•September 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So I have this little kitchen journal of sorts that I keep on hand throughout the week.  I am not the greatest at keeping up consistently with a book, a journal, a photo album, ::ehem, a blog::  :-/   …but this little journal has stuck with me since before we got married.  It’s a good homemaking constant that I thoroughly enjoy…and need.

It came to me as a simple writing journal, given to me by a dear, dear friend, Laura Carlson, for my birthday last year while I was living in Kansas City, far from home and all things familiar.  She coordinated a beautiful, quaint birthday party for my 23rd, complete with tea, glorious food, dessert, and about a dozen fabulous female friends with gifts in hand.  She had each girl pick out a gift from a box of lovely things she had found that reminded her of me.  As each girl gave me their perfectly picked-out gift, they spoke over me and to me something about myself that they love.  I’ll never forget this night.  It has gone down in my own history book as one of the most revolutionary times in my life so far.

This little journal was one of those things.  My lovingly fierce red-headed friend, Wendy Andrews, picked the journal from the box to give to me.  She encouraged me to write, and she prayed for grace to journal in this new season of my life.  Journaling graces.

I already owned a journal, and the grace has come to use it.  However, I never would have known how this little butterfly-embellished journal would serve me in this season.  Inspired by my friend, Lindsay Ellyson, I turned it into a kitchen journal.  As it is about 1/4 of the way used, I look back at about a billion recipes I’ve gotten to find and explore.  So many have allowed me to do what I love doing most: feeding people.  So many of these recipes serve as more than just fun recipes; they represent wonderful memories in this season.  Brian’s complete birthday party menu from back in April is sketched out over a couple of pages.  A surprise stay-in date planned for Brian after he had taken care of me for a week that I was sick in February.  The yummy pork sirloin recipe that roasted in the oven for hours, and afterwards was gobbled up by some dear sweet friends over conversation and a movie.  Several memorable nights of fun friends over food around our table or in our living room are blueprinted here in this journal.  I can look throughout the recipes and remember the foods we really loved and also the ones that could use some work….and the ones we could probably throw out completely.

Scrumptious soups and hardy breakfasts.  Heavenly desserts and fresh lunches.  There’s just nothing like it.

I like to think that one day, our kids and/or grandkids will argue over who gets this little treasure after we’re long gone to Heaven.  Maybe they’ll each pick out their favorite recipes and divide it up amongst themselves, or maybe they’ll start a tradition of choosing recipes from grandma’s journal for all holiday dinners.  Or maybe this conglomeration of cut and pasted recipes will at least serve them some laughs as they remember many tried and failed attempts Grandma made while trying to broil just about anything…yes, anything.  I am useless if I use a broiler.  It’s funny: every time, I forget all about that toast, pizza crust, biscuits, or taco shells, and every time, they come out black.  It’s pitiful.  I need a better kitchen timer.  Or just a better memory.  Anyone?

So, until my grandchildren are fighting to the death over my recipe journal, I think I’ll just stick with being 23 and grandchildless, cooking away all my olive oil and baking through all the pastry dough I can get my little hands on, in hopes that some lovely, hungry people will cross paths with me somewhere and I can feed them.



Married Life & Doubt.

•July 8, 2010 • 1 Comment

The wedding’s over, our honeymoon was a blast, and the dust is beginning to settle in our new home.  Slowly but surely, the questions begin to flood in, like “How’s married life?,” “What have you loved the most so far?,” etc…

And I find myself at a loss for words.

Yes, I LOVE being married.  Not just because I’m married, but because I am married to Brian.  I am reminded and amazed daily at the hand of God in all this.  There is just no other explanation for it.

And yet, I can’t gather words to describe marriage.  Nanda Wilbourn said it best: “It’s the mystery of marriage.”  Y.E.S.  Totally.  I agree.  I still look over sometimes and am convinced he’s not real.  Or I will catch myself in this very surreal stance, wondering where he came from and how in the world we got here.

And then Brian does something completely ridiculous and I am snapped back into reality with laughter and this feeling of knowing I’m at home with him.  No, not my eternal Home, but my retreat and refuge here on earth.  It’s safe.  And that is something new to me.  I kinda like it.  😉

So yes, I am happily married, and I believe Brian would say the same.  However, there is this stirring, this sort of void in me.  Something inside says we’re called to more, we’re being prepared for a unique purpose.

I have recently began taking advantage of my draw towards natural things, homemaking, wholistic living, educating myself, etc.  I used to think God spoke only in certain ways.  I would look at my friends, speakers, preachers, and find that God spoke in only a few ways.  The issue was that I didn’t hear God in those ways and became confused when His voice didn’t sound like what “they” described.  At several points in my life, I have been convinced God chooses not to speak to me.  Something must be wrong with me; I must not listen well..  Recent revelation: God speaks our language.  What?  That’s crazy.  But He does.  He meets us where we are and speaks what we will hear and understand.  There is this freedom in that, this burden lifted, almost shame even, just knowing that I don’t have to hear God in the same way He spoke to Noah.  For so long, this distraction has caused me to not hear Him, because I was waiting on a dream, a burning bush, or a picture drawn in the air.  God speaks to me through tears, through movement, through deep feelings & even baking.  God speaks to me through a couple of older-than-me women in my life who have taught me what it means to live.  God speaks to me through my husband, who is one of the wisest men I know.  God speaks to me through nature, realizing the perfect plan and way He created everything, large and small, and the intricate workings of each.  And with all that said, I want to explore more, to seek out more of God, to ask Him to meet me in new ways.

I am reading this book called “Know Doubt” by John Ortberg.  It you have ever doubted, ever been prone to unbelief, I would recommend it. 


Every blessing to you,



•March 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My dad had a heart attack yesterday.

Well, not really.  He actually had tacacardia…meaning, abnormal heart rate.

I haven’t really talked to my dad since May 30, 2007…the day before I left for Sudan.

2 days ago I was introduced to the verses in Exodus 14 that talk about being still.  It’s right before He saved the people going across the sea…and sucked all their enemies up in the waves as they watched behind them.  He says He will fight for us, that we need only to be still.  He says we’ll see deliverance.  He says to stand firm, and do not fear.

What does it mean to stand firm, do not fear, and be still in the middle of difficult situations?  I’m not sure.  But I think it’s a call to prayer.  Or maybe that’s just all I know to do.

My dad is in the hospital.  He’s upset I have not called.  I’m not angry with him or frustrated, bitter or even disappointed.  Yes, at some point I went through all these and more.  But I think I’m to the point now that I just don’t care.  After a lifetime of hurt and a roller-coaster of a unbelievable events, I feel a sort of numb apathy towards him.  I could name a million reasons why, but they would all point to bitterness and resentment.  I’m beyond that.  I have stopped caring for the man who used to be my dad.

I can’t imagine what this means for him.  Maybe he has cleaned up and is an honorable man now.  Maybe he is a completely different person.  I don’t feel my feelings would change toward him even so.  And I can’t imagine what he feels right now.  I wish the best for him as a person.  But as a dad, I don’t know him.

2 days ago I read this verse.  The next morning my dad was admitted into the ER, and transported to another hospital’s ICU.  The same day, I came down with strep throat, and possibly the flu.  After a million other events, mind racing back and forth on what to do, I’ve been reminded once again that the call today is to be still and pray.  Everything in me says, “Oh no, anything but that” because I know it means I have to wait.  But the Lord is gracious.  He provides rest for the weary, and in time, direction.

I can control my father no more than I can control this sickness.


You give and take away…such a mystery.

•February 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m realizing that much of the past year has been about both giving and taking away.

Almost a year ago, I was surprised by true joy (as C.S. Louis would say).  I was most certain Brian Potter had too many friends, a most self-centered ego, and no real depth.

He showed up in my Problems of Contemporary Society course and spoke of such things that I was sure he had read from my journal at some point.  This guy may have had too many friends, and maybe even an ego, but I was proven wrong; he definitely had depth.

After some time, Mr. Potter braved a compliment.  I call it bravery because, well…I was probably the last person on his list of Facebook friends that would have seemed to care to receive a compliment from him.  Previously, he seemed to be just another Bible-major-church-kid with a life goal of knowing every person and becoming best friends with them in under 5 minutes.

Once again, I was proven wrong.  This guy wasn’t so egotistical after all.

Our first date was February 7, 2009.  Almost one year ago.

We were engaged January 2, 2010.

We will be married June 5, 2010.

Brian knows how to love people.  What I once saw as “having too many friends” I now know is simply his inability not to let people pass by unnoticed or uncared for.

Once again, proven wrong.

Fail.  But in the best way.

God has given me true Joy.  He’s taken away so much this year, but this Joy has been my strength.  What a perfect Father.

You’ve invited me in to this fun, difficult, and worthy journey with a man whom You love dearly and delight in as Your son.  I accept Your invitation, for Your Glory, and my Joy. amen.