Day 49- Bonus

After writing and all that, I decided I would cook some dinner. So I opted to make tomato soup, which I’ve never done before! I just had to show you what I ate for dinner tonight! It was WONDERFUL!!! 

I had tomato bisque and a BLT! Delish! Home made, and carb free (practically- the soup has 1/2 c Greek yogurt). 

BLT close up- sugar free, low sodium bacon, tomato and lettuce. Literally. Nothing else. No sauce. It was brilliant.

Soup close up- 28 oz canned tomatoes, diced onion and garlic sautéed, basil, salt, pepper, Greek yogurt and a handful of cheese, blended and brought to a boil, perfect!

And here’s the kicker! I made a sugar free dessert too! This was my dinner! I dislike Sugar substitutes, but I found the gelatin stuff quite barable, since I used so little. I have no problem with it since I never use it. All in all, it was wonderful! It’s totally possible to eat well sans [many] carbs! Just had to share. 🙂 


Day 49- 2016

Oh what a year! Can’t believe it’s finally coming to a close! Thank you, Jesus. Today, I am spending some wonderfully lazy time reading and meditating on the word. I have nothing planned today, except to rest and catch up on some writing and to do my two year-end traditions. 

1.) write a letter to God 

2.) pick a word for the year

This word is just a word, but it’s something I feel led to pray over myself and beg the Lord for. I’m almost finished with my letter, and here is the 2017 word…

Your will be done, Lord. 

Happy New Year, friends!!

Day 48- Mercy

Had some incredibly sweet fellowship time with a sister today. Chatting about the year, she noted that she has never heard so many negative comments about a year as she has for 2016. I totally agree. In fact, I am certain that life will never be easy again. It’s a sad truth that no matter what happens in the world, media, or in politics we will never know peace on earth. Ever. The earth is groaning for Jesus. He alone restores. 
As we spoke, we shared about some tough lessons we had to learn this year. As I recounted some of my challenges, I mentioned that I was at least happy that I could see God’s mercy in them. 

Verbalizing that thought reminded me of Adam & Eve’s story and the closing parts of Genesis 3: 

22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-”
23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. – Genesis 3:22-24

When I was younger, I used to think the Lord was sorta mean for keeping Adam away from the tree. I actually know a few non-believers who have this against the Lord. How could He withhold knowledge that could enrich humanity’s existence? Interesting perspective, yet not at all the lens I read it through. 

It was 2016 that I reread verse 22 for the first time in years and I was moved by these words, “less he reach out his hand and take also…” I am totally taken aback by God’s mercy, which is so subtle! 

God- being omniscient, already knows the wickedness of the man’s heart here at this moment of the fall. He already knows man’s propensity to self-destruct. He knows Adam will go back to that tree and grab from it. And the truth is he would have, and I would have as well. We all know that the minute we tell children not to do something that’s the very thing they do. I would have touched that fruit as well!! Believe me, I would have.

The fact that God placed angels to guard the tree doesn’t just protect the tree, it protects Adam from Adam!! What great mercy our God has!!! 
I look back at my own life and I think, how thankful I am that the Lord didn’t let me get sick while my father was alive and I was busy taking care of him. God kept me from sickness while I was caring for my family, when no one else could! I’m so thankful that God did not allow me to be sick when I couldn’t physically sit and rest. And once I did become sick, I am so thankful that God had mercy on me by allowing this sickness! I could have gotten to 1800 pounds. Believe me, that is in me to do! I am a champion eater. A champion self destructor. A champion sinner. I am an Olympic gold-medalist at gluttony. I could eat myself into the grave, literally. This is the very thing I am currently fighting against. Death by gluttony which is SIN on my part, is the very Goliath I am trying to kill.

But God, in his infinite mercy allowed me to sin to a certain extent before causing me to stop. That is MERCY!!! Jesus guarded me from me by allowing me to have health issues. Though people can easily look to God and blame him and be angry for something like that, all I can see is his love and mercy for me that He would do that to save me. To save me from me. And there’s no guarantee that I won’t die of the consequences that I brought on. But there’s an absolute guarantee that Jesus alone is my healer, my hope, my redemption, my sabbath, my salvation, and one day, only he knows when– my home. That my friends, is MERCY. That God would save me from me and not pay me with what I deserve (hell)! 

What merciful acts have you missed in your life because you’re looking at it as a set-back or problem? 

I’m reminded of 1 Peter 4:3. When I was diagnosed in 2014 the Lord brought me to this verse. 

“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” – 1 Peter 4:3

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this verse before, it’s a big one in my life. I think of that verse and I remember a special verse in 2 Peter 3:9 too. 

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
And these two verses remind me that the time that has past is enough for having tasted every sin imaginable. I have. I’ve tasted many. In my head, comparing it to food, there will never be a new fascinating take on flavor or chocolate, pizza, etc. I’ve tasted it all, or enough. The time that is past suffices for idolatry. And consider how much MERCY and grace God had on you (on me) during those great moments of rebellion, that He didn’t return for His bride. If He had, would I have been counted among her? Probably not, considering my whoredom and betrayal of Him for pleasure. He hate patience for me to wander and then repent. And I’m not special. He has that for the non-believer you are praying for. Keep praying. Don’t lose hope! He saved all the believers. And everyone has a story to tell. Don’t lose heart, the Lord is MERCIFUL and mighty to save. Fight hard!! 
Lord, I thank you for your absolute, unmerited mercy! I love you!! I fall facedown before you in awe! Thank you mighty Savior!! Abba King! Thank you! 

Day 47- Energy

Where!? Where do kids get this crazy energy from??? I am so tired! I haven’t felt this tired doing housework since my dad was around. My niece and nephew have been on Winter break for a couple weeks now and that means that I watch them all day until their parents get home.

Well today I had the brilliant idea to make breakfast, lunch and dinner all at once so I could get out of the kitchen once and for all. As I was cooking I realized I had to go to the grocery store to get some missing ingredients. So I drive there and back. I finish making meals and then I decide to take the kids to the library for the free craft hour. (Can I digress for a second… if you are not taking advantage of the free things your local library offers, you are surely missing out!! Free fun for all!! I love you Public Libraries!!)

By this time, I’m already sore from being on my feet all day. But I had promised these monkeys that I’d take them to play tennis after the Library. So I drag my very tired butt and their very hyper butts to the courts and we manage to get some good playing in! I am already sore! I got in some good serves and managed to help them learn a little more. Although I feel like all I ever say is, “it’s not baseball!” haha

After tennis their parents pick them up for basketball practice and I drag my very tired body to a hot shower and bed!!! I don’t know where kids get their energy from, but give me some of that Lord. Please? That is one of my favorite things to observe as I drop pounds. The lighter I get, the more energy I have. I can’t wait. Give me some more energy Lord. I’d love to be unstoppable. Not for my benefit or fame. But for yours!

I bet everyone says stuff like that. Oh Father, help me make you famous even when you stop me and when you keep me still as well. This very moment in my life feels like one of those moments. This later portion of the year has been so hard. I know you have called me to stillness. Abba, be made famous even in this time. Forgive me for wanting more. Use me, as you’d like.

Here am I, Lord.

Day 46- Dinah

While busy at work, I get a phone call from my Mumsie asking me to swing by the house to look at “the baby.” I decide I’ll swing by when I get back from the grocery store. Then, while dealing with fighting children by my side, at the check-out, I get a frantic phone call from my sister scolding me about taking “the baby” to the vet. Yes folks, “The baby” is my 2.5 yr old Siamese Beauty, Dinah Duluoz.

Yes, Duluoz. (Shout out to my Kerouac!!) Dinah was rescued in 2014. She, along with her siblings were thrown out and beaten when they were newborns. I met her when she was a week old. She was beautiful and so tiny she fit in the palm of my hand. She had a broken tail, and a wounded eye. To this day, she is still skittish when it comes to loud noises and ruckus. The moment I met her, I fell in love and was certain that we were meant to be. I always wanted a female cat, so I could name her “Dinah” like Alice in Wonderland. Having always felt like Alice myself, I was ecstatic to find out she was in fact female. Dinah stayed with her foster mom for the first two months of her life because she had to be bottle fed to be able to be released once she managed to weigh 3 lbs. I adopted her in November of 2014. And since then, our lives have never been the same!

Dinah imprinted on me and followed me EVERYWHERE when she first arrived. Once I had to go back to school, it kept me out of the house much of the day. Thus, it was that moment she fell in love with my mother. My mom is in her seventies and because of Dinah, I am convinced my mom’s health has improved. She has someone to talk to, care for, and love on, and Dinah just eats it up! Needless to say, she traded me in for the Original, and now, they are inseparable.

The kids are mad for her and my sister is obsessed with her. As you can already tell, Dinah is one very spoiled (and I’ll repeat, beautiful) cat. We’ve celebrated her birthday every year (it’s really just an excuse for us to eat cake), and we’ve face-timed with her. She’s incredibly loved.

So when I get these phone calls from her number one fans about how I am being a bad cat mom by not taking her to the vet because something’s wrong with her eye, I’m totally annoyed because they’re both overreacting. I get home and check her eye which looks like she just got hair in it or something simple like that, they’re both mad at me for not doing anything about it. Cat’s get pink eye, just like humans, so that’s going through my mind. But, I’m pretty sure in this case, it’s nothing. I decide that I will do nothing and just keep an eye on it.

Hours later, I take a look at her face and see that she has debris in her eye. I shine a bright light over her face and with a Q-tip I remove the debris. A little later, I check it again and clean her face, and while I’m at it, I decide to bathe her (with waterless kitty wipes) and then I decide I’ll trim her nails. She reluctantly lets me.

After a while I attempt to hold her and she gets angry and runs away. This long ode to Dinah to share how ironic it is that she is so angry at me for loving her so well, and here I am sometimes resenting Jesus for loving and caring for me in ways I do not understand.

Dinah doesn’t understand that my cleaning her eyes and trimming her nails is for her own good. Like I don’t understand that Jesus allowing me to struggle with sugar cravings is for my own good. He can absolutely remove them all. He is all-powerful and Sovereign. However, the struggle makes the victories that much better! By struggling I learn to depend on Him, I learn temperance, and self-control. I learn to flex muscles I have never used. Especially the “no” muscle. I feel like many of us Christian women need to learn to use that muscle. We tend to over work ourselves because we say “yes” to too much sometimes.

Anyway, I love how the Lord always uses children or even cats in this case to teach us lessons that are important. For me, this was a big lesson. I must trust my Heavenly Father as He heals and removes the debris in my eyes that cause me to see things cloudy and out of focus. I need Him to restore and heal my vision. I need His healing to not only see clearer and sharper, but to also see the things that only He can show me.

Things like self-control, obedience, and eating in a God-fearing way. And also stuff like how beneficial it is to have Dinah in my life, and how much of a blessing a simple cat can be. And how much He loves me, even as He cleans all my wounds and problems. Oh, what a good and MERCIFUL God!! Thank you Jesus. I love thee! See, there was a point!! Thanks for reading this ode to Dinah!! 😉

These are pics of Dinah’s b-days, her studying Microbiology with me, as a baby when she first moved in, and her hanging with her momma. 🙂 You had to see her!!



Day 45- Meal Prep

So I’m trying to go back to my old habit of meal preparation. I used to make meals for about 3 days at a time. I can’t handle more than that, cause then it feels like TV dinners. 

Anyway, I’m working on creating new plans/meals. So, just a quick blurb to let you know where I am. 
Do you have any tips for meal prep? Share your wisdom. 

Day 44- Tamales 

Out of the blue, I decided I wanted to take a stab at making tamales. I’ve never done it before. But, it just seemed like something I had to try! So I went out and bought all the stuff and I actually made tamales!

Traditionally, Mexican women gather round the kitchen and make tamales for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. It’s a community effort. Since I’m just me, and everyone else has family to be with, I made them alone. My mumsie helped a bit. I thought that that would make me sad, but it didn’t. I enjoyed the time alone, actually. I’m pretty proud of myself for attempting it and succeeding. 

Now, I can’t eat them. Haha but I enjoyed making them. This holiday season has been so hard because of all of this holiday temptation! Sugar, gingerbread, Pozole, Tamales, menudo, pies, carbs, carbs, carbs!!! 

And I keep kicking myself because I have an unhealthy idea and I do it… (i.e. make pie, buy popcorn) but I have a healthy idea (i.e. Zucchini lasagna, coconut flour recipes) and I put it off. I clearly have some complex feelings about food. 
I have a list of recipes (thank you Pinterest) that I want to try and I think it’s time to make the healthy ones ONLY! Lord Jesus, help! 

I tried one, and only one. Chicken in green salsa tamales (with a spicy green habanero salsa added for yumminess). They weren’t bad. 🙂