Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It Works For Me... Michelle Manuel's table - September

"It Works For Me"

Teresa A. - Use a black sharpie to erase your grey hair

Andrea W. - Cookbook to make veggie purees to mix in with your meals so that your family members who don't like veggies will still be eating them without even knowing it! **I will see if I can get the titles of the books from her and update the blog with them later :) The books are Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine. Andrea also let me know that they are both available at the Stanislaus Co. Library.

Katie P. - Makes her own coffee creamer to cut down on cost. Mix together one can of sweetened condensed milk and one can full of your regular milk in a shaker, add 2 Tbsp. of flavoring of your choice (vanilla or almond suggested) mix together & keep in refrigerator.

Renee R. - To keep her 22 month old daughter busy in her crib after nap time, she sneaks books into her crib while she is sleeping so her daughter can play with them when she wakes up.

Michelle M. - Use shaving cream to keep your kids entertained. You can squirt some on the bathtub wall to keep them busy or even on toys outside and they can use to clean...makes them smell good too!

Courtney V. - To help kids stay on track and accomplish task of cleaning up toys, use a song they are familiar with and tell them their toys need to be picked up by the end of the song.

Laura B. - Buys frozen chicken at the grocery store, throws in crock-pot on low when she gets home and cooks for approximately 8 hours. Remove from crock-pot and shred, then put into 2 cup portions and store in freezer to have ready for meals during the week.

Cyndi D. - Re-use foaming hand soap dispenser and refill with approx 1" or 1 1/2" of dish soap and then gently fill with warm water and slowly mix together. Keeps cost down and easier for kids to wash their hands.

Lacee K. - Fool proof recipe to make Salmon that she found on Pinterest. Drizzle salmon filet with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put into a cold oven, then turn on the heat to 400 degrees. Twenty-five minutes later, the salmon is absolutely perfect. Tender, moist, flaky! A no-fail method.

There you go ladies! 

Life is Messy

Emotions were right at the surface yesterday morning as I walked  into the MOPS meeting. Chaos from that morning seemed to follow me in the door and as I said hello to friends I attempted to shake off my Tuesday morning blahs. 

I felt especially hormonal as I tried to keep from a complete emotional meltdown during the Beautiful Mess video that our table leaders so graciously put together.  

I'm the mom that walks into a room where my kids are playing and immediately comments on the mess they are making. Comment is a slight understatement. I get a little irrational about it. Do I see them having a good time? Using their imaginations? Getting along for once? Nope. I immediately see the damage. I see toys, clutter, and bedding -- in all the wrong order. I love order, and I hate disorder. Can you tell? 

Anyway, so the video is playing, and I get it. Somehow in the middle of seeing Amy Powell without her makeup, and a nice view of someone's incredibly messy living room, I got it. I saw it, I should say.

I saw beauty. 

It was real. That seemingly nonsensical "theme" for this year's MOPS was not the lie that this order-lover secretly deemed it. And I cried a little. I wanted to cry a lot but then I might have been labeled the "cryer" at my new table and I didn't need that reputation following me around all year...

And then, as if my mind had not been challenged enough, our speaker was introduced and began to say stuff that I'm sure was because she'd been talking to my husband.

(Right?? Did anyone else feel this way?)

She asked: "What is God teaching you about you, when you can't control everything you wish you could control?"

Well, let's see, Susan. God is teaching me that I lack quite a bit of patience, I have anger issues apparently, and I seem to need my life to look orderly, in order to feel that it is orderly. When in reality, it is very disorderly. 

And then that quiet voice spoke truth to me through Susan's words and my own mind's ramblings; God is there in the mess. He loves the disorder in my life, not because it's chaos, because He does not see it as such. He sees my kids playing, and enjoying the toys and home He's blessed them with, and He smiles.

The chaos that I so often see happening around me is, in fact, not chaos at all. But a beautiful orchestration of God's love for me. My children. My blessings. My joy.

And today I choose to take that truth, and hold it tight. This may have been a lesson that you all have learned a long time ago, but this mother of three is having an epiphany. My sense of control is an illusion. And the "control" and "order" that I so desperately want, is not at all what God has for me. Or what I should seek for myself.

He has something so much better. He has given me life. And life, my dear, is very messy.