You aren't the only one to be distracted from the presence of God:  I understand completely.  Our minds are so flighty.  But remember that our God-given will governs all of our strength.  It must recall the mind to God.  Otherwise, our spirit may wander, dragging us down to the things of this earth.
Brother Lawrence, "Eighth Letter" in The Practice of the Presence of God

Although a humble cook, Brother Lawrence learned the greatest secret of living in the Kingdom of God here on earth: communing with the Lord throughout our daily tasks. He mastered the art of living in the presence of God throughout the day. As he exclaimed, "I am doing now what I will do for all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, adoring him, and loving Him with all my heart."

Humor Helps!

Bonnie Hunt said, "My mother
always said if she was one inch taller she'd be perfectly round."  
Isn't that funny?  
A sense of humor is
SUCH a gift.

If You Are What You Eat....

...then I'm a Baby Ruth.
It wasn't a very good evening!

No "Ho-Hum" in Hummus

While away at our son's home Monday and Tuesday,  I managed to maintain my pursuit of health and good eating habits.  Our "mission" was to help with some landscaping projects.  In spite of some rainy weather, I was able to wield a clippers and shape several shrubs while the men filled in some low spots with top soil in preparation for planting some grass.

We took our grandson out to lunch at Mika's, a great coffee shop in their hometown.  He and I both selected the hummus plate which included cucumbers, tomatoes and pita.  The others chose the chicken chili and turkey wraps or sandwiches.  The hummus was delicious!  While I didn't come away with the specific measurements, I did learn they made their hummus with chick peas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cumin.

I can't wait to blend my own tomorrow!  Hummus is a healthy and filling protein alternative.

Hurray for the Crock Pot!

"I found out the Chicken Ceasar Salad I got at Chili's had 900 calories, 71 grams of fat and 1740 mg. of sodium. So muich for trying to make a healthy choice. And the Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl I got at Applebee's last time has 1,709 calories, 69 grams of fat, 209 grams of carbohydrate, and 1781 mg. of sodium. What an eye-opener."  (Cindy)

After reading this, I was happy that I'd used my crock pot that morning!  I follow few recipes when I use the crock pot.  Sometimes I start with the meat -- in this case, a couple of pieces of frozen chicken breast.  I cut some garden tomatoes into large hunks; then went to the refrigerator to see what else would work--celery, carrots, some chopped onion--ANYthing healthy works. Light on the meat; heavy on the vegetables!

Often I add about a cup of liquid - yesterday I used chicken bouillon.  A look at the clock told me to set my pot for 6 hours (that would be medium).  Just before lunch, I prepared a small portion of whole wheat pasta per the directions on the box.  I added the cooked pasta to the crock pot and cooked for another 15-20 minutes.

This will be my practice as we go into fall and winter.  The aroma and enjoyment of the delicious, nourishing meal bring me much pleasure.

Beware those Half-Centimeter Rocks!

I’m very proud of my nephew, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.  He is a doctor assigned as Team Chief in the Intermediate Care Ward at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. In recent communication he described an evening tour of the flight line on the base. He was invited to the runway by one of the F-16 pilots in one of the two F-16 squadrons left in Iraq. My nephew wrote:

We meet him outside the hospital after dark at 8pm. We in the macho minivan and he in the heavy-duty pick-up truck.  We follow him toward the runway.  There is a secure perimeter around the runway, of course, with a gate guard.  We have to ditch the pick-up truck and he vouches for all of us with a wink to the young female guard and takes the wheel of the minivan.  Just inside the check-point he stops and goes around the vehicle inspecting each tire.  You're to make sure you're not bringing any pebbles or nails onto the flight line, he explains. A half-centimeter rock can deflate the tire of a speeding fighter jet.  With that it's back into the van and we drive slowly along one of the side runways to the end where the F-16's are kept.”

I read the rest of the interesting letter and then returned to the words: "A half-centimeter rock can deflate the tire of a speeding fighter jet."  That's less than 1/4 "!  One fourth inch of debris can sideline a powerful F-16 fighter jet!

In weight-loss and the establishment of healthy habits, it is equally important to “stop and go around the vehicle inspecting each tire.” Tiny habits and small lapses CAN deflate one’s motivation and progress! So don’t become careless. Stay vigilant and diligent. Keep your eye out for those “half-centimeter rocks” that can deflate the tire of a speeding fighter jet!

I think we can also see the seriousness of allowing sin - however "small" it may seem to us - to hinder our spiritual progress and deflate the joy of fellowship with our Heavenly Father. But that's another post....

Delicious AND Nutritious!

I cut up 3 sweet potatoes (with skins on) and added 1 cup of chicken broth along with some slices of turkey sausage. I cooked them in the crock pot for 6 hours - and we had a delicious meal. I didn't realize how nutritious it was until I read the following:

According to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the single most important dietary change for most people is replacing fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.

CSPI ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable by more than 100 points. Points were given for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat content (especially saturated fat), sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food.

The numbers for the nutritional sweet potato speak for themselves: almost twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A,  42%of the recommendation for vitamin C, four times the RDA for beta carotene, and, when eaten with the skin, sweet potatoes have more fiber than oatmeal. All these benefits with only about 130 to 160 calories!

Walking - Again

I got out of vacation mode and walked this morning. It was cool, but the air was heavy with humidity. The horses gathered under this tree just outside the cemetery. The sight was calming and peaceful. It was good and right to walk this morning. I was lazy about not walking yesterday and it didn't feel good. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing whether you want to or not!

Boring but Blessed!

I was feeling pretty depressed while looking at all the deliciously prepared and attractively served food eaten by some of my blogger friends this past week. I thought to myself, "I'm ONE person who for MANY reasons won't be posting what WE are eating.

You see, by comparison, we're sort of boring here. However, we did go out to one of our favorite restaurants today. It was mid-afternoon and we were the only ones there. So I asked the chef if he'd fix salmon off the dinner menu for me. He agreed, and it was delicious. My husband had one of the specials - seafood lasagna. Equally impressive!

We both came home with 1/2 of our portion leftover. We'll enjoy it tomorrow with some fresh sweet corn and tomatoes and some of cantaloupe from Donna's garden.

Now that I think about it, that's not so shabby after all!

Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the world so sweet.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything.

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

It is not uncommon to see Amish women assisting in the fields at hay-making time around our community. This is a much older picture, but reminds me of the sight that surrounds me seasonally.

The expression “make hay while the sun shines” isn’t meant to be just a suggestion: it’s a stone-cold, iron-clad order! Hay is best cut when it’s dry and when there is no rain in the forecast.

Putting off exercise when the circumstances are optimum is an example of NOT making hay while the sun shines! Waiting for tomorrow to begin a commitment to healthy eating isn't either.

Today the sun was shining. I didn't make hay, but I walked -- and walked vigorously! I don't look forward to winter. It represents the "rain" in my hay-making forecast. But for now, I will make hay!

Tomorrow will take care of itself.