Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kitchen Adventure...FAIL!!

All I can say this morning as I sit in my smokey apartment is "Thank you God that I don't have a husband to feed!"  If I did, he would probably go hungry because I am a TERRIBLE cook!  This morning I felt adventurous and decided that pancakes and scrambled eggs would be a good idea.  Guess what?  It wasn't a good idea!

I mixed up the batter without any trouble.  Although I was a little low on milk.  I got out my stainless steel skillet (which I have no experience using) and put a little oil in it.  My past cooking experience has taught me that when you're working with anything other than teflon, you need to grease it.  I poured in some batter and realized that I poured too much oil in the skillet.  I decided that it would end up more like a fried funnel cake than a pancake.  So right before flipping it, I decided I would pour some of the oil into the sink.  Bad idea number 1! The pancake started to run out.  Then I decided I would use a plastic spoon to scoop some of the hot oil out.  Bad idea number 2! As soon as the spoon touched the oil, it started popping and sizzling and sending boiling drops of oil all across my kitchen.  Then I decided that I was ok with having an oily pancake.  Surely the next one will come out better.

Let's just say that none of my pancakes came out without one side burnt.  They all tasted like oil and no matter how much syrup I use, it will never quite make them edible.  And then there's the skillet.  I am not even looking forward to figuring out how to wash it.  It is soaking in hot, soapy water right now in hopes that cleaning it will be easier later.  After the pancakes, I didn't even want to think about making scrambled eggs. 

The Moral of the story is this...
Charissa desperately needs to purchase a teflon skillet!  And marriage is gonna have to wait because the poor guy, whoever he is, doesn't deserve this kind of punishment! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Lessons

As I come to the end of week number 2 in my own apartment, I feel the need to share some wisdom with the world.  These are all things that I have learned in the past two weeks and I hope you enjoy!

10 Steps to a Successful Life

1.  Always remember to spray the pan before you put "whatever" in it to bake (clean-up is impossible if you forget)
2.  Take out the trash often (you never know what you threw away yesterday that might start smelling today)
3.  Have a place near the door where you put things that you can't forget to take when you leave the next morning (even that doesn't always work...but it's one step closer to remembering)
4.  LOCK the door when you come inside and know that you won't be leaving again until the next morning (two nights already have gone by with the door completely open...God is watching out for me)
5.  When you're done cooking, it's ok to turn the oven/burner off (actually it's preferrable and safer)
6.  Check your mail (yes, you do have a mailbox...don't forget about it)
7.  Wash dishes (you may think you are ahead, but don't worry you're drinking juice right now so you'll still have something to wash never ends, accept it)
8.  Light candles or spray Febreze frequently (no matter how hard you try, something always smells funny..."something" usually being yourself)
9.  Place a small bowl with baking soda in the fridge (it's amazing how much better it smells)
10.  Be patient (everything can't be done right small step at a time to get it all done)

I have had so many interesting things happen to me these past two weeks.  I am learning so much, not only about life, but about myself.  It will definitely be a miracle if I can survive on my own for two years.  I think the kitchen is the most dangerous and intimidating part of living on my own.  Not to mention that I'm so indecisive and impatient.  I want something to eat and I want it now!

This past Sunday, I woke up sick.  I think that was my least favorite day alone yet.  There was no one to comfort me when I threw up.  There was no one to bring me juice or make me soup.  I suffered through it all alone...and SURVIVED!!  As much as I hated it, I also enjoyed it.  There was no one to bug me.  There was no one forcing me to take meds.  I was able to make it through and move on and I didn't need anyone. 

I have felt very empowered by living alone.  Yes, it's very quiet.  Yes, it gets lonely.  But there is just something about paying my own bills that makes me feel good.  I am accomplished.  I can support myself and make this difficult transition into adulthood in spectacular fashion.  These trial and error lessons not only teach me good things, they make for pretty funny stories as well!

I would love it if y'all had any advice about life for me.  Remember, it's the little things that make a difference! You would not even believe how excited I was when I tested out the baking soda in the fridge idea!  :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Apparently this is the season of my life where I question things and experience difficulty.  I am a slight mess this evening.  All this time alone in my apartment makes for lots of time to think, reflect, and ponder.  It all seems to center around the choices I've made in my life that define who I am.  I feel like God has called me to be set apart and to live my life in a way that counters the popular decisions of those around me.  My purpose seems to be to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. 

So let me just break some things down for you...
*First kiss on my wedding day (not exactly a popular choice, nor easy, and good luck trying to find a guy who is ok with that...HA!)
*Quit college (not even a choice I ever thought I would have to make, good luck finding a decent job and having a sound future)
*Moving cross country ALONE (single, 21, don't know anyone, just do it...WHY???)

Let's just say that these are the ones I'm dealing with the most right now.  I also want to say that these are not necessarily choices I wanted to make.  God has placed these things on my heart, though, and made them very important to me.  What would my life be without them?  ...probably normal...

My next question then is...would I be ok with just normal?  ...probably not...

So...why does it suck so bad when people judge me for my unpopular decisions? 

Living a life set apart is not an easy task.  If you want to live a comfortable life where nothing extraordinary happens, then don't choose the path I have chosen.  BUT...if you want to live a life of adventure and mystery, then by all means, travel the road that no one else walks on.  Branch out on your own.  Be willing to leave everything behind and trust in the only one who will always be there for you...GOD! 

Yes...people will judge you! will be hard! will have days where, like me, all you want is to be normal again!  BUT...will your life be about you or God in the end?

I want my life to be more about God than myself in the end because then I know I sacrificed myself for something more important.  I don't really matter in the grand scheme of things...and no offense, but neither do you!  God has called us to something greater...a life of worship and adoration!  To make His name great and who cares if anyone remembers your name or mine. 

So I guess my problem this evening is that I have let what others have to say get to me.  It really doesn't matter what they think or how they react to my choices.  No one HAS to respect my decisions.  I will continue to follow where my heart takes me...popular or not...and nothing else should matter.  Opinions, judgements, comments, or criticisms should not affect me.  The approval of my God is all that matters!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does anyone understand me?

I am a Christian, trapped in a world that doesn't understand me.  This past week has been such a challenge on my spiritual health.  I am not as strong as I need to be or even have been in the past.  I am set apart for something...that something which I am still unsure of.  I can't make people understand and I can't explain enough to make sense. 

The light that shines so attracts and illuminates...that isn't me! It's God IN me! My choices and decisions often go against the flow of the majority, but that's ok with me.  I want to pursue the God that my life was created to worship and that often means rejecting the worldly standard.  But...why is it so hard to understand? 

I feel beaten from all sides.  Struck down, battered, and bruised.  Those that cut me down don't even realize how much they are hurting me.  I want everyone to know the joy I've found in God!  I want them to be attracted to the light and do something about it.  But why does it always stop there?  Why can't it go further? 

My heart is breaking for the searching around me.  All they want is to be good, have comfort, experience pleasure.  So many of the things they chase after leave them empty and confused.  There's the light, but it's so different.  It's not always comfort or fun.  It requires sacrifice and hardship. 

I know that I'm not perfect and I won't always make the best decisions. This past week in particular I have been very selfish.  It's so easy for me to forget what is really important in life.  It's so much harder to find people who believe the same  things as me here.  I'm so used to being surrounded by an intense community of people who have the same ideas about life and beliefs about God.  Now that I'm in the real world and on my own I am realizing how much I miss that community and how much I took it for granted when I had it. 

The solitude is not all bad though.  It is forcing me to be still and take the time to spend with God.  If I didn't use the time with Him, I would be pretty close to going crazy!  Although many of you who know me would probably say that I'm not too far from crazy anyway.  Regardless, I am in a new place of life that I have never experienced before and I'm just trying to figure out the best way to make it work.  Life is so complicated sometimes. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The End of One...The Beginning of Another

When people look at me, what do they see?

When I look in the mirror, what do I see?

There have been many times in my life that I have looked in the mirror and encountered questions and fears.  I have looked into eyes of anger and hurt, depression, suffering, sadness, compassion.  Other times I am confronted with joy and peace. 

Each phase of life brings in new emotions, always reflected in the eyes.  As I look in my eyes today, I see something new that I haven't seen before in myself.  I no longer see a young, single, twenty something who is searching for her place in life.  I see a growing woman, maturing beyond her expectations.  I see a boldness and peace in her eyes.  I see determination.

I surveyed my life in one quick and simple glance.  I made eye contact with myself and had to ask some hard questions.  What is my purpose?  Do I really know what I am doing?  Am I where I should be?  How does this shift from kid to adult affect who I am?  How do I find the balance?  What kind of job can I get to incorporate my personality and passions, and allow me to thrive?  If that job exists, will it pay the bills?  What else could happen to me?  Where is my life really headed?  ... ... ... the list could go on forever... and most will remain unanswered.  The encouragement comes in knowing that I don't have to know all the answers to continue being me and living my life with purpose. 

I know that my life was meant to bring glory to the one who created me.  I am one tiny speck among billions and where do I come off, at any point, in thinking that it's all about me?  Who am I that I might think I deserve a plethera of blessings and someone else does not?  No, I do not deserve them, but welcome them as a testimony to how my God provides.  One day may come when I no longer own anything and I can be encouraged, when I look back on my life, to see all the wonderful things that God did. 

I can not come close to expressing the gratitude that I feel towards all those who have helped me so far in my journey of life.  I would not even know what to say or how to pay it back.  And truly, it wasn't meant to be repaid.  So for those who have prayed, donated, assisted, or just loved...THANK YOU!!

There are so many questions that will always linger, but tonight I took a good long look and searched myself for the truth.  I needed to know on a deeper level, my motives and my purpose.  I am about to be on my own for the very first time and as much as it scares me, I'm ready!  This almost feels like the end of my story, but truly it is the beginning of another.  The journey to independence has turned it's last page and a new book is about to be opened.  Sorry, but I'm not sure what the title is yet! What I can say though, is that even if the stories aren't as outrageous and jawdropping as the previous ones, they are still important to share and worthy of praising God for. 

Saturday is moving day! Hello new phase in life! :)

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)