Saturday, July 31, 2010

I pet a shark today... what did you do? :)

Today I had the most wonderful date/pre-game for shark week ever with the lovely Luis Mancilla! We ventured to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The combination of perfect Southern California weather and an odd mix of new friends (including but not limited to: SHARKS, river otters, sea lions, etc etc) created a memorable day that I will cherish forever. Did I mention that we befriended sharks? Like we pet them. And named one. And I wanted to take it home. Wasn't allowed. Oh but one day.....

Luis came with a love of sharks... left with an obsession.
This was before I befriended the sharks... still a little nervous... obviously
This is me with my new friend/pet shark Bruce Jr.
Not gonna lie.... He still scares me. Those eyes......

My favorite little creatures... RIVER OTTERS :)

As you can obviously tell from the cheesy touristy thumbs up... it was a good day :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family Reunited

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with family that I hadn't seen in a long time :) It was nice to hang out, enjoy dinner, play pool, and BEST of all... play CHINESE CHECKERS (aka my favorite game). In our culture, where individualism reigns, sometimes I need to be reminded of how important the family structure is and how much we all need each other. I was blessed by all these people who were placed in my life.

The whole gang (photo cred: Jessica Tracy)
Me and my lovely cousin Jessie!
Big brother

My step-mom Michelle with my Aunt Michelle who was visiting from Treasure Island, Florida (yes, real place and yes, lots of Michelle Osbornes!).

My dad and step mom creating their first facebook profile picture :) haha

Ooohhh Ahhhh.... hours of endless joy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Cup Overflows

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade right? Well, when summer hands us a day of haze at the beach... we make lemonade :)
This was honestly some of the best fresh lemonade i've had (she said ever so humbly). Probably not healthy in the least bit, but then again, nutrition is not a commonly contemplated idea for me.
So for all you who can shamelessly enjoy a sugary beverage... here is the recipe :)

-1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup... dont suggest it)
-1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
-1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
-3 to 4 cups of cold water (to dilute)

1. Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely
2. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice
3. Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Serve with ice and sliced lemons.

Serves 6

(This is Kylie... the girl that I "tween-sit" three days a week)

Friday, July 16, 2010

God is.

Its amazing how thrown off we get when we encounter times of trouble. Christ did not trick us by saying that things would be all jolly all the time. In fact, he was quite clear that this life was full of trials and tribulations. The wonderful thing about our loving Savior is that He didn’t just stop there, all gloom and doom. He continues by telling us that these trials not only produce perseverance and character, but that they can often times be used for the furthering of His Kingdom. We are also told that, “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of JOY” (Job 8:21). These difficult times are often a mirror, allowing us to see who we really are, for better or for worse. Do we instantly run to our old friends Worry, Doubt, Fear, and Disbelief? Or do we rest assured that our God is a good God and although cruddy things happen, we know that God is in control? The greatest example to me is a Christian who is covered with peace. Sometimes they trust in God so much that the peace within them is practically visible. These are the people who not only convict me about my restless mind, but also encourage me that the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).

My life will forever be the exciting journey of learning how to trust a God that has already proven Himself trustworthy.

Tonight I am savoring a few of the many names of our God:

Jehovah-rapha: The LORD who Heals

Jehovah-jireh: The LORD will Provide

El Shaddai: The All-Sufficient One

El Elyon: The God Most High

Jehovah-shalom: The LORD is Peace

I praise my God because He is....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jenna's bridal shower was really beautiful. The usual laughter was included but it was also nice to reconnect with some old familiar faces :) Susan Ambrose gave some really powerful yet simple encouragement from God's Word about how Jenna was made for John and John was made for Jenna. Jenna was created with the special purpose of being John's helper. God created each one of his women for the specific purpose of being the helper to their man. These encouraging words were perfect for Jenna to start off her marriage with the right mindset. Then we spent some time in prayer over Jenna. It was really precious and powerful to hear these beautiful women of God lifting up their voicing and petitioning for God's hand in the Rainey's marriage. I am so happy for her! She is the first one in our little group of friends to get married and it is such an exciting next chapter of life.

Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone;
I will make him a suitable helper"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grown Ups

I’ve reached a time in my life where I am no longer getting invitations to themed birthday parties that begin with bowling and end with a sleepover. I open letters and receive invitations to Bridal and Baby Showers. I don’t feel 12 anymore but it does feel like just yesterday I was starting high school. But clearly that wasn’t yesterday (besides the fact that school doesn’t start in July and I am 21 years old). Things have changed since then. We’re making grown-up decisions… our parents as us for advice on things… And sleepovers cease to exist as your friends get husbands.

Time flies. I want to be in another time of life and then, sometimes in the same day, I want time to slow down so I can enjoy where I’m at right now.

“If we complain of time and take such joy in the seemingly timeless moment, what does that suggest? It suggests that we have not always been or will not always be purely temporal creatures. It suggests that we were created for eternity. Not only are we hurried by time; we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, even to get used to it. We are always amazed at it – how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone. Where, we cry, has the time gone? We aren’t adapted to it, not at home in it. If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.”

I love this quote by C.S. Lewis because it captures something that all of us have felt before- the inability to feel completely at home in the temporal.

I’ll let my friends and family continue to grow up; I’ll be sleeping with my teddy bear and throwing themed birthday parties… and maybe I’ll accidentally grow up too.

“Too many people grow up. That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12 years old.” -Walt Disney