Monday, November 21, 2011

Season By Season, Day By Day, Moment By Moment

I am starting to live for Wednesdays.  It sounds funny, but Wednesdays are my new Friday.  On Wednesdays lunch at work (er... clinical) is catered, (which means I don't have to wake up early enough to rummage for scraps in the fridge) The day after Wednesday is Thursday on which the office is closed.  After said day follows the ever blessed Friday which, of course, is precursor to the WEEKEND!  On which I only have to work a half day every other Saturday.  Are you seeing a theme here? 

I'm tired of getting laughed at (good naturedly, of course) when well meaning friends and acquaintances ask how work is and I tell them that is going fine, but I am looking forward to clinicals being over so I never have to work as an MA again! This statement from me is usually followed by 'Well then, what are you going to do after you finish?' 'I don't know.' Is my steady, straight-faced reply.  (and also where I get laughed at... good naturedly, of course.) 

Yes, I went to school for this.  I still am, actually.  (Don't remind me)  I work with a good group of people and learn a lot every day.  But this is not me.  I cannot picture myself spending any prolonged period of time dragging my self out of bed, dreading spending a day behind four walls, navigating office politics, taking vital signs and poking people with needles.  (Though I do, actually, enjoy the poking people with needles part, as terrible as that may sound.)  But honestly, it is not the most fulfilling type of work.  That statement automatically leads to the question, what exactly do I want to do with myself for the rest of my life?  What do I enjoy doing?  What is my passion? Where is the elusive fulfillment I know is out there somewhere?  When will I be able to stop trying things, hoping I'll like them, and be able to simply live my life?

I ask myself those questions repeatedly and inevitably they are followed by a circular, mental conversation with myself ending with a pity party, closely followed by self-chastisement for being so selfish, because as soon as they enter my mind, I know in my heart I'm asking the wrong things.  The correct question is not "what do I want to do for the rest of my life?'
What does God want me to do for the rest of my life?
Actually, that's not true.
It should be,
What does God want me to do now?

Right now, in this moment, am I living my life where He wants me?  Am I living in His presence? Am I, as John Piper so aptly put it, glorifying God by enjoying Him right where He has put me?  Or as Eric Ludy says, trusting God to let Him write my life story?  Am I completely trusting Him where I am even though I know I've made mistakes and, at times, manipulated my self out of His will?

I feel trapped and backed into a corner.  Blindfolded in a sense.  Will I panic and struggle for my way? Or will the confusion and lack of sight cause me to strain for the sound of His voice?

All He is asking me to do is trust Him for the next step.  Because when it is time for me to move, He will tell me.  It will be unmistakably clear, like the pillar of fire in the wilderness.  In the mean time, it is my job to be content, and listen.

Easier said than done.
For this season, I will trust Him.
For this day, I will trust Him.
For the next step, I will trust Him.
In this moment, I will trust Him.

I don't need to know where I will end up, I just need to know that I am right where he wants me.

In His will is the grace to complete the task He has commissioned. 
In His will, is conformation into His image. 
In His will is ultimate fulfillment. 
All is found in the center of His will.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Big Things.....

My first week of clinicals is done and the next has begun!  Life certainly keeps one busy.  Between working, studying, and all the mundane, necessary pieces of life there is little time for much else.  However, being so busy has helped me start to notice, savor, and appreciate what I really love and enjoy in life!  At first I thought I would miss the "big things," but when it comes down to it, it really is the "little things" that I look forward to the most. For instance...


Time to write

Savoring cup of hot tea

Quiet time with God at the end of a busy day

Big, snuggly, over sized hoodies

Whimsical earrings (like sprakley green frogs :)

A smidge of time to play the piano

Taking the long way home just to enjoy the scenery

Time with friends

A chance to wear my cowboy (girl) boots

Wintergreen frost mints

I'm grateful for the business.  It has helped me refocus my priorities and rediscover the "little things" which are not so little after all!

What are some of your "little big things?"

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Nothing tastes better on a cool day than a mug full of steaming apple cider and a warm doughnut!  And actually, doughnuts are not that difficult to make!

First, you make the dough, and let it rise till its light and airy

Then roll it out smooth

Cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter 

Then cut little circles in the middle of them. 
The only thing I have that is small enough is a tiny heart cookie cutter.

Lay them on a cookie sheet and let them rise again

Wait for the oil to heat (It takes forever! But mostly because at this point you can start to taste the doughnuts in apprehension of their yummy goodness!)

Now for the fun part!  When the oil is finally ready, carefully drop the dough into the hot oil and watch it bubble :)
Don't forget to flip them over as they brown!

Roll them in spiced sugar

And enjoy the finished product!

You can see the recipe I use here, however I add a bit of vanilla and nutmeg or cloves to the dough to make them that much better.  I would love to hear how yours turn out!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Full Gospel

The Gospel is not simply being saved from the punishment of our sin.
The full gospel encompasses the purpose and the reason The Savior saved us.
We know what He has saved us from, but what has He saved us to?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Monday Meditation

A thought, verse, or quote to meditate on through the week...

"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading."
~Oswald Chambers

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life In General These Days.....

Clay worked the rappelling
tower and rock climbing wall

Yes, that is me!
Wow. It seems like all summer has consisted of is being home for a week, then leaving the next! Today Mom and I returned from visiting Clay in Texas for two weeks. (yes, almost as soon as I published the post titled 'home again' I wasn't!) Mom and I had fun working in the kitchen with a great group of girls during family camp, but as you can see from the pictures, we found time to have fun outside of the kitchen as well! The highlight of the week for me, (aside from visiting with Clay) was seeing Lew Sterrett for the first time! The way he draws life lessons from horses and applies them to our life makes you look at life with a completely different perspective. I could not help but buy one of his books, Life Lessons From a Horse Whisperer. In one chapter he tells of a horse he trained that knew him so well he could blind fold the horse and direct him with without a bridle. The horse was solely directed by his master's voice and promptings. It made me think. When I don't know where I am going, when I'm seemingly 'blindfolded,' do I get frightened because I cannot see, or does it cause me to listen all the more closely to the master?

Yep! That's me too :)

Now that I'm home, life promises to keep me busy! I have finished all my classes for medical assisting and start the two month clinical portion of my training bright and early on Monday morning. I appreciate your prayers as I step completely out of my comfort zone!
So, because it has been so long since I've posted anything substantial and it promises to be that way for the next couple of months at least, here is a link to a blog article that has blessed me!
Be Blessed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back in Town!

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks, it seems it should have been a couple of months!  God is good, and so faithful to teach me to love Him! 

I have so much to tell, and some very fun pictures to share of Northwoods and Chicago adventures, but tis late!  I've finally caught up on school, and could not turn the computer off without writing something. So how about a glimpse of the beautiful  Michigan scenery we get this time of year?

I love the view from my back yard.  Just say'n.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

VBS Is Over!!!

Yes, I actually just finished all the little post VBS jobs that have been waiting for me since July. about procrastination...  (maybe tomorrow)  Anyway, I finally bought and finished making the guy's teacher appreciation gifts which means I can turn in my receipts, which means I can plow full speed ahead into planning next year's VBS! 

I like how this year's gifts turned out.  Since it was a military theme I wanted to get something along the same lines, so this is what I came up with... 

OK, so its not super military, but I like it!

I get a lot of questions about how I develop my VBS curriculum.  I'm hoping to document the procedure here and share some of the things I've learned and resources I use.  Be on the look out!

For now I am Northwoods bound (a very happy thought!)  Pics coming in a couple weeks!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gluten Free Apple Pie

It has been a while since I have made a pie, much less the all American apple pie.  But after judging them at fair this summer (and last summer) I think I have an idea of what makes an apple pie just right.  Its the crust.  Tender, never hard, just flaky enough to make it appealing without falling apart.  It is the all important, essential, cannot do with out, make it or break it "piece of the pie" when it comes to baking the all American classic. 

However, when living with and baking for someone with a gluten intolerance, the ever elusive perfect pie crust is even more elusive.  So, here is my stab at making gluten free pie crust that does not taste or look gluten free.  And actually, I think I did a halfway decent job!   (yes, I'm patting my self on the back... but you don't know how hard it is to bake gluten free!!!!!)

Step one, the filling!  Not hard to do this part gluten free.  As you can see in the picture it looks super runny.  I made the filling from apples we had frozen from last fall.  When they defrosted, there was a lot of juice that I did not want to waste, (plus, who likes dry apple pie?) so, instead of draining it off, I added some quick cooking tapioca pearls.  The tapioca cooks with the pie and soaks up all of the yummy juices and spices, maintaining the flavor, while giving you better texture!  I used lemon zest, Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and sugar to flavor the filling.

Now for the hard part.  I have tried several gluten free pie crusts, but have not been satisfied with any of them.  After reading through several more gluten free recipes and not being satisfied with any of those either, I decided to just go for it with the ingredients I had on hand and hope for the best.  I mean, the worst that could happen is that I end up with another flopped crust!

The ingredient list ended up looking like this:
1C. Brown rice flour
1C. Tapioca four
1C. Potato starch
1C. Sorghum flour
1tsp. Salt
1 Stick frozen butter
and "some" sugar

First things first, when mixing several different kinds of flours, make sure you mix them thoroughly together so it looks like one flour before adding anything else.  Who wants a bite of entirely sorghum flour with their apple pie?  Next I mixed in the sugar and salt.  Now the fun part :)  I grated the frozen butter (make sure it is entirely frozen) into the dry ingredients.  It was much easier and faster than cutting the butter into the flour!  When adding the butter I stopped every few seconds and coated the butter shreds with flour so they would not stick together in one big clump.  After the entire stick of butter was grated, I added enough water to make a smooth dough.  It came together beautifully!  After rolling it out, this is what it looked like!

How beautiful is that?!?!?  I've never had a gluten free pie crust come together so well and stay together without crumbling!  It was nicer to work with than some pie crusts I've made that contain gluten.  I was on top of the world!  And of course, it looks so much better when there is filling in it...

The top crust...

After about an hour and a half of baking time... (at 350) not sure if that had something to do with the flour mixture I used or if it was just being ornery... this is what came out of the oven!

A while later, this is all that was left!  I think, just maybe, it was a success!  

A few notes about the crust:  It wasn't super flaky, and the crimped edges were a bit hard.  Next time I don't think I'll use sorghum flour, I could taste the sorghum a bit to much for my taste, but I got no complaints from anyone else!  ...Well, they did say I could have cut the pieces a bit bigger....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Meditation

A thought, verse, or quote to meditate on through the week...

"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more."
Psalm 16:11

 Lord, only You can show me the way to an abundant, peaceful life in You. 
Keep me in your presence.  Fill me with your joy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Prayer for These Times

Slow me down, Lord!
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of
the eternal reach of time…
Teach me the art of taking
minute vacations.
Of slowing down
to look at a flower…
to chat with an old friend…
or make a new one…
to pat a stray dog…
to watch a spider spin a gossamer web…
to smile at a child…
or to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life
than increasing its speed.
Slow me down, Lord!
And inspire me to send
my roots deep
Into the soil of life’s
enduring values.

~ Orin L. Crain

I don't remember where I found this prayer, but it is perfect for this season of my life.  The last year or so, I feel like I've been running from activity to activity, finding "good" things to do, staying busy, running here and there, always asking, 'what should I do next?' but never thinking to ask, 'Lord, what do YOU want me to do?' 
I never took a moment to thankfully savor
the talents He had given me, 
or sought His will about how I was to use them. 
I know He has a plan.  He has prepared good works for me to do!  But often in life, MY plan takes precedence.  Why? Often because I simply did not take the time to seek His will, but even more often, because I failed to wait.   How often have I pushed my way off of the path God had prepared for me so I could chase what I wanted at the moment, or because life seemed to be at a stand still when I wanted to be moving?  Why must I wish for what I don't have at the moment?  When will I learn to savor the waiting?
When will I realize that HE is all I need? 
He has placed me where I am for a purpose and has provided all that I need to live a life of joy In Him.  When will I stop chasing the 'good' things I see, and turn instead to the lasting riches that Christ is waiting to give to me.  Yes, that He is waiting to give me, if only I will stop, wait, and turn my eyes to what matters most.  To stop reaching for all that is "good" and wait for Him to give me what is best at just the right time.
Slow me down, Lord!  
And inspire me to send
my roots deep
into the soil of life's
enduring values. 
The enduring value of You.

"Wisdom righteousness and pow’r,
Holiness forevermore,
My redemption full and sure,
He is all I need"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

ATI Conference '11

After SSI, with hardly time to recuperate (and trust me, you need recuperation time after SSI) Mom and I drove down to Indianapolis for the regional ATI conference.  I can't remember the last conference I was able to attend without worrying about chores or other responsabilities.  It was a perfect time of seeing old friends, and being refreshed in the Lord.  Here's a peek at some of the fun!

Esther and I, womaning, the ITG table. 
She even gave me a pipecleaner!!!
Yes, pipecleaners make me happy, very happy!
...don't ask...

And of course you couldn't keep me out of the CI room! 
Especially when two very awesome friends
happen to be in there ;)
Rissa and Lyd, you guys are awesome!

Josiah was very proud of the character award
he recieved for archery at his first year in ALERT Cadets.

Mom and one of her "honorary grandkids" :)

It was wonderful to be able to visit with
 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Staddon!

The last day of the conference, a few of us Indy staffers were able to get together at Starbucks.  It was great to see Tim, Patrick and Robert and Kendallyn again! What did we do while we were there?  We reminiced over Mr. Gergeni's Wonderful Life!  Fun times, and lots of memories.

Student Statesmanship Institute

The muses in the capitol rotunda
Who would think a week of studying bills from the house and senate, translating "legalese," writing speeches, listening to debates, giving press conferences, and surviving on cafeteria food would be done by choice?  But three weeks out of the summer, Great Lakes Christian College in Lansing, Michigan is teeming with high schoolers doing just that.  And yes, they even have fun in the process!

I have spent four weeks in successive summers at Student Statesmanship Institute.  My first year, as a state representative, I arrived having no idea of what to expect. I mean, summer camp is supposed to be fun!  Who invented government camp?  A whole week of parliamentary procedure, caucus meetings, questioning lobbyist, worrying about the press, and speech writing,  all overseen by a "sometimes benevolent dictator?" You've got to be kidding me!  But, I was hooked (I think its something in the water...besides the "swamp monster.")  So much so, this summer I could not stay away and went as a chaperone. 

The Madison committee

So, what exactly do you do at SSI?  First year students are state representatives, second year is senate (you get to write amendments to your bills! ... as long as they are germain.  No Barney amendments.)  You take the oath of office, join a committee and caucus, and start studying your bills (while hanging out with your caucus and eating pizza, of course.  Come on, this is camp!)  Throughout the week you take your bill from caucus, to committee, (at the state capitol) where you interview lobbyists and vote to pass the bill to the house floor.  You then head back to camp and start honing your caucus strategy and arguments and commence to speech writing, and rewriting and more rewriting, because on Friday you will be on the house floor debating other caucus in an attempt to pass you bill.

Caucus meetings, at this point we were not getting much done...

While the representatives are in caucus attempting to figure out what in the world they are doing, and the Senators are plowing full speed ahead, some of the third and fourth year students are quietly tucked away in a back room furiously typing at their computers, or sneaking around campus with note pads and pencils, or video cameras.  Yes.  The media.  Feared by all, with few friends as a result, the few and the proud take their job seriously as they hunt down stories, interview poor, unsuspecting representatives, and capture *misquotes for, what would probably be considered, the equivalent of the comics section of the daily SSI Observer. 

(*Misquote - random phrases, usually taken out of context, said in the hearing of media personnel or one, Charity Malick.  Misquotes are not supposed to make sense. The stranger the better.
 "We will win by the power of rhyming, Botox, exercising regularly, and cake" -Maple party member,
"Safety is one of our... top 5 priorities." -Zak Weston,  
"Jennie is our camp nurse.  She's vicious." -Amber Thompson,
"The orange juice is malfunctioning." -Hannah Kissling,
"How do you feel about being a people killer?" -Representative to lobbyist,
"We'll have to think of something nasty to love." -Spencer Field,
"The terror in your eyes keeps me alive." -Zak Weston,
"All ninjas are lame compared to me." -Evan Thompson) 

Week three was also the pilot week for the campaign tract.  That means, in addition to all the normal (if you can call them that) SSI events we also had a gubernatorial debate to attend and lots of fund raising and campaigning to put up with  ;)  The three parties were very creative in their strategies.  Not only did they have campaign adds in the news paper and commercials in the broad casts, but they sent out "mailings," and hosted events such as face painting, euchre tournaments, and sponsor dinners (which included a served cafeteria meal by members of the party, they even bussed the table for you!)

Amber and I

Oh, and you cannot leave out the annual talent show (very fun to watch!) Between the kids collecting signatures for the petition, and hearing campers practicing everything from instrumentals to stand up comedy in preparation for the auditions, the day has a climatic feel to it.  We had some great acts this year!

The County Boys at the talent show

That's what the kids do, what did I do as a chaperone?  I had way to much fun!  I was assigned to the Madison committee which was handling the "smoking ban" bill and the "adoption by any couple" bill.  (neither of which passed)  Among other things, it was my job to moderate caucus meetings, keep the kids on track and make sure they had some sort of idea about what they were doing.  I had a great group of "representatives" in my committee!  They expended lot of effort in their arguments, research, and speeches! 

If this all seem a bit confusing, I'm sorry, but there is not much I can do. It's an SSI thing.  I could try to explain it, but you will never quite get it until you experience the craziness for yourself. 

SSI is really nothing more than one big inside joke. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

VBS 2011

Wow, how time flies!  I can't believe everything that has happened since VBS in June, but more about that later.  As most of you know, this year's Vacation Bible School had a military theme, which was way to much fun to work with!  There are oodles of object lessons, craft, and game ideas out there which made planing crazy fun! (but mostly crazy...)
Part of Charlie Squad at snack time
For starters, at check in, each child was given a "dog tag" (name tag) then stood next to the American flag while we took their "enlistment photo." (which was used later that week in a craft) They then joined their squad (alpha through foxtrot) which was marked with the squad guidon. We had about ten more kids than last year, pushing the total number of attendees to around fifty with several visitors!
Zach and Levi
 If you have ever worked with Vacation Bible School you know it is only as amazing as its volunteers, and we were blessed with some pretty amazing ones this year!  They helped with everything from check-ins to crafts, games, writing skits, acting in skits, listening to verses, assisting with lessons, shopping for and making snacks (thanks Mom!), cleaning up each night, leading worship, being pied (insert evil laugh), getting me coffee, taking pictures, and in general, keeping me from losing my mind!  You all are amazing!!!!!!!  I wish I could give you all the medal of honor.  You earned it!  (O.K, well, maybe a VBS version...)
Something we did differently this year was close each night with worship.  (Thanks Chad, you did a great job!) It was a great way to end a day of fun and craziness by bringing it back to what it was really all about.  As much as we try to bring the lesson across in every aspect of VBS, it can be easy to lose the point in the midst of the fun and games. But when you end the night worshiping The One who is All In All, it brings everything back into perspective.
Ben, the victim of the verses
And last but not least.... Memory Verses!!!! This year the challenge verses were Ephesians 6:10-18. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed that only one child was able to say all eight extra credit verses at the end of the week. But to make up for it, one of the three-year-olds said every single last one of the verses we said each day! Kids, next year you don't have an excuse! Each child that said the verses got a special ribbon and an opportunity to put a pie in the face of the leader of their choice! We used whipped cream this year instead of shaving cream (It tastes much better, and it doesn't hurt as badly if you get it in your eye!) however, we put the whipped cream in the pie pans to far in advance, and when it came time to pie the leaders it was soupy on the bottom and splashed every where! Lesson learned for next year! 
Here are a few extra pictures of the fun.  I owe a huge thank you to John Poma for all of the great pictures on this post! 

Fun outside!

Yes, this is usually what they were doing....

I have no idea what they are doing

My A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Brother who just happened to be on furlough VBS week *big smiles!*


I think he's in denial


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Quick Note...

Just a note to say I haven't dropped off the face of the earth ;) 
My lack of blogging has been more because of too much to write, than having nothing to write! 
Be on the look out for VBS updates, dog stories, and Bible quizzing! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who's Eyes Do You See Through?

Mark 6:34
And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold blacktop
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All these people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for Humanity
Give me your arms for the broken harted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
He's buying time
All these people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for Humanity
Give me your arms for the broken harted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

I've been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for Humanity
Give me your arms for the broken harted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

~Brandon Heath

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Friends are hard to come by.

Real friends are hard to come by.

I'm talking about the kind of friends you can call in the middle of the night when you need some one to talk to, or invite your self over when your house isn't a place you'd like to be. This kind is hard to come by, but I think its our fault that we don't have more of them.

I have been blessed with real friends. Friends I can ask for prayer from, or dump on when I need to get something off my chest. But friends like that are not born, they are made, as the poet rightly said.

I miss the real friends I have, the camaraderie we had during the hectic times and bad days, the pranks we pulled, encouraging notes we would leave for each other... I still have some of those notes.

Going through the hard times draws you so near to those around you. Nearer than if you only see their good side. It opens you up, makes you vulnerable some how.

When we hurt we tend to try to hide it. Why? We have to act like we are strong enough to push through the hard things on our own? None of us are strong enough! We all need someone to lean on, to cry to, some one to encourage us and 'will' us to stay strong to the end, and finally to rejoice with us when we realize our victory.

These are the true friends.

Anyone less is just an acquaintance.

True Friends are few and far between, but when you make (and they are truly made) a true friend you know that person will always be there no matter how long it has been since you've last seen each other or talked on the phone. You know they pray for you as you pray for them, they think about you when they hear 'that song' or burst out laughing when a random occurrence jogs their memory of an inside joke.

To my true friends, thank you! Thank you for being my friends despite, at times, a not so friendly attitude on my part, for teaching me to pray, to listen, for encouraging me to look to the Lord. Thank you for the amazing memories, the good, but even more so, the bad, thank you for being there. Thank you for letting Christ shine through you!

...I miss you!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lessons From Narnia

..."Well," said Peter, "for a long time (at least I suppose it was a long time) nothing happened. Then the door opened--" "The door?" said Tirian. "Yes," said Peter. "The door you came in--or came out-- by. Have you forgotten?" "But where is it?" "Look," Said Peter and pointed. Tirian looked and saw the queerest and most ridiculous thing you can imagine. Only a few yards away, clear to be seen in the sunlight, there stood up a rough wooden door and , round it, the frame work of the doorway: nothing else, no walls, no roof. He walked toward it, bewildered, and the others followed, watching to see what he would do. He walked round to the other side of the door. But it looked just the same from the other side: he was still in the open air, on a summer morning. The door was simply standing up by itself as if it had grown there like a tree. "Fair Sir," said Tirian to the High King, "this is a great marvel." "It is the door you came through with that Calormene fine minutes ago," said Peter smiling. "But did I not come in out of the wood into the stable? Whereas this seems to be a door leading from nowhere to nowhere." "It looks like that if you walk round it," said Peter. "But put your eye to that place where there is a crack between two of the planks and look through." Tirian put his eye to the hole. At first he could see nothing but blackness. Then, as his eyes grew used to it, he saw the dull red glow of a bonfire that was nearly going out, and above that in a black sky, stars. Then he could see dark figures moving about or standing between him and the fire: he could hear them talking and their voices were like those of Calormenes. So he knew that he was looking out through the stable door into the darkness of Lantern Waste where he had fought his last battle. He looked round again and could hardly believe his eyes. there was the blue sky overhead, and grassy country spreading as far as he could see in every direction, and his new friends all round him laughing. "It seems, then," said Tirian, smiling himself, "that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places" "Yes," said the Lord Digory. "Its inside is bigger than its outside."... ..."[The Dwarfs are] still here." Said Lucy, "In fact you can see them from here. And I've tried and tried to make friends with them but it's no use. Do come and see them. King Tirian, perhaps you could do something with them." "I can feel no great love for Dwarfs today," said Tirian. "Yet at your asking, Lady, I would do a greater thing than this." Lucy led the way and soon they could all see the Dwarfs. They had a very odd look. They weren't strolling about or enjoying themselves (although the cords with which they had been tied seemed to have vanished) nor were they lying down and having a rest. They were sitting very close together in a little circle facing one another. They never looked round or took any notice of the humans till Lucy and Tirian were almost near enough to touch them. Then the Dwarfs all cocked their heads as if they couldn't see anyone but were listening hard and trying to guess by the sound what was happening. "Look out!" said one for them in a surly voice. "Mind where you're going. Don't walk into our faces!" "All right!" said Eustace indignantly. "We're not blind. We've got eyes in our heads." "They must be darn good ones if you can see in here." said the Dwarf who's name was Diggle. "In where?" asked Edmund. "Why you bone-head, in here of course," said Diggle. "In this pitch-black, poky, smelly little hole of a stable." "Are you blind?" said Tirian "Ain't we all blind in the dark!" said Diggle. "But it isn't dark, you poor stupid Dwarfs," said Lucy. "Can't you see? Look up! Look round! Can't you see the sky and the trees and the flowers? Can't you see me?" "How in the name of all Humbug can I see what ain't there? And how can I see you any more than you can see me in this pitch darkness?" "But I can see you," said Lucy. "I'll prove I can see you. You've got a pipe in your mouth." "Anyone that knows the smell of baccy could tell that." said Diggle. "Oh the poor things! This is dreadful," said Lucy. Then she had an idea. She stooped and picked some wild violets. "Listen, Dwarf," she said. "Even if your eyes are wrong, perhaps your nose is all right: can you smell that?" She leaned across and held the fresh, damp flowers do Diggles ugly nose. But she had to jump back quickly in order to avoid a blow from his hard little fist. "None of that!" he shouted. "How dare you! What do you mean by shoving a lot of filthy stable litter in my face? There was a thistle in it too. It's like your sauce! And who are you , anyway?" "Earth-man" said Tirian, "she is the Queen Lucy, sent hither by Aslan out of the deep past. And it is for her sake alone that I, Tirian your lawful King, do not cut all your heads from your shoulders, proved and twice-proved traitors that you are." "Well if that doesn't beat everything!" exclaimed Diggle. "How can you go on talking all that rot? Your wonderful Lion didn't come and help you , did he? Thought not. And now--even now-- when you've been beaten and shoved into this black hole, just the same as the rest of us, you're still at your old game. Starting a new lie! Trying to make us believe we're none of us shut up, and it aint' dark, and heaven knows what." "There is no black hole, save in your own fancy, fool," cried Tirian . "Come out of it." ~Excerpt from The Last Battle, By C.S. Lewis~


I've been digging myself deeper. Its easy to do. I've been tired, depressed, disappointed, looking at everything I was missing, or that had been taken away. Like the Dwarfs in "The Last Battle," when they were tied up and thrown into the stable. They believed what they thought in their mind should be true. That nothing good could happen from their situation. No matter what happened, or what good things were given to them or offered, they wouldn't have it. Aslan had prepared a beautiful place for them to enjoy, but they blinded themselves to his goodness. They took Aslan's blessings and turned them into a curse, making themselves miserable, when they could have been enjoying their king's presence. It was their own fault. I've been doing the same thing. Since being home, the few doors that seemed open, quickly shut. I felt closed in, cornered, and cheated out of the blessings and pleasures I thought I deserved. I was shut in the stable, and to me, it was just that. Empty, dirty, smelly, with no way out. In stead of crying for help to The One who could open my eyes and show me the truth, I sat in the mire of self-pity and distrust biding my time in the prison of my mind. But my King, The One who loves me, pursues me, and gives me all, even when I lose faith in Him, was not content to let me stay there. In reality - THE TRUTH - is, that I am not in a stable at all! He has brought me to a beautiful place, a place He prepared just for me. A place where I can know Him better, deeper, more intimately. (Phil. 3:10) But more than that, (as if that is not blessing enough) just because He loves me, He has many, many, unspeakable pleasures and blessings for me in this place. I may not see them now, but they are there for me to discover in surprise at just the right moment of His chosing. Each one better than the last, as I follow Him "further up and further in" to fellowship with Him and His plan for my life. His richness and pleasure and all perfect things are mine. Here in this place where He has lovingly brought me.
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, ... the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
~Eph. 1:17, 23~