Saturday, May 30, 2009

Simple Breakfast

For this side of the world summer is here, and strawberries are plentiful. My favorite breakfast is fast, simple and perfect for Sabbath morning. Give it a try.
You'll love it!

Berry Breakfast Parfait

1 cup Strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 Banana, peeled and sliced

1 cup Vanilla Yogurt

1/4 cup Granola

Put prepared fruit in bottom of bowl or parfait dish. Top with yogurt, and sprinkle on granola.

It's that simple!

I make my own granola. I'll share the recipe later. It's SO easy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Best Friends

A best friend is a special gift from God, and was I given big! My best friend and I have been just that for 11 years. She is more of a sister to me than a friend. I consider her God's special gift to me. She knows me better than anyone ever has or ever will. She's got the dirt, if you know what I mean. I really doubt there is much of anything that she doesn't know. It's likely she knows me better than I do.

It's a good friend that will tell you the truth even when it's not what you want to hear. Sometimes the truth hurts, and it's then that we need someone that's willing to stand up and say what needs to be said no matter what. This friend will, she has, do just that...more than once. I can count on her for the honest to God's truth no matter what.

We have had ups and downs. There has been pain and tears, but through it all we have always been there for each other. We've made it through the storms and have seen the rainbows. What a blessing it is to know that there is one person in this entire world that knows me, really knows me, and still loves me. What a gift to be accepted just as I am, flaws and all, with no strings attached. Some people have no one, and I have been gifted with the best.

This week I get to spend three days cooking and hanging out with my best bud. There will still be school work, but there will be girl talk, cooking, cookbook discussions, and cups of tea. There will be music, gardening, and walks by the water...maybe. How much fun can two homeschooling moms cram into three days? We'll find out, and you'll be the first to know. I'll be off line until Friday. Hope you all have a lovely week! See you on the flip side...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Observance

I am so very grateful to all men and women
that have fought to protect my freedom in this great country.
I know and acknowledge the controversy
and high emotion surrounding any war.
However, it does not change their sacrifice

and my gratitude for their dedication
to the protection of our citizens.
I have a deep respect for all soldiers past, present, and future.
May God bless each and everyone of you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Way of Women

Another trip down memory lane; this was originally written on August 23, 2006, and it still stands true for me today. I'm not sure who these women are, but they sure look like they're having fun. Hope you enjoy:

Back in the day women knew how to survive. Women knew how to be supportive of each other and fed the fire of community. Families knew each other. They cared about the success and survival of those they shared common space with. I don't mean sharing property or actual living space. I mean the community itself. The connection was seen between their lives. A woman's world stretched past her front stoop.

With advancements in technology and Women's Liberation, as women, we have managed to shoot ourselves in the foot. The art of our lives has become endangered. A certain confidence and security has been lost. Rather than struggle in the chaotic, over extended lives we have managed to create for ourselves it is our duty, if to no one but ourselves, to change the direction of our lives.

In the above spirit I have made that decision, very consciously I might add. I have learned to ask for help and even pay for it if need be. I have learned to actively seek out the desires of my heart. I have learned to find and honor my spirit. I have learned to connect, really connect, with the women around me. I have learned to better manage my time with my best interest at heart. I have learned that there is always a curve to learning. I have learned to be diligent and patient with myself.

Please do not misunderstand me. The above things are positive. By no means is anyone suffering because I want to be the true and real me, the best me that I can be. When we are honest with ourselves we will understand that our loved ones, our community and our health can only benefit from sincerity. What better example to set for our families, communities and anyone we may come into contact with? One need not feel guilty for finding a way to truely live.

Be true. Be real. Be sincere. Be happy. Really be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Like Salt

As part of our Pathfinder and Adventurer Investiture tonight I heard a great sermon that was directed toward the youth on how Jesus did not call us Christians. He called us salt. Honestly, I have heard this before, but there was something about the way it was presented that really made the implications of such a title sink in for me.

Salt is SO very important in life. Just think about its many uses. How do you compare to salt? Do you complement the situations you are added to, or do you overpower? Maybe you aren't involved enough leaving room for more seasoning.

It was pointed out that salt is supportive through an object lesson with two mason jars and an egg. The question was posed, "Do eggs float or sink in water?" The answers were mixed. However, the result was clear. Eggs sink in water. BUT, what happens when salt is added to the water? You guessed it. The egg floats! That is SO symbolic of what Christ intended for us to be in the world.

We are called upon to make a difference. It is our duty to be helpful, dedicated servants that make a positive impact in the world. We are not to be overpowering. Neither are we to be too laid back. Salt is perfect in just the right amount. It is our duty to find that perfect place and do our best to make a difference without expecting something in return. I think there are many of us that have a problem with that last part. As humans we often want credit for the good things we have done. We desire recognition. God is our cheerleader, and that should be all we need. Seriously, if God is at our side what else could we possibly require?

When you do something, anything, do you give it your all? Are you making a good impression or a not so good impression? Do you give it any thought at all? As it was pointed out on more than one occasion, and I'm sure you've heard it before, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you call yourself a Christian, then it is your duty to make a positive impression on those that you come in contact with. You are a representative of Christ. Are you making Him look good? Do you instill a thirst in others for the living water?

Give it some thought. Could you be doing more? Are you too pushy? Where do you need to adjust your seasoning level? Maybe you are spot on. Praise God!

Monday, May 18, 2009


How much more talk of this bad economy can we endure? It seems like all we hear is negative, and the word "economy" has been used more this year than I can ever recall hearing in my lifetime. There is A LOT of focus on the negative. My personal focus has been being drawn to the positive.

If you live in the United States in a homeless shelter you are still better of than countless people in less fortunate areas of the world. Even at our worst we still have it better than many. The question is, though, do we even realize it? Or, are we just too spoiled?

When it boils down to it our minimal requirements to survive are food and clothing, and doesn't God promise to provide them for us? Would we know how to be happy if those basic needs were met, and we had nothing else? How would we spend our time? Has it ever dawned on you that Jesus was a homeless man when he walked the earth? His disciples and those he ministered to cared for him. He did not have a home. Others provided him food and shelter as he spread the gospel and served his fellow man.

I have found myself thinking on these things a lot lately, as I feel so very blessed. The conclusion I have come to is that with blessing comes responsibility. If God has blessed us above and beyond what we need, food and clothing, it is our responsibility to share what we have with others. We should not hoard our surplus for the future. God promises to provide. We should share what we have.

Here in Michigan our economy and jobless rate is worse off than anywhere else in the country. We are surrounded with those that need. It seems like thousands lose their jobs ever day, and the prospects for those that are unemployed are very bleak. The playing ground has changed, and old ways of dealing with things are ineffective. One must really be aggressive in order to make anything happen, and even then the situation is not promising.

I have found myself conversing with God in regard to how he has blessed me and my family. My husband is a transmission mechanic. Praise God, his business is not suffering with the economy. It is staying steady due to the economy. People are fixing their cars and driving them longer. This is a blessing to us. He will be going back into business for himself, Lord willing, this September. Our decisions, prayers, and focus all point in this direction, and we are quite confident that this is where we are being led. However, we are open to His guidance should this not be His will. There is peace here, and I am finding that responsibility comes with that. My prayer has become, "What would you have me do to serve others, Lord?" I find myself looking for opportunities to give back to my community. There is so much we can do. Here is a list of ideas:

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
Plant a garden, and donate the surplus to a local food bank.
Volunteer at a local food bank sorting food.
Mentor a young person.
Adopt a grandparent at a local nursing home or senior center.
Prepare resumes for free to those that are out of work.
Donate food and clothing to local charities.
Instead of a yard sale, donate your items to Purple Heart or another local charity.
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Host a Bible study in your home for young people.
Provide transportation to and from church for those that have no way to get there otherwise.

The above is just a very short list of possible ideas to make a difference. It is my hope that it has gotten your creative juices flowing, and you can come up with something that works with your skills and the special needs of your community. If you have food and clothing, praise the Lord, and bless those that you can around you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A New Trail to Blaze

For those of you that have spent any time here over the past year my health struggles are no news flash. You know that I have had endometriosis that has been suppressed via chiropractic care. You know that I have a bum shoulder, an ongoing battle with my weight, struggles with fatigue and depression, a cancer scare, and a new confrontation with perimenopause. Any time spent here would have told you that I do not fancy traditional Western Medicine, rather I opt for the alternatives like chiropractic, massaget therapy, prayer, and homeopothy.

The current challenges being fatigue and perimenopause sent me on a journey of discovery that is slowly unfolding at my feet. With my husband's encouragement, silly guy doesn't like a tired and whacky wife everyday, I have sought out a remedy to my most demanding ailments. Thanks to a friend I was referred to a homeopath in my homestate, not my hometown...unfortunately. However, fortunately, she does phone consultations. A little over a week ago I spent two hours on the phone divulging my entire health history to the best of my ability along with my entire immediate family history. She got the full scoop and then some. We hung up, and I awaited her call to learn the recommended remedy.

The call came quicker than anticipated, and I had the recommendation. Sepia 1lm in alcohol suspension once per day until I either start feeling better or agitated. Of course, for me, it was agitation. Aren't I lucky? I really do dislike that feeling, and it was an immediate reminder of struggles past. Unfortunately, part of the curative process involves old issues resurfacing just to remind you of your struggles. Doesn't that sound fun? Don't fret. I was encouraged by her reassurance that any old issues that I may have to face will not be so intense that I will not be able to handle the.

Well, since I began experiencing agitation Friday into Saturday, I did not take the remedy on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. The new project is to determine when I need the remedy and administer it on an as needed basis. My relationship with this remedy will more than likely be a long one. Since it is a curitive process, it is not something that will remedy itself overnight. Why is it that we spend a lifetime destroying ourselves, and we expect to be rebalanced and cured to a like new state overnight? It really is silly when you think about it. Don't you think?

The process of chiropractic is the same concept. I find it entertaining when people say to me, "I don't want to go to the chiropractor, because you always have to keep going back." Well, duh! How on earth can you spend 30 or more years disrupting your body and training it to be out of alignment and expect that one or two adjustments are going to pop it back to normal? It makes absolutely no sense at all. Trying to rebalance one's body is exactly the same concept. Getting things back to a desirable state will likely take years, and I am cool with that. I look forward to the progress.

I am sure there will be plenty to learn along the way, and I will be sure to share. In the meantime I am going to figure out how I will know when to take my remedy and when to take a break. Provided this goes well for me, I plan to have the same thing done for my husband and my boys. What a blessing this could be for all of us. If any of you have any experience with this sort of thing I would love to learn of your journey as well.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mother of God

William Butler Yeats, born June 13, 1865, and died January 28, 1939, was an Irish poet and dramatist. He was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature in 1923 giving him the distinction of being the first Irishman so honored. Yeats has the distinction of being one of the few writers considered to have written his most distinguishing work after being honored with the Nobel Prize.

I see it fitting to share his poem titled, "The Mother of God", in observance of Mother's Day. It is my prayer that every mother will find a blessing, no matter how seemingly small, in this special time set aside to recognize the importance of our dear mothers. Mothers are special people that likely will only ever be completely understood by those that carry the same title. Being a mother is not a 9 to 5 job, but rather a 24/7/365 commitment for life. It never ends...period. When one signs up to be a mother it is likely the extent of the commitment is not realized. Irregardless, we are there rain or shine, good times and bad, achievements and failures, rested or sleep get the idea.

If you are a mom, sit back, relax, put your feet up, and just be still if only for a few moments. You've earned it. Revel in it. If you are not a mom, do something today to honor a mother in your life, be her your own or not.


The Mother of God by William Butler Yeats

The threefold terror of love a fallen flare

Through the hollow of an ear
Wings beating about the room
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb

Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows

Chimney corner, garden walk,

Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes

And gather all the talk?

What is this flesh I purchased with my pains

This fallen star my milk sustains,

This love that makes my heart's blood stop

Or strikes a Sudden chill into my bones

And bids my hair stand up?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blessed in the Stress

I am nearing my 200th post and thought it might be fun to revisit some of my earlier writings before there were so many visitors to my blog. I found this one from July 9, 2006, and it is still pertinent today. I know there are many of you out there that can relate. Walk with me as I travel down memory lane...

Amongst diaper changings, spit-ups, over-tired crying, burping and swaddling I am still attempting to find the blessings. The kids have been great and very helpful. I have also been spending a little time reading at Young Grandparents. It does make a difference having the support of others.

When our limits are reached, and tested even further, it can be difficult to maintain. I am finding it essential to quickly figure out where my boundaries are and mark them clearly for others to see. Don't get me wrong. This is by no means easy for someone like myself. My personality wants to keep control in all situations. By control I mean mental control. I need to be with it. I need to do it all and not be weak. Don't ask me why I tend to view limits as weakness, but I am fervently working toward changing that way of thinking in myself.

Sure, I may be able to do it all, but do I want to? Does anyone in their right mind want to juggle 40 things at once spreading themselves so thin that there is nothing left for them to give? Besides how do we effectively give to those that we need to give to? How do we effectively give to ourselves? It is my experience that over extending one's self is toxic. Setting boundaries nurtures our soul.

After a near nervous breakdown I have set boundaries for myself. Being a young grandparent does not mean that I need to feel like a new mom. In order to make myself available to the children I am still actively raising I need to limit my commitment to my young-adult children with babies reminding myself that they are new moms, not me. Boundaries are healthy, and in the interest of the health of myself, and those that I love, I have set mine.

During this transitional time it has been essential for me to thank God for my blessings. Focusing on what we are thankful for in the center of stress is therapeutic. No matter our reality there is always some way that we are blessed. We may have to look a little deeper into our soul, but there is always something to be thankful for. No matter the stress, we are always blessed.


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