Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Glue

Ceramic Split Rock Lighthouse Nightlight 
Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt...no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is glue. So...here...we...

Go!

Shattered! The lighthouse lay in pieces...shards scattered all over the floor. 

"I'm sorry", my husband said. "I'll fix it. Do we have any glue?"

"Fix it? How can you fix it?", I thought.

Inside I was heartsick. I had worked hard on those. I had made four of them that year. Three for Christmas gifts, and one for us. And they weren't just any ol' lighthouse, either. They were the lighthouse! The one that I had grown up touring and enjoying year after year on Lake Superior's North Shore. That's why, when I discovered them at our local ceramic shop, I just had to make them and give them away to others that I knew would really appreciate them. And the ceramic shop was closed now...permanently. I couldn't make another one now if I wanted to!

On the other hand...it was just a thing. A hunk of glass. In the big scope of everything it didn't mean anything. Why was I so upset?

"I'll fix it," my husband was saying again. "Where's the glue?"

I knew it was accident. I had watched it happen. He was helping me clean house and he didn't see the edge of the table cloth when it sucked up inside the vacuum causing the whole thing to come crashing down. Shattered. Scattered. How could glue fix that?

Isn't that how it is with relationships? Someone says or does something...not on purpose, but accidentally...and it stings. It hurts. Emotions flair and the whole thing comes crashing down. Hearts shatter. Feelings scatter. Can glue fix that?

No. But forgiveness can. Forgiveness is the glue that can solidify broken relationships and mend broken hearts. Sometimes the simple act of forgiveness can make that relationship even stronger than it was before. Perfect? No. But stronger? Yes.
Ceramic Split Rock Lighthouse Nightlight 
Was the glue able to fix the lighthouse? Not perfectly...no. But we were able to salvage it and enjoy it anyway. After I found the gluemy husband was able to meticulously reconstruct my beloved lighthouse. To this day it sets atop the special place designated for it and, unless you look very, very closely, you would never know that, at one time, the whole thing lay broken...shattered and scattered...broken in pieces.

Stop!


Until Next Time...

~Rebecca



#FiveMinuteFriday #LakeSuperior #SplitRockLighthouse

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review - The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

I hate to admit it, but I have a, seemingly, never-ending pile of partially read, and 'want-to-read', books. Some of them have never even been opened yet, others have been laying open to where I last read, waiting patiently for me to pick them up again, and still others have a bookmark inside, marking the place I was the last time I picked the book up to snatch another paragraph or two or, maybe even a whole page or chapter. The Duggars: 20 and Counting! was in the latter of these categories.

I purchased the book on May 12, 2012. I remember it vividly because that's the night that we attended Joplin, Missouri's A Celebration of Hope. It was a special event commemorating the upcoming, one-year anniversary of the F5 tornado that had ripped through and devastated the city the year before. There was a special 'Dinner With The Duggars' prior to the main event that evening and daughter, Amber, granddaughter, Audrey, and I went to that, then we joined our menfolk, and our son and his family, for the main event, which featured encouragement from the Duggar family through music, personal testimonials, and more. Following the event was a special time of book signing and photo taking. It was then I purchased two books, both written by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
Jim Bob and Michelle Signing Our Books
I started reading the first book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! immediately and, over the course of the past two years, I have read a snippet here and a snippet there until, finally, late Monday night/early Tuesday morning of this week, I finished those last two chapters!

The second book, A Love That Multiplies, lays, unopened, in a basket of books by our bed. Other than the front cover that was opened that night, when most of the Duggar family members signed it, the book has not been touched. I will start it soon. :)
Some Of The Duggar Children Signing Our Books
Believe it or not, after all this time of dilly-dallying, I can remember most of what I've read in The Duggars: 20 and Counting! From cover to cover, I truly enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look into the hearts and lives of Jim Bob and Michelle and their big, beautiful family! The book (their first book) tells the story of Jim Bob and Michelle's early years, their meeting and marrying, about the births of their children, and other memorable family happenings. The book also features lots of photos, recipes, tips, traditions, and practical ideas, as well as, answers a whole lot of questions that are commonly asked about the big, awe-inspiring family.

While I enjoyed all of the stories greatly, the thing that most stands out to me, is God's marvelous protection and provision for this amazing family that truly has a heart for Him, and seeks Him, and His will for their lives, first and foremost, in all that they do. Two things, specifically, come to mind.

The first one, is the story of God's miraculous protection over Jim Bob and Michelle, who was pregnant with John-David and Jana at the time, and baby Josh, when, late one night, while working in the office of the car lot that they owned, Jim Bob came face-to-face with a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.

The armed couple approached Jim Bob and asked to use the phone. Jim Bob led them into the house where Michelle and Josh were sleeping. The couple then pulled a gun, held Jim Bob at gunpoint, robbed him, left him bound and gagged in the garage, and stole one of the cars from their car lot.

While the guy was tying Jim Bob up, Jim Bob was witnessing to him. He told him that he really believed that God has a plan and a purpose for each life and, that, while he didn't know where the guy was going, he hoped that when he got there, that he'd think about that. The guy stood over him, gun cocked and pointed at Jim Bob's head...finger on the trigger. For whatever reason, he turned around, found some newspaper, wadded it up, and shoved it in Jim Bob's mouth, then retied the gag. Then the couple was gone.

Later, somehow, Jim Bob was able to free his hands from his feet. He hopped into the house and back to the bedroom. There he flipped on the light with his shoulder and made enough noise to wake Michelle up. She was dumbfounded at the scene before her and, at first, thought it was some sort of prank. When it sunk in and she realized that it was no joke, she ran for the scissors and cut Jim Bob free. They contacted the police and the police put out an all-points bulletin for the fleeing couple.

Shortly thereafter the bandits were spotted in the stolen car. They gave the Arkansas police quite a chase and blew right through a police barricade crossing into Oklahoma. Oklahoma state police chased the car and were, eventually, able to run it off the road. The woman surrendered, but the man got away. The first thing the woman wanted to know was if 'the man' (Jim Bob) was okay. She thought her partner might have killed him.

Dogs, helicopters, and more police officers conducted an overnight manhunt, but at one o'clock the next day, the search team gave up. The last officers were packing up their equipment and getting ready to leave when they saw the thief crawl out of a drainage ditch and start running for the woods. He thought everyone had left, and if he had waited just a few minutes more he would have been right.

After coming face-to-face with death, Jim Bob said that he felt like he was living on overtime and he knew that God had protected him for a reason. He knew that God had a plan for him, and dying in that garage wasn't part of it.

There are testimonies like this throughout the book, but, to me, this was the most memorable of all.

The second thing that really stood out to me is the absolutely amazing provision that God supplied in the building of the Duggar family's 7,000 sq. ft., Kodiak Steel home...totally and completely debt free! It is nothing short of miraculous! And you'd have to read it for yourself to understand the full scope of all that took place.

I also enjoyed reading about Michelle's packing and labeling method when preparing to move ,and the Duggar family's many tips for making, spending, and saving money. "Buy used and save the difference" is becoming a standard saying in our own home as a result.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is fascinated by the Duggars, or anyone, in general, who is interested in organizational skills and/or becoming, or living, debt free. There is much wisdom to be gained through the pages of The Duggars: 20 and Counting! And, in the end, everything in the book comes back to the importance of maintaining a vital relationship with Jesus Christ and seeking His will in everything you do.

All My Love,
~Rebecca

If you enjoyed this post you might also be interested in:

An Evening With The Duggar Family

Michelle Duggar's Tater Tot Casserole 

#duggar

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hearty Green Soup (E) and Joseph's Crackers/Chips (S, E or Fuel Pull)

THM's Hearty Green Soup and Joseph's Crackers/Chips
The Trim Healthy Mama's, Hearty Green Soup, is a large-scale soup intended for big families and company meals. According to the book, the recipe makes two meals worth of food, but, for just John and I, I made a half a recipe and it ran us for one meal a day for days, plus we had company join us on one of those days. So...I will include the full recipe straight out of the book (page 334), and you can use your own judgment as to whether to make a whole recipe or a half. That is totally up to you.  The recipe is absolutely delicious and very economical. This is definitely a soup that I will make again and again. (In fact...I've got a pot of split peas cooking right now!)

On several of the days that we ate this soup for lunch or supper, I served it with Joseph's Crackers/Chips, so I am including that recipe, as well. These crackers/chips are very good and have totally taken the place of tortilla chips in our home. They're also very quick and easy to make, and you can have a batch made up from start to finish in just a couple of minutes.

Here are the recipes...

HEARTY GREEN SOUP - E (large scale for big family and company, or two meal's worth)

Basic Ingredients: green split peas * apple cider vinegar * cabbage * carrots * parsley * water or chicken stock/broth * sea salt and other seasonings including nutritional yeast * heavy cream

1. Soak 2 lbs. green split peas overnight or during the day for about 7 hours. Use ample water for soaking and 2 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar to remove phytates.

2. In mid afternoon, drain water and add fresh water to slightly cover split peas. Add 3 diced onions, 4 large stalks of celery, and chopped peeled garlic cloves.

3. Bring to boil, turn heat to low, and cover with lid.

4. Simmer slowly until split peas turn to mush.

5. Check contents of pot. Stir occasionally to make sure split peas do not stick and burn at the bottom of the pot.

6. Once split peas are soft, add one whole cut cabbage, a few diced carrots, a bunch of parsley finely diced, and enough water or chicken broth to cook vegetables effectively and achieve the right soup consistency.

7. Season with sea salt, black pepper, Bragg Liquid Aminos, nutritional yeast, and onion powder.

8. Keep simmering until new vegetables are tender.

9. Toward the end of cooking, add 3 Tbs. of cream to help unify the flavors and give a touch of fat. There is no other fat in these ingredients so this amount of cream in such a big soup stays within E guidelines.

(Note: I pretty much stuck to the recipe on this one, except I did not have any fresh parsley, so I added a tablespoon of dried parsley. I used all the seasonings suggested and, I have to say...I love Braggs Liquid Aminos!)


JOSEPH'S CRACKERS/CHIPS - S, E or Fuel Pull

These crackers work using either Joseph's lavash bread or pita bread, available at most Walmarts and many other grocery chains. Pearl does a quick microwave version and thinks nothing could be quicker or easier.

Basic Ingredients: Joseph's pita or lavash bread

1. Cut a Joseph's pita or lavash in half, then cut the half into triangles that are cracker size.

2. Place the pieces on a paper plate and microwave about 1-1 1/2 minutes until nicely golden brown. If you don't have a paper plate, use a regular plate, but line it with parchment paper.

(Note: I have made these both ways...using pita bread and lavash...and, both are equally good. When using the pita bread, I cut them in half, then separate the two halves, so, when I cut them, I get 8 good-sized triangles out of each original half instead of just four. When using the lavash bread, I use a half a piece, then cut that half in half again and cut diagonally creating the desired, triangle, tortilla chip-shaped pieces. Very yummy! And, since I didn't have any paper plates on hand, I made mine on a regular plate linesd with parchment paper.)

I hope you enjoy trying these recipes out. They're both very good and totally nutritious!

Until Next Time,
~Rebecca

#thm

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama - My Favorite Evening Meal

Broiled Salmon With Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Creamless Cream Sauce, and Asparagus
Of all the evening meals that we've tried thus far, this is, by far, my favorite...broiled salmon (S), Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (S) served with Creamless Creamy Veggies (S, E or Fuel Pull - sauce served as a gravy), and a dark green vegetable (usually broccoli, but, tonight, fresh asparagus), and we have this meal, at least, a couple of nights per week. It's absolutely delicious!

The way I make the salmon is, I start with frozen fillets...one per person. Before placing the frozen fish in the baking dish, I put about a half tablespoon of butter and a half tablespoon of coconut oil under the area where I intend to lay each fillet. Then, after placing each fillet over the butter and oil, I pour one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of red wine vinegar over each one. I sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, then, cover and bake in a 400 degree oven. I allow the salmon to bake until I have the other dishes near to completion, then I remove the foil, kick the oven up on broil, and broil, flipping once, until fish is done.

The original recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (S) is found on page 361 of the Trim Healthy Mama, and as Serene and Pearl say, "If you do these the right way, you can barely tell the difference between this dish and real mashed potatoes. The secret is the food processor." And this is true!

The way I make mine is, I start by steaming a fresh head of cauliflower. After it's done, I place the florets in my food processor and add a couple of tablespoons of butter (or light butter), sea salt, and black pepper. Occasionally, I add a tablespoon of cream or half and half, but, usually, not. I process on high until creamy and viola! Mashed potatoes! (NOT!) :)

To make the gravy I either follow the instructions in the book to make Creamless Creamy Veggies (S, E or Fuel Pull - page 352 of the Trim Healthy Mama) and make extra sauce to be served as gravy, or I make the sauce by itself, and serve the vegetables on the side. Generally, if I'm making broccoli, I make it per the book instructions, cooking the veggies in the sauce, but if, like tonight, I'm making asparagus, I cook the sauce by itself, and cook the asparagus separately, so that it doesn't overcook. (I like it to be crisp, not squishy and stringy.) Whether I cook the vegetables in the sauce, or not, makes no difference. I always use it as a gravy for the mashed cauliflower. It is so yummy! :)

To make the sauce alone as a gravy, I start with 1/2 cup of fat free chicken broth. To that I add one wedge of Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese per person, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. I whisk all this together and cook until boiling. Then I shut the burner off and whisk in one heaping tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. This sauce is a great accompaniment to any non-starchy vegetable, and even the grandlittles happily eat their vegetables when cooked in it...broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower...it doesn't make any difference. They love them all!

And, by the way, I did end up spooning a couple of tablespoons of sauce over my asparagus this evening after the picture above was taken. I just couldn't help myself! :)

So, that's my favorite evening meal. What's yours?

Until Next Time...

All My Love,
~ Rebecca


#thm

Monday, April 14, 2014

Onward Christian Soldiers

This past weekend has been a blitz of dealing with people in trouble and my. heart. aches. for. them. Some are dealing with serious issues that, in the natural, have no easy answers (if any answers at all); others are facing marital problems, financial woes, or problems within the family, or with friends, or neighbors. The list goes on and on. Every single one of us has our own, unique set of trials and troubles, I suppose, and some are facing tougher times than others.

Ladies, we need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder here. There's no doubt about it...we're at war! All of these things that we are experiencing are battles that have been waged against us by the enemy of our souls. We have an enemy (Satan) that hates us and he's pulling out all stops in an attempt to wear us down. As followers of Christ, we need to put on the whole amour of God (Ephesians 6:10-17), be in constant prayer one for another (Ephesians 6:18), and stand. our. ground!

I encourage you today to dig deeper into the Word. Seek God's face, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Give God permission to purify your heart, and make you more like Him through the trials and tribulations that you face on a daily basis. Praise Him. Honor Him. Help Him, to help you, make your life a living example of Christ's love. Be of good cheer, and be not weary in well doing. Know that God has equipped you with every good thing that you need to fight the war that has been waged against you and that, even now, He is working all things together for your good and His glory.

Straighten up that armor, Woman of God! Lift your chin, O Daughter of the King! And sing with me...

(Rebecca picks up the Christian flag and her Sword as she begins to lead the march singing...)

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
 Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
 Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.


(Rebecca continues singing...her voice trailing as she marches right on over the horizon and out of sight...)

Let's defeat the enemy by taking back one small area of our sphere of influence at a time! 

Have a great day! And God bless!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Paint


Five Minute Friday is a special time set aside each week where, as our hostess and inspiration, Lisa-Jo Baker, puts it, "We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt...no extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real." 

Today's prompt is paint. So...here...we...

Go!

Artists paint with watercolors, acrylics, or oils. People who paint houses paint with latex...flat or gloss. But writers! Writers paint with words! At least good writers do. 

A writer's words, when coupled with just the right amount of color, can, literally, take us to another place and time, painting a picture in our head, and helping us to visualize every detail of what's happening in their story. As I type this, I think of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She had just such a word-painting ability.

I remember when I was a young girl, my mother and I would read the 'Little House' books over and over again. We loved them all, but our favorite was The Long Winter. We'd always wait til the hottest part of summer to read that one...and with good reason!

The pictures that Laura painted were so vivid! Through her written words, Laura Ingalls Wilder could transport my mother and I from our hot, non-air-conditioned living room in Missouri in the 1970's, into her and her family's home, lives, and world, there in De Smet, South Dakota in the late 1800's. My mother and I would become so engrossed in what we were reading about the prairie blizzards that would suddenly come upon the little town with a vengeance and last for days...the darkening skies, then the pitch black as the sun would be blotted out by swirling, icy, snow...the wind howling for days...the deafening silence that would occur when it all suddenly stopped...the dazzling sunlight, the clear, blue skies, and the biting cold. It was crazy! Even though it was 100 degrees outside, my mother and I would 'come to' after reading about such an episode, and we would, literally, have goose-pimples from being so cold! It's a good thing we didn't read The Long Winter in the wintertime! We probably would have froze to death! :)

Yes, Laura Ingalls Wilder definitely had the ability to paint with words, and I value the special times that my mother and I shared through the reading of her books and being entertained by her in our very own home. 

Stop!


Until Next Time...

~Rebecca

#FiveMinuteFriday, #LauraIngallsWilder

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review : Mother's Book of Home Economics by Mrs. Sharon White

Mother's Book of Home Economics by Mrs. Sharon White
I just finished reading Mother's Book of Home Economics - Remembrances, Letters and Essays From A New England Housewife  by Mrs. Sharon White and, oh! What a blessing!

Mother's Book of Home Economics is not the usual, run-of-the-mill home economics book full of 'how to' facts and tips. Rather, it is a beautiful, 121 short chapters, 312-page collection of Mrs. White's own, personal experiences in the making of a home on her family's lovely 'estate' in Vermont.

Mrs. White is a devout Christian wife, who has been married for more than 25 years. She is a mother of five, grandmother of two, and a homemaker without apology. I was filled with emotion and wonder as she shared her struggles, her hopes, her dreams, and her ability to see the work that she does in the home, not as mundane drudgery, but as a purposeful, joyful act of service to her family, and as a humble act of reverence and worship before God.

I love Mrs. White's determination to be sweet and cheerful no matter how hard times might be, and am delighted by her ability to see beauty in simplicity.

Throughout the book, Mrs. White shares godly wisdom in the areas of child care, cleaning, etiquette, finances, homemaking, hospitality, cooking, holiness, and more, and she greatly encouraged me, personally, in the areas of contentment, thrift, and living life purposefully and productively, no matter what the circumstance.

What I appreciated most, was Mrs. White's honesty concerning finances. She has, as did the Apostle Paul, learned to be abased and to abound, and to be content in whatsoever state she has found herself in. I gleaned a wealth of thought-provoking ideas from Mrs. White throughout the book, and am truly challenged to re-think and evaluate our current financial circumstances, and the stewardship of the blessings that God has bestowed upon us...AND I am challenged to use them more wisely in future.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from Mrs. White's book, Mother's Book of Home Economics ...

"If we truly realized the greatness of an eternal perspective, and cared for the home out of a sense of devotion for The Master, our will would be so strong that nothing could distract us from so great a task as tending the home." (page 152)

"The Homemaker...will find happiness in her daily tasks - make the home pleasant, because she has found a way to make the most of her circumstances. She will not get caught up in the crankiness of family members. She will not get caught up in the neighbor's gossip. She can be a bright light and a joy to those around her because she is dedicated to the ART of creating a comfortable, pretty home - with what she has. This becomes her hobby, her vocation, her calling." (page 165)

"...I will spend on that which is eternal. I will find a way to serve despite my health issues. I will not care what others say or think of me, but only care of the view from God's eyes." (page 205)

"Wherever we go, wherever we live, regardless of our circumstances, we can manage beautifully in a tent, a cabin, shack or house. We can do this with our talents and skills...It is certainly not the ideal, but we can cope and cope beautifully in most situations." (page 253)

"Now, if you came to my house and looked at the grounds, you would see something far different than I do. You would see a 3 story house that is in serious need of painting. You would see old porches and tired steps. You would see little attempts at gardening throughout the land. but the world, as I see it, is a great Estate for us to explore..." (page 270)

In a time when the Titus 2 woman is mysteriously missing, or is, at best, difficult to come by, I find that Mrs. White helps to comfortably fill that gap. I highly recommend her book to anyone who is seeking Biblical womanhood as a keeper of the home, or to anyone who just wishes to learn how to slow down and live a simpler lifestyle in our out-of-control, modern age.

To find out more visit Mrs. White @ The Legacy of Home.

Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Simplified Strawberry Smoothie (S, E, or Fuel Pull)

Simplified Strawberry Smoothie
Since my daughter, Amber, created this wonderfully delicious, 'Simplified Strawberry Smoothie', and shared the recipe with me, I've not missed a day of making and enjoying one. The recipe is based on the Trim Healthy Mama's 'Big Boy Smoothie' (page 242) and is super easy to make. With just the right amount of sweetness, and thickness, I can hardly tell the difference between it and a calorie-laden strawberry shake from a fast-food joint. It's beyond delectable!

SIMPLIFIED STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE (S, E, or Fuel Pull)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 to 3 packages of Truvia (based on desired sweetness)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a couple of nice, big handfuls of unsweetened frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (optional)

Pour unsweetened almond milk into your blender up to the 1-cup line. Add Truvia, vanilla, and whey protein, if desired. (Note: The whey protein powder takes the smoothie from being a snack, to making it a meal, as it is very filling.) Then, add strawberries and blend on high.You might have to scrape the mixture down a time or two as it is very thick. Serve in a large glass and enjoy. Sometimes I use a straw and sometimes I just eat it with a spoon! It is so yummy! :)

#thm

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama - The Journey Continues


It's been a busy week and weekend, and we still haven't finished reading the Trim Healthy Mama in its entirety, but everyday we seem to be learning something new. And, while this week has been far from perfect, we are pretty much set up in on-plan foods, and have made several new recipes, most of which we enjoyed, but, we are also coming to some conclusions.

#1 - We are definitely going to have to take finances into consideration and settle into a more economical system of menu planning. I have yet to set anything down on paper, but am thinking that we probably need to alternate egg white dishes, with, or without turkey sausage, or turkey bacon on occasion, with oatmeal for breakfasts, and the hearty soups (Red or Green) for lunches. I made a half recipe of the Hearty Green Soup on page 334 this past week and it is very good and it's very economical! A half recipe has fed my husband and I for days (a bowl each for either lunch or supper) and one day we even shared some of it with company! By alternating these breakfast and lunch ideas on a regular basis, we will just have to plan nice suppers and can put most of the allotted grocery money into those meals.

#2 - I still haven't figure out if we started off wrong, if we're missing something, or what, but where on-plan foods according to the book, in places anyway, include things like full-fat butter, full-fat cheese, full-fat cream cheese, ground beef, etc., we have decided to stick with foods that we traded those items in for long ago. Light butter instead of full-fat butter or margarine, 2% cheese in place of full-fat cheese, Neufchatel or fat-free cream cheese instead of full-fat cream cheese, ground turkey instead of ground beef, etc. Why add the extra fat and calories when there is no need to?

The thing that we feel that we've learned the most about thus far is the effect that sugar has on the body and how most of the foods that we were eating before, and the combinations in which we were eating them, created a never-ending process of glucose clean-up, which, in turn, made it impossible for the body to ever get to stored fat and use it as a fuel source. We feel so much better getting off the sugar and, did I mention? I love Truvia! And thanks to a new found love affair with cauliflower, I don't miss white potatoes at all, either. That is something that I never thought would happen! Wow!

I do wish I would have measured before starting this journey though because my clothes are definitely feeling looser. I need to buckle down and get more serious with everything, and I need to start walking again!

Well, I guess that's it for this week. To all you other ladies who are endeavoring to go the Trim Healthy Mama way, I wish you well. Feel free to drop in, comment, and let us know how things are progressing on your end. In the meantime, love to all and God bless!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

#thm


Monday, April 7, 2014

Trusting God Through The Hard Times


Over the past several years my husband and I have lost multiple friends and family members to death, grandchildren have been born, some have gone to heaven before we even had a chance to meet them, we have had ups and downs, gains and losses, joys and sorrows. Through it all God has been there. During the times of sorrow His love has sustained us. During the times of joy His presence has moved us to even greater depths of love and appreciation for those He has put in our lives, and bound us to, in His infinite wisdom.

So often, especially in times of trial and testing, we question the Lord. We ask, "Why, Lord? Why is this happening to me?" "Why is this happening to our family?" Over and over again we question the Lord, doubting His promises and even His very presence in our lives.

But, you know, it is in, and through, these hard times that we grow. It is in the face of hard times that we go running into the arms of our Heavenly Father, and they move us ever closer to Him. It is in these hard times that we seek Him out and commune deeply with Him, because it is in these hard times that no one else can ever truly know and understand what we are going through deep down within our hearts and spirits. God can because He is our Creator. God, and God alone, knows us better than anybody on the face of this earth. He knows us better than anyone else ever could, or will.

If you are going through hard times right now...physically, financially, spiritually...if your marriage is in trouble, or if you have suffered loss and are having a hard time healing...stand strong and keep this in mind...

God knows who you are. He knows where you're at, and what you are going through. He knows your heart. You are not alone, because God is ever with you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you, because God cares for you.

"For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11). 

In Him and With All My Love,
~Rebecca