For The Beloved

17/09/2010 § Leave a comment

(photo courtesy of hubblesite.org)

Beloved,

Have you ever had one of those months where there are all these things you are facing, thoughts and ideas trampling through your mind taking up bandwidth, emotions tugging at your heart this way and that, the voices of opinions and facts, truth and lies jamming the frequency you usually tune into to hear that sweet and tender sound of the Savior calling? Is it just me? Cause that’s where I am at. Sitting on my chair, trying to quiet the noise and slow down the speed of processing going on in my brain. I’d like a vacation please.

I like things neat and in their place. My lack of discipline often aggravates this part of me. In this case however, I’m sure it’s the Lord, trying to tell me something through all of the loud incessant multi-thought garble. I have had a chance to talk to my husband about some of the things and there was even a wonderfully precious phone conversation with a dear new friend that has helped. Honestly, I think this is just the tip of the ice berg. Even now, as I try to think of just one topic of thought, it all blurs into this puddle and the word ‘TILT’ is displayed on the video screen of my brain and I hear that old, familiar sound of the message you used to get from the operator that was so loud it would startle you, do you remember the one?

*beep, beep, beep* All circuits are busy at this time. If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.” *beep, beep, beep*

The dogs just perked up their heads and are staring at me because I just laughed out loud at myself. “Oh, it was nothing. I’ll go back to sleep…” is the dialogue the expressions on their faces give me. I can relate to that. Part of me is wanting to do the same thing, just “go back to sleep”, what’s going on is ‘nothing’. And yet, I can’t shake the feeling I’m supposed to be learning something, growing in my convictions and understanding. No, I can’t just go back to sleep. I need to process. To keep processing. What helps me, when I don’t have someone to talk to, is I pray and I read the Word. I should add worship to that and maybe even start a journal…

What about you? What helps you process things? Have you had a time of ‘thought overload’? How did you get through it? What was the result? Conviction? Understanding? Awareness? Can you tell I’m curious? 🙂

In my prayer closet,

Traci

Soup’s On

09/09/2010 § 2 Comments

NOT Campbell’s, this is my first ever Beef Stew from last year.

Growing up we ate soup. Chicken noodle (w/saltines), tomato (w/grilled cheese), vegetable beef (w/club or saltine crackers)…but they all came in a can, that bore a distinct red and white label with a gold seal and the words ‘Campbell’s condensed soup’ elegantly displayed. We would even go around the house singing the jingle, “Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good!”. Just add a can of water and there’s your meal. With 6 hungry, growing kids, one small can wasn’t enough, but it was still cheaper to get a few cans of soup and less time consuming than making homemade. No one had time for that in the 70’s/80’s, not with all the Miami Vice watching, shoulder pad adjusting, double-income-so-we-can-have-toys working, Atari-thumb acquiring, mix tape making, fast food eating, hair teasing and crimping, MTV video lip-syncing, Star Wars light-saber dueling we needed to accomplish. Grab a prepackaged box, stick it in the microwave and you were good to go.

So, that’s what I grew up with, in a nutshell of sorts. If you can’t nuke it, excuse me, microwave it, or make it in less that 10 minutes, you’re wasting time. Label reading? What’s that? Serving size? Isn’t it one package per person per meal? Preservatives? Micro waves are safe otherwise ‘they’ wouldn’t have let them be sold…right? Stop confusing me with the facts! Ahhhhhhhhh!

Simmering my first batch of Tomato Soup.

Now, lest you think I’m a food nazi, I want to clarify. If you have or use a microwave, I’ll still love you. If you buy prepackaged food and the fast food drive-thru clerks know you by name, I’ll still love you. Even if you frequently consume mass quantities of preservatives and like it, I’ll still love you. There’s always room for grace. This is my personal perspective and the road I am traveling, feel free to join in any capacity, you are more than welcome!

The beginnings of my Potato Soup. Shhhh…it has a secret ingredient.

Now where were we? Ah yes, soup. These past few years of having a house and a husband have really changed me. For the better (right honey? Honey?). I have learned so much and have grown so much I barely recognize myself. It’s as though I have been slowly emerging out of a cocoon in order to become the child of God I was always meant to be. It’s been hard. It’s been tiring. It’s been bittersweet. It’s been real. It’s been good.

I consider part of that role to be feeding my family and actually, truth be told, this is one of my most favorite parts! I feel like I am loving my family when I take the time to prepare hearty, healthy meals for them. It’s my gift of love to them. It’s the least I can do for them living with me year-round. Besides, it’s in my genetic make-up to help, provide and take care of those I love. They are my gifts. My blessings. Anything less than my all and my best isn’t good enough for them.

When I first started making soup I was completely clueless and actually put it off for a very long time. I was afraid to mess it up. I was afraid it would be more than I could handle and if it wasn’t going to turn out like the best soup that was ever created since the dawn of time and beginning of making soup, well, why bother? (Did mention I’m a recovering perfectionist?)

Then, one day, with my nose shoved in a cookbook (a rather frequent occurrence) and all the self-talk and courage I could possibly find to muster, I tried. And you know what? IT WORKED. Yep, totally. It seriously worked. I made chicken noodle soup from my own homemade stock, oh and by ‘worked’ I mean, it was delicious, edible even. Here’s the proof:

Meet my first ever from scratch Chicken Noodle Soup!

Here it is in my pretty pink bowl.

And here it is with some yummy organic ginger peach tea and a sleeve of saltines, naturally.

That was a great day for me. A momentous, milestone of an occasion. Nervously standing over the hot stove, chopping all of the celery, carrots and onions into uniform, bite-size chunks, measuring just the right amount of sage rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, clinging to my cookbook and reading it over and over again to make sure each step was painstakingly taken in precisely the exact manner the author intended…(recovery takes awhile) all for the love of my family. *happy sigh*

So do you make your own soup? Thinking about trying it out? Happy sticking with the canned variety? What are your favorites? Any fun memories you’d like to share that come to mind?

xoxo

i knit things

08/09/2010 § 2 Comments

Pattern: Soap ’em Up

(Leisure Arts booklet “Color-Splash Dishcloths”)

Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream Cotton Ombres in Rosewood

Needles: sz8 Clover Velvet circulars

When It’s All Been Said and Done

08/09/2010 § Leave a comment

Exactly 17 years ago today I held my newborn in my arms in a strange, new place. A friend had brought me to a church so I could see what it was like. Little did I know then, that as I cradled my sweet baby girl in my arms, I myself was being drawn up into the arms of my Savior and became a newborn too, or rather, born-again. When I look back to that day that started my new life, I reflect on parts of the journey that got me to where I am now and I am in awe, completely astonished that I’ve made it so far. As I look forward to what new adventures could possibly await, I only linger momentarily. I really don’t know what my future holds, but, I know Who holds my future and that is enough for me.

For the Beloved

08/09/2010 § Leave a comment

Beloved,

The cursor blinks relentlessly. I stare at it, willing it to inspire me. Something. Anything. Please? Inside I laugh at myself. If people only knew who I am when no one sees. I stop and wonder, “Would they still like me?”. I pause to reflect where this daunting subject could end. As the thoughts swirl, I become increasingly aware that there’s a reason I tend to ‘hide’ behind a screen. Am I ready to ‘go there’? Go beyond the easy and obvious and bare deep, inner parts of me? Nothing too secret, no, nothing too real. What would people think? What if they find out, you know, that I’m…a quirky, awkward human?

Another inner chuckle escapes as I reassure myself of the certainty that that knowledge is already far spread, assumed even. “Is that ok?” I wonder. It must be, I conclude. Others have already let their proverbial ‘cat out of the bag’, bared their depths for all to see and judge. Hmmm…there’s a word. Judge. That can be an icky, tricky one.

No one wants to admit it, yet we all do it and in most cases it is necessary as an assessment to know which direction to proceed. Judging is good, at times, but quickly becomes vile and slanderous when we use it against others for selfish means. It produces fear and wreaks havoc on the innocent. Yet, it’s where we unwisely run when we think we need its counsel.

judge- v. tr. 1. To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration. 2. To determine or declare after consideration or deliberation. 3. Informal To have as an opinion or assumption; suppose. 4. Bible To govern; rule. Used of an ancient Israelite leader.

Sure. That seems fair and right. Opinions should be held loosely as they are not something solid rather things that can morph and change as one learns more, observes more, etc. While based on facts, they are only an ‘educated assumption’ that come from evaluating or judging, the observed, outward actions of the subject.

v.intr.
1. To form an opinion or evaluation. 2. To act or decide as a judge.

Great! Glad to know I was on the right track. Wait a minute, number 2 says one can ‘act…as a judge’. It seems as though my ‘proceed with caution’ radar has gone up. It seems to me I’m not the only one they had in mind when forming this definition, therefore, others can apply this intransitive verb if and whenever they so choose. I think we’re getting into dangerous territory now.

judge- n. 1. One who judges, especially: a. One who makes estimates as to worth, quality, or fitness.

Ok, here we go. We’ve arrived. This is exactly what sends me to a quiet hole in my own universe. The skies are pleasant here. Safety radiates all around from the thick, high walls I surround myself with. It’s so peaceful. Silent. Dark…and lonely. People scare me.

A small price to pay for all that I get, the ‘package deal’, right? All the perks and amenities:

Backed by our Worry-Free Guarantee, you’ll find comfort of life and ease of mind with our 24 hour Protection Services. Complete with impenetrable super-duper-thick high walls, you will never be hurt again and with our new, state-of-the-art, darker than darkness window system you can see others without them seeing you. The ultimate in protection from unwanted meaningful contact. Never suffer from being vulnerable to anyone again. All this and more for a low, low cost of giving up the following: your health, your happiness, being understood, understanding others, your daily dose of sunlight, your social life, friendships with humans (pets are permitted), your family and so much more!
Act now and start living a life of anxiety, fear, sadness, depression, loneliness, self-loathing, solitude, selfishness, pride and overall ill health today!

Wow, all that and more huh?

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.” ~Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV)

Baby stepping toward wholeness in Christ,

Traci



Got Dill?

01/09/2010 § 7 Comments

“Darling, can you please pick me up some fresh dill from the store?”

(my darling husband is about 6′ tall…)

Where Am I?

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