Posted on August 29, 2011 - by melinda
Watching my children
finding their way
thru struggles and triumphs
I hope the roads they take
Are making them strong
I’ll still be on my knees
Long after they’re gone
Love has made me unafraid
Posted on May 15, 2011 - by melinda
The name Martha Stewart equals the word daunting – at least to me! But I found this recipe in a copy of her magazine and it looked easy and fun and a change up, and it turned out to be all of those. (I skipped the watercress the second time I made it – unnecessary investment unless you love it.) See what you think.
Ok, as long as we’re here in the kitchen, let’s ‘fess up! Fill in the blank: “I don’t make a recipe when I see ___________in it!” (eg. how much time it takes, a particular ingredient or kitchen gadget needed)
I would say: coriander, double boiler (b/c I’d have to find it!), prep time longer than 30 minutes…I actually could go on and on…but how about you?
Potato and Leek Galette with Watercress
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 small leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise and rinsed well
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup watercress, trimmed
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Place potato in a bowl of cold water, and let soak for 10 minutes.
- Drain well in a salad spinner or squeeze in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess water.
- Combine potato, leek, flour, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Scatter potato mixture in skillet, and press lightly with a spatula to make sure it holds together.
- Cook until underside is golden, about 6 minutes. Flip.
- Raise heat to medium-high. Cook until underside is golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Turn out galette.
- Toss watercress with lemon juice and 1 1/2teaspoons oil, and place on top of galette. Slice into 8 wedges.
Posted on April 18, 2011 - by melinda
Jesus broke the cultural rules regarding women. They travelled with Him, supported Him financially, He honored their plight and elevated their status.
A woman’s testimony in Jesus’ world was not valid. Not good enough on its own. When Jesus rose from the dead an angel told a group of women at the tomb to “go and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead.” And what’s more, Jesus Himself told them to do the same (Matthew 28).
A woman? Give testimony to men and women? Jesus entrusted women with the resurrection message that no other faith can claim. He validated their voice. In this important moment of His Story, He told the world of His resurrection through a woman’s voice.
Jesus was counter to the cultural norms of the day when it came to women. An author I read this week called Him “radical” concerning women’s changing status in society at that time.
When I think about Jesus’ elevation of women, I have to ask myself if I am courageous enough in my own culture to speak His voice. My voice. And… how can I be a voice that stands up for women in those cultures that still try to disown the voice of women.
Posted on March 27, 2011 - by melinda
I’ll talk about “creative journaling” on Midday Connection on Tuesday, March 29, at Noon CT. We’ll talk about questions like…
*is journaling for me, right now?
*does journaling mean I need to write, write, write?
*prove to me that God can use journaling to grow me!
*can you help me get started journaling… in a more “fun” way?
With movie clips, Youtube video, listener emails I’ve received and resource suggestions, watch out! This program may challenge you to start journaling or improve on what you have been doing already . And, I’d love to hear your feedback after the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you Tuesday…you can stream the program live at www.middayconnection.org
Posted on March 27, 2011 - by melinda
If you are a justice person like me, do you feel frustrated and even saddened when you watch “what’s not right” actually happen in your church, workplace, a friendship or family relationship. I’m not speaking of an actual sin committed, but rather, those deep disappointments when what you wish for, or think is right does not happen. My natural response is to speak up quickly and point out the injustice or hurt about “what’s not right here!” We may even be right! But these days, I’m learning to think differently before I take that stab at responding, by shifting my perspective from them to me.
Now, that’s a very hard place for a justice person to go. Getting off one’s soapbox – even if it’s the right soapbox – is asking for a lot! But as I’ve contemplated God’s Spirit having a deeper purpose for these kinds of wounds, I’ve begun asking myself:
am I willing to relinquish perfectionist demands regarding others?
am I willing to accept the wounding that comes with living out God’s purposes for me, as Jesus did, even in this hurtful context?
am I willing to try to understand, without any judgment, that the messiness an organization or others bring to the table may be all that they are able to bring? How will I choose to relate to that?
By answering “yes,” I move to a place of compassion, as Christ did, when faced with disappointing systems in His own ministry. (do a Google search and read about the varied times Jesus faced rejection – truly He knows our sorrows!)
The Psalmist wrote, “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 4:4, 5 NIV). Thinking differently about the hurt of a disappointment calls us to investigate the root of our own wounds (Psalm 51:6 NLT) and move us toward deeper spiritual interaction with God. What might He want to help us know deeply about ourselves and our pain? Disappointments in friendships, family or our organizational partnerships can illuminate a path toward spiritual transformation, even healing past hurts we’ve buried that influence us today. It’s about me, not them.
Posted on February 6, 2011 - by melinda
It’s can be a challenge to have a meaningful conversation with a hurting person.
I’ll share some tips to help meet that challenge confidently when I visit with Nancy Turner on her daily program, “This Is the Day,” heard on 90.1 WMBI-FM in Chicago on Monday, Feb. 28, between 10-11 a.m. CT. We’ll talk about “How to have a conversation with a hurting person.”
Notes will be posted on the program’s website after our visit.
Posted on February 6, 2011 - by melinda
How many books can I, should I, read in a month. How much of that content that is meaningful… remains meaningful over the course of 30 days?
So far I have finished Edith Wharton’s “House of Mirth” in February (uh yeah, I started the book in December!) and although I found it depressing, I have settled on the fact that the loser-main character, Lily Bart, and I have some characteristics we share. Like…struggling to be vulnerable and being blind to an out-stretched hand offering help …the resources available to me from another’s mind and heart …and the love being extended to me from someone who cares for me.
So do I move on to another book? Or do I sit with Lily at one of her upper-crust NYC restaurants, invite God’s Spirit to join the conversation at our table and take some February days to think through this vulnerabilty-thing?
Posted on January 30, 2011 - by melinda
February is the LOVE month: all things red and pink, flowers and gifts, sentiments and lots of candy. But behind this feelings-frenzy, we can feel threatened or “less than” if we don’t get the love we desire, expressed in the way we want. “Who really loves me? Who will show me love in a way that’s meaningful to me? Behind my smile, I feel so alone.”
In her book, The Single Mom’s Devotional (Regal), author and speaker and Carol Floch writes “Your intrinsic value is bound up in God’s unconditional love for you.” Most of us find our identity in relationships and roles. When they don’t measure up to our expectations we can feel stripped and vulnerable.
Carol reminds us that our significance and value are found at the cross of Christ, “…a reminder of the one essential relationship that can never be altered or removed, the one defining relationship that declares your ultimate worth in Christ Jesus.”
Do yourself a favor this month: purchase or create a cross you can hold or wear or study. Commit to exploring God’s never-fail love for you in His guide, The Bible. Explore His promises to fulfill your desires for love, value and significance that you hold in your heart today. (Carols suggests starting with Bible verses like Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 139, Matthew 10:29-31, Romans 5:7-10, Ephesians 2:8,9 and Colossians 2:9,10)
And if you’d like to talk with someone about understanding God’s love for you, here’s a toll free number you can ring up: 1- 888-NEED-HIM.
**listen to Carol on Midday Connection: go to the Past Programs tab at www.middayconnection.org and look for the January 26 program
Posted on October 31, 2010 - by melinda
If I could walk out in my backyard (left) and pick up the leaves that have fallen and glue them back onto the limbs from which they fell, I would. Each fallen leaf taunts me, “Winter is coming; it is coming, and you can’t do a darn thing about it!” And back at them I think, “If I could just turn back time and get you back on the tree…maybe….”
Ok, I realize at this point there’s a good chance I may sound like a whining spoiled brat and I begin to question me:
Really? It’s all about your seasonal preferences? Do you remember driving through the west side of Chicago the other week and cringing at the dilapidated homes you would never want to come home to? Do you remember wondering about the possibility of unbounded cruelties that might take place behind windows of those miserable looking homes? How do the men feel who stand on the corner of Augusta and Latrobe or Lavergne or Lamon Avenues with seemingly no job to go to? Will things ever get better for them? Do the girls who walk by that corner feel safe hanging around those guys? What does it like feel like for a teen girl to do life in this neighborhood? Has her future already been determined for her? Can she get out of here?
I felt life-claustrophobic when I took that drive home.
Struck by the reality of great need on the west side of Chicago… our country…our world, my “winter is coming” lament is tempered. What will winter be like for families crowded into messy, heat starved homes alive with the chill of destructive relationships and not much hope for anything better?
But I live winter in the ‘burbs. And I don’t like the inconvenience of it, the look of it, the cold of it. And I don’t want it to come.
Mark Buchanan, in his book Spiritual Rhythms (see it on my Resources page) speaks of both the reality and metaphor of Winter. “Winter is when, it seems, God deprives us of much more than He bestows. But such deprivation is really cultivation.” (p. 50)
Deprived of the warmth of sunny summer days, the colors of Fall and of Spring, what will Winter’s losses bring me? What will God nurture as I sit by the fireplace with a cup of tea over the next months?
My heart holds in tension this call to active participation in the coming season and the recollection of that drive through Chicago’s west side. Why are these two thoughts showing up together in my mind?
Posted on August 14, 2010 - by melinda
Christine Wyrtrzen’s daily email blast called “Daughters of Promise”* included a photo of a gorgeous princess chair – overstuffed with beautiful, inviting lines that’d she’d paid for to use in her newsleter – otherwise I’d have printed it here! When I opened the email today, that chair…that chair… drew me to its side, inviting me next to stop and look at it. And here’s what happened next, that chair…it began to talk to me, or rather I began to talk to it! Talk to myself.
- Will I sit in that chair? Do I feel good enough to sit in this chair for a Princess?
- Would I be worthy or even scarier, deserving of sitting in that chair?
- It’s beautiful and inviting…but…is it for me?
- Am I too dirty to sit in it?
- What if someone sees me sitting in it…will I feel stupid for assuming I could sit there?
- What would others close to me think if I sat in this chair?
- Might I break that chair with my presence? Maybe I am too much for it.
- It’s gorgeous and I want it…but maybe it’s one more thing in my life I have to walk by…and sadly never own.
- Don’t feel anything about that chair. You might begin to feel too deeply, and never come out of it.
Since I am the daughter of a king because I follow King Jesus (Acts 17:7), it makes a lot of sense that He’d ask me to sit in a Princess-chair like the one above. In other words, to take on the full rights of being royalty (Romans 8:17a), including where I plant my Princess-self!
Where is God asking me to courageously, regally, without insecure questioning, plant myself? What is keeping me timid about being an heir of His – fully female, fully a Princess, without a spirit of fear that I must please him like a slave with her master would do (Romans 8:15) – instead of a daughter of a King? A daughter who just has to “be” who she really is. Deserving.
I am looking at that chair – and I am wondering…will I sit down in it?
(*find out more about Christine Wyrtzen’s ministry at www.christinewyrtzen.com)