Saturday, October 10, 2015

Made Real

I must have read the Velveteen Rabbit more than 100 times as a child.  The story of being loved so completely while being unable to express/give love in return, and lacking attributes of commendation toward such love enchanted my tiny heart.  I felt an affinity with that sawdust stuffed bunny who wanted to be real because "real" meant fully loved.

I was bullied, A LOT, growing up, due to being poor. (& quiet & different & whatever excuse/ lie they told themselves)
I’m afraid of deep water.  More accurately; I'm afraid of drowning or being attacked by sharks.
I'm also afraid of heights.  Or, rather, afraid of falling from great heights. 
Much of my thought life is spent working alternate scenarios so I don't make the same mistakes again. I will still make the mistake again...
I think I have Tourette's when it comes to correction - even though its been a life long goal to just hold my tongue.
As a daughter I constantly competed for love.  Malcolm's 10,000 hour rule did not prove true here.
I'm closest to extroverts because they do all the talking and I don't have to worry about a lull in conversation.
I avoid parties (actually I avoid people).  They exhaust me.  Besides, even if I was there no one would remember me. 
I have a missing tooth, a lazy eye, and I look like a donkey when I genuinely smile.  So I don't genuinely smile, if I can help it.
I seem to be an easy person to walk away from in life.  
Hence, I operate under the assumption that I care more about everyone else than they do about me. 
I still have nightmares about being a terrible mother.  I wake, heart racing, in dread and anguish.
Working outside of my home is death for me.  It may be the death OF me.
After 30+ years of being a christian, I still struggle to not see God as another human being. Good thing He disrupts my sense of virtue. Often.  
I am a gluten free, added sweetener free, vegan who is allergic to yeast, walnuts and chocolate.  This does not win us dinner invitations.  
I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but I'm afraid to have my thoughts be harshly judged.
I struggle, every single day, with feeling adequate.  (after all I just wrote, that should come as no surprise)

Not a lot to commend me as "lovable",eh?  
Yesterday, as I drove into town alone, I rolled down my window and breathed deep of the air that billowed in.  It had rained earlier.  My drive takes me past fields and grasslands that were sweetly warming as the sun came from behind the clouds.  I exhaled a declaration that surprised me a  little.  "Life is good, Papa."  (I call Father God, Papa. Don't ask me why.  Just seems natural.)   
I told my oldest about it later while we were chatting over french fries.  "I didn't think I could be dissatisfied with so much in life and still feel that it was good." 
I didn't think I could be so insecure, so unsure, so scarred, so unlovable, so unsettled, so wanting, and yet enunciate that "life is good". 
But, I realized in that guileless moment, HE is why it's good.  
How fortunate I am to belong to Him.  

Even better - I am alive in Him who loved me to death.
Unearned, undeserved, baseless, wanton, indefensible Love.  
I am a sawdust stuffed rabbit made real. Living, moving, and being because of Love.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Buechner gets me every time

THE OLD TESTAMENT begins with darkness, and the last of the Gospels ends with it. 
"Darkness was upon the face of the deep," Genesis says. Darkness was where it all started. Before darkness, there had never been anything other than darkness, void and without form.
At the end of John, the disciples go out fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. It is night. They have no luck. Their nets are empty. Then they spot somebody standing on the beach. At first they don't see who it is in the darkness. It is Jesus. 
The darkness of Genesis is broken by God in great majesty speaking the word of creation. "Let there be light!" That's all it took.
The darkness of John is broken by the flicker of a charcoal fire on the sand. Jesus has made it. He cooks some fish on it for his old friends' breakfast. On the horizon there are the first pale traces of the sun getting ready to rise.
All the genius and glory of God are somehow represented by these two scenes, not to mention what Saint Paul calls God's foolishness.
The original creation of light itself is almost too extraordinary to take in. The little cook-out on the beach is almost too ordinary to take seriously. Yet if Scripture is to be believed, enormous stakes were involved in them both and still are. Only a saint or a visionary can begin to understand God setting the very sun on fire in the heavens, and therefore God takes another tack. By sheltering a spark with a pair of cupped hands and blowing on it, the Light of the World gets enough of a fire going to make breakfast. It's not apt to be your interest in cosmology or even in theology that draws you to it so much as it's the empty feeling in your stomach. You don't have to understand anything very complicated. All you're asked is to take a step or two forward through the darkness and start digging in.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Counting :: sabbath ::

A celebration of life.  A celebration of with.  A celebration of thanks.

We aren't usually apart quite so often.  He turned 46 five days ago - 11 hour work days don't afford pause for festivities.  This day gave us interlude.  This day we communed.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Counting :: Intervals ::

10 AM - Tasting the past.  Heirloom tomato smorgasbord @ farmer's market.

2 PM - Clean, for the moment.  You would think after 13 years of weekly baths she might enjoy it.

4:3PM-  not the proper time.  It just could not wait (or, rather, I could not wait).  Dreaming about this all day!
Spinach GF DF pasta, filled with artichoke hearts, garlic, & white mushroom (I put manchego in J's portion), topped with basil pesto (cheese free), portobellos, and Kumatos.
Pasta receipt:
1 tablespoon of hemp oil
1 cup of room temperature water
1/2 c fresh spinach, pureed
2 cups of Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour
A pinch of sea salt

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the olive oil and water.  If the dough is sticky after thoroughly kneading it, then add in a little bit of flour and continue to knead it.  Repeat this process until the dough is no longer sticky. Let dough sit in a tightly wrapped container for 30 minutes.  Divide into 2 halves.
Remember to keep the surface well floured so that the dough does not stick.   Roll out dough to between 1/4 & 1/8 inch thick.
Scoop your filling (I used this) onto one sheet of dough in even spacings... I did 2".  Using a damp pastry brush, brush between filling.  Lay on top sheet of dough.  Use pastry wheel or pizza cutter or knife to cut between and create your raviolis.  
They only need to gently boil 3-4 minutes!

What were you counting today?

― Ann Voskamp

Friday, August 02, 2013

Counting :: vittles & tuck :: {with reicpes!}

 #1 ~ Breakfast - Summer's synonym is berry, I think.  Strawberries & Blackberries here.

#2 ~
Simple fare:  pico de gallo, korean rice "crackers", babaganoush
I'm not an eggplant fan.  I find the skin tough and often the seeds are left in and it's unpleasant.  How about you?  You either, eh?  I have one word for you - Babaganoush!  It transforms this little beauty into a righteous dude!  Here's the (so easy!) recipe:

I like my Babaganoush super-smoky, and leave the eggplants on the stovetop for a good ten minutes, but for most people, that’s probably too much. Five or so minutes, until the skin gets a bit charred, is probably right for most “normal” folks.
Sometimes I add a pinch of ground cumin. If you do, please just add just a bit. Babaganoush shouldn’t taste like cumin. It adds just a bit more smokiness.  :)
  • 3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, lightly dry-toasted
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice + the zest of one lemon.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (more if it isn't "smoothing")
  • a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. 
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. 
Storage: refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.
Serve drizzle with olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers for dipping.  My favorite way to eat it is with slices of cucumber and dolloped inside of mushroom caps!  It also makes a great 'sauce' for pizza.  I cook the pizza crust first, let in cool and then top it with Baba, spinach, mushrooms, Almond cheese, seeded tomatoes, and green onion.  Pop it back into the oven (400F) for moments (just to warm a bit), and then eat the entire thing!  It's so delish!
AND  #3 ~
Tofu (marinated in ginger, sesame and chilies) then baked crispy,  marinated mushrooms (rice vinegar, red pepper, garlic, lemon, & thyme),  & Seaweed Salad!  
You KNOW y'all are just dying to come eat at my house!
Ahhh - the solitude of being vegan, GF, SF, YF.  
Well, I thought it was delectable!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Counting :: in White ::

Sheets, windblown and sun dried on the line
                  Escaped downiness from freshly mended pillows
             Eyelet dresses the instantly make you feel feminine 

"I want to sense long whatever time holds." ~A.Voskamp

Monday, July 29, 2013

Counting fish...

There is a story in the Bible of a long night spent fishing and bone weary fishermen who hear from a man on shore that they should cast one more time... they do and can barely pull in the net. It doesn't tear, even though it should.  I was reminded this morning by Ann that that wasn't the whole story.  The part of the story that most skip right over is that there were 153 fish.  Someone counted them.  Then the man on shore called for them to come and eat. And because they had counted the fish, and because the net hadn't torn, and because it all came about after a long night of casting and hauling in nothing, they didn't even question who the man at the edge of the water with breakfast on the fire was.  They. Just. Knew.   Only one gives grace like that.  

Yesterday J & I had errands to run.  He prodded me to count the fish.  To look for and tally the graces.  

Here are a few that we have snagged after what has felt like a very long night of casting:

friendship.  long. enduring. deep. easy.

familiar.  knowing. rooted. peace. understanding.

 family.  belonging. security. cherish. solace.

feats.  neo-Hobbits. feather-ruffling. provision. fulfilling.

findings.  question. enchantments. encounter. thrive.

fella.  weather. strength. flame. smooth.  :D

Six, & counting... grace upon grace. Net growing heavy, yet it will not tear.
Count with me.  What graces are your nets so full of that you can barely haul them aboard?