Friday, June 29, 2012

knock you naked.

it has been quite some time since i last baked something and actually took the time to document my efforts for the ole blog. this week will was having an especially hard week at work, so i decided to take the opportunity to make something new and encourage my favorite person with his favorite.


yet, i was having a dilemma. do i make the go to Martha's brownies or do i step out on a little adventure of my own and create something new....

seeing that i enjoy risks and new adventures, i chose to make something new. so this is what happened.
a twist on three different recipes. and they still need a name {comment with a suggestion:)}

i have always been a BIG fan of The Pioneer Woman {remember "the bread"?}. well, she made an adaptation to one of her favorite brownies and so i did the same with hers. They are called Knock You Naked brownies. with good reason, i might add. 

so i made these babies with a twist. and they will also, knock you naked. 

Grandmama calls them "sin". 

  most of the time i shy away from a box... but this time it alright! you use one box of German Chocolate Cake mix....

one stick of butter, melted.

one cup of finely chopped pecans... not a cup of pecans chopped... there is a difference :)

1/3 cup of evaporated milk.

then you mix all that goodness together until it looks like cookie dough/ brownie batter!
then in a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup of nutella

with half a can of sweetened condensed milk and set it aside. 

get a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 pan and grease it realllly good. i used coconut oil for mine. 

and half the batter and press it down in the bottom of the pan. 

cook that puppy in a 350 degree oven for about 6 mins... and then pour that nutella goodness over it. 

take the remaining batter and a LARGE sheet of wax paper. put the batter on the paper and using another sheet, press out a square the size of your pan. place it on top {HINT: i didn't do it this way and i wish i would have... this idea is hindsight.}

after about 26 more minutes in the oven.. you get this baby!

its so YUMMY! but dont eat it yet. save it. 

let it cool all the way, and then generously cover it with powdered sugar! 
then enjoy!

{note: i think they are better the next day... }

hope you enjoy this little creation :)
and please... come up with a name for me after you try them!

much love. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

june 25, 2012.

i cannot believe it's already june 25. this month has flown by.

i haven't written in a couple of weeks, just to allow me some time to process everything that is going on in my life right now in order to reproduce it in an effective way.

first of all: atlanta. 
i love it here. last week i was talking with my little myra [who by the way is AMAZING and is working so hard at her BIG GIRL JOB!!], and we were talking about all this new stuff in our new places of residence. how it's a little more difficult to re-create community for ourselves, while still working and being independent. but i do love it. i have zero excuse to not do anything. there are things happening every weekend, new places to visit every day if i wanted, new people that i have met each week. i really do love it here. for all these reasons and more.

atlanta is becoming home. i am finding short-cuts, favorite parts of town, and learning how to get through traffic without a mild headache. 

second: NightLight.
it's hard for me to begin talking about this part of my life. there are so many things that go through my mind every day. a simple update would be merely impossible, but nevertheless, i press on and will attempt it :)

the little babes at kids club are beginning to remember me and i am remembering their sweet names and faces clearer every week. sometimes we get to have wonderful little conversations about sparkled shoe laces and ice cream and how they went to connecticut once, and other times we just sit together holding hands. i love hearing them sing the worship songs. there is nothing more beautiful than a child who has faith.

outreach is always heavy. friday night we were on a track i am becoming familiar with. there are sweet moments of quite with the Lord in this place. i stood on the front steps of a brothel turned hotel, and we lifted up songs and prayers for the people inside. when you hear from the Lord, and you speak into someone's spirit, you see the purpose of this ministry.

it's so hard to fully express what it is life until you are there. so many women just want someone to look into their eyes and see them, really see them. see their intelligence and their potential. like Jesus would.

yet during this time, i am learning more than i could have ever imagined about myself.
God has opened my eyes to so much more about himself and about how he sees me. i am 
learning the relationship i have with the Holy Spirit and being connected to Him
and the power and might i can display through using that relationship.

i pray everyday to do far greater things. 

third: marathon.
will and i ran 11 miles friday morning. i was totally mentally prepared because that is the longest training run i did for the half marathon. of course, will smoked me, but that's fine. we ran at the silver comet trail in smyrna. which is a beautiful place to run and not see that many people. lots of bikers and not a lot of places to stop and get h2o. and i have never trained this hard core in the summer heat by the way. it's a whole new world and i don't know if it's my favorite thing. but i persevere. and we will be awesome. 

oh and a BIG thing for anyone trying to do a long run/ race/ whatever. get good socks! i was having some weird blister issues and so will and i went to REI and got me some awesome Iron Man socks that prevent blisters and excess moisture. i HIGHLY recommend getting some like that for running!

fourth: life according to the iPhone

 best gauc ever...

so this picture...

will's grandfather gave it to me :) because he calls me miss america ;) i didn't complain

dinner with Mark and Britt in bham! at Chuy's

 passion city church: summer in the city

 this was our pre 11 mile dinner at this awesome greek restaurant. too much food. 

our favorite yogurt place! this was pistachio frozen yogurt. 

night light mentor training.

may blessings be poured upon you from heaven!

Monday, June 11, 2012

brothels and waffles.

last night we went to grace midtown for church. as an intern at NightLight, they have encouraged us to go to at least one service in order to see where the ministry's heart is played out through the church body.

the sermon was on mark 2. jesus is being badgered by the pharisees about fasting and the sabbath. and we heard some foundational points. it was a great sermon, but specifically, one thing jumped out at me. and it was about thankfulness.

pastor said something along the lines of...

 "you cannot ask the Lord for something, if you are not thankful for what you have already been given."

so many times we pray to be granted peace or rest or freedom, however, we do not thank the Lord for the things we have been given already. 


friday night was my first outreach with NightLight. 
my thoughts were scattered all day between resting in Jesus, reading the Word, preparing for the weekend in NC with Will's family... just all sorts of things. 
i was not nervous, nor was i afraid. i was just anticipating the faces and words i was going to see and hear all night. 

here are my thoughts through the night. 

the first prayer i prayed was for freedom. i sat in the library at Grace and prayed for freedom. freedom for my words to be His words, freedom for the women... freedom for the men. i declared freedom over the night... like a blanket. 

as i asked the Lord for a word about the evening, He kept showing me something bright & pink. "well typical," i thought, "i'm going to strip clubs to talk to prostitutes." but i know i cannot underestimate the power of God. 

we go to waffle house, as is tradition before outreach, in the same area we are about to roam the streets. our waitress, full of joy, received words of power and strength. the staff of women, were all wearing pink scarves. coincidence? probably not. 

we walked from club to club praying in the parking lots, praying over the ground, praying for the women and the house moms, praying with the security. we stopped in the streets to pray and talk with women. to speak to men. to ask the Lord for deliverance and freedom. 

1,2,3 women i spoke with and prayed for. pink. 
the color pink is about innocence, restored innocence. and that is what we prayed to see. 

as the night drew on into later and later hours, we stopped to ask the Lord for restored energy to complete His plan for our evening. 

we heard from girls we had not seen in months. we saw new growth within many of the establishments... one of the brothels had been shut down! the management had a change of heart and decided to stop allowing prostitution. all from the seed which the Lord sowed, using NightLight as His vessel. restoration.

then came the tears for me. my heart started to feel like a brick inside my chest. what in the world, i did not expect to feel such hurt right now. as i stood on the corner of the street, looking out, i see cars drive into the club. i look at the faces of the men. i see my friends dad's, grandfathers, i see my cousins, i see my brother. i start to get deeply emotional. i am NOT supposed to feel pain for them, they are the ones putting these women to work. they are the demand in this transaction. yet Jesus spoke to me and said, "these are my children, called by my name... for I loved the WHOLE world, I died for them too..."
then i saw a vision, for a generation to rise up...

as we drove away, i was silent. everything i expected came true. the Lord showed us more and more of His plan for this track. there is a change taking place, small, but there is a change. a glimmer. 

as we prayed for one specific man before driving home, the Lord showered his rest. the Lord gave us words to restore this man's confidence in His power. it was truly a beautiful ending to an incredible evening. 

it was Ariel's {team member} birthday now. she laughed as we talked about how she spent her 22nd birthday eating waffles and going to brothels...


as i sat in church last night, thinking of all the things i am thankful for, i thought back on friday night. how thankful i am for rest, true rest in His arms.
how thankful i am for the freedom i have been given.
how thankful i am for the power i have through His name.

and then i prayed for those things over the women i encountered, and will continue to encounter, 
every friday night for the rest of the summer.

If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given my life.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. 
the wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.
psalm 119:92-95

Friday, June 8, 2012

sleepin' in.

today i did something i haven't done in ages.

i slept in.

it may have been the food coma i was in last night from an AMAZING mexican dinner with will, or the fact that i will be up kinda late tonight doing the "lawd's work."

but my body needs to be rested and free from the temptation to get all sleepy/tired/narcoleptic tonight. no attacks from satan here...


today i was filling out a form to submit to this nice little nannying website. 
i thought it sounded a little sketchy, but how else do you find nannying jobs?
i have asked around a little here and there, but i decided it really wouldn't hurt. 
because i deeply miss my kids back in auburn. i miss keeping my babies and dancing in the kitchen to the allman brothers. 
i miss swinging and playing games with tubberware. 
so i am looking for a nannying job- part time. so if you know someone in my area... holler at your girl.

but anyways, i was filling out this form and it asked me what my favorite children's books were. 
that is a dangerous question for me... especially when you are limited to about 800 characters. 
i remember reading a lot of books... or i mean having a bunch of books read to me by my loving kindergarten teaching mother. 
but i recalled about four that struck my little heart once again.

forever will love dr. seuss and all his marvelous works of literature. kids will never tire these out. this one especially.

another beautiful yellow cover. i think i read this book about a million times at Mamaw's house. 

mom read this to me often. i got to read it to Ellabug just as much. it's a classic.

and finally this gem. 

last night we were in Barnes and Nobel and if my blood sugar had not been in the pits, i think we would stayed for about 6 hours. literally. that's one thing will and i share, the love of a good book. my choices are probably a little more "hipster" like some good C.S Lewis, which i would categorize as a classic, but whatever...

well, i am off to read another new book called Freedom Tools... book number for in the past month. 

may God bless and keep you.


And a HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is sown in PEACE by those who make PEACE.
james 3:18

in the FEAR OF THE LORD one has STRONG confidence, and his children will have refuge.
proverbs 14:26

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

face time.

growing up, my mom had this book that was always in her bathroom. it sat on the corner of the large garden tub, and it's colors and title still dance across my mind whenever i think about that little house on Semaht Drive. i couldn't read at that point, at least not well, so i just remember the cover. 

now that i can read a little better, i decided to pull out the 5 Love Languages book again and see what it was all about. granted, i had heard the love languages spoken to me as a child and we all tried to figure out what we were so our family could "love each other" better. and now, i find myself analyzing people to figure out how i can show love to them better. 

so for a quality time-physical touch-words of affirmation type chick like myself, this week has been marvelous. and i would love to explain my reasoning why. 

saturday. let's just begin there. first of all, community and fellowship with the body is incredible! i am a self-proclaimed introvert... i honestly do not get "re-charged" by social encounters. however, they are necessary in one's life and walk with the Lord. we had a cookout for the interns at NightLight and i cannot begin to express the humility and affirmation i received from those hours. 

my cousin J sent me a text earlier last week encouraging me to open up my heart to just listen and learn from the people i would be surrounded by. he called them "oaks of righteousness." boy, was he right on target. such incredible, Godly, wise men and women are leaders in the ministry. i am honored to be a part. i received so many words of affirmation during our prayer time. and the Lord showered blessings upon us to encourage our journey this summer. and through our lives. 

not only that, but before the cookout, will and i went to a surprise "baby daddy shower" party-thing for our dear friend Cy. i finally met all the friends i hear about from will, who i basically feel like i know. 

i had one conversation with Jay, and my attitude about this summer changed. 
we were discussing the work i will be doing when all the sudden Jay just stopped and said,
 "so what if no one is changed from what you say this summer?"

that stopped me right there and scared me for a second. so i gave a good church answer and said 
"at least the seed would be planted you know."

then i got this nugget of wisdom, Jay said, "What if the person who gets changed, is you?"

and i felt dumb. and then encouraged. then empowered. how affirming, once again, that i am supposed to learn... and grow... and that this is more for me, maybe, than it is for the rest of atlanta. that this relationship i have with Jesus, is so important, that He would bring me here, to this place, to teach me one little thing. 

lots of quality time and affirmation on that saturday. 

sunday, woke up before the sun to leave for the beach with will. we met my family in gulf shores after a 6 hour & 20 minute drive. we enjoyed great food, and greater fellowship with my family. we laughed hard, i got to meet the newest baby bethea, and will got to meet the rest of my family. it was beyond worth it, just to get away for a couple days before my first week of working. and i got a tan... 

after another 6 hour drive back to atlanta yesterday, i drove to grace to begin our first night of Kids Club. i love working with kids and showing them the love of Christ through simple, yet meaningful acts. singing songs, playing with side walk chalk, learning about God's Heart, and how he loves us, eating a snack, and just a simple hug. the word i kept seeing yesterday in my thoughts was hope.

we talked about how no matter what we do, God always loves us and keeps us in His heart, if we ask for forgiveness. simple truth. 

as i sat on a tarp in the dirt with a little angel in my lap, i could feel the presence of the Lord saturating the playground. i heard laughter and joy in their voices. i saw love and hope in their eyes. these children can and will do amazing things with the right direction. that is why we are here, to share that direction in the name of Jesus. 

during craft time, a little boy was coloring a picture of himself to put into God's heart. he stopped and looked at me and asked, "what color is God?"

i smiled and said that God is all the colors... and another child spoke up, "yeh, He is all the colors in the whole world!" 

and then i saw the children coloring all the possible crayon combinations on the little paper hearts we gave them. then they glue sticked themselves in God's Heart. such a precious picture. there is no color boundary for God's everlasting love. 

when i showered off all the dust last night, i thanked the Lord for the faces i saw and the hands i touched. i prayed they would see great things and do good with those hands. i prayed they would never forget the words of affirmation and the time we spent with them for those hours. i pray for them to come back next week. 


life according to the iPhone



much love and blessings. 

the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed
me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.
- jesus