Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Clean Eating in Small Town Western PA

Its not easy bring green. - Kermit the Frog

Living in a small town, a solid hour away from the big city of Pittsburgh, it can be hard to procure all of the foods and cleaning products we'd like to lead a clean, green, lifestyle. It's not always easy but I have spent hours of my life scouring labels, searching through stores, and keeping my ears open for any real food I can find!

Friday, October 31, 2014

So, I [might] Love Food

If you know anything about you me, or my family, you know that we love food.  We spend hours shopping for the right ingredients, more hours laboring over the cooking, sometimes waiting days for things to ferment or soak.  Food is kind of our thing. We love making it, eating, and sharing it. Food is kind of our love language. If you want to show me you love me you'll buy sushi grade salmon and pocky sticks. Or maybe you'll buy me a food dehydrator, juicer, and knife sharpener all in the same year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grace Through it All

Its been a year of coming to the end of myself again, and again. Just when I think I've reached the very end of me... God takes me farther. A year ago in October I felt the Lord asking me to go to Asia and work in an orphanage with special needs children for about 2 weeks. I had spent the year prior to that call praying for orphans in China by name, sponsoring them and sending gifts. I grieved as some of them died from complications of their special needs, and I laughed and rejoiced when things went well, like liver transplants in tiny babies' bodies. My heart was broken for these children and when the opportunity came to serve them with my own hands, I was excited and ready. I cried out to God, I will go Lord! Send me.

I think that's about when everything started.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Stella's Family

I am so excited to share with you that I was looking at the New Day Foster Home blogroll of families last night and I came across Stella's Family's blog! Though we have been sad that we weren't called to be her family we have been praying through it. (My post about the sadness of that is here.) I have been worshipping God in new and powerful ways. A lot of that prayer time (even over the last year plus) has been devoted to asking Him to place her in a Christian home, with a loving family, and for the Lord to make the transition from orphan to beloved daughter a smooth one. How wonderful that I can now see how richly the Lord has answered our prayers by reading their blog! Go check it out and pray for them! GOD IS SO GOOD! http://holcombefamjourney.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Backyard Sugaring!

This year we tapped our maple trees for syrup! Last spring we learned how easy it was and that we had an abundance of maples so, being the doers that we are, we did it this spring! Let me tell you, its easy, its fun, and its delicious.

Here is the basic how to of this process.

Professional Encourager

My husband is the most important person on this Earth to me and I view my role as his wife to be my most important calling. I serve God by serving him. One of the biggest parts of my job is to encourage him. My husband is an incredible man. He's gifted, brilliant, really. He can play the organ, sing with perfect pitch, cook a curry, and shoot straighter than most marksmen. But this world is rough, it beats down the best of us. So today, after a rough weekend, I knelt down in my kitchen with my children and prayed a desperate prayer. "Lord, fill me up with you, Lord light a fire in me, fill me with you. I am empty of myself, fill my children, fill my husband with your Spirit, Jesus."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

All Things Beautiful

I'm writing this post to encourage anyone who has experienced the jagged hurt of sexual assault or abuse. 

There is healing in Jesus. 

There are a few things in the world that are so ugly and horrible they seem unredeemable. Sexual assault has to top that list. Pain, hurt, shame, brokenness, ugliness, sin, vile, penetrating hurt.

Yesterday, for the first time since the incident I saw the man who caused so much pain in my life. I was at a conference when I saw him. I did double take, my stomach dropped, my hands started to shake. I pulled my husband away and immediately said, "thats the guy. The guy who did that to me."

We walked back to our table and right there, in front of friends we barely knew, Michael laid hands on me and prayed. He prayed one of those absolutely necessary in the moment heaven shaking prayers and God met me. He washed me again with his Spirit and I was given clarity and peace. My feelings towards this man weren't anger or rage, but worry that he would hurt someone else, probably has. I felt for those women.

We left for lunch and when I came back I knew I needed to tell my new friends why I was upset. I felt the creepings of shame. The creepings of being a wounded victim, someone who should be ashamed and hide. I know that is not who I am, and I spoke the truth aloud to myself and my friends.

I told them, "At 17 years old I was sexually assaulted and the man who did it is over there. Thats why I was acting strange. But I am not ashamed. I did not ask for what happened to me and I will not own this shame today."

Their faces dropped. And then with perfect God timing one of them asked me, "what was it that helped you to heal after something like that?"

"I went through gestalt therapy, I went on a week long heroines journey, I tried a lot of things and nothing brought healing... I was made whole when I realized how much Jesus had forgiven me, and because of that I can forgive too. I prayed for God to help me forgive him, and myself, forgiving myself was actually harder. But Jesus has given so much to me freely, and He made me whole. I am not ashamed, I am not broken, He made me whole through forgiveness." And in that moment I knew more than ever that it was true. One of my friends looked so upset that she was going to cry. I actually held her. She said, "I should be comforting you! I just feel things for people so deeply." And as I let go of her embrace I told her again, Jesus has made me whole, He is so good.

And then, we all prayed, YES, we prayed, for God to protect women from being hurt by him. The other friend used Jesus' name, And then I prayed, for God to redeem this man, to change his heart and save him.

It seems impossible, but God has made even this beautiful in His time. I stood, radiant with the Holy Spirit, as Jesus was glorified by sharing the truth of what He does. He saves, He transforms, He binds up the broken, He makes us whole. He makes beauty from the ashes. AMEN and amen.