Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I think this is something we forget as we walk through life. We forget about God’s call to trust Him and not the world to REALLY TRULY KNOW that He is with us wherever we go and no matter what happens.

I was listening to one of Dave Teixeira’s (Ventura Missionary Church) messages recently, there was some great and encouraging thoughts:

People forget God’s power and faithfulness… God is always calling His people to trust Him again… As I was with Moses, so I will be with you, I will never leave you or forsake you… God says never forget what I have done… my promise to go before you… God knows that time and time again in this world His followers will face fear, discouragement, doubt… God says remember, remember who I am and what I have done… time and time again… Look back to find faith to move ahead… And never forget whose story this is… Give fully the glory to God…

There is so much peace in knowing God and trusting God and glorifying God that He has a plan for my life and that He has written the story of my life (and your life).

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First, I live in Southern California above Los Angeles and below Santa Barbara. There is a lot of farmland, a lot of fresh produce and farmer’s markets, and access to amazing food. I knew things would be different on the trip- not many places are able to indulge in year round growth of produce.

Second, I love food, cooking food, quality of food, etc.

Third, I am on a long road trip with my family. We have to date traveled through seven states.

As I have traveled and grocery shopped in these seven states, I have noticed prices are comparably better to home at Trader Joe’s; produce are less available, less fresh, and there are fewer organic options. Raw milk is more readily available- different states different laws, love that you can buy it from a farm- talk about fresh! Not surprisingly, farmer’s markets are not open until about now. I have also been to a few restaurants that are rated well for the area and type of food and just flat out suck. Salads with bag iceberg and the “Italian” dressing that doesn’t separate… What?!

We are spoiled back home with great restaurants, fresh produce year round, gardens year round… the food really is amazing and flavorful.  I may sound like a food/produce snob but seasons change things and distance inhibits availability and quality. People with seasons- appreciate the spring and summer and freeze and stock-up for the cold times!! People without seasons- shop farmer’s markets, csa’s, etc. and take advantage of your unique location in the world!

Note: I have had some delicious homegrown food, homemade food, and amazing cooks cook for me!

As many of you may know, my family and I are on a “road trip”. We have been gone for almost a month and have visited seven states so far. Some days are long, some days I want a few minutes alone from husband and children, some days I just want to jump back into my regular life back home, but for the most part I am thoroughly enjoying the adventure, the sights, my children’s reactions, the people, the experiences, and just being together as a family. I highly recommend going on a road trip- most won’t find themselves in the unique situation we did and have the flexibility of months of exploration, but carve out a week and leave it open-ended and flexible… see what you discover.

Matthew 12:25

25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

Be diligent and purposeful to stand against a divided home. As much as YOU have to swallow your pride to make sure this does not happen; DO IT!

Squash

Where to buy: Farmer’s Market, CSA

How to Make

  • If you are going to use it mushy- put the whole squash in the oven until it is soft- cook at 375
  • If you are going to cube it and roast it or throw it in a dish- cook it in the oven until the skin is softening, let cool, remove skin

Ideas: throw into a veggie pasta dish with alfredo sauce; roast and cool put in a salad with sautéed onion, dried cranberries, honey candied walnuts; throw into mac and cheese; put on top of pizza with red onions and goat cheese or gorgonzola; in a salad with roasted leeks or onions and fennel; cook with maple syrup or butter and honey like you would sweet potatoes; put into a coconut curry dish

Recipe Search Ideas: Butternut squash and apple soup; butternut squash lasagna; pasta stuffed acorn squash; cubed and added to pasta

Time is a precious commodity that expires at rapid speed daily. We don’t get x done, we don’t call y, we don’t have time to do z for ourselves… We live rushed and busy lives that demand a lot of us. We control our time (although it seems it may be the other way around at times.)

All day, we are running on time, or not on time, or out of time. But, we are in charge of the time. When things don’t go our way or the planned way it is hard to realize and fully appreciate God’s control of time. God’s control of our lives. And it is hard to fully appreciate His perfect timing, especially when in conflict with our “perfect” timing.

Over the past few years, I have come to realize through a long list and a variety of life lessons how perfect His timing is despite my opposition, understanding, or appreciation in the moment. Now, as I struggle through a situation, waiting for something to happen, or whatever I am constantly reminding myself of God’s perfect timing that supersedes anything I may perceive as perfect. Let’s remember who has the big picture- beginning, middle, and end.

This seems to be the theme of the last few years of my life-  the road appears to be going in one direction and then takes an unanticipated and sometimes shocking road less traveled. There have been many times I have not handled this change of events well. At this point, I have a new attitude that I can only pray can stick with me for a life time.

Mantras and Prayers that have helped me graciously and without tantrum change gears and take the “new” road:

-ALL in your time Lord

-Your will be done

-It is all about God’s timing- His perfect and undisclosed timing!

-Get down on your stubborn and change resistant knees and listen and pray to your faithful God!!

I have also learned the priceless value of starting my day with time with God- in prayer and in His word. It changes my day and has changed my life. A little sacrifice of sleep to spend some quiet moments with the God who has a plan and purpose for each of our footsteps and the prints they leave.

May God bless each of you today in whatever it holds.

Love!

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage

Where to Buy: Farmer’s, CSA

HOW TO COOK: steam and top with butter, salt and pepper; roast tossed in EVOO, s/p, garlic; saute blanched veg with mushrooms, shallots, and bacon or pancetta- season with salt and pepper.

Ideas: Add broccoli to mac and cheese, roast and serve with parmesan on top; add to a salad; eat raw with hummus; top baked potatoes with them; top pulled pork sandwiches with a coleslaw, use cabbage on top of fish tacos; add chili flakes to your roasted veggies; use in a curry; smash broccoli and/or cauliflower and cheese into mashed potatoes; use broccoli and cauliflower in quiche; top roasted Brussels with parmesan and bread crumbs- bacon and gorgonzola too if you want; add to stir frys; add to pasta; Alfredo, broccoli, chicken + pasta; add some roasted to a pizza with a stronger cheese and some chicken and onions; Brussels sprouts with brown butter sauce; Brussels with bacon or pancetta; Brussels with pecans and cranberries; Brussels with a Caesar Dressing; Brussels with Walnuts and Gorgonzola; Chinese Chicken Salad with Cabbage; Cabbage with Apples and Onions; Cabbage added to a stir-fry;

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

How do God’s words written in Romans 12:12 speak to you, your situation, your past, your life, your hurt, your days?

Root Veg: Beets, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots, Onions. Leeks, Fennel, Potatoes

Where: Farmer’s Market and my CSA are my favorite

Roasted Vegetables

Toss whatever veggies with EVOO, S/P, and crushed garlic. Roast in your oven at 400 until the edges are crispy. Beets are great when you slice them thin.

Serve as a side dish, tossed in pasta with goat cheese or Parmesan, cooled and put into a salad, topping on a pizza, layered into lasagna or baked pasta, laid out on an appetizer tray with dip, thrown into soup or pasta salad or potato salad…

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