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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Timing is Everything

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for God's perfect timing and protection.

This morning,
hubby went out to a truck with a flat tire.
Chances are that in the 25+ trips to the dump
I picked up the screw that had caused the flat.

We were both thankful that it did not leave me stranded on the side of the road,
that the trees were finished,
that hubby wasn't delayed at work.

I am thankful that my lessons were cancelled today so that I could get the tire taken care of.

We are also thankful that we had 2 tires for the truck that we had saved.
Instead of having to purchase a new tire, we just swapped out the rims.

Yes, we could grumble and complain,
but God's timing is perfect and His protection is evident.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Being Selective




Perhaps one of the hardest things in being a SAHW (Stay At Home Wife)
is making the best choices.
I guess it really is a hard thing in most jobs, unless your boss sets your priorities.
I have almost 10 hours alone each day,
but I want to those hours profitably.
I want to focus on the things that will please God and my hubby.
I want to choose those things that make my home a haven,
those things that point other people to my Savior.

Sometimes,
that means that I have to say "no."

Trying to do every "good" thing is definitely the enemy of the best.

So today,
I need to choose the best.
I may need to say "no" to some good things.

Maybe you do as well.
This week, I am praying that God helps me to choose the best.
There may be time for some "good"
but I want the priority to be the best.
And guess what?
My "best" and your "best" may look different.

This week,
my best seems to be to focus on creating healthy meals
and removing a large tree from my yard to help save as much time for hubby as I can this weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Tree Transformation

Hubby and I spent most of Saturday hauling the neighbors tree to the dump.
(the rest of the day was spent cooking for a fellowship dinner
and preparing Sunday School lessons and sermons).
Before the chainsaw was put away,
hubby cut down the rest of the limbs on our broken tree ...
and so, this week I am hauling tree again.
3 loads yesterday,
and hopefully another 3 today.
It will probably take most of the week for me
and hubby will help on Tuesday night and Saturday as his schedule allows.

**UPDATE**
Only 2 loads today, but they were profitable ones.
Gave hubby the night off ... so we could take a long walk and enjoy the cool evening.

This is what I face tomorrow -


At the beginning of the week, there were branches around all sides of the tree.
Just two smaller piles on either side of the tree left - maybe just one more day -
3 Loads?

Monday, October 16, 2017

It's Not Beans and Rice

There are a lot of different recipes in our home.
We try to make every meal and snack COUNT,
but we also don't like to be deprived which leads to bingeing.
Two weeks ago, I posted hubby's go-to morning snack ...
Black Bean Brownies.
He had eaten it everyday for about 5 months.
I would ask if he wanted a change,
but "no," they were just that good.

Last week,
he decided a change might be nice.
So I went to work looking for a new recipe,
high in protein and fiber and lower in sugar.

We first did the black bean gingerbread bars,
they're good, but not as good when we cut the sugar back for a snack instead of dessert.

The second attempt was Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars,
and, well, we are on the second pan alread.

All of these recipes do require a strong blender or food processor to get the beans blended well,
but with that blender they are easy-peezy.
Not only that, but no egg, so ... you can lick the batter 😄

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

INGREDIENTS

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup all natural almond butter or peanut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray 8x8 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor or high speed blender, add all ingredients except chocolate chips
and process until batter is smooth.
Fold in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, I like to use dark chocolate because it has less sugar but it's up to you. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan
.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.
The batter may look underdone, but you don't want them to dry out!
Cool pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Just a little tug ...

It has been a busy week.
I am so thankful for the little bit of help that was given.

With the currently 11 trips to the dump,
I had help on 8 out of 11.

I lined the bed of the truck with a tarp.
I filled the bed with branches.
I backed up to the large refuse container.
3 times I had to empty the truck 1/2 way by hand until I could physically pull the tarp out of the bed.
8 times - someone came and helped me pull the tarp for a 1 minute empty of the bed.

I am thankful for the dump workers and the one everyday citizen who just gave that little tug on the opposite side of the truck.

Sometimes we want to do the great things ...
to make the BIG difference in someone's life ...
but sometimes, the BIG thing is just the little tug.

And the tree trimming ...
is going well.

Sunday Afternoon


Tuesday afternoon after 7 trips to the dump

Wednesday night after 4 more trips to the dump and about an hour of chainsaw work.

And this is what will be tended to on Saturday.
Another full day of sawing and toting!

If you look to the left of the trailer behind our tree.
You can see that they lost a big tree as well,
It only missed the trailer by inches.
This tree is on our agenda as well.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fidelity

I am currently reading through Hosea in my daily Bible reading.
Hosea - a picture of God's faithfulness with an unfaithful people.

Fidelity to God.
It is so easy, like Israel, to be drawn in by the world,
to be distracted by "shiny objects,"
to place God on the back burner.
He deserves first place!
Often Israel thought they were doing right,
they thought they were pleasing God.
They may have been following the letter of the law,
but they often missed the heart of the law.

Fidelity in marriage (or friendship) is a big deal as well.
How do you show faithfuless and loyalty?

Do you place a priority on your time with you spouse?
Is he/she the most important person in your life?

Do you turn to your spouse first (after God) in difficult situations?
No friendship should be above your spouse.

Do you make decisions with your spouse?
Do you value and desire their opinion?

Do you stand up for and respect your spouse in private and in public?
No "old bag" or "old man" jokes.  No divulging private matters that should stay private.

It is easy to fall into a "worldly" mindset - 
one that cuts down the partner in marriage,
one that focuses on independence rather than togetherness.
God values fidelity and has given us His perfect example.
STRIVE - STRIVE - STRIVE





Monday, October 9, 2017

Thankful Thursday: The Monday Edition

Often, we are reminded to be thankful.
We are reminded that God is powerful.
We are reminded that our safety is in God's hands.

We had that experience yesterday - 
a little residue from hurricane Nate.

We sat eating some dinner before church
and we watched the wind kicking up.
Soon the chair cover from the front porch was in the back yard.
In two minutes it was over.

It was a mini tornado.
It wiped out one of our Bradford pear trees - 
the one that we had not yet pruned back.

We are thankful that it blew into the yard and not the house.
We are thankful that the trailer is still standing WITH a roof.
We are thankful for God's grace today and every day.


And this week - 
I am thankful for the strength to work on removing this monstrosity from the yard - 
one Ranger truckload at a time.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

An Example to Follow

In my Sunday School class of one,
we recently began trying to be more specific and intentional in our daily Bible reading.
One popular method (I was introduced to it by some of my nieces and nephews)
is the SPECK method.

My student and I look for:

Sins to Avoid
Promises to Claim
Examples to Follow
Commands to Keep
Knowledge of God

I have been reading through the Major Prophets.
It has been a great comfort to me this time through.
As sin swirls around in the world,
as I (in sin) want to "fix" things on my own,
as I get frustrated with events beyond my control ...
God has been reminding me to leave things to Him.

I have seen the prophets as the example to follow.
They gave God's Word - often with no response from the listener - 
and they then had to leave the rest with God.
They were asked to do hard things - 
endure hunger, imprisonment in the worst of situations,
running for their life, walking naked as an example ...
They did the hard things because they were asked by God.
How often I complain when asked to do the smallest things for Him.

I have gained knowledge learned to appreciate the judgment, righteousness, and holiness of God.
It seemed like the wicked prevailed, but God's judgment did come - in His time.
And there was always the reminder - I, God, am judging so that all men will know that I am God.

Have you read something that has been an encouragement to you?
Would you share it?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Go-To Verse

While it is not a Psalm or a Song on this Tuesday,
it is a go-to verse of encouragement.
I guess you could call it a Tuesday Transformation,
because it sure does change my outlook when I focus on it.
It is a reminder of God's power.
It is a reminder that we serve a God of miracles.
Look around you.
Only an all-powerful God could create such a heaven and earth.