thinking things.

Chinese Line up for Fresh Mountain Air … Don’t laugh, this could be me this time next year…

Welcome to the Finger Wagging Olympics

Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy.

So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear onCelebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.

What it Feels Like to Have Malaria

Whenever someone asks me why we should fight malaria, I have a simple answer: Because it kills so many people (more than 600,000 every year), and it leaves so many more people too sick to function, which holds back the world’s poorest from making the most of their lives.

favorite things. [sunsets & the middle of nowhere]

The setting sun was coming through the passenger windows as I headed south, comfortingly radiant through the glass, causing my eyes to just barely squint as I floated down the highway.  It was a good friend I was glad to have as company.    The glow spread across the rolling fields, spending the last of its warmth before it sank below the horizon for the evening.

I inhaled the moment, taking in the simplicity of it.

In the quiet of my car, my soul was tended to by the glory of the Lord in that sunset.

Certain things, like driving your own car down a country highway, under a clear sky, warmed by a brilliant dusk…they seem to cry out a bit louder these days. Really I think my hearing has just improved.

 

580853_10102259993486814_796406085_n

 

 

 

 

natural things. [oil cleansing on Going Granola]

Over the past couple of years I have been researching and making small changes to my lifestyle to shift towards more whole foods and natural products.  It’s scary some of the stuff that is in the products we use everyday! It has been small changes but ones I feel are important after doing some research. I wrote a guest post for my BFF Courtney’s natural living blog, Going Granola, about one area where I have changed what I use – facial cleansing!  I will have future posts about other things I have changed as well.

If you have any questions you can post them here or on Courtney’s blog and I will answer them.  Also if you are interested in essential oils, what they are, what to use them for, why to use them…I would love to talk more about them, they have changed almost all aspects of my daily life.

eating things. [honey beer bread]

there’s something about seeing your house filled with people you love, something about feeding people, especially on days when it seems like you can’t make a dent in any of the larger, more theoretical challenges in life. – shauna niequist

I really like food.

What I love so much about food is that it brings people together and usually makes people happy.  I love having people over, creating things in the kitchen, and laughing around the table as we all partake.

This fool-proof recipe came from a friend a few years ago and is one of my favorite indulgences to throw together a few times a year to have with breakfast, a snack, a late night snack, you know…let’s call it what it is, a calorie laden guilty pleasure that takes 3 minutes to get in the oven.

Honey Beer Bread

3 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

12 ounces of room temperature beer [not light, I usually use Shiner or Shiner blonde]

1/2 stick butter

honey to taste

Comine flour, sugar, baking powder and then add beer.  Pour into lightly greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until the top has a touch of golden color, remove and pour melted butter over top of loaf and return to oven for 15-20 minutes or until loaf is golden.

This is best enjoyed fresh from the oven with a dab of honey.  You can thank me later.

thinking things.

photo (10)

we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.

– albert einstein

I enjoy thinking.  Thinking about things might be one of my favorite things.

Except when it’s not.  That is usually around Friday from the hours of 2:30-5:30pm, after that I’m good to go again.

I like to read things that make me think.  I like to read things I don’t agree with, that I somewhat agree with, and things I unapologetically agree with.  So I will post links here to things I’ve read that exercise my brain, some will be a gentle stroll on a perfect 72 degree 46% humidity day while others will be that half marathon I did that one time that made me question everything that brought me to that point, or your version of that.  I possess the belief we cannot shelter our minds from what makes us uncomfortable in hopes that the world will just magically become a better place without thinking about the hard things.  Thinking allows us to then go DO hard things with hopefully more compassion, but maybe less certainty than we had before.  I think the snap judgement and shallow thinking epidemic permeating our media is revolting, which is addressed in the first link.  So let’s think on and then do things.

I like discussion too, especially the kind that doesn’t have easy, quick answers.

A few things that make me think:

The Culture of Shut-Up

The right to free speech may begin and end with the First Amendment, but there is a vast middle where our freedom of speech is protected by us—by our capacity to listen and accept that people disagree.

Portraits of Reconciliation

“These people can’t go anywhere else — they have to make peace,” Hugo explained. “Forgiveness is not born out of some airy-fairy sense of benevolence. It’s more out of a survival instinct.” 

PERPETRATOR:  “I burned her house. I attacked her in order to kill her and her children, but God protected them, and they escaped. When I was released from jail, if I saw her, I would run and hide. Then I decided to ask her for forgiveness. To have good relationships with the person to whom you did evil deeds — we thank God.”

SURVIVOR: “I used to hate him. When he came to my house and knelt down before me and asked for forgiveness, I was moved by his sincerity. Now, if I cry for help, he comes to rescue me. When I face any issue, I call him.”

 Devotionals for Holy Week: Love to the Uttermost

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. – John 13:1

 

musings: an introduction.

I have lots of thoughts.

As in, my mind is very inquisitive about the whys and hows of people and life. Often times I create the whys and hows when there are not immediate answers to satisfy my curiosity.

For example, I always wonder how bumper stickers end up getting put on crooked. In my mind a bumper sticker is a pretty serious commitment.  They are usually positing some personal belief or at the very least some kind of identification of whoever drives the car. On top of that, once it’s on there you can’t just easily peel it off and try again, you have one shot at greatness.  I guess the gravity of applying a bumper sticker comes from a Dad who painstakingly measured anything to the millimeter before it was hung or applied with extreme care to ensure it’s symmetry and balance. {disclaimer: I am the one who in such excitement to get things on the wall will end up putting 47 holes in the sheet rock to hang one picture.}

So, I might decide when I see a crooked bumper sticker the car owner was in their driveway one sunny Sunday afternoon carefully contemplating where they wanted to place this new badge of honor for other road warriors to see.  All of a sudden, just in the moment the adhesive was to touch the bumper, it happened.  From out of nowhere a stealthy spider dangled down from it’s web directly in front of the bumper stick installer and scared the bajeezus out of them causing the sticker to get slanted in its application.  Or maybe the real reason behind crooked bumper stickers is people are just so excited to get them on there they don’t use my Dad’s precision, but instead my confident fire, aim, ready approach.  Either way…

These kinds of things go through my mind, in rapid succession.  I can tell you’re concerned.

However sometimes I get to the more complicated issues of life.  I can’t seem to spin a story that makes any kind of sense.  I have these monologues in my mind about whys and hows.  What sometimes feels like a very one-sided conversation with God I know is really Him working on me, pulling me further away from easy explanations and snap judgements.

The older I get I seem to have more questions and less answers, there is so much more grey than black and white.

While at the same time I feel more sure of who I am becoming than ever before.  God seems to give us what we need. I have always needed more than so many other things, to know who I am, and He gives without hesitation.  I rest in that.

I intend for this space to be a place where I can flesh out some of the grey in my day to day life, along with the funny, mundane, and random, and especially to record my adventures when I move to Shanghai in August.

The title for this blog comes from one of my favorite books, Love Does by Bob Goff.  He says that living life with too much fanfare and too much focus on presenting the impressive version of yourself ends up with you getting tangled in your cape instead of being loving and effective. Be secretly incredible.  So, no cape here.  A long suppressed love of writing and the potential to sow lots of good memories plus the prodding from a good friend have culminated in the existence of this space.  Enjoy.