Thursday, September 25, 2014

the beauty of greenbluff

Since moving to Spokane I've spent many weekends with my family exploring the beautiful farm country of Greenbluff, WA--a mere 20 minutes away. We've picked cherries, apricots, raspberries, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, and apples. Although spending hours in the kitchen canning isn't my favorite thing to do, I'm looking forward to enjoying the jam, applesauce, pickles, and salsa in the coming months.

I enjoy baking over canning and we've done plenty of that too. When my brother and his husband came to visit we made a delicious peach crisp, which wouldn't have been complete without our favorite Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream. This past Sunday my dad and I made an apple pie using Honey Crisp apples. Hands down best apple pie I've ever had. Last month my mom and I made a homemade cherry pie using a recipe from The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie. Pie crust can be intimidating but years ago my mom stumbled upon Martha Stewart's recipe. You make the crust in a food processor, which really helps simplify the process.

Fall is now upon us, which means there are still many more weekends to enjoy and explore the beauty of Greenbluff. I can't wait to go get pumpkins for Halloween, see the kaleidoscope of changing leaves, and drink warm apple cider. Isn't fall the greatest?

Friday, September 5, 2014

we all have a story to tell


Each one of us is living his or her own story. No two stories are the same, and yet, we play pivotal roles in how the stories of others turn out--often without even knowing it. Reality differs for each individual despite the mutual sharing of experiences.

I've found that at times we willingly, although not always consciously, allow others to write our story for us. It's difficult to reconcile your feelings and emotions when you realize that while one person has taken up five chapters of your life, you're only worth a sentence or two in their story--proving the adage "they are always two sides to every story" to be entirely true.

Agency is both beautiful and alarming. As Lord Grantham says in Downton Abbey, "We all have chapters we'd rather keep unpublished." Making mistakes and wrong choices are a part of this life. It's why we're here. To learn and grow. Failure and sin are a natural part of our existence. I wish that was something I had understood earlier in life. It hasn't been until my adult years that I've truly come to see the intrinsic value in failure.

What must we do to ensure we form a narrative we can be proud of? How do we take control of our own story? Right now, the only answer I have is to keep going, to keep trying. Even if everyday you feel like a failure, don't give up. Keep the faith. Have hope. Sometimes phrases like that seem trivial and empty to me, but I know deep down they are true.

The concept of faith and hope has always perplexed me. Which comes first? Can you really not have one without the other? At this time in my life, I feel like I have hope but I lack faith. I think you need faith to take action. Hope is not enough to facilitate change. I need to push through my personal doubts and questions if I'm to find my faith once again. It's been cast aside for too long.

We all have a story to tell. I need to re-invite Heavenly Father to be the co-author of mine.