Monday, May 31, 2010

Forgiveness...easier said than done!

I've recently had a conversation with someone about forgiveness, and I thought I'd share on here in case someone is reading this and needs some encouragement on this subject.

The Bible says we should forgive those who mistreat us to protect ourselves; it’s not for the benefit of those who mistreated us. Whether or not the person asks for forgiveness or even feels sorry for what they did, forgiving will release you from the anger, resentment, hatred, and bitterness and then you will be able to move on and heal from the situation. Holding on to these feelings also gives the devil an easy way into your heart to cause even more pain. You may not understand right now why you went through what you did; but have faith that you can move on from it.

It’s easy to blame God for allowing this to happen. Remember, God gave people free will to make their own decisions, people have to choose to live their lives according to God's will, He cannot make that decision for us. We cannot blame God for the sins of imperfect people and the things people do to us…that was that person’s mistake. God can help you overcome and move on from it, though.

Forgiveness does not mean you are giving a reason for the hurtful act or defending the person who hurt you, and it does not mean that God is forgiving them for their actions…only that person can ask for that. Nothing can change the past, but you can do something about the present and your future happiness. Forgiveness means you are simply allowing God to take your pain and anger, and realizing it is not your job to judge that person. Forgiveness will help your precious heart heal and move on.

If you’re NOT ready to forgive you can say this prayer:
"God, please help me get to the point of being willing to forgive those who have wronged me. Please give me the desire and ability to forgive. Thank you, God. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

When you DO feel ready to forgive, you can pray something like this:
“God, I confess that I have not forgiven as You have commanded me to. With Your help, I now forgive these people: _______ (list names and what they did to you). I confess my pride and judgment of those people. Please help me to thoroughly entrust these people and the wrongs they caused me into Your hands. I pray that Your will be done in my life and in their lives. Please help me to no longer think on those wrongs, but instead to focus my thoughts on You. I invite You, Lord, into any painful memories I have concerning what was done. Please heal my emotional wounds. Thank you, Father! In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.”

What the Bible says about forgiveness…

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
- Matthew 11:28

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
- Colossians 3:13

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
- Luke 6:37

I would love for you to share your thoughts on this subject as well...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beautiful

I've been surrounded by Your beauty
In the midst of so much pain.
But I've not always kept my eyes on You
Throughout the tormenting rain.

Lord I know you're always there
Even though I do not always see.
Give me the faith I need to persevere
And become what You created me to be.

I've been surrounded by Your beauty
There's no mistaking it now.
Lord, I feel You all around me
Your grace is changing me somehow.

The following video is by a group I LOVE.  The lyrics help remind me to surrender to God's plan for my life and just let those waves crash over me with faith that I will emerge from the ocean a stronger person.  Holy Spirit, consume me like a fire, so I can feel your beautiful presence like never before.  Lyrics are below the video.

 

"Something Beautiful"
By:  Needtobreathe

In your ocean, I'm ankle deep
I feel the waves crashin' on my feet
It's like I know where I need to be
But I can't figure out, yeah I can't figure out

Just how much air I will need to breathe
When your tide rushes over me
There's only one way to figure out
Will ya let me drown, will ya let me drown

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

And the water is risin' quick
And for years I was scared of it
We can't be sure when it will subside
So I won't leave your side, no I can't leave your side

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

In a daydream, I couldn't live like this
I wouldn't stop until I found something beautiful
When I wake up, I know I will have
No, I still won't have what I need

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees, I'm waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful


It is difficult for me to even put into words how the next song makes me feel, but I will do my best.  I full-on wept like a baby the first time I heard this song, I'm not even gonna lie.  It does help that Francesca has the voice of an angel and could sing my International Communications homework and make it sound angelic too.  But seriously, I feel like this is MY song.  It's as though I heard my heart being spilled out through the radio into my car back at me and it was such a wonderful, overwhelming feeling.  God is so good, and I don't know how ever got through a simgle day ignoring Him...and boy did I ignore Him for quite some time!  I am constantly growing and changing by His grace.  Lyrics below the video.

 


"Beautiful, Beautiful"
By:  Francesca Battistelli
 
Don’t know how it is You looked at me
And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain
But even perfect days can end in rain
And though it’s pouring down
I see You through the clouds
Shining on my face

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

I have come undone
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace

Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Anda Book Club - Thank You!

Thank you so much to everybody who contributed to my book list, I really do value all of your recommendations! I have added a section of links on the right sidebar as you scroll down the blog; this is a list of the books I am preparing to read in no particular order. However, the book I am currently reading will be at the top of the list and surrounding by **. You can click on a book title and you will find yourself at a new page to read a description of that particular book...to save you the trouble of having to Google it :)

This will probably be a temporary way to display the books, and will most likely come up with a more user-friendly way to share the book club. I will write a review of each book as I complete them, so stay tuned for a review of Forgotten God.  Feel free to read along with me, or share your thoughts when I write up my review if you have already read the book.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beef-Less Stroganoff


I can't bring myself to work on homework tonight.  It's 9:00, I had a long day at work, I have a full belly from dinner (I'll share tonight's recipe with you later), and it's the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance!  Just when I say "this is the best season yet", another season starts and I sound like a broken record.  Matt's been hearing a lot of "Wow!", "Whoa!", "What the what?!", "Did you see that?", and "He is GOOD" tonight...and the broken record begins.

So while I'm being blown away by some amazing dancers (and kicking myself with a figurative arabesque for not sticking with something that brought me such joy) I will share a recipe with you.  I also love cooking and trying out new recipes, and I have found a great veg stroganoff recipe...Matt even said he didn't miss the meat!  I got the recipe from a great resource my mom introduced me to called E-mealz.  I haven't had the opportunity to really check out the website, but it sounds awesome.  They provide a meal plan of your choice (this one is from the Vegetarian Meal Plan) for a week, and provide a shopping list for the week from a store of your choice, including what the price will be for all your groceries.  Just click on the above link to check it out for yourself.
- Beef-Less Stroganoff -
What you need:
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 8 oz pkg sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bag Morningstart Meal Starters
  • 1/2 C cooking sherry (I honestly don't know what the difference is between regualry sherry and "cooking sherry.  Just buy sherry, it'll be fine)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt (Not sure what they mean by this.  I used a little salt, pepper, and garlic salt.  Use your imagination I guess.)
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1 T cornstarch dissolved in cold water
  • 1 pkg egg noodles
What you do:
  • Cook egg noodles according to package directions
  • Saute onion and mushrooms in butter until soft.
  • Add meal starters, simmer 5 minutes
  • Add sherry, soy sauce, "seasoned salt" (salt, pepper, etc, to taste), simmer 5 minutes
  • Add yogurt and corn starch. 
  • Cover, cook on low for 10 min stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over cooked noodles.
I sprayed some asparagus with some olive oil spray, sprinkled with some salt and pepper and broiled for around 5-7 minutes.  To be completely honest, I have no idea how long it was.  I never time that sort of thing.  Just keep an eye on them and pull them out when they look good to you. I stick them with a fork every few minutes until they feel done, I like mine to be a bit firm still.  Wow, I would be a horrible person to write a cookbook...what vague instructions, I am sorry. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Anda Book Club

I am in the final countdown to my B.S. in Dental Hygiene...2 WEEKS TO GO!!!!  I am foaming at the mouth with excitement over all the things I'll be able to do and not feel bad about.  Those things I, in reality, have time to do but while doing them feel bad for not working on more productive school-related activities.  One thing in particular I'm looking forward to this summer, being school-work FREE, is spending entire Saturdays lounging in the sun reading good books (with SPF 45, of course, with this fair skin), eating cherries (but not too many), and drinking iced tea.  I have a list, and I'm so excited to get my pale nose into them.

I would call it Mattanda's Book Club, but Matt is not so much the reading type.  He's been working on the book 1984 since before we met 6.5 years ago :)  So, in no particular order, here's the Anda Book Club list (click on the title to learn more about the book)...

Forgotten God by Francis Chan
(I'm currently reading this one, and yes it's good)

Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

A Message From God by Retha & Aldo McPherson

The Shack by William P. Young

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

Christianish by Mark Steele

So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore

Half The Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin

I have heard good things about all of these books, but if you have read any of them I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.  Also, if you have any recommendations, please leave me a comment and share the reading wealth!  Maybe I'll start adding book reviews to my blog posts...

" Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
- Sir Richard Steele
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MISO sick

I don't have strep throat, and I don't have mono.  Whatever virus I have, it's not very fun, and I don't know if I've ever seen my tonsils so large...it feels like the left and the right tonsils are rubbing against eash other and squishing my also swollen uvula when I swallow!  I can't remember the last time I've slept so much either.  I guess this is God's way of making me rest.

I've been doing all I can to feel better so I can get back to work, and this includes:
  • Coldbuster and Peach Passion with Immunity Boost smoothies from Jamba Juice.
  • Hot tea
  • Water
  • Tylenol
  • Zinc tablets (Zicam)
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Neti Pot (the issue is not in my nose, and it's viral not bacterial...but it couldn't hurt, right?!)
  • Miso soup
  • Rest
I was aware that miso soup is good for my immune system and have been eating it daily (plus, it's one of the only things I've had an appetite for).  So I thought I'd share some health benefits of miso with you.  It's delicious any time, but if you happen to catch whatever it is I have, this will be REALLY delicious and beneficial to your health.

What is Miso?

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold (known as "koji") to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment. The fermentation time, ranging from weeks to years, depends upon the specific type of miso being produced. Once this process is complete, the fermented ingredients are ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

Miso ranges in color from white to brown. The lighter varieties are less salty and more mellow in flavor while the darker ones are saltier and have a more intense flavor. Some misos are pasteurized while others are not.

This fermented soybean paste was introduced into Japan around the 7th century.  The creation of miso is very complex and is held as a high art in Asia, just as wine making and cheese making are revered in other parts of the world.

As darker color misos are stronger and more pungent in flavor, they are generally better suited for heavy foods. Lighter colored misos are more delicate and are oftentimes more appropriate for soup, dressings and light sauces. Miso should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container where it can keep for up to one year.

Nutritional Benefits

Miso is a very good source of tryptophan and manganese; and is a good source of vitamin k, protein, zinc, copper, dietary fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

I bought packets similar to these.  Just add boiling water, and viola!  Miso soup with the tofu, green onions, and seaweed already included! 
I also bought this miso paste from my local QFC. It keeps up to a year in the refrigerator and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Go here to check out some recipes using miso paste.



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Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Es Bueno

"It" started Tuesday.  Hot, chills, fever, nausea.

"It" migrated to my throat.  Huge tonsils, difficult to swallow, TIRED.

I've been sleeping for about four days straight.

The always "fun" throat swab revealed "it's" not strep throat.

Waiting for blood test results to see if this forced rest is mono. 

What else could it be?!

Whatever "it" is, no es bueno!