Friday, September 30, 2011

Apples and Perseverance...

Whew! I need a break.

Good thing we're going to the apple orchard tomorrow! That's right, my family (part of my family, at least) and I will head up to our favorite California apple orchard tomorrow morning, where we will sample apples and apple cider, hike and picnic in the mountains, shop for antiques, watch cider being made, and buy the most decadent caramel apples for the car ride home. Pure joy! ...other than the fact that it's supposed to be 85 degrees tomorrow. I will try with all my might to be thankful for the sunshine. [And you can bet I'll be praying with the rest of my might for a sudden change in weather... which would ideally bring us a chilly autumn day up on the mountain!]

I practiced Lectio Divina today. I believe it's the first time I've done this on my own. Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual discipline in which the contemplator (me) sits with a short passage or single verse for a good while... I sat for about 25 or 30 minutes and contemplated Psalm 42:7.

"Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me."

And I realized that my sense of perseverance is lacking. Sitting quietly in contemplatio was a challenge... thinking about what this passage says to my current life's stance of "overwhelmed"... looking at the beginning of my long senior thesis, thinking, "I don't know how to start"... confessing last night the number of hours I've spent watching TV this week, rather than studying (books, classes, the Word, etc.).

Guilt-trip or not, perseverance is something that is difficult for me right now. With that said, I'm glad to be aware. I'm glad that I have a studious history so I know my capabilities. I'm glad I've mapped out a study plan for the coming week of madness. And I am SO glad that tomorrow, for a few hours, all I have to think about are apples...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apartment Pictures... Finally!

This weekend was a satisfying cleanse-the-everything kind of time. The Lord has been so gracious to me and my sensitive heart and he's given me reasons to rejoice! Like fall, for instance. Happy official autumn season, everyone! On top of feeling cleansed on the inside, I did some mad cleaning in the apartment and we've now got a fresh-smelling, bright and shiny place on our hands. Here are the pictures I've been meaning to post since August!

Front door... welcome!

Kitchen, angle 1

...angle 2

Living room, angle 1

and angle 2 (my workspace).

Our itty bitty bathroom... I stood behind the door to take this shot and all I could get was the shower curtain! Well hey, I like my shower curtain.

And lastly, my side of the bedroom. Just think "Sleepin' in an Autumn Wonderland".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Heart Words

These are thoughts that only close ones will recognize, and only Jesus will fully understand. This is where I am and, though I feel the pressure to be positive, I want to let some honestly leak out. And in all honesty, there's nothing positive about my current disposition. Positive will come back... but she's on an untimely vacation right now.

A scar, a tan line, a wandering heart...

The scar tells me this experience will stay with me forever.

The tan line on my arm... the one I look at when I stick my hand out the window during my Biola Ave. "getaway song" ritual...tells me it's still in the recent past... and there is nothing I can do to quicken the whole time thing.

My wandering heart? Well, it just is. So much of my heart is not here right now. Not in California. Not in the ugly sunny days of September. I love living with roommates who can just be roommates and (not necessarily) anything more. But I can go a whole week without speaking to a true friend about true things if I don't try. But I do try because I know it's good.

I wonder how long I will be in this fog... I suppose I prefer a fog over a rain storm.

I promise I'll say thank you later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Morning Haikus

Here in your presence
I awake to the candle.
Sweet, "Nichole, wake up!"

I long for autumn...
For the crunching leaves and cold,
For apple cider.

The long day ahead
I cannot face without you
Go before me, Lord.

Africa, oh child,
England, Turkey, Tennessee.
So far away now.

As dark turns to light
I think about my strength class.
Humdrum and glory.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Close ups

I very much wanted to get the apartment all clean, do a full photo session, and present the home to my HandH this weekend... but that did not happen by Friday afternoon when I had to leave for a weekend retreat. SO, before I left, I snapped a few close ups of some of my favorite things around the apartment. Maybe next week you all will get the grand tour. First picture: Yellow, red, and green on the kitchen table. This sets up the colors and vintagey feel of la cocina.
Our sink has a leak... I don't like this. But it does give our kitchen personality and we've discovered a way to turn the sink off ever so gently to stop the dripping for a bit.
Sugar in the raw! Yeah, baby.
My shelf in the pantry. It always makes me happy to go grocery shopping and fill this little space to the brim. Thank you, Lord!
Little owls... hangin' out in surprise places.
The turtles. It's fascinating and comforting to have live beings around when I'm all alone. Weird?...
Our little pins in all the cool places. Notice the teensie white pins in Kenya and Turkey...mine, mine!!