Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pannekoeken

According to the Jody English Language Dictionary, the pronunciation would be

Pan A Cookin



A friend recently posted a recipe on Facebook for an Apple Pannekoeken. I sat there looking at the word not knowing what in the world I was looking at. Then my 6 year old self reminded me.... my family lived in Minnesota for a short while when I was a child. There was a restaurant there (Pannekoeken Huis, I believe) that we would frequent. The big hit there was the most glorious fruit filled, fluffy pancake one could eat. As they came out with the piping hot dish, you would hear the waiter(s) yelling PAAAAAANNNNNEEEEEKOOOOOEEEEKKKKKKEEEEEENNNNN all the way to your table.

So I was excited to give this recipe a shot. I honestly don't remember if it is anything like what I devoured as a child, but it sure was yummy tonight!!! So I thought I'd share!

(Original recipe is from Cooks.com)

Apple Pannekoeken

1 stick butter
1 1/2 c. flour
2 apples, peeled & sliced thin (I did NOT peel mine)
1 1/2 c. milk
6 eggs


Cinnamon & Sugar mix (I doubled)
        1/2 c. brown sugar
        1 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in 9 x 13 pan, tilting to cover the sides. Beat flour, milk and eggs together until liquid consistency and pour into the pan. Arrange apple slices on the bottom and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mix. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min. Pannekoeken will puff up in the oven and deflate rapidly when serving. Pass the syrup, and sausage for an easy supper.




You can use any fruit you want, really. My sister has been using banana's. blueberries, etc... I would not recommend tomato. Also, we did not use syrup due to doubling the brown sugar topping. I would like my children to sleep tonight.

It was so fun watching it come out of the oven big and fluffy and deflating once we cut into it. And you better believe that as I was walking from the oven to the table, I yelled:

PAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEKOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEKKKKKKEN



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Just

Every small group has the Devil's Advocate. Last night I decided to play that role in a small little online study that I joined....you know, like several thousand small.

There's a book that I've been reading through that is doing AMAZING things in my heart and mind. It is EXACTLY the book I needed to read in where my life is at these days. It's called Restless, by Jennie Allen. Last night they launched a live online book study. To take part in the study, you just watch online, and you can tweet or send questions/thoughts via Facebook or Twitter. (hashtag restlessproject)

The point in this little post of mine today is due to a tweet that I made during the study. I was a little nervous when I posted it, knowing it would broadcast to a world of people who were not a part of the live study, and could easily be taken out of context. Here was the tweet:

Caution: If God is asking you for now to be "JUST" a wife and a mom, that's a huge calling. Don't think otherwise!

Well, I was right. It sparked a little fire as I suspected. Very little...but because I love ALL my Mom friends, I wanted to just put a few things on the table. And I'm going to throw this out there RIGHT NOW..... this is NOT a post about Working Moms vs. Stay At Home Moms. I urge all women to read to the end.

First, I want you to know the context behind why I posted what I did was because, as I said - I chose to play Devil's Advocate (but with good reason. Hang tight.). The live call was very much, in my opinion, stressing BIGGER dreams, and moving in our callings and our dreams even if it means we may have to stop being home with our children (if that's what we've chosen to do). The book itself processes through the emotions I, and many other women have surrounding such statements, but I was nervous for it to be just "out there" like that on Twitter with no other context. I started to shrivel up a bit at the idea of dreaming "bigger". Because for many of us, maybe instead of dreaming bigger, we need to start viewing what we are doing as bigger. And as for those specifically who have chosen to stay home with their children, buying into the lie that our life is worthless is an easy thing to do. There isn't much fame or glory in "JUST" being a wife an a mom, and can often times feel like we are dying a slow death more than living out a "calling".

Okay, so all of that said - I realize that my need for balance last night comes partly from my own insecurities. I won't lie. I've spent the last 14 years of my life feeling .... well .... worthless. I've had victory some days in drowning out such a lie, but it's probably safe to say that I sit in it more than fight it. I NEVER want a young mom to begin her career/calling as a wife and mom with such passion and conviction that she KNOWS she is doing what God has asked of her, only to be suffocated rather quickly by the monotony of it all. I don't want this because I know how awful it feels. So while I was so longing for this balanced perspective last night, it was my own thing. The book, Restless, is not written for people who are confidently living their callings. So the author has no reason to reach a balance. (Yet she really does do an amazing job in her book with it!) The book is written for those longing for purpose and change.

Fast forward a bit to a totally different topic that comes up a lot in this book - Comparison. Jennie Allen is quick to call out our sin of comparison. The comparison HAS TO STOP. All it does is either keep us from moving forward in our dreams, or cause others to feel lesser for having an appeared "smaller" dream.

Let's wrap this around to the working mom/stay at home mom issue. (Yes, I'm going to call it an issue. Because church??? We've turned it into an issue. I've never once heard it preached in church that women should stay home with their children. Yet as moms, we put up our bristles and feel the need to guard against attack ...but who is attacking??) Nowhere in the Bible have I found that women have to stay home with their children. We are told in Titus 2:5 to be "workers at home". I have seen lots of SAHM's who are NOT workers at home. I have seen lots of women who have a career outside of the home "work at home" in a way that puts me to shame. But what I mostly see is a comparison and a guilt that we have put on ourselves that divide women in either category. It.Has.To.Stop.

The heart of that matter is not what you do with your days. As with anything, it is WHY. Jennie Allen talks much in her book about checking your motives. So as a SAHM or a Working Mom, we SHOULD be checking our motives. If we choose to stay home or work a job all the while being driven out of fear, discontentment, guilt, selfishness, or identity issues - then we are sinning. In that, we may or may not need to redirect how we spend our days and seek what God has for us rather than what we have for us. To pull from the book, "We often desperately chase knowledge of "God's will for me" at the sacrifice of God's will." We cannot hide behind what our job is or isn't. We HAVE to lay it all before Jesus and ask HIM to be what guides our days.

Maybe God has you as a CEO of a company right now, maybe he has you as an amazing author or speaker, maybe he has you as a Doctor or a Lawyer. Or maybe he has you as JUST a wife and a mom. Why we throw the word "just" in there when it comes to being a wife and a mom and no other career on the previous list is not really helping. There is no "just" in any of our callings. If you are "just" a janitor, or "just" a Barista, or "just" a Sales Clerk - if we are living what God has asked us to live, then there should be joy and peace, not discontentment and struggle and a longing for BIGGER (which we translate as better in our comparison mindset).

Comparison, calling, dreams, passion, career, identity, purpose - these are all very loaded words that come with a lot of weight and angst for many of us. So find some friends and prayerfully dive into whatever God is asking of you. And if what he is asking is contentment for today - thank him and do whatever you are doing well. If he is asking you to come out from what is comfortable or known to you - thank him and run hard after what He has next for you. But let's just be careful to not put OUR callings on those women around us (unless you are a Hit Man, then I'm gonna go ahead and tell you that you are way off track). And lastly, as Jennie Allen is also such a fan of - let's CHEER EACH OTHER ON! Enough of the comparing and feelings of worthlessness and fear. I want to specifically direct that word towards the moms. Working out of the home or not ..... let us CHEER EACH OTHER ON toward a life submitted to Christ and HIS purpose for us. No guilt, no shame - only full on abandonment of self that we may replace with Jesus.




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Embrace the pain

Would you rather live like a Zombie but pain free, or live in pain but feel ALIVE?

(For the record, I HATE the would you rather game. Because the answer is always - NEITHER!)

I'm in one of those weird places right now where my physical being is practically mimicking the emotional. So bear with me. Cheesy analogies and strange rants may or may be a part of this post.

I've battled physical pain for many years. Most of the time it doesn't interfere with life. Sometimes it does. Since June of this past year has been one of the "does" times. I've gone to various Doctors, undergone lots of expensive tests only to come up with nothing. I was most recently referred to the pain management clinic. The goal was more diagnostic than one of actually managing the pain. Long story short - I left the clinic without having the intended procedure done, but only after crumbling to pieces in front of the Dr. "It's just so hard to live in so much pain and not know why", was my cry to him. (No really, I cried. Shoot me now.) He was very compassionate and kind, and sent me on my way with some more drugs to experiment with. This would be all fine and good if I hadn't reached a point in January where I decided I was done with experimenting and certainly done with the drugs. I was feeling more and more like a Zombie...only I STILL wasn't pain free.

Sometimes it's just time to embrace the pain.

As for what this has to do with the emotional realm...allow me to {attempt to} tie my world together for you. (No pretty bow on top will be promised though.) Aside from the physical, I've found myself in some intense emotional pain over the past 2 years as well. I've slowly been crumbling to pieces because like I said to the Dr. earlier today - it's hard to live in so much pain and not know why. (Okay, so obviously I know WHY I'm in emotional pain...I just don't know WHY God has me here.) Following in suit with the medical world - I've examined, cut away, talked to all the specialist (AKA: the friends who are brave enough to enter into my drama), only to find myself heavily medicating...trying desperately to make it just go away...to stop hurting.

We all do it at times. We look straight in the face of pain, be it physical or emotional, and immediately look for the closest Exit. Makes sense. Who wants to be in pain? We reach for the drugs (prescription or not), the alcohol, TV, books, sports, work, sleep, noise....ESCAPE. But let me just tell you that when you add all these things together (or even on their own), you can and will grow numb enough to not only block out any pain, but perhaps any good as well.

Enough with the silly analogies. I was a mess. I am a mess. (So are you, so don't judge me.) The medications, alcohol, food, running (physically and emotionally) has gotten me nowhere other then rock bottom. So like I said - in January I decided to be done medicating. Done with the drugs, done with running (emotionally). It was time to embrace the pain.

If it's true that there is supposed to be joy in the journey - it will be impossible to have such joy if all you are is numb.

I want to reclaim joy. (After all, the Joy of the Lord is my strength. Sometimes you don't really know what that verse means until you are lacking all joy and all strength at the exact same time.)

Getting to the place of being able to embrace the pain is NOT an easy task. There's no manual for it. But when God is asking you to stand broken, bloody and bruised before him - well, you may as well just do it.  He will not be fooled by the band aids. This could mean standing still. Or it could mean battling. For me, the last month in a half has required being silent. I needed the rest. Because now? Now it's time to battle. I will not let the pain win. My God is bigger.

Some would say: "But, Jody? It's too hard. I don't know where to start. Which pain/issue do I tackle first?" (Remember, we're talking about the emotional pain at this point. Keep up, folks.)

I don't know the answer to those questions. I do know it's not easy. When I take pause to look at the many areas that are broken, I can either become paralyzed by them, or just start fighting. For instance - the physical pain.... The absence of drugs means I have to learn to modify my life to do what I can. I don't like having physical limits. But I do. For example, my knee has stopped working for the past 7 months. (Which when running is your drug of choice...this is NOT helpful.) But I KNOW I feel better physically overall when my diet and my fitness are at an optimal level. Do you think I've enjoyed doing water aerobics or running 1.5 miles when I KNOW I'm capable of a MARATHON? Not at all. So I battle. Do you think it's easy for me to extend grace and love to the one person who is the hardest person for me to love? Not at all. So I battle. Is it easy to pursue my dreams and passions when everything around me seems to want to kill them? Nope. So I battle. Is it easy to stay when all you want to do is run away? Certainly not. Battle!

But the battle is not mine alone. I am not in this alone.

If it's true that God's power is made perfect in my weakness (again, one of those verses that is really hard to grasp more often then not) - then maybe it's time to embrace my weakness. Instead of running from who I am (the good, the bad, and the ugly), or dulling my senses when it is all too much - maybe it's worth a shot to let HIS strength and power be made perfect. How fascinating it would be to see HIM win the battle when I am tired, broken, afraid, lonely, and bruised.

 (**cheesy analogy alert**)
 JESUS is the ultimate pain management specialist. He can handle us crumbling to pieces. He is okay with us denying the drugs....in fact he wants us to. He knows the full diagnosis even when we don't. And he isn't keeping it from us because we are a medical mystery (figuratively speaking) - sometimes he's keeping it from us because HE is strong and we???? Well .... we're not.


2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
7 ...... for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to [b]torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [c]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with [d]insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.



**Please know that I have NO problem with taking prescribed medicine to manage pain. I believe God gave us brilliant Doctors and science to help us. But for me, I'm in a season where I feel he is asking me to....well...just embrace the pain.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Musings from a "recovered" Bulimic

Being underweight (by choice) is just as unhealthy as being overweight.

This year, for the first time ever - I followed along with the show The Biggest Loser. I'm inspired by the transformations and stories of how people get to unhealthy in the first place, then return to healthy. I just am. Because I am one of them.

However, last night I couldn't go to sleep after watching the finale. And I awoke to quickly run to the computer in hopes that TBL was addressing what everyone was feeling last night. The winning contestant did NOT look healthy. (To put it into perspective, I read that she is the same height as Karen Carpenter but weighed in 5 lbs less than Karen was at when she died of anorexia. Not sure if that is accurate, but the picture paints it well.) American's watched what quickly turned from inspiring to uncomfortable and concerning. The look on the Trainers faces said what we all were thinking. And yet she was rewarded for what is the opposite of the shows beliefs - being healthy. But this post isn't about TBL show, per say.

I promote weight loss, health, and athleticism for a living. So don't get me wrong - HEALTH is important. So why the disappointment with last nights show?? Well, because I also battled an eating disorder for 9 years of my life. Along with that, even though I can say I am "recovered" from the physical act - the battle in the mind of someone with an eating disorder is a hard one to win. So I was just sad for Rachel. So sad. To get to obese doesn't generally happen for no reason. Neither does anorexia or bulimia. There are issues that need to be dealt with in both scenarios - again, I speak as someone from both ends of the spectrum.

When battling overweight turns obsessive, well - you are securing yourself a need to start an entirely new battle. Same story, next chapter. Unhealthy underweight. Both are driven out of just that - obsession. Watching Rachel's story unfold from TBL, she was the "fat" girl who hid behind food. She secluded herself from the world and let food be her friend. Next thing you know, she is in the spotlight week after week as she regains her life. As much as I was a fan of hers all season, I did often wonder about the mindset of people who shift from being known as the "fat girl" to being known for their new found health. It can be a slippery slope.

Here's the thing. Our identity is NOT a number on the scale. Our identity cannot be and should not be how fat or how thin we are. There is just no way to stand up under such a weight. (Pun intended.)

The glorification of the scale needs to stop. The admiration and obsession that our culture gives to people who look like Rachel did last night HAS TO STOP. It's time to shift our focus from a number, to a picture of HEALTH.

Healthy looks different for all of us. Do I still battle weight at times? Yes. Because my frame is just unhealthy at a certain weight. But finding the way to take my mind off the numbers because I didn't know it was possible to FEEL so healthy has been invaluable in battling my mind. I have finally grown okay with the fact that I will never be 105 lbs. Because what it would take to get ME there would most certainly be unhealthy and miserable. Heck, I'd be miserable much under 145 because it is just not natural or healthy FOR ME. Watching Rachel last night as she tripped up the stairs, missed the fact that she had won until being told .... she just looked miserable. And that made me sad. Having your heart hide behind your overweight self is just as sad as your heart hiding behind your new underweight self.

So if you are still reading, and especially if you are a woman - know that you are beautiful. Find a way to get healthy without obsession. Process through the battle in your mind that takes you to extremes and FIGHT it. Fight it with making one healthy choice after another, and dare I say - allowing yourself an unhealthy choice every now and then. You WILL win.

(Shameless plug - I would LOVE to tell you about the Nutritional Cleansing system that has honestly FREED me from my obsession and drawn me to view HEALTHY as beautiful more so than the number in my head or even on the scale. It has been a game changer for me!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#slaverystillexists : RISE UP CHURCH !!!


Here is a Facebook Post I made attached to THIS recent article : (pst...read the article!)

So sad. Get educated, and rise up. #schockingtruth #superbowl #slaverystillexists

A very funny, beautiful, intelligent friend asked me how I was planning to rise up. I responded with, "Pray, educate others, and take a stand."

Her response was a good one...and one that most of us Christians FEEL more often then not.

She said, " I don't know. That's why I get frustrated. I think it's absolutely horrible, and yet I feel helpless.

I wondered if there was something you're actively doing (praying is totally active...I guess I mean out-there-getting-dirty-doing). Getting educated and spreading the word is great...I just feel like it's not enough. Ya know? Frustrating."

When it comes to something as sickening and harmful as sex trafficking, if you let your heart feel the weight of it, you can't help but feel ... well, helpless. I do believe, however, that this is a lie from the Enemy. We are NOT helpless.

If you've been around the church for any amount of time, you've probably heard the phrase - "Either you are called to go, or you are called to send." Most of us aren't called to go anywhere. (Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean we aren't called to do work for the kingdom, we just get to do it right outside our front door.) But when it comes to the modern day slave trade??? Most of us are NOT called to be "out-there-getting-dirty-doing". There ARE some great organizations, however, who ARE! Get familiar with them. Support them. Pray for them. Pray for the women and children being trafficked. And honestly??? RISE UP and SHINE THE LIGHT.

It's hard to kill sin when it's allowed to just dance in the dark.

Let's start flipping the light switches. We have voices, we have the power of social networking like never before. USE IT! The men (and women, I suppose) who will be buying what should never be sold this coming weekend think they are doing so in secret. Somewhere deep withing, they HAVE to know it is not right, but like any other sin that we can fall/walk into - don't ask, don't tell. Do their wives know what they are doing? Their mothers? Their sisters? Their fathers? If they do - do they feel powerless to have a voice for the grotesque act being done? Do they even know the problem that exists? If we all yell loud enough, I do believe we can make a dent in what is now the largest slave movement ever to exist. Imagine if everyone who cared about the Atlantic Slave trade deeply just stayed silent because they felt helpless. No...never mind...stop imagining that. It's dark.

So let's PRAY, pray hard! Make some noise, and raise some awareness!!! It's NOT nothing!

A few bits from the article I linked to above, in case you forget to go to it:


*According to the Huffington Post, U.S. sex trafficking, which it dubbed “America's dirtiest secret,” garners approximately $9.5 billion a year. {It's time to unveil the secret!}

*Despite growing advocacy movements in recent years, Super Bowl and large-scale-event sex trafficking remains a major yet little-talked-about issue. {START TALKING!}


Some links to just a few PHENOMENAL organizations called to GO.

* http://www.thea21campaign.org/
* http://www.ijm.org/
* http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
* http://www.theexodusroad.com/
* http://iempathize.org/

Don't let the Enemy tell you that you are not doing enough. The 10,000+ women and children need our prayers and our voices more than ever this weekend!

Friday, January 24, 2014

PREACH it son!!!

I've blogged before on my wrestling with prayer. How to, when to, what to.....

I recently picked up a book that I've heard rave reviews on. I'm four chapters in, and if the book weren't attached to my Kindle, I'd throw it out the window (or burn it). This book is causing me much confusion and angst. Probably a good sign I should stop reading it. Anyway...I was processing through some of the things I was reading with Aaron by reading bits of the book aloud.

Here's the scene that went down:

Enter into the room: my 9 year old son.

Coming out of a passage of the book reading about the blind men who obviously wanted to be healed, but Jesus still asked them what they wanted of him, I read the following out loud:  ".....it wasn't because Jesus didn't know what they wanted; He wanted to make sure THEY knew what they wanted...... What if Jesus were to ask you this very same question: What do you want me to do for you?"

9 year old son of mine: "SAVE US!"

Me: "There ya go! You don't even need to read a book like this and you know the best answer!"

10 year old son: "Of course I don't need to read THAT book. I just read the Bible!"

Preach.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hot Mama meets Humble Pie

Certainly humble pie has 0 calories, right??? Cuz I ate the whole pie tonight and didn't exercise today - so I sure hope so.

I was blown away by the response to my Pretty Woman Meets Hot Mama blog post. My blog has been shared and spread across Facebook over the last 24 hours, and I've received more "hits" on my blog than ever before. While I have been so blessed to see the response of many stating how thankful they were for my words, I neglected to really take into account some of those words. I have allowed the emotion of how so many can be encouraged by my words override the reality that just maybe...I have wounded with my words.

Early this morning I received a call from the founder herself of Hot Mama. She was very apologetic and kind regarding the situation yesterday. (Apparently she has even received a handful of emails today in regards to my post.) I was pleasantly surprised by how she was handling the entire thing. She had read my complaint I sent in, as well as my blog. (Gulp.) She assured me this is NOT the character of their store or values. It appears to be an isolated incident in a field that is sure to have such misunderstandings happen. (Seriously!!! Have you ever worked retail?? It is pretty awful.) She told me that Hot Mama wanted to make things right. The conversation closed, and I thought that was the end.

Until this evening.

As Aaron and I were on our way to a date night, I received a call from the saleswoman herself. She was sobbing. She too had just read my blog. You know. The one where I said I wanted to punch her in the face and called her names of my own. Yeah. That one. She explained her heart to me (including how awful it feels to read that someone wants to punch you in the face), her genuine love of moms, her intentions in what she spoke to me in the store, etc. I did stand my ground and voice that it is NEVER okay to say to ANY woman that they carry weight in any one particular are of their body. But beyond that...... humble pie. It doesn't taste very good.

I realized in an instance how my insecurities and my frustrations came out to the entire Internet World about a woman who I did not know. I made a judgment of character through one brief interaction. Because I was wounded - I wounded. This, my friends - is NOT okay. I truly am the worst of sinners, and have no reason to slander anyone. We all make mistakes. We all say things we wish we could shove back in our mouths. We all mess up. She messed up. Then I messed up. It's not pretty. Such is the world we live in.

After a truly genuine and great conversation with this saleswoman where we could hear and understand each other - I hung up and began to feel the weight of my words. I realized that my insecurities had won (again). What I intended to encourage others .... and in a way, did .... was not as pure as I had hoped. I lashed out at the thin girl, because I am not. (She actually IS a mom, and stated that she hasn't always been thin. Huh....) I did exactly what I didn't want done to me. I don't want to be judged for my definition of beauty by the skinny girls. Yet I sit in judgement of them. I assume they all starve themselves and judge me. But that just isn't true. Sometimes, maybe .... but it is not for me to know or judge.

Why do women do this?? Working moms vs Stay at home moms. Skinny girls vs fat girls. Rich vs poor. The list goes on. But us women?!?!?! We are BRUTAL! And more often than not - we are most brutal against the women we wish we were. I am the worst.

I am saddened that in a post that encouraged so many, I deeply wounded one. That isn't who I want to be. It's not what I stand for. I'd like to think it isn't who I am. But at the end of the day - regardless of what is or isn't ... I am reminded of the one truth that Jesus died for all of us. Skinny, fat, talented, dumb, smart, rich, poor, sinner or saint.

Who am I to cast the first stone???





*****I do still stand behind every other opinion I voiced in yesterday's blog.....other than my judgement on this sweet woman and the company Hot Mama. For that I am sorry.*****