Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Am Still Conservative

Sometimes it is hard not to be reactionary.
I'm a passionate person with strong feelings.  I believe in right & wrong.
(And there is nothing wrong with that.)
I am following a little series over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee on Biblical Womanhood.  She wrote a little post the other day about Our Histories.  I can see how her broad general stroke has a lot of truth in it.  Because, when we see something we don't like, we often want to swing to the other side of the pendulum.

But, I was raised in a conservative Christian household.
And I am now married to a conservative Christian man.
(A man who asked my father for my hand in marriage, months before he asked me.)
He & I now want to raise our family in similar traditions as I myself was raised.

I was home-schooled & I plan to home-school my children.
I was spanked as a young child & we spank our young children.
(My parents thought that Shepherding a Child's Heart was a sound parenting book.
My husband & I think so, too)
I am part of a big family & my husband &
I would like to have our own big family.
My mom always put her energies & focus on her family.
I see my family as my first ministry, too.

This is not because I am still a child who just does what she is told.
I have grown up & I have left my parents household &
I cleave to my husband & his leadership.

This is not because I have seen everyone turn out perfect
who did things a certain way.
I have seen so many people who followed outward standards & patterns &
neglected the heart of the issues & their families ended up in ruin.

This is not because I have never questioned my parents &
never questioned my church & never questioned my husband.
It is because I have examined these things & have seen the wisdom & the blessings

I have seen many problems in conservative churches.
I have seen many areas neglected.
I have seen things that disappoint me.  I have seen grievous sin.

But, I don't want to throw the baby
(or the church, or pastors, or Biblical authority)
out with the dirty bath water.

When I hear stories of people using God's Word to justify evil, I am grieved.
And I am sobered.
And I am sent back to God's Word again.

And, no, I don't believe that you are wrong just because
you don't home-school or have a big family.  
Here's another link to the same blog I mentioned above-  Am I Legalistic?
(I am sure I could not have said that any better.)
As she concludes her article saying,
there is a measure of legalism in me.  If I don't keep readjusting my focus
(to God, off of me & others), then it keeps sneaking back in.

As a child, I was taught much truth & wisdom.
But, I did take much of it in, in a legalistic way.
Aren't kids really black & white about most everything?
If people didn't do things like us, I assumed they were wrong.
Not because my parents told me that.
Rather, because I was childish, with limited understanding.

My 3 year old daughter cracks us up when we listen to her take on things.
You know, if my mom says to wash my hands after I eat my Popsicle,
that means anyone who eats a Popsicle & doesn't immediately wash their hands
is not obeying God.
(No, I didn't tell her that.  She draws such conclusions herself.)

Being judgmental can be a very childish thing, I suppose.

I am glad to see God growing me in grace & understanding.
I am glad to see that I am able to offer more grace to others, as I "grow up".
He is not somehow growing me up to not need authority,
from the church, from my husband, from the Bible.
He has called us to be persons under authority.

Sometimes I may not agree with things I am taught.
But, I want to show temperance.
I don't want to have knee jerk reactions.  I want to be thoughtful.
I want to seek truth from God's Word.
I want to respect others & show grace to others,
even (& especially) imperfect pastors or parents.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Playing House

Gillian & Peyton were playing house this afternoon.

Gillian is making the beds up for her family.

Peyton is ready to protect his family with his "shoot-gun".

Moira & I came to visit their house.

Moira climbed into Gillian's baby doll cradle & rocked herself.

And loudly sang a lullaby to herself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Home Means to Me

My friend The Paper Pony is part of a fun blog game - Pin It Forward.  
I'm not a part of the official Pin It chain.  But, I'll share what I created.
There's this cool website, Pinterest, where you can create galleries of whatever inspires you.
The theme for the Pin it Forward chain is "What Home Means to Me".  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When Disappointment Strikes...

...count your gifts
I think I am going to join Ann's Gratitude Community.

I had a bit of disappointment this weekend.  Not anything seriously grievous.  Just a huge bummer.  You know the kind?  You say to yourself, "get over it. not a big deal." Then you keep finding reasons to mope about it.  

Then everything else seems like a good reason to get irritated, too.

Your babe refuses to take her afternoon nap for the 2nd day in a row.

Your sewing machine jams.

You've got a headache.

It all becomes woe is me.  There are still things to be thankful.  Still so many things.

So, I'll start the counting today.  Here's #1-#13.
The beginning of the list of 1,000 gifts.

1. A just right sunny day.

2.  Baby grooving to music.

3. Strawberry patch full of ripe fruit.

4. Finding Big sister's puppy
whose disappearance had been greatly mourned for 3 days.

5. Morning walk to grocery store, with all three kids crammed in the wagon.
No one tried to jump out.

6. Crunchy Garlic Chicken enjoyed by kids & adults alike.

7. My encouraging Mom.

8. This artichoke bloom from my husband.

9. Summer berries

10. A visit from a friend in which these cookies were eaten.

11. Baby finally napping for a brief time.

12. Buddy boy wants a big cuddle after his nap, while I get to read my book.

13. Bacon Avocados from our farm box in our dinner salad tonight.

holy experience

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Flowers He Gives

My husband is a gardener.
He loves to work the land & train the plant.

He is practical.
He is fruitful.

He likes his landscape to be of the edible sort.

He is unique.
He likes to grow things that most folks don't have.
He has a Medlar tree & a Che tree.
He has a hedge of Chilean Guavas.

The garden style that he strives away from is the English cottage garden.

But, my husband loves me.
And these are the flowers he gives.

Not because he loves them.  Because he loves me.

As he daily nurtures his new bed of Dahlia flowers, he is nurturing his love for me.

He's never gone to the local flower shop to get me a bouquet of flowers.
These are the flowers he gives.  
They are filled with his love.
I love them.
I love him.

This post is in participation with A Holy Experience : Walk with Him Wednesday.
Ann has been blogging (beautifully) about marriage.  Please read for yourself.

holy experience

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Join Jamie's Revolution

Viva la Food Revolution.

Jamie Oliver is trying to get folks back to good ole' home cooked foods.
And he is trying to get the schools to serve kids real food.
He wants us to pass on recipes to each other.  Teach other how to cook good food.
Watch the little series of "moments" as he is taking the revolution to elementary schools.

His cookbook, The Food Revolution, is full of simple, quick & tasty looking recipes.
In the cookbook, he's asking folks (or blokes, I suppose) to learn the recipes & teach 4 people how to cook them & they then teach 4 people & so on & so forth & thusly his idea of Pass It On is carried out.

If you want to buy the book, you can click on it in my sidebar recommended book features.  It's my little way to monetize my blog.  I get commission if you buy through that link.  But, the books are all my real sincere favorites.  I like all the ones I have listed there.  The Amazon Associates is an easy way to earn money.  In the last few months, I've earned 40 cents.  So...

We just cracked open the cookbook this last weekend.
Monday I made Chicken Tikka Masala.
Tonight I made Lentil Spinach Soup.
Both dishes were fantastic!

Right now, I'll teach you generally how to make the Lentil Spinach Soup.

-Heat 1 3/4 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock in a pot.

-Meanwhile, rough chop 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic.
In a stock pot, heat a bit of olive oil & toss in your chopped vegetables.
I had a link of Chicken Chorizo that had to be used.  So, I sauteed that in with the vegetables, too.
Partially cover your pot & turn it to medium heat, stirring every so often.  Cook until onions are translucent.  I neglected my stirring a bit & had a good deal of burning on the bottom.  So, I just poured a little white wine in there to deglaze the pot.
-While your saute is going, peel & chop a thumb size piece of ginger root & chop & seed a jalapeno pepper
-Pour hot chicken stock into your pot with the sauteed vegetables.  Add the ginger & pepper.  Add 2 cups of lentils.  Jamie's recipe calls for red lentils.  But, he says you can use split peas, too.  That's what I had.  So, that's what I used.
-Bring to a boil.  Cover pot & reduce heat so soup is simmering.
-It took about 30 minutes or so from this point for my peas to be cooked.  I think the lentils would've cooked faster.
-season your soup with salt & pepper.
-When the lentils were soft, I used a stick immersion blender to puree the soup a bit.
-Throw in a bunch of spinach to your soup & cook only until spinach is soft & still bright green.
Maybe less than a minute.

We had our soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Try it out & then pass it on.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smoothie on the Go

I first noticed these handy smoothie bags at Starbucks.  They have been selling these little Peter Rabbit Organics smoothie drinks.  They are expensive.  But, tasty & healthy.  And easy for the kids to use without making a mess.
Then I saw a friend at church giving her girls something similar, Plum Organics Mish Mash.  She said she got them at Toys R Us.  I rarely go there.  I haven't found out for myself what their prices & selection are like.
I got some for my kids at Whole Foods.  They had a few kinds of "baby food" for age 6 mo +.  It's really just fruit.  All of my kids loved them.
They are so handy to pack for a trip in the car, or to the park, or wherever!

She's smiling as she swallows, cuz its that good.

Now I need to figure out how to invent a little re-usable squeeze pouch.  That way I can just make my own smoothie-to-go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Boy

He loves to ride his bike.  (He's really good at it, too.)

In the freezing cold...

and first thing in the morning. 

He still loves "hold", a lot.  He's a big snuggler.

He takes a lot of sugar with his little tea.

He still loves to drink from a bottle.

But he also helps his daddy like a big boy.

He's a bit of a  drooly boy.

And he likes to play bad guy with sticks of all sorts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Faith or Fear

As we go through life, there are decisions to make all the time.
Some are huge.  Some are little.  A lot seem to fall somewhere in between.

When we (I)  make intentional, thoughtful decisions to do something 
& then see someone else do something the opposite way, 
it is easy to believe they made a poor decision.

But, there is always more than meets the eye.  
Often times, the why is more important than the what.
Or perhaps that was understated.  
Maybe it should be that the why is always more important than the what.  

Did you choose to do that in faith?  Trusting God to uphold you & give you grace?  
Do you have faith that He will guide you?  Do you trust the wisdom of His Word?
2 Corinthians 5:7 
"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Or did you choose to do that because of fear?  Fear of what others may think of you?  
Did you choose not to do something that you felt God was leading you to, 
because you feared failure?  Exhaustion?  Loss of control?

Romans 14:23 
"...for whatever is not from faith is sin."

Is it faith or fear?  
Do you walk in confidence because you are seeking to please God?
Or do you continually feel judged because you fear others don't approve?
Do you crave the validation of those around you?
Or do you desire to live for Jesus, no matter what the cost?

1 Thessalonians 2:4 
"...not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts."

Sometimes it looks like someone is doing all the right things.  
But, maybe they are living under "Christian peer pressure".  
If you focus on the what & not the why, you will burn out in doing good.  
You will wonder what went wrong.  Why is there no joy?  Why is nothing working? 

Hebrews 11:6 
"But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, 
for he who comes to God must believe that He is, 
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Live unto Jesus.  Whatever you do.  Make the decision for Him.  
Other people who are living unto Jesus may eat & drink different stuff than you.
And that's okay.

p.s.  I'm not just talking about food.