Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh, crumbs!

What to do with all the leftover heals of bread?  Although D doesn't care to eat them, I don't.  And K hates crust, therefore hates heals.  For many years I tossed these into the trash.  Then one day I had a empty bread crumb container and the rest is history.

I stash the heals into the freezer.  When I have no space for anything else in my freezer because of all the pieces of bread, I make bread crumbs.  

To do this, I set the pieces of bread on the counter to thaw slightly and preheat the oven to 250.  I cover a baking sheet with a single layer of bread.  I don't keep perfect time, since it is really dependent on how moist the bread is.  I usually flip the bread every 10 minutes until it is toasted.

Next I get my food process and spices out.  I usually make equal plain bread crumbs and Italian bread crumbs.  Plain is simple, just put a few pieces of toast in the processor and turn on until fully crumbled.  When there's chunks of bread, pulse the blade often works.

For Italian, I add in Italian seasoning and garlic powders.  I usually toss it in, but would say for each batch I put in a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

I use bread crumbs for meatloaf and chicken Parmesan.  Yum!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Domestic Support

Let me invite you to a home full of CHAOS!  If you know Fly Lady, you know what I’m talking about.  Home has a stale smell, stuffy from dust.  The entry way is tough to navigate with shoes, bags of purchases, book bags and coats spewed about.  In the living room the couch might be cleared enough for one person to sit down.  Many piles of magazines lay about, going back years, in case an article is needed in the future.  The TV is covered in dust, it is a wonder it can be watched.  There are video cassettes and DVDs piled high.  There’s even several old gaming systems under the pile of newspapers.  There’s not an open space that isn’t filled.  Any flat surface is stacked high with papers or projects in works.  Open a drawer and you’ll find it empty.  For if something goes into a drawer, it is quickly forgotten.  Yes, everything must set out.

In the dinning room, the table is not for eating, but a place to collect mail (and all the junk mail along with important pieces).  The side board has dishes set up, covered in dust and hidden behind the clutter that has joined it.  There’s a load of clothes in the washer needing dried yesterday.  There’s a load in the dryer that will never be folded, just placed on the top.  If the item is wrinkled, it will go back into the dryer. 

In the kitchen the sink if full of dishes.  There’s still clean dishes for dinner so no dishes done today.  The floor edges are sticky.  The panty has outdated food and food that will never be eaten, bought with a coupon.  The fridge contains science experiments.

I’ll stop there, since you get the picture of the home and can just imagine the condition of the bathroom, spare junk room and bedroom.

Sad to say that at one point in my life, this was my home.  I knew how to clean.  I didn’t grow up that way.  In my home we cleaned only when my mother got tired of the mess.  So maybe once a month (besides her doing laundry and the kids doing dishes).  At least that’s how I remember it.  I spent some time living with a friend in high school.  They kept their house fairly clean and did not have a lot of clutter around.  They cleaned every Thursday so that the house was clean for the weekend.  I learned a lot about cleaning up after myself because her parents expected it.

Yet, when on my own and no one expected it, I allowed my busy life of a full time job and college full time consume me. 

I did Fly Lady for a while to help me get into the habit of cleaning so it wasn’t a once every so often cleaning.  I was also encouraged to get rid of a lot of junk.  It even rubbed off on my mother who has slowly over the years let go of the clutter that has filled her home, including clothing that do not fit her.

So a look into my past.  Now look now.  My house is clean, but often cluttered.  I’m ready to tackle this.

I went to a marriage seminar for women at my church.  The bullet point that jumped out of me was Domestic Support.  The idea is to have a peaceful pleasant house when your husband comes home.  It’s for me to be peaceful even if the house is not.  Yet I know I can do more to make this house peaceful.  I know my husband likes clean surfaces and hidden clutter.  So he doesn’t mind collecting junk, which he is guilty of, but he doesn’t want to see it.

I’m striving to keep the desk and dinning table clear of my junk.  That means forming a habit that in the evening, sometime after dinner, I review these locations and put away what may be on top.  Often my Bible is on the desk in addition to school papers, magazines.  I have drawers to file these things away.  We have a Bible basket for all our translations of the Bible. 

It’s a simple step.  Right now I’m successful on the desk for over a week.  I just added the table.  After I get that down, I’ll add in other surfaces until it’s second nature to keep these cleared off.  I’m finding as well that I don’t walk away from the surfaces, I’m taking the time to put things away even if I’m not done with it totally, but just for now.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

MV 2-25 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

My next memory verse.  Keep it simple and love the passage.  This verse gives hope.  That no matter what was happening, Paul kept God's perspective.  Until he died physically, he was not defeated.  Even in chains he devoted himself to God's work.  He did not allow those road blocks to stop him.  I will not allow it to stop me either.  I will press on to the prize before me.  I will follow where many others have gone.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Added MV

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

D and K needed to memorized this verse, so I did it with them.  I'm surprised in a way how well I'm doing this.  Of course it's really the Spirit, for I am not good at it.

Tips - I have the first two lines down from past attempts.  Then I noticed Love is only repeated at the beginning of 6.  Then I memorized the first EBPR for the next section, I could remember the self-seeking and angered part.  Then the middle and to finish up, a little girl told K to remember it goes People Treat Horses Perfectly or PTHP.  Low and behold, it's in my head! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Steps

I'm stubborn.  Oh yes, that's me.  I complain that I want to see all the steps God want me to take.  Then when He reveals it, I feel overwhelmed.  I struggle with just the basics.  I look at step fifteen and wonder how can I get there?  I ignore all the steps in between.

So yesterday I fessed up to God this very point.  I'm doing well with memory verse memorization.  So I said, reveal just one step I can make this week to get deeper into You.  To get my feet wet as I descend into Your Living Water.

Answer: lighten up, it's not that hard.  Keep up memorizing my word.  Start each day doing what you can.  

My next step over the next couple weeks is to get up a few minutes earlier than the day before.  With those minutes, open God's word and jump in.  

Also, I have the opportunity to show my cracks, my flaws to those I shepherd.  In my BSF class, God gave the application question:

Am I busy trying to cover and smooth over the cracks in my clay body?  Or am I willing to shine His light through those cracks to encourage others?  

So I am to do the next three steps.  I can handle that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What will I give up?

I posted before about God's desire for me to give up sugar.  My recent Bible study covered 1 Corinthians.  In chapter 8, Paul writes about eating food sacrificed to idols.  Some said, it's ok, I know that idols are nothing.  In 8:7 Paul writes, "But not everyone knows this."  Then in 8:9 "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak."

I'm allowed to exercise my freedom.  The freedom to do things God has approved of me doing.  Yet, God also calls me to to look around.  Is someone watching me?  (Not in a self centered way or a creepy way either.)  Perhaps my daughter, my husband, the women in the check out aisle or the guy in the car next to me.  Am I behaving in such a way that first, glorifies God and second, isn't tempting them to do something they shouldn't.

Love limits freedom.

1 Corinthians 13 has the great passage on love.  In my love for God I will look out for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I will encourage those yet to confess belief in Jesus.

Everything is permissible" - but not everything is beneficial.  "Everything is permissible" - but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

I don't want to be stubborn and arrogant and insist on having my way.  To do what God allows me in with no regard to how it influences others.  This isn't to say that I should place value on others opinion of me.  I do say that I will behave in such a way that strengthens my brother and sister in Christ.  That I encourage them to live also for God.  It's about coming out of my shell, looking around, and allow God to use me for His glory.

What will I give up?

I will give up watching a lot of TV.  I will be mindful of what this stupid box says in front of my daughter and the images that are shown.  God's word is better than the shows I used to claim to love.

I will give up social alcohol consumption.  I don't have an issue with drinking, however, in my current position, others may stumble to see me drink.  My brother recently stopped drinking, as well.  After many years of continually drinking to the point of drunk, he gave it up.  What can I do to help him?

I will give up sugar. I will exercise.  I shepherd others who have food issues like I do.  In caring for my health and not eating sweets, I show them my love, my example.

I will stop looking only at road blocks for what God has called me.  I have to allow God to direct my path and stop looking at the road block, going directly towards it and hitting it.  I may have to climb over or go further to get around it, so be it.  The road blocks may look big to me, however I have a God of possibilities, nothing will stop Him!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Memory verses

I will admit, I'm not so great with memory verses.  It goes back to the all or nothing approach.  It put my rules on it.  I insist I can't move on to the next verse unless I can recite the verse, even after some time.  Just like the need for daily Bible study kept presenting itself to me, so is memorizing God's word.  Since God is convicting me of my time on TV as well as internet, I had to finally fess up that if I spent as much time learning verses as I did on watching TV, I may just have chance!

I'm easing up on the requirements of memory verse.  I'll take the approach of my daughter, who often learns three verses in one week.  
1.  Say the verse at each meal time.  
2.  Start Bible study with the verse.
3.  Randomly go over the verse. 

To start this process anew, I will begin with:

16Be joyful always, 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

I love this passage for many reasons (besides the obvious that it's God's word.)  Verses 16 and 17 are two words long and impactful.  Along with the start of verse 18, I get God's perspective, my attitude should reflect this, because - last part of 18- it is God's will for me in Christ Jesus.  How many times do we want to know God's will?  This verse plainly states it! 

Changes 2-23

Realized I am not to be trusted with eating sweets.  The cookies on Valentines proved the point.  No, I didn't eat any.  But I wanted to.  And not just one.  I wanted all the leftovers G.O.N.E.  gone.  I would, could have eaten every last one of them without looking back.  But I looked forward instead.  Looked to my God and thanked Him for showing me how weak I am in this area yet.  I will be mastered by nothing.  He is more important.

God revealed another area that I am not trusting Him as well.  Although I don't have the words to write about it now, I am working on it.  Giving it thought, to find the the root of the issue.  The solution is fully submersing myself in Him.

And a praise of change.  I received a not so kind email last week.  Old me: send an even nastier reply putting the person in their place and make them sorry for ever messing with me.  New me:  What is the proper reply, if I'm to reply at all.  How can I glorify God, remind this person that it's God we're both trying to serve, even in our own ways and He is faithful to see His work done.  

I also recognize this email is opposition.  To put doubt in my mind to discourage me from my work.  Since I acknowledge God's desire for me to get deeper in His word, opposition like this has popped up.  Distractions will not get the better of me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Please, I need a new attitude

Oh, boy, I had a horrible attitude yesterday morning.  I say at first I didn’t know where it came from, but after a while, God gently pointed to where it was.  I lost my cool the night before.  I spoke to a CR at a store.  I didn’t like the flack that they taught him to give customers.  I wasn’t as rude as I could have been in the past, yet I wasn’t nice or gentle, either.  I had a problem on the account and I expected this person to fix it.  I didn’t even stop to consider whether he could. 

So when I got off the phone, my husband didn’t listen to me complain.  He tended to my daughter, so I felt a little let down that I couldn’t dump all this on him.  It just wasn’t the time, nor was I in the right attitude.

I worked out a little of my “hurt” feelings in prayer that night.  I thought I was OK.  Yet the next morning, I just didn’t have a good attitude.  It wasn’t a morning to stay home and work it out, I had service I agreed to do.  Fortunately, I didn’t dump this attitude on my daughter, as I’ve been known to do in the past.  I got her off to school then submerged myself in prayer.  As the night before, I tried to focus my prayer on the others I would serve or be in contact with over the next few hours.

Right before going in, I asked God to do the work for me.  I knew I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.  I knew I still struggled to give my full attention and listen, yet that is what I needed to do.  I knew it would only get done if I allowed Him full control and get it done.

Please don’t be surprised that He did show up and did His work through me.  I thanked Him for how well it went.  Then He gives me a principle after my service was done.  That as a Christian, I am called to “reset” worldly thinking to a Holy Spirit filled/lead life.

Wow, this is the first time I experienced the revelation after the answered prayer.  It goes back to God often prepares my heart to receive the message He has for me.  I know I would not have got this message had I not had the bad attitude.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:22-24

This passage was preached on while I watched TV and walked on my treadmill.  When I was sick a while back, I started to watch more TV, other than what I normally watched (HGTV or GMC).  I began watching a reality TV show about weight loss as well.  Some of the words, the underlining message and attitude of guest on show (talk show) began creeping into my life.  At times I felt God ping me that it wasn’t good to watch.  I sometimes changed the channel or turned off the TV.  I sometimes said, ‘oh that scene is past, I’m ok.’  God would also weigh on me that this isn’t what He ordered for my day when I asked Him to arrange it so I would get His work done.

The program I watched furthered God’s message to me on resetting my thoughts.  I need to put off my old self, I need to take ever thought captive.  I have a new attitude. 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5

He showed me that these programs were corrupting my thinking.  Even in small ways.  I was allowing Satan a foothold into my mind.  Satan used programs that pleased my old self.  Things I enjoyed when I was self focused. 

I’m thankful for this message.  I praise Him for answering my prayers.  I thank Him for sanctifying me, for making me new.  I will not allow anything to set itself against the knowledge of God.  For it is the only truth.  Everything else if foolishness. 

Training 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.1 Corinthians 9:24-27

This passage presented to me recently.  I like the thought of training.  As in I'm training my body so that I can endure physical strain if ever I'm called to physical service for my God.  Yet, this time it went deeper.  Someone shared how she had her priorities all wrong.  How not long ago she had very little time for God, let alone her family.  Then she turned to God and allowed Him to set her priorities.  She changed jobs, spent hours, not just a little, with God.  

Priorities is what I'm working on.  What a weight lifted when I allowed God to direct what I do with my time.  He ordains what is most beneficial.  It's a daily choice I have to make.  Sometimes I don't do this well, yet I strive, I try to listen to the Holy Spirit.  

Bringing together how I spend my time, I want to submerse myself in God, to dwell in His word, to pray, to rejoice and allow Him to make me over anew.  I will go into training.  The slogan to my Bible Study is a time of preparation for a lifetime of ministry.  I want to train.  I want to submerse myself in God's word.  To spend time with Him like I've never done before.  I really know Him, to know His way, to learn from Him on how He planned for me to live my life.  Praise Him, He is good!

Oh, Father, you showed me my time and how I am using it.  Oh how You continue to prepare my heart!  I am happy and joyful for Your full revelation.  What I planned is not what You planned.  You did not reveal Your full plan to me, for perhaps I would have said no.  I can now take full advantage of Your plan.  I will do as You ask and enable.  I will shift from where I am to where You want me to be.  

In my arrogence, I thought I knew best.  I judged my way by my standards.  You revealed Your standards to me.  Father, your was is the best.  Allow me to let my way and my knowledge go.  Help me to fully embrace you.  Amen

Monday, February 13, 2012


Lies or Truth?

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

This song is on my workout playlist.  It's has a slower beat in which I do my warm-up stretches and crunches.  I just love it.

How many times in the Bible does God tell His people "Do not be afraid."?  We'll leave it at a lot.  He tells us not to be afraid.  

The lies in my head says to be very afraid.  Don't write that, what will others think?  Don't speak that, how will others react?  Don't put in the effort, since it won't turn out how you expected anyway.

Every lie possible to foil the truth floats around waiting for that tiny opening to go in.

Lie: Don't work out, it's pointless boring and no matter how much you do, nothing changes.
Truth: Well, things do change, just slower than they used to.  I will never be an Olympian.  I will be strong enough to endure physically.  If God called me on a mission journey right now, I am not in a position to go physically.  With training, I can get there.  He may never call me.  Either way, He is calling me to prepare today to be in good physical health.

Lie: you'll give in a eat sugar eventually, just like you'll soon give in and drink a soda.
Truth: when I stop laughing about the soda part, I say watch me.  As I posted before, I've been sugar free since Dec. 27, 2011 and soda free since Dec 7, 2004.  Yes sugar is a big deal in my life, yet God is a bigger deal.  He's calling me to health.  He's calling me not to crave some food over Him.  He's calling me not to be afraid.  And even on Valentine's day where there's cookies and CHOCOLATE, I can stay true to what God is calling me to do.

Lie: why put in the time to write a blog that no one is reading and won't ever read.
Truth: God did not call me to write for others.  He gave me this gift for me.  He knows that if I write it down, collect the thoughts in a clear order, the words will also come out of my mouth.  That is His goal for my blog.  It isn't the be the hottest blog in the world.  It isn't to be worshiped with people longing to read what I have to say.  It is about Him and how I am part of His story.  How I am His tool to work in the lives of His children.

Lie: Don't point to Jesus, no one will accept you. 
Truth: Well that could be true.  No one here in the world that is.  Someone great, Wonderful, Counselor, Father will accept me.  He calls me to obey.  It's not up to me how others react.

As for me, I chose to listen to the voice of truth.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Positive Direction

After two months, my Father has given me a clear direction for this blog.  Hang on we're moving forward.

Oh, Day 3 walk in done!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Strengthen and Encouraged

2 Thessalonians 2:16a, 17 May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

I love the combo of these verses.  How they speak to the good things God has in store and are truly an encouragement to doing what He has called me to do.

When I finally submitted my life to God, He didn't frighten me by sending me unprepared to third world mission for the rest of my life.  He has dealt gently with me.  I on the other hand have cause sandpaper abrasions by my own stubborn heart refusing to go His way, since it didn't look like the easy way.

And in case you didn't get that...God's way is the easy way.  It doesn't look like it's easy according to the world, but the world does not look to God.

Back to this verse, the more I obey, the more I follow, the more I'm encouraged and strengthened to do more for and in Him.

My post about Sugar.  Had I never given up soda, I don't think know I would not have given up sugar. When I finally started and wrote the blog He has called me to do, I find the words written here where I don't know who reads are the words coming out of my mouth for others to be encouraged from.  It's simple marvelous if you think on it for a minute. 

God called us to a journey.  
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 

He shows me the next step I am to take.  He often doesn't show me the end results.  For one, I may want to skip all the steps in between that are needed for my own pruning or I will not accept the path and refuse to follow (stubborn.)  He gives me enough light to take the next step.  Then the next.  He strengthens and encourages me with each step.  He shows me that with His grace to took all the steps behind me and I can trust His grace to take all the steps before me.

And when I'm weak, when I think I can't go on, God gently reminds of where I've come from - encourages my heart, what I've been enabled to do - strengthened in every good deed and word.

Praise my God!

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who love us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weight Loss Journey

To speak of my weight loss journey, I have to start at the beginning, the gaining of the weight.  I was a slim child and teen.  I was prone depression along with anxiety in my twenties.  I sought food for comfort.  I remember the day it happened, when I ate more than I needed, when I allowed that plate of hamburger helper sooth me. 

Unfortunately, food only soothes for a little while.  A major crisis in my life pushed me to seek help, which was good and bad.  After the crisis, I had really defined anxiety attacks, looking back I had anxiety attacks throughout my childhood.  After the crisis, I cried a lot, I just wanted to sleep.  Diagnose depressed, my dr. put me on an antidepressant.  It tempered my emotions so I could function.

At this point in the weight gain, I was about twenty five pounds overweight.  I adjusted many areas in my life now that I was able to sleep and get up and function.  Now food just wasn’t enough.  I began drinking alcohol.  Not alcoholic levels, yet any combined with the antidepressant I was on caused increase gain.  All through this time I took birth control as well, which I know caused gain.

I would exercise, yet that was followed by a extra large meal.  So I could exercise then eat four times the amount of calories I burned.  I also drank to much soda.  I had an ulcer, which the soda did not help.  It wouldn’t be until after K was born that I was diagnosed.  For me, when my stomach is upset, I want more food, not less, so that it’s always full.

The weight continued on.  I married my husband.  God bless him, he choose to marry me at near my highest weight.  After six months of marriage, we were expecting K.  I stopped the antidepressants at this time.

Just before her birth I weighed 229, twenty-five pregnancy weight.  Right after her birth, I dropped to 180, without really trying.  I attribute most of that to excess water (high blood pressure).  I now can see that the antidepressant combined with alcohol and birth control made me retain water, causing me to be puffy.

K first summer I walked a neighbor’s dog everyday. Just over a mile walk.  I went down to 170.  However, winter set in and I stopped walking the dog.  I went back to 175 for another year.  It was during this I gave my life to God.  I wanted to live for him.

I strived to loose weight through exercise since dieting just didn’t work.  However, I could never out exercise poor food choices.  I could never compensate for binges.  I felt called to get another twenty off.  I worked out hard.  I pursued weight loss for me.  How great I would look.  Like I posted before, I took what God called me to then added to it.

Since I wasn’t focusing on my sin – gluttony – God sidelined me.  I tore my hamstring.  I pushed through, damaging more.  I remember crying over how if I didn’t work out, I would put back on all the weight I loss.

My sweet husband just said to rest for my leg, but to eat less.

Eat less? Dieting never worked.  My blood sugars always messed up.  I HAD to eat the way I was eating.  Didn’t I?

It was during this time that I used online food journals to track what I ate.  I found the right combo to be satisfied and what level of calories I needed to consume for weight loss.  Since I wasn’t over exercising, my blood sugar didn’t mess up.  After three months, I was down to 153.

I wanted to go down further, yet summer was on and I wanted to enjoy the food and alcohol of summer.  Besides, I lost over twenty pounds and I was still the same size.  Over the next year, I kept my weight around 155.  I had learned better eating, although I still made poor choices and often turned to food for comfort.  I still struggled to exercise with a lame hamstring.   Yet not losing another pound, I lost two sizes as the skin caught up with my weight.

I am still around 148-153 weight.  I like my size.  I’m not the thinnest person, yet I’m not heavy either.  What I learned on the journey and beyond is seeking comfort from God, not food.  Recognize triggers I have to mindless eating.  How much better I feel without sugar.  How I no longer miss sweets, for the most part.

Now when I’m craving food, yet can’t figure out what, then I get down on my knees and pray, seeking God to reveal what I’m searching for.

Friday, February 3, 2012

No Sugar

This isn't a sugar free recipe.
This is about something I said I could never ever do.  It's about digging deep to that place most don't want to go and are scared of what lies beyond.

Total obedience.

Yes, my story of no sugar goes there.  To the place God calls us.  He called me here for years.  And for years I simply stated, I can't.  You don't know what you're asking me God if you call me to do that.

But He did know.  Long ago He saw food was an issue for me, long before I reached weights in the 200s, long before I made food choices on my own (when I lived with my parents).  He gave a little thing called hypoglycemic, which is low blood sugar.  It's where my body produces to much insulin in response to sugar.  My dr. said I would outgrow it by the time I was 21. 

Well I'm well past 21 and it hasn't happened yet.  And the logic side of low blood sugar is that you should eat more sugar.  However that leads to even more spiked insulin and a more vicious cycle.  Sad, but true, the best thing for low blood sugar is no sugar.

Yet for over twenty years I ignored the best thing to treat it, because life just wouldn't be worth living without sugar.

Last summer, I had it all in place.  Well maybe.  I had followed His leading to get to a healthy weight.  I exercised when I could, lived and active life.  My friend did the summer study of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.

In her book she said it was a demon that she battle.  She battled it and came out victorious of the hold sugar had on her life.

Well that's great for her, I thought, but I could never do that.  Fortunately God isn't calling me to do that.

Ahem...wait a minute.  He did call me, I just said no.  I said I couldn't.  I said I didn't want to.  I said there is no way I can do that, it's asking me to do something to hard, especially in summer with there's ice cream to be had.

Then He whispered to me.  You gave up soda.  You loved soda.  You drank so much it gave you an ulcer and you gave it up.  You gave it up for your health.  Why can't you give up sugar for Me?

John 21:15 excerpt "do you love me more than these?”

He wants to be the only thing I craved.  The only thing I seek when I have a longing in my heart.  He wants me to make Him my all.  To die to my desires and say yes to Him.

That was enough to call it quits.  Those three pounds that I struggled to lose only to gain left.  I felt good.  It was great to say no each time a delicious sugary snack was presented to me (which was a lot with our Life Group and my family).  I did it for almost two months and then felt at peace over having a little sugar here and there.

Fast forward to Oct. and I slowly went sugar crazy.  I had a lot and still a lot and this went on until Christmastime.  Those few pounds came back.  My middle turned fluffy (which is where sugar likes to live on my body).  

God gently spoke again and called me to give up sugar again.  It was a week before Christmas.  Oh, I didn't want to hear it.  I had just bought my favorite creamer and wanted it.  I wanted that creamer and those chocolate chip cookies more than God.  Ouch, it hurts to write it out.  I lived in full disobedience for the next week.  Then I prayed for that Spirit-power to come back after Christmas.  I was ready then to do it.  

I'll be honest, I didn't feel the same consuming power like I had the week before when God spoke.  Yet, on Dec. 27 I decided to stop.  I pray to God in weakness.  Each day I am stronger.  I even went through TOM successfully.  Oh how I wanted brownies.

Last summer I knew it would end.  I tried not to focus on that, yet in my heart I knew it would end.  This time, I don't for see it ending.  I feel stronger, more in tune with God each day I say no thank you.  

I shared my experience of last summer before the sugar attack of Oct. occurred.  Someone said, God made all these wonderful foods, why wouldn't He want us to enjoy it.  Why would He call me to give up sugar?

Well, He called ME to give up sweets.  You need to spend time with Him to see if He wants you to do it.  He knew in my heart I often put those sugary treats before Him.  I would think of when I could get my treat instead of thinking when can I spend time with God.  He knows me and knows what is best for me.

To break down what I gave up is cookies, cakes, get the picture.  I don't find a sugar free option because that misses the point.  I do use honey to sweeten my oatmeal that I eat for breakfast.  I know some love honey, not me.  I don't like the taste of straight honey so I only use enough to counter the blandness of oats.  It's about giving up those food that monopolize my thoughts from time to time.  I haven't given up peanut butter or ketchup, both have sugar, since I don't ever recall waking up wanting a big bowl or ketchup.  

I don't use artificial sweeteners either, which don't agree with my body.  I use Stevia, a natural sweetener, randomly when I have coffee (less than once a week). 

Part of the reason He's calling me to do this again is I accepted His call to lead a Made to Crave study at my church.  If I'm going to be an encouragement to others I need to do what God is calling me to do.

What is He calling you to do?  What will you give up to say Yes?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bean Bag Chair

My daughter wanted a bean bag chair for under her loft bed.  I found something I liked at a store and thought I could make that!  Ha, this doesn't look anything like what was in the store.    

First I cut the comfort fleece into squares then triangles.  I cut cotton matching fabric into a rectangle, one side and inch shorter than the other for the zipper seam.

This is the first zipper I remember ever doing.  Slight pucker, but over all it does the trick.  Will revisit the size issue later.

Next I sewed all the triangles together with alternating green and the brown polka dot pattern fabric.

I fitted the sides together.

As you can see the top was much bigger (remember no pattern).  I pleated the fabric and sewed the top and bottom together. 

When I got in a grove I didn't watch the thickness of the fabric.  Oopsy!  The needle flew across the room.

Next came the filling of the bag.  I purchased Styrofoam beans from Walmart, used shipped to site option.  Big box that weighed very little.  K, my daughter, liked picking up the big box.  And a side note, whenever Styrofoam is mentioned, my mind goes back to Bolt, K's favorite movie "Styrofoam, this stuff weakens me."

This was where I realized my six inch zipper was not big enough.  I filled half the bag by one handful at a time.  D, my husband, came home and made up a funnel and it went go faster.

Results: I think it looks like a fluffy dog bed.  Being K loves to pretend she's a dog, she loves it!  So that's all that matters. 

I still have 3/4 bag of beads.  I'll have to give it some thought on what else to make.  Maybe I could make a pattern and actually make what I saw in the store.  This time...a bigger zipper! 

Update:  I sat on this.  I'm surprised to how comfortable it is.  No wonder she likes it so.

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