Choosing to See the Goodness of the Lord

Rhonda Franz, coffee house mom

Psalm 27:13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (NIV)

Such a glorious statement, but have you read the whole chapter? David has been fearful. His enemies are surrounding him.

After pleading and lamenting, he is now calling out to the Lord, speaking about his head being lifted up and staying confident and claiming the Lord as the stronghold of his life.

No army is after me (except for those who prowl with The Enemy), but this I am reminded of in battles and circumstances  - those things that sap my energy, wear on my spirit, feed my weaknesses of anxiety and discontent, and add to the pit in my stomach.

  • Land of the living:  My battery dies in the car ride line at school
  • Goodness of the Lord: the man behind me gave me a jump start, my dad taught me to keep jumper cables in my car, my battery was still under warranty and our mechanic replaced it.
  • Land of the living: I lock my keys in the car at soccer practice while my husband is out of town.
  • Goodness of the Lord: I have the $$ to pay the locksmith, there is such a thing as a locksmith.
  • Land of the living: My child has had a day of meltdowns, and it is all I can do not to have one myself. Eventually, I fail.
  • Goodness of the Lord: There is time in the day left to love on him, choose to see him for the blessing he is, forgiveness is real and immediate from the Lord.
  • Land of the living: Circumstances weigh heavy, emotions run rampant, shame is present, disappointments are overwhelming, and relationships are in peril.
  • Goodness of the Lord: The sun is shining, His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), He is in control, even when I’m not, especially when I’m not.

In these moments, I am reminded to stop and remember the Stronghold. Find that to be thankful for. Choose to see the goodness of the Lord.

Maybe an army is after you. It could be fear or anger or shame or just rotten things going on. It could be a lousy marriage relationship or the loss of a job.

What are your Land of the Living moments? How do you choose to remember and meditate God’s goodness?

The beautiful picture of Scripture courtesy of Billy Alexander on stock.xchng

Stuck-in-the-House Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Rhonda Franz, slow cooker chicken noodle soup recipe

Here is the end product (we like it thick).

This recipe would be regular old Slow Cooker Chicken Soup on any other day. But not today. Mid America is having another snow day, (not that we’re counting), and we’re cookin’ up chicken at our house.

Or to be more specific, I let the deli at the grocery store cook up a chicken. Because the cost of these isn’t much and it’s worth skipping the whole cooking the whole thing and bleaching the kitchen counters afterwards and son on. So I buy the chicken already done. The flavor this chicken meat and skin adds to the soup is superb.

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped (This is kind of a lot of parsley, and results in quite the robust flavor. If it’s too much, maybe just use 1/8 c. or so. Of course, you can use dried parsley as well, which in my experience isn’t as potent).
  • 1/2 c. diced onion, sautéed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (See below for how I mince my garlic on most days)
  • 1 lb. package egg noodles
  • 2 – 2 1/2 qts chicken broth (2 if you like your soup thick like stew, 3 if you like your soup with a good deal of broth)
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoning salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pull meat and skin off the bone and tear into bite size chunks. Place in slow cooker along with all the other ingredients except noodles. Mix well. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally. Add egg noodles to slow cooker 20 minutes before serving and stir.

* Note: Adding egg noodles is where the broth really gets soaked up. You might add your noodles, stir and wait a bit, and take stock of how the soup looks. Even after serving, you can always add broth to the leftover soup for refrigerating or freezing. We like ours kind of thick, almost like a bowl full of noodles.

 

rhonda franz, slow cooker chicken noodle soup

I use a garlic press like this to mince my garlic. I don’t regret buying this at a kitchen store in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I do regret that it went in the dishwasher, where it collected a nasty tarnish. I do not regret that people in this house are putting things directly into the dishwasher, rather than on the counter right above it. But I digress.

Rhonda Franz, snow day slow cooker chicken noodle soup

I sauté my onions before adding. It brings out the sweetness, and I can add lots more flavor to the soup without the bitterish taste of uncooked onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the broth looks like pre-noodles. If, by chance, you’ve gone paleo, or you’re just cutting down on your carbs, reserve some of this before adding noodles. It’s all good.

Rhonda Franz, slow cooker chicken soup recipe

 

Now, while my kids are eating Shirley Temple Snow Cones for dessert, I ladle this soup into quart-size jars for refrigerating or freezing (if you freeze the soup, leave an inch or so at the top of the jar to allow for the food to expand). If you’re into canning, so much the better. But the soup doesn’t last long in the refrigerator at our house, and I bet it won’t at yours, either.

This recipe was first published in Our Daily Bread, the Springdale, Arkansas Spring Creek Fellowship cookbook. If you’re in a cooking slump, nothing will heal your soul (and ultimately feed your family) like searching through the recipes of a church cookbook. Gems in those, I tell you. Gems.

9 Ways to Diffuse Your Anger (Before You Take It Out on your Kids)

rhonda franz, parenting, diffuse anger

Getting angry is easy. It’s a human reaction to stress, frustration, and people, in our lives.

Since our children are often the ones we allow to trigger our anger, it’s good to have plan. Nothing fancy, mind you, just a few simple, but immediate things we can do in the midst of heated moments, before anger turns into something physically or internally damaging.

1. Walk back. Physically take a few steps away from your child, and pause.

2. Smile. Even if it’s strained.

3. Pray. Life up your eyes, your hands, your heart, and just pray.

4. Count. (I don’t mean the count-to-three thing you do while expecting your child to obey by the end of it). Count for yourself to calm down.

5. Put yourself in a time out. That might mean putting your child in one too – in his room or, if need be,  Take time to cool down.

6. Tell your child you love him. Even if your voice is tense.

7. Start singing (preferably a song your child knows, and can join in on). This just might diffuse the tension and get you both participating in something together.

8. Pick up your phone. Use it to call a trustworthy friend or family member, who can listen to you, or talk with you. If there’s no one to call, go ahead and give yourself permission to use it as a distraction.

9. Get outside. Both of you, all of you. Get out where you can be seen by neighbors and people passinb by, and yell at a tree (instead of your child), and where the sun can shine on you. Play together, check the mail, fetch the paper, sweep the porch, water the garden – whatever helps you channel your heated energy into something else.

screaming photo (don’t you just sometimes feel that way?) courtesy of ralaenin on stock.xchng

Memo to My Strong-Willed Son: You’re in My Sight

 

rhonda franz

I see you.

Many days, I’m ashamed to say, I see your disobedience and your grimaced face and the look on your face when you’re in “not” mode. The mode when you absolutely are not going to do what you’re asked, or go along with whatever we’re doing that moment as a family.

I see you just before a transition of any kind—getting in the car, dropping you off to preschool, picking you up from preschool, ending a book – and I’m tense. What will happen this time? Am I prepared for it? Are you?

I see your mouth tighten with stubbornness, your hands reach for things you’re not supposed to have, and your fingers destroy everything from books to toys to childproof locks.

I see your frequent states of sad and mad and frustrated, visible from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.

I see your contorted face when textures and sounds and the world in general around bother you and you’re in a cycle of confusion and discomfort.

And other days, thankfully, and not without God’s blessings and ultimate example of love and mercy, I see other things.

The most kissable cheeks in the universe.

One of the best smiles I’ve ever witnessed.

A husky laugh, distinctively all your own.

A head filled with a mind that comes up with the most interesting thoughts, solutions, and questions.

I see your happy, excited moments, visible from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.

I see a strong, vivacious, boy whose spirit is a force to be reckoned with. And whose mama must choose, in all the other pained moments, to see the good.

 

What do you see today? Join Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday.

Coffee House Mom