Category Archives: favorite

Once upon a time…

…I was finished with school, broke, stuck in a bitterly cold Chicago, with no full time job in sight. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a Cinderella fairytale, it’s a realistic glimpse at part of God’s story.

THE SETTING

After much prayerful thought and an offer from a kind brother to move to Texas, I was on my way.  I picked up my brother from O’Hare at 8 pm; we loaded up the U-Haul, attached it to my Jetta and left in the dead of night.  By the next afternoon, bleary-eyed, we arrived at my new home, just north of Dallas Texas.

The next few months were full of job hunting, church hunting, and trying to get acclimated to the quickly approaching summer melt down (this WA state kid doesn’t like 100+ degrees – and yes, it can be TOO sunny!).

By June, the Lord provided a job through “people who knew people”  at an agency that “Helps those who do good, do better.” That is to say a company that uses technology and storytelling to help non-profits fundraise.

As I got to know people, moved out of my brother’s house and closer to Dallas, I started attending Watermark Community Church. Watermark stresses the importance of living in community, not just a group of social networks, but a biblical community.  I knew I needed friends, and I knew I lacked community, so I decided to go “all in.”

THE INTRODUCTION

Early February of 2009, I met up with what were essentially 12 other complete strangers – women who, like myself, wanted to get involved in community.  We started meeting together weekly at one of the girl’s house just down the street from church. After only meeting a few times, our host, Sara, suggested that we plan a game night in order to get to know people from Watermark (all of us were Very New to the church).  She said that her next door neighbor was our age, attended Watermark, and was involved in a guy’s community group. And so the plans were made.

Game night took place on 4/11/09. I know this date, because it happens to be my “Happy to Be Alive Day” (anniversary of my open heart surgery).  It was fun to play games and meet new friends.  Something I didn’t quite see the significance in, was meeting JJ, Sara’s next door neighbor.

The summer quickly came, and quickly sped along. My company moved to a different location, so my commute grew. I was finding it more difficult (and expensive) to live by myself then I had calculated.  I started getting involved more at church and became part of the Student ministries team.  I started attending The Porch – Watermark’s weekly church/meet up for singles in the community.  In short, Life became busier and quality of life continued to improve as the months went on and friendships deepened. (see my blog posts over the last year for more detail).

In October, thanks to some very wise counsel and a wonderful offer from Sara, I moved closer to church and became her roommate.  If you were reading closely, you’ll have put together that I also gained a next door neighbor, JJ.

THE UNEXPECTED

Nothing changed at first, the next few months plodded along, the fall changed to winter, and soon 2010 was at our doorsteps.  JJ and I were acquaintances, we ran into each other occasionally at The Porch and didn’t really realize what was about to happen.

JJ was living with his brother and another roomie, so as the calendar flipped from 2009 to 2010, the three of them, and the two of us (Sara & I) started hanging out occasionally.  From game nights to carpooling, to more mutual friends and church events, picking pennies out of my car, to (perhaps most *significantly*) watching LOST every Tuesday after The Porch; it became a regular occurrence to hang out. JJ & My friendship grew the more we hung out and the more we found we had in common.

Somehow this crazy kid with blue teeth from cotton candy didn’t scare him away at the church 10th anniversary party.  Something was up.  “The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air…”

In early February, Dallas got an unprecedented 10 inches of snow, and I got the day off of work. With my roommate out of town on business, I pestered the neighbors until they would have a snowball fight with me… It was a grand day. And JJ & I discovered even more we had in common.

By late April, we knew what decisions were in front of us, so we started down the path called dating.  In Mid June, we started attending a premarriage class through Watermark and as the class wound down in August, it simply confirmed what we already knew.  He joked that it would be at least a year. To which I replied “a year? Try two!”

THE PROPOSAL

But I’m a “timeline” girl and I have to have a plan… and I KNEW that since he hadn’t met my parents and wouldn’t meet them until an already planned trip in September, I was going to have to wait a bit.  It had only been a few months; I could surely be patient and wait at least another, right? Besides that I already was aware that I’m one of the hardest people to surprise.  I can’t help it; I just accidentally pick up on the clues.

This brings us to this past weekend. We drove down to go camping with his family. The trip had been on the calendar for a month or more, so I was looking forward to spending time with JJ’s family, but also see this lake of his, full of his childhood memories.

Friday, JJ suggested we go watch the sunset.  (He had been talking up the sunsets at the lake are the most beautiful he’s seen anywhere.) As the evening came to a close, we walked out to a spot to watch the sunset. Sitting down on the rocks, we found a Penny. (Pennies for Debra anyone?) We sat, watched the sunset, enjoyed a light show from a looming thundercloud, and talked about the premarriage class, tying up all the loose ends from that.  As it was just about dark, JJ turns to me and says he has something for me. Handing me a piece of paper I though “awww. That’s sweet. He wrote me a nice note.”  I unfolded the paper to find a certificate indicating we finished premarrige class and were eligible for a discount on TX marriage license fees if we got married within the next year. He then proceeded to suggest he had a ring on hand.  Shocked, I blurted out “are you Joking!?!” He asked if he would joke about something like this to which I stated “YES!” He acknowledged that was valid, but no, he was not joking. After switching to a tux-t-shirt, he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring.  Obviously, I said yes.

We walked back to the campsite where his family (Everyone, his family, my parents and brother, my roomie, KNEW!) had decorated and set up a lovely celebration.

We spent the rest of the evening calling and texting family and friends.

THE FUTURE

We are now in the midst of all the planning… we’re looking at a middle – to late November wedding, so the clock is a ticking!  So many things to be done.  A ring to find (he gave me a promise ring so that we could both have input on the ring, but he could also surprise me with the timing of the proposal), invites to get out, a dress to find, details, details, details!

In the avalanche of all the tasks to do, there are some I needed to make sure are not to forget. I wanted to just say thank you to all my dear sweet friends and family.  For those of you who have encouraged me over the years, prayed with me, laughed with me, cried with me… Thank you. Thank you for continuing to point out (in perhaps different words) that the point of life is to Glorify God, in big things but perhaps even more so in all the ‘little things’.

We look forward to celebrating this wonderful occasion with those who are dear to us.  And JJ & I are thrilled to be a part of God’s bigger plan and that for this moment in time God’s plan happens to mean we get to go on an adventure together.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under favorite, marriage, wedding

Is he Back!?!?!?

I hope so! Or at least back for a little bit. Too bad I am working all weekend and cannot listen to any of the games. (three cheers for MLB online, I can listen to all archived games)

Wilson trades in mask for a mic

Former Mariners catcher analyzing weekend set on TV, radio

NEW YORK — Wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and light blue tie, former Mariners catcher Dan Wilson made his debut behind a microphone and in front of a camera on Friday night.
Three years after ending his 14-year Major League playing career, Wilson is looking at potential new occupations and broadcasting is one of them, along with becoming a high school baseball coach.

“This is something I am looking at, although investigating is a better word,” Wilson said on Friday inside the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. “We’ll see how it goes.”

The most popular catcher in franchise history, and also the most productive with a .262 batting average, 88 home runs and 519 RBIs in 1,251 regular-season games, Wilson will serve as an analyst on radio and television during the Mariners’ three-game series against the Yankees.

He also is lined up to return to the visiting broadcast booths at Fenway Park, where the Mariners play a three-game series against the Red Sox on June 6-8, and possibly the three-game set against the Mets on June 23-25 at Shea Stadium.

“Stepping into an arena I don’t know that much about is a little shaky,” he said.

Wilson currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Annie, and four children, and he spent some time in Arizona last spring working with the Mariners’ catchers. He has discussed with club officials about other ways of staying involved with the organization.

“We thought this would be an easy way, especially with me living on the East Coast,” he said.

“This is a nice way to keep tabs on what’s going on [with the team] and seeing what broadcasting is like.”

It so happens that there will be a vacancy in the booth on Saturday. Hall of Fame-bound Dave Niehaus will spend the day in Cooperstown, N.Y., for a “Voices of the Game” event.

Wilson will spend most of Saturday sharing the radio booth with veteran backup Rick Rizzs.

Asked if he had been keeping tabs on the Mariners, who have slipped to an 18-30 record going into Friday night’s series opener, he said: “They are going through a tough stretch, no question about that.

“There never is a ‘good time’ for a tough stretch, the beginning, middle or end of the season, but there are still four months to go and baseball is a crazy game. There is time to turn it around.”

You can find the article “here”.

3 Comments

Filed under favorite, mariners, radio

MWS

So, those who have known me for a very long time can vouch for this, I love Michael W. Smith!!! Before Switchfoot, before Newsboys, MWS was my favorite!

The very first concert I ever went to was on Sept 19, 1993. dc Talk opened for MWS at the Puyallup Fair. It was a youth group event and because it was at the fair, we also got to go on rides and play games. I happened to win a green stuffed animal (I think it was a cat???) It had a tie on and perhaps sunglasses…I don’t quite remember. Anyway, I named him MdubS.

My first cassette tape, the Project.

My last cassette tape, The First Decade. One of my first CDs Michael W. Smith: The Wonder Years. A two disc compilation set with a sweet book. Seriously, he is awesome and I love his music!

And today, I got to see him speak and play. He was the speaker for Chapel today. My current roommate is a prof, so she gave me a heads up that he was coming. Because I went with her to chapel, we got pretty decent seats (in a packed out auditorium, I am sure no students skipped today). Two of Smitty’s daughters were sitting in the row in front of me with MWS and his wife, Debbie, in the next row up.

funniest moment, while he was speaking, someone yelled “friends!” So he abruptly stopped, walked over to the piano, sat down and started playing. All of a sudden, from the auditorium filled with students lighters appear. With lighters lite, and waving in the air, MWS looks up and sees what is taking place. He stops playing and just starts cracking up, and then directs the audience to start waving their arms while he finishes of the chorus of “friends.” this may not seem funny to you, but this is WHEATON, students sign a covenant with no smoking, no drinking, and other codes of christian conduct. And here they are waving lighters in chapel, perhaps the most lighters ever on campus at one time. It was hilarious. It also made me chuckle that people (MWS’ kids too) started taking photos of the students. Anyway, it was an enjoyable event and I am glad I could go today.

4 Comments

Filed under favorite, music, wheaton

On a day that is not tepid

My precious car groans as she starts. The thermometer reads a generous 20 degrees, yet I question if it can truly be that warm. Her engine begins to show signs of life and it as if she has woken up after a long sleep, her aching bones requesting not to be moved. Like stepping out of bed onto the cold ground with joints creaking, so the car reluctantly moans. I know what she would like is that which any cold creature requests on a day such as today, warmth and movement. To be without such is to be on the edge of death. The individual who awakes into such a frigid world hobbles in search of a hot shower allowing the frozen blood to come alive. In the case of Precious, I allow her the same treat, a nice drive to loosen up her insides.

While I drive, my steaming coffee sputters over the lid and lands on the chrome interior. As it hits, I reach to wipe it away, yet I am too slow. It has already turned to ice. Moving further down the road, I notice a brave biker who, with face completely wrapped except for a small slit so they can see, travels in a fashion that I would never be able to do.

The world is covered in an icy blue haze. All is layered with a frosty glaze.

Though I must admit, this ice-laden world, on the last day of January, fills me with life. The cold brisk air cannot do anything but make one feel refreshed. Yes, the biting wind in ones eyes is troublesome, but without the cold day, the glorious sunset would be missed. The radiant display of oranges and pinks in a world that has a blue tint would not be as magnificent.

5 Comments

Filed under favorite, weather, writing

It is my favorite

This evening, I broke my all-time favorite coffee mug. It had no sentimental value (I think I got it at a garage sale), but I really like the color. It had white on top, a periwinkle blue on the bottom and then a lighter blue strip in between those two colors.

I just like the way the mug felt in my hand. I had perfected the holding of the mug with two fingers through the handle, a pointer finger on the outside of the handle, and then my little pinky wrapped around the bottom. It was the perfect mug to use while reading. It was the perfect mug to heat water in for times I needed hot water, but could not microwave my other containers or plastic mugs. I just used it this morning for just that, hot water for my starbucks mug that I cannot microwave.

It had been sitting unnoticed on my night table all day. It did not cause me any trouble. It minded its own business. It spent the day not jealous of the starbucks mug because it knew deep down, it was my favorite. It was aware of its own weaknesses and limitations, that it was unable to be used as a travel mug. But at the end of the day, my mug knew if there was a “rainy-read-books-at-home-day”, it would be loved.

And how did I treat this loyal companion?!?! I was laying on my bed and as I sat up, I kicked it clean off the table. It hit the hardwood floor and was done. As my sadness grew in realization to the friend I just lost, my helpful roommates came to my rescue with the broom. For not only did I break the mug, I accidentally stepped right where it landed. Upon stooping to pick up the pieces, my phone happened to ring, so I did not really get to grieve the loss as I would have liked.

Perhaps this is a good thing because later in the evening, I sat staring at the mug in disbelief. Here before me where 3-4 solid pieces, a fairly clean break. Only a few extremely small fragments needed to be thrown away. What does my loyal mug require of me in its time of need? Only a second chance, for one word popped into my head….SUPER GLUE (ok, two words). I actually think the mug may be salvageable. Perhaps It will have to have a desk job and no longer be deployed to assignments that include the microwave, but I do believe I will find use for the my friend, the blue mug, in the future.

After all, it is my favorite.

3 Comments

Filed under favorite

Run towards the Center. Christ is at the center of all things. With full and complete abandoning of all that hinders, Run!
Don’t be bogged down with idiosyncrasies, with mundane apathy, with trivial pursuits. Simply let go of all and Run.
In complete surrender of feelings, emotions, thoughts, logic – leave all behind. Only with Christ is one fully alive.
Do not lollygag, skip, walk, or stroll. Run full speed as if your life depended on it. In fact, your life does depend on it.

Leave a comment

Filed under christ, favorite, writing

Letter from the past

I’ll warn you. This post is going to be long.

I have intended to post the following letter for some time. I thought about doing it around thanksgiving. It is a letter I wrote to dear friends when I left Edmonton a few years ago.

I found saying goodbye so difficult that I wrote it down in advance. I was never able to share the letter with more then a small handful of those it was intended for. Why did thanksgiving remind me of this? Thanksgiving, because the light shines through the dark. Thanksgiving, because the second to last sentence is within view. It has been a long, strenuous wait, but finally the joy comes.

So, here it is. If you were one of the treasured friends for whom this letter was written, you do not fade from my memories, but I must continue moving forward. This is one more step ahead.

“As this day, rather this era in time, this moment slows to a stop, the thoughts in my mind torment me. My sorrow overwhelms me. As I set out to ‘ride off into the sunset’ by myself, my grief cannot be contained.

Such great sorrow is riding on the wings of trust, love, care, and true friendship.

I cannot help but question, ‘Why, God, do you provide for my needs of love and friendship (needs I did not even know I had) only to take away?’

But this is incorrect. It is better and more true to be grateful, thankful for the time we have had. Had God not set up this life circumstance, no, I would not face the pain, the sadness, but I would not trade in my hurt now. To do so would require trading in all the good. All the laughs, the tears, the memories. As we all know ‘It is better to love and have lost than not loved at all.’

I could not trade away what I have come to love, that is, those whom I have come to love.

As I sit and reflect, cry and laugh (and read a certain book – The Jesus I Never Knew), I am reminded of Christ. He knew the ultimate goal. He understood the big picture yet in the garden he felt sorrow, aloneness, and even asked to have ‘this cup taken.’ In the end he was still obedient. The plan, God’s will, his design was the most important. Christ said not my will but yours.

Granted I am not going to die soon [so I hope :)] but I have prayed with sorrow and loneliness and pleading for God to allow me to stay. In the end, I have decided that we are all called to live as Christ. At this turning point in life, I must choose as Christ. Not my will, but his.

I cannot see the big picture. I still continue to pray for God to work out something that will allow me to rejoin ya’ll, but at this moment, I must move on.

It will be hard to transition to a different life then here. I am scared, tired, and just plain unsure of what my next life step is. Your prayers would be much appreciated.

As you may know, one of my kind of life themes is God’s faithfulness and our faithfulness in response. I know God is faithful even at this crossroad. In my leaving, I envy you who stay, but it with much hope that I trust in God’s faithfulness. I am confident that this is not the end of our friendship. I refuse to sit back and let time and distance completely eradicate these bonds we have formed.

I am sure we will gather together again and share with excitement the paths that God has taken us on.

One day this time of sorrow will be easier to understand, easier to look back on with tears of joy from the light and the love we have learned from each other.

Until that day, the joy of the Lord is my strength”

Leave a comment

Filed under canada, favorite, thanksgiving