Currently: January 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

December 20, 2010

Gathering: Nights at home, pictures of sunny days, strength NOT to chop my hair off, verses that go along with my word for 2017, and...a new set of go-to shows on Netflix now that mine have disappeared.

Making: This chocolate cake, this dinner, biscuits, everything CLEAN again, a list of staple ingredients and the meals they can be combined to make. We just got an instant pot, so I'm keeping my eyes open for things to make in that too. Do you have any favorites?

Sipping: Hot coffee with a splash of milk. Bigelow's "Plantantion Mint" tea, Twinings's "Irish Breakfast Tea" and as of yesterday Tetley's "English Tea Blend". And lots and lots of water.

I also met up with Jay at Starbucks last month before going to see my brother and sister in a show. It was the first REAL Salted Caramel Mocha I've had in a long time and it was sooooo good. The make at home versions aren't as good after all. 

Following: Routines. They're "saving my life" right now.

Resolving: To reply to the comments you leave me more often. To keep an eye on my word for 2017. And...To BASk in the light that God is to His people.

What about you? 

A Very Snowy Monday

Monday, January 09, 2017

December 9, 2016

I'm sitting in my chair with a cup of coffee and some things on my mind to share with all of you. They're not all that important, but let's chat. It's been snowing since yesterday afternoon around here. Did you get snow where you are?

Now that I've shared my word for 2017, I'm ready to hear all about the words you chose and why! So far, I've noticed that Kiki wrote about hers and I'm excited to read what Rachel shared too. Have you picked one? Share the link to your post! In other news, church yesterday solidified everything that God has been teaching me lately. It was so refreshing to have the themes come together.  The main themes have been: waiting on God, hoping in God, God's waiting to be gracious to His people (Isaiah 30:18), His people never being put to shame, His ruling over everything, and the strength He gives His people. We went through Psalm 31. You should read it.

I've been feeling extra grateful for friends lately. Friendship is one of the best gifts we have to offer one another. I'm glad that God gives us sooooo many different ways to make friends, to stay in touch, and to care for one another. My friends live all over the world. There are some that I get to see, some that I talk to on the phone, and then there are the others. Email and FB are good gifts. Chances are that if you're reading this, I'm talking about YOU. Thanks for being my friend. Thanks for keeping in touch, getting together when we can, and caring. I'm glad we're friends.

I read over 200 pages this weekend. Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon were pretty much spent reading. I stretched out and settled in with Dorothy Sayers's "Have His Carcase". If you haven't read Sayers, you MUST. It doesn't really matter where you start. She's hilarious. She's inspiring. I've still got a ways to go before I finish this book, but I have plans to make some more progress later on today. My reading marathon was inspired by a few hours to myself Saturday and the impending snow that my friends and family in SC and MA were preparing for. With a foot of snow on the ground that's been sitting around for a solid month, it was easy to pretend that I was snowed in with the best of 'em. As it turns out, we ended up getting more snow and adding about six more inches of our own. (All these numbers are realistic estimates. I haven't taken the yard stick out.)

Back to the friends thing. Over the last month, I've had a ton of heart to heart conversations. They keep happening. I don't know if it's winter, the holidays, or what, but everyone seems to have things on their mind. I'm ALWAYS up for these kinds of talks. I don't care if we just met, if we've known each other for years, or if we're trying to find our way toward true friendship...Each one has happened when I least expected it to and that made them even sweeter. It's an honor for someone to trust you with things that they are working through. My prayer list has grown right along with my praise list. God is good to His people.

On a lighter note, I pulled MONK out last night. Netflix got rid of my "main" shows and I have this terrible time going through their selections. What are you watching right now? I've told you this before, but I shared Monk with my family after learning about it from the people I lived with in MA. After MONTHS of watching it with my family, I learned that they mainly liked it because of the fact that I am Monk. It turns out that there's one thing that we don't have in common. He was a runner. I was not, am not, and never will be. To this day, whenever we watch it, he gets the most laughs when he does something or says something that reminds them of me. Half the time I'm clueless. Which has a strange way of upping the laugh factor.

The whole internet is talking about and applauding Meryl Streep. Am I the only one who listened to what she said and thinks that she used her position, power, and place to insult the very people she was trying to instruct? As I've said all along, I didn't vote for Trump either. BUT...She began by poking fun at those Americans who question the legality of Obama's right to be president (based on requirements set in place by the very government he has led for these last eight years) and then she went on to continue doing the very thing she was calling Trump out for doing. There are a lot of things that need to be said in this country of ours. We need to have conversations. We need to listen. We need to honor and respect one another. And we need to play by the rules. That's my take on the whole thing. I'm not clapping.

And now, I'd like to hear from you. What's on your mind? What has God been teaching you? Do you have a position on this whole situation? What are you extra grateful for right now? I'm off to respond to the comments you've left on my latest posts! Thanks for being here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm excited for the year ahead of us!

One Word: 2017

Thursday, January 05, 2017

September 10, 2010

I am a sun chaser. My favorite place is the beach and if I disappear on a sunny day, all you need to do is to hunt for the patch of sun that I'm basking in. Come February's warmest days, you'll find me camped out in some spot of sun with sweatshirt and blanket and book, pen, and paper. It'll be cold. People will think I'm crazy, but I cannot get enough.

By the time summer rolls around, you'll find me looking for any excuse to get outside. I have quiet times out there. I garden. I go for walks. I'll do my afternoon reading or writing on the patio. I am even known to take naps out in the yard. There are few things I enjoy more than turning my face to the sun and feeling its rays warm me right to my core.

That said, my word for 2017 managed to catch me by surprise. I had a few words rolling around in my mind and the one that I ended up with was not one of them. I've been reading Andrew Murray's book "Waiting on God" along with whatever chapter(s) of Scripture he references each day. On Day 16, Murray compared waiting on God with keeping watch for the first rays of the morning light. God is a God of LIGHT and His light is always shining. I know this to be true. As I read Murray's words they resonated with me because of my love for the sun.

Psalm 130:5-6 says, "I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, And in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning."

We all know what it is to watch for the morning light. It chases away darkness and doubt and fear and gloom and troubles and so many things. The morning light brings with it hope and peace and a brand new day. I'm not exactly sure what events surrounded the writing of Psalm 130, but I'm pretty confident that it was times of trouble. I've been talking with several different people about salvation lately. They've all wrestled with seasons of wondering if they were ACTUALLY saved. Two of them have made it through those times. They can't explain what happened, but they both said that God changed things. I would sum up their words by saying that the light of God shined in their souls.

Murray puts it this way, "Just as the sun shines its beautiful, life giving light on and into our earth, so God shines into our hearts the light of His glory, of His love, in Christ His son. Our heart is meant to have that light filling and gladening it all the day."

If you haven't guessed yet, my word for 2017 is BASK. By the last day of December, I had settled on it and I've already been seeing the theme pop up again and again. I need to wait on God and trust that He rules over all things. I need to believe Him and stay in His word. By His Spirit, my soul will be full of the joy and peace that come from His light. God is light. By His light do we see and live and walk.

I want 2017 to be a year of savoring these truths. I want to receive from Him and respond with praise. I want the times when darkness threaten to undo me to become times when I learn to look to Him knowing that His light IS there. I want to glow with the beauty of His presence and the proof that my hope is in Him alone. I want it to be said of me that I am nurtured by Him and the light He shines on His people. I will need to pray. I will need to reflect often on His goodness and His character.

I look forward to the cloudy days when His sun shines. I long for my soul to be nourished by His light just the way my body is nourished by the sun on my skin. As I could lay there in its warmth for hours at a time, so I long for 2017 to be the year where I am continually basking in God's warmth.

May I learn from the flowers and the trees and the grass and the animals and even my own soul. As Murray says on page 83, "They do nothing [to keep the sun shining on them], they simply bask in the sunshine when it comes."

And it always comes. As Alice likes to remind me, "The sun is always shining, even when we can't see it."

Have you picked a word for 2017?

Reading Update: November and Early December 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Remember what I said about reading A LOT less lately? Well, it's true...Over the course of the last few months I've only finished four books. I'm not sure if I forgot to write something down, but I think I've just been taking my sweet time. The good news is that each one of them is rave worthy!

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen - This is the Jane Austen book that I never planned to read. I've been attending my youngest brother's Omnibus class (most of the time) and one week Carrie mentioned Fanny Price. She doesn't like Fanny at all, but her description of her convinced me that I might and that I HAD to read this book. I put a few other books aside in order to dig right into this one. It's now POSSIBLY, my favorite piece of Austen's work. I still REALLY like Persuasion, so it might be a tie. I have a lot I could say, but I'll leave you with this: This story is hilarious, heart breaking, and full of wisdom that extends from Austen's era right up to our own. If you've never read it, you must!

The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser - This was our book club pick for November and it's another book I have LOVED recently. I'm still thinking about it and the lessons it taught me. It tells the story of the South in a way that is reminiscent of The Help (another of my favorite books). BUT, there is something about this book that sets it apart. This book will challenge the way you think, feel, live, and respond to the hard things we face in life. It's set in Atlanta and there is a real Swan House that you can visit. So....What are you waiting for?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - This was probably my third time reading book number one. I enjoyed it, but I also know that it's not going to be my favorite. The thing about first books is that soooooo much of the "plot" centers around laying the ground work for the readers. It's the perfect length to get you "into" the world of HP, but short enough not to bog you down. Reading it this time around gave me an appreciation for Hagrid as well as an understanding of Rowling's influence on my brothers' writing styles. I also finally understand the different houses!!! Pottermore sorted me into Hufflepuff, but I'm 100% Ravenclaw.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling -This was also a re-read for me. When I read the first three, it was my FAVORITE. Reading it again reminded me why! If you click on the title you can read my full goodreads review (which has a few "spoilers"). The most important thing is that:  I loved it just as much this time around as I did last time. I got more out of it and enjoyed parts of it as though I had never read them before. 

Now, I have a few questions for you!

Have you read any of these books?

Which Austen is your favorite?

Is there an era of historical fiction that you tend to gravitate towards?

What's one book that's stuck with you for months at a time?

Which house are you in (have you been "re-sorted" at the "new" site)?

Which HP is your favorite? 

5 More Things About Me pt. 4

Friday, December 23, 2016

December 4, 2010

I < 3 NYC. I don't care how cliche it is to say so because this city is my favorite. I spent one day there back in December of 2010 and found that it was everything I hoped it would be. I think about it almost constantly this time of year.

Aside from the occasional crop, slight adjustment, or a quick black and white or sepia toned filter, I don't edit my photos. What you see is straight from the camera. It's amazing what people can accomplish with photo editing software (I'm looking at you, Amy and Rach), but I just don't do it. When people talk about alllll the time they spend editing, I can't sympathize because I honestly have no idea as to where to even begin.

I think of "my style" as preppy/classic. The truth is, if you stopped by my house on any given day you would find me in jeans and a tshirt OR some kind of horribly tacky pants that are super comfy and a tshirt. The ensemble will always match, but you may cringe at the sight.

I know what people drive. In our old town, my Mom and I used to play this game where I would try to guess who was going to be in the grocery store based on the cars in the parking lot. I was SURE this would be a hopeless cause in our new city, but I've already started saying, "That was so and so." OR "Oh! So and so is in that store over there." When I see certain cars, I still think of the people that drove the same one in my old town and get excited for a split second before I remember that it's not theirs and that it can't be theirs.

I went to public school until I was in 8th grade. I was homeschooled from that point on and dream of homeschooling my own children someday, should I have them. I love talking education. Veteran teachers (homeschooling or otherwise) are some of my favorite people to talk to.

What don't I know about you?