Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanking God for You Friday Five

"Every time I think of you I give thanks to my God." Phillipians 1:3

The assignment: five folks I'm thankful for this Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Hmmm... Well, I never was very good at coloring inside the lines. I'm going for groups.

1. I'm thankful for my family, individually and as a conglomerate (if you knew my family, this would be clear.) My family is a haven of grace and a constant reminder of the need to offer grace. My family is a web of support and a reminder that spiders use their webs to catch their prey. My family is warm cocoa, cold beer, and hot tamales. And for that, I'm thankful.

2. I'm thankful for my church family, individually and as a congregation. I'm blessed with people who love me, challenge me, infuriate me, frustrate me, pray for me, laugh with me (and I suspect on occasion at me) and despite everything continue to show up for worship and every now and then even listen to me. And for that, I'm thankful.

3. I'm thankful for every single child God places in my path because there is just no way to hurry through an encounter with a child. And for that, I'm thankful.

4. I'm thankful for my colleagues in ministry, every single one, especially the ones who drive me nuts with their inability to commit, their indecisive wiffle-waffling, and their absolute assurance that surely tomorrow will bring more clarity than we possess today. I know. It's an odd way to express gratitude. But in and through these folks, I have learned quiet perseverance and have experienced the mysterious and inclusive nature of God's grace. And for that, I'm thankful.

5. Finally, I'm thankful for anyone, human or otherwise, who makes me laugh. So I need to lift up my dog. No one makes me laugh like Sam, though I've got to admit, my husband runs a close second.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mix and Stir Friday Five

In a minor domestic crisis, my food processor, or more precisely the part you use for almost everything for which I use a food processor, picked the eve of the festive season of the year to give up the ghost. A crack in the lid expanded such that a batch of squash soup had to be liberated via that column shaped thing that sticks up on top.

Can you tell this is not my area of strength?

Next week, I'm hosting Thanksgiving. I need your help. Please answer the following kitchen-related questions:

1) Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Which is to say, do you actually use it?
I do have a food processor, two actually - one of the monster sit-on-the-counter-and-look-intimidating types and one of the little outboard motor jobs that is actually useful. As you may be able to tell, I use the outboard motor job all the time--the monster, not so much.

2) And if so, do you use the fancy things on it? (Mine came with a mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary disks you used to julienne things (used once).)
The outboard motor job has a number of different functions and tools, including a mini-blender, a tiny little traditional food processor container, and a hand chopper. I use them all. The mini-blender is great if you want to redecorate your kitchen in chocolate milkshake.

3) Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand-held varieties?
My KitchenAid standing mixer is my friend. I love her. Wish I had time to spend more time with her. Mine is white - the only color they were making then, but yes, the powder blue is gorgeous. The new pumpkin orange color - not so much.

4) How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Yes, I've got a blender. No, I don't use it very often. Ever since the whole SNL Bass-o-matic thing, I've hesitated to bring the blender out of the cupboard. Last time I used it, it was to blend up paper into pulp for my youth group to make parchment. The parchment turned out beautifully, the blender, not so much.

5) Finally, what old-fashioned, non-electric kitchen tool do you enjoy using the most?
I love my rolling pin. It makes me feel like a cook. And best of all, when I'm wielding it, no one ever disagrees with me.

Bonus: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you ONLY use at Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
It's not actually an appliance, but I have this insulated gravy boat. I saw it online and ordered it immediately. It was advertised as stainless steel, fit for any holiday table. It's actually shiny metal-painted plastic and it is the tackiest, ugliest, lowest-rent thing ever, guaranteed to give Martha Stewart fits. But, the gravy stays hot. All in all, what's not to love?!?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Importance of Not Being Earnest

The definition of earnest: seriousness, industriousness, ardent and zealous in pursuit of a goal. To which I might add that the earnest seem to evince a decided unwillingness to goof off, enjoy themselves, or have a mighty giggle every now and then.

Maybe it's just me (which is of course the classic female cop-out, right?) but doesn't it seem like all of us (especially those of us who make our livings in the church) are way too serious these days? What every happened to the all-out goof-off, mental health, do-whatever-I-want-with-whomever-I want day?

Here's my plan for the revitalization of the church: for every one business meeting we are forced to suffer through for the good of the "body," we are required to have two fellowship events where no "body" is asked to give, perform, speak, or cook. All that's required is to show up with a light spirit - and have fun. Take-out pizza and beer optional, but highly recommended!