Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Blahs

I just looked at the calendar. January is just about over and it feel like I have had more days out of school than in school thanks to the nasty cold weather. Tomorrow is pajama day at the preschool in celebration of National Lutheran Schools Week. Good thing I can wear my long underwear under my jammy bottoms!

I have been posting healthy recipes on an events page for the Made to Crave Bible study I am participating in. Yesterday I added an old favorite that my cousin, Jeanne, shared with me years ago. I decided to share it here too. It is called cheese potato soup.

                                         Cheese Potato Soup
8 cups warm water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
8 medium diced potatoes
2 bags shredded cabbage
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrots

Combine above and simmer 1 hour.  Add 3/4 pound of lite Velveeta (cubed). Stir frequently until cheese is melted.                (1 cup = 1 Weight Watchers point)

Another new favorite in our house is Cinnamon Roll Cake. Someone posted this on Facebook and I decided I had to try it out for a friend's birthday. Even my hubby who doesn't like cake said this was a keeper!

3 cups flour                                                 Topping:  1 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt                                                                  1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar                                                                 2 T flour
4 tsp baking powder                                                    1 T cinnamon
11/2 cups milk                                             Glaze:     2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs                                                                        6-7 T milk
2 tsp vanilla                                                                 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix everything together, except melted butter. Slower stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  For the topping, mix altogether until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Put into a preheated 350 degree over for 28 - 32 minutes. While warm, make glaze and drizzle over the cake.  Serve warm. Excellent reheated in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

I hope these recipes help you get rid of your winter blahs!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Empowered is the WOW (Word of the Week) in the Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS “Made to Crave.” I am participating in this with 40,000+ sisters online and with 10 at my home church. I decided to look up the definition.  Empower- 1. To invest with power; to give power or authority to.  2. To equip or supply with an ability; enable.

The teacher in me was curious. I had to dig deeper! Synonyms include allow, entitle, grant, trust and permit. Among the antonyms are deny, disallow, disapprove, refuse and reject. How does this week’s word empower me on my weight loss journey?

E= Educate. I need to educate myself in healthy eating plans and exercises. I need to educate myself to rely on God and trust in Him in everything and for everything, including my weight issues.

M= Mustard. Really, it’s mustard seed. It reminds me of a song that goes, “Have a little faith in me, the size of a little mustard seed. Have a little faith in me and see what I can do for you.” Putting my faith in God, and again, trusting Him, I can reach my goals and the plans He has for me!
                “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed…Nothing will be                                            impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20-21

P= Pray. Pray, pray, pray! Pray for myself, pray for my sisters on this “M2C” journey. Pray for strength, courage, trust and forgiveness.
                “Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”  I Peter 4:7

O= Overseer.  Everyone, including me, needs an overseer or accountability partner. An overseer is charged with responsibility over something. My accountability partner needs to be responsible to hold me accountable.
                “Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work…” Titus 1:7

W=Win. With God by my side I will win this war, although I know I will probably lose some battle along the way.
                “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me…”
                                 Philippians 3:14

E= Encourage. I will use God’s Word to encourage myself and those around me.
                “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” I Thessalonians 5:11

R= Refuse. Refuse to quit or give up. Just because I hit a rough patch, I will keep going!

E= Enjoy. I will enjoy the journey and all that God has given me.
                “Dear friend, I pray that you would enjoy good health and that all may go well with you…”
                           3 John :2

D= Desire.
                “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  Psalm 20:4

#Empowered in a nutshell! Put God first in your journey, be faithful to Him, pray about and entrust your plans to the Lord and He will be with you and guide you every step of the way!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Brand New Year

As I look out my window and see patches of dead, brown grass among the snowdrifts created by past storms, I am rattled to the core...maybe overwhelmed...

2014 a year of new beginnings (This is take 2 on this blog.) and fresh starts for many of us. We set resolutions, make plans and goals. Some we succeed at, others fade away over time like the morning fog as the sun appears. I have two goals this year, both pretty straight forward: lose weight and become closer to God. And they go hand in hand!

If you know me, this may surprise you. Not so much the weight loss, but my desire to become closer to God. I want to be honest with you, just because I went to a Lutheran university to become trained to teach in Lutheran schools doesn't mean I don't struggle with my faith! We all have peaks and valleys, plateaus and mountain top experiences when it comes to our faith and relationship with God. I believe this is just part of our human nature.

Why am I rattled to the core you ask? While looking out my window this morning, it was as if God literally was standing beside me and whispered in my ear, "Deje, I love how you are working on your desire to grow closer to me and how you are FINALLY linking together your weight loss journey with your faith journey. See what happens when we work together? I have plans for you that are just a spark in your mind right now." The next thing that popped into my head was...what if? Now this, if spoken aloud in front of my hubby would make him look at me, with the 'uh-oh, she has an idea' look.

I paused, grabbed my hot tea and sat back down at the kitchen table. WHAT IF? What if what through the things I am doing now to become closer to God and lose weight like being apart of the 40,000+ women who are taking part in Proverbs 31's "Made to Crave" study and leading it at church is part of God's plan for something bigger for me? What if He is preparing me through the Good Morning Girls "Intentionally Focused" study and going through Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" to do something else?

WHAT IF...women's ministry...encouraging other women in their faith walk...what if this is the next chapter God has planned for me....maybe not right at this exact moment, but slowly through small steps, a little at a time? What if ...? How, when, what, where, and why are questions that I will have to pray over and turn over to God to answer in His time. I truly believe that if this is His will for me it will become clear over time. My hope and prayer would be for this next chapter to become a blessing to me, my family, to others.

But, for now, I am content with doing all the things I am doing now while listening for God in my quiet time with Him.