Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Late Night Snack.

I love chocolate. I really do. I crave it. But compared to my husband, my love for chocolate is nothing! When we get home after a long day, we both find ourselves really hungry! I am never in the mood for a full meal at 10pm, because it just feels like too much. We have been looking for new ways to be healthy eaters so we started making some delicious Blueberry-Banana Smoothies, which are really great. The only problem was: Did anyone hear the word “chocolate” in there?;) Nope! And so the search began! After getting some ideas from recipes I saw online, and only including the ingredients we had on hand at the moment, here is what I came up with! We now make it all the time!

5 Reasons why you should try it!
*It is YUMMY!
*And…….YES! It is HEALTHY!
*Super easy to make!
*Doesn’t leave you hungry.
*Fulfills a chocolate/sweet craving!

Banana-Peanut Butter-Chocolate Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. peanut butter {Any kind! Natural creamy is what we’ve been using and it does a great job of sweetening it- I hear crunchy is good too!}
5 Tbsp. oats {We love these! You may not personally want this much.}
1 1/4 c. skim/almond/soy milk {The second two make it creamier and more flavorful.}

Now BLEND it up! There you go! Add more or less of ingredients depending on what you like!

Servings: 1 large, 2 small

Note: Do not add ice- it will make it too watery. The frozen fruit functions the same way
We just buy a whole bunch of bananas, cut them into 3 or 4 pieces and throw them all in the freezer, so they are on hand at any moment!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Remember the Sabbath Day…”

“…by keeping it holy.” {Exodus 20:8}

I felt a slight nudge in my heart to write on the Day of Rest…. I do not recall ever hearing a message on The Sabbath outside of 7th Heaven but guess what the sermon was about on Sunday? You got it. Just that. So, I shall share a little summary of what Pastor Peter Haas spoke on and then make it a little more personal.

*God first gave this commandment to the Israelite slaves- obviously no concept of rest! He even made it mandatory during “the seasons of harvest and plowing”-talk about a busy time that could impact their family, finances, etc! [Ex 34:21] 

*Israelites still strongly observe this day (they don’t even flip a light switch!) and are often taught “If you break the Sabbath, you are more likely to break the rest of the laws.” It has been proven time and again that the more exhausted we are, the more impaired our judgment is, the higher our temptation, and the more likely we are to give in. [Those in addiction recovery are taught that evenings are “dangerous” for this very reason!] What if you are not operating at full-capacity as the Lord intended you to because you never rest?

*He works on our behalf, even when we are not working. American culture places us in the mindset that “If I don’t, it won’t.” But the Lord is more than capable. Most things in life we have no control over, but He controls all and desires us to rest. He never sleeps and is always working on our behalf. The saying goes: “If he [satan] can’t get you bad, he’ll get you busy.” What more could he want than us to be too tired to discern or follow the will of God?

And now for my story: Towards the end of high school, I vividly remember someone telling me during a prayer time that his brother, who was in school on his way to becoming a doctor, had felt a call to honor this restful day every Sunday by doing no homework. It was a passing statement, but my first thought was, “I have no future plans of becoming a doctor. I may have a lot of homework but will never as much as him. If someone in med school can do this, so can I.” And thus, I began my journey of no-homework Sundays and never taking a job that would require me to work on this special day (for as long as possible- I know that the reality of shift work is not so) for the Lord and me. 

I tell you all of this not as your conscience, but to say that it is one of the most important and worthwhile decisions I have ever made! Sundays used to be my main study days. My busyness the following year after making this commitment escalated astronomically. But it was such an amazing feeling to know that I “couldn’t” do homework that day- no matter what! I had to rest! I have realized personally why the Lord created this 24-hour period! Because He knows that His children need it! And boy, did I ever! It has also helped me to continually surrender up my perfectionist ways and give the Lord the glory for whatever happens. He must get the glory, because with one less day it is way harder to accomplish anything without his ever-present strength!

There is no pressure to join me. Many things were no longer required when Jesus Christ came so I would not call it a sin (though it could lead to such things), but I think God made the law for our own good. It does not have to legalistically be a Sunday (I just like it because I get to go to church and focus my day on the Lord and naturally do not have classes)! This is a personal decision! But I challenge you. If the Lord is nudging on your heart right now: Listen. Give it a try. I promise you will not regret it! I mean, hey! It’s mandatory relaxation! Take it or leave it…:)

Want to hear more? Check out the sermon or read up on it! His Word has great things to say!


Friday, September 7, 2012

An Art to Beauty.

Hello world and welcome to my [thought] life,

I have always enjoyed creative writing and, in doing this, I hope to motivate myself to do more. Writing makes me happy, but without motivation [like an English class] I never participate outside of journaling. 
How I learned this: Last week, I sat on a bench lakeside writing down my thoughts to the Lord. The morning was so beautiful that I was inspired to document every single detail describing my surroundings. Oh, I was reminded how much I love this form of writing! He showed me in this time how easy it is to miss the beauty in the world. So much of what I see is corruption, that in the busyness of life- I fall short of experiencing all of what God has created for my [our] enjoyment. I want to commit to taking the time to not let moments of His splendor pass me by- but rather seek them out, acknowledging that there are surprises awaiting me around every corner. And so here I am…