Freedom on Friday

Today was my last day of work in the lovely world of rebind. And I’m essentially free for the next week. I have to go into school a few times next week-although I don’t know when. I know that I have to head out to GV for a few hours next week. And I need to be in my classroom setting up for my students.

But for now, I’m free to relax and rejuvenate. But it’s an odd freedom, the sort of freedom to which I am slowly becoming accustomed. I don’t know what’s coming next and that makes me nervous and even nauseous at times. But at the same time, it’s a good opportunity for me to practice trusting God. It’s something I struggle with, but nevertheless, it’s something that makes my life better when I do it.

I occasionally quote Douglas Adams who once said that “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Now, I’m pretty positive that Mr. Adams did not believe in God. But that quotation defines my relationship with God over the past year.

A year ago today, I expected that by now I would be a college graduate and would probably be starting a job as a middle school/high school Spanish teacher. I figured I’d be all moved out of the parents’ house. I had plans. In my mind, I was going places.

But God laughed at those plans and spent a year showing me what it meant to die to myself and learn to live according to his will. As Dante said, “In God’s will is our peace.”

Yeah…his will. It didn’t involve what I thought I should be doing. Spanish, apparently, was not where I was called. That was made infinitely clear to me-and it is something that I struggle to explain to others. God has closed, nay, slammed a door. It is not to be opened again. And as I spent time exploring English and education, I found that God was calling me in that direction. He was giving me joy in that area of my life, something that I had not been experiencing while following my plans. Joy is something that I crave and yet struggle to find; I was deriving joy from reading Flannery O’Connor and writing about vampires.

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” -Teilhard de Chardin

God was present to me in those moments of wondering why I was doing what I was doing. Why couldn’t I pass the OPI? Why was I suddenly changing my major when all I wanted to do was graduate? And why was I so peaceful and joyful about these things? Why wasn’t I heartbroken or angry (like many of my classmates and peers thought I ought to be) about the sudden change in my plans and redirection of my life?

I fully believe that the answer is God. I have spent the past two (or more, maybe) years asking the Lord on a daily basis to empty me of myself and fill me until only he remains. And I think that this is a prayer that he has been answering throughout the past year. He has taken away something that was once very precious to me and replaced it with something better.

And it is not merely taking away my desire to be a Spanish teacher. In these changes, he has shown me what love is, what fidelity is. Not everyone I know understands these changes in my life, in my plans. But regardless, I know that this is the plan of God, of the God who knows me, loves me and cares for me. Numerous times, I have been reminded that this God I love and worship is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-and my God. He is love. He is freedom.

And he is not freedom as the world knows freedom. Like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-and Moses and David and Felicity and Perpetua and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and Francis of Assisi, I have been called away from the world and the self so that I may know, love, and serve the Lord, my Lord. I have been asked to surrender my plans and to surrender to his will.

But as Dante said, “In God’s will is our peace.”

I have not been called to live for myself. I was not made to live for myself. I was made for Love. As C.S. Lewis once said,  “We were not made primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest ‘well-pleased.’”

I greatly desire that the Divine love rest well-pleased in me, that the Lord looks at me and says “It is very good.”

St. Paul put it best in his letter to the Romans when he said, “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;  for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8)

I am the Lord’s. I am called to be a vessel of the Divine Love, the Love that humbled itself to become Man and offered itself on a cross as the ransom for all humanity.

This is freedom. This is the freedom for which I was made and the freedom which I desire to possess.

So while this may be a somewhat scary statement, whatever lies ahead, bring it on. May God’s will be done in me and through me at all times.

Yet Another Random Friday

  1. Firstly, I must tell you that I am no longer blogging from my Acer netbook, Lothluthien. Instead, you’re reading my first post from my brand new (to me) MacBook, Penelope. She shall be called Nell.
  2. My new iPod is named Henrietta and shall be called Henrietta or Etta.
  3. Penelope/Nell and Henrietta/Etta are much cooler names than Lothluthien. Naturally I’m only saying this because Lothluthien and I didn’t get along so well in the last days of our relationship. And by days, I mean months.
  4. This week was long. But I’ve realized a major lesson. I may not love my job, but that doesn’t mean that I have to act like I don’t want to be there. Instead, I’ve taken to being crazy and hyper and silly. It amuses other people and keeps me from losing my mind. I’m not sure how feigning insanity preserves my sanity but it does.
  5. Stratford was amazing. I had a great time with Momsy and Auntly. Camelot was good. Twelfth Night was fantastic. Check this out. It is absolutely amazing. And it was great to spend time in Stratford, exploring the town. It is a dear place to my soul and I love it muchly.
  6. Tomorrow I have no big plans for my day…which somehow means that I actually have great plans. It’s gonna be all about crafting. Obviously (because I’m me) I have some major knitting to get done. But I also need to hit up Joann’s to buy some patterns and fabric-and other odds and ends. I’ve got sewing projects on the brain…and a pretty serious case of craft-o-mania. It’s great. I need to make some pretty, stylish, professional-but-artsy teacher dresses. And I have a whole Saturday with nothing to do but craft.
  7. And make a trifle and crumpets. Right…I do have to get ready for Sunday’s annual tea party. So tomorrow, I shall practice my tea drinking, buy a summer hat (hopefully on clearance, please Target?), and prepare tea party appropriate goodies.
  8. Also, I need to watch Equilibrium and Gattaca to get ready for teaching. I want that to happen tomorrow, but I’m not really sure how/when that will happen.
  9. And finally…watching an entire season of a TV show in a week can get confusing. The Halloween episode and the Christmas episode just all run together in my head.
  10. And that’s all from Nell for now.

Fried-day

It’s Friday. The week is finally over and it’s the weekend. This hasn’t been a bad week, but it’s been a long one. Nevertheless, it’s over. Tomorrow, I leave for a weekend in beautiful Stratford, Ontario with Momsy and Auntly. But first, here are some highs and lows from the past week.

  1. I saw Katie on Sunday. I got to spend more than six hours with one of my favorite people in the world. It was epically awesome.
  2. Sunday evening, the car formerly known as Gilbert Westley Blythe died about ten minuets from home. Three visits to the mechanic later, the car’s name is now Gertrude Wickham-Black. (Major points to anyone who can identify the literary allusions in Gert’s current or former name.)
  3. Tuesday and Wednesday, I got to see some of my favorite people alive-including two dear, darling little girls who make me a better knitter and a better person…and one of whom wants to know if I’m funny. The jury is still out, but the closest G got to an actual verdict was a “sometimes” from Momsy.
  4. I’m rediscovering my love of cables working on my Brennan cardigan. More on that later…
  5. Yesterday, I went to the Apple store at the mall looking to buy a MacBook. After talking with a helpful sales associate, I went home and checked out the refurbished MacBooks on the Apple website. And then, I sprang for a refurbished iPod touch. All of this will be arriving late next week. So am I joining the cult of Mac? Yes.
  6. Unsolicited book recommendation: About two weeks ago, Momsy had this book called Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos sitting around the house. She read it and was going to take it back to the library. The cover was really pretty, so I asked her if she liked it and she said she did. So I sat down and read it. Literally, I started it on a Friday evening and read until I went to bed. Then I got up the next morning, made French toast and coffee, and started reading again. I love it. I might buy it. Long story short? Read it.
  7. Thanks to the local library, I’m watching my way through the fifth season of Psych. Have I ever mentioned that I love that show?
  8. This week was a record-breaking week in the rebind department. This led to silliness, craziness, increased caffeine consumption, exhaustion, and “And today’s only Thursday!” as my response to my boss when he told me how many books we’d rebound thus far during the month of August.
  9. Thank God it’s Friday.
  10. Tomorrow I’m going to Canada.
  11. Now I’m going to watch a movie with the Momsy.

Bexleigh-Pattern Release

A few weeks ago, I started working on a birthday present for Becky. Since she is leaving Pittsburgh for Michigan, I decided that she needed a buttoned-cowl to keep her warm and cozy.

So one day, I was thinking about knitting and Becky and this scarf/cowl/thing I was going to make. And purple and seed stitch came into my head. I started knitting a basic seed-stitch cowl. It was going great until I realized that this scarf was a lot of things, but Becky it ain’t.

Then, I was lying in bed, trying to sleep, when ribbing popped into my head. And I knew that this scarf/cowl needed to have ribbing.

The next day, I unraveled the first scarf and started knitting again.

And then, Bexleigh was born.

Now, I’ve never (in real life or in my head) called Becky “Bexleigh” or any other spelling that could possible be pronounced like that.

Nevertheless, that name stuck with me. The more time I spent on Bexleigh, the more I knew that this project was called Bexleigh and it had no other name.

I finished it on Saturday, took it with me to see Katie on Sunday, and received her approval of it. Then, I photographed it today. (I’m my own model; Becky won’t receive this for another two weeks.)

And now, I’m releasing the pattern here and on Ravelry. So cast it on and let me know how it goes.

Pesto-Chicken Pizza with Feta

This is not a cooking blog. However, it is the blog of a lassie who likes to cook. And said lassie is lactose-intolerant. Being lactose-intolerant, I often find myself adapting existing recipes to my own diet or creating my own. On the rare occasions that I create my own, I like to share them with the world so that others like myself can use them.

That said, this recipe was born out of something I said to Katie a few weeks ago. “Picture this: Take a loaf of Italian bread, slice it in half. Put pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and grilled chicken on top. Bake it. Then add feta cheese.” She replied that she’d be right over. (I haven’t seen her yet, but that’s okay; I haven’t made that dish yet.)

The other inspiration for this recipe is Cottage Inn’s Pesto Primavera Pizza. That’s my dad’s favorite pizza. It has pesto, feta, olives, broccoli, tomatoes, and mozzarella on it-although we generally ask Cottage Inn to leave the mozzarella off 2-4 slices just for me. Anyway, it’s fabulous and honestly, I’ll probably try to make my own some day.

But anyway, I’m the head cook around this house this week as the beloved Momsy is not home. So tonight, I made Pesto-Chicken Pizza with Feta.

Pesto-Chicken Pizza with Feta

Serves two

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough: I recommend using homemade, however, I used one ball of store-bought dough from the freezer.
  • 1/4 cup pesto; I used homemade pesto made by Momsy
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 small chicken breast, chopped
  • ~1/4 cup fresh feta cheese (or to taste)
  • Olive oil, preferably Extra Virgin

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly coat one 9-inch pie pan with olive oil.

Spread dough throughout pan. This may take some time/energy.

Spread pesto thoroughly over dough.

Sprinkle tomato and chicken on pizza.

Put this in the oven for 17-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and add crumbled feta cheese to top.

Return pizza to oven for another two minutes.

Remove, cool, slice, and serve.

Buon appetito!

Next project: Trying this sans chicken; I feel like it would be amazing.

 

A Most August First

I’m knitting while watching Star Trek. This isn’t actually the first time I’ve done this, but I wanted to use that title too badly to not use it. (Did that make sense?)

Mostly, I just want to flash some knitting photos. I want other people’s approval of things that I think are are pretty dang awesome. Admittedly, I got some while sitting in a coffeeshop with some coworkers and knitting a scarf that I haven’t photographed yet. Another customer came up to me to look at my knitting. She thought it was pretty impressive and mentioned wanting to learn to knit. I really should have referred her to the lovely ladies at Knit a Round because I know that they would gladly teach her, but  I unfortunately did not get the chance.

Regardless…check out the pretty.

The Brennan Cardigan

The Brennan Cardigan....a serious work in progress

Ruched Yoke Tee with Momsy's Russian Sage

And then I kind of went crazy taking pictures of the blanket I’m making right now with the yarn for said project. Just remember…I like yarn. I already know that this makes me weird.

Blanket with yarn and tomatoes

Wound and unwound yarn, both for the blanket

Meeting of the minds

And then I tried to come inside, but found this charming friend waiting for me at the door…

The Reens

Rina-bambina with my feet, which she loves more than she ought

Now it’s back to Star Trek and the ruched yoke. In the mean time, ponder this one…is it acceptable to (if your last name is Kirk) name your son James Tiberius Kirk? Or is that just taking dorkdom too far?

Over and out.