Safety in a Dangerous World

This blog post is for a friend who is going through a crisis right now.

Safety, is it possible to be safe as a single in the dangerous world in which we live? I think it is. Here are some practical tips I have heard over the years.

Photo Credit: Claudio.Ar via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Claudio.Ar via Compfight cc

Be Aware

One of the first things they teach you in self-defense class, be aware of your surroundings. You can prevent a lot of problems safety wise by just being aware of who and what is around you. Being aware means you note the people and objects around you. Does something stand out as out of place or wrong? Might want to avoid or run from whatever it is.

Trust Your Instincts

God gave you those instincts for a reason. Use them wisely! Something does not look or feel right? It might be better to run than to hang around and find out what is wrong. I have heard many times that a woman’s instincts were telling her something was wrong and she ignored them to her sorrow.

Do Not Travel at Night

Especially for a single woman, traveling at night can be dangerous. This piece of advice was given to me by another single missionary who has been traveling alone for years. Stop before the sun goes down. Make hotel or accommodation arrangements ahead of time. Get gas before stopping for the night. That way if you travel early in the morning you will not have to fill up in the dark.

Your Safety is in God’s Hands

A few years ago, I found this verse in Proverbs.

  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.          Proverbs 21:31

To me this verse says, Do all you can to keep yourself safe, but God is the only one that can keep you truly safe. Whether traveling in the States or overseas, God sees all and knows what situations you will face. If you are in His will, the only things that can harm you are the things He allows. Yes, this may mean facing trials like Job faced, but God is in control and He will give you what you need to come through the trial.

If you are going through a tough situation safety wise, remember that you are not alone. God walks right beside you. You must trust that what He allows is for your good and that He will be glorified through you if you only remain faithful to Him.

If you have any safety tips to share, please comment!


Serving Up a Favorite



Thank you for allowing me to take a week off for recovery. The surgery went well and the week of recovery allowed me to get back to normal. I have material for a blog post out of that experience but I will be saving it for a later date. Today I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes. As with all good recipes, I have modified it and made it my own. So here it is, Chicken Pot Pie.

This is the link to the original recipe.


1 pound skinless, boneless chickenbreast halves – cubed

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup frozen green peas

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup milk


2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.



Printed from 2/17/2014

This recipe can be cooked in a slow cooker or on the stove top. It makes about 4-6 servings for me. In other words, I have meals for about a week out of this one recipe. It also freezes well. I usually do not make it as a pie but rather bake it in a deep dish with drop biscuits on top. I have modified it to use beef and turkey instead of chicken, but I imagine the possibilities are endless with a recipe like this one. Just imagine what kinds of veggies you like that will go with chicken, pork, beef, turkey, or ham. Maybe you don’t want meat in it, then load it up with all sorts of good vegetables and let it cook.

My variations are as follows:

Use beef instead of chicken with green beans instead of peas.

Use turkey instead of chicken.

I have a friend who is gluten intolerant and instead of flour you could use corn starch to thicken the gravy. Watch out for the Chicken stock though. Read the ingredients as it may contain gluten. Then instead of pie crust or biscuits, enjoy a hearty chicken stew.

The recipe itself takes a bit of work, but the rewards are well worth it. Please let me know if you come up with any other variations. I love to experiment and as I said this recipe is a favorite.

Life Inside Out Part 2

Last week I talked about being away from family during a major life event. This week I will be continuing the topic with some insights I have had into the grieving process.

Since I came to Portugal in 2008, I have lost two grandparents, my dad’s mom and my mom’s dad. Both times I was not able to get back for the funeral, but because of God’s grace, I was able to see each of them mere months before they died. These are some of the lessons I have learned along the way. I hope they will be a blessing and help to you in a dark time in your life.

Time is precious

Time is fleeting. We only have so much of it before it is gone. Each day is only 24 hours long. Each week 7 days, etc. The good news is every person is given the same time, the same 24 hours and the same 7 days. The bad news is we never know when our time is up. Because of this we need to make the most of the time we have been given. Even though I was unable to go to either funeral, I was able to spend some time with each grandparent shortly before their deaths. Spending time with someone shows you care. Remember, you only have so much time and to use some of that time to talk and be with someone else tells that person that you care.

The grieving process is a process

It never hit me until I was actually going through this process that it was a process. This means it will take time to heal. The length of time is different for everyone. The really curious thing I discovered during the process was that you could go days and be fine then the next day you are in tears. With the recent death of my grandfather, I find myself at odd times being reminded of him and then breaking out in tears. It does not happen every day, just at times when I am reminded that he is no longer on earth.

The process is different for everyone

Everybody is different. We are all unique. Because of this, the way we handle grief will be different for each person. I am able to cry and relieve the sadness. A friend of mine tends to bottle it all up. Keeping busy is a relief for some. Some are prostrate and have difficulty getting through each day. The important part of this process is to let yourself grieve, realize it will not heal overnight, and even when it does heal, there will still be a scar.

As a missionary, I am in a unique position. Family and friends, who live with and around the departed family member, deal with the loss every day. They become accustomed to that person’s absence. Missionaries do not have this opportunity and so when they go back home, they are hit with the loss all over again. This is a part of the process I had never considered until I spent Christmas with my sister’s family in the same town my Grandmother had lived in. While the family in the area had become accustomed to her absence, I had not. I have to say Christmas that year was not one of my favorites.

The best thing I have learned through this process, it does get better. Even though there will always be that scar, there will come a time when you can say, ‘I still miss them, but I can go on. I may not be the same because this has changed me, but I can face going on with my life. One of the things that has helped me this time, has been this blog. Being able to write about losing my grandfather has helped me deal with the grief of losing him.

On a side note, due to an upcoming surgery, next week’s blog post may be a day or two late.