Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Salmon and Spinach Pasta Dish

Some times I find myself inspired to try new creations in the kitchen. Some times they turn out well and other times they do not. Tonight's creation, though, was YUMMY! Sooooo I figured before I forget what all I put in it and how I cooked it, I would share :)

Shannon's Salmon and Spinach Pasta Dish (8 servings)

stick butter
1/4 C olive oil
onion, chopped
4-5 scallions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (13.5 oz) artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
juice of half a lemon
1 C white wine
jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
4 C fresh chopped spinach
cooked pasta - saving 1 C pasta water
cooked salmon
parmesan cheese

In large pan, melt butter with oil. Saute onions and scallions. Add garlic. Stir in artichokes, lemon juice, and white wine. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, pasta water, and spinach, cooking until well mixed and spinach is tender. Mix in pasta. Dish into bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve with salmon steak on top. YUMMY!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Disclosing too much?

Yesterday my children and I went to our favorite local grocery store - Publix. Love that it is so close. I love EarthFare more, but it is not so local, lol. Anyways, for those who have never been to Publix, part of their "charm" is that the baggers will push out your cart for you. During the evening hours, when there are sooooo many people in and out of the store, I enjoy the extra help, as I am trying to get in and out with my five kiddos :) Anyways, it was there we went last night :)

As I was checking out, I asked our bagger how he was doing, as a common courtesy. His response was good but that he was also worried and stressed. I told him I was sorry. Apparently I looked like a friendly ear, because he then proceeded to tell me that he was not going to be celebrating Valentine's Day on the actual day, but rather a couple weeks later. He is instead going to wait for his tax return (he had three W-2s due to working three jobs) and is going to buy his girlfriend a promise ring. I told him that was nice, and paid the cashier. At this, the bagger started pushing my cart out and informed me of his and his girlfriend's past. I learned more about my bagger's past than I do about some of my friends' pasts!!!

So what is my point? How often do we turn to people, including complete strangers, because something is weighing so heavily on our hearts? If I am stressed about something, there are a handful of people I call, depending on the concern. What I should be doing, however, is turning to God in prayer! He already knows what is going on, and I can pour my heart out without offending someone, getting bad advice, spreading gossip, or talking ill of someone! What a wake up call!

Women's Role

Okay guys - I am posting a disclaimer from the get go.... this could be controversial....

Here recently, I have been really convicted regarding my role as Brad's wife and my children's momma. I stay home with my kids, cook, clean, home school, dehydrate, bake, preserve, can, etc.... I take my role as a wife and mother seriously. I feel like God has called me to be home. This is why I gave up my nursing career. This is why I gave up my dream to be a pediatrician. And no, it wasn't just a childish dream - I have my BS in Biology-PreMed with a minor in psychology and chemistry. In addition to all of this, I am active in our home school support group, organizing field trips and our international night, I "mentor" people in my home, and have an "open door" policy in my house. So what is the issue???? So glad you asked :)

Scriptures call the wives to be a help meet to our hubbies. What does this entail? It means doing all the "womanly" stuff with a glad heart. It means being submissive. It means having dinner on the table even when you do not feel like it. It means having a peaceful retreat for your hubby when he comes home from a long day at work. It means keeping the house clean and picked up. It means keeping the kiddos content and ready to spend time with daddy when he gets home. It means getting up early and spending time with God before everyone else gets up. It means doing the laundry and washing dishes and scrubbing the toilets. It means keeping my hubby happy and doing whatever I can to make his life more enjoyable and easier so that he can follow God's calling on his life. It means saying no to so much of the outside stuff. It means staying home in order to take care of my home. It means not complaining but rather rejoicing.

Last night I sat and watched Mary Poppins with my kiddos. Oh how I love that movie! But what an eye opener. I always looked at the father and wondered why in the world he did not spend time with his kids. But look at their mother!!!! She was too busy worrying about "women's rights" than to take care of her children! Women in general have become so enthralled with the desire to be equals, to be able to do whatever our hearts desire, that we are hitting the point where we are trying to reverse roles with our men. We are making them our help meets and I was doing it too!

I cannot tell you how many times my sweet hubby would come home from work and ask what is for dinner, to which I would have no answer. Or he would put laundry in the machine because I had fallen behind due to working on school with the kids. Or he would work on the dishwasher or wash dishes by hand in order to help me catch up. These are not his responsibilities - these are mine! He has enough on his plate with supporting our family than to have to do my responsibilities as well. Oh the shame I feel. The mortification I am facing as I realize how unfair I have been to him and disobedient I have been to God!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hard Truths

I have not written on here in quite some time again... And I could give all kinds of excuses... but over the last few months, I have learned a lot of hard truths. I have learned that your dearest friends may not be there when you need them to be. That innocent little children are called to Heaven in God's time, not ours. That people forget the good things during the bad times. That family some times only boils down to blood relation, but not a blood bond. That not even pastors may have a full grasp on the Word of God. That some times people are so wrapped up in their own lives, that subtle hints and non subtle declarations both can fall on deaf ears. That regrets can pile up if we are not careful. That you never really truly know someone.... not their inner most self. That in the same sense, we may not know our ownself, either. That one can rationalize just about anything if the "need" is there. But above all this, I have learned about the graciousness of God. He has called me out of the mass number of people to be one of His chosen. The Creator of all loves me no matter how much I fail, no matter how much I weigh, no matter what anyone else thinks of my decisions regarding my life or my children's lives. It is to Him that I will be held accountable. It is Him that I want to please. It is the Lord, Jesus Christ, that I live for - for His glory alone. As a people pleaser by nature, I am learning to not concern myself of pleasing the mass majority of people, but pleasing Him. I am a far cry from being where I want to be in my walk with my Savior, but I do know that I need to have - and can have - a Mary attitude in a Martha world. It is kinda ironic, but as many times as I have read that passage, the true meaning has never fully sunk into my hard head... or hardened heart. Nothing else matters more than my time with God. Eating, feeding the children, laundry, dishes, educating the children, cleaning my house, doctors appointments, NOTHING is more important than my time with Him. It is not some thing to check off my list or to hurry and get done, but rather a blessing.... a time of utter most importance and a refreshing of the spirit and soul. It is a time I need and long for... a time that gives me the heart to fully care for my children; to have energy to face the issues of the day that will surely arise. Perhaps the hardest truth I have learned in the selfishness of myself - that if given half a chance, I will try to control everything - none of which I can control; I will focus on my needs - which are so much less than so many others; I will give myself a pity party when I have no reason to; I will try to put the focus on myself, when God is the ONLY One that deserves anyone's focus; I will gripe and complain of other's inadequacies when in all honesty mine are far worse. Yes - above all I have learned that Jesus Christ must be Lord of all parts of my life, all the time, in all ways and circumstances!