Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What? Really? Why?

So the other day Isaiah was being his usual 1 year old self, and as soon as he was left to his own thought process without the guidance of his parents or older siblings, decided it would be a good idea to try Addie's make-up. And by 'try' I mean 'eat'.So as I'm getting him cleaned up, and get him out of his pink and purple stained PJ's and diaper, he realizes his freedom and makes a dash down the hallway squealing with excitement stopping only to pee on the carpet.
(sorry, no picture available)

Maybe an hour later, I'm downstairs and I hear through the floor a little Addie voice saying, "Mom! Isaiah is eating diewonfgsdo!"
What did she say?
I couldn't make out that last word.
It kind of sounded like she said deodorant, but even Isaiah wouldn't eat deodorant.
So I go and find Isaiah.
She said deodorant.
Not only did his lips reek of Right Guard Extreme Cool Peak, there were 4 perfectly spaced groves scraped across the top of the stick promising him all day protection.
Really Isaiah?
What part of that musky smell made you think, 'I should probably eat this?'

Then there was the green marker incident......
...and then yesterday the floral foam.
Seriously, I am concerned about his decision making skills, not to mention his life.

But as I was dwelling on his actions and thinking how ridiculous and disgusting and poorly thought out they were, I wondered if God ever thinks the same about me? How quickly do I run to something that is disgusting in His sight as soon as I am out of His guidance? And how quickly do I forget His instructions to me? And then I came to Psalm 1.
1Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

The disgusting things that I am doing (anger, judging others, pride, selfishness, being critical, etc.) would definitely fit into the 'counsel of the wicked, way of sinners, seat of scoffers' category.
So if these are things that I'm choosing to do when left alone to my own thought process, I need to make sure I'm not being left alone.
That's were verse 2 applies.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

The blessed man doesn't do those other things, he finds delight in the Word of God, and he's thinking about it day and night. How else can you be thinking about it all day and night if you don't have it memorized? I need to memorize scripture so I can ponder it and chew on it and apply it. Then the next time my kids do something for the umpteenth time that they know they aren't suppose to do and I want to get angry and use a harsh voice, if I had Proverbs 12:18 memorized I could be guided in my decision making and remember that, "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Or Proverbs 15:1 would race through my head and remind me that, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." But I didn't have those memorized and so instead what came out of my mouth reeked of Right Guard Extreme Cool Peak.

And then maybe an hour later, when I was at a concert I witnessed some interesting styles of worship leading and immediately began judging everything from their clothing to their song choices and if I had 1 Samuel 16 memorized I would have remembered that "For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." But I didn't. And so I proceeded to judge and compare and came to the conclusion that my style of worship must be more pleasing to God than theirs, right God? As I look up to him with purple and pink sin smeared across my face.

I guess I know who Isaiah gets his decision making skills from.

It's humbling having kids, isn't it?

Lord, I'm truly sorry for my disgusting decisions this past week. I'm sorry for not delighting in Your Word more. Please stir the affections of my heart to want more of You and Your instructions so I can be like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit, and prospering. Help this brain to memorize and retain truths from the Bible. And bring them to mind as I am faced with decisions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Leech Lake

We were able to spend some time with Tony's folks at a beautiful cabin on Leech Lake about a month ago. And I realized I hadn't posted any pics yet, so here they are.
The beautiful cabin
The eating area in the great room
The great roomThe upstairs 'bunk house'. This place could sleep like 22!
View from the lake.Addie in the boat. She claims she didn't fall asleep :)
Her favorite part of the trip was riding on the jet skiis.
Evan in the boat.
Isaiah. He wasn't too sure about the boat.
Evan exploring Goose Island
Evan kayaking
Addie on the dock
Grandma Carol and Isaiah playing on the beach
Campfire and s'mores

Carol surprised the kids one meal by dumping it right onto the table. No plates allowed!
Then when everyone's finished, you just throw away the tablecloth and dishes are done!

The Coopers
We had a great time at Leech Lake!
We are so grateful to the family that let us use their beautiful place!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Menu Monday

Here's what's cookin':

Italian bread with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil/grapes
ribs on the grill/corn on the cob/broccoli on the plate (it had to be on somethin' too)
pizza at church
baked tacos/rice/beans (been trying to have this for 3 weeks now, we'll see if it makes it this week)
parmesan crusted chicken/tomato,basil topping/parm bread twists (also haven't actually made this one either even though its been on the menu 4 weeks running, we'll see)

How about you?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buddy Check!

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

I would love to hear from you guys. What has God been teaching you? What verse are you wrestling with? What's your favorite verse? Favorite song? Why? Let's teach each other this week by sharing how God is working in you. And together we can give thanks to God for His encouragement through fellow believers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Menu Monday

Hello all!
Here's what's cookin' this week.

honey-lemon-rosemary chicken/potatoes/carrots
chicken toastadas/chips/salsa
pasta rosa/salad/bread
baked tacos/rice/beans
deep dish pizza/fruit

How about you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zucchini & Red Onion Flatbread

Image : Bon Appetit

I found this recipe in the mail. It came with an offer to buy Bon Appetit magazine. It worked. I bought the magazine. It's delicious. You should try it tonight.

Zucchini & Red Onion Flatbread
from Bon Appetit

  • 1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup garlic-and-herb cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided *
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 7- to 8-inch-long zucchini (yellow or green), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds, divided
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray. Unroll dough onto parchment. Spread half of herb cheese over 1 long half of dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Sprinkle with half of Parmesan and 2 tablespoons parsley. Using parchment as aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half (do not seal edges). Spread remaining herb cheese over top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Remove enough outer layers of onion to yield 2-inch-diameter core; cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Arrange 1 row of zucchini down 1 long side of dough. Arrange onion rounds in row alongside zucchini. Arrange 1 more row of zucchini alongside onion. Brush vegetables with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

*You can also make your own by mixing 8 oz cream cheese with some garlic powder and some chives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hidden Sins

12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:12-14
I know I've said things I shouldn't have at times, but I can also bite my tongue and not say what I'm really thinking. Problem is my heart is still thinking it. That's the first way this passage convicted me. From verse 14, I need the words of my mouth AND the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to God. Some things I know as soon as I say it or think it that it is sinful, that's what verse 13 is talking about: willful sins or deliberate sins. But other thoughts or responses or actions have become so habitual to me that I don't see them as sin, they are hidden. That's what verse 12 is talking about, "who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults." That's the second way this passage convicted me. What are my hidden sins? What can others see wrongful in me that I can't? Who will sharpen me and call me out on my sins lovingly?

Even if no one will, my prayer is that God will reveal them to me like King David asks in Psalm 139:23-24-

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Or in Psalm 51:10-

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Lord, this truly is my prayer. Would You reveal to me either through relationships, or circumstances, or conviction, or reading Your Word, or all the above what my heart is holding on to and disguising as something other than sin. Remove my pride and selfish thoughts that are acting as protective walls around something that is not worth protecting. May they not rule over me. Create in me clean heart so that my words and my thoughts will be pleasing in Your sight.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Menu Monday on Tuesday

Hello everyone! We have just returned from a wonderful cabin on Leech Lake. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. When we returned home this afternoon at 4:30, there were this week's groceries waiting at our front door. Yeah Coborns Delivers!!! Here's what I'm making out of the groceries this week.

Mediterranean chicken/pitas/cucumber sauce
picnic at church
beef stroganoff/noodles/ fruit
baked ziti/garlic bread/salad
parmesan crusted chicken/tomato-basil topping/fruit (never got around to this last week)

How about you?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't grow weary! Don't!

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I always forget about PVS, you know, post-vacation syndrome. It's where somehow during your vacation your kids forget everything they were ever taught the second they walk back in the familiar doors of their home and those years of training have to be retaught in like 2 days. Meanwhile, they do remember every annoying thing that irritates each family member and try them all out at once.

Why? Why should a little thing like changed schedule and lack of sleep wipe out from ones memory that you shouldn't shake the black paint bottle while the lid is off? Or that you need to put the shower curtain
inside the tub when the water is on? Or, no, we did not just install that flight of stairs off the living room, they've always been there, so I'm not sure why you fell down all of them? Or "that's why I asked you to go to the bathroom before we left so we wouldn't have to leave our grocery cart and drag 3 kids into one tiny, dirty bathroom in the back of the store where I balance you on the toilet with one arm and keep Isaiah from eating who knows what with one leg!"
Oh, how I am weary in doing good as a mother today! I'm impatient and irritated and tired and my kids are getting the brunt of it. So how do I change? Kids are going to be annoying and ungrateful and irritating. What am I going to do about it? They are my kids and I am responsible for bringing them up right. I know I can't do it on my own. I need to lean on God during these post-vacation days to persevere and not grow weary of doing what I know is right which is giving my kids gentle reminders of rules they already know, and being patient with them, and disciplining them not out of anger but with loving correction, and know that this too will pass...until next week when we come back from another vacation. (pray for me!)

But I am encouraged that in due season, I will reap, if I do not give up!
So I must take a deep breath, and press on, and not grow weary in doing good.

Oh Lord, give me patience as I guide my kids back to 'normal' life. Help me not to add to the problem, but be an example of Your love and use this as an opportunity to practice perseverance, and 'bearing with one another', and unconditional love, and patience. Please give me wisdom as I direct my kids. Help me not to grow weary of doing what I know is right and good. I need Your help to do this! Thanks for not growing weary of doing good to me! May You be my example and ever present in my mind as I go through today's trials.

What are you growing weary in?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Senior High Camp 2009

Once again, camp was great! We didn't want to leave! We had such a good time working in the kitchen, judging cabin clean-up, helping with the ropes course, going to chapel, and just hanging out. Here is a taste of some of the fun we had during our week at Camp Shetek.

Evening chapel with Tim Lemmens

Evening activity: involves cans full of water, campers with a paper cup, and counselors sitting in a chair with a tray to block water. Driest counselor wins.

Cousins playing with large bins of water.

Senior high campers. I think there were around 100 10th-12th graders.

Prayer Chapel


Morning activity: sandcastle building

Morning activity: ropes course

The Cabana: smoothies, iced coffees, and snow cones

War Games! One of the highlights of the week for most campers and the staff too.

The staff dress up differently each year for war games and are snipers who hide a camp flag and a bible at the nearby Boy Scout Camp. The campers split up into 2 teams, wear flags that stick out their waistband (like flag football), and try to find the flag and Bible.

Morning activity: Cooking with Judy. Some made thumbprint cookies with Mom. I helped the others make zucchini flat bread.

Addie helping in the kitchen as a 'kitchen girl'. And Evan helping run the dishwasher.

Friday night skit night. Another highlight of the week. It is run kind of like 'The Tonight Show' with host Guy Conrad (who is actually my brother Grant in costume). And each cabin performs a skit and then the moment that everyone has been waiting for all year happens. We get to see the new Camp staff video. And here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Menu Monday

We are back from a WONDERFUL week at camp. Hope you all had a nice 4th of July!
Now back to the real world!

parmesan crusted chicken/tomato topping/bread
grilled chicken salad
on the road to a cabin with the Coopers!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Prison Break

The theme this year at Camp Shetek is 'Prison Break'.  They are sharing with the kids how our sins make us slaves or prisoners, keeping us from freedom, living a spiritual life sentence living on death row.  But there is a way out!  The Bible gives us the escape plan!  It's found in Jesus's work on the cross.  All we have to do is acknowledge our imprisonment to sin and run through the wide open gate to freedom that Jesus provides for us.
Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."  The only way to get to God is through him.  The world will try to offer you other escape plans:  be a good person, go to church, have someone pray for your soul when you die, do more good than bad.  But God says in the Bible that the only way to escape is to give our lives to Jesus.  He is the way.  The only  way.