Excess Socks

I want more intentional sacrifice in my life. I want to work on my character.
Romans 5:3-5
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

Working on our character brings us closer to our Lord, because we are aligning our will with His, we are becoming more like Him.

I’m focusing on excess material possessions.
Our surroundings tell us to buy this and buy that and eventually we have a mountain of excess. How does that effect our character? It pretty much makes us idolize quantity and quality rather than being thankful for a few things and giving to those who don’t have anything.
My dad told me once,
“No matter how small or big of a house you have,
you’ll always fill it with more than you need.”

Mi Amor and I have been married 6 months (yesterday!) and we ALREADY have too much stuff. We live simply, but we still have so much that we don’t need in our lives.
How about we fix that…
I love spring cleaning, it means warm weather is right around the corner, the scent of rain is in the air as well as the hope of fresh starts, like the backboard for New Years Day.

{I have a ‘pre-spring cleaning’ challenge for you}

If you have a library close or happen to know someone who has this book, or if you yourself have this book, read it again.
MORE OR LESS
by
Jeff Shinabarger

 

It all started with one idea: What would happen if we created a culture in which we gave away whatever was more than enough for us? How would our habits change if we shed the excess of money, clutter, and food in our lives? In More or Less, readers will learn how to draw a line of “enough” in their consumer choices, how to see generosity as a chance to experience freedom in a greedy world, and how to make small changes now that will help others forever. As Shinabarger reminds them, defining “enough” is more than a responsibility—it is an opportunity to give hope.

How would your character change if you suffered through some cleaning with me?
Pick an area of your home, whether it be:
~Kitchen~Living Room~Linen Closet~Basement~Attic~Bedroom~Grandpa Jo’s sock drawer~
Wherever there is an OBVIOUS excess or OBSESSION.
Go through it all, lay out stuff, dust while you’re there in the corner and make a pile of what you’re going to rid yourself of.

Instead of just ‘putting it in a cardboard box and letting it sit in the trunk of your car until you roll by Goodwill and toss it into Billy’s arms before you go to Wendy’s’, think about this differently:
We’re working on character here, how is that going to challenge you, except for the choice to spend time cleaning rather than in front of Netflix?
If you have excess mixing bowls and baskets and containers, use them as as base for a present to someone.
Give away packages.
Do it mysteriously if you’d like.
Listen to the needs of those around you.

  • Fill that silver mixing bowl with the unopened bottle of nail polish, shampoo and conditioner, and make your own little bath salts.
  • Take those extra coffee mugs and put a bag of homemade hot cocoa and a card in it.
  • You know that closet? Take your tshirts and cut squares to make a quilt. If you have enough blankets, give one away with an extra winter hat and scarf—seek out someone in a public place that is homeless. If you’re traveling by car, have a thermos of soup that you made from that excess cupboard food.

All I’m really getting at is

BE INTENTIONAL WITH WHO YOU ARE
AND
WHO YOUR CHARACTER REFLECTS

Romans 12:1 & 2
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I want to know God’s will for my life, the deeper direct will other than the Great Commission. I figure, besides praying for it, I should start working on my character to become like Him, then I’ll be ready for His direction.

{Join me in this challenge and this sacrifice}
What I’m going to do: go through my closet and eliminate half—this is what I feel God asking of me.

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Kefir Day 2

Day two of drinking Nurten! What a change of life I’m expecting… I can only pray God uses this tangy drink to heal me in His time. 

I know I’ve improved internally and on my hands because of the anti-candida diet. I can tell you that my legs have seen NO improvement whatsoever, but in all reality, my hands are a much bigger factor in my life. I thank God that I can still walk to work, although its getting tougher as my legs deal with cold temperatures and socks and rubbing of shoes.
Here are pictures so that I can go back and thank God for the healing He will do one day. I want visual proof of this journey.

itchy every night, burning and stinging throughout the day, and irritated by anything rubbed on it.

itchy every night, burning and stinging throughout the day, and irritated by anything rubbed on it.

left hand has redness, cuts and inflammation.

left hand has redness, cuts and inflammation.

right hand has no cuts only inflammation and redness

right hand has no cuts only inflammation and redness

 

I’m currently soaking my feet in lemongrass and cypress oils in hot water. After my walk home today, my legs were burning and annoyed.
I was less fatigued today, which is GREAT since for the last, hmmm, two weeks? I’ve been incredibly tired at work and not even wanting to stand on certain days. I am not sure if this surge of energy was thanks to Nurten or not, but some people say that one day is all it takes to see a difference.
Well, day 2, here we are, I drank it straight today and it was great. I decided that since yesterday I put in 2/3 of a cup of milk, that it poured a lot slower today. SO, I tried 1 cup of milk for tomorrow. We shall see what the consistency does for me then.

Once again I make my self vulnerable and translucent for all of you readers, hoping that through my most personal and embarrassing time you may see God’s hand through Jesus and how the Holy Spirit is leading and healing me.

Oh, Nurten, You’ll Help Somehow

DSCN7961

This is kefir {keh-feer}
correction:
this is MY kefir
*smile*
Thanks to a talk with another hospital worker, she gave me some of her kefir on Sunday. This is the picture of when I poured the milk into a glass and added more milk to the kefir jar.
Let me tell you what I know about kefir so you know what this crazy thing is I’m doing.

Just as each of our fingerprints is different, the bacterial content of the colon in each person is likewise different.—Kefir Blog

grzybek-tybetanski-przeciwwskazania

This is kefir uncovered; cauliflower is what it really reminds me of.

Kefir means “feels good” in Turkish

Unlike yogurt, kefir contains around thirty strains of bacteria and yeast, mostly including lactobacillus bacteria.–Grow Youthful

Do not keep your kefir in a metal container like copper, iron or aluminium. Preferably store it in a glass or ceramic container.
You can make kefir with nut milks, and nut kefir is apparently delicious. However the nut milk destroys the kefir grains, so you can only make it when you have got some spare grains.
{you get spare grains because it will continue to grow and grow in your jar. This allows you to give them away to friends who have health issues or who want to remain healthy. If you don’t have friends who can do this, then you have extra kefir grains}

Bacteria and yeasts typically found in milk kefir

Bacteria:

Lactobacillus.
l. brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.
l. casei. Produces lots of lactic acid; colonises well in the gastric tract; creates a favourable medium in which other beneficial bacteria can grow; inhibits putrefaction and harmful bacteria; increases immune function; helps protect against bacterial infections.
l. hilgardii
l. plantarum. Produces lactic acid; fights listeria monocytogenes; makes plantaricin; inhibits a large number of Gram-positive bacteria – the type of bacteria that cause spoilage.
Streptococcus.
s. cremoris. Has similar properties to s. lactis.
s. diacetylactis. Produces carbon dioxide in the kefir; makes diacetyl, which gives kefir its characteristic odour; other properties similar to s. lactis.
s. lactis. Produces lactic acid, aids digestion, inhibits harmful microorganisms, produces bacteriolysins.
Pediococcus.
Leuconostoc.

Yeasts:

Saccharomyces.
Candida.
Kloeckera and possibly others.

Anyways, so this great probiotic is a alive and I’m calling mine Nurten. In Turkish it means “radiant skin”.

Day 1: the taste was a little tart and tangy–it reminded me of the ‘original’ flavor of frozen yogurt you can get at: TuttiFrutti, Sweetyos, Pink Berry, Pump House, or whatever other crazy name you have near you.
I blending mine into a shake though–since I can’t eat much on the anti-candida diet, I used this opportunity of tangy flavor to be a base for my “go-green” powder, carob powder, and ice. NutriBullet blended it wonderfully and it tasted pretty good. I’m willing to perfect the flavor. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do lemon and ginger? Worth a try at least.
The lovely lady who gifted Nurten to me told me that I should take the next few days to decide how much milk I should put in it to determine the consistency I like the best. Today I put in 2/3 of a cup. Tomorrow we shall see how different it was from today.

On to new adventures, new trials, new testings, and new beginnings.

Are You Getting Better at Being You?

A little pencil marked the current you.
A crayon marked your past.
You were not measured according to your siblings, nor the kids down the street.

When you grew that year, it was compared to yourself.

If you compare your relationships, successes, education, beauty, athletics, or any other accomplishments, against anyone else, you are jipping yourself. Everyone has a different path and a different pace.

Do you feel discontent, ancy, or unsettled with where you’re at in life? Don’t you see how far you’ve come?

Look at where you have
moved,
traveled,
who you have
inspired,
loved,
helped,
what you have
accomplished,
overcome,
learned,
when you have
cried,
laughed,
grown,
why you have
changed,
pushed yourself

Don’t set a bar so high you can’t reach it. Look at the inch that you grew all those years ago, you were once so proud…now “its not enough”…stop focusing on the 1% and look at the 99%.

I tend to be so much more nit-picky about myself lately,
but recently I’ve been encouraged so much that I have begun using this thought process of what has happened in my past and my ‘yearly’ growth…
You’re becoming the future you.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Conversational Generation

I just had a marvelous day off. 

Mi Amor’s grandparents are some of the neatest people. They are such an unusual pair, keeping things fresh and fun. Living only 20 minutes from their house, I came and assisted Mrs. T in the kitchen for a party. I met lots of people in the health care plan Mr. T works for. 

After lots of chatting, eating, a nap in the afternoon, assisting in technology & a second ‘neighbor’ party to finish off the munchies, I’m finally back to Poppins. 

I adore seasoned folk. Especially because of how much knowledge and experience they bring to the table. 

With the neighbors we ranged from talk of wine & travel to war & dogs. 

I made a few friends and got to know more about Mr & Mrs T. 

It just made me really look forward to experiencing more of life with them while Mi Amor’s under their roof. 

I also learned that I never cease to amaze people with my age. They always think I’m older & then impressed by how much I know and can bring to the table while being so young. 

{I like surprising people…I’m helping uphold the fact that not all of my generation is illiterate & un-engaging.}

Outspoken Impact

In life, being outspoken on your beliefs is important, no matter what religion, denomination, or branch you put your faith in. 

I don’t mean “outspoken” in the way of beating people over the head with your stance, making them believe by manipulation, or letting that be all you talk about. 

In this day and age, I’ve seen way too many people turn the switch off, specifically on Christianity, because of the way they have been approached//attacked by the followers of Christ.

My approach, which is the best for me, might not be for you, so let the Spirit lead. 

I have allowed the joy of saving Grace be the approachable difference between the world and I. 
My day at work started out odd enough, I knew it was gonna be a hard night. 

A fellow tech at the pharmacy came over to me first thing, after I had set my stuff down and begun filling prepackaged IVs. 
“My son came home from Bible study last night and opened the Bible to show me the story of Christmas,” she began, “and it made me realize how much I REALLY don’t know.”

I looked up at her with a listening smile, waiting for her to continue. 

“Where did Joseph come in? Why did they go to Bethlehem? I know that Jesus was born on Christmas day, but” 
I interrupted to say, “Actually, we don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth, but we can know that it wasn’t in December.”
She looks at me confused, “He wasn’t!?”
At this point, I have the ears of half a dozen or more co workers while they are still doing their work. 

“Nope, it says the shepherds were watching their flocks by night. Did you know that Jerusalem gets frost in December? Sheep won’t eat frosted grass. And in their culture, Mary & Joseph had a one year ‘engagement’. So in that time period, Mary became pregnant with Jesus. She went to tell Joseph, and the only reason he kept her as his wife was because an angel came to him too. Well, a census was being taken during this time also, which meant that wherever Joseph was born, he had to go back…and that was Bethlehem.” 

“Hmm. Yeah, there’s just so much that I realized I didn’t and don’t know.”

“Well, I’m glad that your son has that influence to keep you thinking.”

~~~

A few hours into my shift (I worked second shift so there’s also only three techs that run the pharmacy) the other two girls told me something that at first, I took as a sarcastic insult…then realizing their seriousness, listened and took the opportunity to let God plant a seed.

I’ll call the two girls Keef & Gemmy. 

Keef says, “Sarah, last night, Gemmy and I prayed we’d become more like you.”

I looked up with a little laugh, “right…”

Gemmy continues, “No, really, you’re impossibly nice. What makes you like you are? Were you always this sweet?”

“HA! no way. My parents can testify to that. I was a demon-child.”

“My parents still say that about me,” Keef jokes.

“If my parents raised me differently, I’d probably be goth. They taught me in the way where it was a, ‘if you do this, these will be the circumstances and outcomes’ rather than being those controlling parents who say, ‘don’t do this cause I say so and that’s that.’ A lot of the way I am is because of how they raised me. I grew up going to church and knowing who Jesus was and the fact that I would go to Hell without Him saving me. The twister is, I knew that He would have to be the director & leader of my life…and I wanted to be in control.” 
{At this point, I started thinking about my tattoo…the compass one. What once was my one deterrent has now become my inspiration.}

They both nodded.

I continued, “I was seven when I was swimming in my friend’s pool. We were dunking each other, ya know how kids try to kill each other while swimming…
Well, it just hit me. If I died right now, I wouldn’t be safe. I needed Jesus. 
So, I asked his mom to help me receive Jesus as my Saviour. And from there on out, my life changed.”

Keef skeptically said, “Wow. Seven. Not seventeen. Gemmy-when are we gonna grow up too? How much trouble could you get into at seven.”

I laughed and said, “Enough. But don’t think like it’s been cake from seven till’ now. I’m still screwed up and make mistakes all the time. It’s not any easy task. It’s a struggle every day of my life.”

~~~

Later that night, Gemmy continues after a pharmacist has an attitude with me.

“She is so rude to you, can I bite her head off?! GAH!” 

I smirk and shake my head, “No, don’t worry about it.”

“See, that’s why you’re better than me. That’s what Keef and I were talking about. When somebody hates us, we hate them back. People will never forget how you make them feel–and when someone makes me feel like crap, I give it to them hard.”

“Yeah, one of the other pharmacists gives me crap all the time. One day it was so bad, I told Mi Amor & he said, ‘I don’t know what her problem is, but she’s the ONLY person I’ve heard of having a real issue with you.’ And ya know what, he’s right. Not many people do. It was just really bad, so I went to my Bible and just flipped the pages. I landed in a passage that said, ‘Even sinners do good to those who do good to them, the difference is seen when you do good to those who do evil.'”

Gemmy smiled, “And that’s why you’re better than I am.”

I responded, “Stop saying that ‘better’ word, its crap!”

“Its true though!”

“You can say like, inspiring or something.”

She says in a joking tone, “Sj you’re SO inspiring.”

I laughed, “thanks”

~~~

The first thing I thought of after the beginning Christmas story lesson was that I was gonna have a crappy day and the way I handled it would either be a testimony to Christ or another reason for them to reject Him. 

And guess what–it was one HECK of a work load. Phones off the hook, labels flyin’ out my ears. 

The most I sat down was for my half hour dinner. 

I’m just joyous over the fact that since I’ve moved here, so many people have voiced their opinions of me.

One pharmacist told me, “Ya know, there was a bunch of us who thought you were too chipper for it to be real, and that after you started, we’d give it a couple of weeks to rub off. Well, it’s been four months and you’re still chipper. I like it.”

I just really can’t express how much all these words of affirmation have hit me to my core.

God’s just turning my heart to mush and yet building it up with muscle to endure so much in the future. 

~~~

Be the change you want to see.

Matisyahu & Flor

See my beautiful flowers from the farmer’s market??
I woke up early this morning to hit the street and see what adventure I could have.
I am having Mi amor, both sets of his grandparents, and possibly four friends come over, but for certain the first five.

I saw GREAT deals on buying fresh, home-grown, local, fruit & veg. There were even people who sold pizza crusts, bread, cheese, meat, and crafts.

I had way too much fun just walking.

I was amazed by the age range too.
Some 13 year old boy was running a cherry stand, “Good morning, how are ya?”

…yes, I was fully impressed…but didn’t buy cherries.

I gotta budget my money while I have the ability to start good habits.

Anyways, I was so excited about my flowers!!

I set up the kitchen yesterday!

I can’t wait until Rizo gets back and we start baking bread and put our flours in my strawberry pots (on the right side of the counter)
{my sweet buy from four years ago or so}

Living room!

Gladioli bouquet from Sonrisa’s man, when she was having a sad day.
{how precious!}

And my new addition to my room
{my antique bargain}
the one on the right is of Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, a bit of Russia and Germany)
The one on the left, the Atlantic Ocean, touching North, Central, South Americas, Africa, and Europe, up to Greenland & Iceland.

Another sweet thing that happened to me yesterday was my landlord came and made a custom screen for my window and to thank him, I later walked over and gave him a dish of blueberries that my mom and I picked back home.
He invited me in and I sat and talked with him and his grandson a bit,
he’s all for my ideas about sprucing up the place with some flowers.
I tried going to a greenhouse today, but sadly, they were closed ://
I received a BEAUTIFUL tomato as our talk of gardening progressed.

Another hot day is in toll,
but with the Matisyahu concert tonight bringing friends and Mi Amor, I’m gonna have a fabulous time.