Simple Sunday Snack: Fruits in Ice Cream

Two days ago, a former officemate dropped by the office and invited our department to have lunch with her outside. Even though it meant that I would have to spend more money that day, I still joined the team since it was a rare opportunity for us to hang out with our friend. (Note: I usually bring food to work because it’s less expensive compared to buying food from our cafeteria or the restaurants outside.)

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We spent the next hour catching up and talking about our experiences in the office, her new workplace, and other random, funny things. After eating our lunch, she invited us all to a nearby Ice Cream store and got us a cup of ice cream each! It was the kind of ice cream that I wouldn’t buy on a regular day because it was quite expensive. So, you could just imagine how grateful I was for my cup of Strawberry Banana ice cream. After a while, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the office.

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That day, I was reminded of being more intentional in blessing others and being an encouragement to them. Our friend just invited us for lunch and treated us for dessert, but her simple act really blessed our hearts. I am also reminded that being a blessing doesn’t necessarily involve material things. Sometimes, we can bless others by saying words of encouragement, listening to them when they share what’s in their hearts, praying for them, praying with them, spending time with them, and the list goes on.

In the ff. Bible verses, we are encouraged to be more like Christ in the way we deal with the people around us:

Philippians 2:4 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

John 15:12 says: “Love one another, just as I have loved you.”

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How can we be a blessing to others this week? How can we be more like Christ? :)

 

Crunchy Fruits in Ice Cream (Inspired by my friend’s ice cream treat!)

Fruits in Ice Cream (Strawberry) – One of my favorite brands!

Slices of Banana

A generous amount of plain corn flakes

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Bitterless Avocados

I still remember the first time my officemate brought a gorgeous bunch of avocados to work from their province (more than a year ago). Those avocados stood out from all the avocados I’ve bought from various markets and grocery stores. They were naturally creamy, they didn’t have veins, and even though their skin was still a bit green, they didn’t have a hint of bitterness. Nada. Definitely, the best avocados for me!

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About a week ago, the same officemate brought a few avocados to work again! When I saw the avocados, I shrieked and said “Wow! Can I please buy avocados from you?” She just laughed at the idea, but she eventually agreed to sell a kilo to me at a very affordable price. Yaaay!

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Honestly, I still get traumatized whenever I buy avocados because of my past experience with bitter ones. (You can read more about it HERE.) So, when it was finally time to open the ripe avocados from my officemate, I had mixed emotions. But by God’s grace, they were lovely. Super lovely. And it was interesting because, once again, they were creamy, veinless, and without a hint of bitterness. I loved it.

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With the three avocados that I had, I made two tall glasses of avocado shakes; prepared tuna sandwiches with avocado salad; and enjoyed a bowl of cereal and nuts with cold milk and fresh, sliced avocados.

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When I got back to work, my officemate randomly asked me: “So, how was the kilo of avocados? Haha.” I looked at her, smiled, and said “Grabe! They were the best! They weren’t bitter at all!”

Of course, she just laughed (again), maybe because I was being such a fan and addict of their avocados. But, being able to experience the goodness of perfectly ripe avocados was one of my favorite moments this week. Somehow, it reminded me of how pleasant it is to live life with a heart that doesn’t have a hint of bitterness too.

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While I was enjoying the avocados, I kept telling God how good He is. Only He could make such interesting fruits and remove the bitterness in them at the right time. In the same way, I know that only God can change our hearts and make them more like Him in His perfect time.

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By God’s grace, despite the past hurts and present struggles we have, I know that He is also able to give us the strength to resist thinking of and dwelling on negative thoughts. He is able to help us have the courage and humility to forgive and seek forgiveness. And, He is able to encourage us to trust in Him as we surrender every bit of pride, hurt, and bitterness in our hearts.

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“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:31-32

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“What can be worth more than You? What do I have I wouldn’t lose?

If it means You and I look more alike, that’s what I’d choose.

I just want to be what You want me to be. I just want a heart that’s true, a heart like You.”

[Love and the Outcome]

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

 

 

 

Simple Sunday Snack: Tarragon Tea

My mom bought a Tarragon plant after being inspired by the fresh Tarragon tea that we had at Mother’s Garden (Baguio) last December. This tea fascinated our family because it was a healthy, warm treat and it tasted like rootbeer! So cool!

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Every now and then, when I hang around in our kitchen’s veranda, I snip a few leaves from the Tarragon plant, rinse them, and infuse them in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.  I just love how easy it is to prepare this natural drink.

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I brought a tall cup of Tarragon tea to work recently and had a conversation with my officemates about it. One of them mentioned that drinking tea in the morning is very beneficial for us. She even said that after our bodies have fasted overnight, the first thing that our stomachs must have is tea. It has relaxing properties that help calm our bodies and its nutrients aid in refreshing us, giving us a nice start to the day.

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I still have to do more research about drinking tea in the morning. But, what my officemate shared to me made me think about the first few minutes of each day. What do I usually do when I wake up everyday? What do I allow myself to take in first?

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If I could spend 10 to 15 minutes preparing tea in the kitchen to refresh and calm my body, I know that I could also spend at least one percent of the day (15 minutes) with God and His Word first thing in the morning. By doing so and by His grace, I believe that He will certainly give me a refreshing start each day as I spend time studying and reminding myself of who He is, His promises for me, and the joy that I have in Him.

Hopefully, I can continue disciplining myself in this aspect. :)

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“Life is about competing priorities. What you give time to shows what you think is important.” – Peter Tan-Chi

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“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” –Psalm 143:8

RECIPE

1 tbsp. of fresh Tarragon leaves (4-6 leaves)

1 cup of hot water

a few stevia leaves or 1 tsp. of honey (optional)

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

THURSDAY TUNE #24: Only A Mountain by Jason Castro

“Dream big. Put God before you. You never know what His plans are. In my story, I had these dreams of music, dreams God put in my heart. But when I became ‘above’ God, my life was a mess. And when I put God at the front, not knowing where I was going, feeling like I had just given up my dreams, God brought them back bigger than I could have ever imagined.”

This was the last statement of Jason Castro in the video below. He shared his testimony about God’s goodness in his life and how God graciously changed his heart and lifestyle for His glory.

I watched this video a few minutes before midnight last night and I was reminded of Matthew 6:33 where it says: ” But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

It was encouraging to hear how Jason Castro still chose to surrender, seek and obey God in the midst of struggles. At that time, maybe he didn’t know why God was allowing him to go through such things, but, God is using his example and story to make Him known throughout the world.

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Taken from Google Images

In Jason Castro’s song, “Only A Mountain”, I very much appreciate how he encourages others to have faith in God and acknowledge His presence even as we go through difficult moments in life.

“There’s no problem too big for God to tackle. You just gotta have faith in Him.” -Jason Castro

Matthew 17:20 says: “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. “

 

Encourage yourself one tune at a time. :)