Fall Borscht

One of the best things about cooler weather is, HELLOOOO, FOOD! I love slow cooker meals and this Fall Borscht will not disappoint! This specific Borscht has so many anti-inflammatory ingredients that are GREAT for PCOS and of course some amazing super foods for fertility! If you decide to try this recipe, please email me a pic and your review to cryssie@cryssieaddis.org!

*Disclaimer – I am not a doctor or certified nutritionist…..this information is based on what has helped me personally with PCOS and infertility.*

Ingredients:

3 cups of shredded or hand-torn cabbage (Cabbage has vitamin C, calcium and is also rich in dietary fiber and will fill you up quicker. Cabbage is also an anti-inflammatory super food.)

4 beets – (Beets are a great source of antioxidant resveratrol thought to help combat against age related infertility. They are also rich in nitrates well known to improve blood flow. The deep red color of beets is also their super power. This pigment has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.)

2 potatoes

1 tomato diced (Lycopene, an antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their color, could increase sperm count by 70 percentTomatoes are rich in a carotenoid called lycopene, which can help fight PCOS heart disease and cancer.)

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced (Women who have PCOS frequently have elevated blood levels of glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, these are indicators of increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Raw garlic is effective in reducing glucose (blood sugar), and the blood fats cholesterol and triglycerides, which makes garlic GREAT for PCOS and heart health! Not to mention, a clove of fresh, raw garlic every day before ovulation increases your chance to conceive – FYI on that one.)

2 cups of beef broth

1 can 6-ounce tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed (Dill weed helps regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and can help reduce cramps.)

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 bay leaf (In addition to many antioxidants in bay leaf, it contains bioactive compounds that improve insulin sensitivity, which is a huge help for PCOS patients. Bay leaf is also an anti-inflammatory spice!)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (Ground cumin is an anti-inflammatory spice.)

1/2 teaspoon thyme (Thyme suppress the COX-2 enzyme in our bodies, which is a huge culprit of inflammation and pain. Thyme also promotes fertility in both men and women.)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika (Paprika contains vitamin A,E, K and C. It’s also an anti-inflammatory super spice.)

Directions:

  • Place beets, potatoes, diced tomatoes, onions and garlic in slow cooker.
  • Whisk together beef broth, tomato paste, dried dill weed, dried parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, thyme, garlic powder and paprika.
  • Pour mixture over veggies in slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 1/2 hours or 4 hours on high.
  • Set heat to high, then stir in the shredded cabbage. Cover and continue cooking until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  • Serve and enjoy!

**PCOS DivaParenting.comPCOS.com**

 

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Diving Deeper - Genesis 1

Today I decided I wanted to really study the Bible deeply…..like word for word and really seeing what I can find in scripture when I dive deep, word for word. I have had a deep desire to do this for a while, but I haven’t wanted all of my Bible time or God time to be about “picking apart” word for word the Bible. So, this might be something I do frequently but it will be different from my peaceful God led time with Him. This will require being intentional about sitting down and truly studying scripture word for word.

I started from the very beginning with Genesis 1 and wanted to share my findings. One thing that I saw a couple of times was that on the first day, God immediately recognized the difference between light and darkness and immediately wanted it separated. I love that. Often times I forget that we are called to be separate. I like how Genesis immediately reminds me of this. I studied more and found that we are reminded of this again in 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore, Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” How many times do we forget this? When I think of something unclean, I think of something that can dirty my spirit. Whether it be a song I listen to, a joke I laugh at or a movie I watch, even the thoughts I think and words I say. This reminds me to be really mindful of what I allow into my spirit because the light in me needs to be separated from the darkness.

Something else that I noticed, on the third day God created the plants, and scripture says in Genesis 1:11, “Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant.” Automatically in scripture, we are taught about planting seeds. How many times do we hear about that the seeds we plant? This was literally a part of His creation and a part of His plan. We are to plant good seeds and plant seeds of hope and faith for Him and His will.

And lastly, I am reminded in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 1:27-28 that we are made in His image. Our souls were made in God’s image and He gave us dominion over the earth. He entrusts us to take care of what is His.

I always read Genesis and just read it as the beginning of the earth, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a reminder of who we are in Him and what we are to do in this world. We are to separate ourselves from darkness, plant good seeds for the purpose of a Godly harvest and take care of this earth for Him. Most importantly, Genesis is the creation of us in His image! I love it!

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month is a super special month for me.  This month is a month of not only spreading awareness of this tragedy but it’s also an opportunity for us to remind mommies that they are loved and cherished!

Pregnancy and infant loss affects more than just the woman but this loss affects the whole family!  When a woman experiences a pregnancy loss, they don’t lose “just a pregnancy” but they lose a child.  I have personally experienced multiple pregnancy losses and each one has been devastating.  I think about each child at different times and my heart aches for each of them.  My husband and I currently do not have a living child and sometimes that reality breaks my heart.

This type of loss is real.  If you know somebody that has experienced pregnancy or infant loss, please know that they lost their child.  They experienced a death in their family and that type of pain doesn’t go away over night!

Use this month as an opportunity to pray for the women and families in your life who have experienced this type of loss.  Reach out to them and remind them that you love them and that today, you remember their little angel.  When somebody loses a grandma or grandpa, we acknowledge that loss and comfort them.  We should offer that same support for a woman who has lost a pregnancy or a newborn.

I’m thankful for this month and I’m thankful that women are speaking up more when it comes to their broken hearts and are breaking the shame when it comes to pregnancy loss!!  My heart is with all of you women and families who have gone through this! I’m praying for you and I love you! You are more than a mother who lost your baby but you are a mother of courage and love!

National Grief Awareness Day

I’m so thankful Angie Cartwright founded National Grief Awareness Day in 2014.  This day is a day for us to be aware of the grief all around us.  Many are grieving and they go unnoticed.  If somebody passes away, we might hug them and tell them we are here for them but sadly life goes on for everybody.  We all go back to our days of busy work, busy families and events.  There is nothing wrong with that, that’s life.  That’s why I am thankful for a day of awareness for grief.

Be aware of the women and couples who struggle with infertility or have experienced pregnancy loss and long for a baby to fill those empty baby shoes we have stuffed in the back of our closet.

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Remember that we go through an invisible grief that some people just won’t understand. We grieve and we feel a loss that is so unique and so novel.  So, if you have a woman or a couple in your life who struggle from either of these, whether you understand it or not, make sure to reach out to them often and just love them.  Darin and I are so blessed with an amazing support system who does just this and they will never know how much their love means to us.

Today, if you have anybody in your life who is grieving, let today remind you of somebody else’s pain.  Send them encouraging words, a scripture or just simply reach out and say, “I love you.”  We don’t always want to talk about our grief or our pain but we do have those bad days where a sporadic text from a loved one can make a world of difference.

National Grief Awareness Day – It matters.

Amazin' Raisins

Amazin’ Raisins are ……. how do I put this….. Amazin’ Raisins are AMAZING! I know. I know. Not very original but what IS original are the flavors and taste of these raisins!

I wasn’t quire sure what to expect when I got this box of packaged fruit raisins in the mail……

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….but they were Gluten Free and healthy and looked delicious, so I was willing to give them a shot! And I’m SO glad I did!!!!!! They are addicting!

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 My favorite ones were the lemon and strawberry.  These also come in the flavors of:

  • Watermelon
  • Peach
  • Raspberry
  • Pineapple

Now these raisins are unique in that they really do taste like the fruit flavor they are packaged as.  I couldn’t believe the amazing flavor that came with each raisin.

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I decided to pair the strawberry flavor with strawberries and strawberry infused water.  It was a delicious afternoon snack and was an excellent fertility snack as well!  Raisins have Manganese, which is good for reproductive function.  Gluten Free is also a great attribute to have to for any food if you struggle with PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome).

If you would like to order your own Amazin’ Raisins, visit their web site at https://amazingfruitproducts.com/ or you can purchase them on Amazon.

 

 

 And as always…..hydrate hydrate hydrate!!!!

 

*This is a sponsored post.  All reviews and opinions are given honestly in exchange for product/services, however does not sway my review one way or another.  These opinions are my own.*

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Bible Break - Genesis 18:1-19:29

Bible Break With Devoted Women

In Genesis 18, the Lord makes a promise to Abraham that he and his wife, Sarah, would have a son and went on to promise that his children would become a great powerful nation and that all nations on earth would be blessed through them (Genesis 18:18).

This same night He told Abraham that He planned to destroy Sodom and Gomorah for their many sins. Abraham pleaded with God for Sodom in order to save Lot’s life. God completely punished the city but rescued Lot by sending two angels to escort him away.

“The consequence of sin is not a bad day or a bad mood but a dead soul. The sign of a dead soul is clear: poisoned lips and cursing mouths, feet that lead to violence and eyes that don’t see God.” Max Lucado

Let this story from our Bible be an encouraging lesson for us to be the light in the dark corner and to be the one who will stand up for righteousness.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. ‘Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Join our Devoted Women Facebook Group and connect with some amazing women of God while you grow deeper into His Word with us!  

He Holds My Head Up High

A few days ago I got my reminder in the male for my one year mammogram.  I can’t begin to tell you the different emotions that went through me as I read this letter.

August 15, 2016 was a HUGE day for me.  I had been having so many health issues due to an ovarian cyst that ruptured on July 5, 2016.  July 5th started my journey of different doctor’s offices and tests that would bring me to a place of hopelessness and depression.  During those weeks, my doctor found a mass on my left breast.  After this finding, she made an appointment for a sonogram on my breast.  The morning of the sonogram, my husband and I quietly got dressed.  I was filled with so much anxiety and fear.  I felt sick to my stomach and had so many questions going on in my head.  How would this effect our lives?  Would my husband be okay?  How would I tell my mom?  How could we afford cancer?  What would this mean for our dreams, family and finances?  So many different scenarios played on in my mind!  It was such a scary morning.  The drive there was quiet as well as we were both lost in our own thoughts and emotions.  My loving husband held my hand the whole time and kept gently telling me that we would be okay but I could see the fear in his eyes as well.  It was a morning of uncertainty but I knew he was right, we would be okay.  No matter what the outcome, we would be okay.

I remember feeling so much anxiety as we sat in the room waiting for results.  My stomach was in knots and my eyes kept filling with tears holding on for dear life.  My heart ached at the thought of that kind of heart wrenching illness to touch our lives.  When she finally came back to the room, I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.  I couldn’t believe my ears when she said, “We didn’t see anything.  We could see some scarring of where a cyst possibly was but thankfully, you are good!  We just need to keep an eye out from now on and will need to see you yearly.”  What a relief!  I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe again.

I think about that day today and it reminds me of how faithful God is.  Last year was a season of loss, pain, sickness and exhaustion.  August 15, 2016 was the day we started to slowly see things coming back together.  We started to see Him rebuild and restore our hearts and lives.  I felt closer to Him more than ever.  Last year was both the worst and greatest year of my life.  It was filled with valleys and hardships while at the same time filled with His love and glory.  I wouldn’t change any of it for anything!  It was a year of bringing a husband and wife closer than ever and a year that brought us to our knees in both surrender and praise!

Tomorrow I will call to set up my yearly exam and as I do this, I will be reminded of the day that God placed hope back into my life.

“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3

If you are going through a season of confusion, sadness or heartache please remember that He is with you.  Even if it feels like He isn’t, I promise you that He is!  He has you in the palm of His hand watching over you.  Be patient, hold on, lean into Him and allow Him to lift your head high.

It's All About Love

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the word "love" and the amazing beauty that eliminates from that one little word. 

LOVE.

Love is known to be a human's greatest need.  We all need it.  We all walk this earth with an inborn hunger to be loved and accepted.  We want to feel valued by the people around us.  We want to be valued for who we are and not just the outer appearance but valued for who we are deep down.  We want our path in life to be honored and the struggles that we have walked through in life be noticed and accepted.  None of us want the pressure of having to be perfect.  That type of love is not of God, yet we tend to walk around wanting perfection from the people we "love" the most.  

Perfection is just not a reality.  Sure it would be nice to have the perfect family, the perfect spouse, the perfect friends, the perfect job, the perfect children.....but it just isn't a reality.  If life were perfect then why would we need God?  Why would we need one another?  Imperfections and struggles are the very thing that bring us to our knees in worship and the very thing that humble us.  

God loves us so much that He gives us the freedom of choice.  Love is freedom.  There is no freedom when there are shackles of expectancy around it.  Who wants to be covered with criticism or nagging?  Love is freedom.  Love is peace.  Love is unconditional.  That is the type of love that God bestows upon our lives every single day, so why is it so beneath us as Christ followers to offer that type of love to others as well?  Isn't that what we are called to do?  To love others as He loves us?  

We each have a past and we each have made mistakes in life that we are not proud of.  That is why it is so important to have loving and supportive people in our lives.  We need others in our lives to help us with life's struggles.  To help us if something in our lives need to be corrected.  Love heals, repairs, and supports.  Love does not lecture, nag, or criticise.  Love prays.  Love accepts all.  Acceptance is loving a person for all they are and all they have been through in life, whether it be good or bad.  Love is accepting a person's history and a person's general makeup.  

People all to often are quick to reject another person.  Parents reject their children for not going to the right college or getting the right career or even marrying the "right" person.  Friends reject one another because somebody said the wrong thing or didn't wear the most stylish outfit.  Marriages are ending and families are being torn apart every day because a spouse is rejecting the other because they aren't perfect or because they allow stress to step in and take over.  Relationships end every single day because we simply do not know how to LOVE!  Love should always replace rejection and we should always hold back from being critical towards one another.  

At some point in life we all have a moment where we just need love.  We want somebody to accept us for who we are and all the imperfections we come with.  In order to give this type of love, we must first accept Christ's love for us and be able to love ourselves with this unconditional type of love.  I have learned that love is so precious and so fragile.  It is only from God that we can truly love others the RIGHT way.  The "love" word is thrown around every single day but to truly love somebody we must not only truly be willing to accept other people for who they are but we also must accept His love above all!  If you are reading this today, I pray that you take a moment to close your eyes and just feel His love surround you and know His mercy and love are in your soul!  It is a part of your makeup! 

Be Blessed Today All!!!!!

I Don't Do Unhealthy: I Trusted Too Easily

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." Psalm 118:8

This scripture used to always confuse me.  I didn't understand how a God who believed in community and relationship so much could warn us about trusting others.  It wasn't until I was in high school and I was brutally betrayed by a close friend that I knew what this scripture was telling me.  I put more trust in those relationships and in those girls never lying to me, rejecting me and making me feel accepted than I did in the One who will never lie to me, reject me and will always accept me.  

I realized as I got older that people will hurt us, no matter how amazing or loving the relationship is and that's why we have to take refuge in the Lord over man.  The amazing part about this scripture is that it's not meant for us to be cynical when it comes to trust but it's meant to 1) protect our hearts and 2) compel us to love others with a graceful heart.  If we have the Love of the Lord in us then it is easier for us to show grace to others.

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace," 

1 Peter 4:10

Even though I knew this, I wasn't practicing it.  I was putting all of my trust into my relationships, expecting them to live up to this high standard that I placed upon them.  I was feeling completely rejected when they would hurt me in any way, leaving me walking with pain and bitterness.  I was letting people in too soon and getting upset when I finally got to know them and realized they were not people I needed to be friends with or have in my close circle and when I would finally realize this, I would be angry with them and couldn't love them the way God has called me to love others.  

Going into new relationships wisely isn't to frustrate us but to protect us and the other person. We can't trust too easily or quickly.  We have to walk into new relationships guarding our heart and getting to know a person so that way we don't end up hurting them if we find that this isn't a person that should be in our close circle and vice versa.  None of us are perfect so we need to be protected as well if for some reason another person decides we don't belong in their close circle.  Views are different and sometimes beliefs can cause us to decide it's time to move on from a relationship.  We can eliminate all of this pain if we stop trusting too easily and jumping into relationships without getting to know somebody.  

Get to know the person's beliefs, watch how they treat others and most of all ask yourself if this is somebody you would trust with your children or husband.  If you aren't married, ask yourself if this is somebody who will help you to live a pure and peaceful single life.  Read scripture and find out what God wants in friends for us. Pray and ask God if He approves of the friendship blossoming and be obedient to His whisper.  

Trusting others isn't a bad thing but it is something we should do wisely.  So much pain could be eliminated in other's lives if we learned to do this.  I'm praying for you and praying for trust to be a precious and fragile part of who you are so that you don't give it away too easily! 

Stay tuned for "I Didn't Let Wisdom Guide"

I Don't Do Unhealthy: Rejection - Letting Go of the Chase

"Eliminate unhealthy relationships and focus on healthy ones. Honestly consider the value of each of your current relationships. Pray for the wisdom to determine which people in your life right now either are or aren’t worthy of your trust, time, and energy. Ask yourself who influences your life in positive ways, as well as who impacts it in negative ways. Let go of unhealthy relationships and focus only on people with whom you truly have safe and positive relationships. From now on, choose to invest only in relationships in which you can participate in a healthy flow of mutual commitment and contribution." - Crosswalk


 

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THIS 👐

I can't explain to you how much this solidified some of the things I had been praying about since I returned home from Texas. Something about my trip to Texas completely changed my heart, my spirit and my mind.  I feel peaceful and enlightened and have walked with a renewed hope.  God is SO AMAZING how He brings everything to the forefront and how He orchestrates it all to work out for our good.  He DOES MAKE BEAUTY OUT OF ASHES!!!! Thank You Jesus! 

With that being said, one of the things he has been working in my heart about is, my ability to let anybody and everybody into my close circle. I continue to chase the people who reject me, I trust too easily, I forgive without allowing wisdom to guide the relationship after forgiveness and I support anybody and everybody and their dreams without asking myself if I need to support at close range or step away and support from a distance (might not make sense written out but it does in my head haha).

The next few days, I will be elaborating on each of these components because I think it's important for us to share our experiences with one another.  If somebody has or is going through what I have, then maybe I can help and vice versa!  I want to share what God has moved in me over the past couple of weeks and why these things can be dangerous to us emotionally, physically and most of all spiritually!  

I ALLOW ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY INTO MY CLOSE CIRCLE

Why would we do this y'all?  There are so many scriptures that support us NOT doing this yet Christians tend to do this more often than not because it is ingrained in our minds that we are to love and be kind (which we should).  However, we can love and be kind without allowing people into our closest most inner thoughts.  We must be "choosy" about who we allow into those most precious places in the deepest most purest core of our inner being.  The enemy is lurking and is capable of using anybody to speak death into our dreams and into our lives and family's lives (even if it's not directly to us).  Yes, we are to love but I've said it time and time before, sometimes loving from a distance is a more precious and sacred love because it allows us to separate ourselves from the pain of rejection and hurt and allows us to give those emotions to God and move on.  Separation isn't always a bad thing and God sometimes needs that separation between two people in order to work.  

Even Jesus had an inner circle!

I was literally sharing my most inner thoughts, my precious heart, my complete trust and parts of my life that are sacred with people who have shown me time and time again that they don't really care about a relationship with me.  So, in essence, I was allowing myself to be rejected over and over again..... and over and over again....and over....(you get the picture).  Which brings me to my first lesson:

I Continued to Chase the People Who Rejected Me

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." Josh 15:18

Ugh, rejection.  One of the ugliest feelings in the world.  It's one that Jesus must have felt over and over again.  It hurts my heart to think about the pain he must of endured, all for me....all for us! What's amazing though is the beauty that God makes out of rejection.  

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,"

 1 Peter 2:4

"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." Psalm 118:22

For me, that beauty is that rejection has brought me into a deeper relationship with Him.  A relationship that's beauty is beyond any earthly friendship that I can ever imagine.  The beauty rejection has done for me is that it helped me to understand that not everybody is meant to be in my life or me in theirs......and THAT IS OK!  That is how it is supposed to be.  There are only a select few people that God wants in our deepest part of us and rejection allows Him to weed out the ones who are not supposed to be in there.  So, for the first time ever, I am SO thankful for REJECTION!!!!  I know it's so cliche' but it's so true, "Rejection is protection!"  So, at some point, we HAVE TO STOP chasing that in which He is trying to separate us from.  We have to STOP chasing the rejection.  How crazy is it that sometimes we CHASE the rejection?  Well, it stops today!  I hope you will join me! 

Every time I think about rejection, I think about the story of Leah and Rachel and what rejection did in their story.  Have you ever just felt so left out, so unchosen, so rejected?  I have.  Up until recently, I felt that day in and day out.  I can truly say that God has finally delivered me from the past rejections I have encountered.  I have found forgiveness, peace, love and the strength and courage to let go.  I had to let go of the hurt feelings and most of all I had to let go of the chase.   

Stay tuned for "I Trusted To Easily".....