Nothing will humble you more than realizing how very long it has actually been since you attempted to actually DO SOMETHING besides just talking about doing something … but then also remembering, that the effort kind of failed or at the very least was lost amid a major life
crisis change and the ensuing general daily grind and a lot of other things that distract a person from their goals for apparently SEVERAL YEARS!!
Way back in January 2011, I was determined to make some life changes – and I made the above little graphic (I don’t actually remember doing this … but obviously, I did!). And why not, at the time, things were going well: MiMi was about a year or so old, and I was working very, very part time from home, and my husband had a job he really loved, which was seemingly going well. Not really sure when the disconnect happened, but I know it was probably in correspondence with the fact that about March of 2011 suddenly changes were alluded to concerning my husband’s job – and the hammer fell when he was told what exactly those changes entailed that summer. The following school year from August to December were pretty tumultuous, which led to him giving his resignation in January of 2012 … and then finally leaving his job in July of that year. Of course, you know the story – unemployment, his injury, transitioning our family to home-schooling, and then living apart for 6 months, starting in January of 2013.
And now here we are in January of 2014!!!! Finally, after all that … after all the emotional, physical, and spiritual agony and upheaval and long nights of praying and wondering and waiting … here we are!! Starting to settle down again, starting to see a new purpose and a new path God is leading us down. One of the privileges I have right now is time to just focus on my family. I am free of all the clutter – and some of the burdens – that we left behind while moving and down-sizing our home.
God has given me a little while to not only help our kids make this transition, to be available when our car troubles have hit (most recently, by the way, it was brake pads, rotors, and calipers), and to take care of things for my husband who can’t often get away from his job, but God has graciously given me some free time. It is something I have longed for … that time when I can *finally* catch up a little, organize a little better, and help my household run a little smoother and simpler! While I fear this phase may not last for long, I do appreciate this kind of hiatus in life, a time to heal and reflect … and to MOVE ON. It is a time to take care of things I have wanted to tackle for years – one of them being my recipes and cooking for my family, in general, to include menu planning.
In 21 years of marriage, I have accumulated so many recipes from family, from friends, from magazines, blogs, and now from PINTEREST!!
Recently, I was able to go through all my recipes in the various forms that I am trying to keep them.
and my recipe box (that I’ve had for-ev-er!!!!):
I love looking through these things and seeing the names of people whose foods I now enjoy cooking or baking!! I see instructions to make “whimpies”, given to me by bestest-oldest (as in long-standing) friend Tanya when we were both first married … and pie crusts from Melanie’s grandma’s recipe (I think!) … and some recipes from Sandra’s food blog, too. Plus some of the tried-and-true recipes we go to time after time, that I mostly have them memorized.
Inspired by my bloggy-friend Angie’s instructions and sharing her own menu planning and grocery shopping lists, I have made a spread sheet of all our favorites! Categorized by beef, chicken, pork, pasta and no-meat meals, I have also sub-categorized them by crock-pot meals and location in the above box or folders.
I made a separate sheet for breads, side dishes, and desserts – and am also keeping a list of recipes I’d like to try soon.
All this … and as of today, I am starting a new healthier eating plan!! (I might share about it later … IF I can stick to it!!).
The good news in all this is: you might plan and fail … but if you are determined, God may give you an opportunity to try again!
Winston Churchill once said
and of course, he is also credited for having said
Never, never, never give up!