Monday, July 6, 2015

Mac N Cheese

Tonight is the first night of alone-ness.  All four of my kids are at “Grandma Camp” for the week and my husband is not feeling well so he went to bed at about 6 o’clock.  So here I am all by myself.  I can’t remember the last time this has happened.  I can actually touch the remote! What??!! 

At first I felt a sense of elation.  It happened before I even made it home while I was going grocery shopping without kids.  It only lasted for about 5 seconds, but I felt it! Elation at shopping without kids.  Then I remembered something I forgot at the other side of the store and had to turn my really heavy grocery basket around and the elation left.  But it felt great while it lasted!

After my husband went to bed, I decided to get caught up on watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix, but I couldn’t figure out the Xbox controller to turn on my hubby's Xbox because his control has no letters on the buttons.  It took me several minutes of pressing plain silver buttons to sign him out of his Destiny game and find Netflix.  I went back and forth between the same two screens several times. But I finally found my Gilmore Girls!

I got hungry after watching a couple of episodes.  It was 8 o’clock, and I argued with myself for a few minutes about whether I should start cooking at that time, but hey, since I am all alone, why not get crazy and cook some mac n cheese.  So here is were this story really gets interesting.  So, I kind of, ahem, forgot to pay the gas bill and it got cut off, so I couldn’t boil the water for the mac on the stove.  I had to use a burner thing that my mother in law was gracious enough to let us borrow ages ago that I never returned and still had stored up in the top cabinet of my kitchen.  And since the burner thing doesn’t get as hot as the regular stove top, it took about an hour for my water to boil for my macaroni.  I watched the episode of GG where Loralai’s grandmother died and most of the one where Rory goes to spring break before I even saw bubbles.

I was kind of excited to even see some bubbles.  I was beginning to think that this burner thing wasn't going to work after all.  I sat back down to finish watching Rory and Loralai's antics when I was suddenly surprised by complete darkness.  Oh great, the power's out, I thought.  But no, there is a light coming from the coffee maker.  I looked around and only certain lights were out.  That meant it was a breaker. Apparently the burner thing uses too much power to be on the same side of the kitchen as the dishwasher.  I felt around for my phone to use the screen as a light so that I could find the breaker.  I went from one end of the couch where I had been sitting to the other.  No phone.  What did I do with it? I just had it.  I tried several different light switches and, of course, none of them worked.  The bathroom light worked and so did the coffee maker.  But none that would provide a source of light in the bedroom where the breaker box is.  So, I stumbled over toys that my kids 'forgot' to put away before going to Grandma's and barely made it without falling down.  I opened the closet door and felt around in the dark until my hand contacted the cold metal of the box. I remembered that when the breaker blew last time, we flipped one of the bottom breakers and it turned on, so I started from the bottom of the breaker.  Luckily, it was the second to last so it came right on.  Back to the living room.  Oh, there it is! My phone was on the ottoman. 

I finally got the noodles cooked and it was time to make the cheese sauce.  Ok, time out for a second. There is something I need to explain.  I am allergic to wheat so I have to eat completely gluten free. I stopped buying expensive boxes of gluten free mac n cheese years ago because I refuse to pay five dollars for three noodles and a packet of cheese powder. So now I try to make it from scratch, but I am not very good at it so every time I make mac n cheese its an experiment on how to make cheese sauce. Yes, I know, I can look up a recipe online, but what’s the fun in that? Over the weekend, my sister from California and I had a conversation about how to make a good cheese sauce which is probably why I had a craving for mac n cheese.  Except we were talking about how to make queso dip.  Anyway, we disagreed about how to start the sauce.  She told me that it starts with B├ęchamel. She is absolutely right, except that I am from Louisiana so I start with roux.

    I got the butter out of the fridge and cut off half a stick and threw it into the pan.  I decided it didn’t look like enough so I threw in the other half.  I had a cup of gluten free flour left in the GF Bisquick box after making pancakes last weekend, and it looked like the right amount so I threw that in there to make my roux.  I mixed it in with the butter and it did just fine.  Then I added some milk to make it creamy.  After stirring in the milk, it started looking more like biscuits than roux.  I added a little more milk.  Still looked like a big biscuit.  I ended up adding the rest of the milk that I had in the half gallon jug, which was about three cups.  Now my cheese sauce to macaroni ratio is way off.  All I needed was about a cup of cheese sauce for my noodles, but between the flour and the milk and the fact that it grew like a biscuit, there was about 6 cups of cheese sauce.  So, I removed almost all of the cheese sauce and added the noodles to the remaining sauce. 

The mac n cheese was pretty good.  Tomorrow I think I’ll make some queso. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Flip Side

My last post was about how the church has hurt me in the past.  I know some of you may be thinking... "So why do you even still go to church?"

Well, a church is not God himself.  Every church is made of humans.  It should be led by God, but unfortunately many times, it is not.  Those are what I call Social Clubs.  I mentioned in my last post that I am extremely selective about where I attend.   I have learned that there are churches out there that are full of true believers.  Now, I will admit that even in these churches, there are people who may not be a true believer, but if a church as a whole is following God to the best of their ability, that is where I want to be. 

"How did you figure that out?" You may be thinking.  I am a recovering Social Club member.  I was part of a Social Club and I was just as judgmental as the rest of them until I went through what I wrote about in my last post.  If you didn't read it, here it is:  The Social Club.

I stumbled about for years after I was rejected by that church.  It was not a church that made me see the truth, but a friend.  I wasn't really close to this woman, and I don't keep in touch with her now, but she changed my life. She was a person who had a relationship with Jesus.  More than just following an empty religion.  She shone with His Light.  Everywhere she went you could see the peace that surrounded her.  Her life wasn't perfect, she didn't have a lot of money and she struggled sometimes to pay her bills.  But she had Hope and Peace that was supernatural.  I found that it came from spending time in God's presence.  I began to want what she had.  I didn't know why or how to have that, but I wanted it desperately.  I needed it.  I knew about the Bible.  I had grown up in church.  I knew scripture.  But I didn't know how to shine like she did. 

The scriptures became real on the night that Jesus came to me.  I was lying in bed, crying because of things that were in my life had become so overwhelming.  I was depressed and scared that my life was falling apart. I prayed a simple prayer, "Help." Jesus showed up in my room. I couldn't see him like I can see my kids sitting here in the room with me.  I felt him.  As soon as he entered the room I felt his presence.  He put his arms around me and comforted me.  He promised me that things would be hard, but that He had a plan for my life.  He picked up all the things I had been holding on to so tightly and that were hurting me and took them.  In my mind, I saw a huge trash can and he threw away all of those things.  Jesus is real and he loves you. He can do this for you too, if you ask Him. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Social Club

My stomach is in knots at the moment over something that happened yesterday that spiraled out of my control.

Here is my post:

There are so many people who claim to be Christians that spew so much hatred to the gay and lesbian community and to different races. I read this verse this morning and I feel that it really speaks volumes to the way true Believers of Jesus should behave.

9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him[b] there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2.

Apparently that struck a chord in a lot of people, because I don't usually get a lot of varying comments on my posts.  This one I did.  There were many people who liked and agreed with it, but there were several that either didn't, or had a lot to say about it.  I respect everyone's opinion and I am glad that everyone posted because it made me think a lot more about what I was really saying.

  There are many people who have had bad experiences at church and I am one of them.  I am someone who really needed the love of Christ in the worst way and people in the church didn't help me.  I am hoping to change that. So many churches have strayed so far away from what God intended church to be.  I call them Christian Social Clubs.  The meet on Sunday morning in their pretty dresses and suits with their hair, make up, and shoes perfectly adorned.  They sit with their 3.5 kids and sing 4 hymns, then listen to exactly 30 minutes to a man drone on about something in the Bible and then they go home.  The rest of the week they act as if God doesn't exist.  This makes me sick.  I really can't stand this.  These are the people I was talking to in my Facebook post.  These are usually the people who are first to judge and they are most often the people who need to change more than anyone else.

I am very very extremely picky about where I attend church.  It has to be a place where they dig into God's word and strive to invite His presence into the worship service.  It must have outreach and missions to help those who need it.  It must be a place where someone can feel welcome and loved.  That is what I look for in a church.  Why? Because I have been on the receiving end of judgement from churches.

I used to attend one of these Social Club.  It was great until I needed help.  I enjoyed all of the benefits of the "Club" such as the youth group and activities that we did.  I have mentioned in past posts that I had experienced abuse in my past by someone who is not a member of my family. After high school, I hadn't told anyone about the abuse and I was really struggling with life.  I think I must have felt safe as long as I was in school, but once I left home and started college, life was a challenge and I had no direction.  I was really struggling in my classes after being a good student in high school.  I changed my major about as often as I changed my socks.  I shaved my head.  I slept a lot and at that point I was swirling in and out of depression.  I couldn't see a future for myself.  I didn't want to die, but I wouldn't have minded going into a coma for several years.  I never did drugs or drink because I didn't like the feeling of being out of control of myself, which I felt invited more abuse.  I went back to the Social Club I had been attending all through high school.  The church that I felt I could trust.  I was shunned by the people I thought I could turn to in time of trouble.  I didn't even know why I was hurting.  I had buried the past so deep that I didn't realize that it was the cause of my pain until years later.  The people of that church saw a girl who looked different with her strange clothes and shaved head and didn't want anything to do with her.

No one said a word to me, but if looks could kill, I would have died a thousand deaths.  I know that this experience that I went through is mild compared to what others have gone through.  I have other experiences at different churches that have not been pleasant, but that is for another day.  The point I want to make is that if you are human, you should be welcome at church.  You never know what someone is going through in their personal life.  Just love them.

I have worked with many gay and lesbian people and I am related to a beautiful woman who is a lesbian. Jesus loves them.  I love them.  If any of them show up at my house (which they have many times in the past) I would do my best to make them feel welcome and loved.  I am not going to exclude them from my life because I don't agree with their lifestyle.  I have felt judgement myself and I don't like it.  I don't want to do that to anyone else.  Period.