Passivity Gets You Passed

Have you ever been sitting and thinking when you realized that you’ve let your faith get stale, that your light has grown dim, that minimal fruit is being produced from your life? If I were to sit down and talk to you, I am almost positive that you would tell me this state of mediocrity didn’t just appear overnight. It’s true, actually. Whenever we fall off the wagon of faith and intimacy with Christ and obedience to Christ, it is seldom an immediate occurrence. That is to say, we can actively live passive, sluggish, lethargic lives that lead to a status of discontentment.

While this conversation could go several ways, I would like to hone in on how prayer and connection with the Holy Spirit directly effect our lives. There are several passages of scripture in the New Testament that talk about how God answers when we pray, how that we must pray, how that our motives must be pleasing to God as we pray. Check out the following scriptures before I continue:

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Each of these scriptures provides a pattern of prayer where an exchange takes place after the believer takes the necessary step towards God. The thing about prayer we must always realize is that it is an active dialogue that engages God, not a passive thought process that assumes God knows. Is God all-knowing? Absolutely! Thus, prayer does not magically allow God in on our deepest desires, biggest problems, and most critical petitions. Prayer does, however, compel the believer to be active, to make a confident request of heaven based on who God is!

Have you ever been so focused on not complaining, not worrying, not mumbling, and not becoming overwhelmed so that your life is in agreement with Scripture? I have. While this is good, we can become so focused on NOT doing the negative things that we forget to enact the parts of scripture that bring forth a response from God. Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. While this passage tells us not to be anxious, it also emphasizes the necessity of prayer–making our requests known to God and thanking Him for his answer. Do you see? There is action that must take place on our end.

Fairly recently God spoke to me about becoming more active in prayer, more intentional with my faith, and more expectant of His answers. I learned from the Holy Spirit that when I am not active in prayer and faith that I am being passive. Notice in the scriptures I listed that the pattern is: (1) person prays with proper motive and according to the Word and (2) God undoubtedly responds. When I am a passive believer, I am passed when “answer time” comes around. I cannot in all sincerity expect an answer when I have not made a request–according to God’s pattern of prayer.

So today, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit how you can be more instant in prayer and active in faith. Whatever His answer, be willing to obey, let go of old habits, and live in the joy of fellowship and answered prayers! There is nothing that increases faith more than answered prayers and heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence! Let’s commit to letting go of passivity and grabbing hold of a passionate faith.

Cheers to a sweet prayer life.

Xx,

-AMG

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Healthy Blue Cheese

Hey, friends! Here is a quick little recipe for a healthy version of blue cheese. I know when I cook healthy versions of my favorite wings and fries, I don’t want to ruin the nutrition of it all with a fatty blue cheese…because I LOVE LOTS of it! What’s more is that no one will make your food as healthy as you can because you know exactly what you put in your food in terms of quantity and ingredients.

Hope you enjoy!

Cheers to tasty and healthy dipping sauce!

Xx,

  • AMG

P.S. For a yummy wings recipe, check out my Honey Sriracha wings under the H. Grey’s Kitchen category.

You will need:

-1/4 c. blue cheese finely chopped or in crumbles

  • 1/2 c. non-fat Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage)

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

  • 1 tbsp. vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • Cracked black pepper to taste

  • Dash garlic powder

  • Dash onion powder

  • Drizzle of honey

Method:

Break blue cheese crumbles into small pieces.

Combine all ingredients in a small blender (I use a Magic Bullet)– OR whisk until WELL combined (I’ve used this method as well).

Place in refrigerator to thicken for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Disciple Where You Are

It is no secret that after a woman has a baby things change. Our bodies change drastically, our hormones rage for control, our little bundles put new demands on our time over and above the demands that were already placed on us, we have to share our husbands with another human (or another human if you already had little ones)…EVERYTHING CHANGES! This includes our ability to continue to serving in the Kingdom in the exact same way we did prior to having babies.

As moms and Christians, I think it is so easy for us to get hung up on what we aren’t doing for the Kingdom of God. It’s so easy for us to put undue pressure on ourselves by comparing what we are doing in versus what another person is doing. But God doesn’t ask us to focus on what we can’t do for the Kingdom. He doesn’t even require that we stress ourselves out endeavoring to force our lives to mirror the quantity of service we carried out before having children. Colossians 3:23 validates this point of how the Lord values quality over quantity (although some of us will have more full schedules than others). It says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (NIV).

This means whether you serve as a leader in your church, home school your children, serve as a vocalist on the worship team, manage a team for a company in corporate America, provide a home for foster children, go to school full time, or teach in the children’s ministry once a month, you should do it with all of your heart as unto God, not to please people and gain their approval. We are all called to serve God’s Kingdom in some way.  Whether we bring God glory as we work in the secular or sacred arena is irrelevant. What matters is that we obey Him by bearing His image properly wherever we are.

I am not saying that it will be easy to serve as a wife, mother, leader, etc…What I am saying, though, is this: as we prioritize efficiently and ask the Holy Spirit to show us what we should be doing, God’s grace will help us to accomplish all we need to accomplish! Second Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” As such, we must learn to rely on God’s grace, sisters. Never demean, underestimate, or despise the role you play in  God’s Kingdom. It may not be what another person is doing, it may not be as visible, it may not be as much as what you used to do, but it is valuable! The only exception to this assertion is if you know that you should be doing more and that you haven’t allowed the Lord to utilize your gifts at full capacity.Otherwise, continue offering yourself to God, bringing your gifts and roles and callings and responsibilities with you.

I can most definitely relate to all that I have shared up to this point! After I had our son, I had a hard time accepting that I couldn’t be as flexible as I wanted to be for the ministry. I also felt like I was not adequately carrying out the Great Commission or shining the light of Christ as much as I wanted. I thought, “Who am I reaching if I am in the house most days bound to the demands of a a little person? What can I do with a screaming baby in a cart in Target?” The Lord has spoken to me several times about these thoughts and perspective. Here is the summation of what He has been saying:

Disciple where you are. Serve well where you are. You are raising a little boy who will soon be a young man living in a culture that disregards Me. Train him to love Me, to honor Me, and to live in the world but not like the world.

Sometimes we get so focused on what we are doing for the Kingdom, rather than who we are grooming to take our place in the next generation. As Andy Stanley put it, “Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” I couldn’t have found better words for this myself. Be encouraged, mamas! You were made for “this.” And only you know what your “this” is!

Cheers to serving well!

Xx,

-AMG

 

 

P.S. If you would like to help donate to get me into the mission field of Ecuador this summer to help disciple others, please visit gofundme.com/ashleymariegray

Honey Sriracha Wings

Honey Sriracha WingsSo, the other night I was craving wings so badly…specifically sweet and spicy wings. I didn’t want to buy any wings (just off of vacation so I had had enough take-out), and I didn’t want anything too complicated to make. So, I remembered a headline I saw a few months back for honey Sriracha wings. That was all I needed to begin my quick culinary adventure!

They came out super crispy, sweet and spicy. Yummers! While you can fry these wings naked and sauce them or fry them breaded and sauce them, they are just as tasty  (and healthier) when you bake the chicken then sauce them.

If you would like a healthier version of blue cheese, there is a quick recipe under the H. Grey’s Kitchen category of posts.

Cheers to eating well and loving what you eat!

Xx,

  • AMG

You will need:

  • 12 wingetttes (you may need to double the sauce recipe for more wings)

  • 1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce

  • 1/4 c. Sriracha hot suace

  • 1/8 c. honey

  • lemon pepper

  • sea salt

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1/8c. brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil or cinnamon basil, finely chopped

  • parchment paper

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.

Season chicken generously with lemon pepper and a dash of sea salt.

Place wings on baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 mins.

While wings are baking:

In saucepan, combine soy sauce, Sriracha, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.

After wings are finished baking.

Once wings are as crispy as you like, remove from oven.

Set oven to BROIL.

Dip each wing in sauce until well-covered.

Return to baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place sheet in oven and let broil until sauce is a little sticky and wings brown and crisp a bit more.

Garnish with a little extra Sriracha, honey and chopped basil, with a side of blue cheese.

Enjoy!

 

 

Easiest Dreamsicle Pops

Summer is only a few days away. This sunny season officially begins on June 21st so I thought it would be fun to share two dreamsicle recipes with you. They are so easy and healthy and have become two of my go-to’s for our 18-month-old when he is having a snack attack or when I need him to sit still for a few minutes. This is also an easy way to transition your small tots and big kids to healthier eating habits.

Living an on-the-go lifestyle sometimes causes our nutrition as parents to lack, as well as our children’s. So, I hope this quick little recipe will help you get back on track with health and nutrition in the summer months. Keep some on hand so that you rarely have to give in to other treats like ice cream, cake, cookies, etc. It may also be fun to have children who are old enough help you make the dreamsicle pops. However, this is a great treat for toddlers, children, and adults!

Cheers to living well.

Xx,

  • AMG

P.S. If you’re feeling brave, add some kale to either of these recipes for a more nutrient-dense treat 🙂

 

Orange Dreamsicle

You will need:

  • 1 ice cube tray

  • Popsicle sticks or long lollipop sticks

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vanilla if you’re leery of plain Greek yo)

  • 2 cups 100% orange juice (no pulp)

  • Baking Spray

Method:

Pour juice and add Greek yogurt in blender of your choice (I have a Magic Bullet).

Blend until well combined.

Spray ice cube tray with baking spray for easy removal of frozen pops.

Pour mixture into tray and put in freezer until cubes begin to form (about 35 mins).

Add popsicle sticks and return to freezer until frozen.

Berry Banana Dreamsicle

You will need:

  • 1 ice cube tray

  • Popsicle sticks or long lollipop sticks

  • 1 cup apple juice (add more as you desire)

  • 1 cup black cherry Greek yogurt

  • 1 banana

  • 1/2 c. blackberries

  • Baking Spray

Method:

  • Add all ingredients into blender of choice (I use a Magic Bullet).

  • Blend until well combined.

  • Pour mixture into ice cube tray.

  • Freeze until cubes begin to form (about 35 mins).

  • Place popsicle sticks into cubes and return to freezer until frozen.