Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Inspiration and Preparation

Doesn't this look good? - the color of the sauce and the chicken just screams flavor!  This is supposed to be the final product of a recipe I snagged from an internet search for crockpot lemon chicken recipes.  I hope mine comes out looking this good.  The recipe calls for prepping a whole chicken for the crockpot which I'd like to try but am afraid one chicken may not be enough for my guests tomorrow night.  So I am going to follow the recipe as much as possible but will cut up two chickens.  I'm serving this with a Brown Rice and Barley Pilaf I will make up as I go.  I love doing pilafs - the ingredients depend on what's on hand in the fridge.

Will also prepare a salad with croutons and ranch dressing.  I found a great recipe for the croutons and dressing at the Food Network and it was so good when I made it last week I've been wanting it again.  If you decide to try this, my advice would be to reduce the garlic in the dressing.  It calls for 5 cloves but it was way too hot.  I think 1 large clove is probably enough.  And I omitted the cayenne pepper.  Would have liked it myself but no one else would have....Here's the recipe link: 

So my dinner this week was inspired by this picture but also by the fact that I need to try and cook from my pantry this week - no big grocery store trips for this meal plan this week.  I have the whole gang coming for Shavuot this week-end and even with everyone bringing a few things, the expense is enough that I wanted to be extra frugal for the Sabbath meal.

In thinking about my Sabbath plans this week I also began thinking about my spiritual plans for Shavuot.  The omer counting is supposed to prepare our hearts spiritually as we anticipate the approaching feast day but every year I start out with a bang and end up in a scramble to prepare my heart just before the count ends.  This year is no different.    I'm not really happy with myself right now - very disappointed actually.  But I have hope that as I delve into the Word I will find the inspiration I need to prepare my heart before my L-rd.  His Word never fails to inspire me and motivate me to come clean before Him and to seek His will once again.  Sanctification is a process and G-d has set up His feast days to get our attention as we veer off the path.  His ultimate purpose is to draw us close to Him (korban) through the sacrifice and covering of Yeshua so that we will be ready when He calls us home.  My salvation prayer when I was six years old was that G-d would never forsake me and would do whatever it took for me to make it to heaven.  I am so glad He pursues us relentlessly. 

When I feel so disappointed in my failures and shame overwhelms me over my sins, I have only to read the wilderness journey and the frequent failings of my ancestors to be reminded that G-d's faithfulness never fails and His mercies are new every morning.  I also remember David and his huge failures but also the beautiful prayers he left for us from psalms like Psalm 51 - take not thy Holy Spirit from me and restore unto me the joy of my salvation.....David's sins were ever before him also but he leaned on His G-d to preserve his life (vs 3). 

So if you are looking for inspiration for Shavuot preparation, you need look no further than your Scriptures.  It is true that G-d is only a prayer away.

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