Intro Gaps Pancakes

Hopefully, in another post I’ll share more of my journey on the gaps diet. However, I had to share these really yummy pancakes that I get to eat during my diet. I loved them and so did my kids this morning. I got the recipe from this website How we Flourish. Even if your not on this diet you can still enjoy a yummy healthy breakfast or snack. 🙂

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Parenting: Reflecting On Authortiy

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I was talking to my girl friends about Heaven one day and what they thought Heaven would be like. We went back and forth about how everything there will reflect his likeness. Since then, I have been thinking about how God reflects his nature now.  How it reflects off me as being a child of God, who is responsible to reflect His likeness. One of the things I thought about is His authority. The way He reflects authority to me, how I receive it, and why. I never thought of this idea as a guide to parenting until I started explaining loving authority to my kids one day. It gave me a peaceful understanding of how to handle authority and how to respond in love.

God reveals and reflects His authority in ways of a husband. God is the husband and His people are His wife. He is our Bridegroom and we are his bride. We know He gives husbands authority and mothers authority. Basically,  what I want to get at is that we all have authority figures. Authority figures reflect the fact that God created this life style, because He is one. Therefore, we have authority figures. God asks us to obey respect authority/ figures because He appointed them to be responsible for whoever that is. At the same time, He is the authority over us all. Plus God reflects a true husband, happily taking the responsibility to provide for his brides. Looking at Him as an example in whatever authority situation He puts us in.

Other than being a husband, God also reflects a loving father who loves and corrects.  How does He reflect being a Father with authority? In Hosea 6:6 God says he’d rather us have steadfast love for Him rather than just going through the motion of obediants.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,

the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

He desires  steadfast love. So when we train our kids to do things, as leading up a child the way they should go. It’s not because, “I told you so,” but out of love.

When I ask my children to be obedient or tell them why. I say, “You love on mommy when you do this. You love on Jesus when you respect mommy and daddy.”  Because I myself never knew that obeying my mom when I was a child also meant doing it because I loved her. My boys love hugs and kisses and I tell them there are other ways to love me. Such as, not having a fit, speaking to me nicely, or putting diapers away.

Seeing God’s heart is even huge for us as parents in Hosea 6:6, “I desire steadfast love.” I know for me I want respect at times or being selfish and just wanting good obedient children! What God desires more is love. We shouldn’t want to gain anything with our authority as parents more than the love from our children. And again the only way to do that is to reflect the Father by spending time with Him.  I forget at times to not abuse my authority by being bossy, but to correct myself and seeing the nature of true authority. Because we are trying to do for them what Christ does for us. Not saying that it is going to be perfect, but if they see God’s reflection in authority, then they will feel safe. They will desire the Father and not turn away from Him because He is The Authority.

I hope this was encouraging or interesting to read. I have had so many times of confusion on how to train my children. How to give grace, when to correct, etc. Looking at the Perfecter of authority and Creator of authority has helped me to have a clearer understanding how to respond to authority and how to reflect it.

Limitless

Icy Forest

Do you know that feeling when you are high up and overlooking everything? It usually takes you a hike or some sort of ride to get you up to that kind of view. When ever I hike up a tall mountain with a high altitude I feel accomplished,  proud,  and very much tired, but so worth it!

Yosemite

Eagles can fly up to 10,000 feet which is the length of our The National Mall.

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Can you imagine flying that high? It would be really scary, THRILLING, but limitless, and freeing. How could you think about anything else, but that feeling?! In Isaiah 40:27-31

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They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.

We hear this verse a lot as Christians, but have we grasped this yet fully? Because I am starting to get that picture of how much God wants to help us. Isaiah was speaking to the people of God and they could not grasp it either:

 

Why do you say, O Jacob,
    and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
    and my right is disregarded (ignored) by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength

When things are hard. When life doesn’t go as planned. When hard situations and long suffering is present. How many times I have heard this verse and the reality of it faints away when I loose my strength, when I let doubt come, and fear takes place. How simple the words “Help me God,” can be like bricks to pray when I need to say it. How many more times does my Heavenly Father have to remind me that He is the answer to help? How these verses could easily save me so much sorrow and trouble. Believing it could easily turn my morning into dancing, but instead I choose to put on rags; instead of glory, and neediness; instead of victory.

I so want to grasp this truth, because I know if I miss out I wont be able to serve God how I ought too. I will miss out on so much. I see those that serve in missions in dangerous places. Their faith is tested everyday and still they preach the gospel. They have a peace that God is with them and don’t live a life of doubt. How could they?
God is saying that we can have that amazing feeling. That flight like an eagle, soaring, freeing, limitless feeling high in the sky. We can have that strength through rough seasons day after day. We don’t have to be weary of it, but instead we can have this strength from God. Let’s encourage one another saying you don’t have to be weak! You can be strong! You don’t need to be in dispair of your situation, you can have joy. Let us write these truths on our hearts so we never forget them. ❤@ourplanetdailyのInstagram写真をチェック • いいね!56.9,000件

The Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Dunbar
Been going through a rough time recently with a lot of changes in my family life as we are adjusting to being a larger family. As with many major changes, conflict can easily follow. Its all part of life that two people share together. But this isn’t about the struggles that I have had with my wife, I have been thinking about the hypocrisy of hiding my struggles from those around me.
I’ve always tried to control and calculate my life once I hit my teenage years and didn’t like change because it left me vulnerable. Now I had to get past certain things for sure to go to college, apply for jobs, marrying my wife(haha). But I’ve always hid parts of me from the different circles that I may be in. Sometimes its not appropriate to be sharing all that you are doing, like at work. Work places may just be better for general conversations unless that is your friend base. For me, my job is my way of taking care of my family and I generally don’t mix my personal life in. Then we have our friends, our church groups or sports groups; what ever it is past there. I would dare to say though that we still only show parts of ourselves to those who we call “friends”.
This is Dunbar’s point. I think there is especially great pressure now with all the social media pushing the pictures of happiness, self help books, Youtubers making slogans like “happiness is a choice” or “Smile More” as if there is a personal solution to every issue we face in life. But we still fall short; and most of us will hide that and act like the times are still good. Recently I opened up to a friend about some of the stuff that I was struggling over with my wife and his response was “I thought you guys were solid.” Solid yes that we took our marriage vows earnestly when we said tell death do us part, but that never meant we weren’t going to have arguments or hurt each other emotionally. We are still broken and are part of a broken world.
Paul wrote numerous times to various churches (I Thess 5:11; Eph 4:2-3; Heb. 10:24-25) about the building each other up. However, we will never know how to build one another up if we aren’t humbling ourselves and living open with one another. Last night, my wife and I were challenged by one of our pastors and his wife to seek out those around us at church and in humility to ask for help and advice for our lives. This isn’t going to people and pouring out our woeful story; this is coming and admitting we are struggling and that we need help walking through or away from whatever is hurting us.
Jesus spoke about those who made appearances on the outward but concealed who they really were (Matt 23:25-29 is a great reference). Its easy to think that when Jesus warned his disciples about the religious leaders, that it wouldn’t characterize us. And yet, all the disciples left Jesus when he was arrested and Peter went on to deny even knowing him. So we can’t say that we don’t share in the same short falls that we see in others. But to end with this thought, James says in 1:6 that if we doubt when we pray (Christians doubting) we are as unstable as water in a storm, which means we have forgotten the power of the gospel and are allowing the power of this world to tell us what is possible and not possible. Let us remember the power of God and let go of our fears, essentially take off our mask. Time to build true relationships with others who believe the power of God is making us new and is completing His work every day to accomplish His plans for us.

Wait!

I was going to do a looonng post about how I have been overwhelmed by the lack of direction, goals, or joy. Confused why God is allowing me to feel so desperate for direction and help for so long. Why is He making me wait? These past couple weeks He has been speaking to me through verses ( James 1:2-3, Matt 6, Prov. 3:1-6, Luke 13). All telling me to wait, continue to be faithful, have joy in long suffering. I knew what the response should be, but I just kept swallowing it and not ready to respond in surrender. Instead, during worship I’d ask Him how does waiting help me at all? What turned the mood of this post is when I again asked Him, “Why are you doing this to me?  And if that wasn’t dramatic enough including the words; yelling inside of me, “Your daughter!” He quickly responded back very clearly, ” I put my own Son to suffer for you. Will you suffer for me?”

Nothing like a sting from a spank to shock you. After He said that I felt ashamed. It was a wake up call that I really needed to get me out of myself. Because it really came down to this.  He kept telling me over and over and it hadn’t changed. Are you going to be faithful? Are you willing to suffer for me? Do you love me enough to do this?

Recently, my pastor spoke these words in his sermon that totally convicted me. These are his sermon notes:

He said, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Those words of Jesus can be viewed from two vantage points. 1. The invitation is to submit our lives to His rule, to His will. The will of Jesus for your life and mine is always a perfect fit. It’s not a burden to irritate you or hurt you. Whatever task Jesus sends us on is made to fit our needs and our abilities perfectly. Real peace and real joy are always the result of pleasing God. 2. Serving Jesus is not effortless, but the love of Jesus for us moves us to love Him — 1 John 4:19 We love (Him) because He first loved us. Our love for Jesus lightens the weight of the burden. Love always lightens the load. Think about it. Love on the human level lightens loads. Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

-Pastor Richard Cimino

Do I love Jesus enough that the burdens I carry seem light? I thought I loved Him, but to be honest I complain when it’s heavy. The love I have for Jesus are not stronger than the burdens that I feel.  I still take advantage of the blessed future that is ahead of me. I know I will fall short, but I want to fully embrace the future of fully living for Jesus than to miss it and choose an easier one.

Right now I am continuing to pray/hope for a heart of surrender.  My child like spirit is still feeling very overwhelmed by the thoughts of waiting. I’m understanding that it is very normal to wait for God’s timing. It’s all the more growing in structure in faith.  I am grateful for His words that He spoke over me. I needed to not wait anymore to fight the words of waiting, but surrender to them. I have had so much more peace once I had done that.

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Leeks

I love salads! A little history of my love for salads all started at a very young age. Growing up we almost always ate a salad for lunch. My mom was the queen of our salad dressing. She taught me never to go get a bottle dressing, but showed me that the key to a good salad dressing only needed balsamic vinegar, olive oil and your taste buds. Through the years I have come to perfect my salads, always trying to find something new to throw in there.

I’ve never had a leek before until my mission trip to England. First day we got there we went grocery shopping. We grabbed a few things including bags of mixed greens for our salads. When I finally used some of the mix I noticed something different about it. Something I never tasted in a salad before and it tasted slightly like onion. I don’t like eating raw onion at ALL, but it was good! It just gave an extra pizazz to the mix. Since then, Andrew and I have been enjoying leeks in our salads, soups, and our pizzas. Oh the deliciousness!

Just because I love to know about the benefits of eating all natures natural foods. I’ll throw you some interesting info why you should be eating leeks. It contains the following:

  • Vit. K
  • Manganese
  • Folate
  • Vit. C
  • Vit. B6
  •  Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Folic Acid
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin

Other than the good sources it gives it also isn’t that expensive to buy and it’s huge!

Where I Find Him

Sometimes we need to step away and meet Jesus somewhere. Especially, when we are feeling lost. So here I am, at one of my most favorite domains, a coffee shop. Where I am drawing and listening to gospel filled music. Inspiring me to move forward. In the mist of it all my heart for God exploded. All the tossing and turning of being so lost of who and where I am going finally came crushing down. Being in His presence made me noticed how much of it all was joking me. As well as, realizing how much I’ve missed His presence. God had to remind me again who I’m living for. He meant me in the place where is most special to me. In the beauty of creating. Expressing myself in art is where I find Him. This is how I worship Him. This is where I find His pleasure.

Future/Past by John Mark McMillan

[Chorus]

And you

You are my first

You are my last

You are my future and my past