Uplifting in Discouragement

I have to share with you something amazing that happened to me this weekend.

I went to a Women’s Retreat with 250+ women from JFC, as a last minute deal. I was planning on going about 3 weeks in advance, then roommate things fell through, and I had just made terms with myself that I wasn’t able to go. So of course, Husband buys a TV instead since we weren’t spending the 200 bucks for me to go {okay, we really deserved it – we had been watching a TV that had LED leaking right through the middle. For two years}.

So, on the last day of registration, my friend texted me and asked if I was going, and I told her no, unfortunately. She responded with “well, there’s still one more spot in my room!” That gave a little glimmer of hope, but then the TV thing crept up in my mind. I said “thank you, but let me speak with Jason. We didn’t think I was going, so he bought a TV, and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to swing the money.” After I asked Jason, {and I told him ONLY IF it’s not putting us in a bad situation – could you imagine going to a life-changing event to come back to face guilt and ruin everything you gained?} she responded to me before he could and told me that the church would give me a scholarship to go.

So, the decision was made. Total God thing, right?

Anywho, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the amazing stuff.

I read the email that was sent to me after I registered to go, and it said if you mention that you are at the Jubiliee Fellowship Ladies conference, you get 30% off at the hotel’s spa. So, I searched the website, and even with 30 percent off, the cheapest thing was a 75 dollar pedicure. No thanks. And that was that.

A series of other last-minute God things helped me get up to Beaver Creek, and while the girls I rode with and I were about an hour late, we made it in the middle of the first session where Terri Furr was speaking. It was a little difficult for me to get into at first because I came halfway through and wasn’t entirely caught up with what she was talking about. But then the end of that first night kind of set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

These words: Pride really isn’t the conventional way we think of pride {oh, I’m so good at this, etc.}. Pride is preoccupation with one’s self.

Woah. Maybe that doesn’t rock you like it rocks me, but it in all my sadness, complaining, talking about myself; that is my pride. Talking about how rough life can be or how things always happen to me that don’t happen to others. That really threw a wrench in my thinking.

Then she said: The opposite of pride is humility. You become humble when you choose gratitude.

That makes total sense, right? Instead of my normal, “woah is me” thoughts, I should be thanking God for what I DO have. Which is so much more than some others. Then, my thinking will shift to those others who so often go with out. And like that, gratitude changes pride to humility.

Okay, so that was the first day. And that was after I didn’t think I was getting anything out of the first message because I came late.

But like I said, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out how good God is {if all this hasn’t convinced you yet}.



Roasted Pepper & Avo Soup

Husband and I are part of this super-awesome, wildly fun marriage group with a bunch of people from our church. We get together, meet other awesome married couples and have a pot luck.  Usually everyone brings a side and the amazing hosts/leaders serve the main course.

We happened to have a meeting last Monday with the theme of Christmas – we had fun competing in Christmas trivia & song games, prizes and great conversation. I felt brave that day, so I decided to tackle a food I had never made. Whenever I make something like this {green and gooey, i.e. Pee Puree} I get nervous that it’s going to be too freaky for people and no one will eat it. But I felt confident about this one.

Turns out, people loved it! Chartreuse in color with underlying heat notes, this is a refreshing take on soup.


| Roasted Pepper & Avocado Soup

2 Green Bell Peppers

4 Anaheim Peppers

4 Cloves of Garlic

1 Red Onion, roughly chopped

3 TBS Olive Oil

2 TBS Chili Powder

2 TSP Cumin

1 TSP Cayenne Pepper

4 Avocados

28 oz canned Coconut Milk

1-2 C Water

1/2 – 1 TSP Salt

1/2 TSP Black Pepper

In a pan, cook the onions in a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until unions begin to appear translucent. Remove the onions from the pan and into your crock pot, set on low. Turn your broiler on high.

Halve the Anaheim and bell peppers, removing the seeds and stem. In a large baking dish covered with foil, lay the peppers { inside facing down}, brushing or spraying with a little bit of oil. Place the peppers in the hot oven, keeping a close eye. The anaheim peppers will cook faster – everyone’s oven cooks differently, so just to be safe, check the peppers every 2-3 minutes. When they start to get covered with dark brown spots, they are done. Remove the peppers from the oven, place them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Toss the garlic and the rest of the olive oil {2 TBS} in the slow cooker. Also add in 2 TBS Chili Powder, 2 TSP Cumin and a TSP Cayenne Pepper.

After the peppers have been covered for about 15 minutes, lay them out to let them cool. When they are cool enough to handle, start peeling the skins off. Put the peppers in the slow cooker. Leave it for 6 hours, occasionally stirring.

After, scoop at a time, puree the mixture. When the entire combination is smooth, add in halve of an avocado at a time, blending well after each one. Pour the liquid back into the crock pot and add the water {to whatever consistency you like – if one cup looks too thick, add more}, coconut milk, salt {to taste} and pepper, mixing well with a spoon. Cover again, and let sit for another hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve with Anaheim Relish {which is really just my pico de gallo recipe, but swapping out the jalapeno for an Anaheim pepper}.

Roasted Pepper and Avocado Soup 3