Archive for November, 2009

Tribal

Posted: November 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Sometimes I’m tentative in loving.  Often, actually.  Especially if someone has hurt me or made mistakes in the past, I tend to love with one foot wedged firmly in the door just in case I have to get out fast.  I love through a filter of caution and self-protection and it makes my love weak and anemic.  I don’t want to love like that.   I want – desperately – to return to a tribal kind of love.  The kind of passion that makes me ready to defend my team just because they’re my team.  And they may be wrong and they may fail, but unconditional love understands that people aren’t flawless and mistakes aren’t fatal.

True love sticks hard.  It sticks in the rough-and-tumble days of disappointment and it sticks when the crowds cheer and confetti falls.  True love checks its exit strategy at the door.  True love is true love not in spite of the hard times, but because of them.

I really want to love like that.

Thanksgiving Worship

Posted: November 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

Matthew 20:20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s children came up to Him with her sons and, kneeling,  worshiped Him and asked a favor of Him.

I wonder how many times I’ve tried to leverage my worship to get something back for myself and I wonder what that does to my relationship with Jesus – or even just to my concept of who He is to me.

On this beautiful and wonderful Thankgiving, I would like my worship to stand alone.  With no needing or wishing or wanting.  For this moment, I’m going to save the asking for another time and another place and trust that He will take care of me in the process.

  • I love You today just because I love You today.
  • I love You for creating me and this world I call my temporary home.
  • I love You for Your kindness.
  • I love You because You know me and stay with me anyway.
  • I love You in ways I can’t express and with words that will never be enough to tell You how much.
  • I worship You for Your life, poured out on the cross and raised in victory.  That one act contains inside of it everything I will ever need for anything I will ever face.
  • I love You for showing up and talking with me when You have so many other, more interesting people to talk to.
  • I love that You keep me held safely in Your arms when storms roll.
  • I love You for more blessing than my hands can hold and more truth than my mind can absorb this side of heaven.

I love You truly, madly, deeply.

That stands alone.

Amen.

My mom.

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Ellen Joy is my mom.

She is lovely. When I was in 4th grade, my mom came to my class room to help with a party and the other girls at my table said, “Ooooh…your mom is so pretty!” and I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “I know.”

She is kind…and she tried with all her heart to teach me to be kind as well. When I would pour my heart out to her about a frustrating friend, she would say, “Bo, you need to be sweet. It always pays.” Another great thing she taught us was “things will look better in the morning. Sleep on it.” Such good advice that I still use and have many times passed along to my own kids.

She sees and believes the best about us. Such a small statement with giant implications in my life. If you know me and my sisters now, that maybe doesn’t seem like such a big deal. We’re pretty nice gals. But she saw the best through awkward phases and rebellious seasons and plenty of failure. She believes the best when we fall, or faint or stagnate. And when we run the race well, she acts like that’s what we’ve been doing all along. She’s a marvel that way and I count on it in my life.

She knows Jesus. Deeply. While my dad and I are “talkers” by nature and even by vocation, my mom is not a talker, but she is a student of the Word and of truth. I’m amazed by people who love truth just for truth’s sake…just to store it up and let it work in them. My seeking is tinged with a “looking for something to teach” vibe, but her seeking is pure and right and I want to be more like that. But also: I think my mom has a lot to say and I praying that many more will have a chance to hear it.

She understands the value of time. That sounds funny, perhaps, but it’s been huge for me. My mom is the most generous time-giver I have ever known. My growing-up years are defined by hours and hours spent, talking on the couch about the things that no one else in the whole world would have wanted to hear about. In my relatively brief stint at parenting, I’ve discovered that time is the most valuable thing I can offer my kids and – not coincidentally – is also the most difficult to give. I love my mom for making me feel that time with me was valuable – she taught me so much about the love of Jesus through that.

She is wise. When I was young, I would pray “please just let me be wise like my mom.” And even then I meant it…and even now, I mean it. Happy birthday to my mom, Ellen Joy. You are a treasure to me and I’m so thankful to have you here on your special day.

I love you more than words can say,

Bonita Rae

My son has recently been kicking around the idea of becoming a chef…along with a policeman a preacher or a paleontologist.  Not even kidding.  That’s his list.  Anyway, I like teaching Josiah to cook mostly because I don’t want him feeling like he has to marry the first woman he meets who can swing a spatula, you know?  I want him to be self-sustaining as long as possible.  And I want him to cook for me in my old age which is much nearer now than when I started writing this post.  So, the other night we wanted breakfast for dinner, and all of the Lucky Charms boxes were empty, and I happened to have some lovely chicken apple sausage in the refrigerator, so we searched Food Network and found this little marvel:


Chicken Apple Sausage Hash with Eggs Fried Sunny-Side-Up

cups 1/2-inch diced potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 links store-bought Chicken and Apple sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (recommended: Emeril’s)

3/4 cup chopped yellow onions

6 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon Essence or Creole Seasoning, recipe follows (I didn’t include the recipe but you can find it on food network…I use this Creole Seasoning all the time and I make it exactly as Emeril demands.  Bam.)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up, recipe follows

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

4 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, place the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. To the fat in the pan, add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, thyme, Essence, salt, and pepper and stir well. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring only occasionally, until the potatoes turn golden brown and are starting to crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. (Cover to keep warm until ready to assemble the final dish.)

To serve, divide the hash among 4 large plates and top each serving with 1 fried egg. Garnish each plate with chopped fresh parsley and a thyme sprig and serve immediately.

You could use any kind of sausage – or no sausage at all – and you could significantly speed things up buy using frozen (gasp!) potatoes.  Please know, however, that the egg on top is the crowning glory. So good!   Here’s the link if you want to look at Emeril Lagasse’s face while you sling your hash.

On Sunday, we had a long and lazy day and this breakfast-for-dinner concept was still lodged in my brain, so we capped off the evening with Gingerbread Waffles.  They are a lovely, not-t0o-spicy, not-too-sweet blend of fall goodness.  The recipe makes a lot and could easily be halved – or just toast ’em up the next morning and put apple butter on top.  Wonderful.

Gingerbread Waffles

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, (seriously?  Do I even need to tell you that I decided to skip the loathsome nutmeg?)

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, plus some to butter the iron

Syrup, whipped cream or fresh fruits for topping, to pass at table

Preheat waffles iron.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, molasses and melted butter. Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook 4 waffles, 4 sections each. Serve with toppings of choice.  Here’s the link.

So, in all your cooking and gratitude-making this week, don’t forget breakfast!

Thanksgiving love,

Bo

June Cleaver Fail

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

You won’t believe what I did.  So silly. I’ll tell you, but first a little back story:

I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year.  We generally stay home for this holiday because I LOVE it.  I love cooking for it and, more than that, I love Black Friday in Bend.   Waking up at 5:00 to wrangle any willing daughter(s) to elbow their way through the  aisles of Target to buy a set of Legos for $4 instead of $6 is what dreams are made of.  I love Black Friday.  My girls love the promise of free breakfast so everyone’s happy.  Anyway, I digress.

I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year and it won’t be huge, probably about 20 people.  So I planned to cook a big turkey and a medium-ish ham.  I bought the turkey on Monday and tossed it in my fridge, remembering Thanksgivings past chiseling ice from the poor bird’s carcass because I forgot how stinkin long those things take to calmly defrost.  I always feel a little sad for all the indignities a turkey suffers in order to make my day fantastic, so I’d like to eliminate “sitting in a bowl of water in Bo’s sink while she storms through the kitchen cursing the pilgrims” from the list.   However,  I clearly have a solid and immovable mental block with the timing of turkey-thawing because Monday was way too soon to throw that sucker in the fridge.  And now it’s thawed.

If you’ve spent any time on the many web sites dealing with turkey turmoil, you know that a thawed turkey is only definitely absolutely and without-any-possibility of food poisoning good for 1-2 days.  Now, I know this is probably a stringent time frame and it could very well last til next Christmas in my fridge, but given the volume of guests, the amount that I love them,  and the fact that the average visit to urgent care is $500, I’d like to stay firmly inside the guideline here.

All that to say:  guess what I’m doing tomorrow, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  Yes.  I will be cooking a turkey.  And slicing and freezing the leftovers. And sending them home with my guests so that they can enjoy dinner at my house AND have turkey sandwiches for days after.  Sigh.

That’s my pilgrim story.

Bo

Oh, busy!

Posted: November 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

Seriously, you guys, I loathe saying this because I don’t like hearing it from other people, but I am so busy this week!  Today, I had meetings stacked like bunk beds and my house looks like no one loves it and my son just asked, “What’s for dinner?” and I said, “No one knows.”  That’s how busy.

I really love to blog way more than I love being busy…but I haven’t had time to blog this week.  And that fact deserves a little sideways frowny face, but I’m not currently using them. Because I’m not.  Because I need to cut back.  Because it’s not good to get emotionally or grammatically attached to a little sideways face, that’s why.

Now, please understand:  If I were in any condition to actually be blogging,  I would want you to stay right here and read whatever it was that I had written.  I long for that sort of approval and love.  However, since I’m totally MIA this week, I would love for you to check out these awesome sites:

1. The Cute Mitten Company. Because my friend, Jennie, does not lie – these are the cutest mittens EVER.  And how often can you buy a gift that is useful, adorable AND totally unique for under $20?  Go, go, go…I know you want to. If you need further motivation, I have it right here for you:

2.  My friend, Jamie, is running an awesome blog series on what makes a good marriage and I love what she has to say.  I especially loved what she said about communication in this one.

Please enjoy the creations of these talented women of God…they’re worth their weight in gold.

Much love,

Bo

P.S.  Fixed the mitten link!  (Thanks for the heads-up, Jennie!)

Weight Lifting

Posted: November 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

The Lord God is a sun and shield, He gives grace and glory;no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  -Psalm 84

I always love in scripture when God is compared to the sun.  So big and warm and bright.  I love the sun – it shows up at the end of a long night, spilling pink and orange and yellow all over the sidewalk.  It melts snow and ice on my Central Oregon roads and makes them safe and sturdy for driving.  I love the sun.

And a shield…that’s a great thing.  Protection from things in the dark and in the light.  In times of war or tension or uncertainty, it’s great to have a shield in between myself and my enemy.

He gives grace.  Who can argue with grace?  The Hebrew definition contains this rich treasure:  beauty, strength and favor.  Sign me up for grace – today and every day for the rest of forever…I for sure need grace.

And glory.  Ah, glory.  Glory sounds very cool.  It sounds like fame and grandeur and splendor.  It sounds like “all things are going swell!”  A quick look inside the Hebrew box-o-bounty, however, reveals a different kind of gift:  weight. Glory means “weight, figuratively, but only in the good sense.”  I read this definition on an already weighted-down day while I was walking through the middle of an exceedingly weighted-down year.  I was not ready to sign up for more weight.  “Glory”, I argued, should be more like my second honeymoon in Mexico at an all-inclusive resort.  Food, eat, sleep, sun, repeat.  No kids, no cell phones, no email, no bills.  No weight.  I love that idea of glory.  However, if I were really being honest, I only loved that for about three days.   Around day four, I started to get antsy.  At first I wasn’t sure was I was antsy for, but as I started to review my emotional condition in earnest, I discovered I was longing for my family and my cell phone and my job and for…purpose.  I was missing the weight of my life.  Turns out, weight can be good.  In fact, I suppose a case could be made that weight is essential.

The weight of His glory is when He shares with us – not His fame (that would crush us!) – but His purpose.  He lets us in on His mission and gives us a part to play in the great adventure of  loving what He loves.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s a kind of God gravity that keeps us fastened to a world where we do not ultimately belong.

I’m thankful today for the sun, for safety, for grace and even for some of the heavier weights that give my life substance and my feet direction.  I hope you’re finding yourself well-weighted, but not overloaded…filled with grace and glory.

With joy,

Bo