Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday Night Summary, August 30, 2015

Reading: A friend (thank you, Jen Fisher) allowed me to borrow her copy of Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love," and I am so glad she did. This book. This woman. I love it and her. I love the journey God has taken her on in discovering how to truly love Him and people well. I love that she is not only willing but also incredibly gifted in telling the story of her journey and all that she has learned along the way. In her early 40's, Jen Hatmaker has a wealth of wisdom mixed with a lot of humor to offer in her latest release, "For the Love."

From blog world this week, I read this post by Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience, the heart of which has been challenging me significantly, causing me to ask myself, "How am I really living out the good news that Jesus is and declared through His life, death and resurrection to ALL people, those inside and outside the church?"

Make time to read this all important, incredibly relevant post of Ann Voskamp's. Let this paragraph whet your appetite for the entire post:

When we are against abortion but are for the cutting of social safety nets, when our political agendas are loud but our daily schedules are pretty quiet about serving people different than us, when we get up on our soapboxes about morality but don’t get out of our comfortable boxes to make real friends with those who live a different lifestyle —— we look like we’re more about pro-birth than we are pro-life, we look like we’re more about self-preservation than community transformation, we look like we’re more about judgement than Jesus.
The life of Jesus would radically suggest: The most conservative in theology, should be the most liberal in loving.
The life of Jesus would radically suggest: Don’t advertise your beautiful faith without advertising your broken-down faults — because those broken-down faults are the exact reason why you need your beautiful faith.
Both Jen Hatmaker and Ann Voskamp, in their vastly different yet uniquely beautiful writing and speaking, articulate so many things for which my heart beats loud and hard. These women use strong words and better words than I seem to be able to put together to communicate so much that rings true for me in the walking out of my faith. I am grateful for their diligent pursuit of the gifts God's deposited in them and sacrifices they have made to see those gifts enjoyed and benefited from by others, far and wide. 
Eating: I scored a glut of re-fried black beans at BB's several weeks ago, and have been making a layered taco dip with them that has been a huge hit at several summer gatherings we've had to bring a food dish to.
Here is the ever so easy to put together layered dip, a spin on the traditional taco dip.

1 can re-fried black beans 
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (your choice; I use greek yogurt)
Guacamole (homemade or store bought, your choice)
Salsa (same as above)
Shredded Cheddar or mozzarella cheese 

Simply layer the above ingredients and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. It's delicious!

Running out of quick breakfast options this past week, I had to resort to making an overnight french toast. Pioneer Woman's recipes never fail me. I looked up an overnight french toast recipe from her, and I was again pleased. Try it. You won't regret it.
Doing: Many returned to school this past week, and so did we. Though, I have learned over the last 5 years of doing this home school gig that a gentle easing back into school goes much better for us than jumping into a full schedule from Day 1. As such, I begin a little earlier than some of my com padres and affectionately call it our "Soft start."

We only took on about half our subjects this week and even then, only completed four school days out of the five. Midweek we took the day off for one final girls' day for Bella at a friend's house who lives right on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

My friend, Jill, has gathered Bella along with a handful of other girls Bella's age at her house several times this summer and throughout last spring to spend time with the girls and teach them all things domestic arts related. 
This last girls' day, Jill's focus was spending time with God. Jill graciously allowed me to lead a small time of teaching the girls from what I have learned over my life time about developing, sustaining and strengthening one's relationship with God through Bible reading, prayer and journaling. 
I have to say these are the kinds of opportunities that absolutely make me feel so alive and purpose driven. I love talking about my relationship with God. I love teaching others, especially girls and women, about spiritual things. It was by far one of the highlights of my week, especially the time we had with the girls, talking about what they did and/or learned after they practiced some of the things I taught them. 
We had several doctors' appointments this week. Do I say that a lot? I feel like I say that a lot. sigh. The kids and I all had dental appointments. The kids managed no cavities for which I gave much thanks. I, however, did not fare so well. 
I am telling you, I am the most ardent brusher/flosser in this family, and I always end up the one having the most dental procedures. sigh again. In the midst of scheduling two different teeth extractions, I now have to get a filling to boot. Seriously?  I am ready to have them yank all my teeth and fill my mouth with dentures. I'd have a new party trick at least. 
We enjoyed a more fall-ish feeling week weather wise, and are beginning to see other signs of fall like dried, brown leaves already coating our yard and spiders spinning some rather impressive webs right outside our windows at night. 

The kids and I enjoyed one final "Fun Friday," with some of our home school buds again at our friend, Jill's house. Jumping off her pier, playing "King of the Inter-tube," and eating take out pizza was a great way to celebrate the end of summer and our first week of school simultaneously.

I had my own unintended celebration, winning at my neighborhood Bunco that night. Woot!

I put in just under 10 miles this week running, less than I want but more than nothing. And all my runs were under a 9 minute/mile pace for which I am thrilled. I am just grateful to be out there. 

Oddly enough, one of my favorite things to do all month is my big grocery shop at a discount store 50 minutes from my house. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month typically, am on the road by 7 a.m. and arrive to BB's as they are opening their doors at 8 a.m. I spend 4 hours grocery shopping and love every second of it, except for maybe the 120 seconds I spend in the deep freezer. That's not as much fun.  But, this grocery store fills my freezers, fridge and pantry for about a quarter of the cost of shopping at any of my local grocery stores. It is so worth the time and trip in this season of my life. And, I get a solid 6 hours all by myself. I catch up on podcasts I want to listen to. I sit in sheer silence and breathe a little deeper. I pray. I love it. 

Saturday afternoon, I attended a baby shower my church hosted for the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns.  I had never been to a baby shower like it, and was so grateful for the ways in which my church seeks to play a role in a number of ministries reaching out to and meeting the needs of communities outside its own reach.

Along those lines, as a family we attended a special evening potluck and service at our church tonight that gave attention to the various international missions folks from our church have been on and/or are still a part of. My soul was lifted and enlarged to hear about the activity of God and the unity of His Spirit across the world, specifically in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Scotland, Sudan and Russia.

Looking Ahead: I gotta say that I am fighting to look at the week ahead with a cheerful outlook. The heavy circumstances of various friends and family are weighing on my heart tonight in addition to my own little family's needs for this week ahead.
Our truck barely got us home tonight, dash lights indicating several things, more things than we already knew about, needing our attention. So, we need to get that taken care of. 
I am scheduled for my first tooth extraction on Wednesday. I cannot tell you how much I am not looking forward to this. The thing I keep consoling myself with is the thought that maybe, just maybe, I might lose a pound or two due to not being able to eat solids for some time while I heal.

And, hey, because this is how we roll around here...why don't we just end this banner week with a laser treatment for Judah. Friday afternoon, we would love your thoughts and prayers. 

1 comment:

Danielle said...

The quote "The most conservative in theology, should be the most liberal in loving" stuck out to me too and was very thought-provoking.

I was so bummed to see we missed the last Fun Friday! I didn't even know about that one. Somehow that date never made it on my calendar. I thought the last one was the inner tubing down the Gunpowder! Stink!