April is almost over. While I know that quarantine has felt like forever and a day, the weeks still seem to fly to me. This is the sure mark of “getting older”…
I have seen my fair share of “favorites” round-ups, mostly videos actually. Some of these favorites I’m sharing are new discoveries this month, and others are rediscovered oldies that have made their way back into my life. Here are the first five things that came to mind:
This month I have been enjoying watching Autumn Bates on Youtube. She is a certified clinical nutritionist with her Masters in Health and Human Performance, and as I embark on my own journey into nutrition and personal training (surprise!), I have found her information extremely compelling.
Anyway, she makes this raspberry compote bowl, which inspired my version: the Yogi Bowl (or Yogurt Bowl, if you’re a real adult).
There are no rules, people. You just throw together stuff that tastes good. I’ve been taking plain greek yogurt, topping it with thawed raspberries or blueberries (or frozen berries blasted in the microwave for 30 seconds), reduced salt and sugar peanut butter, protein powder of choice, and chia seeds (mixed with water until they become gelatinous). Dude. The best spring treat, or meal. You can make it your own by changing up the fruit, adding coconut flakes, granola, flax, flavored yogurt, or whatever else you have sitting around. I’ve been making these a bunch.
Read Scripture App
This is not a new discovery, but an app I have come back to in this season of my life. I used it during student teaching while I was reading through Job. This month, wow. I have gotten through so much more of the Old Testament than I ever have in such a short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, the point is not to make it a race. I do, however, enjoy the way I’m reading right now. I have been the person to read Scripture, read commentary, take notes on all the commentary, add maybe a supplemental sermon on that particular chapter, repeat…
It took me a while. It was very detailed-oriented, and I had a harder time seeing bigger picture things.
This month I started reading the OT like the story that it is. I think, as a result of that, I have been able to enjoy the wide-view themes, and characteristics of God, that I’m confronted with: rememberance, faithfulness, justice, holiness.
This app provides you with a chronological view of the Bible (though you don’t have to read it that way if you prefer to jump around). The books are grouped according to category or major chracteristic event. For example, “Creation and Fall” is Genesis 1-11. “The Exodus from Egypt” is Exodus 1-18. I love the organization, and the three chapters and a Psalm you read per day is the perfect amount for my mornings.
If that wasn’t good enough, some days you’ll have a Bible Project video to watch to help solidify what you read, and trace specific themes through the text. Get this app!
Peanut Butter Cookies
I could eat these every night. I don’t…but I could. I have tried a few different “healthy alternative” recipes in quarantine, and this remains my favorite. If you aren’t trying to watch sugar, maybe skip these. They obviously can’t compete with the real thing. But for those of you who need a sweet treat, are trying to avoid added sugar, and love peanut butter, you need to give these a try.
This dessert reminds me of making these for my dad and me when I was home for the summer before my junior year of college. It’s a nostalgia thing. It’s also a peanut butter thing.
I’ve tried both of these (and more), and can’t remember which was better.
I’d recommend searching Pinterest and seeing which recipes fit with the ingredients you have on hand.
Game changer. Though this was late in the month, I recently upgraded from my Fitbit Alta to a Garmin Vivoactive 3 watch. My fiancé bought his before I did (let the record show that I am the copycat), and when he saw them on sale at Target, for the same price I paid for my Alta three years prior, I had to get it. When I was training for both of my half marathons, I wasn’t even using the tracking that came with the Fitbit app. I preferred Strava for accuracy and detail during my runs. For experienced runners this sounds so dumb to say, but it’s amazing to see my pace on my wrist at all times, as well as my heart rate and run duration. Also, having my training plans sent directly to my watch instead of memorizing them? I love it.
Totally worthwhile if you’re someone who finds encouragement in seeing the details of your fitness training.
Man, life can weigh on you. It has been weighing on me. You may fear the unknown, or be caught in trying times. It’s essential to seek out things that are constant. I like anticipating “Office Mondays” with my fiancé, Wednes-Date Night, and Claire’s choice Thursdays (that’s a good day). I enjoy the rhythm of waking up naturally, or to the radio, pouring my coffee, and reading my Bible.
I know life won’t always be like this. In fact, I am dreading the return to normal. I know that life may look wildly different to you, maybe even very chaotic. But find something, even if it’s small, to keep in your every day. We crave structure and consistency in the midst of trial. Seek it.
And know that the most consistency is not found in practices, people, or places. Hope in the Lord. He will renew your strength. [Isaiah 40:31]
I’d be curious to know your favorites!