Monday, October 24, 2011

just going to put this out there..

the best way to procrastinate writing a 15 pager.. write a blog post.

Yesterday when I was running through the park, I saw a man and woman walking, hand-in-hand, picking up fall foliage as they strolled along. My first thought upon seeing this couple was not admiration, butterflies and sweet things- although it should have been. My first thought was "wow, she is wearing a burka." As I ran and scattered, sweaty thoughts poured out my head, I thought how oppressive it must be to have to wear that all the time. --women's lib!
Liberation is what I want as a woman right? But how many Christian women would be entirely envious of the burka-wearing woman who was being adored by her husband on a nice sunday afternoon walk?
Consequently my 15 pager, which is moving along at the pace of a turtle, is about 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 about...drum roll..: head coverings!
So far, I think Paul's point is that although we are not under the Mosaic Law, we should be very concerned for the holiness that God requires of us. While head coverings were culturally specific, Paul is urging the reader to be set apart. [Cover your head with the holiness]. Not praying like pagans, or floozy women. But rather reflecting Christ in submission.

For me, being the Beloved of the Almighty> liberation.
Belonging to the Lord>independence.

That's all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

life. with a lil dose of humility please.

So I’ve been following the bible-in-a-year study plan for about two weeks now and what I’ve learned is how much I really don’t know.

The story of Samson for example... I remember the storybook bible when I was little and thinking it was really cool that he could smash palaces with his bare hands (Boomer and I would walk around pushing pillars and grunting. It never worked.) But what significance does this guy have in the whole redemption story?

[whew, thank God for the commentary in the ESV study bible]

I’ll admit that I have a tough time getting motivated to read the Word most days. I’ve tried to follow this reading plan probably 80 times in my life and stopped after about the 3rd day. But this time, by God’s gracious intervention in my life, has changed my usual ADHD wandering brain to be excited about the Word.

And now that I posted this to blogworld, (sighhhh) I am even more accountable to keep reading. I feel pretty lame that I have boasted in the Word in its entirety without ever having read all of it. not that it's validity depends on me reading it, but you know what i mean...

On a much different, but still relatively similar note: Two weeks ago I decided I’d my sign myself up for a triathlon. What I didn’t pay much attention to was that it was only a week away. I thought, “well, I can run and swim, how hard can biking be?” One kidney infection later, I realize I am not superman, and this, in fact, was one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever had.

So this week I realized: I am not superman, nor a super christian, nor a great communicator (and often come off greatly offensive). I also learned that God is gracious and in control of not only where I am on the map (which I grumble against daily), but also of my heart. And finally I realized, that no day is wasted in God's plan to mold me. #hope.

Monday, August 8, 2011

i am woman. i can make bread.

In an attempt to keep up with the bread-making Walkers,
i endeavored to make homemade whole wheat scrumptilicious bread!


...Taaaa-duhhhhhh!!!!!!

Honey Wheat Bread

Ingredients:
Ingredients 2 1/2 cups warm water
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick softened butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
4 cups all purpose flour

Directions:
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Combine all ingredients including rest of water in Kitchenaid mixer bowl, knead for about seven minutes with bread hook or until dough is no longer wet but smooth. Remove mixer bowl from stand and place a dish towl or saran wrap over bowl. Let bread rise until doubled in size, punch down for about a minute on a floured surface and divide in half and shape into two loaves. Place each loaf in a greased (I used sunflower cooking spray) and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. Let bread double in size again. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of loaves with an egg wash (whisk an egg with water). Sprinkle with extra rolled oats. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crusty and brown on top.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ice cream from heaven.

Homemade Ice Cream without a machine
{the best thing that's ever happened to me}

{i got the recipe from Pinterest, but did a little editing}
Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1 (14 oz.) Fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tasty things: i.e. Mini Chcocolate chips, brownie crumbs, mushed up candy bar, oreos, caramel syrup.

Directions:
Whip heavy cream in large bowl with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well. Stir in "Tasty things", then gently fold in whipped cream. Pour into a 2-quart container and cover. Freeze at least 6 hours or until firm.

Monday, August 1, 2011

he sees you while you're sleeping..

the fun thing about being married is that you have someone watching you at all times... even when you sleep, (much like Santa Claus)

So a few weeks ago I was having really bad nightmares every night and I would wake up shaking and exhausted. So before we went to sleep the other night Jay prayed that God would give me good dreams and rid them of evil.
In the middle of the night instead of Jay waking up to me shaking or crying, he woke up to me punch dancing.
[in my dream I was making a music video to "As Long As You Love Me" by Backstreet Boys with my roommates at OBU]
I woke up to Jay saying "what.the.heck!"
my response, "sometimes...i...like...to...dance.."

and who says God doesn't have a hilarious sense of humor..

Friday, July 22, 2011

look.a.like.


This is what my husband would look like if he were a woman.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

homemade black bean burgers.


Made these tonight. Super easy-10 minutes tops-
and much less expensive and more natural than Boca Burgers!

Black Bean Burgers
(serves 2)
Ingredients
1/2 cup dried black beans (or about half a can of black beans, rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/8 cup minced red onion
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
dash of black pepper
1/2 large egg (I usually just refrigerate the other half to make for breakfast the next morning; according to the USDA, make sure to "Use leftover yolks and whites within 4 days.")

Directions
If using dried black beans, be sure to soak and boil the them first for the appropriate amount of time.
Once that's done or if you're using canned black beans, place beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork or put in a food processor to chop them down (I find that easiest).
Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Divide the mixture into two patties and then grill on skillet/frying pan for about 5 minutes each side.

I doubled the recipe and froze the extras for another time. Greatttt recipe!

summer reading.

With the stack of seminary books staring me down and syllabi waiting to be dominated,
my days of reading 'just for fun' are over once again...

Soo here is my summer reading synopsis:

Safely Home:

For starters this is the first NOVEL I've read since 12th grade, when I picked up Twilight before it was "cool"/turned into its own industry. Unlike Twilight, this novel has spiritual depth and not only exposes the Chinese church, but also the unspoken side the American christianity/persecution. I was wary of a "Christian" novel, thinking it would probably be cheesy and poorly written but this book was phenomenal.
Some Quotes:
"In America, the voices of demons just sound more pleasant"

Talking about Tibetans/Buddhism: "Do not let your sympathy for these oppressed people become sympathy for a religion that also oppresses them."

Hipster Christianity:
I read this book while in China in May. Consequently, the truths about Christian vanity illuminated in this book made me that much more nauseated. Surrounded by mountains where christians live miles from another believer, don't have a church to have the option of wearing skinny jeans to and gladly grit their teeth and joyfully bear it for the sake of knowing Christ, made this all the more real and disgusting. The book (and the website) offers a hilarious introduction about the various classifications of hipsters. Eyeopening truth about cool vs. Christianity. The book didn't really make me reach a conclusion about this issue but did make me more sensitive to the conflict between 'coolness' and Christ-like-ness.
Some Quotes:
"How do we reconcile such beatitudes as "blessed are the poor in Spirit" (matt 5:3) and "blessed are the meek" (matt 5:5) with hip's call to lavish vanity and pride?

Regarding Hipsterdom as a form of rebellion against society: "Especially considering that Christ came to right the rebellion of man. All else but the gospel is rebellion. The cause of Christ is the one obedient cause.

The Hiding Place:
Brooke Oliver sent me this book as a birthday present (or was it Christmas? Or maybe engagement?) Regardless, I didn't pick it up until this June and it was absolutely wonderful. I read it while I was feeling pretty discontent with what God had given me. Bad idea. This book is super convicted. Corrie and her sister Betsie were thankful for the flees that inhabited their beds at the concentration camp. Betsie did not know why to be thankful for these pests but knew that she was commanded to be. Turns out, the flees kept the Nazi soldiers from going inside their bunks and they were able to hold a nightly bible study free from disturbance.
Corrie was released from the concentration camp (obviously, or she couldn't have gotten herstory out) but only because of a "clerical error" and one week later she would have gone to the gas chamber with all the other women her age.
Some Quotes:
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

"This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."

"There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no placess that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it!"

Even if every one of your relatives is a solid Christ follower, I highly recommend this book to you. The author, not to be confused with Paul Newman the salad dressing guy, is very realistic about evangelism. This book made me realize that I am not one of those people who "breathe the gospel" but instead I am one of those who have to swallow the lump of fear in my throat and cough out the gospel, and pray that the HS will give it some sense before it hits the ear of the hearer. Not that I shouldn't be ready to 'give an account to the joy that I have', but lets be honest, it just doesn't come as naturally as breathing. This book also does a great job addressing how to share the gospel with those who know you well, maybe served as yourdisciplinarian, and probably know the good, bad, and ugly of you. Basically I learned to give it all up to God. Easier said than done, but a helpful book nonetheless.
Some Quotes:
"If the sadness of another's condition tempts you to compromise [the gospel], perhaps you've made comfort an idol. Comfort and evangelism seldom go together."

"Put the weight of the argument on Jesus instead of yourself. i.e. 'have you ever wondered why Jesus claimed to be the only way to God?"

"witnessing takes time. with family, it takes even more time. witnessing involves the expression of love. with family, that love flows deeper but requires clearer expression. Witnessing encompasses a comprehensive worldview. With family, we have a wide range of common experience in which to shine the glow of the gospel."


I read another novel this summer. Well only half of it really.. But not because I didn't like it, i had to return it to the library and to be honest, I found it emotionally draining. The half I did read exposed the unimaginably harsh realities of the lives of two Afghany women. I might check it out again over Christmas break if i can somehow convince myself that this is strictly fiction, but because i am aware that women do suffer these injustices even today, it will probably continue to be just as emotionally exhausting.
A well-written, heart-wrenching read for sure.
Some Quotes:
"Boys, Laila came to see, treated friendship the way they treated the sun: its existence undisputed; its radiance best enjoyed, not beheld directly."

"Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting."

And now on to conquer Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology...
{what did i get myself into..}

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

reconciliation.

Earlier this week, after the argument of all arguments,
[pshh don't pretend like you and your husband don't argue],
Jay turned on this song and asked me to dance with him.


Please just imagine two very white baptists attempting to dance to this song:



reconciliation is so sweet, thank you Jesus.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

harry potter and the deathly shallow debate.

I learned this week that you shouldn't comment about Harry Potter unless you are ready to get verbally burned at the stake.

My comment was simply: "After talking with a local Wiccan about the dark symbolism in Harry Potter, I'm very glad my mom wrote a note to my fourth grade teacher that she didn't want me to read it..

...and 18 comments later, a couple of which using words like "ignorant. rancitiy. fundamentalist pretension", I am sure glad I wasn't looking for a debate...

The saddest part about the whole thing is not that a overwhelming majority LOVE a film/book series that a Wiccan believes to be extremely beneficial to promote the practice and belief in magic.

The saddest part is that claiming SOMETHING, rather than agreeing with everything makes me 'close-minded'.

OBU and Arthur Holmes taught me that "All truth is God's truth". But not all truth is worth believing/worshipping just because it has the glimmer of God within it.

The biggest argument I hear about Harry Potter being God's truth is the theme of "love concurs all" woven throughout the 78 books and films.

I love sandwiches, I love my husband, and I love life itself...
But as much as I love things and people and even God, love itself can not stop the grave.
Love is a great virtue to emphasize, JK Rowling.
But 'love' did not conquer death, Christ did.

The spiritual climate of Louisville, (where two Wiccans openly discuss practicing magic next to a couple having a bible study in the local coffee shop), has made me realize how important it is for me to actually believe things. and not be ashamed of having beliefs- especially in the Gospel which was authored before creation as indisputable Truth. and thank God for that!

Regardless, the post was not about beliefs or the spiritual relevance of HP but rather about my mom making a wise choice when I was child. waytobe, mom.

Because Saturday is Crafturday.

I am addicted to Pintrest.com/iphone ap. Consequently, I am now addicted to crafting. Here are somethings I made today:

Adventure Map:


Check this link for a helpful lil stencil. I added a painted circular piece of cork board in the corner to show the places in the world where we've traveled together. so happy! but warning: this project took wayyy longer than I expected. give yourself two to three hours and about $10.

Clothesline frame:


SO simple. Took maybe 3 minutes to assemble. I found the frame at an estate sale last summer in Tulsa (side note: estate sales really creep me out for some reason) and the wire cost about $2-3 dollars.

As a result of this crafting chaos, i spilt the contents of my life, but in the midst of it, I found Jesus [the pencil topper]




Thursday, July 14, 2011

perspective.


Today I read a Real Simple article written by 9-year-old Grace from New York:

"Grown-ups should work harder on seeing their friends. When you're in school, its easy. You get to spend all day with them, except on Saturdays and Sundays. But once you've graduated, a company can't offer jobs to you and all your friends so that you can stay together forever. Adults have to make more of an effort to see each other, and sometimes they don't do that enough."

such great perspective.

convicting too.

sighhh... imma go call a friend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

super easy sugar-free coffee cake


I made this recipe for our community group's breakfast for dinner night. It took about 5 minutes to put together and sooo good!
The verdict: "Its like nothing I've ever tasted before"-Jay Keywood.








Ingredients
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package sugar-free yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and butterscotch pudding mix. Add the eggs, oil and water, mix until well blended. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Pour half of the batter into the pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: while it is free of sugar, it is not very low in fat :) happy baking.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

yippeee!

Props to Brooke Oliver for making my blog look snazzy!


red, wheat, and blue muffins

I made these last week for my parents visit/ the 4th of July!--soo gooood.

Yields: 8-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat OR all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped to small cubes
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place
    vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk
    to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and strawberries. Fill
    muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4
    cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle
    over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

OK.

I am currently watching "Okie Noodling" on OETA. The winner gets a box of bud light.
There is nothing better than men with mullets being interviewed with dip oozing out of their mouth about the giant fish they wrangled that day and the barbecue they ate afterwards.

I miss Oklahoma.

Early this week I watched an entire infomercial about shoe inserts because it was filmed on the riverwalk in Tulsa. And later that same day I got more offended than I should have when a certain someone told me to "go back to Kansas".

I never thought I'd be so proud of that flat, hot, and often helplessly boring state.

A man came into the coffee shop this week and immediately asked me where I was from. Since when do i not fit in? my response, "how'd you know I wasn't from here?" man: "I could just tell. I was going to guess north Texas.." Sighhhhhhh.... these city folk...




Thursday, July 7, 2011

my husband the chef.


Jay's Raspberry Vinaigrette Baked Chicken

2-4 thin chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

In a glass pie pan, coat chicken lightly in olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly, yet evenly with salt and pepper on both sides of chicken.
Coat the top of the chicken breasts with Rasp Vin.
Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, flipping the chicken once about half way through.

He served it with steamed veggies and thyme rice (pronounced "thigh-muh") but it would also go well with baked potatoes.

This is what I came home to after a long day of work Tuesday. It was deee-lish!
Isn't he wonderful??

Friday, July 1, 2011

perfect day

I visited chicago several times in high school, and once with my best friend Melissa, and once visiting colleges. But i've always dreamed of frolicking in that beautiful, bustling city with the love of my life.

Jay and I's oh-so-happy day in Chicago!

-We started the day by biking our way along Michigan Ave (Taking bikes is a GENIUS idea! )
-Stopped for breakfast at Caribou Coffee, a personal fav.
-Took pictures in the magical bean.
-Stopped in some stores on the Mile. Including the massive Apple mall, Urban Outfitters, and H&M. and can i just add that my husband is an excellent shopping buddy to have. he's so good at knowing which colors and styles and being patient with my indecisiveness.
-Lunch at Giordano's Pizza (which took three hours last time i was there, took a whopping 30 minutes!)
-Visited Moody Bible's museum of missionary martyrs. They had the organ of Philip Bliss- composer of "It is well with my soul" and "Hallelujuah what a savior", who died in a train wreck with his wife. incredible.
-Had Ghirardelli ice cream by the old water tower.
-Played on the Oak Street Beach, entertained a lady with our couple cheerleading skills.
-Road bikes along the waterfront to Navy Pier.
-Dinner at a hippie Thai Restaurant. The seats were holes in the fake astroturf ground. so cool.
-BOAT on LAKE MICHIGAN! with a beautiful sunset and fireworks and old people with old school music. We heard an old lady whisper "they must be on their honeymoon, they look so in love" yessss, after three months we still got it! The best date ever.
-finished off with Ghirardelli hot chocolate and a fun bike ride back down the avenue.

=perfect day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

May musings.

Things I learned in China:
-the preciousness of the Word.
While our team was worshipping together one night, one of the locals told us he had been given a copy of 'material' about this Jesus but he couldn't read it because he can't read Mandarin and doesn't have a written language. The bible translator who was with us told us this man's dialect was the last on the translation list, at least nine other dialects immediately ahead of his people group. I have at least three translations of the Word sitting on the bookshelf behind me. Access to a copy of scripture is just one of many many obstacles God is overcoming in the Himalayan foothills.
-the goodness of Christian community.
Along with not having copies of scriptures, many Christians in these little villages live miles from another believer and thus have no spiritual community. How often do I complain about style of worship at a certain church or how i didn't like the sermon or even the carpet? How many times do I ignore my sisters in Christ who want to meet for coffee and encouragement? This one is still a gut check for me.
-the frailty of anything but Christ.
I had a dream soon after getting back from China about Christ returning. In my dream I was hugging Jay and telling him "my true spouse is coming back for me" but I was sad because Jay and I didn't get to be a picture of Christ and the church very long.
This dream hit me right between the eyes. I spent a lot of May trying to balance my trust in our marriage and my trust in Christ. In reality, Christ is the only rock. Even good gifts he has given me, like a great husband, don't last past death or Jesus' return. It took me a while, but God finally taught me (and will probably teach me repetitively for the next 80 years) that marriage, like the approval of people or success in a job or a having a child, is a terrible hope. Marriage didn't concur death, Christ did.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a brief synopsis.

Since getting hitched on very, very happy and sunny day in April, Jay and I have had quite the adventure..

Jay planned a SURPRISE honeymoon to Inverness, California, population 850. 2hrs north of San Francisco on the beautiful coastline with dropoff cliffs, seals and elk, ginormous trees, old lighthouses, and organic hippie heaven!

We spent the rest of April in our new lil home here in Louisville Kentucky while Jay finished up the rest of the seminary semester and I went job hunting.. (the Provider ended up giving me two jobs!)

EPIC ROAD TRIP:During the month of May, we drove a total of 4000 miles, as well as a plane ride half way around the world and back. Thank the Lord we both like adventure (and I like a good dose ofchaos every once in a while)

Kentucky to Oklahoma for Jessica, one of my college roommate's, wedding:

Oklahoma to Mississippi for newlywed reception (which was a HUGEblessing)/ meeting up with the team to travel to China

:

Mississippi to Himalayan Mountains:

West China back to Mississippi:

Mississippi to Paris, Tx to stay with Jay’s uncle for a night:

Paris, Texas to Borger, Texas for pretty Anna's beautiful wedding:

Borger, Texas to Tulsa for a pit stop:

Tulsa (through tornado-demolished Joplin) to Louisville:

Followed by a weekend in Ohio for my Papa's 90th birthday, (He is the most Christ-like man I know, besides my husband).

And a short weekend trip to Indianapolis to see the Mother-in-law who was there for a conference:


In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, God taught, rebuked, redirected, called me out, admonished, encouraged, and sustained me a lot. I will have to share some of my musings now that life is somewhat in a rhythm here at our lil homestead..

until then,

sarah


Thursday, March 24, 2011

waiting for the bridegroom.

While I’ve really enjoyed this season of wedding planning, preparing to be a wifey, and working when it’s convenient, I am just really ready to be Jay Keywood’s wife.

If God has taught me anything about the symbolism of marriage through this 4 month, 3 week, 4 hour, and 56 minute engagement is the reality of waiting for The Bridegroom.

Song of Solomon aside, John the Baptist–Jesus’ best man.. if He were to have one—talks about this so plainly in John 3:29-30:

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”

So I had a dream about midway through our engagement: I was sitting on the steps of the altar of the church, waiting for Jay to get there. I was dressed and ready and the wedding party was all there. I was weeping uncontrollably and when Melissa, my matron of honor, asked me what was wrong. I told her “My bridegroom is coming! It’s just a picture of Christ and His church!!!!’ (said in high pitched crying, blubbering voice) And Melissa was like “alright, pull yourself together, He will be here soon.”

[disclaimer: my dreams that include any snippet of reality/truth are very few and far between. Usually my subconscious spends it's night befriending dinosaurs and solving murder mysteries.]
Not that I think this dream is prophetic and the end times are imminent nor do I think that they are not imminent. This dream has just stuck in my mind. that is all.

I am ready. So so ready to be in perfect community with my King Jesus. But for now, I know that God has a sanctifying journey called marriage that he’s called me to embark upon in just nine days.

I get to marry my best friend and the most wonderful man I know. But this is not the end.

To glorify God and make Him known,

Sarah