Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, December 31, 2010

Lovin' the Antique Mall

Going to the Antique Mall has a way of taking me back to the good ole days. As I walk around the mall - I just feel like it is taking back to a simpler time. And I love the way it feels. Today my husband and I went and it just became clear to me of why I love that place. We did not buy anything although I am going to watch something that spoke to me.

Isn't this cute? I love the little iron and the ironing board just makes it all the more cute!

And I love old keys! Aren't these great? They are so cool.

We also saw some great drop leaf tables. That is something else that I love. We found several pieces that we loved but we do not have any where to put them. So we just enjoy them at a distant.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!! And looking forward to what all God has planned! :o)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Recipe and Being Real

Good Afternoon~ I hope you all are having a good day. Today I worked on making up a menu and a grocery list. I wanted to get this stuff out of the way today because tomorrow evening we have a Christmas Dinner and my MIL's house. And I will have to make up few things to take as well. So I was happy to get my shopping out of the way.

I made up a batch of Taco Seasoning - I got the recipe out of one of my Tightwad Gazette books. Just in case some of you are interested in it- Here it is:

Taco Seasoning Mix

6 tsp. chili powder
4 1/2 tsp. cumin
5 tsp. paprika
3 tsp. onion powder
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 - 1/4 cayenne pepper(optional)
This makes up about 1/2 cup of the seasoning mix.

It is a good thing that I just shared this recipe because I had forgotten to put the onion powder in my mix. I have now - so it is all good.

Well since I try to be honest here on my blog - I wanted to share with you all that I am a little discouraged. I have lost a total of 34 pounds...which is great - I know! And I am so happy about it but for the past week or so I have been sitting still- not losing. And I know that I do not need to be discouraged - and I think that is one reason why I am writing this and sharing it because I need to be real and then accept the situation that way it is. So I have been discouraged about this. Then I went and looked at my little notebook, the one that I use to record my weight and blood pressure information and I noticed that I had lost 5 pounds as of the first of Dec. Which for December is not very bad at all. In fact, many people gain few pounds around the holidays- so it is ok that I sit right where I am. Because at least I am not gaining.

With my husband being home and me adjusting to not working - has been an adjustment for me. I have really tried the past couple of days to get back on track - getting to bed earlier - before 10pm if at all possible. I have shared in the past that there is a special hormone that is released at about 10pm. And if you are asleep then the hormone can do your body the most good. And since I have been getting to bed earlier then I am also getting up earlier which is helping me to be back on the schedule that works pretty good for me.

The past two weeks I have had to bake up goodies for a few special people in our lives and so that has been more tempting to me - than usual. So that has not helped at all.

So anyway I have been discouraged but I am going to just take it all in stride - I did not gain all my weight over night and I can not expect to lose it over night. In fact, I have never lost weight this fast before..So I am going to Praise God for the blessings that He has provided - the knowledge and the success. And pray that He will give me the strength to move forward. :o)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slowing Down, Enjoying Life

I have enjoyed being home more. I have lots of projects round here to keep me busy. Yesterday I decided that it was time to take the Christmas tree down. I enjoy it being up but it was time to get my house back in order. - Or at least start heading that way. Anyway so I got the tree taken down. And then I worked on getting some presents ready for my MIL's Christmas this Friday night. Normally we do her Christmas on New Year's Day but my Brother in law has to work so we moved it to New Year's Eve. Then I started getting all my Christmas stuff packed away. I had a box in my sewing room that had fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas stuff that I had found at the thrift stores. And I was not very happy that I had forgotten about this box until today. So I packed up the Christmas stuff. I also worked on an inventory sheet. This way Next year I know what I have and where it is.

One of the reasons why I did the inventory sheet is that last year - after Christmas I bought 2 boxes of Christmas Cards. Well by this year- I had totally forgotten about the cards. So I bought 2 more boxes for this year. And then I found the others. So this year I will begin to be more organized. I am more excited about next Christmas season now - because I know that I have my Christmas Cards already. And there were a few really cool Christmas ornaments that I found that we would have loved to have had on the tree. And a few other cool things that I found that we will love. I am also excited about next fall - found some really cool things this past year and next year I will take the time to get the things out and decorate our home.

I really have missed out one some real enjoyment of the holidays by being too busy. Being too busy distracts you from being able to live in the moment and to enjoy the moments. I don't want to be there any more. I don't want to be so busy that I am too tired to take the time to make my home a haven - an inviting place for me and my family to be.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enjoying Your Blessings

In about 1997, I was working for my MIL at the bakery. At that time instead of a grill - she made donuts. About this same time period Star Telegram started doing a promotional - trying to sell more papers. So basically the idea was that the businesses that had the highest increase in business would win a really cool prize. A trip to Disney World - for 4 people - 3 nights. It was a great prize to win. Well at this same time the local school had an assignment for the kids which required them to use lots of newspapers for the project. And my MIL bought what ever papers were left over - since they used them for clean up with the donut equipment. I don't remember really hearing much about this contest. Until one day when I was at work my MIL said how would you like to go to Disney World? I answered that it would be nice but that I did not see that ever happening. At that point we were pretty poor and I knew that we could not afford a vacation away - anywhere. Well guess what? She had won the trip!!!

My MIL and her husband and her other grandson would drive to Florida - to visit my FIL's family and then they would meet up with us at Disney World. How exciting!!! We ended up going the last week of July - the only time our schedule would allow. We had a great time- long lines and it was pretty warm but it was a chance of a lifetime for my boys.

What is so sad is that I had the hardest time telling people about us going. Why? I guess I was embarrassed - like for some reason because we were poor - we did not deserve to go. How sad is that?.. I find myself dealing with something a little similar now.

Since I have been "laid" off - I guess I am feeling a little guilty for not working. Isn't that sad? Every other time that I did not officially work - I had children to take care of or homeschool. Now my kids are grown and I am not working - officially anyway and it is just hard to get used t00. I have a lot of things around here to do - to get this place more organized and in better shape.

I just think it is sad that the society 0r something has made me feel pressure to work. And that being at my home taking care of my family is not worthy enough of a "job." I am thankful that I have had these couple of weeks. For the first time in a long time I had time to focus more on my family and on the reason for the season. And during that time I regretted spending so many year working at the bakery and neglecting my family. Not having the time or energy to make the holidays as special as I could have done. But I realize what is past - is the past and there is Nothing I can do about that. But I can look to the future and I can learn to better prioritize my life. Put what is important at the top and drop things that are not as important to lower place on my list. And I am going to be thankful to God for the blessing of being a stay at home wife(as long as He choose that fo me.) :O)

So I am wondering - if any of you feel the way I do? :O)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Come Thirsty

I finished reading my "Traveling Light" book by Max Lucado last week. Last night, I started reading this book "Come Thirsty" also by Max Lucado. He really has a way of writing and his books bring me into a closer relationship with Jesus and that is what I want. I had found this book at Goodwill for $2.00 and I was thrilled I already had it sitting on my shelf. His books are well worth the read.

"What H2O does for your body, Jesus can do for your heart. Lubricate it. Aquify it. Soften what is crusty, flush what is rusty. How?
Like water, Jesus goes where we can't." pg. 13
"Water somehow knows where to go. Jesus knows the same. Your directions are not needed, but your permission is. Like water, Jesus won't come in unless swallowed. That is, we must willingly surrender to his lordship." pg. 14

Saturday, December 25, 2010

God's Provisions

I hope that you all have had a very nice Christmas and that you were able to spend it with loved ones. Our Christmas has been very nice. It has been relaxing and restful. It has been such a different experience than in years past.

Last night I was telling my husband how sad I was that for so many years I worked so hard at the bakery that I did not have the energy to make holidays really special for my family. I did not have the time to set up good traditional things. So we were talking about some traditions that I would like to start now. And I am still thinking of some things that would be good traditions.

Yesterday while I was wrapping presents, I was looking for a box. As I was looking for a box - I remembered that my husband had bought me a pair of tennis shoes just a month ago. With working at the bakery - I walked on concrete floors a lot and it would hurt my feet. So he had bought me a new pair of shoes so that if I needed them around the holiday baking. I was so happy. Then a little bit later - my husband was looking for another box and guess what he found? ....A box that had a brand new pair of tennis shoes for him! Yep- These shoes had been bought several months ago and were forgotten about. What is so cool is that he had told me just before the surgery that he would probably need a new pair of tennis shoes by the time he went back to work. And now that I am not working and we have a couple of medical bills - things have felt a bit tight. And I have worried a bit about it. But it was such a blessing to realize that we each had a new pair of shoes and so that is one area that we do not have to worry about. What a blessing - a special blessing from God!

And if that was not thrilling enough - earlier in the same day - I am working on getting some wood that we had stacked in our garage and as I was working there - I noticed some boxes. And I pulled a box down and realized that they were boxes of some of my smaller clothes. What is sad is that I tried on a few pairs of the pants and they were already way too big. I did find a night gown that fits me great right now. And filled a need that I had. I was going to just use the one I had as long as I could. I found a winter robe - to big for me now. And some summer stuff - the only problem is that the shorts fit now. So I am not sure if they will be useful at summer time. But if not - they will help my sister. And some of the other stuff - I will be finding someone who needs the things to give them too.

Anyway by the end of the day - I sure felt like God is really truly in control. He knows what we will need and he provides. Sometimes it is in weird ways like - us buying things and forgetting that we had bought them..but all in all it is still God providing. And for us - we got a real laugh out of yesterdays provisions! :o)

Sabbath Praise and Merry Christmas!

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs! I can remember singing it many times as we would go around caroling when I was a kid! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! :o)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Just a little note to say Merry Christmas! May you all be blessed during this Christmas season. And may you take time to remember and think on the reason for this holiday season. Jesus came as a baby wrapped in swaddling order that he could die upon the cross for our sins. Thereby washing our sins clean and making us white as snow. Merry Christmas!! :o)

In the Hands of God

Well Good Morning my friends~
Lately it has been hard to stay on my new schedule that was working pretty well. With my husband being home since his back surgery - means no more alarm going of at 4:40am. And to be truthful that is a bit early for me - but I really am thankful that my husband is able to go to work before the morning heavy traffic and is able to come home before the afternoon heavy traffic s0 we go with it in stride. My biggest problem has been getting to bed at a decent time. I think that when my job crumbled away to nothing - really impacted me and it took me a week or so to just deal with it, in the mean time - I stayed up too late and slept too late. Not only that this week has been full of baking and then of course since I was baking I had to have at least one of each treat that I made. My sister and I both have had to deal with extra temptation this week. And yesterday was my families Christmas get together. So my sister and I just decided that - we will get on track tomorrow and so we enjoyed our dinner together. I still have 2 Christmas dinners to get through but I am getting back on track so I think it will work just fine. I had also reminded my sister that many people gain about 5 pounds or so over the holidays, she and I both have lost weight since Thanksgiving so - if we can maintain this week and then get back on track - that will be a success for sure.

So last night I did my best to get to bed earlier than I have been - it was still a tad bit later than I wanted to - but at about 5 am - I woke up and could not go back to sleep. Talk about getting back on track. Anyway I think I will do one of my Leslie Sansome walking tapes in a bit so I can get some exercise. It is suppose to be rainy today so I will probably not get out for a walk later. And I will be making up one of my meals - I am thinking the Coconut Curry with Greens recipe and that way I have a good, healthy food for a few meals. That makes it so much easier for me t0 be able to cook for the family and still have a healthy meal myself.

And look at the verse that I was reminded of:

"Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. " 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This verse really spoke to me because it talks that this is he will of God and I know that the best place for me - IS in the will of God. And I will be honest - when I stopped feeling sorry for myself because I felt that I had not been appreciated by my MIL and started to pray for her - to have strength to get through the holiday baking(even though the first time or two was difficult and I had to insert in the prayer that I still wanted her to realize how much I did) it has softened my heart and allowed me to look at the positive side of everything. It is so nice to know that even though things do not go according to how you thought they would - that it is the will of God. And when you know that - you can breath easier knowing you are in the hands of God. :o)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

God Prepares Us

I am so thankful that God prepares us for hard times. The last couple of days, I have been thinking a little more outside of the box. For example, I was cutting the pieces for one of my Block of the Month blocks and I accidentally cut something wrong and did not have enough of the pink and white swirly fabric that the quilt store had given me. In the past, I would have went back to the quilt shop and bought a fat quarter of that fabric to make those pieces. Well as I thought about it I realized I had a piece of pink fabric - not as pretty by any means but it would work in the block. So I used it instead. Now this only saved me about $2.25 but every little bit helps. Plus I am learning to make do with what I have when I can.

I was reading someones blog a little earlier and they talked about reading the Little House books at Christmas time. And especially "The Long Winter" well I started thinking back to when I read that book(not too long ago) and how this book really had prepare me for this season in my life. It is so reassuring when I realize something like that - because it reminds me that God is in control and nothing surprises Him. He know everything from the beginning all the way down to the end. And He loves us so much that He prepares us for what ever is coming next in our lives.

Now as much as I LOVE the Little House books - I do wish there was one thing different. As I read "The Long Winter" I was surprised at the fact that - there was not very much talk about praying to God or asking Him for help through this super rough period of time. I have shared recently how I have been learning to totally depend upon God. I think it is very important for us to depend on God. When we start relying on ourselves too much- we take our focus off of God and put it on ourselves. Now before you start to think that I have got it all figured out and that I am 100% depending on God - I need to share that this is NOT the case. I know that I should, but I still struggle with it. I still try to take control of my life back over and God has to gently take my hand off of the reigns again. I am so thankful that I can trust my life with God. And that He loves us so much that He prepares us for the next step that we need to take. He does not shine the flashlight very far in advance - only as far as we need it. We are to follow where He leads and trust Him. :o)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blessings All Around Us

God really knew what he was doing when he gave us our children when we are young! Today we watched our Granddaughter for about 6 hours. I took her with me while I went walking with my Mom - so she got to spend some time with her Great-Grandmother - that was great. And then I fed her - her lunch and gave her a few Cheerios to eat while I cleaned things up. She seemed like she was tired but she played and played and had NO intentions of going to sleep. It was great to be able to spend time with her.
I finally got a package sent out today. Next year I really need to get things together and get things sent out earlier - it would save the time waiting in line - when you wait till a few days before Christmas.
I am dealing a lot better with the whole situation about my job- well the job I used to have. As I have thought about it - she has done me a favor - this way I don't have to be around the cigarette smoke except around the holidays when we go to her house. It really would have been easier to deal with it all if I had thought that she had appreciated all of my hard work. But you can not make people appreciate you.
I have one more trip to the store to get some last minute things for our Christmas Dinner. We bought a smoked Turkey about Thanksgiving time and did not get a chance to cook it up - due to my busy schedule around Thanksgiving. So now we will have a nice Christmas Dinner - without having to spend a lot of money on it(since I spent the money for the turkey a while back.) And we will have the chance to actually enjoy the dinner and the getting ready for it. There are so many blessings in my life and I need to be more appreciative of all of them. I think there are times that Satan tries so hard to have us focus on the negatives in our lives on the injustice and if we do - We miss out on ALL of the blessings that we have around us every single day. :o)
*Above is a photo of our Granddaughter with her new hat - that says - Camo Princess. She is such a doll.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sometimes our past has the keys to our feelings today..

Way back when I was about 9-10 years old, I went on a camping trip with my church. Our church has a youth group called Pathfinders and this was a camporee - where a lot of different clubs got together. I lived in Pecos at the time (this photo is actually the year before - the story I am about to tell, but it gives you an idea.) We were going to stay at the Davis Mountains for our camporee. Well I had packed up my clothes and all and got busy doing something else. Then we got loaded up into our van - photo below.

My sister had ridden up with some other friends and so it was just my Mom, Dad and I. It was a long trip and my Mom and I got tired so we went to the back of the van to rest. My Dad stopped or gas and while he was getting gas - my Mom and I went to the bathroom. Well apparently he did not realize that we had went to the bathroom cause when we came out of the bathroom - he was gone. Well it was getting late and the gas station would be closing soon. There was no way to get a hold of my Dad. And the gas station that we were at was in a bad part of town. Well we went out and sat on the curb. I remember my Mom being really upset and crying and I tried to tell her that Daddy will realize we are not with him and be back soon. Well he did come back. We got to the campsite and low and behold - my suitcase had not made it to the van. So I had ONLY the clothes on my back to wear. Well an old lady from our church said that since she was not too much bigger than me - she would share her clothes with me. I remember feeling dumb wearing old lady clothes that did not smell very good.

So why am I sharing this story today? Well the last couple of days I have been discouraged. I continue to lose weight which is great! I am so thankful to God for giving me the wisdom and knowledge needed to be successful. Anyway so I am making due on my clothes as much as possible - I have bought some things from Goodwill but the more I lose the less clothes I have to wear. And now that I am out of a job - I am feeling discouraged because I don't know if we can afford for me not to work - let alone - go buy clothes. So I have been stressing about this. And God brought the verses that I share earlier with you all about God taking care of our needs. This is a great promise and even though I don't now how He will do it - I am choosing to trust Him. And then this afternoon, I ran to town to take care of an errand and on the way back - I remembered the above story. I remember not having things to wear that I liked and the feelings and then I realized that - that was the fear that I had. I am doing the best I can to bless others with the clothes I no longer need. And I am sure that God will provide what I need - when it is needed.
And God will provide for you as well. :o)

Seek Ye First

"25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:25-33

This same information is shared in Luke 12:17-31 also. It may be else where as well - these are just to two places that I found when I was looking. I hope these are encouraging to you as they have been to me. :O)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sabbath Praise/Update

I know that I had said I would do Christmas music, but I am sure that you all are hearing plenty of Christmas music already. This morning - I weighed myself - and as I saw the number all of a sudden I thought - Victory In Jesus! And I thought - that is the perfect song to share today. It did not come from me - since it has been years since I have heard this song. Anyway Praise God for all of His blessings.

I did not feel so blessed yesterday- as I thought more and more about my MIL choosing to let me go rather that work with me on the schedule it really began to hurt. I did not feel appreciated for the many years that I had worked there. I had even replied to her and told her that when I got her e-mail that it had hurt and I went on to Thank her for letting me for there for as long as I did and that I had enjoyed my job. In her reply there was nothing at all about thanks for the hard work that you have given all these years. But I should not have expected anything like that really. It is our expectations that get us into trouble - and I know that. And anyway she just in not a very appreciative person. Anyway I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who understand how I feel and are supportive. I got a quote from someone who really loves me and appreciates me and I wanted to share it with you all. Some of you may have already seen this but it is encouraging and I wanted to share this just in case it encouraged you as well.

"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. Every story has an end, but in life every end is just a new beginning."

I was reminded by a friend to look to Jesus for Emotional Healing. And I will claim - Victory in Jesus in this situation as well. I hope you all have a great day! :O)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Loved This Dress

Earlier this week, when my sister and I went to the Goodwill half price day - I found this awesome dress. It is a "Just My Size" Smocked Jersey border print dress, with the tags still attached to it. I loved the style(of course I would have worn a camisole under it cause I do not wear that revealing of clothing)! The flowers at the bottom of this dress are so pretty and just make me love the dress. Well I tried it on, as I was admiring the fact that several months ago the size would have never fit and how excited I was to find such a cute dress and it would only be about $5.00, I noticed that somehow it had gotten cut in several places towards the bottom in the area with the flowers. I am imaging that some little kid got a hold of scissors and got in at least 2 cuts before they were taken away. Anyway I was so disappointed. Anyway going to thrift stores and Goodwill's is a great way to find really pretty, nice clothes at really reasonable prices- you just have to really be careful and check things out. There may be a really good reason why it is there - other than it did not fit someone any more. :o)

This and That

Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I were able to watch our granddaughter for a few hours to give her Mommy and Daddy a chance to go out. While she was here, I decided to see how much she weighed - I weighed myself first and then weighed myself with her and figured the difference. She weighs abut 25 pounds now. Then as I had written it down and realized that I have lot more weight than how much she weighs made me think about how when I carry her she is heavy and I used to be heavier than that- and so thankful for God's blessing and wisdom that finally got me on the right path.

We had a lot of fun with the Granddaughter, but I must admit it is a much harder job now that my husband is very limited in what he can do. And let me tell you - he loves that girl and wants to badly to play with her more than he is able to. But we made do and had a lot of fun.

And since I have a lot more extra time on my hands now - I will be spending some of it to work on getting the house a little bit more baby proof. There is cleaning and getting rid of stuff we do not need.

That has been one of the benefits of my journey - I am more able to let things go that I do not need in my life any more. I had let go of a lot of my grip on my job at the bakery already - more so because I have held on so tightly and wanted to do a good job and caused myself stress because I did not have the control of the bakery to make sure that a good job was done on everything and that all stressed me out in the past. But over the past several months God had already worked on my heart to let it go.

Remember a while back I shared the song - Surrender by Barlow Girl? Well this song really speaks to me and about this whole situation. We hold so tightly to our dreams that I think sometimes we don't allow God to lead us to the dreams He has for us. And I am sure that if I am fulfilling what God has in mind for my life I will feel more fulfilled. So I have let go of some things - not exactly on purpose or of my own doing but when doors are shut you really ought to move on. I am moving on. And I am looking forward to what God has in mind for me. Sure I am a bit scared - but that is so normal for me because changes used to be super hard for me - but I am learning that when God is in control - He gives you what ever you need in order to do what ever it is that He has asked you to do. That I am sure of! :o)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breathing Easier

I have worked in my MIL's bakery for many years(which a break in there to give me time to get our house ready to sell and to move and get settled.) I have enjoyed my job most of the time. But there were many years that around Thanksgiving and Christmas - things would get tough. With it only being my MIL and myself working there - sometimes it was overwhelming to get the 70-100 pie orders. And there were some mornings( the 2 days before Thanksgiving were the worse) that I would cry because I was so stressed out at how much work we had to do. Well last night I cried but for a different reason.

But in order to get to that part of the story we need to rewind just a bit.
Well yesterday morning, I felt like it was the right time to write my MIL an e-mail to ask her about changing my schedule so that I would not have to be around the cigarette smoke. I had felt that this is what I needed to do for my health. I had realized that there could be some consequences for what I did. I have worked with my MIL long enough to have a feeling of how she would react. But I had hoped that she appreciated what all I did for her and be willing to work with me. Anyway I was a little apprehensive after I sent the e-mail. I then decided that I had turned my life and my will over to God and that I felt like this was what I was suppose to do and that I needed to leave it in His hands.

I went on a good walk with my Mom and then just after my lunch my sister called and asked me what I had planned for the afternoon - I said going to Goodwill with you. Well that was because all of a sudden I realized that it was half price day at Goodwill and she had just told me she was headed home from work. So I drove to her house and we drove to one of the local Goodwills that we don't normally get to go to. We spend a few hours but I ended up with 7 shirts - one for church- for only about $2.00 a piece. And that is a great price to pay for clothes - especially if you do not know if you will be wearing that same size the next winter. I need to go through my closet and try stuff on because I realize that a lot of it is getting to baggy to wear. Anyway I will try to do that later today and then I can replace those items with the ones I just bought.

I did not make it home till a little after 7pm -(I had to stop by pharmacy to get my husbands meds too) and then checked my e-mail- and sure enough there was an e-mail from my MIL. And it seems like I started the week with a job and will end it without one. I was not surprised, but I was hurt. I was hurt because I did not feel appreciated enough for her to work with me. She basically told me to take the next couple of months off. And she never did say that the schedule that I had asked her about would work then. So I figure this was her nice way of ushering me out of there. You know why would I just take a couple of months off. Anyway so I was sad.

But I am still trusting God. And I realize that it is the best thing for me. Because no matter if anyone is smoking there or not -there are enough chemicals in that building from ALL of the smoking that goes on - that it would still be dangerous to be there.

I am so glad that God prepared me for this outcome. I told my MIL to let me know when she wanted me to come back and that there was a chance that I may not be available because if God opens another door - I will have to follow His leading. So sometimes God opens doors and sometimes He closes doors - we just have to learn to trust Him ALL of the time. :o)

* Thanks Judy for the idea for the title of this post :o)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surely Goodness and Mercy

A while back I found these two great books at the Antique Mall that we like to shop at. I paid less than $4.00 for both of them. I am almost to the end of Max Lucado's Traveling Light book. It has been well worth the money - and so much more. It has been such a blessing to read.

"Measure your value through God's eyes, not your own."

This is a statement that really hit home with me. This is a lesson that God has been working on teaching me this past year. The world's way of evaluating our worth is set on a standard that most of us can't even measure up to. I know what I am fixing to say might offend some people but I don't say it to offend - just think about it for a bit.

We hold movie starts and sports heroes up high on pedestals - they get paid mega bucks. I mean seriously, it's nice to sit and watch a movie every now and then but I really don't think that what they do is worth millions - it just goes to show how off kilter our world really is.

Back in Bible times, Shepherds were considered low - like just above the status of a thief - and yet God uses a Shepherd as an example of who he is to us - his sheep. And I think that this is just one example of how God's value system is SO much different than the value system of this old world of ours.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Psalms 23:6a

"And what follows the word surely? " goodness and mercy." If the Lord is the shepherd who leads the flock, goodness and mercy are the two sheepdogs that guard the rear of the flock. Goodness and mercy. Not goodness along, for we are sinners in need of mercy. Not mercy along for we are fragile, in need of goodness. We need them both. As one man wrote, "goodness to supply every want Mercy to forgive every sin. Goodness to provide. Mercy to pardon. "
page 144 + 145 from Max Lucado's book - Traveling Light

This was just too good not to share. May God bless each and every one of you and may you recognize God's goodness and mercy in your life in a special way today and every day! :o)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Moving Forward...

Read the following slowly:

There is so much wisdom in these words and they can bring so much clarity into your thinking when dealing with life. There are things we can not change- and it is so much easier if you just will realize that.
I am dealing with something in my life - I have shared before about it here and here if you want to go back and read about it. Short version is that I work in an environment with quite a bit of cigarette smoke. And when I heard this prayer last night -I realized that I can not change her - I can not get her to stop smoking and make our store a smoke free environment but I can change me - yes I already realized all of this but it was so freeing to hear this and realize that I was on the right path. I have the right to set boundaries.
So now that I have these realizations - I have to talk to my MIL about this. I am not sure if I have already shared that I had already made the choice to work through the holidays - it would be way too short of notice. And so I am going to help through the holidays and then I am hoping to go in on Sundays when no one is at the store to do a majority of my work and then just go in for an hour a couple of days a week to bake up the cookies - yes - I will still be exposed but much less. If she want to bake up the cookies - that is totally fine with me too - I would rather not be exposed at all.
So now I am trying to decide if I should talk to her or write an e-mail. Someone close to me suggested and e-mail and then maybe my MIL would not feel defensive about the conversation and it would give her time to let the info soak in. I know it might seem like the cowards way out but I want this to go as smoothly as possible - I want her to realize that I love her I just don't want to be around the smoke. I don't want the damage done to my health. So this will be something that I take care of this week. I will let you know how it goes.
Sometimes we are called to stand up for what we believe, even if it is not the popular thing to do. When we are exposed to truth - we have a decision to make. I am praying God gives me the right words to say and then I am leaving the results up to Him. He knows what is best. :o)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Precious Memories

On Friday we got to take care of our precious Granddaughter for a few hours. We took her to the park for the first time. She loved riding in her stroller. And we walked her up to where there is a great playground. She loved the swing. And loved watching the "big" girls swinging nearby.

When we got home - since Papa just had a back surgery a week and a half ago - he could not help a lot with her. Well I had put her on the floor in the living room with some toys and ran to the bathroom. When I came out - I asked where she was - my husband said, "I thought she was right there by the bathroom door" "no" I said - and said, "I don't see her at all." I walked down the hallway and looked into my room and this is what I saw!
She loves this little pretty. I don't blame her - I think it is quite cute myself. It plays music, so I twisted it and gave it back to her to listen to the music.
Well we had a pretty good week-end. I hope you all did as well.

Oh and guess what I won? A giveaway on A Moment With M.O.M. - A great baby set - from Patches of Thyme. I put a link - so you could to check it out. Looks like they have a lot of really cool things. This is the very first giveaway - I have every won! :o)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Check Those Labels

On Friday on my weekly trip to the store, I was on the vitamin isle looking for a Calcium/ Vit D mix vitamin.Well not too far way I saw what looked like a multivitamin. I thought to myself - well I already have a multivitamin - maybe this multivitamin will have the combination of the vitamins that I want. So I turned the bottle around and started to look through the ingredients. I was blown away when I saw that a pretty good dose of caffeine was in these vitamins. I have been caffeine free for 3 months - I have NO plans of every getting hooked on the stuff again. I was not very happy that they would put it in a multivitamin - pretending that it is a nutrient that would be helpful for your body. So I wanted to write a quick post to say - when you are buying vitamins- please be sure and look to see what the ingredients are- you may be surprised.

I have shared before that Aspertame is another thing that I am trying to stay away from. I do not think it is safe and it is so surprising the many products that have it in it. I thought that just sugar free stuff - but the truth is that most gums have it in the ingredient list. And that is sad. To say the least - I chew much less gum now. There are just a brand or two that does not have aspertame and I just check the label to make sure. It is sugared gum that I get, but I do not chew it very often at all.

Anyway it is a good idea to check the labels of what we buy. I think that this is just one more reason to eat as many foods as close to how it is grown as possible. :o)

Sabbath Praise

Since Christmas is 2 weeks away - I thought it would be a really good idea to have some Christmas songs for Sabbath Praise for the next two weeks. This is one of the most beautiful Christmas songs that I have heard. I hope you enjoy. :o)

Friday, December 10, 2010

3 Months Ago Today

Three months ago today, I went to a seminar that changed my life. I have shared in the past how I know that God was leading me to go to this seminar. God got my heart ready for it before I had even heard of the seminar. Once I was willing to let God led - then he brought the information to me. That first night, we watched the movie - "Forks over Knives" and it(along with the seminar) changed my life. The blessings have been so worth it - I have not had a soda since 3 months ago today. Never suffered from it either. To be truthful there was a time or two that I heard a soda can being opened that I was a little tempted, but Praise God I have chosen to stay away from the stuff and He has given me the strength to do so. I was amazed that it did not take long at all to notice changes in my blood pressure and my pulse rate. All of these numbers have gone down. My blood pressure had been borderline high before I made these changes. And the weight loss - that has been to me one of the biggest blessings. Every time that I have tried to lose weight in the past - I have struggled and struggled and my whole life became about food- and not in a good way. This time - I can eat - I eat good. You would probably not believe how much I eat. I am not starving at all. This morning I had a pear, apple and an orange and then about a cup of oat groats( like oatmeal) with about 1 1/2 T. sunflower seeds and a couple of T. of raisins with some honey for sweetener and some soy milk. Trust me - this is a lot of food. I have never before been able to eat enough that I feel full and still be able to lose weight. It has been great.
So today I celebrate - 3 months of a new lifestyle - God's blessings in my life- wisdom from God- and Courage when I need it. :o)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Pie

1/3 C. Honey
3 T. + 1 tsp. Brown Sugar, not packed
1 2/3 C. Mori-Nu Lite tofu, extra firm
1 C. Pumpkin, canned
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 - 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 - 9" Graham cracker crust, Arrowhead Mills -(There was a reason for using this brand but I don't remember- but you can use what you would like.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Blend first 6 ingredients until creamy, stopping blender to stir contents.
3. Pour into pie shell and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce heat to 350 and continue baking or an additional 35 minutes. May cover edge of crust half way through baking cycle to prevent over baking.
4. Chill completely before serving.
5. Delicious served with Cashew topping. (I will share this recipe later)

I was very surprised at how good this pie tasted. It is a recipe(as is all the recipes I have shared so far) worthy of being added to my recipe binder. I will show that on another post. I hope you all have a great day! :o)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Eggless Eggnog

Eggless Eggnog
1 3/4 C. Mori-nu tofu Lite,firm
2 C. Soy milk, Silk, plain
1/8 C. Honey
4 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp Imitation rum extract
1/4 C. Brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt

nutmeg or coriander

1. Place all of the above ingredients except for the nutmeg or coriander in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, chill.
2. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg or coriander on top.

This tastes SO good.
(By the way - this is not the water packed tofu. This tofu can be stored in your pantry till you open it up. It is also very convient to have on hand. Here is an idea of what it would look like. )
I have been asked about Soy milk - I am not sure about where you live but where I live in the dairy case next to the milk they sell soy milk. Silk is a pretty popular brand. They also sell some soy milk in cartons elsewhere in the store(these don't have to be refrigerated till they are opened. I get my soy milk from Costco - I buy Kirkland Signature brand Organic Soy milk - I buy it by the case - 12 - 1 Qt. cartons for $12.79. What is so cool about this is that it cost just a little over a dollar a Qt. and I use one and once it is gone - I just get another Qt. from my pantry. It is so convenient. If you have not tried soy milk - you may want to start with a brand like Silk - it is really good stuff. I usually buy the vanilla flavored stuff to put into my Oat Groats for breakfast - or to drink. And I keep the plain on hand as well for recipes and such. I hope that this helped answer the question. :o)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Baked Elegant Oatmeal

This is one of the recipes that was shown at the cooking class that I went to. It is very tasty. The one I tasted was with blueberries and it was SO good. Almost desert like.

Baked Elegant Oatmeal
3 cups diced fruit - blueberries, peaches
3 cups old fashioned oats
3 cups soy milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz frozen fruit concentrated (white grape, peach, apple, pineapple)
1 Cup chopped nuts or coconut, for topping
1/4 cup brown sugar(topping)

1.Preheat oven 350 degrees
2. Cover bottom of a 9X13 casserole with fruit
3. Sprinkle oats on top of fruit.
4. Blend soy milk, coconut milk, salt, vanilla, and juice concentrate until creamy, pour over oats.
5. Mix nuts and/or coconut with sugar and sprinkle over top of oat mixture.
6. Bake in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges of pan.
7. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes to firm up the oatmeal.

This was delicious! I hope my family likes it as much as I did! :o)

Monday, December 6, 2010

No Safe Level of Exposure

So I shared a while back that I work in an environment of cigarette smoke. And how I thought that I am becoming more and more sensitive to it. Over the week before Thanksgiving - I worked around a whole lot of it and I kept getting super hot and nauseous feeling. I would have to go outside to get some fresh air in order to feel better. That went on - off and on - throughout that week. Then today at work - I started to feel that way again and then as soon as I felt that sickness come over me I could distinctively smell the smoke(even though those smoking were in the front part of the store.)

I had already realized that I needed to try to work some way out in order not to have to be around the smoke as much. I had been praying about it. And I had left it in God's hands this morning. I went to work and when I got to feeling sick - I realized that I needed to talk to my MIL about it. I was SO nervous about it. I don't want to hurt her feelings. Well God opened a door for me to talk to her. And the result of the conversation was not what I had wanted. We have had some problems with out oven. We actually have an old Pizza Oven that we use. Well the top half had gone out and the bottom part was not working as well - so my MIL called a repair man. He came out and said that it would cost too much to get it fixed and so it would be better to get a new oven. Well when I told my MIL that I was becoming more sensitive to the smoke - she tried to put it off onto just the heat of the oven. Well the oven was not even on when I was there this morning so today's feeling sick could NOT be the oven.

So I left just feeling kind of defeated. I had really felt that I was suppose to talk to her about it. And so I just felt that maybe it was going like it was suppose to. Nothing was really decided. I had asked to go in on Sundays - when the store is closed to make up the Kolache Dough and the Cookie Doughs. Like I said nothing was decided.

So I got home and decided to look "Second Hand Smoke" and you would not believe all the information that I found.

"The scientific evidence shows that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."

This just totally told me that I HAVE to make a choice. You know once we know truth - we are responsible to act on that truth. If we do not - we really are still acting on the truth - and we have just decided to ignore truth.

There is so much information out there and if you are interested in the information just put "secondhand smoke" in your search bar.

Here is a list of Cancers that have been linked to second hand smoking:

Lung Cancer - one site states that 3000 nonsmokers die every year from lung cancer caused by second hand smoke

Nasal Sinus Cavity Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Bladder Cancer

And exposure to second hand smoke hastens hardening of the arteries, a condition known as Atherosclerosis. One thing that I read on several sites is that not only are the rates of lung cancer higher in people exposed to second hand smoke - they also have a higher chance of heart disease.

Oh and here is something interesting - Children that are exposed to second hand smoke - have a lot more dental cavities. That was news to me. I realized that it caused breathing problems like asthma, bronchitis, and the such...

Anyway so once I realized that there is NO safe level of exposure - I knew that I have to make the changes. I have been open to making the changes that God has led me to so far - and I have to be willing to make the changes needed since he has brought this to my attention. God is in control and I have faith that the best place for me to be is in the will of God.

Learning New Healthy Recipes

Yesterday I went to a cooking class. It was basically about cooing healthy around the holidays. The lady showed us how to make about 10 different recipes plus she showed how to cook up Kale so that it tasted good. Then at the very end we got to taste everything for supper. I was very pleased with everything, except one thing and that was only because it was a bit spicy hot for me. But I think that just putting in 1/2 cup of rotel tomatoes will fix that problem. The rest of the stuff was good.

She even made some eggless eggnogg and it was delicious! I loved it! I will be sharing this recipe plus at least one or two of the other ones with you this week. I have a great recipe to share as something to make for Christmas morning - and other times as well. Baked Elegant Oatmeal. It was very good. I think this will be something that I make for Christmas for my family this year.

They had door prizes and I was one of the lucky ones that won one. I won a garlic press. I already have one - a very nice one so I will be finding someone who does not have one and giving it to them.

And the lady that put this class on - brought a box of "The 30-Day Diabetes Miracle" books and gave each of us one. It has some fantastic information in this book - for diabetics and really for anyone - I think. Your diet and exercise routine really make a BIG difference in how your diabetes goes - you can really improve your health with your diet and by exercising. And truthfully EVERYONE would benefit by eating more of a plant based diet and getting enough exercise. Getting outside when ever possible to exercise is very important. Getting enough sunshine is also important. And actually I probably ought to put a link to the principles that I try to live by - they area ALL important to live by. Here is a link to that post. Our choices really do play a very important role in our health. Our genes might work against us but if we will make good choices we can over ride the bad genes. And for me, it is well worth making the changes for better health. :o)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Going to a Cooking Class Today

Today I am going to go to a cooking class being put on by a Nutritionist and expert cook that used to be with Lifestyle Center of America. I am looking forward to what all I can learn today. Hope you all have a great day! :o)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sabbath Praise - 2

A couple of my friends shared this on Facebook this morning and after watching it and seeing so much praise for God - I just had to share it as well. Towards the end, I could even imagine God smiling as he watched this unfold. Praise God - He is Lord of lords and King of kings. :o)

Sabbath Praise

This is such a great song and a great reminder to me. I hope it blesses each of you like it has me. "Pray On" by Babbie Mason :o)

Friday, December 3, 2010

This and That

Well yesterday my husband had a rough day. I think it might have been the "3rd day is the worst day" thing. I have heard this said about surgeries and accidents, that there is something about that 3rd day. Anyway today he has seemed to be doing better. It will take a while totally heal up and that is normal. We are going to just let him take it easy and heal properly.
I also wanted to share how this new lifestyle that my sister and I have changed to- has really had a lot of benefits. I am so thrilled to say that we both made it through Thanksgiving without gaining weight! In fact - I lost a pound or two that week. And with my husband being in the hospital and me not being able to follow a lot of the healthy changes - like getting to bed before 10pm - and not eating as healthy as I would like - still no weight gain -staying steady. I am so thrilled. In times past, the stress of Jason having the surgery and having to be up at the hospital long hours for 2 days in a row would have given me the "right" or privilege or excuse to go back to sodas or to eat unhealthily, but I did not allow the stress to run the way I live my life. And it felt good to be able to still make good choices - as good as I could under the circumstances.

My sister and I both are so happy to have made the changes that are long term and that have given us both hope that we will be able to lose the weight that we have wanted to lose for years. And that we will have the chance to reach some goals that have eluded us for years. And that we will be able to keep the weigh off once we lose the weight that we want to lose. We have both given the amount of weight that we lose to God. We will eat this way the rest of our lives and God will make the choice of where our weight lose will stop. It feels good to let go of that. Now I must confess that even though I have released that part - I still would love to have instant gratification. And I have to remind myself that it took years to get to where I am and it is not all going to come off at once. In fact, it is good for weight loss to be somewhat slow. If it is then I have more of a chance for my skin to tighten along with the weight loss instead of sagging. And that is a good thing.

Ok last week when I drove by a gas station - prices were at $2.49 a gallon. And I had thought that once Thanksgiving was past that gas prices would go down. That is usually how gas prices work. Anyway today when I went to Block of the Month - I about died when I saw the most recent gas prices - $2.79. And I was not too happy about the fact that I HAD to get gas today.
I would be curious to know what the gas prices are where you live. So if you would leave a comment with gas prices and at least a state. That would be cool to see how the prices are different? And also did the gas prices jump in your area this week? :o)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Changes and Priorities

Sitting at a hospital all day for two days gives a lot of time for thought. I was thinking of the fact that I used to be a person that did not like changes. But there have been SO many changes in my life over the last couple of years, I have learned to turn my life and my will over to God. And this has really helped me because I am letting go of the control of my life. It is in such better hands when I leave it in God's hands. Sometimes I still resist changes. And when we put all of our faith and trust in God and turn our lives over to Him, it is amazing what he can do. Struggles that we've always had are no longer struggles.

I know it is scary to let go of control, sometimes I find myself trying to be in control and then I remember that God knows what's best and He does such a better job of being in control of my life than I ever have.

I heard a part of a sermon on the way to the hospital and the question was asked:

Did God consider Jesus more important at 30 years old in his ministry than at 28 years old and a carpenter? In both of these cases God was equally as proud of Jesus because Jesus was doing the will of His Father. God was not more proud of Jesus just because He was in the ministry.

So this is a great reminder to me that as long as I allow God to lead in my life, that I will be in the will of God which is the very best place to be.

Back in July I wrote a post about priorities and it is so cool to look back and see God's hand in how my life has been going. God knew that in order for me to make the changes that I have made that I needed to be prepared for them. and by realizing that even though I have done some things in my life fr a long time does not mean that they are things that need to stay in my life.

I learned a very important lesson last week actually. When I went to the Dr. she told me NOT to be around cigarette smoke- well because I have always been so dependable to my MIL, then I disregarded my health and went to work, where I knew I would be around cigarette smoke. And I paid the price- I felt miserable. I would get so hot and nauseous. And the instead of getting better after going to Dr and getting on a Z-pack, I actually got sicker.

Then this week I had only asked for Monday off, but as I sat in the hospital room for hours - quiet so my husband could sleep- I have plenty of time to think. I realized that in order to keep my priorities in the correct order- God, Husband/Family, Health.....then I needed to be off all week so that once my husband was home - that I would be there to help him and keep him from doing things that would be harmful like bending to pick stuff up, even putting on socks could do damage to his back. So I took the whole week off.

I have allowed that job to have TOO high of a spot in my life. Yes, I feel like I am being led to help her out and to carry some of the burden but I will do my best to not do it at the expense of my family or other priorities again. :o)

We did not get home till about 9:30pm on Tuesday. And we were both tired. Yesterday I slept in -trying to get caught up on sleep. And then I had lots to do around here to get caught up. Sorry I did not post yesterday, but I had a lot to do.