I know it’s Tuesday, but technically this is my Monday since I had yesterday off and a three day weekend :-)
Just a snapshot of the extended weekend, looking forward to sharing some yummy recipes and more about our day in Richmond, VA this week!
I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy some part of the Independence Day weekend with family or friends, and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy here in America! Hope the celebration and joy carries right on in through the rest of the week!!!
I don’t think words can get across just how much of an experience visiting Grandfather Mountain is! When we decided to go, I assumed we’d just be driving up to the top of the mountain, walking across the swinging bridge, maybe hiking a trail, and calling it a day.
Be sure to stop by if you’re looking for great recipes, beauty tips, healthy living insights and encouraging lifestyle posts! If you’ve got something great to share with a like-minded community, stop by and add your post to the link up!
I was just in Charleston last Thursday and Friday for work, speaking at a workshop for colleagues. I spent Thursday in awe of the historic, beautiful, hospitable city. Never would I have imagined that a week later, such tragedy could happen there.
My heart grieves for the families involved. The idea that within our places of worship, places that we should feel safest, such terror could invade completely tears apart my heart.
Katie, at Hope Engaged, shared some really helpful ways you and I can engage in the aftermath to help bring healing. I’d encourage you to click over, and read about the lives the victims led working for Christ’s kingdom and learn the deeper history of Emmanuel AME church . I’d encourage you to explore the ways you can help with prayers, donations and action, too.
I could get lost in deep theological discussion of pain in such a broken world, such brokenness in God’s creation. But at the end of the day, words fall flat. Pain remains and we are left with pieces to pick up and hearts to help heal. Moreover, in the face of tragedy, I’m left today thinking over what Frederick Buechner had to say about being the light in the midst of darkness and of working to change things.
What if anything have you and I done to do battle against the great darkness of things? As parents and the children of our own parents, as wives and husbands and friends and lovers, as players of whatever parts we have chosen to play in this world, as wielders of whatever kind of power, as possessors of whatever kind of wealth, what other human selves have we sacrificed something of our own sweet selves to help and heal?
“Bear fruit that befits repentance!” thunders the Baptist. “Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armor of light,” whispers the prayer we pray. Bear fruit. Put on light like a garment, like a uniform. That is the place to stop and also the place to start. It is the place to stop and think — think back, think ahead, think deep. It is the place to start and be.
[Published in Secrets in the Dark]
As we sing each year at Christmas at my church, I do hope that this is the place, the moment, to start and to be… “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as our Father, family all are we. Let us love one another in perfect harmony.” Stand up in the face of darkness, preach love where there is hate, share grace and healing where there is hurt, and love every. single. one.
Prayers for peace, and plenty of love,
Is it just me, or is it already abnormally hot outside? Especially considering that technically, it’s still spring!
The weathers had Nick and I so thankful for the A/C! So, in keeping with the indoor theme, the other night I made this “Grilled” Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce. [Emphasis on the quotations around the “Grilled”… I didn’t want either of us to be outside in 100 degree weather after a long day of work. So, grill pan on the stove top it was!]
It still came out really well! The key is to make sure there’s a good bit of oil in the pan before you get started, and to have the heat on medium high to high. When you initially lay the chicken down, be sure not to move it for at least two minutes or so. Just let it sit and resist the temptation to flip it too soon, or move it around. That way, you can ensure you get a nice grill mark. After the grill marks are there, you can flip it over and lower the heat to medium until it’s cooked through. You might not have the great charcoal smokey flavor, but at least aesthetically it looks like you put the time into grilling! :)
INGREDIENTS: Continue reading
My posts have been on hold for a bit – it’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks. Traveling for conferences, seeing family, having repairs done to my apartment, the general busyness of life. But I am so thankful that June is here, and I’m looking forward to a month of rest. There’s been a lot going on, so many prayers sent up for so many people in my life, and so much soul searching. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this space to be, the things I like to think about and write about, and how to be more involved in this little blog of mine.
I’ve found that so much of it just boils down to intentional living. It’s easy to get caught up in the humdrum of daily life, social media, work demands, car repairs, errand running, and the mind’s incessant thinking – that we miss the little, grace filled moments that make life so beautiful. It’s like in the midst of all of that commotion I come across these great opportunities, great ideas for reaching out to people, inspiration for walking with God, and dreams that float around in my head, but never have time to flesh them out, take the first step or really get involved.. So, after a work conference this week I’m definitely going to be spending more time here working on living intentionally – I hope you’ll join me!
In the meantime, I wanted to share a snapshot of an awesome restful day at the North Carolina Zoo a few weeks ago. If you’re in NC, its centrally located in Asheboro, NC and worth the trip. Nick and I go every few years and there’s almost always something new to see. The animals aren’t kept in cages or inhumane conditions by any means, like some smaller zoos might have. Instead, there are open spaces for them to roam across acres and acres of land.
(Yes, the buffalo do roam, right by Old Faithful…)
The park is grouped into two different sections, North America and Africa, with parking at both entrances. There are trams to take you to and from, and across the park. I’d advising checking ahead before you go to see what’s open because they’re constantly renovating and making it better. For instance, when we were there many of the “desert” exhibits were closed but due to be open soon, and the polar bear exhibit had just re-opened after renovations were completed.
They put a lot of effort and time into conservation, community education and creating a sense of appreciation for animals and their habitats. The animals are well cared for and fascinating to watch. They have quite a few interactive exhibits, but we didn’t get a chance to stop at any.
If you’re in the area, pay these amazing animals a visit!
But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? (Job 12:7-9)