Monday, December 15, 2008
For others, it's not okay.
My delight in our snowy weather is dampened by the idea of those who have no home to retreat to. Those who must sit outside, huddled on the freezing sidewalk with little to keep warm. Those who have no cider or soup to warm up with, no cozy bed to snuggle in. The stigma of the homeless being responsible for their own situations may or may not be true. Regardless, does that mean they deserve to suffer outside in the unforgiving cold?
I pray that I can be thankful for my circumstances without forgetting those who are in worse situations. I pray for those who dread this season and struggle to stay alive in the freezing temperatures. I pray that they can find warm shelters and sustenance. I pray that I can be someone who helps them and shows them the love of God by providing for them when they cannot provide for themselves.
by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Monday, November 24, 2008
My best friend is getting married in less than two weeks and I have the privilege of serving as her matron of honor. I love everything wedding and am so excited for this one. My own wedding may have been over 3 years ago, but I haven't forgotten the feelings of excitement, anxiety or stress; the meltdowns and struggles; the abundance of choices and decisions. What a blissfully insane time.
I had a dream about my "wedding" last night. Jonathan and I were renewing our vows, and somehow it was the day of our renewal and I had so many loose ends. I had tried to be laid back about the whole thing, and ended up so lacksadaisical that I had no flowers, no place settings, no food for the reception, and a dream within the dream where I got renewed my vows in jeans and a sweatshirt. It's funny how even years after the wedding, I'm still haunted by nightmares.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I've been tagged by Jenna. Let's see if I can come up with 7 interesting things....
1. When I was little, I thought that EVERYone was supposed to go to preschool when they were 4 years old. However, preschool is not free and my family couldn't afford for me to go at the time. I suppose I didn't want anyone to think that I was too dumb to go, so that entire year, whenever someone would ask me my age, I would answer, "I'm four, but I don't go to preschool because it costs too much."
2. I constantly have a soundtrack running through my head. By this, I mean that when I'm driving, or thinking about something sad, or having fun with friends, I'm thinking of a song that would go perfectly with the moment if it was in a movie. Also, when I'm listening to a song I'll think about what kind of scene in a movie it would be appropriate for.
3. You know how when you have a brand new pair of jeans, they need to stretch a little bit to fit perfectly? Well, when I try on jeans in the dressing room, I move around a little to stretch them out. A few months ago I was doing this in the Gap, with the same size I always wear, and I kid you not, the jeans ripped all the way down the butt and onto the leg. I came out of the dressing room, roamed around like I was taking a second look around the store, hid the jeans behind a manequin and hauled my denim-destroying butt right out of there.
4. I do math when I look at the clock. For example, if it's 4:15, I notice that 4+1=5. If it's 12:11, I see 1x2=1+1. If it's 3:57, I see 3+2=5+2=7.
5. A lot of people hate it when drivers weave, but I'm definitely a weaver. When I'm driving on the freeway and I come up to a pack of cars, I immediately look at it like a game. How can I get around these cars and come out in the front? As soon as I get past one car, I'm looking for the next opening. It's like a personal challenge, and I hate it when I lose.
6. I am scared of Canadian geese. When I was 7 years old, I was at the park feeding them bread. I ran out but they kept coming at me looking for more. I backed away with my hands out, but they came faster at me, hissing and flapping their wings. I started jogging away from them, and had to break into a full out run as they advanced. The whole flock chased me through the park for about 5 minutes before they finally backed off. Ever since then, I keep my distance.
7. I have the compulsive need to compliment people back when they compliment me. If you tell me my hair looks nice, I'll tell you I like your top. If you tell me you like my necklace, I'll tell you how cute your shoes are. Usually I mean it but on occasion I don't; I do it anyway because I can't help myself.
Now, I tag Angie, Amy, Taylor, and Melissa.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE the heat and sunshine. The Northwest is certainly not known for those. Right now the deciduous trees are changing and despite the cold, I find that it's worth it to be chilly just to enjoy the brilliant colors. This epiphany made me think about seasons in my life that I struggle through, but then something comes along that I can find beauty in, and I forget about the hardship. God orchestrates things perfectly, doesn't He?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I received some surprising news at work on Friday. Last winter, we pitched to take on the entirety of one of our biggest accounts. (They had been using 5 other agencies in addition to us.) This would mean acquiring all 34 markets, instead of the 6 we had been working on. We lost the pitch to a large agency based in Los Angeles. However, they continued using us throughout the year. Last week they informed our agency that they decided to cut all ties now and move all work over to the winning agency. On Friday afternoon, my boss came in with someone from HR to let me know that we had officially lost the account and had to let me go. It was certainly a shock; I didn't see it coming at all. They also let another buyer go, someone who was partially retired from accounting, and a radio buyer who had basically left but still did work on the account for us. Also, all of the execs are taking pay cuts. I've spoken with the girls I shared an office with and they don't think the layoffs are over yet.
On Friday I was just angry, on Saturday I was apathetic, on Sunday I was depressed, and the last couple days I've been OK with it. It was strange yesterday not going to work, but to be honest, I'm enjoying the break! Work had me so wound up and stressed that a small vacation is really good for me. I already feel more at peace and back to my normal self.
I've wanted to leave DM for a while now, but I had of course expected that it would be on my terms. I wanted a new job but I loved the perks of working in media, and the girls I worked with had become good friends. Those two things kept me working for a company that I wanted to leave. I am grateful that God did what I couldn't bring myself to do. All in all, I'm feeling very upbeat and looking forward to starting something better.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I had a slight freakout last week that I haven't had in a long time. Jonathan's sister is expecting, and as I began to think about how she'll share her entire pregnancy with family and friends and everyone in Oregon will be watching her grow, it made me think of how Jonathan and I will be on our own up here when it's our turn. We have friends to share it with, but it's not the same as family. I thought about how when I go into labor, our family may not even get up here until after the baby is born. Jonathan is certainly enough for me and I am content with him. I don't NEED to be with my family, but I wish I could be. However, we know God wants us up here and I am looking for peace in that. I'm learning how to pray for God's will to be done, and consequently for His will to become my will. Jonathan has been very encouraging and speaking God's truth to me in the midst of my confliction. I believe God speaks through us to encourage and teach one another. Just another amazing aspect of what marriage brings
We listened to Mark Driscoll's first sermon in his series Praying Like Jesus ( listen here) on our way to the campgrounds. I wondered, how often do I pray for God to get me out, and how often do I pray for Him to get me through? As I listened I began to understand how I can pray for what my heart desires, while still asking that His will be done. I can't explain it nearly as well as Mark can, so I encourage you to click on the link and watch or listen to the sermon. It's a difficult sermon about Jesus' pain as he prayed in Gethsemane, but it's totally worth it.
Friday, August 1, 2008
That's really the only news we have right now. The rest is the same old story. Now that he has a new job lined up, we can begin planning the next step, which is buying a house. This won't happen immediately. We haven't figured out a timeline yet, but knowing that we can start that makes us pretty excited. While we're enjoying being in the moment, we also look forward to the future.
This weekend we're heading down to Oregon for a wedding and visiting his family, and a vacation at Seaside with my family. This trip was originally supposed to be for all the family to be together and take a break with Grandma. It's certainly taken a different course since April. Now, it's more a time for us to be together as a family and remember her, and enjoy each other's company without the fresh burden of Grandma's death. I LOVE the beach, and although it may be freezing (even in August), I'm excited to be there.
On a lighter note, I got a super cute pair of shoes today!
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I love to shop. Clothes, shoes, bags, gifts, whatever; I love it. I was like a kid in a candy store last weekend when the Southcenter mall reopened, with the first H&M store ever in Washington. A brand new store with brand new clothes and accessories that I had never seen before. A legion of other people must have had the same idea, because it took for-EV-er to get through that store.
Next on my list:
HOT. Can't wait to wear these.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I prayed for grace and the ability to love those who slandered Pastor Jesse and the church, took a deep breath, and began to type out my own comment. Now, I am a highly emotional person. I realize one of my faults is responding very emotionally, which usually leads to remorse. This time around, God surely gave me the sense and wisdom to respond lovingly and gently, using logic and Biblical references to explain where the haters are mistaken. (You can read my comments on page 4; my username is "redvox.")
I've been able to engage in a level-headed, intelligent debate with a few other commentators. I am so thrilled at the chance to be bold and defend Christ in a way that I hope will respect others and prove to them that not all Christians are judgmental, hateful, hypocritical lunatics. Unfortunately, that is the widespread stereotype.
Please pray for me, that I may continue this discussion and be a glimpse of hope for those who have discarded the idea of Jesus and what he represents. Pray that I may have wisdom and discernment, and divine words.
There's blog about the article (read it here) that I've also engaged in. Feel free to join in, but please be respectful even to those who hate Christians and all we represent.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Back to last night. Jonathan was sleeping and I was awake reading with my lamp on. Tigerlily started growling and hissing, then did the weird breathing thing cats do when they're trying to be intimidating. She does that whenever another cat is outside, so I didn't pay attention to her. A little bit later I turned off my lamp and laid down to sleep. Then I heard a crackling sound outside. Probably just the cat going away. But that sounds awfully loud to be a cat... Animals don't break twigs that loudly, do they?? I froze in fear and tried to look outside but it was so dark I couldn't see a thing. I shivered a little as I heard the footsteps move from the ground to the left of the window, across the mossy path and down to the right. They grew more and more distant until I couldn't hear anything anymore.
I am positive that there wasn't a cat or dog or any other animal outside our window. It was a person. With my lamp on, someone could see in but I couldn't see out. I have no idea how long they could have been there, looking in our window. That's probably what the cat was freaking out about too. Also, this isn't the first time we've had our window open and the blinds up at night. How many other times has this happened?? Who is the person hanging around outside our bedroom, peeking in at us?? I am totally freaked out. I was wearing a tank top and shorts last night, nothing slutty, but still, that is really creepy.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
After the coils were put in she had a really rough few days. She wasn't able to sit up on her bed until Saturday mid-morning and got out of bed to walk a few hours after that. Miraculously, she made huge progress between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, when Jonathan and his dad discovered that she had improved so much overnight that she could be released from the hospital and come back home. It's been such a relief - both for her and for us - to have her out of the hospital and recovering at our apartment. (They live in Dundee, OR.) So many prayers have been answered, and although her recovery has been tough, there have been no complications with the coils, which was the most dangerous part of the whole thing.
I had to leave everyone here with Mom and go down to Portland for a wedding I was in on Saturday. It was a huge challenge to leave; I wanted to be at the hospital with everyone and spend time with Mom. I left Seattle early Friday afternoon and returned Saturday evening. God definitely challenges us sometimes and we must push ourselves to fulfill our obligations. I certainly felt weak at times and felt like God was overwhelming me, but of course He will never do that. Call it another lesson learned.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
My heart is overwhelmed with joy by the presence of this precious baby girl in the world!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I turn 24 years old today. I never used to understand why people freak out about getting older. Then yesterday, out of the blue, I was seized with a sudden and inexplicable near panic. Oh my word, I'm 24. Next year I'll be 25. In six years I'll be 30. I realize those of you who are older than me might think I'm silly for worrying at my age, and/or annoyed that I'm reminding you of your age. Hear me out.
It's not getting older that scares me, but forgetting my childhood. I wish I remembered more about living in Florida the first 5 years of my life, about the move from there to Oregon, about what first grade was like, about my freshman year of high school, about friends I know I've already forgotten.
It's not getting older that scares me, but the idea of leaving behind relationships from younger years. I've always been part of a fairly wide network of friends. Since we moved to Seattle, we have some very close friends, but also very few. I enjoy spending time with our friends up here, but miss everyone in Oregon. I miss the relationship we had with our church, being close to family, and the familiarity of faces and streets.
It's not getting older that scares me, but getting older too fast. I swear time speeds up faster each year that goes by. High school went quick, college went quicker and time since graduating from Fox is nearly impossible to keep up with. No day will ever be exactly the same as this day, and I want to enjoy it while it's here without missing anything.
I am happy that it's my birthday and looking forward to the 24th year of my life. There always seems to be some bad attached to the good. The challenge is to make the good worth it, and I am sure it will be.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
We sat behind a couple at church that had the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. She had bright blue eyes, long lashes, and a smile that wouldn't quit. I was mesmerized with the way she interacted with her mother: throwing herself into tight squeezes around her mom's neck, wide open mouth kisses, staring into her mom's eyes with the most trusting, loving look a baby can give. I learned that she is 9 months old and her name is Kendall. The father went and got their other daughter who unabashedly ran to her mother, hugged her and loudly pronounced, "Happy Mother's Day, I love you!"
At one point the pastor asked all the moms to stand and prayed for them. Then he prayed for all the women who have had miscarriages, lost a child, are unable to conceive, or desire to have children but can't right now because of finances, timing, etc. Throughout the whole service I watched mother and baby and felt a familiar tug in my heart. The prayer that followed washed over me with peace and assurance that one day I'll have my own sweet baby.
I think I like the name Kendall.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Jonathan applied to grad school and was not accepted. Of course he is a little bummed that he didn't get in, but the #1 reason he applied was to find some direction for our future. We had two doors: the first, grad school; the second, work. We asked God to close one door and help us with decisions and he answered us.
Now that one decision has been made, there are several more to follow:
1. How long should Jonathan stay with Bayer before they close the lab?
2. Where will he work next?
3. When will we be ready to buy a house?
4. Where do we want to live?
5. When do we want to start having kids?
I am SO excited to start making these big decisions. Thankfully, I'm in more of a rush to settle into a house than to start a family. Of course, I can't wait to be a mother, but God answered another prayer of mine by relieving the strength of my desires and making my heart content with waiting until we are both ready.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I recently recounted the people I knew that died within the past few years. Grandpa Miller; Karissa; JB; Tanya; Grandpa House; Ben; and last Sunday, Grandma Sims. My friends' friend died mysteriously in her sleep last month. I didn't know her, but I ached for her family as if I did.
All of it burdens me so heavily that I feel a physical weight in my chest and on my shoulders. I don't feel burdened only for myself but also for those around me, the families and close ones of the lost.
I am so sad for the husband of the young woman I didn't know. My heart breaks for Ben's wife. Some college friends had a miscarriage last fall and I couldn't help but weep for them. I ache at the loss of my grandma, for my grandpa at the loss of his wife, for my mom at the loss of her mom.
I can think about the past with Grandma, even remember sitting next to her as she died, and be ok. What hurts is thinking of the future without her. We all had dinner together the day after she died and raised our glasses to toast her. We told my 2.5 year old nephew to raise his milk for Bauby and he looked around trying to find her. The table was silent as we each felt the void.
After the funeral, the normal routine has to resume. I struggle with fitting back into my responsibilities, knowing that the world keeps turning and nothing has changed for anyone else, but so much has changed for me. My family will always be different now and it hurts. The weight of the world is heavy.
Jesus understands. When Lazarus died, He wept.
"Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannnot heal."