Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

6 inches January 31, 2009

Filed under: Creativity — mrswade @ 5:51 pm
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I threw my first pot on Tuesday!  The goal of your first cylinder is to pull it up to 6 inches.  I reached 6 inches and then some!  It was exciting, but then my teacher yelled “curve breaker” in kind of a sing-songy way (slightly embarrassing).  Then he came over to me, had the whole class gather round and yell a warrior cry as he “initiated” me into the sisterhood of throwing warrior princesses by wiping clay on my face.  I was kind of shocked because I didn’t know this was going to happen, but at the same time felt really proud of myself for being the first one to get there. 🙂  One of my fears was to not be good at pottery at all, this really helped.  I’ve only thrown twice since then because I’ve been working on my hand built assignments.  I made a 10″ coil pot, it’s a cute little pitcher (decorative only).  It’s definitely not the prettiest thing ever, but it’s not ugly.  If no one else does, my mom will like it.  🙂  I now loooove throwing, especially after getting my clay centered all by myself a couple times.  I have yet to keep something I made, I always end up squashing them because they are not quite right.  I did think of a few things that I want to make for around the house, smaller things, so I’ll work on that for now 🙂

 

My Pottery Warrior Princess face paint

My Pottery Warrior Princess face paint

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Things that currently make me happy January 21, 2009

Filed under: Random,thoughts — mrswade @ 9:27 pm
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Jake and I just paid off our Amex card that we used for the wedding, total payment was $3,103.98 and now it’s gone 🙂 YAY!  Next to go is Sallie Mae, we’re kickin her out of the spare room as Dave Ramsey says.  After that is our loan from my mom for our honeymoon.  Then all we have to do is pay off my student loans which will hopefully take less than a year if I’m making more than minimum wage once I graduate 🙂

I am growing basil in three little pots on my kitchen table.  I had them in the windowsill, which was much cuter, but apparently they didn’t like the cold and started to mold. 😦  I am quite excited to use them for future pesto excitingness 🙂  

We are going home this weekend and I get to see my mommy.  I am very excited to spend saturday with her. 🙂 We are going to the DMV to get our licenses renewed (fun I know), I am FINALLY changing my name on my license!  This isn’t set in stone but then I think we’ll go look at the apartments I want to move into in May and go get some pots for my other herbs and a book on how to actually take care of them.  Poor herbs.  We’re also going to go over a friends budget with them so they know how much they can afford in rent and finally get their own place 🙂 yay them!  It’s very exciting to see what God is doing in their lives.

I got a new car, that’s exciting.  I like it a lot.  I need new seats, the drivers side is ripped and the passenger is getting there.  The outside is really scratched up, but you can only tell up close and I have one odd-ball rim.  haha, it really is funny, 3 of them match, one doesn’t.  But it’s me, and I like quirky, and she’s quirky.  Her name is Ginger and she is very zippy.  She has a vtec, that’s exciting 🙂  All my other cars have been slow.  AND she’s a manual so I am ACTUALLY driving again stead of just pressing the “go button.”

I’m taking pottery and photography this semester.  I am SO excited to make people’s Christmas and birthday presents.  I am nervous about sucking at both and for my first photography project I took a roll of film that ended up not even “rolling.”  So, I took no pictures and have to go back and do it all again.  Taking the roll that didn’t work was fun though, Jake and I had fun walking all over Newberg picking cool things to take pictures of.  If I end up with any cool photos or pots I’ll take pictures/scan them and upload them to the bloggy.

That’s pretty much it for now.  I just needed to focus on happy for a bit because I am SO NOT motivated for this semester and have bad bad bad senioritis.

 

My 1st Chair! January 12, 2009

Filed under: decorating,home — mrswade @ 2:59 pm
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img_2717 img_2719 
img_2718 <– the processimg_2721

so, it’s not as good as I would have liked it to be, it is a little looser on the left side than the right.  But hey, it’s my first chair and I’m not going to let myself be upset that it’s not perfect.  It’s not as easy as I thought it would be, but I think after doing a few it will be much easier.  

I’m excited for the next one!  (who knows how long that will be though…)

 

unconditional respect January 8, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 12:15 am
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 Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

My mom gave me the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs a while back, I think even before Jake and I got engaged.  I just now picked it up to start reading.

This book is pretty popular and the love and respect idea has been popular in the churches and Christian circles I have been a part of.  I’ve also always felt that wives respecting their husbands was much more controversial to talk about than husbands loving their wives.  It seems that wives should be loved no matter what and husbands better get their act together if they want any respect.  My own mother-in-law told me (not sure if it was advice or not) that she wasn’t just going to respect her husband, he had to earn it.  I always somehow felt that this couldn’t be the way it is supposed to be.  Why would one be conditional and the other unconditional?  

1 Peter 3:1-2 (ESV) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

The way Dr. Eggerichs explains it makes so much sense to me, this is what he says:

The husbands he mentions are either carnal Christians or unbelievers who are disobedient to the Word — that is, to Jesus Christ.  God is not pleased with a man like this, and such a man does not “deserve” his wife’s respect.  But Peter is not calling on wives to feel respect; he is commanding them to show respectful behavior.  This is not about the husband deserving respect; it is about the wife being willing to treat her husband respectfully without condtion.

To say the least, doing something when you don’t really feel you want to do it is counterintuitive.  Therefore, this passage must be acted on in faith (emphasis mine).  God has ordained that wives respect their husbands as a method to win husbands to Himself.  As a husband opens his pirit to God, he reopens his spirit to his wife.  No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being.  The key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing him unconditional respect.

I am not a huge fan of how at the end it seems he is appealing to the wife’s desire to control her husband but I think the rest of it is so good.  It seriously all comes back to how much Jesus gives us that we do not deserve (which is everything in case you were wondering).  Our natural human responses is to be fair, give people what the deserve and withhold it if they are undeserving.  We are so undeserving yet God does not withhold from us.  

As a wife I may think that I am lowering myself, or my standards if I show Jake respect when he doesn’t deserve it.  But what 1 Peter 3:1-2 says is that God uses me to draw Jake unto himself.  How much do I have to not love him to treat him with disrespect.  If showing love is so much easier for women (as it says in the book, as I’ve always heard and as I’ve gathered from my own experience) then isn’t it loving to be respectful our husbands?  I think it would be so unloving to deny our husbands an avenue in which to bring him closer to God (which ultimately brings him closer to us).  

It really comes full circle here.  We do what God is calling us to do, respect our husbands.  Our husbands see our respect and “they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.”  They are won over for God by our godly actions (makes sense doesn’t it?)  It is loving to show them respect because a loving Christian wife wants her husband to be as close to God as he can be.  Dear husband grows closer and closer with the Lord, allowing him to love his wife more fully and deeply; truly making him a respectable man (whether he was to begin with or not).

I am continually blown away by Gods perfect design for our lives.  Sometimes I just sit back in awe and think, “yes, yes, yes, that is perfect, why doesn’t everyone see this? Why can’t we just live this way?”  I am no exception, I am so far from living in the perfect plan that God has for me.  

I also find it ironic that if there is a book written which seemingly contains everything you would need to know about, say gardening, it is called “The Gardening Bible.”  People see that title and think, “everything I need to know about gardening is in that book!”  Yet our own (my own) real Bibles sit on the shelf.  Why don’t I look at that book everyday and think, “I have to read that book!  It tells me everything I need to know about everything!”  I somehow neglect it’s importance and power and amazingness in being a book written for me, by God, telling me how I should best live my life.  Even though, every time I do open it, I am amazed at how perfect and practical it is.  That is our complete depravity though right?  We do what we do not want to do and we do not do what we want.

I’m excited to keep reading this book.  So far the author is a little cheesy for me but I’m cutting through it and trying to get to the good stuff and glean what I can from it.  If nothing else, it’s a guy with some good life experience and some verses, can’t argue with that.  Another book I would recommend, especially for parents, but also for anyone who wants kids someday, is Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  It is an amazing book that has recently really given me amazing insight into how the Bible really does outline our lives for us, despite what pop-psychology or learning theorists say.  God created us, I think he would know 🙂

 

Pistachio Pesto Pasta January 4, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 3:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

img_27031Disclaimer: I’m not sure the measurements I used in this recipe because I was combining two recipes.  The measurements I put are estimates, you should just use your best judgement and feel free to add or subtract if you try this recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb linguini pasta (whole wheat is better for you)
  • 2-ish cups of fresh basil leaves (I used 4 packs of the Fred Meyer organic fresh herbs found in the produce section)
  • 5 garlic cloves (4 – 6 depending on your love for garlic 🙂 )
  • 1ish tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 3/4 cup(ish) Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or a combination of the two) (I couldn’t find this in the store so I just found a Parmesan, something mix that looked Italian and got it.)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Place basil leaves and garlic in food processor or blender and process until leaves are finely chopped. (This took a while for me.  Don’t try using the blender, get most of the Basil leaves chopped up in a food processor, when most of them are all chopped, then add it to the blender with lemon juice, nuts and cheese.)  Add nuts and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add cheese and lemon juice and process until combined. With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. After the oil is incorporated, turn off the machine and add salt and pepper to taste. If not using immediately, store in an air-tight container with a thin coating of olive oil on top to keep the sauce from turning dark. Pesto will keep well in the refrigerator for a week or more. 

Cook pasta according to package directions, Drain, transfer to a bowl and toss to coat with 2 Tbs (ish) olive oil.

Put pesto on pasta and toss to coat.  If you want you can grill up some chicken in olive oil in a pan.  Add some pistachios and basil leaves on top for garnish.  

Other Options: If you don’t like pistachios you can use pine nuts or walnuts.  Some people prefer to toast their pine nuts. Using walnuts yields a more woodsy flavor. The amount of olive oil can be adjusted depending on the desired final consistency (thicker or thinner).

 

Winey Peaches with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 2:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 or 3 while peppercorns
  • 1 or 2 strips of lemon zest
  • 2 large ripe peaches (halved and pitted)
  • 1 pint vanilla bean ice cream

Instructions

Combine the wine, sugar, cinnamon, peppercorns, and zest in a sauce pot and reduce over medium-high heat to a syrup, 12 – 15 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon, peppercorns, and zest with a slotted spoon and discard.  Add the peach halves and turn to coat in the wine sauce, spoon the winey peaches into dishes and top them with ice cream.

 

desire January 2, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 3:01 am
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A dear friend of mine, my kindred spirit, recently told that I show her that ” if we are persistant with what God wants us to do with life then we will get the ‘desires of our heart’… because then our desires for ourselves will match with his desires for us.”  I got to thinking about this and I really don’t know how I do that.  I’m glad that she saw that in me but I can’t see it in myself.

I got out of bed tonight while Jake was sleeping because I was feeling unsettled.  Not physically, spiritually.  I have been thinking a lot about a friend I’ve had for a while, the closest friend I’ve ever had that doesn’t know Jesus.  My heart has been aching for her and I have been so conflicted.  Galatians 5:17 says it perfectly “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”  My spirit want’s so bad to share the hope I have in Jesus with her, but my flesh so badly doesn’t want to for fear of the unknown, more awkwardness, the wrong words and so much more.  So much and yet I know that Jesus is SO much bigger than all those fears.  

Anyway, I got out of bed to come look up some reviews on a book I want to give her and to open my Bible for the first time in who knows how long and try to figure something out.  As per usual (is that proper grammar? who cares) I got stuck on facebook instead of looking up reviews, or more importantly, reading my Bible.  I think God actually used my facebook addiction tonight.  🙂 I was up late enough to do one last run through of: check bruinmail, check facebook, check gmail.  This is when I saw what my friend said, and what prompted me to actually go open my Bible.

I got Psalm 36 in my head and decided it must be from God so I opened it up.  You should read it, but it talks about our sinful pride and how we think we’re so great we can’t even see our sin and wrong ways.  It then goes on as a familiar (to church folks) song “your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies…” and so on.  It exalts God for his love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice.  I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between our total depravity and God’s perfection.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of my friends words about seeking God’s desires as our own.

I then decided I would look at Philippians because it’s one of my favorite books of the Bible.  In flipping through for Philippians I stopped off at James because I apparently like it (the whole book is highlighted or underlined in my Bible!)  I started with the first chapter (a very good place to start) where verses 2 – 18 stuck out to me (click the link and read it 🙂 )

Let me give you a little back ground on where I’m coming from on this thought process.  If you’ve talked to me recently you know about Dave Ramsey :).  I admit openly that Jake and I are a little crazy about his money plan.  We are on a debt-payoff, savings and essentially wealth building plan that requires a very strict way of living now to have a better future.  “Live like no one else, so that later, you can live like no one else” says DR.  So this plan requires that Jake and I have little spending money, a very strict food budget and have to save every penny.  It is a good plan, we like it, but it can be hard at times.  What gets us through the “but I really really really want to buy that” phases is thinking about what we will have later on, when all our debts are paid off, when we have a house, are saving for retirement and have more income to buy our wants as well as our needs.

So this is the problem.  I start reading “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” a familiar verse, I have it memorized, nothing new.  I start to think about how “hard” life is right now (even though I have nothing to complain about in the world, Jake and I are in a very good financial position and our marriage is great, both healthy, etc).  I think about all the trials I am going through and I think that I all I need to do is persevere so it can “finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?  It then goes on to speak of wisdom.

Jake and I recently listened to a sermon my pastor did on spiritual gifts, one of which is wisdom.  Jake and I both felt like the gift of wisdom was something we had been gifted with (my mom has been telling me this since I could talk) but that it just needed to be cultivated more.  Verse 5 says to ask God for wisdom and he will give it generously.  I think “why haven’t I done that?” “why don’t I do that?”

Verses 9 – 10 say “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.”  Verse 13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”  Here is the kicker, verses 14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  And then another, verses 16 – 18 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

This is when I start feeling like captain obvious and where what my friend said really comes into play.  In this one (I know there are more, but this is the one at the fore front currently) area of my life, my desires do not line up with Gods.  This financially plan is a great plan in and of itself, but my own sinful, selfish and disgusting desires for wealth and things and pleasure taint the good that it could be.  I look at verse 18 and how it says that we are the first fruits of what God created.  We are the best that he created, and all I can think about is keeping my first fruits.  Jake and I tithe, and we know that what we have is Gods, given to us to steward.  This is a helpful attitude, and is a right attitude.  But my sin nature seems to always be able to sweep in and swipe my focus off of giving back to God the best of what I have, and focus it on giving me the best I can give me.

I am told in verse 13 what will happen to me if I keep down this path, desire leads to sin, sin leads to death, I know that.  Thanks to the cross I know that doesn’t mean eternal death, Jesus paid that price for me 2000 years ago.  I am God’s first fruit, made in his image, he will freely give me wisdom if I just ask, he is a loving father who brings me through trials to teach me and love me so I am “not lacking anything.”  What grieves me is that I have not made it a priority to match my desires to his.  

I am not saying that building wealth is bad at all.  Jesus talked about money a lot and I believe it is very important to be building wealth for the right reasons.  What I need to do is repent when I start to covet things in magazines or store windows.  I need to repent when I start dreaming of all the wonderful things I could have with the money that we will have.  What my focus should be on is giving it to God.  I’m not saying I am completely selfish in this either, I LOVE giving.  But I need to move beyond convenient giving.  Jesus told of the widow who gave one coin and the rich man who gave many, the window was the one praised by Jesus for her giving even though it was less.  The window gave, and it hurt.  She gave out of what she didn’t have.  I believe that even if you “have” you can give so much that you can really notice.

I’m not even really sure if what God is calling me to give is all purely monetary.  I think that our time and energy is just as important.  So I guess to sum up (maybe), I need to/am going to be praying for wisdom and for desires that match those of my heavenly Father.  I am going to pray that he will show me ways to give.  Even as I write that I get nervous, asking God to show you ways to do something, or how you can serve him more is not always the most pleasant of experiences.  But if I am praying for his desires I guess the ways he shows me to give and serve will be as joyous for me as the will for him right?  Funny how that works.

I sit here, 26 hours into 2009 and want to bad not to waste this year.  I really want to pray the things I say I will pray here, I want to serve and give the way I say I want to.  I want to desire God and desire his desires.  So to help me do that I think I’m going to read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper and Desiring God by John Piper (both are actually available online to read for free).

wow…that was a lot, hope it made some kind of sense, I kind of feel like it went no where and everywhere at the same time.  All I know is that I definitely think I’ll sleep better now…good night