The Great(est) Adventure

I love music. I always have. It is one of those deep seated loves that has always defined part of who I am and helps me connect with the world and with God. If you’re also a music lover, no matter what kind of music you listen to, you know what I mean. My own music preferences are rather wide and varied, but once in a while, I find a song that is truly exceptional. It anchors me to the truth, sends my heart racing, gets me excited about life! The song may be a bit corny or out of date, but to me it’s like discovering a precious, life-giving secret. Do you know what I’m talking about? I hope you do.

Anyway, for me, “The Great Adventure” by Steven Curtis Chapman has always been one of those songs. I first discovered the music video in 2008 on a free promotional DVD my family received in the mail, and it made such a first impression that I immediately downloaded it to my computer, and it has stayed there ever since. I can’t remember how many times I’ve watched or listened to it in the four years since. At the time, I was just about to graduate from high school and head off to college, and my head was full of dreams and adventure. But the message of this song has continued to speak into my life even now as I graduate with my degree and head into my twenties. I think that as “adults”, many of us find it easy to settle for things in life. We resign ourselves to so much, from our living situation to our significant others to our paycheck. But something that I’m learning more and more is that as a human being, and even more specifically as a follower of Jesus, God has created specific dreams, desires, and talents within you–and He wants you to reach for them! Why settle for something small when you can dream for the seemingly impossible? Unfortunately, this is difficult to remember when you’re working a just above minimum wage part time job in a cozy suburban corner of Sacramento, California, USA. Life can be a little numbing that way.

But if you are a follower of Christ, you are for better or for worse bound on the greatest adventure any human will ever know. It is difficult but fulfilling, heartbreaking and thrilling, and no matter what strife this current existence may bring, we have the promise of an eternity with the One we love most. Beginning a relationship with someone like Jesus is by no means safe…but it’s so worth it. When you choose to take hold of it, make it your own, and strive after it with all your being, you will find yourself in a moment much like many of my favorite adventure books–you know the kind. When a seemingly normal, average somebody with a perfectly normal humdrum life finds him/herself thrown into the midst of a story so much bigger, wonderful, and beautiful than they ever could have imagined, that there comes a moment where they know that no matter how dull things may become in the future, life will never be the same after having taken part in this Great Adventure.

Are you ready for a life like that? I know I am–my pulse quickens at the mere thought of it. You know what the best part is though? A life like that doesn’t have to be left in story books. Such a life exists.

“The Great Adventure” was first released in 1992, and was recently re-recorded and released in 2011. Both versions are fantastic in their own way. Enjoy.

Stray Cat Soul

Sometimes I treat my soul like a stray cat. You know, you pretend it’s not there and forget to feed it until it gets desperate and ends up ripping up your leg demanding you pay attention to it.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to be, is it?

Now, at the phrase “feeding your soul” I imagine a lot of you will come up with different ideas for what that actually means. Here’s what I mean when I say it: 1) actually communicating with the One who made your soul (what a concept!), 2) reading the stuff He gave you to read, aka your Bible (talk about the ultimate IT guide, right?), and 3) taking that information and doing something with it (don’t be a sponge that just soaks stuff up and doesn’t spread the love). Now, things doesn’t necessarily have to go in that particular order, and many times they don’t, but what I find myself doing many times is trying to complete the third thing on that list without consistently doing the other two. Which if you think about it, doesn’t make any sense at all.

Okay, I sense my snarky side trying to make an appearance, so let me calm down and say what I really wanted to say. It saddens me that so many of us forget to give ourselves the one thing we really need in order to survive and really live: a relationship with Jesus! So many of us who call ourselves Christians say that we have a relationship with God, but in the monotony of day-to-day life forget the big picture and just do our own thing. And when our lives start to sputter and spin out of control we wonder what on earth happened? I think a big part of why this is so common is that the physical world constantly demands our attention, and as physical beings we are overcome with our senses. We see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, feel it…but that’s not all there is. But we can’t forget that, in the words of C. S. Lewis,

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

So don’t deny yourself what you need in order to live your life to the fullest. Don’t ignore your relationship with Christ until all communication with Him has been severed and you need to start from the ground up…again. I find that when I take the time to sit down with God for a while, in spite of all the other things shouting at me for my attention, the rest of the day goes SO much better, even if the circumstances are truly suck-ish. I’m not saying that accomplishing this is easy, because it’s not. But it’s the only thing that’s really worth it.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?”

Psalms 42:1-2

What’s for Dinner?

So I made dinner last night for the first time in…well, I’m tempted to say the first time ever that wasn’t prompted by a “Kaity, you’re making dinner tonight, so make [insert super-easy-to-make-meal here]”. It’s not that I don’t know how to cook. Although I haven’t spent a whole lot of time preparing meat (something I will definitely be working on over the summer), it’s not like I don’t know how to cook pasta or toss a salad. However, being the nearly 22 year-old I am, I figure it’s about time that I make the effort to actually know how to cook well. I’m all about being a well-rounded person and acquiring a variety of skills, and cooking, well, is pretty essential…if I ever expect to run my own home without spending a boatload of money. Right?

So, I cracked open one of my dad’s Food Network magazines (a subscription that yours truly bought for him but is hardly ever utilized, go figure) and landed on a recipe I thought sounded yummy and relatively easy to make. Shopping commenced and before I knew it, come Monday it was *insert dramatic music* time to start dinner. Really, all I did was follow the recipe…it’s not that difficult folks. But what would a food post be like without a picture of the final product? Therefore, I give you…

Spinach & Feta Chicken Sausage Fettuccine with Garlic-Caper String Beans! 🙂 It was very yummy, I must admit. I made a royal mess of the kitchen, which my gem of a brother had to clean up (note to self: learn how to “clean as you go” next), but everyone seemed to like it well enough. One thing I’ve never been good at with cooking is timing and making sure everything is done around the same time without going cold, and this time everything worked out just peachy, so I was satisfied. Now I just have to figure out what will be on the table for next time! Do any of you remember the first full meal you ever made?

p.s. If any of you are interested in this recipe, the fettuccine dish can be found on p.109 of the June 2012 Food Network magazine, and the string beans are on p.118 of the same issue. Happy cooking!

The Things Boredom Make You Do

As I draft this post, I am sitting in front of a computer at my work. No, I’m not typically paid to write blog posts while working, but even my boss would understand (in the off chance she happens to read this someday) that today of all days is a perfectly acceptable day to blog while working. Why? Today is the first day that the mercury hit 100 degrees in my little city this year. This means that everyone is at home trying to stay cool by exerting as little energy as possible while cranking up the A/C. What does this mean for business? NO business, that’s what it means. Yep, the place is dead. This is far from typical, and so I find myself needing something to do with my brain while the few remaining minutes of store hours slip by….so….slowly.

The brain does strange things when it’s bored. For instance. I work at a postal center, which means that the place abounds with packing material for processing shipments of all shapes and sizes, bubble wrap being one of them. Our bubble wrap comes in industrial-sized rolls of 100 feet (I think), which measure over 3 feet tall. (Yes, I know this because I was bored enough to measure it.) One of those rolls happened to be sitting in my line of sight earlier, and what was the first thing thought that came to mind?

I wonder if I could balance that on my head.

So Kaity, the person who always thinks about the way she’s being perceived by others, finding herself alone in an empty store with a giant roll of bubble wrap, picked the thing up and put it on her head. Without even thinking about it twice! I’m so hopeless. The funny thing was that as soon as I had done it, I realized how silly it looked and couldn’t help but laugh. And that’s good I think, being able to laugh at yourself. Living too seriously is no fun.

And no, I don’t have pictures, so don’t ask. 😛

Summer is Here!

Whenever the seasons change, I find myself counting “firsts”. This summer for instance, it was the first time I left the house in the morning without a jacket. The first time I got to use a swimsuit. The first time it was still light out at 8pm. You know, those firsts. 🙂 But I have to say, above almost anything else, summer is all about the produce for me. EVERYTHING good comes into season, especially fruit and berries. Honeydew, peaches, nectarines, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon…aw man, my mouth is watering already. Anyway, as I came home from work today, guess what was on the counter? Two buckets full of this:

Cherries! My dad’s boss, in addition to being my dad’s boss, also owns a cherry orchard, and he was kind enough to let my dad pick some this morning. 🙂 Do I see cobbler and pie in my future?