New Home

I'm glad you found my blog! Please visit my current blog at


Endorsements of the House in O_______ that We Will Most Likely Buy, Pending Home Inspection and Such

"That's the most beautiful house in the universe!"
- a 6-year-old nephew

"You could turn the garage into a nice potting shed."
- mother-in-law and former president of the West Virginia State Garden Club

(We did, in fact, place an offer on the 1930's bungalow-ish house in the town* on the river, and the seller countered with exactly the price we had hoped to pay. So we have a contract, pending various legal and financial approvals. Home inspection is Monday; please pray no major snafus come to light. We really love the house!
*You may have noticed that I'm borrowing a device from Jane Austen and referring to the town by its first letter only. If you live near us, you can probably figure out which town the house is in, but I'd rather not have the whole Internet know where to find us!)


Piping Through Some Links

I'm still trying to return to life as usual after the Na conference, so instead of coming up with original blog material, I'll pass on a few links to content I've appreciated over recent weeks. Each comes from a different member of the Piper family.

From Molly Piper - How to Help Your Grieving Friend, a series of practical tips gleaned from her experience after her daughter Felicity was stillborn last fall

From Abraham Piper - 12 Ways to Improve Your Blog by Serving Your Readers

From John Piper - How a Roman Catholic Anti-Calvinist Can Serve Today's Poet Calvinist, an intriguing tribute to one of my favorite books, G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Here's one quote from the essay:
"One of the reasons that Calvinism is stirring today is that it takes both truth and mystery seriously. It’s a singing, poetry-writing, run-through-the-fields Calvinism." (HT Justin Taylor)

Now, I'm off to eat dinner with my in-laws...


Greek Chicken Kebabs

My pal from In Search of Morning Sickness reminded me recently that I haven't posted a recipe in a while. I tried a new recipe recently for Greek kebabs, which ended up not being kebabs because I couldn't find our skewers. So here's my modified version:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces (about 24)
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1" pieces (about 16)
1/2 small red onion, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp white or red wine vinegar, divided
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup fresh mint leaves
salt & pepper

In a resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, zucchini, onion, oil, oregano, and 2 tbsp vinegar; season generously with salt & pepper. Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Preheat broiler; place rack 4-6" below heat. Line a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss marinated chicken and vegetables onto prepared pan. Broil, turning at least once, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 min. Meanwhile, make dipping sauce. Blend feta, yogurt, mint, and remaining tbsp vinegar until smooth.* Serve chicken and vegetables over rice, with dipping sauce.

If you can find your skewers, you can thread the chicken, zucchini, and red onion onto them, in alternating fashion, and then grill them for about 15 min.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I'm going to the New Attitude conference, and I'll resume posting when I get back.

*I used my immersion blender and its handy measuring container accessory for the sauce. I love this tool! If you don't have one, a food processor will work just fine for making the sauce.


A Calcium Supplement for Osteoporosis of the Soul

As part of my current Bible reading plan, I am in the book of Proverbs. I recently read a verse that gave me a chance to reflect on how much spiritual fruit God has graciously brought about in my heart over the course of this trial of infertility.

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot (Prov. 14:13).

I remembered how, a year or two ago, this verse arrested my attention. Jealousy of friends who were pregnant or had children was a daily struggle at the time, and this verse helped me to see how very serious my sin was. It also aided me to choose what to think when those moments of temptation to envy surged. I mean, given the options of rotting bones or life-filled flesh, the decision is pretty obvious! The words of this verse spurred me on to pursue the tranquil heart that comes from trusting God even when other people's pregnancies and babies lay like large fallen trees across my trail. Reading this verse again encouraged me so much, to see how the Lord has given me grace to put the sin of envy to death. I certainly haven't attained a heart perfectly free of the green monster. But I have gradually learned to tune out the voice that says I should resent my friends for having the blessings I want and to tune in to the glorious channel that broadcasts the blessings I have in the gospel. I am so grateful for this more peaceful state!

Earlier this week, I was emailing with a friend about the sin of jealousy, and I was reminded of a couple of resources (in addition to the Proverbs verse) that have helped me in the battle. One is a post from the GirlTalk blog, "A Battle Plan for Fighting Envy." The other is an article from Tim Challies' blog, "When the Critics Rave, I Weep" (this one is loaded with excellent quotes). I thought I'd share these links today as an encouragement to anyone else who is fighting jealousy along with me.


I Have a Little More to Say Now *updated*

So, here's what's happening on the house front. We first went out to look on Monday morning, thinking we'd get a gradual start. On the way to meet the realtor, we prayed to find a home that would serve for hospitality and outreach. We didn't like much of what we saw that morning, and the one house we did really like was in a neighborhood that didn't feel completely safe. We hadn't completely ruled it out, and we knew it would probably sell fast (by far the nicest thing in that price range), so we felt suddenly compelled to look at other homes as soon as possible in order to compare.

So, we set up an appointment to see a house in another town on Wednesday evening; that one was gorgeous outside but severely disappointing inside - it really would have needed to be gutted and entirely remodeled. At that point, I felt pretty discouraged. I thought looking at homes would be so fun and exciting, but instead I felt frustrated and anxious that we wouldn't find anything appealing that we could afford. I had to constantly tell myself that the Lord had the right home for us and would lead us to it.

Then, we went out again on Friday afternoon. Aaron almost couldn't make it because of last-minute work complications, but he did manage to meet me and the realtor before we left the first home. That day, we found three homes that we could picture ourselves living in! One ended up having a contract on it, so right now we're down to two options that we really like, both in the downtown area of a cute town on a river. We've placed a long-shot offer on one (our first and maximum bid is significantly under the asking price); it's a two-story frame house built in 1920, all updated inside and nicely landscaped. If the seller of the first house doesn't accept our offer, we'll bid on the second home, a bungalow-ish house built in 1930 that has great bones but would need some updating inside and out. And maybe neither will work out, but I have faith that we'll find a good home soon. Exciting stuff!

edited to add: as we pretty much expected, the seller of home option #1 wasn't willing to work with our offer; we're working on cobbling together an offer for home option #2, and I'm feeling lots of anticipation about this one!


Range, Range on the Home

It's been a quiet week here at Chez Entrusted. Why? Because Aaron and I are house-hunting, and the search for Chez Patterson has absorbed all my time and mental energy. And that's all I have to say about that.


Another Way of Escape I'm Not Going to Try: Closing My Eyes, Sticking My Fingers in My Ears, and Singing "La La La La"

Infertile women worldwide are currently hovering in dread of the weekend. This Sunday is the Day That Shall Not Be Named. When all the moms in church are asked to stand and be honored, I will be tethered to my seat by the short cord that feeds electricity to the neon sign on my forehead flashing, "Not a Mom! Not a Mom!" Or at least that's what it feels like. Every year as the second Sunday of May approaches, I start to imagine scenarios that would excuse me from church for just that one day - sickness, vacation, or at least a sudden need for a bathroom break conveniently sandwiched between singing and the sermon. A long bathroom break. On the other side of the building.

But ladies, we have a better escape route than running away from the Day That Shall Not Be Named. Can I paraphrase 1 Corinthians 10:13 for us?
No temptation to self-pity, envy, or anxiety has overtaken you that is not common to women (yes, even the fertile ones). God is faithful, and he will not let the second Sunday in May tempt you beyond your ability, but on the Day That Shall Not Be Named he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure even a holiday that puts the spotlight on your heartache and yearning by celebrating the women who have what you don't. That way of escape looks different for each of us, but I can tell you this: I'm going to run to Jesus, and not to the ladies' room.


Last week, I shared with a friend how weary I felt after learning that the trial of infertility had not yet come to an end. She encouraged me with Hebrews 12:3.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint-hearted.

What gospel-motivated grace to persevere! When I feel weary and faint-hearted, I need to consider my Savior. He endured the cross for the joy set before him (see the preceding verses in Hebrews 12), the joy of victoriously reconciling people to God through his death and resurrection. He endured those who beat him and mocked him, though he had done nothing to deserve such a punishment. I was one of those hostile sinners until he saved me. My sins are so much worse than any of my sufferings, and yet Christ shed his blood to pay for my sins. Considering the One who endured such enmity and such pain in my place gives me a second (or two-hundred-and-second) wind to keep running, even when infertility sometimes leaves me feeling breathless.


Random Things Come in Threes

Veronica of Toddled Dredge tagged me for a post that lists three random things about me. (And how honored am I to be tagged by one of my favorite bloggers?) Without further ado, here's the list:

1) In my junior year of college, I thought I wanted to go on to get my Ph.D. in literature and become an English professor. In my junior year of college, I met Aaron. As we prepared for marriage, we decided that graduate school wasn't the best option because we wanted to be young parents. Yeah, that's gone really well. Ironically, I could have completed a doctoral program by now. However, I don't regret the choice I made (especially since we're now this close to paying off all of our school loans).

2) This is only indirectly about me, but I've had the opportunity to re-tell this story in the past few weeks, so it's fresh on my mind. My family comes from the Netherlands, and my grandparents still lived there at the time of WWII. (My mom was born at the end of the war, and the family moved away shortly afterwards.) My grandparents lived on a farm, and my grandfather (not the one that recently passed away, but the one still kicking in Texas) was the village carpenter. The family used their farm to hide some people from the Nazi army (mostly young men in danger of being conscripted by the enemy, but also a rabbi). As the German invasion approached, the townsfolk came to my grandfather and asked him to use his carpentry skills to hide all of their valuables (paintings, jewelry, etc.). At the end of the war, everyone returned to my grandpa to find out where their belongings were. He said, "You've been sitting on them every Sunday." He had built false bottoms to all the pews in church and stored all the valuables there. It wasn't until the 1990's that my grandparents shared these stories with any of their children or grandchildren.

3) Veronica mentioned in her list of three random things that she enjoys meat with sweet sauces. I actually dislike sweet-flavored meat dishes. The combination of tastes seems wrong to me somehow, as if they stay too distinct rather than blending together. I much prefer savory meat recipes, with garlic or onions and a decent dash of salt.

I'll tag some new blog friends: Mya, Jill, and Brenna (who is not a new friend but has a new blog).