This recipe is something one of my daughters came up with yesterday. I am excited because I LOVE the Double chocolate cookies they sell at Subway.....even though I am sure they are full of mystery ingredients. Not something I want to think about my family eating often.
We try to stick to the 80/20 rule. We eat real food with no mystery ingredients 80% of the time...and so the 20% of the time that we do have food that's not so good for us, I don't worry about it.
We live in a REAL world, with REAL temptations. And, we also have 5 (going on 6!) children in our family. I don't want to be known as the "food nazi mama", who never lets her kids have birthday cake at a party, or snacks at a church event because they are aren't always "real food" snacks.
These cookies would freeze well, so make a big batch, and enjoy them without the guilt!
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (we use sea salt)
1 1/3 cup sugar (we used raw cane juice crystals)
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we made our own; learn how here)
2 eggs (we use free range from a local farm)
2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk (we use raw, whole milk)
A dash of all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together dry ingredients, (except chocolate chips), in a bowl.
Add, molasses, butter, vanilla, eggs and milk into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Now fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.
One thing that seems to keep people from making real food at home, is the time involved. There can be a lot of preparation: chopping, mixing, baking....and not everyone has time for that.
This is one recipe that can keep prep time down, and enjoyment of making real foods in your kitchen up! A great meal for a night when you are shorter on time, but don't want to spend your hard earned dollars on fake food.
Asian Pepper Saute
1- 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice (or brown rice)
1 lb. grassfed ground beef
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Bell Peppers (any color), diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or use less if dried)
2 cloves garlic, minced or diced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup beef stock
1 Tbsp. Bragg's Aminos or other fermented soy sauce
Chili paste to taste
1/2 tsp. worchestire sauce
Make rice according to package directions
Saute veggies in oil until softened a bit; Add seasonings, stock, paste and sauces.
So, yesterday I wrote a post about living in freedom from the "comparison game". I'm not sure if I've ever met any woman (probably men too), who have not played this game at one time or another.
In Part 1, I told of how I used to play it much more often than I do now.
Well, I haven't confessed the area that I am tempted to play this "comparison game" in the most. You see, my fourth pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of our son, Joseph Mark, at 39 weeks.
This is gut wrenching tough stuff---the loss of a child. He was so perfect it's hard to describe.
There was a single knot in the umbilical cord.
Ugh. A hard blow.
However, it was not to be our last heartache.
Last fall, during my seventh pregnancy, (We have five children living at home), we lost another son. Thomas Franklin. My sweet little Thomas was about 17 weeks gestation...( I didn't know he was gone until we went for a 20 week check-up and heard no heartbeat.)
Another very painful loss.
And, yes, I had to deliever both of my sons.
So, can you imagine the thoughts that I myself struggle with? And, as far as other women have shared, I believe I am not alone. Especially if you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the loss of a child? Thoughts of "Why should I have lost my child? This child would have been smothered with love and kisses their whole life! Why did that young girl addicted to meth get to have her baby? And, he's healthy! I don't understand.".....
On facebook the other night, I was asked by a friend who had recently suffered another misscariage....how do you cope? I mean, besides reading your bible and talking to God and your hubby?
Here, is my list of ways I fight off the temptation to be jealous and/or have that pity party we all are the ONLY ones invited to! :
1. Remember, that life is hard for everyone at some time or another! We are NOT the only ones that are suffering in this world. We get so bogged down at times with our own "issues", that we hardly notice what insight our story could be bringing to others.
Our worst trials, can be the greatest source of encouragement for someone else.
2. Also, I realized I have to truly FIGHT AGAINST thoughts that pop into my head. Thoughts like I mentioned before..... "why does that woman seem to have such an easy life and I don't".....along with many, many other thoughts that are negative. I warn you NOT to let them stay long, lest you give in to them and believe them. I truly have to fight them off mentally or with scripture, and truly REFUSE to let myself go there. I REFUSE to let myself have a pity party. Truly. I am quite stubborn about it. Ask my husband. Don't get me wrong, though. I have had many tears over losing my boys. This time around, losing my Thomas came only one month before losing our home. Double whammy! Yet again, God carried me through these incredibly dark times.
Beg God to keep you mentally strong, and He will help you! But, you've got to get your weapon of scripture and use it.
Get in the Word.
Get in the Word.
Get in the Word.
Must I repeat?
Tape verses pertaining to your situation on 3 x 5 cards, and tape them above the sink, on the bathroom mirror, and other places.
Remind yourself of the truth, so the lies can't creep in in the first place.
We have weapons that we sometimes forget we even own. We don't think about the power of the written word, and try to muddle through life without tapping into our greatest source of power and encouragement.
God doesn't desire for us to stay in the muck.
He desires TOTAL and COMPLETE FREEDOM for our lives!
The best weapon against the lies that get inside our minds :: The TRUTH of scripture
Ephesians 4:27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
3. Give yourself GRACE. God gave us feelings, and there is nothing wrong with feeling the way we do. However, I believe it is what we DO with those feelings that does matter.
Will I take my jealousy, grief, sadness, anger to God? Will I share with him how I feel, and lay it down at His feet? Will I accept His help in this?
Or, will I try to combat this on my own.
Talking with our husbands and friends is a wonderful thing to do. I find quite a source of encouragement from both.
But, am I looking to Christ as my first source of strength? Or, am I expecting others to meet my needs?
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
4. Develop a heart of gratitude and thankfulness.
Okay, so your parents have probably tried to instill this in you since you were young. Your mother probably said: "Say "thank you" for the sweater Aunt Judy gave you".....or something along those lines many times.
However, thankfulness has to come truly from our heart. Not just our mouth.
And, you know you hated that tacky sweater she gave you, anyway.
There is one lady who has changed my entire way of thinking about thankfulness.
Sitting down at my computer in the morning, I am excited to see what a couple of my favorite bloggers have going on in their world.
Such loveliness, really......
:: Photographs of beautiful babes in their mama's handknits ::
:: Houses organized so children (and mama's) never have to go around searching for lost pencils, books, and the like ::
:: And, the recipes. Homemade breads that look like they would absolutely melt in your mouth. Pastas, soups, and the list goes on. ::
Most days I am inspired by the hands of these women bloggers. Who not only actually make and DO these things......but they find time to BLOG about it!
Then there are other days. Like one not too long ago.
With one of these wonderful blogs on my mind, I meandered into my kitchen. I looked around at my counters FULL of dirty dishes. I work very hard to provide REAL food for my clan of seven. This takes a dish or two, you might say. Or, possibly more than that.
Needless to say, my heart saw a pile of hard-crusted, baked on foods----withholding any thanks for the nourishing food God had provided for our family, and the health it has given to us.
As I perused the dishes----as if staring at them with a "look" I have been known to give my hubby at times of disagreement, would suddenly cause them to jump into the dishwater themselves and scrub up quickly---I heard a sound in my ears.
Not a sweet sound, mind you; It was the sound of screaming from my angry two year old. The world (or an older sibling most likely), had wronged him again. His world was crashing down, and all he knew to do was balk as loudly as possible in anger.
Be still my soul. Oh, and grab me some Calgon. (Okay, I'm showing my age here.....34 to be exact!)
As a mama, you probably see where my attitude is headed. In a southernly direction. Not north, west or east.
I have dealt with this attitude in my eldest daughter. You see, for some reason, the female gender seems to have a love/hate relationship with the comparison game.
You know the one.
You play it alone. In your mind.
You say to yourself little quotes such as: "Man, she sure has better skin than I do." --- "How in the world did she have seven babies, and still have hips the size of a nineteen year old ?!?" -----or how about my favorite, "Her life must be perfect, or at least waaaaaaaay better than mine."
I am glad to say I have had to fight these battles less and less over the years, as I've grown in my relationship with the Lord, He has helped me to have victory in a lot of areas. However, I still can get "sucked into" the game at times, and have to pull out the big guns. You know-----oh, did you think this was just a child's game?
No, maam----we've got to pull out the heavy artillery for this battle. Why so? Because when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! It will affect our marriage, our children, and of course----our spritual growth.
How do we do this? What does it look like in real life, to live in freedom? And, what in the world is this "heavy artillery" I speak of?
Four ways I fight the battle for joy, and the thoughts I personally struggle with the most, can be found in Part 2 of this series.