Wednesday, October 30, 2019

So Judge-y

I try not to be judgmental.  In the past several years I've really taken to heart the notion that my job is to love everybody and it's God's job to judge--God will figure out anything that needs to be figured out.  It's not my place to decide that someone is less or more worthy than anyone else.  You could say that judging people is above my pay grade, because I am not God.  (And thank God for that).


I mean, there's the whole judge not, lest you be judged, and ... take the plank out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in another's, and ... he who is without sin, throw the first stone, and ... the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love others.  All of those things, and more, lead me to the conclusion that I have no business judging anyone.

Y'all.  We all are guilty, and we all deserve to be judged, but not by each other.  From each other we deserve love and compassion and an effort to be kind to each other.  And I try really hard to live that out in my life.  I've always been pretty good at creating alternate realities and seeing other perspectives, so it's not too difficult for me to imagine that people have good reasons for what they do and say.  Or, at least, reasons.  Reasonable reasons.  I've also come to realize that, no matter how put together we look on the outside, nobody's life is perfect, and all of us are struggling with something.  Which makes it easier for me empathize, which makes it easier to be compassionate, which makes it easier to love.

But there is one area in which I struggle, and that is this: I judge people for being judgmental.

Ugh!  I don't want to, but I do.  I see or hear something (that I judge to be) judgmental, and it just sets my teeth on edge.  How dare they?  How dare they judge another person when God has extended so much grace in their lives?

And then I stop, and realize.  I've done it again.  I am doing the very thing that I am criticizing someone else for doing.  How dare I?  It's definitely a plank in my eye, and I'm not sure how to get it out.

I guess all I can say is I'm working on it.  With God's help, I'm working on it, because this not-judging, I can't do that without God's supernatural intervention.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Menu plan for the week of October 28

Hello, friends.

The football seasons are officially over, although one kiddo will have at least one more obligation to the team.  It is Hubby's opinion that they're allowed to practice for another week past the end of their season, but no one has informed us of the coaches' intention as of yet, so we really don't know what our evenings will look like this week.

So...does anyone have any menu planning tips for me?  I feel like I used to be good at this, or at least adequate.  Now?  It feels really, really difficult.  Maybe I can find a helpful blogger to do my menu planning for me?  My current plan is to just look in the cupboards, fridge, and freezers to see if the food we currently have on hand sparks ideas.  That, and making sure there are tacos, hamburgers, and hot dogs on the menu every week. 

I'm kidding. 

Sort of.

Anyway, here is this week's offering.  I hope you find it inspiring.  And feel free to let me know what you're eating this week.


  • Meat sauce with angel hair pasta or zucchini noodles, green beans
  • Hamburgers, buns, mashed potatoes, carrots
  • Fend for yourself
  • Nachos with guacamole
  • Pizza or stromboli, salad
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, jello, corn (Hubby has requested on the cob--we'll see what I can find)
  • Grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, grilled veggie


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I know the plans

Has anyone around here heard of Jeremiah 29:11? 

It goes a little something like this:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, is comforting Judah, telling God's people that after Babylon takes them into exile, which God will allow because of Judah's disobedience, God will deliver them.  God will not forget them.  God has a plan for them.

But even though these words were written at a specific time, in a specific situation, to a specific people, lots of folks, including me, take comfort in this verse.  God, we reason, has a plan for me, too, a good plan.  A plan that we don't always (or ever) understand, but a plan nonetheless.

This verse is a popular one to give out on plaques and paperweights and bookmarks and journals for graduations and confirmations.  It's an appropriate verse to give to someone just starting out in adulthood.  We recite this verse, implying that even though the young adult doesn't necessarily have a plan, God does.  I pray this verse over my boys often, willing it to be true, even though I can't necessarily see the way from here to there.

I recently realized that I've kind of always thought of this verse as a young-person verse, as if God had a plan for more mature adults, in the past, when they were younger, but now that they're 40 or 60 or 80, God's good plan is no longer relevant and true.  But what's true for a recent graduate is also true for me, and what's true for me is also true for the new retiree, and what's true for the new retiree is also true for the person near the end of life.  God still has a plan.  A good plan.  For hope.  For a future.  Whether it is the first day of your life, or the last, or anywhere in between, in each moment, God is working out that good plan for your life.

God has a habit of using the unlikeliest of people to do God's work.  And I think that includes the very young and the very old.  As long as we have breath, there's work to be done.  God has a plan to give you hope and a future, even if you're old, even if you're young, even if you feel useless.  God has not forgotten you.


Monday, October 21, 2019

Last youth football menu plan

Hi friends.  It's the last week of football for Bubby, and I went wild, planning a meal for every day this week.  Oh, silly, silly me.  Oh well, it'll give me a good head-start for next week, when it's likely we'll be able to eat as a family at least 5 times.  I love watching my kiddos do something they love.  And I also love spending time with them.

Here's what's on the menu this week:


  • Herbed chicken and wild rice, green beans
  • Nachos, guacamole
  • Pizza, salad
  • Chicken tenders, raw veggies, fruit
  • Out to eat
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, chips, raw veggies
  • Grilled bone-in chicken, garlic toast, salad


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Obligation Plant

Do you have any Obligation Plants?  These are the plants that you don't really want, but that you feel an obligation to keep alive for whatever reason.

I've had several throughout the years, mostly those plant baskets that people send for funerals.  They don't want to send flowers, because flowers die.  Cut flowers are so ephemeral.  They want to give a long-lasting memorial to the person who passed away.  But they don't want it in their house.  They want me to take it home and care for it in perpetuity.    

Guess what?  I don't need an increasingly straggly and forlorn looking plant to remind me of my loved one.  I just don't.

My current Obligation Plant was given to us by the kids' elementary school, as a good-bye remembrance as our youngest aged out of the school.

It's a nice enough plant.  It's just that we don't really have a good place to put it, where it will both get enough light, and not get knocked off of its perch.  The obvious choice is the kitchen window sill.  It's wider than all the others, and, as an east-facing window, does get some light.  But the Obligation Plant's place on the sill was recently supplanted by a yummy smelling fall candle.

I don't want it.  But it's alive, and I can't just let it die.  That would be cruel.  

And so, the Obligation Plant moves from place to place in our home, always in the way, while my resentment toward it grows.  

I'm sure there are those who appreciate the gesture, the gift of the plant, who either cheerfully keep the plant alive, or let it die a peaceful death and then chuck it, with no feelings of angst or remorse.  But I'm not one of those.  To me, this plant is clutter.  And clutter is my nemesis.  But I also feel a sense of obligation to the plant.

It is absolutely not the Obligation Plant's fault, that it was placed here, in our home.  How can I sentence it to a premature death?  I can't.  And that's the problem.

So, for now, the Obligation Plant remains, until such a time as I can get rid of it, one way or another.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Menu plan for the week of October 14

I've gotten a lot done today.  Like, way more than my standard three to-do items.  But one thing I haven't done, yet, is post my menu plan.  Mostly because I'm a little afraid my laptop is going to burst into flames.  Hubby thinks I'm kidding when I say he should back it up, but I am totally not kidding.  So in the interest of not making my laptop burn to a crisp, I'm going to keep this short and sweet...Ish.

This is the last official week of football for both of my kiddos.  Of course, the fact that it's the official last week doesn't, in fact, mean that football is going to be over for either of them.  The older one's team is probably going to play at least one playoff game, and the younger one is going to be part of an all 6th grade team next week, culminating in a game against another community's 6th graders on Saturday.

Anyway, it's the last official week of football, and I don't know if I'm going to be able to go back to actually planning meals when football is done.  I'm serious, y'all.  I can't remember what we like to eat anymore.  I can't remember how to actually plan seven suppers a week.  It's so weird.  This week, I planned six, and I'm fairly confident that we will actually eat 4-5 of those.  But it was hard, man.  So difficult.

Anyway, here's what I've got for this week.  Keep tuned to see if I am able to ramp up the planning again.


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