Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Evil Weevil

I like to make a grain mix with grilled vegetables and meat for dinner. It's made by Archer Farms, the brand you can find exclusively at Target and it includes wild rice, brown rice, bulgur wheat, red quinoa and rye. I like to add even more wild rice and quinoa to mine, so I always mix it in a large plastic storage container to keep in the pantry. I use my rice cooker so it's super fast and simple, adding an extra cup of water, and cook on the brown rice setting. When it is done, I stir in some Bragg's Liquid Aminos and voila! A yummy, nutritious side dish! (Leftovers are amazing in soups!)

Many times in the past two years I have purchased rice that was infested with weevils. Usually I caught it right away and was able to dispose of the infested bag immediately, before more than a handful escaped into the corners of my kitchen. We like to call them evil weevils. I'm sure you'll agree if you have ever experienced this nightmare. There is something very disgusting about opening a bag of food and finding loads of creepy crawlies! Especially when you realize that those creepy crawlies hatched from eggs that you probably wouldn't have noticed and eaten if you had cooked it up before they hatched. And some of you will simply shrug your shoulders and say, "Extra protein."

Not I...

A few months ago when I was running low on my whole grain mix and wanted to stretch it to last for another 2 meals, I decided to add a bag of brown rice too. I had just emptied the last of my wild rice into the container and was beginning to pour the brown rice on top when I noticed several weevils falling into the mix. ICK!

I scooped off all of the brown rice from the top that I could, carefully inspected what was left and took the compromised rice to the garbage outside. For the next few days we were finding weevils all around the house. In the bathrooms, in the bedrooms, in the living room and den, in the laundry room...wherever you went, there was a weevil! (I must admit, this kept James very happily busy...he is my resident exterminator.) Slowly the amount tapered off and a weevil sighting became rare. YAY!

But a week or two ago we began finding them all over the house again. But this time there were many times more than the last. I quickly searched the pantry (we were busy packing for a long weekend out of town) and found a bag of rice that clearly had a few weevils in it, so that went out with the trash. I thought that our little weevil hatchery had been eliminated and the task at hand was simply rounding up the little creatures that had gone exploring.

When we returned from our trip, we noticed that there were many more weevils all around the house. Some were dead, others were definitely not. Eradicating evil weevils became the equivalent of an Olympic sport in our house. James received gold, of course. Lydia didn't even place. She just stood there, pointing and screaming until James came to the rescue. (Where does she get THAT from, I wonder?)

This morning I went searching for a bag of barley that I knew was somewhere in the pantry. I was going to try making a bean barley soup for dinner. I found it buried way at the bottom of the pantry, underneath a million bags of dried beans and behind dozens of cans and jars of tomatoes.

And there it was...

The most enormous colony of weevils I have ever seen! They were hatching out of my barley!!!


Out went the barley, in came the vacuum and the weevils stood no chance. What a deep feeling of satisfaction as each one was sucked up the vacuum tube into oblivion! Ha Ha, evil weevils! Look who's laughing now!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

7 Years to Eternity

Mr. & Mrs.

As of May 27th, Joshua and I have been married for 7 years. We marvel at how quickly the years have passed. This morning I was listening to my new Andrew Peterson CD (one of my anniversary gifts from Josh!) One of the songs on Light for the Lost Boy, Day By Day, is such a good encouragement to me when I think of how short our life on earth is:
We walked on the beach after our reception

“And we just can’t get used to being here
Where the ticking clock is loud and clear
Children of eternity on the run from entropy
And it hurts so bad, but it’s so good to be young
And I don’t want to go back
I just want to go on and on and on
Day by day, Day by day
So don’t lose heart
Though your body’s wasting away
Your soul is not
It’s being remade
Day by day by day…”

Several years ago a sweet friend of mine flew from Florida to her home state of Minnesota. When she returned from her trip she shared something with me that I have never forgotten. During her flight she began thinking about how good it was to be going back home. She told me that almost as soon as she had thought it, she had another thought (which I believe came from her dear, loving Father):

“Minnesota is not my home. This plane cannot take me to my real home. My home is with God." 

This place is not our home. How severely we limit ourselves when we think about the span of our lives and when we cling to those frail things that we love so dearly here on earth. We have eternal souls longing to be at home with their Father.

Josh and I have begun reading through a little book at bedtime called “The Christian Lover” by Michael and Victoria Haykin. (Purchased several years ago through Ligonier Ministries $5 Friday sale.) It is a compilation of love letters written over the centuries by other believers. We have noticed a striking theme. These husbands and wives have a deep conviction and devotion to love and help each other on their journey through this life. While they deeply love and care for one another, it is plain to see that they were ever looking forward, with great anticipation and hope, to the day when they would be freed of this world to be joined to Christ for all eternity.

THIS is the way that a Christian should view life and marriage. It is such a short journey. And the end is not the end. How short our earthly years are! And how filled with trials and pains! Why set our hopes on anything earthly when it will all so quickly pass away?
Psalm 90:9-10, 12
“For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away…
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

May the next 7 years show that I was a greater helper, a more understanding friend, and an unmatched encourager to my husband. A wife whose husband’s heart safely trusted in her. 

May I ever be a more pliable lump of clay on His potter’s wheel, satisfied to be spun and molded for as long as He sees fit.

May the rest of my life be spent as an offering to God, in the service of others, so that I on the last day I may say as Paul did in 2 Timothy 4:6-8:

"The time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

And may I be found enjoying the presence of, and wholly worshiping, The Holy One of Israel, The Great I Am, The One True God, The Beginning and The End for all of eternity.