Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone! I was so blessed to take a quick trip to see my daughter in the UK and then onto the US to visit my family during the Chinese New Year holiday. The time I spent with my family was invaluable. I enjoyed early morning coffee and tea time, festive cocktail hours by the fire, lavish meals and meaningful conversation with friends and family. I had such a good time.
The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday for the Chinese. It begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar which is different than Christian calendar. Before the celebration, people will completely clean their house and display traditional new year decorations, many of which are red and gold. Chinese New Year is the time for family reunions which are the most important part of the celebrations. People will visit relatives and friends, do some shopping, watch traditional Chinese shows, launch fireworks, give out Laisee packets and plan for the coming year. Food is always part of these gatherings. Some favorites are whole roast pig, Turnip Cake called Law Bak Go, whole steamed fish, noodles, and Tang Yuan for dessert which are glutinous rice flour balls stuffed with red bean paste, boiled and then served with a sweet ginger syrup soup.
I am back in Hong Kong now adjusting to the time change and the reality that my heart belongs in the US. Expat life has it perks but it does come at a cost after 20 years away from family during special holidays and milestone occasions. When we struggle with our current situation, be it health, relational or locational, it can be very draining. Loss of sleep, anger, depression, fear and sadness can take over and before you know it you may feel so helpless in your situation that choosing to stay inside for longer periods becomes the norm instead of getting out and connecting. Right now, I would rather count the days until my next home visit instead of staying active in my community. I realize this is the wrong approach so I am trying this CARE method to get me through my negative feelings.
Connect Enjoy time with friends and talk about how you are feeling. I prayed this morning with a friend. The time spent talking and praying with her was emotionally invaluable.
Ask Don’t be afraid to let someone know you are struggling with a situation and ask for help. Ask your friends to pray for you.
Reconcile Now is a perfect time to let go of any anger you have towards someone. Forgive and reconcile your feelings. This is SO SO freeing!
Embrace Take hold of your situation and ask GOD to hold your hand through this season. Relying on GOD and the Holy Spirit provide instant peace for my soul.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand–Isaiah 41:10
Morning Glory Muffins
These muffins are good and good for you! No oil or butter make them a great breakfast or mid afternoon treat:)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peeled and grated carrots
1/2 large green apple, chopped finely
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts (I used almonds)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 large eggs (yeah I know…I cut this recipe in half. It actually wasn’t that hard to halve an egg.)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I love Fage brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 375F and prepare mini muffin tin with non stick spray
- In a small bowl cover golden raisins with hot water and set aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, add dry ingredients flour through salt and mix together
- To that bowl add the carrots, apple, coconut, and nuts
- In a large bowl beat eggs, yogurt, vanilla and orange juice
- Combine flour mixture into egg mixture and stir until combined. Add drained raisins and give it one more stir.
- Using spoonfuls put batter into prepared mini muffin pan until almost full and bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins are puffed and rounded on top and tooth pick is clean when inserted.
Makes 24 mini muffins