Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe: Oat Bran Ricotta Hot Cakes

So simple, so good for you, and so delicious. This is an easy, quick breakfast treat you can make any day of the week.

Ingredients for 1 serving:
1 egg white
2 TBSP part-skim(low-fat) or non-fat ricotta
2 TBSP oat bran
Stevia to taste, optional
Cinnamon, optional

  1. Put the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. (If you can't find low fat ricotta, use quark or cottage cheese).
  2. Cook on medium heat of a non-stick fry pan until bubbles form, then flip and cook the other side.
  3. Serve with extra ricotta, some sweetener, a dash of lemon.
Makes 2 small, silver dollar sized pancakes. 

Book Review: Your 100 Day Prayer

I liked this guide, it was quite different from the usual "how to pray" type books. Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God is  a combination of a devotional book and prayer journal whose purpose is to lead the believer into praying the way God wants. Waiting on God and being persistent in prayer---not the two easiest disciplines of the Christian walk. But, John I. Snyder addresses both in this book. Each day's entry begins with a verse and thoughtful devotional and concludes with an opportunity to pray. The goal is to take a specific prayer request to God every day for 100 days.

Snyder's book not only gives you verses and prayer prompts, but his daily devotionals are well-thought out and challenging. This is more than a fluffy feel-good devotional. Instead, it is an impassioned look at God's character and what it means to pray with persistence. He deals with difficult topics, such as "When God Says No" and "The Silent Heaven," with insight and wisdom.

The author himself says, "This sustained, stubborn, never-give-up spirit of prayer is not so much to persuade God to give us what we want, but rather to transform us in the process." It certainly helps to bring a more focused daily prayer schedule into your life and encourages the family to have a communal prayer time. A very good resource for both beginners and seasoned prayer warriors with lots of scripture references. His book could help transform and enliven your prayer life, as well as spur you on to greater spiritual maturity as you engage in the daily disciplines of Bible reading and meditation, prayer and journaling.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Beautiful Mess That Is Motherhood

I`ve learned that it`s OK to be flawed, that life can be messy, that some days you glide and some days you fall, but most important, that there are no secret answers out there.

Being a mother to six children with five of them born in the last seven years, I used to feel like a stranger in a strange land. In the strive for perfection, comparing myself to what the media and our commercialized world deems as the perfect mom made me feel woefully inadequate, isolated, and frankly a bit crazy. 

MOMumental: Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family has been a huge blessing to me. Author Jennifer Grant’s writing style full of witty observations, plenty of real-life stories, and honest approach opened my eyes to the idea that I am not alone or isolated in my motherhood trials and triumphs.  Her writing style and openness made me feel like I was talking with a kindred spirit over a cup of coffee at our local coffee spot and she was sharing her failures and successes and how God had helped her and put great people in her life to help her too. 

This book is not a parenting guide and it is not a condemnation of different mothering styles. It is an honest, fresh look at the truth of family from a mom’s perspective. Families are messy, but they are beautiful messes. 

Some of my favorite parts of the book are the following: 

  • The idea of preferring the given. In the chapter, "Escape to Gordon's House", Jennifer Grant writes, "I attempt - admittedly with only partial success - to 'prefer the given,' an idea my old professor Father McClatchy introduced to us in college. Coined by British author Charles Williams, the phrase means choosing to appreciate what we have instead of being dissatisfied with the grace and other gifts God gives us. In other words, if winter is a northerner's lot in life for half of the year, what's the point in wishing it were otherwise?" There is a lot of wisdom in this paragraph.
  • Chapter Eight, “On the Bwight Side” in its entirety. The emphasis on not pre-judging our children or expecting our children to be "little adults” is brilliant.
  •    Talking about the Saint Crispin’s Day speech scene from Shakespeare’s Henry V. The idea that motherhood should create a ‘band of brothers’ with shared experiences and a feeling of camaraderie among those of us in the line of work known as 'Mommying'.
What I most take away is the assurance that despite our mistakes, that as we parent our children with love "our children will keep growing and changing, becoming more independent, more empathetic, more the people God has created them to be." Sometimes it's easy to forget that we are not parenting alone, but that God is right there with us and that He has an even better plan than we do for our children's lives.

It is rare that I find a book I wish to give others. MOMumental IS one of those books. I plan on gifting this book to some of my friends who are moms and who I know struggle with the same concerns Jennifer shares in this book and I have experienced in my own 'Mommying' adventure as a way to say, “I see you” and we are on the same journey as mothers. 

*I received the book in this post compliments of Worthy Publishing via Handlebar Marketing for purposes of this review, however all opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book Review: Heaven In Her Arms

Heaven in Her Arms is a book that takes us on an adventurous journey into Mary’s life. We see her in three different roles throughout this journey: as a young woman, as the mother of Jesus and as the daughter of God. The one constant characteristic that we can find in all of these roles is her complete trust and obedience in her God.
The thing that I loved about this book is that the author does such a great job introducing us into Mary’s life, with all of the details that shaped her, with her inner thoughts and struggles. Every detail we can garner from the Bible about Mary's life is brought to the surface in Hickem's book so that we can understand the incredibly important role that Mary had into shaping Jesus as her child and as the Son of God, the Messiah.

And even though she does not play a central role in the nativity story, she was the person that faithfully trusted and obeyed. So her role into the nativity story was rely on God and trust that everything will happen exactly as God planned it to happen.
I grew up in the Catholic church, which puts a better emphasis on Mary's role in Jesus' life and celebrates her complete obedience to God than any of the other Christian denominations, in my opinion. This book allowed me to reconnect with the Mary I learned to know and admire growing up and also delve deeper into the story of her life.  I believe that God not only used Mary to be the mother of His son, but He is using her story to teach us women some powerful and important lessons that can help us become women after His own heart.  Mary teaches us how to fully live that perfect plan that God has for each of us.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Giveway: Jennifer Grant's "MOMumental"

 May Giveaway - Just in time for Mother's Day we have a great new book, MOMumental by Jennifer Grant f to give away to one lucky winner.

  • Read a chapter of MOMumental 
  • Listen to an audio interview with Jennifer Grant
MOMumental - Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family
One mom’s humorous and candid memoir shows would-be supermoms how to create a realistically balanced family life without losing their minds.
A longtime former writer for the Chicago Sun-Times and now a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Jennifer Grant is no stranger to the common reader. MOMumental is a foray into the enormously amusing, creative, and taxing process of raising a family and a starkly honest memoir that mothers everywhere can identify with. With narrative that is chock-full of humorous, poignant stories drawn from her everyday adventures as a mother and wife, Grant presents an entertaining and inspirational book that will give readers uncommon insights about being an intentional parent.