Its You and Me

Happy May, my friends!

I'm finding myself really loving the month of May currently. It comes with hints of summer, but some days where I can still wear my favorite warm and cozy outfits, lots of rain to help my garden grow, and some thunderstorms thrown in there which is the cherry on top for me :)

Are you getting excited for the summer? I wish I could sit down with each one of you that reads this and hear all the things you are excited for this summer. What trips you are taking, what food you are looking forward to having, what hobbies you are looking forward to picking back up, what you're favorite ice cream or popsicle flavor is, and what you love to do outside on hot days.

Here are some things I am super excited about!

  • I just signed Juniper up for swim lessons and I am so excited!
  • I have a lot of friends having babies and I can't wait to snuggle them :)
  • Taking advantage of our zoo pass..which I am pretty sure I love more than Junie.
  • Possibly a summer trip is in the works!
  • Having lots of ice cream dates with my girl! Strawberry is our current favorite :)
  • As far as favorite foods go...I don't think its possible for me to choose one, but I keep thinking about how I love to eat fresh burgers (whether its beef, veggie, salmon, or turkey) on a pretzel bun with some sweet potato fries!
  • And I am super looking forward to a summer Bible study!
....I have so many more but maybe that's for a different blog post. Maybe submit a comment of your summer plans? I'd love to hear them!! :)


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A few weeks ago, I finished reading the book called, Remember God, by Annie F. Downs.
A lot of the time when I read a book, there is usually at least one thing that is profound and sticks with me. In Remember God, something changed my life forever.

And I want to share it with you because, what I realized when I read this certain passage is something that I never thought I knew of myself. It revealed something to me about my own life that had hidden itself in the deepest places of my heart. And the scary thing is that when there is a lie that has dug deep into your mind, it permeates to the point where you don't even realize it's there anymore, because in a way, it becomes a part of you. I realized that I have been believing a lie that had pushed itself down deep. And I want to share it with you because I don't think I am the only one that has believed this lie without knowing it.

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In her book, Annie is talking about how in different seasons of her life, her and God change. And she points out that she doesn't mean that as though God changes, because He doesn't, He is constant. She means that the relationship changes, her and God. Through each season of life she learns more about God and about herself and because of that, the relationships grows and changes.

When I read this section in her book, it was the Holy Spirit's conviction in my heart that said, "Mindi, you don't live this way."

"Well what does that mean?"

As I pressed into that paragraph and re-read it over and over, God revealed what He meant.

Maybe I have been saying that I am living in a relationship with God, that He is loving and kind to me, that He wants what is best for me...but something deep in my heart isn't actually believing what my mouth is speaking.

I realized that I have been living with a distorted view of my relationship to God.
My heart has been believing that God is someone in Heaven who is looking down on me, deciding random things to happen to me, pointing his finger and watching without intervention.

And I want you to know that my heart felt broken when I realized that I had been viewing God in this way.
Broken because I know that this certain view is not true of who God is.
But also broken because deep down, I realized that this lie had grown roots in my heart for longer than I known.

Annie was referring to her and God as a relationship, a friendship, a partnership. One so deep that both parties are affected when something changes.
I wasn't living as though God and I have a relationship, I was living as though God was the passive controller of the things I was suffering.


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Here's the truth.

God is not passive.
God is not disinterested in you and me.
God is not idle.

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And I know it is actually really hard to believe it. I think thats why the thoughts that God is disinterested in me have been in the hidden places of my heart. How else do you feel when things are really not going well in your life?

But I have to say, ever since I felt the Lord reveal to me that I had been viewing God in a distorted way, and then allowed Him to redirect my heart to a right viewing of Him, I have actually felt so much more at peace about certain circumstances in my life.

Because when we realize that God is for us and not against us (Roman 8:31), that He keeps track of our sorrows and collects our tears (Psalm 56:8), that He heals our broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), and that even He remains faithful when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13) -
We realize just how deep His love goes.
And its not that He is passive, idle, or disinterested when our prayers are not answered in a timely fashion or when He just didn't answer in the way we wanted. Its not that God is vengeful, disagreeable or angry at us when sickness and death and injustice are everywhere we turn, its because we live in a broken and sin-filled world.

What I'm learning is that when suffering comes my way and I am hurting, sad, and confused, God isn't just watching and waiting for what I'm doing to do about it. He is with me in the hurt and confusion and sadness, because He is too. He doesn't want our world to be filled with destruction, our lives filled with sorrow, and our relationships broken. But until the day when Earth is restored this is where we are living, in the brokenness that can only be make whole again by Jesus.
Thats where hope lives. Its not a feeling, its a person. Hope is found in Jesus.

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Knowing that it's God and I together in the midst of the rough places brings so much more hope than just knowing that He sees me - because yes, He sees me, but He actually goes through it with me, mourns with me, hurts when I am hurt, understands my frustration and anger when I feel the weight of injustice, feels the pain of rejection by loved ones because He too has felt it personally.

Oh, my friends, I just want you to know the freedom that I am feeling from re-learning the truth about who God is. And you know what, I think we need to re-learn all the time. Because there is always more to know about who He is, but also we are fickle and forgetful and we need to remember that the kind of God we serve is compassionate, faithful, active, comforting, and an ever-present One.

My oh my, Annie was right. When seasons change, me and God change too.
And here we are, changing again.



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Vanilla Chai Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest and 2 tablespoons juice (about I lemon)
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Lemon Poppyseed Butter:

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and juice, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, all-spice, and salt. Mix on low-speed until just combined, being sure the batter is completely mixed.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Meanwhile, make the honey butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey, poppyseed, and lemon zest. 
5. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature, smeared with poppyseed butter. Enjoy! 

**This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest



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