Good for the Soul

Thank God for Healing Food- Winter Squash

Fairy Tale Pumpkin

I can’t tell you how thankful I am for this year’s harvest. God has blessed our family with a good amount of food this year. But even more, I am so thankful for HEALING FOOD. Not only does God provide us with good food to eat, He provides us with FOOD THAT IS MEANT TO HEAL AND RESTORE OUR BODIES. Take winter squash for instance.

Just a cup of winter squash contains 457% (yes, that’s is 457 %, not a typo) daily recommended value of vitamin A and 52% of vitamin C. Both vitamins A and C are extremely useful in fighting infection and building the immune system.

 Yes, one of the Vitamin A benefits is that it acts as an antioxidant. But it’s not exactly Vitamin A that’s acting as the antioxidant… it’s the carotenes. Let me explain.

Carotenes (i.e. beta carotene, alpha carotene) are the precursor of Vitamin A and are found in plant sources (i.e. carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin).

And the human body has 2 functions for carotenes… turn it into Vitamin A or turn it into an antioxidant.

About 40% of carotenes are converted to Vitamin A while 60% functions as powerful antioxidants.

This is good for you because your body will turn carotenes to Vitamin A only if your body needs it. The rest will circulate through your blood as antioxidants. This is helpful because there are some issues with Vitamin A overdose and toxicity. No need to really worry about that with carotenes.

And there are many types of carotenes that act as great antioxidants (i.e. alpha & beta carotene, lycopene). Carotenes specifically fight off the singlet oxygen free radical. Source

During the winter months when the flu season is in full swing, what did God make available to us? The very nutritious high antioxidant winter squash.What a WONDERFUL MAKER and LOVING GOD!

Sweet Dumpling Squash

Butternut and Sweet Dumpling Squash

Squash are also great for soups and stews, providing warm comfort food during the cold winter months. There is a great simple recipe for butternut squash soup here > Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut Squash

I recently discovered that you can bake whole squash in the oven. There is no need for the tedious process of cutting hard uncooked squash and removing the slimmy seeds. Instead, puncture 7 or so holes in the squash with a knife and bake at 350 degrees until you can push a dent into the cooked skin  with your finger (around 1 1/2 hours). Cut the squash and remove the seeds after it has cooled and voilà, you have a yummy squash dish.

Thank God for providing such a healing food such squash by include it in your defense against illness this cold and flu season.

Do you have any squash recipes you would like to share?

Join the Barn Hop and Monday Mania!

Rejoice!

 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.

Psalm 96:11

Have a wonderful Sunday :).

Monday Momentum {Surrender Your Worry}

Matildi's Turned Four..

Photo Credit

In the middle of a sleepless night optimism takes a backseat to pessimism and worry sets in. At least, it does for me. Normally, I have a very positive outlook on life. The grass is always green, the birds are always singing and a rainbow arches over my life. That is until the dark of night brings thoughts of despair. Negative thoughts always seem to surface at night. The overwhelming feeling of worry begins to hunt me. Worry about failing in my responsibilities, the health of my children and past failures seem to the be the most common thoughts.

Over the past few years I have been able to redirect these thoughts and turn them toward a place that always brings me peace. I am by no means “cured” of worry but have found a way to break the pattern.

What Does it Mean When We Worry?

I believe worry has more to do with control, or the lack of, then anything else. When we worry we are telling ourselves that we do not trust that God can handle {insert worry here} and therefore we must give the matter intense thought in order to solve {insert worry here} ourselves. Worry is nothing more than an intense thought toward and idea or situation that we can not CONTROL in the moment. We run could have’s, would have’s and next time’s through our brain only find this thought pattern is a revolving door that we can not exit.

There are times I think, “I am allowed to worry about {insert worry here} because it’s serious”. But the truth is, the serverity of a situation I grant worry upon does not have to weigh more than a “small” worry that I can easily let go. Though society may aggree that we are allowed to worry about a serious crisis, I don’t believe God would agree.

God calls us to trust in Him in all situations. That includes situations that seem hopeless. Hopelessness is not a place God wants us to dwell in. Hopelessness breeds and intensifies in the mind and then turns the “worry switch” on and often leads the mind to depression.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

What Does Worry Do To Us?

After going through a study last year about the mind, I finally realized how much my thought life effects my health. Dr. Caroline Leaf, the author of Who Switched Off My Brain?, explains the urgency of why it is so important to direct our thoughts toward our Heavenly Father. Our physical, mental and emotional health rides on simple thoughts. Our brains physically change when we dwell and repeat thoughts that bring worry and pain. It’s not like we really need scientific evidence to believe this could be true. However, it was an eye opener for me and ever since that study I have been much more “thoughtful” about my thought life.
The stress associated with worry can do SO MUCH HARM. Stress can shut down organs and cause improper function of the gut which in turn can lead to disease. The more I learn about the importance of proper gut function the less shocked I am by the American health statistics. We live in one of the most stress ridden nations in the world. Top stress with a large coke and super size fries and you have a breeding ground for infection and recipe for disease.

Why and How We Should Surrender Our Worry.

I chose the word “surrender” because I think it best describe what we need to do with our worry. We NEED to SURRENDER it.

Surrender: to yield (something) to the possession or power of another;

We must yield our worry to the One that can turn it into peace. God is the only one that can do this. As hard as we may try we can not turn worry into peace. Our attempts to transform our lives in this way may give us a temporary feeling of peace but it will not hold up in the time of great crisis. Why not? Because true peace only dwells in the presence of God. True peace is found only in the One who can issue it. Our communion (continuous relationship) with God provides this peace. The peace that surpasses all understanding, in the midst of a storm, the middle of a tragedy grabs hold of your heart and mind and does not let go. Jesus is the prince of Peace.

How do we surrender our worry to God?

I can not answer this question without asking if Peace is with YOU? Is the Peace of Christ with you? This question can only be answered in the depths of your heart but it needs to be answered in order to transform day to day worry into day to day peace.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Princess Matildi

Photo Credit

In the middle of a sleepless night when optimism switches seats with pessimism and worry sets in, what do we do? The closers we grow in relationship with the Lord the easier it is overcome worry. It’s that plain and simple. But we do need to add a little bit more work on our end. We need to surrender our worry and actively choosing thoughts that are healthy for us. By choosing to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, we choose peace that transcends all understanding.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corn. 10:5

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7

I understand that these simple words may seem impossible when faced with crisis or sleepless worry nights but without taking steps toward peace we will surely fall in a pit. Our “pit” could be depression, overeating or chemical dependency. We can fall in it fast or we can fall in it slowly. I believe without pursuing the Peace of Christ with our hearts and minds WE WILL surely fall.

It is not easy to choose health. Whether it be what we choose to eat or what we choose the think, it will most likely be difficult. Most things worth doing don’t come easily but when we do choose the hard road we learn more and appreciate more.

I have decided to follow the Prince of Peace and choose His peace over my worry. I hope you have too :).

By the way, I wrote this post in the middle of a sleepless night ;).

Monday Momentum {Worship}

For today’s Monday Momentum ( I know it’s been a long time) I thought I would share the lyrics to one of my favorite worship songs with you today.

Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek Your face
Lord all I am is Yours
My whole life I place in Your hands
God of mercy humbled I bow down
In Your presence at Your throne
I called, You answered
And You came to my rescue
And I wanna be where You are
In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

I look back on my life and think about how many times the Lord has come to my rescue. How could I not want to be in the presence of such a loving God. My desire is that the Lord be lifted high in my life, I hope it is your desire as well. You can hear the song here > Came To My Rescue.

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