Sunday, February 13, 2011
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Cor. 10:31
I had an interesting life lesson. I am a crafter and started with quilting because I love the challenge of taking a pile of scraps that most sane people would just throw away and seeing how I can re-combine them in some way to make something useful. I got out of quilting but continued to seek the same satisfaction with cooking (rather than follow a recipe and buy the listed ingredients, I love to throw leftovers together in a soup or stew and see what happens) and my current obsession--yarn.
Now I know that just like the best food is made when I actually follow a recipe and buy the right ingredients, my nicest projects involve those in which I choose the right pattern, the right yarn, and the right colors--and those are what I make for gifts. However, I do not receive the same satisfaction as when I make the colorful, but not nearly as beautiful, scrap projects for myself or charity projects. I just love curling up in a granny square afghan and enjoying the curious blend of color and pattern I pulled together from other peoples' throwaways.
Recently, a friend's daughter, Pam, was diagnosed with colon cancer at an unusually young age for that terrible disease. After suffering drastic surgery and chemo, she was pronounced cancer-free, but that good news lasted only a few months--it is back. Pam is now being told her cancer is incurable but possibly controllable and the rest of her life will be spent having tests and changing chemo to deal with the cancer wherever it pokes its ugly head. From following MOMTOACAT's blogs, I have some idea of what Pam is in for.
Since I often crochet pretty afghans for friends with cancer, I have gotten lots of feedback that people undergoing chemo often feel unbearably cold and tired and a thick fluffy afghan proved to be a great comfort when they felt too cold and tired to function. I was almost finished with a granny square afghan I was going to give to charity, but since I didn't have any of my nice patterns in the works, I knew I couldn't make one for Pam on a timely basis , so I decided it would be better to just give her that granny square thing right away--it was ordinary, but it was warm.
Pam couldn't have been more delighted than if I'd given her one of my prize-winners (well, actually, I've only ever had one prize-winner.) She often feels cold and fatigued and at such times loves to curl up in the afghan of many colors and admire the unusual combinations thrown together to make up her blanket. She said she greatly prefers scrap afghans because they are so colorful and cheerful.
Then Pam verbalized the reason I love to do scrap projects--quilting, cooking crocheting,etc. A scrap afghan is a metaphor for dealing with life. Isn't the key to an abundant, happy life just all about accepting whatever scraps life offers you and making the prettiest thing you can out of them?
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your ever-present counsel and help in time of need, so even an old dog like me can still learn some new tricks. I thank you for being with Pam and her wonderful family through this time of shadows and know how you have comforted and strengthened her during her scariest times. I pray for your blessings on my beloved Sparkpeople and SparkStaff whatever their individual struggles and needs might be. In the holy name of Christ who paid a price so far above my worth to bring me blessings I couldn't possibly deserve, I raise my prayer with my praise and thanks and love. Amen.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Cor. 10:31
Like many weight-losers I tend to eat pretty much the same few things every day. So I decided to try some new things and went exploring through the grocery store. I found most of the new things I bought were made of turkey. When I have used them up, I intend to go back to the same-old same-old because they were healthier--primarily because of healthier fats and lower sodium--but it was fun experimenting. Just thought I'd share a few of my favorite things.
My favorite dinner was Turkey Sausage Scramble. Microwave a Butterball turkey hot Italian sausage link (140 cals.) for two minutes and then chop it up. Slice a huge pile of sweet onions and green pepper and mushrooms (you'll need more than you think because they really cook down) and microwave them for six minutes to pre-cook (keep the mushrooms buried in the onions--they need the moisture to cook), stopping and stirring every two minutes. Dump the vegetables and sausage together in a small non-stick skillet and saute covered, checking and stirring every minute until the peppers are cooked to your liking. I would either eat the whole thing (about 250 calories) or divide in half to use as an alternative topping to my next treat--Low-cal Pizza.
Low-cal Pizza. Place a fat-free tortilla or a flatout light Italian herb bread (90 cals.) on a non-stick or pam-sprayed pizza pan or cookie sheet, spread with 1/4 cup (1/6 jar) of pizza sauce (30 cals.), sprinkle with garlic powder, one oz. ( 1/4 cup) light mozzarella cheese (70 cals.), 1/4 cup canned mushrooms (8 cals.), a few thin-sliced onion strips, and 8 turkey pepperonis (40 cals.) or as an alternative top sauce and cheese with 1/2 of the turkey sausage scramble. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. The pepperoni-mushroom pizza is 250 calories (allowing calorie space for a salad and some grapes) and the "sausage deluxe" is 315 calories.
For breakfast I am having Turkey BLT's. Microwave 2 slices of Butterball turkey bacon (50 cals.), toast two slices of Nature's Own Light Honey Wheat Bread (70 cals.), spread with 1 TBSP. Kraft Olive Oil Mayonnaise (45 cals.), fill with romaine lettuce, tomato slices (of course I eat any left over tomato while waiting for the toast--25 cals.), and the microwaved turkey bacon. Total: 190 calories--Enjoy!
Here's one without turkey, but it is so good, I am including it anyway--Bananas Foster Yogurt. I microwave 1/2 of a small banana (refrigerate the rest for tomorrow) 45 secs. (45 cals.), stir with a few shakes of cinnamon and a splash of Torani sugar-free caramel syrup (found in coffee aisle in Walmart) and the warm banana will liquify, Refrigerate briefly to cool, then mix 3/4 of the mixture into a single serving of Plain Greek Yogurt, and use the remaining quarter as a topping.
If none of these things sound good to you, I hope they at least stimulated some great low-cal ideas of your own. Bon apetite!
Dear Heavenly Father, We have come so far on this journey together, but still have twice as far to go! It would be so easy to get discouraged, but today I realized I have not gotten this far with Your help, but You have gotten me this far with just my cooperation, so I can be sure You intend to get me the rest of the way on this journey as long as I do not fight Your will and wisdom. Not by my might or by my power but by Your spirit. I pray for Your blessing on all the SparkPeople who also share this journey and struggle with temptation with us. Amen.
Monday, September 06, 2010
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Pr. 17:17
Today I definitely decided that I have the nicest group of SparkFriends going. Don't even think about arguing with me because I am not just talking about those on my Friends list (although they are all tops) but everybody on SparkPeople--and that includes you.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for friendship and assuring that we are not made to face our struggles and adversities alone. I pray for Your blessing and support on all my SparkFriends.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Just copy and paste:
Friday, August 20, 2010
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Dt. 4:9
I think one of the things I have learned in my many hard years on this earth is the importance of living in the clear, unvarnished Truth, no matter how painful, because failure to do so leads to even more pain in the long-run. I think two of the biggest mistakes people make in life, because both lead us away from Truth, are (1) People-Pleasing, in its essence a lie meant to fool or manipulate peoples' thoughts and feelings about us and (2) its evil twin Denial, lying to ourselves. Obviously these twins skip along hand in hand leaving destruction in their wake, like two sides of the same pancake, because if we lie to others, we eventually start to believe those lies, and if we lie to ourselves, we will eventually share that lie with others in our life.
I believe People-Pleasing and Denial feed every addiction problem including food addiction, even though the Truth is written for all the world to see in every extra pound on our bodies. Just about every successful recovery program is based on the adage, "you are as sick as your secrets." And, as Dr. Phil says,"you can't change what you don't acknowledge."
Part of living in the Truth is accurate memories of the events that helped make you who you are today--even the not-too-pretty ones. I am a bit of a hypocrite here because I generally advocate the positive idea that pressing forward to healthy goals is the best motivator. However, in Truth, I also find it helpful to look backward and remember some of the ugly "ah, ha" epiphanies that may have caused me to face unvarnished Truth and made it clear changes are overdue.
Before retirement, I would use the extra 45 minutes of my lunch hour to walk. A much heavier friend asked to come with me, so I paced out a much slower, shorter walk. But it just didn't work --she had gotten too fat to walk more than about a 100 yards without exhaustion. I saw staring in my face a reality that I dubbed the "Point of No Return," (Okay that title is an exaggeration and not the unvarnished Truth) but eventually we reach a magic tipping point when our weight makes us unable to do the exercises we need to do to lose our weight.
Why am I calling this an exaggeration, because in most cases the "Point of No Return" becomes one because of great difficulty rather than impossibility. In my friends case, the short walk was so miserable that she quit.
When I discovered SparkPeople in May, 2009, I got motivated to set out for my first after dinner stroll in a while and found myself huffing and puffing so much that I could only go to the end of the block and had to drag back--like my friend of many years ago, I was now looking in horror at my own "Point of No Return." When had this happened? How did it sneak up on ME?
So, remembering my friend's mistake, I decided if that was what I could do, that was what I would do. Within a week I was walking around the block! Then the next week I doubled that distance--and bogged down at that point for a bit. But way sooner that I expected, I was completing a whole mile. My huffing and puffing started to decrease after I got warmed up, and by August I did a three-miler. I started enjoying walking--if for no other reason than BECAUSE I CAN, and am motivated to keep walking for as long as I can, because who knows what tomorrow will bring. Possible someday will come when "I can't" and I know I will regret every opportunity I passed up to walk while I still could. The same also goes for my strength training and stretching.
Thou shalt know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free.
This above all, to thine own self be TRUE.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your precepts that urge us always to walk in the lighted path of unvarnished truth for You indeed are the way, the truth, and the light. As alway,Lord, I ask for Your blessing, strength, and counsel for all these SparkPeople as they struggle to find the truth and be set free from the strongholds that imprison them and hold them back from abundant living. In the name of Christ, the Word made flesh and full of grace and truth, I raise my thanks and praise, and love, as well as my apologies for deviating from the truth to walk in sin. Amen.
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