Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Libby, Justin, and Ava
This is a post to introduce you to a beautiful Etsy shop, but to also promote a fundraiser for a beautiful person.

I have posted about Libby in the past, but I have some new followers who may not have heard of her yet. Libby and I went to the same college and had mutual friends. We had gone on a Young Life Spring Break trip together one year and I really got to know her more.

Last July Libby found out that she has cancer. She started writing a blog about her journey, and to tell her story. She is married and has a one year old, Ava. Libby has an amazing faith and tells it like it is. Her story has inspired me and challenged me to grow deeper in my own faith journey. You can read all about her story here:

Now, to share the Etsy shop.  A book club in Virginia (where Libby, Justin, and Ava live) is raising money for their family.  The woman who owns this shop has already discounted her items, is offering another 15% off with the promo code LIBBY15, and half of the money raised will go to Libby and her family.  This shop has gorgeous jewelry.  Go here to check it out.  I just bought myself this and I can't wait to get it!
<3 it!
What a great way to help someone out AND get something really beautiful.  I ask for prayers for Libby and her family.  She has only two more chemo sessions left!  She is an amazing person with quite the story.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daniel Fast: 10 Days In (halfway!)

Halfway!  Can't believe I have already made it halfway through this fast.  Paul and I have definitely been feeling as though we are in a groove and I found some amazing recipes I HAVE to share.   We feel that we are already beginning to see some answers to our prayers.  I know some of our prayers may take months or years, but I can already see how God might be working things out. 

Paul and I have struggled this past week in other areas.  Belle got an ear infection, pink eye, and stomatitis.  It was awful, and brought us to the E.R. one night.  Belle is now healthy and all is good, but I am now the one with pink eye.  Wow.  Pink eye hurts!  It turned out that it wasn't healing and the drops I was using weren't helping, so I have a new script and I hope it works.  It's hard to be sick AND restrict foods.  All I wanted was a piece of cake and some coffee or wine to go with it.  This is a commitment and I want to make it to the end.

Okay, now onto the recipes!

  • 2 whole poblano peppers (I used green peppers because they were cheaper)
  • 2 15oz can black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 14.5oz can diced tomatoes (Meijer Naturals doesn't have any sugar)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  1. Place peppers on the grill and char them on all sides
  2. Place peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with wrap.  After 5 minutes remove the skin, stem, and seeds
  3. Drop in a food processor and blend.  This adds great flavor to the soup, however, if time does not allow you to do this omit the peppers and it will still taste delicious.
  4. In a large pot, put the olive oil, onions, garlic and saute for 5 minutes
  5. Add the can of tomatoes, juice and all, along with black beans, corn, peppers, and all of the seasonings
  6. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes
  • Russet potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • Whatever seasonings you want (I use some of my Tastefully Simple seasonings, or Italian seasoning)
Preheat oven to 375.  Cut the potatoes into small chunks.  Toss with olive oil, garlic, and seasonings.  Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.  Put potatoes onto cookie sheet and into oven.  Bake for one hour.  Toss potatoes every 15 minutes. Yum!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daniel Fast: 4 Days In

Okay, it's been a rough couple of days.  My body is fighting back.  The headaches haven't stopped and for some reason all of the veggies and fruit are making my stomach gurgly and uncomfortable.  I am going through sugar withdrawal and have been fantasizing about eating chocolate or the BLT paninis they sell in the cafeteria at Caledonia High School's cafeteria (I actually asked someone in my class to put their Hershey Kiss away because it was bothering me!).

On a positive note, I have been able to be more creative with food choices.  My Tastefully Simple products have been saving me!  I made a pasta dish today that I think Paul would like me to make when we aren't fasting.  Score!

Spiritually, I have been really trying to hear God and learn what He has to teach me during this time.  I am finding that I am more aware of when I want to gossip and have stopped myself.  This is hard.  It is really hard when I am around others who are gossipping and to not participate.  On another note, am I also asked to confront these people and tell them to stop?    Part of me feels convicted to do this, but the other part of me is petrified and embarrassed.  That is a territory I am scared to even consider.  I don't want to be viewed as "holier than thou."  Clearly, this is still an area of prayer and growth for me.  Some times when I think of all of this I feel so juvenile!  Gossip is what middle school girls do, not what a grown adult woman does! 

Through the hunger pains and withdrawal symptoms, I am pushing through them by trying to focus on the sacrifice that Christ gave up for me.  He was beaten, ridiculed, and killed.  Seriously, a little headache is killing me?  Is that sugar craving really that bad??  How quickly I crave to be comfortable.  I have my ibuprofen very close by!

Overall, I know that I am someone that does not like to be uncomfortable; be it physically or socially.  I don't want to give up sugar as much as I don't want to ask others to cease their gossip.  I know God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and to trust Him..  Somethings are easier than others, but I can definitely feel Him nudging me out of my comfort zone.  I am PETRIFIED what He has in store, yet I am trying my best to trust faithfully and follow.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daniel Fast: 2 Days In

Here we are, 2 days into the Daniel Fast.  So far, so good. 
Paul and I began the Daniel Fast yesterday, and so far it hasn't been bad.  The worst part has been the blow to our grocery budget.  Eating all natural is super expensive!  I keep telling myself that the cost is well worth it and to not allow that to frustrate me (mind you, I am beyond cheap and am pretty true to those Dutch roots!).

Paul and I came up with a list of things to pray for this week.  We have a list of people we want to focus on praying for, as well as specific areas where Paul and I each need to grow.  Our devotional from yesterday spoke about confessing our sins and areas we are personally struggling in before we move forward with the fast.  Humbling, huh?  I know I have a laundry list of items to confess, but my biggest one is gossip.  I hate to admit this.  I never want to be that person that is known for talking about others, but I have found that I tend to do this more than I care to admit.  It is an area that I really struggle with and it doesn't do any good for anyone.  This is definitely what I will praying about especially during this fast. 

I know I am 2 days in, but I really had a bit of an epiphany (a small one) today while playing with Belle.  I was feeling sleepy and thinking about taking a nap when Belle did.  I began to think about how weak my body is.  Often my biggest struggle is against my own body's desire for sleep and rest.  I will be starting back at my internship on Wednesday and I dread how tired I will be.  Some of my most difficult moments are in relation to complete exhaustion and fatigue.  My own body almost fights against what my mind wants to do.  I guess this epiphany has just reminded me of how fragile my mortal and human body is.  My massive headache today was also a big reminder of how weak I am when my body isn't functioning well!

For me the first couple of days have humbled me and reminded me of how weak I am on my own.  If I rely on myself and my human body it will always fail me.  Eventually, this body won't function, so placing my faith in this is useless.  My faith should be in God and His constant strength.  His body is never weak, nor does He ever get a headache!  He isn't tired and never needs to take a nap. 

So, in relation to my prayer list, I place my faith in the strength of God, rather than relying on my own strength for change.  I can't do this on my own.  Thank goodness!