Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grateful for...

1) A little slice of country and home on a much anticipated drive with a dear friend.

2) For the reminder that opening the heart to love deeply is worth the pain of loss.

3) For the joy and perspective gained from time spent with dear ones from 3 generations today.


Oh God, 
Though I am allowed to approach thee 
I am not unmindful of my sins, 
I do not deny my guilt, 
I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness
May I with Moses choose affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin. 
Help me to place myself always under thy guiding and guardian care, 
to take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to thee, 
to feel more of the purifying, dignifying, softening influence
of the religion I profess, to have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy
to deem it an honour to be employed by thee 
as an instrument in thy hands, 
ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness, 
and willing to offer all my talents to thy service. 

Thou hast done for me all things well, 
has remembered, distinguished, indulged me. 
All my desires have not been gratified, 
but thy love denied them to me
when fulfillment of my wishes would have 
proved my ruin or injury. 
My trials have been fewer than my sins
and when I have kissed the rod it has fallen from thy hands
Thou hast often wiped away my tears, 
restored peace to my mourning heart, 
chastened me for my profit. 
All thy work for me is perfect, 
and I praise thee. 

(Valley of Vision)

Saturday, October 6, 2012


The following video is well worth watching. Written and produced by friend and fellow Summit Oxford Alumnus, Ben Bailey, it is one of 6 episodes documenting his time in Oxford this past year. This episode in particular well expresses my own experience in Oxford and the gratitude I have for such an incredible opportunity. Watch and be inspired!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Warning and A Challenge

Tonight I stumbled across some pictures taken this past winter and early spring. My first thought was shock at how much thinner I was then. I decided to keep a stash of these pictures handy for when I need inspiration to make myself go exercise or to have one of my frequent RDT's with Pasta.

Honestly, I find it rather hard to look at these and not feel a pretty strong sense of frustration at my current condition and the seemingly impossible task of working back down to the weight I was at the time of these pictures. But as I sat here scrolling through the pictures and thinking, a deep sense of gratefulness and a lingering warning began to emerge as well. 

I believe it is apparent to more than my eyes that something more than sausage biscuits and fettucini alfredo is missing from my face in these pictures. A sort of fierceness or obsession, a consistant weariness, a little fear, and just a general darkness seems to pervade the expression in my eyes from this period. Yes, I was finally thin. But my priorities were very wrong and I was deeply unhappy. And, ironically, it was at this time more than any other that I tended most to indulge in a desperately dissatisfied but ultimately narcissistic outlook. Being thin and relatively fit, pursued as an end, did not answer the hunger it promised to fill. Rather, like any other pursuit which has become an end in itself, its demands increased with little corresponding recompense. 

So much has happened and, by the abundant grace of God, changed since these pictures. But the same selfish tendencies, the same ever-hungering but never satisfied heart still exists and rears its head frequently. Like Israel of old, I so easily "forsake [God], the fountain of living waters and dig for [myself] cracked cisterns which can hold no water at all." So I covet your prayers as I seek to live each day, drinking deeply from this Everlasting Fountain and finding there the fullness that all these hungers seek. 

Wednesday and Thursday: Savoring the little things...


1) Homemade Carmel Popcorn (thank you Mrs. Brigham!!! :)
2) A much needed, long awaited talk with a friend
3) Dancing alone by moonlight


Invigorating afternoon walk! It was so refreshing to have those five miles of fresh air and warm blood pumping through my veins just before this evenings dress rehearsal and chamber coaching.  

As I walked these richly fragrant paths, I read page after page of Cavalier poetry. I have such a tough life, y'all. I actually have to read poetry for homework! Basically I am living my dream...

I don't know how long I spent staring up at this giant old tree. This picture doesn't begin to do it justice in all of its twisty gnarls and massive spreading reach. 

Dinner out with Jaime! We split this incredible hunk of delicousness.  

And then finished it off with these. How I love adventures with this girl!! :) 

And today I'm thankful for soft comfy shirts and ball caps. They just made this afternoon's walk that much better. 

Finally, a few of my favorite lines from today: 

"Give me a look, give me a face
That makes simplicity a grace; 
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free -
Such sweet neglect more taketh me 
Than all the adulteries of art. 
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart."

(Ben Jonson, Still to Be Neat, 1609) 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Monday and Tuesday

1) Random beautiful things around campus and at home

2) Picnic Lunch and study session out by the Lake...

3) Wonderfully refreshing walk through the fields, listening to Isaiah 35-45.