Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Porch

Porch Time has been reconvened. The coming of 80 degree temps has brought us back to Porch Time; that time of day we sit out on the porch and talk. I love my husband. I love that he thinks Porch Time is important. I love that time with him. I love that God gave us a great porch. I love being on the porch. I never know what will happen when we are there.

This weekend during Porch Time I asked my husband why he had been so nice to me lately. I prattled on about all the little things I’ve been noticing. I asked forgiveness for being a little whacky lately. Emotional. I thanked him for being kind with me despite myself. I thanked him for going the extra mile in so many areas, making me want to be less of a burden and more of a helper. I told him that in my desire to be selfless, I had put a lot of pressure on myself. I confessed I wasn’t asking God for help and I wasn’t seeking counsel from the best counselor at my disposal, my husband. I was just barreling through life... trying so hard.

You know what he SAID?

You KNOW what he SAID?

He said, “I’ve been asking God to Bless Her. Change Me.”

I sat there on the porch, stunned.

What Joe doesn’t know is that in all my trying, the undercurrent of blame exists. In all my trying lives a martyr complex. In all my trying, working, and striving to be selfless exists an arrogance and self-importance which can consume and destroy a marriage. If allowed to run rampant, it will turn me into an ugly hag and him, a disappointed defeated man.

And what is he praying? “Bless Her. Change Me.”

I woke up this morning with the utterances of prayers for my husband on my lips. A morning ritual. But today all I could manage to say to my God was, “Bless Him and Change Me.”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Dream Come True

I am working on my bucket list. Mostly, it's made up of things I think I might like to do when my kids are grown. There are other things, however, that I can do now. For example, I want to hike Half Dome for the 3rd time and God willing, every year until I can't anymore. I'm considering running a 10K. And yes, one of these days, I want to get involved in community theater. Perhaps I'll be able to do that with one of my kids. There is so much in life to be enjoyed and you never know what the future holds.

I love this video, because it reminds me how important goals and dreams are.

It won't allow me to embed, so you have to pop over to YouTube to see A Dream Come True.

What do you dream?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Resurrection Cookies

Jillian was asking to make Resurrection Cookies again this year. They are edible, but not delicious. However, making them is as easy as pie and cheap. Here is the recipe and the process by which you can share the Easter Story with your children.

Except for the pecans, everything in this recipe is probably already in your cupboard. And if you can’t swing the pecans, use walnuts. They’re less expensive and work just as well.

Resurrection Cookies

* 1 cup whole pecans (we use walnuts)
* 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
* 3 egg whites
* pinch salt
* 1 cup sugar
* Plastic Ziploc Baggie
* Wooden spoon
* Rolling pin
* Tape
* Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (Do this before doing anything else.)

* Place nuts in baggie and beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3
* Open the vinegar and let everyone smell it. Put 1 teaspoon into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, all He was given to drink was vinegar. Read John 19:28-30
* Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11
* Put a little salt into each person’s hand. Let them taste it, then brush the rest into the bowl. (If you have lots of kids, put a pinch of salt in yourself, and then let each child taste the salt…otherwise there will be too much salt in the recipe) Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
* So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Sprinkle a little sugar into each person’s hand. Let them taste it, then brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
* Beat with mixer on high speed for 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents our purity in God’s eyes because our sins are cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18
* Fold in nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60
* Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and TURN THE OVEN OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door shut. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. One year, the boys posted Roman sentries outside the oven using Lego Men. Read Matthew 27:65-66
* Now go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22
* On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the third day, Jesus followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9
* Head off to church and the rest of your Easter celebrations, knowing that you have started the day as a family, remembering the reason you celebrate Easter.

What do you do that's memorable for your children?