Camel Colored Answers to Prayer

 Isn’t she pretty!

Well, I think she is the most beautiful truck in the whole world, let me share why.

Really I could go back about 5 years. When we as a matter of circumstance and practicality decided to become a single vehicle family. And for all intents and purposes I still hold that it was a great decision.

Downsizing to one vehicle did bless our family. It saved us a significant amount of money, it gave us more home time and it aided in the process of our goal to get out of debt. It also gave me a convenient excuse to not get over booked and thus our life had this beautiful boundary and easy way for me to say “no” (something I truly struggle with.) For years it was good.

But, there did come a day when this blessed decision became…less of a blessing, and more of a hardship. In the last year or two our life has gone through some changes. Natural and expected changes of course. The same has happened to those around us. While it was usually something we could work out, there was a fair amount of time when I did need to borrow a vehicle from either my in-laws or my parents to make certain appointments (something that I will be forever grateful for.) Making arrangements to borrow vehicles very often has a tendency to make everyone’s life a bit more complicated. Of course God has been very good to us. We have always made the appointments, gotten the shopping done, even been able to do a few fun things. But, I would be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t hard at times and often much less than convenient.
It had gotten even more difficult when out of want and necessity I began working a bit. Of course we were working it out, and the nature of my job as a riding instructor is very flexible. But, it was wearing on us. I found myself working a lot of evenings and leaving the kids home with Kyle after he had worked a long day.

One evening on my way home, after talking to my husband who was exhausted from his own crazy work week and had been dealing with a screaming baby for hours. For the third evening in a row. I had come to the end of my rope. I was seriously thinking that I just needed to give up giving riding lessons. Something I love and have come to depend on to recharge my batteries.

“Ugh! We just need another car!”

And that’s when it happened. That epiphany moment, when it was like God said, “Well, why don’t you ask for one?”

Seriously, why didn’t I think of that? Because, well, I pray a lot. Really I do. But, call me simple, the thought never really occurred to me to pray about getting another car. I mean really pray about it.

So, I did. Right there in my minivan driving home to my burned out husband and screaming baby.

“Lord, You know our every need. But, Father…If it be your will…could we have another vehicle? You know our financial situation. You know buying one is not an option. But God, I know you can provide the finances for us to get something if its your will.”

And again, it was like God said, “You need to be more specific.”

So… “Okay God. Kyle really needs a truck. Nothing fancy, but something that could get him back and forth to work and something that could haul grain or a few bales of shavings or hay. Thank you for providing for us. Amen.” End of prayer.

I did tell one friend about my prayer. And she encouraged me to believe, really believe that God would provide this vehicle.

So, I did. And for the next month or so I would pray and trust that someday, somehow God would provide a way for us to have a second vehicle. In the meantime I would adjust my schedule and we would just tough it out.

And that was that. Until one day…

I was giving a riding lesson, and the father of one of my students told me he had a surprise for my husband. It turns out a buddy of his had gotten a new truck and was looking for someone to GIVE his old truck too. It needed a little work, but it would WORK!

I was awestruck. These people had no knowledge of my prayer. They knew we were a one vehicle family. They probably even saw the struggle for us to work out schedules and such. But they had no idea, especially this stranger (who I have no doubt had an ear tuned into Gods promptings) of our real need nor of my request to God. Of course I started crying on the spot. And before I knew it we had two working vehicles. And it has been such a blessing. I have a little more freedom to make plans during the day and Kyle has reliable transportation (really, it does a great job getting him back and forth to work.)

When I said that prayer was I thinking 1988 Toyota? No, not a bit. But it does exactly what I had prayed for. It get’s Kyle back and forth to work (the gas mileage is pretty great.) and he can haul a few bags of shaving or a bale of hay when needed.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24

“Thank you God for answering my prayer. May this post Glorify You and encourage another.”

Fresh Chocolate Covered Cherries 

Cherry season is finally upon us! I think I have been waiting for this day since January at least! Of course I once again vowed to buy them in bulk and put enough in the freezer so that when that January craving comes on we’ll be able to get that taste of summer. The problem such a plan is I always forget how easily these sweet cherries go down on a hot summer day…especially when you cover them in chocolate! Seriously one of our better ideas. Yum!

Half Way Around the Sun

Dearest Clara,

I hope you will one day forgive me for the fact that you don’t have a baby book chronicling all your “firsts.” I am sorry about that, really I am. Quite frankly I feel a lot more sorrow about that than you will ever know. You are likely our last little gift from God, and the time is flying by faster than I can drink it in or commit it to memory. Perhaps instead you can look at the family albums and blog posts that will come out over the years as yours just as much as everyone elses, because truly they are. This story is yours too.

With that said, I wanted to take a moment and drink deep of who you are just six months into your joining us on the outside. Words cannot express my gratitude to God and to you for the extraordinary baby you are. You were born in a hot flash of excitement but you have been nothing but mellow and easy going since. When you wake in the morning you always greet me with a smile. The joy in your eyes rarely leaves. You love everyone, though we have our suspicions that you think your big brother Colton is the funniest person in the family. You and him share some special joke as he is the only one who can make you laugh those deep rumbling giggles. You and Alex must cuddle every morning and so I see you two share that special sweetness. You are ever patient with your big sister Addie as she tries to dress you up in all manner of things if I am not looking. She loves you though, and I think she really just longs for the day that you will get up and follow her to play.

You reach for your Daddy as soon as he gets home and you are so content to hang out, on the floor, in a stroller or in the pack. Now, you like to sit in the high chair too. I’m thankful you are so willing to just be.  I’m thankful you seem to just know that you are one of four. That your turn will come. But, I am also thankful that you will speak up and remind us too. You don’t cry often, but when you do you, you have your reasons and when taken care of you are easily settled.

If you had not been born I never would have believed babies like you existed. So mellow and sweet you are.

So, besides hanging out and being happy most all of the time, what are you doing at this 6 month marker? Well, you coo, and chatter. You are sitting up quite well, and you are flirting with the idea of crawling. Up on your hands and knees, or hands and feet, or one knee and one foot. IMG_0407Don’t worry I’m sure you will get this all figured out and soon. In the meantime rolling is your preferred mode of transportation as well as spinning around on your belly. These methods serve you well and pretty much let you explore the four corners of the living room independently. 

One thing, you think everything must taste good…except for food. No, you want nothing to do with finally pureed items, but a shoe, or a toy, or paper! (Oh you are sneaky with the paper.) Into your mouth it goes. No matter how I cringe or worry. But, DO NOT give you smashed bananas! Oh, don’t worry, you’ll eat eventually. It’s still early in your life yet. We’ll try something else in a few weeks.

Well, its not a baby book, but I hope you will think it is better. You are a special God planned part of this family. You bring us so much joy and we hope you know how very loved you are.

Good night my love. 

Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon 

     Ah, this boy. Is he ever becoming more capable kitchen help! So very exciting to have him with me or in this case with dad during the dinner prep hours. He loves this cooking gig and is always so excited to help, offer idea’s and when we let him invent totally new meals.  Of course his first food love is always something that comes out of the water. So much so, you would think when Kyle arrived home from work one day with no less than 20 pounds of freshly caught salmon (a gift from a generous co-worker) that for him it was Christmas morning.

Truthfully I’m not a huge fish/seafood fan. I didn’t grow up eating it and generally I just don’t have the pallet for it. Kyle also, though he likes seafood isn’t generally over the moon about it like this boy is.

So, upon the arrival of the a fore mentioned Salmon, Colton insisted on helping to clean it and get it ready for freezing. Which is very nice because, well as I have mentioned, I’m not really a fan.

And since then that’s where it’s remained. Though we did cook some when it arrived and it was o.k. I really haven’t ventured to do much more with it.

But lucky for me I have a young man that so sweetly and patiently has been prompting me about it. And since it was near the end of the groceries and I really didn’t want to go out and get something else, out it came the other night. As we talked about how to prepare it. We all agreed the grill sounded like a good idea. Though, we didn’t really know what we were doing. I pulled out my cook books and it seemed we had about half of the ingredients for every recipe. But, we are nothing if not flexible. And upon a little reflection I realized that I have a lovely basil plant right out side my kitchen door that is truly thriving and well…that was it! And so, whether or not there is a recipe like this in the world already, our version of Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon was born!

And did I mention it was PHENOMENAL!!! This from the girl who doesn’t like fish!

So, mostly because I want to remember what on earth we did, but also in case you would be interested. Here is a general idea of how we prepared it.

Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon

5-6 Salmon Steaks

2-3T. minced fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 t Black pepper

1/2-1t. sea salt

1T. lemon juice

1-2T. olive oil

Prepare Salmon. In a small bowl, mix Basil, Garlic, Black Pepper, Salt, Lemon Juice, and Olive Oil. Gently rub mixture over meat side of Salmon. Pre-heat your grill. Lay foil on the grill and brush with olive oil. Lay salmon skin side down and grill covered for 15-20 minutes. Fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork.

We paired this dish with some Zucchini that had been sauteed in coconut oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. It was the perfect compliment if you ask me. And hopefully we will do it again soon.

This Sunday perhaps. After all Colton’s latest meal preparation suggestion is that each day have a theme. Thus Sunday is, “Salmon Sunday.” Which is followed by, Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Weird Recipe Wednesday (I have my reservations about this day.) and so you get the idea.

Enjoy! :)


Hold still

       Have you ever tried to get more than two children to look the same direction at the same time? I’m pretty sure it is an impossible task. Nevertheless after many attempts (many more even than you see here) we managed it. But it does make me ponder on how hard it is to hold still. Today we are charged with moving. We wiggle, we walk, we run. All to various tasks both physically and mentally. And I am reminded of the importance of being still.

We have read: “…Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
Surely I can move and know that God is there. Surely it does not require that I be totally and completely still.

Ah, but here is what we miss when we rush past God in our moving.

We miss his magnitude. God is huge! He holds our whole universe and everything in it in his hand. Pause. Ponder that.

We miss his sovereignty. God is sovereign. He is just, He holds the hearts of kings in his hands. Pause, and ponder that.

We miss his eyes seeing us. It is so hard to truly capture a moving target. So hard to really see. And while I have no doubt that God in his infinity can capture my whole life, inside-and-out in a second. Being still allows me the moment to let him really see me. See whats driving me, whats filling me, what’s bothering me. Being still allows him the time, to quiet the noise within my soul, to wipe the tears of my heart, and fill it with His peace.

Finally when we are still, we can look outside ourselves and what is propelling our movement and we can do what the rest of that verse says:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We can exalt Him and put him in his rightful place over our lives. Pause, and ponder on that.

Have a blessed Monday all.