Saturday, January 30, 2010

roller coasters in the dark...

we have had a bad wednesday.

and thursday...

and friday.

saturday, well, today we are a tad more normal, but only because we are putting significant effort into it.

we have been snappy with each other and the kids.

we are stressed out.

it is like riding a roller coaster in the dark.

i don't like riding roller coasters in broad daylight. you know. the click, click, click noise as you travel upward and wait for the last millisecond to go over the edge and the fly down at wretching speeds only to take a sudden hairpin turn.

now add the dark.

right now we are on the click, click, click part of the ride. wednesday afternoon around 2 pm, we got on the ride. thursday was all uphill. so was friday.

in the midst of this we are waiting for the drop. will it be exhilarating or totally frightening?

we are trying so hard to focus our eyes on Jesus through all of this. it is a moment by moment struggle. to be honest, i think i am managing better than my KISA, but only because the situation is all about him. i am just collateral damage. as are my children.

he is worried, but trying to be hopeful.

he is stressed, but trying to rest in God's promises.

i can only stand by in prayer and love and support him through it all.

but, jeez. i want to get off this ride already.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ham and Noodle Casserole

i just made this last night and realized that a friend of mine had asked me for this recipe and i totally forgot to give it to her (sorry, heather!). so i thought i would post it.

Ham and Noodle Casserole (Taste of Home, Light and Tasty, adapted)

shopping list:

8 oz elbow noodles
12 oz cottage cheese
3/4 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
2 T flour
3 T grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dill weed
1 cup chopped cooked ham
10 oz frozen peas

1. cook noodles according to package, drain
2. mix in a large bowl: cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, flour, parmesan, dill weed
3. add ham and noodles and mix in.
4 pour into 9x13 pan sprayed with non-stick
5. bake, covered, about 25 minutes at 350
6. top with frozen peas and return to oven, covered, for 5 minutes

enjoy :)

my kids love this meal, and french bread is a really nice side. it serves our family of five with leftovers for lunch the next day for the kids.

this also freezes beautifully! multiply the needed ingredients by 4, and then mix everything together up to the peas. place in 1 gallon freezer ziploc bags and lay flat in freezer. on the day you want to serve it, pull it out in the morning to thaw, and then follow directions #5 and 6.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday's Manna

i am often amused, and, well, annoyed, by the methods employed by my boys to clean up toys or their room, or whatever. the level of annoyment is usually in direct proportion to how many times i have had to prompt them in putting their belongings away.

see, they usually grab the one thing that they still want to play with (sometimes 2 or 3 things) and then proceed to pick up the other toys while still hanging onto the chosen one. lest the sibling should accidentally put it away instead. needless to say, the clean-up process becomes a very extended one because they now only have one hand free to clean up.

often, they lug very heavy or awkward toys with one hand simply so they won't have to let go of what their little heart desires.

unfortunately, i can see myself in this.

Luke 9.23 says:

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. "


the problem in myself is that i can see a striking resemblance to my boys. instead of taking up my cross every day, i lug around my "stuff" with one hand, and try to pick up my cross with the other. it becomes awkward, cumbersome, and altogether too easy to put down so that i can continue to love on my worldly possessions or character traits that too often drag me away from following Jesus.

but He leaves no room for the extra stuff. have you ever seen a crucifix? like what Jesus would have died on? they were large, unfinished, full of splinters, heavy, burdensome. and yet He carried His after being flogged and ridiculed and spit on and beaten by people in the streets.

for me.

for you.

and He asks us to deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily to follow Him.

but first, i have to unburden my arms.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The New Year's Resolution...or not

well, it is a week into the new year. how are your resolutions going?

was your resolution to eat healthier? if that were mine, i would have failed within 24 hours.

was it to exercise more? i would have failed that one, too.

how about to spend more time with the Lord? i am actually doing ok in that area, but only because my weekly bible study resumed on the 4th and i had to finish our lesson.

i haven't made resolutions for several years, mainly because i know i am way too apt to fail at them. i want to have a more organized home. i want to clean my home better. i want to be a better mom. a better wife. a better friend. but why wait for the New Year to start over?

the bible is very specific. God's mercies are new EVERY DAY. not just on New Year's. (Lam 3:22-23)

we are not to worry about what tomorrow has in store, because we have enough on our plates today. (Matthew 6:34)

every time i feel the need to 'change' something in my life, i pick a date of some sort. like, i will start a new bible reading plan on the 1st of the month so that i won't be off. but then, say on the 5th i mess up and forget. do i double up on the 6th, or give up completely?

or what about the monday diet start? i always gorged the weekend before knowing what was coming on monday morning. and by wednesday? forget it. i was already done with celery sticks and low carbs and back to my morning bagel with peanut butter.

and then the end of the year. the possibilities are endless, right? a chance to change numerous things about myself because it is the beginning of a new year...ha! i cannot think of a better way to set myself up for failure. so i don't even bother.

here's the rub. God doesn't want me to stay the way i am. He loves me as i am, accepts me for who i am, but He really doesn't want to see me stay this way. i am to strive toward becoming more like His Son every day...not just at the beginning of the year, beginning of the month, or the beginning of the week. EVERY DAY. if i have a bad day, i shouldn't wait out the week and start anew on monday. i should start again as soon as i figure out i messed up.

do i do this? i am just beginning (even though it was probably glaringly obvious) to see the trend of waiting to start something. so, no i can't say that i do this.

do i want to do this? oh, yes. i want to be more Christ like. i want to change from my selfish, prideful self, to a more gentle and humble person, full of grace and mercy and love. i want to be a Titus 2 woman (specifically verses 4 and 5) more than anything, but i often get in my own way.

change is hard. i avoid change because it takes work, some effort on my part. i am lazy most of the time, and have grandiose ideas on how to do something, but never put stuff into practice. God is working on that, thank goodness, and one day (not on earth) i will be complete, whole, just as He intended. what a wonderful day that will be.

until then, i need to get to work and let God work on me. not change what I think needs changing, but let Him do His work in me so that He can be glorified. not tomorrow, not monday, not on the first of the month or year.

but today. now.