Monday, January 23, 2012


In times like these, I need to remember all the things I'm thankful for. Here's a list, in no particular order:

  • long-sleeved shirts
  • birthday cake
  • lentils, cooked to perfection
  • the new BBC series, Sherlock 
  • my husband
  • Pinterest
  • The Hunger Games series
  • really good friends
  • Pilot Precise V5 pens
  • the free gym at our apartment
  • cookie dough ice cream
  • enamel cookware
  • garam marsala
  • pink sunsets
  • my community group
  • lattes
  • Good Morning America
  • blogs
  • Gungor
  • apples
  • fast wifi access
  • iPhones
  • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
  • warm chai
  • sleep
  • iMessaging
  • my parents
  • sweaters
  • oatmeal
  • Sunday movie and pizza nights
  • Fage all natural Greek yogurt
  • rainy weekday afternoons

Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking on water

So today I was preparing the lesson for the two-year-olds on Sunday. This month's theme is "Jesus can do anything," so they have been studying the miracles of Jesus. On January 1st, they learned about Jesus turning water into a "very special drink" (it was adorable). The next week, they heard about Jesus filling nets with fish. Last week, they listened to the story about the loaves and fishes feeding 5,000 men (plus women and children, mind you). Today, I made last-minute touches to the story of Jesus walking on water. I copied the coloring page, checked for supplies, ordered more BabyGanics wipes and foamy hand sanitizer, and was about to call it a day when I looked over at the neatly stacked lessons and coloring pages.

And it hit me. 

I read over it again and again. Jesus can do what's walking on water! 

He can do what's impossible. 

I'm glad no one was in the office at that point, because I sat in what appeared to be a rather unproductive daze for several minutes. Jesus walked on water, I thought to myself, and yet, why do I refuse to trust Him with my life?

It seems like in these last few weeks, I've been struggling to give all of myself to a Savior who was sent down from Heaven to die for my sins and, along the way, fed over 5,000 people on one boy's lunch, walked on water, calmed stormy seas, brought people back from the dead, and rose from the dead himself after being nailed to a cross. I don't know about you, but I would fall pitifully short if tasked with the same responsibilities. And yet, I don't fully trust that everything will work out for me.

It's funny how I'd rather just do it myself, because for some reason I feel that I could do it better. Me, a girl who is 29 and still afraid of spiders. Who constantly misspells vacuum, intimidate, and thief (all of those had to be auto-corrected, by the way). Who won't eat raw bell peppers because "they're icky." Yes, somehow it "makes sense" to trust my life to myself, having failed miserably on numerous occasions, rather than give it over to Jesus, who can do the impossible.

Does anyone else ever feel this way?

I should know that God can do a much better job than me. I should let it go, realizing that this is all bigger than me and I am just privileged to play a tiny role. In Phillipians, Paul said, " it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (2:13). He will take care of me because it's part of His plan. It has been all along. I just need to remember that Jesus can do what's impossible. I can't.

So it's probably best to leave the job to the expert.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

I've made this soup about three times, switching out ingredients and changing up spices to see how everything works together. I feel like I finally got it right this last time, and it was so good I wanted to share it with you. It packs A TON of vitamin A and C, and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be easily modified for vegan/vegetarian diets by swapping out the chicken broth for vegetable broth. It's seriously my favorite soup ever. Maybe next time I'll actually remember to take a picture...

This recipe serves 4-6 people, and the soup freezes and refrigerates well. 

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 small zucchini, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth to make it vegan)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 1/2 cup water to simmer in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and cook until translucent (about 6-7 minutes). 

Add in the stock, water, squash, onion, dried thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the zucchini and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, until all vegetables are fork tender. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes (also, remove the bay leaf). Pour half of the soup mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth (about 2 minutes), then pour into a serving dish and repeat with the second half of the mixture. Alternately, use an immersion blender. 

Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

Nutritional Information (for 4 servings):
Calories: 157, Carbs: 37g, Fat: 1g, Protein: 5g, Fiber: 3g