When I first met the man who would become my husband, back in 2010, he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and had kind eyes and I decided within a few short hours that I liked him very much. He drank raw milk and talked openly about the mom he’d lost and never seemed like he was trying to sell himself to me, not once. As soon as I knew I liked him, I wanted him to like me, obviously, since that’s the way we humans work (although honestly I have fought years of wanting even the people I don’t like to like me, because that’s how the little gods of approval and affirmation keep you in their hooks). Getting him to like me meant, subconsciously, not revealing too much about how I liked him and testing him out and being careful how much I shared, always thinking about how he was seeing me and why. Looking back, I guess I was crafting a version of myself, at least on some level, the way blogs and Facebook profiles and short interactions can let us craft versions of ourselves for all the people that we know now. But eventually we were dating and then planning to get married and then sharing everything from a bathroom to a bank account in daily life, and Tim no longer knew any pretty, packaged version of me; I couldn’t control my personal PR campaign; he knew the real me, the me who gets mad at people and who feels lazy and who has naturally wavy hair falling out everywhere she walks. And I in turn knew the real him, the him who falls asleep mid-conversation if it’s too late at night and the him who would happily spend all day and night researching detailed information about topics I can barely discuss. I say all this so that when I tell you the joy of loving and being loved by Tim now, in all our mutual faults and awkwardness, is so much sweeter than the joy of being loved by him when he knew only parts of me communicated over the phone or in blocks of dating afternoons and nights, you’ll understand what I mean. Knowing and being known by another person is terrifying and sometimes embarrassing but ultimately, when the person sees you and still loves you, one of the best and sweetest parts of life. Also, I am increasingly convinced, you can’t really love someone you are always trying to impress; you need them too much; you aren’t free to selflessly give.
Since Tim’s been a smoothie person since I met him, it’s no surprise those early dating days had me happily hooked on smoothies myself. In fact, for years now, we’ve been drinking homemade smoothies together almost every day. The usual formula is essentially milk + banana + frozen fruit, sometimes with greens or Perfect Food powder added in, sometimes with a nut butter or cocoa powder, once in a great while with chia seeds or chocolate or leftover homemade ice cream. But, ever since fairly early in my pregnancy, the baby’s had me liking icy, rather than frothy, drinks, and so we’ve given our smoothie routine a little makeover that means no milk and lots of ice and, you guys, are you already in the know about what a difference this makes? So refreshing! So satisfying! And, over the last few days, this orange ginger version has been the one I always want to make.
One more thing on relationships and trying to impress people and knowing and being known: These two articles are excellent and life-changing, and the book from Tim Keller, Tim and I have listened to probably a dozen times by now. I am continually, ever increasingly, learning what it means to find acceptance and value outside of myself and people’s opinions and inside the One who loved me before I knew Him, and these are some resources that have really helped.
- “Shame, the Image of God, and Finding Freedom to Love”
- “The Healing of Shame and ‘A New You'”
- The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy
Orange Ginger Sunshine Smoothie
Makes 4 cups/32 ounces (or enough for 2 16-ounce servings)
Not only does this smoothie look like sunshine (that color! hellllloooo), but also it’s loaded with antioxidants from the oranges, potassium from the bananas and happy, spicy magic from the ginger that lately I want to eat on everything, everywhere, all the time. Bonus: ginger’s known for being anti-nausea, so if you are struggling at all with being sick to your stomach, working more of this spice into your diet is a win-win.
4 oranges, peeled
1 banana, peeled
2-inch wedge ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cup water
12 pieces of ice
Maple syrup, to taste (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree on high speed for about a minute or, until smooth. Taste and add a little maple syrup to sweeten, if desired.
PS! As always with smoothie recipes, this is just a guide and can easily, conveniently be adapted specifically and exactly to your particular tastes.