Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the monthly cooking segment: farmer's market!

howie came up to visit. we did some really fun things in madison, including going to the farmer's market. we decided to make a meal with some stuff we bought there: two different kinds of ravioli and asparagus. yes, it was awesome.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

what to do

last year, i followed a little plan to figure out the next step in my life. it was surprisingly effective. or it could have been that God had perfect plans laid out for me to follow if i was quiet and obedient. one of those. :)

anyway, in my whole figuring out what to do plan, i sent out an email to a bunch of people from various stages of my life. i asked these questions:

a) what are a couple of my weaknesses?

b) what are a couple of my strengths?

c) what are some things you know i am passionate about?

d) what is something you hope to see me do with my life?

some of you, dear blog readers, responded to this email. thanks for that.

tonight, i read through the responses, and they really made me smile. i was particularly psyched to see that i have grown (a crapload, if you want to know the truth) in many of the areas that were listed as weaknesses for me. and i felt really affirmed to see that i am really (and i mean REALLY) living out of my strengths and passions.

it was a good heart check for me.

if you didn't have a chance to respond to the email last february, i'd love to hear your thoughts now. (and if you did respond, let me know if you have more to share!) go ahead and hit me with the responses in the comments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

oh yeah...so here's some stuff.

i wanted to try and explain what i am doing this summer. this is not necessarily in order of priority or time spent.

a) i am taking two classes. (shout out to those jokers reading this!) they are online. lots of the same people i've been 'in class' with for the past two semesters.

b) i am playing frisbee. 4 nights a week. and almost every weekend. booyah.

c) i am working for my friend, dan. i will eventually post some pictures (that would require me taking my camera to work) that will better illustrate the things i am doing. the short version is that i am sorting and merging magic cards. and picking and shipping them. and other random stuff. the key is that i am getting really good at 'colors' (colorless, white, blue, black, red, green, gold, hybrid, artifacts, lands) and alphabetizing. and i am working on memorizing the sets. dan has informed me i will make a nerd husband very happy someday.

d) i am [theoretically] working on my book. but i haven't actually done that at all yet. too much homework...too many magic cards.

e) other random things. like brewers games (this sunday!!), going to all the cool places in madison that i love, playing excessive amounts of settlers with josh and jennifer, eating and cooking (but mostly eating), and mowing the penning's yard.

it's good times. i am busier than i expected. i think the summer will be over in the blink of an eye.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

30 by 30 update: the back in madtown edition

1. still getting my master's degree. still have a 4.0. woot.

2. so far, i have paid off $850 of my debt to my dad. working it down.

11. i just did this one, so i am not making a whole post about it. but i made lunch for josh, jennifer, and me today. it's one of my mom's favorite things that i fix, and it's so simple. imitation crab, lemon juice, celery, and miracle whip...mix that all together. mash up an avocado and spread it on some toast...throw the crab mix on top of that...throw some sprouts on that...eat. boom. delish. if you're curious, josh plated the sandwich and grapes so they would look awesome for my blog. :)

22. heather and i went and painted cathy and eric's house a couple weekends ago. didn't realize till i was midway through my first room that i was actively crossing something off my list. haha. awesome.

29. i read serenity: the shepherd's tale. i think that's 18 out of 100.

so there you have it. i am settling into a more regular schedule now, so i *hope* i will be a better blogger in the coming month. we shall see.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

my favorite...coffee place

i'm currently at starbucks. no, not my favorite starbucks. that one is in south carolina. and my second favorite one is in indiana. shoot, i'm not even at my favorite starbucks in madison. this one is probably number 3 on my list. but it'll do.

i like coffee. i'm not a starbucks snob in the sense that i think they have the best coffee or the greatest music or the comfiest chairs (actually, i might make that argument) or whatever. but i am a starbucks snob in the sense that i would always choose to go to starbucks over any other coffee place.

let's be honest: i almost always have starbucks gift cards people have given me. that's free coffee, in my eyes.

and i know what i like at starbucks...actually, seven or eight things that i like (although, yes, i still really only typically order one of three drinks). don't underestimate how important a sense of familiarity with a place is in my mind.

starbucks is my favorite coffee place, though, for one major reason above all others: it reminds me of wednesday nights in myrtle beach with miranda.

starbucks reminds me of post it note passing, of intimate moments with Jesus, of a corner with purple chairs, of falling madly in love with 90 people, of learning how to be real and authentic and vulnerable about my heart, of desiring to know and be known, of laughter, of talks about boys, of dancing in the rain, of jumping in the pool with all my clothes on, of sand everywhere, of runs with nina, of experiencing so much in ten weeks that seven years later, i am still talking about it with wonder and deep affection.

every moment i have ever had in a starbucks since myrtle beach has brought me closer to Jesus.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

faith and school: more thoughts from arthur

i'm going to hit you with another quote from arthur holmes in the idea of a Christian college because i am just lovin' what he has to say:

'somehow or other the student must realize that education is a Christian vocation, one's prime calling from God for these years, that education must be an act of love, of worship, of stewardship, a wholehearted response to God. attitude and motivation accordingly afford but a beginning; this personal contact between faith and learning should extend to disciplined scholarship and to intellectual and artistic integrity.'

the chapter i pulled this quote from is on integrating faith and learning. i just love it...love the concepts i am pulling from this little book (it's only 104 pages if you want to pick it up)...love the gentle nudges i am getting, the nods of affirmation about what i am doing.

one's prime calling from God for these years

love it so much.

Monday, May 16, 2011

devo thought: living in your glory

living in your glory

might mean dancing--the kind of dancing that uses so much energy and passion because it is filled to the brim with laughter and then the tears come spilling over the edge--the kind of dancing that slams bodies together and apart in wild jubilation (a wedding mosh pit)--the kind of dancing that cripples you for days because your calves have never leaped so many times (reaching for Heaven)--the kind of dancing where sweat pours from every crevice and leaves you panting and claiming you are too old for this (spontaneous street dance party).

living in your glory

might mean weeping. not just single tear trickling down your cheek kind of crying. weeping to exhaustion. not just lump in your throat and eyes welling slightly at a ridiculous commercial that caught you at just the right moment. weeping uncontrollably. not just angry tears pushing out in impatient frustration. weeping to cleanse and lighten. weeping to ease and soften. weeping to experience depth, pain, beauty, and grace.

living in your glory

might mean trusting--a freefall, over-the-edge, off the cliff, into deep waters, beyond the reach of light, behind your back, eyes closed, open hands, without a net, stomach in your mouth, around the corner, behind the door, inside the unmarked box, mysterious, wild, wonderful, crazy, hopeful, terrifying kind of trusting.

living in your glory

might be letting go, moving on, forgiving, believing, waiting, asking, allowing, ceasing to fight, enjoying, blessing, releasing, reaching out, turning the other cheek, laughing, preparing, honoring, delighting, praying, singing, writing, hugging, running, leaping, and being willing to move to your rhythm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

man, i love what i am learning

'the educated Christian exercises critical judgment and manifests the ability to interpret and to evaluate information, particularly in the light of the Christian revelation. in a word, if she is to act creatively and to speak with cogency and clarity to the minds of her fellows, the educated Christian must be at home in the world of ideas and people....unless we understand the thought- and value-patterns of our day, as well as those of biblical revelation and the Christian community, and unless we speak fluently the language of our contemporaries, we tragically limit our effectiveness.' the idea of a Christian college (arthur holmes)

this is something i really appreciate about the education i am getting right now...and what i see evident in the lives of many of the honors students with whom i work. it is good to gain knowledge. it is great to think critically. it is awesome to engage people and information. but it is also important to live in the reality of the world.

i think one of my favorite things is building bridges between the knowledge and the reality. i talk constantly about how it's ridiculous to try and impose a certain value system on a world that doesn't buy it. so the key is to get into that world, speak the language, build relationships, understand the current value system, and represent Christ. you know...dig my heels in, ask questions, and connect the priorities and values of lost people to what Christ is doing.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

picture this: you can't always believe what you read

conversation with my mother after handing her my fortune:

mom: [frowning slightly] i can't read these things anymore without...

me: adding 'in bed' to the end?

mom: yes!

we've ruined her. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

because i can.

i hope this puts a smile on your face. and if it doesn't, these are the sorts of things you have to endure when you read my blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

heads up for the summer

i am taking two classes this summer...they go from tomorrow until the middle of july. they're online, which means i get to hang out in madison for a few months. shaboom. for our online classes, we always have to write an autobiography...not all of us actually know or have seen one another, so it's an effort to get to know the class. this time, i threw in a link to my good old blog...since i tend to process and write about school stuff on occasion. so we'll see if we get a little traffic from my pals up in this neighborhood.

the two classes i am taking this summer are special topics in higher education: mental health issues facing the college campus and administration and finance in higher education. so those should be...interesting. maybe. i'll keep you posted.

i'll move up to madison next friday. i'll be living with jennifer (read: eating awesome food), working, and playing crap tons of frisbee. i'm going to work on my 30 by 30 list, commit serious time to my book, and soak up the awesomeness that is madison.

yeah, it's gonna be a good summer.

1) what are your summer plans?
2) do you have any goals for me this summer?

(yeah, i DID take this picture...it's the terrace. almost two years ago. haha.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

blogger fail

well. the semester is over. so i can breathe.

until wednesday. when my summer classes start.

i'd love your input: after four months of a steady diet of

mondays: devo thoughts
tuesdays: faith and school
wednesdays: why i'm a writer
thursdays: my favorite feature
fridays: picture this

how are you feeling?

what do you want more of? what do you want less of?

i need some feedback here.