~ Today’s Scripture art and 7 things I learned this winter are designed to help you write God’s Word on your heart. ~
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Once a quarter, I look forward to reading Emily Freeman’s “What We Learned” series. I am fascinated with the premise not only because I like to learn (especially from the Bible – as you have probably figured out by now) but because it makes me sit back and take stock. Emily always includes the most interesting things and I learn several new things from her post every time! So – you guessed it – I am joining in! And I hope you will learn something new from me today. Life-long learning here we come!
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are 7 completely random things I learned this winter.
Of course, seven!
1. The Thrill of the Hunt
Do you enjoy shopping when you have something specific in mind? You won’t believe how much time I spent hunting for a new toiletry bag – one that would hold my full-sized bottles of shampoo, hairspray, etc. and my full-sized blow dryer. I was tired of carrying an additional bag for my blow dryer and we all know that tiny travel blow dryers leave a lot to be desired. Oh, and I wanted the bottles to stand upright while traveling – not lay sideways just waiting to spill out. I started to wonder if such a thing existed after checking all over the internet and every possible store in my town. No bag was quite tall enough. I finally found one – and boy do I mean ONE. Allow me to save you some time if you are also wanting to travel with everything consolidated upright in one bag. And a nice surprise was: this perfect bag was tall yet still a relatively smallish bag!
2. Baked Tastes Better
Have you ever baked rice? How about veggies? I used to avoid cooking rice because it got all clumpy or mushy and always stuck to the pan. Well, today you can kiss stove top rice and veggies goodbye because all of those problems are solved when you bake them. It comes out perfect every time. I usually bake a whole package of rice, then freeze the leftovers in portions for two. It reheats straight from the frozen state beautifully in the microwave. My easy recipe is below.
As for veggies, I never realized how quick and easy it was to bake them. And they taste so much better than boiled! All I do is spray olive oil on equal-sized pieces of vegetables (can even be frozen veggies), then sprinkle with the seasoning of your choice (like this one), then bake on 425-450 degrees for about 20 minutes depending on the cut sizes. Watch them to prevent burning.
Baked Brown Rice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the following in a 9×13 baking dish: 2 lb. bag of brown rice, 7 1/2 cups of boiling mixture of chicken broth and water, 3 Tbs. butter, 2 Tbs. salt. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for one hour.
3. Technology Oreos
It’s official: Tech addiction is now a thing. Dependency on our screens and all the dopamine we get from them is a real and growing problem. As it turns out, something happens in our brains when we’re sucked into the power of hypnotic games, Facebook, Instagram, etc. It’s kind of like eating Oreos – hard to stop. Addiction, isolation, and depression, not to mention tech radiation, are just some of the problems associated with too much tech time. This article lists 10 helpful tech-wellness ideas to keep us tech-healthy.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV): “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
4. The Best Book I Read This Winter
Hands down, the best book I read this winter – maybe the last 5 winters – was The Prayer Coin by Elisa Morgan. I hope you don’t get tired of me promoting it, because it was that good. It rocked my prayer life by diving deep into how Jesus prayed. I actually read it twice in a row! Read my book review here. And today’s watercolor printable verse (that my subscribers got in their inbox) was a reader request that went along nicely with all the fresh nuances God has been teaching me about prayer.
5. Study Every Word
The book Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren teaches 12 different ways to study the Bible. One that I like to do is read a verse aloud several times, emphasizing a different word each time. Spending time and meditating on God’s Word brings wonderful results (as today’s verse points out) because you are spending time with God Himself! And He loves to give new understanding to His Word. Don’t you love when He turns on a new light bulb on an old familiar verse? I had one of those moments with this verse that I shared on Instagram.
6. I’m Only Human – Not
The popular saying “I’m only human” is frequently heard when someone is attempting to explain away their behavior. The problem with disparaging our humanity is that it overlooks the fact that God created humans and declared them “very good.” This thought-provoking article explains, “This confident approval of the humanity that He had just created reminds us that humanity, both the physical and spiritual side of the creation, is something that God wanted, and that He made it precisely as He wanted it. In other words, humanity is not bad, it is in fact good. Sin, then, is not merely ‘being human.’ It is less than what God designed for humanity. Therefore, our humanity is not bad as much as it is infected by sin.”
Romans 8:20-21 (ESV): For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
7. How to Organize Rolls of Wrapping Paper
I ran across this why-didn’t-I-think-of-that creative idea and quickly pinned it to my Home Organization board on Pinterest. If your rolls of wrapping paper are a hot mess, then click over and slap your knee and nod your head like I did. The best part? It probably won’t cost you a dime. While you’re there, be sure to follow me on Pinterest. Thanks!
Well, there you have it – the seven things I learned this Winter.
I keep a running list during each quarter, and I never know what random things will show up. I hope you learned something new and useful like I did!
*My prayer for you is … that this blog will inspire you to open your Bible every single day to seek God’s face and write His Word on your heart – because HE’S the key to lasting heart change!
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