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Friday, July 29, 2011


Us Ericksons have been puppy owners now for 36 hours.  And we feel a little like we have a newborn in the house again!  If anyone wants to test out the waters of what it is like to take care of and train a child- start with a dog!

The first day was tentative.  Kai was hesitant, afraid, easily spooked, refusing to eat anything and slept most the time.  Honestly, Chris and I were worried.  Is something wrong?  Yesterday we turned the sprinklers on and saw a little life return to him.  Dinner went better.   He is out in the backyard with me right now chasing a ball around and attacking the grass.  I was thrilled to see him come out of his shell and start to enjoy himself!  And then I thought about how funny it is that we get such a kick out of something like a dog enjoying itself under our care and love.  How much more do I know this is true with my kids!

And as I sat here, the sun rising slowly pink, the air cool and refreshing in the midst of hot summer. I was thinking about how we are made in God's image.  And a piece of that means his heart for his children is much like ours...only so much more so.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people;" Isaiah 65:19

I spend so much of my time believing God intends evil for me.  Wants life to be hard. Wants me to have to overcome obstacles and so introduces them into my life.  But I rarely give thought to how much God gets a kick out of it when I finally relax and begin to enjoy myself.  I imagine He's sitting "up there" enjoying his morning cup of Holy Spirit, watching me watch our new puppy.  And loving the whole experience...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There are many things in me that need to changed.  Over the years of my being a Christian I noted these as weaknesses or struggles, things I wished were different but didn't know how to change.   These range all over the map, from wanting to please people and win their approval or lacking in generosity or getting frustrated with my kids.

Over the last couple of months God has impressed upon me a different way to approach these changes in character that I want.  Instead of trying to just act different, pray that God gives me a new and changed heart in whichever area.  If I was struggling being generous, for example, my answer was always to give more even though I didn't want to.  But I don't want to just act different. I want to BE different.  I don't want to be seen as generous.  I want to joyfully give, especially when no one sees.  So I've started praying God would just give me a new heart.  And it has been life changing the way he has come along and interacted with me.  Only God can give a person a changed heart.  The question I've always asked myself is, "am I desperate enough to let Him change me?" Sometimes we really don't think we need to change.  Sometimes we are more comfortable with how we are now.  And sometimes we are afraid of truly surrendering to God to LET Him change us.

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit." Ez. 18:31

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tomato Mascarpone Sauce

The most recent favorite recipe- a little different, and a lot good!  Plus something to do with all those tomatoes that are coming into season.


1/4 lb. bacon
olive oil
1/4 cp. balsalmic vinegar
28 oz. diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup basil
8 oz. mascarpone cheese


1. Cook bacon and crumble.  Add vinegar and mix together.  Add garlic powder and tomatoes, mix and let simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add basil and mascarpone cheese and fold everything together gently, allowing the cheese to melt. Cook on low for 10 minutes.
3. Serve over pasta or meat.  I added mushrooms in with the tomatoes for a heartier sauce.
Makes 6 servings.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Invest in fun!

Maybe with three kids I am now starting to feel all grown up...and even a bit old.  Maybe I really am just getting wiser. Or more foolish.  I am not really sure.

As we added to our little flock I noticed, and my husband too, that I was subtracting daily from my smile total.  At the time I actually said, "I am too tired to have fun." And having a newborn can be a bit like that. Recently we have been investing in more fun.  For the longest time we believed anything fun or extravagant was being foolish with our money.  And maybe it is, according to some.  Like buying a sturdier, bigger, and more expensive swingset so that Chris and I could swing too.  Chris said, "If we are having swings, I intend on using them."

And I love our new addition!  And I love using them.  But...I think our kids love it the most.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Modern Day Cowboy.

The wild beast was on the loose.  Running fast and free across the Shopco parking lot.  Dodging first this car than that, a near miss for an old lady in a truck and then picking up speed as it hit an open straight away.  The gusts of wind urged it on its wreck less course.  Christopher mounted his beastly steed and took off through the parking lot with red flashing before and behind. He grabbed that beast by its horns, steered it forcefully around and delivered it to the nearest shopping cart port.

It was an amazing site to see.  My husband, the modern day cowboy.  A rouge cart whipping across the parking lot.  There isn't much he cannot chase down in the new Xtera, and manhandle through the window while driving at the same time.  Ah, my modern day cowboy...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Unleashed, by McManus - The call to barbaric Christianity

Barbarians. People living free and unrestrained. Adults living wild and adventurous. Christians really living...unleashed. McManus is proposing this is really the way of a true Christ follower. And I must admit much of what he says echoes the cry of my own heart this last year. If we really are Christ followers, connecting to an infinite God, then we should live radically changed lives.

There are two specific things I enjoyed about this book: 1. He calls Christians to a different kind of discipleship. He argues, "Discipleship is translated into standardizing everyone into the same pattern... Discipleship has become the mechanism for uniformity rather than uniqueness." And I will admit, I have experienced this to be true. We want to be safe. We want new believers to be safe. And often we quench any "out of the box" ways of living for Christ in the name of "not being led astray." 2. He challenges the boundaries between secular and sacred. Often us church-goers see "worship" as singing quietly (or loudly) in a pew on Sunday. We hesitate to see things like rejoicing in a good book or being in rapture over a powder day at Steamboat as worship. Mcmanus relays a jet skiing experience with his daughter like this, "We were having a blast. Wind in our faces, water breaking in every direction, moving freely at breakneck speed. It was exhilarating. It was nothing less than a worship experience." How refreshing! That we can worship God in really having fun and doing what we love!

If I have one criticism, it is this: Unleashed argues adamantly for the living of a wild life for Christ but gives few examples on how to walk this out. But then maybe that is just me walking in more civilized ways again. I want a 5 step process to being wild and adventurous. How ironic is that?

In this same line of thinking, I would also suggest the book Radical by David Platt. An amazing book, with a specific call to use our money to radically bless others for Christ.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


This was the theme of our fourth of July weekend. For weeks now the once quiet parking lot just behind our backyard has been alight with fireworks and "snap, crackle, popping" (not of the cereal kind). This year Utah made a significant decision-to legalize the big aereal fireworks for common purchase. And years of pent-up firework frusteration was let loose last night, and the night before that, and the night before that...

Now I want to confess something. As much as I hate the stuffy, tight-lipped, grouchy neighborhoods where rules RULE, and no one can step out of line - I also harbor a secret stuffy neighbor somewhere inside me. For days I have been dreading the 4th of July, the fireworks till all hours of the morning, the burnt remains lining our streets like dead rats, the green and red and yellow smoke blurring the air, people everywhere.

Sunday night my husband announced, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," and marched next door to invite our neighbors to do fireworks with us. We invited some friends over for a BBQ and the next day went out to buy a $100 bucks worth of fireworks (which for us is alot, we realize this might be a conservative figure for some).

In Luke 16:9 it says, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." Now I don't pretend to know all of what this means. But I am beginning to get what it means to use your money to buy friends. Not buy friends in a bad way - but to say, buy a ton of fireworks cause you have neighbors who maybe cannot afford them this year but really like to blow things up- and let them join in the fun.

And the holiday that at first seemed like a curse - turned into a blessing. And it is a good thing too- cause here in Utah they have Pioneer day at the end of July - which I recently learned is celebrated with fireworks. So it appears the "snap,crackle, popping" isn't about to end soon.