Operation: Baking GALS

Operation Baking GALS is a way to thank just a few men and women who are currently serving in a war zone. In this country, we are more indebted to our military than we’ll ever know. The sleepless nights, months away from loved ones, and trauma they face are unimaginable, yet we can so flippantly dismiss their incredible sacrifices…... Once in a while a group of people who understand and value our military come along and they work hard to make it known: there are still people in this country who appreciate them and admire them. The Baking GALS are one of those groups. Sign up, bake, ship your baked goods and bless a military man or woman… You can even donate directly from the site, check them out at: http://www.bakinggals.com/ and remember to pray for our military men and women.

"The Nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - President Calvin Coolidge


I think... therefore I love baseball

“The play reaffirms what I already know – that baseball is the most perfect of games, solid, true, pure and precious as diamonds. If only life were so simple. I have often thought. If only there was a framework to life, rules to live by.” W.P. Kinsella is one of those people who really, truly understands the artful, beautiful game of baseball. Why do I love it so much? It’s hard to explain, it’s just so American, so full of wonder… the crack of the bat, the thump of a baseball in the catcher’s mitt, the cheers of the crowd, the smell of roasted peanuts permeating the ballpark…

There are a few things you should know about me, first, I was born into a baseball loving family, and the team I was brought up loving is so deeply ingrained it may as well be written in my DNA like my eye color. It’s just who I am. I am a total and complete Dodger girl. Yes, I love “my Dodgers” and I’m a proud even defiant fan.

All of my friends are Angels fans. A guy I used to date even referred to me as “devil woman” because we simply didn’t see eye to eye when it came to baseball. I’ve tried to like the Angels like all of my other [delusional] friends. I mean, they’re in the AL, my boys are in the NL, maybe they could be my AL team? Heck no. I hate them. Why do Angels fans think they’re the only ones with a legitimate claim to loving their team? I've been to Angels games, but I couldn’t help being annoyed by the presence of the Angels and their fans, so I’d root for the other team (see what I mean? Defiant.). Sure I love the game, but there’s something so different about being in Angels stadium and the genuine excitement I feel being at Dodgers’ stadium.

The excitement that rises in my heart as I cross the parking lot getting closer to the beautiful old stadium, the smell of Dodger dogs, the sea of blue that seems to move together like a wonderful choreographed dance, and even to those who hate the team have to admit, the sound of Vin Scully’s voice is perfect. I remember on Saturdays when the Dodgers games were on TV, dad would sit with my brother and me and we would watch the boys in blue do their thing, cheering at victories and cursing the other team in our defeats. I wish I could go to more Dodgers games, I’ve been to so many Angels games… ::sigh:: thus is the curse of a Dodgers girl living in Orange County.


Dating Mr. Wickham

I have two confessions:

1. I am a Jane Austen fanatic.
2. I dated Mr. Wickham.

This blog is about confession number 2. ***As a disclaimer, if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice (you should), it’ll sound like babble and this may ruin the story for you if you should ever choose to read it, so don’t spoil it for yourself.*** That being said, here’s my parallel to my favorite piece of literature.

I waited just as many years as Miss Elizabeth Bennett, and people who are familiar with her character say I closely resemble her personality and temperament. Then how did I get stuck with a Wickham? Simple enough, if you remember, at the beginning of the novel, the oh-so-charming snake of a man, George Wickham is exceedingly impressive and gentlemanly… he only betrayed himself in small ways every once in a while, and Lizzie liked him a bit too much to be objective. So it was with me. In the same area of misjudgment lies my fatal flaw. I see what I want to see, not what’s there.

Sad to relate, I see other girls I know getting tangled up with the Wickhams of the world, and also finding themselves broken and angry. When we fall for him, it follows that the Lydias in our lives swoop in at the time when we’re most attached and crow over us about their conquest. Real classy, but comeuppance is inevitable so just you girls wait.

What’s unbearable about the Lydia Bennett/George Wickham pairing is it seems they’re getting off easy. They get their mate with no thought of the people they’ve left bruised and hurt along the way… But I get the supreme satisfaction of seeing how beautifully ironic that couple turns out to be. A conniving, cheating pair is not going to last long in their happy land of oblivious “love”, sooner or later they’ll tire of each other and look for greener pastures. But the true poetic justice comes when they both begin to regret their backstabbing; it’s always right when Lizzie gets her Mr. Darcy.

My dear Elizabeth Bennetts, fear not, your Darcy is on his way! And as an added bonus, you don’t have to deal with Mr. Wickham anymore, he and Lydia will serve as each other’s punishment. Goodbye horrid Mr. Wickham, hello wonderful Mr. Darcy, wherever you are.


Diagnosis: Fat Sheep Syndrome

A disorder characterized by the following:

1. Expecting to BE served, not TO serve.
2. Finding problems and turning them into crises.
3. Excessive complaining about problems, yet not trying to better those problems.
4. Being divisive (whether intentionally or unintentionally)
5. Complacency

As the church, we are all sheep in His pasture but what happens to those who have been grazing and standing around comfortably for too long? They turn into the Fat Sheep, extraordinarily good at pointing at what’s lacking with certain aspects of the ministry, but do they pick up the slack? Not a bit.

It happens in churches everywhere and it drives me crazy so I need to rant about it. Recently my spiritual mentor said something that I’ve been thinking for years: “If one more person complains about the lack of things we’re doing for them and their kids…” UGH! It’s so true.

What’s the deal with complainers? I mean why do people gripe when the answer is right in front of them? Get up, get out of your comfort zone and fix whatever it is that’s bothering you. What good is it to look at flickering light bulb, let it bother you and just sit on your butt and say “I wish someone would fix this light bulb!” while a few people around you run themselves ragged trying to serve you… No. That’s wrong.

Sound like anyone you know? We must all be careful for the Fat Sheep, they demand to be treated with the utmost care and concern yet their care and concern for others is sorely lacking. Harsh words indeed, but very true. I know a couple dozen completely dedicated people who spend mass amounts of time trying to serve others and when we receive a “that’s it?” comment the natural reactions are to:
(a) feel disappointed
(b) wonder why they don’t try it and see how difficult it is
(c) want to hit them. Hard. (maybe that’s just me?)

But really, why do some of the sheep get to be comfortable and complacent? God never said “Yeah, make sure life is easy for you all the time. Oh and don’t help, just watch a few other people do it. And then criticize them about their job.” We have to be stretched and tried, the road to strength and holiness is paved by struggles and hard work, so don’t dodge it, stand up and help out….. Or graze in an area where I can’t reach you.


The Giving Tree

“Once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy” so Shel Silverstein’s familiar old story goes. What is it about this beloved story that simply makes anyone [with a heart] melt? Perhaps it’s the simple truths in it; perhaps it’s the fact that there are so many people out there who, like me, have been in the place of the tree.

An adoring tree who gives all she’s got just to try and make her little boy happy, as long as he’s satisfied, we’re happy… but not really. We realize that although he comes to depend on us, and we love him wholly, all he wants is what we can give. What then? What happens when he takes the last bit of anything we can give and it’s still not enough? He leaves his tree and sails away with what remains of her and she’s left alone, confused and feeling like she just wasn’t good enough. It’s when the boy comes back that we find out what the tree will do next. By the end of the story the boy seems to realize what’s been in front of him all his life: a tree, loving him and denying herself… What makes the tree willing to take him back and show him love? Compassion. What about when my little boy comes back asking for my friendship again? I don’t know. I am, after all, just the stump of what used to be a glorious tree.


Village Of Hope - OCRM

There are so many of our fellow human beings who are among the ranks of the forgotten and the despised, often they’re left to face the tough world on their own. But there is hope, and it’s found in the form of a reconstructed old Marine base in Tustin.

When you hear the words “homeless shelter” what do you think of? A run down building... Angry people… Uncomfortable surroundings… Well, that’s the direct opposite of what a small team of us have experienced in working at the Orange County Rescue Mission. “The Village of Hope” is exactly that, a place of new beginnings and a true reason to look to the future with optimism. As soon as you’re on the premises you can feel the love of God; and suddenly everything hits you harder. The stories you hear, the hugs you receive, the sincere “thanks” anything and everything is overwhelmingly wonderful. In fact, every day I’ve been there, I’ve cried. They’re not tears of sadness; they’re tears of inexplicable joy, when you meet these people who have every right to make excuses or to be bitter; you only see hope, faith and love.

It is my hope that God grants me the ability to help these wonderful people and this amazing organization in any way I can. You can get involved too, check out their website and get plugged in somewhere; they can always use help and donations. Refuse to sit it out and wait for someone else to do it, stand up and show the world that you care.



The Farfalla Project

The Farfalla Project. What is it? It’s my calling, my passion, and my desire to serve the Lord and to serve others. I volunteered at the Orange County Rescue Mission with my church and have found great needs there. It’s a wonderful facility and I have been so blessed to work there with the children… But something I noticed: there’s a lack of blankets for the little ones. Maybe it sounds like no big deal, and to most people it’s not. But think of it this way, in a turbulent time of their lives, how comforting it would be to have something to call their own, even if that something is just a blanket. So I trust God to provide me with the funds to buy materials, and then I make the blankets with the gifts He’s given me, my beautiful sewing machine and the skill required to make these prayerfully and with love.

Farfalla is Italian for “butterfly”. I have a fascination with butterflies, maybe because I can relate to them so well. I have recently been transformed after conforming for far too long. I desire to share God’s power to transform and change anyone, there is nothing more liberating than to realize that who you are doesn’t have to be who you ARE. At any point in our lives, we can ask the Lord to change us, to fix us and make us better and if we’re willing to do what He says, He can take us anywhere and we can do anything. We are each destined to be better, to do more and to answer His call. I yearn to be better, to do more than I ever dreamed possible and I WILL answer His call. This butterfly is going to spread her wings and rely on God to continue to lead her.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2


My Empty Canvas

Normally I love the thought of an empty canvas. It's there, waiting for fulfillment and for the heartbeat that comes from the artist.

But here I am at a point in my life where my last "masterpiece" turned out to be a failure, so I've been given a new canvas (as it were) and for the past few months, I suppose I've let it just sit there. I'm intimidated by the thought of trying to start over, it angers me that I can't figure out how to cover the canvas, I hate the glaring white... but most of all I hate that I'm letting my old mistakes dictate my chance to start afresh.

So here I go, I'm grabbing a brush and every color I can imagine and I'm gonna start over.