Take the Plunge

I did it!  I took the plunge.  🙂

Here’s the cliff-note story…

I got saved and baptized on March 2013.  Here’s a picture.  On this day, I walked up to the front of All Souls Church in West Seattle, shared my testimony to the entire congregation, then the pastor sprinkled water on my head and we all had cake afterwards.  Good times.  My life since then has never been the same, as I turned my back away from a sinful lifestyle and realized that much of my entire life up until then had been a lie.  I turned towards Jesus, stuck my nose in the Bible, and got deeply involved in church.  

Fast forward 6 years later.  It is now February 2019.  I’m still loving Jesus and walking on the path, however, after I left All Souls, I never saw another pastor sprinkle water on anyone’s head ever again.  I kept seeing church websites talking about baptism by “immersion.”  Every time I visited churches and they were doing baptisms, everyone I saw got fully submerged, dripping wet in a body of water.  I even saw people getting dunked in the freezing cold waters of the Puget Sound.  Hmm.. interesting.  I thought it was semantics and just kept carrying on.  

Until the Holy Spirit kept nudging me.  Once God’s voice became clear, there was no question what I needed to do.  I realized that I didn’t just want a sprinkle of Jesus in my life, I want Him all.  I never doubted my conversion and salvation 6 years ago, but figure, if God says to take the plunge, then so be it.  A few months ago, I saw a trailer for a movie about an ex-gangster who was in prison, and then came to Jesus.  He was so on fire for God and took Matthew 28:19 so seriously (Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit), that he bought a hot tub, put it in the back of his pick-up truck, and would drive through gang neighborhoods and invite people to be baptized right then and there on the streets.  I secretly wished that a truck would come driving through my neighborhood, or that I’d be at some random place, like the grocery store, and there would be a tub in the parking lot, or I’d be hiking somewhere and there would happen to be a priest baptizing people in a river.  However, nonetheless, it happened in the Faith and Victory Church parking lot in Auburn, WA.  The good times continue.  😀

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Blessings via Jacob & Esau

jacob-esau.jpg(Image courtesy of freebibleimages.org)

If you’re a Christian, you have probably heard the story of Jacob & Esau. There are many Bible cartoons portraying Jacob as the younger brother with smooth skin and Esau as the older brother with hairy skin. The story goes that their father was very sick and could not see very well. He requested a meal and was ready to give a blessing to his oldest son Esau. However, Jacob’s mom did not want Esau to have the blessing, so she told Jacob to gather food for the meal, put hairy animal skin on his arm and pretend that he was Esau so he could inherit the blessing. Jacob questioned his mother, but then did what he was told. He thus entered his father’s room and stole his brother’s blessing.

At first glance, one may look at Jacob and say “what a liar! what a thief! how unfair to steal from his brother!”

However, there is more to the story.

Genesis 26:34 states, “when Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.”

Esau chose to dishonor his parents by marrying two women from Hittite. Hittite women are from the land of Canaan and do not follow God. Thus the “source of grief.”

Later, after Esau learned that Jacob took his blessing…

“he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, ‘Bless me–me too, my father!'” (Gen 27:34)

“This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing! Haven’t you reserved any blessing for me?” (Gen 27:36). The “second time” Esau is referring to is when Esau gave up his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of stew.  You can read about this in Genesis 25:27-34.

“Esau said to his father, ‘Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!’ Then Esau wept aloud.” (Gen 27:38)

“Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’ “ (Gen 27:41).

Eeek!

The story ends with Esau still trying to get a blessing…

“Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman, and that Jacob obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.” (Gen 28:6-9)

So yes, it was wrong of Jacob to lie to his father to inherit the blessing, however, he was actually being obedient to his mother. Esau’s heart was not right with God from the very start.. marrying not one, but two ungodly women from Hittite (Canaan), being filled with fury and anger, crying and whining over not receiving any blessings, holding a grudge, plotting to kill his brother, then later marrying a godly woman in order to receive blessings, even though he already had two wives.

Esau does not have a heart after God. He seems to only be concerned with his own selfish wants and desires. There appears to be no repentance or forgiveness. He only wants to please his father, if there is something (potential blessings) he can get from it. There is no desire to please his father for the sake of honor, righteousness and obedience.

Are you after the heart of God or only desiring blessings? Do you make choices to please your Heavenly Father because you love Him, or only because you are hoping to get something from Him?

Thank you Jesus..

for the trees

for the rain

for the sun.

It is You who knows it all.

For I am a mere mortal.

I am getting more into Your Word.

Thank you for the Holy Spirit who reminds me to pray and devote my days to You.

This house is Yours. I do not own anything.

These children You have brought into my life are dedicated to You.

During times of doubt and uncertainty, I know that You have a plan and that brings me peace.

Let me not falter. Let me be pure.

Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Best Sippy Cup

When my son was 6 months old, I started him on the Miracle 360 Spoutless Trainer cup. Highly recommended! It is easy to grip with the handles and the spoutless design doesn’t affect the teeth. It is not 100% spill-proof (aka if it gets thrown on the ground, water will spill).. but hey, that’s real life. 🙂 Overall rating: one thumbs up 👍

Next up, we tried the Miracle 360 Deco cup. Since our first try with the Miracle 360 trainer was a success, I decided to stick with the same brand. This time I chose one without the handles to emulate a real cup and opted for a cute design for fun. However, this cup does not receive the same rave reviews as it’s baby brother trainer cup. On an outing, I had given this cup to my son to drink water in his car seat. When I went to pick him up, the entire cup of water was empty. It leaked everywhere and my son was entirely soaked. Due to this, I give this cup one thumbs down 👎.

Finally, the next cup we tried was the Nuk Magic 360. The package stated that it was ” leak proof, spill proof guaranteed.” I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. So far, my son has dropped it on the ground over and over, and has also placed the cup upside down on his lap in the car seat for extended travel times, and to my surprise, the packaging is correct.. not a single leak, drop or spill! Coupled with the fact that it also has the spoutless rim which is safe for teeth and is super easy to clean (only 3 parts) makes this the winner in my book so far. Overall rating: two thumbs up 👍👍

Seeds, Sales and… Poof Balls?

I recently went on a shopping trip to Goodwill, a local secondhand thrift shop. I usually buy clothes from thrift or consignment stores. For me, it’s fun and incites a sense of victory when I stumble upon a “good deal.” On the rare moments I do buy brand new, it is most often an item on sale. Not because I’m cheap. It’s because I’m practical. Buying a brand name shirt or purse for hundreds of dollars just isn’t a priority or something I seek.

As I approached the check out line to pay for the items in my Goodwill shopping cart, I approached a wall full of seeds. There were all kinds of various flowers and vegetables to choose from. I thought, “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to plant some flowers?” Spring is upon us, so why not. So I chose two $.59 cent packets and threw them into my cart. After I checked out, I unloaded the Goodwill bags into my van and noticed that the seed packets were sitting in the cart. I thought to myself, “did I pay for those seeds?” I did not remember the cashier ringing up the seeds. At that moment, I hurriedly threw the seed packets into a bag, closed the van, and walked next door to our local pharmacy, with my 10 month old son still sitting in the shopping cart. When we began strolling down the pharmacy, my son started to appear bored and restless, so I grabbed a poof ball sponge [see picture below] from a nearby shelf and let him play with it. After I grabbed everything I needed, I once again made my way to the check out line and waited patiently for my turn.

I finally got everything checked out, and off I went to unload the pharmacy bag in our van, and drive home. When I placed the bag in the trunk, I noticed that the doggie poof ball was sitting in the cart, hidden from view. I did not pay for this doggie poof ball. I merely used it as a distraction for my son, and had every intention of leaving it at the store, yet there it was in plain sight outside of the store, in my hands, unpaid for. So, what did I do? I hurriedly threw it in a bag, closed the van door, got inside and drove away.

[FAIL]

[EPIC FAIL]

As I was driving home, I couldn’t believe that I had in essence stolen two $.59 cent seed packets and a $2.99 doggie poof ball. Is this the woman I had become? What happened? I began to reason with myself that it wasn’t a big deal, and that it was too much of an “inconvenience” for me to carry a heavy baby back in to two stores, wait in line, and pay for or return the items. They were less than $5 anyway, so who cares? I began to reason that I was hungry, sleep-deprived, and that God would understand that I didn’t “mean to.” It was all an accident, my “intentions were good,” and I was sorry. So no worries, right?

[WRONG]

I felt horrible. I knew that I had made the wrong choice. And the worst part is that I did it not only once.. but TWICE! I was basically given the same test two times, back-to-back, within the same hour, and both times I chose to steal, because in my mind, I was justified because it was “too hard” for me to walk back inside the store with my two working legs and feet. UNBELIEVABLE.

As soon as my husband came home from work, I immediately confessed what I had done. He told me that I needed to go back to the store to either return the items or purchase them, and that it was imperative for me to NOT PLANT THE STOLEN SEEDS. I agreed! So the next day, I drove back to Goodwill, and returned the seeds. The cashier was surprised and thanked me. Next, I walked back into the pharmacy, and this time, I purchased the doggie poof ball. Once again, the cashier was surprised and thanked me. However, I’m not the one who should be thanked. I chose the wrong thing, and attempted to come up with a myriad of reasons why it was okay. So it is thanks be to God that He gave me the Holy Spirit to convict me.

This entire situation leads me to Proverbs 12 and Mark 4.

Proverbs 12:22 (NIV) states, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.”

Even though I did not physically tell a lie, by not going back inside the store and telling the truth that I mistakenly took an unpaid item is a lie.  Then to afterwards justify my choice and actions, is also a lie!

In Mark 4:1-8 (NIV),  “Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

I knew that if I planted stolen seeds, that it would not turn out good for me.  I was already heading down the path of self-justification, theft and deceitfulness.  Perhaps the seeds would have sprung up, however, the roots of the seeds were not grounded in purity and honesty.  What kind of fruit would that bear?

Is there any time in your life, that you made a faulty choice and then immediately began to justify it?

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Hello 2018!

Hello blog-o-sphere,

I haven’t written an article, recipe or post since 2015!  Honestly, I thought that this site had been deleted, but I am actually happy to know that it is still alive.  A lot has happened since 2015.  The cliff-note version is…

  • Still a Christian, loving Jesus everyday.
  • Married to a wonderful man.
  • Mom to a son. He’s currently 8 months and growing.
  • Stepmom to two daughters. They are currently tweens and growing.
  • Dog mom to a rescue mix from Taiwan. She is currently 2 years and growing.
  • Currently working in the early learning child care field. No longer working in the restaurant industry.
  • Took a break from graduate school. I ran out of tuition money and they were pushing too liberal of an agenda (more on that later).
  • Volunteered and worked in several ministries, including preschool teaching, VBA (vacation Bible adventure) summer camps, and a children’s co-lead for teen MOPS.

I have many ideas that I am excited to share. My plan is to continue posting recipes, including homemade baby food recipes. My art expression has currently shifted towards crafting and my music expression has shifted towards worship.

Looking forward to journeying through a new blog-o-landscape.  Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

Mini Apple Pear Pies

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I love eating pies, however, once a nice big pie is fresh out of the oven, the wholeness of it becomes destroyed by the slice of a knife. Therefore, sometimes I opt instead to make mini pies. They are super easy to make and you can experiment with various flavors, fillings and top crust designs all in one baking batch!

For this recipe, you will need a food processor, cupcake pan, rolling pin, knife (or pizza cutter), large saucepan, measuring cups and measuring spoons.

Pie crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 tsp. lemon juice (mixed into water)
toasted almonds (optional)

Filling:
One apple (finely diced)
One pear (finely diced)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla bourbon
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour, almond meal and salt). Manually pulse about 3-5 times until dry ingredients are blended together.
  • Slowly add in ice water, while pulsing an additional 5-7 times. The mixture will look crumbly, however, should stick together when formed into a ball.
  • Remove dough from food processor and form into a large ball on a clean surface.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough.
  • Let dough set, while preparing the filling.
  • In a large saucepan, heat approximately 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.
  • Add diced apples and pears, stirring constantly, ensuring that the the fruit is being coated in butter.
  • Add brown sugar and white sugar.  Continue stirring.  Add more butter, if necessary in order to keep the fruit moist.
  • In a large bowl combine butter-coated fruit from saucepan.  Add cinnamon and vanilla bourbon.
  • Add cornstarch to create a thickened consistency.

Dicedapples

  • Focus your attention now back to the dough.
  • In a cupcake pan, grease each individual pan with butter. Evenly disperse and place mini balls of dough into each individual pan. Leave 1/4 of the dough behind for the non-lattice top crust.
  • Using your thumb and fingers, flatten each mini ball into the shape of a pie crust.

Minidough

  • Add pie filling to each mini pie.
  • With leftover dough, create lattice (or in my case, non-lattice) top crusts.  Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut out strips of dough. I accidentally ran out of dough, so I also used toasted almonds as a top crust alternative to a few of the pies.
  • Sprinkle some sugar on top of each pie then use an egg wash (aka a whisked egg) to seal each top crust.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of each pie looks golden brown.

Nonlattice

  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with whip cream!  Or save and reheat for a later time.  🙂

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