February 15, 2010

thought for the day: here I am Lord

It's not everyday that I wake up and ask myself, "what should I do today?". Unless I'm on vacation this just isn't a normality in my life. Annoying even to myself most of the time, I have every hour of every day planned a month in advance and at least a good rough draft of the next few months.

This past Monday I had the pleasant surprise of finding out rather late the week prior that I didn't work the following Monday. Normally I spend my days off, running errands, doing laundry, cleaning house and doing many other tasks I've assigned for myself. However this day was different, I didn't assign myself any tasks and tried to not clean the dog hair off the floor that just two days earlier was cleaned thoroughly.

Truth be told, I just didn't have any time to plan for the day. But, somehow I think that it was meant to be. I needed to relax and not have an agenda, for just a day. So instead, I slept in, had coffee and read my Bible with Ryan, fixed breakfast, watched a little TV, did three loads of laundry, went for a 5 mile run, showered, got ready, went grocery shopping, made cookies, made Ryan's lunch for the next day and played cards with my mom, cousin and two great aunts.

I tell you this to introduce you to my thought for the day that literally popped into my head somewhere between mile 2 and 3 of my run. I set it up in this way to give you a glimpse into how I normally operate; schedules, to-do-lists and the like.

Having a plan isn't necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes it can be. It can be a bad thing when it gets in the way of listening to the Lord and allowing Him to plan your day, or your life. I think part of the reason I have been so frustrated lately with my life and all the things I have going on is because it's my plan, and may not be the Lord's plan for me.

So, like I said, during my run, I had this thought impressed on my mind. What if I woke up every morning and just said, "what would You like for me to do today Lord?" Immediately this thought gave me a strange peace. Could it be that in my "control" I'm actually out of control? Are my plans and busy schedules inferring with the plans my Master has for me? Is my mind so full of schedules and agendas such as asking my husband at midnight what kind of cheese he wants on his burger for dinner the next day, that I can't even hear the Lord's voice asking me to do something?

Right now I am reading through the Bible. We see the Lord calling Abraham in Genesis 22:1, "Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said "Hear I am." This occurred just before the Lord blessed Abraham and told him that he was going to greatly multiply his descendants.

In Exodus chapter 3 we see Moses also being called by the Lord. We know that it is a very important job that the Lord was going to give to Moses, to return to Egypt and free the Israelites. Moses was just tending the sheep when he was called by the Lord in verse 4 of chapter 3 we read, "When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said "Here I am."

I could be missing out on something the Lord wants me to do, someone He wants me to talk to, or something He wants me to say unless I really lay aside my own agenda and let Him have it. It could be that I still get up and go to work every morning and fix dinner every night and even clean house and go grocery shopping. That's all Moses was doing when he was called of the Lord. I want to be able to say that when the Lord called me, I heard Him and said, "Here I am Lord".

February 4, 2010

yummy banana nut bread

It's nothing new, but since I seem to be unable to eat all the banana's that I buy before they go bad, I freeze the ones that start to turn brown until I have collected about three or so, and then I make some banana nut bread.
When I was in collage, my roommates and I would make this amazingly delicious banana bread. It was so good. Honestly, I remember the batter more then the finished product, but I'm sure it was good too. Unfortunately, the recipe is nowhere to be found. But, just the other day I noticed a recipe for Banana Bread on the back of my flour sack. I mean, what better place to find all my recipe's, right?

So, I thought I would give it a try. I made them in these little mini loaf pans so I could share them with family and friends. It's called, "Best-Ever Banana Bread" so I thought I'd share....

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)

1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms of 2 8x4 inch loaf pans.
2. In large bowl, mix sugar and butter. Add eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and nuts until moistened. Pour batter into pans.
3. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove form pans to cooling rack. Cool about 1 hour.


February 3, 2010

the room where we do our living

Our 740 square foot abode is a work in progress. Slowing new decorations are added or old ones moved around in hopes that they just look like new decorations.

This is our living room and it has recently had a new addition to it. It wasn't much, but really seemed to transform the space. I had these simple little curtains I bought at IKEA shoved in my closet for at least a year. I finally got around to getting a rod to put them on and the other day my handy husband did the install. I don't have a "before" photo and this one doesn't really do it justice, but we really like them!

That's pretty much it for our living room. I'll just showcase one other item that isn't new, but is a favorite.

Ryan and I found this painting in a vintage store in Seattle. I was not a fan, but Ryan really liked it. I kinda put my foot down and we walked out of the store empty handed.

I knew that Ryan really wanted it though, so upon our return to Portland, I called the shop, bargained over the phone for a better price, had a friend pick it up and drop it off in Portland when he was in town and gave it to Ryan that Christmas. Needless to say, this item not so loved by myself at first is slowing becoming one of my favorite items in the house and might just shape the future decorating genre of our home, but we'll see...