Just Another Crazy Valente Saturday

On those days when I have absolutely zero inspiration regarding dinner, I take a bag of frozen chicken out of the freezer and haphazardly dump it into my crock-pot.

No, I do not even thaw it first.

I dump it and I say a little spell like, “Please turn into something yummy!” And I think my chicken enchiladas, chicken tacos, chicken burritos, chicken catchatori, and chicken a la king are all proof that my crock pot is magical.

Yesterday, while the chicken was cooking I made chocolate pudding filled cream puffs. Because, unfortunately, I am never at a loss for dessert ideas.

I thickened the pudding with whipping cream and added extra cocoa and vanilla. Yes, they were yummy.

Since another of my old standbys is the classic baked potato, I had already wrapped a bunch of rapidly shriveling potatoes and placed them in a 350 degree oven. And when my chicken began to sizzle about the same time as my potatoes, I knew I had my answer.

They’re just twice baked potatoes. But I stirred green chile, chicken, cheese and sour cream into the mix. And yes, they were yummy too.

So, today we’re snacking on leftover goodies, eating fresh baked cookies (weekends are not for dieting around here), and playing with the crazy stick puppets that the kids and I made this morning.

It’s just your run of the mill Saturday.

What are you and yours up to today?

post signature

All the Single Ladies

Sometime last month, we were watching an old movie in which a throng of girls were mauling the members of a Beatle-esque band. It was one of those moments when nothing spiritual or worthwhile is happening inside my head, and so the voice that proceeded from it must have been God.

“Because they know how to worship with everything,” He said.

“What?” I responded, understanding the “worship” but curious about the “because”.

“That’s why they’re the most important.”

Later that night, I spent some time in prayer about this, and I feel very sure that God was both warning and exhorting me concerning the church’s single and female population. In fact, I became convinced that the Church has followed the secular in its dumbing down and sillifying of the world for the sake of the young, shallow, female mind.

But, as I believe God whispered to me, there can only be one reason why Satan is so rampantly seeking the hearts and minds of our girls. It is because they are the most important members of the Church. It is because they are, or were intended to be, the Church’s foremost worshippers.

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:34

I believe that the time between childhood and marriage is the most important in a woman’s life. And it’s not that God doesn’t use married women, but we are not wholly His. It is right that we should spread our wings over our families, although it may appear we’ve simply had them clipped.

An unmarried woman can be His with abandon. She can pour herself into prayer without worrying about dinner. She can travel to a dangerous land without fretting over her children. She can spend hours in service without neglecting her husband. So why is it, then, that many young women are waiting to be used, waiting to be serious, waiting to be called until after they are married? The why is a carefully planned deception of the Enemy.

There is simply no good reason why.

God’s heart longs for the single woman. He longs to romance her, to fill her and to use her. Satan has convinced her that she is in waiting, because he wants to see her wasted. A single woman has the choice of living fully for God or fully for herself. The latter will leave her empty and unprepared for marriage (if that is what she someday desires).

But, if you want to know exactly what the far-reaching, wide-open, adventurous, achingly maternal, servant’s heart of an unmarried woman is capable of, just read this.

post signature

127885_Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Logo

Absence Makes the Heart a Little Cranky

I find that, when Papa Bear and I are apart, there are more opportunities to be angry at him than there are opportunities to love him. Am I the only one who experiences this?

When I have trouble starting a fire, and I’m frustrated and cold, I don’t dwell on thoughts like, “Oh, I am so glad I have a big, strong man to do things like this for me!” Nope, I usually grumble something like, “Where is he?! He’s thirty seconds late already and I’m freezing!”

Try not to think less of me. I almost always pull myself together before he walks through the door.

When he’s at work, his dirty socks, q-tips, loose change, candy bar wrappers and toothpicks are home with me. And he’s not there to grin and flirt his way out of my little fits of frustration. It might seem like a victimless crime to fight with my husband in the privacy of my own mind. But the truth is, it’s not. Every little thought I have determines my love for him, and how I will treat him at the end of a long, hard day. And if I spend the day letting Satan rule my mind, it is a sure bet that Papa Bear will come straight home to prove me right.

A counselor once had Papa Bear and I write out ten things that we loved about the other. Then, while he looked on, we were to look into each other’s eyes and recite our “I love you because” lists. Even in our darkest hour, we were transported back into love as we built each other up like that. But it really didn’t last (although we’re back there now), because Satan was working harder at planting negative seeds than we were at planting productive ones.

And you know, it does little good to uproot a weed without, in turn, planting a flower.

I was going to write a picture-less post, but I think I’ll give you a little peek into one of the biggest keys* to our now successful marriage.

*A positive thought-life is key, the cards are just a fun way to encourage that.


post signature

127885_Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Logo

Thoughts That Have Romped Through My Mind in the Last Ten Minutes

If, say, God called me to be a waitress, and by my own might I became the best brain surgeon in the world, would my efforts ever please God? By the way, I just threw in two random professions to explain a principle I’ve been exploring.


Waiting is something that must be done. But what does it really mean to wait on the Lord? Suffering is a shared human experience. What does it really mean to share in the sufferings of Christ?


Lately God has been showing me the importance of young, single women. I think I’m going to write a post about it. Wait for it, I’m pretty excited.


This has been the longest week of my life.


I love my husband more today than I ever have before (I just realized that last night). And, if for no other reason, I’m grateful that God has walked us through a very hot fire over these last several weeks.


I’m asking God for a work truck for Papa Bear. I never ask Him for anything material and although I feel He’s given me permission to ask, I’m a little nervous that He might say “No” (and that I might react immaturely if He does). Just being honest.


That’s it. Well, besides the fact that I keep thinking about hot cocoa and I’m really bummed that I didn’t quite make my goal weight before the first snow fall. Yes, we’ve already had a little snow!


And that’s it. For now.

post signature

127885_Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Logo

It’s True Love

I fell in love with my husband after we were married. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m too tired to search for the post right now. I loved him from the beginning, but I will never forget that life-changing moment when I was first overwhelmed with I’m-so-glad-I married-this-man love.

It was our first Christmas together. I flew from our new home in New Mexico and he flew from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We met at my grandparents’ house in Texas where we stayed in their guest room and slept on a day-bed and a pop-up trundle.

Sometime in the middle of the night, about the time one falls asleep completely, my pillow slipped from under my head and landed on the floor, startling me awake. “Darn!” I thought in my head, but I was too tired to make any effort to retrieve it. Just then, my still sleeping husband reached down, grabbed my pillow, placed it back under my head and then rolled over and continued to snore.

“Wow,” I whispered. And I was in love.

Last night, we were talking before bed. Mostly, we were complaining about how the heater in our bedroom doesn’t seem to be working.

“I think I should go ahead and get the third blanket,” he said (we each have our own comforter and we share a third blanket in the wintertime).

“If you want,” I answered.

“Well, haven’t you been getting cold? You always seem really grateful when I cover you in the morning.”

And I grinned and answered, “Well, mostly it just reminds me of when you got my pillow.”

He smiled a sweet, reminiscing smile.

“And also,” I said, “I’m happy because I know you’re giving me permission to stay in bed.”

post signature

127885_Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Logo

That’s It for Now

The kids were all in the room during Blondie’s mom’s maternity shoot. She said it made everything that much more fun. But she’s really nice. Needless to say, the kids all wanted to paint themselves or each other, and although I said ,”NO,” they talked about it all day.

This morning, Cuddle Bug woke me up (I’ve been sick for over a week and I think I could sleep for a year) with some very exciting news.

“Mama!” she exclaimed.

“Mmmm…what is it honey?”

“I’m going to paint your tummy!”

“You are, huh?”

“Yeah, cause if we put paint on your tummy then another baby will come out!”

So, we did spend a little time painting.

But I don’t think I’ll let them paint me for awhile.

post signature

127885_Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Logo