This week my guest is Meredith Andrews, she is a singer/songwriter, wife, and mom to 3. You have probably heard several of Meredith’s songs including “Not for a Moment,” “Spirit of the Living God,” and several of the songs form the Belonging Co’s most recent AMAZING album. I was surprised to have so much in common with Meredith, and the season she is in spoke so much to the season that so many of us (moms especially) find ourselves in these days. Juggling the full time job of being a wife and mom, as well as pursuing God sized dreams, but also trusting Him in the waiting.
Meredith talked about her journey to becoming a successful Christian music artist and how she attempts to balance her life with her family and this demanding career. She shed some serious wisdom about trusting God with your dreams and not forcing and pushing our way through to the outcome we think we want. I know you will love Meredith and our sincere and authentic conversation!
As promised, Episode 19 is Part 2 with Stephanie Meek, owner with her husband, Isaac, of Five Daughters Bakery and momma to 5 daughters! This one is for the mommas, the pregnant ones and the ones in the trenches with little ones. This lady exudes joy, and I loved hearing from her all about her experiences with pregnancy and mothering little people. She obviously has lots of experience, and I was soaking up her knowledge and advice on she does it.
She is a rockstar and I know you will benefit from her wisdom in the area of motherhood. I’ll be listening to this one again and again as I enter into a new season of mothering 2 kiddos! Send this one to a mom of littles or a pregnant mom, they will be blessed and inspired!
Today is the long awaited (at least at my house) release day for The Outdoor Table! This book has been almost two years in the making, and I am humbled and so very excited that today has come. Get one for yourself, and perhaps one for dad for Father’s Day too, it’s filled with lots of great grilling recipes! So, I’ve talked about the book so much on here, and I really hope you’ll buy it, because it truly is a wonderful book. But today I want to share a little bit of the story behind the book…
I’m telling you, if you would have told me 5 years ago that I would author a cookbook, like a real cookbook sold in stores nationwide – I would’ve thought you were totally crazy. This whole cooking journey I have been on has been the craziest ride of my life. There have been some amazing highs, but there have also been some pretty low lows. I’ve spent many days doubting myself and my ability, wondering if I was being completely unrealistic, feeling like I should just get a “real job,” and asking God if all of this will ever to amount to anything?
Contrary to what people might think, I haven’t had this whole cooking journey planned out, it’s been a roller coaster. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that God has led me through each door to get to this point. Everytime I considered just giving up, the Lord gave me a little reassurance to keep going. Even if it was a small thing, He would open a door right when I needed it, and I would walk through it.
I have had lots of ideas that didn’t work out, I’ve gotten my hopes up about the possibility of things that didn’t happen, and I’ve tried to force things that just weren’t working. And I will do all of that again I’m sure, but sometimes pieces of the dream actually do happen, and this cookbook is one of those pieces. People always ask me, “so what is your end goal with all of this?” And I have had a hard time answering that question. There are many things I would love to do, but the bottom line is, I’m not driving this boat. I had no idea a cookbook would’ve been part of the plan, but that just goes to show, it’s really not my plan at all. The Lord led me here and, to be honest, I don’t know where I’ll end up next, and I’m [finally] okay with that. His plans have always been better than mine anyway.
I suppose I say all of this to encourage anyone out there who has a dream. If you feel like God is calling you to something, even if you don’t know what the end result looks like, just follow in the direction of that dream. I do believe God places dreams and ideas in our hearts, and if He has a plan for you and you say yes to Him, that’s an unstoppable force. Ultimately, I want this book to be used for His glory. Even if it is a cookbook, the story behind it, is one of redemption and new life. He took food, the thing that could’ve destroyed me through years of disordered eating, and He gave me total freedom. What the enemy meant for evil, the Lord has used for good in my life.
That’s the real story here, and I am grateful and humbled beyond words. He is good, and He deserves my praise every hour of every day.
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“It’s a shame when we box up hospitality in entertaining. We lose sight of the true spiritual significance behind it, and in doing so we rob ourselves and others of the blessings God intends to come through it.” -Logan Wolfram, From the She Reads Truth Hospitality study
I just love a good chicken leg, it comes with a handle after all! Even back in the day when we would get a bucket of KFC fried chicken after church, I always preferred the legs. So, in honor of my love for legs, I’m sharing my Sticky Sesame Chicken Leg recipe! You may have seen some similar recipes to this on Pinterest, but this is my version of the mouth waveringly delicious, Asian flared main dish.
You have probably noticed that lately I have had some type of story to go with my recipes. Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking on what to write for this post, and I got nothin! Ever since I have been getting more personal on here, I’ve waited to write a post until I felt like God was really speaking to me and guiding my writing. I kept coming back to this one, and I finally decided I was just going to publish it today without anything extra. And then, this morning, I read my She Reads Truth devotional and boom, God gave me something! I love when He does that, sometimes I go for days where I just can’t hear Him, but He always shows up at just the right time.
If you haven’t checked out the She Reads Truth app, you should, it’s an awesome women’s devotional app with all kinds of different studies to choose from. I am currently doing a study on hospitality, and as I read the one for today, I realized that I use the word “entertaining” quite a bit, when what I really mean is hospitality. As you might have guessed, we haven’t been doing much entertaining since Maverick was born. We haven’t thrown any Pinterest worthy dinner parties, and I haven’t hosted a fancy ladies’ brunch. It just feels like I can’t really entertain right now, because we are in such a busy season of our lives. My husband, Zach, is finishing up building his first house, I’m listing it this month, my cookbook is coming out soon, and of course Maverick complicates things a little too. 😉
In reality, maybe it’s not the time for me to entertain, but there is still time for me to be hospitable. I can still have people over to my house, and I can show hospitality to others even when I’m out and about by just having a welcoming spirit. I don’t have to have a big spread of food or send out formal invitations to create community. It might mean I make this chicken recipe and some good ol baked potatoes, or maybe we just pick up BBQ and hang out with friends after Mav goes to bed. It’s easy to make excuses and find reasons why “we can’t,” but the bottom line is we all need each other. Heck, sometimes I just need to talk to someone other than Maverick and Zach. Haha! And I’m thinking I’m not alone. People want to feel safe and comfortable, and I believe that happens most at the home of someone (like me) where a laundry basket of clothes is waiting to be folded in the corner and a Boppy gets used as a couch throw pillow.
To entertain, I may have to get everything pretty and perfect, but to be hospitable all I have to do is say, come on in!
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7
Now that that’s settled, back to my chicken legs, which are super easy and baked in the oven, making them perfect for when you’re being hospitable. No running in and out to check the grill and plenty of time to socialize while they bake! They also get slathered with an ooey,gooey sauce that is sticky and sweet and just plain yummy.
Also, shameless plug, the recipes in my cookbook are also perfect for showing hospitality this summer! Seriously, they are easy and uncomplicated, so no need to stress over food when you want to invite others to hang out and enjoy a meal on your patio. Bonus! Outdoor eating, means not so much cleaning!
1 tablespoon Siracha (find in Asaian seciotn on grocery)
1 teaspoon Sesame oil (find in Asian section of grocery)
Place the chicken legs in a large ziploc bag.
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, siracha, and sesame oil. Pour this mixture into the bag, and marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place aluminum foil over a baking sheet, and place a wire rack on top of the sheet. Use tongs to place the chicken legs on top of the rack and pour the remaining marinade in a small saucepan.
Bake the chicken legs for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Once the chicken has baked, brush the legs with the thickened sauce and bake for 10 more minutes.
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It’s official, I have on the most comfortable and ugliest combination of clothing that is possible. #Icepocalypse #fuzzysocks
It’s a funny thing being trapped in your own house for 6 days. You see, right before this ice storm we’ve had in Nashville, I had a bad cold. When you’re sick with a baby you pretty much don’t leave the house if possible, so it has been 6 straight days of being home. Don’t judge me. Obviously, if you have older kids, you can get out and sled and play in the ice/snow combo, but with a baby you really can’t do that. My days have been spent trying to catch up on sleep, laundry, and getting a few work related things done all in between taking care of Maverick, in the comfort of my own home, in my pjs, of course. It really doesn’t sound too bad, but once day 3 hits, you just need something, a change, some make up, a trip to Target, a break from the monotony. However, that hasn’t really been possible in this predicament we are in.
Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the TV and my phone. But on day 3 things just began to feel empty. Filling my time with little tasks, looking at everyone’s snow pictures, and catching up on my shows just started to get a little old. I was feeding Maverick that night, and I ran across the picture f the Christian men who were beheaded by ISIS. I looked at their faces. And I thought, what am I doing? Here I am just trying to distract myself from life with TV and social media. And men are being murdered for their faith. It’s not a movie or a show, it’s like real life. I just started to feel this emptiness creep in. That’s what happens when I don’t feel myself with Him. It’s so easy to distract and entertain myself even while stuck at home for so long. When social media and TV get old I can turn to online shopping, vacationing planning, or even recipe creating. Not that any of those things are bad, but I was leaving Him out.
I’m finishing up Annie Downs book “Let’s all be Brave,” and I just read about the rhythm of discipline. I usually read my “SheReadsTruth” study in the mornings, but lately I’ve let the other apps on my phone take precedence, I had gotten out of my rhythm. It’s a small thing, but just filling my mind with a little truth everyday, taking the time to pray and just be with God fills me up.
All of the things, the houses, the money, the cars, the status, the looks, the clothes. They are empty. They are never enough. The more I get the more I want. When we moved to our home now, I thought we really had something. You know, a really nice house to be proud of. Sure, I’m still proud of it, but it’s sort of lost it’s luster, you know? Like I find myself looking at the bathroom thinking it’s really outdated. The floors we put in the living room are already so scratched up. We need a bigger rug. And so on. Just 2 years ago, I was so proud of it. Now it just doesn’t quite cut it? Things. They lose their sparkle quickly. They never satisfy. I’m not saying they are bad or that I won’t redo our bathroom, but it won’t fulfill me. In a year or two the styles will change and it won’t seem so fresh and new anymore. He makes things new. He satisfies, oh how easily I forget.
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I am thrilled to announce that my first cookbook, "The Outdoor Table," published by Thomas Nelson Published is available to purchase wherever books are sold! This beautiful book includes 175 EXCLUSIVE recipes, not found on this site, perfect for all of your outdoor entertaining! Find out more and order your copy here...
Hey Y'all! Well I'm a southern gal, raised in Tennessee, where I still live with my husband and baby boy! Creating fresh and simple recipes with a southern flare, while sharing bits of my life with y'all on camera is what this site is all about. Also, my very first cookbook with Thomas Nelson Publishers will be out Spring of 2015, and I just can't wait to share it with you all! Read more about April...