Saturday, July 12, 2014

Protection and Justice for the faithful-Family, Spiritual

Today's devotional and prayers for my children have once again aligned beautifully with the messages our pastors have been addressing on the topics of Heaven and Hell.  So many quotes and verses flood my mind and I take on this intentional journey to deepen my spiritual commitments. For me I choose Heaven hands down, and that requires a faithfulness that I am renewing.  

I actually combined prayers for the kids because as I began with the one dedicated for today, I realized there was another I needed to address : 
"Saturday: Pray for the spouse each child will marry someday. Ask that they will come from godly homes and have an appetite to live the spiritual truth they've learned. Pray also that their goals and purpose will be the same as your own children and their future homes would be godly (Deuteronomy 5:29)

I pray abundant peace for my children in their adulthood in choosing their spouses and even their acquaintances.  I desire for them to hold steadfast to the godly values they have been learning throughout their lives, that they may be people of their words and worthy of honor and respect from their spouses and children. 

It is no secret that despite my efforts I have not been able to offer them the optimum model of how a committed marriage, as G-d intended looks. But our home will remain Christ centered  I have experienced losses as a result of broken vows and numerous circumstances that were definitely not what He calls us for. This is what led me to the second portion of the daily prayer ; "Pray that your children will be caught if they wander into cheating, lies or mischief (Hebrews13:18-19) I have been given many blessings in the my children and they are more than anything a huge responsibility. Their thoughts and actions are a reflection of their hearts , their morals and a reflection on me in all of the same regards.  I don't want them to grow up to be disobedient to G-d and cause pain and disappointment to those around them.  I am praying for their light. And I am praying that they are accountable for their wrongdoings , unlike so many, that they may not develop poor life habits that bleed into their relationships.

There was a time when I viewed Christianity as very legalistic and limiting, but in my growth I soon came to realize that God places boundaries for our "safety".  I often reflect upon one of my favorite devotionals about God being the "cleft of the rock" .  Protecting us as our heavenly Father just as most earthly fathers would wish to protect their children from harm.  His design protects our minds , our hearts , and our thoughts from danger inflicted upon us by those around us and even ourselves.  I love visuals, so I searched for an image of a cleft of a rock. I love the gorgeous illustrations I found!  G-d hid Moses (Exodus 33:22) and hides our souls in the cleft of the rock, the area between the rocks where the elements of traffic, weather; winds, rains and anything that can cause damage are absent and have no access.  As you can see , there things "blossom" in the most unexpected places while under that hedge of protection. 

 In all of this, I came upon anger that arises from injustice from people who have taken positions that contributed to negative circumstances and the feelings the children and I have and those that condone and encourage the breaking of promises to us all.  It is painful to see the spectrum of emotions for each impacted child especially. I know this was not G-d's promise for them and I have to deal with that God's way.  That is to call upon divine judgement and protection. I call upon His names Shophet, for His judgement, Jehovah-Nissi , protection and blessings ,and upon his promises through the prophet Isaiah for those who are faithful and pursued by those that oppose Him. I know the G-d who hears , and El Roi, the G-d who sees , is the same God to whom David cried out to with imprecatory prayer, and He answers our calls.

Isaiah 54 offers me blessings for faithfulness and solace from those that have hurt me and subsequently my children:
Isaiah 54: 4-10 , 16-17

4“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
6The Lord will call you back
as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
a wife who married young,
only to be rejected,” says your God.
7“For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but with everlasting kindness
I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
9“To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
10Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

16“See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

Thank you G-d for your Word and the fact that if nothing else YOUR promises do not return empty.  Just as it says above our front door ,"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" .


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Prayers for my children , Hope for the future -family, spiritual

I don't find myself having a ton of down time and that's largely due to my choice and responsibility  to be a committed parent even when it doesn't feel good.  And as I say " that's the way the pickle drips" . It's easy to get caught up in the rat race of trying to please everyone, but what is G-d trying to work in my life ? My kids ? 

Many circumstances have left me on my own with the primary charge of guiding this little ones to be positive contributions to society and to the Kingdom of G-d. Parenting is serious and yet taken so lightly . Children aren't accomplishments until they are grown . I heard a stand up comic say " Why do we congratulate people when they have a baby ? Shouldn't we wait and see how they turn out first ?" Lol , funny, but true . Having them is the easy part . And then , since I'm a fan of Steve Martin, I recall the movie from the eighties, maybe early nineties ,"Parenthood" when Keanu Reeves says, "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish...." The rest is crass but eludes to the fact that there's no test or prerequisite to bringing life into the world . 

The more I see in the world , the more disappointed I am in some of the fallen and misdirected ways of adults.  Then I grow fearful that my children are going to miss it... I remember in women's Bible study , many of us moms shared the concern for the  poor role models our children are exposed to. It's disheartening , not only is there a lack of caring, but there is an evident growing sense of entitlement in the upcoming generations and society as a whole. And, it's become easier to just stay in one place and quit striving for improvement . Heaven forbid we try to be better . 

I'm only one person and as strong as I can be, I have my weaknesses and truthfully grow weary of taking it on myself . It's hard to be the only one left standing . So how do I do what is pleasing to G-d when it seems so many around me don't share the desire , and take pride in it ? How do I call upon Him for my children ? 

Here's what I do now to fill in the gaps that only God can fill. I have been faithful and intentional in my daily choices and my prayer , especially for my children , I want them to be successful in every aspect of their lives.  I pray for their days, discipline and futures . I pray for their future relationships , and their marriages.  I have printed the following out and placed it in my direct view so nothing can distract me from it . I'd love for anyone who feels led to join me in praying for children to do it too,  especially for those who have come upon circumstances that set them up to be lost ; absent or uncommitted parent/parents, loss , etc. I've been praying these verses for their accountability and their hearts but came upon a format where it is outlined for each day! Bravo! 

"Monday: Ask God to place a protective, solid hedge around your children so that Satan cannot reach in and lead them into temptation and so they will be safe from harm (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Psalm 33:20).

Tuesday: Pray that your children would use godly wisdom in selecting friends and peers that will make a positive difference in their lives. Ask God to give each child a discernment of people as well as knowing the difference between right and wrong (Proverbs 1:10; 18:24; Deuteronomy 13:6,8).

Wednesday: Pray that your children would stay pure in their thoughts and deeds (Psalm 24:4-5; Job 17:9).

Thursday: Pray that they will be caught if they wander into cheating, lies, or mischief (Hebrews 13:18-19).

Friday: Pray they will be alert and thinking clearly as they attend school and extra curricular activities and as they take exams. Ask God to help them be motivated to do the best they are capable of doing (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

Saturday: Pray for the spouse each child will marry someday. Ask that they will come from godly homes and have an appetite to live the spiritual truth they've learned. Pray also that their goals and purpose will be the same as your own children and their future homes would be godly (Deuteronomy 5:29

Sunday: Ask God to help them live their lives for Him and that He will use them as a testimony and witness for His glory. Pray that they'll be grown to full spiritual maturity (Psalms 78:1-8, 103:17-18; Isaiah 54:13; Ephesians 3:20-21).

Do not leave your children unprotected-that is, vulnerable to Satan's attack. The greatest shield of protection we as parents can provide for our children is prayer. It's never too late to start (1 Samuel 12:23; James 5:16; Colossians 4:2)." 

-Don and Sue Myers 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hearts for the homeless and underserved - Family, fun,spiritual

Ysabel (8) always expresses concern for the people holding their signs roadside pleading for help. In fact all of the kids do . Now, the human side of me has a small , taunting voice that draws on my life's experiences of broken innocence in broken promises and dishonesty , and it causes me to be cynical. I don't want to offer money to someone who is impoverished that may use it to support a    poor habit or addictionor anything of that nature when I can be using it myself. There I said it.   I have a large family, we try not to live in abundance  and my children have  their necessities as well. So I find myself apprehensive .

Thankfully, the larger voice of G-d overpowers and calls upon my charge to raise kind, contributing members of society. And I'm reminded that it is not my place to judge , need is need. And I want to help. 

Matthew 25:40 reads " "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"(NIV) 

If I ever found myself and my family in dire straits (the condition , not the band ) I would pray upon these words for mercy and grace. 

I had heard of something like this before and I also welcomed it as a solution. The goal is to assist in the problem of being underserved , regardless of the circumstances that led to it. 

So, we had some toothbrushes left from party bags from Aemilia's 7th birthday party ( it was Willy Wonka themed and the favor bags contained unforgivable amounts of candy !). As a peace offering to parents, I included toothbrushes to clean little teeth after partaking.... 

Ysabel suggested we give the extras away. Yes!! But who will be excited about receiving a toothbrush ?And then came the recollection of care packages for the homeless. So off to the store we went and a short time and a few gallon plastic storage bags later , we have small tokens of our hearts and prayers to store in out car until we cross paths with a person or persons in need. 

We included:
-toothbrushes , toothpaste
- mini flashlights 
-body soap and lotion
-disposable razors
-refillable small plastic cups 
-water bottles 
-cheese and cracker snacks 
-preserved chicken salad and cracker combos
-granola bars
-beef jerky 
-hand sanitizer
- sandwich cookie packs 
-small manicure set 
- band aids
- warm pair of socks 

Thank you G-d for the beautiful and kind meditations of my children's hearts for the poor and for the gift of generosity you have bestowed upon us all! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Believing a lie- Faith

This is probably a decent read for people in numerous relationship and life stages.  Of course it's 1 a.m. so I'm not sure, all things considered, what promises I can make grammatically or cohesively on this one !~ lol ~ What pains me is the knowledge that those that need to read it the most, are probably struggling the most, but will never take the time (because they claim they have none); because it's gritty truth. Buried in smartphones,apps, games, hobbies and social networks, I can see where 10 minutes out of a 24 hour day to read something can be impossible (yes, sorry, facetiousness) . But then don't complain when complacency bites you in the hiney!

I've been watching "things" fall apart all around me for me and for people close and even not so close to me.  Especially in marriage though ....Considering that I have been divorced, I can say without hesitation, that I know why God hates divorce.  It's (even in its simplest and uncontested forms) destructive. It, at one point or another, brings out the worst in each party.  It destroys the whole and leaves the two parts of the whole broken, whether they acknowledge it or not.  In regards to children, agreeably many are quite resilient and, depending on the circumstances in their home, may be better off. I mean that specifically  in the presence of any sort of abuse (as I personally experienced), or danger, I am the first to advocate on building a strong"half of a home".  It seems like divorce has become the answer for so many to pursue their own personal happiness and couldn't be farther from God's plan.  I remained in a marriage for several additional years in obedience to God, even though I had experienced the specific circumstances that the Bible deems as valid reasons for divorce.  I know this isn't the popular approach and that it's another way people look at me as if the cheese slipped right off my cracker.  But , I can say this for certain, I have very few things in my life that I can look back on and say " I didn't do everything I could've possibly done". Never going to apologize for that.

Society is such a mess and I have the hardest time remaining focused on which end is "UP". I am constantly bombarded with selfish viewpoints,  attacks on my faith, attacks on my morals and the poor human behavior that seems to be beginning younger and younger. I have to keep my sights set on the One that saved me from the endless pits of despair that follow loss and that surface in frustration. 

What's disappointing to me is the lack of faith we can have in people now.  And moreso, how people regard me because they are so used to dealing with those that are untrustworthy, or who they can expect to put their best interests first.  I feel like I'm a misunderstood , dying species and I have to wake up every morning lately and convince myself that this is the day the Lord has made.  

It is exceedingly frustrating and here again, I hear the familiar "Well, I'm not happy" and no further efforts....One good thing about life mistakes is the ability to cringe when you recognize the same mistake being made.  The Devil is a crafty soul and in knowing every individual's weaknesses, he knows where to foster the familiar insecurities that affect me the most. I know the call of a Christian life and I know it actually, lends itself to more struggles to face and tests to endure.  I never heard anyone say it was meant to be easy, yet I know many expect it to be. I've been made to feel like I'm crazy because I rely on my faith foundations rather than current public opinion. I guess if that's crazy, I'll take my straight jacket in a size small.  Even Jesus was mocked, to death, literally.

I sometimes wonder after all of the "divorce dust" or arguments settle, what children of the home say to themselves in the quiet corners of their little , broken hearts.  I know there are issues, adult issues, that they cannot wrap their minds around and can only find a million ways to bear the burdens themselves.  Somehow they can make everything a result of something theyve done. How long do they lay awake at night asking what they could've done better to be worthy of not being left or having their lives as they know transform into something new without even being allowed their input?How selfish to chart the courses of other people's lives because the word "covenant" holds no earthly truth.  It becomes the universal internalization of "What's wrong with me? Why am I unlovable?" and so on.  

Since it' s been easy for so many to act like I'm crazy, I've been feeling constant battles over my soul , that makes me cling to my Bible and what I know has been truth and God's promises to me.  The world is so noisy and full of opinions, and schedules, and kids, and deadlines and , and, and... the list is endless.  It's exhausting and it easily covers the voice of God.  I am so many times ashamed to say that I'm certain I have missed God's pursuing me due to distractions because it's more typical to seek Him when I've hit rock bottom. For me, the valleys have become lower and lower and now I'm more focused.  I'm exceedingly blessed to have a prayer team that also prays for me in my weakest moments where I cannot pray for myself. And Satan makes me listen to the accusations of me that have been made, and he makes me believe it.  So I search for how to fix it all and instead find validations to what in my truest heart I've knownI came across this article and finished it renewed in confidence that my values are consistent with His Word, the objections addressed below are so familiar and I love how they reference the biblical basis for their conclusions.... for those that choose to hear.  Nice work Satan, I'm not fooled, so you'll need to keep searching for your teammates. 

8 Lies That Destroy Marriage

Every wrong behavior begins with believing a lie.

by Bill Elliff 
"Imagine meeting with an engaged couple a few weeks before they are married. With excitement they describe how they met and how their relationship developed. The husband-to-be proudly describes how he set up a perfect romantic evening so he could pop the big question.
Then they surprise you by saying, “We want to get married and have some children. At first we will feel a lot of love for each other. Then we’ll start arguing and hating each other. In a few years, we’ll get a divorce.”
Who would enter marriage intending to get a divorce? And yet, divorce is occurring at alarming rates. A large number of people in my church have been hurt deeply by divorce—they’ve been divorced themselves, or they’ve felt the pain of a parent or relative divorcing.
As common as divorce is, I’m convinced that most of them could be avoided. Mark this down on the tablet of your heart: Every wrong behavior begins with believing a lie. Our culture promotes many deceptions that can quickly destroy a marriage. Here are eight:
Lie #1. "My happiness is the most important thing about my marriage.”  
As a pastor, I can’t tell you how many people have justified breaking up their marriages by saying, “I have to do this. God just wants me to be happy.”
But according to God’s Word, a spouse’s individual happiness is not the purpose for marriage.
The Bible says in Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do in word or deed,” do for the glory of God. While all parts of creation are to glorify God, mankind was made in God’s very image. Through marriage, husbands and wives are to reflect His character and have children who will reflect His character … all the way to the end of time.
Every marriage knows unhappiness. Every marriage knows conflict. Every marriage knows difficulty. But everyone can be joyful in their marriage by focusing on God’s purposes and His glory instead of individual happiness.
Lie #2. “If I don’t love my spouse any longer, I should get a divorce.”   
It’s a tragedy to lose love in marriage. But the loss of human love can teach us to access a deeper love—the very love of God Himself. That love is patient and kind … it never fails (1 Corinthians 13). It even cares for its enemies.
When human love dies in a marriage, a couple can enter into one of the most exciting adventures they’ll ever have: learning how to love each other with God’s love. Romans 5:5 tells us that this very love “has been poured out within our hearts, through the Holy Spirit.”
Lie #3. “My private immorality does not affect my marriage.”
A lot of people think, I can view pornography in the privacy of my home. It’s just me and my magazine, or computer … it doesn’t affect my marriage. 
Oneness in marriage is hijacked by sexual immorality. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:15, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?”
In the 21st century, there are many ways to join oneself with a prostitute: physically, through the pages of a magazine, on a computer’s video screen, etc. Paul’s advice is the same today as it was thousands of years ago: Flee immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18).  
If you take your emotional and sexual energy and spend it on someone else, there will be nothing left for your spouse. Those who continually view pornography or engage in sexual fantasies are isolating themselves. 
Lie #4. “My sin (or my spouse’s sin) is so bad that I need to get a divorce.”
The truth is God can fix our failures—any failure. The Bible says to forgive one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven us (Colossians. 3:13).
“But,” you ask, “Doesn’t Matthew 19:9 say that God allows divorce in the case of sexual immorality?” Yes. I believe that it does—when there is an extended period of unrepentance. Yet, nowhere in that passage does God demand divorce. When there is sexual sin, we should seek to redeem the marriage and so illustrate the unfathomable forgiveness of God.
Some of the greatest life messages I know are the marriages of people who have repented from sexual sin and spouses who have forgiven them. Their lives today are living testimonies to the truth found in Joel 2:25: “… I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten.”
Lie #5. “I married the wrong person.”
Many people have told me, for example, that they are free to divorce because they married an unbeliever. “I thought he/she would become a Christian, but that didn’t happen. We need to get a divorce.” They recall that they knew it was a mistake, but they married anyway—hoping it would work out. Others claim that they just married someone who wasn’t a good match, someone who wasn’t a true “soul mate.”
A wrong start in marriage does not justify another wrong step. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good,” says Romans 8:28, “to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
God tells us not to be poured into the world’s mold. Instead we are to be transformed and that begins in our minds. By doing this, God will give us exactly what we need for our lives. God’s will for us is good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:1-2).
Here’s the key for those who are now married: The Bible clearly says do not divorce (with the exception for extended, unrepentant sexual immorality). God can take even the worst things of life and work them together for good if we will just trust Him.
Lie #6. “My spouse and I are incompatible.” 
I don’t know a lot of husbands and wives who are truly compatible when they get married. In marriage, God joins together two flawed people.
If I will respond correctly to my spouse’s weaknesses, then God can teach me forgiveness, grace, unconditional love, mercy, humility, and brokenness. The life of a person who believes in Jesus Christ is developed by responses to not only happy things, but also to difficulties. And those very difficulties include weaknesses.  
That is why we are told in Colossians 3:12-13 to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other.” My spouse’s weaknesses are not hindrances. Instead, they are the doorway to spiritual growth. This is a liberating truth.
If I will respond to my spouse’s shortcomings with unconditional acceptance, my love won’t be based on performance. I won’t say, “You need to live up to these expectations.” I will be able to accept my spouse, weaknesses and all. And that acceptance will swing open the door of change for not only my spouse, but also for me.
Lie #7. “Breaking the marriage covenant won’t hurt me or my children.”
When divorce enters a family, there are always scars. I know this firsthand; although I was an adult when my father committed adultery and divorced my mother, decades later there are still effects. Many consequences of divorce never go away.
Blake Hudspeth, our church’s youth pastor, also understands the pain of divorce. He was 5 years old when his parents divorced, and it was hard for him to understand God as Father and to trust people. “The people I trusted the most split up.” He also found it difficult to accept love from others “because I didn’t know if they truly loved me.” And Blake developed a fear of marriage. “Am I going to follow the trend of divorce, because my parents and grandparents divorced?”
Blake’s father even wrote him and said, “This was the worst decision I made in my life. It was bad. It hurt you. It hurt our family. When I divorced your mom, I divorced our family because I broke a covenant that we were a part of.”
Blake says that his parents (who both remarried) have embraced the gospel, resulting in him readily accepting advice and encouragement from them. “Watching the gospel play out … with my mom and dad was huge,” he says.
Lie #8. “There’s no hope for my marriage—it can’t be fixed.” 
This may be the most devastating lie of all. Because in more than four decades of counseling couples, I’ve seen God do the seeming impossible thousands of times. In a dying marriage, He just needs two willing parties. God knows how to get us out of the messes we get ourselves into.
I tell these couples about people like Chuck and Ann, who were involved in drugs and alcohol before God restored their home. Or Lee and Greg, who were engaged in multiple affairs. God brought them back to Christ and to each other. Now they have six children and a marriage ministry. Or Jim and Carol who had taken off their wedding rings and were living in separate bedrooms and about to live in separate worlds when God redeemed them.
If you begin to think, There is no hope for my marriage, realize that, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
We must combat the lies about marriage. The truth will set us free (John 8:32). God can fix anything!"

Bill Elliff is the directional pastor of The Summit Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. His passion is to see both genuine revival and methodological renewal in the church. He is a frequent conference speaker, writer, and consultant to churches drawing from his four decades of pastoring and revival ministry. He is also involved in helping lead “OneCry! A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening.” Bill and his wife, Holly, have eight children and six grandkids (at last count).

All I can say after that is "Amen". :-) 
Blessings today lovies! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ready for Easter- some fun from the oven-Family, Fun

These turned out super cute, little bunny ears and bottoms ! Go ahead say it , "some'bunny' needs a life " ;-) 

The Ultimate Sacrifice:Good Friday-Faith

"Jesus went to the garden
And fell down on His kness
Jesus prayed in the garden
Of Gethsemane
Not my will but Yours be done
Father, not my will but Yours be done

Jesus went to the mountain
To bleed for you and me
Jesus died on the mountain
Called Calvary
Why have You forsaken me?
My God, why have You forsaken me?" ~ Jesus Went to the Garden

CLICK HERE to take a moment to experience a beautiful version of the song...


Being forsaken is one of the loneliest and darkest places I've experienced and what a place to be, in order to offer the ultimate sacrifice; to lay down your life for the benefit of everyone else. And who other than Jesus can relate to the joy of being revered for your faith only later to be rejected and rebuked because of it.  To die for the sins of others...And Jesus was in absolute agony in what was to come that he began to perspire blood ( an actual, documented medical condition called hematidrosis- where a person undergoing extreme stress and secretes blood through their sweat glands). 

I recently saw the theatrical and musical production of The Thorn, which I highly recommend and today I recall the scene where Jesus is praying and pleading in the Garden of Gethsemane and we were able to see the actual battle between good and evil for the soul of the Darling of Heaven. But it was a cup of suffering that G-d could not take from him.

That brought me to the revered verse John 3:16 "For G-d so loved the world that He gave His one and only son..." 

I am a mother and while I can if called,  substitute my life for those of my children and  for their sakes, I could not fathom the pain to be endured to sacrifice a child for even such a cause, no nobler cause.  In the Old Testament with the story of Abraham and Isaac, where Abraham also exudes unwaivering faith and obediance, Isaac most likely would have shared his anxiety and confusion with his father whom he trusted. Just as when Jesus was dying a death bathed in shame, he cried out to his heavenly father , "Father why have you forsaken me?" And there, before his accusers and those who judged him, he offered himself as atonement of their sins and all of our sins. 

And just as the final chords strike in Natalie Grant's song "Why" (a favorite of mine and my 8 year old daughter), we are able to hear the pain the father and son experienced on the fateful day.

"And I heard a voice come from the cross

And it said, `Father, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why are they casting their lots for My robe?
This crown of thorns hurts Me more than it shows
Father, please can`t You do something?
I know that You must hear My cry
I thought I could handle the cross of this size
Father, remind Me why
Why does everyone want Me to die?
When will I understand why?`

`My precious Son, I hear them screaming
I`m watching the face of the enemy beaming
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know
But this dark hour, I must do nothing, oh I've heard your unbearable cry,

The power in your blood, destroys all of the lies,

Soon you'll see past, their unmerciful eyes,

Look there below , see the child, trembling by her father's side?

Now I can tell you why,

she is why you must die"

Today is a sad day of reflection but one that offers me hope that sacrifice is not in vain.

Below are my children's blogs on these event. I'm very grateful for them and proud of them.  I have them blog and then use them as school editing exercises, but these are their raw, unedited thoughts, they'd love to share them, so click below:

Ysabel, 8 - The Thorn , Good Friday  

Rylann, 10 -The Thorn, Good Friday

Aemilia , 7  -The Thorn, Good Friday




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Night Awakenings - Spiritual

Okay everyone, I'm back up on the blog! If you see a large time gap, that's as a result of me doing some "cleaning" and those entries are now reserved for a book project.  Please feel free to follow me if you are in Blogland and read what speaks to you.  New format in my titling is - "Topic " and then I will place the "category" after a dash (e.g. Night Awakenings-Faith).  This blog is a full view of my heart and life, the good, the bad and the funny. Lots to get out there quickly so bear with me! Sometimes it will be, Family, sometimes, Funny, Food or Faith...


It is no secret that in my walk as a Christian woman, where admittedly I've detoured and fallen off of the path many times, I have experienced some very scary spiritual warfare, that's another blog and and book in itself but I will share what I have studied, Godly and worldly to reach some conclusions.

At the start of my struggles , I felt "haunted" like in the movies, creepy, haunted.  So not to freak everybody out right away out of the blogging gates sabbatical, I'll leave it at that, (but if you ever wish to know just ask me and I'm happy to share.) To lay the background for the point of this message,  I can tell you that I was a brand new, born- again Christian, hot on the heels of being a bad,bad girl as most "Catholic school girls" become. Yes, we're talking Billy Joel's "only the good die young" stuff... (I'm kidding , sort of lol, don't message me about that.) I was also in a terrible marriage.  Needless to say I was comfortable in the "baby" Bible verses, those that are sunshine, love and light ,and uplifting and encouraging. All things that are characteristics of G-d. (Having a diverse audience, I do not fully write His name out of respect for my Jewish friends and their faith that they share with my Savior, Jesus).  So I was fulfilled by, as I learned to refer to them as "the milk" verses :

1 Peter 2:2 NIV "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.."

G-d is so good to give us such hope and an actual guide to living in the Bible, but sometimes we stop at the sweet, digestible "milk" verses and never experience the full spectrum and endless names of G-d.  There are those names and verses that like a newborn's milk, offer a feeling of fullness and comfort. Those like El Roi (Hagar's God -the "G-d Who Sees Me"), Emmanuel (G-d With Us) the many Jehovahs. I encourage everyone to at some point to read Praying the Names of G-d by Ann Spangler,  if they feel called to more on this topic .

 But the Bible tells us that there are "meatier" and grittier verses to come, those that introduce other facets of G-d like,  Shopath (G-d the Judge), seriously, the phrase the "wrath of G-d" didn't come from nowhere.  They are harder to swallow so to speak because they usually require something of us, and I've found it's usually something we don't want to give !:

1 Corinthians 3:2
"I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready."

So, I dove in and did numerous Bible studies independently and through my church.  I sought and sought and in the interim dissolved that marriage and then began studying marriage and relationships from G-d's view, I didn't know much but I did know I tried it my way and that didn't work well for me. And then the war for my soul ensued. And I mean war. Seriously, movie worthy. I am convinced that when you are on the verge of making a commitment to a life with G-d, Satan and his fallen angels make a huge somewhat "final attempt" (although we know they never quit ) to keep you in their darkness.  And if you don't believe in Satan and his demons, his battle is half won.  One of my favorite movies The Usual Suspects has a great rendition of a historical quote "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Rest assured I learned the hard way and I learned much about spiritual curses and gifts that I have been given by G-d. 

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

This is a tough concept, especially when people hurt us or just flat out getting on our nerves. (HUGE EXHALE). So now that the foundation has been laid there is this: hearing G-d, step one, and obeying him , a huge and difficult step 2.

I've been listening to so many people especially lately and in the midst of struggles, state that they cannot sleep or that they are awakened in the wee hours of morning and oddly , at the same times every morning it occurs.  I am very familiar with this especially in difficult times, mine is 3 a.m. and I get these uneasy feelings followed by a release.  I was intrigued when I found this outline of the basis of beliefs from the Agapegeek Blog, one I will faithfully now follow.  (Agape btw- is Greek for love- but G-d's love) Full blog

  1. All beliefs are based upon human ignorance (limited knowledge) of the subject under discussion.
  2. Many beliefs originate from the teachings from parents, schools, churches, religions, governments, friends, books or other influences.
  3. Many beliefs are based upon rumors or speculation overheard, yet un-provable.
  4. Many beliefs are from personal life experiences without knowing all of the facts.
  5. Other beliefs come from the observed life experiences of others in our culture and our world also without understanding all of the facts.
  6. Beliefs can be influenced by a thought of our mind, originating from either our own spirit or from an influential spirit either demonic or angelic.
  7. Finally our beliefs can come from hearing from the Spirit of God in our spirit.
 I'm focusing on points 6 and 7, as those are the ones that have been tried and true for me and so many truly blessed people I know. 

If you are awakened frequently at night there are a number of theories you can access to attribute the behavior. Eastern and even some Western medicine will tell you it may be the Chi, and certain meridians and organs anguishing or rejuvenating and healing, or chemical fluctuations. And this will be a personal thing for you reading this, what you believe but I introduce the concept of the "Witching Hour" or the "Devil's Hour".

The pagan and Christian views acknowledge the time to be approximately 3-4 a.m.from different historical basis but in my research I've noticed they may be stating the same thing but with opposing opinions on solutions.  Pagans believe that the Witching Hour (midnight to 3 a.m. ) is a time where we are to be in deepest sleep and the most vulnerable and impressionable state for the "spiritual realm" to gain access to us.  In essence, they have a captive audience.  Conversely and similarly, the Christian "Devil's Hour" is based on the foundation that Jesus likely died at 3 in the afternoon and the Devil's works are to be found opposing all works of G-d and Jesus, so the opposite of 3pm is 3a.m (debatable, but angels and demons regardless are a "spiritual realm".and G-d is supernatural)..... All clear as mud. While I do not usually place a ton of emphasis on Biblical numerology (e.g. 7 being God's number of perfection and divinity and 666 being the number for the anti-Christ), 3 , which is the time I've personally experienced and been hearing the most, indicates completion and perfection ,like the holy Trinity.

There is good and evil, and like the Book of Job, both are able to access your heart, soul and mind. So there's a choice. I'm not saying G-d is going to grant everyone the gift of prophesy because they wake up at 3 a.m., (although that's when I'm given a great deal of "supernatural clarity" that wouldn't happen in my normally clamorous and crazy daily life ). But I am saying it's worth you considering that G-d is speaking to you and challenging you to think outside of the points 1 through 5 listed above and those that oppose him.  Maybe He's inviting you to try His still, and small voice for peace and direction in life. So at 3 a.m. when sleep evades me, I now reach for my devotionals and pray , and more importantly...LISTEN. In times of fear and uneasiness I love this verse, and if I'd ever consider getting a tattoo (which I would NOT  lol ) I would choose this to be it:

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Emphasis and simplification mine ..." Be strong IN THE LORD, stand firm in TRUTH and RIGHTEOUSNESS as outlined in the GOSPEL. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit , which is the word of who? GOD. SO THAT YOU CAN TAKE YOUR STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL'S SCHEMES."


Monday, February 13, 2012

Balancing faith and sensibility

It's extremely simple to remain characters in our own story and never change our circumstances. The beauties of some fables and theater pieces includes the presence of a narrator . I like to consider the narrator of these stories sort of, voices of reason ; someone outside the situation who can offer clarity and another point of view. Sometimes we can get so wrapped in what we're " doing" even if it's with the best of intentions, or in the position of faith in waiting on the Lord. Sometimes for me it's so challenging to discern and separate the desires of my own heart and mind from his actual plan for me. And it's a simple misstep to allow ourselves to cloud our judgement. Sometimes I need to get out of my own way. I love the verse Jeremiah 29:11.

I also love this joke , that reminds us that ,even with God,sometimes things really are simple,but we refuse to accept His solutions in their simple forms. It's the good old," pray to God, but be sure to keep rowing to shore !" theory.

The joke:
It rained for days and days and there was a terrific flood. The water rose so high that one man was forced to climb on top of his roof and sat in the rain. As the waters came up higher a man in a rowboat came up to the house and told him to get in. "No thank you, the Lord will save me!" he said, and the man in the rowboat rowed away.

The waters rose to the edge of the roof and still the man sat on the roof until another rowboat came by and another man told him to get in. "No thank you, the Lord will save me!" he said again, and the man rowed away.

The waters covered the house and the man was forced to sit on his chimney as the rain poured down and a helicopter came by and another man urged him to get in or he'll drown. "No thank you," the man said again, "The Lord will save me!"

After much begging and pleading the man in the helicopter gave up and flew away. The waters rose above the chimney and the man drowned and went to heaven where he met God.

"Lord, I don't understand," he told Him, frustrated, "The waters rose higher and higher and I waited hours for you to save me but you didn't! Why?"

The Lord just shook his head and said, "What are you talking about? I sent two boats and a helicopter?!"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seeking direction and conviction of heart

"Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward." ~ Victor Kiam

God does not call only the equipped , he will equip those He calls. I' m thankful in the stillness for Jeremiah 29:11 "' For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to give you hope and a future'". I'm trying to get in God's passenger seat more, as it turns out I get lost more easily when I insist on "driving". 

Just as the fog seems to begin to lift it seems that the past can creep right back up on me and invade my present. This has been the week of resurfacing of all the I know is not Gods intention for my life. In the midst of the reminders of my failures in relationships, harsh words directed at me, the heartaches i've endured, struggles in business and even my concerns of shortcomings as a parent, I begin to let the negative in and I question things about myself that I know my Heavenly Father would never question.( kind of makes me think of that Pink song where the lyrics say, "you're so mean, when you talk about yourself , you are wrong. Change the voices, in your head, make them like your instead.." So today especially, I am choosing rest. Physical rest and rest in His unconditional love for me and the knowledge that he knows the desires of my heart. I always think I have a great plan, and as it turns out, many times it s not what He had in mind. So , although I go kicking and screaming most days, I think it's time to succumb to the faith I know as truth. I am truly trying to seek conviction and take intentional actions.... So very challenging!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


All I can say is thank G-d and I do mean that reverently that the year 2011 is finally over. I absolutely love the holidays but am anxiously waiting to see how "getting back into the swing of things" frames up. I hardly recognize my children based on their recent behavior and their roller coasters of emotions and health issues. I guess it's true what they say, children respond best to structure and boundaries. We had family in town for a brief period of time and therefore the children were allotted freedoms and bed times that would not be welcomed in our everyday life.

Their sugar and " holiday food" consumption must have left them wanting and certainly did not thrill me, since I try to be as organic and low sugar and gluten as I can. Boy, have the two weeks really affected them! They are ready to embrace their homeschool schedule again and dance is back up and running too, so the regular crazy schedule has replaced the holiday, ludicrous, crazy schedule and I, for one will take it,

Dance is in full swing and this month is super busy with costume completion and cleaning up numbers.... The shadow of their first competition looms over us all and is approaching us in almost a month exactly to the date.

Not so much resolutions, but reminders for me have become the forefront of my thoughts. Thoughts of my hopes for our overall future, hope for my relationships, hopes for my children and so on... I am fighting to regain focus and I'm working on my spiritual walk as well, 2011 did not bring me what I desired, but apparently it brought what God had planned for me. As much as I dislike it, I have to choose faith in that. I revisited one of my favorite messages from preacher TD Jakes on letting go of our need to control ( shared).

I know that my discontent with my daily life is greatly in part to my busyness and disconnect with God. So, no matter the exhaustion level or the hour, I am trying to take more time to search and seek His Word.

Today my devotional for my children focused on what we truly desire for our children and it summed it up perfectly. What more could we want for them but to have thanksgiving, wisdom, knowledge of and relationship with God and more than ever PEACE!! I never want my children to struggle the way I do in so many aspects.

As they, my oldest daughter in particular , have been quarreling over the simplest and silliest, mind you, of things, we have been discussing the importance of relationships and storing up treasures in Heaven.

I told them as I'm usually "shaken" awake by discontent and screeching and hollering amongst siblings ( a sure fire way to make for a cranky me- considering I also hate mornings) that I want to focus on kind tones, sweet voices and loving actions and gestures. I played for them some chords on the piano that illustrated "harmony" and then I demonstrated how sour a song can sound with the wrong notes in place and a lack of harmony. I asked them to please try to fill our home with heartfelt harmony and a focus on kindness, humility and sacrifice for the sake of those we love.

Romans 12:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Latkes for Hanukkah

The Book of Judith is a multi-dimensional literary piece, stated to have occurred during the "twelfth year of reign of Nebuchadnezzar"  that has influenced many religious sects and has become a reference (although not a recognized portion of actual religious doctrine or canon) for the Jewish faith.  During the Middle Ages, stories began to influence religious observances, for instance the consumption of fried foods (signifying the the use of the 8 day (or 7 , because there was enough for one day) abundance of oil present in the Temple for the Maccabees and dairy as told below during Hanukkah = חֲנֻכָּה‎

So, an adored story from the Book of Judith highlights the heroism of the Jewish widow (Judith-יְהוּדִית= "Praised" or "Jewess")who delivered her endangered village from the invasion of the Assyrian army.  Judith enticed the leader of the army (Holofernes) to partake of an abundance of cheese, whose saltiness caused him to be thirsty. She  encouraged him to douse his thirst with wine.  As he was overtaken by thirst, Holofernes eventually passed out drunk from the alcohol consumption.  While in his stupor, Judith successfully beheaded him with his own sword.  The Israelites were able to defeat the unsuspecting and confused Assyrian army as they were found to have no general.  Dairy is eaten in honor of the brave and wise Judith :)

Latkes through the Middle Ages emerged as a dish traditionally served during the Hanukkah celebration.  We either make them ourselves or visit our favorite Jewish deli each year to have them.  Generally these are potato latkes, probably the most recognized form of latke. 

One of the most interesting recipes I've ever used combine the blessing of the oil with that of the dairy of the story of Judith, so I delved further into the origin of the recipes I've used in the past.

Interestingly, the latke was actually derived in Italy and first recorded in the form a cheesy ricotta pancake. yu-MY (that recipe follows)! The first Jewish connection I could find was by an italian, Jewish rabbi, named Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (1286-1328) who featured them “in a list of dishes to serve at an idealized Purim feast, as well as a poem about Hanukkah. After the Spanish expelled the Jews from Sicily in 1492, the exiles introduced their ricotta cheese pancakes, which were called cassola in Rome, to the Jews of northern Italy. Consequently, cheese pancakes, because they combined the two traditional types of foods–fried and dairy–became a natural Hanukkah dish.” ~Marks, Gil. the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food.

Potatoes became the ingredient of choice during the Eastern European famine of the 1800's where potatoes were a staple crop that was sought as a primary source of sustenance.  Potato latkes, ALSO delicious.

So I've included a couple of recipes for you to try with your family, in observance of such rich history.

CHEESE LATKES yields approx 16 latkes

1 cup ricotta cheese
¾ cup flour
3 eggs
2 tbsp  sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
Nonstick cooking oil spray, for frying
  1. Combine all ingredients except the nonstick oil in a food processor until the mixture forms a thick batter.
  2. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking oil and heat over medium. Use a spoon to scoop up the batter, then pour it onto the hot skillet in the size/shape of silver dollar pancakes. Use 1-2 tablespoons of batter per pancake. Spread the batter out into a thin circle after it hits the skillet.
  3. Fry the latkes for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. Test the first latke for doneness and make sure it’s cooked all the way through; if the latkes are browning faster than they’re cooking, reduce skillet heat. 
  4. Serve the latkes immediately plain , drizzled with honey, or topped with jam or fruit preserves, sour cream, maple syrup, yogurt or agave nectar
POTATO LATKES  yields about 12 latkes

4 medium potatoes** see fast version below
1 medium onion**see fast version below
2 eggs
1/2 cup matzah meal (or flour or bread crumbs)
1 tsp. baking powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
vegetable oil
1.   Shred the potatoes or zucchini and onion into a large bowl.** Frozen hash browns work REALLY well to and eliminate this step.  And also thank G-d for the now pre-chopped onions available at most markets
2  . Squeeze out all excess liquid, helps to wrap in a paper towel(if using a food processor, use the chopping blade for 2 or 3 seconds after pressing out liquid )
3  .Add eggs and mix well.
4.  Add matzah meal gradually while mixing until the batter is doughy, not too dry. (you may not need the whole amount, depending on moisture left from the vegetables)
5.  Add the baking powder, salt and pepper and mix well. (don't taste the batter raw-- it's really gross! cook a mini tester in the oil to test seasoning)).
6. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil to medium-high heat.
7.  Form the batter into thin palm sized patties patties.
8.  Fry batter in oil. To ensure thorough cooking, flip once when the bottom is golden brown.
9.  Place finished latkes on paper towels to drain.
10. Serve latkes immediately while they are hot. We love ours with sour cream and  applesauce.

Zest them up by adding fresh veggies to the batter ( bell peppers, parsley, carrots, celery, or even jalapenos. You may need to add another egg and  more matzah meal for the batter to hold during frying).

Family 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mad Season

This year has once again flown by and we're looking down the business end of 2012!!!! It's been so long since I've blogged mainly because it seems like everything has picked up.  The children's first season of competitive dance has been beyond a time and financial commitment.  Tuition is expensive and then the shoes for competition and everything. GEEEEZ! I am glad however I am thankful that we are still homeschooling this year in addition to the dance schedule because for some reason, I cannot see how children can attend school and excel academically while maintaining this intense rehearsal schedule.

The holidays are upon us and for the past few years, I've taught the children the fundamentals of Judaism and its foundation within Christianity.  Tomorrow begins the celebration of Chanukah  and the children are going to be able to light their menorah, say their blessings and read about the history of the holiday.  Every year we have latkes and other Jewish yummies during this week as well.  Here is a great and simple recipe for latkes and we love them with apple sauce.  I have read that the focus of fried foods is related to the importance of the abundance of oil in the book of the Maccabees.

Recipe for Latkes 

Makes approximately 12 palm-sized latkes

  • 4 medium potatoes(I've also used zuchinni-very yummy, but needs another egg and a little more matzah meal)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup matzah meal (flour or bread crumbs can be substituted)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. each salt and black pepper (more or less to taste)
  • vegetable oil 
Shred the potatoes and onion into a large bowl. Press out all excess liquid.(if using a food processor, use the chopping blade for 2 or 3 seconds after pressing out liquid to avoid stringy fly-aways). Add eggs and mix well. Add matzah meal gradually while mixing until the batter is doughy, not too dry. (you may not need the whole amount, depending on how well you drained the veggies). Add the baking powder, salt and pepper and mix well. (don't taste the batter -- it's really gross!). Don't worry if the batter turns a little orange; that will go away when it fries.
Heat about 1/2 inch of oil to medium-high heat. Form the batter into thin patties about the size of your palm. Fry batter in oil. Be patient: this takes time, and too much flipping will burn the outside without cooking the inside. Flip when the bottom is golden brown.
Place finished latkes on paper towels to drain. Eat hot with sour cream or applesauce. They reheat better in a microwave, but not as well  in an oven.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1 Thessalonians 5:14-parenting

"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all".

-sigh- All so much easier said than done:-(  Today's devotional was on recognizing appropriate discipline for children.  As a mother with so many children, I see the a large spectrum of personality traits in each of my children. Some make them very unique to their siblings and others make it undoubtable they are members of our family! I have the constant challengers and the ones that care to aspire to follow the rules.  Then when I think I have it figured out, they go through a transition in development/age that undoes everything I thought I knew!  This stickler of it is that, with every emerging trait, I have to approach each child differently as they respond to circumstances differently.  First in the form of discipline, these days ..

Kameronn's currency is hard earned money and technology- easy...grounded from electronics or if appropriate he has to use his own money to compensate a loss from carelessness.  Time out or sent to his room ? Completely ineffective, he's fairly introverted and as a teenager, prefers his individual time. When he was younger he would transform time outs into a nap...good old fashioned spanking worked for him.

Seth- hands down the socializer, he works well to have social events or opportunities taken away.  Time outs always worked well for him.  He loves his extra-curricular activities, not a fan of school work, so he knows now they are directly related to each other.  No school work. NO dance. NO discussions. A couple of times sitting out showed him I meant business! He gets it done now, so much improvement.

Rylann -Rylann is my challenge child, he is strong willed, a trait that will serve him well in later years, but at presence, bordering belligerence.  Additionally, he has a temper.  Both need to be admonished as necessary . This little guy will have a stand off with anyone big or small.  Rylann has to stay in the Word, so that he recognizes daily the need for self control.  His strength of course is his loving soul that will defend what is right quickly and consistently. Pointless to spank this one, he'll endure it with a smile to feel victorious.  Rylann is also motivated by extra curricular activities for school work and overall tidiness.

Ysabel- Ysa is fairly compliant, aiming to please. She rarely requires discipline, but when she does, it is crushing for her, almost as if it scars her very soul.  She dislikes time outs and when and if she needs a punishment for moral or danger issues, she thoroughly understands the reason.  The downside to her sticking to the rules is she has deemed herself worthy of being the "enforcer" a.k.a. the tattletale or the reminder that "so and so  is in trouble when we get home...." But thank God for the one who has her coat and shoes on, etc and her dance bag, while we shuffle everyone else along.

Aemilia- ah yes, the baby. She is still a loose cannon, vying for her position and identity both within and outside the family.  God knew what He was doing sending this one last, her spunk and energy, demand she be acknowledged, so no fading into the background here.  Her age truly plays an integral role here still, and so we still have to "play" with what's effective for her.  So far it seems to be a combination of all forms of discipline, encouraging her when she does right, time outs, withholding rewards, and even an occasional spanking :( But let's face it, she the youngest and it's interesting to see how the very siblings who will rat her out, quickly become advocates in her

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New favorite snack! Healthy Cookie Dough "dip"

Many of my friends know that I am kind of obsessed with my body image, especially after having so many children!  And, no, not in the health body image way, moreso in the cutting calories however I can, and working out and just...obsessing.  But, I am very particular in the foods my children eat too, o fast food, organic when necessary..blah blah blah. I want them to have healthy eating habits and also I find myself catering to innumerable food allergy limitations.  I made a delicious and somewhat healthy snack for us and it doesn't stick around for long, especially if they don't know what's in it. This is a hit at parties too.  Also, I am a huge fan of The Sneaky Chef , where my kiddos' favorite foods are still their favorites but balanced and with the entire healthful food pyramid present and hidden inside...Here' s the recipe , I made two batches, allergy safe, (in parenthesis below), and then some for the rest of us. Give it a chance, it's yummy.  (We used graham crackers to scoop up and eat the dip).

Protein rich, gluten free , use sugar substitute, and sugar free chocolate chips for completely sugar free
Cookie Dough Dip

1 can of chickpeas, yes chickpeas! (also known as garbanzos),  drained and rinsed
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
2 T organic almond butter and 2 T peanut butter ( substitute 3 T soy nut butter for all)
2 t vanilla
2 T steel cut oats, or flax meal (sneaky)
2/3 cup brown sugar or fave sugar substitute to taste
Splashes of milk (or soy milk) to blend smooth 
As many chocolate chips as you'd like

Mix all of the ingredients (except chocolate chips)  in a blender ( I used a Magic Bullet- I admit it).  Add slowly,  small splashes of milk (or soy milk) to make the mixture blend to completely smooth. Stir in your favorite chocolate chips. Serve with graham crackers,pretzels coconut cookies or apple slices. Or like me you can eat it off of a spoon