stepping back

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To my readers. . I’m stepping back for a few weeks to collect myself. During this time, I need to step back… refresh myself by getting before the Lord… not sure what the future holds. Will I run again? That’s up to God. What will tomorrow hold for my family and me??? Again, GOD only knows. Sweet surrender. God bless

Contents Under Pressure Create SPARKLING EFFECTS!

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(Kids In Photo Ar A Fellow Believer and Volunteer’s Children. They Caught Me For A Pre-race Photo)

Romans 5:3-5 NKJV

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Man… does this verse describe what I’ve been going through! From issues with family to financial struggles and battles with my health…. these waives have just kept crashing down on my family and me.! I’ve tried speaking to these mountains, seeking God for direction, looking for employment opportunities, crying out to God only to find Him being silent. As this past week had gone by, all forms of income outside of my food stamps had stopped. On top of it, my God Grammy ended up in the hospital a few weeks ago andI was unable to see her. Days of being at home with the child mom and I have been doing emergency foster care for while my mom was at work. Dealing with the stress of seeing my mom work her butt off to barely make ends meet, troubles with my mom’s car… a minor set back in my health landed me at the Chiropractor’s office, and thankfully…. the friends from church who took me there were willing to take me to visit my God Grammy in the hospital. So much in such a short period of time. With a race that was coming up, I was determined to baby myself in order to make sure I was ok to run. I took the following day (Thurs) off even though I was permitted to jog and went with my mom, God Mom, and little guy on Friday to volunteer to set up for the race event on Saturday. Finally… a break from all the drama of life! A great day full of setting up, talking with some of the ultra runners (got some tips on training), little guy played with the race director’s kids and we all enjoyed a wonderful meal! All day I had a difficult time deciding which distance to run… the 10k or the half marathon. So, I prayed, felt the prompt to go half, got the ok from the chiropractor and… the next race adventure was set to begin!!!!! The next morning, Mom, little guy and I headed off to enjoy race day fun! The fresh air, the excitement, the smiles, also getting to see the work we’d done the day before come to life… what an amazing experience! I met up with my God Family and we all chatted and prepped for our events. However, it felt empty without Grammy there. Especially after the recent loss of my God Dad. As I headed to the start line of the half marathon, I was pleased to see my God Mom come up right beside me… a team, like Elijah an Elisha! The race director gave the course instructions and precautions and .. we were off!!! For some reason, from the get go, my legs and arms felt heavy. However, I pressed on! Just before the first mile marker my sock started slipping into my shoe! Ahhh! I quickly stopped, pulled it up and raced off! The course was amazing! The morning fog lingered for I’d say about the first 3 or 4 miles. Then, it burned away to reveal a beautiful sunny day! For some reason I began to feel incredibly nauseous! The hills started coming right away, each with it’s own challenge! After the first big one, I thought I was toast, but I asked God for His strength and looked ahead and felt assured that somehow, I’d get through it! As the miles went by, the hills increased in difficulty! Right around miles 8& 9, there was a steep climb with tree roots popping out everywhere. Funny thing is… As difficult as the up hills were, the down hills seemed even more treacherous at times! Then, just as I reached the 13 mile mark (legs feeling heavy and I was still feeling nauseous), I thought I was in the clear and started trying to jet off to the finish! Then, I went around a corner and… up a little ways to ANOTHER DROP!!! This one was a steep drop followed by a quick, steep, quick climb both of which were covered in stairs and tree roots. “Chrap!” I exclaimed! Then I tripped, but didn’t fall… “Please forgive me Lord for letting that word slip!” I said as I deliriously pressed on! As I headed down the steps, my legs felt stiff as boards, my body was weary from the journey, and I pressed through the odd feeling of nausea and endorphins and ran as carefully and quickly as I could and STILL tripped twice more! Thankfully, I landed on my feet and headed up the hill and onto the finish! 4th overall, 1st in my age group and how??? Only by the power of God!!! I quickly went to find my family and God Family and refueled and… we all went to get our picture together (as is our tradition) and headed home! Wow… what a glorious day! Yet, still another bitter sweet moment. Now, the Lord revealed something to me the next day as I sat in service. Earlier in the week I was drinking a bottle of orange Arrowhead sparkling water. On the side of it, it said, “caution, contents under pressure.” Then I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, “THAT’S what all the pressure is about… I want you to sparkle!” Then I looked back over the past year and realized… I’ve never been closer to God until now. These times of trials have given me a choice, to cave in or to press into God and keep taking steps of faith to run the race for Him. I know what I’ve chosen… I will stand my ground and trust Him. So, I leave you all today by saying… whatever you’re going through, press into Christ. Get in your prayer closet, draw close to Him. He can turn ANY situation around, and in your times of trial you’ll find all the ingredients to make your life SPARKLE for Him! Also, for the first time in my blog, I’m sending out a prayer request. My God Grammy is very ill. She’s been back and forth between the hospital and rehabilitation for the past few weeks. Along with that, my God Mom, still morning her husband has had to take this and many other pressures on her shoulders. Meanwhile… we are all facing financial struggles, and well… Please pray for healing for my God Grammy, for provision and strength for my God Mom, for my God Family to come together and be lead by the Holy Spirit in the choices concerning my God Grammy, and for healing in my body,and provision for my family and me. 3John 1:2-3 states that we are to paper in health and financially as our souls prosper. Phil 4:19 says that God will provide our needs… and prayer (I believe) helps unlock to door for God’s power to release those things!

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Today’s recipe… sparkling OJ. This is a great way to cut sugar and add a little sparkle to your day 😉

SPARKLING OJ

~Ingredients

-1 & 1/2 cups Sparkling orange (or lemon) flavored Arrowhead water

-3 cups minute made oj (I used the one with calcium and vitamin D)

-1/2 Large Orange sliced into thin rings

~ Directions

Mix sparkling water and oj together and place into a clear pitcher. Add orange rings and enjoy!

This is really great for kids who want soda. A healthier alternative! Have a blessed week!

from tantrums to structure

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Isaiah 41:18
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
    and the parched ground into springs.

Desert… have you ever been through one? One of my fondest memories is of my family and me going camping with childhood friends in Death Valley. Though we were there in winter, it was still bear and seemingly lifeless. This went on for miles and miles. The only things that seemed to dwell there were tarantulas, lizards, and snakes… no major water sources…only tumble weeds, cacti, and salt flats…. well, there are times in life that many of us have that seem to never end. Yep .. I’ve been there. It seems I’m still there. As mom and I have been caring for my troubled family member’s son, we’ve faced many trials. Issues with mom’s car lead to a huge financial struggle. We ended up way behind on rent. Thankfully, God provided just in the nick of time! On days went mom went to work, I stayed home with little one, and dealt with things I was TOTALLY unprepared for! Due to the things he’d been through before being placed with us plus his dealing with the emotions of not having his mom… there were fits, tantrums, biting, screaming.. Wow! After the first couple of days… I was ready to throw in the towel. My attitude was totally selfish, yet God began to speak to me. He reminded me of what little guy had been through and prayers my mom and I had prayed night after night. So, I asked the Lord to help me in raising him. Soon, tantrums lessened, biting.. not happening so much, and he’s beginning to trust my mom and me knowing we’re not leaving his side. With gentle firmness, God has helped my mom set boundaries that he is quickly adjusting to! What a blessing! While I know there are many trials we still may have to face… I know God is here. He hears our cries for guidance, restoration, and provision. As far as racing… well, if I’ll race again… I don’t believe is a question that needs to be asked. I believe it’s where and when. This dessert I’ve been in emotionally, financially, and in various other aspects of life is soon coming to an end. I’ll continue to stand firm. My God WILL NOT FAIL! Today, I’ll close with a recipe I came up with while caring for little guy! He nommed it down right away!

Cheesy Chicken and brown Rice w Steamed Veggies

INGREDIENTS
-2 cups steamed brown rice
-1 steamed or baked chicken breast, chopped into tiny pieces
-1 stick string mozzarella cheese pulled into shreds
-sea salt to taste (optional)
-1 crown of broccoli
-1 cup peeled baby carrots

DIRECTIONS
Chop up broccoli and place together in a pot with 1 cup water to steam. Steam until very tender. Take a med sautee pan, coat with butter flavored cooking spray place on stove on high until warm, then add rice, chicken, cheese and salt. Cook until all ingredients are thoroughly heated and cheese is melted and spread evenly through mixture. Then, serve. This can be used as a family meal or set up in mini tupperware for easy to take kiddie meals. You can also set up a little side of ranch dressing for veggie dipping!

I hope y’all enjoy your week! Be encouraged and blessed!IMG_20140712_221247

checkin in with banana bread

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Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
-3/4 cup organic sugar
-1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1 egg whites
-1 cup banana, mashed
-1/4 cup applesauce
Adjust Servings

Adjust
Metric US Original recipe yields 1 – 8×4 inch loaf
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add egg whites, bananas and applesauce; stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 min, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.

Hey all… a quick check in! Things have been, well… challenging. Over the past few weeks I’ve continued traning and racing while helping my mom foster my family member’s baby. With financial struggles lingering… My having to stay at home with little one… I begain to feel trapped. I had a flare up and… Will have to forfeit my race this weekend (unless by some miracle I feel better by this eve). I keep praying for God to completely heal me or at provided the sports therapy and medical to help me on my way toward by he goal He has placed in my heart. However… for now, I’m just fearful to have the Chiropractor that I have and who has been willing to work with me and has done a brilliant job of helping me continue to train and race with minimal pain. In this season… all I know is I will continue to stand my ground. I’m believing that God is working here. The days of not being able to buy simple necessities like shampoo, clothes,ect and even the luxury of being able to by shoes for training and racing, the days of not having health coverage, if watching my mom struggle with being over burdened and lacking things that she needs and would like to have will one day be over. Some how some way… we will get to be the ones who give put of our abundance to others. For now, I’m just grateful to have another day, a roof over my head, the air in my lungs, food in my fridge, and… My beautiful family. Today, I’ll close by giving you a “healthy” banana bread recipe. Have a great week, be encouraged, God bless.