Having a grateful heart

Having a grateful heart

Last week I talked about questioning God’s plan for me and how it never seems to be what I want.  I also said I would change the way I prayed and stop being so concerned with life issues, like the bank account and the bills, etc.  I learned something in the last week.  I heard this saying and I’m putting it in my own words because I don’t remember how it goes exactly, but “happiness doesn’t give you a grateful heart, a grateful heart gives you happiness.”  That is what I have learned over the last week; there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

God has given me so much that it is beyond comprehension.  Of course, the obvious, giving us Christ and the salvation offered through him; the promise of eternity with Him in Heaven.  But, there is so much more than that.  My husband and I have basically good health, and all our senses.  We have food in the refrigerator and money in the bank, maybe not much, but enough for our needs.  This beautiful place we call Earth, all the wonders of creation, from the beauty of flowers to all the wondrous animals that roam this Earth.  He created for us a wonderland of beauty for us to enjoy and we truly need to take better care of it, but that could be a whole other post.

My point is simply that God is very generous with me and I’m humbled by that because I am so unworthy of the grace that God showers down upon me.  I really need to stop worrying about all the little things that life throws at you, because God has a plan for all of us and already has it all worked out.  There’s a verse in Psalms, I don’t know where, but it basically says to be patient, and wait for the Lord. He knows all of our needs, dreams, everything – He knows us better than we do.  I was upset about not getting that job I talked about, but now I am grateful I didn’t get it, because if it was right for me God would have given me the job, it wasn’t right for me, so He didn’t.  He’s just doing what is best for me at all times.  Again I quote my favorite verse: Romans 8:28, “And God works all things to the good of those who love Him and were called according to His purpose.”  All I can say is trust in God, He is perfect and His gifts are also perfect.  He may not give you what you think you want, but he will give you what is best for you and what you need.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

23 Tips to organize your chaos

23 Tips to organize your chaos

It is really difficult to find organizing tips that actually help.  Usually, the big sites are full of fluff and Redbook isn’t any different.  It’s a cluttered site, but it does have a good article with practical ideas for organizing things.  So, take a look at it and see if there are a few ideas to help control the chaos in those areas of your house that always seem to be crazy.  Am I the only one with several catch-all drawers that are just chaotic?  Anyway, I hope this link gives you some ideas that help you get organized.

http://www.redbookmag.com/home/g617/organizing-ideas/

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Quilling

Quilling

Quilling is working with small strips of paper, manipulating them into designs.  It’s been around for centuries, but it is back in full force.  I recommend that you go to the hobby store or google quilling packets that give you the slotted tool that you need, plus basic instructions to start with simple designs.  That’s how I started, but a lot of hobby stores don’t carry quilling packets or supplies, so I will add some links to supplies available at Amazon.  I just bought a simple package with all I needed to start, plus you’ll need glue.  The picture I chose to use for this post shows you how far you can take this craft, it was done by an artist in Malaysia.  You can make stationary, jewelry, pictures, decorate frames, etc.  The sky’s the limit.  It is fun to do, but you do need to have a gentle touch with it, or your shapes will come out different, trust me – I learned this the hard way!  Below is a website that will help guide you on how to do it, but I suggest you buy a packet so you can have the tool and the basic shapes manual.

Here’s a link to buy a package that comes with the tools and paper that you will need to get started, no manual but a board to help you make the shapes at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOc211.

Here’s a link to a book covering all the basics that you will need to get started: http://amzn.to/2pYfvdB.

http://theartofquilling.com/how-to-quill-beginning-instructions

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Crock Pot Vegetarian Lasagna

Crock Pot Vegetarian Lasagna

I’ve given you a lasagna recipe before, but I want to start giving you healthier recipes – all in line with the new healthy lifestyle I’m starting to have.  All you do is layer the raw vegetables and noodles and let the crock pot do its thing.  As suggested on the site, serve with garlic bread and a salad.  Enjoy!

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252492/slow-cooker-vegetarian-lasagna/

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Something I never thought I’d be saying…

Something I never thought I’d be saying…

Some of you may already know this, but I have a serious weight issue.  Recently, my insurance company offered to pay for this really in-depth healthy living program to help prevent diabetes; so, I signed up for it.  I figured why not, what do I have to lose?  Every week there’s a lesson to teach healthier living and I was sent a scale that actually syncs with the program and I’m being sent a Fitbit for free.  Part of the program, of course, is exercising.  Now, I hated exercising, obviously right?  If I was into exercise I wouldn’t be so darn fat.  Anyway, I started exercising a few weeks ago.  I’m starting small by walking on my treadmill every day and am planning on incorporating yoga this week – that’s my activity goal for this week.  I’ve had an epiphany about the whole exercise thing that I want to share with you.

Exercise truly does help you feel better.  It helps with my anxiety, if I’m feeling anxious I just get on the treadmill and walk it out, and it works!  Plus, I feel better and it has helped with the weight loss, of course.  But my point is that I feel better psychologically that I wasn’t expecting to happen.  A few points I have learned:

  • As I’ve already discussed in other posts, it helps with the depression. It releases endorphins that naturally help you feel better.
  • My confidence is growing because I feel like I’m more in control of my life, instead of being a victim of circumstance. I have a greater influence over my life’s course than I ever thought was possible.
  • The anxiety thing that I already wrote about. I have severe anxiety; who would have thought a treadmill could help alleviate it?  I didn’t.
  • I actually have hope that I can overcome this weight thing that I have been fighting for the whole of my life. Hope is a powerful emotion to have and I have not had much of it in my life.

I consider this program as a blessing.  I’m taking it very seriously.  My mother died from complications with diabetes and I really don’t want to follow in her footsteps, at least not in that way.  I highly recommend you have an exercise program.  If you already do exercise, than I’m preaching to the choir; but, if you don’t exercise, please give it a try.  This isn’t about just helping with mental illness.  Everyone can benefit from exercising and the power and control it gives you over your health and life.  So, in short, get off your butt and move!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Do you ever question God?

Do you ever question God?

I’m not talking about the, does He exist kind of way, but just in His plan for us.  I do, not proud of that, but it’s the truth.  And it bothers me that I do, I mean He created the universe, I think He can handle my little problems, but it’s when things don’t happen the way I think they should, then I wonder and question His plan for me.

I’ll give you an example.  I was working a temp job for a while, and I hated it but it was helping pay the bills.  When that job came to an end I qualified for unemployment and have been looking for a job while trying to get my VA business off the ground so that I could work from home.  Now, that VA biz just hasn’t worked out yet, mostly because I was just not passionate about it like I am writing and maybe that’s why it didn’t work out.  So, I’ve been looking for part-time work and even had an interview recently, and the business was like a five minute drive from my house with perfect hours and since my unemployment is coming to an end, I thought it was perfect timing.  I didn’t get that job.  Now, I do have a VA job with another VA being her copywriter and that could grow into something.  So even though He didn’t answer it the way I expected, He did provide me something that is more along the lines of what I want to do, which is write.  Besides, essentially, God has always provided for me and has gotten me through some very difficult situations, but never as I thought He should.  Now one big thing that pops into my head is who am I to question God and His plan for me, but I do.

It just seems like the things I am praying for are not being answered.  But sometimes the non-answers are part of his plan.  I’ve heard the saying quite a few times that when things seem to be falling apart, that is when things are just falling into place.  And I always hold my favorite verse in my head: Romans 8:28, “And God works all things to the good of those who love him who were called according to His purpose.”  It has also occurred to me that maybe I’m just not praying for the right things.  I’m constantly worried about money and that is a problem, because it takes up so much of my time and Scripture calls the love of money idolatry.  Not that I want millions or anything like that, I just want the financial security I once had.  But like I already said, God has always provided for my needs and the bills have always been paid and there’s been food on the table every night.  So, I think it comes down to my priorities being out of whack, more than not trusting God’s plan for me.   I expect things to go the way I want and I try to micro-manage my life instead of just letting go and letting God take control.  So, that’s what I’m going to work on this week, just letting go.  Praying about more important things than my bank account and praying about those that are lost or the people that I love, who need my prayers.  Think of it as a sort of experiment; I’m not going to pray about myself and my problems and pray for others and let God work out my life with me staying out of His way.  I’ll let you know how my week went next week.  Prayerfully, I will be in a better place spiritually.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Rose Water

Rose Water

Now I know your probably wondering why I would write about rose water of all things.  But I just love the stuff.  You supposedly even able to cook with it, but I haven’t tried that and I don’t think it sounds too appetizing.  What I do love about it is the smell and versatility of it.  The smell of roses has a calming effect on me.  Rose essential oil, which is very expensive, is said to calm you down at the cellular level.   I think that rose water also helps calm you down, and it is a great tonic for your face and you can add it to a natural shampoo (1 tbsp. baking soda with I cup of water, put it in a clean bottle and shake it up before each use) for your hair to smell heavenly.  You can put it in a spritzing type bottle and spritz yourself throughout the day for little mini-pick-me-ups; it at least does that for me.  It can also be spritzed throughout the house for a pick-me-up for the house too!

I have tried to make rose water myself, it’s supposedly easy, but I’ve never been able to make it work, so that’s why I’m not telling you to make it yourself.  I suggest you just buy it, and then you know it will smell great and do what you want it to do, instead of just creating a mess like I have done trying to make it.

You can buy it at Amazon, here is the link for Cortas Rose Water that’s made in Lebanon, it is what I use, here’s a link for it…http://amzn.to/2r4oEF6.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth