February 07, 2018

We Thank God

"How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?" ~ 1Thessalonians 3:9

1. Standards = I live under the standard - "W.W. J. D.?" ⛨ I grew up reading "In His Steps" By Rev. Charles Sheldon. Both my  paternal grandmother and my husband's paternal grandmother had copies of his book. It inspired me to write Rev. Sheldon's biography here. (Side note: I just noticed today that he could be a doppelganger for Dr. Phil. What do you think?)

2. Iron Sharpening Iron -- Mark Lowry said he's been getting ideas of what to be grateful for from some of the comments under his videos on Facebook and YouTube. On one of his videos I said I was grateful to live in the HEART of America! smile! 💝

3. US National Handwriting Day! -- It seems I have missed a holiday in January. instituted in honor of John Hancock's birthday on January 23 (1737). I have a gratitude that I wrote sometime ago about scribblers and I'm thankful I know how to write Jesus' name in block lettering and in cursive, not to mention I'm thankful I was able to take some of Stephanie Ackerman's online doodle classes, a component of which is showing us how she writes. However, now you can purchase her NEW book and get the same instruction in handwriting that was in her online workshops. 

4. Attitude of Gratitude video -- This video popped up in line after I watched Mark Lowry's video this morning. Sr. (Sister) Donata Farbaniec , a Polish nun, was speaking at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington DC. on the attitude of gratitude. She is a Daughter of the King too and afterwards I left a comment: "Thank you, Sister, for the inspiring words -- I especially understood the term "wooden lips" as it's sometimes tough to praise God, but I am beginning to look for the good in the dark valleys of my life. " In my mind's eye, I could just "see" me walking hand in hand with Jesus as I listened to her. She told a story about praising God with "wooden lips" from her own life and a similar story of my own experience came to mind.

Both a friend and I were enjoying a visit together in the car so much that she "forgot" to turn off at an exit. When she noticed that we had missed our turn, she remarked, "Well, perhaps we were meant to miss that turn. Maybe the Lord meant for us to enjoy our fellowship with each other so much that I "absentmindedly" missed it because he was protecting us from an accident that could have happened had we gone that way." You know it's possible and I have never forgotten this friend's words. 

5. Gratitude Journaling = One thing that has been helping me write my gratitude's, is to open a draft post on this blog and save it to my dashboard, then writing in things I find during the week to be thankful for. If you don't blog or have a website, then you might not understand the inner workings of software-land, but you can translate it into hardware. Keep a small spiral bound blank book/journal close by your comfortable chair or in your pocket and scribble into it the good things you are grateful for. If I don't write it down right when I'm thinking of it, I forget it sometimes. Also write in any thankful scriptures you run across or quotes you might find in your reading that pertains to gratitude and thankfulness. Even write down illustrations of that -- like the Pilgrim's first Thanksgiving. Then come and share it with me down in the comments! 

I watched one of Stephanie's videos again last night. I think somewhere on this blog I mentioned it appeared as though she was writing a commentary. Perhaps it's a commentary and a quote-book in one -- things she wants re-read to remember.

6. Food Adjustment = Amazing, isn't it? No. 6! I watched a video last night of a so-called "Nutritional Doctor." I didn't hold with everything this "doctor" said, however, there was one thing that I latched onto since I'm in the process of adjusting my diet. This person said to see how many different fruits and vegetables you can find in one year's time, eat one cup of it (no dipping your toes in with 1 bite), and record it somewhere by either listing it or gluing a picture down on a sheet of paper and posting on your frig or gluing pictures on a placemat and when the placemat is full, laminating it, or in a notebook. So for my list here on Pinterest this morning, I'm thankful I have two things I can record! I ate a banana and a handful of raisins in my nuked oatmeal! I haven't found a cold cereal yet in our local grocery store that doesn't contain some sort of refined sugar.  (Pssst! Side note: I wonder how many fruits and vegetables are mentioned in the Bible? Anybody know?)

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"By their fruit you will recognize them.
Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?"~ Matthew 7:16

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This Morning's Cooked Oatmeal Recipe: 1 3/4 cups water, 1 cup quick oatmeal, 1 handful of raisins, 1 peeled and sliced banana in a large microwave safe bowl. Stir to mix and nuke in the microwave 2 minutes. Remove and add a little milk (and add two teaspoons of stevia if not sweet enough for your taste), stir, eat and enjoy! 
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February 02, 2018

Thanks Be to God!

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
~ 1 Corinthians 15:57

1. Journal Fatigue -- This one paper crafter I listened to today on YouTube was talking about journal fatigue. She said that people tie themselves up in knots and get anxious if they skip a day to write or create in their journals, when it should be a relaxing, meditative time to reflect on the goodness that comes your way and record little snapshots of that. For instance, if you are recording your gratitude's or documenting your relationship with Jesus, what would you like to read about in five years time?  You know, if you have followed me for any length of time, I have struggled with writing something every week on this blog, but I see I can give myself permission to not get anxious about it, if it doesn't happen. While I enjoy it and get satisfaction from writing, the creative spark or inspiration can be blocked by unplanned things, like sickness or unforgiving people. (The devil likes to try to derail you if he can.) There's something though, to be said about the process of working through the struggles. I, in the past, have given myself a time limit, or as the case may be, the limit of completing one project, then after finishing it, if I don't want to do it anymore, I can walk away with a clear conscience that I gave it my best and actually completed it. Hallelujah! ADD people are notorious for undone projects which can lead to inward failure guilt. Been there, done that! 😀 

2. Happy Mail -- I Love Happy Mail and today I received some lovely happy mail from my friend, Joan, from across the pond. Sounds like she is settling into her new-to-her home. Her husband retired and they moved to be closer to their daughter. I so thankful for Joan!

3. Catch Them Being Good! -- I believe in rewarding good manners and kindness with praise! 👼

4. I am so thankful for music! --- Sure helps me feel better when I'm feeling blue. 

5. DIE-T Appetite DELIGHT!-- Did you know that J.T. Stinson, a well-regarded fruit specialist, introduced the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" (at a lecture during the 1904 St. Louis World Fair)? A church friend gave me this recipe for fruit-sweetened apple pie. My hubbin said it's fit to eat! 

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Sugar-less Apple Pie

6 medium red Delicious apples, peeled and sliced (we use one of those new-fangled apple wedge knives - cores and wedges apples in one push)
1 can (6 ounces) frozen apple juice (without sugar), thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pastry for 9-inch double crust pie
3 tablespoons margarine

Place apples and undiluted apple juice into a large pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Gently stir cornstarch into apple mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until apples begin to soften. Stir in cinnamon. Fill pastry shell with apples and cover with top crust.
Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Baste with melted margarine after baking. Yum! 

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I'm thankful I found two pre-made products at the grocery store this week that I can eat! 
One is Smucker's Organic Peanut Butter (no sugar added) and Smucker's Fruit Spread sweetened with Honey. Both are yummy!  And I just learned that Russell Stover  has stevia-sweetened chocolate candy. Yay! 

January 24, 2018

Songs of Thanksgiving

"From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained."
~ Jeremiah 30:19

1. I'm so thankful for Brenda of "Faded Rose Vintage" She's such a good encourager! She's been sharing some interesting verses on laughing and positivity from the Bible with me --  Psalm 2:4; Psalm 59: 8 and Philippians 4:8. 

2. I listened to Dr. Charles Swindoll this morning on YouTube and suddenly realized after reading Psalm 103:8-12, just how overwhelmingly blessed I am that God does not treat me as my sins deserve nor does he repay me according to my iniquities and that as far as the east is from the west he has removed my transgressions from me. Thank you, Lord! 

I have to remember that if I'm being dragged through the mud-pit of condemnation and hit over the head with mud-slung guilt, it isn't coming from the Lord, but from the other guy down under. 

Here's a verse for a Daughter of the King! = "Who (He does!) redeems my life from the pit and CROWNS me with love and compassion!" (Psalm 103:4) It's his GRACE that does that! 

3. My sleep lab last Saturday evening was an interesting experience and it's ironic how people come together sometimes. 👼 My technician, a young man, bearing the same first name as  our son with a similar middle name as my hubbin's middle name (never did catch his surname), lived in a small town in Johnson County, KS nearly the same time we lived there. His brother had the same kindergarten teacher as our son and we sat and reminisced about the people we knew in common while he wired me up. I'm thankful for his patience with me and I'm thankful that God brought us together because it was sure fun visiting with him. God bless him! 

4. Part of my childhood and adult diet has been called the "eliminate and substitute". The first thing I remember having to eliminate was chili. I was allergic to something in the chili powder spice that my mother used, because anytime I ate it, I didn't know which end would erupt first. After one particularly bad episode with additional shaking and turning pale, I eliminated chili from my diet.
I also had to eliminate some raw cruciferous vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, cabbage, onions, sesame seeds and sourdough bread on doctor's orders. I could eat the vegetables cooked with no problem, but raw, oh my, they painfully tore up my gut. 
 Soy margarine was next on the list. It makes me wheeze. It's good to train a child when they are young to eat healthy and when he is older, he will be able to choose wisely because that's what he is used to eating. In this case, I had to eliminate margarine and substitute real cow's butter. Oil and creamer powder made with soy were also eliminated and I substituted olive and corn oils for the soy and real liquid milk and/or powder for the creamer. In the last year or so, I read in the Allergy & Asthma newsletter that we get that they have discovered by a medical study that margarine can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. Yeah, I could have told them that! 😁
After that, our household has become pork-free, mushroom-free and low sodium (150 mg or lower per serving is considered low-sodium. You have to read the food labels). I miss my pork-chops to some degree and occasionally will have Hebrew-brand kosher hotdogs, but I really miss eating my favorite stuffed mushrooms from our local Chinese restaurant and mushrooms on my vegie pizza. Mushrooms make my toes tingle and too much sodium makes my legs swell, my lungs wheeze and my hands go numb. 
The hardest thing of all will be eliminating the refined sugar. No, I'm not diabetic. I have a yucky skin condition. We've been reading labels and refined sugar is in almost everything! Refined sugar is cane or beet white sugar, brown sugar, molasses and corn syrup. Substitution in this case is a little stevia, fruit or honey, so I'm on the hunt for products and recipes. 
I'm thankful for the foods I can eat! 

5. And I'm thankful for allowable substitutions! I watched a YouTube video this summer and found an iced tea base that I can make up and have on hand in my refrigerator to drink. Here's how I make it: 

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You can use any type or flavor of tea, but make sure all the tea flavors/bags are the same unless you like mixed drinks. 😀 Afterwards, I add my used tea solids to my flower pots as compost.

To make unsweetened tea:
You will need two pint-sized (16 oz.) clean mason jars with lids and a gallon sized pitcher. Carefully pour hot boiled water into both jars and insert into each jar of water, either 3 tablespoons instant tea or 6 individual sized tea bags or 2 family size tea bags. Clip the tea tags together with a clothespin so they don't fall down into the water and then push the tea down into the water until the bags are wet, and screw on lids, letting the tags hang outside of the jar. Let both jars cool on the kitchen counter and then place in the refrigerator until you need to make more tea. Shake jars before pouring into the pitcher (I pour the tea through a strainer). Add more water as needed to the pitcher to fill it to the top and stir to mix. Two jars of tea base make 1 gallon of tea. Pour over the top of ice cubes to drink from a tall glass and enjoy!

To make stevia sweetened tea:
Make like above, but also add 10 envelopes each of stevia (green packets) to each jar. I began with 13 envelopes of stevia, but it was too sweet for me and by experimenting, I decided 10 envelopes was the right amount. If you only have loose stevia, use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of stevia to the gallon pitcher and stir to dissolve.  I keep my pitcher of tea in the refrigerator so that my tea doesn't ferment or become watered down from melting ice cubes. Enjoy!  

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