Monday, January 31, 2011

Holey Pear

I'm sad. My pear this morning had a hole in it, which I didn't notice until a few minutes ago. I don't think it was there when I bought it as I inspect my fruits pretty thoroughly. And you may think "so what, it's a hole!" But I was scarred by a holey fruit back in high school...

One bright sunny summer day I was sitting in the loft with my mom eating a peach. There had been a hole in said peach, except I took little notice figuring it was damage through transport. Little did I know what would transpire in a few minutes...

I was eating the peach happily, enjoying the sweet juiciness. Then, to my great horror I looked down and saw...wait for it...

A WORM crawl out!!!!!

Ugh, I thought I would be sick. I immediately jumped up (and likely screamed), opened the door to the balcony and hurled the damaged fruit out the door while my mom looked on with confusion.

Therein lies why I no longer eat holey fruit. Sadly I only brought a pear this morning so will have to go downstairs to check-out the apples. Hopefully there will be one to my liking to fill the afternoon munchies.

Note: I fully recognize the hole likely does not mean a nasty worm crawled in, but I couldn't risk it. Especially since I don't have a knife and the plastic ones wouldn't do much good. Oh well...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Headaches Be Gone!

For the past few months I've increasingly suffered from headaches and dizziness. It started periodically and has since increased in frequency to where almost every day I have a bout of one or both. Seriously. Annoying.

I went to my doctor a few weeks ago, coming to the conclusion that it's probably not dehydration considering I drink about two liters of water a day. Alas, all the tests were normal so she chalked it up to tension headaches, migraines, or possibly a wrong eye prescription. I updated my eye prescription last spring, so thought that wouldn't be it. In the meantime, I've taken the tension headache medicine a few times, except it's not a permanent solution as a. it's too strong to take daily and b. makes me super sleepy (though I don't feel anything...).

Prior to starting the migraine medicine, I decided to get my eyes re-checked, this time not by the Target optometrist. The migraine medicine is pretty intense, so I first want to ensure there's not an easier solution.

I'm going to a new eye doctor tomorrow. He's an opthamalogist and is another Baylor doctor (I've had very good luck with those Baylor doctors!) so am really, really, REALLY hoping a new contacts/glasses prescription can rectify the whole headache/dizziness thing as I've lost all patience. He's a little on the pricey side in comparison to Target, but if it takes the pain away, it's worth it (still hoping my medical insurance will accept the charges since I'm having issues...we'll see).

Here's hoping I don't have another undiagnosable or incurable issue. If I do, I'll have to work through that. But in the meantime, I'm pleading with the Lord for healing. Though readying my heart to praise him regardless if it's not curable (via eyes or migraine medicine).

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Civil Wars

So, I love, love, LOVE finding new music. I think I've said that before, in any case, it's one of my favorite things. And, I very often listen to music by artists who are relatively unknown. Yes, I do have mainstream artists, too, but my favorites are the indie folks.

Anyway, one of my current favorites is The Civil Wars. Incidentally, I've had some of their music for a while without realizing the lead girl singer is Joy Williams, someone else I like (and have quite a bit of her music). Thanks, Stacy, for putting the pieces together!

You want to know the best part? They have a free download for an album and their new single.

This is my favorite of their songs:

Yodeling Ventriliquist Beauty Queen

Saturday night a few friends went to dinner at the yummy Patrizio's. Although it was chilly, we ate on the heated patio and pretended we were in a far-off European village.

Since it was a dreary, gross day, we all were in the mood for a chill evening. What better than to watch the Miss America pageant, right?!? When I first heard that was the plan, I wasn't so sure I'd participate as I hadn't watched a pageant in 15+ years. But then I didn't have any better plans. Oh. My. Gosh. It was pretty hilarious and quite fun to watch.

Our favorite contestant was Miss Arkansas. Although she was 2nd place, she was the winner in our book. I mean, who can beat a yodeling ventriliquist in a sparkly red jumpsuit??? Here, see for yourself:

Katie decided she wants this to be her new talent. She's currently practicing with her hands, but I see a puppet purchase in her future... :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unleashing Creativity

This is a recent posting from Donald Miller's blog, and, being a creative soul, I kind of love it. I have honestly not felt stifled creatively by my church, but do sometimes feel stifled by either myself or this ambiguous idea of what is okay. Kind of hard to explain; maybe it makes sense? Here's the posting:

Is Church Life Stifling Your Creativity?

When Solomon wrote Song of Songs, a dramatic opera about a young, poor woman who fell in love with a Shepherd king, do you think he had “the voice of the church” in his head? Do you think he was worried about what a group of people might think? Of course the evangelical church didn’t exist, then, and neither did the collective evangelical consciousness, but what I mean by that question is that if Solomon were writing today, and were writing an Opera for young kids about the ways of love, he would no doubt be attacked. My guess is the criticisms would be listed as such:

1. His opera does not mention God. Why wouldn’t he use this opportunity to bring people to God? He’s a Godless man.
2. His opera is erotic, filled with sexual imagery and even sexual instruction. It’s unfitting for any person to read, much less young couples.
3. It’s confusing. We don’t know where the acts begin. It isn’t structured. It’s amature.
4. He never mentions sex should be saved till marriage, so he must be endorsing pre-marital sex.
5. There seems to be no point to the work. If he’s trying to teach something, you can’t figure out what it is, and if he isn’t trying to teach something, what’s the point of reading it or listening to it as an opera?

And so on and so on.

Here’s the point of this blog post: There is a difference between what “the church” wants you to do and what God wants you to do. Do what God wants you to do. Go and create, even as you were made to create.

For me (Sarah, the post is done :)), as I continue to learn and work more on my heart, creative ideas flows more freely. Sometimes I just stew on them, sometimes I attempt to execute, and sometimes, sadly, I do stifle them.

I know of a few creative-souled friends who are committing to invest time in 2011 to expressing God's word in artistic ways. One, a musician is working on a project to put Scripture to music. Another, an artist, is committing to memorize significant portions of the Psalms and illustrating them.

I love this! I'm inspired and am going to commit to expressing creatively something from God's word at least once a week. Much of it may be for my own time with the Lord to learn more about him, the Ultimate Creator, so it may not look pretty. And I am also opening myself to use any form I feel inspired to use, since let's face it, I have a multitude of interests (writing, sewing, yarn work, drawing, music...just not painting, I stink at that one and don't enjoy it as much :)).

I just share this to hopefully inspire you! Even if you think you have zero creativity, that's a lie from the pit of hell! Creativity does not equal the arts. Trust me. I know many people who are not artistically creative and yet they have amazingly creative ideas! Expand your horizons and create. And if you're not an artist (heck, I'm not), who cares. Draw stick figures and I am confident they will bring glory to God! I believe expression draws us deeper into the heart of the King, and am unbelievably ecstatic to see how he'll use this.

He lived serenely, as a greater artist than all other artists, despising marble and clay as well as color, working in living flesh. That is to say, this matchless artist .... made neither statues nor pictures nor books; he loudly proclaimed that he made ... living men, immortals.
Vincent Van Gogh, on Jesus

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nouvelle Annee!

I am like the Israelites.

That was my epiphany this morning. Realistically, it’s not a new learning, but was a small answer to a few things I’ve been chewing on a ton for the past month. Sort of the 2010 in a nutshell learning, if you will. For the last month, I’ve thought a lot about Jesus’ first coming. Yes, maybe this was partially spurred by the season, though I thought about it in a different way than ever before as the thoughts were filtered through the realization of shattered dreams.

For the first nine months of 2010, although difficult circumstances popped-up occasionally, my heart was more on fire for the Lord and stirred by his word than ever before. Then all at one time, it seemed like a collision of hard things occurred in my life and the lives of those I love: sickness, aging, death, hurt by the church, lack of answers, broken families, abuse, shattered dreams, loneliness, and dissatisfaction with my body, and struggles with previously wrangled sins. In the midst of these incidents that all hit in the span of a month, it felt as though the Lord had withdrawn his hand. I knew biblically this was not true, but I also knew he sometimes remains outwardly quiet while he changes the inside.

As I emerged from the fog, I was reminded in simple ways that God didn’t leave. From seeing a bear donation drive for Amazon Outreach (the ministry we partnered with in Brazil) at a random Starbucks to having one of my precious girls text me a verse of Scripture unknowing to its timeliness and truth for that moment. So I resolved to pursue him, regardless of understanding what on earth he was doing.

On to the epiphany… In my resolve, I dug deep into Jesus’ birth. I’ve always known it was different since he was born to a young, relatively poor couple in a dank cave surrounded by likely gross smells and being first presented to a bunch of seemingly random shepherds. I knew there was intense beauty in how God chose to bring him into this world, how it in and of itself pointed to the truth that Jesus is for all people, even the “lowest of the low.” What I hadn’t really thought about was how this was so completely opposite from what the Israelites expected.

They were waiting for second coming Jesus. The mighty warrior King to sweep in, wipe away the enemies, and give them immediate comfort and peace. Yet they didn’t understand the need for this first coming of Jesus. Humble, servant, sacrifical Jesus who lived a perfect human life only to die an excrutiating death, taking on our sins, to rise again and free us from that insurmountable bondage we were in, thereby restoring our relationship with the Father. They didn’t know that they first needed a complete heart change before they could live pain-and-bondage free. And that that change would likely be somewhat painful as refinement is.

You may think I’m slow, but it took me until today to realize I’m exactly like the Israelites. I wanted heaven now and missed the fact that my heart needs more change. Although I knew in my head I was still being changed, if I’m honest, I wanted to reach a point on earth where there would not be pain and hurt and shattered dreams and instead the King would wipe them away, creating heaven on earth. I wanted the end result while skipping the change, not realizing the change brings the end result.

I’ve found a bit of a theme song for this season of life called The Greatness of Our God, by Hillsong. Each lyric points to aspects of God’s character that he is revealing and making more real to me. Yet I know that I spend my life to know, and I'm far from close to all You are, the greatness of our God.

I wonder what change God has in store for 2011…

Speaking of which, I thought I’d share a few resolutions. These are the fun ones; I have some serious goals, but don’t feel like blogging about them. :)
1. Cook at least once a week while wearing a cute, Anthropologie-esque apron
2. Light more candles…I love them but rarely light as I never want to waste them; decided that’s a waste!
3. Read Tale of Two Cities and Crime and Punishment – two books I’ve wanted to read but have never gotten around to it
4. Redecorate my cube at work as it’s been exactly the same for about three years…needs some sprucing!
5. Redecorate my room, somewhat, to bring in more color; will likely mean pillows and curtain sprucing
6. Brush-up on my French…because it makes me happy

Bonne annee mes amis!