it is finished.

so i have been thinking a lot about Jesus' two last sayings on the cross.

"it is finished" was his proclamation that he completed God's purpose for him at that time. he was on the cross. we often feel like we are doing what God wants us to do, and we end up in really bleak conditions. there was Jesus, nailed to a cross after having been beat and mocked for days. the sun wouldn't even shine. this is how my work is completed? this is the end result? it can seem so dark when we've done all that we can and the result of our work is the opposite of what we thought we were trying to do.

then he says the part we forget about: "now into your hands i commit my spirit"... i'm trusting you that this dark day and this painful death is not the end of God's plan! imagine those who loved Jesus, imagine his mother thinking "this is the work you were supposed to do, and it ends like this?" but we forget that even though God works through us, he doesn't not leave it up to us to complete; we can't! we can't complete it on our own. we have to have faith, even when the results of our labor seem fruitless, that God did raise Jesus from the ultimate dead end.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:6-8

This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. - Acts 2:23-24


passion week.

this is a somber week for me. last year, i went to israel with a group of students from ouachita on a biblical studies/life of christ tour. (see pictures!) it was really eye opening; i came face to face with the person Jesus.. who sweat, walked until his feet hurt, laid stone upon stone for roads and buildings in sepphoris, who wept--really wept--at the state of the people for whom he came to lay down his life. it was mind boggling, and there are times during the christian calendar that hit me hard than others.

easter is apparently going to be one of those.

the thing that is so crazy is that we are just as bad as the israelites. we praised him with them on palm sunday, but when it starts looking bleak we back away. we want him to do things our way. one of the images often used at this time is of him riding in on a mule. a lot of people are mistaken: this is not an act of humility. when kings rode mules into cities, it was because they were coming in peace. the israelite claimed they wanted peace (in the form of the ending of the roman occupation), but they wanted it on their own terms. Jesus came to brig peace, but not peace by way of violence... that was what israel wanted to see. a political messiah.

we want that too.. we think that Jesus is pro-life, pro- or anti-war, pro-whatever-we-support. he is not. he came to save us. yes, he cares about the things we care about as well, but his purpose is not making america christian-ruled. his purpose is saving us from sin--saving us from ourselves.

"Jesus is alright!", i hear, but often we mean something more like "Jesus is alright as long as he's doing what i wanted him to do". we forget that he is awesome and his soveriegnty has nothing to do with our prosperity or our success. the christians of the world are jobless, sick, hungry, and dying. but Jesus is no less powerful... and our sickness and poverty has nothing to do with how much he loves us.

he died.


angry mornings.

i really hate traffic.

i don't mind coming to work, but traffic makes me hate leaving the house in the morning. actually, it might not even be the volume of the traffic itself... it's the way people act in traffic that is so discouraging. i just can't understand. why is where you're going and your time so much more important than my destination and time? so much more important, in fact, that you are willing to slow me and everyone else down to get into a lane illegally, or worse, jeopardize my safety or my life?

well, i cried all the way to work this morning. i actually PRAY my way through the morning commute because i get so angry. and i refuse to yell or give people the finger, so i have a lot of pent up anger. i feel like i try to be so courteous, and NO ONE is courteous in return. and i won't even tell them about themselves. i wish i could be at peace with that.

part of the reason i get so stressed out is because it is very sad to me how little people care about the world around them. and by world, i mean the humans around them. which way are we headed when we couldn't give a damn about our fellow man? what kind of security do we find in the anonymity of a vehicle in traffic, that we are willing to abandon proper and considerate behavior?

and what's with all the baby boomer mini vans that drive THE WORST?! you have KIDS in the car!!!

and what a day for a terrible mood. it's pretty out, and i'm alive and breathing; and that idiot who cut me off didn't cause an accident and life goes on.

anyway i'm really emotional today for some reason. i'm trying to remember that my joy doesn't come in the way people treat me, or in a smooth commute, or even in things going my way. my joy is much more steady than that.

tomorrow just needs to get here so that i can see john and life can be happy again. :)



first of all, i would like to say... thank God there is a sephora in town! i have already been there 3 times, and it just opened march 20. i am a "beauty insider", just because it was free, and they gave me a birthday gift (since they weren't open on my birthday). i'm not sure that's allowed, but i am not complaining.

now, to the interesting stuff. i do not want a "foodie" blog, but i am really, really interested in finding yummy (and easy) recipes (for dummies) for my future life as a homemaker. tonight, i made my comfort food: pan fried lemon pepper chicken. i seriously followed the directions on the lemon pepper seasoning bottle. i added something new: cilantro lime rice... delish. i got this recipe from my newest blog addiction (closet cooking). a little corn made the meal, and now i would like to share my creation with you. this meal just came together; i wanted to make the rice and needed something to go with it. i bought boneless skinless chicken breast yesterday and cut them in half. this is what became of the first chicken breast.

cooking for one or two
lemon pepper chicken
with corn and cilantro lime rice

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into halves
1 can whole kernel corn
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic (we like garlic)
1/2 small onion
cilantro.. (about 3 tablespoons.. eye it!)
1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
3 tbsp. flour
salt and pepper to taste

BEFORE you cook!
dice your garlic, onions and cilantro.
zest the lime and set aside the shavings. cut the lime in half.
mix about flour with lemon pepper seasoning on a plate.
prepare a small bowl about half full of water.
open the can of corn and drain it.

1. in a saucepan, heat oil at medium high heat. sauté onions for a few minutes.. just don't burn them!
2. add garlic and sauté until you can smell them. this won't take more than a minute or two.
3. add rice directly to oil and toast the grains. yum! it should smell good by now.
4. add water and turn the heat to high. once it boils, reduce heat to low. cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes. be careful to watch the time, or it will burn! (this may take some practice.)
5. meanwhile, dip one half chicken breast in the water bowl, then coat with flour mixture. repeat.
6. melt butter over medium low heat in a small or medium sized skillet. it may seem like a lot.. just trust me.
7. turn up the heat on the skillet to medium high, and cook the chicken until the juices run clear, about 4 or 5 minutes on each side. the chicken will have a golden hue. remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
8. check on the time for your rice!
9. add corn to the skillet. season with a pinch of pepper and let it heat up.
10. your rice ought to be done by now. remove it from the heat. use a fork to fluff it. add lime zest, cilantro (as much or as little as you'd like), and the juice from both halves of the lime. you may want to add salt as well.
11. remove corn from the stove and serve your meal!

i ate half the chicken and about a third of both the corn and the rice, and stored th same amount in a container for lunch tomorrow. the other third of rice and corn, i mixed and stored for another quick lunch or side dish for tomorrow's dinner!


december nineteenth.

i love sergeant watson. that's right, i said it. i love him so much it brings tears to my eyes.

yesterday he proposed. this is the abridged version.

first, you should know that i was not expecting a ring. we decided that it was not a necessary expense. so the day he asked, i began to plan. he took me ring shopping the day after he asked me to marry him and i was happy, because it was nice to think i would get to show off an engagement ring. i figured he would just give it to me one day... i was really wrong.

he got me all mad at him by lying to me friday night about not being able to give me the ring as planned. i thought i was committing my life to the same irresponsible sarge i had started dating two years ago... it was scary. i even asked his friend if he really had no ring, and said friend also lied. he was insistent on coming to little rock saturday anyway, and surprised me with flowers and a picnic... and the ring! it was simply the sweetest thing he has EVER done and march 21st will be my second favorite date forever. until december 19th gets here.

that really was short. if you want the whole story.. call me up! i can tell it again and again.. and i am willing to bet that not one of you will believe it all came from THE real big country.



i have a lot on my mind. but it's late, so i just want to say this:

turns out, today was a really good birthday.

spc j surprised me by coming up with some friends to take me to p.f. chang's and dancing. it was fantabulous. it wasn't really a dinner for me actually, but the fact that he tagged along to come see me was really sweet.

life's good.


seventy five percent of the word "diet" is "die".

i hate dieting.

it works for EVERYONE but me. that's probably because i'm not dedicated, by any means. not even close. a girl i work with is on jenny... she's lost 20 pounds. i'm not as hard core as she is. one of my co-workers is pregnant... she eats all the time. that's not motivation. another co-worker ordered an entire pizza and side of hot wings... for herself. i won't even go there. what am i supposed to do?

p.s. this wedding is slowly taking over my life.

p.p.s. i love the jeffersons. seriously. it has to be one of the best sitcoms ever. sherman hemsley, who is 71 years old, is the funiest man EVER. you should take some time out to watch the jeffersons next time you see a rerun showing. you will not be disappointed. i feel almost as strongly about sanford and son.

2 Cor. 12:9-10
...My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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