Thursday, July 21, 2016

Testing

As I sit here this morning...I am asking God to give me strength to make it through this season of life, now that my in-laws are living with us. But especially right now as we inch our way closer to a presidential election. It doesn't even matter much that typically we have been on opposite sides of things politically.  We (Brian & I) aren't big political people. We don't follow all the ins & outs of all that goes on.  It's just too much.  

However, they do.  ALL. THE. TIME.

Thankfully, they haven't tried to get into political discussions with us (ugh, nothing worse than that!), but they do watch these political talk shows, and news reports, which are usually loud enough for us to hear out in the other room, along with all their commentary on things. And it's enough to make me want to scream!

Between that and all the horrible things (shootings etc) that have happened over the last few months, the negetivity around here has been through the roof.  Really it would be enough for anyone, but for me as an INFJ personality type, who is highly sensitive & an empath, it's truly opressive.  

So, I need to double my efforts to seek the Lord and his peace & joy. Really, it's a good thing...I'm being tested in a way Because things are so dark and opressive, it is motivating me to run to God more, to find refuge in him.  To make him my place of safety and shelter.


Friday, July 8, 2016

A Prayer in Dark Times

Dear Jesus,

Help me, I am drowning...

Suffocating.  Overwhelmed, weary & burdened.

And I am coming to you for rest.  Mental and emotional rest.

I need relief from stress, relief from the yuck of this world.

I long for peace & joy and meaningful connections in my life.

...because right now all I'm feeling is negativity, worry and lonliness.

Please be my friend.  A comforting, full of joy, friend.

Help me to seek you and find you.

...because I am lost and dissillusioned.

I am sad and drained from the heaviness of  all that is going on out there right now.

Please be light to me.
Please be peace to me.

I want to find refuge in you.  Protect me from the ugliness and darkness of this world.

Wrap your arms around me & tell me it's going to be okay.  

Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Honey Pot: Simple Muffins (with almond flour base)

I love a good muffin!  I'm not a big breakfast person, so having something small and easy in the morning is the way to go!  Which is why I love this recipe so much.  It fits my diabetic needs for lower carb by replacing all-purpose flour with almond flour, and regular white sugar with Truvia baking blend.  It is also versatile, in that you can pretty much make them any flavor.  While, I share several flavor options in the recipe, the most recent flavors I made were Apple Cinnamon and Banana Nut, and I will talk a little bit more about those below the recipe.  I usually like to make two batches at a time (24 muffins) and freeze them.  Then in the mornings I can just take a couple out, and pop them in the microwave for 1 min and it's just like they are fresh right out of the oven!


Simple Muffins (almond flour base)


2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup Truvia baking blend
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/3 cup water

Flavor Options:
Apple cinnamon (1 apple peeled & chopped, tossed with cinnamon)
Banana nut (1-2 tsp banana extract and optional chopped walnuts)
Blueberries (approx. 1 cup fresh or frozen)
Lemon poppy seed (1-2 tsp lemon extract and 2 tbsp poppy seeds)
Strawberries (approx. 1 cup chopped fresh, or strawberry sauce*)
Zucchini (approx. 1 cup shredded)


Preheat oven to 400F.  Place muffin papers in a 12-muffin tin.  Mix dry ingredients together well.  Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, then mix in the flavor option of your choice.  Scoop into muffin tins 1/2 to 2/3 full) and bake for 18 minutes (or until tester comes out clean)

Banana Nut.  You will notice that I did not use actual bananas.  Nothing personal against bananas (well, maybe just a little bit personal), they are a very lovely fruit...but they tend to spike my blood sugar.  meh.  But, I love the flavor...so I thought why not try banana flavored extract.  I listed 1-2 tsp above, but the next time I make them, I may actually try a little more extract as I thought they were a little weak on banana flavor.  If you LOVE nuts, you might want to go ahead and mix them right into the batter.  While I like nuts, I didn't really want them all through out my muffin, so I just plopped a few on top and then sprinkled a little cinnamon/sugar on them before baking.

Apple Cinnamon.  These babies came out absolutely perfect in my opinion.  I actually added cinnamon to the batter as well (I like cinnamon, what can I say).  And, to be honest, even though it has been a while since I've had a regular flour/sugar muffin, I couldn't even tell the difference.  They do not taste like they were made with almond flour...and that makes me a very happy girl! Paired with a cup of caramel drizzle coffee, my mornings are simply delicious!

*Strawberry Sauce...I made muffins once using some leftover strawberry sauce I had originally made as cheesecake topping.  Here is the recipe I used...however, I swapped the white sugar out and used the equivalent amount of Truvia baking blend. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Leetle Leezards"

First off, you must read the title with somesort of a Russian accent...if you are at all familiar with the James Bond movie Goldeneye...think of Alan Cumming's character, Boris!  

Now, if you live here, or have ever visited Florida, you have probably seen a lizard or twenty, at any given time. 



They are everywhere outdoors, scurrying about.  When you first come to Florida, it's a bit disconcerting, but after a while they just become part of the natural background.

Except, from time to time, they end up inside.  Once there was one that was roaming around Bridgette's room for what seemed like a couple of weeks...ever since she calls all of them, Fred! We're not sure what happened to the original Fred, but over the last couple months, several of his pesky relatives have managed to find a way into our house.  But, do not fear, because we have the greatest lizard hunter in all the land...and her name is Cinnamon!

Although, Cinnamon isn't really a hunter...she is more of a torturer.  She has LOADS of fun, playing with the poor little creatures, batting them around...carrying her precious prize in her mouth from one place to another...ultimately causing these defenseless reptiles to disconnect from their tails in the vain hope of escaping the nightmare of this furry giant.



video


Because it seems to be happening quite a bit lately, I've actually taken to saving one of the plastic cups I use to scoop the little buggers up with and labeled it...so that it doesn't accidently get used for someone's drink.  If lizards could read, I might find a way of posting little signs, warning them of the terror that awaits them, should they decide to enter our home.  Alas, once Cinnamon discovers that one has entered her lair, doom is eminent...and sadly even after I attempt a rescue mission, they usually succumb to their demise.   Just in case you can't read my writing very well it says:

"LIZARD CUP"
A Reptile
Retrieval
&
Release
Receptacle


(please excuse my spelling on the cup...I forgot to recite to myself "i before e" when writing "retreival" and also should have known better when writing "recepticle"!  SIGH,  now I am going to have to go recycle this cup and rewrite it on a new one, because it's going to bug me forever if I don't!!!)

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Honey Pot: Eggroll Stir-Fry


Tonight we made this super yummy dish for the second time.  It was originally a throw together meal...as in I completely "winged" it, from scratch...no recipe!  Well, it was so good, I decided to write it down how I made it and named it Eggroll Stir-Fry...because as I was making it, it sort of smelled like an eggroll.

I made it with pork, but you could do it with chicken, shrimp, any meat really...or leave the meat out all together.

Eggroll Stir-Fry


Pork stew meat pieces (or just boneless chops cut in bite size pieces)
Kraft Lite Asian Sesame dressing
Peppers & Onions chopped
1 small can Mushrooms chopped
2 cups Cabbage chopped (I used purple)
1 tbsp Butter & splash of olive oil
Cooked brown or basmati rice
chow mein noodles (optional)

Marinate pork pieces in dressing (several hours or overnight)

In a large skillet, saute peppers & onions in butter & olive oil...when almost done add cabbage and mushroom, continue cooking until all is soft...remove to bowl.  In same skillet cook marinated pork pieces until they are done...add pepper/onion mixture back in to skillet, mix and heat through.  Serve over hot cooked rice and top with chow mein noodles if you like!

I won't pretend to be able to calculate the nutrients...carbs and all that.  But, I imagine that it's pretty low carb, other than the rice & a little bit in the dressing, the rest of it wouldn't be much.  If you are seriously watching your carbs, you could always leave out the rice...and choose something different to replace the dressing marinade. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Year - New Hope: February Journal

I've decided to not continue posting my journal entries.  I find that I'm not writing anything of significance so, and feel that they aren't really worth reading.  I haven't given up on my "resolutions"...just not going to write about them here. 

I'm not sure what the future of my blog will be.  We'll see what time brings.   

I am excited that our Wednesday night bible study at church is beginning again this week after a several year hiatus...in fact I don't think we've had one since my mom died (although there was a sort of Sunday "evening service" type bible study for a while, but eventually that ended too).  Perhaps, I will have some interesting things to share from that?   

Or maybe, just go back to posting random things on occasion.  I don't know.  I'm not sure (besides my friend, Bethany and Bridgette & Brian) who even reads this anyway.   

At any rate, until then...Blessings :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Year - New Hope: Fasting Journal {February 2016}

Thought I would do a more indepth post about the Three days of my fast.

February 1 - Today is day one of my fast. I wanted to do a beginning weigh in/measurements and I am pleased to say that those 2lbs that I reported as lost on the 29th are still missing!  I will not be putting their picture on a milk carton though!  Ha ha!  I also had an inch down in 2 places.  Not that this fast is necessarily about weight loss, as I mentioned before it's about my overall health, physically, Spiritually, emotionally.

I am asking God to "take back your temple".

Bridge & I are going on our walk early so that she can go do interny things at the theatre this afternoon.  I'm actually looking forward to being alone for a little while so that I have a quiet "quiet time"!

It's been a good first day so far.  My blood sugar has been good, so no concerns there at this point. I've been reading & journaling (in my actual journal, not here on the computer).  And while it's been informative and encouraging, I don't think I'm getting down to the nitty gritty of things yet. 

One thing that I came across in my reading was a comparison between conviction and condemnation that I thought was eye-opening…

Conviction says: Hey, you're going in the wrong direction, here's a better way.  Conviction carries HOPE.

Condemnation says: You're bad and you will always be this way.  Condemnation carries HOPELESSNESS.

But Romans 8:1-4  says: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering .  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

So it's now 8:30pm  I've successfully managed to get through today's meals...without eating, only drinking water and 2 cups of V8 Fusion juice.  I've been checking my blood sugar, and it's been really good all day.  Although I have been secretly hoping that it would go low enough to give me an excuse to eat something, but that hasn't happened.  I guess that's a good thing :)  I do have a slight headache though.


February 2  - Here I am, Day 2. I have feeling this may be a harder day to get through.  I still have my little headache (may need to take something for that).  Bridgette should be home all day, but will probably be doing stuff in her room.  I really need to do some serious praying today.

It's noon time now...and I just had a time of prayer & worship with God...one thing that was worked out, something I wasn't expecting, was my feelings about choosing not to be with my mom during her last hours, four years ago.  How I felt guilty in a way for selfishly not being there, because I didn't want to watch her die...and felt that I had somehow let her down by not being there.  I don't know and don't really believe that she was even aware of things because of the morphine, but my fear was that if she was aware, that she was sad or afraid or just wondered why I wasn't there.  I am grateful that Rebecca (our pastor's daughter) did stay with her, but I have felt guilty that it was someone outside our family who stayed with her.  During my prayer today, I asked for forgiveness, whether it was needed or not, and asked that God would take the burden of these thoughts from me.  I can't go back and change things, they are what they are...and I'm not sure that I would do anything differently if I could.  I will just hang on to the knowledge that she is at peace now, and cling to the hope that I will see her (and my dad) again someday.  I am feeling at peace about it...I think I have released the burden to God.  I pray that should those thoughts ever resurface, that I will remember that it's been taken care of, and it's not my burden any longer.  I have cast this care on the Lord and he will sustain me.

I also wanted to share the email blessing from Susie Larson I received today...so fitting for this time:

May new and fresh hope suddenly arise within you! May the enemy's plan against you backfire as you grow stronger in your trials, not weaker. May your sturdy grasp of God's promises intimidate the enemy and make him lose heart! May you find JOY in the heat of the battle, POWER in the promises of God, and PROVISION where you've known lack. May the things you once knew of God pale in comparison to what you know of Him now. He makes all things new. He breaks through. And He will come through for you. Soldier on, mighty one! God is with you!

As well as the verse of the day…1 Corinthians 2:9  However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him

I am so thankful that God makes all things new...I need to be made new, continually! I love the end of the blessing…"Soldier on, mighty one!  God is with you!"  that's a pep talk right there!  I am looking forward to all the wonderful,  inconceivable things that God has prepared for me!

I came across this and thought it was interesting...and something to remember when I get stressed about my health or anything really...


It's now close to supper time...or what would be supper time if I were eating.  Anyway, I was re-calculating the 48 hours this afternoon, cause I was originally thinking the time would be up tomorrow night at midnight, but I was wrong and it's actually up tonight at midnight. (eh...me & math :P )  SO...I will be done sooner than expected.  I'm not sure that I accomplished all that I wanted to accomplish during this time, but that's okay.  It was a boost, at any rate and I will hopefully continue to make good progress.  I don't know if I necessarily received the answers I was looking for, but I certainly learned some things and was reminded of others, so I will say that it was successful.

I am hungry though, that's for sure, and I am looking forward to breaking my fast!  But, my goodness supper sure smells good :(  And, ugh the sounds of people eating is making me want to run away...Lord, help me make it through the next few minutes until they are done. 

What I haven't done so great with is staying off facebook.  Monday was better than today,  I really think if I ever want to do a successful facebook fast I would need to deactivate my account for a while.  Unfortunately, because I am responsible for posting church things on their facebook page, this isn't something that I could really do.  So I will need to think about this more and really rely on God's strength if I were to fast facebook.

February 3 -  As I was going to do my quiet time (scripture writing/prayer) I revisited yesterday's verse for prayer.  February's prayer topic is regarding husbands...and this particular verse was in reference to harmony (or unity as it is in the NIV).  Here is the verse from Roman's 15:5-6…

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement  give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And clearly the point of this passage is indeed unity (harmony).  But the thing that stood out to me...really jumped off the page for me was "the God who give endurance and encouragement…"  Those two words for me go together right now, it's what I am desiring - that I would be able to endure (keep going even though it's hard work) and that it wouldn't be without encouragement.  There is nothing worse (relatively speaking) than feeling like you are putting a bunch of effort into being healthy & losing weight and getting nowhere.

Today I am encouraged because I endured the 48 hour fast and lost 3lbs!  I am so thankful to God for the boost!  I pray that God will continue to give me endurance for this long road ahead, and that he would bless me with some encouraging milestones.  I am asking for his blessing and favor to not only get back to where I was last June, but to continue beyond that!  I want to finish this race and win the prize!

Finally, I will close out this special fasting portion of my New Year - New Hope journal with today's email blessing from Susie Larson:


When you come to the edges of yourself and you feel the limits of your love and your generosity...instead of despair, just whisper a prayer to the God who loves you. He'll do through you, what you cannot do for yourself. He never rolls His eyes or breathes a heavy sigh when He looks at you. May you--right in the midst of your limits--look to Jesus who intends to finish what He started in you. Walk freely today, knowing you (like the rest of us) are a work in progress. And you get to be; without the condemnation. Blessings on your day this day