May 14, 2019

My Authentic Life


I have been wavering back and forth between having a blog about autism, homeschooling, my faith, encouragement to others, health, lupus, loving someone with an addiction....honestly the list could go on and on.  But, nothing truly sticks, nothing feels right.  Then why the pull, why the desire to sit and type or journal in one of my 72 journals.  
I love to write and I love to talk and I..... well that's all I have.  
I heard someone recently say do what your good at.  But, for someone who grew up in a world of trauma and was told on an hourly basis that she would never amount to anything this is a tough thing to figure out.  What am I good at?  How can I better someone else's life?  I would love to be able to take pain from another individual, sooth someone's heart or give peace to someone who has had their heart literally ripped out of their chest because of a betrayal.
But what keeps me motivated to continue even if nobody is listening?  My main problem is hushing that small doubtful voice I have deep inside.  That my authentic self is enough.  
So, let's give this one more try.  No more homeschool posts, no more tips about autism or living with lupus.  Something else is coming to the surface as I continue to pray about this season of my life.  
Living Life Authentically.... one post at a time....

May 5, 2019

Healing while Letting Go

As I go through all this junk that's been suffocating me for years I find myself gasping for air and clawing these holds I've had grappling onto me like barnacles.  I have this sinking feeling in my stomach and my knees feel weak when I look at the storage boxes filled with paper, photos and half done projects.  I see a life that I longed for and a life I failed at.  I see a life I thought I wanted and a life I neglected.  It brings me to continuously pause as I contemplate my future.  What I see, what I want, what I plan to do.  
 
No more dragging ghosts of "never was" behind me, no more dead end schemes that filled my head with lies.  No more reminders of things left undone because they serve me no purpose.  Going forward my days will be light filled with meaningful treasures.  Wrapping myself with what's familiar, not with illusions.  There will be no more fakery, no more lies will leave my lips to seep into my mind and corrupt my inner-voice.  I will move softly down the path before me, only taking what I must to survive.  

Roadblocks are now platforms as I choose to thrive in my own skin.  I will cherish what I have always had, what God formed me with.  I will choose to illuminate, I will use the fire he created me with to be the force to get things done, to be content and to choose happy.

As I pack away these things to allow them to go out and breathe life for  someone else I will remember them briefly and thank them for be apart of this journey.  No regrets, no disappointments...only looking forward and beyond.  
Warm heart, thankful spirit and peaceful mind awaits, it is here, it is now in this present moment of today.

Apr 16, 2019

Vietnamese Egg Rolls

 
We just had family in town for a visit and we brought out the wok for one of our family's favorite meals.... Vietnamese Egg Rolls!
Let me share with you what's in the filling and how we make them.
These egg rolls are crispy, salty, earthy and porky...it honestly can't get any better. :)


 

Ingredients


    Pork Filling
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1/2 cup dried Woodear mushrooms (re-hydrate in water for 30 minutes or until soften then finely mince)
  • 2 oz dried vermicelli/cellophane noodles (approximately 1 cup, re-hydrate in water for 30 minutes or until soften then finely mince)
  • 3 green onions (trim off ends and slice thinly)
  • 1 small white/yellow onion (peel and finely dice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 beaten egg yolk (to seal the egg rolls)
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, onions, mushrooms, noodles, all spices and oyster sauce. Mix until thoroughly combined.


Gently pull the wrappers apart. Set on plate and keep covered with a damp paper towel.
Place about 2 Tablespoons of filling on one wrapper and roll as show in the photo above. Before completing the roll, use a small amount of egg yolk to seal it. Continue until all wrappers are rolled.


Fill a heavy pot or wok with a few inches of vegetable oil and heat to approximately 350 degrees.  Fry egg rolls in small batches until golden brown, turning as needed. Place on cooling rack.  And serve wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves. 
This is one of our family's favorite meals, Enjoy!

Mar 6, 2019

The Upside to Downsizing


One of this things I'm looking forward to while downsizing is the reduced amount of clutter and mess.  We will have 6 cups, not 57...yes that is how many plain cups we have.  Not talking about coffee mugs, tea cups, thermal cups, travel mugs, squeeze bottles and we even have a handful of sippy cups still hanging around.  We don't need all of that and it's so easy to grab another cup instead of rinsing out the one you have and reusing it.  Or at least that's how it is in our house.  I feel like I am forever washing dishes and as soon as the sink is clean I look away and the crusty mountain has returned.
What I decided to do is make a donation pile, a take with us pile and a store for later pile.  Right now in the kitchen I am getting rid of anything plastic, if it's chewed on or scratched up I will toss, if not I'm donating.  We are keeping a set of hydros, a glass and mug a piece and the same goes for plates, bowls and our set of silverware.  Everything else gets donated along with all of our tupperware. We will take a baking dish, muffin pan and small cookie sheet, the rest will be donated.  We have a pot and pan to take and the rest.... if you say donate it then you guessed right.  We will take our instant pot and that's it.  
To store until we move out of the rv into a sticks and brick home are things like cookie cutters that we have used for 20 years, canning stuff, favorite cookbooks, my huge mixer and that's about it.  There just isn't much we truly need as a family.  Over the years we accumulated stuff in the hopes we would find happiness.  The whole filling a God shaped hole with stuff scenario.  But, that's not us anymore, we are a work in progress...don't get me wrong.  When I walk into Target I sometimes breakout into a sweat when I walk past the $1 section up front.  Which is really more like the $3 and up, up, up section.  
So, that's the way the kitchen is coming along.  Next will be clothes, knick knacks, linens, toys, books, garage and then the dreaded homeschool room.  I'm most terrified of the homeschool room.  Follow along though with us, I can use all the ideas and suggestions I can get to make this a smooth process.  Take care and God Bless!!!

Feb 13, 2019

Downsizing Books

I know I have shared over on Instagram that we are selling our house and moving into the RV for at least a year.  I am so excited to do this because living here in CA is so expensive and we find ourselves with very little leftover at the end of each month.  We have this huge house and basically we have 3 rooms we don't even use.  We are always together and would much rather live smaller and take that mortgage payment and do something fun with it.
With that said...the downsizing has begun.  And let me tell you that hardest things to let go so far are my books.  I love books, the paper, the smell, the weight of them in my hand.  They are my favorite collection and one that I am having to really think about as I go through I decide which to keep, which to store and which to let go of.  The good news is that my husband is sensitive and amazing.  He is encouraging me to let go of books that have already served their purpose and to allow them to serve others.  Having that mentality has made this process easier instead of feeling like I just have to toss them to downsize.

I'm doing the same thing with school supplies, skincare, bedding...basically everything.  I have so much homeschool stuff....I could open a store.  So, I will be hosting some kind of sale locally soon.  YAY!!  I have been keeping it thinking one day grand kids will use it, but the way things are going they will probably just soak in education through an online source.  No, knowing my kids it will be traditional book learning for them.  I decided to keep classic books, the kid;s favorites and sets of interests.  Like anything History wise I will run it past Skylar before I sell it because he loves that subject.  Mahala has said she wants her kids to use all the Apologia Science books.  So, we will toss the notebooks and keep the hardback books for her and her family.  All the workbooks never used, educational games and references I will sell.
It's a ton of work right now, but it will be worth it in the end. :)

Feb 5, 2019

Illustrate My Faith~ God's Promises

Wow...I have been reflecting like crazy over here.... Part of my Daily routine that I strive real hard to do is to Read my Bible and Journal along with Illustrate whatever comes to my heart. 

Jan 31, 2019

The Power of Positive Words

I didn't always have the kindest things to say about myself in the past.  It's still something I work on daily.  I had always heard about affirmations, but thought it was a little wonky, kind of made me uncomfortable to even start.  But, one day about 6 years ago or so I was in a place that I was so negative with my words in my head.  I became aware of what I would quickly tell myself in new situations or when I didn't get something done correctly or fast enough.  It was then that I thought hey, I can be a little wonky now and then.  :)  So, I started just writing out some positive words and that turned into be saying them quietly to myself and then finally out-loud.  Here are a few I used....
 

Jan 4, 2019

Healing through the New Year

We have been walking every single day for the past 4 days....sounds like a small number, but with Lupus it's a miracle.  And every day I wake up expecting to not be able to more.  The first few mornings were the worst.  Honestly I almost didn't make it to the bathroom on day 2.  I notice for me I am getting enormous inflammation around my hip joints, shoulders, elbows and hands.  My feet and legs are surprisingly totally fine, which leads me to believe that  the amount of walking I'm doing my body can tolerate from a structural point.  It's just the swelling triggered by the repetitive movement from the walking.  I can push through all that, I wont get much else done, but at least I will be consistently exercising and chugging along until my immune system decides to take a chill pill.
I have been increasing my water, not skipping on my supplements, taking my CBD oil and rubbing down with essential oils like turmeric, oregano and frank.  I've also been adding a healing meditation along with a typical meditation I normally do and have been hitting the hay earlier.
So, that's my attack on getting rid of the Lupus weight I've had packed on for the past 10 years. Excited for 2019... what about you?

Oct 23, 2018

Simplify the Spaces You Live In

It's funny how while scrolling through social media you see all these perfect pictures of children laughing in nature.  White walls and soft grays, textured fabrics and must have vintage signs that say bakery, farmhouse or have familiar scripture scrolled across them.  I don't know about you but everything about that is pleasing to my eyes, but also screams you need to get shopping.  And where there is shopping there is money spent, new stuff comes in so old stuff needs to find new homes and then there is the design aspect.  Everything must be placed just so to elude simple living and a peacful atmosphere. 
I don't know about you, but all of that does not seem simple and peaceful to me.  I suggest unless you are already remodeling or moving into a new place to take a different approach.  Without looking online write down what simple living means to you.  And list out each room in your house, then pick 3-5 things that you could do to simplify your life in this space.
Example, in my bathroom I decided to put towels in a basket beside my shower so I wouldn't have to scream for someone to grab me one from the hall closet the next time I forgot to grab one.  I also put all my daily beauty products in a tray on my counter and the less used products away in a drawer.  Now I don't have to sift through 5 shades of lipgloss to find my everyday blush pink one.  I also made a few little changes to tackle cord clutter and downsized some of my bottles in the shower.  Honestly I wish I had a before and after of this space.  It was like night and day.  And I didn't need to run out and by paint or matching baskets to achieve a more peacful and simple space.
I'm not knocking the whole white walls and farmhouse decor....I personally love it.  But, I do believe we can't all redo every room in our house to look instworthy.  And we can achieve a more relaxing vibe to our space with just a few changes.  And as funds and time permit you can add your favorite farm sign to the mix, add some shiplap, fuzzy blankets and a new coat of white paint.  Just stay true to your style and what matters most to you.  That way your space represents you and your family.    Find ways to rearrange what you already have.  Let go of things you don't find necessary to have anymore. 
Most importantly relax and have fun!!!

Oct 1, 2018

Daily Affirmations

Daily Affirmations are a positive way to start your day.  Or when you start battling negative self-talk, try one of these instead.   In the Bible it says Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” What we think, we’ll eventually say and what we say is very powerful. We can speak words of life and we can speak words of cursing. The Bible warns us to guard our thoughts and mouths.  Proverbs 18:20-21 says “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

*I have unique attributes and abilities because I am a Woman.
I am strong.
I am wise.
I am precious in the eyes of God.
I can love and be loved.
I have power to choose my course in life.
I accept my self for who I am.
*I replace my anger with understanding and compassion.
*I know that God’s unfailing love surrounds me and that I can trust Him.
*I have everything I need.  I trust my ever-increasing ability to eliminate the non-essential and appreciate that which matters.
*Whatever I need to know is revealed to me.  Whatever I need to have comes to me.  Wherever the Lord leads me is exactly where I need to be.
*I pray for wisdom and direction in every area of my life.
*I don’t need to figure everything out.  I don’t worry if I don’t understand things in my head, because my trust is in the Lord, and not in my head.  God is the Source of everything I need, and I place my trust in him.
*My thoughts are positive, Words encouraging, Habits constructive, Deeds good.
*I trust that everything comes at the perfect time and in the perfect way.  The Lord works everyday miracles.  He always serves my higher good.
*My heart is my home, and with God’s help, it will be a place of love.
*I am born spiritually and become a new person.  Old things pass away and all tings become new.  I look at the world through new eyes and listen with new ears.  I think new thoughts, take new actions, and have a new life.
*I trust that everything comes at the perfect time and in the perfect way. The Lord works everyday miracles. He always serves my higher good.
*Faith isn’t something I must have before I move in the direction of my dreams.  Instead, it’s something that develops after I start moving.
*My heart is my home, and with God’s help, it will be a place of love.
*I Am Not Alone…..I live in a world created and sustained by love.
*I have opened my heart and mind to the power of God’s love, and I dare to call God my Father.  My heart, mind, and will are all heading in the direction of God’s love, and I am a whole person. I love God with all my mind, all my heart, and all my strength.  There is no ambivalence in my relationship with God.
*My heart is my home, and I should feel comfortable there. It should feel good to be at home with myself.  If I don’t feel good inside, I need to make some changes in the way I think so that I can change the way I feel.