Feel like quitting?

Are you trying to achieve something in your life and have felt like quitting? Good! Why is that a good thing? Well, here’s a quote I’ve read that I really like:

“If you haven’t felt like quitting, your dreams aren’t big enough.” 

If you’re trying to do something significant – raise great kids, start your own business, get in shape, learn a new skill – and are often tempted to give up, that’s okay! Achieving a big goal is not easy. It takes an ongoing investment of time and effort, and that means you’ll feel like to quitting along the way. When you want to give up, take a step back to look at the big picture. Remember why you’re trying to achieve this goal. And remember that accomplishing things of significance does not come easy. So keep going and keep dreaming big!

mountain top picture

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/vernonwiley

Manasseh and Ephraim

I love the story of Joseph. When he was seventeen years old, God gave him a vision signifying that Joseph would one day reign over his family members and beyond. Being hated by his brothers, he was sold by them into slavery and later found himself in prison after being wrongfully accused. During this time, Joseph continued to do the right thing and to trust the Lord, despite the most hopeless of circumstances, and despite it looking like God had forgotten him.

But our God is faithful, and He was preparing to do a mighty work through Joseph’s life, and to bring to pass that vision from years ago. Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt due to the famine, and they found that Joseph had become a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. God did what He told Joseph He would do. But His timing is not our timing. Joseph was thirty when he was made a ruler, which means he waited thirteen years to see the vision fulfilled.

Pharaoh had also given him a wife, and Joseph named their firstborn son Manasseh, which means ‘causing to forget’. “For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” (Genesis 41:51). And Joseph named their second child Ephraim, which means ‘I shall be doubly fruitful’. “For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Genesis 41:52).

God never wastes our toil and affliction! And if we will remain faithful and obedient, and continue to trust Him, our God will give us Manasseh and Ephraim. He will do wonderful things in our lives. He will produce strength of character and great faith in us. He will bless us. We will forget the pain as we see what He can do through those years of waiting, of hardship, all for His glory! He will make us fruitful in the very places that have seemed the most hopeless. The hardest trials will produce the greatest fruit, in our lives and beyond.

May we develop the faith and character of Joseph, and thereby see God do the impossible, and bring about Manasseh and Ephraim in our lives.

Delight in God’s Word

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalm 1

Hydrogen Peroxide

It’s been a while since I posted about a favorite product of mine, so here goes! I’m a big fan of hydrogen peroxide. It’s cheap, all-natural and can be used in many ways. I’m guessing most of you have a bottle of this in your home already. But there are so many uses for it that maybe you’ll discover some new ones!

H2O2

Whiten teeth (*use caution w/ amalgam fillings)
Relieve ear infections
Clean counters, tubs, glass
Disinfect cutting boards
Fruit and vegetable wash
Whiten and brighten laundry
Wound care and antiseptic
Disinfect toothbrushes
Brighten nails
Treat various fungal & bacterial infections
Remove mold

Has anyone found other uses for hydrogen peroxide?

Vegetable Salad

vegetable salad

Looking for a yummy way to eat more vegetables? I always am. Here’s a vegetable salad recipe I got from a friend (thanks, Ruth!) that you can try:

12 oz package broccoli, cauliflower & carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayo
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

pizza

There’s a pizza place in town that makes an outstanding BBQ chicken pizza. I wanted to try making my own version at home, so here it is!

Ingredients:

one pizza crust
about 2/3 cup barbecue sauce
2/3 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp butter/oil
2/3 cup pineapple tidbits
about 2 Tbsp sliced jalapenos
1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400. Saute red onion in butter/oil until translucent. Spread barbecue sauce onto crust. Top with cooked chicken, red onion, pineapple, jalapenos and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.

Bon appétit!

He Is Risen!!!

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:1-7

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

Kitchen Pantry 2.0

My sister and I have had the goal to fully organize each room of her house for quite a while. This past week, we made great progress throughout the entire house. The kitchen pantry is an area that easily becomes cluttered, so this was the very first spot we tackled. This is what it looked like before:

pantry before

To start, we took EVERYTHING out of the pantry and put like things together – baking ingredients together, spices together, dishes together. This step often feels the most annoying, but it’s a crucial step. Putting like things together allows you to more easily see what should be eliminated and how much storage space you really need for things.

Then, one by one, we went through each pile of stuff, deciding what to throw away, what to sell/donate, what to store elsewhere, and what to keep in the pantry. Once we knew what would actually be kept in the pantry, it was easier to figure out the best spot to store each item and where we wanted to use shelves, baskets and so forth.

Here’s what the pantry looked like when we finished:

pantry after

At first glance, it may not look that different, but every shelf is much less crowded. We threw away about two trash bags full of stuff, and boxed up quite a few things for the spring garage sale. And we now have designated spots for each type of item – a place for everything and everything in its place!

Two areas that were always getting unruly were coffee/tea and our extra glass jars. We put all the coffee and tea we wanted to keep in a bin – without a lid! – now it’s neatly contained. And we put all the glass jars in a bin. Any jars that won’t fit in the bin have to be stored in the garage so the pantry doesn’t become over-run by them again. :)

By getting things organized, we were also able to make room for a new appliance, a water filtering system.

Now, I walk to the pantry and smile because I know right where to find what I need. Being organized really makes life so much more enjoyable!

What’s for dinner?

Driving home from running errands this weekend, I decided I should go to the grocery store. I didn’t have a list but I wanted to buy stuff to make a meal that would last me for several days of leftovers. I decided to just wing it and figure something out in the store.

Wanting a veggie, I settled on butternut squash, pre-cut of course – so much easier! And I wanted a protein with some other healthy but yummy ingredients. I bought some hamburger, and decided I’d try to make a stroganoff-type of sauce for it. For the sauce, I bought chicken stock, mushrooms, onions and cream.

When it came time to cook, I preheated my oven to 425. I opened my package of pre-cut squash, smiling as I thought of how I didn’t have to cut open a whole squash – not the easiest task! I melted coconut oil and brushed it on top. Next, I sprinkled on a fair amount of salt and a little bit of nutmeg. Simple.

squash roasted

I put this in the oven for about half an hour and began browning the hamburger in a skillet, adding Worcestershire and salt. I also sauteed two chopped onions and two packages of sliced mushrooms. I then added chicken stock and salt and brought it to a boil. Finally, I added a bit of cream to this.

stroganoff

The final step is to add the hamburger, and there you have a stroganoff dish of sorts. The sauce is pretty thin, but could be thickened with flour and/or sour cream. Now I won’t have to cook again for a few days – yay!