November 30, 2013

NEW BLOG

Hi friends and family!
If you haven't heard...
this blog has moved!
Share life with us, the Carrillo family, at:
Because life is so, so much more than food.
It's about sharing Jesus.
....and then sharing recipes, photos of family, and other odd topics.




This is exciting!

November 26, 2013

Mango Sauce n' Raw Pasta

For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3

As believers, we are called to be humble, and cast off pride. We are reminded of the example of Jesus' humble heart as He walked this earth and lived a life just as we are living now. He had every right to think of Himself more highly than He did, for He is God and was being worshiped by the angels in song before He decided to greet man with His presence. And yet, He decided to come into this world as a defenseless baby, born to a virgin, unmarried woman (a sinner like all of us), and live a life of poverty, had to work a physically demanding job, and constantly feel man's hatred toward Him as He told them the good news - that He was the waited for Messiah and King, and that they needed to repent in order to inherit God's kingdom.

So why am I so convinced that I deserve a better life than Christ? It's pride, my friends. We (I) think of ourselves as these amazing creatures that deserve much praise from man, little to no suffering, a whole lot of success and many gifts. Pride makes us wrongly believe that when we don't do well, and aren't receiving the praise we are "due", that we are obviously doing something incorrectly, and we should work harder. Pride makes me wrongly believe that if "so and so is having such a good life in sin, why am I having such a hard time as a believer and follower of Christ?" Pride steers our thoughts away from serving God by serving man, and dangerously toward serving ourselves first and foremost, because we deserve it (lie).

These words from the Lord are hard to put into practice - but they are so freeing once you are able to. We have to acknowledge that every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17). The reason we wake up with breathe each morning is because God gives it to us. The reason we were able to pay that last bill is because The Lord provides. The reason we received praise from man as we finished a job at work is because God gives us the wisdom to work. It's all because of the Lord, nothing we do is because we are awesome, able and majestic but because our Heavenly Father is compassionate, generous and giving.

Here is some of Matthew Henry's great commentary on this verse:

"Pride is a sin that is bred in the bone of all of us, and we have therefore each of us need to be cautioned and armed against it. We must take heed of having too great an opinion of ourselves, or putting too high a valuation upon our own judgments, abilities, persons and performances. We must not be self-conceited, nor esteem too much our own wisdom and other attainments."

side note... isn't it interesting how all of our life we are told to not have a low self esteem? and yet, doing what we are told, we develop a high self esteem... which translates into nothing other than pride! oh brain washing at its best...!

"...we must have a low and modest opinion of ourselves and our own abilities, our gifts and grace, according to what we have received from God, and not otherwise. It is good to be wise, but it is bad to think ourselves so for there is more hope of a fool than of him that is wise in his own eyes."

Low self esteem. Acknowledge that God has given us every big and small gift we have, and we are humbly in His hands.

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Oh, this is how we did dinner the other day!
the pasta business:
  • 2 peeled zucchinis, spiralized or julienned
  • 2 large peeled English cucumbers, spiralized or julienned
sauce n' toppings:
  • 2 mangoes, blended with 1/2 bell pepper (red/orange/yellow)
  • tomatoes and more bell pepper diced on top! 

November 24, 2013

Blueberry Mango Breakfast

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

Have me read this about 6 years ago, before I met my husband, and it would have sounded so foreign to me. It's telling us to say, "if the Lord wills" or "God willing" when we are talking about our future plans. Every time. Really? I mean, I know that the future is completely in His hands, and we really are just a mist, a vapor, here one moment and gone almost immediately afterward, so He has all the control, and we need to acknowledge that, but... Aren't I going to sound so weird saying "God willing..." in common conversations?

That was my mindset. James 4:13-15 never really impacted me, as you can tell. Then I met my husband and to my surprise he would often say, in Spanish, "if God wills" when talking about plans he had. It just flowed from his mouth so naturally, and it didn't sound weird like I had told myself it would. I began to hear it often from him and his family, and when we visited Mexico I would hear it even more often. They got it, they didn't ever have my "that sounds weird" mindset. They just read these verses and followed them. I noticed this, felt the necessity of applying it to my life, and after being encouraged many times by Eduardo to start to say it, have gotten into the habit.

The risk you take with saying, "God willing" each time you mention your plans, is that you can vainly just blurt it out because it has become, just as a I said, a habit. It loses its meaning, and  you don't even realize you're saying it anymore because of its new habitual significance. Take heart, though. It helps me to think of our Father when I say it, really acknowledge Him then and there that He is in control, He holds my future, His plans are greater than mine. And there is so much comfort in that!

Matthew Henry says, "How much of worldly happiness lies in the promises men make to themselves beforehand. Their heads are full of fine visions, as to what they shall do, and be, and enjoy, in some future time, when they can neither be sure of time nor of any of the advantages they promise themselves;"

"God that wisely left us in the dark concerning future events, and even concerning the duration of life itself. We know not what shall be on the morrow; we may know what we intend to do and to be, but a thousand things may happen to prevent us. We are not sure of life itself, since it is but as a vapour, something in appearance, but nothing solid nor certain, easily scattered and gone. We can fix the hour and minute of the sun’s rising and setting to-morrow, but we cannot fix the certain time of a vapour’s being scattered; such is our life: it appears but for a little time, and then vanisheth away; it vanisheth as to this world, but there is a life that will continue in the other world; and, since this life is so uncertain, it concerns us all to prepare and lay up in store for that to come."

"The apostle, having reproved them for what was amiss, now directs them how to be and do better: "You ought to say it in your hearts at all times, and with your tongues upon proper occasions, especially in your constant prayers and devotions, that if the Lord will give leave, and if he will own and bless you, you have such and such designs to accomplish.’’ This must be said, not in a slight, formal, and customary way, but so as to think what we say, and so as to be reverent and serious in what we say. It is good to express ourselves thus when we have to do with others, but it is indispensably requisite that we should say this to ourselves in all that we go about. Syn Theowith the leave and blessing of God, was used by the Greeks in the beginning of every undertaking. 1. If the Lord will, we shall live. We must remember that our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God; we live as long as God appoints, and in the circumstances God appoints, and therefore must be submissive to him, even as to life itself; and then, 2. If the Lord will, we shall do this or that. All our actions and designs are under the control of Heaven."

(my emphasis added)

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This is how we do breakfast. Join us!

November 21, 2013

5 Year Anniversary: Wasabi Bistro in Seattle

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you... your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten... your gold and silver have rusted (this will eat your flesh like fire). ...The Lord of hosts has heard the cries of the laborers of your fields ... while on earth you have only thought of filling your own stomachs and having a good time. Now you are fat cattle on the way to be butchered. You have condemned and murdered innocent people, who couldn't even fight back. James 5:1-6 (paraphrased from ESV and CEV)

This is strong. It is also pretty clear. But let's dive in deeper with some help from Matthew Henry's commentary... the unbelieving, rich Jews often persecuted with hate toward the poor, Christian Jews. Paul directs this all to them. The rich had a lot of misery coming their way. As they say, "eat, drink and be merry" God says, "weep and howl" - miseries here on earth and miseries in hell. All their possessions are temporary (so are ours!), they will all rot to dust and rust, their value will decrease to nothing. The rich can and do cling to their fine garments (today their/our: huge homes, cars, servants). But the moths will eat their garments to nothing, their homes will burn down or be broken down to nothing, their cars chip, rust and the engines die, their servants will leave them... and God only hears the cry of their laborers. The rich are completely satisfied, and all that awaits them is eternity in hell if they don't turn to Jesus. Apart from their loving Lord Jesus, without possession or pride, that is where they will end up. Naked. Alone.

I told you it was a heavy couple verses! God is telling us to be careful of falling into this, as many of us have. If we cling onto our earthly possessions like mini-gods, what are we going to feel when we are standing at heaven's gates, before our Creator? None of the material will be in our hands. We cannot store up our treasures on earth or we will be very empty handed once our life ends. Everything in our life is so temporary, and it's all going to rot into nothingness. Living for Christ is so much more fulfilling, and eternal!

~~~

 So it happened. We had another anniversary, and this time we wanted to make it extra special. Last year we had a newborn, I was self conscious about my post partum belly that still shouted "I'm a couple months pregnant! but if you touch my belly, it's more like a squishy springy balloon full of rubber bands than a firm, pregnant belly!" and dressing up for the occasion did not even cross our minds. This year, we opted for dressing up, a movie, and a yummy dinner. T'was superb. Saying goodbye to the baby boy for a few hours wasn't easy. But grandma and grandpa were amazing and more than willing to give him kisses for 3 hours while we were gone.




Restaurant of choice: Wasabi Bistro in Seattle. It had promising ratings on Yelp, has recently been remodeled so it was very fancy, and includes 2 entire pages in their menu dedicated to vegetarian options. Triple win! Not so awesome: the dim lighting, causing food photography to be a slight challenge. We overcame. We concurred. We watched the movie Gravity in 3D, then consumed large amounts of rice.







 





God has blessed our marriage in more ways than we can count. To learn, through God's grace, how to love and serve another human being (who just so happens to also be a sinner, like me) is humbling, challenging, and incredible. I am full of joy when I ponder how the Lord has brought us together, and never ceases to gift us with lessons, growth through trials, and show us His abundant love through parenthood. Eduardo is a joy to be around and I am so, so excited for what our Father has in store for us! His mysteries amaze my itty bitty brain! 

We do not know what the future holds. But we know Who holds the future.

November 19, 2013

Toddler Photography Challenges

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight your feet's paths, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather healed. Hebrews 12:12-13

I really like this verse. Quickly translated I see it as, "perk up, Eeyore". Really, though. This world is dark enough, let's be lights!

M. Henry's commentary and my added notes: Affliction can so easily make me drop my hands, feel weak in the knees, discouraged and darken my spirit, but I must strive against these things. I must strive so that I can run my spiritual race and course. Faith in Christ will make me walk more steadily, faith encourages me to encourage and lift up the spirits of others who are on the same chastening path as I. Many are on their way to heaven, but their afflictions weigh them down and result in them discouraging others. We must not hinder one another but take courage, act by faith, help one another forward toward heaven.

Really, though. So many of us Christians are so dang pessimistic and gloomy. We have HOPE IN JESUS! Our pain and suffering is for such a short time, we have an amazing place waiting for us with our loving, compassionate Savior soon to be by our side for all eternity! May our life's testimonies shine bright before the men and women who don't know Jesus. It's so, so much easier to go through the hard patches with Christ. I can't even begin to imagine how people suffer without Christ as the center of their lives. I'd give up. Instantly. Can't do it. It's all about Jesus, and only because of Jesus, and only possible because Jesus lives.

~~~

It used to be so simple to take a photo of our baby boy. I would lie him down, prepare the camera for action, and proceed. Once he was able to sit on his own, I would sit him up, prepare the camera for action, and again proceed. Then he started crawling, and I could somewhat prepare the camera and proceed to take a few good snapshots. Now he is crawling, walking, grabbing and everywhere - which causes the following.



I've mentioned before how I am at a loss, and I have ended up handing him some sort of distracting, fascinating object so I can take a decent photo of him. When I don't use these magical props, I end up with a lot of blurry, but goofy photos. Goofy because I am having to distract or entertain him momentarily by shouting weird things, "OH NO!" "Bum bummm booooo!" etc, or, in this case, blowing on his face and expecting amazing results.



It was short lived. Again he decided that an object full of dozens of small buttons, that comes with a clicky sound and an auto-focus bright light with each clicky sound - was a billion times more interesting and enticing than me blowing on his face. 

So this post exists for the sole purpose of expressing this new challenge in life: The challenge of toddler photography. I hope to look back on this day sometime and say, "oh man! wasn't that a real doozy... I'm so glad I am a professional now and Santiago's photos are crisper than an apple!" One can only hope (and take classes, and learn from mistakes, and read other peoples' blogs with high hopes to obtain good tips.)


November 17, 2013

Cucumber, Apple Salad

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin. Hebrews 2:3-4

I have been looking to Matthew Henry's commentary often as I'm diving deeper into God's Word recently. If I don't, sometimes I read verses like the ones above and don't really feel spiritually "fed". This is my small translation of these verses: I consider Jesus, who endured rude, heartless, sinners that hated Him. When I consider this I am humbled, since I never feel what He felt, never feel people's blunt hatred toward me, physical abuse and verbal loathing. I am told to not be discouraged, because Christ went through life so much harder than I ever will and I have yet to bleed profoundly as Jesus did on the cross for my sin.

Here is a little bit from Matthew Henry (full commentary of entire bible can be found on this website!): Our Lord Jesus, the captain of our salvation, does not call His people out the hardest trials at first, but wisely trains them up through less sufferings to be prepared for greater sufferings. He is the gentle shepherd who will not overdrive the young ones of the flock. Christ is gentle. He accommodates our trails based on our strength. May I not magnify my afflictions, making them greater than they actually are. May I see Christ's mercy in them and pity those who are called to the fiery trials who are resisting to blood- shedding their own blood while sealing their testimony (the persecuted all around the world, who are prohibited to carry or read a bible, who are killed because they love and serve Christ. I can't even fathom.). We should be ashamed to faint under less trials - when so many are suffering much greater than us. If I feel weary in peace, how will I handle the heavy trials that await?

I am humbled. I am encouraged. All the trials that God allows to cross my path, are nothing compared to the suffering of Jesus Christ. And in affliction, no matter how heavy, overwhelming, or suffocating, my strength comes from Him alone.

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Who loves cucumbers. 
Who loves cucumbers.
Santi, Santi, Santi loves them sooooo. 
My aunt and uncle were very generous and gave us two big cucumber plants in containers and they went absolutely wild (the plants, not my aunt/uncle) and gave us massive amounts of delicious cucumbers! Fast forward a month or two, and both plants are no longer existent - one now contains green onion and the other contains dirt. But oh how we enjoyed them cucumbers. I give them to Santi peeled and he eats them like a banana. Munch, munch, munch!




This salad. So good. So refreshing. So good. Did I mention good?

Cucumber n' Apple Salad!
serves 1 hungry human or 2 that aren't as hungry.
  • 1 head of romaine
  • 3-4 medium cucumbers
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • 4 apples
  1. Wash, spin, chop up your greens. Spiralize or chop your peeled cucumber. Half them tomatoes. Cut up your cored apples. EAT IT ALL!
The juicy tomatoes, water-rich cucumber and crispy apples leave this salad in no need of a dressing - hey, that's two no-dressing salad posts in a row! And, okay, lemon juice would actually make this really, really good. Will remember for next time!

November 15, 2013

Recipe Video: Kale Banana Ice Cream

We used to be stupid, disobedient, and foolish, as well as slaves of all sorts of desires and pleasures. We were evil and jealous. Everyone hated us, and we hated everyone. God our Savior showed us how good and kind he is. He saved us because of His mercy, and not because of any good things we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning. Titus 3:3-5

We all started as sinners. But God provides a new life in His Son, Jesus Christ! *Matthew Henry commentary with my notes added: Because of my foolish ways, past and present, I should all the more bear with the folly (sin, stupidity) of unbelievers. They are no more sinful as I am, and yet they are without the hope and cleansing of Jesus Christ. I am no better than they are, my current sin is no smaller than theirs. I need to give grace to others in their sin just as I would hope to receive grace when I was without Christ and knee-deep in selfish, prideful, people-pleasing sin. Imagine my unsaved self (or your unsaved self) confronted by a Christian in hate or reproach, judgement and disapproval.

Man thinks, in their worldly state, that giving into carnal sin by fulfilling their every pleasure, lust and desire, they experience complete freedom. And yet, they are complete slaves to the sins of the flesh, they have become entangled by the devil's schemes and have come to believe the lie that they are FREE. Was this me? Did I l feel like living a life for Christ meant giving up my freedom? Free to... live to please others, live to win their approval, live to freely watch "bad movies" live to freely date whoever, and yet, I was a slave to others! To their approval, worldly humor in crude movies, to stupid social media and television. I worshipped boys and idolized them, along with the idea of finding complete joy and happiness in dating one! Oh, lost pre-teen.... I'm so sorry.

How much more FREEDOM I have found in being a slave to Christ! In how good and kind the Father is, not because of any good I have done (little). God has washed me clean from my past and has filled me with His Holy Spirit. He has given me new birth and a fresh beginning! In being a slave to Christ I live to serve Him, to show love and compassion to the world because He did, to be generous to those in need, kind to the fallen and broken hearted, this is freedom! I am no longer bound by chains but washed by Christ's shed blood. And yet, even though I am far from perfect and still sin and fall often - "God our Savior showed us how good and kind He is. He saved us because of His MERCY, and not because of any good things we have done." It's not about my perfection. It's about God's mercy in understanding that I will never reach perfect, and He is glad in seeing me try.

God is so, so good. We are so, so unworthy.

~~~

Oh hi! I started to make recipe videos again (really?) - okay. I have uploaded one. Maybe two. in the past 9 months. But we all start somewhere, don't we now? These are fun! Baby Santi makes recipe videos high in cuteness content. I make them... educational.