A good day!

A good day!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!



I am just going to be honest...I am glad this year is almost over...

It has been one of the worst years for me that I can remember. I won't go into all the dreadful details, but I've been crushed, heartbroken, drained, not as close to God, confused, and I am completely worn out.

I will say that despite all the awful things that happened this year, my desire to find God in all situations did not change. Yes, I drifted away in my relationship, but just last week was snapped out of my drift and my relationship grew even closer with Christ. I am ready to make some changes in my life. This year, I want to COMPLETELY surrender my life to Him. Not just in parts, but in everything. 

I realized when I thought I had submitted myself to Him, in a major area in my life, I hadn't...
That area? PRIDE

Oh how I have mastered the art of being prideful. It is a major problem for me. How is my cooking? Is my house clean enough? Do people like me? My way of doing things is the best way, etc. Most of the strife that enters this house is due to my pride. 

I am so thankful that God has showed me the true severity of the problem (I thought it was just a little problem) and I say problem, but what it really is is sin. Sin that is one of the hardest to let go of. But, I know with His help, I can, and He can change my heart into something so wonderful that I can't even begin to imagine what my new character will be like without pride engulfing it.

I pray that you all have a wonderful New Year. I pray it's the best one yet. I pray that God does a mighty work this year in your life as I'm sure He will in mine this coming year.

There is a day...


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Almond flour pancakes...yum!




 



They reminded me a lot of buckwheat pancakes, which I loved so much before having Celiac. I loved the nuttiness of them. These are grain free and dairy free.  Here is the recipe...

3 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 T honey
1 1/2 c almond flour (I grind my own)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
about 1/4 c water

Mix eggs, vanilla, honey. Mix dry and add together. Add 1/4 c water or more to thin out the batter. Make SMALL pancakes as almond flour pancakes are harder to flip. ;) Yum!





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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My husband, Mr. Fix It...


Our dryer died two nights ago. I hadn't noticed it stopped running before it was supposed to and when I went to turn it back on, it wouldn't. My husband did some research yesterday and replaced a part. Seems to be working ok now. :) 

I was encouraging to him the whole time. In the past, I would fret and hover. He has a bit of a "Tim the Tool man" reputation here at home. He wasn't shown how to fix much of anything because he and his dad didn't have a relationship until the end of his dad's life which ended when he was 50.

We are thinking about getting a new washer now. We are just not sure which ones are good (top loaders, front loaders) etc. Still trying to figure that one out. :)

We have errands to run today, doc appt, store, etc and I am not feeling too wonderful for it all. Didn't sleep much last night and I'm feeling weak today. I hope I can finish out this day successfully. I will do what I can. 

I am thankful for my Mr. Fix It and I hope that he doesn't have to use that title for a while. ;)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Grain free/egg free DELICIOUS chocolate chip cookies!




I can't begin to tell you how good these are! With all my issues with my disease, I am trying different things to help slow the progression. Becoming grain free is one of them. I was already gluten free due to Celiac, but now I will be cutting out all grains...rice, beans, corn, etc.  These lovelies were made with ALMOND FLOUR that I ground myself.  I used the almonds with the skins on for more nutrition and fiber. These stayed wonderfully soft unlike my other chocolate chip cookies made with rice flour. (they stayed soft for a day). My family scarfed these down!

Here's the recipe

5oz almond flour (1 1/4 c) (you can grind your own in a coffee grinder or get it at the store)
scant 1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
1/8 c oil (grapeseed, coconut, macadamia)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 c chocolate chips of your choice (I used scant 1/2 c semi-swt Ghiradeli)


  • Heat oven to 325.
  • Mix almond flour, salt, and baking soda well. In a small bowl, mix honey, oil, and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing well. Add chocolate chips. Batter should be thick enough that you can roll a small ball between your palms and set it on the cookie sheet without it drooping or losing shape.
  • Make small balls of cookie dough and space them evenly on a cookie sheet. (you can press them, but I didn't)
  • Bake about 6 minutes. Watch closely and remove when the edges start to brown. . . they could be done at 4 minutes or at 8 minutes depending on the size of the cookie and your oven calibration.
YUM!

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

This is what it's all about...

Please turn off the music at the bottom of the page before viewing. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Poem...



 Not Only Christmas Day
 
Lord, this is my prayer
Not only on Christmas Day
But until I see You face to face
May I live my life this way:

Just like the baby Jesus
I ever hope to be,
Resting in Your loving arms
Trusting in Your sovereignty

And like the growing Christ child
In wisdom daily learning,
May I ever seek to know You
With my mind and spirit yearning.

Like the Son so faithful
Let me follow in Your light,
Meek and bold, humble and strong
Not afraid to face the night.

Nor cowardly to suffer
And stand for truth alone,
Knowing that Your kingdom
Awaits my going home.

Not afraid to sacrifice
Though great may be the cost,
Mindful how You rescued me
From broken-hearted loss.

Like my risen Savior
The babe, the child, the Son,
May my life forever speak
Of who You are and all You've done.

So while this world rejoices
And celebrates Your birth,
I treasure You, the greatest gift
Unequaled in Your worth.

I long to hear the same words
That welcomed home Your Son,
"Come, good and faithful servant,"
Your Master says, "Well done."

And may heaven welcome others
Who will join with me in praise
Because I lived for Jesus Christ
Not only Christmas Day

-- Mary Fairchild 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I won't be on much more this week as I am preparing to celebrate my best friend's birthday. ;) I pray everyone has a blessed Christmas and remembers that no matter what life puts in our path, it must first go through Him. Whatever comes your way, it was no mistake. God has a purpose for everything...May that bring you peace as it has me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Update and a recipe...

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Crust
3 cups finely chopped pecans
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling
24 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 11-oz bag caramel candy, unwrapped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons milk, divided

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper, so that parchment extends over long side of pan.
  • In a bowl, mix crust ingredients together with a fork; press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. 
  • Bake crust for 20 minutes; while crust bakes, prepare filling.
  • Cream together cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • After crust bakes, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Pour filling over chocolate chips and return to oven; bake for 50 minutes. 
  • Allow cheesecake to cool for about hour, then place in refrigerator to chill overnight.
  • When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from pan using parchment paper and place on serving platter, then prepare toppings:
  • Toast pecans in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl, along with 4 tablespoons milk.  
  • Microwave in 30 second intervals until caramels have melted and sauce is smooth.
  • Pour caramel sauce over cheesecake and immediately sprinkle on toaste and chopped pecans.
  • Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, along with 2 tablespoons milk, and microwave in 30 second intervals, about 2 minutes total. 
  • Stir until smooth and drizzle over caramel-pecan topping.
I went to the doc yesterday and I'm scheduled for a sleep study on the 15th to evaluate my breathing at night and if the low oxygen is causing my memory problems (bad). I also found out that my intestines are not functioning properly due to the nerves not working from Myasthenia Gravis. I now take a medicine for that to help the motility. I'm really hoping the New Year brings less suffering and more energy. :)

I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rough days...

I've been having some rough days and go to the doc on Tuesday to see what we can do about sleep and possibly be scheduled for a sleep study. My diaphragm is weak and causing lots of difficulty breathing. At night is especially difficult when I sleep. It gets weaker as the day goes on and then has trouble lifting my rib cage while I am laying down. The sleep study will check to see what's going on and then hopefully be able to prescribe me a bipap for respiratory assistance. Some days (most days) I feel like I'm fading away...

On another note...Christmas is fast approaching. Such a peaceful time of year. But, it can have it's moments of sadness. I miss so many people. It's hard feeling like in some way you have been forgotten. Families gather together this time of year and you can't help but think of those who are no longer with you. Christmas just isn't the same without those people...

Despite the rough days, I will continue to rejoice in my Lord and find comfort in Him knowing He hears my heart and comforts me in just the right way. He showed me last week that even when it seems like He is far from me, He is always there....listening, watching, caring.

I am not alone.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crockpot candy...easy!


 Add ingredients to crockpot in order as written...
16 oz roasted unsalted peanuts
16 oz roasted salted peanuts
1 12oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz bar german chocolate broken
1 24 oz vanilla almond bark broken
Do not stir
Put crockpot on low for 3 hours. After 3 hours stir and drop onto wax paper and let cool. :) You could substitute the german chocolate for butterscotch chips if you wanted.
 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Answers...

Here is the answers to the questions I got :) I only had one person ask lol

Stephanie, If I could visit with you I would love to know about your life journey with church. Were you raised in one and then looked around for a new one when you became an adult?
I was raised in a non-practicing Catholic home (only really went to church on Christmas, Easter, and Ash Wednesday. I always felt like something was missing. Church was very boring and ritualistic to me. There was no relationship, just saints you prayed to and the virgin Mary. When my husband and I got married, we were married in the Catholic church. The very next Sunday, we didn't return to church. Instead, we started seeking other churches that focused more on the relationship with Christ. In 1999 we were baptized together in the water and started our journey. That journey has lead to many questions, meeting lots of different people (visited a Mennonite church), several out of the country mission trips, and settling down in a wonderful church home where we have been for the last 11 yrs. We are involved in ministry and love that we have a relationship with Christ.

How many times have you changed churches? Were you ever without a church home and how long did that go on for?
We had changed churches a few times in the beginning of our marriage seeking a godly church. We were not ever really without a church home more than a couple years at the most I'd say.

Also - on a more personal note - I have wondered how your mom is getting along because I remember it was about a year(?) ago when she moved and you were very concerned with that.
My mom is now in Wisconsin and is doing ok as far as I know. She and I do not have much of a relationship...I can never live up to her expectations.

Oh and 1 more question - I really liked seeing some of the ornaments on your tree in a previous post and I was wondering if you had a moose ornament? :)
As a matter of fact I do....:)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do you have any questions?


 I thought it would be fun to answer your questions. If any of you have any questions on homemaking, homesteading, being a helpmeet, natural remedies, my life, or anything else you have a question about, post a comment and I will answer as many as I can. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmastime at the Wiseley Family Homestead...

These are just the beginning...I hope to post more when we get more decorating done. Was just too pooped out to keep going. :)


One of the oldest ornaments on the tree (upper right) It's about 36 years old. ;)



My 14 yr old son is getting so big!

The first ornament my husband and I got when we were first married in 96 :)

I will be doing my Christmas baking next week. :) I look forward to making more good memories...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Pocket Full of Nickels...A glimpse into what it's like living with Myasthenia Gravis

by Beverly J. Nason 

On a good morning, we awake with our borrowed supply of invisible nickels in our pocket, or perhaps we find them after our first dose of Mestinon. On any given day, our nickels may add up to somewhere near a dollar. We must decide each day how to spend our precious supply. 

Shall we shower, dress, make the bed, have breakfast, go to a job? Shall we recklessly spend them all at once? Perhaps, we should just use twenty-five cents, and dress without the shower or shave, leave the bed for later, and spend five to fifteen cents to have breakfast. We alone may judge from our recent experience. 

Having decided, we act, and our precious payments are placed into an invisible slot, filled with invisible batteries. These batteries kick in slowly and we drain their reserve with the chosen activities. When the batteries are almost spent, we force ourselves to rest. As the day progresses, we decide to do other small chores; the shave, shower, shampoo? Five more nickels perhaps? I’ll make the bed; one nickel perhaps? Cleaning house? Going to work? 

How many nickels will we have to spend today? For many of us, we can barely afford one nickel at a time, today. If we have the luxury of time for a rest period or a nap, we might awaken with a sudden new supply of nickels in our pocket. Probably our next dose of Mestinon will provide us with a fresh supply. For others, we may find we've chosen unwisely and squandered our day's wealth, or borrowed from them tomorrow, to do what had to be done, or simply what we wanted to do to improve our quality of life. 

The debt of today must always be repaid, and time in bed will be the minimum price. If we spend too much or borrow too long, our debt may be required at the hospital or some medical facility. 


We can squander our wealth all away, or spend it wisely and gratefully. When we awake morning after morning with pockets full of nickels in such abundance that we no longer have to count them, we have achieved Myasthenia Gravis remission. May you all have "pocket full of nickels"

Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting ready...

for the baking season!


Due to my increased weakness, I have started making up cookie dough and freezing it. I don't want me or my family to miss out on the yummy treats I have made every year.  My solution was to make up different cookie doughs and freeze them. When it's time to bake, then all I have to do is take it out the night before and let it thaw in the fridge and put the dough on a cookie sheet and bake! :)

We will have holiday monster cookies, sugar cookies with sprinkles, peanut blossoms, bird nests, peanut butter balls, and caramels. :)

What are some shortcuts you use during the holiday season?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Achieving the victory...

 This comes from my favorite devotional "Streams in the Desert"

"For this our light and transitory burden of suffering is achieving for us a weight of glory" (2 Cor. 4:17). (Weymouth)

"Is achieving for us," mark. The question is repeatedly asked--Why is the life of man drenched with so much blood, and blistered with so many tears? The answer is to be found in the word "achieving"; these things are achieving for us something precious. They are teaching us not only the way to victory, but better still the laws of victory. There is a compensation in every sorrow, and the sorrow is working out the compensation.

It is the cry of the dear old hymn:

"Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee,
E'en tho' it be a cross that raiseth me."

Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth. Fanny Crosby could never have written her beautiful hymn, "I shall see Him face to face," were it not for the fact that she had never looked upon the green fields nor the evening sunset nor the kindly twinkle in her mother's eye. It was the loss of her own vision that helped her to gain her remarkable spiritual discernment.

It is the tree that suffers that is capable of polish. When the woodman wants some curved lines of beauty in the grain he cuts down some maple that has been gashed by the axe and twisted by the storm. In this way he secures the knots and the hardness that take the gloss.

It is comforting to know that sorrow tarries only for the night; it takes its leave in the morning. A thunderstorm is very brief when put alongside the long summer day. "Weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning." --Songs in the Night

"There is a peace that cometh after sorrow,
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that looketh not upon tomorrow,
But calmly on a tempest that it stilled.

"A peace that lives not now in joy's excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

"A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
'Tis not the peace that over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge...

I attempted to make fudge today. I made this recipe. It seemed easy. I didn't have the strength to make longer processed kind. Hope it turns out...never made fudge before. *gasp*


Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, an easy fudge recipe, is made with only 4 ingredients.

 2008 Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

Ingredients:

  • 6-ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Preparation:

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and butter it. In a double boiler, melt chocolate, peanut butter and butter. Stir to combine. Stir in sugar until it melts. Pour into prepared pan. Cool and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Link up party! Homemade Christmas...

I want to see your homemade Christmas gifts! Let share our ideas!

I love to make this for the holidays. :)

Sore Muscle Salve Recipe


This is a wonderful homemade salve you can make right in your own kitchen. It is much like Tiger Balm. It is a warming salve. Would make a great gift.

1 c Calendula infused olive oil (or cayenne infused oil for extra strength)
1.3 oz beeswax
50 drops camphor essential oil
50 drops eucalyptus/peppermint essential oil
30 drops cajuput essential oil
20 drops clove essential oil
20 drops cinnamon essential oil
1 vitamin e capsule
Heat beeswax with oil 30 sec at a time until melted. Add essential oils and vitamin e capsule. Pour into containers. I use 1 oz tins. Makes about 8-10 oz.

Here are the rules to my link party...

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, baked goods, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Bakinghomesteader" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

bakinghomesteader


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love this time of year!


 I love this time of year with it's pretty lights, crisp air, wonderful old Christmas songs, beautifully lit Christmas trees, Christmas cookies, lit up nativity scenes, sharing gifts with others, celebrating our Savior's birth with our church family, decorating the house all cozy like, listening to the crackle of the woodstove, and watching snow fall softly (hasn't happened yet this year). This time of year makes me smile and brings joy to my heart. It's just very special. Lots of good memories associated with this season...and that my friends is what I cherish.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I am a wife...

From Tonya at Humble Homemaker...She put into words what my heart feels.

 I Am A Wife


Too often I sense myself slipping from my God appointed role as feminine Queen of my castle to masculine warden of my domain. Because this season of my life demands more of my time, energy, and patience I need to remember my priorities and put them into practice.

An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world -- how she can please her husband. ~ 1Corinthians 7:34

God is my Well where I soak up His goodness to give me the strength to go forth into my future with passion and purpose. I commune with Him to have a relationship built on true love because I know Him and spend time with Him. I can then set the stage in my home for my children to enter into genuine relationship with their Creator. Ushering them into His plan. However, I am to be about my husband's business, not second to that, but alongside that. And He is there in the depths of my intimate life, holding it together piece by delicate piece.

I am his wife. I comfort and shield his heart against lies the world may whisper to him that he is not good enough. Sometimes because of my exhaustion, my frustration and pride rise up to work as his adversary. I don't feel that I'm working as an enemy, but satan can use my indiscretion as his powerful tool. In the midst of my pity party I don't realize my husband needs a wife.

I am his wife. I am a strong tower dwelling in the power and holiness of the Lord Almighty. There is no room for pity. My husband is facing lying giants. Evil forces plot and plan for his downfall. Am I aware of the ugliness trying to use me for their side. Making their job easier to bring my husband heartache. Is heartache a word I wouldn't use for my husband's feelings. Is he too manly, too distant, too busy to feel heartache? I think not; he was made in the image of God.

I am his wife. I meet his needs. I create a warm, inviting place for him to rest. A place to feel comfortable. How many times do I mark my territory all over my house -- after all, I am here all day. It smells like my home, feels like my home, it is my home. And it. is. his. home. I must remember this more often. He needs a wife.

I am his wife. Not a maid. Coldly arranging whites and undies neatly in a drawer. The neatness is more for me than for him, truth be told. He rather a messy draw if he had to choose between rows of organized socks and a disheveled looking wife. He needs his wife to be womanly. Yes, to care for his belongings, but to care for his body and mind first. He needs a wife.

I am his wife. His body belongs to me and mine to him. Pride has no place in this love.

My womanhood, my person as a wife was knitted into the complexities of my being while still in my mother's womb. By divine appointment does my husband call me his wife. In the dark hours of a marital conflict, I must remember, I am a wife. When I'm mothering my little flock and yearn to throw in the towel at the end of the night, I must remember, I am a wife. Does that mean I will always get it right? That I will always be available? No. It means that I am vulnerable. Open to all of the ways that the Lord wants to use me as a wife. Ways I cannot possibly imagine, because life is full of wonder and so full of purpose. I am a wife. It's in the way I speak in the middle of the night. The way that I express that I am tired. Tired, but willing. Willing to love him, to want him, to need him. He needs me. His very being cries out for me. It's in his DNA. I must remember. I. Am. A. Wife.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. ~ Proverbs 31:10

Proud to be his wife

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Apple Pie Bread...

This deliciousness comes from Tasty Kitchen. This was fantastic. Turned our wonderful even with being modified to be gluten free. :)

This bread has the goodness of an apple pie wrapped up in a streusel topped quick bread.

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. If using a glass loaf pan bake 25 degrees lower.
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until combined. Add the buttermilk and baking powder; and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; and beat until combined. Add flour, apple pie spice and salt; beat until combined.
Toss the apples and nuts in a bit of flour before adding to the batter. By hand, stir in the nuts and apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Prepare the streusel topping (instructions below) and sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely. Wrap the loaf and store overnight before slicing. Makes one loaf (14 slices)
For The Topping:
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Using a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts or pecans.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BREAD:
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ⅓ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour Plus A Bit For Tossing The Apples In
  • ½ teaspoons Apple Pie Spice
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 cups Apples, Peeled, Diced
  • ¾ cups Pecans, Chopped
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • ⅓ cups Pecans Or Walnuts, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. If using a glass loaf pan bake 25 degrees lower.
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until combined. Add the buttermilk and baking powder; and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; and beat until combined. Add flour, apple pie spice and salt; beat until combined.
Toss the apples and nuts in a bit of flour before adding to the batter. By hand, stir in the nuts and apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Prepare the streusel topping (instructions below) and sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely. Wrap the loaf and store overnight before slicing. Makes one loaf (14 slices)
For The Topping:
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Using a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts or pecans.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give thanks for suffering...

Seems strange right? Give thanks for suffering? Who would want to do that?

Me...

Let me explain.

When I was young I learned that life wasn’t always easy. I was a bit thin and pale and was quickly made fun of being called albino girl, chicken legs, etc. Of course that hurt. But, it made me realize that life wasn’t always kind. I would lay in my bed at night and talk to God. A God I hardly knew. One that I created characteristics about in my mind. He was a kind person, compassionate, and loving. I would picture Him seated on a throne and me bowing down at His feet pouring my heart out to Him. I would ask for forgiveness for the bad things I did. He would reach down and take my hand and lift me up from bowing at His feet and say, “Come my child” and He would seat me on His lap and hug me. I would bury my face in His chest and cry in amazement of such a loving, caring God. He would smile.

Since those childhood days, I lost track of Him for a while. I grew up. I forgot about our nightly talks. I met my husband and we were busy getting to know one another, getting married, and then having Hunter. It was after this that I began to wonder about Him again. 

 My pregnancy was high risk and there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to carry him due to my frailty at the time. I would pray about it. I did go preterm labor, but it was able to be stopped and I ended up having him on time. Ryan and I began to wonder more about God after I got sick after Hunter was born. We were saved and baptized together in 99. Soon after, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis which is an incurable neuromuscular disease. I had a treatment for it that went bad and I was hospitalized for 10 days in pure agony wondering why God didn’t take me out of my misery. I wanted to be delivered from the pain either by death or by it being relieved. I begged God everyday and He didn’t seem to hear me. Finally, one day I woke up and the pain was graciously gone. It was then I started to learn that there is grace in suffering.

My life has had it’s share. I was sexually abused as a child, made fun of, left out, in pain, sick, rejected by my biological dad, had to deal with the pain of my step-dad being killed, dealt with cancer, surgery, and recovery, have the threat of losing my sight someday, had yet another failed treatment for my MG, and I am presently dealing with the progression of the disease with several issues that go with that. But each trial made me stronger and refined me. They taught me a very important lesson in forgiveness. I was able to forgive my abusers with God’s grace. He had molded me, shaped me, and refined me for just such a thing. 

Through all these trials I learned to grow closer to the God I had pictured when I was a child. I had developed an intimate relationship with Him. Over the years of suffering, He had strengthened me and He continues to. He is shaping my character for eternity. He draws me unto Himself through suffering, our relationship has deepened, and He has allowed me to be an encouragement to others through my suffering. I give thanks for suffering because of those things.

New trials and new heartache come every year. It’s not easy. In fact it can be downright hard. But, God has been right there with me, holding me on His lap and letting me cry into His chest. What a wonderful, compassionate, loving, kind God we serve! And there is a day, when my time has come to an end here, I will get to see Him face to face and be able to bow at His feet. 


 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Early mornings...

I get up most days between 5 and 6.  It's dark, it's quiet and it gives me time to plan my day, spend time with the Lord, and just plain wake up lol.  

Today is rainy and dreary. It seems weird, but it's peaceful to me. The warmth of the woodstove makes the weather so much more bearable. :)
Yesterday was a much better day for me. I was able to do more, was in much less pain, and even had some energy. :) It's amazing what a difference a day makes with this disease. It changes day to day and even more so in someone like me whose illness is considered brittle. I appreciate my good days so much more. :)

I am making gumbo for supper tonight. :) Seems like a good day to do so with the weather being the way it is. I love cozy meals. 

I have so many things to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband who loves me and our son very much and has a heart for God, a warm home in the country, a sweet little dog to brighten my day, and great friends and family. Tomorrow I will be talking about giving thanks for suffering.  It may be a little different perspective than you have heard before. Come back and check it out. :)

Hope you all have a very blessed day. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Disappointed...


If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I started a treatment a while ago (sm dose chemo) for my Myasthenia Gravis. I had to come off it. I got so sick, severe stomach and abd pain to the point of almost passing out, kidney pain, trouble sleeping, and heart issues. There will be no more treatment for me...

I will only be treated with Mestinon, which I have been on for about 13 yrs. I have to learn to live with my increased weakness and pain. This disease is progressing and the only thing that will slow it down is the good Lord Himself. 

I was disappointed that I had to miss church this morning. I was so weak I couldn't hold a magazine up for any length of time. I was also so short of breath that my husband said I sounded like I just ran a race...

Just wanted to update everyone about the situation. I covet your prayers for daily strength. As I sit here now, I can barely sit up in my chair and keep my head up...so weak. (So thankful for recliners! LOL) I know God will give me the strength to do what He wants me to each day...I am hanging on to that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Perfect through suffering...


"Perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10).

Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering.

I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: "Do you know what you have got on your back?" The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy said: "It is the box in which your wings are; and some day God is going to cut it open, and then you will fly away and be an angel."

Some day, God is going to reveal the fact to every Christian, that the very principles they now rebel against, have been the instruments which He used in perfecting their characters and moulding them into perfection, polished stones for His great building yonder. --Cortland Myers

Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer to the roots of character. The great object of this life is character. This is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity. . . . To gain the most of it and the best of it is the object of probation. --Austin Phelps

"By the thorn road and no other is the mount of vision won." -- Theodore Epp

~Streams in the Desert

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


I can't believe how fast this year has gone by! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving already.  This year I am not cooking a meal. We were invited by some friends to come enjoy Thanksgiving with them and their family. Randy and Shawnda and some great people.  They were a great help while I was in the hospital, too.

I am thankful for so many things...Christ who saved my soul, my husband and his wisdom and care, his love for me, my son who is becoming quite the young man, my home where I lay my head and care for my family, and my church family who has shown me so much love.  I am also thankful for good food, woodstoves, rainy nights, the sound of frogs, the beauty of a sunset, the people I was blessed to meet in Venezuela, and fresh eggs from our chickens. :)

Happy Thanksgiving! I wish I could say that to everyone I am not able, but I'm sure they know they are thought of often. :)

I pray you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Remember Who to thank. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's a new day!


I just want to say how much I love my husband. :)  This past weekend he really helped me get through a rough time with coming to terms with my disease...Myasthenia Gravis.  You see, in the past, I would pretend not to have this disease and do as I pleased. I would do whatever I wanted and would push myself hard. Only in the evenings would I then be weak and tired. But that is not the case anymore...

I am weak and tired as soon as I wake up in the morning.  There is no trying to pretend I don't have this disease...even though I've had it for 14 yrs now. There is also no denying it's progression.

My husband told me not to pretend I don't have this disease anymore, but rather REMEMBER I have it and in so doing be a better steward my strength and time.  It's part of who I am. 

I have started my sm dose chemo and so far have just had stomach pain, no nausea and a bit of heart issues with it, too. Nothing to worry about yet. Praying I will be able to stay on this medicine and get some benefit from it in a few months. I increase the dosage on Wednesday for a week and increase again in a week.

My husband helped me realize that my bad attitude was coming from not dealing with this disease properly and deep down I was bitter about it and it was coming out in different ways.  Not good ways. So now that I have dealt with it properly, my attitude is so much better. :)  I have Myasthenia Gravis. That's just the way it is and yes I must change some of the things I do now, but that's ok. It's a new normal. I am content. God has reminded me of His love, His provision, His help, and His mercy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My attitude...


I have found it difficult the last few days to keep a good attitude...I'm just being honest. I have been SO tired that my nerves seem to be frazzled. Every noise, irritation, etc brings tension to my body. I have had such a hard time being still in my mind and body. My thoughts go a hundred miles an hour, constantly thinking on something or other.  I just don't feel settled. I haven't felt settled since I got home from the hospital. I could be that my body is just so weak and wore down and I am just so exhausted. I haven't been able to get back to things like I wanted and it makes me irritated. Can anyone relate?

I certainly don't like this attitude I have. I have prayed and asked God to release this sourness I feel in my soul. I realize it is a choice to have an unbecoming attitude and I am trying very hard to make good choices when situations arise. I want a gentle spirit...

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4

When push comes to shove, the true test of godly character is applying it in everyday situations. I have been failing at this lately.  I need to refine this character and become a light instead of a wet blanket....;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin maple rolls...

Just like cinnamon rolls, but with a few add-ins like pumpkin, maple syrup and nutmeg! Delicious fresh and warm out of the oven and perfect for fall!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE ROLLS:
  • 1 package (2 1/2 Teaspoons In A Package) Active Dry Yeast
  • ½ cups Warm Water
  • ½ cups Warm Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter, Cooled
  • ⅔ cups Granulated Sugar For The Dough, Plus 1/4 Teaspoon For Proofing Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 6 cups All Purpose Flour (give Or Take 1 Cup)
  • _____
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • ¼ cups Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • ¾ cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg - Optional
  • _____
  • FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ teaspoons Maple Flavoring Or Extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar over the warm water. Stir and proof 5-10 minutes. After yeast has foamed, stir in milk, butter, the remaining sugar, salt, pumpkin puree, and half the flour. Stir in flour by 1/2-cup increments. When you can no longer stir, remove dough to a board and knead in remaining flour or until dough is similar to bread dough, slightly sticky but won’t stick to your hands. (For me, it took me about 5 minutes of kneading and I used 5 1/2 cups flour.) Lightly grease dough ball and place into a clean bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free area in your kitchen. Let dough rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
While waiting for dough to rise, grease a 9×13 pan and 1 pie plate or an 8×8 square dish. In a small bowl, stir maple syrup and butter together.
Punch down dough and remove to a clean, lightly greased board. Roll dough out to a 24×12 inch rectangle (approximately). Pour butter and maple syrup mixture over rolled dough and spread out to moisten entire surface. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the dough and press down lightly. Roll dough up lengthwise into a long, skinny log. Pinch edges of dough together. Using a sharp knife, cut entire log in half (to get 2 pieces). Cut those halves in half again (to get 4). Cut those halves in half again (to get 8 ) and then again (to get 16). Place rolls in prepared pans. (12 rolls in the 9×13, 4 in the other.) If some of the filling oozes out onto your board while cutting, scrape it off and place on top of the rolls to bake (we don’t want to lose any filling!). Cover rolls to rise again for 1 hour or until they have almost doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until top of rolls are golden brown. (Check them after 18 minutes just to be sure you don’t over bake them.)
While rolls are baking, whip powdered sugar, vanilla, maple extract, and milk together until smooth. Drizzle over hot rolls and serve warm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't be offended...

"Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me" (Luke 7:23).

It is sometimes very difficult not to be offended in Jesus Christ. The offenses may be circumstantial. I find myself in a prison-house--a narrow sphere, a sick chamber, an unpopular position--when I had hoped for wide opportunities. Yes, but He knows what is best for me. My environment is of His determining. He means it to intensify my faith, to draw me into nearer communion with Himself, to ripen my power. In the dungeon my soul should prosper.

The offense may be mental. I am haunted by perplexities, questions, which I cannot solve. I had hoped that, when I gave myself to Him, my sky would always be clear; but often it is overspread by mist and cloud. Yet let me believe that, if difficulties remain, it is that I may learn to trust Him all the more implicitly--to trust and not be afraid. Yes, and by my intellectual conflicts, I am trained to be a tutor to other storm-driven men.

The offense may be spiritual. I had fancied that within His fold I should never feel the biting winds of temptation; but it is best as it is. His grace is magnified. My own character is matured. His Heaven is sweeter at the close of the day. There I shall look back on the turnings and trials of the way, and shall sing the praises of my Guide. So, let come what will come, His will is welcome; and I shall refuse to be offended in my loving Lord. --Alexander Smellie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our new addition...and update

 We rescued her from the pound. :) She is a rat terrier mix and we named her Daisey Mae. She is checking out our other dog, Magnum, a doberman pincher. 

 Hunter is playing with her. :)






She loves to sleep next to you. She is 4 mos old and last night was her first night here and she did great! She slept in her crate from 9 to 5 (because I got up to let her out, she was still asleep lol). I think tomorrow I will let her (and me) sleep in and see how that goes. She makes me smile :)


I got a call from the pharmacy late last night letting me know my Cellcept (sm dose chemo) was ready to pick up...huh? 
She said the pharmacist had it overrided. So I will start my first dose of treatment tomorrow night. Go tomorrow to find out if I can still switch plans that will cover it in the future. :) Now let's pray I can tolerate it. Should see some slowing in progression of this disease in 3 to 8 mos if my body can take it. :)
 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Arepa recipe...naturally gluten free

Arepa Recipe 
2 1/2 c hot water 
1 t salt
2 c p.a.n corn flour (precooked corn meal)
2 t melted butter

 Mix salt into the hot water

Add the corn meal to the water slowly and stir until a soft dough forms. It will feel like playdough. Not sticky, not dry. Let dough rest 15 min

After dough rests, patty it up into 3 in x 1 in circles. The dough should not be sticky nor dry, but just right.

Heat oil or butter in a skillet and fry the circles 6 min per side on medium heat to get a nice crust to form on the outside. You want them to brown a little.

Once browned, put in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 min until they sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and slice open (but don't cut all the way in half) and stuff with eggs, cheese, black beans, shredded beef, etc.

Enjoy!

We ate this A LOT in Venezuela and I missed it so much I had to make my own. They turned out great and brought back great memories of my Venezuelan friends. :) I love learning about foods from other cultures. We still keep in contact with the friends we met in Venezuela and I'm so glad!
My husband is going to be heading out on another mission trip in January to the Dominican Republic. If you think about it, could you say a prayer for him and the trip. He is part of a team that will be going in for an eyewitness tour. Just him and one of our pastors will be going from our church. They will probably join up with some other people when they get there. Thanks!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nothing is too hard...

"Is there anything too hard for Jehovah?" (Gen. 18:14).

Here is God's loving challenge to you and to me today. He wants us to think of the deepest, highest, worthiest desire and longing of our hearts, something which perhaps was our desire for ourselves or for someone dear to us, yet which has been so long unfulfilled that we have looked upon it as only a lost desire, that which might have been but now cannot be, and so have given up hope of seeing it fulfilled in this life.

That thing, if it is in line with what we know to be His expressed will as a son to Abraham and Sarah was., God intends to do for us, even if we know that it is of such utter impossibility that we only laugh at the absurdity of anyone's supposing it could ever now come to pass. That thing God intends to do for us, if we will let Him.

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Not when we believe in Him enough to go forward and do His will, and let Him do the impossible for us. Even Abraham and Sarah could have blocked God's plan if they had continued to disbelieve.

The only thing too hard for Jehovah is deliberate, continued disbelief in His love and power, and our final rejection of His plans for us. Nothing is too hard for Jehovah to do for them that trust Him --Messages for the Morning Watch
~Streams in the Desert

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"There is no place like a farm for raising children, where they can have in such abundance the fresh air and sunshine, with pure living water, good wholesome food and a happy outdoor life" -Laura Ingalls Wilder