Monthly Archives: August 2015

surrender

Surrender

I hate the word surrender. Maybe it’s the American rebel in me that never was, but that word just rubs me the wrong way. As a Christian I am called to surrender myself to the lord, but unfortunately, with my limited understanding as a human, all I see are white flags and weakness in surrender. I am just now finding that yes, there is weakness in surrender, but not the bad kind that stems from fear. It’s the kind of weakness that allows divine provenance to move you where you need to be, and draws you nearer to Jesus.

 
I have limited control, and I struggle with that. The more I try to control every little thing in my life, the harder it gets. But when I try to surrender that control, this overwhelming fear takes over. Doubt starts eating away because I don’t see the next step ( and the Good Lord knows how much I love to outline steps). It’s my comfort zone to research something to death. To plan every step to its daily endeavors ( no, I have not resorted to creating a minuet by minuet list yet.)

 
Right now I am going through a Refining fire ( at least I hope that’s what it is). Just like a forest or field needs to burn away the old grass, or destroy an invasive species that will destroy its foundation, my old thoughts and actions are being replaced with new ones. I do not have a clear direction ( that’s probably the way God intends it, and for good reason. You know, the insatiable list thing ), and I still tend to cringe at the word surrender, but I look back on all the dark moments of my life and see His grace in all of them.

 
That grace is what reminds me I have no need to fear or dislike surrendering to God. He is not of this world, and has no sin in him. He only wants the best for me, and I am not walking through the trials I face now alone. He will never lead me astray ( I’m great at doing that all by myself though), or let me face something I cannot handle.

 
I am learning to surrender my plans for my future ( those dreams are a tempting mistress), and I would never claim that it is easy or without bouts of tears. However, I am finding there IS freedom in surrender. Not shackles or shattered dreams, but true freedom and liberty.
At this point in my life I just want to be where He wants me, and hopefully in that place I can find my tribe.

 
Do you feel that you are walking through the fire right now?
I know millions of people are, and I think sometimes we hold so tight to what we dreamed about, that we do not listen to that still small voice saying “Follow me, I have better things to come for you”.

 
Create quite space and listen. I know what you’re thinking “pot, meet kettle”, but I am trying too. Who knows, maybe we will hear the call of clarity at the same time. Isn’t that a nice thought.

 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. … “
John 15:1-7 ESV

 
Gosh I love metaphors, but till the day the vine bears fruit, here’s a song from my high school days that I am just now coming to understand.

The Best Chicken Noodle Soup

No lie, this is the BEST soup. It has sesame noodles and cabbage ( seriously this adds the best flavor, don’t omit, I repeat don’t omit) and carrots, and if you want you can add chicken.
I have a hard time remembering to measure when I cook, but luckily this a fool proof respire that could feed an army if need be. Plus, it freezes if there is extra ( which practically never happens in my household).
Yes, I know it is a HUGE batch, but once you have the basics down then you can make it any size you want.

The BEST Chicken Noodle Soup

 
20 Cups of Chicken Broth ( I use homemade bone broth)
8 Large Carrots ( or more if you like)
1/2 Head of Cabbage ( but I have used a whole one if it is small)
4 Cooked Chicken Breasts, Sliced and Diced
2 Tablespoons (Heaping) Chicken Bouillon ( only if the broth is not flavorful)

 
Sesame Noodles

 
2 1/2 Cups Flower ( the 1/2 cup is for rolling out the noodles)
3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons of Water ( about this, sometimes it’s more sometimes less)

 
Instructions

 
Start broth on medium heat. Shred cabbage and toss it into the broth to cook.
Next, clean, peal, and dice thin pieces of carrots. Then pre cook the carrots on the stove top by putting them in a sauce pan full of water, bring to a boil, and cook the carrots for about 10 min. or until soft ( but not mushy). Carrots are done when a fork can spear them easily. Once done, drain and set aside.

 
Next we make the pasta.

 
In a bowl add the 2 cups of flower, sugar, salt, sesame, olive oil, and eggs. Mix together till the ingredients are well incorporated ( I use a fork). Then slowly add water till the dough comes together. Start kneading the dough until smooth and elastic. Separate dough into two round balls. Set aside, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for at least 10 min.
Once rested, on a flowered board roll out the pasta dough till it is very thin. Then slice it into strips, and cut it again into smaller 1 inch pasta size pieces ( check out pictures if this gets confusing. Frankly you can cut this into any shape you want).

 
Bring Large pot to a boil, add a little salt to the water, and then slowly add the pasta in small batches to the bowling water. Once pasta floats to the top count to 30 and fish it out of the water. Repeat process till all the batches are done.

 
By this time you will have the cooked carrots, and the cabbage should be translucent and fully cooked in the broth. So add the carrots and pasta – You are done, go forth and feed the millions.

 

Chicken Noodle proccess

Dear Future Husband: That I Haven't Met Yet.

Dear Future Husband

It seems to be all the rage right now for single Christian women to blog an open letter to their future husband about why they choose to wait for them ( and by wait, Yep, I mean SEX – you thought I wouldn’t say it didn’t you?) . So in honor of the end of wedding season (Say Yes To The Dress marathons are in my future), and seeing as I am a 28 ( going on 102) year old who is….. yep, you guessed it – not married. I thought I would take a crack at it. I recently read an article from The Common Queen titled “I’m losing my patience while waiting for you“. It was a good article, and I get where she is coming from. The waiting game is not easy, but all signs point to incredibly worth it. So without further ado…

 
Dear Future Husband,
I am not the worlds standard of beauty, and at this point in my life I’m ok with that. I will never be perfect, blemish free, or a model. I run into doors, break my toes, scratch, cut, burn, and bruise myself – and that’s just from making dinner tonight. Sounds like a winner right!? I’m not perfect, and if I guess correctly you won’t be either ( and if you are perfect, I will make you prove you are not an alien by showing your belly button – you have been warned. But back to the letter). We will be two imperfect people who are better together than apart. God has been gracious and has shielded my heart from much of the ( self inflicted/other ) heartbreak that my friends encountered through years of dating. I am not the kind of girl who forms deep attachments quickly ( unless it’s a dog, then I love them immediately and without reservation).

 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cold. I’m friendly, outgoing, and a massive foodie. My family ( and backup army) means the world to me, and are second only to my relationship with Christ. I feel incredibly blessed to be an American, and in case you didn’t notice, I kind of like everything Disney.

 
At various moments in my life ( starting at about 20), God has stopped me in my tracks and called me to pray for you. At first it seemed strange, but life grew stranger. Eventually it was the norm, and a little comforting because I believe God would not command me to pray for a man who doesn’t exist.

 
I am not a terribly patient person. I have been known to skip to the end of books just to make sure it has a happy ending. But for you I wait. We will inevitably bump heads on many things in our married life. I don’t want a stumbling block to be my past relationships. This future union is far too important to me to ever risk it over impatience. I want to be your helpmate, love, and protect you, and in protecting my body and soul I not only protect myself, I’m protecting you.

 
I was raised in a legacy of love. My grandparents were married over 60 years, and my parents have been married well over 30 years. I would never risk the chance at 60 years for a moment of supposed pleasure, out of boredom, pressure, or fear of being alone. However, most importantly I wait because a long time ago I made a covenant with God to do so, and being obedient to Him is how I strive to live my life.

 
This will not be a foreign concept to you if you are seeking after Christ, and frankly that is the only kind of man who has a chance with me.

 
So I wait, out of obedience, faith, and love.

 
Everyone at some point is asked to sacrifice or do something hard. To me being a virgin is not hard ( ya, I don’t struggle with saying NO), and frankly I don’t understand Christians who justify sex outside of marriage. There are so many hard things in life. if you deem abstinence hard, wait till someone you love has cancer or you lose your job. Real love IS hard.

 

 

I do, however, struggle with my impatience to meet you, but I keep busy by growing and maturing as an adult. I practice my willingness to serve others, and self sacrificing ( which is not easy), so when I do meet you and we become one, this action of being a help mate is not a strange concept to me.

 
I am not saying I’m a perfect person – far far far from it ( you’ll find out someday).
I believe there is worth and reword in obeying God, but it is more than that, I abstain out of love for my savior.

 
So, in obedience to my God I wait for you.

 
The waiting game is not easy, and it is certainly strange to feel like you were meant for somebody you don’t even know. But the mysteries of this world are far beyond my understanding, and I have far too much to do to sit and ponder it for long. Here’s to our someday, I hope to meet you soon.

 
Sincerely,
Your Future Wife

 
Well, that’s my letter. I know my someday is out there, and for most of you reading this yours is to. To all you ladies ( and gentlemen) in waiting, hang in there, you are not alone. Don’t rush it or try to push someone into a mold they do not fit in just so you can find “the one” faster. That never works out well.

 
PS. If I happened to date some of you men after this article, I am not the kind of girl who starts planning the monogrammed towels and wedding details after the first date. So, don’t freak out.

 
PPS. If you are the kind of man who starts planning the wedding after the first date – keep it to yourself. At least for the first six months, you’ve herd of those studies right? The ones that say the ” puppy love” stage ( or what I like to call the Double Dumb-Ass stage) lasts for at least six months then the real you shines through ( for better or worse). I am not saying don’t let your freak flag fly, I’m just saying don’t skip the getting-to-know-you part of dating.

 
Let me ask you ( not so) gentle readers, why did or didn’t you wait for your someday? If you didn’t wait, I have always wanted to ask if the thought of an STD ever freaked you out ( because it frankly grosses me out)? And if you are currently waiting, what makes you go against the sad cultural norm?

Grateful

Grateful

I consider my childhood pretty magical ( not just because I was practically raised at Disneyland) because when I remember back, all my memories include my parents; And for me, I associate them with security and unconditional love.

 
Every good memory I have includes them, and I don’t remember a lot from my childhood. I just remember them being there.

 
I am well aware that not every child has what I was given – two parents who wanted to be around me ( and still do surprisingly. I have not driven them away yet).

 
I look back at picture of extravagant birthday parties my mom put on, and I have no memory of them. I see pictures of kids that I knew as a child, and for the life of me I cannot remember a single instance I was in their company ( except for you Betsy Boo and Elizabeth too).

 
Don’t get me wrong, every action on their part contributed to the bond my parents created with me. Even though I do not remember all the great things they did for me, those moments added up. Creating a foundation of mutual respect and love.

 
No, that does not mean we always see eye to eye, or that my beliefs are identical to theirs ( but frankly, we are not that far apart).

 
To this day, if you blindfolded me in a large room and lined the walls with parents, I know I could pick mine out just by their scent.

 
They are engrained in every comforting memory I have.

 
They believed in me even when I lacked faith in myself.

 
They allowed me to fall ( never gracefully, I am not capable of falling gracefully literally or metaphorically ) and pick myself up again.

 
Indulged my crazy dreams that didn’t always turn out as planned.

 
They taught me how to fight well,

 
Love well,

 
How to apologize,

 
And to appreciate the time we have with the people we love.

 
I was reminded, yet again, this weekend how fragile life is, and how important it is to spend as much time as you can with the people you love.

 
I am still trying to find my tribe, but what I do know is that any tribe I am a part of will include, what I lovingly refer to as, my bad ass back up army ( you know who you are) which includes my mom and dad.

 
I need to make some big decisions soon, and I am truly grateful to Lord above to have them as a sounding board and for their wise counsel.

 

I go before The Wise Counselor and  my family to ask for direction and clarity – where do you go?