October 12, 2009

eating my words...in a good way

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we don't really experience fall here in Southern California. Well, maybe it just takes a little longer to get here than most places but it's finally arrived (now let's hope it sticks around). I am certainly enjoying the cooler weather and the chance to wear my cardigans (I have built-up quite a little collection...). Last week I made this:

It's Slow-Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili. I like to add a chopped red pepper to my recipe and this time around I substituted the chili powder for a chopped chipotle pepper. Not a good idea...my poor husband. It was pretty spicy. Good, but spicy. It was comforting though and it was perfect for this weather we're having. To contrast with the heat of the chili I served it with a fresh corn and tomato salsa on top and for a drink we had a very refreshing pomegranate and lime spritzer.

The corn and tomato salsa was delicious. I really need to learn more about the true seasons for the various vegetables. I think I've just grown up in a time when you can get just about any vegetable at any time of the year. So I've never really learned what is in season and what's out of season. But, we've been getting some really lovely tomatoes lately and I'm not a big tomato person so I think that says something.

I should also note that I am a complete slow-cooker newbie. My mom didn't really use hers when I was growing up so it's kind of a new concept to me. I got one earlier this year as an experiment and I gotta say, I'm liking it so far. If the weather stays cool I think I'll be using it a little more. But I'll be sure to stay away from the chipotles...for now.

October 10, 2009

Just enough?

Last weekend our family was blessed to have a house guest. An old friend from Tucson and Nathan's godfather. He is an older gentleman, a little older than our parents, and although Gabe realized that he was not his grandpa he also quickly realized that he had many grandpa-like qualities. Gabe had a lot of fun with our guest while he was here.

Glen and I enjoyed his visit immensely. We stayed up both nights he was here and had long talks about recent life events and events long since past. It was so nice to talk with someone who shares our faith and our values and who has so much more life experience than we do. He is so open to God's will in his life (even when it has been painful to accept) and his experiences have provided him with true wisdom.

While telling us one of his stories he related the lesson he learned from that particular experience. He said that God always provides what we need. Which we all know... but in fact he stressed that God provides exactly what we need; never more, never less. I've been pondering that statement over the past few days and wondering if it's really true. I do trust that He provides what we need, whether spiritually, physically or financially (and I'm sure that sometimes we *think* it is not enough), but is it true that God always provides just enough? Never more?

Part of the reason that this has really stuck with me is that lately I've felt a little overwhelmed in my life - anxious is probably a more accurate description. I am happy with my vocation. I love being a wife and a mother. I do believe that many of the gifts and talents that God has given me are put to great use in our daily lives. But the other morning I was watching EWTN, an old episode of Mother Angelica's Spiritual Growth. By the way, have you watched this program? I get such a kick out of seeing Mother in her younger days. She had a special wisdom even then. Love her. But back to my point... In this program she said that sometimes we use the gifts that God has given us against ourselves. This really struck home and it helped to solidify some ideas for me. I think that the same gifts that help me in my home life are also hindering me. I am not necessarily an A-type personality (I am not an extrovert), but I am very goal oriented and I can be extremely disciplined when working towards a desired goal. Lately I have really struggled with how to use all of the gifts that I have been given. It is not that motherhood and married life are not enough. It's that I know that I have been so greatly blessed and I keep feeling that surely there is some way that I can use the talents and gifts I've been given to serve the Lord in other ways, not just at home...

There are things I have been desiring for my life but I'm not sure that they are what God wants for me. There are in fact so many things that I want to do but I find that oftentimes I simply don't have the energy or time to do them all. For a long time I wondered if there was something wrong with me. I wondered why I couldn't do everything that I wanted to do. Lately I've been wondering if the reason I don't have the energy to do all this extra stuff is because it is extra and not necessary, and well, not what I'm supposed to be doing in the first place. It's as if I had just sufficient energy to accomplish what was needed, but no more.

I have been praying about this, but perhaps not enough. I'm trying to be open to God's will in my life. But I have to say... it's hard. It is so so hard to die to self and serve His will rather than ours.

I've recently begun to realize that some of the things that I have desired for myself, while not intrinsically selfish or wrong, are probably just not part of God's plan for me. That has been hard to accept. Partly because I don't want to give up on my goals. But also partly because if that is not in the plan for me then what is? I am truly trying to discern God's plan and will for my life. And I know that I should not be anxious in the meantime. I have been thinking of this verse:

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

I know that He will provide and if we ask sincerely He will always answer us. I just need to be willing to listen. And I need to accept that His grace will be sufficient to accomplish His will.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...