Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Everything Chili

I am currently still on my soup creating spree. We are chili lovers and our regular chili is often a go-to recipe. The recipe below was recommended by a friend and is now a new favorite of mine. I adapted it from Better Homes and Garden. Don't let the random assortment of ingredients stop you from trying it. So good on a "chili" fall day!

1 lb chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups of black beans or kidney beans (I used a mixture)
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 cup peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash
1 onion, diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 clove of garlic, minced
2-3 handfuls of spinach (I did not chop it up but you can)
Fresh Cilantro to taste
Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, squash, onion, chicken broth, mushrooms, cranberries, jalapeno pepper, chili powder, and garlic to your crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Add spinach and cilantro before serving. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

One Thing You Lack

I grew up with a very generous mother. She has always loved to cook and bake for others to enjoy. Often times, I view something as trash while she is ingenious with finding a second use for just about anything and proceeds to find the perfect person in need for what I thought was simple trash.

One of my main love languages has always been gifts. The well-thought gifts by people who know me best always leave me feeling known and loved. However, God knows me best. He gives the best gifts. 

Recently, He challenged my heart through a close friend who has one of the most generous hearts I've seen. Each time I've visited her home she sends me with something, usually a spontaneous gift. However, it always catches me off guard..she always gives more than I expect she will. It's extremely humbling and a clear reminder to me that I need to not hold things/food/money/clothes ("my" things) so tightly.

After one of my recent encounters with my open-handed friend, our sermon at church included the scripture below:
Luke 18:18-23
And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: "Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother."" And he said, "All these I have kept from my youth." When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.

Jesus' wording seems slightly ironic. "One thing you still lack."  This man had everything: wealth, fame, power... everything. Yet Jesus tells him he is lacks one thing. When this particular wording was pointed out, I thought back to my open-handed friend, who does not cling to possessions like the rich young ruler. There's always a freedom and joy when you are giving. At first, it seems so hard but then you let go and feel freedom. You see someone being blessed and immediately lose any desire you had to keep the gift in the first place. I never want to lack an open hand.

All in all, I need to remind myself that God is the giver. Nothing really was or is mine. 

God, I praise you for the many gifts you shower us with each day. I praise you for the greatest of all, your grace. Help me to open my hands to those in need and seek my security in you alone as my provider. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Fall of Soups

This fall, Tyler and I decided we will try a new soup each week. About every other week since last fall I have made chili soup, a big time favorite of Tyler's. We are finally starting to branch out! :-) This week a friend from church recommended the soup below after I shared how much squash I have and how my husband despises it. I altered the spices and a few of the other ingredients and voila! Guess what?? Tyler took a bite and said, "Wow!" 

Butternut Squash Soup
6 Tbsp chopped onions
4 Tbsp organic butter
1 medium to large, peeled and cubed butternut squash
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 to 8 oz of organic cream cheese
Saute the onion in butter until tender. Add everything but the cream cheese. Note: If you don't have all these spices make it anyways!Use more of one or try marjoram instead. When the squash is tender add everything to blender or food processor and puree until smooth with cream cheese. I left some of the smaller chunks out of the blender and mixed it with the pureed mix. We liked this consistency best. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Is anyone else as excited as I am for fall?! Here are a few of my favorite things about fall: cool weather runs, cardigans without a coat, warm cups of tea, soup, snuggles, chilly mornings, and PUMPKIN. This year I made my own pumpkin puree for the first time. We have been a part of a community garden and picked up a few pumpkins the other day. It was easier than I expected to make the puree and I got lots of other Saturday tasks done while they were baking. Tyler and I made two AMAZING pumpkin recipes this weekend. Pumpkin Chili from Elise's blog (my husband even liked this folks!) and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies....

Doesn't the picture say enough??? Yummmyyy

The best part? There were many to share. Not to mention, they have no sugar and can be a guilt free treat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

...for such a time as this

Wow! Summer flew by and now I'm sitting here in front of the computer thinking, "It's been forever since I've blogged." There are a lot of things I'm looking forward to sharing with you all like my favorite natural cosmetics, thoughts on skin, fun adventures from our summer, and lots of recipes. Is anyone loving that it's fall? I sure am.

Today I wanted to share what God has been challenging my heart with the last few weeks. As I drive my normal trek to work, God keeps saying in a whisper, "Kristin, life isn't meant to be about you." Then in my head I say, "I know but what about _________ and ____________ and __________." Am I the only one that can get into this merry-go-round of thoughts all related to me??

I wouldn't say that I'm a worrier. However, I really like to be in control. Hence, I think about what I can do to make my life be what I want it to be. See the problem??

My second heart check comes when I realize I mostly want to help someone so I feel good about my impact in the world. Funny how Satan tries to deceive and twist motivation... I then take a minute to put myself in the other person's shoes and God gives me a heart of understanding and compassion.

Our God is full of grace and continues to remind me of the freedom that comes in a life with Him. He created life to be a joy-filled daily worship to Him and the times I see this most in my life is when I trust Him with the details of life and go full bore into loving Him and being Christ to those around me.

The picture below is from the movie One Night with the King. It is a movie about the story of Esther, one of my favorite characters in the bible. If you haven't read Esther lately, I highly recommend it. Esther is a common Jewish girl swept into a life of luxury with the King because of her beauty. The best part of her story comes when she casts aside her own wants/security to go before the king for her people. Her life is one that reflects TRUE beauty and purpose. It inspires me everyday through a post-it in my car that says, "Prepared for such a time as this - live a life not about me."

God we praise You for Your design of our lives and Your book of truth and Spirit that teaches us daily how to live a life of joy and purpose. Thank You for the story of Esther that reminds us that You can use anyone, yet You desire to use us. I pray that You give us the courage to speak, to act, to love... Help us to live a life not about ourselves and to have confidence that You will use us as we walk in obedience. Help us to hear Your voice. We love You. Amen

Esther 4:14 "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Watering Camels

This last year of my life has flown by! From graduating college and getting married, to going to Israel and settling in Sioux Falls with a new job, new apartment, new church, etc...Life has been full of surprises to say the least.

Have you ever had a certain picture of exactly the way your life is to be? And then it seems as though God is not holding up His end of the "bargain?" I've been wrestling through this very thing in the last month or so, but God continues to remind me that He is faithful. Through this struggle, I need to choose daily to live in God's promise of faithfulness. 
Part of this choice, is to seek Him no matter what circumstance I find myself in. Similar to when I disagree with my earthly dad, I try not to "fake it" with God. I need to continue talking with God about my issues and seek Him in my frustration. For awhile, I let my frustration with current circumstances pull me away from Him, until one day a friend reminded me it's okay to tell God I'm frustrated. So, I turned back to God and began asking, "Why? Where are you working in this? What does the next step look like?  What is the Big Picture?" It was then that God took a huge weight off my shoulders and suddenly I saw a billion blessings all around me.

What does this have to do with watering camels you ask? Well....As I have been reading in Genesis, I came to the story of Isaac and Rebekah. The beginning of this story just boggles my mind.

Genesis 24:15-27

"Before he (Abraham's servant) had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
“Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night? 
She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor. ”And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”
Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lordsaying, “Praise be to the Lordthe God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”"

While Tyler and I were in Israel, we learned that a camel can drink up to 40-45 gallons in one sitting!! And Abraham's servant had 10 camels with him! Can you imagine getting water for 10 camels that had just finished a long journey (until they have had enough to drink)?! 

Rebecca didn't know what was about to happen in her life. She didn't know God was bringing her a husband. She didn't know that this husband was in the line that Jesus would come from. She didn't know of the covenant God had made to bless her soon to be husband.  But because she was okay serving in the little ways, she became an answer to Abraham's servant's prayer. As I place myself in the story, I can easily see myself grabbing my own water and giving Abraham's servant the minimum of water he asked for. But Rebekah's heart was ready to give and give and give in any way she could. And God is faithful - He's always faithful.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

CinnaTwist Protein Bars

I love to have an on-the-go snack ready for those crazy days when there's no time to prepare food. I have made Loaded Chocolate Protein bars from Elise's blog MANY times as a sweet treat for breakfast, lunch, or supper. You can find that recipe here. The best part is that they have no sugar and are filled with lots of good protein and fat that keeps you full. Unlike most protein bars in the store, they have natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners that are toxic to the body. 
The other day I decided to experiment with one of my favorite spices: CINNAMON. :-) The bars turned out better than I thought. Enjoy!

CinnaTwist Protein Bars
Makes 24 Bars

¾ cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp organic butter
1 cup raw cashew butter
2 cups raw almond flour
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup raw nuts of your choice
3 scoops vanilla protein powder (chocolate Nature Pro or Vega both taste great!)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp spoonable stevia
1/4 tsp sea salt

Melt the coconut oil, butter, and cashew butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Meanwhile, pulse all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Next, mix in the melted sauce. If the mixture is too runny or oily, add in more almond flour and coconut flakes until proper consistency is achieved (Taste test for sweetness required at this point, add more stevia if you like). Spread mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish lined with natural waxed paper.  Freeze for 20 minutes until set.  Remove from freezer.  Holding the ends of the bottom sheet of waxed paper, pull straight up and the bars will come out of the pan.  Cut into uniform strips or squares using a pizza cutter.  I store them in the freezer in baggies to grab on the go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Greatest of These

John 13:35 "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples - when they see the love you have for each other."

Have you ever been in a relationship where God's call to love them became very difficult? I can practically hear you all saying, "YES!" Every relationship that's worth it becomes difficult at times. Through this past year of marriage, I have been experiencing this tension in a whole new way....Funny thing though, it's not because my husband is so extremely hard to love but because for the first time in my life I can't simply "just run away" from a conflict...

Interesting, because as I try and fail over and over again to love fully when it's hard, I now have new eyes for the God who loves me when time and time again I fail Him. I run from Him, fake it with Him, twist His truth. But God continuously brings me back saying, "Kristin, I love you. I will always love you."

I made the painting above thinking about the simplicity of God's Word. The background is full of hymns and responsive readings representing God's truth expressed in the world.  These things are good, but not the most important thing. According to John's Gospel, LOVE is the most important thing. You can't miss Jesus' command to love one another in John's Gospel nor in this painting. Our lives should be the same. No matter the words or actions of our day, the most important thing our lives speak to the world is our love for one another, made possible only because He first loved us. 

Praise the Lord for tough relationships and imperfect people to remind us of the only perfect Man and His deep love for us!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Staples of Life

Lately, taking life back to the basics has been a source of refreshment in life. Salads for supper, jeans and a t-shirt, a walk on the trail....you get the picture. God keeps reminding me of how good He made life to be. I've always been the person that wants to fix just one more thing to make the project complete or to get one more thing done in my day...But you know what? Life goes on when I don't get that one thing done or I don't have that one last ingredient to make my stir fry amazing. There's beauty in contentment. 

Striving, working, persevering, progress....these are all good things but are only glorifying to God when we don't forget to live in the moment and enjoy Him in the midst of it all. For example, a single crunchy apple is more enjoyable when each bite is savored compared to an elaborate meal gobbled down while rushing to the next thing. The conversation with the cashier is much more meaningful when you intentionally engage in conversation rather than a carelessly tossed "how are you" to your closest friend.  

On the practical side of things, I want to share some of the basic staples found in our kitchen. The picture below was a house warming gift we recently gave to a friend. Coconut oil for cooking, almond butter for apples and stir fry sauce, nuts for on the go, salt and pepper for seasoning, Vietnamese cinnamon for anything you can think of (cause its so good), Stevia for natural sweetening, and dark chocolate (cause every girl needs some chocolate) were all included in this box of fun. Add a grocery bag of veggies, some fruits, and a little chicken and you're set! It's simple to get back to the basics by choosing food that is as close to the original form God made it!
This week slow down to enjoy Jesus in the moment...Enjoy what He's teaching you right now instead of constantly looking to the next thing that you're striving for. Take time to enjoy His blessings and thank Him for it. You'll be surprised how much you get done and the joy you'll find in it. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Forever Friends

Someday, I will take a photography class and take better pictures. But for now the above picture will have to do. This is our Friend Wall.
Every morning while reading and eating breakfast Tyler and I see some of the people that have and continue to bless our lives in so many ways. I would call the two of us "intentional" decorators. :-) Most things on our walls are there to remind us of something God has done, and this wall reminds us of a handful of His blessings through relationships.  And it only required a $4 investment! (Free frames from Tyler's mom, crafty paper I already had, and pictures printed through Shutterfly made it complete.)
James 2:22-23 says, "You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"-and he was called a friend of God."
Friendship is an awesome part of life on earth. People can be used by the Lord to spur us on. But today, I praise Him even more for the relationship I have with Him! The greatest friend I'll ever have!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Adventure's Out There!

Life's too short to not:
-be real with people
-eat amazing food
-live with a purpose
-share with those who have a need

-take time for yourself
-live out your dreams
-learn something new everyday

-find your full identity in Christ 

Saturday, I went apartment shopping. This was not an apartment for Tyler and I, but instead for a great friend of mine. Her conclusion of the day was that life's too short to not live in the studio apartment that seemed a tad to small for her optimum desires. Sounds weird huh? However, it's affordable, a fun challenge, and in a great location. Something new and exciting!

This week I've been reflecting on what my life is too short not to do. I don't ever want to be the person that gets to the end of life and wishes I would have taken advantage of ______, or worked harder at ______, or been crazy and done ______. I want to live life without regrets.  This week my life is too short to not slow down and take time to sit still and listen, to read, go on a walk with a friend, or do my favorite work out video.

I've found that I've been neglecting these blessings for far too long. It's left me empty and not able to pour into others. Enough has become enough. God is renewing me and drawing me closer to Him. During my reading time the other day, this quote hit me hard. "Prayer connects the entire person - mind, body, spirit - to God (Jordan Reubin)." This is nothing new, but am I embracing it in my daily life?

James 5:13-20
"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and
anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."

Life in the spirit is an adventure of taking time to listen to the LORD. Something that's hard to do in our world...Elijah had a spirit-filled, purposeful life. He listened to the LORD. In 1 Kings 9, he becomes overwhelmed and discouraged and even then God comes to reignite his passion for redeeming God's 
people. Elijah listens and follows God's leading.
So in the words of Ellie from the movie Up, "Adventure's out there!" Life in the Spirit is better than all else! Praying for you all. Today ask God what He wants you doing and let yourself do them! What are the things Satan tried to stop you from doing or not doing through guilt, shame, fear, or distractions? Stop him in his tracks! Adventure in the Spirit is out there!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Muffins

I love muffins. Who doesn't? And even more than muffins, I love healthy muffins. Never did I think there could be a muffin this healthy and this good. 

This muffin has no sugar folks. And plenty of protein and great fats. It's perfect for Saturday morning breakfast and a little snack on the road. 

My first recipe success worth sharing. Enjoy!

Makeover Muffins
Adapted from Elana's Pantry
Muffin Mixture:
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup xylitol
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cardamon (opt.)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
Stevia to taste

Mix all the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Then, gradually add the dry to the wet ingredients. Spoon slightly less than 1/4 cup of the mixture into muffin liners and pour a little of the oil mixture on each. Bake at 350 for about 14 minutes.

PS If you're wondering about the name, check out Inspired Chiropractic, Sioux Falls! We just had over 250 people join us Thursday for an event focused on Nutrition and Exercise!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I've been made over!

You've all seen the reality tv shows based on making over a person. Or heard of the makeovers they do at the mall makeup counter. Well this is not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about getting made over on the outside but never changing stuff on the inside.

NWC Woman's Bball Christmas Break 2010-Mashed Banana Facials

On the outside I'm a 5"10', brown haired, green eyed, 155 lb woman that lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I'm married to an even taller man and work in a Maximized Living Office as a chiropractic assistant. On the inside, there's much more. And today God gave me a makeover. Today God made part of me new.

Revelation 21:5  "And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new.""

God is making us all new every day! Did you know that every second 25 million new cells are made in our bodies?! God came and spoke life into existence and the very best part of it all was us. We are made new on the outside and the inside every SECOND. Yep, God just made you new. Yep, there He goes again. Yep, again. You get it right?

God made all things new in Genesis and in Revelation the Word says that He who is seated on the throne is still making all things new. The physical part of our lives is obviously something that most people easily understand and I know from the bottom of my heart that it teaches us so much about Him. The physical needs to be redeemed to His plan just like other areas of our lives. This is the passion He placed in my heart.....And today God made me new by helping me realize how amazing I am. I know this sounds boastful. However, I boast in Him. He created me, Kristin Marie Tigges, amazing. He says the same about you. Don't ever forget it. We are here on earth for a reason. God is doing things.  This was my makeover lesson today. I'm praising Him for how He made me...the passions he gave me, the color of my hair, my story and testimony, on and on...All those things that I've half-liked before and spent far too much time criticizing.

Do you know that you're amazing? I hope so. See today how amazing God created you. Let yourself love the imperfections that Satan wants you to hate. Love God's timing and each growth opportunity you have. Love your thighs and your laugh and the way you say the word "like" all the time when you're trying to explain something. Trust Him to make you over from the inside and out and find joy in each moment of life. Love Him in every moment by being YOU and striving to be more and more of a reflection of Him.

Praising God for you all today... Go rock the world for Him

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I dare you!

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day by far. For the past 3 months, I would say 75% of the time I have some sort of smoothie. I usually am a person that gets sick of one thing over and over, but never this smoothie!