Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Feeling Foodie

I'm feeling like a food editor or something by taking that photo up there. Doesn't it look like it should appear in Food magazine or Southern Living or something?
And let me tell you, it tasted as fabulous as it looks. Oh. My.

This pie was from a place called Dangerously Delicious pies in Baltimore. It kind of reminded me of my favorite coffee haunt, Rivertown. It was low key and locally owned. Mom got some scrumptious goat cheese spinach yumminess, and I had this luscious mixed berry pie. Good thing I don't live near there, or you'd have to roll me out the door...

In other foodie news, I'm taking a sushi class Monday! I'm so excited! I can't wait to learn how to make it for myself. I'm already thinking of that first bite of goodness.

I was thinking yesterday about all the good food out there, and how glad I am for taste buds and being able to enjoy tastes and textures and colors of food. Food, an essential to life, and yet something that brings such pleasure, and such communion with other people. Sharing food, sharing laughter, sharing life together while eating and nourishing our bones and our souls.

It's a beautiful thing.

It reminds me of the meal that Jesus urges us to remember together, the last token of His love toward us, as we remember His broken body, and recall His spilled blood. We break bread and drink wine together and realize afresh His love and forgiveness as He was ground up like wheat on the cross and crushed like wine beneath the feet of sinners. The greatest sacrifice remembered by breaking bread together, sharing in a meal together.

And that's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Smile

I just love the colors of this flower. I was walking along and quickly snapped a photo...and it just fascinates me, the shading and coloring and hues. I haven't changed a thing about this picture. It is straight from the camera.

I didn't realize how much I notice flowers until I started posting the pictures on my blog. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012


The value of silence is often overlooked these days. It's such a busy world. Time for silence and quiet in which to just be and think becomes rarer and rarer. The world keeps turning, and the rush never ends.
I don't mean just the absence of sound around me when I speak of silence. I mean a place of minimized distraction, where thought can occur and echo around in heart and mind. Where there is not another place to be, another person to reply to, another task to accomplish. The silence of a world at a slower pace.
I have been craving the silence of a world at a slower pace. My life has been jam packed. I've loved every minute of it, but it's not a state of being I wish to remain in forever.

I want to unplug.

So this summer that's what I'm going to do. I'm not going to text, facebook, or tweet. I'm going to take time to sit and enjoy the silence.
Perhaps the silence will allow me to write, to read, to focus on the people in the same room with me, instead of the ones on the screen.

I'm sure it'll be a bit of a culture shock to go from constant on-the-go-electronic-connection to a life of no replies, re-tweets, or text messages. But I'm curious about how it's going to turn out. Will I miss it? Will I find something better? Will being unplugged make it too hard to be in relationship with others?
It's an experiment I am anxious to try.

I hope the silence will lead me toward Christ, toward hearing the whisper of His voice in my heart. I hope it leads me toward a more thoughtful existence, toward deeper relationships instead of shallow ones that never move beyond a "like" now and then. I hope the silence will grow new thoughts and new ideas and greater creativity.

So if I'm a little quieter in the coming weeks, know that I'm just being silent, soaking in the world around me, and taking time to notice and think about things I can see and hear and touch, rather than a screen of virtual life.  I want the real deal, and I'm taking a bold step to see if it still exists.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Minutes

I have 5 minutes before time to move to the next thing. 5 minutes for a blog post!

Some things I've been happy about:

  • A new Spanish/English Bible. Hopefully this will help my Spanish!
  • The last days of a really fun job. I've enjoyed it so much, and hate to see it end. 
  • Friends who call and text and go on coffee dates. :) 
  • Mom time. She's my bestie.
  • Time to just sit and swing on the porch.
  • Answers to prayers, and sitting back to see them happen. Always so cool.
  • A particularly satisfying project being completed.
  • Sunny days that I get to enjoy outside! I love my job!
  • The grace of God that transcends everything. 

I'm praising Jesus for the strength He gives, the love He offers and the assurance that He will always be with me.

Thanks be to God.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Unworthy Servants

Luke 17: 7-10
"Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

I read this verse this week and was struck by it. I don't recall reading it before, but it really made me think of the myriad of things I do, expecting to be thanked. Things that are really just in the line of duty. Things that God just expects of me.

Loving my neighbor, serving others, training my heart toward peacefulness and upright godliness are expected things as the servant of God. And yet, these things are sometimes what I'm looking to be thanked for, or looking for pats on the back for accomplishing. In reality, they are things expected of a follower of Christ. In reality, they are part of the character, part of the role of a servant of God.

Sometimes, I think when I do something for God, I expect Him to be smiling and pleased with me, when I should be just thinking about it as being in the line of duty. At work, my boss does not thank me for accomplishing certain tasks. Sometimes those tasks are tedious or difficult to accomplish, but it is expected I do them, and do them well. I do not get extra thanks for them. It's my job to make sure the tasks are finished.

Doing hard things in my life, holding myself to a high standard, and keeping my heart loving and open to God's leading is what is expected of a Christ follower. I should not expect anything from these things, other than knowing that this is how it's supposed to work, how it's supposed to be in the kingdom of God. After all, I am God's unworthy servant, undeserving of anything. His love is what has redeemed me, His forgiveness has made me whole.

Something I've been mulling over this week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

:Bounce: :Bounce: :Bounce:

This is just a happy little post because I'm ready to bounce off the walls. And there's a lot to be happy about!

I just had a cup of coffee. It's Guatemalan, and was roasted in the last few days not too far from here. Gosh, was it good, too. I'm ready to tackle anything now! Coffee buzz, top notch.

God has been really moving and working in several situations lately, and I'm humbled that He'd take time to care for me like that. He answers prayers, brings strength, and heaps blessings upon blessings. I certainly don't deserve it! But I am deeply grateful. I'm so glad that I have a personal connection with the maker of this universe.

I'm so thankful for the many gifts and things God has done for me. Too many to count or mention, but they are crowding around me, demanding that I share the goodness of the Lord.

Psalm 9:1-2 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Few Notes On Caving

#1. I'm totally out of shape. How do I know? Because surely 8.5 hours in a cave would not leave me this sore and moving around like an old lady. I have a new sense of sympathy for those with severe arthritis, because I imagine they must feel similar pain when trying to do basic things like sitting or standing or walking. Today for PE the girls skipped around the gym. I thought I was going to die.

#2. I found my niche for sporting activities. Spelunking has to be the best one I've tried so far. Where others have to crouch or crawl, I can stand upright. Where others struggle to fit through crevices or small spots, I can not only fit, but also change position. Being small has suddenly become a much more desirable and positive trait.

#3. Whoever invented helmets is due a huge huge debt of gratitude. My brains need all the help they can get, and the helmet I was provided with certainly saved the little brains I do contain in my noggin.

#4. It feels good to get so dirty now and then. I don't believe I've had so much mud on me in years. I was covered head to toe in mud and dirt. And just as it felt good to get dirty, it felt equally nice to take a SHOWER.

#5. It's amazing how easy it is to lose all sense of direction in a cave. Perhaps climbing over rocks and sliding through passages known as "Suicide Crawl" has something to do with this.

Ok, so Saturday had to have been the most awesome and epic expedition of my small life. I just loved the cave, and enjoyed exploring everything. I loved seeing the secret hidden things in the dark, the crystals that glowed like sparkles and little stars, the rocks that were so big and solid and the interesting formations on all sides. A 450 foot waterfall. I picked up white cave crickets and examined a bat at eye level. It was amazing and totally worth the effort. I love little places, and I like mysterious things. The cave was certainly both.

I can't wait to go again.

I can't help but smile because God thought to make caves hidden away.

When we were in the cave, we were sitting on a ledge with a huge room before us. We turned off the lights and sat in complete, deep, darkness. There was absolutely no light, nothing to see.
Then someone on the opposite side of the room flashed their light.
One small light pierced the darkness.

I've been thinking on this. Perhaps more later on the one small light.

Friday, May 4, 2012

All Girl, Part Two

So I'm really excited about the next girly adventure...not dancing. No, this time, spelunking! I'm so excited! I hear this cave has a 40 foot waterfall, bats, and all sorts of formations to take in. Not to mention lots of mud and the opportunity to get soaking wet.
No perfume, dresses, or curled hair for this venture! Instead this time we're looking at clothes we can destroy and hiking boots and headlamps.

Mostly I'm excited about seeing the beauty of the world beneath us.
I always wonder about the secret places we don't even know about that God made and enjoys.
Perhaps I will catch a glimpse.