Monday, December 27

claiming joy

the end of this december marks one year since i moved to new york, leaving my family, friends, and comfort behind. to title this year the year of the funk might almost be an understatement. i let adverse situations and trying circumstances dictate my emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. i struggled and allowed myself to be defeated because i let what was going on outside of me stifle me on the inside. i waited for and expected joy to find me as though it was something i deserved after the "sacrifices" i made to be there.

:: i keep my eyes always on the Lord with him at my right hand, i will not be shaken. therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (psalm 16:7-11) ::

joy is not something that will or will not find me because of what i've done. joy is not my circumstances working out the way i think that they should. joy is not an emotion, as I allowed myself to think it was this year. joy is a fruit of God's Spirit. joy is a result, a product, a reaping. joy comes when i keep my eyes always on Him. my hope is that this next year will be a year of joy, not because of what is going on around me, but because He is teaching me inside what joy really is.

and as I look back upon pictures from this year, it's humbling how much i am blessed.

:: i am with the love of my life, learning more about him every day and striving to learn how to love him more like Jesus does each day.

:: i have my own apartment, with my own kitchen and bathroom!

:: i have a family i love to be with, be it in new jersey or new york.

:: the skies i've seen in new york this last year are unlike any i've known before and continually fill me with wonder for their Creator.

:: country sweet chicken pizza. new york has wooed me with this stuff. sweet, dessert-like gooey wonder. a bite into a piece of this is bliss for me.

:: i am reading and writing and am relearning to do it with passion and for myself, enjoying it as much as i did when i was younger.
:: oh, and as i sit writing this post, my sisters, my best friends, sit on either side of me.

there is joy all around me.


read about more joys!

Saturday, December 25

a christmas short

john, as he's eating the 5 pound burrito wegmans made for us yesterday:

"for unto us a child is born."

a merry christmas to you from john,me, and our 5 pound burrito! 

:: may you be blessed today by the Child who was truly born for us ::

Thursday, December 23

december: one big update

happy december! i can't believe it's december 23 already! it's just one of those months that always seems to pass by way too quickly. or is that just time in general? (:

life the past 3 weeks has mostly consisted of work and baking and attending events that were the reasons i was doing all the baking. 

next week i hope to *cross my fingers* join sarah markley's journey of 100 joys here on the blog.

and beyond that i have some very good things to look forward to!
  • today was day 1 of 11 days of vacation provided by the school i work for
  • my stud and i leave tomorrow later this morning to head to jersey to spend christmas with my family
  • i come back to work for 2 days and then said stud and i leave for a week to go to florida! (my first real vacation in 3 years!)
  • the day after we get back i start a web design class

i. am. excited!!!

merry christmas! take time to be present with those you love this season.

Wednesday, December 8

that thing you do

what is that one thing that brings you joy while you do it?

you know what i mean...

that thing that makes you uncontrollably giddy...

that makes you want to get up and dance, dance, like it's the last, last night of your life, life...

(did i really just make an usher reference in my blog?! forgive me. and forgive me for this...
as this is probably going to be my best opportunity to tell you,  on my christmas list is the wish for pitbull to write me my own nonsensical rap with a sick beat. ok, now that that's out, back to the blog! serious, encouraging faces on...)

the thing that gives you an indescribable feeling that bubbles up and feels like it's going to explode in your chest when you do it...

you need to do that thing.

find a way.

even if you think you don't have the time.

whether you can make a living doing it or not.

even when no one else around you seems to "get" it.

be the person you were uniquely created to be.

just like every snowflake that falls from the sky, God has crafted you to be like no one else.

and He wants to enjoy you enjoying who you are.

because, really, He is enthralled by you (psalm 45:11).

worship Him by being you.

Wednesday, December 1

my thanksgiving turkey

a few weeks ago, i had a life-changing experience in the form of a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. it was so delicious, in fact, that i decided i needed to recreate the moment. a quick google search and i was armed with the southern belle of the comfort food ball, paula deen's recipe. one little shopping trip to pick up a few ingredients and a half day of work before thanksgiving and i was ready to go!

a little mixing...

::i loved the bright red color next to the bright blue mixing bowl!::

a little bake time and voila!

what was that? oh, you noticed the title of this post? well, let's talk about what i did while my little morsels of heaven were baking. i read reviews of ms. belle's recipe. it was then that i saw things like... way too much oil, not enough cocoa powder, nothing like red velvet, cornbread flavor...

excuse me, what?! surely, the recipe endorsed and, dare i hope, used by the. paula. deen. would not fail me! i followed it to a t and in that t i will put my trust! 

beeeeeeep goes the oven.

ok cupcakes, let's see what you're made of taste like...




paula deen: 0, the reviewers: 1, me: a thanksgiving turkey.

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