Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thoughts on Sabbath

In recently coming out of a Bible conference designed around the theme of Sabbathing, I've been contemplating what Sabbath looks like in my life. A couple of years ago, I decided to try practicing the Sabbath every Sunday. I would make sure my homework was done the night before, go to church, possibly attend a Bible study, return to campus and... cry.


Sundays were the hardest days of the week for me. I felt so alone and so restricted to not working. I remember one such Sunday where I came to a breaking point. It was in my days as an RA...

I had gone to church and sat by myself because I didn't really have friends at church. {By the way, in my journey to church, I rode the elevator down since it was Sunday and I didn't like taking the stairs (despite what I would try to tell myself on the other 6 days)}. I returned to campus, ate at the caf... had my usual Sunday brunch (tradition makes me happy). On the brink of tears, I walked back to my dorm room. "Why the heck can't I get happy on Sundays?" There were too many people around me at church, yet nobody said hello. I couldn't find a single person to sit with at lunch even though I was the RA; the floor leader... and then it happened. I was making some coffee and walking to the lounge with my favorite mug, when it slipped from my hands and shattered into bitty pieces. I lost it; my composure was completely out the window at that moment. I cried out of frustration and anger and sadness. My favorite mug. On a Sunday. When I was just trying to do the right thing. My sweet friend, Brittany found me in the hallway crying over that metaphoric spilled milk and offered a hug. Then she brought over some superglue and helped me glue the mug back together (it later became that pencil holder up there).

"Brittany, why are Sundays so hard? Why is resting and not doing anything and trying to channel the Lord so lonely and depressing?" She didn't necessarily have an answer for me, but she was there. She and Marianna... my two go-to sisters of the year. Still love them with that whole big chunk of my heart, set aside just for loving special people.

So I didn't get the Sabbath. And for whatever reason, I didn't get how spending more time with God on Sundays was gonna make Sabbath run more smoothly. So I increased my amount of "healthy distraction" activity and decided Sundays were not the end-all standard for a day of rest.

God has now taught me how to make weekend mornings into "the" Sabbath. From Sunday-Thursday, my day starts at 8:00 (meaning I'm up much earlier)... so on Friday and Saturday mornings, I sit with some form of warm beverage, and soak in his Word. I usually do something with my creative energy too. I create a new recipe, make Christmas gifts, wash dishes in that weirdo method of mine that only makes sense on slow mornings. When I am quietly putsing around my home on those mornings, I feel God with me. I know he is communing with the most intimate parts of my soul that love to rest, create, and enjoy.

I'm all about the Sabbath. But I'm also all about doing whatever makes sense for you. What God really cares about is the heart... and my heart is happy in his presence on a slow, purposeful morning. Thanks Jesus for that personable, firm, sweet grace of yours.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Threads IV (Finale!)

This week's outfit is in honor of Food Day! I bought an official Food Day shirt online because (drum roll, please...) it was made in America! Yippee!

Shirt: American Apparel
Jeans: had-'em-forever, Old Navies (not American, I'm sure)
Shoes: birthday gift (I'm so glad converse will never go out)
Ring: Target

Want to know all the things I ate on Food Day? ...Oh wow, it was a good day. Ok:
Oatmeal, coffee with real cream and sugar, a PB cupcake (!), chicken masala, breakfast strada, pumpkin pancakes, and a few bites of a bacon weave breakfast burrito (yes, I really participated in that... what a story).

Happy threads and happy eats to you!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Well folks, I don't have a whole lot to say about this. Food Day is a new national holiday that will be celebrated on October 24th every year. It's something I absolutely stand for and you can bet I'm eating good food today.

Check out the website and make your voice known on sustainable food laws in America!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

$ and Stuff

Money makes the world go 'round...

No it doesn't.

But then again, our sick world does so often come back to money. I find the (figurative) place in which I live to be bizarre, for I am not poor. I'm at the top 2% of the world. However, I'm not rich. How can I be rich when there's absolutely nothing in my bank account? Americans may look at me and say "poor", while Africans would look at me and definitely say "wealthy". I struggle to fill in that hole of dissonance.

This week I overdrew my bank account for the first time. It was a complete accident and actually happened as a result of a fee I did not know I was being charged (that's another thing... "you can keep a minimum balance of $5,000, or we'll charge you a $10 monthly fee" Why? I don't have enough money for your standards so you're gonna take some of the money I do have? Ugh, I just do not understand)... Sorry. Back to the deep lesson I'm drawing from this mundane occurrence (which did not feel at all mundane at the time, let it be said).

I'm praising God that I got paid yesterday and that the overdraw was minor. But then I prayed this funny little pray yesterday morning. Would you like to see?

"Thank you for my pay check today. Please help me to be careful with spending this money. Please provide for me... through Mom and Dad? I'd really love to be able to pay them my monthly due, but I can't do it without their help. Ha! It's like that time you showed me how I can't give you gifts without your help... keeps me humble."

Yes, I was reminded of this beautiful picture the Lord gave me about a year ago. I was sitting outside on a crisp November morning with a dirty chai (still the best hot bev in the world), closed my eyes, and saw myself dancing with a giant gift. It was wrapped in blue with a pretty Martha Steward ribbon 'round the top. The girl dancing was Young Christine, and she was full of joy; empty of concern. I asked God what this picture might mean, thought on it throughout the day and realized a probable interpretation:

I have a great desire in my heart to give gifts to the Lord. To serve him, to bring him joy, to give him glory. But I can not do this without first accepting the gifts he has given me: salvation, adoption, empathy, hospitality, nurture. This concept is childlike, in the best sense of the word. It's as if I'm saying, "Daddy, can I have some money so I can buy you a Christmas present?" It's what I did as a child with my parents. It's apparently still what I do as an adult with my parents. It's what I do with God... and he loves it. Glory can not be given to him without his power at work. He is ultimate: King, provider, gift-giver, glory-maker. Hallelujah.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Threads III

A classic culture-flexible outfit this week.

It covers the knees, it covers the shoulders, it's still cool... basically my standard for traveling to any conservative country in the summer time. But oh yeah, it's fall. Well! I'm happy to report that today we are entirely enjoying our marine layer and we'll call it autumn for as long as we can get away with.

Back to the threads.

Skirt: thrifted, $5!
Birkenstocks: from Germany, made by Germans (I'm assuming and hoping), but bought by me on Amazon for over 50% off!
Necklace: made it myself.

So there's another comfy social justice lovin' outfit for y'all. Only one more week in the threads series and I'm gonna try to go out with a bang! Leave a comment if you've got any great ideas for a November series.

Monday, October 17, 2011


This morning I'm grateful for a strange thing: independence. Not the, "Yay! I feel so free and I can do whatever I want!" kind of independence, though there are days I totally bask in that. But today I'm grateful for the, "It's just me and Jesus right now" kind of independence.

Though I LOVE children and long for the day when I can hold my own baby in my arms, I'm so grateful that it's not now. I'm blessed to have woken up at 6:00 this morning for the sake of getting a head start on my day, rather than my child's. I'm hoping this doesn't sound at all harsh or arrogant because I really, truly respect and look forward to motherhood... I'm just so glad it's not today.

I wake up, I think about the meals I need to eat on a given day, I put just enough water in the tea kettle for one, I get myself out the door and I don't interact with anyone for a good hour. I like being alone in the mornings. I definitely want to be married in this life, but I may just have to work out some kind of a quiet morning agreement with my husband... or maybe I'm just supposed to enjoy this season and let the next one come as it may.

I then go to work, attend classes, decide how I want to do homework that day, make myself a meal, and maybe maybe have a meaningful conversation with a friend. Depends if I work up the gumption to make a phone call. I spend time with the Lord, I take a nap (note: part of the daily routine), and I choose some form of entertainment for the night... Gilmore Girls, crafting, bubble bath, Hulu...

Agh, this isn't coming out at all how I'd intended. This may sound to you like I'm a lazy bum who's saying, "Well thank God I don't have a care in the world!" No, no, no. I recognize the privileged spot from which I stand. And this spot has trials of its own, like loneliness, financial instability, and future-related anxieties. But today, I'm grateful. I'm grateful that there is no one to report to unless I want to do the reporting. In which case, I'll probably call my mama and tell her about how awful it is to have a chest cold...

And for all you mamas, thank you for

doing what you're doing,

caring for those kiddos,

and reminding me that I better enjoy that nap 'cause it won't be long before I have to give up "independent" pleasures for the sake of my family. I think I get it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Threads II

This week's outfit comes to you from... again, the mum's closet. Yup. I put together a fall-esque ensemble to celebrate last week's weather (!!!). {May I now mention that it's been in the '90s and '100s?? Last night, 95 degrees at 8:00pm. In October. What?!}

The jeans and orange tank come from my sister. Thanks for those, sis.
The aqua shirt comes from mom.
The striped belt comes from my sis-in-law.
The shoes-I bought them ( will always be my own. I've got tiny feet, so my mom and sis have finally found a dead-end area with handing-down)
The necklace-gift for my 18th birthday... sweet memory.
The jacket-?? Wow, I actually think this jacket is from my high school days. As in: the high school days when I still wasn't paying for my own clothes. Cool!

In summary: 4 inherited items, 2 "gifts", 1 purchase (sorry, I'm not sure where the shoes were made... I've had them for quite some time)

And since I'm so not trying to make myHandH a fashion blog, I thought I'd point out what a secret nerd I am:

Yup, did that...and that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Threads Part I

I love me a good blog series! That's why I'm going to do a four week "Thursday Threads" of October series! Inspired by my bloggy friend Megan at SotraCrunchy, I think it's fun to challenge myself as a creative unit and to try writing about something new. Plus, I love taking advantage of a platform opportunity and I can use this series as a mild social justice platform.

I say mild only because I have not yet completely changed my shopping habits, but I sure am in the process of trying to buy all American or second-hand/thrift clothing. It just really bothers me that a large store can sell at $4 T-shirt... my logic tells me the only way a store can sell that is if they're getting all the profit. And then I look at the label and read "Made in India", or "Made in the Philippines"...lots and lots of countries are making our clothes. The horrific stories and reports of sweat shops tug at my heart and say, "There's got to be a better way". So! I'm trying... I'm taking baby steps and saving up money for American pieces (oh yeah, if you didn't quite catch why I'm trying to buy American, it's because if a product was made in America, at least I know the people making the product are being treated "fairly" by American laws... at least, I hope). But believe me: I'm not perfect in this endeavor. In fact, I just bought a pair of $1 Halloween socks and as I typed the beginning of this paragraph thought, "... Yeah, wonder who made those..." Is everyone catching my drift? Feeling my attitude? I've just become a lot more aware of sketchy human labor and I want to learn more and do what I can to live justly in this world.

...On to the fun stuff!

So here is my Thursday Threads outfit for week #1 of October. The leggings, dress, and vest all come from... my mother's closet! Yes, I'm serious. Somehow, I've been inheriting a lot of clothing from my mom. She likes to buy cute things and then decides they're too young for her, so passes them on to me. Hey, I'm not complaining! I don't know where these fun things were made, but I do know that I technically got them second-hand, so at least we're reusing! All very cotton and stretchy. The boots come from Target. They were my big investment of the season ($35 at full price). They're US Patent, so I believe they were made in that right? Anyone? Bracelets: gifts; 1 from my sister, 2 from some long-ago birthday, I believe. I love layering and I love wearing neutrals with neutrals! Who says you can't put black and brown together?? I highly disagree.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Questions Asked of Me Today

I was just thinking of how interesting it is that we're asked questions on a daily basis. Whether mundane or profound, questions play a key role in the direction of a conversation, interaction, mood... Here are some questions that were asked of me today:

"Do you want ice in your water?"

"How was the apple orchard?"

"So how is your soul?"

"Do you need to take anything else off the bill?"

"How can I be praying for you?"

"Why are you scraping the stuff off your pizza and putting the naked crust back?"

"Why are you eating pizza toppings on top of whole wheat toast??"

"How's school going?"

"Are you leaving already?"

"Why are there so many apples in the kitchen?"

"How do you say 'I'm learning Spanish' in Spanish?"

"How do you make applesauce?"

...and just a little free bonus:

Doesn't it look like the little guy has a question he wants to ask? Miss him.