Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins!

Tis the season for Pumpkin! Pumpkin is not only healthy for you, but it can be very tasty too.  Recently, I went to the grocery store and this orange beauty was featured in one product after another.    However, some products contain more sugar than healthy pumpkin.  So, when you are trying the seasonal delights, be sure to read your labels!
Today, I want to share with you two of our pumpkin favorites: Chobani Pumpkin Spice blended Greek Yogurt and Braums Pumpkin Ice Cream.  The most healthy of the two is the yummy low-fat greek yogurt made with all natural ingredients, no hormones, 12 grams of protein and only 130 calories.  I like to eat a granola bar with this special treat.  However, as tasty as this yogurt is, my guys prefer the Braum's Pumpkin Ice Cream with only 130 calories for half cup serving. A dish of this special ice cream is great with a dollop of whip cream.  Although these products are plentiful right now, they are for a limited time only; so dont delay if you want to try them out!  Below is a place for your comment.  Please tell me about YOUR favorite pumpkin product of the season.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Running on Empty?

As I was having my quiet time this morning, I am reminded again how important it is to spend time with God.  I can get so busy "doing things for God", that I miss the most important part; sitting at His feet.  Often, we busily go through our day giving, serving, and pouring out to others.  However, we forget something very important; we can not give what we don't have.  When we are not filled up with His Spirit, totally yielded to Him, we can't give what people truly need.   As we move into this weekend, I want to encourage you to be filled up with God before you attempt to pour out to others.  Spend time sharing your heart with God and listening for His voice and direction.  We often deceive ourselves into thinking that we can give without being filled up first.  My question would be; just what are we giving? I want to end with some verses for us to ponder:
Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11 And no one can ever lay any other real foundation than that one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 But there are various kinds of materials that can be used to build on that foundation. Some use gold and silver and jewels; and some build with sticks and hay or even straw! 13 There is going to come a time of testing at Christ’s Judgment Day to see what kind of material each builder has used. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire so that all can see whether or not it keeps its value, and what was really accomplished. 14 Then every workman who has built on the foundation with the right materials, and whose work still stands, will get his pay. 15 But if the house he has built burns up, he will have a great loss. He himself will be saved, but like a man escaping through a wall of flames
Ephesians 5:15-20
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
Have a great weekend and don't forget to let God fill you up!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Have Hope.....but in what?

I often hear people say "have hope" and although it's an encouraging thought, it can be misleading.  I agree that we need hope in this world, but hope in what?  If you put your hope in people, you will be disappointed.  If you put your hope in a job or a position, that job could suddenly end and your hope end with it.  The truth is, we can not work up hope; it is a gift we must receive.  Christ IS our hope.  He is all we need.  He can give us hope, peace, joy, love and much more.  However, we often miss the hope and peace that could be ours, simply because we want to handle things without God's help. As children of God, we can depend on and have trust in Him and His provision.  As Colossians 1:27 says, it is Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory!
I want to encourage you to cling to God and recognize that He indeed is your Hope. Like the song says, "our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus's blood and His righteousness." So, spread Hope where ever you go today and let Jesus shine through you!
 Listen to this song as you ponder our True Hope: In Christ Alone

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Press On Wednesday: Tips from Friends

Yesterday I spent the day with some dear friends of mine.  We had a great time eating, shopping, laughing and visiting!  As we were visiting,  I asked each of my friends to share a simple health tip for this week's "Press On Wednesday".  I hope these tips inspire you as they do me!  Remember, a journey begins with a single step. 
Following are the health tips my dear friends shared with me:
Charity- Walk at least 20 minutes daily and simply eat less.
Delanie- Drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day; Add lemon for a gentle daily detox.
Kelly- Whenever you go shopping or running errands, always park as far as you can away from the store for extra exercise.

Nancy-Eat clean; lots of fresh fruits and veggies and no high-processed foods

 So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God! 1 Cor.10:31
Please feel free to leave your health tip in the comment section today,
I would LOVE to hear it!
Delaine, Nancy, Me, Charity, & Kelly

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Smile and a Prayer

The importance of encouragement is what is on my heart these days.  We have been in the ministry, part and full-time,  for over 21 years. During these years, we have seen over and over again the havoc discouragement can bring to any age of person.  Today's blog is simple and to the point: I want to challenge you, no matter how down you feel, to seek to encourage at least one person today.  God brings all kinds of people in our lives;  all for a reason.  Encouragement can be done in many different ways: a simple smile, a quick text, a homemade pie, a babysitting offer, a hug, a cup of coffee, a gift of money, a cooked meal, etc.  I understand about being tight on time and money, but smiles are free and do not take alot of time!  Doesn't it encourage you for someone to flash a smile your way? Why don't we purpose to smile at the people God places in our path today? (starting with the ones we live with!) After you smile at a person, say a quiet prayer for them as well.  The times are hard and we all need encouragement.   Let's start an epidemic of encouragement; share a smile and a prayer today!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sugar Splurge

I have shared many times that I am seeking to live a healthy lifestyle.  At the onset of my healthier lifestyle journey,  my goal was to lose 30 pounds. However, now that I have reached my goal, I want to maintain this weight.  Therefore, I now try to follow the 90/10 rule.  The 90/10 rule means 90 percent of the time I eat clean (healthy), and 10 percent of the time I splurge and have some sugar. When I do have sugar, I want to make it count!  I don't want to waste my 10% time on something tasteless!
Today, I want to share with you a special place I go when I am ready to eat that 10%.  My sister, Michele, my Mom, Mavis, and I often meet in Corsicana, Texas, for a visit.  On one of those visits, we happened into the "Bittersweet Cupcake Boutique" located in downtown Corsicana.  Bittersweet is owned and operated by Angel Schiffer.  We LOVE her jumbo cupcakes that are all homemade with fresh ingredients and decorated beautifully. (Only 3$ each)  Each time we visit, Angel has many scrumptious flavors to choose from.  Some of the flavors are:  Creme Brulee, Raspberry Jam, Chocolate Fudge, Mango, and Mocha Fudge.  The Bittersweet Boutique also has soup, sandwiches, coffees, and sodas. (You can see more on facebook page: Bittersweet Cupcake Boutique)
Yesterday was one of those special days we met in Corsicana.  I had not eaten sugar in 5 days so needless to say, I was excited!  As usual, there were several yummy flavors to choose from; however, I chose the Peanut Butter Blitz.  The Peanut Butter Blitz was a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter fudge filling, topped with creamy buttercream icing, peanut butter glaze and a small peanut butter cup candy.  Words can't express how yummy this cupcake was!  So, if you are ever in Corsicana, Texas, look up the Bittersweet Boutique at 112 North Beaton Street.
Hope you have a restful and relaxing weekend.  Don't forget to seize the day and be sure to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you!  God bless!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's Your Motivation?

Each day we have many things we do.  We are busy people. However,  I want to ask a question;  What is our motives behind the things we do?
Of course, there is the obvious; like why we eat, work or rest.  However, Im talking about the "driving force" behind all we do. Chad and I have a dear friend, Bro. Ray, that says no matter what you do, you can always trace it back to one of two motives: love of self or love of God. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, "You must love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." Some of us are too busy to really love others.  What IS the love Jesus is talking about?  1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is; Love is patient, kind, not jealous, nor boastful or proud, or rude, does not demand its own way, it's not irritable, keeps no record of being wronged, does not rejoice with injustice but rejoices when truth wins out, never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Wow, that is love?! Where can we find this type of love? The answer is in Jesus.   We can't truly love until we first realize and receive God's love for us!
I want to encourage you today to look into your heart and allow God to look too.  Ask Him to reveal your heart's true motive.  In the first part of 1 Corinthians 13, we are told that everything done without love amounts to nothing.  This scripture even compares doing things without love to a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.  It sounds like God wants us to be motivated by His love and His Spirit.  What's your motivation today?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Press on Wednesday: One plate rule

Press On Wednesday is to encourage us to "press on" towards a healthy lifestyle.  Remember, every great journey begins with a single step.  Today I want to talk about the "one plate rule".  The one plate rule is simply deciding that you will eat only one serving at a meal; 2nd and 3rd plates work against a healthy lifestyle.  Now, am I saying you can never have seconds?  No, we are free to eat how we choose; however, I encourage you to go by the one plate rule on most days.  If on a regular day you make it a habit to only eat one serving of each food, then on special days you can afford to eat extra.  On the flip side, if we let ourselves eat what we "feel" like eating everyday, then we have no wiggle room to have a special dish on occasion. 

When I began my healthy lifestyle journey I had NO idea how much extra food I had been eating.  If we had hamburgers and fries, I would eat every bit of my burger, all of my fries, and have ice cream too.  If we had tacos, I would have 3 or 4.  I would eat until I felt stuffed. It was not long before I realized I was consuming much more food than I needed for health.  Needless to say, the first few days of my new healthy lifestyle, my body and emotions were in shock.  I went from eating out of emotion and stopping when I felt better; to eating 1 small cup of chicken salad on a bed of lettuce at the designated meal time.  After about a week of down-sizing portions, I had lost about 5 pounds.

What is a healthy serving size?  I have included 2 helpful links below:



We have a friend that says his secret to healthy eating is this: Always eat to live; not live to eat

It is no secret that I personally have to have God's strength to make healthy choices.  Here is a scripture that encourages me:

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

1 Corinthians 10:31

Press On Wednesday:
 in memory of my Dad, Troy

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Working Moms & Homemaking

Currently, I am a full-time homemaker.  However, in the past I have worked full-time outside the home.  One thing I know for sure regardless whether you have an outside job or not, you are a homemaker.  Some of us are full-time homemakers, and some of us are part-time homemakers with a full-time outside job.  Either way, you are a homemaker if you have a home.  Being a homemaker is a blessing and a huge responsibility. 
Today, I want to share with you some homemaking tips I used when I worked full-time outside the home.  (Another day I will share my tips for being a full-time homemaker and home-school mom). Depending upon your work schedule, I think its very important to schedule some time to pray and plan for the upcoming week; I usually took some time on Saturday morning. During that time, I would think of my dinner menu for the next week.  I usually would plan at least 2 crock-pot meals; crock-pot meals were my favorite because when you came home in the evening  you would be greeted by the yummy aroma of dinner! Other than using the crock-pot, I would plan easy dishes that could be prepared in 30 minutes or less.  In addition to that, occasionally I would make a double batch of Chicken Spaghetti or Chicken Pot Pie on Saturday evening or Sunday so I could freeze one to serve during the busy week.  After I had planned it all out, I would type up the menu for the next week's dinners and put it on the fridge door; having the menu already decided was a great help for me on those tired evenings.  Once my menu was planned, I would make my grocery list and run to the store.  As I bought groceries, I would also pick up a frozen pizza or something easy to cook for Saturday's lunch.  So, If all went as planned, I usually had the shopping done and groceries put up by 1pm on Saturday.
Another thing that I did was to make a chore schedule for our family.  Here is a sample:
Cook Dinner
Cook Dinner
Cook Dinner
Cook Dinner
Do Mom & Dad’s laundry
Dinner Clean up
Dinner clean up
Trash out/
Feed Dog
Dinner clean up
Feed Dog/
Set Dinner Table
Unload Dishwasher
Do personal laundry
Dinner clean up
Unload dishwasher
Dinner clean up
Unload dishwasher
Trash out/Feed
Do personal laundry
Set Dinner Table
Feed Dog
Dinner clean up
Feed Dog/ Set Dinner Table
Dinner clean up
Dinner clean up
Unload dishwasher
Dinner clean up
Unload dishwasher
Clean up
Take care of Dinner
Feed Dog
Feed Dog
Of course you would want to personalize your chore list and adapt it to fit your needs and family.  This simple schedule solved a lot of arguments amongst the boys regarding chores, etc.  This is just a couple of things that I did that seemed to make the crazy work week more peaceful. Other things we did were:
*Have everyone lay out their clothes the night before
*The boys would pack their backpack and things for school the night before and put by door
*Have quiet time 30 minutes before official bed time (they could read their bible or a book, color, or anything quiet in their room....when our boys were real young, Chad would read the Bible to them in their room.)
*Pack lunches or snacks before bed time
I hope some of these ideas will help you!  Remember, God does not call us to do something and then expect us to do it without His strength.  It can be tough taking care of home and working out all day long.  I want to encourage you to always put God and time with Him first.   When God is first priority you will be surprised how much more smoother your day will go!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Are you weary?

As I sit down to write today's blog I seem to draw a blank.  Do you ever get to the pointpoint that you are just too tired to think? Yes, me too!  The scripture that comes to my mind is Matthew 11:28 NLT:  Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Do you carry a heavy burden today? Jesus is still calling to us to come to Him.  Let God carry your heavy load. Perhaps you are worried about a broken marriage, a wayward child, your finances, a sick loved one, your lost family member, your job, or many other things.  Is there anything too big for God?  He WANTS to carry our burdens; the problem is, we won't let Him have them.  We were never meant to carry this heavy load however, we have a God that can handle it.  I want to encourage you to lay your burdens down at His feet today.  Let's go into this weekend knowing that we have a God that not only loves us, but wants to help carry our burdens also.

Click here to hear Kari Jobe's song Come to Me



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Adult Children; Pray, Love & Release

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs I have ever had; it is also the most rewarding job I have ever had.  We are blessed to have 3 sons and the youngest is now 16.  I have discovered that being a parent of adult children is just as hard as being a parent to young children. When your children are young, you can get very tired physically; however, when they are grown you can get very tired emotionally and spiritually. 

 Today's blog is for all those parents of adult or soon-to-be adult children.  I want to speak encouragement to you!  As parents of adult children, I feel we have 2 main jobs to do; pray and love.  We pray protection over and for our sons.  We pray for wisdom and God's mercy.  We pray, pray, and pray some more.  In addition to praying, we choose to love them with God's help.  Now does this mean we do everything they want us to do?  No, not at all.  However, we seek to love our boys with the 1 Corinthians type of love that is God's love.

My heart goes out to all the parents that feel like they have made a mess parenting their now grown children and are tempted to be discouraged and depressed.  If you are a parent that feels that way; stop looking back, repent to God for your failures in parenting, and look up! Satan would love you to focus on your mistakes so you will be too busy to pray for your children!   There is hope and redemption for us and our kids, but FIRST we must turn them over to God.  I will be the first to admit I made many mistakes in my role of being a Mom.  I tried to overprotect, control, and even manipulate.  I thought I was doing what was best for our boys but realized later I was only causing them to depend on me instead of God.  The basis of my parenting was fear: fear of them getting hurt, fear of them making mistakes, fear of losing them.  Oh, how I wish the basis of my parenting had been God's love all these years.  Nonetheless, I have since repented from depending on myself and my strength and have turned it over to the Lord.  Do I still make mistakes?  Of course, I do!  However, I now completely recognize my TOTAL dependence on God and his Holy Spirit to parent through me.  I daily put my boys in God's hands and I try to get out of God's way.  What I mean by that is this; I cease trying to work everything out in their lives and instead pray for them.  When I am tempted to try to manipulate and control I stop and take a time out with God.  I remind myself that they need God's Holy Spirit working on them not a controlling carnal Mom!  Sometimes I have to release them to God 15 times a day.  However, the key is to KEEP RELEASING them back to God.

One more thing, when we feel hurt or disappointed in our children, remember that our Heavenly Father knows how we feel. He understands the pain of seeing someone we love so much hurting themselves. He knows this not only because He is God, but because we have disappointed and hurt Him too. If you have been wrestling with guilt, fear and hopelessness as a parent, I want to encourage you to stop wrestling and RELEASE it all to God.  Let Him know how much you need Him and trust Him to work in your children's lives no matter what things look like.  Keep focused on HIM.

Here are some scriptures to remember:

Psalm 43: NLT
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again...my Savior and my God!

Romans 8:1 NLT
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 5:8 NLT
But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it

PLEASE FEEL FREE to share with me your favorite scripture of encouragement as well!

You may also find encouragement at this website, including a place to sign up for a weekly encouraging email:http://www.parentsofprodigals.com/

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Press On Wednesday

Can you think of ONE thing you can do today to improve your health?  Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and stressed by our daily lives that healthy choices are the last thing we want to worry about. Today, I want to encourage you to do ONE thing to move you towards a healthy lifestyle.  Here are a few ideas:
1. Take a walk
2.  Drink only water after lunch
3.  Make it a sugar-free day
4.  Skip the bread today
5.  Eat fresh fruit
6.  Do stretches
7.  Chew sugar-free gum
These ideas may sound simple, however if one little step at a time you could implement them as a part of your lifestyle; you would see a huge difference.
Another thing, remember , our Spiritual health is the most important and affects everything else.  I want to encourage you to talk to God about your health; seek His wisdom.  I want to end today with scripture to "chew" on:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. I say to myself, The Lord is my PORTION; therefore I will wait for Him.  Lamentations 3:22-24

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Salted Caramel Apple Snack Mix

I just have to say I love Caramel Apples! This is the time of year I always think of making them.  When my kids were little they loved to make them with me.  This Autumn I have been having fun trying new snack mixes that feature the Caramel Apple taste.  My friend Rachel, of Bubbly Nature Creations,  had shared a snack mix recipe a couple of weeks ago that included the new candy apple flavor of M&Ms.(To see Rachel's recipe, click here: Bubbly Nature Creation's Caramel Apple Snack Mix )Until then, I had no idea they had that flavor!  (I have since found out they also have a candy corn flavor M&M as well). In addition to Rachel's snack mix, last week for our prayer meeting, I created  a simple "Salted Caramel Apple Mix" that unfortunately has me hooked!  I typically only eat sugar on Friday or Saturdays.  Today is Tuesday and I have already bought the ingredients to make this mix on Friday! (Yes, I will wait until Friday) I wanted to share this recipe with you and if you like Caramel Apples, I think you will really like this mix!

Salted Caramel Apple Snack Mix


You will need:
2-9 ounce bags of Candy Apple M & M's
1-10 ounce bag of Snyder Sweet & Salty Pretzel Pieces (SALTED CARAMEL FLAVOR)
1-15 ounce bag of Traditional Chex Mix Snack Mix
Mix well and enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Feelings vs. God's Word

Do you ever wake up and feel like a little rain cloud is over your head? Do you ever feel like things will never get better? What if you feel that way and you're a Christian? Now not only do you feel hopeless and sad, you feel condemned; surely you should not be feeling like this and be a born-again Christian.  If you've answered yes to any of the above questions then today's blog is for you.
I want to share my heart with you.  I believe one of Satan's biggest weapons he uses to defeat us is discouragement.  When I "feel" discouraged  everything I do is affected by that.  Not only am I focused on ME, I am believing Satan's lies over God's word. What does God's word say about me? Do I believe His Word? This may sound elementary, however, what we believe WILL come out in our behavior. If deep down we doubt God's provision and love for us, we will feel great anxiety.  If we focus on our failures instead of God's perfect sacrifice for us, we will feel defeated. 
I want to encourage you today to fight back against your negative feelings.  Feelings are fickle.  Feelings are deceptive.  If you wake up with a cloud of depression over you, fight back with God's word.  If Satan tries to tell you that there is no hope, share with him what Jeremiah 29:11 says; "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,  "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future."  If Satan tries to tell you that no one loves you, then you can stand on Romans 8:39 that says; No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. If Satan tries to tell you that you will never change and reminds you of your past failures, remind him of what 2 Corinthians 5:17 says; Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the he is a new creation. Indeed, the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  We may not can change the way we feel, but we can decide how we will react to our feelings.  If our feelings line up of with the Word of God, then all is well.  However, if our feelings seem to support something contradictory to the God's Word, with God's help, we can choose to NOT go with our feelings and to stand on the Word of God instead.
One more thing, I do want to point out that there is times God will convict us of sin. However, there is a big difference between conviction and condemnation.  Conviction focuses on a sin we committed and how it grieves God;  Condemnation focuses on us and that we are "bad". Romans 8 tells us that we don't have to live under condemnation once we are born again. To sum it all up,  we live in a fallen world and there is discouragement everywhere we turn. However, I want to encourage you to look in God's word for TRUTH to stand on, and then encourage others! Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Caribbean Pear Salsa

I love this time of the year! Autumn  is my favorite season. This is also the time for delicious pears to be getting ripe!  There are SO many things to make out of  these crunchy sweet fruits: pear pie, pear perserves, pickled pears, pear bread and pear cobbler are just a few. 
Although the pear is an awesome fruit to cook or bake with, when they get ripe you need to move fast.  Today, I had a few really ripe pears and I needed to make something quick.  Using what I could find at home, I made a pear salsa.
I started by peeling and chopping 3 medium-sized pears.  Next, I added two cans of drained chopped medium-heat tomatoes with green chiles.  After that, I chopped one small onion and added it to the mixture.  Cilantro and bell peppers would of been my next ingredients, however, I was not going back to the store today!  What would be the last ingredient? Yes, thats it...one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice! Yes, you heard correctly; I love that spice blend!  So, I mixed everything up and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.  After letting the salsa chill, I decided it was time to sample it!  To my surprise, I loved it! My family and I tried it with tortilla chips.  However, I think it would be awesome paired with grilled chicken or baked Tilapia. I recommend eating this within 3 days while the pears are still crispy.   Also, if you want it milder, add Mild Chopped Tomatos and Chiles.  If you want it hotter, add one small diced fresh jalapeƱo.  If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, try cinnamon only.  In fact, get creative with your pear salsa!  Have fun trying new ingredients and spices and let me know how it goes!
I hope you enjoy this recipe but I do want to challenge you to use what you have at home. It can be fun to invent something new and not spend any extra money doing it!   You never know, you could create a future family favorite!
Peel and chop three medium-sized pears
 Drain 2 cans of Chopped Tomatoes with Chiles (I used Hatch Medium Heat)
Chop one small onion 
Mix well in bowl
Add one teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
Mix well and put in fridge for at least an hour....better overnight.  Serve with tortilla chips, grilled chicken, baked tilapia, or porkchops!  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Review:Bible Study for Busy Mamas

As a Mom of three almost-grown sons, I know how important and difficult it is staying in God's word daily.  There is always something competing for your attention.  However, I want to encourage you to make spending time with God a high priority.  Today's blog is a review of a book that would be a GREAT tool to help you to balance a busy life and spend time in Bible study.  I have been asked to write a honest review of Pam Forster’s book, “Busy Mama’s, Thirty Days in 1 Corinthians”.  This is an excellent bible study that is great for any woman!  However, If you are a busy Mom or Grandmother with younger children, then this is the perfect book for you! Pam Forster has divided 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter, into daily studies that can be done in 5 minutes.  Of course, if you would like to dig even deeper, or have more time, she has ideas for that as well.    As a homeschool mom, I appreciate that after each day's study, Pam includes a section to be done with your children.  This not only helps you retain the bible material but helps plant seeds of God's word into your children's heart as well!   Pam Forster did an excellent  job breaking down this chapter and showing us how to dig for deeper meaning of each verse. To put it in simple terms, it’s like a college level study done on a child’s level!  I loved it! Pam Forster is not only an author of books but has a blog as well.  You can find Pam’s blog as well as order your copy of this bible study and more study books at: http://www.doorposts.com/    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Book Crash book review program.  However, I would gladly pay for a great bible study such as this!  I highly recommend this book.

One more thing, I have a very good friend and mentor named Maggie.  Maggie always encourages me to stay in God's word.  At one point in my life I was homeschooling three boys, helping Chad in the ministry, and helping with my parents and other family, etc.  I was feeling very discouraged about my bible study time and went to her for advice.  As always, Maggie's words of wisdom brought me encouragement.  She advised me to lay out my open bible on the kitchen counter and   as I was making lunch or washing dirty dishes to read a verse or two out of my Bible. (it's not about quantity as much as quality)   I would meditate and think on that verse all afternoon.  The open Bible would be a constant reminder of the importance of God's word in my life.

So whatever season you are in life, I want to encourage you to feast upon God's word and strengthen your spirit every chance you can!



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Press On Wednesday: Healthy Lifestyle vs. Diet

Last Wednesday,  I shared with you that in 2008 my Dad encouraged me to embark on a weight loss journey.  Through out the diet his encouragement, along with God giving me the strength, made all the difference. In memory of my Dad, I will dedicate each Wednesday's blog to encouraging a healthy lifestyle; "Press On" Wednesday.  Philippians 3:14 says: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Today,  I want to encourage you to take diet out of your vocabulary and replace it with healthy lifestyle. The truth is, after I loss my initial 30 pounds, I couldn't go back to my old way of eating.....unless I wanted to gain everything back, plus more. To stay healthy, a temporary diet won't work, it must be a LIFESTYLE change.
In addition to my Dad, I have two friends that have made a great impact on my health journey, Jennifer Been and Christi Turner.  Jennifer always reminds me that "it's a lifestyle, not a fad or bandwagon you jump on and off in a few months".  Likewise, Christi often reminds me that health must be a everyday priority not just a  temporary thing in your life. This reminds me of a Bible verse: Don't get weary in doing good, in due time you will reap a harvest if you don't give up! Galatians 6:9
Now,  a brand new lifestyle can seem overwhelming for most of us. However, remember a great journey begins with a single step.  One of my first steps personally was giving up all sugar drinks, which took a few weeks.   After I mastered that, I realized that diet soft drinks had a bad affect on me as well. Now, this was tough! However, I am pleased to say that after a year and half, that  I am now free of all diet sodas too. I highly recommend you finding some encouragers for your journey.  I would of given up and reverted back to my old eating habits without encouragement!  Let today be the day that you take the first step towards health.  However,  if you have been on this journey for awhile, let me encourage you to press on! 
Below is a link to my friend's FB group.  On this FB page you will find a lot of encouragement for your journey to health!

Run for God 2013
Jennifer led out the Run for God group that Chad, Zach and I were in.
Jennifer is in the yellow jacket.

Christi & I