My husband and I both work in ministry. He works on production at a large church and I work in the web department of an international relief and development organization. There is so much fulfillment in being able to say you really believe in the mission of the place where you work. It’s so fulfilling for Josh when he works hard at creating a cohesive church service and he gets to see people make a decision for Christ or take the next step of obedience in Baptism. I love when hard work on a web page or graphic design inspires someone to donate to a project that educates poor students in Haiti or provides water to people in need in Nicaragua or shelters an orphan in Zambia. We are so blessed in our jobs. That being said, ministry is beyond a full time commitment.
In our first year of our marriage there have been countless late nights spent apart because of the requirements of our jobs. While we wouldn’t change jobs for the world right now, it has caused a lot of issues. Our different temperaments, the different ways we were raised, and our vastly different views on how a house should be kept have caused a lot of tension. I was talking with an older person the other day, who has been married for 40+ years and they told me that all the issues I told them about came down to just one issue: communication. All the tension, they said, is based on differing expectations that haven’t spelled out for each other, and our busy schedules were ensuring that we wouldn’t be able to tell each other everything we needed in casual conversation. One issue seems so much more conquerable than dozens so I took the rest of their advice.
They told me to have Josh write down everything he could think of that we should communicate on once a week, and for me to do the same. So we did. Not surprisingly many of the points were the same on both of our lists. So, I’ve taken the lists and created a document. We’ve both agreed to meet every Monday, review the document and the dozen or so question is asks, and together write down our answers. This thing covers everything from bills to sexual expectations to social engagements to household chores to prayer and beyond. We talk about how the previous week was and our expectations for the coming week. Then we will place it in a binder and keep them all there each week adding the fresh document.
This way, we get the business of having a life together out of the way in about an hour each week and then, when we do have precious time together, it can be spent just enjoying each other – as friends, the way we started. We’re only a few weeks in, but I really think if we stick with it – it will be a useful tool. Has anyone else tried something like this?
How beautiful our couch used to be
…because you may actually fall into my couch these days.
When we got our 13 foot long 8.5 feet deep couch of craigslist it seemed like the greatest deal we’ve ever scored. And it was! For two or three solid months.
The the cracks started. And continued.
Then the cats discovered the feel of fake leather under an extended claw. That continued.
Then cracks gave way to full on tears on well worn sections and the simple peeling away of the top layer in other sections. And so on and so on.
Then I read some random blog where the woman said tent repair patches will blend in to the leather and stay on. She lied. The patches however did take off in big chunks the parts of the couch that were just starting to peel. Thats… helpful.
Now I’ve resorted to ducktape, which you may be thinking is hideous looking, but it literally can’t make this couch look worse. My goal is at least to close the giant gashes and stop the peels from falling on the floor by ducktaping all of them together.
All because, hope is on the horizon. Hope in this case, is my moms amazing talent at anything she’s ever attempted. This talent extends to sewing. My mom and Dad have promised to come and visit Josh and me soon. My mom already knows that as soon as she gets here, operation couch cover goes into effect. I have no talent for sewing and zero experience making slip covers so we will see how that turns out. I promise I’ll post whatever we come up with, no matter how bad it turns out.
Time will tell, do you sew? Do you sew slipcovers? Do you want to sew my slipcover?
Crock Pot Chicken, Baby!
I love crock pots. I mean, I have successfully used one and that’s pretty much all it takes for someone to love crockpots. I think it probably speaks to my lazy nature that I am naturally drawn to a form of cooking that’s literally just put it in a bucket and leave it there. However, if you’ve ever struggled to shred chicken for tacos, bbq’s, enchiladas, literally any other food ever (because shredded chicken can be used in anything) you should look into taking up the art of the crock.
Also, please be advised that they make little trashbag looking liners for crockpots that make it so you don’t even have crockpot clean up. It’s spectacular.
There’s really no end to what you can accomplish with one of these, and unless you have a blackout at home while you’re at work, and the food can’t cook (which actually happened to me a few weeks ago) your dinner will be ready and hot and not microwaved when you get home. Who could ask for more? Anyway, back to the chicken.
When you make chicken in the crockpot, you don’t really have to “shred” at as much as just…sort of look at it or maybe move it around ever so slightly with a fork and it shreds itself. I wouldn’t believe it unless I had seen it with my own eyes. And I did. And it was pure magic.
This particular batch of chicken is going to go into some Enchiladas that my friend Briana taught me how to make. I’ll post that recipe later. She usually uses a rotisserie chicken from the store, but I have a thing about bones in food, so I am calling upon the pot.
Today I’m cooking the chicken in water and universal seasonings (which is code for the blackening spice I mixed up and use in differing amounts on everything I cook). Plopped the chicken down, sprinkled some seasoning, added a tea cup of water turned the crock pot on high. Six hours later, this magical wonderland of tender chicken.
Do you cook with crock? Are you gonna start?