Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
There are going to be some changes for the Teague family in the next month or so. We are torn. It will be a good situation for us in some ways, but will also shut the door on other possibilites for a time. We have lived the last few years in limbo...not knowing what the coming hours hold for us. We feel the urgency of the times but are unsure where we fit anymore. So once again I am asking again for God's hands to lead and guide us. And to bless us with that peace only He can give.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I realize I have been fairly cryptic in my thoughts tonight. I wish, I wish, I wish I could reach out to those like me and some others that I know. Those who have spent their lives serving and found themselves maybe a little burnt out or a little hurt. In our case we were waylaid by the unexpected. Our lives had to change for a while and we realized that we weren't very well suited for those changes. It's tough enough when a young couple faces what we have in our marriage...infertility, chronic illness and traumatic injury. Troy has spent the past 12 of our 17 years supporting me through one health crisis after another....And not once did we stop our work. Not once did we postpone a candlelight caroling, or mother's day tea. Not once did we set another date for a revival or potluck dinner. We fed the hungry and clothed the naked. We mourned with the widow and cried with a grieving parent. So what was left when it stopped for a time. A family that needed to find themselves again...A family that needed to heal...And a family that needed God's mercy as much as anybody.
We still haven't found our way out of this "undiscovered country" (and yes, I am a trekkie). Not because of choice. There are many days I cry out "Lord, just point me in a direction!" And He reminds that just because He is preparing me for something (not quite sure what it is yet) doesn't mean that I am excused from those things He has commanded all of us to do. To show kindness and mercy to those around me....to tell others about His grace and love...to grieve and rejoice with the hurting and the hopeful alike. He wants more time with me...He wants me to forget my "to do" list and He just wants me. If I could start over again. That's would I would do.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I really love to cook, but there are things I can't cook. I can't cook sweet stuff very well. And this has been a problem since my youngest years of cooking. I remember making my first meal entirely by myself when I was 10 or 11. I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese and angel biscuits. Yummy. Then I made a birthday cake for my mom that was highlighted by floating blueberries that swam merrily along the top of a white cake. They weren't supposed to float. In fact, I don't think I was following any particular recipe. I made the cake from scratch as well as the frosting. I guess the blueberries sounded like a good idea...only the cake needs to be completely cooked inside and cool...not to mention the frosting needed to be the right consistency. Powdered sugar and water just doesn't cut it. I also never come out with the right aboumt of cookies. If it says it will yield 2 dozen...I get 3 and a half...not dozen....just 3 and 1/2 cookies. And it's not because I've been sampling the cookie dough either. My sister says I don't follow directions very well...I do too! I just maybe mix it up a bit...which is something that you can't do in baking apparently. So here I am waiting any day now for the cable to go out and I will be forced to wait until Saturday afternoons to watch cooking on PBS...and nobody on PBS is throwing it down in a quick fire challenge.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This corn casserole recipe is to die for! There is nothing better than corn and cheese – together. This is a pretty rich recipe and can be totted faithful to any potluck supper or family dinner. And it is pretty! Plan on getting lots of compliments on this dish!
2 cans of cream-style corn
1 package of Jiffy Corn Mix
2 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon of milk
One-half cup of onions, chopped
One-fourth cup of butter
One-half pint of sour cream
One-half cup of grated cheddar cheese
Sauté chopped onions in butter. Mix corn, muffin mix, eggs and milk in a large casserole. Add onions and mix together. Dot with sour cream and add the grated cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. This casserole raises so be sure to use a big casserole dish.
Not sure what to have with this dish? Try it with a tender pork loin or a juicy meatloaf. Accompany that with a potato (any style) and some slow cooked green beans. Mmm-Mmm!
I’m not sure if this is the right name for this salad, but every time my mom asks me to make it -this is what she calls it. Kind of like when she kept calling, “Hobby Lobby”-“Lobby Holly.” Anyway, this is a tasty salad with a lot of surprises. I have taken several recipes I have seen and kind of added everything I like together. It has the right amount of several good flavors.
Four cups of raw Broccoli (I just get the stuff already cut for you in the bag)
One pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled (be sure to use real bacon-bacon bits just don’t cut it!)
One-fourth cup of green onions, chopped
One-half cup of golden raisins
One-half cup of sunflower seeds
One cup of mayonnaise
One-half cup of sugar
One-half cup of red wine vinegar
Just dump everything in a big bowl (be sure to mix up you mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar in a separate little bowl first-this will let you get it good and stirred around-then add to the big bowl). Stir everything around really good and refrigerate for a little bit. Unless everyone in your house is opposed to “green stuff,” I guarantee this salad won’t last too long!
Superior Cheese Cake
This is the best cheese cake recipe on the planet. It was given to my mom when I was teenager by a dear friend who had moved from the East Coast (she also catered my wedding rehearsal dinner). We have been having it for birthdays and special occasions ever since. It seems like an awful lot of work, but it is well worth it. Plan a lot of time to cook it, because it has to stand in the oven for two hours after it is cooked.
1 pound of Cottage cheese, sieved
1 pound of Cream cheese
One and one-half cup of sugar
One Tablespoon of lemon juice
One Teaspoon of vanilla
Three Tablespoons of flour
Three Tablespoons of cornstarch
One-fourth lb. Of butter, melted and cooled
One pint of sour cream
Cream cheeses and sugar together. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla, cornstarch and flour. Add melted butter and mix until smooth. Blend in sour cream. Pour into a greased 9-inch spring-form pan and bake 1 hour at 325. Turn off oven and let cake stand in oven for 2 hours, with door closed. Remove and cool thoroughly before removing sides of pan. It makes about 12 nice servings or more. Can be served with strawberry glaze, cherry pie filling or pineapple.
I will try and add a few more this week. I make my turkey a specific way (I might have already blogged about that) and my mom-in-law makes two special desserts every holiday that are absolutely delish.
Monday, November 17, 2008
There is much that I have neglected in my attempt at what I like to call "life as a normal person." There are issues in my life that have prevented me from functioning at full capacity for quite some time. Every so often I throw a tantrum and take matters into my own hands. This last attempt involved working within the field of my education. Too bad all those years of college didn't do more to improve my immune system. Not a good career path for someone with major chronic health issues. Oh well. At least my sweet son can benefit from my 125+ hours of education. I was on the computer early this morning...researching online degree programs and federal grants. Don't know what I want to be when I grow up, yet.
Anyhoo, despite all of that there is a strange sense of anticipation in the Teague home. Could it be that God is getting ready to send us off again into ministry? I sure hope so. I do admit that we have learned some valuable lessons that could have only been learned on our self-imposed sabbatical. We know ourselves much better now. Some of it we like...some...well....the less said the better. What it has done has reaffirmed our passion for the ministry...at least what we consider our "philosophy" or "world view". It's all about the folks...right? And those relationships we have built and people we have been able to touch and those who have touched us. It's about doing "unto the least of these". We could care less that the people we care about the most won't find their way to any positions of power or halls of fame.
If I could turn back time and tell my younger self anything it would be to not sweat the small stuff...worry less about the programs and appearances. Don't worry about pleasing everyone. And treasure those relationships...build people up...keep the big picture in focus. Most importantly, just let God do what God needs to do. Don't get so defensive and relax...and as a good friend of mine always reminds me "it will all come out in the wash."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
My son, bless his little heart, is well on the path of becoming one of the Rotten. He is remarkably intelligent. Beautiful beyond words. Charming. And has managed to do all the things that make me want to hide in the choir robe room for the duration of a Sunday Morning service.
For generations, young boys have discovered the thrills of wee-weeing in places other than that marvelous invention, the toilet. I have heard many tales of little fellows dropping their britches and proceed to water MeMaw’s rose bushes. I don’t know why I thought my son would be any different. First, there was the pee pee on the platform at church. One Wednesday night I had stayed home from church, laying in bed with some ailment. When Troy and Josiah came home, Josiah came into the bedroom and proudly informed me, “I went pee pee on the platform.” “Why?” I asked. “Why didn’t you go to the bathroom?” He scratched his baby soft hair and looked at me with those big dark eyes. “It was dark in there.” How could I argue with that? I wouldn’t like to tinkle in a dark room either. It became apparent however; that Josiah also used his pee pee has somewhat of a scientific experiment. One evening, at a ladies meeting, one of our little girls came and informed me that Josiah had wee-wee’ed down the floor drain in the woman’s bathroom. I found Josiah staring in amazement at the floor drain. The look on his face said it all…”What a cool place to use the potty!” A handful of paper towels and a bottle of disinfectant and a pop on his bare bottom soon dissuaded him of trying that little experiment again. Now in Josiah’s defense this happened when he was much younger. He is now a sophisticated 6-year-old.
Preacher’s kids spend hours upon hours at the church. Prayer meetings, work days, revivals…just ordinary “Dad needs to be in the office today” days. The church is our second home. I, myself a PK, am well acquainted with a bottle of pledge and how to dust a pew (work days). Josiah has learned to occupy himself, good or bad, during those times I can’t sit on him. For example, when he was littler and accompanied me to the weekly Morning Prayer meeting Josiah would flit from person to person, gathering any gum and candy he can. He played with the lights, swung imaginary golf clubs and sang to the praise music that comes through the speakers. Maybe all that praying done around him eventually rubbed off.
This week we’ve moved into a season of our lives that is oh-so-common for the pastor’s family. In the next few months we will be searching for a new position. That is the part I don’t like for my little guy. I wish we could offer him more permanency…Being a PK myself I can’t imagine how it must be to graduate from the same school you started kindergarten from. Oh well…I know God has a place for us. It’s my job not to let my uncertainty and conflict about this part of the life God has called us to affect my family.
Here is a thought. Perfection is impossible. There is a devotional in my Woman’s Devotional Bible entitled, "Happy are the Adaptable." Ain't that the truth. Most importantly, perfection in parenting is impossible. Again, "Happy Are the Adaptable." I had lofty ideas and opinions before I became a parent. My children would be obedient, well-rounded little individuals. Because of my experience as a teacher and numerous years of college I would have the skills to fill their days with unique learning opportunities. My children would eat plenty of vegetables, be potty trained at an appropriate age, share well with others and of course, be well prepared for kindergarten by age 3. HA, you say! Let me tell you about a day we had earlier this week.Early in the morning I woken up by a little face who comes into the bedroom and asks for a poptart. "There are no pop tarts Josiah. You and Daddy ate the poptarts." Josiah throws his body onto the bed in a show of disgust. "I need a poptart." “There are no poptarts, Josiah. How about cheese toast? You like cheese toast." Another dive across the bed. Is it too early for time out? Eventually we settle on peanut butter toast and chocolate milk. Josiah then proudly sits on the potty, does a tinkle and proceeds to run around the house, without the pull up...while I run after him. "Josiah, put on your pullup. Josiah stop playing with your pee pee." "It's a penis." Josiah informs me.
Later in the morning we have a visit from a Parents As Teachers Instructor. Now if I do say so myself Josiah is a smart little guys. He counts, knows his colors, and can carry on a fairly intelligent conversation...despite me. One by one toys are brought into the living room. After all, we must show off our stuff. During our visit Josiah comes out of his room waving around a pop gun that he found in the basement. "Pow Pow." He says, aiming right for the Instructors head. "Josiah," I say, "Don't point that at people. Give Mommy the gun." "Pow Pow", he says…this time aiming right at my head. The Instructor giggles and I am thankful that she herself is the mother of boys. Later in the day I sit Josiah down at the table with his bucket of crayons and a Wiggles coloring book his daddy bought him. While I am folding laundry and talking to my sister on the phone...Josiah methodically tears every page out of the coloring book. Dozens of papers line the floor of my dining room with our two boy cats and Josiah gleefully running through them like a pile of leaves.At some point I realize that I have neglected to take Josiah to the potty and he is now telling me that it is time to change his pants. So much for consistency. My mom thinks the poor guy is going to have to train himself. It's lunchtime. I fix Josiah a grilled cheese sandwich. "I want a poptart." "Baby, we don't have any poptarts. You and Daddy ate all the poptarts." "I want a poptart." "There are no poptarts, Mommy made you grilled cheese."Another dive onto the floor. Mommy digs out an Oreo cookie to appease the poptart eater.During naptime Josiah wants to watch Veggie Tales. Against the advice of every education professor I have ever had we put a television with a VCR in his room. This TV only will play movies. I put on the Veggie Tales, "Dave and the Giant Pickle". I stretch out beside him on the bed to wait until he goes to sleep. An hour later I wake up from a groggy sleep to find every toy out of the toy box and yellow play dough ground into the Rescue Hero tower.The rest of the day is more of the same. At one point he decides to pour my bottle of water on the couch to clean it off. I spend the next few hours looking like I have wet my pants. Later in the afternoon Josiah takes all of the cushions off of the couch and does cannon balls with them over the hardwood floors. He tells me that Daddy took them off. Poor Daddy. 42 years old and still playing in the couch cushions. It's time for supper. I make Chicken Alfredo and a tossed salad. "I want a poptart." "Josiah, we don't have any poptarts." Another dive onto the floor. Later, while cleaning sticky noodles out of his cup and off of the TV (don't ask) I realize that Josiah has not had a vegetable all day long.
It is later that night. Josiah has stayed up way past the appropriate hour for a two year old. He is snuggling next to me and I am reading "Good Night Moon." Josiah loves this book. We have to read it over and over and over. He leans over and kisses my shirt. "I slobbered on your shirt, Mommy." "Thank you, baby." This busy baby is growing into a thoughtful, intelligent little person. Despite the fact that we might not get a vegetable in during the day. Despite the fact that I now have a colorful mural drawn on my bedroom wall (about his height). Despite the fact that when I got him I forgot all that 125 hours of early childhood education had taught me. I am thankful that God has allowed me the experience of potty training and ground in playdough. How blessed am I? Perfection is not all that it is cracked up to be. I am the proud mother of a fun, busy, smart little boy. This little guy is doing just fine...poptarts and all.