Friday, May 28, 2010

Helping hands

From a young age, Jenny would ask if I needed help. "No, let me finish this off myself" I'd say. "But mom....if two people work together, you'd be done much faster" she'd reply.

Little did I know that my girl had already begun to understand the concept of time. And she wholeheartedly believed that if I had more time, I would have time for her. So she did what any child could. She found small moments of possibility and asked "Can you play with me now?"

Little did she know that in a adult world there is never enough time. Even with her longing heart, her held back tears and all her strength it still took a change in me to realize that I needed to learn how to "hear" their cries and not so easily excuse them. So I started to search for moments when I could play with my children instead of finding reasons not to.

When I look at them, I see their patience. The real kind of patience that waits on people to finish and even helps. Not once being bitter, not once getting mad but hanging on to the words of promise. And when the clock strikes 1, I can almost see her face light up as she runs up the stairs to get her things. After all the barbies are in the kitchen we make lunch and discuss the plan for the next little while.

We usually have dessert with them. This one is out of yellow sponge, cut out and painted.

Perhaps get ready for a party. This ring was made our of wire and beads attached to a gem.

And some times go on a adventure. So much can happen in the back yard of a home.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

Make time, hope.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reign Down

The rains came in, pouring down heavily on my heart. In many ways today was a result of yesterdays problems and I knew it. Frustration had a way of coming out in questions and I wondered why God would stir up a hope that was meant for failure? What was the point of that? And now what, now what God?

I sit and I wait, I wait and I hope. At this point I wonder if I even have hope? Especially the kind that endures. I wonder how I could feel his presence all around me but yet feel so alone? I wonder how the bible can make so much sense but at the same time not be enough? I wonder if my confusion it that of doubt? I know if I doubt, I doubt him. PERIOD.

I drown myself in music, feeding off the words. Tasting their desperation in the moment that's very much my own.

Here I am down on my knees again,
Fighting to live and to breathe again,
Only surrender will help me now,
Only You can even take me now.
I know in this pain there is healing,
I believe in Your name, I find healing
Holding on another day...
Just to see what You will throw my way.
Falling apart, barely breathing
Broken heart, that's still beating
For every life there is reason.

There is something about words that's so powerful. But I had nothing left to say, nothing more to give and nothing else I could do. So I sat on the floor of my closet and let my heart do the talking this time, do the listening this once. With barely enough time to compose myself I heard the phone ring.

The conversation was about a girl who was drowning, deeper and deeper. With each moment she felt weaker, unable to move or to choose. Unable to fight she lets herself be attacked while every bone in her body cries out for help. Even in her state, when nothing can matter, she still hears the whispers of God. She still sees his hand upon her broken, tiny, frail, self and she cries. She cries because she wonders how she can feel his presence all around but yet feel so alone? She wonders why the bible makes so much sense but at the same time not be enough? In her confusion she begins to doubt. To doubt God, To doubt love, To doubt life.

In the depth of my despair I began to see the fingerprint of God on the whole day. How he used me and my situation to stir up feeling and even doubt just so I could understand this girl and pray a prayer for her. And maybe, when she lies awake at night that little voice inside her head will ring a little louder.

I sang the songs again, a song of hope for her.
Friends, hope.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"The Works"


This recipe takes flavor to a whole new level. It is fresh and savory, garlicky and spicy, and flavorful but not overpowering. Seriously, this meal is the whole deal. So let's cook!

Step 1:

1 1/2 lbs. Sirloin Steak
1 tbsp oil
28 oz canned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2-3 tomatoes, diced

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a deep skillet. Cut up a pound of Sirloin Steak, or any cut of lean beef. Saute, the beef on high until it looses its pink color. Add diced tomatoes and diced fresh tomatoes. Add a little salt and a the bay leaves, cover and let simmer on low for about an hour.

Step 2:

2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 onions, cubed
2 bell peppers, cubed
2 carrots, cubed
1 eggplant, cubed
2 zucchini, cubed
2 parsnips, cubed
2 turnips, cubed

Heat the oven to 375 F. Cube the potatoes and onions and place on one baking sheet, pour a small amount of olive oil on the baking sheet and stir the veggies to coat. Place the sheet on the top rack in the oven. While that begins to bake, cube the bell peppers and carrots of similar size and place on the second sheet. Repeat with the coating of oil. Place in the oven on the bottom rack. While this is baking cut up the parsnip and turnip, also of similar size and check on the potatoes in about 10 minutes. If they have begun to brown, they are ready.

In a large, empty pot place the browned potatoes and onions in. On the now empty baking sheet place the parsnips and turnips. Repeat with the coating of oil. Transfer the bottom baking sheet to the top and then put the parsnips and turnips on the bottom rack. This is done for even baking. Lastly, cube the eggplant and zucchini, and wait for the other veggies to finish baking. Once they are, add them to the pot and on the 2 empty baking sheets place the eggplant and zucchini. Repeat with the coating of oil and bake in the oven until ready.

Step 3:

1 lb of Linguine noodles

While the last of your veggies are baking, take out another pot to cook the pasta in. Follow the directions for the pasta on the box. Coat with oil and set aside.

Step 4:

(without water added, yet)

Check back with the eggplant. If it is ready and beginning to brown add it to the main veggie pot and then check your meat. By now, it should be tender when pierced with a fork. Add it to the pot with all of the veggies and then pour in enough water to double the amount that was in the pot. The consistency should be that of a hearty soup. Bring the stew to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste, simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors together.

Step 5:

1/2 English cucumber,
mandolin-ed or grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup of vinegar
Salt and Pepper

In a small bowl stir together all of the ingredients. Set aside.

Step 6:

1 can of Salsa (I use Trader Joes)
1/2 or more of Jalapeno, diced
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1-2 Fresh tomatoes

In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together. Set aside in a bowl.

Step 7:

A pot of stew.
A pot of noodles.
A bowl of Cucumber salad.
A bowl of Pureed Salsa.

There is no right or wrong in this but basically you just pour yourself a bowl of veggie stew and add as many noodles as you like. Top it off with some salsa and cucumber salad. To eat, just stir together and enjoy, to make it easier use both a spoon and a fork :)

Step by step, Hope.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's day

There are three things in my life that I don't question. The love of my family, the love of my kids and the love of God. We are bonded together by blood, forever. As short as the minutes in a day to the depths of the heavens in eternity, I love them and they love me back. Now, there are also three things in my life that I have to continue to show love in order for them to know it. My husband, my in-laws and my friends.

This mother's day I wanted to give my mother in law something that was not only FROM me but also WAS me. It is often said that the gift means more to the giver than the receiver and that was my intention this week.

She, like many women love accessories, delicate and beautiful things so I made this especially for her. I started with Dupioni Silk because it is known for it's depth. Nothing on earth has more depth then people. The pearl in the center was placed to match her beloved necklace. I noticed she only wears it when she feels the most beautiful. Beads were spun with a little modern flair to fit this century. To let her know that she is needed today, tomorrow and in the days ahead. Finished, I saw the diamonds last. I saw them symbolizing perfection, because she, like you and me, was created in God's image. Individual personality is breathtaking.

"For love is shown through our actions"

Mother's, hope.