Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

something in the air...

December 30, 2010

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dear Summer,

I am already itching for you to arrive! (As fast as possible, please, for I fear I am in dire need of some warmth and vigerous outdoor activity.) Don't get me wrong, friend, winter has been delightful, but it doesn't hold that sense of peace and freedom that I get when you are around.

You always know how to cheer me up. Show me the brighter side of things. Warm my heart and melt all me fears away. Dearest, dearest, do come soon, for I long to inhale your breathtaking fragrance; your exuberant joy. It's intoxicating. Refreshing. Satifying.

Oh, how I long to soak up your rays of warmth and tranquility; to lie under your comfort and know that everything will be alright. You, my blessed friend, are missed. Please come back to me. Don't delay your arrival. I'll be waiting.

White Layer Cake Recipe

December 27, 2010

Thank you all for the super nice Birthday Wishes! My day turned out better than expected...thanks to you all for your encouragement. And for those who asked: I did make my cake. I saw this darling picture online which inspired me to create my own 7 layered cake. (By the way...It was delish!). I chose 7 colors to use-all neon colors of coarse!

The recipe I used is an old recipe that I have had for all my birthdays since I was 13. I love it frozen (this is when it's the best) and piled high with fluffy Cream Cheese incing. So, if you're going to use this idea (by all means do, it's super cute), but don't really want to use a prepackaged cake mix (you want something with a clean, fresh flavor), here's the recipe I used. Trust me, it's to die for.

What you'll need:
  •  1/2 C. Butter
  • 1C. Sugar
  • 2 C. Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 Egg whites, beaten stiff (beat before; add in later)
What you need to do:

Cream butter and sugar together in mixer. In separate bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Once the butter and sugar are blended together into a silky, fluffy consistency, add vanilla. With milk and dry ingredients, alternately add them into creamed mixture. Once all ingredients are combined, producing a pearl white batter, fold in your egg whites. After adding in the egg whites you can do one of two things: 1) separate mixture evenly into two bowls. In the two bowls, add your food coloring (one color in one bowl; another color in the other); mix together until the color has melded into the batter; then pour into 2 cake pans, or 2) leave cake plain and pour into 2 pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. (To get the 7 layers effect, you'll need to make the recipe 4 times. This will technically make 8 cakes, but you could either have 8 layers, or eat the 8th as a snack.) Enjoy!

Happy Birthday To Me!

December 26, 2010

Yesterday was Christmas; today is my Birthday. Not much to report, only for the fact that it's another typical day. No friends, not a lot of family, and nothing particularly special....



But, I am not so upset that I would let it ruin my day; not now at least. The beginning of the day was a little shaky, but after talking it over with my mom, I feel a whole lot better. I'm not disappointed anymore. We had a yummy stuffing and turkey soup for lunch and then finished it off with a colorful cake and dairy-free ice cream (cake is dairy-free, too!).



So, Happy Birthday to me. I'm 18! Wow....18 years old. Gees, time flies by so quickly.




 Love you all. Hope you had a Merry Christmas! Enjoy the rest of 2010. Now, if you'll pardon me, I think I have Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream calling my name...

It's A White Christmas

December 25, 2010


A white Christmas after all. It's been almost 50 years since it's snowed on Christmas day here in Cottontown, TN (a little speck on the planet). The trees are heavenly doused with white, fluffy snow. The ground in saturated with it's angelic goodness. The roof tops are elegantly draped in it's finery. But the roads are spotless, almost as if it's the picture perfect snow you'd see in the movies. All of it a gift from the Heavenly Father...the greatest Christmas present ever!


As a mix of Josh Groban and Michael Buble play in our house, I am ever so thankful for the ability to be living in America celebrating the Birth of Christ freely. And as I thank God for my many blessings, I pray that those without a place to call home or presents under the tree, will be blessed by God's abounding grace; that they will undoubtedly be thankful for whatever situation they may encounter; that they will enjoy this holiday season; and that they will come to know the true meaning of Christmas...Christ Jesus.


The Christmas presents have yet to be opened under our Christmas tree, but the stockings have been infiltrated. While there may not be a whole lot of Christmas decor around my house (and from some, a lot of Christmas cheer), we will gather around the tree in celebration of the Birth of our Lord and give presents as a gesture of our love for one another. 


In ending, take a moment to read a passage from Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol. (I just love this scene...it's a beautiful reminder that we are to always cherish life, those around us and to be giving, heart & soul. Scrooge was a crabby, old codger, but in the end, he realized there's more gratification and pleasure in life when spending it with friends, family and helping those in need. We all need to realize that. His story is an excellent reminder.):

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" In his agony, he caught the spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but he was strong in his entreaty, and detained it. The Spirit, stronger yet, repulsed him. Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed, he saw an alteration in the Phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost. Yes! and the bedpost was his own.  The bed was his own, the room was his own.  Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in! "I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!" Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. "The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley!  Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees!"

Beautiful Love

December 16, 2010

It's easy to get caught up in the life of the world and go about your business each and every day without giving anything a second thought. All I can say is that my mind seems to wonder from one thing to the next, till everything seems the same; living each day just going through the motions. I must admit, sometimes I feel like I'm walking through a tunnel with no hope of light at the end. My eyes are tired and blinded with tears to where I have to sense my way through. Like I said, it's easy to get caught up in the life of the world...or in other words "LOST." It's difficult trying to live in a place that loves the extraordinary; I'm only ordinary, but I have an "EXTRAORDINARY GOD."

This world can easily tear you down with their evil ways and trickery, hoping that you will fall fast and hard. The world doesn't want you to shine, but drown along with them. I've been torn down, my heart torn out and ripped up like a useless sheet of paper that no one cares to even read what it has been written upon it. 
"But I know there is one who sees my paper heart, every frayed corner, all the rips and tears that I've tried to tape back together" (Paperdoll).
The world may not love me and who am I, but I have a God that does and his name is "JESUS". He takes this Beautiful mess that I am and makes it into a masterpiece. He shows me what true love is, because He is love, He's everything that love should be. He's the "BEAUTIFUL SIDE OF LOVE".

I know that whenever God looks at his creation "US", He doesn't look at the outside, but He looks at the inside, because He knows Real Beauty is more than Skin Deep.

~Stephanie (Emily's sister)~

You May Know Me Better There

December 11, 2010


“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do make it soon.”
“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”
“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.
“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”
“It isn't Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Chapter 16

*****
This quote is from the book, but the context and similarity are in the movie as well; it bears a greater meaning that I ever really cared to realize. I have always been a lover for the Chronicles of Narnia, and a sucker for Aslan. He may seem like a cute and very realistic Lion with a loud, powerful ROAR, and a fluffy mane, but behind this wild animal that speaks is a deeper meaning. And I understood this, really, for the first time when I watched the Voyage of the Dawn Treader yesterday afternoon. (Believe it or not, I learned, er, realized a lot of things during that movie.)

While some may not have caught on, it was as if something was jumping out at me as Aslan spoke to Lucy and Edmund: “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” 

This reminds me so much of what Jesus Christ did for us! He came as a little babe, walked the face of the earth while preaching for 33 years, and then laid down His life for us: Sinners. Vagabonds. Unworthy. Jesus stayed on earth for a little while for the same reason Aslan had Lucy and Edmund come to Narnia for a while--so we could know Him and experience Him better in our personal lives. 

C. S. Lewis offers such a magical rendition of what Christ does for us, and what He did do for us. While some may not realize it, this movie is oozing with Christianity. They may not want to admit it, and they may think that Aslan doesn't represent Christ, but he does. Just like Aslan, Christ is our protector, defender, friend, savior, and redeemer.


Voyage of the Dawn Treader

December 10, 2010


I saw this movie today at 11:00 A.M this morning, and let me just say this...IT WAS AMAZING! I don't want to be a plot spoiler, but this movie touches on some very good points that we face everyday. Aslan is just amazing; Lucy and Edmund are fantastic, and Caspian is adorable (as always :)). It's thriving with thrilling action, suspense, and sweet moments that are both captivating and chilling.

I encourage you all to see it when you get the chance. I adored it and believe it to be the best one yet!
Totally worth it....I LOVED IT! C:
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A Story is My World

December 9, 2010

I love writing. And for as long as I can remember, I have put my pen to work on those familiar white sheets of smooth and unblemished paper. On those sheets: I create. I imagine. I dream. I am...the author of my own story. A story that is originally and uniquely me!

For hours I sit at my desk contemplating on what I shall say and how I shall express myself onto the paper before me. So many feelings bottled up inside--how can I use them all?

When?

Where?

How?

These feelings fight to be free; but, alas, my pen can only flow so fast onto the paper, that I often struggle to grasp a hold of every word, inclination, and idea that threatens to flutter away before I have had the chance to reclaim them.

A story is my world; it's my life.

It is a place where I am at home, at peace and free to create those images that often swarm in my head. New and uncharted worlds and oceans have yet to be discovered. Characters have yet to be named. And indescribable and unidentifiable creatures of the deep dark ocean have yet to be imagined.

They beckon to me to release them from their solitude to greet the paper with graceful beginnings-- only to end up in a slow and miserable existence, to die a honorable and notable death, or to end in a peaceful serenity of a happy-ever-after.

Love Like Water

December 7, 2010

Listening To: Paper Doll-Rosie Thomas

I want love that is infinite, not flimsy. I want to experience the kind of love that boggles my mind with its depth and dimension. I want a love I can hold up to my heart like a kaleidoscope. Change the way I see things. Change the way I live. Teach me how to love. Take this beautiful mess and make is a masterpiece. Love won't shatter my heart with conditions. It accepts, uplifts, and redefines.
I want a love that gives me peace; a love that wraps around my shoulders like a blanket, pulling me close, whispering, "welcome home." I want a love I can swim in. I want to dive deeper and deeper and move faster against the current until I feel as if my lungs are going to explode. And then, when I break the surface, I want love to be my first furious breath of air--intoxicating, invigorating, alive. (Paperdoll, p.35)

I Heart Faces| Self Portrait

December 6, 2010








Take any self-portraits lately? You should!







Will-He

December 5, 2010

Will-He is his name. Almost like a Puritan remake of one of their really gnarly Christian names! He's a bouncy, lively, and snotty little puss. Cute, cuddly, and warm. He's such a precious little boy who almost didn't live to see his first birthday. I love this booger!

Thank You!

December 1, 2010

(As of Monday 11/29 and Tuesday 11/30) I forgot, or rather was too busy, to update you on my Grandpa Monday. He's out of surgery and doing good in the ICU. They have him sedated and are watching him in the ICU for 2-3 days to watch his progress, and to monitor his blood pressure. 

I was told that he didn't do so good the first night. His blood pressure went down dangerously low and his breathing became uneven. Scary! So with some meds and the advantage of a breathing tube, he's back to as normal as possible for someone who went through an extensive surgery. (They ended up removing bladder, glands, part of his prostate, and then reconstructing his bowls. His small intestine was reconnected to his kidney or colon [one of the 2!] and then to the bag).

The surgery actually took 7 hours; from 10:00a.m to 5:00p.m! It was a long day for my family down in Florida, possibly nerve raking, too. But your prayers were such a blessing! Thanks. I ask that you assist us in continual prayer. My Grandpa may be improving, but there is always a possibility that he go through bumpy times in ICU, as well as in the normal hospital room. Since he's not always optimistic and gets depressed about his situation, especially when he's feeling sick, he tends to see no light at the end of the tunnel. Please pray that he won't give up! 

And please help us pray for my Grandma, that she'll keep strong and have courage to help and support my Grandpa through this tough time.

Thank You!

***(As of last night and today...) Notice: Upon reading a few messages on my FB page, it appears my Grandpa had another rough night. Rapid heart beat and low grade fever. He's stable now, but will stay on ventilator for another day and will most likely stay in the ICU until Friday. Let's pray he doesn't have to stay there for that long period of time, and that they'll be able to move him to a regular room in a day or two. Thank you all so much for your prayers! Keep them coming!