Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wisdom, Blessings, and Applesauce

Today I spent the day with an 86 year old woman making apple sauce, talking and most of all listening. I was so blessed by her wisdom.  She and her (late) husband were married for 66 years!  Can you imagine? Next year would have been 70 years, but sadly he passed a few years ago from cancer. I spent hours today listening to her tell stories of their love and how, no matter what, good or bad, they thanked the Lord and were very happy. They met when she was 15 years old at a roller skating rink. He was the only man she ever dated, or even held hands with.  They were so in love.  Together they have 3 children, 20 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren! She still lives in the house that, together, by hand, they built. Literally. She helped him pour the cement and  and cut wood. She used to sew all of her children's clothes, they grew all their own vegetables, and raised chickens.  I was so amazed listening to her.

She told me how they did everything together. They were each others best friends.  And that how important it is to keep Christ in the center at all times.  Pray together.  Every day. As often as you can.  She told me to love life.  Look at everything we have and thank God for it all.  If something bad happens, learn from it, and find how to glorify the Lord in it.  Nothing is too difficult for Him and He is always faithful.  She told me to always communicate. If it's something good, share it with you hubby. If it's something bad, share it with him also.  And not to hold on to the bad and let it stew inside you.  Not to get so mad over little things that don't really matter.  That marriage is a beautiful gift from God and that it's meant to be fun, kind, full of love and excitement, and also, it's a journey together, husband and wife with Christ in the center.

I can't believe how much "spunk" she has at 86. (and what a sense of humor!) She still lives alone, cooks and cleans, sews her own pillows and curtains. She has the young girls from our church over one Sunday a month after church and teaches them sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking and goes over scriptures with them.  She is still very involved in our church with nursery, children's church and does bible club every Tuesday and Thursday.  She is really an amazing lady whom I admire so, so much and have learned so much from. And most of all, she loves the Lord so much.  She kept saying, repeatedly, that everything they ever went through was God's will for them and His grace.  She still reads her bible every single day, morning and night.  She has such a joy in her that I can't even describe.  She told me she has grandchildren in Georgia and I asked her if she likes the warm weather better than what we have here in Pennsylvania. And she replied, "I love all weather. I just love life. I'm just thankful the Lord allows me to have another day, I don't care what the weather is. Weather means nothing when you've got the Lord". WOW! I pray to have that much gratitude and joy and love for life and more importantly, love and faith in the Lord.

I pray that my hubby, (and all of you) can grow together and learn together and always remember to keep Christ in the center.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.  Ephesians 5:1-2

I was just speechless and incredibly blessed.  I never thought spending a few hours making applesauce with an 86 year woman could be SUCH a blessing and that I would learn so much! Oh, and the applesauce? DELICIOUS! Best I've ever had.

Proverbs 31:10-31

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who[b] can find a virtuous[c] wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken & Lentils

This recipe is so super easy, you wont believe it! I love this and it is very healthy. Lentils are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.... and they're delicious to boot!

Chicken breasts (pounded out slightly thinner- about 1inch thick) broken into pieces-I do this after its cooking
1 can of lentils, drained (you can use dry if you prefer, follow package instructions to hydrate)
1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms (omit if you don't like mushrooms)
1/4 cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)
salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders, to taste

season both sides of chicken with all 4 dry ingredients
heat 1 TBS of olive oil in a skillet
brown chicken on both sides, about 2 mins on each side
add lentils, mushrooms, chicken broth, and 1 tbs olive oil (this is when I break up the chicken)
mix all together and let cook until chicken in cooked through- about 15-20 mins
Done! told you it was easy!


*I sometimes make the same recipe with a can of black beans instead, leaving out the mushrooms. It is also very delicious!

Welcome, all!!

Welcome to all my readers!!

I want to take a moment to let you all know how much I appreciate you for being here. I am humbled and blessed by every one of you.  I started this blog in hopes of encouraging others and find that I am the one being encouraged by ALL of you! I love getting to know you all and I am always praying for you!

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While you're here, take look around and get comfy! I'd like you all to read My Storm and see how I overcame my anxiety. If any of you, or someone you know, is suffering with anxiety, please feel free to message me. I would love to talk to you/them and help you through it.  The Lord is faithful and will help us all through our storms!

Love to you all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cauliflower and sausage pasta...{GLUTEN FREE}

I love this recipe! SO easy and SO yummy!

What you will need:
1 head of cauliflower
1 lb of pasta {I use gluten-free}
1 small 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 pack 16oz sausage without casing. If you cant find it, buy regular sausage and just take it out of the casing {use chicken sausage for healthier version}

What you do:
Cut up cauliflower and put into a large pot of salted water.
Put 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan with diced garlic
when garlic starts to sizzle, add the sausage
Boil cauliflower until fork-tender and add to sausage {DO NOT GET RID OF WATER}
Add 1 can of tomato sauce
Using the SAME water you boiled the cauliflower in, cook pasta as normal
Drain pasta and add to sausage and cauliflower. Stir it all together!
Add grated cheese {as much or as little as you like}

Doesn't sound like much but trust me, it is DEELISHH!!
Hope you enjoy!

*In this pic I used spaghetti {gluten-free} because that is all I had. But normally I wouldn't use spaghetti. Some kind of other pasta like penne is better.

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If you're happy and you know it.....

This is SO true! 

How many of us are really  happy? Really satisfied?  The more we complain about what we don't have or what we wish we had, the less we see all the that we do have right in front of our eyes.  The more thankful we are, the happier we will become, not the other way around. We need to find satisfaction and contentment in our own lives; in all the countless blessings that the Lord has given each and every one of us. We need to stop looking at others and what they have. If we keep comparing what we have to what others have, we are missing out on our own blessings and happiness.  What I have may not look like what you have and vice versa. But that doesn't mean that any one of us is less blessed than the other.  We need to be so very thankful to the Lord, He satisfies all our needs and He has and always will provide for us.  Hosea 13:5-6(NIV)  says:
  I cared for you in the wilderness, 
   in the land of burning heat. 
  When I fed them, they were satisfied; 
   when they were satisfied, they became proud; 
   then they forgot me.

How often is this what we do? How many times do we pray, plead for something? We finally get it and are so happy and thankful....until we find something new that we are missing in our life. Then begins the discontentment..again... the praying, the wanting, the total dissatisfaction and ungratefulness... then the short-lived happiness is gone...again.

I know I do this all the time and am feeling very convicted lately.  How can I be so blind and ungrateful to the countless blessings I have received and still be wanting more? When is it ever enough? Will there always be something more that I want?  When my husband was in Iraq I used to cry and beg for him to be home. Now he is home safe and sound (praise the Lord) and I am constantly complaining about how much he works and I hardly see him. I should be SO thankful that I know where he is every day. That he has a job. That he is safe and that he I wake up next to him every morning.  We used to live in a teeny tiny apartment and literally trip over each other and I would complain all the time about wanting a bigger place. Now we rent a 3 bedroom house and I am complaining that I want a newer more up-to-date house. Never satisfied... The list goes on... I  am learning to be thankful. Really, genuinely thankful from my heart.  It's a long process, but God's grace is all around me. And in learning to be truly thankful, I am finding happiness. 

It seems to be a vicious cycle. The less we give thanks, the less we are satisfied. The less we are satisfied, the more we are unhappy.  When really to be truly, fully satisfied, all we need is the Lord. His word. His love.  His faithfulness. His sacrifice on the cross for us.  Isn't that the greatest gift of all? Shouldn't that and the promise of eternal life with Him be more than enough for us to ever desire?? 
Praying for all of us to find true happiness in the Lord and giving Him all the thanks and praise He deserves.
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