My favorite poem: Late have I loved you.

The following lines are taken from the Confessions, written by  Saint Augustine of Hippo. The story of Augustine made a deep impression on me, and the following paragraph soon became my favorite poem:

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!  You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.  In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.  You were with me, but I was not with you.  Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.  You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.  You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.  You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you.  I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.  You touched me, and I burned for your peace.
Augustine, Confessions
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Resolved…

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… To be more diligent when it comes to reading and studying my Bible. I’m so encouraged by my little sister example who has such a heart for the Lord and His Word… Tonight, I’m studing Ephesians !

From the web: The anatomy of the hole in your soul {LOVE & SINGLENESS}

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That’s why us girls feel the pull of lovesickness so tangibly – we were created to love, even in the seasons that we are single. There are holes in our souls, because deep down, we desire to have a wonderful relationship with our Savior.” -Ellie Duhadway

Today, I came across a really nice post found on Tirzah Magazine -the quote above is an excerpt of it- and it was definitely a huge encouragement. I will make sure to read it often since it is jam-packed of truths I so often need to remind myself about… I wanted to share it with you on the blog. Hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂

In the kitchen: Sick day soup

I don’t quite remember if what I found the paragraph in the TIME magazine or somewhere else- but I once read a few pages about the culinary habits of some well-renowned chefs across the world. When they were asked what last dish they would choose to eat before dying, their answer was at the same time surprising and understandable.

I’d thought they would give the name of some elaborate dish, the one you’d find on their menu and that looks, on the paper, like a long, poetic introduction to the plate that is about to come on the table. After all, don’t they juggle all day with rare fishes, exotic ingredients like vanilla, tonka beans, and expensive white truffles ?

Instead, they all named a childhood recipe of spaghetti, of soup, something their mother made on Sundays- in short, really simple dishes.

My mom is an amazing cook, but if you were to ask me the same question the magazine asked the chef, I would reply in the same manner: I would not pick one of her sophisticated dishes, but probably the simplest: sick day soup. When we were younger, she would, when we had a cold and were bedridden, bring us a vermicelli bowl of soup on a tray- a really simple one: a chicken broth with vermicelli and, I never knew why, half a tomato.

Today, I made my little sister a similar soup – she wanted “little stars” instead of vermicelli, and I slightly altered the original recipe.

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I added some celery chopped stalks, turkey cubes, green onions, cinnamon and ginger powder, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and the secret ingredient…clove. This soup is so autumny, and served along with bread and butter, it’s such a nice comfort food.

Bon appétit !

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

A week without my Iphone

vladimir tea

This week, I was Iphone-less. My parents came to visit me and accidentally, my mom, or my sister maybe, took my phone charger and therefore, I was left with a little red battery with 10% left on the top right corner of my phone, which was soon followed by a black screen.

It was probably one of the most amazing week I had this year. Not that something special happened: I just realized, in the bus, that I was thinking deeply, meditating and analyzing things, even inventing poems without my thoughts being “fragmented” due to the constant interruption of that flat little black box. It made me rethink my priorities. It gave me space. I just loved it.

This week, I blogged, I cooked, I thought a lot and deeply, I read, I wrote a letter, and- I started to sew ! One of my friends is so good at sewing she could be a seamstress, and sewing things like little pillows, bags, crocheting scarves is something I always wanted to learn.

Today, I was thinking about something. I just, 15 minutes ago, came back from a bagel/coffee shop where I went to study with one of my friends. As I bit into my salmon-cream cheese bagel, I felt I was really enjoying the moment, without feeling that “urge” to share it on Instagram and the need to post on Twitter the following :”Goodness, that was the best bagel I had y’all ! Yum !”. As I left the coffee shop, said goodbye to my friend and jumped in the tramway, I did not feel as I missed something by not making my evening a public event on social media. I just had a good time. A time I was thoroughly enjoying, because I was not constantly interrupted.

And now, I’m seriously thinking of trading my Iphone for the most basic cellphone I can find.

“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”-CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Autumn is here !

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

Autumn is finally here ! It’s definitely my favorite season: I could not wait anymore for crispy leaves (well, now they are not that crispy, just yellowish and sticking to the sole of my shoes- it has been raining a lot in the last days.But it undeniably felt autumny in my appartement yesterday as the scent of cinnamon baked apples spread in the room !

Not to mention a new recipe of hot cocoa I tried, one from the French Chef Pierre Hermé (the “Prince” of macarons)- which is incredibly light and does not leave one with that heaviness on the stomach I often get when I prepare a milk-based hot chocolate; it’s a water-based cocoa with cocoa powder, a small piece of dark chocolate and thought I omitted the pinch of Kosher salt Hermé used in his recipe- I opted instead for cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, brown sugar and voilà ! It turned out perfectly perfect.

Now I can’t wait for soups.

Have a nice evening, y’all 🙂

Those who by faith apply to Christ for mercy and grace, may be sure that he is freely willing to give them the mercy and grace they thus seek– Matthew Henry

In the library: Matthew Henry’s commentary of the Gospel of Matthew/Chapter 4

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4:1-11 “Concerning Christ’s temptation, observe, that directly after he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, he was tempted; great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favour, will not secure any from being tempted. (…)

Satan tempted Christ to presume upon his Father’s power and protection, in a point of safety. Nor are any extremes more dangerous than despair and presumption, especially in the affairs of our souls. Satan has no objection to holy places as the scene of his assaults. Let us not, in any place, be off our watch. The holy city is the place, where he does, with the greatest advantage, tempt men to pride and presumption. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes a man a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at.

It is good to be quick and firm in resisting temptation. If we resist the devil he will flee from us. But the soul that deliberates is almost overcome. We find but few who can decidedly reject such baits as Satan offers; yet what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Christ was succoured after the temptation, for his encouragement to go on in his undertaking, and for our encouragement to trust in him; for as he knew, by experience, what it was to suffer, being tempted, so he knew what it was to be succoured, being tempted; therefore we may expect, not only that he will feel for his tempted people, but that he will come to them with seasonable relief.”

“4:12-17. Those who are without Christ, are in the dark.

“4:18-22 When Christ began to preach, he began to gather disciples, who should be hearers, and afterwards preachers of his doctrine, who should be witnesses of his miracles, and afterwards testify concerning them. He went not to Herod’s court, not to Jerusalem, among the chief priests and the elders, but to the sea of Galilee, among the fishermen. The same power which called Peter and Andrew, could have wrought upon Annas and Caiaphas, for with God nothing is impossible. But Christ chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Diligence in an honest calling is pleasing to Christ, and it is no hinderance to a holy life. Idle people are more open to the temptations of Satan than to the calls of God.”

“Three diseases are named; the palsy, which is the greatest weakness of the body; lunacy, which is the greatest malady of the mind; and possession of the devil, which is the greatest misery and calamity of both; yet Christ healed all, and by thus curing bodily diseases, showed that his great errand into the world was to cure spiritual maladies. Sin is the sickness, disease, and torment of the soul: Christ came to take away sin, and so to heal the soul.”

In the library: Matthew Henry’s commentary of the Gospel of Matthew/Chapter 3

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“3:1-6 After Malachi there was no prophet until John the Baptist came. He appeared first in the wilderness of Judea. This was not an uninhabited desert, but a part of the country not thickly peopled, nor much enclosed. No place is so remote as to shut us out from the visits of Divine grace.” (emphasis mine)

” 3:7-12 It becomes penitents to be humble and low in their own eyes, to be thankful for the least mercy, patient under the greatest affliction, to be watchful against all appearances of sin, to abound in every duty, and to be charitable in judging others. Here is a word of caution, not to trust in outward privileges. There is a great deal which carnal hearts are apt to say within themselves, to put aside the convincing, commanding power of the word of God. Multitudes, by resting in the honours and mere advantages of their being members of an outward church, come short of heaven.(…)

No ordinances, by whomsoever administered, or after whatever mode, can supply the want of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and of fire. The purifying and cleansing power of the Holy Spirit alone can produce that purity of heart, and those holy affections, which accompany salvation. It is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Ghost.”

“3:13-17  In and through Christ, the heavens are opened to the children of men. (…)

At Christ’s baptism there was a manifestation of the three Persons in the sacred Trinity. The Father confirming the Son to be Mediator; the Son solemnly entering upon the work; the Holy Spirit descending on him, to be through his mediation communicated to his people.”

In the kitchen: Lemon pound cake

Currently, tea time is a must in my little university appartment. During my trip in London, I was amazed at how suitable for a tête-à-tête with a friend a slice of cake and a cup of tea could be. Arrange a candle and maybe, a flower bouquet on the table and you’re sure to have the perfect setting for a good conversation !

Today, since I had lemons on hand, I tried, for the first time, a lemon pound cake. I’m not the best baker-in-training, and la pâtisserie somehow intimidates me because it calls for a lot of precision and respect of the recipe’s proportions, and those pound cakes I often see on Pinterest often left me perplex: They seem to be so dense in texture, and I’d rather have sponge cakes… But I really wanted something “classic”, easy and quick to prepare and as I am writing, the kitchen smells SO good ! I hope to serve it tomorrow morning at breakfast time for my family who came to visit me.

I used this recipe– however since it was my first test, I halved the recipe, used soy milk instead of buttermilk and since my lemons were not organic (at least I think so) I used dried zest powder (organic, of course- you don’t want a cake full of pesticides !). I also used less butter.and sugar as my mom is not fond of overly sweet desserts.

Here is the finished, ready-to-be-eaten cake !

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Pictures taken with my Iphone might be a bit blurry but I really ended with what I want. It’s not really a pound cake anymore since I incorporated only a few spoons of butter, but it’s a “neutral” cake – not bland- but neutral in the sense that you could top it with jam or nutella without problem -the tangy flavor of the cake won’t clash with the topping.

Bon appétit !