Friday, February 22, 2013

Devotion: Saving My House from Destruction

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"But the one who hears my words and does not obey is like a man who built his house on ground without foundation. When the floods came, the house quickly fell and was completely destroyed." Luke 6:49

My life is busy, and this morning as I was flipping through my prayer journal, I realized that my busy life was getting in the way of my spiritual life. Each Monday I am committed. Bible study? Check. Prayer journal? Check. But when it came to Tuesday through Sunday, my prayer journal entries were spotty. Yesterday I was thinking about how long it had been since I did a blog post. For someone who tends to post two or three times a week, I was really lacking. My policy with doing a devotional blog post is to not push it. If I don't hear God's message to me, then I don't try and share something with you. Otherwise it's just forced. Then I started thinking of why I hadn't heard God speak to my heart lately, and it all goes back to my life being busy. I was so wrapped up with my own life to stop and let God wash me with His love and wisdom.

Remember me telling you that when God speaks to me, he does it in two or three different ways? Well, He did it again this week. My daughter learned last week in Sunday School the story of the two men who built their houses, one on stone and one on sand. She has been humming that song, "The wise man built his house upon the rock..." all week. And THEN, this morning's devotion in Luke that I'm doing through Good Morning Girls was about the story of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man. I really looked at this story hard. For years I have read this story; I have sang that same song. But what hit me the most was the phrase "house". I have always looked at this scripture as talking about my spiritual life as being the house. If I don't place all my trust and build my life on the Rock that is Jesus, then it will all crumble when times get tough. This morning, though, the word "house" struck a new meaning to me, my family.

My husband and I are constantly trying new tactics to teach our children about God in hopes they will come to love Him and desire to be in His Word all the time. We have tried to lead by example, by having our own devotional time each day. We have tried getting them to journal. We have had them listen and discuss lessons they learned through listening to devotions from Keys for Kids, Focus on the Family, and a kid's devotional app I found on my phone. We print out kid-friendly sermon notes {see here, here, and here for examples} for our kids to use during church, and we discuss what they learned during Sunday School and Church each Sunday.

All of that means nothing, though, if our hearts aren't in the right place. God is all about the condition of the heart. Look at King David. Acts 13:22 says, "After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.'" If my husband and I are encouraging our kids to have a relationship with the Lord because "it's the thing to do", then our hearts, and their hearts, will never be in the right place. If we are doing it because, well, we live in the Bible Belt, and if you don't go to church, something is wrong with you, then our kids will never value developing a relationship with their Creator. If we make them keep a prayer journal and sermon notes because it's something that Christians are supposed to do, then they will put their faith in Christian checklists instead of putting their faith in God. GOD must put that desire to love and serve Him in their hearts. We can't force that desire upon them.


As long as we continue to teach our children these things, prayer, devotions, journaling, taking notes during a sermon, and as long as our intentions are about developing a relationship with God, then a firm foundation has been established. The story of the Wise and Foolish man makes it clear. Floods will come. We will experience difficulty. But if we base our lives, our hopes, our fears, our desires, our struggles in God, then we can weather the storm. We can stand strong while things are tough. And we will come out on the other side standing strong.

And that's what we want to pass on to our children. And that's what I want to pass on to you. And that is what God wanted to remind me this week.

May your foundation be firm and you, too, save your house from destruction.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Low Carb Crepes: A REVIEW

As a low carb-er, I am finding that eggs are becoming pretty essential to my weight loss. And as much as I like eggs, there's only so much fried eggs, boiled eggs, omelets, and quiches I can eat for breakfast. And because I'm a new low carb-er, I still crave the taste of bread. So when I saw "Low Carb Crepes" on one of my new favorite food blogs, Your Lighter Side, I about did a flip in my kitchen. I have made crepes before {see here for a not-so-low-carb recipe}, using an egg-based flour mixture, and they are delicious, but not so good for someone who is trying to lose that nasty weight.

I attempted this recipe, keeping it as close as I could, based on what ingredients I had in the house. I put the recipe in MyFitnesspal.com to see if my adjustments kept it the same amount of carbs...and they did. So I will be sharing the recipe with you, giving you the review.

Low Carb Crepes {Original recipe found HERE}
Note: An asterisk * shows that this is an ingredient that was NOT on the original. Please see the original recipe, link above, for clarification.


  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp Aunt Jemima low sugar syrup*
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil*
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 packets of Pyure Stevia*
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries *{the original recipe does not say how much. For just myself, I used a little less than 1/4 cup}
Directions: Because I did almost exactly what she did on her recipe, I am just pasting it below. Any changes will have a bolded statement next to it. 

In a bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until peaks are stiff (about 5 minutes).
In separate bowl, blend cream cheese, yolks, baking powder and Aunt Jemima low sugar syrup. Adding half of the yolk batter at a time to the whites and using a tall spoon (I use an iced tea spoon), make a lazy sine wave {not sure what a "lazy sine wave" is, so I just gently folded} through the batter once. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Add second half of the yolk mix and repeat sine wave two more times.
Using scant ½ cup scoop {I just spooned out batter to make 4-inch crepes}, drop batter onto heated pan. Let cook until bottom is firm (the batter’s not yours) about 3-5 minutes. Flip and press lightly. Let cook for another 1-2 minutes, until crepe is set. Move to a plate to cool.
When ready to serve:
Arrange crepes on a plate (best looking side down).
In a bowl, whip heavy cream with two packets Stevia until still peaks form. Spoon cream into the center of each crepe. Roll and place seam-side down. Tuck fresh fruit in, on and around the crepes. Sprinkle one packet of Splenda along the top (optional). {I did NOT do this}
Refrigerate leftovers.
She says further down that these crepes also make great wraps for sandwiches. So I immediately made some sandwiches and set them aside for future meals. 

My "Official" Review

Was it easy to make? 
Yes. It was very easy to make. My only major complaint is that it took me three bowls to make. BUT, it didnt take long. I'm thinking it would be easy for me to prep some of it before hand, such as the yolk mixture and the whipping cream, to speed up the process for a quick morning. One other problem, MINOR, was that her recipe had more packets of sweetener than I saw her instructions had, so I was all about using 4 packs of sugar, and ended up using only 2.

How did it taste? 
Oh. My. Word. I kept checking the recipe to see if I had done it right because it was SO GOOD. It tasted more like a dessert than it did breakfast, and it made me giddy thinking I was eating something so good. I am still getting used to the taste of stevia versus cane sugar, but this recipe really did a great job turning me around to the healthier option.

As for the crepe itself, without the cream and berries. It tasted like a flour-based pancake. No kidding. It was very good.

Did it make me feel full? 
I ate 3 crepes {1 1/2 servings} and was seriously sufficiently full. It's been about 4 hours, and I have not even had a craving for anything else. So I would say "yes", it did make me feel full. I don't like feeling so full I want to go to sleep, so this actually hit the spot.

I will be making these Low Carb Crepes a part of my regular menu. Very, very good.

It's Not a Diet, It's a Lifestyle: The Confessions of an Addict

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If you have been following my blog at all, you know that I have been struggling with my weight since I had my last child four years ago. Whatever used to work no longer worked. I increased how many times I worked out, how long I worked out each time, I ate less and less calories, I increased my protein, and I would tip the scales back and forth a few pounds, never really budging from that range. 

Then I had a talk with a friend who also was having a hard time losing weight. She basically said she needed to restart her metabolism, as it had been in "starvation mode" for far too long, never burning any fat. Her words of frustrations about her weight could have been my own. So I went home and researched "restarting your metabolism", finding that apparently it's not uncommon for most Americans. We have totally screwed up our bodies making them crave starchy, sugary foods. We kid ourselves thinking that eating a big ole bowl of fruit for a meal is healthy, when in actuality, that fruit has so much sugar in it. I realized after three days of constant research, I had sabotaged my diet. I make a LOT of bread; I eat a LOT of sugary fruit; I LOVE potatoes. Oh me. All this time I was thinking it was my thyroid or something, when really it was just my menu. 

I realized I had become an addict. 
I have never smoked, a rarely drink, and Facebook has really been my recent addiction, until I realized that I was seriously addicted to SUGAR. After reading research after research, I was finding how certain sugars were actually never satsifying my body, and only making me crave more and more food. So I would go through these bouts of cutting back how much I was eating, only to never be satisfied. Then I would gain 5 pounds, and then start the cycle all over again. It was so very, very frustrating, ending with me crying a LOT and even, a few desperate times, contemplating  my diet plan in high school: anorexia. 

So I decided I needed a change. 
A healthy change

As I raise my daughter, I want to set an example of healthy living, of working your body to make it strong, and of using your brain to be the best you can be. 

I started posting pictures on Facebook of things I was trying, and I started getting a lot of emails {many encouraging, some, sadly, not so much}. A friend told me she was in the same position as I {see? so many of us have messed things up} and she wanted to know what I was doing. This is what I sent her:

1. I started researching "Restarting Your Metabolism", and found this site: 

http://www.julianbakery.com/julian-bakery-helps-restart-your-metabolism-in-8-easy-steps/. This gave me 

an idea of how much water I needed to drink per day {which was a TON at first, but my bladder handles it 

so much better now, and I find I'm actually craving water all day}. This site also helped me get started. 

Research showed that the first week of a low carb diet is usually 20-40 carbs a day. I was completely 

blowing that out of the water before. Fruit have a TON of carbs.

2. I found this site today {http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarb101/a/firstweek.htm }. I wish I had 

read it last week. It explained my "carb withdrawal" and why I was insanely craving cake.

3. I roughly followed this menu plan this past week, and will be strictly following it this coming week: 

4. I found this site yesterday and signed up for the emails with recipes. Good site: http://yourlighterside.com/

So basically increase the meat in your diet and cut as many starch carbs from your diet as much as possible. 

No breads, pastas, starchy veggies such as carrots and most definitely potatoes of any form. If you eat fruit, 

keep it to berries, and keep your portions SMALL. Cheeses are all okay except processed cheeses like the 

kind you unwrap and put on sandwiches {especially velveeta}. Do this for a week or two and then 

slllooowly add carbs back into your diet, but keeping the breads, pastas, and starch veggies at a minimum.

For you long-time low carb-ers out there, I would love to hear your input on these things. I am finding more and more that I really am just going to have to change. I remember Oprah saying one time that she was "just always going to have to be dieter", and although I don't want to "diet", I do want to change my habits. I want to see results, and I want to feel full and happy and confident with myself once again. 

So as I go through this learning stage, I will begin posting REVIEW of low carb recipes, how they taste, how easy it was to make, and how full it made me feel. 

If you have any great sites you follow that have great low carb recipes, please share the link below in the comment section. 

Thank you so much, everyone. Happy Eating.