Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~~ "Abba, My Father"

Abba my Father, thank You for giving me life,
            For making me Your child, filling every need.
Your joy is my strength, and You are my song in the night.
            Come fill me up now with Your love and peace.

Abba my Father, thank You for sending Your Son.
            Jesus paid the price for a debt I could not pay.
Your awesome Love for me is more than enough,
            Showing me Your mercy, giving me Your grace.

Abba my Father, Your Holy Spirit sets my heart on fire.
            Breathe upon me now like a mighty rushing wind.
Being filled with more of You is my heart’s one desire.
            You are my Comforter, Savior, and my closest Friend.
Abba my Father, I will forever praise You,
            I come to You now on bended knee.
I worship You now in Spirit and Truth.
            You are altogether lovely, so beautiful You are to me.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence & Happy Father's Day!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ "Honey Almond Cake"

Fresh honey, almond flavoring, applesauce and pecans make for a scrumptious combination in this moist, melt-in-your-mouth cake!


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey (I used light colored clover honey)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, slightly heated in microwave
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. hot water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.
  • Cream butter and honey until well blended in mixing bowl.
  • Add heated applesauce along with almond flavoring and mix well.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the honey and applesauce mixture.
  • Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and mix thoroughly and quickly.
  • Add to mixture inside bowl.
  • Blend well.
  • Pour batter into baking pan.
  • Bake for 38 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Yields 10-12 servings.

  • Serve warm or cold.
  • Delicious with ice cream or whipping cream.
  • Iced tea or warm tea enhances the honey flavor of the cake.
  • Iced or cold coffee is a nice beverage to serve with cake

Happy Baking & Enjoy!

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Monday, May 29, 2017

ICAN Assists Idaho Author, Elaine Oostra

Five years ago, if you would have told me I would publish two books and work on a third one, I would seriously think you were hallucinating.  Even though I had thought of writing, I saw too many obstacles, and I felt inadequate. My grammar and spelling are terrible! I did not know a thing about how to even start to write a book, let alone publish it. There was this yearning in me to tell my story. I had different parts of it written down, so I started to put it together. Now, what do I do?  I prayed!  

A friend told me about a writers group called ICAN. Two times a year they have writing conferences where you can submit 1500 words and have it critiqued, and you may win a prize for the category in which you submitted your work.  I submitted what I felt was the best part of my story.  I didn’t win anything.  Honestly, I was disappointed and even mad at myself for thinking I could write.  I was going to give up. 

My friend that I went with encouraged me not to give up but to talk to one of the ICAN co-founders.  I did want to find out what I did wrong.  JoEllen, one of the editors, let me see my critiqued paper.  I scored badly on anything that had to do with grammar. She reassured my story was wonderful and please don’t give up. I hired JoEllen as my editor. ( It's why God created editors for people like me). She has been wonderful.  I know she is a gift from God to me and has been patient and long-suffering with me.  Each one of the ICAN women is gifted and eager to help any new author who wants to write.  I love encouraging others to attend an ICAN conference or event when they tell me they want to write but don't know what to do.

My first book, One Brick at a Time, is my life story about being raised by a mother who suffered from a mental illness. I wrote it to encourage others to trust God with trials in their lives. God does have a plan! It’s a story about emotional healing from bitter roots that are buried deep and need to be exposed and pulled out.

My second book, In the Same Way, Teach, is a Bible study for women which is taken from Titus 2:1-5. As mature women, we are to lead holy lives so that we can teach younger women and girls by example and by words. It’s a 13-week study which covers being secure and confident in Christ, knowing truth, the meaning of love, marriage, what is submission and more.

The third book I am still working on is also based upon Titus 2:1-5.  It is titled In the Same Way Learn.  I have been leading Bible studies with teen girls for over 15 years.  This study will be a collection of what I have taught them.  It will be similar to the women's study but geared toward teens.

I have a deep desire to write more Bible studies. I am learning not to listen to self-doubt but listen to the Holy Spirit. He will supply all my needs!

If I had never gone ( I almost didn’t go!) to that first ICAN conference, my book would still be under the couch unfinished. I have learned so much, and I have more to learn about writing! I have learned not to let my inadequacies stop me. I still do not like grammar, and my spelling isn't great.  There are so many wonderful tools out there to help. I know more than I did two years ago. I know how to publish a book. I know I can publish a book.

In His great Love,
Elaine Oostra

Idaho Creative Authors' Network (ICAN) is hosting a one day writing event on July 8th, 2017 at Givens' Hot Springs to assist new authors or already published ones.  The four co-founders, JoEllen Claypool, Sheila Eismann, Carol Green, and Phyllis Nettleton have collectively published over 30 books to date.  They have a heart to help authors succeed.  Here's the web link to register for the upcoming event which includes a bar-be-que lunch, drawing for fabulous door prizes, and access to the wisdom and knowledge of the four co-founders.  

Relax and Refresh Writers' Retreat

Happy Reading & Writing.  ICAN Teamwork makes it happen!

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~~ "Let Us Not Forget"

Let us not forget what Memorial Day is all about,
            And remember the men and women, who without a doubt
Gave of themselves to serve, many giving up their lives
            To defend our God given freedoms by their sacrifice.

Freedom is not free, it comes with  a very great cost
            By the many battles won and by some that have been lost.
Freedom is worth defending, something we do not want to lose.     
            Peace is what we long for in our present and in our future too.

So as we celebrate this day with family and friends,
            Remember those who fought for our liberties to the end.
Let us give thanks for those who served and paid the price,
            That we may enjoy our freedoms everyday of our lives.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence.

Submitted by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~ "The Eyes of My Heart"

Mom, the eyes of my heart will forever see,
            Just how special your love will always be.
Throughout the years you were always there,
            With gentle smiles and many heartfelt prayers.

Unwavering in your unconditional love for everyone,
            Your embraced us in the warmth of your love.
When the storms and trials of life came our way,
            You always had words of wisdom for each new day.

You freely gave of yourself to give us a better life,
            Putting aside your own desires, making many a sacrifice.
You laughed with us through the joys we shared,
            And cried with us showing how much you cared.

Now that you've gone home to be with our Lord,
            I know that I will see you on Heaven’s shore.
You are with that great cloud of witnesses watching from Heaven above,
            Cheering us on in prayer, surrounding us with your love.
From the depths of my heart, I thank you once again,
            For being my mom and for being my friend.
For it is the eyes of my heart that will always see,
            Just how much your motherly love means to me.

From your loving daughter, forever.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures. 

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence & Happy Mother's Day!

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Poetry & Prose - "The Light of Your Presence"

The Light of Your Presence and the Fire of Your Glory set my heart ablaze.
            Forever I will love you and for all eternity I will sing Your praise.
My spirit is refreshed in the Water of Life flowing from Your Throne.
            Gladness of heart and fullness of joy are found in You alone.

I will lift up my eyes unto the hills where my help comes from.
            You are the Rock upon which I stand and into Your Presence I run.
For You alone are my hiding place and I put my trust in You.
            You lift me up on Eagle’s wings and my strength is renewed.

When the storm clouds gather with waves crashing all about, 
            You are a very present help in trouble removing all fear and doubt.
Even in the midst of the raging seas and all hope seems to be gone,
            You fill my life with joyous laughter and my heart overflows with song.

Your refreshing Wind blows over me like a gentle breeze,
            Touching my heart with Your mercy, grace and peace.
 Your loving kindness breathes new life into my soul.
             The sweet Rain of Your Spirit revives me and makes me whole.

You fill me with Your song in the midnight hour and You are my living hope.
            You mean everything to me for You are my eternal home.
 Let Your Light shine through me as I learn to walk in your ways.
            Lord, let me live in the Light of Your Presence every single day.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.  Used by permission.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ "Poppy's Pancakes"

Truth be known, I've never been much of a pancake fan no matter where they were prepared or served until my husband fired up the recipe below.  Then I became a believer!  The reason that I disliked pancakes prior to this time is because most of them were too heavy or tasteless.  There is a key ingredient that makes these as light and fluffy as can be in addition to being heart healthy. Perhaps I should qualify that last statement.  The "heart healthy" would probably depend upon how much butter and syrup you applied to each one.  So, please accept my challenge and plan to prepare this recipe for anyone you know who does not order pancakes from the restaurant menu or declines your weekend breakfast invitation.

  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats (not the quick cooking variety)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, optional - to be served on top of cooked pancakes
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional - to be served on top of cooked pancakes

  • Preheat griddle to 400 degrees.
  • Combine oats with buttermilk and let stand in small bowl for 12 minutes.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level with a butter knife.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, stirring well.
  • Lightly beat extra large egg in small bowl.
  • Add the maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Stir this into the oat mixture.
  • Combine the oat mixture and the flour mixture, stirring until just blended.
  • Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, pour batter onto preheated griddle.
  • Cook about 3 minutes until bubbles appear on top of the pancakes and the edges look somewhat dried out.  Using pancake turner, flip the pancakes to the other side and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • This recipe yields about 6 medium sized pancakes.

  • Serve with other fruits such as bananas, cranberries, peaches, etc.
  • I like to butter the pancakes, apply a small amount of pure maple syrup, and then add the blueberries and heart healthy walnuts on top.
  • These make great snacks or leftovers.

  • The key to this entire exercise/project is the white, whole-wheat flour.  It is sold as pastry flour in some stores, but please check the label to make sure it reads, "white, whole-wheat flour."  What's in a name? Well, it depends on the name.  And in this case, that's the exact name.

Happy Dining!

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