Posted in Uncategorized

Great Sheets at a Great Price!

I have found that few things come as welcoming as a nicely made bed. I might sound crazy and my mom will be proud but one way to this women’s heart is her bed. Give me soft clean sheets to sleep on and I am in heaven and if I can get a great deal on those sheets there is just no topping that one for me.

So when my daughter who was on the hunt for sheets came across a Four piece hypoallergenic microfiber sheet set for $14.90 (queen) I had to look.

I am not a big fan of the microfiber but I was won over.

If you would like to take a look and check out a little more about this great find just use the link I have provided.

Let me know what you think or if you have any great finds I would like to know.

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Posted in Uplifting

Baggage

I haven’t had a good vacation in a long time but I have been blessed with short mini ones. The chance to go and see new places or just enjoy favorite spots is so much fun for me. Not only the destination but the getting there is just as wonderful.

Perhaps its my wanting to go on a trip that got me thinking.

Lets say I have won a trip to a tropical island, I have never gone but I need to pack because a cab will be here soon to pick me up. I pack everything I can think of. When the cab comes I bring all my baggage with me. The driver look at me like I am crazy bring bag after bag.

I get to the airport to check in ALL of my bags. I hand them over one at a time, the person behind the counter tells me I have to pay a large amount if I intend to bring it all with me. I feel upset thinking of course I want all of it but the cost of it is getting in the way of my free trip. I go through my bags one at a time. I take out items that don’t make sense to bring to an island getaway but I want them, I had them for every other trip why not now? Who knows you might need a big balky sweater?  The person is waiting for me to decide if its worth bring all my extra baggage.

Now its easy to see that no you don’t need balky sweaters for a tropical island but we do that in life. I have really been working through how much of my baggage of my past am I willing to pay for so I can take it with me to a new wonderful place of today.

Am I will to leave baggage that is of no use so I can move forward?

Yes I am and what’s so great is I don’t have to go through all of my bags alone. I have someone to help me. I have the one who can see what’s a head and what in my past I need to leave because it has no use for me today but weigh me down. God is always with me to help me go through these bags so I can be free to enjoy my todays.

Isaiah 43:18
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.

Philippians 3:13-14

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Mindfulness

I haven’t been one to do much advertising but I thought I would write on Tuesdays and Thursdays on some great finds.

I Read “Creating True Peace” at a time when my kids were teens and I just came out on the other side of divorce. This book was so easy to read. Thick Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk that writes with such easy  putting simple truths in a way that you understand and can remember them so in turn it helps in everyday life.

I bought the book from amazon years ago but thought to give a little shout out now because this  book gives an answer in our world of violence which seems to be out of control, it also helps when we feel helpless by giving us tools to apply so we may be better kinder people towards ourselves then it trickles down to others ending the violence once and for all.

Please take a look at your library or just go to the link provided below to purchase it.

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Posted in Uplifting

Turbulence

As my parents were waiting to fly back home out of Chicago O’Hare my mom calls to talk. I ask how the weather is because I know for my mom this is important, she lets me know that there is nothing but clouds and I know that to her this means some anxious feelings, my heart goes out to her as we talk.

To me this would be a great sight, call it a sucker for punishment but when I see clouds all I can think is a bumpy start as the plan goes down the run way to take off in the clouds with so many bumps its exciting. Or when I am flying and that drink on the tray starts to move then you hear please fasten your seat belts, that’s just music to my ears.

I know that my feelings of enjoying the turbulence is the minority but it got me thinking.

What if the pilot went into the cock pit looked out at the clouds and came on to let people know that due to the clouds they will stay grounded until a clear sunny day. If this happened not only would planes never fly but we would wonder about the pilot and his abilities. We want to get to our destination, we know that it will be hard but understand its needed to get any place.

Same thing for life when the hard times come if we stop and let the clouds scare us into grounding our plane we would never get anyplace. I have been struggling with this in a few parts of my life. I have wanted to throw in the towel to just stay in the hanger but I know that nothing ever worth anything is ever achieved if you give up.

My only option  is get on that plane, talk to my pilot sit down and buckle up knowing that in the end I will make it through the turbulence and fly above the clouds because I have the best Pilot in charge, my God has it all in control and I will persevere knowing this because it will get better and it will be worth it.

Galatians 6:9

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

You are Unique

Growing up I did not want to look or act like anyone else. I went to great lengths to look like what I thought was unique and in my young mind if I looked unique then that must be what I am, no label for me. Over time and growing up of course things change but it got me thinking a lot about how in this world everyone is striving to be unique but some how when it comes right down to it most would prefer to be like someone else.

People, me included at times look at someone and see their talent or looks and think…if only I had that ability or those looks how nice it would be, how easy life would be.

To see a talented artist and acknowledge their talent is great. In fact to be grateful for what they bring to the world is a good thing but it can start damaging us if we start the if only, if we start to covet. Then we start to not be happy with our own unique selves.

I was reading the story of David and Goliath ( 1 Samuel 17 ) I know this story from childhood but what got me was that David used what he had. He used what was his own way to defend his sheep. He didn’t go up to one of the soldiers and ask for a sword because he knew that he could use a sling shot better. He was happy with what he had, with out second guessing himself. He owned that sling and stones. He knew that God would use what he was good at to deliver the giant over to the Israelites.

So I am happy to embrace my little sling shot. Yes I might only have a sling shot instead of a bold beautiful sward but I am good with that. I know that no one else has one quite like it. I am unique, I have talent that no one else has and I am so blessed to be able to share what I only can offer. I know when I am looking at the world to share my uniqueness then I am able to fully enjoy other people and the unique talents that they bring.

“There is an abundant need in this world for YOUR exact brand of beautiful.” Lisa Terkeurst

Posted in Recipes

Black Bean, Quinoa and Eggplant Tacos

I  know  that there are a lot of recipes for black bean and quinoa tacos but I love to grill my marinated eggplant that seems to work so nicely with the black bean and quinoa plus grilling white corn tortillas at the end to warm them as well as giving a nice char makes this a nice summer grilled taco.

For the marinate think 3-1 ratio with your oil to vinegar. The amounts are up to you depending on the amount of eggplant you are using and always season per your taste.

Eggplant washed, peeled and sliced into small strips

Olive oil

Rice Vinegar

Garlic diced and minced

The following seasoning will give a nice southwest flavor to the eggplant.

Red chili powder, ground cumin, onion powder and finally just a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Mix the above ingredients in a zip lock bag or container that has a lid. Let eggplant set in marinate for at least 6 hours.

While the eggplant is marinating cook your choice of quinoa per package directions.

I use canned or freshly cooked black beans depending on what I have on hand. Place black beans in foil next take cooked quinoa and put on top of beans then add 3-4 garlic cloves that are diced and a handful of green onions diced placing both on top with a splash of lime juice. Fold the foil so that it is completely closed because this will go on the side of the grill to stay warm as you cook your eggplant.

On hot BBQ grill place marinated eggplant, cook until it looks cooked and you have nice grill marks.

As you are cooking eggplant lightly grease both sides of white corn tortillas with your choice of oil( I like to use coconut oil) then when the eggplant is half done start placing you tortillas on the grill. This wont take long and you will want to put the tortillas in foil to keep warm.

When the eggplant is done. Assemble your taco using the quinoa and black beans as your base then place eggplant on top.

I like to add avocado, salsa and plane Greek yogurt on top. Then enjoy your taco. This meal is great when camping or just a BBQ with minimum clean up.

 

Posted in Uplifting

Feeling Drained

On Sunday my service was on Matthew 14:13-21 the feeding of a great crowed with five loaves and two fish. I have heard this story so many times but on Sunday when I was feeling sluggish and drained I couldn’t help but notice things that I hadn’t before.

Frist I noticed from the beginning that Jesus was trying to make an escape and get away from the crowds. He was just told of his cousin’s death and yet everyone was needing more of him, all he wanted was to mourn his loss.

I have felt the same way, the need to be alone so I can just heal from some hard parts of life that have drained me and left me mourning.

My ears perked up again at another part in this reading. Jesus went in a boat to get away now my favorite part ” When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them.”

Yes the rest of the story is the feeding of the people with just five loaves and two fish and that is amazing but what I found so comforting is not only did he have compassion but knew they needed food and met their need.

I thought how many times do I get so wrapped up in me that I forget to see people with eyes of compassion, then take action.

I found that when I do help others even when I am feeling low that by the time I am done helping them the person that was really helped was me.

 

Posted in Recipes

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Balls

I love anything pasta but from time to time I will take a brake and substitute spaghetti squash for my pasta.

Spaghetti Squash is harvested in the early fall and maybe I am getting a jump on all things fall but its a great time to start thinking of all those great fall recipes.

I have found a great way to cook spaghetti squash, all you need is your crock pot. Wash it slice it in half then put the squash cut side down in a small amount of water. Turn on low for 3 hours.

While you have your squash cooking

Lentil Balls:

Preheat oven to 350 While the oven is getting hot put your baking sheet in the oven with a small amount of oil on your baking sheet this will make your lentil balls nice and crispy on the outside.

1 1/12 cup cooked lentils ( any color)

1/4 cup of bread crumbs

1 egg

1-2 Tablespoon of coconut oil

Per your taste – Garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, onion powder, salt and black pepper

Mix together smashing the lentils some what. Roll into balls, place lentil balls on hot baking sheet. Cook for about 45 minutes turning them after about 20 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the size.

Marinara Sauce:

1-2 8 oz cans of low sodium tomato sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

1 small onion

Olive Oil

Oregano, Parsley, Basil, salt and black pepper. The amounts are up to you and depending on how many cans of tomato sauce you use.

In sauce pan sauté garlic and onion in olive oil add herbs, salt and pepper sauté a few minutes longer then add tomato sauce. Simmer on low for the remainder of the time it takes for you spaghetti squash to cook.

When it has been 3 hours or your squash is soft take the squash out of crock pot. With a fork scrape out the flesh of the squash onto a platter, place the lentil balls on top then the marinara sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy.

 

 

Posted in Uplifting

Letting Go Of Your Blankie

I am surprised that I was not called Linus. Yes the nerdy kid that was naïve and carried his blanket everyplace not caring what others thought or said, in fact with his blanket he could take on the world or use it to help others.

As a very young girl that was me, I had a green knitted blanket that I loved. It went every where I went and over time this blanket got ripped and so thin that I bet no one wanted that ugly thing near them but I did not care to me that blankie was the essence of comfort and my sail for my imagination when I needed a retreat from an average life, what adventures I had with it.

I loved my green blankie, so when the day of going to Kindergarten came I just assumed I would have my beloved green blankie with me. I mean who could go to school with out it. By that time it was so small from years of washing and falling apart it would have fit fine in a back pack.

I was told I could not bring it! I had such a hard time giving up my friend. I mourned the loss of it.

It sounds so funny now to say that but to me at the time it was if I had to say good bye to my best friend. I also had no idea of the freedom that would come to me when I didn’t have to look for it.

I eventually grew and wouldn’t trade my new independence and freedom for even a moment to have my blanket back.

Looking back on this got me thinking on how we all carry a blanket.

A blanket of :

Anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, self-pity, self-condemnation, grumbling or complaining.

It can be so hard to let go of that blanket that has kept us warm. It almost feels that if we were to let go of that comfort what would we have left.

How easy it is to let go if thought of as a childish thing but just as I had to let go of my beloved blankie, in life I have had to let go of my other blankets that I would fold nicely and put on the shelf to bring down when it suited me.

So all those blankets we carry or put away,  how about getting rid of them for good and in turn we get so much more.

Galatians 5:22-23a New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23a gentleness and self-control.