the times are changin'
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Friday, February 17, 2012

there is much to learn

i have seen and felt so deeply recently that my heart tends toward melancholy and that it tends towards anxiety. i've been sitting here all evening looking at pinterest and checking out blogs and growing oh-so-discontent. i was going to come and write a blog about all the things i wish i could be doing with my life right now instead of what i am doing. but i'm not going to. not because those desires aren't valid but because obsessing over them isn't helpful and is so far from the point. i have been overwhelmed this week at how my job is my current crucible. now you really need to know it's not a crucible because of my administration or because of my co-workers or even because of my students. it's a crucible because it forces me to go against all of my natural tendencies every single day. my first instinct is not confidence but fear, not fight but flight, not confrontation but unresponsiveness. for example, the thought of having to call a parent about a student's behavior will make me feel so physically sick i think i might throw up...for up to two days. yeah, it's bad. my job is so hard for me, but i'm seeing (reluctantly so most days) that there is such value in my being there because i have to struggle to believe and live the Gospel everyday. i have to struggle to not be compelled by a desire to please people but by a desire to serve people. i have to struggle to not be compelled out of fear of getting in trouble but out of conviction of what is right. i have to struggle to not be compelled by a desire to be applauded but by compassion and love for my students. more than that i have to struggle to believe that living in the Gospel is actually everything i'm looking for--it is the only means to true freedom, joy and peace. honestly, most of my year has been spent relinquishing the fight to my anxiety, which has made me self-serving, self-preserving and people-pleasing more often than not. i have grown exhausted and despondent. Jesus has been so sweet to me and has been so faithful to wash my heart with Truth. one example of that comes from isaiah 35, which is below. the entire passage is so beautiful and so full to the brim with hope. i have felt freedom this week in the Gospel that has been very foreign to my soul for awhile. this freedom has not yet overwhelmingly transformed my actions but it has begun to creep into my soul, transforming my heart and thoughts. there is hope yet.

that is all for now, but i'm sure there will be so much more to come over the next few weeks. there is much to learn.
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from scratch honey sesame chicken

the hubs and i love us some cheap asian-esque food, so i am so excited to say that i have a recipe that is--to our taste buds--just as good as a restaurant (at least the cheap ones). i took a crock pot recipe to make the sauce and i simply fried some chicken and tossed it in the sauce. note: i think i figured out how to mimic Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets...but more on that later. here's the recipe for the sauce. enjoy :)

1/2 cup honey
1/4 soy sauce
1/8 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water
sesame seeds

1. heat the honey, soy sauce, and ketchup on medium heat. i used a small whisk to help combine them.
2. add the red pepper flakes and garlic. whisk again.
3. add the corn starch water mixture and bring sauce to boil.
4. stir as it boils until it seems to get to a consistency that you like. (if you want the sauce to be thinker, add more cornstarch.)
5. toss the chicken nuggets in the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

note about cornstarch: i grew up with a mother who was allergic to corn, so i'm assuming that's why i am just now discovering the magic of creating sauces with cornstarch. for those of you who are also new to the world of cornstarch, let me tell you the most important fact: you have to bring it to a boil in order for the cornstarch to thicken the sauce. the first time i attempted this sauce i royally messed up and made it way too thick. the recipe i was using failed to mention that whole boiling thing, so i kept adding cornstarch. fail. but i have since learned my lesson and i love this new-to-me technique.
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