GIVE AWAY:Blooming with Joy TEA

Blooming with Joy pic

WINNER: Tresa! Please check you email inbox for mailing arrangements. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and to sweeten your time with the Lover of your soul, I’m giving away a tin of CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY loose leaf tea by Blooming with Joy. If you haven’t tried loose leaf tea you are about to be spoiled and become a tea snob. Yep…that’s exactly what infusing loose leaf tea will do to you. And I’ll add that for the PERFECT cup of tea you simply must drink from Bone China.

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I can be found with a cup of tea in my hand, on my desk, next to me while I’m snuggled under a blanket in my favorite chair having my quiet time with the Lord, or at the table teaching my boys. I’m a huge tea fan and with the many specialty mixes that, Michelle, at Blooming with Joy blends you can feel the joy, share the joy, and drink the joy!

Leave a comment below for your chance to win the delightful fusion of chocolate, strawberries and cream. Tell me your favorite Valentine candy, or simply say, “Pick Me!” The winner will be announced Sunday night, 2/7/2016, and your tin of tea will be mailed on Monday so you have it in time for Valentine’s Day. (Winner must live in the lower 48 lower/contiguous states of the United States.) Winner may check their email for a message from GiveMe Chocolate.

Blooming with Joy tray

Check out Blooming with Joy’s eStore for black teas, green teas, herbal teas, Chai teas, ice tea blends, boxed sets, and gift sets. Your taste buds will thank you! Michelle has a free shipping option on some teas and occasionally offers discount codes for your order; a TRUELOVE discount is presently available.

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She Said He Said: Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini

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Naghmeh Abedini photo
Naghmeh Abedini’s Facebook profile pic

Today’s post is for those who spent the last three and a half years praying for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from his unjust prison sentence in the Iranian prison system. More specifically, if Naghmeh’s testimony is true, this is for those who support her on a new path of setting boundaries as God invites her to participate in the next redemptive part of the story in her husband’s life. Saeed was delivered from the chains of physical prison but she now has a new prison to pray him out of; and it’s a prison that Satan has every intention of keeping Saeed in for life.

Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Satan missed out on killing Saeed Abedini, he stole his testimony (the good news is it can be reclaimed), and Satan desires to destroy the Abedini’s family unit.

I’ve struggled on the path of boundary setting several times in my life, and continue to battle there. Years ago I was led by the Lord to legally separate from my first husband as a means to get his attention that life could not go on as it had. That history gives me a passion for women in difficult relationships and allows me a perception to understand their heart, insecurities, questions and needs. Fortunately the Lord provides a safe place to wrestle through our struggles, brokenness, and call to obedience. If Naghmeh is experiencing anything like I did, she is laboring through her fasting and prayer time with eagerness to CLEARLY hear God’s answers and leading. I imagine she longs to obey her heavenly Father. I know I begged the Lord to not allow me to make a mistake; to make it so clear to this, ‘Dust’ (Psalm 103:14) that there would be no way for me to miss His answer. And most importantly, if I was praying outside of God’s heart and will for my marriage and family—outside of the very best He had for us, that He would override my desires and requests with His sovereignty. Lastly, if I errored I decided I would rather error in faith than in unbelief, rebellion or inaction.

I remember all too well the people who did not believe me.  I’m grateful to this day the Lord gave me peace to move forward, not look back, and not concern myself with other people’s opinions. That was difficult for this people pleaser! I remember my, then, husband telling friends and ministry associates that I was having emotional difficulties and that he would be gracious to give me the time I needed to find help and healing. There were abundant lies told about me. He insisted I was causing marital problems since I didn’t want to go back into the ministry with him and because I refused to leave my parents. Both were non-truths! In the end I lost dozens, if not hundreds, of friends and ministry contacts. In the void, God provided me with rich, mature, enduring friendships.

Fast-forward eighteen years: Vindication and justice prevailed. The times when I asked God for an immediate fix and instant safety for my daughter and myself; God was working out a permanent solution for our safety and the protection of children in churches where this man could potentially find more victims. This man now sits in prison for the rest of his life, without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The Lord, acting on the prayers of friends, family and GiveMe Chocolate readers put a known pedophile where he belongs!

Now rewind. During those years of a difficult marriage with an abusive, mentally ill husband I consumed Christian books on marriage. In the process I realized those were great book, but not for my marriage.

So if you are thinking Naghmeh could benefit from Christian marriage and counseling books; please don’t. They are not the place for Naghmeh to begin; no, no, no! Those books are for couples in normal, godly relationships who have hit a rough spot; possibly even infidelity, but who both want to work on honest reconciliation. What Naghmeh is going through is on a different level and she needs mature, godly counsel who understands the abuse she has lived through. More importantly, Saeed needs mature, godly counsel who understands his Islamic background, personality issues, beliefs about women, and addictions. He can choose to stop the wrong behavior, wrong beliefs, and wrong words. It’s up to him.

Here are some accusations toward Naghmeh I have read:

“Think about it for a minute – Saeed’s in jail, he’s getting severely beaten BUT he has enough time to abuse his wife during the brief phone calls or Skype sessions? Wow, he’s quite a guy – and I say that with sarcasm. Quite frankly, I find that scenario difficult to believe.”

Reply: Unfortunately, it is possible to verbally and emotionally abuse your spouse over the phone or via the internet/Skype.

“There are two sides to every story.”

Reply: If Naghmeh’s accusations are true there are not two sides to the story, but possibly five sides to the story (As was in my case):

  1. Naghmeh’s side of what she has lived through and understands.
  2. Naghmeh’s hind-sight that will take years to sort through because of the lasting effects of post-traumatic stress disorder from the spousal abuse and the trauma of the last three and a half years.
  3. Saeed’s version of what he is telling people.
  4. Saeed’s motivation for the abuse he acted out upon his wife, and the addictions about which only he knows the full truth.
  5. God’s truth since He understands His children better than we understand ourselves.

I want to make clear that when abuse is taking place the victim needs support, trust and understanding. Saying there are two sides to abuse is like saying I don’t believe you. If you were to physically see the man beating up the woman, breaking her arm and bruising her face, would you say, “Yes, but the abuser has a side to his story too and we need to hear why he is acting out this way?” NO! We would say, “Stop it.” We would call the police; we would want to protect her; would we not? Verbal and emotional abuse are equally wrong, but possibly make coping more difficult because no one can see, and often do not believe, the abuse under which the spouse is suffering.

Here is Naghmeh Abedini’s Facebook post from shortly after her husband was released from Iran:

Naghmeh letter part 1

Naghmeh letter part 2

“Where’s the proof?”

Reply: Here is a piece of evidence. Saeed plead guilty to a domestic abuse charge.

Abedini Court documentation

Click here for the direct link to the above website-court document.

Below you will find links to interviews and more articles.

Video: Full Interview with Naghmeh Abedini

A Final Word on Saeed Abedini

Saeed Abedini Rejects Wife Naghmeh Marriage Problems-Calls Her Hero

Saeed Abedini Speaks Out on Marital Woes 

Video: Pastor Saeed Abedini’s interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News

If the allegations against Saeed Abedini are true, and if he has a church ministry that ordained him a pastor; his ordination needs to be revoked until restoration is complete.

Finally, I’m grateful four American men who were wrongly imprisoned in Iran are now safely back in America.

My prayer is for the Abedini family to find rest for their weary souls.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

How To Get Unstuck During The Christmas Holiday

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I cancelled Christmas.

Or at least that’s what I was accused of.

Several years ago, Christmas fell on a Sunday and I challenged our church family to spend Christmas visiting people they wouldn’t normally visit to give gifts to people they normally wouldn’t give gifts to.

Instead of coming to church that Sunday I challenged them to be the church. Jesus came to us in person. So what better way to capture the incarnation than to go to people in person.

I didn’t feel like I was canceling Christmas. I felt like I was promoting Christmas.

A week before Christmas, an 8-year-old Jesus follower in our church, named Jacob, went door to door in his neighborhood making himself available to do odd jobs. He took all the money he earned and all the money he had saved in his piggy bank and went to the mall to buy the nicest winter coat he could find.

The reason?

His buddy at school stood on the playground during recess in an old over-sized sweatshirt shivering because his parents couldn’t afford to buy him a coat.

So on Christmas morning, Jacob handed his buddy a $160 North Face Coat and said, “Jesus wants me to give this to you!”

He then generously reached into his pocket and pulled out $37 and said, “This is all the money I have left and I want you to use it to buy whatever your family needs.”

Across town a 6-year-old girl named Rebecca baked brownies and stood at the entrance to the library at the University of Kentucky on Christmas morning and gave a free brownie to any college student who walked by during finals week.

“Why are you giving away free brownies to total strangers?” a Muslim student stopped and asked.

Rebecca is sassy. So she put her hand on her hip, and with a “no duh” kind of tone said, “Because Jesus wants me to. That’s why!”

Little did she know that this Muslim student had been wrestling with what he believed and had been questioning the tenants of his faith for over 2 years. Dumbfounded by her emphatic response he said, “Can I come to church with you?”

“Sure you can!” she blurted out without consulting her parents.

So here’s my favorite part–instead of bringing this PhD student into the big room with all the big people on Sunday, she took him into her children’s ministry environment where he sat on the floor and heard a lesson about Jesus’ love for Zacchaeus.

After months of sitting and listening he took a stand for Jesus and was baptized. His family told him they would kill him if they ever saw him.

As scary as that threat sounds, he’s safe.

He’s safe because he’s saved.

And all of it happened because a little girl partnered with Betty Crocker and the Holy Spirit.

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6)

When we express the love of Jesus in simple ways, people express their need for him in beautiful ways.

I challenged our church family to go to every restaurant in town on Christmas and buy as many meals for strangers as possible and leave as many big tips as possible.

One high school student went to the bank and emptied out his savings account. He had been saving for a car. He went to the Waffle House and as he got to know his waitress, he felt like God was saying, “She needs help.”

So he ordered a $.75 cup of hot chocolate, then put $1,000 in an envelope, stuck the envelope between the salt and pepper shaker, went outside and hid in the bushes to watch her reaction. When she opened it, she put her hand over her face and started to cry. So overcome by emotion, she sat down in the booth as he ran back inside and hugged her.

He learned that she was a single mom trying to raise two teenagers by working three jobs. She and her children are now part of our church family and someday you’ll get to meet them because a high school student decided, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.”

Fifteen minutes later at the same Waffle House, another family from our church walked in and ordered breakfast. Their waiter was a struggling college student who was behind on his bills and had just been told that he would not be able to return the following semester until he paid off his debt. To make matters more frustrating, his car had broken down and he couldn’t afford to pay for the repairs, which meant he couldn’t get to and from work.

So the family went to the very same bank the high school student had gone to and the parents emptied one of their accounts and they took a check back to the restaurant. They wrote him a note that said, “We believe in you and want you to be able to pursue your dream of being an artist, so this should cover your debt and the next two years of college. We’ve also enclosed the keys to our car…it’s the blue Volvo sitting next to the newspaper stand outside…Jesus gave his life up for us, so it seems the least we could do would be to give you our car.”

And they walked home that day!

Like the Muslim student and the struggling single mom, that young waiter didn’t need much convincing to give his life to Jesus because he had seen Jesus in that family.

“The only thing that counts,” Paul writes, “is faith expressing itself in love.”

The only thing that counts?

Yes, the only thing!

On a lighter note, I recently applied for a job at the Waffle House in hopes that someone would give me a blue Volvo!

On a serious note, don’t just celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, be Jesus to the people who live near you by expressing his love for them in simple ways.

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Jon Weece is Lead Follower of Southland Christian Church in Central Kentucky, one of Outreach Magazine’s 100 fastest-growing churches, and author of Jesus Prom: Life Gets Fun When You Love People Like God Does. You can connect with him on Twitter @jonweece or jonweece.com.

Photo Credit: shil via Compfight cc

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Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter

 

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Have you seen the recent news regarding imprisoned pastor, Saeed Abedini? His wife, Naghmeh, revealed to her inner circle of friends abuse she has suffered from her husband. The letter was somehow leaked to the media.

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

If it is true; oh, please don’t think unkind thoughts of her. Abused people don’t always make sense to the outside world. I speak from experience as one who has been down the path.

Search my past posts:

Why I Chose a Toxic Husband; and He Me.

I Received a Reversal of Destiny, He Did Too.

I Am Known As a Liar.

My Destructive Marriage.

How To Love a Woman in a Destructive Marriage. 

Many abused Christian wives are simply doing the best they can at the time. Most of all, they are attempting to hear the Lord and be obedient to the calling He has placed on our lives.

And here is a thought you perhaps have not thought of: Sometimes God calls people to marry a person who is unfaithful and/or abusive.  If you think this goes against everything God stands for; think again. Read the book of Hosea for starters. God ordained for Hosea to marry Gomer; who was unloving and unfaithful. We are reminded through this story how undeserving we are of God’s always faithful, unconditional love. His love is constant and our salvation, eternity living in His presence, is guaranteed to those who place their faith in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.  God is Sovereign—although I admit I don’t always agree with or understand His ways or timing—I do trust Him.

Although abuse cannot be verified, it is possible that Naghmeh has survived and blossomed under her, supposed, oppressive relationship with her husband. She may have suffered in silence for many years while being viewed as nothing more than a man’s piece of property; without losing her sanity, integrity in Christ, her ability to raise her children, and obedience to follow God’s calling to advocate for those wrongly imprisoned and for the persecuted church.  She may have needlessly, in some regards, and obediently in others, sacrificially given of herself.

I speak from experience when I tell you that it can be nearly impossible to reconcile in your heart and mind a public man who boldly teaches the word of God and prays, with the private man who secretly treats his wife in the home with ridicule, resentment, the silent treatment, physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse due to his addiction to pornography.

Naghmeh may be on her way to healing, if it is all true, while still not seeing Saeed’s sin in full. I remember those days all too well. When I was divorcing my abusive husband years ago, I had two different attorneys tell me I was still protecting my husband instead of revealing his problems. I was told I was the text book example of an abused wife and that I would need extensive counseling to help me find my way through the fog. They were right! I pray the Christian community, and well known Christian counselors, make themselves available to Naghmeh and her children for ongoing therapy, Bible study and prayer.

Naghmeh talks of Saeed’s love and passion for Jesus, which I believe, but if he abuses his wife; even though his salvation is secure, Saeed is out of fellowship with God and his prayers are not being heard. (John 9:31, Proverbs 28:9, Psalm 66:18, Isaiah 59:2, James 4:3, Galatians 5:22-23) And as for Saeed being, “An amazing dad who pours spiritual truths into his children’s lives;” the bigger truth is perhaps, if he is indeed abusive, that proclaiming scriptural truths at the same time as abusing your wife has huge, profound ramifications on your children’s perception of God and their ability to follow after Him. And if it is true, for her children’s sake, I hope a counselor is able to teach her how to help her children understand that daddy’s abusive behavior is not normal, healthy, or acceptable to God.  Should Saeed be freed from prison; and healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation be found they will know how to set healthy boundaries and protect their heart, soul, mind and strength if any generational abusive tendencies resurface.

Naghmeh showed her vulnerability to her closest friends, but I’m glad she chose it none the less. Women aren’t always believed when they finally find the courage to expose their abusive husband. Sometimes women are accused of being vain, other times people turn away in disgust, or think the wife is looking for sympathy or fame. Naghmeh wrote to friends whom she believed would provide safety and hope for healing and peace. Sharing her secret pain has most likely been the greatest sacrifice of her personal feelings. If she did so out of obedience to the Lord; she can trust it is God working out His plan for her family’s life.

My family has been praying for Pastor Saeed’s release from prison for three years; as well as, for God’s heart and will to be done in this situation. We will continue to pray the later while praying for Naghmeh and her children’s healing, and we will pray for Pastor Saeeds restoration, healing and freedom from injustices.

Here are the original articles:

Naghmeh Abedini Claims Abuse, Halts Public Support for Imprisoned Husband Saeed

Citing abuse, wife of U.S. pastor held in Iran says she’ll stop public campaigning

The Christian Way to Deal With Sin in the Camp

Naghmeh Abedini regrets emails of marital woe

The below letter is from Naghmeh Abedini’s personal but public Facebook page published yesterday, December 7, 2015:

“To my dearest friends,

After a month of resting and healing and sitting at the feet of Jesus, today I felt led to share.

Three years ago, when Saeed was put in the Iranian prison for his faith, the Lord called me to get up and not only advocate for Saeed, but also to share the Gospel message and to advocate for the persecuted church. I was freed from so much fear and it was a step of faith for me to get up and move. When I did obey, I could see that I could DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME (Philippians 4:13) That by Grace of God I could get on airplanes. That by God’s Grace I could speak in front of heads of governments, parliaments, the congress, thousands of people and our own president and I was able to open my mouth through the Grace of God and represent Christ and to share Christ with so many. It was overwhelming seeing how Jesus had become my STRENGTH through my utter WEAKNESS.

A month ago, the Lord asked me to stop and sit. It took another step of faith to stop everything and just sit at the feet of Jesus and to hear from Him. It was freeing to see that by Grace of God none of the fame and attention or praises of men had gotten to me and that I could drop everything the moment my Savior told me to drop it and to go back to being a single mom in Boise, Idaho. It was freeing to let go of the FALSE SENSE of SECURITY that money was bringing into my life (through speaking engagements) and to know that the only thing that all I desperately needed was Jesus. That my true security rests in Jesus. That Jesus is my day to day provider.

I had to turn off every voice including my own and only care about what Jesus was saying to me. It was hard. With the news that came out recently (an email I had sent to prayer partners was leaked to media), stones were being thrown at me left and right and many religious leaders who saw me wounded and bleeding passed on by afraid to touch me or this whole mess/situation. It was hard, but Jesus kept telling me to be silent and to look to Him.

The truth is that I still love my husband more than ever and my advocacy for him has taken a new form of interceding on my knees. The truth is I can not deny Saeed’s love and passion for Jesus and that he continues to suffer in the Iranian prison because of his genuine love for Jesus and his refusal to deny Him. I can not deny the amazing dad he has been to our kids and the spiritual truths he poured into their life until the moment he was arrested. But at the same time I can not deny the very dark parts of our marriage and serious issues Saeed continues to struggle with.

So I open myself up once again and become real and raw in asking you to join me in praying for Saeed. This time not only for his physical chains, but the spiritual chains that have bound him for so many years. Those chains that have stuck to him from the culture he was raised in (Middle East) and from his former religion (Islam). I believe that God will use Saeed’s imprisonment to break Saeed of these chains and to refine him and use him as a vessel for the work that He has prepared for him.

I am not sure how often I will be providing updates, but I will share as the Lord leads. Starting January 5, I am going to start another 21 days of prayer and fasting. It will be a time of drawing closer to the Lord and sharing what He lays on my heart. I hope they will be a source of blessing and encouragement to you as well.

I praise God for all of the ups and downs, excitements and disappointments, and for the many pains and tears. They have been good for me. They are a great tool to refine us and keep our eyes on Jesus.

With much Love in Jesus

Naghmeh Abedini”

Happy Hour: 11/26/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours May your time with family and friends be full of all things good—and yummy! 😘

Thanksgiving Happy Hour

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Holiday Hospitality Bar

Hospitality Bar Autumn

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13

It’s the perfect time of year to gather supplies and prepare a hospitality bar for your Thanksgiving and Christmas guests.

Here is how I made mine…

Fall decor on William Sonoma 3 tier tray
Fall decor on William Sonoma 3 tier tray

Having boys in the house necessitated adding a non-girly item. When my boys have friends over during warm weather we keep iced tea and lemonade on the bar but boys being boys, (translation = always hungry) we needed a quick easy snack they can grab and prepare to take care of their munchies.

I looked at the hospitality bar and saw the perfect slot for microwave popcorn, as well as, a place to add popcorn salts and disposable bags. (Pictures and details below.)

Top tier Fall decor
Top tier – Fall decor
Middle tier -Fall decor
Middle tier -Fall decor
Bottom tier - Fall decor
Bottom tier – Fall decor

I used gourds I grew in my garden, Burr Oak acorns (I have a love affair with Burr Oak acorns; they are huge, beautiful and unique), leaf trays and pumpkin/cornucopia creamers I found at Target a few years ago. I also used some silk greenery and a ceramic Blue Bird.

Top view of 3 tier William Sonoma tray
Top view of 3 tier William Sonoma tray

They say necessity is the mother of invention. My need to save time while preparing for a Mother/Daughter Bible study in my home led to this organized Hospitality Bar.  This saved me an easy hour of pulling all the drinks, condiments and mugs out of the cupboards and then organizing them into a centralized location. Add to that my incessant need to have seasonal or holiday decorations placed at this centralized location and—well—no matter how I tried not to worry myself about having everything just right; the hostess in me had no peace until everything looked pretty and was fully functional.

I did not care so much that my house was clean and picked up perfectly for other guests but Bible study was different. I desired for participants of the study to feel at home, relaxed and safe to share their needs and their hearts. I wanted them to feel pampered by me but more importantly, by their God who is crazy-in-love with them. I needed my attention off of the refreshment details so I could welcome, listen and interact with the mothers and daughters as we discussed and studied God’s word.

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Between homeschooling and extra-curricular activities I was finding it difficult to fully prepare for leading our study, cleaning the house and prepping the kitchen for refreshments. Thus I decided a central location was essential for storing all the refreshment items. Function was all I had in mind.

I began searching for cabinets that would match or coordinate with our current kitchen but could not find an equivalent or anything to bring together the old with the new while remaining within my budget.

Then one day while pulling in our driveway, a neighbor’s garage door was up and to my surprise I saw cabinets sitting against the wall of their garage that looked just like our cabinets. I did a double take. No. Yes. No doubt, they were a perfect match. Hmm?

A few weeks later I saw this neighbor and told them about my search for matching cabinets to install in our kitchen and my dilemma because the particular line of cabinetry was no longer available. I mentioned that I saw cabinets in their garage that looked like a perfect match and asked, “Do you have plans for those or are you interested in selling them to me for (a disclosed price)?”

Our neighbor was willing to sell them to me for the disclosed price and I found out the reason they were an exact match was because they  were a hutch that came out of our house.  We bought a foreclosed home and during the time of the foreclosure; friends, relatives and neighbors were allowed by the previous owners to take whatever they wanted out of the unlocked house. This explained why some appliances, some cabinets and all closet hardware were missing from the house.

Next, I planned how to use the hutch then took it apart piece by piece and gave all of it a good scrubbing.  2 X 4 lumber was used to build a frame behind the cabinets so I could acquire more depth for a deeper countertop.  I also pulled the shorter center cabinets out front more to add dimension to the unit. Bead board was added to the sides for decorative purposes and to hide the false depth. Since these are upper cabinets being used on the floor I added a one inch toe kick at the bottom to keep the doors from scraping the floor. I wanted to place feet underneath the cabinets but that would have required moving an outlet, changing the windowsill and making the countertop out of reach for young children. So, no pretty decorative feet but it overflows in functionality.

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I no longer have to prepare for guests’ arrivals. Relatives and friends know where to go for a drink when they come to my house. Below:  Ice water and a carafe of hot water. I also keep hot water in the tea kettle on the stove and in the coffee pot. This allows three separate areas for a large group to fill their mugs.

DSCN2019DSCN2035Left: I keep this 3-tier tray from William-Sonoma on the bar for seasonal and holiday decorations. And I always have a candle ready to burn. A guest will rarely come to my house without finding scrumptious looking chocolate on display. The only problem is that the chocolate usually isn’t real and I have offended a dear friend, and fellow chocoholic, on multiple occasions with my inedible treats.DSCN2037

If budget and space do not allow for a hospitality bar in your home; you could use a portion of your countertop, a buffet, a re-purposed dresser or a shelving unit to accomplish the same objective.

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Right: This is a bamboo utensil holder turned sideways for holding tea bags and coffee singles.

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Below: Flavorings and droppers for mixing flavors into drinks (3-4 drops does the job). Sprinkles – top cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles or Cappuccino Accent Toppings; Cinnamon, Sweet Nutmeg, Vanilla, Chocolate.

I buy my Stash teas and bottled flavorings at the Old Towne Spice Shop, Main Street, St. Charles, MO. http://www.oldtownspices.com/ The Cappuccino Accent Toppings are from Main Street MarketPlace, St. Charles, MO. http://www.mainstreetmarketplace.com/

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Right: Drinking straws. Small shelves: Sugar and sweeteners on top. Extra coasters on bottom. Hot Cocoa Mix and Hot Cider Mixes. (The compartments are a desk caddy organizer.)

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Below:  Flavorings and droppers. Sprinkles and Cappuccino Accent Toppings. Single serve coffee. Small shelves: Creamers on top. Napkins in bottom. Stir straws on right.

Popcorn salts/toppings
Popcorn salts/toppings

Above: I added microwave popcorn, flavored popcorn salts and disposable popcorn bags to the bar. The microwave popcorn is next to the apple ciders and cocoa packets; to the left of the red and white striped popcorn bags. Popcorn salts are in located with the popcorn isle and come in a variety of flavors. A word of caution about the popcorn salts; the Jalapeno Cheddar and the Buffalo Wing make us choke. It has nothing to do with the heat because we are huge fans of spice, but it tends to go down the airway and asphyxiate us—every single time. We now avoid these seasonings.

Popcorn bags
Popcorn bags

Left: The popcorn bags are from Hobby Lobby’s party supply department. I used a 40% off coupon so the cost for 25 bags is $1.93. SAMS Club sells a box of 500 popcorn bags for under $7.00.

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Above and Right: Extra tea supplies, extra sugar, Mullin spices for cider, pink and regular lemonade, drink pitcher.

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Left: Oregon Chai Tea Latte (Wal-Mart), Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Barra Mexican Chocolate (both need mixed into hot milk), Cappuccino Double Mocha (Aldi’s), Extra coffee singles, Cocoa, Diet-Sugar Free Swiss Miss Cocoa, French Vanilla Cappuccino (SAMS)

DSCN2028 - Copy Right: Mugs/Cups

Below: To go/travel cups with lids (collected from Hotel stays), Hot water carafe, cold water carafe.

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DSCN2030Above right: Mexican Lava Rock Molcajete with coffee beans. Sometimes used for decoration but my favorite way to use it is for homemade Guacamole.

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Left: Windsill decorations.

 

I hope you have fun  inventing your own hospitality bar for the holiday season.

~Cheers!

Happy Hour: 11/19/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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We tend to give away what we believe we have received from God. If we believe we are deeply loved by Him (and we are), we give deep love. If we believe we are fully forgiven (and we are through His Son), we give away forgiveness to others. If we believe we are given His abundant grace (and we are), we extend much grace.😃

 

Many more times than not…we should be praying it…and not saying it. 😃 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom

MORE ABOUT MICHELLE: CLICK HERE

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Toxic Tuesday: Covert or Overt Narcissist

 

Below is an easy to read chart that explains some of the differences between covert and overt narcissists. This is a quick highlight. The lines can be blurry and what are supposed to be differences can occasionally overlap. The biggest difference is the covert has lower self-esteem; although most people will never see it unless they live with the person. Then again the person who lives with the covert may see a gross amount of arrogance, along with the low self-esteem, although they come across as personable and humble to their outside audience. The overt shows more arrogance in any setting. Both covert and overt can be charismatic personalities who seek to control the people closest to them; along with those in their work environment.

If you think along the lines of cult leaders and world dictators you can begin a list of Who’s Who Among Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In my opinion we currently have narcissists in the highest level of office in more than one major world power. Another likely narcissist is running for president and has built much of his empire preying on the poor.

Narcissists will say what they think you want to hear, but make no mistake, they don’t always mean what they say. Their goal is to manipulate and control. Power goes to their head and the evil in their heart can spiral out of control. Again, this is why narcissists make great but terrible cult leaders, totalitarian dictators, and brutal religious zealots.

I’ll be honest and tell you that every time I sit down and write about the subject of narcissistic personality disorder I become emotionally and physically exhausted. Plus, attempting to keep the description brief is difficult.

That’s what having a narcissist in your background will do to you.

If you question the existence of a narcissist in your life further research will be beneficial and enlisting professional help essential.

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Clinical Features 

Arrogant/Overt . . . Shy/Covert Narcissism

Arrogant/Overt Shy/Covert
  Self-Concept Grandiosity;    preoccupation with fantasies of outstanding success; undue sense of uniqueness; feelings of entitlement; seeming self-sufficiency Inferiority; morose self-doubts; marked propensity toward feeling ashamed; fragility; relentless search for glory and power; marked sensitivity to criticism and realistic setbacks
 Interpersonal 
  Relationships
Numerous but shallow relationships; intense need for tribute from others; scorn for others, often masked by pseudo-humility; lack of empathy; inability to genuinely participate in group activities; valuing of children over spouse in family life Inability to genuinely depend on others and trust them; chronic envy of others talents, possessions, and capacity for deep object relations; lack of regard for generational boundaries; disregard for others time; refusal to answer letters
  Social 
  Adaptation
Socially charming; often successful; consistent hard work done mainly to seek admiration (pseudo- sublimation); intense ambition; preoccupation with appearances Nagging aimlessness; shallow vocational commitment; dilettante-like attitude; multiple but superficial interests; chronic boredom; aesthetic taste often ill-informed and imitative
  Ethics, 
  Standards, 
  and
  Ideals
Caricatured modesty; pretended contempt for money in real life; idiosyncratically and unevenly moral; apparent enthusiasm for sociopolitical affairs

 

 Readiness to shift values to gain favor; pathological lying; materialistic lifestyle; delinquent tendencies; inordinate ethnic and moral relativism; irreverence toward authority
  Love 
  and 
  Sexuality
Marital instability; cold and greedy seductiveness; extramarital affairs and promiscuity; uninhibited sexual life Inability to remain in love; impaired capacity for viewing the romantic partner as a separate individual with his or her own interests, rights, and values; inability to genuinely comprehend the incest taboo; occasional sexual perversions
  Cognitive 
  Style
Impressively knowledgeable; decisive and opinionated; often strikingly articulate; egocentric perception of reality; love of language; fondness for shortcuts to acquisition of knowledge Knowledge often limited to trivia (headline intelligence); forgetful of details, especially names; impaired in the capacity for learning new skills; tendency to change meanings of reality when facing a threat to self-esteem; language and speaking used for regulating self-esteem

NOTE:  This chart originally appeared in Akhtar, S. J. (1989). Narcissistic personality disorder: Descriptive features and differential diagnosis. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, pp. 505-530.

 

10 Simple Chocolate Candy Recipes

Chocolate Almond Bark Recipes

GiveMe Chocolate Recipes

This is a recipe post from the Holiday season two years ago before I stopped eating most chocolate. I now use raw chocolate in my recipes along with raw honey. But for those of you who eat any and all chocolate; these recipes will make your taste buds happy!

Maybe you heard the below rumors two years ago. Fortunately the chocolate price increase was temporary and prices are back to normal.

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I have heard about child labor and even slavery being used for cocoa harvesting. Read more about it at Slavery in the Chocolate Industry. I am thankful for journalists exposing the ugly truth. Hopefully shining light on the truth will force the industry to stop the practice of using children and slaves for profit. I will gladly pay more for my chocolate if it means freedom for people whose lives have value because they are created by God; and loved and precious in His sight.

Now add cocoa plantation owner’s concerns regarding low rainfall expected in their regions in the coming months. Cocoa grows best in climates with high rainfall so a country known for high cocoa production not receiving enough rain will affect the country’s cocoa harvest; meaning a shortage of beans. A shortage of beans could mean a drastic price increase to the chocolate foundries. The chocolate manufacturer will then pass the increase on to us, the consumers. The cost of cocoa butter has risen by 70% in the last twelve months with retail prices increasing by only 7%. The question is how long companies can wait before passing the higher cost on to the consumer; especially dark chocolate lovers. Me!

If you travel the World Wide Web or partake in social networking on Pinterest you have likely read about preppers; people who take precautionary measures to be prepared for catastrophic events. By gathering in advance, supplies and necessities, preppers have a plan to help them survive potential disasters.

Well, as an admitted chocoholic I’ll tell you—I’m taking no chance of chocolate becoming too expensive for me to afford it. Long term or short-term. I am prepared. I am responsible for my children—I must think of my boys. They need chocolate too. If tart and sour candies are ever in jeopardy I will make a run on the store for Riley a survival rationing of Sweet Tarts, Sour Patch Kids and Skittles, but for now her taste buds are safe.

Upon hearing the news of expected price increases and possibly only the wealthy being able to afford chocolate in the near future, I drove straight to Aldi’s where I purchased my affordable favorite Choceur chocolate candy bars; milk chocolate, rich almond chocolate, dark chocolate, dark hazelnut chocolate and Moser Roth Privat Chocolatiers Toffee Crunch. I’m not telling how many but it could last a long time if it absolutely had to. I will fess up to buying a case of chocolate almond bark. Yes, a case. This is in addition to the packages already on hand for my Thanksgiving and Christmas candy making.  A case is only twelve packages after all and it has a longer shelf life than the expiration date suggests.

Chocolate almond bark goes a long way for candy making. When mixed with an array of diverse ingredients you have the ability to produce various candy bar type treats. If you have never tried using almond bark for your holiday baking I will pass on my favorite recipes. I am the queen of quick quantity so you will find these recipes easy to make, faster than baking cookies, and they yield a high number of bite size goodies. I forgot to mention another high point of almond bark; it is inexpensive compared to using chocolate chips for candy making.

I relish thinking half-heartedly of myself as being the Proverbs 31 woman. Here is my spin on it. Proverbs 31:13-15 & 28: Carolyn selects milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond bark; and works with eager hands. She is like a merchant van bringing her chocolate from Aldi’s. She stays up while it is still the middle of the night; she provides chocolate to her family; but mainly to herself; followed by A.J., Colson and Riley.  Her children arise asking for chocolate and call her tired; but blessed.

The inspired word of Proverbs 31:13-15 & 28 reads:

“She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family

Her children arise and call her blessed;”

I am prepar-r-r-ed! My family shall not run out of chocolate candy options any time soon.

NEEDED SUPPLIES:

Baking with almond bark requires a double boiler. If you do not own a double boiler use two pots of varying sizes or a pot and a metal or glass bowl.

Double Boiler Double Boiler with 2 saucepans Double Boiler using a pot and bowl

A 1 – 1 ½ quart saucepan (which technically is a pot) works beautifully because the chocolate melts deep enough to easily submerge the candy.

If you are mixing ingredients into the pot you will need a 2 ½ quart saucepan (pot) for the almond bark and a larger pot for holding the water. A metal or glass bowl could also be placed on top of the water pot. The technique requires water in the larger bottom pot (approx. 1/3 full of water) with the smaller pot resting on top, You will also need wax or parchment paper and large cookie sheets or trays.

Remove almond bark from package and melt it in a double boiler. (If your packages are a year or two old—beware of crumbling plastic packaging.)

DO NOT ALLOW WATER TO BOIL UP INTO TOP PAN OF CHOCOLATE. DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER INGREDIENT TO ALMOND BARK FOR THINNING PURPOSES. It will become gritty and dry; ruining your candy.

Line cookies sheets and large trays with Wax or Parchment Paper for easy removal of candy & easy clean-up.

When I have removed a batch of candy from the wax paper I turn the paper over and use the other side for the next batch.

Place finished goodies in airtight containers or freezer bags.

All of these candies freeze perfectly; so if do all of your baking before Thanksgiving it will last through the New Year’s celebrations.

I also make the candies in small pieces, 1-2 bites each. This way when I give a tray of cookies, candies and breads for teacher gifts, neighbor gifts and appreciation gifts; the receiver can sample everything without being overwhelmed with sugar. I find this works well for my own holiday trays too since we eat and snack all day long. We can sample everything without grossly overeating to the point of nausea.

All of these recipes may be created with chocolate or vanilla almond bark. I do not consider vanilla bark or white chocolate true chocolate. I only bake with it to cater to non-chocolate lovers and to add color to the cookie/candy trays.

Baking sprinkles, glitters, ground nuts or shaved chocolate may be added to the top of freshly dipped wet chocolates for decoration.

 Chocolate Covered Peanuts(or any nut)

chocolate covered peanuts

Use at least a 2 ½ qt. saucepan/bowl for melting the bark

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-32 ounces Party peanuts or Spanish peanuts stirred into melted chocolate.

You can cook raw peanuts (found in the produce department of the store) in the microwave by cooking 6 minutes; stirring every 2 minutes. If you begin to smell burning peanuts they are beginning to overcook and may be removed from the microwave. They are ready to use in a recipe. Peanuts make my favorite chocolate nut clusters!

Spoon small clusters onto Wax paper lined trays. Keep clusters close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel clusters off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 5 dozen small clusters

Chocolate Covered PretzelsKids love these and they are ridiculously easy to make.

Chocolate covered pretzels

-1 package Chocolate or Vanilla Almond Bark – melted

-1 bag Pretzel Twists

Use a fork to fully dip pretzels in melted almond bark. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use an extra fork, knife or candy tong to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Keep pretzels close together on wax paper but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel pretzels off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Chocolate Almond Bark Cookies

Chocolate Almond Bark

Use at least a 2 ½ qt. saucepan/bowl for melting the bark

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 ½ cup Peanut Butter – stirred in.

-3 cups Marshmallows – stirred in.

-4 cups Rice Crispies – stirred in.

Spoon small amounts onto Wax paper lined trays using an extra fork, knife or candy tong to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Keep clusters close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel clusters off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 5 dozen cookies

 Oreo Truffles

(I always double the below recipe and use: 2 packages cookies,  2-8 oz. cream cheeses & 1 pkg. almond bark.

oreo truffles

-1 package Oreos, Mint Oreos, or Great Value from Walmart.  ALDI’S brand does NOT work – Place one package of cookies at a time in blender, then add to the cream cheese which has been softened in the microwave.

After mixing Oreos and cream cheese together, cover with plastic wrap & place in fridge or freezer until firm.

-½ package melted Chocolate Almond Bark

Roll mixture into small (3/4 -1 inchI) bite size balls, place onto Wax paper lined trays.

predipped oreo truffles

Return to fridge or freezer to re-firm before dipping.

Dip with a toothpick, candy pick or nut pick to completely cover balls in melted chocolate almond bark. Tap toothpick on side of pan to remove excess chocolate; use an toothpick to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Yields: 3 dozen

Keep balls close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel truffles off of paper and place in airtight containers..

Turtle Truffles

turtle truffle

-8 ounces Cream Cheese softened

-7 oz. which equals ½ bag of Kraft caramels. Unwrap and place in microwaveable bowl with 1 Tbsp. water. Cook 1 minute, stir, and repeat at 1 minute intervals until completely melted.

-8 ounces chopped pecans

Mix softened cream cheese, melted caramel and chopped pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap and place mixture in fridge or freezer until firm.

Melt 1 package Chocolate Almond Bark

Roll mixture into ¾” – 1” small bite size balls, place onto Wax paper lined trays. Melt ½ pkg. Choc. Almond bark.

Return to fridge or freezer to re-firm before dipping.

Use a fork to dip balls in melted chocolate almond bark; covering all sides. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the truffle onto the pan/tray.

Yields: 30

Keep balls close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel truffles off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Ritz Cookies So simple—so easy!

Chocolate Ritz cookies

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 box, 4 sleeves, Ritz or store brand crackers

-Peanut butter spread to desired thickness on one cracker. Place a second cracker on top of peanut butter to create a sandwich.

Ritz cracker spread with peanut butter

Use a fork to completely dip crackers in melted chocolate almond bark. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the cookie onto the pan/tray.

Keep crackers close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel cookies off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: just under 4 dozen

Mint Bark

Mint Bark

WHENEVER YOU HAVE LEFT OVER ALMOND BARK in the bottom of a pan ADD FLAVORING SUCH AS MINT, PEPPERMINT OR ORANGE, 3 DROPS AT A TIME UNTIL YOU APPROVE OF THE FLAVOR; STIR. POUR ONTO WAX PAPER LINED PAN & TAP PAN UNTIL MIXTURE IS SMOOTH or spread with a spatula. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When hardened, peel BARK off of paper, break into small pieces and place in airtight containers.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

-½ package White Almond Bark – melted

-Peppermint  extract, 1 tsp. to begin; stir, and add more if desired.

-1 box of peppermint Candy canes, crushed, I pulse them in a blender or food processor

Mix candy canes in for desired thickness.

POUR ONTO WAX PAPER LINED PAN & TAP PAN UNTIL MIXTURE IS SMOOTH, or use a spatula. Place trays in fridge freezer for quick set time. When hardened, peel BARK off of paper, break into bite size pieces and place in airtight containers.

This recipe can be changed using lemon extract and crushed Lemon Drops candy.

Yields: 4 dozen small pieces

 

Millionaire Bites

Millionaire Bites

-½  package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 14 oz. package Kraft caramels unwrapped. Place in a microwavable bowl and add 3 Tbsp. water. Melt 1 minute at a time; stirring after each minute until melted.

-1 ½ cups ground pecans – use a blender of food processor

-1 ½ cups Rice Crispies

Yields: 3 about 3 dozen

Line two large pans or trays with wax paper; GREASE the paper (or you will be sorry – guess how I know?)

Combine melted caramel, pecans and cereal (in this order). Drop small teaspoonfuls onto greased pans. Place in fridge or freezer for quick set time.

Line two more pans/trays with wax paper. The greased wax paper will not be reusable.

When the candy is set, dip it in the almond bark on all sides with a fork; tap fork on the side of the pot allowing excess to drip back in the pot. Use a second fork to slide the cookie onto the pan/tray. Keep candies close together but not touching. Place  trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, pop candies off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Peppermint Patties

Peppermint patties

-½ package chocolate almond bark – melted

-¾ cup sweetened condensed milk

-1 ½ teaspoons pure peppermint extract –imitation does not taste good; mint extract could be substituted

-4 cups confectioners (powder) sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine condensed milk and peppermint extract. Beat in enough confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, to form a stiff dough that is no longer sticky. Form into 1/2 inch balls, then place on waxed paper. Grease or butter the bottom of a flat glass. Press the glass on the dough to form small thin patties.  Let patties dry at room temperature one hour, turning once at a half hour.

IMG_0026

Using a fork, a meat fork may be necessary depending on the size of the patties, dip the patties, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. . Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the patties onto the pan/tray lined with wax paper. Keep patties close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel patties off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 3 dozen

~Enjoy

Happy Hour: 11/12/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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If it’s not necessary to say…it’s necessary not to say it. BUT if God puts something kind and/or loving in your heart and mind over another person…I would say that’s absolutely part of why we have mouths…speak it out…speak Life to one another today…go ahead try it! 😃😏

So everyday I wake up I know I won’t get it “all right”, but I know the One who will! 😊😃☝
He makes our paths straight… He makes us strong in our weaknesses… He makes us holy and righteous… He sends His angels to our aid… He brings His peace and rest to us… He is our shelter… He accepts us and adores us just as we are! ‪#‎ingoodhands ‪ #‎blessedbeyondmeasure 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom

MORE ABOUT MICHELLE: CLICK HERE

Happy Hour: 11/5/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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I love that the more I live outside of me…and more towards others…the more my inside is at peace ☺😃🙌🙏#loveothersmorethanself  #‎lifetimeprocess‪#‎thereallife

Prayer, faith/rest, and praise!! Best “weapons” in the world!! 👍🙏👏👏👏😃😏☺👌 Now, go take his day “captive”!! 😎

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom

MORE ABOUT MICHELLE: CLICK HERE

DIY Mini Utensil Set

Mini Utensil Sets

DIY Projects

Okay—it isn’t completely DIY. You won’t need your own foundry to forge the utensils but since you will not find a mini utensil set/holder/crock in the stores; I will show you how spectacularly charming, efficient and necessary this set is to the everyday functioning of your kitchen.

Several years ago for my birthday my mom gave me the red tea-cup filled with multiple measuring spoons. I am a stay-at-home mom who usually cooks a homemade meal every night of the week; plus breakfast, lunch and quite a bit of baking. Mom knew I would love the splash of red in my kitchen (everyone needs a splash of red especially if their kitchen isn’t red) and the extra measuring spoons are time saving because I don’t have to stop, wash, and rinse spoons in the middle of meal preparations. DSCN3335

I immediately added a variety of utensils to my cup and have used the set every day since; so have my kids. We whisk eggs, stir pancake batter, spread jams, measure, scrape bowls and jars, flip small pancakes, bake cookies, remove hot items from the toaster oven, squeeze the last flavor from tea bags and much more. Our kitchen would not function well without the cup which sits on top of our toaster oven in a centralized location. I am all about function; pretty—decorative function!

The tea cups with the front tea bag pockets are difficult to find and Ebay has been my only success over the last few years. (Mainstreet Market Place on Mainstreet in historic St. Charles, Missouri, currently has a similar cup in stock.) I like the pocket for the Smidgen/Pinch/Dash measuring spoons.

DSCN3337DSCN3336

Here are my favorite places for finding miniature utensils. I order in quantity for future bridal showers and birthday gifts which saves on shipping costs. This is my favorite gift to give at Bridal Showers because it is almost guaranteed the bride does not have a mini utensil set.

You will need a short squatty type tea-cup, soup mug, or creamer for the utensils to be visible and the side of the cup needs to go somewhat straight up; not curved out like a bowl or expensive China tea/coffee cup.

Have fun making your own!

These utensils can be found at http://www.amazon.com/

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Mini Condiment Spoons
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Mini Wooden Condiment Spoons
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Measuring Spoons
DSCN3347
Heart Measuring Spoons. (Different price ranges)
DSCN3346
Mini Whisks. 4 on left come as a set. 1 on right is sold individually.

The below utensils can be found at Main Street Marketplace – This is a local store located on Main Street in historic St. Charles, Missouri. Best prices except for the heart spoons http://www.mainstreetmarketplace.com/

Smidgen/Pinch/Dash Measuring Spoons
Smidgen/Pinch/Dash Measuring Spoons (located at cash register)
DSCN3346
Miniature Whisks – 4 on left come as a set. 1 on right is sold individually.
DSCN3762
Mini Flipper/Turner
DSCN3345
Honey Dipper – in a jar on top of the fridge covered in magnets (to the right of the cash register)
DSCN3352
Mini Toaster Tongs
DSCN3355
Mini Scoop
DSCN3356
Dozens of Cheese Knives/Appetizer Spreaders
DSCN3361
Tomato Corer
DSCN3362
Citrus Zester
DSCN3351
Tea Bag Squeezer/Toaster Tongs

Happy Hour: 10/29/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Thinking and praying about death this morning… actually not in a morbid way… just praying over some people who are dealing with it, in a couple of different, and extremely difficult, situations. Breaks my heart to see the pain of loss, and even possible loss. As I was praying this morning… I sensed the Lord’s Presence…I saw Him placing His hands on some hearts…asking His Father for things in prayer…leaning over…hugging and giving each one what they needed for that moment… Some people seemed to “know” He had done something…and others did not. However, in each case…He was right there…closer than their breath. Our Creator cares about His Creation…His Children. I can’t imagine being in some of the moments these precious ones are dealing with and enduring…But I have seen The One Who knows all…cares beyond anything we can truly comprehend…His Love…His Heart is for us…He is with us in ALL storms…

‪#‎Heisgood ‪#‎TrueHopeinHim ‪#‎leaningonHisEverlastingArms

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom

MORE ABOUT MICHELLE: CLICK HERE

We walked away

My hometown, Stillwater, Oklahoma, has been in my heart and on my mind since hearing word of the OSU Homecoming parade crash yesterday morning.

I can’t imagine the images and sounds that eyewitnesses took in at the corner of Main Street and Hall of Fame. Several people I knew were witnesses and a couple of people were survivors.

I hope that in sharing this post many of the eyewitnesses and victims will learn there is help for processing this event; instead of allowing it to consume their thought life from this day forward.

A few years ago I witnessed a motorcycle accident that led to the cyclist’s death. I constantly thought about the point of impact, the body being repeatedly hit as it flew through the air, was pushed forward, and eventually rolled to a stop. The worst images and sounds came as I stood over the man to pray for him.

I received therapy from a trained Christian counselor who helped me focus on God and His truth, and recall His words through scripture, using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.

My counselor helped me pray my way through the events by replacing the traumatic memories with God’s healing truth; His words, which are medicinal. My heart and mind needed healing.

“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

Please understand my psychologist, Terri, did not heal my hurt. I asked God for help and he had Terri assist as Jesus interceded and the Holy Spirit ministered.
Read more about EMDR at Motorcycle Accident: God Heals-Part 3

lynns & tots

There are moments in your life where your mortality becomes intimately clear. Where this tenuous grip on life and those of your loved ones reveals just how fragile it is. Every breath is a gift, every moment walking a freedom that we all take for granted. And the more breaths, the more steps, the longer we walk this life between these moments the less real our mortality feels. Until another one comes along to wake us up. Life is not a dream. It is very real, and it is very fragile. We are not immortals roaming this earth.

Yesterday morning started off just like any other Homecoming at OSU. Maybe a little more special because this is Katy’s last homecoming at Stillwater before she graduates in December. But it was just another walk-around the night before, just another parade that morning that we would fight to get to the front…

View original post 712 more words

Happy Hour: 10/22/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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“How I see it, is not how it is…it is only how I see it.” Jim Richards ‪#‎yep ‪#‎prettymuch  ;-) ‪#‎truth

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What we think and/or speak toward others…seems to bounce off of them and back on to us! Ouch!! Thinking some amazingly great thoughts over lots of peeps!!!

The rest of 2015…thinking and speaking the best over others…or BUST!! :-)

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom

MORE ABOUT MICHELLE: CLICK HERE

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