Sunday, May 3, 2015

Memories



Towards the end of Easter weekend, my mom gave a set of beautiful stemware to me that she's been storing in her basement. The set includes water glasses, wine glasses and after-dinner drink glasses. They are a family heirloom and remarkably delicate. So much so that I was almost afraid to use them. Almost. Until today that is. 


Pomegranate Italian Soda. Perfectly refreshing on this warm, summer spring day.

And actually, let's just be real, the main reason I wanted to use them was to have the Sea Salt Caramel Gelato in something fancy and since the flavors are so intense you only need a little bit. 

Those little after-dinner drink glasses were a perfect fit.


As we enjoyed using these rare stemware pieces, I couldn't help but think of my Granny.  How she made all of us laugh.  Salami on buttered toast.  The stories she shared with me in my adult years.  Zitrone Creme on Easter Sunday (the closest thing we have to this refreshing lemon-flavored German dessert is yogurt fluff-but it really can't compare).  The countless board and card games we would play together at my mom's house.  Good memories.  Thankful I'll get to see her again someday.



Monday, April 27, 2015

Dining In

So, when we were on vacation a few weeks back we had the privilege of going to Whole Foods, a store we don't have where we live (well there is one 2 hours away - but that's not ideal for weekly grocery shopping). While there, we picked up some fresh pasta. 

If you've never had fresh pasta, you're missing out. And be warned, once you try it you'll never want anything but!

For my friends who've had it - you know the amazing-ness of which I speak.

Anyhoo, tonight for dinner we had this:



Fresh angel hair pasta with organic pasta sauce.

Organic mixed greens and romaine lettuce, topped with gorgonzola cheese and grape tomatoes, dressed with my favorite homemade vinaigrette recipe* I found on the Food Network website. 

Delish.

Happiness all around.

Do you make your own salad dressing or sauce? Tell me about it and share it in the comments, I love getting new ideas.


*In an effort to eat clean I skip the brown sugar.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Saying YES

So I woke up Sunday feeling a little under the weather, but didn't want to miss church because I hadn't attended my own church for the past few weeks since we'd been out of town for Easter and then on vacation after that. What started out as a "not-so-great" day turned out to be one of the best days ever.

While on vacation, I picked up a little Bible study/devotional by Lysa Terkeurst titled What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, this devotional has been motivating me to say YES to God more and more each day. And Sunday was no exception.

It all started during service as my pastor preached on Matthew 6, challenging us to selflessly say YES in five specific areas: Giving, Prayer, Fasting, Faithful Stewardship and Trust. As I bowed my head and heart in preparation to take communion, I humbly offered a YES to God in one specific area. After a few encouraging conversations with several friends I headed out the door.

As I got into my car, I checked my cell phone (as I often do) and noticed a missed call from a friend I hadn't talked to in a while. There was no voicemail associated with the missed call so I assumed it was a mis-dial. After a little shopping, however, the voicemail came in. My friend was asking if I would have time that day to talk to her daughter. Another opportunity to say YES to God. As I ministered that day separately to daughter first, then mom, I realized that a lot of what I'd gone through with my own daughter over the past year was all worth it because God gave me the words to say and the grace and gentleness to say them with. I left their home knowing that God would use the conversations we'd had to continue to minister to them and restore their relationship.

Soon after arriving home, my daughter asked if we could get out of the house for a little while. My teen daughter asking me to spend time with her? A resounding YES to that! One of my favorite things to do is to study scripture near water. It doesn't have to be an ocean, it can be a river, lake, pond or even a bubbling brook. So off we went to the river near our home, and while it wasn't great weather for sitting outside, we were able to just sit in the car and enjoy the sunshine. During this time, the Bible study asked me to choose three Fruits of the Spirit to focus on this week during my quiet time with the Lord. I really sought His help and after prayerful consideration I chose Love, Patience, and Gentleness.

About this same time, I received a text from another friend, inviting me over to have dinner with her and her wee ones while her husband was traveling out of town. I don't get to see this gal as often as I like so I said YES and headed over to her house. As we bowed our heads to pray over the meal, she prayed for us as moms that "we would be patient with our children, loving on them, and gentle in how we interact with them". Did you catch that? If that's not confirmation from Him that I chose the right fruits to focus on this week, I don't know what is.

As I left her house, again I received another call from a friend. Yet again I said YES and answered.

When I finally laid my head on my pillow that night, my heart soared with gratitude towards God. I had said YES to Him and He blessed me with a grateful heart. Friend, you never know what saying YES to God may look like, but trust me, it'll be worth it!

Grace and peace,
Vanessa