Monica Whaley

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Bookbinding Bind

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 5:39 PM Comments comments (3)

I had an idea for a book I wanted to put together as gifts and thought it would be nice to make my own. I’ve found a remarkable amount of information and various ways online regarding how to do this. I made my first hardcover journal last night (pictures below). I’m not satisfied with the results (yes, I’m a bit of a perfectionist), but they’re not bad for the first time. I’m planning on using a few different methods to figure out which is best for me. Of course, the purpose of the book or its intende drecipient may determine the best method. For instance, for a recipe book, spiral might be best so it can lie flat, but a writing journal may be better with binding. There are many tools out there to make things easier, but since I have no money, I may have to use less-sophisticated methods to do some things. I’m not sure how to have lined pages unless I just print them, but that seems pretty tedious; it’s certainly doable, though. Like any new project, I’m excited and wanting to do everything at once. Also like a new project, the enthusiasm will last for so long, then I’ll move on to something else till I cycle back. (A cycle is usually 4-6 months at a time.) I'm excited to see where this leads.



Not Sold on Paleo

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 2:27 PM Comments comments (2)

I think they have the right idea, but it seems to be a little imbalanced still. The hard core paleos say that grain, dairy, legumes, beans, sugar, salt, and flour are off the table (hee hee), but I’m not convinced. If you look at current hunter-gatherer groups, they are a lot healthier than we are, and they DO eat some of those foods.


According to “Hunter-gatherer diets—a different perspective” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 3, 665-667, March 2000), hunter-gatherer groups got the majority of their food from the gathering, not the hunting (except in higher latitudes-due to lower vegetation growth). So the idea of too much meat doesn’t work either, and I don’t think that’s what paleos are saying. They just suggest more meat than mainstream diets do. It’s also important to remember that our meat, vegetables, and grains have changed dramatically since the Paleolithic age. The article shows that there are hunter-gatherer groups that use limited agriculture and are still VERY healthy.

Data on modern-day hunter-gatherers as well as hunter-gatherer-agriculturalists who consumed traditional diets indicate that such societies are largely free of diseases of civilization regardless of whether a high percentage of dietary energy is supplied by wild animal foods (eg, in Canadian Eskimos), wild plant foods (eg, in the !Kung), or domesticated plant foods taken primarily from a single cultivar (eg, in the Yanomamo)…In conclusion, it is likely that no hunter-gatherer society, regardless of the proportion of macronutrients consumed, suffered from diseases of civilization. Most wild foods lack high amounts of energy and this feature, in combination with the slow transit of food particles through the human digestive tract, would have served as a natural check to obesity and certain other diseases of civilization. Yet today, all non-Western populations appear to develop diseases of civilization if they consume Western foods and have sedentary lifestyles (24). Given these facts, in combination with the strongly plant-based diet of human ancestors, it seems prudent for modern-day humans to remember their long evolutionary heritage as anthropoid primates and heed current recommendations to increase the number and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets rather than to increase their intakes of domesticated animal fat and protein.

One paleo site suggests the following:

1. Eat real food (meat, fowl, fish, natural fats from animals, coconuts & olives; veggies, fruits, & nuts) that you shop for and prepare yourself most of the time. Add a little dairy if you like it and can tolerate it. Find the range of balance that works best for you in terms of fat, protein & carbohydrate ratios. I say 'range' because I think you ought to mix things up; seasonally, or whatever method works for you. Especially: cut out grains, sugar and vegetable oils. Consider supplementing with omega-3 fats.

2. Allow yourself to go hungry every day, at least a little (first meal of the day is a good time -- don't eat until you're truly hungry). Every once in a while, go hungry for a whole day.

3. Get plenty of sunlight; and, probably supplement vitamin D.

4. Run very fast sometimes, play hard when you can, and push and lift heavy things around when you have the urge. Do it briefly and intensely; not too often and not too long. Once to twice per week for 20-30 minutes each is plenty. But always push yourself for that brief time. Always try to workout hungry, just like animals.

5. Get lots of sleep.

This doesn’t seem unreasonable, and he allows that not everyone is the same. I may try something like this, but include information from current hunter-gatherer-agriculturist groups.

Petrol Purge

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (1)

I’ve always known that tree huggers eschewed any petroleum jelly products, but I didn’t know why. Also called petrolatum, this jelly-like substance is used in many lip balms, body oils, etc. It was discovered as a by-product the equipment on America’s first oil rigs. Chemist Robert Chesebrough worked with the waxy film and discovered that once distilled, it had many beneficial properties. According to the Organic Consumers Association, it’s one of the Ten Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid (by the way, that list also includes sodium lauryl sulfate – commonly used in shampoo). So, now I’m trying to be more aware of what I use, I figure I better know why the Natural set doesn’t like petroleum jelly.

According to the research I’ve done (admittedly, not much), the petrolatum itself is not the problem. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are contaminants used in the processing of petroleum jelly. If PAHs are used, THAT’S what is showing links to breast cancer.(article) The European Union is has banned the use of petrolatum in cosmetics/food if its purity is in question. So, if you can find out if the petrolatum in your favorite body oil has been properly purified and no PAHs were used, you’re golden. Good luck with that. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.


No poo update 1

Posted on January 15, 2011 at 8:58 AM Comments comments (1)

I have already noticed that my facial skin isn’t as oily. I have struggled with that forever. Within half an hour of washing my face (with soap or cleanser), I’m already starting to shine. I went 6 hours today before having to blot! I have showered with no soap and felt/smelled just as clean as with, but didn’t have to smother myself in lotion afterward. I will be looking for a “good” soap (something totally natural-may have to make something) for when I have actual dirt to wash off. Most likely castille soap.

Teeth, too?

Posted on January 15, 2011 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (2)

I forgot to mention that toothpaste is another thing I’m getting rid of. Did you know that every tube of toothpaste has to include the number to Poison Control? That has never sat well with me. Anyway, in doing my research, I came across this article and decided to try alternative toothpaste, too. Last night was the first night. I used peppermint castille soap. No, it doesn’t taste like soap. In fact, there’s not much taste at all, even with the peppermint oil. It’s a liquid made of mostly plant oils. Anyway, what I’ve noticed so far is that I don’t have morning breath! Also, you know how when you buy a new toothbrush, it’s nice and soft, then you use it and when it dries, it’s much stiffer? My brush was soft again when I used it this morning. I’m liking just those small results already.


Posted on January 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (1)

After a realy good conversation with my friend Megan yesterday, I think I need to clarify some things from my last post (even for myself). I am ABSOLUTELY NOT saying that we should avoid all chemicals. In fact, we need many of them in the forms of medicine, etc, not to mention the ones that make up our body anyway. It is important to remember that not all chemicals are bad (i.e. medicine) and not all things natural things are good (snake venom might be all natural, but I don’t want to drink any). The point is that you have to be smart about what you’re allowing into/on/around your body. So what’s my justification for what's ok and what's not? I’m still fleshing that out, and it will most likely be a case by case set up, maybe even trial and error. What I’m currently thinking is that we cannot reverse the effects/consequences of the Fall, so God helps us to deal with those consequences. For example, illness, among other things, is one of those consequences. God blessed us with minds that have been able to develop medicine/surgery to help with illness (both physical and mental). In my current thinking, that’s a good thing and makes sense.


However, you still have to do your research. Just because someone tells you to take/use/do something, doesn’t mean you should. If you do so blindly, that’s no different than the poor souls lost at Jonestown. Don’t just drink the cool aid. Even if it’s a doctor prescribing medicine, know that doctor well enough that you trust their judgment, find out about the risks/side effects of that medicine, and see if there might be effective alternatives if you’re not comfortable taking that medicine. In addition, just because some Big Business says I need to buy their product doesn’t mean it’s true. Use the brain God gave you.


Also, more than once, Matthias has reminded me that with every technological advance, there is a loss. For instance, we gained electricity, but now we work 24/7; we gained the benefits of the industrial revolution, but we have pollution, etc; we gained longer life with better medicine, but now we deal with illnesses from old age. I’m not saying in any way that we shouldn’t have had those advances. I’m saying that we have to be aware of what’s lost, and minimize (if we can) the effects of that loss.


Most importantly, as with all things, everything about us should be for God. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40) Also, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20). All of this, among many other verses, says to me that I need to follow what I’m now calling the Temple Way (names because my body is a temple and Jesus is the Way). If my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, I need to be very conscious and careful about how I treat it, not jus physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As I mentioned in the blog Temple Thought, this is about more than just the physical aspect of the “temple”. It encompasses what I experience with all my senses, what I say/do, what I read/watch; everything. If it doesn't bless the Holy Spirit or bring glory to God, I shouldn’t be taking part in it. Now that’s a tall order, and I know that I will mess up (you know, sinful nature, needing Jesus to die for our sins, etc.). The important thing is that I continue to try to be aware of my responsibility at all times. When I’m watching a movie, I have to ask myself if it’s something that would please Him. If I’m about to eat something, I have to ask if it will be a blessing to the “temple” or not. Don’t get me wrong, I think that food is great and I definitely have a sweet tooth, but do I need to eat half a pie at Thanksgiving? Do I need fast food every day? I don’t think so. I just have to be vigilant about all of this and take it one step at a time.

Paleo Pathway?

Posted on January 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM Comments comments (2)

Recently. I’ve become aware o fsomething called the “paleo lifestyle”. It goes by several other names as well:

  • Paleolithic
  • Neanderthin
  • Caveman
  • Stone Age
  • Hunter-gatherer
  • Primal
  • Low-carb

This all started with an blog I read from someone who had decided to try going without soap and shampoo due to an article he read from someone who lives a paleo lifestyle. In a nutshell, it says that we didn’t “evolve” to be dependent on chemical products to maintain our health and well-being. I then did a TON of reading on this lifestyle and those who follow it. Obviously, I’m not coming from the evolutionary angle, and if you research this, you will have to sift through some of the rhetoric, but the information is the same no matter what you believe. I am coming to believe that this is very much in line with my belief that the closer we live to how God intended, the better off we are. I simply cannot believe that He intended for us to be covered in chemicals and swilling chemicals and gulping down chemicals.There is no way that this could be His best for us.

Using soap as an example, the information suggests (and dermatologists & science seem to agree) that our bodies create all we need to have the healthiest hair, skin and nails on our own, and that soap and shampoo strip away the natural oils and cleansers that we already have. Without those natural oils, we then have stripped skin, which leads to patchy skin, an over-production of oil to try to replenish what’s been stripped, acne, dandruff, etc. If the soap/shampoo is eliminated, the body reverts to its balanced state and those products aren’t needed anyway. The products create a dependence on them and ensure our buying them. (I found the same thing years ago with Chapstick (the brand, not just any lip balm). When I used it, I needed it more; when I stopped, I no longer had such dry lips.) Let me be VERY clear. I’m not talking about no bathing. I’m talking about bathing without soap/shampoo. By the way, doctors always tell new parents not to use soap on babies. There are other ways to be clean. You can read the blog here if you want more info.

How very clever of my friend Big Business: 1) Create the belief that a product is necessary. 2) Manufacture said product. 3) Have product increase the perceived need for it. 5) Sit back and rake in the dollars without concern for health/long term effects. Simply devilish.

As I’m reading more, it occurs to me that while I have concerns about what I put IN my body, I have been giving little to no thought of what I put ON my body. Don’t forget that the skin is the largest organ of the body. Not only that, but what ever is put on the skin is absorbed into the system. I’m very girlie, but now I’m thinking that if I want to treat my body as a temple, I need to find things other than chemicals to adorn myself (you know, cosmetics, perfume, etc). Not only that, but why am I even using these things? It’s to attain/maintain a standard of beauty that is not only impossible but may be bad for my health (best case). Worse, this standard has been set by at least two thirds of the Trifecta of Evil I’m always railing against (the Media and Big Business, can’t say about Government).

Having said all that, I’m also rethinking the fact that I relax my hair. Those are pretty harsh chemicals. However, I spoke to the woman who’s been doing my hair since I was 4ish. She confirmed what I was thinking in that those chemicals are only on my hair and only for about 15 minutes once ever 2-3 months. So if I decide to continue, I think I will be ok with that. I still want to look into what it would take to have my hair natural. As a biracial woman, it’s no small decision. I would have to radically change the way I manage/style my hair. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that, at least not yet.

However, I can definitely handle the cosmetic issues. I still have many of the ingredients from when I was thinking of starting a business. If I decide it’s too much trouble making my own, there are many reputable cosmetic lines available (though it's cheaper to make my own). I’ve also discovered that while the FDA regulates the term “organic” for food, it is NOT regulated for cosmetics. That means that just because you see the words “organic” or “natural” on cosmetics, does not mean they are. You still have to read labels and may have to dig into the company to find out about their practices and sources for ingredients. You can also check the Coming Clean site, which rates various products on how truly natural they are.

This is a LOT to think about, and I have very little idea how to implement all I’m learning. I do know that when I feel the need to change something in my life, I can go overboard, which leads to failure, which means I quit altogether. I don’t want to do that this time. I’m going to try to change little by little. For instance, I’m going to try the no soap/shampoo thing (called “no poo” ) for a while to see how it goes.I actually stopped using shampoo a while ago and only clean with conditioner, but the recommendation is to clean the hair with baking soda and “condition” with vinegar (usually apple cider vinegar – the smell is gone once it’s dry). From what I’ve read, it take 2-4 weeks for the body to re-balance itself, and it’s hard to make it through that transition. It seems like detox; for instance, if you have dandruff, it’ll be worse during that transition, but infinitely better afterward.

I'm not thrilled with theterms/connotations associated with this lifestyle, so I'm open to anysuggestions. I'm thinking something about the Temple (you know, the body as atemple). Maybe:

  • Temple Lifestyle
  • Temple Existence
  • Temple Way
  • Temple Standard

I’m excited about what I’m learning and how it affects my relationship with God.

Goodbye, Francis

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM Comments comments (3)

Francis had been missing for a week, and I was literally sick to my stomach with worry. Yesterday, my friend Heather saw a cat by the side of the road across from our house. She called to tell me, so I went out to look. It was my Francis. I was devastated. I carried him to the back of the property where we live and stayed with him for maybe an hour. After talking to my mom, I realized I needed to bury him. I started that and my other friend Marlene helped me finish. It was really hard to leave him out there, but I had to. I had really bonded with him and don’t understand why he had to die. I’ve had more than the average loss for someone my age, and I’m not ok with this one. I know that anyone who has never had a pet won’t understand this, but I feel like a part of me died. I didn’t even have him for 2 years. I know I should be thankful for the time I had, but I’m not there yet. He was with me as much as I could manage. I loved him so much, and the idea of not holding, kissing, playing with, hearing his insistent meow, or even smelling him, is killing me. My heart is breaking.

Progress Update

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (2)

Well, I’m taking more steps toward being more temple-minded. I went grocery shopping the other day, which doesn’t seem like much. My boyfriend can tell you how much I dislike grocery shopping. However, I’m very aware of how much it affects my food choices. If I have food at home, I don’t eat fast food. I prefer to get organic as much as possible, but since that can be expensive, I’m trying to figure out when it’s beneficial to get organic versus when it’s fine to get conventional. At this point, I’m erring on the side of caution and buying almost everything at Trader Joe’s. I will note, however (to my boyfriend’s chagrin), that even if I pay a little more for organic, the benefits outweigh any extra cost in that 1) I feel better and 2) I’m not eating fast food (healthier and cheaper).


In addition, I actually did Pilates today! I had talked to my accountabilibuddy (Angie) that I wanted to do some exercise. My doctor also talked about it being the next step in getting my insulin/PCOS under more control. Not to mention the fact that I only have 9 MONTHS till camp, and I said I’d be ready for those hills! I had talked to Angie about wanting to exercise a minimum of 3 times a week. My doctor reminded me that people often feel like they’ve failed and give up if they’re not doing an hour on the first day; she recommended just 10 minutes to start, so that’s what I did. I’m hoping to alternate between Pilates and walking (especially after I get the shoes my cousin Josh recommended).


Things are looking good right now.

Crochet pain?

Posted on October 15, 2010 at 1:49 PM Comments comments (1)

I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in 2002, and will have to do the same on my left sometime in the near future. You can imagine the issues I have to deal with to crochet (and knit). So, I’ve been looking online and in stores for some solutions. I’ve found some great crochet hooks that are ergonomically-minded and some ideas on how to make your current hooks more ergonomic.


Most ergonomic hooks have been reviewed by other bloggers, so I won’t do that here (follow links to read review, if I could find one). Some of the top contenders are as follows (in no particular order):


Eleggant Hooks


Provo Craft Ergonomic Hooks


Addi Comfort Grip Hooks


Reflections Hook Set 



Boye Universal Ergonomic Handle

My current favorite is something I bought at Joann's the other day. I haven't found it anywhere online, but I LOVE it! It has attachments to fit almost any crochet hook, so you can use the ones you have. You can see from the picture that it has little inserts that fit onto the correct size hook. The handle opens so that you can shove the hook into the top and the insert keeps it held firmly. The handle is made of a rubbery plastic, so it's comfy and easy to grip.

It says it fits 2.75mm-6.5 (K), but I was able to get it to fit 1.5mm by using the two smallest adapters together like this:


One thing I’ve noticed is that if you crochet with a pencil-hold instead of a knife-hold, there’s not really anything out there to help you, but I wanted to share a few ideas. You can use the same ergonomic holders that exist for writing utensils! They might be too big to hold smaller hooks, so you’d need to rig something that makes the holder fit. One option to wrap rubber bands around the hook till it reaches the desired thinkness. Another is the comfort grips that already exist for hooks:


They worked for me to make the needle fat enough to fit the pencil holder snugly.

Another idea I saw on a blog was to use old pens to make holders! Check it out. That gives you more options for comfort and style!


There are also ideas that work for both ways of holding hooks. For instance, I read a comment on one blog from a crocheter that uses fimo modeling clay to make her own holder. She puts the clay on the desired hook, holds the clay on the hook as she would when working, takes off the clay and fires it in that shape. Voilá! Custom-made ergonomic crochet hook holder! I also thought that using rubber balls might work. Really, anything that can be fashioned onto a hook in a comfortable grip should work. I’d love to hear any ideas.

TV Junkie Reform?

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM Comments comments (1)

First, I need to apologize for the hiatus. I was pretty severely depressed sometime last month, and it’s taken me this long to start to get back on track, not only with my blog but also with my Bible reading. Thanks to Angie and Matthias, that is coming back under control. Moving on...


Anyone who knows me knows that I watch TV as much as possible. I have it on even when I’m not watching. I assume this stems from when I was younger and my mom had to work late. I had the TV on just for the noise of other voices. Now, I watch just about anything at anytime. We don’t even have cable, and I manage to waste time in front of the TV. With that said, I feel like God is calling me to watch less, so that I have more time for Him and things He’s calling me to do. I’m not sure how to decide what to watch or how many hours a day/week, but that’s my current issue.


I’ve also finally nailed down my primary spiritual gift: EXHORTATION. Now that I know, I can delve into it and develop it. I feel that as I should do that for my natural abilities to best use them for God, so I should for a spiritual gift He’s given me.


I also feel like God is calling me to some pretty big changes in my life:

  • More focus treating my temple better
    • Setting a regular sleep pattern
    • Better nutrition (esp. organic food, cooking – which I hate)
    • Exercise
    • Getting regular neurofeedback treatments
    • Taking care of physical ailments
    • Making time for things that relax me when I’m stressed
  • Better time management (i.e. less TV) to have more time for Him.
  • Being more compassionate – super hard for me, since I’m so closed off from my deepest emotions
  • More time in Bible study
  • Actually having a Sabbath (spending the day on things of God)

Obviously, those are some pretty big changes, and I can’t do them all at once, so I’m trying to figure out where/how to start. It’ll be a challenge but “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

Changling of God?

Posted on August 13, 2010 at 10:09 AM Comments comments (2)

I noticed something pretty interesting over the week. I was at home watching movies. I had heard a lot about the movie Crash, so I had checked it out from the library. It was pretty interesting and eye-opening. It’s basically about the hidden and not-so-hidden prejudices that we all harbor. It was very real and very disturbing.


What interested me, though, was my abnormal reaction to it. Usually, I just watch a movie and that’s it. This time, I was profoundly affected by things that I normally barely even register. For instance, how the people in the movie treated each other. Not only was there blatant and subtle racism, but there was also disrespect and dismissal among those who claimed to care about one another. All of this hurt me quite a bit. In fact, I almost cried about the fact that these fictitious characters were filled with so much hate and anger. Part of that was realizing that these were a pretty fair representation of how we all really are. We live in a fallen world full of hate, anger, disrespect, and dismissal. How it must grieve God that we treat each other so.


I was also very disturbed by all the foul language. This is something that doesn’t usually bother me, since I can be pretty foul myself, but this time almost caused me to stop watching. I continued because I felt the topic was important, but every word almost slapped me across the face. Why would this be an issue now?


My mom suggested both reactions could stem from that fact that I’m on the road to being more accountable to God. I think she’s right (don’t tell her I said that). It appears that God is working in me already through more regular prayer, more open/compassionate heart, etc. Wow. I have only been listening to praise and worship music because that’s all I seem to want to do: praise Him. I have spent several hours each day reading His Word, or reading about His Word because I want to be immersed in all things Him and not me. This is pretty amazing. I feel like I’ve been spiritually asleep for 35 years and now my eyes are starting to open.

Patriarch Bartholomew

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Patriarch Bartholomew


Non-Catholics don’t have anything like a Pope, right? That’s what I thought until last night’s 60 Minutes (watch). I was introduced to "His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome Ecumenical Patriarch". How’s THAT for a title? Despite that, he seems very humble and down to earth. When the CBS reporter asked him how to best address him, and he said, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, “Bartholomew.” I’m not an Orthodox Christian, and he’s technically their leader, but we must share many, if not all of our beliefs. I should have at least heard of him before age 35. Ecumenical means universal, so why don’t mainstream Western Christians know more about Orthodox Christianity and the Ecumenical Patriarch? My goodness, he resides where the Christian Church was centered for centuries.

He’s a Santa/Dumbledore/Gandalf look-alike with a quick smile, clear intelligence, and a love for all mankind. Even though the Turkish government seems to want to get rid of any vestige of Christianity in that country, he still works to make peace with everyone. He is faced with hatred and danger, but he keeps on speaking God’s love. Amazing.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s roles as the primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and a transnational figure of global significance continue to become more vital each day. He co-sponsored the Peace and Tolerance Conference in Istanbul (1994) bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews. Most noted are his efforts in environmental awareness, which have earned him the title “Green Patriarch.” He has organized environmental seminars in co-sponsorship with His Royal Highness Prince Philip, and international environmental symposia on Patmos (1995) and around the Black Sea (1997). …These endeavors, together with his inspiring efforts on behalf of religious freedom and human rights, rank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew among the world’s foremost apostles of love, peace and reconciliation for humanity, a reason for which he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the U.S. Congress. (Source)


I’m not saying that I want to become an Orthodox Christian, but this man has impressed me enough that I at least want to learn more about orthodoxy in general and him in particular.


Posted on July 30, 2010 at 11:08 AM Comments comments (0)

To use a word I learned from two friends at camp (thanks, Amie and Emily!). I have talked about accountability quite often recently. When I was talking about it with the bf, he asked me who my partner was, and I didn’t have one! I mean, I talk to my mom, him, and Angie about things, but I didn’t have an “official” set up. So, since I know how important it is, I asked Angie to pray about that for us, and she agreed. YAY! Now we’re talking about when to meet, what areas we want to work on, etc. I’m pretty excited. I know that this is the beginning of some serious growth for both of us; both spiritually and as friends.


These are the areas I’m thinking of at the moment (subject to change)

• being in the word daily (even if just a verse)

• compassion for others

• (maybe) being in a study

• developing my spiritual gift(s)

• ways to be cognizant of God 24/7

• Treating my body like the temple of God


We’ve been talking about actually meeting once or twice a month, but being in more frequent contact over email/text/IM. I’ll let you know how things are going.


Posted on July 26, 2010 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Pastor Terry’s sermon yesterday was a survey of the book of Ruth. It brought up some interesting questions. He said that Ruth highlights our “Missionary God” and listed three practices that can indicate that we’re in tune with God’s missionary heart:


• Respecting outsiders

• Welcoming outsiders

• Including outsiders


Ruth was an outsider in the sense that she was a Moabite (nationality) and grew up in another religion – two ways that we readily agree are outside what we’re used to. However, he stressed that there are many kinds of outsiders: different economic status (high or low), education level (high or low), lifestyle choice, political affiliation (including the President), clothing, music, dress, age, etc. There are many people that we may consider “other”, but that is only more reason for us to show them respect, welcome, and inclusion. In fact, the only people Jesus ever yelled at were those who acted as if they were “right” about everything and better than the prostitutes and tax collectors. I’ve been thinking about who my “outsiders” are. Right away, I think of the very wealthy, not very bright people (I don’t mean lack of education either), and I’m sure there are many more if I sit down and think about it. Who are your outsiders?

Natural Bug Spray

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Since many have asked me about making natural bug spray, I thought I'd find some good information to share. It's SO easy to make and more effective than store-bought. You can adjust it to your needs.


Natural Bug Spray

Crazy Love!

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 7:51 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I'd forgotten how tired,depressed and emotionally spent I am after camp. Sheesh. I cried about everything and my boyfriend had to let me sleep more than usual. Luckily, he's pretty great and I recovered faster than I used to.


I realized something though. This year, I felt like I was fairly emotionally closed off; like I haven't been in years. I'm not sure why, but there you have it. I didn't surrender myself to the experience, to getting to know the campers and other counselors as I usually do. I can only suspect, but it could be from feeling like a newcomer in some ways, or of not being sure that I'd come back at first (maybe I didn't want to be let down?). Anyway, I've been working on being more open, so this may have been a fallback kind of reaction. Some unnecessary self-defense.


More importantly, I've been convicted of my – lukewarmness? I love God, but have I been crazy in love with Him? I'm not sure about that. I plan on reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan, but till I get it, I've watched one of his sermons on suffering (here). It made me ask myself some hard questions. I have to be careful because I have a BAD habit of comparing myself to others, but if I'm truly in love with God, shouldn't I be shouting itfrom the mountain tops? I talk to more people about Harry Potter than about God. Ridiculous. Am I so afraid of persecution, of even causing discomfort? Jesus said that we should rejoice in persecution and actually be surprised if it's NOT happening. The norm for a Christian should be persecution. Now, it's not like we have to be worried about torture or imprisonment in the US, but how many times have I taken the easy road in a conversation so as not to offend another with my silly Jesus talk? Not cool. Why am I not searching for ways to bring Him up? I don't want to be a jerk either; we are called to love, but why don't I accept the idea of causing discomfort through that love? Am I so averse to speaking truth because I'm afraid of how someone will see me? We aren't called to be people pleasers. Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34) My aim has to be to please God, not man. Yikes. That is a scary proposition, but thankfully, I don't have to do it alone. Not only isGod with me, but He's provided the fellowship of believers to help each other. As I taught at camp about accountability, I should know how powerful that is. Through God and other believers, I should be able to reach this most basic of goals in the the Christian walk. AMEN!


Posted on July 9, 2010 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (2)

I'm off to camp tomorrow! Of course, this means that even if I wanted to, I won't be able to write a blog. What I'm going to try to do is hand-write (ugh) some bloggish things and post them when I get home (or from bf's house - where I'm going after camp for a few days). I make NO promises, but I will certainly try.

No Grad School Yet

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 10:24 AM Comments comments (1)

I missed getting some of my info in to both Kent and OSU, so there's no way I can go to grad school this fall. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I have to assume that if I didn't get in this year, God has a reason, but what do I do for the next year? I don't want to keep taking classes if I don't need any, but student loans start after 6 months out of school. I certainly can't afford those. What a mess.

Crochet stint

Posted on July 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (3)

Some of you may know that I’m into several crafts (scrapbooking, crochet, embroidery, photography, making jewelry, etc.). I tend to enjoy them in phases. I got a new Interweave Crochet magazine yesterday, so I’m somewhat inspired to work on crochet now. I’m pretty picky about what I make. It has to be artistic or useful. No doilies, fake food, etc. I’ve made some stuffed animals for kids, clothes, framed things, etc. I haven’t been able to make too many pieces of clothing because there just isn’t that much out there that doesn’t look like Victorian granny wear. I know designers use crochet, but it’s impossible to find stylish pieces that aren’t slutty. I read in one magazine about how to use an item you like to make a crocheted piece in the same style/shape, so I’d like to try that. In the meantime, I’m still combing over the internet looking for crochet fashion that I’d actually wear. It doesn’t help that I’m not interested in scarves and hats or that I'm too cheap to buy the really nice patterns.

Fake food       Doily

Not bad, but how many ponchos does one person need?

Nice, no pattern available.

Victorian granny



I did make this one, but it's too small for me. I'm not giving it away though because I WILL wear it!