Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hearts and Flowers: The Wednesday Medley


Thanks to Terri from
Your Friend From Florida
for the Medley questions.

I think St. Valentine's Day is for everyone, whether you have a romantic love interest or not. I received a Valentine card from my sister (thank you Patti!) - case in point. It is all about LOVE, not just romantic love.  What are your traditions for celebrating Valentine's Day?

Sorry to disagree with you, Mrs. Terri, but saying that Valentine's day isn't about whether or not you have a romantic love interest is like saying church ladies' groups aren't just for married women with children.  Same outcome of pain and exclusion.

Anyway...


I don't have any traditions for the "holiday" as of yet.  It does, however, make me look back on my years as a preschool teacher with fondness.  Christmas and Valentine's Day were the best two days of the school year.  We'd have a class party and I'd buy gifts for all of my students.  So. Much. Fun.

When you were in elementary school, did you decorate a shoe box and deliver those little valentines to all your classmates? Perhaps in Sunday School?

We made those little shoebox mailboxes in elementary school.  Not much fun to make when you take it home empty.

Do you enjoy playing Cupid? Have you ever introduced a couple who really clicked?

Not exactly.  Now, before y'all think I'm anti-romance, rest assured, I'm not.  I remember at my sister Ida's wedding, the minister saying that our job was not to interfere in the couple's marriage, but that since we were there as witnesses before God, our job was to "make sure they stay married."  I took that mandate seriously with all my married friends and family.  To me, that means to pray for the couple and to do my part to encourage unity.  If that means babysitting so the couple can have some time alone, being a neutral 3rd party to help resolve a dispute, or simply offering an encouraging word, I'll do it.  I even DJ'd a couples' dance at my home church...once. 

Which traditional Valentine's Day gift would you rather receive: Chocolate, flowers, or a card with a personal message?

I love flowers.  They don't have to be roses; any pretty flower makes me happy.

What is the best movie to watch on Valentine's Day?

The Princess Bride of course.

Tell us something random about your week!

Nothing spectacular to share.  Sorry.  All this Valentine's Day talk has worn me out and made me sad, so I'll just share a funny Valentine's Day video.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Five Minute Friday: "Where?"


God created you on purpose and for a purpose.  He's called you, positioned you, and equipped you.  There is a realm of influence--a group of people--that only you can inspire, encourage, and lead.  There's a plan only you can complete.  That's how valuable you are.
 
- Christine Caine, Unshakeable. p. 33



Where am I going?  What's my next step?  Does my life really have a divine purpose, or am I just here to show people how not to live.  I've been asking these questions a lot lately.  I thought I was on the fast track to my next steps in life, but I hit a bump in the road.  Not a little bump, a big bump.  Have you ever accidentally run over a concrete parking block?  I have...more than once.

Yeah that kind of bump.

When I moved from Alabama to Colorado, I knew that God was guiding me.  From the long drive, to finding a job, to getting an apartment, to getting a reliable vehicle, God's guiding hand was all over it.  Now, I feel so directionless-- like I don't know where I'm going and like every door of opportunity on which I knock is closed, locked, and has furniture stacked in front of it. 

I keep reminding myself that God didn't need to bring my 1400 miles across the country to fail; I was doing that just fine in Alabama.  I just need to know where to step out next.

My current mood:


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fresh Powder: The Wednesday Medley


Thanks to Terri from
Your Friend From Florida
for the Medley questions.

NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY

In the United States, National Croissant Day is observed each year on January 30th. Croissants are a buttery, crescent-shaped rolls that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough. Laminating the dough is a process by which butter is folded into the mixture creating multiple thin layers of butter and dough. The result is a mouth-watering flaky crust and airy body.

Legend surrounds this pastry, as is often the case with a popular, worldly treat. What is known, is that crescent-shaped breads have been found around the world for ages. One of these was the Kipferl which originated in Austria as far back as the 13th century. This nonlaminated bread is more like a roll. Credit for the croissant we know today is given to an Austrian military officer, August Zang. In 1939 he opened a Viennese bakery in Paris introducing France to Viennese baking techniques.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Stop by the bakery for a fresh, warm croissant or try making your own using this recipe: Croissants recipe.

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Well, I do love croissants when they are fresh, but day-old croissants need to be turned into a donut. I happen to really like the croissants that have a donut-like glaze on them! Sugar overload but so good. So... do you like croissants? What is your favorite way to eat them?

I've never eaten a fresh homemade croissant that I know of.  I've only eaten canned "Crescent Rolls" or pastries from the grocery store.  So, unfortunately, I have no opinion on them.  Maybe in the future, I can allow myself the splurge of either buying a fresh croissant or making the recipe Miss Terri provided.

Speaking of food... How do you handle stress?

When things get stormy, I use distraction, sleeping, and sometimes eating to help me feel comfortable and secure, rather than stressed.  I know that the right answer should be that I trust in God, but that is one of my struggles.  I love the Lord, and I’m learning to trust Him more, but old habits die hard.  I’m used to having to take care of things myself, rather than get help.
 
Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which one would you say affects you the most?

Anger.  I'm very hard on myself.  I'm told I also expect too much out of others.  Yeah, wanting people to live up to their word, take responsibility for their actions, and in general, just give a rip is expecting too much from people.  Anyway, I don't easily anger nearly as much as I used to, but I still take many things way too personally and berate myself way too often.

Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative, which one is your biggest strength?

Compassion.  Yes, I know it seems to contradict what I just wrote.  Expecting common decency from people doesn't mean I'm not compassionate.  God has given me His heart of compassion, especially for those who have no voice (the unborn, children in need of adoption, the elderly, etc.).  Without love and compassion, none of the other virtues matter.

What do you get every time you go grocery shopping, other than the staples such as bread, milk, butter, flour, sugar...

Spinach.  At least three times a week I drink smoothies that include a handful of spinach.  Also, spinach is my salad base and part of my omelets.

Please tell us something random about your week so far.


This is my second winter in Colorado, but the snow is still novel to me.  In trying to find beauty in my surroundings (and thus some artistic inspiration), I took this shot behind our offices at work Monday.  In the midst of busy city commerce and academic administration is this quiet serenity.  The snow on the ground hadn't yet been disturbed and the trees were still flocked with the day's powder.