Monday, March 10, 2014

ten on ten: March

finding much life and beauty among the ordinary things of our day

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

daily bread

I like listening to jazz or r&b when I cook.  I've had food on my mind this month.  

It was a regular weeknight, when we didn't send the kids to bed at their usual bedtime, instead we waited together for a pan of blueberry crisp to come out of the oven.  Then at 10 pm I lined up 5 plates, dished up the warm goodness, and scooped vanilla bean ice cream on top.  As we sat around the table, all unanimously voting we liked the crisp, it hit me- this is a happy moment.  

I was so happy and it was more meaningful because this winter has also had its low moments.  That hit me too. When we went to the movie Frozen, as a family, and I cried so hard I left with a headache.  Mostly because I was trying to stop myself from being the slobbering mess I was.  Wow, I guess I needed a good cry.  Sheesh.  

Someone I love told me, sometimes it doesn't matter how we feel we just need to do what we know we should. I will cook.  

In neediness, I want to make soup.  Soup and more soup.  I made chicken chili until I thought I better lay off the recipe or we'd be chicken chili'd out for good.  Pumpkin soup, minestrone, lentil soup.  Soup because it's winter and we're cold.  Soup because I'm sad and soup is comforting.  Soup because it's healthy and nourishes us.  I want to feed and nurture. 

This month, I felt God whispering to my heart the reminder that I need daily bread.  He'll give it to me on a day-by-day basis and I need to come back again tomorrow.  

I'm thankful for tomorrows, for daily bread, the opportunity to cook and invite people to come to my table.  

I'm hungry.  Tomorrow's dinner menu is chicken curry.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Let Me See Redemption Win

"I'm tired I'm worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing
I've made mistakes
I've let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I want to know a song can rise from ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won't let up

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
My prayers are wearing thin
Ya I'm worn
Even before the day begins
Ya I'm worn
I've lost my will to fight
I'm worn
So heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption wins
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Yes, all that's dead inside will be reborn
Though I'm worn
Ya I'm worn

[Worn- Tenth Avenue North]

Saturday, October 19, 2013

growing apples

I'm thinking of change and what motivates us.  I have been talking to our 10 year old daughter about friendship and manners.  When people talk to her or ask her a question, she should answer them.  Be friendly and engage in conversation.  It's like throwing a ball, I'll say.  She says something to them- that's throwing the ball.  They respond- that's them throwing the ball back. And on it goes in a conversation.  She'll do what I ask, usually, when I am watching her.  But the other day I asked, do you "throw the ball" when I'm not around?  

Here's the thing, and maybe it's harder for me than for you.  I'm of the personality type that looks for results.  I tend to focus on the outside.  When I think of needing to change myself, my tendency is to start with what I can do. I make the list.  Set a goal.  Do things that will help me.  A new habit. New effort. New challenge.  And all of that can be good and helpful.  But it can really fall flat.  What if it's not about me and my efforts?  

You see, my daughter can do what I've asked because I've pounded into her the demand she should do x,y,z. But how much better when I see it's her desire to be a friendly, kind girl and smile and talk with others? When genuine love for others is motivating her.  I read a great illustration (from here) this week and I keep thinking of it...

"Fruit is born from the inside -- not applied to the outside.

Imagine that the fruit you desired was the edible variety, so you went out into your yard and planted an apple tree. Just suppose that one day, while you were waiting for the apples to begin growing on your tree, you caught a glimpse of a neighbor's apple tree. You noticed in admiration that its branches were laden with big, luscious apples. What would you do? Would you run to the produce market to buy some apples, then go home, and in the dead of night, tie them onto your tree? If you did, the sight of your tree might really impress your neighbors. But that is not what you would do. You would likely go to the neighbor and ask how he cared for and fertilized his tree to produce such fruit. It is the same with our children - luscious fruit will be born from what we put into them - not from what we tie onto them. As a matter of fact, in no time, the fruit that we put onto our children will rot and fall off."

There's a better way than tying fruit onto myself or my children.  I want to grow real fruit and that's only going to happen if I'm connected to Christ.  I need His work in me.  I'm opening myself to Him and asking Him to change me from the inside instead of getting tripped up by the temptation to focus on the outward form.  Christ resides in me and will infuse life in me. That's when good, sweet fruit will come.   


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