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Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Touch of Spring

We are enjoying some beautiful temperatures this weekend.  Today is supposed to reach 58*.  Yesterday I even cracked the windows for a bit to air the trailer out.  OH!  I just love SPRING!  More fun than the open windows was the chance to be back in the garden.  Hubby took a break from school for just a bit to help me mulch the last of the leaves and then I spent much of the afternoon turning the soil.  I just love gardening.  I even did a little weeding in the bulb bed and saw ... some new growth!

Hubby just laughs at my delight in the garden.  I would lose myself for days on end in the soil and plants if I could.  Why?  I suppose that it is the wonder of life ... new life ... of having a part in God's creation.  I am not sure if God will allow me to nurture life within my frame, but I am thankful for the ability to nurture life in the garden each year.  I am shooting to plant the peas on February 19th and the onions about that time as well ... THAT'S ONLY 3 WEEKS AWAY! 

Today's work:  work on a formal dress for the Valentine's concert at the school.  I only have 2 weeks to finish this project and the deadline is hard and fast!

Acceptance

For my first year of college, dinner was a required activity.  Not only was it required, but there was assigned seating.  Not only was there assigned seating, but each student received his/her plate already filled and there were no "seconds."  In the following years, the dining experienced became more relaxed with flexible eating times, freedom to choose dining companions, and even a choice of foods ... multiple foods at each meal.  I hated the procedure the first year, but ... I met a lot of other students that I might not have otherwise met and I did not gain the dreaded "Freshman 15."

Why have this memory today?  It has been brought to my attention how that I like to treat God's will as I treated my college dining experiences.  I want the buffet and not the "blue plate special."  I want MY WAY when sometimes MY WAY is not the best way.  God know the plans He has for me and they are the best plans.

After this was brought to my attention, another illustration emerged.  Life is similar to a scrabble game, we all draw pieces.  Sometimes the pieces are easy to use, sometimes the pieces are hard to use.  Each time we play we get different tiles and it is for us to use them to achieve the best score.  Life is a little like that.  We have different seasons of life.  Some are easy and it is easy to "score big" with a good attitude and proper response, other times we are in seasons where the letters do not seem to make sense ... but it is up to us to make the most of those tiles and a win is still possible it just may take more effort.

And then, another illustration ... Moses and the Israelites.  There they were coming out of Egypt.  Their path was not direct, it was not short, it was not easy.  God knew that they must be seasoned in order to be ready to clear the promised land of the heathen peoples there.

It is easy to question God when we see many of our college friends who struggle financially to make it through school - 4 years becomes 6 which may become 8 or longer.  It is easy to wonder why a pastor has to struggle because a church cannot pay him as they should.  It is easy to question God's plan when a missionary on deputation gets to 98% and then is stopped in their tracks before reaching the field.  It is easy to question God when various stop signs seem to line our path.  Doesn't God want more servants in the field?  Why so many road blocks?   It is His plan ... and His way is best.  Am I willing to use what is given me to learn, to grow, and for His glory.

Isaiah 55:8
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,
saith the Lord.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Tortillas

I had a first today.  I decided to make my own flour tortillas.  Actually, I am just trying to wait to go shopping until Thursday and wanted to use some awesome chalupa filling in tortilla shells today for lunch ... so I made my own tortillas.  The process was not altogether hard, but the outcome was not as pretty or predictable as the bag from Walmart.  I definitely felt very domestic and "homey" in the process though!

Flour Tortillas

2 c unsifted flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 c lard or shortening
1/2 c lukewarm water

Combine flour and salt.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork.  Gradually add water and toss with fork to make a stiff dough.  Form into a ball and knead thoroughly on lightly floured surface until smooth and flecked with air bubbles.  To make dough easier to handle, grease surface, cover tightly and refrigerate 4-24 hours before using.  Let dough return to room temperature before rolling out.

Divide dough into 8 balls for large tortillas, or 11 balls for common 8" size.  Roll as thin as possible on lightly floured surface.  Drop onto a very hot ungreased griddle.  Bake until freckled on one side.  (Takes only about 20 seconds).  Lift edge, turn, and bake on second side.

Serve at once or cool tortillas, wrap airtight, and refrigerate or freeze.  To serve later, place in tightly covered baking dish and warm in oven, or fry briefly in hot shallow oil.


Cooking on the griddle



Stack ready for lunch

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clean and White

We've been enjoying a NC snow fall covered in ice.

I am thankful for its reminder ...
... when I confess my sins, God washes me whiter than snow.

Just glad his cleansing lasts longer than the snow ...
... the snow won't be with us too much longer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Exercise!

Well, I feel as if I found a great new exercise.  Too bad that it is not an exercise that I can do frequently in NC.  I bundled up this morning with layers and big winter boots for my walk.  It was an ab work out trying to stay upright on the icy roads, a leg work out trying to move the big boots when walking through the ice-crusted snow, and a really great cardio putting it all together.  I don't think that it will be an option tomorrow, but I enjoyed it for today!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Day

The snow was followed with a good dose of freezing rain. 
No school again today!

Did you notice todays date 1*11*11?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

Well, today should be the first day back to classes for hubby.  But ... we are having a snow day instead!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Practicing Trust

When there is a gap between God's way and wisdom
and my understanding of God's way,
I must fill the gap with trust.
-Ken Collier-

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thinking Green

No, I am not a fanatical environmentalist
... but, I am about 1 month away from planting peas! 
My goal is around Valentines Day, February 14.

I placed my seed and plant order yesterday
... ooohh, the excitement. 

We are not having gardening weather though,
there is a forecast for snow today, Sunday night, and Monday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Right Thoughts

As hubby and I walked together on January 1st, we talked about our resolutions.  Spiritually, we both had the same thoughts ... to slow down and let God speak.  It is easy to get into the habit of "checking" off our Bible study, especially as we aim to read through the Bible each year.  This year, we are both slowing down to really hear from God and to learn more from what we are reading. 

My second prayer and desire for this year is to have right thoughts in every situation and that those thoughts will manifest themselves as right words and right actions.  This goal was intensified by the receipt of a new book for Christmas.  I am reading What Do I Know About My God? by Mardi Collier.  The emphasis of the book is to read the Bible with purpose.  As I finish each reading, I should be able to answer with "My God is ..."  The other emphasis in the book is to face every challenge and setback in life with the question, "What do I know about God?"  When I am disappointed in my situation, I need to remember that I know that my God is in control.  When I am tempted to discouragement by my looks, abilities, or talents, I need to remember that I know that my God is the Creator. 

This morning I was working on this verse for memorization.  It also goes along with "My God is in control."

Ecclesiastes 7:13
Consider the work of God:
for who can make that straight,
which he hath made crooked.

Though things may not look "right" to me,
God has designed the path that I am to walk,
and who am I to seek another path.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SATISFIED!

Psalm 107:9
For he satisfieth the longing soul,
and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

God is in control.  He meets my needs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

3 out of 24

Well, it sure was a season of giving for our Christmas celebration. 

Hubby and I made the drive to NY to see ALL of my family
(2 parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters-in-law, and 14 nieces and nephews). 

We also enjoyed seeing real snow again. 
(Though we had about the 6 inches of snow on Christmas day in NC
- the first time in over 50 years!) 

It was a great visit ... and quite unusual. 
Why? 
Not only did we share time, and gifts, and memories ...
but someone shared a nasty bug. 
Only 3 out of 24 survived without catching it! 
Poor hubby caught it (guess he doesn't have Hadley immunity) ...
but surprisingly, I made it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011

Oh, here we go again!  I think that I just got into the habit of writing 2010 and we are here at 2011.  Don't you just love the feel of a new year?  One of the joys of teaching was that first day ... every one started fresh - new books, new bulletin boards, clean chalkboards, and new class ...  Here we are with new opportunities before us.

Philippians 3:13-14
Brethren, I count not myself t have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

With the new year, I can view this verse in two ways. 

First,  I am reminded to leave a rough past year in the past.  Maybe I did not reach all my goals, maybe I did not grow spiritually as I should have, maybe I was not the servant that I needed to be.  It is in the past.  What is keeping me from reaching those goals this year, from growing in the Lord this week, from serving now?

Second, I can be reminded to leave a successful year in the past in order to grow this year.  It is easy to look upon what I have done in the past and then fail to go forward because I am relishing what has happened in the past.  God wants to use me in the here and now.  Congratulations on your successes of last year, now press toward the future!  What else will God allow you to do?