“A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope

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I’m excited for this study. For me, it’s some combination of the positive energy from the last OBS, the turning of the seasons, the fact that I LOVE fall (hoodie and jeans weather, fresh picked apples, apple cider, comfort foods… I could go on and on), and the responsibility of having an accountability partner for this study that makes me really looking forward to getting into this book.

I hope all my P31 girls are able to take some time for themselves and make this study a priority. Good luck!

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

Been There, Kinda Did That, Loved It!

I meant to write this post in time to link up for the 10/10/13 blog hop but I missed the deadline. I hope you take a minute to read through this post anyway. Thanks!

So, I previously posted about how I’ve been struggling to make these studies a priority. I’m not going to rehash all that now. But I will say that I have loved the (parts of ) books I read.  So much that I plan to go back and restart the study…eventually? I guess I mean to say that I’ll go back when the next study doesn’t look as equally amazing as the past studies (which looks like never!). Anyway, I also loved the facebook parties and the sense of community they provided.

The most amazing decision I made during the “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst study was to purchase the conference call series. I probably entered more than half of the calls with one (or several) of the following negative thoughts or excuses: “I don’t have time in my schedule for this today.” “I’m behind in the book, what’s the point of calling in?” And probably most frequently, “I have a headache, I don’t feel like doing this right now.”

Let me tell you this: I never left a call with the same attitude. Sure, maybe I left with the headache I had before the call started. But EVERYTIME the call was definitely worth the effort. All the calls were awesome, but hands down, the Mandisa call was my favorite. Her story and her positive attitude were amazing to hear firsthand. It was just like being on the phone with a close friend.

If you’re debating purchasing the calls for this study, and you are financially able to, I urge you to do it. I’m sending up a prayer for those who are wanting to but are struggling financially.

Special thanks to Melissa and the P31 OBS team who all make these calls possible, They are an amazing part of these studies.

P31 OBS Blog Hop

Addressing The Doubts

This blog is one of many reminders of things left unfinished on my to-do list. I just published a post that sat in my draft box for a few…months! I was so motivated to do this project not so long ago. What happened? Well, another P31 OBS has come and gone. I actually debated whether to delete my prior posts about “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst. I mean, I never finished the book. And I definitely did not participate in the study enough to write even a single blog post.

Can I do this? Does my participation in these studies even matter? Can I stop procrastinating enough to actually finish the unfinished items on my to-do list? Can I ever grow from the little items and get going to bigger and better places, where God ultimately wants me? Does it all even matter in the end?

Constant doubts.

But then I read something I actually wrote a while back: “But instead of making this a post about beating myself up, I’m turning it into a positive.”

Whoa. I wrote that?

Hmmm. Ok so here’s the positive(s): first, this outlines where I really need to work on my priorities. It’s past midnight and I’m up writing blog posts when I should have been in bed for at least an hour already. Second, I suppose I can look back at this and remember how hard I worked on adding (and hopefully finishing) a new interest to my life. Finally, I can see that sometimes I tend to take on too much and I struggle to get past the minor mistakes I’ve made. It’s ok to do something not so perfectly, because it’s really the progress that counts.

I want to do this, I really do. Now let’s get on with it!

“A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope

“…instead of dwelling on those doubts, we dwell in God’s word…and conquer.” ~ October 9, 2013 by Melissa Taylor

Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies

Recipe: Basil Spaghetti With Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

Between reading “Bread & Wine”, writing my posts, as well as reading posts from other Bloom readers, I stumbled on an older recipe that I absolutely love, but haven’t made in quite a while.

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Reasons why this recipe is great? First it’s from Real Simple, so you know it’s quick and easy. It’s also a pasta-based dish. Hello, pasta! And last but certainly not least, it’s super cheesy and tomato-y. Perfect for an easy weeknight night dish.

Over the past year, I’ve become more in touch with health – especially with the foods I consume. Of course, occasionally there are cheat days. But the most important thing I’ve learned is that a gluten-free diet really works for me. I’ll spare you the details and the “trendy” salesperson pitch, but through much experimentation it’s the best health change for me. I’ve had this dish with both regular wheat pasta and with gluten-free pasta and it works great either way.

Basil Spaghetti With Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes (adapted from Real Simple magazine)

Serves 4

Ingredients
12 ounces gluten-free (corn or brown rice) spaghetti
3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), each cut into 4 thick slices
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet
kosher salt and black pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce), plus more, shaved, for serving
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I tend to use as little as possible)
3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

Directions
1.Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
2.Meanwhile, arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the slices with the mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
3.In a small saucepan, warm the oil with the garlic and red pepper over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
4.Add the garlic oil, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with the tomatoes, additional basil, and shaved Parmesan.

I love this dish with a glass of merlot. Enjoy!

Julia Child!

“Everything in moderation… including moderation.” ~ Julia Child

Reading “Bread & Wine” by Shauna Niequist, slight mention of The Splendid Table on NPR -> podcast subscription to said program -> newest (at the time, 8/2/13) program, “Julia’s Birthday” -> two trips to Barnes & Noble to find “My Life in France” and the movie Julie & Julia is on its way in the mail -> full on Julia Child obsession!

Proverbs 31 OBS – I’m Behind!

I hate to even admit this, but I’m behind on the OBS. Life and my gift of procrastination got the best of me. But instead of making this a post about beating myself up, I’m turning it into a positive.

Today (well, yesterday since it’s after midnight), I was just getting over one migraine and into another, feeling generally yucky, and somewhat distant from all this OBS stuff. The conference calls were the last thing on my mind, I had so much other stuff to worry about. Well, I am so glad I pushed all that aside and called in anyway. I came away feeling so motivated and encouraged that I don’t even care that I’m behind anymore. My progress doesn’t have to be perfect, I just need to be willing to move.

I’m ready (again)  – but not the “I need to get everything done at this very moment” ready. From past experience, I know that I’ll only burn myself out and get nowhere again. No, this time I’m ready – to take one step at a time. Read the book one page at a time, write a blog post when I feel the push, not becoming overwhelmed. Remain peaceful. And for goodness sake, stop worrying – and just do!