The Hole In Your Heart

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Tonight I met with a great friend.  Despite the fact that Game #4 of the NBA finals was going on and it is now almost 1am and I still don’t know what happened, I was tickled pink to spend some time with a friend.   Even if it had to happen so late at night.  There are certain things in my life that totally ‘bring me back’.  One is and always has been, good sincere worship and the other is a good sincere friend.  Tonight I got both.  I spent some time driving in the car to and from my friend and during that time the Lord EVER SO GENTLY brought me back to His throne to remind me of who I am.  The craziest part is that I didn’t even realize that I had forgotten.  It’s so strange.  Do we even realize how GOOD God really is?  The fact that I even know about Him is an incredible display of His grace but then to be ushered back into His presence when I didn’t even realize that I had walked away – WHAT GRACE IS THAT???  Only found in Jesus!  I have written in times past about how I am guilty of being too busy a lot.  Not only is learning how to say ‘no’ a difficult lesson for me, but I also bite off more than I can chew quite often.  Looking back at the last couple months, I have definitely been more busy than I want to be and have taken on way too much.  What a sad truth that sometimes the first thing to go when the list is too long is the one and only thing you actually need!  Why?  I wish I knew Why! I guess it’s because we know that He will always be sitting there waiting for us to realize our weakness and lean on Him.  We know He will forgive us, we know He will take us back.  So when times are crazy, He too often takes the place on our back burners.  Yes, He forgives but for how long?  How many times can I just walk away in my blind stupidity and expect for Him to be sitting there calling me home with compassionate understanding and a gentle voice?  God is also just.  How long will He put up with my wayward ways?  How long can He stand being overshadowed by dumb stuff that doesn’t matter – or even GOOD THINGS THAT DO MATTER!!???! The mornings spent in His presence before the little ones wake up are TEN TIMES better than the ones without time with Him who gives me life, breath and the strength to get through every day.  I know this, so why am I so inconsistent?

  I woke up this morning with a hole in my heart and didn’t even know it.  I just love how God uses other people, and sincere worship and talk to open our eyes to the truth about ourselves.  I am so grateful for that truth on this day more than ever.  How long would I have strayed?  Would I have even noticed? This all has just made me think: How many people walk around with holes in their heart all around us just DESPERATELY AND BLINDLY trying to fill it with something, or anything.  Our jobs, our KIDS, our to do list, or all of our ‘good’ things we need to do.  It is so incredibly beautiful to me how EVERY LITTLE THING, all my trials, all of my projects, all of my relationships PALE in comparison to HIM – who really matters in this life, who gives us life even when we forget.  I take so much for granted every single day starting with the fact that I fail to thank Him for even waking up in the morning so I can care for these incredible small blessings He has given me. 

I guess this is just a late night confession for me here but I know I am in good company because EVERY HUMAN has a hole in their heart.  The only difference between them is that they fill it with different things.  My commitment to Jesus must be renewed on a daily basis – I chose to live this day for Him and I chose to push out the things that will condemn me if I worship them and instead fill that God shaped hole with God alone. 

I hope this makes sense.  It’s far too late to read it over.  I trust that these words will fall on the right eyes.  It’s so liberating living in the freedom of Christ! Goodnight!

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Aside

Well so once again, I have been faithful to my promise.  I have not written in a looong time because I have not had the time to do it.  It never stressed me out, but honestly, so much has happened I have just been sad that I haven’t had the chance to tell my 4 followers (one of whom I live with) what’s going on in the Donalson house.   So here’s the latest:

I’ve learned a really hard lesson.  First of all, I am so incredibly thankful that I learned this lesson within such a short time period because you can’t time travel backwards and change things.   Last I wrote, I told of my wonderful new full time position with Mercy in Urgent Care.  It is 3 days a week 10am-10pm or later, and I have to work nights, weekends, holidays, etc…I thought this attempt to pay off my student loans quickly was worth the sacrifices involved in this job.  I miss dinner and bedtime at home 3-4 nights a week, I don’t get to see friends very often and most of all, we have been dealing with this RELENTLESS wheel of illness in our house for 3 months now.  I have 4 priorities: #1 – I am a Christ follower who needs time with Jesus, #2 – I am a wife who needs time to nurture that relationship, #3 – I am a mother of 2 and I need to love on, raise, teach and nurture them and #4 – everything else (friends, activities, church, work, etc…)  This is not to say all the things encompassed in #4 are not important BUT the 1st 3 are more important.  SOMEHOW because of the distraction in my heart, this one little part of #4 (work) became #1.  And the motive, although it might have seemed pure, good and even beneficial as the long term result would be great, was to pay off my student loans in 2 years.

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

I don’t know if I could admit to hating or despising God, HOWEVER, I neglected him for a good while and perhaps that is just like hating or despising.  I have learned this lesson in SO many areas of my life – frustrating how my brain continues to dismiss it so I have to relearn it.  It’s like chasing your tail around and round and round and round – never making any headway.  I feel like the Lord is standing above me, or around me just watching me as his head spins and thinking, ‘when will she ask me for understanding and wisdom on this?’ (even though He already knows).  Why has it taken so long for me to realize that it is OKAY IN EVERY WAY to ask HARD questions like WHY? Why me? Why now? Why this family?  Why are we all sick again?  Why do I despise my job? Why did you lead me down this path?  WHAT IS THE LESSON HERE??  I sort of walked through this open door assuming it was what He had for me at the time (4 months ago) and sure that He would teach me and show me what His purpose was.    Well, He did exactly that.  I will never know all the details about why but you know what?  I asked Him WHY?! And you know what?  HE TOLD ME! It was/is to teach me that when all the older people say, “I never wished I would have spent more time at the office or made more money or (fill in the blank), I only wish I would have spent more time with my family and my Lord”, it’s for real!  Praise Him for teaching me so young that money is just paper and a means of survival.  It does not define me and it does not place a value on me.  It’s paper.  I work to pay on my loans, and help Shane provide a good enough and healthy life for our family, but NOT to store up riches.  And WORK (wow, has that perspective changed) WORK, is a means for MINISTRY!  I guess I made ministry fit into my work rather than WORK fitting into my MINISTRY!  What’s my ministry?  It’s simple (yes, I am still on a ‘simple’ kick).  It is to know Christ and make Him known.  So…it is just fun sometimes (as much as working where I am is super hard) to pray for at least ONE person or ONE thing to happen in a days work that makes me feel like the kingdom advanced that day.  God never shows up empty handed.  Never.  The only problem is that I count myself more important than His kingdom so often that sometimes I forget to ask Him to use me.    All this to say, our sweet, sweet Jesus who has immense compassion for us especially in distressing times, has once again opened a door for me and closed any others.  I have felt like I wanted to leave this job for quite some time now and He has allowed it.  I am moving forward VERY prayerfully, knowing that if this is NOT the will of God, regardless of how it might seem, I do NOT want to move forward.  I will be working in a medical spa up the road from my house and across the street from Shane’s work.  3 days, which ever 3 days I want, 9-5, no holidays, weekends, nights or being asked to work with the flu.  No runny noses, no one coughing in your face, no one stomping their selfish foot in the doorway demanding attention, and no internal tears on my part wondering if the patients will ever stop coming and if I will ever get home to rest my head.  I will not miss dinner, I will not miss bedtime, and Naomi probably won’t beg me to stay home ‘and play with Naomi for just a few more minutes’.  Or maybe she will but it won’t rip my heart out like it does now, knowing I will be home at 5.  Praise God for His provision.  I could never guess what He is up to – He is FULL of surprises.   There will be sacrifices on this side of the coin too though but these sacrifices; trying to figure out what to give up, cut out, do away with, sell, etc…are SUCH PIE compared to the sacrifice of time with my Lord, husband and kids.

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

We read this in small group last night and it says it better than I could say myself obviously.  Although there is a whole other lesson in this passage regarding being rich toward God, and understanding that every last fraction of a penny that you think you own, you actually don’t, but instead God who created you, graciously gave it to you out of the goodness of His heart and it ALL belongs to Him.  It’s funny to think of tithing the way we do.  10% + that we give to the church and other causes.  Instead, it should be the other way around; being willing to give it ALL, asking God how much we should keep. Do we really not think he would open the floodgates of blessing like scripture promises?  I guess we don’t – what an unbelieving nation….me included.  Is He not capable of solving every problem, way above and beyond any expectations we might have?   Anyway, this is a whole other soapbox, when all I really wanted to point out is that I am here on this earth to know Christ, make Him known, raise God fearing children with Shane who have a servant heart for His kingdom and to leave a legacy for those after me that might actually shake heaven – rather than a barn full of grain on the earth that will waste away that I worked so hard for and took all the glory.

I am excited to start this new chapter.  The last one was short – only 4 months.  But I feel like I grew up a whole 10 years or so in those months.  I’ll be 30 March 11th.  This was timely.  Hopefully, I will begin to find the time, health and energy to spend more time in the kitchen and post more fantastic recipes.  And hopefully, I will have left over time to rant, rave and preach to this computer screen.  What a refreshing time of my life – bringing in Spring, a much less stressful job, much more time with my family and the ability to be outdoors a lot.  My heart is happy.   Thank you Lord for your Word and for the simple fact that you cared so much about me to die in my place.

Quit chasing your tail!

86,400

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So I’ve been thinking…dangerous I know.  I’ve been thinking just about every day about a GREAT blog post that I just can’t wait to type out.  It’s too bad that TODAY of all days, I have found the time where I don’t feel stressed by it – to sit down and have a little blogging date but what do you know…my mind is blank.  It’s too funny how we/our minds work.  When you’re busy, you’re super productive and your mind is running a million miles a minute and then when the calm finally comes to visit (as ever rare as that might be) your mind is completely blank.  It doesn’t matter what I do right now – I’ve got nothing.  I heard a sermon once and the pastor was preaching about marriage and communication.  You know when girls are together, if any one member of the group gets quiet, someone might ask, “What are you thinking about?” or perhaps, “What’s wrong?”  and low and behold, there is definitely something on that girls’ mind and she will usually proceed to spill her guts all over the place.  When a gal is with a guy and the guy turns mute, the girl may ask, “What is it, sweet darling of mine – is there something on your mind?” , maybe hoping for an emotional, intimate, gaze into each other’s eyes, sappy sort of connection type moment as they share each other’s feelings and he responds…”Nothing.”  NOTHING!  Are you kidding?  At this point, I used to be stewing in frustration.  Doesn’t he know that I am right here ready to receive all of his deepest emotions and talk for hours?  Doesn’t he care to share?  So, the old me might have said, “Are you sure?  You just seem so quiet – I am worried something might be wrong?”  He responds with incredible monotony and entirely emotionless and he says, “Nothings wrong, I’m fine.”  At this point, say this particular girl and guy are in the car – the girl may resort to staring out the window thinking about what she could have possibly done wrong to upset this man so.  And the guy – well nothing has changed.  He’s still sitting there very still – driving, quiet and claiming to be thinking about ‘nothing’.    Well friends, I am here to tell you something.  I’m almost 30 years old and one of my favorite life lessons just came to me – thank you Lord!  IT’S PROBABLY TRUE!  I know the XX Chromosome type really cannot wrap their incredible thinking minds around this concept but by God’s grace, I’ve been given supernatural ability to understand.  IT IS TRUE AND POSSIBLE TO THINK ABOUT NOTHING.  TO BE COMPLETELY EMOTIONLESS, MONOTONOUS, AND QUIET.  And friends, the next part is an even greater lesson…IT IS GLORIOUS!  I love it!  And today is my first experience in this.  I had about a 5 minute spell we’ll call it where I was sitting here with both kids sleeping, staring out the window with really NOT a thought in my mind.  It was weird – like a visit to the twilight zone but it happened and it was great.  So now, Shane, I hope you are reading this.  I get it.  I really get it.  And I really like it.  I really wish I knew how to make it happen all over again.  And again and again and all over again!  My only request is this.  Just because I understand this blank mind concept now doesn’t mean that I will never think I have done something wrong or to hurt you when you are quiet.  So my request is that if I ask what’s wrong – even if it seems silly and the truth is that your mind is just entirely blank – just say sweet things like, “It’s nothing at all precious darling – I just have a blank mind – you’ve done nothing to hurt me.”  followed by a wink and a giant smile and then EVERYTHING will be just fine.  🙂

Moving on.  I really didn’t have a thought so I guess writing about not having a thought was appropriate.  I’ll continue with a quick update.  I have compartmentalized my time for the next 60 minutes and I only have 10 left to tickle the plastic keys so we better get moving.  The job thing – settled.  Praise God.  I know I spilled my guts about it on the last post so I will spare you but basically, I am starting FULL TIME doing the same job I am already doing on November 1st.  I will be working 36 hours a week which is full-time.  I will work Mondays, Wednesdays and I will split Fridays and Sundays with another girl.  I don’t mind the Sundays bc we open at noon instead of 10 so I can still go to church but I think I will mind the Fridays.  I just really didn’t want to have to work on a Saturday.  I really have a loving relationship with Saturdays – they are just wonderful!  I am a little scared that I will be a stressed maniac but at the same time, it might actually be less stressful.  At least, I know that the Lord wants to alleviate some stress so I have to trust that this is His plan.  Last week, I worked 4 out of 5 days and each day I worked a different shift at a different location.  That friends, is stressful.  This way, starting in a couple weeks, I will have ONE job at ONE location and ONE W-2!!! WAHOO!    My Tuesdays are protected so I can still do BSF and my Thursdays are protected so I can still go to our small group and my Saturdays are protected so that can ALWAYS be my fun family day!  And then the Fridays and Sundays I am off, I will love those days with all of my being.  This is the get out of student debt quick plan but my goal is to try and actually enjoy it – not just get through it. 🙂

That was a great segway into my next and likely final thought seeing the time.  The Lord is teaching me something about time and worth.  Why am I here?  To serve Him.  Why was I born? To serve Him by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.  Why do I work?  I work for Him not for man and I do it joyfully so as to soften the hearts of my peers OR CHILDREN to the bleeding Man on the cross that they might come to know, love and serve Him- the one whom they (the non-believers) are persecuting by their rebellion.  Sometimes I feel like asking, “What is the worth of this day?  It seems worthless – I just stay here, changing diapers, chopping food, cleaning messes and rubbing my eyes in tiredness.  His answer to this question is so clear now.  THAT IS UP TO ME! I can chose to make it count OR NOT!  I can resolve to thinking that my purpose that day is to keep my children alive and well or I can understand that my purpose is to raise disciples to fear and love God, to obey Shane and I and other authorities, and to rise up in boldness against the things of this world.   Eternal goals don’t return void.  Seeking money, or the next stage in life, or things, or rank, etc…all those return void and definitely DO condemn us as our pastor always says.  Our idols – even our children will end up condemning us. They really are horrible gods.  But when you really make it your goal EACH day to really make that day count, oh my goodness, the purpose of that day is no longer a question.  Instead, that question turns to praise for the fact that our Father even gave us breathe this day and we get yet another chance to do what we were called to do.  On some days, that’s to be a mother, some days it’s to be a PA and some days it’s both but no matter what way I look at it – I am starting to find PEACE and JOY knowing that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing: Serving HIM in all I do – even if that means changing 20 diapers a day.  With God as my boss, those little butts will be shiny, soft and spotless.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day.  That’s 86,400 chances.  So now, because I have the freedom to do so and because I have the peace in my mind, I am going to spend 3,600 of them with my eyes shut.  This will help me be a patient, better mother 1 hour from now.

Happy week people.  I am praying for all those around me that they might be able to find joy in the mundane things knowing that He has a plan and that the Holy Spirit has control.  I think I will rest better with this smile on my heart.  HAPPY NAPPING!

My Ode to Fall

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I always think of good titles to blog posts and then realize that they don’t really make sense but then somehow find a way to use it anyway.  I am aware that an ‘ode’ is actually a poem – usually a more dignified or serious of sorts and this blog post is definitely not going to be that.  I’ve just been thinking about Fall all day today so perhaps I will make a few comments about how much I miss weather where I didn’t cringe at the thought of stepping outdoors.

Lately:  Yes, it’s been a little while since I posted.  That’s because I have upheld my 1st vow faithfully.  🙂  Praise the Lord for his help!  Tonight, I have time for this why?  All the credit belongs to my crock pot.  Truth be known, I really hate ‘stews’.  Beef Stew could quite possibly be my most hated food.  So, when I first married I didn’t really even want a crock pot thinking all it was capable of was pork roast or beef stew, but friends, my perspective is changed.  Two people over the past 7 years have bought me crock pot cookbooks.  I didn’t really give them too much attention until lately – well until today.  WHY?  Because I am living a simpler life.  That’s why.  I don’t have time to be a Martha Stewart wanna-be anymore, chopping, briasing, simmering for 18 hours, etc.  “Punch down and let rise overnight” doesn’t pop up in my recipes these days.   Quick marinades, one pot wonders and anything Shane can help with are great additions to the greatest of all….THE CROCK POT!  If you can just get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning and put something on for 10 hours OR delay start the thing (mine sadly doesn’t have this feature), DO IT!  Tonight was so peaceful and wonderful.  I even ran errands AFTER dinner!  No lie.  So first, I will share my dinner with you then maybe I will give a short Donalson update.  A lot happens around here on a daily basis.

Dinner:  White Chicken Chili

disclaimer: I hated chili until I perfected it.  haha.  No really, I love MY chili.  I wrote a recipe once on a scratch piece of paper and still have it.  It has maybe a million ingredients but it’s good chili folks.  This was in efforts to put venison in it and NOT be able to taste the difference.  I have a freezer full of venison (want some?) and I’m not real good at using it.  This recipe though is chicken chili and I just really love it.  No slaying of innocent bambi was involved in this process.

I found this recipe in a book Shane’s aunt bought me called “Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook”.  It’s a good book but there are seriously at least 30 different takes on beef stew in this book.  That was the first turn off, 2nd was there are way too many recipes but I’ve been lucky to chose good ones.  I started with the recipe and then added a few things.

Ingredients:

An earlier morning – you’ll live

3, 15 oz cans Great Northern Beans, drained

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I cook in broth)

1.5 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped bell peppers – any color but red and green look festive!

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped – I OMIT these against Shane’s will.

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

12 tsp dried oregano

4.5 cups chicken broth (or so – this doesn’t have to be exact)

sour cream

Cheddar and pepper jack cheese – as much as you want

tortilla chips

SO: Combine everything except the sour cream, cheese and chips in crock pot and cook it up! Low 8-10 hrs, High 4-6 hours.

What I do is let it cook down for about 6 hours, then add 1/2 a block of pepper jack cheese (8oz or so) shredded, and then add about 4 oz of sour cream.  This will thicken the broth.  Then serve with cheddar which makes EVERYTHING better and chips.

I had every intention to take a picture because it was actually pretty but by the time I got it into my bowl, it was too late.   SOOO YUMMY!

 

So, making chili was part of my longing for fall as was the long walk I took this morning with a friend and our kiddos.  It was windy and early so I thought it would be nice and cool until I realized that the wind was just a brutal reminder to me of why I hate sitting in saunas.  I can’t breath.   I really am so tired of this.  It makes me want to move somewhere.  Maybe Hawaii, its great weather AND no bugs.  What a life.  Shane and I took our honeymoon there and met a lady who lived in a 600 sq ft shed type thing with a metal roof and it was hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Yep, I’m not lying. I think I’ll stay.  I just can’t wait to take my kids outside and not worry about them.  I’ve seen so many patients lately that just flat out overheated even while drinking lots of water.  So be careful out there!

A little Donalson update.  I am still sort of job searching.  I would love to report to you tomorrow that the search is over and I think that is a likely possibility.  I’ve sort of been offered a full time position somewhere.  So, I know you are probably wondering how ‘full time’ fits into my quest.  Let me tell you.  Shane and I still have a hefty load of school loans from me.  Undergraduate and Graduate loans.  I won’t say how much but it’s enough.  Thank God He didn’t call me to med school.  I worked with a doc the other night who was 58 yrs old.  We were talking about school loans and debt and he said that this month was going to be his last payment.  ARE YOU KIDDING?  SO, I learned a lesson. I know the interest is so low and everything and that people say its not ‘bad debt’ but its still debt! It follows me, I hate it.  I don’t want to keep up with the Joneses, living beyond my means and carry this little leach around with me.  So, Ive made up my mind.  I have to make more to get out of it.  Shane does great too but I wouldn’t expect him or want him to work even more.  No way. I have been praying a couple things.  One, Ive prayed that something miraculous would happen that would allow us to pay it all off sooner and I have also prayed that whatever that is, that it would allow me to be home more than just evenings and weekends.  I hesitate to say that I’ve found the answer, but I think answer found me.  If I only have to work 12 days, I am home 18.  I will make a decent amount more than I do now and be able to pay everything off in 2 years or so.  If I do that, then I will feel the complete freedom to work way less and HOMESCHOOL.  I said it.  Typed it.  Homeschool.  This is something I’ve been praying and thinking about for a long time now.  I have felt a tenderness toward it but just wasn’t sure.  I have so many reasons but perhaps that’s for another post.  For now, unless the door is closed or I just completely fail, I am SUPER excited about it.  Naomi will only be 4 1/2 when we pay all the loans off and she will still be 1.5 years away from kindergarden.  I will probably let her go to a Pre-K at Church and then bring her home after that.  I am thinking I will do some sort of co-op where they go 2 or 3 days a week and they are home the other days, that way I can still work.  I love what I do.

So…in my quest for simplicity, I will start and blog and work full time.  Sounds ridiculous but what a perfect example of how we don’t know squat.  I could have come up with a great plan to make my life simpler but THIS plan wouldn’t have crossed my mind.  I’ll be gone a little more than usual but I will still be home a ton.  It’s not for long either and then I don’t have to worry about all this anymore.  I can’t wait.  If  you’re reading this, the month after I pay it all off, I’ll buy your dinner or I’ll just make it for you.  It will be worthy of a great celebration!

Love to all!  If it’s not a million degrees in the morning, I will venture out to the zoo with both kids by myself!  Last time I did that, I was in labor with Sam and needless to say, it wasn’t fun.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

So I’m off to bed and feel in need for some comic relief.  Looking at this picture makes me laugh every time but the thought of putting it on my blog without asking Shane makes me laugh harder.  I am going to go tell him now and if he freaks out, I’ll come take it down so if you don’t see a picture, he freaked.    This was taken while we were dating in 2003.  He had this yucky gotee and we went down to Broken Bow one weekend with his family and he disappeared to the bathroom for a long time.  When I finally got hime to open the door, he reluctantly showed me that he was working on a masterpiece.  Shaving the beard first, only to leave a mustache that warrants a nickname like Chester or something. Don’t worry, he shaved it off too – I think he did this for shock value.  One of my favorite things in life is laughing until I cry… or pee my pants which I am proud to say doesn’t happen often.  But this was one of those times.   See below:  my darling husband.  Goodnight!

Shaving the gotee

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NUMBER TWO!  I know, a lot of you (including myself) never thought #2 would ever come.  Well it has.  Kids are in bed, Shane is at the store so here I am.  I don’t have much to say, but I am going to post my recipe for dinner.  It’s a must.  Let me start this post by saying THANK YOU to the one who mentioned how many type-o’s there were in my first post.  I only found 3 but I must have a poorly trained eye.  ‘The one’ happens to be my husband who was made from day 1 to be an engineer because it is just like him to bring those to my attention…quickly.  I don’t think I will go back and fix them though – it doesn’t fit the theme of simplicity.  I’m all about easy these days.

Today was not simple.  Day 1 of my new simple life proved to be a failed attempt UNTIL dinner which redeemed me.  I say me but as far as I know, Shane is on board with this.  He’s just as busy, maybe busier than I am.  I had ANOTHER, yes another interview this morning at 7:15.  I don’t know about you but I don’t often see that time of day so it was a little rough for me.  My goal was to make it there with brushed teeth and something other than my PJ’s on.  I never called them PJ’s before kids. It’s cute.  Right after that, I came home, fed Sam and left to go to physical therapy.  Then I came home, ate super fast and left to go to work.  I worked until 5 which is a post in and of itself and then came home with hopes to redeem my not simple day.

Just a little side note: if you are EVER bored which if you are a parent, I assume you are not, then come to work with me.  It always proves to be entertaining to say the least.  I have often had thoughts about how I think that I am ‘normal’.  Call me crazy.  I really did and always have thought that I was normal – whatever that means.  But, as I have worked in health care, it has come to my attention that I am most definitely NOT normal.  I define normal now as ‘the majority’ where I used to define it as what was right or correct.  But now I can say it’s normal for my 8-year-old to have a tattoo and an I-phone or it’s normal to wear a down feather coat in the middle of summer or it’s normal to cry and beg for cheaper medicine all the while glued to the bluetooth set connected to the new I-phone 4 and chatting away with gold teeth telling me that the disability for ‘back pain’ isn’t paying enough.   This my friends, is normal.  I’ll just leave it at this – I am mad at society – angry with Satan and frustrated for the blindness of mankind.  ABNORMAL is my new preference.

On with my day.  As I pulled into the driveway I saw a sort of interesting site.  I saw my jeep that’s maybe a worth a penny leaning quite far over set up on a jack missing a tire.  Next, I saw Shane handling a tire headed for its new home.  And then it dawned on me…it’s 5:30 and I know the kids are awake – where are they?  Oh friends, don’t worry – it’s not like it was 106 degrees outside or something.  Next I saw Naomi, redder than a tomato with grease on her hands screaming ‘Mommy’s home, mommy’s home!” but I still didn’t see Sam.  After a few seconds I realized that joining the modge podge of things in our garage was a baby seat and Sam was in it.  The radio was on and he seems maybe a little happy but he was HOT!  So, my simple peaceful mood was temporarily disrupted as I thought, my kids are hot, dirty, and hungry and so am I!  Here we go!  My frustration ended quickly as I walked in to see that Shane had dinner all ready to go in the oven!  It was quick redemption for him.  Having a proactive, helpful husband most definitely fits in my quest.

So I have to share the recipe.  It came from my Mom and Tad and I don’t know where they got it.  I am not a big honey eater, except of course in America’s favorite cereal – Cheerios.  I really don’t like mustard either, so it’s no surprise that honey mustard is just ‘alright’ to me.  But people – this is good – whether you like what’s in it or not.  It’s a crowd pleaser  10 X out of 10.  I am ONLY sharing this because it’s SIMPLE – simple enough for Shane to pull it together and no one being afraid to eat it.  🙂 One more quick note – if I could write a cookbook right now it would be about simple things.  I don’t care if it has a ton of ingredients or needs prep or whatever – I just want simple.  I don’t want to have to watch something, or wait on something too long.  You know, I just want simple.  Rachel Ray, I do love you but your whole ‘Thirty Minute Meals’ thing doesn’t work for me.  I think what they forgot on the ingredient list was “an entire staff of people waiting on you hand and foot ready to chop, bake, run and grab, etc…” Thirty Minute Meals in this house take just as long as anything else.  This one though, you can do in a jiffy – even WITH kids tugging on you, a baby crying, a husband rotating tires and a raging headache.  Totally doable.

HONEY-MUSTARD CHICKEN AND RICE

Ingredients:

4 TB butter,  1/4c mustard, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp curry , 1/2 cup honey and 3 lbs of chicken   THAT’S IT!!!

Melt the butter and mix it with the mustard, salt, curry and honey in a 9X13 dish.  (This makes the sauce)  Then add the chicken to the sauce and flip to cover the chicken with sauce.  Bake in the oven, uncovered for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

A couple of tips thanks to my momma: #1 – Use chicken tenderloins instead of breasts – and it takes the cooking time down to TWENTY minutes.  Rachel Ray’s got nothing on me.   #2- Double the stuff for the sauce – my mom could probably drink this stuff if someone would let her. It is SO good.

For the rice:  Buy yellow saffron rice and cook it.  Yes, it’s that simple.  I will only offer one piece of advice.  I won’t post pictures of all my food – especially this recipe because it’s not pretty – it’s just good.  But I HAVE to post a picture of the rice so you don’t make the same mistake I have TWICE! Good gracious.

This first picture is the WRONG rice – look closely.  It says “Authentic Spanish Recipe” and let me tell you – it doesn’t go well with curry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the RIGHT rice!  I buy 1 package for just Shane and I, 2 if Naomi is eating too.  It’s not easy for me to find at Buy For Less but Wal-Mart always seems to have it.

My last thought about this wonderful food.  It makes great left-overs I think.  I really hate left overs and being married to Shane has been so good because he will eat ANYTHING left over – yes, even if it has a little added flavor of mold.  Don’t ask me people – he has an iron stomach. The only sort of gross part is that the fat from the butter hardens at the top.  So when I reheat it, I scrape that part off first.  It still tastes just as fantastic and think about it – you’re saving calories!  So yes, go eat those Oreos!  (That’s what I want right now but I don’t have any – good thing.)

Off to bed.  Enjoy the yummy chicken!

I’ll leave you with a picture of my little guy.  I really just adore him.   I think he should be the new face for the Bumbo chairs.  This was on the beach last month in Florida.  The truth is, he is so GIANT that it takes 2 people to get him (really just his legs) out of the bumbo chair!

‘My first post’

Standard

This is us, without the kids obviously.  I’ll post pics of them later.  I figured I would start with a picture of Shane and I for those out there that forgot what we looked like.  I only say that because as I have entered in to parenthood, a lot of things have proven true.  But one thing in particular is that my / our social lives suffer. I say suffer lightly because it doesn’t make me sad, other than the fact that I miss my friends – it’s really more of a sacrifice – and only for a time.  You may read the ‘all about us’ section before you go on.  My thoughts below will make quite a bit more sense.

THE BURNING QUESTION

WHY?  Why did I chose to start a blog? For those of you who are close to me, I am sure you are thinking I am entirely nuts since all I seem to find myself talking about lately is “SIMPLICITY”.  It’s the only place my mind wants to go anymore. Starting a blog / adding another task to my ‘to-do’ list, doesn’t exactly seem to fit into simplicity.  As I wrote my little list (I am the epitomy of a list maker) of all the things that stress me out or make me feel frazzled, overwhelmed, crazy, a sufferer of tachycardia, etc…I found that ‘keeping up’ with people is pretty high up there.  I never wanted to become a hermit just because I had kids.  I never wanted to lose touch with people just because of some enormous amount of miles between us.  I, unfortunately always have wanted to be able to do it all.  My phone call in tears to my mother last week was centered around the fact that I feel like I am no good at anything because I am trying to do everything.  I hope that makes sense.  Beneath it all, yes, to answer your question, I WAS in fact having a large pitty party for myself.  BUT – I have had it with feeding the stupid lies that Satan disguises all too well within our society that we have to be ‘everything’, do ‘everything’, keep up with the Jones’ if you will.  Man, I am tired.  It wears me out just typing about it.  So to sum it up – this blog was created because I came up with it as a simple solution to appease one of my burning needs in less time and it doesn’t require that YOU are available when I am.  I am going to take you on this journey to find simplicity with me along with a lot of other things.  My main purpose is to make simplicity vows that are public – that way you can hold me accountable to them.  I will also post family updates, meaningless things that later prove to be a waste of time, humble honest messages telling the truth about the pains we face in life, and maybe a recipe or two.  🙂

Oh, and about the title ‘donalsondaily’.  I thought it sounded alright so I picked it.  Don’t let it fool you.  I promise to not post daily. Here is my vow – my first vow – to you – all my readers (zero so far), I WILL NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT POSTING ON MY BLOG, IT WILL NOT TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER MY FAMILY OR ANY PERSON. I WILL NOT SAY ‘NOT RIGHT NOW’ TO MY KIDS BECAUSE I WOULD RATHER WRITE ON MY BLOG.  AND LAST, I WILL NOT LOSE SLEEP AND BECOME MORE OF A MESS BECAUSE I STAYED UP TOO LATE ‘BLOGGING’. This blog will fit into my life but not shape it. With that said, this might be the only post that ever makes it.  We’ll see.