Monthly Archives: October 2011

A new (Sun)day

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The continuous statement of my church is “Never place a period where God has placed a comma”.  I think a part of me felt He had placed a period in my spiritual journey.  As embarrassed as I am to admit it, today was my first visit to church in a loooonng time.  Matt and I had a multitude of excuses as to why we could not fit church into our busy schedules.  While we were making excuses, the enemy grew more and more satisfied with himself as the weeks of separation from our church community turned to months.  I’m surprised it took me so long to see it clearly, but today the realization washed over me until I couldn’t keep the tears inside.  I am embarrassed and ashamed that the enemy had such power of me.

Lately He has given me some strong signals that He wants to be closer to me.  Closer than ever before.  In response to these signals, I’ve started to meditate in His word every morning.  It’s amazing how this small step has brought me closer to Him, and more aware of His presence in my life.  He. Is. Everywhere.

Out of nowhere, an acquaintance from church began e-mailing me, just “checking in”.  Although I would consider us merely acquaintances, we began discussing my pull towards a greater relationship with Him.  She was so encouraging to me.  I thank her for being a tool in building our relationship.  It was then I knew I needed to return to church regularly.  My heart was literally aching for it.

As soon as we walked into church, I felt that familiar warmth and love flow through me.  I even heard some women say out loud “They’re back!”  I felt like a mini-celebrity, with my loving church members hugging me, looking me in the eyes, and telling me how glad they were to see me.  As ashamed as I felt for not attending for such a long while, this feeling instantly vanished in the warmth of many hugs.  I am so blessed!

This was one of many attacks I am battling right now, but with His strength I will make the enemy wish he never messed with me.  I pray everyone has a church community like Matt and I do.  God is good.  He is everything.

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Autumn Baking

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As I’ve said previously, I LOVE to bake.  When the leaves start changing, I get even more excited about baking.  Let’s face it, the best goodies are the ones we associate with these cooler months.  Yes, I am partially to blame for the expanding waistlines of my co-workers, friends, and family.  Baking is something I usually do for other people, and that’s probably the reason I love it.  I find it so fulfilling to spend time with people as they enjoy my creations.  I really like trying new recipes as well.  If you have favorites, please send them my way!  Here is one recipe I’ve recently tried and it was a hit!

No- Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of finely crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 8 ounce package of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or sugar substitute* equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fat-free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • 8 ounce packages of fat-free cream cheese
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

1.  For crust, in a medium bowl, stir together crushed graham crackers and melted butter until crackers are moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Cover and chill while preparing filling.

melting butter

I like to double the graham cracker crust recipe for a nice, thick crust

2.  For filling, in a food processor or blender, combine the reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla, and orange peel. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.3.  In a food processor or blender, combine fat-free cream cheese, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Cover and process or blend until smooth.

I would advise putting half the recommended amount of orange zest, or leaving it out completely. The zest can overpower the pumpkin.

4.  In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over orange juice; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Stir 1 tablespoon of the gelatin mixture into the white cream cheese mixture and the remaining gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

5. Pour pumpkin mixture over chilled crust in pan. Carefully pour white cream cheese mixture over pumpkin mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl pumpkin and white mixtures.

pumpkin mixture goes first!

White cream cheese mixture next

6.  Cover and chill overnight before serving. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut into wedges.
Makes 12 servings.

Final product! Enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have!  I pray you all have the opportunity to engage in an activity you truly enjoy.
God bless!

One Year

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Today Matt and I celebrate our one year wedding anniversary.  Wow- what a year!  When I think back on our lives one year from today, I get teary-eyed.  One year ago today, I was in graduate school, working, planning a wedding, and volunteering my time (insert hardy laugh here) at my internship.  Matt and I had just moved in together after purchasing our new home, and were searching desperately for rental tenants.

Many nights leading up the wedding I spent on my knees praying over our current situation, and over our future together.  What a difference one year makes!  While this year has had its challenges, the highs soar above the lows.  The lows have brought us closer, and I hope they always will.  I am so excited about our second year of marriage and all that is in store for us.  I love my groom!

As I’m reminiscing, I will indulge and share some of our wedding photos.

I know neither of us have any makeup on, but I love this picture

Mom helping me put on my dress

My dad probably saying something poignant... too bad I'm too busy blubbering

A great image of us after being pronounced "man and wife"!

Taking some of our first steps into the journey of marriage

 Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never
     boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take
offense, and is not resentful.

              Love take no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth;
it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to
endure whatever comes.

              Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy,
the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever;
and knowledge-for this, too, the time will come when it must fail.

              For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect;
but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.

When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child,
and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me.

              Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror;
but then we shall be seeing face to face.
The knowledge that I have now is imperfect;
but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

              In short, there are three things that last; faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.

Autumn Stroll

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Over the weekend Matt and I took a long walk around our neighborhood with our dog, Zoe.  The weather has been uncharacteristically warm lately and, being Michiganders, we know a long winter is right around the corner.  A warm October weekend is not taken for granted around here!  Our one year anniversary is next weekend, so I’ve been reflecting on the past (almost) one year.  It’s walks like this one that allow us to reconnect with each other, and I savor every step along the way.

Loving the leaves!

So beautiful!

You can almost see this tree changing colors right before your eyes!

A color explosion!

I hope you have time to stop and reflect on the autumn beauty around you.  I will leave you with a verse that I am reminded of as I attempt to absorb His greatness.

Praise you Lord, O my soul

Oh Lord my God, you are very great;

You are clothed with splendor and majesty.

             ~Psalm 104:1

Inspiration!

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We all need a little inspiration every now and then! Below are some quotes from amazing, successful entrepreneurs. My favorite quotes are those that discuss perseverance. Entrepreneurs understand perseverance more than most- that’s what makes them so unique!

44 Success Quotes:

1.  “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”

2. “Don’t complain; just work harder.”

3. “Deeds not Words”

4. “Before you can work smart you must work hard.”

5. “Persevere…because on the road to success there is never a crowd on the extra mile!”

6. “I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not trying.” – Jay Z

7. “Coffee is for CLOSERS!”

8. “It’s not the cards you’re dealt it’s how you play the game”

9. “If you think you made it, your at the wrong place, never stop”

10. “Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them”

11. “The grass is greener where you water it”

12. “If you are going to fear anything fear success. Think about what you are doing and when you succeed what life you will have”

13. “God gives every bird his worm but He does not throw it into the nest”

14. “If it is to be, it’s up to me”

15. “Life doesn’t have to suck…DO something about it!”

16. “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…. One step at a time.”

17. “The only time success occurs before work is in the dictionary.”

18. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

19. “Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

20. “The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”

21. “Anything less than 120 hours a week is part time, if you are okay with average…then work part time”

22. “Nothing is as it appears to be”

23. “Success is the worst teacher”

24. “If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself. Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing. And start leading.”

25. “We are all self made but only the successful admit it”

26. “If you don’t take a chance, you don’t stand a chance.”

27. “A successful person is one who can lay a solid foundation from the bricks others have thrown at them.” -David Brinkley

28. “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity”

29. “Things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle” – Abraham Lincoln

30. “If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do” – unknown

31. “Fall down seven times, get up eight times” – Japanese proverb

32. “Success is a lousy teacher, it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose” – Bill Gates

33. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible”

34. “Entrepreneurs don’t waste time/energy worrying about being better than someone else. Focus on being the very best version of YOU.”

35. “Whoever says ‘Nothing is Impossible’ has obviously never tried stapling Jell-o to a tree”

36. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

37. “Life isnt about learning how to weather the storm. its about learning how to dance in the rain.”

38. “Create your own destiny. If you don’t, someone else will.”

39. “Success is not so much what we have, as it is what we are.” – Jim Rohn

40. “Success is being able to juggle those Glass Balls called Priorities and keeping them shiny & intact while running the Marathon of Life.”

41. “Learning from success is important but learning from failure is vital to succeeding”

42 “True nobility is not about being better than anyone else its about being better than you used to be.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

43. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford

Do you have quotes you receive inspiration from?  Send them my way!

These quotes are courtesy of under30ceo.com