Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Dare You to Try...

Praying with your imagination instead of words.
I freely admit that we all have different temperaments and personalities. For some, go ahead and roll your eyes at this idea. For others, you will find this utterly life-giving. I fall into the latter category. I’ve always been prone to rather wild flights of fancy. Images have been a powerful force in my life – whether anxious images of something bad happening or happy daydreaming. I’ve spent plenty of mental energy in both camps. When I was first introduced to the idea of praying with my imagination instead of with only words, it was like a weight had been lifted. Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline first opened my eyes to this idea and it revolutionized my prayer life.

This week, instead of bowing your head and starting to talk through all your prayers, perhaps try this approach. Set aside time for prayer and set it apart as time you are committing to communion with the Father. If you are praying for a friend of family member to be well, imagine Jesus healing them. If you are praying for your child to know the Lord or return to Him, imagine him or her running into His arms. If you are praying for peace within your own life, imagine yourself relaxed in the presence of Christ. When your pastor or priest is praying, instead of following the words in your head or mentally checking out, imagine them.

I’ve also found it helpful to fight images with images. For example, when I first came home from the hospital with Luke, I was afraid of falling with him in my arms or accidentally dropping him. He seemed so tiny and fragile. The image of that very terrible possibility would immediately pop into my head out of nowhere. It helped me to respond by imagining Luke safe and sound in my arms. In that way, I was praying back to the Lord what I was hoping for.  It worked much better than me using words to fight an image.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, words just aren’t enough. Sometimes, we get stuck in praying words that we aren’t even meaning. Try praying with images this week and let me know how it goes!

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26 ESV

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beach Reads

1. Ring of Endless Light Madeleine L'Engle 2. The Mermaid Chair Sue Monk Kidd 3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Ann Brashares 4. The Pelican Brief John Grisham 5. The Prince of Tides Pat Conroy

Monday, April 8, 2013

Recipe & Song

Zucchini-Mint Pasta
Adapted from Southern Living April Issue
2 T butter
3 T olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1.5 lbs (about 5 small) zucchini, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 package of fettucine, cooked
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh mint
1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
1/4 c. shredded parmesan
optional: 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the diced shallots and saute about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and saute about 7 minutes, until tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Add in your pasta and toss all together with the mint, nuts, and cheese. It tastes like springtime!
While you make it, enjoy turning this song up loud in your kitchen and open the windows to let that sunshine in...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring (really?) Break

Phil and I got to take off to Waynesville, NC for a week to celebrate his 30th birthday and just have a change of scenery for a while.

It snowed and snowed and snowed, leaving us with about a foot and a half of white powder. Waylon (our collie dog) was in heaven.

My sister, niece, and Waylon watching it snow

Do you spot the man, baby, and dog?
To celebrate Philip's birthday, I picked up a few treats from The Chocolate Bear in downtown Waynesville...including Wild Turkey chocolate shooters and bacon toffee chocolates. The point was to find the manliest chocolates possible.

Mostly we did a bunch of lazing around while it snowed. Glorious!

I have an Easter recipe to share soon!

Sunday, March 31, 2013


image via here

“‘Why do you seek the Living among the dead? He is not here. He has risen.'” Luke 24:5-6a

What a question. Why do I seek the living among the dead? Lord, help us to not waste time on dead and dying things. May we not find ourselves too distracted by lifeless, busy nothings that often feel so important or urgent or necessary. Help us to seek You - the Living One. You are not among the dead. Instead, you beckon us to Life.

May I, like Peter, rise and run to the empty tomb. May I, like Peter, kneel down and gaze into what Resurrection means for my broken soul. My I, like Peter, walk away marveling.  Today, of all days, is a day to marvel.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Recipes for busy days

I've had my fair share of busy days lately since I returned to working from home. I needed easy recipes and I found a few goodies from pinterest that have worked fabulously with a little tweaking.

Chicken Salad with Grapes & Pecans

Original recipe and photo via Add a Pinch

2 lbs boiled chicken, chopped (chicken on the bone works best but I had chicken breasts and it worked fine)
1.5 to 2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups of halved red grapes
1.5 cups of roasted chopped pecans (roast them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, stirring once)
1 cup of mayonnaise (use more if you prefer)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 cup dried cherries

Combine it all together and enjoy however you like it. This is double the original recipe and it will last you a while..I love the feeling of an easy lunch sitting in the fridge!

Crockpot Pasta Sauce with Sausage & Spinach

Original recipe and photo via Little Fellows
Combine the following in your crockpot:

1 lb of sausage, browned and drained (or use whichever meat you prefer)
1 block of cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 large bag of spinach (you can't add too much since it reduces down)
2 (14.5 ounces) cans of diced Italian style tomatoes, drained
4 cups of chicken broth

Cook on low for 4 hours and then add about 1/4 cup or less of flour to thicken the sauce. Let it cook one more hour uncovered and serve with the pasta of your choice (we do rigatoni). The original recipe called for adding 1 bag of frozen tortellini to the crockpot but we opted for a cheaper, healthier pasta. I am usually skeptical of crockpot recipes but this one tasted heavenly on a night when a cold snap hit while we are waiting for spring to arrive.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am a homebody by nature. I love to be at cozied up in my own house and I can spend a frightening amount of time not ever leaving it while staying quite content.

But lately, I've been wanting to travel. It really is because I can't travel right now. So, for inspiration here is a little round up of maps & globes used as decor. Give me a is the closest I can come to a real trip right now.






Tuesday, March 12, 2013


A new baby means a new pattern to life...and I definitely haven't figured mine out yet. Somehow, I want to fit in a few hours of work, a few hours to cook/meal plan, an hour to write and read, time with my husband, and time for getting together with friends. Did I mention that I have an infant? I suppose I will add him to that list too. No big deal, right?

This morning started at around 5:15AM. Feed baby. Change baby. Hang out with baby and hope he goes back to sleep. Shower. Make chicken salad (recipe to come later if it is a good one...haven't tried it yet!) while trying to gulp down the coffee that my sweet husband brought me. Feed baby and hope he goes back to sleep. Make chocolate chip cookies and rock baby in his cradle with my foot at the same time. Sit down to blog and hang out with baby who is smiling happily definitely crying as I type.

It isn't even noon yet! Noon is when I have a few girlfriends coming over to share a picnic lunch with.. I sure hope baby goes back to sleep. And I haven't clocked in to work yet!

I can only shake my head and chuckle at how life has changed.

My prayer is that it makes me into a more disciplined gal who values the time she spends with others in a deeper way because it isn't taken for granted.  Because I had to really work to carve out that time.

My prayer is also that I will let go of how I look or my house looks to just enjoy this new motherhood season and invite others into the craziness instead of covering it up.

My prayer is that I will still love my husband and value my marriage first (although I am finding it is the easiest thing to put last if I'm not intentional) because I want Luke to be a part of a God-centered and marriage-centered family.

Easier said than done...which is why these are prayers that are being worked through in hopes of becoming reality.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Meet Luke Alexander Heilig. He made his debut on January 30th at 2:41PM. He weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and measured 21 inches.

We think he is wonderful. And exhausting. And hungry all the time. And adorable. And worth every second of all the craziness and change! 

Just in case you are having a bad day, turn up the volume on your computer and wait to hear a precious baby giggle at the end of this short little video:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I've been gone for a while.

It was needed, even though I had just started this blog and the timing could have been a tad better. We had the Christmas holidays with all its busyness, craziness, and happiness. It was a sweet, sweet time with family despite getting sick for weeks and weeks.

Just before Christmas, Phil & I got to go on a solitude/silent retreat at Sharptop Cove. It was glorious for this introvert and a sweet time to reflect on Advent and my own coming child. It even helped us decide on a name (FINALLY!). When I came back, I wanted to pare back from pinterest, facebook, blog, etc. I was tired. I wanted simplicity for a while and quality time in front of people, not just on the phone or computer.

Now, we are less than two weeks from when this baby boy is supposed to arrive!

Phil & I have no idea what we are doing and we pretty excited to figure it out together. A HUGE thank you to our friends and family for helping us prepare in a million different ways.

Now, we wait!

This is a peice of artwork, Silence by Odilon Redon that was part of what I meditated on during the silent retreat. Thought it would be fun in you wanted to use it in your own silent, slow-down times. I also had come across this quote that complemented it - "The Holy Spirit is the companion of silence" (via The Book of Symbols)