#body {margin-top:10px;}
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Enduring Tradition

It's almost ten p.m. on Christmas Eve, and I'm in my pajamas---my favorite holey Cubs t-shirt and flannel pj pants with snowflakes. I'm wearing snowflakes in hopes that it will inspire the Eastern Tennessee weather to cooperate and give me winter. Right now, it's storming rain. By the end of the week, it's supposed to be in the mid-60s. So much for a white Christmas.

I am in Gatlinburg, high up in the mountains, in a cozy log cabin. It's got all of the essentials: beds, indoor plumbing, and wireless internet. Oh, and a 50-inch HDTV. And a hot tub. Maybe Santa will put a hot man under the tree for me to wake up to in the morning. Probably not. Plus, I'm here with my parents and the dog. Might not be an opportune time for some mistletoe mischief.

This Christmas is one for establishing new traditions. Just before last Christmas, my Mamaw passed away, so the holidays were spent with heavy clouds hanging over us. In May, Ben and Brittany got married, and so they're family-sharing at the Dove's for Christmas. Mom, Dad and I didn't want to sit at home by ourselves, so we decided to give Gatlinburg a yuletide chance. Santa will still find us here, but it will be a little weird since I'll be the only Brown kid putting out milk and cookies.

Our traditions may change, and while I may flounder in this weird, singleness-induced place between childhood and adulthood, some things do not change.

Years ago, a baby was born in a most anomalous way: of a virgin, amongst farm animals, and with a promise to all mankind to conquer sin and death in order to give eternal life.

My Pastor made a simple, yet profound statement at church this past Sunday. He said, "Jesus Christ alone has the ability to hold both grace and truth in one person." So often, as active Christians, we find ourselves in one of two camps:

a) Self-seeking, committing intentional sin and ignoring the conviction, because we know we are forgiven and covered by grace;


b) Self-righteous, espousing holier-than-thou attitudes, and beating others with the club of truth.

I am constantly towing the line between the two. I struggle with breaking free from the shackles of legalism, yet realizing that true freedom exists in self-control. I am fickle, unloyal, and chameleonlike. My Lord, however, is not like me. He walked on earth in the flesh like me, but He did not sin. He experienced daily human life and temptation, yet did not sin. He is consistent, loyal, and unchanging. He does not keep a record of my sins.

December 25 may look different every year, but Jesus was, Jesus is, and Jesus will always be my Savior, the lover of my soul.

Merry Christmas to all of you. May you experience the enduring tradition of His love for you, from whichever camp you come.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Menu Marketing

Disclaimer: I have been in a totally random mood lately, so keep that in mind while you read this post.

Below are spices, food items, garnishes, and techniques that are sure to illicit a positive response rate from me when ordering at a restaurant. For example, you could add pesto to dog food, call it the "special," and I'm sold.

Goat Cheese
Pine Nuts
Bowtie Pasta
Pico de'Gallo
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
au Gratin
Truffle Oil
Red-Wine Reduction
Garlic Cloves
Cedar Roasted

Now, here are the plate-killers:


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Good Enough For Me

One day, when I have a Sugar Daddy, I will not work in Corporate America. Instead, I will bake cookies. I will try every recipe from Gourmet's glossary of favorite cookies from every year since 1941. I will make Sugar Shuttles, Pine Nut Macaroons, and Mini Linzers with raspberry jam. I will use stainless steel measuring cups, an antique mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. My flour and sugar will be displayed in neatly labeled cannisters on my kitchen counter. When my cookies cool, I will wrap up half for my family for after dinner, and half for the next-door neighbors. That is all for now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grace. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

This afternoon, I revisited some of my notes from Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur's Annointed, Transformed & Redeemed study of David, I completed this fall. Kay asks us to look at a simplified timeline of King David's reign in 2 Samuel from chapters six through 13. It begins with David's foul-up by mishandling the Ark, to the debacle with Bathsheba, concluding with the fallout afterward. Then, Kay asks us to go back and read the seventh chapter of 2 Samuel, titled, "God's Promise to David." In it, God tells David that he will have a son that will be King and that God will establish the line of David forever.

God is obviously referring to Solomon, the second son born to David and Bathsheba. Their first son, conceived in adultery, died.

If you do the math, God made this covenant with David before David even met Bathsheba. God knew all along that David would lust after her, and steal her from her husband, and then plot his murder. God foresaw that David's actions would knock over a domino that would bring judgment on Jerusalem. But still, God chose David for greatness---despite his impending sins.

I am reminded this afternoon, that my own run down sin's path has not been a surprise to my Lord. It didn't shock him that I fall, and that I do so easily. And yet, I believe He still has amazing things for me. Despite my best efforts, I am unable to screw things up beyond His redemption. That, is an incredible, and humble, feeling.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I'm wearing paisley today (no, not Brad). Have you ever noticed that I wear prints a lot? My friend Courtney observed this the other day. She wears solids everyday, and I typically wear prints, whether they be polka dots, stripes, florals, etc. Psychologically, I think it's because prints hide fat rolls better than solids. Courtney doesn't need to worry about this, which is likely why she wears solids. Just sayin.

Anyway, last night, Courtney and I made a trip to the Promised Land. Yep, Sephora. We went on a little shopping spree, and I stuffed my stocking with all kinds of wonderful goodies. But since I'm not allowed to think about what's inside my stocking until Christmas, you'll have to wait to see what I got.

Courtney and I also realized that we must be among Sephora's best shoppers. Each of us received a "$15 off a purchase of $35 or more" coupon through email, but so far, no one else we know got a coupon. Initially, that makes me feel special, yet what does that say about my spending habits? I don't wanna reform...

As I was checking out last night (for the second time, because I didn't make it out the store before something else caught my eye), I commented that I might as well get a part-time job at Sephora since I spend so much money there. One thing led to the next, and I also walked out the door with an application in my hand. I'm seriously considering turning it in in February or March when things slow down a bit. I figure I can work anywhere from eight to 16 hours per week and make up to $400 a month. That should feed my habit adequately, and even pad my pocket with a little gas money to get to and from work.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Giving Thanks for Rest

Work-schmerk. Is anyone else having the LONGEST week of their life? I always feel like this after I come back from a holiday. Especially a really good holiday, which was my Thanksgiving.

I spent a lot of time in front of a roaring fire, knitting, sipping tea, and spending some QT with my family. And I didn't brave the mall...but I did do a little internet shopping...and bought...wait for it...drumroll...my brand spankin' new iPod Classic! I don't actually have it in my possession yet, but I will soon. And then, it gets wrapped and placed under the tree until Christmas morning. Yes, that's how I roll.

In the meantime, I've become obsessed with iTunes. I'm going to need a 12-step program. So far, I've managed to upload 173 albums, 2194 songs, 5.9 days and 7.85 GB of music, and I haven't scraped the tip of the iceberg yet. It's going to be a long and ardous process, to say the least. Thankfully, my laptop, Kip, is managing well. Good boy.

Thanksgiving evening, my family went to see Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. It wasn't near as raunchy as it could've been, and was quite entertaining. Even my parents liked it. And they're a tough crowd.

On the way out of the crowded theater, I got separated from my parents and my brother and his wife. By the time we'd made it out to the lobby, I looked a ways ahead and saw my parents walking arm in arm. Back several people behind me, were Ben and Brittany side by side. It sounds silly, but I felt a pang (okay, a stab) of loneliness that no one was there to walk me out. I don't need someone to walk me out. I'm perfectly capable of making it down the steps without falling, shuffling down the ramp, tossing my coke in the trash can, and putting my arms in the sleeves of my jacket all by myself. But I sure do want someone to care that I don't fall, care that my hands are full with a purse, scarf, jacket, and cup. Singleness during the holidays sucks.

Anyway, we took a family photo on Thursday evening, and managed to get Stella to look at the camera and smile!

Oh ya---my first article came out in the January issue of Christian Single yesterday. If you'd like to have a read, let me know and I'll send you a soft copy.

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]