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friday five

1 :: david & I are really kind of on a roll with the whole cooking thing. in related news, the red lobster biscuit mix that sams sells does indeed taste almost exactly like red lobster biscuits. (thanks mom.)

2 :: we talk a lot about having racially diverse & inclusive schools & churches. maybe this is why those dreams are slow to come about. I don’t think we can ever expect to have diverse schools & churches when, in many areas of the country, we simply don’t have diverse neighborhoods. where we live matters.

3 :: school is flying by. two weeks of spanish testing (doing individual interviews with every child takes… awhile), then a week of state testing, then one more week then done!

4 :: this article by donald miller rings so true: “great kids have parents who seem to do this well.”

5 :: so many friends are moving close by. & I am very, very excited by this.

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dear david

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even though you’re tall & bearded & a black coffee drinker & good at cross fit & into wrestling/cigars/manly stuff, you are very patient with things like pinky promises & secret handshakes. you also at least act like you actually care about my favorite stuffed animal, mr. purple man. I appreciate these things about you.

sincerely,

ruth ann

every little thing

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I’m a worried mess a lot of days. & I didn’t even realize it until my sophomore year of college. then I slowly discovered that not everyone walks around thinking about what could go wrong, planning things months ahead, & trying to solve problems that haven’t even materialized yet. I worry in a way that goes beyond the “did I forget to turn the oven off?” variety. I worry in a way that’s sinful. the kind of worry that Jesus said is futile. & when I let my mind run wild, it cripples me, shuts down my joy, makes me second guess everything.

but when I’m intentionally fighting it, it gets better. I experience little victories. I go almost a whole day without worrying about whatever my current issue is. I get worried about something, forget what it is that I’m concerned about & then instead of worrying about forgetting an important thing that I was worried about, I consider it a blessing &  l e t  i t  g o. but sometimes just when I think I’m doing a fabulous job of defeating it, anxiety creeps back in, worse than it did the first time. I read about Jesus giving us peace… about the freedom found in him. but many days I do not feel easy & light. & that is sometimes very hard to reconcile.

I’m often afraid to tell my friends & family what’s really in my head because I’m scared it makes me sound crazy. but really sin is probably making us all crazy in one way or another. so I’m learning to let others in to my crazy, even when it requires embarrassing levels of vulnerability. when I let the people who love me inside the parts of my mind that are troubled, the parts that believe lies… they tell me the truth. & the truth sets you free.

I have been blessed by so many truth-tellers. especially lately. the truth my friends & family speak has set me free so many times; they show me Jesus so many days. people who have prayed with me, advised me, listened to me.  people who have gently spoken to me, over & over: “hey. I love you. don’t worry. it will be ok.”

when I hear those words from someone with skin on, it’s easier to hear them from up above.

“hey. I love you. don’t worry–it’s poison, it kills you, it shows you don’t trust me. I love you. don’t worry. it will be ok.”

that is truth– soul-freeing, heart-healing, eyes-lifting truth. here’s to believing. & being free.

p.s. this picture has nothing to do with this post
except that the flowers my babies give me in the bus line
are beautiful & happy & worry-free.
especially the yellow ones.

friday five

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1 :: the other week david & I both forgot our first dating anniversary. & then the next day he surprised me with sunflowers & a julep date. it was fun. & in other date news, we watched Argo a couple of weeks ago. so good, definitely understand the ‘best picture’ thing. I even mostly stayed awake til the end, that’s how good it was.

2 :: being gay at liberty university… interesting, moving article from the atlantic. (speaking of good ol liberty, I also really love this book.)

3 :: we are about to have our very first yard sale. whoo hoo! if anyone would like to donate items or buy items or just come hang out in the front yard… may 4th is d-day.

4 :: I’m pretty much fascinated by the connection between character strength & academic success. I really want to read the new paul tough book. in the meantime, his article is interesting: what if the secret to success is failure?

5 :: I’ve already made my obsession with shauna niequest pretty clear. & then she writes this lovely article on envy & the Internet. a must read.

bread & wine & quinoa

breakfast (quinoa) for dinner with @dmossthered.

right now a lot of things are kind of overwhelming to me. & cooking is one of them. I love to cook. but when you have school til 3:30 and a PTA meeting at 5:45… or school til 3:30 and tutoring at 5:30… getting to the grocery store & making dinner seems kind of impossible. if anything, it can only happen after all of the other things… which means you don’t eat til 8pm. sometimes I just eat out. but mostly I eat things like hummus, pita, apples, granola bars, oranges, spinach leaves. healthy & somewhat filling but all cold & kind of soul-less.

several weeks ago I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of shauna niequest‘s new book, bread & wine. even in the midst of teacher life, I devoured it. I’ve loved all her books, but I might love this one best. all of the stories connected so beautifully to the theme of the table without feeling forced. & the book was full of recipes… fancy sounding things like mango chicken curry & goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates, but also very do-able things. simple, homemade salad dressing. goat cheese biscuits. breakfast quinoa. & on one kinda icky night when I was definitely too tired & overwhelmed for a dinner party, david & I made this breakfast quinoa. quinoa, onions, chicken apple sausage, & eggs (scrambled for me, fried for him). it was warm & satisfying & exactly what we needed. & this morning, several weeks later, I made it again. & it was just right the second time as well.

I’m thankful for books that are comforting & inspiring all at once. & for recipes that are flavorful & delicious but attainable even on nights when you have three & a half commitments. I want to have dinner parties again soon. but for now, breakfast for dinner will do just fine.

friday five

1 :: this past week I was oh so worried about us finding a house. & i started thinking maybe i was silly for being so insistent on staying in this neighborhood. then i found four little boys chasing a bird with a sheet of plywood & (after a serious talking to) the five of us ended up having a snack together on the porch with my accross the street neighbor. little drops of water, confirmation that i’m where i’m supposed to be. so excited about all the friends that are moving here soon.

2 :: love this article: 18 reasons doctors & lawyers are homeschooling their kids. it’s not just conservative denim jumper wearing religious people anymore. (although I will always have a soft spot in my heart for conservative denim jumper wearing religious people.)

3 :: monday was one of those days that helps you understand why people keep teaching even when it’s hard. I was introducing our last unit (clothing vocabulary) & my fifth graders were so engaged… they’re doing a fabulous job of speaking in complete sentences. makes me so happy!

4 :: shauna niequist asks, is it crazy to move for friendship? (hint: maybe not.)

5 :: speaking of shauna niequist, I was able to read bread & wine a little early & david & I made a recipe from it this past week… so be on the lookout for a little review.

color me rad

we had the most fun running the color me rad 5k in fondren! hannah & I were so proud of kate & her friends… what a cool 5k as your first race! it was really fun to see friends from college & work all over the place… even a few students. this was a colorful way to spend an otherwise dreary saturday morning… so thankful the rain held off. yay for fun stuff going on (almost) literally in your own backyard.

p.s. all pictures courtesy of my dad who spent his saturday morning
dabbling in professional race photography.
you’re the best!