Thursday, December 30, 2010

In the Quiet of the Night...

Last night I lay on my bed, head in my hands as I found myself mulling over the same things I seem to habitually think about. Finally, when I realized my train of thought was only taking the same well-trodden paths (paths one can only mull over so many times before they become monotonous...) I finally stopped everything simply to listen. Some of my favorite sounds are those of nature: early morning 5 a.m. as the world awakens from its slumber and late, late night... As it happened it was one-something at night and I was still not sleeping. Confession: I usually sleep with a fan on, in need of some steady background noise, but as I had just decided to lay in silence I made no move towards the fan. Steady was the patter and splash of the raindrops outside my window, the wind seemed personified as the breath of the night's deep slumber. The trees with their branches like a tender hand, brushing the hair from its face of fear.

Yet, despite the occasional moan from the restless breeze, there reigned a calm that seemed to stem from somewhere deep... a sigh as the wind passed my window, as if knowing the morning would bring the answer to whatever questions held the dark blanket of worry over the night's eyes. And so I took the advice from the sounds of the night and slept. Can I say I found answers to my questions when I awoke this morning? I can not, but I'm learning to continue in God's strength and guidance as I wait. I'm learning that I can be open with God about even my most frequent doubts. I know He has done miracles in my life - I have many answered prayers accounted for and to testify of - Regardless, it remains difficult to wait for the one thing I've been praying for, for what seems like years. But, I trust that God is working steadily there too - as He is working and has worked in the smallest details of my life... and just as steadily as he listens to my heart when it is lonely, impatient or confused about my future. He, above all, understands me and I know Him as my dearest, most precious friend and I only hope to understand Him more as I continue on paths of discovery in this life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chewy Brownie Cookies

This is a favorite cookie recipe that we pull out for all sorts of occasions, but it is perfect for Christmas with a cup of hot chocolate or glass of eggnog. I hope you love these as much as we do and I wish you a merry merry Christmas!

Chewy Brownie Cookies

2/3 cup shortening (or butter)
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 tbs water or milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
1 cup chopped nuts

*Baking tip: add a squeeze of lemon juice to the batter: This activates the baking powder and keeps cookies softer longer. Another way is to place a slice of banana bread in with your cookies in the storage container because this also keeps them moist.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat shortening/butter, brown sugar, water and vanilla on medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda/powder. Gradually add to sugar mixture beating on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons on cookie sheet.
Bake 7 to 9 min or until cookies are set.

Cool 2 min, and remove from cookie sheet to foil paper or cooling racks.

I like to serve these fresh from the oven.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FAIL... or not to fail...

I really don't have much to say, other than the fact that I had not yet realized how much I'd allowed school to take from me... in light of being rested and maintaining my creativity this semester. Yet... as I sit here at 12:55 this Friday night, in the quiet of my living room, I've already devoured one book through and through: finally time to read! Most of my household have found their beds, my dozing siberian husky is at my feet, and the hum and crackling of a warm fire is in the hearth... I won't be found wanting... regardless of how I am tempted to feel: exhausted. However, I shan't succumb to the wearies placed in temptations way for me to exclaim ownership over. It's so simple: look for the curses and the misfortunes and ye shall find them; look for the blessings and the gifts of grace and ye shall find them.

What have I to complain of? So I am in debt from my pursuit of education. So I am exhausted mentally and physically from this same pursuit... I am alive. I can feel my blood pulsing through my veins and through my yearning heart. It's a heart that wishes to continue to know my Savior more and to not be quieted as it was this semester in the din of all chaos and attempts to control destiny... It's a lonely heart at times, yet, beats for the cause of health and vigor to continue forward... to see what lies ahead.
I must express a peace at finally being home after such a semester and am contented to see how my holiday pans out.

And ps: one particular delight of my evening was the moment when my own dear mother decided to comment on her disdain for a certain mac product not meeting her expectations. She promptly stated aloud, "FAIL." :) Oh the things we pass on even to our parents.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's so easy...

Sometimes when I sit down at the end of the week, as I'm doing now, I don't even know what to do with myself. Honestly, I wonder if it is going to be like this forever. It's not that it's bad, it's just not extraordinary. I wrote last of feeling melancholy; it's a feeling which has apparently decided to take root in my soul this weekend. Although ultimately reflective of a large portion of my character (half sanguine, half melancholy... go figure that one out...) I don't hold disdain towards these feelings when they come upon me, the portion I find disconcerting is when I don't have the time to revel in them. I enjoy quality alone time, or even quality one on one time with my friends just as much as I love being in a group environment. Only, I am thankful for the ability to sit here in the quite of my apartment and simply write. I underestimate the enjoyment I find in touching my fingers to the worn, black squares of this keyboard. I underestimate the importance of taking time to myself, for renewal in my Savior...

Opening my eyes at 5 this morning, it was yet dark outside, and the first words on my lips were in prayer. I felt this overwhelming need to pray. I woke up praying about everything I could even imagine that may be in need of prayer. My mind keeps flitting to the song by Leeland called "Tears of the Saints." I'm going to post it here. I have talked to so many lately, my own family, my friends, strangers and children of our Father in Heaven, all who are hurting and crying out to God. This is not a joyous time of year for everyone. There are the most basic needs that are seeming to be neglected and unheard by God. Yet we stretch out our hands, we reach them out: All of us. Whether for more, whether for lack of, whether for need or want. We, all of us need. Yet, in my human nature I have yet to learn to let go, to accept lack of understanding as an answer: don't know if I'm supposed to? It is this paradoxical paradigm of push and pull wrapped around the deepest parts of human nature, until we become desperately turned around from contemplation, drowning ourselves in circles.

One could sit and wonder about the endless tragedies that gouge the face of this earth, that leave our minds, pock-marked and sallow in bewilderment that certain things even occur. In fact, perhaps this is why you can even find me sitting here in my living room writing this. My week has left me numb. I will not pretend to hold answers or to offer some deep philosophical enlightenment to the questions I've referred to. All I can do is encourage you, my friend, and to encourage myself to look from where we have come. We are here, in this very predicament, whether favorable or not, for a reason. I would not go back to where I was any more than I would forsake the growth I have obtained from coming from it. I only wish to move forward. It does me no good to wallow in the strikes pooled against me.

This world is not my home. Though the tears of the saints flow as a dark ebony ribbon, we have an intercessor of whom we may thank for the ability to find hope in even crying out at all. All I know is that were it not for Christ's death on the cross I would not have hope: for the crushing of his connection with the Father, all for the sake of that moment when his breath was renewed again in his broken body... so that we might draw OUR breath from him... All I know is that I cling to this. I offer no answers save the ones that find light in the fact that our Savior is risen, and this is not our home.

I beseech thee, my friends, let us not give up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's new?

It is finally the end of the semester, and as I'm wrapping up classes that I've mostly enjoyed and at the same time have dreaded, I'm finding myself rather melancholy. Perhaps I am only tired. But what ever it is that's pulling me down, I'd like to kick it to the curb. I don't have time right now to thoroughly enjoy a nice melancholy mood. Usually I like to wait it out with lots of blogging and write a song or two, or paint something, but as I don't have time to do any of these things at the moment, mr. melancholy you shall simply have to wait. I enjoy you, and I appreciate you, but my life needs to hang on to some more sanguine smiles for now... at least until tests are over and I can finally sit down with an ink pen and some clean pages, or even a lovely book to curl up with. Then yes, it will be farewell society and hello my melancholy bliss!

I'm just not at liberty to rendezvous yet.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today I have been especially blessed by a song. It is absolutely beautiful. I haven't written anything since August. But I had to share this. It's a song by the Christian music artist Phil Wickham called "You're beautiful" from his album Cannons. I'll share it with you below here. Please be blessed and enjoy. I could literally close my eyes and lean back, and set it to repeat. It encompasses the relationship between a person and Christ how we can end up falling completely in love with Christ as we get to know Him: as we get to know His character we see He is beautiful.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Here is Your Friday...

Alot of things come to mind upon the contemplation of Friday's definition: day of relief due to the coming weekend rest; a sort of breather from the week, another day of work for some, or my favorite: Day of preparation.

But why do I wait til this day to prepare for Sabbath? Sure I'm not off going crazy during the rest of the week, but I'm certainly not ALWAYS intune and the room of my heart is not always as clean as it should be. I will not pretend that I am perfect; I am not beholden to the world. Yet there are times when I feel I have a debt but am in the dark as to whom I need to pay. These are the days that come with clouds covering eyes and slowing steps with threat of failure.

On Fridays I feel most the results of this debt lifted. I remember I need not lean on my own strength, but on the everlasting arms of One who Knows and Loves me best. He knows everything about me and yet I continue in a state, bereft of knowledge concerning his character all because I do not take the time.

Naturally one will be drawn to have love for another who continually demonstrates love for them, and thus I had been drawn to claim my love for Christ. My desire is to continue to know Him better and to share what He has done in my life with others. Like preparing on Fridays for Sabbath, I want to start this semester with a clean slate, a clean heart, and a realization that Christ has already given me the victory: I just have to go out and claim it. Like the picture at the top, I don't want Christ to come and ask why my house/heart was clean last week but not this one. A shame that would be indeed...


Sogno... Dream... While listening to the thunder outside on this grey day, I'm taking a short break from cleaning. Though sitting down with the intention of resting, resisting the urge to write was impossible. Having not written in far too long, which is my usual story, it feels so good to touch the keys. Filling my room is the sound of Andrea Bocelli's song Sogno, one of my favorite love songs. It's lyrics are so beautiful that I find parallels of God's deep love for us between the lines, and though I don't allow myself to dwell on worrying where my "love" is very often... I feel it today.

Perhaps it is due to the time I've had lately to process and journal more about where my life is at... and I will admit...I pray for him. My prayer is not for God to bring him to me right NOW. Haha, rather my prayer is that God will continue to grow his character and mine so that when He does bring us together we may work to bring others closer to Christ. I'm not looking for someone to "complete" me and I certainly hope no one is looking for me to "complete" them. I'm confidant that God is helping my "Mr. Darcy" realize that he is only complete in God too. God certainly completes me (thankfully He's not finished with me yet... but He meets me where I am). Glory and bliss! My heart is in his hands. I forget the first time I realized this... but it was a lesson learned with burdens lifted! It is difficult to separate one's realization of love from that of the world's version, but it can be done.

I praise God everyday that I am single because I know He is working in my life, and I would rather be single and happy like I am than with the wrong person, or please forbid, hurting someone because of unsure feelings! To tell the truth I don't even know why exactly I'm writing about this or being this candid with my feelings, but if someone reads this and gains something from it then I praise God for that.

Being complete in Christ is a great gift, a continual process, and goes against everything Satan would have the world tell you concerning how to be a whole person. But God... God gives us guidance, fills our souls and gently shows us what his character is like. The more I get to know my creator through prayer and His word, the more I desire to be like him. The time I have now to grow in Christ is precious. Before he leads me to my husband I am learning how to be the best daughter of the King that I can be: someone who will be uplifting, respectful, supportive and encouraging to this man He is preparing for me. My desire is to work as a team for Christ, to share His love with others... but I'm not waiting to be married to be a light for Christ. My life is a mission now, and I pray that Christ will continue to guide me in my walk with Him.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Maker is Good

Home for the first time after 6 weeks of colporteuring. I arrived to find out that my dog Hancock had been killed by 3 pit-bulls. Very-much sad for my family and I, but I'm thankful my parents decided not to tell my brother and I until we got home...

Literature evangelism has been interesting, amazing, frustrating, life-altering, productive, eye-opening and much more. God has clearly been leading in my life. Change is certainly not easy, but as I have been desiring it in my life God has been leading me in it. Learning to expect good is one change. I heard in a testimony that there is an entire storehouse in heaven full of gifts that God's people have neglected to ask for. Gifts that go right along with furthering ministries, or reaching others in our walk with Christ. Things ranging from vehicles and computers, to more rain and even life. Christ has no limits on his love. For that I am thankful.

Since I've been home, it has been so relaxing to simply enjoy the gift of being with my family, eating good food and even shopping a bit for things to decorate/complete my new apartment. That, I admit is one of my favorite things to do. It's so much fun to dream and to bring to reality ideas. Even shopping on a dime is quite enjoyable. Even preferable. If I was loaded, I would still shop for sales and DIY ideas. God has blessed me with a creative-oriented brain... I may as well use it. Now, science and math... not my forte, but artistically God has blessed. That's my niche, and I hope to use that gift for Him to the best of my ability.

Only four more weeks of colporteuring...

Then on to finishing these last 3 semesters...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stepping it Up

(As published in the Southern Accent)

I’ve been trying something a little different lately with my prayer life: I’m stepping it up. Trying to find balance in a crazy schedule amidst juggling all the “to dos” is rather daunting, and prayer can slip through the cracks, sometimes even more so during the summers. While reading my devotions, I had an epiphany the other morning; or rather, I was awakened enough to ask myself why I’ve been confining my relationship with God to a devotional book? There are many opportunities each day to apply my faith to life’s situations, yet I often let them roll past.

It is easy to forget that my relationship with Christ is strengthened most when I am applying His love, faith, and hope to the life He’s given me! Israelite that I am my prayers are often uttered quickly with notes of doubt attached. But wait! That’s how the devil wants me to think: In terms of doubt and in haste. He keeps me busy, he fills my schedule, he gives me good things to do for people. You may think this an absurd statement, but quite frankly, he has been studying you from the time you were born. If he can use good deeds to keep you so busy that you forget to connect with the One who inspired that love in your heart, if he can suck that well of love dry, keep you giving and forgetting to refill your love in the Love of your Creator, then he will do it.

We have the privilege to talk with our Savior and to draw our strength from him. Living in Christ we can overcome the distractions and we can inspire others to walk with their hands in the Savior’s; we have the opportunity to be revolutionaries for Christ. I challenge you to find what works for you to keep your prayer life alive. Keep a journal, pick up a copy of Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” from McKay’s and please watch the song “In the Words of Satan” by the Arrows on Youtube. Let’s step it up and stay connected.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Alas, it is true, I blogged about productivity yesterday and behold: today I am sick. Quite ironic.

But this too shall pass. Perhaps it's God's way of hinting to me that I am too busy for the good of my health. I know there are too many times that I get carried away with getting things done that I neglect my very body and my well being. This is so wrong! And I know it, yet, time and time again I abuse this temple that God has given me to care for. These are the days that I must use to remind myself that if I have not health, especially due to my own poor choices, I have willingly limited my overall productivity for God's work.

Honestly, this is me being blunt with myself: Buckling down on getting regular rest is the biggest factor I'm dealing with. This is my biggest challenge. I exercise regularly and love eating healthy foods, but I know that Satan knows my weaknesses and preys on this one concerning rest quite readily; He tempts me to push harder to the point of exhaustion more than I'd like to admit. But it is time for me to place this temptation in my Father's hands with the rest of them, because I know He will help me gain victory over this as well.

About a month ago I began praying that God would begin to show me more of my flaws and help me address them. This was a scary prayer to pray and I'll admit I had been putting it off, though I've been praying that He will continue to do so because I'm ready to become more whole in Him, more ready for battle in His armor and not trusting in my own walls.

It's been interesting thus far, but I'm thankful for what He HAS shown me. He's helping me grow in Him. I could not ask for so many miracles! He has bestowed kindness upon me in this process and I am learning to trust Him more. That can be hard in this Adventist Mecca that I live in. It's easy to think you're doing alright spiritually, but I want to be more than alright. I want to be prepared.

However, the bottom line is that I'm thankful to know that I am changing; be it slowly, I am changing. Every time I slip-up and get frustrated or neglect rest or whatever it is that I'm battling at the time, I KNOW that God sends me reminders of His love each time. He calls us back to Him, grace ready to bestow.

Today I'm thankful for being under-the-weather. It's given me more time to spend with Him.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:15,16

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Overrated Productivity?

Though I could say this on a daily basis, today is a new start to the rest of my life. Isn't that awesome? Each day is new: a gift. Each breath is given and granted, filling us with energy to face each moment. I'm thankful for this. So many times I focus on getting things done, adding to my list so I can mark yet another thing off. Accomplishment. Looking at the black markings, crisscrossing, circling and scribbled all over my list, my goal always to exceeded my expectations.

Yet... sometimes I fall behind. Sometimes I lack the necessary vigor to attain expected productivity. Hard times ensue. Isn't it interesting how we are often our harshest critic in life? It's easy to allow self-inflicted disappointment to creep in our minds in an all-too consuming manner. However, I'm thankful for the reminder that my life, the sum of anything I could ever accomplish, is not enough. Yes, I said it. My life is and will NEVER be enough to gain the type of joy or contentment that I know I long for. This could be a rather dismal realization, but instead I choose to take this realization for the treasure it is: No amount of works could attain the salvation that I so desperately desire. No amount of accomplishments will build me a stairway to heaven. No amount of labor or good deeds or self-proclaimed productivity will save me. Why? Because "the GIFT of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

And I praise God for this GIFT. I praise my father for loving me so deeply that he grants me oxygen to breathe words of His love to those I come in contact with. Though I must remind myself that productivity is important, I must also remember that I am productive because I desire to be productive in Christ: To do His work. I desire for my heart's desires to be in song with His.

Thank you Father for your Gift of Life. Help me to be active in your love, showing it to those around me. Grant me productivity in You. Thank you for your grace and for once again providing me with the money to pay for school. Father, you granted me with the exact amount once again. Help my life to be a testimony to your gift of love.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's been too long

I have four minutes before class, and my computer is about to die on me. However, I am simply writing to admit that I have completely neglected my blog in a rather ridiculous manner. Writing has always been an out for me. My mind begins to turn rusty wheels as I type here now. With so much to write I'm not sure where to begin, but, I know that I have plans to disclose very soon :)