I dont know where I'm going God My feet are hesitant to move I pray for wisdom and for courage I pray for all my selfish aims to leave I'm scared of losing all my time chasing after worthless vanity I know that running after that is pure insanity I just want to live my life as an offering to you pure and blameless, Jesus lead me through I dont know where I'm going God but your promises hold true I've seen you keep your word before Therefore I know that you are true So all I ask is that you lead me now in this season where my future lies ahead In this chapter where I must choose to turn right or to go left I am frail, but you are strong I mess up, but your love is long Now Jesus lead me through and mold me as you do To be a humble servant In remembrance of all You did and do. -Anna Topal
Praise God this year we've had a bountiful harvest from our back yard lemon tree. In turn our family has been drinking lots of lemon and honey tea! But we still cant keep up with these lemons even with our tea intake rate. ;) And so yours truly was inspired to try all the lemon recipes she saved to Pintrest for a rainy day. I had a few fails on my hands so I decided to perfect this cake recipe and share it with you!
If you didn't know I am the only vegan in my family. So what I cook or bake has to be in small portions, or so delicious that even my non-vegan loved ones will gobble it right up. This cake, I am happy to announce, is the latter. Its fluffy, tangy, sweet, and definitely a crowd pleaser!
2.) Pre-heat your oven to 370˚F (about 187˚Celsius)
☑ 2 cups flour (substitute for gluten free if you prefer)
☑1 cup white sugar (3/4 cup if you prefer a tangier cake)
☑1 teaspoon baking powder
☑1/2 teaspoon baking soda
☑1/4 teaspoon salt
☑Zest of 3 large lemons
☑3 tablespoons of poppy seeds
☑1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
☑1 teaspoon of apple cider vinger
☑1/2 cup of light colored oil (I used grapeseed)
☑1/2 cup Lemon juice (about 3 1/2 large lemons) [Save 1/4 of the juice for a glaze if you choose garnish your cake that way]
☑1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Begin by zesting and juicing your lemons so they are ready when you need them.
In a bowl add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, poppy seeds, and the zest of the lemons. Mix the zest well with the dry ingredients using the back of a spoon and a pressing motion. ☜This is important because the flour will absorb flavorful oils released by the lemon zest. This will ensure your cake is not sour but instead beautifully lemony. Set the bowl aside and work on the "butter milk"
Mix the non- dairy milk with the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. Magic will in-sue and you will end up with a slightly thicker milk on your hands. Ta-da this will now act as butter milk for this recipe.
Add all the wet ingredients (including your "butter-milk") to your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
You will see tiny air bubbles form in your mixture, this means your butter milk, baking powder, and baking soda are getting to know each other. Do not fear, you've done everything right! This reaction makes for a moist, fluffy, and velvety cake.
Pour your mixture into a lightly oiled cake pan (I use a cute pie dish) and put it into your now pre-heated oven for 55 minutes at 370°F. For the last 10 minutes of baking pop some aluminum foil over the top of your cake, to make sure the edges don't get too brown.
-Enjoy the heavenly smell that ribbons its way through your home-
Cool cake before glazing or topping with powered sugar.
-leftover /saved lemon juice
-teaspoon of non-dairy milk
-splash of vanilla
(this is not exact, but you're looking for the consistency of fresh honey)
Add more powdered sugar to thicken <---> add more milk/juice to thin out.
Let glaze set before eating (or don't... no judgment) :-)
Garnish with lemon slices if you're a fancy Nancy.
My dear sister in Christ, Oh how I pray that The Lord touches your heart with what you are about to read.
We are going to get real deep, and really real right now.
I suppose I'll warm you up.
‹If you didn't know I am an Ukrainian/American young gal who lives in California›
Here... I'll give you a inside look...
Its a late sunday evening after church and the average Slavic woman and her average Slavic friends head to Olga's home for tea. They laugh and they joke as the hot water boils- chattering about life and it predicaments. Each girl steeps her fragrant tea and grabs a plate. The evening progresses and as per usual they discuss the latest diets trends and Amway vitamins while munching on a thick slice of tiramisu. Natasha gives a compliment to Maria about her beautiful naturally straight hair, and speaks of how she hates her dreadful curly locks. Dasha goes on about how she wished she was a bit taller. And Anna who is 5'9 tells her of how torturous it is to be as tall as she. The girls enjoy each others company but much too soon the time comes when the friends must say goodbye. The girls call it a night, blow air kisses to one another and head towards their cars.
Was it then? Perhaps it was years earlier?
Was it societies fault, or our own?
⎨When was the seed of discontentment planted?⎬
When did I start seeing someone ugly every time I looked in the mirror.
When did I decide I couldn't go out of the house without makeup?
Since when could I point out my flaws like I could recite the alphabet?
When did I start measuring my worth in the number or boys flirting... or not flirting with me.
Why did I vainly think that if I was a size 2 I would finally be beautiful?
I starved my self to be thin, but found my self even more unhappy after losing 30 pounds?
All the while professing to be a Christian.
The more women I speak to the more I realize I was not a minority. I in fact was with the majority of young ladies who feel the same way about their bodies.
I was "loving" God... yet hating my body.
I did not know my worth.
Thinking "God, why did you not make me as pretty as this girl on the magazine?"
Which is why I am writing today.
Im going to be blunt.
If you think the same way,
You are calling the creator of all things a Liar.
Unfortunately you are not the only one...
I was calling God a liar for a very very long time. Blindly disgracing His majesty every time I looked in the mirror.
Give ear, and listen to The Holy Word of God.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God created YOU in HIS image. If you agree that God is absolutely beautiful, yet view your body and soul as ugly or undesirable... You are saying that the image of God is ugly and undesirable.
My dear sister in Christ...
In the first chapter Genesis it says- That God saw what he created (man) and declared it good.
Do you see?
YOU where declared good. Only after the fall did Adam and Eve look at their bodies with a sense of shame. SIN made adam and eve ashamed and insecure.
David (a man after God's own heart) declares in Psalms that he is fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalms 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Dose your soul know it?
I know mine didn't.
Our God declares you a beautiful creation, there is no way around it.
Satan's lies come in many shapes and forms but one of the most undetected is the lie he has been feeding to generations of God fearing women.
"You are not beautiful"
Our eyes have gone blind to it.
We believe we are not good enough...not pretty, thin, or tall enough. Each develops their own ideal of beauty - when the Lord says that there is nothing to create.
He already created beauty.
He made you!
For years I had been creating sky high cheekbones with contouring makeup. Large eyes with shadow. And perfect skin with foundation.
Thinking that without these things I was not nearly as pretty.
I Pray that as you finish reading, God will reveal to you the beauty which He Himself breathed into you.
Ephesians chapter 2:10 says - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
You my lovely, are Gods workmanship.
You are to honor God in your body for as long as you have it.
These insecurities you have are hindering you from carrying out the good work God has prepared for you.
Never do we stop to think that we grieve our God
with the way we think about our selves.
Inner and outer beauty are given to you as a gift from the creator.
You have worth.
And that worth is not measured by ethnicity, dress size, or accomplishments. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you where bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. -1st Corinthians 6:19-20
Take care of your body. Do not starve it. Eat well and exercise because you are a temple for God. Honor God in your body. You where bought with a price my dear sister.
I encourage you to dig deep into the word of God. See what God thinks of you.
What is beautiful in His eyes?
You might be surprised.
Do not make my mistakes. DO NOT listen to the disguised lies of the devil.
My dear sister:
Throw this hatred far, far away!
Be a woman who knows by whom she was made.
A woman who knows her purpose.
A woman who values her outer being and and just as importantly shines forth with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
Know your worth, sister!!!
You are beautiful.
1 Peter 3:4-6 "but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening."
Instead of passing down insecurities to our daughters lets pass down the lesson of true beauty.
Plant the seed of the Gospel everywhere we go...
and encourage one another in the Truth.
Lets pray to be a generation of women who fear The Lord, and listen to what He tells us in His Scripture.
Instead of listening to satan's lies.
Lets come to our Father together.
"Father, forgive me. Keep opening my eyes. Keep molding my heart.Show me what it is that I have become blind to. Help me to become a woman who brings You honor. Give me wisdom to understand your Scripture. I thank You that You made me in Your image. I am thankful that I can come before Your throne right now because of Jesus. Help me shine forth the inner and outer beauty You have granted me. Develop in me the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Thank you Father for my life. Wash these insecurities away, and renew my mind."
-The ability to view things in the perspective of eternity
- Changes in your relationships
- Contentment & gratefulness
- The ability to serve others with pure intentions
- Honoring God and His will for your life
- True joy
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Want to take delight in The Lord but...
Don't know how to start?
The Lord hears our prayers, and answers them.
1st John 5:14
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
You don't have to be a theologian or pastor to pray and be heard by God.
The Lord loves the humble.
"Lord, Forgive me for trying to find happiness in someone else or something else. My heart yearns for a intimate relationship with You. Teach me how to find delight in You. Let your Holy Word move me and give me wisdom. May I find true happiness in the gift of Your salvation, grace, mercy and promises."
There is nothing like the Joy of delighting your self in the Lord
The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
And in the result of your delight in Him...God and the heavens will delight in you.
"For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory"
Take delight in Him, His promises, and creation daily.
Wait upon Him.
And let him mold and shape you.
Praying His blessing upon you.
Rejoice in The Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice!
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Because of what Jesus has already done on the cross; there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I have done that will make him love me less.
I no longer have to feel as though I must earn my salvation. Jesus already lived the perfect life I could not live, and died the death I should have died. His perfect Son sent as a sacrifice for our wrong doings. This is Gods gift to me and to you.
Because of this promise, I am not separated from my creator. I am able to bring Him joy and glory although I myself have not earned such a privilege. Because of Gods never ending grace and mercy, I can walk before the Him, and he dose not deem me guilty. God loves us with a kind of love we can not even begin to comprehend. He rejoices in His people. And He is wonderful enough to forgive time and time again. We come before him, and He calls us His children.
That is His love for us.
No matter how many times we fall, His mercy is new every morning.