thoughts on the past.

have you ever had those moments where a question or statement brings something up from the past? something that was never resolved in your heart and mind…something that continues to bother you six years later?

i know that we all have our ‘stuff’. it’s clear to me that we are all human, which means that we are all flawed, imperfect creatures. but when my memory jets back to this one incident, i just have a hard time letting it go.

i’ve been going through the story of joseph with my 9th grade youth group girls as a sort of lenten devotional, if you will. i wanted to introduce them to it because it’s such a great testimony of someone who has an unshakeable faith. joseph is this guy who goes through trial after trial–including being sold by his brothers–but somehow he does not seem to break and hit rock bottom, like a lot of us feel like doing in those situations.

anyways, i asked a question to the girls the other night after reading chapter 39…in what situation have you been treated unjustly for taking a moral stand or refusing to do something wrong?

and i didnt realize how relevant it is to my life.

because yes. YES, i have been treated unjustly for taking a moral stand.

YES, i lost a lot of friends from it (i didn’t realize this until one of the girls brought it up after i shared and i realized just how many friends i lost).

YES, it still bothers me.

how does one let these things go? what happened to that phrase ‘learn from it and move on’? am i dwelling? all of a sudden i’m dwelling. oops!

another part of this story is about ultimate forgiveness. forgiving these people who have done you wrong, who have gone behind your back and said much that wasnt true, who have escalated the story to make themselves look bigger.

HOW. how does one forgive that? it seems like such an amazing gift-that sort of forgiveness. and yet, after all these years, i can’t seem to stir whatever it is i need to up in my heart.

it’s hard going through life and learning these lessons. it’s hard feeling betrayed and watching your friends turn and walk away. all because i thought i was doing the right thing.

thank God we have a God who shows us grace. and grace upon grace upon grace. i suppose the one thing that I have learned, rather than forgiveness (sometimes its such a hard word), is to have GRACE with everyone you meet. i do believe that has changed the way that i interact with people now. and maybe it’s something that i was still learning then.

whatever it is…the past is in the past. where i am now is because of what happened then, and i still continue to have very high moral standards for myself and those around me. but i will continue to always show them grace.

grace upon grace upon grace.

thank you, Lord, for grace.

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life in the city

its been a while…life has been keeping me quite busy, but lately i’ve had the itch to write again. and thanks to my sweet husband who has taken on the chores for tonight (thank God for him), i am able to actually sit down and make that happen. i cant even remember when my last blog post was…

life in our new city has been super sweet. we love the people here–their quest for adventure, exploration, community. there is always something new right around the next corner, and we recently moved into one of the most booming neighborhoods. we’ve finally made some friends (that was the hardest part of moving away from norfolk and something that i prayed about extensively), and everyone still falls madly in love with burnie as soon as they meet him. my heart still sings for haiti. thats something i’ll post on later.

we’ve been so blessed to fall into community here. but i can’t help but think what pulled me to richmond in the first place…quite some time ago. before my internship, the first family i EVER babysat for (the oldest was 2 and is now a junior in high school) moved to midlothian to be closer to family. its crazy how much they’ve watched me grow up, and how much i’ve watched their kids grow up, too. they hold such a special place in my heart. its such an awesome bond, and im extra grateful that the bond is now forming with matt.

the other night, matt and i went over to their house for a dinner and game night. recently, ive really been into the libraries around here, and have become significantly obsessed with the cookbook section. if you know me, you know im an extreme foodie, so this may come as no surprise.

i’m always interested to try new ones out. see if they’re good and worth investing in. it’s always hit or miss, but with this recipe i tried for our dinner with the schneiders….holy mother of pearl. i probably should have made 3 pans!!!! i’m including the recipe below..something i’ll probably do on here every now and again just because cooking has always been one of my passions. and who doesn’t love a good cheesecake bar?? these come highly recommended. i mean, i could probably put  testimonies in here if i needed to. enjoy  🙂

cheesecake bars

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
from Bars & Squares

CRUST
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. cold butter, cubed

FILLING
2 8oz. pkgs cream cheese, softened (these are only sort of low calorie)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c. blueberry jam
1 c. fresh blueberries

  1. CRUST: In a food processor, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into a prepared 13×9 inch pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until edges are lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. The crust will resemble shortbread.
  2. FILLING: In a bowl (i just used the food processor again), beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and lemon zest and juice, beating until smooth.
  3. Spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle blueberries on top. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly into pan and spread over blueberries. Return to oven and bake just until set, 25 to 30 minutes. I usually test this by making sure the center isnt jiggly like jello. Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars.
  4. Devour.

❤ ❤ ❤ until next time, friends.