Happy Friday!

Sometimes we just need to take a moment and invite the heart of a high school student back in and picture ourselves nearly running to our cars on Friday after classes are over. I remember that feeling of not running but feeling like I could scream and jump and dance at the beginning of a blessed weekend. WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO! The truth is that my mom life doesn’t make Saturday look much different than Tuesday but still – a kick in our heart perspective can do us a lot of good from time to time! So FRIDAY I welcome you with joy, a little thrill and an open heart.

May I continue to just warm up my typing fingers? After all, a two month plus break from blogging makes jumping back in a little stark. So I thought I’d just share some thoughts from my week. Wish I could hear yours. If there’s one solitary thing that irritates me it’s a one sided conversation. So even if you don’t comment or email or message or anything – just talk back to me in your own mind. It will be fun!

First, I’d like to tell you about something not-too-fancy but yummy that I recently ate: the Muffuletta sandwich from McAlisters. Truly, it was no gourmet sandwich. In fact, it was nothing compared to the original sandwich which can be found at Central Grocery store in New Orleans. But I just found myself loving it entirely. It was turkey (I subbed that for the normal ham), provolone cheese, and Gambino’s olive salad with a thin slice of salami capping the whole pile off. It was different and it was good! Certainly not everyone’s taste buds would love olive salad but mine DID!

Not my exact sandwich, but you get the idea:

I’d also like to report that on Monday (day after Easter), I had a half a bag of Starburst jelly beans left. I threw the bag away. Let’s celebrate the little victories people.

I wonder what you’ve been wishing you could eat recently? Sometimes I just find myself thinking about things that I haven’t had in a while and plotting when I will fit each thing in :). On my list now: Pho Ga and Bun Cha Gao from Viet Huong, French Drip sandwich from Charlestons, a croissant from Stone Horse, a mix from Braums (vanilla with Oreo and Heath), and Chicken Sagwala from India Palace. Thinking I’ll need some time to make it all a reality, ha!

Drooling:

Oddly enough my random thoughts blog post seems to mostly have to do with food. You know – I asked the Lord to put something on my heart for this post and clearly – food it is. Don’t you kind of love the thought of God Almighty totally enjoying a meal or dish with you???

Have you cooked anything new recently? I’d love some new recipes to throw in my mix. My requirements for recipes are as follows: it can be a little lengthy in required ingredients, but my total prep time cut off is 30-45 minutes. Not that you can tell from the above thoughts, but it needs to be not too heavy on cheese, creamy things, butter, etc. But it MUST be HIGH on taste. I’m specifically feeling a good salad recipe could be appreciated. But, I love Italian, French, Asian, American, soups, salads….yum. So seriously – shoot me some of your favorite recipes! Next time I should post the recipe I have for peanut chicken. It’s so yum. That is – if you like nuts, lots of curry, tomatoes and chicken :). Also – I’m on the hunt for a good chicken and rice recipe. A few years ago, I tried a pretty basic recipe and it was – well, basic. And a little bland. I like interesting things. But I remember loving chicken and rice casserole as a kid and I’d love to rediscover it. Thoughts?

Prepare yourself as my thoughts are now transitioning off of food.

I had a frank conversation with the Lord this week that ended up being quite fruitful. I was a tad frustrated. With the Bible. Frustrated with my interactions with the Bible. Frustrated with feeling like I was going through the motions but there was no mojo. Done with the no mojo. I told Him that I NEEDED Him to show me what to read. I told Him I was desperate. I want to know Him more and more. I want to learn Him through His word. I want to discover the Scripture….but I’m not in a Bible study right now, I am not feeling a reading plan, and I am done with (for now) randomly opening the Bible and seeing what pops out. It is time to dig but I don’t want to dig out of my own ideas – I want Him to show me what to dig into. We aren’t always in the place. I have enjoyed so many studies, reading plans, etc. But it’s just a different season. Well, He answered. It was a quiet answer that one could argue may have been my own thoughts…. read the story of David. The whole story from start to finish. So I started a few days ago.

David’s story begins in First Samuel – around the sixth chapter. It seemed natural to start at the beginning of First Samuel and lo and behold, He met me there. It was alive. He was there. It was the story of Hannah and her very real experience of being barren while her ‘sister wife’ had child after child…and on top of that antagonized Hannah about it. Can you even imagine? It’s hard enough to wait when others are not having to wait at all – but then to be blatantly antagonized over it? Brutal. Hannah’s prayer of thanks as she gives Samuel to the Lord absolutely captivated me. She speaks from a healed heart. But she also says some startling things about Him…. one statement alone grabbed me:

1 Samuel 2:6 “The Lord kills and brings to life.”

Well, that’s a little offensive. The Lord kills? Doesn’t that mess with our theology? But, the truth is that when you’ve been allowed to walk through loss or trial, you come to realize that although many of us don’t admit we expect a pain-free life, we are shocked and shaken when the pain comes. I mean, it’s just shocking! But one thing, I know to be true: this God is a man of mystery. He is not to be formulized, reduced to very many ‘always’ or ‘never’ statements.

This woman who had born years of grief over a barren womb could say – that yes, the Lord does allow things to die BUT He also brings things to life in a way that only He could. Who is like our God? There is no rock like our God. There is no one who can bind up and heal hearts like He can. Oh man. If you’re looking for a story to read, 1 Samuel 1-2 are calling your name!

There is beauty that words cannot capture in both death and life. God is the God who cares in our loss and in our gain. The night may last for a while, but the morning comes. It does come. It does.

I do sincerely hope that your weekend is delightful. That you and me both decide to be a little thrilled by it and to kick our heels up. That you eat something really enjoyable. And that you find Him. That you knock down His door if it’s been a little quiet recently. Because this we know – He’s longing to be with us.

Happy weekending y’all!
Abi