RECHARGED by Forgiveness

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It’s a powerful feeling to be forgiven for a mistake you’ve made. Knowing that although we messed up, we get a new chance to be better and to do better. As part of our sinful nature we are going to mess up and make mistakes A LOT. But we are also saved by grace–and forgiven by a love so powerful that he throws our mistakes as far as the east is to the west.

“As distant as the east is from the west, that is how far he has removed our sins from us.” -Psalm 103:12

As I was recharging myself this week by forgiveness this song came on the radio and it just so perfectly portrayed God’s forgiveness. Let the words rush over you, empower you, and fill you will joy that you serve a God that forgives. The song is called, Drops in the Ocean, by Hawk Nelson.

“Drops In The Ocean”

I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you sufferingCause I am for you
I’m not against youIf you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you

And I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you

If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

Open your heart
It’s time that we start again
Open your heart
It’s time that we start again

If you wanna know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If you wanna see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean
The drops in the ocean

I am for you
I’m not against you
I am for you
I’m not against you

 
Get recharged knowing God wants us as we are–imperfect and all!!
Rach Signature48

Recharged by Starting Right

picture from occn.com

What do you do in the morning that gets you going? Do you feel refreshed when you wake up? Are you able to get your day started pretty quickly? Or are you tired? Does it take you awhile to get out of bed or for your eyes to open? How many times do you really hit snooze??

Whether you are a morning person, or a night person, you had to have figured something out by now that has become your “routine”. There is usually something that can get us pumped up and ready for the day. There is probably something about our routine that you can change to maximize our time or maximize our energy in the morning. It is just about making that routine, or finding out what works. What’s your one thing? Is it coffee? Music? Reading? Exercise? Have you found that one thing that gives you energy so you can maximize your day?

Science says your willpower and energy is strongest in the morning, so you need to give it your best go and put your best food and best attitude forward right when you start your day. Start loving the morning. At least love something you do in the morning. Try to wake up the same time every day so you can stick to your routine. And enjoy it. Give the day your best shot by starting it off right. Here are some ideas you can add or change to your routine.

  • Wake up a little bit earlier to get things done
  • Read
  • Devotions
  • Pray
  • Listen to Music
  • Exercise (sleep in your exercise clothes if needed)
  • Stretch
  • Sing
  • Dress for Success
  • Have your clothes picked out beforehand
  • Don’t check social media
  • Have a plan for breakfast, or have it already prepared
  • ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST
  • Drink Water
  • Listen to podcasts on your drive to work or while getting ready
  • Set goals for your day
  • Think about what you are grateful for
  • Count your blessings
  • Think about what you are looking forward to for the day

Start your day by getting in tune with your brain, your body, your spirit. Fill yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually so you have enough to get through the day. Your morning is your foundation. How your start determines how you finish. So start strong, and you will stay strong. Find something you love to do, do it in the morning, and it will help you love your day, and love yourself.

What do you need to change about your morning routine? Or what do you already do that works?

Bethany Signature48

“Shotbox” a MUST HAVE Creative Invention

The girls and I had an opportunity to go to a “Bloggers Convention” last February and one of the most innovative and creative items we saw at the conference was the SHOTBOX. We were intrigued by the design and impressed with the amazing features and most importantly we knew this would be something that would improve our blogging experience significantly.
What is a SHOTBOX, you may be asking?
Shotbox is a table top light studio. A fully contained, tabletop, collapsible, portable, lightweight photo light studio. Perfect for objects, photos and documents. The SHOTBOX is a Collapsible Tabletop Studio that uses high powered LEDs to create a perfectly lit “micro-studio” environment to get great images with any camera, including smart devices.” This is a fantastic invention that will allow bloggers like us, the Growing Weisser girls, to improve the quality of the photographs that we post on our blog without investing in a costly supplies to make a home light studio. The Shotbox is compact, collapsible and stores easily when not being used. Here is a picture of the Shotbox and some examples of the beautiful pictures that can be taken with an iPhone or DSLR camera with the Shotbox. The Shotbox company has a Kickstart campaign going on right now so if you are interested in supporting this amazing invention and want to give the design team a big boost of confidence as they get their new product manufactured and ready for market (expecting the first shipment in October) go to their kickstart campaign page by clicking this link:shotbox. They have 31 days to go in their kickstart campaign and so far have $31,134 pledged with a goal of $50,00. So join the movement and support this amazing company. Click here to check out their kickstart campaign.
SHOTBOX+-+w+SideShot+Hero+Shot+01Here is the Shotbox
Education+DIYHere is an example of a DIY craft instruction sheet (photo taken in the Shotbox)Recipe+Shot

 

 

A wonderful way to photograph ingredients and the finished product for any recipe bloggers

 

 

“At Shotbox, our motto is to “Light it Right” and our mission is to provide top-level photographic solutions for the home, office and classroom.

The time has never been better to take advantage of the great cameras we have in our lives, whether they be on smart phones, tablets, DSLR’s or point-and-shoot devices. Mix in a perfect lighting environment (SHOTBOX), and we can finally get control of photo albums, scrapbooks, loose photos, art projects, keepsakes, journals and more. It doesn’t stop there, of course. The Shotbox is perfect for blogs, food, ebay, Etsy, shopping carts, restaurants, classifieds, collectibles, hobbies, and anything else we can imagine.”
The company is dedicated to a bigger vision than just producing a wonderful and useful product: “Shotbox isn’t just about great solutions to get our stuff digitized. We are using the opportunity to keep jobs in America. We’ll work offshore only where we need to at first, but we’ll build all positions stateside as we can. Our employees start with a great job with us and then we help them move into an even greater job suited to their dreams and occupational skills. This way we can employ the unemployed, homeless and any others that are down on their luck, provide them a platform to better their lives, and help them get to where they want to be.”
They are adding a personal flair to their company which builds morale and improves employee allegiance:
“You’ll know exactly who’s involved with fulfilling your Shotbox and be able to go to their personal website to connect and learn more about them. Each of their sites will showcase where they want to go in life and perhaps how you can help them.
Within this environment we can provide training and skills that make them valuable in the industry of their choice.”
So get a Shotbox and together we make this world a better place. Join the kickstart campaign today.
Aaron Johnson
Founder and CEO
aaron@shotbox.me

Kerry Signature48

 

Baklava-a Traditional Mediterranean Sweet Treat

Baklava has always been a food full of memories for me. Growing up in a family that loved to cook foods from different cultures, in addition to marrying into an Armenian family , I have had a passion for Mediterranean food for years. My fondest memory of Baklava is from my college years when some girl friends and I spent our spring break in Greece. We loved every minute of our time in Greece and although it was the Europe on $5 a day era….we found ourselves a bit short on money the last three days of our trip. Knowing we needed to save enough money for our ferry boat ride back to Italy where we were living and studying, we decided the best use of the remainder of our money would be to skip conventional restaurant meals and survive for our last three days in Greece on Baklava. What a GREAT decision that was. This weekend we had our reunion with the folks we had the privilege of traveling with through Turkey and Greece a few months ago. I decided to bring Baklava for us to all enjoy since it had been one of our group’s favorite treats on our trip. Years ago, my husband’s Nana taught me how to make her Armenian version of Baklava and I have tried various other recipes over the years, but I decided to go back to our roots make my favorite Baklava Recipe…….and I will share it here with you……

Ingredients
1 (16 oz) package Phyllo dough, thawed according to package instructions
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 pound (4 cups) walnuts finely chopped (for a more authentic Turkish version, use pistachios)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup sugar
1 cup honey
3 Tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
¾ cup water

Prep Phyllo dough
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Thaw phyllo dough according to package instruction(overnight in refrig and then 2 hours on counter). Open the package and lay the phyllo dough out and trim to fit your pan. (I used a large 10×14 lasagna pan so I was able to cut my sheets in half but if you use a 9×13 you will cut the sheet in half and then trim the edges slightly.)Once your sheets are trimmed you should have a stack of 40 sheets of dough. cover them with a pice of wax paper and a slightly damp towel until ready to use.
Make honey sauce first so it has time to cool.
Mix sugar, honey, lemon juice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring often. Turn the heat down to medium low and allow to boil 4 minutes without stirring. Set aside until cool.
Baklava assembly
Preheat over not 325 degrees.
Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped (about 10-12 pulses). Place nuts in a medium bowl and add cinnamon. (I recommend using high quality cinnamon).
Melt the butter and lightly butter bottom and sides of your pan.
Begin layering your first 10 sheets of phyllo dough in your pan, buttering each layer with a pastry brush. Sprinkle ¾ cup nut mixture over stack of 10 buttered phyllo dough sheets. Layer 5 sheets of dough, buttering each sheet as before. Then sprinkle another ¾ cup of nut on top. Assemble three more sets of 5 buttered phyllo dough sheets and ¾ cup of walnut mixture and end with a top layer of 10 buttered phyllo dough sheets.
Your layering formula is 10 phyllo-nuts-5 phyllo-nuts (4 times)-10 phyllo.
Your Baklava is now ready to cut and bake.
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Cut your Baklava lengthwise into 1 ½ in wide strips. then cut diagonally to form diamonds.
Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour. Watch carefully at about 50 minutes as some ovens bake faster. Top should be golden brown and look crispy. Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled honey-lemon syrup over entire pan of Baklava making sure to cover entire top. You will hear it sizzle as the syrup permeates the golden Baklava layers. For best results let your Baklava cool completely for 4-6 hours uncovered before serving. This is a great dessert to make a few days ahead because the longer it sits at room temperature, the better it tastes. Once completely cooled you can cover pan with a dishtowel until you are ready to serve. You can garnish your Baklava with some chopped walnuts if desired. You can store Baklava up to 2 weeks.
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5.0 from 1 reviews
Baklava-a Traditional Mediterranean Sweet Treat
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A typical Mediterranean dessert that is made of flaky Phyllo dough and chopped walnuts, cinnamon and a lemony-honey syrup.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 oz) package Phyllo dough, thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound (4 cups) walnuts finely chopped (for a more authentic Turkish version, use pistachios)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • ¾ cup water
Instructions
  1. Prep Phyllo dough
  2. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instruction(overnight in refrig and then 2 hours on counter). Open the package and lay the phyllo dough out and trim to fit your pan. (I used a large 10x14 lasagna pan so I was able to cut my sheets in half but if you use a 9x13 you will cut the sheet in half and then trim the edges slightly.)Once your sheets are trimmed you should have a stack of 40 sheets of dough. cover them with a pice of wax paper and a slightly damp towel until ready to use.
  3. Make honey sauce first so it has time to cool.
  4. Mix sugar, honey, lemon juice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring often. Turn the heat down to medium low and allow to boil 4 minutes without stirring. Set aside until cool.
  5. Baklava assembly
  6. Preheat over not 325 degrees.
  7. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped (about 10-12 pulses). Place nuts in a medium bowl and add cinnamon. (I recommend using high quality cinnamon).
  8. Melt the butter and lightly butter bottom and sides of your pan.
  9. Begin layering your first 10 sheets of phyllo dough in your pan, buttering each layer with a pastry brush. Sprinkle ¾ cup nut mixture over stack of 10 buttered phyllo dough sheets. Layer 5 sheets of dough, buttering each sheet as before. Then sprinkle another ¾ cup of nut on top. Assemble three more sets of 5 buttered phyllo dough sheets and ¾ cup of walnut mixture and end with a top layer of 10 buttered phyllo dough sheets.
  10. Your layering formula is 10 phyllo-nuts-5 phyllo-nuts (4 times)-10 phyllo.
  11. Your Baklava is now ready to cut and bake.
  12. Cut your Baklava lengthwise into 1 ½ in wide strips. then cut diagonally to form diamonds.
  13. Bake 325 degrees for 1 hour. Watch carefully at about 50 minutes as some ovens bake faster. Top should be golden brown and look crispy. Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled honey-lemon syrup over entire pan of Baklava making sure to cover entire top. You will hear it sizzle as the syrup permeates the golden Baklava layers. For best results let your Baklava cool completely for 4-6 hours uncovered before serving. This is a great dessert to make a few days ahead because the longer it sits at room temperature, the better it tastes. Once completely cooled you can cover pan with a dishtowel until you are ready to serve. You can garnish your Baklava with some chopped walnuts if desired. You can store Baklava up to 2 weeks.

Kerry Signature48

RECHARGED by Time Out

Ok, Ok before you start thinking, “What is this post about? Time outs?” Don’t worry. I’m talking time out–out of the house/Moms Night Out/Girls Night Out/Boys Night out.

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Image from mamatoga-saratoga.com

Nights out are a way to connect with others. To talk and share ups and downs from the week. A chance to listen to someone who needs to be heard. An opportunity to make memories – and yes, blast those fun, happy pictures all over your social media.

No matter what your station in life, a night out is a time to recharge!!

Here’s a few ideas to get recharged by a night out.

(As always, check Groupon, Living Social, and more for coupons and discounts on fun events/fitness classes and more in your area).

Indoor rock climbing – My local climbing gym has a once a week ladies night for $5!

Trampoline park – jump jump jump to recharge and laugh a lot.

A new fitness class – most fitness classes are free your first time and sweating with friends is a great way to recharge.

Try a new restaurant – Ask your friends for a recommendation and try something you wouldn’t normally off the menu.

Go bowling – bowling is a fun way to have an activity that still allows you to talk and visit.

Drive around at night and find a place to sit and look at the stars – I know sometimes I get so caught up in life I forget to look at the beauty all around me.

Get pampered at a salon – I went to a moms night out last night at a salon for snacks, drinks, and blowouts. We even got a makeup lesson. It was so fun and a really relaxing way to talk and spend time with old and new friends.

Have a game night – Game night is such a fun way to recharge with laughter and competition.

Go to a movie

What is your favorite way to have time out?

Rach Signature48

Recharged by Keeping Track of your Life with a Planner

Planning, scheduling, arranging, coordinating, and remembering… It is our life. It is in our nature. It is what we do.  One thing we all usually struggle with is… TIME MANAGEMENT. How can we fit it all in? How can we fill up our busy schedule even more?

With everything going digital, the art of keeping a written planner is becoming a lost art. But I find it still very useful. I love to write things down. I love to take notes. I love to keep track of my days. Yes ICal and Google Calendar are very helpful to keep track of big dates, trips, and events and share them with other people. But when it comes to the details, I keep a pen and notebook in hand.

Some tips for Organizing your Planner:

  • APPEARANCE: Pick out a planner with a cover you like, if the cover is plain, add some pictures, stickers, or decorations
  • LOCATION: Keep the planner out where you can see it each morning, where you eat breakfast or have your morning quiet time
  • PREPARED: keep a pen or pencil handy
  • COLOR CODED: use different colors for different categories, types of events, or different kids activities if you have multiple kids
  • SPECIAL DATES: Write birthdays/anniversaries on the month section and the day section
  • LEFT SIDE: Write down the schedule and times of appts on the left
  • RIGHT SIDE: Write a list of to do’s on the right for your daily to do list
  • DAILY TO DO LIST: If it isn’t finished on the specific day, add it to the next days to do list
  • EXTRA LISTS: Put big grocery lists or party details on a separate notes page or a post it note you can stick on the page
  • ADD LATER: If something wasn’t planned and comes up in the day, you can add it later
  • MONTHLY TO DO LIST: Each month make a list of those BIG to do’s for the month and check them off as you go
  • BUDGET: if you are keeping track of a budget, have a separate note section for money spent
  • MEAL PLAN: if you are planning meals for the week keep a list where you are putting your grocery list for the week
  • ADDRESS AND PHONE: usually planners have a section for this, but I would suggest you keep these in your phone, unless you want to write down a specific number you need to call, such as a restaurant, store, or a number you will not keep in your phone
  • PICK ME UP: if you are having a hard day or busy week, write down motivating quotes or Bible verses to help keep you positive and focused
  • KEEP AROUND: Don’t throw away your old planner right away, it may come in handy as a reference

What Kind of Planners do I recommend:photo

The Arc Customizable Notebook System http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/arc/index.html

You can choose all different things! Here is how it works!

  1. Choose your notebook: Leather(Solid Color) or Poly (Solid or Print)
  2. Customize with refill paper (Ruled/Graph/Project/To do/Month/Day)
  3. Pick accessories (Ruler/Hole Punch/ Pocket Divider/ Tabs)
  4. Lift and press in (You can add and take away as many pages as you want)

arcssarc-customizable-notebook-review

Buy your Arc planner today by clicking the Amazon link above.

What have you done to help plan your life better? Do you keep a planner? TRY IT!

Bethany Signature48

Recharge Your Summer with a Bucket List

We are almost into our last month of summer, so let’s make the most of the it!!

Have you made a summer bucket list? Have you been working through it? If you have, look back through it and add activities that you have thought of or heard of from friends that you haven’t done yet. If you haven’t made one, do it now! There is still plenty of time to do all the things that you have always wanted to try – fun activities in your community, trying new restaurants, free summer events, crafts, home adventures and more!

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Here is a fun way to put up your Bucket List to see what activities to plan for the rest of summer!

All you need is…

1. Your Summer Bucket List

2. A Magnetic Strip
Find it on Amazon for a great price at the link below!
Three by Three Magnetic Strip Bulletin Board, White

3. Fun Paper
Try JOANN Fabric, Michaels, or your local craft store for packs of scrapbook paper…

…Paper Source…

448508

…Amazon, too!
Fancy Pants Designs Burlap and Bouquets Decorative Tags, Large

4. Colored Pens or Sharpies

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Sharpie 75846 Fine Point Permanent Marker, Assorted Colors, 24-Pack

5. Paper Punch to make shapes like the one below- Optional
Uchida – Clever Lever Xtra Giga Craft Punch-Merchandise Tag

And, it’s so simple! Write out your Bucket List activities on your paper. Use the magnets that come with the Magnetic Strip to post up each bucket list item. Mount your strip in a place where you will see it everyday and often! Then, get working on your list! You will feel so accomplished at the end of summer with a lot of fun memories and recharged for the new school year!!
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What is on your Bucket List for this Summer??

Bekah Signature48

 

Nutritious Nachos-RECHARGED with summer veggies

When our girls were young, nachos were a favorite go-to meal along with quesadillas. These NUTRITIOUS and DELICIOUS nachos are covered with vegetable goodness, made on home baked tortilla chips and are an easy complete summer meal. Whip up a batch the next time you have a group over or just enjoy on a Sunday afternoon while watching a ballgame. If you have the time to grill your corn and let it cool a bit before you make this recipe it has a wonderful added bbq flavor but fresh cut off the cob works as well.

Ingredients
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 red pepper chopped
1-2 cups fresh corn (you can bbq first for added roasted flavor)
1 jalepeno pepper thinly sliced
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
½ pound ground turkey (optional if you want vegetarian version)
8-10 corn tortillas
½ cup grated Mexican cheese blend (cheddar and Monterey jack or colby jack)
½ cup queso fresco crumbled
1 avocado diced
1-2 tomatoes chopped
⅓ cup cilantro chopped
1 lime cut into wedges

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Brown ground turkey seasoned with 1 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder and salt in skillet until completely cooked. Set aside
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add zucchini, corn, red pepper, jalepeno, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt and cook 5 more minutes. Add black bean and stir until heated through. Turn off heat and let cool.
Cut corn tortillas into quarters and spread out in a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan that has been coated with olive oil spray. Spray tops of tortillas with olive oil spray as well. Broil 2 minutes on each side. Watch carefully. Spread baked tortilla chips with grated Mexican cheese and broil for 1 minute until cheese melts.
Top cheese covered chips evenly with seasoned ground turkey. Add sautéed vegetables and then sprinkle with chopped tomato, avocado, cilantro and queso fresco. Serve and enjoy.
Serves 4-6 as a meal and more as an appetizer.
HUBBY APPROVED!!!!We both enjoyed this meal for dinner tonight and it was fantastic!!!!

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Nutritious Nachos-RECHARGED with summer veggies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthy version of the traditional nacho, with homemade chips and light cheese and VEGETABLES to improve the nutritional value and taste. RECHARGED!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer/Light Summer meal
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1-2 cups fresh corn (you can bbq first for added roasted flavor)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ pound ground turkey (optional if you want vegetarian version)
  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup grated Mexican cheese blend (cheddar and Monterey jack or colby jack)
  • ½ cup queso fresco crumbled
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped
  • ⅓ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Brown ground turkey seasoned with 1 teaspoon each cumin, chili powder and salt in skillet until completely cooked. Set aside
  2. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add zucchini, corn, red pepper, jalepeno, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt and cook 5 more minutes.
  4. Add black bean and stir until heated through. Turn off heat and let cool.
  5. Cut corn tortillas into quarters and spread out in a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan that has been coated with olive oil spray. Spray tops of tortillas with olive oil spray as well. Broil 2 minutes on each side. Watch carefully.
  6. Spread baked tortilla chips with grated Mexican cheese and broil for 1 minute until cheese melts.
  7. Top cheese covered chips evenly with seasoned ground turkey.
  8. Add sautéed vegetables and then sprinkle with chopped tomato, avocado, cilantro and queso fresco.

What favorite family recipe have you recharged by adding extra nutritious ingredients?
Kerry Signature48

RECHARGE By Doing Something New

I am a creature of habit and routine. I could easily eat the same foods and do the same things every day and not really think about it. I like structure.

Sometimes that’s a good thing. It’s how I get out of the house every day. It’s why (I think) my kids are good at bedtime. Routine. Structure.

But here’s the bad thing: when you always do the same things you miss out on adventure, excitement, and the challenge that comes with getting out of your routine and out of your comfort zone.

Who will you meet? How will you grow? Who can you become?

Each new experience is a change to answer those questions. Yes, we will fail, but we will also learn!

So, go out and do something new. Your life is waiting for you.

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Trying something new at a Mom’s Night Out adventure at a rock climbing gym. I fell off right after this picture.

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First time climbing a rope. I was too scared and tired to make it to the top. But guess what? I tried it again next time and made it up first try!

Rach Signature48

What Recharges YOU?

One of my favorite things about summer is having time to read! I love books and I love setting aside time each day to read. It is not as though I don’t read during the other seasons but there is something very special to me about summer reading…it might be the opportunity to read for pure pleasure or maybe it’s the memories that come to mind as I sit for an hour in the afternoon sun and read a novel. I love to listen to audio books, podcasts and learn about the lives of interesting people. We just spent hours in the car last week listening to a dramatic presentation of the life of C.S. Lewis during the war, then we listened to the unabridged audiobooks of Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. My mind was challenged to think outside the box and was filled with mind boggling questions. I am RECHARGED by having my mind opened up to new ways of thinking and discovering concepts about life and eternity. C. S. Lewis was a brilliant thinker, philosopher and a strong enthusiast for the cause of Christ. He was creative and innovative and every book I have ever read that he authored has shaped my life in a positive way.

Right now I am reading a book called Gripped by the Greatness of God by James MacDonald.
This week I read and reread a passage in the bible from Isaiah 55:1-13 that the author used to impress upon his readers that a good way to insure finishing strong in one’s life is to look for and follow people who are passionately acknowledging the greatness of God. Those people find a complete satisfaction in following God and they believe in the absolute truth of the bible that produces confidence, teaches forgiveness and transforms their lives. I am RECHARGED when I remember to find delight in God’s work and when I keep my eyes open to the greatness of God. I want my life to be a memorial to God, a testimony to the faithfulness and greatness of God! I want to exude JOY and help RECHARGE others with my encouragement and faith.

One of my favorite C.S.Lewis quotes is “Joy is not complete without the expression.”

Some of my other favorite ways to RECHARGE…..
Listening to music
Getting exercise-biking, hiking, tennis, yoga, swimming
Eating healthy summer fruits and veggies and having BBQs
Spending time with friends
Playing with my grandkids
Walking on the beach
Watching the stars
Trying new recipes
Serving the poor and needy
Visiting older folks and listening to their life stories
Helping a friend in need
Learning something new

Is there some way we can remain RECHARGED throughout the entire year by the habits we establish in the summer? Why do we allow the tyranny of the urgent to distract us from the things that give us joy and fill us with energy and passion? How can we stay committed to the things that RECHARGE us so that we can continue this more balanced healthy lifestyle all year long?
Kerry Signature48