On Love.

ImageMunich flower stand, 2010

 It’s not what you think, although I do love Valentine’s Day.  I’m probably just a sucker for the pink and reds and girlie things.  No shame here.  Below is an old post from my blog.  On a day when the world gets sucked into whether they are loved or not by a significant other, I want to remember that I’m loved no matter what, by many people.  Ironically, very few people in the world can really say that.

It’s one of those exercises that should be done regularly so that we don’t forget how those around us really do love us. And it also helps me remember that I can do those very things for others. Love is important to give AND receive. I’d encourage you to take a look at who love IS in your life. I can almost promise there is way more than you’d think.  Regardless of being single, dating or married, I’ve got a lot of love in my life.  I want to find those who don’t and give them everything I have to offer.

March 2011Love invites me to stay even when I’m thinking about staying for a whole month.

Love reassures me when I freak out over what life “might” bring the next 5 months.

Love says, “I don’t want to go three months without seeing you, you have to come over for dinner!”

Love picks up someone else’s dinner tab when they are new to a table and community.

Love emails me when she knows life is stressful and just says “How ya doin’?”

Love bakes dozens upon dozens of cookies for a conference I couldn’t do everything for.

Love takes off work early to come and help me when I might lose my mind.

Love shares dinner with me when I get home and I am too tired to cook.

Love cleans the bathroom weekly for a whole month straight when I can’t get to it like usual.

Love says you can stay in our attic room if you needed to.

Love is a voicemail that says I’m just thinking about you.

Love waits patiently even when I’m 20 minutes late for lunch, and then says repeatedly that there is grace for tardiness.

Love passes me a secret note in a meeting just to tell me I’m pretty.

Love says to me often, “You’re not alone.”

Love goes with me to look for new places to live.

Love meets with me and talks me through things that are scary and overwhelming, like home buying.

Love invites me over for dinner and cooks me a delicious meal and includes me in her family time.

Love gives encouragement when I think something is crazy or a “ridiculous idea”.

Love spreads flowers all over my house, just because I like them.

Love flies across the ocean with you to spend two weeks with kids she doesn’t know.

Love leaves me written reminders of peace when I’m acting like a crazy head.

Love offers to go on a double date with me so I don’t have to do it alone.

Love tells me the truth, when I want it and when I don’t.

Love leaves me a Justin Bieber CD in my mailbox just because. (Don’t judge.)

Love says “Take my car wherever you need to” when I know mine won’t make the trip.

Love. It’s everywhere in my life and I’m so thankful for it. Here’s to passing it on!

With a command …

Psalm 147:12-20

15.  He sends his orders to the world — how swiftly his word flies! 16. He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. 17. He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? 18. Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.

What a word to read today as an arctic blast settles across the midwest.  It made me smile, laugh even, as I read this passage and stared out the window at the snow covering the ground.  My temperature gauge reads 11 degrees but it feels like -7.  To some across the nation, it feels like -50!  I love it when the Word of God lines up with something tangible and it brings a whole new perspective.  It literally becomes real to me in a new way as I look at the snow outside.   Ask any child what they see outside today and you’ll probably get a different perspective. They don’t look outside and see the cold air and negative temperatures.  They look outside and can only think: FUN!


Two things caught my eye and captured my thoughts this morning:
HE sends his orders to the world- and it comes swiftly.
At HIS command, what is completely frosty and frozen, melts with ease.

This perspective is timely for me.  It reminds me that I’m not in charge.  I’m not the one who can cover every base, make things happen, control the outcome or even sway a situation my way.  No, I get to acknowledge the one who can and who does these things in His perfect timing.  His power is the kind of power that can freeze the land one second, and completely thaw it and bring life again in the next second.  It’s not for me to decide what time is frozen and what time is thawed.  If I had it my way, I’d never have to experience freezing cold, uncomfortably frozen land!  The Father decides which time is right for which season.  I think it is important to acknowledge and embrace that HE CAN bring life again with a simple word.  He can.  He’s capable.  He is able.  He can do it.  WE get to declare it, believe for it and usher it in with open hearts and faith filled lives.

A few verses earlier it says:
 10. The strength of a horse does not impress Him; how puny in His sight is the strength of a man. 11. Rather, the LORD’s delight is in those who honor Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.
You see, compared to what God is able to do and what He does, my response can be honoring Him and putting my hope in Him.  Whatever He is doing, whatever He is saying, I whisper in response: Yes Lord.  Thank you Lord.  

This week, where do you need to whisper your “Yes Lord.”  What looks frozen and stuck to you that to Him he could merely speak and unthaw?  Where do you need to acknowledge His power and strength and humbly submit your own?  Where would childlike faith bring joy to look at your frozen landscape and see fun and possibility?

A mother of a movement.

Pslam 113:5-9

Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
    who is enthroned on high?
He stoops to look down
    on heaven and on earth.
He lifts the poor from the dust
    and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
    even the princes of his own people!
He gives the childless woman a family,
    making her a happy mother.

I’ve been stuck on this all week long.  It’s a pretty unnoticeable Psalm in the midst of a large book with a lot of other seemingly more significant insights.  When I first read it last week, I didn’t really settle on anything important.  But as I continued to re-read it, the thought came.  “Isn’t it just like Him?”  Isn’t it just like Him to take the people cast aside to the fringes, in the dumps (proverbial or real) and the motherless and place them in seats of honor?  Isn’t it His heartbeat and character?

It is.  This is the Father I know.  This is the God I serve.  He took me from a life of dust, one that was on a trajectory to not amount to much, and He brought me to His lap.  He pulled a chair up to the table I always dreamed of.  He stripped the painful places from my grips, it’s all I had to hang on to.  He replaced it with something better.  

HIS hand.  

It’s humbling.  It’s something I still can’t get past.  And if I want to be like Him, if I want to model these values, I need to do what He does.  Search the earth, the places of dust and dumps and find the widows and the motherless.   Honor them.  Welcome them.  Love them.  Serve them.  Show them the same Father that they haven’t been able to see. 

This week, I heard some stories that silence all the voice in me that nothing I do matters.  The woman who IS childless, and yet who has found God asking her to open her home to a community He has given her compassion for.  The women who started an exercise class for free and have had over 30 women coming weekly to work out, not knowing WHO they would really find.  The family who has wrestled for years with the hope that God would provide a way for their dreams to come true and little did they know it would come through picking vegetables.  The roommate who took 12 kids to the local save-a-lot to teach them about budgeting and shopping for recipe supplies.  The other roommate who sees a corner of the city that most are afraid to step foot into.  The friends who seek to find those in the midst of crises and show up as the rescue team at the exact moment they need…it just so happens it’s most often when people need to move.  The family who lives in one of the most destitute areas of our city that struggle and fight against an enemy they can’t see, yet trying to find a way for the kids they know to find the One who loves them more than anyone.  The girl in suburbia who knows God has placed her there for a reason and celebrates when even one neighbor says hi.  The woman who waters her plants on purpose at the same time she knows her neighbors leave each days so she can talk to them.  The leader and friend who I’ve worked with for 10 years and wants nothing more than to see people catapulted to their destiny.  What a humbling place I sit here on His lap.  Oh to see what He sees.

This week, I reflect on all God has done.  I’ve begged Him for many things that haven’t happened, and yet He gives me eyes to see what He redeemed.  I too have become a mother.  No I’m not married.  No I’ve never been physically pregnant, given birth, cared for a kid with my own DNA in them.  I’m a mother of a movement.  God’s placed me here to fulfill this role that He’s given me.  Tend to the kids.  Help them see what they can do in each stage of development.  Feed them with what I have to offer.  Hug them when they have hard days.  Care for their wounds with bandages and send them back out into the world.  I’m the childless woman too who has been given a place that makes her happier than anything else.  He sent me to awaken the sleepers, a promise prayed over me 3 years ago by someone who didn’t even know me.  The sleepers are finally awake.  The kids are on the move.  They call me and text me and tell me that they are strong enough now to walk into the future He has for them. They come back when they feel insecure, and I ask God for the resources I don’t think I have to give encouragement.  

And I cry.
Like a happy mother that God has given the greatest gift to, because He saw me.
And He found me.  
And HE moved me.

Praise God that things aren’t always what they seem.


Foodie Friday.

Good eats that will make your tummy happy.  And maybe your roommates or husbands and kids too.  :)
Don’t forget to click on the picture for the source and the recipe!


World’s Best Chicken.  Yes, that is what it’s called.


I haven’t tried this yet, but it is on the list. I love all the ingredients involved!

Oh yes I did. These are as cute to look at as they are to eat.


You really do need to chill these for 2 hours or more. The oil in the peanut butter can make them difficult to work with. But the payoff is HUGE.



A few of my favorite things.

Some friends have asked me to collect and share the recipes I’ve tried and loved.
Before you dive in here, you should know a few things about my choices:
1.  I always look for simple.
2.  I love flavor, so I will almost always add more garlic/onions/seasonings than what they call for.
3.  I love easy cooking, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try the hard stuff too.
4.  Pictures will always sell me on something.  I don’t take great pictures so that’s why I’m giving you the links so you can see the original posts/pictures.  Plus, let us give credit where credit is due, yeah?
5.  For the recipe and instructions, click on the picture which should take you directly to the original link.

Alrighty then.

Here are my “have tried and loved”:
Uh, delish:

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Source: smittenkitchen.com

Note: Bacon is necessary for this recipe, but you can do without the mushrooms if you don’t like those!  I’ve found it most helpful to have everything prepped before starting because the vinaigrette making moves fast!  Also, one time I made this by sautéing the onions and mushrooms too.  That was good as well!

Broccoli Pesto Cream Pasta

Source: smittenkitchen.com

Note: I would add several more (3 to 4) cloves of garlic here to up the taste.  You also can use half and half instead of heavy cream.  Or whole milk, whatever you have on hand!

Roasted Squash with Apple Salsa

Source: loveandlemons.com

Note: This one is all things fall and is certainly would be a great side dish.  I ate it as the meal and could have eaten it all myself!  Surprisingly, you don’t have to peel your acorn squash (PTL)!  If roasted long enough, the skin softens and is perfectly suited for eating.  Also, on the salsa, you certainly can improvise, I used lemon juice instead of lime juice, you could use pears instead of apples, you don’t have to put corn in it, and I added avocado! Also, make more than you think, I only made one squash, and Melissa would have devoured it all had I let her!

And no pictures for this one, but I’ve been on an oatmeal kick lately (thanks to Patty).  Here are a few mixes I’ve done:
– Frozen blueberries, thawed, raw pepitas, and a dash of milk.
– Chopped raw walnuts, raisins, a sprinkle of brown sugar and milk.
– My FAVORITE: chopped walnuts, 1/3 of a pear cut in small pieces, and 20 pieces of Ghiradelli 60% Cacoa chips.  TO DIE FOR.

Try something new this week!

Friends are friends forever. Thanks Michael W. Smith.

Not too long ago I got to visit the ultimate of friends.  Patty.




She was my roommate for 7 years.  Who in their right mind can live for anyone for seven years beyond their spouse?  We lived together from 2004 until 2011.  We like to live on the wild side.

We have had many adventures together.







Numerous apartments.

Meals together.


Silent treatments.


Boy conversations.

Job changes.

Roommate changes.

The laughs and inside jokes abound.

7 years of life together!  Wowza!

And now weddings.  She got married last year and now lives far away.



It’s fair to say that I had some separation anxiety.

I’m in denial that I will have to go through it again with my new roommates, but that’s besides the point.

I visited her recently and I told her I’d post pictures of all the hard work she’s done making her hubby’s house a home.  She worked HARD.

Her lovely dining area.
Her kitchen.
I love her kitchen.


You can see before and after pics on her fridge.


Thrift store finds that fit perfectly.


Where all the magic happens!  Her stove still works!


The living room and ANNIE!