Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm Melting!

This is a devotional-type piece I wrote several years ago - I came across it the other day and figured I would share.

 I like ice cream. Correction - I love ice cream. Something about the sweet, creamy goodness of the delightfully refreshing treat is just...heavenly.

My ice cream fetish and I currently reside in Gloucester, VA. It's a small town of less than 40,000 people, hidden neatly among a cluster of more commonly-known cities such as Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg. Due to Gloucester's small stature, its attractions are often left off the map, so to speak - that being the case, I would like at this time to call attention to one of the home-town treasures nestled right in the heart of our humble county. Next time you're passing through our quaint little village, be sure to indulge yourself in a little piece of (the ice cream lover's) heaven. Short Lane Ice Cream (located, of course, on Short Lane) is a family-owned business that offers home-made ice cream, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor atmosphere on the interior of its two-story building, additional seating outside, and a wide variety of flavors and styles in the ice cream family from which to choose. Ice cream, gelato, sorbet, oh my!

I was recently introduced to the wonder of Short Lane's "Blueberry" ice cream, which is now my newest favorite flavor. I'm telling you, that first bite changed my life. And I couldn't help but think that ice cream is a lot like the Christian walk.

Your first "taste" of Jesus will, on most occasions, completely change your life. You've never tasted anything so sweet, so refreshing, so...heavenly. But, if you just take one taste and don't progress on your journey with the Lord...if you merely ask Him to come into your heart but don't feed off of His Word, pray, seek to serve Him in your daily life, and give and receive encouragement from fellowshipping with other believers, you will begin to watch your Christian walk slowly just...melt away. The same is true of ice cream. If I simply took that first bite and didn't continue to indulge in the rest of my two (okay, three) scoops, then my ice cream would eventually just melt away; I would have missed out on the goodness and delight I could have derived from continuing to feed. Now, of course, if I were to continue eating, I would run the risk of getting a brain freeze or even a belly ache and, likewise, the Christian journey is not without its pain and times of discomfort...but the experience of eating the ice cream is worth it. Plus, the more you grow in the Lord, the more inspired you will be to share what you've found with others who have never tasted before or who have been exposed but, for whatever reason, have a bad taste in their mouth or a bad feeling on their insides in regards to it (we'll call those people "lactose intolerant").

The bottom line is that we don't order our favorite ice cream and let it sit in the cup and just melt away - and neither should we let our walk with the Lord go unnurtured and, likewise, melt away. It will still be there, yes, but it will be nothing more than a liquidy puddle of what could have been a solid and satisfying treat. And, of course, a growing relationship with Jesus is much more satisfying than even the most delicious-tasting frozen dessert (and way less fattening). Jesus was Bethlehem's own home-town treasure, and one that far surpasses anything anywhere else has to offer.

So, determine yourself to grow in your walk with the Lord. Go feast on the Word of God, say a little prayer, and encourage someone in the name of Christ. Treat yourself to as many scoops of Jesus as you want. And, while you're at it, go have a bowl of your favorite ice cream. (Although, you'll probably prefer the "growth" that ensues from Jesus as opposed to that which comes from the latter. I'm just saying.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Ten Favs for November

My Top Ten Favorite Things For The Month of November are as follows:

Anthony and I went to Gloucester for Thanksgiving and I had lots of fun eating food, hanging out with family and friends, and Discussing Which Phrases A Pull-String Doll Version Of My Dad Would Say. Also, I would like to publicly apologize to my brother and sister-in-law for leaving the next day without saying goodbye - I had been told they were in their bedroom Being Married and I don’t like putting myself in potentially awkward situations unless I have a Twix in my back pocket. 

Anthony’s Birthday
My husband turned 25! Woohoo! Actually, 25 isn’t that all that sweet because you’ve pretty much already surpassed the Cool Milestone Birthdays – at least he can rent a vehicle now, and maybe our car insurance will go down or something. I am mighty glad that he was born though, and that he’s still alive - we even had a party to celebrate, for which I made these cute and incredibly delicious Starbucks Double Chip Frappuccino cupcakes. (Okay, this is the picture from the blog that I got the idea from, but these look more professional than mine, so.)

Breaking Dawn 2, or Kristen Stewart Still Can’t Act But I Can’t Help It If She Happens To Be Cast In Movies That I Find Enjoyable
Breaking Dawn 2 came out in November (I've heard I would find the writing style of the books completely odious if I were to read them but the movies are a guilty pleasure don’tjudgeme) and I went to see it opening weekend. It was really, really good, and it had a satisfying ending, which was nice. The fact that it was the last movie in the saga definitely added a bitter-sweet element to the whole thing (although I didn’t throw my arms around my girls and weep uncontrollably like the one chick with the glasses did).  Also, I hope Kristen enjoyed watching all her and Rob’s scenes together at the premier and thinking about how she’s a Cheater Cheater Punkin-Eater.

New Movie Theater
Which reminds me: we got a new movie theater in Charlottesville last month! It’s all newish and clean and ginormous and CLEAN and GINORMOUS. Plus, it’s literally right around the corner from our house. I can practically see our complex from the parking lot and we could easily walk there on a nice day. Not that we go to the movies often at all (and when we do we try to wait for things to come to the dollar theater), but if there’s something we really do want to see right away we now have a great theater option really close by. (All the more reason to see The Hobbit later this month.)

Christmas Preparations
On Thanksgiving weekend Anthony and I went Christmas shopping, which was tons of fun, and we put up our Christmas decorations. I’m honestly finding that I can only tolerate Christmas music in small doses this year (which is unusual for me), but I’m loving our lights and our tree and seeing all the wrapped gifts underneath. I love giving Christmas gifts and I love having Christmas lights to turn on as an alternative to Watching TV In The Pitch Black All Night which is what Anthony usually insists on unless I’m legitimately doing something that I need the lamps on for but now we can compromise by turning off the lamps and Watching TV In The Subtle Glow Of The Twinkle Lights which seems like a win to me.

We got to have a tasty lunch at Longhorn with Anthony’s parents and his Great Aunt Rebecca before they headed off on their Hawaii vacation! Thanks to my wonderful in-laws,Anthony and I have gotten to visit Hawaii twice, and I was really excited for Rebecca to be able to be able to experience it for the first time. Although if, as part of some Cruel And Undoubtedly Highly Uncalled For Joke,  that experience included L&L then, Rebecca, I am so, so sorry.  

This Chili
I was looking for a new chili recipe to try and stumbled upon this one. It’s now one of Anthony’s Top Two Favorite Chillis Of All Time, I believe. (Please note: If you decide to try the recipe, even if you never ever drink alcohol, please don’t leave the beer out. Please.)

 The Election Took Place And Now It Is Over.
Ding Dong The Political Propaganda Is Dead. That is all.

I got an iPhone 4, or I GOT AN IPHONE 4!!, or This Is Not Meant To Imply That There Is Anything Wrong With Smartphones That Are Not Also iPhones I Just Happen To Really Love My Phone And It Also Happens To Be An iPhone But I'm Sure Your Droid Is Awesome Too Unless It Is Old And Slow-ish Like Mine Was, So.
I got an iPhone and I love it LOVE IT. Conveniently, I dropped my old phone that wasn't working that well anyway into a dog bowl filled with water right after Anthony became eligible for an upgrade (winning) so, for a mere $30, I gained possession of my very own iPhone 4. I’ve never owned an iPhone prior to this but it is SOFREAKINGLEGIT and I’m pretty sure it can do everything except, like, the dishes. No, wait, I’m pretty sure there’s an app for that. There’s also an app for scooping the litter box, changing the oil in your car, breeding unicorns, ruling the world, and time travel. I even got a sweet pink and gray Otterbox case for it although, coincidentally, I haven’t dropped it one time, even though I used to drop my other phone, which was not in a case, at least once a day. The iPhone 4 – live it, love it, own it.

I Found Out Mumford & Sons Is Coming To Fairfax in February
I know.
And, just because they're cute and because I love them and because they are my most favorite things in any given month:
This has been my Top Ten (11?) Favorite Things For The Month Of November. Tune in next month for ten more examples of awesomeness.