Eve created in the first place?  She was created to be Adam's helper!  "We are to be our husband's helper (Gen 1:26-31, 2:7-25; 1 Cor 11:8-9)...She is called to the work of ministering to him.  He is oriented to the task, and she is oriented to him."  God ordained it to be so in the garden!  A huge part of my glorifying God on this earth is to serve my husband, family, and home.  Careers, trends, traveling, "me time," etc. are not a part of the plan.  Nothing is wrong with many of those things, but the calling is the same for all women.  Especially as wives and mothers, our lives should be centered around our husband's and children's needs - everything else can fall into place after that. 

Some think that as a stay at home I don't get to exercise my skills or interests.  First, I'd say that I actually don't have that many marketable skills :)  And secondly, it is a true joy and "skill" to love the home and manage it excellently.  I cannot wait for the day, Lord willing, when I am that super organized, cool wife/mom who has the menu ready, the cleaning all scheduled, and the calendar worked out, helpful projects lined up, and her hair done!  Maybe I'll never get there, but that is certainly a goal to which I attain.  Since staying at home, I've found a new love of cooking (and I am going to post 3 new recipe blogs asap!  The Wauhop's have been feasting on some delicious new dishes these past few weeks!).  I get so excited each week to plan out my menu and try something new.  Ask Robert, I'm always so excited for him to get home and try whatever I've been working on that day.

Honestly, I think that I have got the BEST JOB in the whole wide world!  I mean seriously, my child is gorgeous and sweet and so much fun!  My husband is the greatest man ever and my very best friend.  My house/apartment...well, I'm on my third one in three years and although it's nothing too special, but it's our home and I'm so thankful for it!  So much joy can be found in working at home.  Working at home is hard and dirty at times, it's tiring, especially when new babies come onto the scene, but I find it to be super rewarding and fulfilling - and even fun!  Either way, though, it is what God has called me to do.  And in His will there is great joy!  So, that's what you'll find in the Wauhop household - great joy!  The saying goes, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and I really think that is pretty true.  As the mom, I set the tone for the home.  If I begrudgingly do my chores, make the meals, attend to Maggie's schedule, etc - well, home isn't Robert's or anyone's favorite place to be.  So, if you struggle with this area, when I struggle in these areas: PRAY, BE THANKFUL, and be in the Word!  The Lord is kind to provide the grace to obey and to be delighted to do so!

Ps. 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  

P.S. - If you still aren't convinced...listen to this sermon from Johnny Mac!

14 April 2012

My Girl Maggie - 5 months!

One more month and my Maggie Grace will be half a year!  Half a year!  I cannot believe that she is growing up so quickly.  This past has month has been so much fun!  Life with a baby gets better and better; each month she is learning so much and it is awesome to be able to be there for ALL of it!  It is such a blessing to be a stay at home mom and hang out with my baby girl all day, every day!  We have a blast together, reading stories, going on walks, playing with toys, spitting, making silly noises, having little photo shoots, singing songs - you name it, we love it!  *Don't get me wrong, we (I) have our moments when things get frustrating...but God is SO GOOD!  And it is awesome to be being sanctified as a mommy!  What a blessing 
Maggie is to me!

So...On to the interesting things:
Maggie is talking!  She babbles and coos and gaga-goos all the time!  It is pretty much the cutest thing you've ever heard!  I am convinced she will have a scruffy, raspy little voice.  She's going to be this beautiful, little, petite, feminine thing with the voice of a smoker.  It's going to be pretty cute,  I'm sure :)

We started doing solids every day, morning and night!  Mostly just oatmeal cereal...we tried avocados and sweet potatoes (not together) once, but she didn't love them.  I think it was a little too chunky.  I mixed it by hand; I think we need to get a blender of sorts to assist in my baby food making efforts.

She is sitting up for around a minute at a time all on her own!!  So fun and scary!  I know crawling is right around the corner.  I've caught her caterpillar crawling a few times, just inching around!  Baby-proofing is coming, I guess.  I actually think my biggest need in that area will be to vacuum the insane amount of hair I lose daily (which is apparently normal) off of our floors so she doesn't eat it - GROSS! 

She was sleeping about 11 hours a night (AMAZING, thank You, Jesus!) - until the day she turned 5 months, actually, when we entered into the fun world of teething!  (I think/I hope this isn't just a new phase she's in).  Mom's any sure fire teething tricks you'd like to send my way are greatly appreciated!  I will be sad to see her priceless little toothless grin go, but a little tooth will look pretty adorable in her precious mouth!

We also started a 4 hour feeding schedule - which has been the bomb (again until the teething started, but hopefully it's just a hiccup... :) !!

Maggie had her first Easter!  She is so beautiful!  I cannot get enough of this sweet girl!!  I could just kiss her little face all day -  so I do!

22 BIG weeks!!

The happy happy Wauhop family!  We love our little Maggie!!  Thank you, Lord!

06 April 2012

4) The Pleasure of Purity

This chapter is about yes, you guessed it, sex...and it was a great chapter!  I hesitate to write on it, but for the sake of reporting on each of the seven virtues I'll give it a go.

She begins the chapter by sharing a story:

"Several years ago at a church leadership conference, I hosted a panel of pastor's wives at a women's session.  We fielded questions on a wide variety of topics - from childrearing to counseling women in crisis situations.  Then a woman from the audience posed the question: 'What is one thing you have learned that encourages your husband the most?'  As  other women on the panel answered, I pondered my response.  I know what C.J.'s answer would be, but dare i say that?  And then it was my turn.  'Make love to him,' I blurted out.  'That's what my husband would say if he were here!'  The room erupted into a wave of nervous, knowing laughter.  It's true!"

So, although not much else needs to be said for you to get the point, I thought I'd include her outline of the chapter, each section being pretty self-explanatory:  

Sex and the Scriptures:
- It is God's Idea
- It is Fashioned for Marriage
- It is Intended for Pleasure
- It is Designed for Intimacy
- It is Created for Procreation

Sex Polluted by Sin

The Problem of Lust

A Clarion Call for Purity
- Set Our Hearts and Minds on Things Above
- Make No Provision for the Flesh
- Be Honest and Pursue Accountability

Three Principles for Grade "A" Passion
- Be Attractive
- Be Available
- Be Anticipatory 

03 April 2012

3) The Safety of Self-Control

Chapter 4, third blog post in this series of seven... This chapter obviously deals with self-control.  It is commanded in Scripture, a fruit of the Spirit, and something that is not super easy (at least for me)!  But, the good news, as Carolyn Mahaney writes, "[I]f Scripture requires self-control from every Christian, it is obviously attainable...whenever God gives a command , He also provides the grace to obey it."

She starts by talking about things we enjoy, our appetites, which, sadly, includes sin!  Sin indwelling and originating in our hearts makes self-control so difficult (along with any other God-glorifying action!).  She addresses eating and sleeping to the glory of God, which seem so mundane, but are areas in which many women lack self-control.  Martha Peace, too, has something to say on the issue of sleep , "...Once a young wife begins getting up earlier than her children and her husband, she will cease to be a 'night person.'  She will be tired at night and go to bed at a reasonable hour so she will be there to serve her family the next morning."  Yikes!  I am definitely guilty of wasting time when Maggie is in bed and Robert is up late doing school work just "online window shopping" - which, there is absolutely nothing wrong with...until I grumble as I get out of bed in the morning because I'm still tired!  Obviously, though, I take this with a grain of salt and know that late and early mean different things for different people; but, I still thought that this was helpful and a goal to certainly strive for - namely, being prepared each morning to serve my family with joy!

Next, she moves on to our thoughts and feelings.  This section was super helpful!  2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to "take  every thought captive to obey Christ."  It's so obvious and simple, but so profound, "Sinful thoughts and sinful feelings lead to sinful behavior.  Therefore, we dare not  ignore these faculties, but we must exercise self-control in them."  I listened to a fabulous sermon years ago by this dear author's husband, CJ Mahaney from Resolved 2009, entitled The Troubled Soul (and I would encourage you to listen to it).  In this he talks about talking to yourself versus listening to yourself...Martin Lloyd-Jones says it like this, "Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself."  Those sound sort of like the same thing, I know, but there is a huge difference between allowing our thoughts to run wild and preaching the truth of Scripture to ourselves!  I find it so easy to become greatly overwhelmed by a small thing; a little issue becomes magically compounded by 85 things that happened last week and/or what might happen next year!  Suddenly, God is not on His throne and He certainly doesn't care about me and what I'm going through!  FALSE!  Carolyn writes, and I so agree, "Time and time gain I had to stop, pray, confess the sin of anxiety, and seek to replace my sinful thoughts with the truth of God's Word...I needed to 'talk' to myself: There is always enough time to do what God has called me to do (Matt. 6:25-27).  God's grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). He is with me, and He will help me (Isa. 41:10).  He does care (1 Peter 5:7)."  We can exercise self-control by "rejecting your sinful thoughts AND speaking truth to yourself" (emphasis mine).  It's the classic put off and put on found all throughout Scripture!  

It is so important for me to remember that my "feelings are not authoritative," but at the same time they are real indicators of what is truly in my heart!  Just because I feel something doesn't make it true.  Yet, feelings are a gift from God, and they were given primarily so that we could enjoy and glorify Him!  They are such a great gift - feelings enable us to really enjoy all of our other gifts from God, like our wonderful families and food and sleep!  God is so kind; it is His Spirit that works in us so that we can glorify Him through our feelings and through our self-control!  Praise the Lord for His goodness; it is never-ending!