Fridays are all about Sharing Life with YOU! Women Sharing Life with other women. Titus 2 mentoring.
Sometimes we talk about Friendship:
while other times we talk about Faith.
Today, however, we are talking Food, and specifically a kitchen hack that I learned last year that has been a money saver. Not huge sums of money, but every penny counts, right?
So, how many of you have recipes that you love or that you would love to try and they call for 1 tablespoon or 2 ounces or some other ridiculously small amount of tomato paste? Yeah, me too.
The smallest size can of tomato paste that I have been able to find is 6 ounces and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste is only 1 ounce, so what do you do with the rest of that can? Well, if you are like me, you just throw it away. UGH, WHAT A WASTE!
Well, not anymore.
I learned last year that you can FREEZE tomato paste.
So, I proceded to take myself to the grocery and buy a large can of tomato paste (12 ounces).
I tore off small sections of plastic wrap, measured 1 tablespoon portions of tomato paste into each little piece of plastic wrap,
sealed it up and put them in an airtight container in the freezer.
Abracadabra!!! Now any time I need tomato paste in small amounts I simply pull my pre-measured portions out of the freezer and use them in my recipes. It is quick, easy, and economical. How ’bout that!!!
I would love to hear some of your kitchen hacks in the comments. Come on! Let’s share kitchen life!
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
Since we are talking about kitchen hacks, I wanted to give you links to some of my favorite kitchen products. If you are reading this post via email and cannot see the links, please click HERE to go to my website where the links will be visible.
Hello Friday! Glad you stopped in!
How are you friends? I hope you have had a great week. Our Sharing Life series is focused on women mentoring women, and the words we offer here are centered around one of three themes: Faith, Friendship, or Food. There have been some wonderful posts in this series and I hope you have had a chance to read them all. Today, I want to lighten things up a bit and give you a glimpse into one way that I take mentoring very seriously.
If you have explored my website at all, you know there is a link to my Tasting Grace events. In case you are not familiar with Tasting Grace, may I tell you about it?
Tasting Grace is a mentoring in the kitchen event. So many women did not have the experience of standing beside their mothers or grandmothers in the kitchen learning how to prepare home-cooked meals. Because of this many women either do not have cooking skills or are intimidated by the idea of preparing meals from ‘scratch’. It is into this setting that God has called me to help women learn about preparing home-cooked, delicious meals for their family.
Once a month I invite 5-6 women into my kitchen for a short devotion and a couple of hours of standing shoulder to shoulder in order to learn to make a few homemade dishes that they can replicate at home for their families.
Our time in the kitchen has brought forth some tasty dishes like pound cake, chicken and dumplings, chicken and cornbread dressing, chicken noodle soup (um, chicken seems to be a theme here), fruit cobblers, cheese rings, salads, canned strawberry jam, and so much more. While we chop and mix and sauté we share life, marriage, children, joys, and heartaches. We have laughed and cried together. We have prayed and eaten together. We have made new friendships and renewed old ones. We have tasted the good grace that God showers on women as they do life with other women.
Not only do I host Tasting Grace sessions in my home, I take it on the road to other homes and churches. I love sharing the fun that is Tasting Grace.
Last year all this fun turned into a book by the same name. Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study offers ladies the opportunity to host a Tasting Grace session in their own homes and churches. The book is a combination 4 week Bible study focused on the topic of mentoring AND a how-to guide for hosting your own Tasting Grace event. The picture of the book below is my affiliate link to the Amazon page for the Bible study in case you would like to pick up a copy for yourself.
Now, I would love to share a few photos from previous Tasting Grace sessions so you can see what kind of fun we have. I hope you enjoy them AND I hope you catch the fever for mentoring in the kitchen.
Ready to make homemade biscuits
Measuring and sifting flour.
Chicken and Dumplings!
Last week in our Sharing Life series we began a look at suffering and how to prepare ourselves for it. We explored the fact that LIFE IS HARD, BUT GOD IS GOOD. Y’all, no one is exempt from suffering. It is simply part of the human experience in a world that is tragically and fatally broken because of sin. Today we finish by considering two more thoughts that lend courage and perseverance when we are in the heat of suffering.
Experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac bypass surgery is a life-altering event, physically and emotionally. I know this, not because of personal experience, but because I worked in cardiac rehab for a few years late in my career at Emory University.
When individuals walk through one of these events, they often come out on the other side feeling frightened, isolated, and unsure of how to move forward. One lady shared with me that she was terrified that even the simple act of walking up her stairs at home might cause another cardiac event. Fear crippled her so much that she was unable to make herself go up her stairs to the bathroom the day she was released from the hospital. She said, “I wet myself because I was too afraid to try the stairs.” After participating in a cardiac rehab program, she emerged confident in her physical abilities and ready to move forward.
These very feelings are the reason cardiac rehabilitation programs are such a blessing. Not only do cardiac patients receive coaching and monitoring for exercise, stress management, and diet, they receive something else that enables most to journey on. They are surrounded by others who have walked the same road; others who can come alongside of them and encourage them to keep moving forward. So often this camaraderie, this coming alongside of, reminds the patient that others have experienced what they are experiencing. They are not alone!
This is the second thought that I want to share about preparing ourselves for suffering seasons.
We Are Never Alone
While suffering may cause us to feel distraught and alone, the truth is that we are not. There are other people who have walked a similar road…maybe not the identical one, but a road similar enough to be able to show empathy and understanding. Our tendency in the middle of suffering seasons is to withdraw and hide, thinking that no one understands or cares. But, the truth is that there is always someone out there…a person with skin on, as well as Jesus….who will walk with us.
Paul, the apostle, knew the truth of this and shared it with the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 1:3-9. He told the church of the utter despair that he and others felt in a suffering season…despair that caused them to be certain they would die. They did not die, and the lesson he taught the church as a result of his suffering season was that God allowed that season so he could come alongside others who suffer. I’ve linked to the passage because it is an absolute go-to passage for me in times of suffering. I hope you will read it.
We are never alone in our suffering seasons, friends, but we must not isolate ourselves. We must be willing run to Jesus with our hurts, and allow God to bring others alongside us for comfort.
There Will Be An End
The final thing we need to remember as we go through suffering is that there will be an end to it. That is why it is called a ‘season’. Seasons come and seasons go. In Isaiah 43:1-3a (ESV) the prophet told Israel:
1 Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (emphasis mine)
Every person in Scripture experienced a suffering season. Even Jesus, especially Jesus. But, there was always an end. If God has allowed suffering in our lives, there is a reason…a purpose, and He will bring it to the desired end.
Are you in a season of suffering? I hope these two posts will provide comforting reminders of the love of God toward you. Reminders that
- God is good, even when life is hard
- You are never alone in suffering seasons
- Your suffering season will have an end
So, friends, I leave you with the wisdom of the writer of Hebrews. For those of us who are in a suffering season,
1 let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Here I offer you my Amazon Affiliate link to another of Dr. Charles Stanley’s wonderful books on suffering. This book is one that you will want for your library.
I want to be a wise woman, and I bet your desire is for wisdom, as well. Mentoring is all about sharing life and wisdom with another person. Sometimes there is just no easy way to say a thing, and the writer of Proverbs offers us one of those times as we think about getting wisdom. It is as if the writer of Proverbs just couldn’t hold his tongue in check and blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind in the verse at which we are looking today at Sharing Life.
Warning: prepare for your sensibilities to be assaulted as you join me in Proverbs 11:22.
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful face on an empty head.” (The Message)
“A woman who is beautiful but lacks discretion
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.” (NLT)
“Beauty in a woman without good judgment
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.” (GNT)
I was the poster child for this proverb for many years. Not the beautiful face part. I was a woman that lacked discretion and good judgment, and my choices bore witness to it. Consider the definition of discretion:
Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says that discretion is ‘the quality of being discreet; cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions.”
Sweet Moses! ‘Cautious reserve in speech’ did not characterize me for many years. If a thought came to my mind, it came out my mouth. For many years I excused my lack of discretion by saying,
“that is just how I am—I say what is on my mind.”
The problem was that I did not use good judgment or love in what I said, or in how I said it. I stepped outside the boundaries of God’s love many times with my words and deeds.
I made some horrendously stupid choices in my young adult years that were a result of not using proper discretion. Choices that adversely affected my physical, spiritual, and emotional health. It wasn’t that I did not know better. I did. I simply did not use discretion, nor did I consult Jesus about those choices. Because if I had, I would have made different and better choices.
Placing a ring in a pig’s snout has a purpose….it keeps the pig from rooting around and destroying the ground. But a gold ring in a pig’s snout….well, there is no reason to use gold. What a waste of precious metal!
Discretion assures that we will not root around in the ground of sin, wasting the preciousness of the salvation that Jesus offers us. Discretion leads us down the path of purity, holiness, honesty, and trustworthiness. Just as the ring in the nose of the pig is painful when it roots in the ground, discretion should cause a person to think twice about their actions.
So, are you using discretion in your daily life? In your speech and your actions?
If not, there are three things you can do to get wisdom and discretion:
- Ask Jesus for it
- Study the Bible
- Find a godly mentor to walk beside you and speak into your life
The use of discretion causes us to make good character choices, which in turn, helps us leave a godly legacy for the generations that come behind us.
Get Wisdom! Get Discretion!
Welcome to the final Sharing Life post for 2016. It is my pleasure to welcome Tammy Provins to LeahAdams.org. Tammy and I ‘met’ online a couple of years ago when we were both participating in a link-up. I was one of the hostesses and Tammy linked a post that touched me deeply. I reached out to her and featured her post at my site. So, I was really happy when Tammy agreed to share her heart at Sharing Life.
May I tell you a bit about Tammy?
Tammy is serving the Lord in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico along with her husband Scott. Her husband is the lead pastor for Antioch church and they have been missionaries there since 2010. They have been married for 27 years and have two children, Brandon and Tiffany. A few years back God asked Tammy to share her testimony online and that is how her website, Grace In The Everyday started. She enjoys encouraging others and leading them to flourish in their walk with God.
If we were sitting having a coffee and I said to you, “You are designed for greatness” what would you think? Would your mind wander to all of your mess ups and mishaps? Would negativity about yourself trump over the positive. Would you immediately think, oh no, not me!
What if Rahab would have focused on all her mess-ups, mishaps and negative traits. She would have missed an opportunity to exercise her faith in the One True God. I love the story of Rahab; if your not familiar you can find it over in Joshua 2.
Somehow, I think we all think that “prostitute” and “greatness” could never go together, in the same sentence. But God did. I love that God handpicked her with all her wounds and scars. All her muck and mire. There is so much for us to gain from this. I minister to women and I know this is a big struggle for each of us, to find our worth.
We all have wounds and scars, muck and mire from our past. These may look different than Rahab’s or maybe not, but God chose a woman with a past to do His work. Stop and think on that for awhile. He saw straight through her mess-up’s to all that Rahab COULD become. You see, later on in Hebrews, Rahab is listed in the heroines of the faith and is in the lineage of Jesus! All because she decided to step out of her past and put her faith in the one true God!
The least likely person in human standards was used by God. I’m sure that Rahab didn’t feel WORTHY, but she was. How many times do we not feel WORTHY, but we are! If you are a Christian you have WORTH! Our WORTH comes from God! Read Ephesians 1 when you have some time and this will help clarify that God has designed you for greatness!!
Why do we allow our mess-ups and mishaps define us? I want to get to a place in my life where my positive thoughts about myself trump over the negative! How about you?
The strongholds that we have built up in our minds need to be torn down. This is where the victory begins. We need to replace negative thought patterns with healthy ones. When we begin to feel less than, we need to give ourselves a talk. I think Rahab gave herself a talk that day and it changed her life forever. When feelings of unworthiness come over you, go to the Word and find God’s promises to replace them. Find scriptures that show your WORTH – WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! You have an inheritance!
God wants to use your life. You are still alive for a purpose. He has many great things in store for you but you must release the baggage that is holding you back.
Girlfriend, YOU ARE DESIGNED FOR GREATNESS!!
What past sins or failures are holding you back? What things do you need to release in your life to feel worthy? I want to pray for you…
Father, your Word says that we are princess in your kingdom. We are chosen by you, a saint, and dearly loved by You! Help us to uncover all the precious things that you think about us! Help us to walk in freedom and to do those things that you have preplanned for us to do. We want to feel worthy – we want to be used by You! Help my dear Sisters in Christ to know how much You love them and that You have designed each one of them for greatness!
I love mentoring.
I love one-on-one discipleship.
I love being trained and taught and equipped formally. And, I love being the one doing the training and equipping.
However, there are seasons when life just feels really busy, too busy to take the time to mentor someone else.
So, how do we “do” discipleship as busy women and men?
- What does it look like for that person who cannot take part in regular discipleship meetings?
- Can you still make disciples on the run and in the middle of the chaos of life?
- Can you still invest in the lives of others when your life is crazy and unpredictable?
I want to give you four (4) words you can use that come from the life of Jesus.
These 4 words will give you the HEART of your discipleship plan – the heart of your way to investing in the lives of others.
“As they were going along the road,” someone said to Him (Jesus), “I will follow You wherever You go.”
And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
“Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi;” and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?”
They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Luke 24:13-24 The Road to Emmaus
“That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.”
Our Challenge – “AS YOU ARE GOING” – we can invest in the lives of others and make disciples.
In the regular course and days of your life, you can train, teach, and instruct others to love Jesus.
How do you do this??
My favorite way to mentor and disciple is to use regular, everyday moments.
Jesus was the ultimate example of this technique. As they were walking outside and a flock of birds flew by, He would say, “Look at the birds of the air.”
He used things like the fig tree, the mountains, the wheat and the tares, and the lost coin. Jesus taught, trained, and mentored others using regular, everyday stuff.
What does it look like to use “Regular, Every Day Moments” and to share the love of Christ as you are going?
While walking with one of my neighbors, we had the chance to talk about our faiths. She was raised Muslim, and I asked her to tell me about her core beliefs. Then, she invited me to tell her about my faith.
This neighbor was never able to grasp the concept of “GRACE,” but she was quite intrigued by it.
I had the opportunity to invest in this young mom’s life while we made laps around the neighborhood.
Where do they usually happen??
Moments to mentor, train, and equip other women can happen anywhere!
- At Work – you might have a great opportunity to share with a co-worker.
- At Home – with your kids.
- In your Neighborhood – while watering the yard or walking the dog.
- At Church – I’ve had many great conversations in the hallway or even in the women’s restroom.
- At Exercise class – you can talk to a younger woman while walking on the treadmill next to hers.
- At the Airport.
- Even at Wal-Mart.
When do they usually happen??
Any time of day or night, moments to influence and impact can occur. Honestly, they usually happen at the most unusual times and in the most unusual ways.
For example, we’ve had some of the best discussions about life and important matters with our kids in the car. We’ve answered questions like: What about alcohol? What about tattoos? What about…?
How long do they last??
They can last several minutes…
I’ve had the chance to offer a good word or a little instruction to many women through email or on Facebook Messenger. Often, they send me a note asking what to do about their marriage, one of their children, or some other issue. For just a moment, I have the chance to pour into their lives.
Or, they can last several years…
For about two years, I walked in the morning with my precious younger friend Kelly. We just talked, laughed, and shared about our lives.
Eventually, Kelly and I both moved away from that neighborhood. But, I got to see her at an event recently.
She stopped me and told me, “I was a baby Christian when we met. You were the one who really mentored me and taught me how to grow in the Lord.” Now, she is on staff at a church!
I never knew. I just thought we were walking and talking.
How do you know what to say??
To effectively impact the men or women God has placed in your life, can I suggest a few steps of daily preparation?
1} Get Clean –
Empty yourself. Confess, forsake, give up, let go of your sin.
Daily get your heart right with the Lord.
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
2} Get your tank filled –
Fill up on Jesus – ask Him to fill you up so you have something to pour out.
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”
Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.
(Fill My Cup, Lord, Hymn)
Romans 15:13 – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
3} Get in the Word –
Fill up on the Word. Open the Word and take in truth for the day.
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
4} Get out there!
Be ready and willing. Be open and available. Be on the lookout.
Hang your shingle – put it out for business!
Let the sign of your life read – “The light is on. This Christian is Spirit-filled. I’m open to talking to you today!”
Does this kind of discipleship work??
It’s been my joy to “do life” alongside many amazing friends. I’ve had the chance to invest in, pray with, teach, train, and befriend these women. Honestly, it’s been one of the greatest privileges in my life.
I have a number of favorites! Among them are three young friends who are all named “Jennifer.”
They are all ministry wives that God has sent into my life. Each is married to a pastor or a missionary husband, and each of these women deeply loves Jesus, their children, their husbands, and serving the Lord.
I’ve walked alongside each of these young women. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve prayed for them, I’ve given them great books to read, I’ve laughed with them, and I’ve cried with them.
Primarily, I’ve just loved them, and God has taken care of everything else.
And, He will do the same for you!
My CHALLENGE TO YOU is simple:
- GET CLEAN.
- GET FILLED UP WITH JESUS.
- GET INTO THE WORD.
- GET OUT THERE AND BE READY!
Ask God to use you as you are going, as you are walking along.
He can and He will.
But, be warned… if you do this, you better put your seatbelt on.
It’s going to be a wild ride!