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Accidental Recipe

In my ongoing adventures with gluten-free baking, one day I completely messed up the recipe I was trying to make. I didn’t want to waste all the ingredients, so I baked it anyway. And to my great surprise, I liked the result! =)
So here’s my accidental recipe for what I now call “Sorghum Wafers” – 
1 cup organic sorghum flour
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill organic baking flour
1/2 cup organic Tapioca flour
1&1/2 Tbl. baking powder
1&1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
1&1/2 cup water
mix dry ingredients
add liquids and stir
pour into glass cake pan (greased with coconut oil)
bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes
When cool, cut into squares (or whatever shape you prefer). =) 
This “wafer” looks somewhat like cornbread, but has a pretty mild taste. I like to eat it with my meat and veggies, but I think it would also work well with soups or stews.
If you give it a try, let me know what you think. =) 

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Celebrating Without Turkey

I was in a store the other day and heard a woman say “Have a Happy Turkey Day!” 
I think it’s sad that anyone would say this. Not that there’s anything wrong with turkey. But turkey is not what we’re celebrating on this special Thursday in November. 
The pilgrims were not celebrating turkeys. They weren’t celebrating any special food or even good times.
They were celebrating the goodness and faithfulness of God through years of hardship and trials.
During the last few years I haven’t been able to celebrate Thanksgiving in the “traditional” ways. And I admit, it was challenging to be thankful while laying on my bed, alone, missing my family, craving some pumpkin pie….
But what I learned in those years is that our God is always worth celebrating – because He is GOOD! 
So even when it felt like I had nothing but God, He was all I needed to celebrate Thanksgiving in my heart. 
This Thanksgiving I’m looking forward to being with my family for the first time in several years! And though I won’t be indulging in the traditional feast, I will be celebrating the goodness and faithfulness of my God – without turkey. =)
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
    
His love endures forever. -Psalm 118:1
How have you learned to celebrate holidays in spite of E.I. limitations?


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8 Years Later…

In November 2004 my health crashed. Every year since then I have looked back, sometimes with anger, sometimes fear, other times with questions or impatience.
I would never have chosen this path of suffering. However, 8 years later I can look back and say that I’m grateful God chose it for me.
I’m still not quite to the end of this E.I. road, but I’m far enough along that I can see the value of the journey. 
Here’s the post I wrote about it on my other blog this week. I pray my story will encourage you. Wherever you are on the road, don’t give up hope. I believe there is a beautiful place ahead for you. 
God bless you,
-Joanna
A Beautiful Place 
Well, here I am again. Marking another year since my health collapsed in November 2004. Except this year the view is much different! 
Eight years ago my world crumbled and my life journey took a detour I didn’t like and didn’t understand.
But now all the years of suffering are beginning to make sense.
Wayne Watson has a song that says, 
“Sometimes a rough and a rocky road is gonna take you to a beautiful place.”
That’s how I feel today. God has brought me on a more difficult road than I ever expected, to a place that is more beautiful than I ever dreamed possible!
In the last year God has done much healing in my body, praise His name! I’m now able to live an almost normal life, (I’m still not able to work yet, so I’m not quite 100% well).
God has given me a new vision for my future. He’s leading me to a ministry I never imagined and couldn’t have done without experiencing this health trial.
But most of all, God has blessed me with a sweetness in my relationship with Jesus that I can’t even express. I love Him so, so, so, so much! Without the suffering of the last eight years, I’d never have experienced this incredible closeness with Him!
I know what it’s like to live for years in a painful trial and to wonder, question, doubt, and fear. But now I’m coming out on the other side, and I am amazed at what I see.
God always knows what He’s doing. I think His main goal in our trials is transformation. In the midst of suffering we can’t always see His good purposes. But He is continually working in us for our good. And as we come to the other side, we begin to realize how different we are now than when we went in. 
“A rough and a rocky road is gonna lead you to a beautiful place.” 
That beautiful place may include improved circumstances and enjoyable days. Or it may be in the midst of our circumstances that we arrive at the most beautiful place with God we’ve ever experienced.
I can’t thank God enough for the ways He has changed me in the last eight years. I am eternally grateful for the rough and rocky road He used, so that I could experience the joys of this beautiful place with Him!
“Praise our God, O peoples,
    
let the sound of His praise be heard;
He has preserved our lives
    
and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, O God, tested us;
    
you refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison
    
and laid burdens on our backs.
You let men ride over our heads;
    
we went through fire and water,
    
but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
-Psalm 66:8-12


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Something Silly

I just found this poem that I wrote several years ago, and it cracked me up. This is what a sugar-free, wheat-free diet can do to you. =) 

Ode To An Oatmeal Raisin Scone 
O how fair you are, most precious of scones!
Your crispy, golden edges shine.
Your rugged texture oozes warmth.
There is joyous nutrition in your ingredients. 
The contents of your substance bring health.
Without sugar or honey, still you are sweet.
As moist as a dewdrop, you melt in my mouth.
Many snacks abound to grab attention,
But you alone have gained my admiration.
I will tell of your goodness.
I will share your recipe with others.
I will enjoy your flavor and benefit from your nourishment.
You are an Oatmeal Raisin Scone.
In you I take great delight!
Those of you who try to eat gluten-free can probably relate. It’s good to keep a sense of humor when your sense of taste is somewhat deprived. =) 
By the way, I do still eat oatmeal scones, but I don’t put raisins in them anymore. Now I make them with shredded coconut and just a bit of honey.


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Toxic Words

Unfortunately chemicals aren’t the only things in life that are toxic. Words can also be toxic.
Recognizing toxic words that others speak to us is usually not too hard. We can tell when someone’s words are healthy or unhealthy. 
I think it’s often harder for us to recognize the toxic words we speak to ourselves. 
It’s true that our brains listen to the words our mouths speak. How often do you say things like,
– I’m so tired
– I’m no good at this
– I’m such a wimp
etc. 
These words are actually toxic to your mind, body and spirit. 
I know what it’s like to live with these kinds of words frequently on my tongue. They can easily become a habit. Thankfully, it is possible to retrain our tongues to speak healthy, life-giving words.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24
The best way to get rid of toxic words is to consciously replace them with healthy, life-giving words. 
I remember when someone first recommended I use daily positive affirmations. I wasn’t interested. It seemed insincere, even silly to me. But gradually I’ve realized what an amazing tool this is! 
Sometimes we know in our mind and heart that something is true, but we have a hard time really believing it because it hasn’t quite penetrated through our brain patterns yet. As we speak that truth out loud to ourselves every day, it changes the physical pathways in our brain. This in turn changes the physiology of our bodies. It’s incredible! 
So if you struggle with saying toxic things to yourself, try this exercise:
1) Write down at least 3 positive, affirming statements about yourself. 
 Ex: I am full of joy and peace.
      My body is healing every day.
      I can do everything through Jesus who gives me strength. (I especially love to use statements of what God’s Word says about me.) 
2) Write these statements every day – in a journal, on a poster, or wherever you’ll enjoy writing them. 
3) Say or sing these statements to yourself every day (more than once a day if you can). 
4) Anytime you catch yourself saying something toxic, immediately stop and then repeat your statements instead.
I think you’ll be surprised at how beneficial this is. Our words really can bring “healing to the bones.” And as we learn to speak healing words to ourselves, hopefully it will help us speak healing words to others also.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
-Ephesians 4:29
Please share one of your affirming statements in the comments so we can all be encouraged. =)Thanks!