Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How majestic!

When was the last time that you had a moment when you stopped to truly appreciate the marvelous creation around you? I think we often take for granted this grand display that is before us, wherever we are on God's green earth. I took this picture while on vacation in Tennessee. You know how people sometimes call a place, "God's country?" While there may be places, like these misty mountains, that remind us with a louder proclamation that we have this great Creator, let's try to always remember that the evidence of His handiwork is all around us. Perhaps you hear the Creator's whisper in the stillness of morning, dew fresh on your grass and garden. Maybe you discern His voice in the cry of tree frogs as dusk falls. Some might witness the majesty of His greatness as the sun heaves itself up and over sky scrapers, dwarfing them with its grandeur. Wherever you live, whatever you see outside your window as you scrub dripping dishes or fold seersucker sundresses or file mountains of papers, join me in praising the One who spoke the world into being with the power of His Word.

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[c]
You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

What do you get when you take perfectly yummy and traditional smoothie ingredients like milk and frozen fruit and add things like protein powder and green, leafy vegetables? You get a smoothie worthy of Popeye! So, I know that "green smoothies" are not new. Earthy, healthy vegetarians and vegans all over have probably been concocting and drinking these power-packed little uglies for ages. However, they are new to me. A dear friend, one who encourages me in all good things, recently texted me a picture of her first green monster, and has since shared with me her thorough enjoyment of them. So, this week I decided to try them. I've made three and this is my favorite combination so far. I'm thrilled that I found a way to like this because, wow, they are healthy and sustaining. I really am not hungry for hours and hours after sipping one of these thick things! ;0)

East your heart out Popeye!

2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup chopped, peeled kiwi
two handfuls fresh spinach
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (look for unsweetened) I actually used only about 1/2 - 3/4 scoop
1 cup almond or soy milk - today I used light soy

Blend in blender until smooth. This makes a pretty big smoothie - either share with someone or reduce amount as desired - don't save it. It is not good leftover.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back to Basics Sandwich

ABC Sandwich
(no, that doesn't mean already been chewed...)

Apple - Granny Smith, cored and sliced thin
Bacon - 2 or 3 crispy strips (I like thick cut)
Cheddar - 1 slice white or any sharp Cheddar cheese
Dijon Mustard - spread on whole grain bread
Fyi - this is great if you also add lettuce and tomato!
Grain (whole grain) bread and

Husband of my youth

Our anniversary is this Friday. We will celebrate our 17th year of marriage. This summer marks 21 years since we started dating, and about 23 years since this handsome boy walked into my life. He was thin and tall, dark-haired and handsome. We were friends first and for a very long time before he first held my hand and the twinkle in his eye changed to a special look that was just for me. We laughed together then. Lots of laughter. We walked and talked together on soft, summer beaches. We drove around in his little stick shift (which he handily taught me how to drive) and listened to music and shared our dreams. We watched movies and ate junk food. We raced down sand dunes and snow hills. Did I mention we laughed? :D

Once, when we were engaged, a well-meaning person, witnessing our laughter and youthful messing around, asked if I realized that this buddy of mine was going to be my husband. I think this person thought we were too young (we were 20 and 21), or having too much fun just goofing around (we may have been having a water fight at the time!) to be taking seriously what we were about to undertake together. I got the impression he thought we were going to have to stop being buddies so we could be husband and wife.

He was right and oh, so wrong. He was right because we were young and we were buddies. We loved to have fun together, and we had no idea what we were getting into together! At 20, as I looked into the face of my handsome groom, I had no idea what the years would hold. Does any bride or groom?

That early concerned bystander was wrong, though. I'm so glad we didn't take his words to heart and stop being buddies. We never stopped. We love each other more today that we had the capacity to love on our wedding day. But also, we really really like each other. We are still friends. We still laugh. Actually, we laugh a lot (did I mention we have four children and a giant, beast of a dog?). We still watch movies (the junk food has to be kept in moderation now, though). We still walk (hand in hand unless our hands are full of wagon handles and ice cream cones and sticky little fingers) and drive (road trips that sometimes test the bounds of sanity) and talk (catching up - "What do we have going on this week?) and talk (serious business..."Number 3 had an incident at school today..."). Now, though, we also share so much more. God has built us a family. He has sustained our marriage. He has given us ministry together, ways to serve Him. He displays His grace and His splendor in the day to day of our family.

I am thankful for my husband. He is a joy to me. The life we have is the one I never imagined in front of that church on an oppressively hot June day. It has gone beyond the scope of my naive twenty year-old understanding. They say that the young are the ones dreaming about the future. That may be, but it is the rest of us, living out the future one precious, unexpected day at a time, that truly understand the stuff that dreams are made of.