Tell us a little bit about yourself and what God has called you to do? I grew up in Ohio with 6 brothers and sisters. We were brought up in church and held to very high standards in how we lived life. Our parents instilled in us that we are required to live right and use the talents God has given us to serve others. As a child those talents were sports, which instilled a strong work ethic as well as caring about others more than myself, which is the team concept! As an adult, I knew at age 22 that God wanted me to pursue nutrition and lead others to Him through health.
Where do you live and have you lived anywhere else? I currently live in Mission Viejo, California. I'm from Ohio and most of my family is there! I went to college on a basketball scholarship in Oklahoma at Northeastern State University. Actually, there was a time I desperately wanted to leave college and go somewhere near home. I opened my Purpose Driven Life book by Pastor Rick Warren (in the Cincinnati airport) and there was the verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 That's all I needed to know that's where God wanted me. He actually revealed to me when I would move to CA during midnight mass on NYE and I listened. Met my husband within a few weeks and it was all so obvious to me!
How do you carve out time with God everyday? I don't honestly, I just try to make Him included in everything…the way I take care of my family and myself, the food we eat, our prayers together. We have some simple traditions of prayers on the way to school with my kids, meal time prayers, bed time prayers, wind down prayers, prayers when we hear a siren, kids devotional and kids Bible. As far as my own devotion and carved out time, I do it every day, but it's never at the same time. Anchored Press is a Godsend because it includes everything, the devotion, the calendar, the ideas and tips!
What is your best organizational tip? LOL, you don't know me very well yet. All I asked for for Christmas was someone to come get me organized and get better systems in play for my house, pictures, videos, etc. Wish I had a better tip, but my life is controlled chaos with 4 littles and it's not my strength!
What is your family’s favorite go-to easy meal? White chili (recipe below) or turkey tacos. Two things my whole family likes 100% of the time. You know how kids are...one day they love it, the next day they don't. These are no fails.
Tell us your favorite God story (in your own life)? I have so many! I shared the one above about the messages I got to stay at my college, then to move to California. I'm fortunate to have had a life where I've never wavered for one day on my faith, so I don't have a true testimony. It's very black and white for me. But here's a good one and it's about our current home. We looked in our neighborhood for about 16 months. I was totally on top of the market...I knew everything coming up and what it's value was. We just couldn't find the right fit for us. It was Sunday morning and we were on our way to church and I saw an email come through because I had set an alert on one of the real estate websites. I saw the house was the perfect size and right where we wanted it and it had been listed as a foreclosure about 80k under value. I knew the list price wasn't right, but told him we needed to go see it asap. We called our realtor and asked her to meet us there after church...I was giddy and so were the other 30 plus people viewing the house when we walked in. I just felt like I should say, welcome to our home...I just knew. We put in our offer at what the value was and said our prayers. The next day we heard from our realtor saying there were 24 other offers and it came down to two: ours and an investors. They said give your best and final and we found out the next morning the house was ours!!!! So, to end this story with a major God incidence, when we went to move in we discovered only TWO things were left in the entire house. First was a little basketball coat hook(we met through the basketball world), second there was a garden cross in the front. It could not have been more apparent that this was where God wanted us to be!
What are your 3 favorite books, other than the Bible of course? I LOVE to read! Religiously, I love Rick Warren's wisdom and Matthew Kelly has written many books that I love (Rediscovering Catholicism, A Call to Joy and 7 levels of Intimacy being some of my favorites). Secularly, I loved Girl on a Train and Me Before You. I have a hard time remembering titles because I read one after another.
What is your favorite Bible Verse? Again, I have a lot. Jeremiah 29:11, like I mentioned above. My all time favorite is Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." This is just the fave for now..I bounce around depending on the phase of my life.
We are dying to know . . . your favorite fast food restaurant! :-) Drive thrus? Hmmm, I just don't eat at any of them. I do allow my kids chick-fil-a every now and then, but I don't eat it. I will eat In-n-Out a couple times a year, but my favorite quick restaurants are Cafe Rio, Panera and Flame Broiler
CARA’S WHITE CHILI
1 teaspoon olive oil
2/3 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 seeded jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup corn
½ chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
3 cans organic white beans (entire can; do not drain)
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups diced cooked chicken
½ cup grated Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until tender, 4 to 7 minutes. Mix in the garlic, jalapeño, green chili peppers, cumin, oregano, garlic, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if it’s a little soupy. After 20 minutes, mash chili lightly using a potato masher, until about half of the beans are broken up. This will give the chili a thicker consistency which will be made even thicker by the cheese. Top with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and guacamole if you like.
SO WHETHER YOU EAT OR DRINK OR WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT ALL FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 NIV