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And let us not grow weary of doing good. For in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

How God Talks To Baby Christians (Or At Least Me)

I am admittedly a “baby Christian”. The knowledge that I have in my head has not yet saturated the peace and faith that I want to feel in my heart.  Though I have decided to be obedient, I don’t always feels the joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

Often, I am around other Christians that seem to have a faith so strong, they are unshakable. Somewhat embarrassingly, that is not me most of the time. I want more of everything. I want more money, more friends, more time, more Jesus and more extremely clear guidance. I want heaven… but I also still want earth.

Since making an honest effort a few months ago to allow God’s will and plan for my life to be – I have done a lot of complaining and feeling sorry for myself. Hate to say it.  It’s just the truth.  My life has become far less glamorous, exciting and fast-paced that it was when I was living for myself. I suppose I expected that for at least some amount of time, but it has been longer than I would have chosen and my grumblings to The Father have increased.

And let us not grow weary of doing good. For in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9
And let us not grow weary of doing good. For in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. ~Galatians 6:9

I have always thought of myself as a Christian but it was not until recently that I’ve attempted to let go, or give up my will for my life, in favor of His will for my life. I am acutely aware of the spiritual battle going on inside me and yet… I have had numerous people tell me that they are seeing me change in ways that are more peaceful, kind and calm. You would think that I would interpret that as a positive affirmation – yet most of the time, it feels like a backhanded compliment.

Was I really so “bad” before?

As I struggle through these questions (and countless more) I find myself in a pouty obedience. I know too much to go back to numbing myself into an old way of thinking- yet also feeling as though I have not been properly rewarded for my submission to His commandments.

Like I said… I’m pouty.

So there I am. A downright brat to The One that gives me every breath, every minute on this earth and every single blessings. Grumpy- that He has not rewarded me enough for “giving Him” some (let’s be honest, I’m still holding on) of what was never mine and always His to begin with- my life.

Oh, I’m an obstinate little creature for sure.

Then, in the midst of my crabbiness He illuminates truth through other people. The woman who has no patience, the uncle who is full of pride, the friend who cannot forgive, the child who needs a double serving of tough love (and a few spankings).  All these things I loathe… in others.

He must know I am blind to my own faults. He probably knows how easily I can see the issues in others. Sometimes people ask me for advice and He allows me to use His truth to comfort, guide and direct them to a better way of thinking.  As advice and verses (from my limited Bible knowledge) flows from my mouth, I sometimes wonder who is talking. This is good advice.  This is Biblical advice.  I should take this advice myself.

Though the selfishness doesn’t always look the exact same- the principles behind the pain it creates are similar enough to make me aware of the ways I propagate my own turmoil and distance from God. Perhaps I’m little more patient than him, or a little more prideful than her, slower to forgive in that situation or quicker to let go of resentment in another- but whatever the case, I do it too. All of it.  Bleck.

Once I see it in someone else, a virtual mirror appears and I am (usually) convinced to make a mental shift. An attitude adjustment, if you will. I muse over the irony- remembering that I too am sweating small stuff that won’t matter in 10 years, much less eternity.  And for the next few days, hours or (sometimes only) minutes- however long I can discipline my mind… I find the peace and clarity He intended me to have always.  And it’s pretty cool.

Would I prefer to hear the audible voice of The Lord?  For sure.

Am I convinced following His will would be easier if He literally nudged me in the right direction? Indubitably.

Do I wish I could learn the lesson just once and not recreate the internal drama every time someone irritates me or things don’t “go right”?  You betcha.

But for now… This is where I am.  And this is how He reveals things to me. Through watching others be more (or less) selfish, short-sided and ridiculous than I am.  It’s pretty brilliant actually.

Maybe the Creator Of All Things knows I like to figure things out for myself. And especially when I’m clinging to pridefulness?  Pfft!  No one can tell me anything about me.  I’m justified.

Oh, but when I see it in someone else…  Oops.

Dear Lord, please use all my feistiness for your glory somehow… But please also continue to be gentle with me.  This is super hard for me and I’m a little scared to let go.  Truth is… I’m not actually as tough as I seem… but I guess you already knew that.  I’m sorry for being a brat.  Thank you and I love you.

Video Book Review: Mere Christianity – Chapter 3

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Chapter 3: The Reality Of The Law

Exploring Chapter 3 of Mere Christianity, we are establishing that there is a spiritual “law” that tells us we ought to act better.  None of us follow this law completely.  If you haven’t watched the first chapter, click here and watch that first.

mere christianity c.s. lewis

Why ought we be unselfish?  Why do we feel the ‘right’ thing is not always the beneficial thing?

Stick around for Chapter 4.

Wanna follow along with me?  It’s a great book and we have a lot of chapters to go!  I have the Kindle version of Mere Christianity from Amazon.  Scoop it or the “real book” version is here.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

PS: This post contains an affiliate link(s), which means if you buy the product(s), I make a little scratch.

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Health Reasons To Drink Lemon Water

What do you drink every morning?

Every morning I make my apple cider vinegar drink followed by lemon waterand a dandy blend.
Much like many of my wellness habits – my mom got me started on it.

I have always heard of the alkalizing effect lemon has inside your body but it wasn’t until I did more research that I fully understood how cool this little yellow fruit is for our bodies.

Lemons are super good for you.

Long known for its vitamin C – everyone can use the extra antioxidants that come from the vitamins in lemons. The vitamins in this small citrus are also known for boosting the immune system, and has also been reported to help protect the body against various diseases.

I think everyone has heard of the lemonade diet – heck, I even lost 10 pounds on it once – and though I gained all the weight back, there was a definite detoxifying process.  Lemon has that effect on the body.

Last but not least, as mentioned in the video, one cannot deny the fresh, pleasant smell of a lemon.  it’s worth mentioning, I think.

Got bad breath and no toothbrush?  Suck on a lemon.

Hands smell like fish and no sink?  Rub on a lemon.

In the comments below – what’s your “best thing about lemon”?

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

 

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The Legend of the Bluebonnet & Best Spots For Pictures

Bluebonnets are SO Texas.

Seeing bluebonnets has made me happy since I was a little girl.  And I know I’m not the only one.  We screech when we see them for the first time every year.  It’s like seeing snow, but a lot warmer.

I remember reading about the The Legend of the Bluebonnet

 in grammar school.  I liked that it was a girl who saved the village.  And I reasoned that she looked a lot like me.

the legend of the bluebonnet

I remember thinking that she was “much braver than I am”… certainly less selfish.  I didn’t know if I would have the character to make the sacrifice.  I was glad I didn’t have to make that call.

There is again this reoccurring theme of conflict within humans.  We want to be noble, but be also want to be selfish.  I’m exploring CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity via video and it’s pretty compelling stuff.

And then go take some pictures.

So… The Legend of the Bluebonnet

.  You can pick up the book on Amazon here or watch the coffee table (don’t drink coffee) version in the attached video.  I suggest both.  

If you live in Texas or are coming through during bluebonnet season, here are a few “best spots” for bluebonnet pictures, though my personal favorite is my alma mater, St. Edward’s University.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

 

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Video Review: Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball #Dogs

We Love Our Dogs

They say that dogs feel a lot of human emotion because they are so close to us.  As we treat them like humans- they become human-like.  And they too can benefit from mental challenges and stimulation.

iq dog treat ball toy jen knoedl

In the attached video, check out Samson play with Smarter Toys IQ Treat Ball.  He really seems to enjoy it.  And I get a kick out of watching him.  Grab one for your best pal here.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

PS: Bonus video below of Samson before and after his haircut.  I’ve got it bad for this dog… I know.

This post contains an affiliate link(s), which means if you buy the product(s), I make a little scratch.

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Video Book Review: Mere Christianity – Chapter 2

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Chapter 2: Some Objections

If you missed the first chapter of Mere Christianity, click here and watch that first.  C.S. is taking us on a cerebral journey and each idea is stacked on the previous.

I really had to search my mind for the words ‘cerebral journey’.  That mental process of searching for the words to say exactly what you want to say, and then finding them… one of the truly fun parts of writing.

C.S. is getting serious.  He’s making his points.  And I gotta say… I hear a voice in me that is already saying…

Abort the process of walking through this book, Jen.  It’s too deep.  You’re not going to be able to explain it and you’re just going to encourage people to ask you questions your don’t know the answer to…

Another voice says…

That’s exactly why you should.  Be brave.  Say what you believe. You’ll find the answers.

I’m gonna listen to the second voice.

mere christianity c.s. lewis

So, all that to say, in the attached video, Chapter 2 builds on Chapter 1 and once again, C.S. lays it down.

“But feeling a desire to help is quite different from feeling that you ought to help whether you want to or not.”  (CS)

He says there is a third ‘thing’ in us which tells us which voice to listen to, and that every impulse we have can be “good or bad” depending on the circumstance.  Stealing could be moral in some situations and not in others.  His point being- we do compare moralities (ex: Nazis).

“…if the Rule of Decent Behavior meant ‘whatever each nation happens to approve’, there would be no sense in saying that any one nation had ever been more correct in its approval than another…”  (CS)

He’s driving home the point.  So this chapter is called “Some Objections” and his rebuttals to his own (previously atheist) mind’s questions.  Ok, I’m convinced.  What’s next?

What is that “invisible standard” that most of us strive to achieve?  What is Real Morality?

Wanna follow along with me?  It’s a great book and we have a lot of chapters to go!  I have the Kindle version of Mere Christianity from Amazon.  Scoop it or the “real book” version is here.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

 

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When Traveling Through Texas, Gas Up at Buc-cees

I may not be the best “road-tripper”…

Traveling through Bastrop with my brother Jason, I gave him yet another heads up that I was gonna need to use a “washroom” soon.  I like to stay hydrated, you know how it is…

I have some Canadian friends that say ‘washroom’ and not ‘restroom’.  I like washroom better, so I picked it up.

Dad suggested Buc-cees

My Dad told me that Buc-cees gas stations were known for having clean washrooms, and that was enough for me.  I don’t know how men react, but a traveling female is (very) happily surprised when a washroom is well kept.

It’s a big deal.

I had been to another Buc-cees before- but this one in Bastrop was like the mothership or something.  As you can see in the attached video, I literally could have spent hours looking around inside.  Oh and you wanna taste something from one of the food counters?  Sure.  How about beef jerky, brisket, fudge, ice cream, hot nuts and my favorite, kolaches.

I was so impressed, I went back to the car to ask Jason to hold the camera so I could make a quick video.

In any case- they made a fan outta me.  On a road trip through Texas, gas up at Buc-cees, Y’all.

Thanks for reading and watching.  :)  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

 

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Healthy & Easy: Spaghetti Squash & Zucchini Video Recipe

Your mom called…

She said to eat more vegetables and less pasta.

I really didn’t have to be the one to tell you, but when you start looking for healthier answers, you’ll hear it from more than just me.  If we want to protect these bodies we are trapped in- we MUST look at the kind of fuel we are putting into it.

This is an easy recipe I threw together with whatever is around, or in the refrigerator.  This day it was spaghetti squash and zucchini.  As I mentioned in the video, had I only the squash, I would have just poured spaghetti sauce on top and called it a day.

Healthy & Easy Recipe

Here is the general recipe from the video…

  • 2 spaghetti squashes
  • 3 zucchinis (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of FRESH garlic (crushed)
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (chopped)
  • Whatever other vegetables are in the fridge (mushrooms, carrots, spinach…)

Cut the spaghetti squash in halves and place flat-side down on own tray.  Bake the spagetti squash at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until you can easily pierce with a fork or knife.

In a large pot, dump the zucchini, red onion, garlic and can of tomato with some coconut or olive oil.  Stir in scooped out spaghetti squash.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.  Serve hot with some parmesan cheese on top.

And here’s some good news about the ingredients…

SPAGHETTI SQUASH

  • Each cup of the cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories
  • Good source of fiber helping remove cholesterol from your body and helps regulate blood sugar
  • Good source of both vitamin C and vitamin A, which are also antioxidants
  • Contains essential minerals calcium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
  • Folate helps in strengthening the walls of blood vessels

ZUCCHINI

  • One cup of zucchini has 36 calories
  • Dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol
  • Vitamins C and A are antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory
  • Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte
  • Lutein is also in the retinas of your eyes
  • More benefits of zucchini listed here 

RED ONION

GARLIC

So there you have it.  An easy, healthy meal.  Now, get in the kitchen!

PLUS – everyone who tried it- was pleasantly surprised at how tasty an all-vegetable meal could be.

 

Thanks for reading and watching.  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

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Video Product Review: Science Diet Grain Free Dog Food

I’m a “dog person”.  And I SUPER love Samson.

new science diet grain free dog food

Since I’ve been reading a lot about living a healthier lifestyle, it would stand to reason that my best pal could step up his wellness program too.

We are all about the good life.

This Science Diet Klout Perk arrived at my parents’ house and it could not have come at a better time.  Samson is a very picky dog food eater.  He’s a snob really.  And he’s been turning up his nose at the dog food my dad buys Madison.  It’s actually kinda embarrassing.

Like I have a bratty, but WAY adorable, child.  Anyone know the feeling?

Science Diet Grain Free Dog Food

Anyway- in the video you can see that he clearly likes the new Grain-free Science Diet food.  And making my baby happy makes me happy.

If you wanna check it out for your pup, ask your veterinarian or grab it on Amazon here.

Thanks for reading and watching.  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

PS: This post contains an affiliate link, which means if you buy the product(s), I make a little scratch (money).

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Kick Your Coffee Habit with Dandy Blend, A Healthy Alternative #herbal

I love coffee. Not sure it loves me back.

It’s happening.  As I age I am becoming more sensitive to… well, everything.  This isn’t necessarily great news- it just is the news.  I am not exempt after all.

So onward I go in my quest to live forever- or at least to be as healthy as possible while I’m living.  One of the habits I have been considering kicking is my daily cup (or two) o’ joe.  I’m addicted.  It’s one of those addictions that seems ok because everyone else seems to have the same addiction.  We’ve even made it cool with the plethora of coffee shops that line our streets.

It’s cool to be over-caffeinated… Or is it?

dandy blend coffee substitute

Dandy Blend Instant Herbal Beverage

Yesterday, Mom turned me on to Dandy Blend.  It’s an herbal coffee substitute and it’s delicious.  Dandy Blend also boasts being macrobiotic, vegan, gluten-free and caffeine free.  The healthy beverage is also non-acidic – unlike coffee.

In the attached video, Mom walks us through her process for making a perfectly comforting cup of Dandy Blend flavored with coconut milk and local honey.

As mentioned in the video, the following are just some of the benefits you will receive from this healthy coffee substitute.

Dandy Blend

  • combines extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root and sugar beet
  • detoxifies your liver
  • switch from coffee with no withdrawal symptoms
  • renews your blood with minerals
  • diuretic properties to help with elimination
  • decreases blood pressure
  • helps with acid indigestion
  • proven weight loss aid

Coconut Milk

  • lactose free
  • lots of vitamins, especially the B’s
  • helps to protect against infections
  • anti-viral properties

Local Honey

  • aids in digestion
  • supports your immune system
  • decreases or alleviates allergies
  • great home remedy for sore throats, colds
  • non-pasteurization means the good stuff isn’t cooked out of it

So… will you give it a try?

Thanks for reading and watching.  Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

i love you, jen knoedl

 

PS: This post contains an affiliate link, which means if you buy the product(s), I make a little scratch (money).

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