Monday, December 29, 2008


These wondering thoughts started as an article for the MOPS newsletter I help create each month. But I couldn't get them to work together to my satisfaction. So I thought I'ld throw them out on the blogosphere just so I could get them down.

Change, why do we fear it so much? As a Christian, I know that God has everything in His hands. But that doesn't mean I'm not afraid. Where did all the doubt come from? Well, I know where it came from, but why does it linger?

I have been through a lot of change. I have only been married 6 years, but I feel like a lot has happened in that time. We graduated from college, had a few babies, a few scary stays at the hospital. Change in jobs. Change in location. Change in diet. Each change was a little more intense than the last one.

First, college graduation. What now? Work? Are you kidding? Pay our bills, buy the groceries. Ahhh. But it was exciting starting our adult lives together. Than, a year and a half later, a baby. How wonderful and blessed that time was. Than a job loss, child in the hospital, moving and a second baby born. Whoa, that was a bit much. But I learned that God provides through His people. New home, new church, new diet. Ok, Your grace is sufficient for me. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I got my verses down. But still, it was dark. All the changes outside and inside my body. I can't deal!

Calm, peace breath out. A new kind of family. At church. Let go of the anger from not knowing what would happen. Give in to God and his plan, stop trying to control everything myself. Nine months of bliss. Of a stable environment. Wait, our son breaks his leg. NIGHTMARE! Social worker visit that turns into chaos. Down the dark spiral of shame and wrongful accusation. Where is your justice God. Why are your people persecuted?! It's out of my hands. I have to trust the Lord to protect my kids. Can I do it? Do I really believe in His provision for me AND my family? I have to. It's my only hope. The only light I can see, my last lifeline.

Rejoice! They are back. God is good. But now all those fears about being a good parent are back. What if they were right to take the kids? Am I really doing a good job? The self-doubt is back. Old strongholds come around my heart, blocking out the sound of the Spirit. Put on my happy face for church, but lash out at my kids and husband. Why us? Why all the upheaval?

Truth breaks through the lies. His word is my refuge. I will run in to the safe arms of the Almighty and not look back. Peace again! Relief in the cool waters of His Spirit. Thank-you Jesus for your grace.

More change. A job change, meaning a new house, new city. Leaving all that is familiar and safe. Can I do it? Do I believe He can sustaine me through this? Yes, even though I don't want to leave. I will follow my husband and let him be the leader of our home. I WILL trust in God.

Wow, this time I really am at peace. God has made a difference. He has brought us in his timing to where He wants us to be. I finally learned to accept what God wants, and not my own desires. Amazing, how the Lord takes us through adversity so we may be refined and made into His Image. Thank-you my Sovereign

Monday, December 8, 2008

Making Rice

My husbands deep and profound love of all things pertaining to Asian cuisine, from watching the Iron Chef to eating at PF Chang's every time we are within 20 miles of a major city, has led him on a quest for the perfect bowl of rice at home. Being male, this quest has gone from a mild desire to an all consuming obsession. We have bought different types of rice, new pots for making rice, spent hundreds of dollars to satiate the need for perfect, fluffy rice. Even to the point that we now own a rice maker. Convinced that this modern wonder would be the solution that would save us from having to eat at a Chinese buffet every few weeks just so he could get his fix of rice.

So we bought the rice cooker. Convinced this was the answer to our problem. The very next day of owning this monstrosity, I made rice. I followed the directions to the letter. Who knew there were more than two steps to making rice? Apparently there are 8, according to the manufacturer's directions. Well, let's just say the rice was not up to standards. It was to mushy. So we discussed the rice and its preparation. Next time I tried the rice cooker, I didn't rinse it first, but just threw it in to the cooker and walked away. This time it was not cooked enough. As I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, I made sure the rice cooker was put in the most inconvenient and hidden compartment of my cupboards never to be seen or heard from again.

Now, I was content to leave it at that. I don't really like rice, I'm more of a potato kind of girl. So it's been a few more weeks of meals without rice. With the occasional meal at PF Chang's and the local Chinese buffet. That is fine with me. Then I see the twinkle in my husband's eye. He is feeling the need to have a project. Uh-oh, I know what's coming. An edict will be declared through our household, and it will be my job to make sure all goes smoothly. Here is the following conversation:

Husband: “What do you want to do now?”

Wife: (absentmindedly because she is trying to read) “I don't care, wanna watch a movie?”

Husband: “I know, let's make rice!” (claps hands excitedly)

Wife: “ Ugh, now?”

Husband runs off excitedly to the kitchen. Wife follows slowly shaking her head as she hears cupboards opening and shutting.

Husband: “Where's the rice cooker?”

Wife finds it immediately after husband has been unable to.

Husband: “You know what I think went wrong? I think you didn't... BLAH BLAH BLAH

Wife: “I followed the directions exactly and you said the rice was to mushy.”

Husband: “Well, I am going to make some test rice. And I am going to make it exactly like the directions say to. (asks wife) Now, what do I do first.”

As my husband continued to bumble around in obviously unfamiliar territory (that of the kitchen and cooking in general) his enthusiasm over his project rivaled that of Tim the tool man Taylor's from Home Improvement. Then he got to step 3 on the directions, and asks “How do I know how much water to put in? It doesn't tell me anything.” I quietly turned the page to the chart explaining the rice to water amounts, with a smug smile on my face.

Husband: “But it only says to fill to line two. What's line two? I need fractions! I only want to make ½ a cup of rice, not two.”

Wife quietly points to the next column in the chart.

Husband looks with bafflement at the cup provided by the rice company.
Husband: “Ok, I'll fill this with rice to the ½ cup line. So that means I only need 1/8 cup of water. Where is the 1/8 measuring cup?”

Wife: “Just use the ¼ cup but only fill it half way.”

Husband: (skeptically) “But that won't be a completely accurate measurement to just eyeball it.... If this doesn't turn out, it's your fault.”

Note: As of this posting we have yet to make the the perfect bowl of rice.

The reason for Christmas

Christmas is upon us and for the first time, my four year old is finally able to understand that it's not just about presents. He is genuinely excited to help put up decorations and pick out presents for OTHER people. It's been a lot of fun.

We pulled out our decorations box and lights. He was quite giddy with the excitement of it all. Our tree is only about 6 inches high and holds about three regular sized ornaments. But this did not deter my little helper's enthusiasm. We flattened out the branches of our little tree and put on it's miniature ornaments. Then my elf found all the glittery, expensive ornaments his father and I received as wedding presents. I quickly steered him away from those to the lights I wanted to put up outside. We continued our work, got the lights up and was almost done. Then my sweet little angel found my grandmother's nativity scene. And asked, “Is this Jesus?” I replied, “Yes, it is. Do you know what Christmas is for?” He responded, “It's for Jesus' birthday.” Pregnant pause... “And presents.” Maybe we have some more work to do on that one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!