Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fun Fall Friday



A recent trip to Kentucky inspired me to embrace the new season of Fall.  The weather was crisp - a chilly 46 degrees.  The array of colors sprawled throughout the city, with the changing leaves was breathtaking.  It appeared as if someone took a paint brush and delicately painted a canvas for all to enjoy.  During my morning run, I saw many commuters driving into work.  They jumped out of their car not stopping for a moment to enjoy the view I found mesmerizing.





Florida stays green all year, so I enjoyed being nestled into true Fall weather.  The crunch of the leaves while running made me giddy inside - how about you?  What do you enjoy about Fall weather?  What Fall fashion piece is a "magical must have" for you?  For me, it is a pair of leather riding boots.


Enjoy a few photos from Louisville, Kentucky! (Posted by Roslyn)

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bacon and Egg Potato Salad

Yummy goodness!


I love sharing recipes and when I found a recipe that combined potatoes, eggs, and bacon, how could I resist sharing it.  Over the years we've shared everything from Buffalo Chicken Dip to Strawberry Monkey Bread.  Well this weekend I was inspired to try a new recipe out of the July/August issue of  Food Network Magazine. 



Ingredients



Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
 
 
Hint for success:  Use thick cut bacon for maximum flavor
 
 
Meanwhile, saute the bacon in a skillet over low heat (this is very important).
 
 
 
 
 
After about 12 minutes, the bacon will become crispy.
 
 

I wish you could smell the bacon goodness!



Drain the bacon on paper towels.


Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand 6 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool; peel and chop.


 

 
Drain the potatoes (do not rinse), transfer to a baking sheet and let cool 6 to 8 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, scallions, red onion, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
 
 
 

Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and add the bacon and hard-cooked eggs; fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Serve at room temperature and enjoy! (Posted by Renee)
 
 
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pathway To Healing

The smile you see is not always the "happy" I feel inside.

Can you feel this pain?  

My outburst or erratic behavior scream to show you the hurt I'm enduring.

How can I make you understand?

Am I in this alone?

I'm sinking into a dark abyss of depression.



Exhaustion & nausea after surgery
If you've ever experienced pain, one of the above statements might have applied to you.  You endure hurt with many questions, that oftentimes never get answered.  The pain could be financial, physical or mental - in some cases, it is all three.  Loneliness, confusion, sadness and anger are some of the emotions felt during times of pain.


I catch myself smiling deep within my soul because, through God's grace, I discovered the other side of pain-healing.  When you linger with pain for a certain length of time you start to adapt it as your normal state of being.  This is the danger zone, because healing will eventually come.



Don't nurture or become comfortable with your state of pain.  For example, those walking through divorce shouldn't take that initial pain to mean, "it will always be this way."  Life is short but our experiences are many.  One moment we are elated and the next minute a phone call delivers the most devastating news of our life.

This time last year, I was enduring PAIN.  This will shock many because I pride myself on being "Ms. Suzy Sunshine".  I remain "wildly" confidential when going through trials but hope my story inspires someone to keep fighting and believing. I have felt the need to stay in bed just a bit longer because I didn't want to face what a new day would bring.  Numerous trips to the doctor became annoying and routine.  I detest waiting rooms, needles, lab results, checking vital signs, filling out paperwork, only to spend 10-15 minutes with a physician.  But I needed answers. The current track I was on wasn't going to end well if I didn't get help.

20 pounds gained in this photo
(Roslyn in white)
I felt trapped.  Days turned into months, and months into over a year of feeling helpless - wondering if ANY relief was in sight.  During that process I was put on medicine that caused me to instantly gain 20 pounds in less than two months.  This was the most devastating to my self esteem.  I work extremely hard eating well and exercising so I can control my weight.  Watching my body slowly add these extra pounds truly made me sink lower into feeling out of control.

Thankfully now, I am on the other side which is HEALING.  The smile on my face lately is simply because I am living without pain.  But remember, even when I had the pain I stayed true to smiling on the outside.  



What will you do while you wait for healing?  

Patience increases and grows our character and fortitude. Patience while in pain is never easy. But a necessary process of us growing spiritual muscles.
  

How will  you ever know how strong you are if you haven't been tested?
  

Two surgeries this year and huge moral support from my immediate family helped me journey to healing as a warrior.  I'm not weak, but strong in the strength of Christ.  God, my Creator, loves me.  Each day He shows me a little bit more of His awesome power.  Stand strong, choose to become a warrior and fight until your journey crosses over to HEALING! (Posted by Roslyn)

..."In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world"...John 16:33

Feeling complete freedom from pain!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Do You Want?


What would you say if God asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"  How would you answer?  Would you ask for financial blessings?  Maybe a new car?  Increased wisdom?  Maybe a new career? 

That was the question posed today at my church.  It was such a wonderful message on the power of prayer.  My pastor pointed out that our prayers touch the heart of God.  That one statement resonated with me.  To think that the God of our universe who intricately created every human being, spoke this world into existence, and knows the intimate details of my life can be touched by my prayers is amazing!

My pastor taught from Matthew 20:29-34.

29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
 
In this text, two blind men were sitting beside the road.  When they heard Jesus was coming, they started shouting.  They believed Jesus could heal, today they wanted to know Him as their healer.  Despite people telling them to quiet down, they kept yelling.  In my eyes it was obvious what they stood in need of.  If I knew they needed and wanted their eyesight, surely Jesus Christ should know their desires.  He knows all things, sees all things, so why did he need to ask, "What do you want me to do for you?" 
 
I believe He wanted them to understand their need and their dependence on Him to fulfill their request.  His power to heal was limited by their belief, declaration, and request.  The healing was there's for the taking BUT they had to ask for it. 

My hope and desire is that you stop limiting God!  He wants to bless you beyond measure, however, our words activate His blessings on our lives. We have the power to shift the atmosphere around us by declaring God's word and believing in His ability to fulfill our desires. He longs to bless us. Why not take time and talk with Him. 
 
So I ask you again, "What do you want God to do for you?"  (Posted by Renee)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Super Saturday Question

Recently at a conference, I was asked this question:


When was the last time you did something for the first time?  

Hmm...that takes a little thought!  Be inspired to go out this weekend and create a new FIRST memory. (Posted by Roslyn)

This week I had a hot rock massage for the first time - BLISS!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I'm Feeling Empty

I get so annoyed when my boys leave a drop of juice in the jug.  I have my glass ready to pour a fresh glass of refreshment, only to open the refrigerator and find an EMPTY container.  UGH!  I yell through the house, "Are you kidding me!" Has this ever happened to you?

Sometimes I race through life and feel pretty empty. There are times when emotionally, spiritually and physically I am running on fumes and completely depleted. We all need a self-awareness  when we have these moments.  Just like our gas tank, eventually we will STOP running.  

Surround yourself with those that can hold you accountable to a regular "engine check".  Are all internal systems running smoothly?  Is your face breaking out with pimples like a teenager because of stress?  Are you sleeping?  Are the words you speak negative and snippy?  


Those are all triggers showing  - SYSTEM MALFUNCTION!

As I've grown as a woman, I realize there are times when emptiness can be celebrated.  If you can't believe this, just keep reading.  

When we are empty, vulnerable, and waving the white flag of surrender, we can offer that existence to God.  We give him our willingness and obedience flowing from a place of emptiness and depletion.  

Adults become control freaks - especially moms.  We live to organize and plan every detail for our homes, kids and sometimes even our spouses.  We just like to be our own source and supply.  But this mentality leads quickly to physical exhaustion.  You might be thinking to yourself, I don't want to give up control.  I like being in the driver seat, BUT what about when the "uncontrollable" happens in your life.  Most of us run looking for answers, when life spirals out of control.

Giving yourself as an empty vessel or treasure to God creates our need to trust Him.  We can be placed in situations so strategically so that we might experience Him and His power to deliver us.  Jesus Christ is the perfect example of giving Himself away and then being exalted to a new level. (Posted by Roslyn)

"Though He was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.  He made himself NOTHING...he obediently humbled Himself...then God raised Him up to the heights of heaven..." ~paraphrase Philippians 2:6-9


Commit today to this trade:
Give Him your nothing and in exchange He gives you everything (spiritual abundance)! 

Q:  What will it take for you to be EMPTY before God?  What do you need to release to Him?