RUN

Run to God.

Run to Him.  Every day.  Every moment. 

Choose His path.

Good days and bad days.

On the highest of the mountaintops and the deepest of the valleys.

During the waiting, the heartache, the uncertainty.

His loving arms, unmatched care, never-ending attention and perfect plan.

For you. For your family. For generations to come.

He promises to help and guarantees protection, endurance and strength.

On bent knees or standing tall with arms lifted high, eyes wide open.

Heart ready to receive.  Spirit willing to obey.

Receive.  From Him.  Through Him.

Because He ran the race for you and me.

We can run directly into grace, mercy, healing.

Answers. Wisdom. Peace. Joy. Freedom.

He’s all we need.

Today. Now.

For eternity.

Run to God.

SOAR

Have you ever thought about what it means to soar? We all know the meaning of the word: to fly or rise high in the air. For believers in Jesus Christ and the Bible, we often quote Isaiah 40:31 which refers to soaring (mounting up) on eagle’s wings. We sing about it, hope upon it and trust in it, believing in the promises of the Lord during our times of waiting. We look forward to the day when we will soar.

We often associate soaring with being on top – the top of our game with everything going well and running smoothly. Perhaps we finally landed the job we wanted or built our dream house, restored a broken relationship or received some form of good news. There’s definitely nothing wrong with those moments. We need those times in our lives.

But what if we could soar when things aren’t going so well? When we’re at the bottom of our game? At a perceived dead-end or hopeless situation? We’ve all been there. You may be there at this very moment.

As I was preparing for this blog, I reached out to a dear friend about her perception of soaring and what it means to her. Here’s are excerpts from her response:

“…usually when I soar it is when we have been after spending a lot of time in prayer, pressing in about something.”

“…soaring for me means that daily I willfully go before the Lord to seek His face, to be closer to Him so that when I am sent out or I find myself in a situation I see it the way He sees it, I respond the way He responds and I am not caught unaware. As the eagle high above sees things from a different perspective so do I and I have the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit with me and Jesus at the right hand of the Father praying and interceding for me.”

As my friend shared, she explained how both her walk and her identification with soaring has evolved from her younger years to the woman she is now. As I type this, I know that she is in yet another waiting period. She has entered a brand new season of trusting and she is discovering fresh ways to mount up as she walks out the Lord’s plans for her life. As she listens. Obeys. Follows.

There are thousands of resources and commentaries on Isaiah 40:31 and on eagles. Eagles fascinate me. They represent power, swiftness, independence, strength and freedom. They glide through the sky in seemingly effortless, graceful motions rising above the storms and relying on the wind thermals to lift them.

I encourage you to think about what it means to soar. For you. Your situation, your unique needs. Celebrate your soaring moments when things are all good in your world. When the storms come, resolve to mount up. Dig in. Be determined to soar even in the bad times. As you do, your perspective will change just as my friend who said, “I see things a little differently than the days before, I am doing things and responding to people around me differently.”

Overstuffed Meatball Subs

Normally I would have fresh basil on top for added flavor and a pretty presentation but this one was for my daughter who doesn’t like the extra basil on top.

If you’re looking for something different to cook with hamburger meat, try making meatball subs! Here’s my recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first ten ingredients:

1.5 lbs ground chuck

1/2 c Italian style bread crumbs

1 1/2 tbsp Italian style tomato paste

2 eggs

1 handful shredded Parmesan cheese (go ahead and buy the good stuff, not Kraft in a can)

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp chopped basil (fresh is best)

1/2 tsp ground garlic (or 1 fresh clove, minced)

One large dash kosher salt

One large dash coarse ground black pepper

1 24 oz jar marinara sauce

1 package hoagie buns

1-2 large pats butter

1 package sliced Provolone cheese

Mix together well making sure the eggs, bread crumbs and seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the meat. (I use my hands). Roll into 2-3″ balls depending on how large you’d like them/how many folks you’re feeding. I lean toward the larger ones and typically yield 9-10 out of 1.5 lbs of meat. (About right for 4-5 overstuffed subs with two meatballs each). If you are feeding more folks or prefer “regular sized” subs, cut the meatball size to about 1-1 1/2.”

Place meatballs in ungreased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes and flip. Bake additional 20 minutes. (Cooking time may vary (be less) for smaller meatballs). While they are baking for the final 20 minutes, heat one jar of your favorite marinara sauce in a medium sauce pan/boiler. Place baked meatballs in marinara making sure all meatballs are well-covered. Simmer on very low heat while you warm the hoagie buns.

Spread butter on hoagie buns and heat in oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and add one slice provolone cheese to each bun. Return to oven for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Place meatballs on bun with a small scoop of marinara on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh basil and serve!

RENEW

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31

SEVEN PROMISES OF RENEWAL FOR THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD:

  1. He will renew our strength. Isaiah 40:31 – in those times when we feel weak, worn out and like we can’t move forward, He will provide the strength we need.
  2. He will renew right spirits in us. Psalms 51:10 – let’s be real, sometimes we just need an attitude fix. He can and will do it!
  3. He will renew the inward man, day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – that deep part of us that longs for His touch.
  4. He will renew the spirits of our minds. Ephesians 5:23 – No more stinkin’ thinkin’!
  5. He will renew us again – and again. Hebrews 6:6 – Because He loves us and is a patient Father.
  6. He will renew us in our knowledge of Him. Colossians 3:10 – His heart wants ours constantly aligned with His.
  7. He will renew our youth. Psalms 103:5. Sometimes we just need to feel young again. Like little children on daddy’s lap.

What would you like to renew? Restore? Rejuvenate, replenish, revitalize? A certain hobby or sport? A friendship? Your exercise or nutrition program? Your joy?

Let’s start with hope. Hope in the Lord. For whatever we need.

These seven promises are but a tiny sample of the many ways God will renew us. I encourage you to dig into these and find more! As you do, I know you will be refreshed and renewed!

He longs to speak to us so that He can speak through us.

#embracethewait

The Waiting Game

Hurry up and wait. Hmm, this feels like a dé·jà vu moment, as I’m pretty sure I’ve written on this topic before. Well here I am again. No surprise because guess what?!? Life is made up of a whole bunch of waiting periods. (Like I needed to tell you that, ha)!

For now, I won’t dive into the details of my current waiting predicament. What I do want to share is how good God is DURING the waiting. My waiting. Your waiting. He’s faithful. Now and always through every single delay.

I have a brand-spankin-new hashtag just for this subject. Well it’s new to me anyway. I’m not a big Twitter user but I do like me some hashtags. Here we go: #embracethewait

You read that right! EMBRACE THE WAIT!

Whaaaatttt???

Every morning around 6:00 am you can find me on our screened-in back porch. Perched in a wooden Adirondack chair with my feet propped on a pouf and coffee in hand, it’s the time of the day I spend in the Word, anxious to hear from the Lord.

While I do still love to turn the well-used pages of my leather-bound Bible (nothing can replace the sweetness that comes from that), I have come to appreciate the Bible app on my iPhone. I love the Plans section that offers devotions on topics ranging from love and marriage to pride and anxiety and everything in between.

Most recently, I completed “Waiting on the Lord” and I’ll tell you right now, it was probably the best devotion I’ve read in a long time. So good that I’m going to read it again. It’s a five-day plan and by no surprise a good chunk of it is based on Isaiah 40:31 which says,

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” NIV

Chock-full of promises, y’all! For those of us who HOPE in the Lord WILL

RENEW

SOAR

RUN

WALK

I can’t wait to pick apart this scripture and this plan AGAIN to see what freshness the Lord wants to download to my spirit. Won’t you join me? Grab your big ol’ Bible and/or your handy Bible app and let’s #embracethewait together. I KNOW you’re waiting on SOMETHING.

As my sweet mother-in-law always says….

Hugs to you!

Whew, that’s done!

Y’all! I have spent countless hours today working on the logo for Southern Inspirations. There was a look and a feel that I wanted and I couldn’t stop until it was done. (Yeah, that’s the part of my personality that I wish could “chill” just a little). So much for that….I figure I’m not changing much at this point in life. Or maybe I am….more on that in future posts.

Thank you again for stopping by and please keep coming back! I’m working on all sorts of fun stuff for us to discuss. 🙂

The journey continues…

Hey y’all and a big ol’ Southern welcome to you! Thank you for finding your way to the Southern Inspirations site and for spending a few minutes with me. You may have previously followed along on the Mississippi Blonde blog. Well let me tell ya, we’ve got some catchin’ up to do! And this time we’re digging our heels into everything from frying bacon to packing for road trips to chalk-painting furniture. Most importantly, we’ll talk about our faith – finding it, growing it and activating it! Come along as this journey continues. It’s gonna be a fun ride!