Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A few tidbits (okay maybe MORSELS is more accurate, these are kind of long) I thought I'd share from reading I've been doing lately.

First is an excerpt from an excellent book that my friend Tori let me borrow called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. 
Joy is not a requirement of Christian discipleship, it is a consequence, It is not what we have to acquire in order to experience life in Christ; it is what comes to us when we are walking in the way of faith and obedience. 
We come to God (and to the revelation of God's ways) because none of us have it within ourselves, except momentarily, to be joyous. Joy is a product of abundance; it is the overflow of vitality. It is life working together harmoniously. It is exuberance, Inadequate sinners as we are,  non of use can manage that for very long. 
We try to get it through entertainment. We pay someone to make jokes, tell stories, perform dramatic actions, sing songs. We buy the vitality of another's imagination to divert and enliven our own poor lives. The enormous entertainment industry in America is a sign of the depletion of joy in our culture. Society is a bored, gluttonous king employing a court jester to divert it after an overindulgent meal. But that kind of joy never penetrates our lives, never changes our basic constitution. The effects are extremely temporary--a few minutes , a few hours, a few days at most. When we run out of money, the joy trickles away. We cannot make ourselves joyful. Joy cannot me commanded, purchased or arranged. 
But there is something we can do. We can decide to live in response the to abundance of God and not under the dictatorship of our own poor needs. We can decide to live in the environment of a living God and not our own dying selves. We can decide to center ourselves in the God who generously gives and not in our won egos which greedily grab. One of the certain consequences of such a life is joy, the kind expressed in Psalm 126. 
Second is an excerpt from a book called Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung recommended by my friend Luca: 
The only chains God wants us to wear are the chains of righteousness—not the chains of hopeless subjectivism, not the shackles of risk-free living, not the fetters of horoscope decision making—just the chains befitting a bond servant of Christ Jesus. Die to self. Live for Christ. And then do what you want, and go where you want, for God’s glory. God’s will for your life is not very complicated. Obviously, living a Christlike life is hard work, and what following Jesus entails is not clear in every situation. But as an overarching principle, the will of God for your life is pretty straightforward: Be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God.

What have you been reading? Any specific excerpts that have been encouraging you or whole book suggestions? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


God has changed the attitude and posture of my heart in a dramatic way over the last week or two. The agony of waiting has lightened. He has been prodding my heart with His word. Declaring his faithfulness. Singing His love. Filling me with awe at His majesty. Beckoning me to rest at His feet.

I started this blog the day I resigned from Hyatt when I lived in Austin, Texas. THAT was the day I wrote the tag line and title for Reckless Trust. God knew that reckless trust would have to be an anchor in my walk with Him over the coming months and year. That HE would be my rock. That HE would be the source of my stability. That there would be UPS and DOWNS. He didn't promise that life would be easy or pain free--He promised that he would carry me through it all.

Without this season of waiting, I would have missed the pure JOY of babysitting this little man.

Without this season of waiting, I would not have been able to DIG IN to relationships with the people in my new post college pre-minivan connection group at Cornerstone.
Without this season of waiting, I would have missed out on uninterrupted fall happies as God ushers in my favorite season of Autumn. 

Without this season of waiting, I would still likely be afraid of riding my bike on the street.

So I'm thankful. God is faithful to answer prayers. He has replaced my anger at this season of waiting with an overflow of JOY.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Fall Fairy's Happy List

Some people say I'm over the top. THAT'S OKAY! I love fall. I'm not afraid to admit it. A simple pleasure of mine is baking and enjoying the season--so these first few weeks I've taken FULL ADVANTAGE! I've recently been dubbed the fall fairy (not sure if it was by me or by friends...I'll take it either way. Currently taking donations of wings, tutus, and other fairy-like apparel). Here are a few recipes, photos, and happies from a week of fall delights. 

1 cup butter 
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup light corn syrup 
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over 8 quarts popped corn (in an air popper, this was two 1/2 cup batches of kernels). Stir to coat well (NOTE: it looks like not enough caramel to cover it all--but it is! It's PLENTY! Turns out super tasty and sweet and caramely). Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry.
5 ½ lbs apples cored, quartered, and chopped (Tart apples work great or a combo of different apples)
3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon (I accidentally put 3 TBSP in---and it was fab. Spice it to your liking--I used way more than they said!! I think I used different amts in each of the 4 batches I've made, the average being around 2 - 2.5 TBSP, 3 for a big batch)
½ teaspoon ground cloves (OR MORE!)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt (optional...I didn't really put it in)

Put chopped apples into the crock pot. In a separate bowl, Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Pour over apples and mix well. Put crockpot lid on, cook on high for 1 hour. Decrease heat to low; cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown. Stir occasionally (if possible, I left mine cooking from 5PM until 8AM the next morning and it was FABULOUS—so don’t fret if you can’t stir it or if it’s in a long time). Uncover and cook on low for 1 hour longer. If desired, whisk until smooth (I used an immersion blender to get mine to the desired consistency. Spoon into freezer containers (or mason jars!), leaving 1/2-inch head space. Cover and freeze or put them on the shelf if you chose mason jars (if you put them in unused mason jars with new lids while it’s hot, the pressure change will seal them!).
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or combo of all purpose and whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans or muffins tins with 30 muffin papers. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, vanilla, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans or muffin tins
OPTIONAL: add one teaspoon of streusel topping (I recommend this!!) to each muffin. To make streusel topping, whisk together 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp white sugar, and cut in 4 tbsp butter until it is nicely crumbled in—also can add ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans). Great on top of the loves too!!
Bake for about 50 minutes for loaves or 20-24 minutes for muffins in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. WATCH THE MUFFINS! No one likes a dry muffin, especially not the fall fairy!!
4. Harvest Pork Chops (or Roast) - My sister made this recipe up. SO GOOD WITH CHERRIES!!
4 boneless pork chops
3 apples (peeled and cored)
1 cup Dried Cherries (may substitute craisins, but cherries are better :)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup corn starch
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together water, corn starch, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into crock pot. Add
apples and cherries. Place pork chops (or whole pork roast) over mixture. Cook on low 4-5 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve with rice. Enjoy!!!
5. Bulk Pie Crust - also a family standard. We made 9 pies in one day then froze the other 11 pie crusts!
5 lb bag of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
3 lb can butter flavored Crisco brand shortening
3 cups cold water

In a large bowl mix together the bag of flour and the salt. Cut in the shortening with knives or a pastry
blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold water. Mix together. You may need to use your hands. Form into twenty balls. Bag or wrap the balls or roll out and place in pie tins and freeze until ready to use. When ready to use, thaw the balls and roll into desired thickness for your favorite pies. Balls keep for 12 months in the freezer. I have found this recipe to be both delicious and a huge time saver. I just had someone tell me that this crust was the best they'd ever tried--definitely a keeper! 

Pie Filling
5 1/2 cups peeled cored sliced cooking apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter or 1/3 cup margarine, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375°F, Fit pie crust into pie plate. In a large bowl, mix sliced apples, lemon juice, both sugars,flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pile HIGH into crust.
Prepare topping:.In a medium bowl, with a pastry blender or a fork, mix flour, both sugars, and butter until coarsely crumbled. Sprinkle evenly over apples. Bake at 375°F for 50 minutes. DEVOUR with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or STRAIGHT UP!
6. Oatmeal Bread (This is a classic Family Recipe!!)
1 cup oatmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
1 Tbsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
5-6 cups additional white flour

Combine the oatmeal, sugar, salt, margarine, whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the white flour and 2 cups of very hot tap water. Blend together with a mixer until well mixed. While that is mixing in a separate bowl combine the yeast and a half a cup of warm water. Add the yeast mixture then additional 4-5 cups of flour. May mix using a dough hook with a mixture of by had. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-10 minutes. The dough will be very soft. Cover and let rise until double in size. Punch down the dough divide dough in half and place in two greased loaf pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Also--This bread freezes really well! Eat one loaf, freeze one for later (or make a double batch so you have 4 loaves). Best within a few days of baking (or thawing)  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Misplaced Hope

We just started a new series at church on the book of Revelation. My friend Sarah and I were talking about what heaven will be like following connection group this past Sunday. Mid-sentence, I had a big whoa moment. I was thinking about the level of excitement I had in that dream/imagination state pondering aloud with Sarah about Heaven and the returning Savior. The euphoria and anticipation. Then I thought about the level of anticipation and LONGING I have during this phase of "waiting" to hear back about my interview. I compared the two:
Heaven: I don't need a callback, I know the answer is Yes and Amen through the blood of Jesus.
Interview Company: I wait for a callback, HOPING that the answer is yes.
Heaven: I know it is real, I know I get to go, I know it is "soon"
Interview Company: I imagine what the job COULD be like, IF I get it, and "soon" could possibly never materialize.
Heaven: A reality that sometimes gets pushed to the back of my mind since it's been so ingrained in me from a small age. So out of my realm of comprehension, that I sometimes don't try to understand the intricacies.
Interview Company: Rarely forgotten. I wait and long for an answer. I ache for that reality to be true. I imagine myself behind a desk and within their walls. I daydream about my life there.

The HOPE and ANTICIPATION I feel for this job is funny and almost sad when compared to the GLORY and TRUE HOPE I can and should have for heaven. I'm so thankful that the Lord stirred my heart to show me the misplaced affections and longings I've been carrying. To make me realize how laughable aching for a JOB is in comparison to aching for ETERNITY and my true home. Don't get me wrong-praying in faith for a job is still okay--but placing my hope and energy in the one that answers prayers is worth more time!! Re-directing my affections towards the Savior of the world and His return!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


"There’s good news today: He has a plan! And his plan is good and his plan isn’t one-dimensional and finite like yours because all you can really do with your plan is figure out your best days. You can only control the things you can control. So not only can you not control outside influences, you don’t have any sort of capacity to control evil. But God’s plan is a good plan. God’s plan takes the best shot from his archenemy, Satan, infiltrating the inner circle of Jesus, having Judas betray Jesus and hand him over for the purpose of the King being assassinated. And God doesn’t do evil, as Pastor Mark said; he uses evil. God has a plan. Jesus has a plan. My hope today is that you’ll change your perspective, you’ll reverse your default mode of looking at your plan, and you’ll begin to understand who you are in Jesus’ plan because he loves you. And his plan is good." - Dave Bruskas 
Such good truth. Thankful for God's perfect timing. 
See the full sermon here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shattering my contentment

I keep thinking I hit rock bottom, only to have another wrench thrown in my path. I called the company I interviewed with back again, only to hear that I would have to wait another two weeks. They're still doing the internal shuffle and don't have the position ready to fill yet. I just wanted to throw my phone against the wall!

God is using this time to shatter my perception of being seemingly content. To reveal the gross state of my heart and the way I hold SO MANY things above Him in my life. To break my heart over my own rebellion and in the process break me of every one of the idols I've been clinging to. The idol of financial stability. The idol of future expectations. The idol of career success. The idol of independence. To show me that HE is my great reward. HE is my stability. HE is my success. HE is my future. Nothing else matters.

I've seen in my past that it takes a lot to get my attention. Often times I find myself face-planting on the ground before I realize something is awry in my life. I see this time of waiting and being a broken mess as one of those face-plants. In His severe mercy, God knows that this is what I need. He has big plans for my life. He has intentionality with this season. IT IS NOT IN VAIN!

This has been a week of profound realizations. 
  • I'm angry at God. I'm tired of waiting and I don't understand why He's choosing to stretch me like this. My heart is hurting and I'm aching to know SOMETHING (anything!) on the job front. Through my tears and prayers -- I realized that I was beyond just not understanding; I was mad. God has been whispering gently to my tear-stained face that not a single tear falls without Him wiping it away. That he knows my aches. He loves me even when I am defiant. He has me exactly where He wants me. He's breaking down my dependence on myself--showing me that in my own strength, I will not make it. I will be angry and bitter and lonely. In Him, I can trust fully.
  • I'm lonely. In the midst of new friendships and changing relationships, I yearn for steady and intense fellowship. I struggle to dig in deeply with new people because I know that people will move on again. God whispers that He is the deepest and most satisfying relationship I will ever have. Lean into Him. 
 I'm thankful that the Lord is teaching me in this season. Praying that I would be willing to listen, even when it hurts.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Waiting Game

The interview went well. Now I'm waiting. I got a callback to find out that the director of the division I'm interviewing into retired, thus setting off a string of promotions and transfers internally. I will likely have to interview again with the new boss since the original person I interviewed with will no longer be in that department.

What does one do with excessive time on her hands?
This girl gets busy.
  1. I made a new friend: Jane Austen. I've read Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion so far. I'm SUCH a fan. Yes, they drone on from time to time. Overall, though- I find myself relating and laughing out loud at some of the thoughts/exasperations of the characters. Their woes and excitements make me smile as I understand the soaring highs followed by tumultuous lows. Even the length of sentences speaks loudly to the art of prose. The ability of Jane Austen to make me laugh by the brevity of sentence. So fun.
  2. I made greek yogurt in my crock pot. Once successfully, the second time was a failure. I followed my mentor Tori's lead--she had told me about making yogurt in the crock pot.
    I googled since I wanted to see if it would also work with greek yogurt. Came across this article that covered things pretty well. The only thing I adapted was wrapping the crock pot in a beach towel once I added the cultures --rather than putting it in the oven w/oven light on. The first batch was AMAZING. I put it into mason jars. Adorable and so tasty. Smiling apron picture is from the first try--I was happy that day. Second one--I decided to put it in the crockpot 'warm' setting like a few other websites suggested. FAIL. Burned it and turned it into reviling clotted curds of nasty. I need to make it again to redeem the activity.
  3. I perfected the art of homemade cinnamon rolls. I crave cinnamon rolls on a semi-regular basis.
    I think it's some aspect of my inner child remembering going to the mall in junior high to ride the carousel then go get a GIANT Cinnabon. This recipe is spot on. The only thing that I changed was using regular cinnamon instead of the fancy kind she talks about. I cut it back to 4TBSP (1/4 cup). And watch the cooking time--mine took a little longer than 20 minutes. More like 25ish. One other bit of advice...don't crowd the buns. Let them do their thing.The pan that I let rise/proof longer and had more room in the pan turned out PERFECTLY. They were huge and gooey and delicious. The picture is pre-baked. They were even better when they came out!
  4. Listening to some great new music. Favorite new albums on repeat are Bebo Norman's "Oceans" (especially the song God of my Everything) and Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons" (Songs Never Once, Endless Hallelujah).
  5. I got crafty. I saw this blog post linked to from someone's facebook. It's a fabric memory game. I decided to make it for a baby shower gift. ADORABLE! I made two with canvas backing and another with denim. They are a bit time consuming--but completely worth it. I found the little box/chests at hobby lobby. They look like they were made for the game!!                                                  

    In short (well, not really. this post is kind of long), I'm waiting. I'm learning to enjoy the waiting not just in anticipation of what's to come, but as a pivotal growth point in my current journey. The Lord has me waiting for a reason. Maybe to take time to enjoy HIM! and to remember other little things that delight my soul. God is faithful.