Monday, August 1, 2011

A Season of Renewal

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And not have compassion on the son of her womb?
Surely they may forget,
Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before me. 
{Isaiah 49:15-16 NKJV}

He has written us on His hands. We never leave His mind. He bears the scar of His love for us forever. Yet He remembers our sin no more. It's gone, wiped clean, and we stand before the Father bearing the image of His Son's perfection. This memory of our Lord, it is a marvelous thing.

As I awaken from the haze that is a first trimester of pregnancy, I'm renewing habits and family traditions that have fallen off the calendar for months. Food inspires me again (for a while it was my enemy). I've been blessed with energy to play and create with the girls. In fact, I attended my first homeschool conference as mother and former student this past weekend and came away feeling both pumped and soothed. I've been nervously researching methods, curriculum, and schedules for preschoolers for a month or two, and felt apprehensive and intimidated. Thankfully I attended a seminar for parents of preschoolers based on the Charlotte Mason Method (which I've always admired) that relieved my fears. I'm throwing traditional preschool out the window, and we're going to read (and read and read), play, paint, and run around outside until Kindergarten. With a new little one joining our family this winter, a relaxed schedule is important to me. This will be perfect for our family. As we settle into a rhythm, I'll share our "schedule" and some ideas as we figure out what works and what doesn't.

One last thing. This hearty stew is simmering in the slow-cooker now. I haven't made it in a long time and I'd forgotten how easy and healthy it is. There's something peaceful about chopping up fresh veggies and stirring them together for your family. I love on my people with food.

Crockpot Vegetable Soup with Potatoes

1# hamburger, browned and drained
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup water
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas

1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on LOW 8-10 hours.

Tips: If using leftover vegetables that are precooked, add during the last hour of cooking so they don't turn to mush. For a vegetarian version, use pre-cooked dried beans or lentils, and substitute a cup of vegetable broth for the bouillon cubes and water.

Until next time...may you all find yourself in a season of renewal and peace. Love to you.

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