Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Sometimes Growth comes from the hardest of places.

Doesn't that make those hard places all the more beautiful?

Many people in my life are in hard places right now...not necessarily tragic, although some are...just hard...lonely...for whatever reason.

A season of drought.
A season of pain.
A season of waiting.
A season of wanting.

But one day, all of a sudden you'll realize that something has grown in the middle of this rock you thought was desolate...out comes something bright, beautiful...something with life, something that bears fruit.

So, I guess all of this to say, hang in there.
Let God keep you there for as long as He needs...He's moving, even if you can't tell right now.

This reminded me of some photos I took last year in Wisconsin. My mom and I took a walk in the rain at the lake one morning. It was so beautiful and serene. The shore line was covered in scattered rocks of all sizes. A few of them had these beautiful plants growing from them. I can't image how such a delicate plant can grow from such a hard, and seemingly unmoving rock...yet it did.

The dark overcast sky, and muted greys of the stone could never match the vibrant beauty of life that these little leaves held. And somehow, they made the rocks all the more beautiful.

Jeremiah 29:10-11 
The Message (MSG)
"This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

Their hardspot lasted much longer than mine...yet God promised growth...promised a future.
What hope we have.

Friday, March 15, 2013

5 Things About Shannon

Last week, Court tagged me in her post,  5 things about Courtney, so I'm here to share 5 things about Shannon! Here we go!

1. When I was 10, my dad made me join the church's kid's basketball league. I lasted all of 20 minutes before asking if I could not play on the league. Sad day :(

2. I love Starbucks!! My drink is a tall, extra hot, 1.5 pump vanilla latte. For anyone out there wondering. The 1.5 pump part is the most important of all! Too much syrup if its the whole 3 pumps; and that ruins it!

3. I can't STAND it when people pop their gum over and over, yet don't mind when I do it myself. I know thats not really fair, but its the truth!

4. One time, I got a traffic ticket for cutting off a motorcycle cop. When he pulled me over, I still had no idea why he pulled me over. Epic Fail.

5. I love all things Disney. You name a disney movie from my childhood and most likely, I will know the words to all the songs. Is this a useful talent? Not really. But it sure is fun!

Well, thats all for now! Hope everyone is having an awesome start to their weekend!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

5 Things about Courtney

I have been tagged in the "five things" fad that's going around by the lovely Kerri! So fun!

So, here we go, here are are 5 random things about Courtney:

1. When I was in seventh grade, I really wanted to be an interior designer. I decided I would go to the Art Institute in San Fransisco to study in their Interior Architect and Design program. I even called them and spoke with admissions advisers...when they found out I was in the 7th grade they kindle told me to call back when I was a Jr. in high school and removed me from their mailing list. I still love interior design, although I didn't go to school for it. :)

2. I love the color pink...and that was difficult for me to accept for a long time. I, for many years, said purple was my favorite color, more out of habit and the fact that it was as close to pink as I could get without being the typical girly favorite. About 2 years ago I gave in and decided pink was my I surround my self with all shades and I love it. :) embrace the pink! It's fabulous! (although I do not typically wear pink clothing...not great for the skin tones..

3.  I hate flyers...not sure why but I get really annoyed when people try to hand me a piece of paper...even if it has valuable information on it...I usually turn it down.

4. I once got me knee stuck in a fence. I was trying to show off (because it's cool to stick your leg through a fence?? don't worry I was 7). After butter, oil, water, and lotion...they finally....took the fence down, that baby wasn't budging. Good one Court. That fence and I weren't on good terms anyways ,after it broke open my head...another time perhaps.

5. Finally and most importantly, I  LOVE CHEESE. It's true...favorite food, cheese wins every time. I eat it everyday. I love cheese so much my friends have actually bought me cheese as a birthday was awesome! It feels nice to be known ;)

OK, that's it....Now I am going to tag  Shan, Bex, Libby, and Sarah

Have fun ladies!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brie Fig and Apple Bruschetta

This weekend my mother and I threw a baby shower for a dear friend of mine. I will post about that another time, but for now I thought I would share the favorite dish from the party.

I got the idea from a beautiful little restaurant called Postinos. They have the most amazing variety of Bruschetta, my favorite being the Fig Brie and Apple.

I decided to replicate this delicious little apetizer for the shower. It was so easy and a huge hit!

Here's what you need:
-French Baguette 
-Fig Jam (Can be hard to find, I buy mine at Fresh and Easy)
-Green Apples

Slice the bread to your desired thickness. Since we were going for bite-sized, we went with about 1/4 inch thick. Then toast under the broiler.

Slice of a sliver of brie and smear onto each slice of toasted bread. (back of a spoon works splendidly!)
Next, spread a small amount of fig jam on top of the brie. (This is a bit sweet, so don't overdo it.)

Finally, slice the green apple fairly thin and place on top.

Viola!! Delicious little appetizers! The tart green apple and sweet fig are the perfect complement to the creamy, buttery Brie. Ah so good! I may need to make some more after looking at these photos!
We cut ours into smaller pieces and served with tooth picks for ease, but they work great as a large appetizer as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scandalous Grace

I know, quite the title.
The first time I heard it, I had to really step back and think about it for a second. My reason for this post is that this phrase has been brought up to me twice in the last week by two different sources. Usually when things like that happen, there's a reason :) So it really got me thinking. I know what grace is. But what exactly is scandalous grace?

 Well, to start, here are the definitions of each:
 Scandalous : offensive to propriety or morality : shocking
 Grace : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

So, an offensive or shocking display of unmerited, divine assistance for our sanctification? Interesting. But what does that actually mean?

 The first time I heard this phrase was while reading this amazing book called, "Jesus Is". It's by a pastor named Judah Smith. You can check out more about it here, if you want. He tells the story about the prodigal son. You know the story. The son decides he wants to do life his way and asks for his inheritance. A major slap in the face to his father. Pretty much a complete disgrace on the family in that time in history. The father gives it all to him and lets him go. Well, after he spends all of his money, loses everything, and hits the lowest point he can, he finally decides to go home; thinking perhaps he could just ask his dad if he could be a servant in his home. After all, his dad couldn't possibly take him back as son? I mean right? He has completely disgraced his family. 

This is where the scandalous grace shows up. Crazy!

So the son starts walking home. When he sees the house on the horizon,  he sees his dad too. A long way off. And he is running towards his son. RUNNING?! In that culture, men did not run. It was seen as disgraceful. But it didn't matter. The father ran to his son, embraced him, kissed him and completely restored him. He had his servants bring him his finest robe, a ring and sandals and then threw him a massive party in his honor. This did not make any sense for this culture. A son disgraces his father, runs off doing who knows what, then tries to come home and is not only allowed home, but fully restored to what he was before? What was this father thinking?!

But isn't that what God does for us? We mess up and run away, trying to do things on our own. And when that low point is hit, He is still just waiting for us to come back. Waiting to restore us. I don't know about you, but that's pretty amazing.  It doesn't make sense in my mind. Yet, what He does, what He did by sending his son to die for my sins; that doesn't really make sense either. And yet, I am so grateful.

For me, this fresh perspective on grace was needed this week. I hope it helps someone else out there too :)

Much love,