Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I've Been Up To

So, my brother and sister-in-law left a week ago today. I've been trying and trying to get this post out....it's been more difficult than it should be. I guess it stirs up a lot of emotions that I usually try to avoid and when I'm emotional I don't trust my writing. So let's just say it's been very hard, I miss them a whole lot but God is taking care of me...and them!

I have been keeping very busy since they left. While they were here I tried not to be too busy so I would be free to spend time with them. But in the week since they left (it seems like MUCH longer) I've taken apart our sewing room, watched Bleak House, had a visit from a friend, made pickles, run various errands, read a few books, cleaned and rearranged my room and written a lot.

Speaking of writing, the other day (when I was cleaning my room) I decided to go through my mounds of papers and organize them into a binder. I'm always writing and I prefer loose-leaf to notebooks so it can get pretty messy sometimes. Besides, I didn't want any papers to get lost. Someday I want to write a book and what I write now will be the foundation for it.

So, I started gathering my piles and sorting through them, adding them to the binder as I went along. I was getting excited as I worked. My papers were adding up. Some of them didn't have much written on them, just a thought or an idea. But some of them were solid writings and all of them were important. By the time I was done I could hardly close the binder. I was so excited. 

You see, ever since I graduated and even before I've struggled with feelings of pointlessness. I thought that my life would "begin" after high-school. I envisioned running hither and thither doing ministry work, meeting new people and working with girls. And yet none of that has happened. For the most part nothing has changed since high-school.

So, I was really excited to have tangible proof that this past year has not been pointless. I have been productive! God has been working in me!I have worked and sweated and cried and trusted and cried and waited and cried and...you get the picture. I have learned so very much. As my mom likes to tell me I've been in "God's College". Learning straight from The Teacher Himself.

Maybe this seems like bragging to you, but I only tell you this to encourage you if you are now or are ever in a situation like me. Don't fear. God has a specific purpose for you. Remember, He chose you! (John 15:16) Just trust Him to do the work in you.

Any comments and/or criticisms?

Monday, July 18, 2011


(NOTE: Please pardon the sad puns.)

Last Saturday Mom and I made pickles from cucumbers grown in our backyard. Our cucumbers are coming in almost faster than we can pick them!

Mom has made pickles before.  Her sweet pickles are out of this world! But I think this was her first time attempting dill pickles. Or at least the first time in a while. It was my first time ever participating in pickle-making. I was really excited!

Preparing everything takes a bit longer than the actual pickling process. Especially when you're not altogether sure what you're doing....

Our special tools >
I kind of felt like a doctor the way we had to sterilize everything...or thought we did....


After slicing and stuffing as many cucumbers in a jar as possible we added the dill weed, pickling spice and peppercorns, then the vinegar/pickling salt concoction. After that we put the lids on and popped them into the water-bath. A little while later, we had pickles!

Our pickles looked delicious. This morning I braved the unknown and gave them the real test. I ate one. It tasted great! 
However, there is more to a pickle than looks and taste. Much more. Any pickle worth it's salt (no pun intended) must be crisp. Who wants a soft pickle? Soft pickles are like soft apples. Rotten.
Ours were mush.

The story doesn't end here. We are not defeated. Mom and I will conquer the art of dill pickles. We will navigate the mazes of techniques and recipes until we reach the prize of the perfect blend of crunchy, cool, tartness.
Until then...we're in a pickle!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I've Been Learning About...

Waiting on God.

Waiting is not about inaction.

 Waiting is about preparation.

It’s about learning about God.
           Seeking God.  
           Strengthening my relationship with Him.
           Building the foundation for living the rest of my life.
           Studying the Bible.
           I am learning to ask God what He wants to teach me instead of struggling against His restraints.

 It’s about worshiping God.
            Humbling myself and focusing on Him alone.
            Learning to make anytime worship-time.
            Trusting Him fully while I wait.
            Praising Him and enjoying His presence.
            God has been reminding me not to forget to worship. Waiting isn't all about sitting quietly with my hands folded...

 Waiting does not require silence.
            ...Waiting is all about my relationship with God. Communication is vital.
            I have learned not to be afraid to talk to God about anything. It's okay to tell God when I'm afraid, angry, or confused; God knows about it already and He delights in me pouring out my heart to Him. (Psalm 62:8)

I am just beginning to realize how vastly important this period of waiting is for my life. It has been hard to sit and wait while watching my friends move on and actively pursue their dreams. 
Still, I am learning so, so much! Even the desert-times have been rich with blessing. God is being faithful to love me, teach me and grow me. 

I am so grateful right now; even though I know more times of fear and trouble are ahead, I am certain in this moment that God will carry me through them and continue perfecting the image of Christ in me.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you [and me!] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Most Memorable Independence Day

So how was your Independence Day? Mine was fantabulous!

It started out with our church picnic. Actually, I guess it started before that, at 7AM, when I got up to make two apple pies to take to the church picnic. I didn't feel like rolling out of bed at 7AM, especially since I went to bed at 11-something PM, but it was worth it!


At the picnic we had lots of yummy food and plenty of good friends to share it with! Before we ate, some of the men in our church read the Declaration of Independence. I had read it for school before, but I got a whole new perspective hearing it read by men. I thought of the men who wrote it and the risks they took, the courage they had, the absolute certainty they possessed that what they were doing was right. Amazing.

After lunch our church has a tradition of playing softball. I love it! I used to play baseball when I was younger and I really enjoyed it, so playing softball brings a little of it back to me. Plus, I love spending time with my church family. :)

After the picnic my family headed back home for a quick change of clothes, then to a friend's house for swimming and burgers. The pool felt marvelous after getting all sweaty and tired at the picnic. The burgers were amazing. Our friend guaranteed these would be the best burgers we'd ever tasted and he was right!

After dinner we left right from our friend's house to another friend's house to watch the fireworks with a lot of friends! It was great; we played Knot >,
there was ice-cream and we all just hung out! I haven't been together with so many of my friends all at once for a while. It felt really good.
Finally it got dark and we settled down to watch the show.

THEN....the deluge began. It started with some far off rumblings...then some lightening...then more lightening. Finally we felt a few drops. Then I heard a roar from behind and I knew some serious rain was here. All of us girls jumped up shouting and dashed for shelter. I ran for the car where I met my brother and two sisters. Unfortunately I didn't realize until too late that all my friends had taken shelter in the house and I got cut off from them. Still, it was really cool to watch the lightening/fireworks show. It seemed like God was pitching in to say "I'll give you a REAL show!" It was awesome.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!

Today I'm going to our annual church picnic. I'm taking apple pie. YUM! There will be a big feast and latera huge softball game! Plus lots of fellowship!
Later tonight we're going to a friend's house to watch the fireworks! It will be fun! Hope you have a wonderful day!

What traditions do YOU keep on the 4th of July?