Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it

Almost 5 years ago I said yes; to a man, to a commitment, and to our future.  For better or worse, in richer or poorer; these words were not in our vows. 

IMG_0893_1                                                                 our younger selves (2005)
Instead I promised:

-to be faithful to you and never leave you
-to respect and submit to your leadership
-to trust your judgement in leading me as God leads you
-to provide you with an abundance of encouragement and to communicate openly and honestly with you  
-to listen when you speak and keep what I hear
-to trust you and honor you and follow you 
-to be your helper and your most trusted friend.

These 4+ years have proved to challenge my faith and my trust.  Life has pulled on my heart strings as I open my hands, letting go of preconceived notions on how life is supposed to look.  Life with you isn’t preconceived, or according to the world’s plan, and doesn’t look like others’. 

In 4+ years we’ve done crazy things; bought 2 houses in the middle of a real estate meltdown and the Lord sold them, we sold our house in order to best create working capital, and now we embark together down a new road, following Him.  I fell in love with your spirit when we were dating; I’m recalling back how often you asked “Honey, what if I want to stop working and build boats in a barn, will you stick by me?”


Little did I know that phrase would be a metaphor for our future.  Flipping houses, selling houses, buying houses, renting houses.  It was a glimpse into your heart, full of passion and energy, and entrepreneurial spirit.  Naively I said yes, not fully understanding what you meant.  But I see it now, raw drive, extreme attention to detail and you take your provision job so seriously.  And I’m thankful. 


Every year a time hits when I’m reminded that I need to trust, not only you, but the Lord.  For His provision and plan. And with new eyes, I get a glimpse of this crazy, wonderful, passionate man I married.  Who with extreme passion in your eyes and a childlike giddiness in your voice, lights up our life with new possibility.  This brings change.

I’m not so good with change.  I like to plan things out as we dream together, without having to think we may be steered another direction.  Gentle pruning.  He’s pruning me to be better listen and trust and encourage you.  I’m becoming a better wife.  Day by day, moment by moment, I’m being reminded that life is not run according to me.  And through the pruning, my heart surges with new love for you and this amazing spirit the Lord has put in your heart.

Honey, I’m so proud of you.  And I’m sorry.  I know I don’t always appreciate the passion within.  It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been so, so worth it.  It’s our adventure; up, down, steady and crazy all in one. 

I love you just the way God made you.

Congratulations are in order today; to you and our new adventure!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Perfect for a Picnic

My salad is ready for a picnic, unfortunately the weather here in Minnesota isn’t quite perfect.  It’s a steam bath outside, with the heat index sky high.  So instead of a picnic at the band shell with the sounds of the Pops Orchestra serenading our humble meal, we’ll be taking the food inside, where it’s nice and cool.

When I think summer there are some of my favorites that always come to mind: corn on the cob, watermelon, fresh tomatoes, and panzanella.  That last one might have taken you by surprise but there is nothing I love more than panzanella salad with the freshest vegetables.  It’s a great switch from the ordinary garden salad and there are so many ways to adapt it to your tastes.
My first encounter with Panzanella was a few years ago when I acquired Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook.  This recipe spoke to me from the pages; I like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and basil.  I love bread.  This must be the salad for me!  And it was.  And in her new cookbook, How Easy is That, Ina switches it up and puts a spin on traditional Panzanella, turning it Greek with the addition of just a few ingredients.

This salad is about as humble and rustic as you can get, but believe me, the taste is anything but humble. It’s delicious!

Here’s a link to the recipe!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursdays are my Favorite

Every other Thursday that is. 

Why?  Because I am able to pick up our CSA box!  This year we switched farms and it has been so worth it.  We are so thankful for our friend Lisa’s referral of Driftless Organics.  The produce is so fresh.  I can’t even describe how much better each vegetable tastes when compared to the grocery. 

DSC_1056(This week from the top left:  Snap peas, green leaf lettuce, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, raspberries, spring mix, cauliflower, golden beets, broccoli, cilantro and green onions)

Today we couldn’t hold back and filled our bellies with fresh from the vine green beans and raspberries.  There are many reasons why this CSA is better than last years’ but if you are interested here are our main points.

1.  It’s certified organic.  Not that this is necessary but at ~$14/week it’s worth it and I can’t even buy all organic produce for that price.  BTW, we split with our friend Stephanie and her family.  If we didn’t, we would only do the every other week box.

2.  With the exception of a few beets and other fun, unordinary veggies (kohlrabi, pea shoots, and garlic scapes), the bulk of the produce is comprised of varieties we love: carrots, broccoli, snap peas, etc.

3.  Pick up is convenient and the recipes they include are delicious!

Today I brought home our heaping box, including a handful of basil they had available, and promptly set making Basil, Garlic Scape, and Spinach pesto.  It’s amazing.  Seriously.  I know it will come in handy for Tomato/Mozzarella/ Pesto Paninis and Pesto, Pasta and Peas. 

Fresh produce, fresh from the garden, makes summer all the more delicious!

What garden fresh recipes are you loving this summer?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crossing them off the List

I learned two great perks of being pregnant right away:  my nails and hair were growing like mad.

I’ve always had a nervous habit of biting my nails.  My WHOLE life.  So that’s a good 25 or so years of nibbling.  I’m not sure what first drove it but I do know it’s a nervous/anxiety induced habit.  When we were expecting and I was seeing them grow, well I’ll just say that was enough to curb the habit. 

Now what I’m going to show you are my nails as of today, July 12th, 2011.  It’s not good.  They are short, ragged, nail bitten, and so sad looking.  But I’m on a mission to cross this one off my 30 in 30 list.

With a little help from my friends at Sally Beauty, I’m determined to stop the habit.  I’ll keep you updated:)

They claim I’ll see results in 7 days…I’ll let you know how it goes.  Besides, I’m ready to cross some things off my list and have beautiful nails:)

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Good Reminder

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant.”

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 

Good friends are great nourishment for the soul, breathing life-filled truth, sprinkled with grace, reminding our hearts of what is true.  I’m thankful for one in particular, whose story is being weaved with ours, who I walked with yesterday.  Encouraging each other, we were reminded of simple truths.  We are being held by an infinite God, with almighty strength.  There is no pattern for grief; the days and hours and even years ahead, will unfold in ways we could never imagine.  Rest and contentment is from Him, faith for today is from Him, grace for tomorrow is from Him. 

Here we are resting, upheld by Him.  And only by Him.

Filled with thanksgiving, sorrow, joy, and hope. 
All from Him.

Praying you are reminded that He is with you right where you are today.

Friday, July 1, 2011

One Week Later, Seeing His Grace

Source: via Andrea on Pinterest

It’s been a week or so now.  And like any grieving process, emotions come and go.  But through the rain, we’ve seen His grace.  And we’re thankful, that He has given us the ability to see Him, see His mercy and grace.  It wouldn’t be right not to share what He’s been doing behind the scenes, ways He’s shown us He’s orchestrating the details, making good come. 

Here’s ways we’ve seen His grace, in the big and very minute details.

1.  On Wednesday, following our ultrasound appointment, we were very much looking forward to a long weekend in WI where Alex would play in a golf tournament with my brother.  We were unable to go, but Thursday morning my brother called to say the golf course had flooded.  He showed love and the tournament was cancelledThis was His grace.

2.  With two doctor’s communicating the same unexpected outcome of molar pregnancy, we petitioned it wouldn’t be, we so did not want to wait 6+ months, never mind the problems that could happen.  He answered, and by His grace, it was not molar.

Having our weekend plans altered, we were free to do anything.  He allowed for us to have sweet fellowship with friends, and it brought life to our hearts.  This was His grace. 

4.  Right after we found out we were expecting I looked in the mirror and realized I should have colored my hair before this…it was going to be a long 9 months.  The gray was already more than peeking through.  I’m seeing His grace, that in this break, I can color my hair.  (it’s the little things) 

5.  We received word from our doctors this week that things are looking good, and come August, we can try again if we are ready.  This is a sweet, sweet grace from Him.  Unexpected, and yet it has filled our hearts with the hope we longed for.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, 
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  
Hebrews 4:16