What to do when you struggle with friendships

What to do when you struggle with friendships - wifemomfriend.com

Do you ever feel like you are losing touch with your friends. Do you ever feel left out or forgotten by others. Sometimes it feels like our friendships are going backwards instead of growing. Part of it may be the busy season we’re in and part of it may we things we’ll never understand. What should we do when we struggle with friendships in our lives?

It’s not easy to be a friend and I am definitely no expert. I regularly mess up in my friendships. I think it’s even harder to be a giving friend instead of a needing friend. In this fast-paced world and in our lives as busy wives and moms, we have so much going on in our lives, so figuring out how to invest in and grow our friendships is not easy! I constantly need to commit my friendships to the Lord and ask Him to help me to do better – better at dying to self and at being a giver, not a taker!

Now and then I find myself thinking something along these lines… “She’s not being a good friend to me. If she were, she would… ____________ have more time for me, call me more often, have invited me to that event, have remembered my birthday, etc. (- you fill in the blank). I have come to realise that our friends don’t owe us anything. I have come to see that we need to lean fully on Christ and to see that our friendships are gifts from Him, people to serve.  I also got to thinking about all the times I have forgotten a friend’s birthday, or had a crazy week and not been in touch, or failed to invite a friend to something. Most of us are in the craziest busiest season of our lives right now with family, homeschooling and business responsibilities. We need to give grace and move on. I decided to work on on being a giving friend, instead of a needing one.

Here are 10 practical ways to strengthen your friendships:

1. Be vulnerable

Be open. Don’t be afraid to let her in. Share what’s going on in your heart. Obviously we need to practice this one with wisdom. You shouldn’t do this unless you trust someone and know their character.  I am sure there have been times when we have been hurt by someone but don’t let that close you up. Keep it real, be honest and open, don’t pretend or put on a false front. Invest in your friendship. While we won’t share everything with all our friends, opening up and sharing from your heart is the way that you get closer.

2. Be a blessing

Every now and then do something for your friend that’s a great blessing to her, even if it’s an inconvenience to you. Make a meal for her family – just because. Offer to give her a break and fetch one of her children from an activity. Find out what would bless her and do it. Give more than you take from the relationship.

3. Keep in touch

I don’t know about you but I am always so blessed by those little messages that show me that a friend was thinking of me – that she still cares, even if I haven’t seen her for a while. Send a text or voice message to your friend that will bless them. If you have time to phone and you know they’ll have time to chat – then go for it. A phone call is a wonderful way to connect and care. In my experience though, if I wait till I have time to make a phone call, I often never get there. Sending a quick personal text or voice message is a lovely way to let your friend know that you care. Make it genuine and from the heart, not generic and contrived. Make sure your message fits you and your friend – invest something of yourself in the message without asking for anything back.

4. Make a coffee date

Perhaps you have a friend that you haven’t seen in a while. Ask your friend if you can take her out for coffee to catch up – make a date no matter how far in the future. Enjoy a relaxed uninterrupted conversation and breathe some life into your friendship.

5. Send a card by post

Send her a card (by snail mail!!!!) just to say you appreciate her friendship. Keep it short and simple but make it genuine and from your heart. We all love to get mail – especially if its not a bill!!!!

6. Pray for her

This one should actually be at the top of the list. Ask you friend about specific requests you can pray for or simply pray for her in areas that you know she is struggling.

7. Be available

Obviously we can’t be available all the time, but we can all make time to meet a friend’s need if there is one or if she needs to talk something through. If it’s not easy to get together in person, make time for a Skype or phone call when you won’t be interrupted. Make a plan for the future if you need to.

8. Be okay with NO

Sometimes you’ll need to say no – or hear a no from your friend. Be okay with it. Make sure your friend understands the why behind your no and still feels appreciated. Don’t be defensive with your no and that only creates awkwardness, trust that she will understand. Sometimes she will need to say no to you. Don’t get offended. Give her the space she needs. Don’t be a demanding friend, but ask the Lord for times that will suit both of you to enjoy together.

9. Don’t get offended!

Forgive and forget, never hold a grudge, always give your friend the benefit of the doubt. Continue to give your relationship to the Lord whenever you are hurt, or when things in the friendship are not quite the way you would like them to be. Don’t hold on to any hurts but give them to the Lord and focus on being a giving friend.

10. Check your expectations.

Often our expectations are unrealistic and only cause us heartache. If you have none, it’s easy for your friend to meet them. Don’t make friendship with you another chore – but rather a blessing and a place of refreshing.

Take the time to do what it takes to grow your friendships but don’t lose heart if it doesn’t seem to have much effect. Remember, what you invest is of eternal value. Leave your friendships in the Lord’s capable hands.

What are some of YOUR favorite ways to bless your friends?

with love,

Karyn

What to do when you struggle with friendships - wifemomfriend.com

5 Ways To Stay Connected With Your Daughter

5 ways to stay connected with your daughter - wifemomfriend.com

We have three precious daughters. The oldest one is entering her teens. She is graceful and the sweetest thing on two legs, always ready and willing to help her mama and serve our family. I have to be so careful not to abuse her willingness but to give her some special time where I don’t require her to do anything, where we can just hand out as mommy and daughter.

My second daughter is a loving fireball, full of emotions and passion. She never just likes something – she LOVES it and she is always making cards and wrapping up little gifts to express her love for whomever she can. She needs lots of focused love and attention to thrive.

My third daughter is a delightful bundle of joy, full of giggles, smiles and fun. She loves to do what the BIG ones do and loves to snuggle up with Mama and read a book. It’s so easy to fill her little tank by reading a story or singing a song with her. I need to remember to do it regularly.

It’s hard work being a girl growing up in today’s world. So many of the wrong role models and so many things to filter out. Our daughters need all the encouragement they can get from us.

I so want my daughters to be encouraged in their love and commitment to the Lord and to know how much they are valued and loved. I want to make sure to stay connect with my daughters and keep up with what is going on in their hearts. I want to share my heart with them and give them many opportunities to share theirs.

I want to make time to talk through issues, connect and make memories

In this digital age, there are so many things our daughters see, hear, read and are exposed to every day that they need our guidance in navigating. It is so important that we make time to talk through issues with them. There may be things that we notice or become aware of in their lives or that they come to us with that we need to talk to them about. There are many ways to spark a conversation and to keep touch with our daughters hearts.

Here are some fun ways to stay connected with your daughters:

1. Little notes under the pillow

I love to write little notes or cards of appreciation for my daughters. I slip them under their pillows or post them in the special letter box on their bedside tables. My middle daughter loves to write notes back and post them under my pillow.

2. Mother and daughter journal

I purchased a special book (spiral bound with a hand painted rose on the front) to write little messages to my daughters.

Some examples:

I so enjoy and appreciate your love for flowers. I love the way you bring them to me from the garden and your appreciation of them makes me notice and enjoy them even more. You have a wonderful gift for doing that.

Thank you for helping me with the little ones today. Your giving heart is a blessing to me.

Wow – you did so great in that boat-building contest today! What I loved most of all was seeing you help your little friend who was struggling even though it slowed your down. I love you sweetheart!

3. Bedtime conversations

I love to sit on my daughter’s beds and relax with them for a few minutes before they go to sleep. Usually if I just hang out casually, the conversation begins naturally. She can have the attention she needs without interruption and we can talk about the day in a relaxed way together.

4. Once a week girl time

We schedule a time about once a week to do nails, hair and other girl stuff together.

5. Mom and daughter dates

We try to plan an outing together for just the two of us to have a light meal and a good chat. This really helps us reconnect for the days to come.

 

How do you encourage your daughters? I would love some ideas as we are still young in our parenting journey

5 ways to stay connected with your daughter - wifemomfriend.com

Teaching Our Children To Serve Others

Teaching our children to serve others - wifemomfriend.com

Our primary purpose on this earth is to love God with all our hearts and to learn to know Him through His Word and then to  love and serve others.

God blesses us with so many things which are expressions of His creativity and His love for us.

  • a thousand tiny starfish strewn along a sandy shore.
  • a million colors in a sunset sky
  • majestic grey elephants and great blue whales to watch
  • stars across the heavens that declare His glory
  • majestic mountains and stunning waterfalls
  • rainbows in a clear blue sky

I often find myself too busy with the mundane to remember to enjoy and be blessed by God’s love for me and to be a blessing to others.

My older daughter’s favorite thing to do is to make cards and gifts for people. Every day she brings me little gifts of flowers, cards, petals, herbs or pretty seeds that she finds. She has decorated the walls of hubby and my bedroom with beautiful little pictures and flowers that she has cut out – and many other creative things.

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She knows without being told that her giving blesses others – and that her blessing others is part of God’s design and purpose for her life.

For her, giving comes naturally – its what she loves and its one way she expresses love; but the interesting thing is that our other little ones get inspired by watching what she does and then they also make things to give to mom and dad, to each other or to family and friends.

Here are some things I am keen to do a lot more of!

1. Write a handwritten letter each week to bless someone with. This is something I have never been very good at, I’ve always found the digital version much easier. These days – group letters, group emails, text messages are so much quicker and more convenient, – but who doesn’t LOVE a real letter in the mail. I have made this a goal of mine. I have started a list of people that I would like to reconnect with or simply bless and each week I plan to write a letter to them and post it. My children will do this too – they choose who to write to and what to say, they draw the pictures and make the card. I can help with writing and addressing if necessary, then we’ll all go and post them together.

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2. Writing handwritten “Thank You” notes for each gift received is something I have NEVER been good at and have done very sporadically throughout my life. I was encouraged to do this as a child, but I never learned how to make it happen – and the few times I did write the notes they hardly ever got posted. Now both the writing and the posting are IN THE SCHEDULE! By doing one or two per week and making them personal by going all out and making a card that is specific to the receiver – something they will love that will be special to them in particular. I have a few friends who always write thank you notes or encouraging notes by hand and it blesses me so!

The only to teach my children to do this is to do it myself!

3. For special celebration meals like we ask one child to wrap up a surprise for each of the other people that will be present at the meal. Sometimes we have bought little treats that they can wrap up and decorate however they’d like and other times I have asked them if they’d like to find the gifts themselves. Its been amazing to see how they go about this – digging in their treasure boxes, finding special little stones or pretty treasures; a tiny hairbrush for little sister, little box for brother, etc. The other children are so blessed by the gifts from the heart and the giver just loves it!

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4. We encourage our children to make their own birthday cards for friends birthdays instead of buying or making them ourselves.

5. Write a thank you letter to Jesus each week in a prayer journal – to help our children remember how everything we have is a blessing from the Lord and to learn to talk to him in their own way.

6. Regularly make a meal for a family going through tough times and take it to them. Add gifts the children have made and go all out to make it special. Add it to the monthly budget as an extra meal. This one we haven’t done much lately but I would like to do again.

7. Invite a lonely person or couple over for a meal and go all out to make them feel appreciated and special – the children can help cook, set the table, make a little gift or card for the person. Doing it together makes it extra special.

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8. Visit an old person or a single person and make them feel special. Tell them that you appreciate them, give them a card or a gift, take a plate of eats to go with tea and spend some time together . While you are there ask if there is anything that needs fixing or that you can help with – things they may find difficult to accomplish on their own – be a blessing. (This is something we learnt from the Maxwell family!)

9. Bake cakes or cookies and take them to your neighbours along with a card on Christmas or Easter celebrating Christ’s birth or Christ’s death and resurrection. No strings attached – just a blessing and a way to reach out to them. The Maxwells are so good at this.

10. If a sibling, or mom or dad are not well, encourage the children to bless that person by serving them, bringing them what they need, making food for them, making a get well card for them or just spending time with them.

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11. Some of the money our children earn from fulfilling their responsibilities and doing their chores is put aside for giving. They choose how and what they’d like to give when enough money has been saved up e.g. tins of food for the homeless, a meal for someone, money to missionaries, gift for a friend, etc.

Teaching our children to serve others - wifemomfriend.com

12. Support a missionary as a family – write letters to them and to their children.

13. Our 9 year old daughter loves to set the table for us for our weekly date night at home. She goes all out, puts candles and flowers out, makes us little cards and make it extra special.

Being a blessing to others brings such joy and gives our children a sense of purpose and of being part of something greater than themselves.  We so want to be a family that blesses others!

“Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12v8

 Teaching our children to serve others - wifemomfriend.com

Why Home Education?

Eternal value lies in character and not in education or specific skills. Our love for people; having God’s heart for the world is of eternal value.

Teaching our children from God’s Word and helping them to develop Godly character is the most important part of our homeschool. That being said, here are 10 reasons why we home educate our children. Continue reading “Why Home Education?”

Family Values and Home Education Vision

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We are so enjoying working on our vision and goals together – we are seeing fruit already. I have felt so inspired lately about every part life as a family – and not so weighed down by struggles. Having a vision helps hugely!

Here’s what we have come up with so far. Perhaps it will inspire you. (We are still working on the different bits – and will edit them more as we go.)

Our Family Values

  • What do we value?
  • What do we want to see in our own lives and in our children?
  1. Integrity, Virtue, Honesty
  2. Grace for others (flowing out of God’s grace towards us)
  3. Strength of Heart: being able to cope with difficulty without being swayed or giving up
  4. Courage, boldness, bravery: to step out and do what is not easy, courage to obey God
  5. Faith in God’s character and His Word and His salvation
  6. Love for and closeness to God, close real, relationship
  7. Close Relationships: strong and close marriage, close relationships with our children and them with each other
  8. Value, respect and honour for God’s Word
  9. Children honour, respect and obey parents – in speech, in heart and in behaviour
  10. Love and respect our children in speech, heart and behaviour
  11. Femininity / Masculinity: in outward appearance, heart focus and roles in life
  12. Manhood / Virtuous Womanhood – Proverbs 31, Titus 2, …
  13. Giving / hospitable / loving to others starting in the home with brothers and sisters and Mom and Dad
  14. Putting people before things, not materialistic, focus on relationships – eternal value
  15. Respect for authority: civil, government, etc.
  16. A love for history and honour for those who have gone before – especially those who have suffered or died in serving God and bringing reformation
  17. Dilligence
  18. Patience, longsuffering
  19. Contentedness: not wanting more or wanting things to be different
  20. Thankfulness: because we don’t deserve anything
  21. Joy in God’s goodness and God’s redemption
  22. Meaningful family communication: passing on the stories and knowledge to our children
  23. Taking responsibility for what God requires of us in all areas of life
  24. Ability to work hard and be productive
  25. Self-discipline: sticking to what you decide to do, doing the hard or unpleasant thing even when you don’t feel like it
  26. Uplifting conversation (not coarse talk or frivolous talk or vulgar joking): Phil 4
  27. Resting in God’s peace and being refreshed in Him rather than through worldy means
  28. Humility: seeing ourselves as God sees us
  29. Intentionality and living on purpose
  30. Needing each other: by choice

Home Education Vision

 We want our children to:

  1. Develop a love for and a knowledge of God’s Word – by reading and learning it and applying it to life. We want them to develop a Biblical perspective on all of life.
  2. Character Development a priority – character traits chart
  3. Learn to work as a team and to be an effective part of a team.
  4. Develop a love for learning – not just for the sake of knowledge but an appreciation for God’s creation, a sense of our purpose and His plan throughout History
  5. Develop a love for books and reading, for good literature and good poetry
  6. Develop self-discipline in being able to learn and carry out tasks efficiently and effectively.
  7. Learn to think logically and communicate effectively – so that we can bless and serve others and we can live orderly productive lives.
  8. Actual knowledge is not the first priority, but is a wonderful blessing! Knowledge comes as a result or consequence of the other goals.
  9. Learn to write with good penmanship and excellent language skills so that they can effectively communicate their thoughts in writing.

Anniversary 17 years

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29v18

What I Am Learning About Friendship

1. God ultimately directs our friendships. Commit your ways (and your friendships) to the Lord – Proverbs 3 v 5,6. As moms we often don’t have a lot of time to spend with our friends – and we usually need them even more during this season of our lives. Trust the Lord with your friendships, and ask Him for wisdom in how to make time for them. There will be friendships that are closer than others and that you are able to invest in more than others. Accept that not all your friendships will be as close as you would like – and leave this in the Lord’s hands.

2. Little thing count for a lot. Investing in our friendships with an sms, a note on facebook, a phone call, a quick email or a birthday card (in the mail!) makes a friend feel loved and special. I try to make one small connection with a friend each day (though sometimes in the midst of crazy times many days go by without that happening). Some more ways to invest in your friendships:

  • Call a friend on their birthday to tell them how much you appreciate them. I have a friend who always does this and I love that!
  • Send a hand-written thank you note expressing your appreciation for a person. This is such a blessing to the receiver (I have a friend who always does this and it makes me feel so appreciated). I’ve never been good at this but I am determined to change. I have put some cards on my little bedroom desk with an address book, stamps, a birthday calendar and nice pens – all ready so I can write a quick note whenever I have a moment. I call it my friendship centre (more on that in a future post).

3. Don’t get offended! Often the offense wasn’t intended and all the negative things you may think about a person end up making your attitude worse and usually makes you ready to take offense all over again. Pray, forgive, commit the relationship to the Lord and move on. How you think about your friends will affect your relationships. Remember the Bible says in Proverbs 17 that “faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Don’t be too proud to accept gentle rebuke from a close friend.

4. Pray for your friends. Keep a prayer journal and pray for specific things in your friends lives. Look out for little things you can pray for. Ask how you can pray and then do it. Praying is the best away to invest in your friendships

5. Serve and encourage your friends – see how you can help and do it.

6. Don’t be afraid of your differences – focus on areas you have in common and value your friends for who they are.

7. There will be times in your life when a friend needs you desperately – be there for them. There will also be times when they don’t need you as much or have an extra busy season of life. That’s okay – don’t give up on the friendship, just commit it to the Lord – and continue to invest in the friendship.

Friends are a special gift from the Lord! What have you learned about friendship lately?

Karyn

 

 

“A friend loveth at all times” Proverbs 17v17a

12 Pillars of A Good Marriage

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My husband and I have just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary and it has been such a rich, exciting journey – more so than we could ever have imagined. I have been reflecting on marriage and have a heavy heart for the many people that we have seen struggling in their marriages.

It is only by God’s grace and goodness that we can have good marriages – He deserves all the glory.

But we need to co-operate with God as He shapes our marriages to reflect the wonderful relationship between Christ and His church.

Here are some things that I feel are key to a good marriage…

12 Pillars of a Good Marriage

REALIZE THAT MARRIAGE IS TO BUILD CHARACTER. We need to realize that marriage is not primarily for our pleasure. We serve a good God and He uses marriage to shape us and to build character in us! We need to recognize that we will sin and be sinned against. We need to determine to love as God loves: sacrificially, by His grace and to forgive: as Christ forgave us.

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64 v 8

STUDY GOD’S WORD. Any struggles we may have in our marriages are not meant to be faced alone or without help. God has equipped us with His Word; and with His Holy Spirit who helps us. He wants to lead us through each trial and difficulty and He wants us to rely completely on Him. Surrenderyourself and your marriage to God. Let go of how you would like it to be and let Him work in you and change you and you will see the fruit in your marriage. Read, memorize and study His Word so that you grow in wisdom and understanding of His will. How close you are to God will determine how close you are to your spouse.

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119v10-11

IT MATTERS WHO YOU MARRY!! Before committing to marrying someone, we should look carefully at that person’s character. What is most important in their lives? Whom do they serve? What are their priorities? A person’s heart and whom or what they serve is revealed by what they spend most of their time on.

The saying, “keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half closed after”, is very appropriate.

After we are married, we need to lean heavily on God’s grace. We cannot change our spouse – but we can obey God in being a loving wife / husband and we can pray that God would change us and then leave Him to work in them.

BUILD ON THE RIGHT FOUNDATIONS. Marriage needs to be based on a commitment to love one another unconditionally – no matter what. Marriage is deeper than a contract – it is a vow and a covenant. If a marriage is based on unconditional love, then it is so much easier to be vulnerable to one another.

REALIZE MARRIAGE TAKES HARD WORK. Marriage is like a garden – if we leave it unattended it will slowly wither and die or be choked with weeds. We need to take time to enter into our spouse’s world, to find out their struggles, fears and thoughts, encourage them, pray for them and be close. Marriage is intended for intimacy of thought and heart as well as body.

We need to learn how to really talk to each other and to push through in the painful conversations. If we learn to talk early on in marriage, we will find it much more possible to trust and be vulnerable with our spouses.

CHOOSE TO NEED EACH OTHER. God wants us to enjoy and delight in our spouses – rather than focus on their faults. He wants to be glorified in our marriages as we accept each other unconditionally and choose to need each other. It is so important that we make room for each other in our lives and include each other even in areas where we are quite self sufficient.

MAKE TIME TO BE TOGETHER. There are consequences to how we choose to spend our time. Time together is important – it doesn’t need to be time out at restaurants or away from our children on weekend retreats – it needs to be time together to talk and to connect.

Pray together, read together, have fun together, exercise together, cook together, teach your children together – be creative, but live life together.

If you are passing each other in the night your relationship will die even if your commitment doesn’t. Being close takes time and energy.

LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS. Realize that you and your spouse have different ways of doing things and different expectations of many things in life. Only as you talk through things together will you learn to know one other better and come to understand how the other thinks. There will be lots of times when you misunderstand each other and will need to give each other grace – and laugh about it together! Don’t expect your expectations to be met – rather be willing to adjust your expectations!

ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER. Build each other up, don’t break each other down. We are not meant to be wrecking balls, but rather like rain and sunshine to our spouses. We are all people who need kind words and encouragement.We need to encourage our spouses daily and make sure they feel our unconditional love and support.

GUARD YOUR SEXUAL PURITY. Guard your sexual purity and be vigilant – no sexy novels, no Facebook chats with the opposite sex, no car rides alone with the opposite sex. Pornography, even so-called ‘mild’ is unfaithfulness to God and to your spouse and is a marriage KILLER and usually leads to adultery. Be wise as a serpent in this area, and don’t take this sin any less seriously than God takes it. Pray that God, by His grace, will keep your heart pure before Him. If you have messed up in this area, acknowledge your sin and break its power by not hiding it from God or man. Acknowledging our weakness and sin is half the battle. Find a godly friend who you can be accountable to that your husband / wife is happy with.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12v9

UNDERSTAND YOUR DIFFERENT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Understand that you have different roles and responsibilities as husband and wife. Respect each other in that and honor God in your treatment of each other. As a wife, serve and help your husband wholeheartedly. Be encouraged by Titus 2 mentors and be careful who you measure yourself against. God’s standard is the one that counts.

COMMIT YOUR MARRIAGE TO GOD. We need to commit our marriages to God and trust Him to preserve them. We need to rest heavily on His amazing Grace! This is only possible if we ourselves are committed and surrendered to God through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have messed up, don’t give up – but surrender the mess you have made to God and recognize that he is a God who makes all things new. Don’t give up on your spouse or your marriage. Come broken before Him and ask Him to heal your marriage.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5 v 17

A Very Delicious Leafy Salad!

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This salad is DELICIOUS beyond expectations! – I think it’s the secret ingredients that do it!

Credit goes to Serene Allison from Above Rubies for her inspirational DVD!

1. Find a big beautiful bowl – elegant and LARGE. Yes, its just for you but this salad is a complete meal!

2. Add lots of greens… whatever you have – baby greens, lettuce, spinach, etc.

3. Secret Ingredient no. 1 HERBS!

I never thought I liked herbs that much but this salad is just DULL without them. Pick whatever herbs you have in your garden, chop them and add them. I like to use fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, parsley, nasturtium leaves and flowers, borage flowers and chives (which my daughter loves to pick from the garden for me)!

4. Chop up lots of cucumber and add it (no need to toss this salad till the end).

5. Now add your favourite chopped vegetables (I add olives, tomatoes, avocado, red pepper, sun dried tomato and for my hubby I add red pepper, peas, mango tout, baby corn, etc..)

6. Secret Ingredient no. 2 SEEDS!

Its amazing how seeds add an interesting crunchy rich flavour to the salad (definitely add sunflower seeds and perhaps some pumpkin and sesame seeds – RAW seeds are best).

7. Flavourings: sprinkle a pinch of each of the following over your salad:
Onion powder
Sea salt or herb salt (I love Mary-Anne’s garlic and herb salt)
A little garlic powder

8. Squeeze a lemon over the top of your salad and a dash of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce if you feel like it.

9. Add a generous amount of olive oil and lightly toss your salad.

10. Now for Secret Ingredient no 3… SESAME SPRINKLES!  Serene’s amazing invention…

For this you need an electric coffee grinder:
Add 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (health shop) & about 2tsp sea salt (to taste) and grind together.

This makes a sprinkle with a parmesan cheese type consistency and flavour.
Sprinkle liberally over your salad and gently toss again.

11. Last of all Secret Ingredient no. 4 MAPLE SYRUP!

Add 1-2TBS genuine maple syrup (or honey) and toss!!

YOU ARE DONE!

This may sound like a big effort – but its so worthwhile and once you get an assembly line going its quick and worth the effort!

Enjoy.

(this is a repost from March 2011)

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 1v29

Delicious Vegan Strawberry ‘Yoghurt’

We love to make this delicious version of ‘yoghurt’. If you are dairy intolerant – this is for you! Vegan and delicious!

This recipe is adapted from Serene Alison’s Raw Food Recipe Book Rejuvenate Your Life. This is such a wonderful inspiring book – especially if you are looking for a raw food cookbook by a Christian author – avoiding all the new age philosophies that often accompany raw food recipes.

So, here it is:

We have a large 1000W blender which surprisingly is one of the cheaper ones R350 – relatively easy to replace if it burns out. Most other blenders that I have seen do not go above 700W. It has a large 1.5 litre glass jug and I make lots of yoghurt at a time – enough for 8 people to have a small bowl of yoghurt each.

  • If your blender is smaller, try making half the recipe at a time.
  • The most important thing is to blend lots along the way so that you get a smooth creamy texture to your yoghurt – it shouldn’t be grainy!

To your blender add:

  • 1.5 cups filtered water (have another cup of water available to add slowly when your mixture gets too thick to blend. The yoghurt is great thick but can also be nice a bit thinner if you’d like to make drinking yoghurt for your kiddies to drink through a straw.)
  • 5 handfuls of cashew nuts
  • 2 handfuls of almonds

BLEND till smooth and creamy (add water if too thick)

  • In the meantime get out your coffee (or seed) grinder and grind 2 generous Tablespoons of raw flaxseeds (golden are best but brown fine too) – add ground flaxseed to blender
  • Add 2 teaspoons psyllium (available at health shops – this is a great cleanser for your colon and also helps to make the ‘yoghurt’ nice and thick)
  • Juice 4 lemons and add the juice to blender
  • Add approx 1/3  of a 500gram jar of honey (to taste – can add more later)
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of Flax Oil

BLEND TILL VERY SMOOTH

  • Add 350-400g frozen strawberries or blueberries (these help make the yoghurt nice and cold again after all that blending!)
  • Taste at this point to see if it has sweetness and tartness of yoghurt (you can either add more honey or more lemon juice if necessary)

ENJOY!

“Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. ” Revelation 22 v 14

Quick Healthy and Delicious Crustless Quiche

This is so quick and easy and amazingly delicious!

I used to make this quiche in the usual round pie dish but I found that I usually needed two and I always found the dish difficult to clean – so, I started using a shallow casserole dish instead. (if its too deep the middle doesn’t cook properly). The dish I use is about 5cm (3in) deep.

Also, a crust for a quiche is very time consuming to make and doesn’t add that much to the taste. I am amazed at how the absence doesn’t affect its deliciousness!

The quiche holds together beautifully in slices  even without a crust – another thing that surprised me.

This recipe is adapted from Mary-Ann Shearer’s Recipe Book.

QUICK HEALTHY CRUSTLESS QUICHE (serves 8-10)

1. Fill the bottom of a casserole dish with chopped vegetables of your choice. (we love to use brocolli and butternut).

2. Sprinkle chopped vegetables generously with herb salt or seasoning salt.

3. Add to your blender:

  • 3 cups cream
  • 2 cups feta cheese
  • 3 leeks or 5 spring onions
  • 1t herb salt
  • 6 eggs

4. Blend until mixed and pour over chopped vegetables. The egg mix should mostly cover the vegetables. (if not then take a few veges out or make a bit more egg mix.)

5. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, oregano and a little paprika

6. Bake for 1 hour plus at 180 degrees C (360F). Check that the middle is set and the top nicely browned before taking it out of the oven sometimes its taken 1.5 hours.

TOO GOOD TO WAIT! YUMMY!


I have linked this recipe to TIME-WARP WIFE and RAISING HOMEMAKERS – both wonderful websites!

“If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.” Numbers 14v8