Friday, February 24, 2012

Traveling Thoughts

This morning I'm on my way to California for my sweet friend Lauren's wedding shower. Before I left this morning I asked Patrick when the last time I flew somewhere by myself was, and he told me "Haiti, last April." Haiti was an emotional trip for me in ways that I can't seem to articulate.

And sitting in the airport terminal, listening to the same worship that carried me through that experience, I'm amazed at the emotions arising in my chest. My heart at its core beats for the nations. For missions. For travel. For teams carrying revival into the darkest parts of the earth. And right now my heart is yearning to be sent. To go. To engage with where my strengths shine brightest and my heart is at its fullest.

But right now I don't really have an outlet for that. And I don't know how to find one, nor do I believe myself to have the capacity right now to fully engage with one.

So thus begins my weekend alone with my thoughts. Searching my heart and asking God to call forth it's true desires and dreams. I'll probably be blogging as I can as my iPhone makes it so easy to journal as I go. :)

Thanks for your patience with me while being "in process." We will all reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recipes

Here are some recipes from my weekend that were absolutely worth sharing:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Thai Coconut Curry Soup
Broiled Grapefruit

Buffalo Chicken Pizza:

Dough:
1 cup of water/beer
3 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry yeast
1 swirl of olive oil
A dash of basil and garlic (or fresh basil if you have it)

Directions: 
Warm the water or beer in the microwave. Add flour, salt, olive oil, and any other spices/ingredients. Knead until you have a ball of semi-sticky dough. Cover and let sit in a cool dry place for 1 hour.

Pizza Ingredients:
Ranch
Chicken diced
Buffalo Sauce
Bleu Cheese
Mozzarella
Onions (or any other pizza faves)

Directions:
After one hour, roll dough out onto a pan. Bake at 375 for 2-3 minutes. While it is baking, cook diced chicken in buffalo sauce in a pan. In separate pan cook onions with a little bit of butter to brown them. Brush a thin layer of ranch dressing over the crust (I used a fat free version). Then add mozzarella, chicken, onions, blue cheese, and any other ingredients that you like. Then for extra flavor I drizzled buffalo sauce on the top. Bake 10-13 minutes (or less depending on your over) at 375. 



Thai Coconut Curry Soup (adapted from this):

Ingredients:
2 lemons
2 limes
2 cans coconut milk (I used one Lite and one regular)
1 heaping handful of chopped cilantro
1 heaping tablespoon of Thai Chili Paste
2 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
8 ounces of rice noodles

Directions:
1. Chop up the cilantro, lemons, and limes

2. Put a some of the coconut cream from the top of a can into a pan, along with the chicken, Thai curry paste, and cilantro.

3. Saute together for 5 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked.


4. Squeeze lemons and limes into the pan and add the peels. Then add chicken broth, the rest of the coconut milk, and a dash of soy sauce (optional). Bring to a boil. Then add your noodles.


5. Let simmer together for 15-20 minutes. Then its ready to eat!

Broiled Grapefruit:

Ingredients:
Cinnamon
Brown Sugar
Butter
1 grapefruit cut in half

Directions:
1. Turn on broiler.
2. Cut grapefruit and segment.
3. Melt butter, then stir in cinnamon and sugar.

4. Put grapefruit halves on a broiler pan. Smear with paste.

5. Put the pan as close to the top of your oven as possible. Cook for 4-6 minutes. 

And voila! A really delicious snack, dessert, side or breakfast item. 

As always, thanks to Pinterest for fulfilling all my recipe needs. 


Monday, February 20, 2012

Finding Me

These days I find myself with such a wide variety of emotions. I can't decide whether I need more friends, need less friends, need to be alone more, need to read more, need to join a Bible study, need to cook and become more domestic, need to spend more time with family, need to travel, need to call distant friends more, need to practice my creative writing, go to different work-out classes, or just spend more time at Forever 21.

Each day I just feel completely different. One day I think that everything is going to be okay. That my job is happy, I work with nice people, I get to work from home occasionally, and I'm learning a ton. But then I have days where I get to dabble in what my dreams really are: looking at pictures from exotic adventures, spending hours reading thick novels, having Mexican and margaritas with my family, looking for decorating projects, or having group iPhone chats with my friends while we watch The Bachelor together. And those are the times where I feel more at home in my skin. Like I'm connected to "me."

But I can't figure out why some days are good and some days are hard. Even after a really great night I feel like crying, and just scroll through the list of all the things where I felt like I said the right thing and got a hurtful response. Or I worked really hard to do something for someone else and it just went unnoticed. Or I spent 3 hours with someone and we barely scratched the surface of what's really going on inside our hearts.

As Ginny and I talk about every day, being an extrovert can be difficult. Because the amount of time and deep interaction you need with people to feel like you really thrive is so hard to get in "adult" friendships. And yeah I have those friends that in 30 minutes we can get down to business and really feel known and accepted and deeply encouraged...but that is so unbelievably rare. And if those aren't the things that feed you too, then I'm probably the only one making an effort. And then leaving the interaction feeling like I poured as much of myself out as I could, yet only feeling more empty.

And that's probably why I like staying up late with friends. Because once the world is asleep, people feel so much more comfortable showing each other who they really are on the inside. You've gotten the small talk out of the way, and you can dive into the greater depths of who people are. Mission trips also allow for deep continual interaction over shared experiences, so that is probably why those are so intricately linked to my heart as well.

So this past week, I decided to call a counselor. Someone who is Spirit filled, and can help equip me with some tools and mindsets to feel more "me" but not get burdened by those who don't really want "me." Because it is getting exhausting going between happy and satisfied to crumbling to pieces.

I may or may not report the progress or the things I'm learning, but I'm putting it out there for the sole purpose of asking you to give me grace in this season. And to thank you in advance for your kindness and support. Love you guys.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Faves

Angora Rabbits

Bob Harper

Adoption Coffee

Harry Potter

Libby Gray

Holding hands with Lucy

Malbec

Instagram

Pardot

Project Runway All Stars

MAC blush - Dainty

Yorks



Friday, February 3, 2012

Life and Loving on Purpose

It's been a busy week here in the West household. 


Patrick went to Puerto Rico for a work event. I took my car into the shop, not once, not twice, but THREE times. My dad had shoulder surgery this morning. I've been battling a sore throat and possible sinus infection, while trying to hammer out 40+ hours of work in the marketing automation world. We sent off two of our best friends to Nicaragua for a mission trip. Welcomed a new baby into our extended family. And I personally went through 2 boxes of Kleenex in less than a week. Do they give awards for stuff like that?


In other news, I'm finishing up book 4 of the Harry Potter series, using a hand warmer as a heating pad for my swollen lymph nodes, and frantically trying to catch up on Project Runway Allstars (and ihategreenbeans.com). And to be honest, I thought Heidi Klum not being a part of the Project Runway Allstars would be a terrible thing. But it turns out, the newest judges are kind, funny, smart, and communicate really well to the contestants. So I don't end up yelling at Nina Garcia my tv for  liking something one minute and hating it the next. Those poor contestants. Those judges were hard to please. I feel sorry for their (ex)significant others. Obviously, if you don't follow pop culture, then you might have missed that Heidi and Seal are on the fritz. As are Will and Jada.


Last weekend Patrick and I went to a "Loving Your Kids on Purpose" conference with Danny Silk (no we are not pregnant). The conference was amazing and shed so much light on how to help people be free in relationships. (If Jacquelyn were here she'd commiserate with me on why being controlling shouldn't be a bad thing). I thought I'd include a few nuggets of Truth that I took away from this weekend (and yes, they all stung a little bit):


-Where there is no love, there are high rules. Freedom demonstrates character, not rules. You can't be free if you don't have a choice.


-We re-present who God is to our children. We show them how the Father interacts with those who make mistakes.


-The greatest lie you can teach your kids is "I control you" and "You can be controlled." 


-We lose our connection with our children and the ability to influence them when we try to control.


-Freedom puts on the surface what is really there. And that is scary and vulnerable, but that is what love is.


-You can't sow in bad seeds in the name of being a parent. At some point you will reap what you sow.


-Keep your love on. Even when you disagree. Otherwise we have very conditional love and we disconnect easily.




All of these are awesome take-aways that I think would be best understood if they were tattoo-ed on my forehead. They apply to all relationships, and since we are relational beings, it would be foolish to not take some of these to heart in dealing with not just our children, but friends, family and co-workers as well.