Sunday, January 10, 2016

Remember - Word and Verse for 2016

Memory is something we take for granted until it's gone. I used to be able to retain large amounts of information without much effort at all. Now, however, I have trouble recalling names, events, and even the most basic facts. This could be due to a number of factors. But, having a grandmother who had Alzheimer's, it's still frightening.

Going into Hannah's last semester of high school, I really want to focus on remembering. I want to make memories that both of us will remember years from now. I want to remember the small moments as well as the big ones.

I also want to work on my factual memory by memorizing more Scripture.

So my word for 2016 is REMEMBER.

In looking for a verse to go with this, I couldn't find one that covered every area I wanted to cover, so I chose Luke 2:19: "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." That seems to come closest to what I want to do, even though it doesn't actually use the word "remember" in it.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Scripture Memory System

A few months ago, my friend Carrie told me about a Scripture memory system she found and really liked. I wanted to give it a try, but I added a twist to it.

I remembered reading this in Phillip Keller's book As a Tree Grows:

Rather than learning random verses, it is well to master whole blocks of the Bible. This gives continuity and coherence to the material in mind. Here are twenty-four passages which, if mastered - one each month - at the end of only two years will have provided material that can completely transform the fabric of a Christian's life. One cannot absorb these and not grow!

Exodus 20:1-21
1 Samuel 2:1-10                                      
Psalm 1
Psalm 23
Psalm 51
Proverbs 20
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 53
Malachi 3
Matthew 5
Matthew 6
Matthew 7
John 3
John 14
John 15
John 16
Romans 8
1 Corinthians 13
Galatians 5
Ephesians 6
Colossians 1
Philippians 3
Hebrews 12
Revelation 21

Who doesn't want spiritual growth???

So I started using this system, but focused primarily on chunks of Scripture. I took some from Keller's list and have added some of my own. I have also interspersed a few topical verses that I just wanted to memorize.

So far, this system hasn't been cumbersome at all. I did realize quickly that I don't memorize things as well as I used to. The good thing about this system, though, is that it builds in a lot of repetition. It's also easily tailored. My friend Carrie adds a new verse each day; I add one every other day. If I miss a day (such as through the holidays or for whatever reason), I just pick up the next day. It also doesn't require anything fancy: just some 3x5 notecards, a notebook, and a pen. (However, Carrie did give me some pretty colored pens for Christmas, which makes it even more fun!) :)

If you don't have a regular Scripture memory system, I encourage you to try this. Or find some other system (and let everyone know about it in the comments). The important thing is to continually be hiding God's Word in your heart.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

2015 Year in Review - Trim and Healthy

My word for 2015 was "Purchased" and my verse was 1 Corinthians 6:20: "For you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (NKJV) On March 1st, I started a journey toward glorifying God in my body that really set the tone for my whole year.

I had tried many things to lose weight since my thyroid was removed 7 years ago. I tried dieting and even trained for and completed 2 half marathons in one year, but I never lost ANY weight. It was frustrating for me since I had always been able to lose weight by just limiting calories. When I talked to my doctor about it, she would just explain that I'm "over 40 now, and things are different..." NOT ENCOURAGING!

When I started hearing friends talking about Trim Healthy Mama, I was skeptical that it would work for me. I bought the book, though, and started trying to wade through (and, yes, that's what it felt like at first!) all the information. I was completely overwhelmed and wasn't sure I could do this "plan" at all. It was unlike anything I had ever tried before. I started trying to implement a few of the principles, though, and surprisingly I started losing weight!

As I learned more and got better at figuring out what foods were okay to have with others, I continued losing more weight. I have now lost 35 lbs., and I didn't gain any over the holidays! I don't have a real "before" picture, but here's one that was taken about 2 months after I first started vs. one taken about 2 months ago.

I have hit a few plateaus along the way, but that's to be expected. As a mater of fact, I'm at one now, and I think I will need to increase my exercise to lose the last 8 lbs. I want to lose.

The key to success with this plan - at least for me - was the support system. A group of ladies I know started a Facebook group to support each other and answer questions. This, plus having so many people I know sharing recipes and tips, has helped me succeed in this area of my life where I have struggled for so long.

Along the way, we discovered that Hannah is allergic to dairy. She has had stomach issues all her life, but we weren't able to figure out what they were. Eliminating dairy from her diet has not been fun (It's a HARD allergy to have, folks!), but she feels SO much better now that it's totally worth it!

Sorry to talk about diets for this whole post, but that's really been a big change for me this year. I know this verse doesn't mean that you have to be thin to glorify God in your body, but learning how God means for us to use food to fuel our bodies rather than to be enslaved to it has helped me be healthier so I can serve Him better. I want to glorify God in ALL that I do, including eating!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Books Read in 2015

Here is the list of books I read in 2015.I will be clearing out the sidebar and starting fresh for 2016, but I want to keep previous years' lists so I am putting it into a post. I didn't read as much as I would've liked last year. I hope to do better in 2016.

January (0)
February (1)
Preparing Your Teens for College: Faith, Friends, Finances, and Much More by Alex Chediak
March (0)
April (0)
May (2)
Without a Trace: Rock Harbor Series Book 1 by Colleen Coble
A Woman's Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything by Lydia Brownbeck
June (1)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
July (2)
Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse FitzPatrick
One Day int he Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
August (3)
As a Tree Grows by W. Phillip Keller
Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will by Kevin DeYoung
Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down by Joshua Harris
September (0)
October (1)
Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God by Bob Kauflin

November (0)
December (0)

Nonfiction total: 7
Fiction total: 3
Total books: 10

What did you read this year? What were your favorites?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015 Christmas Gift Mix - Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This year's gift mix is a little different for us. This year has been a journey to get healthy for me. I have lost 35 pounds (so far) on Trim Healthy Mama and have totally changed my eating habits. In the process, we found out that Hannah was allergic to dairy, which also drastically changed the way our family eats.

With all that in mind, we really wanted to do a sugar-free, dairy-free gift mix. But, try as I might, I couldn't find a way to do an AFFORDABLE sugar-free, dairy-free, low glycemic index gift mix that was a dessert. So... we decided to go with a soup.

This is a soup I had made before and really liked, so I just switched the veggies to dried ingredients and converted it to a gift mix. The bonus is that it's really pretty layered in a jar, so that's how we packaged them this year.

We made 108 gift mixes this year.

Here's an individual picture of how it looked in the jar. The top says, "Wishing you a SOUPER holiday season." I'm so punny! :)

Click here to download the recipe.

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