IRON SHARPENS IRON

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

I was with a group of women recently and the discussion came around to ways to streamline your routine and get to work on time.  The big issue seemed to be breakfast in the morning.  Everyone agreed that it just takes too long and that’s when Sylvia shared the best suggestion.

How about a fix-ahead breakfast that you just reheat in the microwave?  Here ya go!

Banana-Nut Oatmeal

Makes 8 servings

2 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

8 12-oz. Ball canning jars with metal rings and lids

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • To prepare:  In a medium pot, combine oats, 5 cups water and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook 10 minutes (oatmeal will be very watery).  Remove from heat; stir in bananas, Splenda brown and lemon juice.  Distribute oatmeal evenly among glass jars; screw on lids.  Cool on countertop and refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve:  Remove metal rings and lids.  For each jar, stir in 1 Tbs. milk, 1 Tbs chopped nuts and, if desired, additional Splenda brown sugar.  Reheat in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until hot.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully remove, stir and garnish with sliced bananas, if desired.

Per serving:  266 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 8 g pro, 47 g carb, 6 g fiber, 165 mg sodium, 1 mg chol

You may see the number of carbs in this and decide it’s too high, but it happens that the one who suggested this is a diabetic nutritionist.  She explains the health benefits like this:

Because of its soluble fiber content, adding a banana to your daily oatmeal can also help lower your risk of developing diabetes. When you consume a carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood glucose tends to rise quickly, stimulating your pancreas to release insulin rapidly. Adding food high in soluble fiber, however, can slow absorption of sugar from your food, producing a more gradual increase in blood glucose and lessening the demand for insulin.

She said this breakfast has saved her family an average of about 5 minutes, and that means you don’t have to go over the speed limit while driving to work.  It’s also a healthy, hot breakfast on these chilly mornings for the kids (and for you).  It gets everyone started on the right foot.

Click image to enlarge

What a great idea to prepare these on the weekend and serve during the week!  🙂

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

Marry someone who will suffer well with you, because there will be much suffering during the life journey.  – Unknown

DATE NIGHT

When we are planning a wedding, we often get wrapped up in the aesthetics and tend to ignore the substance.  We want the perfect flowers, dresses and décor.  It’s almost like we get to the point we’re so tired after all that planning, we say, “Vows?  What vows???”  But…  there are vows – and they are meant to be kept for LIFE.  Think about it – it’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  Yeah – it’s meant to be.

What were those vows?  Ah…  now it’s coming back to me.

Groom: I, Larry, take thee, Linda, to be my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I, Linda, take thee, Larry, to be my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

Then, as Larry placed the ring on my finger, he said the following:

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH
LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH

Love means, for better or worse, you are committed to caring for the heart of someone else. You are willing to die to yourself, to compromise, to share, to believe, to keep the promise even when it hurts.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Prepare for painful moments – painful hours – painful days.  When the times are good or worth celebrating – do it with all your might, but when you are in pain, keep those good days – those good memories – at the forefront.  Think about the good as you go through the bad.  God has every situation in His very capable hands.  Trust Him for all the answers. 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 2

THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

I read something recently that deserves to be shared.  Jack Nicholson has great backbone to take this stand about abortion!  Not only does his opinion surprise me, but the reason for it shocked me!

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/is-abortion-murder-jack-nicholsons-response-silenced-everyone/

I wondered if there are any other celebrities who are pro-life.  I did a little research and here’s what I found:

Kathy Ireland on Gov. Huckabee’s program:

https://youtu.be/GzisHrqZAbM

I really don’t believe in abortion.  I think an embryo is a human.  It’s like killing a baby.  – Justin Bieber (talking with Rolling Stone magazine)

ADOPTION

Patricia Heaton speaks out against abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and euthanasia.

I find it impossible to subscribe to a philosophy that believes that the destruction of human life is a legitimate solution to a problem that is mostly social, economic and psychological.  In reality, most women choose abortion because they believe they have no other choice.  – Patricia Heaton

Kenny Chesney’s most notable example of pro-life advocacy is in the song he has called one of his favorites, “There Goes My Life.” It spent seven weeks at number one.

https://youtu.be/JBf7uh8jYfw

220px-Thepassionposterface-1-

Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Jesus in the popular movie, The Passion of the Christ, also makes no secret of the fact that he and his wife oppose abortion.

https://youtu.be/Ay4vJ75pbc0

God bless Jordin Sparks!  Isn’t she a cutie?  Yep!

Go, Jordin... GO!
Go, Jordin… GO!

This celebrity really didn’t surprise me all that much – but I’m so thankful that he is not quiet about his beliefs.  Chuck Norris is pro-life and has a lot to say about it.  You may recall that back in 2008 he wrote a letter to then president-elect Obama.

http://humanevents.com/2008/11/11/obama-now-that-you-work-for-me-a-letter-to-the-presidentelect/

chuck-norris

Visit human life alliance at this link:  http://humanlife.org/

If one truly believes that abortion is murder, it will never be considered an “old issue”.  Those of us who are pro-life will not go away just because others want us to.  Never let the enemy of your soul talk you into the idea that you have no other “choice” but abortion.  I assure you, if you do not want or think you are unable to raise your child, there are many people who are more than willing to take on that responsibility!  I was adopted – and that turned out well – I’m sure glad I was not aborted!

I’m thankful for celebrities who are not afraid to speak their conscience.  As a pro-life advocate myself, I’m more drawn to these people and their TV shows, music, etc. than I am to others.  Sometimes we shy away from speaking out because we’re afraid we will lose fans.  I’m here to tell ya…  because of their bravery, I support and buy their CD’s, DVD’s and other products!  I believe that right is right – and wrong…  well, it’s just not right!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

TL AUGUST 1-7 IS SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK

SIMPLIFY – To make simple or simpler: as a :  to reduce to basic essentials 

b :  to diminish in scope or complexity :  streamline <was urged to simplify management procedures>

c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

A SIMPLE LIFE

It seems to me that it should be simple to simplify, ya know???  No matter how much effort we put into trying to simplify, it seems we work twice as hard to make it happen.  Now, does that make any sense to anyone?  No, I didn’t think so.  :-/
Well, here’s my take on simplicity.  I honestly believe that it begins within.  How high-maintenance are you, and what would you be willing to live without?  I’ve had many friends through the years and have traveled with a few.  I never let them know I was doing this, but I was secretly observing the luggage they carried.  You see, the things we travel with are the things we are not willing to part with.
The more stuff you are willing to live without, the more simple your life will be.  If you truly desire simplicity in your life, it’s necessary to let go of some non-essentials.  I know they seem like essentials right now, but stay with me.  This may make you re-think things.
For example, do you need a ton of makeup when you travel?  I’m not suggesting you go without makeup altogether (oh, heaven forbid) – but there are ways to travel with less.  I take one container of mineral make-up, a tube of mascara, a shadow, brow pencil and lip gloss.  Choose one color of lip gloss and plan your wardrobe around that theme color.  I usually choose red in the fall/winter months or dark pink in the spring/summer months.
I believe simplicity begins with the discarding of extras.  It’s about organization and pre-planning.  To make life easier, surround yourself with less.  It sounds like you would be denying yourself of things, but it is the most freeing experience to rid yourself of clutter and get organized.
Recently I went through my closet and took out pieces that I have not worn in the past year – for whatever reason.  If you have not worn a piece of clothing in the past year, you probably don’t need to keep it.
In the kitchen, organize with cook ahead cookbooks, or go online to find some great recipes.  Here are 20 of my favorites!  http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-0
If you cook on the weekend and freeze each serving, that frees up the weeknight to relax and enjoy your family.  Simple.
Teach kids to pitch in and help with things like laundry.  Even boys will need to know how to do that at some point when they get older, so you’d may as well get them involved now.  They will feel like they are helping out and it will take some of the load off you…  get it – load – laundry?  Never mind.
 When you make a conscious decision to make do with less, that is when simplicity will become a reality.  When you organize things a bit and enlist help from the rest of the family, it will pay off in the long run.
Give it a try…  and bask in simplicity!  🙂

WORLD KISS DAY

TL 7-6 WORLD KISS DAY

 

 

I’ll be watching “Angel and the Badman” today.  I was so happy to learn that it is now part of a growing number of movies in the public domain!  There’s just something about a bad boy, right ladies?  We can always “change” them…  yeah, right!

Is that too much passion for a Monday?  Sorry, but it is WORLD KISS DAY!!!  While I am not an authority on kisses or from whom to get them, I do know a bit about passion and how to calm your nerves.  Don’t let your imagination run away with you – I’m talking about tea!

Tea – even iced tea, has a calming effect on the brain, but passion fruit tea is especially unique.  It contains chemicals called Harman alkaloids, which help calm the nervous system.  These are the same alkaloids used in muscle relaxers due to the calming, healing properties.

7-6 THE MOST PASSIONATE DAY

You could go to Starbuck’s and buy an over-priced iced Passion Tea, OR you can make your own.  It’s not that difficult.  No, really – it’s really not.

You need:

2 quarts water

1/2 cup Splenda

4 Tazo Passion Tea bags

Bring water and Splenda to a boil.  Remove from heat and add tea bags.  Steep 1/2-1 hour.  Pour tea into pitcher and refrigerate.  Pour cold tea over ice in your cup with lid and shake!

It’s not enough to just make the tea.  Now you need the perfect spot to drink it.  Choose an environment that invokes a sense of peace to your soul.  Don’t drink it in front of the computer.  Don’t drink it in front of the TV.  Leave all technology behind for the time you are enjoying your Passion Iced Tea.

Maybe you don’t think you have time to do this, but trust me, you will be so glad you took the time.  We make time for the things that matter the most.  I take time every day to write a blog post (well, almost every day).  It’s my gift to encourage and I hope and pray that you have found this blog to be encouraging to your spirit.  ❤

 

 

 

FATHER’S DAY

TL 6-21 FATHER'S DAY

https://youtu.be/TSvGost2P5g

Our Heavenly Father,

Please bless all the fathers in the world.  Guide them to be good role models and loving to all their children.  Help them to be a father like You are.  Give them grace and patience to handle situations in a loving way.

In Jesus’ Name,  Amen.

We glean so much from our earthly fathers, don’t we?  As children we watch their mannerisms and pick up on the habits and traits they hold dear – and sometimes make them our own.

My dad had a very rigid work schedule.  He was the boss and had to be a shining example of punctuality.  I remember every morning before he left the house, he would say…  WATCH, WALLET, GLASSES.  Those were the 3 things he wanted to make sure he took with him!  Now that I’m – um…  shall we say, more mature…  guess what I do???

Before I leave the house, I say, WATCH, PURSE, GLASSES.  I hear you laughing at me…  quit it.  LOL!

Children are watching and taking mental notes.  Don’t ever think they are not paying attention.  When God gives you the privilege of becoming a parent, it comes with so much responsibility.  It’s wrapped up in love and joy – but ultimately it’s a lot of responsibility.

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!  – Lydia M. Child

What a blessing when there is plenty of support from family and friends because it really does take a village to raise a child in this day and age.  Raising a child to love the Lord and learn His ways is the goal of Christian parents.  Our Heavenly Father gives us the wisdom and insight to navigate through life as our earthly father teaches us life lessons as we grow up.

We may not shower him with praise nor mention his name in song, and sometimes it seems that we forget the joy he spreads as he goes along, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t know the wonderful role that he has had.  And away down deep in every heart there’s a place that is just for dad.  – Unknown

As children grow, we see not only physical maturity, but spiritual maturity too.  Between the lessons learned from their earthly father and Heavenly Father, a great balance is seen.  It’s what makes us smile and thank God for His influence in their lives.  We begin with the simple message…  Yes, Jesus loves me…  the Bible tells me so!  We pray they accept His love and make a decision to love Him back and honor Him with their lives.

Lucinda and I had such fun writing this poem about the influence our earthly fathers had on us and the awesome influence our Heavenly Father continues to have on us.

FATHER'S DAY - LESSONS OF SURVIVAL AND WISDOM

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!  🙂

 

BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY

TL 6-7 BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY

6-7 THE RIVER OF JORDAN

On a September afternoon long ago, I was made aware of butterflies.  I knew that God sent miracles on request because He loves us.  Today is BUTTERFLY AWARENESS DAY!!!  Thank You, God, for butterflies and the joy they bring.

In those moments where I’ve thought, ‘I need a sign,’ a butterfly appears, whether it’s a real one, an image on a T-shirt or a tattoo on a waiter’s neck.  – Roma Downey

I spent a week with my mom in the hospital.  On high doses of morphine for pain, she was blissfully unaware of anything, sleeping.  I sat and thought, “This is it.  I have to say goodbye now.”  I put Vaseline on her lips once in a while and tried to focus on a book.  I think I read each page about ten times.  I couldn’t think about what I was reading.  My mama was dying, and my life was about to change in so many ways.

Prayer:  The world’s greatest wireless connection.  – @JesusGraces on Twitter

You know, those phone calls you get at 3 am?  Those phone calls are never the Publisher’s Clearing House letting you know you won.  They are never good news.  No – and if someone passes in the night, what good does it really do to wake the family while they are sleeping and fortunately unaware of what has transpired?  Can this news not wait until the next morning?  At any rate, the phone call came.  My mother went home.

Her home going celebration was simple, as she wanted.  She was never one for fancy doings.  I knew what to do because she told me many times.  What dress she wanted to be buried in and what kind of flowers to order.  It was as if I was just carrying out the orders she’d given me.  I did it without much effort because I was so numb.  I tried not to think about the fact that I’d never get to have a talk over tea with her again on this earth.  I couldn’t think about that.  There would be time to grieve later.  Right now – details.  I have to attend to the details.  It must be right.  I had to make her proud.

At the viewing, friends and family were kind.  I just kept thinking I wanted to jump in that casket with her.  Dive right in there and go with her.  They frown on that though – turns out those caskets are made for one.  They don’t do twofer funerals.  So I moved on to plan B.  Wait…  what was plan B?  Oh…  well – prayer.  I prayed.  I prayed for a sign.

Dear God,

I am so sad today.  Would you mind just sending me a small sign to let me know that You are here and that you still love me – and that mama’s ok?  Thank You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God answered that little prayer.  I looked up from praying and saw some turquoise blue butterflies right around the bouquet of turquoise blue hydrangeas I arranged in a large vase beside the casket.  I’ve never seen turquoise blue butterflies in Kansas before – and I have not seen them since that day.  It’s my very special sign from God that everything is alright – with me – and with my mom.

butterfly-492536

Oh – did I mention that the dress my mom wanted to be buried in was a turquoise blue dress?  Did I also mention that turquoise blue was her favorite color?  And – all of my family and friends honored that sweet woman by wearing turquoise blue to her graveside service.  Yes – God made sure those butterflies were the perfect color.  Don’t even try to persuade me that there is no God – and that He does not care deeply for His children.  I know better.  🙂