May 23, 2012

a quiet woodland walk

It was late in the afternoon on a sunny spring day and all I could hear was the soft crunching of dried leaves beneath my feet, the distant chirping of birds, and the quiet bubbling of a tiny stream of water. Sitting down on a old log I just stopped and listened. I listened to the sound of God's wonderful creation all around me. The sounds of spring carried on the gentle breeze. It was beautiful and so refreshing.

There are days when I just need to take a step back from the crazy routine of a much-too-busy schedule and take a moment to breathe. On this particular day I was needing a little bit of quietness, so I grabbed my camera and Bible and set out to go on a walk in our wooded area. The result was a refreshing time reading God's Word as well as lots and lots of photos :)

Finding the twisted remains of an old vine "archway" that served as the entrance to a hideout that my friend and I had built when we were younger or the faint outline of "R & R" carefully carved into a tree trunk. It brings back such wonderful memories...

What is your favorite way to take a break from your daily routine?

May 12, 2012

fresh from the oven // chocolate chip cookies

I love the aroma of freshly baked goodies. The smell of bread that just came out of the oven, or maybe some muffins or a coffee cake. But no matter how many things we bake, there's nothing quite the same as the scent of fresh chocolate chip cookies.

Awhile back a friend of ours gave us her chocolate chip cookie recipe and it's become a family favorite. I can't pinpoint exactly why we like them so much - maybe it's because they have chocolate in them. Wait a minute, that's kind of the point of a chocolate chip cookie, isn't it? Never mind, moving on...

A few days ago I decided to bake cookies for several reasons. First of all, we wanted to take them to some ladies in our church. Secondly, they sounded good. And last of all, I needed a photo subject and chocolate chip cookies just happen to be photogenic. They sit really still and they taste really good. Having more than enough reasons, I grabbed the recipe and got to work.

I must mention that I don't bake in the most organized fashion. By the time I was done there was flour all over, measuring cups and spoons scattered here and there, and bits of dough that had flown out of the mixer and landed on the counter. Despite the mess I made of the kitchen, the results of my effort were golden brown circles with warm centers packed full of gooey chocolate chips. Well worth it, I would say, as freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are simply delicious - especially with a glass of milk.

There is only one thing that I can't make up my mind about when it comes to chocolate chip cookies.
Is it the cookie dough or the baked cookies that are better?

May 3, 2012

Chasing Rainbows

Over the past few weeks we have had wet weather off and on. One day will be dry and sunny, the next dreary and wet. One particular evening it had been raining, but a little while before sunset it decided to take a little break - the result being a lovely rainbow. Rainbows are one of those things that can never be fully captured through the lens of a camera. I've seen some people do a really good job at photographing them, but I've decided that it's still not quite the same effect as when you look at them out the window or from your front yard.

One thing that I find most interesting about a rainbow is that it you can never get the the end of it. Even if you are driving your car down the interstate after a refreshing spring rain, no matter how far or fast you drive towards a rainbow you'll never go under it. It's impossible to reach.

In a way this reminds me of how the things of this world can't make you fully content. No matter how hard you pursue the pleasures that this world has to offer, you will never find true satisfaction. No matter how hard you chase that rainbow, you'll never reach the pot of gold. And even if you do find that pot of gold, will it really be everything you need to be happy? I don't think so.

Let's face it - the things of this world don't satisfy. Oh yes, the world will tell us that they do. We just have to look like a model, wear designer clothes, make lots of money, have the latest technology, keep up with the latest trends, and be friendly, outgoing, and popular...then we'll be happy, right? It's sad that many people believe this and waste their whole lives chasing after it. In reality, they are chasing rainbows. It looks appealing, but no matter how hard or long you run after it you will never reach it.

God is the only thing that can truly satisfy that empty space in our lives. We can try all we want to fill it with the things the world says are necessary in order to be content, but it's not going to work. When we choose to let go of all of the worldly pleasures and possessions that we hold so dear and allow God to be our everything, then, and only then, will we find true satisfaction and joy.

Sorry about being gone so long from my blog :) Life gets so busy sometimes that, even though I've got a million post ideas swirling around in my head, I just can't find the time to sit down and transfer those thoughts to the computer screen. I'll do my best, but if I happen to go absent just assume that I'm finishing up my school, weeding and mulching the garden, snapping a few photos, waking up at 5:00am to babysit, getting my horse show-ready, cleaning out animal pens, and possibly slipping a little bit of sleep somewhere in there...