I had discontentment ring my door bell a few weeks ago. I answered and instead of saying no thank you like I would to an unwarranted solicitor I smiled, opening the door wide welcoming them in as an old friend. I hadn’t let them visit in a while but I thought a visit wouldn’t hurt.
Well, the visit lasted for month or so. I have been so dissatisfied with so many things in my life. I welcomed discontentment and now it has become a nice pity party by now. I thought that with the way things in my life have been why not. All the times in the past I would answer the door when discontentment came around but instead of letting them in I would sail past on my way out then go for a run, upon my return my visitor would be gone. I had a clear head and a heart full of contentment.
I am not able to run now so I had thought I had every right to throw a big discontentment themed pity party, I went all out. I think my party could have been Pinterest worthy but as with any visitor that can outstay their welcome I realize discontentment had to go. I showed them to the door yesterday and felt so much better for it. I had a lot of cleaning up, the thing about allowing discontentment in is it makes a huge mess of things and you forget all the great things life has to offer.
I know that they will be back but the funny thing is that I may not be able to run past and leave them in the dust but what I can do now is just look through the peephole and then not answer.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 & 11
“6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. ”
“11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”
Many of us heard from our well-meaning moms. The great phrase “always wear clean underwear” as funny as this has sounds to me, this was told by mothers across the board with love and out of I’m sure embarrassment if their children were caught with dirty ragged underpants on their way to the hospital or in some emergency.
I have worked in various parts of the hospital but my favorite has and always will be the emergency room. I like the “when it rains it pours” kind of work. The not knowing what the day/night will be like. Thinking on my feet is one of my strengths so maybe that’s why I like that department best or perhaps it is the adrenaline rush, who knows but I would see people on their worst day and sometimes it turned out to be their last. I know that they were not thinking if only I had changed and wore my best underwear.
I also know that the person coming in on the gurney with blood coming out from a gunshot wound did not tell us to stop all life saving efforts so they could go get cleaned up first.
This might sound funny and strange to think of people telling the staff to hold off on helping them until they are clean and wearing their best out fit but that is exactly what we do.
Yes, we as humans are funny. We have a God that says He loves us right where we are but for some reason we think we need to clean up our life before allowing God in, or we think we have made to much of a mess. We have made to many mistakes or have committed to big of a sin to be loved my Him.
I am so amazed and humbled by Gods love for us. He comes to us in the messiest of our lives, saves us and then helps clean us up.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I know that the days of having a nice hot bowl of soup are coming to an end, so I am making as many different kinds as I can now.
I do enjoy a bowl of chilled soup on a warm day but nothing comes close to the comforting bowl of hot soup.
Todays recipe is a very fast way to make butternut squash soup.
As you can see, I have just the basics but this is still full of flavor.
Butternut squash soup:
1 12 ounce bags of cut up butternut squash
2 cup of veggie broth
1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
The following seasoning per your taste:
Rosemary, poultry seasoning (or sage and thyme), black pepper mix, parsley
In a hot pan add coconut oil, butternut squash and seasonings. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Turn down burner to a simmer then add veggie broth. cook for about 10 minutes until squash is done. If you want a smooth soup put soup mixture in a food processor. When I am in the mood for more texture or I don’t feel like cleaning my food processor I just mash-up the squash with a potato masher. Finally add and stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes more, then enjoy your quick soup.
Thinking back to school days and one thing we all have in common is the seating arrangement that kids set up. Who knows who came up with it but it probably has been going on since the dawn of time.
You know what I am talking about, we all had the groups and the tables where each of those groups sat. For some who dared venture over to what was thought of as “the cool table” chances are they would end up walking away with head down and shouts of laughter as the poor soul returned to their table. I always wondered why any one would put themselves in that situation, I mean really who needs that.
I was always more than happy with my group of misfits. Who knows if any of us at my table would have turned someone away but no one tried to come sit with us, maybe it was the spiky hair and odd clothing we chose to wear but to me it was a great group. Even when I made cheer I never did eat at any other table.
Hollywood has made countless movies on this topic. I noticed one was on TV the other night. I didn’t watch it but it got me thinking back to when I was in school and how it can be a great lesson about what we allow in our thoughts.
I was thinking of it this way, our minds are “the cool table” we are in charge of who sits and who doesn’t. So if we are in charge why do we not send those negative self-loathing thoughts packing? Why can’t we be just as forceful as the cool kids were?
It is so hard to do but if we start looking at it as we are in charge of who takes up seats in our heads maybe it will get easier for us to send the negative thoughts that just harm us to walk away. Who needs them at your table anyway.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Straight from my mom’s kitchen and her Daniel Plan Cookbook.
Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers:
6 ounces brown or white mushrooms
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup of chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
1 large egg beaten
1/2 Cup (or more) breadcrumbs
4 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
4 Teaspoon coarse or whole grain Dijon mustard
For the Toppings/garnish
5 slices mozzarella or jack cheese
5 whole grain or gluten-free buns
5 large slices tomato
These are such a great alternative to hamburgers. You can cook them in the house or in no time BBQ season will be here, making this recipe a great option for all those fun times.
- In a food processor pulse mushrooms or chop by hand.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté’ in frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion until soft. Add garlic and tamari. Cook 1 more minute.
- Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release their moisture and are almost dry. Add parsley, oregano, and black pepper. Add lentils and stir well.
- Put lentil mixture into food processor, and pulse mixture to grind. and 7 times.
- In large bowl, combine mushroom-lentil mixture with beaten egg, quinoa bread crumbs, Parmesan, and mustard. Moisture level of mixture may vary with the type of bread crumbs used. It should be very moist, but not be wet. If it feels wet, add bread crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Divide into 5 portions, about a generous 1/2 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten to form a patty. Place on patties on flat plate cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or over night
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add patties cook 5-6 minutes per side.
Now that your patties are done, add patty to your whole grain bun. Add your toppings and enjoy.
” Practice the Pause
-When in doubt, pause
-When angry, pause
-When tired, pause
-When stressed, pause
And whenever you pause pray”
I’m not sure who said that but I found it on Pinterest a while ago and thought how true. When we pause for even a second we think clearer, mistakes are less and hurt does not run rampant like a wild fire.
Little did I know how often I would think of it but I think and tell myself this daily. I have always been one to keep going until I finished a task. I didn’t need deadlines I gave them to myself. I always wanted to finish and brake some kind of record I would set for myself.
I enjoy “stopping to smell the roses” I even have proof.
Yes this is a very young me. The picture is old and worn but speaks volumes. As much as I love to stop and do this or to sit on a nice bench to take in this beautiful world I also become a dog with a bone when I have a task to do.
This started when I was a baby ( sorry mom )and continued until a short time ago when I was given no choice but to take a pause.
My body reminded me it is time to learn the beauty of the pause, for years I confused pause with stop but instead, if used as a noun it is only “a temporary stop in action” Yes this was a light bulb moment. I am choosing to have pause as a noun in my life. I am learning that there is such wonder and sweet moments in the pause. That I am not only physically healing but old emotional hurts are allowed to heal in the pause. Just as I love to stop and enjoy the pause when seeing others or to pause and appreciate this world. I am just as special to stop and pause for myself.
I know that embracing the practice of the of pause I must continue to do so for the rest of my life or I won’t have one. I must let my body heal and to continue to keep up with my practice of the pause in order to stay healthy.
I find it so amazing that if we don’t stop to acknowledge the things in our life we need to work on then things happen to give us a chance to learn and do better.
Lamentations 3:24-26 (ESV)
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Just call me Popeye, I love all things spinach even from a young age. My mom never had to fight with me when it came to eating. I would get so excited when she would make Spinach Casserole, even now when I make this great easy dish I never can get it to taste as good as hers.
I had her write down the recipe but somehow mine is just not as good. My children think the same of mine so maybe its a mothers love that adds the extra goodness to it. Who knows, this recipe is a quick easy and good dish to try if you are one of those that love spinach even if it is cooked.
You can use a crock pot or oven. I used the oven because I broke my crock pot just the week before but was hungry for this and found it still taste great when baked in the oven.
As you can see this has few ingredients. I did not make as large of portion as my mom’s recipe states but that is because I was only making this for myself with thoughts of leftovers for my lunch or another dinner.
1 24oz Frozen bag of Spinach (unthaw and drain)
3 large Eggs
1 32oz low-fat small curd Cottage Cheese
2 Tablespoon of real Butter ( cubed)
1/4 Cup of cubed Cheese any flavor your like will be great
1/4 Cup of flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
I mix all ingredients in the buttered pan/crock pot that this casserole is baked in.
If using the oven to bake then use a 13×9 dish. Bake covered for 1 hour at 350. For a crock pot just butter the crockpot, mix ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is very easy clean up and so good. I cut the recipe in half and used 2 small eggs but the full recipe will feed a family of four with some leftovers.
My enjoyment of the pancake started early on. I love them in every form with all sorts of toppings. This said I also like trying to make every kind out there. So the other week when I wanted a pancake but didn’t want to use an egg I thought I would try a substitute in them and this was the result. They were tasty and if you don’t go by looks they are a great pancake.
There are so many ways you can substitute an egg:
Ground Flax or Chia seeds ( one of my favorites)
The list can go on but the one that I have never tried until now was,
1 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil mixed with 1 1/2 Tablespoon water and 1 Teaspoon baking powder.
If you don’t have an egg or maybe you don’t eat them you may want to try this basic easy pancake recipe.
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoon of baking powder ( when substituting for an egg use 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder)
Pinch of Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1 1/14 Cup of Almond or Soy Milk
1/4 Cup of oil (when substituting for the egg add 1 1/2 Tablespoon)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 egg or a substitute
1 1/2 Tablespoon of water but only when using the egg substitute
In a bowl mix dry ingredients then add most ingredients stir together. I have found the better pancakes are the ones that are not over mixed. Pour desired amount onto hot pan or griddle. When pancake starts to bubble flip, finish cooking on other side. Place cooked pancake on plate top with your favorite toppings.
I can’t believe January is over and February is here already. For me January usually feels like two months in one. I long to start planting things and having longer days of warm sunshine. With the second month under way I was wondering if maybe this whole year would go by faster than others. I know we are still in the beginnings of the year and who knows what lays ahead.
Will it be good times or trials, perhaps a mixture of both but as the year progresses and we find out, I was reflecting on one of my favorite passages in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 43: 1&2
- But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
- When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
In these two verses I find such comfort. Many ask if there is a God that loves us why does bad stuff happen? Great question but in these verses it gives some of the answer.
I noticed first it points out who is with us and how He feels about us and who we are. Then it says WHEN we go through hard times not IF, big difference. It means to me that yes hard times come, we live in a fallen world but because I have a God that loves me He calls me His own he will be with me every step of the way! How comforting to have my father with me in the hard times.
Just like when we have a loving parent, friend, partner who is with us so we can cry on their shoulder, we feel their love and can count on them to help us. With God its even better to cry on his shoulder knowing He will comfort us and give us strength to move on.
This year may be a breeze with no major problems or maybe it will seem it is nothing but hard times but I feel the comfort knowing that I have someone who will be with me always.
I needed to use up a block of my extra firm tofu and didn’t want to do much standing and staying in the kitchen kind of cooking. I also was hungry for something Italian. This might sound like a tall order especially when you need to go shopping but have been too busy. So I decide to make todays recipe. It is easy and my meat-eating son enjoyed it.
You can soak the tofu in a warm salt bath for 15 minutes if the tofu texture is a bit to much for you, this helps it to be less of a curd type texture.
If you don’t want to soak it I would recommend wrapping the block or sliced tofu in a towel and setting something heavy on it for about 10-15 minutes.
1 Block extra firm or firm tofu
Marinara sauce ( I made my own but store-bought works great too)
1 Small Potato
1 Bell Pepper
1 Small Carrot
1 Small Onion
4-5 Garlic cloves diced
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
In a roasting pan or 9×9 square pan add a small amount of the marinara sauce, just enough to coat the bottom. Place drained tofu in the center. After cutting large bite sized portions of the potato, bell pepper, carrot, onion add them around the tofu sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic. Pour the rest of marinara sauce over tofu and veggies. If you would like sprinkle grated cheese over the tofu.
Bake covered at 350 for 35-40 minutes then remove cover and check to see if veggies are tender. Keep the cover off bake for about 10 more minutes just to brown the cheese.
Remove from oven, slice tofu and serve over cooked pasta.
This severs about 2 people with larger appetites