Friday, June 28, 2013

Food on Friday: IT'S BACK!

As you may know (or maybe not..) I am
not that gifted of a baker. However, I do very much enjoy to bake sweet breads and muffins, most often incorporating either a vegetable or fruit to the batter. Well this week I made an attempt at baking Gluten Free (Dairy Free) Zucchini Bread for my women's bible study. I am proud to say that the [first] effort was not all that bad! The bread turned out a little more moist than I would have liked. Zucchinis hold a lot of moisture, so next time I would use fewer wet ingredients like one less egg or less oil. I also added some dairy-free (allergen-free) chocolate chips, instead of nuts. Overall, it was dellllicous, but I will take another crack at this recipe in the near future. Enjoy! 

  • 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips (or chopped walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded zucchini
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used organic coconut oil instead, which was a good choice for this bread)
      1 cup sugar (I used organic unprocessed sugar)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1 1/2 cups GF flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Flour)
        • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum for each cup of flour (so for this recipe it was 1 and 1/4 tsp)
  1. Shred the zucchini and chop the walnuts in a food processor and set them aside.
  2. Use a mixer to beat the eggs and add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Slowly pour in the flour and xanthan gum until well mixed. By hand, mix in the zucchini and chocolate chips (or nuts). Pour in greased & floured loaf pan and bake at 350F degrees for 75 minutes. Let cool.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Different Kind of Full-Time Job

Last night I was thinking about my days as an executive assistant and office manager just a few short months ago. I worked at a financial management company by day, and was a housewife by night. Well although my role as full-time career woman came to end when Hudson was born into the world, there are many interesting parallels between my job as an office manager and my new job as a stay-at-home mom.

When I worked at the financial management company, my day began promptly at 8:00 am, while here in the home I might be beckoned out of my slumber by a crying baby anywhere from 6:30 to 8:00 in the morning (not to mention in the middle of the night!). My attire at the office was very professional: button downs, pencil skirts, and kitten heels. Nowadays, my outfit of choice is a pair of Nike running shorts, a tech shirt, and flip-flops (you can pretty much forget about the make-up). At the office, I had the same routine every morning: log onto my computer, turn on all the lights, fill the Keurig, and check my e-mail. At home, my routine begins by "silencing my alarm" (a.k.a getting a sweet, crying Hudson up out of his crib) and then spending the next hour in my pajamas on the floor, while Hudson plays to his heart's content. Some mornings at the office consisted of answering a slew of phone calls and e-mails, while at home most of the conversation that I am engaged in is responding to the giggles of a five month old. 
I was always on "lunch duty" at my office, taking orders from my boss and co-worker and running out to pick up their requests. At home, I am on breakfast, lunch, and dinner duty (as well as morning and afternoon 'snack' duty!) -- that's just the nature of nursing! My compensation as an office manager was an annual salary that Chance and I could easily live off of; whereas now my compensation is in the form on priceless smiles and unforgettable milestones like rolling over. I can't say that the latter actually pays the bills, but in the long run I am sure that going out to eat a little less will be well worth it. 

As Jesus taught his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, he exhorted them not to be like the Pharisees who practiced their righteousness "before other people in order to be seen by them" (Matt. 6:1). He reminded the disciples that the Father who sees them in secret (or saw their deeds done in secret) will reward them. Paul, in Colossians 3:22-24, told the believers in the church at Colossae who were working as slaves, that they must not make it their goal to be people-pleasers, but to instead work as unto the Lord "knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward". I have often thought of these passages in reference to my role as a homemaker, wife, and mother. This job requires a lot of behind the scenes activity, which rarely gets acknowledged by the outside world. Most of day is spent in the home, caring for our son, and managing the affairs of daily life--all behind closed doors (literally). I have been discouraged when I think that as a homemaker my gifts of teaching and speaking are going to waste and I am not able to bless those around me. However, when I read these verses, the Lord reminds me that in whatever I am doing that I can do it heartily and for Him, knowing that it is from him that I will receive my reward. Jesus said that the Father sees both the motives of my heart and the things that I do on a daily basis that no one else sees--and He is pleased when I do them with the aim to glorify Him. Although, I should seek to bless others with the gifts that God has given me, my main objective should be to serve my family and in turn honor the Lord in that endeavor.

 Today, as I contemplate both my former job as an office manager and my current one as stay-at-home mom, I can be confident that the Lord will bless me in any job I am doing. So whether you are a career woman, a single lady, a housewife, or a stay-at-home mom, whatever you do in the private sphere "as unto the Lord" should be done not for the praise of people but for the glory of our great God. He has prepared for you good works from before time began, so that you would walk in them (Eph. 2:10) and in doing so, please Him and bring glory to His name.

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." -Romans 11:33

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blogger's Block

I have been wanting to write something for the last few weeks, but have been at a loss for what to write about. I read recently that blogging should only be done when you have something worthwhile to say, and I couldn't agree more! Who wants to read something inarticulate and jumbled when there is so much material out there that is way better to read? So, as I write this train of thoughts, I am praying that God brings something to mind soon that I can actually make worth your while to write about. Until then, enjoy the rest of the blogosphere and come back soon for that post I can't quite seem to put my finger on yet..

"Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts toward God." -Colossians 3:16

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Brought to God

I just started reading Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman last week. The book is about living for the glory of God in the mundane circumstances of life, especially in the home. I am about halfway through the book, and as Gloria writes about the magnificence of our Great God, a statement she made about 1 Peter 3:18 jumped out at me. The verse reads, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit." She underscored the fact that in the death of Jesus, not only have we been forgiven of our sins, we have been forgiven of our sins so that we might be brought to God. As sinners, we are considered offensive to God because he is holy and cannot tolerate sin in his presence. Therefore, God sent Jesus into this world, on behalf of sinners. Jesus lived a perfectly obedient life and was therefore able to be the perfect substitute for us. When he died on the cross, he took upon himself the iniquity of us all, so that while he became sin for us, we became his righteousness. The Scriptures say that all who place their trust in Christ have been "clothed" in Jesus' righteousness and "reconciled" to God. Jesus' atonement makes it possible for sinners, like myself, to stand in the presence of God and be considered acceptable and pleasing to Him! Not only does Jesus' sacrifice and atonement free me from the guilt and condemnation of my sins (Romans 8:1) but Jesus' suffering on my behalf brings me to God (1 Peter 3:18) so that I might enjoy Him forever! That is the point that Gloria made in her chapter on "The Power of Parables" and in discussing how God uses the mundane in our lives to conform us to the image of Jesus. These are some powerful and glorious truths that I bless God for allowing me to meditate on today. I would encourage anyone who is struggling with their purpose in the seemingly boring or monotonous circumstances of life, to read Gloria's book and to hope in the God who brings us to Himself through faith in His Son!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.." (Ephesians 1:3) 

Happy Father's Day!