Monday, January 28, 2013

Snippets from the Kitchen #1

Cooking is like my escape from school work these days. I've never really been into cooking until this year. My mom never really liked to cook very much so I just never really did either. When I got to school, I realized what I had been missing out on. I decided that once a week I will post a little "snippet" from my kitchen and share some of my favorite recipes with you!

When I was little, my mother used to make this awesome side dish that we always referred to as brown rice. Not the typical brown rice that people are used to, but a very different version of brown rice. My brother and I were so excited when we would smell it in the kitchen and devoured the whole pan in minutes. It's really that good. Not to mention, it is SO easy. You mix it, cover it, and leave it alone for an hour! It can be made with pork chops, which I did this time. Here is the recipe and some pictures of what it will look like.

Brown Rice

Items Needed:
1 cup rice
1 can Consomme Soup
1 can French Onion Soup
1/2 stick of butter

How cute is that 1/2 stick of butter?? I had no idea they were sold as 1/2 sticks.

Mix your ingredients together. 

Place Pork Chops on top of mixture, if you are adding them. {You can absolutely make the brown rice by itself.} Now just cover and cook for 1 hour on 350!

Tada! Don't judge it by the looks, it really is delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

1. Mix ingredients together and place in pan
**Optional: place boneless pork chops on top of mixture
2. Cover and cook at 350 for one hour


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Give Up the Illusion

As I've mentioned before, my older brother (Christopher) passed away in a car accident almost 5 years ago. He was 20 at the time, way too young to go. My parents and I knew that it was God's plan, but it was still painful and it completely turned our world upside down. At the time, I was about to start my sophomore year in High School, and I was a busy bee. Since it was a small town, I was in every club imaginable and participated in almost everything. I just went on with everyday life like there was nothing wrong, and I didn't allow myself to grieve properly. Don't get me wrong, I was sad, but I knew that I had to keep going and I had to be strong for my parents. So for the past five years, I've been strong and I've pushed through.

Lately though, it has been a different story. This whole year of school has been stressful, classes that I absolutely have to do well in to get into the Tech teaching program, joining a new organization, keeping up with a social life, applying for Tech Teach. I've just felt completely overwhelmed, and on edge, and drained. On top of all of that, I've just been missing my brother. Not like a little bit, like a lot. I find myself constantly thinking about how life would be if he were still here. Would I be as close to my parents as I am now? Would we all four be close? Would he be married? Working? Have kids? Would he be proud of everything that I have accomplished? I know it's crazy, but it's like I'm just now going through the grieving process. I don't know if it's that I'm almost the age that he was when he passed. I don't know if it's that I'm just now truly understanding how precious and fragile life is. I don't know what it is, but it's put me completely on edge lately. I'm constantly paranoid about something happening to my parents, because I would have no one left. I'm selfish when it comes to Taylor, because I don't want anything to happen to him. I want everything in my life to be perfect and problem free. I don't need anymore life altering hardships. 

This summer, someone told me about the book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. This daily devotional was written as God is speaking directly to you. They are words that God laid on Young's heart to share with the world. Everyday it seems to be the perfect match with that days trials. Yesterday, I picked up the book and the first sentence read "Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life."It goes on to talk about how we need to stay focused on a problem-free life in Heaven. We need to glorify Him  in the midst of the storm. When things don't go our way, we need to praise Him and thank Him for it, because things are going His way. His light shines more brightly through believers that trust Him in the dark. I mean, how often do you truly think about God's love for you? He has a plan for each and every persons life. He listens to our prayers. He may not answer them the way we want Him to, but He does it in His own perfect way. He allows us to live forever, if we trust in Him. 

So all of my problems, that may seem so huge, are just grains of sand in comparison to His love and care for me. Missing my brother may seem like it's making me crazy, but I know that He is there to bring me through everything. I just need to praise Him in all that I do, and everything will work out fine. My brother is in Heaven, what the heck am I feeling so sad about?? He gets to worship the Lord every single second of every single day. How awesome is that? I shouldn't be grieving over his short life, I should be thanking God that he lived, and celebrating his eternal life. 

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33


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