Saturday, January 29, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 TBSP butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
8 oz. fideo noodles (in the hispanic section of your grocery store)
1 20 oz. pkg frozen chopped broccoli
1/2 tsp minced garlic
6 cups milk
1 lb. velveeta cheese, cubed

In a soup pot, saute onion in butter until softened.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Add noodles and boil for 3 minutes.  Stir in broccoli and garlic; bring back to a boil.  Boil until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes.  Add milk and cheese.  Cover until cheese melts.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gotta Get Through This

Now is my soul troubled.  And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'?  But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name.
                                       -John 12:27-28

Recently, someone was telling me about all of the upcoming stressors in her life.  “I just have to get through these next three weeks and it will all be over!” she said.  I sympathized.  There are many times when we all feel overwhelmed and wonder how we will ever get through it.  I know I’ve expressed the same sentiment many times.

The thing is, there have been times in the past when I’ve come to the end of one of those experiences that I wished would go more quickly and realized that it really hadn’t been all that bad.  Or, it was bad but there was a true and good and worthy reason to experience it.  Because of this, when my son was born I vowed that I would never wish my life away.  I wanted to remind myself – daily, if need be – that “this too shall pass,” and possibly all too soon.  In all honesty, there are always frustrations.  I’m pretty sure as soon as I get through my current stress, another will follow.  I think that just might be this thing called life. 

The other day, I was tempted to say, “I just have to get through this.”  A still, small voice interrupted my pity party to say, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2)  Sometimes, the Bible can be so convicting!  I confess that my initial reaction to this verse is rebellion.  My stream of consciousness goes something like this: “Really?  Really?! I mean, who does that?  I can’t say that I’ve ever known anyone to count their trials as joy.  And how am I supposed to do that?  I guess I’m just a weak Christian.  Haha, not as strong in your faith as you thought you were, huh, Amy?  Guess you’re not so holy after all.  God, am I supposed to rejoice in this stress?  Am I supposed to be thankful when bad things happen to me?  This just doesn’t make sense to my mortal mind.” 
However, I know that this way leads to despair.  Logically, if I can’t trust God with my daily struggles, how then can I trust Him for my eternity?  And so, I talk myself in circles because I truly believe in Him and would trust Him for anything.  Yet, how do I “count it all joy?”  That’s not a trust issue, right?  It’s an attitude thing, right?  Perspective?  YIKES!  It’s an eternal perspective!  Meaning, that the thing that seems so awful right now will not seem so bad in light of all of eternity!  I guess that’s how I’m supposed to count it all joy."
I have to admit that sometimes the things I wish myself through aren’t all that bad.  Other times, they are terrible.  However, if I simply exist through those tough times, then I am not reaching the full potential of communion with my Savior.  Perhaps those are the times that push me past the realm of the earthly here and now into Heavenly Communion with my Lord.  Even so, Lord Jesus!  Even so.  Give me strength.  Amen.

But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold. -Job 23:10

Sunday, January 9, 2011

String Theory

I read an article recently regarding the String Theory and the 10 dimensions that supposedly exist.  This fascinated me, and filled me with inexplicable wonder and... hope.  There is some part of me that believes there than what I can see with my eyes, smell with my nose, feel with my skin, hear with my ears, and taste with my tongue.  No; that’s not strong enough language.  Every fiber of my being longs for there to be more.

How can I explain this longing?  I have always wanted to be able to fly.  I was fascinated with the story of Peter Pan as a child.  There was nothing I wanted more than to be able to fly.  I didn’t want wings; I just wanted to be able to float.  I dreamed many, many times that I had that ability.  I can still vividly recall the exhilaration I felt in those dreams.  Many people would roll their eyes at all of this, and I know that it sounds extremely odd.  I just always wanted to believe that someday I would be able to fly.  I took this verse literally:

“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” I Thess. 4:17

Of course, this wasn’t some nonsensical idea that I could defy gravity; I was never so na├»ve as a child as to jump off the roof of the house.  I suppose my common sense reigned over any dream I’ve ever had.  In any case, this deep longing is the only way I can describe how I feel about wanting there to be more.  For me, to fly will be heaven.  I think part of it is the freedom aspect.  Another part of it is being alone with my Lord.  And one last part of it--- the sheer beauty of flight.  Who doesn't long for more beauty in life? I still cling to the belief that I will one day fly, and my soul rejoices in the thought.

Out of curiosity, I did some reading on String Theory and let me tell ya, I’m not even going to pretend to understand Quantum Physics or what a string really is.  I envision it a certain way in my mind that makes sense to me.  Whether or not it would make sense to anyone else is irrelevant.  What IS important, though, is the aspect of it that allows for ten dimensions; THAT is what fascinates me.  We "know" our existence to be in four dimensions: length, depth, width, and time. 

I am aware that there are many who would disagree that there are more dimensions than the four.  But humor me for a moment; what if there are 10 dimensions? (Or 11 as some theories assert?) What fills the other 6 dimensions?  Rather than thinking that additional dimensions disprove a Biblical account of creation (let me state right here and now that I believe the earth was CREATED by God in six days), it gives me hope that perhaps those ten dimensions explain some of the more confusing aspects of life.  What a concept!

The thought that there is more than the "known" four dimensions is such a fulfilling and exhilarating thing to me.  I want to believe that flight is possible for me in another dimension!  What if the spiritual realm exists in another dimension?  This might help our finite minds understand the limitation of time that exists for us but doesn't exist for God.  What if...?  What if...?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mommy Moments

I’ve had a few “mommy moments” lately.  Being a mom is so indescribably precious to me.  On Sunday, I got out my box of pictures of My Sweetums and all of my scrapbooking things and started working on a scrapbook.  However, the Little Mister kept interrupting me!  He needed a drink; he wanted to be held; he wanted to dance; he wanted me to play ball with him; he needed his diaper changed; it was time to eat lunch; etc.  I was starting to get a little bit frustrated, but then I said to myself, it seems a little bit ironic to say to your son, “No, son, I’m too busy scrapbooking pictures of you to play with you right now.  I’m going to need this scrapbook when you’re 30 to remember how sweet you were as a baby.”   So I played with my son!  And if I never get the scrapbook done, so be it!  Spending precious time with him is much more important than having a scrapbook of pictures. 

Lately, we’ve had some problems with him waking up in the night after months of sleeping through the night.  We were at a loss as to why, but last week I realized that it’s because he’s been getting cold!  I beefed up his bedding and it’s made a huge difference, but last night at 3:30am he woke up crying.  We usually let him cry for a little while because sometimes he’ll go back to sleep.  Not so last night; I got up and went into his room.  Poor little guy had kicked off all his covers and he was cold!  So I picked him up and snuggled him for a few minutes.  He stopped crying as soon as I picked him up and snuggled right into me.  I can’t even begin to describe how sweet it is to have little arms squeeze me back!  What a precious, precious time!  I stood there next to his crib and just enjoyed the moment, thanking God for the opportunity to hold my son and show him love.  I thought to myself, when I am 50 years old I will be glad that I got up in the middle of the night when my son was crying. I will be glad I didn’t worry about spoiling him. I will never forget how this feels.  After a few minutes, I lay him back down and tucked his blankets around him again.  I patted his back for a few minutes and he went right back to sleep.  I felt like such a blessed woman in that moment!

Never mind that I had a really hard time falling back asleep and I’m incredibly tired today. J  When he’s 30 years old and has kids of his own, I know I will be glad that I got up with him in the middle of the night.