Things have slowed down a bit and it's been nice to get back into a routine of focusing on some things around the house. I feel like I'm going through a bit of an identity crisis with my youngest getting ready to go off to college. I always joke that Dan is going to fall apart when Emily leaves, but I have a feeling it's going to be me.
I purchased a case of cucumbers for $14 and I spent the day yesterday making 17 pints of bread and butter pickles. Today, I'll be doing dill pickles with the rest of the cukes. When I compare with how much a jar of pickles cost in the store, this is certainly saving me money.
We had homemade pizza for dinner and I love doing that. I find the dough to be like a blank canvas on which I can create anything. We ended up with Greek style (feta, fresh tomatoes, basil and onions) on one and pepperoni and onion on the other.
We have had so much rain this spring and summer but I have to say on the positive side my flowers are beautiful this year. There are so many blossoms on the hydrangea bush that I didn't mind snagging some for my house. I love fresh flowers around the rooms.
In other news I've been feeling led over the past year to stretch myself in a couple of ways. Our denomination offers licensing and consecration for women and I've started the process for that. My decision was two-fold. I enjoy a challenge and stretching myself, and this is certainly that! Answering the doctrinal answers on the application was very difficult. I will have about 3 years worth of work to do, including standing before the Licensing, Ordination & Consecration Committee to answer questions before this happens.
The second reason I'm doing it is purely from a pragmatic standpoint. God called me into full-time ministry many years ago. I went to seminary, where I met Dan, and knew that a ministry "career" was where I was headed. However, if something were to happen to Dan I would like to continue in that. Which means being consecrated would help in our denomination.
I also signed up for a program for women in leadership through our Metropolitan District which, when I'm through it in the spring, will give me 6 seminary credits. I'm about 10 credits short of my Master's Degree and this is a far less expensive way to start the path to finishing. It's a once a month class from September through April and I will be going with two other women in our district. That was the one reason I decided to do this now. Otherwise, I'd be making the 10 hour round trip by myself. The other reason is the dates of the classes do not interfere with anything else on my calendar. That may not always be the case so I pounced while I could.
Anyway, this is a new kind of busy for me. My brain is being stretched and I certainly feel like it's on the rusty and lazy side. When I first started the doctrinal questionnaire, it was so hard. However, as I worked on the questions it felt as if something clicked in my brain and they got less difficult to answer.
As we enter into the empty nest stage of life, things seem uncertain. Yet, come what may, I know that God has a plan for us and it's a good one.