Tuesday, March 24, 2009

F is for Fabulous Food on Friday

Ok, so I'm a little late in writing but it was spring break last week and I think I can count the times on one hand that I touched my computer. In stead I opted for things like reading, sleeping, journaling, reading, visiting with friends, and eating. I put eating at the end simply because the most anticipated and delightful eating escapade actually happened at the end of break.

(Enter DREAMLAND BAR-B-QUE and queue sounds of angel voices)

This past Friday I went on a day trip with a friend that started out being a bit of an errand of sorts so we wanted to wrap up the day on a fun note. And what better way to do that when one is passing, in relatively close proximity, Birmingham than to have some ribs and banana pudding at Dreamland. There ain't nothin' like it! Walk in the door and sit down and you're greeted with a hearty stack of good 'ol white bread and bar-b-que sauce to dip it in, order a Dr. Pepper while you're waiting and boy howdy when that big plate of ribs come out you'll think you've died and gone to heaven (I promise you there will be such fabulous food in heaven, don't you doubt it)!

I admit, I gorged. Probably over gorged if I were to be honest about it. But was the slight discomfort after the fact worth it? YES!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

E is for Eventide

Abide with Me
words by: Henry F. Lyte, 1847
tune by: William H. Monk, 1861
tune name: Eventide

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

D is for Don't Worry

It's a variation on a theme really. That's how I see it. One of the better variations in my opinion. Normally family is hundreds of miles away, I travel to be with them leaving behind my friends and support network and going into the world of theirs. The world that I rightly belong to at least in part because it was my world at one point but simply hazed by the difference of time and distance. This time family and familiar turf are one and the same in time and setting.

This is familiar ground for my family. Hospital visits have been mile markers throughout my own life. But this time it's a particularly memorable Ebenezer. Each member of my family has been surrounded by their own friends while we've all been supported by a shared community. It's incredible to witness. It's even more incredible to experience. All in all, The Great Physician knows our every need before we are even aware of it. He sees when we will be weak and sends encouragement. He knows when we will doubt and gives strength. He hears when we cry out to him and pours out peace. Often the encouragement He sends, the strength He gives, and the peace he pours out comes in the form of His greatest gift--people. These last few days have been no different. Every blessing in our lives has a name, and each name was sent by The One who cares so very deeply for us. Each visit, each call, each text is His way of saying, "Don't worry".

Monday, March 09, 2009

C is for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Believe it or not I'm not a big chocolate person. I know, check my pulse and scan my birth certificate, I am a girl. It's just never been a particular craving of mine. Come to think of it, other than a fairly long span of about 6 months when I couldn't find enough things to make with avocados I don't know that I've ever craved any one thing.

Back to chocolate. Like I said, I've never been a die hard chocolate fan. I never liked chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream as a kid. I can eat chocolate cake now—though my favorite is carrot cake (without coconut). Chocolate ice cream I still have a dislike for. If there is one thing with chocolate that I like more than all the rest it would have to be chocolate chip cookies. But here's the thing: the fewer the chocolate chips, the better. Now I've had people ask me, "Why don't you just eat sugar cookies instead?" The obvious answer to that question is, "Because they taste different!" There's something about the extra butter in the chocolate chip cookie dough and the cocoa oils from the (just a few) chocolate chips that takes the cookie to a whole new level of delightful taste. The kind of taste that can only be properly enjoyed with a nice cold glass of whole milk.

It's so good in fact that who really needs to actually put that delightful concoction into the 350ยบ oven for 15 to 20 minutes? I mean seriously, at that point just save yourself the trouble and the pan clean up and just eat the chocolate chip cookie dough right then and there. And if you're in the convenience of your own home—which I happen to be at this very moment--you could even choose to spit out the chocolate chips and just eat the cookie dough—which I just so happen to have chosen to do. Ahhhhh, there's no place like home.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

B is for Burleson

There are people who only know you for a short season in the overall tapestry of your life, and yet the thread they wove stands out boldly as one that helps define who you came to be. Michael Todd Burleson was just such a man in my own life. A teacher, mentor, and friend who showed up at what could be called the formative years and shared his enthusiasm, his faith, and his family with me at a time when all of those essential elements were either lacking or in crisis in my own world.

Today, one year after his home going, I remember Mr. B and the indelible mark of grace he left on my life. I remember his wife, Natalie, and pray for the peace, rest, and strength it takes to daily lead and care for her sweet children. I remember those sweet children--Austin, Dylan, Christian, Mary Claire, and Jackson--and pray that they will grow into whatever calling God has placed on their unique and precious lives. And I also pray that they will walk in the legacy that their father left for them, a legacy to which I feel an adopted beneficiary, a legacy that reminds us all that the gospel is true.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Alphabet Project

I thought I was really creative in coming up with the name "The Alphabet Project". Well, I Googled it after my last post and it turns out that some other really creative people got together and decided to create a photography project with the same name. It's rather fascinating and after having looked through some of their stuff, maybe I don't mind playing second fiddle after all.

The (other) Alphabet Project

A is for Alphabet

I've decided that I need to be writing more. I enjoy writing. I just just haven't made the time lately, and I think it's a discipline that needs to be kept up as well as a source of creativity that needs to be tapped into again. So to that end I've decided to start The Alphabet Project. What is The Alphabet Project you may ask. Well, for the next 26 days I've decided to write on topics that begin with each letter of the alphabet. I figure this little endeavor will tackle both my need to write more and my creativity in finding something half way interesting to write about. I am setting no guidelines other than following the alphabet in order, so my topics could be people, places, or random thoughts.

Let the fun begin!

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Mark of Christ's Elect

"God knoweth that ye are his own. Wrestle, fight, go forward, watch, fear,believe, pray; & then ye have all the infallible symptoms of one of the elect of Christ within you." Samuel Rutherford