Category Archives: favorite things

summers’ thirsty acres.

we would usually hit up the akers’ in-n-out convenience store first thing as we pulled into the tiny town of dougherty. it’s where i was first introduced to moonpies and the stars on tootsie pop wrappers. we’d weave through town and take big canyon road out to the country, and i’d get such a fluttery feeling when we’d round the corner closest to the farm. we’d unlock the cattle guard and roll down the long driveway. the neighbor’s black dog, creatively named blackie, would follow us the entire way and wait impatiently outside of the car door to offer his sloppy kisses.

we were home.

my grandparents’ farm in southeastern oklahoma is where i spent weekends and holidays and summer breaks, where i drove a car for the first time and bottle-fed calves in the early mornings. on our 450 or so acres, we raised beef cattle and hay, and picked pecans from the grove just for us. it wasn’t out of the ordinary for a cow to poke his head in the window of the bathroom as i sat in the tub – or for us to name our most beloved hefers and calves (red and junebug were always my favorites). there was an entire closet filled with games, toys, and books that belonged to our mom and her siblings when they were our ages. when we weren’t engrossed with those novelties, we could be found in the kitchen eating granny’s homemade biscuits off of her beautiful pfaltzgraph dishes. papa would sit at the table and read his newspaper when he wasn’t working outside. he always said that farming was the closest to God anyone could get. and when i think about it really hard, i can remember what his sweet voice sounded like.

that beautiful, maize-colored home was taken from us when i was just five. the house caught fire, and my papa got my granny and aunt out safely. they crawled on their hands and knees down that long, gravel driveway to the neighbor’s home. papa wanted to get one of the vehicles out of the garage, so that he’d have something to take his wife to the doctor and his daughter to dialysis in. he was always thinking of someone other than himself. the smoke and flames were too powerful. i miss him so much. 

going to the farm was never the same journey it was before the fire. i picked through the remnants of the house and collected anything i possibly could that the flames didn’t consume – pages from my aunt’s old louis l’amour books, broken bits of granny’s dishes, old medicine jars and pieces of the porcelain tub i sat and talked to the cows in. aunt vivian passed away in 1997, and granny followed two years later. we go to the farm these days to tell stories from the past, pick pecans in the fall, and check on how that beloved piece of land is doing. summers’ thirsty acres – it’s my absolute favorite place in the world.

where is your favorite place? 

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Filed under country life, family, favorite things, writings

twenty.

it’s true. as of yesterday, i am no longer a teen. :-D and i owe an extravagant and joyous birthday weekend to my dear friends here at obu – and my sweet mama who sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. i cannot wait to snap a photo of it once all of the buds bloom!

well, in case you ever wanted to know what goes on during one’s birthday in our circle of friends, here is the inside look.

a lively bunch at abuelita rosa’s serenaded me friday evening. i could not contain me glee!

kelly and addison are perhaps two of the most precious people i know. after pigging out with jake and some new guy on the baseball team, we retired to watch an andy warhol bio that left us puzzled.

even the colonel decided to get in on the fun.

mmhmm.
last night capped off the elaborate weekend, as we cheered on our obu bison at the basketball game, then took over the local chili’s with kelly, addi, moi, sebastien, anastasia, curtis, kyle, katie, and taylor d. [yes, i am aware you know none of these individuals, but listing them like that makes it look like i have an entourage.]
i am so blessed.

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Filed under college life, family, favorite things, pals, photographs

the farewell tour.

okay addison, i’m copying some of your creativity today! slipping into another january is always an exciting, unknown moment. and, being my retrospective self, i’d like to pass along a few things that made this year what it was. i have a whole new appreciation for the past twelve months after looking back at this list. =)

  • began my second semester of college with a break-up i thought would surely kill me
  • took my first class in the honors program at obu
  • maintained a 4.0
  • initiated my last year as an official teen in february
  • experienced further heartbreak from my first love
  • attended the memorial service of his precious little cousin on my birthday
  • realized i had the most loving and supportive friends and family [once again] as a result of my darkest hour
  • spent priceless weekends with family who had been on the west coast for far too long :]
  • had a good ole red dirt night at a randy rogers band concert with my best hometown friends
  • initiated into the phi eta sigma national honor society
  • continued serving with switch at lifechurch.tv and discovered amazing ministry opportunities
  • went on a mission trip to eureka springs with my switch kids
  • helped construct a kickin’ gravel driveway on said mission trip =)
  • drove to phoenix with my sister, niece, and mom, and watched my sweet cousin marry his soulmate under palm trees
  • got published in the bison
  • played on a few slot machines with my mom and her best friend from college, hehehe
  • experienced a medical scare that tested me financially and spiritually
  • watched my brother successfully run his second full marathon – complete with hand-painted signs and loud cheers at almost every mile marker =)
  • received scholarships that were blissfully unexpected
  • watched a dear friend from back home graduate and accomplish great things
  • craved an apology which i was sure would fix everything
  • served as a team leader for the first time at super summer
  • received the apology i had been craving, and remained unsatisfied
  • lived in edmond for a summer
  • became a member of the lifechurch.tv prayer team
  • saw another close friend marry the sweetest girl in all of texas
  • worked at a new place may through august and met splendid new people
  • began doing on-stage activities at switch
  • witnessed the greatest fireworks show of my life on independence day
  • served as a sponsor for the first time at falls creek
  • went to the mountain view-gotebo free fair and saw many old friends
  • started serving at fuse
  • began my third semester of college
  • caught the domestic bug
  • started teaching conversation classes with the international students at obu
  • became the switch what’s next coordinator
  • began a new job at the wellness center
  • went on a retreat with sweet friends and opened up my heart
  • participated in my first race for the cure with my family
  • spent fall break with my mom on a girls’ trip to branson
  • published in the bison again
  • voted in my first presidential election
  • learned how to play texas-hold-’em
  • learned my sister is pregnant again!
  • survived my first semester of western civ with an a
  • realized i won’t find happiness if i won’t let go
  • rekindled an old, dear friendship
  • wrote a blues song =)
  • learned a few french phrases
  • maintained a 4.0 again
  • discovered a love for the food network
  • played the heck out of hungry hungry hippos with my precious nieces

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Filed under church, college life, family, favorite things, love, missions, pals, politics, switch, travel, work

coverage.

lookin’ for some awe-inspiring stuff to light your fire this week? then have i got a list for you! somewhere in the middle of tests about the renaissance, western art, and the living God – not to mention a few papers about gothic architecture and the canterbury tales – i have come across some goodies which have provided such a blessed break-up of the mundane. and what kind of southern girl would i be if i didn’t spread the love around?

-projects:
soles4souls, a charity based in nashville, is currently holding a challenge to send 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days to bless those who desperately need shoes around the world. many of the recipients of these gifts have never experienced having such a simple yet vital possession. over 300 million people worldwide are forced to walk in unsafe and potentially life-threatening conditions because they lack this basic necessity. donating just $5 to this cause will provide two people overseas with a pair of shoes.as of this post, there are 42 days left in the challenge. 4,800 shoes have already been donated, and you could be a part of this with such a small sacrifice. as little as $5 can change so much – won’t you be a part of this with me?

-quotes:[these are words that have come to me at just the right moments, during this week and the past few. these may not speak to any particular situation you’re experiencing, but i can’t help but share them anyway!]

“single ladies…no matter what you’ve been through…you are NOT damaged goods! God STILL has a plan for your life…and you are SO WORTH THE PURSUIT of a man who is willing to fight to win your heart…do NOT SETTLE for a boy who wants to use you, wait for a man who will esteem you!” // perry noble

“you have a powerful story, and somewhere along the way you believed a lie that you have to pay for the sins of your past. the shame that you carry for the “bad” things you have done and the burden of the sin of your past are not from God. Jesus to paid for those sins with a very high price, which more than covers your sin no matter how bad you think it might be. you holding onto shame from your past gives power to the struggle and hinders the power of what Christ has done for you. you have all authority over the past and your pain and your shame. shame is not from God. He gives you grace and grace in abundance. His grace is sufficient for you.
you have a powerful story, and God wants to use the very specific things you have done to bring Him glory. He wants to use the things you have done to set people free from the very same things you struggled with. this is a part of a process that God has you on, and that process is different for everyone. some people need prayer of deliverance, some people need to make restitution, some people need to forgive themselves. it’s very different for everyone.” //
lori boucher

go here to read a quote by marianne williamson, which my beautiful suitemate and best friend has posted in our bathroom to remind each of us they our “playing small does not serve the world.” i hope you, too, claim this truth as your own!

-blog posts: [take note of a few postings i have adored this week so far.]
elohim my friend addison is such a beautiful person and writer. the words you’ll read here expose just a tiny portion of that!
the ties that bind – rachel has articulated everything i have felt this past year and of what i need to let go of. my own “soul tie” has rendered me paralyzed for far too long. traveling light sounds like such a good idea today. =)

-books:[i know, the pleasure of reading sure seems like a distant memory most days for us. but just in case the free time to enjoy a book shows up again soon, here are a few titles that have rocked my world lately.]


living the sermon on the mount – this book, by glen stassen, was assigned in my life of Christ class. though a hard read at times, it is a powerful examination of Jesus’ words that were meant to transform our lives.
the green book – i wish i was a hippie. if you read this book, you’ll become one. just kidding – but you really will learn of some practical ways to leave a better mark on the world!
walking on water – it’s been awhile since i last read this book, but it is something i feel i must promote regardless. madeline l’engle shares gorgeous reflections of faith’s influence on life and art. keep a pen or highlighter handy as you Linkread through this one! [p.s. my favorite singer, nichole nordeman, wrote the forward for this book’s latest printing!]

-music:
i’m not gonna lie, taylor swift’s new album fearless has been ringing in my head since it’s release last week. as i was sitting in my dorm’s hall lobby several days back, i heard “love story” being sung at the top of a group of girls’ lungs. i laughed at the time, only because i knew i had done the same thing in my own car not a few hours before. =)

[for links to all of these titles, please click on their pictures in the widget carousel on the left side of the screen!]

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Filed under college life, favorite things, missions, pals, quotes