Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yet another mountain

I know in the process of removing things that hinder love, is the process of removing internal things that are hindering my relationship with the Lord.

One of these things is the fear of rejection and the praise of man. I hate this mountain! It stings far more than I like to bear. Which is why I only gain a measure of freedom and not full freedom each time. I wish it were an easy fix. That I could rip the band aid off and just be free!

Sadly, that's not how this is. It is a constant struggle. I am constantly worried about what people think about me, feel deep wounds when we are rejected in any measure (intentional or unintentional), and feel judged when we have revelation about something that others don't. This causes many sleepless nights for me, I am so sad to admit.

I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. Never cared for what people thought of my clothes, my appearance, my choices, but when it comes to having acceptance for loves sake I haven't been able to shake this. I want people to love me and my family. But sometimes that just doesn't happen. Sometimes you don't get the pat on the back from that person you enjoy being around. Sometimes you don't get the invite from the person you really want. Sometimes you are just not apart of the "in" crowd.

I know how silly this is. How much people's opinions really matter. It's just vapor. I want that to settle into my heart and never leave. I want to never be concerned about the way others view me again. I know that the Lord loves me and that I am His favorite! Now why can't I just let go and let God?

I read last year at the urging of a sweet friend, Bob Sorge's book, Dealing with the Rejection and Praise of Man and it was eye opening! Sometimes God uses rejection as a tool to dig a deeper well of love for Him in a persons life. The only catch, it is coupled with the equally difficult demon of praise of man. Yuck! Two things in one. So to conquer one you have to conquer the other. So that means, it's not a quick easy deliverance. It's years of cultivating a fasted spiritual lifestyle of seeking God only. His advice and counsel is far better than any person's counsel. Not to say that God doesn't send people to reveal things to you of course. But He should be my Go To Guy! Run to the throne, not the phone.

I also need not worry what people think of what the Lord is doing with our family. He is leading us down a path that some may not want or need to go. And that's ok. He has tailor made our walk with Him to suit us perfectly. We need not worry about what everyone thinks of our walk either. We have had a lot of backlash for it and we should expect it and count it all joy!

Father God,
I lift this part of my heart up to You and I say please have Your way. Please take it. Take this part of me and mold me and shape me into what You want me to be. I know You won't relent until You have it all. I desperately want to give all my heart to You. I know I can't follow You while dragging my baggage, saying "but can't I just keep it". You want me to lay my burdens down and that is what I want to do right now, lay this burden down at the foot of the cross. I want to be so in love with You that the voice of others is drowned out by Your magnificence. I know You have gone before me and the victory is already won. I ask that we see the full manifestation of the victory here in the natural. I want to look back a year from now and have the greater measure of freedom. I want to be content where I am in Your church. That I wouldn't seek affirmations from man, but from You. I want to grow where I am planted and to do that I have to get rid of weeds. I ask that You remove this weed in my life for it does not bear fruit or any good thing, but chokes the life out of the fruit I have already cultivated. Father God, You are good and You will finish the good work You started in me.

I ask this in Jesus name,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in Eating: Bread making

The hubster and I have been on a journey of frugality and food storage for a few months now. We have been searching for ways to store, save, and be prepared for when disaster strikes. It can strike at any moment and we are aware of that.

A good friend of ours from Zimbabwe told us about the economic collapse of his home country. A loaf of bread cost an entire months salary. It did not happen gradually, it happened over night (warning signs preceeded of course). New Zealand is still reeling from devastating earthquakes months later. Again, not over time, but in the blink of an eye.

The Lord has been impressing on us that we should store and be prepared for anything that could happen. Which in Texas could be a number of things: earthquake, hurricane, economic downturn, and many others. We want to be obedient to the charge, but we have had to start small which is just fine with the Lord. He knows where we are and He is guiding us through.

Anywho... This post started off heavier than expected. But He leads how He leads.

As for the bread making, we think it is a simple and easy way to save and store. A loaf of bread these days is pricey especially for a decent wheat bread.

Today I am making beer bread. A sweet friend from church brought a loaf to us after Zoe was born along with an amazing Italian Wedding Soup (post on that to come soon). We were instant fans so she sent us the recipe.

3 Cups Self Rising Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 12 oz bottle of beer (any kind will do, we use Shiner Bock)
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar, and beer then pour batter into a 9X5 loaf pan. Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until done. When the bread is done, take it out and pour the melted butter on top. Let sit to cool. Slice when cool.

That's it! Simple, easy, yum!

I am also making a honey whole wheat bread in the bread machine my sister in law gave us recently. I won't share the recipe as each bread machine is different. We are so blessed to have two bread machine that were given to us by sweet people in our lives. My goal is to have both machines going and a few loaves of beer bread in the oven. This way we can share with others or freeze some for anything that may come up. It's all about heeding the call... and saving money.

Adventures in Eating: Super Baby Food By Ruth Yaron: Review 2 and Super Porridge Pics

Silly Face Girl
We are now past the 6 month mark so Zoe's eating adventures are branching out. We had our first Super Porridge from the Super Baby Food book. You would think that Super Porridge would be really difficult or complicated, but it's super easy. We use old fashioned rolled oats and water and viola! Of course there are a few more steps than that, lol.

I am really enjoying this book. The only draw back I see as we get older, is that the book is a little hard to read. Not too hard, but just a little bit. The recipes are somewhat dispersed throughout the book so it's a little bit hard to find them all. That's the only thing I would change.

I have also been looking at fun new websites for great additions to our recipe arsenal. I will share a few of them soon.

Ok, onto the cute baby pictures.
First Bite

Mmmmm, give that back

Content baby, full belly makes me happy

Do I have something on my face?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Removing things that hinder love

This feels familiar. Oh yeah, this has happened before. I keep going around this mountain. I imagine I will do it again and again.

I have been in a spiritually dry place in my relationship with the Lord. I know that this is cyclical and it happens each time the Lord is drawing me deeper into His dwelling place.

I have given up so many worldly things in my walk with the Lord, but there is more still. These things hinder my love for Him who is I AM. The hubster and I have had a lot of conviction about the way we spend our time and what we give our hearts to.

After Zoe was born we got Netflix for our Wii. I was very nervous about it because I know myself. Lo and behold, I'm addicted to the thing. It was wonderful while Zoe was going through the worst part of acid reflux. She would quiet down for Word World, Veggie Tales, and Backyardigans. I would be able to zone out when I was overwhelmed with everything going on.

I also spend so much time on the internet, which I know some of it is unavoidable as I do business on the web. But I spend too much time.

I have also been watching, listening to, and reading things I know I shouldn't. Secular music, violent and evil movies, and books written by those who are known enemies of the Lord. What am I thinking? What is going on? Compromise is going on. I compromised myself and what I had promised to the Lord and now sin is rampant in my life.

We heard amazing testimonies today from our youth who came back from the Fascinate Conference at IHOP Kansas City. It impacted our hearts so deeply. The hubster came home and got rid of Netflix immediately and we discussed how we are to purpose our time from now on.

The Lord is so good that He saw to it to convict us both at the same time. Praise the Lord! Now to walk it out. Which is the hard part. God has grace for us though. We are going to win because God has already won the battle for us!

I have longed to feel this fire for sometime and I don't want to let it go again. I know the Lord will prune things from us in the future, but I don't want to fall into complacency and compromise again. Lord, help me to be faithful to You and only You! For You are exceedingly faithful to me and never fail me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adventures in Eating: 3 Ingredient Meals-French Fried Onion Mustard Chicken

We had this meal last night (sorry no photo). It was really really good! We will be having it again and soon....

2 Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
Crumbled French's Fried Onion (enough to cover or more if you like)

Put a tablespoon of mustard on each chicken breast and then cover with fried onions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook chicken for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

So easy and so yummy!

I'm loving these quick easy meals!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adventures in Eating: Mommy Confession

Our daughter eats way better than we do. She is on an organic lactose and soy free diet, while we eat fast food, sweets, and packaged garbage. [Hangs head in shame]

We get so wrapped up in the busyness of life that we sacrifice our health because it's convenient. We know better, we know what to eat, we know portion sizes... So why is it so hard. In a word-Us! We are the ones who get in the way because of exhaustion or laziness.

The Lord has been showing us that if we don't take time to eat better and take care of ourselves, we will have to take time to be sick. The hubby and I both have health issues and we don't want to see them get worse.

I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Zoe. Which I may not have really had. It may have been my gastroparesis. When the food in the stomach finally moves into the intestine, it skyrockets the blood sugar. But I digress... Either way, it's concerning whether the diabetes was there or not. I need to be looking out for warning signs.

I was pretty diligent about what I ate while I was pregnant after I found out about the diabetes. I was so worried about something happening to my baby girl. Why can't I think in those terms now? What kind of example am I setting, what if I get sick and can't be around for my baby girl? I need to consider all of these potential eventualities.

Part of the reason we are postponing giving Zoe fruits for the first year is the fact that we want her to want vegetables more than sweet foods (even fruits). If we can wrap our minds around the same way of thinking for ourselves, we would be on our way to health and well being.

Now comes the hard part, actually doing what I am talking about. I am going to purpose each week to make a meatless, veggie rich dish for the hubster and I. And then after we master that... We will see what we can add into this new way of life (or what we could take out).

At the end of the day, I don't want to obsess about what we are eating tomorrow. I don't want to live to eat, but eat to live.

Adventures in Eating: Sweet potatoes for my sweet potato!

Little Ms. Ham getting ready for her first sweet potatoes! She has fallen in love with the camera!

First bite...
Hmmm, not sure...

Oh yes Mommy! More please!

She has officially given up on rice cereal. Which is ok cause I have lots of new recipes to try out in the next few weeks.

She gobbled up one cube of homemade organic sweet potato, so I may move it up to two cubes tomorrow. We will see what she thinks.

Also, my apologies for my baby always being in just a diaper. I always said "my baby will never just run around in a diaper all day long!" Well between the Texas heat, acid reflux spit ups, and lots of diaper overflow (it's great that she is a consistent pee-er, but dang can we reel it in on the volume!), she stays pretty much onesie less. We were doing 4 to 5 wardrobe changes a day which was getting out of hand laundry wise.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Adventures in Eating: Rotovirus or something like it

Zoe's solid food feeding schedule has been pushed back again.

When I posted last about the rice cereal she had just started showing signs of diarrhea. She would have nasty bouts with it and would cry because it was causing horrible diaper rash. Poor baby! It broke our hearts to see her that way.

But it was odd. Other than the diarrhea and rash and the occasional refusal of food she was totally fine. No fever, very little spit up, happy most of the time, playful and alert. We had heard that teething can cause all her symptoms so we chalked it up to that.

Well yesterday Zoe was a little lethargic. She slept later than us which is extremely rare! In fact that never happens. So I went up to church, checked in to see about Sunday School (I teach the toddlers), saw I didn't have anyone then left and took her to urgent care.

Turns out she had a mild stomach bug (probably rotovirus, but it's hard to say) and she is now on the upswing of getting better. I maybe could have just waited it out as she was never dehydrated or anything, but for peace of mind, going to see a doctor was worth it.

That means no new solids for Zoe for a week. We will FINALLY start sweet potatoes next Monday. I'm so excited! I hate that we got so behind because of busyness. I can go on and on about the dangers of busyness, but that's for my other blog...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Adventures in Eating: 3 Ingredient Meals-Goat Cheese Pesto Pasta

Yet another success story from Real Simple's 3 Ingredient Recipes. Up to bat tonight: Goat Cheese Pesto Pasta.

Cooked pasta
Goat Cheese
Ready Made (or homemade) pesto

Mix ingredients and viola! DELICIOUS!

It was a hit and there was no meat in the entire dish. I served it with a side salad and hubster approved. I believe it was a 4.5 out of 5 star meal. The goat cheese, while delicious and nutritious, tends to have the consistency of peanut butter and wants to stick to the roof of your mouth. Other than that, adding this one to heavy rotation list as well.

Sorry, no picture again. Just too dang hungry...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Adventures in Eating: Day of all new recipes!

Yesterday the hubster stayed home due to a respiratory infection. =( Don't get me wrong, I love having him home, but don't like to see my guy sick.

He was running a fever, so I decided, hey feed a fever. Not really, just that we were behind on our menu plan for the week so I made one of our quick meals I had planned out for another night for lunch. We made goat cheese pita pizzas. SOOOOO YUM!

Here is the recipe:

Crumbled goat cheese
Pizza sauce (canned or homemade)
Various veggies

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Viola! Deliciousness!

We are a fan of the goats milk/cheese. So much better and less processed than cows milk. Which we aren't supposed to have in the first place. That's another blog post all together.

For dinner we had marinated steak kabobs and ranch potatoes.
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive or Sunflower oil
Minced garlic

Marinate steaks from 15 min to an hour

Various veggies (we used red peppers)
Marinated Steak-Cubed

Alternate steak and veggie cubes on wooden skewers (if putting on outdoor grill soak skewers in water)
On outdoor grill or indoor griddle (suggest doing it outdoors its really smoky) place kabobs and rotate till cooked evenly.

Ranch potatoes:
6-8 quarters new potatoes
Ranch dressing seasoning packet
Sunflower or Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place ingredients in Ziploc bag and shake until evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Cook for 30-40 minutes

Dessert was the easiest tart I have ever made!

It was from the Real Simple 3 Ingredient Recipes in the July Issue.

The recipe called for nectarines or peaches. Well our peaches went bad really really quick. But we did have blueberries from blueberry picking last week so I improvised.

Blueberry tart
1-2 cups blueberries
Refrigerated pie crust
2 tbsp Raw Sugar
1 tbsp Butter (optional)

Roll out pie crust on parchment lined cookie sheet and pour blueberries in center of crust. About an inch in from the edge, fold up and over to create the shell. Wet your fingers with water and pinch crust together so nothing spills out. Brush butter (I accidentally left this part out, and it still turned out great!) over crust and berries. Sprinkle raw sugar over everything. Bake in the oven at 375 for 30-40 minutes. I did 35 and it was perfect.

Everything was so quick and easy! These are all favorites and will be put into heavy rotation at the house.

Sorry no pictures we were so hungry we just ate quickly.

Adventures in Eating: Restart

We have been soooooo busy lately we have been inconsistent with Zoe's solid food feeding schedule. In fact it's been non existent. We have traveled a lot and there was the miserable summer colds that hindered progress.

I tried to reintroduce rice cereal last night and she wasn't having it. I tried again this morning and same thing.

I need advice... any one deal with this before? Has she lost the feel for being spoon fed? She loved it before, will she love it again? Is there something I can do other than keep offering her rice cereal to make feedings more fun?