Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

So, I have not been feeling the best in the world today. Those lovely female hormones that like to visit each month have wreaked havoc on my emotions. Not to mention my appetite.
My body is telling me that I could currently survive on peanut butter, chocolate, and coffee. Contrary to what my chocolate, peanut butter, coffee loathing hubby thinks, I say in a perfect world, we should all be able to thrive on those foods. . ;)
But, we can enjoy those delectable treats every now and then. And I found one way to do so today, without completely destroying my healthy eating habits. Here's a recipe for "Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies".
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with mixer for 3-4 minutes. Spoon onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes, at 350 degrees. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, before transferring to cooling rack.
Refrain from gorging on them right before dinner. :P


In a perfect world, what foods would you thrive one?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simple Pleasures Today

The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks   
It was a cloudy and rainy day in my neck of the woods. The day was spent indoors, enjoying some simple pleasures of life.
Like watching the finches at the feeder...

 Drinking coffee, and working on a gift for a friends upcoming wedding shower...
Kicking another weight training session out...
Watching 45 minutes of this favorite on my lunch break...
Having the house all spic and span, and then trying to find a way to float over the carpet so the vacuum lines stay...
Coming up with a new outfit combo that was warm and comfy...
Baking banana, avocado bread on national "Banana Bread Day"...
And enjoying leftovers for dinner with this hot thing...

Thank-you LORD, for your many blessings on me!

What simple pleasures did you enjoy today?

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thank for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Common, Everday Blessings to Be Thankful For

Hello there! I pray that each of you are having a wonderfully blessed day in our LORD! It's been a cold few days here in NC. The high yesterday just barely reached 30, and today was only about 35. Thankfully I have not had to go outdoors. Today was happily spent inside lifting weights, and catching up on housework. A blessed day it was. :)
So, how have you dear folks been of late? Other than suffering through horribly cold weather, life has been quietly pleasant.
I've kept up my New Years goal of exercising daily. I'm still lifting weights 4 days a week, with cardio intervals, and twice weekly Yoga. I've even accomplished a long set goal of completing a deadlift over 100 pounds. Last week I was able to complete 3 sets of 110 pounds! WOO-HOO! :D
I've also kept up my Bible reading schedule. Currently I read one chapter in Job and 1 Corinthians a day. Last week while finishing up Romans, I was comforted by these words...

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Romans 12:1-5
I've been working hard at my goal of trying as many new recipes as I can for 2015. We have had at least two new recipes each week. Black bean soup with mango, avocado quesadillas were a big hit for us both. :D 

Justin entered into a new role in life. He was elected a deacon at our church last night. Words cannot describe how thankful I am, that the LORD allowed me to marry such a serving, patient leader, as he. :)

Here's my most recent craft project. A sign I hope to set outside by our door come this spring.
I've been reading quite a bit too. I recently finsished up these two books...

I recently started drinking nettle tea. I am loving the light flavor, and how chock full of nutrients it is! :D

My K-3 teaching job is moving right along. We celebrated Valentine's Day on Thursday. I made them some chocolate, chocolate cupcakes. But I think the only part of the cupcakes that were eaten, was the frosting. :P

Oh yeah! I made a cupcake for each teacher in the school as well. I've been wanting to bless them with a treat for a while now, and this was the perfect time to! :)

Our second Valentine's Day as a married couple came. Our quiet, introverted selves, are not "big crowds" kind of people, so we spent the day at home. I set up a candlelight steak dinner, and we dressed up, and danced to every sappy love song I have on my MP3 player. ;) 
Beautiful roses Justin bought me. The first since we have been married...

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”  
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder - Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues
Thank-you LORD, for your blessings on me!
What have you been blessed with of late?
Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Is GOD Your Refuge?

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
“Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Raising and Eating Our Homegrown Chicken

I love chickens! To me they are the best pets in the world. Sweet, mostly calm, and best of all they give you delicious, nutritious eggs to eat.
I grew up raising chickens, and was sad to leave chicken raising behind for a bit, after getting married. But spring of last year came, and my hubby told me I could purchase and raise some birds of our own.
So I excitedly headed to Tractor Supply, and picked up 5 bantams.

I quickly became attached to these birds. They would get excited when they heard my voice, and come running up to me when I called. But, as fate would have it, their lives only lasted two weeks, before a neighbor's dog broke into their pen and killed them.
So, we tried again. This time we purchased 6 Australorps. 

For some reason, I did not become attached to these birds. And it's a good thing I didn't. Because as they began to grow, a problem with them arose.
We had 5 roosters and 1 hen.
I tried to sell them, but there was no interest. So, Justin decided we would fatten them up, butcher them ourselves, and eat them. :)
And that is what Justin and my mother did on January 2nd.

It was the first time Justin had butchered chickens, and my mom's second time.

They killed 3 of our roosters, plus 3 my mom brought from their farm. The only part I had in this venture, was catching the birds, and snapping a few pics. I made myself scarce when blood was present...

It was a blessing to be able to raise our own birds for meat. We have ate the meat on 3 occasions, so far. I love knowing they lived happy lives roaming the woods, and ate only the most natural and nutritious foods for chickens. I hope to be able to raise some more birds for meat again.

But only after I am FINALLY able to raise a batch of birds that will be pets, and good egg layers! :D

Have you ever raised chickens, or other animals for meat?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. If you want to see more of the butchering process, hop on over to my mom's blog. Be warned though. The pics do show the full process, blood and all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Breath Taking Heights, And Choking Swamps

First up, I want to say thank-you to each of you dear ones, that took the time to leave such encouraging words in my last post. A peace washed over me soon after reading all your sweet words. And even though I do not know if GOD is going to fulfil my desires to become a mother, I do know that HE holds my future, and HE does know what is best for my life. :D
"Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path through the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences.”
John Piper, This Momentary Marriage Quote 
It was an emotionally turbulent week last week. Filled with highs and lows. Flying high, with my returning to regular communion with GOD. And then the disappointment at not being a mother. 
And I am ashamed to say, that I tended to push my husband away while I was hurting.
But the LORD showed me how wrong that was, and after asking HIS forgiveness, I asked Justin for his.
GOD does not promise us happiness in this life. It is only a temporary pleasure, on this path we are taking to our forever home in heaven (if we have accepted HIS Son into our lives).
I am thankful for this gift of marriage.
As last week showed, it is filled with breathtaking heights, and swamps with choking vapors.
But marriage does make the path of life sweeter.
I feel blessed beyond measure to be a part of a marriage. And I cannot wait to continue this path, and see where GOD is going to lead us next.
Pics are from some much needed quality time, spent this past weekend.
What has the LORD brought into your life, to make the path sweeter?
Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Learning To Trust, If I'm Not Meant To Be A Mommy

I'm sitting here in my favorite computer nook of my house, wrapped in a blanket, with an outstanding cup of coffee sitting beside me. I look outside the window, and I see my birdfeeder hanging, and several birds flitting back and forth to it, even with a light rain beginning to fall.

My workout for the day is done, laundry is caught up, 1 batch of laundry detergent has been made, the house cleaned, Bible reading is in, and 3 chapters in "Babies First Bites and Beyond" is done.

I've been reading quite a bit on parenting, child care, and pregnancy of late. Which is nothing really unusual for me. I was reading every book on the subject I could get my hands on before I was even in a courtship. :D

With rainy days, come contemplative days. And I can not help but wonder today, will the LORD bless Justin and I with children? And if not, can I be content in that fact?

I am going to be open and honest on here with ya'll. I hope you don't mind that. ;) I just feel like getting some thoughts out in the open air, to help clear the mind. Any who...

Before Justin and I were married, we talked about whether or not were going to use a natural means  of birth control (Fertility Awareness Method, I am FIRMLY against the pill, with it's abortive, and hormonal effects).

We decided that we would. I'm not sure we had a great reason to or not. We just wanted to spend a year, getting to know one another better, before children. ( I am not saying children will cause a strain on a new marriage. I've known several couples become pregnant with months of being married, and they praised the fact it brought them closer together as a couple. I'm also not saying everyone should avoid pregnancy for a year, or more. This is just what we felt led to do in our lives )

Our one-year anniversary came in April of 2014, and we talked about whether we would stop trying to avoid a pregnancy or not. At that point Justin said he was ready to be a daddy. But I did not feel as if I was ready to be a mommy.

I was going through some health issues, and I was trying to resolve them through natural means (herbs, nutrition, etc.) Physically, I did not feel I was ready to become pregnant.

Justin was fine with that, and with his AMAZINLY patient self, said it was fine with him to wait until I felt ready.

By October, I was feeling as if my health was returning, and I caught baby fever.

When my cycle started that November, I asked Justin if he was still ready to be a daddy, and he responded with are you ready to be a mommy.. I said I was ready, and we stopped "avoiding".

I will admit I was terrified those days that led up to that first period. I just "knew" I was pregnant.

But, as GOD would have it, I was not.

And so it has been for my last 3 cycles.

I'm not worried about not being able to get pregnant at this point. I am however, in awe at the fact that, as a friend put it one time, sex doesn't mean a baby.

It is only GOD's hand at work in your body, when you and your husband are expressing love toward another, is what makes a baby.

Will I become pregnant as time goes on? I don't know.

Maybe GOD has other plans for mine and Justin's lives.

Would I be joyful if HE did not see fit to bless us? I'd like to say yes, but I know it would be hard.

I'm not saying it would be impossible to be okay with that. GOD has brought me through so many trials in my life. There are countless times I have made plans for the future, to have GOD show me that HE has something different in mind.

Giving up hearts desires are just plain hard. But, in the end, we can rest in the knowledge HE is in control of our lives, and only wants what is best for us.

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah 29:11

I fully trust the LORD with this aspect of my life. I just pray that if the LORD does not have children in my future, I will be able to trust in HIS grace, and wisdom.

What is the LORD teaching you to trust HIM about?

Have a wonderfully blessed day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Filling My Heart With Everything, But HIM

I mentioned in Mondays outfit post, that last week was a week bursting with energy. It was not just physical energy that was flowing freely in me, it was mental energy. I felt a “reviving” of sorts. And I can only attribute that revival to one thing: getting back into GOD’s word.

Last year was not my best year for spiritual growth. I slacked SEVERELY in personal devotions. And prayer? It happened primarily when something was going wrong.

I look back and see, that my not being in constant communion with my LORD, came from the fact that life was, and is going so well.

I’m married to the man of my dreams. We have a beautiful house. I’m relatively healthy. And there are no major family issues to speak of.

Toward the end of last year, I began to notice a change in me. And it was not a good one.

I was feeling depressed most days, and let down at everything.

I looked back at pre-marriage blog posts and saw in my words joy and peace. A peace I wondered where in the world went!

And I began to remember. Before I was married, or further back to before Justin and I were even courting, life was pretty difficult most days.

I did not have any close friends, and I struggled with loneliness.

GOD used those times to teach me one important lesson. That ONLY HE can fulfil your deepest heart’s desires. Not people, not money, or stability in life.

I had to come to a point in my life where HE was my all. That no matter what is going on my life, ONLY HIS love, and grace is what brings true joy to our lives.

So, I lived a joyful life as a single woman. Then as a young woman in a courtship, and finally as a new bride.

I always told myself that I would not put Justin, or anything else in my new life, before my relationship with GOD. And I believed that thought.

But somewhere along the way, that changed.

It wasn’t something I noticed right off. I think it crept in slowly.

Not doing a daily devotional. Not reading encouraging blogs, or articles. And simply not talking daily with HIM. My defenses were weakened, and my flesh began to control me.

At the end of last year, I set a goal. I said I was going to get back in GOD’s word on a daily basis.

And so I have.

And I am beginning to feel that joy and peace, that I thought I lost, return.

GOD is so good!

I fail HIM every day. But HIS mercies and grace, they are unfailing.

Ladies, try not to be like me in your early days of marriage (or any stage of life). And think that while life is going great, you can let your defenses down.

Stay in GOD’s word! Fight to be in it daily! Talk with HIM EVERY chance you get! It will make you all the more stronger for when the tough times roll in.

I cannot say it enough. ONLY the GOD of this universe can meet your every need. People will fail you. But HE will not. HE is always there for us, no matter where we are at in our lives. :)

Have a wonderfully blessed day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!