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Archive for January, 2012

I purchased the sourdough ebook from GNOWFGLINS.com and have been having touch and go results since I started.  The closest I have come to sourdough previously was a Amish Friendship Bread that was given to me.  But really how much sweet bread can one person make?  So sourdough seemed like a better option, you can make crackers, cakes, cookies, biscuits, bread, even tortillas.  The versatility was quite shocking actually.  My sourdough starter is just SO happy in my house.  I don’t know if it’s the wood stove that is making the yeasts happy and active, but I know I’ve never seen the bubbles so happy before we moved into our new house.  Thank you Lord!

Ebooks are great but I’m a paper type of person.  Even in the medical field (that I work in) I’m a paper person, it’s hard to adjust to everything being electronic.  There is something quite satisfying to have a cookbook in front of you, where you can make little notes to additions you have made or suggestions for the next time.  In fact I have a Betty Crocker cook book from probably the 40’s or 50’s and there are little hand written notes in there from the lady who loved it before I did.  I just LOVE that!  Like the tradition was passed down to me, but in this case I bought the cookbook at a garage sale rather than it being my Grandma who passed it to me.

This weekend I looked through my ebook which I carefully put into page protectors and into a three ring binder.  The decision to do that was confirmed when I started getting milk and water and flour all over the pages.  I’m a messy cooker, and I’m slightly accident prone.  Ok, ok…I’m REALLY accident prone.  I made two recipes, one was for muffins which I turned into blueberry muffins and then the spice cake.  I was most impressed with the cake so I wanted to share.

First off I took the time to allow the grains to soak over night, thus eliminating the phytic acid and making the grains digestible to our bellies.  I believe it was 2 1/2c flour (my favorite is King Arthur Flour) with 1/2c sourdough starter and milk.  Mix all together and covered with a cheese cloth.  My cheese cloth is actually an old skirt that the zipper died on so I cut it up and made it into cheese cloth, which I use ALL the time in my kitchen.  You can also take an old T-shirt and do the same thing (although I recommend it being a white T-shirt, pretty sure you want to keep any dyes off your food).  The next morning the eggs, baking powder, and salt and Soda go in.  Apparently salt will slow down the fermentation process and the phytic acid will not break down as fast.  The butter and sugar are mixed together and everything goes into the soaked flour.  Tricky part here is to break up all the chunks of soaked flour so you get a smooth dough rather than clumpy one.  I actually found this part really fun.  The recipe called for specific amounts of spices, cinnamon, clove and all spice.  I had pumpkin pie spice and used that (which has the addition of ginger) and then added a bit more of my sweet cinnamon and tasted it to my liking (I am NOT afraid of raw eggs, in fact I drink them…).  Added it all to the pan and baked it.

The cream cheese frosting was a 100% experiment.  Well, I guess the entire thing was, I actually get nervous when making something new.  I adore baking!  But I hate failure, who doesn’t right?  I really wanted this to come out and I was serving it to some pretty skeptical friends.  Hubby and I had a failed attempt at some yogurt.  We made the yogurt from raw milk we get and then let it strain the whey off so we would have a thicker Greek style yogurt, but we let it strain too long and ended up with a type of “cream cheese.”  I’ve made cream cheese frosting before with store bought cream cheese, this was not that.  At one point Hubby added some of the whey back in, trying to make it yogurt again but the whey didn’t really incorporate right.  It made the frosting more like pudding and less like frosting.  Added the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and stirred until it was as smooth as possible.  It had a tangy sweetness to it, and it was runny so I stuck it in the fridge.

The cake turned out great, although I think I used too much butter.  Can one use too much butter? It was a denser cake but not hard.  It had a nice crisp top and when it cooled I served it with some of the cream cheese frosting (er… pudding LOL).  I was worried it.  I really want my baking to be pleasing to others.  So I gave it to our most skeptical friend first, he would tell me it was junk, if in fact it was junk.  He took a bite of the cake with no frosting, Mikey LIKES IT!! Then he seemed interested in the frosting and again, it was good.  Whew!  Turns out the cake didn’t last until morning.  Hubby had it for breakfast before I got up.  Success!  Unfortunately the cream cheese frosting didn’t get all used up and it sits sadly in my fridge begging to be used on something, but I’m at a loss as to what.  I think it will turn into eggs, AKA chicken food.  But, I made it through another trial of baked goodies and I don’t feel guilty about the cake, it was phytic acid free, baked with whole grains, raw butter, organic sugar and topped with some healthy probiotic cream cheese.  God is good to us!

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I while ago I posted a blog called what part does the chicken nugget come from?  https://virtuousgracious.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/what-part-does-the-chicken-nugget-come-from/ Today I read a very disturbing article about a 17 year old who collapsed and was having a hard time breathing.  It turns out this girl has NEVER had veggies or fruit in her entire life but only eats chicken nuggets.  I was horribly appalled at this story, because we actually have known “friends” who pretty much only feed their kids from McDonald’s.  I’m a child of the 80’s so I was also raised on this horrible food.  Until Super Size Me, I had no idea just how bad this stuff was.

Here is the article about the poor 17 year old who collapsed http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/chicken-nuggets-how-bad-are-they  and even sadder I read that because our economy is so bad that MORE people are feeding their families McDonald’s because of the “cheap” food.  Why don’t we get that you get what you pay for?  Did God this create garbage food? No.  He gave us apples and kale, chicken (REAL chicken) and beef.  There are so many ways to make food cheaper, but this also involves work, and most people don’t want to work that hard.  But if your 17 year old collapses unable to breathe, is that enough to change your thought on this?

Most cities now allow people to have chickens for eggs, this is easy and cheap and you get healthy FRESH eggs.  A garden doesn’t take that much space.  Grow what you love.  Save what you can for the winter.  Have a winter garden in your window seal.  We have potatoes from last falls harvest in our basement.  We bought a box of sweet potatoes when they were on sale at the store and they are also in the basement storage.  Tomatoes were canned and dehydrated for future use.  Kale can also be dehydrated for kale chips and is a winter crop.  Grow sprouts in your kitchen for fresh winter food.  With a several pound bag of flour you can make all the bread your family needs, you can make pasta, biscuits, pizza dough (then put some of your canned tomatoes on your pizza).  I understand wanting fast food.  Truly I do.  But I also know the facts about the food you get and it’s not food.  Do you want to grow your nails and skin with silicone!?  Healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated, you just have to plan it out more.  Sit down on Sunday and plan your weeks meals.  Find a local person and split a cow or pig with them.  We found organic beef from a local person and bought all they had.   Get a freezer, learn to can, learn to dehydrate (which can be easily done without a fancy dehydrator) your food.

I wasn’t planning on writing today but this article really got to me.  I could easily have been that girl, I have several people I can think of right now that are raising kids on this garbage, just like that poor girl.  Why even start your kids on fast food?! If they never have it they will not become so horribly addicted to it that they refuse to eat anything else.  Kids need parents to set good examples, their lives depend on it.

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Moody Institute of Science put out some really informative videos about creation in the 50’s and 60’s.  They have a video called Hidden Treasures that is probably my favorite.  In this video they talk about diatomaceous earth, you can watch it here on google http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=794219833242953957 at minute 24 they start to talk about DE (Diatomaceous Earth) the video is only 28 minutes so should be easy to watch.  Anyway, there are huge mountains of DE that were not formed millions of years ago, but they were formed because of the flood of Noah.  Well really it was God‘s flood but you get my point.  Diatoms are small creatures that live in the ocean and when they die their glass houses fall to the bottom of the ocean.  In the case of the mountains of DE this happened as the waters receded and layers started to form.  Take yourself a glass and fill it with different things, sand, clay, dirt etc now add water and shake.  Let that glass of water and contents sit until everything settles (go ahead, I’ll wait), what do you see?  Layers form because the floating contents have different weights and size.  I learned this in the 6th grade at outdoor school.  You’ll have layers of sand, dirt, clay etc, this same principle happened after the flood.  So we have these mounds of DE and I’m pretty sure God knows what he’s doing so lets look a bit more into this powder.

First off the controversy.  For the record I am ONLY talking about FOOD GRADE DE.  There are different types of DE and some are toxic and are used in pool filtration.  If your bag does not look like this next photo, do not buy, do not ingest.  If you do, I am not responsible for your ignorance, well I’m not responsible for it anyway, but don’t get all American sue happy on me if you take the wrong stuff.  That’s my “disclaimer” sad these days that we even have to put that in…

Back to the DE.  I had heard of it before but only because my Hubby does gardening and self sustainable agriculture.  If you ask most people they will probably tell you it’s toxic and you can’t eat it, well I disagree.  I belong to a yahoo group about herbal medicine.  Someone posted a question about FOOD GRADE DE, the consensus was that it is toxic and you shouldn’t eat it.  It sparked an interest in me and I googled “food grade diatomaceous earth.”  My first website was Wolf Creek Ranch located in California.  http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html I started reading what they had to say about DE and it differed from the yahoo group opinions.  They said that DE contains high amounts of silica and that without silica life is not possible.  (See God does know what he’s doing!)  Diatoms little houses that fall really is DE are shaped in a way that they will slice and kill any parasite, worm, or pest.  You can sprinkle it on your chickens to help them with bugs, or place some in their coop to roll in.  You can use it as a flea treatment on your pets.  If you place a worm in DE first the sharp edges of the DE will slice open the worm, then the powder will dry the worm out and it will die.  Same concept in your gut, although it doesn’t slice you.  What it does do is clean out your intestines, years of gunk, garbage and even mold (yes, I know it’s SO gross) start to line your intestines and your ability to absorb vitamins and mineral is drastically reduced.  I have also heard that many people are living with some type of parasite or intestinal worm without knowing it, this too will cause you not to absorb minerals that you need because the worm is getting it all.  So you mix a heaping TBSP of DE (from now on we’ll just assume every time I say DE, I’m only talking about food grade) in water and drink daily.  Some of the health benefits are healthier skin, nails and hair (or coat for your pets), lowers blood pressure, absorbs toxins (the shape of the DE is porous, and attract toxic metals and viruses, pesticides, E-Coli, heavy metals etc), lowers cholesterol, regular bowel movements, healthier teeth and gums.  I encourage you to research yourself and see.

So I ordered a bag, a 50lb bag.  Shipping cost me as much as the bag of DE did!  Honestly a 50lb bag was only $26.99.  You can learn from me on this, I just found out that our Feed and Seed store carries food grade DE!  And it’s the same price but we save on shipping, so call your local feed store and find out if they carry it, which they probably do.  If they don’t they might be able to get it, but again Food Grade only, the bag should look exactly like the one I posted above.  Hubby and I have been taking it daily since November.  I am still very much alive and well, so is hubby.  I have also been giving it daily to our dogs (two black labs) and our cats, we are all just fine and healthy.  I suspected the cats had worms and I KNEW our female lab did (yeah saw those nasty suckers).  Since giving DE there has been no more worms.

I can honestly say I don’t notice that much difference in myself, not some kind of “miracle” at least.  What I do notice is that I have regular bowel movements which never use to be the case.  I don’t get diarrhea, or constipation which I was prone to both before.  Some days I wouldn’t have any bowel movement and now I have generally two a day.  We did notice what we called “oily butt” for the first day or two as the DE was cleaning out our intestines.  I have read that people notice some pretty disturbing things coming out of them.  Some people don’t want to know and don’t look.  I was somewhere in the middle.  I’m not a stool examiner by any means, but I did watch some what.  The same time we added the DE to our diet we also added Iodine.  I believe I did a blog on Iodine, so check that out if you want more info.

What I can say for sure is that I’ve always been the type of person who gets sick when someone looks at them funny.  Since taking the DE I haven’t caught any cold or bug, and I work in a doctor’s office.  It’s almost February and we are in the cold and flu days.  I am keeping track of that, honestly if the only thing this is doing for me (which I’m sure it’s not the only thing) is keeping me from getting sick, I’m all for it.  I notice our dogs and cats have no issue eating it.  I make them a special breakfast (dog food, DE, water and some iodine) and they can’t wait for it.  They also have easy stool.  Their coats are great although I’m not sure I can say this is a DE result or not.  But I do feel great, and just the fact that toxic stool isn’t built up in my body every day I know is a health benefit.

The taste is earthy and little “dry,” but it’s pleasant.  We drink a bit in water every morning with our iodine.  We also brush our teeth with it (see wolf creek ranch website for more info on teeth health, also read their testimonial page).  I have put it on the backs of our dogs to keep some fleas down, although I should take them outside and really go to town with them (just don’t get it in their eyes, it’s drying).  I will probably do that in the summer when the fleas are worse.  It can be used in gardening, in your compost pile and even your worm bin (don’t mix it in to the worm bin just put it on top. It shouldn’t kill your worms because you aren’t putting it directly on them).  Silica is an important mineral for ALL life and we don’t get enough.  I’m a huge fan of DE and will continue to use it on myself, my family and pets and this summer it will go on our garden.

I am constantly learning about a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating and nutrition.  As I find new things I do try them, some stick and some don’t.  I can honestly say I’ll be taking DE for the rest of my life.  I think it’s an amazing testament of God’s love for us, he really did give us everything we need.

 

Update 1/27/12: I was just perusing naturalnews.com this morning and I discovered a recent article written on the benefits of silica 🙂 Check it out http://www.naturalnews.com/034756_silica_anti-aging_heavy_metals.html

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I remember those commercials when I was young, Chia Head, Chia Pet, then they came out with cartoon chia’s.  We were much too poor to get something like that, but my neighbor friend had one.  I remember watching the seeds grow in her kitchen window.  That had been my only interaction with chia seeds until probably a year ago.  In fact this blog doesn’t even recognize the word and is telling me to change it to China, LOL so let me introduce you in case you also don’t have much knowledge of this tiny little miracle seed.

Chia seeds are very small but pack quite a punch.  In fact they contain more antioxidants than fresh blueberries, more omega-3’s than Atlantic Salmon, more calcium than 2% milk, more protein, fiber and calcium than flax seeds (thanks to http://www.thechiaseed.com/ for this info).  Chia is also a complete protein unlike MOST vegetable sources, you don’t have to add anything to them to make them complete.  I have read in multiple sources that Aztec and Mayan men would take chia seeds with them to battle.  They were small and easy to carry and they would take a teaspoon of them for energy.

I think I found chia seeds from my herb source mountainroseherbs.com (I love them because they are in Eugene, Oregon and I’m in Oregon so it just seems right.  Oh and the fact that they have amazing prices and give you discounts on multiple pounds that you buy helps too).  I was getting on a sprouting trip.  I bought chia along with alfalfa seeds to sprout.  It wasn’t until AFTER I got the seeds that I noticed the chia wasn’t washing clean like the alfalfa seeds.  They had this…gel.  I contacted Mountain Rose and finally the mystery was solved, this is normal and you don’t sprout chia seeds like you do others.  Well… great.  Now what am I gonna do with a pound of these seeds if I couldn’t use my sprouting screens?  So research began and I found chia seed pudding.  Chia seeds soak up 9-12 times it’s weight in water, depending what site you get your info from.  Some sites say to add 2 cups water to 1/3 cup seeds, some say 3 cups water to 1/3 cup seeds, I usually wing it.  I also don’t use water, I make a fruit “syrup” out of frozen fruit we have.  Mostly I do blueberry and elderberry or a combo of both, simmered in water to release the fruit juice.  Then I add a sweetener sometimes sugar, sometimes honey, sometimes stevia, sometimes syrup.  This past batch I made elderberry juice with stevia to soak the seeds in, added the seeds and let them plump up to the gel stage.  Then I added some organic cranberry maple syrup we picked up at a discount store (Grocery Outlet).  The addition of the syrup made this batch extremely good.  You do have to make sure they are covered in the fridge because they do dry out if left uncovered.  I’m a use-what-you-have type of person, why go waste money on buying something specific when something else would work that is already at home?  So if you have apples, use apples, if you have juice in your fridge, then use juice.

We call it chia pudding in our house but that’s only because it’s like tapioca in a way.  Each chia seed has a gel around it that swells up with whatever liquid you use.  So it has a “pudding” like feel.  You could use milk and make pudding too if you want, your imagination is your only limit here.  I take a bunch to work and use it as a pick me up in the afternoon.  I’ve eaten it for lunch, had it as dessert after dinner and you don’t feel guilty for eating it!  I’ve added fruit to it (Blueberries are so good!) and made it like a Jello fruit mold.  Recently I found a bag in the cupboard, I haven’t done chia in a while and I started, I’m sitting here eating it at lunch today.  It’s especially refreshing on a hot summer day which I can’t wait for, come on Summer!  As for sources, there are a zillion places to find organic chia seeds.  Mountain Rose Herbs, Naturalnews.com store has them, google them.  I’m a proponent of saving money so find the best deal and go with it!

Such a sad thought that so many chia seeds were wasted on stupid chia heads!  We could have been eating them and getting good nutrition, but what kid thought about that?  I guess there are some benefits to growing up.  🙂

 

 

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I fell into natural food and medicine in 2006 while reading a book on the subject.  I had several introductions to the life but for the most part stayed complacent until 2006 when reading Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About.  Yes, I jumped on that “fad” but honestly it changed my life.  Well it’s actually been a slow process but it’s coming along.  The book talked about things that I had heard previously from a Naturopathic Doctor who was treating me in 2001 for something that stumped the Medical Doctors.  The light went on and the journey began.  Since then I’ve been gobbling up information like a sponge, so I thought I would share some of the places I find good ideas on natural living.

#1 GNOWFGLINS-  My most recent find.  It stands for God‘s natural, organic, whole foods, grown locally in season, whew is that a mouth full!  I’ve been a serial lurker on this website, they have eclasses but I have not ever signed up.  I’ve made cheese with my milk lady, I bought their sourdough ebook, and the classes in the “fundamentals” class well, I didn’t think I needed.   I pretty much know how to cook a chicken, and sprout beans, soaking grains however… I could figure it out.  But, I am on their email list and they have a new eclass Fundamentals II, the one thing that reached out and grabbed my attention was how to cook organ meats.  I have been trying to find a good source on this subject for a while.  We help butcher chickens so I ask for organ meat, I know it’s healthy for us, but I have no idea how to cook them.  So I signed up, they have very easy terms for payment, I chose $10 a month and you can cancel at any time.  The older classes which I didn’t think I would need, are amazing!  I highly recommend this website gnowfglins.com

#2 Natural News– My favorite website!  Mike Adams is a great guy with lots of amazing information.  This is my go to website for questions on herbs or natural treatments or remedies.  They also expose a lot of garbage going on in the world, like GMO, Pesticides, Cancer etc.  You can search virtually any topic and find something about it.  They have videos (for free!) and also a store where you can purchase items.  There is a search where you can find drug interactions with herbs… ok I could go on and on… but just check out naturalnews.com

#3 Sally Fallon‘s Nourishing Traditions.  This book is PACKED with info.  I ignore the “millions of years” garbage because I know I was created perfectly by God in heaven, but her info is great in the nutrition department.   She talks about whole foods, grains, raw milk products, organ meats, fermentation etc.   Basically it’s GNOWFGLINS but in book form.  I haven’t gone through and done everything in this book yet but even though it’s a bit pricy, I do recommend having this on your shelf.

#4 For fermenting specifically Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.  This is where I got my recent sauerkraut recipe. 🙂 I believe he also talks about lacto-fremented sodas which we also do.

I think I’m going to stop here.  I have a lot of resources for other things, vitamins, coconut oil, herbs etc, but that’s a bit much for one post.

I did just watch a gnowfglins ecourse video about making your own soaked pasta and I believe that is going to be on my list of things to accomplish this week, maybe some soaked muffins or bread.  I’ve soaked grains before when doing sourdough but not just in regular cooking and what an important thing it is for proper digestion and mineral absorption.  I really do love learning new things. Cheers to a healthy life!

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Fermented foods are alive foods.  In the past couple of years I have experimented with different types.  Sourdough, it is a fermented flour that creates the rise you need for bread.  No needing to go buy yeast packets from the store, God gave it to us naturally!  Lacto_fermented Sodas, this is a natural soda that uses lactobacilli to create a fermented and bubbly drink.  Lactobacilli are naturally occurring in roots, it protect the root during the winter months from freezing, but it also loves sugar and will grow and make a wonderful soda culture.  Kefir, uses grains to ferment milk or water into a pro-biotic drink.  Milk to me is a bit sour and I can’t take too much, unless I add a lot of sugar or fruit and then I feel like I’m not getting the most nutritious drink, but the water kefir tastes more like a slightly fermented wine and it much better to my taste buds.  Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that uses a scoby type “mushroom” that ferments tea and sugar.  I was horrible with keeping up with my Kombucha.  The scoby grows on top and gets bigger and bigger, it grows in layers and you can tear off them to separate them and give them away to friends.  Ours got out of hand and then started tasting like vinegar.  So I don’t keep kombucha now, but a lot of people swear by it.

I’ve wanted to ferment vegetables for a while now.  I bought fermentation weights from a seller on Ebay, they fit inside of large mouth (they also sell small mouth ones) jars and hold down your food.  Hubby is a go-getter, I think I established that in my last post.  His life motto (after the power of Christ of course) is “A closed mouth, don’t get fed” and he lives by that, he is not afraid to ask for anything.  The worst answer he can get is “no” so he just asks away, I find it quite amazing how he is not afraid to ask!  Anyway, last week we took a different way home in order to drop off a friend to their house.  We passed a large field of cabbage and just like hubby is, he pulled over and went to ask if he could pick a few heads.  He had gleaned some strawberries from the same field a year ago summer time, so I think he felt confident in asking.  He grabbed a few purple heads and green, the purple were MUCH more dense.  Now those fermentation weights would finally get to be used!

This weekend we got our our trusty thrift store score food processor.  It’s one of those all in one things, I guess it’s suppose to be a mixer too but we only use it to shred food, like apples we want to press for juice or cabbage for sauerkraut. 🙂  Hubby shredded about 5lb of cabbage and we added about 3Tbsp of salt as he was shredding.  The salt will force the water out of the cabbage and then it will be the protection for the fermentation process.  The book we used said to add 1 cup water and another Tbsp of salt after 24 hours to a gallon jar.  Since our fermentation weights don’t fit well in a gallon jar, and even in a half gallon wide mouth they seemed too small, we used quart jars.  4= 1 Gallon 🙂  We ended up with a gallon and probably a pint. I also added a small jelly jar with water (some I just used the jar that is filled with jelly for the weight) in them to weight down the fermentation weight.  I am not sure if this is necessary but the book did talk about adding a plate to the top of your vessel and then putting a rock or a jar with water on top to force out the juice.   Yesterday I looked at every jar and the liquid had filled above the food line on all the jars but the pint.  When I left for work this morning, I just left them as they were and will check again this evening.  From what I read the purple cabbage will turn a pink color mixed with the green.  It should also only take a few days for a nice ferment, unless we put them in our cellar/basement for a slower ferment.  We are opting for the first, a quicker ferment in our warm house.  I took photos, but I’ve been a slacker on getting my pictures onto my computer.  I have to admit when you look at a computer all day, the last thing I want to do is look at another one at home.  This is one of the reasons I rarely make phone calls too, if you are forced do do something all day long the last thing you want to do in your off time is the same thing… Anyway, I’ll post photos hopefully shortly of the before and after.  Lets pray the fermentation goes just as planned and we have some good alive sauerkraut.

Update: Finally got my pictures up! Yay.

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I’m going to open my vulnerable door for a moment to share something quite personal and well, embarrassing.  I am a quitter.  There I said it and I guess it wasn’t so scary to say.  What I think is scary is the change that has to occur to stop being a quitter.  Yep, I want to quit being a quitter.  This is me, below… the quitter.  If I put a face with this post it makes it real, I can’t hide anymore and that is an important thing, in changing this behavior, I believe.

This part of me has been around since I was a child.  I quit dance team, I quit cheer-leading (even though we won a trophy), I quit track, volleyball, softball.  I really won’t bore you with the entire list of things in my life I have quit but let me tell you it is extensive.  I often wish that at some point in my growing up period my Mom would have forced me to finish something I started.  I wonder if that would have changed something in me?  However, it didn’t happen that way and I am a 30 year old woman who can no longer put the blame of her life in the hands of someone else.  If I am a quitter, that is because I have allowed this to continue in my life.  Hopefully this post is the beginning of the end of that Corri.

This all came to an emotional head last night.  We live in a small town outside of Portland, Oregon.  I’m an Oregon girl through and through.  I grew up in Portland and we just don’t get snow in the city.  So it’s a foreign thing, but always fun.  Well this week we got clobbered, a foot and a half.  Yes, that is clobbered to us here, don’t laugh.  The weight of the heavy wet snow snapped a limb off a tree in our yard, as well as our hedges.  The snow was so heavy they were leaning over to the side about ready to fall over.  So hubby (who is a go getter) and I went out to try to remedy the situation.  We removed the snow from the bushes then propped it up with boards so that hopefully, the hedge would continue to grow upward.  During the process I was cold and wet.  My hands were getting cut (it felt like) from the frozen snow on the boards.  I couldn’t separate the boards that were frozen together.  I would have rather just quit and gone inside.  And apparently my attitude showed that.  “I can’t” flowed out of my mouth like water.  Over and over, “I can’t.”  Well it actually turns out that I could, and did help to get this done, but it left a taste in Hubby’s mouth that he didn’t like.  I think the worst thing for a go-getter is a “I Can’t” person.

After a long conversation where it became PAINFULLY obvious that I have a problem with being too negative and “I can’t” but that attitude also made me feel like I couldn’t do things so just quit and move on.  I laugh at quitters on tv (Ice Road Truckers is a favorite) but I am just like them.  I don’t pull out that “fight for it” mentality.  I got to thinking about all the things in life I start and quit.  Here is a short list: Books (I love to start but rarely finish), Knitting, Exercise, Cleaning projects, Writing, Bills, Arts and Crafts etc.  So last night after a bit of thinking and praying I came up with a solution to some of the smaller problems I have.  If I start a knitting project or a book or something like this, I am requiring myself to touch it at LEAST one time a week until it is finished.  I will start using my calendar to write down when I read or when I knitted.  I will plan out a day to make soap (etc) so that these things don’t sit unused and money wasted.

The bigger stuff is harder.  When something becomes too hard it’s just my nature to give up.  This morning on my way to work I was thinking about this.  I thought of John 19:30, Jesus, our savior, was up on the cross after being beat, tortured, mocked, and spit on.  First off he asked God to forgive the people because they know not what they do, but then he says in John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.  IT IS FINISHED.  What if Jesus didn’t finish?  What if Jesus said ” you know what? You people don’t even care, you are ungrateful and  uncaring and I don’t care anymore. I’m getting myself down off this cross and you all can figure it out for yourselves.”  But that isn’t the way it went down because if it was, we wouldn’t have any chance of salvation, because everyone sins and we have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  His pure love for us and his desire to be with us forever was so great that he was willing to be killed at the hands of his creation to save it.  While that same creation mocked him, told him to prove himself and come off the cross, gambled for his clothes, stuck a crown of thorns into his skin, forced him to carry his own cross, and then nailed him to it through his skin, he stuck it out and asked God to forgive them.  I mean if anything was going to make someone quit, that would be it.  He could have too… he could have got down off that cross and stopped everything from happening to save his own flesh, but Jesus was more than flesh.  And yet there he hung, for the sins of everyone who will just accept him, no fancy prayers to say a zillion times a day, no works to get to heaven, HE paid the price and he didn’t give up on us even though we hated him.  He finished.  His last words were “It is finished.”  Wow talk about powerful.  As a follower of Christ I should be able to finish too, just because of his example.

So who am I to be a quitter?  Not to mention that having a positive attitude about things in general help positive things to happen to you.  And I’m not talking about the hocus pocus stuff that The Secret tries to lie about.  I’m talking about a positive attitude that things will turn out ok, because ultimately God is in control and when he says we go, we go.  So I want to be a finisher, just like my savior was.  It is time for me to grow up and get strong and start finishing things that I start.  When things get hard, I find a way to keep going, I dig down deep to find that extra push to keep my legs moving, or my arm swinging, or my body working.  I truly want to hear “well done” when I stand in front of Jesus and a quitter won’t hear that.  Pray for me, please.  The power and strength of God will help me through, because that is where strength truly comes from.  Lift me up in prayer and hold me accountable.  I want to be a finisher.

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