confessions of a bible major. (#2)

#2 - sometimes, because i habitually analyze as i read, reading the bible is exhausting when it should be refreshing.

i've never been a fast worker (though i can read and comprehend quickly if i do not need to understand all the nuances), but doing my "homework" for a women's bible study at church probably takes me longer than it should. i don't often just read a verse, passage or chapter. i study, and sometimes even consult the greek or hebrew texts. i spend (too much?) time wondering what that word really means, or why a specific word was used instead of another.
in all of this, i often veer off the path i started on and lose sight of the finish line.  and this is something i'd really love to change.
"properly, we should read for power. man reading should be man intensely alive. the book should be a ball of light in one's hand." - ezra pound


perpetually tired is a side effect of stress and depression. yep, i used the d-word. i find some days it's easier to be un-tired than others. yesterday wasn't one of those days. i made it to bible study (which was actually quite fun!), helped my friend h find a dress for an upcoming event, and then went home and napped for 3+ hours. sure, part of it might have been the late night and the 3 am phone call from my hugsband, but when i woke from the nap i was still tired. come to think of it, could've been the bad dreams, too. darn.
so what are some things that i try to un-tire myself? sometimes it's a pick-me-up like a smoothie. sorry, you won't find green smoothies here. i'm more likely (because the depression and tiredness also kill motivation) to stop by jamba juice when i'm already out and about. sometimes it's a caffeine jolt from my keurig machine. or tanning burning out on the patio when the sun is shining.
what do you do (other than sleep) when you just feel tired?
"there must be something wrong with those people who think audrey hepburn doesn't perspire, hiccup or sneeze, because they know that's not true. in fact, i hiccup more than most." - audrey hepburn



i've never considered myself stylish. my go-to wardrobe in high school was about one pair of stretchy jeans and an assortment of school-related t-shirts or (two-sizes-too-big) hoodies. in my many changes over the last few years, i'm starting to find some sense of style. what!? style!? you betcha! though, on sad or grumpy days, i still default to the NAVY hoodie my hugsband got me when we started dating. my most recent obsessions have been:

slub shirts


hair feathers (new yesterday!!!!!)

and hatsHATS, HATS, HATS. tehnically, i've loved hats for a while, but i don't have any of the pretty summer hats that i'm really obsessing over. so, here's a picture of one of my favorite hats from a couple years ago, to tide you over until i go shopping and get a few summery things this weekend!


favorite recent recipes.

i wanted to share a few recipes that i've been loving (and so have the wonderful people in my life - in san diego AND on the ship!), so that maybe you could love them, too!

first is a cake recipe that i turned into cupcakes (with green dye) for our small group's st. patrick's day potluck!  here's the link.  the only notes i'd add would be: • i halved the recipe, and had much more than enough batter for 12 cupcakes!  i only made 12, so they overflowed and looked like green muffins, which is something i'd definitely change. •if you're curious, i used this frosting recipe, also halved, which was just right for lots of frosting on my 12 huge cupcakes. so, it would probably be okay for a normal amount of frosting on regularly sized cupcakes. ha!

so pretty! they'd be less brown and more green if i hadn't overfilled them!

second, i tried making my own granola bars for the first time, modifying a recipe by ina garten. the lady is a genius in the kitchen. i love how she makes gourmet cooking feel accessible! these were loved by myself (i ate the crumbs that resulted from using a rectangular pan with vey rounded edges) and by all the men in david's division on the ship, apparently! i made two batches. one with pecans, craisins and chocolate chips. the other with craisins, dried apricots (chopped up to the same size as the craisins), and almond slices. for both recipes, i left out the dates and crushed the nuts inside a baggie with a rolling pin so they wouldn't hinder the granola bar slicing process at the end, as per one of the recipe reviews! worked like a charm! (note: i found the wheat germ in a local health-food store, but you might be able to find it in a bigger supermarket!)
here are my ingredients:
2 c. rolled oats (old fashioned... not "quick")
1 c. pecan bits
1 c. shredded coconut (i used unsweetened, and the bars were still plenty sweet!)
1/2 c. toasted wheat germ
3 T. unsalted butter
2/3 c. honey
1/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
batch 1:
3/4 c. craisins
3/4 c. chocolate chips (i pressed a few more into the tops of the bars at the end, since the others melted in the hot mixture!)
batch 2:
3/4 c. craisins
3/4 c. dried apricots, chopped
and that's all for now, folks! go! shoo! try the recipes! i really think you'll like them!

long days and rambling thoughts.

in my drawn-out weekend, i forgot last night was sunday, so i forgot to post for today! oops! it also means no quippy quotation at the end. too bad.
my weekends are the loneliest and emptiest days - aside from church, i usually don't even get in the car. i certainly could go somewhere, but between trying to keep fuel use to a minimum and feeling lonelier when i venture out alone, the motivation is pretty much nil.
i love living in a new place. and i wish i could have brought along at least one of my friendships from college. i ache for unexpected visits, late-evening chats over hot mugs of homemade chai, outings to nearby cities, and carpooling to church. just to name a few. of course i remember lonely or boring weekends in college. the difference is... i often had someone to share them with. and cute as she is, jade isn't much comfort when i haven't seen a human face since thursday night. though she is cute. see?


on defending friends.

i tend to be fiercely loyal.
only a few times in my life have i been put in a position of hurting deeply for a friend's pain and struggle. but i remember those times so clearly. each time, my reaction has been disproportionate to the situation. because i love deeply and hurt deeply, i defend strongly.
in high school (or was it junior high?), i embarrassed a friend by standing up for her publicly, when all she wanted was to move past the situation. in college, i took sides and nearly ended a beautiful friendship with my coldness and bitterness. on another occasion, i nearly succeeded at writing off all the good things i learned from someone because they hurt a dear friend of mine. for each poor choice in each situation (and others i've not mentioned here), i am resoundingly sorry.
i regret all of those actions to my core, but in all honesty, part of me is glad i made the mistakes. from these, i learn and grow. regret blooms into change, if allowed to see the light of awareness.
"look not mournfully into the past. it comes not back again. wisely improve the present. it is thine. go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear." - henry wadsworth longfellow

shot in the dark.

i'm rediscovering that i love to teach. informally.
i love to prepare and design lessons, devotionals, study guides. it's why i dream of being an instructional designer, or doing leadership development within a ministry. i just don't have the resources to make that possible right now, nor do i see many openings for entry-level positions in the area i live, anyway.
so, my job search again, with a mind of its own, veers off the path i thought to follow. again, i feel lost. so, rediscovering my love for teaching? it feels like i printed out the directions and, because the printer was low on ink, only step 5 is legible: "turn left on carmella avenue." it helps me not.
have you ever felt like you have crayons without paper to draw on, or only step 5 in the directions?
"dreams surely are difficult, confusing, and not everything in them is brought to pass for mankind. for fleeting dreams have two gates: one is fashioned of horn and one of ivory. those which pass through the one of sawn ivory are deceptive, bringing tidings which come to nought, but those which issue from the one of polished horn bring true results when a mortal sees them." - homer's the odyssey


confessions of a bible major (#1)

[[here begins my first series of posts. i plan to spread out my little confessions, interchanging them with regular posts without any real regularity. i'll post these as they come to mind, and they won't always be so serious-sounding as this one. promise.]]

#1 - i tend to dislike paraphrases, as a rule.

when people quote the message, i often cringe. no offense intended, now, but i don't like the idea of basing my faith, beliefs or actions on something so fluid. there is so much interpretation involved in paraphrases, and that makes me nervous. sure, some of the "verses" are pretty spot-on, or hard to mess with, or whatever. and no, not everyone knows greek and hebrew. i don't expect that.
mostly, i tend to feel that such weighted interpretations belong in commentaries, not in "bibles." because too many people who don't know better believe paraphrases to be more accurate than they sometimes are.
i don't expect everyone to adopt my stance and habits of avoiding paraphrases altogether. i do, however, want to help people be aware of what they read, encourage them to analyze paraphrases more carefully, and use them sparingly as simply a resource instead of a main text.
God's word is too important to take lightly, and it deserves our full respect and care in both reading and interpreting.
"what you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth." - jewish proverb


writing again.

after months of silence, i'm feeling the familiar tug on my heartstrings to write. while certainly difficult and even painful at times, it continues to be a joyful process for me.
tonight, as i'm huddled in my too-large bed with my mactop and a snoring jade in the room, i am again feeling the satisfaction of words falling into place, feeling the enjoyment of hearing the mouse-like tapping of keys and the fulfillment of a filling "compose" space on the screen.
as i take steps forward in my new life, i hope to provide encouragement or support to others. without divulging my thoughts, i can make no difference. without taking action, there can be no response. what use is learning, without teaching as well? so, again i write. simply, and from my heart. with love.
"even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - c. s. lewis