Thursday, May 27, 2010

My People. The Church.

An old college friend, whose blog I often stalk, posted this the other day. It spoke to my heart because 1 Peter is like water to my thirsty soul. I LOVE that book! There are also some verses that the author mentions that are part of a passage that is one of the dearest to me in the entirety of God's Word.
Though my experiences are different, I resonate with this person's heart and hope it is a blessing to you. You can find it at

To the church-sick christian

by AMBER on APRIL 20, 2010
I so often write about my desire to go home to Alabama because sometimes I miss my people, but the truth is that, no matter where I am, I’m the sore-thumb kind.
I thought I had found my people when I started going to church camp – all young, bare-footed, with braces and bangs, singing four-part harmony. We sounded good together, but it turned out, they weren’t my people. Nothing we said we believed seemed to stick.
I thought I had found my people when we shared the wailing music, when we wrote our names in sharpy cursive on red plastic cups, and held each others’ hair back when the rebellion sicknesses set in. I thought they were my people who stayed up late in the night discussing sex and freedom, abusing our bodies just so we could be together, so afraid of Alone.
I thought my people were mostly white. I thought we were middle class, beautiful, young, and artsy, but I was wrong. When it really comes down to truth, I was wrong.
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ~1 Peter 2:10
I am only really a part of the people of God, and even then I’m called an alien, the sore-thumb kind, a wayfaring stranger, but too, a holy priest from a royal nation, chosen and belonging to God. And why is that so? Why am I so different? Why ought I be? And why must I claim this screwed up bunch of folk called “believers”?
It all has to do with how dark it is behind us and sometimes in us. I’m a people with you running toward the light, and I can’t avoid it anymore, you and I, our spirit names summoned, Beloved and Beloved. We have to go together on purpose. We’re the church.
I need you, church. I am same as you, church, sick as you, saved. Now would you with me declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light? Can we not run from each other anymore? Let’s go together.
You are my people.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Plant & Yard Love

I'm so excited to be starting a garden again. Hopefully it will be more successful this year than last. This will actually be the first year that I'll be able to take care of my yard and garden from beginning to end, so hopefully, not as much of it will be damage control and more of it will be actually enjoying the work of our hands.
I've tried occupy the garden with plants that I will not be getting from the CSA this year. It has cooking lavender, thyme, chives, mint, basil, parsley, yellow bell peppers, dark chocolate bell peppers (those just sounded really cool), super sweet cherry tomatoes, and lemon apple cucumbers (those sounded the coolest of all). I also got some snapdragons for mothers day that are looking beautiful in our yard, along with the poppies and wildflowers that Elliot planted about a month ago. I've got some chamomile and lavender that I started from seeds, but from what I've read, those could take two years before their established and ready to plant outside. We mowed, mulched and planted outside this weekend. This week I'm hoping to trim some of the stuff back by our trails in the woods and start to make those pretty. I bought a citronella plant to keep the mosquitoes around our sun room at bay. To complete our outdoor fun, Mama and Papa brought us a firepit and we got some tiki torches this weekend. Now we just need to see if we can find room in our budget for a small grill. I'd also like to get some lavender...a lot of it actually. Did you know that lavender is a natural ant repellent (it also repels deer, but that's not a real problem for us right now)?
NOW a couple links I just have to share with you.
#1) There is the AWESOME looking place in Commiskey , Indiana (down by Columbus). It has a tea room, a winery, gardens and a bunch of workshops and classes. They also have these candlelit dinners that sound amazing! Check out the Historic Stream Cliff Herb Farm.
#2) There is this WAY cool natural air purifier called "ANDREA." It was invented and manufactured in France and has won all these different awards. But basically, you put a household plant in it and with a fan and some water it forces the air through the soil, roots and leafy part of the plant to naturally purify your air! I just wish it were less than $200!!! (gag) Still worth checking out though ANDREA Air.
#3) Did you ever wish you could have plants on your walls instead of just in pots? WELL...if you did then this is a site for you, cause you totally can with WoollyPockets.
#4)'S RIGHT! We have a functioning website up!...with a store and everything. But you must promise that if you go there, you will not pass judgment on the site too quickly. We're still working on it, but I wanted to share it with all of you so that if you want to see what we're doing or what we're selling, you can!

I hope you're enjoying this spring season as much as we are!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My First Soaked Grain Bread

So....BREAD! Guess what? It can actually be good for you. With most healthy folks having a strong aversion to carbs (and for good reason), we've kind of convinced ourselves that all leavened baked goods will make us fat. Now, if the bread that we bought at the store was actually fresh and made from whole grains then this might be a different story.
I'm learning that there are a lot of nutritional benefits to grinding your own whole grains so that they're fresh and to soaking those grains before you bake with them. Lindsey at Passionate Homemaking does a GREAT job explaining! So read what she has to say and then try to make some bread! :)
My recipe below is a combination of hers and my friend Lynette's (here) and my own head.

Soaked Whole Grain Bread

3 c whole wheat flour
3 c all purpose flour
1 c coconut flour
2 c steel cut oats
1 c oat bran
1 c flax seed meal
1 c flaked coconut 
1 c sunflower seeds (ground)

¾ c plain yogurt
¼ c apple cider vinegar (I used the yogurt and vinegar because I didn’t have any kefir on hand, but you can definitely use 1 c kefir here instead)
¼ c honey
¼ c agave nectar
½ c coconut oil
¼ c butter
3 c warm water

Let sit at room temp for 12-24 hours

2 ½ T active dry yeast
½ c warm water
1 t honey

Let yeast fully proof (basically get foamy so you can’t see the yeast granules anymore) then add to dough mixture. Mix until dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl. Knead 10 times. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a wet cloth and let rise for 1-1 ½ hours (until doubled). Punch down, turn the ball of dough over and let double again. Divide into fourths. Roll each piece out with a rolling pin and then roll up (like a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll) place each dough roll in a greased bread loaf pan. Place in oven to rise (you can turn oven to “warm” but no higher) for 45 minutes. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Let cool and remove from pans. ENJOY!

Happy Mothers Day

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all!
Proverbs 31:29

Possessing outstanding qualities, Merriam-Webster's dictionary says this is what "noble" means. It says that it can also mean "grand" or "impressive", among other things. My mother is outstanding, grand and impressive, she possesses qualities that I aspire to have and lives in a way that I have seen few women do. I love her, and if you've met her, you probably do to...she kind of has that effect on people. 
I'm coming to think that life is about finding balance. So much of what makes God holy is His perfect balance of virtues - grace and justice, joy and anger, stability and flexibility. And I think that something that is so impressive, grand, and outstanding about my mother is her persistent pursuit of godliness in a way that is very clearly bringing balance to her life. 
I've had the privilege of knowing her for 26 years (give or take a few months), and in that time I have seen both change and consistency. The change has come as she disciplines herself, as she balances things out, and as she grows. I think that that is noble. She has one of the most real, disciplined, and reflective relationships with God that I have ever seen. People in darkness, without a home, and estranged from love grab at her heart in a way that drives her to action and prayer. She loves people even when they don't love her back.
Consistency is seen in the qualities that God handcrafted into her, those things that make her unique and unlike anyone else. My mother is creative, vivacious, joyful, loving, kind, genuine, innovative and intelligent. Like Mary Tyler Moore - she can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.
Now that I am a wife and mother, I understand and appreciate my mom in ways that I never did before. While I don't think that I see my childhood through rose-colored glasses, I can honestly say that there was never a time that I did not feel loved by my mother. I know that is rare in this world, and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her love, influence, and sacrifice.
I love you Mom! You are beautiful and a success. In a word - noble!...If you're not sure about that, just look at the works of your hands (and you're heart), Proverbs says that they will praise you at the gates. And I don't  think it meant the weeds in the garden or the dishes in the sink, but those works that are walking around your house calling you "Mom" and "Namma." And if you're not sure about THAT...we're praising you "at the gates."
Happy Mothers Day! 


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