Sunday, October 30, 2011

Overwhelming Gratitude

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard until now. Philippians 1:3-5

I wish I could express in words just how much I love my church family. I am a very blessed woman to attend a church where one of the core values is that every member is a minister.  It is amazing to see people use whatever gifts God has given them to touch the lives of others.  I love that as a pastor's wife the mindset of our leadership is not solely to serve people but largely to serve with people.  I have the amazing opportunity to work right along with some amazingly Godly and gifted people.

Today, the people who I love, the people who I get the privilege to share life in ministry with blessed our family in such a big way.  You will never know just how much you are loved and how much your gift means to us.  The thanks is truly ours to give to you! The prayer that Paul prayed and wrote to the Philippians is exactly how I feel about you. I give thanks to God for your ministry in my life.  Blessings to all of you. I love each and everyone of you!


I love the creativity of the variety of gifts and to prove to you just how much we love you I felt completely comfortable taking the night off from cooking and using one of your gifts to have a wonderfully tasty dinner. 


Cards (wonderful for those of us who love words of affirmations) and gift cards

Justin and Lydia enjoying their dinner. Any guesses as to which card from above we used first?

Emma and mommy too.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Coconut Pancakes

I had a few friends ask me about this recipe, so here you go. This is not an original brainstorm but an adaptation of various other recipes I have tried.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

8 eggs
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 carton (6oz) Chobani honey yogurt
1 tablespoon raw local honey (optional)
Organic Virgin Coconut oil (for frying)

Beat eggs, yogurt and honey.  Add flour and mix well.  Coconut flour tends to clump so make sure you beat it well.   Let mixture sit for 5 or more minutes.  Heat griddle.  Melt coconut oil on griddle.  If you want some crispy edges use more, if not use less.  Place 1/4 mixture on griddle and let it fry 2-3 minutes until nicely golden on one side then flip till done on other side.  Serve with fresh fruit and pure maple syrup.  Delicious!

Our family has been experimenting with some grain free recipes and cooking techniques and this is a keeper for sure.  Let me know if you try it.  Blessings!
 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Processing

I am a verbal processor and love to talk through what God is teaching me and what I am learning and practicing from that.  The only problem is that I often choose silence over verbal processing because it is more predictable and less overwhelming.  By choosing escape I don't actually have to change and I don't have to face the possibility of failure. When I started this blog I simply wanted to share life and have a written journal (albeit public) of how I want to match my life to the rhythm of God. To be authentic in that I just need to write.  I need to give voice to the good and the bad because that is all part of the process called life.  It may not all be positive or encouraging, it may not be pretty or even well written but I want it to reflect me and where I am at.

I am processing through what feels like a lot right now.
  • Moments of victory
  • Moments of defeat
  • Intentional living
  •  Surrender
  • Taking thoughts captive
  • Obedience
In the process of writing I am hoping to bring about a voice to the journey I am on in light of the truth of God's word and I pray that God is glorified. A couple years ago I wrote this mission statement: I desire to know and love God more and to consistently have my actions, attitudes and thoughts reflect a passionate love for Christ, recognizing this can only be accomplished because of and through His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. I still love it and want to press on to having my life truly reflect this mission statement.  I am really excited about where God has me right now but I also want to give up at times and choose to ignore where He wants to lead me.  Anyway, that is some of what I am processing right now.  Blessings to you and thanks for reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Here is another week's worth of menu's.  Had a great week last week and hope the same for this week.  God is so amazing to me, how He answers prayers and is always able to help those who cry out to Him.  Pray you are doing well this week.  If you have any great recipes, please feel free to share.  I would love to have more easy, healthy and great tasting recipes to add to my menus.  Blessings!


Breakfasts:
  •  eggs
  • coconut flour muffins (probably pumpkin)
  • fruit salad & toast
  • eggs in a frame
  • yogurt parfait
  • pancakes
  • smoothie
Lunches:
  • cottage cheese and fruit
  • hard boiled egg, veggies & dip, fruit
  • grilled cheese and veggies
  • peanut butter and jelly and yogurt
  • turkey sandwhich
  • tuna melt
  • soup
Dinners:
  • BBQ Chicken and sides
  • Soup & cornbread
  • Fish and sides
  • chicken cesar salad
  • make your own pita pocket pizzas
  • stir fry
  • enchiladas

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

So, how does a person who is trying to escape the grips of an eating disorder plan menus? Just like I have been doing all along only with a lot more prayer than anxiety.  The difference is that I am trying not to stress, worry, over analyze and control everything.  Sure, a menu plan is a form of control but it also gives me the ability to spend money wisely and not have the concern each day with what I am going to eat.  I don't waste needless time thinking about food.  I have prayed over the food choices for the week and will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit if there needs to be a change.  If anyone can benefit from seeing inside my brain, food choices and nutrition this will give them the opportunity.



Breakfasts
  • coconut blueberry muffins
  • eggs
  • fruit smoothie & toast
  • eggs in a frame
  • yogurt parfait
  • french toast
  • cereal
Lunch
  • hard boiled eggs, veggies&dip, fruit
  • pasta salad with cheese chunks and veggies
  • fruited tuna
  • peanut butter and banana wrap
  • homemade lunchable
  • soup
  • pizza buns
Dinner
  • Fish, rice and veggie
  • Broccoli beef Stir fry  with quinoa
  • chicken, sweet potato and green beans
  • meat loaf, veggie and mashed cauliflower
  • homemade chicken nuggets, mac n cheese and veggie
  • meatballs and green salad
Yummy! So many good things or at least things that sound good to me. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not Alone - Book review


There is no disgrace in allowing yourself to hope for something different. ~Alise Wright

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, abuse, they all do the same thing.  They play their sick little game until the person who is struggling resigns to what they believe is a hopeless existence.  Isolation, guilt, condemnation, anger, helplessness, hopelessness play in the mind over and over again.  All this serves to make a person feel alone.  When any one of these struggles is present in a Christian's life, a person who knows they are blessed beyond measure and have no valid reason to feel this way (or so they've been told), the sense of being alone only increases.  

The words at the top of this page really speak to me.  Hope! I need it, you need it, we all need it.  Without hope there really is no joy, peace or contentment in life.  Sometimes though, hope seems elusive and just out of grasp.  Others may experience hope and "normalcy" but it alludes the life of the person who is struggling.  This is when stories like the ones I just read in the book Not Alone: Stories Of Living With Depression come in.  

I had the opportunity this week to read this book and was blown away by the stories these brave contributors shared.  Throughout the book you can read the stories of how depression and anxiety came into peoples lives to steal hope and increase isolation.  Many of the stories include the recognition and admittance of depression, some include the devastating effects that depression had/has on their life and some share of how living on the other side of depression feels.  Not every story shares about the  wonderful "other side".  Some of the stories share about the struggle of survival and managing the best they can while depression is still at work. I like that. I like that because I know that not every struggle we encounter will see its end this side of heaven and no one is alone in that.
I needed this book right now in my own life.  I am feeling overwhelmed, ashamed and guilty about the depth of my need.  Lies. All lies.  I am not alone in my struggles and there is hope.  Glorious, amazing, freeing hope.  I want it.  I suspect that many of you want it too.  I cannot give you the answers as to how your journey will look or where your path will take you.  I can tell you that my hope comes from the lavish and unashamed love that my creator has for me.  I am not worthy of it yet He suffered and sacrificed His life all with me in mind.  I have hope in His love and in His plan for my life.  The only way for me to know this is to silence the lies that make it impossible to believe it.  

There’s nothing like writing down a book full of truth to stick it to a liar. ~ Tamara Lunardo

If you are looking for hope, looking to "stick it to a liar" then this book may be very helpful to you.  You can buy it at Amazon or you can find out more information about the Not Alone project at  Alise Wright's (the editor) personal blog.  I wrote an entry about my depression on her Not Alone blog series.

Hope. Let us all search for and cling to hope.  I take comfort in knowing this truth: "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because  I have overcome the world." John 16:33b (NLT)
Be blessed!