Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you excited for Turkey Day?
I am.

I told you in Unashamed Love that it was the first of a few ( My last post should have been post II, and I forgot to tag it.

This is post III.
Child Like Faith and Honest Praise
This is my last Thanksgiving at the house on Stockard Street.

I have loved spending Thanksgiving with my sister in Indianapolis pretty much since she got married and moved here. And now, on Stockard Street, I am less than 10 minutes away.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for those years. The years in college when I was in a dark place, and I would come down to Indianapolis and be alleviated from it for a while. I would make the drive down, get in late, hug Mandy and Steve, and crawl into that perfect guest bed that they have. And breathe.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for period from 2008-now. Yes, we were in TN last year, but it feels like a tiny blip on the radar. I am grateful for the chance to have woken up nearly every day for a year in a house where I was loved, challenged, taken care of, and laughed constantly. For Rob not giving up on me when I wasn't ready to let people close, and still managing to become one of my best friends. For Mandy and Steve saving my financial butt. For the ability to hold Abram almost everyday when he was a baby.

I am grateful that when I met and married Robert, he lived less than 10 minutes away.
I am grateful for the house on Stockard Street, for my last year here.

Am I scared now? Nervous? Of course. But I never could have imagined this life for myself, these past years, so who I am to limit what could be coming?

So today, I will be grateful for what is and what has been. And I will brace myself (in a good way) for the changes that I am sure will bring a slew of dull moments.

You are worthy
of a child like faith

of my honest praise
of my unashamed love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Right now.

Right now, I am sitting at my secretary desk, typing this, instead of tackling my insane pile of junk to get done.

I am drinking...

Diet Coke.

And munching on these bad boys {Andes Creme de Menthe Cookies. I found them on sale at Marsh. Don't judge}.

I am telling myself that it is okay that we have to be out of our house before Christmas. That somehow, despite it being the busiest time of year, we will find time to pack and move. That despite the fact that my parents (who are experts at moving) cannot help us move, we will have enough help and ability to get it done.

I am telling myself that moving will not ruin Christmas for me, since it is my favorite time of year. I will live viacriously through other people's Christmas decorations, beautifully wrapped presents and Christmas movie nights.

I am talking to my dog, asking him if he can finish the PILES of laundry I just didn't have time to do last week (btw, I have NO IDEA what Robert found to wear to work today. Sorry, SWC peeps.). He looks at me with sweet amber eyes that say, "WTH, Mom?"

I'm telling myself it is okay that I woke up this morning and realized that our sheets needed to be washed and our bed needed to be flipped, and I'm not going to do either for days.

I am telling myself that it will be okay that I don't know if we'll be able to work out the deal on the house we are looking to buy. That if it doesn't go through, we will find a temporary place to live and the RIGHT house in due time.

I am telling myself that Robert and I are in the right jobs for right now, and despite my doubts and uncertainty about the future, we will be okay.

I am telling myself that there are things I cannot understand, cannot fix, cannot clean (right now), cannot change, and I need to get it over it.

I am telling myself that I will not have a panic attack. Or a mental breakdown. That I can ask for help, that it's okay not to do it all this year.

I am telling myself that these changes are good, and though it's a lot, it is what I am supposed to have.

Yesterday in church, our pastor preached on one of my favorite Bible passages. It's the story of Jairus, how he comes to Jesus because his daughter is dying and he believes that Jesus can heal her. And how Jesus doesn't make it there before she dies. In the meantime, a desperate, cast out woman gets enough courage to touch Jesus' cloak, in the hopes that after 12 years of suffering, she can be healed.

Do you know what I love?

Both of these people are at their wits end. Both need Jesus' immediate attention. The timing is up for both of them. The woman already suffered 12 years with no break. Jairus' time runs out, and his daughter dies.

Both have doubts. Both are fearful at their circumstances. Both get the healing and help that they seek.

Isn't that the joy of what we believe? Isn't that our hope? Isn't that the whole point? That our time is up, our strength has failed, everyone else has given up on us, our circumstances overtake us... and that we are saved.

"Ignoring what they said, Jesus told him, 'Don’t be afraid; just believe.'" Mark 5:36

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Unashamed love

Dear readers, you didn't think I forgot about you, did I?
You didn't dare think, "I bet her life got dull."
Did you?

This will be a series of posts. Because this event is too multifaceted for me to blog in one post. So here's part 1. The title of today's, "Unashamed love" comes from a song that was my favorite song when I was in YWAM. I hope these series of posts reflects an unashamed love for Jesus.

Unashamed Love
I am a do-er. Type A. Get 'er done. I don't care what you call it, I am a person of action and sometimes, to my detriment, not of thought. But I will tell you, there is almost no challenge I will turn down, no project I will not try to finish, no person I will not connect with.

I planned in my wedding in, like, 3 months. When I get a new job, I've never had an employer that could keep me busy at first. They always underestimate my ability to get things done efficiently and well. It's a gift.

My energy, my skills, my organization (or lack there of), my can-do, push-it-through attitude. It's a gift. I mean that -- this is who I was made to be, and for a good reason.

But, like all of our strengths, it is a weakness. I have a hard time letting go, and I get frustrated when I having trouble achieving the results I expect from myself.

We have been house hunting. I have spreadsheets. There are lists (A,B,C) based on price, location, floor plan and details. I knew nothing about real estate when we started this process, and now I use words that I didn't know existed a few months ago. We have walked through dozens of houses.

To my dismay, we have not found one that we both agreed on that we could actually buy.

I tried harder. We saw more houses, I re-vamped my search, I researched, prodded, learned.


I became frustrated, depressed, even. I got mad at Robert for not liking the houses I wanted (because then I would have accomplished my goal). I threw my list into a crumpled ball across the living room. I said, "No more. I am not looking at another house."

I took my crown, my gift, and set it aside. I walked away. I said, "Jesus, this isn't happening for me. YOU do it if it's supposed to happen." It was too much for me. I was trying too hard and making no progress and it wasn't worth it, and it certainly was not what Jesus was trying to get me to do.

We got an offer on our house about a week and a half later. So, timidly, I pulled up some searches. The same searches I had been on a week before and found not a single house I wanted to see.

There were listings. SO MANY NEW LISTINGS. Good ones, too. Houses that look like they have what we are looking for, houses in our price range. Houses that would make the A List.

A beloved college professor of mine had this awesome saying. "Do you trust God to be God? I mean, God lights his own cigars, people." That's right, God doesn't need my gifts. And He is faithful unto himself in his love and mercy for me. So, do I trust that? Do I let God be God and Chrissy be Chrissy? Do I doubt his unending love for me (yes), his ability to accomplish anything in any manner of time (yes), his intent to bless us (yes)? Let's say, it's something I am working on.

"You're calling my to lay aside the worries of my day,
To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place.
You are worthy
...of my childlike faith, of my honest praise
and of my unashamed love.
Of a holy life and of my sacrifice
and of my unashamed love."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My teeth and provision

Remember Anxiety Girl?

The one who was scared to take a part time job because, how will we live?!

It is week 2 and going well.

I was sitting in the dentist chair yesterday, crossing my fingers and toes that I didn't need my second crown this year. They ended up just doing a filling, but the jury is out on whether or not that will work.

Do you know what? I get a new dental benefit with my new job. It's only good through December. So even if I do need a crown, I have all this benefit I get to use. We had run out on our old insurance for me, and I'm sure I'll need more. It renews in January. Amazing, right? Oh, and I wound up last minute doing something extra yesterday that made money (all toward the deductible, which isn't even that high).


And the part-time job? I will not be working part-time again until the week of Thanksgiving. In fact, I'm actually double booked and need to figure out which jobs I can and cannot do. So by Thanksgiving, I'll be happy to have a break.

Provision. So simple, so clear. I am incredibly grateful that we are so provided for... even if it does come with a sore mouth.

And as we go off to look at another bunch of houses that we will probably decide do not work for us, I will remember that the right house will come along. It will be provided. We just have to be patient and look for it.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:31-34

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New cookie

It's cold, guys.

Fall has arrived... though I guess it's supposed to warm up this week.

With the blast of cold, I started to crave something warm and cozy to nibble on this weekend. Like that rich, chewy topping on Barefoot Contessa's apple crisp. Except, I only wanted the topping.

So, I made the topping, made a few adjustment... and made it into a cookie. I refined it later.

My husband, who does not like oatmeal cookies, gobbled these up. We enjoyed them, as pictured above, while playing Ticket to Ride on Sunday.

Nice and cozy, huh?

Oatmeal Cookies
1 c butter, barely softened. Still cold.
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour (I use King Arthur's Flour)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Indonesian cinnamon
a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 bag of pure, high quality white chocolate chips (I use Kroger's Private Selection White Chocolate Drops)

Preheat oven to 350F. If butter is very cold, dice into pieces. Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add 1 cup of flour, the salt, baking soda, and spices. Mix well. Add in the remaining flour. Stir in oatmeal on a low setting. Add chocolate chips in on a low setting.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop generous spoonfuls onto sheets. Refrigerate sheets or dough in between batches. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Best served warm.

For oatmeal cups to hold ice cream (WHAT?!), reduce flour to 1 1/2 cups. Grease muffin tins with butter. Put generous spoonfuls of dough into each cup. Bake at 350F for 8-12 minutes, until desired browning on edges. They will be soggy and fall in the middle (hence the cup shape for ice cream).