Pride and Breakfast

Pride and Breakfast - Confidence in the kitchen is great but over-confidence? Well... I've learned that Pride does not belong in any recipe! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I sat on the side of my bed seriously contemplating whether I should crawl back under the covers. Then, I remembered –

Oooh, my favorite coffee creamer is waiting for me!

You see, I went to the grocery store last week and my favorite flavor was no where to be found.  With great disappointment, I grabbed a caramel coffee creamer, finished my shopping and went home.

It wasn’t until I was putting away the groceries at home that I discovered my egregious mistake. Instead of caramel, I had picked up Maple.

Maple! In my coffee?!? Ugh! That sounded almost as bad as Pumpkin Spice!

But today, sitting in my fridge was a glorious 32 oz. bottle of Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer. What a wonderful incentive to get out of bed! (I know. My life is sad. 😉 )

Oh, but the good vibrations didn’t stop there. The joy of drinking a warm cup of peppermint mocha flavored coffee after a week of suffering through the second worst coffee creamer in existence inspired me.

I’m going to cook breakfast!

Nope. I didn’t stop to enjoy a full cup of my delicious coffee. I didn’t wait for the morning brain fog to lift. I set out to cook a breakfast casserole. “This’ll be a cinch!” I thought. I’d made it tons of times before (using parts of the Fully Loaded Cheesy Breakfast Casserole recipe over at “The Slow Roasted Italian” and parts of the Baked Western Omelet recipe over at “The Seasoned Mom”) and it’s basically fool-proof.

… … …

… … Hang on…

… … … Give me just a minute…

I’m trying to stop laughing so I can finish this post!

Fool-proof! Hahahahahahaha…

Okay. I’m good now.

While gathering the ingredients for my breakfast casserole, I began to think of my victories in the kitchen this past week.

First, there was my cooking flexibility I discovered while making Sweet Corn Pie.

Then, there was the moment my husband declared that I could possibly have outdone him in the kitchen with my Chicken and Dirty Rice. (I’ll have to share that story with you on another occasion.)

And lastly, there was my brilliant idea to use hamburger buns for garlic toast to accompany our spaghetti one evening and then to use the leftover hamburger buns/garlic toast as buns for our sloppy joes the next evening.  After which, I proudly proclaimed myself “Queen of the Kitchen”.

Then from the deepest depths of my soul (or maybe the bottom of my coffee cup – I’m not really sure) came an idea born of my ever-growing pride.

I think I’ll try something new.

I decided to use crescent rolls as a crust. I had seen a recipe somewhere but didn’t want to spend the time searching for it. Phhhht. I don’t need a recipe!

Apparently, I did.

Maybe it was the brain fog. Maybe it was not enough coffee. Maybe it was karma biting me in the crescent rolls but my breakfast did not turn out anything like I had hoped.

Pride and Breakfast - Confidence in the kitchen is great but over-confidence? Well... I've learned that Pride does not belong in any recipe! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

After 30 minutes of the required baking time, I opened the oven to find that the crust was on the verge of burning but the casserole was not completely cooked. And there were these scary looking pustules growing on the top that reminded me of those horrible videos all over the web of –

Wait. This is a food post. You don’t want that image in your head. It’s bad enough that I had it in my head!

Anyway, I had to cook the casserole about 15 minutes longer and by the time I took it out of the oven, well, let’s just say the crust was mighty, mighty dark and mighty, mighty crispy.

Yeah. I was bummed. Almost as bad as when I discovered my coffee creamer mistake!

Pride and Breakfast - Confidence in the kitchen is great but over-confidence? Well... I've learned that Pride does not belong in any recipe! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Perhaps, if I hadn’t been wearing that prideful “Queen of the Kitchen” crown…

Perhaps, if I had taken the time to look up an appropriate recipe…

Perhaps, if I had remembered I’m still a novice in this whole culinary world, the casserole would have turned out a little better.

Perhaps.

But that’s pride for ya. It puffs you up then leaves you hanging in the middle of a dart board while daring someone to hit the bullseye!

Well, the casserole wasn’t too horrible. In fact, after a few bites, my husband said, “You know, I like it crispy like this.”

I smiled sheepishly…

… then slowly straitened my crown! 😉

**Full disclosure. I finally realized that my husband had no idea there was actually a crust on the casserole. He thought I had overcooked it and was trying to make me feel better about my mistake! Nice move, hubby of mine. Nice move. **

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Be Brave!

Be Brave! - Are you tired of fighting battles that leave you crushed and defeated? There's good news for you today. You don't have to fight! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

The battle is always waging.

You may not be in the throes of the fight today. But there is always a battle to fight.

Your friend may be fighting cancer. Your neighbor may be struggling to keep her marriage together. Your loved one may be battling addiction. You may be doing all you can to maintain emotional and mental stability.

There is always a battle.

In the midst of our battles, the temptation may be to retreat, to run as far as we can from our problems or to ignore the struggles altogether. The thing about battles is you can’t outrun them. They will find you and eventually, the fight must be fought.

But here’s what you need to know:

The battle is not yours to fight!

You have an ally, no –

a WARRIOR

who will fight for you.

Check this out. In God’s Word, we read of an impending battle in 2 Chronicles 20. God’s people were terrified because of the size of the army headed their way. Wise King Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord for help. Listen to what God said to His people:

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them… Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.

(2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV)

No matter the battle you are facing today, God can handle it. So quit wasting your time and energy with the same old strategies that only leave you worn out and defeated. Your job is to trust the Lord and stand firm in the battle.

Yep. You do have to show up for the fight.  Showing up may mean many different things – saying “no” to bad habits, enduring difficult people and uncomfortable situations, facing truths about yourself you’d rather not know or making impossible decisions. But rest assured. When you show up, you never have to be afraid. God’s got this!

I don’t know what battles you are facing today but God knows.  He’s ready to fight for you.  All you need to do is

SHOW UP

and

BE BRAVE!

Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS

 

Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS - Are you a morning person? If not, you may want to read this to discover how to appreciate each new day. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Have you ever met a morning person?

No matter how early, a morning person is always cheerful and ready to meet the day with vim and vigor.  This person sings, “Hello” to everyone she encounters and bounces across the room like a child running off to play.

It truly is disgusting!

As you may have guessed, I am NOT a morning person.  It takes me quite a while each day to get moving and when I do, I really do not mind if no one says, “Good morning” to me or even speaks to me at all.  The only things I desire in the morning are

COFFEE

&

SILENCE

Regardless of my aversion to mornings, I am grateful for each one.  Mornings are a gift.  They offer each of us a fresh start, a new beginning.  Yesterday is, well, yesterday.  The mistakes we made, the hardships we faced, the messes we created, these are all in the past.

In fact, each day is like our own personal “do-over” granted to us by God Himself! With each ray of sunlight that peeks over the horizon, God is saying, “Here you go.  Let’s try this again!”

Now that ought to make us SMILE!

Oh, sure, the troubles from yesterday may still continue.  We made the mess; we have to clean it up.  But each new day gives us the opportunity to make better choices, to rid ourselves of bad habits, to repair broken relationships, to do whatever was left undone yesterday.

I may not be a morning person but I thank God for the mercies He gives to me with each new day.  And as I drink my coffee in silence this morning, I cannot help but SMILE at the endless possibilities this day has to offer.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)  

 

Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility

Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility - Do you find yourself struggling with the ever-changing circumstances of life? You may want to take a peak at the lessons I learned from attempting to cook this Yummy recipe. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Yum! Yum! There’s simply no other way to describe this Sweet Corn Pie.

Did you hear those words?

Sweet. Corn. Pie.

Uh. Yes, please!

Ever since I began broadening my cooking horizons, I’ve been scrolling through Pinterest looking for recipes that my family and I might enjoy. But rarely do I veer off the “Cooking for Dummies” beaten path. The recipes I attempt must be simple and require ingredients that I already have in my fridge or pantry. Most importantly, though, the recipes cannot contain “google” ingredients. You know the ones. Those strange ingredients you’ve never heard of so you’re forced to either call your mom or perform yet another google search that begins with, “What the heck is a…”

Let’s face it. If I have to google an ingredient, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not in my kitchen and an even greater chance I’m not going to try the recipe.

Fortunately for me, the recipe for this Sweet Corn Pie (There are those delicious words again!) was simple and straightforward. No google required. (You can find the recipe over at Natural Comfort Kitchen.)

I must say that my Sweet Corn Pie turned out perfectly. Well, almost…

You see, I didn’t have Panko crumbs so I substituted crushed Ritz crackers. And I didn’t have quite enough crackers but thought I’d get away with it because who besides me was gonna know how crumbly the pie topping was supposed to be?

I also didn’t have white pepper so I substituted black pepper. And I really should have googled the difference between the two. If I had, I would have known that my substitution of black pepper should have been in a smaller quantity because white pepper has a much milder flavor.

I didn’t have garlic cloves so I used minced.

I didn’t have kosher or sea salt so I used good ol’ table salt.

I didn’t have frozen or fresh corn so I used canned.

And lastly, I didn’t have a round pie plate so I used a rectangular casserole dish instead.

Now, you might be thinking the shape of the dish doesn’t make any difference. Au contraire, my friend. My grandmother and my great aunt prepared the same cornbread recipe all of their lives. The only difference was the shape of the pan they each used and my dad swore that my aunt’s cornbread in a round pan was much better than my grandmother’s cornbread in a square pan! Apparently, the shape of the dish is vital! Sadly, I don’t own a round pie plate. Why would I? I don’t bake pies. (Except for shepherd’s but that’s not really pie, now is it. 😉 )

So it seems my culinary masterpiece was not perfect at all. I improvised all the way through the recipe. But amazingly, the dish was wonderful. Three out of four in my household agree!

As I was eating my slice of sweet corn deliciousness and marveling at how flexible my cooking skills have become, I began to think (“A dangerous pastime – I know!”).

Wouldn’t it be nice if I was just as flexible in other areas of my life? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all were?Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility - Do you find yourself struggling with the ever-changing circumstances of life? You may want to take a peak at the lessons I learned from attempting to cook this Yummy recipe. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comInstead of whining and complaining when we don’t have everything we want or even need, what if we learned to appreciate and make the best of all we do have?

Instead of counting people out or trying to make others fit our mold, what if we learned to appreciate the uniqueness of those around us?

Instead of insisting on a round pie plate way of doing things, what if we listened to the ideas of others, tried something new and acknowledged that a square pan might be just as good as a round one?

Hmm. That’s a whole lotta “What ifs” in one slice of Sweet Corn Pie! Oops – I mean chunk of Sweet Corn Pie – er – uh – maybe it’s Sweet Corn Casserole…

… ‘Cause everyone knows it can’t be pie unless it’s baked in a round pie plate! 😉

HAPPINESS in the New Year

Happiness in the New Year - Are you dragging the problems of the past into the new year? Here’s one way to deal with those struggles. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to say “Good-bye” to 2018. This past year has felt like one endless struggle to keep afloat in the tumultuous waters of life. And let me tell you, treading water has never been my strong suit.

So as the clock ticks toward midnight, I’m looking forward to kicking 2018 to the curb.

Sayonara.

See ya.

Good riddance!

The problem is, though, flipping the calendar page does not ensure that the struggles of the old year, the messes, the dilemmas, the hurts, are going to disappear.

If only it were that simple.

But the coming of a new year, a new beginning, gives us the perfect opportunity to embrace a different outlook, to change the way we view our world and to embrace the hope of good things to come.

Happiness can be yours – and mine – in 2019. It’s true! (I’m beginning to sound like an infomercial! For just one down payment of $19.99 and 3 monthly payments of $49.99, you, too, can find your bliss in the new year!! Ha! Ha! I need to be in bed. 😉 )

Seriously. No matter your circumstances, no matter the struggles that are following you into the new year, the one thing that can make the difference between faltering under the heavy burdens of the past year (or years) and freeing yourself from binding chains allowing you to live each day of the new year (and years to come) to the fullest is…

… your perspective.

Happiness in the New Year - Are you dragging the problems of the past into the new year? Here’s one way to deal with those struggles. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Problems will always abound. How you approach them is key. Do you buckle under their weight and succumb to the siren song of “Woe is me”? Or do you search for the lesson behind the struggles and look forward to the wisdom and growth you will gain from your endurance?

Don’t spend your new year throwing pity parties! Happiness cannot live where complaining takes up residency.

Embrace the struggles as growth opportunities. Step back and look for the big picture. And remember, these situtations are only temporary.

God’s Word says this:

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Well, the sound of rockets bursting in the air tells me that we’ve completed another trip around the sun. WooHoo! It’s a new year and as we begin this next revolution, let’s remember to keep our focus on the eternal unseen – the hope of “an absolutely eternal weight of glory.” That’s it right there, folks. Your new perspective for 2019!

How can you change your perspective in 2019? Do you have any problems, situations or people that you need to view in a different light?

*****When you have a moment, go check out the post, Lean Into Loneliness, by Dr. Andrea Dinardo at Thriving Under Pressure.  What an inspiration it was for me this week and a reminder to “make the space for the lesson beneath the suffering.”*****

Happy, Happy New Year!

The Hope of Christmas

The Hope of Christmas | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

 

Unto us a Child is born,

unto us a Son is given,

and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace,

JESUS

for He will save his people from their sins.

 

Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬; Matthew‬ ‭1:21‬‬‬

 

May each of you enjoy the blessings of Christmas and find the Hope, Joy, Peace, Comfort and Love that is wrapped in the gift of God’s Son.

Merry Christmas!

The Interruption of God

The Interruption of God - Are you willing to say “Yes” to God’s plans for your life? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

She didn’t plan to abandon tradition.

She didn’t plan to be the subject of whispers in the market place.

She didn’t plan to cause her betrothed shame or humiliation.

She certainly didn’t plan to become the mother of God’s Son.

But God…

His plan would turn her life upside down.

His plan would stretch her faith beyond its limits.

His plan would bring her blessings, joy and honor.

His plan would save, not only her, but the entire world.

 

To the revelation of God’s plan for her life, Mary answered, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

And what a plan it was!

Now, imagine the difference in your life if you would only allow God’s plans to interrupt yours.

It’s Christmastime!

Christmastime - In all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to share your Joy with others this Christmas!| https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

It’s Christmastime everyone!
Time to deck the halls –
Time to string the lights
‘Round the tree and on the walls.

It’s time to go a-wasselling –
Wasselling? Hooray!
I don’t know what it is
But we’ll have fun anyway.

It’s time to join the bustle,
Time to shop the stores,
Time to wrap the gifts –
Wait! I need just one thing more.

Celebrations everywhere,
Yummy treats to eat,
Old friends to laugh with,
And memories, oh, so sweet.

Families all together,
Loved ones held so close,
Christmas is the time
That we truly love the most!

But the joy of this season
By all is not shared.
There are those burdened
By a heavy load of cares.

There are those who are hurting,
Those who have no hope,
Those who are hungry,
Those who cannot seem to cope.

Christmastime to these dear ones
Is just another day
To struggle all alone,
Not a time to sing and play.

They simply can’t comprehend
The reason that we sing.
Their woes are too great;
They think miracles silly things.

They’re searching for an answer,
Escape from their plight.
They’re holding back tears
As they kiss their kids goodnight.

Oh, it’s time we look around –
Open up our eyes
To a dying world
That thinks no one hears their cries.

Our lives are filled with plenty;
We’ve so much to give.
We’ve a Hope to share
With a world that longs for it.

It’s Christmastime, after all!
Time to spread the news,
Time to tell of Jesus
And His love for me and you.

It’s time to go a-serving!
Serving? Yes, indeed!
Meeting needs of others –
What great joy and love it brings!

So, let’s celebrate this season
Telling of His birth,
Giving unto others,
Spreading Hope and Peace on earth.

 

*Dedicated to my son, Corey, who is spending his Christmas break building houses for those in need in Peru. I am so proud of his choices and the man he is becoming.

Christmas at the Office

 

Christmas at the Office | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

It’s Christmastime, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying all the joys and magic this season has to offer, especially singing “Jingle Bells” in the middle of your work place for all to hear! It is the best way to spread Christmas cheer  – according to Buddy the Elf, that is. 😉

Even more, I pray that you are anxiously awaiting the upcoming celebration of our Savior’s birth. After all, He is the reason…

Oh! Here’s a little something else for you to enjoy: A Couple of Stars and a Happy Face is now on Facebook. Yes, I’m branching out, trying to widen my reach and promote this little blog of mine. But actually, I had to create the page in order for WordPress to continue sharing my blog posts to Facebook. To tell you the truth, I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m happy to invite you to follow along with me in my blissful ignorance. It’ll be fun! 😉 You can find my Facebook page right here.  Give me a visit!