Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lost & Found

Just last year, I bought a new Bible. I had wanted it forever, but couldn't bring myself to spend the money. Finally, I broke down and got it at Barnes & Noble. It was perfect - cool colors, square, ESV, and it was a journaling Bible with wide margins. In the words of Shane Lee - just awesome.

Back in high school, I started noticing how easy it was for me to space out when I read my Bible. Nasty satan seems to steal my attention away from the Word way too easily. Anyway, I decided to start journaling...just writing my thoughts, reactions to scripture and prayers so that I would connect to what I was reading. Have been journaling ever since. I fell in love with my journaling Bible because it was like a two-for-one deal. No need to carry around a journal anymore!

Well, I had just broken my new, "just awesome" Bible in...like a pair of new shoes need to be broken in... I had lots of thoughts jotted throughout the pages, lots of sticky notes for Harp & Bowl, lots of highlights and the corners of it were just starting to get tattered a bit. AND THEN I LOST IT. Such a sad, sad day. I seriously felt like I had lost one of my most prized possessions. I remember asking God for a miracle, and asking Him why He didn't let me lose my iPod or something else stupid and "replaceable".

I prayed for my lost Bible with some friends (thank you, Erik Wiese), and then I found it in the BACK OF MY CAR two days later. Duh. I had looked in my car a thousand times, but Mark just happened to spot it laying right there out in the open. Coincidence? Maybe. I felt like it was a little miracle. I hugged it.

Thank You, God, for caring about lost treasures. Give me more of a love for Your Word...and the Truth and Joy found inside my Bible's cool cover.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Carbs are BACK.

The no-carb-no-sugar thing was good...I guess... Yes, it was good. Here are a few things we learned...
  • Carbs make you feel super bloated... I'm not kidding. If you do without them for two weeks, you'll feel like you lost 10 pounds even though you didn't actually lose 10 pounds.
  • There's a difference between feeling a bloated and heavy "full" ...and feeling "full" in a way that is just satisfied and comfortable. Pay attention to how your body feels when you eat. Don't just stuff it all in and feel crappy afterwards (remind me that I said this when I start stuffing my face without thinking). It's crazy easy to be gluttonous in our culture.
  • If you go without carbs and sugar cold-turkey for two weeks, you DO start to crave them less. And you DO start to crave veggies more.
  • I had dull headaches and was grumpy half the time...so I learned that my body was, in fact, super addicted to sugars.
  • Carbs and sugar are EVERYWHERE. It was extremely difficult to grab something quick and cheap at a gas station or restaurant. Eating healthy is a pretty big investment...both time and money.
  • Veggies and protein aren't all that bad. I learned to make some really yummy recipes that I will for sure use in the future.
So, as a fast, it was good. Food fasts are always really hard for me, but they are always worth it. As a diet, it was okay. As always, it seems moderation is best. DO live a fasted lifestyle, but don't freak out and restrict away all the joy in eating, fellowshipping and breaking bread with people you love.

Overall, I am much more conscious about what I eat and how it makes me feel. Mark and I are back to carbs, but I will say that we are eating less of them in general now...and really appreciating other healthy options with veggies and protein.

Here are our first bites of sugar after two weeks... It was fun in the moment, but we felt pretty crappy afterwards! :) PS - I did not eat both desserts... I promise!


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Favorite Things

This is another one of my favorite spots in our apartment. Nothing fancy, but just the way I want it. A handful of great books, a picture of my Papa, some storage, and a part of Van Gogh's Almond Blossom painting (which, I pieced together for less than 10 bucks, thanks to a crazy clearance at Target, cheap matte at Wal-Mart, allposters.com, a ruler and some scissors. Score.). Since we know the people that own our apartment complex, we talked them into letting us paint! Two walls are this taupey hue. SO thankful to be in an apartment with a little color!
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Time Flies!

Was this really five whole months ago??
Time flies when you're having fun.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shakings

God is up to something... Check out the end of Hebrews 12 or the beginning of Haggai 2. After you check out those passages, check out the news...
Let us be thankful that, through trusting in Jesus and relying upon His sacrifice, we are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken. With that in mind, let's worship Him with reverence and awe - for our God is a consuming fire.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

2 Ways to Be a Prayer Warrior

I am a part-time Prayer & Worship Coordinator for ATLAS in Sioux Center. I get paid to lead prayer, to lead worship, and to train and equip others to live a lifestyle of prayer and worship. It's a pretty wonderful job. Lately, I've tried praying in a couple of new ways. Want to join me?

FACEBOOK! Pray through Facebook statuses and profiles. People so want to be heard and understood and known - when you really pay attention to statuses, walls and other info people make public, you'll start to notice ways you can pray for friends and acquaintances. You'll feel like a stalker for the first five minutes, but after a while, you'll forget about caring - people post stuff because they WANT it to be public, right? - you'll be immersed in a little online prayer walk. Maybe your friend posts a comment about having a bad day, maybe an acquaintance posts a few pictures that make it apparent he/she has been making some sketchy choices, maybe someone's status quotes a Bible verse...you can pray for any and all of these things. Pray that your friend would find more joy, that your acquaintance would have strength to choose wisely, that that special verse would become rooted in their heart, etc. Be a Facebook Prayer Warrior.

CURRENT EVENTS! Pray through current events. Check CNN or Fox News online. Joel Rosenberg has a great blog called Flash Traffic to check out too. The more you look, the more you will realize how broken our world is. Violence, pain, war, disaster - it's everywhere. Let the news stories inform and motivate you towards intercession. Be purposeful about looking for good, too. Praise God for diverting hurricanes, or saving the child stuck in a mine shaft, or whatever else you stumble upon. Be an Aware & Informed Prayer Warrior.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Update

I am the most hungry for chocolate of any sort, bread and real butter, and Crispy Curls from Hardee's. Did you hear my stomach rumble?
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pam's Peanut Butter Pie

Folks, this recipe will change your life. I'm serious. It is not healthy, but it IS wonderful. If you love peanut butter, you will be licking your plate (or parfait glass) after you've finished...

My mom's Peanut Butter Pie is to die for. She usually makes it in the form of a pie, but recently, for my wedding, we made it in little shot glasses - like a dessert shooter. I had some company over a while back, and for a bigger (but pretty) portion, I layered it in some parfait glasses I bought at Goodwill. So fun and yummy. Here is the coveted recipe...

Pam's Peanut Butter Pie

Use a graham cracker crust (or Oreos!)...
For the filling...
8 ounces of cream cheese, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream, 1/4 cup of milk, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 cup of peanut butter.
Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in milk, peanut butter and vanilla. Set aside. In another chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Stir 1/3 of it into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in remaining cream gently, but well. Turn into the pie shell. Chill for hours before serving.

Enjoy, enjoy!
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Memories!


Here's a fun memory! In October of 2009, one of my friends was wanting to check out teaching opportunities in Colorado Springs. She asked me if I wanted to come along. Obviously, I said yes. Colorado is a big deal.

Back in that day, Mark and I were just friends...the kind of friends that don't really talk much, but check in every couple of months or so. However, in October of 2009, Mark was at the Focus on the Family Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, so I texted him and told him we were going to be in the area. I had been accepted to the Institute a few years earlier, but never ended up attending, so I was curious about how things were going for him. We had a quick supper with him.

When my friend and I got into the car to leave, she said, "Whoa. You need to date that boy." I said, "Yeah, right. He is SO so so out of my league." (And I really, really thought he was.) Who knew. God is good to me!

PS - Yes, I had blonde hair then, too. My, how things have changed.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Updates!

A few updates from the DeYounge household...um, I mean apartment...
  • My beloved Aveo's engine died. She is getting fixed this week. Suddenly, she is high-maintenance and very pricey.
  • Last weekend, Mark and I spent a nice weekend with my family in Northeast Iowa. We had a wonderful car ride, played with 1-day-old lambs, ate lots of tasty carbs, made pizzas and laughed a lot with my spitfire-85-year-old grandma, had good conversation and some great rest.
  • Mark and I have scrapped the short-lived Cracker Barrel tradition for Wednesday afternoon coffee at Dunn Brothers. It is our new tradition that will last much longer than two weeks. We love it. Well, I think Mark likes it. I double love it.
  • It's been 5 1/2 weeks since my last migraine. Just awesome.
  • Our second day of our crazy diet is going well...except for the part when we went to Perkins and had to pass up the Chocolate Silk Pie. Oh my word, my mouth just started watering as I wrote that last sentence.
  • Mark's basketball/coaching season is over. Mark also just finished another seminary class. We are savoring some free time (there for a few weeks, I almost forgot what 'free time' felt like!).
  • I just got a mole removed on my forehead, so I am sporting around a classy band-aid on my face. Pray that the mole is non-cancerous! I am not worried about it, but just in case...
  • Things at my job at ATLAS are going well. I am loving what I do these days...
Hmm... That's all for now. Overall, we are staying busy and are thankful for the fun and wonderful blessings God throws our way.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Health & Nutrition

Mark and I are sugar burners. Read this!


For the record, we're not necessarily wanting to lose a bunch of weight. We ARE wanting to be healthy. Did you see the bottom of the article?
Dr. Ron Rosedale, M.D., nutrition and metabolic expert and author of the Rosedale Diets says: “Health and life span is determined by the proportion of fat versus sugar people burn throughout their lifetime. The more fat you burn as fuel, the healthier you will be. The more sugar you burn as fuel, the more disease-ridden you will be and the shorter your life will likely be.”
So...in just a few days, we're starting a hard core two week (we'll see how long it lasts) meal plan thing that is supposed to help our bodies "reset" to become better fat burners. That means no carbs for a while. Dang. Carbs are my favorite. Starting on Monday, I might not be the nicest person to be around...

Our Maximized Living chiropractor would not be happy to hear this, but until Monday, I am enjoying, savoring and celebrating every last crumb of carbohydrate I encounter. Yum.
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blueberry Goodness

I am on a cooking journey. I would like to be a great cook, but it just isn't happening overnight. For every good dish I make, I make about five not-so-hot ones. Sigh. Practice makes perfect, I guess! Here is one of the GOOD ones. My mom gave me the recipe a few weeks ago, and we just tried it out. I think this is one of those recipes that you can't mess up. Score!
In a 8x8 or round cake pan...
1 package blueberries (enough to generously fill the bottom of the pan), 3 T. sugar (this is what the recipe says, but I didn't use even 1 full tablespoon. I figure blueberries are sweet enough on their own.), 1/3 C. orange juice. Swirl and mix around in the pan.

Top with...
1 stick of melted butter, 1/2 c. sugar (I didn't use nearly this much either, depends on how sweet you want it!), 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 egg, 2/3 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. baking powder, pinch of salt. Drop by teaspoonfulls on to the top! Sprinkle with cinnamon if you want.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

I can't decide if this is a breakfast or dessert sort of thing... Thoughts?


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If it were up to me...

I think Fuller Theological Seminary should give credits to the ladies whose husbands are taking their classes.

Why?

  1. Because husbands process all their readings and lectures with their wives.
  2. Because husbands ask their wives all of the hard questions their professors asked, that they already know the answer to, to see if their wives are smart enough to get it right.
  3. Because husbands make their wives edit and make sense of their 12 page theology papers so that they will get a good grade.
PS - For the record, I love 1-3. I love listening, wondering and editing. I am happy and thankful my husband is taking seminary classes. ...but I still wish I would get some credits, too. :)

PPS - On second thought, maybe I can just walk around and tell people that I am "auditing" Systematic Theology from Fuller. Maybe then, at LEAST, people would think I was smart and deep and stuff...?? Maybe?
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