Son Glasses

The other day I was walking to the Post Office to check the mail for our business. It was a sunny day so I had worn my sun glasses. I was alone and so my mind wasn’t being directed, which is always refreshing because it is rare with our busy house to be alone without conversation or music.

My thoughts usually flit around quite a bit when I am in a place of quiet and that day I was thinking about the bright sun and then The Son which brought me to remember this song I love–“Give me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath– which led me to ponder how our sunglasses can filter out rays that make it challenging to see and even harmful sun rays. And can’t God do the very same thing with what we see?

Most of the time I just see life and people through my eyes and experiences. I think it is fair to say we all do this most of the time. It takes an intentional effort to see someone the way God sees them. It also takes an effort to see ourselves the way God sees us.

Forgiven. Redeemed. Renewed.

Lost. Struggling. Confused.

Spend some time this week thinking about how you look at others and how you look at yourself. Are you full of grace for others but condemn yourself regularly? Do you grant yourself loads of forgiveness but hold back with others?

How would God’s perspective help your vision? Ask God to help you see others the way He sees them. It will take practice because it certainly isn’t our natural way of doing things, but letting God transform what you see will transform your life!

(You’re a) hard habit to break!

Bad habits are tough to get out of. Good habits are easy to drop.

Ever find yourself battling the same ol’ same old? There are some habits that are relatively easy to change but there are others that hang on for far too long. I have fallen in and out of habits with unfortunate ease. I fall into bad ones and I fall out of good ones.

Last summer I accepted a challenge to give up diet coke for a week.  I figured I could handle a week without my favorite beverage, but after a week I decided to give it up permanently.  I have had diet coke on occasion since then but prior to the “challenge” I had one a day, every day. In the scheme of habits, it wasn’t the worst one to have but I figured it was something I could live without.

Here I am, approximately a year later and while I like still diet coke quite a bit, I can take or leave it and I mostly leave it alone. I was surprised at the ease that I was able to surrender this ‘vice’. And I wondered, what was it about this situation that made losing this habit relatively pain-free? And why aren’t all bad habits as easy to drop?

Conversely, why is it that good habits don’t stick like I wish they would? I have heard that 66 days of doing something will turn it into a habit. It didn’t take 66 days for me to be satisfied without my ‘beverage of choice’ so I am not sure I completely buy into that.

At any rate, you might, like me, have several habits you would like to add or drop in your life. It is so easy to come up with a long list of improvements. But just tackle ONE for seven days and get on your way. And next week you can celebrate a week of accomplishment.

Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

Happy Habit Forming! Pick a good one!

Liz

Prayer and Petition

5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)

This is a great passage to keep in mind. I actually learned it set to a tune by Integrity Music Scripture Memory Songs. They are a great way to hide some Scripture in your heart and mind. Whether you use music or not, it is important to take the time to study and memorize Scripture!

In case you do not have enough to pray for, I am going to let you take a little peek into my list. Feel free to share your prayer concerns in the comment section. Keep it to first names and you can include the state/country if you want. Don’t be too wrapped up in explaining the story because we know God knows and sees the whole picture so a sentence or two will do. I don’t want anyone to compromise anyone else’s privacy.

Sara in Nebraska–scheduled for hip surgery today, 5/12. Pray for accuracy of the medical team, successful surgery, and speedy recovery.

Ken in Colorado–has had several major heart procedures done this Spring following a heart attack. Pray for patience and recovery.

Karolina in Hungary–needs to fix up and sell an apartment in Hungary so she can return to college in August.

Justin in Ohio–is on a great mental and physical growth spurt! Yay! Justin is 8 and has autism. Please keep his whole family lifted up in prayer.

Joe in Texas–is patiently waiting for a full-time job to fully support his family. In the meantime the entire family unit is working together to get through this long bout of underemployment.

A struggling daughter of a dear friend–recently was beat up by her live in boyfriend. Pray for her wisdom,  courage, safety, and much better boundaries overall.

Emily in IN–has recently completed all chemo and radiation for breast cancer. Pray for continued cancer-free reports.

May God bless your week!

Ga$ price$ are high, but I cannot complain…

I won’t lie. I did let out a groan as I drove by all the gas stations yesterday and saw $4.19 at the pump. But if I consider, for just a moment, all of the things that have happened to others that I am not experiencing, it helps me keep my perspective.

There has been nationwide flooding;  many people losing their lives and homes to tornadoes; homes lost to wildfires; earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear issues in Japan; and many lives lost in war. You surely know of other incidents of devastation that I haven’t mentioned here.

In comparison? I live in a home that has heat and air and we have an income that allows us to use these ‘extras’. We typically don’t go hungry (and we could stand to once in a while). Our family is in good health and our kids love to learn. I feel incredibly blessed.

With everything else going on in the world, I do feel like the gas prices are relatively minor–they have been this high in 2008. I certainly hope they will go down but this might be the new normal. Who knows?

You are free to complain, but when I honestly take a look around at what is happening to families I know and love, around my community and state, in the US, and across the ocean, I am compelled to do three things:

1) pray for those who are impacted by all of those devastations;

2) figure out how I can pitch in and help someone navigate through a tough time;

3) be thankful for what I have been blessed with.

What are you going to do?

Would you be willing to add someone to your prayer list? Her name is Karolina. She is from Hungary. She is 20 years old. Her dad is very ill. Her mom died several years ago. She is an only child. She has some big things to tackle in order to be able to come back to the US for school in August. Please pray the way gets paved, if that is what God wants. And pray for her dad’s health.

God’s blessings on your week!!

Liz

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Did you ever notice that you often find what you are looking for?

Are you looking for ways to be hurt, offended, annoyed, frustrated or justified? Or are you looking for ways to encourage, bless, love, and celebrate?

If you look for trouble, it’s easy to find. But if you look for ways to encourage people, that could be easy to find too. It’s all in the attitude.

When I have been supremely irritated with Don (and unfortunately, I have been) EVERYTHING he did annoyed me. His walk, his cough, his sneeze–his everything. Thankfully I haven’t been in that kind of space in a long time!!! But when I am grateful for Don’s presence in my life, it’s almost as if he can do no wrong. Almost. Don just goes about his daily ‘Don-ness’ but where I ‘am’ often determines whether he is frustrating. It’s in my attitude.

What are you looking for today? If you have a moment, look at an online Bible or in your concordance and look up ‘seek’. Check out a few verses. What is it God wants you to seek? Ask Him to show you.

Seeking Jesus,

Liz

Palacsinta-Hungarian crépes

Here is our basic recipe for Palacsinta–Hungarian crépes–

2 large eggs

1 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/3 cup soda water

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

pinch of salt

This is our basic recipe.  It all depends on the size of your eggs and you should plan to adjust the recipe if you need to get a very thin batter. 1/4 cup of batter will be all you need in the crépe pan as it should be thin enough to cover the bottom of a 10 inch pan. This morning we just slowly added the wet ingredients with the dry and mixed with a whisk. Some instructions recommend letting the batter rest for an hour before using but we were way too hungry to wait.

For more information on Hungarian products and encouragement to share your Hungarian heritage, visit our website at http://www.magyarmarketing.com and join our Magyar Marketing Facebook FanPage. Our goal is to help you discover, celebrate, and share Hungarian heritage!

Hungarian Soup

Hungarian Soup

The other day I had some soup bones I needed to use up and so I decided to make Hungarian soup. The Hungarians make many different soups so to call this one item ‘Hungarian soup’ is kind of crazy but that is what it affectionately came to be known as in my family when I was growing up.

Naturally, I was thinking about all the tips and tricks my mom would mention as she was cooking the soup and I tried to execute it in a similar fashion. I felt pretty good about it but my kids like heartier, thicker soups so they were questioning how they were supposed to eat it (the carrots and potatoes were whole) and it wasn’t as satisfying to them.

There are times when something that is meaningful to you isn’t as meaningful to someone else. I don’t think it diminishes the value, but it does make it harder to create or enjoy something when others don’t really appreciate the effort. And yet, it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t make the effort.

Maybe you find yourself trying to share meaningful events during the church year with your children and they seem or state they are uninterested. Don’t lose heart. Some things are worth the effort. You likely have a connection to children in your life so take advantage of the opportunity you have to share with them. There are many ways they will catch on to the things of God without you delivering a 20 minute sermon. Let them see how you live and walk in faith. And while they may not adopt every practice you introduce to them, it is worth the effort to share with them. Their faith walk may look a little different from yours but that is ok.

When I have grandchildren, I will start them on this soup when they are young so they are used to it and grow to love it as much as I do!