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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Faith

I’m reading “Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne. Andee I know you *heart* him!
Anyway, he says something about faith that threw my mind for a tail spin and really makes be question myself and how the common term of “faith” is preached and used throughout the Western Church. Claiborne says in a nut shell that faith is “a complete trust, unquestioned loyalty and confident allegiance.” He begs the question “who are we loyal/faithful to.”
So often when I think of faith and hear others talk about it- it’s regarding faith that “God is in control” “God will provide” “God will protect” ect. And while I believe that those embody faith in a sense – more so belief. When by Claiborne and the dictionary’s standard, faith has more to do with me and my actions than it does Gods. Faith is loyalty to God whether he protects or provides. Faith and belief, one in the same? Or are they not?
Thoughts?

28 before 29

That time of year has come, as the clock quickly ticks toward the end of December, we are inching closer and closer to a new year.  And a new birthday! Hoo Ra!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog post.  A friend of mine writes a post each year before her birthday making a list of resolutions that she wants to do before her next birthday.  I love that idea.  Because the list expands with age, the tasks are simple.  Yet each task has its purpose.

And just before I sat down to write this list, I read another fantastic article.  Ground shifting in fact.  I started following Jen Wilkin just a few weeks ago and I can already tell I am going to like her.  Her article is also based on the idea of setting resolutions, but centering them toward creating character development and ultimately glorifying God through the process.  In a post just a few days prior, she lists 5 lies and 5 truths about female body image that is just a slap in the face when you really need it.

After reading these, I’ve decided that I still want to write my list of 28 before 29.  But I really want to make this year a year of intention.  One that will focus on reshaping the things that bring me down and encouraging the things that lift others up.

  1. Read more books  5 books.  They say the average person stops reading once they leave high school, but there is so much to learn from books.
  2. Read through the Old Testament.  In addition to 5 books, I want to fill my heart and mind with God’s story.  I’ve been reading the bible via The Message, and have been amazed at how much more I understand and can see in my head.
  3. Find a cookbook that I enjoy and make at least 3/4ths of the recipes.
  4. Love more.
  5. Listen deeper.
  6. Put my husband before myself.
  7. Write 5 e-Cookbooks
  8. To become a woman of prayer
  9. Host a women’s night of prayer.  (In the works for April 4&5)
  10. Intentionally plan 10 date nights.
  11. Explore at least 5 new coffee shops.
  12. Take a digital sabbath each week for at least 6 hours (this does not include sleeping)
  13. To spend more time with my parents.
  14. Write letters/cards.
  15. Send a post card when I travel.
  16. Focus on who I am in Christ, and who He is making me to be.
  17. Stop hating my body, and start counting it’s blessings
  18. Make a painting
  19. Sew a skirt
  20. Have 3 new friends over for dinner whom we haven’t shared a meal with before.
  21. Wash my car once a month.
  22. Buy a stranger coffee.
  23. Share a meal with a stranger.
  24. Start looking into a Masters Degree.
  25. Start looking into the adoption process.
  26. Attend a bible study
  27. Sing in the rain.
  28. Go to Haiti.

 

 

Busy-Busy

Do you ever have those moments, where people ask you the over-used question: “What have you been up to?”

In your head, you’re searching for a place to begin.  But you can’t find it, because if what you’re doing began somewhere, it would have had to stopped prior — or never existed.  So unless you want to hear about my birthday, circa 1985, I really have no idea where to start.  My life is so busy.

But to be honest, when it is not busy, I feel like I’ve lost myself in stillness. I don’t know what to do with quit. Rest can be bothersome.

Do any of you feel that way?

My husband is my complete opposite.  I think/know that is why we work so well together and (butt heads so much).  He loves to have down time, it refuels him.  I on the other hand, need to be the Energizer Bunny in order to keep my motor going.  For me, work and energy beget work and energy.

People ask me how I do it.  And although I don’t have a clear answer, I can point you in a direction.  But first off, I must mention something wise I’ve learned from my husband.  Not everyone is created to be busy-busy.  I’ve learned the hard way.  Not all are wired equally.  Randy needs down time to function, I need up time. And if either of us expect the other to act like them, then it just doesn’t work.  So the same can be said for yourself, looking at someone who is busy-busy.  Perhaps you just aren’t meant to be busy-busy.  Perhaps you aren’t wired that way.

But perhaps, by necessity, you need to be busy-busy for a season.

So here are my suggestions for making life a tad easier:

  • Pray.  Ask God for guidance, wisdom, breathe and patients.  Its crazy to think you’ll need patients, but you do. Because, frankly, you can’t do 100% of things right from the gate.  Pray that you will know how to priorities, and that He will bring help for you.  And trust that He will, lean into that.
  • use a calendar, always.  I depend on my iPhone calendar.  But if you don’t have Siri to set your appointments, buy a paper calendar for a dollar that fits into your purse.  Write everything in there, in pencil – incase plans change.
  • Leave a note pad by your bed.  Don’t waste the night thinking about something when you desperately need sleep.  Write it down and turn your brain off.
  • Leave dry-erase markers in the bathroom.  They work great on the mirror, and quickly wipe off with a towel or TP.
  • Create appointments in your iPhone/Droid/Paper Calendar for you to do things in the future.  This works great for simple things like: taking out meat to defrost, or getting groceries.  If it is something you need to remember to do in the future, write it down.  That way you can stop wasting brain space on it now.
  • Take advantage of those reminder features on your phone and computer.  Like I mentioned in the last bullet, if you can jot it down now, you wont have to continue to think about it.
  • Place sticky notes in strategic places.  For example, you can leave a grocery list on your steering wheel — since you’ll be in the car when you’re on your way to the store.
  • If you have a spouse/partner involved in your plan-making, use the invite feature on your phone’s calendar.  It sends them an email with the appointment.  Once they accept, it is loaded into their calendar.
  • Make TO DO lists for each area of your life.  Make check off boxes for each task.  Its fun to check things off.  Also, give yourself TO DO BY dates.  Prioritize.
  • Lastly, enlist help from friends.  You are not in this alone.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you manage a busy life.  Share them in the comments.

 

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Oops Soup

oops soup

Out of sheer necessity, I decided that I would make my staff lunch for Christmas rather than being crafty. I was planning on making reusable mesh produce bags, but I ran out of time…. I’ll start on them for next year.

So last night, I had made 3 beautiful pots of Spicy Squash and Sausage soup from the Squashed! cookbook.  It turned out so nicely. And I had a brilliant idea that I would take all the crock pots down to my car last night because my weather app said it would get down below 40. Then I wouldn’t have to carry them out at 6 in the morning.

Brilliant, at least I thought so.

Well I woke up at 1am, why, I don’t know.  But I looked at my weather app, and 43 degrees! DANG IT!!! My soup never actually got cold. Panic set in.

What if I get my entire staff sick?!?!

Should I dump it out?

Has it really gone bad?

How long until food poising sets in? So I googled it.  One side said 2-6 hour.  Ok so its 1 am, if I become a ginny pig now, and taste the soup (or eat a bowl full) and I dont die by morning, I wont have to dump it.

So I ate a bowl full, and tried to go back to sleep.  I couldn’t. I kept tossing.  Randy tried to sooth my by saying no body died. Its not the end of the world if I have to dump it.  And then I thought, no matter what, soup bad or good, Jesus is still king.  SO TRUE. I panicked less.  But I still couldn’t sleep.  I googled food poising some more.  And then I read it could set in 12hrs – 2 days later. So I figured a gift is no good if everyone gets sick for the holiday concert Tuesday.  So at 2 am, I dumped it all out.

I slept a few hours, and with a quick trip to the grocery store, and a hot pan in my class room, I threw together OOPS Soup.  Oops, because it was never intended, but still good… great none-the-less.

So here it goes:

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 21 oz of Hilshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa (1.5 packs)
  • 1 1/2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups of green beans
  • 4 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken Stock
  • 6 ounces low fat cream cheese
  1. Saute onions, celery and mushrooms in the butter.  Add in parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic, and black pepper. Once fragrant, add to a crock pot.
  2. Slice Kielbasa sausage, and quickly fry in the pan that had the vegetables.  Once the sausage has browned a bit, add to the crock pot as well.
  3. Add in diced tomatoes with juice, green beans, and cabbage.  Bring to a boil 4 cups of water, stir in cream cheese and chicken bouillon until dissolved.  Add to the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours.

Calories: 155

Fat: 9      Carbs: 9     Protein: 12     Sodium: 1010 * this is kind of high, so to lower it you can switch out the kielbasa with ground turkey.

Sad soup day

So I made three crock pots of my squash soup for work tomorrow as an edible Christmas gift. And I had a brilliant idea that if take them to the car last night because it would be cold enough. Well I woke up at 1 and looked at my phone… Why would I do that… And it was 43 degrees!!!! That soup probably never got colder than that. So panicked and worried I read on google that food poisoning takes 2-6hrs to set in. So I became a Ginny pig. Then after eating it I reread it could be 2hrs-2days! Ahhhhh I can’t get 25 people sick. So dumped it all!!!!
And as I was trying to fall back asleep, stressed to the max, Randy reminded me that nobody died. Then I had a thought “Jesus is still King.” And that helped me relax. Even the craziest stuff can hit the fan, even the most trivial soup can go bad, and Jesus is still King.
So this morning, exhausted and delusional, I got groceries to start over (only because I told my whole staff not to bring lunch today and I can’t let someone go hungry) and Jesus is still King.

Squashed! Cookbook finally out

It’s been a while in the making, but my 3rd cookbook just got released last week.

SquashCookbook

I hope you check it out and let me know what you think of it.

Enjoy!

bringing your own food

I read this interesting article written by a woman with celiac disorder. She pointed out what happened after she brought her own meal to a dinner party so that she could actually eat with out putting the hostess to extra trouble preparing a gluten free meal. I don’t have celiac, but I try to not eat gluten and/or excess sugar when possible. I’ve brought my own meals to get-togethers and to be honest, its weird, but there is no shame in it. People ask questions and then they get over it. If you have goals you are trying to achieve, do something for yourself, and don’t secumb to the excuse that you don’t want people to ask questions. Its funny how people ask questions when you are making a positive choice toward your health, but will rarely ask you why you’re adding extra syrup in your coffee or extra bacon on your burger… people ask questions because they don’t want to believe that what they are doing is wrong, so instead they make you feel that way… Just my rant…

thoughts???

Infograph

Holy cow, I thought it would be awesome to create a sweet Infograph as our Christmas card this year.  Little did I know that it would take half my night.  I tend to look at things as if the glass is half full, and it will only take me 15 minutes to cook a stew! Ya right. 

Anyway, it turned out great and I am super proud of it.  I know this is spoiling the surprise for some of you who will be getting our Christmas Cards… so if that’s you, just don’t peek.  Read something else. 

Image

Figgy Prochiutto Wraps

zucchini wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 pieces of Prosciutto
  • 1 ounce goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp fig jam

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the zucchini length wise, in 1/8″ strips (8 strips). Lay out strips on a parchment lined baking sheet.  If you have incomplete strips of zucchini, lay them out together to make whole strips.
  2. Bake while preheating for 3 minutes to soften the zucchini.
  3. Slice the Prosciutto into 8 strips. On each zucchini strip, lay out a strip of Prosciutto.
  4. On one end of each zucchini, put 1tsp of fig jam and 1/2 tsp of goat cheese.
  5. Carefully roll the zucchin, jam and cheese end first.  Seal with a tooth pick and bake for 5 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool a minute before eating.
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