I know, I know … 2 posts in one week? Who am I and where has the real Hannah gone? This is more like a 2 second commercial really. So don’t get too worried.
Kevin DeYoung has recently (like … in the last year and a half to two years) become one of my favorite preachers/authors/bloggers. I was first introduced to him through listening to the sermons from the Next Conference (which is this weekend! that means there will be more awesome sermons to listen to shortly!). A message that really impacted me from a few years ago was called “Just Do Something,” which is also the title of DeYoung’s book I’m reading. Amazing! Go buy it … now. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. Consider buying an extra copy for a friend, too (I may or may not have recently purchased 4. Yes, it’s that good). Although I haven’t followed his blog real religiously, I’m always blessed, challenged, encouraged and provoked to thought when I do. Such was the case yesterday. I’d encourage you to read this – Thinking Theologically about Memorial Day. Like he says, it might rub some of you the wrong way. But I believe his points are all valid and more importantly founded in Scripture.
Speaking of Memorial Day … I’m about to drive home. And.I.cannot.wait. 🙂 Tonight, I will see these guys!
So remember when I said like 2 weeks ago that I had written a post and then lost it. Well guess what … all was not lost!! So here is the post that I actually wrote on … May 11th I believe.
So I’m really not sure how it’s been so long since my last post … time really does fly! So in order to make up for my absence … how about a chocolate cake?! 🙂 But first, some random updates. The last few weeks have been full.
I went to Chicago for Children’s Hunger Fund’s Children’s Champion Award Celebration Banquet, held at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was an amazing (and very quick) weekend! You can see pictures here. It was such a beautiful event in which God was glorified!
My mom came into town! What a fun whirlwind that was! We went to Stella Mare’s in Santa Barbara, she volunteered at CHF with me for my half day of work on Good Friday, we ate lunch in Pasadena and walked around the Huntington Gardens, we shopped at The Americana (purple bowls featured below were a purchase at Sur La Table – thanks Mom), we went to Aroma (sigh … I just love Aroma … oh! and we were given a free cake), we shopped and hung out at the beach in Santa Monica, we ate Golden Spoon for dinner 3 nights in a row, she helped me in my Sunday School class (thanks mom!), we ate at Stonefire (yum!), we went to a movie, we looked through cooking magazines, and we talked, laughed, prayed, and read our Bibles together! Man, that was a packed 3 1/2 days! And what a glorious 3 1/2 days they were! I sure do love you, Mom! 🙂
Third time’s a charm … Polly and I have tried to see the new Jane Eyre 3 times … 3! The first time, I bailed. The second time, she bailed – well, we both kinda bailed on account of being tired. The 3rd time … success! We ate In & Out burgers in the car on our way down to Los Angeles on a Friday night (I may or may not have dropped pickles and other items, spilled sauce on my [white] shirt, and had Polly wiping up my messes for me). We thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Highly recommend it – the movie that is – although I’d say the eating of In & Out while driving as well; it provided LOTS of laughter and entertainment!
Ummm, back to BCC. I first heard about this cake and its story several months ago. Then, about a month and a half ago, I got to taste it. Let’s just say, I was sorry I asked for a smaller piece; then I ended up having seconds. 🙂 The recipe is from sweet Rhonda, and I’ve been dying to make it. Actually, I’m making it this weekend for a Sunday School Teacher’s lunch, but decided I couldn’t wait that long. My excuse to make it last week was my sweet little Brooke is now half way through college. Why “Boyfriend Chocolate Cake” you may ask? Because it’s the first thing Rhonda made for her boyfriend-now-husband. And let me just tell you … as I was making it and tasting the batter I thought … “I should be having a guy over to eat this, not Brooke!” 😉
Mmmm, nothing says cake like butter, sugar, brown sugar, and homemade vanilla (and yes, it's lumpy. someone may or may not have softened her butter enough ... who did that?!)
Sifting! It's basically my new favorite thing. Who knew that there was actually a reason they tell you to sift certain things?! Amazing, I tell you.
Ready for the oven! *note: I made half a cake. It was appropriate for celebrating one's halfway point through college 🙂
Hmmm ... I wonder where the batter that was on those beaters, bowl, and spatula went?? 😉
The End. And what a glorious end it was!
Anyone else hungry now??! I’m going to bed before I’m tempted to whip me up one of these puppies!
So a couple nights ago, I totally had a new post written … I was all set to add the pictures and get everything set when … my computer froze and I lost the whole thing. Grrr. My laptop has been doing that a lot lately. So now, that post will come … oh maybe next week.
On a very different note … this week has been kinda hard. Not necessarily for me personally, but for those around me. It seems like almost every day has been filled with at least one person telling me of trials and just plain sad things going on in their lives or the lives of those they love. None of us are untouched by the effects of this sin-fallen world. I’ve thought of Romans 8 … “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (vv. 22-23). I’ve also been reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
A couple months ago, I wrote this following list, as I thought of how to comfort those who are suffering. I share it simply because the few people who have read it were blessed … so maybe you’ll be blessed by it too.
Lessons for Comforting Those in Trials:
1. Be a faithful, fervent prayer warrior – tell them!
2. Purpose to remember they’re still in the trial even after the 1st difficult weeks have passed. Your life may have moved on, but chances are that theirs hasn’t.
3. Don’t let them hide – draw them out.
4. Remember that emotions and the roller coaster ride are very real. Be sensitive to the fact that the need of the moment changes.
5. It’s the little things that matter – flowers, an invitation to dinner, a valentine left on the doorstep, firewood left on the doorstep, a birthday card, a text message, being silly and laughing and creating a distraction. Those are the things that show the hands of Jesus to someone hurting! Practice random acts of kindness.
6. Pray with them.
7. Hug them, hold them
8. Be a good listener – show interest, show concern, ask good questions, and later on … follow up!
9. Offer counsel. Walking through trials can include a lot of moments of needing to walk in wisdom … wisdom they may not have, or forget that they do have.
10. Don’t assume. If you have not been given all the details of the situation/trial, don’t assume you know. Offering counsel for what you THINK/ASSUME is happening is not wise or helpful. It can just hurt the person more that you’re making assumptions. AND, don’t assume they’re fine.
11. Be available. Tell them you’re available, tell them they can call any time. BUT … don’t leave the ball in their court. They don’t want to intrude or be a burden. You initiate and make some of the moves so they know you offers are genuine.
12. Remind them (when appropriate – not every conversation you have probably) of who God is and what He’s done. He’s faithful, He’s sovereign, He’s good, He’s just.
13. Understand that church can be the hardest, most uncomfortable, awkward place for them to be. Seek them out, sit with them, walk with them, be there for them.
For my dear friends and family reading this and walking through trials, know that I love you and am praying for you … and I am striving to live out what I wrote.