Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Meet Iowa Girl Eats

Here's my story of when I met Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats.

I was wandering around Trader Joe's after watching Amanda crush her 13.1 for the Des  Moines Half Marathon. I pretty much wander in TJ's because 1) I don't get to shop there enough to know where things are specifically 2) I don't think of TJ's as a real grocery store where you methodically wind your way through each aisle; I think of it as a party store 3)There's a lot of variety in a very small space and stopping to look at everything gets me all nervous if there are others around, which there always is, so I move on quickly. (No, I don't have *twitch* issues.)

So I was making my way down an aisle when I look up to see a very familiar face. I look down quickly. Is that her, Iowa Girl Eats? I think so. Should I say hi? Should I ask if I can have our picture together? No, that's weird. Yes! Do it! What's her name again? Her husband is Ben. I always remember that because I have a Ben and her Ben and my Ben are both sweeties... "Hi! Are... you Iowa Girl Eats?" "Yes." she replies. And I'm literally the weirdest freak fan from that point on. She ask me my name. We talk about why I'm here- which is weird anyway because the Des Moines Half/Marathon take place downtown and Trader Joe's is way out west of Des Moines. I make no sense whatsoever. 

AND I cannot remember her name for the life of me!! I keep thinking back to when she met Curtis Stone and his thick accent contorted her name so that even she didn't know it was her that he was calling! I was trying out Mee-ghan and Kiir-stin in my mind (never having met Curtis Stone myself and only having heard his Aussie accent on Hy-Vee commercials) and they both worked. She could be either Mee-ghan or Kiir-stin!!

Oh, it only gets better. As we chatted, meaning she tried to help me get through a conversation that I clearly was free-falling in, I found out she's doing her Iowa Girl Eats site full-time along with some free-lance writing! I'm in shock! How did I not know this? Here I am, a fan, and I didn't know this aspect and she probably can totally tell and... "Do you mind if we have our picture taken together?" She agrees and I manage to snap one off. 
Look at her. Kristin is as sweet as can be. She really is. And she does well with pictures with fans. I, on the other hand, am very concerned about a) pressing the right button on my phone camera (I just switched to an iPhone, which takes pictures differently than my former Droid phone and more than once I've shut down the picture app- Blake Wharton being a prime example) b) a good self pic that doesn't show my nostrils, but as you can see, makes it look like I have extra folds of skin around my neck which I don't normally have unless I scrunch down my head so that you can't see up my nose, and c) what her name is.


As we wrap up our meet and greet, I wish her best of luck in taking her cooking/writing adventures to bigger and better things. And, awkward fan aside, I really mean it!!  

She goes off in search of the pumpkin ravioli, while I had already decided on the lobster ravioli. I later post our pic on Instagram, stalk her on Facebook and Twitter and generally try to repair any damage to our infantile relationship. My daughter thinks I'm so, like, not cool for this picture, while all my IG friends think it was AWESOME! 

In my defense, I was still in euphoria over watching thousands of runners pound the pavement earlier, had only consumed a banana, a Tanka Wild Stick, a cup of half/half coffee and some water all morning, and slightly bewildered at why TJ's was blaring the Beatles over and over. 

Kristin, I really am a fan. I've made several of your recipes, including the Homemade Chewy Granola Bars (which really is the best homemade granola bar recipe I've tried yet). And your Sweet & Spicy Chili is on my Pinterest board because it's chili... in a mason jar, 'nough said. Thanks for being simply great!

As for you next trip to Trader Joe's: grab some Creamy Toscano Cheese crusted with Cinnamon. Serve it with sliced apples. Yum!

Monday, October 29, 2012

We Ran for Miracle

At 6:15 Saturday morning my alarm went off. *yawn*
I looked at the weather and it was 30 some degrees. *brr*
But I got out of bed anyway. This morning I was going to meet some friends and run for Miracle. 
If you're meeting friends, you can't just skip a run. Especially if those friends are coming to your house!
I looked outside. Despite the temps being chilly, the wind wasn't blowing which was an answer to my prayer: Please no wind. Thank you!

Bill and I layered up, turned on the heater in the garage and waited to see who would show up. I'm so happy to say that 10 of us decided that running for Miracle that morning was motivation enough to get out of bed!!
I gave a brief description of the route, Bill prayed for our little gathering and off we went. We separated out into runners and walkers and in the end we were all warmed up and feeling great!

30+ miles were run that morning for Miracle!!

Scones were waiting at the end for everyone along with a couple door prizes!
  • a bar of Divine Milk Chocolate (ok, even if you aren't into the fair trade thing, you WANT this chocolate, it is simply THE BEST! Ankeny Hy-Vee carries it in the organic section, In Ames, Wheatsfield Co-op and Worldly Goods carry it.)
  • a mason jar cozy (MJ cozies are for wrapping around a regular pint sized mason jar and keeping your hands warm and you sip your post run smoothie. My friend, Stacey, makes them and you can get one from her Etsy shop, Two Clever Monkeys.)

Thank you for donating your miles to Run For Miracle. It has meant a lot to Micah and Amanda!

Read my story of Miracle here and here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Running For Miracle

Make sure you've read about Miracle here before you read on.

This is the picture of Amanda and I post- Kaelman Run. We both had PR's that morning. (personal records) We are runners. 

We ran that day. We ran a few weeks later, while still lost in the throes of all-consuming grief when a half marathon loomed in front of her and she hadn't put in any miles for weeks. We kept that run easy as I was also in healing mode before my Sugar Bottom Trail race. We ran some killer hills at Ledges when I needed to finish my training plan even though my race was over. We keep running and talking and crying and working it out. 

This week we are running our miles in memory of Miracle. The Twitter group #runchat will sometimes host a virtual run (think virtual race but real miles) in memory of someone and they encouraged Amanda to let them run for Miracle. Read about it at Run for Miracle.

Miracle was alive for 3,701 minutes. That is the goal number of miles we are hoping people will log on their legs for Miracle.

Here's how you can join in:

  • Visit Run for Miracle and log your miles in on the form. (She told me it's just a form that sends her an email, so nothing fancy.) You don't have to pledge your miles- that was leading up to this week.
  • If you are on Twitter, @amandastvnsn #runformiracle will get her your miles
  • Find her on Facebook, Amanda Stevenson, to post your miles on her wall.
  • Or leave a comment in this blog post with your miles.
  • Or text me, if you know my number.
  • Or call me.
You don't have to be a runner to put your miles in. You can walk. You don't have to be fast or far, either. You could even put on your pedometer and see how many miles you get in just in the course of a week (if that's how those things work). The only thing that probably won't really count is if you're into say, push-ups. You love push-ups. You do hundreds of them a day. You can't stop thinking about push-ups. Okay, if you can turn that into miles, then fine, otherwise, that's pretty much just weird.

Amanda told me on Sunday that Rockele is walking to work and is doing it for Miracle!! She is the birth mom who has had no easy road behind or before her. If she can do it, so can you!

So, who wants to run with me? No, really who wants to run with me? On Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 am, I'm going to go running. I want you to come join me. We will be running, rain or shine, about 3 miles. The route I have planned is the same one the Huxley PrairieFest race runs. It's mostly flat and easy. I have a couple of short cut turns if 3 miles isn't your deal. While this is just meeting up with friends to walk or run, I do want you to come, so I'm throwing in two door prize gifts to win. Walk/run with your kids, your dog, your friends.  

Running for Miracle
October 27, 7:30 am
Meet at 306 Northpark Blvd, Huxley (parking only on south side of street)
group pic and door prize drawings before we run so come a bit early
We'll leave at 7:30 am
Run/Walk at your own pace
route is the PrairieFest 5K
everyone can join as every mile counts
rain or shine, warm or cool
gently used shoes donations taken, tie/rubberband pairs together

When you're done, sign your name on the clipboard, logging in how many miles you did and I'll tweet them to Amanda!! You can leave whenever, just make sure you put your miles down before you go. 

You might have noticed the gently used shoe donation bit. Hope Ministries of Des Moines serves the homeless and they take gently used shoes. In other words, shoes that can still be worn. I will collect any of the shoes you bring and take them to Hope Ministries later on. All that I ask is that they be clean and tied or rubberbanded together as pairs. It is ministries like this that help women like Rockele out. Let's support them! 

Amanda and I, post- Des Moines Half Marathon this past Sunday, where she clocked in her personal best of 1:56!! (That's 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours!!)

May all the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Psalm 67:5

Monday, October 22, 2012


May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon,
that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, O God; 
may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. 
God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.
Psalm 67

This is the Psalm I read while fueling for for the Kaelman Run on July 7. This is the Psalm I shared portions of to my friend, Amanda, after we finished running and were departing. 

Amanda and her husband, Micah, were in the process of adopting a newborn baby. 

The story begins (does a true story ever really have a beginning?) when Micah offered a ride to a woman and her two boys on a cold wintry day. They formed a friendship and eventually Meisha gave her life to Christ. Fast forward, the beginning of June this year, Meisha calls Amanda and says her sister is pregnant and plans to give the baby up for adoption and would Micah and Amanda want to adopt the baby. I get a call from Amanda the next day informing me of their decision and wanting me to, you know, PRAY!!! From then on, I spent time connecting with Amanda, listening to her talk out the craziness of adopting within such a short time frame as the baby was due in August, and trying to help steady the roller coaster of emotions of adopting, being in close contact with the birth mom, etc. (like I know about that!) Well, I don't. But I do know a God who is faithful and true and I kept pointing her back to Him. 

Back to race day, 45 minutes later, on my way home I receive a call from Amanda saying that the birthmom had gone into labor and wanted Micah and Amanda there. They were zipping down to Burlington as fast as possible and could I, you know, PRAY!!! 

Two hours later, I receive a text from a friend, Jen, saying that there are complications with the baby and she might not make it. Wow.

The baby girl, Miracle, was born at home, breech position in the care of an inexperienced EMT provider. It all happened so fast there was no time to make it to the hospital! The baby, being premature was on oxygen but later Micah and Amanda found that Miracle had a rare form of fatal dwarfism called Thanatophoric Dysplasia. Her skeletal frame was not growing properly, whereas her organs were. That's a very short description. She would not live long.

Monday afternoon, Jen called me to say that Miracle would be taken off of oxygen that day and would I like to go to Iowa City with her to be with Micah and Amanda. She picked me up in an hour and we headed over. There we met Auntie Meisha, Rockele(the birth mom) and her two boys, and the grandmother. We also met sweet Miracle. She had many, many tubes and whatnot attached to her but you couldn't help but fall in love instantly with her. She was sweetness. We watched her heart rate monitor and oxygen levels (she was on almost 100% oxygen). We saw her refuse to open her eyes for Auntie Meisha but then pop them open when Micah would just whisper "Hi, Miracle." Then finally Jen and I took turns holding her. 

Twice in my life I have now held babies that passed into eternity within hours. I sat there and I loved her. I cried for her. I cried that sometimes giving your Yes to Him is the hardest thing in all the world and yet you still do because you want His Name to be made known on earth. So you pray, hope, cling, and put your trust (sometimes blindly) in Him because He says He is just and faithful and true and you don't even know how that can be right.

Just a little passed midnight I received a text from Amanda saying Miracle was gone. She lived 2 days, 13 hours, 41 minutes.

Sing to God, sing praise to his name...
his name is the Lord...
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 
God sets the lonely in families. 
Psalm 68:4-6

Miracle had no father. In technical terms, yes she did but he didn't want her. God is Miracle's father. While Rockele isn't a widow, she needed someone. God provided. Micah and Amanda have family. Rockele has family. In Micah and Amanda's dreaming of making their own family, God set them both together as a new family. 

The hymn sung at Miracle's celebration of life service, more beautifully sung than I have ever heard, was "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for Heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He cares for me.

I sing because I'm happy.
I sing because I'm free.
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches o'r me.

God cares. God sees. Through the yes of Micah and Amanda in many little things and later in many great things- God was being made known. Through the small but my how that tiny girl packs a punch story of Miracle, His salvation is going out among many.

To read Micah and Amanda's story more fully, go to The Making of a Family. You will have to search the tag Miracle Renee to read everything Amanda has written.

In my next post, Running for Miracle, you can read what people all over the world are doing to remember Miracle this week.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Chocolate is Messy

Gah! Not this again!! I bet you were hoping for a cute picture of some kid or puppy or even a food review (besides chocolate, of course). Not today.

This link is a fuller discourse of Kristin's article from Babble. 

The comments in both articles are excellent. I highly encourage you to read them as well.
CNN has a project entitled Chocolate's Child Slave's. Spend some time over there, if you can.

I decided yesterday to wander into my local Stuff Club and see what they had to offer. I skipped over the Hershey's and Nestle's products (Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Wonka candies- all owned by Hershey's, by the way) I decided to avoid chocolate altogether and this is what I found available:

pretzel treats (good idea but totally will not make it in a sack full of other candies)
mini bags of popcorn
dum dum pops
Austin cracker treats
Cracker Jacks
Zoo animals
Ritz bits
Cheez its
Chex Mix

Though not in any particular order, the list does get more pricey the further down as these were being sold as items for a vending machine or lunch bags, etc.

What I'm saying is that even if you don't have a Whole Foods(ok, my sister, maybe I'll give it another chance)/Trader Joe's/or want to spend a nice chunk of change on chocolate for the kiddies, you have other treat options.

(Too bad you can't pass out homemade treats anymore because I'm thinking this would have been the year to pull out Mom's popcorn ball recipe!)

I asked my Facebook friends what they thought of the articles. I got a few responses. And then I got asked for my opinion...

  • I didn't re-post Kristin's articles to make you feel guilty or prey on your emotional response.
  • I re-posted it because before just a few months ago, I didn't know about this myself and I thought it good "food for thought".
  • I don't think its altogether fair to highlight issues like this during holidays, except that is when people purchase the most chocolate. BUT when else would you even pay attention even though this isn't a holiday only matter?
  • I think once you know, you can't forget. It is this uncomfortableness that we try really hard to avoid. Instead, we need to be encouraged to see, to seek out better answers and to do.
  • This social injustice stuff is a tangled web. It reminds me of being a kid and taking the cover off a golf ball. Inside was tightly wound rubber bands that with a little bit of prodding erratically unsnapped itself. The dimpled exterior made it sail farther and faster but inside was kind of a mess. Chocolate is just one of so many injustices. Where does one stop? I don't know the answer to that. I don't think that should be any reason to not act.
  • Our dollar speaks. I haven't heard any rebuttal to that simple fact. If one of you knows a more motivating factor than that, please let me know of it.
  • Having our dollar speak as we want it to is inconvenient. Inconvenient for us who have everything at our disposal. 
  • Having our dollar speak as we want is actually going to cost us more of our dollars (even if we bargain shop).
  • The smallest right move still makes a difference. We don't discourage a baby from not taking its first steps because they don't have the entire thing mastered. The same is for us.
  • I don't know how my family and I will go forward about our chocolate purchases.
  • This provides us with opportunities to build relationships with local chocolate shops and local chocolate vendors about their chocolate and where it is sourced. "We're consumers. We care. Do you know? Do you care?" kinds of questions. We can go about it peaceably.
As a Facebook friend stated, this is a loaded topic. I'm not attempting to lay it all out for you here. I've been challenged myself to think harder, look further. I'm glad to be able to read Kristin's excellent articles, exchange conversations with others and I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chocolate and Halloween

I'm going to mess with you. Well, not actually me but Kristin from Rage Against the Minivan.
It's about those bite-sized brown candies you might be passing out at the end of the month. (I know, your mouth just watered a little bit.)

Interestingly, after watching a commercial for Wal-Mart showing aisle after aisle brimming with candies, I wondered about different treat options. Then I popped over to Kristin's blog during my lunch and read her article.

I think you ought to read it too.

"The inconvenient truth about your Halloween candy and forced child labor"

There are a lot of links to follow if you want (go ahead, be an informed consumer) but here are two that I found helpful right away.

The first is the answer to the question "Alright, I'm not buying any of the mainstream candy to pass out. What should I give instead?" This link should help you plenty.

"Ideas for an ethical Halloween"
psst...the Divine chocolate is sooooo good

The second is for when the treat bucket is empty and you've snatched all the dark chocolates from the kids' secret stash.

Stop Chocolate Slavery

One note on that link. The website does seem to be a little outdated; 2009 is the latest date I can find. But the chart for cocoa products is still a great place to start. Also, don't follow the Facebook group. It isn't moderated at all. :(

Here is my favorite quote of Kristin's article

The bottom line is this: profit margins are likely going to take a dip if these companies really step it up, and it’s likely that chocolate prices will go up, too. But I think that we, as a society, need to be willing to see this through, even if it costs us something. Because no bar of chocolate is worth robbing a child of their education and childhood.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It Got A Little Muddy

We went to another race yesterday near Atalissa. 
It was raining.
The whole day.
But that didn't stop the racers.
 Ben's race course was 3 miles long. Because of the mud (rain=mud), it might have become the longest three miles ever. We only got to see him come through once.
I couldn't tell if he was smiling, mad or crying when he rode past. The kid was exhausted.
 Bill's race was sort of the same except it was 8 miles long. Rain, mud, single track, slippery hill climbs made for some interesting riding for Bill.
The kids bunkered down in the suburban during Dad's race while I waited it out in the back of the trailer wrapped in a blanket. I waited and waited, noticing the mud falling off other riders' bikes in sheets.

Here comes Bill!
 Oh. My.
 Dear Bike, The land owner called and wants his top soil back or a check. Either one, he's  good with.
 So this is what 4th place gets you...

Tweet @washing machine #getready
 Ben recovered enough to get out of the truck and grab his 3rd place plaque!
We arrived back home. The sun was shining. Neighbors were in shorts. We were covered in mud and looked a sight. I wonder if our neighbors are still disturbed by us?

There was no way our little at home pressure washer was going to knock miles of mud off everything, so we took them on a little trip to the local car wash and hosed them down, including the riding gear. 

Once home, I put the sopping wet, mud-laden clothes in the washing machine, added a half cup Borax, closed the door, pushed a bunch of buttons and hoped for the best. Wouldn't you know it- those babies came out cle-ean!! 
Dear Jean Makers, Please make all of my boys' jeans from riding gear material. I *heart* it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Des Moines Color Run

Want to see some colorful pictures?  Okee-doke!

Audrey and I, along with a couple of her friends, ran in the Color Run this past Saturday in Des Moines. It's a 5K (3.1 miles). You wear at least a white shirt and as you run the course there are color stations where volunteers blast you with dry paint powder! It's not called the Happiest Run for nothing. At the end all the runners gather together for a big color throw. They countdown 3-2-1 and everyone tosses their little bag of color in the air. YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY A COLORFUL CLOUD FOR 30 SECONDS!! It was awesome.

Here are Audrey's pictures and her captionings.

On our way to Des Moines

Our numbers :) 
this wasn't a timed race

First look at the runners
there were 27,000 of them

this and the next pic are apparently very important for any major high school group social event (for girls, anyway)

 Freshman feet

The 'team'. Just kidding, we only wanted $5 off the admission fee.
It's true. And I'm part of the team because you need a captain that's 18 years or older.

The photo bomb level in the picture...:) makes me laugh
I'm not the photo bomb but in case you were wondering, yes, I did wear Nerf protector glasses the entire race.

Wait, we haven't started running yet...

 After the color explosion

The family that Color Runs together... does laundry together
I can barely see. If you notice a general pink haze to the pic, that's because the cloud sort of remained for a while.
 I'm... normal!

Borrowed this from my friend, Nicky. THIS is what the color explosion looks like from the outside!

The Color Run is a blast! Go for fun! Go when, hopefully, it's a bit warmer than what we had 40 degrees. Brr! 

Luke took one look at me when I got home and quizzically asked, "Where've you been?" He didn't want a hug.

I've washed out all our clothing (the collar on one of my shirts is still green) except for our white shirt which I've sprayed with vinegar and ironed, like the Color Run people said to do to keep the color in. 

The girls are already planning their outfits for next year... What about you?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Green Tomato Salsa, Mac and Cheese- It's All Good

Today I'm linking up with Jessica at Keeping up with the Johnson's for her PinterTest party. The idea is to pin less, do more. If you're on Pinterest, you know what I mean. 
Here are two things I made recently.

Green Tomato Salsa
source: via Mindy Ward via Pinterest

My garden from earlier this year did okay for our first real attempt at gardening. I got enough tomatoes to eat, share, freeze and lastly preserve. I was left with quite a few green ones and decided that besides lining them up on the window sill and hoping they turn ripe, I'd make some salsa with them. Turned out to be a great idea!

Gather your ingredients, including the tomatoes.
Chop 'til you can chop no more.
Realize you are not going to be able to finish the job that night and prep all the rest of the ingredients into other containers. Then discover that to fit that big stockpot in the fridge, you are going to possibly have to rearrange shelves. Then do a little dance because you didn't have to!
Go on a hot date the next night!
 How pretty!
Finally, cook it down. Heat up a water bath canner you borrowed from your friend. Fill jars. Wipe rims. Apply lids and rings. Cross fingers that you are canning correctly. Cross fingers that it will actually taste good.
I had a little leftover in the bottom of the pan and left it out for Bill to try. Verdict? Great! WooHoo!
After fifteen minutes I pulled the jars from the canner and started hearing that little tell-tale pop of the jars sealing. Yippee!!
I would definitely make this again next year.

Mac and Cheese Bites in Mason Jars

The next recipe involves adorable little 4 ounce mason jars!
I saw this recipe and thought it would be fun to make it for school lunches. Sure I could have just used muffin tins like the original recipe did, but aren't these sweet? And heatable for Bill. (For the boys', I heat them in the morning and send them in their lunch bag.)
For this recipe I had to hunt down a cheese product called Boursin. Never had Boursin before. Tried it on a cracker. Shared it with Bill. Ruined our tummys before supper because we were devouring it! 
I was concerned that the garlic flavoring would overwhelm the regular mac and cheese flavor, which would be a no-no for the fam. It didn't. 

No step by step pics for this, just a good 'ol IG photo.
Verdict? Pretty darn good! To do it again, I would leave out the cracker crust and just stuff the jars full of mac and cheese. That was the boys' least favorite part. And as much as Boursin is awesome, Boursin is a wee bit expensive, so I'd try to substitute something else. Maybe cream cheese? (Thoughts anyone?)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Watching Cousins

We watched my sister's kids a couple weekends ago. They were going to Minneapolis for the Vikings/Niner's game. We had just gotten back an hour before they arrived from Minneapolis (of which I still haven't blogged- kids are cuter). 

We had a pile o' furniture from IKEA and Bill was determined it was going up that night. So with ample help, commentary, and a few foremen on the job, it all got done that night. (It was a late night.)

Bill had this much help!

He obviously has put together IKEA furniture before.

"Me and Uncle Bill will have this bed together in a flash. Good thing, too, 'cause it's waaay past my bedtime (but don't tell Mom)."

The next day it was time to watch some dirt bikes and do some other stuff.

"Uncle Bill is pretty much awesome. He has tools and can teach me how to ride a dirt bike. I love him."

Valor is taken with dogs. He would stand at the window, climbing his little legs up the wall to pull himself to see out and see Lucy. Or we'd be eating and he would hear her bark and then say "uh", which is "woof" in 13 month old speak.
 "The best place for me to see you, Lucy, is in Uncle Bill's arms since I do love you but not your enthusiastic kisses."


 "If only I knew how to pull down and lean forward at the same time."

 Smore's are our go-to dessert

"mMmfgh" which is yummy in 6 year old, mouth full of smore's speak

"Is it done yet?"

No, we're not done yet... Uncle Bill had one last thing for Valor to do- learn to walk. He, meaning Uncle Bill, was determined to get his nephew walking. So in one good training session, Bill, Ben, Valor and later a cheering section got to see it happen.

Now we're done!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Psalm 25

Grace for when I can't let go of the past...
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, 
for you are good, O Lord.

Blessing for when I swallow hard the pride...
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Comfort for when the path seems random...
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

Prayer to pray when I don't know what to pray...
Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and
teach me

For you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you

verses from Psalm 25

We're done with the summer read through of the Psalms but I'm back in them again. This time around I'm making lists.
In the midst of all this grasping for words to tell the world who He is, I felt challenged to find out exactly who the Psalmist says He is. So far, who He is and especially what He does is way longer than any other list. I'm overwhelmed by what HE DOES. It's this paying attention to what He does, who He is that will cloak my words, not by stumbling through, but with truth and authority that comes from Him. Make most of Him with His own glory!

You could read through them again with me and try making your own lists.

Here's what my Psalm lists are categorized as:
  • Who God Is
  • What God Does
  • Who the Wicked Are
  • What the Wicked Do or What is Done to the Wicked
  • Who the Righteous Are
  • What the Righteous Do
  • Blessings of the Righteous
Go through chapter by chapter and write down what you read relating to each category ( add more categories if you want to).

Now what to do with these lists once you've taken time to write them out: read through them. 25:1 "Lift up your soul" to Him. Ask Him to examine your heart. Pray them. Don't know how to pray? Then use the words straight from what you read. You probably want to say what it says anyway so why re-invent it? God doesn't need flourish-y language to know your heart. A prayer to start with is 25:4,5 (see above) or anything you are drawn to in your reading. You might need to get humble and ask for forgiveness. He wants you there. Then you are teachable, guidable. He's no ogre... "All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful" v. 10. Leave the questionables up to Him. You say to yourself, 'Gee, I just don't know about this enemy thing (or whatever).' then that's not your thing to worry with. 'He (meaning the Lord) will instruct him (meaning the person who fears the Lord or you, hopefully) in the way chosen for him (him specifically). Then look for Him to work it out. And make a list. A thankful list. And pray the thanks back to Him.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Audrey's 1st, er 2nd Homecoming

That's right. It's a little confusing because, you see, the Ames Homecoming was her first one ever. It's just that it was in Ames, not Ballard, where she actually goes to school. So this past weekend was the Ballard homecoming dance and so technically, while her second Homecoming dance of the year, it is her first Ballard dance.

I didn't know having a kid with a social life would be so hard to blog about.

So, she was asked by a very nice boy, H, to go to the dance. Ballard's Homecoming is informal and Audrey was glad for that. The drama factor goes down and it makes for a nice evening. Which she said she had.

psst...I totally scored her this cute top at Charlotte Russe and I think she looks great in it!