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.

The Throne of My Heart

How do I take me off the throne of my heart and ask God to occupy His rightful place on the throne of my heart when I'm filled with such pride?
Many would say it's easy, confess, repent, believe, have faith, trust, etc.
I submit to you that sometimes it's really NOT that easy.  Oh how I want it to be, but when I ask myself some hard questions, I realize that this is a battle I can't fight on my own.
My sweet friend shared a quote with me from Facing the Giants between the husband and the wife.  He asked her "Will you still love Him if He never gives us a child?"
For my friend, she said before she couldn't answer because she was angry, but now she can say yes!!!! regarding her situation.
As for me, I wrote it out and I'm truly pondering it.
Would I still love Him if He never removes the financial burdens, never restores my marriage and family, never turns my children's hearts to completely surrender and walk with Him, never restores the relationships between me and my children, never gives me a job, I'm never to be a stay at home wife/mother again, never allows us to move to a "better" & "more fitting" place?
Sad to say I am struggling with this right now and I see the pride in it all.  I see that I have dethroned God from my heart and put myself in His place.
I'm not even pondering so much right now HOW this happened, but WHAT is hindering me from removing myself and putting God back in His rightful place in my heart and life.
And just in the brief moment I have paused to ask God to reveal it to me, I got this...
I'm angry because my life has not turned out the way I expected it to.  My hopes and dreams weren't fulfilled as I had planned.  My desires have all been for naught and I'm angry, bitter, and resentful, and sorely disappointed.
to be continued............

Inspired

Tonight I read a Texas Rubies blog post and was totally inspired in my faith.  She articulated so much that I have felt and am feeling and yet it also brought me to a point of repentance and confession.  I did not happen upon her blog, God had it all planned from the beginning of time.  He knew exactly what I needed!!!!
I pray her post inspires you as well.  Learning Curve

Confessions of My Heart 1

Christmas has come and gone.  The mad rush to buy gifts and bake cookies and big meals has passed.
On Dec. 26 I sat watching old television shows and quietly contemplating things within my heart.  As a commercial came on, I sat there and began to cry.  No apparent reason.  I began to ask the Lord what is wrong with me????  Why am I constantly depressed as of late????  Why can't I get on with life????  Why do I feel stuck and unable to think or do anything????  As I got quiet and still, I heard softly but clearly, "you are angry with Me".  My thoughts were immediately, no Lord, never.  I could never be angry with You.  And then softly but firmly, "You are angry with God".  And the tears began to flow uncontrollably as I admitted "yes Lord, I am angry with You".
Then a quick fear leaps in and then I realized, if God brought it to my attention, He's "OK" with my anger towards Him and wants us to deal with it.  Relief floods in and I began to pour my hear out to the Lord.
Yes God, I am angry with You!!!
And as I went through the day and lay my head to rest, my constant prayer was "Lord, help me to understand and give me healing and restoration".
I awoke this morning, sensing ALL  the anger within me towards myself and others as well...
And I began to search...Google, of course ;-)!!!
I wasn't looking for anyone's opinion on the matter.  I was actually looking for scriptures specific to my need.  I pulled up an article from hope for family.  As I read it, I began to cry again, because I could finally understand my great anger and how anger can cause depression (among other things of course, but for me, this is my root cause).
I came across a statement that I've heard and read many times before, but it was made ever so clear and jumped out at me this time.  My anger stems from unmet and unfulfilled expectations!!!!  Immediately 2 teachings came to mind.  Anger Resolution - Bill Gothard & Quieting a Noisy Soul - Jim Berg.  This is where I've heard/read this truth before.
Now with this revelation and understanding, I'm praying for healing/restoration in my trust, belief, and walk with God.  That statement contradicts my other blog posts, but when you're being honest with God, be prepared for things God will over turn and reveal.  Previous statements are true about my faith, but if I want anything deep, real, and meaningful with God, I've got to get beyond my surface feelings and words and get real.
For starters, I'm going to go back and listen to and read those teachings again, followed by more quiet time as I try to be patient and hear God speak to me again.
Psalms 22: 1-5
1 My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help?
2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.  Every night you hear my voice, but I no relief.
3 Yet You are holy.  The praises of Israel surround your throne.
4 Our ancestors trusted in You, and You rescued them.
5 You heard their cries for help and saved them.  They put their trust in you and were never disappointed.  My hearts cry.....Lord may I get to the point where I cry out to you and you save me, where I put my trust in You and am never disappointed.  Help me to grab hold of Your ideals and will for my life and let go of my own.  Is this what it means to die to self?

Standing

The last couple of days, I've been asking MYSELF if I should really be standing for my marriage.  Is it truly what God has in mind for me?  I wrote it out in prayer, asking if this was His intention and desire for me.
See, I know what His word says regarding marriage.  I know how He has turned me from seeking a divorce each time, but when you are personally in the trenches and there is seemingly no one with you, it can be very hard and extremely exhausting.  Your emotions never know which way to flip.
So, I've asked for a sign.  Much like Thomas did when everyone kept saying they saw Jesus after His resurrection.  Thomas said I won't believe until I see for myself and can place my fingers in His hands and side.  Jesus said blessed are those that don't see and still believe (John 20:25,29).
Unfortunately, I'm one that needs to have proof and confirmation that this is the way He would have me to go.  Why?  Because it is daunting when the very one you are standing for will not even speak with you and the few times he does, his words are cutting and hard.  You think, surely there is no love in his heart.  Or you say to God, Lord I know what Your word says regarding marriage, but have you heard this mans tone and I know Joseph Lord and how hard and stubborn his heart can be.  How determined he is to never return or love again.  And You want me to believe that our marriage will one day be restored?
At which time, He brings to my mind,
Proverbs 21:1 - The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, He turns it wherever He pleases.
Seriously, what do you say to that?  I couldn't say anything, so I just opened my Bible to read a scripture my friend shared with me from her reading.  All highlights are my hearts cry to my Father, but that in red is my deepest prayer beyond words...and yet here the very words are.  I don't know what sign the Lord will give me, but I trust He will lead me, guide me, and teach me, in the way He would have me to go regarding my marriage.  

PSALM 143

 1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
      listen to my plea!
      Answer me because you are faithful and righteous.

 2 Don’t put your servant on trial,
      for no one is innocent before you.
 3 My enemy has chased me.
      He has knocked me to the ground
      and forces me to live in darkness like those in the grave.
 4 I am losing all hope;
      I am paralyzed with fear.

 5 I remember the days of old.
      I ponder all your great works
      and think about what you have done.
 6 I lift my hands to you in prayer.
      I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.

                         Interlude
 7 Come quickly, Lord, and answer me,
      for my depression deepens.
   Don’t turn away from me,
      or I will die.
 8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
      for I am trusting you.
   Show me where to walk,
      for I give myself to you.

 9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord;
      I run to you to hide me.
 10 Teach me to do your will,
      for you are my God.
   May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
      on a firm footing.

 11 For the glory of your name, O Lord, preserve my life.
      Because of your faithfulness, bring me out of this distress.
 12 In your unfailing love, silence all my enemies
      and destroy all my foes,
      for I am your servant.

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