But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Saturday, June 17

St. Louis Wishlist

This is silly, but here we go!

We're going to be visiting St. Louis for a short time soon (YAY!!!), and I keep forgetting to write down the things I want to do while we're there. So I thought, hey, why not just make a public list of every wish that comes to mind?

Like I said, silly.

In no particular order, with no expectation of doing most of them:

• Go to the Zoo
• Eat toasted ravioli
• Hike at Pickle Springs
• See Wonder Woman with Mom and have that Wonder Woman ice cream from Coldstone
• Get a brownie from Pint-Sized Bakery
• See the Arch/Renovated Riverfront
• Go to the Drive-In
• Visit Little Mexico on Cherokee Street to see what it feels like to visit now
• Go Contra Dancing a the Monday Club
• See a show at The Muny
• Roast hotdogs and make s'mores with loved ones
• Go to a Cardinal's baseball game
• Get St. Louis merch, because we're tourists now!
• Get some Pappy's BBQ

Thursday, June 16

Blueberry Muffins

My kitchen has been clean for going on three days straight. I'm pretty sure that means I've nailed this stay-at-home mom thing. Just ignore that mountain of laundry that needs to be folded (at least it's clean!), and every other room in the house for that matter.

Illustration of William dropping Cheerios
The euphoria brought on by having a clean kitchen (which pretty much consists of following my 6-month-old with a broom as he scoots around in the walker scattering half-eaten cheerios like he's a sower planting a cheerio field) gave me this crazy notion that my 18-month-old daughter and I should make some blueberry muffins (because that is way more fun than folding laundry). We were recently given a little apron her size, and that has turned into some fun "mommy's helper" times, such as "rinsing" dishes and putting all of the dirty laundry into a hamper (also known as a box, because all of our laundry baskets are full of clean clothes at the moment).


It was great! Slow, tedious, and full of floury messes and rescuing of little feet from Brother's walker, but it really was fun for both of us.
So much fun that I thought, "Hey, I should take pictures and blog about this, like one of those super cool mommy blogger people."



Our "healthy" blueberry muffins took 20 minutes to bake, which gave us enough time to wash the dishes (creating a huge puddle of water) and get very crabby and tired.



 

Also, every time I pick up a camera I remember what a lousy photographer I am when Billy isn't around. It's a lot like math was back in the day. Going over the lesson with Mom always made sense, but when faced with the problems on my own my brain would scream and run away.

So the sun stopped shining perfectly through the windows in those 20 minutes.
William grew more and more tired, and began ramming into everyone's feet as he whined.
Mary began to grow tired, and REALLY wanted one of those muffins.
And I considered googling iso and aperture, but decided to just go with whatever because nap time was crashing down on us way too quickly.




In the end, we were all worn out, and the pictures are meh. Billy could probably work his magic with them in Lightroom (and I'm sure I'll get a good lesson when he gets home). I'm sharing them anyway. If nothing else, they're 10,000 times better than the pictures I took before I became a Jackson. And hey, we had fun! It's just a fun that we didn't really capture for the rest of the world very well.

Mommy Bloggers, I salute you!
I don't know how you do it, but you're amazing.


Peace,
Sarah Jackson

p.s. The muffins taste good, but have that weird, "healthy" consistency. I bet about 1/4 of it stuck to the wrapper, so they're a good snack if you're watching your calories. Both kids highly approved.

Illustration of sower stolen from here: https://fulcrumexpress.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/sower.jpg?

Thursday, July 23

Public Service Announcement for Talking to Pregnant Ladies

Goodness gracious! I knew I hadn't posted on this blog in forever, but I didn't realize it at had actually been forever! If by any chance someone reads this who doesn't know me personally, let me catch you up: a year and nine months ago I married the man of my dreams, 8 months ago I had the most beautiful little girl you can imagine, and 20 weeks ago I conceived a new little one whose gender we don't yet know!
It's because of this newest addition that I'm writing this post.

I waited until I was halfway through the pregnancy intentionally. I'm hoping that enough time has passed that no one will be offended or hurt. I feel like it needs to be said, but only to help people, not condemn them. This is not directed at anyone in particular.
Okay, here we go:

When you find out that a woman is pregnant, be positive!
It is in no way helpful to:

1. Tell her how hard life is going to be.
2. Warn her about the worst parts of her impending doom (known by positive people as Motherhood)
 - This is ESPECIALLY true if this is not her first pregnancy.
3. Express worry for her.
4. Make sure she's aware of how babies are conceived.

All of these things were said to me at least twice. And all of them were said by people who I know love me very much! I love them, too, which is why I'm writing this post. People say offensive things and are annoying all the time. That's life, get over it. But I don't want my loved ones accidentally hurting others without realizing it, so here we are.

I want to explain how each of these things can easily be understood by a pregnant lady. Of course this isn't what you meant to say (if it is, SHAME ON YOU!), but it can really sound like it sometimes.

Numbers 1-3:

Your life is over. Even though your first child isn't even walking yet, you obviously have no idea what life with a newborn is like! I think that your husband is doing a terrible job husband-ing. Your life is going to be TERRIBLE, and obviously you're too dumb to realize that, because you went and got pregnant. How irresponsible.
Summed up: If I didn't believe that having an abortion would make you a murderer, I would totally suggest it right now.

"Whoa!" you might be thinking, "A little drastic there, Sarah! Hormonal much?"
Yeah, it is drastic. But seriously, what are you accomplishing by painting a bleak picture of an expectant mother's future? You are saying "This baby is wrong. This baby is trouble. This baby shouldn't be here." I have seriously come away from conversations with the impression that if that person believed that abortion was okay I would have been pressured to have one. That is a bad impression to make, my friends!

Number 4:

Is your husband taking advantage of you in your stupidity? Isn't there anything better you could be doing?

People. I'm 25. I have a bachelor's degree in English (have you ever read classic literature?). My mom is a nurse. I know how babies are made. Just because I wasn't actively trying to get pregnant doesn't mean I didn't know full well that I might. No one thinks your joke is funny.

I know you're only responding out of care for me, and I love you. My hope is that next time you're talking to a pregnant lady you consider how what you are saying might sound.
Ask yourself: Is this actually going to help anything? Is this really any of my business?

If you firmly believe that a woman would be irresponsible to have another child, be rude BEFORE a child is conceived. And yes, if you're neither her doctor nor her husband, it's pretty much always rude to give your unasked-for opinion.

I hope this is a help to you! Rule of thumb: If you wouldn't want the child to know that you said it about them, don't say it.

Have a fantastic day!

Love,
Sarah


Saturday, March 15

Hark!

I was recently asked to briefly explain the Gospel, and this is what I first wrote down (but afterward shortened dramatically).
------------------------------

The world is a mess. Cancer, corruption, cruelty... You can see it everywhere you look. Do you know why? It's because of me, and you. It's the fault of every human who has drawn breath in this atmosphere.
God didn't make the world this way. He made it perfect and beautiful. And then, the first humans broke the perfection by breaking the only rule they were given. That's called sin.

With that one act, the black sludge of sin was splattered on the purity of the universe. The crazy thing about sin is that it doesn't stay in one place; it spreads around until it has infected everything. It infected the earth, and now animals eat their young and flowers have thorns. It infected the universe, and now stars die. It infected the human mind, and we think things that would send us into hiding if anyone was to ever find out. It infected Adam and Eve's reproductive system, and every human born since has been tainted with it from conception.

But something else was also damaged by Sin. Something deeper than this physical world.
Before our First Parents brought Sin into the world, relationships were perfect. Can you imagine? To be loved perfectly? To love perfectly? To embrace in complete purity, to feel no pressure in a relationship, to be safe and secure, no competition, no withholding of love... It's almost impossible to wrap our minds around.

But that is how it was. Because that is how God loves. That's how He loved long before He made things like time and matter. He is not like anything we have ever seen. He is One being, but at the same time He is three persons, and those three persons created relationship. They love, and when God created Man, His most precious creation, He shared that love with us.

But Sin ruined all of that.

God is Perfect. The sludge of Sin cannot be near Him. When Adam and Eve brought it into His perfect world, their relationship with Him was broken.

So what would you do, if you were in God's place? If you had made something so beautiful, so intricate and amazing, if you had created billions of little creatures, from microbes to mammoths, and the two most special things you created ruined everything? Would you trash the whole thing and start again? Would you let it go on and on, getting worse and worse while you remained completely uninvolved, until your creation destroyed itself?

God did neither. Because He loves.
Instead, God made a promise.
A man had caused the damage. Only a man could fix it.
A man had messed up everything. He needed to pay for it. That's justice, and God is just.
But how can hands covered in sludge make something clean? They can't!
Could Adam's children right the wrong? No, because they were born with Sin in them.

Only a man who was born without Sin and lived a perfect life would be able to make up for the life of the Sinning Man.

But even a perfect life isn't enough. Because doing the work of sin comes with a paycheck: $death,000,000.
A crime against the God of Forever earns a Forever punishment.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, sent His own Son! Remember when I talked about perfect relationships? The Son of God is one of the Persons of God; He is God, wrapped up in perfect love since before time.
The Son of God entered the womb of a virgin named Mary and lived a life just like every other human, with one vital difference: He never sinned. Not once. He never talked back to His parents, He never lied (not even a little), never cheated. He was perfect.

And then, after living a perfect life that could be credited to His creation's account, He died for His loved ones. But this was not an ordinary death. It wasn't even an ordinary torturous death (even though His body was tortured). It was a worse death than any human will ever die here, because when He died, He took on Himself EVERY SINGLE SIN that His people has committed or will commit. Every one. His body absorbed all of the sludge, and it was destroyed forever!

He did not stay dead, of course. He is God, the Author of life. In three days he rose from the dead, and soon returned to Heaven. He sent back another Person of the three, the Holy Spirit, to be with His people until He brings them to be with Him in the closeness they shared at the beginning of the world, before Sin ruined everything.

"Well that's great," you may be thinking, "but if that's true, why is there cancer? Why is there human trafficking? If the sludge was destroyed, why is everything still messed up?"

Because He only took the Sin of His people. The people who will turn their backs on Sin and return to Him as their true Lord. There's a way now. Without Jesus the sludge would hold us forever, but through Him there is hope! Turn to Him. Cry out to God to take away the sludge of your life and put Jesus' righteous life on your account. Admit to Him that you have created sludge of your own by sinning. Cling to His love, and follow Him as your Lord!

Saturday, May 25

She Called me Liebster!

So apparently cool bloggers give out awards to other bloggers, and I know a cool blogger!

This particular Cool Blogger (one Ellie Jackson by name) has awarded me before, so I guess she must like me. I hear that "Liebster" means "Dearest", which makes sense, based on what little I know of German. You probably don't WANT to know these random things about me, but it sounded like fun, and the name of this blog is Droll Digression (humorously getting off-topic), after all. So here we go!
I. Post 11 Facts About Yourself

Okay... here we go...

1. I've recently discovered that sometimes Fairy Tale Dreams DO come true. <3
2. When I was young I learned that God is perfect and powerful and good, like nothing in this universe, and that He created everything, even me!
3. I learned that He made the world perfect and good.
4. But then I learned that His most special creation (people) decided to destroy the perfect and good way, because they thought they knew what was better for them.
5. I learned that from that moment Death and badness spread into the world and infected every atom of the beautiful, good universe He had created.
6. Then I learned that God cannot even look at the Death and badness that goes against His perfect way, and He hates it and all those who make it grow (wouldn't you?).
7. THEN I learned that He still loves his most special creation, and had a plan to save them from Death!
8. I learned that He sent His most precious, perfect, loved Son (who was Himself) to live in the World Made Ugly and take all of the blame of His people who worked against His perfect way.
9. I learned that when He took the blame in Himself, God killed it forever by killing His Most-Loved Son.
10. And then I learned that God is so much greater than the badness His people had made that Death could not keep Him dead, and He came back to life!
11. Best of all, I learned that some of the blame that He took on Himself and destroyed was mine! I learned that He loves me! I asked Him to fill my life, and He has been my good King ever since. :)

II. Answer 11 Questions from your Nominator

1. Why did you start your blog?
Hmm... that's a good question! I think I thought I had something to say. I wanted to be a writer, and I figured a blog was a free publisher.

2. Why did you name it what it is?
I always liked alliteration a lot, and like a lovely artist, aspired to an amazing... title for my blog.
Actually, I had just learned the word droll, digression was one of my favorite words, I didn't want to give the impression that there would be anything serious here, and I really do enjoy alliteration very much. :)

3. Where do you find inspiration for your blog?
Life, I guess. I don't usually find inspiration, inspiration finds me. :)

4. Is your blog for you, or for your readers?
It used to be for me, but now I try to make it something that my readers will be benefited by.

5. What was your favorite birthday gift?
Wow... um... that's tough! I think maybe my Book of Wisdom. :)

6. What song always makes you cry?
I don't think a song exists that always makes me cry. There have been many songs throughout my life that had that affect at different times. I remember Gollum's Song making me pretty depressed for a while.

7. What movie puts you to sleep?
King Lear. It's just so miserably long and slow! (Some Shakespeare lover, huh?)

8. What is something you've wanted to show someone but didn't dare?
My bedroom. But that someone actually liked it, which I still can't believe and get a little dizzy over sometimes.

9. Which personality type do you find more approachable, quiet or talkative?
Definitely talkative. I'm a pretty good listener, but I am terrible at starting and maintaining conversation, especially if I don't know the person. I'm trying to get better, but it's been a long, hard road, and I've only just begun.

10. May it Be or Into the West?
Into the West! May it Be is nice, but Into the West is one of my favorite songs. It makes me pretty excited about Heaven. :)

11. Which smiley do you use most? (^_^)
:)

III. Nominate 11 Other Bloggers
No. :)