Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spectacular Dental Visit

Every day can't be hiking, looking into volcanoes and climbing lighthouses. Even full-timing RVers must see their dentists. 

Gherkins love visiting Drs Zanzi

Six months ago, when we scheduled these appointments, we thought we'd cancel them as we'd not be in the area. It turns out we are back for Michael's medical care and we've all been able to keep our dental appointments!  I have no idea how we are going to manage this once we hit the road...we may come back to Roseville every six months....or find another dentist in a central location??? They talked me into making appointments now and we'll see if we can keep them.

I love Gherkin dental day. I blogged and caught up on a bit of book-work. 

NO CAVITIES! None - not one!  This dentist doesn't believe in "watching" cavities - read I think they fill them very quickly and the Air Force dental clinic in Misawa seemed to watch until you said it hurt. SO...we've had a lot of cavities filled in the past two  years....but not one today!

Gherkins like post-dental visit celebrations more than seeing the dentist
As a matter of fact - we DID celebrate. Yep, shakes at Chick Fil A.  

The only concerning note in the day is that they are sure Stacia needs braces - and I know she will. We were told this at her first dental visit...she has a deep under-bite. We just don't know how to make it happen. They don't want to begin either her or Nolan unless we think we'll be here two years...and we haven't a clue what life will be like in 2 years. LOL 

Taco Beans (Vegan)

This is from The Happy Herbivore and I LOVE them on taco nights. They are also good for salads and I think they'd be a yummy addition to "normal" tacos. They originally call for chickpeas - I use whatever I have - I've had pinto, black beans and kidney beans - never chickpeas. I'm sure they are crunchier if you use chick peas. 

1 T soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 - 2 tsp lemon or lime juice
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp marjoram OR oregano
1 15 oz chickpeas (or bean of choice) drain, rinse
Taco shells
1 salad tomato,diced

*I cut up some onion and put tossed them in

Preheat oven to 400*.

Grease cookie sheet and set aside

Whisk soy sauce, juice and spices. Combine with beans and stir to coat.

Transfer to cookie sheet in single layer

Spray with cooking spray and bake for 20 - 40 min, until chickpeas are as crisp as desired. (I have never sprayed them with cooking spray and I pull them out at 20 min).

Spoon in taco shells and top with greens, tomatoes, salsa etc.

Learning to Look Beyond

The lessons God is speaking to me through the Holy Spirit have to do with courage and joy....possibly because, in the flesh, my norm would be fear and a bent towards being critical. In my daily quiet times, I've been reading 2 chapters in the Pentateuch, 1 chapter of Poetry/Wisdom lit, 1 chapter in the Gospels and 1 in the Epistles. Courage, surrender, joy - woven throughout all my readings.

Romans 5:1 - 12. I'm instructed to exult in the hope of God - the grace in which I stand, in the reconciliation God provides, but in between those two - "exult in tribulation." I'm told in James 1:2 - to "Choose joy when I encounter various trials...."

But HOW????

"Just do it," doesn't offer much practical help.

First - though many translations translate "exult" as rejoice or joy - it is NOT the word for rejoice or joy - it means to boast, glory, exult - confident joy comes close.*

I'm still questioning. HOW do I exult in tribulations. I find the start of an answer in the rest of the verses.....
"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, ..." Romans 5:3-5a
HOW do we glory, boast, exhibit confident joy in the middle of tribulations, afflictions, trials?


I'm not psychotic. I don't love the pain. I do love to see God at work. I see Him pruning, maintaining, growing my faith. I know He redeems the pain. He is good. He will accomplish good. IF I  LOOK BEYOND the confusion, the uncertainty, the grief of lost dreams.

I focus beyond - to the perseverance He is building into my life. Hupomeno - the same word used in James 1 and translated as patience or endurance.  This is the ability to stand up under pressure. To bear up, endure, circumstances and things. This hupomeno, built into my life as I choose joy and exhibit confidence, will not allow me to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trails. It allows me to be patient, to persevere, to be constant and confident in pain.** (Irony - endurance/hupomeno was my one word in 2014 and I couldn't definitively settle on a new word for 2015 - He wasn't done teaching.)

I asked God to make me strong in faith, able to stand in the fire or the lion's den. I asked for growing faith as we transitioned from military ministry to ministry in the civilian sphere.  I suspect this type of enduring faith is only forged in the furnace. It takes trials to grow. I asked for this - though I certainly didn't think I asked for it. ::snort::  In fact, I've been telling God, "I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS" and only recently realized I certainly did ask for this. Endurance is built into  my life as I learn to LOOK BEYOND. 

God is working beyond the trial, the pain, the un-fullfilled dreams, fear and way-laid plans. His work is good. It begins with this perseverance and continues to produce proven character and hope - which never disappoints.  This perseverance, we are in told in James 1:4, results in a mature faith. The very thing my heart desires.

I don't  know that this is the full answer. I do know if I focus on the loss, uncertainty, strange symptoms Michael is fighting,  and craziness of this season I am overwhelmed each-and-every-time!

Did you catch  perseverance does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trails? I must LOOK BEYOND and choose confident joy in the face of the trial - and I will NOT surrender or succumb to the trial. By LOOKING BEYOND I surrender to the work and purposes of a good and loving God. 

*exult - 2744 Kauchaomai

**perseverance - 5281 Hupomeno