What’s Our Motivation?

Who am I living for? God or Man? I have been contemplating this question.

We post things on social networking that get ‘likes’. If we don’t get the ‘thumbs up’, then we feel like what we posted was not good enough….and maybe we even feel a little rejected.

Or is that just me?

How many times have I battled within myself over something I said online?

“Should I remove it?”

“Why hasn’t anyone liked it?”

“I think it’s witty. It’s witty, isn’t it? How come no one else thinks it is?” 

“I’m going to remove it. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Oh wait, I got a like! Maybe I’ll keep it.”

On the other end of the conversation, my patient husband just shakes his head.

Truthfully, this is why my blog has been silent. I wonder who I write for. Well, I wonder lots of things. One, I know my blog isn’t big. Is it encouraging the few faithful followers who do read it? Or is it all for gain? Do I have something to help someone, or is it something we’ve all heard before. Two, who am I writing for? Do I need to pour my heart out to millions of people? Do I need to make my voice heard in cyberspace? If writing is therapeutic for me, which it is, then why can’t I just write privately? Why do I need to share the words on social media, whether on Facebook or on a blog site?

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. But it is where my heart is lately. In all things, I want to make sure that the goal is God’s approval, not people’s. I think sometimes the line can get blurry, and we need to reevaluate why we do what we do, and if we need to change something. This is where I’m at.

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My Own Way

I was watching a sermon on YouTube last night by Matt Chandler. I had never heard of the preacher before, but a friend emailed me this video to watch, and despite it being 58 minutes, I watched it.

It was called, “The Explicit Gospel”, in case you wanted to look it up. Basically, he talked about how many people who go to church or who have grown up in church do not understand the gospel.

One question he asked toward the beginning was, “Am I trying to find fullness of joy and fullness of life my own way?” Of course I said “No”…at first.

Yesterday was a lazy day, where lack of sleep the night before ruled my decisions that day. I really didn’t do much, and binge watched shows on Netflix all day. I did not work out. I did not have quiet time with the Lord. I did manage to finish the school day…barely. By the time Adam woke up for work at 4 pm, I was quite grumpy.

You would think watching funny sitcoms on Netflix would cheer me up, right? After all, laughter is good for the soul.

After I watched that sermon, God gently convicted my heart. I had recently told a friend that I needed to discipline myself in quiet time again. I needed to be more prayerful, I needed to read His Word more, and I needed to play more worship music in my house while I tended it. I need to draw closer to Him, and in doing so, my life and joy will be full.

I answered the question Matt Chandler asked “No”, because I was thinking of the obvious things: I don’t get drunk to find joy, I don’t partake in addictive behavior (like shopping) to find joy. I’m a pretty simple person. BUT, how often do I escape online to find joy? How often do I binge watch shows on Netflix (addictive behavior??) instead of talking to God about what is bugging me? How often do I eat comfort food, to avoid the stress or to just ‘feel better’?

Understand my heart, these things aren’t bad. Using the Internet, shopping, watching TV, food…it’s ok. It’s the balance that is off for me. I need to seek God FIRST, then everything else will be in balance. When I over partake in any of those things, I need to ask myself, “Am I seeking to find fullness of joy and fullness of life my own way?” 

And I need to be honest when I hear the answer.

Why Didn’t I Think of That?? Baked Apples

So my dilemma has been that I need to make healthier snack choices, but I feel limited because of my dietary restrictions. I’m trying to live a healthier lifestyle by making good choices, but I also have to figure in the sulfate allergy. My house is LOADED with Halloween candy, and the temptation is great! Because sometimes, I just want something sweet. (Ok really, who am I kidding? Sometimes?? Let’s be truthful here: ALL the time!!)

My husband suggested I try baked apples. He’s gone on a plant-based whole food diet (Yes, that means no meat, or meat byproducts. It really is a change in our house, and our grocery budget!!), and was making a pan already. It was simple, and delicious, and had me wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

And while I’m at it…I didn’t think of taking a picture either. Sorry!

Baked Apples

Slice or dice as many apples as you want to eat.

Layer in one single layer in a baking dish (we used an 8×8 but I wonder if a cookie sheet would work).

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. We used cinnamon and brown sugar. He also added some dried oatmeal on his portion of it (I wasn’t too fond of that, however.)

Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 30 mins or until at desired tenderness. Depending on how largely the pieces are cut, the cooking temperature or time will vary. Ours were large slices, and we baked them at 450 for 30 minutes. I think next time I’ll use smaller diced pieces, and try 400 or 425 and check on them frequently until I get it right. 🙂

Enjoy!!

Tonight at prayer time, I asked Liam what he was thankful for. He replied, “Well, I got to play my game (which is ALWAYS what he’s thankful for!!)….and the new food Daddy made.” It was really sweet, and really that good!

And not too horrible on the calories. If you figure on eating one apple, you are looking at 80 calories. Add in maybe 25 calories of sprinkled sugar, and you have a 100 calorie snack with fiber and hits your sweet tooth and is a warm snack on a cold fall day. It’s a win, win, win! 😉