Love endures…

 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” -1 Peter 4:8

They’re all grown now… 😦

As I mentioned last post, I’m always reminiscing… about the good and not so good. I absolutely enjoy looking at old photos as a past time. Pictures of family, from youth, our parents, grandparents, grandchildren, or our children. I’m fascinated by all the accounts throughout the generations. The stories extend, through marriage and blended families. We are constantly sharing stories, sometimes the same ones over and over. Although being a blended family, we’ve experienced estrangement.

I had written this back in October which is Domestic Violence Awareness month…

Already emotional, I began reflecting on feelings. Not only how I feel but always considering the feelings of others. I was moved at the time to write that in hopes of bringing awareness, but never posted it at the time. Still bothered…when I re-read it today, I am able to see my continued growth. Still recognizing daily, my husband’s internal discord, I pray for him and our children every day.

Estrangement is unnatural. Birthdays, Holidays, Everydays remain difficult. This topic often gets overlooked. Yet it is important to realize, that abuse takes many forms. Sometimes in a form that impacts a generational cycle. Most damaging is a complete separation as a result of parental alienation.

The devil uses many weapons to harden hearts and breakdown families. Weaponizing narcissism and pride. Causing confusion and fragmenting realities until subdued. Remember that deception is the devil’s specialty.

“Parental indulgence causes disorder in families and in society. It confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination, instead of submitting to the divine requirements. Thus, they grow up with a heart averse to doing God’s will, and they transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children and children’s children.” -Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 142.4 (Ellen G. White)

While respecting choices now that the children are adults, we always hope for connection with our children; and re-connection with all family members and children who are estranged from each other. Because you never turn off love.

Many times, we sit with our feelings, thinking of the missed time and experiences.
In our attempts to stay positive, we reflect on how time has blessed them all, each in different ways –marriage, children, college opportunities, careers, engagement. Although having a complete separation from some of our children, we have a deep appreciation for the glimpses of happiness and growth that God has allowed us to see over the years.

Do you take a step back and reflect on God’s will?… It is not animosity or resentment. God’s desire for us is love and grace.

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” -1 John 4:16 (ESV)

Know that there is power in love…

Live in truth with knowledge of faith.
Open and soften your heart to seek favor in Christ.
Visualize letting go of resentment.
Essentials, remember that God gave us all the essentials.

He calls me Juice…

Healthy Juice Cleanse – Carrot, Orange, Ginger, Radish, Lemon

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Healthy Juice Cleanse – (Serves 2) ~ Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free
Credit: veganrescue.com

Ingredients:
5-6 Medium/Large Carrots, topped
1 Radish, topped
2 Navel Oranges, peeled
½ inch piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled
¼ Grated Frozen Lemon

Directions:
-Grate the frozen lemon with the zester side of grater. I place into the bottom of the cup. Juice all the other ingredients, stir together and enjoy!

While I have plans to revive Vegan Rescue with new recipes, I’m excited to be working on some new projects. I’m working on adding some devotionals, if not on a sister site, I will incorporate here.

Love and Truth

As I was ironing my husband’s clothes I was in deep thought. Naturally I began thinking about him. To be in love and blessed. I couldn’t ask for a better husband. Thank you, God. God has been with us and has blessed us since the beginning. It is because of His true love that I can share this devotional. 

Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV)

Everybody who knows us personally has been a witness to our love for one another. We share a deep, penetrating love. It will be 13 years since my surrender to love… see, I fell hard in love with Seth from the beginning –the very moment we began dating. A powerful love that continues to intensify. I generally enjoy reminiscing. Often reflecting on my journey. There is nothing like being reminded of why and how you fell in love. I live in this feeling, falling further in love each day. There is growth in pain, so I often think about the life scars from our past that we also carry. But to maintain love and relationships, you must live in truth. Living my life in truth and honesty, balanced with love and loyalty…best traits I could have received from my parents. Qualities carried with me in life as a mother, wife, and friend.

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit… (1 Peter 3:10 ESV)

“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” (Proverbs 12:19 ESV)

This love, this true love we share in our marriage will endure forever, because it lives in truth. God has shown us good days through His grace because He aligned our walk. Our truth revealed to us, that those scars from our past were created by liars. The narcissistic kind whose life now reflects their own fabricated lies. We realize that those real lies were toxic and damaged the most innocent relationships. Yet through it, your love remains boundless and endures. I wish I could repair those damaged parts of your heart. Who wouldn’t rather live in love and truth?

Cherish relationships.
Live in truth. Be honest.
Allow love to elevate and transcend.
Always appreciate what you have. Appreciate life. Experience life. Be grateful.


To Seth-
My husband, I’m grateful to be your wife. I know your heart. I know your truth. I know only good things can be said about such a loving and compassionate man. God has blessed us to never bicker or hate. No arguments, screams or fights –not ever. Your love and passion penetrate my inner core. You have always been kind, honorable and chivalrous. You are a true gentleman, which is so refreshing. You are generous in every way possible…especially the ravaging ways. Thank you for always making me feel loved and wanted. Thank you for just being you. I appreciate you. I know you are happy with me by the way you make me laugh and smile. You are always loving and devoted. I love you, always. I respect and honor you.

As light does not fellowship with darkness, let us continue in our walk with Christ. May we emanate love in light as an example for others.

                        -Your devoted wife, Juice

Live your life in Love. Align your walk with Christ.

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad

Black-Eyed Chimichurri Bean Salad
(Serves 8-12) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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Bursting with flavor! Try this amazing side at your next bbq/party. Beans always remind me of Seth since he LOVES beans and all things beans! Hell it even inspired us naming our first dog-child together (Beanie). 😊 So I wanted to share a funny story that happened on Monday night. Seth and I have been binge watching Oz (I know so 90’s, right?) and during one of the episodes the topic of Hell, Hades or something about a ‘lifetime of torture’ came up. (Sorry I butchered that explanation, I know). Anyhow, so he asks me what I would consider so torturous that would haunt me for a lifetime. My response was something about bugs, insects or rodents crawling all over me. I have nothing against the little guys…I just don’t want them crawling all over me. SO I ask him the same question and he replies, “what would torture me for life would be to lose all my senses… to not have the ability to see you anymore, smell or touch your soft skin, or to hear your voice… that would be torture to me – losing all my senses. Knowing that I once could experience those things but to no longer have that ability…” [melt] Um – he won, lol! ❤ well now you all know another reason why I fell in love – he’s smooth, right?

SO if anyone ever asks the question… for the love of God go with your senses.

Pft!…bugs, what was I thinking. 😊 Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 (15.5oz cans) Blackeye Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg Corn
1 Tofurky sausage, diced (sautéed for 3 minutes), optional
½ – 1 Cup Chimichurri Sauce

-Toss all ingredients to combine and refrigerate overnight. Best served cold.

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Joker’s Bean Burgers

Joker’s Burger
(Makes 9 Burgers) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free

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Big thanks to my husband for making dinner tonight. It was delicious! It’s that time of year again – rushing around at practices and school will be starting soon too. I had to dash out after work to take Jasmine to practice today and to my surprise while I was still at work I received a text from Seth (aka Joker) that dinner was on him. Fantastic! His text read…
[“JOKER’S BURGER…no meat, jokes on you. Black beans, Red Kidney beans, Sweet Onion, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes…with Joker’s special herbs and seasonings.”]
It’s funny because very humbly he added, “I know it’s not as appetizing as your menu items but…” Well I guess the joke was on him because they were amazing!! – It was cute because he was actually nervous for me to try them. 🙂 The flavors were great! Seth is always thinking up ideas and sometimes helps me brainstorm some of my creations. I don’t know specifically what he added (herbs/spices) but the burgers had some great heat which was tamed nicely by the sundried tomatoes. The mushrooms really stood out and were prominent with the beans adding a nice creaminess. They were baked up and served with no buns – check them out above. 🙂

Check out the formed burgers – yum!
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Here’s a pic of Mister and I at a wedding we went to last Friday. 🙂
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[Revised Added]
I included this picture in the post because it was just taken last week and I wanted to share a picture of the chef of the burgers and all, although I have included him (his pic) in other posts, this pic above was fresh in my mind. So about the wedding!…
I never talked about the wedding we went to last week. I know the bride was specific about sharing pics of them on social media but I think I can at least share a detail of something that has been on my mind.
I don’t typically cry at weddings, although they are always beautiful. I love going to them, it’s a joy to reflect on our love and marriage too. So I don’t typically cry, right? Not this wedding last Friday, the tears were flowing! Maybe I’m sharing wedding secrets here or something but I have to share this moment because it was beautiful and something I have never seen before.
[The moment I cried]…
This wedding was for a co-worker of my husband so I can’t say that I really knew them personally. I know of stories that he has shared with me of her but I didn’t know her well. One story that was shared was how she had been living with and caring for her elderly grandmother for many years. As I’m sitting there watching the bridal party coming down the aisle I see a little girl, (of course she’s the flower girl, right…), the kid coming down with her poofy white dress and fluffy socks holding a sign but no flowers? Then to my surprise I see an elderly woman coming down the aisle with her rolling walker (rollator), the flower basket… throwing the flowers. I lost it! I could not hold back my tears, knowing the back story of how she had been caring for her. As I didn’t really know her, seeing that was such and intimate moment for me, it showed me how much love, respect and care she had for her grandmother. It was such an engaging moment.
The elderly often get lost and shuffled, sometimes sadly even ignored. My mother has worked in a nursing home for 30+ years, she has such a big heart. Although I’m sure the job itself can be difficult and maybe even the patients sometimes…but I’ve seen that woman take such good care of them as if they were her own parents/family. I’ve seen it first hand as I volunteered there back when I was in High School. She has such strength, love, humbleness, loyalty and respect – she is a good woman and taught me is still teaching me to this day. I love my mommy so much, she jokes and says, ‘when I’m old just throw me in a nursing home’ sorry mom… we’ll see about that. In 20 years I’ll be cleaning your butt just like you did mine 🙂 She has such a good nature.
Even though I didn’t really know the bride I came to know her in that moment. I learned about her nature. Maybe I amplified that moment in the wedding, I don’t know, it did have an impact on me however.
One thing that is certain, we need to take better care of our elderly folks. We can learn so much from them. They are wise and live such simple lives. We tend to overcomplicate things especially at different stages in our life. Some of them have the best stories…

Love. Restaurant Review – Morimoto Phila. – Quality Time

Friday – Love.
I wanted to talk about my weekend a bit. Schools out for summer so the children spent the week visiting family which meant Seth and I had Friday night all to ourselves. The perfect night for a Date night!
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Relationship Advice
To my fellow readers continue to date your spouse, significant other, husband/wife or partner. Don’t allow your life and relationships to become stagnant or stale. Don’t settle for the monotony of the day to day. You and your relationship(s) are better than just ‘going through the motions.’ Keep that passion that brought you together. I love my husband intensely everything about him – his great mind and intellect, smile, friendship, his heart, I love the way he looks at me, love our conversation. We have Passion. Loyalty. Trust. Devotion. Friendship etc. 🙂 Okay okay I’ll spare you all of my mushy loving thoughts about my hubby. Before we go get a room…I’ll just get back to my original thoughts as I’m googly eyed and can easily get lost in my thoughts. So please go out on Dates, Flirt, show affection towards each other, talk – it’s so important to converse with one another keep an open dialogue, Respect Each Other. Love each other the same way you have since day one.
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So about Friday night…
It’s nice to live so close to a big city, Philadelphia, if you’ve read my ‘Cheesesteak’ post than you’ve already read some things about the great city of brotherly love. My husband and I love dining in the city. There’s something about dressing to the ‘nines’ and going out that excites me. The ambiance and great service of an upscale restaurant along with good company and good vegan food, its perfection. Yes good Vegan Food – it’s wonderful that most of the more upscale restaurants very easily accommodate a vegan diet these days. A quick ‘shout out’ to R2L one of my favs – 500 feet above the city on the 37th floor of Two Liberty place boasts an amazing view of the city, love it at night. Or how about Vedge – Upscale and all Vegan – I love beautiful food.
Restaurant Review – Morimoto: 723 Chestnut St. Philadelphia. PA 19107
This Friday night we dined at Morimoto. Yes, that would be Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant. 🙂 This restaurant has an open atmosphere, it didn’t exactly have that intimate feel but still has the ambient lighting. Speaking of lighting… the table light seemed a bit phallic-like or more similar to a vibrator.. :-/ (sorry for the honesty) but in hindsight I’m sure the idea was to maybe express something similar to an adult lava lamp. The waves along the walls had an oceanic feel, which paired well with the Japanese menu. Contemporary and sleek with Stephen Starr’s name written all over it. We love and have eaten at most of Stephen Starr’s restaurants. While at Morimoto’s we sampled several items from the menu – I always get multiple items to provide a proper and fair review upon my first time visiting, plus I love vegan food!
Hot Appetizer: “Edamame – Fresh Soybeans with Sea Salt” (Pictured below)
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Noodles: “Cha-Soba – Chilled Green Tea noodles with chopped scallions, fresh wasabi and dashi-shoyu sauce for dipping.”
Soup: “Yasai Ramen – Vegetarian broth, rice noodle, Japanese vegetables.” Our server was gracious enough to let us know that one of the components of the soup (eggplant) was fried in the same fryer with the fish. We opted to have ours without the eggplant.
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IMG_6793 Entrée: “Ishi Yaki Bop – Rice dish prepared at our table in a hot river stone bowl” – we subbed the meat protein with tofu. (Pictured below)
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Vegetarian Rolls: Seasonal Vegetable Maki.

Overall each dish was seasoned perfectly, the flavors were fresh and bold – the veggies and ginger really popped. The portions served were very filling and the presentations were beautiful. All the moving parts of the restaurant from the host to the server were cohesive. The service was superb and I will definitely dine here again.

Saturday
My cousin celebrated her 30th Anniversary on Saturday, so beautiful. I love to see the longevity and pure happiness. Her eyes still light up when she talks about her husband still. 🙂

Sunday
With the kids back home – we missed them dearly so we spent some quality time together this day. I love making a big breakfast – I made cinnamon toast. 🙂 We enjoy playing family games together Jasmine chose Scattegories. I always get very competitive against Seth especially. He’s so damn smart and kicked our arse of course. So afterwards I challenged him to a game of cards, I always beat him at cards. Hehe.
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