Abba Father

Encouragement, Faith, Fear

Abba Father

Vitamin D For The Soul

Encouragement, Joy

Vitamin D For The Soul

I Wasn\'t Prepared

Grief, Cancer, Hope

I Wasn't Prepared

Hello, my name is Heidi and I'm so glad that you have dropped by! Here you will find thoughts on growing in Christ and encouragement for the weary. Join me as I share from my life, serving an extraordinary God in the very ordinary.

The Lord is gracious and merciful | A Paige From Our Book

Perhaps this Valentines Day you are feeling less than loved. Less than loved by those around you and by your Heavenly Father. Let His Word remind you that when everyone around you fails you, He is steadfast; He does not change, but remains the same; He does not fail; His love never gives up on you. His love is abounding!
a•bound•ing / a•bound
adjective: very plentiful; abundant

synonyms: plentiful, proliferate, overflow with, teem with, be crowded with, be overrun by, be chock-full of


The greatest gift of love ever given was that of Jesus’ life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. So don’t misplace your hope and joy in a nice dinner, flowers, jewelry or chocolates. Those are nice gifts, but they will soon be gone and they pale in comparison to the gift of eternal life found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
xo - Heidi

If this post encouraged you at all, please share it with others that they may be encouraged as well.

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This Is Love | A Paige From Our Book

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” {1 John 4:11} Are you truly loving those {even the ‘hard-to-loves’} around you or merely being civil? God doesn’t just ask us to love others and set us to it, His love ENABLES us to love others. “We love because He first loved us.” {1 John 4:19} His love is power to love others. All we need to do is ask Him to give us HIS LOVE for others. So what’s stopping you from loving those around you?

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Love Died For You | A Paige From Our Book

When we are suffering it’s easy to feel alone. 

It’s easy to feel condemned. 

Because we can’t “just get over it”

Suffering comes and many times doesn’t go as soon as we {and often others as well} think it should. Instead it weighs us down until we can think of little else. 

It often makes us physically ill.

But  there   is    HOPE.

We are promised in God’s Word that these sufferings are momentary. They are but a blip on the page of eternity. Our sufferings don’t feel that way, but we must preach the truth to ourselves. 

These sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. {Rom. 8:1}

We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For this hope we were saved. {Rom. 8:23-24a}

When the condemnation sets in we must remind ourselves this. . .
He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charges against God’s elect? Is it God who justifies. Who is to condemn?  CHRIST JESUS is the One who DIED – more than that, who was RAISED – who IS AT the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. {Romans 8:32-34b}
So when satan tempts you to despair in your sufferings and feeds you condemnation, turn your eyes to Jesus who has called you, redeemed you, purchased you with His blood; who intercedes for you and keeps you until that final day. Focus on how great He is and how incredible our suffering free, eternal glory with Him shall be.

xo - Heidi

I hope that this has served to encourage you. I would love for you to share this with those in your life who may be suffering, that they too may be encouraged.

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I’ve gotten a lot of emails, messages and Facebook questions regarding the homemade mayo, so I thought I would just throw out this quick post.
I have always been a huge fan of mayo. In my college years I lived at the opposite end of an alley from a Subway. When my roommates and I didn’t feel like cooking, we would walk down and grab subs for dinner. The teenage girls making our subs would always quirk an eyebrow or worse look at me wide eyed and often mouth agape when I asked for extra mayo. I still chuckle at that picture in my head. Mayonnaise is wonderful on french fries too. Wait, I’m not eating those anymore. . . well, for your benefit.

When I saw that we could have mayo on this Whole30 plan I was thrilled to pieces. I honestly don’t know why I never though to make it myself before. When I started reading the comments in Marian’s  Whole30 facebook group about all of the ladies that were struggling to get a decent batch of mayo made, I was a little concerned, but Melissa’s video gave me confidence.

How To Make Homemade Mayonnaise |

Homemade Mayo |

Photo by Monica Schwartz

The most important thing to know is to use a light flavored oil. I used a light olive oil because that was what was recommended to me, but you could also use avocado oil, walnut oil, a combination of olive and coconut oil or try other light flavored oils that appeal to you

Homemade Mayo
1 large high quality egg
1 1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt  
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard {optional}
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon or lime juice {Melissa’s video calls for 2 Tbsp, but that was a bit much     for my tastes.}

  • Place your egg and lemon juice in a blender or a glass jar, if your’e using an immersion blender. Let them sit {or cuddle up together as Melissa says} for 20 minutes to an hour until they completely reach room temperature together.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup of light olive oil. Cover and blend everything together on LOW for 30 seconds. 
  • Add remaining cup of olive oil in a slow drizzle in order for all the ingredients to emulsify. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • When it’s done, place in a food safe container and place in the refrigerator. Make sure to label with the expiration date of the egg you used.  

{In my blender, the oil began to pool after a while and I almost panicked, but I simply shut it off the blender, poked the center of my mayo a couple of times and started back at it. I had to do this 2 or 3 times, but it all turned out just fine.}  So don’t PANIC!


NOTE: I think the essentials to getting the right texture are letting the acid and the egg come to room temperature together, blending or whipping the ingredients at a SLOW speed and drizzling the olive oil slowly. 
The texture right out of the blender may seem a bit runnier than you expected, but it will thicken after it’s placed in the refrigerator. If your first batch doesn’t turn out as you like it, don’t throw it out. Make another batch and add them together. If you don’t want to add them together, there are other ways you could use that less than thrilling batch of mayo. For instance, try adding some dill, chives, paprika and black pepper for a ranch dressing flavor or any of your other favorite herbs for a dressing for chicken. I have no real specific direction here since I generally use all herbs and spices to taste, but be BRAVE and give it a try!

My favorite use of my homemade mayo so far was in my paleo version of my Chicken Goodness chicken salad. I had to forego the milk, honey and pasta, but with homemade seasoned salt {Yeah, even store bought seasoned salt has sugar in it!}, it was a delightful dinner. I’m also thinking that the next time I roast a smaller batch of chicken thighs, I might baste them with homemade mayo first. Mmm, my mouth is starting to water. . .

Whether you’re on the Whole30 nutrition plan or eating paleo or neither, you don’t have to be afraid of making your own delicious homemade mayonnaise and better yet, chances are you already have everything you need in your refrigerator and pantry. Give it a try! I promise you won’t regret it!

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I fully intended to get this post finished and published a few days ago, but I have three children and a husband with a new ministry after all and life is quite busy. Not to mention, food prep now takes a bit longer, but making delicious food that is healthy is very rewarding, so no complaints here. Thanks for your patience! 

What Is This Whole30? |

Whole30 – What Is It?
I will give you my brief overview of this eating/lifestyle plan, but without doubt you will get much more in depth information at the Whole30 website by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Whole30 isn’t so much diet as a nutritional program to help eliminate foods that may be irritating ones system and create better eating habits. So for 30 days you are limited to eating real foods and eliminating sugar, grains, dairy and legumes. These food groups often affect people {although not necessarily everyone} negatively in both their health and fitness. By ridding your body of these food groups for 30 days, you restart your system. Generally speaking at the end of the 30 days one begins to reintroduce the eliminated food groups 1 at a time in order to evaluate your body’s reaction.

I had heard of Whole30 months ago and even looked into buying Dallas and Melissa’s book, It Starts With Food, but I kept delaying. In the end, a friend gave it to me as a gift, but I still put off reading it. Mostly because as I said in my last post, I was afraid to give up my beloved sugar. If you read my last post, you already know what finally motivated me to make a change. If you haven’t, you might want to check it out.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. - Jim Ryan |

Chocolate goodies |

I started prepping myself on New Years Eve and took the plunge with DAY 1 on January 1st along with most of the rest of Marian’s {Miss Mustard Seed} group. I will say that I technically cheated that day while the hubs and I were out to celebrate my birthday. I had a small portion of a piece of cheesecake and the soup and salad that I ate had 1 non-compliant ingredient. But it was still a victory for me! Prior to committing to this new eating plan, I would have probably eaten a large portion of pasta and then an entire piece of cheesecake by myself. Making that small cheat actually helped me keep going. DAY 3 was the hardest day. I was such a crab and felt so emotional. Things hit the fan when my hubby and father-in-law decided to get pizza take-out for dinner. The smell and seeing the melty cheese got to me and I lost it. No, I didn’t cheat, but I really let my man have it. By bedtime, I knew that my anger was really stemming from the sugar deprivation and that I had allowed my love for certain foods to trump my self control. Wow, can’t wait to get rid of that addiction!
I’m thankful to say that DAY 4 was much better. Even though I couldn’t get out of the house and go to church because of sick kids, my attitude was better and I was starting to feel like I had more energy. I knew that the hubs and Thing 1 would eating out with friends after church and Adam even called to see if he could bring me my favorite sandwich. I wasn’t even tempted to cave, I simply thanked him for thinking of me and reminded him that I can’t have those things.

DAY 5 was even better yet. Even though I am still surrounded by goodies {some even still sitting on my desk}, I can honestly say that I haven’t felt tempted by any of them. Peanut butter proves to be something that I hope with all hope I can reintroduce at the end of my 30 days. I LOVE peanut butter. BUT, I might not simply because then I will want bread again and I’m afraid it will go on and on. 

So What  CAN You Eat?!
Most people ask this question when I tell them what I’ve eliminated from my diet. I was there too prior to this change, so I get it. There is actually a lot that I CAN eat! Here is a glimpse of a Whole30 shopping list.
I’m not an overly adventurous eater and often to the chagrin of my husband, more than happy to eat similar things again and again as long and I like the way they taste. At this point in my journey you won’t find inspiring recipes here nor are my meal photos all that thrilling, but my meals are tasty, yummy and good for me! Thus far I’ve been more concerned with having things ready to go or easy to prep so that I won’t be tempted to fall back into bad habits. I’ve been encouraged to read in Marian’s facebook group that I’m not alone in eating basically the same or very similar things day to day. 
Whole30 Shopping List |

I told you that I tend to eat the same thing! What can I say, I love green beans. I have recently purchased asparagus, spinach, squash, carrots and cucumbers. I am excited to try some of these Whole30 compliant recipes. Chicken thighs are my go-to protein for lunches and dinner. They are easy to prepare in bulk ahead of time by simply seasoning, baking and freezing and they are so much tastier than chicken breasts. I generally freeze a dozen or so and keep a dozen in the fridge. I make my egg muffins in bulk ahead of time as well. Since sausage can be hard to find without high fructose corn syrup in it, I will often simply use browned grass fed beef. I’m planning a trip to Whole Foods this week so I can add sugar free bacon to my list of proteins. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?! 

I just made some homemade mayo. It’s a bit lemony tasting for my liking, but usable. Next time I will use less lemon juice. This video is a great reference for homemade mayo perfection.

Homemade Mayo |

There are a few things that I’m doing in conjunction with Whole30 that I truly believe are helping me. More about that soon…

Thanks to all of you who have given encouraging words and been cheering me on. It means more than you know!
xo - Heidi

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