Monday, May 24, 2010

Bird's bashed head.

Yesterday, I sat at the window after hearing a bang against the glass. A small brown bird lay on my welcome mat. Neck twisted to the left, slight spasm of the wings, eyes closed.

I freaked out, called my mom into the room, asked my step-dad to put the dogs away (Yes, my evil dogs eat poor little birdies from time to time).

I sat by the window that overlooks my deck for 40 minutes. The bird had small white eyelashes and a chest that looked like leopard fur... or those brown spotted seashells I had on my shelf as a child.

The chest was still ebbing and flowing. That gave me hope while I prayed for my little winged friend. Is it sacrilegious to pray for a bird?

Eventually she sat up with her wings tucked tightly in, after ten minutes her legs gained strength and let her stand. Her wings shook and her feathers puffed out, she put on a few pounds in appearance. I thought for sure she was almost ready to fly. However she tucked her wings back again and closed her eyes at the pain of effort.

She began to look around, alert for once. She moved her legs a bit and the shock wore off.

Without warning,

She burst into flight.

This weekend I felt so much pressure to take off in flight. I watched my sister and her beautiful friends graduate from college, hold there boyfriend's hands, and talk about their plans. I felt very single, very lost without a set plan, and just plain LAME.

God whispered gently to me that I was that bird. So many changes have occurred this year.
I feel a bit like I just ran into a window.

He is standing right next to me, praying for me, he has put the enemy away so that he will not harm me.

He has given me assurance that it is okay to rest. I can sit still with my savior as he prays over me, comforts me, encourages me. I am making sure my legs still work, my wings still spread, my head is on straight. And then without warning I will

burst into flight.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Last night I got off work at 9, drove home and plopped onto our white leather couch to watch TV with my parents. The news was on and a man was shown making his last remarks to a prisoner who had been convicted of raping and murdering his 12 yr old daughter.
"I pray every night that God shows no mercy to you," the daddy said to a man in an orange jumpsuit, both had tears running down their faces.
"Oh my gosh that is wrong," I said.
"An eye for an eye, isn't that what the bible says?" my step-dad replied.
"In old testament law, yes, but thats exactly why jesus came, so it wouldn't be that way," I replied.

My heart sank...

Of course I can absolutely never understand what that dad was feeling in that moment, I'm sure that my dad would say the same thing. However, I know it is NOT of God and it hurts my heart so much that everyone who heard him say that associates that attitude with God now.

I woke up late today and sat outside. I read my bible with a carrot, banana & blackberry smoothie in a clear glass, it was warm and breezy. I opened up to a random page and read Luke 19:1-10

He entered Jericho and was passing through.

And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.

Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.

So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.

When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."

And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.

When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."

Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."

And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

I began to cry. The holy spirit began to speak to me about this kind of love. Jesus, the only sinless man, looks at this sinful crook and doesn't just say "you are forgiven sinner" or "I love EVEN you" he asks to stay in his home... a great sign of honor in Jewish culture. Because of this KINDNESS and love, because of this RESPECT and friendship, Zaccheus, out of his own free will, gives his money away and rights his wrongs... and gains salvation.

Jesus does not side with the crowd that calls this man a sinner, he calls him a son of Abraham, a son of the promises of God, someone created in God's image for HIS purpose.

"Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes."

On Mother's Day Sunday my pastor's (Brad Curry) mom was listening to him teach for the first time, she is Jewish and lives in Chicago. He didn't get up and yell about how Jesus IS the messiah or talk about how Jesus is the ONLY way into heaven or do anything to convince her of this. He simply honored her. He said that he had learned so much about God's character from his mom. He shared a story about how she showed unconditional love to his brother when he was addicted to drugs. He loved her.

NOTHING proclaims the gospel more than seeing the beauty in unbelievers. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yes. But we were also ALL created in HIS image and that makes us precious and beautiful. If my sister would have looked at me while I was drunk 5 nights a week, smoking pot, and hooking up with guys and said "you are a sinner and need to straighten out your life, you are a mess, what is wrong with you?" I would have sunk into my depression even more. Instead she loved me again and again and again when I was doing some very UGLY things, she saw the beauty in me. She saw the God in me. She saw another worshipper of God in me.

This is a call for Christians to reach out to those in society that people grumble at and say they are not worthy of love, to love our enemies as ourselves, to surround ourselves with people our flesh would not normally respect and let the spirit guide us into loving them deeply.

Do I know that I could love my child's murderer? yes. Not at all on my own, anger wells inside me even at the thought. But I trust that the holy spirit's power would give me that kind of forgiveness and love, to pray for that man. A man who murdered, like paul. A man who murdered, like me when my sins nailed Jesus to the cross.

I want to love Joseph Kony, the man who leads the rebels in Africa who abduct all the child soldiers.

I want to love the men who abduct girls into sex trafficking.

Can you forgive and honor that dad who beat you as a child?

Can you not just reach out in pity, but befriend the guy who lives on the corner as a brother?

I want to see ALL people as PEOPLE....and not just love them out of pity or duty, but with respect and dignity and honor and true love and friendship for the Glory of Jesus Christ, forever and ever amen.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (rom 5:8)

how much clearer does the gospel get?

Friday, May 14, 2010

ditch class and do a writing exercise.

After staying up until 6am writing about Shakespeare's use of the second person pronoun and irregular blank verse....I really couldn't bear to sit through that class today. Instead my friend Jon and I sat under a big tree in the grass quad and wrote team poetry. One line from me, one from him. Usually these turn out pretty poorly, but I actually kind of like these, as unpolished as they are.


tiny green spades and sporadic spears
its better out here
the milk white walls
cloud what is outside
their lactose drips down my throat
and chokes any chance of explaining
I pluck a spade, its root is milk white
warm when the wind stops, better in movement
instinctively I turn leaves to floral curtains
easier to simply be
still, but I sew the earth's hair
my hands feel the evidence
the veins, the DNA, the sinews
life right in front of me, all around
My ear is on the fleshy dirt, I hear beating
Once intimidating, now telling me secrets
I let two sprigs twist seductively in my hand
busy and alive
grass taught me to listen, God's voice and distant birds,
No need to rush, but merely listen
I sink into the fabric roots
and find I too, am growing

its better out here
cloud what is outside
and chokes any chance of explaining
warm when the wind stops, better in movement
easier to simply be
my hands feel the evidence
life right in front of me, all around
Once intimidating, now telling me secrets
busy and alive
No need to rush, but merely listen
and find I too, am growing

tiny green spades and sporadic spears
the milk white walls
their lactose drips down my throat
I pluck a spade, its root is milk white
instinctively I turn leaves to floral curtains
still, but I sew the earth's hair
the veins, the DNA, the sinews
My ear is on the fleshy dirt, I hear beating
I let two sprigs twist seductively in my hand
grass taught me to listen, God's voice and distant birds,
I sink into the fabric roots

------------------shorter exercise...not as fun--------------

Bark, a thousand pieces
an apple, my apple, eroding in a bag
counting by numbers, making a picture
first the skin of your heel, then my shoelace
building it out of green and blue and twigs
a nest, and I had a sip of your sprite
spilled out, ready to be standing
but my sweater is already sprawled out in the grass
like a child

Bark, a thousand pieces
counting by numbers, making a picture
building it out of green and blue and twigs
spilled out, ready to be standing

an apple, my apple, eroding in a bag
first the skin of your heel, then my shoelace
a nest, and I had a sip of your sprite
but my sweater is already sprawled out in the grass
like a child

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Marcio's Nutella Cupcakes.

NUTELLA, is a sinfully delicious hazelnut spread that brings back so many memories from studying abroad in Italy. {Also memories of long days at the gym back in America losing nutella weight} Today is Marcio's birthday so I am celebrating our Italy memories with these yummy treats.

I used whipped betty crocker frosting and swirled nutella into it with a toothpick, it's yummy you should try it. :-)


Monday, May 10, 2010

mother's day means chocolate.

Devil's Food Cake
2 cup flour
a little more than 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1& 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Sift together the ingredients listed above.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup SUPA PACKED brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
With an electric mixer, whisk the above listed ingredients until fluffy.
(in a separate bowl than dry ingredients)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir into wet ingredient bowl.
3/4 lukewarm water
1/2 cup of buttermilk
Alternate between adding the water, milk, and flour mix to the wet ingredient bowl, beating on low speed.

At 350 degrees bake the batter in two medium sized round cake pans for about 35min.

Caramel Filling
1 bag of soft caramel candies
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
In a small sauce pan bring the cream to a simmer at medium/high heat and stir in the caramel, continuously stir and add caramel until the consistency is drippy but thick.
Spread evenly between the two cakes and layer.

Ghirardelli Glaze
16 oz dark chocolate ghirardelli baking chocolates
2 cups heavy cream
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp light corn syrup

Bring all ingredients except the chocolate to a simmer at med/high heat and remove from heat. Add chocolate and let cool to room temp, use immediately.

And then my moms favorite candy is dark chocolate milky ways, so I just froze two and broke them up and used them for the topping :-)


Proverbs 31:29-30

29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dad's Raspberry chocolate chocolate chocolate birthday cake.


3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2cup chocolate chips.
1 cup fresh raspberries

Raspberry Glaze:
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jelly
2 Tbsp. water.

1st Chocolate Ganache:
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2nd chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Fresh raspberries for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees .

  2. With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, eggs, sour cream, water, buttermilk and oil together until smooth.

  3. Stir in chocolate chips and fresh raspberries. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 42-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  4. Cool completely.

  5. Heat raspberry jelly and water in the sauce pan for 1-2min until smooth. With a pastry brush, brush raspberry glaze over cooled cake. Let cool 1 hour.

  6. For first ganache heat cream in a small saucepan over low heat until just scalded. Whisk in chocolate chips. Continue to cook, whisking, until thickened. quickly pour over cake and smooth around as much as possible (will be very thick).

  7. For second ganache follow same directions, pour over cake and smooth out, this layer will be much thinner.

I cheated a little bit on this one and used cake mix, but it was really yummy :-)
I have the best dad in the world, so blessed to have him in my life, love you daddy!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nature, You are my sobriety

Nature, you are my sobriety
knuckles white on a
crumbling pillow cover
writer's minds abhor
everyday troubles
can I get an amen?

the desk full of
quantitative papers
step one, step two, step three
become only the unframed
picture of a small boy
with brown eyes
a cigarette carton
with one finger left
unopened for years
details haunt

but nature, today
on a swing, under my oak
you let all your details out to play
racketing details
and yet contain them
and everywhere was
life, life, life abundantly
but no chaos
beauty in tiny white flowers
scattered on hot black tar
painted high on
smoggy southern california
even I
with my dirty white shirt
a mind exploding 1000 times with duty
a heart yearning for chaos
I am contained in you
I am one in a
and today that is okay
and today it makes me feel good.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Strawberry filled cupcakes.

My mom's best friend from high school, Lynn, came over tonight for dinner and brought chocolate covered strawberries, nom. She is starting a new baking company ( the website isn't up and running yet) and as she told us about it, I got really excited to bake! So I got out my new apron and made some chocolate covered strawberry inspired cupcakes :-)

1. 1/4 cups flour
1. 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large egg, 1 large egg white
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk

pre-heat oven to 350
Whisk flour, BP, and salt
In another bowl beat sugar and butter until fluffy
add egg and egg white at same time, beat slowly
beat in vanilla
add the flour mix in 3 additions, alternating with the milk
fill cupcake tins 3/4 of the way

5 large strawberries
tbsp strawberry jam
Chop strawberries into small chunks and mix with the jam
put a tsp of the filling on each cupcake and the filling will sink as they cook
Bake 18-20min
Add buttercream frosting and garnish with chocolate covered strawberries.

(for chocolate alternative add 3/4 cup semi-sweet baking cocoa to the batter and 1/2 cup to the frosting)

They came out really sticky with this recipe so next time I think I'll extract the jam and add more flower to the batter-- the chocolate cupcakes seemed to turned out better due to the extra absorbency of the cocoa powder.

"Taste and see that the lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
psalm 34:8