Currently pt. 11

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Jenna and Anne have been inspiring these currently posts for quite a while now! We're only four days into March and our calendar is very full. After a quiet winter, busy springs usually excite me. This year, I have mixed feelings about the change in pace.

There is a bright side! On my walks, I've noticed that the lilacs are blossoming. Over the weekend, I noticed that my chives are coming back to life yet again. My Mom planted them years ago and they just keep coming back. I went out this morning and took a picture of it just for this post!

I'm currently...

dreaming: About our trip south (still) and the baby my friend Heidi should be having ANY day now!!! I can't wait to meet the little guy.

planning: Dinners and shopping trips and book lists. All the other plans are being made for me!

baking: Last night I pulled together three different recipes to make Olive Garden's "Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno", it was worth it! Next time, I'll skimp on the noodles because I like plenty of sauce.

I'm planning to try out these Key Lime Bars and I'm waiting for the perfect occasion to make my favorite Chocolate Bundt.

Start brainstorming YOUR favorite dessert recipes now because on March 19th I'm co-hosting the Around the Table link up with The Quiet Place! I'd love for you to join us.

watching: I posted an exhaustive list on Friday.

However...Last night I finished The Great British Baking Show (I didn't know it would end so soon) and I actually CRIED. This was a first for me. Never has a baking show, or cooking show for that matter, made me cry.

I wasn't crying because it was over, I was crying with happiness and sadness throughout the whole last challenge and as everyone waited for the announcement of who the winner would be. It's that good. Watch it.

How's your March so far?

A Month of Saturdays: February 2015

Monday, March 02, 2015

I introduced this series last month! Basically, it's an attempt to pull out my camera to document one of the most unpredictable days of the week. February's Saturdays were pretty great, if I do say so myself!

We saw Into the Woods and did some shopping. There was rain and I actually completely forgot my camera, so you get ipod photos! The movie was really pretty enjoyable and I was shocked at how full the screen was since this movie had been out for quite a while and was getting ready to leave the theater. The drive was a great time for me to get lots of reading in (All The Light We Cannot See).

There was time to eat day old birthday cake and enjoy the fresh air while some really warm temperatures came our way. We discovered Grantchester on PBS Masterpiece too!

I got back to an old habit of starting my days in God's Word before anything else! That's been great. My sister and I pulled out Blurble and the game playing kind of carried on. Ticket to Ride, Careers, and several card games have kept us laughing. We went to a food safety demonstration and then tag- teamed a taco bar. It was great and of course, somebody grabbed a picture of me NOT helping. :)

We played exactly 1 million rounds of Do Over and had one of the most enjoyable Saturdays at home that I've had in a long time. We chatted, went over essays that my brother and sister needed to finish up for school, listened to an awesome audiobook version of The Magician's Nephew, and then feasted on Waikiki Meatballs.

Tell me about your February!

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

A Call To Rise

Saturday, February 28, 2015

When I was 15, I attended a week long conference where I came face to face with the truth that I was created for the glory of God. I may have come to Christ at 9, but it wasn't until I was 15 that I FINALLY knew what being a Christian was all about. After years of searching for the answer to the "now what" questions that were constantly coming up in my mind, I had answers!

To this day, I can't help but wonder how many other people have those same questions going on in their heads. I'm always looking for ways to remind myself of the importance of the Gospel in my life so that I don't lose sight of what it means to be a Christian. Rap that is faithful to the Gospel has played a huge part in my fight against sin and complacency.

One of my most recent finds came in the form of a book that happens to be authored by one of my favorite rappers. By the time I finished chapter 6, I was telling anyone who would listen about this new book that I'd been reading. You see, most of my friends don't listen to rap, but if I could get them to read this book, they'd finally be able to come into contact with this man that has been a huge encouragement to me since his first record deal!

"Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story" by Trip Lee is that book. It's a book that takes a place right alongside a handful of other books that have encouraged and challenged me to BE a Christian. It's a book about living the life I've been called to live as one of God's people. I had my pen out to mark and underline and star things constantly. I picked up this book right as I was getting to Ecclesiastes in my Bible reading plan and I paused "Rise" to go through the book of the Bible that plays a crucial role in helping readers understand what Trip is trying to communicate.

As Trip says on page 48, "There are really only two ways to respond to Jesus: you can deny yourself and follow Him, or you can deny Him and follow yourself." That's the kind of hard-hitting truth that Trip has been weaving into his songs. I'm excited to be able to say that he is just as faithful to God's Word in this book!

I will say that I feel careful discernment is needed in chapters 12 and 14. I would love to sit down with Trip to chat about them. My concern is that these chapters hold implications on music and living as a Christian in a culture that is anti-Christian that could lead some people to compromise. I know that is not his intent at all, but I still feel that these chapters could be taken the wrong way.

Overall, I'm excited to get this book into people's hands. It will lead you to take stock of your life. It will answers the questions that you may not have even realized that you have. Whether you call yourself a Christian or not, you've got a life to live. This book is all about living a life that counts. Pick it up, read it, discuss it, and most importantly: rise!

God has called you to Himself and into His story. We're meant to live for His glory and Trip Lee has used a pen to join God in declaring this truth.

Click HERE to get your copy! 

For more from Trip Lee, click HERE. Since no post is really complete without a little music, here's "Real Vision" which happens to be one of my favorite songs and a great intro to Trip Lee for those of you who've been wondering about this talk about rap:

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers. All thoughts are my own honest opinion.

What I'm Into: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

In just a few days, February will be behind us! This was a month of really getting back to normal. I keep telling myself that signs of spring are everywhere. Play practice continues, soup suppers have begun for Lent, and my friend Heidi's baby should be here any time.

I really enjoyed celebrating my Mom's birthday this year. The dinner and dessert was a group effort! My Uncle (and aunts) assisted me from the East Coast was I attempted to make my Grandma's Spaghetti and Meatballs. I jumped in over my head with the cake...My Mom came to the rescue with the decorating and my sister joined me in laughing at my helplessness. More on all of that later!

What I'm Watching

I'll give you a list:

The House of Anubis (done)
Downton Abbey (almost done)
The Great British Baking Show
Cut Throat Kitchen
Alton Brown's Good Eats
The Great Courses: Gardening

And now I'll tell you more about each one:

We finished The House of Anubis and Downton Abbey is nearly over, so I've been on the look out for new shows. Somehow, I stumbled down the rabbit hole of cooking shows.

The Great British Baking Show. We got a Roku last month and I'm loving the PBS stuff they have. I discovered this show over last weekend. I'm already hooked! I really like Norman and Kate...but then there's Luis whose food always looks soooo fancy and Nancy who reminds me of myself and Richard who isn't afraid of anything. I don't really know who I'm rooting for!

Cut Throat Kitchen. This came as a result of my recent obsession with Alton Brown's Good Eats. Cut Throat is sort of harsh, but I really enjoy watching people overcome each challenge.

Ron and Julie gave me several gardening videos from The Great Courses. Since the cold weather is back, I've been watching a few of those each week! 

Oh and I almost forgot...We also discovered Grantchester this month! It's a mystery show on PBS set in the 1950's. So far, it's been hit and miss with the themes though.

In the Kitchen

We had a lot of old favorites this month. To name a few: Meatloaf, Chicken ala King, Baked Potato Soup, and my Grandma's London Broil.

Spumoni Cake rounded out my Mom's italian birthday dinner perfectly!

Chicken Tortilla Soup warmed us up on a day that was more winter than spring.

Last week we (my Mom, sister, and I - and maybe my brother) teamed up to make egg rolls, fried rice, and some dipping sauces. Then I made hamburgers. And then we teamed up again for taco bar. See the theme there?

Sunday Brisket via this cookbook was a real hit on Tuesday night. 

What I'm Reading

I've got what I hope will be some great books on the way from the mail order library! (For those who may want to know: "Maisie Dobbs" by Jacqueline Winspear and "The Lottery Winner" by Mary Higgins Clark.)

In the mean time I'm reading "Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ" by John Piper , a review copy of "By Your Side" by Candace Calvert, and a collection of essays by EB White.

Stay tuned for a look at my winter reading list in the next week or so!

On the Blog

The getting there pictures and Asheville pictures from our trip south have been a big hit!

I introduced another goal of mine for Through * For * By in 2015 and I'm calling it A Month of Saturdays.

Sometimes God meets you while you garden in February and you write about it.

Ask & Answer returned with questions about traveling, memorable years, inspiration, and winter. It thrills me that your answers are still coming in! What do you want to Ask & Answer in March?

I'm linking up with Leigh

Chipping Away At The Old Testament

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The last few weeks have gone super well! I started reading my Bible first thing in the morning again. I don't really know how I got out of that habit, but I did. Getting back to it has made a big difference in the rest of my day. I've been working my way through this Chronological Bible Reading Plan. As of earlier this week, I'm officially half way through the plan. If I keep up my current pace, I should be done before the end of March!

I've been reading a mixture of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Psalms, and one of the prophets each day over the past week or so. Reading Scripture in large chunks and in a chronological time frame has really helped to iron out the timeline of Scripture in my brain! Every now and then, I stop to study a map or to find out a little more about a certain time period. I'm grateful to my Mom for her patience and help with these questions of mine! She is a far better scholar than I will ever be and I really appreciate her willingness to pass the wisdom on. 

This month, the theme of sin has been front and center in my studies. As we come up on the season where we remember Jesus Christ's last days on earth and the events that surrounded His death on the cross, God is preparing my heart! The theme can be summed up in this: the wages of sin is death.

Wherever sin is mentioned, it is followed by the call to repent, a course of discipline, or a promise of redemption. I've been shocked at the way the Gospel is promised again and again throughout the Old Testament. For whatever reason, I hadn't really seen it there before in the way that I've been seeing it recently.

So, that's all for now! I'll be checking in each month this year with a little update on my where I'm at in God's Word. I hope these updates will serve as accountability for me and a little encouragement for you!

Where are you in God's Word this week?

How would you sum up the theme of your time there?