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10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

A lot of people (including me) like to refer to the commercialized Valentine's Day as, "Singles Awareness Day (SAD)". Of course, society has emphasized romantic relationships on February 14 every year, but who says only those in romantic relationships are the only ones who love? I know many people who are single, yet love with great fierceness. Part of this is that they ultimately love the Lord, and because of that love in them, it flows out to everyone. 

I recently came across some notes I had scratched on the topic, and I thought I would share them today in honor of Valentine's Day. It's hard to love others sometimes, but as we grow and become more like Jesus, it becomes natural. Here is some of the ways the Bible tells us to love.

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

1. Listen without Interrupting

 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to[
a] the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool's lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right, 
    until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (
Proverbs 18, ESV)

2. Speak without Accusing

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (James 1:19, ESV)

3. Answer without Arguing

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (
Proverbs 15:18, ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)


4. Promise without Forgetting

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (
Proverbs 13:12, ESV)

5. Trust without Wavering

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4: 18, ESV)

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain. (
Proverbs 31:11, ESV)

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

6. Forgive without Punishing

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13, ESV)

7. Give without Sparing

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
   is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death (
Proverbs 21:6, ESV)

8. Share without Pretending

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9, ESV)

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15, ESV)

9. Enjoy without Complaining

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14, ESV)

10. Pray without Ceasing

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9, ESV)

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)

 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

Of course, you should love others every day, not just Valentine's Day, but today is a great day to start!


 

15 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Lately, I've been adding a gratitude spread to my bullet journal, and even though some days I really have to think hard about what I might be grateful for in a day, it has really helped me be more thankful. There are so many blessings, even when things seem like they're going every which way but well. 

I love how during the last two months of the year, there is quite a bit of emphasis on being thankful and doing good for others, but how awesome if every day of the year were like that? This year, I thought I might just share fifteen of my personal favourite verses on thanksgiving. Number ten is right up there, so stay till at least then ;-) 

15 Bible Verses for Thanksgiving | www.maplealps.com

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, He is God!
   It is He who made us, and we are His;
   we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
   and His courts with praise!
   Give thanks to Him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
   His steadfast love endures forever,
   and His faithfulness to all generations. (
Psalm 100, ESV)

 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17, ESV)

 

I will praise the name of God with a song;
   I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. (
Psalm 69:30, ESV)

 

Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints,
   and give thanks to His holy name (
Psalm 30:4, ESV)

 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)

 

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:18-20, ESV)

 

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
   for His steadfast love endures forever. (
Psalm 136:26, ESV)

 

Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving,
   and the voices of those who celebrate.
I will multiply them, and they shall not be few;
   I will make them honored, and they shall not be small. (
Jeremiah 30:19, ESV)

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.(Colossians 3:16, ESV)

 

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57,ESV)

 

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:10-15,ESV)

 

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13, ESV)

 

Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving;
   let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! (
Psalm 95:2, ESV)

 

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name;
   make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
   tell of all His wondrous works! (
Psalm 105:1-2, ESV)

 

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14, ESV)


 


What are some of your favourite verses about gratitude and giving thanks?


 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps11 Comments

With Valentine’s Day over and boxed heart candy at 75% off, I have caught myself giving a little sigh. You see, I just love Valentine’s Day (VD). It’s something about the pink and hearts everywhere that makes it impossible for me to be mad at anyone, reminds me of how much I am loved (and love!) and allows me to embrace my inner “girl.” Though I’ve never done anything extra special on February 14, I have always thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere it provides.

When my husband and I first started dating, he made some remark about every day being Valentine’s Day with him. While he was saying it somewhat lightly, there was definitely truth to his statement. Why should a day (regardless of the history and background of it) predominantly celebrating love, be the only day we think about sharing with those we care about how much we love them? It just doesn’t seem right.

If you, like me, are feeling a little sad that the holiday has passed us by already, you can hold your chin up a little higher. Some of my blogging friends have helped me out with a fun project to share with all of you some great ideas to keep the VD feelings all year long!
 

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day + Free Printable | www.maplealps.com

We can make every day "Valentine's Day" by performing little acts of kindness for the people around us that we love: our spouses, friends, neighbours, and families. We can serve them, meet their needs, and show them just how much we love them!
- Abbey of Small Town Soul

We can make every day Valentine's Day by remembering why we love in the first place and being intentional! I love Jim Elliot's quote - "Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." So in daily life, whether I'm spending time with someone or doing something, I strive to focus on them (instead of checking my phone, wondering what to say in response, going for efficiency over caring) and love them to the best of my ability, depending on God's grace to help me best love and serve them/perform the task at hand!
- Jessica of Duly Noted Ink

Have a quiet moment together like seeing the sunrise or sunset, viewing the ocean, sitting on a hill and embracing earth's natural beauty together or even sitting in front of a fireplace with some hot chocolate. Just being around each other is something wonderful.
- Martika of Coffee Time With Him

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

When our girls were 4 and 6 we started a new tradition for Valentine's Day. I set out 4 boxes, one for each family member. I had paper, pens, pink and white doilies, and lots of stickers available. Each person got to write out qualities they liked in each family member, things they appreciated, and favourite memories. It was to be a secret. On Valentine's we took turns reading them out loud. Because of their ages, they needed lots of coaching, memory jogging, and help writing/typing. They are 27 and 25 and we still do this, though sometimes it's through cards or texts throughout the day. It's really a skill I wanted to encourage--to find things we love about each other and what makes the other person feel loved.
- Terri from Terri Fullerton

I make every day Valentines Day by learning my hubby's love language and making sure I'm using it!
-Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

I'm such a weirdo but, I don't care much about Valentine's Day. It's sorta man-made and regimented. For years, I've told my husband to love me throughout the year and he can just go "light" on Valentine's Day. My love language is gifts so he sends flowers often, buys me things, surprises me with gifts all year. So I kinda feel like every day is Valentine's Day. Should he ever slack, then I might put more emphasis on that one day in February. 
- Teri of Godsy Girl

It's not something I do all the time, but every now and then I will make dinner for my kids (before an early bedtime) and then make dinner for my husband and myself after the kids go to bed. I'm also known for making treats and snacks for after the kids go to bed. Truffles anyone?
- Erin from Momma's Living Room

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

By writing little "love notes" filled with words of appreciation for our loved ones on a regular basis. You never know how much a kind note might mean to someone.
- Rachel from The Random Writings

We need to know how we are loved. I like to leave notes for my family that tell them I love you because . . . . your are brave, kind, considerate etc and then tell them how I saw that in them.
- Kim from Day to Day Adventures

My boyfriend texts me every morning "Good Morning Beautiful!" which puts a smile on my face and starts my day off right. 
- Pamela from Bible Geek Lifestyle

We can make every day Valentine's Day by constantly pushing ourselves to serve our spouse. Valentine's Day is great because we all seem to want to make our significant other happier. What if they had a hard day at work and it wasn't Valentine's Day? The probably need our love and support more at that time.
- Courtney from Happy Little Shopping Secret

I would say to make everyday Valentine's day we could ask ourselves, "How can I make today a little bit brighter or easier for my spouse?" It could be by doing something simple or leaving them a little note or just taking an extra minute to tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
- Kaitlyn from Lily and Mama

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

We can make every day Valentine's day by having quick morning cuddles before starting the day! I love resting on my husband's chest and kissing him on the cheek with his arm around me! It's sweet and simple. Just a little way to say "I just woke up, and you're on my mind!"
- Elizabeth  from Wanderlust + Heart

From a relationship standpoint, I think making a conscious effort to do something nice for or compliment someone you care about can make each day Valentine's Day for you and that other person. From a personal standpoint, taking a few minutes each day to reflect on your life and give yourself a nice little pamper session, pep talk, or general treat can make each day Valentine's Day for you.
- Jessi from Roses in Ink

It might seem over simple ... But ... To make every day like Valentines, touch your spouse. A loving caress - a neck rub, a hand placed gently on a forearm, "footsie" under the table, a kiss on the cheek, etc. As husband and wife, we can be together all day and never touch. It happens all too easily - especially if we have children to nurture.
- Lori from Encourage Your Spouse

Meet your spouse's love language
- Audrey of Life with Little People

 

How would you make every day Valentine's Day? Let me know in the comments below!


 
 

Jumping into the Holiday Mood

HolidaysAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.

Dale Evans

When was the last time you took a moment, a break from your life and just… enjoyed? Enjoyed the world around you, the love that’s virtually everywhere, the beauty of what’s visible to the naked eye and beyond it? Exactly. Why have we collectively given up on all the joys around us and decided it’s way more important to hand in that report by Friday than listen to our kids jibber jabber about their latest cartoon obsession or help out with the Christmas decorations? Ah, yes, we’ve grown old(er) and, for some reason, that meant willingly giving up joy. Hey, maybe we don’t actually have to go through with it? What if, all it takes to bring joy, excitement and thrill back into our lives is to decide we will? Yes, let’s do it!

This Christmas, no matter how (seemingly) disinterested you seem to be, decide to make the best of it and jump into the Christmas spirit rapidly! After all, at Christmas, everything somehow gets softer and more beautiful. It’s like a magic is waved over this world and everything, suddenly, becomes better, lighter and happier.

Here, a simple guide that will help you get into the holiday mood and enjoy this season with your loved ones:

Go DIY on decorations

Buying decorations is super practical but making them is what’s adding to the wonderful Christmas spirit. Just imagine yourself and the kids sitting together, doing arts and crafts, coming up with the craziest shapes and forms for your tree and the entire house… doesn’t it sound wonderful? Apart from making unique decorations, you’ll get to spend time with your little ones, enjoy their gorgeous faces and brilliant minds, and have a chance to reconnect. These are the memories your kids will cherish forever.

Speaking of DIY, you can also go crazy on the Christmas outfits – make it a family project for everyone to design and sew (obviously, you’ll help out) their outfit, and wear it on Christmas day. Fun!

Bring on the scents

This holiday season, try to introduce some wonderful scents into your home, scents that will give power to the wonderful spirit of Christmas – think maple tree and cinnamon, pine tree and vanilla, apple and cypress, coconut and vanilla, peaches and honey, etc. These days, scented candles, air purifiers and scented air fresheners can do wonders for a room! While air purifiers will clean out the air you breathe, scented elements will give the space just the touch of smell you are hoping to get. How’s that for an instant Christmas thrill!

Cook, bake, eat

Remember when you were a child and you’d wake up to the scent of your grandma’s cinnamon pie? Wasn’t that, just, phenomenal? Well, let your kids make the same memories!

Come up with some super tasty Christmas recipes you’ll make for the family or find those treats that are not that hard to make and include your little ones into the process! You can make gingerbread together, cookies for the rest of the family (the more shapes the better), you can even let them take their pick and decide on what’s going to be the main delish… as long as you’re all included, as that’s what  Christmas is all about.

Watch a holiday movie

A Christmas movie night is a must! Make a list of all the movies your kids love to watch and gather together for a movie night. Get some popcorn and blankets, let the Christmas lights charm you into loosening up and enjoy this precious time.

It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, especially for moms (after all, it is mostly us who are doing all the work). But, as the very observant Caroline Kennedy put it “when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul”.

 

 


This was a guest post by Claire Hastings, who is a wanderer and a writer. She has written as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.

Connect with Claire here:
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If you are interested in guest posting, check out the guest posting guidelines for Maple Alps, here. 

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps14 Comments

Those who know me well, know that I love pumpkin pie. In the fall, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never get tired of it. I've always loved eating it, but it was only a few years ago I started making pumpkin pies with my aunt. She has a delicious recipe and so we'd make it all the time from scratch. When I say "from scratch," I really do mean, we buy a pumpkin and we buy some flour and by the end of the day, it's a pie. I wish I could grow the pumpkins and the wheat, but this girl can't be all the kinds of awesome. 

A while back, I saw the first pie pumpkins of the season in the store, and I knew it was time. I snatched that pumpkin up so fast and ran home. The result was the pie I will be sharing with you all today!

This post contains affiliate links

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie | www.maplealps.com

To be clear, I’m not one of those people who eat pumpkin pie all year round - though my husband definitely would love that (he likes it even more than me!). However, I do look forward to pumpkin season every year. It makes Fall, well, Fall.

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie | www.maplealps.com

I recommend you use your own puree for this recipe - and pretty much every other pumpkin recipe you bake this season. It adds a richness and sense of accomplishment that opening a can doesn't quite have!

The puree is really simple to make: just cut open and clean your pumpkin, drizzle some olive oil on it and bake in the oven till tender. Then scoop it all out into the food processor and process until very smooth.

I usually freeze the extra puree so that I can have all sorts of pumpkin snacks (not to mention a bonus pumpkin pie sometime in the year!) later.

The best part about this pie is that it comes together quickly, once all the more tedious ingredients (the puree and the crust) are prepared. I didn’t include a pie crust recipe, but they are easy to find. For a non-traditional crust, you could use the nutty crust that I use for my chocolate dream pie!

For the non-nut lovers, there is a nut-free version of this recipe too! It takes a little longer to get firm, but is still delicious!

The Best Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie | Maple Alps
Makes 1 pie

2 C homemade pumpkin puree
¼ C maple syrup (or more depending if you want it sweeter)
¼ C brown sugar
⅓ C almond milk
1-2 TBSP Arrowroot powder
¼ tsp each: cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg (optional: cloves)
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup cashews (soak for 10 min in boiling water)
1 recipe for pie crust - unbaked

1) Make pumpkin puree by cutting open and cleaning your pumpkin. Drizzle some olive oil on it and bake in the oven till tender. Remove from oven, scoop out the flesh into the food processor, and process until very smooth.
2) Prep pie crust
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
4) Mix soaked cashews, almond milk, pumpkin puree and arrowroot powder in blender and blend until there are no cashew pieces left.
5) Transfer to a bowl and mix rest of ingredients in well.
6) Put filling into prepped pie crust and bake for 55-60 minutes


 

How do you like your pumpkin pie? I like mine cold and with some coconut whipped cream!