Thursday, March 26, 2009

family game night

Dad and I used to play checkers a lot. I wanted the satisfaction of beating him fair and square, but so often he let me win by not even trying. At the end of the game, I felt swindled. Dad raised the white flag on the first move simply because I was a kid. I could've played with my eyes closed, one hand behind my back and in the next room over and still won. Not satisfying.

Board games with family: an excuse to be competitive and one of our only completely level playing fields. We don't play often, but it's blizzarding outside, so four of us tucked into our breakfast nook around the Scrabble board. It was a close game from the first round to the last, and I'm proud to say my brother and I came out ahead of mom and dad -- maybe for the first time in history. I'm glad Dad's past the point of letting us win. We always knew when he wasn't trying anyway, didn't we? The things they think they got away with... :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I've Lost My Marvels!

(I often come to my blog expecting to find a new post written to pique my interest, as if there's a blog wizard that writes here when I didn't. haha)

The last few Sundays I've listened to sermons about worship, and how, as creatures made to worship, this must define our every moment. This morning, my pastor mentioned the word "marvel" only once, but that triggered something. I immediately knew I had lost some of this over the last while, and I missed it dearly! I find great pleasure in life and all the tiny details that make life what it is. I try to consciously observe these things and appreciate them, as they easily go unnoticed. To marvel is to find God fascinating. It is to take in all you can handle until you're overwhelmed with goodness. Little things go unnoticed and life suddenly transforms into khakis, bland and colorless -- sometimes even pleated. To notice the delicate center of a flower or listen to birds sing outside your window is to observe the fulfillment of God's promises. If I don't observe it there, how will I trust His promises to me? God asks us for faith, but He's given us plenty of evidence on which to ground it.

Marveling at who God is and the character of what He does deepens faith and confidence in Him. It makes it real to my soul. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. Silly me. And my only excuse is that I was busy, or careless, or unintentional, or whatever you want to call it.

Hebrews 13:15
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patty

Who is this legend, this one whose remembrance requires us to wear green clothing lest we be pinched? And why does he have a whole day on our calendar? Oddly enough, this question never occurred to me before this year. I've asked many people this question over the last few days, and everyone is just as stumped. Nobody knows about this mysterious hero, but everyone's green glasses will be raised high tomorrow regardless.

Curiosity led me to wikipedia, and after thorough study I discovered that St. Patrick's father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest. A native of Banna Venta Berniae, Saint Patrick was kidnapped at sixteen and brought to Ireland as a slave. He fled six years later in response to a voice he heard telling him to return home. Several years after that, he saw a vision, in which a letter was delivered to him from the people of Ireland saying, "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us." What did he do? He went to Ireland as a missionary. Yes, our brave Patrick went to Ireland and baptized thousands, converting wealthy women to nuns, ordaining priests to lead new Christian communities and converting sons of kings. He is said to have encouraged the slaves and the poor to vows of monastic chastity. The churches tied to his ministry were still expanding their influence throughout Ireland two centuries after his death.

Saint Patrick was one of the earliest missionaries to minister abroad. He explained the Trinity to the Irish using the Shamrock, and has thus inspired centuries of missionaries to explore the best evangelism techniques. One major barrier for Patrick: he didn't speak the language of the Irish, and translators were very limited. So he lived by example, both for the Irish during his day and for missionaries that would follow -- learn the language before going foreign. March 17 is recognized as the day of his death and is now celebrated as his feast day.

So there you have it: the reason for green on March 17. Tomorrow I will enjoy traditional Irish fare and bask in the...happy...celebration of St. Patrick's life. Happy St. Patrick's Day :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blissful Sunday

I drove to a coffee shop to write about something specific, but it's not flowing tonight. I got sidetracked with a friend's blog and laughed out loud several times. He wrote about his international adventures, so I'm currently imagining myself galavanting through the Alps.

Back to reality: Today, Sunday, was bliss. This morning I made oatmeal -- with my secret ingredient -- and no, I'm not telling. Went to church and came home to an empty house but a full refrigerator. I mixed avocado with cranberry mustard, spread it on a toasted whole grain/flax english muffin and topped it with turkey and mozzarella. Tres bon. Family came home and mom and I chatted over chai tea, then I perused the web for apartments in Denver and Boulder. I nearly fell in love with a loft: wide open, hardwood floors, exposed brick wall, and a spiral staircase. Please. It doesn't get any better. I should mention that it was about 70℉ here today, so I tested out my new running shoes in Garden of the Gods. I went to Whole Foods with Dad and Mom and, as always, Whole Foods inspired the chef in me. Then I arrived where I started this post: downtown coffee shop. Distraction, procrastination, and general claustrophobia set in so I took a drive -- a fast drive -- to mellow out a bit. A near-perfect Sunday. I see this turned into a play-by-play...cheers for making it to the end!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chocolate Cake and Tea

These were my musings over a spot of tea and chocolate cake. Life is made up of moments, habits, decisions, little steps. One step, then another, then another. Process. Progress. Patience. Perseverance.

If the requirement was to be all put-together today and perfect tomorrow, I'd be dead the day after that. Making mistakes and basking in my imperfections is a very important part of life. Without them I would be a stagnant swamp of boredom, a body void of vitality or vigor. I'm finished striving for perfection. I'm striving for progress; it's much more forgiving, and it keeps my heart beating.

There is something so idealistic about the 20s. We're young, exuberant, old enough to take responsibility for our actions and start walking the paths of our calling. There is hope, expectation of great things, setbacks, disappointment, and fresh starts. We don't need to know what we'll be doing in five years or twenty. We simply need to take a step toward tomorrow: a bold, strong step. It can be frightening, but it's possible. And besides, we are anchored to an immovable force that will direct the path. We should live boldly and expectantly! Why ever would we default to timidity when, with faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move a mountain?

There is an immense amount of hope in Jesus. A heart bursting with hope and faith will, and must, persevere in progress, ever looking upward and forward. There must be an immense amount of beauty in the heart that chooses to engage in this process fully, every day. It's a surrender, but not from a heart of defeat. It's the surrender of a heart that has been so captivated by the love of an all-powerful God that it can do nothing but hope in the new mercies of tomorrow and the grace for today. It boasts in its failures. It presses on; it doesn't trudge.

I'm so eager to accept life as a process, and to enjoy it as that. One day at a time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Aah, womanhood. The joys, the beauties, the trials, the nesting! By nesting I mean making a house a home. I'm quickly approaching my mid-twenties (unless almost-24 is mid-twenties -- yikes), and the nesting bug just bit me. It's gone from the occasional leisure thought floating through my head to a focused interest. Thanks to domino magazine, anthropologie, lovely boutiques and inspirational cafes, I now want to own a little house with a pretty garden, a red front door (at least once in my life), and at least one navy blue wall inside. You're all invited to the housewarming party.

This morning I met two girlfriends downtown at Smiley's Cafe for coffee and an egg sandwich on toast...with avocado. This little place is eclectic, with plants in the windowsill and every category of art on the wall. No two chairs were the same. This got us talking about our homes and our plans for improving them this spring and summer. My project is setting up a comfortable nook on my balcony with plants and a chair, and perhaps a lantern or two. To my surprise, I find myself having these conversations on a semi-regular basis, and I don't know where it came from. My college roommate drove through town a few days ago with her husband and daughter, and we talked about gardening and exchanging recipes!! I'm convinced that once a girl hits her early-mid-twenties, womanhood sets in somethin' fierce. Please note: womanhood does not mean motherhood. I refuse to wear mom jeans. Ever. Nor will I have a mom haircut. It simply means that I care more about cozying up a real home as opposed to sweeping out my fort in the backyard. Man, I feel like a woman.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I've always thought I would've liked to be an explorer, to discover California, or be the journalist traveling with Lewis and Clark, or even be a Native American (pre-United States) surviving on the land. Can you imagine the adventure?! I'm getting antsy just thinking about it. I need to go ride a horse with no reins, just mane, through an open field.
Cinderella was never my childhood fantasy. Laura Ingalls and Pocahontas were my girls, wild and free. My backyard paradise was all forest, where I built many forts. Unfortunately this isn't acceptable adult activity. I don't want that explorer spirit to die, and I must confess I haven't been doing much to encourage it since I moved back to Colorado. Can I blame it on the cold? Yes, that is my excuse. Today was almost like summer, and I was on the open road with the windows down. Once summer really arrives, I will be discovering the nooks and crannies of Colorado Springs, and hopefully taking some trips to the mountains. After all, not everyone lives this close to the Rocky Mountains -- and I don't know how long it will last for me. It's time to buckle down and get serious about discovering new places and rediscovering some old favorites. Don't worry, I'll take you along.