life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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The Simple Things

Part of my mornings lately have involved a little Golden French Toast K-cup by Green Mountain Coffee.

^This kicks my days off to a fantastic start.

Yesterday (Friday), shortly after I arrived at work, a friend in my lunch bunch informed me that we would be ordering Chipotle for lunch. Yee to the haw.

My co-worker Rachael brought her absolutely adorable 1.5-year-old daughter, Audrey, into work after that, and Audrey did the butt back-up straight into my lap. I loved it.

Then last night, for what Dayne and I have dubbed FUN FRIDAY (which basically means “no cooking”), we went out to Ruby Tuesday’s down the road for dinner. Let me just say that Ruby Tuesday’s is my new favorite Friday night hang-out. It is practically deserted (barely any wait time!), and you can people-watch all the cute elderly people sipping coffee and finishing up their steak & potatoes. Plus they gave me a HUGE glass of wine for the price of a NORMAL glass of wine. Their food was delicious! I was a happy camper.

Looking back on the rest of this week, it has been incredibly busy, but it has been incredibly good. I spent a lot more time with people I love this week outside of the house.

On Monday, I got to have dinner with Molly. It’s always good to have dinner with a dear friend. 🙂 We met at Friday’s and talked, laughed, and connected about life, school, marriage, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. She is one of my favorite people on this earth.

Monday was a double-header, so after dinner with Molly I drove straight to our girls’ Bible Study. (At what age do you stop calling yourself and your peers “girls”? Womens’ Bible study makes it sound like we have middle-school-aged children.) Ashlee and Mia came out and we read Philippians 1, discussed fear, courage, identity, and the perspective of Paul, and laughed about life. Always a time that blesses my soul.

I went to bed late on Monday, but it was worth it.

On Tuesday, I was a little tired and reluctant, but Dayne and I went to our new couples’ small group after dinner. Our group is getting big, but instead of splitting the couples, they’ve decided to split up the women and men for the Bible discussion and prayer time (and hang out as a large group before and after). It was wonderful. I already have such a special place in my heart for these women. They are beautiful people and this small group is such a blessing to both Dayne and me.

I went to bed even later on Tuesday, but it was worth it.

On Wednesday, I had a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad day. For no reason at all. I was sad, tired, cranky, and feeling hated. I felt like my marriage was failing and like I didn’t have any friends at my job, both of which are false and a little absurd. My mood started to brighten towards 3:00 pm, when Dana came to visit my desk and I got to unload my feelings on someone. She listened well and told me that at least I am going home to “the love of my life”, and it “doesn’t get much sweeter than that”. Hellooo, being grateful for what I have! I took her advice and looked forward to going home. Dayne had the day off that day, which had made me jealous and even more tired, but I came home to a nice surprise. Dayne isn’t quite the “go-getter” that I am… he loves relaxing when he’s home, and he absolutely hates “to do” lists. Meanwhile, I am kind of a productivity addict and can’t rest until at least most everything’s done! That day, I left him a list of a few things he could do to help out around the house… when I came home, not only did he meet me at the door, but he had done everything on the list and MORE. He had taken care of things that were months in waiting. To me, that was such a HUGE blessing – I felt so taken care of and loved. It enabled me to totally relax when I got home, so we snuggled and talked and took a short nap together. It was lovely and completely turned my day around.

That night, I went over to Kay’s to see her beautiful new engagement ring (!!!) and catch up! She filled me in on her amazing engagement and wedding plans while making a delicious dinner! We chatted about all of our grown-up things: marriage, housing, cars, finances… then we joked about how old we are now. Because we are. We’re old. These things did not cross our minds when we were studying biology together in college. But it is so awesome to see how our lives have progressed and changed and our friendship has transformed. I’m so happy to have her in my life, and I can’t WAIT for her wedding!

I went to bed late on Wednesday, but it was worth it.

Thursday, my mood was 100x better, and I had a lovely day at work and at home. Dayne and I are taking small steps forward in our house hunt again, and we were able to spend time together relaxing and eating a home-cooked dinner (spaghetti with jar sauce – the ultimate comfort food!). We were in bed by 9:20 p.m. It was awesome.

And again, last night was FUN FRIDAY, which also turned into SAD FRIDAY because we watched the movie 50/50. I thought it was going to be one of those stupid comedies like Step Brothers or Pineapple Express… I guess I didn’t really pay attention to the previews. We’ll just put it this way: Dayne cried. Like, his eyes were bloodshot. I nearly had a panic attack with all the hospital and surgery scenes. But it was a well-done, albeit emotionally traumatizing, movie.

Today, I slept in. It was glorious. I’m going out to lunch with Amy, then Dayne and I are going to see a house today (first walk-through of 2012!), and Dayne is going to Lancaster tonight to hang out with some guy friends.

I like being busy. It wreaks havoc on my sleep schedule, but I feel so much fuller when I am busy spending time with people I love. And somehow, that’s been giving me a heightened awareness of all my blessings – even the little ones, like a K-cup.

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To Further Emphasize the Point

After reading my last blog post, my mom pointed me to this video of Stephen Curtis Chapman explaining the meaning behind his song, “Do Everything”, which basically points to the fact that everything in our lives, even to the most mundane little details, is filled with God’s presence and power and meant for His glory.

I definitely thought it was worth a share:

I thought it was great when he alluded to our frequent struggle as Christians to avoid putting life into two categories: the meaningful God stuff vs. the meaningless life stuff. We tend to feel that if we aren’t constantly moving mountains for God, our lives don’t matter and that God isn’t really using us. Or that if we aren’t living in poverty, we’ve got it all wrong. God may call us to those “mountaintop experiences” or to serving Him in poor communities, but most of us will live most of our lives in the valleys, faithfully serving Him in the daily “muck”.

He mentions toward the end of that video that even trying to housebreak the family’s puppies was a lesson in patience. Life’s all about continually seeking out what God can teach you in the present moment, no matter where you are or how insignificant you may feel.

 

Here are the verses he mentions in the video:

1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Peter 4:10 – “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


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Accepting Where God Has Placed You

Today, I:

-woke up at 4:20 a.m.
-then gave myself the liberty to sleep in til 5:50 a.m.
-took a hot shower & gloriously felt all the mucus un-clog from my sinuses for 20 minutes
-got upset because my husband left out 5.whole.things. when he went to bed last night: the remote, the throw blanket, a glass, his slippers, and a throw pillow… and the cable box was still on. Spent a lot of mental energy figuring out how to discuss this with him without throwing a tantrum or criticizing. Succeeded.
-didn’t make the bed for the 3rd day in a row
-made ham, turkey, & cheese sandwiches for my hubby & me to take to work
-toasted an Eggo waffle for breakfast, topped it with butter & syrup, and accompanied it with a tall glass of OJ
-read about Moses (Exodus 1-2)
-scrambled to get out the door on time and was thankful once again for no frost on my car
-got into work 2 minutes early
-had 6 voicemails waiting for me
-got all the mail done before the mailman came – hoorah!
-attended my first “webinar” about superior customer service. Wished it told us how to deal with crazy people
-passed up multiple opportunities to speak Spanish
-didn’t take a lunch break
-felt horrible around 12 pm
-made an impressive mountain of tissues in the trash can under my desk
-checked Pinterest for distraction when I felt like my body was going to fall apart
-was told my eyes looked “glassy” for the first time
-was told to go home after my sweet co-worker Chris felt my forehead
-got all my work done except my photocopies. I hate making photocopies.
-realized I don’t know a thing about welfare
-was told that in the event of an intruder with a firearm, I should skillfully dodge bullets while announcing the intruder over the intercom and remaining on the line with 9-1-1… can’t imagine my response being so calm & coordinated
-bawled my right eye out because something got stuck in my contact… literally had tears streaming down the right side of my face
-left work not-so-promptly at 4:05
-called my hubby 3 times in a row on the way home to complain about how lousy I felt and asked him to snuggle me when he got home
-made a doctor’s appointment for 9:45 tomorrow morning
-summoned some energy to clean & cut up celery, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato for a yummy dinner salad w/ balsamic vinaigrette

If it isn’t obvious, I’m sick. I.hate.being.sick. For a productivity addict like me, sickness feels like a prison sentence. Thankfully, Dayne hasn’t gotten it, so at least one of us can continue with normal life. As noted above, I haven’t made the bed for three days in a row – partly because I haven’t had the energy, and partly because I believe there are thousands of germs nesting in it that need to be aired out.

Anyways, it’s kind of funny that I came down with this after my last blog entry about slowing down. I’ve really had to slow down. This past weekend, which was a 3-day holiday weekend, Dayne & I spent inside doing a whole lot of nothing (video games, movies, reading, eating, sleeping). I didn’t even go to church on Sunday (Dayne went, and I was so thankful that he could still go).

When it comes down to it, I have a very hard time just taking it easy and relaxing and not getting anxious about life passing me by. I feel like I always have to be making the most of everyday, accomplishing something, doing exciting things. I don’t know where that pressure comes from, but it’s not healthy! Of course, motivation to some extent is healthy, but there is something the Old Testament is teaching me about God and everyday life. We don’t have to be meeting these huge milestones everyday for God to be working in us and accomplishing His purposes through us. A lot of God’s work in our lives is through the mundane, everyday stuff. Usually when God does call us to do big stuff, He spends a lot of time building us up for it (Noah had to build the ark before the flood, Abraham waited over 100 years to have his son, Joseph spent thirteen years imprisoned in Egypt, Moses spent forty years hiding out with shepherds before God called him to go back to Egypt & confront Pharoah, etc.). This encourages me to see the point and the glory in the everyday.

I shared this quote with Dana recently, and I’d like to share it here:

“Wherever the providence of God may dump us down, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labour along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought — “I am of no use where I am,” because you certainly can be of no use where you are not! Wherever He has engineered your circumstances, pray.” – Oswald Chambers (emphasis mine)

Do I believe in His providence? Yes. Do I believe in His sovereignty? Yes. So then, I am okay with being sick right now, and I embrace this time of rest and taking care of my physical body. I pray that I will continue to be patient with myself and seek God out in my everyday.