New band Ty just introduced me to. I’m addicted.
New band Ty just introduced me to. I’m addicted.
I am always completely floored when people tell me they don’t read books. I own over 400 books and have read at least that many in my lifetime. Probably double that. I can’t comprehend living in a world where books are not read, and it makes me sad. There is a whole realm of the imagination that you are missing if you don’t read books. I can escape for hours to a different world, to Narnia, or Middle Earth, or Hogwarts, or Camazotz, or 1819, or 300 BC, or … I can be somewhere else, someone else, part of a different story.
A movie can introduce you to this; show you, but never really take you. You might touch it with your finger, but you will never set down your feet. I love movies, I do. I am a movie junkie. I love when books are made into movies, I get so excited that I am about to see places and people with whom I am so very familiar, but more often than not, I end up disappointed.
Fat and gross like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood. But in the movie, he looked like this…
I imagined Ginny as much more of a person than she was portrayed in the Harry Potter movies, I imagined Frodo as much less of a whimpering Hobbit than he was in the movies. That portion of the book where Merry and Pippin live with the Ents is one of the most beautiful sections of a book that I have ever read. Treebeard sang to the hobbits and took them to his home which was beautiful and had a magic waterfall and he made them magic drinks and it was serene and woodland-ish and beautiful. And Treebeard sang to them some more. I was there. Engulfed by the beauty and completely believing that trees could talk and walk around. It didn’t seem strange at all. The Two Tower movie mostly skipped over the Ent world. This was a huge disappointment to me.
I will read the Narnia books over and over again until the day I die. I love the movies, but those books capture my heart. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a hilarious book and way better than either movie that has been made. Peter Pan astounded me. After seeing so many different versions of the movie, I thought I knew him. But the book is magnificent and showed me so many things I had missed in the Neverland of TV. Same with The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, The Three Musketeers, all of Anne of Green Gables… the list could go on and on.
Madeline L’Engle said:
“If a reader cannot create a book along with the writer, the book will never come to life. Creative involvement; that’s the basic difference between reading a book and watching TV. In watching TV we are passive; sponges; we do nothing. In reading we must become creators…imagining the setting of the story, visualizing the characters, seeing facial expressions, hearing the inflection of voice. The author and the reader “know” each other; they meet on the bridge of words.”
I guess this is just something I have been thinking about lately. Discussing with people. How odd it is when you read a book and picture something one way but the producers of the movie portray it completely differently. Does it disappoint you? Make you go back and read the book over again to see if you somehow imagined it wrong? Or does the movie change your mental picture of that place or person? Do you prefer the book or the movie? But at the end of the day, my biggest question to you is this:
Do. You. Read?
This week Donald Miller said “My main advice to young writers: Memorize poetry. As much as you can. It teaches an economy of words”. So I burrowed through all my delicious old books and dug up two regal books of poetry. It does indeed teach an economy of words. There are so many words that I don’t even understand. Things we don’t use in everyday English anymore. But they are beautiful. Ballads and sonnets…love stories and tragedies. People’s hearts poured out onto page.
Tis fiction’s to dilute
Frequently the woods are pink
Frequently are brown
concisest, repudiates, epaulette, marauding, vestments, rudiment, bernardine, and so on… beautiful, enshrined in mystery and oozing with art. Poems do a lot more than teach an economy of words. But if DM says to memorize some…i guess I’m on my way.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts to-night, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It’s time for mother’s day. Well mother’s month…my mom’s birthday is next week so it’s always; what do we get for mother’s day, and then what do we get for her birthday, and the answer is always garden stuff, because its spring, and because she spends most of her time elbow deep in mulch and plants. Not that I’m complaining, our yard is an agricultural masterpiece. If there’s anyone with a green thumb its my mother.
So, for gifts this mother’s day I have purchased a really cool teepee trellis thing-a-ma-jig…and some garden gloves. This may sound boring to some people, but my mother will be thrilled.
For the rest of us, we’re more concerned about Mother’s Day brunch. This means Gina makes lots of good food and everyone else eats it. And hopefully Peter shows up with fresh squeezed oj to make mimosas!
Yesterday was market day so of course I bought the bounty of my supplies there. Amazing thick cut bacon and fresh, crusty Italian bread. I decided to make overnight baked french toast, bacon, fruit, and an assortment of Italian pastries my brother just brought back with him from Boston. (my favorite!)
So the overnight french toast…is amazing. It is my Aunt Bea’s recipe and last time I was in Boston visiting I begged her for it and copied it down on a scrap of paper that I now treasure. It is NOT healthy by any means, and I even cut down on the butter and sugar in my version, but it is SO so so so SOOO good!
Melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan until it’s all nice and gooey.
This gooey deliciousness goes on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. It will get all caramelly and be an ooey-gooey topping for the french toast.
Slice a nice crusty loaf of bread.
Put a layer of slices on top of the ooey-gooey.
Did I mention the cream cheese/almond filling? No? Oh…insert cream cheese/almond filling here. And some sliced almonds if you want. (If you’re making this for Mr. Bell, or someone else with a nut allergy, skip this part, or don’t add almonds!)
Another layer of bread. Its like breakfast lasagna…mmm
A dozen eggs and 2 cups of milk. I used a mix of almond milk and coconut milk since everyone I live with is lactose intolerant and we never have regular milk. Oh I put almond extract in this mixture too.
Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread in the pan.
And its all set! Now cover it with foil and pop it in the fridge. The bread will soak up all the eggy goodness and its so easy to bake it in the morning! No prep, no dishes. Just a beautiful pan of french toast! And it is SO delicious!
Overnight French Toast Recipe
from Aunt Bea
1 stick butter
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1 large loaf of bread; sliced (I used crusty Italian)
1 dozen eggs
2 cups milk (I used almond & coconut milk)
1 package cream cheese
handful sliced almonds
1 cup powdered sugar
Start the day before:
In a pan melt the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until mixed and gooey. Spread on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Add one layer of bread slices. Spoon filling onto bread, sprinkle with almond slices and top with remaining bread. Mix eggs, milk and about 2t almond extract. Beat well then pour into the pan making sure to get all the bread wet. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Bake covered at 350 for 40 minutes. Then uncover and broil 3-5 minutes until top is nicely browned. I had to bake mine a little longer than 40 minutes because the eggs weren’t cooked all the way. Maybe an extra 5 minutes.
Slice and serve. Make sure to scoop all the way to the bottom so you get the ooey gooey goodness!
In a mixer mix cream cheese, sugar and 2 t almond extract. Beat well. If it’s too thick add a little milk until it makes a frosting that is not too thin but easy to spread over the bread. Delicious!
Today was an interesting day. Everything seemed to tie together. I’m still mulling it over in my mind. Trying to figure out how God put all the pieces together and how many different aspects of my day could tie in with each other. From a conversation with a friend far away, to the book I was reading at the gym, the movie I watched tonight with friends, and the song I listened to on the way home. A common thread quietly woven through all the events to bring me to this place. And that is a place of humble surrender.
I have been trying so hard to control everything. A line from a song…my dreams ran like sand through the fists that i made… I have so much on my plate. I am overwhelmed. I make lists, I stay up late, I work hard, I put my hope in others, and others always let me down. I’m good at being in control. I’m good at not sleeping. But I can’t keep it up forever!
A friend disappointed me today. Was deceitful. It hurt. But I realized something. I put way too much into my relationships. I so often base my happiness in life on people’s responses to me. Whether or not they talk to me or respond well to me or hang out with me. I allow them to “name” me as Madeline L’Engle would say. Letting others decide my value. But that’s wrong, my value comes from God. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about me.
Another friend told me today that I need to stop needing people and be more independent and only then will I find the person I am supposed to be with. I don’t completely agree, but I do agree that I need to stop needing people and start only needing Jesus. My life can’t be based upon others actions. People always fail me. Always. They use me, take advantage of me, forget me, and I allow it to deeply hurt my feelings. They are naming me.
Donald Miller was talking about it today too. When I was at the gym. Reading Blue Like Jazz. I wasn’t actually having a conversation with him. Although I wish I was. He liked a girl but it was driving him crazy because he was always worried about what she was thinking or how she was thinking of him and he couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat and it was making him crazy. So a friend finally told him she didn’t know why he was letting the girl name him. Why was he letting her define how he lived his life?
But I know that I only want One person naming me. I only want One person telling me how to live my life. I’m tired of trying to control. And I know that I can’t just decide to let go, just say it and have it all be better. Its going to have to be a daily surrendering. Every day.
Luke 9:23 says: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
He didn’t say one time. He didn’t say once in a while. He said DAILY. Deny yourself daily. Surrender. Every day. So this is my prayer as I go to sleep tonight. That I would remember when I wake up to begin my day with surrender.
My drive home ended on a perfect note. Chris Tomlin, raising his white flag.
It was a great night full of odd people, loud music, crazy latte art, and great fellowship with people I don’t see enough.
By no means am I halfway as skilled as the baristas in the competition, but I will keep practicing! It’s always fun to make work more artistic! Here’s my best one so far…
Beautiful words from my beautiful best friend
its funny how we worry so much about what our life looks like, where its going, where its not going… i am prone to worry about my future. its always sort of been who i am. i dont think i usually show how much i actually freak out about whats going on in my life. i know alot of my family and friends go through this just like i do. we all fear that our lives dont mean much, that we are stuck, that we haven’t accomplished all that we had hoped and dreamed. we feel like if we had just made one different decision we would be in a totally different place.
i am slowly learning that this kind of thinking really makes no sense. if we just worry about our past or our future… we are completely missing out on what is going on in the present. this…
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