Thursday, April 29, 2010

how to let go when dinner burns...and ground beef goes bad

Anybody else out there want to be the perfect housewife? Maybe you don't. Maybe you feel like it's not important. Or homemaking is not really your thing. Or you are a man. In any case, I would like to be a perfect housewife.

I thought I had the perfect training to be the best one to ever hit the scene. I grew up the oldest of eleven children... learned how to cook and bake in mass quantities, learned to clean and wash, iron and mop, make things by hand, and use herbal remedies.

I was set, right?

Unfortunately, with all this training (thank you so much Mom), I still made some errors.

1. It took me 3 tries to make chicken noodle soup. The first time I boiled the chicken too long. The second time I made the broth and never got back to it (this gave me one stinky pot to clean). And, finally the third time, we had it, one of the crown jewels of homemaking...chicken noodle soup.

2. I fed Tim the saltiest taco meat, with enough sodium to give him high blood pressure for life.
I sadly pushed my plate away that night and said something terrible that I would rather not say again, "This is unedible."

3. I've let ground beef go bad before I froze it or cooked it several times. Each time I tossed the tray into the can with disgust lamenting my poor skills and bad meat memory.

There have been other gaffs, those three are my favorite in the kitchen.

It really is a shame that I look up to Martha Stewart so much, always pleasantly looking across her countertop saying sweetly, "It's a good thing." I forget that she also has a thousand hands working for her.

It's easy to look in a magazine, or see someone else's immaculate home and feel like you don't measure up. And maybe it isn't the food you are worried about, but the decorating, expensive furniture, or overall grandeur of your home. Or maybe you just wish you could pull off that high heels with a cute apron look.

Like everything else, I need to learn that my self worth doesn't depend on the cleanliness of my home or the excellence of my roast beef. My confidence must rest in Christ, not on any earthly thing. And that is how I let go. Now, that's what I call a "good thing."

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Even though pink hasn't been my color of choice since I was about five years old, the beautiful flowers that have been blooming in gorgeous shades of pink and purple have made me rethink pink.
I have fallen in love with magnolia trees this spring. I really enjoyed seeing them bloom in our neighborhood this year.
I can't remember the name of this lovely little yellow flower.... if you know, please enlighten me.
Rhododenron or azalea maybe? I have been trying to learn the names of all the flowers that I have been enjoying on our walks.... then maybe I can plant them in my own garden someday. For now, I'm happy with my little window garden and taking photographs of the lovely flowers in my neighborhood. I'm excited to see what will bloom after this weekend's rain!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

memorial stones

Have you ever wondered why God doesn't seem to work in your life? Do you wish He would move in a big you a sign? If you have read any of the stories in the Old Testament God shows His might in incredible ways. Parting the Red Sea, the sun stood still, manna from heaven, etc. I used to wish that God would do something big like that in my life... like part the Pacific Ocean or rain down Skittles. Something like that.

Most often I wasn't looking for a seismic event... I just wanted to see someone healed or see Jesus work some other miracle.

I have pondered this often... and I have begun to wonder if I miss or simply forget the ways God has worked miracles and provided for needs in my life.

Last week one of my family members was hospitalized. It freaked us all out pretty good. I cried after talking to my mom, fearing the worst and praying that our fears wouldn't be realized.

The next day, I heard that my cousin was completely better. The doctors couldn't explain it. I know many people were praying... a miracle?

Thinking back over my family's past, I remember things that God has done... unexplainable healings, a heart transplant, protection through pregnancies, cancer and other illnesses. Provision of work, food, and homes even in the toughest times. If you really want to, I'm sure you could explain these things away... the Pharisees tried too. After they heard Lazarus was raised from the dead they sought to kill Jesus and Lazarus (John 11 & 12). Signs don't create faith.

But I think they can strengthen it.

In the Old Testament the Israelites were prone to forget (like me) the things that God had done in their lives. In order to combat this tendency, God would ask them to set up a memorial to help them remember the work He had done in their midst.

In Joshua 3, we read about how God allowed the Israelites to cross the Jordan river on dry ground. In the following chapter, the Lord says this to Joshua,

"Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them saying, 'Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight."

The Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. And Joshua said to them,

"Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder according to the number of tribes among the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come 'What do these stones mean to you?' then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever." Joshua 4:2-7

I think I need to take the time to pick up memorial stones when God works in my life. I think I can do a better job of recording the mighty things He has done, and reflecting upon them in the valleys... as well as upon the multitude of ways He has worked in His word.

He has provided for me and cared for me in so many ways... may I never forget His grace and love.

What are some ways God has worked in your life?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

idols part two

You may have read my previous post about idols. And you may not have had the time. If you didn't, the post was about how I put things before God, and how afraid I am of losing them.

Somehow I feel like my love for the good thing will be diminished if I love God more, I will lose them, I will enjoy them less.

My husband has been the hardest idol to let go of. For the last three years he has been the most important thing in the world to me as we met, dated, fell in love, and got married. How can the love of my life become less that God may be more?

I had a revelation the other day that has made me change my mind.

I was with Tim and I realized keeping him in the high place of idolatry is not about loving him, as strange as that might seem. It's about loving me. Idolizing him is making him something he is not, a god. It puts pressure on him to perform. It creates a false sense of security when I am with him, and a sense of despair when he is absent.

It is about my comfort, my happiness. Giving Tim to God is the greatest thing I can do for him, but my hands grip tightly, and the fingers are being peeled back one by one.

I have to stop loving my happiness more than God. And I must give Him my most beloved idol.
My heart goes out the Israelites and their struggle with idolatry. No longer will I look down upon you my sisters, my brothers. I too, must give my heart to God.

Last time I wrote about idols I was desperate, struggling to see that the change would be worthwhile, and the best for both me and my beloved husband. Today I am seeing that slowly, but surely it is making all the difference. May God be first now and forevermore. Amen.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Hopefully this picture is an encouragement. Kick the Monday blues and find something beautiful about the world around you.... today!