Sunday, June 30, 2013


I made salsa using onions & jalapenos from our CSA (community supported agriculture - we get 5-6 lbs of veggies each week, locally & organically grown).

I jarred up some cucumber & dill from our CSA to make pickles. I've never made them before so we'll see how they turn out later this week!

Josh grilled deer burger steaks (from a deer he killed) for dinner & I roasted some squash, carrots, & onions from the CSA.

In the oven I have a gluten free blackberry crumble baking, using the blackberries that Elliot & I picked on Friday with his friends Claire & Will (& my friend Amy).

I also have some pesto in the fridge from last week's basil. YUM!

It's been fun to experiment with the veggies we get each week & find new ways to cook them. I also enjoy making pesto & salsa (& eventually tomato sauce, once we start getting tomatoes) each week, in hopes that I can perfect a recipe. Cooking is an escape for me - just me & the food, chopping away & getting to see the result each time is somewhat therapeutic these days. Not to mention, I love feeling good about what we're eating. Less & less chemicals in this house!

Monday, June 17, 2013

So THIS is what it's like!

Jack loves him some food.

Elliot is a super picky eater - has been since day 1. He has always had some crazy, unknown system for deciding what he'll eat, conveniently resulting in only eating things like fruit, dairy products (which we limit because of his eczema), bread/pasta (again - limited, or gluten free), bite-sized (no larger!) chicken nuggets etc. He'll eat plenty of what he likes, but what he likes & what he's willing to try makes up for a very short list.

So we prayed that Jack would be a good eater. We didn't really do solids until 8 months, with the exception of letting him taste something here or there, & we skipped purees all together & only offer pieces of whole food. He didn't seem interested before 8 months. But since then, he has wanted to eat everything offered him, & he does it with gusto. He lunges towards my fingers or the fork, & if he has food on his tray, he grabs several pieces with his hand & shoves as many as possible in his mouth. It's hilarious. He will eat anything, & I can tell he doesn't love avocado (I think it's too plain for him - I bet he'd love guacamole) but so far he has loved vegan chili with baked potato; beef, chicken, fish, & pork; blueberries, melon, & pineapple; squash, green beans, tomato, & broccoli; & other things I can't think of at the moment. We went to get frozen yogurt yesterday & he was SO MAD that he couldn't have any, that he cried & reached for my bowl the whole time. I love that I can just feed him whatever I am eating, without having to worry about preparing something different; I just give him bites in between mine.

I'd say I'm a fan of this good-eater thing! I'm praying he keeps it up!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program...


That is all.

Wait, no.


Okay, I'm really done this time.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discerning Idolatry in Desire - John Piper

John Piper posted this article & I really liked it, so I thought I'd copy it here for safe keeping (& to share of course).
Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry. Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “Covetousness is idolatry.”
“Covetousness” means desiring something other than God in the wrong way. But what does that mean—“in the wrong way”?
The reason this matters is both vertical and horizontal. Idolatry will destroy our relationship with God. And it will destroy our relationships with people.
All human relational problems—from marriage and family to friendship to neighbors to classmates to colleagues—all of them are rooted in various forms of idolatry, that is, wanting things other than God in wrong ways.
So here is my effort to think biblically about what those wrong ways are. What makes an enjoyment idolatrous? What turns a desire into covetousness, which is idolatry?
  1. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is forbidden by God. For example, adultery and fornication and stealing and lying are forbidden by God. Some people at some times feel that these are pleasurable, or else we would not do them. No one sins out of duty. But such pleasure is a sign of idolatry.
  2. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is disproportionate to the worth of what is desired. Great desire for non-great things is a sign that we are beginning to make those things idols.
  3. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not permeated with gratitude. When our enjoyment of something tends to make us not think of God, it is moving toward idolatry. But if the enjoyment gives rise to the feeling of gratefulness to God, we are being protected from idolatry. The grateful feeling that we don’t deserve this gift or this enjoyment, but have it freely from God’s grace, is evidence that idolatry is being checked.
  4. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God’s gift that God himself is more to be desired than the gift. If the gift is not awakening a sense that God, the Giver, is better than the gift, it is becoming an idol.
  5. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is starting to feel like a right, and our delight is becoming a demand. It may be that the delight is right. It may be that another person ought to give you this delight. It may be right to tell them this. But when all this rises to the level of angry demands, idolatry is rising.
  6. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it draws us away from our duties. When we find ourselves spending time pursuing an enjoyment, knowing that other things, or people, should be getting our attention, we are moving into idolatry.
  7. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it awakens a sense of pride that we can experience this delight while others can’t. This is especially true of delights in religious things, like prayer and Bible reading and ministry. It is wonderful to enjoy holy things. It is idolatrous to feel proud that we can.
  8. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is oblivious or callous to the needs and desires of others. Holy enjoyment is aware of others’ needs and may temporarily leave a good pleasure to help another person have it. One might leave private prayer to be the answer to someone else’s.
  9. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not desire that Christ be magnified as supremely desirable through the enjoyment. Enjoying anything but Christ (like his good gifts) runs the inevitable risk of magnifying the gift over the Giver. One evidence that idolatry is not happening is the earnest desire that this not happen.
  10. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not working a deeper capacity for holy delight. We are sinners still. It is idolatrous to be content with sin. So we desire transformation. Some enjoyments shrink our capacities of holy joy. Others enlarge them. Some go either way, depending on how we think about them. When we don’t care if an enjoyment is making us more holy, we are moving into idolatry.
  11. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss ruins our trust in the goodness of God. There can be sorrow at loss without being idolatrous. But when the sorrow threatens our confidence in God, it signals that the thing lost was becoming an idol.
  12. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss paralyzes us emotionally so that we can’t relate lovingly to other people. This is the horizontal effect of losing confidence in God. Again: Great sorrow is no sure sign of idolatry. Jesus had great sorrow. But when desire is denied, and the effect is the emotional inability to do what God calls us to do, the warning signs of idolatry are flashing.
For myself and for you, I pray the admonition of 1 John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Learning Moment

Yesterday, we decided to run to the mall to kill some time before meeting some friends for dinner. We were walking in & witnessed a guy driving into the parking garage who knocked the ladder off his truck because it was too high. He was having trouble getting out without losing his ladder. One woman was standing by the door making fun of him, & Josh decided to turn & go help him. I bent over to tell Elliot that Daddy was helping that man, & that we help people, even those we don't know, because Jesus loves them & we want them to know that. Elliot was listening & watching, & when I was done talking, he said loudly, "That's my daddy!"

I am challenged remembering this. Our kids see what we do; we are teaching them how to live in this world. What are they seeing from me? & I am encouraged by Josh & I desire to be more like him. The answer to these things: abide in the Spirit. This is my prayer!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Here & Now (& the Italian)

I had a horrible dream last night. We were going to Italy & I had, for some reason, only a few minutes to pack everything before leaving. I had to think of everything I could possibly need, & quick. Talk about stressful! This is actually the second time I've had this dream in the past couple of months. Let's just say I'm motivated to start our packing list now! Who knew we'd ever go back? But indeed! We were approached by our wonderful friends Zac & Cara with the best idea of meeting them in my favorite city, Florence, & spending an entire week in Tuscany. I can't wait. Seriously. Can. Not. Wait. I'm even looking forward to the terribly long plane ride. Alone time with my man, & a book, & my thoughts. & we love every moment we get to spend with our sweet friends (who will soon, finally, be living on the same continent as us, yay!).

(Of course, there is also the obvious amazing views, fresh food, olive oil, wine, gelato, history, & beautiful Italian culture. Ahh.)

Aside from our trip, which I am really looking forward to, I feel like we are in a season of just being. We're not looking toward the next thing, we're not experiencing change, we're just living the day-to-day, in Josh's job, in our city, at our church, in our life group, as a family of four. We haven't been in this place since August of 2009. At that point, we waited to get pregnant, were pregnant & waiting to have a baby, soon afterward we were thinking about baby #2, waiting to get pregnant, pregnant & waiting for baby, & now almost 4 years later, we're finally just... living. As much as I tend to look forward to the next thing, I'm really okay with being in this place after the past few years of change. I know God has more for us in the coming years, likely including much more change, so for now, we're just taking it all in. I'm definitely still treading water at this point, surviving & not quite thriving, but trying to enjoy the now.

I will say though that we have tossed around the idea of taking our first big family vacation next summer - Elliot will be 3.5, Jack will be 1.5, & the timing seems ideal, so we'll see!