Thursday, 13 October 2011

Black Thumb

It's pretty much common knowledge in my house that I have a black thumb. I love flowers and plants; but when it comes to their care I either do not do enough or too much and inevitably, my flowers die.

So this autumn, I invested $6 in mums knowing they probably wouldn't last.

I put them where they would get some full-sun; but when it came to watering, I delayed, delayed, delayed. And they wilted, wilted, wilted.

When my mother-in-law came last month, she spent some time cutting them back and assured me they could be saved.

It's been a long month waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting some more.

But with more frequent watering, plenty of sunlight, and a little recycling of used coffee grounds, a month later, I have my plant back.

My mum-in-law helped me save these yellow mums.

My life is a little like these mums. 

I have a tendency to get really focused on one thing. And leaving other integral and crucial parts of my life untouched.

When I lose focus, a part of me slowly starts to die, but as soon as I open myself up to receiving nourishment, the more important parts of my life come back into clear focus and I thrive again.

Like the mums pictured above, I know God has given a beauty and a loveliness to me; but also like these mums I have parts that have not yet bloomed. Parts that God is constantly working in me. Like a gardener delights in getting his hands in the dirt, planting a seed, and watching it grow, our God is slowly, carefully, and beautifully pruning me into what He desires me to be. And the best part is, He's willing to get His hands dirty with me. He loves me that much that He is with me every step of the way.

I'm thankful for grace.

Undeserving. Beautiful. Amazing. Grace.

Friday, 7 October 2011


It's hard to believe that about this time last year I was busy preparing for our trip to Hawaii.

Several times in the last few months, my husband and I have made random comments about our desire to go back.
A personal photo from the beach at the
Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island
(November 2010).
And next week, some friends of ours are moving there.
We are really sad to see them go; but so excited for them.
I mean, how can we not be excited for them? It's Hawaii. It's paradise. It's incredible.
And part of me is secretly hoping that it might be in our future, too. To live there.
So we invited our friends over tonight and I am so glad that we did. I had no idea that they were already living in temporary housing and that the last three nights they've been eating out.
We wanted to send them off with a little taste of Hawaii in Nebraska so we made Hawaiian Chicken with brown rice and cilantro, a Hawaiian fruit salad, and dinner rolls.
I searched high and low for King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread, but nobody carries it. I know I've seen it in Nebraska before so I am thinking that it must be a seasonal thing, for holidays and such. I also wanted to serve Mauna Loa Chocolate covered macadamia nuts, but they too must be seasonal offering. So we did brownies a la mode.
I don't think you can go wrong with brownies and ice cream.
But it was so much fun to visit with them one last time before they depart for their new home approximately 4,525 miles away. We're so thankful for their friendship and hopeful we'll see each other again some day!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Banana Crumb Muffins

Tonight is absolutely gorgeous. The weather is just right. And it is the fourth of October.

I wish I could bottle up tonight and keep it forever. It is that beautiful outside. Such a blessing.

Since giving up time wasters like cable TV and Facebook, I have accomplished so much more.

Don't get me wrong, I still have lots of projects that are in a "holding pattern."

But I have started writing letters to my daughter for her to read one day. In fact, I've enjoyed writing so much that I've started writing my friends, too.

I have read several books; but only one of them was the kind of good read that you get lost in. The kind you could spend hours reading all day. The kind that is so good you almost want to delay finishing it because you really do not want it to end.

I've started (and finished some) projects.

I've begun working on a small aviation-related project and have actually been paid. My business is close to earning it's first real dollar this year.

And I'm starting a new volunteer opportunity that I am super excited about. I still have some more training to do; but as soon as I am as good as done, I want tell all about it.

And I've been baking.

All the windows are open in the house. A pleasant breeze is coming in. And I just felt it was a baking night.

We had some very ripe bananas so I figured I should make good use of them. Banana bread is a favorite in our house; but I imagined something different.

This recipe has quickly become a new favorite!

Happy Fall!