Bold Faith, Christian, Christianity, Encouragement, Family, Knowledge, Ministry, Parenting, Prayer, Uncategorized, Wisdom

Loving Your Enemies Even When It’s Hard

He washed his feet of his killer that night. Can you imagine what it was like to show kindness to the man who would sell Him out? He humbled Himself, even to the traitor who would inevitably bring the kiss of death.

Most of us know the story of Judas and how he sold Jesus to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus would ultimately be found, identified by Judas with a kiss, beaten, and hang on the cross until death.

All for those He loved:

Us.

Sitting at my kitchen table this week during quiet time, I thought about Judas. I thought about Jesus. Jesus knew Judas. They were friends. Jesus called Judas to come with Him. They lived together for three years and traveled around the countryside. Judas saw Jesus perform miracles. He witnessed Jesus’s kindness, meekness, and teaching. Jesus saw Judas’s heart. Probably deeper that even Judas could.

Jesus knew Judas, and loved him.

In the past, whenever I’ve read about how Judas betrayed Jesus I automatically despise the man. Anyone who would turnover his friend to death isn’t worthy of being liked, right? At least, that’s where my thoughts always led me.

Until this week.

As I read the story of the last supper in John 13, I was again struck by the humbleness of Jesus. Jesus knew He had authority over everything (v. 3), yet He showed no sign of arrogance and chose to washed the feet of His patrons. Their stinky, dirty, hairy feet.

Often, I don’t even like to touch the dirty laundry, wipe noses, or wash the dirty dishes. But feet? Man feet? Wow. But I love what Jesus taught here. In short, Jesus was showing us this:

To be a true leader is to be a servant first.

He humbled Himself. He put His soon to be enemy first. He washed the feet of Judas, who He knew would be overpowered by Satan within minutes. And He did it with love. He did it out of compassion for His closest companions on earth.

 

But, of course, Jesus didn’t stop there.

Fast forward a few minutes to when Jesus dipped the bread in the bowl and gave it to Judas. Honestly, I never quite understood this verse. I thought He dipped the bread and handed it to Judas to point out that he was a scoundrel! But this week I found a little note tucked away in my study Bible concerning verse 26 that intrigued me:

The honored guest at a meal was often singled out like this.

I’m sorry…. WHAT?!

After looking up a couple of commentaries I found out that Judas was actually being pointed out as distinguished friend and guest! Don’t believe me? Check this out.

Ellicot’s commentary states:

The act is a token of love and friendship which even now would redeem the heart of full treachery if that heart would receive it.

MacLauren’s Exposition tells us that Judas knew he was discovered as the betrayer and was convicted; yet he was given a wonderful affirmation that he was still loved.

Jesus honored and loved Judas even as Judas was becoming His enemy.

My heart sank deep into by stomach. I may have actually kicked it around in my feet for a while. Jesus truly loved His enemy.

He showed it.

He lived it.

Love everyone, even our enemies. Don’t just love those who are easy to love. Love those who are the most difficult to love.

As Jesus sat at His last meal, He told the disciples His actions were an example to be followed.

Be like Christ.

Absorbing this, I have to question just how far away have I drifted from living this kind of life? Do I live out Jesus daily? Do I really turn the other cheek and bless the unlovable? Do I truly love all as He loves? Or, do I seek justification? Do I seek pity from receiving words that hurt? Do I turn a cold shoulder to those who I deem unlovable?

Jesus loved Judas and assured him of this all the way up to the moment of betrayal.

He knew but He still loved.

Can I even wrap my brain around that? This is so hard for me to grasp! When was the last time I showed that kind of love? Honestly? I can’t remember…

Ouch. *insert sting here*

john 13

I like to think that I’m a good Christian and love aallllll people. But in reality, I have A LOT of work to do in this area. Some days, friends, I even struggle showing my closest friends and family love, let alone being kind to someone who has hurt me.

And you know what came to my mind during all of this? I’m sure that I am one of those people who are hard to be loved. Me. Definitely me. But somehow deep down inside my heart I think I deserve to be loved by all.

I’m not living the example Christ gave us to follow. I’m living in pride, fear, and worry.

Thank God and praise Jesus for grace, mercy, love, and teaching that are given to those who ask. This week, I’m asking. If you struggle with loving all like I do, ask with me sisters.

Daddy, thank You for Your Son. Thank You for this example of love that You have shown us. Thank You for Your love that you lavish on us every day. Even when we are wayward, selfish, prideful, and unlovable. Forgive us for acting out of line with Christ’s example. Forgive us for not always humbling ourselves when we should. My heart asks that you would teach us. Show us how to love the unlovable even as Jesus loved Judas up to the end. Change our heats. Help us to see and love people from your perspective, not our own. Show us what we can do this week to bless our enemies. Through Jesus’s glorious name we pray, amen.

 

 

 

 

Family, Recipes, Uncategorized

Easy Pleasy Chicken Tortilla Soup

If there’s anything I love, it’s an easy dinner! It’s mainly my responsibility to feed my people…and there are lots of them. Six of us share our table. And because we homeschool, it seems like we are constantly opening the cupboards and refrigerator to find our next batch of calories to consume.

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. Life gets crazy busy with extracurricular stuff, too. And not to mention the spring weather has been ammmmaazing, so we all want to be outside a little more. During busy seasons, I look for easy but delicious recipes that my family will actually like. The quicker, the better. And healthy? Yes, please.

Last week I tried a new dish with the fambam and they loved it. This rendition of Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup is super yummy. What I love (besides the ease of cooking this) is that you can add or leave out anything you want to make it suitable to yours and your family’s taste buds.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 32 oz box Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Pre-cooked Shredded Chicken
  • 16 ounces Homemade Salsa
  • 1 can White Shoepeg Corn
  • 1 can Pinto Beans (no salt added if preferred)
  • 1 can Light Red Kidney Beans (no salt added if preferred)
  • 4-6 Corn Tortillas cut into 1/4″ strips (I used a pizza cutter)
  • 1 Tbs Dried Cilantro
  • 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut Oil Spray
  • Sliced limes (OPTIONAL)
  • Shredded Cheese of Choice (OPTIONAL)
  • Sour Cream (OPTIONAL)
  • Avocado (OPTIONAL)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine Chicken Broth and Homemade Mild Salsa in a large pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add cooked shredded chicken meat, corn, rinsed beans, cilantro, paprika, salt & pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

***(THIS CAN ALSO BE THROWN INTO THE CROCKPOT AND COOKED ON LOW FOR 4-6 HOURS – USE 2-3 UNCOOKED CHICKEN BREASTS AND SHRED BEFORE SERVING).

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Line your tortilla strips without overlapping on the sheet and lightly spray the tops with coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until crispy.

Serve soup with optional toppings if desired.

For smaller families, feel free to freeze half for another day or reduce the amounts of ingredients to your desired size.

Tortilla Chicken Soup

Try it and let me know what you think, friends!

Bold Faith, Christian, Christianity, Encouragement, Family, Home Protection, Knowledge, Ministry, Parenting, Prayer, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Youth

Just Another Manic Mondy

….I wish it were Sunday…

In an attempt to normalize parenthood, Mondays will be my Manic Monday take-a-look-at-our-craziness post. Now, Mondays at our home aren’t always bad. But most of the time, I wish it were a different day of the week. Actually, ANY OTHER day of the week would be simply faaaaaabulous, Darling…

You see, Sundays for us are our busiest day of the week. Back in our B.C. days, Sundays were full of football, BBQs, maybe a walk or drive at the Wildlife Refuge. Lots of R&R and time to recoop before Monday headbutted us with responsibility. But God had other plans for Sundays when my hubby and I gave our lives to Him. No complaints, honestly! We loooooove where God has brought us. But it’s cray-cray ┬ábusy y’all. So Mondays are hard for this clan to get up and going, let alone get motivated.

Somehow we all miraculously forget our “treat others how you want to be treated” rule from Matthew 7:12. Oh, and remember that ol’ JOY model of Jesus first, Others next, and Yourself last? Yeah, that adage takes a va-cay every Monday. It goes MIA, AWOL, and whatever other abandoning abbreviation you can conjure. And, we all lose memory of our routine of breakfast, chores, and school. Throw in the fact that our house is usually a disaster because we’ve kind of just let it lay in state over the weekend and you have a wonderful mix of cranky-clutter-comatose-condensing Hermannites trying to live life together. That kind of recipe doesn’t turn out very tasty, my friends!

Maybe we sabotage ourselves by just surrendering to the idea that Mondays have to be awful. I can totally see that. Please add it to my never ending list of The Proverbs 31 Woman Virtues and Traits to Work On. *sigh* Trust me, sisters, just like you, I’m working on it. (Thank God for grace!)

My attempt here is to unfilterize parenthood and sneak away from the trap of perfectionism in social media. I don’t know about you but I’ve found it’s exhausting trying to keep up face and make our big-little family appear flawless. Any of you mommas feel the same? Hive-five, sisters!

The thing is, I LOVE my family. I love who God made them to be. I love that He felt we all needed to be together. I love the memories that we make. I love the lessons we learn. And I know you do, too!

Are they always easy. NOPE.

Are they always fun? NO WAY.

Do they sometimes make us question our sanity? MOST DEFINITELY.

Is it worth it? YOU BETCHA.

We know we would never trade our positions as mommas for all the chocolate in the world! But can I just spill my heart right now? It’s so hard being a momma in this world especially with all the comparison traps we fall into. And sometimes those comparisons can make us miss the blessings that are right in front of us.

So sisters, can we can just all be normal and relate to the challenges of parenthood? Pleeeeease? Because we need to be able to comfortable with one another. Breathe with one another. And encourage one another while we’re mommin’ our people.

As I pray for you all and your own Manic Monday, I leave you with this verse:

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Philippians 2:2 (NLT)

phillipians 2 2

Agree. Love. Work. Repeat.

Tell me about your Mondays, sisters. How do your Mondays treat you – or how do you treat your Mondays?

Uncategorized

Artsy Fartsy Friday

Hey y’all. It’s FriYAY!! And a very happy one at that. Spring break has been a great breather for our extra busy life here in the Hermanns home. Friends, books, movies, and beautiful weather is how this fambam rolled this week!

Along with all of our laidbackness, I was able to whip out the paints and scribble on some wood. My daughter’s 4H group will be doing a raffle in a couple of months so I thought it’d be fun to do a project and donate it (nevermind that it was the perfect excuse to paint because I miss it soooooo much).

love you deerly

Just waiting on some chiffon flowers and faux pearls to arrive in the mail so this can be finnished. One of the things I love about art is that there is always room for imperfection. Another thing I love is that there is such a variety of art! Anything from writing, to scultpting, to photography, to painting, to music, to Bible journaling, to doodling, and more.

What is your favorite kind of art? What’s something you simply love to create? Share with me!