Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Time For Change: A New Blog!

Hello dear sister's in Christ! :D

After much thought, I've decided to step out on my own instead of continuing to blog here. It was time for a new blog, and long overdue, actually. We've blogged on Young Homemakers for 5 years - Jessica hasn't written on here in years, I've grown into adult womanhood, and the “mission” we began it with has taken a few turns around a few bends.

 After writing for Meditations of His Love for 5 years I've found I enjoy sharing the faith-lessons God teaches me in my everyday life and absolutely love talking with other young women and the opportunities the Lord sometimes gives me to be an encouragement to them. But I needed my own place to write from the heart of this new, older me that God has taught so much to, so I created a new blog and called it, Real Girls, Real Faith! It's all about being an authentic young woman of God in life and in faith... sharing about day-to-day life, crafts and recipes, and real-girl heart matters. All the things I love to talk about! :D

I'd be honored if y'all would hop on over to my new blog and follow me! :)

{Please excuse the bright blue letter font - with no internet at home, I've been too lazy to feel like getting into that and fixing it yet.}

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Only to Him

I bow.

I surrender it all.

My heart cries no; my fear overwhelms me.
But I know He wants it for my good, 
so I tell myself it's okay to let go.


Who is among you that feareth the Lord...
that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? 
Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay {rely} upon his God.” 
~ Isaiah 50:10

*Quote from “Satisfy My Thirsty Soul” by Linda Dillow

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dad's Home-Style BBQ Sauce

I get my recipe creating directly from my dad's side of the family. My aunt, my grandmother who has passed on, my great-aunt, my uncle and my dad all have inherited this nack for creating something out of "nothing. I'm not quite that good, but occasionally I'm inspired. ;) Dad's the sporadic cook on our house, the one who can make (almost) anything without a recipe. Um, except fudge. Unless a "rock" of hard chocolate counts as fudge these days. {I didn't think so...}

My dad completely made this recipe up. Just out of his head years ago. I've been using it for our BBQ recipes ever since, though I still like to try a new one just for fun, on occasion. :) You can use this sauce any way you normally would a BBQ sauce! Try it, it's yummy and oh, so easy to throw together in a few minutes. My favorite ways to use it are to marinate it over chicken, and for pulled chicken sandwiches. {Just thinking about it makes me so hungry now!}

Dad's Home-Style BBQ Sauce
1 (8 oz.) cans Tomato Sauce
3/4 cups Ketchup
1/3 cup Oil
1 tsp. Balsamic or White Vinegar
2 drops Red Hot Sauce
1/2 TBSP. Italian Seasoning
1/8 cup Chicken Broth

Combine all ingredients together. Use right away, freeze in reusable containers or ziploc bags, or pour into a jar for gifting or storage. Keep in the refrigerator when not in use; store up to 3 days.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Make-It-Your-Own" Soup

Make-It-Your-Own” Soup
created by Rachel Phillips

    This simple soup became a family favorite – and the cook's favorite too – one wintry night last year when I didn't feel up to the task of looking through my recipe collection for something to make for dinner. This gal loves new recipes, but then I also love a recipe I can throw together without over-thinking it. Again on the menu was chicken, and we had a few cans of green beans lying around. With not much else in the pantry I came up with this beef-less version of a Campbell's soup variety our family has enjoyed in the past, and simply changed a few things to suit the limited pantry.

    What I love about this simple recipe is that it's so easy to “make it your own”! If your family loves beans, use some kidney or cannelloni beans. Have sausage on hand? Replace the chicken with chunks of your favorite brand of sausage. Or, use ground beef, make meatballs, do it meatless style, chop up some ham, or brown up some juicy beef stew meat. Exchange some of the vegetables or add more like chopped cabbage, red peppers, mushrooms, or chunks of zucchini. Make it entirely to your family's taste every time you make it – but the cook can relax, it's still the same recipe, so have fun with it!

Make-It-Your-Own” Soup
This gets a happy cook award for being economical, tasty and easy! ;)

8 cups hot water
3 chicken thighs
3 tsp. salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp poultry seasoning (may substitute beef bullion cubes when using other meats)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
½ tsp ground mustard
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
2-3 medium carrots, diced
1-½ cups uncooked macaroni noodles
2 cans cut green beans
1 can whole kernel corn
2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 beef bullion cubes

  1. Fill a large soup pot with the water, chicken thighs, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning (optional), Italian seasoning, ground mustard, chopped onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook for 5-8 min. more or until chicken is cooked through and no longer bloody inside. Remove chicken pieces to a cutting board. Once cooled, peel the chicken with a fork and knife; chop lightly with a large cutting knife.

  2. While chicken is cooling on the side, add the noodles and carrots, stirring occasionally. Cook another 5-8 minutes till noodles are partially cooked but not fully cooked through yet; add green beans, corn, tomato sauce, beef bullion cubes, and the chopped up chicken to the soup. Stir occasionally; salt to taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Cook until carrots and noodles are fork tender. Serve to your hungry family!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 At a Glance + Saying Goodbye to MOHL



Creating new recipes... literally on a dime.

Writing and typing and scribbling out little thoughts.

Heart-healing. Being still. Learning to “trust and obey” and “pray without ceasing”.

These are a few of the many things that have filled my year with pleasant delights.

Spiritual: The cloud of doubt and the fog of discouragement that hung over my head and my heart through the year, hardly allowing a single ray of sunshine from God's Word to peek through... that was not something I desired, yet I believe He used the time to further my relationship with Christ this year in a large way. Gone is the little girl and in her place is a grown young woman who knows she is loved by her Saviour. My faith was tested and I learned all over again what it is to “trust in the Lord with all your heart” and how to “be still” in the midst of heartbreak and chaos.

The song "somewhere in the Middle" by Casting Crowns pretty much sums up my year.. fighting between doubt and truth. God's way and my way. And I am happy to say the fog is gone (for now) and I think next time it tries to cloud my vision I will be better able to stand against it. He's been patient with me as let go and let God do His work. I am ever so grateful we serve a God who is faithful through any trial; who is our Comforter and Healer and Provider.

Favorite book of the year: Moses by Charles Swindoll – Beginning to write my first book I have had so many fears and doubts of myself. Can I actually DO this? Did I hear the Lord rightly, or is this wishful thinking? Not only did reading and studying the character of Moses encourage me in God's will for my life, but broke down wall after wall that I'd built up around myself over time. Here is where I learned how to begin to be still and quiet my soul and seek Him again. I still find myself coming back and referring to some little quote, flipping through the pages and finding encouragement when I fall back into old habits.

My finished reading was 71 books out of my goal of 60 for 2013 and I enjoyed the wide range of history, children's, and non-fiction books I completed. Yeah for good books!! Next year though, I plan to do some rereading and enjoy them at my own speed... not making out a reading goal. I have some new books from the last year or so that I am looking forward to reading too.

Project Update: I really, really wanted to work my way through some of my works-in-progress (WIP's) in this area this year. I have a box FULL (sadly overflowing, really) of unfinished projects.. mostly in sewing and quilting; items that I needed to buy something or got stuck along the way (or simply bored. *cough). I didn't complete as many as I hoped to because my aunt commissioned me to make 4 seasonal table runners for her, and I got carried away and made 11 in total for various purposes for friends and family. ;) I did, however, finish a couple small things and finally completed a fairly large cross stitch 4-seasons piece that I've worked on for a couple years now. Finished - Yeah!

I also managed by God's grace to create some lovely birthday/Christmas gifts for my family and a few friends this year without spending much if any money many at all. Shocking how much I could actually get done with just my own small sewing stash! I was quite pleased to let go of some of my hoard of fabric and not have to spend a penny.

I already have a large list of projects I'd like to make for next year, as well as yes, working through some more of my unfinished projects. So exciting!

Special Happenings: Jessica have had the great privilege and blessing to meet up for a day each with two family's – some of our dear online friends this year. One, our Texas family and their daughters Sarah and Rose who we've had visit us here two years ago and we'd been down there to see last October. It was so good to have our entire family's finally meet all together in person! The other was my friend Julia and her family from Georgia (I couldn't stop hugging this girl!)! Both family's were in the area at different times this year and were able to spend a few hours visiting with us and it made the year so joyful. {So hard to let them leave though!} ;)

The Erickson's are on the left..yes, we are a short family and they are a tall one. Makes for great fun (and pictures!). ;) And we sadly were too busy enjoying the Holman family's visit to get more than just a picture of us 4 girls together.. hopefully we can remedy that the "next visit". Can't wait to meet more of my cyber friends in the future! :D

Saying Goodbye: After almost 6 years of writing for Meditations of His Love girls devotional blog, Jessica and I and many of the founding young ladies are saying goodbye. I am so saddened to go, but it's time to move on to other things the Lord has in store for us. We ARE very excited and happy to say that the blog will continue on, however, as our dear friend Melinda will be the new administrator and Meghan will still continue to write her beautiful Sunday posts. :) Yeah! I've cried my tears, but I also get to keep each of these girls as my dear friends and sisters in the Lord - so it's not *really* saying goodbye after all. :) {Love you girls!!} My prayers will always be with the new team and that the Lord would work in their lives as He's already been doing through this special group.

We've put together a little video "together" of our last challenge, the Live It challenge, and a little goodbye message. I will ever be grateful I had the privilege to work with these special girls. I've learned so much!

* * *
Overall, even through the days of tears and heartache and doubts, the Lord was good and faithful. (As you can see, there was also joy). We can't always see that in the moment but He's patient with us until we do see. I'm looking forward to the new year and all it may hold both for me spiritually and in other ways as well.

What are you most looking forward to about the coming year?