Now More Than Ever – My Response to Charleston

I am so saddened at what has happened to those beautiful people in Charleston, SC. I’m angry. And to top it off, now I get to see the media circus ensue whenever I happen to look.

What should my response be in my tiny corner of the world? Now before I rattle my list off – that’s fine if yours is different. It’s even fine if you disagree with what I say. I’m simply here stating my personal response to having seen such a horrific act of hate and murder.

  • As a Christian, I am told the World will hate me for my beliefs.
  • As a white person, I am exempt from so many layers of hurt that others must deal with because of their skin color.
  • My job is to be the best light I can be wherever I’m at.
  • I  am not the judge. My faith says that the One who sits on the right-hand side of the Father is. I thank God that his mercies are new every morning and that He has forgiven me for my poor as crap choices.
  • My job isn’t to correct people who might think differently than I do. My job isnt to spout what I believe is the truth and respond/reply to everything I see online.
  • My job is to build relationship with people enough to earn the right to speak into their life – and even then, many times, that comes only when asked.
  • I am to be slow to speak and slow to anger (I’m not so great at this one)
  • Now more than ever, my job is to love those around me and to love those God has placed in my life.  What does that look like? I ask God to help me know everyday what that looks like. It might be to try and be encouraging to someone who looks down.
  • I may not know any of those people at that church, and I certainly don’t know what was in the heart or mind of the killer. I don’t know how they live their lives, what they believe that might be the same or different than me, but tonight, as I sit here, I love them all. I grieve with them. I wish there was something I could do. The treasure of prayer is the closest thing to them in my grasp.
  • Am I concerned about our country, these political candidates, all the intensifying war cries regarding every topic under the sun? You better believe it. I feel it throughout my days and nights. I grieve for those still imprisoned over in Iraq and for those persecuted all over.
  • I  am concerned and I’m being poorly represented by “fellow Christians” who are spouting hate and anger online in the name of righteousness during things such as what’s going on in Charleston. Who are you? Even if you know the Bible backwards and forwards who do you think you are telling everyone who they are and that they are going to hell? Is that your utmost job while you are here on this Earth? I don’t think so. Am I saying you should silently watch from a distance? No. But please quit being a false representation of the truth and love God wanted us to share! We are called to be a light in the darkness! I see so many mean, rude, hateful, boastful remarks being made by some Christians who are sitting in the wrong seat. The scriptures us Christians read in The Bible isn’t just for newly marrieds to have a handle on how they should treat one another! We’ve confined it to couples when it’s meant for the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Amidst all of the attrocities, offenses and injustices we are seeing on every level right now – let us shut our mouths. Let us listen for a bit. Let us listen to the heart of God instead of the heart of the Internet.

When we die, people will mostly remember how we loved. Not how we lived or what we had.

Copied from BibleGateway.com

Lord help me to love! That is my prayer. Help me to love when things like Charleston happen.

Homemade Peanut Butter Oatmeal Packed With Protein

Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Homemade Peanut Butter Oatmeal – the grits are for every other day.
PB2
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

I have gotten into the habit of making my own oatmeal for over a year now. I love that I can change up calories by adding or taking away extra goodies, but today I want to focus on having your day start with some good protein.

If you don’t have a texture issue with oatmeal, then having some pre-made saves time and in most cases money. You also have the added benefit of knowing what goes in your oatmeal if you need to watch certain items in your diet.

I discovered powdered peanut butter several months ago when I was really looking at the items in the organic section with a fine-tooth comb.  This little beauty is a great add-in for smoothies, cocoa, breads, cookies…..pretty much anywhere that you would add regular peanut butter. The nice thing about powdered peanut butter is that you can also add water and voila – have a pretty decent peanut butter when needed.  I have not been paid to endorse any of this – I just love it and so I’m sharing it!

Homemade Peanut Butter Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS: (I try to use everything organic as possible)

  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 tbsp powdered milk (I used a nonfat powdered milk)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of flax seed

Extra Add-Ins: coconut, chocolate chips for a nice chocolate peanut butter oatmeal, walnuts, raisins, etc.

I simply place all these ingredients into a sealable container and I can grab and go for work.  The calories will vary, so since it is only one serving, just total up all your ingredients. Mine comes to 210 with the basic recipe bulleted above.  If you want to make multiple servings ahead, use a handy conversion chart to turn one serving into five!

These are not hollow calories! The 210 sounds high for something to eat, but you are eating what you will need to get you through the morning without wanting to strangle someone or run for the vending machine/snack room/cupboard.

Have any other ingredients you would add? Let me know here if you try it and how it turns out!

One More Chance at Fishing

So in my earlier post I was sharing about my day and how fishing didn’t look like it would be in the picture for our family today.

Well once my husband got back from his work call, he came through the door asking “Who’s ready to go fishing?” I noticed that the rain had stopped and even some sunshine was hanging around. So we loaded up and went!

Son and I are still learning a lot of the mechanics of things and had our struggles; however hubby was patient with us. I am glad we got to go. We went to Carvin’s Cove and had a chance to catch a great sunset. So with that, I will end my day.

Carvin's Cove
Carvin’s Cove Sunset

What The Binge Was I Thinking?

Today was a Saturday at home. No real schedule, no real plans. We hit the flea market as a family and then came home.

My day suddenly turned from care-free to frustrating when I realized the cat that we are fostering has been pooping outside of the litter box. So the next several minutes were spent with the entire family scoping out the house, cleaning any bombed areas and smelling nothing but nastiness.

Dusty Rhodes
My Flea Market Find – RIP Dusty Rhodes

So although I had chosen an egg white delight meal at Mc D’s this morning, things took a sharp turn. I am embarrassed to tell my readers that I ate a lot for lunch. And not because I was hungry. I think it was to deal with what to do where the cat was concerned. Do we give up? Do we adopt him after all? I mean, we can’t have that going on all the time. Where did we go wrong?

So then I had asked if we could go fishing.  I always keep my license in the fishing box so that I always know where it is. Husband informs me it’s not there. Frustration #2 as we are riding in the car to our fishing destination. We stop at the local gas station there near the entrance to see if they sold licenses and worms.  They didn’t sell licenses and the entrance we were planning on going in had been closed down. The only other way was around the bend of a highway…

So as we head to a sportsman’s store off the highway to obtain my new fishing license, the sky turns grey and overcast. Then my hubby’s phone goes off with a call for work.

Womp. Womp.

So I just asked if we could go back to the house. So he took us back. And then he left for his work call. And my son gets on his computer. And so I eat. And then I eat some more, and some more….just deciding I didn’t even care. Just kept on going.  So now I am at here at the computer and so disappointed in myself.  I had lost three pounds eating right and working out at the gym this week. Have I just wreaked havoc on those three pounds?  I know if I get on the treadmill that is literally right next to this desk, I’d have to walk for miles.

So how does one cope when they have binged? What are some things that I need to learn? I mean, I certainly can’t eat anymore in order to try and deal with trying to figure out what to do about eating more!  Do you have any constructive thoughts?

Help! We Have A Kitten Secretly Pooping Outside of the Litter Box!

kitten
Son and Buddy the Kitten

I am in serious need of some Kitten School 101. So all you feline lovers out there – this post is for you!

So we have this kitten. Son named him Buddy.  We thought Buddy did great adapting to the house and he quickly found the litter box. We are fostering Buddy for two weeks from the SPCA to decide if we want to adopt him.  Son has wanted a pet and I thought this would be a great way to see how responsible he would be. I have allergies to cats, so I am really stretching myself and heart to take this little one in.

So anyhow, today when we get back from running errands, we open the door and BAM! Eau DeKitty hits us strong. We figure it must just be his litter box (which son has dumped regularly)I go into my dining room and as I am putting up my crock pot, there THEY are. Several corner

kitten
Buddy the Kitten

poops and pees. Then I look in the other corner. Another poop and pee. This is in addition to what this little precious already does in his litter box.

So where friends, did we go wrong? What do we do now? We are all aggravated and ready to give up.  What do we need to do?

 

Blogathon Newbie!

This weekend I am participating in Blogathon!  I hope to make new blogging friends and learn lots of information about blogging. Find out more here if you want to participate here!

Leave me a comment below if you signed up or if you want me to follow your blog!

Biannual Blogathon Bash

Corn Casserole’s In The House!

Corn Casserole’s In The House!.

Then and Now

skinny, ideal weight
Me then 7/2006

So I want to share my before my weight gain and then my current place.  My husband has this picture on his nightstand. This was right after we were married in June of 2006.  A lot has happened since then.

I carried and gave birth to my now eight year old son.

I became a houseparent at a children’s home while raising an infant and toddler.

I was hospitalized for depression and suicidal concerns.

I broke my ankle.

I moved at least eight times.

weight, weight loss
My now 6/10/15

There are other things…..but all to say that throughout that time, I have struggled with my weight.  I am back on Calorie Count (again) and am working out. I hope that although I may not ever be that girl in 2006 weight-wise, I am proud of who I am now and all that I have learned.  But make no mistake, the weight needs to definitely come off.  I have seventy pounds to lose. So I will share along the way. Why not? I didn’t end up committing suicide, so while I’m still here, might as well give all I got!  Wish me luck and join me over there on CC if you need some support too!

Healthy Organic Lasagna

organic lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, bennetts bistro, tofu   Lasagna is a wonderful thing. I am a clean eater, so I couldn’t fully call this a clean lasagna, but it’s pretty close! This tasty  dish is right around 350 calories for 1/2 of a loaf pan!! Serves 2 What you will need: 2 organic brown rice lasagna noodles 2 Peri sweet baby peppers Green onion stalk, diced 1/2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tbsp diced garlic 2 cups fresh spinach 1 tsp turmeric  1/2 tsp black pepper 1 organic vine ripe tomato 2″ sliced thinly or cubed 1 cup organic tomato sauce 1/2 cup organic extra firm tofu 1/2 cup organic ricotta 1/2 cup non-dairy shredded mozzarella (reserve 1/4 cup for cheese to sprinkle on top) 6 leaves chopped fresh basil 1/2 tsp black pepper     Looking at the picture below, use the olive oil, turmeric and black pepper to saute the diced garlic, peppers and tofu. Once peppers are slightly softened, stir in tomato slices and spinach until spinach is nicely wilted. Then add one cup of organic tomato sauce, stir, turn off burner, cover and let the flavors blend. Stir your ricotta, 1/4 cup cheese, fresh basil and pepper in a separate bowl. Set aside.   Once you have cooked noodles to package directions, you are ready to assemble your lasagna! Start with a small layer of your vegetable mixture in your bread/loaf pan. Add one noodle. Then 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. 1/2 of your remaining vegetable mixture, your last noodle, rest of ricotta, then rest of your vegetable mixture. Top with reserved 1/4 cup of cheese. Cover with foil. I wasn’t cooking mine until the next day, so it got to sit overnight and blend as far as flavors even more. You should be able to cook in oven right away though. Either method should work fine. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil,  turn on broiler feature on oven to high to brown or melt your cheese to your liking. Remove from oven and let sit to firm up for about 15 minutes. In the pic below, I didn’t let it sit long because we were ready to eat! I hope you enjoy this healthy flavorful dish as much as I did. Colorful, organic and half of that loaf pan is a big serving! You could divide into three for even less calories! I’m taking the other half for lunch at work.

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Using Pinterest As Your Main Search Engine – What?

What if I told you that 95% of my searching on the Internet is done on Pinterest?  The other 5% I Google. I want to let you know why and how I do this because it is truly been a method that that produces multiple results and more targeted results.

Quick Background

IScreen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.51.33 AM joined Pinterest a few years ago now, when you still had to be invited by someone else to join.  I quickly caught on and saw the potential from there.  I began to build “boards” based on topics that I love or am interested in. Even topics to help me shop or prepare for something special like a Holiday.  The way Pinterest has evolved for individuals and businesses is enormous! These statistics via Craig Smith and Digital Marketing Ramblings tell us much about the landscape of users.

Traditional Searching vs. Pinterest Searching

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.53.17 AM
This is the Pinterest search tool located in the upper-left corner of your Pinterest screen.

Traditional searching on search engines has me going back and forth. Clicking into a link. Jumping back out. Hoping the next one clicked is the right thing I am looking for. When using Pinterest search, I don’t get a bunch of blue links staring back at me. I get a visual landscape that helps me quickly determine where I want to go. This is particularly helpful for me when looking for that old dessert my aunt used to make or wanting to try a different mac and cheese recipe. Pinterest users spend an average of 90 minutes a month pinning and looking. This is what also makes it advantageous to businesses.  49% of people use Pinterest over traditional magazine page flipping – it’s environmentally friendly!

Pinterest Is Active and Moving – Not Just a Destination

One thing that causes me to use Pinterest over traditional searching is the potential to build connections and relationships. I see a pin that I want/need. I then can look at other pins the person has or it might bunny trail me to a whole new connection that’s worth having. I also like the fact that even though Pinterest can look awfully busy and active, it’s still easy and “quiet” to look without pop-ups or third parties trying to mislead me with a link. Not that people don’t try.  But it’s not as bad as a traditional search engine.  On a traditional search engine, the potential to build relationship is limited to the link you click that takes you to the end destination point – a website.  Pinterest opens up a place where not only you can find what you are looking for – but you can connect with others who are into the same thing and keep an eye out for their pins!

An Example Between the Two Methods (Pinterest vs. Traditional)

Below I have typed in Macaroni and Cheese. So not only do I get to see amazing visuals to help me decide which consistency I would like, but I can pin it, save it and don’t have to print off a recipe that I “found on the internet”.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 12.59.44 PM

 

And here I have typed in macaroni and cheese in a Google Search and here’s what I see:

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.03.20 PM

 

Not only is there a ton of copy, but I see there are ten plus pages of links I have to click in and out of to get what I might be looking for.  I just like the “snapshot” that Pinterest offers much better. I get upfront results instead of a mystery.

How do you search for things on Pinterest? What has worked for you when trying to hunt something down?