Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Rawberry" Milk

Well...we've been trying to make a conscious effort around here to consume less processed foods and refined sugar and to eat more whole, raw foods.  Today I had an epiphany.  It probably will seem glaringly obvious to everybody else, but for some reason I hadn't thought of this yet.  Last month I made a whole bunch of strawberry freezer jam, but it turned out a lot more like strawberry syrup because I used WAY less sugar than the recipe called for.  I've been using it to blend into smoothies, on pancakes, things like that.  But today...I had the brilliant idea to blend it with milk and...voila!  Instant strawberry milk, made with real raw strawberries and no high fructose corn syrup!  If you want specifics...I used 1 quart of whole raw milk, 2/3 cup strawberry freezer "syrup", and blended for a few seconds in the blender.  So easy and so yummy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jesus is Loving Me

We all know the song..."yes, Jesus loves me..."  But tonight I just read such an inspiring article in the latest bulletin from Gospel For Asia, (the ministry through which our kids sponsor a child) that caused me to think a little more about that love of Jesus.  Here's an excerpt:

"Devanand had skin cancer that was eating away at his flesh.  Doctors gave him a slim hope for survival--and only if they amputated his affected leg and arm.  When Mary [a missionary] visited his home and saw his condition, she wept for him.
'This is possible with Jesus,' she encouraged Devanand.  'Do you believe?'
'I am believing,' he responded.
Mary prayed, and soon afterward, Devanand began to feel relief from his pain.  He was brought to Mary's prayer center, and she continued to visit him, praying for him and cleaning his open wounds.  Over a period of a few weeks, Devanand was completely healed and has been free of cancer ever since.
'I really understood that Jesus is loving me so much,' he muses.  'So I am thankful to Jesus for His healing.  The rest of my life I just want to live for Him.  And sister Mary really showed me the love of Jesus.'

What a difference just that slight change in wording makes.  It's really easy to say, "Jesus loves me."  It's on t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, you name it.  I don't want to downplay the significance of the phrase, because it is true, of course!  Jesus loves us.  But turn it into Jesus is loving me and suddenly that love comes alive.  Not only that once-for-all, unchanging kind of love, but the kind of love that is shared personally, moment by moment, with Someone who knows you intimately.   And this man, Devanand, appeared to understand that Jesus was loving him even before he was healed.  Jesus is loving us when we are sick and when we are well.  Jesus is loving me when I am being a great mom and when I utterly fail.  Jesus is loving me right at this very moment and waits for me to acknowledge that He's there, ready to comfort, heal, encourage; to satisfy every need if I would just open my heart to His right-this-minute love.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:17-19

If the Lord spoke to your heart like it did mine when you read that story, or if you have questions about Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity, please leave me a comment or contact me through google friend connect.  I would love to have a conversation with you about the love of my savior, Jesus Christ.  Blessings, everyone.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Around the New House, In Pictures

Flowers in the desperately overgrown (but well-planned) rock garden near the old barn.

Wildflowers...anybody know what they are?  Haven't gotten around to finding out.

Ripening wild blackberries growing in the roofless stone barn.

Young apples on old trees.  I think they might turn out to be Granny Smiths.

Somehow seeing my books on bookshelves (accompanied by Beanie cat) makes the house feel like home.

The boys did practically nothing except catch snakes for about 2 days straight.  Apparently that roofless stone barn is a regular pit of vipers...or garters, at least.

One half of the pole barn currently housing all our extra, things we are blessed to own, I mean.  Other half is just as full.  Planning on huge ol' sale in August!  This is the primary reason I haven't written any posts lately...

The boys found a crate of old electronics and spent a whole afternoon taking  apart ancient laptops with screwdrivers.  Seriously mamas, if you need a cheap activity to occupy young boys for a good long time, this is it.

My silhouette art in its new home on the wall!

View from behind the old barn...beautiful in every season so far!

Wild grapes, which grow all over the property.  I hear wild grapes are really easy to make into wine...I think I smell an experiment coming this fall:)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fitness Friday! 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge Update...

Welcome to Fitness Friday!  For the next month or so I'll be giving you an update every Friday on how my personal "Weight Loss Challenge" is going.  The last week and a half has been pretty good...I've done pretty well at sticking to my diet guidelines, and exercising consistently.  Blogging about it helps--I don't want to have to come back here and tell you I was lazy!  And thankfully, the numbers are starting to reflect the hard work!

Current weight: 150 lbs (halfway to goal #1 already!)
Waist: 30" (1 inch down)
Upper arm: 11 3/4"
Hips: 42" (this is my biggest problem area...takes REALLY hard work to see change there!)
Thigh: 24 1/2"

The first week of exercising was great.  I had tons of energy and was able to work out at a pretty high intensity level.  This week felt my muscles were in protest.  I don't know too much about sports nutrition, but I'm wondering if that first week my body was running on excess stored carbs.  With that "extra" depleted, I'd love to see some of those fat stores start to disappear too:)  Interesting thought.  The human body is amazing!  One of the best things about paying attention to your body and your nutrition is learning about how it works and how best to "feed" it.  It feels good to have some control in this area!