Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's For Dinner? Wednesday : Tex Mex Pulled Pork and Garlicky Coleslaw

I talked about do this a while back and just never got my butt in gear. So I guess I'm in gear.

Tex Mex Pulled Pork

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce, 1 C BBQ sauce, 1 sliced medium onion, 2 (4oz) cans drained diced green chillies, 3 to 4 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lb) boneless pork tenderloin 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl mix tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, onion, green chillies, chili powder, cumin, oregano. Place pork in slow cooker pour sauce over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until tender. remove pork to cutting board and shred using two forks. Put back in the sauce.

Garlic Cole Slaw

1 bag (1 lb) shredded cabbage, crisped, 1 C apple cider vinegar, 2 1/2 T salt, 1 C mayonnaise, 1/2 C olive, 1/2 C minced garlic.
Mix all ingredients and let sit for an hour.

I like to serve this on toasted buns and pile the pork and the coleslaw all together on top. Trust me sooooo good and very messy. I also serve this with sweet potato fries.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the habit of saying YES

I have had a distinct feeling for a while that this Spring would be big for our family, but I wasn't sure how. Do you have have those moments where the purpose for the stuff you have been doing splits right open in front of you and you think: "This is it! This is what I have been praying, practicing, and preparing for!"
In the last couple of years, the Lord has brought us to some unexpected places. He has asked us to do some unexpected things. All the while, He has promised a more abundant and full life, and He has delivered.
It seems as though He has been asking a series of questions like this: Will you give up the thought of control? Will you do foster care? Will you leave a job you love and go teach? Will you leave a school you love and teach at another? Will you leave a church where you are comfortable and have a family and go to one where you have never laid eyes on anyone? Will you leave your job? Will you trust me to provide?
We said yes, most times relunctantly and most times holding on to some kind of safety net with our knuckles white. But I feel like all that has been practice, to get us in the habit of saying yes. We have gotten better at it. Letting go. Better at saying: this doesn't quite make sense and it doesn't even really seem like it will work, but God is good, and He is the one who is asking so...let's do it.
Last night friends, we met with some people, and they started laying out a vision, a dream. And while they were sharing all the pieces to their dream, all of those past yes's fell together and I realized that they laid out a path to the vision they were imagining. It was suddenly clear that all the stuff God had been cultivating in me seemed to be preparing me for sharing in the vision with them.
I am so excited friends and I wish I could share more, but right now there is much praying and talking and thinking to be done. Please pray for wisdom and clear vision for our family.

Luke 16:10
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Being the norm and not the exception

Today we went to the Kornerstone foster care picnic. There was hotdogs, hamburgers, a proposal, fireman, families of all different colors,kids with special needs, a mish mash of humanity.For a couple of hours there are no questions or funny looks. No "God Bless you"'s. No need to explain or educate. Every once in a while it is nice to be the norm and not the exception. White teenage bio kids carrying tiny black foster siblings around to the games. Moms pushing strollers of children of every race and no one asks which ones are "really" belong to them because they know it takes more than giving birth to be a mother. And right in front of me orphans being un-orphaned, through love in small tangible ways, that are actually kind of huge, the extraordinary in the ordinary, the miraculous in the mundane. Kids being loved on forever even if it is only for a little while in the physical. And that will change there lives and their souls and even though it seems like an afterthought it changes ours as well. I am so thankful for this life. I am awed and humbled by this calling. My heart is so full this mothers day with love for my son and the sons and daughters that came before him.

Vanity and 160 Million Plus

It has been a month to the day since my last post and I have been so busy...not being busy. That's right. I am learning to slow down - somewhat against my will. You see, I am a spinner by nature; a stuffer and a spinner. In order to deal with stuff that I am uncomfortable with (fear, lonliness, inadequecy, etc) I fill my life to the point of spinning (think hamster in a wheel). Then I stuff my emotions. I feel like part of the reason I have been called to stay home during this time is to do some healing from this behavior and it has been very uncomfortable for me, but it has also been very good.

I have been grieving the foster kids who left recently; even the ones who left over a year ago. I've been reading through Psalms and making picture books for each of them. Allowing myself to remember things about them and cry.

I have also been taking care of myself. Running, cooking, reading my bible, sitting outside.

I have been falling more and more in love with Isaiah every day. Which is so scary to me, but amazing.

Recently, there was a legal glitch in Isaiah's case and even though Matt and I both felt like the Lord was calling us to take a break from accepting placements I immediatly started trolling for more children to add to our family. I was spinning. My thought process was that if something happens with Isaiah, I need a back-up. I know, right? Silly and twisted, but these are the things the Lord is working on in this season of my life. And while taking on another child would have been perceived from the outside as good, maybe a little crazy, but also noble and loving, it would have been a fear response that had nothing to do with loving and serving God and his children. It would have been self-serving attempt to control God's plan in my life.

Now, I have always had a burden for those who've been tossed aside by this world: the hurting, the orphans, the poor, the ill, the marginalized. One of the things that intially drew me to Jesus was that he is all about those people. I am too, sometimes. I have been a special ed teacher, a regular volunteer at AIDS hospices and homeless shelters, a foster parent, I have put together fabulous outreach programs, etc, blah, blah, blah. But even doing things that we classify as "good" when left unharnessed by our intimacy with God and guidance from the Holy Spirit can turn ugly and self-serving. At the height of my outward "holiness" when I was doing the "most for Jesus," I was ill, worn out, spiritually malnourished, and my ego barely fit in any room. I thought that if I didn't feed the homeless, or sit with the dying, or organize events, or foster children, or any other "Christian" thing - no one would. Vanity and bullshit. What a combination, right? God cared for the marginalized long before I did. This perfomance-based mentality has not gotten me anywhere and in the midst of my twirling and saving the world I often hear the whisper of "It's not about being good, its about knowing ME."

The new numbers have just come out and there are currentlyl 160 million orphans in the world (and that's a number that is growing daily) and it breaks my heart. I hate the thought of people, of children, not belonging. But they do belong. They belong to HIM. After all it was HIM who said:

John 14:18-20
"I will not leave you orphaned. I'm coming back."

Psalm 68
"Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless..."

Deuteronomy 10:18
“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.”

Psalm 10:14
“But You, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless.”

Matthew 18:5
“Whoever receives a child in My name, receives Me.”

Matthew 25: 45
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these, you did it unto Me.”

Deuteronomy 14:28-30
“The Levite (priest), because he has not portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”

Deuteronomy 26:12-14
“You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.”

I didn't say any of that...

It is satisfying to know that it is not about me. Not what I can do. Not how good I can be. Or how I can change the world. But that all I have to do is listen to Him. And say yes to the crazy stuff he asks me to do. And rely on Him.

When we got Isaiah some prophesied over him that he would rest in the promises of God I have been praying that over him and now I am trying to do that myself.