Saturday, October 29, 2011

The fool in me

"I must learn to love the fool in me -- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."

-- Theodore I. Rubin, MD

Quote via: Cup of Jo; Photo via: Classy in the City

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Her God-given potential




Photo via: Culture Shock

What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish.

And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish . . .

Women comprise more than half the world's population. Women are 70% percent of the world's poor, and two-thirds of those who are not taught to read and write . . .

At this very moment . . . women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running countries.

Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated; they are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation; they are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers; they are being forced into prostitution, and they are being barred from the bank lending office and banned from the ballot box . . .

We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.

We also must recognize that women will never gain full dignity until their human rights are respected and protected . . .

As long as discrimination and inequities remain so commonplace around the world - as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled and subjected to violence in and out of their homes - the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realized . . .

And let us heed the call [to action] so that we can create a world in which every woman is treated with respect and dignity, every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future . . .

--- Hillary Clinton, 5 September 1995

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Café au lait, s'il vous plaît

Source: From Paris to London

Coffee is certainly on my mind this morning. Café au lait, s'il vous plaît! Of course, if I were in a more self-indulgent mood, espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream does sound utterly delicious! The only one I am not quite sure of is espresso with ice cubes, . . . what would be your order of choice?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My testimony, to share


(by n.states)

Via La Cannella Frago

First and foremost, I am a sinner saved by grace.

I am blessed with faithful parents and was brought up in a loving, Christian home. I was taught by example how to live one's life with a passionate love for the Lord. As missionaries, my parents taught me of the hope to be found in the Lord and how to love, honor and serve Him day by day.  From an early age, I observed my parents' devotion to the Lord's calling and the ministry He set forth for our family. I was taught of God and how the Bible is His word. How often I sang "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!" I knew this to be true, though it was not until adolescence that I began to grasp the truth of the gospel and my personal relationship with the Lord.

In middle school, my life resembled that of most pre-adolescent girls. I followed the older girls in school, mimicking their words and dressing as they did. I so longed to have friends in my new school and to be socially accepted. This was the beginning of a long struggle with perfectionism and the insecurity that inevitably follows when perfection is not recognized. Throughout my high school years, I was often broken by insecurity. My heart would ache at the thought of leaving for school where I would most certainly fail either socially, academically or both. Such fear intensified to the point that my tears of fear would keep my home from school on some days. Often, during these times of self-conflict, I would retreat to writing my struggles down in my journal. Little did I know at the time, but this was the beginning of my habit of writing every thought and prayer down on paper as I means of documenting my journey. 

Through high school I continued to write, gently placing my struggles on paper and praying for freedom from my fears and insecurity.

Then, at the age of 15, in the stillness of  my dorm room at Black Forest Academy, my life was changed by words I felt were written in answer to my heart.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34: 17-18)

Though I had certainly heard these words before, I had yet to grasp the truth of the Lord's love for me, Kelsey. Before that Tuesday night, my life felt overshadowed by my fears of social rejection and imperfection. Though I am indeed a sinner, I am a sinner saved by grace. The joy that swept over me at this realization is a moment in time forever etched in my memory. The truth was made clear to me. As I opened my eyes to my surroundings in the days that followed, I saw for the first time, the beautiful joy with which the people in my Christian community worshipped the Lord and lived to serve Him. I was blessed to have such faithful, godly women, such as my Mama, Loralee, Mari Ellen, Cathy, Lois, Mary, Betsy, Julia, Gena, Bethany and Suzanne, present in my life, there to mentor and guide me. I longed for my life of faith to resemble theirs.

Though the outward change developed slowly, I knew my heart was forever transformed. I began to scribble away in my journal, with praises unto the Lord, rather than writing tear stained pages of frustration and pain.

As I left my home in Kandern, Germany to attend college in Texas, once more I would face my fears of rejection and imperfection. My weaknesses would be recognized day after day and many nights I would remain under the covers in my dorm room for fear of facing new people and a new place. Recalling the Lord's words to me and His steadfast love, I would repeat the following verse to myself time and time again. 

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

Today, I strive to live by this verse, no longer shrinking from life for fear of the world, but rather, boldly proclaiming His love and goodness. God is good, and His love for me beats steadfast and strong. I pray for confidence and strength as I seek to honor Him with my life and follow His calling, wherever He should lead.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Look, how clever!

Via La Cannella Fragola

Look how clever these images are! Just watch how they are moving along down the streets of London. I thought it was simply too fun not to share with you. It certainly made for a neat discovery this morning, and all day long now I have been daydreaming about my favorite Disney movies. I certainly was more prone to watch the "princess movies" like Cinderella than little boy movies like 101 Dalmatians, . . . plus, Cruella De Vil is such a frightening character. I did always like this scene though, and the way the dogs perfectly match their owners. In a child's mind, it is simply the way things ought to be, isn't it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am curious as to your thoughts

Via La Cannella Fragola

The images above indicate the most popular names for boys and girls by European country. I found some of the names quite surprising, like the name "Oleksandr" (which I suppose it similar to Alexander) for a boy or "Ona" for a girl. The names I love the most are Emma, Olivia, or Elena for a girl. They are such friendly names, I think. For a boy, I imagine any Luca or Francesco would be quite handsome, simply based on his name alone. Are you at all surprised by any of these names? I would so love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkiny good

Now that it is October, I feel at liberty to express that I am completely in love with anything pumpkin related. Those who know me, know this well. I am an unabashed lover of pumpkin. Simply look at these pumkiny recipes and I know you will agree, . . . it is just all so pumkiny good!

Caramelized Pumpkin and Pear Crumble

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Real Simple had kindly supplied 11 delicious pumpkin recipes for people such as me. Now the only trouble is deciding which of these recipes to attempt first!