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“The God of peace will soon crush satan underneath your feet.”
-Romans 16:20-

After a few weeks of keeping a low profile, and keeping my posts semi minimal… I’m back! This week is, well, recovery week for me. I want to share with you all what the Lord has been doing through me while staying low. I do still need to keep details minimal out of respect for my best friend and partner in ministry, however… I pray that through this you are inspired to press into God in all things and allow Him to give you victory!

Now, many of us as believers go through trials and tribulations, however, James tells us to count it all joy, because it produces the fruit of patience so we may be lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). Those of you who have read my Previous posts know that trials are nothing new to me and my family. I kept asking God what He was doing in all of this… and…. well…. here goes!

The man who originally stopped me and invited me to run my first race (Big Al) told me I would eventually be doing 40 & 50 mile trail runs… I thought he was crazy! A year or so later, my previous pastor at Rock Harbour told me he’d recently heard about a man named Dean Karnazes who runs these insane races (30, 50, 100 miles and beyond) .. and Pastor Port had thought of me… I laughed and told him what Big Al had said… I just couldn’t see myself doing something like that. Then, in 2011 while running my first marathon, in Oakland, a man cheered me on at the 16 mile point and told me to run ahead of him he was”taking it easy.” I asked him why and he told me he was running Oakland as his long run for an ultramarathon! Then, it clicked… hmmmm there’s a world beyond what I was allowing myself to grab ahold of!

Since my finish at Oakland, the battles in my life raged… I begged God to deliver me from the waves, but I heard Him silently speak to me saying “Child, this will make you stronger… I will be with you… Be strong… do the work!”
To cut to the chase… a few months ago, my best friend/ god Mom invited me to do my first 50k. “SURE! Why not?” I thought.. Haha! As we continued to race, and do our long runs in between events… God worked in a supernatural way through us as we jumped from a very low mileage foundation to our final 23 mile long run in a very short time period. Before the event, I battled a flare up that forced me to take three days off from training in the final two weeks… meanwhile, I had a house sit to pack up and head to… Yet, there was this peace… somehow I knew it would all be ok. By the grace of God… we headed to the start line of the “Diablo Hills 50k” (31.78 miles). Prior to the event, I hadn’t really looked over the elevation chart and was told the hills “weren’t that bad.” Little did I know, I was headed into a point to point wilderness trail, running up and down huge hills (sometimes half hiking) & at times running at an elevation of over 2,000 feet. WHAT AN ADVENTURE!
As I mentioned before, I’ll keep details limited for now. However, there are a few things I want to share with you.

First off, while out there… I realised why I’d been through all the gnarly junk in my life… to be strong in will and determination to complete the task. Each hill I ran up represented a demon from my past. It represented the power of God that has helped me conquer each crazy giant from abuse to addiction to self hatred to pride… all gone by His power!

Second, something a woman said to me while out there was “Respect the hills… there’s plenty of downhill to enjoy!” When you really think about it, that also applies to everyday life! We need to respect and embrace the challenges we face, glean from them, and enjoy the easier “downhill moments” that help us fly gracefully forward.

Third, I learned that even in the downhill moments, you need to watch your step so that you don’t get cocky and fall.

Fourth, there were only 4 pit stops on the course, meaning… we had to carry our own food and water. At the stops, we were free to refill as needed. At the second stop, I’d filled my bottles too much and my arms were weighed down. There was a lot of shade between the second and third, so I didn’t need as much hydration. I even offered to share some with another runner & ended up dumping some out to lighten the load. At the third stop, I was on top of mount Diablo, with theeee most incredibly breathtaking view, and it was hot!!! Being that I didn’t want to get weighed down, I only filled my bottles half way. I hadn’t heard the race director when he talked about this portion of the event, so I was unprepared and I ended up dehydrated and almost threw up and threw in the towel before the fourth and final stop. Yet, thank God, I pushed through! In this, I learned that we all need to be in the Word… because it’s our water and sustenance. However, there are times when can get out of balance and spend so much time in the Word that we need to find a way to overflow into someone else’s life. We also need to listen to the direction of the HOLY Spirit so we know how to prepare ourselves so we are properly hydrated and nourished for the road ahead.Spiritual dehydration can leave you exhausted and ready to throw in the towel… In other words, You need time with Jesus between each of your Sunday services in order to be properly prepared for everyday challenges of life!

Fifth, in the last mile I was so focused on just getting to the finish line that I lost my footing and fell 3 times… again each time, I wanted to give up! Thankfully… I pressed on to the FINISH!!! In this I learned that in life, you can’t get so focused on your goals that you lose site of living in the moment. Also, at times when you fall.. dust yourself off, no matter how you feel… and press on into victory!

Finally, at a point in the course… my two dear friends, Moet and Katrina had just finished Moet’s first half marathon together! They came back a little ways to find me and cheer me on! I was so proud of Moet!!! At the finish line was my mom, my best friend/god mom (who kicked my butt in the event) and my best friend’s family who have all become part of my family… all I can say is…. what matters most is not the victories we have or the things we aquire or accomplish in our lives. What matters is who is with us to share in those things along the way! Without family and friends… without anyone to share the ups and downs with. Also, be joyful in the victories of others… that’s what life is all about!

With that I’ll wrap it up by saying… no matter what challenge you are facing, God will pull you through. If He calls you to do something that seems impossible, know that in Him ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! If He could help me push through tragedy and into triumph, He surely can go the same for you! Now, onto something Heavenly to sink your teeth into!

GLUTEN FREE ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES!

Ingredients
Brownie
-1 package Trader Joe’s gluten free brownie mix
– 1/2 cup oikos nonfat or 2 % Greek yogurt
-1 egg (preferably free range)
-1/4 cup water
-2/3 cup raw, crumbled walnuts
-1 cup mini marshmallows
Topping
-1 tub non fat vanilla frozen yogurt
– Hershey Carmel syrup
-2/3 cup crumbled, raw walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix brownie mix, yogurt, egg, and water with a mixer until smooth. Slowly mix in marshmallows and walnuts, place in an 8×8 inch baking pan that has been sprayed evenly with cooking spray. Place in oven for about 30 min or until toothpick poked in center comes out clean. Take out of oven, let cool slightly, then cut into desired sized rectangles and place on mini cake plates (it tastes best if served warm). Place a scoop of froyo on top, drizzle with Carmel, and add walnut crumbles!!!

I hope you all enjoy this tasty treat! Have a blessed week!

Aside

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Ephesians 6:12-18

 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

 

    Going through the waves of life… it’s seemed at times like the crashing waves just keep coming. However, I believe that God’s glory will be seen in my life… I believe that somehow some way… He will pull my family and me through the wreckage and into victory. In the midst of all of this, I’ve learned that we are truly in a battle. Have I looked at the lives of others and wondered why success has come so easily to them and why it seems they live in some untouchable territory of blessing… yes. However, my life, as of now, is a result of years of choices made out of a victim mentality. Through this, God has shown me that in seeking Him, I can walk in victory. So, today I want to encourage you to press in. No matter how hard things may be for you, or even if your life is one of the seemingly “untouchable blessed” lives… keep yourself guarded. We live in a world that is physical, but there are powers and principalities working both for and against us in a realm that isn’t physical. SO… wake up every day… thank God that you opened your eyes, get into prayer, and put on your armor. As you go through your day, try to keep some sort of reminder on your phone or by wearing something (ie:bracelet) or keeping a note in front of you so you can remember to pray mentally or out loud through out the day as the Spirit leads. This… has helped me at many points of my journey, and I’m positive it will help you.

These past couple of weeks, I’ve kept my posts minimal… for reasons that will soon be reveled. That being said, I’ll cut to the chace get get to rapping this up by giving you a list of food items that help protect your body and immune system (just like there are 6 pieces of Spiritual Armor). Each item has a hyper link to information about the benefits they have for your immune system and/ or other healthy advantages to consuming them. Then, I’ll share a recipe for a recipe to keep you healthy and mentally sharp!

Now, in training for races (especially those of high mileage), I found that immune system can often break down a bit, so keeping optimal nutrition is of THEEEE utmost importance so, I try to keep the following in my diet:

1.) Garlic

2.) Sweet Potatoes

3.) Red Bell Pepper

4.) Broccoli

5.) Salmon or Cod

6.) Blueberries

The recipe for this week… Grilled Salmon with sweet roasted veggies! Here, I used most, but not all of the foods listed above. I used red onion instead of bell pepper… I hope you get to try and enjoy this!

OMEGA SHIELD DINNER
INGREDIENTS
Salmon
-4 Salmon Steaks (preferably wild caught Alaskan)
-1Tbs olive oil
-2Tbs fresh squeezed lemon
-1/4 cup orange juice
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/2 tsp rosemary
-1/2 tsp basil
-1 clove Garlic, minced
Veggies
-1 good sized crown of broccoli (rinsed and cut into “mini trees”)
-1/3 head cauliflower (rinsed and cut into “mini flowers”)
-1 lg sweet potato (cut into circles, then cut in half)
-1 Med Red onion (cut into rings)
-1 small package blueberries
-3 tbs clover honey
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-3/4 tsp sea salt

DIRECTIONS
Veggies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Put hot water, honey and sea salt together into a bowl and mix until honey and salt is dissolved. WITHOUT the blue berries, put veggies into a mixing bowl and coat with honey mixture. Place on an oven sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and place in oven for about 20- 30 min or until they are of a desirable texture. Set out to cool for about 1 hour or until they hit room temp. Place in fridge for a half hour, then toss together with blueberries. You can begin to grill salmon while veggies are in the fridge.

Salmon
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, sea salt and rosemary in a small bowl and follow the instructions in this video on how to grill perfect salmon! Use the sauce in my recipe as he instructs! Garnish with a some twisted lemon and orange slices and serve with veggies!

I hope y’all have a blessed week!

Not much t o say… just a quick recipe

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This week I haven’t really felt prompted to talk about anything specific… so, I’ve decided to keep it short and sweet by just sharing with y’all a recipe for salty sweet walnuts! 

 

*Ingredients*

-2 cups raw or sprouted walnuts

-1/2 cup hot water

-1/2 cup clover honey

-1/2 tsp sea salt

 

*directions*

Preheat oven to 375° place walnuts in a bowl. Mix honey, water, and salt together in a bowl and drizzle mixture over walnuts while mixing. One they are evenly coated, spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray and spread walnuts evenly on the tray. Place in the oven for 15-20 min or until golden. Set out to cool for 1 hour and… enjoy! Have a blessed week!

When Two or More are Gathered…

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Matthew 18:20

 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 

Over the past few weeks, in my quiet time,I found myself yearning to feel the presence of God. I tried starting out with prayer and worship, just prayer, and even continued straight to my daily reading. Though I’m sure He has been with me… my spirit was longing for a deeper connection. On Sunday, in Bible study, we closed with intense prayer and laying in of hands. Finally… I felt His Spirit gently wash over me for a brief moment! The next morning, I found myself in my room trying to press in to find I was edgy and distracted. I walked out to the kitchen and mom and I began to discuss a situation that was sort of weighing on us. That’s when it dawned on me… take it to the cross! As my mom and I entered in, the anxiousness in my spirit dissipated. We worshipped a little, and I headed in my room and was FINALLY able to focus and press in. Wow! As I was reading, the Lord reminded me of a time when I was about 5… it was the first time I’d ever felt His presence. I was at Glad Tidings (now known as Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship) & was in a room off to the side. I got a turning sensation in my stomach, then the chills… I ran into the sanctuary where my mom and some of the other adults were doing intercessory prayer. The presence of God was so thick and so breath taking! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that incredible feeling. In looking back on this, I was reminded of the verse that stays when two or more are gathered, His presence is there… wow. So that was the answer… days, nearly weeks of asking God for more of His presence to find that I needed to step out of my isolated prayer den (which is good to have when properly balanced) & into an area of fellowship and allow His Spirit to move with power. So, this week… I want to encourage you… mix it up… don’t let your spiritual life become stagnant and stale. If you tend to press in alone… grab someone you trust or ask the Lord to provide the rite people to pray with you and build fellowship. There is truly strength in numbers! That being said… I’ll go ahead and work this into fitness and nutrition.  

If you tend to go hiking, running, biking, or even to the gym alone, try to create a buddy system by going with a friend from time to time. This will both keep you safe AND create a different atmosphere that will help motivate you to either train a little harder and fix a plateau or even give you new ideas and perspective for the days you train alone. Here’s an example of a buddy workout that can be done with a partner. 

Buddy Intervals

-go to a park that has some good running or walking trails. Do a good 5 to 10 min brisk walk to warm up. Mix in some dynamic stretching (I’ve added links to examples in a few past blogs). Then, as one person walks, the other jogs ahead for 1/4 mile, then turns around and jogs back to the person walking. Then switch. The person who was walking runs ahead 1/4 mile then back. Next, you increase the distance in quarter mile increments, switching off. One person walks while the other person jogs or races ahead. Do the switch off 3x to start. When you increase in endurance, do the switch up to 5x then, cool down! Make sure you stretch out and stay hydrated! Be safe… HAVE FUN!

 

 As far as nutrition… try to find people who are aiming for healthy eating habits and try to create an accountability system. This way you have someone to keep you headed in the right direction and vise versa! This can also be a great way to share recipe ideas and tips to stay on track! Now… This week’s recipe…

Strong Chord Gluten Free Cinnamon Pecan Twists

 

Twists

-2 1/2 cups oat flour (this can be bought or made by placing oats into a blender or food processor and blend until a nice flour is made)

-2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

-1/2 cup organic cane sugar

-2/3 tsp salt

-2/4 rapid-rise yeast

1/8 tsp baking soda

-3 cage free egg whites

-1 cup water

-1 tbsp 2% milk

-2 1/2 tbsp non fat Greek yogurt

-2 1/2 tbsp low fat butter spread

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/2 cup chopped, raw pecans

 

Cinnamon Topping

-1/2 cup organic cane sugar

-2tsp cinnamon

 

Directions

In a separate bowl, breast egg whites until slightly fluffy, almost meringue like. Slowly mix in water, milk, Greek yogurt, and butter and vanilla extract. In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Slowly mix liquid with dry ingredients until smooth dough is made. Lay out on smooth, floured surface and useing a rolling pin, roll out into a rectangle, smoothing out until dough is a 1/4 inch thick. Take pecans, sprinkle evenly over top and use rolling pin to gently press nuts into dough. In another bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar for topping, and set aside. Take dough, and useing a knife, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide. Take strips in sets of 3 and braid them. Lay strips 2inches appart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set in oven for 30 min with a pot of boiling water. Take twists and boiling water out and sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture. Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 15-20 min. Let cool and enjoy!