Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A bad attitude and a dinner story

(If you're just here for the food, scroll right on down past this rambling...)

The Saturday before Mother's Day, I was a raging jerk.  For no reason.  Did a lot of stomping around the house, never had a concrete thing to complain about (because if I did then the problem could be fixed.  I didn't want the problem to be fixed.  I wanted to be MAD), and just in general was a pretty insufferable human.

Later, when I finally snapped out of it, or rather IN ORDER to snap out of it, I realized that I'd been doing that thing that the enemy loves us to do.  He loves us to bemoan things that can't be changed.  Because then there's never a solution.  So then we can be miserable and make others miserable without even a light at the end of the tunnel.  Not everything is grouchy-mom related of course.  Like berating myself for my leg to torso ratio.  Or the size of my nostrils.  Or wasting time wishing it was insert-some-other-era-here instead of the present day when God willed me to be alive.  All of this is absolutely non-productive and the enemy loooooooooooves it.  Oh, he just loves it.

So for instance, finding out a new baby is coming sooner than I thought we'd be given one.  It's cool to be concerned that our vehicle is not big enough to hold all of us.  Or to wonder what we'll do about all the kids' sleeping arrangements.  Or to try and figure out a way to finally get the laundry room fixed because OHMYGOSH MORE LAUNDRY.  Because all those things are things that a person can actively work on. Or try to work on.  But the enemy wants to take my focus off the challenges that can actually be addressed and instead tries to get me to be upset about the things that can't be changed.  In this example, the FACT that there is a whole new person already created.  The baby is already there, dweej.  Can't really fuss about that, can you?  But oh, he wants me to.  He tries.  Because oh how unproductive that is!  And how unreasonable!  And how it prevents anyone from actually being able to help me!  Just like he likes it.  What a turd.

But that's not what I was mad about on that Saturday.  Instead it was other things that don't have immediate solutions- the FACT that we live in a fixer upper (did I want a specific thing fixed?  No.  I just wanted to rail against the situation) and the FACT that with lots of people come lots of messes (did I want a specific mess cleaned up?  No.  I just wanted the idea of messes to not exist).  You see?  It's all very disordered in retrospect, when you write it down.  But while you're doing it, railing against facts, it feels like there is nothing else you CAN do.  The enemy whispers that even though it IS this way it shouldn't BE this way.  And then you feel helpless.  Because you are helpless against those things.  He wants you to want to change the things you're supposed to accept so that you have no energy left to attack the things you CAN change.  THE ENEMY IS SO TRICKY.


Anyway, enough of all that.  I promised you a story about Tommy's delish dinner from Saturday, didn't I?

Once upon a time, out of last year's garden bed, he pulled these onions, which had survived, almost thrived even, through an entire Michigan winter.

In a cast iron skillet he simmered tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, paprika and sage.

An entire package of bacon fried and ready for added deliciousness?  Yes please

Into the dutch oven: 4 chuck steaks (from our parish friends' farm.  If you live in Southwest Michigan, visit http://yourneighborhoodfarm.com/ and check them out.  Even if you don't, take a look.  Deeeelicious), pile o' bacon with some delectable grease, the simmered tomato mixture, more garlic cloves, some of the garden onions...

More spices...

Now put the lid on and simmer.  Simmer, simmer, simmer.  Two hours?  Maybe.  I can't remember.  It smelled so good it fogged up my memory.

While we waited, he chopped some more of the onions and added olive oil to be added at the end.

Saute some freshly picked (literally, that day by our friends who came over to enjoy dinner with us and exchange plants) asparagus...

How about some scalloped potatoes on the side?

Drool.  Eat.  Swoon.

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  1. Great. Now I'm starving and it's only 9:30 AM. Thanks a lot, Dwija! P.S. the top half was a great message but all I can think about is baacooonnnnn...drool.

  2. Wow! That looks and sounds wonderful!

  3. Everything you said at the beginning is true, about the things we can´t change but want to change and should just accept and focus on what we can do better, happens a lot around here, thanks for the message. Now to the second part.....YUMMY!!! I have a husband who cooks too :D and he has a wife that doesn´t.

  4. Looks wonderful! Congratulations on the new baby, get some sleep, drink lots of water, eat protein - your mood will dramatically get better and you'll wonder where those dark clouds went (I speak from experience here, pregnant many times and have a tendency to spiral downward quickly)

  5. Wow. Needed to read that discernment analysis right now. You put it more clearly and with deeper reason than I've articulated to myself, despite being "aware" of this dynamic, but only to an extent - I guess knowing the "what" (useless complaining) and the "who" (the guy from h-e-double-hockey-sticks, :) ) - but the clarity of the "why" takes all the power out of it.

    You are a holy woman.

  6. Yum. I wish my computer had smell-o-vision.
    well, SOMETIMES I wish my computer had smell-o-vision

  7. This could be me talking...right now...
    The rage part, not the pregnant part and not the super-delish food part.My poor kids. My husband won't be home until they're in bed, so he's lucky I guess.

  8. nomnomnom.....that is so amazingly delicioussssssssssss

    the enemy what a booger. i totally whinnnneeeeeeeeee all the time like that too. and am just a plain ole grumpity grump pants and then my sweet husband brings me into reality with a little, can we give thanks to Jesus that He has blessed us so abundantly???!! My husband is so getting to heaven a la me.

  9. Something I definitely needed to hear - thank you, Dwija.
    My big whine lately is that we got pregnant the second I sort of felt on board with the whole idea, but I'm so "not ready". And the kids are being super crazy and fighting a lot. As if my own crankiness has nothing to do with that, or my perception of the whole situation. Just got some wall art that says "There is Always Always Always something to be thankful for." Now if I could just it through my thick skull.

  10. Something that keeps me from totally spiraling out when our Enemy starts with the "aren't things AWFUL" whispers is to remind myself to focus on what IS. I tell myself "this situation is an 'IS', so what am I going to do about it?" Putting it that way helps me to see that there's literally nothing I can do to change the situation. Acknowledging the ISness of the situation simplifies things - it's sort of like God helping me to cool off by reminding me that all I have to do at that moment is just BE - just stand still spiritually speaking - rather than focusing on my expectations of how things SHOULD be.

  11. I can totally relate to the first half of your post (and 2nd half looks so yummy). I had a grouchy, cranky, mad at everyone, nothing can be changed or make me happy day last week. It's a bad place to be...sometimes I think my husband deserves sainthood for putting up with me.

  12. Between your post, my post, and Cari's post, we sure have an emotionally charged blog post day!

    Oh, the enemy. Turd is right. I really like what you have to say about this because when I have days like this, often I just end up berating myself for being so... grouchy and terrible. Also not helpful. It's good to focus on the positive things we can do, and to forgive ourselves for the digressions. Hugs, Dwija! (I think you like hugs? Trying to remember from that hilarious FB thread a few months back.)

  13. OMG! Dweeja, I needed to read this today. Just this morning, I lashed out at my household for everything, yet nothing specific. Messes, Oh my gosh the messes!! And there are only four of us! I'm so sick of being the only person in my household to clean anything, and I feel like I'm going to live in a broken-down pigsty forever yet I'm the only one who cares......

    Was my rant productive? No. Did I feel better? No. Did my family feel better? No. Then, why?

    I have got to do a better job of recognizing where these feelings of desperation are coming from. (I know, never end a sentence with a preposition, but I'm too stinking tired to rephrase it now.)

    Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Amen, Sister! I really need this tattooed on my eyeball.

  15. I know this isn't the whole point of your post, but I wanted to share a little hopeful thought. My baby #5 was totally unplanned. As in, we were really trying NOT to conceive that month, due to health and financial reasons. We thought we were following all the rules. But we got pregnant anyway. I wasted a lot of time feeling bitter at God. And then after acceptance came the blessing. The pregnancy was awesome -- my best yet. And our sweet happy little thumb-sucking good-sleeping baby is just the most scrumptiousest little nugget of scrumptiousness. There is so much love in my (messy) house right now. God very much wants your baby to be born at this time, for reasons maybe you can't fathom right now, but will become clear eventually. I'm sure you know all this already, but I just wanted to send a virtual hug from someone who's been there very recently! {{hugs}} And congratulations!

    1. Thank you! You know, I was very blessed to not actually have any bitterness or frustration this time around because although it was a *surprise* that I cycled so soon this time, we were definitely not taking any precautions to postpone pregnancy WHATSOEVER. Your situation must have been much more difficult than mine, so bless you and your loving attitude!


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