tiny mustard

A Wild Night in Vegas -- Part 18.1

As promised in my teaser, here’s the newest chapter of Vegas! @outlandishchridhe and I are really really excited about where this story is going and we can’t wait to share it with you. There is a lot going on in this chapter, so it turned into another monster chapter and it’s broken up into 3 parts. The next chunks will come out on the next few Tuesdays, which will hopefully give us enough time to get 19 written and edited. 

Catch up on chapter 17 HERE or the whole series HERE


Claire sat down with a hard thump, still looking at the picture of her license on her phone. Jamie knelt down in front of her, taking in her vacant expression.

“Are ye alright?”

“Yeah, I’m just… I passed. It doesn’t feel real.”

“But ye did it. I’m so proud of ye, mo chridhe.”

Her eyes drifted up and met his.

“I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.”

“I didna do much. It was all your brilliance. Because this is what ye were meant for.”

Leaning forward, he pressed his lips to her forehead, as she breathed out a laugh.

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Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. Job 8:7How often do we look at ourselves when it comes to ministry or stepping out in unknown spiritual territory and feel incapable or inadequate? We may feel so small compared to some, seemingly too small to render much result. We may feel untalented or uninspiring, unworthy.As we continue to meditate on the scriptures and let it fully soak in, we can be encouraged that like the tiny mustard seed that once starts as the tiniest seed grows into the largest plant in the garden. So be encouraged that there is hope in days ahead. Trust in God, stay steadfast about the Father’s business and before you know it, that little seed will start to grow and grow. Roots will spread, boundaries will expand, and before you know it, those humble beginnings will too have blossomed into a beautiful, mature being that is strong and mighty, used for God’s purpose.Any work for the Lord is not in vain and what we do unto the least, we have done it unto the Lord. Run this race with everything, giving 100%.

Reminder: doubt is not the opposite of faith.

Faith and doubt can coexist. You can wrestle with the Bible and still follow its command to love. You can worry that not everything you learn at church is true and still worship there. You can struggle to believe that God even exists and still. be. a faithful Christian.

Faith is not about never feeling doubt. Faith is accepting doubt and accepting that you may never fully understand God, and still trying to live according to Their will, to pray and serve and love. God knows that humans sometimes find it hard to believe what they cannot physically see. They don’t expect more from us than we can manage – you do not need to possess a mighty belief, only a faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, for God to work in you and through you. So don’t be afraid to address questions you have, or to admit that you are having trouble believing. God can handle it. I promise.

God Who Is,
sometimes I find it hard to trust that you are real, that you are listening, that you love me of all people and will protect and guide me always. Help me in my unbelief. When I struggle with doubt, help me to keep faithful to you anyway, to never give up on serving you and spreading your love. In this way, I know you will reveal yourself to me, bit by bit. Breathe into me your wisdom, oh God. I cannot promise that my doubts will ever fade completely, but I can promise myself to you anyway. Work through my unbelief, loving Parent, and make me strong even in my weakness. In this way, I can fulfill your will. Amen. 

I often have these troubling moments when I totally don’t believe in God anymore, and I wonder what it would be like to live without Him.

I was an atheist for most of my life, so these thoughts are comfortable and familiar, like the blue plaid super-hero cape I wore in third grade. I go down a spiral of binge-reading atheism blogs and I can’t stop myself. I start to wonder if God even does anything because there’s so much horror in the world, or if He’s just a construct of a hopeful mind looking for momentary relief. It can take days to pull back from this, and doubts never really fade; you just live with them.

I remember the words of that father with the demon-possessed son, who told Jesus, “I do believe, but help my unbelief!” And Jesus healed him. He didn’t shut them down. He didn’t say, “You better believe all the way first.” I get to thinking there must be more than all this, and that God did break into this fractured world somehow and began a healing at some point in history for all of eternity, an invitation to a new story, a reversal of entropy. I get to thinking we’re not just spinning alone out here, and that this is all going somewhere, and I have this tiny mustard-seed-sized faith that Jesus tells me can move mountains. I think even if this isn’t true, I so badly want it to be, and maybe that’s okay too. I do believe, and he doesn’t shame me for my unbelief. For that, I can believe Him — and for a moment, the mountains get shaken.

— J.S.

2

VanityFair’s review of #WaronEveryone:

Finally, the kind of role Michael Peña deserves.

Imagine if Quentin Tarantino directed Starsky and Hutch and didn’t mess it up with his whole malignant misanthropic, misogynistic look-at-me thing. The result would be John Michael McDonagh’s snort-milk-out-your-nose-funny buddy cop comedy War on Everyone, premiering at the 66th Berlin Film Festival. Michael Peña and Alexander Skarsgard play Bob and Terry, co-dependent corrupt Albuquerque pigs snorting and shooting their way to tumble a supercilious English Lord (Divergent’s posh Theo James) into horseracing, heists, and kiddy porn.

McDonagh (The Guard, Calvary), like his brother Martin (In Bruges), has a virtuosic way with dialogue, interlacing philosophical musings with ridiculous questions like “if you hit a mime does he make a sound?” One of the movie’s greatest pleasures is that it gives Peña, an actor often forced by Hollywood to play roles beneath his skill set (exception: his cop bromance End of Watch, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal), long riffs of dialogue that he spins out like a Howard Hawks cockeyed hero. Finally, he gets to play the smartest guy in the room, not the Hispanic sidekick.

And then there’s Skarsgard, pausing in that career moment before he goes full on studio Tarzan. No one can fault a critic for pausing to salivate over the True Blood star, as he rolls out of bed with his new squeeze (the alluring Tessa Thompson), sweat slicked and gorgeous, in nothing more than a tiny pair of mustard-colored briefs. Here is an actor who recently made a horny boy-man sleeping with an under-aged teen in The Diary of a Teenage Girl oddly appealing if not quite sympathetic. In War on Everyone, Skarsgard plays a bruised beauty with a tarnished badge. Terry’s life plays out to a soundtrack of Glen Campbell songs, underscoring the achy twangy yearning white boy at his core. Terry’s hard-drinking, hard-punching policeman is a Rhinestone Cowboy, a Wichita Lineman. It’s a rueful comedic performance that he pounds out like pavement into something deeper and darker and more touching than your average buddy cop.

The opening sequences of War on Everyone are so furiously fast and funny it’s nearly unimaginable that McDonagh can sustain the pace. And yet he does. When the script eases up on the rapid-fire quips, seguing into hilarious music cues (all that Campbell!) and slapstick violence, it brings its best game. Because these flawed but funny characters have dimension, depth, deep desires and, damn it, cry out for a franchise.

Photos [x]

SHAWN MENDES IMAGINE #7: Promise me, Princess.

“Shawn, wake up!” I woke him. Usually, I was pretty gentle in waking him up, or sometimes I didn’t even wake him and let him get up himself. This was different, we were on a trip. Not just any trip, Shawn had booked a week-long trip to Orlando’s Disney World to celebrate us dating for four years. I sat on top of him in bed, straddling him and smiling big down at him. “Wake up! We’re going to Magic Kingdom today!”

“This is exactly the way I wanted to wake up.” He smirked and looked up at me, speaking in his morning voice. “Four years today, babe.” He shot me this smile that throughout all the days with him, I was never able to ignore.

I showered after he did, wrapping myself in a towel and walking out to see Shawn a little more dressed up. He wasn’t all up in a suit, but he was wearing a nice button-up with some nice pants, and there was an outfit on the bed. I racked my brain, finally recognizing it. Last month, Shawn took me shopping and he bought me this dress, it was knee-length. The color was light, like a light blue. It was one of those dresses that proofed up a little. “Should I put this on?” I asked, as he nodded.

I gave him a excited smile and pulled on the dress, as he zipped up the back zipper, spinning me around. “Update, my girlfriend still look gorgeous.” I looked down, nudging his shoulder. “Just one thing.” He reached into the bag, pulling out a simple tiara that those little kids wear at their birthday parties. He probably got it at Walmart or something, still it was so cute. He walked over to me. I scrunched up my nose and looked up and he put the crown in my hair, tucking my hair around it a bit. “You looked beautiful even when you got up this morning, but now you’re a Disney Princess.” He laughed at himself.

I grabbed his hand and my belongings, pulling him out of the hotel room and downstairs to the cars. We got into the car as he mentioned to the driver where we wanted to go. To be honest, I has some suspicion but I didn’t want about to ruin anything. I looked up from my phone, staring at him. He looked away from the window and asked. “What are you looking at?”

“Update, my boyfriend is still the greatest thing to ever happen to me.” I laughed, repeating his earlier statement.

The driver parked up front and left as soon as we were in the park. Everywhere we walked, Shawn held my hand or had his arm around my waist or somehow was holding me. It was not ordinary, he didn’t usually show any PDA. “Shawn, look! It’s Cinderella!” I gave him a begging kind of look and he nodded.

“Smile, Princess! Smile, Cinderella!” He pushed down on his phone, taking the picture. I thanked her, and he kept walking with me further. I was looking around when he suddenly stopped. He bend doe cause kneeling on one knee. “Babe, will you?” I widened my eyes as he laughed. “Wait for me to tie my shoe?”

I pushed him over where he was kneeling and scolded him. “Shawn! That’s not funny!” I pouted, stifling a laugh.

“It was a little.” He laughed, kissing the side of my head, walking ahead. Shawn bought me a hot dog, and we both shared it messily. I was pretty disappointed when I got a little stain on my special dress. It was just a little ketchup, but I was trying to get it off.

“It’s okay, love. Look.” He splattered a tiny bit of mustard on his shirt. “It’s even now.” I gave him a ‘yuck’ look, but smiled at his efforts.

He walked me to Cinderella’s castle and as we were looking at it, I felt his hand let go of my waist. Shawn got down on one knee, and I giggled. “How many times do you have to tie your shoes?”

He reached into his pocket, pulling out a little box. He stabilized himself on his leg, opening the box, looking up at me. “Babe, I have looked at you for the last one-thousand four-hundred and sixty days with the same thought in my head: this is the girl I want to spend my life with. I have known for so long now, I bought this ring the night before our third date. It’s what I’m thinking at all times. When I’m excited about the game and you don’t know what’s happening but you cheer along. When you get to the beach and don’t care what anybody thinks, running around like crazy and splashing around in the water. When you’re half asleep and you look like a beautiful mess. Whenever I lay my eyes on you, hear your voice, or even just think of you. You’re the only person I can imagine my future with. I love you more than anything. (Y/F/N), will you do me the honor of marrying me, Princess?” He finished his talk.

There were tears rolling down my cheeks. I’ve never nodded so fast to a question in my entire life. “Yes, yes, yes. Oh my god. Come here.” He somehow put the ring on my finger, as I pulled him in for a kiss. It was the kiss of the century. These last four years had been the best, I couldn’t wait to see what was next. There was cheering and some shutter-sounds from photos.

Shawn lifted his right arm from around my waist, not breaking the kiss, though. He did this air-pump thing with his hand, earning some laughs from the gathered crowd.

That was one chapter of our book closing, and another great one opening, and no one knew what was planned for us. Whatever it was, at that moment, I promised myself that I would make it with Shawn.

falafel recipe with two variations

(vegetarian, includes egg, dairy free, soy free, gluten free compatible)

basic falafel

ingredients

  • two 14-15oz. tins chickpeas/garbanzos, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • an egg
  • garlic powder, minced garlic, or fresh sautéed garlic, to taste
  • cumin to taste
  • either ½ large onion or 1 small onion, chopped very finely
  • oil (olive oil is yummiest but canola or soybean oil will work)

tools:

  • stovetop or portable burner
  • food processor (i use a mini one i got for $3)
  • mixing bowl
  • something to stir with (i use a fork)
  • tin opener
  • pan
  • spatula
  • small plate
  • big plate with 4 paper towels folded on top of it

instructions:

  1. put 2 tbsp flour on a small plate
  2. put the chickpeas through food processor & then into mixing bowl
    (smooth and tiny chunks are both ok. i like tiny chunks.)
  3. add your garlic/cumin/any other spices.
    (feel free to riff; i know someone who adds dill)
  4. put oil in the pan and turn it on medium
  5. stir the egg, half the onion and ½ c. flour into the mixing bowl
  6. add more onion if you want but stop if it starts getting hard to make balls that will hold together
  7. taste a tiny bit, add more spices if you want them
  8. make small patties, then press them into the flour on the plate to coat them all over
  9. drop into the oil. turn after 3-4 minutes then cook 3-4 minute more. they’re done when golden brown
  10. take out and put onto the plate with paper towels

notes:

  • it’s easier to undercook this than overcook it. if it looks a little burnt while in the pan, it’s probably just right.
  • you can sub in gluten free flour and it will taste just as good (my best friend likes to use garbanzo flour)
  • you can skip the onion but if u do it will taste better if you add onion powder or onion flakes (up to u tho)
  • every time you make this, pay attention to what you like or don’t like about the flavour. change the spices to suit your own taste.
  • if there’s too much dough, it‘ll taste crispier if you save the dough and cook it later, but there’s nothing wrong with saving already cooked falafel if you don’t mind it soft. refrigerate it tho.
  • this recipe is good in salad, dipped in hummus, or in a pita sandwich

taco filling variation

make the above recipe but replace the seasonings with whatever you’d use for taco filling - things like cumin, garlic, dried coriander leaf/cilantro, cayenne pepper powder, etc. - or you can also get premade “taco seasoning” in some supermarkets. (some has dairy tho, check the ingredients if that’s relevant to you)

once it’s done, break it into pieces and put it in a taco, burrito, nachos, etc. in place of meat

vegetarian chicken nuggets

make the falafel recipe above, but replace the seasonings with paprika, cumin, yellow mustard, a tiny bit of bbq sauce if desired, lots of onion powder, black pepper, and some garlic.

instead of flour coating, use crushed up cornflakes.

serve with mustard, honey mustard, or bbq sauce

3

just made the best&easiet vegan Mac n cheese😍

recipe(eyeballed everything)

-vegan butter
-hemp milk(any non-dairy)
-tiny squirt of mustard
-nutritional yeast
-tiny bit of flour
-onion powder
-garlic powder
-pinch of cayenne
-mix with fav pasta(I used quinoa) and fav veggie(s)(broccoli)
-top with homemade bread crumbs(literally just ground a piece of bread lol)
-bake until golden brown!!

From Vanity Fair’s War on Everyone review:

And then there’s Skarsgard, pausing in that career moment before he goes full on studio Tarzan. No one can fault a critic for pausing to salivate over the True Blood star, as he rolls out of bed with his new squeeze (the alluring Tessa Thompson), sweat slicked and gorgeous, in nothing more than a tiny pair of mustard-colored briefs. Here is an actor who recently made a horny boy-man sleeping with an under-aged teen in The Diary of a Teenage Girl oddly appealing if not quite sympathetic. In War on Everyone, Skarsgard plays a bruised beauty with a tarnished badge. Terry’s life plays out to a soundtrack of Glen Campbell songs, underscoring the achy twangy yearning white boy at his core. Terry’s hard-drinking, hard-punching policeman is a Rhinestone Cowboy, a Wichita Lineman. It’s a rueful comedic performance that he pounds out like pavement into something deeper and darker and more touching than your average buddy cop.