Here we are, day 2, complete. Today was smoother than yesterday. I got smart and wrote in "recess" to our schedule. That made everyone a lot happier, including me. Wednesdays we incorporate cooking into Kindergarten (phonics and math wrapped up in one recipe), so without further ado, checkout Eva's Roasted Pears drizzled with honey and caramel.
Pears (picked from our back yard!)
Leslie's homemade caramel sauce
Wash pears and slice into halves. Place pears on parchment paper and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Drizzle with sauce or honey and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Delish!
This is it. Schooling my firstborn at home officially begins this week. No pressure, just her entire kindergarten education is on the line. Eek! But alas, I am a teacher. I am the right one for the job (say to myself again and repeat). Whatever choice you make concerning your children's education, own it. Believe in it or change it. Cheers to a new season!
We sang it out, "Wake my soul." (I keep typing soup. Wake my soup?!)
The difference between living life and singing praise is our focus. When we sing our focus isn't on us, it's on Him!
We all come from different homes. Different personalities and different gifts. Different pains and different lack. Different fears and different strengths. We have different childhood stories, economic status, hopes and dreams, but...
B U T
our praise looks the same. It looks like focus shifted away from US and praise put upon Him.
We look the same.
That's community at its core. All of us, relating, because when we praise, we look the same!
Take a moment and stop and praise.
There is plenty of time, a week ahead of you, plenty of time.
The first time I'd ever heard Jason Upton, my brother in law threw me his CD as a "new artist" that was thinking of signing to his label (12 years ago). It was in TN, Veronica and I were visiting and making a vacation of it.
We sat in the car and we froze. We listened and we opened eyes wide, drinking in the new sound. It was song. It was alive. It was fresh. It has honestly changed my life.
We took the CD inside the empty house where we were staying and something grabbed our hearts. We couldn't stop. Hours and hours into the night, Veronica and I danced and sang to this fresh new sound of song. We cried. We sweat. If the bible says God sings songs of deliverance over us, I believe this was one of those songs.
Jason sang this morning (at our church) and I recognized something while he sang. It's been a hard week for me, physically draining and a bit of an emotional "funk". And to be honest, the to-do lists have taken over any time I would have carved out for God.
But as Jason sang today, I remembered a concept Erik Smith mentioned in his book. "All things created by man are decreasing or wasting away, but all things God created are increasing". I have thought of this with physical things, buildings falling apart and vehicles turning to rust, but today, God woke me up.
It isn't just the physical things that decay, it's our minds and our spirit, if they aren't being renewed by God. For me, this past week has been full of man-made lists and projects and jobs, which in and of themselves are not bad, but without God, I am decaying. I'm decreasing. I'm falling away instead of increasing like I was created to.
As Jason sang, I could actually feel my mind and my body and my spirit being renewed. I was being strengthened and refreshed.
God, help us, help me, to take time away from life, from busy LIFE, and tune in to what actually makes us alive. Without you, I am just dying and I want to live, abundantly live!
Thank God for the Holy Spirit who speaks to us, not just when we are on point and have it all together, but when we are weary and weak.
Cheers to a week full of Him, what really matters.
It's July at its best, and the heat remains, well, hot.
I've noticed Pennsylvanians love to talk about the weather. Is it a lack of meaningful chatter or is it just an obsession with the uncontrollable? Either way, strangers love to address the precipitation or lack.
We lost power after last night's rain, and through our experience someone told me of their luck...and how it is usually bad.
Bad luck. In the charismatic world, "luck" is often looked at as a no-no word. Should luck mean that we are all set up to succeed or fail, not because of our actions, but by chance, I suppose I agree. I don't believe in luck either. Sure, I believe in statistics, the reality that generalizations can be made and lead us to believe that a person seems to have bad luck, but I don't believe anyone is born to be "unlucky".
When this fellow told me of his "bad luck", it aroused something in me that I can only assume is my optimistic nature and personality. I wanted to tell him that he doesn't have bad luck, that he's just seeing things all wrong. Maybe he's been raised to notice the bad and over look the good. Maybe he goes looking for the bad, not even knowing what good looks like or sounds like. Maybe he's trapped in some sort of realistic, negative mindset, when in reality, reality isn't real at all.
But now, I may have lost you.
But in case I haven't...and in case this may be you. Or not.
You don't have bad luck. There actually isn't such a thing, as bad luck. I mean, you may think that terrible things are happening to you on a consistent basis, but I'm telling you that great things are waiting for you to discover them.
You wake up every day and you're loved.
You have strengths and gifts and you are actually going to change the world with them. No seriously, even affecting 1 is enough to change the world.
You were born to live, and abundantly at that.
You have family and friends and if you don't think that's true, then reevaluate what those words mean.
You've been given a second chance, you were chosen, you are blessed, and actually blessed all the days of your life.
ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.
Every. Single. One. So take that. Take that and shove it up your big "bad luck" pipe, and smoke it.
And then let me know how it feels.
Cheers to having power, speaking truth to lies, and writing again! It feels great.
It all started with a guy and his gal in the garden. I'd like to think I'm like them, tending the fruit that's been given to me and learning to capture the beauty all around. It's in my husband. It's in my 2 kids. It's everywhere. These are the revelations I dig up while meeting with the gardener. I'm recording what is in this garden family and what He says to me. Come and join us! You're welcome here.