Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas

Christmas has been and gone and in the rush of it all, the stress I have had this year, I have struggled with keeping in sight the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is what it says Christ Mass. We celebrate the love of God by sending Jesus to us as a baby, who would later die on the cross for us to save us from the penalty of our sins.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16 (New International Version)

I was trying so much to have the "perfect" Christmas for everyone I almost forgot the true meaning of why we celebrate. My daughters helped out each with baking and bringing food but I was still consumed with making it all perfect or I would have felt I had failed. I look now at all the left over food and mess and think 'why did I do that to myself'.

I receive a daily inspiration quote as an email from Inspire Your Day I don't always agree with what the quote says but I found today's one a gentle reminder or me.

"Open your eyes to the beauty around you,
Open your mind to the wonders of life,
Open your heart to those who love you,
And always be true to yourself." - Unknown


Christmas days one had been similar in that it ended with respecting myself and I realised that through all this I had not been doing so.
"Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."
- Oren Arnold
I had been to the Christmas Eve service which is a time of stillness for me. Being surrounded by candles in the darkness and the hushed voices I am reminded of that very first Christmas. I always value this time for just me to refocus. But the following day seemed to hold its stresses for me of not performing as I thought I should.

Over the next few days I will remember to love myself and do unto me as I would to others. With all the hype of Christmas we can so easily loose the meaning of the season. I know this is so often 'preached' but it is not just to remember Christ in it all but to love yourself too. God does not want us to be a martyr but to take time to rest in His love and remember all He has for us.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Time To Relax is When You Don't Have Time

My mother and Father have a poster with these words on it with a picture of a worn out looking toy like a muppet. My Mother bought it years ago for my Father as he never seemed to take time to relax. The phrase is one we have picked up over the years and my Husband often reminds me to keep it too.
Today I have felt a sense of panic as I realised all the things I need to and want to do before Christmas, the lack of funds and a desire to make the Christmas full of joy and our own unique traditions.
It seems like there is no time for "me" and the list of jobs in my brain is filled to capacity so I can't recall them all.
I was reminded that unless I look after myself - no-one else will - and I will be of no use to anyone else. I need to "take time to relax even though I don't have time".

I listed all the things I wanted to do and buy. I made it into tasks for the week and through to the beginning of next week. Then I set to get them done having a break between each thing I did to spend time with God. By the time evening came I felt I had accomplished quite a bit, but I had been refreshed by God as well to do the next thing. I felt strengthened with the quality time and the desire to be alone with God.
I was also aware that I push out the boundaries. When the list of things to be done today, looked like I was going to get all completed, I added some more. It was as if I didn't want to allow myself to finish.
I was robbing myself of reward for never allowing me to rest. I felt God say
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."- Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
As I rested in God's love I also recalled the verse
9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. - Proverbs 16:9 (New International Version)

Don't push the goal post. It is only you who doesn't end up winning.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fish and Chips


Sometimes all my family wants for tea is fish and chips, but that can be expensive in these hard times.
I have found that buying fish from the supermarket is often a lot cheaper than other meat. Fish is a very light meat and so you can buy a lot less in weight that you would, but more in volume, for the same price or even cheaper than other meat.

Then you can make an easy meal for less and a lot more nutritious. Because I had some ingredients in the fridge I was able to make this meal $5 less that if we had bought takeaways so almost half price!!!

I used terriki as it was on a good special. You need to see the size and work out what each member should eat, buying to suit that.

Scrub or peel potatoes (make more than you think as the family will want lots of these).
Slice into wedge shapes.
Shake in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of flour seasoned with garlic salt.
Place in baking dish and sprinkle with some oil and bake in a hot preheated oven (2o0C) for about 20 minutes.
Toss two or three times so they are browned on all sides.
Briefly soak fish in milk then dip in seasoned bread crumbs. (Season the breadcrumbs with lemon pepper).
Fry in a little butter; butter and oil or oil, for about 3 minutes on both sides.

Serve with a fresh salad (mine had lettuce and parsley from the garden) tomatoes, cucumber and avocado but what ever is available at the time of year.

You will feel better for this meal not only in your stomaches but your purse too