Devaluing Men: Part Two

30 July 2013

Last week in Part One I talked with you all about how I begun to lose respect for men. I skimmed over the surface of the feelings that plagued me when I was around my Dad. I had begun to hate him over the years, I know that hate is a very strong word and I also now know that it is the completely opposite of what God created us to be. Hate should be foreign to a parent child relationship, but in our relationship hate was known all to well on my end.

I know that the hate started to grow out of the disappointment and rejection that I felt from him. I also have an older sister from a different mom whom my Father was close to and very supportive of. I expected the same things from him that he gave to her and I always compared her life to mine. For instance when she graduated high school my Father was there for her so naturally when my high school graduation rolled around 4 years later I expected the same. It didn't happen. Just a month after my high school graduation I was headed down the aisle to get married, I didn't even send my Father and invitation. Before my mom had given my husband and I her blessing for marriage she talked to him about it and he did not support the choice. She still gave her blessing and continued trying to foster a relationship between us so she invited him to come. Since I had known that he would not be there for the wedding one of my uncles happily took on the task to walk me down the aisle. Don't mind his face the men in my family look the same way happy or sad and he was very happy - he even cried.

On the day of my wedding I made it down the aisle to be married and I didn't see my Father in the crowd. A little after the vows begun he and his new wife snuck into the church and sat in the back. I had a mixture of emotions flood over me but I quickly turned my focus to the vows that I was making to the love of my life. The ceremony ended and we proceeded to the reception. When it was time for the Father and Bride dance my Father came from the back of the reception hall to dance. I was so upset because it lead to so many questions about why he did not walk me down the aisle and I slowly started to feel inadequate like it was my fault. In anger I said that I would not dance with him, but my Uncle encouraged me to do it just for five minutes and promised we would have our dance after. I did it, and it seemed like the longest song in my whole life. While dancing my Father made comments on how beautiful I looked, how pretty my wedding ring was, and made all these promises to help us start our life together - whatever that meant. So I decided that I would allow him a final chance to get it right. Mind you this was the mentality that I had at 18 years old, I had not learned anything about extending grace.


After returning from our honeymoon my father had promised to come and spend some time with my husband and I preparing our first home. He did nothing of the sort, in fact every time that I called him his wife picked up the phone and told me he was in the shower or sleeping. He blew me off and that was the last straw he had lied again. So I decided I hated him and I wanted nothing to do with him ever again. I literally did everything short of changing my phone number but I cut him out of my life. He continued to make desperate attempts to contact me or have other people in the family call on his behalf. Remember in this post I talked about how I spent most of my life in the performing arts? Well when I got tired of listening to my Father's messages on my voice mail I decided that the next time he called I would speak to him in Spanish to make him think he had the wrong number. It worked and he stopped calling, I was so glad. I am almost too ashamed to let you all see how dark my heart was at that time but it's apart of my story.

For seven years I ignored my Father and pretended he did not exist. I even got mad with my mom when she talked about forgiving him and anytime someone talked about showing him kindness it made me cringe. My heart towards him was black I didn't care if he lived or died because it wasn't my problem. In 2009 I had began the process of reconnecting with God. I had joined a new church and began to grow in my faith. I was not diligently studying God's word but I had began praying and serving in my church. So I never expected God to speak to me at that point - but he did. In 2010 God showed me a dream, in it my Father was dying from cancer. When I found out he died I screamed out in pain because the dream seemed so real. God spoke to me in the dream and told me to reconcile and to forgive. 

He used this dream to show me that I had been lying to myself - that I really did care about my Father and that I needed to forgive him. Instead of listening to what God told me to do I found a loophole, I decided to call one of my aunts to find out the condition of my Father's health. She confirmed that he was fine and as healthy as an Ox. Once I had regained peace of mind it took another year before I would revisit the idea of forgiving him.

I was so stubborn, so hate filled, and so defiant that I disobeyed God. He wasn't letting me off the hook, he allowed me to ignore him for a whole year but that would soon come to an end. Stayed tune for the testimony and final Part Three.



Marriage: The Party

28 July 2013

This is the final segment in this marriage series. 
This post was originally featured on : Blog By Christian Women

Be sure to check out the previous installment to this series:

So if you've been with us for the duration of this series I bet you are wondering when does marriage become fun. Well it’s always fun, even with the ups and downs marriage is filled with joy. However to keep that joy going work is still involved and intimacy has to exist. Before we go any further let me make a disclaimer to say sex is vital to marriage and I will talk about in this post. Sex is written all over the bible and is an integral piece to God’s design for marriage – so here we go!

What is intimacy? If you are thinking sex…well not quite.  In the world we equate lust with love and intimacy with sex. Contrary to what we believe intimacy and sex are not equal. Sex is a fruit of intimacy; it’s not the other way around.  In a world that is sexually broken many people settle for sex without the intimacy. It’s easy to have sex but intimacy takes work. Intimacy defines itself in the way it sounds – [in-to-me-see], allowing your spouse to see into your mind, body, and soul. Being intimate with your spouse leaves you vulnerable which can be scary, but very its very rewarding. When you and your husband have intimacy that is when the party really begins.
[via]
Here are some ways you can start the party in your marriage:

Build intimacy by speaking your spouse’s language. We spend so much of our lives learning new things but how many of those learning moments are reserved for our spouses? God created a marriage for us to have a companion other than him that fully knows us and fully understands us. Take time to study your spouse, to learn what they enjoy, what they dislike, and to understand their moods. Developing sensitivity to your spouse’s personality and needs will help you to connect to him in ways no one else will understand.

Pray with your spouse and for your spouse. Praying together often takes both the husband and wife out of their comfort zone if they are not used to praying aloud. But prayer in a marriage works wonders and serves as a reminder that you two play for the same team. It also helps with intimacy as your share your heart with your spouse and with God. So take some time out and pray with your spouse for your marriage, family, and future together.

Speak to your spouse. Communicate your needs. As women we often expect people to understand what we think is obvious. For example if we see the trash can is full we often assume our husband sees it too and should take it out. But when he doesn't we are frustrated and feel like he does not help out around the house. Well you know what, guys work differently than us. They respond a lot better when we ask for their help rather than when we just expect it. If you need more cuddle time, help with the dishes, kids, trash, or whatever just ask. Instead of trying to send out smoke signals ask your spouse for whatever it is you need.

Receive compliments from your spouse. Have you ever been told that you look beautiful when you are feeling less than stellar? The moment you shoot down that compliment you send a blow to your spouse. No one likes to have their compliments rejected. Keep in mind that the way you see yourself is not always the way your spouse sees you. You may feel frumpy or think your body has changed from giving birth to your children, but if your guy tells you look beautiful – believe it. While the mind is the sexual organ for most women, the eyes are that for a man if he says he likes what he sees it’s often true. Allow your husband’s words to help free your mind to enjoy life and to see yourself in his eyes.

[via]
Experience things with your spouse, spending time together will help to build a solid connection. Do not forget all the little things that got you married. Date your spouse – see movies, have dinner together, do road trips, go out for ice cream, play games and take bike rides. Sometimes even the simplest things can have the largest impact on your marriage so go back to the basics.

Serve your spouse, we should be servant lovers. Let’s face it no one wants a selfish lover. Knowing your spouse’s needs in public is just as important as knowing his needs in private. God made a man and a woman to complement one another. If your spouse is struggling in an area lead him through with patience love and understanding. Be committed to being responsive to your spouse's needs, remember we are each called to love sacrificially in marriage so this is your chance.

Touch your spouse. Body language is so important and one way your body can speak to your spouse is by touching. Rub your spouse’s back for encouragement, look into his eyes when you speak, hug often and give kisses. Humans thrive on physical connection and the endorphins it produces. Kisses, hugs, and eye contact are also ways to connect to your spouse outside of the bedroom – they send signals of desire, approval, and love. Kisses, hugs, and eye contact are tiny sparks that can lead to a fiery sex life with your spouse. Sex is a gift from God that remind us of our special connection with him. Sex is a mingling of two souls, it belongs in intimacy, and that belongs in marriage.

[via]
These are just a few ways you can keep the intimacy going in your marriage. A marriage without intimacy is like a party without music – you need intimacy in your marriage to have fun! So let the party begin!

Faithful Friday: In His Image

26 July 2013

Have you ever wondered if you were awkward, not kind, too kind, too smart, not smart, too witty, too dull, too creative, too affectionate, standoffish, too introverted, too extroverted, beautiful, not beautiful, good enough, or not good enough? Doesn't that all seem so exhausting? All those millions of thoughts running through your mind? We do it to ourselves all the time. Well at least I know I do! One of the things I struggled with was allowing different things to definite my value. 

Jobs, relationships, family, friends, possessions and looks do not define us. Some times we get so wrapped in how the world views us because we want other people to see our value. Even if you are a housewife, a student, or a careered woman those things can change but one things remains the same and that is God's love for you. He loves us because we are his own creation. Just like a mother and father are in awe of the child they created, God rejoices and sings over us because we are created in His image, Zephaniah 3:17


You are probably wondering, what does that really mean? How do we resemble God? How are we created in His Image? Well here's how....

We are Creative, because God is creative. He created the heavens and the earth - and us, Genesis 1.

We are a Trinity like God. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - we are mind, body, and spirit, Matthew 28:19.

We are Spiritual like God because we have been given the Holy Spirit without limit, John 3:34.

We are Purposedbecause God is a purposeful creator and has great plans for our lives, Jeremiah 29:11-14.

We are like God because we are his children and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven, Romans 8:16.


God has made us in His image and if you think He's finished - He's not. He continues to mold us to be more like him every single day.Your smile, your voice, your eyes, your hands, your character, your heart and your beautiful spirit were all carefully crafted by God. So any time you are tempted to ponder about your value look towards God because His love defines how valuable we are. We have great worth because we were made in His remarkable Image, Genesis 1:27.


Simple Moments Stick

Mock Chipotle Tacos

24 July 2013

I love Chipotle, I could eat there every single day and never get tired of it. Seriously! Aside from celebrating our Wedding Anniversary this month we have embarked on a journey to eat more at home. Now my hubby can totally eat at home for the rest of his life and be okay with that. I on the other hand love to eat out. So far I am doing really good at making my own meals and I'm enjoying them. But cooking for myself is taxing because my husband is not a vegan so whenever I cook dinner I make two complete meals - by the time I finish making his dinner I am too exhausted to cook my own.


I know that making my own dinner is not only healthier but it is also more economic - hence the reason for #OperationEatAtHome. So this week I had an intense craving for Chipotle, it was serious enough that I nearly gave in. Then the rain started to fall so I took that as a sign that Chipotle was not going to happen. After spending a few minutes sulking in utter misery I mustered up the courage to scan my kitchen inventory to see what I could whip up. 


Praise be to God, I had all the ingredients to make my own mock Chipotle tacos right at home. I had avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, rice, black beans, tortillas and even fresh corn. You don't need much to whip up some tacos but I wanted that Chipotle rice. It's so delish with that citrus cilantro flavor. For me Chipotle's fame is all because of their rice - it just gives the taco, burrito, or bowl the kick that it needs.


I think I have come pretty close to duplicating their rice and making my own Chipotle-esque meal in the comfort of my own home. This meal cost zero dollars because I had everything in my kitchen, best of all these recipes are simple, quick and vegan. So let's get started.


Cilantro Lime Rice

INGREDIENTS
1 cup Brown rice
2 cups Water
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 lime squeezed or 1 tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp of Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
In a small or medium pot bring water and rice to a boil on medium heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes reduce heat to low and cover rice. Let the rice steam on low for 20 minutes or until tender.

Allow rice to cool for 30 minutes in a glass or steel bowl. 

When rice has cooled season with salt, cilantro, and lime.

Guacamole

INGREDIENTS
 1 Hass Avocado
1 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
1/2 tbsp Lime Juice
1/4 of a Jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup Small Sweet Onion, minced
1/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, diced
1 tsp Green Tabasco
Salt & Pepper to Taste

DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until texture is creamy but still a bit chunky. 

Corn Salsa

INGREDIENTS
4 Ears of Sweet Corn, grilled
1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Chili Pepper, minced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1/2 Jalapenos, minced
1/3 Cup Cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

DIRECTIONS
Cut kernels from grilled corn cob. Mix with the remaining ingredients.

Black Beans

INGREDIENTS
1 Can of Black Beans
1/3 cup Onion, Chopped
1/2 tbsp of Oil

DIRECTIONS
In a medium sauce pan heat oil on medium heat. 

Stir in onions and allow to brown for 5-7 minutes. 

Add in undrained black beans. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 more minutes stirring periodically.

You can serve the four recipes above with warm tortillas, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream with sliced lemon on the side. 

Enjoy!


To reduce the amount of carbs in this recipe you can eat it Chipotle bowl style without the tortillas like pictured below. 


I hope you like this recipe as much as I did. Please let me know if you try it or have a wonderful Mexican inspired recipe to share.

Devaluing Men: Part One

22 July 2013

I have talked about my life in bits and pieces. Never the meatier topics, never the things that embody why this blog really exist. Last week I talked about my Shame, but now I want to give you a little more background on who I really am and how God has worked in my life.

Growing up I fell into the 1/3 statistic - that statistic said that 1/3 of American children grow up without fathers. My home consisted of my older brother, mother, and I. We were the 3 musketeers and while I was living that life I did not see anything wrong with it - to me it was the norm. Granted I probably knew much more than your average child at 5 years old and that was because my mom told us everything. I mean she really had to because without a father around my brother and I needed to know more about taking care of ourselves should anything happen to her.

It wasn't until I was in school that I realized that "Dad" was more than a title and that being a Dad had a meaning. Seriously most of the children in my family have no active fathers around, and if they did come around I never saw them doing much. Even when I look back to my mother's generation the men did nothing, so being raised by a bunch of women was normal - I had a fatherless family. In elementary school I was exposed to people that lived differently from me. These kids had Dads that came to school on field days, picked them up early when they were sick,  or came to scold them when they got in trouble. Granted my mom could do all those things but she was alone, she worked and didn't have help like my friend's moms.


Now my Father was not dead and I knew who he was. Most importantly he knew who I was but it didn't seem like he was that interested. Every so often I would spend the weekend at his house but aside from asking me to wash the dishes I can't tell you anything that we did together. I didn't know his favorite color, food, sports team, car, or even his favorite beer and he drank those a lot. I knew that he worked hard but at the end of the day what does that really mean to a child. Especially a sassy pot like me? My mom worked hard too, yet she found time to invest in me, love me, share with me, and teach me. My Dad? Well besides the occasional present and saving me from one well deserved butt whooping he did absolutely nothing. 

I am grateful for the fact that I knew who he was so I was not left wondering. His inactivity in my life unknowingly shaped my view of all men. I looked at my Father and the Fathers of the other kids in my family and noticed a trend - they were absent. Some of them were in prison, drunks, woman beaters, had other families, or just didn't really care. The ones that did come around had trouble staying committed to the families they had made. My Father fell into the later. I am not writing this post to bash men because women have just as much to do with this after all it takes two to make a baby. Nor am I writing this post to bash my Father. I am writing because men are integral to the family unit and it's high time society stops viewing single moms and dead beat Dads as the norm. 


I never benefited from having a Dad and he missed so many moments in my life. He missed

Good Things: My Birth. First day of school. Dance recitals. Field days. Science Fairs. Middle School. My first job. Theatre Performances. High School. Prom. Graduation.

Bad Things: Talks about Boys. My first pipsqueak of a boyfriend. Me being sexually assaulted.

Good Things: Walking me down the aisle on my wedding day (he was there though....long story). College. My first apartment. Moving. Traveling. 

Living without a Dad did not scar me for life. I didn't become promiscuous, I didn't find myself in a string of bad relationships, but I did devalue a real man's worth. My vision of men was skewed and I saw them as worthless. I knew two solid facts about men, they didn't care and they were never there. Where was my Dad? Was he the same place Adam was when Eve ate that apple right in front of him? Was he was mentally checked out? His absence taught me that I could live without the presence of a man in my life, or could I?

I want to say again this story is not about men bashing, it's about how as a fatherless child I overcame. Stay tuned for Part Two.

The Circle: Creativity

20 July 2013

Today I am linking up with a newly found friend KiKi, to share with you all about creativity and what it means to me.

[via] Here is a random snap taken by my husband as I baked my little heart out. I was totally in my zone before this impromptu photo shoot. I wonder if he is trying to sell me to a cooking network?
Creativity is a word that has a different meaning to each person - the definition of creativity has changed for me has I have grown older. At 6 years old for me creativity meant expressing myself and doing what I wanted. That could include yelling at the top of my lungs, paper mache, drawing, writing and illustrating my own books, or coloring in the lines. 

What does creativity mean to you? Today at 26 years old it means connecting with my Creator and sharing the creativity that he has gifted me with. Each day my experience with creativity is different. Some days I garden, journal, cook, bake, write, or photograph things. Other days my creativity does not escape my mind and I just think of things that I would like to create.

The image on the left is my creative space. I have my bible,  a cooking magazine, a recipe card, and a random drop of inspiration in the form of a surprise letter from a friend. [via
How do you stay creative? Who do you draw inspiration from? To keep my creativity flowing I try and take time for myself. I have noticed in the past that I am the least creative when I over extend myself.  If I focus on everyone else and their needs all the time I am useless to create. So to stay creative I take time each day to do something that I really enjoy I start everyday by spending time at God's feet. I also love to read, day daydream, and doodle in my idea book. My creativity thrives in solitude - so many times I unplug and fall away from the world just to recharge my batteries. I stay creativity by making sure to have some self care.

I draw inspiration from being around people who are in deep relationship with God, from being out in nature, reading blogs, visiting museums, spending time in the book store, travelling, watching cooking shows and sometimes just exploring my local stomping grounds. I absolutely love meeting new people and I love the creativity that arises from new and unexpected interactions. I draw inspiration from people watching too - I just enjoy seeing the differences in all of us.

What is a creative part of you that you don't share much on your blog (i.e. a talent, hobby, activity, passion, etc.)? I think I share just about everything on the blog but one thing I haven't shared much about is my experience in art, theatre, and dance. I totally wish I could whip out some of the older photos but you would have to visit my Mom's house to see those. I did all three things for about 3/4s of my life. I was very busy in my younger days. I did a lot of set and costume design as well as my fair share of acting. I was involved in musical theatre mostly even though I didn't think my voice was flattering. I don't do much acting or dancing now but my set design has dribbled over into how I plan rooms when decorating our home.

I am also passionate about widows. I have been meaning to post about my passion for the widows in India for some time now. There is way to much to discuss now but look for that post soon. Honestly each of the things I have dabbled in over the years have shaped me into who I am now. I know that my creativity has no limits and can go as far as I will it to.

Here are a few more things that I find inspiring.


Peonies. Love. Baby. NYC. Faith. Baking. Love. Italy. India. Solitude. Small Beginnings.

In what ways are you creativity what inspires you?




Faithful Friday:Looking Back

19 July 2013

I was reading a devotional this morning and there was a question that stood out to me. What is leading your life, are you living in the past, present or future. I have been honest with you all and told you that I have hurt people and that I have also been hurt by people. When someone would hurt me I had a hard time forgiving them because I was stuck in the past, every time I saw their face or heard mention of their name I would relive the past. Essentially reliving those moments stopped me from forgiving people and moving on with my life. I carried the hurt from my past into every experience in my present. However today my issue is no longer with forgiving people but I noticed that I can still get so caught up in the past. For example the other day I missed an opportunity and I dwelt on it all day thinking about what I could have said to make the deal work for me. I spent the whole day living in past moments so if another opportunity had fallen at my feet I would have missed it.

Honestly there is nothing wrong with replaying the past if you stand to gain from it. You can reevaluate your past with fresh eyes to see if there were lessons you missed - so that you can do better in your future. Your past is important because it's a part of your testimony and a big part of your life. But if you replay the past and become all "woe is me" you won't be present and you'll miss out on what God has in store for you. I am speaking to myself as well when I write this because I still have not mastered moving on yet. Sometimes I am living in my future and sometimes I am living in my past, well then who is living in my present? Who is spending moments with my husband, talking on the phone to my mom, meeting with my clients, who is hanging out with my friends? If I am not living in my present then who is?

I don't know what you may be looking back on, maybe it's failed relationships, being hurt, losing loved ones, past mistakes, lies, miscarriage, abortion etc.. Just know that God is doing something new in you.

If you don't think you dwell on the past, listen to the things that you talk about with your family and friends, surely most of our conversation are drawn from experiences in our past. When we carry our past with us we find stress, depression, unhappiness, and a lack of joy in our present.

There are quite a few scriptures that talk about not being anxious about the future and there are also a few that talk about not living in the past. In this verse below God's people are urged to forget the past to move on towards the future. 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead -Philippians 3:13 NLT

In Matthew 6:34 Jesus also urges us not live in the future by saying “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."


So what does this mean? It means you can look back to learn and you can look forward with concern - but do not let your past steal your future and do not let your future steal your present. 

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. Ecclesiastes 5:20

The verse above tells us how our Father wants us to enjoy our lives. God wants us to live in our present so that he may accomplish great works in us now. He directly commands that we "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past", Isaiah 43:18. So do not be depressed about the past do not be anxious about the future be present today live in your now.

5 Ingredient Ice Cream

17 July 2013


We are in the peak of summer and man it's hot. Summer is absolutely my least favorite of all the seasons. I despise being hot, breathing hot air, feeling sticky, and most of all I hate sweating. Can you tell I am indoor type of girl? I do love my fair share of the outdoors but not without the proper gear and cool weather - I must have shade at all times. 


Anyhow as the temperature in the city has reach the 90's I found myself raiding the fridge for something cool just about every hour or so. Honestly even though I bake a lot I do not keep many sweets in the house. My theory is that if I really want something I will work for it - meaning i'll make it or bake it. Yesterday I was wanting something sweet, cold, and refreshing so I put my ice cream maker attachment in the fridge to prepare a quick and easy Vanilla Ice cream.


I don't have an actual ice cream maker but my Kitchen Aid Mixer came with the add on. You have to freeze it for 15+ hours before you can make ice cream so I had to wait, and man did it seem like forever. Trust me you don't want to skim on that part though. I woke up totally excited and determined to get that ice cream made today.


This is a 10 year old recipe that I kept from my Chemistry class in high school. It has been tweaked to give the best creamy results and it's also been veganized so I really hope you love it. All it took were the ingredients listed below. You do have to cook it to incorporate all the ingredients and to dissolve the sugar but I promise you it'll be worth it and honestly that part took less than five minutes. So here we go!

Homemade Vanilla IceCream

INGREDIENTS
2 cups heavy cream*
¾ cup milk
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of Salt = ⅛ tsp

* Vegan Heavy Cream = 1 cup Vegan Cream Cheese + 2 1/2 tbsp milk + 1 tsp of lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS
In a sauce pan combine your cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Please be sure to use the right amount of salt otherwise it'll take your mixture longer to freeze.

Heat the mixture on medium heat until bubbles form on the surface.

When the mix is thoroughly heated allow it to cool. I do this by placing the mixture in my fridge for 20 minutes.

Once the ice cream batter is completely cooled pour it into your ice cream maker and mix for the time suggested in your manual.

Enjoy!



My ice cream maker suggested to churn for 20-30 minutes before freezing for 3-4 hours. I allowed my ice cream to freeze over night since it is almond and soy based. My husband ice cream made with dairy was ready in the recommended time.

We paired our ice cream with fresh brownies that were also made today. Look for that recipe next week.

If you make this ice cream let me know, I hope you love it.

Shame?!

15 July 2013

When I stop by to read a blog I am the type of reader who will read your post and the comments. Sometimes you find information, comedy, and potential blogging friends in the comments section. When reading the comments on a friend's blog today I found inspiration and conviction. I found a little kiss and confirmation from God telling me that he loved what I was doing on this blog. But the conviction came because he told me that I was ashamed - ashamed at struggling with infertility. 



As much as try to convince myself that I am not ashamed today I realized that I am. I have exhibited my shame in being a recluse, jealous, or snippy. I am ashamed that I deal with infertility I am saddened that my husband and I could not make a baby the "normal" way. I am ashamed because I do not have a supportive family and any little nugget of information they receive turns into gossip. Gossip that fuels conversation and makes the person behind the gossip seem inadequate.

I felt shame for being infertile because absolutely none of the people in my family have ever had to give making a baby a second thought. It literally all came natural to them. I have always been some what of an odd one in my family - my taste in music differs, I had a different choice in friends, I speak differently and I have totally different views when it comes to life, and unlike most of my family I go hard for Jesus. I have made myself comfortable with being the oddball for all those other things - but something about infertility was different. I find it lonely, scary, and condemning - I find that infertility makes me fear the future.


As a child of God I know I was not made to fear, for God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:17). In a previous post I admitted that infertility was a part of the story I am meant to share on this blog but once I found out family members were reading my blog I back tracked. I got scared because I didn't want anyone to know. I know it sounds childish and I scoff at myself for the way I feel but I have committed to change. I will no longer allow my shame to stop me from doing God's work because this situation is not in my hands. I have realized that if someone uses my infertility to put me down then something is wrong with them not with me.


God put this desire in my heart and I am waiting on him to fulfill it. I pray to encourage some of you other ladies who are in seasons of waiting whether it is for marriage, children, jobs etc - we all have the same task. We need to trust in God's timing without fear or shame and just believe.

Am I Weird? Q&A

13 July 2013

I was nominated for the Liebster Award for the third time by Jovana. Thank you Jovana for considering me. I have sent out Liebster awards before so this time I will do things a little different. I am going to share some random things about myself in a Q&A vlog and I will also answer Jovana's questions below.



Questions:
1. What was the last book that you read?
Becoming a Woman who Loves by Cynthia Heald

2. What would be your dream job?
I am currently working my dream job as a photographer, nothing like being your own boss.

3. If you could choose another name for yourself, what would it be?
Never thought of it before, but I love the name Chai. I like both Hindi and Hebrew versions of it.

4. You are given one day to spend with anyone of your choice (celebrity, family both living or deceased, etc.). Who do you choose?
My blogging pal Haley - she's my little sister in my head. So sweet!

5. Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla.

6. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Reading minds, I feel like I can do that already but I'd like to make it official.

7. What is your most favourite thing that you own?
My iPhone, it just helps me so much.

8. What is your favourite holiday?
Thanksgiving....it's all about the food baby!

9. What is the one drink you always order in restaurants (either alcoholic or non)?
Amaretto Sour, it my signature drink.
 
10.What is the best advice that you have ever received?
Not to give up. It was for nothing specific but each time I feel like I want to give up at various moments, I remember the stranger who randomly told me that.

11. Fave food?
Indian all day everyday!  

I hope these questions helped you learn a little more about me. I would love to learn more about you. Answer these questions below or link me to your own about me vlog, or blog in the comments below.

Marriage: The Work

11 July 2013

[via]
Marriage is often painted by the media as a constant state of bliss, and when someone’s marriage is contrary to this they are ready to divorce. What the media doesn't tell you is that each moment of bliss in a real marriage takes work.  More often than not it requires hard work to keep up with having a wonderful and fun filled marriage. Not every day will be fun and you won’t always see your spouse as Prince Charming. However in order for the beauty in marriage to shine through a husband and wife must work hard at it – together. So let’s get a few things out in the open:

  • Marriage takes work.
  • You and your husband play for the same team.
  • It's not always fun, but it will be rewarding.
  • God wants couples to stay in love.
  • God has a plan to help us do that.
If you get married and you go into it with a fairy tale mindset you will be heavily disappointed and you or your spouse will grow weary by trying to keep up the charade. I know that sounds a little brutally honest but it’s true. I am not saying that whimsical and romantic marriages do not exist, they do. But In order to have a happy long lasting marriage, we need to align our marriages with God’s word instead of Disney characters, romance novels, and romantic Films. I am definitely not knocking romantic movies, I’m a huge fan – but I am also realist and quickly realized they don't always come true. The hero in the best love story is Christ, no other Prince died for their bride. So with realizing that, it was evident that having a happy marriage required a plan – it requires God's plan .

God declared a man and a woman would become one flesh in marriage (Ephesians 5:31), so we need to view that as the first part of the plan.

We have to be committed to being one with our spouse forever. Being one with our spouses means aligning our hearts, our minds, and our bodies in order to preserve the joy in marriage.

But how do we stay in love, how do we stay aligned?

To stay in love we need to be aligned with one another in service and under mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21). When we submit to one another we commit to loving sacrificially. In a sacrificial love comes service because both spouses seek to do what they can for each other rather than doing for themselves. In loving sacrificially you learn to speak your spouse’s love language. I know this seems like a contradiction in a culture that is self serving but if you look at couples with long standing marriages you’ll see it works. Serving your spouse means always being aware of his needs – and in the same token he should seek to be aware of yours. As women we serve our husbands both physically and mentally by being their helpers through life.

[via]
As well as being aligned to serve our spouses in marriage we must be aligned to love.  Yes I know you think "Well obviously I love him, I married him didn't I". Well yes, you did love him enough to get married, but do you love him enough to stay married. There are many facets to love and to love your spouse properly in a marriage you must love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

I know this sounds cliché, but to make a marriage work we must love like God does and his love encompasses all the things stated above.

To align in love both spouse agree that:
  • Love always protects the relationship.
  • Love always believes the best.
  • Love always hopes.
  • Love never gives up on the relationship.

Aligning to love and serve one another keeps a husband and wife at each other’s sides instead of on each other’s backs. Love is not passive, it’s aggressive so a couple should fight together daily for their marriage. Satan is always using whatever tactics he can to try and destroy Godly marriages. So it is important for couples to remember that they are on the same team – and to recognize the things that could possibly be used to hurt your marriage. Don’t allow gaps to form in your marriage by having unreasonable expectations for your spouse. You should always assume the best from your spouse and believe that he has good intentions even when he makes mistakes. Aligning to love is hard, but with practice it can be done.

Where there is great work, there is great reward. Commit to never giving up on your spouse, and never giving up on your marriage. To stay in love, we must do the work.

This post was originally featured on : Blog By Christian Women

Be sure to check out the previous installment to this series:


I hope you will join me for the next installment in this series posting next week  Marriage: The Party

Chubby Chocolate Chip Cookies

10 July 2013

So I have been working on the perfect chocolate chip cookie for a little over a month now and I think I achieved it. I totally love being able to experiment in the kitchen while giving recipes several test runs. This is actually my third time making this specific recipe and that's because I wanted to be assured that if you made them the results would be the same. There is nothing more frustrating than cooking and getting different results from the picture the recipe shows. 
These cookies are an absolute dream, perfectly chewy but crisp around the edges. The taste is balanced and not overly sweet. I honestly don't even like my cookies chewy, but this cookie was the best chewy morsel I have ever had. It has the right buttery flavor and the perfect amount of chocolate. It pairs well with a cold glass of almond milk.
What I love most about the cookie is how fat it is. Can you see the height on these babies?! The recipe calls for light brown sugar if you use dark brown sugar your cookie will be chewier but it will also be more flat and dense.
These cookies have a perfect dome shape which is attributed to the original recipe calling for bread flour. But guess what? I didn't use bread flour! I absolutely despise having to buy special flours for recipes, when I decide to bake I like to use what I have I made all purpose flour work.
I believe this recipe is also super easy to get right because you weigh everything, so hopefully you have a kitchen scale. If not I have to urge you to get one, I got mine from Amazon for about $20, but just about any store sells them. Trust me you will use the scale more than you think especially when baking. Weighing instead of measuring insures accuracy just in case your flour or sugar is packed down you don't want to use to much.  For more details check out the full recipe below.
Chubby CHOCOLATE CHIP Cookies

Ingredients
12.7 oz all purpose flour
12 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz light brown sugar
2 oz granulated sugar
1 oz milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg*
1 egg yolk*

*Vegan egg re-placer. Vegan egg yolk is 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp of hot water*

Directions
Bring all your baking ingredients to room temperature. It should take about 20 minutes for this to happen.

Melt your butter on the stove or in the microwave. When it's melted allow it to cool.

Meanwhile sift your salt, baking soda, and flour together in a bowl. Add the melted butter to your mixer's bowl along with the brown and granulated sugar. Beat with the paddle piece for 2 minutes on medium speed.

As your butter and sugar mixes whisk together your eggs, milk, and vanilla. Turn the mixer down to 2 speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Allow the eggs to mix for just under a minute.

Once the eggs are thoroughly combined into the butter and sugar mix add the flour. To make sure the flour is integrated add only half at a time and be sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

After flour has is combined into the mixture put your mixer on the Stir speed and add in your chocolate chips. When the chips are evenly spread through the mixture chill your dough for 1 hour. I like to chill my dough in the freezer in a covered bowl.

When the cookies have chilled for 50 minutes preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Be sure that your top rack is in the upper third of your oven, this will insure that the bottom of your cookies do not scorch. 

When the 1 hour has been completed remove your cookies and scoop 1 1/2 oz portions of cookie dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You may also butter your sheet instead - I opt to use the parchment paper so I don't add more calories.

Place six cookies on each cookie sheet and back for 15 minutes. I recommend setting your cookies to 12 minutes and watching them for the last 3 minutes of baking to insure that they do not burn.

Allow your cookies to cool before eating, melted chocolate can burn your tongue. Please trust me on this. 

Once they have cooled pour yourself a tall glass of chilled milk and Enjoy!
 This recipe yields 2 dozen cookies, and if you think that's too many for your family watch how they disappear. Originally I thought I would have enough to give to neighbors - my husband proved me wrong.
He has been telling me I smell like cookies or cake even when I am not baking. I am not sure if he's being sweet or if he subconsciously sees me as the bringer of food. Either way I am flattered. Your cookie probably wont be as large as the cookie in the above photo unless you really want it to be. If you like monster size cookies scoop more than what the recipe advises. If you try these Chubby Cookies let me know how it turned out.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Proudly designed by | mlekoshiPlayground |