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Archive for October, 2008

Souptacular08

 

There’s a really cool Souptacular Crockpotalooza going on over at Boomama‘s spot.  So in the interest of supportin’ my friend and sista (hoot, hoot), I thought I’d share a recipe.  Just one.  I don’t cook much so I’m doing good to find this one, but it’s super yummy.

Herbed Tomato Soup

3/4 cup unsalted butter, divided

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

4 sprigs fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)

4 large basil leaves, chopped (1 tsp dried)

salt and freshly gound black pepper to tast

2 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored or 1 can tomatoes (35 oz), with liquid

3 Tbs tomato paste

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock, divided

1 tsp sugar

1/2 pt heavy cream

croutons to garnish

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan and add olive oil. Add onion, thyme, basil, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is wilted. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to blend. Simmer 10 minutes. Place flour in a small mixing bowl and add 5 tablespoons of stock, stirring to blend. Combine flour mixture with tomato mixture. Add remaining stock and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Puree soup in food processor, then return to heat and add sugar and cream. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Swirl in remaining butter. Serve hot or cold, garnished with croutons.

Enjoy with a sigh of yummy delight!

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Ok – I admit it – I am a novice blogger. I LOVE to write and so often I find myself writing for my own pleasure, not necessarily for something that is worthy to be published forevermore in blogland. But, I’m not too old and set in my ways that I can’t amend it somewhat. So I’m committing to blogging more and more and more.  I know your jumping up and down in anticipation. Quite honestly, I am too!

So, to celebrate this monumental breakthrough, I thought I’d celebrate.  You can help celebrate too!  I’m going to be giving away 3 (count them… 1…2…3) autographed copies of my book, To Walk on Fertile Ground.  All you have to do is: a) leave me a comment as to why you’d like your own copy (or to give as a gift) and b) share this giveaway with your readership.

To Walk on Fertile Ground

To Walk on Fertile Ground

Help me bloom! And you might just be rewarded by winning in my very first blog giveaway. Let’s pull out the horns, throw some confetti, and play some music like “Celebrate good times, come on!” 

I’ll close comments next Tuesday evening – so let’s get the party started.  One, two, three… GO!

 

All comments have been closed for this entry. Thank you for your support.

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Here’s Your Sign

A little over a week ago, I was driving to Birmingham, AL to a funeral of a dear friend’s father. I had a lot of windshield time so I took it upon myself to talk on the cell phone.  And boy, was I talking!  Mostly I was talking to one of my mentors who is on my “dream team.”

Here’s how part of the conversation went:

K: I’m just agonizing over this; I am just so unsure of myself.

L: It’s perfectly normal to feel that way.

K: But what if they laugh at me? What if I’m making a mistake? I don’t want to go back through a door that’s supposedly been closed.

L: But can’t you see that it may be a NEW opportunity for you? Can you look at this a little differently? Can you see that this might be meant to be?

K: I just need a sign, L. I totally need a sign from the Lord that says, “Go this way or go that way.”

That instant I was bypassing Bessemer and I looked up at this bright, purple billboard. I had never seen a purple billboard before, but it jumped off the highway and into my heart and I realized I was seeing a burning bush.  Here’s what the sign said:

“My peace I give to you.”  -Jesus

(sponsored by Birmingham Baptist Association)

I almost wrecked my car because I had cried out for a sign, and there it was! God is so good in the midst of my doubts to speak so clearly to me. And in humor, I felt like the end of a Jeff Foxworthy joke, with this message from God:

“Um, Kristi, here’s your sign.” -Jesus

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Oh, friends. I wish you could see what I just saw.  I’m sitting here catching up on some unnecessary reading… research, when a furry tail caught the corner of my eye.  Thank goodness there is a french door that separated the two of us because I may or may not have jumped into my Sadie’s red chair for just a moment!

Anyway, when I removed my heart from my throat I looked out to see Mr. Squirrel rummaging through the leaves that were blown up by the storm on my patio. Just as our eyes met, he slowly walked toward the back yard.  I don’t know if it was because he realized a) he was lost and clearly in the wrong space of our 5 acres, b) if I scared him with my “I’ve-been-sick-all-week” hair-do, or c) if he suddenly realized there are no acorns up around our house because I have 2 dogs who suction them up before he has a zippity-nut chance at loading them up in his squirrley little cheeks.

I wonder if acorns would work on the neighborhood children this year for Halloween?  If they’re good for the white angels and visiting squirrels, then why not?  Just call me the environmentally friendly, go-green-acorn-giving woman!

Yes, I know. Generous, I’m so generous. 

Or perhaps I’ve had too much Tussinex cough syrup.

Hack, hack.

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It’s been 5 years today

Five years ago today I was sitting on my back porch enjoying a glorious fall morning. First I sipped some coffee and then I spent several hours reading my Bible, praying, and journaling.  Five years ago today I was recovering from the physical side effects of losing our baby, gaining strength, and planning my return to work the following week.  Five years ago I wrote this in my journal:

“Lord, I turn my desire for a baby over to you knowing that you see what is best and pure and right. It’s not about me, Lord. It’s about you and your purpose.  Use me, Lord, however, wherever I’m supposed to go.”

And that was the end of my entry but the beginning of a new journey.  Within an hour, I received a phone call from Dr. Jimmy Moore informing me that my week’s bloodwork showed signs that my molar pregnancy had metastasized into cancer.  He had scheduled me for a CT-scan the following day, and I was to plan to stay overnight in the hospital.  The Lord surely was taking me at my word – and He had plans to use me for sure.

Five years ago today, my life spiraled into orbit in fast forward increments that involved chemotherapy, CT scans, PET scans, Neulasta and Procrit shots, exhaustion, thinning hair, surgery, more chemotherapy.  It was a time of uncertainty and frustration. Yet it was a time of complete peace in knowing that the Lord had me in the palm of His hand.

Five years ago today was the beginning of a lesson I inevitably had to learn – to give Him my entire life for his glory. It was a time of being swept up onto a cloud of grace as prayers went up for my life. It was a time of knowing who my friends really were, the beauty of making new friends and relationships I might otherwise would have missed. It was a time of sweet redemption, of being still and knowing He is sovereign in all things.

It’s been 5 years ago today that cancer entered my life, which took me on a new path of unexpected joy, peace, and grace.  And today, I am thankful for that unexpected time in my life.  That’s when I began planting a new garden that daily teaches me how to live a fertile life through my infertility.

You know what they say, “Bloom where you’re planted.”

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Last week I had the good fortune of being in Destin, Florida at one of my friend’s condo (SCORE!).  I’ve not been to the beach during October but let me tell you, the timing couldn’t have been better.  Besides the fact that I’ve been a little down in the dumps because of some things I’ve been wrestling with personally, I needed that time.

My daily routine was: wake up around 7 or 8.  Go to balcony for Bible reading and quiet time. Eat breakfast. Put on swimsuit. Pack cooler with water, crackers, and Oreos. Grab beach chair. Head down to the sand. Plop down in the chair. Read. For hours. Head up to poolside for more reading. Go to condo for late lunch of Boar’s head cajun smoked turkey with brown spicy mustard sandwich.  Back to the pool.  Or the beach. Read some more. Go in for the evening. Shower. Lounge. Eat. Sleep.

I know, I was too busy to even notice that I was getting sunburned.

So imagine my dismay when I woke up at 2:30 a.m. the morning I was supposed to leave anyway and couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned because the sheets hurt me and I kept feeling all squooshy in my legs. I finally got up about 3:45am to get dressed and when I looked down at my feet to slide my shorts on, I noticed I had no ankles or knees.  My legs were stumps.

I didn’t even recognize myself. Nothing like that has ever happened to me.  By the time I drove the 5 1/2 hours home that morning, I was in some serious pain.  And by Saturday, I was mortified because I realized I was going to a wedding that evening and I’m sure there’s no Fashion Friday advice from BigMama that could have saved me.

I don’t know if it was the sun or the serious amount of Boar’s Head cajun turkey that caused my legs to inflate like a Romper Room inflatable character, but I bet I could make a pretty penny by selling tshirts that said, “I went to the beach and all I got were some lousy stumps”!

Since today is Monday, I have to say, I’m much better.  The squooshiness is minimal and the “cankles” I’ve been sporting around town have diminished significantly.

I think the next time I go, I’ll slow down a little more because apparently between frolicking between the pool and the beach, I forgot to reapply sunscreen. Silly me.

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A couple of Saturdays ago, Little Brown Light Ministries and I led a christian women’s conference in Noxubee County, MS.  I was a little nervous about this particular conference – although I clearly hear and feel and see God opening opportunities like these for me.  Noxubee County is SB’s home turf, so imagine my knees quaking when he prayed for me and sent me out the door on the Friday before with words like, “Do me proud.  Go dazzle ’em!”  No pressure at all.  None.  After all – these were going to be women who have known him his entire life.  I was completely at ease.  Yea. Right.

Anyway, I went down the Friday before to meet the organizers and Becky Brown of Little Brown Light Ministries. She was going to lead us in music worship.  The two of us stayed in someone’s cabin on the lake- where the lodge for the conference was to be held.

We enjoyed getting to know one another and from the instant I met her, I felt I had known her my entire life. What a gift she has and is.  Her unassuming nature is contagious and her perspectives on life offer much for a lifelong learner like me.  Pure. Simple. Real.

After we stayed up way too late watching the first debate and solving the world’s problems ourselves, we turned in for a wonderful night’s rest. The next morning, I heard her get up because I was already awake – long before her 6am alarm.  So after she was in the shower, I went out into the living area to have some quiet time before the morning got too crazy.  I kept being drawn to watch the sun come up over the lake.  I mean I was trying to read my Bible and I physically could not because it was as if God was trying to tell me something.

“One last glance,” I thought and then I had to get back to scripture reading.  That’s me…boxing myself in again.  So as I looked up, my mouth dropped open at the site.  It was clear the Lord was drawing a picture for me to study.  “BEHOLD THE CROSS” was all I could think of.

I dropped my Bible and ran to the bathroom door and hollered for Becky to come see the vision with me. I needed a witness.  Toothbrush in her mouth, Becky obliged me and we stood there gasping in awe together.  We were both so overtaken in the moment that we sat down, 2 new but lifelong friends soaking up a spectacular vision of a cross in the sky.

It wasn’t just any set of clouds because it was divinely ordained at the exact moment and the exact location of where the sun was rising.  The underside of this cross slowly turned from pink to golden and in time to brown as it began to dissipate.  But it was purposely ordained that the cross hovered over the opposite side of the lake from where we were sitting and lingering right above the lodge where the conference was to begin in just a few short hours.  “BEHOLD THE CROSS,” I heard him whisper over and over in that half hour as we set mesmerized by God dazzling us.  It wasn’t me who was to be “dazzling.”  That was a job for the Maker of Creation.  And boy, did he dazzle.

And just to reaffirm to Becky and me, that he was serious about dazzling that day, the organizers of the conference presented both of us with a special gift.  We both received a large wooden carved cross to hang in our homes.

And when I think of that special day, all I can think of is to sing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.

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