This week between getting started again with classes, being home with the boys and nursing sick kiddos I haven’t had much time for writing this week. I’ve had lots going through my mind, I just couldn’t get it down on paper (or screen for that matter).
I’m exhausted. Titus and Zeke have been messing with a respiratory thing that I’ve somehow managed to get as well. You cough and hack and cough and hack. Especially at night. So that means very little sleep for them and for me.
I have a full schedule at work. I’m thankful, but the beginning of the semester is always front loaded with labs so that means more time at the office during the week. I am thankful that I got my lecture done over Thanksgiving and Christmas break so I don’t have as much prep work to do during the week.
It’s been busy at our house. I have woke up every morning this week praying for the strength and stamina to get through each day. And the Lord has provided it, I am so very thankful for that. I have purposed to spend my commute, which on the days I drive to Canon City is almost an hour, to pray instead of listen to the radio or let my mind wander. I pray for my husband, my children, my students, my co-workers and any one else God puts on my heart.
I have been thankful for the peace He has given me during my morning drive. The calm He has given over things I have anxiety about. He has reminded me this week of all the times He’s been faithful to His word and His promises. I was praying about what the future holds for our family this week. As I was pouring my heart out and telling Him what I am worried about and asking again for Him to provide for us, He reminded me how He has guided our steps and brought us right where He wants us to be. He reminded me that in bringing us to Pueblo He has brought about great changes in our life. He has grown our faith and our trust in Him. He has used our time here to bring about the belief that we should trust HIM for our family size, that we as believers are called to home school (raise our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord). He has brought me to a place that I would have never imagined 5 years ago in my role as a wife and mother. He has used the people that I’ve met to help me grow and teach me how to be the wife and mother God has called me to be. God brought me peace about things in my heart, telling me “Do what I’ve called you to do and I will be faithful”. I believe that.
I am continually surprised when things that I’m reading, listening to or talking about all “fit” together to reinforce what God is teaching and telling me. For example, in our Journey group we’re discussing God’s will. I heard 2 messages this week about faith building and God’s will for our lives. As I read some of my favorite blogs this week I read again about God’s will and His faithfulness. They all helped reinforce “Do what God has called you to do and He will be faithful”. TRUST GOD.
Joshua 1:9 reminds me…
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Here is what our menu looks like for this week…
Monday : Leftovers. 🙂
Tuesday: Bierock Casserole.
Wednesday : Supper at church (we have a family who makes supper for our family on Wednesday nights).
Thursday: Riccota filled shells and sauce
Friday : Meatballs or Tacos
Here’s the recipe for Bierock Casserole (Here’s a link for “What a bierock is” and a couple of recipes for the traditional bierocks…I haven’t tried either of the recipes on this link).
2 tubes crescent rolls
1-2lbs ground beef
1 head cabbage, shredded or chopped into small pieces.
1-2 can cream of celery soup (I will sometime use cream of mushroom) Whether you use 1 or 2 depends on how saucy you want your bierocks. I usually use 2.
3 cups (or so…I really never measure) of cheddar cheese shredded.
Brown hamburger and onion in skillet. When done, add chopped cabbage and allow cabbage to cook down a bit (I will usually put a lid on my skillet so that it kind of cabbage). In another bowl mix the soup (undiluted if you’re using condensed) and cheddar cheese. We like ours kind of cheesy so I usually use 3 handfuls of cheese.
In a 9×13 skillet press together one of the tubes of crescent rolls for a bottom crust. Then layer hamburger mixture and then the soup mixture. Put the other tube of crescent roll dough on top (I’m not a huge stickler for making sure it’s all pushed together, but it looks nice). Bake in 350 oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the crescent rolls are golden brown.
So a couple things…I don’t really measure much of anything when I cook. I figure my great grandmother used her hands (I have a number of recipes that say “2-3 handfuls” or something similar) so I can too. Our boys like meat so I usually use the 2 lbs hamburger. If my skillet gets too full when putting the cabbage in, I’ll take out some of the hamburger and onions and mix it in with the soup and cheese. It’s all going the same place anyway…If you prefer “crunchier” cabbage you don’t have to steam it at all, but in our house if it’s crunchy, it resembles salad too much and I have a harder time getting little boys to eat it. 🙂
We used to have bierocks for lunch at school. We had the BEST lunch ladies ever! And the more I find out about what public school kids are eating for lunch these days the more thankful I am to have grown up in a small town in Kansas where they actually cooked for us every day. The bierocks are so good that a couple of years ago when Kerry and I were visiting we went and ate lunch with his mom in our gradeschool cafeteria for the bierocks. It was the full deal…lunch trays and milk cartons. It was fantastic. If you want to serve it Goessel Grade school style…you’ll need to complete the meal with pickles, corn, pudding and possibly an oatmeal raisin cookie. Chocolate milk is totally optional.
I had a break through moment this week while I was on my way to work. It was more of a “duh” moment, but I still call it a break through.
On my way to work each morning sometimes I’ll listen to a sermon on the radio or I’ll pray. On Tuesday morning…making it to work by 0700(!) I chose to pray. First let me say that getting to work at 7am is quite a feat for me…most of you know that I am not even close to being a morning person so I was a little grumpy. I prayed for my husband and children. I prayed for the students returning next week and my co-workers. I also prayed for my lousy attitude. I was grumpy and I was feeling sorry for myself. For some reason going back for faculty week this last week was harder than I anticipated. I was close to tears more than once and my emotions have been hovering just under the surface all week.
So as I turned onto Pueblo boulevard my prayers turned to myself and my attitude. I prayed for my heart and my mouth to have the right response to those around me. I prayed for the stamina to make it through another semester on overload and trying to “do it all”. I prayed for healing in my heart and in my body. I prayed for another baby. I (we) long to have more children, not to replace Knox but because we desire God’s blessing for our family. While I want more babies, I have been fearful about being pregnant again. I’ve been fearful that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy another pregnancy because I’d worry about it ending tragically. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to “trust my body” to carry another healthy pregnancy, much less be able to birth another baby at home. There is a condition called Asherman’s syndrome that is something I have been particularly fearful of. It happens after a D&C (which I had to remove the placenta after Knox was born) and can affect the ability to get pregnant again in the future. I didn’t think I could trust pregnancy again. So I prayed.
As I turned into City Park I told God my fears exactly as I feel them . When I’ve prayed in the past, I’ve simply prayed “God please bless our family again, please let me heal and let me carry another baby in my womb”. But on this morning I laid it on the line (like He didn’t already know). But I told him my fears, specifically my fears and my issue with trusting my body and pregnancy. Somewhere around the Llamas, I said “God I’m afraid I won’t be able to trust my body again. And I’m afraid I won’t be able to trust pregnancy again” God said…get this…very clearly He said…”YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRUST THOSE THINGS.” And then He paused, as if for effect…and I slowly got it. DUH! (I think I actually said it out loud to be honest…and I probably hit the steering wheel at that). “It’s not my body or a pregnancy, or the idea of it, that I have to trust…IT’S GOD I have to trust.” I have to trust Him that He’s going to bless me as He sees fit and I have to trust that whatever happens, whether than includes me getting pregnant and having another baby or not, God is in control. I felt like such an idiot, call me a slow learner. God’s been telling me all along to “TRUST ME” when I’ve prayed about more children or about what *might* happen in the future.
As I thought about it and turned it over to God…as I began to really TRUST Him, the fear and anxiety started to lift. If bits of that fear would try to sneak in again, I would just say “I trust you.” and it goes away. I am so thankful for that. Trust isn’t something that comes easily to me, but over and over again God has proved that He is trustworthy. He loves me, He knows the longing of my heart, He sees the “big picture” and He is in charge. He is sovereign, He doesn’t have to tell me why Knox died or why I’ve gone through this, but I trust that He has a reason and that it will be used for His glory. I have to TRUST and be willing to be used (which means I have to listen too).
I am working on memorizing several verses about trust. I’m also thinking of taping them to my forehead on bad days. 🙂 TRUST ME.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”
“ Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.
“ Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.
Well…I’ve revised our menu list for our meal rotations. I’m including the link below. I have about 36 recipes or so which allows for us to have 4-5 “new” meals a week with 2-3 nights for left overs. I haven’t divided the meals up into 2 week groups yet (I like to do my shopping every 2 weeks, so I plan my menus accordingly). I plan on doing that this next week. THEN I’d like Kerry to use his excel prowess to help me make a list that will automatically totally all of my ingredients on to a master shopping list.
The ingredient list that I included with these menus are ingredients I know I should check my stock for and make a note to purchase if I don’t have them, it’s not an all inclusive list. You’ll see I also put where I can find the recipes for some of the meals and if there isn’t a source…it’s in my brain. 🙂 I’ll try to share a new recipe each week from our menu list and some others that I’ve tried.
So hopefully this will help get you started if you’re in a rut. Happy Cooking!
I met someone yesterday who helped put things in perspective for me. I have no idea what her name was, but she had a profound impact on my attitude.
We were out to eat as a family yesterday for lunch. A woman carrying an infant carrier asked us to keep an eye on her baby while she grabbed a high chair and we gladly did it. As I was admiring her baby I asked how old she was and the mother said “3 months”. The baby girl was quite small for a 3 month old and being the nosy mom I am, I asked if the baby was born premature. Her mom said “no, but she was only 4lbs 10oz at birth…because I was on chemo while I was pregnant.” I was stunned at the mother’s frankness about it all, but also her very positive attitude. She went on “I was diagnosed with breast cancer right after I got pregnant and had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy while I was pregnant so she was born small, but healthy. Now I’m in Pueblo for radiation today so we thought we’d eat out as a family after I was done”. Double shocked.
We continued our conversation a bit about the baby’s name and our 4 boys and the rest of her family (her husband and 8 year old son joined her a bit later at the table). The boys oogled the little girl (and so did Kerry and I). She was adorable, just like a porcelain doll. Tiny hands and features…she was a joy to behold.
When we were walking out to the car I couldn’t help but thank God for his blessing for my pregnancies, my health and the health of my children. I can’t imagine walking the road this woman and her family were on. The joy of being pregnant being overshadowed by a cancer diagnosis, surgery and then radiation. This woman, and her husband for that matter, had every right to be bitter, angry and scared. Instead she was incredibly positive and very delighted in her child. Kerry and I were talking about how difficult it must be and Kerry added…I can’t imagine how her husband must feel. To be faced with the challenges he must have as a father.
Everyone has their own tough road and the blessings that sometimes go along with it. It’s often difficult to imagine what the other person’s road must be like…we make it down our own by the grace of God, but I often find myself thinking that if it were me walking her path it might be too much for me to bear. I am thankful for the strength God has given me and the guidance He provides daily. He is faithful.
As we start a new year with new experiences and a new perspective I am reminded again of the promise I have from God….
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.