I’m Not The Pastor’s Kid

Look, guys, it’s time I made this clear.

I’m not the pastor’s kid.

Yea, I know it’s confusing. My Dad is a pastor. But I’m not the pastor’s kid.

Really though, you should know exactly what I mean. You think I don’t notice, don’t you? You straighten up the second I walk in the room, like a saint just walked in. Oops, you dropped something on your foot. Shit.

And now that you’ve gone and said it, you’re embarrassed and your buddy whacks you on the arm, glancing in my direction. Let me ask you something….

What are you more embarrassed about? That you cussed, or that I saw it?

On Sunday’s I’m a friendly face. Another smile in the pastor family’s row during meet & greet. Any other time during the week, it’s like you don’t know me at all. You avoid me, or transform, or just kind of stand there and hope I disappear quickly.

I can’t fix that. However, I can tell you who I am. I’m not above you. Please, look me in the eyes, not at the ground. I’m a saint – that doesn’t make me saintly. Guess what! You’re a saint, too. All who follow Jesus Christ as their Lord are saints.

Unfortunately, so long as we live on this earth, we’re all sinners, too. We. I’m part of that.

That word you just muttered – I’ve heard it before. Hell, I’ve said it before. In three different languages, actually. (Perks of being an army brat.) Sometimes I get so ticked that I just have to run and jump and kick some hay bales or vault the gate. I’m selfish. I’m bad at communicating and worse at managing time. I recently discovered that I even get hangry. (To my great shame my fiance was on the reciprocating end of that discovery.) You don’t see that because you only really see the controlled version of me.

I work hard, I fight hard, and I fall hard. I give nothing but everything. It’s good when I’m doing the right thing – you can only imagine the terror that comes when I’m doing the wrong thing. Relying on myself, I’m really good at finding disaster. Right now I’m working on trusting God, and praising Him no matter what the situation may be. So far I haven’t even made it a whole day without a single complaint. A simple little goal that’s becoming quite the trial. Tomorrow I want to make it.

I don’t know what you’re working on. Maybe it’s cussing. If that’s the case, don’t look at me like I’m some sort of angel of justice come to rebuke you. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Bring your words to Him. I can’t forgive you when you apologize. You’re not sinning against me. You’re not hurting me. Your sins and your struggles are between you and God. There are times when as your sister in Christ I will remind you of your promise to Him. Please do the same for me.

I know we’re not the same. We’re never going to be the same. Doesn’t matter. Yea, my Dad just so happens to be a pastor. During my childhood he was a soldier. My father is the man God put in my life to raise me. Trust me, I’m not going to tattle on you to him. If you feel convicted when you’re with me, consider the One who I serve. I can guarantee that He knows before you or I say a single word.

I’m not a pastor’s kid. I’m a servant of the God most high, daughter of the King of Kings. Who I am is nothing to you or your behavior. Who is He to you?




















Sweet Obedience

Between the rows of asterisks you will read a post that I wrote last Passover. (Points if you know when that was. 🙂 ) Even though I didn’t publish it at the time, I think it is still of value today. For one thing, I was reminded of one of the many lessons God has taught me in this past year; in other ways it is a piece of the bigger picture that now forms my life. The words that follow this post, written so many months ago, will include what I have learned since.


Today is Passover. We celebrate the Passover to remember what God has done for us, in sparing the Israelite’s from the plague of death. So let’s think about that. They obeyed God because to do otherwise would result in death. But why else did they obey? What happened to those who did obey?

God gave very specific instructions on how to sacrifice the lamb, cover the doorposts, eat the meal…so many details and each one has a very deep significance even today. I would love to go over those, but I want to look at just one thing right now.

Some of those Israelite’s grumbled – at first they celebrated, but discontentment soon followed. They were tearing their entire lives apart, leaving the only country they knew, and risking death just because God told them to. How many of them obeyed with a loving heart?

Well, I can’t say. But let’s look at a much tinier event. It has to do with this week and last week. I promise, it isn’t as significant as the Passover. But holy crikey, when God speaks, HE SPEAKS!

So two weeks ago, one of my best friends got a job at the habitat for humanity store right across from the toy store that I work at. I thought that was pretty cool, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever see him at work. His shift ends thirty minutes before mine, so I figured I might see him and wave as he walked home.

Little did I realize how much I cared for this to happen. One of the days I worked was supposed to coincide with my friend’s work schedule. So when it came close to closing time over there, I waited at the window. I didn’t even realize it at first. I tend to wander the store, looking for stuff to clean or staring out the window daydreaming. But then I realized that time was passing really……really….really slowly. It dawned on me that I was actually hoping to see my friend. A bit more than hoping. Time totally stopped, just because I couldn’t see him. Yea, sounds creepy, I know. That’s because it is creepy.

Anyway, about ten minutes after he should have walked through the door, I realized what I was doing. I was so focused on what I wanted-to see my friend-that I wasn’t doing or even thinking anything else. This might be a part of obsessive compulsive disorder, but that doesn’t mean I need to let it run my brain. Which I totally did. Absolutely nothing else was on my mind. I allowed my desires and my thoughts to take control of me. Now, nothing came of it. When I glanced at the clock for the third or fourth time I realized what I had done and, rather ashamed, made my way back to my desk.

Never again, Lord. I muttered. Maybe not for this, but sadly I do not trust myself to obey that. But to think that I was overcome by empty thoughts when I should have been focusing on what God desired for me to do made me feel shame.

Now guess what happened today. The whole AWANA section was on service. Yay. It was really hard. I didn’t like it…..but I tried to live it. I just started praying and asked God what he wanted me to do. The first thing that happened was a text from my coworker, confirming that I was working until the end of the shift. Ok, I can do that. Now what? Well then my Mom called and started giving me directions to my little sister’s dance lessons. The door opens and I glance over to greet my next customer. In walks this tall, blonde, blue-eyed man in a blue habitat for humanity shirt. Instead of freaking out, I patiently waited for Mom to finish talking to me. He calmly waiting until I had finished.

“Anything I can do to help you sir?” I asked. He smiled. “Yes Ma’am. I’m not working tomorrow, so if you wanted we could watch that movie tomorrow afternoon instead of Saturday morning. You aren’t working since it’s good Friday, and- ”

“Actually, it turns out that I am working….” and so our conversation continued. Basically he offered to spend time with my brother and I. But I can’t, because I will be working all day. Even last week I would have sighed and groaned and been totally bummed. But that’s the coolest part! I was so eager to do what God said, that 1. I didn’t even realize that I missed what I wanted, only to have something better walk through the door. 2. When a possible day of pleasure was offered, and I had to turn it down to work as the Lord called me, I wasn’t even upset. 3. I am so full of excitement to do what God said!


Nearly a year later, I wish that I could say I never had to relearn this lesson. If anything, I believe God saved this little post as a reminder to me of what He has done. Like the Israelites I am in a time of rejoicing. When I began this post, I cared dearly for a friend. That same man is now my fiancé.

Yet like the Israelites, I ran right back into grumbling. Life is so busy…so full of stress, excitement & work. Over the last two weeks I chose to focus on the stress. It boiled down to two things; time and sacrifice.

Last year I was so excited to do what God said that I could hardly contain myself, thus pounding out an eager and well-meant blog post. This year I dread making sacrifice of my time & plans to God. This came as a shock to me, but it was a gradual change as my future (namely, the people within that future) became more important to me.

Of course I can’t keep my own future. How dare I trust my own plans over God’s! No, better for Him to have it all, than for me to wrest it from His hands only to lose it. To say to Jesus, “more love to thee!” is more valuable than the perfect life in this world. For life without true love is not living.

Love is not love without sacrifice. May I delight in giving unto God once more.





“Keeping time, time, time,

in a sort of runic rhyme,

to the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

from the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells,

from the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Always when I am late. Pressed for time and in a rush, the voice of Poe echoes in my mind like an alarm. I cannot explain why his poem repeats so often and so loudly on the days when I am losing time, but it has played non-stop in my thoughts in the last few days. Months, if I am honest.

As you know I have not had the time to blog. My life has taken a drastic turn since I graduated this last summer. No longer do I split my time between school and a quiet little toy store. My peers are gone to college, some close at home, others gone to universities & colleges elsewhere. I stayed here. A bus full of squirmy, eager, story hungry children was in need of an extra aid. It seemed perfect for a story-teller in need of work. Sitting still for two hours straight is just as difficult for me as it is for the kids, so we work together to make light of it with our tales. Unfortunately working with children on the bus exposes one to every germ available to the town, and I have endured more sickness over the course of two months than previously experienced in as many years. Last month my car suffered one ailment after another and left me stranded for several days. (In the middle of a house-sitting job, too. Praise God for all the people who helped me get to work & church!)  Within the last week I have acquired a second part time job; weekends involve projects given to me by patchwork press – a publishing company for which I am an intern.

Yet really, these are not what have turned my life so totally upside down. On November 5, 2016 I got engaged. The last two months have been unbelievable, between the ecstasy of knowing that I will spend my life with the man I love most, and the little daily trials and tasks that come from adjusting to that fact.

Hear the mellow wedding bells, golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

Through the balmy air of night how they ring out their delight!

From the molten golden-notes, and all in tune, what a liquid ditty floats

to the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats on the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells, what a gush of euphony voluminously wells! How it swells!

How it dwells on the future! How it tells of the rapture that impels

to the swinging and the ringing of the bells, bells, bells,

of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells,

– to the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! – E.A.P.

Happy am I for the day to come, but in the now I fight for time. Over this last week I’ve forced my schedule to accommodate time to study God’s word and pray. These pursuits have left me feeling dry and unsatisfied. I’ve done all that I could to honor God in this matter and I have set aside other tasks in order to know Him better, so why does He remain silent?

I asked Him just that, when He drew my attention to one fact that I had ignored. Always something – something that compels me to make “my” time and ignore the gentle prodding of the Maker of time.

“Lord, I have no time! But why?”  I asked. His reply was “What have you done with the time that I gave you?”

Time is so very short. Surely a small piece must belong to me? A few minutes here to look at wedding dresses, an episode of a t.v. show with my family there, a chapter or two of a fiction book in between bus rides…

Now I’ve squandered the half of it..soon, the whole. My time is gone. Above my heart a whispered tick-tock sounds from a pocket-watch hung round my neck. ‘Tis followed by the mutterings of a poem.

What I cannot manage in pennies I shall not be given in pounds. Like the servant who hid his money I hid my time for God. A precious, liquid gold to be treasured in ticks and breathes when it was meant to be used with all of my being. God gave me this little snatch of time, this day is His, this age bears His name, and He is beyond time.

My time is not borrowed or bought. It was given to me in measured supply- the vessel which binds duties, gifts, and lives into a single frame. Dare I call it mine, as if I were god of my own hours? By God’s grace I will learn to use a little that I may be given much. Let me be an investor of time, never a spender of time.



On A Mission For Ice-Cream

So a couple of days ago, I was in the middle of a sticky mess of cookie dough. In that moment I realized that not once have I ever blogged about food. (Ok, I may have mentioned peanut butter once or twice….)

That seemed odd to me. You see, food is a big deal in my family. You could say that we’re a bit crazy over it.  For some people, it’s about eating the food. Of course, I like eating food, but I gain a true sense of joy when I feed other people. You could say that it’s my universal love language.

I guess I learned that from my family. My Nana makes a special meal whenever there is a family gathering. My mom bends over backwards to serve even the most allergic-to-life guests food that they will truly enjoy. Almost all of my family members are sure that you can’t have a fun day without treating you to some sort of food, be it homemade or served at a good restaurant. Not only is it required to sustain life – for us, it sustains relationships.

Naturally, that includes growing new relationships. My mess of cookie dough was an experiment that I tried on behalf of my sister. (We shall call her Kit-Kat, my personal nick-name for her. 🙂 ). Since we have a cow who gives fresh milk in plenty, she wanted to make ice-cream with her friends. Her absolute favorite kind of ice-cream is cookie dough. Problem: you don’t bake cookie dough that goes in ice-cream. No eggs = no structure. My mission: Find a good recipe for cookie dough that contains no eggs, but still has that delicious cookie dough texture.

Now, I’m always willing to try something new, and this was a big deal for Kit-Kat. For the first time, she was able to invite her friends over for something that was just for them. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the first thing about egg replacements. Funny how the Lord works things out. 🙂 I went to work with a wonderful group of people all morning who had a ministry for college students. (It’s called Campus Ventures – I dare you to look it up.) One lady happened to know of several options I could try in place of eggs.

As soon as I got home, I got my ingredients out and gave them a try. One was just your traditional egg replacement – it worked well, but the dough was a little on the soft and gooey side. The other was much more pleasant to me, and some of my siblings. Bananas. Instead of eggs I smashed up half a banana and used the same recipe I would normally.

Dang, it tasted soooo good! A good chunk of the dough never made it into the ice-cream….some bandit snatched it when I wasn’t looking…..might’ve been a split personality thing. You never know.

Anyway, bananas make an excellent egg replacement. You have to like bananas though; the taste was subtle at first, but the next morning the dough had been overpowered by banana flavor. Even freezing the dough didn’t reduce that flavor. Personally I enjoyed it even more than the plain dough. Kit-Kat, on the other hand, requested the normal egg replacement for her friends.

With my mission accomplished, I froze the dough in little balls (more like blobs, but hey, they tasted better than they looked.) and they were ready to go the next morning. Before the girls came, I made a test batch of plain vanilla with the help of Kit-Kat, and my boyfriend.

Ice-cream has been my experimental project for the past two years now. My goal is to make the perfect batch of ice-cream that beats even the best store-bought brands. (Maybe that’s crazy – I delight in perfection.) A few weeks ago, it was recommended that I add salt. I tried it, only to find…..

The best. Batch. Ever! Mom said it was too sweet, but I had never had my own recipes ever turn out so well. As if that wasn’t good enough, the batch I made with the girls was even better! Since we were adding cookie dough and chocolate chips, I halved the sugar. I was also short on cream, so I replaced some of it with sweetened condensed milk. For the first time, the ice-cream didn’t freeze into a solid rock. Once I’ve typed it up, I may add the final recipe to this blog post.

For now, I am most thankful that my ice-cream experiment wasn’t the only success. The entire house rang with laughter as three beautiful girls made a sticky, gooey, sugary mess all over the kitchen. (Naturally I took no part in the mess making. Kit-Kat dubbed me “Head Cook of The Disastrous Messy Kitchen” by mistake.)

Our family has a tradition of sharing food with people. We use food to bring comfort, nourishment, support, and even laughter to everyone we meet. I am so thankful that my little sister got to share time with her friends, make a mess, and eat the best ice-cream ever made in the Eliyahu household.



You all requested it, so here…at last…I give you ICE-CREAM!

Vanilla Ice Cream

1 tsp salt

4-6 tsp vanilla extract

1 ÂĽ cups sugar

9 egg yolks

3 ½  cups milk

3 ½ cups heavy cream

½ can of sweetened condensed milk


Whisk the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until they are a light, foamy yellow.

Pour the milk, cream and sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the egg mixture into the boiling milk, whisking the mixture vigorously. Once all the ingredients are blended thicken the blend over low heat, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon. Be careful at this point not to overheat it or the egg will start to solidify.

Put the mixture in ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturing instructions. *


*IF YOU ARE USING A HAND-CRANK MACHINE: Make sure you crank at an even, consistent pace throughout the churning process to ensure the best texture.


Y’all should let me know how it turns out, especially if you try any new ingredients! My next goal is to try honey as a replacement for sugar.



Fight Fear Less

As a woman who struggles with fear every day, this cannot describe a better solution.
It’s not just food; you have to trust God with your dreams…your future….your relationships…sometimes you just need to trust that He is going to help you run that extra mile or finish your homework.

It’s the greatest challenge that each warrior can face. But it is worth it.
Many thanks to the woman who had the courage to face her fears, and share this with all of us.
Fight fear less – trust God more. You can read it all day – my challenge for you is to try it.
Shalom. – Yael Eliyahu


What are you afraid of?

Really. I want you to put it into words. Verbalize it.

What keeps you up at night?

During my anorexia and for some ofmuch of recovery, I was afraid of the weight restoration. I was afraid of certain foods; that “all elusive” weight range; how my body was going to change. I was afraid of not being perfect; I was afraid of failing, being a disappointment, and letting other people down.

Maybe some of those are ringing true for you. Maybe you’re afraid of admitting you have an eating disorder, period? Been there! Perhaps you’re afraid of adding a supplement, or stopping your exercise addiction. Maybe you’re afraid of revealing to your loved ones that you’re struggling. Or maybe you’re afraid of feeling your feelings.

Whatever you’ve verbalized, I’m guessing it sounds a little bit like that.


When you were a little kid, remember how…

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Hot New Deals – Burnt To A Crisp

Busy life or not, I have been guilty of internet browsing. Sometimes I’ve got a quiet moment at work, or I’m looking for new music to jam to during school….that, and I probably put the pro in procrastination.

Well, the new browser for windows ten is Microsoft edge. Y’all have probably seen it, used it, fallen in love with it.(Kidding, google.)

Microsoft is a browser that’s meant to suck you into the internet, and never let you leave. Articles pop up instantly in hopes that you will click on them and forget what you were searching for. What’s supposed to take five minutes will take you three hours if they get their way.

But that’s actually not why I’m writing. I get the business. I don’t like the principal of it, but I’m the chucklehead who wastes my time staring at a maze of internet sluff.

I was doing just  that, when I came across a specific article – it’s really more of an ad. Dollar shave club is pitching it’s sale tone to women now, with an article by a woman who uses their products and loves them. It’s a good article, and though I had no reason to read an article on a shave club I was curious and clicked the site for kicks. After a few minutes I shrugged and went back to YouTube searches. I mean, there was really no reason for me checking the product in the first place. (Advertising at it’s best y’all…..it even gets the good ones trapped from time to time.)

YouTube and Pandora are my internet addictions – music, music and more music! I need it for my stories, schoolwork, my articles, heck, I’m jamming to Hollyn (Her beats never get old.) on YouTube as I write this! Naturally my boredom results in new music searches.

Unfortunately you’ve got to sit through the ads. Bleck. One popped up and I rolled my eyes, leaned back and tuned out.

What the F-K.

Crikey. Eyes open. Snap forward. What did they just say?! And I hear it again (along with the visual) – What the FAQ. The scoop on frequently asked questions concerning dollar shave club. Well, that’s just lovely. I skipped it and kept going, briefly noting that I wouldn’t ever buy their products. It’s rude and I wasn’t happy, but if uncultured jokes make more sales for them that’s their business. Now for my music. I closed my eyes again and let the melody take over.

Then the next video popped up. With another ad. It starts with a guy who barely fits in his chair, surrounded by all manner of odd things – he went on for some time about how he never purchases something without a reason, before launching into the dollar shave gimmick.

As the ad progressed I paid attention, unsure of where this was going. I didn’t want another hiccup like the one before. The scene switched, and it took me about three seconds to feel sick to my stomach. A man was tied to a bed and the lights were dim…..and he was talking about pain. The kind that is pleasant, versus the kind that is unpleasant.

I dare not describe the rest. I’m sure that there are people out there who believe it is funny. It’s a joke written by a full-blown snark genius. Some would say it is perfectly appropriate. Everyone was fully clothed, it wasn’t real, it was just an ad, they are trying to get you to remember…..well I remembered.

I remembered Corinth. I remembered Rome…..I remembered myself. Every joke in that ad pointed to something that someone desires.







It all looks good for a while. It might feel good for a minute. But  when the feelings fade, you have to up your game. The thrill comes at a higher price each day. Too late, you wonder whether it’s worth it.

Let me tell you this – it’s not. We’ve somehow reached this point where things that used to be dirty and indecent are a joke. Advertisements that are available to children include scenes of perversion so vile they were once performed only in secret.

I should know – I have done such things. I was trapped in sin, and I do NOT want the children around me to taste that same sin. But why not? Let’s join Corinth. Eat, drink, and make love before all! Come to Rome, and taste of our bounty. Worry not of your aching bones. Don’t concern yourself with the scars that grow with each new game. You are your own – there is nothing we will withhold from you.

Not even death.

For once you have your desires, those desires will own you.

This kind of slavery is hell on earth – a lie that will drag innocents into the fire, along with the damned.

At least dollar shave club sells good quality razors. Just get a fireproof guarantee before making a purchase.




A Mini-Kingdom of the Democratic Nature

Perhaps you’ve wondered where I went the past couple of months. Sadly I must admit that the answer is “nowhere.” School has taken over my life.

Mine, and every other senior struggling through their last semester. It turns out that all of that procrastinating catches up on you eventually. Oh, well. Now I must do something few have successfully accomplished.

Graduate on time. Yep, it’s a simple enough task when you do your school like you’re supposed to. For me, I’ve got twenty days to do six(ish) months of work. Hence my absence of late.

Today I am cutting into yet another too-short school day to share something I feel is of equal value as schooling. You’re welcome.

For some time now I’ve been praying about a lot of things; one of which is my home town. (I should be praying all the time…truth is, I wasn’t and still don’t.) A few months ago I wrote about The Invisible America, which seems like its own little conservative kingdom. (Well, democracy of course, being a microcosm of the country at large.) Most people are more familiar with this little kingdom’s common name: the state of Wyoming.

At least, that is where you will find it. Not even a tenth of the state itself is touched by the world I know. A small town- though it is not even a noticeable fraction of Wyoming- has become my life. When I first came here I would have thought it impossible to fall in love with this place.

  1. It’s tiny. By tiny I mean, less than ten thousand people. In this part of the country that’s actually big. (Another complaint I first had.)  I have wanted to live in a small town since I was a child. The problem with it’s size will be best explained in the next complaint….
  2. Everyone knows everyone. If you move in, everybody knows within a few months. Good luck finding friends for a while…every kid in town has grown up with their friends since preschool or even earlier. (Akward when you’ve lived A Military Brat Life)
  3. There are not very many young people here. It turns out that they usually move as soon as they graduate, and end up coming back after they’ve grown up and had a family. Why?
  4. Because there is nothing to do here. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Wait, never mind. You can go to the local soda fountain! So long as you don’t mind being the youngest people there, if you are teenagers. If you have any energy at all your options are get involved at a church, go bowling, and/or be bored. (And eat food. We do have plenty of places to get food.)
  5. If you don’t want to break the bank, you go up to Billings, Montana. Our stores have limited and sometimes expensive merchandise. (Still waiting on peanut butter…) Again, there are some things that are worth shopping local for. It’s just that we don’t have everything. (Sports equipment anyone? Let me know if I’ve just missed it somewhere.)
  6. Everyone has relatives everywhere. You can’t escape. Ever. (Don’t try either; you might get more than you wanted.)


When did I change my mind?

I’m not certain, but I know it wasn’t me. Since I moved here God has put this beautiful little kingdom on my heart. The people here are moving for Him and those who don’t desperately need Him! (Isn’t that true everywhere?) I don’t have to leave to minister to others as God has called me to. Here I have grown, learned and built relationships that are irreplaceable. In the place that I am right now, literally the room I am in, I have been able to bless people, pray for them, encourage them, and receive the same.

Here I have learned that it is not the location you are in. God uses missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America and even right here in Wyoming. There is never going to be a town that is 100% Christian. We need each other. How blessed am I to live in a place where being a Christian does not guarantee persecution. Fear has no hold on this town.

The other day I went to the coffee shop and was amazed to find a new addition to their dĂ©cor. Within the last couple of weeks, they have added a prayer wall. Leave a prayer, take a prayer. How cool is that? I decided to leave one of my own prayers. This is the prayer I picked up in return –

Pray for continued unity in this town. That it would be found in Christ alone!

On the end of the note, someone left John 17: 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

As this prayer was made public, so I have taken the liberty of sharing it with you. Many thanks to the one who first wrote it! I believe we should all be praying this same prayer. Where better to start loving your neighbor than in your home town? (Hey, here’s a thought. Love your actual neighbor.)

This has become my home. As the people within have ministered unto me, so I desire to do the same for them in Christ. I love this little town; it was loved by God first.


Yael Eliyahu