Friday, May 28, 2010
Part two to that story was two years later I was yet again struggling and wouldn't you know it, I found that card in my bible on the exact day she wrote it two years before. Now, let's put this in perspective, I use this bible daily and did not see this card for two years, it was apparently stuck in some obscure place. As Beth Moore puts it, "I could have a garage sale out of my bible," I am one of those types. I was in shock that it was indeed the same day two years later and I needed to heed those same verses again. She empowered me with prayer and encouraged me with scriptures and for that I am grateful.
I have a friend struggling. As women we all know those times when we feel like we just can't get it right. I call it the "And Then Syndrome." You and your hubby have a fight, and then the vacuum breaks, and then your kid gets sick, and then you have a bad hair day, and then you eat a whole pie, and then... you get the picture.
This precious friend can do all things, but her character is being attacked. You can't do ____, you're too ___ to do that, no one cares about your opinions, you're ____, oh and while you're down, I throw a big heapa ____ on you.
The Lord spoke to my heart about you.
This is for you sweet friend. 25 things I love about you!
You are a great listener
You love your husband and children
You know your faults and work on them
You love God's Word
You serve at church
You are very funny
You have beautiful blue eyes
You are adventurous
You are a great role model
You have a gentle spirit
You think before you speak, even though you don't think so
You have a good haircut, haha
You do not let your past hold you back from your future
You are transparent
You are trustworthy with secrets
You stick with people through trials
You are respected by your family and friends
You are weak and know to depend on God
You journal for your children, what a gift
You are full of life and energy
You like a good bargain
You always make meals for others
You are not controlled by your shortcomings
You tell good stories
You comfort and encourage others
I love having you in my life!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I have been completely and totally disgusted by certain foods lately.
Specifically- Why does every single label I check have ingredients I cannot read or pronounce. Let alone "know" off the top of my head what those ingredients actually are. I mean I could be eating dog puke under the name hydrothrowupide. Mmm, yum. Add some of that to my yogurt ok?
At my house I try to stay away from three things. (And it is challenging at the store. This is why we have fallen in love with making food from scratch. Yes, we eat out and it is delish, but 75% of the time, I want it fresh with ingredients I can name. Breads, cookies, veggies, etc.)
1. No Partially hydrogenated oils- just google it, it will gross you out.
2. High Fructose Corn Syrup- I stick with good ol' sugar (or butter, cream or as natural as possible ingredients not Crisco or margarine)
3. Soy products. This one is the hard one. It IS IN everything. Go look at your Ranch, soybean oil- first ingredient, or your crackers, rices, cereal bars... soy lecithin or soy protein. Not the type of soy in Asia, minimally processed natural soybeans or soy flour. Were talking genetically engineered foods here people. We are only "supposed" to have 2 tsp a day of soy, yet it is in everything. The hard fact that hit home was my girlfriend diagnosed with breast cancer and the first thing they said, "NO SOY."
I am going more and more granola every day.
What is the world feeding us? What are we putting in our bodies? I am all about enjoying food and eating processed foods in moderation, (Um, yes, I say Bueno!) but day in and day out, what are we eating?
We all need to up the whole wheat, fruits, veggies and making things from scratch- not with the added dangers of over-processed, thick with preservatives, added oils, imitations sugars and in taking things we cannot even name! I am not even going into my thinking on meats. I only eat lean meats, such as chicken. I do not eat red meat. Not a vegetarian or vegan. And I have no "oh don't hurt the animal issues." This is about everything but the meat post.
I follow several blogs of healthy cooking, use allrecipes.com daily and get in the kitchen to make things from scratch- so fun and soooo yummy! What a sweet reward to make a meal or dessert and you know exactly what is in it!
This week my favorite was: Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal
I made it different each day, see what you like best. And Oh my, I cannot wait until the morning I will be having it again!
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or white, honey, guava juice, etc)
1 cup milk (organic cow, almond, rice, etc)
1 TB butter (or coconut, etc)
1 egg (or make a flax egg- 1 TB flaxseed to 3 TB water)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla (or oh yes try it with pure maple extract)
1/4 c peanut butter (or crunchie, almond butter, etc)
1 TB wheat germ
1 whole banana chopped and stirred in before baking
1/4 c barley quick oats
Bake in a 8 x 8 pan (or easily doubles in a 9 x 13) at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serve dry or over warm milk.
OR even better- omit sugars and make a maple glaze to go on top!
1 TB butter
1 1/4 c powered sugar
1 tsp maple extract
2 TB milk
You will thank me.
As for a Ranch-like dipping sauce, here is Natasha's twisted Greek sauce.
1 c plain Greek yogurt
1 TB garlic
1 tsp both sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 peeled cucumber chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1 TB lemon juice
1 ripe avocado
Add everything to food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate and serve on a sandwich or with chips. I had it like prayer today, just about added it to everything! I love making up recipes!
My sugar cookies were a hit this week:
1 c sugar
1 c butter
3 egg yokes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 c apple sauce
350 for 10 minutes- they will not look done, pull them out anyway and let them cool.
I put homemade icing and sprinkles on them.
We all enjoy good food, right? Let's make it a mission to enjoy healthy foods more often and take a stand against mysterious ingredients!
What am I trying tomorrow?
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Instead of keeping up with blogworld, I have been busy cleaning, painting, organizing, packing, and oh yea, being a good wife and mommy during the day to my two kiddos...
Why all this fuss??
We have been busy preparing our house to sell.
I have moved many times in my life. Off the top of my head, I counted 10 times. Born in St. Louis, twice in Dallas, four+ places in Tulsa, twice in college and twice in marriage. I am sure I have missed a few. The point is, I felt I was rather good at moving. Boy was I wrong.
When my hubby and I felt God was leading us to move (not a world away, in the same area) I broke down crying. I mean, I just could not let go of this house.
I attended a homeschooling conference recently and the speaker shared how we women can let our homes become an idol that we serve, over the Lord. Ouch- I felt like she said that just for me! I surrendered this to God, then surrendered it again and again. Eventually I went from crying, literally tears flowing every night, to embracing the feeling that the Lord has something really good in store for us and the message was clear: "Get Your House In Order. I have plans for you," declares the Lord.
We are now spending our free time looking at houses and continuing to make our own home, which is on the market now, look as best as possible. And if you ever wanted another full time job, try keeping the house perfect with a two and four year old in toe. But it's getting better and easier. My prayer is for the right family (who wants a garden!) to fall in love with this house and for us to find a place we love as well.
Today was a good house hunting day. We had driven to over 50 homes. We went inside about 10 of them and hated them. I mean like- never wanted to live there. Today we saw inside 5 more. Two of them we liked, realllly liked. It actually got me excited.
Did I review my list as I saw them? Yes. But ultimately I want what God has for us over my list.
Which, if you are curious, includes things (some silly) like: how far is Wal-Mart, how far to church, is there a park close by, 4 bedrooms, school district, etc... You know stay at home mom requirements.
And `sidenote. How come in all those other times of moving, I just moved. No list, no real preferences. The home we are in right now was the third house we saw. Walked in, yep, we'll take it. Oh.so.carefree. Sigh.
In January we posted this verse on our fridge-
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
It was in reference to my horrible season of unwanted fears and anxiety. The Lord holds me tight and is working on me in this area, but little did I know that so many new things would be springing up...
Getting close to a new kiddo joining our family
Adam's company moved locations this week
Baby explosion- all my family & friends are expecting new little ones
New adventure in homeschooling
New fuel efficient car for commute for Adam (on the back burner though)
New, New, New.
"He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!
And then He said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:5
Saturday, April 3, 2010
And I did not cheat- NOT EVEN ONCE!!! No licking of the fingers while I made my kids food or a even secret nibble. I really felt that I made a covenant with the Lord about the Daniel Fast and I wanted to honor Him in abstaining from certain foods in order to fully rely on Him.
Twenty-One days... no dairy or sugar of any kind, no meat, no fried foods, no white flour and nothing but water or 100% juice.
Sounds easy huh? Well, you go try it, it was hard! Of course it was harder on certain days/moments than others. Day 5 and 14 were especially tough, but each time, I had to die to what my body wanted and choose Christ.
On that note- My husband said that he learned that by focusing on God you can control anything in your life. The example he gave was his thoughts, emotions, food or any area of struggle seem to fade away when you are truly focusing and relying on Him. (I told him, I wished I would get this into my brain!)
What have I learned about food:
-I am a total dipper. I struggled with once I made my food, I wanted to dip it in ranch, ketchup or ANYTHING to make it creamy and yummier. Well, that was not an option here as everything seemed to have eggs or sugar.
-Food is a source of comfort. When I was emotional or mad at the kids, I would want to eat. Irritable, eat. Not hungry, but bored, eat. Well, there is only one true source of comfort and that is Christ Jesus.
- We needed to expand our food repertoire. Even in 21 days I did not have all the veggies/fruit. I did not have green beans or blueberries, there lots of things out there, most people just choose not to eat them or learn to prepare them. We need to keep breaking out. I tend to shy away from new foods or they make me nervous. The word adventurous needs to be my song in many areas, but being adventurous is so challenging!
- The foods we are SO keeping in our house that we did not buy/make before are: hummus, cutie oranges, smoothies, wheat wraps, almond milk, homemade pizza dough (recipe at bottom), Larabar's, fruit preserves, pistachios and all baked chips.
-What did I miss most?- one word- CHEESE!
What have I learned spiritually...Oh boy have I learned a lot!
I pretty much have summarized it daily in my readings. Putting the good stuff in, definitely brought the bad stuff out. I am dealing with some issues, but that is part of life, isn't it? Not going for perfection, but relying on the One who is.
The book of Daniel. GO, read it! Cannot even begin to summarize. Read it and let God show you amazing things. It is 12 chapters, I rarely read a book straight through, I challenge you to do it, it helps make so many more connections!
Homemade Pancakes w/ apricot preserves and grape juice
Pizza w/ Hummus
Green bell pepper wrap w/ guacamole (I am good at guac now!)
Fruit smoothie (I feel good at those now too)
One in the same...
- Preparing our Easter meal for tomorrow, soooo rewarding, looking forward to that!
- Preparing the Easter meal, not licking the cheesecake spoon, icing, having bacon, chicken or anything else until tomorrow. Press on for the prize.
Funniest thing: My girlfriend said, well I guess I should say, "Happy Diarrhea" instead of "Happy Easter." SO true. I am not sure how my body will feel adding all this back in. BUT one thing I know, more than adding food back into my life, is the importance of adding time in with the Lord Jesus.
My Easter prayer is that you too will seek Him and have His peace, His presence and His Word flowing into your life. Amen.
Pizza- (this is my new all-the-time thin crust)
No yeast pizza dough:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water
1 TB veggie oil
Kneed and quickly roll out a very thin layer on baking sheet.
Poke holes with a fork and drizzle additional veggie oil on top and rub in with fingers.
Sauce: (This is my Daniel Fast sauce, but also a new fav.)
1 can stewed tomatoes undrained
1 TB minced garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp onion flakes
½ fresh ground black pepper
Mix and put onto uncooked pizza dough
Topping: (Any you want, the simplicity of this was unbeatable)
Thaw spinach, wring out until dry, crumble on top
Add a healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper over whole pizza
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
(I think the EVOO and fresh black pepper are the key at any pizza!)
Bake 425 for 20-25 minutes or until edges are crisp
Thank you for following along!
Happy Diarrhea, I mean EASTER,
Luke 7:36-50 - Jesus anointed by a sinful woman. Just one of the most beautiful things ever. I read the version of this story in my daughters children's bible and it was soooo amazing- I cried. Then I read it in my NIV Bible and it was good, but the way they put the wording in her's was especially touching.
Jeremiah 39 and 40 -The Fall of Jerusalem. 39:17-18, "But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. 18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in Me, declares the LORD.' " AMAZING. Jeremiah had full favor of the Lord and was given freedom.
Romans 8- v. 4, Do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit. This meant a lot to me today as I was very tempted and almost followed through with manipulation.
Luke 6:27-45, v. 36, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." v. 42,"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." v. 45, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."
Apple w/ p.b.
Pizza w/ hummus
- Huge lunches are my staple. I really enjoy getting full from a good meal at lunch time. Its probably the reward for a busy morning and the cause of not much energy in that afternoon- ha!
- Adam and I didn't really eat a good dinner. We, along with the kids, were in major moods in the morning because of our low blood sugar.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Psalm 19- I picked out my favorite verses:
1 and 3, 4: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Isn't that cool to think about? That in every language of the world the skies are proclaiming the glory of God...
8 "The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart." Precept meaning- the rule, law, instruction and direction of the Lord is right and brings joy.
9 "The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever." Probably my favorite. It is amazing to me that 'fear and pure' can be used in the same sentence. Only the fear of the Lord is pure, all other fear is not of God.
10 "They (the ordinances of God) are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb." This is for AB, we had talked about honey for the Daniel Fast. Here is a good reminder, God's ways are sweeter than honey- amen.
11 "By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward." So true. Spend some time with the Word and God's ways and we are truly warned and rewarded- among many other things!
Oatmeal cereal w/ strawberries and raisins w/ almond milk
Grapes and o.j.
Homemade pizza- to die for people, I'll share my recipe soon
Cantaloupe and peanut butter
Hummus, chips and cutie oranges
- For sure the crust on the pizza w/ homemade sauce. Ahhh-maze-zing!
- Mediating on Psalm 19 while playing with the kids. Realizing that He is my true honey, not earthly honey.