Dec. 4 - OUCH. The pain in my lower right abdomen started...
Dec. 19 - Alicia's Home!!!
Dec. 26 - Banana Bread Backstage. Slight meltdown. Then I almost went back to the ER.
Dec. 28 - Spent the day at the hospital. Lovely? Not so much.
According to Myers-Briggs, my personality type is ESFP.
Extraverted. Sensing. Feeling. Perceiving.
Attributes that ESFP's (can) typically have:
High-strung, but not stressed out. Peaceful, but not quiet. Practical, but not systematic.
A few famous people with this personality type are Judy Garland, Ronald Reagan, Marylin Monroe, Bob Hope, and Lauren Barlow.
It seems very fitting for me!
Perky Turkey Day. That’s what we’re calling it. Because it was a good day!
Although it’s a little strange not being with my family on holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter, this Thanksgiving was highly enjoyable! Lots of fun...a trip to the airport with Annie to drop off her sisters, listening to Lecrae while driving back to campus, stopping at Jewel for cereal and almond milk, baking chocolate chip banana bread, lunch while watching The Princess and the Frog, a nap, cooking dinner, eating dinner with a few friends, gluten/soy/lactose free dessert of the bread and chai tea, an uninterrupted time to talk to Robert, and now time to write.
I’m thankful for:
A good attitude, and even better friends
Food without lactose or soy
And our own Twitter hashtag #thanksgivingwithannieandandrea
And, of course, many other things
I feel like there’s a lot more I could write about...but I that’ll have to wait until tomorrow! :)
The Fruit of the Spirit as translated and explained by Dr. Sauer...
But the fruit (result, effect) virtues cultivated by the Spirit are:
(1) Love - willing, sacrificial giving of oneself, for the benefit of another, without thought of return
(2) Joy - gladness of life, happiness of heart
(3) Peace - harmony with others, tranquility of mind
(4) Patience - passive, calmly bearing the hurts and insults inflicted by oneself by others
(5) Kindness - courtesy
(6) Generosity - openhanded with ministry, time, advice, money
(7) Faithfulness - consistence
(8) Meekness - harnessing one’s strength
(9) Self-Control - harnessing one’s weakness
There is no law prohibiting such wonderful virtues as these!
This might be the ONLY recipe that I EVER post on here! Annie and I made it a few days ago and it was wonderful.
8 cardamom seeds
4 black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
2 cups whole milk (or soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk)
4 bags black tea
8 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste
(makes 4 cups)
*Place the cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet.
*Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
*Strain into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste.
A Month in Tweets. What’s more Unoriginal than that? I’m at a loss to think of something... I blame Annie, since she was with me for a majority of my October Twitter updates! Here's 1 short update for each day in October:
Today Josh, Caleb, Heidi and I embarked on an adventure to the Chicago Music Exchange. I think this was the first time I’ve been in a guitar place without my dad. He always accompanies my trips to these places, upon my request. We arrived at the store and walked in with wide-eyed excitement. The four of us quickly scattered and drooled over the hundreds of guitars. I wanted to play a purple sparkly electric guitar or a girly acoustic one. I looked and couldn’t find either. Girls play guitar, so why don’t they make very many purple sparkly ones? One of the guys working asked if I needed help. And I did! I explained what I was looking for and his joking response was, “Well, princess, let me see what I can do. Have you ever played before?” My mind went blank as to a witty response, so I just said yes. I’ve been playing for about 7 years, actually... Oh well.
Anyways, the guy returned with the bulkiest guitar I’ve ever held. But, it had a red-orange hue to it. Oh, and a bird with a flower on the pickguard. So I guess that made it girly? I’m not sure. It was neither sparkly nor purple so it just wouldn’t work. I played a few chords and gently handed it back. I looked at all the other acoustic guitars and played a few of them, but none of them jumped out at me. Heidi and I then went back into the main room and ended up taking pictures of practically everything in the store. We were a little bored waiting for the two guys to be done.
That’s when I found it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was sparkly! It was a silver Fender Telecaster covered in sparkles! I was so excited that I grabbed the guitar, walked away from the group, and sat on the floor next to the orange amps and played it. I didn’t plug it in or anything. A girly electric guitar. Because girls can rock just as awesomely as any guy can.
PS. Thanks to Heidi for the pictures!
Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them —
The summer flowers depart —
Sit still — as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart.
How there you sat in summer-time,
May yet be in your mind;
And how you heard the green woods sing
Beneath the freshening wind.
Though the same wind now blows around,
You would its blast recall;
For every breath that stirs the trees,
Doth cause a leaf to fall.
Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth
That flesh and dust impart:
We cannot bear its visitings,
When change is on the heart.
Gay words and jests may make us smile,
When Sorrow is asleep;
But other things must make us smile,
When Sorrow bids us weep!
The dearest hands that clasp our hands, —
Their presence may be o’er;
The dearest voice that meets our ear,
That tone may come no more!
Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth,
Which once refresh’d our mind,
Shall come — as, on those sighing woods,
The chilling autumn wind.
Hear not the wind — view not the woods;
Look out o’er vale and hill —
In spring, the sky encircled them —
The sky is round them still.
Come autumn’s scathe — come winter’s cold —
Come change — and human fate!
Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound,
Can ne’er be desolate.
Ministry occasionally has the tendency to be anything but glamorous. Sometimes it’s filthy, harsh, and discouraging.
Tonight was one of those filthy, harsh, seemingly discouraging urban ministry times.
In a large room with eighteen adjoining closed off rooms, eighteen young men between the ages of fifteen and eighteen are all locked away in a juvenile detention center for a variety of different offenses. In the large room there are three different areas. In one area a movie is on which captivates the boys’ attention. Competing for their attention in the next area over is a screen with video games. And the final area is a wide open and empty room, except for a few small tables with chairs around them. Profanity and vulgar conversation topics are raging as we walked into the unit. Bible in hand, the inmates knew I was there to lead Bible study for whoever wanted to come. One brave soul walked up to me and sincerely asked me to stay. Before I could answer, he was off to grab chairs for the nearby table.
I had been up on the unit only a few short minutes before the first verbal fight broke out. The security in the unit, unmoved by the event, responded with a sharp scolding. After a few more minutes, the argument that never really ended intensified and the movie was officially over, as blatantly decided by the guard. Still just sitting at the table with my single recipient of Bible study, he continued to ask questions and look on his fellow jail mates with scorn and disgust. Upon request, we talked about sin and the different consequences that so actively pursue it. After a few verses were found, he quickly said he already knew it all. After all, as he bluntly pointed out, he was the one in jail with two kids, not me. I got to walk out whenever I wanted without the stress of an upcoming court date or threat of being moved to the other jail. Yes, I have made bad choices before, but none of them have landed me in jail or anywhere close to that.
The tension in the room was rising as another verbal fight broke out and was turning physical at an escalating rate. The security guards jumped in immediately and the two boys involved were put in their secluded rooms. Security loudly and coarsely ordered the others into their rooms as well. However, the young man sitting with me was shown grace, as he was not any part of the problem.
Imagine sitting at a small table placed against the wall in between the two doors which sealed off two furious young men from the rest of the world. Neither of these prisoners were thrilled at their current location and were making their unhappiness known to the rest of the world through their loud protesting. While these unnerving distractions are blaring in the background, imagine sitting with the one inmate who intently wanted to understand more of God’s Word. Our Bibles were lying open on the table and I struggled to focus as he read the first few verses of John chapter one.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
I asked if he had any questions about what he had just read. Nothing specific came to mind for either of us, but he had a confused and concerned look on his face.
Darkness. We were surrounded by it. By this time, the two guys in their cells were angrily beating their fists against the door and verbally abusing the security guards who could not let them out. My new friend continued to read boldly...
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
My heart was slowly breaking for these young men who so desperately need a positive example in their lives. As the yelling continued from within the individual cells, I hesitantly looked up at the clock. Part of me wanted to remain in the unit since I was working with someone who was interested, but another part of me was getting nervous and tense in the hostile environment. I was safe, so that was not my concern, but I was still a little uncomfortable. We stayed and finished up the section we were reading.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
We talked about the final few verses for a few minutes before it was time to leave. The phrase that stuck out to me was “and dwelt among us”.
Question: Who would want to live among criminals for the sake of loving and saving them?
Answer: The Word who became flesh would, did, and still does...