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Clearing Out The Old

One of my favorite parts about spring and summer is not the heat, although I do love that. I love yard work.

Strange. I know. But it’s true. I go a little nuts on my yard and working in it. I love tending my flowers, plotting and planning where to put more and what kinds I want. I love getting out, walking behind my mower and  using my weed whacker.

My favorite things.

I’d really rather spray weed killer, or use a good weed and feed than spend any time pulling weeds. Why pull them when you can kill them dead right in their tracks? I mean really!

 

I was recently gone for a week….oh it was a glorious week! Jesus lived large, loud and out-loud. He was so very present. A friend of mine has what he calls “EO” or eating orgasm. (I know…I know…I know), I have adapted that somewhat and will often now exclaim, “JO! JO! JO!” Not as a name, Jo, but “Jay Oh!” Because He blesses me.

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This morning was just such a time.  I spent time mowing, pruning my flowers, and just general yard work. 20170609_063710

I love spending time outside with Jesus. He is always so faithful to speak and focus my thoughts on Him and His very goodness and very God-ness.

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This morning I noticed the ugly part of my yard really needed some attention. And by some attention I really mean a LOT of attention. It is ugly. No grass at all, it’s choked with weeds. There are no pretty flowers and really it’s just an eyesore. Our old broken trampoline is there, broken and fallen branches clutter the top.

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Today was the day to mow that area.  I started in and it was hard going. It seemed every large tree branch from 5 counties was in that small, postage stamp sized area.  My mower was wanting to stop with each step I took it. I was determined to win the battle though and persevered.

Pushing my way through when Jesus spoke. “You know, this is a lot like your life. It’s full of weeds, things you have believed to be true that just aren’t. Now we’re working through these, and it’s hard going.”

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“We’ll have to stop every so often while we pick up broken branches. Some of the weeds will just bend with the mower, so we’ll have to go back over them from another direction to clear the area.”

I was listening, taking it all in. I stopped to move the branches, the broken fence posts, praying for a heart that is willing to do the hard work to believe the truth that so often feels and sounds like a lie.

Isn’t that funny. We listen to and believe lies so much the truth sounds like a lie. We exchange the TRUTH of God for a lie and that makes the lie true and the truth a lie.

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Our choice makes the truth a lie. 

Yeah, you try that on for a pair of moments. Just by believing a lie, you’re making the truth a lie and a lie the truth.

Now that’s crazy talk!

When I willing choose to believe a lie from the enemy, either the devil himself or my own flesh, I do his job for him.

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And you know what?

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I’m done helping him out. 

I’m so done helping him. My life might look barren, dry and full of prickly weeds, but it’s not for long.

Not long at all.

You see I have a dream. A passion. A desire to join with the Master Gardener and work to weed out the garden of my soul. He has plans to break up the hard soil, prepare it with compost, and then plant grass.

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He’ll landscape it with flowers, a bench, and a fire pit. Where we’ll sit and share our thoughts of the day, both at the beginning and the ending.  Just Him and I.

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And we’ll revel in the new found freedom I have.

I’ll call Him my Lord, my Daddy. He’ll call me His little peony.

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Picture Post!

So I’ve had my big, fancy camera, as the girls call it, for a few years now. I’m still trying to learn all it can do.

I’m also still taking pictures like a house afire.

Musings on the State of Affairs

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Lately I’ve really been musing on several different topics as my mind tends to flit here and there. You never know what will come out of my mouth because I never know what will pop into my head.

I’ve been pondering the most this idea of Crazy Love. No, not the book by Frances Chan which is (and has been) sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read, but the whole idea of loving like crazy. Loving when I feel just so give out, so empty. Loving big when I feel so needy inside.

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It’s definitely living counter-culture. Even in the church. We just don’t live like that. We think we have to know what it feels like be loved, we have to always be full of love before we can pour any out.

“You can’t give what you don’t have” is only true of the tangible. I really believe Jesus not only calls us to live life, live love loud and out-loud He expects us to do it. Loving people isn’t an option.

Claiming we don’t have the ability or capability to love others isn’t an option either, at least not for those indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.  We have to live love because Love lives IN us!

Think about that for a pair of moments.

Love. Lives. Inside. Of. Me.

Love Lives. Inside. Of. You.

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You see, if you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit you are indwelt by Love. Because we are told in 1 John God IS Love. (1 John 4:8)

That’s different than being told “God loves”.

So even when we feel all-give out, and haven’t a clue what it feels like to be loved at all, or how to love, or too needy of love from someone else, we CAN love others. Always. All the time. Whether we feel able to or not. We can. And we have to.

So since I’ve been pondering this, I’ve decided to bring back Go MAD Mondays.

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Go MAD Mondays….when we consciously look for ways to love loud and out-loud on another. It could be someone you know, it could be a complete stranger. It could be paying for the car behind you in line, or the carS behind you in line. It could be walking into a grocery store and finding someone with a full grocery cart and paying for the whole thing. It could be slipping your debit card into the slot at the gas pump for someone else before they get the chance. Or letting someone go ahead of you in line. Or it could be smiling at someone.

Or shock! It could be responding in patience and love when you’re in a hurry and stressed. Responding in kindness when someone else makes a mistake and inconveniences you.

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Isn’t that the way to really live thanksgiving? To really live Love? To pour Him out to a world that is so desperate to know they are loved, that someone sees them.

We will find the more love we pour out the more love we feel, the more we feel loved.

 “…for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you”
Psalm 116:7b (nasb)

 

Nameless Chicken Dinner

DSC_0042Which is somewhat similar to Winner Winner Chicken dinner, but different.

A friend of mine is, in my humble (hah!) estimation, a wonderful cook. I’ve gotten a few recipes sent me in a text message and each one is wonderful. These recipes can’t be found anywhere because I’m pretty dang sure he made them up.

In his head.

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I’ve long been of a competitive nature. And well, two can play at that game, right?

Normally the first time I make a recipe I follow it exactly. Except when I don’t realize I don’t have a certain ingredient until I need to put it in. I substitute. Often I’ll put supper on the table and announce, “I followed the recipe exactly, except it called for this and I only had that. So I used it instead. Oh and it said to do this, but I did something else entirely. If it’s really bad, we’ll get pizza.”

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After trying some of the recipes from my friend, I thought to myself, “Self, you could do this.”

Last week I set out to come up with my own chicken recipe. And I think I did.

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Now, I’m not going to share the whole recipe with you here and now. It needs a little more tweaking. But it’s close.

Lest you think in the above that I used coconut, nope. I didn’t.

I do normally use provolone cheese with this dish, though. Today though I realized too late that my offspring had eaten nearly all the provolone so we used pepper jack instead.

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So really all I’m doing is tempting you. I will tell you this, though, it’s good!

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Leave me a comment if you’d like to be a recipe tester for this and as I get the kinks worked out, I’ll be in touch.