LIFE IS SHORT…

Good Family and Friends are a Scarce Commodity

While living in the United States there were six months out of the year that I yearned to be in Anguilla.  They were the cold months and although I enjoyed the experience, there were many days when I imagined myself splashing in the warm, blue-tinged, crystal clear water of Rendezvous or Meads Bay.  Therefore, I told myself, whenever I returned to the islands, I will make good the privilege of living on an island and I will never, ever take sea-bathing for granted.  

For the past couple of weeks, I have kept that promise to myself and today, as I drove back into my yard after exercising and sea-soaking, the thought came to mind – “Life is short and good family and friends are a precious and scarce commodity”.

You see, I went to the beach alone and except for when I am home with my family, most of my time, if I were to take note of it, is spent by myself.  I have no family here but there’s more to it than that.  

I am a pastor’s kid and when we were growing up my mom had an experience that caused her to become overprotective.  My dad had migrated to another island and she of course joined him.  Therefore, she also did not have any family close by.  What she did was kept us very close so that we would not get hurt as she did, but the result of that was both positive and negative.  On one hand we did and still do not really need company to be happy; but on the other hand, when we did go out as teenagers and even young adults, we were socially inept.

Despite the negative, I have matured, and I am no longer socially inept, but I have also grown to appreciate that if I don’t have company, I am quite fine.  Also, in a community where, human beings can sometimes be quite mean for no apparent reason, being able to enjoy your own company is a gift.

Be that as it may, God has blessed me with some precious family and friends for whom I am so grateful.  So, here is what I have to say.

Life is short.  We have been given 70 years and by reason of strength, 80.  When you stack that up against time that has gone and the time that will be after you exit the scene, 70 to 80 years is a drop in the bucket.  Therefore, the moment that you have right now, is precious.

Good family and friends are precious and a scarce commodity.  If it were not for good family and friends that covered and supported me over the past two years, I don’t know where I would have been.  So, believe me when I say, I know the importance of having people in your life that get you and still love you.

I thank God for the opportunity to travel and live away for a while.  It opened me up to the fact that although interacting with some people can make you gun-shy to socializing with others, there are still wonderful people in the world.  There are people who even though they have their flaws, they are about loving and caring for others.  And I have been privileged to meet persons like that all over the world and it has given me hope.

Life is short and good family and friends are a precious and scarce commodity.  You don’t know when your time will come to leave this place called planet earth. So cultivate those relationships with the time that you have left.  

Be there for your family and friends as they are for you.  You don’t have to call or text every day, but as often as possible let them know that you are thinking good thoughts about them.  After all, if we don’t have good family and friends, what do we have?  With the way that the world is right now, those relationships make life worth living.

Guess what?  I am going to take my own advice and hope you do too.  It could mean the difference between living a full and fulfilled life or one that is very lonely.  And being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely.  But for those of you who may be feeling lonely right now, I leave this food for thought with you. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Be blessed. Much love.

PERFECTION IS OVER-RATED

Today I saw this tree.  It’s in an idyllic location – near a huge pond with ducks swimming nearby.  It was beautiful to behold, but then in my mind I said, ‘it’s short though, almost like an overgrown bonsai tree’.  It looked like someone had been pruning it to that size, but I knew this was not the case.  It was that size and shape because of its location, wind action and soil.  It was so picturesque I could not pass up the opportunity for my friend to snap me in the frame.

I totally enjoyed the moment.  Snap!  Click!  Saved!  Immortalized for future moments when I would need to reminisce.

As I continued to meditate on what I had seen, and how I was able to find shade under this short tree, it dawned on me how sometimes we miss out on life because we have an idealistic view of how things should be. But by now, if you’ve lived for more than 3 decades, you will agree with me, just based on your experiences alone, that perfection does not exist, and idealism only creates unnecessary stress.

I stand to be corrected.  However, if you have read my book ‘A Helper Suitable’, you would see where I admitted more than once that I am a converted perfectionist.  And believe me when I tell you, thinking and relating that way and seeing the world through those lenses have caused me many years of unnecessary stress and time that I cannot recoup.

My takeaway today is, we should not ignore or discard something or someone just because they donot present with exactly what we desire, or what we are accustomed to. Human beings, especially, are not created perfect. We are all works in progress. I am not saying to disregard your standards. What I am saying is, just as much grace as you would like extended to you, extend to others. In everyone there is some good. Based on your constitution and stick-to-itiveness, you may need to dig for it but when you find that good, be apprecaiteive and continue to extend grace. Don’t focus so much on the bad that you neglect to see the good. Remember none of us are perfect, but all of us need love and acceptance.

Here is a question for you to consider today.  

Suppose after we were born, our perfect Father God looked at us and saw all the flaws and knowing all the mistakes we would make throughout our lifetime, He just pulled back his breath and said, this one isn’t worth it.  Let’s throw him or her back.  What if He did that?  There would be no Susan.  No Joe or Alice.  Essentially, there would be no one here on earth for God to have a relationship with – and He craves relationship.  So, imperfect brothers and sisters, let us ponder this thought before we go discarding people who are less-than perfect.  Perfection is over-rated.

BE THE BEST YOU THAT YOU CAN BE!

I’ve been living with myself for the past 51 years but I’ve just recently come to accept who I am. I guess after all these years, I realise that I cannot separate from myself or divorce who I am in exchange for anyone else. I am unique. I am quirky. I am talented. I am conservative. I love adventure and new experiences. I like quiet. I need patience. I can be anti-social at times. And the list goes on but guess what? I embrace all those parts of me.

There is a little plaque that I bought for myself one day, just so I would have a visual cue to remind myself of how important it is to accept the me that I am. I later bequeathed it to my son for the same reason.

I have learned over the past two years that people and situations pass through your life to expose who you really are. Some of what you learn may not be too attractive, but at least you know what is there. You now have the opportunity to work on you. Remember your life is like a revolving door. People and situations move in and out, but like the revolving door, you are the constant. You will always be with you. Work on being the best you that you can be for you. If you can be the best for you, then thats what others will expereince when they meet you. Hmmm

Instead of throwing blame and shade on others, acknowledge what is and proceed to take measures to work on a new and improved version of yourself. I have taken the stance that just like rocks in a surf that rub against each other and eventually become smooth, I will endure the friction of my essential relationships. It must get easier as time passes. The non-essential relationships I will let go without regret. And as you get older, this becomes easier because some relationships take more from you than they give.

Surf’s up BVI September 2019

This perspective, I’ve learned, comes with maturity and having lived through several life cycles. The bottom line still rests in having the mindset that you need to:

  • take the time to learn who you are
  • embrace yourself, flaws and all
  • be grateful for your experiences
  • grow through your experiences
  • appreciate who you’ve become in spite of and because of those experiences
  • be fully present in your life

And after all of that, you still get to be yourself because everyone else is taken.

ALWAYS BE ALERT

Guess who got me this morning…after four decades, give or take a few years?   Yes.   This guy right here.  

For some reason, these guys have multiplied and have inserted themselves into just about every space that you can enter in the outdoors.  Usually I am aware of them because they are not shy either.  They make their presence known, whether we like it or not. See below for videos.  

You see wha ha happened wasssss…I went outside early this morning to take something from point A to point B.   Mornings are my favorite time of the day and so I was feeling great.  Energized. Happy. To be honest, I’m always conscious of the ‘Jack-Spaniar’ (that’s what we called them as children).  Its proper name is Jack Spaniard Polistes Annuralis. But this morning just as I got to the spot they usually congregate, a thought crossed my mind that I’m not seeing any.  And then I thought, maybe it’s a bit early for them to be up and about.  Usually they are more active in the heat of the day. 

Anyway, I went into the building, did my business, came back out and put my hand on the door to close it and I felt something under my fingers.  The next thing I felt was searing pain and I reflexively jerked my hand away from the door.  I immediately realized what had happened and I braced for the pain. If I was a cusser, I would have let one rip and I can see for persons who cuss how that situation may have warranted a word or two.   It was just too early in the morning for him to be invadinge my space like that and I lost my happy right then and there. Or maybe I invaded his space, right?

Point of entry

Disclaimer:  I do not condone cussing because as much as possible I try to live by the Word (The Bible) and it has a lot to say against the use of profanity as part of our verbal expressions.    Added to that, I neither lived or spent time in environments where it was commonplace.  And today I still believe that evil communication (be it human to humans, media to humans etc) corrupts good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33). Also see Ephesians 4:29 and 2 Timothy 2:16. This right here is a good read as well. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-qa/what-the-bible-says-about-swearing-and-dirty-words/

I digress.  Anyhow, I am not 10 years old anymore when it seems that I was immune to the searing pain these little critters can inflict. But amidst the pain a couple of thoughts crossed my mind.  Side note:  Men, I am convinced that you guys are wimps when it comes to pain.  It hurt but not as bad as I heard some men wailing about recently on Facebook.  Wink, wink. lol. Sorry about that guys.  I just had to get that one in.  In the same breath I apologize to those of you who get an allergic reaction to certain insect bites – if it sounds as if I’m minimizing the effects of this sting.  

Nevertheless, these were my thoughts.  

  1. We are all territorial and we protect our domain whenever we feel threatened
  2. We must always be alert even if we can’t see the enemy.  (2 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Peter 5:8)
  3. If you are going to go into the enemy’s camp you have to dress for war (literally and spiritually – (Ephesians 6:10-12)
  4. If you are a soldier, you cannot expect to go into war and return (if you return) the same way.
  5. As a soldier you expect pain (physical, emotional, psychological) and you manage it. 

I kind of pushed it there a bit, but everything in life good or bad has take-aways.  And those were my take-aways this morning as I nursed my hurting finger – and I dare say they present food for thought.    

After I got over the initial shock and pain I went back to the spot, looked down and there was the little guy that stung me.  Lying on the ground with legs in the air and wings spread taut.   He got me this morning but it was his last ‘Gotcha’. 

And that’s how I view life. I’m gonna take this to another level.  If you are going to come for me, be prepared to die because I’m not going without a fight.  I am a soldier in an army where we don’t take prisoners.  I may retreat sometimes, but that’s only to gather my thoughts and recharge and retool for the next round. My Commander-in-Chief gave me weapons of mass destruction, and I’m not afraid to use them.

As I would always say, I’m a ‘tree-hugger’ so I am very careful to not infringe on anyone’s domain, be it insects or animals.  We all have our place and space on the planet.  But I guess this morning, me and the little guy both got in each other’s way.  And sorry to say, he suffered the consequence. And no. I didn’t kill him.  Maybe after they sting you they die or maybe my contact with him was more detrimental than his contact with me.  Who knows.  But today his army is missing one soldier and I have survived to tell the story.  

A little dramatic, but true. 

Jack Spaniard Polistes Annularis searching for a spot to build a nest
Mud Wasp – using my structure and fixtures to construct his nest. smh

Here is some additional reading by Les Fruits De Mer. Happy reading.

 

KITCHEN-SINK CONTEMPLATIONS 1

Train up a child…(Proverbs 22:6)

I don’t know what my parents were thinking when they were raising us back in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, but I think they did a splendid job.  Their day-to-day state of being impacted not only how we treated each other at home, but it also extended to how we treated others outside of our family.  I believe their faith in God and adhering to the principles set forth in the Word about the husband/wife relationship and parent/child relationship contributed to our relational development as well.

I used to always hear my father say, the best time to instil proper values in a child is before the age of 7, when they can distinguish between right and wrong.  I think the age has even been dropped to 5 years.  I have also learned by experience that every 7 year period in our lives presents different growth opportunities.  What you do with them determines the evolution of your character.  What you do with those growth opportunities determine who people will encounter on your journey at point and time.

My father’s theory was that if good values were not encouraged during those formative and highly impressible years (3 mths to 7 years), and when most of their time is spent with you, then it will be difficult to do later on when other influences are present.  Check this link out for an informative read. https://babybonus.msf.gov.sg/parentingresources/web/Young-Children/YoungChildrenDevelopment/YoungChildrenBehaviour/Young_Children_Developing_Core_Values?_afrLoop=31061688421678155&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=null#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D31061688421678155%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Diq54j6l0_13

Parents we ought to seize the teachable moments even as our children develop into teenagers and young adults.  And they will be more receptive if we teach in love.  Sometimes they may appear to not like what you are saying, but it will register.  “Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.” (Proverbs 22:6 TPT) What’s most important is that you are preparing them to live with others – a room mate or a life partner. 

Id Camp, Imperial College, London 2018

Over the course of twenty years I discovered things about myself and my husband that I didn’t like. Whenever my son would display some negative trait that I’d experienced or seen before, I would use that moment to begin breaking and utterly destroying those tendencies. I employed that strategy against generational bents and vices as well, backing up our little talks with fervant prayer.

Let me echo what I captioned above and make it personal. Why should my child have to suffer through the nuances, bad habits and negative behaviors of your child just to be in a relationship with her?And some may say that at the end of the day that’s his choice. But my other question to you is, did you think that you were raising her to live with you for the rest of your lives? Hmmm.

Parents, I admonish us all to consider these questions and try to be more conscious as to how we raise our children. Some lessons may stick while others may not. But do your best. Doing our own personal familial homework now, ensures a better chance for our children to enjoy better and more fullfiling relationships in the future. Shalom and much love.

PARTNERS

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

Today I am grateful. Grateful that I have mobility. Grateful that my six senses are working. Grateful that I live in a beautiful corner of God’s creation called Anguilla. An uneasiness that I felt after returning from a trip in January was the impetus that brought me back. But now I know why and for that I am doubly grateful to God Almighty for his omniscience. He knew that I would not have done well trying to weather this Covid19 storm by myself.

Before I left Anguilla almost two years ago I would enjoy walking for exercise, but for the most part I did it by myself because I enjoyed the solitude – taking in the fresh sea breeze, and sights and sounds of the beautiful vegetation and animal-life that I would experience on my way. By the way, I am what you may call a tree-hugger. Nature and the outdoors make me come alive.

So I am back and the one thing that I am grateful for is partnership. While I was away I enjoyed what the new environment had to offer but the one thing I missed, was having close family and friends to enjoy my experiences with. Especially coming down to, what I know now to be my final months away, I began to feel lonely and as if the days were just running into each other. Everyone I would have loved to do life with were miles away. I realized that talking on the phone was not enough and that physical presense is ‘muy importante’ in the development and maintenance of relationships/partnerships.

As lonely as I would feel sometimes, for me any partner would not do. I do not subscribe to the adage, ‘any port in a storm’ because it is one thing to have a partner and another to have a partner that supports, pulls and pushes you.  What’s even better is when that support is physical and present.  Look at what God did in the garden of Eden. Although he had given man everything that he needed, including a relationship with God himself, he looked at him one day and said, “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18). And you know the rest. He created Eve as a partner/helper for Adam…someone with whom he could be fruitful, while they multiplied and replenished the earth together.

I am one of those persons that like my space. I’m quite fine spending time by myself. I am creative so quiet spaces is a premium for me, yet at the end of the day I like to know that I have someone that I can do life with. Someone to walk and talk with, so to speak. Today it was taking a long walk and talking about anything and nothing; silently walking mulling over our own thoughts, resting, laughing – all the while exercising together. Tomorrow it may be supporting a dream or cause. But whatever it is, it’s more fulfilling and memory-making doing it together…as partners, don’t you think?

Now to complete the opening scripture reference:

“For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10-12)

 

COVID 19 – MY FRAME OF REFERENCE

David’s Story

…And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? And David said, What have I now done? Is not there a cause? And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, they servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defiled the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.” (1 Samuel 17:28-37)

What is meant by ‘frame of reference’? According to the Collins English Dictionary, a frame of reference is a particular set of beliefs or ideas on which you base your judgement of things; a set of basic assumptions or standards that determines and sanctions behaviours.

When I read David’s story as it relates to him making the decision to go out and fight Goliath, I was encouraged. For everything that I have faced or will face in life, there must be a frame of reference that I can look back on. There must be something that I have experienced or read in the Bible that will inform my decisions going forward.

My Story

Quite recently I had one such experience. For a couple of years since moving to a cooler climate I was afflicted with pain in my right knee. The diagnosis was that I might be suffering from arthritis or rheumatism. I didn’t want to believe that and I wasn’t going to accept it. I have always been an active person and added to that I travel a lot. I have no time for pain.

Long story short, one day I was reading Mark 7 during my devotions. I came to verses 32-35 where Jesus healed this deaf and dumb man and although I’m sure I’ve read that particular scripture before, this time something was quickened in my spirit. Faith arose in my heart. At that time my knee was really hurting me to the point of tears. I simply could not go on like that anymore.

The other thought that was stuck in my mind, was how God had miraculously healed my brother from a tumor that he himself didn’t know was growing in his brain. The real miracles were him being able to function as long as he did with it, coupled with his speedy recovery.

Those two accounts were my frame of reference at the time and I brought them to the fore of my consciousness. By this time I was in the tropics and knew that I would be super active. And like the kids of today would say, ‘ain’t nobody got time for a bum knee’. So I laid my hand on my knee and I began to rebuke the pain, rebuke the swelling, rebuke the stiffness and I told it to go in Jesus’ name – just like Jesus did in Mark 7. As my prayer wound down I realized, with astonishment, that the pain was slowly dissipating. By the next morning I could wear 3 inch heals without even a pinch of pain. Praise God!

ISIT Pop-up Worship Experience in Anguilla – stood in heels for entire session

Today, I have one question for you. What is your frame of reference? Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 said, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

My declaration today, even as we struggle to get a handle on what is happening with Covid-19, is that the same God that delivered David from Goliath, Daniel from the Lion’s Den and helped the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, is the same God that I serve today. And He is able to deliver us from this as well.

What’s even better, I have a long list of experiences that rises up as memorials and that bears witness to the Greatness of my God, Jehovah. I know that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I am able to ask or think, according to the power that works in me, and I’m working that power sister/brother. Wouldn’t He do it? Yes He Can, and Yes He Will!

Your Story

What is your story based on your frame of reference? It is waiting to be told. It is waiting to be written. What are you waiting on?

SEASONS: WINTER VS SPRING

It was 59 degrees – a little windy and overcast but beautiful weather for a long walk. Mr Love had sent me something and I decided to walk to go get it.  As usual walking gives me the kind of sensory scope that breathes life into an otherwise ordinary day.  As I began to look at the vegetation around me, I am reminded again about seasons.  It is winter here, but it is evident that spring is announcing her inevitable arrival, not too long from now.  My mind began to vibrate with excitement as creative juices started to flow.  I stopped for a couple of minutes to make a note in my phone.  Here it is.

Nice day for a walk

As long as the earth remains, seed time and harvest will always be a universal law that exists.  Seed time and harvest are activities that happen within certain seasons.  They herald preparation of the soil, sowing, and reaping.  They signal specific times when everything either looks dormant or alive.

Winter can be very overpowering, but at an appointed time, Spring pushes her way through.  And she doesn’t just push through.  She shows off.  She can’t help it.  But there is no denying that winter provided everything possible for Spring to be as indisputably beautiful as she is.  Winter provides the perfect canvas which highlights all the brilliant sights and sounds of Spring.  So don’t hate on Winter.  He is just a conduit.  A facilitator for all that Springs forth.

Now as this relates to us.  Please don’t try to measure your life or seasons by anyone else’s yardstick.  How do you know what they’ve had to endure in their Winter or how much they’ve lost because of it?  Do you even know how hard they’ve had to hold on just to make it to Spring? 

The other thing is, it depends on where you are, your winter or spring may come sooner or last longer.  There are so many variables that can affect the changing of the seasons.   My encouragement to you is, mind your own seasons.  Learn from what you are experiencing and don’t forget to pay it forward.  Everyone’s experience is different because we are different.  But I am quite sure that there are some nuggets that you can unearth from my experiences that can and will inform how you live through your seasons and vice versa. 

Live, Love, Laugh and Grow 

Life is what you make it, you know

You’re only given one on this side of eternity

Live it well, to the best of your ability

Copyright @ Susan Best 2020

FRIEND OR FOE?

Once upon a time there was someone that I called my ‘best friend’, but I do not know if the feeling was mutual. Maybe in word, but judging from my experience, not heart.  My wakeup call came when I found out from someone else, what was her alleged life situation at the time.  It was something big.  Something life-changing and yet, as close as we were, I did not hear it from her.  I had to ask her about it, because that’s how I am with friends.  Of course when confronted she admitted it was so, but from that day my view of our friendship was altered, permanently.

After that experience, I have been very careful who I give the title of ‘friend’ to.  As a matter of fact, I have not endowed the title ‘best friend’ to anyone since then. From that time until now, I have formulated some critera that I use as markers to give me an idea of who I am dealing with, give or take a few.

  1. Is that person willing to share their life experiences, within reason, with me as I do with them?
  2. Are they willing to gently tell me the truth even if it hurts?
  3. If they ask me a question, and I respond, do they accept my answer, or do they try to change my mind in a way that seems pushy?
  4. Are they always argumentative no matter the subject being raised or discussed?
  5. Do I always feel like I need to justify everything I do or say?
  6. Are they always secretly competing with me?
  7. Do they give the appearance that life with them is perfect, while punching holes in mines and everyone else’s?
  8. Are they supportive of my dreams and aspirations or do they find cause to be critical?
  9. Do I feel comfortable being myself in their presence or do I always feel pressured to be someone else?
  10. Do they covertly try to make me feel inferior to them?
  11. Do they cover me in public while confronting my wrong in private, or do they expose my shame for the world to see.

As the Bible said, and I think it goes without saying that we should always endeavour to do unto others as we would like them to do unto us. (Matthew 7:12)

So, here I am today at 51 and I choose my affiliations very carefully.  As a matter of fact, if after the ‘getting to know you phase’ I find that any two or three of the above markers are evident, I will go into self-preservation mode.  Life is too short to always be trying to justify yourself and your thoughts to others. It is certainly too short to always be struggling to make a friendship work.

Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  I try to maintain that peace as much as possible and that means choosing my friends wisely.  As a matter of fact, I let the God who knows every person’s heart, choose my friends for me.

And let us always bear this in mind as well, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Shalom!

SUE’S SWEET CRAVE

Try something new – Try something different

After the birth of my son I struggled with chronic constipation. I’m not afraid to say it because this may help someone. Something went out of whack because that wasn’t the case pre-pregnancy or even when I was younger. So, I did my research and realised that in addition to increasing my water intake, I also needed to eat high fibre foods and exercise more. I cut out all white products (mainly white flour, white sugar and Irish potato) and began using products like Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 bread https://www.foodforlife.com, sweet potato, greens and other vegetables with the skin on. Of course the fringe benefit of those changes was weight loss.

Fast forward 15 to 20 years, I am still eating that way, although sometimes I fall off the wagon. When I do fall off, I suffer the consequences so that has kept me in check for the most part. There is one thing that I do to make sure that I stay committed to eating right, and it’s that I hardly ever include on my grocery list those foods that I know will have an adverse effect on my body and health.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. So I have no flour in the pantry or in the fridge. I do have some brown sugar and honey in stock, but I don’t use them unless it’s absolutely necessary. For the times when I crave something sweet I would buy some kind of dark chocolate or Tates’ Bake Shop raisin cookies. Omg those are irresistible because they are thin and crunchy and every bite has a raisin in it.

Anyway, today I really felt like eating something sweet and the recipe below is the result. Because I do not do flour, I do not bake bread or cakes, I did make an exception for this cookie though. I didn’t follow a recipe. I just happened to have the ingredients and thought I would try something. My effort paid off. They satisfied that sweet craving and I’m good for a couple of weeks. You can try it if you want to. Measurements aren’t precise. I just went with what I felt would be good enough.

Sue’s Sweet Crave (Fully loaded Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)

1/2 cup old fashioned oat meal (blended to flour consistency)

1/2 cup old fashioned oat meal (whole)

1 egg

1/4 lemon 

A dribble of honey

1 banana

1/2 tspn baking soda 

1 tspn I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter  (vegan)

1/4 tspn cinnamon 

1/4 cup flaxseed

1/4 cup hempseed

Fingers’ scoop of dried cranberries

Fingers’ scoop of raisins

Fingers’ scoop of sunflower seeds

Fingers’ scoop of pumpkin seeds. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Turn oven on to 350 degrees 

Since I do not own a cake mixer, I used my Ninja Chopper. (I usually use it to chop my seasonings and to make my smoothies)

Throw first measurement of oats in chopper and chop away until it’s as fine as it can get. That will be your flour substitute. Next throw in baking soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. I found out after the fact that the salt wasn’t necessary. But you can use salt if you like.

Melt butter and throw in. Mix.  I also added a little water, but you can omit if you want to.  

Crack egg into a dish, squeeze the lemon juice on it and pour into the chopper.  Mix. 

Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in all the other dry ingredients. 

Stir until everything disappears into the mixture.  

Fully Loaded Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – BEFORE

Get a baking sheet. I smeared mines with a little bit of butter. Take a regular table spoon and scoop out your batter unto the sheet. Let sit for a bit and then place in the oven.

Set timer to 20 mins and keep your eyes and nose on it. 

Mines came out pretty good. Soft in the middle and a little crunchy at the edges. I’d be interested to know if you tried it and how it came out.

Fully Loaded Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – AFTER

Eating healthy does not mean that you deprive yourself of some of your favorite food items. It just means that you reconstitute the recipe to suit your needs. Happy baking.