Training Me for Godliness {POTF}

 

But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Tim. 4:7-8, CSB).

Tonight, I was blessed with the opportunity of attending the women’s Bible study at my home church. It is always a joyous time to be with the girls: to eat dinner, to fellowship, to learn, and to discuss. Only tonight, was a different kind of night for me. While I typically always eat dinner with the girls, tonight I just had to “run away” and eat quietly in one of the classrooms. I just couldn’t see myself eating with the girls in a way that would truly honor the Lord.

How could I say such a thing? I have some profoundly interesting food restrictions, and they were having pizza as one of their meal options. I just didn’t feel strong enough. So, I hid away – where I forced myself to eat my allergen free (and plant based) food.


I want. . . I need to be trained in godliness like Scripture says.

Godliness needs to be a part of every area of my life. Even in eating when it’s hard and I would rather have that slice of pizza – that just might leave me devastatingly weak and in POTS agony for days.

My dear friend, what is the Lord speaking tenderly to your heart about?


While in food isolation, I just soaked up Ecc. 5:1-2. Which was exactly what I needed – and the Holy Spirit knew it was what I needed. The Scripture talks about quietly coming to the Lord’s house, but there’s more to it.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God (vv. 2a, NIV).”

My problem at Bible study wasn’t so much my words, rather the temptation to hastily put dishonoring things into my mouth (because of the Lord’s direction). My heart likes to hastily act upon things, and I need to be careful. I don’t want to hastily make decisions – neglecting my godliness training.

Oh friend, how we need to fight for our relationship with Jesus! I don’t know what you are facing, but if we don’t fight for this relationship – other stuff will easily get in the way. My desire for allergen food can easily overshadow my desire for more of our Lord Jesus.

Friend, we need our Lord Jesus. We need Him to help us. We need to remember our need to train for godliness. One of my favorite Psalms uses this description: “He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze (Ps. 18:34, ESV).”

God is faithful and will help us, as we continue to draw nearer to Him through our relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. I invite you to join me and keep drawing near. As you draw near through Bible study and prayer, the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit and show you what to do!

In Him,

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Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love banana bread. Guilty, as charged. So to have slowly rotting bananas, is a blessing – if I have the required energy to make something using them. Yesterday, I made a batch of delicious oatmeal banana chocolate chip muffins. Today, I am making up another batch to use up the last of our “too sweet to eat” bananas.

Ever since my diagnosis of potato allergy (say whaaa?), I have stopped keeping on hand all of the usual gluten free flour products that I once did. Once upon a time ago, I made my own gluten free all purpose flour. Now, I mainly use tapioca flour and quick oats. I don’t use anything else, or at least not often.

oat-banana-cc-muffinsThis is my latest favorite recipe. I don’t get the opportunity to try out new enjoyable recipes very often, between food allergies and chronic illness. So when I tried this out on my life-group and seen they liked it, I knew it was a definite keeper. I have had to make several adjustments, to make this recipe my own.

The basic idea for this recipe is found on Williams-Sonoma and their recipe is designed with your kids’ helping hands in mind.

My Ingredient List

  1. Quick oats – up to 1.75 cups
  2. Tapioca flour – 1/2 cup (other flours will likely work, too)
  3. Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Baking powder – 2-3 teaspoons (if you choose to add in the extra oats at the end, you will definitely want to have the increased amount of baking powder)
  5. Cinnamon and salt – just a dash
  6. Sweeteners of your choice – Agave (1/4 cup) and Nevella (3 single packets) are what I chose to use.
  7. Eggs – 2
  8. Vegetable oil – 1/4 cup
  9. Ripe bananas (medium) – 3
  10. Vanilla extract – 1.5 teaspoons

Bakes at 350 for 10 minutes
Servings: 12-15 muffins
Freezes wonderfully!

Do you have the above ingredients all ready to be used up? If so, let’s get our baking on!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dry Ingredients

You will need a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of flour into the bowl. Then, you will slowly want to add in the oats. I added in 1/2 cup of oats stirred, stirred, stirred some more. Then once I could see it was well stirred, I added in the second 1/2 cup of oats. We want these two ingredients to be very well stirred, because otherwise the muffins might not turn out. I don’t know about you, but it’s maddening whenever my baked goods don’t turn out.

Now is the perfect time to add in the little things that make our muffins taste yummy. Add in a dash of cinnamon, salt, and our three packets of sweetener.

Finally, the stuff that makes our muffins rise. Grab your 2-3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir it again.

Liquid Ingredients

Now, for our liquid ingredients. To save ourselves the trouble of a big mess, we will be using a gallon zip-lock bag to do our mixing.

Remove the banana peels, and put the three bananas in your zip-lock bag. Lock it in without the extra air, and mash your bananas well.

Once you have yourself some mashed bananas, add in the following ingredients. Be sure to mix with each addition. As you close the bag to zip and shake, make sure you let out the air. This will make this part of the recipe go much smoother. Be careful as you add each ingredient, so the bag doesn’t accidentally tip over – creating a mess.

  • 2 Eggs
  • Agave (2-4 tablespoons)
  • Vanilla (1.5 teaspoons or more, depending on preferences)
  • Vegetable Oil (1/4 cup)

Merging the Two

Have you mixed up your zip-lock bag filled with your liquid ingredients? Once you have done so, you will want to carefully pour your liquid mixture into your large bowl. Take the time to make sure it is stirred together well. Now, you can add in your chocolate chips. Best part of the muffins is probably this ingredient right here.

After you have added in your chocolate chips, you may find that your batter is a little more liquid than preferred. This is where I added in some more oats (3/4 cup). Again, mix them in slowly and stir well.

Grab your muffin tin, and spray with cooking spray. The more you spray, the less it will stick to the pan. I don’t have cupcake liners, so this is a good thing for me. Fill your muffin tin up until just after the half way point (about 3/4’s is generally best). The number of muffins you get, depends on how full the muffin tin is. There is no right or wrong way, to go about it. It won’t spill over if you fill it to the top of your muffin tin.

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes. Warning: Make sure you keep an eye on your muffins. The cooking time may vary, depending on your oven.

Viola! You should have yourself some beautiful muffins, by this point. You can easily freeze your muffins to have ready-to-go breakfast or snack. Plus: It is easily allergy free for most people.

Overnight Oats + Apples {{Recipes}}

I found a new favorite meal. I have to share. I have to talk about it.

In my life of chronic illness and food allergies//intolerances, I am forever on a hunt for easy food that tastes good. If it doesn’t have nuts, gluten, eggs, potatoes, soy, beans of any sort, and a crazy high histamine level (is that all of them?), I am totally there!

There has been a buzz about “overnight oats” for a while. When I started the “21 Day Fix,” I discovered an intensity in the buzz. I resisted the urge to try them. But with my new morning routine, I decided it was time to give it a try. I am so glad I did.

Overnight oats are still oats, but they are made better! The texture is different. The temptature is different. Eating cold oats, was a totally new way of thinking for me. “Ahem, am I supposed to heat this up or something? What do I do with it now?”

Give it a try, because you will love it. You might want to add in other flavors, to give yourself a variety. But, I have two recipes to share. Then, of course, I am sharing my notes of what I did differently.

Overnight Oats

My choice, here, was to use oats and milk. Before I continue on, there is an important side note to share. Some people are so sensitive to gluten, that they cannot handle even gluten free oats. Since you are reading this, I am operating under the assumption you are not one of those people. If you are, use a different recipe. Perhaps, like one of these. You will have to do your own experimenting. I am not in the business of converting grain recipes to faux type recipes. I leave that to the professionals.

Once you have your bowl of milk and oats, add in some vanilla extract and a dash of salt (particularly if you have Dysautonomia and/or low blood pressure) before moving on to the apples stage.

Cinnamon Apples

Once your overnight oats are ready to be refrigerated, now is the time to add in the apple slices. Preferably, you will want to make these in advance. At least, allow them to be cooled before popping them in the fridge.

This recipe is wonderful.
These apples are amazing!
… But if your body is shearly anti-histamine, you may want to consider that before you adventure into their wonderfulness. Cinnamon is known for its histamine content.

Due to the way I react to refined sugar, I opted to use three kinds of other sugar: Nevella, Agave Nectar, and Honey. I opted to use shortening versus butter, since that’s what I had on hand. The only thing I would change, for the next batch, is the size of my apple slices. Diced apple slices, seem like a better option than wedges… then, I don’t have to try and cut them up in my overnight oats.

The fantastic thing about the cinnamon apple slices is – one batch will last for a week of overnight oats. For ease: I threw the leftover apple slices in a fridge-safe bowl, and just add them in each night with the overnight oats. For me, this is meal prep made easy, delicious, allergen free, and a healthier option for when we find ourselves in need of convienent food!

Confession: I am a Food Hoarder!

celebrate GodHaving many food allergies and restrictions, it is fairly easy to enter a “woe is me” state of mind. It can be easy to see what others have, that I just can’t have. It doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate what I can have. It just affects my spirit to see what my body cannot handle (and those needed restrictions). It can be harder to find food that I can have in a standard grocery store.

Meaning: When I find something that I can have and it’s not ridiculously expensive, I stock up.

Like crazy.
I stock up like crazy.
Some people hoard clothes.
I hoard food. Specialized food. Friendly food.

Quite honestly, I never would of guessed how it would affect me emotionally to have such food restrictions.

It can be really hard to cope with that, but I do. It is by God’s grace that I cope. God through His Holy Spirit consoles me, and helps me. God fulfills His promise to me in Isaiah 41:10 where it says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”. This is why I can celebrate what I can have, instead of the long list of my current food restrictions. Hard things that are found –everywhere – and in everything.

I don’t want to focus on what I can’t have, so I am not throwing that list here. I think it would just enable a sense of what I want to avoid- that pity I or others may feel. I want to be about celebrating. Not just today, but every day.

Instead, I want to celebrate gratitude.
Gratitude for what I can have.
Gratitude for my food stash.
Choosing an attitude of gratitude, because my overflowing cabinets are filled with food for just me to eat and enjoy.
Gratitude for the simple fact that I have never ran out of food.

Today, I began to clean off counters, rearrange things, and organize my food stash a little bit. I finished what I thought was all of my flour yesterday.

*Start to panic*
It’s naturally, right?

Anyway, the more cleaned off our counters, the more I would find.
Here is just the upper part of my gluten-free cabinet, for just my food.

gluten free flours

God has blessed me tremendously!
Now, I still need all purpose flour.
Meaning: I need to restock on rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.
But, I am tremendously blessed for what I do have!

Goodbye Beans…Hello New Diet.

Just got back from the allergists. He confirmed that the test showed egg and soy allergies. I am going on day 3 of being soy-free, so I do feel the difference. What I wasn’t expecting was for my immune system levels to be low. I wasn’t really expecting an lentil allergy diet either. With most of the food in the category already off limits, it makes sense to be on the safe side and eliminate beans from my diet. Still getting the hang of everything.

Any tips on being soy-free? I have been egg free for the most part. I don’t cook with eggs. I just still use my bread that uses egg whites in it. Looking forward to seeing if all this helps me to feel better. Been super weak today. Coordination is all messed up, but it’s OK. God is still in total control!

I am just feeling really thankful. I am thankful that the allergist is rechecking my immune system numbers, before going forward with treatment. I am thankful I haven’t been pushed off to someone else. I am thankful that I am at the beginning of getting answers!

Now, I will be:
Gluten-free
Nut-free (all kinds)
Soy-free
Egg-free
And other lentil-free

Well, I think that’s everything anyway ;).