Let The Races Begin: Part 12 of My Journey and Stovetop Baked Oats!

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Healing, it comes in many forms. For some, it’s a healing touch, comforting word, expressions of art or even a time of getting away from it all to clear one’s head. For others, such as myself, it’s not that easy. I’ve had to learn to heal as I go from one stressful and traumatizing situation to the next. I’m sure you all wonder if I’ve ever wanted my life to be any different. Of course I have! At the same time, more recently, I have learned that these trials are what have made me into who I am today. Without the stress, without the trauma, without the chaos, without everything that has happened in my life to bring me pain and to tear me down, I would not be nearly as strong as I am let alone have the knowledge and understanding of who God is in my life as I am and do today. No, I’m not saying that I’m in anyway shape or form perfect. I have SO far to go; however, I’m starting to see maturity birth in me as I have been more and more willing to except my circumstances, do what I can do to change them, press into God, find His strength through it all, and stop wishing my life was any different. My life is an example of how touch can cause pain instead of healing, words can tear one down to a point of feeling complete self worthlessness, and how the various forms of art that you use to heal can be torn down by others making you feel like you have no right to enjoy those things. The abuse that I suffered growing up physically, verbally, and the like along with being ridiculed and bullied as a child for liking to sing, act and dance… brought me pain in ways I can’t even begin to express. I guess you can kind of laugh with me and just call me the female version of the “Diary of Wimpy Kid.” What’s great about this is that it’s usually the wimpy kid to end up rising above by the power of God and changing the world for the better! I can only hope that my life has a powerful impact on at least a few people that I encounter during this brief moment in eternity. The main lesson I can learn from all of this is that when everything in life turns to pain, when every dream I have seems to just crumble and fall, there is one and only ONE source that I can rely on and that is Christ Himself.

Now, I left off in my journey last time where I had just had to leave my job due to lack of transportation and a severe injury. It was now time for God to strip away every bit of pride, selfishness, bitterness, everything that was not Him, and begin to build new strengths and characteristics I never thought I would ever have. Here goes with part 12 of my journey.

My Journey Part 12

So, there I was, jobless, fighting to regain my strength, and not sure of what the next day was going to hold. Each day, I forced myself to get up, get out of bed, pray and read the word, and yes … rebuild my ability to run again. One thing I witnessed during the season is God‘s providence! He always knows what we need when we need it! You see, just before leaving the grocery store, I had received a call from someone I did routine housesits for. She asked me to watch her home while she was out of town for a little over a week and then do another one for nearly a month right around Christmas. The second housesit for her would become the longest one I had ever done for anyone! The problem with this is, I would have to request time off right around Thanksgiving in order to do so because doing the job would require my not being away from the home for more than four hours at a time. I trusted God and excepted the job right away! After all, this woman had become very dear to me and so were her critters. I really didn’t want to see anyone else that she didn’t know he put in charge seeing is that she trusted me. Wow… this woman… a judge… trusted ME?! An ex drug addict… me? Yes! Truly God CAN redeem all things! Now, upon my leaving the job at the grocery store, it turned out I definitely had time to make sure that I was there for that entire housesit instead of having someone else take care of it. The first and shorter one was so refreshing! I spent most my time running and relaxing with the pup. Then I returned home and it was back to regular life where everything was a struggle. In the middle of it, my little sister reached out and helped mom and me. My sister… someone who had a kid of her own and barely had enough to take care of her self was helping us! I felt so awful! I felt like somehow I failed her! At the same time it was help… A few weeks passed and I was off to enter my next and longest housesit. This one took place over the Christmas season. Though I was very alone during this season, it was much needed time away from the craziness of life.

December 14, 2013 I FINALLY got to race again! I went to an event called “the Dam jingle bells” race hosted by a local family that has held a very special place in my heart! The feelings of being out on the race track again were incredible!

The energy of the people, the excitement of walking up to the start line, the quick push of my foot as I took the first step racing towards the finish, each moment of that beautiful course with views of the water as the clean crisp air filled my lungs all while adrenaline rushed through me like a wild fire… My spirit sang and soared! I was doing exactly what I was born to do! By the grace of God, I crossed the finish line and came in 1st in my age group! Fast… still… even though I hadn’t been racing for a while, God’s grace was on me!

On Christmas Day I went off with my mom, sister and nephew to enjoy one of my most treasured races! It was a gold rush five miler held in the Richmond hilltop area. When I arrived, I saw Big Al who automatically greeted me with a hug and a smile! I had called my godmother a few days prior and she said that she would be there, but come race day she was nowhere to be found! An anxiousness grew in my spirit. SOMETHING was off! I tried calling her a couple times, but there was no answer. I left a few messages, and prayed that she was OK. Meanwhile, the race had to go on! I stepped up to the start line, Big Al did countdown and… OFFFFFF I flew! Every step was such a blessing! The wind flowing through my hair, the pavement under my feet, my heart racing as I flew around each corner and up each hill all the way to the finish line to come in first place Female!!!! My first Christmas with my new nephew, and he got to see me finish what I love to do the most! “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” said Al! “You won!!!” “But my competition wasn’t here,” I said (meaning my godmother and a woman named Erica). “You STILL won!!!” He said! Then he continued to remark on how fast I came in for the 5 miles! It felt good, but at the same time everything just felt off without my godmother and godfather there.

Shortly after his congratulating me, Al took me aside, sat me down in his car and explained his concern to me about how I was doing. He was concerned that I left my job at the grocery store. He was just worried about me as a whole. I explained to him everything that had happened with my dad and the grocery store, and he encouraged me, like a dad, to find a way to pick up the pieces of my life and put it back together before it was too late! “get back into school,” He said, “ get another job, just don’t give up!” Those words, as encouraging as they were meant to be were better sweet to my ears! I didn’t want to do anything else but run! I was so tired of doing what everybody else wanted me to that I just felt like I needed a break from pushing myself. And looking back, I can see that his words were probably the wisest words I could’ve heard at that time. I’ll forever cherish that man and the impact that had on my life!

After the race, I went back to spend some time at the housesit with the dog, then it was out to my house to open presents and enjoy Christmas dinner with my family and a neighbor.

Just as I was sitting down for dinner, I received a call… it was my godmother. She explained to me that my godfather was in the hospital and that it would be best if I saw him as soon as possible. I knew that he had cancer, but I didn’t know how bad it was. For some reason, I didn’t realize how bad it was! I also knew that this call was serious because she had never asked me to see in the hospital before. Though we were close, she never called me unless it was important. That’s something I’ve always respected about her. I informed my mom about the situation, and we all dropped everything and went out to see them!

Upon arriving at the hospital, my godmother officially adopted me as her goddaughter. She told the staff that I was family and from that day on I have been called her goddaughter. For me, this is an honor I will cherish for the rest of my life. When I saw my godfather, they were preparing him to get to an actual hospital room. As I talked to him, he started talking running and told me my godmother was in her peak season for racing! Hahaha it was adorable how even in one of his most painful moments, all he could think about was my godmother and how much he admired her ability to run! I held his hand and talked to him a bit, and the walked out into the waiting room to spend some time with my God Grammy while my godmother and godfather got prepared to get him into a room. Once they had him settled in, my family and I went up to see him. We tried to talk as best as possible, but as it got late, we had to leave. Wow… the man who introduced me to my best friend and godmother, the man who watched over me at races, who would sacrifice his personal food preferences so that I could enjoy allergen free meals with them, who told wonderful stories of planes and cars and of his childhood, the man who cheered me on and coached me on my stride during races… the man who was like a father to me…. was dying! I didn’t know how to fully process it, so I stuffed my feelings in the back of my mind until I later found a moment alone to cry. I then went and said good night to my godmother and God Grammy, and I headed back to the house to get some rest.

The next few days and began to wind down and get ready to leave that housesit. I also beganto pray to the Lord because I didn’t know what I was going to do next about finances, and I really didn’t want to go home yet. Just two days before that job ended, I received a knock at the door. It was my dear friend and old landlord that had me caring for her husband before he passed! Apparently, her and her family were going on vacation and needed me to watch their property while they were away. The job would start immediately after I left the house sit that I was already doing! God heard my prayer! So… I gladly excepted knowing that God truly had my future in His hands!

Now, I’m going to leave off here for this week! BEFORE I go though, I’m going to give a recipe for simple stove top baked oats that I recently came up with! This is super simple and incredibly tasty. Also, since mother’s Day is tomorrow, it might be something you could make for mom for breakfast!

Stovetop baked oats

Oats

-1/2 plus 1 tsp rolled oats

-1 pinch baking soda

-1 pinch baking powder

-1/2 plus 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk OR water

-1/4 tbsp olive oil

Topping

-1/2 individual container Oikos triple zero vanilla yogurt

-1/2 Apple

-1/2 cup blueberries

Directions

Put oats, water/milk, baking soda, and baking powder into a blender and blend until smooth. Put Oil into a mini egg frying pan that has a lid I’ll put the link for the one that I have right here. Cook with lid on, on medium temp until baked all the way through. Flip the pan over to release oats onto a plate, top with the yogurt and fruit and serve!

In closing, I just want to say that I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Here’s to my mom who has been one of the greatest blessings in my life and who stood by me when most people wouldn’t dare be there for me! She’s my best friend, my rock, my everything!!!

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Turn your weeping into sweetness!!!

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All right, second post of the day! This is a very rare occasion, however … I’m going to be very honest with y’all. Today was excruciating as far as pain went. I went for a walk this morning, and had been battling some muscular pain. I don’t want to get into details because I really don’t want to complain. I want to share with you how God can turn a bad situation into something good! While I was laying in bed icing, and just trying to get my muscles feel at least somewhat normal, I got an idea for a Way that I could improve my doughnut recipe. You see, I have tried the recipe that you’ll see below without any arrowroot flour. Recently another blogger was working on their donut recipe, and they posted it. When I looked over it I noticed that they use arrowroot flour and almond meal. Because I wanted to stay true to my recipe, I thought I would try adding the Arrowroot to what I’d already done in my recipe. To avoid any plagiarism conflicts (even using the smallest idea from someone else and adapting it to say it’s your own is a form of plagiarism) I’ll let you all know I got the arrowroot idea from Lady called @purely_elizabeth if you check out her donuts they’re absolutely beautiful! The following is what I ended up with! So, through my pain something delicious and beautiful came out! Whatever you’re going through, know that God is putting the ingredients together to make your life a whole lot sweeter. The trials, the weeping… it all endures for the night but joy comes in the morning! (See Psalm 30:5) now, drumroll please…. DONUUUUTTTSSSS!!!

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Sweet apple donuts

1 Cup oat flour
1/4 Cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 packets whole earth nature sweet
1 egg
1 egg white
1 container Siggy’s vanilla 0% milk fat yogurt
1/2 Cup applesauce

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Preheat oven to 350° Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately then blend them together until smooth. Grease your donut pan with olive oil and coat it with a thin layer of flour. Fill each donate mold with mixture, and sprinkle with whole rolled oats. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can stick a toothpick through the center and have it come out clean. Set them out to cool then flip them out of the donut mold. Drizzle the top with honey, maple syrup, almond butter, or my favorite pecan butter from Georgia grinders.

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Sweetness in bitter times!

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Mind crammed! That’s the best way to describe what I feel right now. Wow, this whole semester has been a total ride of faith for me. Between studies , blood testing, doctors appointments , MRI , house sitting , work… I found I lost the taste for fun in life. In a session with my counselor she asked me what I did for fun and I laughed ! So, she encouraged me to identify the things that I enjoy and make a way to do them…. easier said than done! However, I took her advice and decided to pray and ask God to open up doors for me to do things like reaching out to the ministry that I’ve been wanting to work with and support , and come up with new recipe ideas. Boy was He quick to answer! The following weekend I began a house-sit. Now, my blender at home had just broken and a lot of the ingredients that I need to make my recipes were running at an all-time low along with my finances. Fortunately, the people I was house-sitting for we’re very generous and allowed me to pick figs from the garden, get fresh eggs from their chickens, and enjoy whatever was in their fridge and pantry! Plus, they had a Vitamixer (morning smoothie heaven)!$! So… Off to work I went on studies and baking! The outcome? A recipe for cookies which I’ll share at the end of this post! That weekend I also decided to give myself a break and despite the physical pain that I was dealing with I sat down with the dogs and enjoyed a viewing of “Dirty Dancing!” It felt like being a kid again! I got to hang out with the most curious looking hairless dogs and a house full of loads of other animals (including snakes, turtles, frogs and fish)! It was like being on a farm! After the weekend was over, I packed up my things and headed home to face the week.
In the midst of studies I felt an urge to contact the woman who heads up the ministry I mentioned a few posts back! Now, it’s time to reveal the name of that nonprofit! If the shoe fits wear it right? Well, the shoe is called The Glass Slipper! It’s an organization that helps people who have been sex trafficked find restoration! From the moment that Donnie Moore had mentioned them at my church, I had totally fallen in love! Right there, the heart of everything I’m going to school for right before my eyes! Upon contacting her , she informed me that she and some of the girls we’re going to go to an A’s game that Reverend Moore had invited them to and they had a ticket that they would like to share with me! What an honor! I quickly accepted and that Saturday I went out to Oakland , met up with the girls and enjoy the game of baseball followed by worship and testimonies from players on both teams that play that night! Plus Donnie Moore and his team performed feats of Strength!

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That night as I walked away, all I could think is after seeing those women and knowing what they’ve been through… Seeing that there’s hope for them… It gave me hope! I want to do what the glass slipper does for women! The girls and I parted ways with a promise to keep in touch, and Lord willing work together soon on a project that is yet to be revealed.
On the way home I remembered that I saw a certain Greyhound sign from the freeway! So , I got off the freeway made an extra effort to charge my phone, and took a picture of myself in front of the very Greyhound station that I got off the bus at on January 11th of 2007. For the first time in almost 10 years I visited the very place that my mom welcomed me with open arms , coming out of a homeless drugged-out situation , smelling like trash, and coming down from my last meth high… I wept and thank God for delivering me!

20160910_184724Despite the daily physical pain that I deal with in the trials that I’ve faced… His grace is what has kept me from going back into the mess that I was! By His grace , I no longer have to pick up a pipe or do a line to find refuge from my trials. I can pray to him, I can seek His face, and I can trust but no matter what tomorrow holds, whether or not I ever receive the healing that my heart so desperately desires, whether or not I ever see any of my dreams come true… ultimately life is fading. All that truely matters is knowing that I’ve lived a life that brings His light to others…
That being said… Here’s some good news… Test results came in and… NO CANCER! Testing for various other things such as thyroid disorder and celiac , at least the heavy part is out of the way and off my shoulders! meanwhile, the battle with physical pain continues! My muscles acting up, along with having to visit the chiropractor several times having a hard time just trying to make it through each day I’m going to continue to trust the Lord! So, questions for you!
First off, while the eating disorder I’m currently recovering from is called orthorexia, which is what has led to a lot of my digestive issues , in stepping into recovery I’ve had to step out of fear and eat things that I before I would consider taboo… Are there Foods that you’ve ever considered taboo or been afraid to eat?
If so have you have your face your fear? How?
Also, is there something that you’ve been desiring to do but have let fear stop you from doing it?
finally, what are some things that you like to do that are fun and help you enjoy a break from the stresses of life?
All being said onto the recipe! Until I post again… God bless!

Almond Butter Cookies

1 & 1/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 egg 2 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
half a teaspoon of salt
Half teaspoon cinnamon
Half cup of Georgia grinders honey roasted almond butter
Two packets of Justin’s Maple almond butter
9 packets of Zing stevia

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix wet ingredients and dry separately, then mix together. Place spoonfuls (about 2-3 tbs full) of cookie batter onto a cookie sheet leaving about a 1.5 in space btween each. Place in oven for 15 min or until baked to your liking… Enjoy warm with some froyo or… Let cool and enjoy with a morning cup of joe!

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To Everything There is a Time…. Plus gluten free Ginger bread!

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To everything… there is a season… the Bible states it, the Byrds even wrote a song about it… and well I’m going to talk a little about it! Lol! Seasons, seem to have been changing like whirlwind around me… at times, I thought was so alone I couldn’t bear it, times when there were so many people around that I just wanted to be alone, times of peace, joy, birth, death, feast ,famine, and my most recent one… a time to just plain GROW UP!!! You see, for a long time I somehow got this great idea that God was going to just drop a miracle in my lap. A giant, sudden, fix all my problems MIRACLE! When, In reality… I don’t even deserve it! To be honest…  here I am, 31 years old, practically living off my mom and wining about some of the most stupid things… and… in my spirit, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “why don’t you JUST GROW UP!” No really… so, along with the joyful chaos of final rehearsals and performances in the Hilltop Community Church’s “Singing Christmas Tree” this past week (which was an AMAZING production), I made some choices in regards to school and work that.. well… LORD WILLING will have me on a path to freedom I so desperately crave! If you think about it… I was running around doing races and running around doing this and that for other people, but when my own life is a sinking ship, that’s not a good testimony! So, in my attempt to not only help myself, but to set a good example to little guy and to give my poor mom a break from bearing the burden of me (and that can be rather large at times), I’ve set out on a scholastic journey, gotten more serious about my job search, and have begun the blueprints of a project that will remain on the “DL” for now. What will come of this? Only God knows. However, I WILL tell you this… I refuse to give up on life! I refuse to settle for anything less than accomplishing all that God has for me to do while I’m here. Most of all, I REFUSE to remain childish and expect miracles when I’m not willing to put in the footwork to make it happen! As for running and racing… I’m focusing on finding answers and getting my body back into balance. IF I race again (which my soul so desperately longs to do) it will be in God’s time. Surrender is ever so bitter sweet! In closing I just want to say… If you have goals and dreams, give them to God, let Him work. I’ve done just that… and…. I hope ya’ll will continue to join me in seeing what He decides to do! This weeks recipe, gluten free Ginger Bread Cookies!  God bless and have an amazing week!

Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies

(Recipe modified from minimalistbaker.com)

~Ingredients~

-1 free range egg

-1/2 cup dark brown sugar

-3 Tbs molasses

-1/2 cup non-fat or lowfat plain Greek yogurt

-3/4 tsp ginger

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp gluten free baking soda

-1 1/2 cups brown rice flour (or gluten free flour of your choice)

~Directions~

In a large bowl, mix Greek yogurt, sugar, molasses, egg,and spices and mix on low-med until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add flour and mix with a spoon, you may also use your hands, making sure dough is no longer too sticky yet not too firm. Chill dough in fridge over night. the following say, preheat oven to 350 degrees, get a cutting board or other flat space fit to roll dough, sprinkle some gluten free flour on the rolling space as well as the pin to keep them from sticking to the dough. Roll dough until about 1/8 inch thick, cut into desired shapes and use a floured spatula to transfer them to a cookie sheet (sprayed with butter flavor cooking spray). Bake for 8  min or until edges are slightly golden, then let cool for about 20 min and transfer to a rack where you can add some powdered sugar or even decorate with some cream cheese icing!

From Numb To Love <3 Victories with Cookies =0)

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Numb… I guess that’s the best way to put it. After all that’s happened the battles I’ve faced…. I found myself feeling battle worn and literally numb. This week has been a week of challenges that have been tough ones to face, however, I found hope in the midst of my raging seas. The week started with xrays and me watching little guy again being that my mom could not afford child care. My attitude, this time, was much different. Instead of waiting for my mom to have to ask me to care for him, I offered. I couldn’t stand watching my mom struggle financially, carrying the weight of my unemployment and having to take me to various appointments all while not having enough income to cover her own need alongs with food for the household. I was out of foodstamps and the least I could do was take some of the financial pressure off by handling childcare regardless of my medical situation.

With days spent at home with little guy, the Lord began to teach me about love. He showed me how to relate to little guy and how to handle discipline (time outs) in love. I pushed aside my worry about pain, picked him up, held him, hugged him and tickled him cause that’s what being a little kid is about… being loved. Little guy and I ended up having a lot of fun watching veggie tales, laughing, and learning new words. Yes… he had his moments, but God helped me push through, in love regardless of the physical pain I was in at various times. Still unable to see DR. Runco until I get the results from my x-rays and MRI… things were a little iffy, however, by the grace of God I had no need for any pain reliever.

Another thing the Lord showed me (which began last week)… I was living in a constant state of fear. This fear was keeping me back from my life. There are so many things I desire to do (ie: go to school, work, get out on my own, continue the running ministry, ect.) however, I was in serious bondage to fear. I was afraid to go to school because I’d tried before and when my family and I lost our home in 2011 along with the matters concerning my troubled loved one, I suffered severe trauma and ended up having to drop everything just to attempt to find some sort of grounding. I was afraid to go out and try to work again, because of all the times I’d failed. This week, a MAJOR fear was reveled… I was afraid of people… REALLY… I mean… can you blame me? A friend of mine I worked with at a grocery store last year took me to breakfast and coffee. This was the first time I’d hung out with anyone outside of my God family and a few church events in almost a year, and I found myself nervously itching and on edge!!! WOW! When I recognized what was going on with me, I started to look back over the past few months…  every day… I was detaching myself from the emotion of each day, so afraid to love or be loved, so afraid to talk to people, waking up everyday… just trying to make it through each moment, praying to God that something would change. WHen, in reality, what needed to change was me!

I began to press into the Lord even harder! I told Him … “this may be the life that I’ve been given, and I may not like how things currently are, but I choose today to enjoy it! I surrender my health, family, friendships, ministry, finances…. I surrender it all to You! Thank you for another day Lord. No matter what, I choose to thank you!” I woke up the next morning, and right off the bat I had to make the decision to have a good day. The moment I did that, it’s as if a veil was taken off of my eyes. For the first time in a while, I began to feel again. I mean REALLY feel! I started seeing my mom, little guy and our lives through different eyes. The Lord also re-stirred the hope that I’d had a few weeks back when I’d left the harvest carnival/ magic show at Hilltop… I began to see that if I truly want to go back to school, I can. If I want to continue to run and race… I can, I just need to allow myself to heal and take in every bit of care that I can get to get me balanced and in top shape again. Ministry, I can do… Love… I CAN DO… be loved… Yes… that too! Work… I’ll dust myself off and try try try again! Why? Because I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH KING! AND IN HIM I CAN DO ALL THINGS!!! What do you know… After some prayer, thought and talking with my upstairs neighboe… I began to take steps in the direction that I feel the Lord is calling me. Will it be school, work, how will I return to health… well, stay tuned as God begins to unfold. For now… it’s all rather “hush hush” (as they say on Veggie Tails =)

Now, as we head into the weekend, I just want to encourage you… no matter what you’re facing.. weather it’s fear of failure, seemingly impossible circumstances, loss of job, loss of a loved one, broken relationships, broken dreams… GOD IS BIGGER!!! HE IS STRONGER!!! JESUS (FIRST AND FOREMOST) has been there and paved the way, having suffered every imaginable pain including death so we could be free to live!!! Today, I’ll close in a prayer and… of course, leave you a recipe to fill your taste buds with =0)

Lord,

I thank you for all that you’ve done for us! You know the things that the person(s) reading this is (are) dealing with. You know the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, and still…Heavenly Father… you’ve seen the FINISH LINE! I pray that You would stretch out your hand and comfort them! Send forth your Holy Spirit along with Your angelic hosts into their lives, homes, and every place they dwell to bring healing in their minds, bodies, relationships, hearts or any other place needed, to rescue the loved ones of theirs that need you, to bring provision where there is lack, hope in hopelessness, freedom from fears and bondages and peace that surpasses all understanding! For those who are unsaved, I pray that you will rescue them, help them to find you I thank You Lord that you ALREADY have the victory! I give this now into Your hands to act according to Your will! In your Son’s Heavenly name I pray…Amen!

Now, for the recipe

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SMALL BATCH GLUTEN FREE BANANA NUT BREAD COOKIES
(makes 7 cookies)
~Ingredients~
1 cup brown rice flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
1 egg white
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup organic raw sugar
1/4 heaping cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup crumbles wall nuts (optional)

~Directions~
Preheat oven to 350° spray a cookie sheet lightly with butter flavored cooking spray. Place 7 spoonfuls of dough evenly onto sheet (may make more or less depending on scoop sizes). Bake for 10-15 min (or until edges are slightly golden brown) on MIDDLE oven rack. Set out to cool and serve with your morning coffee or fresh out of the oven with some vanilla fro yo and caramel drizzle!

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!

Cooking and Running… they go hand in hand

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Today, I was reminded by a fellow blogger that part of the joy of running is getting to eat… a LOT!!!! Something that I LOVE is baked goods. Over the years, I have created healthy alternatives to otherwise considerably sinful delights, and will be posing them sporadically… starting with…. my favorite “after long run treat” while the recipe is fat free… I DO EAT THIS WITH EGGS simply because the body NEEDS the necessary fats!

FAT FREE/ GLUTEN FREE BANANA BREAD PANCAKES!!!

1 cup Brown Rice Flower (or spelt flour)

1 cup rolled oats (or sprouted grain flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 pinch of salt

1/2 cup mashed and over ripe banana

1/4 cup apple sauce

2 free range egg whites

1 cup non fat milk (or nonfat soy milk)

1 and 1/2 tbs sunsweet lighter bake

In a food processor (or blender) process oats (if that is your selection of flour) until a flour like consistency. place into a bowl with the brown rice flour, baking soda, and salt and mix. In a separate bowl,whip egg whites until meringue-like peaks form and add mashed banana, apple suace, milk, and sunsweet lighter bake. then, slowly mix in flour mixture. Heat up your griddle, spray w/ non fat cooking spray and place 1/2 cup mix to cook… alow to get golden on both sides and… serve! For added flavor, top w/ 100% maple syrup, sliced bananas, and walnuts!

ENJOY!