Monday, November 28, 2011

More than meets the eye.

Since I was a child I've heard of frankincense as one of the most precious oils, which is why it was gifted to Jesus, along with incense and myrrh. When I started working in the health industry, I noticed how expensive the frankincense essential oil was and realized this still was a precious oil.

Just a few days ago, I read an article on the benefits of frankincense and the aromatic attributes. Then it spoke about the tree. I never thought of where this fantastic oil came from, only that it was. Well, this amazingly precious oil comes from one of the ugliest trees in the desert.

It has prickly thorns exuding from the branches and looks dried up. From all appearances, this tree looks invaluable, yet it contains one of most desired and valuable oils in all the earth: frankincense.

The second I saw that tree, a million cliches came to mind:
  • True beauty is skin deep
  • Never judge anything by appearances
  • True beauty is on the inside
  • It's the inside, not the outside that counts
  • Things aren't always what they seem
  • There's more than meets the eye...
You get the picture. Just because something (or someone) doesn't look the way we want it to or the way we think it should, never underestimate the importance of what lies beneath the surface.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

God is...

When life is uncertain, God is not
When our power is limited, God's is limitless
While our hope may be fragile, God is hope himself

Saturday, October 15, 2011


This year has been challenging in so many ways, but through it all, I have seen God's grace in my life. There were several times I broke down as a result of frustration, but I pushed through in faith.

All I kept getting was to be patient...wait on the still. Do you know how hard that is for me??? It was getting to the point that I didn't know if He was even listening to me anymore. What I did find was His peace.

As a result, when I spoke with someone I love and cherish this week that is going through similar frustrations, I was able to encourage her and tell her what God's done for me this year. Not all I was asking the Lord has been answered, but I have peace because I know its coming in His time, not mine.

Life is's harder when you don't have faith in anything, especially in Jesus. He's my sustinence, the only reason to push forward towards the goal, 1 Corinthians 9:25.

Maybe what you're going through today will not only help encourage someone else in the future, but take you to another level of faith. Maybe...just maybe.

Be blessed!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anxious and I go hand in hand.

I hate being anxious and I hate my mind going 1,000 mph all the time. That's why I know I'm blessed to have the husband I have that balances me out and calms me. He's the complete opposite. I can't stay still talking about one thing because while I am, I'm mentally creating a to do list of what I should be doing.

In fact, it's been so bad lately that I've created to do lists daily so I don't deter and am able to get everything done that needs to get done. On this list, believe it or not, I have to include "eat". I don't make time to always eat because I'm so busy doing other things. Right now, I decided to take a few minutes to blog about just that.

I read yesterday in my daily quiet time the following verse:

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24.
This verse was written for me. I want God to know my anxious thoughts (though he will whether I like it or not), because many times its those thoughts that push me away from him as a result of lack of trust in Him. He knows we naturally do this. Busyness is what keeps us from Him and anxiousness is failure to fully trust in Him while confiding in our own ability to do so.

There's freedom in releasing those anxious thoughts and allowing Him to reign. When he takes control, It's just so amazing and liberating. True peace only comes with Jesus.

I've blogged about this subject a few times because it's something I struggle with. It helps me to blog, hope it ministers to you as you read =)

"Joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hmm...that's a view to wake up to.

Photo: Gene Patey
I wonder what I'd do if I woke up to this in the morning. What would you do?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Encouragement is something I've really needed the past few weeks. It's been really hard with career changes, stuff, and life just happening so fast. I'm so incredibly thankful for the blessing of my husband. He has really been my main source of encouragement and motivation.

Sometimes, I just feel like my prayers have been going into oblivion. I think many can agree to have felt that at one point or another. While my entire walk with Jesus, I've always heard him speak to me clearly, this year has been different. I know my faith has been challenged and stretched, but the past few weeks took the cake.

  I've been pleading and praying for certain things for a few years, but now is when it really seemed to matter. Then last night, I resolved to fully give it over to Him. Why? Because when there's nothing I can do myself, there's only faith holding me together. This mornings' quiet time was reading Psalm 86 which really felt like my cry to the Lord. Then, something day turned completely around. Blessings poured down all day! I have been literally in shock of how quick He works.
Just when I feel I couldn't take it anymore, I feel like today He wanted to give me a break =)
Tonight my husband and I attended a mid-week service that ironically, or not, was about: encouragement. I felt it was only appropriate given my prayer only last night and this morning.

"See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:12-13 (my emphasis)
Did you notice what can happen when you're not encouraged? Your heart can become hard making it more difficult to encourage and making it more difficult to move forward in life with a believing heart and full-fledged faith in God.

Be encouraged!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Reading List.

Since I'm considered a bookworm, and I absolutely love to read, I'm asked often for reviews or recommendations. I read mostly three different genres: Christian fiction, Christian inspiration and Holistic Health/Nutrition. Of those, these are my favorites, including a miscellaneous section.

Christian Fiction:
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (she's my favorite author!!!)
  • Mark of the Lion series (3 books) by Francine Rivers
  • Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers
  • And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers
  • The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers
  • The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
  • The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers
  • Lineage of Grace series (5 books) by Francine Rivers
  • A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck
  • Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck
  • Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
  • Diva Nashvegas by Rachel Hauck
  • Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker
Christian inspiration:
  • Bible
  • Wired That Way by Marita Littauer
  • A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
  • Roaring Lambs by Bob Briner
  • The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven Scott
  • The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
  • Prayer by Phillip Yancy
  • The Spirit Controlled Woman by Beverly LaHaye
  • Fossilized Customs by Lew White
  • Walk in the Light Series (12 books) by Todd Bennett
Holistic Health/ Nutrition:
  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch
  • What Would Jesus Eat by Dr. Don Colbert
  • The Seven Pillars of Health by Dr. Don Colbert
  • "I Can Do This" Diet by Dr. Don Colbert
  • Beyond Aspirin by Thomas Newmark & Paul Schulick
  • The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel
  • The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears
  • The China Study by Dr. Collin Campbell 
  • Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford
  • Pandora's Prescription by James Sheridan
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • It's Called Work for a Reason by Larry Winget
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

If there are any that you have read that are similar in style or genre and you think I'd enjoy it, please let me know and I'll read it =)

I'm always up for a good book (reading 3 at the moment).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cooking with a seasoned pro.

This weekend I was able to spend time with my mother-in-law. We went to Universal with my husband and brother-in-law, went to an Art Festival, and cooked =).

Being the cook she is, she prepped the most time consuming part of the meal before heading to Orlando so we can cook the remainder of it and eat. That's what I was able to enjoy with her.

Now, I've made lasagna a couple times and that's about it. I'm a fan of eating but not making it because it's so time consuming. Even though she seasoned the ground turkey at home, saving us so much time, it took over 1 hour to complete. See, I just don't have the time to always be prepping and cooking meals that take over 30 minutes. But this was great to see the tricks of the trade. 

We started with the boiling of the noodles and prepping the sauce on the bottom of the pan. We got all the ingredients ready so as soon as the noodles were ready, we'd get started on the layering. So first thing I learned, I needed a huge pan like the one in the first image.
The times I've made lasagna, I've used the glass container (normally used for casseroles or cakes) but it would always overflow. Second thing I learned, don't fully cook the noodles. They just need a little time boiling, but if they become to tender, they'll crack.

As we finished the layering, she showed me how to create the seasoning for the garlic bread. I've always loved her garlic bread better than any other I've tried, and now I was able to do it myself with her right by my side.

Once the seasoning mix was perfect, we cut open the French baguette and poured it on.

We baked it in the last 10 minutes left of the lasagna so they'd be ready at the same time. And voila....a delicious lasagna with garlic bread!

It was great to not just eat the result of a delicious meal but to actually get to try it and do it in my own kitchen with her.

To a wonderful you Ma!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Puzzle Pieces.

I love puzzles! I'm so cheesy when I do puzzles because I can't help but think of a million different life analogies as I work on it. So, of course, I'm going to share the one that affected me most during this puzzle.

As I begin a puzzle, I get such a rush when I see all the puzzle pieces thrown on the table before me. I begin by separating the end pieces and the four corners. Then, I begin creating my border. When I completed my border, I noticed 4 pieces didn't fit toward the bottom. I left them pending until a few days into the puzzle because I couldn't see them fit anywhere.

I became so frustrated because I usually get the border the first time around. My husband noticed and decided to take a stab at it. Then, he had the audacity to tell me to return it because they gave me a bad puzzle. I started laughing because there was no way that happened.

A day before finishing the puzzle, I realized I had forced a piece that looked like it fit in 2 different places. That made all those pieces unable to fit. As I was adjusting my error, I realized that in life, we sometimes force things that aren't meant to be. We choose our will instead of the Lord's will in our lives. When we do, we see the consequences of those choices. The opposite is true.

When we allow the pieces in life to fall into place, they do. The promises of the Lord are true yesterday, today, and forever. Twice in one week I've read that God is no respecter of man. It's true. If you follow the principles of God's truth, whether or not you believe in Him, you will be blessed. Jethro Kloss said it best:
"When physical law is obeyed by any human being, whether good or bad, he will reap the reward God has promised. When a man, who does not believe in God, tills his soil properly and sows and plants properly, God gives him sunshine and rain the same as he does a righteous man, for God is no respecter of persons."
The other quote was from another book I just read by Jackie Mize:
"God is no respecter of persons. Abide in the Word of God and let His Word abide in you and you can ask what you will and it will be done for you (Acts 10:34, John 15:7)."
Don't force pieces of the puzzle because the bigger picture is perfectly created. You just have to make sure the right pieces go in their place, so when you step back and see it completed, it is just as it should be.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Bigger Picture.

During my quiet time with the Lord yesterday, I read 1 John 2:15-17 and was cut to the heart. I put the verse as my recent update on Facebook but felt a prodding to go deeper into how clearly this passage affects us daily. 

The passage reads as follows (NIV):
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
Now having cable, it's so tempting to watch the latest reality shows (I'm not talking about Jersey Shore...I won't stoop that low), but at times I find myself casually getting sucked into the life of the Kardashians. The one I watch the most is actually a very pleasant reality show that I've loved for years, House Hunters on HGTV. 

The media, socialites with their own shows, celebrities, and reality shows in general have taken over. But when you really look at them, all they offer are the "cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does." All that you find now is each bragging about how expensive this or that is, how much the dress they wore at an awards show cost, or what they do or how many fans they have...etc. It's so empty because all it offers is what the world has: temporary satisfaction, but no truth.

Even the one I watch most, House Hunters, is about couples looking for the right home. They end up with the top 3 and you get to guess along with the show which one they choose (I'm normally Regardless, something as nice and simple as that show makes me long for desires of this world. I've noticed how when people choose the perfect home, it's so much about the "stuff". Bigger is better, nicer appliances, bedrooms so large that you don't know what to fill it with, closets sometimes bigger than some peoples apartments, and yet there's still little satisfaction. 

As a society, we always want more. Guess what? The world never satisfies the lust of the flesh, so it will keep you wanting more and more with nothing but emptiness at the end of the tunnel. 


The Lord offers us a hope in him. He will give us eternal life, eternal that only he can give that satisfies beyond anything the world can attempt to offer. 

I exhort my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to go beyond the desires of the world. It's easy to get caught up in it...I have. But look at the BIGGER picture. It's only a short time we're on this earth, and it's not meant for our fleshly satisfaction or our society's "life is short so live how you want" mantra. It's meant to reach others for Christ. 

"The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."