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Taste the Grainbow

With the wide world of grains we have access to, why have we by and large limited ourselves to rice? I invite you to join me as we experience the wonder world of grains. Rice is so yesterday, try a new grain today. Click To Tweet

 

Grains have been the central element, the star of the plate, for many cultures for innumerous years. From rice to quinoa, China to Peru, grains have nourished and sustained peoples all over the planet. If some of these are unfamiliar to you, I challenge you to try a new one this week. Many of these grains can be purchase at a health food store, food co-op, or even your commercial local grocery (though there may be a substantial markup in price). If you have access to a local food co-op, you’ll find these in the bulk bin section. If you’re nervous about trying something new, just purchase a small scoop and it will literally cost you about $2.00 or less. So let’s dive in to our wonderful world of grains.

 

Amaranth

At least 8,000 years ago, the Aztecs in Peru cultivated this tiny grain. Well, it’s actually not even a grain but a seed. It falls into the grain category because it is so nutritionally dense. It is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, giving it a higher protein content than most other grains, It’s a key source of vitamins and minerals and especially high in iron. Its even gluten free! You can enjoy it sweet or savory. Kick start your day by trying my breakfast preparation.

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Apples and Amaranth

 

Buckwheat

Here we find another seed commonly referred to as a grain. Studies conducted in population that consume a good deal of buckwheat have LOWER incidences of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a powerful antioxidant; it’s high in magnesium, manganese and copper in addition to being gluten free. I usually eat mine raw as in my recipe here.

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Raw Granola

 

Bulgur

This is a whole grain true to its name. We read time and again to eat WHOLE grains; well this one here is 100% whole wheat. A great source of soluble fiber, manganese and Vitamin B-6, this grain is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Tabbouleh anyone?

bulgur

 

Farro

I love the chewy nuttiness of this grain. While it’s recently been making it way to chic menus lately, this grain has been eaten around the globe for thousands of years. High in iron and fiber, it makes a great replacement for rice. It can be used in dishes from soups to chilled salad. Here’s my favorite way to enjoy farro.

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Farro Salad

 

Millet

If you’ve ever seen “bird seed” you’ve seen millet but this is not just for the birds. While it’s really a seed, again this one falls into the grain category. Used for thousands of years, its even cited in the bible as an ingredient in bread. Good for your heart and insulin levels, try my modern take on a vegetarian classic.

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Lentil Loaf

 

Quinoa

 In the last few years, quinoa has almost become a familiar household item. In my home it makes frequent appearances. From salad to soup, I cook up a big batch, then portion out and freeze for later use. Prepared sweet for breakfast or savory as a dinner side, we love it all the same. High in protein, iron, vitamins and minerals this one really lives up to its SUPERFOOD name.

quinoa

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Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh, Sesame Snow Peas & Quinoa w/ orange sauce

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

I Still Believe

A fourth of the way into the year and I’m assessing my state of belief. Like the State of the Union address, I’m reporting in with myself on my current health, vitality and concerns regarding my state of belief.

 

For the last few years, I’ve adopted one word that has served as my compass for the year. This year my word is BELIEVE. Go back and read that post when you get a chance by CLICKING HERE.

 

To gauge where I am in my believing, I began by asking myself a few questions.

 

What would my life be like if I truly believed I could do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me?

 

Do I believe Christ can do ALL things?

 

Do I believe He’s willing to do ALL things for me?

 

Do I believe I am worthy to receive ALL the things He wants to do in my life?

 

Am I prepared to receive the things I believe Him for?

 

Are the things I believe Him for in line with His Will and His Way?

 

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:22-24

 

Man…these questions will really get you thinking. I pray you spend some quiet time with the Lord, asking yourself these questions, listening to your heart’s response then listening for what God has to say about it.

 

Even though I’ve been a writer all my life, I’ve been hesitant to call myself a writer. Since I was a very little girl, writing was my way of escape. When I was in elementary school, a reading teacher introduced me to the wonderful world of journaling, and it’s something I’ve done ever since. I’ve written in journals and diaries. I’ve written short stories and poetry. I’ve written for school newspapers, city publications and for a Fortune Top Twenty company. I’ve got a degree in journalism. And I have the pleasure of writing in this sacred space on the web. Suffice it to say…. I’m a writer.

 

Almost 20 years ago the Lord has told me I would be a published author (and I wasn’t even saved then). I’ve got many notebooks over here filled with writing, layout, cover ideas and more for several books.

 

One day while having a waking vision, I saw my book cover unfolding before my eyes. My eyes went from the top of the cover and began to scroll down. I could see color, typeset, the title and as I came to the end, where the author’s name would be, where I would read my OWN name, I abruptly stopped the vision. I aborted the vision God was writing right before my eyes. I allowed fear to keep me from SEEING what the Lord has in store for me.

 

NOT ANY MORE!

 

I will no longer abort the vision, I will abort the lies and BELIEVE. Click To Tweet

 

My husband and I were in a conversation recently and he was encouraging me to get a new laptop if I really wanted to be a writer. I quickly cleared that up, telling him I AM indeed a writer. And I agree in making the investment in myself so I will soon get a new laptop as the one I currently have has a cracked screen and 1/3 of the screen is one big blotch through which I cannot see. The computer is also slow and has little memory. Yes I will invest and believe in what I’ve been called to do.

 

I AM A WRITER.

I AM A SPEAKER.

 

Not only is it the way God wired me, He’s given me a double anointing in wiring me for writing and speaking and upon salvation giving me the gifts of exhortation and teaching. No way to escape it, I’ve been called to encourage, exhort and challenge His people and the medium for that is writing and speaking.

 

So what now?

 

My believing is in alignment with His and I’m aborting lies.

 

Now what am I to do?

 

Here’s the prescription:

 

~Assess Your Believing

~Align Your Believing with His will

~Act on what you believe

 

ASSESS. ALIGN. ACT.

 

I will stand my watch

And set myself on the rampart,

And watch to see what He will say to me,

And what I will answer when I am corrected.

Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision

And make it plain on tablets,

That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

Because it will surely come,

It will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:1-3

 

We see in these versus, he stood watch, assessing. He aligned by watching to see what the Lord would say and how he would answer once the Lord had corrected him. Then he went on to act by following the Lord’s instructions.

 

ASSESS. ALIGN. ACT.

 

If I am a writer, I must be disciplined and diligent in writing. Not only that, I have to write the words HE’S calling me to write at this season. While I want to write about wellness (an area I feel very comfortable with), He’s calling me to write about parenting (insert sigh. Really God?! This area is an ever moving target). But that’s what He said so I must move forward in obedience.

 

So what are you believing God for?

 

I’m praying with you friends as you dare to believe God to do exceedingly and abundantly above what you can ask or think.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

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The Beauty In Brokenness

Never let them see you sweat.

Don’t let them see you down.

Put your best face on.

Smile through your tears and laugh through your pain.

 

The world says brokenness is imperfection but God sees it as an opportunity to present you whole and blameless.

 

World sees brokenness as weak but God sees it as opportunity to show Himself strong in and through you.

 

And I was one of those people who accepted the lie that brokenness was a sign of weakness. Inasmuch as I reject so many of the world’s lies, this was one that crept in and intricately wove itself into the fibers of my believing.

 

Until….

 

Until I was so heavy and so broken that I couldn’t hide it. The weight was so oppressive I could no longer carry it. And the Lord made a way for me to unburden myself. He sent a sweet gentle friend, whose sensitivity and perceptiveness caught wind of my heaviness and she extended to me God’s invitation to lay my burdens at His feet. And while it was extremely embarrassing, even torturous for this prideful woman to admit I was a broken mess, it was one of the BEST things I’ve ever done. There is liberty in brokenness.

 

Brokenness gives you a divine appointment with God. Click To Tweet

 

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

 

 

 

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form ALL about broken pieces. Kintsugi, a practice dating back to the 15th century, is a technique for repairing broken pottery. The word means “golden joinery”. The process uses lacquer and real gold powder to fill in the cracks. The intricacy of the work involved, the precious materials used for the process and the skill of the repairers’ hand, results in a mended work that is more valuable than the original product.

 

And this is what God wants to do for me and for YOU. When I’m trying to hold the pieces of my life together, it’s a loosely held bundle of shards at best but when I place the shards in the Potter’s hands, He arranges, cements and then presents me even more beautiful than before.

 

My sweet friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Balarie writes many many words of grace that resonate deeply with me. And these words, which speak right to being broken, were no exception. In her post God’s Love Letter for You she writes, Don’t fear my process of remake, but open yourself up to it. Let love sink in – into the cracks, into the chaffed edges and into the unseen – so I can revive every cell you believe is of disrepair. I promise, I work wonders for beauty.”

 

I see many standing in line to receive a blessing. Many Christians, myself included raise our hands saying “Over here. Pick me, pick me” for assignments we deem exotic, cool, or doable. But who’s running to sign up for the Brokenness Club?   Who’s volunteering saying, “Break Me Lord!

 

Nellie Bly, an investigative journalist, did just that but for different reasons. In 1887 she wanted to uncover the horrors taking place at an asylum and the only way to get the real story was to become broken, to act as if insane and have herself committed to the asylum. And she did just that. She was able to convince a judge and doctors that she was indeed broken. She did this for the greater good of the victims of this asylum. Her reporting resulted in widespread changes in that asylum and in the field of mental health.

 

Are you willing to be broken to possibly bring healing to another?

 

I pray we begin to appreciate and value, as in Kintsugi, the greater worth in the broken vessel that has been mended directly by the Potter’s hand.

 

In her book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brene Brown says, “To claim the truths about who we are, where we come from, what we believe, and the very imperfect nature of our lives, we have to be willing to give ourselves a break and appreciate the beauty of our cracks or imperfections.”  Isn’t that good? And I just love the pun.

 

Brokenness Delivers Us From:

~Pride

~Shame

~Insecurity

~Fake Happy

~Crutches

 

Brokenness Instills Us With:

~Humility

~Vulnerability

~Healing

~True Security

~Joy

~Freedom

~Character

 

Brokenness says I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Jesus. Click To Tweet

 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

 

The more broken we are, the more space we create for our inner man to break forth and be released. For more on the release of the spirit, THIS POST is a must read.

 

Find the rest of Kelly’s beautiful post HERE.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Grace & Truth

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Use Your Weakness

Unqualified

Inadequate

Incapable

Weak

 

Some days this is exactly how I feel.

 

In many areas of my life I feel strong and capable. In some areas I feel I can leap tall building in a single bound.

 

Marriage? CHECK

Health? CHECK

Ministry? CHECK

Friendship? CHECK

 

Parenting? WELL…..

 

That’s where it gets a little muddy. Some days I feel weak and inadequate as a parent. I read my bible. I’ve read some really great Christian parenting resources and even attending a few training sessions. In fact, I myself have written and taught an eight-week class on raising Godly children. Yet, in spite of that, I feel this is one area that keeps me clinging fiercely to the cross.

 

As I wrestle with the Lord on this, I wonder, why do I feel unqualified in this area? The answer to that becomes apparent. When I was a child, I had no consistent parenting. In my very early childhood years, my mother was present, loving and nurturing. Around age seven, she adopted some behaviors, which directly affected her ability to care for me. My parents, who had never been married split several years earlier and my father went on a quest to find himself so he wasn’t around. I was often in the care of my grandmother or cousins who cared for me but didn’t “mother” me. In my teens I did eventually move in with my father, but there was a gaping whole in my heart for MOMMY.

 

If I was not mothered, how can I effectively mother?

 

When the enemy of your soul sees a crack in your finish, he attempts to seep his poison in that space. Just last week he tried to play on my weakness. While I feel that one of my greatest areas of weakness is parenting, I KNOW that I KNOW that the Lord has and continues to divinely teach me to parent. There is no question about that. But here he comes spewing his venom. As I’m working on writing a parenting book, birthed out of that eight-week class I taught, this voice says, “Who are you to speak on this? You don’t know what you are doing. You mess up all the time”.

 

When people see me with my little flock and they say things like “Motherhood is your ministry” my flesh prickles like porcupine quills rising because the voice comes again saying, “Yeah but they didn’t see you roll eyes at your kid last night”. But again, I know the truth. I KNOW that the Lord has supernaturally taught me to love, nurture and lead this little flock.

 

TRUTH will always trump lies. And the truth says, where I am weak, I am strong. Click To Tweet

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Not only am I made strong when I am weak, but God wants to use me, and He wants to use YOU right in your place of weakness.

 

Just like He used Moses. Doubting Moses. Unqualified Moses. Fearful Moses.

 

Moses who was fearful and ran from his staff when it turned into a snake; God told him to PICK UP that very thing and use it as a sign. That very same thing that Moses ran from was the same instrument that would hit a rock to bring water to nourish the people and would part the waters so they could cross on dry land.

 

The very area you want to run in fear, is the very thing God will use to bring a miracle. Click To Tweet And not just for you but for those whom you’ve been called to lead. God wants to use your weakness. He wants to use what you’ve got right in your hand.

 

And along the journey, He will not leave nor forsake you. He’ll be walking with you, talking with you and teaching you along the way. I can vividly recall having a hard mommy day about 8 years ago. I felt the children weren’t listening and that they weren’t doing the things I’d been instructing them to do. The Holy Spirit stepped in and told me, “Go to your room and open your bible.” I obeyed. He said, “Turn to Isaiah 54:13.” I had NEVER read that verse before so I was curious as to where He was leading me. There have been very few instances in my entire Christian walk where He has lead me to a single, exact verse but here was one of those times and this is what it said,

 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

 

What a word of confirmation!

 

God used Moses’ weakness. God used Gideon’s weakness. And God wants to use mine too.

 

So I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself. I’m learning that my weaknesses aren’t flaws I need to magnify but are opportunities for God’s grace to be magnified. I’m learning not to condemn myself when I do make a mistake in parenting. The Holy Spirit is circumcising my heart and uncovering the root of the disease. I’ve tuned into the voice of my negative self-chatter and found its not even my voice but the voice of an imposter. It’s the voice of an overly critical, brutish aunt whose charge I was once under. Under God’s skillful loving hand, I’m learning to grant myself some grace, extend myself some love and nurture the me who is weak and vulnerable.

 

Being weak and making mistakes is part of the human experience. I give myself permission to experience the full range of emotions and partake of the depth and breadth of my personal experiences, knowing that perfect is an illusion.   And parenting is by far not a perfect process. I’m learning to see the beauty in the mess-ups when I take my eye off what I perceive to be my errors and put my eyes on Jesus. He is the best parent ever and loves me unconditionally. And though I have my parental weaknesses, in this He has an opportunity to rise up and show Himself mighty and strong.

 

Yup, in the parenting arena I may be weak but I’m learning that that’s okay. I’m learning that God wants to use my weakness. I’m learning that my weakness is the vehicle that makes me strong.

 

In what area to do you feel unqualified, weak, or inadequate?

 

I count you COURAGEOUS for even stepping up to the plate and being willing to take your turn at bat. You may not always hit a homerun, but you put on your uniform, took the long walk to plate, lifted your bat, and let it fly. Your arms may be weak, but in that very instance, HIS power is made perfect in your weakness.

 

I salute all the weak, inadequate, unqualified souls out there today. Let me leave you with this final thought….

 

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News:

Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Titus 2sdays, Grace & Truth

 

Photo Credit

 

Oh and one last thing, Pastor Steven Furtick has a new book out called Unqualified. In it, he highlights how God uses broken, inadequate people to do great things. Check it our by clicking on the title.