Friday, July 25, 2014

Are You Getting Enough?


Did you know that each person needs at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day?  Are you getting enough servings for you and your family at the grocery store?....... If each person needs at least 7 servings a day, for 7 days, and this is for everyone in your family, figure it out......

Sonia's family = 6 people x 7 servings per day = 42 servings per day x 7 days per week = 294 servings per week. WOW!  That's a lot of fruit and vegetables!

It's hard enough for you and I to get enough fruits and vegetable in.  So, how do we get our kids to eat enough of them?  Here are a few of my tips.

1) Eat them yourself.  You think you do, but do you really?  Track them for a few days and find out.  When they see you eating more (with a smile on your face) they will see you won't die from broccoli overload!

2) Smoothies.  They are all the rage and they taste good.  You can start easy... something like a chocolate, banana, peanut butter smoothie and then as time goes on add in other fruits and potentially vegetables. 

3) Go heavy on the fruits.  I know... fruits have more sugar.  But pick your battles - if you want to drop sugar, get rid of the candy, junk food & pop - NOT the fruit!  I'd rather have them eat all fruits and get some super nutrients than cut them off after 2-3 servings.

4) Know portion sizes.  Measure out ALL the servings at one time and let your kids see that it's really not that much that they have to eat daily.  (Serving Sizes:  1 medium fruit or vegetable, 1 Cup leafy vegetable, 1/2 Cup cooked or raw, 3/4 Cup juice, 1/4 Cup dried)

Want to get fruits and vegetables all at once?  Try a delicious Berry Smoothie

Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?   1 Corinthians 6:19

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Love What You Have

Woman to Woman 

This past weekend was my daughter's wedding.  We spent several months getting ready for the big day and had a lot of laughs (and a little drama) along the way.  For example, the day we went to find her wedding dress, I got my car stuck, really stuck, in the driveway at the bridal shop.  There was so much snow, I couldn't see that I was about to drive over an 18" drop-off in the driveway.  I thought the driveway behind the dress shop and the restaurant next door were connected.  Turns out, they are not!  My daughter and I were laughing about something and the next thing we knew, we heard a thump!  I couldn't go forwards or backwards.  I was so embarrassed. The owner of the bridal shop was so nice.   She helped shovel around my car so we could see what was going on and to see if there was any damage.  She offered to reschedule my daughter's appointment.  However, I didn't want to reschedule the appointment because I wanted this day to be about my daughter and I wanted her to be happy.  It was hard enough for us to find a time to get together, I didn't want to "waste" this day.  It all worked out okay because my husband (who rescues me frequently) came out, assessed the situation, and stayed there until a tow truck could arrive so that my daughter and I could go to her appointment.  My car had to be lifted up and off the cement divider, but there was no apparent damage (thank you, Lord - truly!).  

During all the wedding planning and preparations, I knew I would be an emotional wreck during the ceremony and at the reception.  I am an emotional person anyway.  However, I wasn't totally prepared for how I would feel after the wedding and the reception were over.  I am blessed that I never experienced postpartum depression, but now, I felt like I was going through, "postmatrimonial" depression for mother-of-the-bride (is there such a thing?). When you are in the mommy planning zone, all you can think about is what you have to do next.  You have a huge list of people and places to contact to make sure everything goes smoothly. However, the next thing you know, it's the day of the wedding and you, as a parent, have to do something that you didn't think would have such a large impact on your emotions--you have to give your daughter to someone else. Say that again?  I have to let someone else be more important in her life than her parents?  I was, also, not prepared to receive some advice from her dad that I really needed to hear.  

During the reception, all the parents sat at one table.  During one of our conversations, my daughter's dad gave all of us some excellent advice.  He said, "love what you have."  That piece of advice has been stuck in my head all week.  It is so simple, yet, I believe that most people do not do a very good job of loving what they have--myself included.  We are so busy running after the next best thing that we don't take time to love what we do have and what God gave to us.  How often do we thank God, really thank God for all the blessings He bestows on us and for the people who are in our life?  How many people are no longer in our life because we didn't do a very good job of loving them?    

Loving what you have and loving those around us is very important to God.  If you have any doubt, review Exodus 20:2-17 or Deuteronomy 5:6-21 which list the commandments God gave to us.  One of the commandments that God gave to us specifically tells us not to covet what our neighbor has--his wife, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to our neighbor.  In other words, love what you have and have been given--don't yearn to possess something that someone else has. (See Josie's blog post for more information on jealousy).  To be honest, there are days when still I find myself "coveting" my "neighbor's" house or furnishings.   When I was younger, I found myself thinking (as Ruth mentioned in her blog post) that if I just had a nicer house or bigger house, I would be happy. However, I now realize that my happiness doesn't depend on the house I am in.  My happiness comes from loving God and Him loving me.  I have learned that if I am not happy where I am with what I have, I will not be happy in the bigger, more expensive house.  

The wedding day has now come and gone.  Just like life, it all goes so quickly--in the blink of an eye.  My goal is going to be to follow this simple advice, "love what you have."  Don't wait to appreciate the people God has placed in your life.  If you don't love them now, you may not get a chance to love them later.  

I would love to hear all the funny stories you may have as "mother-of-the-bride" or from your child's wedding.  Jump over to The Mom Squad Facebook page if you care to share!   

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Daughters of Grace

Hello Daughters of Grace ~

The word grace has been on my heart for the last day since reading a blog about how many Christians don't treat others with much grace because we don't really walk in it ourselves.  Our expectations are so high and when we mess up we continue to beat ourselves up, allowing the enemy to condemn us continually.  We try over and over again to prove that we are good Christian girls.  See our works!!  If we are single we are celibate.  If we are married we are submissive.  We never yell at our children.  We volunteer for whatever and whenever.  We are patient, modest and always helpful.  SEE, it's grace, isn't it?  Then five minutes later we sin again and the cycle starts over.  Enter more condemnation that we may hold onto for years.

I know many of us know the definition of grace - free or unmerited favor of God.  It's amazing isn't it.  Sadly, I'm realizing more and more that I haven't been fully living in that definition.  I've desired over and over to prove myself to people and now to God.  As a teen mom I had to prove that I could be a good mom to those who just knew that this 17 year old girl should get an abortion.  When I worked in the professional kitchen I had to prove to the other chefs that I was just as good as the men (yes, the professional kitchen is male dominated).  Growing up without a father I had to prove to myself that I was good enough even though my father had abandoned me.  Once I became a Christian I continued to try to prove myself, only this time I felt like I had to prove myself to the Lord.  I had to show Him that I was worth Him saving.  I love Him and I love that He loves me and I receive it but I still felt like I had to work to show Him that I could be good enough to be called a daughter of grace.

The Lord has chosen, once again, to be gracious in showing me that I don't have to prove a thing.  Every so often He reminds me that when I begin to walk in works instead of grace I lose focus.  I don't have to prove myself anymore - because Jesus gave His life for mine.  Daughter of grace, you don't have to prove a thing as well.  I thought about my greeting long and hard today, daughters of grace.  Daughter of grace, I have a question for you.  Are you living under grace and I mean really living under grace?  Are you feeling guilty for messing up yet again?  Maybe you yelled at your kids again or were disrespectful to your husband.  Maybe you are holding on to something from years back and you've never quite forgiven yourself.  Yes, you know that you are forgiven but are you really living in free, unmerited and undeserved favor?

Please read chapter 7 of Romans.  As you do, you'll notice that Paul is speaking about the battle in his flesh.  The Spirit encourages him to make the right choices but he's always battling the sin that still battles in his flesh and sometimes he fails.  Sometimes he falls back into sin even though he wants, so desperately, to make the right choices.  Daughters of grace, that's all of us!!  Romans 3:23 tells us that we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Each and every one of us.  As Paul talks about his battle in marched Romans 8:1-2 (NLT) "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  You have to read the 7th and 8th chapters together to get the full grasp of that statement!  Daughter of grace, you are free!  Free from the bondage of sin and you live under the protection of grace.  You are not condemned!  You don't have to prove yourself!  This means that you will not get everything right or be perfect. It simply and amazingly means you don't have to pay for the times you fail because Jesus already did.

Pick yourself up and dust yourself off!  The King of Glory has paid for every time you fall.  Yes, we strive to please God but how awesome is it that our desire to please Him and live according to His Word comes only from a place of love.  He first loved us so we pour our love on Him by spending time with Him and allowing His Holy Spirit to take control over our lives.  Once we get that we can walk with a JOY and freedom that only comes from the love and grace of God!  Psalm 32:5 tells us that He also forgives the guilt of our sins! Walk in that daughter of grace!  Be truly forgiven.  Let go of the guilt because God forgives you and He loves you.

This was not what I planned to write and yes I still have a recipe for you but I have to share what's in my heart.  Part of the goal of the Mom Squad blog is to be transparent so that the lives of all those who read this blog are impacted by the love of Jesus.  Thanks for allowing me to share.

I'm posting a link to my latest Fox 8 appearance.  I had the honor and pleasure of making my BBQ Chicken Grilled Pizza.  Hope you enjoy!

Walking in HIS grace ~ Chef Robin

Please click here to watch the video