Kalua Pork and Coconut Rice

When my kids were all still at home, and before freezer cooking really caught on, I had three tricks for keeping up with meal prep, the first was double or triple batching, or what I called Cook once, eat twice (or 3x).  When cooking dinner, I’d double or triple the recipe for the evening, and put it in the freezer for one of those days that I didn’t have time, or energy to make a meal from scratch.  This is also handy for cookie dough…Mix once, bake often 🙂

My second trick was “Planned-overs”.  Sundays I would make a large pot roast or roasted chicken (or turkey if I hit a great sale); what wasn’t eaten that night was cut up and placed in the freezer for a recipe or two later in the week.  Beef could be used for stir fry, pot pie, soup or stew, or hash.  Chicken/turkey could be used for chicken salad, pot pie or stir fry as well.  If I had leftover side dishes (veggies, potatoes, rice), that were not enough to use for a whole meal, I didn’t throw them out…I saved them in an ice cream bucket or ziplock in the freezer.  When it accumulated to enough, I made soup.  Waste not, want not, we made it through some very lean years with this approach.

My third trick was YO-YO night, short for “you’re on your own”, otherwise known as “clean out the fridge night”.  Kids could eat whatever they wanted out of the fridge, as long as they fixed it themselves.  We had seasons of YO-YO’ing it…one kid fixing breakfast, another having a sandwich, or cleaning out the leftovers from the night before…it worked well for us, I actually miss those days.

Now that the kids have all left home, I still find myself in this mindset.  Today I made Kahlua Pork with coconut rice.  I’ll have enough pork left over for at least a couple more meals, and the coconut rice might just be gone by tomorrow…YUMMMM!  Here are the recipes:

Coconut Rice:  No different than regular rice, except you substitute coconut milk for half the water called for.  It’s delish!

Kalua Pork:  Pork loin roast, washed, patted dry, pierced all over, and rubbed with 1 TBSP liquid smoke flavor and 1 TBSP sea salt.  Cook on low in slow cooker for 15 hours, turning once midway.  When done, remove meat from crock pot, and shred, adding liquid back in as needed.  Serve over coconut rice, with pineapple on the side.

Common Sense – Justice

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From Common Sense by Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856)

This piece of advice reminds me of one of my life verses.

Micah 6:8 ~ He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
and to walk humbly with your God?

Another translation reads “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”, which is the way I memorized it and sang it for years.  Today, I read the context around this verse, and got a better picture of what this verse is really saying.  Starting with verse 6, there is an introspective question, musing, and finally, in verse 8, the answer:

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has showed you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 51:15-17 echoes this verse…

O Lord, open thou my lips,
    and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
    were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[e] is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Which also echoes 1 Samuel 15:22

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Common Sense – How to Be Happy

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I love paradoxology.  I believe Jesus and His Apostles did too…consider:

  • Matthew 10:39 – He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
  • John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  • Romans 6:18 ~ and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
  • 2 Cor 12:10 ~ For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Philippians 3:7,8 ~ But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.
  • James 4:10 ~  Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

…and my favorite, which is the topic of this post, Acts 20:35 ~ In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Because we are self-centered by nature, we can get so caught up in the pursuit of an elusive feeling of happiness, that we lose sight of the goal itself, that is the state of being happy.  The sad fact is, many of the things we pursue that we think will make us happy, only serve to bring us down, and we are stuck with a growing void in our lives, and happiness continues to escape our grasp.

I think Mother Theodore Guerin nailed it when she suggested that we will be happy when we turn the focus away from seeking to acquire it for ourselves, and instead aim to provide happiness to others.  When we are focused on the happiness of another, a strange phenomena occurs, without even trying to gain it for ourselves, it has unpacked and taken up residence in us.  This is a practical application of the teaching in Ecclesiastes 11:1, that of casting your bread upon the waters, and having it return to you after many days.

I am reminded of a sweet little poem that I found when I was a young mother:  Enjoy.

What We Give Away

The more you give, the more you get.
The more you laugh, the less you fret.
The more you do unselfishly,
the more you live abundantly.
The more of everything you share,
the more you’ll always have to spare.
The more you love, the more you’ll find
that life is good and friends are kind.
For only what we give away,
enriches us from day to day.
~Author unknown

Common Sense – Profit from the Past

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Wisdom gleans from past experiences and applies the fruit of those experiences to the present, knowing that these present experiences are further preparations for the future.  I believe this so deeply to be true.  My upbringing, my joys, sorrows, accomplishments, trials, and challenges were gifts given to me to prepare me for where I am now and where I am headed in this life.  Somewhere, someone can learn from my experiences, the same as I have learned from the journeys of others.  I believe this is how the mystery of Romans 8:28 works.  Because we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, for those who are called to His purpose.  Now, some of these experiences don’t always feel good at the time we are experiencing them, but if we are called to God’s purposes, that is, we are choosing to say “yes” to God, then we can and we will reconcile all of our life experiences according to Scripture to be part of the process by which God fulfills this promise to us.

What a beautiful thought.

All those sleepless nights,
the lonely times,
the dry times,
the lean times…
coupled with all the peaceful moments,
times of fellowship,
and financial blessing
times of plenty…
all of it bringing us into a state of balance
testing us,
trying us,
helping us make sense of it all,
turning our hearts to worship as we continue to say
“The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”  –Corrie ten Boom

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future”  –Corrie ten Boom

I have a feeling that Mother Guerin and Corrie ten Boom are having some sweet fellowship in heaven.  It’s like they were inspired by the same Spirit or something!

Common Sense – faults

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I need this reminder often, how about you?

It’s good to be able to recognize our faults, but if we stop there, we can get stuck in sin, and one of two things can happen, depending on our personality, circumstances, and habits; Either we become despondent and down on ourselves, stuck in pessimism that we know we are at fault, but “this is just the way we are”, and change is impossible, or we become apathetic, tune out the cognitive disonance that happens inside our spirit (which is at war with our flesh), convince our conscience that it doesn’t matter, God understands (stepping back from the bolt of lightening!), and keep on doing what satisfies our natural man instead of addressing and repenting of sin and walking in the Spirit.

There are those who have convinced themselves that it’s not really “them” sinning, but it’s the sin that lives in them.  Their conscience is so seared, that they believe , honestly believe that since they “can’t help themselves”, God’s grace covers them while they continue to choose to disobey God’s Holy Word.  These attitudes keep a person in bondage to their sin, instead of realizing and appropriating REAL grace, they make grace of God completely ineffective.

This ought not to be!  We are a NEW creation, old things are passed away, and all things have become new.  Why do we go dig up that old man and put those grave clothes back on?  ICK.

To grow in self-awareness and strength, (which, in my opinion, we are in the perfect season for doing so!) we must not only “see” our faults, but “see to it” that they are addressed, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, corrected, so that we can live a happy and victorious life in the Spirit.  This reminds me of the story of two dogs fighting, one dog represents our fleshly desires, the other our spiritual desires.  Two dogs fighting against one another, the flesh warring against the spirit.  Which one wins?  The one you feed.  If you are feeding your spirit, you are going to become spiritually strong.  If you make a habit of sinning against God, doing what pleases you instead of what you know pleases God, you will become spiritually weak, and your flesh will destroy your spirit.  Don’t be a hypocrite and believe that you can have both.  Just because you can quote Scripture, or have a compassionate heart for others, or have the ability to discern sin in others, if you are not taking care of your own spirit man, you are in the process of dying spiritually.  God’s grace is ineffective over willfull, continued disobedience.

Common Sense – Less of me

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This is the perfect reminder for me, at a perfect time.  I love how God does that.

Have you ever been misread?  Misheard?  Misunderstood?  What is it about being wrongly accused that makes me wince from the pain, doubled over like I’ve been slugged in the gut?

Pride.

…and not just any pride, but the spiritual kind…the kind that envisions myself in a very different light than what others are perceiving in me…and it hurts…my pride…to think that I am not all that, like I thought I might have been…like I was trying to be.

And the funny thing is, I’m usually more thick-skinned than that.  Criticism usually just rolls off, but this time, it hurt me…to think that I was not showing Jesus to others.

I was in Mass on Sunday, and I was pouring out my heart to God.  How I desire for Jesus to live in and through me.  It is my deepest longing to show Jesus to others by my choices, my attitude, my heart-cries.

Lord, I want you to be in me, and shine through me, so that others will see you…and it humbles me to hear that is not the case.

Wanna know what He said to me?  I heard him, plain as day:

Find yourself in Me, Lyn.  

Focus on remaining in Me, and let me worry about who I reveal myself to.

Wow.

I was so worried about showing Jesus to others, I had missed the point that I cannot bear any fruit, unless I am found in Him.

It’s not about what others see, it’s all about being FOUND in Him…by Him…for His glory, not my own.

I can’t tell you how freeing this thought has been for me.

Lord, let me be found in You.  Reveal your will to me, and welcome me into the life beat of Your heart.  Empty me of my spiritual pride, and fill me with Your Holy Presence.  Give me Your thoughts, guide me in Your paths, teach me Your ways.

Common Sense – doing good

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Common sense is not so common these days.  I would like to be part of changing that, and making common sense available, and attainable.

This first truth packs a real punch of freedom and serenity for me.  I can’t do it all, and I was never expected to.  When I watch the news, and I see the immense poverty, unrest, and lack of peace, I can get overwhelmed.  Something needs to be done, but what can I do?

I pray.

I can do that.

And when I see my neighbor in need, or burdened…I find a place where I can help.  I’m nobody special because of it, but I’ve been on the receiving end of being helped and blessed, it’s nice to be on this side and have an opportunity to pay it forward.

I can serve.  I can encourage.

I can do that.

When I see the mountain of laundry, and the sink full of dishes, the unmade bed, and the bathroom tub that needs a scrubbing, it can be overwhelming, and when I’m overwhelmed, it’s easy for me to give up and continue to let it accumulate.  I’ve found a secret here.  It didn’t get that way in fifteen minutes, and it won’t be cleaned up in that time either.  I pick a spot, and go to work.  I know that I will eventually get to the other, but for now, I just work in this one spot until finished, then I can move to the next thing.

I do the next thing.

I can do that.

Like eating an elephant.  One bite at a time.

Common Sense

I found this little treasure this week while perusing my Laudate app on my iphone.

Wow!

I plan to make a series of memes for Pocket Momma, but first, here is the entirety of Mother Theodore Guerin’s no nonsense guide to common sense.  Enjoy.

We are not called upon to do all the good possible, but only that which we can do.

Occupy yourself less about yourself and more about God.

It is not enough to acknowledge our faults; we must correct them.

Profit by the experiences of the past for the future.

You will be happy in making others happy.

In the accomplishment of good we must show forth in our every act a perfect justice.

Do not require of everybody the same virtues and qualities.

Bear with the defects of others.

Endeavor not to cause others to suffer and you yourself try to endure the little annoyances which are unavoidable in the necessary relations with others.

Charity does not consist in loving one or two persons and being indifferent to all the rest.

If we love our Lord with our whole heart, if we serve him faithfully, we shall be happy even in this life.

To love in the right way is to accomplish the whole Law; it is to begin that happy life which will have its perfection only in heaven, where we shall live forever with a holy and perfect love.

by Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856)