Sweetheart Summer Salad

Summer salads. You just can’t beat a great salad filled with beauties picked right out of the backyard garden.

This quick salad is a staple on summer supper tables in Kentucky. Tastes great, keeps well and is really good for you.

There are a couple of tips to this salad that I will share with you.

  • The ingredients are all “to taste”. Start with this basic recipe then tweak to your liking. Won’t hurt a thing to add a bit more of one ingredient or another. I peppered this batch up like a champ.
  • Every southern belle has a different flair with this salad so taste it at every summer supper party you go to.
  • You can slice, chunk, or dice the cucumbers and tomatoes. I suggest slicing the onions in thin strips so that they soften.
  • Peeling the cucumbers and tomatoes is entirely up to you. I used fancy little mini cucumbers this time so there was no need to peel. I peel or half peel hefty garden cucumbers.
  • Why whisk the liquids first? One reason. So that they start to marry as you are chopping the vegetables. The quicker they blend, the quicker it’s on the table.

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your own standards

Judge your success by your own standards.

Today I juggled 3 babies under 5.

I had them singing and laughing through the morning. We played outside, and checked the herbs and tomatoes.

I had them all fed and down for a nap at the same time.

I taught the middle a new song while gaining her trust to have her poop in the potty. It was precious time together.

I encouraged the big through his tears of having to move his Batman art installation from blocking the hall to the potty. I knew he could recreate it. He was proud of himself when he did.

I shared our day with family and posted new products to work a few minutes with no guilt.

I served bottles and sippy cups and favorite snacks and managed to cut up a watermelon.

Happy squeals about watermelon are the music of angels.

We had sprinkler day in new bikinis and dinosaur trunks that fit and were an instant hit.

We do more than survive. We thrive here. I am a success.

hallelujah amen

Ah. It’s Sunday. It’s Sunday, right? Finally. Finally. Sunday. It is Sunday. I’m so relieved.

Friday was brutal. Just absolutely brutal.

You know, it’s funny, because the “it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming” movement really took hold of everyone in the Christian community, including me. It gave a trendy spin, just simple enough, to convey the enormity of the message of hope that Christians cling to. Five simple words gave us an easier way to convey the message of the horror of Friday, absolved by the joy of Sunday.

Thursday we were oblivious. We went about our regular day full of routines, missteps, mistakes, triumphs, meals, friends, work. We got up and washed our face and skipped breakfast and started our day. We went to work and held our kids and caught up on the news and went to bed. We kissed our spouses and fed our dogs. We had a fresh new day to rise and shine. It was Thursday. It was the “before”.

And then Friday came. Friday came. Our Lord and Savior was brutalized, and without mercy, crucified. There is no way to tell that story with anything other than horror. People who do not believe that Jesus was the Christ, Son of the living God, could easily tell that story with tears and human compassion. You cannot tell the story without a flood of emotions for his torture and suffering.

Christians believe that Jesus’s story, from birth to death, was for us. We believe that Jesus was born for one purpose. To teach us and to die for us. We weep with the knowledge that His life was taken to pay our price. He came to pay our ransom. His blood ran down His face and His body, to cover our debts. What He endured, He endured for us.

That belief makes Friday horrific. Friday, if left to end on the 24th hour, was horrific. We would remember Mary, and the crowd and be humbled, and guilty, and mourn, and sorry. Truly sorry. Forever.

But then came Sunday. Sunday. Sunday all day Sunday. Hello Sunday. So very desperately and tearfully, joyfully, so very glad to see you.

Jesus rose on Sunday. He rose. Our joy and our hope runs deep and freely. Our debt was paid on Friday. We thought Jesus died for us. Purely and willfully died for us. Died. Then Sunday came. Our Friday was now forever changed by Jesus rising. Amazing.

Amazing.

Hallelujah Amen.

I am no match for the ways of this world.

I am simply saved by grace.

The one who goes before me, carried my weight, shouldered my burden, and paid my price has risen.

It is Sunday.

Hallelujah Amen.

hello monday

Good morning, Monday! I’m glad to see you!

I love Monday morning. I know, right? It’s not something you hear every day, but I just do.

I love that fresh new turn of the page on the calendar feeling. I love that space in the week that Monday morning holds, where it feels like a great starting point for a new week.

I welcome the new Monday task list that I can create, after checking and tidying up of any leftover details from the week before. New appointments and meetings, new projects to fill up the week. Setting up the basic structure, leaving gaps for overflow.

Cheers to your Monday morning! May your coffee be hot and fresh and your week bring an abundance of blessings.

catalyst

It’s never easy to be the catalyst of change. It is, at the same time, an honest task and a heavy burden. At the beginning, when you don’t understand that’s what you have been called to do… you chafe against the call. Because it is difficult and you don’t understand the opposition of your person. You question everything. You fall to the criticism and question your very being. And as you pray for divine intervention, God is silent. And it hurts. So you armor yourself in the shield of scripture and faith. And pray again. You begin to use what you have and what you know to help yourself. Because if God calls you to it, He has already equipped you for it. You pray, this time, for strength and clarity, and begin to understand. As it is clear, that you have been chosen to bring about a greater good, you relax into it, the chafing eases and you relearn how to obey. No more chafing, no more questioning, just a resolve to hold steady. In truth. Change is never easy. And there is always a catalyst for it. The strongest people are called to it. They are the warriors. And there is a divine reward waiting for them. Grace and mercy will be their gift to give and also what they are given, by the only One who counts. Lord, have mercy on the warriors today. Grant them peace and a day of rest.

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