Special post: 10 Random facts about Blen!

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen–you’ll get more conversation), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

So this post actually lands on my birthday (thank you, Jesus!) and I thought to do something a little different—give you a little insight into what Blen is about, in no particular order. Ready? Let’s go!

  1. I’ve been reading since I was 18 months old. Now, I am NO genius at all. God simply blessed me with amazing parents who instilled a love of the printed word at an early age. I still love to read–and have countless books in the house to prove it. 🙂
  2. I learned how to say the alphabet backwards in the 3rd grade (shout out to Patricia Dickerson). I can still recite it!
  3. Sometimes, I am a serial eater. I’ll eat a/particular food(s) for a period of time and then not eat it again for months.  For example, I “discovered” asparagus and ate them almost every day for about 6 months straight. Then I quit them cold turkey–well, cold asparagus. I only eat them on occasion now. I’m working my way through my salad and cake phase. I do not see that stopping anytime soon. 🙂
  4. On the rare occasions I do eat chips, they must be the Wise Brand–golden original.
  5. I have not had a soda in years. Water/seltzer water is my go-to drink. Tea after that.
  6. I LOVE cars from the 70’s! Chevy Chevelles, Buick Electra 225’s (deuce and a quarter), Oldsmobile Regency…I could go on. Why? There is just something classic, and “let’s go to the drive-in, kids” about them (happy sigh).
  7. The first thing my dad taught me to cook was oatmeal. I STILL love it.
  8. Because I have a schedule to keep, when I have a day off/am on holiday, I like to MOVE SLOW. I do not like to rush to do anything, including eating. #SlowHurry is the order of the day.
  9. I have a deep affection for lip gloss. I may have about 5 of them in my handbag at any given time. It’s not confirmed why there are so many of them open–I just don’t  like to be without them.
  10. Two of my favorite gospel songs are “He knows” (Walter Hawkins) and “More love to Thee”(John P. Kee). #Henry Nelson #EarlySavedDays 

There you have it, BCU Family! So, did anything surprise you? Or did something on the list resonate with you? Let’s talk about it in the chat section below!

As a note, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Visual: What are you thinking?

Hey Family!

Take a look at the chart below. I saw it on Linked in—I’m not sure who the original author is (if anyone knows, please let me know), but this SPOKE to me!

The Word of God reminds us that we are to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). That’s important because what we think translates into words and they effect our actions.  In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says death and life are in the power of the tongue and you will “eat the fruit of your words”. Every self-depreciating comment, negative affirmation or put-down is like eating rotten, deadly fruit. How many of us would knowingly eat harmful food? If you’ve ever had food poisoning or ANY gastrointestinal trouble after eating a particular food or at a place, you would totally avoid it! We need to incorporate this in our thought and word choices.

Additionally, the result of the rotten fruit not only effects you to the point where you feel like you cannot do anything correctly, it either draws other “flies” to you (fellow bad fruit eaters–that’s another post) and/or can drive away the folks who prefer to speak life. Moreover, it is a like a slap in the face to God, who has made us and not we ourselves (Psalms 100:3).

Bottom line: If it you are reading this, it’s not too late to repent for thinking and speaking in the negative. We all say things on the left side of the list from time to time, myself included—the thing is not to continue practicing this behavior. How different would our lives be if we spoke life into ourselves, children, co-workers, et cetera? In fact, after praying, the Lord blessed me to tell a couple of folks with God’s help, they would be a blessing to all they came in contact with. Do you know they came back with a victory report?! Thank you, Jesus!!! So it’s best to ask God to help us line up our thoughts, words and actions with His Word and enjoy the fruit of the spoken labor. Amen?! Amen!

God bless you and thank you for reading!

Blen

What are you thinking?
What are you thinking?

Blen goes camping! Yes—REAL camping!

Hey family!

I hope you are enjoying what’s left of the summer..it is coming to a close quickly! While I am glad for everyday, one of the highlights of my favorite season thus far was my weekend camping trip. Yep, REAL camping! In recent years, I said I wanted to go, but no one I knew wanted to. My desire was answers when a few (well, ten) female co-workers from four different states were planning a trip to Pine Acres Camping Ground in Massachusetts. I was in!

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As I arrived on Friday evening, the ladies had set up a few tents, a covered, lit picnic area and were starting a fire. As I “checked in” to my my home for the next two days, it was replete with a welcome mat, air mattresses, and even a lamp to welcome four of us in. We talked, laughed and ate into the night around a cozy fire.

20130825-164839.jpgAway from that fire, it was COLD–like 40 degrees of so. Initially, I thought I made a mistake packing my flannel, two blankets and a housecoat, but it was needed. The other thing was the um…the facilities.

20130825-170201.jpgThe restrooms and showers were about a 2-3 minute walk away from the campsite. Now during the day, that was fine–it was the night that was interesting, seeing that with the exception of a few dimly lit picnic areas, the dirt road leading to restroom was PITCH BLACK. In the spirit of unity, once one of us started stirring, and some else heard, we braved the walk together, flashlights in hand, chatting, whispering and admiring God’s handiwork.

20130825-164939.jpg The campsite offered a pool, beach area, general store, biking, hiking, cabins and plenty of pet and child friendly activities. While we all went hiking, some of us took advantage of the beach, while others of us got back around the fire, snacked, chatted, napped and enjoyed the blessing of a stress-free Saturday.

20130825-165054.jpgOn the food front, there was no shortage of sustenance—in addition to an assortment of dips, snacks and beverages we brought, there were eggs, toast, bagels, muffins, chicken, burgers, salads, coffee, tea, fruit, old-school Jiffy Pop and my newest favorite–s’mores! Hey, every now and again it’s okay to get off the road of eating healthy. It’s good for the metabolism! 😜

As our trip came to a close on Sunday, we worked together to pack up tents, sleeping gear, tidy up the picnic area, parcel out leftover goodies, and say our goodbyes.😞 If I had to do anything differently:

>NOT forget my flashlight (thank God for the iPhone and cell phone service. The Lord nudged me about downloading a flashlight app when I had to make a 2 a.m. visit to the loo).

>Invest in a sleeping bag. I was warm enough with what I had–a sleeping bag would have added to the overall camping experience.

>Get to the site earlier so I could experience setting up the tent. The takedown was great, I want to see how they come together.

>Take another day or so at the campsite. I’m thinking a three-day weekend would be ideal.

Overall, I LOVED the experience and would love to go camping again. In fact, we are planning a trip for next year, Lord will. If you have not had the camping experience, I’d highly recommend it. There’s something about being out in the open with God and the sounds/functions of nature that relaxes yet recharges you. Put it on the list, Family!

God bless you and thanks for reading!

Blen

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Visual: Food swap 101

Hey Family,

I often say since I’m “over 19”,😛 I have to (actually, want to in many cases) to do things a little differently. Part of my “differently” is recognizing when there is a healthier alternative for certain things, I typically do a little research and try it out.

The following infographic on healthy food swaps from MBG Wellness Expert, Jess Ainscough (WellnessWarrior.com.au), outlines 80% of the swaps I’ve successfully incorporated into my diet. (I’m not a rye bread fan, nor have I tried nut cheese, but I’m willing). 😃

When you’re used to eating a certain way, it can take some time (and nerve) to add something different–and you may need to experiment with cooking methods, herbs, spices and condiments. Once you do, you and your body will reap overall health benefits. No, we didn’t come here to stay–we do want to be as healthy as possible while we are here so we can be a blessing to others. Let me know what changes you’ve made!

Love and God Bless you!

Blen

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Goin’ green

Hey family!

While everyday should be one for love, I know February is the official love month (well at least it up until the 14th). In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share some of the very things I love.

Some of you know, while I do like my goodies, since I am over 19 now, I do try to eat healthy meals 80% (or better) of the time. This has two benefits: I can eat and enjoy other things (in moderation) when I go out, on holidays, birthdays, etc. Also, and moreover, once you start eating better, you really do not desire the junk as much. I did not think I’d see the day when I could not wait to get home to my spinach. Yep, I said spinach–it’s a favorite! Let me tell you one way I enjoy this versatile green.

A cup of spinach in every sip!
A cup of spinach in every sip!
I am a huge fruit smoothie fan, but just got brave enough to try a “green” smoothie thanks to simplegreensmoothies.com. They had a 30-day green smoothie challenge last month I was too chicken to try, but I decided to take the plunge a few days ago and have had two smoothies almost every day. The site has some good tips, testimonials and even an ebook with smoothie recipes for $5 (for the time being). Investing the few dollars in the book will ensure your smoothies will taste good and you’ll want to drink it. What’s that? Do you taste the spinach? Not a bit–the fruit in the smoothie masks the greens taste! And you don’t need a second mortgage to get started.

Fruit: Fresh or frozen (organic, if possible) your choice

Greens: (organic, if possible) spinach, kale or romaine lettuce and uncooked, of course.

Liquids: almond, soy, rice or cow’s milk, water (filtered or boiled and cooled) or coconut water.

Blender: I use a Hamilton Beach I purchased from Kmart for $20 or so.

On average, it’s a 60/40 ratio of fruit to veggies. Since the green smoothies are packed with fiber and nutrients, you are full for a couple of hours. These make a great snack when you have to be in the car for awhile or you’re running errands. I will eventually move past the spinach and try the other greens, but I believe in a slow hurry sometimes (that’s code for fraidy-cat). 🙀

Bottom line: Trust me, I am a Red Velvet Cake head. If I can do a green smoothie and love it, anyone can! Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Love,

Blen