They Didn’t Know

It is with a heavy heart that I write tonight’s post. By now, all of you will have heard about the terrible tragedy that occurred today at the Boston Marathon. As I type this, 3 people have died, including an 8-year old boy and 144 are injured. Of those injured 17 are in critical condition, 25 are in serious condition and at least eight of the patients are children. And yet, all of these people woke up on Monday morning excited. Some had won the lottery and were running the race and were probably happy and nervous, but knew their training would be worth it today when they crossed the finish line. Others were excited and proud of their friends and family who were accomplishing a huge goal. Some were just passing through on their way to meet friends and others brought their children to witness the spectacle. And others were families from Newtown, Connecticut who had lost their loved ones late last year and were sitting in the VIP section at the finish line as a special tribute to the children and staff members who were taken from them. All of these people and so many more woke up expecting it to be a great day, one they’d been anticipating for weeks or months and was finally here.

But no one could have ever guessed what was about to happen. I cannot even begin to imagine the fear they all felt when the bombs exploded. In that instant, everything changed. For those unharmed, how terrifying it must have been to witness the explosions and see so many injured in such a brutal way. And for those with family and friends in Boston, how long those hours must have felt while they waited to hear that their loved ones were ok.

I can’t even make sense of something like this and how such evil exists in the world. It makes my heart hurt and it makes me scared. It makes me think about how sad God must feel that his beloved children could inflict so much pain and sorrow.

I think today is just another reminder, and there have been far too many lately, that we never really know what the future holds. We don’t know what day will be our last and we don’t know if one day are lives are going to dramatically change. What I do know though, is that I trust in God and his love for me and all of his children. In times like this when it feels like there is nothing to hold on to, He is always there. I will be praying for all those affected by this tragedy.

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The Most Captivating Show

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a great week so far! Lately I’ve been watching the History channel series “The Bible” and I can’t get enough. The show is so wonderfully done and is completely captivating. When you’re watching it’s hard to believe that it isn’t just the latest movie or addicting show, but God’s message to us. I highly recommend all of you check it out whether you are a Christian or not- I think it will appeal to everyone and is really incredible. I only have 1.5 episodes left and am already so bummed! But after the series is over I’m planning on cracking open the Bible which I’m ashamed to say has long been collecting dust. And yet, I spend time in prayer with God, time going to Church but rarely spend time reading his word.

My mom asked me a question tonight that really resonated with me. “If they were to convict you for being a Christian, would they have enough to convict you on?” Or to elaborate on that, do your words and actions show that you love the Lord and are a Christian? Or do they not set you apart from anyone else? Since I was a little girl I have known that I loved the Lord and believed in him with all my heart and for many years I feel confident that my faith was strong and it was known that I was a Christian. But as I got older and life got more complicated, I worry that I’m not at the place I once was and that people will not know what’s different about me.

Here in America, we are so incredibly blessed for a multitude of reasons. But one thing that has always stuck out to me, is that here, we have freedom of religion. When I was in 7th grade I won a local essay contest on “What Freedom Means to Me.” I wrote my essay about freedom of religion, inspired by a family friend, Yvonna. I used to love hearing Yvonna’s stories, but one day she told us about how back in the Ukraine, you couldn’t outwardly be a Christian. Instead, you had to hide it and her friends used to meet in the basement of a shop so they could have a bible study. One day, one of the men from her group was called into the Dean’s office at his college that he was about to graduate from in the coming days. Om the desk in front of him, the Dean had the man’s diploma on one side and his Bible on the other. And he said two simple words: “Pick one”. When the astonished man picked the Bible, the Dean ripped up his college degree.

This story has stuck with me for all these years and I find it especially moving as a college graduate myself. All that work, the long hours and stress, only to have it be ripped away because he said he was a Christian. Yet that man stood by his convictions, just as Cassie Bernall did, the young girl who was asked if she was a Christian at Columbine, and ultimately died because of her answer. These people stood by their convictions and in a very small way, this blog post is me doing just that. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous to press “publish” as things like this are controversial. But I’m not letting that fear stand in my way. I am a Christian and I love the Lord with all my heart and hope to help others in His name.

Love One Another

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend time with family and friends. I’m sorry for my absence last week- I sprained my knee which took me out of commission for a bit and had something going every night after work. Needless to say, it was a little bit of a crazy week. Today though, I feel like I can’t talk about something silly or catch you up on my weekend. That will resume in my next post, but I feel this one needs to be much more serious.

What happened in Connecticut on Friday was horrific. I just don’t think there is a better word to explain it. Second to Virginia Tech, this school shooting was the second largest in U.S. history. This tragedy is so absolutely devastating that I’m sure to most it doesn’t even feel real. And yet, I can’t stop thinking about those families on that Friday morning. The children waking up, starting to look at their presents under the tree and excited to Christmas crafts at school, the administrators rejoicing that it was Friday who were thinking of all the things on their to-do lists. And then it was all taken away in an instant. For the students that survived, their parents and the teachers, life will never be the same and they will carry this with them always. For everyone involved and their families, it will go down as the worst day of their lives.

Devastating events like this remind us all of how precious and short life is. It’s too short to hold grudges or be mean to one another, too short to be so bogged down we forget about the important things, too short to not tell each and every person that we love them. So today, I’m telling you- I love you all my fabulous followers, friends and family. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing community here on my little side of the internet and am so thankful for all your support. So go out, and let people know how much you care about them. Be kind and loving to one another and in all that you do.

Thanksgiving Through the Lens

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to spend time with those you love. I had a wonderful day and weekend and have so much to be thankful for and feel very blessed. As always, the time goes too quickly but before we jump into another work week, I wanted to show you some pictures of my day! Since it was my first holiday being gluten-free and dairy-free, I was a little apprehensive about how everyone would handle their favorite recipes being altered. As it turned out, no one could even tell the difference and all the dished were very well received. But rather than just tell you about it, I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.

Outfit:

Black sweater dress: Aqua/Bloomingdales, Boots: Coach, Necklace: Boutique in San Diego

Breakfast:

Freshly squeezed carrot-orange juice to start the day off right… and it looked so festive too!

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin-pecan waffles… a family tradition now made GF/DF! And yes, that’s ham on the side so it’s not my plate!

Dinner:

Pumpkin sage soup with gluten free croutons and a mixed green salad with cranberries and spiced pecans

Haricot verts with Rosemary pecans

Pumpkin Apple Harvest Rice… my sister’s contribution that was fantastic!

Roasted Acorn Squash Rings

Cornbread stuffing

My plate of deliciousness!

Dessert:

I had to have a taste of everything: Vegan Pumpkin “froyo”, Pumpkin Pie, Coconut Creme tart, Chocolate Tart

Unpictured:

-Countless handfuls of Peanut M&Ms… it wouldn’t be a family holiday without them!

-Screaming with laughter in the kitchen with my mom as we were trying to navigate the turkey… it was my first time handling the raw thing and it was quite a sight. I named it Fred. We became buds.

-The interlude between the soup and salad course and the rest of the meal because all of my recipes required last minute touches- I like to think the running around opened up our stomachs a bit.

-Retreating to the couch with full bellies to watch the DVR’d Thanksgiving Day Parade and remembering the wonderful experience of going there with my family a few years ago.

 

Questions:

-How was your Thanksgiving?

-Tell me about one of your unpictured moments?