Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gifts: The good, the bad, and the chickens...?

We are not farmers.
True, we live in the country.
But everyone who lives in the country doesn’t own a farm.
 I even looked up the word ‘farm’ to make sure—I was correct.
Well, sort of.

To me it all officially began when we purchased our first home.
What would you consider to be a typical house warming gift?
We received a couple free dinners. Those were awesome, especially as we were busy swimming in all the new paint we were adding to the walls. We were given a used grill and some tools. Double score! Those gifts would be considered normal, correct?
Then my mother-in-law told me what she was giving…
Chickens.
Yes, real-live-egg-laying chickens. Ten to be exact.
She claimed they had too many, and we had just the spot.

A gift that keeps on giving…




Even though I grew up in town—if you call 400 people a town—it’s not my first rodeo with chickens. Animals are good for kids. They help provide responsibility…but my kids are four and seven. Yes, they are quite able to take care of some hens. But in my head I preferred to wait at least a year before we started filling our acreage with pets. I mean I didn’t even have all our boxes unpacked yet…




The ''Coop'

But my husband was thrilled.
Happy as a lark—and no, 
we’re not getting one of those.

Laid egg found here
Roost: Chickens' bed




He spent hours fixing up the back half of one of our sheds into a coop. Built a roost and hung up some chicken gear we got from family. (Where the hens lay their eggs, ect.)


And now we truly did have a perfect spot for some silly ol’ chickens.

Water

My husband, our kids, and myself hopped into our truck. You know the kind, that old-trusty-beat-up thing you can hear coming from a mile away. The one that says the county folks are heading into town. (Also a gift from my in-laws…) In the darkness like thieves, we loaded up hens into a portable dog cage. (It’s easier to catch chickens at night when they're roosting. Otherwise you’ll break into a sweat chasing them. And if they run around too long…well, there may not be ten left to take home.)

We got them settled into their new house, and in the morning we had…eggs.

A farm: “a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, ect. on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/farm)

Livelihood, That one little word proves we don’t own a farm.

But…


Apparently, goats and sheep will also be arriving on our ‘not farm’ in the near future.
Sigh.
My husband’s other plans include planting an orchard, grinding his own corn meal…and did I ever tell you about the time he ordered earth worms in the mail for his garden?

Am I grateful for the gift that keeps on giving… 
So far so good. 
Stick around.
I have a feeling this ‘non-farmer’ is going to have lots of tales on her hands.

What do you consider to be a normal house warming gift?




Do everything without complaining and arguing. 
Philippians 2:14 NLT
 Even if you didn't want any stinkin' chickens in the first place.

Eggs…
Eggs for sale!


Now, does anyone want to come and help me unpack some more boxes?


with love and prayers,
Megan Besing
www.meganbesing.com
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5 NIV




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Did Taylor Swift Go Biblical?


I’ve been bouncing around singing, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate…” 
And I must admit my dishes get washed faster when my ipod has it on repeat.
Anyone else find their feet twitching to Ms. Swift’s latest release?  

Catchy, yes, biblical—well, let’s find out.

Jesus looks at his disciples and says, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man,” Luke 6:22 niv.

Huh, so haters are really gonna hate.
But…
See Jesus specifies something that the peppy song doesn’t mention. Jump back to the word because.
Why will people hate? Not because you were out too late. Not because you have nothing in your brain. True, people may make fun of you for all sorts of things, after all we live in a world full of sinners. However, it’s important to never take scripture out of context. Jesus is talking about a detailed reason of why people will give us a hard time in life.  Why? BECAUSE we are one of His. Because we follow Him. Because this world isn’t our home.

If the world hated Jesus, don’t you think it’s a no-brainer that it’s not going to roll out the welcoming mat for His followers. (Plus John 15:19-20 says so.)

So, did Taylor Swift go biblical? Unfortunately, no.
But…
Have you seen the music video to this song? I find it hilarious! And to be honest I would have loved to have been in that video, to pretend to dance or try to have danced or something. Just go watch and you’ll understand.
But she’s right. We’re not to miss a beat.

Jesus tells us to, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy.” Luke 6:23 niv.
So, the world disses us for believing in Jesus and He wants us to: rejoice and leap for joy.  
When someone drags me through the mud, I don’t hardly want to do what Taylor suggests and shake it off, let alone rejoice and be joyful.

So maybe it won’t happen to me or you, right? Maybe we can lay low and not worry about being ready to leap? ERCK! WRONG!
Jesus says in John 16:33, “you will have trouble.”
Fine, so there’s no skipping out of the problems or persecution.
So why is it worth it? When I’m rejected or persecuted or made fun of for following Jesus, why do I have to leap and rejoice?

Because Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33 (AMP)


Because I know what happens at the end of the world. Jesus wins.


Life is full of things that suck! We aren’t immune to the bad stuff . In fact we have to take to heart when haters hate us. The country/pop star does has a point. It is good to shake the things off from this world. But I believe it would be better to leap and rejoice. After all, that is biblical.

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved,”  Matthew 10:22 niv.
Jesus spoke those words to His disciples shortly before He sent them out in to the world. The first part is well, not fun, however, if we stand firm, then everything we endure will be worth it.

I recommend listening to Anthem Lights’ Cover for Taylor Swift’s song: “Shake it off.”

In their version there is no cursing or using of the Lord’s name in vain. Check their version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6NngBzQ4X0

with love and prayers,
Megan Besing
www.meganbesing.com
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy this recipe.

Author of:

The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 
9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love
Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl, and worse, pregnant.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm being interviewed over at The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction


Want to know more about me and my writing adventure? 
Good News!! 
I'm up on The Diamond Mine Blog today. 
My answers are ready! Are you? :)

The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction: A Big Howdy to Author-to-be, Megan Besing!: I am uber excited to introduce to you, author-to-be, Megan Besing. Although we usually have established writers here on the Diamond Mine, I...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Grilled Marinated Pineapple

Recipe:
Easy Grilled Marinated Pineapple


In honor of Susan May Warren’s newest release in the Christiansen Family Series: When I Fall in Love, I wanted to share how my own family often eats pineapple.


This treat can be cooked on your grill at home, or it is also an easy camping side dish when cooked  over a fire using an iron rack.  






Remove the top, bottom, and sides of your pineapple. Don't be like me. Use a sharp knife. It will make this process a lot easier.







Then I like to use my pineapple cutter (which is the same thing as my apple slicer.) *Note to self* Do use on a hard surface, but don't bang the cutter and pineapple down against the counter...juice will splash everywhere. :)




With a knife finish slicing the pineapple into large chunks.







In a large one gallon Ziploc bag, pour one can of coconut milk (Often found in the baking aisle of the grocery store near the evaporated and condensed milks.) Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar to your sliced pineapple. Seal bag, gently message bag until everything is mixed. Then place bag into the fridge. You of course can use a bowl or dish to mix up the three ingredients. I just find the gallon bags handy. :)












After two hours, I placed the marinated pineapple onto skewer sticks.
You may also marinate for longer if you choose. When we use this recipe camping, I cut everything up the night before we leave. Marinate it,  (make sure to keep the bag inside the cooler or fridge) and cook it over the fire the next day.







Cook on a preheated grill for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Remember to flip sides. You don't want the pineapple to get too crispy. Sometimes we pour the leftover coconut milk/brown sugar mixture over the cooking pineapple. But today we didn't.






Remove from skewers and enjoy.
If our family is in a sweet tooth mood, then the hot, cooked pineapple chucks would be sprinkled with brown sugar on the plate.










Of course, a fresh pineapple can be replaced by canned. You don't need skewer sticks either if you try this recipe using the canned pineapple slices.








Let me know what you think of our Grilled Marinated Pineapple!

Hawaiian Chef Showdown Challenge


If you enjoyed this recipe, and have already tried my ham gravy, have I told you about my chickens adventure?

with love and prayers,
Megan Besing

www.meganbesing.com

Author of:


Amazon  Barnes and Nobles
The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 
9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love

Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl, and worse, pregnant.




Monday, June 30, 2014

Take the Quiz: I'm the special guest at: Renee's Inspirational Moments














Take the Quiz








I’m Katniss Everdeen. I’m also Anna from the movie Frozen. My life theme song’s Under the Sea, and apparently, I’m living in the wrong state…

I'm guest blogging over at Renee's Inspirational Moments:
Renee's Inspirational Moments: Special Guest: Megan Besing's Take the Quiz

Click on the link to see the rest of my post.





with love and prayers,

Megan

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beginning and End


 
 
 
 
 
 
                    
 
 
 
 
 
SIN

Beaten, Mocked, Thorns

Pain not earned.

 

CROSS

Darkness, Quaked, Torn

The scriptures fulfilled.

 

DEATH

Conquered, Raised, Scarred

But not broken.

 

VICTORY

My sin, His life, God’s glory

Satan has lost.

 

FORGIVENESS

Grace, Love, Mercy

Life from death.

 

FOREVER

Together, Complete, Praise

Beginning and end.
 
 
with love and prayers,
Megan Besing

 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ham Gravy Recipe* THE BEST GRAVY EVER!


Just in time for Easter.

Growing up anytime my family had a cooked ham…We’d have ham gravy. I thought this was a normal American Tradition. You know, like you have turkey at Thanksgiving.  As an adult I bounced around the states following my military husband, where I had several wonderful opportunities to share Holiday meals with strangers-who would become our dearest of friends, and learned…Most people had No Clue what ham gravy was.

And that is a minor life crisis! Because Ham gravy is the best gravy ever!

Today I’m going to show you what ham gravy is incase you have never had it, and provide a recipe* so you can make it too. ( I use the word recipe loosely, as I never measure, and it always comes out differently each time.)  J





       1.       You may choose to cook your ham in a crock pot or an oven. Pour some water in the bottom of the pan so the ham doesn’t dry out and to make sure you have enough drippings to make your yummy gravy. BUT…Do not place anything else on your ham: no pineapple, no cherries, no brown sugar mixture that may or may not have come with your ham. NOTHING! If you place anything to sweeten your ham, your gravy will be…well gross! Cover the ham with a lid or foil and cook according to the package’s timed directions.




       
 2.        After your ham is cooked, carefully pour the juices
 from the ham into a separate frying pan.


3.       Pour about a ½ cup of cold water into a glass. Then add a heaping tablespoon of corn starch mixing it into the cold water with a fork until the corn starch is dissolved and no longer sticks to the bottom of the glass. Then set aside.



   4.       Heat ham drippings in your frying pan on medium heat. Never. I repeat, Never-Ever add salt to your ham drippings or gravy. Trust me it will be salty enough as is! When the drippings are boiling, whisk in the water/corn starch mixture. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking to the bottom. Once thickened reduce heat to low. This step shouldn’t take too long, if it is, and the gravy is  still too thin: repeat step 3 with a smaller amount of water and corn starch.


5.       Once the gravy is the consistency you desire (remember gravy usually-almost-always thickens more as it cools.) I then add a browning/seasoning sauce to the ham gravy. Just a few drops will go a long way! I mainly use this to make it a rich brown color, not for the flavoring. I want to taste the ham. J



 




     6.       Pour the gravy in a gravy bowl or place directly onto the desired food. And enjoy the wonder that is HAM GRAVY.


 Left over gravy can be heated in the microwave. (Warning it will be lumpy.)
Or you can add a little water and  re-heat in a pan on top of the stove.


Let me know what you think of the best gravy in the world!
Or perhaps you already knew about the joy that is ham gravy...
Do you prepare it differently?

If you loved this recipe try my Grilled Marinated Pineapple


I hope everyone has a Happy Easter...Or perhaps more properly put:
  Happy Resurrection Sunday!

with love and prayers,
Megan Besing
author of:


The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 
9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love
Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl, and worse, pregnant.









Thursday, April 10, 2014

Through our weaknesses and dealing with the haters.



Sometimes in the middle of the night I’ll wake up and in my sleepy state I will see a shadow that isn’t supposed to be there. My heart will race and about a jillion scenarios will fly through my head. Thankfully my practical self will take over. Forcing my eyes shut I’ll tell myself: when I re-open my eyes if--and only if--the shadow is coming closer, am I allowed to start panicking. (I never said my practical self was logical.)

                And guess what…sometimes the shadow does move. It is then in that moment, I will reach for my glasses. (Right, did I forget to mention I have horribly bad eye sight? Let’s just say my husband says my glasses can help people see Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon.)

So with my glasses now on, I can see…Nothing. That’s right, peering through the darkness wearing my amazingly high prescription glasses, I can see no foreign shadows lurking in my room.

               

                This week I received my first ever ‘hate mail’ for my writing. It was creepy, weird, and well, really cruel. (Now I know why Taylor Swift wrote her song: Mean.) I could feel the beginnings of panic inching up my spine. Only after asking for wisdom did I finally put on my ‘glasses’ and see the hateful email for what it really was:

Showing God’s glory… DO WHAT?


(If you read the email, you’d think I’ve gone nuts.)

But stay with me!

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


I didn’t need a stranger telling me all about my writing weaknesses. After all I live with them. I know them very well! But for whatever reason at this moment in my life, God has chosen to use my weaknesses to share the news about Him.

                If I never become known for my skillfully crafted writings, that’s ok. (Especially, if it means receiving less hurtful letters from haters. Lol)

               I know I can’t spell. I know I don’t use commas correctly, and I so know I have a very limited knowledge of what writers call ‘the craft.’  And I hate that. I’m working to better all of that. But I also know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

                In your daily lives are you listening to the craziness of the world? The haters, the imaginary lurking shadows? Sometimes it is easier to shrug and say, “Yah, that dude is totally right. What in the world am I thinking…?”

Before you start panicking, I encourage you to stop and put on your “glasses”—and make sure the prescription was given to you by the Lord.

                See I’m not retiring my writing pen anytime soon, because God’s still working on me. (and you :) ) And when He’s done, I know the world will see how little of it was achieved by me.

                Are you seeing shadows?

Put on your glasses. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and let Him use your weaknesses to show His awesomeness!     

Because when I am weak, He often makes me strong.
with love and prayers,
Megan Besing
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy this one.
Author of:

The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 
9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love
Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl, and worse, pregnant.