Family

The Big Five-Oh!

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Here’s where it all began for me. My first professional photo shoot.  A photographer was going door to door, and my mom agreed to have my two-month old photos taken. The photographer positioned my chubby little arms in different poses. I was a very calm baby so I cooperated. The pictures are some of the few baby pictures I’ve got. I am the fourth of five children, and we were lucky to have any pictures from childhood at all. When I was young parents did not chronicle every single moment of a child’s life. You got the highlights and that was good enough. 

I am fifty years old as of Thursday, November 24th, 2022. My birthday just happened to land on Thanksgiving this year. I celebrated by having a delicious turkey dinner with all the fantastic sides. It was a low key day, and I loved it. I am a pretty low key kind of a person. I don’t enjoy a lot of attention, so a chill day with my family is a dream day. 

Back to turning half a century old. I suppose I should feel bad, or sad about aging, but I don’t. I feel good. Actually, I feel great. I still feel like myself, but better. Not better because I am so wonderful. I am comfortable in my skin, even if it’s a bit more wrinkly. I am just grateful for this life God has given me. My pastor used to say, “That breath you just took, you can thank God for that.” 

My life is in God’s hands. He has already decided when my life will end. He has not given me the knowledge of an exact date. I am to trust Him, and know that He has a plan for me. So I do my best to trust Him, but I’m not always good at it. I am a planner and not knowing the future has tested my faith time and time again. The Lord knows this about me, and graciously walks me through my challenges, fears, and doubts. He is faithful, even when I am not.

I’m still breathing as of this writing, and God is not done with me yet. It could be tomorrow when He calls me home, maybe another ten years. Or maybe in fifty years! Which seems so strange. On that day, will I hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,”? That’s my prayer, but I fall short often. Thank God for His amazing grace. 

For some, turning fifty means it’s all downhill from here. The best years are over. I disagree. I’m just getting started. I’m ready for what’s next. I know who holds my future. I know who will carry me through every trial. I know who will never ever leave me. His name is Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. Thank you Jesus for saving my life, and giving me hope. Thank you for my birthday. Thank you for today, and each day you have blessed me with. I don’t want to waste what You have given to me. Life is a beautiful gift. 

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. James 4:14, NASB 

From one vapor to another, have a great day.

Love you all,

Meghan 

Marriage

27 Years Ago

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These two were in love and having a great time on their honeymoon in San Francisco. After twenty-seven years, these two are still in love. We may be a bit older, with a few more wrinkles, but hey, we’re still here by the grace of God. 

San Francisco was not our first choice for a honeymoon destination. We wanted to go to Paris. We were researching going to France, from books. Remember books? Ha ha ha!! This was the early days of the world wide web. My dad offered to send us to France if we exchanged a big fancy wedding for a much simpler one. That was incredibly generous of my dad. Thank you Dad! 

The decision ultimately came down to me. I was a very young, soon-to-be bride, who wanted my dream wedding. So I chose the beautiful, fancy wedding over the fantasy honeymoon. I don’t regret my wedding at all. I do regret not choosing Paris. I would like to tell twenty-two year old me, “Go to Paris, you dummy!”. My choice was made, and we had a fantastic honeymoon. Lots of great food and fun in an amazing city. 

We have nothing exciting planned to celebrate our anniversary today. Tom is working 12 hour night shifts right now, and he works tonight and all weekend. But that’s life. And sometimes, that’s married life. You go through challenges and challenging times. You have mountaintop experiences where you are high-fiving each other because you made it with the Lord’s help. And when you are in the valley together, you hug each other, and hold on to one another, and trust God to make a way. And He does make a way, every time. 

So today I celebrate my husband, Tom. He’s a good, Godly man, who leads our family, and works tirelessly to provide for us. I also celebrate the wonderful gift of marriage. God made marriage and it is good. Thank you Lord for carrying us all these years. It is by Your amazing grace that we are here today. You get all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise!

A little side note. I keep every card Tom has given me over the years because the words mean so much. He has always chosen the most gorgeous cards and I cherish them. I am a card hoarder. I feel better now that I confessed. Here is one of the anniversary cards he gave me, several years ago. It’s so pretty! 

 

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And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Thanks for coming along with me today!

Love you all,

Meghan

Food

Grilled Salsa Roja

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My family loves salsa. We have eaten so much of this wondrous, spicy, delectable sauce over the years that it flows through our veins. That may be a slight exaggeration, but we have consumed our fair share of every kind of salsa. We love everything from restaurant salsa to store bought. Our favorite salsa is homemade.

Fresh salsa can’t be beat. This super simple recipe for salsa roja is fantastic. Just as good, if not better than any restaurant. A few minutes on the grill brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes while adding a rich flavor. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender works well too. If you have never made salsa this is a great one to try. 

Happy Eating!

You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

 

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Grilled Salsa Roja

Ingredients

2 lbs Roma tomatoes

1 large onion cut in half

3 to 6 garlic cloves

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper

juice of 2 limes

3/4 – 1 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Grill onion halves for 5 to 10 minutes. Long enough to char the onions, then remove them.
  3. Grill the tomatoes and jalapeño long enough to char them. When the tomato skins split on all sides remove them from the grill. This takes just a few minutes.
  4. Using tongs, remove the tomato skins and cut off the stems.
  5. Place grilled tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. Or place all ingredients in a regular blender and blend.
  6. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Notes:

  • Half of one jalapeño gives the perfect amount of spice. Add more or less to make it as hot as you like.
  • Add more or less garlic to your preference.

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Food

Steak and Potato Foil Packs

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Steak and potato foil packs make a perfect summer meal. Tender steak and savory potatoes melt in your mouth. No need to heat up your oven on a hot day. Throw these foil packs on your grill, and in about thirty minutes you will have a delicious supper.

Foil packs are often used while camping, which is a great idea. You can easily cook them on your grill too. This simple, flavorful dinner adds variety to your cookouts. You don’t need to marinade the steak. Just toss everything together and cook. The most time consuming part is the prep, but so worth it.

If you’ve never made foil packs I hope you give these a try. They are yummy!

Happy Eating!

For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29

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Steak and Potato Foil Packs 

Yield: 4 servings 

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 lbs top sirloin steak cut into thin 1 inch pieces

1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

juice of one lime

4 cloves crushed garlic

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)

fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

4 tablespoons butter (1 T. each) for the top of meat/potatoes before sealing the foil 

Equipment

heavy duty aluminum foil cut into 4 large squares approximately 12 x 12 inch

 

Instructions 

  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, worcestershire sauce, lime juice, garlic, thyme, parsley, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flake.
  2. Add steak, potatoes, and onion. Mix really well to coat everything.
  3. Drizzle about a 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each foil square. Evenly divide the steak and potato mixture between the four pieces of foil.
  4. Salt and pepper each pile, and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the top.
  5. Fold the foil in half like an envelope. Tightly seal the sides and top with a double fold.
  6. Grill the foil packs over medium high heat for 15 minutes per side, for a total of 30 minutes.
  7. Let the foil packs sit for 5 minutes before opening. They will be very hot. Carefully cut a small “x” shape at the center and peel back the foil. Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Notes 

  • The steaks will be well done using this method. If you prefer your steak with some pink at the center you will need to cut the steak into 2 inch pieces and cook for 10 minutes each side, or until desired doneness. The potatoes will need to be boiled for 5 minutes before adding to the seasoning mixture and before grilling, if you want medium steaks.
  • While grilling the packs, rotate them a few times per each 15 minutes so they don’t burn.
  • Use the heat of the grill, and try and avoid the flame. If you want to place the foil packs over direct flame you will need to double the foil to prevent burning. 
  • Only turn the foil packs over once on the grill. 
  • If a foil pack tears just add another piece of foil over the tear and continue grilling. 

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Photo credit: Meghan E. White 

sickness

The Prayer Shawl

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The memories of my mom came flooding back when I found this blanket in a closet. I was looking for something, I don’t remember what, when I saw what I thought was a blanket folded up. Then I remembered, Mom’s friend had knit this prayer shawl for her during her chemo treatments for lung cancer.

While I was at my mom’s house right after her death I spent maybe an hour or two going through a small amount of her stuff. This prayer shawl was handed to me by her husband, and I just added it to my little pile of keepsakes. I had not given it a second thought until the other day when I took it off the shelf.

Mom’s precious friend knit the prayer shawl and prayed over it while she was creating this sweet gesture of love. The three stitch pattern represents Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each time mom wrapped the prayer shawl around herself she was reminded that God’s love covered her.

The prayer shawl has no magic or special powers. It is just a beautiful symbolic picture of God’s love and the power of prayer. When I look at the prayer shawl I see kindness and compassion from a dear woman who cared about my mom. To make something with your hands for the sole purpose of encouraging a suffering human is an act of love.

I am grateful to have this lovely prayer shawl as a reminder of my mom’s suffering and the love of our Heavenly Father holding her in His mighty hands. She was covered in the best way possible, by the power of God. Mom still had pain and cancer never left her body, but God, carried her through all the way home.

The prayer shawl reminds me to pray for the hurting. To lift others up, and be an encouragement when surrounded by discouragement. To pray for God’s covering over the sick and suffering.

Christians are to be people of prayer, all the time. Now, more than ever we must be fervent in our prayers. Don’t stop praying. Pray all those big prayers that are absolutely impossible in our strength. Pray and ask God to heal, to save, comfort, convict, to seek and save the lost. Pray, and pray, and pray.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24, NIV

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

We praise and thank You for Your goodness, faithfulness, and love. There is none like You. We lift up all those who are sick. Heal them, comfort them, and draw them close to You. Cover them in Your love. Encourage all the sick and suffering. You are close to the brokenhearted. May they feel You closer than ever.

In Jesus precious name,

Amen