Today I walk you through how to make your own DIY Non-Toxic makeup brush cleaning solution using only three ingredients. The ingredients are witch hazel, Dr. Bronner's Castile soap and two of my favorite Young Living Essential Oils. If you don't already have your starter kit of essential oil's here is the link to grab yours! It comes with 11 of the most popular oils, a diffuser and samples of their popular household cleaner and antioxidant drink! Once you order I will reach out and get you plugged into our amazing Facebook community with more recipes and resources!
I get a lot of requests for how I curl my hair so I finally decided to teach myself how to use iMovie so I could put together a tutorial for you guys!! I usually try to wash my hair at night so I don’t have to fully blow dry and curl it in the same day and if I do that this whole look takes me less than 10 minutes….and I have a lot of hair!!
Extra bonus is that the curling iron that I use, that I have been using since high school, is only $11 on Amazon! They also sell it at most Walmarts and Targets so run and grab yourself one! The video is linked below! I hope you guys enjoy it. If you end up curling your hair using my tips tag me on instagram (@paigehilken and #sheisclaimed).
Learn how to curl your hair for big, loose, natural looking curls here:
In my opinion there is no better way to start the day than with a smoothie! They are so refreshing, leave you feeling light and they are such an easy way to pack a mass amount of nutrients into one meal! When I had my kiddos and they started eating solids, smoothies became my breakfast best friend because they were something I could whip up super quickly and have my kids feeling like they were drinking milkshakes, when really they were drinking superfoods and vegetables!
Also since I didn’t want to give my kids cows milk when they turned one years old smoothies that still provide them with plenty of calories, fats and plant based protein have been a great option! Plus I love that these smoothies provide my kids with even more minerals, fiber and antioxidants than they would be getting from cows milk without any of the negative side effects that can come with drinking cows milk!
So whether this smoothie is for you or for your kiddos it is a great way to nourish your body and start the day right! I hope you enjoy it!
HEATLHY VEGAN PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOALTE SMOOTHIE
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 - 1 whole banana depending on how sweet you want it
1 cup coconut or other non dairy milk (more if you want it less thick)
3 pitted dates
1/2 cup spinach (I keep mine in the freezer)
1 spoonful natural peanut butter or almond butter (about 1 tblsp)
2 tblsp cocoa powder
A dash of cinnamon
1 tblsp hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tblsp coconut oil (optional)
1 scoop collagen peptides if you want more protein (optional)
Put everything into a high powered blender (I’m obsessed with my vitamix), blend and ENJOY!
For my three kiddos ages 4, 2.5 and 1 I double this recipe (besides I do about 3 tblsp cocoa powder only and add more full fat coconut milk) and they split it between the three of them. The one year old gets a smaller cup than the other two.
If you are really in a pinch these pre-made packets can be great for a grab and go meal replacement. They are one of my favorite tasting dairy free shake options but if you are making them for the whole family they can add up in price pretty quickly so I like making my own, especially for my kiddos.
I have to give all the credit for this soup to my wonderful mother in law, Judy! She always has a batch of it in the freezer and so many of my memories eating this soup include being at her house. I love it because its SO easy to make, SO healthy and SO filling! It’s one of those recipes that we eat so much during the fall and winter that by the end of those seasons I don’t want to eat it anymore but then by the end of summer my body is craving it again! My husband likes to mix a dollop of sour cream into his and I love to top mine with a little cheese and crushed corn tortilla chips.
Now I feel like I need to go heat a bowl of this soup up right now because typing about it is getting me way to excited to eat some! I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!
HEALTHY, HEARTY TACO SOUP
1 LB GROUND TURKEY OR CHICKEN (CAN ALSO USE GROUND BEEF)
1/2 CHOPPED ONION
4 CANS TOTAL OF ANY MIX OF BLACK BEANS, PINTO BEANS & KIDNEY BEANS
1 -8 OZ CAN ROTEL
1 - 12 OZ CAN MEXICAN STYLE OR STEWED DICED TOMATOES
1 CHOPPED ZUCCHINI
1 TBLSP CUMIN
1 TBLSP CHILI POWDER
SAUTEE GROUND TURKEY ON MEDIUM-HIGH HEAT IN A PAN WITH 1/2 OF THE CUMIN AND 1/2 OF THE CHILI POWDER
ADD IN THE ONION AND ZUCCHINI AND CONTINUE TO SAUTE UNTIL THE TURKEY IS FULLY COOKED
ADD IN THE FULL CONTENTS OF ALL OF THE CANS OF BEANS, TOMATOES AND ROTEL
LET THE SOUP SIMMER UNTIL WARM ENOUGH TO SERVE OR UNTIL ZUCCHINI IS FULLY SOFTENED (ABOUT 20-30 MINUTES ON LOW HEAT)
SERVE AND ENJOY! THIS SOUP KEEPS GREAT IN THE FRIDGE TO SERVE THROUGHOUT THE WEEK AND CAN ALSO BE FROZEN
Keeping my pantry stocked with certain items allows me to consistently cook healthy, frugal, gluten and dairy free meals and snacks from home. While everyone’s pantry and stock pile list will look a little different based on other allergies, eating styles, etc., this is a list of 2 items that I always try to have on hand in my gluten and dairy free pantry!
Depending on the severity of your gluten intolerance you may or may not be sensitive to oats. If you are celiac you might have to spend a little more to get gluten free oats but if you are like me and just have an intolerance to gluten normal oats should do just fine. I use oats to make granola, healthy cookies, pancakes, just plain oatmeal and oatmeal bakes. I also love blending up oats to make oat flour in my Vitamix and I replace it 1:1 in a lot of recipes that call for whole wheat flour or gluten free flour. I use oats more often than a lot of other gluten free foodies probably do because I unfortunately can’t have almonds. If you can have almonds, almond flour is a great healthy option as well, although oat flour is usually cheapest.
Eggs are not only needed in a lot of baking recipes but they can be made in so many different ways to provide inexpensive, healthy meals for your family. Egg casseroles, eggs on gluten free toast and omelettes are all common, easy lunches or sometimes even dinners in our house! If you are completely vegan sometimes mixing flax seeds with water can be an alternative to eggs.
3) BAKING SODA/ BAKING POWDER
If you are going to be making a lot of home baked goods like gluten free cookies or muffins you are going to want to have a stock of these.
I absolutely love using bananas as an oil replacement in some of my recipes and as a sweetener in a lot of my recipes as well. We also are smoothie addicts in our house so bananas are a must for us! If I ever find myself needing to go to the store mid week it’s usually because we ran out of bananas.
5) PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
Vanilla extract adds such great flavor to so many different baking recipes!
Dates are an incredible way to make any recipe a little sweeter while also adding a mass amount of fiber into your diet (12g of fiber per 1 cup serving)! I love making homemade Lara bars, pie crusts or even just adding a few to our smoothies for some extra sweetness.
The three types of oils that I typically keep on hand are avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Avocado oil is great for anything because it is tasteless. I mainly use it for sautéing foods on my stove top or roasting foods in the oven because it has a high smoke point and can be heated to really high temperatures (up to 480 F) without losing its nutrient content or becoming dangerous for consumption. Extra virgin olive oil should only be used at temps under 220 F so I usually use it for making home made salad dressings (I was surprised at how many store bought salad dressings contain gluten). Coconut oil is my favorite for baking and adding to smoothies because it adds such a great flavor and texture to my recipes.
Salsa is a great way to add flavor to a lot of recipes! I try to always have at least one extra jar on hand because if I have rice, beans, veggies and mea (optional) I can throw together a Mexican dish for dinner in no time! Salsa is also great to add on top of salads or omelettes as a healthy option!
9) NUT BUTTER
Nut butter is an amazing way to add protein and density to a lot of gluten free recipes. I use nut butter to make no bake energy balls, smoothies, muffins and more!
Who doesn’t love a hint of cinnamon in their baked goods?!! Cinnamon is a great way to add a little extra flavor to a recipe without adding calories or sugar.
11) UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER
I love using cocoa powder to get my chocolate fix in without adding any additional sugar to my recipes! I’ll use it to make chocolate for chocolate covered strawberries, in our favorite chocolate smoothie, for healthy pudding and in my favorite Plus cocoa powder has 2g of Fiber for every 1 Tablespoon serving, which is AMAZING!
12) GLUTEN FREE PASTA
When I’m buying gluten free pasta I always aim to get one that is made with legumes, like red lentil pasta, because it packs so much extra protein. Ancient Harvest tends to have my favorite gluten free pastas!
13) VEGETABLES THAT CAN BE SPIRALIZED
If you want to be even healthier and save more money swap out your gluten free pasta for spiralized veggies!
Nuts are one of those things that can be expensive so I try to only buy them when they go on sale and when I buy them I stock up! Nuts can be mixed with dates to make a great gluten free dessert crust and are great add ins for muffins, cookies, granola or oatmeal. I even like to make creamy dressings and desserts by blending up cashews!
Potatoes are a great, cheap option that will fill you up! I love slicing sweet potatoes and using the slices as toast, spiralizing sweet potatoes to put in pasta and making my own hash browns to go with eggs or in casserole recipes. You can also boil potatoes and blend them up with different herbs and spices to make a creamy dressing, dip or soup!
16) BROWN RICE/ QUINOA
Brown rice and quinoa are great, inexpensive sides to go with any gluten free meal!
17) COCONUT AMINOS
One of the hardest things about first going gluten free is discovering that gluten is hidden in SO many things, soy sauce being one of those things. Coconut aminos are a great gluten free swap for soy sauce that provides you with a lot more health benefits, which is a great bonus!
When you aren’t using dairy sometimes you miss the extra punch of flavor that cheese would add to a recipe or the creaminess that milk would add. Avocados have been a great option for me to use in making creamy salad dressings, to put on top of eggs or Mexican food instead of cheese and even to make creamy chocolate mousse. I also love all of the healthy monounsaturated fats that avocados contain!
19) A MILK ALTERNATIVE
I honestly find myself mostly using water in recipes but if I do need to use milk or want to use milk to add more calories or creaminess I will usually use canned full fat coconut milk or make my milk using oats, coconut flakes, or any nuts that I might have on hand. If a carton of nut milk is on sale I will buy it sometimes but those often contain ingredients I don’t love like carrageenan, natural flavors and guar gums. You can also make your own yogurt using these milk alternatives if you have probiotics on hand.
If you eat a lot of meat then beans won’t be as necessary but I love having multiple types of beans on hand because they are a great frugal and vegan alternative to meat. Also my pregnancies have made me a crazy person when it comes to food aversions and have kind of ruined meat for me at home so beans are a great option for some extra plant based protein!
Lettuce wrapped everything became my new best friend once I became gluten free. Now I honestly don’t even miss the bread in most scenarios! Salads are also a great staple item for anyone trying to eat clean and on a budget. I only buy lettuce though if I’m for sure going to be cooking a meal that I might need it for because as you know it doesn’t stay fresh for long.
22) HONEY OR MAPLE SYRUP
I love having a container of each of these (I get the big versions at Costco). I use them mainly for baking healthy gluten free desserts but they are also great to have if you are making homemade salad dressings.
23) BOBS RED MILL GLUTEN FREE 1:1 FLOUR
As I mentioned above there are so many healthy alternatives to bread if you get creative but if you find yourself wanting some I love using this flour to do it! You can also use this flour to make more traditional versions of common desserts like brownies, cakes or cookies!
24) CHOCOLATE CHIPS
I like to use the Enjoy Life chocolate chips or the Kirkland Brand chocolate chips from Costco because both are dairy free. Chocolate chips are something that got added to this list more so when I started baking for my little munchkins. When I add a few chocolate chips to a muffin, healthy cookies or their gluten free banana pancakes everyone gets a little more excited!
Yeast is a great ingredient to have on hand if you want to be able to make your own pizza doughs and breads! I try to make homemade versions of these items whenever I can because buying the gluten free options can be outrageously expensive!
26) FROZEN FRUIT
As I mentioned before we are obsessed with smoothies in our house! I buy a lot of frozen fruit from Costco because it is a great way to get Organic fruit at a lower cost! I also blend up frozen fruit with a little coconut milk to make a healthy version of “ice cream” for our family! If I ever see organic fresh fruit on sale at the grocery store I will almost always buy it in bulk and then freeze it to use later on.
27) CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are a super fun way to make healthier versions of jam and pudding! They are also a great addition to smoothies or mixed into some baked goods for extra omega 3-fatty acids!
Hummus like avocado is a great healthy alternative to milk-based products that can add creaminess and flavor to a lot of recipes! Store bought hummus can be expensive at times so I like to buy dried garbanzo beans to make my own at home!
29) DRIED HERBS
Herbs are of course a great way to add flavor to any recipe! I buy fresh herbs sometimes but dried herbs tend to last much longer and are more budget efficient.
30) DIPPING AGENTS
This one might count as multiple items but hey it’s my blog so I’m going to categorize them all as one. Things I would put into this category would be vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, snap peas and celery, gluten free crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers are my fav) and vegetable or corn based chips. Vegetables are of course the healthiest option and usually they are the most budget friendly option as well!
WHAT OTHER PANTRY STAPLES DO YOU LIKE TO KEEP ON HAND?
GOD IS FAITHFUL. That statement sounds like something that would be so simple to believe as a Christian but I have found that in my own life it is something that is so easy to forget. In the midst of trial or confusion or seasons of change if we can stay grounded in God and remember that HE IS TRULY FAITHFUL everything changes. Today I hope to provide some resources that will help us discover God’s faithfulness and how we can see it play out in our day to day lives.
DEFINITION OF FAITHFUL: loyal, constant, steadfast in allegiance, devoted, firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty
BIBLE VERSES ON GODS FAITHFUL CHARACTER:
ACTION STEPS TO SEE GODS FAITHFUL CHARACTER IN YOUR LIFE:
1) Get in the word to be reminded of God’s TRUTH and stories of His faithfulness. Often times Satan doesn’t need you to not believe in God completely, he just needs you to start to doubt in one of God’s characteristics or for you to believe that who God was in the Bible isn’t who He is today. When I have been in tough seasons or tough scenarios throughout my life I have doubted if God was really good (when I have seen innocent babies and children die), if He actually a God that gives me the desires of my heart (when I struggled through an addiction to achievement and just wanted worldly success), or if He was actually able to forgive me for all of my sins (when I have come out of seasons of placing my identity in things outside of God like school, sports, guys and work). During those times I realized that my current circumstances and feelings were dictating what I thought of God, not what I KNOW to be true about God. It is SO important that we remain steadfast in our belief that God is unchanging. In Hebrews 13:8 it says that, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” If we truly believe that Gods character is unchanging then we can read the stories throughout the Bible and know that the same God who was faithful to Abraham and Moses will be faithful to us and in our lives today. Here are some stories to read in the Bible to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness to His people:
a. The Book of Exodus: Exodus tells the story of how God delivered the Israelites out of the hand of Pharaoh in Egypt and into the Promise Land. Things to note from this story: 1) It was the Israelites sin and lack of obedience that kept them from God’s promises, not unfaithfulness on God’s behalf. Is there any sin in your life that is keeping you from experiencing God’s promises and faithfulness? 2) Even though the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, God still delivered them and held true to His promises. This demonstrates that even though God’s timeline might be different than what we want it to be, His faithful character never changes.
b. All of the Gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell the story of God’s faithfulness as He sent His son to die for our sins so that we may have everlasting life. Without God’s faithful character there would be no Christianity. His faithful character is core to our entire belief system.
c. Other stories to look up: Noah and The Ark, The Story of Abraham, The Story of the covenant with Ishmael and his descendants in Genesis, The Story of Hosea and Gomer in Hosea (an illustration of the marriage between God and the Jewish people)
2) Practice prayer journaling so you can be reminded of God’s faithfulness in your own life. The practice of prayer journaling has been such an incredible experience for me. Sometimes I’ll be flipping back through an old journal and I’m always just in complete awe of how faithful God is and how many prayers He has answered for me. One of the first prayers I wrote down in my prayer journal was when I was in college and it was, “God please rip away from the desire to seek attention from and satisfaction from guys.” At the time I had just started dating Christopher but just couldn’t let go of wanting other guys to think I was attractive. After pouring my focus into God He delivered me from that season of trying to find my security in the wrong places. My prayer journals are like a memoir chalked full of God’s answered prayers (both big and small) and countless examples of His faithfulness in my life.
Here’s how you can start a prayer journal that focuses on remembering God’s faithfulness: In your journal date each page. Next, write down your fears, anxieties and current scenarios that you are seeking deliverance from. Then write down verses that remind you of God’s truth and that can provide you hope for the future. Lastly, leave a little space at the bottom of the page to go back and write out the date and how God answered that prayer in your life in bold red pen. In 1 Samuel 7:12 it demonstrates to us how important it is to set up reminders of God’s faithfulness. It says, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." Just as Samuel set up that stone as a reminder for the Israelites that God was faithful in delivering them from the Philistine army, we can set up our own stones or “Ebenezers” today any time we see God’s faithfulness come to fruition in our lives.
3) Love God and Keep His Commandments. In Deuteronomy 7:9 it says “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” As this verse says, God’s covenant promises are available to us when we love Him and keep His commandments. We must be postured to obey, immersing ourselves in God’s truth daily through reading His word and acting on that truth NO MATTER WHAT if we want to experience His promises.
I often struggle with that NO MATTER what part. MOST of the time I love obeying God’s commandments because I have seen the fruit that is produced in my life and in my relationship with God when I do, but other times, as someone who loves to be in control, I have such a hard time releasing my tight grip that on certain areas of my life. Whenever I try to cling tightly to the things of this world and MY way of doing things I see such a drastic difference in my life in such a negative way. But whenever I get back on track, obeying God’s commandments and His will that is laid out for me in His word I have what I like to call my “Duh Paige!” moments. As things start to go back to being in alignment with what God’s word says I should be doing with my life, my heart usually experiences so much peace, my relationships usually all improve and I truly get to experience the abundant life that God created for me! I have noticed these moments the most when I shift my identity from being wrapped up in things of this world to be found in God again. I always want to knock myself aside the head and say, “Duh Paige!! Of course when you follow what God has told you to do, your life will be in alignment and you will experience the contentment, joy and peace that God has promised you.” It’s so easy to forget God’s faithfulness and His unchanging character when we start to sway from his commandments and the will He has clearly laid out for our lives as Christians. If you are struggling in any areas of your life to relinquish control to God and to obey Him I suggest truly practicing renewing your mind every day by reading your Bible. As your mind transforms, the desires of your heart will transform as well to be more in alignment with what God desires and when we are in alignment with God it’s impossible to not consistently recognize and experience His faithfulness!
I remember when I was younger one of my best friends moms would make THE BEST pumpkin bread ever. She would top it with cream cheese frosting and the flavors of fall would just melt in your mouth. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread/muffins have always been some of my all time favorite treats so when I found out I needed to cut all gluten out of my diet I knew I was going to need to find a new way to make these delicious fall treats.
Every fall I make batch after batch of these muffins because we can’t seem to keep them around. I’m pretty sure my kids and I eat our weight in pumpkin by the time November ends each year. Hopefully all of that vitamin A consumption will have us seeing 20/20 vision until the day we die haha (one serving of pumpkin contains 245% of the RDA for vitamin A, which is great for eye sight if you have no clue what I’m talking about).
As they bake these muffins will have your house smelling incredible and if you share them with a friend I’m willing to bet that they won’t even be able to tell that they are gluten free! We love eating them plain for snacks throughout the day but you can slather on some butter or some home made cream cheese frosting for a seriously delicious treat.
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #sheisclaimed
BEST EVER GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN MUFFINS
(recipe can be doubled very easily)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs (at room temperature if possible)
1/4 cup milk of choice or water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice blend (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp allspice or cloves)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup oat flour (just blend up old fashioned oats in a high powered blender)
Optional: 1/2 cup mix ins like walnuts, chocolate chips or craisins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit and grease your muffin tin. I like making mini muffins because they are the perfect size for my little ones.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and whisk until blended. (Sometimes the coconut oil will solidify when mixed with cold ingredients. I like to let my eggs sit out on the counter for a few hours before making these muffins so they aren’t cold from the fridge. If the coconut oil solidifies just let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes.
Add the pumpkin purre, milk, pumpkin spice, baking soda, vanilla and salt and whisk to blend. Lastly, stir in the flour, just until combined. If you are adding any mix ins add them now as well.
Pour the batter in your greased muffin tins. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes if you are making mini muffins or until you can stick a toothpick in them and nothing comes out. For larger muffins you will want to bake for closer to 30-35 minutes.
Let the muffins cool then carefully transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator if you aren’t going to eat them in the first 2-3 days because they are moist muffins.
xoxo Paige Hilken
This post has been a long time coming. Honestly I’m terrified to type out these words because this post is sharing the totally behind the scenes, not pictured stories and moments that I don’t often share on my social media “highlight reel.” Today I want to share with you my story of battling through an addiction.
When I write out the word addiction, still to this day I feel like the word is a little too extreme to use for my scenario but I know that is the enemy trying to deceive me into believing that what I struggled through truly wasn’t “that bad” of a problem. When I was in the middle of my addiction I always wanted to just call it a “season of struggle” but looking back I can clearly see that me believing that it was just a “season of struggle” held me back from seeing the dire need to make a change and break free.
It’s interesting because my addiction wasn’t drugs or alcohol or any of the things that most of us commonly associate with someone being addicted to something, but it caused eerily similar affects in my life on certain levels. My addiction caused me to become emotionally numb in some ways to the people I love the most, to neglect responsibilities in my home out of a desire to feel the next “high,” to lose sight of my priorities and many more little things that affected me and my family along the way. So what was my addiction? My addiction was ACHIEVEMENT.
Maybe you just read that and are thinking, “Ok Paige, achievement? Maybe you were being a little too extreme labeling this as an addiction. Isn’t achievement a GOOD thing?” I think achievement is and can be a very good thing but I think that the caveat is that it isn’t ALWAYS a good thing. I believed that lie for most of my life and then I fell for this lie even harder in the last 2.5 years of my life. I think a lot of us believe that lie, that achievement that leads to success is always good, and I believe this little lie is why a lot of families are currently experiencing so much hurt and brokenness. Satan is crafty and a great deceiver my friends and since the time of Adam and Eve in the garden he has deceived us into believing lies like this by presenting us all with the same two questions (which I learned from one of my husband’s amazing sermons). The two questions are:
1) Is sin really that bad?
2) Do you really think God is good?
The first time I was presented with those two questions above was my freshman year of college. I had gone to college to play college softball as a pitcher and anytime I got put into a college game I couldn’t pitch. My hand literally froze up and I felt like I had zero control of what my body was doing. It was terrible. What was even more terrible was that softball was so much of my identity and without consistent success in it I felt anxious and like I was a complete failure. I knew that those feelings arose because I had my identity in the wrong place and was seeking fulfillment from the wrong places but I kept thinking “Is it really that bad to pour all of my time, energy and efforts into softball?” I was more focused on softball than loving people and spending time with God but “was that sin really that bad?” Oh and while we are asking questions, “God, why in the world would you have me work SO hard my entire life, playing travel ball, making so many sacrifices to bring me here to college, the pinnacle of my softball career, to just have me embarrass myself?” “God are you really that good if you let me down like this and aren’t willing to give me the desires of my heart (which at the time were to be the starting pitcher on our team)?”
Three years later the questions presented themselves again. I got married a month after graduating from college and only three weeks after ending my softball career by having our team win the national championship (no, still not with me as the starting pitcher). I moved in with Christopher once we were married completely lacked a sense of purpose. The two things I had placed my identity in before, school and softball, were no longer available to me so I started to find my identity in being Christopher’s wife. He was all that I had in this new area and new chapter of my life. Christopher was already established in his job and with his friends group so every time he wanted to play basketball with his friends or do anything outside of spending time with me I felt resentful and punished him by acting differently towards him anytime he would choose “them” over me. I thought to myself, “Is it really that bad for me to just want to be a good wife and have my husband be at the center of my life?” “God are you really all that good if here I am, married to a pastor where you would think I would be so filled with joy and God’s spirit, but instead I’m sitting here at home every day feeling semi-depressed, with no sense of purpose and like my marriage is suffering because of that?”
I worked through each of those seasons thinking I had achieved victory and the ability to move on but I didn’t realize that the disease of being addicted to achievement and placing my identity in the wrong things was still lying dormant within me. When the third big “identity crisis” hit it was at a time when the stakes were much, much higher. Not only was I married but we had two little babies at this point. I had joined a business that I was so excited for because it was going to be such a GOOD thing for me and my family. I was going to be able to make an extra income stream doing something that I was passionate about, while never leaving my babies. It sounded harmless until I quickly found myself addicted to gaining more and more success for no other real reason than to “be more successful.”
At first I told my husband that it was just a week of intense hard work and sacrifice. Then it turned into a season, and pretty soon a year had gone by and things were starting to fall apart. When I was with my kids, or anyone for that matter, all I wanted to be doing was working, I felt a laziness towards taking care of my home and would choose to work instead. I only wanted to hang out with people if it would be beneficial to my work success and even when I was in a room I wasn’t really present because my mind was focused elsewhere.
Looking back it makes me sick to think about that long season that ended up being close to two years before I felt like I was completely freed from the bondage I had put myself into. Throughout that time Christopher would gently nudge me, trying to get his wife back, but I was so consumed that the thought of letting go of my business and the current pace that I was working it literally made me sick to my stomach. The whole time I kept asking myself “Is it really that bad to just want more for me and my family?” and then on the flip side of things I was asking “God why would you put these strengths in me, knowing that I could so easily fall into addiction when I actually utilized them? Why won’t you just give me the desires of my heart, which are success and to be at the “top”? If you give me those things THEN I will go back to a more balanced life. Are you really that good God?”
By the GRACE OF GOD and THROUGH GOD ALONE was I able to open up my hands and my tight grip on my business and worldly success that had consumed me during that season. It’s so scary to know that Christopher and I were both so close to checking out of our marriage, not through divorce, but emotionally, which would have been devastating for our family, raising our children and our ministry. I thank God every day that he allowed me to gain back control of my life. I learned SO much during the process of trying to heal and let go and I wanted to share my top tips for working through an addiction to achievement and/or success.
My Top Seven Tips For Battling Achievement Addiction
1) DEFINE WHAT THE ACTUAL DESIRES OF YOUR HEART ARE. When I was going through this struggle I listened to a sermon and the pastor talked about how there is a difference between what we think we want and what we actually want. He encouraged us to think of what we will actually want by thinking of the moment we are on our death bed. What will matter then? Who will be around us? Are our actions today leading to us getting what we ultimately want or what we think we want right now? I knew that what I ultimately wanted was to get to heaven and to look Jesus in the eye knowing I had stewarded the gifts and people he had put in front of me very well. I knew that at the time I wasn’t stewarding anything well and that I was neglecting what I ultimately wanted, which was an incredible marriage, great relationships with my kids and a fruitful ministry.
2) BE SURE NOTHING IS ON THE THRONE WHERE ONLY GOD BELONGS. Through each of those seasons that I mentioned above I realized that my addiction stemmed from placing something in the position that only God should belong in my life. As my husband says all the time in his sermons, “what we idolize we will ultimately demonize.” I had idolized money, success and being at the “top” and as a result nothing else in my life was working out the way I wanted it to. In Jonah 2:8 it says “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them,” and that was exactly what I had done. We must “seek first the kingdom of God” or else our lives will be spent chasing worthless idols that wont get us what we actually want like we had talked about in point number one.
3) RENEW YOUR MIND DAILY. Once you know what you ultimately want and what you need to stop doing to regain what you ultimately want in life it usually isn’t good enough to just expect our desire to change to actually create change in our lives. We must “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We must “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Nothing will create lasting change like completely renewing our minds will because we are all sinners and our flesh is naturally at war with the spirit within us. If we don’t feed the spirit through reading Gods word and spending time in His truth daily then it will be so hard to overcome any struggle our flesh might be enduring. ‘The Renewing of the Mind Project’ was an incredible book that helped me so much during that season and still helps me to this day. This was my first realization that lead to me knowing something needed to change.
4) PRAY FERVENTLY. Most days my prayer was just, “God I can’t see how I am possibly going to be able to give this up. Intercede for me. Give me your strength to change and give me the desires of your heart and not my own.” We can’t expect God to deliver us from something if we don’t communicate with Him and ask Him to deliver us. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
5) SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES. This was one that Christopher suggested over and over again to me and in my stubbornness, I just wouldn’t do it. Now I regret that and see the importance of having boundaries in my life. There are times to work and not to work, times where phones can be out and times where they need to be put away. This is still not easy for me but my prayer every day is “God please bless the hours that I work and do with those hours what you desire. Let me be content with the amount of hours that I can work while still maintaining health in the other areas of my life.”
6) BE ON GUARD AND DO NOT BE DECEIVED. The enemy knows what you have fallen into in the past and will do anything to get you to fall into it again. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” When we have victory over a struggle in our lives it is very easy to think we are good and don’t need to continue to focus on that area when in reality we need to be renewing our minds in Christ every single day. We need to shut the door on our sin and run a little bit further away from it every day by running towards Christ. No one is above any sin and we cannot be deceived by believing that we will not fall into our old patterns.
7) FORGIVE YOURSELF AS CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN YOU AND MOVE FORWARD. Forgiving myself for what I did to myself and my family during those few years of my life has been a challenge. Sometimes I beat myself up for not being strong enough and for letting the enemy have such a stronghold over me for so long. While there are consequences that have to be worked through when we choose sin, we have to remember that Jesus declared victory over our sins when he went to the cross. To stay in bondage to our sins is like telling Jesus that what He did on the cross was not good enough. He has set us FREE, our sins are covered, we have victory and we must choose daily to obey and move forward so we can fulfill God’s purpose on our life.
As I wrap up this post I’m fighting the urge to push cancel instead of publish. It’s hard openly talking about our sins and the struggles we have gone through. I just hope that someone can be blessed by this post and that someone out there who struggles with an addiction to achievement who is reading this can be delivered from it. Satan wants nothing more than for us to keep our sins secret and in the dark….NOT TODAY SATAN, NOT TODAY.
This granola is SO stinkin delicious! Even if you aren’t paleo or grain free you will want to give this one a try!
Paleo Grain Free Granola
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment Combine all dry ingredients, nuts, seeds and coconut in a bowl until well tossed.
Cook honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, stir occasionally. You will cook this for about 1 minute. Pour this sauce over the nuts and seed mixture and stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Enjoy on top of yogurt or all on its own for a delicious snack! We store ours in a giant mason jar and eat it throughout the week.
Every time I drink a green smoothie I totally feel like fist bumping myself for all the vegetables I just consumed in one meal. This specific smoothie recipe reminds me so much of our first year of marriage. We were newly weds in ministry who were trying to eat healthy on an extreme budget and these smoothies were our breakfast for close to a year. I stopped drinking them when I got pregnant with our first baby because my aversion for bananas was STRONG and once we got out of the habit I forgot about them.
A few weeks ago I tried to recall the recipe and nailed it on the head! I took one sip and was immediately brought back to our one bedroom condo off of Sea Cliff, our first tiny little home. Oh how life has changed since then. Thankfully the deliciousness of this smoothie has still remained the same.
It is made with avocado, lemon, loads of mixed greens, maca powder, banana, ice and water. The healthy fats in the avocado keep you feeling satisfied and full for longer and the maca powder is an adaptogenic herb that has endless benefits (some of the top ones being increased libido and fertility….hmmmm maybe this is why we got pregnant so quickly when we were drinking these every day??). But seriously go google maca powder and read up on those benefits! Our local Costco carries a giant bag of Organic Maca for only $8.99 but you can get it at almost any health food store or on Amazon.
Ok so are you ready for the actual recipe?
Paige’s Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe
1/2 Ripe Avocado
1/2 or 1 Whole Banana (I like to freeze mine to make my smoothies creamier)
1/2 Peeled Lemon
Fill the rest of the blender with mixed greens, about 3 cups worth (I use the Power Greens mix from Costco and keep it in my freezer to keep it from going bad)
1/2 TBSP Maca Powder (can also do ashwaganda powder)
1 Scoop Collagen Powder
1 cup water
Additional Ice Cubes if desired
Bonus: add a probiotic capsule + a greens capsule. I get both of mine from Young Living
Put it all in the blender, blend it all up and give yourself a fist bump because you just consumed a TON of amazing nutrients! ENJOY!
A year and a half ago I was scrolling Facebook when I saw a friend post about a couple of oils that were supporting her son through the croup sickness he was dealing with. At the time our oldest son Peyton, who was only one at the time, was getting sick with the croup (a really bad "barking cough" and wheezy breathing) at least once a month. A lot of the nights he would get the croup we would end up in the ER because his breathing would get so bad and we had nothing to support him at home.
When I saw the post about these oils I knew I had nothing to lose by trying them out. I ordered my kit and the box arrived the day before we were going on a big family vacation to Cabo. I was so excited to get the oils that I brought them all on our trip with us and they ended up being a Godsend as Peyton got a croup attack the second night we were there. I put the oils to use in the diffuser, rubbed them on his chest and peace of mind rushed over us as he started to calm down and breathe a little better. I was immediately sold and knew that oils would forever be a part of our life.
After that trip to Cabo I started using the oils for everything! Every month I was learning something new in the oily Facebook group I was a part of and month by month I started swapping the toxic products I was using out for non-toxic ones using the Young Living Oils and their other product lines. As I got more and more educated I was continuously shocked at the harmful ingredients that were in the products I was using around my home and on my kids. I was so thankful to have a one stop shop where I could replace almost every product in our home, from my makeup, to my laundry soap to my kids toothpaste.
Today we use oils for everything in our home, from immune system support and wellness, to making DIY products, to first aid type things, emotional support, restful sleep and so much more. I've been blown away by the power of these little plants in a bottle and how fascinating the science behind them actually is. The oils and other products from Young Living have blessed our family so much that it's hard to believe I used to clean, parent or just straight up live without them!
Over the last year and a half I have gained so much peace of mind, added the most incredible tools to my tool belt as the gatekeeper of my home and truly believe these products deserve a place in everyones home. Before I found Young Living we had no idea that there were other options for the products we were using on a day to day basis, or that the products that we were using had scary side effects that were doing more harm than good. But now we know better and when we know better, we do better. It is now one of my greatest passions to help other families know better!
The way we initially got started is the way I’d recommend any family interested in embarking on their wellness journey get started: the Premium Starter Kit.
As a wholesale member, you also get 24% off everything, always, which is hugely beneficial when you’re like me and you want to dip your toe into slowly transforming your home little by little.
If you are ready grab your premium starter kit and join my amazing community of oilers CLICK HERE and then follow the steps laid out in the images below.
Once you have ordered your kit be sure to send me a message on Facebook or Instagram to let me know so I can get you plugged into our community of resources and support! We can't wait to welcome you with open arms and walk along side of you as you make these helpful changes for your family and in your home! Getting these oils and non-toxic products into people's homes is a true passion of mine and I'm so excited to have you on this journey with me!
xoxo Paige Hilken
I remember reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy when I was a sophomore in high school and my mind was blown! The entire book was teaching more on the concept of how small actions every day compound over time to create big results. I'm so glad I read that book at such a young age because I think it has contributed to a lot of the success I have had in different areas of my life! It has allowed me to tackle big goals with small steps and it has led me to creating massive change in the areas of my life such as health, mindset and our home!
Because I want others in my life to experience the life change they are looking for without feeling like they need to completely change their life I decided to start a series called "Swap This For That." My hope is that by swapping out a few ingredients in some recipes, products in our homes and negative mindset habits that eventually we will end up in a much healthier, more positive place in our lives!!
To kick things off I'm diving into the area of non-toxic living and sharing all about dryer sheets! We will talk about why we should swap them out and what we can swap them out for! If you would rather read than watch feel free to scroll past the video to get all of the info!
Item we are swapping:
Why we are swapping the item:
Dryer sheets are one of those common household products that most Americans use and never think twice about. As I've had more kids and my laundry load has gone through the roof I decided to research what I was using to clean and soften the sea of clothes I was always swimming in. I headed over to the Environmental Working Group website to learn more about the ingredients in dryer sheets because the ingredients aren't listed on the packaging itself (red flag #1). I was surprised to find that in the United States companies aren't required to list the ingredients in their dryer sheets. Once I started to learn more about the ingredients actually in them I learned why. Dryer sheets often contain benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders, chloroform (a known neurotoxin and carcinogen) and fragrance (aka hundreds of other toxic chemicals combined together to make a smell). One of those chemicals commonly found in the fragrance in dryer sheets is acetyl-adahyde, the exact stuff that comes out of the exhaust pipes in our cars!! Shocking right?! As you can see dryer sheets have many dangerous ingredients that I personally want to stay away from, especially because the ingredients rub off on the clothes that we wear every single day!!
What can we use instead?:
Wool dryer balls with a couple drops of essential oils are an amazing option to still have delicious smelling, non-staticky laundry without the harmful side effects. I order my wool dryer balls off of amazon (of course) and they are supposed to last for over 1000 loads! The dryer balls also cut down on dry time, making them a more efficient option as well. Every couple of loads I drop a few drops of my favorite essential oils onto the balls to leave my laundry smelling extra fresh! My favorite oils for this are purification, citrus fresh and peppermint! (For the non-toxic laundry soap I use is from Young Living as well). It can also be beneficial to add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to each rinse cycle for some extra added softness!
I hope you've enjoyed the first edition of "Swap This For That." As always let me know if you have any questions! I'm always here to be a resource!
xoxo Paige Hilken
A month after Christopher and I got married we were heading up to summer camp with our ministry of 11th and 12th graders! It was at the Sacramento Delta river and we were going to be on houseboats all week. It was us, 150 eleventh and twelfth graders and about 15 other leaders. I had been on the trip the year prior and learned the hard way that camp food is no bueno when you are required to be gluten and dairy free. Basically every meal contains white flour, milk or cheese of some sort. Luckily I had thrown in a few cliff bars for back up but most of the week I either didn’t eat, or I did and suffered the consequences.
So this particular year I knew that I needed to come to camp prepared in the food department. I needed something that didn’t require refrigeration, didn’t take up much space and that would be filling as a snack in between banana boating and jumping off houseboats! Cue these cookies...well a version of these cookies.
These cookies used to contain banana and I don’t think they started with peanut butter in the mix. The bananas had to go when I got pregnant for the first time because they were my first food aversion and they never came back because I ended up liking the recipe better without them. And then at some point I added peanut butter so they would have more protein and well because peanut butter makes everything better right?!
Now that I’ve perfected the recipe I love making these cookies at the beginning of every week so my kids and I can have a healthy snack option in the afternoons that feels more like a treat! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!
Healthy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
1 cup of natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips, nuts or craisins if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add in the oats, cinnamon, salt and any add ins and continue to mix until well combined.
Scoop out little balls onto the baking sheet however big you desire and bake for 9 minutes.
Let them cool or be a rebel and eat them fresh out of the oven because what’s better than warm cookies?!
Truth journaling has completely changed my life and allowed me to have an effective way to consistently renew my mind. It has pulled me out of seasons of being addicted to work, seasons of getting caught in certain sins and allowed me to break free from certain strongholds in my life. Today I wanted to share what a real life truth journaling session looks like for me. This session was done when I got caught in the comparison trap and was letting envy get the best of me.
Today I was angry. I was angry because she has three kids too and seems to have a perfect work life balance. She seems to be accomplishing everything that I want to be accomplishing while still being the mom that I want to be. Envy crept in and I could feel it taking hold of my body. My heart started racing, my brain became foggy. “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” I felt the truth of that verse so strongly. The envy led me to feel like I needed to start working harder right then and there because if I didn't I would fall behind. In a moment I started to feel like my kids were more of a burden than a blessing because they were standing in my way of doing what I thought I should be doing. Things got ugly. I BECAME ugly.
I'm was sitting there starting to feel panicky and I didn't know what to do to get the feelings to go away. How did things escalate so fast and bring my heart from a place of peace and contentment to one of overwhelm and envy?
I got to that place because I compared myself to someone and to make it worse I compared myself to someone through social media where I don't even know if they are posting their full reality. People who look at my social media don’t know all of my behind the scenes and hard moments throughout the day. She is probably the same way. For some reason telling myself that wasn't enough though. I still felt anxious and my fast heart beat wouldn't calm down. I didn't feel like I had the strength to overcome the feelings that had build up on my own. So what did I do?
I grounded myself. I took a couple deep breaths, turned my worship music on, rubbed some oils on my wrists and opened my Bible to remind myself of God's truth. It was time to renew my mind so that I don't continue to conform to these patterns of comparison and envy that I was falling into. If you aren't familiar with the process of renewing your mind, the renewing of the mind is a time that we can bring our problems to God and He helps us see them from His perspective. One of my favorite ways to renew my mind is through truth journaling. When I’m truth journaling I like to write out my initial thoughts and feelings, then God's truth on that topic from scripture and then a statement of truth that I can replace my initial thoughts with.
Here is how I renewed my mind today when I felt paralyzed and didn't know how to overcome the feelings I had let myself get caught up in. My hope is that if you are stuck in a similar scenario that this can help you too:
Initial Thoughts and Feelings: I am less than and inadequate because I am not accomplishing as much as she is.
Gods Truth From Scripture: Galatians 6:4-5 “Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.”
Statement of Truth: God has a unique calling and purpose for me and it is not the same as anyone else. As long as I am moving forward in the race God has called me to run, I am accomplishing all that I need to be accomplishing.
Initial Thoughts and Feelings: My children are a burden right now. They are preventing me from accomplishing what I want to accomplish.
Gods Truth: Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
Statement of Truth: My children weren’t given to me as a penalty or a burden, they were given to me as a blessing and a reward. God calls us to steward the gifts He has given us so it is my calling and greatest accomplishment to be their mom and fulfill those duties well.
This was a short journaling session and afterwards I immediately started to feel more peace within my heart. The feelings of anxiety and envy dissipated and the anger that was building up towards my kids started to melt away. Sometimes the process of renewing my mind takes a lot longer and there have been seasons where I've felt like I was never going to have a breakthrough. However, with consistency and loads of prayer the breakthrough has always come. There are many times throughout life where you won't feel like you have the capacity to overcome a specific scenario that you are dealing with or a certain sin you are trying to conquer and renewing your mind through truth journaling is a great way to let go and let God.
Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind"
xoxo Paige Hilken
When Christopher and I first got married we lived in a little one bedroom condo in a community called Sea Cliff. Every Saturday Christopher would play flag football right up the street from our house and I would jog there to workout at the park. We would come back home and I would cook these banana pancakes as a fun little treat!
If you know our story, you know that a short six months after we got married our first baby was growing inside of my tummy and I had the worst nausea/morning sickness! Unfortunately one of the most repulsive smells to me at the time was bananas so we said a temporary goodbye to our beloved pancakes. Thankfully midway through pregnancy #2 I was able to tolerate bananas again so the pancakes made a comeback. Now we love sharing these pancakes with our kiddos and they are totally obsessed! Sometimes I'll even make them in big batches so we can have some for healthy snacks throughout the week! I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does!!
Fun Nutrition Fact of the Day: Ripe bananas (ones with brown spots) actually have something called TNF (tumor necrosis factor), which can help destroy cancerous tumors. TNF interferes with the growth and spread of tumor cells and triggers apoptosis (cell death). The riper the banana, the better the anti-cancer qualities it has!
Gluten Free Banana Pancakes
(makes 9-12 pancakes)
2.5 Cups Uncooked Oats
1 Large Ripe Banana
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Cinnamon (more if desired)
1.5 Cups water (may need to add more as you go as batter thickens when it sits)
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend together.
Heat a pan or griddle on medium/high heat and pour around 1/4 cup batter into pan. Add chocolate chips if desired.
Cook until pancakes are golden brown on each side.
Serve hot or they reheat great as well for a snack later in the day!
xoxo Paige Hilken
Here at She Is Claimed we believe that the body is the vehicle God has blessed us with to fulfill the purpose and vision He has for us here on earth. We choose to nourish our bodies not so we can look a certain way but instead so we can serve God and love those around us best! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Here is a healthy recipe to enjoy so you can nourish that beautiful gift!
When Christopher and I were dating we celebrated our first Easter together (with my sister too) over a pork tenderloin and potatoes. I seasoned the meat with salt, pepper and rosemary and we dipped it in balsamic vinegar. It was delicious but when it came to pork tenderloin that was the only way I knew how to make it. One day we got a home meal delivery box on Groupon and they put a Korean spicy twist on their pork tenderloin I knew it was going to become a new staple in our house that I needed to recreate.
This meal is probably a little too spicy for children (unless you substitute the sriracha) but according to my husband it was some BOMB food. I know a dish is good when he tells me it’s good without me asking him if he likes it (which I always do...gotta get that affirmation somehow haha)!
Plus this dish is super healthy! Fun Nutrition fact of the day...Cabbage is a great source of manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is also rich in various vitamins including vitamin C, B6, A, K, and E. It’s basically a superfood that you want to get in your body as much as possible! I used to actually juice cabbage for Christopher when he had stomach ulcers and it helped cure them! Powerful stuff!!
So grab your apron and let’s get cooking! I can’t wait for you to enjoy this dish as much as we did!
Spicy Korean Pork Medallions w/ Slaw
Servings 2 (can be doubled for more)
Prep/Cook Time 20 minutes
1 Pork Tenderloin
4 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 Green Onions
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp Sriracha
1 Red Fresno Chile (red bell pepper would work too)
2.5 tsp Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 Tblsp Light Brown Sugar
8 oz Slaw Mix (buy the pre-made mix from the store)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds for Garnish
1. Chop and prepare all ingredients. Mince the garlic, stem and seed the Fresno Chile, slice green onions and cut the pork tenderloin into medallions, 1/2-3/4” thick.
2. Prepare the marinade by combining half of the seasoned rice vinegar (2 Tbsp), Tamari soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, ginger and garlic.
3. Place the pork in the marinade and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
4. While the pork marinates prepare the Slaw by mixing together the Slaw mix, the remaining rice vinegar, sesame oil, green onions and salt. Toss together and set aside.
5. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add pork medallions to hot pan an cook 3-4 minutes/side.
6. During the last minute of cooking add the remaining marinade to the pan and coat the pork with it until it becomes a sticky glaze.
7. Plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
xoxo Paige Hilken
The questions start when we are pretty young. God, what college do you want me to go to? What should I major in? Should I date this person? And as we get older though the questions don’t stop. Should I marry this person? Should I move to this city? Should I take this job? Should we start having kids?
These are questions that we all wrestle with regularly and while sometimes I wish the Bible had specific instructions for every individual and for exact circumstances, that would defeat the point of us having free will.
So how can we know Gods will for our lives so we can get clear answers to some of our biggest questions?
I personally have a four step method I follow to determine if something is God's will for my life based on the truth we find in scripture. However, I think its important to first talk about some of the misunderstandings surrounding a few of the methods used to determine God’s will. If we don’t first understand which methods for finding God’s will are being misunderstood then most of us will remain confused about the truth and what we are actually called to do.
Here are three misunderstandings about God’s will:
Misunderstanding #1: God will open doors in your life to communicate His will for you.
“God opened the door for this job opportunity so it must be the right job for me.”
When we read the verses in the Bible about God “opening” doors” in their correct context these open doors aren’t immediate confirmation that we should walk through those doors. The open doors are presented as opportunities for us to either take or not take. In 2 Corinthians 2:12-13 we see that even though God gave Paul an “open door” to preach the gospel in Troas he made the decision to instead travel to Macedonia. As we can see, opportunity doesn’t always equal the will of God. God may open doors for us but we still have free will to choose which doors to walk through.
Misunderstanding #2: God will audibly communicate His will for your life to you.
“I heard God speak to me and tell me that we were supposed to move to another state”
In scripture it never says that we will receive extra revelation from God through hearing Him audibly speak. In fact, in Rev 22: 18-19 it says that there are severe consequences when we add to God's word and prophecy.
In the Old Testament times God spoke directly and audibly to a few prophets for a very specific purpose. He revealed Himself through the prophets and they communicated His words to the people. In present times God speaks through the son Jesus. We have the privilege of “hearing” more of God today than in any other time in history because we have access to all four gospels, where Jesus’s voice is laced all throughout. There is no need to seek signs or God's voice outside of the scripture.
Misunderstanding #3: You will know something is God’s will for your life if you feel complete peace about a decision you are making.
“I feel so much peace about this decision so it must be Gods will.”
When people talk about having peace in regards to making a decision they usually are referring the verse Philipians 4:7 where it says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” As always its important to look at this verse in context. The peace gifted to us by God in this passage is a direct result of us casting our anxieties and requests upon Him. It does not say that the peace from God is a sign that we should move forward with a decision.
When it comes to our feelings scripture is very clear that we need to be cautious because our feelings can be misleading. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things.” Also in Romans 7:14-25 Paul shows us that it is possible to “feel at peace” about doing the wrong things and have an internal conflict with doing what is right. We can experience peace from God but it is a result of our relationship with him and not necessarily a green light to make a specific decision.
So now that we know the common ways we can misunderstand God’s will for our lives what are the reliable ways we can know God’s will for our lives?
Here is A four step method to determining God’s will when making a decision:
Pray. When I’m facing any decision I refer to Philippians 4:6-7 and through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving I let my requests be made known to God. When I pray in these scenarios we don’t want to pray for a sign or for God to speak to us and tell us His will audibly but instead we can ask God for wisdom and to speak to us through His word.
Then I go straight to the Bible and I ask myself if any of the choices I have in front of me contradict with anything in Gods word. The Bible provides us with the wholeness of what Jesus wanted to be communicated to us and gives us specific instructions and commands to follow. When we disobey anything He has told us to do in the Bible then we are acting outside of His will. You will also find that as you are in God's word consistently then your mind will be renewed and you will be transformed to a new way of thinking more like Christ (Romans 12:2). When we are transformed in this way we are able to better decipher the will of God for us.
Throughout scripture we are constantly called to be wise so my next step is to use wisdom. Using wisdom includes seeking godly mentorship, learning from my past experiences and thinking responsibly. The proverbs are chalked full of definitions of what wisdom is and is not.
Make the decision. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable officially taking this step and making a decision for ourselves. If you have two choices that are in alignment with the will God has given us through the Bible, you have presented your requests to God through prayer and you are using wisdom then go with whichever choice you want. At the end of the day God has a sovereign will and nothing that we do can prevent Him from accomplishing it.
I think that often times we over complicate deciphering Gods will for our lives because we are confused on how to do it. If we can just remember that God is sovereign, He has given us his word for guidance and that we can gain wisdom to make proper decisions, then we can feel confident in the choices we are making (as confident as possible). Making decisions can be challenging but at the end of the day just know that God is more interested in who you are becoming than exactly what you are doing or where you are going!
I would love to hear from you!
What is a significant decision that you are facing right now where you are seeking Gods will?
Have you ever been led astray by one of the common misinterpreted methods to discovering God’s will?
Do these steps and truths about Gods will help you have clarity on how to make decisions in your life?
xoxo Paige Hilken
It’s rich, it’s moist, it’s chocolatey, it's even healthy…it’s my all time favorite gluten free chocolate banana bread! It’s one of those recipes that is healthy because the ingredients are healthy but potentially unhealthy because its so dang good that you could eat the whole loaf in one sitting. I'm going to warn you now that you may want to double the recipe because if you're anything like us you will want to eat a loaf of this stuff a day! Ready.....lets bake!
Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread
1 cup oat flour (oats blended in high speed blender)
1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 egg (sub 1 tblsp flax meal with 3 tblsp water if you want vegan)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with a non stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine together the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.
In a large bowl (or blender on low speed) mash the ripe bananas. Add in the egg, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients being careful to not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top of the bread. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean besides any melted chocolate chips that may get on it.
Remove the pan from the oven and set on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Once the pan is cool you can remove the bread, slice and serve.
This bread will keep on the counter for up to 4 days and can also be frozen for up to a month but in my house it doesn’t even last a whole day because we eat it all up!! Enjoy this melt in your mouth, delicious bread!!
When I’m at any Mexican restaurant I love the black beans...when I make them at home, not so much. For a long time I thought that I could just pop open a can of black beans, add them to any Mexican dish and viola they would taste amazing but I was SO wrong.
I just can’t get on board with the taste of plain black beans but I love them as a plant based protein source so I decided to experiment with some recipes! I definitely found a winner!! This black bean mix could be used as a topping on a burrito bowl or nachos or it could even be used as a dip with tortilla chips!! Enjoy!
Wellness Paige Nugget: Black beans are amazing for your health because they are packed with plant based protein and fiber (around 7.5g of each/half cup serving). And as Tayna from the F-Factor (F for Fiber) says "Fiber and Protein at every meal makes losing weight no big deal." In addition to their great fiber and protein content they have lots of potassium for decreasing blood pressure, selenium for helping support the liver with detoxing and iron for maintaining healthy bone structure. Even more reason to pop open a can and try this recipe out!
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 diced onion
1 (15oz) can black beans
1/2 (10oz) can Rotel Original (5oz total)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup cilantro diced up
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
In sauté pan heat garlic in oil on medium heat.
Add onion as oil begins to warm.
Add cumin and sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are tender, adding a few drops of water if they begin to stick.
Add the can of drained black beans and Rotel and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.
Add chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir. Mash the beans if that is the desired consistency.
Before we got married, in our pre-marital counseling class we were taught that expectations unsaid, always go unmet. It was a great piece of advice, advice that we have implemented throughout our marriage and passed on to other couples embarking on the same journey. I never had a problem with the advice until I realized that usually when I expect something from someone then I feel like I deserve it. And when I don’t get something I believe I deserve to get upset. The saying of, “expectations unsaid, always go unmet,” is a great concept at its core but I think it deserves a little more unpacking or else you might accidentally end up robbing the one you love just like I did.
When I type out that I get upset when I don’t get something I think I deserve it kind of makes me cringe at myself. I sound like one of those girls from that show that used to be on TV, Sweet Sixteen, who would get upset at their parents when their cake had pink sprinkles instead of purple ones even after their parents had dropped $50k on their sixteenth birthday party. They expected pink sprinkles, they felt like they deserved pink sprinkles, so they were upset when they didn’t get them. I know it’s usually not as extreme of a scenario as being upset about the wrong colored sprinkles but I hope it gets the point across that usually we get upset when we don’t get what we feel we deserve.
You see a couple years ago I got to the point where I thought my personal hopes, dreams and desires should be what our family was always working towards, regardless of whether or not it aligned with their hopes, dreams and desires. I was working hard at home to raise our babies during the days but I also had dreams of becoming an ultra successful entrepreneur. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, because I was bringing in an income from home AND taking care of the kids I was always doing more than my husband and I felt like he always owed me something.
I started to expect him to do more things around the house because I felt like he was in debt to me. In my mind, if we were on even playing field by both providing for our family financially then we needed to be on even playing field when it came to house hold duties, changing diapers, etc. Because I thought he owed me help in these areas. I didn’t perceive it as love when he took action and did these things for me. In fact I was hardly grateful at all because he was just doing what he was supposed to be doing, right? I robbed him of the ability to love me because I had put us in the roles of debt and debtor instead of husband and wife. It might not have been the same scenario but have you ever been there?! Have you ever robbed your spouse of the ability to love you because you let their love become an expectation, something you were owed?
So how do we fix this? This was the question I had to ask myself as I started to see my marriage change for the worse right before my eyes. Well first and foremost we have to come to accept that we aren’t “owed” anything. Just like that 16 year old wasn’t owed an extravagant party or pink sprinkles on her cake we aren’t owed anything from our spouse. GASP!!!!.....I don’t know about you but for me that is a hard pill to swallow. What do you mean my spouse doesn’t owe me anything? Don’t I deserve a good life, a roof over my head, a clean house, the family with the amount of kids I’ve always desired?!!
To put it simply, NO. This is going to sound harsh but we actually deserve nothing in this life because we are all sinners and what we deserve is death. Like I said, I know it’s harsh but it’s the truth and it’s what makes the gospel so beautiful. While we were sinners and deserved nothing Christ died for us and gave us everything. Is it ok to have hopes, dreams and desires, YES, absolutely! But the moment we pass off our hopes, dreams and desires to our spouse and EXPECT them to fulfill them and make them come true then we ROB them of the ability to love us. That’s why this post is titled, “I Robbed my Husband.”
To explain a little more, marriage as Christ designed it between a husband and wife should be the ultimate submission contest. As it says in Ephesians 5 starting at verse 21, “SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Christ. Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church, his body and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should SUBMIT IN EVERYTHING to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP for her....”
Does this mean that we aren’t ever supposed to talk about what we desire in life and our marriage with our spouse? No. Communicating your desires, dreams and hopes with one another is a very healthy part of marriage. What it does mean is that once we have communicated those things to our spouse we can’t turn them into a box of expectations that we just hand off to them. We have to remember that they don’t owe it to you to make them come true. In a covenantal, Christ-centered marriage we owe one another everything but are owed nothing. We owe our spouse love and submission because of what Christ did for us but not because we inherently deserve it.
Ideally both parties should submit to one another as Christ commanded. I believe that is the secret to having a happy and fulfilling marriage the way God designed it. When Christopher (my husband) and I live out our marriage in this way our marriage is definitely firing on all cylinders.
But what if both parties don’t submit?! You might be scared right now and asking yourself the question, what if I step out in submission and they don’t respond by fulfilling my hopes dreams and desires? Usually when we have that fear it’s because in some way we are still holding onto the expectation that they owe us something in return. We are called to love not because our spouse loves us but because Christ loved us. As a Christian our goal in this life should be to become more like Christ and as you step out in fear to love, not knowing if you will be loved in return, you will get to experience what loving like Christ really feels like. I pray that your spouse eventually responds to your love and submission with love and submission towards you but until that happens just bask in the feeling of what loving how Christ did really feels like
Does this way of doing marriage sound radical?! That’s because it is. Living a life in obedience for Christ is RADICAL. We aren’t called to do marriage like everyone else. We are called to be Holy and set apart. When people look at your marriage do they see Christ and the representation of how He loved us?! Or do they see two selfish people trying to use their marriage to fulfill all of their personal hopes dreams and desires?!
No matter which marriage you are in let us all do what Christ did for us...loved even when we didn’t deserve it, covenant-like love, with no strings attached.