May 29, 2018

Thankful for the God of My Ancestors!

1. YUMMIES! = I found a new cookbook at Half Price books in the clearance aisle and have already made the first recipe - blueberry muffins. The only sweetening was 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas and frozen blueberries and my husband said they were okay. Yay! I drizzled some honey on top and he said he preferred them plain. Amazing!

 Next we went to Walmart and found some bananas that were on the speckled side on the clearance cart. I bought all they had, brought them home, peeled them and mashed them with a fork on a plate and put them up in 1 cup plastic containers to put them into the freezer. Now I'll have banana mash whenever I need them for the recipes in this cookbook. I also looked at what they had for frozen fruit (yes, you have to read labels even for dried and frozen fruit!) and found blueberries without sugar. I also purchased some frozen fruit concentrate as well. 
I've been looking at flat breads and found three brands of flour tortilla's made without sugar, so I've made something I call Mexican "peanut butter and jelly." I bought a can of refried beans, made without sugar, spread it on the tortilla and then spread Kauffman's No Sugar Added Pumpkin Butter Spread over that, rolled it in half like a taco and Yum! Of the three brands of flour no added sugar tortilla's that I found at Walmart, I prefer La Banderita Ricas. It is a nice size for the hand,  has more flavor, with the added benefit of no sugar!  The package fit in my side-by-side refrigerator door's shelf quite nicely (I designated a condiment pocket for my "No Sugar Shelf.") I'm thankful for creative ideas that are coming to mind as I adapt to a new way of eating. 

2. A RAK (Random Act of Kindness) = I'm thankful for the kindness of the pizza cook who came out from behind the counter, took my plates and carried them to the table for me where my husband was sitting with his back to the buffet. I know I should have made two trips, but was trying to do it in one because my knee was hurting, so I was trying to balance two plates and my cane on my arm on the way to the table. 

3. BRIGHT SPOTS - I'm so thankful for bright spots to my day that God sends my way such as this pretty rose that was blooming right by my front porch.  Isn't it pretty?

4. SERENITY PRAYER! = It's been written down in my planner this month! 

5. DOCUMENTED FAITH = I have been writing down the Bible verses that Stephanie has been sending out in a spiral planner that I picked up at Walmart, but missed doing the art that I have done with the scriptures in the past, so I found a 5" x  7" spiral bound sketch-book and began designing pages to accompany each Bible verse. I bought one of Stephanie's Sizzix brand flower dies, cut out all the pieces in white paper, then water-colored the pieces, glued them together when dry, then drew in the stitches with a black fine-line sharpie and glued it to the scrapbook paper that I attached to the front of the sketchbook. The pages are perforated, so used masking tape on the backside of the pages to keep them from tearing (and I'm collecting something to glue to the back of the pages. Sneak peak, next time, okay?). Thank you, Lord, for giving Stephanie the idea for Documented Faith! 

And see where it's hanging out:

Cute, huh? 

"I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:"

~ Daniel 2:23a 

May 12, 2018

After Consulting the People!

After consulting the people,
Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord
and to praise Him for the splendor of his holiness
as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:21

1. GENETICS - I recently received my Ancestry DNA results -- I'm a mixture of  70 % English and Welsh; 27 % Irish and Scottish; and 3% Norwegian. I'm the product of the love of many! Thank you God, for the gift of love and life! 

2. MENTAL HEALTH = I've been feeling a little stressed lately. Feeling rejection from several quarters and some bad and some good things happening, many out of my control, has left me feeling overwhelmed. I recognized that and wasn't afraid to ask for help to understand what was going on. I've got several good, supportive people in my life right now who has coached me through this time (hope I wasn't too much of a whiner! 😁) and I thank God for them - some good doctors, (not every apple in the basket is rotten!) my husband, faithful friends, distant cousins, and a special niece. Thank you guys and gals! 

3. EYEBALLS = Thank you Lord, for eyes that can still see, despite the pigmentary glaucoma that some ancestor kindly passed on to me. I'm thankful that glasses were invented so I can see clearer and for my eye doctor (he takes good care of me), researchers, and  the medication that keeps my pressures down. Here I am, the Glaucoma Foundation's Poster Child!

4.  EARS = I'm thankful for ears that can still hear well enough with volume control without hearing aids! I discovered a voice recorder app on my phone and I used it to record some uplifting choruses to send to a friend. It took me several tries to sing it without recording wheezy breaths too, but eventually I managed. Now to figure out how to save her corresponding discovery of the same on my phone for my "encouragement file"! Nothing like happy songs to lift a depressed mood, right Karen?! 

5. LEGS & FEET = Having legs that swell when it gets warm every spring sucks. One of my favorite prayers was written by Reinhold Niebuhr called the Serenity Prayer and I hang onto it when I'm feeling particularly frustrated because I can't seem to get my immunity issues under control that goes along with it. It's not particularly pleasant to wear hot compression socks or hot bandages wrapped around my legs night and day. My husband has been taking me to the doctors now and he gets so angry when some doctors automatically assume that because I'm a BBW that I must be diabetic (blood test revealed I'm NOT, thank God!) and therefore that's why I keep getting all these infections. I've heard the rhetoric so long "if you'd just lose weight, then this would solve a lot of your problems." Don't you think if it was that easy, I would have done that long ago? Thank God, I have a friend, who understands. He sees the big picture and while I don't understand why he just doesn't heal me, perhaps I'm in a place where I continually need him. I think the apostle Paul went through something similar -- "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12: 9). Paul understood that, when he was weak, then he was made strong in the faith.  

May 03, 2018

Step Behind the Shield. Take Your Emotions With You. Then Hold God's Hand.

Psalm 118: 1, 5-7, 11-14, 19-21, 24, 28-29. 
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord and he answered by setting me free.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off.
I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

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1. BIRTH FAMILY = I'm thankful for them.

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3. MEN = As young girls, most of us have formulated our dream man and he was perfect. He knew how to love and cherish us, was kind and gracious to us, took care of us and instinctively knew what we needed before we even asked. 
So going into marriage, we took our dream man with us, thinking that our marriage partner resembled him a little bit and if he didn't, then we could mold him into one like our DM.
Wake up, gal! You aren't married to your dream man -- he's a puff of your imagination! Let him go! The man of your reality will NEVER measure up to your expectations. He's still hanging around because of his love for you and HOPE -- hope that someday you will let go of your dream man and welcome him, warts and all into your heart. He may be a little rough around the edges, but he yearns for your admiration and love and daily wants to hear praise (compliments) and gratitude (thank you's) from you for the things he's done right. A wise woman builds up her house! "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~Proverbs 24:3,4. Treasure your reality man! 

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3. HEALTH NUT = I loved what Stephanie Ackerman said today in her video about crafting everyday -- "Think of crafting as the dessert to our day." Nice thought, Steph! 💖
My homework for this week is to practice using "I" statements, listening skills and reflective statements. And next month we will be talking about boundaries, so a new book that was gifted to my Google library, thanks to JD, came at the right time!
Some friends of mine have had their doctors recommend the Mediterranean diet to them. We have quite a few restaurants in this area that we can eat at with them that cater to that lifestyle of eating.  I wonder what Jesus ate? It would be part of the Mediterranean diet as well!
My husband and I have purchased several packages of heat (microwave) and serve sweet potatoes. Yum!  He has missed his sweet potato casserole though all covered with marshmallow and maple syrup goo on top, so I was looking around for a substitute since refined sugar is out! And I think I've found one that gives a little oomph to the root veggie along with pats of butter! 
I went to Walmart and bought a white plastic flour and spice shaker
And then measured 1/2 cup of stevia powder and 1/2 cup of cinnamon powder into a bowl and mixed the two and then scooped  the mixture into the flour shaker. I tried it last night and it was yummy! 

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4. OUR FIRST PREGNANCY = My husband and I tried for several years to have children. And when I finally did get pregnant, I miscarried my very-much wanted child in my first trimester and had to have an emergency D&C to stop the bleeding as it was an incomplete miscarriage. I never knew the child and never knew the sex of it, but the thing that brought me the most comfort was thinking that my baby was in the arms of Jesus. I can't imagine the grief of parents who knew and loved and lost a child through death.  THANK YOU JESUS for taking in and caring for our first child in heaven! Hope to meet him or her some day there! I wonder if that child knows (s)he has a brother? He was born in the succeeding  year following the death of our first. 
I was reminded of our loss talking to someone at Find-a-grave. I always try to leave a flower at children's memorials there.  

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5. TORNADO SEASON = Has begun with a bang! I had just climbed out of the pickup and was on the sidewalk leading up to our front porch when the tornado sirens went off. I immediately began praying, "Lord, protect us!" And he did! We're safe and sound. Thank you, Dad! 👼

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6. GRATITUDE goes a long way towards developing good relationships. Even if it seems silly, say it: "THANK YOU" or "I APPRECIATE YOU FOR. . ." and then tell them why. It may be the only kind thing a person hears all day! And you can bet, they will remember you for that! 

MARK LOWRY had some  good advice in a recent video: "You will always learn if you are a looking and a thinking. #1. Don't ever use a line you used in high school on a Gaither crowd and 

#2. If you can't see the audience, you don't talk to the audience." He said if someone starts heckling him from the audience, he'll put an overhead spot-light on them instead of answering them back."