Just got out of church and it was really good. I say that every Sunday. My church is not normal, LOL. But it's alive, and it's always good. We got new books delivered to the bookcart which is my area of service at church, and new hoodies and t-shirts, so it was like Christmas. New book day, is always a good day! And there were some really good books in there. Really cool Bibles, too - so many different kinds, really really neat ones.
A lady told me she could tell I've lost weight.
After church I headed out to job hunt. I stopped at a gas station to borrow their microwave. Heated up a freezer burrito and a previously baked sweet potato. Strange lunch but good. Since the library is closed on Sunday, and I wish to give my host family some space today with their children at home, I'm using McDonald's wifi to job hunt today, and took a bag of food with me this morning. None of the rest of it needs to be heated. I'll step outside to eat it when I need a break.
I like to batchcook homemade food from scratch once a week, for quick grab and goes. Also if you're making a full meal, it helps tremendously with the dinner prep to have a few sides ready and waiting in the wings - really helps take the pressure off at dinner time, for those of us for whom cooking is not a natural gift. I've learned, but I learned as an adult and I do have to work at it.
Usually there is a theme or menu planning going on when I cook once a week. This time the theme was "being grateful for and using up the food you have; and making what you can out of it". So some of these foods do not go together, LOL. Yesterday I batchcooked:
*~*a dozen boiled eggs - on sale for dollar last week at BILO
*~*blackeyed pea salad (2C blackeyed peas soaked Fri night and cooked Sat; drain and add Italian dressing, fresh chopped onion, and diced red, yellow, orange, and green pepper)
*~*tangy yellow potato salad, with eggs, onion, and relish. Didn't have celery so I used celery salt and very light addition of celery seeds.
*~*2 C dried pinto beans soaked Fri night and cooked Sat in my crockpot; when they were finished I seasoned them to make Mexican flavored beans. Going to roll them in tortillas with rice, which will be a complete protein. When I checked the seasoning to see what they needed, they were already so good I ate a small bowl of the Mexican beans alone last night.
*~*albacore tuna salad with eggs, relish, onion, and green apple.
At some point I realized
if I add pasta to the blackeyed pea salad (which I have an overabundance of, and am always looking for a new idea of how to use), that would make it a complete protein, too. I've never had this blackeyed pea salad that way before, but don't have grocery money this week and am making do. Which kind of pasta should I add? I decided to go with a shape that would add visual variety and be different from the pea shape. So I boiled some farfalle (bow tie) pasta and added it.
My planning ahead, and frugal stockpile of nonperishables is certainly helping me to get through this wilderness. With lots of grace and provision from the Lord.
I still have romaine salad in the fridge, too, to enjoy this week. I am not going to blow away anytime soon.
I also got a load out of ministorage, added oil to the car, and did many other chores Sat.
Last week I applied for several QA & QC positions, and a call center job. Among many others. I'm going back to local fast food and restaurant places this week, the ones that didn't hire me last fall before Christmas. Doing it even though 1st quarter is the dead zone for retail.
It was really windy yesterday and very cold (for us) last night, but it is a beautiful gorgeous day today. Spring is coming and the mountains are starting to burst into bloom. While I love the life of Saint Patrick, and I love Irish blessings, and lucky Irish rainbows (actually ANY rainbow; one of God's covenants with us) and celebrate those things this time of year, I just added a new picture to my SparkPage. The scripture on it is, "The hills are clothed with gladness", from the Psalms.
And I thought: am I?
Am I, -- clothed in gladness?
The mountains clothe themselves in gladness before their Creator; do I? What am I clothed in; how have I clothed myself? The mountains rejoice, and clothe themselves in gladness; and "The earth laughs in flowers", Emerson said. What attitude and what emotional state am robes me?
I used to sing around the house, and in the car, all the time. Anytime I was alone, since I don't have a good voice; it was a way of life. Everyday. Why did I stop? When did that change?
Smiling was not a chore or something I had to work up to do.
Clothing yourself in gladness, is a choice. Clothing myself with gladness is something I've determined to be intentional about from now on.
Do you feel solitary? Desolate? Barren? Hard to smile sincerely? A dry riverbed? Gladness is a foreign condition? You privately wish you could smack upside the head, anyone who tells you to "rejoice and be glad in it"? Here is encouragement for you, and many precious promises.
Even the wilderness, the desert, the solitary land that was desolate, dry, parched and impassable will be glad in those days. The wilderness will rejoice and blossom as the rose; the wasteland will blossom with spring crocuses.
Like a lily the land shall bud forth and blossom and flourish. It will burst into bloom profusely; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. Yes, there will be an abundance of blossoming and flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There Jehovah will display His glory and everyone will see His glory; everyone will see the majestic splendor, honor, excellency, and beauty of our God.
WITH THIS NEWS, STRENGTHEN THOSE who have tired hands, AND ENCOURAGE THOSE who have weak knees. Say to those with timid, anxious, fearful hearts -- tell those who are terrified and fainthearted: "Take courage, be strong, be brave, fear not! Behold, your God is coming to destroy your enemies, with vengeance and divine retribution. He Himself will come and save you.
And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shall be free, and shout and sing for joy. Springs will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert will water the wasteland in torrents. The burning sand and parched, scorched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived.
And a highway will go through that once deserted land; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The evil-minded and unclean people will not journey on it. But it shall be for the redeemed; it will be only for those who walk in that Way, and He Himself is by them; wicked fools will never walk there. Lions and wild animals will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it.
And the ransomed of the LORD will return to Jerusalem. They will enter Zion with singing and praise; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow, mourning, sighing and grief will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
So when you see crocuses this Spring, remember Isaiah 35; write it out several times if you have to; copying over, longhand, is a great way to memorize. When you see crocuses this Spring, remember these great and precious promises.
And when you see crocuses this Spring, do a wardrobe check. What are you clothed in? No wardrobe malfunctions, please. Are you clothed with gladness?