Today’s verse: James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God as promised to those who love him.”
No one likes to be a loser (unless you’re trying to lose weight, of course). From the time we are kids, we want to win. We want to be popular. It is a big deal to be first, no matter if it is in a race or in a science fair or being crowned Homecoming Queen or King. We all crave it!
But we don’t all get to be first. We feel unpopular or nerdy and like we don’t fit. So oftentimes we turn to bad habits. We overeat, or under eat, or take up smoking or drugs or alcohol. We are determined that somewhere we will find a place to fit in. And that place is not always a good place. We need to remain steadfast under trial and not give in to unhealthy life choices.
I remember watching my son go through elementary and middle school. He didn’t fit in anywhere. He was bullied and disliked by his classmates. I was so concerned about him committing suicide, or turning to drugs and letting them rule his life. I worried about him constantly, but it always seemed that he just let everything roll off his back. He remained steadfast under trial. One of his teachers told me “Don’t worry, when he gets to high school he will find his niche. They all do.” She was right (until he got to college and discovered drugs anyway 😦 ).
We all suffer from some type of unhealthy lifestyle that we start by wanting to fit in, or to look better, or to be cool, and before we know it we are addicted. People believe that they will find happiness in this lifestyle (or else they wouldn’t start down that path in the first place), but it becomes so hard to beat an addiction. Many times I kick myself for ever getting into this situation in the first place. So I pray that I can be like my son, letting everything roll off my back, and that I can remain steadfast.
I pray for myself to be strong. I pray for my son to kick his habit. I pray for other family and friends that are struggling to get healthy. I truly believe that when we stay strong with God’s help, we can move to a healthier lifestyle. Life only moves forward, it does not go backward. So when we stay strong and ask God for help, he delivers us from sinful ways and helps us to move forward, with no regrets. Blessings to all as you remain steadfast under trial!
Summer means great fruit is available. Sometimes you just gotta have desserts, so try to lighten them up to make them guilt free!
Light Strawberry Shortcake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (if necessary, depends on the ripeness of berries)
2 teaspoons grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
1 cup low fat Greek yogurt, for serving
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
Shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal.
Whisk together the lemon zest, egg and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk in a small bowl.
Add to the flour mixture and lightly mix with your hands or a spoon until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 7 inch round about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 equal wedges.
Space the shortcakes evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Filling: Combine the strawberries, granulated sugar and orange zest and juice in a large bowl. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes.
Split the shortcakes. Place the bottom halves of the shortcakes on plates and top evenly with the strawberry mixture and yogurt. Cover with the shortcake tops. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar if using.