Life's Sweet Journey

Friday, July 3, 2015

July Currently

craving: Adventure!! I have had a thirst for adventure recently like it's nobodies business!! I have had this itch to pack it all in and hit the road. However, since logical life must continue, as my ever logical husband is so quick to remind me, we have come to an agreement on possibly (minuscule in his mind, gigantic in mine haha) looking in to getting a camper to adventure around Florida with on our off weekends! First though, he has asked me for a list of all the places we would go so that we can weigh the length of the list with how much we might use said camper. Oh love his heart! So I am currently working my way through wonderful places to see in the sunshine state. Any other Floridians or Florida lovers that could share some of your favorite off-the-beaten-path spots? 

grilling: Finally got to grill up my favorite summer yummy! Tuna steak burgers (just season and grill tuna to your liking) then top with avocado and egg salad and place between a bun. I know what you're thinking, it doesn't necessarily sound like the best combination. Oh, but it is!! It is!! I don't even like egg salad on it's own, but these things are close to perfection I tell ya. And so light and wonderful for a summer dinner al fresco! Here is the original link to a post on this yumminess from quite long ago (at the very bottom of post) that includes more pictures and details. Also, it is really strange to read stuff from so long ago and hear the kind of mind set I was in at the particular time, the tone just seems so different to me. 

listening: With my thirst for adventure always in the back of my mind, I have had Jake Owen's 'Anywhere With You' on replay through my brain. I have also been jammin' out to some of summer country and listening to the wonderful Beth Moore talk about what it really looks like when we learn to Love Well. 

planning: 1.) My list of the all Florida places! and 2.) The plans for this upcoming weekend. We are headed to the New Smyrna Beach for the weekend to watch the fireworks on the beach. I have all kinds of plans for adventure-seeking. I found this great new preserve and am hoping I can get Babe to go hiking one morning before with hit the sun and sand for some Cornhole and Jam Bucket! 

decorating: The guest bedroom. Our guest bedroom has been a place of transition for a while. First it was my brother-in-laws room and since then it has become my nieces room for when she sleeps over. Yesterday I found the cutest quilt on sale at Steinmart and have decided to make that a new project. Finger's crossed!! 

What's currently transpiring in your world? 

Linking up with// Anne and Jenna

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Words for Wednesday: A Life Intercepted

While Charles Martin's newest book, A Life Intercepted, was not one of my top reads of his, everything he writes is wonderful. I think if I were more a sport lover then I would have ranked it right up there with all the rest of his books. I would definitely recommend reading it, but if it were me I would prefer to start with one of his others, if I had never read his books. Unwritten and Where the River Ends need to be added to your book list. And if you haven't read anything by him at all, you best get in the car now and go to the bookstore! 

Either way, every time I finish one of his books I walk away with enough quotes to fill at least 5 pages of my quote books. A Life Intercepted was no different. Here are a few of them (all quotes from Charles Martin's A Life Intercepted)... 

"He felt the heaviness, but didn't know how to help her carry it. And she had always been careful not to let him."

"When we're down and the momentum is stacked against us, those are the moments when we find out what we're made of." 

Taken out of context... "People can't stop our soul from cracking in half, but sometimes they come along to help suture it shut." 
While I realize that most of these seem heavy, that is one of the things I love about Charles Martin's writing. His books don't shy away from the heavy. In fact, they hit it square in the face. But his writing also shines light on the redemption of a human soul. It shines light on what it looks like when, against all odds, people come together and work with each other to be supportive and to shine hope in desperate situations. He doesn't romanticize it or dress it up pretty and tie the end off with a pretty bow and a happily ever after. It always sits there on the fringes of hope and grace as the two meet the reality of human pain. It leaves you hopeful for all that will come once you close the pages, the sad and broken moments that make the good ones seem brighter.  

"I had never been in love and wouldn't know what to do with it when I found it, but when she looked at me, my heart melted, slid out of my chest, and landed in her hands." 

"Hatred is a commodity we can't afford... It was too expensive then and it's too expensive now." 
Sadly, this one continues to ring true all the time. Hatred, with its harsh lines and jagged edges, the kind that rip things to shreds, costs way too much. It costs us pain and misery and it holds us captive. Hatred does nothing but hurt. It hurts those around us and it hurts us. It can not bear anything good. When we lay hate down and pick up love and understanding, the kind that says, "I may not agree with you but that doesn't matter; we are different people, with different lives, who can care for one another without seeing eye-to-eye," we give ourselves a gift. And it is a gift with ripple effects. The kind of gift that only love can bring; peace. Because that's what love, real love, does. It calms our soul and frees us. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Words for Wednesday: To Adventure!!

Ok folks, I currently have a severe case of wanderlust. At least I think it's wanderlust. Though with the way my head has been all over the place recently I also think it may be a desire to live life differently; less conventionally and more "for the world, not of the world". Seriously people, I have been having dreams of composting toilets and have been spending endless evenings scrolling through these guys videos on the like. I am literally watching videos about poo. My desire to buy a camper and just hit the road had already begun before I found the Wynn's site, but after a friend told me about their blog my thirst for adventure has skyrocketed. Babe and me and our camper, just exploring the wild blue yonder, oh my goodness!! A girl can dream, right?! And then her very logical husband can point out all the ways that it's just not feasible. But he often underestimates the power of my persuasion (I most certainly do not call it nagging)! So while I am off to find more ways to make this dream happen (and I mean before we're 60), I figured I would share some of my favorite adventure quotes. And then probably end it with one about growing where you're planted, because I am also trying really hard to find the adventure right outside my front door, because being here growing in community with the people we love, well, that's pretty darn great too!! Though how cool would it be if all those people could come visit us all over the map?! 

If you could pick one place to go to right now, no strings/costs attached, where would it be?! 

Friday, June 12, 2015

5 on Friday: I'm a Bee-liver!

Happy Friday All!
It's been a crazy few weeks. After being in Costa Rica last week, I have been trying to get settled back in here at home. My brain has been a little fuzzy and I am hoping this weekend will reorient it to it's normal schedule. I have been trying to take in the little things since being home, so I figured I would share some garden updates and a few random happies from the past few weeks.

1.) Harvest Time!!

Harvest time came!! It was so exciting! So far the only thing we have really grown successfully is cucumber. We have been eating A LOT of cucumber! Our carrots have stayed little (Carrot Man was our first pull, isn't he cute?). We left most of the others in the ground and are hoping they will grow, but when we checked another just this week it was still small but also a little rotted through. Our tomatoes are starting to really come in. They have been green for a while and are waiting for them to redden. Our watermelon, sadly, has yet to grow. The vines are taking over everything, but no fruit. Does anyone have any tips on watermelon and tomatoes?

2.) Harvest time yumminess!
I really wanted to use our harvest, so I made this yummy (and very easy) lunch! I love making different couscous recipes. They are super easy and a yummy, light option. Clean-up is super easy too! I use one pot. I choose my veggies and then sauté them in coconut oil and a little butter. I season the veggies with garlic salt and balsamic. I usually put the vegetables in twice so that half are more cooked and half are only slightly cooked. Once the veggies are cooked to my liking I add in the water and seasoning pouch and then the couscous. You remove it from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes and viola! A yummy, summer couscous treat! This one included our cucumbers, one little baby carrot from the garden (plus store carrots), onion and chickpeas. The chickpeas need to go in last, just one or two minutes before you pour in the water. Once some of the chickpeas start to pop pour the water in and make the couscous as directed on the box (I used Parmesan couscous for this particular salad). 

3.) Meet Fred, now known as Freddie!!
This is Freddie, who used to go by Fred. I always thought he was a boy bee, but thanks to new bee facts I have learned (see below) I know he is really a she and therefore she has been renamed Freddie. Freddie has been working hard to try to pollinate our little green space, but she needs some friends! She has been working so hard that she wore herself out and even let me hold her for a while.

4.) Bees Galore!!
So two weekends ago I had a dream come true!! I got to be a beekeeper for the day! It was a wonderful experience. Thanks to my sweet mama, who got the experience at her Atlantic Center for the Arts auction benefit, we were able to don our bee apparel and get buzzing. I didn't want to wear the bee suit, I wanted to be up close and personal. And while I wore it for a minute to get the picture it soon came off and it was just me and the bees. I even had one climb up my leg from ankle to thigh and it was exhilarating! There wasn't much honey, but some did come out of one of the combs before the bees capped it over. It was so warm and pure and delicious!! I can't wait to explore more about beekeeping and hopefully someday have my own hive in our backyard. Babe was never a huge fan of this plan, but after our day learning more about the bees (like the fact the majority of the ones you see are girls) he has jumped on board a little more. 

5.) Totally Unrelated!

I recently discovered this book series. Sometimes the best book advice comes from a 10 year old. The School for Good and Evil is a great read! There's adventure, danger and intrigue. In the battle between good and evil things aren't always what they seem. There are currently 2 books in the trilogy, but with the newest book coming out in just 39 days it is the perfect time to pick it up. It is a wonderful summer read! I am a firm believer in the fact that we are never too old to read books meant for children (thank you Harry Potter!) and this series is one that only makes that belief stronger!  

Hoping your weekend is fully of all the bee-a-u-tiful things!! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Words for Wednesday: Living Water

There I was, on the side of a dirt road, surrounded by nothing but green; green lush land and dirty brown water. The water was pumping through a hose, into a huge water tank. It stunk, it had thick brown film floating on top and it was going to help us drill, drill a well to bring clean water to families in Costa Rica. And I thought, "how funny, that such dirty water was ultimately going to lead to clean water." Clean water, the kind that would keep sickness at bay and provide a healthier standard of living. And then I realized how fitting it was. 

Because that is how God works in us. 
He uses the brown, the dirty, the gunk-filled "stuff" that takes up our hearts and clouds our minds. He uses it to create something new. The drill works by pushing the dirty water through metal pipes to break up the dirt below. The dirt is then pushed out of the hole by the force of the water and emptied into pits. Pits that we shovel the dirt out of so that it doesn't clog the pipes up and end up back in the hole it just got removed from. 


God works in us the same way. 
He uses the muck and the sin
 and He washes it clean. 

Like the dirt, we often fight against the pressure, fight to keep control for ourselves, fight to hold onto the things that brought us a false sense of comfort. But He keeps working, slow and steady, always there. He works right through the "rocks" and the "tough earth" and He pushes it out. And He gives us the freedom to shovel it away. He asks us to be a part of the process, to be in relationship with Him and help dig ourselves out of the messes we make. He put the "shovel" there for us, when He sent His son. He gave us the ultimate help. And He keeps working in us. 
He works in us when we forget to pick up the shovel, when we our arms are tired and we feel like giving up and the dirt slips past and back down the hole, letting sin back in. He keeps working and drilling and cleaning, until finally we hit "pay dirt" and the fresh water can flow freely. And that's when all the work spills over and it's not just for us anymore, it's not just in us, but it's all around us. It's all around us, flowing out clean and fresh so that others can rejoice and share in it too. 
God's love is like that in us. It's like muddy Costa Rican water that, when worked through a drill, comes out clean and pure and life sustaining! And it's a glorious thing! 

The work being done through Agua Viva Serves is wonderful and life giving, not just for those in Costa Rica, but for those that get the opportunity to share in the work that is being done. If you would like to know more about the work they do or want put a team together to go you can find more about them at Agua Viva Serves. You can donate and help support their mission here