Tuesday, September 30, 2008

vanilla black tea.

I sit down to write today in the midst of a Montreat afternoon thunder shower. With all the windows in the room open, as well as the door, I am able to enjoy the poetic fragrance of the shower. If you've ever been in Montreat during one of these wonderful events you know what I'm talking about. The smell of fresh rain, and damp earth are mingling with the aroma of vanilla and black spices within my tea and soothing my spirit.
Afternoons such as this never fail to bring a smile to my face, and a contented sigh upon my breath. Earlier today I was feeling a bit overused, tired and unsought. Those moods have a habit of creeping up on me when I'm not expecting them, making them harder to combat. I tend to dwell on the things going awry in my life, things that I don't have or things I desire to have happen, but dont. It's hard to come out of a slump like that on your own. Then I remember who has my seemingly huge problems right in the palm of his hand. I realize that God's going to take care of me, no matter how I feel or what happens. Instead of turning inward and feeling sorry for myself, I must lean on the shoulder of God, a shoulder that will always be there--waiting for me to lean on him. Then he brings me a thunder shower, speaking to me in the deep rumblings of the thunder and in the sweet aroma of the new rain. He washes away my worry and doubt with his majestic glory, and I realize how small my problems really are to him. As long as I trust in God, he will always pull me out of my slump--as a little weeping child is pulled up from the ground into his loving father's strong embrace. He tells me it'll be okay, and to just trust in him. He knows my needs better than I do, and he will provide. Always.
Thank you, Lord, for never leaving me in my times of doubt and darkness, but shining your glorious light upon my life, and ever holding me within your loving, strong embrace.

Still sipping,


Monday, September 29, 2008

madagascar vanilla red tea

Jeremy just went out on a run, and I figured now would be the best time today to sit down with my cup o' tea and write. One of my dearest friends has recently spurred me on to read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, she said it would be right down my alley. She was right. I have scarcely been able to tear myself away to go to class. (Don't worry, Mom. I did.) The story is so engrossing, and I relate to the protagonist, Sorcha, so well. The fact that it's set in ancient Ireland helps too.
Sorcha is the youngest of six older brothers, before she was born she was thought to be a seventh son or a seventh son, but she turned out to be a girl. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father turned into a shell of a man at her mother's death. Sorcha's older brothers raised her, and thus the seven of them have a incredibly strong bond between them. I'm to the point in the story where an evil woman has bewitched her father into marrying her, and has turned Sorcha's brothers into swans. Sorcha must complete a seemingly impossible task, taking her perhaps years, to break the enchantment. She suffers night and day for the brothers she loves so much, and is never allowed to utter a single word to anyone, especially about her story.
I'm not even halfway through it, but I'm loving it. The connection and love she shares with her brothers really tugs at my own heart. I have three older brothers, the youngest and only daughter of my parents. Luckily, no such tragedy has befallen my family as it did Sorcha's, but I cannot get over her relationship with her brothers. They love her so much, and hate that they are the cause of her sufferings, but Sorcha is glad to be helping her brothers. Yes, she suffers, but it's for the people she loves best. I would do almost anything for my brothers, and I know that they love me as much as I them, and it's neat to put myself and my brothers into this story. Stephen would be Liam, our fearless leader, stoically sensitive in his own way, but has an authority no one questions, and a love obvious through all he says. Drew would be Conor, wise and mature beyond his years. Learned in many ways, skilled in many arts, and also a leader in his own rite. Jake would be Padriac, the most sensitive and kind of all the brothers, cherishing all living things, and skilled with his hands. I would be Sorcha, though she more skilled than I in her way, we do both love our brothers well, and that is the biggest similarity I see between us. Family comes first, and I do wish that my brothers were all nearer to me, I miss being able to gather together as a whole family. I am thankful I have my Jacob close to me though, for he has been gone for a long time. Drew is not so far that I couldn't see him if I needed to, but Stephen is halfway across the world from me, and I miss his immensely. I pray for his, and all my brothers, safety everyday in the hope that in the coming future we might be able to be all together again, relishing in each others company and good humor.

Continuing to sip my rooibos tea,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

honey vanilla white tea. same cup.

Jeremy's little brother, Zak, came back from Virginia this weekend where he works and is planning on going to school. It was great to see him, and was an excuse for the family to get together today after church. We all had lunch together and hung out, enjoying each others' company.
At one point, during the Inter Milan vs. AC Milan derby match on TV, all the Foreman brothers were sitting right next to each other on the couch. Here's a photo I took of them--I love how much they all look so different, but when they're all together there's not questioning their blood relation. The photo captures all of their personalities too, I love it.

The message this morning at church was one of the best I've heard in a while. We've been going to iSight, and the speaker was actually a guest speaker. His message was about how we, as Christians--as did the Sanhedrin of the Jewish church, tend to put God in a box. We him there to keep ourselves comfortable, and our mindset is such as if we pray, tithe, read the Bible, etc. God's owes us his mercy and grace. The first century Jewish church thought that as long as they kept the law, and the temple covenant, God would bless them. We have a horrible habit of thinking that we deserve something by the "good works" we do. The truth is, we deserve nothing, and God, in his great mercy and grace, gave us a means back into his blessing. Jesus didn't just come to give us free us from the bondage of sin, but also to be a mediator between the Almighty God, and the people who continue, time after time, to turn their backs on him, in order for them to have a chance to see God's grace. It is important to keep in mind that nothing we can do by ourselves is good enough to win the blessing and favor of God. In that humble attitude only can we grasp the immense joy and favor that we have been given through Jesus Christ, and only him. We need to stop putting God in a box, and allow him back into our everyday lives and let him use us to fulfill his glorious plan.
Acts 7 is the story of Stephen's speech to the Sanhedrin, I encourage you to read it and allow yourselves to see the truth in his words, and remember that while Stephen may have been addressing the Sadducees and Pharisees, we commit the same crime today. Search your heart, let go, and let God use you in the way he chooses. Take him back out of the box, and step outside of your own.

Until the next steeping,


honey vanilla white tea.

Montreat Varsity Soccer won yesterday! Yeah, go Cavaliers. It was a hard fought game, and they came out on top 1-0. Here's a snapshot of some of the action.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

filled with chai latte goodness.

It rained late into the night last night, and this morning an enveloping mist shrouded the valley of Montreat, making it even more like a fairy tale than yesterday. By the time I went outside to walk Cael, my beloved puppy, the mists had receded but they left a similar feeling of mystery and an imagination evoking sensation. I took a photograph so my lovely readers could share in my imaginings. Can't you just see fairies making their home in an enchanting place such as this?

This morning I went to Moments, Jeremy's coffee shop, (that's where I had my chai) and met with my group of novelists--Laura and Chelsea--to discuss the progress we have made this week on our writing. It's so good to meet with such good friends, sharing common interests, and be able to help one another improve our writing, plot, dialogue, etc.

We all read a bit from what we've written, well, Chelsea read a LOT, but it was all so good, Laura and I didn't care. It was good to read some of my story, and hear it out loud. It is always helpful to hear something you've written read out loud, it puts things into a different perspective. You're able to hear things you want change or reword, things that you might not have caught just reading it in your head.

Being encouraged by such good writers, as Chelsea and Laura are, is really nice, yet intimidating sometimes; they've been writing seriously much longer than I have and I relish their compliments and advice. Their stories are so well written and exciting, I can't wait to hear how they turn out.

In about 45 minutes Jeremy and I are going to the first home soccer game Montreat has had in about a month, they play University of the Cumberlands and it promises to be a good game. I'll, of course, have my camera handy and might post some photos later of the game. Go Cavaliers!

Chai still lingering on my breath,


Friday, September 26, 2008

english afternoon tea.

As I sit here waiting for my tea to steep, listening to Wilco, I try to decide what kind of brilliance to grace my readers with today.

It's raining today, it has been throughout the morning and hasn't let up now that it's almost 5:00. I used to hate rain, mostly due to the nature of my curly hair in damp weather. Now though, from living in Montreat for nearly 4 years and most likely my desire and love for all things Irish, rainy weather not excluded--I have come to terms with my amative feelings toward rain.

Rain is probably the most romantic type of weather. When I say romantic, I don't really mean romantic as we think of it today--though that is probably true too. I mean romantic in the Jane Austen, Victorian Era sense of the word. I mean rainy weather, at least for me, evokes a strong desire to use my imagination. As I drive through the back roads of Montreat on a overcast, cool, rainy afternoon I can see fairies flitting in and out amongst the trees. I can imagine a hidden community of fairy folk living in the woods, having been here long before humans came to settle here. That's why Montreat seems so magical--because it is.

Rain also has a calming effect on my senses. Listening to the raindrops hitting the ground outside my window makes me feel at ease, lets me enjoy the time I have to myself--just writing and drinking my tea, which has now steeped, I've added the necessary milk and brown sugar, and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Hot tea and rainy days are my elysian standard.

Until my next cup,


Thursday, September 25, 2008

wishing i was sipping black currant black tea.

I have to start blogging as an assignment for a class at school, and I suppose since I have been contemplating starting a blog--now is as good of a time to begin as any.

I have been assigned to write something in this blog everyday until October 9th, so I can guarantee you witty, insightful entries (hah.) until then--but who knows what will happen when updating this will become my choice.


In my last semester of school at Montreat College, I should have numerous things to reflect upon. What have I learned in these four years? How have I changed as a person, and as a daughter of Christ? Though I have learned so many things at Montreat, and continue to fill my mind with more knowledge in my final semester, I know that I will never be finished gaining valuable knowledge, no matter my age, vocation, location, or mindset. Though my time in a classroom is coming to an end (for now, who knows about Grad school), I know that learning does not only occur in a classroom; some of the most important and relevant things I have learned have been experienced in the 'real world'--whatever that may be.

So I guess, this blog will be my reflection and relevation of knowledge known and unknown-- but not so serious as all that sounds. I'll also be keeping up what Jeremy and I are doing, posting adorable photos of my puppy, Cael, and informing my beloved readers of the projects I may be undertaking at any certain time.

One thing I can go ahead and mention is my weekly meeting with 2 of my favorite people: Chelsea and Laura. We call ourselves the Snippets, we even have t-shirts (cheers, Laura). The three of us are in the process of writing unique, insightful, brilliant, enthralling novels. Totally.
So look for updates each week on the status of our brilliant novel-writing endeavours. Hurrah.

Until tomorrow,