Friday, January 23, 2009

The weather up here

Of things that I've missed about Baton Rouge, the weather has not typically been one of them. However, I enjoyed it this time of year. It usually didn't rain much, and it was starting to look a little like spring. Some of my bulbs would be starting to come out now, and it was not very cold. (It was never very cold anyway.)

I'm ready for spring, but we're supposed to have snow Monday. My skin is really dry from the cold weather. One day I got to work and noticed that one of my knuckles was bleeding, not because I had cut my hand, but because my skin had cracked. I'm not wearing my contacts as much because they get dried out from the wind and become uncomfortable. My lips were chapped so badly a few weeks ago that regular lip balm wasn't helping. I used Mary Kay Cosmetic's Extra Emollient Night Cream on my lips before I went to bed, and that did the trick. (The night cream is about as think as ointment is you're not familiar with the product. And no, it was not meant to be used as lip balm.)

Enough complaining. I love spring. It is so full of hope, new flowers, new baby birds, green grass, the outdoors come back to life after the dead of winter. It renews my hope of the New Earth.

In the meantime, I keep reminding how unpleasant it is to be without power in the summer because a hurricane has wiped out the electricity everywhere south of Alexandria and how it is not fun to have half of New Orleans in your town because New Orleans has become an extension of Lake Pontchartrain. Winter or hurricanes. . .I'd definitely rather have winter. I think we might have to have a King Cake shipped up here though!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Art for the Bedroom

I had three photos that I took in Louisiana enlarged and framed. We hung them in one of our guest bedrooms. Readers familiar with sights around South Louisiana might recognize them. The one on the left is the St. Louis Cathedral, the middle one is Oak Alley plantation, and the 3rd is the oak trees at Oak Alley. We have a watercolor of the catherdal hanging up downstairs that we bought from one of the artists at Jackson Square shortly after we got married. If you haven't been to Jackson Square, it is a must see when in New Orleans. The church is beautiful, and there is an outdoor artists colony - which made it back after Katrina and and as interesting as ever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A new book

My parents gave me this book for Christmas. I've really enjoyed it so far. This is the second one of Gary Thomas' (no relation) what I've read. The first was Sacred Marriage. James and I read that book together, and it was really helpful. There were discussion questions that corresponded with each chapter at the end of the book.

Sacred Influence is the second book for Christian wives that I've read, and I prefer it over the first one I picked up. I read The Excellent Wife once while I was in pharmacy school and again after I had a full time job. I know Martha Peace's book has had a very positive impact on a lot of women, and I'm thankful for that. It just didn't speak to me. She hammers down the importance of keeping a home and not working outside of the home so that you can be the ever ready helpmate for your husband. Both times I read the book, I was at a place in life I couldn't be a stay at home wife. I was in professional school the first time, and the second time I was working full time so James could go to grad school. She's definitely biblical; I just didn't have time in my life for her suggestions about making sure the house is tidy before you leave for the day.

Sacred Influence is a different kind of book. You don't have to be living the idealistic stay-at-home-mom life to have it touch your heart. Thomas speaks of the condition of your heart, and reminds you that you are a fallen sinner and so is your husband and that your marriage is tied and bound by the grace of God.

Here's an excerpt:

A good marriage doesn't happen by accident, and a good marriage isn't maintained by accident. I've never written a book by accident, and you can't build a business by accident. These endeavors require deliberate choices and much perseverance. When you start acting instead of merely wishing, when you begin taking initiative instead of simply feeling sorry for yourself, you become an active woman, and active women mirror the active God who made them.

I know many of us find it easy to pray for the "small matters" of life - safe travels, good rest, good weather for our vacations, but sometime we fail to pray for big things of life - our spouse's walk with God, wisdom in sharing our faith, and the endurance to be faithful to carry out the tasks of ministry that God has given us.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A plan for the new year

With both of us working, it is sometimes difficult to cook dinner after we get home. We end up ordering Chinese take-out or picking us fast food way too much. We both like to cook, but it turns into such a chore sometimes - especially grocery shopping. If it was cost effective, I would be all over a grocery delivery service.

I hope that we can turn a new leaf this year. I bought a cookbook a few years ago called Dinner's in the Freezer. The book give shopping tips and instructions for buying food in bulk and preparing it for use later. The recipes are designed where you prep the food, freeze it, then defrost it and cook it. I spent this afternoon making 4 recipes from the book. For three of the ones I made, you basically make a marinade and place it and your meat in a freezer bag, and freeze it. The meat is not cooked when you put it in the freezer. The forth recipe was for tacos. We are having that tomorrow, so I cooked the meat and put it in the fridge instead of freezing it.

I hope this works for us. I am getting tired of having to eat take out so often.