Saturday, March 30, 2013

What I've Been Into: March


MY CAR!   I have not owned a car in four years. The first three years were not a big deal at all. Chicago makes a car free life easy, and if I do say, preferable. Suburban Philadelphia? Not so much.  So, with a little money and a lot of help from friends and family - I got myself a car!  It's been on the road longer than I have, has built in cassette tape storage, and a rear-facing third row.  It seats 8 and I am hoping that for however many years it gives me, that I can "pay it forward" on offering rides to others as a thank you to all the people who helped me out when I needed it.  A few days after I got it I spent hours driving and saw a lot of this:

The scenery was a winter wonderland but the roads were clear, so it was a glorious drive!


My roommate introduced me to Songza. I don't know how many times I've said, "I wish Pandora had "I want to dance around the kitchen" station and been sad when they didn't. But songza? Songza does!

Favorite for the aforementioned mood is "Walking on Sunshine" with the description "Some songs just have a certain je ne sais quoi; when you hear them you start skipping down a crowded public street. Embarrassing? Absolutely. Will you care? Not likely." 

I've also made good use of their Thunderstorms playlist when trying to lull myself to sleep. 


I missed Call the Midwife when it first played, but PBS  put it back online so I caught up on that and am excited that season two is starting!

Watch Season 2 Preview on PBS. See more from Call the Midwife.

Babies and British accents, what's not to love?


bought a Kindle edition of most of the Anne of Green Gables series for 99 cents. I stay up way too late at night and give myself some time to escape into fiction. 

I'm really enjoying the essays in Readings in Planning Theory edited by Fainstein and Campbell. Good stuff in there on planning and justice!  If you are a nerd how about cities run and who makes decisions and who gets the short tend of the stick, it's a good read. 


One of the people who helped me out in the car-getting process requestd a key lime cake - so I made this and it was quite yummy!

Definitely a "black coffee" dessert as it was very sweet and tangy.

I was having a burger craving and made this - it was SO GOOD:

And this may be my favorite quinoa dish yet. Make sure you have enough onions to make it through all the qunioa - the onions are a vital part!


I briefly considered buying a scooter until I realized that buying a scooter to accommodate my size would cost WAY more than a car. I think my scooter-ownership desires could be satisfied with this though:

Scooter Pizza Cutter

Other Things:

Started a new job (that makes 4 part time jobs and full-time grad school. I still procrastinate OFTEN. Makes me wonder what I could do if never got lazy and task-avoidant. . . .)

Visited GA for a very quick weekend. Saw friends and family. Went "grocery shopping" in the parents pantry.

Turned 30!  I have a few blog drafts of being introspective about that. Don't know why I haven't published one. I have no problem with the age 30, but looking back at my twenties in hindsight makes me realize what a full-of-life decade that was - ups and downs, plateaus and adventures. It's interesting to contemplate the differences in 20 year old me and 30 year old me. Maybe you'll get one of my self-reflective entries here :)

What have you been into?

Linking up at What I'm Into

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Different Way

A little over ten years ago someone handed me a CD with a sermon on it and said, "listen to this."  I put it in my backpack and forgot about it for a few weeks. I pulled it out though one day and popped it in my CD player and listened.

I was mesmerized. I listened to that sermon over and over again.

It was about Jesus and his disciples. It was about the Jewish understanding of "rabbi." It was about who this group of men were before they followed Jesus and who they were afterwards.

That sermon changed my life. Literally. I started believing different things about God and me. I didn't know it then, still deeply rooted in my conservative Bible-belt Christianity, but that message made me look at the Bible differently.

Not long after that, I sat in the garage-turned-classroom of the college aged Sunday school class at my home church and listened to the teacher talk about scripture as a prism. How the ancient Jews viewed scripture that way, knowing that if you held it up to the light of truth, the colors would refract out in an array of angles, and if you turned it ever so slightly, the pattern would completely change.

And a few years later my heart got broken. By a boy, yes, but mostly by God.  I had been as in love with the boy as I knew what love meant then, but I had trusted God. I had thought I heard God and ignored some warnings in my gut in favor of  the "divine guidance" I thought I heard. In favor of the "voice of God" I had learned to divine through years of pew-sitting and Bible-reading.

So when my heart got broken I was bruised and scarred by the boy for a season, prone to the habits and feelings most broken-hearts endure I am sure. But with God the brokenness felt like a shattering. Stained-glass perfection in a thousands shards that poked and pricked and drew blood no matter which way I stepped it seemed.

I sat in church pews with white knuckled grips on my Bible and left in the middle of more than one "just trust God" sermon.

The broken heart healed first, the shattered soul a while later. Neither are ever the same of course, but I kind of think that's a good thing.

Today, the preacher who preached that sermon on the CD is nationally known, though few knew who he was back in 2003.  He's known for a progressive view of Christianity. He probably gets called a heretic as often as he gets called a saint. I don't agree with all of his views and have never heard another of his sermon's that changed me the way that first did, but that's ok. I needed that first one.

In the years where I struggled to stay committed to a God who I thought had failed me, I kept trying to turn that prism and see the light a different way. It took a while, but I finally got it to move a bit, finally saw another possibility. It didn't wipe away hurt, but it brought some healing.

I am thankful for that now-controversial preacher and for my Sunday school teacher - for daring to suggest that there were other ways to see God, to see scripture, to see myself. I didn't "need" the message on those days, but God preserved the truth in my soul and they served as strings gently tugging me back, holding me tight, during the years when nothing made sense.