Salty

I purchased more salt today. Coarse Kosher salt is my favorite for cooking. I can always tell when Joey has used it because it’s strewn all over the countertop. He likes to sprinkle it high above his plate because it makes him feel chef-y. Gramma Mary taught me to use celery salt for boiled eggs. I had two of them for lunch. I’ve had chili salt on my rim in Mexico. And the Diefenderfers (friends from college who own Cuppies and Joe in OKC) use Pink Himalayan salt on their smashed fingerling potatoes. They eat the coolest food on the planet, so of course I purchased some PH salt. It sits in my cabinet, pretty and pink, but full to the brim. Not sure what to do with it.

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Salt accentuates natural flavor. It can take a dish from alright to life-changing. It’s the little black dress that plays up your best parts.

Jesus tells us to be salty in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

His followers should bring out the best flavors in people, and if they don’t, they’re “good for nothing.” I should make you better; empower you to be the best version of yourself. My character and personality should bring out the best of yours. I’ve had friends before who did the opposite. I didn’t like who I was around them. My ego was tripped; my selfishness and quick temper tested. It’s like their sin invited my sin to play. I’m certain I’ve unfortunately done the same for others.

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Joey brings out the best in our kids!

I think some people feel this way about Christians in general. They are negative–always against something instead of for something. If we’re not careful we can bring out the worst in our co-workers, kids, spouses, employees, and neighbors. Jesus wants us to add depth of flavor and deliciousness to his people, inviting the world to His table to taste and eat of His goodness, grace, patience, kindness, acceptance and love. Yummy things.

A pinch of salt can completely change a dish. A believer of Christ has this power to change a community.

Getting Away

When life is hard, I go somewhere else in my mind–some fantastic place I’ve been before. This is the magic of vacation: the carefree memories last beyond the holiday. They get us through the arduous days and nights that follow.

I think about Colorado: Cascade Falls north of Durango and waking up in our tent beside Lime Creek.

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I go poolside in Mexico with my hottie husband doing a crossword puzzle at my left. I am climbing a rock face in Slovenia, slurping linguine in Florence, exploring ancient cathedrals in Rome. I’m bike riding up to a castle in Salzburg, on the dock with my family at the lake, canoeing in the Boundary Waters or whale watching in Alaska.

Getting away forces me to rest, breathe a little deeper and separate myself from the people and things that produce the most stress. But it also helps me appreciate those very things. With some distance between us, I am grateful for a home to clean, children to feed with butts to wipe, and a job with oftentimes too many clients to manage.

Most recently, we spent 4th of July weekend at my parents’ home in Bella Vista, AR.

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These two are something else!

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We watched fireworks over the dam, water skied, swam off the boat, and played games when the kids went to bed.

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Chad surprised us and drove up from Dallas to join the fun!

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This is going to be one of my new favorite traditions.

Last week, Joey and I left Tulsa on the earliest flight in the history of aviation, met our Norman friends in the Dallas airport (and two more met us in Mexico!) and continued on to Cancun.

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We were celebrating Dustin’s 40th birthday and our 9th anniversary.

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We stayed at Secrets Playa Mujeres.

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It was a new, all-inclusive resort with beautiful buildings/decor and really yummy food. I felt like Lady Edith, dressing up each evening, choosing anything I wanted off the menu and letting someone else do the dishes.

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We spent a couple blissful days at the spa.

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Anytime I get a massage, I pray…just so grateful for a moment to be pampered; a complete luxury. The masseuse would think I was a weirdo if she heard my inner monologue: “Oh, thank you Jesus. You are just so good. Always good…” 🙂

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LOVED this book! Thanks, Leah!

We had never traveled with friends before, and to be honest, I was a little nervous I wouldn’t get enough time with Joey, but it was perfect. We loved sharing meals with our friends each evening, laughing over the mariachi band’s lilting vibrato and tasting each others’ gourmet dishes. I miss the everyday-ness of our friendship with them. They are good people. Life-long friends.

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After day 4, we were missing our kids like crazy and ready to get home to our food, our workouts, our bed. We came home with a new appreciation for the regularity of our little life; ready to tackle parenthood head on.

Thank you, Mom, Dad and Chad for taking such fantastic care of our babies while we were gone. We can only travel like this because of your sacrifice.

Tuesday, Finn was diagnosed with an ear infection and sent home from school, then Paisley spiked a fever too. Yesterday, after hours of simultaneous crying and whining from my little loves, I took myself back to the relaxation room in Mexico. White robe. Cucumber slices on my eyes and eucalyptus in my nostrils. Breathe deeply. It’s going to be okay and it can always be worse. Dear friends are struggling with much worse diagnoses these days.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to get away but even more grateful for the opportunity to come home.