Reading: Much of what I read this week had to do with the refugee crisis. I am slain by the overwhelming need and fighting my cynicism to believe God's people in particular will not turn away in apathy or complacency but will do one.small.thing, as Ann Voskamp so eloquently encourages in this, her one of several posts on the call to the Church to be the hands and feet and mouthpiece of Christ.
Please take some time to read some of the links she provides, to NOT TURN AWAY but to absorb and feel and then ACT. Though not in the same way as these refugees, I have nevertheless been a person in need. I have been a person who has grieved loss again and again. Life's circumstances could have broken me and made me bitter, but by God's mercy, they have not. They have shaped me, though, forging empathy into the fiber of my being. But, I am only one person. I have limited resources, but God has given me a heart that feels things so very deeply and a voice that I am not afraid to use to solicit others to action.
Honestly, in light of what I have learned this week about refugees, I found it difficult to give emotional focus to anything else I read. Though, I finished "For the Love" by Jen Hatmaker and will say it was the most enjoyable and resonating book I have read in a long time.
She is beginning a book club of sorts for her book, and I am hoping to not only participate but include a few of my fellow "For the Love" local friends. I would much rather discuss the ins and outs of living out our faith sitting face to face with you, a glass of wine and piece of chocolate in hand, than online staring at a computer screen. Anyone in? I'll provide the wine and chocolate. :)
Eating: This week it was a lot of smoothies and pureed food for me. I had my first tooth extracted. First, yes, of hopefully only two teeth that will ever be pulled from my mouth. The extraction itself wasn't so awful, but the recovery has been more painful and lengthy than I anticipated. By day 3, I fully expected to be back to normal. Instead, on day 4 I am still drinking smoothies, slurping soup, popping ibuprofen every 4 hours and icing the side of my face.
The upside to this is that I was able to pre-maturely prepare one of my fall favorites, Butternut Squash Soup. Of the plethora of recipes available, this is my current favorite. Don't let the "vegan, paleo, gluten free" labels scare you. It's absolutely scrumptious.
I don't know about you, but I am eagerly anticipating the cooler temperatures of fall for the simple joy of making soup again. I am rather fond of soup despite my family's mere tolerance of it. I suppose it is too close to a casserole concept for my family's liking. I am one of those odd ducks that just loves casseroles, soups and salads. Everything is in or on one pot, plate or bowl. Minimalist to the core. What's not to love?
For whatever reason (and that reason NOT being that I am pregnant) I was craving an Italian Wedding Soup and so took a stab at making it for the first time this week. While the appearance of it was rather odd due to a technical error incorporating the eggs, the taste was outstanding. Even my hubby liked it enough to eat leftovers!
What soups are among your fall favorites? Leave a link in the comments.
Doing: Well, this wasn't one of my favorite weeks ever. But, hey, "Momma said there'd be days like this." And, I've had weeks like this past one before. I know they are inevitable. And, I know we get through them. That's what we did. We got through this week as best as we could.
As I mentioned, I had my first tooth extraction. It went better than I anticipated. The surgeon and his assistant are wonderful--patient, thorough, sympathetic and skilled. I was grateful to find an oral surgeon with whom I was comfortable.
Two days after my extraction, Judah had a laser treatment. For whatever reason, he experienced more pain with this treatment than he ever has before. He screamed all throughout the treatment and cried for about an hour afterward. He was in so much distress after his treatment that he felt he was going to pass out at one point.
The doctor brought an ice pack for his face, and Judah sat with his face directly in the air conditioning fans of my hubby's car the entire ride home, moaning and asking God why He was torturing him.
It was not one of the more fun "mom moments" but one in which I was very grateful Judah has a mom and a dad to be with him in these dark hours, to hold his hand, remind him to breathe, assure him the pain won't last forever. And, it didn't.
By the time we were within 15 minutes of home and passing a local ice cream shop, Judah was feeling better enough to accept our offer for ice cream. Chocolate and Cookies-N-Cream with rainbow sprinkles and gummy worms for the win!
"Medical" and "Mechanical" are two budget categories that are absolutely bleeding us currently. Since the end of May, we have had near non-stop medical needs along with issues with our vehicles.
This past week, our Pilot was at the mechanic again. Lo and behold as Lawrence pulled out of the mechanic's parking lot after having a sensor replaced, a part that we had fixed just a month ago broke AGAIN! No kidding. He literally turned out of the parking lot only to turn right back in and leave the Pilot with the mechanic for another day.
Thankfully, the mechanic did not charge us for this second fix, but we are researching Honda recalls to find out if this is something the manufacturer can be held responsible for. We have had the same mechanic for years and trust his reliability and skill. We will be taking it to the Honda dealer this upcoming week for a recall on another part that has been needing fixed for a while.
I am grateful it will be covered financially and that I have friends who live relatively near enough to provide shuttle service or run errands for us as needed. Community is a beautiful thing. And, while we often try to arrange our lives so as to not need anything from anyone else, I have found God force me into this place of need time and time again to remind me that He comes near to those who humble themselves, ask for help and are willing to receive it.
For some of us, the self sufficient, pick-yourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps, American ideal of "I can do it by myself" is the very thing that keeps us from enjoying the rich benefits of intimate relationships within community. Being a giver as well as a receiver is necessary for robust and well rounded relationships.
Looking ahead: It is looking like a quieter week of plodding away at school and needs at home, of rest and healing and gearing up for the fullness of a fall schedule, which for us here at Montford includes A LOT of leaf blowing!
The kids and I have the first day of our new homeschool co op, Crossroads, on Friday. I am looking forward to jumping in headlong to this new community of fellow home educators and learners.