About Sandy Quandt

www.sandykirbyquandt.com

Pause for Poetry-Real Riches

The following poem, Real Riches, comes from The Will of the Wind Inspirational Thoughts on Christian Virtues by Idalee W. Vonk.

Real Riches

If all the world were yours to win,

And all the wealth and land therein;

If coffers heaped with golden store

Would line your walls and gilt your door;

If men would loudly sing your praise

And children would bedeck your ways;

You still would be a beggared lot

If honor somehow were forgot.

If you had naught but daily bread,

A humble cot, a path which led

To where your friends and loved ones wait

With eager smile and open gate;

If none but friends e’er hear your name,

If you are ne’er to taste of fame;

But if self-respect has been your creed,

You are a millionaire, indeed.

In 1986 Carita Swanson Vonk, a woman I met at a writers conference, gifted me with a book of poetry written in 1969 by Idalee W. Vonk titled, The Will of the Wind Inspirational Thoughts on Christian Virtues. The following poem comes from Idalee’s book. Interesting side note. Carita was the second wife of Idalee’s widowed husband. Dr. Vonk also happened to be Carita’s philosophy professor at the University of Miami thirty-two years prior to her giving me this book. J

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Pumpkin Spoon Bread Recipe

This delicious gluten-free pumpkin spoon bread recipe is perfect for adding a touch of autumn to your meal. Although it is more involved than most recipes I post, the extra effort is worth it.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (Don’t be like me and misread that as 1 CAN.)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle.

Lightly coat a 2-quart high-sided baking dish with butter.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk and butter. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and stirring all the while, gradually whisk in the cornmeal. If you don’t add the cornmeal gradually, you’ll end up with lumpy batter.

Simmer, stirring frequently with a whisk, until the mixture thickens. About 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin, maple syrup, thyme, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture until incorporated.

Using a mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 1 to 2 minutes. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture until just incorporated, then pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

Bake until golden brown on top and set in the middle. 40-45 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You Alone Know

In a valley full of old, dry bones scattered everywhere across the ground God asked the prophet Ezekiel if the bones could become people again. Quite an impossibility to human thinking, is it not? But the wise prophet knew who asked the question. He replied, “You alone know.”

Ezekiel was a prophet to Israel during their time of exile in Babylon. One of the things he prophesied was the Israelites would return to their homeland strengthened. That seemed as impossible to a people in captivity as a valley full of dry bones coming to life. Still. We know the prophesy came true when the first wave of captives began to return fifty years later.

Ezekiel’s vision of being in a deep valley of despair matched the feelings of the Israelites at the time. When the prophet said, “You alone know,” he didn’t say yes the bones could be restored to former glory and come to life again. Nor did he say no they couldn’t come to life again.

He didn’t state a case for either scenario. Ezekiel knew God could do anything he wanted to do. Even when doing so seemed impossible. Ezekiel understood God’s ability was limitless. He didn’t try to put parameters around God. He simply left the decision up to God to do as he saw best.

In the vision God raised those dead, dry bones to life. He restored them just as he would later restore the nation of Israel. He restored life to a despondent people who lost hope in their future.

In our times of despair or loss we might feel as dry as the bones in Ezekiel’s vision. Submitting our plans, will, and circumstances to God tells him we believe you alone know what’s best for us. You alone know how best to solve our dilemma. You alone know what will bring life.

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The power of the Lord was upon me and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley full of old, dry bones that were scattered everywhere across the ground. He led me around among them, and then he said to me:

“Son of dust, can these bones become people again?”

I replied, “Lord, you alone know the answer to that.” Ezekiel 37:1-3 (NLT)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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All Gave Some Some Gave All

courtesy pixabay

November 11, 2018 marked the one hundred year anniversary of the armistice to end the War to End All Wars, as it was called at the time of the armistice in 1918.

If only that first worldwide war did end all wars. Then there would be no need to call it World War I when the world found itself in the midst of another worldwide war called World War II.

As is still the case one hundred years later, men and women respond to the call to put their lives on the line. They face enemy fire to protect the freedoms we hold dear at home and abroad.

Men and women still die in battle.

Families still grieve their loss.

All gave some. Some gave all.

In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, to all those who served and those serving now, thank you.

Thank you also to the families who sacrificed right alongside their loved ones in service to our country.

Our veterans deserve our thanks every day, not just on the special days set aside on a calendar.

Please remember their sacrifice. And be grateful.

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There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Fifteen Ways to Survive the Holidays with Chronic Illness

courtesy pixabayAs a person with multiple chronic illnesses, the approaching holidays, and all the busyness that usually accompanies them, are a time for me to re-access and re-adjust which activities occupy my time.

Although I would love to involve myself with all the things I enjoy, it is not going to happen. Not with the limitations these illnesses impose. So, I have a choice. I can listen to my body and slow down when I need to, or not listen, plow ahead at full speed, and suffer the consequences. I try to listen.

Notice I said, try.

Two big triggers for my flares are stress and not enough deep, restorative, sleep.

Both seem to be a given for even those without health limitations when major holidays roll around. They are magnified for those with chronic illnesses.

In days gone by I decorated for every holiday. Right down to the shamrock candy dish with pale green mints. Not so any more. Just getting Christmas cards mailed and decorations on the Christmas tree have been major accomplishments some years.

With that in mind, here are fifteen tips which might help deal with holidays and chronic illness.

  • Make spending time alone with God number one on your daily to do list.
  • Do what’s most important first. Prioritize.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Stop when you get tired whether you complete what you set out to do or not.
  • Fatigue is real. It’s not all in your mind.
  • Give yourself permission to skip some activities.
  • Every meal does not need to be an elaborate occasion.
  • Ask for help when necessary.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Soaking in a warm tub of Epsom salts is not being selfish.
  • Quit beating yourself up for not having a perfectly clean home.
  • It’s okay to admit you can’t do everything you used to do.
  • As much as possible, avoid people and situations that increase your stress.
  • Understand what is essential and what is not.
  • Don’t cave into others’ expectations of what you should do.

Each person is different. What works for me may not work for you and vice-versa. If you have any other tips on how to lessen the impact of holiday stress, I’d love to hear your ideas.

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Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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