Wednesday, March 30, 2011


.....breathe in.....breathe out....
This is me releasing my worries into the hands of God.

I have had such a wonderful day. From the world's standards I have been productive, useful, influential, and encouraged. Why then, at the end of the day, am I worrying so much about finding a job this summer? Why am I not trusting God, but getting anxious and stressed about tomorrow when God has given me hope today?

LIE: I will never be able to find a job this summer and will be left alone while C is at training all summer.

TRUTH: Deuteronomy 31:6 "Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord you God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

LIE: We will not survive financially if I do not contribute to our family income.

TRUTH: Hebrews 13:5-6 " Keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you', So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"

LIE: There is no way I will be able to handle another transition and move to another place.

TRUTH: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 " We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

I am not alone, God will never leave me without, He knows my needs and will not push me more than I can handle. 

Here are 5 great Truth's I am going to keep repeating (from Beth Moore's Breaking Free)
1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. His word is alive and active in me.

....breathe in.....breathe out....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Lilies

Luke 12: 22, 27-28 “And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on…Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you... But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
I am, by definition, a “worry-wart”. I get anxious at every turn in the road. I predict a future of failure or defeat, only to find out that God was taking care of me all along and my worrying was simply unnecessary (false prophecy). I worry that I won’t make any friends in a new town, that moving will present too many complications for us to handle. I worry that I won’t finish my work on time, or that something terrible will happen to my husband at work. The list could go on and on. Then at the end of the day, I close my eyes in peace recognizing that all my worries were in vain and God was there all along.
We are in transition right now (once again) God has brought me to a current state of waiting. In this transitional waiting period, my anxiety is on overload. I so desperately want to predict the future or prepare myself for what’s next, but God just keeps saying, “No, just wait”. I have read this chapter in Luke a thousand times but never really found the hope that exists within the text.
Then it hit me!
In Luke 12:27 Jesus draws our attention to the lilies. Innocent flowers that bloom beautifully and every year and represent simple joy.  But these beautiful lilies they have no control of their existence. God keeps them hidden for the majority of the year and in His own time; He calls them out every spring to display His glory. In their own splendor, they praise the Creator simply by growing tall and sharing beauty and grace with the world.
I want to be a lily. To trust that God will keep me in a time of waiting until I’m ready to bloom. To trust Him to clothe me in righteousness and provide all that I need. Lilies are innocent beauty, but I have been made in God’s own image. So how much more will God take care of me?
Spring flowers are blooming and the beauty of new life is in the air. So this spring I am freeing myself of the burdens from anxiety and fear and replacing it with the innocent faith of a lily.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Practicing

Practicing my verse while grocery shopping! How's your scripture memory going?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lemon Chicken

Last night we tried Ina Garten's Lemon Chicken. In one word....YUM!
Saturday morning was a wonderfully lazy day for C and I . We spent the entire morning reading and watching the Food Network. It happened to be "Bird is the Word" weekend, where they show all their best ways to dress up chicken. This was perfect for us, C doesn't eat red meat so I'm always looking for fresh ideas for a bland chicken.

Here's your grocery list:
1/4 c. olive oil
3 tbsp. garlic (9 cloves)
1/3c. dry white wine
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
3 lemons
4 boneless skin-on chicken breasts
Preheat Oven to 400
Warm up olive oil  and garlic in a saucepan. Be careful not to let the garlic turn brown and burn.
Turn off the heat and add white wine, lemon zest and lemon juice (about 2 lemons) .
Add dried oreganofresh thyme leaves of course add a dash of salt and pepper
Stir it all together until the herbs are well mixed and pour into a 9 x 12 baking dish
Pat dry the chicken breasts (we used skinless this time but I think the skin would help it brown a little better) and layer them into the pan.
 Cut up one lemon into sections and tuck it near the chicken pieces to add a little extra flavor.
Bake for 30-40 minutes and the cover with tin foil for 10min.
 This chicken is full of flavor, but needs a little color on the plate so vibe it up with some green veggies and a side dish and you've got dinner on the table!

Can't wait to tell you soon about some exciting things going on in the Ulman household. I could just squeal with excitement! But I've been asked to keep it a secret for a bit longer ;) In the meantime only 3 short weeks left in Wichita Falls and "we're on  the road again!" Also really can't wait to be home in my own kitchen so these pictures will look a little clearer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The real Verse 06!

Everybody has off days, everybody falls short and if there is anything I am learning in this first year of marriage is that I am just not enough. I don't have enough love to give to my husband, I will never be able to provide a love like Jesus, and I am not always faithful with my time with the Lord.
But then, just when I feel too small or too inadequate or too_____, God grants GRACE! The grace that fills my heart with joy. Softens my spirit and reassures me that everything will be ok. That God is good, and I am loved.I want to share another snipit from "Jesus Calling" a devotional book by Sarah Young.

March 16
"It is good that you recognize your weakness. That keeps you looking to Me, for strength. Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Me. Instead of trying to fit this ay into preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what I am doing. This mindset will free you to enjoy Me and find what I have planned for you to do. This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plans. 
Don't take yourself so seriously. Lighten up and laugh with Me. You have Mae on you side, so what are you worried about? I can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is My will. The more difficult your day, the more I yearn to help you. Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts. When you look to Me and whisper My name, you break free and receive My help. Focus on Me, and you will find Peace in my Presence." Philippians 4:13 Proverbs 17:22

This whole things is talking about JOY! Deep joy that is we choose to accept from Christ everyday in the midst of our weakness. It is our weaknesses that bring us closer to Him, so that He can fill in the gaps. So for Verse 06, I am focusing on JOY!

Proverbs 17:22 "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" ESV

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scripture Memory Challenge: Verse 06

I have to admit this has been a bit of a challenging 2 weeks in the scripture memorizing category. I have been spending time studying the Word, have been up earlier every morning to make time for God and have felt my heart grow stronger and stronger in understanding of His faithfulness. But when it comes to memorizing Scripture, it was just another thing on my list and just fell by the wayside.

Of all the stories in the Bible I relate most to the story of Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38-42 hits me every time right between the nose because I am a Martha. Busy, working, distracted, and anxious Martha; working hard to please Jesus but completely missed what it means to spend time with Him. Martha is busy getting ready and preparing the meal, while Mary simply sits and listens to Jesus' teachings. The worst part is that Martha has the audacity to say to Jesus " Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me."  And while I can read that and think "HOW RUDE!" I know in my heart that I would feel that way. I would want everyone to be working so hard to please Jesus and demand that they work as hard as me.

But, Oh how wrong that is! I have been spending so much time getting up early reading the Bible, desperately trying to show the Lord that I am devoted to His will. But I have completely missed what it really means to spend time with Him. To just sit as His feet and listen to His teachings. I've focused on reading the Word but missed what it means to hear His voice. Jesus says in verse 42 "But one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." The relationship and power of spending time in His presence will never be taken away. No amount of works or hours spent reading will make up for a lack of time spent listening to His voice. "This the one thing that is necessary"

So I have to say dear friends, that for the rest of March, I am going to go deeper in understanding His sovereignty and spend time thanking Him for His presence. Listening more intently for His teachings.
So here's take 2:
Ephesians 5:20 "And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." NIV

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tilapia and Spinach Delight!

This recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld's Do It Delicious! She is so great about making healthy foods taste amazing! Fish is one of those foods that I love to eat but am not so great at cooking. I am slowly progressing towards learning easy fool-proof ways to cook fish. I tested this out at home with the help of my mom, but today felt ready to try it out on my husband and it was a HIT!

The best part....simple ingredients, ready in 15minutes and very little clean up! So here we go...

Preheat the oven to 450
Yes, we drink a lot of "fizzie water". Don't judge us, it's better than soda!
Rub a sheet pan with the a cut up garlic clove
Toss spinach, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl
I had a little spill when I opened the bag of spinach...*oops* ;)
Lay the spinach on the sheet pan to make a bed. 
*HINT* the spinach will shrivel up in the oven so add a lot more than you think you should. 
Season Tilapia (Jessica uses Halibut) with salt and olive oil. Be sure to have the skin cut off, then lay them on the spinach bed.
Cut up lemon slices and lay them on top of each fish filet. Bake for about 7-8min or until the fish is nice and flakey.
The lemon seeps into to the fish and the spinach and the garlic seeps up through the bottom making this delicious seasoning that is tastes so fresh. 
 YUMMM!! A fresh meal to welcome in the sunny weather.

P.S. I love to hear when you are trying these recipes at home so keep the comments coming!

Monday, March 7, 2011


This book has been such a deep and unbelievable experience. I haven't written much about it because it takes something deep inside of me to really grasp what Ann is talking about and the wisdom in everyday thankfulness. It's hard for me to pick a favorite part but as I'm coming to an end in the book this section has fit my life exactly.
Is it only when our lives are emptied that we're surprised by how truly full our lives were?
Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing - and are filled. This breath! This oak tree! This daisy! This work! These people! This place! This day! Surprise!

God has surprised me immensely the last two weeks and given me the privilege to substitute at a great school. The students, the teachers, the parents have all been such a blessing to me! I wish I could have taken pictures of these adorable 4th graders but really wanted to be asked to come back and thought that might be a bit questionable. Instead, during a free period, I snapped these shots with my phone of the beauty and little surprises of joy that are here. Surprise! God really is good! I am loved!
How totally fun is this!?!!?!?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Daddy's Shrimp Pasta

My dad used to make this dish for my mom when they had just gotten married. It can be served hot or cold. (I prefer hot) It's an easy things to whip together and only has a few ingredients. I promise this is the easiest recipe EVER! You've gotta try it!
First start by sauteing (sp?) your favorite vegetables. My dad used blanched broccoli, C and I love asparagus so we added some to the mix. 
Remove the asparagus and/or broccoli and saute shrimp in a pan on both sides until they turn pink

 While the shrimp is cooking, boil some water for your favorite kind of pasta. I think linguine or spaghetti is best.
 When the pasta is done you add it all together....shrimp,
 ...pasta and broccoli/asparagus
Now add fresh tomatoes or if you're in a hurry you can add diced tomatoes from a can (shh..)
 Now the fun part! Add italian dressing and parmesean cheese on and off until you get the right flavor and consistency you like.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scripture Memory: Verse 05

Hello ladies and gentlemen! Can you really believe that March is here?!
I don't know about you but March is really taking me by surprise. In my mind this month means so many wonderful things. The beginning signs of spring, sunny weather, St. Patty's day celebrations, cozy rainy days, and the beginning of new life. But I just don't feel like I'm ready for it yet.
I have really been trying to live fully, in a life of thankfulness and gratitude. Eucharisteo. (If you want to know more about the 1000 gift challenge please please please check out Ann Voskamp's book and the book club here.)
Anyway, I'm working my way to 1000 gifts, 1000 recognitions of grace, 1000 chances to stop and reflect on the joy of this life. But for some reason I am having a hard time feeling the joy and giddiness of the moment. The problem is, this list making is not just to reach 1000 or to acknowledge things that make me feel good but to recognize that God himself has given me these things. That He who created this complex and beautiful planet has given me this gift. So the list making is not just about writing things down but about giving gratitude to the one who has given the gift. That is why I have chosen this verse...

Ephesians 5:20 "And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." NIV

Thank you friends for holding me accountable for this memorizing of Scripture. I have to admit, even if nobody reads this, the thought that it is being written in black and white makes me feel I'm accountable for it. Yet another reason why writing a list of 1000 gifts is so wonderful. To see the words on paper makes it that much more real to me. I can't wait to go home and finish the office. I want to follow Angie's advice by covering a wall with butcher paper so that  friends and family add to our list. 
Keep up the good work!