Matthew Monday: Giving to the Needy

Welcome to Day 1 of the Matthew 6 study! I’ve been working on this post for 1 week now… Looks like this will be a weekly thing. Sorry folks, less time to blog these days now that I’m working & going to school.

Anyway, it’s time to dive in! Let’s see what Matthew 6:1-4 has to say on Giving to the Needy:

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I interpret this scripture as a good reminder of our intentions. Let’s face it, we are human. We can be selfish, prideful, and fearful when it comes to giving. I think Matthew is reminding us to a) give without any intention of receiving in return b) to bring glory to God, not ourselves and c) to do it with a cheerful and fearless heart.

Giving is a gift. We know this because Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, so that we may receive the gift of eternal life. Most importantly, we need to remember that this is the best gift to receive and give. This is the mission of Christ followers and the purpose for why we give. Through acts of service and/or tithing, we give our time & money with a hope & prayer that others will receive the gift of God {eternal life through His son Jesus Christ}. Think of it as re-gifting… Except, you’re giving this gift because you love it so much, you want others to have it {God’s love} as well.

To me, the second most important part of giving is all about the position of your heart. Which we will touch on a bit more in the Treasures discussion; Matthew 6:21, “For where you’re treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Give freely. Give without the intention of receiving in return. Matthew tells us, our reward will be given to us through our Father in heaven. Someone told me once that we can either receive our reward on Earth by man or in heaven by God. This takes patience, which is not always easy. But we serve a faithful God, and I have a feeling our reward in heaven is far greater than anything we could obtain on this Earth. When we give with a cheerful heart, God blesses us with His joy and love anyway!

Next, it can be hard to give because we are stingy beings. San Diego has the second largest population of homeless people in the nation. Upon moving here, I was shocked by all of the panhandlers with on the corners with cardboard signs. With our church, we had the opportunity to go downtown to God’s Extended Hand and feed the homeless. This was such a humbling experience for me, and my husband. For some, it’s hard to have an open heart towards the homeless. Let’s be honest, we wonder what they are going to spend our well-earned, money on. And next, why don’t they just go get a job? We work hard for our money. Well, God has spoken to my heart regarding this issue. He helped me to realize that it doesn’t matter what their situation is or how they’ll accept your gratitude. The ultimate purpose behind giving is what God is doing in our hearts, not others. So regardless of what or whom we are giving to… God is working in our hearts to reveal His purpose & blessing in our lives, and hopefully others.

After all, we (Christians) are the hands and feet of Christ. This means that God has given us the opportunity to bring life into others. Matthew is teaching us to give out of the love in our hearts, not for anybody else, but God.

Lastly, I want to add fear to this discussion. I know it can be frightening to approach someone in need. You don’t know what situation they are in or who they are. Giving to the homeless involves interaction with a complete stranger. This can be scary. But I remind myself that the Lord is my shield and protector. We have to trust that He will keep us safe, as with many other situations in life.

Failure is another element of fear. Some lack confidence when it comes to sharing the gospel. Our preacher always says, you don’t have to have a PhD to share the gospel. We are all a mess. We are human. Let your mess be your message. Take courage!

So, next time the opportunity arises, will you allow pride, greed or fear to creep in and stop you? Or will you allow the Holy Spirit to intercede and take over? How can you impact your community through giving to those in need?

I hope y’all have a blessed & fruitful day! Stay posted next Monday for my discussion on Prayer.

<3, HLMW

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Feel Good Recipes

Good afternoon!

Quickly wanted to share a few delicious and healthy recipes with you from the book Feel Good Food by Giada de Laurentiis.

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A friend of mine recommended the book and let me borrow her copy over the weekend. Best believe I will be purchasing my own now! She gives excellent tips toward healthy eating while incorporating simplicity, which is my style!
All of the recipes look great. So far I’ve tried two…

(Click on the link to view recipe)

Turkey, Kale, & Brown Rice Soup

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Farfalle with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms, and Swiss Chard

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Like I said, they are both delicious & healthy! I enjoyed shopping for the ingredients at Costco & Trader’s Joes. The recipe is easy to follow and turned out better than I imagined. It was fun to try new things like mascarpone cheese & Swiss chard. My taste buds appreciated it too ;)

*Share with a friend or enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day. It makes plenty. And the soup was actually better the next day!

Well I hope you have a healthy & tasty Tuesday! Be back later for some discussion on Matthew 6: Giving to the Needy.

Thanks for following the Healthy Life of this Military Wife!

Bon Appetite,

Breanne

Matthew 6 Study

Howdy friends!

Matthew chapter 6 is packed with wisdom….

1. Treasures in heaven
2. Giving to the needy
3. Prayer
4. Fasting
5. Judging others
6. Do not worry
7. The narrow and wide gates
8. A tree and its fruits
9. The wise and foolish builders

Over the next 9 days, I want to read and study each theme in detail.

Scripture is something I am very passionate about. I absolutely love diving into the word of God and seeing what he has to teach me, each and every day. This morning, he prompted me to share Matthew 6. He’s also spoken to my heart lately in regards to the 10 commandments… Which can easily be a blog post in itself {& another topic I would absolutely love to unpack as well}. See, this is why I LOVE the Bible. There’s so much to discover! I truly believe God designed it this way; to be endless, as it continuously draws us closer to Him; & we learn more about his character, the life he wants for us, and most of all– His unfailing love! Ahh, so amazing! Off topic.. sorry… :/

So anyway, yesterday in kid’s ministry, we reviewed the 10 commandments. Of course we all know the commandments {obviously, we learn them as a child}, but how important, and powerful they are! Part of me also feels like our society turns them into somewhat of a cliche… And the same with the Bible. It’s SO powerful and important, yet it becomes viewed in our society as a book with small print and long, confusing stories. But what a skewed idea that is!

God uses the Bible to speak to us. And although he provided us with the 10 commandments {via Moses}, he teaches us through prophets too… Like Matthew! So while the 10 commandments set a wonderful foundation to our faith, God doesn’t stop there… We have the whole Bible to discover and disciples to learn from as well.

I’m not writing about anything new here… We all know how awesome the word of God is. But I can’t help but discuss his wonders and the mysteries I discover each time that I read the Bible. So follow along with me over the next 9 days, as we learn more about Matthew 6; I pray that God will speak to your heart through this study!

What do you love about the Bible? Who’s your favorite biblical figure?

Have a blessed day and thanks for following HLMW :)

Breanne

25 Life Hacks for the Military Wife

This is awesome! And so true. Enjoy :)

My Life as an Army Wife

1. Buy a drill: Learn how to use it.

2. Familiarize yourself with resources: both military and civilian (MyCAA, Pell Grants, WIC, AER, counseling services, Child and Youth Services, etc). P.S. There should be NO SHAME in taking advantage of assistance if you need it—your husband works for the government, so if anyone deserves it—your family does!

3. Meal plan. Endless resources can be found for this on Pinterest. Ramen noodles are NOT a meal plan…like, EVER.

4. Date Night. Prioritize this with your man. Husband gone? Do yourself a favor and date night with some other wives whose husbands are also gone. It does your soul some good to get out of the house and have adult conversation.

5. Budget. Teach yourself how to make one and discipline yourself to stick to it.

6. Contingency plans…because you never know when you may have an emergency, so make some plans…

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I love food…

Hey Guys & Gals!

The past couple of days have consisted of lots of running & lots of food. The more I run, the hungrier I get. The good news is, I’m in the right place for both running and eating ;)

One of the many things I love about San Diego is the yummy food! After running 9 miles on Sunday morning, the hubby & I ventured out to Coronado Island for a little exploring. We walked around all the shops, hotel del Coronado, ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant off Orange Avenue, and then split THE most delicious cookie dough ice cream sundae at MooTime Creamery.

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Yesterday morning for breakfast, I made whole wheat pancakes. I’ve made them in the past, but they didn’t turn out so good. Well, Michael finally got on board with eating whole grains with his new weight lifting program and healthy diet ;) so I figured we could give the ww pancakes another try. The recipe was SO good, that I wanted to share with you all. I topped mine with strawberries, cinnamon, and a light drizzle of maple syrup… yum! It made great leftovers for the week also. I’ve been popping them in the micro for 30 seconds with a wet paper towel… and they’re as good as they were fresh!
Whole Wheat Pancakes

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Once I got home from work, I started on dinner. I made a homemade & healthy version of chicken pot pie. Audrey & Alex came over to eat and then we all watched The Voice. About a month ago, Michael and I went to LA for the recording of the show and made it in the 2nd row of the audience, right behind the singer’s families. It was Round 2 of the battles. Really neat experience! We’re huge fans of the show, if you can’t tell. Anyway, it finally aired last night, a month later. So we got to see our faces on TV, pretty cool right? ;)

Anyway, the chicken pot pie was delicious too! Here’s the recipe. I used 4 grilled & plain boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed, instead of a rotisserie chicken. But do whatever works for you! Personally, I don’t like picking chicken off the bone :) I also substituted white flour with whole wheat flour for the crust.

This morning, I went to nanny for my sweet family up in Cardiff by the Sea. I got my first taste of the surfing community with a burger and steak fries at Pipe’s Cafe. It was an awesome burger and great lunch. I love my job! Here’s Mary & I fixing to dive in! Get it?

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Once I left Cardiff, I went and got my first oil change in the Jeep. The wait provided me with plenty of blogging time. ;)

I’ve been enjoying this week of no graduate course work, as I have a week break before my next class starts. I’ll start back on Monday, however then I’m off of work next week. My sister, Jenna, will be arriving to visit this weekend! So, I am currently coming up with a list of fun things for us to do. There is so much to show her & lots more yummy food to eat! I am very excited :) It’s her first visit to the West coast AND, the first time I will see her baby belly, in person. Yay!

Well, more for another day… Now go enjoy some of your favorite food!!

New Style

Howdy Friends!

So tonight at the dinner table, my husband brought a brilliant idea to my attention. It’s nothing super innovative (no offense honey), I’ve actually though of it before. But it totally makes sense and he has motivated me to actually try it out. My original plan, passion, & purpose behind this blog was to inspire others to seek a healthy life style through spiritual, physical, and mental wellness. While I still love to encourage these things and wish I could write about them all day long, I have become limited on time these days. As family & friends already know, I currently work 2 jobs (which are great, I must say– blessings for sure), I’m getting my Master’s degree online (great too, but PAPERS, PAPERS, and did I say PAPERS?!), and training for a half marathon. We’ve only been in San Diego 3 months, and I’m already back to full-speed. This is a blessing, as you can remember, I was running out of things to do in Pensacola while anxiously awaiting our big move.

Okay, so back to my husband’s idea… After catching up on the phone with multiple family members & close friends today, Michael brought it to my attention that I basically repeated the same conversation multiple times. I want to keep family & close friends up to date with what’s going on in our lives, especially since we now live on the opposite side of the country from most of them. Now Facebook is great for this, don’t get me wrong, but lately I have no urge to share day to day (and sometimes boring) information to the rest of the world. So this is the new plan…

How cool would it be for me to be able to call one of my girlfriends, my Dad, sister-in-law, etc. and be able to have day-to-day conversations without having to give a long spiel on what I’ve been doing for the past couple weeks (or let’s be honest, sometimes month!). I usually only have a couple minutes or so in the car each day to call and chat, not explain my whole life story. So, to all my family and friends out there who care to know what is going on in mine (& Michael’s) life, I will be attempting to post daily updates to my blog. They won’t always be interesting or lengthy, but at least you will be in the loop. Hopefully you agree that this is a great way to stay updated.

For the rest of my followers who I don’t know on a personal level, I will not be offended if you decide to “unfollow” my blog in the meantime. I might post an occasional faith-based story or a healthy recipe here & there (depending on how much time I have that night) but the majority will be personal and daily activities about the Watts. :)

Well, I’m already up to date with my peeps after today. Tomorrow starts a new week, so stay tuned & as always, thanks for following the Healthy Life of a Military Wife!

Good night, Bre

 

I want to see you…

This song is on my heart today… just wanted to share it with you all! We are nothing without the power of Christ.

Open the eyes of my heart lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see you
I want to see you.
To see you high and lifted up
Shining in the light of your glory
Pour out your power and love
As we sing
Holy, Holy, Holy…

I hope you enjoy it and can find yourselves singing along. Praise God, for He is holy!

Also, watch this video. Warning: This little boy will melt your heart.