small steps backwards


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Thankfulness

My faithful, loving, kind husband
My beautiful children, who are growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus
Friends who love us
More than enough of necessities and luxuries
Crocuses starting to flower
Affording the contractor to build the garage
Sunny mornings and exploring
Powerful wind and rain
Chicken curry
Yogurt pretzels
More sleep
Hope
Not being consumed

“…be filled with the Spirit…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….” Ephesians 5


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Simple Gluten Free Meals

We’ve recently had an opportunity to serve a family in our church who follow a gluten free diet. It can be intimidating to prepare a meal for someone with a dietary restriction but there is no need to stock your cupboards with unusual flours or buy expensive prepared foods. Here are ten ideas I came up with, all around 30 minutes and $10 to prepare.

Rotisserie chicken, fresh orange slices, bagged salad mix
With this one you could just pick it up on your way, no prep required.

Chili or taco soup, tortilla chips, sliced pineapple
As easy as cans of corn, beans and tomatoes, ground beef and season.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green salad
Substitute rice chex for the bread crumbs or leave them out altogether.

Chicken curry, rice, steamed broccoli
Chicken thighs, cooked with veggies in coconut milk and curry paste…yum.

Rice pasta or spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, green salad, apple slices
Trader Joe’s sells a very good brown rice pasta for about $2/bag.

Crockpot pork roast, rice, green salad
Here is a great rub recipe.

Pulled pork, baked potatoes, grapes
I’ve heard the Lloyd’s brand is gluten free and already prepared

Baked salmon, green salad, carrot sticks
Any fish could be great, whatever is on sale.

Crustless quiche, fruit salad
We really like this quiche recipe, just don’t make the crust. 

Hummus with chopped raw veggies
I think most brands are gluten free but check the ingredients.

If you enjoy bringing a sweet treat, here are a few ideas. Again, no special ingredients required!

Cocoa Powder Brownies
So good! You can leave out the flour altogether or sub in a little almond flour.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Made with items already in your cupboards.

Ice cream or pudding
Most brands are gluten free or make your own.

Thanks for your desire to serve one another.  May others see Jesus’  goodness in our love for one another.


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Hope

Hope seems to me the rosiest word, the most promising, brightest, most hopeful word in our language. I think we can endure anything if we have hope.

This week I felt for the first time HOPE that a dream might be fulfilled. And peace if it isn’t.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope… 1 Peter 1:3

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Prov 13:15

Though he slay me, will I hope in Him. Job 13:15


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Poured Out

The vine from every living limb bleeds wine.
Is it poorer for that spirit shed?
The drunkard and the wanton drink thereof;
Are they the richer for that gift’s excess?
Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
Not by the wine drunk, but the wine poured forth
For love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice,
And whoso suffers most hath most to give.

from Ugo Bassi


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Loving the others

I was recently reading a post about a teenage girl with cognitive delays and some of the struggles she faces. It brought tears to my eyes, and I prayed as I read that my boys would be loving and humble enough, filled with the Spirit, to love people like this. To freely love and be a friend to people who our culture does not accept.

As I was praying these things for my boys I saw that I need to be that person. That I need to allow the Spirit of God to fill me with love for people who are very other than me and not particularly desirable by our culture’s standards. So my prayer is that I will love those people and that God will use that example to build an even more radical love in my boys.

I recognize in myself a tendency to be comparing constantly, trying to be found ‘better’, neglecting to see my complete brokenness, unworthyness, my sin. This prevents me from seeing the beauty that is the image of God in others. That God may change my heart to love more fully.


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Epiphanies*

Charlie’s Soap: This soap is awesome! I’m really in awe of the revolution it brings to my diaper washing routine. Previously, using a brand name free and clear detergent I felt like I had to wash at least three cycles to get stink out. With Charlie’s, one hot cycle followed by a cold rinse and my diapers are stink free! The detergent is still expensive but I was able to purchase through our coop, making it more affordable. If, in the future, I have to pay full price, I will definitely buy it.

Azure Standard: We order from Azure about once a month and I thought I understood what to buy (and not buy) for the best prices. I was wrong. I should’ve been buying my flour and several other grains from them! In an effort to simplify our shopping process, I’ve decided to spend a larger chunk of our grocery money with Azure, and skip some of the stores or coop orders.

Menu planning: I’ve not been too committed to this in the past. It is not an easy fit for my personality and preferred way of doing things. I’ve realized this month that it works, it saves us money, and it makes dinner time so much less stressful.

*I know these aren’t true ‘epiphanies’ but ‘gradual realization’ doesn’t have the same zing.