Saturday, November 16, 2013
I recently got a book recommendation from a friends about food stuffs. It's title was Nourishing Wisdom. I immediately turned to the library to discover I'd have to get it via interlibrary loan. I requested and then waited. It finally showed up a few weeks ago, I started reading. It was pretty good. The book is about food psychology at its core. I was intrigued and hooked.
I learned a ton of different things about myself as I read through the book but as I sit back and let it digest, a few things keep ruminating, so I thought I would share.
My main one is from the very end of the book, when you eat, you are secretly making a pact to continue to live. I love that idea that every time I eat, I'm saying yes to more life. I often think of food as something that's trying to kill me or make me sick, we fight a lot. But I'm hoping this new understanding will help draw a peace between us.
Another thing that I keep pondering is the idea that we crave sweets because we crave sweet encounters with our maker. And that I can actually answer my mouth desires for sweets with a heart encounter with Jesus. This has a lot of potential in my life, because honestly, I love experiencing sweet. It's one of my favorite flavors. I'll take sweet over just about any food experience. If my body could handle it without getting sick, I'd only eat sweets :-) But since I deal with insulin resistance, I'm not looking into the all sweets all the time diet any time soon. But I am planning on adding some more Jesus time into my days :-)
Here's another quote about sweets and artificial sweeteners that I think is spot on. If sweet treats are a substitute for sweet experiences then artificial sweeteners is like buying artificial diamonds with fake money. He quotes a study that found that women that consume artificial sweeteners gain more weight per year than ladies that don't. As if I needed anymore reason to stay away from aspartame.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
A few years ago, I got a little magazine in the mail from Nestle. It had some seasonal recipes and gift ideas in. I loved it. Maybe it was because the Internet had not quite become the storehouse of recipes that it now contains, or maybe because all of the recipes I made from it were excellent. Either way, I still have ands till use it. One of my favorites from the book is the Pumpkin Pecan Rum Cake. It's moist, it's spicy, it's fragrant, it's just about everything you could ask for from a pumpkin dessert.
You can find the recipe for it online by clicking here.
Now, I pretty much follow the recipe, except I generally roast and purée my own pumpkin (a great how to on this is online here). I do find that it does make a difference, but canned pumpkin is also quite delicious. For this recipe, I used two cups of purée.
I also tend to make my own pumpkin pie spice. For this particular recipe, I used a tablespoon of cinnamon, a scant teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg and cardamom. You have to be careful with the cardamom, if you aren't used to the flavor, it can be pretty intense. Also, this time, instead of using water and rum for the liquids in the glaze, I used some apple cider. It was surprisingly delicious, I will definitely be using that trick again.
What about you? What kind of tasty things have you been making lately?
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Don't ask me where I've been, because honestly, I have no idea. We've had a lot of changes going on at our church the past couple of months, as well as getting into the rhythm of fall. I think that things are making a turn for the better.
I started running again this week. It's cold out there, fortunately, I have enough of the right gear to be comfortable for the time being. Today was a really nice time, God and I had a serious talk and he pointed out some things that I had been believing and by things I mean lies I tell myself. It's kind of tough to run when your on the verge of sobbing, but I made it through. One of my best times of exercise ever, I can't wait to go out again.
We're almost completely immersed into the unschooling way of life. I have a few vestiges of thoughts, but it has been pretty amazing to see the things that my daughter has taught herself that I thought would need formal education to achieve. Simple things like multiplication and reading a clock (an analog version) she's picked up on her own. I can't say that unschooling is my favorite, because it loved playing school as a child, but it works best for my kid at this time, so we're doing it.
I haven't been very crafty lately. In fact, I have about three started but unfinished projects to do and a ton more unstarted projects stored around the house. Hope to get those done soon, maybe for Christmas.
I have been making food, lots and lots of food lately. I took some time off this past week or so, I think it's about time to start making dinners again. Tonight, I'm thinking Yaki Soba or beans and rice. I also have a pumpkin pecan cake on my agenda!
I guess I can tell you a bit more about church. Children's spiritual education is a tough sell in this culture. A lot of churches have turned to creating programs that rival Disney cruises for entertainment value. They do a great job of introducing kids to Jesus and drawing families into churches. As a smaller church, that's not always an option. We just don't have the man power to set up and take down light shows with smoke machines every week. So we don't have a lot of families, because in some ways what we have to offer is more like a Norman Rockwell painting than an Andy Warhol. We're singing hymns not "What does fox say?" And that can be a tough sell, especially when it feels like a ghost town during some of our youth oriented events. Not that we've even had anyone kicking the tires of our program. I can't tell you the last time someone we didn't personally know came to our church and placed their kid in our Sunday School program, but then we've only been there four years. These past couple of months, God has been walking us through saying goodbye to some really wonderful programs. It's been sad to see them go. But the group that is in charge of these things is continuing to move forward and is trying to find what works best for our kids. So in some ways spiritual education for or kids at church has fallen into a very similar place as our homeschooling for me. It's not the thing I would love best, but it works for our kids, so we are going to give it a go.
How about you? What have you been up to lately?
Monday, October 28, 2013
Little Book of Great Dates is little book of 52 date ideas. Each date has a theme, with an inspiring quote, a small devotion, an activity, and questions to ask one another. The dates range from Wedding Anniversary to Shared Interests. The dates all stand alone, but could also be done in order.
It is a beautifully bound book that easily fits into a pocket or purse. The planning for most dates is minimal, some of which can also be done at home after the kids are asleep (if you have kids). I enjoyed reading through the different questions, they are great conversation starters.
If you want a little help in planning your date nights or want some incentive to spend more time with your spouse, this is a great book. It would also make a great little stocking stuffer.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale for my review.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Parenting by The Book is the second book that I've read by John Rosemond. I picked up a lot of practical things from the first one and thought that this one might contain other great tidbits. The book is mainly a diatribe about the state of parenting and child rearing in the United States at this time. Rosemond makes many (maybe too many) well thought out and stated arguments against the current frame of reference for child rearing, mainly listening to professionals of psychology over listening to years of tradition.
His book is a call to the return of the days when our main source of parenting help was our ancestors. I think that Rosemond could be right about a number of the ideas within the book, including that we should be more concerned about our child's character development over their self-esteem. What I found lacking in the book was the definitive how to. In a culture, where "grandma" is part of the generation that believes in the pop culture Rosemond is refuting, it can be difficult to know where to turn within scripture for the help we need.
I do not feel like this is a parenting how to book, it is however an invitation to think about where you get your parenting advice from. From the title, we can see that Rosemond would encourage us to seek The Book for help. I would have enjoyed this book more if that had been less proving his point and more where do we go from here in tangible terms. But I do see that the idea is that where we go from here is to our Bibles and to seek out our path with God. I think it's a great, enlightening read and it will change the way you parent, regardless of what you're currently doing. Either you will become further entrenched in your current beliefs or be open to something new.
This book was given to me by the publisher for purposes of review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I used to love to get teeny bopper magazines, mainly because of the quizzes. You know the ones where you answer a few questions and find out if "He's the one" or "Your perfect pasttime" I thought I'd try my hand at creating one today about our relationship with our church. And it's not about whether or not your church is doing a good job, but how good of a congregant are you. A snazzy title might be
What's your passion level for the bride of Christ?
1. It's Sunday and worship starts in one hour. I am
a. pouring another cup of coffee while the kids watch SpongeBob.
b. realizing what time it is and start yelling at the kids to get out of bed.
c. already at church in Sunday School.
2. During the sermon, I normally
a. take the time to fix that hangnail that's been bothering me all week.
b.taking notes on the sermon to ask the pastor about them later.
c. am asleep on the couch or at a soccer game.
3. When people ask me about my church, I tell them about
a. my pastor, he's awesome, you should hear the sermons, they are the best.
b. where the building is located and what programs we go to.
c. my friends from church and how they have helped me grow.
4. It's time for the annual potluck, I am
a. always in charge, have to make sure we have enough seats for everyone!
b. first in line, Betty Joe's marshmallow fluff doesn't last long.
c. on my way home, I hate having to deal with the crowds that show up.
5. Betty Joe looked at me funny as she whispered something to her buddy. My first thought is
a. not again! What did I do now?
b. who is that woman and why is she looking at me?
c. oh, look! There's new pens in the friendship pad.
6. I get a phone call and it's the nominating committee. They want me to serve .I
a. accept whole-heartedly, I've been hoping they would call. I've got plans.
b. don't pick up, so thankful for caller id.
c. pantomime that I'm sick and dying to my kid who's trying to hand me the phone.
7. The pastor has announced that we'll be doing small groups during Lent. I
a. call all the people in my small group to let them know when we'll be meeting.
b. avoid all eye contact and pretend I'm a first time visitor.
c. sign up for a group, but don't put it on my calendar.
8. My kid moved up into youth group, they came home with a black eye. I
a. never go back to the church again.
b. call Betty Joe and complain about the youth pastor.
c. conference call the youth pastor and the parents of the kid who did this.
9. My favorite part about church is
a. fellowship hour. I need that snack to make it to lunch in a half hour.
b. worship, they always play my favorite hymns.
c. the people, they are like family to me.
10. When I have a problem with something going on at church, I
a. keep it to myself, unless I'm complaining to my friends about it.
b. go immediately to the head pastor, it's normally their fault, right?
c. think about praying about it and then decide to go to the church up the street.
Time to tally up your score, to see what your passion level is.
If you took this quiz at all, give yourself five points.
If you answered all ten questions, keeping track of your letters, give yourself another ten points.
If you skimmed down to the bottom, to read through all the different passion levels before taking the test, give yourself 20 points.
For every a answer add one point, b add 2 points, c add 3 points.
0-4 points Your passion is non existant
You don't really like church. In fact, you think most of the time you spend at church is wasted. You would much rather be doing something else with other people. You often speak poorly of the place you worship, if you speak of it at all. You're quite often on the prowl for the perfect church, though you don't really know what that means.
5-14 points You like church
You and church get along pretty well. You enjoy going there when it's convenient. You have some friendly faces you recognize in the crowd, though when asked to do something outside of Sunday worship you often have a reason to say no. You often serve on committees, but don't always make the meetings. If conflict comes up, you're likely to lay low and not get involved.
15- 30 You love church.
You and church are doing pretty well. You enjoy spending time with the body of believers and are growing in your faith. Sometimes you have problems, but you understand that it's not the end of the world. You're in it for the long haul.
31-higher You're in love with the church.
You have an idea of who church is and unfortunately, you're more in love with the idea of church than with the reality. You often think that if you can be in charge then things will run smoothly. You miss a lot of the things going on because you only see the good things. There's a great possibility that you will eventually leave the church because she can't live up to your expectations.
If you made it all the way here, you should know that the majority of this is tongue in cheek in case you couldn't tell. I'm not calling anyone out in particular, I'm just letting you know that I have thoughts on these things. I'm willing to share more of them if you're willing to read, but honestly, wouldn't it be more fun to be church instead of just talking and reading about it?
Saturday, September 28, 2013
You've got quite a bit of pride kicking around lately. I just want you to know, that stuff is poison. Worse than a cup full of sugar on an empty stomach, bad juju. I understand that it creeps in on you, little thoughts you barely even recognize, but the problem is that it adds up and feeds the monster within. I wish that I could tell you that a little is okay on occasion, but the truth is you're an addict and you can't control it.
The worst part of it is that you're not just letting pride think good thoughts about yourself, you're allowing it to think degrading thoughts about others. Yes! Don't deny it. I can see what you've been doing and it pretty much is flat out ugly. I see your logic, but I want you to know that it's flawed, because at its core is self pride. You can do it better, blah blah blah. Here's the truth, you aren't doing it so no, you actually can't do it better, so shut your trap about it.
I'm not saying that you aren't capable, beautiful, smart, kind, courageous, or any of a million other words that I could think of to describe you. What I'm letting you know is that if you think those words define you and that YOU are the reason that you possess those things then I think you need to spend a bit more time on your knees, young lady. God's grace has a lot more to do with your life than the number of hours you've spent perusing excellence.
I know all this sounds a bit harsh, but I need you to know that I'm on a mission to eradicate your drug of choice. This time it's pride, we've dealt with others just like them and I'm happy to remind you that we've won. Lots of scars are proof of that. These battles are generally pretty short lived once we call in the big guy. I've let him know that we're not friends with pride any more, so be on the look out for the battle to pick up.
And don't forget, God's grace is sufficient, to overcome this and whatever else may come our way.