Thursday, September 27, 2012

Starting with 165

It seems that my ability to live with intention is directly proportionate to the amount of pressure on my life. I suppose this is true for many people. I know it is common to find that the more one needs to get done, the  more efficient one becomes...and even more becomes possible. I know that, for me, when life is full of struggles, when the pressure increases, when the intensity is high, then my awareness is heightened. I am more intent and intentional. So, I find myself making longer and longer lists on scraps of paper of the things for which I am grateful. And I find more and more blog posts running around in my head just waiting to be written. I pay more attention to the beautiful. I respond more intensely to the beautiful. I am more fully myself.

More for the gratitude list:
165. My mom's tumors are shrinking.
166. Biscuits and gravy for dinner
167. Smart, thoughtful friends
168. Sunlight on the front porch
169. The time of year for opening windows
170. Candles on the fireplace mantle
171. Beeswax candles
172. Mane asking to keep going with her homework
173. Mane asking for more asparagus
174. Mango playing guitar since Mane is taking lessons
175. My parents sitting on the couch listening to Mane play guitar
176. Pink soccer shoes
177. Eucalyptus oil
178. Burdock Root
179. Hot tea, Hot bath
180. Epsom salts
181. Funny grammer mistakes! (Yes, I am grateful for them. They make me laugh!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Counting Gifts...Starting at 130

I've been compiling this list over the last week or so...carrying a scrappy notebook page around in my purse!

130. Our new homeschool co-op, where the big kids love the little kids and everyone has been so welcoming!

131. Guitar lessons for Mane!

132. Mane's Magical Worlds class (science in Harry Potter disguise)

133. Ballroom dance class for Mane!!

134. Used curriculum deals

135. Bubbly coconut water

136. Mane's orange socks

137. Homemade applesauce!

138. Comfy couches in the quiet room at our homeschool co-op

139. A great discussion about the importance of the arts

140. Mango's multi-colored denim jacket

141. Smiling, laughing baby

142. Autumn weather

143. Deciduous trees that turn color in autumn

144. Pumpkin recipes of all kinds!!

145. Meet-up with friends at Silverwood Park

146. Friends who like to cook

147. Swirly cursive handwriting

148. Minneapolis Institute of Art, where admission is FREE

149. Our itunes library full of music

150. Another meet-up with friends today

151. Coloring during a break at work

152. Grateful clients, who make my job so much easier

153. Big, huge bouncy exercise balls rolling around my living room

154. The hammock in the back yard, where I intend to spend some time tomorrow!

155. Fun learning a little bit of Hebrew

156. Fantastic chili on Friday night

157. Soup weather!

158. Books from the library book store

159. Finding great quotes ("Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love should not be one of them." ~Unknown)

160. A husband, who loves me with Mad, Passionate, Extraordinary Love

161. An organized closet

162. Watching Miss Congeniality on the couch with Mango

163. An organized spice drawer, too!

164. We still have apples left!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Rosh Hashanah. A new year. Also sometimes called the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah. A time to make a joyful noise. This is the time when the Rabbis believe that the world was created. It is a celebration of God as King and Creator. We are reminded that God brought the world into being and continues to uphold the world, a continual outpouring of life and creativity.

These days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days of Teshuvah, repentance. A time to reflect on our mistakes and make the conscious choice to turn toward the only one who can offer unconditional grace and forgiveness, toward the King and Creator, toward the only one who can heal our brokenness.

These words from John Parsons at Hebrew4Christians spoke to me today,
"God is both infinitely loving and infinitely just, and both of these "attributes" are inseparably a part of who he is. God is One. Nonetheless, the cross of Yeshua proves that "love is stronger than death, passion fiercer than the grave; its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame, the very flame of the Lord" (Song. 8:6). It is at the cross that "love and truth have met, righteousness and peace have kissed" (Psalm 85:10). This implies that we must drop our defenses – even those supposed objections and pretenses voiced by our shame – and "accept that we are accepted." It is God's great love for you that leads you to repent and to turn to him. Allow yourself to be embraced by his "everlasting arms."
It truly is a time of celebration. We, so often, wallow in our mistakes, grovel in our repentance. We view repentance as a time to hate ourselves. I think of self-flagellation and penance...something church history has taught us. This isn't it at all, though. Repentance is confession and turning away. It is starting fresh. It is acknowledging that we are loved enough to be forgiven.

I read in the book To Forgive is Human that people don't admit mistakes or ask forgiveness unless there is some possibility that they will be forgiven. This is the basis upon which relationships are built. You cannot be honest and truthful in your relationship, admitting mistakes & moving on to be a better person unless you can reasonably expect some grace.

The King and Creator offers us this kind of acceptance, love and grace. Repentance is impossible without this grand acceptance.  And self-hatred isn't necessary. In fact, it's contradictory. Possibly, it's even a defense mechanism. If we hate ourselves, we don't actually have to believe that we can change, be different, be loved, be forgiven. If we drop the defense of self-hatred, we can repent, turn, start fresh, walk new...right into a sweet new year. This is joyous, indeed!

Shanah Tovah!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rosh Hashanah

129. I am thankful for apples! We picked organic apples with some friends on Friday and then spent the afternoon canning 42 pints of applesauce!

Today, Mane and I spent the day preparing our Rosh Hashanah table and discussing the meaning of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah officially began last night and continues until sundown tomorrow (since the Jewish calendar begins the day at sundown). It is the Jewish New Year. It is celebrated with harvest fruits, firstfruits. The apples are dipped in honey and eaten with a prayer asking for a sweet and happy year to come.

The Washington Post describes Rosh Hashanah this way:
Rosh Hashanah promises everyone a second chance, even if it’s their hundredth one. The New Year also carries the promise of a new you. We are invited to see both ourselves and each other in light of that promise. In fact, Rosh Hashanah teaches that with a bit of work, there is no past that cannot be overcome, and no person who does not deserve the opportunity to do so.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

For the Love of Pinterest

128. I am grateful for grateful, in fact, that I'll devote an entire post to things I've tried from pinterest in the last week!

Egg muffins: Baked on Sunday, stored in the fridge for breakfasts all week:

See recipe here: Kalyn's Kitchen. These are yummy and SO easy to make! We've done them with sauted onions, broccoli & cheese, green chilis & cheese, and sausage & cheese!

Oatmeal muffins: Also baked on Sunday for breakfasts all week:

See recipe here: Sugar-Free Mom. I made them as per the recipe the first time. This week I substituted the banana & applesauce with a can of pumpkin & chopped apples and added cinnamon, cloves & ginger for autumn muffins!

Mason Jar Straw Lids: Instructions at Doodle Craft. I used a half inch drill bit and a rubber grommet that had an inside measurement of 3/8". This fit my reusable stainless steel straws perfectly!

Prettier with Jelly Jar Lids

And, did you know you can use a canning jar (with a regular size mouth - not the wide mouth kind) on your blender base to make smoothies!! Then you don't have to dirty the blender jar, and you can drink straight from the canning jar!!

 I made the oatmeal & chia seed make-ahead smoothie recipe from The Yummy Life. We'll see how it tastes tomorrow:

I also made the Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal from The Yummy Life. But I didn't take a picture (can you believe it?)!!

...all thanks to Pinterest!