So it seems like another recap would be good. Trying to think back on December …

1. Helicopter ride with Karrie … talk about amazing!! Went over the the coast and over Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, downtown LA … it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!

I want to learn how to fly one!

Santa Monica Pier --- don't think I've ever been on it!

The Spelling Mansion --- HUGE!

2. First Kokeshi Doll (yeah, it’s an ornament … but it’s adorable!)

My Kokeshi! 😀

3. Homemade marshmallows and caramels – fun, easy, and yummilicious!!!

Fluffy and springy!

4. I got 2 full weeks at home for Christmas!! It was SO wonderful! I got to see famiy and friends and it was just great! God is so good and kind. This is a little representation of what awaited me on Christmas morn. 🙂

A food processor, a dutch oven, and season 4 of Psych (I may or may not have finished the season Friday night)

We made this for New Year's Eve - so delicious and easy! Brie and carmelized onions in puff pastry --- oh boy!

5. Technically, this spills into January but since it involved my drive back to SoCal, I’m including it. I ended up waiting an extra day before driving down due to the weather and closed roads and traffic and sheer craziness! So I’m making my drive, traffic is flowing along very nicely, when all of a sudden a motorcycle is behind me. I realize it’s a cop and that there is a cop car behind him. They go around me and the next thing I know, the motorcycle is zigzagging to slow down traffic. My first thought: “Oh no! I waited a day to avoid traffic and horribleness! Why is he doing this to me … no, no, no!” My second thought: “Hannah, this cop is not doing this to be mean to you and all the other cars on the road … he’s doing this for your safety. He knows what’s ahead, he knows you need to slow down, and he knows what is best for you. Therefore, submit.” I started laughing, because what was happening was the most vivid picture that illustrated the sermon I was listening to. The sermon – Paul Tripp on 1 Peter 1:3-9. Some of the key phrases/paraphrases that stand out to me (I first heard this message in chapel at Masters almost 5 years ago!) …

God will take you where you do not want to go, in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own.

God will boil you (referring to the smelting process for refining gold and getting impurities out).

What kind of Messiah do you want? One who will leave you in your state of sin, or one who will refine you and change you into the image of His Son?

We usually want the grace of release or the grace of relief. But God often gives us the grace of refinement.

I love an illustration he uses about a person getting lost. If he gets directions, he can wander off a few blocks and just be lost again. What he needs is the helicopter view of the city – to see how the streets connect, where they lead, where he is, where he needs to be, etc. The Bible isn’t a set of directions; the Bible is God’s helicopter view of life that He’s given us.

I’m grateful for both my helicopter ride – as this sermon was resonating in my mind the whole time – and for the cop slowing traffic down. They were vivid pictures of truths I need to grasp right now!