Monday, December 27, 2010

reverb: day 2


what do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

i write day in and day out... i'm a communications major, so that's what i signed up for! (yep, my fiance thinks i'm insane being the numbers man that he is) the biggest hinderance in my writing (for fun) is that i do so much writing for school. sometimes i'll be working on three papers at one time and then even thinking about forming cohesive sentences for fun seems much too far out of my league. however, it's always a relief to put out words that i feel like writing than words that i have to somehow construct.

so many of my past blogs have been sorry notes because i let the time between posts go sooo long... time really does fly, whether you're having fun or not! this is going to be one of my new year's resolutions... be a better blogger!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

merry meringues for christmas

this Christmas was the year of the meringues. my mom and i have subscriptions to the magazine and it's absolutely amazing. we both cook out of it five nights a week.

the following recipe was on their website and yummmmm it's delicious!

meringue swirls:

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or use 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract)

  • coarse sugar crystals and/or silver nonpareils, for sprinkling

how to make these sugary little treats:

1. preheat the oven to 250 degrees f.

2. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

3. beat the egg whites and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until frothy (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer).

4. add the cream of tartar.

5. increase the speed to medium high and add the superfine sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. (i just ma

ke sure to pour slowly and to move it around the bowl as i'm adding it... otherwise it takes forever!)

6. scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the meringue (or add the extract) and continue beating until the sugar is dissolved and the meringue is thick, glossy and forms stiff peaks, about 6 minutes. (however, if it's not thick and glossy with stiff peaks don't stop, just keep beating it... you can never beat it too much)

7. fit a piping bag with a large star tip. fill the bag with the meringue and pipe spirals on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. (you can use a plastic snack baggie if you don't have the piping bags)

8. sprinkle with the coarse sugar. (colored is always pretty!)

9. bake 1 hour, then turn off the oven and let the meringues stand in the oven until dry, about 2 hours.

*make sure to store in an airtight container up to 1 week or they start to get gooey or creepy.

i'm taking these to a christmas eve dinner with my fiance and his family tomorrow... so i made them christmassy by adding green and red sugar with a little heart for the tree topper... what do you think? yep, you can call me martha stewart.

you can also add cocoa powder to the mix (just a tablespoon or two) and it'll make chocolate which are also delicious!

song of the day:

merry christmas from the family

by: rosie o'donnell and the dixie chicks

if you haven't heard the rosie christmas cds... you need to because they are hysterical!

welcome... and the reverb project: day 1

welcome to my new blog site! i moved everything over from synchronicitie. i was very sad to go, but i am very impressed by the wordpress interface. my little blog is going to go in a new direction because... well, my life is going in a new direction.

you will start finding recipes (cooking plays a huge part in my life so i must add it on here) as well as more updates and pictures.... so, here is the initial post after all of the talk:

there is a really amazing new interesting project for writers, bloggers, thinkers, alike. you can find them here. i have decided to start pondering the prompts... however, i won't be doing them as frequently as every day, but instead taking my time on them and making sure that i'm really reflecting on each given prompt.

for today:

One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

my answer:


it's like the caterpillar that must give up some of its precious time and the brightness of day to endure a lonely, dark time in his cocoon, in order to grow into a vivacious butterfly complete with fanciful wings.

there is no longer just a plain, old amber, instead there is a bright new girl working to grow and maintain the network of relationships that define my many roles... especially right now.

1. through the course of my dad's sickness (and now his healing) i have come to realize that my family means more to me than i could possibly put into words. my dad's sweetness, my mom's humor, my brothers' jokes and larger than life personalities keep my heart smiling through the hard times.

2. my mom and i were always close, but in the last year or so we have forged a closer relationship than we have ever had before. it's a two way road... instead of just a mom bossing around her unruly daughter. boom, i couldn't ask for more!

3. college is coming to a close. with the end of the year comes the beginning of the end. i am preparing to step out of the mold of a student and then define myself as a worker in the world. i know that everyone says i have the rest of my life to work... but i'm really truly sort of excited.

4. finally, my fiance. goodness, what a lucky girl i am. i cannot believe that went from being a girlfriend to being a lifelong commitment. i mean, i knew that it was coming and it's what i've always dreamed of... but it's always been just that, a dream. now the dream is becoming a reality and woohoo!

the year ahead, 2011, promises much brightness and a life filled with loads of fun memories to be cherished forever. thanks to 2010, and bring it on 2011!!

song of the day:

stand up

by: sugarland

if you haven't listened to sugarland's incredible machine cd, you must. but, this song in particular is a reminder that life goes on, it's going to be ok, just stand up. stand up knowing that your beautiful wings are going to spread and be ready to soar... but you must, like the caterpillar, be okay with some downtime in the cocoon.

Monday, December 20, 2010

jason is this girl's best friend (well plus mama bird)

so, it's been a while (once again)... but i was suffering through finals and then took a vacation to mexico with my.... well, he was a boyfriend, but now he's my...


yep, we're ENGAGED!

i can't begin to tell everyone how excited i am (we are) and what a huge blessing jason has been in my life. i am still in shock that i actually get to share the rest of my life with him, especially with the blessings of family and friends that God has blessed us with.... like He says in the Bible:

"there are three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love."
-1 corinthians 13:13

God has already poured so much love on us already, our families and friends have been fantastic and so supportive... and we are ready to start this amazing time in our lives... and do it together!

please stay tuned for all of the excitement and i promise to keep things up to date on here... :)

song of the day:
love never fails
by: brandon heath

just listen to it, every single word in the song is absolutely perfect and amazing. God wrote the song for brandon to sing and it's perfect.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of year!

i am back, after much too long of a sabbatical. whoops. how does time fly so fast?

rather than apologize and say i need to get better at consistency (though i truly believe that i do) i am going to share what i have learned the last 26 days in my not posting period.

1. i love being unemployed.

i am enjoying my last bit of time as a student and have decided to take a break from being a working student (plus, as everyone tells me, i have the rest of my life to work!). boy, oh boy, is life so sweet this way. i get so much more done, in school work and in reading my bible and running and being a much more fun and spontaneous daughter with my sweet mama bird.

2. i don't want to do any job that requires extensive field note writing.

i'm taking a class that requires me to write field notes twice a week and, to be quite frank, by the end of the two and a half hours it takes me to document every detail i could possibly recall during my volunteer time, i have zero desire to sit in front of my computer screen again.

3. i am madly in love with my other half, jason.

i made a promise to myself to not be ridiculous, or remotely reminiscient of a hormonal teenage girl, in writing about my beau. however, he has just bloomed into quite the funny man and i am so proud to call him mine. not only do i think he's absolutely one hundred percent precious, but most everyone else does too. let me just say,
he is a TOUCHDOWN!

(he'll appreciate this being the football lover he is, although i'm much more partial to SCOREEE!)

4. mama bird = best friend for life (yep, now i'm sounding like a second grade girl)

everything that has happened with my dad has brought my family closer together and this makes me thankful. but more than that, my mom is more my best friend now than ever before. yep, she's a real life version of house, m.d. (great show!) and i'm proud to get to call her mine.

5. there is a time for everything.

God has set out a great path for me, for my family, for my beau... and i'm thankful to be a part of all of the crazy adventures that life throws our way. plus, He is providing us all with time...

a time to cry
a time to fear
a time to question
a time to rejoice
a time to thank
a time to wish
a time to embrace
a time to pray
a time to cling
a time to laugh

but in all of this time, He has given us hope, faith, and love to an endless, infinite degree. thank God for His goodness that goes so far beyond the greatest stretch of the imagination.
thank you, thank you, thank you.

in ecclesiastes 3:4-8, God lets us know about time... about how things change but about how they return... just like the swing at the playset in elementary school. back and forth, back and forth, but in the end, it's all in His control.

a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance.

a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

a time to search and a time to give up as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away.

a time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
a time to be silent and a time to speak.

a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

yay for his perfect timing. thank goodness i'm not in charge of all this and can just enjoy the ride (as much as i want to be a planner!)

song of the day:
let it snow, let it snow
by: lady antebellum

yipeee! it's that time of year for Christmas cheer!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

charlie the cheez-it

i introduced you all to my dear little friend marcell the shell, who was quite precious and i wrote a couple little post on him. well, this little man, charlie the cheez-it, is marcell's friend. but it's the story behind charlie that i truly love!

an eight-year-old girl saw the marcell the shell video and loved it so much that she decided to make her own. her aunts helped her get it all together.

i truly appreciate the sweetness in it all. and i'm thinking maybe i should try my hand at making one of these little critters for all to adore.

song of the day:
by: relient k

watch out for my trade marked little buddy for charlie and marcell. it's not going to be right away, but it'll be. maybe later this month on my break from school for thanksgiving?

oh, and, just for everyone's peace of mind, the bugs are dead and all blocked out. whooooo what a close call!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

yuck, yuck, and more yuck

i am quite possibly the world's cleanest person. i clean like it's going out of style and i know that sometimes it drives poor jason nuts when i'm busy cleaning and he just wants to watch a movie. however, a tragedy has come over my clean little apartment.


yep, there is a hole in the roof of my bathroom and they crawl in the fan and wah-lah! i have a new roommate. it is repulsive, disgusting, absolutely freaky. and, did you know they have wings? oh, you bet they do... and i don't think they use the wings to keep themselves cool during hot weather.

poor jason has been playing exterminator and killing the few that i have seen. but i don't know how much longer it'll be before i find one on my own time... and the screech that will follow as soon as i find my first one will be the screech heard around the world. (i'm getting the creepy crawlies just writing about it right now)

and i guess killing them with bug spray isn't really an option because they're crazy little buggers... no wonder people say that cockroaches could survive a nuclear bomb. yuck. i guess they can't survive being stepped on by a boot... however, i hope to never know that for sure.

please pray for my safety... and sanity... because i'm thinking i could be abducted by a bunch of critters and be never seen again.

song of the day:
don't panic
by: coldplay

as much as this song is soothing and wonderful... i can just hear little bug legs creepy-crawling in the background.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

when life gives you Lyme's, make a margarita and CELEBRATE!

i wrote a blog in april about the tough road that my family and i have been enduring... you can see it here. but the story doesn't end there, in fact, the end starts here!

last time i wrote i spoke of the goodness of God during times of difficulty and the fact that my family was leaning into His promise in jeremiah 29:11 during this extraordinary difficult time. we, as a family, were being refined and perfected for His work.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

well, the story has come so far since april. after lots of test and many months of patiently (or maybe not so patiently waiting) we have an answer. Lyme's Disease. yep, the disease you get from being bit by a flea that is carrying it. i know, i always thought that hunters out in the wilderness of montana got this... but it turns out a southern california man can contract the disease and suffer from it for a decade without detection.

thank goodness for a doctor who was as committed to finding answers as house (yep, the show). and now we work with the doctors to find the best way to get the disease under control --nope, it's not curable.

oh, how great is our God. life has changed in a way that we could never have imagined, but i wouldn't take a minute of the trials and tribulations back. i hope God thinks i'm a shinier piece of gold in God's collection after enduring years of fire.

"And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good." - Genesis 1:31

just like genesis, this is good.
God is good.

song of the day:
light up the sky
by: the afters

when stars are hiding in the clouds, i don't feel them shining
when i can't see You beyond my doubt, the silver lining
when i've almost reached the end, like a flood You're rushing in
your love is rushing in

hallelujah, the sky is bright and shiny again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

speak now or forever hold your peace

for those of you not madly in love with the world of country music like me... taylor swift's new cd came out yesterday. oh, it's amazing. if you haven't listened to any of her music yet, her brand spanking new speak now cd is a great place to start (even though it's her latest one).

this cd is for the girls that were picked on from a young age, young loves that have broken not only your heart but your trust, wounds from mean, brutal words. yes, she's amazing, i know.

when i sing along (yep, i'm so obsessed i know a lot of the words already) i feel like i'm being freed from all of the things that can make life so hard. how does she make it so cute, but still so real? what a talented young lady (i can say that she's younger than me!).

please enjoy every moment of her songs like i did. :)

songs of the day:

long live
by none other than, taylor swift

really if should be every little lyric on the speak now cd.
oh taylor, how do you do it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

i was thinking about taking a sabbatical, but just can't stay away

although i'm not posting as often as i would like to, i realize that once in a while is better than never. i am just so swamped with all of the craziness of my senior year of college... i thought that it was crazy in high school, forget that college makes it look like nothing. figure out my life plans, find a job, finish the most intense courses i have taken yet, and boy oh boy am i overwhelmed.

i'm hoping you guys miss me as much as i miss you all.... despite the fact that i may not know some of you.

although christmas is my favorite holiday of all time, i am so excited for the fun times of halloween. it's not because it's a pagan ritual... but
because i love love love costumes!

this year the costume is going to be precious and it's homemade (like all of them!), but here are some from previous halloween festivities (and other sorority fiestas!)

mr. and mrs. clause

juno and her jogger, bleaker (questionable hair on jason)
no, i am not pregnant, nor was i, just a really good stuffed belly made of t-shirts. boom.

pilgrims for a pre-thanksgiving break party
please note the homemade buckles that were key to our pilgrim get ups.

sandy from grease (at the end of the movie)
i had a danny... but he wasn't nearly as into it as me...

possibly my favorite costumes to date, thing 1 and thing 2
that blue hair... is ALL mine! talk about a good tease.

[maybe it's this love that makes me a successful sorority girl! and my fancy for sewing and doing all things over the top]

i promise this year's costume promises to be delightful... and i think a new favorite for all!

song of the day:
monster mash
by: bobbie "boris" pickett
it wouldn't be halloween without a little monster mash!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

(girl) scout's honor

i am back after much too long a break again. life gets so stinking busy especially with school started back up and sorority stuff turning into my entire life! it's so shocking to me how quickly days go by and how bad i am at getting around to posting.... especially when i truly mean to try. (maybe the thought isn't everything!)

but, here is some news for you all! i'm starting my last full quarter of college and it's going to be a real doozy... i mean a real doozy. but i'm up for it and must rise to the challenge.

dearest God of mine,
please grant me strength and determination in this time of great work.
a humble and needy child named am

thank goodness He promises to give us strength in phillipians 4:13:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
oh, and how He must be so strong for me in all of the weakness that i show.

in this time of trials and amazing work loads i promise to be faithful in my posts, though they may end up being shorter. i must remember, it's not quality, it's quantity. (yep, it's cliche, but i'm trying to make myself feel better).

i will be back, sooner and not later.
scout's honor.

(yep, this is a late night make-up free shot for you all... i really want to be more personable to you all!)

song of the day:
this i promise you
by: n*sync

yep, taking it old school! it's a little romantic for my intent, but what elementary school girl didn't love n*sync during the nineties?? i know i had what i believe was an undying devotion...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

just a few of my favorite things

i love to read blogs where other people put things that bring them joy in the world. and i do believe (especially during difficult times) it is the little things that count. so, here is a list of some of my favorite little things:

1. starbucks refresh tea: it's minty flavor is all kinds of goodness. i love it because it is soothing for at night time, but refreshing for a gloomy morning!

2. a good book is like a great friend. i am in love with many characters from books i have read and often try to think of people i know who could function in my life the same way the characters have in the book. (my favorite character right now is sadie from sophie kinsella's twenties girl).

3. running: nothing clears my mind and body like a good run. and living so close to the ocean and downtown la jolla equals beautiful scenery regardless of the direction i run.

4. chimes ginger chews: this brand makes the most delicious candy! and it's still "healthy" (at least that's what i tell myself!). my favorite are the mango ginger chews that look much like the container above... but this one is peanut butter (a flavor i haven't seen before!)

5. mama bird's sun tea: nope mama bird is not a brand. my mom makes the most delicious sun tea during the sunshiney summer months. sun tea is one of the things i miss most about being home all summer long... and i tried to make the same recipe down here, but something is so much more delicious about mama's.

6. taylor swift greeting cards: i mean look how precious they are! all of the ones i've seen have glitter and they are so precious. they're my favorite to pick out (though i tend to just buy all of the ones in sight) and send home to my mom... (she appreciates them so much more than my dear boyfriend, father, and brother - maybe it's the glitter?).

well, i hope you have favorites that make tough times a little bit easier.

song of the day:
beautiful every time
by: lee brice

i guess amazing will always be amazing
like a church choir singing, a nation healing
a soldier coming home alive,
the love for me girl i see in your eyes
that's beautiful, beautiful every time, ohhhhh every time

he gets the whole favorites thing for sure. find some things that are beautiful every time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

bubba, we miss you!

big changes in the minegar house this past week… my little brother is off to college and my parents are left with another empty bedroom (at least for most of the time!). what an exciting time for him... but a sad time with him being further from home than ever before. (yep, he’s a brave soul that ventured further out into the world than i ever dreamed of doing at his age!)

with move-in upon my parents and bubba, i had the honor of spending two days being adventurous with my adventurous seven-year-old brother, miah. he is just such a sweet boy with quite the personality and sense of humor.

we went fishing at the local lake… and though we did not catch anything but some weeds growing on the bottom of the water, we had so much fun being attacked by ants, finding a good fishing spot that was shaded, and going through jason’s collection of bait in his tackle box.

and, on top of all that, my favorite (all be it new and not the original) rainbows joined for the adventure!

song of the day:
by: little big town

"you get a line, i'll get a pole, we'll go fishing in the crawfish hole down in the boondocks"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

lint is a shell's best friend

"my one regret in life is that i will never have a dog. but sometimes i tie a hair to a piece of lint and i drag it around.” – marcell the shell with shoes on

oh, how i hope you watched my dear little buddy marcell the shell with shoes on (if not scroll down and catch up on your reading!). i truly admire so many things about the precious little shell with shoes on that marcell is, but most of all, i love the attitude that his little body possesses. what i would do to be able to contain that much of a personality in every square inch of my body.

after watching the video probably near 50 times, i have realized i love it so much because i can learn from marcell… hopefully you can too!

marcell makes the best of his small shell situation throughout the video, but when he talks about regretting to not be able to have a dog my heart just feels so sad. then he goes on to be absolutely adorable by improvising with hair and a lint ball. oh my gosh, if i could improvise like that my life would be full of so much more joy and a lot less time spent dwelling on what i’m lacking.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. –proverbs 17:22

i think God would smile down on me if i channeled my energy in the same way marcell does. rather than sit around throwing a pity party for myself, i should find some lint, tie it to a hair, and love my little “fluffy” named allen. so, yes God, i will try my hardest to be more like marcel and less like amber.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. - proverbs 15:13

and, as marcell goes on to describe his little allen,

“well, you know what they say… lint is a shell’s best friend”

… maybe a dog is not the only best friend a person has. what can you improvise this week? maybe at work, maybe at home, or maybe just for fun… best of luck to all with their improvisations.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

sincerest of apologies

dear all who read synchronicite,

here is my official apology for being absent for so long. i am sooooo incredibly sorry for being a slacker. i just returned from the vacation in idaho and have been enjoying my time away from responsibility way too much!

please, pretty please accept my lack of motivation and forgive me for being a slacker. i promise to make it up to you!


p.s. take this little video as a token of my appreciation for your commitment to reading my blog. it will not disappoint! (and if you’re anything like my family you will be repeating the lines all the time)

p.p.s. this is apology is also my official statement that i am going to try to blog twice a week rather than just once. i am going to challenge myself to realize that even the mundane can be influential!

song of the day:

by: luke bryan

hopefully it's not too late for me to apologize... but, once again, i am sorry!

Monday, August 23, 2010

just one of those days...

it's funny how we have a little saying to get out of talking about a bad day.

her: "how are you amber?"
me: "oh you know, it's just one of those days."

somehow there is a solace or comfort found in being able to label a down on your luck day, as "one of those days". it's almost as though by saying "it's one of those days" i can lay it to rest. i no longer need to seek the goodness out in the day or be hopeful for a change in fate... instead i can just spend my precious day counting down the moments until i have the chance to lay in my bed and sleep off the ickyness. (i made that spelling up for sure!)

but why? why do we have to pretend like it's a day to be categorized? every day brings something new, adventurous, different into our lives... even if it's something as mundane as parking in a different spot in the work parking lot.

however, i realize i have a "just one of those people" attitude.

her: "amber, this is my friend, billy."
me: "oh you, you're just one of those people."

somehow, it doesn't flow as nicely off the tongue as "just one of those days". but it's the same attitude in my heart... i am ready to lay them to rest for whatever lame reason seems to be enough in my narrow mind. i decide i don't like the people billy hangs out with, the things i have
heard about him, or the way that he dresses (whatever it may be) and i decide he's "just one of those people".

but why? what a horrible injustice i am doing to skip out on the chance to make a new friend and have my mind expanded by their wisdom! one of my closest friends in high school was the atheist boy that sat next to me during my art history class. he was intelligent beyond comprehension and
admitted to being "too smart to believe in God". initially i was freaked out by him because of his strong stance on all things political, religious, academic - just on all things i suppose. but, he expanded my mind and tested my faith through his many questions and discussions... and
i like to think i pushed him to think too.

so, who are you writing off as "just one of those people"? or who is writing you off as "just one of those people"? my challenge to you (and to myself) is to open your mind and your heart to experience a new kind of friendship with a new kind of person... and if you are "just one of those
people" to someone, show them you're not.

"...great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve." -Jeremiah 32:19

let your eyes be opened to the greatness of Him in His creation, the people that fill your lives.

song of the day:
give me your eyes
by: brandon heath

let's find God in the people we interact with. He is there, though sometimes it can be so hard to find.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

why does God let bad things happen to good people?

this is one of the questions i have heard from believers and non-believers alike. i have spent months pondering this after the alzheimer’s diagnosis of my father, after the loss of baby hallee, after watching members of the church come down with fatal illnesses, after corruption plagues church leadership, after having good intentions and still messing up… how does this happen with the righteous right hand of God protecting us, His children, from danger?

the book of job seems to speak directly to this, but not in a fast and simple way. it takes a little bit of digging and a prayer for God’s word to speak directly into your heart. i have read through Job before, but suddenly, in this new light that the Spirit has shed on it, it is extraordinarily enlightening.

God does not stop bad things from happening for three reasons (that i have come up with and by no means is this list exhaustive or right):

1. you, as God’s child, underestimate your strength and/or abilities.
“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” – Romans 5:3-5
in the book of job, God hands job to satan while bragging that job is one of His most faithful servants and will remain strong despite the devil’s temptations. does job do so? yes! but not on his own. God provides friends to serve as encouragement during the most difficult of times. He is allowing for us to realize the insane muscle He has blessed us with, faith. realize that through your suffering you are growing into a better, stronger, more Hulk-like christian.

God also lays the stipulation out that satan can strip job of all he has but cannot kill him. He is holding job in His righteous right hand by ensuring that Job’s life is safe… God promised life and He is providing. He wants you to have hope in trials and tribulations so that He can come to the rescue, just as Christ rescued us from the throes of sin by hanging on the cross… maintain hope in the face of trouble because God does not disappoint.

2. He wants you to realize the condition of your heart.
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. . So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:20, 22
friedrich nietzsche once said, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” the same goes for the matters of the heart: what doesn’t kill our desires only makes them stronger. God calls us to serve His greater purpose and He provides us with talents in order to ensure our chance to participate in bringing glory to His righteous kingdom.

i have realized that all good things are worth working for; however, it’s not easy to run into tests and trials. are you truly dedicated to your convictions, your talents, His purpose? the flame will dwindle and, at times, you may fear it’s complete extinguish. but, just as nietzche says, if it doesn’t blow out that little fire will come back a full-blown, unstoppable blaze. there is a time of trial, but He will bring us into a time of rejoicing in His undeniable purpose in our lives.

3. He has faith in you, but He longs for you to grow your faith in Him.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21
God has created you. He knows your greatest potential and has great faith in your ability to accomplish His goodness. but do you have enough faith in Him to endure the trials and tough times? i believe that in the face of persecution and trials you realize your (a) heart and (b) dedication. how much do you want to help others in His name? how badly do you desire to reflect Him in everything that you do?

putting yourself out there every day is difficult and being met with anything less than praise makes the task that much more daunting; however, He is rejoicing your perseverance up in heaven and will reward you (beyond anything you can fathom) for being faithful to Him. receiving criticism and negativity when you feel like you are doing what God has created you to do can breed doubt in your heart, but have faith. know that He designed you with a specific purpose for you life.

rather than think in the negative, consider tough times the ultimate compliment. God, the creator of all things, is up in Heaven wishing for you to pull close to Him and lean into the promise He has made to give a greater purpose to your life. He longs to do things in your life that are more than you would ever ask for… i’m in, how about you?
"My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.” –Psalm 71:7-8
remember that in everything you do people are watching. a person’s true character shows when they are staring adversity in the face, make sure you’re someone worth paying attention to (during good times and bad).

song of the day:
meant to live
by: switchfoot

"fumbling his confidence and wondering why the world has passed him by...
hoping that he's meant for more than arguments and failed attempts to fly...
we were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?"

i've lost myself several times, but leave it up to God to bring me right back to where i need to be. it's a confusing world, but He can serve as the ultimate GPS. just ask and believe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

life is like cooking

i am very into making dinner. i love to plan a menu for the week, go shopping at the local grocery stores, and spend my evening working in the kitchen. it helps to have a boyfriend who serves as a human garbage disposal and who is all too often impressed by my meals... (ladies, it's true the way to a man's heart is through his stomach!)

jason, the above mentioned garbage disposal, is a natural helper. he longs to be in the kitchen assisting in making dinner and often says he wants to be in charge of meals. i have learned that jason's ideal meal is a grilled lean chicken breast (because it's packed with protein), a side of spinach splashed with a little (emphasis on little) splash of italian dressing, and possibly some brown rice (though carbs are not high on his priority list, unlike mine). taking a risk at being captain obvious, jason is not into flavor so much as practicality. he is focused on putting what's best into his body ensuring it's running at high efficiency. i, on the other hand, want to enjoy my culinary experience which requires a little bit of extra caloric intake.

these dinner experiences serve as an amazing illustration of God and his faithfulness. like jason's meal, Christ's sacrifice was enough for us. it covers all of our sin and allows us to work at full efficiency knowing that we can enter into the kingdom of heaven simply by knowing God as our personal savior. we could simply enjoy the bare bones without further pursuing greater culinary treats.

however, much like the way top chefs do in the culinary world, God has provided us with a recipe book (aka: the Bible) that not only provides us with instructions on the basics of cooking but it also has suggestions for spicing up our lives (not like the girl group from the mid-90s as great as
they were...). you see, there are many ways to make things "better" though it often requires a more complicated cooking process and sometimes a bit of thinking ahead.

"Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" -Matthew 4:4

even Jesus himself says, man cannot live on his own, but needs the word of God. i think he was saying that the words that come from God are what make life more than just a grilled lean chicken breast, let's think of them as the marinade of life. and what is the rule about marinating... the longer you let meat sit in a marinade, the better it tastes. well, marinade away my dear friends.

"Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate (sounds much like marinate) on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." -Romans 1:8

don't take this as an action-based faith lesson... marinating does not change the completeness we have achieved through Christ's death. nothing we do will ever change how healthy the lean chicken breast is, just like nothing we ever do will add to or take away from the price paid by Christ on the cross. however, with a little bit of thinking ahead and a greater cooking process, we can work to transform ourselves to be more like Him. is it easy? nope. but more importantly, it's possible with Him on our side.

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13

song of the day:
from the inside out
by: hillsong united

"in my heart and my soul, Lord i give You control consume me from the inside out"

... if you need some marinade, listen to some worship and pray. He will give you some flavor.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

bye bye to a good friend

i had a dear friend ripped from my life recently. it was a heart wrenching experience. i’m sure you will all commiserate and come to have a greater respect for dear friends at the close of this post.

my family and i took a trip to the water park and the day was fantastic… until my favorite-lovely-from my mama bird-just starting to form to my feet rainbow sandals were viciously stolen from their place hidden under my boyfriends water ski-sized flip flops. Someone was on the hunt for my sweet sandals and i was left high and dry (and burning my feet on the hot palm springs concrete!). this is such a sad day.

to add to the sadness, i purchased another pair of sandals to make up for the lost pair in the gift shop on my way out just to ensure my survival over the molten asphalt parking lot. it’s a lie, kids, new friends are not silver, they are cheap, plastic, uncomfortable, too big, twenty dollar flippy floppies that i loathe! what a travesty. and my golden girls, the sweet rainbows, are now being squished, sweated upon, molded by some thief’s nasty, toe-jam infested feet. poor babies.

rip amber’s sweet sandals

a new pair is on the way, but there will always be a place in my heart for my fallen friends. and, if you see a suspicious girl size 6 running around in tan sandals like the ones pictured above, tackle her, rip the shoes from her feet, and email me. i will meet you personally and there is a great reward for my dear rainbows.
song of the day:
i’ll pray for you
by: jaron & the long road to love

i pray her feet rot off. i pray her toe nails become ingrown. i pray no one compliments her because her feet look fat. i pray she gets mad blisters. but, wherever you are, i pray for you.

DISCLAIMER: i know as you read this you are thinking, "gee, this girl is a cuckoo!"... well just put yourself in my sandals and realize that... oh, wait, my sandals are missing and someone else is already in them...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

fellow bookworms...

so, as you may have all noticed by now (if there are any of you reading that don’t know me personally) my mom and i are best friends… but we are also avid reading buddies and lately we have been burning our way through some amazing books. books that i love so much i feel the need to share with everyone out there who hangs on every word that i speak (yes, please excuse me i’m flattering myself!) but truly, you will hang on the words of these amazing lady writers!

house rules
by: jodi picoult

any book she writes is bound to have you addicted, but this one has a sense of humor about it… something she hasn’t tried before but it’s amazing! and you will be laughing out loud which is always refreshing when reading a book. (i always attribute a good lol to movies and tv!)

twenties girl
by: sophie kinsella

yes, she’s the confessions of a shopaholic girl. this one is honest and silly just like her others and i read in an english accent in my head because it’s very obvious she’s from england (through her use of mum and other silly little words) which adds another sense of charm to the book!

i am just so happy to be out of school and reading like crazy (at my own will!). it’s so fun to read books that don’t have a 100% in the educational value rating (evr). (no the evr is not real i just made it up!) happy summer readings to all and if you come upon one you love… please share!

song of the day:
chai tea latte
by: angel taylor

all of her music is soothing and so easy to have on in the background while reading… but also catchy enough to want to sing along to while you’re driving down the road!

and with all this gloomy weather what better reading buddy than a warm quilt and chai tea latter (yes, in the middle of summer!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i will be grateful for this day.

creating is one of my favorite things to do. i love to paint and see everything hanging on walls (whether they are mine or walls of people i love most!) today i was looking through some of the art on etsy and this caught my eye.

i will be grateful for this day (in a storm). sometimes we need something to remind us that we have things to be grateful for... this does just that but in a sweet understated way. it's a homeowner's WWJD? bracelet! so wonderful!

so on this day, i am grateful for...

1. my amazing, loving, dynamic family
2. my best friend, mama bird
3. my strong man, j
4. my proximity to home, but my life as an "adult" (debatable if adult is the right word)
5. my bright future
6. my faith in an unshakable God
of course, the last of these is the greatest, but most importantly,

i am grateful.

song of the day:
how great is our God
by: chris tomlin.

boom it's simple.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

i have a green thumb... FINALLY!

over the weekend i decided i wanted to plant a little herb garden in a flower pot to sit on the kitchen counter in my studio apartment. well, to home depot jason and i ventured and i settled on basil. (as much as i wanted mint they were out... but for the second half of the pot you betcha!)

so we planted the little seeds and i set it so the sun could touch the soil and watered (but not too much). and nothing happened. i was so concerned because i'm not good at keeping things alive (hopefully i figure this out before i have kids!) and nothing was happening when the package of seeds said it should.

then, this morning i woke up to find this:

houston we have a basil plant!
needless to say, i'm a very proud gardener/mommy and can't wait to be a proud chef although it will be hard to chop up my poor plants because they are so preciously growing.

song of the day:
my own 2 hands
by: jack johnson

it's from the curious george movie soundtrack. jack was the right man to have compose it. i love george and jack.

Monday, July 12, 2010

jonah and the vine, nope not the whale

growing up in the church i, like many other kids, came to know the "big" bible stories as well as the nursery rhymes that i learned at school. noah and his ark, moses parting the red sea, david and goliath, joseph and his technicolor coat, and the list goes on. one of my favorites was jonah and the whale because, well, what child doesn't love the story of a man being swallowed by a whale and living to tell the story? (plus, disney got a hold of this one and used it in pinocchio which only adds to the excitement!) all of the excitement about these stories while i was a child did not remain as i grew older in my faith. i guess i just regarded them as elementary bible stories for those early in their faith. however, last night at church God changed my preconceived notions about jonah and the whale. He, in fact, made me forget the whale completely!

at the end of chapter 4 in the book of Jonah there is the story of jonah and the vine,

"Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"
"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?" -Jonah 4: 5-11

after throwing a major fit and telling God he'd rather be dead than do God's will, jonah storms out of the city he was called to preach to and sits, pouting, in the desert. God, despite jonah's anger, provides for him: first a vine to shade, then a worm to wither the vine, and finally a hot wind from the east. in God's provisions, jonah finds himself miserable and, once again, grows angry with God crying out the he would like to die. rather than working to placate a spoiled brat of a believer, God speaks the world back into perspective in saying to jonah, "you had no hand in growing this vine or in the worm's appetite or the wind blowing from a hot land, yet you are concerned. you have a hand in the city of Nineveh, yet you are not concerned. I, the Lord of Lords, have a hand in it all and because of this, I am concerned."

why is it that it's so easy to be just like jonah? when God calls us to do something that would bring glory to Him, we get all huffy and puffy and disinterested. when God provides something great for us that we did nothing to deserve and it dies away, we throw a fit and grow angry with Him because why would you do this to me God? why, oh why? woe is me!

no, no, no get it straight guys. i don't deserve the wonderful life i have here in america more than any other u.s. citizen or any immigrant that longs to live in such a great land as ours. i am (by His grace and not my earning!) extremely blessed to be living in such a wealthy country that allows me to worship freely. so what if i don't have the coolest clothes like lady gaga (just kidding!) or the athletic ability of kobe bryant or the beauty of miss america... i have more than i could ever deserve because Jesus Christ died on the cross for me to appease his Father who should be unleashing His rage on me for the sin that wreaks havoc on my life.

but, just as the vines come and provide shade, there are worms that God places in our lives to give us a little sun. (He must like sun-kissed skin too!) all jokes aside, be thankful for sun. He is exposing us because He knows that we will not burn to a crisp under the heat of His greatest star. so, although you may not want to sit out and feel the heat, realize He will not let you burn, He will provide some water and some shade until the time has come for you to feel the coolness of night. and while that hot eastern wind blows, be thankful for the air that fills your lungs. be thankful you are alive to feel the breeze against your skin and realize that, just like in the bible, one feels most alive when life is reminding you it's not an easy thing.

remember the words of a very tried man, job, "...the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away." -Job 1:21. that was written in the first chapter of a 42 chapter book. what chapter would you write that in yours?

make a list of the vines, the worms, the winds that God brings to develop your perspective into one that focuses on the immense blessings showered on us by Him. don't just count your blessings, but attribute them to the Almighty King that deserves much more than we could ever bring to Him. and just remember His sweet blessings on your life the next time you are grouchy about the calling He has for you.

song of the day:
who am I
by: casting crowns

who am i to deserve the things He gives to me? i'm not. He is.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

june gloom in july

i live in undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in america that is known for it's amazing weather year round. i just love the temperate conditions and the fact that it gets no hotter than 95 degrees, but no colder than 55. oh, my dear san diego. what other city looks so bright and beautiful 70% of the year?

however, this is not what my dear san diego looks like right now. it has been blanketed by a very thick cloud cover like this for over a week....

oh june gloom it's july now and you're killing me! i wake up in the morning to this and the clouds are relentless in keeping the lovely little sun out of my life! it's even been raining. oh how i miss my dear sunshine.

song of the day: the sunshine song by jason mraz.
if only my dear sun would simply shine. i would love to NEED to wear my cute new sunglasses instead of just pretend it's sunny and wear them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

good old fourth of july

i'm back all! and with six months of blogging under my belt i have decided to change it up... hopefully all of you who find me so riveting can enjoy little stories about me personally with an intermingling of pictures, funny crazy things that happen to me, and, of course, the amazing things God is doing in my life!

i realize that in the next year or so i will be hitting many big milestones and this is SUCH a fun way to share them with you all!

so, forward we move!

i just got back from fourth of july - quite possibly one of my VERY favorite holidays because the ENTIRE country enjoys it and unites to celebrate the good old red, white, and blue! my family shares my love for the holiday and we decided to participate in the parade in our small town... we were nothing less than amazing (although the judges did not recognize it!). check it out for yourselves... and PUH-LEASE tell me we were award-worthy....

my fabulous mom and i made the posters and decorated the tractor... yes, it's genetic!

and we (my mom and i) were twins in our little target sun dresses, that should be +points right there!
jeremiah precious atop my ride before we drive into the official parade route!

such an amazing weekend at home with a ridiculous amount of memories... but no broken noses like my poor fate from last year! thank goodness everyone was in one piece especially since we bought and used illegal fireworks!

song of the day: boondocks - little big town.
i'm a country girl born and raised in the boondocks. case in point: i learned to drive a tractor first thing on my fourteenth birthday... and i'm my dad's pride and joy atop that john deere model a.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

letters to God

i have suddenly fallen in love with the art of letter writing again. there is something about a handwritten note that comes in the mail that is just so amazing. i’m not sure what part of it i love the most, the fact that someone thought of me and took time to write or that the mailman realizes i’m a big deal in someone’s life because they sent me a letter.

i remember in middle school - before email, instant messaging, and texts were all the rage – a close friend and i would write notes back and forth several times throughout the day. we would draw cute little borders and pictures that would make each other laugh on the edges and fill the page with lots of thoughts that were meant only for the other to see. now, just eight short years later it’s about the communications that are much more convenient than letters. emails, texts, and instant messages are the new way to let someone know you care in a much simpler, quicker way. you can type them, there’s no charge to send, and they arrive within seconds. however, these digital communications don’t have the beautiful scrawl of your loved ones or the scribbled out mess-ups of a younger sibling. a handwritten note is the diamond of written communication.

now, a journal has never been the thing for me. i have no desire to write to a book about my days. but there is something so cathartic about writing a letter to God every once in a while to let Him know your heart and to create a little reminder to you about the big moments in your faith. i never liked feeling like i had to write every day… or every other day (something my mom is soooo good at!), but instead have found it helpful to my faith to look at my notebook and realize there are bimonthly letters to God. some are sad and pleading for His help, others are reminders to myself about my lacking in some area while strong in others, and still more talk about my loved ones. but the one thing that’s the same in all of them, i’m speaking, very honestly, with my God.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” –Philippians 4:8

what do you have to bring to God? it doesn’t have to be a letter like Paul wrote to Galatians with all kinds of biblical knowledge, but rather a note of honesty, of pure heart. show God you long to be thinking on the things of Him despite the fact that you haven’t in the past. you don’t have to worry about impressing God with everything that you know about His word… why? because compared to Him you know nothing!

“Boast no more so very proudly,

Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;

For the Lord is a God of knowledge,

And with Him actions are weighed. -1 Samuel 2:3

God speaks about the vastness of His own knowledge throughout the bible, but in 1 Samuel 2:3 he lays it out straight, “the Lord is a God of knowledge”. boom. we get it…. or do we?

my favorite passage to look at in my notes talks about the amazing faith of the people in my life – the immeasurable strength of my father’s, the curiosity and longing of my mother’s, the ever worshipping faith of my brother’s, the child’s faith of my baby brother’s, the new, yet intellectual faith of my boyfriend’s – and then i refer to my faith… i say to God it’s dried up and hungry, but I’m letting it stay that way, God. i don’t feel like i even have the energy to fix it. God read those words too, and He fixed it. He took the cup of life and filled my little heart until i sought out His word like a traveler in the desert seeking water.

verbal or silent mental prayer is much like email. it is soooo much more efficient and easier to use than writing things out. but when you handwrite a letter to God, when you put your thoughts and words on paper, you create a permanent record of your prayers rather than a fleeting thought. use a letter to God to renew your communications with Him. write your prayer out on a paper and keep it somewhere safe. then, in a couple months, look back and enjoy the answers to those written prayers.

song of the day:

you give me hope - between the trees

this song is on the movie letters to God soundtrack. it reminds me that He is here to give hope and i need to be keeping my eyes open and concentrated on all of the little rays of hope shining down from Him above. rays that could so easily be missed but are sent specifically me by my Father in heaven who loves me most.

the singer says, "you give me hope in spite of everything. you show me love even with so much pain. so i'll take this life and live like i was given another try." amen. He gives us hope. He love us. so, we will take our lives and live like He has given us another try.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

yummy in my tummy

i have been watching my weight and what i eat lots lately. i have become very conscientious about how much i eat and how much i work out... but instead of learning a lot about myself and getting thin i have, once again, had my eyes refocused on my oh-so-good God.

i really love m&ms, chips and salsa, and iced tea with no sweetener. i mean i love them. if they could be a well-balanced meal i'd be such a happy girl. however, too many m&ms and too many chips with salsa make my tummy really upset. i have realized that it doesn't take much to go from just enough to too much and for a tummy ache to quickly set in.

in Phillipians 3:19, God warns against overindulgence:
"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."

the iced tea is, luckily, a healthy choice and i don't have problems with an upset stomach due to over-ingestion. God is much like iced tea. He is good for you, He has elements critical to life (like tea has water), He's just being Him and not trying to be too sweet (in other words, He's all natural and has no need for sugar coating).

but God is not like m&ms or chips and salsa. too much doesn't make you sick. He is not tempting you only to make you pay for quenching your desires. He longs for you to come and enjoy all of the flavor that He has to offer. God extends an invitation to believers in 1 Corinthians 10:31 in saying "So whether you eat or drink whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." amen, let's enjoy! His goodness will come upon us and bless us through our indulgence in Him.

enjoy the best of summer drinks and think of His greatness. He longs for us to drink of His greatness while spending time thinking on Him. i'm up for it.

song of the day:
the time is now by: phil wickham
it's summer, it's time for tea. yum. enjoy!