Friday, October 24, 2014

A Heart to Love

The day we moved into our home with our large family, we had no idea that the houses on both sides of us would be such a silent blessing to our lives.

You see, on one side of us there is a very kind lady with a beautiful dog. She always speaks to us and entertains conversation with our children who love to yell out any door or window  they can find, "I like your dog"! On the other side is an elderly couple. Now, I don't know much about them but just from my observation I can see that they are about in their 70's or 80's and have been together for some time. They both have medical issues I'm sure but the wife seems to be impacted physically a little more than the husband's. The husband seems to move about pretty well and despite my husband's offers to assist him with certain tasks,on any given day you will catch the husband taking the trash out or wiping snow off his car.

Each time I see my neighbors I feel blessed. Not just because one of them is a nice lady with a dog and the other is an elderly couple,but because I get to watch a women sacrifice consistently to help take care of her parents. I am so grateful that God allowed me to observe this family interaction. On my right sits a house with an amazing women who I watch tend to her elderly parents every single day. And she does it with JOY!  

One day as I pulled up into my house I saw the father helping the mother out the car. I wanted to offer to help, but something stopped me. In all but a few seconds, I had the chance to experience something that just about brought tears to my eyes. The daughter walks up and says "Hi Mom", in a joyful yet peaceful tone,and begins to help her mother out the car. For the first time since I moved into my home, I heard her mother speak. When she spoke, she said her daughter's name and you could hear the joy and excitement in her weak feeble voice. It was as if she had just seen her best friend. What a beautiful moment to watch.

From one week to the next I get to watch beautiful moments like this and although I don't know much about my neighbor, I admire her in so many ways. I am always encouraged and reminded of Gods love for the elderly when I see how she cares for her parents. I am truly thankful to be a witness to someone with such a Heart to Love.

Ladies, if you are or someone you know is taking care of an elderly family member, don't lose heart. Your work isn't in vein. Your reward may not be in this lifetime. Your reward may not be for you but for the people who are blessed at how gracefully you do what God has called you to do. You just might be that daily light to someone that you don't even know is watching.

Have a Blessed weekend Ladies and Don't forget to get your tickets to TMS Luncheon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Husband, My Maker

Good morning daughters of grace,

I have some awesome news for you!  The chef is getting married!  Yes!  Praise God, He has sent me a wonderful man of God, John.  I’m grateful to the Lord and I am so excited about starting my new life with him.  At almost 37 years old this is my first marriage and I am SO happy I waited on the Lord.  Can I say this man is perfect?  No, but he IS perfect for me.  Can I say we won’t have hard times?  No, but I know the Lord will get us through them.  I KNOW that trusting in the Lord is the best thing that we can do as a couple, just as a I learned as a single. 

Recently, one of the other Mom Squad moms asked me about waiting on the Lord during my time as a single mom.  She suggested that I offer any words of wisdom that may help encourage others that are living in a time of singleness.  Wow!  What a task!  I can only share what I went through.  I can’t say that I’ve never felt lonely or sad.  I can’t say that I’ve never questioned God about why I was still single but what I can say is that the Lord is faithful!!!  He kept me and protected me when I made and wanted to make poor choices.  Literally removing relationships from my life and causing people to never call me again!  He encouraged my heart when I’d feel down.  He gave me business opportunities to take up my time and He filled my life with the most wonderful friends a girl could ever ask for, single or married.
For me crying out to the Lord was a major help for me.  It may sound silly but it was the only thing that gave me peace.  I desired a husband and had for many years.  I felt the “clock” ticking.  I was a single mom and I was ready for someone to love!  I’d ask the Lord time and time again.  I had blind dates with friends of friends.  I asked friends for advice.  A lot of the advice was good but I’m not even going to go into some of the insensitive comments and bad advice that was given to me while I was waiting.  The fact was, most of my friends were married and I desired someone to serve the Lord with.  On several occasions I’d lie in my bed and cry out, asking God WHY was I still single.  What was wrong with me that everyone else was getting married but me?  WHY LORD WHY?! One day the Lord showed me this scripture”

“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” ~ Isa 54:5 NASB

I held on to this scripture for dear life.  My husband was the Lord.  When I was struggling to pay the bills I talked to the Lord about it.  He was my husband after all.  When my body yearned for the touch of a man I cried out to the Lord to help me not to make bad choices and ease the tension in my body.  When I just needed someone to talk to because all my married friends were busy I learned to talk to my HUSBAND.  My Husband loves me and He will never leave me nor forsake me.  As I prepare for marriage and to begin life with my earthly husband I’m reminded that my heavenly Husband is always taking care of me.  I’m reminded that before I stress about bills, health and everything else I can need to take comfort in my Husband who holds the world in His hands.  My soon to be husband is a wonderful, caring man who can’t wait to take care of me but he is NOTHING like my Husband, my Maker, who loves me like no other! 

Take heart daughter of grace!  Your Husband is already here!  This week’s recipe is one for the single ladies specifically.  It’s so easy to “eat” your way to peace but that’s not what the Lord wants.  Chocolate is great but it’s not better than Him.  That said, please enjoy, in moderation J this recipe for black bean brownies.  Packed full of fiber, protein and chocolaty goodness, they are low in sugar and absolutely delicious!  I've made them several times and they are always a hit!  No one will know they are made mainly with black beans!

Black Bean Brownies

1 can (15 oz) black beans, no salt added
1/2 cup agave syrup (or sugar)
1/2 cup self-rising flour (or ½ cup whole wheat flour & ¾ tsp baking powder & ¼ tsp salt)
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor or blender, mix all dry ingredients (except chips) together. Add agave, vanilla, and egg whites.  Mix until incorporated and smooth.  Add the chips and stir well. Spread into the 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 1 hour at room temperature.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amish Country! On a rainy cold day is awesome!

Hi ya'll!

Earlier this month I gave you tips of fun places to go and how to find fun activities outside.  Well, this weekend was rainy and cold, so I decided to get in the ole mini van and headed for Amish country. We are going to be making apple butter and I burned the last batch- whoops! So I had to get some more deliciously fresh apples. On the way we came upon Warther's Museum. This place is so awesome! He actually whittled all of this by hand. I found it interesting, because he spent five hours at least a day doing this, where many of us waste away our time unproductively texting, face book messaging, internet, television and movies. It makes you stop and think how amazing we as human beings can be, the museum tour guide said Mr. Warther only had a second grade education, but you will see what amazing gifts from God he had.

You can also buy their kitchen knives that they make right here in the good old USA!!!

You have to check it out for yourself!

In November you can visit for $5 a person! Here is some info from their website  for that:  
The 2014 Warther's Hospital Auxiliary Christmas Tree Show
From November 15th - 23rd, a forest of beautifully decorated Christmas trees will be set amid Warther’s famous carvings. Each tree, with its own unique theme, will be for sale. Proceeds from the Festival benefit the Union Hospital Auxiliary.
Hours: 11AM – 8PM; Festival closes on Nov. 24th at 5PM
Adult Admission: $5
Children under 12 are free

After we toured the museum, we went to Coblentz chocolates! Yummy! This destination is a must if you are a chocolate lover.  My daughter is a beautician, so we got her scissor shaped chocolate. My husband loves motorcycles so we picked the motorcycle shaped chocolate for him. As for me and my son Jason, we just love chocolate so I picked a pumpkin and he picked another scissor shaped one like his sister.

The last stop in Amish country for the day was Hillcrest Apple Orchard.

I hope you get a chance to travel down to Amish country, it is really amazing! The beautiful scenery that God made is beautiful all seasons of the year. I just love going to Amish country with the family whether it is a planned trip or spur of the moment. Have a great day!