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As my husband and I move from Louisiana to Ohio for his next stage of medical training, I muse on the next season of life.
Hey, folks! Most of our worldly goods are in boxes (stacked 6 high in the kitchen), the cupboards are nearly bare, and we’ll be pulling out this weekend – Ohio bound. I wanted to drop in and say hi one last time before we head out because I have no idea what the rest of the summer is going to look like!
As I told my email subscribers yesterday…
Above you see the handiwork of my husband: box stacker extraordinaire. 😛 We’ll be heading out this weekend, so we’ve been packing our Louisiana life into boxes. The only problem is that we currently live in a small house, and once you start pulling things out of cupboards and cracks and crevices, there’s not much space for the boxes themselves!
It’s a little sad to be moving on from this stage of our lives. This little house is where we’ve spent our first two years of married life. I’ll miss our neighbors, the walking trail by the river, our church family, easily accessible shopping with little traffic, my friends at the post office and Kroger and bank, the little library within walking distance. I’ve found a life here that I wasn’t sure I’d find when I got married and moved away from the only home I’d ever known for 20+ years.
But we have the memories, and the life we’ve made here gives me hope and excitement for the life that God will give us in Ohio. I’m leaving Louisiana a different, more mature, more at rest person than when I arrived. That’s life, ya know? Always learning, always growing. And knowing that God goes before us gives me peace for the next stage.
The incredible peace I’ve been given through this entire season of change – as we applied for gastroenterology fellowship, went through the interview process, played the waiting game, MATCHED IN OHIO!! then got hit with a global pandemic when we were trying to find a house and move 16 hours north – the peace is nothing short of miraculous. This is only the second time in my memorable life that I have moved – the first being when I got married and moved to Louisiana from South Carolina to join my husband. (I also moved as a child, but that was before I can remember anything.) At that point all my possessions fit in my mini van, and my husband-to-be was already settled in Louisiana so there wasn’t the added dimension of finding a house long distance or changing jobs at the same time as moving.
In general, I don’t like change, or not knowing what’s going to happen next, or feeling like life is out of my own control. Moving is all of those things wrapped into one semi-traumatic event.
Seriously, I can’t tell you how amazing this peace feels. Especially since I’m not typically an easy going, flexible person. I have a long history of control freak-ism combined with obsessive compulsive tendencies that really have a habit of being triggered by CHANGE. The fact that I am currently functioning as a mostly sane human being and not completely losing it when moving plans change 4 times in a row (true story) is a testament to the grace of God alone.
Can I just say how proud I am of my husband? The unflappable way he’s handled all the moving details despite multiple setbacks and changes of plans (oh, and did I mention the global pandemic and long distance house hunting?) has been a serious source of calm to me. If I were in the hospital, I’d want him to be my doctor, just saying.
By the grace of God, I am actually excited about this move. Excited about a new house, new neighborhood, new friends, new park, new church, new opportunities, new job focus for Ryan, new season of life. I carry the memories of the current season we’re wrapping up, and they will enrich and guide and inform the next season, which will in turn color future seasons. To the best of our knowledge, we are following the will of God, and there’s really no safer place to be.
What I’m eating
Now that my kitchen and pantry items are packed up, mealtimes have no choice but to be simple. 😛 Honestly, I feel like I’ve barely cooked in the last two weeks. Ryan has been working a lot and hasn’t been around for many meals, so I’m mostly just heating up leftovers for myself and trying to single-handedly clean out the fridge and freezer.
About two weeks ago I baked a turkey that really needed to come out of the freezer, so we ate on that for awhile and then I used my Instant Pot to make bone broth from the carcass. The broth got turned into a yummy soup filled with natural gelatin. I added the last of the turkey, veggies from the freezer, and some quinoa and lentils to add some body. Not really worrying about crossovers right now – cleaning out leftovers is more imperative.
I did leave a few staple ingredients in my cupboards, which I’ll pack up last minute and keep handy for the week or two of transition after we move. Things like oats, salt and pepper, stevia and Sweet Blend, peanut butter, collagen, and cocoa powder.
This morning for breakfast I made Easy Chocolate Oatmeal (basically my breakfast every morning) with added collagen for protein and topped it with some frozen mango that needs to be used up + a few sugar free chocolate chips. THM E
Lunch today was scrambled eggs topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and some pepperoni slices (I did keep a frying pan out to use for the next few days) with a side of sliced cucumber drizzled with Italian salad dressing. Just a storebought dressing. THM S
In storebought dressings, look for 2g net carbs or less per serving and no added sugars. The oils usually aren’t ideal, but I’m big on making things work. I also enjoy making things like kefir and sourdough bread…go figure. I guess I just enjoy fussing over some things more than others. 😛
For lunch I also made a fried taco (based off of this Fried Cream Cheese & Berry Taco) using a low carb tortilla, reduced fat cream cheese, Sweet Blend, some sugar free chocolate chips, a sprinkling of defatted peanut flour, a drizzle of Strawberry Freezer Jam, and some sliced fresh strawberries. A lot of stuff I’m trying to clean out of the fridge before the weekend.
Ryan probably won’t be home for supper, but I thawed a rack of pork ribs last night (success – the last meat in the freezer!) and baked them today. I’ll tackle those tonight with some leftover veggies and whatever else needs cleaned up from the fridge. Last week I also made some Trimtastic Chocolate Cake (from the THM Cookbook) to use up some shredded zucchini I had in the freezer and there are 2 pieces left, just sayin’….
For the ribs I basically followed the baking times given in this Bri’s Baked Barbecue Ribs recipe, but I skipped the sauce because hello, empty cupboards. And finished them with a bottle of sugar laden storebought sauce (not on plan, Trim Healthy Mamas!) in the fridge, because seriously, is it just me, or is it impossible to get rid of the fridge door full of condiments?? I keep regular barbecue sauce around for my husband, who loves it (and has a tendency to buy it himself now and then if he sees a flavor that sounds good). I generally stay away from it because that stuff is loaded with sugar, but let’s just say I’ve been throwing a few particulars out the window recently with everything we’ve got going on.
Some songs that have blessed me recently
I came across both of the following hymns recently as I was practicing my nominal piano skills by playing through the Hymns of the Church hymn book. The first one perfectly fits the theme of new seasons in life fraught with unknowns:
(#925, Hymns of the Church)
Horatius Bonar / Uzziah C. Burnap
1 Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
however dark it be;
lead me by thine own hand,
choose out the path for me.
2 Smooth let it be or rough,
it will be still the best;
winding or straight, it leads
right onward to thy rest.
3 I dare not choose my lot;
I would not if I might:
choose thou for me, my God,
so shall I walk aright.
4 The kingdom that I seek
is thine, so let the way
that leads to it be thine,
else I must surely stray.
5 Take thou my cup, and it
with joy or sorrow fill,
as best to thee may seem;
choose thou my good and ill.
6 Choose thou for me my friends,
my sickness or my health;
choose thou my cares for me,
my poverty or wealth.
7 Not mine, not mine, the choice
in things or great or small;
be thou my guide, my strength,
my wisdom, and my all.
The following hymn also fits in that it describes the journey from independence and self will to full surrender to the will of God. Only in that full surrender can we find true peace in the changes of life seasons (which are often beyond our human control).
(#926, Hymns of the Church)
Theodore Monod / James Mountain
1 Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow,
That a time could ever be,
When I let the Savior’s pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered,
All of self, and none of Thee,
All of self and none of Thee.
2 Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on the cursed tree;
Heard Him pray, Forgive them, Father,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
Some of self, and some of Thee,
Some of self, and some of Thee.
3 Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong, and ah! so patient,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Less of self, and more of Thee.
4 Higher than the highest heavens,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered;
Grant me now my heart’s petition,
None of self, and all of Thee,
None of self, and all of Thee.
You may also enjoy these other “Musings” posts:
- The Love Story: Part 1
- The Love Story: Part 2
- The Wedding
- Setting Up House!
- A Change of Identity
- Our Gastroenterology Fellowship Match Story
Why I’m no longer selling my cookbooks on Amazon:
You may have noticed that I’m no longer selling my cookbooks on Amazon. (Other sellers may have them on there, but that’s not under my control.) This is due to the really high seller fees that Amazon charges + the fact that I prefer supporting the small privately-owned company that prints my books and ships them out for me. It’s also just one less thing I have to keep track of. You can find my books for sale right here on my website under the Shop Cookbooks tab, where you have the option of buying just one, or both of them together to save on shipping.
The books will usually be cheapest directly off of my website (unless you’re close to a privately owned store that carries them, in which case you can save shipping!). Check out the Shop Cookbooks tab for answers to FAQs (including info about international shipping).
Thank you so much for your continued interest in my cookbooks!
UPDATE: thank you all for your kind comments! I read them all. You’re the best. <3 Hopefully we can “chat” sooner rather than later!