Lisa is best friend and wife to Andy. They have 4 great kids. She works at Central Christian School as the Director of Development. In her free time, she tries hard to listen to God, stays up too late watching great shows with Andy, and enjoys cooking, crafting and camping with their crew.
My Favorite Season/Kitchen Tool/Spot in my house: I just love fall, don’t you? I discovered it as an adult. I’m from Texas, where there are only two seasons. Discovering the other two has been a real gift. My favorite is fall. Cool, crisp air. Sweaters and jeans. Warm drinks. Camping. All of it. I love it.
One of my very favorite things about fall seems so mundane, but I relish it every year. I love a great crockpot meal. I’m a full-time working wife and mom of four. The crockpot makes me feel like I’ve really got this busy life thing licked! (which is laughable) I mean I can throw it all in before we leave in the morning, and there’s a healthy meal on the table when we get back. It seems so simple, but it makes me feel like I’ve cheated in some way. The stress of dinner prep is gone. I can relax, sit down at the dinner table (my favorite spot in my house) with my family, and really listen when they tell me about their day. That’s what it’s all about for me. It gives me the ability to be present, instead of feeling like I just rushed through another chore. Fall gives me permission to use that old crockpot once or twice per week. Being present with my entire family together more than once per week is a gift, and I don’t take it for granted. It sounds silly, but I know someday sooner than I would like I will be sitting across from my husband at the table over a crockpot meal. We will enjoy our meal, but we will miss the chatter of our kiddos sharing their days with us.
My Favorite Recipe: That brings me to my favorite crockpot recipe! It’s called Crockpot Sunday Sauce, and it’s from Half Baked Harvest. We love it! It’s great over pasta, or by itself with great bread. It’s hearty and packed with flavor, which I find can be a challenge with a crockpot meal. I’m always on the lookout for really great ones! Enjoy!
My Favorite Drink: Continuing with feel good favorites, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention coffee. Of course I love it because it gives me a boost in the morning, but it’s so much more than that. The aroma of brewing coffee takes me back to growing up in the south. I have so many memories of playing around coffee tables in more homes than I can count…family members, neighbors, friends, babysitters…there was always a hot pot of coffee ready if anyone dropped by, no matter the time of day.
It floods me with college memories as well…studying or just sitting up listening to a friend. I can only imagine how many cups of coffee I’ve had with these girls. These are my besties from college. These pictures are taken 20 years apart. I love these girls, and I’d travel a long way to drink a cup of coffee with them.
I wake up in the morning, and I can hardly wait for my first cup. The house is quiet, and I’m typically enjoying it as a read a devotional or my bible. The taste and the smell warm me from the inside out. A friend recently said, “It’s self-care.” And, I completely agree.
My Favorite (previous) Job: I said previous job, because I truly love my current job. I am blessed to be the Director of Development at Central Christian School. It is a place that I love and that has loved my family well for ten years. I work with a team of people that lift the name of Jesus high and labor tirelessly to know each child and family we serve. I get to ask people to support God’s mission there. It’s a delight.
Back to this particular favorite previous job. I had the opportunity to work with children at a ministry called Faithful Friends. The kiddos and their families were in tough places. Think jobless, trapped in addiction, floundering in failing schools, and not having food for dinner tough places. We worked with schools in the City of Saint Louis to select children in Kindergarten to walk with through their school years. We wanted the ones that checked all of the boxes I mentioned and more. We were in their homes, finding resources for their families, going to parent-teacher conferences, attending IEP meetings, playing with them on the weekends and after school, and so, so much more. The work was hard and heartbreaking.
I had the privilege to work with a team of people that loved hard and cried a lot. We prayed each week for each child together, and my faith grew in ways that I never anticipated. In the end, I left that job to take better care of my own children. I still think about each child though. I wonder where they are and what they’re up to. I give praise for the seeds planted and the hours of laughter we shared.
I love that experience because God really showed me how He feels about each of His children. In our human brokenness, we categorize people. We judge and decide unconsciously who deserves what and that people’s consequences or life circumstances are a direct result of their actions or prior decisions. God showed me that is not always the case. Many situations are wrecked from the start. Sometimes you don’t do better because you don’t know better, and who decides what is better anyway (outside of loving Jesus)? What I love most about the Gospel is how easy it is to hear when nothing else in your life makes sense. I loved that job. It taught me so much about my Father and how He made me.
My Favorite Date: Turns out, my favorite date is always with Andy…pretty much no matter where we go. However, I do have a real fondness for a sushi meal with my guy. Of course it is one of my favorite foods, but more importantly like most things, it brings back so many memories. Andy introduced me to sushi, shortly after we met in Dallas. I’ll be honest. I acted like it was no big deal. You there and your raw fish…I’m not all that impressed, OK? Well, truth is, I was. I love trying new things, and the new guy with the new things…it was a winning combination.
It also makes me think about so many other milestones. Sushi, for us, is a celebration of big (and small) things…like expecting each one of our babies. I would wait my whole pregnancy for that special sushi dinner out after they got here. When you have 4 babies in 6 years, it becomes a thing J I can remember each dinner after each baby. Job change? Sushi. Run a marathon in San Franciso? Sushi. Build a house? Sushi. Such sweet memories. I would drop anything at all to go have sushi with my Andy.
Click HERE to return to the landing page for GNO: Our Favorite Things