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A Ladybug & a Laptop

Deeply broken then made whole
beaten and weary
life knows how to take its toll.
And still there is truth
there is hope on even the darkest night
for there is a purpose
found in God’s light.

The world tugs
and tries to convince us to flee
to give up and in
but that’s not who God wants us to be.

The worries knock
and they pound to get in
but God’s word reminds us
this is a victory He will always win.

So as they shout
and even through each doubt
God has a purpose
greater than what the world says it’s about.
So don’t run from it
don’t hide or flee
for you are God’s handiwork
created so wonderfully.
So trust and become-
all God created you to be.

🐞 For a few days now, there’s been a ladybug in my bedroom. I noticed it first on a part of the ceiling where I can’t reach. Then the day started and online teaching began, and it was something I no longer noticed. Then the next morning I noticed it again but in a different spot. Once again I could not reach it so it was soon erased from my sight and mind. But then yesterday morning as I woke up and went to get up, I noticed that this lady bug was no longer on my ceiling. Instead it had landed right on my laptop on the decal “Just be Who God Made You to Be.”

🐞 And that moment hit me like it was a way to slow me down and bring me back to the basics… to who I am… to who God created me to be.

🐞 We are all created with a distinct purpose. We are all God’s handiwork. We are born that way and yet from an early start the world throws challenges and distractions at us that can make steer away from that purpose. It can make us think that we must be who the world wants and needs us to be. And in that, everything can become confusing.

🐞 But God’s word and purposes are true and clear. They do not bring confusion.
They bring clarity.


So we must pray to God for it.

🐞 We must pray for those God-given purposes to be revealed, sharpened and used. We must pray to stay aware, connected, and aligned with His wisdom, direction and strength with it. And we must stay aware that the reminders will come when we need them.

God knows what we need.

🐞 We must just be open and ready to see and more importantly, accept them, swallowing away the pride and making the changes we need to make. We must use the reminders to bring us back to reality… to bring us back to what God has created us to be.

🐞 So be ready for those those moments that stop us. No matter how big or small they are, you’ll know them when they come. Pray for the wisdom, acceptance and obedience to be renewed by them too. For God is trying to do such a great work in you.

🐞 And much like that ladybug who held on tight as I walked the laptop downstairs and outside to set her free…
we must hold on tight to God’s word…
for it too will set us free.

Fun Fact: l always assumed a ladybug was a beetle that got its name because of his polka dots. The polka dots leaned towards a female and thus it was a LADYbug. I was wrong in my assumption. Instead, ladybugs are named after one amazing lady, Jesus’ mother Mary. While it is unknown for sure why, many theories state it symbolizes the red cloak Mary is often seen wearing in paintings. There are other theories too related to Mary. Those theories all point to being a gift from God. I always thought ladybugs were pretty but now their beauty has taken a whole other beautiful meaning. 🐞


“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV)‬‬

Prayer:
Dear God,
You created it all for a purpose. Your purpose reigns above it all. Forgive us when we steer away from what you created us for. Empower us with the Holy Spirit and fill our lives with wisdom, direction and clarity on our purpose. I pray for the courage to be obedient to it today and every day. I pray for a world where more and more people learn to do this too, all for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Peach Cobbler Cookies (Dairy free, egg free, peanut free)

 Who doesn’t love a good cookie? Cookies are one of my favorite types of desserts to eat and also experiment with. This summer when I was looking for something new to bring to barbecues, I stumbled across some recipes for peach cobblers. Since my son has dairy, egg and peanut allergies, he cannot eat dessert unless it is made by us or purchased from one of our reliable companies. Therefore, I tend to like to bring desserts to events so that he can be included too. Everyone deserves to be included!

The following recipe is a play on peach cobbler. It is dairy, egg and peanut free as well! Add some ice cream to the top or sandwich it in between two cookies! You will want to put those summer diets aside for this one.

However you decide to eat them, they are promised to be delicious and totally worth the mess on the counter.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan butter

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1.5 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

2 Tablespoons dairy-free milk (We used almond, cashew, pea called Protein Milk by Silk because of its thickness and richness)

3 cups flour (We used organic, whole wheat but it can be substituted for a gluten free one)

1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup chopped peaches (skinned and cut into tiny pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Skin and cut the peaches into tiny pieces.
  3. Mix melted butter and sugars in a bowl.
  4. Add the extract, milk and applesauce.
  5. Add flour and the rest of the ingredients into another bowl.
  6. Mix both bowls together.
  7. Stir and fold in peaches.
  8. Grease trays with non-dairy butter.  Press cookie circles down with a fork. We made them about 2 inches in diameter.
  9. Bake for 16 minutes.
  10. Enjoy by themselves or with some dairy-free ice cream.  Our favorite to eat it with is vanilla cashew ice cream by So Delicious.

What Drives You Crazy?

Think about someone close to you.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy about this person whether it is a loved one, significant other, spouse, family member or friend? 

Or maybe there’s a few things?

As much as we would like to say, there is nothing.  With time,  most, if not all of us develop those pet peeves that can lead to inevitable arguments, disagreements, or situations.

The reality is they exist… and while compromise is a crucial part of any relationship, sometimes it is not possible.  Instead, it may require some acceptance on our part.

Accept it!??! That one thing that drives us crazy!?!?! Oh heck no!!!

But wait….

and hear me out…

The thing that drove me crazy for years was my husband’s love (aka obsession) for our grass. Perfect grass was not possible in the life of a family of two young kids and a Labrador. Yet, he spent hours relentlessly making sure that our lawn would one day be just that…perfect!

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In fact, one summer his deep partnership with our lawn, required many weekend afternoons caring for it.  Yet, after our basement flooded, we needed to have a lot of work done in the backyard to prevent future ones.  As our backyard was beginning to have more and more of the perfect set up for a barbecue or summer party, one patch of his beloved grass was destroyed by the workers. Therefore, any parties, barbecues, or actually … anyone near that area of lawn … was forbidden for the rest of the summer.

I tried… I really did… but when your husband comes home and runs to greet his growing patch of grass before his wife and kids…

…I admit I lost it! (A few times!)

That was until I took on a poetry challenge.   I love poetry and have been writing it for most of my life.  It had been around this time last summer where I wanted to push deeper with it… to push for a dream of mine a bit more seriously, the dream to be published

Therefore, I heard from a poet friend about an opportunity.   It required me to devise a poem base don a prompt and model poem.  If chosen, it would be published in an upcoming book. So what did I have to lose?

When I sat to review the prompts, one jumped out at me:

“For your own love poem, zero in on a single talent your beloved has.”

Right away, his grass jumped into my head.  His grass! My pet peeve – his passion…

Could that really been seen as a positive thing? A talent? This obsession that drove me mad!

The task called for me to learn about this talent and turn it into a metaphor.  Therefore, I sat outside on that late Spring evening, and asked him questions about terms I never knew existed. Or if I’m being completely honest, terms I never cared about. Or rather…never tried to care about…

Strangely enough, not only did a poem get drafted that was soon chosen to be published, but somehow something that drove me crazy for years turned a new leaf.  Suddenly, I did not feel so crazed over it either…

 

Grass

Who’s kept receipts anyways
things you’ve learned over these years
growth you’ve sang into the grass
never doubting sun and rain to not agree
what steps to grow what patience set free

why throw dough to someone’s stranger
when you can spread the seed or at least
you’ll start using the rototiller
sweating over the inches
spreading over the daunting dirt

so many weekends to foster new year’s lawn
fertilizer for the poking patches
tall fescue perennial rye
manual hose automatic display
and tools I cannot even say

sun and water and more seed
depend on you
to know how to apply
and bring back to life
lean on you never to die

– JK

 

For more poems and excellent poetry writing tips from this collection, check out the following book:

“The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics” – Diane Lockward

 

In the meantime, try it out sometimes, embrace what drives you crazy about someone you love, learn more about it, and see what happens.   I did not know it at the time, but it was the perfect way to combat or rather extinguish many potential arguments.

Try to find out why they love “that thing” so much.

We may always have patches of imperfect grass that call my husband to spend hours tending to it… that make me want to pull the hair out of my head…

but at least we can appreciate the beauty of its growth more…

…at least I can appreciate the passion and man behind it…

…and hopefully we can have a few barbecues in the meantime too…