Ep.3:Deirdre & Jen, Feeding the Fam and Loving your Season

https://anchor.fm/jenilee-samuel/embed/episodes/Ep-3–Deirdre–Jen–Feeding-your-Fam–Loving-your-Season-e2g1qt

Hi Friends!

I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my friend Deirdre for today’s episode!!  She is one of the most encouraging, intelligent, resourceful women I know, and a great mother while juggling a head-spinning number of things… I knew she would have some gold-nuggets to share with you as you may find yourself whirling from life’s demands too.  If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or just plain bad at knowing how to keep your family fed well with all the other things you do, you’re going to love the secrets shared in today’s show, not to mention, at the end she drops some truth bombs about loving and appreciating the season you’re in to help reduce stress.  What qualifies her to speak on these things? I’m so glad you asked!  😀

She is a mother of two precious little ones ages 5 &3, works a full time job as an Accountant at one of the nation’s largest firms, as well as working a part time job as a Leadership Developer of the staff at Chick Fil A in Vicksburg.  She is also currently in school, finishing her advanced degree in Accounting and looks forward to being done at the end of this semester.  Aside from being a wife, mother, working woman, she is in Ministry leader with her husband and has a couple pets to chase and clean up after.  Even given all of this, she manages to keep a clean home and happy, well-fed children, all the while her exuberance for life and encouragement fuels you with excitement when she comes around!!  (Just wait for it, you’ll hear it in our squeals :D)   So, listen close as I pull on her insights and share some of my own so we can help YOU feel more equipped and capable at managing your home, specifically feeding your family well, and resting into the season you’re in.

We kicked this episode off with a Life-Hacks portion, filling the episode with links, apps and services that will save you time, money and trouble, and you can find them all listed below!  (This is not a paid advertisement, just excited to help. 🙂 )

LIFE HACKS with Jen & Deirdre! 

  • Make grocery shopping easy and save time: Walmart Grocery App. Order your groceries online to save time AND money.
  • Teach me to cook!  Pinterest!  I have some great recipe boards that can get you started:
    • Kid-loved foods!  (Some of these pins my kids added themselves, so if there are repeats, that’s why. :D)
    • Holiday treat: Peppermint Merengue Puff cookies!  This is one of my own blog posts that’s been repinned on Pinterest in a number of locations hundreds of times.  It’s a classic!  It’s a recipe I found and tweaked to make my own on Pinterest.
  • Easy RecipesAmerica’s Test Kitchen on Pinterest & App (the app is currently only available for iOS devices)
    • Here’s the Mac-n-cheese recipe Deidre loved if you sign up!  (Tip: you boil the noodles in water AND milk).
  • Meal planningMealime : Keeping meals healthier!  This App & website is the easiest way to specify types of recipes you want, and to have personalized options populate for you to choose from, pick the ones you want for the week, and compiled into a shopping list.  The easiest way I’ve found to healthfully meal plan so far!  You can pay a little to get access to a larger database of recipes if you really love the app, though I haven’t had to yet, still lots of great options.
  • Lunch planning, & gets kids involved!: LaLa Lunchbox –  The website also offers an App download, which I use, and my kids can use and has made life easier!!  I believe they have a breakfast app too, but we just do lunch.

I believe those were our cooking/meal planning/how to keep it healthy suggestions, but if we missed anything you heard in the podcast that you have a question about, feel free to email me: javawithjenpodcast@gmail.com !  Feel free to leave comments below of what you’re loving as well!

Other links mentioned.

We hope this podcast was a blessing to you, and stay tuned for more content from Deirdre in the future!!  If you enjoyed this, please share it with friends, on social media, and go on itunes to rate the podcast!  This causes more people to be able to find the podcast and be blessed by it as well!  Thanks so much and happy feeding-the-families!

-Jen

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Good news! The Lord is “cleaning house”

 

I just love when the Lord takes a moment to let us in on his secrets… his plans.  It makes it so much easier to know how to posture ourselves to be cooperating with him, to see purpose in what is happening around us, to stay focused when we might otherwise feel quite lost.  That’s what happened a few weeks ago.  On a Sunday night at church the Lord showed me the next “phase” or “season” our church would be going through, that would affect people deeply.  And that word is what I want to share, but first, let me give you a tiny bit of context for it.

I know many of you are accustomed to me posting about food or fashion or parenting stuff, but what is at the core of my heart is a love for Jesus and all things that he is involved in.  My Husband and I are privileged to be on the pastoral staff at Cathedral Church under a powerful couple, Suzann and Randy Feldschau.  I have personally been in ministry leadership positions for 18 years now, and have served with a vast variety of Pastors and leaders, and I can recognize the uniqueness of how pure-hearted and sincere this couple is.  They have a gripping desire to see God show up in a way that doesn’t just rock us, but changes our region, and prayerfully, the nations.  We want to see God in a very real, very powerful, very personal way.  We don’t want “church”.  We want HIM.

So, given that backdrop, we have a culture at our church that is pursuing revival.  The kind of revival that changes the face of a region and nation.  The kind of revival that our nation desperately needs.  We have been praying, contending, pressing for more of Him.  We have had MULTIPLE visiting ministers who are completely unrelated and all sound ministers, ( Perry Stone, Chuck Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, and a few others I can’t recall at the moment) comment and prophecy similarly that there will be a great Revival that will hit our church, and others, and go out to impact our region, and regions beyond us.  Having so  many legitimate voices saying they are hearing and seeing the same thing in prayer, takes it from just a dream of ours as a church, to clearly a dream of God’s heart for our church.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Feldschau preached a message that I knew the night before, was going to begin something.  I was sweeping my dining room and heard the Holy Spirit say, “This message on Fathers he will be preaching on in the morning, this is IT.”  Later I had more insight into even what that meant, but in short, basically, as there are keys that open certain doors, the message and revelation of this message on “Digging the Wells of our Fathers” is a key to unlock the door of Revival in our area.  Feel free to follow the link and listen to it.  Its powerful.

That night we had a somewhat spontaneous service planned in response to how the Lord was moving so powerfully that morning.  At prayer before the evening service, the Lord told me about the next season our church, and perhaps others, but specifically our church, would be walking through in preparation for the coming revival.  It was pretty specific and yet unique, and almost immediately I have started seeing it play out.  In fact, in the following week I had a number of people who hadn’t even heard the word I shared, ask me to go for coffee to talk, and they were experiencing what I had felt the Lord shared with me.  After about two weeks of this, my heart grew a little heavy for the people because even though I was aware it was the Lord moving and touching things in people’s lives,  the people weren’t perceiving that it was Him divinely at work, and I sensed that they were feeling discouraged, disoriented, and weary.  So, I was able to share it again this past Sunday at our morning service, and I was so grateful for the full family to hear it, so people could be more mentally prepared for how to respond when things started shifting.  Let me share this word with you and it will make more sense.
“I heard the Lord say, “Over the next two to three months the church will be going through a house cleaning.  I have already been shifting things and people and setting order in many ways for many months, but this will be on a much deeper level.  My presence will be surfacing things buried deep in the hearts of my people.  Things they might not even realize reside within them.  Think of it like this: Just as you clean your home before having company come over, I need to clean my House before “company” (referring to the people who would be drawn into the family through Revival) comes over.  If a person has company but doesn’t clean house, they run the risk of two things: Offending the guest for the lack of honor shown, and possibly putting the guest at risk of injury or harm if there were say spills on the floor, slippery spaces, or things left out to trip over.  I will be bringing many into the House to join the Family, but I want to minimize casualties and get the house ready to host them.  Those coming in will need to be greeted by a family who is ready to care for them.  My church will be able to comfort others with the comfort they will have received from Me. Right now, there are some deep rooted issues in my children that could cause offense or injury to young new believers, and I need to deal with those things.  But realize this: It is my presence that will be touching those heart things and bringing them to the surface, and IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL BE HEALING AND BRINGING DELIVERANCE.  It will be a quick work because it will be my Very Presence that is doing it.  When I clean house, I do a good job, and it is always done with my loving, caring, merciful hand.  Some of these areas I will be touching in hearts will be so deep that it will be a bit tumultuous for them to be surfaced.  Such things like attitudes or beliefs that came out of an abused childhood or experience.  Fears that came on in childhood.  Addictions and bondages.  Shame that people have been carrying that isn’t theirs to carry.  Legalism that was religiously bred into them.  Relationships that have always been broken but need to be healed.  There is no end to the types of things that will be brought up, and it will be deep, “heavy” stuff, and much of it will be beliefs or attitudes so engrained into their nature, they think it’s their personality, they don’t even realize it’s an area that is hurting them.  But my presence is kind.  And my presence is effective to do the work.  It is MY PRESENCE THAT WILL SURFACE THESE THINGS, AND IT IS MY PRESENCE THAT WILL HEAL AND DELIVER THESE THINGS.

 

Remind my people when they are experiencing these moments, that i am doing this work strategically, out of my love and care for them, and my love and care for those who will be joining the family.  Tell them not to carry shame or discouragement over what they see.  It has always been there, it is not a surprise to me even if it is a surprise to them.  I have always loved them and always will, despite what they will see surfacing in them.  Tell them, the best thing they can do is take this posture: “Lord, as you work ALL things for my good, how can I cooperate with what You are doing in me, so You can finish this work?”  I am not threatened by their filth, or their brokenness.  If they begin to feel they are a disaster, just remind them, they are a beautiful disaster, because they are MY beautiful disaster.  And my love is enough to heal every wound, free every prisoner, break every addiction, restore every loss, and mend every heart.  Remind them not to be discouraged.  It will not last long.  Tell them to take heart!!  For I will complete the Work I have begun in them.”

 

Since I shared that word both a couple weeks ago at the evening service, and then last Sunday at the morning service, I have had people come up to me in astonishment  sharing how the Lord began to surface old wounds, old hurts, old shame that they didn’t realize they hadn’t dealt with.  And then they share how quickly they were able to find reconciliation or healing.  God is so good!  And so attentive!!

So what I want to say to you is this: If you find yourself in this place of seeing a lot of “junk”, or old stuff getting stirred up in you, take heart, because it is not that you are wearing new “stuff”, its that the Lord is surfacing OLD stuff, with the plan to bring healing and freedom.  He is so kind.  His Presence is what we truly need.  So, if you’re not sure what to do when those buried fears surface, or the bitterness and unforgiveness is unveiled to you, just go to Him.  Go hide out in his Presence.  Turn on some worship music and get REAL.  Get honest ugly.  Leave all the religiousness at the door, and bare your heart.  and then give him time to show you His love.  Let his presence minister peace to you.  Lay those things down.  Repent, be cleansed by his forgiveness, and when you get up to leave the room, leave that stuff there with him.  Cast all your cares on Him, because he Cares for you.   Reject shame.  His love is way too great to make any room for shame.  Shame is not yours.  Don’t wear it.  Wear his love and be set free.  Who said house cleaning was a bad thing?  I don’t know about you, but I feel quite refreshed and rested when I look around at a spotless house.  Enjoy the refreshing.  Enjoy the freedom.  🙂

Blessings to you each!

Tell me the story of my tears from your eyes…

‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.’- Jeremiah 2:2 (the Lord speaking through Jeremiah to Israel)

There are indeed seasons of barrenness meant to build in us perseverence, steadfastness, unwaivering committed love. No marriage is always bliss, and that includes my marriage to the Most High. The seasons where “feeling”, “emotional rapture”, and thrilling encounters with God seem like a distant memory. Surely I must be doing something wrong if I’m not connecting with him like I long to, right?

Maybe.

But sometimes, if the Holy Spirit is bringing no correction to my attention, I must forsake the voices of condemnation and accusation that burden me with burdens not mine.

In those times i must realize, those tears I cry because I cannot seem to touch him like I have before, those tears are PRICELESS to his ravished heart.

His heart is ravished with me. Song of Solomon says that one glance of my eyes steals his heart, making him “weak” with love.

Surely if he loves me so, and I were doing something wrong, would he not faithfully show me?

These tears I shed in longing, these frustrations I endure as I pray, wait, worship, press in, and find no emotional connection with Him, those tears are far more valuable to his heart that longs to be sought after than the laughter of a quick connection.

To him, those tears tell a story of a love which will pursue him THROUGH the desert.  Do I always feel of great courage to follow? No. Many times I feel faint of heart as I grasp upward only to grip nothing, finding my pursuit of him so mightily tempted to wane.

But then I remind myself that though those times of prayer, waiting, worship, reading-only-to-find-nothing-life-changing may feel like wasted moments, that to God, they are invaluable. I am sowing to the Spirit, and in time I will reap of the Spirit.

I am sowing to Love. And in time, I will reap in Love.

So Lord, though my heart grow faint within me and I have no great thing to offer, I offer you my longing. I offer you my tears. I offer you my perseverent pursuit of you… for the ways I long to know you Compel me to chase you even still.

I believe these tears of mine have a voice to you… and on the other side of eternity, would you share with me of their worth to you, read me that story that they have told?

Though I feel you not, I will love you.tear on eyelashes

Though I touch you not, I will reach for you.

Though I “see” you not, I will search for you.

I will follow you even through the desert, because I know that in time, the desert must end.

In time, your ravished heart will turn and ravish mine.

In time, my steady and sometimes bitter pursuit will yield a sweeter, richer Love between us than I have ever known.

So Lord, I come.

(Written August 2009.)