Friday, February 21, 2014

Daniel Fast, Days 17 & 18: Homemade pizza!

Day 17 (Wednesday)
Today’s Devotional: “Thankful Hearts- Psalms 105:1 ‘O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.’  1 Thessalonians 5:18 ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
We should be the most thankful people in the earth. We have had all our sins forgiven & forgotten as far as the east is from the west. We have received life because of Jesus death, He became poor so that we could be rich, weak so we could be strong. He has given us the ability to make a great exchange & this should be the message of witness to those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Why don’t you take a few minutes today & thank him for all He has done for you.

I am truly a blessed woman.  I have an amazing husband who’s taken this Fasting journey with me, a loving family, good friends, a paid-for home that keeps me warm, enough to pay the bills, keep our stomachs full, and afford us even a few luxuries, a good job that I enjoy, hobbies to keep me entertained.  My cup truly runneth over.  We are without want.  Our lives are never completely stress-free, but our issues are minor in comparison to some others in this world.  And even when we are in the midst of a trial, we still always come out on the other end; perhaps a little emotionally banged up and teary-eyed, but alive & changed, hopefully for the better.  In this life, I think that’s really all a person can ask for; anything more would be excessive & superficial.
Breakfast:  Oatmeal with a few chopped dates & figs leftover from the Antipasto party
Lunch: a baked potato with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper, and some Cajun Seasoning, and 2 tbsp of homemade “guacamole”  (actually leftover sauce from the cilantro-avocado pasta the other day, with a little lime juice added in) and corn tortilla chips
Dinner:  The Hubs’ parents were in town visiting, so they took us to Qdoba.  I got a Grilled Veggie Burrito (whole wheat wrap, brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, grilled squash, pico, corn salsa, salsa verde, & lettuce) and had them cut it in half so I can take the other half for lunch (because remember, even just their veggie burrito with no meat, cheese, or sour cream has over 700 calories).
Day 18 (Thursday)
Today’s Devotional: “He Has Established My Goings- Psalms 40:1-3I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.’  Phillipians 1:6 ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.’
You are standing in the middle of the purpose of God because He loved you & chose you before the foundation of the world. He set your feet upon the rock (Jesus) & gave you the ability to stand on a firm foundation that can hold you up, unlike the clay ( flesh) that you once trusted in. He has given you direction for your life & because of this a song of Victory has filled your mouth. There is nothing impossible for you, nothing out of reach, you have your eyes fixed on the prize & refuse to allow anything or anyone to stop you. You are determined, directed, destined, & you will not be denied.”

This was a great message to start the day with, as we’ve been having some issues lately. I won’t mire you with details, but suffice to say it’s mechanical, annoying, and has involved a repairman coming out to our shop THREE times,  only for us to realize that they *may* have caused the issue to begin with (but of course won’t admit that). *sigh*  These details are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, but they are definitely aggravating enough to make us fret and worry about the days & weeks to come.  Mechanical issues when we’re closed are one thing…mechanical issues when we’re open and trying to keep things frozen; that’s a whole new animal.  But we power on, and pray over it, and ask God to reign over the situation & to give us peace in the matter.

Important things to remember with all we have going on in 2014, the least of which is my upcoming professional exam on March 7.  I’ve been taking practice tests a few times a week to see where my weak areas are, and then studying whenever I get the chance (mostly at the gym, so I can multitask):

This exam means a lot to me, because I *technically* don’t have a hard “science” degree, let alone a degree in Geology.  My bachelor’s was in Mass Media (with a focus on environmental photojournalism) with a minor in Geology.  My master’s degree was in the Geography program, with a focus on Environmental Analysis (ie, using GIS and remote sensing imagery, along with environmental law), with another minor in Geology.  It’s through those minors that I have enough Geology credits (30 hours) to qualify to take the Professional Geologist exam—and really, only barely, since right after I got accepted as “qualified” to take the exam, they changed the requirements for future applicants so that the 30 hours have to require a specific set of courses (which I only have half of).  The slightly egotistical part of me likes to think that I’m the reason the made the change…I’m the last one to slip through without having a Geology degree… (muahhahahha).  In reality, it’s likely a coincidence. :)
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When I started my professional career down in Louisiana, all the scientist positions were titled as “Biologist” (Biologist I, Biologist II, etc.)  I never cared for that because, well, I haven’t had a biology course since high school.  Not to mention the confusion it caused in the field, when a client would assume I was a biologist and start asking about some weird fish he caught last weekend, and then try to describe it, assuming that I must OF COURSE know what he was talking about.

(Sidenote: I don’t.  If it’s not a catfish, crappie, or trout, I have no clue.  I have a reference book in with my scuba gear for anything more complicated than that.)  After a couple years, they changed the title to “Environmental Professional”.  Which encompasses a much more broad swath of disciplines….but it makes for a very vague job description.  I would meet people and when you say “I’m an environmental professional”, they say “ohhh” and nod…then pause, and ask, “but what do you DO?”  My aunt used to tell people when we were out & about that I was marine biologist. I would correct her but she would shush me and wave her hand dismissively and say, “oh, but sweetie, ‘marine biologist’ just sounds sexier.”

Here, I’m a “Project Manager”, which is a bit more descriptive as far as titles go:  I manage projects!  That’s what I do!  But it still ends up sounding a bit vague and almost…administrative.  So to be able to have that title of “Professional Geologist” really hits home.  And I will finally be able to say, “I’m a geologist.  That’s what I do.”

We have ONE DAY LEFT!  Friday (tomorrow) will be our last day.  Normally this would be a 20 or 21 day fast, but Saturday is the 33rd Annual Sertoma Club Chili Cookoff, and we have to work my company’s chili booth. And then Sunday I fly down to Louisiana for work…and trying to travel while on a Fast would definitely be tough.  When we were looking to schedule our fast, we picked the time between SuperBowl & my Louisiana trip because it was the only time close to 21 days that we had “open”…our lives get pretty chaotic.  And here in a couple months, The Scoop will be open and the option of not eating meat or dairy would be near impossible, since we often spend all our extra time at the shop and end up having to eat there.
Breakfast:  Oatmeal with a few chopped dates & figs
Lunch: The other half of my Qdoba burrito
Afternoon snack:  Pineapple & cantaloupe
Dinner:  I decided to take a whack at making pizza.  I found a recipe for matzah dough (unleavened bread)—however, we only had about 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour left, so I used that plus 1/2 cup of corn meal.  We had to bake it a little longer than the original recipe (about 4 minutes on each side) but it held up well.
I had marinated some veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, red onion) in a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and yellow mustard) for about 30 minutes while prepping the crusts; then I put the veggies on a grill pan for about 5-7 minutes so they would get tender.
In a small pot, I used one 8oz can of tomato sauce (pre-flavored with garlic & basil) and added 2 Dorot basil cubes, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp crushed rosemary, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.
When the crusts were ready, I loaded them up, and spinkled crushed cashews over the top (I read somewhere that they taste similar to parmesan), and baked for 8 minutes.
Not quite as good as “real” pizza, but still darn tasty!  And the crusts held up really well, crackery like a thin crust pizza!

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