Still Going Strong…Tabouli Anyone?

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Well, we are still hanging in there with the Eat Right 4 Your Type meal plan and thus far have continued to notice less bloating, weight loss, more energy (with the exception of the Lyme symptoms that plague my body with the changing weather) and a new outlook on our future and foods.  We have all noticed that certain foods can still make our mouths water and yet, we are not craving much more than the fresh veggies and fruits that our body needs.  We had a few weeks that we struggled with brilliant meal ideas, yet we made it through and this week has been a little better with the planning and food prep.

I would say that one of our all time favorites has been the meal on Monday night when my husband and I had the opportunity to prepare dinner together like we used to, pre-children.  It was a delightful evening filled with ideas, conversation and sharing of responsibility to prepare a meal that the kids didn’t critique and devoured leaving no leftovers.  (You could say boo hoo…it was that good!)

The recipe was taken from fellow blogger minimalist baker.com.  Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Tofu.  She did an amazing job coming up with the recipe.  I only made two changes to it, I used Brown Rice Spring Roll Papers and I used Bean Threads as the noodles.  I have avoided tofu for so long it is difficult to convince myself to use it in my recipes, however, this one was well worth it.  Especially when I found organic, fermented Tofu.  I encourage you to take a look and give them a try.

Tonights dinner  was another hit, making Buckwheat Tabouli served up in romaine leaves or in avocado halves.  The original recipe came from the back of the Eden Organic Buckwheat package, however, I changed some of the ingredient choices… not sure it’s still considered tabouli.

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2 C. cooked Eden Organic Buckwheat, cooled and fluffed

1 English cucumber, cut in half longwise, seeds scooped out and diced

3 medium green onions, chopped

5 artichoke hearts, chopped

1/8 C. chopped raisins, (I would have used currants, however I was out of them so I chopped up raisins)

1/8 C. pine nuts

1/2 C. fresh, chopped mint

1 C. fresh, chopped parsley

1 TBS. fresh minced garlic

1/8 C. pumpkin seeds, chopped

3/4 C. Olive Oil

Juice from 2 fresh lemons, plus another 1/2 to drizzle over before serving

2 tsp. sea salt

1 diced up ripe avocado, unless you serve it in avocado halves

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least an hour.  Fill Romain lettuce boats or Avocado halves and drizzle the juice of 1/2 a lemon on top prior to serving.

 

Feline Friendly Friday Recap….

Yes, I know, it’s not Friday.  I didn’t post FFF because we were out and about and honestly I forgot.  So, here is what I had prepared for your enjoyment.  🙂

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Just napping with the girls. American shorthair cat with the American Girl dolls….ironic!
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“What mom…I’m not harming them, I’m only sitting on one dolls legs and since she’s only a doll I’m sure she doesn’t feel it. Are you done taking pictures? Can I get back to business?”

Eat Right for Your Type Update Week – Two

Okay, so if you are following this fun journey with me (us…) then you already know that we are two weeks into eating according to our blood type.  It’s been quite a journey.  We have noticed that weight loss, although slow, is going to be accomplished.  We learned that we are sleeping better, have more energy during the day, are thinking clearly, and are noticing that the water weight that “weighed us down” (ha ha) is actually minimized.  And on a more personal note, “gut” reactions are improving.  If you know what I mean.  🙂

The winner of this past week was the wild caught Walleye.

Arugula greens on the bottom…

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Baked Walleye with approved seasoning…

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Topped with:  sauteed pinenuts, fresh garlic, 1 cup of parsley, pea shoots (chopped) and chopped green onion.  Then baked again for another 5 minutes.

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Served with:  Sauteed purple, yellow and orange carrots, celery, pineapple, and garlic, in grape seed oil and a dash of a sweet red wine and a pinch of sea salt.

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I topped it with some bean sprouts and served it up with a smile.  🙂

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The peppery bitterness of the arugula was a nice addition to the fish since we cannot use any pepper for seasoning.

Some of our other favorites this week were:

The buckwheat pancakes with freshly ground buckwheat, ricotta, 2 eggs, sea salt, 1/4 C. honey, 1/8 C. olive oil and baking powder.

1 egg Omelette with black beans, green onion, kale and goats cheese.

Salads topped with a variety of the following:  black beans, goats cheese, feta, cucumber, carrots, artichokes, pecans, almonds, avacados, and seeds.  For dressing we bought and have enjoyed some various flavored olive oils with some fresh herbs.

I also made some greek muffins out of almond flour.  They had feta, precooked turkey bacon and spinach.  These are a favorite in our home.  They actually look like and taste like muffins.  🙂

And second place went to the lettuce wraps that I made.

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Diced Chicken breasts (I used only two breasts in the whole meal for a family of 4), chopped Kale, diced into cubes butternut squash, onions and pineapple.  Placed in a leaf of Boston lettuce and topped with just a dollop of sour cream.    These were also very yummy.  I did season the mixture with fresh garlic, herbs, and a touch of coconut aminos.

So far so good.  We shopped yesterday according to our weekly meal plan and I look forward to sharing with you next weeks favorites.   (I already have to say that today’s homemade tortillas were a hit…until next week….)

 

 

 

 

 

Week One Update….Culinary Eating For Our Blood Type

Well, as we finish out one week of our dietary changes, we are noticing some interesting results:

  1.  Less bloating.
  2.  Less digestive discomfort, even without digestive enzymes.
  3.  Thinning of mucus in sinuses and less of it.
  4.  Less coughing and asthma.
  5.  Sound sleeping most nights with only waking up for bathroom breaks.

Several of us are feeling positive results after just 5 days (6 1/2  in my case).   Cooking seems to be quite easy, not much more than I’ve been doing.  Only exception to that is the meal planning.  No longer can I cook on the fly and make it up.  We’ve had a few disgusting disasters and a few really really yummy meals.

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Winner Meals (Above) :

Turkey Tofu Burgers with avocado, grilled pineapple, steamed zucchini with almonds and garlic. 

Black Bean soup with a side salad with grilled pineapple, cucumber, carrots and a homemade goats cheese, olive oil and avocado dressing.

Winner Meals (Not pictured):

GF Tofu Lasagna

Chocolate Chip cookies

Omelette w/ feta and green onion

The meals listed above were all super tasty and we are excited to have them again.  Prayerfully we will not have a rotation of foods.  🙂

Until next update, it is with great hope that you may feel inspired to give it a try and join us.  If so, drop me a line and we can all be a support to one another.

New Hope?

Science is defined as “knowledge attained through study or practice,”or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”  (New Collegiate Dictionary)

The scientific method is an ongoing process, which usually begins with observations about the natural world.

All that being said, in my opinion, any mom is a scientist.  Knowledge is gained from the moment of conception, especially if the blessing of morning sickness is present.   As the days and years pass by, a mom is not necessarily just a scientist, yet also an expert.  If paying close attention, she knows the habits of her spouse and children, what it takes for their survival and knows how to best help them succeed.   Observations are taken in, processed, and as time goes by, adjustments are made to fit the necessary needs of one or all individuals.

In science, nothing is constant.  Things continually change with new findings from new observations.  You could say that  a new perspective may have come to fruition, allowing for an observation and conclusion that had not before been attained. (You all know I truly enjoy perspective)

I remember when we were first married and I had purchased a book called Beyond Cellulite.  I remember reading in it things about the body and nutrition that I had not heard before.  Although that first book made an impression, I cannot remember all that I read, only that it was the start to my journey on health, nutrition and making proper food choices.  We’ve been married 22 years, so that book must be at least 21 years old at this point.  It’s been quite a learning process and just when I think I’ve nailed it for my family, I find out I’m still on the first step at the basement level.  This brings me to my post for today and a challenge I bring to all of my followers who struggle with health, illness, weight, depression, anxiety, allergies or who just have plain old too much time on their hands and like to try new things.

Let’s talk food….

When I was pregnant I read everything I could on carrying for my baby so that he/she would be healthy.  I nursed both of my children for a year, introduced foods as the pediatrician recommended and made sure not to introduce sweets, sodas, or anything of the like too early.  Over the years, we learned that our son, who was having allergy symptoms and night terrors, was allergic to many environmental allergens, pets, and foods.  His food allergies included tomatoes, wheat, and dairy.   I remember the doctor asking which we wanted to avoid first and my response..”All“!

Amazingly, after only one month of complete avoidance of all three food allergens, he was a calmer child, his intestinal discomfort was nearly gone and for the first time since infancy he was not as congested.  It was not as easy as it is today, gluten free foods were bland, hard to find, unaccepted and misunderstood.   He was teased in school over his lunches and we as parents were criticized by many that we were doing wrong by our son by not letting him eat whatever he wanted.   It was difficult for all of us, yet we understood that health issues at an early age could become more severe with serious consequences to follow if we didn’t manage it in a timely fashion.

Fast forward 14 years later and we come to where we are today.  We eat all organic, eat gluten free, low carbs, low grains, very few potatoes, organic grass fed beef from 1/2 a cow in our freezer, drink raw milk and eat raw cheeses, free range organic chicken and turkey, free range organic eggs daily, soda only on holidays or special occasions, very little sugar (especially since I’m a failure at making cookies and GF are too expensive for a daily dessert or treat)…you get the point.  We avoid, MSG, HFCS, the dirty dozen, all gluten, processed meats, cereals etc.  Yet, at the same time all four of us have been diagnosed as celiac…yes by a doctor and yes through testing.  (A common question I get quite often.)  Three of us are hypothyroid, we are all on the obese scale, I have Lyme disease, and three of us have adrenal issues.  As many have said, “Why would I eat all organic, it’s too expensive and hard to find.  I don’t have time to cook all day like you do.  Plus, what benefit have you seen?  After all, you guys are always ill and I’m thin and healthy.”  (Okay, I exaggerated that last part a little, after all, they let us know how we always have issues, they just don’t tell us we are fat!)

I myself have been told over the years that my priorities are not in order and that I could be thin again if I would just quit spending so much time at church or in bible studies and get myself in the gym.  I’ve been told that I just don’t do enough to get my body moving.  (I so wish sometimes that those people could be inside my body when I come inside after a 4 mile walk and collapse from adrenal shut down, and then, because of my Lyme, I cannot move because every muscle and joint has stiffened up due to too much activity.)  I know, sounds like I’m complaining doesn’t it.  Yes, fetch me some cheese to go along with the whine.  🙂

I just need to explain why my journey has not been an easy one and why I continue with every cell of my being to learn as much as I can about nutrition, foods and health.  I do not take it lightly.  I do hours of research, reading and learning.  What started 21 years ago, has only continued and hopefully  will continue until I no longer find the need to have the information.  This brings me to….

My old discovery made new.

I bought a book over 10 years ago.  I do not know when or why I bought it, yet I know I unpacked it at this house so I’ve had it at least 10+ years.  I remember reading most of it and putting it on the book shelf and honestly I don’t think it went any further than that.  I remember almost taking it to goodwill a few years ago as I thought it was likely inaccurate and just another silly “diet” plan.

Well, I have to admit that I was wrong and I have since pulled that book off of the shelf, dusted it off and am taking a  serious look at the subject, content, theory and finding.   You could, if you were reading this closely, come to the conclusion that I’m just desperate and looking for anything to help our family.  In fact, if I didn’t know myself, I would say that too.  I have however, come to the conclusion that there is something to this book and that God’s timing for me to understand the content of this book is now, after the journey of learning through everything else that I have.  There was a process of observation that needed to take place before I could understand and accept the knowledge before me in this book.

Let me explain a little further.  In our journey over the last 5 years the kids and I have gone through food intolerance testing, only to learn that foods that were on the avoid list were things that caused inflammation, and illness.   We learned about foods that were in our daily diet and our bodies response to them.  We had several lists of foods that were to be avoided for several months up to a year.  After that we could slowly introduce them back in.  Knowing that we do all organic and the test is done on conventional foods, I had a difficult time accepting that everything on it was accurate.   We did what we were told and avoided accordingly, knowing that some may not be as accurate because of how we already ate.  What we did learn however, was that our son’s unknown fevers and aches that lasted 12-18 hours were due to conventional beef, and that my intestinal track was not dancing with joy after rice intake.  We saw that some foods the kids or I did not enjoy were on the avoid list.

In November/December our 19 year old son decided that he was going completely raw.  My husband and I were concerned over this concept (even thought I own a book of recipes on raw foods) because we thought he was not taking in enough protein etc. for his age.  We did notice however, that his attitude was better, he played his bagpipes almost flawlessly, he had more energy and he was motivated.  He also lost weight.  During the holidays and through our move from our cottage things got crazy around our home and he found it difficult to resume this lifestyle.  He went back to eating as we were.  High protein, red meats, fruits, vegetables, lots of eggs, etc.  He complained that he did not feel as well and was not functioning as well as he did on the raw diet.  His proclamation last weekend that he was going back to raw grabbed my attention.  My husband and I decided we needed to understand what was going on with his body and the foods that he was consuming.  I woke up Saturday morning remembering the book I had purchased all those years ago and wondered how far back in the book shelf it would be.  Ironically it was right in the front.  I pulled it out and began reading.

At this point your asking yourself if I’m ever going to reveal the book name.  Yes I will, with one promise from you dear reader, please continue reading before you think I’m off my rocker.  🙂  It’s called Eat Right 4 Your Type.  It’s a book regarding one’s blood type and the foods that affect how your body responds to foods based on that type.  I am not kidding you that I was stunned what I was finding.  Many of the foods that were on our food intolerance avoid list (which was not a cheap test to have done, not to mention that 3 of us had it) was on the avoid list in this book for our blood type.   I also noticed that the foods that I did not like and avoided in my younger years (when I was a size 4 and healthy) were on the avoid list.   The foods that our kids do not like or that do not make them feel good were on the avoid list.  Everything we eat daily is on the avoid list.  The things we were allowed to eat were  the things we avoided on all of the meal plans we had tried previously.

Just a little more history….

Prior to 9 years ago (which is when we moved to our current home) we were thinner and healthier.  We were gluten free, dairy free, and ate limited red meats.  Well, shortly after our move here,  we were introduced to raw milk and our son who had been dairy free since the age of 5 could drink it without any issues so we began introducing dairy back into our diet.  We also found that we could order a 1/4 or 1/2 a cow.  The freezer was stocked, we made weekly or biweekly trips for raw milk, we were the healthiest eaters around.  We learned about fermentation, gardening, raising chickens, bee keeping, sprouting grains, seeds and nuts.  Our diets have been so different than mainstream society that our dinner invitations are limited out of the fear for cooking for us.  🙂  With all of this, how in the world could we be obese and ill?  Could this book be the key we were looking for?  Could we have finally found the answers that we were looking for?

Back on track.

Let me just tell you, nothing happens just because.  There are no coincidences.  God leads us and gives us what we need when he wants us to have it.  In most cases, people don’t believe just because it makes sense, they have to be convinced.  In my case, as an “expert mom in training” and as a “home scientist” I like to consider theories or hypotheses, make observations and conclude.  My Lyme disease is no different.  I have had to see the science behind the research and choose the options for my care that through observation were making a difference.  I currently have minimal symptoms and when my friends peak their ugly heads to remind me they are still a part of me, I work with what protocols I have observed work for me.  Sometimes they need tweaking and sometimes changes have to be made.  Just as changes need to be made for our family and our food choices.

One month… that’s it… one month should give us a glimpse into whether or not this book is accurate or just another lost hope for healing and wellness.  So, we started officially Monday, with several family and friends joining in as support.    For the kids and I, we are supposed to avoid all red meats and eat minimally fish and chicken.  We can eat lots of vegetables, yet not the night shades.  (Hmmmm…. remember our son could not eat tomatoes?)  We have to limit dairy to fermented choices, kefir and yogurt with limited goats cheese and ricotta second.   We are to avoid all gluten, which we already did…hmmmm….is this why?  We are to add back in soy products.  (Hmmmm…. not a fan of this, yet willing to add in Tofu, Tempeh and Miso only if it’s organic.)  We can eat GF grains?  What about the protein or paleo diets?  Nope, causes inflammation and weight gain if we do.  Is this why I still have inflammation and the doctors cannot figure out why?  Not to mention the water retention that has them stumped?   No eggs (which we eat daily), olives or pickles…. Again, you get the idea.

In talking with others, it’s interesting to hear that for their blood type, they should be avoiding certain foods which they already know cause them grief.  Or, they lose weight based on a specific diet plan that fits with their blood type food lists.  You could call this a second observation.

Have we observed any differences in just a few days of eating for our blood type?  Yes.  Bloating and water retention is already lessening.    Feeling detox affects through exhaustion.  Sleeping through the night again.  Hmmm….It is with great hope that this is the final stage of the healing of our bodies and that we will once again look like the pillars of health so that others will want to follow in the right path to nutrition, healing and wellness.

If you will join us, please drop me a note and let me know. We can support one another during this one month trial and exchange our observations so that perhaps our conclusions can be considered by the trained “experts” as “scientific”.  🙂

To be continued…..

The Value Of A Christmas Gift

The day has arrived.  The gifts are strategically placed under the tree.  The children arise with excitement while breakfast warms in the oven.

Quickly, the morning passes by.  The mimosa’s were sipped and the table was cleared while all who enjoyed sat with full stomachs relaxing to sounds of Christmas music and small talk.  It seems as though the day has brought joy and cheer.   Yet, there is a longing in the heart for more.  Something that cannot be purchased in a store.  Something that cannot be planned.  Something greater than anyone can explain or put a monetary amount to.  The salvation of a lost soul.

Given this day, the awaited Messiah was presented to  a fallen  humanity.  The birth of a child that will save sinners from death.  The knowledge of Him and His saving grace is by itself is the greatest gift given on this Christmas day.  That we recognize the importance of God’s gracious gift and His unconditional love makes all the fuss of the celebration seem insignificant.  The true blessing and true gift of immeasurable splendor…Our Lord Jesus Christ!

From our family to yours, we wish all a Merry Christmas.

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Hoping that everyone will take a moment to read this blog post.  It’s a wonderful thought provoking post.

https://chantrynotes.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/what-if-jesus-never-came/

A Wasted Verb

Prairie Dog:  "Guess I should have quickly eaten it so that the bird wouldn't have had the opportunity to snatch it." Prairie Dog:  "Thank you for sharing your lunch with me.  I've been waiting for someone as nice as you to share."
Prairie Dog: “Guess I should have quickly eaten it so that the bird wouldn’t have had the opportunity to snatch it.”
Prairie Dog: “Thank you for sharing your lunch with me. I’ve been waiting for someone as nice as you to share.”

Regret: verb-feel sad, repentant, disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).

How many times in our lives do we use the word regret?  Why?

Not to long ago I had a learning opportunity to speak with my children about that word.  We discussed that regret should not be a word that they use in their lives.  It’s one of those words that is like the word Hate.  We should never hate anything.  We may dislike something, yet we don’t hate something.  Regret is much like that.  It’s another strong verb used to describe something that is unrealistic.  You’re likely asking me what I mean by that.

Well, I have said for years that using the word regret, only makes one then realize that if they regret one thing, they have to regret a whole lot of things.  If you regret a decision you made that had disastrous consequences, then you have to regret a lot more things that went along with that decision and you also have to regret the lessons learned from those decisions.  It’s like a gerbil wheel that keeps on spinning and never stops.

If you regret marrying someone, then you would also have to regret having children as well as those years spent with that family,  likely calling them wasted.  If you claim to regret that you didn’t get a higher education, then you also have to regret the path you then chose to take, even if it was a necessary decision to make you realize you needed that higher education.  What about a decision made regarding health?   Goodness knows that doctors, family and friends can all make us feel guilty about how we eat or how we take care of ourselves.   Yet, when the time comes that our eyes are opened to better ways, if we regret the earlier path we would not be able to see how far we’ve come in progressing to a better place.  Or even when it comes to some pretty serious medical decisions.  Should chemo be the best option?  Should alternative medicine be the best?  What about those mammograms and preventative screenings?  If and or when something changes with our health and we become seriously ill, what is the first thing many people say?  “I regret not doing that….”   Like I said, a strong verb that can only bring about more sadness than necessary.  A word that contains a whole lot of disappointment and many times can be tied in with a whole lot of guilt.

I remember some years back when my mom and I had discussions regarding some decisions I had personally made in my own life.  I was young enough to be under the roof of my parents yet old enough to be considered an adult.  My mom said she had regretted allowing me to do this or that and that she felt guilty over not guiding me in a different direction.  I remember thinking about that and also saying that I didn’t regret it and that she shouldn’t either.  That the decisions I made, no matter the outcome, were learning lessons in my own life.  I needed to go through those things in order to become the woman I am today.  If I had not learned through that school of hard knox, I’m not sure who I would be now nor where I would be.  I’m not saying that it’s not sad that I made some wrong decisions, yet those wrong decisions led to an understanding about how I needed to grow.  They helped me to see who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.

I’ve used a lot of “I’s” in that last paragraph, of which is normal when speaking of one’s self.  However, it is with great joy that one of those lessons learned was that “I” was not in control of any of it.  Something greater was awakening within me of which I was not even aware until a few years later.   A generic definition of sanctification is “the state of proper functioning”.  To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. (BibleStudytool.com)   When God opened my eyes and began to show me who He is, I also began to realize that I could not have gotten to a place of peace and understanding in Him until I had gone through the things that most people want to call “regret”.

There are so many blessings that have come out of my personal walk on this journey in this life.  All of which I can honestly say came from “lessons”, not regret.

You may be asking yourself where in the world am I going with this and why blog about this.  Well, to explain, the last week I’ve intermittently been listening to a documentary on the truth about cancer.  I have watched many in heartache over their own “regret” in lack of knowledge.  It has made me consider how many people go through their days regretting how they live, what they say and what decisions they make.  Sorrow overtakes them and they forget that each decision or action or word spoken that makes them have that regret has actually led them to a place of recognition.  So I felt that I needed to share with others that rather than letting sorrow or disappointment over take you and your future, pray about what you have learned and ask for guidance in going forward.

Don’t waste your energy and time in regret or spend time in bitterness over disappointment, be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow.   Perhaps, this recognition of the past is the beginning of a new journey going forward.  Perhaps also, a door has been opened to see something new and to learn new tools in dealing with situations going forth.

Isaiah 35

The Ransomed Shall Return

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the LORD,
the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.a
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 31:10-31

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