Tuesday, September 18, 2018

God’s Got It: A Guest Post from Jennifer Dukes Lee

God’s Got It A Guest Post from Jennifer Dukes Lee

We say that God has everything under control, but we aren’t always aware in the same way that a farmer is aware. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my years as a farmer’s wife.

Farming is putting yourself in a position to trust God. It’s a way of life in which you can’t miss the truth: God is God of the clock, God of the calendar, God of the weather, God of the to-do list. God alone knows when the rain will come, when the heat will rise, when it’s time for the seed to push up from the dark into the light.
A lot of people have romantic notions about farm life. But hard things lie beneath the idyllic overlay. There are grueling uncertainties, great losses, late nights, crazy markets, droughts, insects, disease, hailstorms, equipment that breaks down when you need it most, and tragically, despair that has led to a higher-than-average suicide rate nationally.

My husband Scott says he has no choice but to trust God. For years he’s gone around this farm saying, “God’s got it.” And when he says, “God’s got it,” he is talking himself into the truth. That’s a form of what I call active trust. Active trust is proactively believing God. Active trust is giving yourself the gift of future faith, in advance.

For my husband, active trust came out of necessity, rather than some superpious gene he inherited. He is a farmer, always at the mercy of God.

God’s got it = active trust.
In Western culture, it’s tempting to say “God’s got it” but not really live it. We’re more of a “you got this” culture.

You want to pursue your passion? You got this. You want to start a business? You got this. You want to start a new exercise program? You got this. You’ve definitely got it in you to do all of those things, but how often do you and I forget that what’s “in us” is the very Spirit of God?

We live in a culture where we’ve set ourselves up to play God. The first time that I found out my mammogram was abnormal, my immediate instinct was to run for the Google machine and ask it what “asymmetrical tissue” means.

For almost every possible scenario, we have a means of control available to us: a spray to control weeds, a cream to control wrinkles, a pill to control hunger. It’s no wonder we’ve been fooled into thinking we are the ones calling the shots. It’s hard to surrender our lives to God when we’ve got everything covered ourselves, isn’t it?

This, of course, leaves us feeling on the hook for everything. And suddenly we turn around, inspect our lives, and find that we are miles from God.
What do we want with our lives? What do we really want? When we strip all the faux self-sufficiency away, we can see it clearly. We want Jesus. We are hungry for the God who first stole our hearts. We want to do the things that God wants us to do. We want to partner with him, not boss him around. When we lay our heads down at night, we want to feel the incomparable satisfaction of knowing we spent our day in the center of his will. We want to be remembered as women who did exactly what God wanted us to do—rather than as overworked, weary women who lost their joy.

Nothing else on our to-do lists matters as much as knowing we were completely obedient to his. Nothing will give us more joy than giving our yes when God invites us to be a part of what he’s already doing, knowing it deep and true:
God’s got it.

BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee is the wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, and an author. She loves queso and singing too loudly to songs with great harmony. Once upon a time, she didn’t believe in Jesus. Now, He’s her CEO. Jennifer’s newest book, It’s All Under Control, and a companion Bible study, are releasing today! This is a book for every woman who is hanging on tight and trying to get each day right―yet finding that life often feels out of control and chaotic.
Adapted from It’s All under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee, releasing this fall from Tyndale House Publishers.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Embracing All of Fall: RECIPE - BBQ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Once Summer takes her turn through the Solstice, something adjusts within me. It's happened every year, for as long as I can remember. My countenance changes. I don't sleep well. I'm more prone to catch colds (allergies of late summer?). I become a bit more introvert and melancholy.

Events have happened in life that make it hard too, birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones gone, difficult seasons to re-live or remember. I tend to enter into fall warily, like "I've been this road before, and it's unpleasant...". I have to get my nerve up to face them all. Like I'm searching for a new counselor, or meeting a new friend, and needing to share ALL of the stories that make you "you." It can be exhausting, and I want to enjoy the

And don't get me wrong, not all of the memories are bad, they just need to be dealt with.

Yet there are so many things I LOVE about the season, I really want to embrace it. ALL of it.

So this year, as I count my 1000 Gifts (thank you again for your older list Ann Voskamp!) I'm going to be intentional about focusing on the GOOD of Autumn, and EMBRACE ALL OF FALL. The idea is to go beyond the "everything pumpkin" so many others talk about and look for the deeper things. The crisp of first frost, the colors of everything... not just the mums, and even things I have no idea what will be... because I've not lived in this house in this area for this season before! I'm excited to get to do it.

So much of my autumns are celebrated in the kitchen, so I wanted to start with a favorite recipe! I've not spent time sharing recipes, or taking photos of food on the blog (hello Instagram!) so I'm going to make a point to do this more often... but for now, today, here is something I whipped up over the weekend...

These are simple to make and warm and delicious. Fall is the perfect time since we're grilling and smoking meats (although this past weekend, I didn't have the grill going... so I used what I had on hand). Still delicious! Use your own favorite meats and cheeses, and discover your own creation! Be sure to share what worked for you in the comments! I can't wait to hear what you did, what sauce you prefer, meat you used, and how it all turned out!

I've also made these with a whole loaf of Hawaiian Honey Rolls, cutting in half with a bread knife and grilling on a full sized griddle! I recommend using pulled meat, or meat slices that have been heated thoroughly in a pan before placing in the sandwich formation. It's a bit challenging to flip over to grill the other side, but it can be done! 

BBQ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

I can usually find the ingredients around my kitchen for these anytime sandwiches, but sometimes I need to plan by purchasing Hawaiian Honey Rolls. Somehow, they just make these extra-special. Today I'm using a sliced commercial turkey breast, but these are AH-mazing using whatever "real" smoked meat you happen to have around... my favorite is left-over pulled pork, but you can use whatever your favorite is!

Take a section of Hawaiian Honey Rolls and keep them attached, to make a 4-piece section. You'll slice the roll section down the middle, keeping the rolls attached to each other. It's about the size of a large piece of bread.

Once the roll section is sliced in two, butter generously on the inside of the roll slice - which will become the OUTSIDE of the sandwich. 

Heat your griddle or frying pan over medium heat, and place the bread BUTTER SIDE DOWN in the pan. Layer cheese (I prefer Havarti, but you can use what your favorite is!), meat, BBQ Sauce, and top with cheese, before placing the top slice of bread on top (BUTTERED SIDE UP!). ((An option is to heat the meat with BBQ sauce first, then add to the sandwich, layering the same as bread, cheese, meat, cheese, bread. This works well with shredded meats that are smoked and pulled.)

Carefully flip the sandwich over when the bottom is browned and the cheese is melty, repeat until the other side is equally browned. Serve with sides of your choice! 

This is my husband's plate last weekend...


Hawaiian Honey Rolls
Butter (softened for spreading)
Sliced Turkey (or pulled meat of your choice)
Sliced Havarti (or cheese of your choice)
BBQ Sauce of your choice

Break off a section of rolls, desired size of finished sandwich. Slice Hawaiian Honey Rolls in half, keeping attached to other rolls.

Butter the inside of the rolls (which becomes the outside of the sandwich).

Place one slice of rolls, buttered side down, in medium heated griddle or frying pan.

Layer cheese, bbq sauce, meat, sauce, cheese on top of rolls in pan. Top with other side of rolls, buttered side up.

Heat until browned, then flip to heat and brown other side. Remove from pan and ENJOY!!

#embracingalloffall  #marinaskitchentable #recipe #recipebbqgrilledcheese #bbqgrilledcheese

Romans 12, Parts 2 and 3: Balanced and Beautiful in Christ

The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscrib...