30 days to Departure…

Sunday February 24th

As the last month of my “life hiatus” winds down, I begin to prep for my upcoming teaching adventure in Chile. Being home has been a blessing. I’ve been able to see people, reflect on what direction God wants me to go in, attend my brother’s wrestling match, and have quality family time. Even though at times I am antsy or anxious, and the house was tense I know this is a rare 5 months that I won’t ever get again. I am so excited for the next month; one of my best friends is getting married and I’ll be making a visa run to Chicago!

Today I really miss Redemption Church in Tempe. I miss driving there with my windows down, listening to klove and thanking God for the beautiful Sunday morning. I miss the praise and worship. I miss having Starbucks with my friend on occasion before church. I miss having a place to go and be with other believers. For the past year or so I’ve been listening online, but today I just missed being there. I love my mornings with my coffee and pj’s listening to sermons, however sometimes I miss being with other people. Today, instead, of listening to the regular sermon, I listened to the “First Wednesdays” brief talk. This particular talk was on dating. Ever since high school, I’ve been rather bitter on the subject. The media, relationships around me, and personal experiences have detoured me from even giving it a chance. I just don’t date, it’s uncomfortable and often times awkward. And I’m usually turned off by the guy in the first place and go just for something to do. Then I meet someone who I actually want to spend time with and he doesn’t ever want to do anything other than sit at home on the couch. Or the one who takes me on great dates, but doesn’t ask any questions and still lives at home and takes phone calls from his mother at 1 a.m. asking where is he and what time he’ll be home; at this point he proceeds to lie to her right in front of me. Awesome. Just awesome. Another scenario is I’m the friend of both the guy and girl and they both come to me and for lack of better terms “bitch” about each other…another great moment being the third wheel. Listening to this Dating Talk and a few others by various speakers from Redemption have started opening my eyes, that perhaps dating isn’t sooo bad and that being patient is best rather than pursuing any sort of unstable relationship. Ultimately God is in control and I’m here to do His will. In His perfect timing, I will be with someone absolutely amazing, and after listening to these talks I am ever so comforted that I can date and it won’t be terrible. I have been on a couple dates that have changed my life and I know the possibility of having more great dates is always out there, I just need to learn not to dwell on the terrible ones or the other ridiculous things the guys in the past have said or done to me. I will meet a guy who is more than willing to buy me a smoothie and not yell at me for wanting one. I will meet a guy who will play 20 Questions with me and not say we can’t because he already knows everything about me. Each day I become more confident in Who I Am in Christ and inching away from the fairy tales and lies the world feeds me about finding “the perfect one.” Because guess what? He isn’t perfect and neither am I. We will just be on the same page of loving and living for Jesus. Because that’s what it’s all about.

“Keeping Me Guessing”
by Francesca Battistelli

Coffee cup waking me up
I’ve got to board a plane
And fly away sometimes
I feel like I’m going the speed of light
Can’t relax I’m moving too fast
I want to find the gold but I don’t have a map
I wish that I could know what you’ve got in store for me

(Pre-Chorus)
I try and try
To read your mind
‘Cause I forget that patience is a virtue
You’re teaching me to hold on tight

(Chorus)
‘Cause I don’t know how the story ends
But I’ll be alright ‘cause You wrote it
I don’t know where the highway bends
But I’m doing just fine
‘Cause You’re in control
Even when I don’t know
Where my life’s gonna go
You’re keeping me guessing

So slow me down
Show me around
I want to see the world
That I’ve been without
I am here and now
The future is out of my hands

(Pre Chorus)
I’m trusting you
And how you move
I won’t forget that patience is a virtue
You’re teaching me to hold on tight

(Repeat Chorus)

(Bridge)
Seasons come
And seasons go
But you decide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ampVOoicQ0&NR=1&feature=endscreen

March 1st.

This begins my ~30 day countdown of being in the states. There’s so much to do! I’ve started my packing list, but am still waiting for a visa call. Sometimes I don’t understand last minute things like this, so it’s hard to answer the questions. Here’s what I’m going to do to keep busy, each day I will post something that I’ve done, to be productive and stick to my lists! 🙂 I am also very excited as I just found out my BFF from Korea is traveling by train from NY to San Fran and is making a stop through Holdrege for a couple days!

Day 1:
Raspberry Almond Bars (Grain-free, Dairy-free)Author: Detoxinista.com
Featuring protein-rich almond flour and metabolism-boosting coconut oil, these treats are something you can feel good about serving to your loved ones. Sweet and tart homemade raspberry sauce pairs perfectly with this buttery crumb topping, creating a moist and crumbly bar that’s truly hard to resist.
Ingredients
Crust:
2 cups almond flour or almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Filling:
10 oz. bag of frozen raspberries
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Crumb Topping:
1 cup walnuts
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions
Prepare the raspberry filling by heating the ½ cup maple syrup in a 1½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring the maple syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the frozen raspberries and vanilla extract, and bring to a simmer again, allowing the mixture to cook for 15 minutes, until thick. (Do not cook for longer than 15 minutes, or the pectin will break down and the sauce will not thicken properly.) Remove from the heat, and transfer to a glass jar to chill in the fridge while you prepare the crust.
For the crust, preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper, to prevent sticking. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a food processor, and process until the dough sticks together. Press the dough into the bottom of the baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes at 350F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Prepare the crumbly topping by combining the walnuts, coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil, sea salt and almond extract in a food processor, and process until sticky and crumbly, but still coarse in texture.
Arrange the bars by spreading the raspberry filling over the crust, then spreading the crumbly topping over the raspberry layer. Return to the oven for 15 minutes at 350F, or until the topping is lightly golden.
Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving. For best shelf life, store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes
For best results, allow the raspberry filling to cool completely, at least 2 hours, before topping the crust. If you can prepare the filling the night before to let it set in the fridge, it’s even better!

Fabulous recipe if I do say so myself!

 
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