Believe it or not, I have struggled with cooking breakfast for years!! My journey to becoming Joyfully Submitted had its share of bumps and bruises, and breakfast was one of them!! I knew how to cook, but I did not find joy in it, and as a result, lacked creativity, as well as the desire to find new things, recipes, techniques and flavors. As long as we ate and it was good, I was great! Delicious was not necessarily a goal of mine, or so I thought. But I found myself becoming disappointed or having my ‘feelings hurt’ when I got less than the highest praise for meals that I had put together without much thought. I put my heart into holiday meals, and meals that would be served to guests…(shaking my head in embarrassment). But my cooking lacked more than mouth-watering flavor! It lacked joy…it lacked heart! Nowhere was this more evident than in the morning…with breakfast. I am truly saddened as I look back and view in retrospect not just the food served, but the heart with which it was served. I was not horrible, I just was not there…my heart was somewhere else for years!!! And if anyone cared to look, it was evident…in my cooking. Oh I could do your basics…eggs and bacon, cereal and toast, oatmeal from scratch (took some practice), and the meals were good. But the really good stuff (in my opinion…in my families opinion) like pancakes and french toast…I always fell short of, well, delicious! They took too much time! They involved too many ingredients!! Who had time??? Time was not the issue, nor was the number of ingredients in the recipes. Who knew that a lack of submission to Christ and his plan for my life…for your life…for our lives…would reveal itself in our approach to meal time…to cooking? The sharing of meals has always been an integral part in the lives of believers since before the church was born. We see our Lord serve the disciples and spend his last night on Earth eating with those closest to him.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 25:26-28
We see that as the church was growing, food and the joyful sharing of meals was an integral part of that growth….
“A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”Acts 2:43-47
But I had missed this, of course, because for years my silent, secret focus was on myself. I grieved for a long time and silently refused to let go of the life I planned for myself. I thought that if I looked like the submitted wife on the outside God would let me off of punishment and reward me with my dream life!!! My selfishness caused me to totally miss the glaringly obvious reality that I was living my dream life!! And this one came complete with surround sound and high-definition!!! But all was not lost….and breakfast has been rescued! On my journey I have discovered that as my heart was made new, so were my perspectives and the things I found joy in. And cooking everything, even breakfast from scratch, has become a source of great joy! The recipe below is so much more than JUST Vanilla French Toast! It is a symbol of another area in my heart that has been made new as evidence of my submitted heart. It’s not the vanilla that makes this french toast impossible to resist. It’s the depth of love and care and concern and joy that went into preparing it. It’s not looking at the recipe and thinking there are too many ingredients, but now investigating to find new ones that can be added… I pray that you enjoy making this for your family. Relax. Breath in deeply the aroma of the Vanilla and cinnamon blend. Slow down and taste all of the flavors mixing together in your mouth. Then teach your kids to do the same. You see, it was not just my heart that was filled with joy as I prepared this. It was witnessing that joy transfer to my children and my husband when they ate it…my change of heart positively impacted them! And with HUGE smiles they asked for more!
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4
This recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com has not only vindicated me in the kitchen, but has served of more evidence of a Joyfully Submitted heart! No longer are my husband and oldest son the only ones who can successfully prepare breakfast foods such as pancakes and french toast from scratch, and have us wanting for more. This recipe, posted in the pic below, is amazing!!! The kids actually had thirds!! Well, the boys did :D. Just between you and me, I made a few modifications the last 2 times I made these. I added another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon as well as 1 tsp nutmeg (which the original recipe did not include). The results were amazing!! The recipe yields 12-18 slices of french toast! Enjoy preparing it!!! Enjoy serving it!!! Enjoy eating it!!!
Ok, So I am taking a break from finishing my book in order to relax a little bit and catch you guys up on some goings on around here 😀 Today’s post will share a little bit about my first time canning apple pie filling!!! Let me just say that we (the girls and I) had a blast, and I am soooo glad they were here to help me. I was a little overwhelmed, but after completing this, we looked back and realized how simple it really was!! So, I hope you enjoy this look at the lighter side of things, and if you EVER wanted to do things like this, DO NOT WAIT!!! Tomorrow is NOT promised!!
We had quite a few apples that were getting pretty ripe in our refrigerator, so I said, “Why not?” I very rarely totally plan ahead…meaning I may have a thought that I want to do something on a certain day, but it’s not until that day comes that I decide whether or not I will…and sometimes that depends on if I even remember that I wanted to do it!!! Why did I share that? To give you hope!!!! I have wanted to can things for YEARS, but was always soooooo overwhelmed and felt like I had to be this EXTREMELY organized person to do it!!! I have realized that I don’t necessarily have to be organized, but I do have to have the basic tools on hand in case the urge hits me 😀 Anyway….here’s the Apple Pie Filling Recipe & Instructions for canning!
GATHER YOUR CANNING SUPPLIES
Water bath canner (or LARGE stock pot with lid)
Canning seals and rings (lids)
(ALL OF THE ABOVE WERE PURCHASED AT WALMART FOR VERY REASONABLE PRICES)
Large pot or blancher
Towels and dishcloths (it gets messy/to dry jars)
Apples (enough for 6-8 quarts)
1C Thickener (cornstarch, flour or clear gel)
3T lemon juice
THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO MAKE WILL BE FOUND IN THE CAPTION FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS 😀
AT THIS POINT LET ME POINT OUT THAT I HAVE JARS THAT ARE FILLED WITH BOILED WATER WAITING, AS WELL AS A BOWL OF BOILED WATER WITH THE SEALS AND RINGS SITTING IN THEM WAITING. EACH JAR WILL BE EMPTIED OF THE WATER INDIVIDUALLY AND PROMPTLY FILLED WITH APPLES AS THEY ARE READY.
THE RIMS OF EACH JAR ARE WIPED CLEAN BEFORE THE LIDS ARE REMOVED FROM THE HOT WATER, DRIED AND PUT IN PLACE 😀
STORE IN A COOL PLACE! USE WHEN YOU WISH AS YOU WISH!! ENJOY 😀
A I delve deeper and deeper into the joys of serving at home, I continue to discover more and more things that “I have always wanted to do,” but just didn’t know it!!!! One of those things just happened to be making butter!!! Can you believe it??? As I prepare to turn 40 exactly one month from today, I am simply amazed at the transformation of heart The Lord has done in me, and for some reason, making butter for the first time today, as simple as it was, brought a few tears to my eyes…and a sense of satisfaction and contentment to my heart.
The first time that I can recall having a thought or a desire to make butter was 2 years ago when my youngest daughter was reading Little House on The Prairie. When she got to the end of the book, she discovered a recipe for homemade butter and in her excitement, she ran and shared it with me. And the desire was born! But like so many other things that “I have always wanted to do,” I never made the time to do it! Until now, that is. Today was the day! And I have to say, it was worth the wait!
The simple recipe that I actually followed:
1 pint of heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
Blend in food processor for 10 minutes or until butter separates from liquid
Spoon into dish or bowl with slotted spoon and refrigerate
The recipe below is the recipe that my daughter Leah found in her book. I wanted to share the exact one since she was soooo excited to share it with me and I was soooooo excited to make it!!! The pictures are from today and the simple recipe above, and I hope you enjoy them and decide to try this yourself, if you have not already!
The Little House on the Prairie Butter Recipe
You will need: 1 pint of heavy cream, slotted spoon, quart-size jar with tight lid, tea towel
1. Pour the cream into the jar. Screw on the lid.
2. Shake the jar until the cream thickens and starts to form a ball of butter. This may take a while, so keep shaking!
3. Scoop the butter out of the jar with the slotted spoon, and drain it on a tea towel.
4. Squeeze the butter inside the towel to get e remaining liquid out.
5. Form the butter ball into a pretty shape, put it on a plate, and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready yo use it.
This is a recipe that I have had for over a year and have REALLY wanted to try, but never got around to it. As a family, we decided to eliminate prepackaged meats due to the harmful chemicals found in many of them. The following excerpt is from the article, “The real reason why processed meats are so dangerous to your health”
You can find sodium nitrite in nearly every packaged meat product imaginable. It’s listed right on the label of products like bacon, breakfast sausage, beef jerky, pepperoni, sandwich meat, ham, hot dogs, and even the meats found in canned soups. If you and I walked into any grocery store in America, I could show you hundreds of products that contain this ingredient right now. And I believe this sodium nitrite is the primary cause of pancreatic cancer in humans who consume even moderate quantities of processed meats.
If sodium nitrite is so dangerous, why does the food industry use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant. Thus, food manufacturers insist on using sodium nitrite for the simple reason that it sells more meat products. Consumers are strongly influenced by the color of grocery products (which is why Florida oranges are often dipped in red dye, by the way), and when meat products look fresh, people will buy them, even if the true color of the months-old meat is putrid gray.
That being said, we no longer purchase bacon, lunch meat, sausage, hot dogs etc., but sometimes we just want that with our breakfast or lunch, so a recipe for making it from scratch ws located and here it is. 😀
Take 1lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast (approx. 2 breasts)
Put in food processor and shred/chop
Add 1/4 tsp Ginger
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp dried Sage
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
After mixing seasonings and meat together form small patties and place in pan with 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Cover with lid and cook on medium heat, browning on both sides
Cut one down the middle to be sure sausage is done.
And with that, we are done! This is a great tasting recipe that your family will love!! I have found over the years that if we are removing something bad we have to replace it with something good, or the bad becomes an option again. This recipe along with its simplicity has replaced the chemical laden breakfast sausage, and it is enjoyed without guilt 😀
Today is the 5th and final post in our 7 Day Supply of Cloth Pantiliner GIVEAWAY!!! A LOT of information has been shared, and there is so much more out there, but our final post is dedicated to user testimonies and feedback, ending with my own 😀 The pantiliners below are made by me, and were completed and delivered to a customer on Friday evening. She is a 50+ year old woman, who was extremely pleased to have learned about these products, and beyond extremely excited to purchase them for herself. Here is what she had to say after wearing them for a couple of days;
“I LOVE them!!! They are soooo comfortable and feminine! I am talking them up like crazy and I can’t wait for the women in my family and my friends to begin using these!! Thank You for sharing this with me!!!” ~Felecia (social worker)
Felecia is a woman who, prior to 2 weeks ago, had never even heard of cloth pads/pantiliners and now she is a very satisfied user:D The items pictured are her order and were taken before being delivered to her!
Our second user testimony comes from a long-time user of cloth feminine products, if you consider one year a long-time. 😀
Now for the last product testimony…mine 😀
Let me just tell you that I am a very satisfied user of these products. I received a message on Facebook from a friend who knew I loved to sew and was sewing/making things for the purpose of selling. She sent me a link to a site and I was hooked almost immediately!! I began to research these products and the reasons so many hundreds of thousands of women use them. And before I knew it, I was making them and developing a customer base! I truly am my best customer :D. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pantiliners and wear them everyday. They are incredibly comfortable and soft, and very absorbant. They have proven to be reliable for daily use, including the occasional ‘Oops” when a sneeze or cough causes…you know the rest :P. They have also replaced the need for me to purchase disposable pantiliners ever again. Paying for these once has benefits for years. Look at the first Giveaway post to see the cost comparisons. The reason I chose pantiliners for the giveaway is because I have found that they are the easiest for women to make the switch to. There’s very little apprehension or “GROSS!!!” comments when it comes to something used for daily protection. Once these are experienced, the next step in a majority of cases are to the cloth pads. These are definite introductions to a knew experience in feminine care.
I had a customer recently ask me what I hoped to gain by making these and sharing information. I responded that I want to raise awareness, particularly in the African American Community where there is very little if anything known about alternatives to carcinogen laced feminine products. This giveaway and the past weeks blog posts are just the beginning. As we learn to love the Lord with ALL our hearts, ALL our minds, and ALL our souls, and love our neighbor (yes, our husbands are our neighbors as well) as ourselves, I pray that we could learn to take information like what’s being shared and begin to apply it to our lives and make wise decisions. We will be changing and making changes for the rest of our lives…and then in the end we will experience the ULTIMATE change…
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be ch anged.For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
So what in the world do these verse have to do with menstrual pads??? EVERYTHING!!!! All of the changes we experience in life are preparing us for something GREAT!!! We can never get complacent…we have to keep growing and moving and learning…One day we will be permanently changed!!! But until that glorious day we are charged by God to take care of His temple…and we are that temple!!! We have the responsibility to do the things that will care for this body and not to do the tings that will destroy it!! There are many things that are harmful that we do not know, but when we learn about them, and still do them, we will be held accountable. Now, I am not saying that using plastic pads and tampons and pantiliners will send any of us to Hell, but I am saying that because of the extremely dangerous chemicals involved, we may hasten our face to face meeting with the Lord by using them. And while that appeals to some, it is not the way any of us want to see Him. I implore you to make the HEALTHY choice..even if you choose to buy them from a well known manufacturer instead of me, just get them…and let other women know that we have choices!!! And they are good ones!!! I find myself telling women about these everywhere I go. I pray you will too ❤
You have one more chance to enter the drawing to receive a 7 Day Supply of Cloth Pantiliners FREE ($63 value), and one more chance to spread the word about the Giveaway. Don’t waste it…take all of what you learned last week and make good use of it 😀 God Bless ALL of you!!! Click the link below…
Welcome back for the 3rd day and the 3rd post for our very first GIVEAWAY!!! If this is your first time here, be sure to read the previous 2 posts to get caught up on our 7 DAY SUPPLY OF CLOTH PANTILINERS GIVEAWAY!! There has already been some GREAT information shared and I am about to share some more 😀 Todays post will look into the benefits of cloth vs. the dangers of plastic!! It’s serious!! For many of us we don’t think twice about inserting a tampon inside of our bodies, or laying an absorbent piece of plastic next to our skin for hours upon hours. The media and advertising companies have done a GREAT job at convincing us that our extreme comfort, and a product’s ability to cause us to forget that we even have a period should be at the top of our lists when choosing products to use during our menstrual cycles…but unlike the commercials that present new prescription drugs that list ALL of the side effects, these companies leave all of the good information out, then they put it in writing on the package that is so small you would need a magnifying glass to read it!!! So, what is it that we are putting into our bodies to minimize our awareness that we even have a cycle??? What makes the dry weave cover to the pads work so well?? These and other pertinent questions are answered below… And when you’re finished reading…and you’re shaking your head at the things you didn’t know (like I was), please DO NOT FORGET to enter the GIVEAWAY today!!! Return and enter EVERY DAY for more chances to win!!! 😀
From a common sense perspective, the choice to wash and reuse cloth menstrual pads is a simple one, akin to using stainless steel water bottles, cloth shopping bags or rechargeable batteries in lieu of their single-use counterparts. In doing so, we reduce the gross amount of resources consumed and solid waste generated.
It is estimated that approximately 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators are being sent to North American landfills annually . On an individual level, each of the approximately 73 million menstruating people in North America will throw away 125 to 150kg of disposable menstrual products in their lifetime . Moreover, these products require hundreds of years to biodegrade, particularly if wrapped in the plastic bag commonly provided for this purpose as part of their packaging.
Lunapads last at least 5 years with recommended use and care, as opposed to 3 or 4 hours in the case of disposables. While individual cases vary, we estimate that a single Lunapad replaces approximately 120 disposable pads or tampons.
In addition to the waste issue, one must also consider resources consumed, as well as manufacturing processes. Lunapads are made with a combination of three types of fabric, which admittedly use their own share of resources to produce. Critics may reasonably point to the use of conventionally-grown cotton as an environmental demerit to cloth pads. Further resources (water, detergent and energy) are also required in order to capitalize on their reusable benefit. That said, Lunapads are very small and do not require special laundering treatment, making the amount of water and soap required for their maintenance to be fairly minimal. Lunapads is further on track with our stated goal of switching to 100% organic or sustainable textiles, and currently use 100% certified organic fabrics for over half of our products.
Disposable pads and tampons are made primarily of bleached kraft pulp or viscose rayon, the origin of which is wood cellulose from trees. Imagine, if you will, what kind of processing is required to make solid wood into the fluffy fibers found in disposable pads – in a nutshell, a lengthy series of powerful chemical baths. The rayon and pulp are further processed with a variety of bleaching agents to render them white (although not more absorbent), and then treated with another host of chemicals to enhance absorbency or add scent.
While growing cotton requires water and fertilizer, it is an easily renewable resource compared to trees, and requires relatively minimal processing to be rendered into a final product.
Dioxin is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S . While the jury is still out on the direct risk to human health posed by dioxin residue in disposable pads and tampons, its danger to the environment via effluent from factories is well-known. In fairness, progress has been made in recent years to address this issue and oxygen-based bleaches are being increasingly adopted. That said, there has also been an increased adoption of use of Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) in the pursuit of “ultra thin” pads, and disposable pads continue to be backed in plastic.
Precisely what all these chemicals and substances are and what their gross environmental impact might be is largely unknown, particularly in the long term. Pad and tampon manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients of all their products (proprietary information) and many are only listed generically (“fragrance” as an example) on the packaging.
While we are not doctors or scientists, we have had the benefit of almost 30 years of collective experience in talking to women about their health and menstrual products, and can attest to the fact that thousands of women are experiencing allergic reactions to disposable pads and tampons, likely due to contact with the aforementioned chemicals and plastics.
Performance vs Disposables
Waste and health considerations aside, how well do Lunapads and other reusable options actually work? This question is tricky to answer since reusable products are made with such vastly different materials from disposables.
In the case of Lunapads, we readily admit that as soft and absorbent as cotton fleece and flannel are, when it comes to managing heavy menstrual flow over several hours, their performance lags behind that of the ultra thin high performance disposable pads. Ironically, disposable products’ superior performance with respect to absorbency is thanks to all the chemicals and plastics we discussed earlier in reference to environmental impact.
Comfort is another important consideration when it comes to assessing the performance of menstrual products, and in this case we can confidently say that our products are vastly superior to disposable products. Lunapads and Lunapanties are made with 100% cotton and 100% organic cotton, soft, natural and breathable materials that are more akin to clothing.
Knowing performance is important issue for most of us, we acknowledge that reusable pads can’t be expected to perform in the same way as disposables. That said, there are in excess of 100,000 people worldwide using Lunapads who would never switch back, so clearly the chore of washing them is worth the bother. Ask yourself if you would happily return to throwing away used bottles and newspapers rather than taking the time to recycle them for a similar perspective. Many also comment on the convenience of being freed from having to repeatedly buy disposable supplies, particularly in unanticipated situations.
With respect to the DivaCup and tampons, the difference is even more marked. Have you ever felt excessively “dried out” by using tampons, especially towards the end of your period? This is because tampons don’t just absorb your menstrual flow, they also absorb your natural vaginal moisture, which can be uncomfortable. The DivaCup is widely celebrated among customers for being more comfortable than tampons, thanks to its non-absorbent functionality that results in reduced dryness.
So, there you have it. Several more reasons have been shared about why these are wonderful choices for all of us to make. There are additional things available that we will go over before this GIVEAWAY is over, don’t worry :D! But that is all for now. PLEASE SO NOT FORGET to enter the GIVEAWAY!!! It was created with you in mind! Oh! And Tell A FRIEND 😀