Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1 Kings 1-3--We can't stay the same!

When I was reading our iDiscipleship assignment this week, chapter 3 stood out to me. I noticed that before God (which I'll start referring to by His name, Yahweh) met with Solomon, he was going to the high places to make his sacrifice. After Yahweh met him, Solomon went to the temple to sacrifice.

I find two things interesting here:

1. Yahweh met with Solomon while he was literally doing something not pleasing to Him----sacrificing in the high places! This is really worth thinking about because back then, sacrificing to Yahweh was to be done at the temple, no where else. High places were where pagans and Israel's enemies sacrificed.

2. After Yahweh met with Solomon (in his dream), Solomon went straight to the place he was supposed to be sacrificing---in the temple! To see the drastic turn around in Solomon after God met with him is really cool to me. Here's why...God never said, "Stop sinning!" No, I would be willing to say that because of Solomon's encounter with Yahweh, he naturally wanted to follow all His ways. That confirms to me again that once we encounter Yahweh, the Creator of the universe, we cannot help but be transformed and changed. We can't stay the same.

Another cool thing about this whole thing is, it doesn't seem that Solomon was looking for a meeting with Yahweh. I think that God met with Solomon because of His commitment to David, Solomon's father.

This hits home for me because this week God has actually been reminding me of His commitment to my father, Larry Dwayne Dimond.  I have no doubt that there are blessings in my life because of my Dad's faithfulness to Yahweh.  That's the kind of parent I want to be! 

Banana Bread

I don't know what has come over me, but in the last 3 weeks, I've started baking again!  First, I made banana bread.  I hadn't made banana bread in years!  Many years!  Then last week I made seriously the world's best chocolate chip cookies!  They were delicious.  This week, I made some more banana bread and wanted to share the recipe because it's seriously so so easy!

I got this recipe from my friend Haley, who got it from a lady at work.  So who knows where it actually came from.  Boy is it good!

1/2 cup soft butter  (I always suggest Kerry Gold Butter. Irish yummy butter! We get ours at Trader Joes)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3-4 ripe mashed bananas (I used 5 bananas once and had enough mixture for 6 banana muffins too)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt  (sea salt is the best)

Bake at 350f

9 x 5 loaf = 50-60 minutes
9 x 9 = 35-40 minutes

Pour it all in the same bowl and blend it all together until it's all wet and resembles a cake-type mixture.

I think the reason my cookies and banana bread have tasted so especially delicious is because my friend, Lori, gave me some of her HOMEMADE pure vanilla extra!  She made it in July (ordered the beans online, scrapped each and everyone out and soaked the insides in vodka for 6 months).  Crazy!  Crazy good! hehehe.

If you make this, share with us how it turns out.

Once mine cools for 20ish minutes, I always take it out of the loaf pan and just have it cool on the counter.  Last night however I was going to bed and didn't want it just sitting on my counter, so I wrapped it in wax paper.  I think that helped keep the moisture in because this morning is was super moist!  Now I just have it in cling-wrap (plastic wrap).

Monday, January 28, 2013

The g.y.m.

So...before Phil and I got married, we did something we called the Sexy Challenge.  Many of you may have heard of the Pepsi Challenge?  Well, it's nothing like that! :-)  We made up the Sexy Challenge to help us get into a new and healthy lifestyle before we got married.  We wanted to build healthy habits before marriage because we knew that it would be even more challenging to form them after marriage.  So what we did was we created goals and prizes that made up the Sexy Challenge.  If we met all our goals by our wedding day, we got our awesome prizes!  It was really a genius idea.  And it was awesome to do for more than just looking great, but for feeling great too!  Neither one of us had ever had sex before our wedding day so we wanted to feel really confident naked and love our own bodies.  Which, let me tell you, we so did!  :-)

Wedding Day:

Lookin good, right?!?!

Anyway...we did great.  We both reached our goals and just were feeling really good about ourselves.  Then came the 3 month honeymoon.  That's right.  3 months.  Now before you go and get all jealous, this 3 months we went back and forth with both our families (2 hours apart).  We never really had our own space and we "had" to indulge in all the food we loved in Ireland before we moved back to Minnesota.  Needless to say, we did not keep to our healthy lifestyle!  And I've been regretting it ever since!  Ugh.  It didn't help that after just being married for a little over a year, my Daddy passed away.  Any kind of grief does not help motivate one to want to hit the gym.  Philip did do alot better at it than me though.  He got moving.  I didn't care to move one bit.

That's been my last 2 1/2 years with fitness.  Sure I've tried Insanity and Pilates, but nothing has stuck.  And I always end up feeling guilty about it because I remember how awesome I felt when we got married.  I remember fitting into that super cute swimsuit and feeling free as a bird!  Now the thought of a swimsuit is not freeing to say the least, lol.   Something that Phil and I have done well at however is our eating!  We have become very healthy eaters, which is half the battle anyway!  So it's been a crazy 2 years...emotionally and physically.

Now all that gets to change.  The reason??  Now I actually want it to change.   Like all of you know, it's pretty dang hard to do something that you mentally don't actually want to do or even have motivation for, even if it is good for you.  Since I was already drained emotionally, there was no motivation to go to a gym, or keep doing Pilates at home after 2 weeks.  In the last month however, I have been walking EVERY day!!!!!  Can you believe it?!?!  I am so excited.  And I am finding myself actually wanting to active things.  So today, I joined a gym.  Not because it's a good idea, or because there's an ideal weight I want to weigh (even though it is a good idea and there is an ideal weight I want to weigh, haha).  Nope.  I joined a gym because I want to join a gym.  And you know why it'll work this time?  Because I want to workout.  I don't care what anyone says, it's near impossible to do something you don't want to do...even if it's good for you!

I know this desire is coming from my heart AND brain now.  I know it's been in there for years, but life happens and sometimes there are more important things to take care of.  For me, it's been my emotional and mental health.  Now, however, I am ready to focus on my physical health because my emotional health is leveling out :-)

Thank you Jesus for motivation.  And thank you Jesus for walking with me on this journey.  Life is a journey.  We will never arrive until we walk through those pearly gates.

The end :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Healthy Living

Right before my Dad died, I really started getting interested in vitamins and holistic medicines; herbs, food for medicinal use, etc.  Since Dad died, I've really dived into learning as much as I can about natural forms of healthy living. 

Some friends have told me I need to share the stuff that I've learned, so I wanted to take some time and write out some of the cool things I've learned about different vitamins, minerals, herbs and foods.  These are a HUGE help in staying healthy and living healthy.  I love things that support the immune system in its own effort to heal and fight disease instead of having medicines that do it in place of your immune system.  That doesn't help long-term.  It's incredible what our bodies are actually capable of doing if we only give it a chance.  God was a definitely a genius in His creativity and formation of our bodies!

If this kind of stuff interests you, be sure to buy the book Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing.  It will become your best friend for referencing pretty much every health ailment!  It's become my go-to since I don't have health insurance...and I can honestly say, I've only been to the Doc twice in the last 3 years because this book, along with some other resources has helped me build my immune system and take care of any ailments (obviously none were emergency related).  I'll keep it in our book collection for years to come because it will be super handy when we have kids!

Something you should note is, if you decide to buy any of the supplements I recommend, you want to be sure to get a good quality brand.  A generic, convenient-store brand unfortunately is loaded with fillers and has very little of the actual vitamins or minerals in it.  All the brands below are great quality brands that you can find in most health food stores. Of course, you can research and find more brands too.  I tried to find everything on so you can see prices.

These are all just from my cupboard so obviously there are so many more supplements, but these have been some of the main things that have helped Philip and I.

1. First things first, if you don't have some Silver Water in your house, you should be sure to get some.  You can get it online, or at a Health Food Store.  What is it good for?  The simple answer is: Silver water kills the bad stuff inside your body and boosts your immune system.  You can use it to brush your teeth, just swish around in your mouth and swallow, and it can be used for kids, pets and plants!  Some great info can be found here.  (I drank this stuff like crazy to fight strep!)

2. Next, keep some Vitamin C on hand.  You cannot over dose on vitamin c (because it is water-soluble and you just pee it out), so if you feel a tickle in your throat, or just a funky-inside-feeling, get some good vitamin c.  Vitamin c boosts your immune system and keeps your body working.  More info can be found here.

If you don't want to buy anything else, I'd totally recommend at least getting these 2 things to have as household regulars.

Some good-to-haves
1.  Vitamin B Complex is great as a daily vitamin, but particularly great during times of stress.  When my Dad died, my friend (who's been studying holistic medicine and lifestyle for 20+ years) suggested I start taking a vitamin b complex and fish oil.  Vitamin B Complex helps your adrenal glands function efficiently when under stress.  Vitamin B Complex is also water soluble so you can't over do it because you'll just pee it out.  More information can be found here.

2.  Fish Oil is great for not just your heart, but for your brain too!  It is a natural anti-inflammatory as well.  You can take a therapeutic amount of up to 3,000 mg/daily for 2 weeks and then drop down to 1 capsule daily.  Again, this is great for stressful times because it helps brain function.  I recommend Carlson Labs for anything fish oil related because most theirs do not have metals such as mercury, in their products.  Most fish oils have high levels of mercury which is bad for our bodies.  Carlson Labs has a bunch of different types to chose from.  I do the tablets because, lets be honest, the liquid scares me, haha.  I have a friend who prefers the lemon liquid though, so it's really personal preference.

3.  Vitamin D3 should be your best friend during winter months and in flu season!  It is 800% more effective than the flu shot and it's not toxic to your body!  D3 is what our bodies get from the sun, so when there is less sunlight your body craves it.  Take this stuff all winter to help your brain keep from getting too sluggish because it also helps with seasonal depression.

4. Garlic is a great natural antibacterial, so if you are feeling like a cold is coming on, either eat lots and lots of garlic or you can get capsules.  If you want to eat it, cook it in stir fry is always a great idea.  Or you can do what a friend of mine does and mince it raw and spread on some toast...ick!  But definitely does the trick, haha!  Onions are also a great food to eat if you're feeling sick with a cold.  It will help your immune system get a boost!  If you want tablets, I recommend Kyolic brand because all they do is garlic.  Any kind of garlic is great for cold/flu symptoms so don't get overwhelmed by all the choices...because I did.  Alot of their products have some extra goodness in them so that's why they're marketed as "cardiovascular" or "circulation".  In the end, any kind of garlic you get will be helpful.

5.  Zinc is great in lozenger form when you have a sore throat, but also works well in capsule form.  I can't take zinc unless I've eaten alot because it makes me feel nasuase.  However, Phil takes it daily and is completely fine.  It's also good for dandruff and your immune system.  Most brands have a zinc but the one I linked is kind of an "elite" brand to set a standard.  They specialize in raw food supplements.  Price is always something I'm mindful of, so take some tips from Garden of Life but do look around for prices that suit your budget.

6.  Vitamin A for 8 weeks helps fight warts!  I had warts on my feet that would not go away.  I tried everything!  Freezing, bandaid-ing, duct-taping, cutting and nothing was doing the trick.  A friend of mine told me about vitamin a for 8 weeks and so I tried it and my warts died and never came back!!! It's good for skin in general, but works wonders on a wart problem.

Other helpful things

Sleep aids

Melatonin is good for helping you sleep.  My family discovered this great alternative because we traveled alot.  It helps with jet-lag because it helps your body naturally get into a sleep cycle.  Some nights if I'm having a hard time getting to sleep, I'll take one capsule because it helps me sleep through the night.  I do have a friend however that cannot take melatonin because it has the OPPOSITE effect on her.  So maybe do a test with it before you're in dire need because the last thing you'll want is to be wide awake when you're trying to be sound asleep.

Pain relievers

1. Aspirin has received a bad name in the last forever years!  I am learning, however, that it is better to use than ibuprofen and definitely better than Tylenol.  Do your utmost to stay away from Tylenol because it is awful on your liver!!!  My friend, the holistic friend, works alot with babies and new mom's in her profession and she'll only recommend an aspirin pain killer because it's safer than any of the other pain relievers...even for babies!  It's also usually the cheapest at any store.  Just because the health system has said it could be connect to Reyes Disease, there is no evidence to support that!

2.  Arnica is a pain reliever.  This comes in a few different forms.  There are tables you can take orally if you have a headache.  My sister-in-law actually used this natural pain reliever during labor!  You can get Arnica Oil for soothing muscle pain.  There's even a gel and cream too!  It can be used for any sort or inflammation, busing, and pain.  Since it's an oil, I actually use it for a bunch of things....dandruff, spider veins, extra hand moisturizer.  The list continues.  You can use it on kids too.

3.  Mullein/Garlic ear drops are great alternative for ear infections, ear aches, anything ear related.  You don't need to rush off and get an antibiotic from the Doc.  Help your body do the work!  These drops are great ear releief!  And they're great for kiddos too.  If you don't want to get any ear drops, you can always use olive oil to bring sweet relief to the inside of your ears.  Garlic and Mullein are the main helpers in ear relief from infection or itchy ears.

Essential Oils
1.  Mandarin oil is great for stress relief!  Can you tell I've been under alot of stress in my life?! Ha.  You can sniff it from the jar, or put it in an essential oil diffuser to help it get into the air of your living room, or bedroom, or even bathroom.  You can mix this with some bergamot oil to create a lovely stress relieving aroma :-)

2.  Bergamot oil is another stress reliever.  It can be used the same as the mandarin oil or any other essential oil but can be mixed with the mandarin oil.  Aura Cacia specialize in aromatherapy and natural personal care.

3.  Eucalyptus oil is used for stuffy noses!  It smells like vicks vapor rub! :-)  You can put some drops on a washcloth and place the washcloth on a pillow for while you're sleep, or you can use it how I recommended for the mandarin oil.

Rescue Remedy is again, another stress reliever, however this one is taken orally with a little dropper.  The instructions say you can put 4 drops on your tongue when you're getting overwhelmed, or you can mix some drops in a glass of water.  Something I do is put drops into my water bottle and drink it throughout the day if I'm going to a meeting or doing something that would give me anxiety.  Bach Flower remedies.

If this kind of stuff interests you, I would also suggest you read Food Remedies; Facts About Food And Their Medicinal Uses.  It's FREE for Kindle download.  It was written at the beginning of the 1900s and it is so so good!

Thanks for reading! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lotion/Coconut Oil

I just read about a great alternative to lotion!

Coconut oil!

These are the ways I have heard you can use it.  (note: below are not my original ideas; a friend's of a friend that were too cool not to spread around)

You can use it straight and whip it up and lather it right on (great for a prego belly), or melt it a bit and combine some other great  Shea Butter  and Cocoa Butter.  Add a little extra virgin olive oil and stick it in the fridge until it becomes solid, and then have at it!  Your new lotion with lots of natural goodness :-)

Other resources
--Cool website for Shea Butter if you're feeling really adventurous!

New things

I've realized that my blog is pretty boring.  I mean I think it's awesome, but it doesn't really have alot of umf!  So...I've decided that I'm going to change it up a bit.  I'll still be posting the Thought of the Day(s) on here for our iD Bible reading, but I will also be putting other cool stuff that I learn or think is cool.

One of those cool things I've discovered is a blog by a lady named Katie Riddle.  It's pretty much the coolest blog ever.  If you want to find awesome recipes, home ideas, gardening tips, or just learn about some great life lessons, check out Riddle Love.

As I've been thinking about what I want this blog to be like, I think I want to talk about the things I love ...because other than my favourite interest, Jesus, and music, I don't usually share much else on here.

Everyone has a voice.  Even me!  And even though this won't be the only place I share my voice, I think it's a good place to start.  That means I'll be sharing random stuff, but also some life changing stuff.  Since my Dad died, almost a year and half ago, I haven't really felt I've had a voice.  That can be a really lonely place. 

I am looking forward to sharing some of my life on here, so thanks for joining me!  I'm looking forward to seeing where this all goes :-)

...It's a new day to live in hope.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 Timothy

Again, like in 1 Timothy, there are so many awesome things in this book I won't be able to hit all of them.  I'll write out some verses and then have a brief thought next to each one.

1:5-7--- "I am reminded of your sincere faith...For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline."  I want to be remembered as one with sincere faith!

1:12--- "Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day."  If God brought Paul through his imprisonments and shipwrecked times, he will bring us through ours!

2:7--- "Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this."  If there's something we don't understand in scripture, keep seeking!  He promises that we will find what we are seeking and that He'll give us insight!

3:12-15--- "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it..." 
         In college I was volunteering at a youth group and as clear as anything, God asked me to pray for persecution for the students!  What?!?!  I did not know if that was even "allowed" so I got scared and didn't obey.  It wasn't until years later that I saw the error of my ways.  God brings such incredible fruit during persecution and I could have been an instrument to help our students grow but instead I was fearful because I didn't "get it."  Fruit comes in times of persecution because persecution either confirms the things that you are convinced of (Jesus) and you keep walking in it, or you poop out and live however you want.  Paul writes "continue in what you have learned and become convinced of".  It did not benefit the youth group and now years later I'm sad to say that many are no longer serving the Lord.  I thought I was "protecting" them instead of praying the hard things I knew God asked me to pray. 
         Have courage if you are being persecuted because God doesn't just promise it will happen, He promises to bring you through it and make your faith stronger if you continue in what you have learned and become convinced of!  I can attest to this because when I was 12, I lost my best friend because of my faith.  That year was a HUGE defining point in my life because that was when I decided and knew what I was convinced of!  I've never turned back.  As the old hymn sings, "You can have all this world, Just give me Jesus."  I grieve knowing that I played a part in preventing my students from experiencing something that could have changed their lives.  Yes, I know God can still move regardless of our disobedience because of His grace, but I also know that sometimes if we don't obey, He chooses not to move.

3:16-17--- "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."  Whatever God has called you to do, He will affirm and encourage you through the Scripture!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1 Timothy

What a great and confusing-in-parts book! Haha. There are so many things to take away from this book and I think what I want to do with this weeks Thought is write down some verses that speak loudly to us about our walk with Christ, and also to encourage us in this good fight.

Chapter 1.
I think the first thing I grabbed from this book is that we are all sinners. We have all fallen short. Even though you have grown-up and currently are growing-up in a Christian family, and maybe have never done anything "wrong" are still a sinner. Sometimes it's easy to listen to some of those crazy testimonies of Paul's here in the Bible...and think, "Well, I don't feel like I was really saved from anything." That's how I've felt at times in my life. I realized though, because we have human nature in us from the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, we are automatically sinners even if we don't have "proof" like Paul had. 1 Timothy 1:12- "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to hi service."

God's grace covers us all. 1 Tim 1:13- "Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief."

Chapter 4.
Always remember this...your whole life! vs 12- "Don't let anyone, (including yourself!) look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." Remember that. Do not look down on yourself because you are young!

Phil and I are reading the book Anointing by R.T. Kendall right now. He talks about everyone having an anointing, or gift as it's sometimes called. God keeps reminding me to not neglect my gift, like Paul says here to Timothy- vs- 14-15- "Do not neglect your gift..." "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them..."

Chapter 5.
Have you ever met a really obnoxious old man? Old woman? Peer? They are everywhere! Am I right? much as sometimes I'd like to just give them a piece of my mind on how their actions are dumb, Paul is great at reminding me that I can't unless that's how I would talk to my own Dad (not a chance!) or my Mom (uh-no way!) or my brother (have said more than I should have) or a sister. Even in those times when we're justified to give someone a reality check, remember that we are to treat them with exhortations and purity. vs-1-2 "Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older woman as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."

Chapter 6:12
"Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession..." vs 20 - "Timothy (insert your own name), guard what has been entrusted to your care." Nuf said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


As we have just finished the Book of Numbers I wanted to quickly post and share some thoughts about what I got out of the book of Numbers. For some of us this book might have been a real struggle to get through. On the surface Numbers is not a flashy book or one some of us might automatically go to but none the less Numbers is a powerful book and is full of lessons that we can learn.

The biggest thing I got out of the book is that God is intentional. Everything he does is for a purpose and oftentimes he wants it done his way. Throughout the book we see God giving specific instructions in relation to sacrifices and protocol but also about what he wants the Israelites to do.

Secondly, God disciplines the ones he loves. We are given prime examples of this in Numbers. God disciplined the entire Nation in chapter 13 & 14 when the scouts bring a negative report about the promised land. He also disciplines Moses when he strikes the rock in chapter 20. Moses loses his opportunity to enter the promised land.

Related to this point about discipline is the fact that God is always preparing us. God uses discipline to prepare us for his plans and purposes. The people of Israel weren't ready to enter the promised land when the scouts returned with a negative report but after 40 years in the desert the people were ready. Sometimes God brings us through difficult times to refine and teach us. I want to be fully ready and prepared when I'm doing what the Lord has called me to do

Finally what I learned is that God can use anything for his good. We see an example of this in Chapter 22 with Balaam's donkey. Also if I'm honest I wasn't excited about reading Numbers but the Lord spoke to me through this book far more than I thought he would. The difference for me was that I asked God to speak to me and allowed him the room to speak to me. Although I didn't think I would get much out of reading Numbers he Lord used the Book of Numbers to teach me new things and remind me of things I've already learned.

As we continue through this journey on idiscipleship we are going to come across books in the bible that are easy to read and also books that are really challenging. I encourage each one of you to be intentional about your reading and as we begin each book to ask the Lord to speak to you through what is written. As always your leaders, Hannah & I, Chad and Joey are all here to help you through that journey.

Happy Reading!

Written by: Philip Day

Numbers 31-33

Numbers 32

While reading our assignment of Numbers 31-33 I was really struck by the fact that 3 tribes asked for a different land from the promised land to be their inheritance.

What struck me about this request was the fact that the Israelites had already been wandering around the desert for 40 years because of their disobedience and now the 3 tribes ask for a different land than what God had promised to give them. Why did they chose to settle in a land that wasn't the one God had promised them and their families?

The thought that came to me regarding this was that God's promises to us are the best. Period. In Proverbs it says that God withholds NO good thing from the righteous. It reminds me of a situation I faced in college. I had a good opportunity right in front of me that I had the option of pursuing...but I also had a great opportunity that God had promised me that wasn't in front of me; I had to wait for it. My friend said some of the wisest words to me while I was deciding what to do. He said, "Hannah, don't settle for a good thing that's right in front of you if it's not the great thing that God has promised you."

That's my challenge this week. Don't be like the Israelites and settle for a "land" that is right in front of you if it's not the "land" that God has promised you--because what He has promised you is the BEST. Did anyone notice that the land the 3 tribes settled for was right across the river from the Promise land? There's a principle in that too...hold out for what God has promised because it could be right across the "river" from where you're at now.