Tag Archives: trials

Refine ~ 30/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

“Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life and does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. Psalm 66:8-10 (NASV) / Pixabay

I’ve discovered that editing is something I enjoy. I have an author friend who recently trusted me to fine-tune her latest book.  Looking closely at writing to find just the right place to pause, adding the perfect words to produce the greatest impact, and yes, to eliminate what’s unnecessary are jobs I like to do……for others, that is!

Having my own writing corrected is another story.  It can be difficult to receive feedback about the places that need improvement, to see lines crossed out that when written, seemed so right, and to find characters dear to my heart noted to be underdeveloped.  Each red mark feels as if it’s written directly on my heart. Every author knows that editing is vital if you’re going to improve as a writer.  As painful as it may be, the process results in a much better finished product.

That brings me to today’s prompt: “refine”.  It’s not a word we want to think about because like editing words on a page, we need refining to progress. Refinement evokes thoughts of intense heat to remove impurities, fervent cleansing to get rid of stains, and the smoothing and shaping of any rough edges.  Every Christian knows that those often are the result of going through difficult circumstances. Painful as it may be, we also understand that refinement is vital if we’re going to become the “much better” person God designed us to be.

I don’t know about you but when I’m in the fire, I often find myself bargaining with God, making promises of change if He will just remove the heat.  Refining is aimed at our heart and its fine-tuning isn’t something we can accomplish on our own. It takes trust in God’s process. He may show us where we should pause and rest, teach us how to develop our character, or identify those things we need to eliminate so that we’ll have a greater impact on others; whatever it is, we are assured that the Author will continue to write our story until we are refined like silver, His pure and precious finished product.

Trust ~5/31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes

“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.” Psalm 56:3 (NASB) / Pixabay

While traveling along this journey we call life, I often veer off in the wrong direction; especially during  times of trial! My initial reactions usually include hand wringing, imagining all sorts of horrible endings, whining….well you get the picture and it’s not pretty.  It’s certainly not a picture of trust.

Trust for me has always been a rocky road.  While I “know” that I can put my trust in God’s plan, I somehow bump right over the peace that trusting God brings and land directly into the pit of despair I bring on myself!  Fears: real and imagined, stall me right in my tracks.

I wish I could say that I have my path all mapped out toward a life where I’m no longer afraid and that trusting God is how I now navigate each situation that arises, unfortunately I can’t.  What I can say however, is how grateful I am that I’m headed in the right direction following the only One who can get me to where I’m truly meant to be!

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Maybe…..Tasty Tuesday?

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Well, it happened again…..twice!  I’m so sorry I missed Mm! Mm! Monday two weeks in a row! A week ago Monday, I was sick, sick, sick and you don’t want to hear about that!  And then there was yesterday….

I had all intentions of posting on schedule and then the unexpected happened. My better half, while working in his wood shop cut his finger with a newly sharpened knife, right through his glove.  As it turned out we ended up in the ER and waited FIVE HOURS for him to get five stitches and a giant bandage! After getting discharged we ate an McDonald’s hamburger at 10:30 p.m. (not highly recommended) and drove the thirty-five minutes home.  Needless to say, writing my blog post never happened.

So, here I am today to remind you to always expect the unexpected!  We never know what life’s going to throw our way but we DO know Things. Will. Come.  I never expected to move to West Virginia, to retire at 55, or even to be writing my own blog; and those are all GOOD things!  But then there are those circumstances that come out of nowhere and blindside us.  We all have them, whether it’s a health issue (or a knife issue), a difficult stage in our marriage, a loss of someone we love, or a challenging job.  The list is different for each of us and somehow we have to be prepared to be unprepared for them to come. I think I’m safe when I say that none of us long for times of trouble, I know I’d like it to stay as far away from me and those I love as possible. Unfortunately, there’s evil in the world and it touches us all.  Isn’t it reassuring to know:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

Expecting the unexpected is only half the story. The more important half is that We. Are. Not. Alone. God, who is NEVER surprised provides for us even through our darkest times AND uses those times to help us become more of who He intends us to be!  I don’t know about you, but that’s an “unexpected” comfort to me!

Now to the business at hand…..Here’s an unexpected flavor combination that tickles your tongue and this is perfect timing too, because the rhubarb is ready to pick! I hope you are pleasantly surprised by this dish!

Cinnamon Rhubarb Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 cup diced Rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBLS. Flour (for a Gluten free recipe use a gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Applesauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Place pork chops side by side in a baking dish.
  • In a bowl, mix together the rhubarb, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (I had cinnamon applesauce on hand so I used that and cut back on the actual cinnamon)
  • Spoon mixture evenly over the pork chops.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until pork chops are tender. (I was worried about the meat getting done, but it was moist and tender!)
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