Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

“I’m not a dog!” – Milo

Tomorrow we are leaving our temporary home at the shelter. It has been 90 days and we need to move on. We have made many friends here who we will be sad to leave. However, it is time.

Since our apartment is not ready until November 1st, we will be staying at a motel, through the generosity of many people and God’s good will. Yay! Cable TV and then our apartment!!!

Milo is one of the best people we’ve met. He belongs with our friend, Bruce. He is adorable and so very friendly. We will definitely miss him and many others that we met here. God bless you all!

One Day My Heart Just Opened Up

Praised be Jesus Christ Our Lord, now and forever. Amen.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that we have been having housing problems.  Oh my goodness!  That sounds so tame!  No, really, we have been living in a homeless shelter!  Our story is not the worst one here.  It’s so terribly distressing how hard some of  the nicest people you ever want to meet have had it.

Where is your journey taking you?

Why does God allow this?  I know at least one of my friends who would ask that question.  Here is what I have learned:

All the platitudes and cute sayings in the world aren’t enough to explain it, no matter how apt they seem.  I believe, and you most certainly do not have to agree, that God uses all things for good. 

What do I mean by that?  Well, for example, if I hadn’t married my ex, I would never have had my children.  This is unthinkable to me.  Was our marriage awful?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But would I trade my children for it?  Not in a million years!

If we hadn’t had to go to the shelter, I would never have met all the amazing people here.  My heart would not have opened to Jesus and I would have continued in my misery.  And yes, I was miserable, only paying lip service to God being in charge.  Back a few weeks ago, I thought He was in charge.  Now I know He is!

Praise Him in good times and bad. He is just taking the opportunity to teach us something.

For every little blessings, I will praise the Lord, from the socks on my feet to the roof over my head.  I will also pray for you and ask that you pray for me.

God truly is so very good!  I no longer have to worry.  I will do the scut work and He will take care of the rest.  Not only does He love us because we are His children, He is in love with us and delights in us!  He tells us that He knows the count of the hairs on our heads!  Now that’s up close and personal love!  And He loves us without reservations, unlike some of our families!  (No judgement here 🤗!) God loves them too!

We are all His children and no matter how we have screwed up, He will always take us back!  He loves us that much!!!  Yay, God!

How much more does your Heavenly Father love you?

Easy as Pie Filling: Apple, Raspberry, & Peach

The perfect pie – thanks, God!

I have wanted to make pie for quite a while now, but when you’re staying in a homeless shelter, well, it can be a challenge. I had some apples from the trees in the back. I then bought raspberries. I found a can of peaches in fruit juice in my canned goods and I was all set.

I had purchased gluten-free, frozen pie crusts, but you can make your own homemade ones if you choose. I just thought homemade pie crust at a shelter? No thank you! So, instead, I bought Kinnikinnick gluten-free pie crusts in the frozen food section of my local Woodman’s. They are 9″.

I also had a bit of a snafu. While making the pie filling, I discovered that the corn starch that I had bought for thickening the pie filling (I don’t have my tapioca starch right now) was missing. I prayed to find it and searched everywhere. No dice. So, I’m thinking this is what God wants – to have me use something else. Well…ok. You’re in charge here, God. So, you take it!

Did He answer? Oh yes He did! My eyes fell on our shoebox tote of gelatin and puddings. Hmmm… pudding? Ok, Lord. I’ll trust you and try it. This, I think, was the most delicious pie I’ve ever made! It was so very delectable, I can’t even use words to describe it. You’ll have to try it yourself! Here’s the recipe:

2, 9″ pie crusts, cooked to package (or homemade) instructions

5 medium cored, pealed, and sliced apples (I would use Johnathan or McIntosh)

1 can, 14 oz. peaches in fruit juice, drained (or, if in syrup, drained and rinsed thoroughly!)

1/2 cup sugar

1, 5 oz. vanilla pudding mix that is made on the stovetop (Not instant! This is an ingredient – don’t use according to package instructions!)

To your large saucepan add the apples, raspberries, and peaches. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture breaks down and starts to boil add your sugar and stir in well. Add pudding mix and stir until incorporated.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly, for about five minutes. Pour evenly into the two prepared pie crusts. Let cool. Enjoy!

If you can’t wait to try this awesome pie, you could eat it right away. The filling won’t set up super well, but it will still taste awesome, and isn’t that what’s most important when it comes to pie?

Yummmmm!

Sharing Saturday: Losing Prudence

This was exactly how I felt.

I decided to do something a little different for this sharing Saturday.  Sure, there are many more Young Living products that I want to share, but today I decided to take a break to remember someone who is very dear to me.  If you were not aware, today is national pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day.

When Child #1 was just a tiny girl, she wanted a sister.  “No boys in my house!”  was her decree.  Um, yeah, see I’m not in charge of that!  She didn’t care.  From just about the moment she could speak in full sentences, (which was a decidedly early occurrence at 1!) she was asking for a sister.  So we started trying to have another child.

I was pretty sure I was pregnant and I tried a home pregnancy test.  It was positive!  I was so excited to have a sibling for Child #1!  I got the pregnancy confirmation and started the planning for the new baby!  

On Father’s day of that year I was cutting the grass with the riding mower.  I started to cramp, then spot.  Uh-oh!  I was in trouble.  When I got to the hospital and into a room, they did an ultrasound and told me that there was no baby.  I was devastated.

The baby, whom I named “Prudence,” would have been born the month before Child #1 would be have turned three.  Sadness.

The difficult part was that some people did not think of her as a child. To them, she was just “tissue!” In fact, my doctor actually asked me to bring her in. I was horrified! I told her that I had taken my child and burried her. I couldn’t believe the callousness in which she needled me about seeing Prudence so she could poke and prod her. Nope. Never gonna happen!

We ended up have Child #2 about 13 months later. She is my rainbow baby, because I never would have had her if I hadn’t lost Prudence. It doesn’t mean that I would trade either daughter. It just means that they’re both special to me!

I love you, dear, sweet child! This post is for you! Pray for those of us still here!

One Simple Word

Impart your wisdom, friend.

Did you ever think about how saying one nice thing to someone could change their whole day, their whole way of thinking around?

This happened to me. For the past couple of weeks I have really been struggling with housing. Ok… probably for a lot more than two weeks. It just really came to a head in the past two weeks. I was depressed…no getting around that. I just couldn’t see my way clear.

Why struggle? God’s got this!

As I was struggling with my depression, and as a result, my faith and optimism to some extent, a friend said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said “God wouldn’t lead you this far to abandon you now.” Holy crud! He’s right! The devil was having a good old time with my doubts and I let him! I was also battling a cold/stomach bug and not winning.

That was that. I realized that I had been indulging in self-pity and had ceased to listen for God’s call. I had internalized something that another friend had said to me about life not being a movie. Maybe not, but here’s the thing: When you follow God’s Will, His Will gets done! So, no, life is not a freaking card company movie! It’s so much better than that if you just listen for His guiding voice!

Following God’s path.

Where will we live? No idea. How will we get all our stuff put into a small apartment? Not sure. I will do the scut work, but God will have to figure out the rest. He is in charge. This isn’t forever, it’s for now. Until He leads me on the next journey.

Sharing Saturday: Lavender Essential Oil

YL’s pure lavender essential oil.

I have not always been a huge fan of lavender. In fact, I thought I was allergic to the scent. I was not. It was probably all of the other impure ingredients that most companies use.

I absolutely love Young Living’s pure lavender essential oil. Not only does it smell amazing, but the healing properties I have witnessed are pretty amazing too.

Our skin is the biggest organ that we have, right? So, if we have rough patches that might break open and bleed, like I do on some of my fingers during the colder months mostly, how do we get rid of them? I will put YL’s pure lavender essential oil directly on the sore spot to help heal it. I’ve seen it work, and work quickly.

However, I have found that the cause of these spots seems to be using toxic products on my skin. That lovely, blue dishwashing liquid that they show cleaning the ducks after an oil spill? Oh, yes, my friend, very toxic! Most hand soaps have toxic ingredients that dry out and hurt our hands. When I switched to Thieves foaming hand soap, as I reviewed last week, my hands improved rapidly. I notice that my hands are good until I need to wash dishes in the community kitchen, where all they have are name-brand, toxic soaps. Then it’s back to the bad skin spots. 😔

Add lavender to your wool laundry balls for a calming scent to your clothes.

Not only does lavender heal, it also smells great for your wool laundry balls that you use to help dry your clothes. It soothes Child #3 to sleep, when he is struggling. It relaxes this mom and helps everyone here to be calm. A friend of mine, who was really stressed put a little on her wrists and was amazed at how it immediately calmed her! It’s also good when you are grieving, which is good since my friend lost her brother last month and was having a really rough time of it.

The thing that I think is truly awesome is that it is safe around animals. I know that there have been many warnings about lavender essential oils poisoning pets. This is simply not true for Young Living. That’s because it’s so pure, with no nasty additives. So feel free to indulge, even if you have a pet. You’re safe with YL!

If you are ready to order, please use my link below:

https://www.youngliving.com/us/en/referral/31628184

Every order is appreciated and helpful to our family. God bless you all abundantly!

All in the Right Perspective

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Father Hugh told a joke a few weeks back. Now, I know what you’re thinking… priestly humor? Come on! But here me (or him) out. It’s a really good joke, and it leads to an interesting discussion in perspectives. Here it is:

There was a guy who had a lot of riches. Lots of money, stocks and bonds. Big bucks. He gets a slick lawyer and brings a lawsuit against Heaven. He wants to bring his riches with him. St. Peter figures he will humor this guy and allow him to bring one suitcase with him. The guy dies and shows up with a suitcase on wheels 8 ft. long, six feet wide, and five feet deep. St. Peter says ” That is not a suitcase. I must see what’s in it.” He opens the trunk. It is full of gold bricks. He then says, ” You die and choose to bring a suitcase full of pavement?”

Ok. Admit it…that was funny! It also brings up a good point. What kind of treasures do you work for? I realize that we all need money to live and buy food, shelter, etc. but how much is providing for the basics and how much is too much?

It was a great shock to me when we had to move out of our home at how much “stuff” we had accumulated. “Pretties” to decorate; clothes that we never wear; books that we haven’t read in years. When you are forced to pare down, it becomes painfully obvious that we are a nation (and possibly a world) of consumers.

Do you have too much? Want to simplify?
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Every special occasion needs a gift, or several. In fact, Child #3 honestly believes that no one will like him if he doesn’t give big, nice gifts. From where did all of this come?

I would love to claim that it didn’t have anything to do with me, but honestly, I can’t say that. Our birthdays and Christmases seem to grow each year. It’s gotten way out of hand. And remember, please, that I don’t have much and am currently living at a homeless shelter. Well Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?

So, I am taking a serious look at this trend in our home (when we get one and before that, just pondering at the shelter) to see if there isn’t a better way. Of course, God can’t possibly want us to be weighed down by so much stuff, right? So, maybe experiences are better gifts? I’m not sure how the kiddos will feel about that, but I’m warming up to the idea.

What about you? Are you overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in your life? Want to join my “stuff fast?” Let’s talk. What are your thoughts?

Prayers, please!

Prayers for me and for you!

We are trying really hard to get into a three-bedroom apartment. We filled out the applications and sent them in. I didn’t do something correctly, and when I sent an appeal letter, I was asked to reapply.

So, tonight Child #2 and I reapplied. Please pray for us that we can get this apartment. Things are looking bleak and though I know God has a plan, this is not a Hallmark movie where everything works out perfectly.

Not my favorite place!

In fact, I spent a few hours yesterday at the ER (emergency room!) because I did not feel well. They could find nothing, which was super frustrating, but I survived the night, so that is a good thing. I still have a massive headache, etc. but now I believe I’ll live. For a while yesterday, I wasn’t sure.

We are still at the shelter, though our time is growing short. Prayers for all of you and may God bless you abundantly!

Rita

God’s blessings on you and please pray for us!

Salsa-Stuffed Chicken Thighs

Chicken and salsa – what a pair!

I started this post two days ago, and then promptly forgot about it as soon as I was interrupted!  Geesh!!!  I’d blame it on getting older, but I’m really not all that old (do not pay any attention to the children rolling their eyes!)

Our world is in an uproar right now.  We are living in a homeless shelter (for which I am eternally grateful!) but it has its challenges.  We are sharing a kitchen with 11 other units (some singles, some families) and it’s hard to concentrate!  The people are lovely, but when there are 10 people in the kitchen and you’re trying to prepare a meal, get measurements, and take pictures, it gets to be a bit much.

This is the best I can do for right now.  Most of my recipes are quite simple at this time.  I’m not ready to conquer complicated when our living situation is what it is for now.  I’m hoping and praying for home for us.  Please join my prayers and in the meantime, enjoy this simple chicken dish.

You will need:

As many chicken thighs as you think your family and I’ll eat.  I believe we cooked about 14.  Ok.  Ok.  We were hungry!  Leftovers are not a bad thing here!  Don’t judge!

Your favorite gluten free salsa (about 1 Tbsp. for each thigh.)

Aluminum foil

Your favorite gluten free cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cover your baking dish (I used a 9″ x 13″ pan) with the aluminum foil and spray it with your cooking spray.

Spoon any extra salsa over the top.

Unroll your thighs and spoon approximately 1 Tbsp. of salsa into each, rolling after filling.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 60 minutes or until your chicken reads 165°F on a meat thermometer.

Suppertime!!!

Serve with potatoes, rice, or just vegetables.  Enjoy!  Bon Appetit!