30 November 2011

Photo of the Week: Pups & Poultry

One of those title items gets eaten -- guess which one?

SICK! We don't eat puppies. Only over-sized fowl.

This was my Thanksgiving -- my Grandad and his wonderful wife did everything, so all we had to do was eat and help clean up. Sweet deal, huh? Plus I got to play with their pups, Princess and Sophie, all day long. Livin' the life, I tell you.

How was your Thanksgiving?

29 November 2011

Learning: Teachability II

Catch up on Teachability I, and then we can dive in.

I took the obvious first step and googled "teachability". What? You would do the same thing!

So definitions, then?
The Free Dictionary says teachability is the quality of being "able and willing to learn."
Merriam-Webster calls it the "ability to learn by instruction."
Dictionary.com (ah, that old standard) claims "capable of being instructed, as a person; docile."

As you can see, each is similar to the others, though "docile" is kind of interesting. But after the obligatory meanings of the word, that's when results start to get interesting. Most are related to faith -- things like the "character of teachability" or "maintain an attitude of teachability" or having a "teachable spirit". They are sermon series, bible studies and other resources.

You mean I'm not the only one? What a relief.

It seems that not only is teachability a little difficult to truly understand (those definitions say things, but what do they mean?), there are quite a few people in the world who struggle with it.

For me, the definition is like this so far: teachability is being able to recognize that you are being taught, consider the instruction and then appropriately incorporate that wisdom into your lifestyle. Being taught is a relationship and a process, not just someone telling you to do things.

Good! I'm feeling more positively about this already. I know I'm drawing this out, but I think it demands a lot of consideration, so I hope you'll take it as seriously as I am. Any breakthroughs on your end?

23 November 2011

Photo of the Week: Wanderlust

I was feeling restless last week, so I drove out to the lake and took some pictures. It was perfect out there.

21 November 2011

Learning: Why?


How are you? Doing well? I hope you are.
Perhaps understandably, my last post was a little difficult to write and publish. Part of my stubbornness manifests itself in the form of wanting to seem like I've got it all together. I just want people to see that I can handle the things given to me, and do the tasks assigned to me with finesse.

So this post is even harder. The past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about dating and relationships, and having conversations with a lot of people about those things. After having broken up with my boyfriend of five years in July, I casually dated a new guy. And then that kind of stopped, for various reasons: our personal goals and convictions are different, distance, and some other things I probably don't know about. And while I can reason that this is best, and it is what I actually want, I can't help but feel really deflated.

I've been thinking about that emotion, and telling people "Yeah, we're not gonna date, and that's probably best, but for some reason I'm really bummed." Most everyone just says, "Aw, that's tough. Sorry, " and gives that pity look -- you know the one.

So what? Why am I -- someone who is strong, smart, happy, and blessed -- feeling so helpless?
I think it comes down to how I relate to men.

I look to the men in my life to affirm, love, appreciate, lead, discipline, encourage and support me. Look at those things: they aren't bad, right? All positive elements of a good relationship. Except that the only place that I look for that is in men. Usually one.

I have a superb group of female friends and leaders, a supportive church family and mother, but for whatever reason, their attempts to fill those roles for me just seem to fall flat. Why?

Much to my dismay, I don't have the answer to that question. But I'm thinking about it, and praying about it. If you have any ideas, I'd be happy to hear them. It's gettin' real! Until next time, friends.

Scrumptious: Spicy

After last weeks potato themed meal-of-the-week, I only feel a little guilty about sharing potatoes with you again. This was kind of a cheater dinner anyway: I had a gigantic burrito for lunch, so I just ate this for dinner!

Potatoes and a red onion sliced into long strips and then sautéed them in some olive oil until the potatoes were tender. A little salt and pepper, and then after they got onto my plate they seemed a little lonely, so I dashed some Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce on them. Confused? Am I actually a 16 year old boy? Hmmm...

I promise, most of the time I eat healthier than this. 
Except for that semester when I ate chili fries for a week straight...

15 November 2011

Scrumptious: Siesta!

Yes, I know, "siesta" means nap, or sleep. But when you are sleepy, and you need to eat, something's gotta give. But this was delicious!

But how about a recipe? It's nice and quick, but hits the spot. 

Siesta Baked Potatoes
2 small potatoes (I used russet, you could use one large, as well.)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup salsa verde (I used La Victoria Thick 'n Chunky)
Several stalks of fresh cilantro
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Start by washing your potatoes well, since eating the skins is good for you, but eating dirt is not. Once you've done that, stab each a few times with a fork, and place them in the microwave for 4 minutes. They'll steam and hiss, but that's fine. 

Once they're done in the microwave, pull out a baking sheet (or pizza pan) and set your potatoes on it. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle a bit of sea salt as well. Place them in the oven for 15 minutes. 

When the 15 minutes is up, carefully remove the baking sheet and potatoes from the oven, and place your potatoes on a plate. When they are cool enough to touch, slice them in half, and mash them up a bit. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over them, then spoon on your salsa and shredded cheese and tear up the cilantro to sprinkle it on top. 

There you have it! Delicious Siesta Baked Potatoes -- lazy college-girl food with a (very slightly) mexican flair. Plus, it's super cheap.

Tell me if you try it!

08 November 2011

Learning: Teachability I

As my time as a college student draws to a close, I'm in the process of taking that next step -- getting a job. Part of the process to get the job I'm hoping and praying for (which is in ministry), is an interview in which some tough questions were asked about my spiritual life and my relationships. 

One thing that came up (and has been mentioned to me in different capacities in the past) was "teachability". 
 -- Is it telling that it's been brought up several times?

Maybe it's cultural, maybe it's because I'm the oldest child, maybe it's because my parents raised me to be independent -- who knows. In any case, I'm pretty stubborn. Which means that too often, I don't take advice and instruction and actually listen to it. 

I'll admit that this is sort of an exploratory post, so lets dive in, shall we?

Why wouldn't I listen to (and act on) perfectly good advice or instruction from people that I trust and have considered my situation prayerfully and lovingly? Maybe you've guessed it: there is no good reason

I'll be honest, it makes me feel pretty awful when I think about it this way. Really, it shouldn't be a shock to me, because like I said, it's been mentioned to me before. But really considering the idea that I'm doing a series of not-so-good things: disrespecting my friends and mentors, disobeying God, making avoidable mistakes, indulging my stubbornness, learning things the hard way, limiting my ministry; that list makes me feel like an idiot.

So I'm here to figure it out and get with the program. I'll end it here for this post, now that we're at ground-zero-of-stupid. 

Until next time, do you struggle with teachability? Do you know what teachability is?

04 November 2011


Have you ever noticed that once in a while, life is so poetic it's almost painful to experience it?

There are so many moments in writing and in film that are so perfectly put together. It's fiction, right? Fantasy? So these things are allowable. You know how it is, don't you?

The band of bedraggled and nearly beaten warriors crests a hill as the sun rises, and sees their destination just ahead.
The couple who has crossed paths time and time again but never met suddenly crash into each other while looking stunning, and they instantly realize their soul mates.

It's a nice idea, sure, I'll give you that. But it's not real.

Or at least it isn't most of the time.
Because once in a while, as you sit at your cozy desk, with the warm light of the lamp across your page, someone will tell you something you were hoping you wouldn't have to hear. It will start to rain.
And it's just a little too cinematic to seem fair.

02 November 2011


One of the reasons that I started blogging originally was to have a creative outlet. Or maybe that's not quite accurate. More clearly, I needed somewhere to pour out my heart -- to process the things swirling around inside my head that maybe I didn't want an immediate response to, like I would get from confiding in a friend.

That's still true. I still need it. But in some ways, I've forgotten that, how therapeutic it is to just write my heart. So here I am. To write, and explain, and understand and breathe.

I hope I'll be more consistent -- it's so easy these days for things to just get away from you, you know? I can check my email, facebook and twitter all from my phone, not to mention texting, and phone calls and browsing the internet. I'm so connected, but it is far, far too easy for things -- for people -- to slip through the cracks.

I've let that happen lately. Sometimes it's been favors or jobs that other's have asked me to do. Sometimes it's been appointments, or assignments, or just my own intention to do something with or for someone. And as much as it hurts me to realize that I've essentially forgotten someone, I can't imagine how rude it must seem to them. Like I don't care, or they don't matter -- when really, that's not true at all.

So I'm working on that. I'm trying to be more focused, organized and on track with the people I really care about. And the people I don't. Forgive me?

Cool. Let's talk again, soon, huh?