Thursday, November 29, 2012

psalm 7

Psalm 7

I run to your safe arms, my Yahweh.
Protect me from my enemies—be my champion!
Without you, I will be ripped to shreds,
a piece of meat in the mouths of dogs.
Yahweh, you know my sins--
you know if I have hurt others,
if I have acted unfairly,
or been merciless to my friends or enemies.
And if I have?
Well, I will take the punishment. 
Let them abuse and destroy my name and my life.

Get up, Yahweh—let your fierce fury roll out.
Get right in the face of my accusers.
Don’t sleep while I need your vindication!
Circle up the troops;
command them.
You, Yahweh, are the mighty judge,
and I know you will clear my name.
Find a quick finish for these evil people,
and champion the cause of your holy ones.
I know you see the deep motives of our hearts very clearly,
Yahweh—my just and holy God.

Yahweh is my very near defender,
the protector of the pure and righteous.
Yahweh makes fair and true decisions
and hates the ways of evil men.

If sinners don’t change their ways,
Yahweh will skewer them;
he will string them up.
Yahweh will end them forcefully
and shock them violently.

Evil men constantly scheme;
they fill their minds with wickedness
and produce deceit all the time.
They try to trick and imprison others,
but they become snared in their own traps.
The evil they plan for others is their own downfall.
Their anger and hate comes back to them.

I am full of gratitude, Yahweh the just,
and I will glorify your name, my King.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

sing like never before, oh my soul

i am coming into a new season...and i just don't know what to expect.

i am excited to be in community again.  excited to be near students again.

but i don't have a job.  i have a place to live, but i am not sure i am staying there long.  so my life might remain packed in boxes, as it has since may.

bless the Lord, oh my soul.......oh my soul.

i alternate between fear of change and delight at what might be coming.  it's a scary kind of pendulum swing for this heart that tries to stay somewhere in the balanced middle.

psalm 6

Psalm 6

Oh, Yahweh, don’t scold me; I know you are outraged.
Don’t punish me—despite your fury.
Take pity on this poor soul, Yahweh, for I am a weak human.
Bring relief; bring a cure!  My body falls apart,
and my heart is simply broken.
Oh, Yahweh, when will you put my pieces together?
Come back, Yahweh, and be the hero of my heart.
I know your love is steadfast; you will rescue me.
Corpses don’t know you,
and they can’t worship you where they lie.
My tears have wrecked me.
My pillow is soaked from crying out in desperation all night.
I can’t see straight because of the sorrow;
my foes ruin everything at which I look.
Get out of here, sinners and wicked ones!
Yahweh hears my every cry!
He listens to my mourning,
and He will respond.
My foes don’t stand a chance.
They will be scorned and humiliated, driven far away.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

psalm 5

Psalm  5

Oh, Yahweh, can you hear me?
My heart is aching,
and I need to hear from you.
Master, ruler, lover,
you are the only one who can rescue me.
Draw near to me as the sun rises, Yahweh.
My sorrows and needs are before you;
I will wait hopefully, for you are a God who delivers.

Yahweh, there is no joy when we sin;
it breaks your heart to see how evil people act.
That’s why the haughty are brought low before you--
you abhor wickedness.
You will bring liars to ruin,
and you cannot tolerate the hatred and evil that abounds.

But your presence, goodness, and love allow me to come near to you;
I will never get over the gift of being allowed to praise you.
Guide me, Yahweh,
or I am sure to falter.
Give me greater insight into your direction for my life.

My foes lie constantly.
All they do is hate and kill.
Disease and death pour out of their mouths.
They try to sweet talk others,
but you see through it, Yahweh.  Pass judgment on them.
I want them to be trapped and humiliated in their lies.
Get them out of here--
they do not honor you at all!

But everyone who knows you is safe and can dance with delight;
we will start a chorus of blessing, and it will last forever.
Protect your people, Yahweh,
so everyone who knows and loves you can rejoice constantly.
You bless your beloved people, Yahweh,
and you wrap your strong arms around us--
it is because you love us well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

psalm 4

Psalm 4

Are you listening when I cry out?
Then answer, Yahweh, my defender!
Rescue me from this heartache and sorrow.
Incline your ear to me; give me grace for this moment.
Troublemakers are wrecking my life,
spreading lies and dragging my name through the mud.
How can I bear this abuse?
Well, I know this with certainty:
Yahweh knows His beloved,
and Yahweh will respond to my suffering.
Calm down—don’t let rage be your master.
Give yourself a quiet night to think it over.
Bring a spirit of worship to Yahweh;
He will care for you.
Others may say, “When will my life turn around?”
Oh, Yahweh, pour your gracious spirit down on us.
You have blessed my life abundantly--
even more than those who are rich and satisfied.
I can rest sweetly in your embrace
because I know only Yahweh can truly guard my life.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Psalm 3

Psalm 3

Yahweh, my list of enemies is growing!
I am beaten down by this gang.
Others whisper,
“Even Yahweh can’t come to the rescue.”
Oh, but Yahweh, you shelter me;
holy one, you wrap your arms around me,
and you direct my eyes to yours.
When I call for you, Yahweh,
you respond from your throne.
I can let go and relax;
my sleep is sweet because Yahweh is my everything.
There is no reason to fear these hordes.
Come on, Yahweh!
Come to the rescue!
Smash them all to bits.
Yahweh directs the rescue operation,
and your joy covers the church.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

psalm 2

Psalm 2

Why is there so much unrest in the world?
Why do these men use their energy for foolish thinking?
They strut around and plan to fight;
they think if they stick together,
they can take on Yahweh
and hurt his chosen leader. 
“We don’t need to submit to Yahweh!
Let’s run free and go where we want.”
But Yahweh smiles grimly;
he mocks their simple thoughts.
With power and fury, he disciplines them,
frightening them with his anger.
Yahweh tells them, “I picked this leader for my people;
he is right where he should be.”
And I will tell them--
Yahweh called me to this place, claiming me as his own.
He adopted me and changed my name.
He said, “If you ask me, I will give you everything;
all these countries and people are yours.
You can rule them with discipline
and destroy those who are unworthy.”
So listen, you leaders!
Be wise, for I have spoken Yahweh’s truth.
Honor him, fear him,
praise him.  Take joy!
If you don’t listen to me, Yahweh’s chosen one, I will terrify you
and wreck everything you have built.
Trust me, my anger is no joke.
But it is a blessing to rest in my leadership.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Psalm 1

Blessings are abundant for those who don’t
listen to the advice of fools,
spend time with evil people,
or participate in pointless banter.
But they take great joy in Yahweh’s Word,
thinking about and praying over it throughout the day.
They will flourish and thrive,
producing evident spiritual fruit.
They will not wear out,
and their hands will find success.
But evil people can forget about it!
They are dirt and dust, and the wind blows them all over.
Yahweh will pronounce judgment on them,
because wicked people don’t belong with Yahweh’s holy people.
Yahweh attends to the plans of his beloved people,
but wicked people are doomed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

hello, old friend

yeah, i have been absent.  not just from posting.  from reading blogs, too.  so if you have been writing super important things with funny little jokes that i should be laughing at, i haven't read them.  sorry.  i will spend some time catching up on those.

life update: i am still in madison.  still working for dan.  still playing frisbee.  but i am tired.  my body is worn out, and i miss home.  i love madison, and it will always be a home place for me, but it is not home anymore.

i am still looking at and applying for jobs.  waiting on one in particular, but we'll see how it goes.

i decided i am moving back to indiana in the middle of november.  unless i am called somewhere else earlier.

finally, a new little project.  miranda and i are doing beth moore's bible study on the psalms of ascent.  it's called stepping up, and i am super loving it.  one of the things i love most is that we are rewriting those 15 psalms in our own voice at the end of each section.  so great.  really helping me connect to the Word and to the Lord.

so...i think i am going to rewrite all the psalms.  and i am going to post them here randomly.  no timeline.  just want to share my heart a bit in that way.  i welcome your comments.

the end.

Friday, July 20, 2012

the monthly cooking segment: 20/20

though i will not finish a number of items on my list, this is one i knew i would be mad if i didn't complete it...i had 19 out of 20, after all.

so i made dinner for liz and me the other night.

we had salmon, spring rolls (i didn't make them; they just sounded like a good add on), broccoli, wild rice, and poppadoms.

the meal was pretty delicious and made the apartment smell good, too.

oh, hey...tomorrow is my birthday.  nbd.

Friday, June 1, 2012

the monthly cooking segment: new new new

i tried two new pinterest meals (if you haven't checked it out yet, my food board is HERE), and they were awesome.

i made pork chops...recipe HERE...and arugula pizza...recipe HERE.

i could not believe how easy the pork chops were.  i had never made them before, so i was pretty nervous.  but they turned out really well--super juicy.

i didn't actually make the flatbread, so my meal was not gluten free.  i just used whole wheat pitas.  but they were great.  goat cheese is becoming my new best friend. next time, i would use more arugula (first time i had ever even tasted it, let alone cooked with it!) than the recipe calls for.  and i would carmelize the onions more.

both items were really excellent left over, too.  the pork chops totally retained their juiciness.  

two thumbs up for both recipes.

Monday, May 21, 2012

30 by 30 update: 2 more months

time sure is flying.  hard to believe that a month ago, liz and i were running a marathon.  crazy.

so here's what i have gotten done in the past month:

1) i got my master's degree!  i graduated on april 28th, with much pomp and circumstance.  for all of you still confused about what i have been doing for the last two years, this is my degree: master's of art in counseling, specializing in student development counseling and administration.  no, i am not certified.  no, i do not want to be.

this pic is heather and me at the hooding ceremony.  oh, so fancy.  :)

2) my debt to my father is down to the last $200.  pretty exciting!  ($2500/$2700)

8) i knocked out the pinterest meals in one month!  and they were amazing.  the first two are on my monthly cooking segment.  i dominated this goal, though.  i made a total of eight things.  i am leaving comments on my pinterest board HERE if you want to keep track of the things i am cooking.  but i'll also link to the individual recipes below the pictures for you.  so here is what else i made:

thai coconut curry shrimp.  yum.  RECIPE.

garlic and mozzarella wontons.  amazing.  i baked them (425 for about 17 minutes) instead of frying them.  RECIPE.  

rosemary and goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms with bread crumbs.  these are delicious and rich.  RECIPE.

green coconut salmon (with cous cous, peas, french bread, and fresh mango).  liz said this was her favorite meal.  RECIPE.  

southwestern egg rolls with avocado ranch dipping sauce.  i should have baked them a bit longer.  and made the sauce zestier.  but still yummy.  RECIPE.  

tuscan chicken pizza.  we used a yellow pepper instead of a red one.  very good, and the pizza was delicious left over.  RECIPE.

11) as i said, the first two meals (spinach and artichoke baked pasta and eggplant sandwiches) were featured on my monthly cooking segment (18/20).  check them out HERE.

12) i planned a scavenger hunt for my sweet little wigger girls.  heather and keely helped execute the plans.  i think they had a pretty fun time.  i made them run all over marion and do ridiculous things.  but they got lots of treats along the way.  here are some pics:

the girls as they headed out on their adventure.

helping heather choose 'the right hat.'  not sure this was it...

delivering treats to our pal, fritz.

27) i am changing 'get another tattoo' to 'get another piercing,' because i haven't settled on my next tattoo design, and it is not something i want to rush just for the sake of the list.

29) i have read 74/100 books.  i need to get cracking on this.  this past month, i finished the simple life, the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society, and perelandra.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the monthly cooking segment: pinterest is baller

hey, remember how i changed a goal to making stuff on pinterest?  oh, well, if not, read that HERE.

since i am abandoning the wigger women in a while, it seemed like a good idea to cook even more.  :)  so liz and i sat down this week and picked a couple of the meals off my food board (check it out HERE).

meal number one: spinach and artichoke baked pasta.  the original recipe can be found HERE.  this is gooey.  and cheesy.  and delicious.  and oh's pretty ridiculous with salmon.

verdict: yes, please, and more of it!  (also delicious leftover.)

meal number two: eggplant sandwiches.  the original recipe can be found HERE.  basically, you coat some slices of eggplant with breadcrumbs, pan fry them, and then use them instead of a bun.  plus tomato...romaine lettuce...fresh basil...and goat cheese.  soooo good.  i recommend thinner slices of eggplant, really getting the oil out, more than a sprinkle of salt, and using tons of goat cheese.  :)

verdict: excellent, and very easy to tweak for various tastes (no basil and very little tomato for liz).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

30 by 30: the late post with valid excuses

i have had a busy couple of weeks.  some of that craziness belongs to this update, and some belongs to may's.  so stay tuned for that.

here's what happened from march 22-april 21:

2) i paid off another hundred around $300 left until my debt to dad is gone!

11) the monthly cooking blog featured the freshmen.  it's not hard to find due to my lack of blogging, but just in case, it's HERE.  that makes 17 out of 20.

16) i ran a marathon!  woohoo!  i actually ran about 26.7 miles.  missed a turn somewhere in mile 22, so that was a fun adventure.  my time was 4:57, so not nearly the marathon i was hoping to run, but i made a friend in last couple of miles who was really encouraging, saw my family and friends about 6 times throughout the day, and had a pretty joyful spirit the whole time, even while my body was rebelling against me.

i ran the first 7 miles with liz and steph and then had to do the next 19 on my own.  they ran great times.  this picture is at mile 15.  please notice the super cool fanny pack i am rocking (thanks, mom!).

i promise i was not nearly this smiley after my half marathon.  i'd say we look pretty decent for having busted our butts, though.

29) i only finished one book this past month...hopefully, getting grad school out of the way will increase my reading time.  :)  i read career information, career counseling, and career development.  that makes 71 out of 100.

Monday, March 26, 2012

the monthly cooking segment: yeah yeah yeah the freshmen

so even though they don't need me anymore, i still like to feed 'em.  however, i do not like to remember to take pictures of the finished products.

luckily, phil took a picture of me in the kitchen.  wearing my cute little apron.

those lucky freshmen got to eat pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and fruit salad.  spoiled is what they are.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

30 by 30 update: that awkward moment when march is july

hello, blogging family that i shamelessly ignore.  it's me, your negligent and sleepy friend, holly.  here are some updates for your reading pleasure.

1) in five weeks, i will be a master of students.

2) $2300/$2700.  turns out, all my dad needed to do to retire was get me to pay back this money.  :)

3) you know what?  i went to epcot over spring break and visited many countries.  so i'm going to call this a win for now.  boom.

8) i am officially changing this one from 'get something published' to 'make five food items from pinterest (check out my food board HERE).

11) i've been cooking my little heart out.  i've done 16/20.  HERE'S my most recent monthly cooking segment.

16) the marathon is in ONE MONTH!  eek.  it's in carmel.  you are super welcome to come and cheer if you want.  i'll need all the encouragement and prayers i can get.

29) i have read 70/100 books.  here are the most recent ones: a technique for producing ideas, wolverine, out of the silent planet, let go, and a diary of private prayer.

oh, hey, i turn 30 in 4 months.  no big deal.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the monthly cooking segment: 'basketball players like to eat!'

so liz and i ran 19 miles.  and then we had the entire indiana wesleyan women's basketball team over for dinner.  it was an exhausting day.  but totally worth it.  the girls are awesome, and they are now conference champions.  on to nationals, baby!  to prep them for their big game, i made three lasagnas (two with meat, one without), garlic bread, salad, strawberries, dark chocolate brownies with white chocolate chips, and peach cobbler.  let's just say no one went away hungry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

30 by 30: the one where she gets punched in the eye

nothing very exciting to report for this month's update.  five months left...quite a bit to do still.

2) i have paid $2200/2700.  not bad.  almost done.  (yahoo...i'll get done just in time to start paying student loans again!)

11) uh...15/20.  i neglected to post a monthly cooking segment, so i am going to show you three things i cooked in the last month:

eggplant parmesan.  mmmmmm.  

garlic chicken, cous cous, sauteed zucchini and squash.

post-run meal: salmon, asparagus, cous rehab...woot!

29) i have read 65/100.  the new ones are disney cash hacks, slave to child, simply christian, the purpose-guided student, and the unlikely disciple.  mostly good stuff.  

and...that's all i can give you right now.  i am sick.  deuces.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

so proud of my boston beauty

so i made a cd a few years ago for my family.  and some other randos got copies of it.  and somebody cool designed the liner and took all the pictures.  this was the cover:

ha.  oh, my, look at that baby face. (no comments, please.) and when i see my hair that long, all i can think about is how heavy it must have been.

anyway, i digress.  (as per the usual.)

so there's a song on the cd called 'ayo.'  i wrote it while i was in college for a dear friend of mine.  after listening to the cd, my brother kyle texted me and said, 'ayo should be on the radio!'  whenever i think about that, i chuckle, because ayo the person is an OUTSTANDING musician who indeed SHOULD be on the radio.  

i wouldn't say i often use this blog as a plug for stuff (mainly because my audience is definitely too small for that to be an effective use of time), but dreams are totally worth endorsing.

there's a cool website that works as a place where independent artists can showcase their stuff and raise funds for projects.  and ayo, my wonderfully talented and beautiful friend, is plugged in there to record a full length album.  um, this is awesome.

first: discover the wonder that is ayo on her website: ayo!

second: go check her project out here: kickstarter! and read all the sweet incentives for backing her.  totally cool.

third: if you like music and know other people who like music, tell them.  because she has worked her tail off for this.  and because she is insanely talented.  and because i love her.

fourth: here are my incentives for you:

if you pledge at least $10: i'll send a copy of my cd to you.
if you pledge at least $50: i'll sing and play live for you.
if you are willing to pledge more, i am open to offers.  

hit me up in the comments and let me know how you're supporting ayo!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

run, baby, run. but run faster. and longer. nope, keep going...

oh, how to begin a post about training for a marathon?  as usual, a mix of thoughtful and snarky things fill my mind...

quite simply, training for a marathon is unlike anything else i have done before.  i have experienced many changes in my life in the past month, and i am interested/horrified to see what else might occur in the next three months.

here are some fun facts:

  • my 29.5 year-old body is not the same as my 14.5 year-old body.  (yeah, my freshman year of high school was my peak running time)
  • though i have been a runner for a good portion of my life, i never experienced common runner blisters.  or chafing.  i think i am currently making up for lost time.
  • after long runs, my face is literally caked with salt.  awesome visual.
  • don't forget about those sausage fingers.  i look ridiculous as i raise my arms in the air while running in an effort to drain fluid from my hands.  super cool.
  • vanilla gu tastes better than blackberry.  
  • when running inside, i am in charge of counting laps, and liz in charge of our pace.  we have serious problems if we attempt anything different.
  • i have faithfully taken a multi vitamin, fish oil, and glucosamine every day for the past month.  that is a big deal.  
  • i get in my head too much when i run. 
  • i eat like a crazy person when i am training.  a crazy person with a tapeworm.

do you have marathon questions for me?

Monday, January 23, 2012

30 by 30 update: the homestretch

i know i'm a couple of days behind.  whatevs.  my blog.  which is not to say i don't love all three of you who sporadically read my nonsense.

i have officially less than six months left of this little 30 by 30 experiment.  here's what you need to know:

1) i am about 3 months from finishing my master's degree.  that is insane to me.

2) i have paid back $2100 of my $2700 debt to my pops.  i'm sure he'll be glad when i cross this one off.

11) i cooked a lot last semester, but i am cooking wayyyyyyyy more this semester.  for some of the deliciousness, check HERE. that makes 14 out of 20 monthly cooking blogs.

13) i do not actually own a pet yet (although we think the mice in our vents are playing with toy cars), but i DID do some research.  turns out, owning seahorses and starfish are not for new pet owners.  and probably especially not for new pet owners who have trouble remembering to water their plants.  (don't sweat it...they both appear to still be alive.)

16) i am changing 'finish my book' to 'run a marathon.' april 21st, carmel, indiana.  see ya there.

19) i bought my bass guitar and am slowly learning it, so i am calling this a win.

29) i had a busy reading month.  i have finished 60 out of 100 books now.  here's what i finished in the past month: serenity: better days and other stories, serenity: those left behind, dr. horrible's sing-along blog: the book, sun stand still, 4 months to a 4-hour marathon, imaginary Jesus, why i teach, the long dark tea-time of the soul, the Bible, one thousand gifts, brief guide for writers, gods behaving badly, and after you believe.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

wigger equals joy

'i learn to trust you as you learn to trust me, and together we learn to act with hope and love in this or that situation, building up communities in which faith, hope, and love, and the ninefold fruit of the Spirit, become not things to think about, try once in a while, and then stop implementing, but things to think about in order to practice them together.'
after you believe
n.t. wright

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

dude, runners like to EAT

turns out...when you start working out on a regular basis and putting in some good mileage (our run at the end of week two was nine miles), you are hungry.  all. the. time.

so i decided it would be fun to start planning menus so liz and i could eat good food to fuel our bodies.  here are my most recent meals:

friday night, we had some salmon on angel hair pasta with pesto.  add some garlic bread and sauteed veggies (courtesy of the fabulous--and newly-engaged!--kelsie), and you have a delightful pre-long run meal.

sunday night, i made chicken for the first time in at least seven years.  super easy recipe (thank you, elizabeth heil!).  so here we have baked feta chicken on buttered egg noodles with sauteed asparagus.  it was also great as a leftover.

tonight, i fixed crunchy tilapia, potatoes, and green beans.  also had some raspberries for color.  another yummy meal.

thus far, liz has not rejected anything i have fixed her.  we are trying lots of new recipes, so let me know if you have something you really love.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

holly's 2011 reading list

back by popular demand!  ok, no one demanded.  actually, no one even asked.  but if you're curious what this grad student read in the past year, here it is.  i broke it down by month, and the books i particularly liked are in bold.  let me know if you want to know the authors or anything else about the books.

the lost art of listening
the hunger games
catching fire
first things first


the first year out

God hides in plain sight
counseling the culturally diverse
process and practice of group counseling
serenity: the shepherd's tale


the idea of a christian college
college of the overwhelmed

where you work matters
how colleges work
the Bible
emotionally healthy spirituality
snow crash
forgotten God
scouting the divine

another fine myth


the dot
31 days to finding your blogging mojo
the prayer matrix
the fire that ignites
dirk gently's holistic detective agency
crazy love
scholarship and christian faith
the furious longing of God

the abbreviated psalter of the venerable bede
read, think, pray, live
is everyone hanging out without me?
counseling research
assessment procedures
a parent's guide to the christian college

God's big picture
everyday absurdities
serenity: better days and other stories
serenity: those left behind
dr. horrible's sing-along blog: the book
sun stand still
4 months to a 4 hour marathon
why i teach
the long dark tea-time of the soul
the Bible
one thousand gifts

admittedly, it was a slow year for reading for me.  as always, i am open to suggestions and love when books randomly appear in my hands because someone wants me to read them.