Friday, July 20, 2007

Life In A Pot

I know the Lord uses different things and different ways to speak to people. And I know some would disagree and say that the Lord doesn't "speak" to anyone anymore. These are some of the same people that are deceived. I do not say this with malice or self-righteousness. Only with love.

God's thoughts and ways are higher than ours and we cannot......NO, we MUST NOT confine Him to our finite minds of understanding. If we would let Him be God, He would show Himself mightier than we have ever seen. This is His desire for us.

I thank God for the moments He will nudge my heart and use everyday things to teach me or to show me how great He is. Sometimes He takes me by surprise and before I know it He has given me something to apply to my life or something to help someone else. He is totally dependable like that. Always meeting our needs.

Today was no different. While cleaning my kitchen this afternoon I thought about a small plant I had purchased over 6 years ago. The pot it came in was no larger than 3 inches and the plant itself was about the same. I bought it to sit on my windowsill of my kitchen window to enjoy the sunlight. This has been a great plan up until about a year ago when we started some home improvement projects. Since we have been remodeling I no longer have a view from my kitchen. I have the windowsill and curtain there, but behind that is a wall. I no longer have the wondrous sunshine streaming in. Just a piece of flat board.

My little plant has remained faithful to it's post though and has never demanded attention. In fact, I have been very neglectful of it these past few months failing to water it or watering just enough to get by. Since I don't open the curtains anymore it is easy to forget. In the 6 years that I have had this plant it has remained the same size. It hasn't grown any at all that I can tell. There is nothing wrong with it. Being the type plant it is, it has the potential to grow 6 to 8 feet given the proper care, but yet it still the same size.

I could have a 6 to 8 foot plant if I wanted to by recognizing the growth potential which is a very important first step. Preparation. I would also have to prepare another much larger than the one it is in now, with the proper soil and room for the roots to grow and get established. And I would have to give it the proper water and sunlight needed........DAILY. But I don't want that. I like it just the way it is. Small and alive enough to sit on my windowsill.

Isn't this how some of us are Spiritually? Satisfied. right. where. we. are. We don't want to move closer to God or be moved. We read just enough of the word to get by, if at all. How about time spent in prayer alone with God?

God is aware of our potential. He has all confidence in us to grow into the spiritual vessels He can use for His glory. Are we meeting His expectations? Are we letting ourselves down? I don't know about you, but I want to grow in the Lord. I want to "water" myself in the word. I want the soil of my heart prepared for "root" growth that I may have a deeper understanding of Him and fulfil His purpose and plan for my life. I don't want to stay the same size.

It's entirely up to us how much we grow. We can stay in our comfortable little pots or we can thrive and bring life to those around us. I want to thrive, don't you?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grandma's Corn

I have heard the older you get the more you appreciate the things you took for granted when you were younger. : ) I have found this to be true in my life. Lately I have had a particular craving for a vegetable dish my grandmother use to make. I remember those muggy summer days she would harvest corn from her garden. After shucking and cleaning it, she would cut the fresh kernels off the cob. She could move the knife blade back and forth so loving and skillful, you would think she was playing a violin. She also used fresh tomatoes and okra all from her bounty. She would make huge pots of this and freeze it in individual bags. The smell of fresh corn would fill every room in the house. So yummy. It was delicious in the summer, but a great comfort dish in the winter.

After preparing this dish for myself...the first time in my adult life, I now appreciate all the hard work she put into preparing those "country" meals. Oh the memories that came back to me while cooking this meal. Some I had forgotten. Grandma passed away in '99 after living a very full life. She is so missed.
I took a few pictures of my endeavor. Some are not that great, but at least you get a glimpse.

These are some of the fresh tomatoes I used.

This is the okra. It is also fresh from the garden.

I didn't think to take pictures of my corn before I shucked it.

I now realize there is a lot of corn on one cob. Notice how closely shaven it is. I went over it at least two times.

This of course is a stack of the cobs.

I transferred my corn into this pot. After parboiling the tomatoes to remove the skin, I added them. I also washed the okra and cut off the stems and added it.

This is what it looked like while it was cooking. I let it cook on very low heat and kept it stirred to prevent scorching. It doesn't look too appetizing in the picture, but I assure you, it was delicious! We had homemade biscuits and a small roast to go with our veggies.

Now, on to dessert. I decided to try a cake recipe I over at Sharon's under her recipes. It is the Sour Cream Pound Cake.
I took my new mixer out that I told you about awhile back. I got it at Ross for $9.99!! I was blessed to get this.

I decided to use this Nordic cake pan. I didn't take a pic of the batter and pan before I started, but took it of the pan after I put the cake on a plate I hope this explains the crumbs in pan. : )

Out of the oven.........

And onto the plate. Beautiful, isn't it?

This is the finished product. I could have drizzled the glaze a little better and hopefully I will next time. My family has almost eaten all of it! It is so delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sharon!

Have a Blessed day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Around The House

Thanks for all the weekend wishes! I have been busy, but I have also spent a lot of family time. We (mainly dear hubby) got our privacy fence up. Well, half of it anyway. And yet again I failed to take a "before" shot.

We took down the chainlink fence in the front by the side of our house and put this up. You can't tell by the picture, but there are seven panels across. I know, I know, one section is turned the wrong way. Actually, this is one section left to put up on the other side. My hubby just put it there to keep it from warping until he can get the rest up.

This is the netted gazebo that keeps me shaded during the day. It's become one of my favorite hangouts. I love to sit outside in the evening and having a fortress against the mosquitos is an added bonus.

The fence keeps me from being seen when I am in in the pool.We live on a private road that all of my neighbors and their families have access to.
Just in case you're thinking our deck is not finished I want you to know that your are correct. Thus, another project I hope to get finished this week. I need rails. It's tough pulling the weight of this body up on the deck without them. Hubby wanted to use the rails from our old above ground pool, but since they are metal I am sure they will not compliment our wooden deck. And for those of you that have wondered about these big blue pools, wonder no more. It is more than enough pool and a lot easier to maintain than the others. In fact, you can get one of these for less than the price of replacing the liner in your regular above ground. I cannot tell the difference when the kids and I are in it. It's great!

This is just a small view of a little laundry on the line. I have plenty to keep myself busy.

And this is what kept Nathan occupied long enough for me to hang the laundry on the line. *sigh* I don't know what I am going to do when the wonderful weather changes!

Oops. Yes he has a diaper on. We're working on that. If my methods continue to fail I may just have to buy him the husky jeans to ensure his Depends will be covered when he starts school. : )

These are a couple of shots of my "Retirement Center" as Amanda refers to it after nightfall. The second picture is from the inside. Awww...look at my honey turning the pump off. He is so wonderful.

Last, but not least is a picture of my feet propped in one of the chairs after a very long day! There was a whole of lot of cooking going on in between that I haven't posted about. I am saving that for tomorrow if I have time. For the first time in my adult life I made a vegetable dish I remember from my childhood. It's a southern dish and one that I have not had for many years. My grandmother would prepare this and freeze it for the winter. Yay! I took pictures! I also made a cake using a recipe I found on Sharon's blog. And guess what? I took pictures of that too!

****Sorry.... I deleted the pic of my feet. After I published and previewed there was no way I was going to let you see my in-need-of-manicure toes. They looked too horrid and I didn't want all the comments to be about tips on great foot care! *grin*

I am tired and need to get into bed. Have a blessed day in the Lord!