Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's For Dinner?

No, that is not my dinner table. My kitchen table has been transformed into a light table for the last several months. I love it, but I know it needs to return (soon) to a dining area.

I wandered through IKEA recently, brainstorming about ways to help my home function more effectively in this next educational/developmental phase of my family's life. I think I really want a round table in my kitchen, so that first picture is a bit of dream building for me.

I also know that in order to have my life function the way I desire, I have to be more organized and efficient. I have decided that meal planning is the best next step for me to take. we go! I have browsed the grocery store ads, but as I do much of my shopping at Trader Joe's and Costco, I am not sure that is even necessary.

  • MEXICAN MONDAY  Fish Tacos with cabbage slaw, mango-pineapple salsa and guacamole  (This is a family favorite. I cut the fish in cubes and fry it in olive oil with garlic salt and cumin. The last minute or two I throw in a few slices of lime, and fry that too. The cabbage slaw is cabbage, lime juice, sour cream and garlic to taste. The salsa is sliced pineapple and mango with lime juice, cilantro and red or orange bell peppers. Add the guacamole and this a HEALTHY family meal!!)
  • CROCK POT TUESDAY  Artichoke, mushroom chicken with rice and a salad. (I teach Bible Study on Tuesday Nights, so if I prep dinner in the morning it works best for my family.) Boneless chicken breast, either one can or a cup and a half of artichoke hearts, and sliced mushrooms in the crock pot on low for the day. I make rice and the salad just before dinner.
  • SIMPLE WEDNESDAY Grilled Avocado and Cheese Sandwiches, baby carrots and fruit. (Based on my week's schedule, by today I will be a bit tired and need to spend the day catching my house up! Plus, I have a few ministry keeping it simple makes sense!)
  • PASTA THURSDAY Spaghettini with basil, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil and a salad. I am trying to use whole wheat pasta. I have absolutely no idea what good that does for anything, except it makes me feel like I am trying to be healthier for my family!
  • BURGER FRIDAY NIGHT This past spring I wanted to develop the discipline of fasting. I fasted on Fridays, until 6:00 pm, and focused on specific prayer items as I did it. I would "break" the fast with delicious bbq'd cheeseburgers made by my hubby. This has become a family tradition! Burger Fridays...we LOVE them.
  • SATURDAY...Leftovers This Saturday I have to work. (I work at a local restaurant 4 days a month.) This means I will be up before 5:00 am, and will have a 9-10 hour day. Realistically, I won't be cooking! However, we should have leftovers!! As I am wanting to throw away far less food than I have in the past, scheduling in the time to eat the leftovers, and actually doing it whether I am in the mood or not, needs to become a priority.
  • SUNDAY Roasted Chicken and salad. Here is the recipe: YUMMY!   I don't use the fennel. (Your house will smell so good!) If it is hot, I may try to eat outside, as the oven will be warming up the inside. However, there is something about the smell of that roasted chicken in the oven on a Sunday  afternoon that makes the "family feel" I love!
That is my plan! Let me clear...this plan would likely be far healthier than we would eat without a plan. That is exciting to me! Also, with the exception of the crock pot meal with rice, I am not really serving starchy side dishes. They make a mess to prepare, and are extra calories I don't really need.

What are your goals? Let me know how it goes, and I will do the same.

"God gives out wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding. He's a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well, and a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere. He keeps his eye on all who live honestly, and pays special attention to His loyally committed ones." Proverbs 2:7-10 The Message

Friday, July 27, 2012

Romans 8:28

All things are not good,

Even for those who love the Lord.

It is when we are called to HIS purpose that things really take shape.
Driving across the interstate, heading for home and listening to the news out of Aurora, Colorado, one thought kept coming to my mind.

I am not a sticky sweet Christian. I am not the one whose first response in a tragedy like this is, “God is so good.” I know every cloud has a silver lining–I have lived it–but I also know that clouds bring storms and darkness.

I hear people on the radio talking about “ministering” to those affected by the shooting, and I honestly don’t know what that looks like.

Sometimes I wonder if I know what that word…minister…even means.

I am the one who will show up at your house during a hard time and scrub the toilet or wash the floor. If your child was in the movie theater and will never come home, I am the one who will actually say, “What is his favorite outfit?” And if those beloved jeans are in the bottom of the laundry basket, and that is what he should be buried in, I will wash every piece of clothing in your house so that you don’t have to.

Please, Lord, just give me something to do…because I know I cannot (with a shred of dignity or sincerity) say, “I know what you are going through.”

But not too far from Aurora, in the town of Littleton, is a group of people. They are older, hopefully wiser, seasoned with time and peppered with grace who can look victims in the eye and say, “I know how you feel."

The words would have power, because the words would be real. Soul-real; heart wrenchingly real words born out of horror, pain and time.

Over the years since Columbine, I have often thought about and prayed for Dylan Kleybold’s mother. She threw birthday parties for her son, watched him at sporting events and wanted his life to be full of promise. It all came short on the day he took his own life and the lives of many others.

Sometimes good parents have kids who do horrific things.

Today I imagine Dylan’s mom waiting at the airport to pick up the mom of this new young man, the man who committed these atrocities, because Dylan’s mom may be one of very few people whose sympathy would feel sincere.

She could look James Holmes’ mom in the eye and say, “I know just how you feel.”

That is Romans 8:28. Sometimes, when we least expect it, God can use the deepest wound and darkest pain of our life to bring light to others…if only a glimmer.

Even just to say, “I survived and you can too.”

Everyone has a story. The stories only matter when they are used to make HIStory…how God works in the hard times. How God works in the good times.

Share your story. Give others the grace to share their story with you.

I am heartbroken and prayerful for the families in Aurora.

Monday, July 16, 2012


This was the view from my driveway a few short hours ago.

The fire has moved to the northeast, but the planes and helicopters flying overhead remind me that things are still precarious. For people I know just down the road, they are truly unknown.

"Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." James 4:14

Life is an unknown quantity. Our time, our possessions, our relationships are not guaranteed to us for any certain amount. On a guest post for the ABC Women's Ministry blog just days ago I shared about a Lysa Terkeust Bible Study that we had done. Here is what I wrote: 

Lysa Terkeurst shared with us the beauty of living with our hands wide open…open to give, open  to receive what He gives...Characteristics of Christ need to be pressed into the character of Christians if Christians want a full life. A full life is not measured by stuff.


My days are in His hands, and so much of life is just stuff, and I will rest in His will and be grateful:

  • For the fire fighters who are valiantly battling this moment
  • That my son called to make sure we were okay
  • For friends who are offering help if we need it
  • That God has given my family THIS day
  • That everything can be used as an opportunity to find things to be grateful for because...

Life is unknown.