Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mud bath: an update

Mud.  I've been wallowing in it lately.  And I do mean wallowing, y'all. Scalp deep in the mud, not especially inclined to come out of it.  I've jumped in with both feet.  The mud that is resentment.  And more than a little self-pity.

And I am waaaay down deep in there.

Shaking my head back and forth so it gets all in my hair.  Wiggling around so it gets in all the nooks and crannies.  Yes, there is no part of me that isn't touched by the mud somehow.  In the ears, up the nose, in between the toes.


How comfortable the mud is, I mean.  It wraps you up and entices you to abandon all else but the wallowing.  Keeps you focused on the mud, hopes you don't remember your direct line to clean Water.

And why do I run from it?  The Water that washes, cleanses, builds, restores.  Is it because I would have to let go of my "rights?"  My hurts that I delight in stacking around myself?  Smugly constructing my wall of you-did-this-to-me and you-did-that. (I'm not interested in I-did-this-to-you.  This is about me.) 

Keeping careful count of each ugly, selfish, mud-caked brick.

The mud slowly becomes a strait-jacket that can only stop the Blood's flow to my heart.  I don't even notice the constriction until it's so tight I can't move.  Nothing outside myself matters while I wear it.  Everything I touch is a muddy mess.  Everyone I encounter walks away with mud-stained shirt, glasses, heart.

And I stubbornly choose to wear it!  With white knuckles I hang on for dear life, not seeing - not wanting to see - that it is Life I need most desperately but will. not. seek.

But He calls me.  Amazing.  He calls me!  *I* wouldn't call me.

He still chooses to get His hands dirty.  With me.  I am His child, He has promised to discipline me.  What wonderful crazy love that is.  He leads me to pools of Living Water, rather than the fire I so richly deserve.  He gently pries my white-knuckled fingers away from my wall.  I can do nothing but weep and stand exposed to Mercy's Rain as It melts the dried, baked-on mud, washes it away.

Washes me clean.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A giveaway at one of my favorite blogs!

Y'all should go check out The Legacy of Home anyway, but be sure to go today and enter this fab giveaway.  A book called Raising Real Men and Hero Tales audio CD's.  Hurry!  :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A new (to me) use for milk kefir - biscuits!

We're loving our journey into the world of kefir.  Water kefir flavored with a good organic grape juice is my favorite, while the children favor the mango lemonade.  It's fizzy and fun, incredibly easy to make, and so good for you!  It costs pennies to make a quart every day, and it's so tasty that we'd drink more if we had it.  Completely guilt free juice/soda.  Oh yes, I said guilt free.

We've only just begun to venture into milk kefir.  If you've never had it, I would describe it to you as drinkable yogurt.  You should be able to find a reasonable substitute to homemade in a better grocery store, but as always, homemade is best.  Milk kefir is made a pint at a time.  You can use cow's milk, goat's milk, or even coconut milk.  I whisk a good raw honey into mine after it's done, the children will drink as much as I'll give them.  It's another fantastic source of good bacteria and yeast.  Something our commercial food system has succeeded in eliminating from our food chain.  We've pasteurized, homogenized, non- and low-fatted our way into being the most unhealthy nation on the planet.  But I won't get started on that right now.  Others have already done it, and have done a better job of it.  I was intrigued by this blog post, and my journey towards a traditional diet began.  It's been a year-long process, and we're healthier for it.

But.... that's not why we're here.  We're here to talk biscuits, people!  Which, if I'm to be honest, isn't the best thing for you.  The processed white flour is so so bad.  But with melted butter and cheese in biscuit form?  I don't wanna be good, y'all.

None of us was in the mood for milk kefir today, so I needed to find a way to use today's batch that didn't involve drinking it.  With raw milk being $10 a gallon, I'm not wasting anything made with milk if I can help it.  I wondered if I could substitute kefir for milk in a biscuit recipe.

I made a biscuit today that tasted exactly like Red Robin's Cheddar Bay biscuits.  The children and I agreed that you would never know the difference, they were that good.  I found that I wound up using twice as much kefir as milk.

Here's how I did it.  You can add, delete, and substitute as you like.  You can leave out the cheese and garlic, roll them out and cut them to have regular old biscuits.  If you don't have kefir, you can use 3/4 to 1 cup milk.


2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus 1/8 tsp.
1 cup finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 T. granulated garlic, plus 1/2 tsp.
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk kefir, unflavored
1 stick butter, not softened, divided

Sift flour.  Measure 2 cups sifted flour into small bowl.  Add baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt, then sift again into a large bowl.  (Some salt will remain unsifted, just dump it into the bowl.)  Cut in 1/2 a stick of cold butter with pastry cutter until butter and flour are well combined.  Mix in garlic, then mix in cheese.  Slowly stir in kefir until you have a nice sticky biscuit dough.

Drop dough in large spoonfuls, a little more than 1/4 cup of dough for each biscuit, onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 14 minutes at 400 degrees, until they're just cooked but still quite white.

When almost finished baking, melt other half of the stick of butter in a small dish, sprinkled with 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and parsley if you wish.  When biscuits come out of oven, brush them with melted butter and return them to the oven to bake until they're golden brown.  Set the timer in 2-minute increments each time.

Friday, January 13, 2012


I'm listening to a fantastic sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Voddie BauchamTheir church is going through Romans, and what Pastor Baucham has to say about chapter 12 has just been swirling and whirling around my brain and heart for months now.  The sermon is called No Room for Personal Vengeance.  Please please listen to it.

One thing that occurs to me as I listen is that the following point by Pastor Baucham is valid, whether we're talking about American Marines urinating on dead Taliban soldiers they've just eliminated, or if we're talking about brothers and sisters writing each other off over being blinded to our own sinfulness and hypocrisy. 

The point:

There is an ugly hypocrisy in considering my own sin worthy of forgiveness but deciding that someone else's sin is worthy of wrath. 

Whether that person be someone in my own home, someone in my neighborhood, someone in my church, or a terrorist in Afghanistan.  Whether we like it or not,
God does not have a scale on which He qualifies our sin.  

There are not levels of Hell.  

Without Christ in my heart, I would go 
to the same Hell as Osama bin Laden. 
 (So would you, by the way.)  

Know why?
Because apart from Christ, our sin is no different than anyone else's! 

My sin of disrespecting my husband in front of my children is viewed as IDENTICALLY SINFUL to our holy and righteous God, as the sin of using an airliner loaded with innocent people as a missile!  It is not God who has decided this sinner is worse than that one.  It is human petty selfishness and self-righteous haughtiness that has placed the sliding scale fee on forgiveness.

How quickly and easily we forget the thief on the cross!

Find a verse in Scripture where God says to the victim of an injustice, "Go ahead and desecrate the body of that Philistine you just killed in my name.  You're the victim and you deserve to do it."  Or, "Yes, this person has treated you shamefully.  You don't have to go fix their dishwasher for them, even though they desperately need the help and you're capable of giving it.  If you've decided they're undeserving right now because of their treatment of you, why then of course let's go by your standards instead of mine."

You won't find it. 

What you will find:

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.  On the contrary; "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  Romans 12:17-21

"Do not say, 'I'll do to him as he has done to me;  I'll pay that man back for what he did.'"  Proverbs 24:29

"It is mine to avenge;  I will repay.  In due time, their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."  Deuteronomy 32:35

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him."  Proverbs 24:17-18

There are SO many more.  So. so. many.  And trust me.  I've tried like crazy to avoid them.  So what do you think He keeps immersing me in for 6 months?  Yeah.  It's been crazy up here in my head.  But I'm thankful for the lesson.  God is gentle with me when I don't deserve it.

I'll end this with one of the many profound statements I heard in this sermon (giving God all the glory for the wisdom He's given Pastor Baucham):

"You just remember that when that day comes, and Christ exacts revenge on sinners, your posture will not be of one with a raised, clenched fist, saying, "Get 'em!  Get 'em!  Get 'em!"  But instead, your response will be of one who falls to his knees, as you see Christ exact revenge on others that He should have exacted from you.  And you will recognize that the One Who is exacting the justice is the One Who was stricken, smitten and afflicted because of YOUR SIN.  You will not - you will NOT - in that moment rejoice in your own vindication, but you will only rejoice in the vindication of God."  -- Voddie Baucham

I shudder and am rendered speechless. I am overcome with the knowledge that it is my sin that put Christ on the cross.  Without Christ in my heart, I stand before God no better than what human society would consider to be the vilest of creatures, most worthy of the world's hatred and deserving of His wrath.

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