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What Aunties Are For- On Persecution and the Armor of God

While playing soccer yesterday, I hip-checked my 6-year old nephew and sent him flying.

I’m sure it must have looked rather odd to see a grown woman throw a kid to the ground, but he was totally fine.   He did, however, look at me with his, “What the heck?” expression, so I shrugged and said, “That was totally legal.  Use your butt to protect the ball.”

He promptly got up and stole the ball from me because he is freakishly good at soccer and I was barefoot and limping from earlier when I had kicked his older brother in the shins.  This is what aunties are for.

I took the boys for slurpees after our game, and during the 10 minute drive, they learned about more than simply using your butt to knock people over.

First, they learned about flashlight tag.  Did y’all ever play this terrifying game?  I loved it despite the constant feeling that I was going to wet myself.  Now Vander wants to play it for his 9th birthday party.

Hudson informed Vander that “wrestler” starts with a W not an R, because it has a “secret letter.”  Earlier, I had told him about silent letters and he was thoroughly weirded out.  “Why does it start with a W?  That doesn’t make sense.  You don’t say Wah-resler.”

Oh Huddy, we know.  I didn’t even tell you about the T.  And just wait till you learn about bologna and colonel.  Stupid English language.

Then the boys asked about the fish carabiner on my key chain:IMG_3269

I’m not planning on climbing any rocks any time soon so I couldn’t explain the carabiner part, but I could explain the fish.  I told them how right after Jesus went back to heaven, Christians were persecuted so they used the fish symbol like a secret password so they could find other Christians.

Can of worms officially opened.

“What is persecuted?”

Uhhhhh.  Uh-oh.  “Well, bad people didn’t like Christians and wanted to kill them.”

“Why?”

What did I get myself into? “They felt threatened by them.  The king was worried if everyone started worshipping God, nobody would worship him any more.  He was afraid he would lose power.”

“Why didn’t the Christians just invite those people to church? Did they have Awana?”

Great question, Huddy.  Oh how I love their child-like faith.  We arrived at 7 11 at that point, so the boys forgot all about persecution and focused on slurpee flavors instead, but in light of the Oregon shooting, I’m still thinking about our conversation.

Why do people want to kill Christians?

I gave the boys a simple answer, but I wish I had said more.

It’s true that some governments have felt threatened and continue to feel threatened by our allegiance to God (I’m looking at you, China), but it’s more than that.  We have an enemy.  A very real enemy who is trying, tooth and nail, to tear people from God’s kingdom.  On Thursday, we were forced yet again to think about this enemy.

On Friday  morning, some of my students hadn’t yet heard the news and I watched their faces twist in shock and anguish as I explained what had happened.   We prayed for those who are grieving and for God’s kingdom to grow.  We talked about how strange it is that during times of persecution God’s kingdom seems to grow the most.

Why is that?

I wonder if it’s because persecution reminds us why we’re here on earth.  Persecution reminds us of the enemy we are facing and the war we are waging.  Reminds us that in the grand scheme of things many of our problems aren’t as big as we make them out to be.

We go about our days thinking about our to-do lists, our relationships, our schedules and we get irritated when people or circumstances mess up our plans.  At least I know I do.

We completely forget we are battling an unseen enemy who desires to distract us from our purpose.  We forget that Peter said, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We often see our “enemies” as politicians, illegal immigrants, republicans, democrats, Muslims, terrorists, criminals, bosses, bullies, bad drivers, slow baggers, loud talkers, the obnoxious, the annoying, the rude- you get the idea.  The “enemy” has human flesh and has become anyone who disagrees with us or inconveniences us or hurts us.

We often forget that the real enemy is one we can’t see and is daily looking for ways to pull us away from God.  If we forget about this enemy and this ongoing battle, chances are we’re probably losing it.

How do you “fight” against an invisible enemy who sometimes uses bullets and other times uses television and sports and shopping as his weapons of destruction and distraction?  You fight back not with guns and tanks and grenades.

But with Scripture

and prayer

and love.

Lots of love.

Paul was one of God’s most effective soldiers in this battle.  He left us with lots of advice on how to fight against the enemy- most famously in his description of the armor of God in Ephesians chapter 6.  I have posted the following prayer on this blog before, but in light of Thursday, I’m printing it out again and praying it while I drive to school.

Perhaps you too need a daily reminder of the battle we are fighting.

Armor of God Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, I commit this day to you.  You are the creator of the universe and of my heart and I need your Spirit today as I, (list what you will face today).  I ask for your protection around my heart and my mind as I struggle not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil trying to draw my attention away from you.

I put on the belt of truth and cling to the truths about who you’ve made me to be.  Help me today to see myself as you see me. Remind me that I belong to you, that I am your beloved child, your servant, and a stranger here on Earth. Thank you for choosing me, for giving me purpose and a citizenship in heaven. When I make this life all about me, please draw me back to this truth: I am yours and I live for you.

I put on the breastplate of righteousness and confess my unrighteousness. I confess that (list your recent sins).  Thank you, merciful God, for your forgiveness and for washing me clean.   Open my eyes to the sin lurking in my heart that I am unaware of and strip me clean of it as well.  Make me more like you today.

My feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Fill me with your peace that surpasses understanding and may that peace guard my heart and my mind today.

I take up the shield of faith and use it to deflect the enemy’s attacks. With each lie I am told, I counter it with a truth you have given me. I refuse to believe that (a lie you often fall prey to) and instead, believe that (a truth in God’s word that refutes that lie).

I put on the helmet of salvation to protect my thought-life. I will take all my thoughts captive today and make them obedient to you. Convict me when my thoughts stray, when they are negative, judgmental, slanderous, selfish, or unpleasing in any way. Help me to fixate instead on what is right and true, pure and noble, lovely and praiseworthy. Remind me of the hope I have today because of your salvation; remind me why I am here and how I should think and speak and act so that my life may be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

I take hold of the sword of the Spirit, which is your Word, and use it in battle today. May your Word dwell in me richly as I use it to defeat the unseen enemy and live in a way that glorifies you. Please speak to me through the scriptures; reveal more of yourself to me today. Lift my eyes to you and open the eyes of my heart that I might know and love and serve you more.

In your name I pray,

Amen.

Bookworms, Unite!

It’s the first week summer and you know what that means….It’s time for book recommendations!!!

Before we get talking books, two quick things:

1) You can subscribe to the blog.  Don’t worry, I don’t think I’m big time now.  The only reason I did this is because my cousin Jamie requested it since she isn’t addicted to Facebook like the rest of us, but still wants to know when I update this baby.

Over to the right (or at the bottom if you’re on your phone) there is a place where you can enter your e-mail and get notified every time the blog is updated.  Now you’ll never miss a word I say.  Unless you’re a student of mine.  In which case, you’re probably tuning me out this very moment.

2) Post # 3 in the series about my closet is coming but is delayed.  Paul and I fly to Alaska today and considering the fact that we’ll be sleeping in a tent with a gun (in case of bears), I’m guessing I won’t be blogging much during the week.  And if you never hear from me again, assume I was eaten by a bear.  Kidding, Mom!

Okay, now it’s party time!  Time to talk books!

Non-book nerds, feel free to skip this post and come back in a week.

Fellow worms, I love when you share your recent recommendations, so don’t be bashful!

Perhaps you recall the time I offered book recommendations HERE and HERE.  If you’ve never checked out those lists, they include most of my favorites.  Also, several people left really great recommendations in the comments sections.  Thanks for that!

The following list is of the books I’ve read recently.  So without further ado, here is the 2015 Summer Reading List:

1. Red Queen

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If you love teen fiction as much as I do, you’ll LOVE this new series.  But if you’re tired of reading about dystopian societies with a an unlikely heroine, you may want to skip this one.  It’s the next Hunger Games/Divergent type of series and it had me completely captivated.  Paul bought this book for me because he is learning to speak my love language of gifts, and more specifically, gifts of teen lit.

2. Legend

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My friend Hilary recommended this series last year and I was instantly hooked.  I am such a sucker for this genre of teen lit!  Warning: it’s not the best writing.  In fact, it’s kind of terribly written and you might feel patronized by how simple it is.  BUT the story is fascinating!

It’s another messed up society but it’s more realistic than some of the other series because it is based on a future where there is a giant flood that separates the east part of America from the west and completely destroys whole continents.  It’s a future where the chaos of the flood opens doors for dictators to rise and the geopolitical nature of the world to shift.  Plus, there’s another girl who saves the day.  Girl power!

3.  A Land More Kind Than Home

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If you want a book with more depth than all the teen fiction novels, consider this one.  To be honest, I read this one 2 summers ago, so I don’t remember the story.  I just remember loving it!

4. Tattoos on the Heart

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My friend Jeff gave me this book and since he is the one who gave me Father Elijah (now one of my all-time favorite books ever!), I knew it was going to be good.  These are Father Boyle’s true stories of working with gang members in LA in the 80’s and 90’s and HOLY MOLY- it is fantastic!!! I would lend you my copy but it’s covered in notes and highlighted to heck.  This book made me laugh and cry and live life more intentionally.

5. Edge of Eternity11389875This trilogy is a definite favorite of mine, but it is not for the faint of heart.  These books are looooong.  But in a good way.  And if you bust them out in public, people will think you’re really smart.  Or really nerdy.  Probably both.

If you don’t have the time for such a serious commitment, you don’t have to read the first 2 books of the series to understand and appreciate this final book.  It follows 4 different main characters living in Russia, the US, England, and East Germany during the Cold War and Civil Rights Era.  The only problem is that I was reading this book while I was teaching those units and I kept confusing actual history with the story.  Whoops!

If you love historical fiction, this will keep you entertained for days, weeks, maybe even months.  Like I said, it is super long.  And super good.  (ps- Follett tends to get a little too graphic at times.  This one is not as crazy sexual as some of his others, but there are still some scenes that made me blush and quickly turn the page.)

6. Yes Please

yesplease_1This book is what you’d expect it to be- a light, hilarious, quick and easy read.  It’s been on my bookshelf for the past few months and whenever I need a break from whatever book I’m reading, I pick it up and chuckle through a chapter.  If you love Amy Poehler, you’ll love her book, but be prepared: Amy swears A LOT more than Leslie Knopp.

Of all the funny girl books I’ve read, my favorite is still Mindy Kaling’s, but this one is for sure entertaining.  Someone recommended the audio version since Amy reads the book aloud- wish I had known that sooner!

7. The Happiness Project

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I started reading this book the day after Christmas.  I wasn’t unhappy.  Quite the opposite.  But it was day 3 of Christmas family gatherings and this introvert was WIPED OUT.  So when Paul’s aunt lent me the book, I pulled a typical Katie and while others held conversations that I was just too tired to hold, I stuck my nose in these pages and found refuge.

It misses the main point of happiness: God is the source of all our joy.  These pages could be filled with reminders of Jesus and how to live a happy, God-honoring life, but they’re not.

However, it is still pretty entertaining and has some interesting tips like,“Keep a gratitude notebook” and “Don’t expect praise or appreciation.”  I hadn’t realized my own need for gold stars every time I cleaned the toilet or made dinner until I read this.  I did not, however, agree with the finding that people who hugged others 5 times a day were found to be happier.  Non-huggers are happy people too!

8.  The Snow Child

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Jenny recommended this book and it did not disappoint!  Set in Alaska (go figure) in the 1920’s, this story is beautiful.  It is full of sadness and sprinkled with a little bit of magic.

9. A House in the Sky

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If you too are a bit of a wanderlust, you will most likely love reading Amanda’s travel stories from around the globe.  However, if you are sensitive like me, you will be wrecked by the story of her kidnapping and time in captivity in Somalia.  I haven’t cried this hard while reading a book in a long while.  Maybe ever.

The fact that this beautifully written story is true makes it remarkably intense and powerful.  Often times I wished it was fiction.  Halfway through the book, I recommended it to my friends.  A few days later I took back my recommendation.  “It’s too hard.  Too sad.  You might not want to read this.”

If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching story of adventure and tragedy, this may be your ticket.

10. Who’s Picking Me Up from the Airport?

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I’ve mentioned this book before because Cindy is a friend of mine and a letter I wrote to single girls is in the book.  All the single ladies should put your hands up and buy this hilarious book.  It will make you laugh and remind you that you are not alone.

11.  Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

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If you enjoyed The Paris Wife, chances are you’ll love this one too.  It’s sad but super interesting- especially if you’ve ever wondered what Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were like in real life.

12. Savor

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I totally judged this book by its cover.  Because the cover is awesome.  The book looks so cute on our kitchen table that I’d keep it there even if I wasn’t reading it.

I love Shauna’s writing style, and really enjoyed Bittersweet, but I offer the following caveat about this book: don’t expect it to be a devotional like Jesus Calling.  My sister-in-law told this to me and since I had switched my expectations, I wasn’t disappointed when I found the “devotions” are sometimes just Shauna’s stories peppered with some recipes and some words of wisdom.  Shauna is a wonderful story-teller who offers some great advice.  Plus, I’m going to try out her spicy Thai noodles tonight, so I’m not complaining.  But if you’re looking for something theologically “meaty,” this probably isn’t what your’e looking for.

13. Perelandra

PerelandraSpeaking of theologically meaty, if you love C.S. Lewis and you love Sci-Fi, this book might be exactly what you need this summer.  The first book in the trilogy, Out of the Silent Plant, was good, but this one is even better and you can understand it without having read the first one.  Paul told me to skip the third book altogether, since this book is the best in the series.

Warning: this book is weird.  Like really weird.  Or maybe it’s just “Sci-Fi” weird and I’m not used to that.  In any case, this is no Chronicles of Narnia.  But another world is involved.  Venus, or Perelandra, to be exact.  It’s short, but really dense and I find myself re-reading entire paragraphs and having to stop and think about what I’ve read.  Not exactly an easy, beach read.

The premise is that a man travels to Venus and discovers a world with only one man and one woman; a world with mermaids and bubble trees and beauty and wonder.  A world without death or pain or evil or sadness.  A world much like earth before the fall.  It makes me long for heaven.

The story resembles the Genesis 3 account where Eve eats the forbidden fruit, since the devil tries to persuade the female character to disobey God.  I’m halfway through the book and find myself yelling to the woman, “DON’T LISTEN TO HIM!!! HE’S EVIL!!!”

C.S. Lewis has a way of awakening in my soul a deep, hidden longing for God.  He also has a way of giving the enemy a face and reminding his readers that we are daily fighting a battle against invisible forces of evil.  While reading this book, I am continually reminded that there is so much more; that my time on this planet is limited and I am a tiny player in a giant, cosmic story of God’s kingdom in heaven and on earth.

14. What’s My Pee Telling Me?

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I include this only because my friend Katie has a weird aversion to odd numbers so I’m ending this list on #14 rather than # 13.  This is a legitimate book that Katie gave to me (along with What’s Your Poo Telling You?).  Ironically, it is so funny it might make you pee your pants.  If you’re looking for some reading material for the commode, these books are quite perfect.

Now for the list of books I plan on reading…

Here’s my stack of summer goodness from the school library:IMG_2165

Two of these are re-reads but the rest are new to me.  If you see any in the pile that were awful or boring, please let me know.

And if I was rich, I would buy all of these books from Costco:

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But alas, I am not rich, so I will most likely buy 1 or 2 of these books.  Have you read any of them?  If so, please let me know which books you liked or didn’t like.

Again, I’d love to hear your recommendations.  Happy reading!

Friday Favorites “Costco snacks”

I love a good recommendation so Fridays will be a place where I’ll often offer my random recommendations.  These might be for snacks, movies, books, music, crafts, recipes, running gear, other blogs- really anything that I enjoy and hope you might too.

Costco Snacks

1) Mild Green Mojo Chips 
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I wasn’t much of a chip person until I gave up sweets for Lent.  When given the choice between sugar and salt, 85 % of the time I will choose sugar.  However, during the other 15 %, I reach for Late July chips.  These flavorful chips put Doritos to shame.  Plus, your fingers won’t turn orange.

WARNING: If you are as white as I am, these might set your lips on fire, but the taste is well worth the burning sensation.  If you find the Late July blue tortilla chips at other stores, buy them right away and thank me later.

2) Snapea Crisps

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My crossfit-addicted sister-in-law recommended these, so I was hesitant at first (crossfitters are weird.  The girl can freaking do a hand-stand push-up!) But despite my initial doubts, I was instantly hooked on these.  They’re a great chip-alternative to make you feel like you’re not eating total garbage.

However, these are not for everyone.  I offered some to my colleagues and they turned up their noses.  Gina even spit one out and called me gross.  Regardless of this reaction, I stand by my recommendation.

3) Snappers

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These just might change your life.  I love them for 3 reasons:

A) Even though the pretzels are drizzled in carmel and dipped in chocolate, it still seems healthier than straight up candy.

B) I read somewhere that dark chocolate is actually good for you.

C) The chewiness of the carmel forces me to slow down and eat at normal human pace.

WARNING: the carmel might pull off your permanent retainers.   (I’ve been wanting to visit my orthodontist anyways.)

4) Pretzel Buns

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Apparently I am a big fan of any and all things pretzel. For those who miss the old food pyramid where 6-11 servings of bread and cereals were recommended, these buns are better than manna.   No offense, God, but “thin flakes like frost” don’t sound nearly as satisfying as rolls of pretzel goodness.

5) Bell PeppersIMG_1966

As a former veggie-hater, it is a big deal that these have made the list.  I’m still not on “team vegetable” and these certainly can’t compare with chocolate or cheese, but on those rare occasions when I feel like eating healthy, these are actually quite tasty.

Bell peppers with hummus is usually a “my-stomach-is-starting-to-eat-itself-and-dinner-won’t-be-ready-for-an-hour” kind of snack.  They’re great raw, they’re easy to sauté, and stuff them with chicken and rice and boom- dinner’s ready.  (I use this Pinterest recipe for stuffed peppers at least twice a month.)

But just so you don’t think I’m turning into a health nut…

6) Belgian WafflesIMG_1967

Add butter and syrup for breakfast.

Put bacon, lettuce and tomatoes between two of these and call it lunch.

Eat it with butter for a snack.

Fry up some chicken and voila! Dinner is served.

Nutella + peanut butter+ waffle = one dang good dessert

I could go an entire day eating these waffles.  In fact, I’m adding that to my bucket list right now.  Right beneath, “See 5 movies in the theater on one day.”

Do you have any snack recommendations to offer?  I get stuck eating the same thing for months, so I’d love a few recommendations. 

Why I Write

It’s been almost a year since I’ve updated this little blog.  At first the break was simply because I’m a horrible procrastinator and was working on my summer tan.  Then I planned a wedding,
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bought a house,IMG_9121

honeymooned in Greece

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learned how to bake giant cookies,

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and well, life just got in the way.

One year ago today, Paul got down on one knee and in a flash, everything changed.  Suddenly I was a fiancé.  A few months later, I became a wife.  My name changed, my address changed, my world and many of my habits and routines changed.  For example, now I cook non-microwavable meals and change the bed sheets on a more consistent basis.  I watch Jeopardy because Paul loves it and I scrub grout in the bathroom.  I didn’t even know what grout was 8 months ago!

Being single afforded me more time to browse the racks at TJ Maxx and allowed for free mornings to lay in bed with my cat and write.  However, now that I have mastered the arts of cooking and cleaning and being the perfect wife, she said with dripping sarcasm, I finally have time to write again.

If you used to be a  regular reader, I apologize for my lack of explanation when I stopped updating.  I left you hanging with that last post and seemingly dropped off the planet, but I’m back!  I promise not to disappear again without any warning. Unless I die, in which case I’ve left all my passwords with Paul because I’m weirdly morbid like that and expect him to post his very moving eulogy here on the blog.  Kidding.  Sort of.

When I finally decided to return to this blog, I had to reevaluate why I write in the first place.  I confess that one of the reasons that used to motivate my writing was because I was looking for affirmation. I gobbled up the compliments and let them start to define me.  That’s just not healthy.

I’m sure I’ll still get way too excited when someone leaves a positive comment on here, but I’m no longer seeking affirmation with this space.  I like to think it’s because I’m finally finding my identity in Christ and not in others’ opinions of me, but I suspect it’s also because I have a husband now who laughs at every lame joke I tell so I’m feeling pretty affirmed.  So why write a blog?

Here are 5 reasons I write:

1) To observe: Writing forces me to be more observant of this beautiful, confusing, often ridiculously funny world.

2) To practice: I hope to write a devotional for high school girls one day, so this space is where I’ll practice stringing together words and thoughts.

3) To confess: I do and say and think some rather strange things at times and it feels good to admit some of them.  Don’t worry, I won’t admit all my confessions.  I do have some semblance of a filter.  But if you’re a student of mine, you are not allowed to bring these confessions up during class.  Let’s just pretend like you don’t know that when I go to the back of the class I’m either picking my nose or my wedgie.

4) To remember: Writing about what God has taught me forces me to remember these lessons and let them truly transform me.

5) To connect: I’ve made several “Internet friends” during my stint at blogging and I’d love to make more. Plus, lots of my family lives in the Philippines and this is my way of updating them on my life.  Hi, Grandma!

So here it goes.  No promises on how regular I’ll update, but I’m diving back into the blogging world.

Waiting…

Traffic.

The DMV.

Lines at Disneyland.

The spinning rainbow wheel of death.

Red lights.

Security at LAX.

The doctor’s office.

Question: What do all these things have in common?

Answer: They all are painful.  And they all require you to wait. 

Waiting is the worst.  And I’m pretty bad it.  I’ve been known to scream at my computer (in front of my students) and read my book during red lights.  You’d think I’d be more patient by now since God has taught me some hard lessons about waiting, but it seems He’s still got a lot of work to do on me.

I waited a long time for Paul.  Longer than most people wait for a spouse.  So I’ve learned a thing or two about waiting.  Here’s what I wrote about the waiting process back in 2012:

In church this week, the pastor talked about the importance of waiting and the change that happens as we wait.  You better believe I teared up.  Especially as he read this quote from Lewis Smedes:

“Waiting is our destiny. As creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope for, we wait in the darkness for a flame we cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending that we cannot write. We wait for a ‘not yet’ that feels like a ‘not ever.'”

I think God is using this “not yet” that feels like a “not ever” for a reason.  And I get to live in a place of hopeful expectation, a place where my faith is strengthened as I hope for what I cannot see and I wait for God’s crazy plans to unfold.

The waiting sometimes feels confusing and chaotic; at times it’s lonely and long.  But I firmly believe in a God who acts at just the right time.  I believe in a God who has purposes and plans that are much grander than my own.  So I’ll wait.

And wait I did.  Then on February 1, at  just the right time, I walked across an In-N-Out parking lot, gave an awkward side hug to a blind date, and the wait was over.

I can see now why I had to wait for Paul.  They say hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve certainly found that to be true because hindsight doesn’t require any faith.  It’s when you’re in the thick of it- waiting for a spouse or a job or a baby or whatever it may be- that faith is required and faith is refined. 

Who needs faith when you have everything you hope for?  It’s in the midst of the hoping and the longing and the often painful process of waiting that faith is strengthened.  The author of Hebrews explains, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Paul writes this about Abraham having to wait decades for God to deliver what He had promised:

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21).

I wish I could say that I never wavered in unbelief and that I was always fully persuaded that God would deliver, but that’s just not true.

The thing is, God never promised me a husband.  God never promised to give us everything we want.  But here’s what He has promised:

He will never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

He has given us His peace (John 14:27).

He will supply for our every need (Philippians 4:19).

And He will work out everything for our good (Romans 8:28).  Not for our comfort and pleasure, but for our good.

In the middle of the waiting, we can cling to these promises.  God may not answer our prayers how we want and and He sure doesn’t operate on our timetables very often.  But we can trust that when He says “no” there is a reason and when He says “wait” there is a purpose.

Stay tuned for the next post in which I list the 20 reasons I should have known Paul was the one for me.

An Open Letter to Raisins

Dear raisins,

Why you got to be all crinkly and gross? I used to think you were kinda tasty when I was little and you came in those cute, miniature boxes.  But then I grew up and realized that like fish sticks you’ve always been nasty and have been fooling innocent kids for years.

What happened to you?

You used to be so good when you were a grape.

Who decided to shrivel up your goodness and then ruin perfectly good trail mixes by adding you?  Don’t you see that at the bottom of every bag of trail mix, you’re all that’s left?  There’s a reason, raisins. It’s because you’re disgusting and nobody likes you!  Plus, sometimes we mistake you for chocolate chips and when we bite into your gooey grossness, we feel deceived and disappointed.  Why can’t you be more like MnM’s?  No one’s ever sad to see them.

Some people put you on celery covered in peanut butter and call it “ants on a log.”  I like peanut butter on just about anything, but when you came along, you totally ruined that snack.  Have you ever eaten an actual ant?  They’re terrible.  Just like you.  Ants on a log?  No thank you.  I’ll just take the log.

Also, who in their right mind decided to add you to cookies?!?  Was that some kind of joke?  Oatmeal cookies could have been so delicious but you had to weasel your way into that recipe and completely destroy what could have been a beautiful combination of sugar and oats.  Thanks a lot.

You ruined a perfectly good cookie and I wish you never existed.

Sincerely yours,

Katie

PS- At least you’re not as bad as pickles.

Poo Etiquette

The following list of guidelines are not my own.  When I was visiting my friend Megan, her husband showed me an e-mail he received from his boss, who I should mention is the head pastor at their church.  Said e-mail included all of the following guidelines for poo etiquette and then some.  I felt compelled to delete and edit some portions of the e-mail because it was too graphic even for me.  Yeah, I know.  I posted these rules in the staff bathroom last year, but they were abruptly torn down.  Someone either didn’t find them funny or couldn’t follow the rules. Either way, I was slightly peeved that they poo-pawed the poo guidelines.

6 Guidelines for Poo Etiquette in the Workplace

1. If you poo and it causes rectal discomfort, you must ensure poo flushes properly. This is done by scrutinizing the flushing cycle, ensuring poo has completely been eradicated from bowl. Do not flush and exit stall before cycle is complete. For those of you who may have enlarged sphincter capacity and poo does not cause discomfort but girth of poo is abnormal in size (2 ½ “ diameter +), you must also watch the entire flushing cycle. Continue reading

Summer Reading Recommendations

If you’ve been following this blog for a while or you know me in real life, you know that I am a big fat nerd when it comes to books.  However, I learned last summer that lots of you are big fat nerds too.  So let’s be big fat nerds together and talk book recommendations.

It’s been a month since school has been out which means I’ve had lots of time for reading.  I’ve read some wonderful stories and some not-as-wonderful-but-still-rather-enjoyable stories that I’m sharing with you now.  My goal in this is purely selfish.  If you are a fellow book worm, I want your recommendations too!  If you are not a bookworm, feel free to disregard the rest of this post and tune in later when I’ll write more about Costa Rica. Continue reading

Jenny from Alaska, here I come!

On this, the very first official day of summer, I am flying to Alaska to see my best friend Jenny.  I visited last summer too, but all I wrote about was the time when Jenny and I tried to empty the septic tank of our RV and sewage sprayed all over Jenny.  It was my high point of the summer but Jenny’s low, and it certainly made for a memory engrained forever in both of our brains.  However, apart from the pictures of Jenny in gloves looking pissed, I never posted any of the Alaska pictures so I’m sharing some of them now.   Here were the highlights from last summer:

25 Highlights from Alaska Continue reading

The List

Yesterday I discovered that lots of you blog readers also like to read books.  Go figure.  And if you share my love of reading, you probably also share my appreciation for a good recommendation.  I’ve learned that you can’t trust everyone when it comes to book recommendations.  We have different tastes.  So you have to know what kinds of books the person enjoys before you take their word.  Also, you should never make a recommendation for a book you haven’t read.  My poor sister learned that the hard way when I lent her Kathy Griffin’s Memoir before having read it myself.  Oops.  Sorry, Heid.

The following are all books that I have read and loved.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to sound smart and list a bunch of hard-to-read classics that we’re “supposed” to read and enjoy.  These are the page-turners that have held my attention and brought me into worlds I didn’t want to leave. Continue reading