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Great Grandma was a Cherokee

Great Grandmother Rose Wood was one quarter Cherokee. The Cherokees had a written language and lived in cottages when they were moved out from their original lands in the South. Now they are mostly in Oklahoma, but Great Grandma Rose wound up in Denver, Colorado.

I wish I knew more about her. All we have are a few photos with names and dates on the back. I think I got her eyes, though!

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Latest homemade salsa

More salsa for our grilled chicken and salad dinner. I put in:

1 peach

1 pluot (half plum, half apricot, yum!)

1 small mild pepper from our garden

some sprigs of lime thyme from our garden

a couple of splashes Extreme Heat Mustard

Tomboy at Heart

I was pretty much a tomboy growing up. I went camping for the first time when I was three months old. (Okay, I realize my parents had a lot to do with that!) I spent 95 percent of my time outside unless it was raining hard, and sometimes even then I put on my raincoat and rubber boots and stomped around in puddles. The only thing I regularly got in trouble for was coming home late for dinner. I would climb trees, jump the fence to wade in the creek, and play hide and seek, coming home only after it was so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.

My brother and I would tear around the neighborhood on our bikes doing wheelies and riding with no hands. Sometimes he got tired of hanging around his little sister, so I’d have to go find some girls to play with. When I was lucky, I’d find other girls who were tomboys and we’d rope my brother back in because lots of games are fun with more people.

Learning to “speak girl” was a slow and difficult process. Even freshman year of high school, well after hormones kicked in, I still went around looking like a cross between hippie and Seattle grunge, buying engineer’s overalls and painter’s paints from a uniform store and wearing my hair long and straight, parted right down the middle.

My two best friends bought me a Seventeen magazine one summer and ordered me to read it. My eyes were opened to a whole new world–makeup, grooming and fashion. I still liked to go hiking and camping, but I started to look like a girl while I did it.

Right around the same time frame, I became a Christian. Because I did a good job of disguising myself as a girly girl, I fit right in with some of the conservative teachings about how to be feminine, at least on the surface. But I was very uncomfortable. I felt like a fraud.

I would hear lectures about how women like do all the talking in relationships and feel mannish because I am less talkative than most people, less than a lot of the men in my life. I would go to church parties and get pulled into the kitchen where ladies wanted to talk to me about recipes. What? I could barely boil water. I did know how to fix barbed wire fencing on my uncle’s ranch, but that didn’t really come up in conversation.

I loved the Bible stories about King David. He was small and cute, and a lot tougher than he looked. He wasn’t taken seriously at first. But of course he was God’s chosen, and I was really just a girl.

I remember once hearing God speak to me about all the books I was reading about proper behavior for a Christian woman. I was really stressing out about it, I felt completely miserable and unable to “do the right thing.” I’m sure I was crying about it, one of the girly things I do quite freely from time to time. I heard a still, quiet voice cut through all my emotions and tell me, “Throw all those books away. Get rid of them!”

What a relief that was, but I still felt at odds with the church world around me. I loved my church world, I loved learning from the Bible, I loved singing worship songs, I loved being part of the community. But I still felt like a fraud. A pretender. A fake girly girl.

Thirty odd years later I’d like to say I’ve figured it all out, but I haven’t. I still feel like I don’t quite fit in. I have figured out a couple of things though. It’s perfectly all right for me to passionately pursue being a disciple of Christ. And I don’t need to take a class to learn how to be a woman. God made me a woman, and that’s what I am. He didn’t make a mistake, and I don’t have to correct any errors. (As if! I can’t believe I was ridiculous enough to think I had to make up for His “mistakes.”)

I wonder if there are others out there who have felt the same way?

Christ Demonstrates His Love for Us

Today I was thinking about how much Christ has done for me. He laid down his life for me so that I would have eternal life.

Then from there I started thinking about Ephesians 5:2, which says, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Later in Ephesians 5 when Paul is talking about Christians submitting to one another, starting with husbands and wives, he says “for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23)

Since he equates head with savior, how must Paul have been thinking of that metaphor? Last night hubby Don and I just watched a movie about Lincoln and the Civil War, and I was picturing a soldier going to the head of the battle line. The front line goes in first, and brings all the other soldiers along with them. The front line takes a grave risk, but the other soldiers bravely join in the fight, pressing ahead with a common goal.

Then I thought of a baby being born. The head comes first, and then brings the rest of the body along with it, out into the world. They are tied together, the head and body. One goes first and then the other comes along too.

Then I thought of Christ, how He went first, teaching us how to live. Then He sacrificed for us. Now He asks us to come along with Him, taking part in His plan for the whole world to come too, if they will, into the kingdom of heaven.

“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.” (Ephesians 5:29-30)

This means we don’t have to go it alone, whether as husband and wife (verse 31: “the two shall become one flesh), or as members of the same body with Christ attached to us as head. We are part of Him and He is part of us.

Summer bounty

Lately I’ve been making spicy little fruit salsas to go with a meat dish or even on a salad. Yum yum!

Yesterday’s was made with the first big, juicy, ripe nectarine I picked from our tree, 1/2 a small poblano pepper that fell off the pepper plant Don and I were trying to stake, chopped lime thyme, a few splashes of “Extreme Heat Mustard Fever,” and a few borage blossoms. Everything except for the mustard sauce came from our garden.

Last week’s salsa was made from 2 little satellite peaches, 2 kiwis, chopped mint, and the same spicy mustard sauce.

It only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way to use up some of that fruit sitting on the counter getting ripe. I love summer!

A little flag waving . . .

From my Bible study notes . . .