Friday, August 19, 2011

Pie With Heart

Sometimes I think I should get rid of all my cookbooks.  You can Google any recipe you want on the internet.  And I do that often.  But one of the things I love about cooking from church cookbooks is making recipes of people I know.  It’s fun to think of them when I cook and how their family must have enjoyed the recipe too. 


I make a manicotti recipe that is one of our favorites.  That one is from my friend’s mom.  They lived in the house across the street from where my sister lives now.  One night when we were having a sleepover the toilet overflowed in the middle of the night.  And we didn’t know what to do but didn’t want to wake her parents.  So I guess we used towels to clean it up.  She probably would have rather us just wake her at 2 a.m.

Anyway, at this time of the year when people give away big bags of this stuff, it’s time to make pie.


I hadn’t made this recipe in a while and it brought back great memories of a different cook from our church, Helen.  She is a great woman of faith.  I remember her coming to Sunday school to tell us missionary stories.  I don’t even know if she is still on this earth.  But this is her pie. 

I can just hear her say what it says in the recipe, “The pineapple is what gives this pie special flavor.”  Isn’t that the truth.  I should’ve made two!

Rhubarb, Apple & Pineapple Pie

2 crusts, frozen or made from scratch

1 c. sugar

3 T. flour

1/3 tsp. salt

1 c. peeled chopped tart apple

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 c. fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut up

1/2 c. drained canned crushed pineapple

1/4 c. honey

1 T. butter or margarine

Combine sugar, flour and salt in small mixing bowl.  Place apple slices in large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Add rhubarb and pineapple and toss with sugar mixture.  Spoon into unbaked pie shell.  Drizzle with honey and dot with butter.  Moisten pastry overhang with water.  Top with crust and slash vents or make a lattice top.  Press edges together and flute.  Place pie in a 450 degree oven and immediately reduce to 350 degrees.  Bake 60-75 minutes or until center is bubbly and crust is brown. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Performance Driven Mommy

Do you know a super mom?  I think we all know someone who fits the description.   She is easy to spot because she: looks great, has tons of energy, keeps a spotless house, has patience with her kids and volunteers tirelessly.  She works full-time and still has time to socialize.  She’s someone you wish you could be a little more like.  Everyone applauds her for all the tasks she’s performed so well. 

Reality in mothering looks nothing like the way I pictured it being.  I thought I could do and be all those things if I just tried hard enough.  And when I fail I feel like a loser.  I can’t be just like the super moms I know because I’m just me.  Just plain old lazy me.  We want love and acceptance.  The only way we know how to get it is by trying hard to perform. 

There are lots of reasons women want to be super moms.  Most of them are good reasons.  We want to be the best we can be for our kids.  Hey, we only get one shot at raising them!  We want to help them learn and grow and be productive members of society.  We want good relationships with them because family is important. 

Maybe there are even Godly reasons.  Doesn’t God want us to be the very best as a mom?  To nurture our kids’ hearts toward Him?

Well, yes He does.  But not necessarily by trying harder.  If we just try hard and harder, we can miss the point and fall into performance driven motherhood where we end up running frantically after the idea of perfection.  We think only about performing our tasks well so we will be deemed worthy by others of our “Mom” title. 

I’m good and worthy of love if my house is clean. 

And my kids are clean and well-dressed. 


If I cook a nice meal.  That’s edible.

If I spend lots of time with my kids.  With no iPod in front of my face.

If I buy my kids the presents and goodies they want. 

If I take my kids on outings. 

If I am fit and beautiful.

It’s easy to make our worth dependent of our efforts.  But they are not.  God loves us no matter what.  He created us just the way he wanted us to be.  He loves me whether or not my house is messy. 

Or my kids are still in their pajamas at…what time is it?  Oh yes, 4:00 p.m. 

Or if I make hot dogs for supper. 

Or I’m still holding on to a few post-pregnancy pounds. 

Maybe I don’t have the energy to sign up for every committee at my kids’ school. 

Or at church.  *gasp*

Maybe I spent time reading my book instead of being fully invested in my kids’ world. 

But if our worth and love are dependent on our performance then we have a problem.  Because God is love.  God’s love is not defined by performance.  He loves us no matter what.  Messy or clean.  Large or small.  Happy or sad.  Energetic or slothful.  God loves us. 

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:8-10

If we make our love and worth dependent on our performance we are undermining the faithfulness of God’s love.  God says He loves us.  Period.  If we make it based on our performance then we make him a liar.

Now, does God want us to make good choices?  Does He want us to work at being there for our kids and being healthy?  I think so.  But that’s never the basis for His love. 

I hate feeling like a loser, misfit mom.  I thought I would outgrow that but it keeps creeping back into my life and my mind.  When I let those attitudes win, I’m not trusting Christ.  I’m not trusting His love .  I’m not trusting His promise that we are worth His very life.  Not because of what we do, but because of who He made us to be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Help

Mike and I snuck out to a late movie last night.  One of the new found freedoms of having kids old enough to babysit!  I wanted to see “The Help” but I didn’t think Mike would want to.  He agreed.  When we sat down in the theater surrounded by women, he muttered, “Oh great, I’m in a chick flick!”

But we both loved it.  The previews showed a lot of the funny parts so I thought it was going to be more of a comedy.   It’s actually a gripping tale of civil rights days in the south.  At the end of the movie, no one got up to leave.  We all just sat there as the credits rolled. 

I wish I would have read the book first, but I had never heard of it.  That happened to me with Eat, Pray, Love too.  I guess I don’t keep up on pop culture very well!

There were a few things themes I was intrigued by.  Mainly, courage.  The women in the movie show great courage in the face of hatred.   Throughout the movie, there are characters I wondered if might rise to the occasion.  The mom did.  She realized how wrong her actions had been and took a stand.

But there is another character that does not.  I hoped through the whole movie that she would.  She is obviously conflicted by what is going on.  But in the end she does not have the courage to stand up to her friend.

So I had to wonder, do I have the courage to stand up for what’s right?  Even when it’s dangerous or stupid?  Even if no one else will stand with me?  If it means losing money, or safety or social standing? 

I certainly hope that I would be one that would risk everything for what’s right.  But it’s easier said than done.  It doesn’t feel as heroic in real life as it looks on the movie screen.  I want my kids to have that kind of courage.  There are situations in my life right now where I need that kind of courage.  Maybe it never seems heroic at the time, just lonely.

The second thing that moved me was prejudice.  We may not deal with outright racial prejudice, but it really made me wonder if there are people out there that I look down on.  Or don’t treat as well because they are different.  Or dirty.  Or have bad jobs or run down houses.

Honestly, those attitudes come out of the same ugliness that racism does.  And I do not want to be part of anything like that.  Seeing the hurt and humanness of the maids in the movie made me think hard about where other people are at in life and how I treat them.  Do I go out of my way to reach out to people on the outskirts of society or do I surround myself with people like me?  What did Jesus do? 

And finally, it seems like racism was over and done with along with beehives in the sixties.  But I wonder if it is?  I honestly don’t know.  I am thrilled we have an African American President, but what about all the other minorities?  Do they feel like racism is a thing of the past? 

It’s definitely a movie worth paying the big bucks to see.  If you’ve seen it, what did you think?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I really didn’t have much planned for August. The first few months of summer got horrendously busy. The schedules and trips and visits and surgeries and weddings just made a life of their own. So my husband and I were desperately trying to keep August open. And we did a pretty good job.

The only thing on the calendar was Girl Scout camp with my daughter’s troop for a few days. Just after that, the opportunity came up for me to go on a missions trip to help with a Vacation Bible School.

I really wanted to go help. I have a tendency to enthusiastically jump into things without praying or checking with my husband. There are just so many things I want to do! Or at least there are a lot of things I want to be in control of.

I figured it would work out since we hadn’t planned anything for August, but wouldn’t you know it happened to fall on the same week as Girl Scout camp. Jenna desperately wanted to go on the missions trip. She had no problem skipping out on camp to go. I was encouraged by the fact that I really like hanging out with the other pastors and their wives that were involved in the trip.

I was quite sure God wanted me to go on the missions trip because really, why wouldn’t he? I thought I might try to get out of Girl Scout camp. As time went on it became more and more clear that I needed to fulfill my commitment to camp. I felt at peace about that. I love doing that kind of stuff with my daughter and her friends.

So it was decided, I was off to girl scout camp. They did end up rounding up enough help for the VBS trip which was a relief. I was able to help them get the materials together for VBS so I guess I helped in a small way.

Then two days before camp, I got the stomach flu. It was gross like the stomach flu is. I had it Thursday night, Friday, Saturday… My friend graciously went to Girl Scout camp for me because seriously, they have outhouses there. I owe her big time I guess.

So here I am at home. After all the wallowing and worrying, I had to miss out on both! What gives with that? It’s not like God couldn’t have helped me get better soon enough to go. Or had these things happen on different dates. So as much as I struggled with where I should serve him and where I should go, I maybe should have stopped to ask Him. Because His answer was different than mine.

He wanted me to stay home. I can’t argue with that. The answer was plain as day. It just doesn’t seem right. Why wouldn’t it work out for me to do these trips?

Both of those opportunities are good. They are great things to be involved in. But maybe not for me at this time. Maybe I needed to be home with my family. Maybe I needed to see that God’s work will go on without me. Maybe I need to learn to listen to Jesus. I might need to be at peace with the walls He puts up in my life.

How often do I stop to listen to Jesus? And when he clearly closes doors, can I be at peace with it? I think it’s less of my problem to try to decide what to do, and more of my concern what I do with what God has given me. And where He has put me.

Whether I am at camp or VBS or home with my family, God has a purpose and plan behind what happens. I need to stop and listen, embracing what He has for me. At this season in my life, more often than not it’s here at home. I think He certainly would bless me to serve in those other areas. Just not this time. And I’m ok with that.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

James 4:13-14