Sunday, December 29, 2013

true hope

Romans 5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And let us rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

The Holy Spirit has poured out God's love into our hearts--> this brings hope! First, let me say: what hope is there apart from Christ? I haven't found much. I want the Holy Spirit to be strong inside of me. So that the love of God may be what runs in my very veins, what pumps my heart. 
Thank you for that hope, God. Thank you for the utmost sacrificial love you offer. 
I have learned you should not give your whole self to anything but God. It is dangerous & unhealthy to set all of your hopes and confidence in the love of/from ___________ (your spouse, your family, your career, your country, etc). It is so safe to go all in for Jesus. His love is enough to carry you, to sustain you. 
Oh that this would be engraved on my heart I would never forget or doubt! 
Holy Spirit make it so.

Friday, December 20, 2013

today: gratitude

Lately when I am asked "how are you doing?" I never quite know how to respond. From the outside I lead a blessed life (truth), but inside I'm like a dryer: tossing around my emotions, struggles, and victories. And sometimes those thing are banging on the door of my chest.

TODAY, however, on the last day of school before Christmas break (YEE HAW), I feel much gratitude toward Life, and the Creator of said Life. 

I am thankful for students who give me jars of m&m's and fuzzy socks as christmas presents. 

I am thankful for [free] chocolate croissants that are warmed up until the chocolate oozes out. 

I am thankful for women on my faculty who are kind and make me laugh. 

I am thankful for friends who walk through the *figurative* dirt of life with me. 

I am thankful that Target had The Family Stone (a fav movie of mine) in the $5 section!!!

And lastly, I am thankful for texts from friends (Fawell) that remind me to meditate on the hope I have through Jesus Christ. 

As one of my favorite blogs says: 
            Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This music makes me want to take a moonlit stroll in the snow, down Mason street, with the lamp poles casting an orange-yellow glow on the street, and look at the Christmas lights on the houses.

It makes me want to curl up in a warm blanket with a good book that gives me a good cry. The kind of cry that is cathartic and makes you feel sad and relieved at the same time.

It makes me want to sit in a favorite coffee shop while it's raining outside and I'm having good conversation with a good friend, clutching our warm cups of something delicious.

It makes me want to take a drive through the winding roads of the Blue Ridge mountains on route 33, and stare in awe at the thick forest, and not worry about what needs to get done.

Can you guess I'm missing Virginia?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

moving out, moving in

My new housemates...

own a Bob Dylan album on vinyl. I mean, come on.
sit around in the living room doing various things, in a quiet that is not uncomfortable.
make up funny names for the cat. Names that sound like a mobster or dictator.
let me pick a ribbon out of her ribbon box.
play piano really well and it makes me all peaceful when he practices.
offer friendly conversation when they come home.
made a chore chart (not so stoked on that).

My new roommate, Lemon...

laughs at my jokes.
will let me play whatever music I choose while we do work.
offers me tea when she makes some.
has great conversations with me about what the Lord is doing in our lives.
will go out with me for margaritas at Miguel's right down the street.
doesn't care when I fart. She farts, too. Go figure.
shares her stuff.
is one of my best friends.
                                                           

Thursday, November 14, 2013

an ode to gorgonzola

Gorgonzola,
You are so crumbly.
You are my crumbly delight.

I eat you in my salad.
I eat you on my sandwich.
I even put you atop a rice cake.

Others may deem our love
Strange or over the top.
But we know the truth.

In a world of many cheeses,
Cheeses I adore,
You are among the most desirable.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

a note on my bro

      I don't know what I would do without my brother, Matt. He truly is a friend. One of the best I have. There are so many thoughts and emotions I have that I am too embarrassed to share with anyone else, but with Matty I can always open up even if it's just the surface of things. Often his desire to see people grow and heal replaces the human tendency to judge or critique. It helps that we have the same gene pool and grew up with overlapping experiences, so I know he handles a lot of things similarly or knows where I am coming from. I am so grateful to him and I am sad for those who don't have a sibling they can confide in, grieve with, and receive counsel from. 
                                                       I'm blessed, it's cool. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Here is a quote from Donald Miller, referencing Brennan Manning and his wrestles with Jesus. I completely identify with Manning here:

"  Manning wrestled with God as much as he walked with Him. He seemed like the kind of man who would constantly tug at God’s shirt tails and ask, for the thousandth time, is it true? only to run into the village and explain to the rest of us that it was. Then to return, tug on God’s shirt tail and ask again, is it true?   "

May I arrive to the heavens and discover that the glory of God is more real and beautiful and true and good than I ever imagined. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Here's the thing...

      ...I am so not a feminist, but it really irks me when guys complain about seeing a tampon in our purse/bathroom/trash. Or, when we bring up the mysterious and nasty period topic they just can't take it.
"Oh, I'M SORRY that you had to see the thing I have to shove inside of myself to keep me from perpetually bleeding for 5 days whilst simultaneously suffering from a whole host of other side effects (cramps, back pain, bloating, etc). Next time I'll be more sensitive so YOU, sir, don't have to deal with hearing about this issue that plagues me every damn month." 

Alright. Rant over. I will go back to being ashamed of this biological syndrome, meanwhile if you are a guy you will probably ignorantly attribute this to "pms-ing". Kelly, out. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

long time no see

      Lately I have been thinking a lot about you, Blog. I have had at least 4 streams of thoughts that gave me the idea, "I should write about that on my blog". But I didn't. Because when I actually do have time to write I just don't feel like it. Or I forget the great revelation/insight/funny anecdote in it's entirety. 
Anyway, maybe this is the beginning of more posting. The re-beginning. Picking up where I left off. 

      All I have to say is this: How can the one thing that brings me so much joy, fulfillment, and wisdom be the same thing that causes me so much frustration and confusion?

      I am referring to God. My faith. Oh the ups and the downs. I've been following Jesus for 15ish years now and sometimes I feel as if I still don't know nothin'. #beingreal

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dos dias


Two days. 

Two days before I embark upon this month-long trip to a foreign country. It won't really hit me until I step off of that plane onto Spanish ground. I'll be honest, I get scared thinking about it. I am not sure what I am scared of exactly. Actually, that's not true. In this moment I am only scared of getting from the Alicante airport to the small town of Altea all on my own. Figuring out the bus system, the currency, etc. I keep reminding myself that I am an adult. Basically. ish. 

You know what, though? I am ready for this. (ready-ish) I just want to get there and start serving the Lord. But I also want to get there and not be all about "doing". Lord, teach me the balance of just "being" and also "doing" your work. Break the unhealthy patterns I have developed...like caring so much what others think. And depending on my comfortable, American life. I want to be free. Use this month for big things in my faith, God. I am desperate for change. 

Two days until I am in Altea, Spain on the coast of the Mediterranean with like 15 other people in my group ready to read the Bible together, meet new people, and say YES. Yes to relationships that can lead to sharing about Jesus. Yes to going outside of my comfort zone, for the sake of trusting God more. Yes to letting God love me just as I am, faults and all. 

Dos dias. YES!

Monday, June 10, 2013

An ode to a forever friend


Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one". -- C.S. Lewis 

I have a friend and she is like a sister to me. We quarrel and we spat words at each other and then the next day we giggle and share stories by the shoreline, and then the next day we discuss God & his ways, and then the following day we curiously wonder about our future lives & future spouses, and then the next day we snuggle and watch our shared television programs. She has forgiven me, she has encouraged me, she has prayed for me, she has competed against me, she has competed with me, she has shared her life with me and I have shared mine with hers. Amidst a lot of inconsistencies she has remained a constant friend. 
She has opened my eyes to new places, new worlds in books, new adventures, new wisdom (old wisdom- but new to me). 
Laura Boyer is like the wind. At times she presses forward as a stubborn force. Other times she is a breeze, refreshing and good for the soul. Another time she can be unpredictable; where will she go next, how will she swirl and soar? 

This wind, Laura, is leaving me. For a time. She goes on to PerĂº where only the Lord truly knows what lies in store for her. Her light has only gotten brighter and now she must shine it elsewhere. Sometimes God is like the wind, too. He sweeps you up and if you don't fight or move against Him He will carry you to His will. And that is a good place to be, swept up in the Lord. 

This is a tribute to my sweet Laura, my big sister. You are such an important person in my life that what might only be 6 months still seems like too long to be apart. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lists

I am copying Margaret Murphy because she is such a trend-setter. And my best friend. 
See: http://beautyinmymess.blogspot.com

Lately I love...

  •  One-on-one time spent with friends- it's the best. I have enjoyed that with a few choice ladies this week.
  • Having lunch with 5th graders who make me laugh.
  • Holding newborn ducklings. As in, 1-day-old (kindergarten class has an incubator and the eggs hatched this week)!!
  • Sara Bareilles' new song, Manhattan.
Lately I loathe...
  • Bills...those awful white envelopes that you avoid opening for a few days :/
  • The cracked screen of my phone from when I dropped it weeks ago. 
  • My over the top, unbelievably unbearable, messy room.
Mostly I just...
  • can't wait for summer and SPAIN! 
  • need a haircut. These split ends are k-k-killin me. 
  • am stoked that I like broccoli sprouts because I don't like broccoli or lots of other veggies but I will eat these and then when I am old and gray and strong with a good heart I will think, "thank heaven for those organic sprouts!" 
Now here, listen to Sara and make your own list, 



Monday, May 13, 2013

Italia

      Italy is but a whisper. A dream I am hoping will be awoken into reality. I have never felt this way about a place before. Well, about an international place that is.

      I know that I might have an idealistic, overly romantic notion of Italia...but...I don't know...could it all be true? I mean the culture, the food, the people, the warmth, the color, the food, the history, the food...it is all so enticing. And most people who have visited have very positive reports.

      I am drawn to the people just as much as everything else. They seem like my kinda people. Our neighbor (who is also our landlord) is 100% Italian. Lived in the states here for like 50 years and his English is still pretty rusty, his Italian accent in full force. He is a kind man, full of life and such a hard worker. I went over to their house to ask for more delicious organic tomatoes that he grows on a ranch in East county. We ended up talking and he literally cries at one point telling me about his heart transplant and how he prayed to some saint and is healthy now. It was so adorable. I told him how much I want to learn Italian and how I want to try his wife's delicious, authentic, Italian cooking.
He is from Napoli. Even the name is dreamy.

      Anyway, my heart aches for a real abundant trip to Italy. With no limits, going to all the cities I want. Getting a rich experience, meeting people, enjoying long lunches, diving into the sea, drinking wine, enjoying both the city life and most definitely the countryside.
Napoli, Florence, Tuscany, Venice, etc.

Some day. Oh Lord, please, some day

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Radical



      This morning I was journaling like the good Christian woman I am, and a prayer/hope/desire came into my heart that was just right on the money! 
      I want to go to Spain this summer and I want the Lord to do something radical in my life. I want Him to radically affect my spirit, my heart. No more soft spoken words, no more small movements of sanctification, but BIG, AWESOME, RADICAL REVELATIONS. Something that changes my relationship with Jesus; something that changes my worldview. 
Could this be the Lord telling me that He is going to give me a radical experience this summer? Could He be trying to prepare me for a month in Spain that will radically deepen my relationship with Him? I sure hope so. Man, I really want that. More than I want a nap on the beach right now (which I do, because it is supposed to be 85 degrees today & I'll be at work (but I love my job so it's cool (too many parenthesis inside of parenthesis (an inception of parenthesis)))). 

      Anyway, we'll see what happens. Hopefully it'll be rad. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On recipe blogging?

Tonight was a classic. 

I went for a run around Dad's neighborhood (I'm house sitting). 
His neighborhood is filled with adorable houses with budding and booming flowers in every garden, walkway and stoop. I actually considered stopping to just walk & take it all in. Tomorrow night. 
It is always a good idea to follow any good run with a home cooked meal {whilst listening to Of Monsters and Men if you want to literally recreate my evening}

Here was mine, you must try. 
Disclaimer: If one could marry a grocery store then I would be down on one knee in front of Trader Joe's faster than you can say 'organic granola'. 
All of these ingredients should come from TJs. I also had extra leftover- HELLO LUNCH TOMORROW & THURSDAY!

Cold Couscous Salad 

Cous Cous (I used Trader Joe's Israeli Cous Cous) 
Chicken broth (or vegetable broth) instead of water when cooking the couscous 
Then refrigerate. 

After it is cold, add:

cucumber slices 
bell peppers or tomato slices (I splurged & bought those beautiful brown Kumato tomatoes)
mozzarella (or feta; I prefer mozz)
Trader Joe's bruschetta sauce tub 
fresh basil
lemon juice

VOILA! It's delicious. Plus, I ate mine with this amazing dessert wine from TJ's. #NailedIt



Monday, April 8, 2013

Daily Hallelujahs

      Someone made a comment to me recently about how unreal my life is, joking that I don't seem to have any responsibility. It was all in good fun. But it just made me think...we can all have a life that looks like that. I make a sincere effort to do something fun or social or life-giving almost each day. I get worried that my life will go down hill when I am married or have kids and I won't have time for fun or spontaneity. But, I choose to believe that won't be the case. I will still be the same me, I will just have a husband to drag along or tell my daily stories to. Or, I will open my kids' eyes to do something joyous each day. 
      I am able to stay a usually positive person because of 2 reasons. One of them might just be an innate quality. I don't let something that brought me down earlier today, bring me down tonight. I can hear bad news and still find a reason to laugh the next day. I can have a bad morning but that doesn't need to determine the rest of my day. Of course I process things and feel sorrow and don't live in denial...but I just can't live a life of despair or whining or self-pity or negativity. I am thankful for that quality in myself. 
      The second reason is, as I alluded to, I intentionally put things in my daily life to look forward to. If you can have something, anything, each day that gets you a little excited then that is good. No matter how big or small. 
-Could be your job. Your daily work is meaningful and wonderful to you. 
-Could be an aspect of your job. Maybe you don't get excited about your line of work but you love your co-workers/customers/students/clients etc. Remind yourself of that. 
-Could be getting donuts with a friend the next morning that doesn't get you stressed out the night before. 
-Could be a sunny forecast that gets you anticipating the day. 
-Could be your evening shower and the prospect of being clean and fresh. 
I'm TELLIN YA it can be anything! 
      Find a reason to look forward to each day. Change the course of your bad day. Drive by the ocean or country side on your way home. Decide to make your favorite dinner/dessert. Indulge in a couple chapters of pleasure reading. Sing at the top of your lungs in the car/kitchen/shower. Whatever! 
      Now, this all sounds a little selfish. And I haven't even mentioned the Lord, which makes me nervous. But, I think God is proud of my joy and positivity. By living in a place of freedom, outside of my circumstances, it makes me alive. And when I am alive I can't wait to tell people the TRUE reason I am alive...JESUS!

      Anyway, tomorrow may be gray and I gotta get up early and my students drive me nuts and my gas level is on empty BUT it's opening day for the Padres and I'm gonna let that piece of good news outshine the rest! And, Thursday I don't feel prepared with my lessons, and I have a list of 10 things I gotta get done before the end of the week and the amount in my bank account is frighteningly low BUT I am getting coffee with a friend I haven't seen in 2 weeks and she is a joy to be with so that will outshine the rest. I have something to look forward to. 

Find a reason to say HALLELUJAH every day!


p.s. in case of low supply of hallelujahs consult Bible for countless reasons to exclaim

Thursday, March 21, 2013

On baking

I have been thinking about things I love and what I am passionate about and what brings me joy. 

So, why do I love to bake? 

Well the two answers that come immediately to mind are: I love sweets and baked goods and they taste SO good in my mouth. And the second, I love making people happy, and one thing that people will always want/need is food. 
With baking, it's hard to go wrong. I mean, yes it is precise and you need to pay attention and follow instructions- but I am good at that. I like to know exactly what to do in order to get such and such a result. Is there a word for someone like me? I want to know explicitly what to do so I won't go wrong and I can perform what is expected of me. Back to what I was saying, even if you do go a little wrong you can always try to make the recipe again, and often someone will always eat whatever you made. Baking is a healthy distraction for me. It's more productive than watching television, less exhausting than exercise, and more rewarding than when a waitress brings out your food. 
I can't help but go back to the fact that I love to share and I love knowing that someone will enjoy the sweet morsels I mix, mash, whip, combine, spread, roll and serve.
Baking is cathartic. And it's creative. You never need to run out of things to make. There are plenty of recipes out there waiting to be brought to fruition! 

I am getting all excited maybe I will make something today! Better search the interweb for new ideas...