Phewww! The holidays can be full of laughter and cheer, but it sure can take a tole on you! Completely out of everyday routine and worn out from the "hustle and bustle" that the past few months can bring; a new year is something to definitely look forward to, but was last year all that bad? Maybe it was, but when you actually are looking through the correct lens your eyes may be open to the goodness that was brought to you last year. Sure this past year had some ups and downs in the McDougal household (we wouldn't be a normal family if I sat here and told you otherwise), but God brought restoration for the times that were a little darker and shone His light so we could see Him. For the times that were brighter; God of course shone even brighter telling us that He was the Blesser and Giver of all good things and for that I am eternally grateful.
As I look out our windows in our comfortable, warm apartment I am thankful to be here as the cold, clean snow pours down from the sky, but I can't help but think of those that may not have the comforts that I have felt from the moment I woke up. Soft carpet on my feet, warm coffee in my cup, homemade granola with yogurt, a loving husband and an energetic and joyful little boy. Let me stop for a moment and be honest because at 7:00 AM I did not see all of that quite as clearly; thankfully God opened my eyes to it now, and the coffee helped too.
But with a New Year comes New Year Resolutions, which are a great thing depending on the heart behind your resolution. I challenge you to look at your resolution and make sure it isn't all about you. Maybe it's time to give a warm cup of coffee to someone in need. Let me explain....if a charitable act is on your list, make sure you're doing it to serve someone else; not that you will be noticed. If it's losing weight do it to glorify God, not yourself. This is something I am continuing to tell myself.
As a couple, my husband and I are on the Weight Watchers plan and reaching for the goal of running the Triple Crown (today is the fourth day of training and it's already hard for me to make myself go train). We also have some financial goals and spiritual goals as well. Hopefully reaching all of these by God's grace and giving him the honor. A New Year and a New You......maybe it's time to replace the "You" with something else. Just something to think about.
Here's the granola recipe that I made for breakfast this morning for a healthy and "pennyless" way to start your New Year. It has become a staple in our home; most ingredients are staples that I always keep on hand. This is a delicious breakfast or healthy snack worth 2 points a serving according to Weight Watchers.
Fruit and Pecan Granola Bars*
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup toasted oats
2/3 cup chopped dried cranberries or golden raisins (any dried fruit works)
1/4 cup chopped pecans (any nut works here as well, just watch the nutrition info)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Line an 8 x 11 inch pan with foil. Coat with cooking spray.
Whisk egg, egg white, sugar, oil, cinnamon, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in oats, cranberries (or raisins), pecans and flour. Spread in prepared pan.
Bake until gold brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool; cut into bars with a lightly oiled knife.
Serves: 16 Bars
(I usually double the recipe. It's great broken up in yogurt or for cereal as well).