Thursday, January 29, 2015
I absolutely loved taking photos of this crowd. It does always seems overwhelming... 20+ seniors in a few hours, trying to work with one location and make it somewhat unique for each person. But somehow it works out and I will stand by "hitherto the Lord has helped me," because I certainly do ask for it for days and days leading up to the event.
More photos here, though still just a preview.
A rainy, chill your bones cold kind of day.
A day to take photos of 21 seniors; My joy and my delight, to in my own small way see them as the Father in Heaven sees them and let them see this too.
A long day, to return home to my own gathered at the table.
A beautiful day, where six of the best of God's fruit was given to me by a friend.
Because real friends give friends avocados.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Psalm of the Day~ Psalm 27
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Today is purely some photo fun. It was fun for me anyway~ a fusion of creativity and time with my girl. When I worked at a flower shop in high school, I learned that I loved the challenge of playing with colors, textures and size. There is also apparently a flower crown craze going on in the States, though I had no idea. Didn't think you could make happy spring flowers all moody and dark did you? Well, I can make just about anything moody and dark.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Three things today:
1. This morning's run may have taken decades off my life. #pollutionproblems
2. These boys collaborating with their instruments and voices to prepare for a hopeful performance later in the year is the cutest thing. #thefutureisbright
3. It's only January, and I am ready for spring. #waitingisgoodforyou
Friday, January 23, 2015
I have said this before but I am no homesteader. I don't set out to be and I don't pretend to be and outside of when I read the Little House series I don't really even think I want to be. But I do enjoy cooking, and my journey has often been one of necessity. The combination of limited access to certain foods, an eye addicted to aesthetics, and the love of making things that are pleasing to eat has led to a few ventures here and there that have surprised me.
One day this week, the dinner menu item was noodles, chicken, and veggies, but my grocery budget was limited and the more expensive imported noodles at the store got the veto. There are cheap-o fresh chinese noodles at the wet market but I didn't think of that. And there is something special about homemade noodles if you have the means and the time.
**"if you have the means and the time" is especially for all you full time working friends or anyone who rolls their eyes at the luxury of minutes to make homemade anything.
The recipe is very simple, and my only lesson to share that I learned the first time I threw an entire batch away in frustration is... use a lot of flour. Not only when rolling out the sheets of dough, but especially when rolling up the sheets of dough to be cut into strips. Continuing to sprinkle plenty of flour means the dough won't stick and that is important to make for easy unraveling and to avoid a sticky mass of ruined dough.
This is the basic, good ole Betty Crocker recipe I use:
If you try it, I hope you enjoy it! And if it fails, please don't blame me (but try again!)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
The life of this city is palpable and equally unknowable. Everywhere I look there are layers I can't see into, that I know I don't understand. Cities are overwhelming to me, with the masses of people, of humanity, of living souls that you pass in and out of and all around every single day. There is a life with eternity stamped inside that heart and years of stories lining those hands, and that is true of every enfleshed person I brush up against on just my simple walk to the market.
When I go to the mountains, I'm refreshed by all the enormous realities and comforts and wonders of God and his creation and who He is. When I come back to the city, I am quickly weighed down by the burdens of humanity.
Annie Dillard wrote a dramatic and haunting book called Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, chronicling a year in her life observing the intricacies of nature in the lands surrounding her home. It reads like a Psalm, like nature as Scripture and it reminds me how staggering and healing and horrifying being alive in and noticing the created world is. But I don't live in nature. I live in a concrete jungle with a few parks smattered here and there. The message in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is often that nature is pretty terrifying even in it's beauty. I find that to be true, perhaps even more so in the city.
But the city is where hearts beat. And every time I think I could be happier on a sunlit hill somewhere far from dirty skies and spit strewn sidewalks, somewhere far from the sadness of orphans and economic disparity and poevert, I look at the faces of all these people. A walk turns into a photo walk turns into a prayer walk. As their hearts beat, so does His for them.
And beyond all these faces of those I don't know and perhaps never can, are the living breathing neighbors right under my nose. The ones that are sometimes the hardest to love because they rub up under your skin right under your own roof, or right down the stairwell. For all the faces I can bleed for on the street, it's the ones who I actually know that need the full force of my love. But that is talk for another day.
See the city. Love the city.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
We are waiting. All these cold winter months, we are waiting. Every year it happens, and every year it's a powerful metaphor once again that the dead months are necessary to produce the life that comes later.
"Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." ~John 12But who buried the seed... was it me? Or God? We often like to think of that metaphor as though it means that anything hard we are going through is some kind of martyrish, necessary "death" which in time will produce some great good. And yet there are all those times when we bring those dark, winter months on ourselves. When our difficult circumstances are not a result of external forces, but of our own fault.
I have often read the "You have found favor with God" statement to Mary, and so badly wanted to grasp it for myself, wishing it could apply to me as well, but couldn't seem to do it. Sometimes there have been areas I was not submitting to Him in, that I wasn't letting Him show me my wrongdoing in, and I didn't feel his favor. When you suffer because of your own waywardness, it's hard to feel too much comfort.
Then there are all those words in Hebrews about the Lord chastising those He loves, and disciplining the son He delights in. In fact, it says that his discipline is a sign of his love. And of course, as a parent I can readily relate to that. It has brought me back to the fact that as a child of His, I do find favor with God, but that favor does not always come without fury. He is committed to me and to all of His children; to their holiness, their perfect delight in the Best Things. And when we go off and do things our own way, we will get disciplined as his favored children.
I feel the death in that. Letting Him show me things about myself that I do not want to admit or change, is nothing short of soul stripping.
This is the death of the seed that I want and need. Not a woe-is-me-but-some-good-will-come-of-this metaphor. But a real surrender.