Saturday, April 19, 2014

New York, New York! Part I: You Just Don't Want to Know

So when I said "regular programming," I, naturally, meant "begin to ease into the good habit of posting once a week, which shall, in a few weeks time, possibly return to a consistent posting on Mondays." You all know how to read between the lines, right?

Good. Now that I have that off my chest...

Spring break (alluded to in aforementioned previous post) was begun with an adventure, the telling of which you shall all hereby be subjected to, complete with pictures. Friday morning, early (and I mean early early. As in, we didn't really go to bed, just took a quick 2-hour nap sometime in the predawn hours) my friend Kate and I collected a few random belongings and hopped on a plane bound for unknown lands.


Sleep deprivation had surprisingly no affect on us, and we remained calm and sane for our entire sunrise flight.



However, all semblance of cool collected-ness vanished like chocolate chip cookies when, after landing, making it to our room, and hastily changing, we found ourselves sitting in the way-back seats of a theater, preparing to take in the delights of Broadway's (as in the Broadway. On Broadway. The real Broadway. The street. In New York City) - as I was saying, Broadway's Cinderella. Sure, we looked like drowned rats because it had suddenly started pouring when we left our room and I had forgotten to grab my umbrella from our stash of random items. Sure, we were shivering with cold because someone kept opening a door to the fire escape (oh the adventures of economical ticket purchasing!). Sure, we were starving from not having eaten for the past 8 of our travelling hours - but none of that mattered. We had finally arrived at the place of our dreams: New York City!!

 
Our first view of Broadway at night!

wet & happy


                                                                      Our view from the way-back was still great!


As the curtains opened, Kate and I felt our excitement bubbling over. Let the adventures begin! Two magical hours later, as the final strains of music faded from the dazzling performance, our shivering, growling stomachs demanded attention before returning 'home,' and thus we found ourselves crowding into a tiny, delicious little shop called "Pie Face" for some piping hot supper!

I had mini 'Thai Chicken' & 'Bacon and Egg' pies!
A dash through the rain, a couple stops on the subway, and we emerged from the deep underground desirous of two things: hot showers and bed. It was 11:30 when we dashed up the stairs to our room. Somehow, though, it was 12:30 when we finally entered our room. You see, we had this wee problem with the door...

But you don't want to hear about our trials, right? About knocking, and ringing, and calling our host on her cell phone (she was unavailable), and (trying) calling our parents back at home, and the discussion of whether we should call a cab to take us to a hotel or sleep in the stairwell, and the tears of frustration that are inevitable when one is exhausted and cold and wet and locked out of the only place resembling home...or about when we finally discovered the lock just worked a little differently and we'd been raising a ruckus on the stairs for absolutely no reason at all. You just don't even want to know, right? Didn't think so.

There were two very tired, slightly subdued, reluctantly apprehensive girls sleeping in NYC that night. However, as the sun rises, so does hope, and when the light of day and gleam of blue sky blazed through our window the following morning, we found ourselves ready for whatever this city could throw at us!



We planned our route, guzzled our breakfast (that is to say, we bought juice and drank it) and were on our way to visit another part of Broadway (read: shopping)! Somehow, it took nearly an hour longer than we intended. You see, we had this wee problem with the subway...


But you don't want to hear about our separation, right? About my failure to realize until (apparently) the last minute that we were at our stop, and hopping up saying "this is us," only to hear a tragic "SARAH!!" and turn to see the door closing between my friend and I, as her frantic, grinning face slid away into the darkness. About me, doubled over, absolutely convulsing with silent laughter on a lonely subway stop, straining every nerve to not break into out-loud, maniacal peals, thinking, "I've done it, now. I've lost Kate in New York City," and seeing over and over again in my mind's eye her expression as she and the subway deserted me. About the well-known fact that cell phones don't work below ground, and all I could do was pray she would get off and wait for me at the next stop (since I was route planner, she had no idea where we were going, and no map with which to try and figure it out). You just don't even want to know, right? Didn't think so.

Thus it came about that our shopping time on Broadway totaled about 20 minutes, during which time we snagged a hugely over-rated hot dog from a stand (talk about puny) and enjoyed some fab people-watching. After confirming our route with a subway-office-worker-person, we hopped on a train bound for Battery Park for our 2pm Statue-of-Liberty departure! Somehow, we didn't make it on time. You see, we had this wee problem with weekend train schedules...


But you don't want to hear about our spontaneous visit to Staten Island, do you? About that moment when the next station was announced as "DeKalb" and everyone else suddenly bolted off the subway, leaving us to blink at the map (trying to find this fabled "DeKalb") and chant, "that lady said this was the right train." You don't want to hear about our arrival - which we discovered to be quite a bit out of our way - at 1:45 on Staten Island, only to learn from a helpful local that "the trains run different routes from the map on weekends," or about our indecision on how to get where we wanted to go if we couldn't trust posted train routes, about the kind older gentleman who took us under his wing until we arrived - 30 minutes late - at our destination. As a whole, you just don't even want to know, right? Didn't think so.

Thus flew the first 20 hours of our time in the Big Apple. Tune in next week for Part II: Statues, Sunburns, and Central Park. (Tell me that doesn't sound enthralling.)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Smiles for a Friday!

Lord's Lass will return to its regular programming next week. The AWOL authoress has been on spring break, and enjoying the delights of travel and sunshine far more than is good for her. Monday marks the beginning of schedule and order again. ;)

But in the meantime, here are some of my Friday smiles!

1. Flowers. Carnations, to be exact (my equal-favorite. with Gerbera daisies). Because they were a good price at the store and I couldn't resist!


2. New, super-comfortable, PURPLE Born shoes! :D


3. Chalk paint to give Dottie (new laptop!) a fresh & happy look!


4. Tulips blooming in the front!


5. Happy music!! {great for cleaning the room and getting projects done!}

6. This nearly-done project!


7. A week with weather like this....


...in which you can drive with the windows down...


...and music up...


...and freeze to death, but be completely happy...


...cuz the sunshine is warm, and it's only the breeze that's remembering winter!

8. Also food. The sugar-free chocolate cake Rachel made. Coffee with my cleaning-gang-girls at Old Town Battle Grounds. Fruit!! {no pictures, because these things don't exactly last long...}

What's making you smile today?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Watch-It Wednesday: St. Patrick!!

Hello, lovelies!

Yes, I know I missed Monday. Again. I am hoping to get a "proper" post up on Friday...but in the meantime, check out this awesome short on St. Patrick that one of my wee friends made for me!! It's too wonderful not to share, so without further ado, let me present:

"Patric: a short film by Roman"

Thank you, Roman - you're the best!!! :)

And to the rest of you - Happy Be-Lated St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The End of My Rope


It's been weeks since I've felt caught up on sleep.

Nearly a month since I've written in my journal.

More than a month since I've really read a book.

Days since I've had a good hour to dig into the Word.

~~~~~~~

It's been a while since I've felt in control.

On top of my happening life.

Ahead enough to plan for new things.

~~~~~~~

Most days I feel like I barely keep my head above water.

Like it's a struggle just to stay current with day-to-day events.

Then taxes loom in front of me.

And expenses descend upon me.

And my room's a mess.

And there are emails unwritten.

And phone calls unmade.

~~~~~~~

My spirit begins to cry out in thirst for true Water.

And my soul begins to shrivel in the cold.

And my temper's suddenly short and brittle.

And in desperation, I finally throw myself at Your feet.

~~~~~~~

Ignoring the thousands of chiming voices -

The hundreds of chores and to-dos yet undone.

The clamor grows louder, but I know, yes, I know.

First things not put first only grow desperate cries.

~~~~~~~

I'm at the end of my rope.

With naught but a frayed strip 'twixt my fingers.

And I can't afford to listen to the canyon, deep below.

So in pain, hands bleeding, muscles quivering, I focus -

Focus, on the rope, held taut, far above me.

And the deafening cries subside.

And I'm drawn up by You.

And I realize that, here, I always should dwell:

At the end of my rope.





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And the Winners Are...

Coloring in her zone

Are you ready for this? It's the moment you've all been waiting for - sitting on the edge of your seats, refreshing the page every 10 seconds, dying to know who the ecstatic new owners of these fantastic books are. And I don't blame you one bit. These books are the bee's knees, the cat's meow, the...why do all the "top-notch" sayings have to do with animals/insects? Who wants anything to do with such creatures when books are in one's sights?? Who -- wait, seriously, are you still reading this? If I were you, I would have scrolled down to see the winning names ages ago. I probably wouldn't even have read this paragraph. At least not until I skipped to the end and found out if I was a lucky book winner. I mean, seriously. What's the point? Who wants to read rambling words and tired thoughts when she could be doing a happy dance over new additions to the library? Aren't you sick of this yet? I am! :p

Sadly, there will be no video, as originally intended, to record the heart-stopping moment, as...well, you know all about Polly. Howsomeverso, I have the bowl of names right here, and as I reach into the bowl, I draw the name...

Lauren
Congrats! You have won The Book That Made Your World!!

Hooray! Can we hear a round of app- what? Ok, fine, I'll draw the next name. You ready for this? The winner is...

Grace!
Huzzah, Gracie! You have won Peter Pan!!

For all those of you who read, commented on, and participated in my bloggy-birthday: Thank You - you are truly the bee's knees!

And for those of you weeping now for not being a lucky winner: do not loose heart. There will be another just-for-fun giveaway in a few short weeks, courtesy of an adventure I am going on. Stay tuned!






{photo credit}

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day, Give-Away Ending, the Death-Of-All-Things-Battery-Operated, and Lessons from Anna

Inspiring title, no?

This is a post wherein I hereby bestow upon you a potpourri of such thoughts and happenings as have so defined my wee Monday.

*ahem*

Part I:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I almost forgot to wear green, had soggy iceberg lettuce instead of cabbage (apparently brothers don't tend to notice the differences between the two when shopping...I mean, the label "iceberg lettuce" and "cabbage" have at least 3 letters in common) and didn't even remember to watch this 'dorable tradition-of-a-video with the Littles:



Nevertheless, the sentiments expressed in this post (coincidentally one of the first posts on my blog) remain the same as I consider the day. Pray for Ireland!

Part II:

I realized there was rather a lack of information regarding last week's give-away! It officially closes Tuesday night (March 18th), at 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time. Wednesday's video post will reveal the winners!

Part III:
And now, for a sad tale.

Once upon a time there lived a girl (that's me) who had a job (that's music teaching) to go to upon a Monday morn (that's today). She ventured forth into the sun and cold (that's March weather), only to be rudely stopped dead in her tracks by a dead car (that wouldn't even start!). Said girl (still me) called upon her helpful bro (Mr. Doesn't-Know-Cabbage-From-Iceberg-Lettuce) to assist her, and since said brother was brilliant (despite some minor deficiencies in reading skills), he righted the aforementioned wrong (that is, a dead car) in record time. Thankful girl (who had only had to cancel the first two lessons of the day) drove off into the sunshine, sure of a happily-ever-after ending.

But it was not to be.

Several hours later, tired girl (that is, the first person) returned home and opened up her computer to check email (that is, paperless communication). No sooner had she loaded the page then said laptop (that is, Polly) "popped off as you might say" (who knows that quote?), never to be resurrected again. Aforementioned girl (SarahJayne) nearly cried with remorse that all thing battery-operated were thus withering beneath her touch, and bravely called her father (on a battery-operated cell phone which did not die), who promptly reassured her all would be well.

And so she hopes for her happily-ever-after ending...

Part IV:

We were studying Anna this last week in our girls' Bible study, and I found these discussion questions particularly convicting. Too often, I am tempted to think merely that how I act around people is testimony enough to my Savior. I mean, with the Holy Spirit in me, how could the difference not be obvious? These questions challenged me to look for every opportunity to faithfully, verbally point to Christ. If I am the only one who could speak to them of Truth...what a tragedy for me to say nothing and wait to be asked.
We don't know what happened to Anna after the experience described in Luke 2. We can only imagine that she told everyone she knew about God's revelation. What do you tell everyone you know? If their encounter with you is their only spiritual encounter, what are they learning? - John MacArthur, Twelve Extraordinary Women
What are ways you speak of Christ, even when just having met someone?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Birth Announcement ~ A Guest Post by Lauren


He may have already stopped hoping by the time Hope was born.

Over 400 years of silence from God overshadowed this man’s ancestors.  It was a silence that rivaled the 430 years of Jewish slavery in Egypt.  And this Jew, born in the Egypt that had enslaved his ancestors, thought he may as well have been hoping for a resurrected Moses liberator as for a Messiah after all that silence. 

The way this man Philo saw it, it was time for God to step out from behind His curtain and once again declare “I AM.”  But Philo Judaeus wasn’t seeing even a rustling of the curtain, so he decided to yank it aside himself.  Moses was lost up on Mt. Sinai, and Philo took his cue from an impatient Aaron, building his own Messiah in one Greek word: logos

He used a little dab of Plato, a good helping of Hebrew Scripture misinterpreted as merely allegorical, and sprinkled his new creation with the other philosophies of the day. 
He married philosophy with God and birthed his own mediator between God and man: logos, which in his mind meant “reason.” 

Meanwhile, the true Logos was being born of a virgin in a forgotten stable in a conquered Israel

Philo, looking back on the baffling centuries of silence, said that God was unknowable.  He said that the world was senselessly evil, and that since God could not come in contact with such blackness, He could not have directly created it.  This is where Philo’s logos came in, the neither unbegotten nor begotten second-in-command to God, the mystical mediator of God’s powers to humanity, the philosophical substitute for the Messiah. 

Meanwhile, the true Messiah was getting to know fishermen and tax collectors.  He, as one with God, was performing miracles and changing lives.  He was getting dirty and tired and hungry in villages and on roads, yet He was utterly and completely God at the same time.

Philo saw his logos as “reason:” impersonal, archangelic, the Idea of Ideas. 
Yet the Messiah on the cross was not impersonal, nor merely angelic, nor a mystical idea.  He was Someone greater: the Word become flesh who dwelt among us (John 1:14). 

“In the beginning was the Logos” carries with it a declaration as weighty as the entire history of the world:
Jesus is the Logos who spoke the world into existence.
Jesus is the Logos who fulfills the Ten Logoi: the Ten Commandments.
Jesus is the Logos who declares “I AM.”
Jesus is the Logos who broke 400 years of silence.
Jesus is the Logos who was seen by human eyes and touched by dirty human hands and heard and known by His creation.  He was just as much the Word when He was in Mary’s uterus as He was when He was bleeding on the cross or sitting at the right hand of God. 

Yet Philo may have already stopped hoping by the time Hope was born, settling for a God who needed the universe to avoid a death of loneliness and a logos no greater than the limits of Philo’s own human creativity.

But when John divinely penned, “In the beginning was the Word” and “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” God divinely shattered Philo’s idol of reason and his convenient pseudo-Messiah that fit his culture, emotions, and demands of God. 

With “In the beginning was the Word” God divinely shattered the convenient idols of my age, too: the pseudo-Messiahs that fit nicely into my boxed traditions of who I think God should be.  John used the very Greek word Logos that Philo had twisted, with all the weight of the Jewish history, and bridged the way to the the Word for both Gentiles and Jews.

It was the birth announcement of our Hope.  And with that, 400 years of silence was shattered by the Word, crying in a stable.
Lauren’s best friends are her family–her parents, Steve and Jennifer, and her five siblings. She is passionate about history, good music, and being a feminine woman in a feminist culture. You’ll find her blogging at One Bright Corner with her twin sister, Mikaela, and typing behind-the-scenes on the Christian Heritage blog and newsletter. When she’s not doing that, she loves teaching music, being outside, and ministering with her family!


{photo credit}