brown sugar vanilla cappuccino

I know what you’re thinking: this is either me taunting you about a delicious drink I bought for $5.00 OR me taunting you about a delicious drink I found on Pinterest that you would never make.

Surprise! It’s neither.

This delightful little number will make your morning, noon, and/or night taste like comfort. And, just so you know, the directions are about as simple as they come (which is good, because I spend a lot of time trying to make things in my life complicated).

Here’s what you do:

1) Throw some of your best brew in your coffeemaker (nothing fancy, but make it on the strong side)
2) While your java’s brewing, fill your mug halfway with skim milk
3) Add a capful of vanilla to the milk and a few lumps of brown sugar
4) Heat the milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds
5) Place a wire whisk in your warmed milk and slide your hands back and forth to create a good, stiff foam
6) Pour your hot java into the foamed concoction
7) Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top to make it look like someone else made it

ENJOY!

This is how my morning started today – with a coffee that looked like it was ordered off a hip, chalkboard menu. If that doesn’t put a person in a good mood, I don’t know what would.

*My cousin Vince told me yesterday that my post was, “weird.” I guess I’m trying to take a little break from the long-winded posts as of late. I’m sure my grandparents will thank me. 

tuesday

Every once in a awhile, I’ll have a Tuesday where it seems like Sarah Masen was telling my story when she wrote, “Tuesday.”

tuesday after a reckless and used day
i was running and running without a chance
to stop and chat at the sky

finally i stopped for a breath in the evening 
suddenly. i was caught by the scenery 
painting a picture of You

day set, scatters of clouds in the distance
they whitewash the backdrop of secrets
whispering shadows of blue
in more delicate hues

“Reckless and used” couldn’t better describe yesterday’s pace. Maybe it was more that my running and running felt ineffective and unreliable. I wouldn’t say Excel spreadsheets or organizing registrations give me energy or joy – ever. Though I’m the first to laugh at myself and all my secretarial screw-ups, I don’t enjoy feeling ignorant or getting things wrong (does anyone?). Menial tasks that make perfect sense to a more secretarial sister read like Greek to me and the added stress only multiplies frustration. Several times, a boss stepped inside my office to say I was doing a good job and that this is just a season. Running, running, running. 

I left job one for job two and set my eyes on stealing back my joy from the schemer. Sadness is failure when it comes from self-pity – and that’s exactly what the schemer had convinced me was a worthy adversary to Tuesday’s stress. I stopped to get coffee (every midday resolve needs a little caffeine boost) and the nice young man behind the counter asked, “How’re you doin’ today?” after I ordered the strongest thing that comes in 16 oz. I muttered around a response until I ended with, “Well, I… am doing okay.”

He nodded like he’d heard that before.

I couldn’t let him think that I was like every other caffeine-crazed customer, so I added, “I’m not about to let this day steal my joy.” He smiled. We talked about his tattoo that took 4 1/2 years to finish. I picked up my coffee at the counter, where the owner had upped the size and made it fancy, in support of my joy resolve.

So, I walked into job #2 with a bounce in my step. With some amount of surprise, I responded to, “How is your day?” with “Actually, really great.”

I had turned a corner. Tuesday didn’t seem so terrible anymore. I was even 3 minutes early. Then, as I surveyed the scene, I realized the longest part of Tuesday was only beginning. Between the “priority” print orders and the room full of design students meeting a deadline, I barely stopped moving long enough to go to the restroom.

Then he walked in and I didn’t recognize him at first in his plaid shirt and khaki shorts. When he stopped first at the popcorn machine and looked at me disapprovingly, I knew it was the mailman. He comes in on Saturdays and I always have the popcorn fresh. We banter back and forth once a week but this Tuesday appearance was unexpected. The computers were on the fritz, so I helped him print off the study on Isaiah 49-52.

We zipped around the store like a mini-factory – loading paper, cutting cardstock, replacing toner, gritting teeth – Mike and Derek and me. Those two guys are part of what make the mini-factory on Tuesdays a joy. We laugh… a lot. We fume and joke and tease and laugh… a lot. When one of us throws up our hands in exasperated surrender, another picks it up and carries it through. And there was a lot of exasperation last night and a lot more of that I’m-not-naturally-good-at-this feeling.

An hour and a half after I was supposed to get off, I walked out and the mini-factory was still swirling with activity. Walking out to my car, I tripped over a crack in the pavement and cursed behind my teeth. Really? Even the ground couldn’t resist being a part of my “reckless and used” day?

Before I headed home, I saw a text from Derek, “I just want you to know that I love working with you and Mike. I wasn’t in the best mood when I came in, but you both made it a lot better. I look forward to Tuesday nights every week!”

Hm. As I pulled away towards home, I thought about all the ways God had painted my Tuesday scenery – in the form of co-worker encouragement, laughter, extra coffee with conversation, the mailman, co-workers, laughter, and the way the rain smelled when I left at 11:30 from the printing place.

Sigh. Even reckless and used Tuesdays are canvas for the Lord’s scenery.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

rain, rain, it will stay… until January!

As much as we would like the rain to go away, this news article says it will stick around until January.

The ground is already saturated and all the excess water makes a treacherous course down the mountains and hills, causing landslides in its wake. Much of the coffee and sugar cane crop has suffered terribly due to the rain, so this prescription of rain until January is more than bad news.

Read this article and join me in prayer for the people here in Honduras.

Click here for the article. You will need to translate the page (unless you are fluent in Español), so if you are using a browser capable of translating like Google Chrome, that is best.

These pictures below are from the article and show some of the patterns and movement. Don’t ask me to explain them… I am just relaying the information!

Honduras is affected by the phenomenon of rain has already happened in the 50’s.

A phenomenon called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has distorted the thermohaline circulation and is producing more rain than they should.

The country is practically in the line of hurricane formation and climate affect Pacific and Atlantic.

sunshine on a saturday

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I re-organized my room when I returned in August of this year so that my bed is cattywampus in the corner. A long, plant-patterned ribbon stretches down from the ceiling to hold a hanging basket that is growing several books at the moment. Beside my bed, stacks of books have already claimed floor space like good friends claiming the best seats. Creativity finds all sorts of places to hide and I hope I never grow tired of searching it out.

Today, the sunlight drifted in through the window and pranced straight across my morning face at 5:30 am. Even though it was Saturday, the day seemed to be saying there was much to live and that I better start early.

By 6:30, I had already made coffee, enjoyed whole wheat waffles, and finally sent several messages I had been writing in my sleep. I love mornings. Some mornings seem just so suited to curl up in covers warmed by a night’s rest. Other mornings seem to beckon like a playmate outside the front door.

Today the morning beckoned outside my window, but instead of a playmate it sounded like a man on loudspeaker selling avocados, tomatos and onions out of the back of a truck. Well, no simile needed there. He really did start his rounds that early!

But, truly, this day made me thankful to live it.
Do you ever get those?

Even as 5:30 am rolled into 6:30 and and then as 7:30 led to plans for the entire sun-drenched day, I felt more sure that this day was a gift. Maybe it has something to do with my obsession with Germany and the mid-1900s (thank you Bonhoeffer and Eric Metaxas) that I can’t seem to shake, as I read the letters Bonhoeffer sent to encourage all his students to live with a robust courage to live hopeful. Though Bonhoeffer was involved in the conspiracy to end the reign of a tyrant (and also knew of the imminent danger posed to his ordinands in battle), he exhorted them to find joy.

In any case, 7:45 found me on my way to meet a friend and to visit Hospital Escuela, the most affordable (and least sanitary) places to get medical care in Tegucigalpa. After a second round of coffee, we met up with a medical mission team from Arkansas and offered our morning to cut, package, and stuff as they needed. I felt of little use, but hugely blessed by the opportunity to see what the Lord is doing through willing hearts and able hands! Because of their service, this week will be full of desperate-turned-joyful stories of patients receiving medical care.

We parted ways before lunch and set off, my friend and I, on the next adventures Saturday was hiding for us. Currently, she is reading “Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church” by DA Carson and I am reading “Bonhoeffer,” as you well know. Our conversation drifts in and out of the page turns, but I am so thankful to be in community. In fact, I dug up an old post I wrote in 2007 about community and, ironically, Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together.”

Then, while I was digging up posts, I found an old post I wrote after I attended the first ever Gospel Coalition conference in Chicago. It rocked my world, to say the least. I’m pretty sure that’s when I picked up Carson’s book (above) and jotted down then these thoughts.

After our book-reading, sun-loving afternoon, we met up with another friend and celebrated a birthday. A night of laughter and new faces and… did I mention laughter? Maybe one of the most encouraging things, as I continue to love learning this language, is succeeding at humor. If I am 3/5 for jokes in the States, then the odds that I would be witty here are pretty slim. As it turns out, I’m not all that bad! And, if I can do anything to add laughter to a room, it’s a good day!

Well, I obviously spent far too much time trying to recap this little Saturday. I hope some of it makes sense.

Mostly, I hope that we

let LOVE FLY like cRaZY!