Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Working away

What are you working hard at today? Is it your child's bad attitude, or moving into a new house, or maybe the challenges of your marriage as our friends at Girltalk and Covenant Life are writing about? Right now I am sitting at my work on lunch break, waiting for my husband to rescue his wife from the woes of hypoglycemia. I have been working hard at providing nutrition support services to Chandler Regional Hospital all week for the dietitian that is on vacation.
It can be easy to become discouraged when I arrive home after a full day and a workout at the gym next door, to the added responsibilities of taking care of my home and husband. I also find myself saddened at the lives of my patients who are suffering. There have been many around me lately who are suffering. On Monday I broke down sobbing, realizing that these things touch me deeply-- my friend's baby with luekemia, a young friend coming home from a bone marrow transplant, a friend who lost a baby-- and all my elderly patients whose lives are ridden with disease. You can see the despair in their eyes and in their words. The sadness and despair started to creep into my heart, coloring the struggles I battle within my own life.
But through the counsel of friends, I am working hard at seeing God through these circumstances. Janis gave me a wonderful resource in Octavius Winslow's Morning Devotions. I thought I would share his perspective on both the "deep waters" of life and the struggles of work, whether it be spiritual work or physical labor:

To see one advancing in holiness; thirsting for God; the heart fixed in its solemn purpose of entire surrender; cultivating higher views; and aiming for a loftier standard; to behold him, perhaps, carving his way to his throne through mighty opposition, "fightings without; fears within;" striving for the mastery of some besetting sin; sometimes foiling and sometimes foiled; sometimes with the shout of victory on the lip, and sometimes with the painful consciousness of defeat bowing down the heart; yet still onward; the needle of the soul, with slow and tremulous, but true and certain movement, still pointing to its glorious attraction- God; faith that can never fail; and hope that can never die; and love that can never be quenched; hanging amid their warfare and in all their weakness upon the "nail fastened in a sure place"; how is Christ, our sanctification, glorified in such a saint! ~ August 24

In the light of this truth, cultivate loving and kindly views of God. Ever view Him, ever approach Him, and ever transact your soul's affairs with Him, in and through Jesus. He is the one Mediator between God and your soul. God your Father may now be leading you through deep and dark waters. His voice may sound roughly to you. His dim outline is, perhaps, all that you can see of Him. His face seems veiled and averted; yet deal with Him now in Christ, and all your hard thoughts, trembling fears, and unbelieving doubts shall vanish. In Jesus every perfection of God dissolves into grace and love. With your eye upon the cross, and looking at God through that cross, all the dark letters of His providence will in a moment become radiant with light and glory. That God, who has so revealed Himself in Jesus, must be love, all love, and nothing but love, even in the most dark, painful, and afflictive dealings with His beloved people! ~August 23

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Golden Oppurtunity

Imagine interview for a job you dreamed about when you were seventeen. This is what is going to happen to me tommorrow. I am going in for an interview to teach nutrition at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Wealth and adventure await me. I'll let you know how it goes...


No there hasn't been any good reason for the silence over the web. I have been working clinical over the past week and then next week will be a full week of seeing patients, talking to cranky old men about not eating hamburgers and, generally speaking, saving the world from bad nutrition.
Here's a list of my favorite things from the past week or so:
~My Judiasm kick -- reading Chaim Potok's fabulous book on Hasidism, finishing The Covenant another book about current Jerusalem Jews and political unrest, and hearing our pastor speak on Pharisees and lawyers from Luke 11.
~Diving into my first Proust book and becoming enraptured with language.
~Thunderstorms with horizontal lightning across the skies and against a dark sky.
~Rain every day this week!
~My new found love for spinning classes at the YMCA and rap/R&B music that keeps me going.
~Homemade Spicy Garbanzo Beans in a Tomato sauce with Curry Lentils.

Monday, August 14, 2006

On topic

Since we're talking about "animals" and dinner club, I thought I would post an update on our chickens and other dinner club events.
We had irrigation this weekend, so the chickens were a little traumatized. Guess who called to remind me about irrigation? I am the delinquent on the block, so it's understandable that Doug called me to remind me of when we were scheduled. But he called my cell phone at 6:15 am on Friday morning--and, yes you saw that number correctly. It was 6:15 am. Got to love the guy's commitment to local irrigation. He also called to tell me that his wife's shoulder surgery went well. Good to know. At 6:15am.
So, the chickens get bent out of shape anyways from irrigation, but then they also were confused because Travis and I pulled up the garden stakes and fencing and placed it loosely around the chicken coop to give them some more security. Ideally, it would keep them in there, but I think my chickens are just free in spirit and heart. What am I supposed to do? They like grass.They'd rather be vegetarians. Here's a picture of the babies finding a cool spot in one of my pots next to the re-feathered Arthur.
I was also trying to trap them in so that I could show the chicks to Caedan and Drew when they came for dinner club . They weren't easily persuaded even after I ran around in the ankle deep water and mud for a half-hour in my pajamas before church trying to herd them across the water to the coop area. I need to do a little more work on the fencing before it will be useful and secure.
Speaking of dinner club, I forgot to post the beautiful results of Haley's "English" meal-- you have to see this impressive Beef Wellington. It deserves full honor...much more sophisticated than my grilled pizza and burgers. I could not have attempted this. Isn't it beautiful? Beef tenderloin, pastry....who wouldn't want to be a member of our dinner club? Haley is an impressive hostess, apparently a heritage of incredible hospitality from her mother.

Weekend Joys

Wonderful things happen here in the Monsoon season...Five minutes before five, I ran out the door with a bucket, scissors and jumped into my running car. Travis said from the back room, "Honey, they're supposed to be here in five minutes!" I knew it, but I had to do this one thing. They had been flagging my attention for weeks, but here was the perfect oppurtunity, even if it wasn't exactly the perfect timing. I drove down to the end of the road and leapt up the irrigation embankment. I pulled down stalks that had grown tall, defying the desert to grow closer to the sun, cutting the blossoms and filling my bucket.
Sunflowers are a miracle to my desert eyes, having never seen such prolific volunteers on the side of the road, except in France. I woke up this morning and the first thing I said was: "I love our friends. I love having flowers!"
We love our friends, because once again we hosted dinner club last night. This time was casual because we are awaiting Erin's new baby girl in the next two weeks.
There is nothing better than good food (grilled pizza and ice cream sundaes) and the close laughter of friends and then to wave them down the driveway in the dark, tucking in sleeping babies and sleepier parents (Becky). We are also grateful that we are getting to know eachother better than ever. We played a game that my friend Patricia made up and then another friend Mr. Kyung Lee developed further; Patricia used to name people and their personalities and identify them with animals, and Mr. Lee twisted it by "naming " what the person to your left would "name" themselves. We shall not reveal who is a an "otter", a "stallion" or a "finch". Even funnier was to see why there was such a thought. It was a moment to remember when onewife was named by someone else's husband the "camel".
Are you wondering what animal my new friends think of me as? Ahh...the priviledge of secrecy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


What would everyone think if we named one of our sons "Marv"?
Travis and I fell into a fit of laughter tonight thinking about ridiculous names for our (yet to come...we're not pregnant) children.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fabulous cooking tip

Have you ever had the fabulous spaghetti squash? A squash that tastes like spaghetti without the calories of pasta? I had two of them from my food co-op and decided to cook them. So to the Joy of Cooking cookbook for directions (Because last time it turned into mush instead of strands)-- and they say to cook it in the microwave. All you do is pierce the skin a couple times with a knife, throw it into the microwave whole and 15 minutes later-- presto!!! You have to try it. Its too good to be true. Without heating up your oven you can have squash in 15 minutes! No pans!

Home Sweet Home

We're home from vacation! San Diego was wonderful and we had a great time with Travis' family on vacation. There is one thing we have to say to you San Diego weather snobs... I think we have you beat right now. This post is also for all of you suffering in the heat back East. Guess what our temperature is here? Right now outside in my backyard without the sun it is a cool 80 degrees. Almost cool enough to put a longsleeve shirt on. At least that's what we feel in comparison to the one-fifteens. And NO humidity. Did you get that? No humidity, folks. That's right-- you know what they say about the dry heat here? It's true. And I've never been more grateful for August in my life. The heat here breaks with the "monsoon season"; we get cloud cover as storms roll into the valley. They don't always provide rain, but the cool air rushes in over the mountain ranges and gives us some relief from the truely endless summer.
We are also rejoicing at all the "homes" that have been blessed with answered prayer. Rich Richardson gave a message a few Sunday's ago from Luke on "Seek, Ask, Knock", reminding us not to give up hope in a God who answers prayer. While on vacation, we found out that the Richardson's prayers were answered with the completed adoption of their new son, Luke. How apropos. Also-- our friends, Jon and Lory are expecting their first, which is an answer to prayer that she conceived. We also had news that our friend, Amy Wilhoite, has been cleared of cancer cells after several chemo treatments and bone marrow transplants. We are still in prayer for the healing of Alivia Haughery as she undergoes more treatment for what they now think is ALL. Other random answered prayers are my parents receiving a Steinway grand piano on loan from my great-uncle Teddy who moved away from Vermont to the Philippines-- just weeks after my Dad started praying for a new piano. And our other friends the (other) Richardson's just finally got a contract on their home, so that they can move into the single family one waiting for them. Yeah! A new neighbor near me!
Now we are encouraged by the answered prayers, but there are still many on our hearts here at the Ranch. We need prayer for our car troubles; God answered our prayers for a big month last month in order to clear away the honeymoon debt. But the money keeps rolling out the door as fast as it makes its way in. If you remember, we were sideswiped in San Diego in July, but now we are facing a speeding ticket on the way to San Diego this time; to top it all off, Travis was hit in the rental car two nights ago right before the body work was done on the Hyundai. Travis' computer is also dying, so once again, we are making major purchases. We are experiencing small trials in light of our friends, but they are inconveniences and make us cry out to the Lord to answer our prayers.We must be able to say, "O God we trust in you" despite our circumstances. In light of the gospel, we not only have access to a great and holy God, but we are living in light of His commitment to fulfill promises: "I will never leave you, nor forsake you" and from Habakkuk 2:3
"For still the vision awaits its appointed
time; it hastens to the end—it will
not lie. If it seems slow, wait for
it; it will surely come; it will not