Food

How to Have a Drama-free Thanksgiving // Accepting Others As They Are

Picture this scene.

It's Thanksgiving Day.

The table has been set with grandma's fine china. It's pretty and white detailed with a gold trim and tiny blue flowers.

The turkey has been carved.

The family members pose just before the blessing is said for a Norman Rockwell portrait.

The blessing is prayed.

The partaking of the Thanksgiving meal begins.

And then it happens–Uncle Obnoxious begins his usual antics of getting securely under your skin with his big mouth. His opinionated views on politics, religion, today's youth, the preacher, and even how the turkey was carved flow out of his mouth as freely as water coming out of the kitchen faucet. It goes on and on and doesn't stop until someone turns him off. His very presence begins to gnaw at you, and you pray under your breath, "Lord, why did I ever decide to come to this family gathering!"

Sound familiar to you? Suffice it to say, most of us have an Uncle Obnoxious or someone in our family who just sort of rubs us the wrong way. Perhaps some of you are already thinking of ways to respectfully decline this year's Thanksgiving invitation, knowing he/she will be there.

Wait! Before you decline, may I offer you a ray of hope from my own experience? You see, people like Uncle Obnoxious used to make me cringe. In fact, I thought that I was called into the world to give "Help Tips" to my closest relatives and friends that would assist them in seeing things more positively. And Lord knows those legalistic people who only see things as either black or white definitely needed my assistance in helping them balance the truth. 

Hogwash. The real truth of the matter was I was trying to mold them into what I wanted them to be, especially if I were going to have to deal with them on a regular basis. The bottom line was, instead of my help tips helping them, I was causing division.

The spiritual light bulb revelation that "changed me" instead of me trying to change others came as I listened to my mentor, the late Melba Bekeheimer, teach from Romans 15:7.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." (NIV)

My spiritual light bulbs really went off when Melba asked, "Did God say if you get rid of all the moles, then I will accept you? Did God wait for you to get perfect before accepting you?" (Ugh!)

She continued by explaining that there is a big difference in accepting and approving. We sometimes think that we have to approve someone in order to accept him/her, and that's not true. We have to accept a lot of things in life, but we don't have to approve them. We are all going to have different opinions, temperaments, and personalities. These different types of people don't have to be our bosom buddies (even relatives), but we do have to accept them.

This new concept and revelation, not only brought emotional and spiritual healing to my heart, but paved the way for me to deal with all the, shall we respectfully call them "sandpaper," people in my life.

And so it was. I sat down with a pen and paper and begin to write out all those things that had gotten under my skin about a few people. I then decided that it was time to throw the list in the garbage can. I made a conscientious decision that I would now accept them just the way they are and allow their creator to make the necessary changes in their lives if need be. 

Believe me, I am no longer stressed out around those people who used to make me cringe just to be in the same room with them. Well, not much anyway. A healing came into my life when I accepted them, as well as when I forgave them for times that their words had hurt me. And yes, some of them I had to ask to forgive me for trying to mold them into my image. Why did I even think that was okay?

It is a good feeling knowing I don't have to straighten people out for their journey through life anymore. I also walk with a confidence knowing who I am in Christ and prayerfully function as an ambassador for Him.

And with that, I encourage you to start preparing your heart this Thanksgiving to meet up with Uncle Obnoxious. Make a decision to love him unconditionally, warts, moles, and all–just like Christ loves and accepts you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us at Created Woman!

Discover Life Balance & Time for Yourself

So today, I really thought there was going to be a knock down drag out fight between all of the voices in my head who all wear different hats. The hat of mom, wellness and life purpose coach, teacher, student, homemaker, family cook, and oh, let's not forget wanna be "hottie wife". Trying to balance all of them and find time for myself with a little exercise is mentally and physically exhausting. Can I hear an amen? I mean really, is it even possible? I've come to learn that it is; however, it may be different than what some think. 

I am passionate for each role that I have, but to keep it together and stay healthy, I had to learn (and still learning) a couple of things. 

  1. My day must start with quiet time with the Lord. It's a must!
  2. I need to honestly answer a few questions and be real with myself.
    • What are my priorities? 
    • What season of life am I in right now? 
    • Have I made allowance or changes with my "yes's", schedules, and individual pursuits?
    • Does my time really go toward what I say is important?
    • Is what I am doing today going to make the biggest difference 1, 5, 20 years from now?

What about you?

As seasons of life change, have you made adjustments to your routine, schedule, and priorities? Have you taken the time to write down your priorities? You see, not everything can be a priority. If we try to give everything equal time, we are left feeling overwhelmed and too busy, yet never feeling successful at anything

By identifying our priorities in the current season, we can better manage our time around them giving us a sense of peace and balance. Ah! Doesn't peace and balance sound so refreshing?

Take a moment to think about a few things to ensure your time is organized and directed to what is important to you.

Evaluate Wasted Time

Try this courageous challenge. Spend a day, noting everything that takes up your time. Be brave enough to list things such as Facebook, Pinterest, favorite TV shows, even sleep, etc. How much of your time is given toward what you say is a priority? Sometimes, it seems we are so busy, but we can waste time on things that really do not matter. They may seem little, but small pockets of wasted time, add up to a lot of wasted time, which leads to a long list of things that were forgotten at the end of the day.

Evaluate Busy Time

Okay, so you might be saying, "I do not waste time. All of my time is spent on important things." The question then becomes, "Are they things that need to be a priority right now?" Just because it was given attention at one stage in your life, does not mean it needs to be now. Look at your list again and ask:

  • Is there something that you could put down for a while?
  • Is there someone else who could grow and/or learn if you delegated a specific task or responsibility?

The truth is, how we spend our time reflects what is really important to us. For example, if we say our health is important, but we are on the fast food diet with no exercise, it may not be as important as we think. If we say God and our family is everything, yet lack in quality time with God or too exhausted at the end of the day to spend time with family, they may be on the back burner. 

And now, one final step that can help us pull it all together to stay organized and get things done.

Focus

Oh man, a word I say to my 8-year-old say daily over and over. But honestly, don't we busy women struggle to stay focused? We can text, email, talk on the phone, and work on a project all at one time. But does it really produce a good outcome? To shut down all of the voices in my head, I have to consciously remember to work wearing one hat a time. Focus means, "Giving attention to one thing at a time." Yikes! Is that possible? Yes, and here is how. 

  • Begin your day by writing down what needs to be accomplished for that day. I do not encourage procrastination, but don't fill your day with tasks/projects that can be attended to another day or even another week. They are not a priority for today.
  • Schedule a specific amount of time for each task. That would include projects, phone calls, text messages, emails, and even Facebook (yes, give Facebook a certain amount of designated time).
  • While working on tasks, avoid answering text, emails or phone calls which interrupt your focus. Remember, you have given it a designated time, you will come back to it.

Part of being healthy is taking charge of our time and focusing on what is really important, which brings a sense of balance. Once we are healthy on the inside mentally and emotionally, then finding time to exercise will be the next natural step. 

Ephesians 5:15-16 says,

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." (NIV)

Let's be wise with our time and get healthy and fit on the inside and out.

A Fitness Plan for Your Fall Schedule

Fall is here, and we have been talking a lot about it! The change in weather, time, and priorities also means a change in schedules and a good time to get back to exercise. But I have to be honest; this year is really kicking me in the rear. It is a crazy new schedule with a middle school daughter, late night practices and a son in the 3rd grade, which is the year when homework gets kicked up – just warning you if you are not there yet!

Personally, I have to access my new routine and time demands to design a realistic workout regimen to have consistency. What may have worked at one time may not work in my current season of life.

Are you in a season of life that seems impossible to find time to exercise? Let’s pause and commit to taking care of the body God has given us with the best resources we have at this time in our lives. Think about a few things.

1 - Decide to make it a priority

We all make time for things that are a priority. There is that nail or hair appointment that may not be missed because of its importance, or a snack of your favorite chocolate and an hour of Scandal sounds much better than 20 minutes on the treadmill. Once our health and exercise become a priority, we can find ways to plan for it. 

Proverbs 21:5 says,

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to the advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

By making it a priority and submitting that plan to the Lord, He will provide a way.

2 - Assess your Actual Time, Schedule, and Responsibilities

Realistically, we have to be honest and admit that we may find an extra 30 minutes during the day just by cutting back on social media, email or TV. If that is not the case, it could be that there are too many things on our plate. Fall, a season of transition and change, is a good time to pause and learn to delegate or eliminate a few things completely. For my health mentally and physically, I have to learn that I cannot successfully add more to my plate before taking something off. My prayer for my time is Ephesians 5:15-16:

“Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”

3 - Combine Activities

I love thinking outside of the box and getting a little creative. Our workout/exercise time does not have to be with a trip to the gym. Instead of sitting and waiting during football practice or dance class, I may have to use that time to grab 30 minutes of walking around a soccer field while I wait. When my husband and I need to catch up with each other or have quality times with the kids, we may head out around the block for a good walk and talk.

God wants us to take care of our body to the best of our ability, whatever our circumstances or limitations may be. By making exercise a priority and utilizing our time more effectively, exercise can become a part of life no matter the season.

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Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side of our hurts and hangups we may have experienced in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

Brussels Sprout Bacon Salad with Slivered Almonds

One thing I love is to try new salads that are easy and delicious for lunch. One thing I hate is to throw away food…..for any reason. So I knew I was in trouble after receiving my weekly delicious and fresh produce basket from my Co-op in Silsbee TX. I knew the Brussel Sprouts that came that week would not be a hit at my house. I love them; however, after trying them several ways for my family, I had given it up. After researching a few recipes, I decided to make my own combination for this Delicious Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Salad with Slivered Almonds.

On a Sunday afternoon, I decided to quickly put this together and make the dressing on the side which gave me three easy to go lunches for the work week. It was, convenient, inexpensive and a nice change from the regular day to day salad that can become boring.

Give it a try.

Ingredients

1 lb of raw Brussels Sprouts

6 slices of Turkey Bacon

½ cup of Slivered Almonds

2 TBS of Parmesan Cheese

Dressing:

1 TBS of Olive Oil

1 TBS of Dijon Mustard

2 TBS of Balsamic Vinegar

1 TBS of Lime Juice (you could substitute with lemon)

1 TBS of honey

Directions:

Cook bacon and chop into bite size pieces. Thinly slice Brussel Sprouts to your preference and mix in almonds, cheese and cooked bacon pieces. Mix all dressing ingredients together and store in separate container to drizzle on salad when ready to eat.

This makes 3 good servings at 315 calories and 11 gms of protein including the dressing.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

A Quick Healthy Meal……Pecan Crusted Tilapia

For my family, Monday evenings are one night of the week when we are free from extracurricular activities. It is a good time to plan and prepare a quick healthy meal in less than 30 minutes like Pecan Crusted Tilapia. This recipe can be used with salmon or chicken, but for my crew, I have found it is a fish that everyone enjoys.<br /

Behind The Red Curtain: Tiffany Winters

The ones who usually go unnoticed are the masterminds behind the very technical scenery, websites, graphics and much more. This hardworking person deserves a round of applause and some time under the spotlight. They are a vital part of the CW family as well and I am very excited to introduce such a talented and intelligent woman. Tiffany time to step out from behind the curtain and take a bow.

&nbsp;
<p style="text-align: center"><span style="text-decoration: underline"><strong>Tiffany Winters</strong></span></p>
<p style="text-align: left">Art has played an important part of my life since the first time I realized I could draw as a teenager. The desire to create art beckoned to me as I registered for my first semester of college classes at Hardin Simmons University where I later graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Studio Art, emphasis in Painting and Drawing. Over the years art became a means to learn about myself through analyzing my own creative concepts and my responses to others' work.</p>
<p style="text-align: left">My background in art and design was the driving force behind my successes as a Marketing Manager and Product Director for a national multimillion-dollar corporation. What I learned in those seven years directly influenced and expanded my creative vision and communication through visual media such as brochures, web, general literature and all areas of graphic design. The techniques learned in that position further inspired my personal photographic, design and creative art endeavors.</p>
<p style="text-align: left">While art is my first passion, graphic design follows closely behind. I love the freedom of creating in the Adobe Creative Suite with programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Art is about communication, be it emotion or specific information. These types of programs allow me to create the best means of conveying my client's message to their audience. It is a new journey with every client and one that never ceases to be exciting and rewarding.</p>
<p style="text-align: center"><a href="http://www.createdwoman.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Tiffany-Winters-Headshot2.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-9519" alt="Tiffany Winters Headshot2" src="http://www.createdwoman.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Tiffany-Winters-Headshot2.jpg" width="240" height="300" /></a></p>
<p style="text-align: center">Facebook: <a class="aligncenter" href="http://www.facebook.com/tiffanywintersartphotography" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/tiffanywintersartphotography</a></p>
<p style="text-align: center"></p>

Easy Healthy Lunch to Go

One of the biggest challenges for busy women can be finding the perfect healthy lunch. Packing the same old sandwich or salad every day can become boring and frustrating. When at a loss, it is easy to slip into old habits such as grabbing whatever is available or eating at the mercy of  your nearest fast food restaurant.  For busy women, we want variety and an easy healthy lunch to go.  One of my new favorites is a Black Bean Power Salad. RECIPE:

  • 1 cup whole-kernel corn
  • 2 cans (16oz each) of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 TBS minced red onion
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey or brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, parsley, onions, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and honey or brown sugar.  Let it marinade for the 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE:

Calories            417.6

Fat                   6.9

Sodium 220.3

Protein             21.7

Fiber                21.3

It is so delicious and look at the fiber and protein…..a guarantee to keep you full and satisfied.  I make it right after church on Sunday to prepare for my upcoming week.   It just takes a few minutes each morning or the night before to pack my easy healthy lunch to go.

To add a little more protein, I add any leftover grilled chicken (nutritional value not included with chicken).  For variety, I reduce my serving size and add cheese and crackers.  All together, here is my lunch to go.

photo (2)

 

Don’t forget your calories with crackers which can add up quickly.  My favorite cracker that gives me the most bang for the buck is Triscuits Thin Crisp.

TriscuitThinCrispsOriginal8_5oz240g500

 

At only 150 calories for 15 crackers, half of a serving is perfect. Combine with string cheese at 80 calories and you Black Bean Power Salad and you have an easy healthy lunch to go.

 

Italian Sausage Soup

So here is a funny story. I sat down to look through my cookbooks to get a meal to post today.  As I found something I wanted to share, I was a little overwhelmed.  Knowing I needed to go out and buy all of the ingredients to share, I knew I did not have the time.  While stressing,  I realized I had something cooking, that very moment in my Crockpot, Italian Sausage Soup .  It is healthy, family favorite and easy to throw together with a hectic schedule since I usually have most of the ingredients  in stock.  ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained; I use Pinto
  • 1 pound of lean sausage, your choice cut into bite size
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 

My kids and my husband love, love, love sausage - - any kind of sausage, and the greasier the better to them.  However, they will get a healthier choice when I cook for them.  I like using deer sausage which is leaner and more flavorful especially when lucky enough to receive some from a friend, who is an avid hunter.

 

sausage

 

Here is the easiest part.  Throw everything into your Crockpot, even sausage precooked and cook 6-8 hours on low.

in crock pot

 

For the last hour, add your pasta and cook on high.  When pasta is tender, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and you are ready to go.

Final

  This is a perfect meal on a cold night or a busy day when you don’t have time to stew in the kitchen.  It’s filled with lots of protein and fiber.  The carrots give one serving of a vegetable; however, you could add other vegetables such as zucchini or squash.  To add in a few more greens, I like to serve with a toss salad.

toss salad

 

Italian Sausage Soup, it gives a kick to the name  soup and salad.