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Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

“Green” recipes, little tidbits, and a winner!!!

Happy Friday, everyone!!!!

Gonna share some “green” recipes today, whether in color or just use of produce or items, as well as throw in some little newsy bits and announce a give-a-way winner!

A little while back when our garden was over-run with zucchini, I tried out this recipe from Hobby Farms magazine.  It would be appropriate to make it again, as my basil plant is now flourishing!!!

Zucchini-basil Soup

Puree zucchini, basil and other farm-fresh ingredients for a refreshing summer soup.


  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups roughly chopped onions (any kind)
  • 1 T. chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped sweet bell pepper (any color)
  • 2½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh sweet basil
  • chopped fresh tomato for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic and salt until vegetables start to soften. Stir in pepper, zucchini and stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook until pepper is soft, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and basil just until wilted. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot, topped with chopped fresh tomatoes if desired.

Making Zucchini-basil soup

Makes about 6 servings.

This soup is great for on-the-go, as well, whether hot or cold!  “Green” tip: store wet things like soup in clean jars in the refrigerator; good re-use of something rather spending energy on recycling or (gasp!) just throwing it away, and storing things in glass cuts down on your chemical toxin intake (some plastic storage containers have been known to leach unknown substances into your food, even when cold).

Zucchini-basil soup stores well in a mason (or other) jar!

Hubby's empty bowl....he loves it with a bit of Parmesan Cheese! (The real stuff, not the desecrated milk kind...)

I have a confession to make: I have a sweet tooth.  If you know me at all, this is not really a confession, but a “so what else is new?”  Having a sweet tooth can lead to unhealthy choices if we do not operate in the fruit of the Spirit called Self-control…but luckily we can also choose healthy recipes so that we can enjoy treats once in awhile (not overeating them, mind you) without even having to be concerned over what the “bad” ingredients might do to our little temples (like some other items we might choose…ahem.)

Here is a recent DELICIOUS recipe I tried recently after watching an episode of “Giada at Home” on the Food Network.  I tweaked it to make it healthier.

Lime and Cornmeal Cookies with Citrus Glaze (they are Gluten-free!)



  • 1/2 stick, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance instead)
  • 1 cup sugar ( I used 1/3 C Stevia-in-the-Raw, 2/3 C “Swerve”*)
  • 3 large limes, zested
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 to 3 large limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Glaze: (I only did HALF the recipe, and it was plenty)

  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar (I used equal parts Swerve* and Stevia-in-the-Raw ground up in my Magic Bullet to make powder…don’t waste your money buying the powdered version when you can do it yourself!)
  • 2 large limes, zested
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Special equipment: 3-inch round cookie cutter


For the cookies: Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together the butter, sugar, and lime zest until combined. Add the egg, lime juice, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Process until the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 20 seconds. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece into a 9-inch diameter circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 10 circles and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps of dough, knead together, and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2 additional rounds of dough and place on the baking sheet. Bake until light golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lime zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cookie leaving, a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Allow the glaze to harden for about 45 minutes before serving.

*To order “Swerve” or get information on it, go to  http://www.pcflabs.com/store/swerve.htm

Newsy Tidbits and other info…..

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that we have been “fostering” a plethora of felines on our compound, desperately seeking new homes for the sweet babies!  Hallelujah, we found one!!! Thank you, very much, Paula, for opening your heart and home to one of the darlings!

There are still 2 babies in need of a forever home.  Today is our callback date to the Humane Society to see if they have room, which is no guarantee, but not only will that cost us $10 per kitten, I would truly rather these adorable wee ones went straight to a good home!  They are about 12 weeks old and so sweet.  If you have not yet seen their pictures or read their story, you can go here:


I have been meeting a personal challenge lately in the form of a Couch to 5K program.  Tomorrow I will be on Week 2, Day 3.  So far, so good.  By the Grace of God, the Power of the Holy Spirit, the word of my testimony, and the sheer grit all of those empower me with to get my hind end outside, I am overcoming limitations left and right!  Feel free to read about that journey and what helps me here:


I am actually looking forward to tomorrow’s run!

Also, you can picture me out there with a little pink pepper spray bottle due to a catastrophic run-in (no pun intended, since I was on a bicycle) with a Rottweiler mix nearly 2 months ago.  My left derriere STILL has a 4 inch square bruise with a scar-on-top!  Read about how God soothed me here:


This week at Vessel’s of Clay Yoga was “grab bag week” in which rather than having just one scripture that we all shared, we “grabbed” one from a pile of previous scriptures…those scriptures have been prayed over in advance that God will send the right ones to the right people for whatever they are needing!  This is not only a good use of resources, it also allows for a little more literal “quiet time” during the beginning and end of our classes, as we quietly contemplate what God is saying to us today.  Here is the scripture God had for ME this week and as always, He was right on time:

Psalm 145:9 (NIV) The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Isaiah 30:18 (The Message)  But God’s not finished.  He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.  He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.  God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

Speaking of waiting and how good things come to those who wait (is THAT where that phrase came from?), some of you are waiting to find out who won this week’s give-a-way of either a yoga mat or a Vessels of Clay Yoga coffee/tea mug….and the winner is…..


(I even had Hubby draw the name for me, since we are both up-and-at-’em this morning!)

So, at your convenience, Paula, let me know which you would prefer: a yoga mat in either Buttercup Yellow or Dark Teal (check last week’s blog post for pictures) or a Vessels of Clay Yoga mug!  And congratulations!!!

Thank you to all of the participants!  It sure is fun getting your answers here and on Facebook!!!

(For those who don’t know, that’s http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vessels-of-Clay-Yoga-LLC/73576731717)

Blessings and favor be upon all of you this weekend.  Seek His face first, and you will not stumble over your own feet….Psalm 25:14-15 The Message (among many others, actually!!! I dare you to type the word “stumble” or “trip” into the search engine at Bible Gateway.com!)

Glory to God!

Things I love, that lift my spirit, Part 1b, a.k.a. “The Holy Spirit is a Crooner”

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post (I have one in the mix that was nearly ready to be posted, but it can wait…) for something I just HAD to share…

I mentioned in a recent post about how music is one of the things that lifts my spirit…it is true in so many ways.

Music can make housework easier.  Music can prompt me to move my booty and work up a sweat, too!  Music helps me praise my Lord continually!  So often, if I turn on Praise music when I am down—which in and of itself in those moments is a sheer act of the Holy Spirit, because how many of you out there, when you are down, know that is EXACTLY when you do NOT feel like listening to praise music?– and just by listening to that music, my body becomes alkalined, my spirit aligns with the Holy Spirit, and my smile comes out again (and maybe through a sheen of sobs and tears, right?)!

Well, as much as I love listening to Praise and Worship music or Christian Contemporary, or Gospel, there is also a lot of GREAT secular music out there! Songs that inspire me by the beat, the melody, the words, the instruments, the time-period they are from, the nostalgia they bring:  WHATEVER!!!

In fact, I often use a mix of secular and Christian music in the playlists for my Christ-centered yoga classes…if it inspires, it’s in.

In my Blackberry, I use an app called “memo pad” to keep a list going of songs that I hear and want to put in a “someday playlist”…since I listen to music so often, I hear a lot of great stuff!  (Of course, I know there is a lot of yucky stuff out there, too…and thank the Lord I have the ability to turn the dial or hit the skip button!!!)

I only mention that to say that there are probably at least 30 songs on that list right now…and they have come from a time period of at least a few months, so it isn’t as if they are things that I am listening to right now or recently…

I say that just to set you up for the big point of this story…or should I say testimony?

You see, music also lifts my spirit in an amazing way via the Holy Spirit…you might call it coincidence, but I don’t believe in that.  I believe in Divine appointments.

Sometimes, when I go out walking, or jogging, or biking (and THAT is going to be a star in this testimony), I take along my I-pod and I set it to shuffle…and I ask God to be my DJ. You would be AMAZED at the timely mixes He comes up with!  I mean it!  Sometimes I can’t wait to get home just so I can write the list down for use later!  And it IS a mix of all kinds of music, but the words and themes are often so amazingly perfect for that moment in my life…

Sometimes, though, I don’t need an i-pod.  I don’t even need to be outside walking.  I don’t even need to be awake.  Sometimes, I wake up from a nap, or in the middle-of-the-night, and there is a song playing over and over and over in my head, and it just won’t stop.

I will lay there, frustrated, eyes wanting to be closed, body tossing, thoughts of the day beginning to whir about, and saying, Lord, I would really like to get back to sleep!…and at this point, not really paying attention the song in my head, because it is just background noise to what seems to be an obvious frustration.

If I tune in, if I decide to listen, I find that it is my Lord singing over me…

Zephaniah 3:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 The LORD your God is with you,
   the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.

Did you know that the Holy Spirit can be a Crooner?  And I do mean,”Crooner”…like  a Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby (my ultimate favorite), and to get a little modern, Harry Connick, Jr or Michael Buble’ kind of crooner…

Very often, in the middle of the night, if I would just get up and have my devotional time with the Lord RIGHT THEN, I would find out that He is trying to tell me something…but you know, when we are sleepy, that doesn’t always sound appealing.

And, if you are like me, you might have a history of waking up in the middle of the night and watching tv,  followed by eating and watching tv….which never turns out well or serves our little temples appropriately, and generally just makes one more tired!

So you can see why I might just want to go back to sleep, if at all possible.  But like I said, if I just tune in, I might hear what God is saying…

Let me back up a little. 2 days in fact.

2 days ago, my hubby and I were enjoying our semi-weekly bike ride around our tiny little Mayberry town. He has a day off in the middle of the week, and while I have to work later in the day, we enjoy that morning together, often choosing to be active together via our bikes…

I love my little town.  I feel safe here.  It feels like a throwback to a simpler time, and my husband and I both adore that about it.  I literally have only to ask our local postmistress if I have a question about who to call for this or that, or how something works around here…I have joked about that, but it has never been more true than 2 days ago.

2 days ago, I was bit by a dog.  On my left bum. While riding my bike.

Laugh.  A Lot. Because in Hindsight (pun intended), it makes for some good jokes.

On the flip side, it hasn’t been funny at all.  It has been painful and exhausting and stressful in many ways.  It has affected my way of life, my performance on the job, my ability to sleep, put stress on my family, my pocketbook (though hopefully that can be remedied later), and it has affected that feeling of safety I adored.  I have hope in God, though, that the safe feeling, with precaution and knowledge (and pepper spray) will return.

It has even given my postal lady a cause…ha ha! (We may have a new campaign in Taneyville to write our State Rep about our lack of protective Statutes in cases such as mine, where if a dog bite happens outside the city limits, the County Animal Control must rely on the state laws about whether or not they can require a pet owner to give up or confine their dog for a period of 10 days to watch/be sure there is no Rabies infection, etc…in this case, there is no such law.)

So, in the middle of the night, the night after the incident, I really DIDN’T want to wake up and go into the living room to open my devotional.  I DIDN’T want to be tempted to eat out of a need for a comfort or to deaden the pain, physical AND spiritual.  I DIDN’T want to have to be strong.  I prayed for sleep.   It didn’t come.  After a half an hour or so, I decided to really notice the song that had been playing in my head over-and-over-and-over from the time I woke up…(I HAD noticed, but I hadn’t REALLY noticed, know what I mean?)

It was the chorus of a song that I have had in my Blackberry future playlist memo for awhile:  “Lost” by Michael Buble’.

I could only think of a few lines of the chorus, and the rest were just da-da-da-da, right?…more on that in a minute…

I went out to the living room and opened my devotional.  Perfect. I won’t go into that too deeply, but suffice it say that it was about being aware of my Lord’s Presence, that I face NOTHING alone, that His Spirit in me IS causing me to be free, as the person He created me to be, and that I do not need to worry…

…Because I was scared.  Scared that I would start eating for the wrong reasons.  Scared that I would be too tired to do what needed to be done.  Scared that we might never talk to the owner.  Scared that I would have to pay medical bills.  Lots of things…just plain scared.  And feeling as if I was alone in something that seemed so laughable anyway, and that there might be no hope  for help at all (from the government or anyone official).

So, as I sat there and listened to what God was saying through His Word, I began to listen to what He was singing over me as well…I sang the words that I could remember quietly to myself, catching on sobs as I asked God if He were truly singing to me, and asking that it not be a “coincidence”…that I really wanted it to be real.  I chose to believe that it was, and He confirmed it later.

Here are the words that I remembered, “as” I remembered them:

‘You are not alone.  I’m always here with you, and we’ll get lost together, till the light comes shinin’ thru…da-da-da-da-da (couldn’t remember), baby, you’re not lost…”

I was feeling so lost!  I was needing so much comfort!  And the Holy Spirit WOKE ME UP to tell me how very NOT LOST I am!!!  That He is always with me, and will continue to be!

Believe me, that was enough for me.  — But how many of you know that God loves to go the extra mile for his “babies”?

On the way to work, still without good news, feeling a bit sad again, tired, and apprehensive about how the dancing would feel (I was soooo sore), I decided to actually listen to “Lost”, curious to see how close my version of the words might be.

(The first verse does not apply at all.  Didn’t expect it to…was just interested in the chorus…and God did not disappoint…)

1st Chorus to “Lost”

“‘Cause you are not alone
I’m always there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When your worlds crashing down
And you can’t bear the thought
I said, babe, you’re not lost”

I mean, honestly, God IMPROVED on my memory!  I was feeling SO DONE. Done was the perfect word.  And for the light to be “pouring” through, just seemed so perfect…and yes, it did feel that the world was crashing down, as in real life, it isn’t just one thing happening to you, there are of course, others happening (which need no mention here)…so one can be overwhelmed, right?

But the Crooner wasn’t finished…

The second verse DID seem to apply, and the second chorus had a couple of word changes that, when I heard them in the car, caused me to bring my hand to my mouth over a gasp and a quiet sob of gratitude to my Big Daddy for understanding…

“Life can show no mercy
It can tear your soul apart
It can make you feel like you’ve gone crazy
But you’re not
Things have seem to changed
There’s one thing that’s still the same
In my heart you have remained
And we can fly fly fly away

‘Cause you are not alone
And I am there with you
And we’ll get lost together
Till the light comes pouring through
‘Cause when you feel like you’re done
And the darkness has won
Babe, you’re not lost
When the worlds crashing down
And you can not bear the cross
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost
I said, baby, you’re not lost “

Maybe reading this, you think I have gone off the deep end.  Maybe you think I am a religious fanatic.  To which I reply 2 things:  One, for me it is not about religion but relationship…and when I am mindful in my relationship with my Savior, these kinds of things happen all the time, but I don’t always share them out loud.  It had been awhile, and I have been praying for that closeness again…in fact, that leads me to point Two:  If I be crazy or a fanatic, let me be crazy for Christ!  I actually had been praying that I might get a bit more radical in my faith again, and look what happened!


Real World.  Puncture wound still open, but oozing less, I think.  Phone calls to make on Tuesday to Health Department (Rabies vaccine) and my Postmistress (who has information to give me about with whom I should speak at the Prosecuting Attorney’s office..yuck.)

Really Real World.  My Lord is on my side and sings over me.  In a smooth, velvety voice on this particular occasion..who knows?  Tomorrow He may be rockin’ out or playing the ukelele…but my Hope is in Him.

Please pray for the Dog Owner…I mean that.  Please pray also for me.  Check on your own city and State ordninances, and consider carrying some pepper spray  (hate to hurt ANY animals, but it will also protect their owners from lawsuits!)…

Be loved, protected, and sung over…because you are.

I pray for you, too.


Ps…was tempted to post a pic, but it’s pretty gross.

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