Search This Blog


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


There is a ridiculous sock commercial that’s been out for awhile.  A mom walks into her house with a shopping bag to find her husband dipping their son’s feet in some kind of gluey plastic sock substance.  She asks what he is doing and he says, “None of our socks fit and we’re sick of it!”  The little boy echoes “Sick. Of. It!”  She then tosses them a bag of great fitting socks she just bought at the store, calls the whole idea stupid and the commercial is over.  Except that “Sick. Of. It!” is permanently stored in my brain and comes up with nauseatingly easy access these days.

One of the great things about blogging is that you can tell ugly stories about yourself and still write it out so that you look good in the end.  This isn’t one of those. I am just in one of those emotional funks and I am so Sick. Of. It.  Well, really I’m just sick of myself.  I hate these yucky phases.  I over-analyze and over-fix and over-blame and over-emotionalize and just wish it would pass.  I pray the whole time; but prayers just feel like a big “uuugggghhhhh, puuuuleeeeze!” complete with foot stomping impatience. My emotions are huge and heavy and I just run from one emotional “hook” to another trying to find someplace to leave them.  Nice.  I know.

Sunday night in Bible Study, we landed on Psalm 106.  It’s an amazing and scathing look at Israel’s faithless history and God’s faithful love.  One of the lessons came from verse 24 which says, “they despised the pleasant land having no faith in His promise.” We learned that part of the definition of “despise” means to feel undone.  Did you catch that? In the Jamy Fisher version it might say, “they felt undone where God put them because they quit believing the truth about Him.”  Verse 25 goes on to say, “they murmured in their tents and did not obey the voice of the Lord.”  Then in verse 28 we learn that “they yoked themselves to the Baals…..” Gross. In other words, they started worshipping and living just like all the lost folks around them.
Now the lesson I was teaching is all about feeling undone….and the truth that God is right there in your present reality (Hosea 11:8) even when you are despising His pleasant land as you come apart at the seams; undone indeed.  But this is what confronted me head on right as I was teaching.  Feeling undone is part of my life.  I can over-analyze and over-fix and over-blame and over-emotionalize and I will still feel undone. It’s part of me being me in this lifetime and the thing I will be most happy to kick out the door come heaven.  The important thing is what I do with my undoneness.  I’m embarrassed to say how long I’ve let being undone crash into my life and family and ministry.  But as my mind connected verse 24 to verse 25 to verse 28, I learned something that makes it worth sharing this icky part of my life.  And this morning it is finally filtering into my heart and settling over my undone emotions like my favorite fleece blanket.

When I feel undone (24)
And then start to murmur (25) in my most private and secret life,
Refusing to believe the truth about God (24),
Disobedience (25) and Dangerous Attachments (28) are just around the corner.
And I will remain undone.

Could it be that the reason my prayers are an irritatingly ineffective cacophony of “uuugggghhhhh, puuuuleeeeze!” is that I’m so busy murmuring my painful complaints to those who share my "tent" that I can no longer hear God and believe?  When I am undone I am especially vulnerable, and I need attachments.  Like the Israelites I will find attachment; right or wrong because I am desperate for connection.  In my busy doings or my job, in my DVR-ed TV shows or Netflix, in my food or books or exercise or other addictions, in my friendships…in good things and sinful things I find attachment.  And there is only One worthy of our attachment. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Interestingly enough in this “undone” conversation going on between my mind and my heart, my mind finally got a word in edgewise this morning while I was running.  The song, Light Up the Sky by The Afters was playing. Here’s one of the lines:  

So I'll run straight to your arms
You're the bright and morning sun
To show your love there's nothing you won't do,
nothing you won't do.

I thought of the picture on this post…..not remembering until just now that it is where I first wrote about secret life.  Cool.

So I’m going to quit being sick of myself, and my family, and anyone else who has the nerve to annoy me.  Instead I’m going to be sick of the attachments that confuse and steal from the precious gift it is to love and be loved by God.

“Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.”
Psalm 106: 44-45 ESV

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bananas Foster Snack Mix

This is a dangerous recipe I found in the August/September issue of Taste of Home magazine, here is the online version. It's dangerous because I like it so much better than anyone else in my house does and it is so easy to just pop a handful in my mouth. The original recipe uses Chex Mix and is completely prepared in the microwave.  I switched to Cheerios and finished the snack mix in the oven.  This didn't change the yummy banana cinnamon-ey flavor but gave the final mix a crunchy delicious texture compared to the "made in the microwave" version.

This is super yummy stuff and an easy and versatile recipe. I'm already daydreaming about changing up the cereal and extract combinations.

I cut up 5 Tablespoons of REAL butter and tossed it with the brown sugar.  It goes into the microwave to make the base of the syrup.  Then I added the cinnamon and extracts.  In a large metal mixing bowl I stirred together the Cheerios, pecans, and banana chips and poured the finished syrup over it and mixed it all up good....

I poured the whole concoction into a foil lined jellyroll pan and baked it for optimal crispiness. This is what I love about blogging, when else do you get to type "optimal crispiness"? When it comes out of the oven let it cool if you can wait.  The pecans will burn your mouth straight from the oven, but you can handle the cheerios.....I'm just sayin'.

Here's the particulars for Bananas Foster Snack Mix
  • 6oz box Honey Scooters (off brand Cheerios)
  • 6oz bag Banana Chips
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup real butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon banana extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix cereal, bananas, and pecans in a large bowl.  Cube butter and combine with brown sugar in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  Microwave for 1 minute on high, stir and microwave for 1 more minute.  Stir in extracts and cinnamon.  Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat.  Pour out onto a foil lined jellyroll pan.  Bake at 250 degrees for 15 minutes, stir and bake for 15 minutes more.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Perfect Crispy Snacking......Yum!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tough, Wonderful, Together Life

I recently started running.  I was always the one to say that the only way I would be running is if I were being chased with a knife.  But to support my husband and two of our friends who are running a marathon in January, I am officially running.  I suspect that there will be much more blogging, possibly a whole blogging novella about this subject eventually.  But I'm not yet convinced that I will transition from supportive jogger to actual we shall see.

Back on subject, I am slowly training myself to run far enough to finish the 5K (which is about 3 miles) a couple of days before their marathon.  Surprisingly I don't hate running, but I have noticed something interesting.  My last stretch, when the house on the end of my block is in sight and I know my own home is right around the corner, that's when I run the hardest and the fastest.  Running is tough, but that last turn is wonderful.  Tough and wonderful.

Now to the reason for the running illustration. On Sundays and Wednesdays I have two amazing groups of women who are studying  through my Chains Falling study with me. This week was like running. Tough and wonderful. Together we've studied through some of the hard parts of Hosea. On Day 5 this week we rounded the corner toward a beautiful passage; Isaiah 35.  The subtitle in my ESV Study Bible says, "The Ransomed Shall Return" Ahhh, after some doozies like, "Do not Grow Weary," "Israel's Sin" and this gem "Job Laments His Birth" we really needed a happy subtitle.   

Here are some of my favorite parts of Isaiah 35......

"And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness.....It shall belong to those who walk on the Way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray." (verse 8).

I just love this description of God's Way.  I belong there, even though I'm often foolish and don't always have it all together. He protects me from getting lost as I follow along this Way.

"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (verse 10)

This journey becomes full of glad, sigh-free, joy!  I really love a happy-grin sigh and often add them in little [  ]s when I write, but those frustrated painful I can't take much more sighs are what is absent on God's Highway [happy sigh here].

"Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come......He will come and save you." (verses 3-4).

This part is what I really want to get to in this post.  The week of study started with the subject of God's discipline in Hebrews 12.  After all the discipline part God tells us this, "Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."  (verse 12)

See the similarities? I like that the Hebrews passage comforts in the context of discipline and hardship.  I adore that the Isaiah passage promises in the context of a certain future. Discipline is actually a stamp of God's approval and acceptance over us, but it's still stinkin' hard.  Discipline strengthens us but only after it drains us and right in the middle of that we need each other.  Did you see in the Isaiah passage what we are to say to one another when we are feeling weak and anxious?

Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come......
He will come and save you. 

In other words, when dear ones around me struggle I need to be the voice saying, "Hang in there and do not let fear get the best of you.  Remember I am here, God is here. He saves, and He's coming!" 

As I was writing this post I remembered this picture of my husband and son at the Grand Canyon.
Sharing life, leaning into one another to hear, speak, listen, instruct, learn and encourage.

What if we did this?  What if instead of my busy self-centeredness I shared life with those on God's Highway around me and together we reminded each other:

     of His goodness.
     of the benefit of His discipline.
     of the memories of His past wonders.
     of the exact Truth of His Words.
     of the future we will share with Him.
     of the blessing it is to have one another.
     of His Saving Nature.

     of HIM.

Maybe you are like me and find yourself emptied by the monotony of daily demands.  Maybe you are in a season of loss or transition that has made everything around you including yourself feel like a stranger. Hear it,

Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come......
He will come and save you. 

We are running this race together and it's supposed to be Tough and Wonderful, but it's also supposed to be Together.