A letter

Archive for January, 2015|Monthly archive page

Celery Caesar Salad.

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

You know my love of food keeps me from committing to “dieting” all to often.  However, it is that time of the year when almost everyone is on a diet of some sort starting their year off fresh, right?  Well, this is my accidental “diet” food I discovered this week, courtesy Bon Appetit.  I think you’ll love it too.  It is almost made entirely of celery parts, which means it’s essentially calorie-less!  This also means you can load it with fresh shaved parmesan cheese and a plentiful amount of croutons, and dressing, all of which you know, are favorites.  I made it for Saturday night dinner with Empanadas and fell in love.  David, not so much. He felt it was very much a “ladies” food.  I think he’s crazy, although I am a lady.  I have had it every day for lunch this entire week, and once for dinner.  My dicing and bagging of the root and stalk have stayed fresh until today!  My very kind of lunch prep, none.  I added a fried egg yesterday and it was delectable!

Love you!  Happy Wednesday!

Bep

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/celery-caesar-salad

blog

Making springs.

In Teaneck Winter on January 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

pic 1
Morning!  Hope you slept well.  I made the foolish decision to crawl back into bed after David left this morning thinking an extra hour of snoozing would somehow benefit my day.  Unwise decision, very unwise.  Glad the sun doesn’t hesitate to face the day, I’m getting better at it, just not today.  Now I feel groggy. I didn’t really sleep a wink in that hour and instead was half dreaming about ninja turtles.  I think the wake-dreaming subject matter was a direct correlation to the loud and passionate dialogue coming from Butter and Spanky in the other room.  They have no trouble facing the day and within minutes of being up are already conquering worlds and defeating bad guys somewhere.  I’ll try and learn from them.  The bad guys I will defeat today, are disguised very well and look a lot like mounds of laundry.  Good thing I have experience in this arena.  I know their tactics and I know how this will end. Me-1, Laundry-0.  Hope you get to defeat some bad guys today too.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot.  Such a surprise, I know.  I was reading in Psalms the other morning and read an amazing scripture.  I know I’ve read it before, but one particular phrase has not left me. It says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.  As they go through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.  They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion”. Psalm 84:5-7. Several things in this passage really stood out to me. Baca, means dryness or weeping.  Crazy, right?  These two words are very familiar to me lately,  as you know, but the next bit is the part that’s haunting me. “They make it a place of springs”.  They make it–I must make this stretch of the journey a place of water, a place of drinking deep.  How the heck do you make springs in a dry place, other than with tears?  Funny, I know, but, really? It also says, “As they go through”, or “passing through”.  I think this very phrase is one of the keys to making springs in desserts.  Don’t set up shop in the desert.  Don’t imagine decorating your house there.  Don’t try and familiarize yourself with the layout, don’t settle down, keep passing through.  Don’t change plans and discard the map.  Don’t grow weary and decide this must be the final destination.  Set your sights ahead to the other side.  Circle the star at the final destination!  Keep dreaming!  Put one foot in front of the other.  Keep walking.  Take the journey one day at a time. We are taking ground! We can’t stop here!  That word  passing through literally means transition, or passage. Such a great reminder, right?  I also thought it very interesting that this whole passage is a they passage.  That’s why I am writing you.  We need each other on this journey to the other side. Thank God we’re not alone.  It’s much easier to make springs together.

The other thing that really grabbed my heart was the phrase “early rain covers it with pools”.  This goes back to the facing the day business.  Deserts get hotter as the day goes on, which I’m sure evaporates the early pools.  Its ok, you can trust my desert expertise!  Wink, wink.  Of all the times in life that it is difficult, uninspiring, and down right challenging to face the day with courage and a happy heart, it’s in a dry, weeping season.  But if there are early pools awaiting me, by golly, help kick my derrière into gear and tell me to find the pools.  Call me crazy on this, and yes, it’s probably not what it really means if you asked the scholars, but it works for me.  Oh, friend, we can do this.  We can make our land full of springs!

Obviously, thankfulness is HUGE for making springs.  I’m going to be thankful.  You watch me! And, I’ll probably be telling you about it. I am also going to be setting my heart on his promises, and listening to His GPS.  Remind me not to listen to the pond scum.  Verses 11 and 12 in the same chapter are amazing.  “For the Lord is a sun and shield.  The Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”  What a drink for our souls.

With David gone 6 days a week, and only home for dinner on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, I was feeling very uninspired to cook and had resorted to quesadillas for almost a week straight.  Well, I guess I had the flu too,  and could give a bit of credit to that, but regardless, my poor children cannot survive on quesadillas alone.  After pondering these scriptures, I have decided one way to make springs is to still cook.  You know me, I’m a cooker.  I love it.  So that’s what I’m going to do, keep cooking, and I’m going to keep enjoying it.  Last nights Winter Chili was the “spring” for the day.  What are you going to do to make springs?

Love you so much!

Bep

pic 4 pic 3 pic 2

Living in Jersey and open hands…

In Teaneck Winter on January 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Well friend, if you were to have told me a year ago, or any time in my life for that matter,  that I would be living in Jersey, I would have laughed.  We both would have.  I imagined that living in Jersey would be similar to “Jersey Shore” and we’d be hanging out with “the Situation” and Snooki.  Well, as you are well aware, we definitely live in Jersey, and in case you were jealous, it’s nothing like “Jersey Shore”.  Having said that, there are quite a few people that should have been casted on Jersey Shore, and I’m one of the only true blondes you’ll see for miles.  Jersey, is fine, there is nothing wrong with it, but it’s not exactly where we feel we are supposed to be.  Our 14 miles to Midtown has us living perfectly between worlds.  We’re there often, but not enough.  Unsure where to build our life. It’s hardly what we pictured when moving here.  Yes, I am thankful, very thankful. Thankful for the charming house we find ourselves in–an absolute miracle, thankful for our amazing neighborhood and neighbors, and thankful for David’s 45 min door to door commute–most days, that is. I am also thankful that after years of dreaming, my album will be complete at the end of this week.  Yet, even in thankfulness, I feel lost.  We have so many dreams wrestling inside, and such clarity of dreams, but our steps feel muddy and blind.  Doors seem barred; Heaven seems silent.  The Proverbs that plays on repeat daily and even more often at night is, “If a man’s steps are ordered by the Lord, then how can a man understand his way”.  Nothing seems truer and more assuring.  There is something so beautiful about walking this blind walk, but also something so raw and fragile. I know I am both, raw and fragile.

I’ve been thinking so much about the life of Joseph and the similarities of our current season.  Dreams, and waiting. Dreams, and waiting.  I’m sure many times he felt forgotten, and looked at his current circumstances and nothing made sense.  Then glimpses of hope–translating dreams, only to be forgotten again.  But God knew exactly where he was taking him.  None of his steps were blind ones, though I am sure to Joseph his steps felt dark.

Only God knows why He brought us here.  We know the dreams that burn inside.  We know the willingness of our hearts.  We have to learn to live with open hands, holding loosely what He’s given us,  while still wildly pursuing the dream insides.  Oh, friend, how badly I want to see more– to know more.  Right now I don’t get to see, I get to trust.

So, here we find ourselves in the new year, and like you I’m sure, have chosen to be without much of the things in life that fill so readily, and distract so freely, so we can begin this new chapter with a blank slate and Jesus.  Never have I felt so stripped and so aware of how I really feel inside.  I think it’s good.  I’m not entirely sure yet. There’s already been magnified awareness of our current space, but now, even more, with nowhere to escape or few things to distract I find myself feeling utterly bare, and transparent.  As if all my spilling hadn’t tipped you off already. I’m glad for these first 31 days, whatever these days may give.  I don’t want to ignore my soul along the way and miss those revealing moments where I am face to face with this journey I am on.  I want to walk blind with Jesus, and be fully with Him on the walk.  It’s what we all want, right? Easier talked, harder walked.

On a lighter, semi-funnier note–actually not that funny at all, I have also welcomed the new year by whole heartedly embracing the stomach virus.  Thankfully, I’m the only one.  I’m praying the kids don’t get it and hoping with David’s insane 15 hour days, he’s not even around long enough to catch it.  Having described our current existence, I know exactly what you’re going to say.  Yes, I’m taking a deep breath, and you are right, a messy house isn’t the end of the world.  I have baskets of laundry all around.  My kitchen isn’t tidy.  My bedroom isn’t tidy.  Nothing is really tidy.  There are many legos and various creatures strewn about.  Almost 15 movies have been watched, maybe more.  Leon has told me though that they are “epically fine, and are not hungry, they have had 2 bars, a bowl of crackers, and cheerios”.  I guess there could be worse situations.  He also told me if I needed to rest in bed all day, he had everything under control.  He then proceeded by telling me I should stay in bed all day (with just a touch of excitement and slyness in his voice) followed by much wisdom, a change of tone and the reasoning that  it would make me feel so much better.  We both know he was scheming copious amounts of cookies, or just spoonfuls of sugar. Who wouldn’t? Sol’s empathy, on the other hand, has keep me sane.  He’s frequently rubbing my back, kissing me on the forehead or cheek and telling me he’s so sorry I’m not feeling well.  Me too, Spanky, me too.  But, this too shall pass.

Hope your first 7 have been eventful, but in a different way.
We’re being led, and it’s better than where we would have gone.  It always is.
Miss you!

Bep
Photo on 1-7-15 at 11.10 PM

Out with the old…and morning cravings.

In Teaneck Winter on January 3, 2015 at 6:55 am

Twenty Fifteen.  Can’t believe it, and could hardly wait for it.  I have many good reasons to be excited about 2015, but it’s not as if 2014 was a dark hole, although there were some long dark spaces for sure.  Not sure why my craving for this particular new year was so ravenous.  I almost felt giddy about it.  There is just something about newness.  Something so exhilarating and liberating.  Something so clean and fresh. A palate cleanse; A window washing of the soul.  I think I was craving it because I needed it so badly.  As you know, this last chapter of our lives has been raw and taxing and life’s residue has felt thick.  The cavern between what I want to be and who I really am is large, and the distance left to travel towards dreams and goals seems endless and unknown.  I guess this is why I welcomed NEW with open arms, because I needed it.

Three days into this beautiful new year looking for newness with wide eyes, I am realizing that what I so desperately wanted has been available for quite some time. It’s a reset button I push on occasion. I didn’t have to wait until January 1st for the freedom I was craving. “His Mercies are new every morning.”  New mercies every morning?  How is it that I know about this and so seldom access it and embrace it and let it change me.  How often have I waited for the new year, or re-locating, or starting a new job, et cetera, as an excuse or ticket for a fresh start? How often do I actually open this this gift?  Not often enough, I can tell you that.  How often do I awake to His goodness, and mercy allowing it to wash me?  How often do I let it bridge that gap between what I want to be and who I really am?  Definitely not 365 days a year.  And, I can tell you one thing, that is going to change.

New years do bring about something new, but so does Jesus, daily, if I let Him.  I think that is what 2015 is going to be all about.  Opening his mercies daily.

Love and miss you dearly,

Bep

P.S.

I’m going to attempt writing you more this year.  I know, I know, you’ll wait with bated breath.

%d bloggers like this: