Countdowns…

This will be a busy semester as I wrap up my graduate program and internship and continue to balance an overwhelming to-do list each day. As I sit and finalize my list of to-do’s of what I would like to accomplish today, I’m reminded of all the special things that I love most that are quickly coming…

  • 19 days and counting to the first official day of fall… and the official beginning of my absolute favorite time of the year (late September through December)… with cozy sweaters and comforting food and caramel apple spiced everything…
  • 26 days and counting to mine and Tony’s 5 year anniversary… we may still be in the newly married category, but come on – 5 years is still a mile-marker!
  • 77 days and counting to Thanksgiving week… which we will be spending with family in a cabin in the mountains, hopefully surrounded by the beautiful colors of fall leaves…
  • 82 days and counting to… the beginning of Christmas music being played in our home and one of mine and Tony’s favorite weekends together decorating for Christmas…
  • 99 days and counting to Tony’s birthday (birthdays are always a big deal at our house) AND my very last final for graduate school!
  • 103 days and counting to… GRADUATION!! And hopefully a much less consuming to-do list…
  • 112 days and counting to Christmas… Oh, the cookies and goodies that will be made, the parties with family and friends, the sipping hot chocolate by a warm fire watching all our traditional holiday movies…
  • 119 days and counting to a New Year… of plans and a “new kind of normal” around the Hill house without multiple jobs and classes and homework… hopefully a little more time for spontaneity and relaxed time with friends and family…

There are some big days and good times coming… and I can’t wait!

You, Lord, are my shepher…

You, Lord, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod
makes me feel safe.
(Psalm 23:1-4, Contemporary English Version)

I had never really read from this particular version of Scripture before, but I liked how it worded this Psalm that I’ve heard so many times. A fellow staff member read it at one of my meetings yesterday and it resonated with me during a morning when I needed a little extra comfort in starting my day.

patience |ˈpāSHəns|: n…

patience |ˈpāSHəns|: noun
the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset

Just a friendly reminder…

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and PATIENCE, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:10-12, NIV1984).

“A man’s wisdom gives him PATIENCE; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11, NIV1984).

“Finishing is better than starting. PATIENCE is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:8, NLT).

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and PATIENCE. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:12-13, NLT).

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners —of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his UNLIMITED PATIENCE as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:15-18, NIV1984)

My Outdoor Space

I love flowers… but, I haven’t been a huge fan of gardening. I have found, though, that digging and planting and watering is worth the work for the results. So each spring and fall Tony and I take one day/weekend to gather some new flowers, plants, mulch, etc. and work on the maintenance and adding to our our yard/flower beds. We are pretty low maintenance, so whatever loves lots of heat and little water is what we go with. Weeding is often a low priority on our to-do list, so my dad will often pull what he sees and leave a pile on our front steps whenever he comes to visit. The leaving of the pile on the front steps is important because he wants to be sure we know what he’s done, haha… what a good man. Our goal this spring for our planting day was to create a more cozy space on our deck by adding more plants/flowers. I think we did a great job; and, I’ve been working really hard to water them most every morning to prepare them for our 90 plus degree Tennessee days. We also tried pots of strawberries, blueberries and herbs (basil, parsley, dill, cilantro) this year. We’ve had a handful of berries to eat, but the herbs have been out of control. We pretty much eat basil and parsley with every meal. I can’t express how great it’s been to be able to grab some herbs from the backyard while I’m cooking! And, so much cheaper than buying them at the store. Maybe next year we’ll add some peppers or green beans… whatever we can plant, forget about and cross our fingers will turn out fantastic! 🙂

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Trust Me and don’t be af…

Trust Me and don’t be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Do not let fear dissipate your energy in trusting Me and singing My Song. The battle for control of your mind is fierce, and years of worry have made you vulnerable to the enemy. Therefore, you need to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts. Do not despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to Me. Your constant need for Me creates an intimacy that is well worth all the effort. You are not alone in this struggle for your mind. My Spirit living within you is ever ready to help in this striving. Ask Him to control your mind; He will bless you with Life and Peace.

…today’s thought from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (2004, p. 170)

“See, God has come to save me.
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
The LORD GOD is my strength and my song;
he has given me victory.” (Isaiah 12:2, NLT)

“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.” (Romans 8:5-8, The Message)

Dinner Tonight…


   

Trying something new tonight…    

Zucchini Patty Sandwiches

Most recipes in my house typically get altered. We either work to leave out some fat… some dairy… something we just don’t like… something we just don’t have… or add in something that is our favorite that will surely make the recipe better to our tastebuds. Making a recipe your own is where all the fun is! For us, that well-loved addition is often mushrooms. I realize they are a love ’em or hate ’em ingredient, but I don’t know what we would do without them! For this recipe, I’m probably going to use 1/2 the chickpeas and add in portabella mushrooms. As for the actual patty, I usually don’t have much luck with (1) them binding together or (2) the frying in the pan part. Both probably have to do with the fact that I alter the recipe, haha. And, I like to try new things so often, I rarely come back to try to perfect a particular recipe. So, we’ll see how this goes. Here’s to hoping Tony will be content with a meatless meal! If not, I’m at least pairing the patties with his favorite…

Sweet Potato Fries

Our favorite blend of seasonings:

  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

I simply eyeball the measurements, adding in more or less of something depending on my mood at the moment. We cut the potatoes about the size of Wendy’s fries (the trick is to try to get them all to be evenly sized). Put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil (too much will make them soggy), sprinkle with seasonings and then stick in the oven on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or so. I flip them about every ten minutes until they are a little brown and crispy. Again, everyone’s different, so find the right seasonings and cooking time for you! The BEST method is on the grill, but because our grill is nearing it’s end, controlling the heat is a little difficult. I’m guessing we’ll stick with the oven tonight.

How it actually went…

Tony decided he wanted to do everything on the grill. We put the “fries” in the oven on 450 for approximately 20 minutes while I made the patties (we added roasted red pepper, mushrooms of course and just a little bit of asiago cheese – I also only put 1/3 of the can of chickpeas and used an egg and a half to help bind everything). Then, we transferred everything to the grill. I put about 1.5 Tbsp of olive oil on a griddle we have that was made to use on the grill and that’s how we cooked the patties. The fries were on some grilling foil. For plating the patties, I used a piece of flatboat (also heated on the grill with a little olive oil) and spread a spoonful of sour cream instead of yogurt – again, that’s what I had in the fridge, and then added a few pieces of iceberg lettuce. Here’s a pic of Tony’s plate… I was so excited that the patties stuck together!!

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