why I [now] want a family

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I haven’t always wanted a family.

It feels like a weird thing to say.

But I can clearly remember the afternoon when I was walking with my now-husband in Dunbar and the topic of family came up and the question of how many kids I might want, etc. And I remember straight-up confessing that I did not actually want a family at all: “It seems like a waste to add more kids to the world.” And now looking back those words leave a foul taste!

But really, at the time, I suffered from a very false view of the world that has since been corrected. At the time I was worried about efficiency and effectiveness, and it seems like there were already so many kids in the world without homes – so why would I bring in more of them?

And while I still would love to foster kids at some point, I have since realized the beauty of being called to raise families of faith and the gift that it is to the world to raise families who are God-fearing – essentially putting more ability into the world for people to love Jesus and love like Him.

There are also plenty of biblical injunctions to have children and suggestions that children are a blessing. Among the very first commands of God in the good, good garden of Eden was to multiply. That is, somehow to have children is to experience the love of God in an even more profound way – through the sacrifices, through the beautiful dependence … and ha, I shouldn’t write too much more as a currently child-less person, but just wanted to reflect on this today.

on our living faith

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I found this prayer online last week and it really struck me so I wanted to share it:

God our Father,
if I could trace back
through the last two thousand years, marking out routes
from Jesus himself
and then through people
whose faith has touched others
and so reached me,
I would be astounded
by the individuals I would encounter.I give thanks, Father,
for all those people
over two thousand years
who have inspired others
and played their part
in passing on
to generation after generation the living heritage of their faith.

Especially I give thanks
for those who lived their faith
through difficulties
and hardship
and persecution.

I pray, Father, that I may grow in your faith and love through good times and bad.

Amen.

I didn’t grow up familiar with our heritage in faith of the church throughout the centuries.

If asked as a young person about the history of Christian’s faith and its value I would have probably despairingly pointed back to the early church and wondered if we could possibly recover their prayers and their ways of doing things since after all they were closest to Jesus’ time and Jesus Himself is our most important resource, no? But the truth is that the same Holy Spirit who lived in Him lived before Him, lived through the centuries and lives today. And He continues to draw all people (all!) to Jesus and to inspire many to follow Him in unique ways.

Not only that but Jesus Himself says that the Holy Spirit will teach great truths about Him to those who follow Him.

Eugene Peterson paraphrases it as such:

“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said.”

In other words, Jesus never said that “truth” ended in the words that described his life that we read in our Bible. And I think sometimes that in latching onto the “truth” that we believe is only held in Scripture or the life of Jesus specifically that we blindly miss what the Spirit has revealed through many other people about Jesus’ life and its meaning throughout the ages!

And so I believe that we can celebrate the great heritage of our faith by praying the prayers and learning the ways of the pilgrims, poets and ordinaries who have gone before us not because they had special access to God but because understanding Jesus and seeing Him in all the myriad of ways that we do is like looking at Jesus for who He really is – made beautifully more available to us through the love of pastors, evangelists, teachers who have cherished Him before us.

dump ranch recipe

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I love sharing recipes that work and here is one that I have been loving recently!

(Though first – “dump” ranch… yeah, I know… kind of a strange thing to call it and it doesn’t sound very appetizing but trust me it’s tasty!)

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had it with unhealthy choices over Christmas. Here is an easy recipe for Ranch dip that I love to keep in the fridge with a big container of pre-chopped veggies. I couldn’t believe how much it tastes like bottled Ranch dressing and I love knowing that the ingredients are all whole!

The most difficult part is the proper emulsification of the oil and other ingredients but if you have an immersion blender, you’re all set! (I did it once like the recipe from Whole Sisters originally states, but it didn’t work for me to simply put all the ingredients in and blend.)

(Whole30) Dump Ranch Recipe modified from Whole Sisters

Ingredients

  • 1 egg (room temperature – *Tip* Put the egg in a bowl of warm water for 5 or so minutes before you begin to bring it to room temperature. This is very important; otherwise your mayo won’t emulsify properly!)
  • 1 cup sunflower oil (or some other light oil)
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (I lean towards less in order to keep the consistency I like) *Again make sure that this is at room temperature for proper emulsification.

Instructions

Place the egg and 1/4 cup of the oil in the bottom of a wide mouth mason jar along with vinegar. Blend using an immersion blender for a minute or so. Add the spices. While blending again, slowly (!) pour in the rest of the oil. Then pour in the coconut milk.

All set! Chop up some broccoli, carrots, cucumbers and peppers, place them in a Ziplock container and you have a healthy snack waiting for you in your fridge all week!