30 June 2011

And Another One

Today, I decided to post my second-favorite lunch (at least, lately). Please don't be scared. This blog will not become a chronicle of what I eat every day. I promise. Last "lunch post" for a while, okay?

Ever since Kim H. introduced the chick pea and me, by way of hummus, I am majorly tempted by recipes that contain them. The only problem is that Travis doesn't seem to be as crazy about them as I am. So I have to stick to eating them for lunch. That is why I was SO EXCITED when I saw this recipe on the Picky Palate (you can find it on my sidebar). It's definitely become one of my favorite lunches. So, here is how I fix it! (Wow. If one of my former English students had used the word "fix" in that manner, there would be some red ink on that page! But, fortunately, this is a blog! :D)

Chick Pea Salad

Baby arugula
1 can of chick peas (drained)
roasted red peppers, chopped

1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the chick peas. Spoon roasted red peppers over greens, and then spoon chick peas/dressing over the top.

I store the 3 main parts to the salad separately, and then make a fresh salad each day for a few days.

If you have a good summer lunch idea, feel free to leave a comment!

29 June 2011

The First One

My first tomatoes this summer.

The essential elements to the perfect summer-sandwich.
Especially the basil: a must-have.

This sandwich needs a good, salty side. Rippled chips, preferably.

Sigh. The first tomato sandwich.

Summer-lunch doesn't get any better than this!

13 June 2011

Two-day Read

I love to get my hands on a new book! I'm one of those people that looks forward to plopping down on my little corner of the loveseat, propping my feet up, and reading a good book. Of course, this happens AFTER the kids go to bed or on a Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, it's pointless. While trying to concentrate on what I'm reading, my thoughts are intercepted and taken to the realm of Star Wars. Little boys want me to have analytical conversations about Obi Won, Yoda, and droids. I'm sure I didn't spell those correctly, but it just goes to show how Star-Wars ignorant I am. I do alot of nodding, "Ohhh!"s, and "You'll have to ask you Daddy about that." (I really try to emphasize Daddy in these conversations!)

So, anyways, now that you know how tired I am of Star Wars, let me tell you about a book that I LOVED! It's Beth Moore's A Taste of Believing God. Apparently, she has a full-length book called Believing God, but this one is less than 70 pages. A good two-day read. I downloaded mine from ibooks because it was so cheap ($1.99). That's probably part of the reason I was so pleasantly surprised how good it is! Over the last couple of years, I've been much more aware of how the Lord is growing my faith. In light of that, this book was a treat to read. Here's a little excerpt :

"Beloved, we can't presently and actively serve God in our day-to-day challenges if we are not presently and actively in His Word....Further, liberty in Christ becomes a reality in life through knowing and applying God's word, not just taking our Bibles to church or keeping them on our nightstands." (p. 62, ibook)

So much truth right there! This little book was definitely an encouragement to me - it challenged my thinking in a couple of areas and reminded me of truths that I must keep close to my heart.

Here's a link to Amazon if you're interested in checking it out.

10 June 2011

Following God or Government?

As the leaders of our country propose solutions for healthcare and education, our country is becoming more and more comfortable with a socialist mindset. I knew this. I've read articles about it and listened to pundits on Fox News lament it. But the socialist ideal (think Big Government, the Nanny State) has always seemed a little hypothetical and somewhat distant to me, the happy resident of a small, Southern town. It was something to complain about and argue, not necessarily something about which to directly respond.

For me, that all changed this week. Within a matter of three days, I read this article in our local newspaper and became appalled at the 6th paragraph (an American Dean of Education proposing that China's one-child policy was a "main element" in their country's academic success on an international level - a "mere" sidenote to the main thrust of his article). I seriously doubt that the newspaper will publish my letter to the editor; but, without a doubt, I felt compelled to respond to such a blatant appreciation (at the least) or poorly veiled suggestion (at the worst) for forced family planning. Then, while I was reading the Carolina Journal at lunch a couple days later, I came upon a synopsis by Mitch Kokai (p. 12) of a National Review cover story that discusses the "de facto death panels that will be associated with a key provision of ObamaCare known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board." Whoa! Then, to top it all off, over dinner, my husband and I had a discussion about how the changes in healthcare will probably affect prices of doctors visits, insurance prices, etc. (I know. I really would have preferred to discuss the fun trip we were planning. Or even our latest grass-growing endeavor!) I was really starting to feel like I live in a full-blown socialist society!

As I began to clear the dishes from the dinner table, I thought, "We need to hurry and have something permanently done so that we won't have to worry about having any more children. After Obamacare takes effect, it'll be too expensive if we have another baby and a surgical procedure might be alot more expensive in a few years!" But, you know, as soon as that thought popped into my head, the Lord immediately convicted me of it. You see, we are content with three children at this point, but we have prayed about our family, and do not have peace about making three children "permanent." Three kids may be all the Lord has planned for us, but if He hasn't given us the green light to do something about it, then we are better off just waiting at this point. It was as if the Lord was challenging my thinking: Will I let man (or a government) prod me with fear and ultimately determine the decisions we make? Or will we seek HIS will concerning the decisions we make? Sometimes the "common sense" decisions are just that. Common. Just about anyone could determine the "right" course of action based on convenience, security, and the almighty dollar. But the Lord is teaching us that faith-based decisions, many times, do not always coincide with common sense. Aren't his ways higher than our ways? Doesn't He know what situations and events wait for us up over the hill, beyond where we can see? And isn't He still the God that owns the cattle on a thousand hills, whose riches in glory are beyond my comprehension? When we have gone against the grain and followed the LORD's leading, rather than ours or others' "common sense," we have experienced the blessing of looking back and tracing the path that God cleared for us. And we then can rejoice in the blessing and provision of His hand on our lives.

The socialist ideas that are being discussed and even implemented in Washington as well as closer to home do not promote a culture of life. They feed on fear and breed even more fear. And that mentality results in a culture of death. But, thankfully, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). He has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us in His ways. And choosing to learn His way and follow His way results in the true "good life"!