Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Lord of Sabbath; Yeldo Mor Baselios
Volume 5 No. 307 October 2, 2015

III. General Weekly Features

Recipe: Baked Stuffed Apples

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Impress your guests with this autumn apple dessert stuffed with sharp blue cheese and sweet dried fruit.


4 medium apples
1/4 cup(s) crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/4 cup(s) quick-cooking oats
1 Tbsp. dried cranberries
4 Tbsp. raisins
2 Tbsp. brown sugar


Cut apples in half lengthwise; remove cores. Place in an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish. Fill each half with 1 tsp. blue cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, cranberries, raisins and brown sugar; spoon into apples. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender.

Yield: 4 Servings

Source: Sams Club

Family Special: Ten Ways to Be a Happier Mom

by Arlene Pellicane

When your baby is catapulted into the world, you can't help but feel joy. You echo the words of Leah in Genesis 30:13, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." But those first moments of bliss are quickly tried by crying infants, sleep deprivation, and all sorts of challenges.

According to a Barna study, eight in ten moms feel overwhelmed by stress. Only nineteen percent of moms report being extremely satisfied as a mom. You know if you hang your happiness on your children's behavior, you may have to wait a while before you can break into a wide grin.

But there is good news. If you can tap into the joy that comes from obeying Christ and being in his presence, you can be a happier mom no matter what is happening. Happiness (pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness) is actually something you can increase in your life by your thoughts and actions. Here are ten ways to help you be a happier mom:

Discipline With Action, Not Tone

You've probably yelled this before: "How many times do I have to tell you…" Most likely, you were the one at your wits end while your child was unmoved. Instead of using long explanations or threatening tones, use actions and consequences that will stop your child in his/her tracks. For instance, when my daughter dawdled at breakfast (again), we simply took the food away and served it for lunch. No fanfare or emotion necessary.

Drop the Guilt

Don't fall prey to the victim mentality that makes you feel like a loser all the time. Notice your negative self-talk and seek to turn your bad guilt into good guilt. Bad guilt says "I'm no good" but good guilt says "I did something wrong and I need to fix it." Focus on the things you can fix and stop expecting perfection from yourself. Failure is an event; not a person.

Do Less for Your Kids

Are you still packing lunches for your sixth grader? It's time to stop. Don't do for your children the things they can do for themselves. Whether it's tying shoelaces, homework, or washing dishes, we need to give our kids increased responsibilities as they get older. It will not only make you saner as a mom, it will prepare your children well for independence and adulthood.

Pray with Other Moms

The Lord God Almighty stands ready to hear and answer your requests for your children. Make prayer a regular part of your mom life. To add accountability and power, invite another mom to pray with you weekly for your children. You can visit to see if there is a group of moms praying for your child's school.

Focus on the Yes

Motherhood can feel like a big NO. "No, don't touch that." "No, I can't go. I have to watch my kids." Instead of putting the emphasis on no, find places to emphasize the yes in motherhood like, "Yes, let's have some fun." "Yes, let's do that service project as a family." "Yes, let's save up for a family vacation."

Listen to Your Body

Remember what you hear over and over on flights? In case of emergency, place your own oxygen mask on first, and then help your children. We often sacrifice our health because we're busy with our mom duties. Make sure you listen and respond to your body. Get a good night's sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthy foods that will act as fuel.

Streamline Your Family Activities

Is your schedule running you ragged? Do you regret saying yes to soccer, baseball, piano, and gymnastics? At your next opportunity, choose less. Perhaps have your children do the same activity to lessen your drive time.

Have a Game Plan for Screen Time

The average child age 8-18 spends more than seven hours per day looking at screens. If you don't have a game plan, it's just too easy for free time to get gobbled up by mindless screen time. Use technology to bring you together as a family with activities like Friday night movie night and Skyping family members.

Seek a Mentor

If you want to learn how to cook, you learn from a cook. In the same way, if you want to learn to be a happier mom, you find a happy mom. Take this mom out to coffee and ask her to share her secrets. It's extremely helpful to have a trusted advisor who can pray with you and answer questions about what's happening with your kids.

Remember Your Blessing

In the day to day race of motherhood, we can forget how fortunate we are to have kids in the first place. Psalm 113:9 says, "He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children." Imagine what your life would be like if your kids were taken away. Be grateful for your children each day.

Which of these ten ideas resonates with you the most?

About The Author:

Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 'Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World' and '31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife'. She has been a guest on the Today Show, Family Life Today, The 700 Club and Turning Point with David Jeremiah. Visit Arlene's website at

Source: Daily Update

How to Deal With Disappointment

By Leo Babauta

"The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way." - Robert Kiyosaki

One of the most common things I see in people who write to me is something we all share: disappointment in ourselves.

We all feel this, because we constantly fail to live up to our standards:

We aren't as disciplined as we'd like.
We don't stick to habits we're trying to create.
We aren't as productive as we plan to be.
We leave small personal tasks and large work tasks undone.
We fail in exercising as much as we'd like, and eating as healthily as we want.
We fail in being the best parent, partner, friend, as we think we should be.

We should, we should, but we don't. And that is frustrating and disappointing. We all feel it, so much of the day.

A friend of mine wrote to me about her disappointment in herself to do all the things she'd hoped to do, and I saw myself in her: I am never all that I hope to be. I constantly fail, like everyone else.

So what can we do about it? I'll share some of the strategies I've been using lately to deal with this, and hope that this post can serve as a guide to all of us (myself included) in dealing with these difficult feelings.

Step 1: Noticing the Signals

The first step, as always, is awareness: pause right now and turn inward, to see if you are feeling frustrated or disappointed with yourself for anything.

Are there any goals you haven't accomplished? Habits you haven't stuck to? Eating you haven't done perfectly? Relationships you're not being good at? Skills you'd like to learn that you haven't devoted time to? Errands or tasks that aren't getting done? Projects that you've procrastinated on?

What kinds of feelings come up for you? These feelings are signals that you have expectations of yourself that you aren't meeting. We all have them, all the time, and we can't help but continually hope we'll do better. These expectations aren't realistic, but when we fail to meet them, we tend to think they're realistic but it's our actual selves that are the failure.

Step 2: Giving Yourself Space

Now that we see the signals, we want to give these feelings a little space. Allow them to be here in us, without trying to push them away, without wishing we didn't have them.

Give the feelings a little breathing room.

How do these feelings feel in your body? Where are they? What kind of energy do they have?

See that you're feeling bad ("suffering," the Buddhists would say) and know that this is normal, and perfectly OK.

Step 3: Giving Yourself Compassion

If your friend were hurting like this, how would you comfort this friend? Could you give her a hug, some words of compassion, some love?

Take a moment and do the same for yourself. You are no less worthy of a hug, some love, some kind words. As silly as it might seem, tell yourself you deserve this compassion.

Step 4: See the Greatness of the Present

Now that we've comforted ourselves a bit, let's change the story we're telling ourselves.

The story so far has been: you aren't good at X. (Whatever X is.) And so we feel bad about not being good at X.

Let's turn from the self we haven't been, to the self we have been. This self might have "failed" at X, but it has also succeeded in lots of other ways. This self has tried. It has gotten a lot done. It's not perfect, but it has good intentions. This self has been the best it can be, even if that means imperfection. This self has cared, has loved, has strived for better, has made an effort, has wanted the best for others. Not always, but it has. This self deserves that kind of recognition, and love for being the best self it can be.

Now turn to the present moment: in this moment, what are you like? What about yourself, and the moment that you're in, can you be grateful for? What is great about yourself, and the present moment, right now?

Step 5: Work with Curiosity

Finally, going forward, let's practice tossing out our expectations of how we're going to do today (and in life in general), and instead adopt an attitude of curiosity. We don't know how we're going to do at work, or in our relationships, or with our personal habits. We can't know. So let's find out: what will today be like? How will it go?

Be curious, in an attitude of not-knowingness.

It's fun to find out things!

Yes, expectations will come up for us, and we will fail to live up to them, and we will feel frustration and disappointment again. This will happen, and this too will be a bit disappointing, because we want to be perfect at being curious and present. We'll have to repeat the process when we notice this happening. That's OK. That's how it works — constantly renewing, never done.

But as we get better at this, I promise, we'll learn to see things with a new curiosity, with a gratitude for every moment that we meet, and with a more loving and kind view of constantly failing but constantly striving selves. These selves are wonderful, and that realization is worth the ever-constant journey.

[About the author: Leo Babauta is the owner of, a website devoted to providing clear and concise wisdom on how to simplify your life. He's also the author of, The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential, in Business and in Life.]

Source: ETR
Copyright © 2015 Early to Rise, LLC.

Surviving the Lions - Facing Hardships in Life

by Robin Dugall

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4

I don't think that there is one person whom I have ever met who has been exempted from hard times in life. There is a myth in much of Christianity that once you become a follower of Jesus you are "protected" from tough times. People interpret the "abundant life" that Jesus promises as if His role is to insulate us from the hard realities of life, but it just doesn't happen that way. For those who trust in Jesus, we echo what David wrote when he penned those famous words in the 23rd Psalm.

From today's Scripture, note that David, the author of Psalm 23, didn't write, "IF I walk through the valley…" Rather, he exclaims "even though." Hard times are inevitable and to be anticipated. It is part of what it means to live in a broken world.

There was a young man who went through horrendous hard times in his life. His name was Daniel, and his story can be found in the book of the Old Testament that bears his name. One of the most "famous" stories that we know from Daniel's life is when he found himself standing up for God and ended up at the bottom of a lions' den as a result. Even though Darius the king respected Daniel, he had violated the king's law and was quickly expedited to the lions' den to suffer a sure and certain death. Daniel was thrown to the lions, but God delivered him. The king was so astounded by the way God protected Daniel that the king himself came to acknowledge the God of Daniel as his own God.

While we may never have to face being thrown to the lions, hard times will come. We can trust in God or we can allow the tough times to overcome us. When you are experiencing hard times, make God your highest priority. Build the foundation of your life on Him.

Further, we don't have to face tough times alone. God has put people in your life in community to encourage and support you. As Peter said in his New Testament letter, "humble yourselves under the mighty power of God and He will honor and bless you." With your trust placed firmly in God and His power to deliver, you too can survive the "lions" you face.


1. Have you ever felt that you have been eaten alive by your problems and hard times? What "lions" are you facing today?

2. What can God teach you about your problems? How can you view them differently knowing that God is with you?


Daniel 6; Romans 5:1-6; Psalm 23

Source: Homeword

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