Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cooking Escapades! Patriotic Style

One of the best ways to bond with others, in my humble opinion, is to cook with them.  Today, one of my Jr. High girls and I made fruit pizza together.  Here are pictures and the recipe:
Step 1: Mix 1 cup of sugar, 8oz of cream cheese, and a tub of  Cool Whip.

Step 1B: Enjoy yourself while sugar cookie cooks whilst sharing embarrassing moments.

Step 2: After cookie has cooled dump frosting on top... then spread.

Step 3: Decorate with fruit.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book List

Book list as of June 2011:
When I first began Les Miserables, I was a bit overwhelmed.  1194 pages long, tons of French history, and the first 54 pages or so gave great detail to the priest.  Yikes.  But when I began reading it again today I finally met Jean Valjean and the story began to pick up.  Maybe after I finish this one I can try and tackle War and Peace... but we'll have to see.

As always, Lewis is a wonderful, if not challenging, read.  He addresses things in such a way that I never would have thought to, and explains things so well.  I am having to read it a little at a time, but I look forward to discovering what he has to say.
Nero Wolfe is my literary junk food, but it's not actually junk food.  The mysteries are fairly easy reads but the writing really is very good and he always keeps me guessing and laughing.  I read this to give my brain a break from Les Miserables and Weight of Glory.  I highly recommend Nero Wolfe to anyone who likes a good mystery.

Another Shameless Plug

Kiki over at I Still Hate Pickles is one of the best bloggers out there.  A bold statement, but then her posts are informative, insightful, and often hilarious... and she's my friend.  Right now she has a goal of reaching 200 followers so here is my shameless plug of the week: go check out her blog!  Really, you should follow her.  Her kiddos always give you a good laugh (as well as her daily disasters), her coupon advice brilliant, her recipes divine, and she's an excellent photographer and artist.  So go follow her!  You won't regret it.

Shameless plug ended.

New Shoes

My new favorite shoes.
When most girls begin gabbing about new shoes, they are typically referring to super cute heels with some sort of amazing bedazzle that they either got on sale or for some price they refuse to divulge, when I talk about new shoes, I normally mean one of two things: a) something under $12 from Target, b) awesome new running shoes whose price I do not care to divulge.  Today, I'm gushing about the latter.

When I first heard about "barefoot running" I was torn between skepticism and excitement.  For most of my life I have preferred to tramp around barefoot and if it was socially acceptable (and safe) I would probably never wear shoes again, but I had been so trained into believing that I needed tennis shoes to run that I wasn't immediately sold on the idea.  I had played Ultimate Frisbee barefoot for a long time and love it, but that was on the grass, grass I knew to be at least somewhat safe.  Then, I had two guys tell me that "the rumors were true", that ever since they began running either barefoot or in the Vibram Five Finger shoes they had been injury free.  Finally, I decided to take the plunge myself.

I'd been having trouble with my left knee for a while, so much so that I'd given up on the idea of ever running anything more than a 10K, but when I began training in my Vibrams the knee pain slowly but surely went away.  Where as I used to wake up in the middle of the night with an aching knee, now I could run without any of that horrible, pounding pressure under my knee cap.  I wouldn't have believed it had I not tried it, but I'm totally sold on the shoes.  They protect the bottoms of my feet and help me run more on the balls of my feet.  I don't really care how ridiculous they look, if they will help me avoid pain, I'm sold.  Anyone else tried these?  Got another brand you prefer?  I hear they also get rid of shin splints and pretty much change your running form entirely.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Early Post of the Week: Reflections on Singleness

"Singleness is never carte blanche for selfishness.  A spouse is not a sufficient countermeasure for self.  The gospel is the only antidote for egocentricity.  Christ did not come simply to save us from our sings, He came to save us from our selves.  And He most often rescues us from us through relationships, all kings of relationships."  Paige Benton

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Unintentionally Funny Signs

Get vaccinated against singles!

It's not so much that the sign is unintentionally funny as it is the fact that I misread it.  On first look, more than once mind you, I read "Protect Against Singles".  For about a nanosecond I was very offended.  Haha!  Anyone else misread a sign that made you laugh?  And or get offended?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hesitant Update

"13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil."  James 4: 13-16

I always shy away from talking too much about my job search on Facebook and my blog mostly because it's been over a year since I've been looking for one.  Add to that the verse above and the fact that if I find a job I will in many ways be abandoning the ministry I am currently volunteering at and I become all the more hesitant.  Moreover, when you have been turned down for at least five jobs you start to grow a bit fearful, especially when it comes to ministry.  I start to worry that maybe I misunderstood what God is calling me to do, that I'm being too picky, too specific, too bullheaded, not willing to try something different.  I also struggle with the fear that the reason my last job ended was because of something I did wrong, that I stink at what I love to do.  I've lost night's of sleep spent in worry (and in prayer) over all of these things, including the fear that I will disappoint someone no matter what I do.

And so I find myself hesitantly excited about my job interview tomorrow.  I had all but given up my search for youth ministry positions when Richard Harris, the Young Adults Pastor at Christ EPC, found one that I had missed.  A PCA church in Matthews, North Carolina, a place I'd never heard of, is hiring a full time Middle School Girls Youth Director ASAP.  ASAP.  As in July.  Unlike the other times I've applied for various youth positions I applied for this one with very little hope.  When I got an e-mail back with the application I struggled through the answers, feeling like I was hitting a wall, like I was brain dead, and I ended up sending it in feeling even more dismal than before.

But God never ceases to surprise me.  Two weeks ago I get a call from the Youth Pastor and have a little mini interview, then yesterday he calls again to set up a Skype interview with the staff.  I'm excited... but still hesitant.  A church in Mississippi flew me down for an interview a few months ago only to turn me down later, and the prospect of such a large church is a little overwhelming, but I know that even if I don't get the job it's all part of God's good and sovereign plan.  It's been painful.  It's been exhausting.  But God has shown me so much about Himself and I am learning to trust Him while I wait.

So please pray for me as I prepare to interview tomorrow.  Pray that I would have wisdom, a clear mind, and that I would rejoice no matter the outcome.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quote of the Week: C.S. Lewis

"...poetry replaces grammar, gospel replaces law, longing transforms obedience, as gradually the tide lifts a grounded ship."  

Battle with a Door Knob: Reflections on Clumsiness

First black eye

Every since I was a little kid I've been a bit clumsy.  Most of my childhood pictures have me sporting giant goose eggs on my head.  I was much like Maggie from the Simpsons, falling face first into whatever was in front of me.  For some reason I couldn't figure out that throwing my hands down to brace my fall would save me some brain cells one day.  Even in high school, after years of dance I still had issues with falling.  My dance team even gave me a fall limit per class period.  Once in college I fell in front of an entire History class, getting myself trapped between two chairs that had been screwed to the floor.  Not my most shining moment.  But believe it or not with all this falling I have never broken anything (except a few toes) and I had never gotten a black eye... until now.

You would think this incident would start off with something like "Last week at roller derby..." but instead it begins in the bathroom.  Yeah, seriously.  Don't worry, this will not be a TMI post, I was actually just bending down to pick something up.  It was when I straightened that it happened.  I must have straightened up way too quickly because all of a sudden there were stars exploding in front of my eyes and ringing in my ears.  With my hand to my head I literally felt the bump grow... very weird.  I figured the worst I had to worry about was headaches, which I've had for a few days, and missing at least one day of Camp Gladiator (Patrick did not, in fact, let me work out the next day) but I didn't think I'd end up with a black eye.  It's not painfully obvious, but the bruise that is still mostly on my forehead has moved down around my eye just in time for a wedding.  The space between my eyes is also swollen, but the goose egg is pretty much gone.  I would like to say "Yeah, I look bad but you should see the other guy..." but the door knob pretty much looks the same.  Maybe next time I'll win.

So what's your story?  Any epic bruises to tell about?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Burn Away the Dross: Birthday Reflection

Grace, grace for all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, with an undying love,
Grace, grace to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, with an undying love!

Give me an undying love for You,
Lord won't you set my heart aflame with passion for Your name.
Give me an undying love for You,
Lord won't you take me to the cross,
I count it all as loss,
please burn away the dross so that nothing else remains,
but an undying love.

 "Remove the dross from the silver, 
   and out comes material for the silversmith."  
Proverbs 25:4

Dross must be removed from silver in order to increase its purity, its value.  In order to do so, the silver must be placed where the fire is the hottest so that all the impurities will be burnt away.  No doubt if silver had nerve endings this would not be a pleasant experience.  But what is also interesting is that the silversmith doing his work must sit holding the silver until it is done.  He can’t simply leave it and go about his other business.  If the silver is left too long in the flames it would be destroyed therefore he must keep his eyes on it the entire time.  And how does he know when it is completely refined?  When he can see his reflection in it.

Trials to us are like flames to silver, refining us, making us pure and holy.  Yet amidst the flames we often forget that God is also like the silversmith, sitting with us, not a passive observer but an active refiner.  Every second has purpose and He will not allow us to be destroyed.  My prayer for this new year of my life (year 26) would be that I would remember my refiner while I am in the flames and that I would learn to praise Him in the most difficult situation.

Warning! Shameless Plug

Occasionally I use my blog for shameless plugs.  Here's one now.  I heard about Camp Gladiator from a friend and after checking out their free preview week I had to sign up.  It's a great work out for many reasons but I'd have to say the top three reasons are as follows:

  1. The trainers are certified personal trainers who do care that you are doing things right (a.k.a. proper form) and can help you out with injuries (Patrick, the Katy trainer figured out where my injury was and I feel eons better now).
  2. It's all about competition in a group setting which makes you push yourself
  3. When you sign up you can go to any location you want to.  Ex: Houston, Austin, Katy, Dallas.
  4. When you sign up because I told you about it I get a discount (what?  that's not the best reason?)
  5. There's a spouse discount
  6. We play games
There are many more reasons you should join, but these are just a few.  Hope to see you out there!

Shameless plug ended.