“I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings And shall not be ashamed.”  Psalm 119:46

Anonymity vs. Authenticity

I decided a couple of weeks ago to actually start a blog to share my testimony with others. My original intention was to keep it anonymous because I know some of my posts will consist of thoughts and experiences that I don’t often talk about. I was going to hide behind anonymity to “protect the privacy and feelings of my family.”

However, over the past three or four days God has been working on my heart. He has been asking if I am really trying to protect my family or if I am letting fear keep me from moving forward. It is probably a little of the first and a whole lot of the latter.

So, am I going to let my fear appear bigger than God? Or, am I going to remember that God is bigger than my fear? Am I going to step out in faith?

If I continue to let fear keep me from stepping out in faith and obeying, then I have let it become a stumbling block in my life. Writing about my story versus telling it out loud gives me a little more courage to share (as I am sure it does for most other people).  I think this blog will bring a level of honesty and authenticity to my testimony that my shy nature inhibits when speaking to others.

I have no problem sharing what I find when it comes to health and nutrition of the body. The hesitation comes while sharing what I learn, experience, and struggle with regarding faith and the Spirit.

I have shared some things on my personal Facebook page regarding different Bible studies or what I have read in the Bible at certain times, but I often keep it on a more surface level or an uplifting note. Yesterday, a lady told me that she appreciates the Bible notes I post and what they meant to her. She has no idea how much I needed to hear that yesterday; I will continue to blog with hope of reaching so many more people.

 

Smothered Meatballs

 

Meatball Ingredients

3 lbs ground beef

2 eggs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

pinch of thyme

 

Sauce Ingredients

bacon grease (or beef tallow, lard, butter, or ghee)

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 cup chicken broth (It’s all I had on hand, but I bet beef broth would be better.)

1 cup heavy cream

4 oz cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat oven 375°F.
  2. Mix all meatball ingredients together in a bowl. (Don’t be afraid to use your hands.)
  3. Form the meat mixture into 1 – 2 inch balls. You can do this the classic way by rolling small amounts between your hands to for the balls, or just use a cookie scoop and a spoon. (The spoon helps pack meat into the scoop and remove excess from the edges.)
  4. Bake meatballs for 35 – 40 minutes on a jelly roll pan or other baking dish with a lip or sides (to catch the drippings). Using a baking rack is also an option here if you want the fat drippings to be separated from the meatballs.
  5. While the meatballs bake, sauté sliced mushrooms and onion in bacon grease to desired tenderness.
  6. Add cream cheese and melt.  Then add in chicken broth and heavy cream.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve how you like:

Spoon sauce mixture over meatballs in bowls.

Add meatballs and sauce mixture to casserole dish or large serving bowl and mix together.

Add meatballs and sauce mixture to slow cooker on low/warm setting and stir. This allows to keep the food warm until everyone is ready to eat.

Meandering through Young Adulthood

The other day I started a page for this blog on Facebook. I posted a “Word of the Week” with its definition. The word I chose this week was meander, since I described my blog as the “meanderings of a housewife and stay at home mom.” The following is an account of my meandering or wandering away from my walk with Jesus.

When I was a child, my mom was faithful about taking me to church on Sunday. As I grew up, I got more involved in church events, and accepted and professed my faith in Jesus with baptism at the church we attended. We, my mom and I (my dad never came with us), continued to attend church, and I got involved in the youth program that was offered. It was a fairly normal, middle class upbringing in a church. I am thankful for my mom and all the others in the Church praying for, encouraging, and pouring into my young faith in Jesus.

At some point, in my later high school years, my dedication in my walk with Jesus started to dwindle. My mom and I stopped attending church regularly and started letting Sunday be more of a lazy, family kind of day. (Or a catch up on homework day.) Through the end of high school and throughout my college years I broke vows and commitments I had made during my earlier years of faith. I became a lukewarm Christian. I still believed in Jesus and His sacrifice, but I no longer thought that I needed to surround myself with fellow believers. I am ashamed that I ever let my faith become stagnant.

Fast forward several years…after I had my second child and started working part time, a friend of mine invited me to join a mom’s group at the church she attended.  I enjoyed the time with other women in the same season of life as me.  It provided a nice break from being surrounded by children and housework and allowed me the opportunity to talk to other adults. It also gave my children an opportunity to be around and “socialize” with other children. (I use “socialize” lightly here because children at that young of an age don’t really play with each other, so much as maybe play next to each other.)  As I continued to attend the mom’s group and see the other women walking in faith, I really started to feel the pull to attend church again.

Honestly, I had been telling myself (or more accurately, God was telling me through the Holy Spirit) from the time I had my first child that I needed to start attending church again, but I just didn’t follow through because of one excuse or another. I began attending church regularly again on Sunday after being a part of the mom’s group for a few months. “Who was going to teach my children about Jesus?” “Wasn’t that my responsibility?” Questions like this often plagued my mind.

I know this sounds kind of like the Parable of the Prodigal Son, with the wandering away and coming back home, but I want to draw your attention more towards the people of faith. I am thankful for my mom, the pastors, Sunday school teachers, and fellow believers who showed me the way to Jesus.  I am also very thankful for the women of the mom’s group that did not know their “witness” was part of my return to the Church.

“19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

James 5:19-20

We must remember, or keep in mind, as believers in Christ we are always witnessing to those around us (intentionally or unintentionally). Sometimes it is to the people of the world. Sometimes it is to the people in church that you didn’t know were lost.