(Photo by TJ)
Things That are Keeping Me Sane....
1. The First Five App by Proverbs 31 Ministries.
This devotional app goes through a book of the bible covering one chapter a day. The app rotates between Old and New Testament books. If you just read the basic devotional, it takes only five minutes. Sometimes if I have time, I like to do homiletics on the chapter or a more in depth study. It is nice to have a longer or shorter option depending on the day. On the weekends, the ladies who do the devotionals record a video wrap up. The weekend is also a great to get caught up if you missed a day. Currently, we are in Exodus, and the truths have been powerful for me for this season.
2. Engaging Not Disengaging.
We are getting ready to leave for home leave. It is easy to retreat early thinking it will make good-byes easier. It doesn't. I find if I engage until the end l leave better for me and my friends. I tend to be more of an introvert so I have to intentionally take time to spend with my friends. Yet I need people whether it is through email, Skype or in person. God made us to engage with each other so we can encourage and build each other up. A good conversation with a friend is often just what the doctor ordered.
One way I am engaging with a friends is a long walk on Monday afternoons (which is our middle of the week.) This leads to my next point...
3. Long Walks
Due to where I live, this is a big deal for me. When we lived in the capital city, this would have not been an option. Since we are now in a more remote area, I get a long walk in 2 to 3 times a week. The walk could lead by a flowing stream with blocks of ice due to the cold or through fallow potato fields. One walk even takes us all the way around the airport and runway. Being next to nature helps me refocus and destress. The long walk also give me a chance to connect with my walking partner whether it is a friend or my honey.
4. My Winter Salad and Other Veggies.
This winter I have worked extra hard at making sure to eat fresh veggies. Right now since lettuce is not available, our salads are full of spinach, cabbage, and bok choy. Here is my favorite winter salad.
I found this recipe from Betsy at Faith Spilling Over. I make this up on the weekend and eat on it through out the week. Sometimes I even use this as a base for a stir fry. My honey likes it when I add a tomato or feta cheese.
Below is the recipe. It is great for Central Asia since cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower are super cheap. (For example a huge head of Cauliflower is 50 cents.) For the dressing, I sometimes use an Asian or balsamic dressing and other times Italian.
Crunchy Winter Salad4-5 cups of lettuce, shredded or cut fine ( I use spinach which I think lasts longer.)1 cup grated purple cabbage1 cup finely chopped cauliflower1 heaping cup finely grated carrot2-4 TBSP coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (depending on how nutty you like things) ( I always forget to put this in)
5. Coke With Lemon
This is a fun treat after a day at school even though it is not good for me. Coke here is made with real sugar so somehow I justify it being better for me than Coke made with corn sugar. Many afternoons, my honey and I will enjoy a Coke with ice and lemon as we talk about our day. Or I enjoy my Coke while catching up on emails or my blog reading.