Monday, January 31, 2011

Ever un-ready.

Everything is lining up. This is the summer I've waited for, planned for, and desired for years in coming (let me count: 2011-2005=6 years). Fluffy cat; check. Cozy home; check. Yard for a garden; check. Time and motivation to write; check. Gardening/canning gear, summer sewing projects, cute baby girl; check, check, check. Fun home town to enjoy; check. New friends to invest in; check. Summer;       .Wait, let me try that again. Summer;        . Something is unmistakeably wrong here. Or that is how it seemed to the girl who likes routine, being home, and waiting for things to come about just as she planned and expected them to. That sorry state of a girl would be me.

Yet within this little heart of mine is an abundant amount of room for change and renovation. It seems that I am constantly dragging the furniture of my soul across the room. Huffing, puffing, and scraping the dusty floors as I go. I desire a welcoming and well kept place for the ones I desire (or the One I desire), yet I'm found moving around the same old junk and dust and damaged belongings (e.g. the couch the cat scratched up). I do specifically remember asking for change and renewal. And the heart to follow my God wherever He would lead me. So why do I fight the change when it comes? I don't think I included my ideal summer plans in the picture.

Matt and I want to be servant hearted. And open and willing for the Lord to use us and most importantly, to trust Him with our future and His goodness in the way He has planned the events in our lives to draw us closer to Him and nearer to His likeness. Fortunately (or unfortunately as some of us would be tempted to think), this includes our summers.

To some, spending eight weeks in Wisconsin Dells, WI would be far from difficult. To others, it's the wrench that got their goat.

So, when I read Matthew 6:33 & Luke 9:23 in the midst of having a personal pity party, I feel challenged. 
"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (directly following a passage speaking about worry) Matt 6:33 NIV
"But if anyone would follow Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me." Lk 9:23 NIV

But then Isaiah 30:18 and Zephaniah 3:17 addresses the issue of my heart. Who is this who desires to change 'my plans'?
 But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you.
 He's gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything. 

Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. 
Isaiah 30:18, the Message

'Jerusalem will be told:
"Don't be afraid. Dear Zion, don't despair.
Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. 

Zeph 3:17, the Message

When I stop and think about how short our time is in this world, and how Christ Himself truly gave up so much more to suffer an unnecessary death (really, I might have given up on mankind with our history), I'm humbled and motivated to really let Christ be lord over every aspect of my life. Just not my kitchen. Kidding!  Besides, maybe I'll have my own garden of peonies, tiger lilies, and climbing roses and the One I most desire to enjoy it with in the nearer (than I imagine) future... I want to be ever ready for the change that does my heart best.

So, Wisconsin, you are 8 hours away from my dream summer, but I am trusting a God who knows me me most intimately! Bring on the renovation (and that new couch?)!

fluffy cat: check.  Lovely baby girl; check.
Flowers I left in Ithaca, NY; I do not regret at all the change He brought!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Staying Warm in Frigid Fargo: African Peanut Stew

To live in Fargo, one must be warm blooded...and creative. Especially if you aren't necessarily warm blooded (like myself). If you find your toes stinging, or numb, your nose drippy, but too frozen to know it, and your mittens molded to the shape of your fingers due to wearing them from morning to evening (and all while inside your home), then you're in need of some cozy recipes.

Today the wind chill was -38F. It was a must to become creative as I was experiencing all of the symptoms above (even with the thermostat set at 68 degrees F). I made this delectable African Peanut Stew, and only added some water as it was quite thick and rich right away. With a side of crispy bread, my husband and I found this was just the solution we needed tonight.

Good for bringing your core temperature up!

At the moment we sit by the fireplace with our belly's full of warm stew and crispy bread. The cat's sleeping next to the heat banister, and my sweet baby girl is in my lap loving the vibrant colors of the computer screen. My next task is to feed baby girl and then put on a pot of water for some sweet Chai tea.

Have I mentioned that I really love winter? It must help to have a cozy home and adorable family...and warm woolen socks. Praise the Lord for all these good things!

Here's to those in need of some warmth from your brain to your stomach to your toes! Enjoy. :)

Your friend,
Lindsay Kate  xo!

PS. I'm back and hoping to be more consistent with blogging! Sweet Evelyn is a delight to our little family. I love being her mummy!