Eeek! Do I even remember HOW to blog?

LOL!  I wasn’t even sure I’d remember my password, but I actually got it right!  Of course,  I must say that I went to Blogspot first because I couldn’t remember where my own blog was.  I had to check out my own Facebook page to get the address to my own blog!! 

 

God has been so good to me and I just feel like sharing my life.  I need to do quite a bit of updating, because my sons both look very different now.  It may take me a bit to bring things up to speed, but I’d love to share some recipes, knitting ideas, pics and blessings with all of you.  And if no one reads but myself, that’s ok too. 

 

Blessings,

Beth

The Path

Here I am again, back to my blog, after being delinquent for several months.  My posts aren’t earth shattering, so I don’t think I’ve really been missed, but some things are happening around here that I want to blog about, so I can look back on them later and see how the Lord has worked in my situation.  

As any of my readers know, I have several medical issues.  Most of them are under control…the Celiac, Type II diabetes, and hypothyroid among some of the bigger issues.  My fibromyalgia is one of the things that I deal with on a more daily basis.  Well, I deal with the others daily, but this is the one that keeps me guessing from day to day.  How much pain will I be in today?  WILL I be in pain today?  How long will it take my pain meds to work today?  

I went for some tests last week, to check out causes for some pain I’ve had in my bladder area, as well as microscopic blood in my urine.  They did a CT scan of my urinary tract and a cystoscopy , where they shine a light where a light should NEVER be shone!  Thankfully, all those things checked out and he things it is bladder spasms from an over active bladder?  We’ll see if this new med, yes, another one, will help.  

As with many of my other tests, what we were initially looking for was normal but something else was revealed.  First of all, an ovarian cyst…no biggy.  But the thing of concern is a dilated common bile duct/pancreatic duct.  Something is there that is preventing this area from releasing the bile/enzymes into my digestive tract, thus making the tube larger because it’s backing up a bit.  He told me they would do a high resolution CT scan of the pancreas to make sure there weren’t any masses.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  

The next day, the office person who called to schedule the further tests was obviously trying to get them done in a timely manner.  They are scheduled for Thursday, the 17th of November,  and they will be giving me a disc with the images.   I am to bring them to the doctor’s office the next morning at 8:15 a.m. and they will be working me in.  She stressed that they did not want to wait another week to get this done.  I must say that HER urgency, has greatly affected me.  I’m still a nurse, even though I don’t practice any longer.  I can tell  they want to rule out something major.  In my reading, this dilation can be caused by pancreatitis, which I highly doubt I have because I would be in more pain.  Or, it could be cancer.  My GP did tell me today that gall stones can also cause this dilation.  Can I say I have never wanted gall stones so badly in my life!!!  

My thoughts have run the gamut in the last few days.  My anxiety has been quite high, off and on.  I am working very hard to take my thoughts captive, but I do think of the possibilities.  How can I not?  I know from nursing experience that pancreatic cancer does not have a high success rate.  I’m intentionally NOT reading about that now though, because I don’t want to go there unless God takes me there Himself.  I am not going to walk ahead of Him.  If I go there, it will be with HIM leading me by the hand.  

It is strange how the body reacts to potential bad news.  You just can’t separate the mind and heart from the body.  I was watching the nursery with Kenny Sunday evening.  We had two very active boys around the age of three.  I looked at Kenny and told him when we had grandchildren, babysitting them would be a two man job!  Immediately I had a catch in my chest…will I SEE my grandchildren?  I pushed it aside, because I didn’t want to take Kenny in the same places my mind was wandering.  I imagine his mind is doing its own thing.  I’ve gotten the same catch when I’ve thought about having Thanksgiving here next week with Kenny’s family…when I think to Christmas next month.   Even today at the eye doctor…I only ordered 6 months of contact lenses.  I may not need more.  If I do, great…I’ll order them in 6 months!

To say I want to know NOW is an understatement.  But God has His timing at play, not mine.  But I know for certain that regardless of when or what I find out, He has orchestrated the entire thing.  He knows my every need.  He will walk with me though the further tests, and He will be with us Friday morning when we find out what those tests show.  

I remembered today a phrase that was brought us several times a few years ago at one of our Ladies Conferences at Faith Bible Fellowship.  It’s not about me…it’s ALL about HIM!  I can’t tell you how much I want to honor Him in all this.  I don’t feel I’ve been a very good example through my current health issues.  But this is another opportunity to TRUST MY LORD.  An opportunity to show to others that it is ALL good.  My God is GOOD.  He loves me more than any word can express.  He is with me every step of the way along my journey, whether this takes a difficult turn or not.  He is not sending me into a dark pit.  He is holding out His hand and asking me to walk with Him.  He is being gentle, but oh so strong.  He knows the way, and I just need to walk in the path He leads.  He is stretching me in so many ways.   He is giving me all I need to grow into the image of His Son. 

Cheeseburger Pie

I haven’t posted a GF recipe in a while…I haven’t posted ANYTHING in a while.  Who am I kidding?  Let’s get the ball rolling with a very simple but very GOOD gluten free recipe I got from Live Gluten Freely by Betty Crocker.    Here is the link but I will also post the recipe here as well.  Click on the recipe name to be linked to the site.

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
1 cup milk
3 eggs
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in salt and pepper. Spread in pie plate; sprinkle with cheese.
  2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

I doubled this recipe and used a glass 9×13 in dish and it was the perfect size.  Gave me some leftovers to use for lunch the next day.   It’s very simple, nothing outstanding, but I was surprised at how good it tasted.   You can use whatever cheese you like.  I used a Mexican blend.  I think some Pepper Jack added in would be great!

Enjoy!!

Strong Women, Soft Hearts – Chapter 2

Strong Women, Soft Hearts – chapter 2

Desire – the Language of the Heart

If you are like me, as well as many others, we have been taught that desires are a bad thing.  I think much of that happens because we lump every desire into the group “fleshly” desires.  I’m learning that not all our desires are fleshly or meant to draw us away from God.  Many of them are there to draw us TO Him.

Let me quote from the chapter…”We are like Swiss cheese, and the holes in us are actually supposed to be there.  The holes are the things that make us who we are.  The holes are the places God has reserved in us for Himself!  The longings identify our real hunger.  A hunger that drives us to Him to be satisfied.” (Nicole Johnson, Freshly Brewed Life.)

What I have learned from this chapter is that I must spend time examining the desires I have; I must investigate what the true longing is that needs to be filled.  Addictions don’t start out as sin…they begin as desires that are not filled in the ways God would see fit.  We don’t want to wait on His timing, His choice of how that desire is filled.  We want it filled NOW and we run to earthly way to fill that desire.  Food, drugs, bad relationships are all things that could have been filled in godly ways.   How often do we eat because we are lonely, sad or just simply bored.  God wants to fill those desires and needs within us!  He didn’t create food to fill that role.  He is all we need for those desires.

Now is a good time to examine the things in our lives that pull us.  What are the roots of these things that pull us?  I just want to encourage you, as well as myself, to examine the desires you have each day…the ones that draw you toward godliness and those that may not.  Take each one to Him and see if He has a different way to fulfill that desire…one that draws you to Him.

Isaiah 55:1-3

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

Green Enchiladas!

If you are thinking Dr. Suess, no…nothing like that!  The “green” in these enchiladas is spinach.    If spinach scares you, let me assure you that these are what turned me on to spinach in the first place!  They are basically chicken enchiladas with spinach in them, but are so yummy.  And now that you can get gluten free tortillas in something other than corn, they taste like they did before Celiac disease!  I thought I’d never get to have homemade enchiladas again.

First of all, the gluten free tortillas….there are two brands I have seen.  I’ll link you to both, but I’ve only tried one of them so far.

These are Smart and Delicious Wraps from La Tortilla Factory.  They are made from teff flour and I can’t tell much difference when made in an enchilada.  If you taste it plain, it doesn’t taste like a white flour tortilla, but they are super because they are flexible without breaking.  They can be frozen and kept for quite some time.  We’ve been pleased with them.

The other brand is not actually a tortilla, but a gluten free flatbread.  I think they could be used as a tortilla, but I want to let you know about them regardless.  I really want to try these, because they come in flavors and I think they would be awesome for sandwich type wraps.  They are called Sandwich Petals, probably because they are shaped like the petals of a flower.  Must have been invented by a female, don’t ya think?  They are a multi grain wrap using a variety of gluten free grains.  There are three flavors…Agave Grain, Chimayo Red Chile (yum), and Spinach Garlic Pesto (double yum!).   The reviews I’ve seen are good, so give them a try!


Now to the ingredients for the enchiladas!

2 lbs chicken breasts (approx. 5 breasts)

1/2 stick margarine

1 large white onion, finely chopped

1 box frozen or 1 can spinach…around 10 oz.

3 cups sour cream

2 – 4 oz. cans of chopped green chiles

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup milk

salt to taste

12 flour tortillas…use gluten free if Celiac

6 oz Montery Jack Cheese (Pepper Jack is AWESOME)


Boil chicken, cool and cut into bite size pieces.  You don’t have to use white meat.  Use whatever you want.  In a skillet, melt butter and saute’ the onions till tender.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease large casserole dish.  I used a 9×13.  Heat the spinach if you have frozen.  Strain the liquid and reserve 1/2 cup.  You can use fresh spinach if you want, usually takes about 1 lb, but I prefer to save the time of removing the stems, etc.  If the spinach isn’t already chopped, chop it up coarsely.

Combine:  onion, spinach, sour cream, chilies, cumin, spinach liquid and milk.  Mix.  Season to taste.   NEEDS salt!  Add half the sauce to the chicken and mix well.  Let me note here that if you didn’t salt the chicken, you need to salt this mixture as well.  All that meat with no more salt will mean you will want to add salt at the table.  It really needs it here too.  Just saying.

Fill softened tortillas with equal amounts of filling and roll up.  Place seam side down in the dish.  Cover with half the cheese and then the remaining sauce.  If you like things a little spicy, use all Pepper Jack cheese.  I used half and half and could not even taste the peppers.   My husband likes it bland like this, so just do what works for your family.  Even try half spicy and half not!  After the sauce, top with the rest of the cheese.  Bake about 30 minutes or until heated through.


ENJOY!!



Strong Women, Soft Hearts

I recently began reading a book, which is very unusual for me.  It’s title is Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart.  The Bloom Book Club is going through it right now.  They are going through it pretty quickly…now on chapter 3, but I’m taking my time, especially since the first chapter was so thought provoking and soul searching.  Angie Smith and Jessica Turner have a video that goes with each chapter, discussing their insights.  I’ve always loved the “realness” of Angie’s blog, Bring the Rain, and get so much from her writings.

Anyway, chapter one required that I take a look back at my life, sifting through the rubble to uncover what my dreams were when I was younger.  I discovered that I was not much of a dreamer at all, except for wanting to be married to a godly man and being a godly wife and mother one day.  The year I met Kenny and the following year were probably the happiest times in my life.

But I discovered something else…I don’t wear rose colored glasses.  I see my past through a very negative lens.  It was quite discouraging to see, and to admit.   I’ve been a believer since I was 10 years old, but I have failed to cultivate that deep, intimate relationship with God that He so wants to have with ME.  I have always known He was there for me, that He is sovereign in all things, He would never leave me, and He loved me enough to allow His Son to die for me.     But I haven’t done enough to cultivate the relationship on MY end.  I picture like this…I’m in a room and He is right there with me, watching me, available for me.  He has been the ONLY reason that I have survived the trials and tribulations of this world.  But I know now that survival is not the goal.  I think that is where my negative view comes into the picture.  I have always tried to be thankful for everything He has done for me.  But….THERE IS SO MUCH MORE!!

He LOVES me…He doesn’t just want to be my savior.  He wants to be my confidant, my friend, my stronghold, my shield…He wants to be EVERYTHING to me.  And here I am, letting Him sit on the sidelines because I have not pushed myself to be INTIMATE with Him.  I have missed out on so much.

I was discussing this with a dear friend, who has gone through SO much in her life.   She doesn’t look back with negativity.  She “lives out loud” and praises God with all she has.  She often says, “I had such a WONDERFUL time with the Lord this morning!”  I admit to being jealous.  I asked her about her outlook on her past and she recalled the years she struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  She said she KNEW that God was trying to teach her something through this and she wanted to come through it triumphantly.  Even now, as I struggle with my own health, that has not been my goal.  MY goal was to survive the experience with God’s help.  What low expectations I have had, when *I* am a child of the most high God!!!

Now I do want to add here that I learned a LOT about myself and the Lord through my difficulties.  I couldn’t have gotten through them without Him.  But NOW, I desire MORE!  To come through these issues triumphantly….how cool is that!?

Isn’t it awesome that God never stops working on our hearts!?  I see where my negative outlook has affected my sons, so I’ve been very vocal about this with them lately.  I hope they can break the cycle that has been perpetuated through me.

All this was from Chapter 1!  Looking forward to Chapter 2 and sharing my thoughts with you!