Burrito mix

In my little kitchen this month, I concocted a delicious, frugal yet filling supper to feed a crowd.  I had two of my children and three of my grandchildren sharing this one, and there was still plenty leftover to pack in husband’s lunch the next day.  Here is the recipe (I loved it so much, I added it to my journal for future reference).  Enjoy.

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Words, words, words…

imageThe English language is often lacking in words to describe one’s state of mind, deep feelings or ideas.  Lucky for us, other languages do a much better job at verbalizing these for us, and I found a list that I can see myself referencing many times in the future.  How nice it is to have a word for “the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what; A yearning for a far, familiar, non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home.  (Sehnsucht (n) Origin:  German)

Check out the rest of the words, and see if you can relate at all to any of them.  I wrote down my favorites in my journal to keep on hand…in fact, I think I found the perfect word to call my journal, LOL…Vagary (n) Origin: Latin – An unpredictable instance; a wandering journey; A whimsical, wild, or unusual idea, desire, or action.

Letting Go of the Old

Did you ever need a reset?

I do.  I’m in a slump as of late, and need to reset, regroup, and refocus.

I have come to a place in my life, where I’m seeing things more clearly, experiencing God’s presence and hearing Him speak to my heart in ways I have only dreamed of; and at the same time, I feel an anxiety in my spirit…a simmering frustration that occasionally bubbles up and spills out of my mouth in biting words I don’t really mean to say, and hot tears that defy my own ideas of stoic self-discipline.

I know that a large part of my problem is  my own “all or nothing” attitude.  I find something that I love to do, and all sense of balance goes out the window…I throw myself 100% into the new thing that I love, and forget to maintain the essential disciplines that keep my little world turning here.  Facebook, which was intended to be a TOOL to keep me in contact with my children, has turned into a vice for me.  I lose all track of time, and find it difficult to walk away…as a result, my relationships and responsibilities have suffered.  I think this is at least partiality the culprit in my bubbling anger…I’m irritated at myself, and feeling lazy and unmotivated to change, so I surf around on Facebook…escaping what I know I need to do, for the sake of one more article, one more comment, one more share…until I’ve wasted another afternoon instead of doing what I know I need to do.

Anyway, until I can find some semblance of self control again, I’m disabling my Facebook, and re-vamping my schedule to reflect a more balanced list of priorities.  I hope to be reading more and journaling again, which hopefully will lead to some new blog posts here.  My posts here will no longer show on Facebook, as my personal page there will be no more.  Please bookmark NewThings if you wish to follow.  I don’t know how long I’ll be MIA on FB, but would appreciate your prayers in the meantime.

Blessings.

Therefore Hebrews

I’m digging around Sacred Scripture for mercy.  Since that is my word for this year, I want to learn all about it.  What is it, why is it necessary, how can I get some…all questions I hope to answer in my quest.  

So, typical to the way I function, I pulled up a Google search for verses about mercy, and took the first one:

Hebrews 4:16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Let us therefore…

What is that “therefore” there for?

To find out, I’ve learned, we must read the Scriptures in context…so…

I backtracked to the beginning of chapter four, and found another “therefore”, so I backtracked to chapter three…guess what?

Another therefore, sending me to chapter two…

Again…”therefore…”

Therefore, I have thus decided to begin at the beginning of Hebrews, for the sake of nailing down what in the world all those “therefores” are there for.

While I read, I will be looking for reasons why I am urged to approach the throne of grace with boldness.  Because, I desperately WANT to receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need.  I have a feeling I won’t be stopping at the end of Hebrews 3…in fact I have a feeling Hebrews might just be my study tool for 2016.  Anyone want to join me?

A New Word for a New Year

My word for 2015 was “joy”, and I had many experiences that brought me joy, as well as opportunities to exercise my understanding of joy, in faith, because if I was walking by sight, I would not describe some of these moments as joyful.

But there was joy in the midst of it all.  There in the broken heart that chose to extend love and grace to the undeserving and ungrateful.  In the answered prayer for safety, and guidance, and wisdom for one walking in darkness.  In the packing up of dashed hopes and broken relationships, and the prodigal’s return to the family who cherishes and cares for her.  In the song belted out at the top of her voice, high above the brokenness, in the smile through the tears, in her warm hugs and acts of service.  There is joy because the Giver of joy is present, even in the middle of the pain.  He comforts, fills the heart with a peace beyond comprehension, and then fills the mouth with a song.  He comes alongside and sings the song when we forget the words.  He is present, in us, working through us, spreading that joy to others through us, his broken vessels.

This year, I was given the word “mercy”.  I intend to study the word, dig around the Sacred Scriptures for examples and pictures of this mercy, as well as follow the Holy Father’s teachings in this year of mercy.  About a week after receiving my word “mercy”, I happened on this blog post, and was challenged to view prayer in a different way.  As I meditated on this new perspective, the Holy Spirit quickened in me an acronym for mercy to use in my prayers.  

Make Every Regret Count (for) You

I read somewhere that the most recorded request of Christ when he was on earth was “Kyrie Eleison” or “Lord, have mercy”.  I’m finding it to be one of my most uttered prayers as well, and now, instead of just asking that He heal it, fix it, make it better, or make it go away…because sometimes He doesn’t…my prayer for mercy will be, Lord, make every regret count for You.  I think it’s another way of praying as Jesus did, “God, if it is your will, let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will but yours be done”, or “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, here on earth as it is there in heaven”.

I’m excited (and a little afraid…with a healthy fear) to see what will come with a shift in perspective.  I have a feeling it will dovetail with my 2014 word “surrender”, and I’d like to think I will get to revisit my word for 2015 in a new light as well.  Pray for me, we can pray for each other, that the Lord will have mercy and grant us His peace and joy as we strive to live for Him.  In Jesus Name.  Happy New Year!

Advent – Week 3

…and all the people raised a great shout of joy,
praising the Lord because
the foundation of the Lord’s house had been laid.
Ezra 3:11

  

O Key of David
O Royal Power of Israel
Controlling at your will, the gates of heaven
Come, break down the prison walls of death
For those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.

Isaiah 9:1-6
The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
Upon those who lived in a land of gloom
    a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
    and great rejoicing;
They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest,
    as they exult when dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
    the pole on their shoulder,
The rod of their taskmaster,
    you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.[a]
For every boot that tramped in battle,
    every cloak rolled in blood,
    will be burned as fuel for fire.
For a child[b] is born to us, a son is given to us;
    upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
    Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
    and forever peaceful,
Upon David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
    which he confirms and sustains
By judgment and justice,
    both now and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!

Luke 2:8-20

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 [e]For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 [f]“Glory to God in the highest
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Visit of the Shepherds. 15 When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”16 So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

This Week’s Musing

I want my spiritual nourishment to be just as important as my physical.  What if, every time I was bored, instead of snacking on food, I was grazing in the Word of God?  How would it be to hunger and thirst for spiritual communion as I do for breakfast…or my first cup of coffee?  What would my prayer life look like if it was as routinely anticipated and prepared as my caffeine intake?  Do I ever skip morning coffee?  Not without serious consequences.  Why don’t I see the spiritual consequences of skipping my prayer, devotion and Bible reading with the same attitude?