Friday, August 1, 2014

Look No Further: The Best Blueberry Cobbler Recipe

Today's a baking day over here! I wish you were here with me to drink iced coffee, smell all the good buttery smells, and enjoy the morning. We have a special friend coming for lunch, so our treat for her is our favorite blueberry cobbler. Here's the recipe we use: Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler. We've made this recipe five times at least this summer.

However, we sometimes use fresh lemon juice (we love lemony things) instead of the orange juice. My favorite part of this recipe is that the berries soak in the juice you use. It's just wonderful to soak. Think of being thoroughly immersed in yumminess today.

You can whip this up in 10 minutes, and it bakes for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

You can serve it with whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream, but we love it plain and simple.

After our cobbler, we're making brownies for our house guests this weekend, our amazing friends the Bakers! I'm sure I'll report on all the wise things I learn from the Baker Family next week.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

You're Catastrophizing

Yes, it's a verb: catastrophize. It means to make things worse than they actually are. Just to be clear, a catastrophe is an event that causes great damage and suffering. Think plane crashes, war, extreme weather, wildfires, epidemics, etc. These are catastrophes.

My life isn't a catastrophe. Nothing in it is catastrophic. 

Something in me, however, likes to dramatize my own inconveniences and little disappointments, my own minor aches and obstacles, to the level of catastrophe

Catastrophe! Give me attention! It's a catastrophe! 

My bad circumstances (today it's knee pain and grumpy children) become everything in my mind; they cloud my mood and bring in hopelessness and fear, and they aren't anywhere near the level of catastrophic. 

In my family, we talk about not catastrophizing. It's irrational, unfair, and pretty selfish to elevate whatever inconveniences we experience to the level of anything other than what they are: inconveniences, setbacks, and disappointments. 

This means we put our complaints in their proper place. We move on with our day, pushing forward against this thing that isn't a catastrophe at all. Somewhere in the world, very real catastrophes assault very real people in very real neighborhoods. 

We stop catastrophizing by taking a deep breath and putting any pain into the right context. We'll get through this. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All This and the Romantic Dinner Too

The plan to celebrate our 14th anniversary was to end up at dinner and a movie after browsing bookstores (our favorite things). We're best friends and partners in everything, so we knew we'd have a great night just talking and enjoying whatever came our way.

And this is what came our way: All night, we kept running into people we love--like walk-to-school neighbors, friends from church, and even a former student of mine. At one point, we found ourselves visiting a grad student and praying with his family who was in town to help him move out.

Everywhere we went, significant parts of our marriage found representation through people sent our way: walking together every day with the Neighborhood Walk-to-School group, ministering together to graduate students, teaching college students, and volunteering with youth ministry and church. It was fun that these encounters kept happening all night.

And yes, we had all this and our bookstore, romantic dinner, and movie too!

It was a beautiful night out because every half hour or so, we received little reminders of what makes marriage so great. For years, we've been together in life and ministry; it's been so purposeful and connected to others that our night out included a wonderful sampling of what the years have meant to us.

It was never just about us.