Thursday, April 3, 2014

My kind of Lent, Homemade Bread and Stinky Water

My kind of Lent includes full focus on Jesus' Life
• Growing up in Brasil I didn't observe Lent as I see it observed in the US. I actually didn't know it was a 'thing' until I heard people having conversations about giving up alcohol for 40 days in Grad School. I believe I was asked 'what will you give up for Lent?' and my answer was "what is that?"
This year I decided to go on my own Lent journey and I started by praying and asking God to enable me to see Jesus in a different way this season. In order for this to happen I knew I needed to be focus on Jesus. My next step was to read the YouVersion devotional 40 days of Lent. I'm on day 30 and I can tell you that it has been completely awesome! As far as my kids go, I am being intentional about teaching them the real Easter story. We have a few different books about it but I mostly get out their kid's Bible and start reading a few stories before Jesus' death and resurrection. We also sing a couple of Easter songs they absolutely love when we finish reading the Bible. The songs are upbeat, the words are Bible based (I can't wait for them to make that connection in the future!) and we have some cool moves that go along with it. We have decided to make Jesus' Resurrection the focus of our teaching, thanksgiving and celebration this season.
• I am still part of a denomination that does not push a bunch of Lent traditions this time of year and it's totally okay with us. What we are doing this time of year is raising money for Missions. The kid's challenge is to use the money they would spend on sodas and candy towards missions. Our kids do not drink soda or eat candy on a regular basis so the only 'extra' thing we do is to buy a $5 pizza. We decided to save that money and make our own pizza instead. Yes I did friends: I repurposed a box we had laying around just for the fun of it:
Adding fun to any task works for us!
 I also learned that baking bread (without a bread machine) is not that difficult so I gave it a try. Let's say, my husband was so thrilled!
my first loaf of bread. 
This first loaf was white, gluten full and not as healthy as it could be because it was an experiment. This week I improved on the recipe and made whole wheat pizza crust:
Check out the bite marks: the kids couldn't wait!
I feel I can still improve on the flavor although everyone loved the pizza. The kids helped me with theirs and started eating the crust before they put their toppings. Talk about a love for pizza!
The challenge for Mission lasts 8 weeks. We have 2 weeks of homemade pizza down and 6 to go. My hope is to find a recipe that works for us so I can double it, freeze it and keep some fresh stuff around for a while.
• I don't know why it seems like I've been leading worship more than usual these past 6 weeks. I lead worship most Wednesdays but I've been filling in for my wonderful husband some Sundays. We've had a death in our extended family, he had laryngitis and it's just been a bit busier than normal. Let me tell you, we are so honored to serve our church in the Worship department and the team we serve with is fantastic! The thing I enjoy the most about leading worship is enjoying God's presence with all my church family. God's presence is in fact my greatest reward.
• In the fitness world I am again waiting to hear if I make it through the Chicago Marathon lottery. I got in Houston through the lottery system and I am filled with expectation for Chicago. Just like with Houston,  I am expecting to get in but if I don't, I will keep on training. I've been so blessed to run with my running group in our off season (February-June). I do most of my long runs with the group and to be honest, they have been a mix of speed training/long runs. My goal is to be in better shape this year than I was in 2013. I am also enjoying new routes because my old one didn't get old but the smell of stale water in the Houston heat was getting to me. I've been looking for routes that have mostly fresh air - that's not too much to ask, is it?
• Hope you enjoyed my update! I'll be back next week with something good for you. Enjoy your weekend friend!

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