Simple Sunday Snack: Lemon-Ginger Fish and Asparagus

I usually don’t delete messages in my mobile phone and I am not sure why. But recently, I was motivated to do so because whenever I would open my inbox or sent items, it would take 5 to 10 seconds to load! I checked the total number of messages and saw that it was already more than 4000. No wonder it constantly lagged. And so, I finally delete all of my messages. All, except one: The oldest message in my phone, which was a video of a cartoon asparagus that was sent to me by my sister.

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At first, I was hesitant because I had numerous messages (for the past years) that were special. Some of them were encouraging words from family and friends, conversations about funny experiences that I had in the past, and even secrets shared by close buddies. But somehow, I knew that deleting most, if not all, of my messages would give me a fresh start and help me be more productive with the time I spend using my phone.

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True enough, after deleting a huge bulk of my messages, it took less than a second to load my inbox or sent items. Hooray! It felt so good to not experience delays anymore. I loved it!

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After a few minutes of enjoying it, I opened the only message that I kept in my phone and watched it again. It was just a simple cartoon video for children, but it had so much truth in it. I watched the asparagus tell God about his day and I was encouraged to do the same too. In the video, you will see that at the end of the day, the asparagus chose to see God’s love for him in everything. And because of this, he was able to find rest and security in Him.

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Out of all the messages that I had in my phone, I’m glad that I kept this one because it was a great reminder for me to always seek God’s presence, to go back to the truth (the Bible), and find rest in who He is, no matter what happens.

Thank you, Veggie Tales, for this heartwarming video!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” [Romans 15:13]

Looking forward to resting in God’s presence this week! :)

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Simple Sunday Snack:

Grilled Ginger-Lemon Fish with Steamed Asparagus

5 or more sticks of raw Asparagus

Raw Fish fillet (1/4 kilo)

Half of a lemon (or more)

Salt and Pepper

2 tbsp. of grated ginger

2 minced cloves of garlic

Paprika

Olive oil

Fresh herbs (a few leaves of basil or oregano)

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Steps:

  1. In a bowl, place the raw fish, juice of half of a lemon, grated ginger, herbs, and minced garlic. (Optional: pinch of paprika). Mix and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Brush or sprinkle your pan/grill with olive oil and when it’s ready, add salt & pepper to the fish just before you cook them.
  3. Steam asparagus for 3-4 minutes until they have a bright green color. After steaming, set aside, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and drizzle lemon juice on them.
  4. Enjoy the grilled fish with crisp and juicy asparagus sticks while they’re still hot.

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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. :)

Simple Sunday Snack: Corn on a Cob

I’ve constantly daydreamed of eating sweet corn on a cob ever since I had my braces. For many years, I wasn’t able to do this because I knew that it would be a hassle for me to remove kernels stuck in between my brackets every time I’d bite into the cob. So, I’d always end up removing kernels from the cob one piece or row at a time or end up using a knife to slice the kernels. But last February, I finally had the privilege of saying goodbye to a longtime friend (and enemy. Haha)… my dear braces. Hooray!

Oregano, Cheese, Basil, Butter, Chili Powder, Garlic, and Corn
Oregano, Cheese, Basil, Butter, Chili Powder, Garlic, and Corn

You could just imagine how wonderful it was for me to enjoy munching on the cob without worrying about my teeth. To make things more interesting, instead of just boiling the corn, I also added a few spices and herbs on the cooked vegetable.

“Man, I missed this so much! Thank you, Lord, for awesome corn.”

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While I was eating the buttered, cheesy corn with herbs, I realized how easy it was (and is) for me to take my blessings for granted. I was only able to appreciate the simple blessing of eating corn on a cob when I started wearing my braces.

I also remembered those times (back in highschool) when I would look down on myself because of my teeth and how badly I needed braces. To make things ‘worse’, I even recall getting discouraged because a guy friend told another guy friend how beautiful I would look like if I didn’t have braces. Rather than thanking God for my complete set of teeth, I chose to focus on my crazy insecurities and how others viewed me.

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But despite these, God has been graciously molding my heart and helping me see myself through His eyes. He made me out of His love and goodness and because of this, I rest in knowing that God’s love for me is more than enough.

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Yesterday, I spent time with our discipleship group at church and our leader encouraged us to share about God’s goodness in our lives for the past week. After sharing with the group, we realized that it was a very good action step to be more intentional in thanking God for the small and big blessings and even the discouraging moments that we have.

We may not always understand why God allows us to go through certain experiences, but we are encouraged to trust that He is our good God who knows what’s best for us and loves us in every season of our lives.

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Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

 

What can you thank God for today? :)

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Encourage yourself one treat at a time.