― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you? ”
― William Arthur Ward
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
― William Arthur Ward
Dear Lord, I thank you for these blessings:
~ An easier fudge recipe for a scrumptious, no-oven summer dessert. This recipe uses only semi-sweet chips, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. You can mix in different baking chips, such as peanut butter or milk chocolate. Low-fat condensed milk should work fine too, as opposed to whole-fat condensed milk. Condensed milk, though high in fat calories and sugar, is super packed with calcium and many other nutrients due to the concentration of milk solids. Only 2 TBS equals 8% of your daily calcium requirement.
If you want a health-conscious fudge recipe, try this from Passionate Homemaking, which includes coconut oil, cocoa powder, and raw honey.
If you're a family who loves after-dinner dessert, the key to living nutrition-guilt free is keeping sugar and fat to a minimum the whole rest of the day, otherwise you set your children up for unhealthy cravings and a multitude of health problems. For example, choose lean meats, skim-milk products, healthier cooking oils, and avoid sweets until your appointed dessert time.
If homeschooling or stay-at-home mom work stresses you and you tend to go for the sugar too often, try limiting yourself to once-a-day dessert. If you mess up during the day, then forgo the after-dinner dessert. After-meal dessert is a better option because sugar eaten with a meal doesn't cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall quickly (quick rises and falls leave you cranky, weak, and headachy).
~ My husband's hernia pain level is a 3 or 4 on a scale of 10. The blessing here is that it could be worse? Its changed our lives some. He now has to watch his exertion carefully, at work and at home, so he can keep working while waiting for surgery. He's on his feet for most of the day. Less trips to the park and less period. Hard on everyone, but necessary.
~ I am so thankful for Kristen Welsh's commitment to Micah 6:8. Kristen Welsh and family have been in Kenya for a week, visiting and doing ministry at her Mercy House maternity home for pregnant and abused girls. Kristen runs this non-profit organization out of her Texas garage (they just sold their Texas house and left it for good before getting on the plane for Kenya), but she travels with her family to Kenya each summer to work and do ministry on site. This entire ministry endeavor has been life-changing for Kristen and her family, to say the least. While very intense and stressful all the time, amazing blessings and miracles flow from Kristen's commitment to act justly, love mercy, walk humbly (Micah 6:8).
Sadly, women involved in intense ministry while also mothering their own children get their share of criticism from die-hard, Christian stay-at-home mothers. As you read these accounts you see that Kristen is not motivated by personal ambition, or by having a higher standard of living (she donates all the advertising money from her We Are That Family blog to this ministry and receives no compensation for her work). She's also not motivated by personal glory. It's all God and it's a day-to-day process of letting Him infiltrate her heart and mind, building her faith by the hour as various needs are met.
She needs help on this end, about that there's no question. Pray for her to reap the benefit of more hearts committed to Micah 6:8, and to these precious girls from Kenya?
Here are posts from her current trip to Kenya:
The Measure You Give, The Measure You Get is a post about her recent visit with her Kenyan Compassion child.
Why Feeling Beautiful Matters is a post about the holistic healing of each girl they're committed to at Mercy House.
A Life Transformed is a post about a bitter, disillusioned girl, Cindy, whose story of abject poverty and abuse is long and painful. After being ministered to at Mercy House, Cindy is all about being thankful for what God has done, and wanting to give back.
How To Make Dreams Come True is a post about Sarah. Here are excerpts from Kristen's account:
I didn’t know about precious girls like Sarah, with a grin so big it fills the room and you can’t help but smile back. Her story is so horrible it takes your breath away and when she came to us she had nothing, including the will to live.
The transformation in her is undeniable. Incredible. Her healing, while still in process, is so clear, there is no denying the difference, the light in her eyes.
Sarah has a dream. She wants to open her own salon, styling hair and fixing nails. “I want to make women feel beautiful,” she says as she lifts her eyebrows and nods her head, to see if I understand.
Mercy House By the Numbers is a post about the costs of running Mercy House, about how many cloth diapers the eight babies use per day, etc. Very informative. They have 300 online ministry donors who donate on average less than $20 per month. Their monthly ministry cost averages $6,500 per month (eight girls and eight babies plus paid staff).
It All Comes Down to Love is a post featuring Quinter, a 16-year-old resident with an 11-month-old baby. Quinter sums up for us why this ministry exists. This post also asks you to donate $10 per month as a regular sponsor. Violet, a resident badly burned in abuse before coming to Mercy House, needs skin grafts this year so she can walk on her feet instead of on her toes. For that reason, and other needs, the ministry asks for our $10 per month support.
What are you thankful for today?