I Forgot How Much I Like Dorothy Sayers

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man — there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no ax to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”

Dorothy L. Sayers in Are Women Human? (1971), p. 47.

Sunday Song: Advent #2

Today we light the second candle.  The candle of peace.

The past two weeks have yet again revealed that peace is surely missing in the world.  Yet we know that He came…He will come again…to bring peace on earth.

Isaiah 9:7 says this peace will not have an end.

So we light the candle…a glimmer a hope in this dark December,….and breathe in the promise that brings us peace.  Emmanuel.  He is with us.

He was. He is. And He will always be.

What I Learned: September 2015 edition

Linking up again with Emily for her “What I Learned” Series.  I know I learned more than what’s below this month…I should probably start writing them down throughout the month as I think of them.

1. Twins are fun! Cate and Callie are just awesome and I’m so happy they are part of my family.

2. Move over, PSL! I don’t care for you anymore. It’s true.  I have a new fall favorite at Starbucks.  Everyone should check out the Toasted Graham Latte.  And my “local” store needs to get the fun cups in stock.

3. I’m not the overachieving student I once was. After 6 years off, it’s been difficult to get back into the routine of reading for class, doing homework, and writing papers.  It also doesn’t help that for my current class, the professor didn’t give us due dates – everything just needs to be turned in on the day of the final exam.  Hopefully this improves or the next two yeas are going to be rough.
4.  Section 504 is some serious stuff.  I had to go to a training last week and by the end my stomach and head hurt.  I need a lawyer on standby.
5.  I’m an Obliger….which isn’t good for my personal health.  I’ve recently listened to several podcast interviews with Gretchen Rubin promoting her new book, Better than Before, about developing and maintaining habits.  She says that there are four main tendencies of habitkeeping and offers a quiz on her website to help people figure out which one they are.  Check it out here.
I took the quiz to confirm what I had already quickly realized from listening to Rubin’s summary: I am an Obliger, meaning I conform readily to external expectations but don’t take my own inner expectations seriously.  I’d rather hurt myself than others.  While there are certainly positives to this, I’m currently trying to eat better and exercise more (an INTERNAL expectation) and I’m not doing well.  I desperately need accountability, which is why my most healthy year ever was my senior year of college when I had a group of friends I exercised with daily and roommates that meal-planned with me.  My goal for October is to figure out how to create that environment in my current situation.
And now I must run to the grocery store to get emergency supplies (i.e., wine and cheese)….thanks a lot, Joaquin!

Baby, Baby

Two weeks ago today we were blessed with these identical beauties.

Catherine Elizabeth (left) and Caroline Grace (left) – two five pound masterpieces.

Truly, I can’t understand how anyone can look at these perfect miracles and not believe there is an Infinite Creator.  Something this incredible couldn’t have come from a pile of goop.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What I Learned in August

This month I am linking up with Emily on Chatting at the Sky in her “What I Learned” series. I’ve enjoyed reading these for a while and thought it would be fun to try.  Here are some things I learned in the past month, in no particular order.

  1. I love middle school. Seriously – middle school is my jam.  It is so perfect for me.  I don’t think I’ve ever been happier at work. Yes, there is drama. Yes, I stay busy.  But, I don’t feel my blood pressure rising throughout the day. The tension headache that had become commonplace by 2pm hasn’t happened in the last two weeks.  I leave work feeling content and energized, not beat up and frustrated.  I’m sure this is still a honeymoon phase of sorts, and I don’t have it all figured out, but this job change was most definitely the right choice for me.
  2. My dog is neurotic.  I refinished my bedroom furniture this summer.  Because I rent a mostly furnished home, all my bedroom stuff is in the guest room.  Once I finished setting up the room I decided I wanted to sleep there instead, so I moved out of the master.  Apparently I should have asked Finn first, because moving from a king bed to a full has very much upset him.  So how does he solve this problem? Well, most nights he gets in bed with me in the new room but as soon as he thinks I am asleep, he hops off the bed and I hear him prance down the hallway and jump up on the kind bed.  He stays there, gloriously stretched out, until my alarm goes off in the morning. Then he slithers back to me, curls up in my arms, and acts as he’d been there all night. Hilarious.
  3. There is such a thing as too many tomatoes.  I never thought I would say it.  Tomatoes – especially home grown ones – are one of my favorite foods.  But with the production of my little garden and the contributions from my crop share, I simply cannot bear the sight of them anymore.  I’m sure the feeling will pass quickly.
  4. My HOA is stupid….and I’m thankful to be renting.  I do love the townhouse I’m renting…so much so that I’ve entertained the thought of buying in the neighborhood.  Not true anymore. The HOA doesn’t notify anyone in advance of any work done on their property, does not allow people to lock their own crawlspaces, and allows contractors to use electricity and water from any house without prior authorization and notification.  It’s a lot of fun to come home from work and see a busted lock and a hose that isn’t yours taking water down the street.  Sure, I’d love to pay for the water to take care of a communal lawn.  Not a contract I’d ever agree to sign.  For the love.
  5. Everything I know is wrong.  My worldview is just being rocked lately, especially when it comes to racial issues in the United States.  The more I learn, I feel like the less I understand.  I’m trying.  Eventually I may start writing about it.  For now, I *just* pray.
  6. My aunts love me something fierce.  It’s September 1, and this month I will get to meet my twin nieces, who are expected to make their arrival sometime in the next three weeks.  From the moment I learned about their existence on March 7, I have loved them (well, back then I guess I only loved one of them).  I have woken up at night and prayed for them.  Then, on June 3, I found out that this theoretical baby was actually two beautiful girls. And then I REALLY LOVED them.  I am obsessed with these babies.  I would give them a kidney right now.  Family is so precious, and I am now blessed with the opportunity to love two more family members.  I am going to know them and love them the rest of my life.  It’s so obvious but such an amazing gift.  And I can’t wait to tell them about Jesus. And then I think about my own aunts and I wonder, is this how they thought of me? Wow. I should strive to be a better niece.
  7. The opposite of shame….I guess like #5, I’m still learning this one. It first struck me while listen to Annie Downs’ podcast with Emily Freeman.  The two of them discussed shame and its opposite.  Annie said that for her, the opposite of shame was family.  At first, it didn’t make sense to me at all.  It’s stayed with me for a couple weeks.  What is the opposite of shame? It’s got to have an opposite, right?  Esteem, honor, respect.  What is it? Annie says family.  That’s beautiful.  I’m still not sure what the opposite of shame is for me.  A few days after hearing that, I read Acts 10 in which Peter has a vision from the Lord.  “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Other versions say not to call it “common” or “unholy”.  In Christ, there is no room for shame anymore.  I am free.  I am clean; holy; dear loved.  I am not impure, unclean, common or unholy.  I am honored and I belong at the table because He says so.  Maybe Annie’s right.  The opposite of shame is belonging.  

And that’s all I got. This was fun!  What have you learned?

Sweet, Sweet Summer

I’d like to apologize to me 1.5 readers for my blogging silence….just when I’d been getting better.

My trip to the beach, as fantastic as it was, threw me off.  It shouldn’t have, I know.  The hardest thing was my CSA batches got overwhelming since I had an extra week and I couldn’t keep up with the cooking.  I will start again next week.  In the meantime, here are some snapshots of what’s been showing up.

These are some of the most recent vegetables.  The snap peas are delicious and I love garlic scapes (now that I know what they are).  The purple kohlrabi is the next thing I will try.

My own garden has also been growing nicely.  I planted four tomato plants, zucchini, spaghetti squash, banana peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, basil, dill, oregano, cilantro, and thyme.  I think next year I will need to replace the soil as it quickly becomes depleted in the box.

My brother graduated from medical school in May.  We went straight from graduation to the beach for a week.

I attended my first ever Wine and Paint Night event last week with my friend Deb.  We had a blast! While I know I’m not the best artist, I am pleased with my first attempt at something other than stenciling.

And now for the big news.

Ashley’s pregnant!  Actually, we’ve know that for a few months now.  Here she is at 18.5 weeks with their first child.  She’s actually looking a little large…should have been a clue to what we found out at the 21 week gender ultrasound.
It’s a GIRL!!!!
AND ANOTHER GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That’s right.  Identical twin Mock girls coming sometime in September.  We simply couldn’t be more thrilled.  Two babies! We get TWO BABIES!
And I’m knitting like there’s no tomorrow 🙂

Farm to Table #2

Another fun week with the CSA!

This week’s haul included the following:
Baby pak choi
Green onions
Lettuce Mix
Braising mix
Alfalfa sprouts 
I also bought three turnips at Kroger because I thought I was going to get some and I really just wanted some turnips with my radishes. 🙂
I haven’t had the pak choi yet….still figuring out what I shall do with it tomorrow, but I’ve had some fun with the rest.
With the braising mix, I made a Quinoa and Greens Quiche of sorts.  I roasted the turnips and radishes with olive oil and parmesan.  And Sunday night for dinner I had my favorite meal to date.
I failed on the pictures this week but here are the turnips and radishes before they went in the oven.
And here’s the braising mix/sauteed onion/quinoa mixture before adding eggs and milk.
And…the best! Toasted Ezekiel bread with avocado, sprouts, and a fried egg.  Perfect easy Sunday night meal. 🙂

Farm to Table #1

This year I bought a produce and egg share from the Rockbridge Farmer’s Alliance, which is comprised of several area farms.  The thirty week season began last Thursday, and I thought it would be fun to document each share and how I eat it each week.  I will spare you from the salads, but will take a picture or two each week and document the new vegetables and recipes I try as a result.

What excited me most about the CSA share was the opportunity to try new vegetables and the first bag definitely did not disappoint.

Here you see:
Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sunchokes)
One dozen farm fresh eggs

On Saturday, I dove right in and tried to new (to me) foods: beets and sunchokes.  I roasted the beets, carrots, and sunchokes with some fresh thyme (from Kroger) and garlic.  The verdict?  Honestly, the beets don’t have much flavor, but they also taste somewhat….earthy.  I really liked the sunchokes and hope that future shares include them again.

Tonight I used the kale in a little dish I invented on my own.  

I browned a pound of ground turkey with garlic and onion, then mixed in about a cup of marinara sauce that I had on hand.  Meanwhile, I boiled 16oz of brown rice and quinoa fusilli (I’m not going GF, just avoiding white flour).  After draining the pasta, I put it back in the stockpot and immediately poured in the hot meat and my washed and chopped bunch of kale.  Once the kale had wilted, I put half the mixture into a casserole dish and added a half cup of mozzarella cheese, then added the rest of the noodles and topped with more cheese.  I baked it at 350 for about 25 minutes.  I’m quite pleased.

And the EGGS!  I always silently mocked (pun intended) those who waxed poetic on farm fresh eggs, but wow! Such a difference.  Below is my breakfast from this morning.

Looking forward to Thursday!

Numbered with the Transgressors

Isaiah 53:10-12 
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, 
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities,
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many 
and made intercession for the transgressors.

“Who can be afraid of the one who is written in the same list with us?  Surely we may come boldly to Him, and confess our guilt.  He who is numbered with us cannot condemn us. Was He not put down in the transgressor’s list that we might be written in the red roll of the saints? He was holy, and written among the hold; we were guilty, and numbered among the guilty; He transfers His name from yonder list to this black indictment, and our names are taken from the indictment and written in the roll of acceptance, for there is a complete transfer made between Jesus and His people.  All our estate of misery and sin Jesus has taken; and all that Jesus has comes to us.” –C.H. Spurgeon–