Buon Compleanno! (Day One)

What I’m listening to: All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

I’m 21!! What better way to celebrate being legal to drink in the United States than to visit a country where I’ve been legal to drink for years?? (No better way imo.) First stop was Milan, where we checked out the outside of the Duomo, then went off to get risotto at Princess Grace’s favorite spot.

It’s inside this amazing outdoor mall that looks more like a museum than a shopping spot.

After an incredible meal it was time to unwind and wander the streets of Milan. We stopped in a cafe along the way back to the hotel for a taste of Milan’s signature drink, the Aperol Spritz. It is delicious in a light, summery way that makes you feel like you are exploring Milan while relaxing with your feet up.

Day one: Complete!

peace,

KJ

Summer Devotional Series: The Anguish of Necessity

What I’m Listening to: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Crystal Gayle

Before we start discussing this week’s message, it’s important to get one thing out of the way immediately: we are not saved by our works. We’re not. We’re saved by God’s infinite grace:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–

~Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)

However, knowing that because of our belief we are saved, in spite of anything we could possibly do, should not lull us into a state of complacency. It should not make us shrug our shoulders and think we are doing good enough. Because while we can’t save ourselves or anyone else, our actions can influence others, can help others.

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

~ Romans 12:8 (NIV)

I’m not saying this in order to make anyone feel like nothing short of quitting their job and becoming a full time missionary is good enough, but rather that it’s important to be open to opportunities to help those in need. To do make the difference we are being called to make.

Prayer Prompt: Ask the Lord to show you places where you can make an impact, not for your own glory, but for God’s.

Peace,

KJ

Cherry Blossom Festival!

What I’m listening to: Stay by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

I have to make a confession: I literally lived outside DC for over two years and I never went to see the cherry blossoms.

I know, I know, for shame! Finally however, I saw the error of my ways and went to go see them this weekend. They are every bit as beautiful as advertised, the blossoms make the monuments look so magnificent and more than a little dreamlike.

(P.S. Yes, the skirt of my dress has cherry blossoms embroidered on it, you know I couldn’t resist)

Peace,

KJ

Frustrations and Forgiveness

What I’m listening to: God Will by Johnny Cash

Do you ever work really hard on something that then doesn’t end up the way you want it to? You spend hours working on some project or craft and at the end you just look at it with despair and shove it in the back of a closet so you don’t have to be reminded of our own failure?

It can be easy to see no worth in something that doesn’t measure up to our highest expectations, to want to give up on it and move on.

It can be even easier to feel like God sees us this way, that this time we’ve been such a failure and disappointment that He is finally going to throw up his hands and throw us away.

Luckily for us this overwhelming frustration at something not being exactly the way we wanted it to turn out is a fully human view, and not one that God, in His limitless wisdom, shares.

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

~ Joel 2:13 (ESV)

He always sees the good in us, the worthiness in our worthlessness, and the potential, even at our worst, to be His very best.

Everything happens for a reason, it might not be our reason, but it’s always His. He has promised to always look out for us, always care for us, and to always be patient with us. As we head into this Easter season, isn’t that a wonderfully reassuring thought?

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you–you of little faith?

~ Matthew 6:30 (NIV)

Prayer Prompt: Pray that God might cleanse you of your own focus on your feelings of failure or worthlessness, that you might focus on working for God and His kingdom instead.

Mini-post: A Presidential Hike

What I’m listening to: Down Under by Men At Work

It’s President’s Day! (Do you know how hard it is to come up with a President’s Day pun for the blog title? Impossible, so I just gave up). You know I didn’t give up on? Hiking! This weekend was a nearly-50-degrees break between snow showers, so I had to take advantage. Isn’t it pretty? The trout stream was empty but crystal clear.

Peace,

KJ

Be My Valentine?

What I’m listening to: Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me by Ron Gallo

Happy Valentine’s Day! I know, I know, I’m late, but if you ask me Valentine’s should be like Mardi Gras and last a good season or so. You guys know I love a good holiday, and in turn a good holiday outfit. This look certainly fits the prescription: hearts and ruffles and velvet and charms make me feel like a real-life valentine!

Peace,

KJ

Mini-post: Long Skirt/No Jacket

What I’m listening to: Short Skirt/Long Jacket by Cake

Do you ever have a color that you just love? Maybe it looks really good on you, maybe it makes you happy, but no matter what, if you see something in that color you just gotta have it? That’s me and emerald green. I didn’t even realize it until I noticed I had eyeshadow and a skirt in the exact same unusual shade. That’s when I knew I had to make a post. See?? Same color!

Peace,

KJ