August 7, 2013

Orange, Cilantro Dressing - to go!

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

II Corinthians 1:21, 22

Sealed with the Spirit! It feels so comforting, knowing that God's Spirit dwells in my heart. I am never alone, I don't have to depend on my own strengths to get me through the day. When you believe and seek to live for Jesus Christ, you are gifted with the guarantee of His Spirit living in you. This means there is a constant guide for you, a Rock to lean on when you feel weak, a companion - a Savior - who never stops loving you and will never leave your side. It's a promise. Jesus is watching us from Heaven but His Spirit doesn't leave our side for even a minute.

Sometimes life takes a turn for "not so awesome" and I feel like I am completely alone. It might not feel like complete loss, but I do feel empty, and sorrow tends to blind me fully so it is as if I am at the lowest of lows. I'm talking, feel inadequate as a mama and nanny, wonder if these babies think I am boring, can't stop biting my nails or struggle to break small habits like that one, self esteem drops, all I want to do is go for a 30 mile jog and put all responsibilities and duties on hold - just this once! That's what I mean when I have a "down" day. They only hit me every once in a while, praise the Lord! But when they greet me they come on full throttle.

You know what I have come to realize? I only experience these off days when I'm not in rich communication with my Father in Heaven. If I don't open the Bible that morning, pray and acknowledge who He is, confess, give thanks and cast my prayer requests and petitions His way - I'm not off to a good start. I can try to replace bible time with praying out loud as I prepare breakfast, or talk to Jesus while the babies and I are on our daily walk - but something will be missing even so. My thoughts will be foggy, my prayers tend to wander and I find myself thinking about my shoes, focus just won't happen.

Even so: the Holy Spirit of God never leaves me! What changes on those days is the fact that I cannot see or feel Him because of the choices I make. Sometimes we feel like His Spirit is no where to be found. We call out to Him and no answer, we cast all our cares to Him and feel like they land on the floor next to us so we are forced to pick them back up again. But He doesn't leave us. Our world distracts us, blinds us and steers our thoughts away from Him. It's like we are digging a hole as we stand in it and with each distraction we feel further from the presence of God. Deeper, deeper, further, further away... Until we hear absolutely nothing but our spiritual battles shouting in our ears. When our loving Savior is right there waiting for us to take the blindfold off our eyes and see Him ready to free us from the chaos in our mind.

Let's acknowledge His greatness, love, grace, goodness, compassion, forgiveness. Let's confess our faults, our feelings of self doubt and inadequacy, our lack of self love. Let's give Him thanks for His presence, His Son and Spirit, His mercy, the life He breaths into us each day, another opportunity to live out the day for Him. And then we can give Him ALL of our thoughts, fears, prayers, struggles, battles, distractions, burdens.

God has sealed us and given us the Spirit as a guarantee. We're free! We're protected and loved richly.

oh my goodness where did Santi learn to smile like that. Nevermind, it doesn't matter to me, I love this new smile with my whole heart.

The other day my breakfast seemed to have filled me up for many, many hours (hooray! That's what they are meant to do, right?) which caused my lunchtime to bump to a later hour, and my dinner to become later, as well. So, because life is life and it's funny and interesting and unpredictable and you have to be ready for things not to always go your way.... dinnertime was going to hit right in the middle of grocery shopping time. So what's a girl to do? Prepare some take out. Take out of the house with ice packs, and eat in the car at another hour. It worked! and it was tasty business.

The original recipe calls for orange juice. I translate that, in any recipe, to an orange. Feel free to use orange juice if it's in your fridge or if you feel like juicing an orange.

Orange n' Cilantro dressing
for 1 salad

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 large handful of cilantro
Salad toppings:
  • more bell pepper (the other half)
  • 1-2 tomatoes (or 8, if you fancy)
  • some baby carrots
1) blend the dressing ingredients until silky smooth. Pour over your greens when you're ready to eat. Add the extra vegetables. Consume in the car on the way home from the Asian market where they sell cheap mango, organic fruit at random days of the week, melon that is cheaper than Costco's, and ripe bananas by the box.


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