12/26/2012

You Cannot Change...

What you are not willing to face.  I sat thinking about this statement Iyanla Vanzant made on twitter the other day.  I pondered it and then forgot about it and as the darkness of night came, the thought of that statement crossed my mind again.  And I began to truly face the fact that my marriage is indeed over.  I spent my 6th out of 7 Christmas' with just the kids and I'm happy. 

I have so many thoughts about what it is I want to accomplish and do in the remaining time of my life.  I have big dreams and hopes.  And I've got a God that's bigger than all that.  He's going to bring me through this and one day I'll look back and be amazed at all He's brought me through.

God is going to get the glory out of my story!!!!

Tasha

12/25/2012

Christmas 2012!!!

We have no tree, no gifts, but we had a wonderful day!
 Take a look at what I did...














I had a ton of fun in front of the camera today!!!  Never would have said that before, but man I had a blast!  I'll be doing that more often.





Tasha

12/24/2012

Christmas Eve...

For the last few years we have exchanged Christmas gifts in February after I've gotten income tax back.  However, I'm totally excited that this will be the last year that we HAVE to do it this way.  I've been in such a rut the last few years that I've not wanted to decorate festively either.  All of our things are packed away this year and it's a bit difficult to access the Christmas decorations.

I'm so excited to say that if the Lord says the same, we will not have Christmas like this again.  I will decorate like we used to when I was little.  Lights everywhere and the Christmas village I had begun to collect. 

I'm just ready to live!!!

Tasha

12/23/2012

I Want To Live...

2012 Wasn't as good to me or for me as I had hoped.  It started off well and then things just began to go downhill.  I can't tell you how many times I threw in the towel and asked God to just take me.  Not that I wanted to die, just that I wanted the pain to stop.  Well, there is still a lot of pain, but as I think over all the things I'd like to do and accomplish in this life, I realize that I REALLY want to live.  I'm not ready to die, there is soooo much I want to do.   

 I've spent the last 7 1/2 years holding on to pain and hurt and heart ache.  But I'm ready to let that go and move forward.  I've had a failed marriage, but I don't want to give up on love.  I've hit rock bottom financially and basically in every area of my life.  I think God had to allow that so He could get my attention.  I'm beginning to dream again and hope again.  I'm beginning to live again!!

I've been looking out for everyone else these last few years.  It's time to do some living for me.  Not to neglect others, but to in fact take care of me.  If I spend all my time taking care of others and do nothing for myself, I quickly burn out until there is nothing left of me.  While I believe God wants us to be servants to others, I also believe (now) that He wants us to care for ourselves as well. 

So for a change I am actually looking forward to the new year.  I'm anticipating great things and new beginnings.  I'm looking forward to getting on my feet and making the rest of my life all that God intended it to be.  I've taken life for granted.  I don't want to get to heaven and see all that I could have had and all that I could have done and gave up because of the trials and tribulations that took place in my life. 

Yes I have hurt, yes I am hurting, but I want to move past those hurts and heal and I want to help others to heal as well.  I want to smile, laugh, dance, dress up, take pictures, and embrace life far beyond all that I can imagine or think!  Life is a gift I've taken for granted for far too long.  I'm truly ready to live!!!!!!
 
Tasha

12/22/2012

2013

It's hard to believe 2013 is just around the corner. 

In 2012 I have tried to restart this blog several times only to come right back to this one.  Ha, I just tried it a month or so ago, however, I realized this blog has just way too much history to walk away from.  So, I'm sticking with this blog and I'll just let it evolve into whatever God wants it to be.

I'm soon going to be going through a divorce, not by choice.  I'm learning to embrace it for lack of a better word.  I'm also stepping outside my box that I encased myself into over the past 7 1/2 years.  I'll be sharing more photos of me, videos, and whatever else God leads me to share.

I'm pretty excited as I embark on this new life God is laying out before me.  Will it all be easy? No, but I'm ready to move forward with my life and get out of the past.  I want to let go of unforgiveness, regrets, doubts, and grudges. 

In 2013 I want to smile and laugh more and try things I never would have tried (there is a limit to that however...LOL).  So to begin that journey, I'll be posting a video soon.  Anyone that knows me knows I don't like being in front of a still camera, let alone make a video.  Yet, I'm going to do just that and publish it!!! I'm excited and we'll see what happens. 


Tasha

11/04/2012

Home to Haven

Courtney at Women Living Well is sharing ways to make your home a haven.  I will be lighting my candle tomorrow and praying over my family.  I'll also be using a new book Commanding Your Mornings to aid in the prayer department!!!  I'm stoked about what the Lord will do in our home.

I know for a fact that I set the tone in our home.  You've heard that saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"!  Well it's very true.  Tonight I am choosing to change my tone and attitude so that my children will be blessed and our home will become a haven.  

Hope you'll join in...

Tasha

8/17/2012

30 Day Vegan Challenge

I've been trying to go vegan for a long while now and though this year has been much better than the previous one, there were still some challenges and times where I fell off the wagon.  I'm aware that there is still the possibility of falling off, but I am having the time of my life with the 30 Day Vegan Challenge

I have no vegan friends and so it's a bit hard and lonely embarking on something alone.  Sure the kids are eating it right along with me, but they are beyond the point of excited.  They eat whatever is put before them or purchased and they go along with it.  So basically there is no one to walk the road with me and at times hold my hand. 

I wished for and prayed for a program of some sort that would "walk" with a person through this vegan journey.  Then after days, weeks, and months of searching, I found Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
I read all I could find.  Watched all the videos I could find.  And then finally she announced that she was starting just the kind of program I was looking for. 

So I began my 30 day challenge 9 days ago and it's been extremely fun.  I like that she keeps things simple.  I think that was one of my biggest problems.  I was trying to start this vegan journey and make it so complicated.  However, when I stop to think about it, when my mother began teaching me to cook, she didn't tell me my first meal would be a 5 course dinner.  No, she started me out simple and eased me into the more difficult, time consuming meals as time went on.

So I've been keeping it simple.  Breakfast is by far the easiest.  A smoothie M-F, and on the weekends I choose whatever vegan breakfast I want.  For lunch, I've had salads, hummus and veggies, fruit, again, whatever I choose.  I'm keeping snacks simple also; nuts, fruit, veggies, nut butter with fruit, on and on.  I've been keeping my cooking focused on supper and yet I'm keeping that simple as well.  Aug. 9, 10, & 11 I had a huge awesome salad and it was so good the first night, I duplicated it 2 more nights after that.  Sunday, Aug. 12. I enjoyed a sandwich made with home grown tomatoes and basil.  Tuesday we enjoyed fried rice.  Wednesday - Sushi, Thursday - roasted broccoli/cauliflower with a hot dipping sauce.  I also tried polenta fries as a snack....yummmmm.  Tonight was vegan pizza by Tofurky.  We tried each one and I am not disappointed what so ever!!!  We will be having them again.  We've also tried Gimme Lean ground sausage and it was delicious as well. 

As I think about this vegan lifestyle, I realize, I've been eating vegan all along to a degree.  We don't call apples vegan, but they are.  We don't call salads vegan, but in reality that's what they are.  I'm only omitting the meat (substituting it sometimes), dairy, and animal products.  There are alternatives for everything now days and I'm having a ball exploring them all.  There is even a vegan sausage I can use to make gumbo with and vegan seafood!!!! 

I think the only hiccup I've found in this is that when people ask how I've lost so much weight (a little over 40 pounds) and I tell them, they immediately become defensive.  I'm not asking them to make any lifestyle changes and I'm not telling them animal products are wrong.  I've simply answered the question and they feel the need to explain to me why their "diet" works best and how they get to eat all the meat they want to.  I'm in no way competing with them or the way they choose to eat, nor am I saying they should switch over to being vegan.  That's the only pitiful thing I've experienced thus far. 

Tasha

7/23/2012

Life Can Just Be Plain HARD!!!

You know, I don't know why after the last 7 1/2 years, it took me soooo long to say those words, but life can be just plain HARD!!!  Sometimes through actions/decisions of our own doing, but also through the actions/decisions of others as well!
There are times when I think life sucks!  and other times when I think life just may be ok!
I'm grateful to be alive, don't ever get that twisted, but I think I'm ready for a breath of peace in my life.  You know, I want out of the pit, the valley, and I would like to be on the mountain top for just a little while.
How anyone could get through this life without God is totally unfathomable to me and yet, I've tried it.  I can say that God has kept me from going totally ballistic in the last few months as well as from losing my sanity.  It is definitely by His grace that I am still here and His mercy that has sustained me.  Without God, I would have given up a long, long, long time ago.  I'm just thankful that those times I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't hold on to God, HE held on to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tasha

7/05/2012

Life Changes...

We have finally packed the last item from the house.  The animals leave tomorrow and will stay with a friend until we can get things set up where we are and have them join us.  I'm going to miss them a bunch.  I'm at my sisters washing ALL the laundry that accumulated and I want it all clean and then I'll pack it in totes. 

I had my last class for the Summer 1 session on Tuesday and I made an A.  I start Summer 2 session on July 10.  11 more months of school and I'll be on my way.  I'm excited and ready for a fresh start.

We spent the 4th with friends (the one we'll be staying with).  She lives out by the lake.  I envision lots of mornings out on the dock with my Bible and journal and spending time with God.  Spiritual rejuvenation!!!  I'm ready.

We will start going back to church on Sunday as well.  Working on Sundays is not for me and I did it for a season, but that season is over.  I'm ready to be fed again and to be a part of our church family.

Hopefully after things have settled down a bit more, I'll be able to blog more.  I've got much to share about my vegan journey, garden, and life.

Tasha

7/02/2012

Changes...

So much going on and so many changes.  We are moving, but not the way we had planned it nor when we had planned it.  We have lost the house and they will pick the trailer up any day now.  We will be moving in with a friend for a short time.  She's actually giving me a year to get back on my feet, but I'm aiming for 6 months.  We shall see what happens.

We are about 99% packed and should be moved out completely by the 5th.k

There are days I want to curl up in a ball and sleep away all the mess, but I wake each morning pushing forward.  Grief and nervous break downs are no joke.  I'll begin counseling soon again.  I shouldn't have stopped, but I'll get back on track.

I'm still in school, actually have a final tomorrow and then the next semester starts up on the 10th.  I'll be taking 2 classes and then Fall classes begin sometime in August.  I'm going to be BUSY!!!!  

Tasha

6/20/2012

Quick Update...

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't updated my blog in a while and well, I'll just say that life has happened. ;-)
Each week gets busier and busier.  I'm working a part time job on weekends only and going to school.  We may be moving soon too, so now I have the addition of packing to that list as well. 

School will be out in 2 weeks and I'll get a week to breath and then it starts back up again.  I'm still a bit undecided between the Medical Assistant Program and the LVN program.  I'm leaning more towards the first.  It fits my personality a bit more than the LVN.  I don't have a real desire to be a nurse, I'd only be doing it for job security and money.  Not a great reason to do something you'll be doing for the next 20 or so years of your life.  At any rate, God will lead me in the way He would have me to go.

So other than that, I haven't been up to much at all, other than gardening.  I've got everything in huge pots with the possible move coming up.  I can't seem to stop acquiring pots...LOL  I have over 15 tomato plants, 8 pepper plants, 4 asparagus plants, 4 strawberry plants, a load of mint and basil, squash, cucumbers, green beans, and peas.  They are all doing well and when I'm not doing homework, you can find me sitting amongst my garden admiring it.  It's so peaceful and tranquil tending to it.

I've done absolutely no sewing in the last couple of months.  I lost my mojo for it, but I'm sure after we get settled, it will return.

Ok, that's about as long as it's going to get right now.  I'll try to update again when school lets out and I can focus.  

Tasha

5/10/2012

Oh No You Never Let Go!!!

As I sat this morning having my quiet time with the Lord, I looked out over the small treasure of nature on just my 2 acres.  I sat in awe as I watched the birds fly about and the bees go from wild flower to wild flower.  Looking at my chickens, and my potted garden and compost.  I just began to speak to the Lord what was welling up within my heart. 
Thanking Him that in all these months and years He has allowed me to stumble, doubt, mistrust, but He has never let me go.  Then John 10:27-29 came to mind. 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall ANYONE snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and NO ONE IS ABLE to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  (emphasis mine)

I’ve had some rough months and years, but when I look back, not once in the last 7 years have I totally walked away from Him.  I’ve slipped and fallen away from prayer, reading, etc, but never once to the point of not believing.  If He were a man, He would have let me go a long time ago, much as my husband has, but My God is not a man that He should lie.  He said it in His Word and has held true to His Word, even when I did not!!!! I am His and He is mine!

How Deep the Father’s Love For ME (Us)!!!!  Those were the next words the leaped to my heart and mind and I looked the video up on YouTube and the words resonated within my spirit.  You Never Let Go were the next words to swell within my heart and I looked that video up on YouTube as well.  Through the calm and through the storm, He never let go of me! 

My God is a good God!  A loving God!  He is my biggest and greatest cheerleader and I’m His biggest fan!  Me, a wretch, so unworthy of Him and His love and yet, He emphatically sees to it that I know He loves me.  Who could NOT love a God like Him!!!  And to think, He’s the only one like Him!!!!  

He is so totally amazing and I am privileged to be called His!  I can only imagine the huge grin on His face as I sit here with this huge grin on my own face!!!  I have a Father who loves me even when I am wretched. 
Tasha

5/09/2012

I Couldn't Stand It, I had to Do Something...

I went to a friends house on Sunday after work and we worked in her garden most of the remainder of the afternoon.  The boys added chicken wire to her fence to keep her baby chicks within the safety area (2 of them had already become snacks for the dogs) and the women all worked at planting tomatoes and peppers.  She says we are welcome to the harvest, but there are some items I just won’t be able to bring myself to eat because she has used railroad ties as her raised beds.  There are other areas that she has used bricks and I will be able to partake of the harvest from those areas. 
Anyway, it gave me the gardening itch.  I have not successfully planted a garden in the last 2 years.  In 2010 I tried the square foot garden and it just didn’t work out with the type of soil I had delivered and I gave up rather quickly.  Then in 2011, the heat was so unbearable and record breaking hot, that though a few things started growing, they quickly died!!!!
Our lawn mower is in the shop and it may be a while before it’s ready...before I can pay for the repairs.  So the grass is like knee high and I couldn’t find anyone to till the entire yard for me to let the grass start over and to fill the holes and make everything even again.  So, I just looked out with sadness because I couldn’t garden. 

But then, I began to pray!!!!

Don’t you know God cares about the things that are on your heart?!  Even things you think are minuscule and unimportant.  His Word says....casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

We all go through moments where we think God only cares and wants to hear about the big things in our lives that we cannot handle on our own, but surely He wants us to handle the little things we can do for ourselves.  However, that is NOT true and contrary to what His Word says.  We are to bring all things to Him in prayer and supplication.

So I did!!!

And Wham, He began to give me ideas and such rather quickly.  My mother had lots of pots.  I quit buying them and gave her all of mine when we moved out here on the land.  I figured with all of this land, there would never be another reason for me to need flower pots.  However, she saw things differently and continued to grow things in the ground and in pots!  My sister told me she would never use the pots and that I could have them and so God began to show me visions of food growing from pots and the one, lonely, broken, wheelbarrow I had.  I was able to purchase  2 bags of top soil, 2 bags of manure, and 1 bag of peat moss and I filled everything I had (thought I had...I discovered about 5 more pots on the side of the shed).  Then I began to plant...7 asparagus roots, 6 tomato plants, and some basil, zucchini, and cucumber seeds.  I hope to get some green beans and watermelon seeds soon.  Let me tell you, I had the most fun playing in the dirt and getting my hands dirty.  Then I began to look out and remind God of the greater vision He gave me.  I can literally see it before me, but it will take the better part of 1 - 1 1/2 years for it to be what I see in my minds eye. 
How could I even start with no money?  He said “start with what you have”!!

Hmmmm, start with what I have?  What do I have?  I have chickens...which we are no longer eating the eggs or meat of.  My son asked could he sell the eggs and I said sure.  He’d need more hens though to make any kind of real profit and to be able to buy their feed.  How will we get more hens Lord when everyone is charging $10 and up for them.  And then one of our hens went broody....first time ever!!!  Then a second hen went broody on us....again, first time ever!!!  I have another one that is getting broody, but she has no eggs to set on, so we are hoping she’ll lay soon and set on a few!  Ok Lord, that will take care of the more hens issue, but they won’t start laying for 4 months after they hatch.  Still NOT an issue, it’s an increase and a blessing!!! 

My dream is to literally cover these 2 acres with a new home, a pool, fruit trees and hundreds of raised garden beds...leaving VERY LITTLE grass to be mowed, thus no need for the riding mower, my son can use it strictly for cutting others lawns and making an income for himself.  I hope to be able to donate to our local food pantry and women’s shelter, and begin a Pick Your Own business, not to mention the harvest I will have for my own household!  I don’t want to have to go to the grocery store for much at all!!! 

Ok, so we moved a little shed that was sitting on the side of our house and not being utilized, into the chicken yard.  It was hard work, but so well worth it in the end.  I plan to purchase nesting boxes in the future that will hold 12 hens, but it also comes with roosting poles for the remainder that aren’t setting on eggs.  Well, if I’m going to be doing raised garden beds and trying to do it all natural, I need compost.  Hmmm, it takes a long time to compost chicken poop.  But rabbit poop is ready to use immediately.  Hmmm, my friend just had two rabbits to have babies.  Wondered if she’d let me have a boy from one and a girl from the other, that way they can breed later and we can have lots of rabbit poop for composting and gardening!!!!  I asked, she said YES!!!!!  They’ll be weened in about 4 weeks! 

Ok, Lord, we’ve got the chickens situated, we’ve got chicken poop.  Now we need a rabbit hutch and a compost bin.  Lord I don’t have money for wood to build anything....Show me Lord, You gave the vision, show me!

I look out my back door and my eyes fall on an old small chicken coop my husband built when we had chicks.  I say small but it’s about 4 ft high and 8 ft long.  This would make a perfect starter compost bin.  One side for chicken poop and other compost stuff the other side for rabbit poop and compost stuff.  Hmmmmm, I need pallets to make a third bin for finished compost that is ready to use.  My friend has that too....I can have them!!!!
WOW Lord!!! You are really working this out.

Ok, back to rabbit hutch, what will I do for that?  I went to bed and literally woke up the next morning with another vision.  I have peg boards in my shed that someone gave to us.  At the time I had no clue what to do with them, but now I visualize a rabbit hutch and for my son a hamster hutch....ahhhhh we can use hamster poop in compost too with the rabbit poop!!!  I began drawing!  I can’t draw, but I drew a perfect rabbit hutch.  Then I began to write down all that I would still have to buy and God began to show me things to use instead of what I had written down and it all came out to be much cheaper!!!  In the end when I am finally done, the rabbit hutch will cost me all of $25, for chicken wire, hinges for the doors, and cable ties.  That’s it.  These same supplies my son can use on his hamster cage!  Now how awesome is that?????

Ok, so rabbit hutch figured out...check
           hamster cage figured out...check
           compost bins figured out...check
           chickens set up...check
           garden started...check
           wait a minute, I’m going to need a trellis for my cucumbers and zucchini and         soon green beans...Ahhhhhhh I’ve got old posts that can be used and pieces of fencing that can be attached to posts and put in pots with veggies and they can grow up the trellis.  YAYYYY  but wait, this may get too top heavy and fall over.  Fill 4 pots with the bottoms of the posts and cement and then elevate them on cinder blocks right in front of the living room window.  Train plants to grow up it, the vines will cover the fencing, the cement will keep things anchored and they won’t topple over, and the covered trellis will shade the window from the late afternoon sun and keep the room a bit cooler!!!!  I’ll lose my beautiful view for the summer, but it’ll be much cooler in the house and I’ll get my view back in the fall.

Can’t wait to see what else the Lord will do, but whatever it is, you can best believe it will be GREAT, AWESOME, MARVELOUS....and PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tasha

5/08/2012

Container Gardening

I live on 2 beautiful acres and love to get my hands dirty gardening.  However, this year, the 2 acres is over grown with weeds and grass about 2 feet high right now and the lawnmower is broke.  Prayerfully it will be fixed soon!!!  I don't have the finances to purchase and build my square foot garden beds this year, so I opted for something I never thought I would need on 2 acres of land.  I'm growing a few things in pots and a wheelbarrow.

I was literally sick to my stomach seeing all the gardens in our area and a few friends have gardens as well.  I've garden almost every year we've been in the country, so when I'm unable to, it just doesn't feel right to me.  So, we had  a wheelbarrow that was wheel-less and I filled it with some good soil, also inherited my mother's pots and filled them with soil.  Then I began planting.  At the moment, I have 8 tomato plants and will need about 2 more.  We love tomatoes!  I've planted 7 asparagus plants that I got from a friend.  I also planted some onions and basil.  I've got to meet up with my friend again to get some of her mint clippings.  I planted basil with some of the tomatoes and will plant the mint with the other tomatoes.  They both help keep certain pests away from the tomatoes. 

I'm so excited over the little I was able to do.  I made a mini green house with a casserole dish and a plastic shower cap and planted some seeds I had...zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers.  Hopefully they will do well and I can get them in pots.  I will have all the ingredients at least for some awesome salsa!!!

I remember all the years we lived in apartments and all the plants I had growing in pots EVERYWHERE..inside and outside.  I had my house plants inside and I had pots of various vegetables growing outside.  I had the most fun and it was so delicious to be able to go outside and pick the fresh veggies from our front and back porch or balcony.  One year we bought the kids a small plastic kiddie pool and put it out front for them.  I got the grand idea to get another one and put holes in the bottom for drainage and filled it with soil on our back porch.  I grew tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, onions, and peppers.  I never let the fact that we were in small spaces stop me from growing some of our food.  It was fun!  It was delicious!  It was preparation for the 2 acres.  I just never thought I'd have to do it again, but I'm grateful that I know how. 

Hmmmmm, speaking of which, I think I just may go get one of those small pools and do a repeat!!!! 

So do you have a garden this year?  Have I inspired you to plant some things in pots? 

Tasha

5/02/2012

Health Journey

At the beginning of April, my sister gifted me with a month membership at our local gym.  I had also begun the vegan journey as well.  I've worked out consistently only missing a few days here and there.  As of today, I am down from 220 lbs to 191 lbs.  I can't tell you how excited I am about that.  Sadly my membership ends Sunday, but I won't let that stop me on this journey of getting healthy and fit.  I'm doing it for my health and well being, not for the slimming factor...that's just a bonus!!!

So now I am looking into extending this journey by adding juicing and raw.  I don't think I ever want to be 100% raw, but I am considering raw as a large portion.  Right now my daily routine is a green smoothie for breakfast, a snack if I want it, which I haven't.  I have actually had to force myself to eat lunch because I'm just not hungry.  I usually just force myself to drink another green smoothie. and then dinner (which is vegan).

The change I'm considering is green smoothies for breakfast every other day, juicing on those off days, and continue my green smoothie for lunch or a raw lunch and then a cooked meal for supper.  I'm thinking that I will kick start this regime with a 3 day juice fast and clear my system out and then add back in the smoothies for 3 days and then add in raw for 3 days and then introduce myself back into that one cooked meal.  AGAIN, this is not for weight loss, though that is the perk.  I simply want to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, and get my body to the best optimal health that I can. 

I love that I'm losing weight and my ideal goal is to be 145 lbs.  But I won't do the weight loss and sacrifice my health.  Health first, weight loss second!!!!

I'll try to post a before picture and a current picture soon!

Tasha

5/01/2012

Country Living ...

My son is a lot like me and hates to wear shoes. However , he ran in today with panic in his voice and fear in his eyes. He'd stepped on a scorpion and had been stung.  After being reassured that it wasn't poisonous and he would indeed live, he was good to go. He took a motrin and went on about his day barefoot of course. 


We cleaned out our shed last week and spotted what we now know to be a water moccasin.  My son shot at it but missed, the gun jammed and got away!!


Also after cutting the yard, we discovered the nest of cottontail rabbits.  There were 3 babies, but we were only able to grab 2 and later released them back into the wild.


Yep, country life. I'd trade those two yucky critters any day.


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4/27/2012

4/26/2012

Stuffed Poblano Peppers....Vegan Style

I have been having loads of fun trying out new vegan recipes and thus far we haven't found any we DON'T like.  Tonight's recipe was Stuffed Poblano Pepper.  The original recipe I got from The Vegan Zombie.  My son and I have watched every one of their videos...him for the zombie scenes and me for the recipes!  Although he's been checking out the recipes too telling me which one's to try next. 

When I think of it I'll try to post our weekly menu, just to give you an idea of the things we're eating.  This week so far:
Sun:  Spicy Black Bean Burgers with chips
Mon:  Spicy Black Bean Burgers with homemade fries (yes when they like something really well, they ask for repeats the next night!)
Tue:  CousCous Salad...I thought there WOULD be leftovers for the next night....NOT!!!
Wed:  Fried Rice...I thought there would be leftovers of this as well.....
Thur:  Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Fri:  Stuffed Shells (also a Vegan Zombie recipe)
Sat:  Not sure just yet, maybe I'll double the recipe on Friday and we'll have leftovers.

Each morning is a green smoothie and lunch is usually a green smoothie too.  I actually have to force myself to drink it because the breakfast smoothie keeps me sustained until about 4:30 and by then I'm cooking supper.

I was watching some other cooking videos and discovered a product that looks like shrimp but it's NOT shrimp.  I'm thinking Sunday will be Jambalya, "Shrimp" Scampi, or something like that.  It's called Sophie's Kitchen.

I also discovered a new vegan restaurant about 12 or so miles from us AND a health food store!!!  The closest one WAS about 30 miles away, but not anymore!!!!

Now feast your eyes on these babies!!!!  

Stuffed Poblano Peppers


The filling is so delicious and would be great in a burrito.  Since we have a huge batch of it left over, I think I'll go get some flour tortillas for supper tomorrow.

I did make a few changes to the recipe.  I didn't cut my peppers in half.  I also added the vegan queso to the mix.  I used fresh corn instead of frozen.  I also added avocado to the mix!  And since we like spicy, I added 3 chipotle peppers to the mix...I could have added 2 more, this was not spicy to us at all!!!


Tasha

4/20/2012

400th Post!!!!

It's hard to believe that this is post 400.  I've moved blogs several times only to come right back to this one.  This one blog has been my trusted friend and holds a lot of my most cherished memories!

There's no great give-away...I'll save that for the 500th post.  However, there are some things I want to share.  I'm currently working on this project that I saw on another blog.  And I've gotten all of the vegan recipes I've collected over the last 3 months all saved onto my computer and I'm just needing to print them out and get the rest of the organization part done.  I did get the magnetic calendar, but the other stuff will have to wait until I have more income. 

I also treated my children to dinner out tonight.  We haven't gone out to eat in 6 months!!!!  We went to Chipotle and I was a bit worried there wouldn't be much for me to choose from.  However, when I saw I could have the same thing, just minus the meat, cheese, and sour cream, I got excited.  They even have brown rice for you to choose now!  It was DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Then on our way home, I noticed a sign in the window of a business.  Veggie House!  I did a U-turn to go check it out.  What did my eyes behold?  14 miles from home is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant.  They've only been open a few months, but it smelled so yummy in there!  I was upset I hadn't seen this before I got Chipotle!  They're menu boasts of American, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Mexican Cuisine Vegan/Vegetarian style!!!!!!!  The smells that wafted through that building were exhilarating and I can't wait to have a bit more income to give it a try. 

I'm all set to take my exam for school on May 4th!  I'm excited about the possibilities.  A year of nursing school and then midwifery training!  It's all invigorating!  I can't wait to see what God does in the next few years and to think I could be delivering babies!!!!  Amazing!

Well, I'm off to work on another creation the Lord gave me.  I'll share in a few weeks.

4/18/2012

When God Gives You Something Spectacular

You sometimes want to tell Him to hurry up and give it all to you at once!  He gave me a vision, but before I can make that vision a reality, I've got to make it and then send it to a couple of trusted friends and let them test it out for me and THEN, I can re-open my Etsy shop and let the fun begin.

I'm excited to see where this will lead.  Excited to see what God does with it.  And having loads of fun with the vision in my minds eye.  I won't post pictures of it until it's in my shop, but let's say I'm bubbling with anticipation!!!

I've also decided I will continue to learn to quilt and will do a few of those on the side mostly as gifts, but I want to also get back into learning to sew clothes for myself.

I'm EXCITED!  Can you tell?



4/17/2012

Vegan Eating

Over the past 2 weeks we have been eating vegan meals.  It's been fun and tasty.  I've found so many vegan cooks on YouTube that it's been pretty easy to find meals for each night.  We started the first week with many vegan Mexican dishes.  We LOVE Mexican food.  My camera is broke so I didn't get to take any pictures.  We ate tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos.  On a few of those nights we had enough left over for the next night.  This week we started with the Vegan Corn Dogs and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Ummmmmmmm, Yum!!! That's all I can say. 

Seriously, they were just that good and the kids made more for lunch the next day.  Last night I made 2 batches of the Vegan Shepherd's Pie.  They devoured the first one last night and wanted to dig into the second one for lunch.  I had to veto that. 

For lunch today and most likely dinner tomorrow, it was "Chicken" Salad.  It's made with chick peas, relish, and vegan mayo.  The texture is so similar to chicken salad that I totally forgot that's what I was eating.  It tasted like the real deal.  This was our second time having it.  The first time we had it for lunch last week and the kids kept sneaking back into the fridge eating it by the spoonfuls well into the night.  I went for some the next afternoon and there was none to be found.  NONE!!!!

I'll keep you posted on other recipes we try.  Until then, enjoy the links below. 









4/13/2012

I Want To Move

I've shared that with a few people...very few.  But now it becomes a more urgent desire.
I want to move to Arkansas or Tennessee.  I'm really leaning towards Arkansas, but I've
heard some things that make me question that desire.  I love what I have heard about Tennessee.
Regardless, I am putting it before the Lord and leaving it for Him to work out.  Maybe after I finish nursing school????  Only God knows, but I do know I want a change of scenery.  I still want to be in the country and I still want land, so again, I'm going to lay it ALL before the Lord!!!!


4/10/2012

Z U M B A

Just kicked my butt tonight!!!!!!!!!  They offered a free class and so my sister and I tried it just to see what it was like.  OH MY WORD!!!!  I'm hurting in places I forgot existed and haven't moved in YEARS!!!!  But it felt oh so good.

As I soaked in the water tonight, I said a quick prayer.  It feels sooooo good to do something for me.  That may sound selfish, but I think as mothers, we often times don't take care of ourselves as we are busy taking care of everyone and everything else around us.  We need to see to our needs too or we won't be any good for anyone else!

I've turned in more applications.  I have got to find something part time until fall classes start.  Then they highly recommend not working as the course is pretty tough.  The home health aid will only be part time and it will just be 2 hours for 3 days, which is all I really need at this point.  It will at least keep me from losing my car!

OK, I'm off to bed, I'm exhausted......

Trying AGAIN...

I've been gone a while and well, there is no excuse, but I had to just take some time and regroup.  My faith was struggling pretty bad and I had to find me in Christ.  Talk about persecution and torment, the last few weeks were some of the hardest to get through and yet I needed to get through them.

My children and I began to watch the Basic Seminar with Bill Gothard and I have to tell you there has been so much awakening for me and so much freedom gained through it.  There are many that would say he leads a cult, but I haven't found that to be true and I've not taken his word on anything, but looked through the scriptures for myself to back up what he is saying or dispute it if necessary.  I have, thus far, found no reason to dispute anything he has taught.  He seriously takes you right back to the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ!!!

So I've started over.  What does that mean exactly?  Well, it means that I've been working on the me God created me to be and some things I HAD to take back to the beginning!!!!  Relearning what God has to say about me.  Relearning what God has to say about Himself.  In all of that, I know there are some things I need to be doing and I've neglected to do them for one reason or another.
Just as things began to get so tumultuous for me and I was on the verge of throwing in the towel (in more ways than one), my sister asked me if I would work out with her for 30 days.  I agreed.  Had no idea how this would rejuvenate me spiritually!!!!  As I've been walking on the treadmill, or riding the stationary bike, or lifting weights, I have had a keen sense that God had some things I needed to go back to and some things He wanted me to change.  In come the promptings on my health and nutrition.

So, I started over with drinking my green smoothies again in addition to working out.  We ate ALL vegan meals for now 2 weeks and I can't begin to tell you how awesome I feel.

We are on the verge of losing our only transportation because I'm still without a job, but praying the local home health care will get at least 3 referrals for a home health aid....basically I have a job, just waiting for clients now.  I haven't stopped applying at other places though.  Our Internet will be off sometime today, but even with all of that, I have a new focus.  I'm concerned, but not depressed over these financial hurdles.  God has provided food we needed to begin this vegan journey.  And after the first week of working out and eating all vegan, I began to research yet again about this lifestyle.

I found.......greensmoothiegirl.com.  I actually found her through YouTube first and watched every video she posted over the last few years.  My son watched with me.  I began to get excited and pumped up about all the possibilities.  I don't believe in coincidences, so I know God had a purpose and plan in all of it.

I discovered a lump about 4 weeks ago.  I've been keeping a close "eye" on it and I haven't noticed it growing, but I do know it is there.  Only one of my children know that I have discovered it.  I called the free clinic and they have no openings until July.  My blood pressure was through the roof and I was having panic attacks nightly.  My weight was 220 lbs.

However, after changing my eating habits and then dipping into a vegan food quest, I noticed my clothes were beginning to fit differently.  I weighed myself as we began to work out last week and I was astonished to see that the scale read........... WAIT FOR IT................ 198 lbs.  So in 4 weeks I've lost 22 lbs.  I have a total of 53 lbs to go to get to my goal.  I feel great!  Oh I think I said that already.  The food tastes great that we have been eating and I'm noticing that I don't need quite as much to fill me up.

So back to these green smoothies.  I've done them off and on for the past 6 years.  The longest I've done them is about 18 months.  I got lazy and didn't think they were making such a huge difference.  However, the last time I lost a whopping 47 pounds, that's exactly what I was doing, having a green smoothie every morning and working out for an hour 6 days a week.  If it worked then, why did I stop?  I got lazy...... no excuse and no other explanation.

The only difference now in these green smoothies is I'm following green smoothie girls advice by putting in MORE greens.  Previously I had put in spinach and various types of lettuces.  Now I've omitted the lettuces and I'm doing kale and collards as well as the spinach.  I'm adding frozen fruit, an apple or pear, and 2 bananas.  I thought with the additional greens that I wouldn't like it so much, but I guess because we've curbed our sugar intake for so long the taste didn't phase me one bit.  Well, actually, that's a lie.  It tastes superb!!!  I love the richness in flavor and the life of the greens.  The fruits, though not a lot, add just enough sweetness.  If you decide to give them a try for the first time however, I would suggest doing more fruit than greens and working your way to decrease the fruit and increase the greens each week.

I've also noticed that my palate is changing.  We had cake for my nephews 4th birthday and I totally could not eat the icing on it.  Way too sweet.  I am not craving sugars and sweets as much either, only right before my cycle.  I haven't denied those cravings, but I can't wait for them to be gone.  Green Smoothie Girl has this cake I so want to try, but I don't like chocolate, so I'm going to have to figure out how to change it to a white cake.  It's a beet chocolate cake and everyone on her site raves about it.  So in the next few weeks I hope to give it a try and make it a white cake...well, with beets, it will most likely be pink. LOL

I'm also working on starting to journal my vegan journey through videos on my YouTube channel, NeedingASavior.   There's nothing on there now, but I will be working on it in the next few weeks and with no Internet, I will only be able to post videos when I take my daughter to class or we head to the library.

I'm excited about the changes.  They are very much needed and I only wish I had done them head on 6 years ago.

In other exciting news, I'm going back to school.  I'm needing to take a placement exam and need the money for that by the 4th of May.  Summer classes begin on the 24th of May.  I've already gotten my financial aid for summer, fall, and spring classes taken care of.  Summer classes will consist of prerequisite classes, then I will take another exam in the fall to get into the LVN program.  After a year I will have completed that program and plan to work and save to begin the midwifery program.  That's the goal at this point, we'll see if God changes that or if this is indeed the road He has for me.


Surrendering IS Humbling

Surrendering IS Humbling

Whoever said surrendering to God was easy, lied.  It is a very humbling experience for sure.  Just yesterday alone, I surrendered things to God AGAIN about 10 times.  Just when I think I'm on a path of surrender, something is said or a thought remembered and BAM it's like I've walked into a brick wall and I have to surrender all over again.

When I find myself worrying or fretting over something, I stop right then and surrender those things again.  Asking God to be the Lord over that issue, thought, feeling, emotion, etc.  I can't begin to describe the peace that begins to flood me from within.

I lay in bed last night and began to just pray for various people in my life.  Giving praise, asking for specifics for each of them and suddenly I had the overwhelming need to surrender stuff and people in my life again.  Tears began to stream down my face as it hit me I own NOTHING, not even my own body.  I immediately thought of a few scriptures...
Romans 12:1

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?

1 Corinthians 6:20


20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.


1 Corinthians 7:23


23 God purchased you at a high price. Don't be enslaved by the world.


Then it REALLY hit me.  There is nothing on this earth that I own.  There is absolutely NOTHING that is mine.  Now my next thoughts may seem silly as I write them out, but I lay there and started thinking about things I've purchased and realized that not even those things are mine.  I OWN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!  It all belongs to God.  I belong to God.

AND THEN....surrendering became easy.  The words began to flow from my heart as I gave things back to the Lord that were His to begin with.  My children are not mine.  They were His all along and He only loaned them to me to nurture and prepare for His glory and purpose.  I gave Him my husband as well as many other family members and I realized He loves them far more than I EVER could.  He does not desire for any of them to be lost.  2 Peter 3:9  The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.
He loves them with an everlasting love.  Jeremiah 31:3
The more I surrendered stuff, people, me to the Lord, the harder the tears fell and the more free and at peace I felt.  The more I let go, the more I began to seek His forgiveness for MY mess and I was able to also feel His forgiveness take over me to the point I was able to forgive others.  I could think of someone and things they did or said to me in the past and I was not angry with just the thought of them, but my heart was filled with compassion towards them.  It is seriously a point when you realize that person did hurt you but ultimately it was against heaven first that they sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit.  The more I came to that realization, the more Ephesians 6:12 became more real and clear to me.  For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those powers of darkness that rule this world and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

C L E A N S I N G

F R E E I N G                      H U M B L I N G

R E F R E S H I N G

My goodness that seems to me, to be a lifesaver right there!!!  The nugget we should all be aiming for.  I'm discovering a new side of God that was there all along.  I side I'm loving and so thankful for.
Does this mean I will never worry, fret, or take back what I have already given to Him?  No, that would mean I'm not human.  However, I have taken a step in the right direction of being able to trust my Savior.

Lord, I pray that something I have shared will be the catapult that launches someone else that much closer to You.  I pray that you will continue to heal my heart and help me to surrender daily my "rights" to You.  May I never get so cocky to believe that I am my own and can do as I so choose.  May I never forget where I've been, nor what You are bringing me through.  May what I experience in life today be used to draw others to You and help them to have understanding and come into a more intimate relationship with You.
Thank You for loving me enough to be patient with me and wait for me to "come to my senses".  Forgive my cockiness of not realizing that though I did not physically wander away I was still a prodigal in my thoughts.  Thank You for seeing me afar off and running to me with out stretched arms welcoming back in to your fold.  Your love is truly greater and higher than I could ever imagine.  May I ever remain humble, grateful for YOU and who YOU are!!!
                                                                                        In Jesus Name, Amen.

Back In School

I began listening to The Pineapple Story.  I'm on the second session.  Otto Koning is teaching about surrendering to God.  He refers to them as the things he had to surrender and as grades.  He made a statement that made more sense to me than I had ever thought of.  When you are saved, you immediately enter school.  When you stop and think about it, it's true.  You enter first grade all over again.

You are in first grade of learning who God is and who you are in Christ.  For me, I'm back in first grade RE-LEARNING how to surrender to God.  There is still that one statement that is ringing like bells in my ears.  As long as you are trying to solve your problems, God won't push you out of the way.  He'll step aside and wait for you to move out of the way and let Him handle it.

I haven't surrendered things to Him and I've been trying to handle my problems myself.

It's HARD to realize PEOPLE are NOT your enemy.  For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world.  Against the powers of darkness who rule this world and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12

Surrendering is also hard.  It's not a one time thing either.  In just the last 24 hours, I've surrendered EVERYTHING I could think of that is causing me fear and worry, and I've done it repeatedly.  As I lay to sleep for the night, my mind swarmed with all the "problems" in my world.  I'd find myself getting angry and I'd have to surrender that thing again.  I'd go to sleep and wake up in about 30 min. with fear and worry and I'd have to surrender that thing again as well.

So I've determined that I'm in first grade once again and I pray I'm not here long, but I'll surrender these things over and over again until I have freedom and God is the Lord of all.

This Walk

I'm learning and re-learning day by day that this walk with Christ is a daily surrendering and trust thing.  You can't simply say one day I trust God, I am a follower of Christ, I believe.  This is a daily dying to self and surrendering your will for His.  He is ever stretching me and growing me in areas that are just plain hard.
I can see Him at work in my life and heart, but there are seriously times I want to say ok God, enough.  Times when you think surely there can't be much else that God can pull from me or pull out of me, and then....another trial, another opportunity to grow in Christ, another time of stretching in faith and trust.
Not easy, but so worth it in the end.  I want to ask God to fix things and let me have a reprieve and THEN allow me to come back into the scheme of things.  However, He is asking me "Will you trust Me"?  To which I can either say no and forfeit oh so much OR I can say yes and He blesses my socks off with growth and fellowship with Him.  When I look at it from that perspective, I say YES....un-ashamedly and WITHOUT reservation!
My God is greater!  My God is stronger!  He is higher than any other!  He is healer!  Awesome in Power.....MY GOD!!!!  If my God is for me than who can ever stop me or come against me????
It's boiling down to will I believe and trust His word?  Will I stand on His promises?  He has said He is not a man that He should lie.  Do I believe Him?
There is no one else I can trust or believe beyond a shadow of doubt.  No one BUT God, even when things look ugly and I don't have the answers I'm searching for.  God is All I have and All I need.  He's showing me daily my need for a Savior.
God Bless

Surrendering

I was listening to the first part of The Pineapple Story on EmbassyInstitute.org last night.
I didn't take any notes, just sat and listened.  I enjoyed the first session with the various stories he shared about being in the mission field, the people and so forth.  I laughed right along with the audience.  Yet, I was also paying attention and some things caught my attention.

Otto Koning made a few statements.  Statements I will be pondering for a while.
The more you fight and struggle with your problems, the worse they get.

As long as you are trying to solve your own problems, God won't push you out of the way.  He'll wait for you to move out of the way and let Him handle them.

You can't win the ones you're fighting with, you only ruin your testimony.


As my children have said and done things and I have said things that are causing conflicts and rifts in our relationships, as my husband has hurt me and is not fulfilling the vows he made, I forget often that We war not with flesh and blood...Ephesians 6:12.
I will be meditating on this verse and committing it to memory this week.

Surrender:  Cease resistance, abandon oneself entirely to, give in to, submit to a greater authority.

God is waiting on me to surrender all this mess and people to Him.  He won't push me out of the way.  He sees I'm hurting, angry and wailing about, but He waits patiently all the while knowing He can fix what brings me low.  Ahhh, the parent child relationship in full effect.

Lord, surrendering is not easy for me, but as I'm losing this war and ruining my testimony with others and my children, I surrender them, my husband, my finances, my employment, my hurts, my "rights", my heart to You.  Have Your way, may You be Lord over this all.  And Lord, may You remind me and help me to surrender it all to You again each day.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Intense Attacks

The last 5 days have been days of attack from the enemy and me countless times throwing in the towel.  I've been cursed at more times in the last few days than I care to recall, lied to continuously, and mocked behind my back.
The load got too heavy for me to bear and the enemy began to whisper in my ear.  I became too weak to fight and so I began to sink.  However, there were moments I could hear the voice of the Lord calling me and yet it was so mottled, I could barely decipher what He was saying.  I couldn't pick up the Word, just quote a few scriptures in my distress.  This morning, I know He was calling my name.
My thoughts have been why such the harsh attack?  What was I doing differently that prompted the enemy to stop at nothing to hit me square in the gut?  I was daily reading from my Promises book and I had begun to believe His promises once again and stand on them.  I was once again praying and fasting and WHAM!!!!! Out of no where He hit.
The enemy doesn't mind you saying you are a Christian, he doesn't mind you reading the scriptures and listening to Christian radio and teachings.  He does want to stop you from believing and standing on the Word of the Lord.  If he can keep you blinded with just a little lie (did God really say???) then he doesn't have to worry about you doing any damage to his worldly kingdom.
I know there will be more and I know things will get dull sounding around me again and I won't be able to decipher what the Lord is saying, but I do know He is calling my name.  He is not leaving me to the wiles and schemes of the enemy.  One day the pounding, tumultuous attacks from the enemy will become dull and I will not only be able to hear my Lord, but also decipher what He is saying.
Today I will pick up the Word and read.  It may only be a few scriptures as I get my bearings together, but I WILL read.  Most of my time will be spent in prayer as I realign my focus on His promises and hold fast to them.

Update

Today I send my laptop back to Apple for repairs.  My hard drive seems to have a glitch with the CD/DVD mechanism.  I hate to see her go, but I know that it is necessary and I also know this will be a time of limited distractions and I can focus on the Lord more and get into a better routine of life.
I do plan to use this time to work out a schedule of sorts.  I know I still spend way more time online than I should, so I'll be working on that.  Not to mention the several projects I'm working on for the arrival of my niece and the 12 quilts I need to get started with for my sweet friend and her family.
Please continue to pray as I am still seeking employment and our funds have completely run out now.  I know God is able and the things he has done have blown my mind.  The things He will do, will be no different.  He will definitely be glorified and lifted up!!!!!
Hopefully when I get my laptop back I'll have pictures of my projects to share!!!

Kung Pao Tofu

Who knew!!!  Last night I made a huge pot of Kung Pao Tofu.  Now my children and I love to eat foods from all across the globe.  There are but a few things we say no thank you to.  On this quest I've been searching for foods we could eat and still enjoy, this recipe was no disappointment what so ever.  It tasted way better than the stuff we've gotten in restaurants.
I took a picture of the finished product and sent it to my pregnant sister.  About 10 minutes later she was knocking on my door for a sample.  However, she took home a plate.  She told me today that she dreamed about that meal twice!!!  It was really that good.
So this is definitely a keeper in our new recipe book.
If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

This Walk

I'm learning and re-learning day by day that this walk with Christ is a daily surrendering and trust thing.  You can't simply say one day I trust God, I am a follower of Christ, I believe.  This is a daily dying to self and surrendering your will for His.  He is ever stretching me and growing me in areas that are just plain hard.
I can see Him at work in my life and heart, but there are seriously times I want to say ok God, enough.  Times when you think surely there can't be much else that God can pull from me or pull out of me, and then....another trial, another opportunity to grow in Christ, another time of stretching in faith and trust.
Not easy, but so worth it in the end.  I want to ask God to fix things and let me have a reprieve and THEN allow me to come back into the scheme of things.  However, He is asking me "Will you trust Me"?  To which I can either say no and forfeit oh so much OR I can say yes and He blesses my socks off with growth and fellowship with Him.  When I look at it from that perspective, I say YES....un-ashamedly and WITHOUT reservation!
My God is greater!  My God is stronger!  He is higher than any other!  He is healer!  Awesome in Power.....MY GOD!!!!  If my God is for me than who can ever stop me or come against me????
It's boiling down to will I believe and trust His word?  Will I stand on His promises?  He has said He is not a man that He should lie.  Do I believe Him?
There is no one else I can trust or believe beyond a shadow of doubt.  No one BUT God, even when things look ugly and I don't have the answers I'm searching for.  God is All I have and All I need.  He's showing me daily my need for a Savior.
God Bless

Re-Learning How to Cook and Eat

It seems like it's been a very long time since I've blogged.  I have been busy as we all have new schedules we are getting used to, I'm also taking a Website Design class, so there is studying and class projects that I am doing.  I haven't even had time for sewing or reading any of the blogs I enjoy following.
What does all that have to do with the title of this post?  Nothing! ;-)
Just thought I'd update what's been going on in my world.
I am taking much smaller baby steps than I anticipated into the vegan lifestyle.  I played around with a few recipes last month and completely enjoyed them, and I've now gotten my Engine 2 Diet book that helps the transition as well over a period of 4 weeks.
Tonight I decided to try another recipe.  Scrambled Tofu.  I NEVER thought I would eat tofu and while I don't plan to eat a lot of it, I do want to be able to enjoy it every now and again.  First off, let me say that it looked just like real scrambled eggs.  I could not get over that!!!!  Then after seasoning them as the recipe instructed, they tasted just like real scrambled eggs.  I remember right before my first bite, I prayed.  Lord, please let this taste like something I'll eat, otherwise, this transition may be a bit difficult for me.  And then I took a bite and began to grin from ear to ear.  It was fantabulous!!!!!  I ate it with some millet and a couple of slices of toast with a little agave drizzled on them.  D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S is about all I can say.  Most likely for the remainder of February I will continue with baby steps in the right direction and plunge in head and/or feet first the beginning of March.  I need time to read the book and a couple of other books, make up my menus and grocery list and get some shopping done before I can jump right in.  I'm excited!!!!!  I only wish I had the finances to get a blood test to know where my cholesterol and such stand before I start.  Maybe God will provide that.....
I can say at this point, my only challenge looks like it will be re-learning how to eat.  When you are raised to cook foods a certain way that actually wipes out most, if not all, of it's nutritional value, and then you try to do it a different way, there's going to be a bit of a learning curve.  I'm determined to give it a go though.  I'll keep you posted how it comes along and may even share a few of the recipes with you!
OK, back to some more reading.  God Bless!!!!

My Beloved Aunt

My mother’s last living sibling lives across the street from us.  She is on hospice care as she has cancer throughout her body, parkinsons, and now fluid around her heart.  There are times when I get to sit and care for her until her son arrives to care for her.
She has stated she doesn’t have much longer to live...she’s actually made it much longer than the doctor’s ever thought she would. 
Following is an account of the latest visit I had with her.  I’m posting it to have a record of it for when she goes HOME.
Sitting with Mama Dear has been the highlight of the beginning of my fast.  She was a delight and joy.  I could see that she was getting tired, but each time I left her to rest, she’d call me back in her room.  She was definitely restless.  She finally asked me to sit with her and hold her hand.  At first I was a bit put off.  I had the grand idea that sitting in front of the fireplace would be an awesome place to sit while I had my prayer/quiet time.  However that attitude only lasted a moment because my next immediate thought was what if this is the last thing she gets to ask of me (her being in her right mind are rare moments)?
I asked her if she would mind me getting my Bible and her face lit up.  As I sat down, I asked her if there was anything she would like to hear.  She said the 37th Psalms.  I read it and she smiled.  I read a few others and she relaxed and closed her eyes.  She was not yet asleep though and after about 15 min., she opened her eyes again with a look of peace and serenity.  She asked me to read the 25th Psalm and I did, as well as the 23rd, 24th, 26th, and 33rd.  Then she was ready to sleep.  It was nice to look up occasionally and see her listening intently with a smile on her face.
Mama Dear has always been extra special to me.  One of my most favored aunts.  We used to write to each other when I was in high school and every letter she sent me she always gave me godly wisdom.  My regret is that I can’t find any of those letters.  At any rate, the memories I have of her and the time God has allowed her to be a part of my life are priceless!!!!

Fast

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.  I can’t say if I’ve really missed it or not.  I’ve been enjoying spending more time with God and trying to get used to the new changes within my household.  
The next several posts for the next few days will be a compilation of the things that have happened over the last few weeks.  
Now, where to begin?  Each year our church holds a Solemn Assembly.  This is the church taking the first week of the new year and dedicating it to the Lord through fasting and praying as a church body as well as families and individuals. 
The week before that, I knew we were getting ready to go into this consecrated time and I had begun to pray and ask God how He wanted me to approach this time of fasting and praying.  I knew in my heart that I wanted to hear from the Lord and I wanted this time to be different.  Immediately God impressed upon my heart to do a full fast and to fast from the internet as well.  And I knew this was a fast that God had chosen.  Isaiah 58:5-12
When we arrived at church that Sunday, the Pastor gave different instructions; to fast from ONE meal of our choosing and from ONE other thing that consumes a lot of our time.  Sounded like what I was going to do anyway, except the meal part.  I sat there and prayed, “Lord they are only fasting from one meal...I could just follow them.”  He instructed me to obey the fast He had chosen and I knew in my heart that was what I needed and had to do.  I knew with expectancy that God was going to speak to me through this fast.
This was NOT a fast where He spoke to me, but a fast in which HE broke the chains of depression and suicide from me.  I can only recall 2 other fasts in the last 5 years in which the Lord spoke to me or broke some bondage from my life.  2011 was a great year of testing and tempting from the enemy for me.  Many times there was a weight and spirit of depression/suicide upon me.  Not many know the depths within which I fought to keep from taking my life.  There were times I could only lay in my bed and cry out the name of Jesus.  I couldn’t read, couldn’t sing, couldn’t pray....I could only call out the name Jesus and beg for Him to save me.  I knew in my limited frame of understanding that if I were to come through that time, it would only be because of Jesus and nothing that I had done in my own works.  And sure enough, He did bring me through but in the first week of 2012, He broke the bondage from me.  
I knew the moment it broke from my life.  I awoke on that Tuesday with a smile on my face and knew a lightness in my heart that I had not felt in over a year.  I knew the season of the deep valley of the shadow of death was over and the joy of the Lord was upon me.  
I actually went through the rest of the fast without a desire for food.  My sister and I talked about various recipes and she continually apologized for “tempting” me, but not once was I even yearning for food.  The only difference this time is that my children are much older than the first time I ever fasted, so I never had to cook meals.  They took care of the meals themselves.  
The following Sunday, I was able to give an amazing testimony to several people about the goodness of the Lord and what He had accomplished during the fast He had chosen.  He also gave me a new heart and desire for my marriage.  I prayed at the end of the fast that God would continue to call me to a fast of His choosing throughout this year.  
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 55:8-11 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, “declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

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