Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Yums

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup and Cheese Toast

I made this soup from tonight for dinner along with cheese toast. Tomato soup and cheese toast is a classic Sunday night meal in the Howell (my mother's side) family. It is such a comfort food/meal for me and is extremely nostalgic. But this was so much better than Campell's tomato water soup. And impossibly simple. I had all of these ingredients on hand and it took me very little time to actually whip up.

The recipe says to use a food mill, but I just used my new immersion blender (thanks, Mom Ford!) but if you don't have one of those, a regular old blender will work just fine too. Although...I highly recommend an immersion blender, especially if you like creamy soups. Go get one. Now. As for the rest of the recipe, I didn't feel like I needed to change/add anything at all. It was basically perfect just like it is.

As for the cheese toast...easier even than grilled cheese. Which is basically what it is, except open faced. Just grab some bread, spread some butter on each slice, add about three slices of whatever kind of cheese you have on hand (I used Colby Jack this particular eveing) on top of that, and then pop it in a 350* oven until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is crisping. Bam. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

This may become a new go-to Sunday evening tradition for us. Mr. Ford nearly inhaled it, which was a relief to me since he told me after I'd already started making it that he'd never really had tomato soup before and didn't know if he liked it or not. Awesome. Fortunately he likes to try new of the approximately 4,879,204 reasons I love him...and this recipe's a keeper.

Happy Sunday!

PS - You know how I'm always saying God is faithful? Well, it's cause it's true.

Almost immediately after I posted that last blog entry, Jesus sent me exactly the answer I was waiting for. And peace for my heavy heart accompanied it. Honestly. My Jesus never fails to show me His grace and mercy and love just when I need it. He is so good. Amen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Battle and A Tea Party

Today my heart and my mind have been battling with one another. Real, ugly, exhausting battle like I've never experienced. I spent most of the day in bed, falling in and out of sleep, but even in my dreams, the battle raged on. To be raw and real with you for a moment, my soul is not at peace right now. For a number of reasons that are entirely unrelated but seem to be all ganging up together in this battle. And that is not something I'm used to.

I was feeling a little sick...literally and figuratively...and tired. Weary. Battered. And bruised. So I did the only thing I knew to do...the thing my mother taught me as a child. I made myself a pot of tea. And Jesus and I had a little tea party. We had a heart-to-heart and I was brutally honest and cried out and waited on Him and tried to invite all of the healing properties that communing over a pot of tea with Jesus should surely bring.

I would be lying if I said I walked away from that tea party healed and at peace and no longer feeling the ravages of battle. I am still feeling very broken. But I do know that the Holy Spirit showed up at our little tea party and offered for my soul to be well...which I think is different from it being at peace. I think that for my soul to be well is hope that it will be at peace again...eventually. And that is sufficient for me right now. It has to be. I am clinging to that hope. My lifelong experience of His faithfulness has to be enough for me to believe on His faithfulness to bring me the peace and the answers that my soul seeks. Even if those are not the answers that my brain seeks.

God is Love. He is Mercy. He is Grace. He is Compassion. He is Truth. He is Faithfulness. Tonight, I rest in this and wait, with a well soul, for these truths to bring peace.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Life Happens

So much life has happened since Thanksgiving and I'm so exhausted by all of it and ready to just move on to the next season, that I don't really feel like dwelling on it much. Ere-go...a bulleted list to catch you up:

-Mr. Ford and I traded being sick from the week before Thanksgiving until about the week before Christmas. This included some pulled cartilage in my ribcage that had me on my back for several days. Decidedly not awesome.

-My Grandma Maybell, wonderful woman that she was, got really sick the week before Christmas and in less than three weeks, she went home to Jesus. She had been really sick for a long time but no one knew about it because it was liver cancer and it doesn't really let you know that it's there until you or your family don't really have any time to adjust to the idea that it's there. Jerk. I hate liver cancer. I miss her terribly and am having a rather difficult time adjusting to the idea that she's gone now and will not see any of my cousins get married or see any of us have kids of our own and that she will never feel the joy of being a Great-Grandmother. I know she would have been awesome at it, because she was awesome at being a Grandmother.

-God is good all the time, even when it seems like He isn't being good. I was reminded of that during the pain of the experience with my Grandma. All four of her kids were able to be here and as the oldest grandchild and, I suppose I can admit and even embrace it now, an adult (eep!), I was in a position where I was able to help and gain some life experience and be more intimately bonded to my parents, my aunts, and my uncles. In all of the craziness of that month, I was able to see all of these people and know them in a way that I don't think many kids ever have the opportunity to know their aunts and uncles or even their parents. The family time that came out of it is a treasure and it was healing, for me at least. There are specific moments in that experience that were so raw and deeply intimate and the closest to true community that I think I have ever experienced in my lifetime. I'm grateful for that and for each one of my Aunts and Uncles. And my parents. God is good. End of story.

-In the midst of all of that, my employer was exceptionally not understanding and I quit my job. I was immediately relieved, as I had been truly miserable there, to the point of having issues of integrity with what was being asked of me and not liking who I was at that job. I was (and am) extraordinarily grateful for a husband who saw what it was doing to me and encouraged me to make a change. And that he trusted the Lord to be faithful to us. It was scary to walk away with nothing to fall into. But it was the right decision. And the Lord has provided. More on that in a moment...

-As a result of not working, I have been blessed enough to have a more complete taste of what it is really like to be at home, the way I long to be. And I love it. And I think my husband does too. :) I have felt more alive and more like myself than ever before. To be able to focus on making my home an environment in which intimacy can flourish, in all of it's manifestations, has been an incredible gift. Not that I ever had a doubt, but all doubt is now firmly and completely banished from my mind that this is what I am MEANT to do.

-As true as that is, however, the fact remains that at this moment in life, we need a little extra cash-flow. Reality bites sometimes. But...God is good and He is faithful. My father called me a few nights ago and said that he knew of someone who needed a nanny two days a week and that they would be calling me. They did, we set up an interview, and today, I was offered the position! It is perfect for our situation. It gives me the opportunity to truly invest in children, bring in a little extra cash for our petite family, and it still leaves me plenty of time to invest in my home as well. Less than a month from the day I quit my last job with no prospects, I have a new one. I am beyond thrilled and grateful for the Lord's provision. He is so good to us and I cannot say it enough. All glory goes to Him.

-Aaand...Mr. Ford has begun taking classes again and he is working to improve his situation at work which will improve our family situation. He is being bold and intentional and I am so proud of him. On top of all of that, he is also looking for an internship to help give him the start he needs down his ultimate career path. I am so grateful for him and his desire to provide for me.

Life happens. Sometimes it all comes at once and overwhelms. But in the middle of it all, and really, over it all, is my Jesus. Watching, guiding, and providing. 2012 did not start out so well, but I think it's beginning to turn around. The Fords have big plans and big goals for this year and the Lord is forever faithful and forever good.

Amen and amen.