The Most Helpful {Parenting} Thing

By Monday, October 29, 2012 0 0

We have parenting philosophies, parenting books, parenting methods and parenting blogs all dictating to us how we should parent. Parent with grace, with love and logic, with respect, with discipline and training.

Chris and I have a preference for family-integrated ministry that will enable us not just to parent our children but to disciple them as well. What a responsibility we have, and what a joy it is to parent knowing that the Lord is on our side. He knows our children and loves our children better than we do!

Susanna is only 16 months old, but I have some invaluable parenting advice. I am so sure of this parenting tool that I want to share it with the world. It’s twofold, and here it is:

  1. Don’t give unsolicited parenting advice (if advice is solicited, be specific and brief. Perceive whether it’s advice that is really being sought. See number 2.)
  2. Constantly give unsolicited parenting affirmations.

Young, Christian parents should seek older people and their advice in parenting. But young, Christian parents should love their parenting peers by praying for them and affirming the good things they’re doing. Trust the Lord with your friends’ kids too. And if you simply must advise a friend you think is struggling, tell them to ask the Lord for wisdom.

There’s no story behind this post. It’s just my plain, humble opinion and a reminder to myself as I walk this journey with my friends.

Juggling, And a Tortilla Soup Recipe

By Tuesday, October 9, 2012 3 0

Today at my moms meeting, a wise lady who takes her role as a Titus 2 Woman very seriously talked about juggling the four glass balls of our life, and keeping them in order of priority. In very particular order, here are the priorities we must juggle:

  1. Know and love God
  2. Love your husband.
  3. Raise your children in the Lord.
  4. Manage your home.

In the spirit of being a better manager of my home, I have been working on meal plans that make sense for our family, are easy to execute, and get done at a decent hour without taking too much of my time.

I’ve made a lot of tortilla soups in my day, sometimes following a recipe perfectly, but this is the best (and cheapest) version yet. Susanna even at e a few whole spoonfuls after she had finished her own chicken and black bean dinner.


3 chicken breasts
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (or follow my directions below to EASILY make your own)
1 can black beans, drained
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 small can green chiles
1 cup frozen roasted corn
1 Tb lime juice
1/4 cup corn meal slurry (see directions)
1 Tb chili powder
1 Tb cumin
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 corn tortillas


  1. In a large dutch oven, heat water to a boil and drop in 3 chicken breasts for 20 minutes or until done (no pink)
  2. Set the chicken breasts aside to cool a bit and shred later, or drop them in your Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment on low for a minute (my favorite Kitchenaid trick ever!)
  3. Save 4 cups of the boiling water and dissolve a cube of bouillon to make 4 cups of chicken stock.
  4. Also save about 1/4 cup of the water and dissolve a tablespoon of corn meal (not cornstarch!) to give the soup some depth. Dump the rest of the water into the sink.
  5. Drizzle olive oil into the dutch oven and saute the onions and garlic with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, chili powder, cumin and oregano to the garlic and onions, and stir to coat.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock and cornmeal slurry, then add the beans, tomatoes, chiles and corn. Stir to mix, and let the whole thing simmer on the stove for at least 20 minutes or until you’re ready to eat.
  8. Top with tortilla chips (I sauteed some corn tortilla strips in olive oil), guacamole, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, diced red onion… whatever you like on your tortilla soup.