Friday, August 10, 2012


I started a new blog. I'm still figuring it out. But here it is: I hope you like it. :) K bye!
Thursday, July 12, 2012

how grateful

God, this discontentment has got to go.

It is debilitating and defeating.

God placed the sun, moon, and stars in the sky to light the earth - so intentionally, so purposefully. Why don't I pay closer attention to the blessings He places in my life - so intentionally, so purposefully - to light my way and point me to Him?
How bright red the strawberries were as Katie dipped them in dark chocolate.

How the little neighbor girls looked at me, smiling, with their frizzy black hair piled identically on top of their heads; how the best way to get them to giggle was to dance with them in the yellow square of grass between apartment buildings.

How every night I go to sleep I pull over me the green and yellow flowers crocheted together by my grandmother's hands, which are now still.

How cool the evening air was beneath the glowing orange sunset, and how smoothly Nat King Cole flowed out my open car windows like oil being painted on canvas.

How much my mother loves me and gives me the strength to be an independent, confident, Godly woman.

How Mondays are Sabbath to me now; how rest honors God.

How it smells to open the office door every morning - like coffee, carpet, and warm paper.

How running made me realize that endurance means pushing past the point of wanting to give up; how saying that out loud came on the same day I asked God whether He wanted me to give up.

How good it feels to close my eyes.

"It starts to unfold, light in the dark, a door opening up, how all these years it's been utterly pointless to try to wrench out the spikes of discontent. Because that habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude." - Ann Voskamp
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Award-Winning Day of Weirdom

Today was weird. I felt listless. I don't usually feel listless; I usually feel like I've eaten lots of lollipops. Today I felt like I'd just had dental work done.

Somehow things aligned so that only 3 of us were in the office for hours. It was like the day after a tornado when I was a kid, when everyone in the neighborhood came out into the street and looked up at the sky in the eerie silence wondering if that had just happened.

Then we discovered we'd been hoodwinked. Through some sleuthing we found out the person who called in last week claiming to be Person A & was stranded in City B & needed C amount of money turned out to be, in fact, not Person A at all. Hoodwinked! I first started suspecting when I talked to Person A at church on Sunday about whether everything had worked out and she looked at me like I was a crazy person trying to steal her child. Woops? We're still working on getting to the bottom of it. But if you've ever been hoodwinked, you know it is a very surreal experience.

Then some very large man in foreboding sunglasses like a hit-man came in and told us he's starting a Pentecostal church and asked if he could hold services in our sanctuary. He was fishy because he said he was from Louisville, but he pronounced it "Louie-ville," and who from Louisville does that? Also, when we told him it wasn't possible to hold services in our sanctuary, he sat in his SUV in the parking lot for a long time and just stared at the church.

Weirded out.

The bug lady came in to spray for bugs and told me she always feels peaceful walking into our church. I wanted to tell her it's because something weird is happening today, and there's probably an episode of The Twilight Zone about this where everyone's hands turn to jelly or something. But I just smiled instead. Which is probably what the jelly-handed lady in The Twilight Zone would've done, too, right when the "doo doo doo doo" music started playing.

Attack of the jelly hands. Episode 1.
Sunday, May 20, 2012

1 Timothy 6:6

"It's not what isn't, it's what you wish was that makes unhappiness." - Janis Joplin

Do you ever wonder what your life would look like as a story in a book? This quote made me wonder if, were I to read my own story in a novel, I would think, "Wow, I wish I was her. She has so much. She seems so cool. Her life is great. She has great teeth."

Do we take inventory enough of what we have? I don't think I live very consciously. It's pretty easy just to live life. Like how when you use a certain shampoo long enough eventually you stop smelling it in your own hair. And sometimes I get scared that something in my life is going to change and, even if it's a good change, I'll have missed something this stage of life had to offer me. My friend Abe Parker sings, "The grass is greener on the other side of the wall only because you didn't water your lawn at all."

I don't want to wish any part of my life away because I'm looking at something I don't have and wanting it.

And I like this song:

Monday, April 30, 2012
Dear anonymous gift-giver (or givers),

I don't know who you are, but I know you read this blog. (At least, I think you do.)

I am at an absolute loss for words.

Your gift has come at a time when I have never needed God's grace and the love of friends more in my life.

So I am so, so deeply grateful...and just stunned. You have blessed me more than you even know.

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my mushy little heart. (Because that's the best way to describe it right now: Mush.)

Whoever you are, thank you. And I promise this gift will take me someplace I've always dreamed, just like you specified.
Sunday, March 18, 2012

Adventurers Are We

My friend Lauren and I are adventurers. For example, she wants to be a professional mermaid. And I parked a really big truck perfectly on my first try. See? Adventurers are we.

This summer, we're keeping track of all the awesome things we do as adventurers. (I say "this summer," as though it isn't still spring. It sure doesn't feel like spring, as "bed time" now means lying on top of my covers and listening to raccoons dig through the dumpster out my open window.)

Fun Things We Do, #1: Riding the Legacy Trail.

The whole trail is something like 10 miles one way, but we only rode half of it - which is still 10 miles there and back. We felt pretty good until we were done and sitting in the truck on our way back, and then we were pretty sleepy. BUT NOT TOO SLEEPY TO DRIVE! Because we are responsible with big trucks that aren't ours. (Did I mention how well I parked it, on my first try?)

If you're a Lexontonian, I highly recommend the Legacy Trail. I'm already planning when we can go again. Look how happy my Schwinn is in that picture up there. He had a hard time stopping to pose for a picture, he was so street-greedy. Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee, he said. In so many words.

Fun Things We Do, #2: Ultimate Frisbee.

We take fun very seriously.

And I love Ultimate Frisbee. It fills me with joy and delight and pleasure and other generally positive feelings. There is something deeply fulfilling about leaping into the air and snatching a flying disk out of the sky which otherwise would have sailed away on the currents of oblivion (or at least would've just fallen down on the grass). Today was Sunday #1 of many Sundays to come playing Ultimate Frisbee in Vineyard's front yard. Hopefully by the end of the summer we all won't be as winded as we were today. Happy first day of non-stop running and jumping and sweating profusely. (HOW DOES THAT NOT SOUND LIKE THE BEST ACTIVITY EVER!)

Jesus said, "Where 8 or more are gathered with a Frisbee, there I am in the midst of them." Roughly paraphrased.

I'm glad I have Lauren to go on adventures with me. Stay tuned for more adventures from we adventurers. :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the way to my heart

I know. I've already posted about daffodils once. But then I drove past some mini daffodils...and I love mini daffodils. So I have to post about them again.

When I was in high school, my friend Sarah had a pot of mini daffodils delivered to me in my algebra II class. It was probably the most delightful and unexpected surprise I'd ever received.

So I had to pull over and take a picture of some mini daffodils.

The minis.
But then I realized that we're past the "Oh look! Daffodils are blooming!" stage of spring, and now they're everywhere, and if I pulled over to take a picture every time I passed pretty daffodils, I would be in a constant state of hazard lights.

While riding by bike the other day (side note: He's so happy to see the sky and feel the air on his cylindrical metal frame), I passed several yards with an abundance of daffodils. Forests of them. Gobs. Heaps. Piles! Of little yellow faces nodding in the breeze. And I thought, "If a few of them were missing, no one would ever notice." If I came out at night, no one would catch me. I'd done it before. Successfully, I might add.

And then if I had them in my possession, smiling at me like sunlight in my vase, I wouldn't feel the need to take so many pictures of them.

"We have those flowers in our yard," my boss told me this morning. (I, of course, interpreted "those flowers" to mean daffodils.) I told him about my plan to steal some from one of the neighborhoods near me, at night, wearing a ski mask and rolling around on the ground like stealthy criminals do (hopefully remembering to have removed the scissors from my pocket prior to said stealthy rolling). He told me I could pick theirs.

Come on. Of course I could never do that. I can't steal warmth from people I never want to feel the cold.

He said they had all-yellow ones, and, his favorite, white and yellow ones. I asked if he'd ever seen the orange ones, because they look angry. Every time I pass a cluster of them I feel like they're yelling at me. "My favorite," I said, "are the ones that are all frilly. They look like bunches of lace."

This afternoon my boss walked in with scissors in one hand and a clump of frilly yellow daffodils in the other.

The frillies.
It was like my heart turned to liquid joy and ran through my veins and oozed out my pores with sparks of delight. (It's not as messy as it sounds.)

I think it's that they make me feel so loved, and that's a pretty priceless gift.

They're sitting on my desk in a water pitcher, smelling sweetly of earthy syrup and making me feel like life is simple and good. Crazy how a flower can make me so happy. But these do, and have, and will continue to, forever, and ever, amen.

I just love daffodils, and the people who surprise me with them. :)
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the sun can come back another day

I woke up to a thunderstorm at 4am this morning, and I wasn't even angry.

I was terrified for a moment; my window was open and it was probably the loudest clap of thunder I've ever heard, so I immediately sprang out of bed and shut the window, because of course that will help keep tornadoes out.

It made me think of being a kid in the summertime. My brothers and I played all over the earth, and most of that earth ended up under my toenails. I remember drawing dirt pictures on the bathtub floor with my toe and watching the water wash them away. And Mom wondered why our water bills were so high. Artistic expression takes time, Mom.

From my front porch, you could look out over the river and see the storm clouds coming. (This makes me sound very Native American living in a tipi - but that's how I tended to live my childhood. Me hungry. Peanut butter sandwich, yes?) And my brother and I would race to see who could take the fastest shower, 1.) because everything is a competition when you're a kid, and 2.) because both of us were sweaty but neither of us wanted to get struck by lightening while in the shower. So it was more of a race against death, I guess. We always won.

That's one reason I don't mind thunderstorms, even when they wake me up at 4am: Because they make me think of playing Monopoly by candle-light when the power went out, and sitting on the porch watching pinkish spindly fingers in the sky. I can smell damp pavement and honeysuckle and remember the way the river turned brown in heavy rains. (Less-romantic fact: Usually it was green. Our part of the river was called the Little Muskingum, which is Native American for "muddy waters." Pretty, huh.)

I also don't mind thunderstorms waking me up at 4am because they make me think of this verse in Job 37: "God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding." Lying in bed early in the morning and being reminded of that is one of the most peaceful and comforting ways to wake up.

Happy first official thunder storm of spring. :)
Sunday, February 26, 2012


We all know how much I love winter. Remember this post? It talks about winter. And how much I love it.

It hasn't really been winter all winter here in Kentucky. That, to me, is a waste of winter.

I left my apartment under a slight flurry yesterday morning, but on my walk I passed these little guys:

I can't resist them.

I love winter, but if it's not going to be winter, I'm ready for summer. I haven't seen my freckles in months (if not YEARS), my bike has been whining about inactivity (and I'm tired of the whimpering), and the apartment complex I'm moving into in April has two pools. Holla.

Bringst es auf.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy Valentine's Day

My Valentine's Day was filled with:

1.) (a.) long conversations about sushi (b.) and plans for sushi outings
2.) a treasure hunt ending in malt, mint, & white chocolate
3.) Sunday afternoon plans, when it's only Tuesday
4.) a small group that puts the "small" in small group, but makes me look forward to Tuesday nights in a very big way

I may not have a "significant other," but I have a few people in my life who are pretty significant, and I love them deeply and am deeply grateful for their love.

raspberry espresso brownies - adapted from here
Happy Valentine's Day. :)
Thursday, February 9, 2012

blame it on the buttercream

Everything was against me.

I didn't have any granulated sugar. (WHAT.)

Then I realized I forgot the bourbon at work. (I bet you don't hear a sentence like that every day.)

Then I was about to run out of gas, so I had to stop at Shell and I didn't even have any Kroger plus points on my card. (My life is terrible.)

Then I realized the recipe for the caramel frosting here needed 4 hours to 1 day to cool, and it was already 7:30 and that is just INSANE. So I had to find another recipe from another trusted source.

Then I burned my caramel and my smoke alarm went off and I gasped through the choking smog to open my windows, turn on my ceiling fans, and disconnect my deafening alarm. (What did we learn here? When the instructions say, "Keep a close eye on the caramel," they are not just being silly.)

Caramel: First batch, pre-"drowning in the swirling river of fog"

Then my feet got cold because it's 30 degrees outside and cold air sinks and my feet are the bottomest part of my body. Therefore: Toes turn to toe-sicles.

Then I realized that over the noise of my heater groaning because of the sudden rush of cold air and the fan on my oven that does nothing but blow hot air in my face, I couldn't hear "LOST," and now I think I've missed something important. Is Ben still the bad guy? I can't keep track.

Then, when frosting the cupcakes, I realized I wasn't going to have enough frosting for all 24 of them. (What did we learn here? When the recipe says, "Make a double batch of icing, because you won't have enough otherwise," they are not just being funny.) But I managed.

They're not this yellow in real life.
Then I started blogging and got tired and now I don't feel like cleaning up.

Scary, dark waters of burnt caramel. Who knows what's down there.
All in all: Chocolate bourbon cupcakes with caramel buttercream frosting = SUCCESS. Seriously so.

based on a true story

Friday, while working some of the often-times mundane tasks of behind-the-scenes church, I suddenly, as though struck with a peppermint wand by the Peppermint Fairy floating with wings of red and white stripes, wanted a peppermint milkshake. It was as strong as the feeling of wanting to live, wanting to breathe, wanting to love someone other than yourself.

So I did the logical thing. I called Chick-fil-A, Baskin Robbins, and Steak & Shake, but all of them replied with, "Peppermint is only during the holidays."

What an awful thing to say. Why would this be? Why would you put such limitations on flavor? Would anybody ever say, "I'm sorry, you can only breathe in April"? "We apologize, but you can only only love before the sun sets"?

And I knew that grocery stores hardly ever sold peppermint. At least, Wal-Mart never did. At least, the Wal-Mart in Wisconsin never did. Only Piggly Wiggly, which Wisconsites call so caressingly, "The Pig."

So I swallowed my Pigless, peppermintless, Kentucky fate and shed a tear, which, unbeknownst to me, the Peppermint Fairy caught in her magical bottle, to do magical things with that I knew not of.

Saturday I went to Kroger, settling like we so often do for the things in life that don't quite measure up to what will make us truly happy. Maybe some Breyer's mint chocolate chip will give me peace of appetite, I thought. And I walked up and down the glass doors of ice cream and wondered which brand of mint was worth it, when suddenly I gasped. Literally gasped. And every part of me froze and melted at the same time.

She'd done it. The Peppermint Fairy had done it, I just knew it. She took my tear in her magic bottle and made it pink and made it fluffy, with specks and chips of candy cane. It was peppermint ice cream, and it was there for the taking by those who knew that Christmas wasn't the only one who loved it.

I love it, too.

3-bowls worth.

Thanks, Peppermint Fairy.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the message

I needed to hear this, so I thought you might, too.

Read it slowly.

Marinate in it.

Each line, line by line.

This is what He's saying to you.

But now, God's message,

the God who made you in the first place,

the One who got you started:

Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.

I've called your name.

You're mine.

When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you.

When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.

When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end--

Because I am God,

your personal God,

the Holy One of Israel,

your Savior.

I paid a huge price for you. 

That's how much you mean to me.

That's how much I love you.

I'd sell off the whole world to get you back,

trade the creation just for you.

So don't be afraid: I'm with you.

(Isaiah 43:1-5)
Monday, January 16, 2012

I want to see mountains again, Gandalf

After much deliberation, I have decided not to go to Denmark.

You have no idea how painful it is for me to type this.

You see, a couple of friends of mine are going to Denmark at the end of January. Saturday night, they invited me to go with them.

Did you know that a round-trip flight to Denmark only costs $750?

There's a big part of me that says, "Screw responsibility & practicality." If Gandalf were here, he would look at me beneath his bushy eyebrows and spit amongst his beard, "Fly, you fools!" It's not even a debate: You are tired, and weary, and you've been staring at pictures of mountains for the past week because you desperately want to have an adventure that does not include figuring out new ways to rearrange your closet and finding a hat you forgot you had.

Then the other part of me says, "You have rent to pay, and you need things like food and gas, and if you take a vacation now, you won't be able to take another vacation for 10 months."

That's the part of me that's kind of winning out a little bit. Today I even tried to console myself by saying to myself, "Heather, if you don't go to Denmark, you can buy something special for yourself. Like those cutting boards at Macy's that you like so much."

Yeah, that'll be cool. I won't go to Denmark, and instead I'll buy some cutting boards. Great suggestion, self. Then whenever I start to feel restless, I'll just take out my cutting boards and...cut some broccoli. Won't that feel better?

Someday I'll go somewhere out of the country.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

my father's daughter

My dad made me take sips of his coffee while I was growing up, even though I hated it, because he didn't want to be the only person in the family who drank coffee. Now I love it and he doesn't have to drink alone. I think that was the start of his training me to be like him.

He also taught me to play the guitar.
Me: "Dad, I don't always understand what you're trying to tell me."
Dad: "I said augmented, not diminished, stupid."

Any form of ridiculousness I have comes from him.
Mom: "Are the neighbors who took you in when you were locked out, are their names Peggy and Phil?"
Me, remembering being locked out and walking to the neighbor's in my socks: "Yes."
Mom: "They seem nice."
Me, remembering introducing myself and asking them to use their phone and phonebook in my socks: "They are."
Dad: "They have nice grass."

That's not to say we don't have our differences.

For example, he's not always as affectionate as I am.
My thought processes: "Dad, please adjust your comfort level so that I can be as close to you as I possibly can because in my mind I am still small enough to fit in your recliner with you and I want to always be really really close to you."
His thought processes: "I am happy to be in the same room with you; I do not need you to be breathing so close to my face."
My thought processes: "All right, I will sit over here [and try not to feel hurt that you don't want me really really close to you], but some part of me still needs to be touching you so that I can still feel connected to you in some way."
His thought processes: "Your fingers are so cold I can feel them through my shirt sleeve."
My thought processes: "This is nice, isn't it?"

But he's taught me a lot - about excellence, and hanging pictures straight, and how to love Jesus, and loving people, and using duct tape.

My mom told me that one year when we were kids, she wasn't sure how they were going to afford our Christmas presents. Then she found out that all summer my dad had been collecting things from garage sales and cleaning them up to give to us as presents. I treasure that story as a vivid display of my dad's thoughtfulness, provision, and love. I hope I continue to grow to be more like him in the years to come.

How do you show love to those you love?
Sunday, January 8, 2012

newyear schmewyear

You know when you're really hungry, and you eat something that you didn't really enjoy, so you want to just keep eating because, gosh darn it, even though you're full, you're not really satisfied? This mint chocolate chip ice cream is not really that good...therefore I have to eat the entire carton in order to make up for what a small bowl of really good mint chocolate chip ice cream would've done for me. Right?

That's how I feel about winter.

I'm having a hard time not listening to Christmas music.

I put away my Christmas decorations (they're not very far - there's not really an "away" part of my little apartment) & have strategically placed my Christmas presents in their proper places (which mostly means "my stomach").

I'm watching the Falcons & the Giants, neither of whom I care about, but if I close my eyes and just listen to the crowds, whistles, and audibles, I can pretend it's a few seasons ago when the Colts were actually a team and I used to watch them and they used to win.

It is not cold outside.

It just doesn't feel like winter.

I would like for it to snow. Not the "Oh it's snowing! And now it's 60 degrees" type snow. I want it to snow.

I mean, I'm not saying it has to look like this:

But it wouldn't hurt.

I don't even know what Kentucky would do with that kind of snow.

The sun is great and all, but clouds are also God's creation. And who are we to praise Him for one type of creation over another? I feel gypped.

I mean, I can't even wear my wool socks because my feet are already sweaty most of the time.


Boo. >:(
Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year


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