Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I thought I would share the thoughts that I wrote down in my journal today.

Proverbs 28:13
He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

We are all walking wounded.  Some of us project it onto everyone else around us expecting them to be responsible for healing our wounds.  Some of us withhold ourselves from others in an effort to never be wounded again.  And some of us are those rare beautifully, wounded people who expose their wounds and allow others to see not only the wound but the Great Healer at work in them.
I yearn to be that person who humbly confesses my wounds and deals with them.  Who authentically allows others to see my scars, weaknesses, infirmities and festuring sores without regard to self.  With regard alone for my Father and for love of others.
I think my intention is right but my flesh is weak.  I find myself responding to situations with little ability to express this deeper motive.  Often I find that my own selfishness betrays my true heart and my love cannot be seen.  When I deal in relationship with another I see that so many times what I thought was love is not and true love often contains tremendous sacrifice and pain.
I'm reminded of how Jesus was completely exposed on the cross.  Of how his most loving act was his greatest pain.  What am I to gain from this knowledge?  That I too will pain stakingly sacrifice and be exposed?  If I am to truly live for him this is my lot, if not here, in the next life I will be exposed.
For Jesus his exposure was that of the fulfillment of prophesy, of great hope and truth.  For me as I carry my own cross the exposure is that of great sin  and shame.  The truth still remains in this and all things, I do not carry that cross alone.  I do not labor to rid myself of that terrible sin and shame.  I do not turn the other cheek of my own strength.  All of these are only done through him that lives in me.
I prayed today that the Father would help me to see accurately.  My selfishness and pride prevent me from really seeing.  I asked that God would remove the fog and help me to see in clarity as far as he wills me to see.  If I am in the way I prayed he would break down that selfishness and replace it with a heart that is completely surrendered to him.
I don't know what this life is suppose to look like.  I often find that I have these moments of almost being able to see and grasp just a bit of the enormity of my hidden life in the Lord.  Then in an instant I am back in the flesh battling again to get a glimpse.  Praise be that I do not have to struggle and fight alone, the way is already paved and bought.  I simply must choose to follow it no matter how hard and narrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What's Your Reference Point?

I love small phrases that remind me of big things.  When I am in a trying moment I am most helped by a few key words that can remind me of the truth.  A new phrase I am adding to my arsenal of wordy helpers is, what's your reference point?  Too many times I get caught up in an issue and I forget what the reference point is.  The reference point is the heart of an issue, the truth of the matter, the center of something. Take this morning when one of my children spilled blueberry smoothie on the floor my reference point should have been to point to the Lord's will in this and all things.  Yet, I was tempted to have my reference point be my emotions.  They were along the lines of, great now I have a giant mess to clean up, wasn't this child suppose to be sitting!!!  But, if I stop and say what's my reference point I am brought back into line with the truth.  In this circumstance the truth is, this is a child who just made a mistake, she can learn from it and clean it up.  Coach her and encourage her.  Praise the Lord, I was able to overcome my emotional response and directed the child to clean up the mess, reminding her it was not big deal.  This is a little example, but I look forward to using this phrase to help me find the truth and heart of the matter in bigger issues that arise. 

As I have been thinking on how to apply this phrase to more issues I am finding that my reference point is often what leads me to sin.  When I have a situation arise where God is asking me to sacrifice my reference point is often selfishness instead of sacrificially serving as my Saviour modeled for me.  I also find that I struggle with the temptation to respond out of an ignorant reference point where I seek my own experiences to make sense of the things.  This is foolishness on my part.  There will be so many things that I won't understand.   I will need to forsake my reference point of thinking I must understand and trade it in for a reference point of trusting the Lord in all things.  It is truly exciting to think that such a simple few words put together could have such a profound impact on how I respond to the trials of life.  What a joy it is to have the Lord bless me with this bit of revelation this morning!  Perhaps it will encourage others to find their reference point in the face of temptation.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dairy Free Menu Ideas

About a month ago we found out our little Gretta is pasteurized-dairy intolerant.  So I've been working on a dairy-free diet.  It is going much better than I expected.  I thought I would share some of the meals we've found that work for us.

  • 7-grain hot cereal (Bob's Red Mill is what we like), I will add cocoa powder, some sweetener (either turbinado sugar or honey), and rice milk, mmmm...it tastes like hot chocolate
  • oatmeal with blueberries
  • granola and rice milk
  • pancakes with sausage
  • pancake sandwiches (pb & honey)
  • omelets & toast (great way to sneak some vegies in with breakfast)
  • poached egg on toast with avocado
  • smoothies (spinach, frozen berries, oj, rice milk, spirulina, fish oil & ginger)

  • tuna in a whole wheat pita pocket with lettuce and cut up vegies
  • cooked chicken strips on a whole wheat wrap with salad & homemade dressing, cut up vegies on the side
  • soup (alphabet, minestrone or cream of vegie), toast and salad
  • peanut butter banana panini
  • bean burritos (pinto or black beans, salsa, taco seasoning & spinach) on a whole wheat wrap
  • breakfast burritos (eggs and salsa in a whole wheat wrap)
  • fried egg sandwiches
  • scrambles eggs, cut up vegies and toast
  • Teriyaki stir fry and brown rice
  • vegetable & meat curry over rice
  • black beans & rice
  • quiche
  • pizza pasta (sauteed vegies, chicken sausage & spaghetti sauce over whole wheat penne & then baked)
  • roast chicken & vegetables
  • roast beef & vegetables
  • stew
  • chicken legs & baked potatoes w/ salad and cooked vegie
  • tacos (minus the cheese and sour cream!)
  • teriyaki salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, salad and cooked vegie
  • fried rice
  • venison burgers with roasted mushrooms, potatoes, salad and a vegie
  • dried fruit & nuts
  • fruit
  • chips & salsa
  • pb & apples
  • pita chips, vegetable and hummus
  • vegie straws
  • cashew nut clusters from Costco
My goal is to get as many nutrients in our family simply.  As our family grows, I am finding my time is less and less available to cook.  These are all pretty simple items that use many of the same ingredients so I don't have to stock a pantry and freezer with too many different items.  Here are some surprisingly great items that we've tried lately.

  • Earth Balance butter substitute, it tastes just as good as butter to me!
  • Spike seasoning, we've been flavoring our meat with this
  • The Griddler by Cuisinart, we do burgers, salmon, sandwiches, pancakes and so much more on this
  • Vegie Straws from Costco, these taste like chips without the bad stuff (they're still not great for us so there treats)
  • Rice Milk - Pete and I have been enjoying coffee drinks in the morning and this takes the place of milk without a flavor concession
  • Cashew Nut Clusters from Costco, these are so nummy!  A great treat if you like nuts & sweets
  • Chicken sausage, there are so many different flavors, we like spicy for black beans, italian for pasta and garlic for our quiche.  Costco has some but, Trader Joe's has the greatest variety.
  • Indian food.  Pete and I recently went to an Indian restaurant.  It was fabulous and had so many great flavors.  I have been trying to incorporate curry, turmeric and coconut milk into more of our cooking.  It's a fun way to liven up some of our dishes.
  • Sprouted bread from Trader Joe's