I first met Lauryn two summers ago, when we were both on tour and happened to be staying with the same host family. I didn't actually become acquainted with her music until several months later, when my brother-in-law, Tyler, put on her CD in the car one day. Since then, her debut album, "Keep It Simple Let The Sun Come Out," has become one of my favorites and is probably my most-listened-to album of the year.
The album, produced by Daniel Smith and full of guests such as Mike Weiss and Denison Witmer, weaves together stories of love, loss, regret, hope, and healing; painting pictures which are sometimes carefree, sometimes haunting, and some both at once.
(A list I actually compiled last December; I stumbled across it again today and decided to share it.)
I'm thankful for:
-Outer space, and all its terrible and
beautifulness that declares God's glory over and over again.
-Science. All the wonders and mysteries
of how the world is put together. All the little details. The
-Fantasy books, stories, and all of my
favorite authors. Each of them has changed my life a little bit.
-My dear sisters and their husbands for
being such awesome role models and for always encouraging me to be
the best that I can be.
-God, for being Him. Enough said. All
the amazing things He does I wouldn't be able to list right here.
-Food. Vegetables. Forests where you
can pick food right off the path and eat it.
-Music. The bands that have gotten me
through rough times.
-The fact that I get to be in a band
and travel all over the country. I can't even express how cool it is
that I get to do that.
-That God always gives me what I need.
-Basically everyone I have ever met or
had a conversation with. I wouldn't be who I am today without all the
other people who got me here.
-Coffee, tea, and fruit smoothies.
-Sharing. Seriously, that verse of
“Mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice”
serves to make life SO MUCH more awesome.
-Spending real life time with real life
-Okapis, giraffes, owls, squids,
hedgehogs, turtles, and all the other animals that make life that
much more silly or cute or fantastic.
-That the Real World is so much more
fantastic than we are often taught to believe.
-That I had the privilege of being
-That even though we are so constantly
rebellious and selfish and we screw up constantly, Grace is still
amazing. We never run out of second chances, or seventh, or
twenty-eighth, or four-hundred-and-ninety-fourth.
-Colors. Pink and green and purple and
red and black and white and blue and all the other colors.
-Creativity, and all the wonderful ways
that it can be expressed.
Dear Christian, take heart.
No matter how tired you are, no matter how broken, no matter how drained
There is healing. There is comfort. There is rest.
There are safe places in the world.
Not a stronghold, but a place to be vulnerable.
A place to cry.
A place to be healed.
When the church comes together as a family, crazy things happen.
Those magical moments when you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and God is present.
A group of friends hanging out in an attic
A family sitting around a kitchen table, talking and drinking tea.
A group of musicians meeting at a farm to sing and play music for each other.
Like the safe places of a secret society
Strangers become allies
News is shared
Souls are encouraged
Hearts are broken, so that they can be remade.
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. The kingdom of heaven is like yeast.
It starts small. Seemingly insignificant.
But it grows.
It grows and grows, becoming ever more annoying and intrusive, until it takes over everything.
God does crazy things!
Look for Him.
Wait for Him.
And do not give up hope.
Moist, caramel-y, and not too sweet, (not to mention really easy to make) this is the kind of cake you can snack on all day, or save for those nights when all you want to do is eat dessert and watch movies.
(This recipe is adapted from the book College Cooking. I thought their version turned out really crumbly, so I added an extra egg.)
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1. Cream butter and sugar; add eggs, vanilla, and milk. Add dry ingredients, stir until smooth.
2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in 13x9" pan. Slice bananas and arrange in pan. Pour batter over bananas.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until done.
4. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto cutting board or baking sheet.
Fable Cry is an adorable and creative brother-sister duo from Nashville, Tennessee. Together, Zach and Kirstie combine folk tales, shadow puppets, and stage makeup into fun and whimsical songs with a live performance that is simply magical.
Find more at http://www.fablecry.com/
Everybody loves cake. But sometimes you're too lazy or too impatient to bake a whole cake.
Cake in a mug. The best use for a microwave I have yet found.
Find a large mug. Then find these things:
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk (Or water, or coffee.)
1 tablespoon oil (Or like half of a banana)
1 tablespoon peanut butter (Or jam, chocolate sauce, or whatever you like)
Some chocolate chips. (You know, if you like those.)
Mix everything up in your mug, then microwave the mess for about 1 minute.
This poem came together in about ten seconds sometime during my Junior year of highschool, my thoughts being something like this:
There are lots of things that we, as humans, try to create. Sometimes they're good, and sometimes we're proud of them. But they don't always last. Situations and relationships fall apart and there's nothing we can do to fix them. We are terrible, selfish gods.
Thank God that we aren't the real God.
Okay! So, I'm a child who loves to bake, and I've been a little obsessed with cupcakes ever since I first saw the show Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. I found this recipe on the internet a while back and have been meaning to try it out for months. I finally got around to making these last night, and they were absolutely amazing.
1-1/4 cups flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 baking apples, like Fuji or Granny Smith.
*I ran out of all-purpose flour and ended up using about half cake flour. I don't know if it makes much of a difference.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a cupcake pan with baking liners. Mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
3. Add other ingredients except apples, stir until just combined.
4. Grate your apples with a cheese grater. (Or get whoever is standing around to do it for you. ;]) Stir apples in with everything else.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan until almost full.
6. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, 25-30 minutes.
7. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makes 12ish cupcakes.
Icing is not an exact science. I tend to just throw things together a little bit at a time until it tastes the way I want it. If that seems intimidating, normal buttercream or cream cheese frosting would probably be great with these cakes. Or, hey, just skip the frosting altogether. They still taste great without it.
For these cupcakes, I used:
A stick of butter
A few spoonfuls of plain yogurt
A teaspoonish of vanilla
A spoon or two of brown sugar
A few cups of powdered sugar
The end result was a little runny for proper buttercream icing, but I didn't want it to be too sweet. It gets softer at room temperature, and hardens when it's cold. It should be kept in the fridge.