Sometimes you end up with the situation like myself, where you want the ability to seat more people in the kitchen (perhaps 10 to 12), but you don’t have the space, nor the money to do it. This is where building a breakfast bar comes in handy. Breakfast bars are great because they are multifunctional. They can serve as a breakfast bar/homework center/painting spot/reading area. You decide.
Last time, I explained how to build shelves using plumbing pipes here. The breakfast bar featured in this post only takes about 30 minutes to build, and very few materials. Plus, you can’t beat the price. Since the length is only 12 inches, you can probably setup two of these in a smaller kitchen, and still be fine.
Four years ago, I purchased the stools that are featured from Amazon. I decided upon these particular ones because I wanted a combination of an industrial/farmhouse/rustic look, along with something that would withstand wear and tear of teenagers and usage in general. Plus, they are both simple and functional, and that’s what Valley of Grace is all about. I don’t like to have to keep buying furniture. The stools come in two different sizes: table height and bar height.
Building a breakfast bar
2 ½” Tees
4 ½” flanges
2 ½” 36” nipples (or whatever height you choose)
2 ½” 12” nipples (or whatever width you choose)
A box of 2-inch screws
1 piece of 8 ft. 8” lumber from the lumber department (add additional 2 ft. for 6 people fitting comfortably, and another 2ft. for a coffee/tea station to be added at the end)
4 clips (optional for securing lumber to 12” nipples)
Assemble two 7 shapes to build the bar without tightly screwing:
Connect the 12” nipple to the flange.
Screw the Tee onto the 12” nipple.
Screw the 36” nipple onto the tee.
Connect the flange to the 36” nipple.
Use a stud finder to find the location of the studs in the wall.
Using the 2-inch screws, drill the two 7 shapes into the studs in the wall.
Place the piece of lumber on top.
Optional: Secure the (2) 12” nipples to the piece of lumber with two clips using a drill, and two screws per clip for both 7 shapes.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psalms 127:1
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Years ago, when my kids were little, I worked in the financial corporate world of the IT department. I absolutely loved my job as a computer technician. As a matter of fact, there were several things that I liked about my job in general: flexibility in your schedule, the ability to talk to people as you worked on repairing their issues, whether it be computer, networking, or printer. Last, but not least, I liked the whole idea of getting to listen to the problems that the end users were having, and then the challenge of recreating the problem in order to come up with a solution.
While working at this financial institution, I decided that I would get my Masters Degree in Information Technology. The degree was a 14-month intensive online program. Although I had two small children, I was up for the challenge. I also had the idea in the back of my mind that this degree would increase my value and my salary.
After obtaining the degree, I spoke to my supervisor, who in turn stated that she had to talk to her boss. I was told that the raise wouldn’t happen, and that they were on a hiring and salary freeze for the entire company. What made matters worse, is that I found out that what was said was not the entire truth. They were giving raising. Specifically, significant salary increasing to non-minority employees without degrees. I was disheartened and discouraged because I felt that I had done all of this hard work for nothing.
What I didn’t realize then, but do now, is that I felt that I had no worth there because of this incident. In their eyes, I didn’t qualify to sit at the same time with other individuals with my qualifications.
One thing that I now see is that when it comes to God, even in all our brokenness, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we will always receive the “exempt” stamp of condemnation. There is always room at God’s table of executives.
Ephesians 2:4-7New King James Version (NKJV)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
A couple of weeks ago, we focused on the shame aspect of trauma. You can find that discussion: “The Shame Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” here. Today, we will discuss the blackout aspect of trauma.
What is the blackout aspect of trauma? The blackout aspect of trauma consists of several different things. First of all, not everyone, but for some people living with PTSD/trauma, there is something that happens with your body’s sense of being able to handle the transition between light and dark if that makes sense. For myself, it was so significant that at first, I had to have a lot of lights on in the house. If I didn’t, I would feel like the darkness was closing in on me.
Old Experience with Blackout
When my kids and I were homeless, and waiting for God to give us a place to live, one of my friends took us in for five weeks. At this time, my issue with blackout was so bad, that the darkness made me scared to fall asleep. I would wake up in a panic, and have to calm myself down so that I could feel rested. I felt like I had gone from a forty something year old woman to a child afraid of the dark again. So, not only was it scary, but I was filled with shame.
New Experience with Blackout
What I noticed the situation is now, is that I have such a sensitivity to light, that I have to have it completely dark in order to fall asleep. If there is any light coming in from the blinds, I know I am going to have trouble falling asleep. If I don’t have the light blocking my face, even if I’ve had 8 hours of sleep, I will have extreme layers of bags under my eyes that will look like I haven’t slept in days. Also, my whole body will be in an extreme case of exhaustion.
Two years ago, I had to serve at the concession stand at church for basketball season. It was a pretty gloomy day in general, and since it was early evening when I got dropped off at the church, it was even darker. I stepped into the church’s kitchen to begin my serving shift, when everything started closing in on me.
My old techniques were immediate panic, but right then, I reminded myself of where I was, that it would eventually stop, and that engaging in conversation with others around me would help me to get grounded in the present moment. I would just have to ride it out.
When is the blackout aspect really bad? This is during the time where there is changing of the seasons, especially when it starts getting darker closer to winter.
I do a better job of handling it now, but in the beginning, it really rattled me to be honest. Feel free to drop a line in regards to your blackout aspect, and how you handle it.
A few weeks ago, I presented a podcast entitled, ” Broken People Judging Broken People” located here. A week ago, God impressed upon my heart to write a poem on judging. I finally did it tonight. Be blessed!
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
******I am not receiving compensation for the links that are mentioned in this post.
Background Story on Wire Baskets
A little while ago, I talked about the different uses for crates for organization. You can find that post here. Today, our organizational focus will be on the usage of wire baskets. I love baskets of all shapes, sizes, and textures. And so, of course, wire baskets would be included in this group. I like organizing things period. What I have realized within the last few years, is that when we are organized, we are able to turn the five hour paper search to a 15 minute paper search. Our lives run smoother, and we’re able to spend more time doing the things that matter: spending time with our family and friends, serving others, and being able to get those hobbies in. This is what happened when I didn’t have my scrap-booking supplies organized.
Not having things organized discourages doing anything because our efforts are multiplied. We start to think to ourselves, ” Why even bother? If I want to paint, it’s going to take 2 hours to find all the supplies!”
Baskets take the look of organization to a whole new level. Here are five reasons to contemplate using wire baskets:
Simplicity and Practicality
Wire baskets are easy to clean. All you need is a damp cloth to wipe them down and keep going. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Dust naturally collects on anything, and that where the damp cloth comes in. Also, every now and then, something may leak out, that is when a small squirt of dish detergent gets added to the cloth. Wipe and you’re done!
Wire baskets help you to get the clutter off the counters and off the floor. Because they can be purchased as a three or four in one, or individual units, they are easy to mount on the wall using 2-inch nails.
I home-schooled for 12 years. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about using wire baskets at the time. They are perfect for organizing individual folders and subjects for each kid without losing your mind. If you have more than one basket on the wall, then you can use one of the wire baskets to store all incoming bills and important papers that need attention as well.
Other homeschool and business ideas for wire baskets can be found here, where they have wire baskets specifically for mail and magazines, and as part of a wall organization unit for home and business.
There isn’t one room that I can think of in the house that wire baskets can’t be used in. For the bathroom, you can use them for facial and toiletry products. They can even be used for towels and shampoo.
For the kitchen, wire baskets are good for storing mason jars filled with items such as nutritional yeast, corn meal, and sugar. Spices and seasonings stored in wire baskets help you to get them off of the counter tops, along with still being able to see what you are needing to use. Lastly, for you bakers, wire baskets are perfect solutions for storing your rolling pins.
Other kitchen uses for wire baskets are the following: fruit and produce, napkins. place mats, and apron storage. I love the Madam Stoltz ones pictured here at Reforma Stockholm as a fruit and produce idea.
Last, but not least, wire baskets just look good. I am all about the aesthetics being in line for number three after simplicity and functionality.
Happy wire basket adventuring and have a blessed evening!
There are times in all of our lives, when we hit a brick wall due to a trial that was unexpected. During this time, the first thing that we often do is to panic instead of getting on our knees to pray, asking God for wisdom, discernment, and direction. The second thing that we usually do is to seek the advice of our friends. Some of this advice can be like gold, while other advice can be foolish, which is where prayer and discernment comes in.
When it comes to getting advice from others, there are three things that are possibilities: we can learn things from people who are behind us in years, we can learn from the people who are beside us in years, and we can from the people who are ahead of us in years. God has blessed me to be in small groups where all three of these are going on at the same time. I am thankful for learning from all three of these groups. However, the most growth that has taken place have been from the women who are way ahead of me in years. They are old enough to be my mother, but they are my friends. Titus gives us instructions on how the mentoring process for women should go:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
King Rehoboam was approached by the spokesperson Jeroboam to reduce the workload of the Israelites. They promised that they would serve him for the rest of their lives if he obliged. King Rehoboam had the blessing of seeing his dad, King Solomon, both fill himself with the wisdom from God, and surround himself with wise people. He went to the wise older men who gave his dad advice, to see what they thought that he should do:
2 Chronicles 10:3-8New International Version (NIV)
3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him:4 “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
5 Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.
6 Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
7 They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8 But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.
You would think that his father’s example and entourage would have been a clue. But, it wasn’t. Rehoboam listened to the young men growing up with him, and in turn, causing an uprising, and he himself had to flee for his life:
2 Chronicles 10:10-19New International Version (NIV)
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.”13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders,14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from God, to fulfill the word the Lordhad spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What share do we have in David, what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel! Look after your own house, David!”
So all the Israelites went home.17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem.19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
This serves as a reminder of how important it is to truly seek God for wisdom in making decisions, along with seeking the wisdom of other wise individuals who may be well ahead of us in years.
Thank you for your advice being the best advice. We pray that we will use discernment when getting wisdom from others when we are faced with our unexpected trials. Please help us not to be filled with pride when it comes to taking advice from older adults, remembering that they have already been where we are trying to go.
For the last five mornings, I have been making pancakes for breakfast. On the first two mornings, I used bananas as a filling. My mom and niece took the train out here to spend some time with us, and I ended up using the last of the bananas on Saturday morning when I decided to make us pancakes for brunch after my Writer’s Group.
On yesterday morning, I used chia seeds, and then today, I used a combination of chia seeds and sunflower seeds. Believe it or not, it was filling. I got full after eating the second thick pancake. Another new thing that I tried was using honey instead of syrup for a topping, along with vegan butter. They were delicious!!
2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Pancake & Waffle Mix
4 tablespoons of olive oil or vegan butter for the mix (2 for bowl mixture) (2 for skillet)
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of chia seeds
2 cups of Almond or Soy milk
Jar of honey or syrup
vegan butter for the topping
Dump the pancake mix into a bowl.
Toss the seeds, 2 tablespoons of olive oil/butter, the milk and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal.
Mix all the ingredients with a whisk, wooden spoon, or whatever you have.
Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil or vegan butter in a skillet or pan.
Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour the scoops of batter into the skillet, turning the pancakes over once you see the holes coming through.
Drizzle honey or syrup and butter on top.
Send me a line letting me know if you try it. You definitely won’t be disappointed!
I am blessed to be airing Episode 4: Unhealed Brokenness & Toxic Relationships. Last week I aired Episode 3: Broken People Judging Broken People, and it can be found here. I am not a mental health professional. I am speaking on this topic based upon my relationships with individuals in the last twenty years where toxicity existed.
I pray that if you are dealing with any of the signs/symptoms in a relationship, that are mentioned in this podcast, that you seek professional help in navigating this dynamic, and that you remove yourself from the toxic dance before it’s too late.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Background Story on the Red Beans and Couscous Mix:
Last night, my small group, “The Bible Babes”, were back in full swing. It felt could to see everyone after such a long, summer break. We are diving into Kelly Minter’s book, “All Things New”. The session video that we watched last night set the tone for the study by having us to dive into two concepts: 1) using our weakness to enable God’s strength to be present and seen by others, and 2) keeping our hearts wide open to others, even when we have been faced with some relationship challenges. Of course, wide open hearts do not take the place of exerting boundaries. However, it helps us to be vulnerable, release shame, and allow God’s grace to move in our hearts. It definitely takes the Holy Spirit to be at work in hearts to thrive, even in the midst of our pain.
As you all know by now, I am doing something with beans and legumes almost every week. About a week ago, I made a recipe that is almost gone unfortunately. It is what I called my Red Beans & Couscous mix. I didn’t use canned beans. If I would have used canned beans, the red beans and couscous mix would have been done in about 35 minutes. It ended up taking two hours just for the red beans to be ready. I literally dumped all kinds of ingredients into this mixture. Last week, I made “Black Beans and Mixed Greens”. You can find the recipe here.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Red Beans & Couscous Mix
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 minutes with canned beans, 2.5 hours with regular beans
1 box of couscous
1 can of mushrooms
1 can of mixed vegetables
3 cans of beans or 1 bag of beans
vegetable broth or chicken broth (non-vegan)
3 tablespoons of turmeric
3 tablespoons of cumin
3 tablespoons of garlic powder
3 tablespoons of onion powder
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 cup of nutritional yeast
Optional: vegan mozzarella cheese or regular cheese on top
Boil the beans in water according to whether they are bagged or canned.
Saute the mushrooms and mixed vegetables while the beans are boiling.
Boil the couscous and fluff with a fork when done.
Dump all of the above ingredients into a big pot, pouring in about two and a half coups of broth.