Monday, October 24, 2011

Southern Living

I recieved a subscription to Southern Living and I have loved it. They have so many amazing recipes: some easy, some more difficult. They had a recipe for Spinache and Artichoke dip in the October issue. We made it last night and loved it. We love the publix dip and it's very comparable. I would recommend maybe doing half the spinach instead of the whole package. Otherwise it's super creamy and delicious. Also, we did cut the mayonaise by half (probably even a little less than half) and used more sour cream instead. 
They also had a recipe for turnips that I'm hoping to try tonight.
Provided I can find some turnips...Publix was out last night.

Reading Three Cups of Tea and The Help

I've been reading a lot lately; not power reading but consistently. Man have there been some great books! Everytime I say, "man that's the best book I've ever read"; I start reading a new book that makes me think it again. I recently finished Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and thought "what a great story!" The man gives and gives, and the people are so wonderful. One of my favorite quotes for the book is, "When I die, I want to be all used up." A librarian who is on the board for building these schools wears a necklace with those words on it.  Tears instantly filled my eyes and my heart was overwhelmed with conviction. I thought "how powerful," she doesn't associate with any religion but has the mantra for her life to be busy and useful. I know the eternal hope that Jesus has given me, but what has it inspired me to do? Not enough. The book also addresses how many Americans have made most Middle-Easterners out to be Taliban related, at least in our minds. It's a better picture of what Islam and what many peoples' village life looks like. I'm not saying that I believe in Islam; in fact, I do not. I believe Jesus to be what he said he was, "the way, the truth, the life," NOT ONE of the ways or truths. It was beneficial to get another perspective of Islam in my head instead of the "bomb 'em all, let Allah sort them out" mentality that has been prevalent. Anyway, this book is definitely on my "Books I Recommend" list. This book is a mind-changer, even if it's not a life-changer. The story is informative, disheartening at times, and inspirational. As a spin off from this story I've picked up a book, Taliban by Ahmed Rashid and Christians and Muslims at the Table.

I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett on Thursday. It is definitely another "best story I've ever read/seen/heard." I saw the movie, and I'd have to say, I've never seen another movie and book follow each other so closely. Many times it's word for word quotes from the book. Yet, when I read the book, after seeing the movie, it was not redundant at all.  In fact, halfway through I remember thinking, "I cannot wait to read this again." Throughout the story I felt that I could hardly relate to these "white women." I cannot imagine being raised to do no work and solely focus on entertaining myself and others.  If you know my Mama, you know she goes to sleep tired, because she accomplishes much with each day.  Their lifestyle seems foreign. I don't want to be insensitive and say that I understand what it would be like to be treated differently/less because of my skin color. I do not. I probably will never be able to, but this story makes you imagine that. Kathryn Stockett says that trying to understand these chasms are essential. I completely am on board. I know that I can't reach Holiness, but it's my duty and delight to "work out my salvation with fear and trembling."(Phil 2:12) Honestly, I think this book should be part of church curriculum, if for nothing else than to start the conversation about modern race issues. The gospel is the great equalizer, because we know that we were ALL made in God's image and have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Genesis 1:27 & Romans 3:23)

On a lighter note, while reading I felt closer to the "help" and "Skeeter". I couldn't believe they cleaned the windows every four weeks. We have been out of town a lot and so busy when home that, my home hasn't felt like the home I try to keep. After reading that chapter where Minnie outlines her cleaning habits, I went and started cleaning the windows in our bedroom -- it's a start.

I loved this book; I loved the movie. I'ts one of the best stories I will ever hear.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today is our 3rd anniversary. I'm so thankful that God doesn't always give you what you think is best for you. We've been talking about relationships in my youth group small group, and many people like to write a list of the things they want in a mate.  Well, I've realized that if I would have written down what I wanted, it wouldn't have been Andrew.  I would have written down characteristics of me, and two of me would be obnoxious. I'm glad God knew better than me. I love you, Andrew. I'm glad I have Andrew to learn how to be grown ups with. I'm glad he's fun and energetic and teaches me how to not be too serious about everything. I love that when we met in college, i was lonely and he felt like home, like family. We became best friends. Thanks for being my best friend for seven years and becoming my family. Thanks for knowing our potential and significance before I did. We've enjoyed our three years of marriage and the excitement it's brought and look forward to this coming year and all the rest.