quejimenez Write. Garden. Write. Repeat. || Taking a little break from work to shop for a graduation dress. Maybe. If I see something special. Two months to go and all I can think about is the deep breath I'll take once I walk the stage. It has been a 6/7 year journey (straight through) to get from stay at home mom to MFA grad, and though I'm mentally tired, I'm grateful God's grace got me this far. Days like this, when I'm running out of steam to get to the finish line, this man picks me up, encourages me, tells me what a good writer, wife, mother I am. Pure love. And when I wonder if I look too boyish, with my kinky thick hair I make no time to style, he tells me I'm beautiful until I tell him I believe him. 21h

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quejimenez Everything. || Trying to capture the soul of this novel in words is like trying to capture, describe the flight pattern of swallowtail butterflies, or the way the wind thunders when a hummingbird is near. I want to write poems, I want to feel my own words. I want to better know my stories, my heart like Kambili in the novel and Chimamanda. I fell in love with Nigeria through these women's eyes, and feel closer to my Nigerian blood. My breath is stolen, perhaps, not once I breathed deeply while I read all 300+ pages in hours. And I am reminded, literature is a gift. Writing is such a honor. I've lost sight of that, and am grateful to have been reminded. 5d

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quejimenez Luke 7:47-48, 50 || "Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that's why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little. Then He (Jesus) said to her, "Your sins are forgiven...He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." This week in our Biblical marriage class we're learning about unconditional love and respect in a God-centered marriage. Who of us deserves love and respect unconditionally? I know that I don't. 🏾🏾 But as I learn to give both of these to my husband and receive them from Him, I am guided by God's unconditional love and mercy for us. Just like the sinful woman in Luke, who Jesus forgave and blessed, my heart is full of love and gratitude because I know to who much is forgiven, comes much love.

I love my husband unconditionally because he continues to love me despite my many faults, and he loves me unconditionally because I forgive him of his many wrongs. Reflecting on Luke 7:47-48 helped me to better understand how God designed marriage, how it is a reflection of our "marriage to Christ." Our love and bond strengthens as we are forced to love each other despite our wrongs. Our love and devotion increases as we are continually forgiven and loved despite ourselves. Likewise, my faith and devotion to Christ increases as He continually loves me.
In a lot of ways, gardening and the grace of my garden has prepared my heart for understanding this message. Often, I can be a neglectful gardener, but all the hard work that I sow into her is never unfruitful, she is merciful and continues to fruit despite my neglect, faithful that I will soon return. God is faithful to us, we are the ones who turn away.
Today, forgive someone, yourself, of something. Be merciful and unconditionally loving and respectful--to others and yourself. This beautiful Swiss Chard was patient with my lazy and neglectful gardening this season, yet I am still enjoying her fruits. The least I can do, in all the unconditional love and grace I receive, is give it to others. Be blessed today, y'all. Be good with your hearts. All love.
6d

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quejimenez Oh, Spring! || Look what we spotted growing in the garden amongst the chives blooming their beautiful, purple, oniony flowers!
What a beautiful vegetable! I'll keep my eye on her and not let her bloom! Have you ever seen the majesty that is artichoke flowers? And, I'll be surely careful to rinse all the earwigs/pinchers out before bringing her in. Last year, me and the kids had a serious situation when we brought in two artichokes filled with pinchers. Not fun. Having dozens of earwigs crawl out everywhere. Not fun at all!
2w

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quejimenez #momlife || Dropping everything to spend time with the kids and Mr. Today is the first day of spring break, and they work so hard, so many hours at school it is fun to stay in pajamas, eat carrot cake, and work on the hardest puzzle ever created in life. Seriously, this puzzle is pure torture, but we're having so much fun. Board games and leftovers when Papi gets home. Are we the only family crazy for puzzles? This is our 8th puzzle this year! Two were 500 pieces, and the rest 1000 pieces. Today's goal is to finish this one before Papi gets home. And then on to the next, a potato chip puzzle! If you know me, us, you know my/our weakness for potato chips. 2w

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quejimenez Happy Easter! || "Peace be with you." -Jn 20:19 Those are the words the risen Jesus spoke to the disciples. And they mean so much to me this beautiful day we remember Him.
My heart has been so soft and weepy the past three days, remembering His sacrifice for us, for me--my sins, your sins. Pastor Daniel preached such a good sermon--funny, inspiring, spiritual that really got me thinking about the hope I have in Christ. Really thinking about what and where I put my hope (Christ), and what I will do with my hope in Christ.
Being wife and mother, my work begins first at home, teaching my children the Gospel, helping them build a strong faith in Christ, along with being a wife who strengthens her husband. From there I pray to be of service and light for Him. To share the good news.
Where ever you are, I pray that you and yours are blessed and remember His sacrifice for us today and always. He is the reason for the season.
2w

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quejimenez Spring Cleaning. || It's been about 7 hours, me and E have been out working in the garden--weeding, clearing, cleaning. I've had lady bugs, praying mantis, flies, earwigs, all over me, and my hair (apparently) is full of dandelion and Mexican tarragon seeds. I'm exhausted and hungry, but so grateful for this time with my favorite guy, along with a cleaner garden, nearly ready for new plants. There still is a good number of 'winter' holdouts, just now finding their groove. Like the Fava beans, celery, and parsley pictured here. I have so much celery and parsley I'm seriously not sure what I'll do with it. Only so much we can eat in a meal. And how every could I preserve it? Perhaps freezer, or dehydrator? I'll leave that for another day. My allergies are full blown right now. Must hose myself down and then get ready for Easter dinner. Blessed Saturday to you and yours! 🌞 2w

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quejimenez Good Friday. || "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Jesus' cries on the cross, as He bore our Father's wrath against our sin, always humbles me and makes me want to weep. How could I ever express my gratitude, knowing I am not worthy?
But today, my Bible study leads me to Psalm 22, the Psalmist Jesus quoted. It opens with the same lament, but ends in full praise of God and all He is.
Jesus knew His suffering was greater than that hour, and that soon there would be a greater victory. This Psalm puts a greater context, a greater hope to the grief I feel remembering His suffering for us. "I will give praise in the great congregation because of You...They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness--what He has done." Ps 22:25,31
As you celebrate this weekend, remember Him. Praise Him. Lift up Him. Seek Him. Honor Him.
2w

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quejimenez Pineapple & Walnut Cardamon Spiced Cookies. || So I let the kids decide which recipe we'd make and they wanted something a bit 'wacky', different, and cookies since we just finished a pound cake. They were most excited about cookies with pineapple (top 3 favorite fruit for all of us). Have you ever heard of or tried pineapple cookies, with nuts? I just did.
I'm happy I decided to add cardamon and vanilla , because the pineapple flavor, even with the pineapple glaze, is subtle and the cookies aren't as rich, sweet, or tart as I expected. I only had a small bite, while they were still warm, so I'll be a much better judge of the flavor after they cool and I eat a whole one. Surely, they are good and a nice change of cookie pace. If they pass the taste test, I'll share the recipe.
3w

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quejimenez Brioche Burger Buns. || Spent all afternoon baking with the kids. We picked our first recipe from our collection of old church cookbooks, and when Papi called for lunch and said he wanted burgers for dinner, we decided to make homemade buns to make dinner extra special. These buns are huge! Our burgers will be drowned, but if the buns are as good as they smell, it's alright with us! This is my first time baking brioche bread, and I'm geeked to try them! 3w

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quejimenez Morning Prayer, Bible Study & Snack. || This year my life changed by making one simple change, each morning I begin in prayer and follow with Bible Study. Before email, social media, any and everything, I begin silently with God. Once prayer and study is underway, I send my husband a text reminding him of my love and gratitude for him, and then I get the kids up for breakfast and homeschooling.
Only then, once my priorities are set, I feel equipped to begin my day. God-Family-Everything Else.
What are your priorities? Is your life set-up to foster or hinder them? Beginning with God keeps me grounded and devoted to Him throughout my day. This simple morning ritual has given my life so much peace and guidance. I find it is so much easier to stay grounded in Him when I begin with Him. In fact, I find my conversations with Him never seems to end.
3w

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quejimenez Smorgasbord Cookbook Page. || Here is one of my favorite pages and books of the collection. This page is so well loved and seasoned with stains, recipes, and cook notes. The book itself is dotted with hand-written recipes, and newspaper clippings of recipes. One page has a hint of a fingerprint in the stains. The inside cover has a recipe "For Colds" that includes whiskey and butter, among other things. I wish I knew this woman's name, so I could thank her for her recipes, and recipe notes, and tell her what nice penmanship she has. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know her recipes will feed another family. || Cookbook: Smorgasbord Cookbook, University Lutheran Church of Hope Women's Society, Minneapolis 14, Minnesota, revised 2nd edition. No date, but I'm guessing mid-century or mid 1960s. 3w

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quejimenez Old Church Cookbooks. || I love old cookbooks. I read them like historical novels, especially the ones with stains, recipe notes, and newspaper clippings that shed light on the cook, the era. My collection grew much more special a few weeks ago when I stumbled on the cookbook section at my church's @thegrovecc x-lrg. rummage sale. This rummage sale is easily the largest in Riverside, with train crates full of stuff that over-filled our gym, outside area, and another gym-sized room. All I saw, amongst all that stuff, was these old, church cookbooks. The kind without copyright pages, dates, or traditional bookbinding. The kind of women's group cookbooks with hand drawn sketches, typed pages, and kitchen musings. The kind with handwriting, and stains, and names, and poems, and words like 'oleo' in recipes. These are family loved, treasured recipes. Their warmth and history and hints of long-gone eras humbles me. Me and the kids spent quite some time on the kitchen floor, going through and reading recipes. We can't wait to try so many of them, and cook our way through the books. Some recipes are a real hoot. Like the barbecue bear one. The boy says, "Ummm...where do we get the bear? Are we suppose to hunt our own bear? I'll eat a bear, but there's no way I'm hunting a bear." Me and the girl look and laugh at him, then I reassure him no bears will be barbecued or hunted in our house! || For the record, oleo is margarine, and I've gotten dates for a few of them, most date from mid-century, and two are centennial compilations, and one is a 75th Anniversary Cookbook. One centennial is from 1883-1983 (St. Paul Lutheran Church, Holstein, Iowa), and the other is from 1888 to 1988 (Anthon, Iowa Centennial Cookbook). The 75th is from 1916-1991 (Collegiate United Methodist Church, from Iowa). The cookbooks are also from all over the country. I've seen Ohio, Iowa, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Oregon, North Carolina, and then a list of cities I'd have to look up to find the states. In some of them, they have names and states from all over. What a treasure! 3w

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quejimenez Coffee Cake. || I wanted lemon pound cake, but the kids really wanted coffee cake. They almost always win; today we all win because the cake is good. Really good. But Sunday I get my pound cake. 3w

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quejimenez Spring Harvest. [Peas, Meyer lemons, rutabagas, and turnips.] || Today the garden humbles me with mercy and grace. No matter how neglectful I've been, she has found a way to self-care, and to remain fruitful in my absence .

As I strive to become a better Christian, a better wife & mother, I can't help but draw parallels between the garden's faithfulness and earnestness to produce fruit and my own. Am I consistent with my word, in my actions, in my faith, with the resources and gifts God has blessed me with? Despite my silence and absence, my garden continues to bear her fruits, to reap what I've sown, and it is a reminder for me to stay faithful, to continue to bear fruit through all seasons of my life. The busy times, the difficult times, the times of harvest and abundance--through it all remain steadfast with my heart, my faith, my actions, and my words.
3w

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quejimenez Waffles! Yay! || Tonight I roast two chickens (dinner for the rest of the week), fill the house up with the aroma of roasted chicken, and then mix up waffles, scrambled eggs, and hash browns for dinner. The kids come downstairs expecting chicken, and are happily surprised to discover waffles, instead. "Waffles?! Yay!" Why don't I make waffles more often? Especially for dessert? These would be perfect with almond milk ice cream, chocolate sauce, and walnuts. Waffle Sundaes--dessert this weekend. 4w
  •   quejimenez @lospapi Ha! Ha! It feels great! My kids had never had 'real' bacon, so it's exciting for them to learn a lot of new flavors and try new foods. It feels like a whole new world of flavors, textures to explore. My son wants to eat everything, steak, pork chops, he even asked me to make tongue! lol I'm like, boy! I don't know how to do that! Your oxtail recipe looks bomb! 4w
  •   quejimenez @caramelbella Thanks lady! They were so good and so simple/quick to make. 4w
  •   socialmolecules Mmmm I can almost smell through through the screen 4w
  •   lospapi Lol tongue I had sheep tongue. Soup in the banamas. 4w
  •   life_love_and_lavender_blog Following you! New friend 4w
  •   quejimenez @life_love_and_lavender_blog Following you too, my friend! Love your spirit and your blog post was the very words, reminder I needed to read! Blessing for your day! 4w
  •   quejimenez @socialmolecules Me, too! I want more! These lovely folks ate them all up! ️ I want to try chocolate dessert waffles now! @lospapi Woah! How was it? I hear tongue is good and tender. There is are popular tongue tacos in Mexico I *may* try one day. The taste buds sorta kinda freak me out! lol, maybe if my Mr. can remove them. 4w
  •   lospapi It's tender but good lol 4w

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quejimenez Matthew, Chapters 3 & 4 || Today I'm sharing my Bible journaling/notes in reading Matthew 3 & 4. A good portion of today's reading is on the temptations of Jesus, how He overcame them, and how I am learning to live a more Christ centered, God hungry life .
I've found, pursuing a life that honors God has given me true freedom to live my best life--one grounded in the purpose God has put in my life, a life He has designed me for. My prayer is to share this peace, this purpose, this life ground in His will with you.
4w

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quejimenez The Gospel of Matthew || Last week Edward and I started studying the Gospel of Matthew to herald in Easter. What better way to celebrate Easter than to dig into the Gospel and Good News we have in our Savior, Jesus Christ?

I'm deeply excited to share my notes, and insights I'm gaining in our study. The Gospels are among my favorite books of the Bible. They are a great place to learn and better understand the life, teachings, and salvation we receive in Christ .
Today, I have an overview of the Book of Matthew up, along with my notes from chapters 1 & 2. There is so much to learn and dig into Matthew I'm having a hard time not reading all the way through! I've read the book many times before, in pieces, but deeply studying it, slowing down and meditating on it has proven to be a deep blessing for my spirit. I've already had one or two deep spiritual cries from actually 'getting it' and feeling the power, love, and grace of God. I hope you can join me, and that we'll grow in faith and spirit together. Deep Blessings to You! (link in profile; posts under 'devotional')
4w

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quejimenez Happy Spring! || This has been one rip tide of a week, but we have all pulled through and Friday is here, full of magic. I wrote for a few hours straight, and earned the time to relax, unwind and enjoy family movie/game night. The kids finished big research essays with MLA citations and all, so they earned their cookies and fun night, too.
I've struggled so much with writing the past few months, and have prayed for God to help me pull the words I need to pull from myself, words that will do good beyond my life. Staring at this stack of 350 pages of poems and novel pages I can see and feel His will being done. I am absolutely in love with my poetry manuscript, and am falling back in love with my novel. I started over and now have over 60 pages, and only need 75! I think I can put my fears of satisfying my degree requirements aside, and just enjoy all the words and the process. Poetry MS is 48 finished pieces and if the novel makes 100, icing on the cake! All is well!
4w

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quejimenez Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! || Interrupting my life, homework, everything to unwind with E, brag about my kicking the pants out of his brackets so far, and get a little puzzle work in. So far, I've missed none and he's missed two. Let's see how this first round shakes out. Who else filled out brackets? Sis @thepeacelovelifeyogi let me see your brackets! #marchmadness 1mon
  •   tryhardlax32 Yeah but you know... You kind of cheated by filling it out after the first round 1mon
  •   fedrickaff Hahhaha go girl! I know b ball is your arena 1mon
  •   fedrickaff I don't know nuffin about them brackets 1mon
  •   quejimenez @tryhardlax32 No...we did them blindly. the first round is hardly over, btw, still a number of games and opportunities for me loose. (Which I'm sure I will.) @fedrickaff Believe it or not I actually never filled out brackets before or watched MM. This is my first year. Fill them out, it's fun. The guys play hard and got a lot of heart. Exciting. The game of Cinn vs. Purdue was good. 1mon

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