1.16.2017

Breakfast Burritos: S




My husband's breakfast specialty is a beautifully on-plan burrito. He makes these for us most weekends and for himself a couple of times throughout the week. We have had awesome success on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and both of us are less than two pounds from goal weight!


Breakfast Burritos: S 

Makes two breakfast burritos (my husband and I both eat one and it keeps us full for three hours).

Ingredients

  • 2 Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas 
  • 3 pieces of sugar free Bacon
  • 1/2 cup minced Red Onion
  • 10 chopped Black Olives
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 oz of Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • 1/2 of a Roma Tomato, diced
  • Hot Sauce (optional)

Bacon is easier to cook well if you cut the strips in half before you begin cooking them. So take each of the three pieces and cut them in half and lay the six halves in your cast iron pan. Cook these on medium heat, turning at regular intervals. Lay the bacon on a paper towel plate to cool and then drain out most of the bacon grease.

Add your 1/2 cup of onion to the (still slightly greases) cast iron pan and add the ten black olives. Brown the onion over medium heat.

While that is browning, lay out a tortilla on each plate and add your lettuce and bacon strips. Add your tomato to the tortillas.

Crack your four eggs in with the onions and black olives and add your cheese. Scramble together, mixing well. Continue cooking over medium heat until the eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted, but be careful not to let the eggs get dry at this stage. Then split the egg mixture in half and add to the tortillas. Matt always adds hot sauce to his, but I prefer them without hot sauce. Your choice! Roll up and enjoy!!






1.09.2017

Friendship with the world


James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

When "The Girl on the Train" trailer came out, I was intrigued. What happened to the beautiful blonde lady? Was she killed? Who killed her? What was their motive?

My husband does his best to protect his eyes from sexuality, so I knew we wouldn't watch the movie, and when I saw the book at Thrift for $1.00, I bought it and put it in my stocking, excited to find the answers to my questions in a fast paced read. I knew there might be language or sexuality in the book (from the movie trailer), but I still brought it into our home, and (armed with a micron pen to cross out and replace objectionable content) I began to read.

The story moves quickly, and I wanted to get to the conclusion, but the book is infested with adultery. Yes, there is a murder and that is the "great sin," but the adultery is commonplace. Everyone is doing it. No big deal. Reading this book, you'd think it was true: everyone cheats on their spouse. Not everyone murders. Murder is bad. Adultery is acceptable.

I was struck afresh today when reading the books James, I think because it literally starts with "Adulterers and adulteresses..." God says, you can't be friends with me and live like that. "Friendship with the world is enmity with God."

I'm not cheating on Matt, which is good, but inviting a book like that into our home, was, for me, accepting a friendship with the world. He that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Am I against The Girl on the Train? No, not specifically. I'm against sin. I'm against things that are against my God. I refuse to entertain myself with the things my Lord went to the cross for. I had to ask God to forgive me for putting my own lusts before Him. I wanted to share with you how God has convicted me lately. I'm praying that you'll join me in keeping your mind and home free from sin!

1.07.2017

Trim Healthy Mama: One year




One year later, with the same clothes on, in the same bathroom, after following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan for fifty-two weeks, I have lost sixty-eight pounds (!!!).

I've been vocal about my progress, shouting to anyone who will listen, "This plan works if you just stick to it!!" You can't see my legs in this picture, but do you see the fat rolls above my tush? Yeah, my whole body is a much slimmer, lovelier version of itself. I'm thanking God for this gift of food He has given us, and I'm thankful to the sisters who created Trim Healthy Mama and shared it with us.

I got some leggings recently, and I love them paired with a long ruffle tunic! To celebrate my Trimiversary, I've partnered with a friend who sells Agnes and Dora, and I am giving away a pair of leggings to THREE lucky ladies!! That's three separate ladies who will win the pair of leggings of their choice!

Read the post about the giveaway here ----> http://ahelpmeetforhim.blogspot.com/2017/01/giveaway-agnes-and-dora-leggings.html


Frequently Asked Questions


My husband teases me that I should charge people for advice; I'm in constant communication with ladies about the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. I love being a resource, because if it had cost me money to ask questions, I never would have made it to where I am. I love seeing ladies jump on plan, taking steps toward a healthier life, enjoying God's gift of food.

Here are some of my most Frequently Asked Trim Healthy Mama Questions:


  • What does a normal day look like for you? What do you eat? When do you eat?
    • I'll give you today as an example, but every day is different.
    • 8 am Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, black olives, onions, cheese, and bacon. (S, because of the egg yolks, cheese, and bacon)
    • 11 am Snack: Three pieces of sprouted grain toast with (sugar free) jam and (one wedge that covered all three pieces) laughing cow cheese. (E, because of the sprouted grain bread and the fruit in the jam)
    • 2 pm Lunch: Salad with lettuce, turkey, tomatoes, black olives, Parmesan cheese, and some (sugar free) vinagarette. (S, because of the cheese, and meat)
    • 5 pm Dinner: Chicken, broccoli, riced cauliflower, cheese, herbs, butter. (S because of butter, meat, and cheese) We also had Payday candies from the cookbook, an S dessert.
    • 8 pm Snack: I made sprouted bread in the bread machine following the recipe in the cookbook. I munched on homemade bread by itself. (E, because of the sprouted bread)
  • Do you buy the special ingredients? 
    • I have used several different things straight from Trim Healthy Mama which were given to me as gifts (Super sweet, gentle sweet, gluccie, and baking blend) and found them to be excellent quality, but you certainly don't need them. I use Truvia (which I get from Wal Mart) and pure stevia (which I get from Trader Joes) to sweeten everything, and we make our own "baking blend" by mixing equal parts almond flour, coconut flour, and golden flax seed. Works great!
  • What do you keep on hand? What are your essentials?
    • Eggs, bacon, apples, homemade sweet tea sweetened with stevia, skinny pop popcorn, 000 yogurt, green beans, cauliflower, okra, frozen chicken tenderloins, frozen fish, mixed nuts or peanuts, light string cheese, frozen berries, heavy cream, coconut oil, dream fields pasta, and sugar free spaghetti squash. (but I do branch off from this, and you certainly can shift this to fit your taste.)
  • What do you use as your main resources?
I had a baby in December of 2015, but I've been overweight (at least 170, on my 5 ft 3 frame) for years now. I started this plan at 200.2 pounds, and after fifty-two weeks, I weigh 132.2 pounds. I would like to lose four more pounds before I get pregnant again, but I'm incredibly pleased with my progress and journey! Good luck, ladies! If you have questions, please ask!

1.04.2017

Giveaway: Agnes and Dora Leggings



This week we're on vacation as a family at the beach, and I'm celebrating one year of my journey on the Trim Healthy Mama plan! For Christmas my grandparents gifted me some Agnes & Dora clothes, which are beautiful, comfortable, and make me feel like a million bucks. My sister took a walk down to the beach with me and let me borrow some of her makeup, for a little photoshoot in my new clothes.

I'm excited to share Agnes & Dora, hosted by my friend Amanda, with you. To celebrate the sixty-eight pounds I've lost and the health I've gained, I'm giving one pair of Agnes & Dora leggings to THREE lucky ladies. That's three women who will win this giveaway!

To enter do all of the following:
This giveaway runs through January 7th, 2017. On January 7th, at 6 p.m., the giveaway will be closed, and I will announce the winner on my Facebook page! Good luck, ladies!

1.03.2017

Christian Vir: 2017


We made a video when we found out we were pregnant with him: hope was so high. I was ripe with obvious expectation. I expected that conception would lead to live birth and a long life, and I allowed myself to dream with abandon. And then we found out he was a boy, and we named him Christian Vir because of the dreams we dreamed for him: that he would be Christ-like, a man, a husband, and a hero.

Then, at twenty-three weeks, he wasn't moving as much. I'd never been pregnant before, didn't know what was normal or not, but it felt off to me. People told me that as babies get bigger they don't move as much. It was normal. I had an appointment coming up, and I'm not the type to rush to the emergency room. Sometimes, I wish I had gone. MAYBE, something different might have happen, but they hadn't seen any problems with his cord in the ultrasounds we had had. I remember the tech saying his cord was perfect at the last ultrasound. Perfect. Not hyper-coiled. Perfect.

God knew the plans He had for us. God knew that when I got to my twenty-five week doctor's appointment, Christian, who had been moving the night before, would be freshly dead, and I would have the heart-breaking task of giving birth to our dead son. God knew how hard that day and night and the next morning, January 3rd, 2015, would be. God knew that I would lie in that hospital bed, and look at my husband's frame lying on the couch across the room, and wonder illogically, if he was still breathing. I wanted to call to him. To wake him up. I wanted a heart monitor on Matt to prove that he was still a living, breathing part of my family all through that sad night.

God knew that Matt and I would have thanksgiving on our lips. To the nurses. To each other. To our family. To our friends. Oh, how I wanted Christian to live, but God gave us our son, and God took him away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

Christian is the one big thing in life that I wish I could change, but God knows better than I do. Christian is safe and perfect and in the presence of God who LOVES our family and gives good and perfect gifts.

Just like it was hard for us to hold his empty shell for the last time, it was hard for me to have a framed picture of him in our home. This Christmas, I gave Matt a framed picture of our son, and it struck me afresh how much his sister looks like him. He was only twenty-five weeks developed, but he was a full baby. A person. A human. A boy. He was a Nowak. I'm thankful we got to love him, even though loving him is the hardest thing we've ever been through.

EVERY time I think about Christian's death, I think about our God who loved us. He loved us enough to create us in the first place, and when we spat in His face and severed all ties to Him, He loved us enough to extend to us His Son. His Son had to die so that we could be reunited with Him, and I know what it feels like to have your son die. God the Father loved us tremendously. He and His Son had been eternally, forever, together, and letting Him die for us separated them for the first time in forever. He was willing to go through that separation to reconcile us to Himself. Such great love.

We're going by our son's grave as a family today, to leave a wooden toy made with love by his dada and weep a little together.

12.27.2016

Christmas 2016


For Charlotte's birthday, we asked for an audio version of the Jesus Storybook Bible, and I've enjoyed listening to it as I work around the house. It contains Truth: stories from the Bible, all about God's secret rescue mission, sending His Son to us because He loves us. Sometimes we make His love so complicated, like a diet plan or a college rule book. God's love is simple. He loves us with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. 















This is technically Charlotte's second Christmas, but last year, she was brand new, and to be honest, the memory is a bit of a blur. This year Christmas began on Friday, with Matt and I exchanging gifts by candlelight, with baby kid crawling around, helping us shred wrapping paper.

On Christmas Day we saw both families, starting with the Nowak's early morning Christmas complete with Christmas vinyl, nuts that need nutcrackers, and mountains of presents to be unwrapped. After the Nowak's Christmas we went to our church for a Christmas service, where my Father preached Truth about God's Son Jesus Christ. After service we drove forty-five minutes over to my Grandparent's house, where my mom's whole family was waiting to celebrate Christmas with us. There was good food, clues on gifts, and sparkling cider in crystal goblets.

Maybe it's because Charlotte also just celebrated a birthday, but I'll admit I was unprepared for the amount of gifts she received. That baby is loved. She got mounds of good books, wooden toys, and stuffed friends. Also, cute clothes. She's a well-dressed beauty.

Among my favorite gifts this year are the Wild+Free subscription that Matt got me again, a laminator for future nature journaling, a hand-painted 2016 family portrait, a beautiful paint holder, some beeswax candles, a new bedroom rug, some lovely clothing that fits me, an iPad (!), and lots of books I get to read on our New Year's vacation!

 It's easy around this time of year to get your eyes on the stuff and off of the people, so this year I encourage you to look around and see others! See your neighbor and your quiet relatives. Reach out to the people you know could use encouragement! Honestly, we could all use deeper relationships!

12.21.2016

Barre, Vermont









Vermont has always been my second favorite state. One of my earliest memories is standing on my Grammie and Bumpa's front porch before I was two years old, knocking on the door, and OH! the sheer joy when she opened the door and found me there: a surprise visit from her son and his family, baby granddaughter included.

A couple of summers ago, I took Matt up to Vermont. He had to experience the Cabot cheese factory, the home of Ben and Jerry's, and see the place that used to be my Grandparent's Country Store. That trip was something I needed. I needed to see the spots in Vermont I knew so well and admit to myself that things were different; life has changed.

The trip this winter was not about places, it was about people. We didn't go to see Vermont, we went to see family. We stayed with my cousin and her family and saw my Grammie, my Aunt, and another cousin and her handsome boy. My cousin's children loved Charlotte so hard, crawling around on the floor with her and calling in sing-song, sweet voices, "Baby Charrrlotte."

We had long talks about marriage and parenting, including referencing this article about the three different types of men (an excerpt from a book that helped me tremendously at the beginning of our marriage) and recommending this Preacher for sermons on parenting and just generally because we love him.

Matt and my cousin's husband Arthur spent time out in the freezing cold sledding down their long and steep driveway. Charlotte and I got all bundled up and spent a little bit of time touching the snow and watching the Winter Wonderland. It was all a little magical.

We stopped to see Matt's siblings in Philadelphia on the way up and the way back. I loved seeing Charlotte warm up to them. We ate beautiful food, shopped second hand, and had long living room talks over hot tea. I'm thankful for family.

God makes the most beautiful things: that baby and that husband, God made them. God made that full, beautiful Christmas tree. God made the snow and the trees and the fire. He has given us the most beautiful gifts. It's almost Christmas. It's almost that day where we all throw paper and bows in the air and shake boxes and eat a feast.

God the Son, Jesus Christ, was born because God the Father loves us. He wants us to have the BEST GIFTS. 


He gave us a beautiful world. We rejected Him. We rejected His unconditional love, but God didn't stop loving us. He didn't give up on us. He sent. He gave. He GAVE us a way to be with Him forever. He says, "I love you. I want you to be with me. Here. Here is a way. Just trust my Son."