Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have been able to take a step back and really try to take one day at a time recently. I started reading in 1 Peter as part of my devotions, and decided to see what Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible had to say about the book, and the first chapter in general. The book is addressed to believers throughout the nations. What I found particularly insightful was Henry's description of hope: "Hope, in the world's phrase, refers only to an uncertain good, for all worldly hopes are tottering, built upon sand, and the worldling's hopes of heaven are blind and groundless conjectures. But the hope of the sons of the living God is a living hope; not only as to its object, but as to its effect also. It enlivens and comforts in all distresses, enables to meet and get over all difficulties."
I want my hope to be grounded in Christ. I want to know that the effect of hope in my life produces a desire for things beyond the scope of this world. A hope that brings comfort in the most uncertain times, enabling me to step toward the challenges, knowing that this is not where my hope lies. I want to extend that hope to others - a hope that isn't built upon an uncertain longing for some sort of goodness. But, instead a hope that is life giving and a guiding lighthouse in the storms and quiet seas.
That said, we looked at quite a few houses on Friday and found some that we liked, but are going to look again this coming Saturday. Please pray for us to find the exact house that the Lord would want us to be in. One that would allow us to extend hospitality and life to those around us. Also, please pray for us to find a third roommate. The houses that we liked would require that we find one other person. I know that the Lord will provide in exactly His timing for all of these requests. Thanks for being a part of my life and for lifting up these needs!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


As the week has progressed, I am feeling more and more overwhelmed. I have been working close to (if not over) 50 hours a week, I need to finish my special project for this rotation, put together my inservice, find a place to live and study like no ones business. I had to shovel the thick, heavy, feet of snow twice from the driveway due to the crazy winter storm that attacked our area and prevented me from getting away to Colorado Springs this weekend. Timelines are starting to light up like Christmas strands all over my planner. To make matters even more tough, I need to move on from lots of different things in life. It's hard to move on though when there's not much to move on to at this immediate time.
All this to say that prayer is much needed and appreciated (as well as me spending some quality time in the Word). I can't do this alone, never have been able to and have always seen the importance of community in supporting people through all different times in life.
Now I need to get back to my projects and studying...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

love letter

I've been reading a collection of love letters recently, and came across one that I thought was particularly touching that I thought I'd share. The author is Major Sullivan Ballou, who was with the 2nd Regiment of Rhode Island Volunteers during the Civil War. The letter was written to his wife, Sarah, right before the Battle of Bull Run, in which he was killed. I remember hearing this letter when I was a child, watching the PBS Civil War series.

"July the 14th, 1861
Washington, DC

My very dear Sarah,
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.
Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine, O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain the Government, and to pay that debt.
But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows - when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children - is it weak or dishonourable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?
I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death - and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.
I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and "the name of honour that I love more than I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistably on with all these chains to the battlefield.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honourable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar - that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftetimes been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot, I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night - amdist your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.
Sarah, do no mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

inside cooking day

The wind was rather nasty today, but otherwise, the weathermen were not on target with the pending "blizzard." I did stay in though and started off the morning with strawberry baked oatmeal that I found via Marie's blog. We used 1 cup of steel cut oats, and it still worked great!
The next great cooking adventure was making sweet potato gnocchi. We used a bag of frozen sweet potatoes that you can then mash, which saved time on the baked potato part. Then you add 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. nutmeg, an egg and flour until a soft dough is formed (1 1/2 - 2 c). We then rolled the dough into little balls, like those pictured below.

Next you bring salted water to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. When they are floating on the surface, they're done!

We served them with homemade pasta sauce and eggplant (with a glass of red wine, of course!).

After dinner, my aunt made pie crust, which I think I may start using her recipe for that as well. She then put together an apple pie the way my grandma would, using tapioca in the filling. Believe me, it's actually great! I'll have to make it again and take some pictures. For now, I think I've had enough grand adventures in the kitchen for one weekend.

Friday, April 03, 2009


My boss gave me today off since he's gone, which was great as I got to spend some time with my aunt and watch the sky for the impending doom of the blizzard that is on the way. I miss Kansas City spring thunderstorms!
On this lovely day off, I got up, ran and then my aunt and I went to a little dive looking restaurant that serves the most delicious pancakes! We tried a sampler of Lemon Blueberry, Bananas Foster, Tiramisu and Strawberry Cheesecake pancakes, all of which were so tasty. After this adventure, we went to an antique mall where my aunt's friend has a booth with beautiful furniture and other pieces. I was on the hunt for some antique cordial glasses and ended up coming home not only with glasses but with Currier & Ives plates. The antique mall is one of those places where if I'm not careful I could end up with a lot of useless but fun purchases. The plates were something that really struck me because of the different color of blue and the scenes that make me think of the song "Over the River and Through the Woods" - definitely Americana. I only bought 4 plates, and have decided that I will use them for decorating at this point, but I may decide to find more of them in the future to actually use. Although, the plates will remain in the basement of my aunt's for now until I actually move into some housing arrangement in Colorado Springs.
My aunt and I have also decided to do some cooking tomorrow while we get loads of snow. Look for an update about making sweet potato gnocchi and apple pie (the way my grandma used to make it!). I'll try to include some pictures too!