Monday, October 25, 2010

“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”
                                                                                                                      ~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This afternoon I was at our local coffee shop, enjoying the rainy skies and a good cafe au lait.  While there my attention was drawn to a little girl, probably about 4 or 5 years old.  She was wandering in the back of the coffee shop by my table, when she started to cry and looked afraid.  She continued to slowly wander around, crying, and calling out for her dad.  "Daddy!  Daddy! Where are you!"  Her dad came out from around the corner and picked her up in a big hug.  "I'm right here, what's wrong?"  "I got lost, I couldn't find you, I was scared."  Her father simply wiped her tears, handed her a cup of hot chocolate, and all was right in the world again.

As I was sitting there watching this little girl calling out and searching for her father, and was hit by the comparison to my own life and my relationship with our Heavenly Father.  I can't count the number of times I have felt lost in life, wandering, crying out for God to help me.  I have felt utterly and terribly alone, questioning if I would ever be found again.  Many times I am lost and wandering because of my own sin and selfishness.  But just like the dad today in the coffee shop, God calmly finds me, wipes my tears, and puts me back on track.

After seeing the Gospel being played out before me at the coffee shop I spent some time in Luke 15.  I would encourage you to do the same, when you find some quiet time.

"Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep."

I literally fell in love all over again with Jesus as I was reading this.  How sweet is it that the God I serve would leave the ninety-nine in search of one.  We are that valuable, that precious, that beloved, that God goes to all lengths to find us and save us.  And not only does God leave the whole flock in search of one sheep, but he rejoices when that sheep is found.  I take such joy and comfort in knowing I have a Father who is constantly searching for me and loving me, despite how far I wander off the path. 


1. I get really upset when someone takes "my spot" that I eat lunch at every day.  While I grumpily take the second best spot to eat lunch next to my favorite spot, I am silently cursing the poor person, wondering how they could possibly have the guts to steal MY spot.  It really is the perfect place to eat your lunch: next to a big window, comfy chairs, a little table.  I need a sign to mark it as my territory!

2. I like good food.  I love to cook.  I like going to restaurants and trying new things.  I like real food, made with good quality ingredients.  But, one of my favorite treats is a McDonald's ice cream cone.

3. I am mean to my husband while I sleep.  I get grumpy with him.  I kick him.  I demand he gets me a glass of water.  I huff and puff when he reads from his iPhone.  In my defense, I am totally oblivious to this all, and don't remember a thing in the morning.   

4. My running shoes smell bad. 

5. I think I know why my running shoes smell bad... I will wear my athletic socks for multiple runs, and not wash them in between.

6. I judge both wine and books by the cover/label.  Yes, I am fully aware that great books and awesome bottles of wine come in unassuming packages, but why can't they try a little harder to make it look more appealing?!

7.  I spend too much time on the Williams-Sonoma website.  Mike's store is also right next to one, which means that I need to stop there every time I am in the mall to see Mike.  I currently have a long list of W-S goodies that I desperately need.

8. When I am stressed or anxious, my first reaction is to do something drastic to my appearance, say die my hair, pierce my nose, or a get a tattoo.  Thankfully, the furthest this has gone has been cutting off my hair.  If I ever come to you after a long day of work insisting that I want to put a hole in my eyebrow, don't let me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scarves galore!

I don't need any more scarves. I really, really, don't need anymore. But when I saw these from the Scarf Shop all of my beautiful scarves disappeared from my mind, and I now long to own one of these in every color.  So do me a favor: if you don't already own an absurd amount of flowy neck ware, buy one of these.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I love the way that memories paint a picture of your life. By just being still and thinking for a few minutes I can relieve so many significant moments...

...It's the last day of first grade at St. Margaret Mary's elementary school. It is a bright, sunny, warm June day as my mom and I walk out of Ms. Kay's classroom for the last time. As we reach the parking lot I can't hold it in any longer and I start to cry. "I don't want school to be over, I love school!" I couldn't comprehend a whole summer without my classroom, teacher, books, and learning.

... Early morning in the fall of my freshman year at Carroll. I am terribly homesick, but trying to push through it and make the most of my first months of college. Mornings were the hardest, I still had the whole day to get through. I lay on my back in my loft, crying, missing the familiarity of home, dreading another day at school.

... I'm young, 4 or 5 maybe? It's summer and my brothers and I are outside playing with my godmother Monie while my parents are out for the night. They all decide it would be the perfect time for me to learn to ride my bike without training wheels. As dusk settles into our neighborhood I ride my bike for the first time, amazed by the feeling and so proud of myself.

... I am 15 years old, and it is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Winter is slowly replacing fall, and the late afternoon skies are grey. I get off the school bus at my stop, and Mike gets off one stop early to walk part of the way home with me. My hands are sweaty inside my mittens. I like him, and there are butterflies in my stomach. As we reach the corner where we go our separate ways, 15 year old Mike, my future husband and love of my life, stops, turns towards me and grabs my hand and says "This year, I am thankful for you". I then proceed to float the rest of the way home.

... I am 19 years old, it is August, and I am standing at the kitchen sink washing out the vases from the many bouquets of flowers sent to my mom since she was admitted to the hospital a week ago. I am home alone, waiting to hear from my dad about the results of her exploratory surgery that morning. I feel good, hopeful even, and hum to myself. My dad walks through the door, and simply with the look in his eyes and the words "I'm sorry, Sarah", we are thrust back into the world of cancer.

... I am sitting at the kitchen table in my grandma's small kitchen. She places a plate of white bread smeared with real butter, cut into triangles, down in front of me. We then sit and gaze out the window, watching the birds at her feeder. Later that afternoon I put together a puzzle with Poppy, my grandp. It is the one with Mickey Mouse baking a birthday cake, the same one we put together every week I come over.

...I am 22 years old, standing in a dressing room surrounded by mirrors at my first wedding dress fitting. I am alone. I look at myself in the mirror, in the dress that I will wear on my wedding day, and I am overcome by a huge range of emotions. I hold back tears of both grief and happiness. I can't decide which emotions outweighs the other: the pain over having to buy my wedding dress alone, something that should be done with my mom by my side, or the excitement and anticipation that in a few short weeks I will be getting married, surrounded by everyone I love.

...It is a Sunday, about 5:00pm, and just like every other Sunday for as long as I can remember I am at my grandparent's house. Their house is full, of both family and love. The men are on the porch watching TV or huddled around the snack table. My grandma is in in front of the stove, mashing potatoes and proclaiming that she "peeled 15 pounds of potatoes to make these, because my Sarah likes them!" We all sit down around the long dining room table. They place my cousin Kelly and I on opposite sides of the table, probably because we wouldn't get any eating done if we were next to each other. I look around the table and feel nothing but contentment. I am loved.

I could keep going forever. Each memory is so distinct, so different, yet they are all connected on this strand that runs throughout my life. I am so thankful for them. Memories are what make life so full.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living with Mike has really boosted my cooking confidence. When I cook or bake for him, I honestly feel like the best chef in the world. While I do consider myself to be half-way competent in the kitchen, the reality is that Mike has come straight off of 4 years of college living filled with Subway 5$ footlongs and bowls of stale cereal. Last weekend we were heading to a movie right after he got off work, so I made him a quick sandwich for dinner. It was pretty much as simple as it gets- honey wheat bread, stoneground mustard, sharp cheddar, and ham. You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven! Over a sandwich! I wasn't even trying! I have lost count of the number of times Mike has sat across from me at our little dinner table and has proclaimed "This is the best (insert meal here) I have ever had!". So, it may or may not be true, but acording to my husband, I am a pretty damn good cook.

But, instead of sharing one of Mike's favorite meals with you (and there are many), I'm going to share a recipe for something that Mike won't even go near. Bran muffins. I know, I know... am I 80 years old and constipated? Bran muffins get such a bad rap! They have been my favorite since childhood. I loved them so much that on my birthdays my mom would make up a fresh batch for breakfast and I would be served one with a candle in it. Who wants Cinnamon Toast Crunch when you can have a homemade bran muffin?! Give these humble muffins a chance. They are hearty, healthy, and keep you regular!

Bran Muffins

1 cup boiling water
1 cup bran flakes
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups All Bran cereal
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour boiling water over bran flakes and let stand. Cream margarine and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add buttermilk and mix one minute. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until blended. And vanilla, bran flake mixture, and All Bran, mix gently. Store in covered bowl in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Friday, October 1, 2010


"So lets not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up"
-Galations 6:9

The perfect verse to carry me through October.