Cocoa + Sugar + Milk =

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate pudding. The little box sits in my cupboard off to the side, untouched and unnoticeable. Until now. My eyes furtively glance at its alluring cover time and time again. I can't seem to forget it's small presence there. My brain can't seem to fathom any other food product to be edible. But at the same time my brain says, "NO! It will accumulate on your behind, your thighs, your belly, your forehead, everywhere that it is undesirable. Do NOT pull that chocolate pudding out of the cupboard!"

My stomach long since deprived of any nourishment grumbles it's thoughts, "I'm empty. Anything will do. But why not something delicious and succulent?" Once again my eyes seek the brown and blue colored box...why are these colors so vivid today?! My hands try to shut the door to my barren cupboard...or is it full? I can't tell...all I can see is that blasted box of pudding!!

Suddenly my mouth begins to water and it sends memories of the delicious taste of the cool soft chocolate pudding to my wavering brain! My resolve weakens...I had basically killed my body exercising the day before...and they say that chocolate holds the key to rebuilding muscle... So much is at stake!

"Ashley..." What the..?! I thought all my roommates were at class or work... I glance around. Nothing. "Ashley..." It was the PUDDING!!! Pudding isn't supposed to talk right? I'm hallucinating... I'm imagining that that stupid box is calling my name! I'd better eat it to shut it up... I can't have a box of chocolate pudding goin around speaking my name. Not gonna happen.

I pull the box frantically out of the cupboard and the milk out of the fridge. I mix the powdery contents of the package into the two cups of cow product in a medium-sized yellow bowl. I wait anxiously while the concoction lives in the fridge on the top shelf cooling and setting into that pudding consistency. The empty box sits in the garbage...screaming of my weakness.

The next step. Consume with pleasure. So I grab a spoon and dip it into the brown goodness... I am definitely a fan of deliciousness. Tomorrow when I am feeling sick because of the overload of sugar, I'll regret this...but right now...I'm doin just fine!


Never enough

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have you ever noticed that there is never enough of something? Maybe I'm just picky but it seems that there just isn't enough. For example:

There is never enough jelly to the peanut butter.
There is never enough warm water to the shower.
There is never enough chocolate brownie to the ice cream.
There is never enough syrup to the pancake.
There is never enough money to the expenses.
There is never enough sprinkles to the cookie.
There is never enough frosting to the cake.
There is never enough food to the cupboards.
There is never enough pondering to the decisions of life.
There is never enough sun in the winter.
There is never enough spaghetti sauce to the noodles.
There is never enough patience to the trial.
There is never enough studying to the test.
There is never enough stillness to the moment.
There is never enough time off work to the vacation.
There is never enough conversation to the problem.
There is never enough ranch dressing to the vegetable tray.
There is never enough kneeling to the prayer.
There is never enough sleeping to the night.
There is never enough laughter to the friendship.
There is never enough pushing to the limit.
There is never enough clinging to the rod.
There is never enough fruit snack to the package.
There is never enough hope to the darkness.
There is never enough time to the relationship.
There is never enough milk to the cookies.
There is never enough gifts to the Christmas tree.
There is never enough thanks to the rescuer.
There is never enough gravy to the mashed potatoes.
There is never enough room to the apartment.
There is never enough expression to the love.
There is never enough...

Now I could go on and on. Is it a fact of life that there will never be enough? Or is it just me being picky and complainy? All kidding aside, yes it seems that we can never be satisfied with the amount of dressings to our foods but that is easily fixed by going a getting yourself more or just dealing and eating it anyways. But a lot of them are serious questions. Do we give enough thanks to our Creator? Do we show enough love to our family and friends? I don't think that that is possible. That's why we have this time on do everyday, those things that we can, to get closer to having done enough.


To the finish

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life is full of endings. It starts with an ending and we finish it off with the ultimate ending. Some endings are happy. Some endings are sad. Some endings are triumphant. Some endings are of defeat. And perhaps there are endings, that aren't endings at all. Maybe there isn't any such thing as endings but perhaps, merely chapters.

A book more often than not, follows the storyline of one hero or heroine. There are many characters along the story. Many come and go in the story's line of sight but that does not mean that that is their ending. We simply cannot follow their story at the same time as our hero or heroine's. And the end of the chapter isn't the end of the story by any means. Even the end of the book isn't an ending. It is where the story teller simply wrote a conclusion and stopped telling the story.

An even more drastic ending...a head stone to a grave. Sometimes they tell the story of the person that lies beneath them but always is written the start and stop of their time on the earth. We don't know the continuation of their story because the Great Storyteller stopped telling us their story. Instead of endings, perhaps we should call them finishes. It was the finish of the story at the end of the book. It is the finish of mortal life on the earth when we die. There is never an ending because there is always more to the story and there always will be.

Life is full of finishes. It starts with a finish and it ends with the ultimate finish. Some finishes are happy. Some finishes are sad. Some finishes are triumphant. Some finishes are of defeat. And perhaps there are finishes, that aren't finishes at all...


Take Luck

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Luck. A force that brings good fortune. Everyone wants a piece of luck to come their way. Who wouldn't? Luck, in any situation, makes things go so much better. But is luck a coincidence? Or is luck perhaps a choice?

For most people they say they are lucky because things are going according to plan, or when something out of the ordinary occurs that is a pleasant surprise. But can't we also be lucky in love? Lucky in our choice of friends? I believe that we choose our luckiness. And sometimes we can even be so awesome as to affect the luck of those around us.

My dad, being as awesome as he is, placed a penny on the ground face up. Most people know that a penny in that position signifies good luck. Now we all of us have enough good sense to realize that this is a superstition. But at the same time, whenever I pick up a coin that is face up, I may not really believe that I'm going to have a day of luck but I do feel a bit lighter. There is almost a sense of delight in finding the small bit of smashed metal that holds little monetary value, face up. My Dad may not have really bestowed luck on the particular person who ends up picking up his well-placed coin but he did leave them a little piece of happiness.

We make our own luck. We go through life and come upon choices. Choices of great importance to our happiness or things of little worth to our general well-being. But depending on our choice, we can be a happier sort of person or not so. This is where luck becomes a player. When we choose the greater course and straighten the way, we become lucky... is our choice.


Camels and Humps

Friday, October 22, 2010

There are many tales and folklore revolving around camels. Camels. Yes I said, "Camels." What an interesting animal. Flat feet with toes, furry all over, split upper lip, prettier longer eyelashes than me (???), lurpy looking neck, knobbly knees, big old floppy ears, and oh yes...a huge hump (or two) on its back, of course. It wasn't always like that...

There is a telling of how the Camel came by his hump. In the beginning of the world, there was Man and to work for him, he was given Horse, Ox, Dog, and Camel. Horse, Ox, and Dog worked hard for Man but Camel always declined helping with a disinterested 'Humph,' so the hard-working three were asked to work double-time to make up for him. This made the three angry and when the Desert Djinn came upon them, they complained about their lazy compatriot. The Djinn went and found the 'scruciating idle Camel admiring his beautiful straight back in the reflection of a pool. Because all the Camel had to say for himself was 'Humph', the Djinn became angry and slapped a huge humph on his back. This was so that Camel could work for three days straight without food or water to make up for his indolent nature. Ever since that day Camel has been working hard to catch up to his lazy beginning.

-Rudyard Kipling

Although this hump will always be a burden, it is what makes him a Camel and what helps him survive on a trek across the long lonely desert. We all have burdens and we all must press on with them. They will be there whether we just sit down and wallow in pity for ourselves or if we buckle down and push through the heat and the sand storms that come. And that is what makes us who we are...camels.


Chicken eggs

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Did the chicken come first? Or was it an egg? Pointless really. Did the chick in the egg want to come out? Now that is a question worth asking...

All of us in some way or the other like stability and structure. Individually we all like different amounts of those in our lives. Every living creature comes into this world from a place of warmth, comfort, and security. Whether it's the womb or an eggshell, there is always stability and structure. There is no threat of fear or hurt or pain. Do we want to come out, really? Of course we none of us have a choice when it comes to birth. Biological processes will be carried out whether or not we have a choice in the matter. But if we had the power to manipulate parturition...would we come out?

 The egg is well structured. The chick is provided with a strong, protective barrier between itself and the world.  But that chick doesn't have to push its way completely out of the shell that shelters it. It has to make the decision to exert itself to get out, to put forth the effort to push past that strong shell. Why does this fluffy, frail little creature come out of its eternally safe place? Why flirt with the dangers of living?  But we all make that decision. To come from a world of peace, love and light, to live in a broken, hungry world seems condemning. 

We do it because we can only gain eternal life through earth life first. Every stumbling step, every adolescent pimple, every struggling year at college somehow brings us a step closer to our Heavenly Father's side.
I can't remember making such a decision. The Lord put a veil over my mind so that I would make my earth life decisions purely based on my faith and the whisperings of the Spirit. But somehow I feel the weight of the decision every day of my life. As I struggle through small and large trials or even just keeping up with the demands on my time as a busy college student, I recall a little portion of making that decision. Thankfully I've been given a Way. The biggest decision I have to make now, is to give my trust to the One who will lead me on it.



Monday, October 18, 2010

Silence.  I've come to realize that at the worst times in my life...silence is a killer. Silence in the dark hours of night or early morning is deadly because that is when silence can do the most harm. It's emptiness is far too comforting to my self-pity and doubt. My mind doesn't function well in emptiness or silence. There is too much that can be thought about. Too much that needs thinking about. Thus, a chosen pastime to fill the space that silence provides, is found. To think. 

In my experience this kind of torturing silence is always associated with darkness. The dark and I…have an interesting relationship. When I need to hide my tears or just myself from the world, the dark is my most beloved friend. When I feel alone, lost, or afraid, the dark then makes me, my worst enemy.

At this point in my life, darkness and silence are the bane of my existence. But somehow I cannot make my thoughts leave it for the light. That inane part of human nature is to wallow in my own pity, my own depression. To seek comfort from the light and life, is healthy and I recognize that. Somehow it isn't as simple as just going to a place of light. Darkness has a nasty habit of dwelling in the corners of my soul. Like an itch, it sits at the back of my thoughts and picks away at the feeble light within me. I used to have so much light and it was so powerful. It was chipped away because I allowed it to be. 

But in all this empty silence, I find myself humming... Abide With Me, Tis Eventide. The darkness loses its enmity and the silence...the silence. It is still there. It still presses on my weary hope and faith. But now I have something to hold on to. Comfort and succor comes from my Savior. He is the eternal Light that can replenish mine. There is hope. I now have the will to look to the light on the far horizon and not lose faith. I can do this, this thing we call life. And in a blink of my little green eye...I will be with my Savior and Heavenly Father for the eternities. Silence...


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