Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pruned: Not my usual type of post

Have you ever seen an apple tree, weighted down with gorgeous fruit, waiting to be enjoyed, baked into pies, sliced? How do they become so beautiful? So lush? So strong? Weather helps, water, rain, fertilizer, everything like that, but most of all pruning. Pruning season in the apple orchard world most commonly happens during winter, the dormant season. Three goals

of pruning are to correct the tree structure, develop a strong framework, and to remove diseased limbs.

By removing a portion of a tree, growers are able to redesign how a tree receives sunlight, increase air movement and

prepare the tree to yield a higher quantity of fruit.


Have you ever seen how ugly a fully pruned tree looks? My grandparents had one in their yard in southeast Portland and when I was young I remember looking at it just hacked to shreds in the winter, naked, stripped down and bare. But in the spring, it started to shoot out this brilliant green things, and then by summer it had gorgeous strong limbs with small green fruit and by Thanksgiving the apples were ready!


I am currently living in a dormant pruning season in my whole world. I have had things stripped away from me at a speed that I cannot even share with you. From living in Wyoming lonely and far away, to Ryan being diagnosed with Diabetes to my sister and best friend moving away two months ago. Dreams have been postponed and desires reshaped. Survival has been the song of our home, set to the tune of the Lord’s faithfulness in times of cold winter.

More and more I see things that the Lord is pruning in me that I need to rid myself of in order to one day yield fruit again. I do not see the results of this season and I honestly just see more pruning coming. A few weeks ago, I had a breakdown. Ask my husband, I really couldn’t even move myself. I had just received some horrible news about a job opportunity I had felt led to seek and I was shattered. Again Lord? As I sat weeping in my car, unable to walk inside my house, I gave in, I broke, I gave it up. I understand the meaning of that phrase now, I gave it up to Him. I gave in and allowed my grower to prune one more limb in my soul that already felt so naked and barren. I know He hasn’t stopped caring for me and I can feel the fresh air circulating

in my soul as I learn how to breathe in cleaner air. I cannot see the small green shoots yet, nor feel the warm sun, but I know my God is faithful and He is for me, so I will let Him prune me. Strip me of it all Lord so that I can bear heavy, incredible fruit that leads people to you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Poached
















Today I poached an egg. I feel very accomplished, very complete, very self-satisfied. Honestly though, learning how to poach an egg has been daunting me for years! I discovered Eggs Benedict when I was a freshman in college at a place called Marco's Cafe in Multnomah Village Portland, OR. I remember not knowing what the heck Hollandaise sauce was, but really enjoying the avocado and oddly soft egg delicately placed on top a lightly toasted, whole wheat English muffin.
I slept horridly last night. I heard every noise, my hubby moved around a lot, Vera, our dog, was all over the place. It was just bad sleep, yet, I dreamt. I dreamt not about school or work or singing naked in front of a large group of people, but about poached eggs. Yes, poached eggs. Eating them, making them, making other people eat them. Poached eggs. Needless to say, when my alarm went off at 6:17 am, I wasn't sure if I could even get through my morning yoga routine without trying to make a poached egg. Finally, limber, showered, dressed and ready to roll, I googled how to poach an egg. My previous attempts at poaching eggs have all failed. Most of the time it has ended up looking like egg flour soup from the Chinese buffet places my dad used to drag us to when we where kids, but I was determined this morning not to go there! I was
going to be successful!
I found this website called Mr. Breakfast that has directions on many breakfast foods, even poached eggs. The explanation was simple, boil two inches of water, crack your egg into a tiny bowl, reduce the boil to a small ripple, slowly release your egg into the water and watch it harden like a tiny angel. I am serious, Mr. Breakfast refers to the egg being poached as a tiny angel...ya...I know. This technique worked marvelously! I dropped my egg in, put some toast in the toaster, sliced up a few pieces of avocado and topped it all off with a little Siracha. The most pride-filled, homemade breakfast I have had in a long time. Tasty poached egg!