I kept meaning to write a post last week, but, well, I just never got to it. I had a pretty busy week after an emotional but really wonderful women’s retreat with our church at Evin’s Mill in Smithville, TN. It’s funny, while we were on the retreat, most of us slipped and fell on our butts at some point from the ice still on the ground, and yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny here in Tennessee! Needless to say, this sun and warmer air has got us all walking with a little pep in our step this Monday morning. It’s so refreshing. God is good. I won’t go into too much detail about the retreat, but I do want to share a little of how God spoke to me while I was there and since I have been back.
God truly makes all things NEW, just like the clean, spring air. He turns cold, dreary days days of winter into bright, fresh days of spring. It’s not always easy to come to terms with our own sin, especially the ugly stuff that settles deep down in our being. It’s not the stuff we want to think about, much less have a discussion about. However, I know from experience that every time I have walked in obedience and confessed my sin to others, God begins renewal and healing in that area of my life. The enemy wants us to think that our sins our too big, that we will be rejected if we humble ourselves and speak them out. And we may be rejected by man in some way, BUT the Lord will never reject us. He will set us free, and that is how we can take hold of the life that is truly life. Living in freedom is not something that we get just by following the rules and appearing to have it all together. It’s a freedom in our souls that only can He gives us through our own confession and acknowledgement on a daily basis that we need Him. We need His forgiveness, His peace, His unfailing love, and last but definitely not least His GRACE.
If you are struggling in any area of your life, I would encourage you to confess it to someone you trust, whoever He is leading you to. Once you speak it out, it will automatically begin to lose some of its power over you. He will begin a new work in you and let me just tell you, again from experience, it’s totally worth the pain, the shame, and the discomfort. He turns our junk into something so beautiful, and when He has done this in my life, I experience His grace in such a real, raw way. There is truly nothing like it, this is what it’s all about. Whether it’s something big or small, I do believe the enemy will use whatever he can to keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our life to expand His kingdom in the world.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
So, I know, that was heavy, but I want to just share my heart here, along with recipes I love. So, in honor of Spring and new life, I’m sharing a light and fresh spring salad.
If you are a little unsure about the idea of fruit mixed with feta, just think about a cheese plate where you have lots of sweet and savory flavors combined. I just mixed it all together in this salad, and I’m telling you it is to die for! Serve it with crackers, over greens, or just eat it with a fork. It would be perfect for a picnic on one of these warm days we are having!
Fruity Feta Salad
2 cups purple grapes, halved
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Optional – fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
- To toast the nuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium low heat. Stir them occasionally for 6-8 minutes until they become fragrant.
- In a large bowl, toss together the grapes, strawberries, toasted nuts, and feta.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the fruit mixture, and gently toss salad together until everything is coated in the dressing.
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