Sunday, August 30, 2009

the view from here...

It's absolutely gorgeous outside today, so I'm sitting on my back patio in my lonely pink lawnchair looking at my backyard. Just thought you should see it too. :) Unfortunately, my sister took these pics when the pretty flowers were fresh and new in the baskets, but either the sunshine, the flood, or my lack of green thumb kind of destroyed them. Slowly a few of them are coming back, but I'm not very good at taking care of them. Oops :)

I love that I have a little bit of a garden though. I have fresh basil in there that I have yet to make use of more than once, and yesterday at the farmer's market I bought a stevia plant that I look very forward to using. I'm not sure where it's going to go yet, but I'm excited about it! For those of you who don't know, stevia is a natural sweetener. Apparently you can just put the leaves into your coffee or tea, or you can dry them and crush up the dried leaves. If you've seen Truvia in the stores, that's exactly what it is--dried leaves crumbled up. Except it's white and powdery, and I'm curious to see if that's what it will look like when I dry and crumble mine? Doubt it.

Anyway, that's my backyard. I'll post more pics of the apartment sometime soon. I'm still hanging pictures and rearranging a little bit.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I kinda wish I was Julie Powell...

In the midst of scarfing down buttery, salty popcorn, which is all that is opposite of gourmet cooking, I just watched Julie & Julia with one of my best friends. And I am thoroughly inspired to cook and bake from all those cookbooks still sitting in a box in my apartment yet to be unpacked. I just need to find a place for them...

It's been awhile since I've actually tried a new recipe or even enjoyed cooking. For some time in Lincoln it was really something that I experimented with and truly enjoyed--probably somewhat to occupy my time in a small town with nothing else to do. Now that I'm inspired and living in a city that could occupy plenty of time, I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish any real cooking. Baking, however, I'm sure I'll find time for. First on the list? A pie. Because I've found that the famous Louisville Homemade Pie & Ice Cream Kitchen's peach pie is way too sweet for my liking and much too rich in comparison with my own. I'll stick to baking my own.

It's taking everything in me to not want to try and write like Julie Powell did on her experimental blog that turned out to be a box-office hit movie years later. However, I'm not that talented, driven, or gifted in the kitchen or at writing, so I'll just stick to my once-in-a-while meals and blogs and just try to kick it up a notch. Sound good?

I'd like to make it a goal to cook one new thing a week, but that might even be a little too lofty for me at this point. I might be lucky to make one thing each month with all of these great restaurants beckoning me from less than a mile away. But if anyone has any great recipe ideas, please do share! I'd love to try something new!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

so much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say...

I have a whole lot I really want/need to write about, but my couch is calling my name tonight. I took a killer hard hip hop class today that's going to make me sore for days. And I barely even did anything in the class, because it was mostly a bunch of flips, slides, and jumps I'm not quite daring enough to risk. Next time I'm sticking with the beginner/intermediate class for sure.

I've been extremely late on posting a review for Mark Driscoll's new upcoming book, Religion Saves (+ Nine Other Misconceptions). I was supposed to post one on August 4th, but I haven't had much time to read the book, let alone process it and write about it. Finally this weekend I'm catching up a bit and I've read about 5 of the 9 chapters, but tonight I got caught up on the Predestination chapter. I think I actually got kind of tense reading it, mostly because I don't understand Calvinism and I don't agree with it, but I suppose there is room for second thoughts. I'm just not having any anytime soon about it. However, more on the book to come. Once I get a chance to process a little more I'll review. Right now, the predestination part is too fresh on my mind for me to give a fair assessment of the book in its entirety.

On another note I still need to post pictures of my apartment. I promise I'll get around to that. However, if you want to see it that badly, you can just come visit me instead. :)

I'm still loving Louisville. I didn't get swept away by the Flood of 2009 that hit us this past week, but it did take out the basement of the house I live in, and thus our water heater. So, that means I'm stuck with cold showers until the landlord gets it fixed...and the timing of this is yet to be determined.

I'm meeting some people, slowly but surely, but hopefully will soon get to know some more friends I can really live life with, go to dinner with, go see a movie with, etc. Love that I get to see my BFF Amanda on a daily basis. And really looking forward to having visitors soon--Shannon next weekend, Chels the weekend after!

And that's all...I feel like I'm always pushing off writing. I'll get around to it someday. Probably once it's cold outside and I won't want to wander around anymore. :) It could be awhile.

Now? On to my couch and my DVR...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

all things new

In the past 2-3 months I've been overwhelmed with new things. Beginning with a new car on Memorial Day, the ball of newness just keeps on rolling. New car. Then a new cell phone, which may seem like a small thing, but when it's something you use every day, it's kind of a big change. Then the big ones...

New job.
New city.
New apartment (with which came many other new things inside of it that were needed: washer, dryer, TV, creative ways to store what my former 2 bedroom apartment held, etc.).

My life seems like an entirely new one these days. Even in a message from a friend in Lincoln, I read the comment "Have fun in your new life!" I was a little caught off guard by it, because it makes me feel so removed from the past. Yet is new life such a bad thing?

I lived in Lincoln for 9 years, if you count my college years, and it was a little too long for me. Don't get me wrong, my time there was filled with incredible experiences that I wouldn't have had elsewhere. But it was time for a change, even as scary as change seemed to be.

This is certainly not the end times, but it is the end of a chapter of my life and the beginning of a new one. The words God spoke in Revelation 21 keep resounding in my mind: "I am making everything new!" My life wasn't a life completely of tears and pain before, and my "new" life in Louisville certainly isn't going to be without them. But I do know that God is making all things new for me, and He isn't just doing so with material possessions like a phone, a TV, or a washer and dryer. It's not even with a new city or apartment or job.

I hope that He is renewing my spirit entirely. With new things come a door that is wide open to possibility. I have no idea what the future holds here in Louisville, but I know that God is opening my eyes and my heart to see and experience hope and joy in possibility itself. Already I have found a peace with where I'm at that I longed for in Lincoln for about 3 years.

Just last night I went to Iroquois Park, in the southern part of the city, where 3 local churches (Southeast Christian, Sojourn Community, and Northside Christian) gathered together some of their young adults for worship and prayer for the city of Louisville. It was such a gorgeous night to begin with, but to spend it in praying for my new community was humbling and wonderful. They had planned the event to bring unity among the churches and to reach out to the community together and to clean up the park today, and the slide on the screen was themed "Re:Create."

Re:Create reminded me that I have the opportunity to recreate a life here. I can let go of the frustrations, hurts, and fears I had before, and I'm now looking forward to a life of joy, hope, and hopefully pouring myself into the people here in Louisville and southern Indiana that don't know Jesus. I'm pretty stoked to find out how God wants to use me here.

In a different light, I have to make note that the music I'm listening to right now is completely aligning with everything I'm writing. It's really quite strange how the words keep trailing along with my thoughts. I just downloaded the album "Before The Throne" by Sojourn. (Sojourn Community Church is a church here in that I love, actually...) Check it out. If you like music like Caedmon's Call, Derek Webb, or Sandra McCracken, or similar styles, you'll love it. They have incredibly talented people there making music.

Also, I have to make note that I'm sitting in a local coffee shop (Heine Bros.) that is less than 2 blocks from my apartment. That it is so close to my home and open late hours and filled with people at all times is, in and of itself, a wonderful thing. I'm loving that I will have this place so close to home. The location of my apartment is even better than I thought before I got here...I cannot overstate how much I love where I live. :)

I heart Louisville.
And that's all for now.

I'm loving this new life.