Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Are You Wanting To Lose Weight? I Discovered An Amazing Tool!



Oh my stars~ I need to tell you about this site. It is called Calorie Count. It is on-line and it is free. You set up a profile and then each day log your food. It counts calories but more important it rates the nutrition of your food. At the end of the day it gives you a grade on nutrition for what you ate that day. This is my 10th day and I have lost five pounds. It is much like a game and the accountability is amazing for me.  It has been so inspiring and easy to do. I was surprised at some food I thought was great and it turned out to be really bad.

You log in how much weight you want to lose and a target date. It will calculate how many calories you need to eat each day.  Each food you enter will be graded on an A to F scale. Some things you realize are just not worth the price.

You also log activity. It calculates intake with the activity. For example 1 hour of moderate housework without stopping burns 285 calories. While a very brisk 30 minute walk burns 204 calories.

It also has a recipe option to add your own recipes and calculate the entire recipe for all nutrition facts. Below is one that I made over the weekend .

If you want to shed a few pounds ~ give it a try. I love it!  Click here~


Low Calorie Strawberry Cobbler
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup King Arthur Flour
1/2 skim milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups of frozen or fresh strawberries

* Mix all ingredients together except the fruit.
* Add to a 8x8 pan sprayed with olive oil.
* Place fruit on top~ the crust will come up over the fruit.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition figured at Caloriecount.com

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Serving
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 195
Calories from Fat 2
Total Fat 0.20%
Saturated Fat 0.00%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Potassium 234mg 7%
Carbohydrates 48.016%
Dietary Fiber 2.811%
Sugars 32.3g
Protein 3.0g
Vitamin A 1% · Vitamin C 76%
Calcium 6% · Iron 8%


When Grace Sings~ Amish Book Review


I love Amish books and I am fond of Kim's writing. This book was a hard read for me at first.  I realized the reason I had a hard time was do to the fact~ I had not read the first book in the series. (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy) I had to connect the dots before I could fully grasps the book. Once I did~ it was hard to put the book down.

I really liked how the book mixes the Old Order Amish, Mennonite and English worlds~ bringing them all together. That was fun and real life. An English reporter named Briley~ comes to town to prove the simple people were not all they were cracked up to be. He happens to stay at a B&B ran by Alexa and her Grandmother. Stephen and his father are making all the updates and repairs to the B& B. Stephen is engaged to be married to Anna-Grace.  The story is told from each point of view and they all come crashing together to discover family secrets that had been untold for over two decades. 

I think Briley adds a lot of twist to this Amish story. A fast-paced reported from the city who is neither Amish or even a Christian. He is seeking to dispel all things real about God fearing people. Little did he anticipate what an impact this assignment would make in his life. 

I loved the book and could not put it down. I do recommend that you read the first book in the series first called~ When Mercy Reigns.

I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. Great Book~ I loved it and can't wait to read the next one in the series. 


When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion?
Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.
But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.
Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty-nine novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women’s fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Low Calorie Strawberry Cobbler




1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup King Arthur Flour
1/2 skim milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups of frozen or fresh strawberries

* Mix all ingredients together except the fruit.
* Add to a 8x8 pan sprayed with olive oil.
* Place fruit on top~ the crust will come up over the fruit.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition figured at Caloriecount.com

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Serving
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 195
Calories from Fat 2
Total Fat 0.20%
Saturated Fat 0.00%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 116mg 5%
Potassium 234mg 7%
Carbohydrates 48.016%
Dietary Fiber 2.811%
Sugars 32.3g
Protein 3.0g
Vitamin A 1% · Vitamin C 76%
Calcium 6% · Iron 8%

Monday, May 18, 2015

Remembering To Keep It Humble

 


We celebrated a wonderful  accomplishment this weekend. After 25 years of night classes, my Brian earned his Doctorate of Education from the University of Missouri. He not only went to school all these years but he raised a beautiful family and did it all very well. I am so very proud of him and our family as we celebrate this achievement. He has worked so very hard. I married a school janitor and today I can introduce to you~ Dr. Shindorf.

This morning I am reading my devotion out of Devotions From The Garden. The author (Merriam) writes this morning about the humble little worm. The little  worm is ever working beneath the soil pushing the soil with her head all the while producing air and moisture to circulate through the soil. She is a great help to all gardeners. We benefit from her hard work yet never notice her. She even gives the soil great benefits from her castings~ if you know what I mean.  Worms work day after day unnoticed. 

Think about the people in your life today~ your parents, your neighbors, teachers, administrators…….. oh my~ none work as hard as dear ol' mothers. The people behind the scenes of your life that never seek the spotlight but work humbly behind the scenes deserve a Thank You.

I want to stay humble. The Bible says God gives grace to the humble. I need all the grace I can get~ how about you? 


James 4:6

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Today would be a great day to offer a simple Thank You for those humble servants in our lives that make our lives rich.  


Proverbs 16:19

19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Have a happy and blessed Monday~ remembering to keep it humble. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I Don't Want To Be A Troublemaker



Do you have someone in your life that just loves to cause trouble? Someone who likes to take your words and twist them and use them against you. A person who wants to cause harm or discredit another person to make themselves appear on a higher level in this game of life.  A troublemaker will try to discredit those they are jealous of and will eventually discredit themselves. 

It is my tendency when this happens to get angry and want to defend myself. My anger is wrong. God wants us to trust Him even with troublemakers. I am not judge and jury. The Bible says we all will give an account to Him~ including myself. How I handle those who try to discredit me is my business. We don't have to defend ourselves. We don't need to impress others but just be who we are in Christ. He loves us unconditionally.

Let's go even a step further. We can choose to be a peacemaker instead of a troublemaker.  We can stand up in a loving way without crushing their spirit.We can pray that that person who means to cause strife will ask God to change them into peacemakers instead of troublemakers. I can choose to kill with kindness and pray God will change their hearts. While I am at it pray that God will keep me from being a troublemaker.  I so don't want to cause anymore strife in a world full of pain! 

Psalm 7:15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

 May we remind ourselves that the trouble we cause will recoil on ourselves and the strife it causes will come down upon our own heads.  I pray God will keep my thoughts and mind stayed on what is good and what is right so that I don't wound others by being a troublemaker.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When God's People Wound~




This morning as I am reading my devotion ~ I think it was written just for me for such a time as this. I want to start with saying, "God is still there." I always have to read the end of the book. It is one of my bad habits but this story gets ugly. So to inspire you to hang with me I am giving you the good news first.

Have you ever been wounded by God's people?  We only have to look at God's Word to see an example of one of God's people who was wounded by another of God's people. Hagar's story went like this. She was Sarah's (the mother of God's people) handmaiden. Sarah was promised a son by God but decided to manipulate the situation and take matters into her own hands~ control at the finest. She decides God is not big enough to deliver and He is taking way too long so she gives Hagar to her husband to sleep with to give her a child. Seriously~ how crazy its that? Hagar delivers a son to Abraham and Sarah only to be despised by Sarah who was jealous and mean. So she has Abraham kick her and her son to the curb. She was kicked all the way to Beersheba~ her very own wilderness.

Mother Sarah wounded Hagar terribly~ but God was still there. You can read the entire account below. The world is still paying for Sarah wounding Hagar~ but that is another devotion.

Where do we go from here when we are wounded? What do we do? I have not been wounded much in my life until the past several years. I am ever so thankful for that. I have been in my own wilderness but can I remind you that God is still there. Recently, someone very close to me is the one getting the stones. Much like Hagar he really had no control over the situation. Just a 16 year boy who loves Jesus. Yet~ he was told, "You are not welcome here" simply for who he is.  Funny thing is~ when people manipulate and control they always wrap it up in excuses of self-righteousness. After awhile lies wrapped up in excuses become so lame that only the abusers think they make any sense. Much like Sarah made no sense in her cruelty to Hagar. Yet~ others are told the truth. "That boy is not welcome here because he is a troublemaker." I am so thankful that God is still there.  That troublemaker is someone that loves God and walks with God. That troublemaker is someone I love.

Even in the wilderness Hagar cried out to God and says, "You are the God who sees me." It is easy to sink into a place of brokenness that leads to bitterness when those you love and trust wound or maybe just watch the abuse happen.  Yet~ I search my heart to see when I have been the one who wounded. God ~ please forgive me! I never want to be the cause of hurting one of God's own or causing them to stumble.  I never want to allow my faith to turn to agnosticism or my frustration to anger. I pray this morning that God will help me not to let my hurt turn to hardness.

Maybe we all need to be reminded of this verse.

Matthew 18:6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Fast forward to the end of the story~ God is everywhere. He is even in the wilderness. He knew Hagar's name and He knows my name too. He knows the name of the boy. God is in the dry, barren, lonely, rocky place and He is still the God who sees. The amazing thing about the wilderness is that God reveals Himself in mighty ways. He speaks a little louder and blesses a little more. He never wastes pain. When we encounter the Living God in the barren places of life we will come out calling our Heavenly Father~ "The God Who Sees Me." 

I need to remind myself and you too this morning that the God of Hagar is still there!

Genesis 16 King James Version (KJV)

16 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lordjudge between me and thee.
But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thine hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I Am Reaching For The Son


This is my second year in our new home. All the flowers I had mastered as a gardener just don't work here. My last home faced the east and west. Both front and back blessed me with full sun up and sun down.  I had to have flowers that withstood the high heat and were labeled full-sun. My new home faces the northeast and the south. Nothing worked quite right last year. My plants were lifeless and although they were not quite dead they never grew. They stayed stagnant.  I tweaked things and transplanted things.  My pots and baskets were just not vibrant the entire season. However ~ the things I transplanted to new spots took off when I found where they could reach for the sun. 

 This year I visited long and hard with my Amish friend.  With her guidance and my friend Pam~ who just happens to know all there is to know about gardening~ I am having success. It is amazing how well they are flourishing already. What fun it has been to have plants and flowers I would have never picked out. I kind of don't like change so I always pick the safe and steady Geraniums, Spikes with white Alyssum and some trailing Ivy. Although they are beautiful I have been in this rut for years and years. This year I have Lemon Slice Calibrachoa,  Ever Bearing Hydrangeas, Orange Symphony Osteospermum ~ just to name a few. See what I mean? 

I feel much the same. I have been transplanted it seems in all areas of my life. Once I would have been paralyzed with fear.  But now I am watching God unfold new chapters in my life. I feel alive and re-charged. Instead of going through the motions I am giving it my all. I feel on fire for God. I am trusting God to new levels and praying for His will day- by- day and step- by -step in a brand new way. I am experiencing my walk with Jesus like never before. Not for what I can do but what He can do. I have the tendency to be performance driven ~ but God is teaching me the best I have will never match what He has already done for me. I am learning to climb up in my Heavenly Father's lap and rest and He is healing my weary soul. It has been a painful process when God does some transplanting in our lives. I have learned God never wastes pain~ He always uses it for our good.  I am flourishing and growing in new ways just reaching for the Son. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Happy Merry Month of May~




This morning as I finished walking the sun was just peeking up over the eastern sky. It welcomed in the merry month of May. I just love May. There are so many reasons to celebrate this month. 

Today ~I will finish up planting my garden. The green beans are the last thing to get planted.  I waited until the temperatures were just right. I will plant them in the soil and water the tiny seeds. As soon as the water hits those seeds they will begin to soften and break open and soon sprout through the ground. It is best to plant beans in two week intervals because beans do not wait for anyone. When they are ready to be picked ~ they are ready. I almost can taste green beans and new potatoes as we speak. My garden takes attention. It will have to be watered and nurtured~but in the end it will be worth it.

That is just how our lives grow too. In God's perfect timing He brings new challenges into our lives so we will soften, break and begin to grow. In all things~ He longs for us to yield to His will and draw closer to Him. I remember when I was a young wife and mother and circumstances had the ability to paralyze me~ not so much any more. When we learn to climb up in the lap of our Heavenly Father we have peace that passes all understanding.  After time ~we learn that walking with Jesus brings us joy in our journey even in the midst of trials and troubles. No longer do broken dreams, losses, or  even addictions have the ability to plunge us into despair. 

Today~ on this first day of May we can rest in knowing that God's timing is always perfect and that He will take the struggles in life and use them to grow our faith. How about just climbing up in Father God's lap today and just rest in knowing His plan is perfect just for you.

 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 

so are my ways higher than your ways,

 and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9

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