Stone Soup for Five: What we're up to lately

What we're up to lately



It's been a busy start to the year for us around here and my husband and I have kind of fallen into a new mini-ministry.

New:

Around Christmas we were pleasantly surprised when quite a few young adults and teens kept stopping by to say hi and visit with us (even without our older sons-their friends- being here).  Corey and I really enjoyed our time with them and as we talked and prayed about it, we both agree that maybe God is leading us into a new ministry of opening our home to these young adults in our lives.

We ran some experiments, rearranged some furniture, and asked some of the teens we know who are gifted at gathering others, to get a group together and come over.  Last night we had our 8th "Sunday Supper" and here are a few things I've learned:

1.  Most of the young adults and teens just want to be listened to which makes them feel that they matter.  Most of the time they aren't looking for anyone to fix their issues, or be talked at, but they just to have a conversation and be listened to.  Also, if you take the time to get to know them, and be vulnerable and real yourself, they are very open to ideas and sharing their thoughts, doubts, and questions.

2.  Throw pillows and blankets are important to good conversation.  I've seen teens hug and lean into pillows when sharing a struggle.  I've seen introverts get comfortable with being cozy on a couch with a pillow personal bubble.  Throw blankets are also good for comfy conversation.  And if you don't have enough couch space, sitting on the floor with pillows is just fine for them too.

3.  They talk easier and more freely if you are NOT sitting face to face, but rather doing something (anything!) together.  We've found cooking together is the best way to converse.  Conversation during cooking flows from superficial to deep pretty easily when there are veggies to chop or soup to stir.

4.  Most teens and young adults today do not know how to cook, so we've invited them to come early and help with dinner prep.  We've taught knife skills, how to part a raw chicken (and make three meals from it), how to slice, chop, and mince vegetables, and we've chopped pounds of onions together.  The best part is watching them taste what they've made and see how shocked they are at how good it is!

We're continuing on with our ministry and seeing where it leads.


Struggles:

Writing (obviously)

1.  I'm in a dry stage right now, not really sure what to share or write about on the blog.  Then another week passes and another and the cobwebs move in.  I think it has to do with my lack of thinking time. Even though I'm still off social media, there are plenty of ways to fill up the time and not be alone with my thoughts.  I need to make that a priority.

2.  Writing Hebrews.  I'm probably a quarter of the way through Hebrews and it's tough and very slow going.  It's been good, and I'm excited for how it's coming along, but man, I'd really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and perseverance.


Next:

For March, I'm working on a series to introduce you to Biblical Meditation and give you some great tips and how-to guides to practice on.  This has been the most life changing thing I have ever done and I want to share and teach you how to do it!  Be sure to subscribe on the side bar (and get a free Bible study) if you haven't already and get ready to have fun!


Enjoying:

1.  I don't really like kitchen gadgets or appliances (because my kitchen is so small) and clutter makes me crazy, but a while ago I found an air fryer at Goodwill and took a chance on it.  It was amazing!  But we left the drawer halfway out one too many times as we pulled our crispy delicious food and inadvertently melted the plastic around the drawer and it died.  We missed it so much that we finally caved and bought another one (though I liked the controls of the first one much better, but the replacement has more cooking space).  We are very careful to pull the basket all the way out so we don't melt and destroy this one too.  We use it for reheating leftovers, cooking quick lunches, and making crunchy and delicious spring rolls, chicken, and sausage.  It is used so often it has even earned a permanent place on the very small countertop!

2.  I dusted off my copy of the More with Less cookbook after reading an article about ultra processed foods.  This 1970s cookbook has real recipes with simple ingredients and some great information about whole foods cooking.  I flipped through it and dog eared quite a few to try out.  (Especially helpful when needing wholesome, simple recipes to cook with the teens!)


Reading:



1.  In light of our mini-ministry with teens, I picked up a copy of L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer.  What a wonderful book!  I love hearing how their ministry developed and grew and continues to teach and build up others even decades after the Schaeffers started it.  I'm also slowly reading through True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer, which goes alongside L'Abri beautifully.



2.  In our book club at our homeschool co-op that started this year, we've read through quite a few books.  Reading People  by Anne Bogel was an excellent book to read in a group. We had so much fun figuring out how each of us saw things and how to relate to each other and other people we know.  Highly recommend it (in a group if you can!).  We are currently working through an abridged Puritan book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contenment.  It's been a lively conversation too!



3.  I just (finally) started Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus that I'm reading through with a friend.  It is very well written and engrossing so far.

Hope:

What am I finding hope in this week?  Well the short answer is always Jesus, right?  But to make it a bit more real and practical, I'd say I'm finding hope in the prayers of friends.  I love authentic conversations with friends about the real stuff in life.  The good and the bad.  And I love how if we share honestly and openly with those we trust, we can support each other in the hard and celebrate with each other in the good.  If we never shared, we would feel very alone on the battlefield, have no one to dust us off and help us stand up again after a hard blow, and we would have no one to share in the small (and sometimes huge) answers to prayers.  Friends and relationships built on Christ are invaluable.  If you don't have friendships like this, get to church, be honest with trustworthy people, and be a good friend yourself.  We need each other!

3 comments:

  1. I'm going to be a little selfish here, you're not going to stop blogging all together, are you?
    That would be a shame. I've always enjoyed this blog. The books you've mentioned sound very interesting and I look forward to seeing them in my library.

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  2. I so appreciate you and your husbands willingness to provide a safe, learning place for teens. The cooking emvolvement is genious. There seems to be a lot for younger kids, but harder to find for older kids.
    I encourage you not to be hard on youself about the blog. If God is opening other doors, maybe he wants that to take priority now. When you post, we will still be here, I popped right in when I saw your post.
    Hebrews is tough and long. I think when I took it we broke it up into two studies 1 & 2. Will pray that you would be able to gleen all God would have for you to share with others.
    I heard a wonderful word today about the Cono-Virus. It was a reminder to Christians not to spread fear with our tongues, but hope and faith that God would stop this virus and God would save many through what He was going to do. Don't we have a wonderful Father?
    I pray God's richest blessings over you and your family and may you have spiritual and financial increase this year, may your cup truly overflow. I look forward to March. Karen

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  3. I love your new ministry! We are praying about ministry right now too. Our church desperately needs something for young adults. This is sparking some ideas. It was lovely to get a blog notification from you today!

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