Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My God, My God; Why Have You Forsaken Me?

The refrain from the psalm hit me hard this Sunday. When our cantor, Johnny, began this pleading, aching refrain, I was caught off guard.

Not ready. That's what I thought. I am NOT ready. Holy Week is here. The passion, the agony, the crowds yelling at Jesus "Crucify Him." And I am not ready.

All of Lent, is about prayer and sacrifice, trying a little harder to be all that God wants for us. Sunday, when I heard that plea, I realized Lent is also about being prepared for Easter. This is a hard week to live in Jesus' footsteps. To hear the readings from the Gospel beginning on Sunday and retold every day up till Easter. How much Jesus suffered for us. The agony. The loneliness.

You really have to be ready, prepared. Maybe fortified is the word I am searching for. Fortified through the sacrifice and prayers of the past 40 days. My attempt at not complaining hasn't been for naught, but was it enough? Did this "fast from complaining" fortify me for the agony of Holy Week? Well, I'm not sure. But here we are, ready or not.

I want to hide, put my fingers in my ears, Lalalalala, not see or hear what He suffered for me. How could he love me that much? Still, I know He does. I will be there with Him this week. I want to be there. Ready or not.

There is a reward. The Empty Tomb. The Upper Room. Jesus Ascending to Heaven! I want to be there too. Are you ready?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Holly Update

Holly is doing really well. Growing, talking, bossing us all around (and we love it!). She loves Super Nanny, Elmo and Caillou. She can do almost everything "by myself". Maybe with just a little help.

My current decision is dental work. She has two huge cavities that will need crowns. Just the thought of having Holly under anesthesia one more time is causing me some anxiety. We are headed for a second opinion next week. First dentist was super nice. But the plan she has laid out is super expensive. The work needs to be done, don't want Holly to have an abscess.

Say a prayer for us, please. Feel certain that either way we go Holly will be fine, just don't want anesthesia and a loan to get it done.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Favorite Recipe of the Week

Chili! Of any kind. I love chili, but don't make it often enough. This past winter though, I have gotten to make some of my favs and share it with friends too.

Years ago, Aunt Patricia shared a great Taco Chili recipe that we all love. I think you can click on this to see it larger.

And then I had to make the White Christmas chili from Southern Living cookobooks I received at Christmas. When I saw that chili was on the e-mealz menu this week, I knew I would try it first! The first several ingredients are in the crock pot. Looking forward to dinner tonight.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Third Time's a Charm

It started with my sister's 50th bday cake. That big paisley pink bow. It was so cute. Yet, I thought I could improve upon it. Just happens, that my brother-in-law had a birthday the very next week. Seizing the moment, I tried again. The bow had more loops, was skinnier and longer. But still not quite what I saw in all those fondant bow pics online.

Third time did prove to be the charm! My nephew, Peter, is 18! To contribute to the celebration, Anna and I created this "paint ball splat cake".

The bow is made from plastic chocolate marbled with white fondant. And the chocolate buttercream icing I smoothed out by following the "Viva paper towel" method. (No I didn't do the soda bottle edge step, just the paper towel step 8 and up).

As an aside, I have over the past few weeks tried this method of icing a cake, upside down. And failed miserably every time. Is it my frosting recipe? My total lack of patience? Who knows, but what ever the case, every time I peeled off the paper the icing came with it! Good thing the paper towel trick is so handy!

Anna made the paint ball splats. I knew she would have that art-with-abandon ability to create paint splats.

Peter, Happy Birthday! Hope you won the tournament and thanks for letting me make the cake!

What Season is It?

Can it really be Lent? And I have not posted not one single reflection? Have I had one single reflection this season? It has been tough. The long winter has not helped. Somehow, this past several months, with Holly growing, sleeping, speaking and generally doing well, I have been more depressed than before. Maybe it was all the adrenaline of being on top of everything (surgeries, bottles, medicine, sleeping etc.) for over a year, or the great amount of prayer we received to carry through all those anxieties that kept the baby blues away.

Whatever the case, now, I have found myself "tired" all the time. To overcome what I think is developing into a bad habit, I have given up complaining for Lent. As best I can. I am trying not to talk about being tired and focus on positives! All the many, many blessing we have.

Thank God for Spring and Family and Church and everything!

(There I said it. If you catch me bemoaning how tired I am, be kind anyway and know that I'm trying to get back in to the wonderful swing of a joyful LIFE!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

With a little initiative

and a teeny tiny bit of snow...

You can create a snowman!
Even in the south, in March. Amazing.

This weekend though, no snow. Lots of sunshine. We all enjoyed that! Even if most of today was spent raking up the remaining of leaves from fall. My oldest did protest a little, "hey, isn't Sunday a day of rest?" My reply?

Sunday is a day to rest from our daily activities, our normal work. Raking leaves in March could hardly be considered "normal". The exercise and fresh air is a great way to reflect on the Holy Day.

In the end, the kids enjoy running through the yard playing hide and seek for a little bit, inspired by the freshly (finally) uncovered ground and near 60 temperatures. And Lee Sr. and I enjoyed watching them.

We beat back a little nature, reclaimed some ground that we can call "yard". Fall chores are over just in time for Spring. Good thing we made the most of the snow days in between!