26 November 2007

Cooking for Thanksgiving



The evening before Thanksgiving, Asher invited Mike and some of the other guys out for a "guys night out" to watch a movie. So since Mike and Joe were both going to be gone, I invited Michelle over to cook with me for the Thanksgiving feast at Katie and Bill's house.

So while the guys were out at the movie, I had a pot of Taco Bean Chili on the stove for them, awaiting their return.




Michelle was going to make homemade cranberry sauce (for the first time) and I was going to make pumpkin pie from scratch (for the first time.)

It was a great night just hanging out with Michelle and talking and cooking. :) I couldn't resist taking pictures as we went along . . .






I started by first making the pie shell. It didn't dawn on me until the next day at dinner that my pretty, decorative fork markings in the crust would be covered up with the pumpkin pie filling . . . next time I'll have make the dough go up higher around the edge and then make the markings and stuff.







This is what happens when you take a whole pie pumpkin, cut it up, cook it and then mash it into something that can be worked with in a pie filling. I actually really like using a fresh pumpkin much better than using the canned stuff. It just seems to taste much fuller, if that makes any sense . . .








This is me mixing after all the other ingriedients had been added. :)













Here is Michelle (again, hard to believe she's 9 months pregnant here) making her cranberry sauce. She actually made two different types, one with orange juice and with out. They were both incredibly tasty, although truthfully I have to hold out for the one with orange juice. Both were quite possibly the best cranberry sauces I have ever had. And it really wasn't that complicated of a dish to make. Michelle is definitely turning into a great cook. :)





Here is Michelle stirring the cranberries. She used fresh cranberries from the grocery store. Here they are about to "pop", which means they are almost done. Yay!!












And one more picture of the delicious cranberries.

It was a really fun night hanging out and fellowshipping and talking. I hope we'll be able to do it again soon. :)

I'll post Thanksgiving Dinner pictures seperately.

Michelle's Baby Shower


There are a few blogs I have wanted to post more recently than today, however, it seems that whenever I am logged on to blog, I am at Michelle's house. So now I am home to make Mike lunch, I can update my blog with pictures. :)

We had Michelle's baby shower on Tuesday and I think it went pretty well. Michelle looked like she really enjoyed it and said she had a lot of fun.

Joshua is on his way! We had the baby shower at Katie's house (Abby's mom), so we took everything over there and got all set up. :)




Abby traced out letters and had the wonderfully creative idea of putting them up on the wall like they are hanging on a clothes line. I discoverd though, that upon hanging the letters, the clothes pins are pretty heavy - hence the extra tape. :)









One of the games that we played was the traditional "guess how round" as I like to call it, game. This is Ginger with her guess of Michelle's belly size. :)

(Hard to believe she's 9 month's pregnant, isn't it?)










Of course there were presents to open from everyone! Here is Michelle with Caylee and Natalie helping her out. :)















More baby clothes! Yay! :)










What party is complete without food and drinks? The rice cripsy balls were actually on the end of the wooden stick to make rattles (another one of Abby's very creative ideas). :)

Also, Abby came up with and made the cake as well. Isn't it so adorable?

The dinosaur in the picture below is from the theme that Michelle and Joe picked out for Josh's room.




Pet Thoughts

It seems that Mike and I (two cat people) have become the unofficial dog sitters in the Bible study. :) Right now I'm at Joe and Michelle's watching Emma and Beckett play. Later this week, we're going to Sarah and James' to watch Gomer, Buster and Jake. I enjoy watching the dogs and I'm glad that I'm able to help out. And of course, they always make Mike laugh so much.

You know, that's one of the things that I really love about Mike. He seems to find joy and laughter at the things in life that are so close to God and Creation. For example, cats and dogs. Sometimes when you're an adult and you get wrapped up in adult responsibilities and adult things that it's easy to lose the joy of having a pet and the fun and laughter that goes with it. I can easily see that Mike never lost that joy. When you're a child it's so easy to find the simple joys in life, you almost don't need to look for them. Where do we, as adults, lose that? I guess some of us are lucky enough to ever lose that.

Well, Michelle's laundry is done, so I'm going to go take it out of the dryer. :) (Don't worry Michelle, it's just baby clothes.)

25 November 2007

Again . . .

So I'm more sick . . . again. Not much else going on with me. Same old same old. This is getting old. Still searching and waiting . . . afraid of the right answer, I guess.

It does seem odd to me that when I think of switching from nursing to ministry type classes and focusing more (a LOT more) on that sort of thing and seeking the Lord and spending more time with Him, I seem to get better. Than when I return to thinking of continuing nursing, I get worse. I get better. I get worse. I get better. I get worse. Someone smarter than I might realize: "You idiot! The answer's staring right in the face! Obviously it's NOT nursing!"

But I'm not that smart and I'm plenty stubborn. . . . though I want to do His will so badly in my life.

It's That Time (for Michelle)

So I got a phone call this morning at about 0830 from Joe. I was still in bed, so I had Mike answer the phone. Michelle's water had broken! So I said I would come over shortly.

I expected Michelle to be running around getting everything ready and in somewhat of a panic and so when I arrived with Mike at their house, I was suprised to see Michelle at her calmest that I might have ever seen her. She was just getting last minute things packed and so on and so forth, with contractions coming about 5 - 10 minutes apart. Mike and Joe got the car seat set up in the car while Michelle did last minute things. So a little after an hour later, she and Joe were off to the hospital.

So Mike and I are sitting here at their house, watching the dogs. :) I can't wait to meet little Joshua! (Tomorrow I'm guessing, if not tonight.)

More later on the news . . .

15 November 2007

Directions from Mike

So tomorrow Mike's squadron is having a Thanksgiving potluck and Mike has been assigned to bring mashed potatoes. So tomorrow, luckily, I don't have class, so I'll be able to go (yay!) and bring the potatoes to him.

I asked Mike on Monday if we could make a trip out to the Herd compound sometime this week so I would know exactly where to go, etc etc. Well, it's Thursday night and we never made it out there, so I asked Mike to give me directions.

This is part of the conversation that transpired:

"So where do I go when I turn into the Herd compound?"

So Mike tells me that first I turn left and then go all the way down and look for some M35's and M900's (no, I actually don't know what those look like precisely, but I didn't tell him that.) I nodded at him to go on. So he says before you get to the end there are some metal x barricades that look like . . . and he attempts to describe them further.

"So where do I turn?"

"Oh, you turn right."

"Okay. And then where do I go?"

So he tells me more about the barricades and the trucks and stuff.

For clarification, I repeat back the directions so far.

"No, you turn left."

"So I make two lefts."

"No, you have to turn right at the barricade thing where the trucks are." And Mike goes into some more about the trucks (that I still don't know exactly what they look like).

Trying to move past the trucks, I say, okay and then what.

"Well, then you arrive at our squadron. It's the newest building. Find a parking spot and park and go in the front."

"Okay, after I go in the front . . . "

"Well, there's a flag pole and it's near the front and it looks . . . "

"Mike, where do I go once I'm in the building? I think I can find the front door." :)

"Oh, okay. Once you're in the building, go left. On the right is the commander's office."

"Ok, so after I turn to the left, where do I go?"

"No, you don't go left. The commander's office is on the right. You have to go straight down the hall. It comes to a "T". Then you go right."

"So I don't go left at all?"

"No, forget I said anything about left. No lefts."

"Okay, so where do I go from there?"

"First door on the right."

"Okay. First door on the right." And I repeat the rest of the directions back to him, to which he nods in agreement.

"Do I have to dress up or anything?" I ask Mike, referring to Sunday dress as opposed jeans or something.

"No, civilian clothes are fine."

"Well, I was planning on wearing my uniform that I just bought, but you since you said civies, well, okay then."

And we just burst into laughter with one. Oh man, dinner time with Mike. I love it! I can see that I'm going to have a LOT of smile wrinkles when I get older. . . . :D That's okay though, they're so worth it!

P.S. After reading this blog out loud to Mike, Mike would like to add the following commentary: He was looking out for and didn't want me to drive to far, like to the back of the building or something . . . he's so sweet. :)

13 November 2007

Getting stronger

Just wanted to write and let you guys know that I am feeling stronger. My strength and health are slowly coming back, much thanks to many prayers that I know you all have been praying. Mike and I are very thankful for those prayers. :)

In other news . . . . . . . .

I went to school today and met with the director of the nursing program to discuss taking a semester off. It isn't possible to that without having to retake classes I've already taken (but under a new course name/number because they're changing the program), so that's not really an option. However, going to school part time for spring and fall are options. So as of right now, that is what I am signed up to do. I'll take psych with a 4 week late clinical, pharmacology and success in nursing (a 1 hour course) in the spring for a total of 6 hours. And then med/surg with a 12 week clinical and success in nursing II in the fall for a total of 8 hours. The weird thing is that now I feel that this is not the Lord's will for me. I felt really peaceful at the thought of taking the semester off and I was planning on using that time to really study the Word and get into it and really spend a lot of time with the Lord and then see about continuing nursing school in the fall. It was a leap of faith to take the time off, but I felt it was a leap drawing me closer to the Lord. Now that I'm still in nursing school, I honestly don't feel peaceful about it. I don't know if it's because I've lost sight/feeling of what it's like to take care of patients or if it's not the Lord's will for me. I feel like instead of taking that leap of faith towards Him, I'm back to walking in my own will. I don't want my will. I really want to do the Lord's will. That's why this whole thing has been such a turmoil for me. It's not as easy as just deciding whether to stay in nursing school or not. It's if nursing school and being a nurse is the Lord's will for me or not.

I feel so wishy-washy about writing and saying all these things about wanting to be a nurse and dreams dying and agonizing and here I am saying I'm not sure. I'm not trying to be deceitful about things or get attention.

And then there is Mike. I really want to be a Godly wife for Mike. I absolutely love being married to Mike. I get to live with my best friend and it's really awesome. And Mike and I are really excited and looking forward to starting a family, whenever that time is. We do want to wait a few years (intellectually) and I know that deep down Mike wants me to stay home and take care of the home and maybe work part time right now. And I want that too. I never thought I would like staying home, but I really do. I really love this time right now even though I'm still sick and stuff. Mike also says he would really like it if I was a nurse. Honestly I sincerely doubt that I will not get pregnant before it's time for me to graduate from nursing school, which right now is May 2010. So part of also thinks that if I'm going to get pregnant before I graduate, and I know that when I do, I'll stop going to school to stay at home and raise the child (and have more children), why even continue going? It just seems so futile to me. Honestly the whole decision would be a lot easier if I were to "accidentally" get pregnant before January. We are trying to wait though . . .

So anyway, the questioning continues . . .

*******

On another note, in reference to the blog I wrote about the PMU foals, that is also something that I would really like to see about doing. I know that I can't have both nursing school and a horse. Is it weird though to always be passing horse trailers and stuff on my to and from school (and at no other time)?? This morning I was so happy driving to school fantasizing about a PMU foal that I could adopt and the time I would spending with it while I had next semester off and things just seemed to be right. Then I went to school and events progressed as was just written. It just doesn't feel right. I know how silly and irresponsible and un-adult I sound wanting to give up nursing school to adopt a foal and etc etc. Sometimes horses can heal the soul the way other things can't. It's hard to explain unless you've been there. . . . anyway . . .

. . . the point of this blog is to say that I am getting physically stronger and feeling better, but I'm just as confused about life as ever. The Lord didn't write in the Bible somewhere "Tegan, I want to quit school, stay home and raise a family" or "Tegan, I want to stay in school, but not in your timing, mine. Nursing is your calling so you should stick with it."

Discernment is definitely not my spiritual gift . . .

So that's all I've got for right now . . . :)

11 November 2007

Words of the Wedding

Processional
Welcome and Greeting
Wedding Homily
Responsibilities
Vows
Exchange of Rings
Pronouncement of Marriage
Communion
Wedding Prayer
The Kiss
The Blessing
Introduction of Couple
Recessional

-Chaplain Kelly Stahl-


Processional

*Prayer by Dad*

"Who gives this woman to be married?"

"I do" - Dad

"Dear friends: We have come together in God's presence to witness the marriage of M and Tegan, to surround them with our prayers, and to share in their joy. The scriptures teach us that the bond and covenant of marriage is a gift from God, a holy mystery, in which a man and woman become one flesh. As this man and woman give themselves to each other today, the Holy Spirit is present to empower them, to fulfill their covenant and God's purpose for their lives."

"Marriage is an exciting occasion of two lives which were once totally separate entities losing their seperateness and becoming one in flesh. This unity is a constant choice to receive from the differences of one another. Back in the beginning of creation, God recognized that man needed a partner. He said, "It is not good for man to live alone, I will make a helpmate for him." The word "helpmate" literally means to fill in the gaps and to surround with aid. God knew that man was incomplete in himself, so he designed a helpmate to fill in the gaps in man's life. As you come together in the bond of matrimony today, God desires that you seek to continually find ways to complete each other. Today, you each bring into this union different personalities, different abilities, different opinions, different values and appreciations. You have come from different families and different backgrounds. And in bringing your differences you give to one another a part of life you did not have alone. It is as you learn to accept and value your differences that you will be effectively filling the gaps in each other and functioning as one flesh. With God's guidance and in submission to His lordship, you have both expressed that in finding each other, you have found the rest of you, your other self, your completer. Therefore, you have come together today to leave former dependencies and to cleave to each other and become one flesh. In becoming one flesh, you do not lose your individuality, but join a partner, with which to share it."

"Entering into this sacred relationship not only means a sharing of life together but it means a commitment of responsibilities to each other. The Bible makes clear these responsibilities in Ephesians 3:21-29. It says: "Honor Christ by submitting to each other. You wives must submit to your husband's leadership in the same way Christ is in charge of His body, the church. He haves his very life to take care of it and be its Savior. So you wives must willingly honor your husbands in everything just as the church honors Christ. And you husbands, show the same kind of love to your wife as Christ showed to the church when he died for her, to make her holy and clean . .. a glorious church without a single spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. . . that is how husbands should treat their wife, loving them as part of themselves. A man must love his wife as part of himself, and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband; obeying, praising and honoring him." From this portion of Scripture, there are several responsibilities, which require your pursuit and your diligence to do them. And when you do, you have God's guarantee of happiness and blessing upon your marriage. M, you are responsible to be the head of your household; as the head, you are to love Tegan with unconditional love, love her in a manner in which Christ loves the church and gives Himself continually for it. You are responsible to be the spiritual priest of your family, to teach and shape your family in the ways and knowledge of God. To pray for them and to live a godly example before them and to lead them in the pathways of righteousness. God's promise to you, Michael, as you fulfill these responsibilities, is found is Psalm 112, where it says that you will be blessed beyond expression and filled with happiness and delight because you have obeyed the Lord. Tegan, you are responsible to submit to M's headship and to support his leadership over you, in the same way you submit to the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to honor and reverence your husband, holding him in high esteem and admiration. You are to love him unconditionally and sacrificially, always seeking his best intent and good. You are responsible to be a home-maker, creating an atmosphere of godly love that is conducive to growth, peace and fruitfulness. God's promise to you, Tegan, as you fulfill these promises of loving support, is found in Proverbs 31, where it states that when you live this way, your husband will trust you with confidence and your children will bless you. Acknowledge with "We do" if you both understand and accept the responsibilities of the covenant you are about to pledge."

"We do" - M and Tegan

"At this time M and Tegan would like to present to each other the vows that they have prepared themselves. "

M: "Romans 8:32- "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." If you or anybody would have told me a year ago that I would be standing here today making these vows to you, I wouldn't have believed them. In fact I probably would have said, "You're real funny," or "That's real cute. Stop playing." I want to thank you for being my friend, for inviting me back to the Bible study, for showing me what the love of a Godly woman is, for choosing me to be your husband. You have been an answer to a long prayed prayer, and I praise God for that. Tegan, it's been a long journey with you, and now we stand at the end of one chapter to begin another. So with that I want to make my vow to you. For better of for worse, in sickness or in health, I vow to guard and protect you to love you and respect you. You are God's provision to me, a cherished blessing of my life and may I honor and keep what He has so graciously given me. In Genesis God said it wasn't good for Adam to be alone, and that he needed a helper, Tegan you are that helper. You've supported me in so many ways from giving me something to eat to praying for my wellness and success. You are the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31, you are worth far more than rubies. You are a woman that fears the Lord, and I praise God for it and cherish you because of that. You have shown me in so many ways of how a Godly woman stands out from the world with how you treat me with dignity and respect. When I'm down you build me up. When I'm wrong, you correct me with love. When I need someone to stand by me, you are there. I know that I couldn't ask for a
better woman to be my wife, and that is why I am here before God, our family, and friends to make a covenant with you until death do us part, to marry you."

"M, do you take Tegan to be your wife?"

"I do."

Tegan: "King Solomon’s beloved said after she had found Solomon “Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves, I held him and would not let him go.” You are my beloved M, the one that my heart loves. I hold onto you and I do not want to let you go. When you proposed to me M, you said that I was an answer to your prayer. You, M, are an answer to my prayer. I remember when I read John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” That night, I prayed and I asked the Lord for a husband, if it was His will. Then you and I became friends and you asked me to pray for you. As time went on, through that communication to the Lord about you, I found myself loving you. Later on, I came across another verse that I had first read a long time ago: Jeremiah 33:3. “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” The Lord has certainly answered those promises in you. You are more than I could ask or even imagine, you are a best friend, you are a comfort, you lift me up in ways that I didn’t know I could be lifted up, you make me want to be a selfless person, you have showed me what it means to really love unconditionally, you have showed me the true meaning of respect and what it is cherish and be cherished. M, you exemplify the love and forgiveness of Christ. In you, I see a reflection of the Light of the Son. You lead me to draw closer to Jesus. You protect and cherish our relationship. You take the duty of a Godly man and husband seriously. You honor Christ first with your heart and your life. You seek Jesus first, above all else. It is these reasons, Mike, why I am here today before you to give you my love, to give you myself. Why I am here before the Lord, our family and friends to make this scared covenant of marriage with you. King Solomon’s beloved said to him, as I say these words to you now, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death . . . Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it.” It is with these words today that I make my vows to you: I vow to be yours, to love, honor, respect and cherish you, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for as long as we both shall live."

"Tegan, do you take M to be your husband?"

"I do."

(Rings gotten from Sam and John)

"A ring is a very precious thing . . . a token of your faith and love. This ring is made of precious metal. It is a never ending circle that indicates the continuing love of God, a love that never ends and never fails. The love of God and your faith in His love is what causes His power to be released in your lives. I want you to wear these rings as a constant reminder of the confession of your faith that you have made today and to each other and to God."

(Exchange rings.)

"As a representative of Jesus Christ, before God and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I now pronounce you one together. You are now husband and wife."

"As the first act of their married life together, M and Tegan have chosen to partake together communion."
(Asher gives crackers to M and Abby gives wine glass to Tegan.)
"The table of communion symbolizes the self-giving and self-sacrificing love of our Savior, which must be the foundation of our relationship in the home. It is also the acknowledgment that this marriage is not a duet, but a trio- a man, a woman, and God, beginning a new life together. Just as the grains of wheat gave up their own identity to be blended into one bread, so too have you given up your own individual rights, to now become one flesh. Just as the grapes have poured out their substance to become one wine, so likewise, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you enter today a life-time of pouring out your substance one to another. The bread and cup then, represents to us the giving and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. Your oneness to each other will depend, to a large degree, upon your oneness with Him and your ability to be vessels of His love to each other. As you partake of this bread (take the bread) and drink this cup (take the cup), may you draw upon the faithfulness of Jesus, feasting upon Him who is the "Living Bread", who will enable you to lovingly give and serve one another."

(M and Tegan eat of bread and drink of wine and hand glass back to Abby.)

"Let us pray: Lord we ask for your blessing today upon the union that has been established here today. You are the author and sustainer of marriage and the celebration and ceremony that we witness today brings reminders of love, respect and commitment. We cannot fulfill these vows and responsibilities apart from you and I ask that you continue to show your presence and peace in their lives as they show your love to each other, day by day. We honor you first and pray a special blessing upon them today. Amen."

"You may kiss your bride."

M and Tegan kiss. :D :x

"May our God who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine, bless your hearts with love, your minds with peace, and your home with joy. Amen."

"M's parents have asked to present M and Tegan with a gift and then introduce them for the first time. Please come forward."

(Paul came forward and presented us with our family Bible.) "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Heb 4:12) (Paul presented us as Mr. and Mrs. V.)

(M and I walk down the aisle).

"M and Tegan have asked me to invite you to the reception that will be taking place at the senior center. It is just outside the gate and to my right. You are dismissed."

Our Wedding Vows

M's vow to me:

Romans 8:32- "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

If you or anybody would have told me a year ago that I would be standing here today making these vows to you, I wouldn't have believed them. In fact I probably would have said, "You're real funny," or "That's real cute. Stop playing."

I want to thank you for being my friend, for inviting me back to the Bible study, for showing me what the love of a Godly woman is, for choosing me to be your husband. You have been an answer to a long prayed prayer, and I praise God for that. Tegan, it's been a long
journey with you, and now we stand at the end of one chapter to begin another. So with that I want to make my vow to you.

For better of for worse, in sickness or in health, I vow to guard and protect you to love you and respect you. You are God's provision to me, a cherished blessing of my life and may I honor and keep what He has so graciously given me. In Genesis God said it wasn't good for Adam to be alone, and that he needed a helper, Tegan you are that helper. You've supported me in so many ways from giving me something to eat to praying for my wellness and success. You are the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31, you are worth far more than rubies. You are a woman that fears the Lord, and I praise God for it and cherish you because of that. You have shown me in so many ways of how a Godly woman stands out from the world with how you treat me with dignity and respect. When I'm down you build me up. When I'm wrong, you correct me with love. When I need someone to stand by me, you are there. I know that I couldn't ask for a
better woman to be my wife, and that is why I am here before God, our family, and friends to make a covenant with you until death do us part, to marry you.

My vow to M:

King Solomon’s beloved said after she had found Solomon “Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves, I held him and would not let him go.” You are my beloved M, the one that my heart loves. I hold onto you and I do not want to let you go. When you proposed to me M, you said that I was an answer to your prayer. You, M, are an answer to my prayer. I remember when I read John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” That night, I prayed and I asked the Lord for a husband, if it was His will. Then you and I became friends and you asked me to pray for you. As time went on, through that communication to the Lord about you, I found myself loving you. Later on, I came across another verse that I had first read a long time ago: Jeremiah 33:3. “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” The Lord has certainly answered those promises in you. You are more than I could ask or even imagine, you are a best friend, you are a comfort, you lift me up in ways that I didn’t know I could be lifted up, you make me want to be a selfless person, you have showed me what it means to really love unconditionally, you have showed me the true meaning of respect and what it is cherish and be cherished. M, you exemplify the love and forgiveness of Christ. In you, I see a reflection of the Light of the Son. You lead me to draw closer to Jesus. You protect and cherish our relationship. You take the duty of a Godly man and husband seriously. You honor Christ first with your heart and your life. You seek Jesus first, above all else. It is these reasons, M, why I am here today before you to give you my love, to give you myself. Why I am here before the Lord, our family and friends to make this scared covenant of marriage with you. King Solomon’s beloved said to him, as I say these words to you now, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death . . . Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it.” It is with these words today that I make my vows to you: I vow to be yours, to love, honor, respect and cherish you, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for as long as we both shall live.

Anecdotes of Married Life

I love being married to Mike. We laugh, we cry, we comfort we each other, we love each other, we minister to each other, and we do really funny things . . .

I would like to share a few things of humor which Mike and I have found to be most amusing . . .

*******
Mike had just finished washing his hands in the kitchen sink and was proceeding to try them. Bypassing not one, but TWO, kitchen towels on the counter, he turned and left the kitchen with dripping outstretched hands in search of something to dry them on. Just as he was reaching for something draped across the back of the computer chair in the dining area came the words "Stop!" in an urgent tone.

He looked at me questioningly, dripping hands poised over the new crimson fleece blanket Sarah had given me for my birthday.

"That's not a towel; it's a blanket!"

"Oh". I could see that perhaps it all looked the same as I handed him a kitchen towel.

Wet fleece blanket diverted.

*****
Mike and I had eaten lunch with Tom and Beth and family at McAlister's after church one Sunday. I had my hair in two braids and the braids were hanging in front of my shoulders and since that morning I didn't have any hair ties, I had secured them with a clip on each one.

As we got into the car, I glanced down and noticed that there was a clip missing. (I am weirdly attached to these two particular hair clips.)

Frantically, I looked up outside the car window and tried to retrace my path from the door of the deli to the car, searching for a purple clip on the ground, all the while thinking of when it might have slid off the braid.

"Mike, do you know what happened to my hair clip?"

"No, what hair clip?"

"My hair clip! [urgently, looking down at my braid] The one that was - [calm] oh, here it is. I found it."

Hair clip found. It had just slid down from direct line of sight, but it was still there. I readjusted said hair clip as Mike just burst into laughter.

We laughed together for at least a mile down the road.

*****
We were lying in bed one night and I was mulling over the next day's events and things I had to do.

"I think I'll shave my legs tomorrow." I mused aloud, to myself.

"Oh you don't h- - " Mike began and immediately his sentence was cut short as he placed his hand on my now-several-days-unshaved thigh. "--yeah, that sounds like a good idea."

And we burst into giggles . . .

(As a side note, since we are married now, I really would like to shave my legs more often, however that requires extra time standing in the shower and I can usually find something else to look forward upon exiting the shower. Either that, or it's just force of habit and I have to make a new habit. All together, I'm sure it's TMI for most of my readers. :) )

******
Last weekend, Mike took the laundry down to the laundry matt in the apartment complex. I discovered however, that he didn't take all of it, just some of it. (The reason Mike has been doing the laundry is because right now it's too heavy for me to carry all the way down there.) He stated that washing had gone up a quarter per load and we didn't have enough quarters (and that we had to buy a house in the spring).

I believed him. Why shouldn't I? I had thought we had enough money for two loads, but I could have been wrong.

Today, Mike is again doing laundry. Coming into the bedroom as Mike was getting ready to gather up the laundry basket to carry down, I noticed a few articles of clothing had been removed from the laundry basket. I had just added quarters to the quarter purse and counted, so I knew that we weren't short for two loads.

Upon pointing to the small pile of removed clothes, Mike said: "Oh, I was just going to do one load."

"But we have enough money for two."

"But in the dorms, you can only use one washer at a time." (Referring to the Air Force barracks that he lived in previous to our marriage.)

"You aren't in the dorms. It's okay to use more than one washer at a time, if they are available. You're paying for it."

"Oh, okay then."

"Is that why all the laundry didn't get done last weekend?"

"Yes, I thought you could only use one washer at a time."

I see, I thought myself. All I could do was kiss him and we laughed together.

*********
It's that time of month again, the first one in our married life together. So last night Mike and I were getting ready for bed and he was kindly putting away a few articles of underclothing into the dresser while I lay in bed and read my Bible. Holding up a pair of one his favorite articles of my underclothing, he wistfully said to it: "Well, it's going to be a while before you get worn again." (Referring to me menstruating and I prefer not to wear that kind of underwear during this time.)

I stopped reading and looked up at him, questioningly (almost knowing that this answer would eventually be a good laugh between us).

"It will only be a few days."

Mike's face lit up. "Oh, really? Well, in that case then . . ."

"How long did you think women were on their periods?"

"A month." as he put away some more undergarments.

"A month?!? You thought women menstruated for a month?" I couldn't believe he said a month!
"Well, yeah, I didn't know."

"Didn't you ever have sex ed?"

"No. Or if we did, I didn't pay attention."

"What about biology?"

"No, I would have taken that in high school and that was the year I started at Sunshine, so I opted to take Chemistry instead."

"I see." And smiling, went back to reading my Bible.
****
I'm sure there will be many more funny moments . . . .

There are a lot other that are more, shall we say, private, that I will not write. I am so glad and blessed to be married to one of my best friends. :)

04 November 2007

What a lost world we live in

I know it's almost 2000, and I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open, but I feel I must write about this particular need I have come across. Even though Mike and I have joined Capital Hill Baptist Church, we are also still technically members at LifeChurch.tv until membership runs out on Dec 31st, so I still receive their membership newsletters.

Of course, in typical LifeChurch.tv fashion, the newsletter is done via video with links for other videos or other sites that proclaim how great LifeChurch.tv is. One particular site is a fellow blogger here on blogspot who is apparently blogging about visiting area churches around him (I at least perceive the author to be a him) in Florida.

He wrote about his recent visit to LifeChurch.tv in Wellington, Florida, where LifeChurch has one of their numerous campuses. It was an interesting blog, well written. He wrote about the band (who played Soundgarden's Blackhole Sun ~ not a Christian song in the least), about the ambiance, about what his experience was like.

Thinking back to when I attended LifeChurch, it just made it even more clear to me that LifeChurch is not about Christ. Sure they, they say they are, that's what their mission is about. But they don't preach the gospel. This particular blogger didn't even write about what the sermon was really about. (http://www.revolutionfl.com/2007/10/lifechurchtv-wellington.html)

LifeChurch uses music, lights and technology to move people in a very loud and proud fashion. It's as if Pastor Craig thinks that the Word of God is not enough to move people. To convict people. Perhaps if Pastor Craig used more Scriptures and less parallels in common life, more people would truly come to know Jesus. And of course, where is the humility?

I'm digressing from what I originally set out to write here.

I read further on this particular blogger's page about other churches he visited. He wrote that in one particular church, the sermon seemed to be to only those who are Believers, thus leaving the visiting "nonbeliever" feel like an outsider. I have news for this person: church is for the believers, not the unbelievers. Church is where the believers gather to fellowship, to pray and to learn. Church is the body of Christ, ergo Believers. I could go on, but that's another blog I will have to write.

Furthermore, this blogger had an interesting link to an article written in Seattle, called "A Month of Sundays" where basically the editor sent 31 writers to 31 places of worship (not all were churches, there was one mosque, and one Jewish temple) to find out about some of the local churches of Seattle. The contributors to this article were definitely atheist (as self proclaimed by most.) Reading about all of these atheist going to the church and about what they wrote about church was really sad. There was perhaps one writer who it looks like might have a seed planted. I pray that it was and that the Lord will water that seed.

Honestly I had no idea how serious the atheist problem is in this country. I'm not really sure where I've been, but the real mission field is absolutely right here in the USA. You know, whenever I thought about going into missions, I always thought about countries a far off, who spoke a language I didn't know, and perhaps would have to learn. It seems that the greatest mission field is right here in my own country, and the good news is, the language is predominantly English.

Perhaps Mike and I should move to Seattle. There's a lot of lost people who are really hurting. Of course, those people are right here in Oklahoma City as well.

Maybe I should start at LifeChurch. The people at LifeChurch came there because they are hurting. They just aren't getting the real Jesus Christ at LifeChurch; they are being deceived. Kyle ~ if you're reading this, perhaps I will join you in what you wrote about. About going to LifeChurch and standing outside the doors to share the Good News of Christ.

You know, perhaps I didn't realize because there are so many churches here in the US. There's a church on an awful lot of street corners in just about every city you go to. Perhaps there's a lot more Laodicea out there than I thought. LifeChurch isn't the only one.

It will most definitely have to be done with love though. And nothing else.

01 November 2007

Private Thoughts

Grief: total response to the emotional experience related to loss

Bereavement: subjective response to loss

Mourning: behavioral response leading to resolution

Feelings associated with grief: unpleasant feelings without warning; sadness, helplessness, fear, anxiety, anger, rage, frustration, depression. Increased feeling of vulnerability because it reminds us of our human weaknesses; feeling of lack of control

Hebrews 4:15 - 16 "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

These are all points from my nursing class today in Concepts. We had a guest speaker, Prof. Laubacher's father. He graduated from nursing school in 1964 (?) and then went to seminary to become a chaplain. It was a very good lecture.

Kind of hit home a bit.

It struck me that is why I have been so sad lately: I have been grieving the loss of nursing school and that that death carries with it. You know, I had my plans figured out (not the original plans, the plans that I came up with after getting sick and having to drop my clinical classes in nursing school, etc). Then I go to school today (which I was so tired this morning I almost didn't go), and here is this Pastor, who gave a really wonderful lecture, talking about spirituality and how many times he has shared his faith with people, and not just as a chaplain, but as a nurse.

I really don't know what to do.

There was the whole issue of the massive amount of debt that I accumulated while in the hospital. The Lord has answered that prayer. It turns out that Mike and I have so much in savings, that when we put our savings together, we have enough to pay the hospital bills. It also helped that the hospital bills were not as much as I originally thought. Close to 10K, but not over, like I originally thought.

After much praying and reading and talking to Mike and friends and family and A LOT of internal contemplations (basically it's all I've been thinking about and what the Lord's will is for my life), I had decided to go back to work in the spring, but just part time. I was going to do that to pay off the debt. I had decided to drop out of nursing school. I was pretty upset about that decision. But I had been upset about even the contemplation of that decision prior to its' making.

The thought of not being a nurse, having to give up nursing. Choosing to give up nursing. I felt like I had no direction in my life. Nursing is what I have been thinking of and dreaming of and planning for and looking forward to for years. I want to care for people and take care of people. To have that gone, at my choosing. I almost felt like I no longer knew why I was here, what my point was in being on this Earth. Of course my point is to make disciples and I know that. And of course Mike and I are married and we will raise a family. I wouldn't say I had come to peace with my decision, but I had made it, and though shaky, I was going to stick with it. I felt it was a mistake, something I would always regret, but I didn't know what else to do.

Then I come to class today. (Not to mention that my group and I just finished our concept analysis paper this week on the connection between spirituality and healing.) And here is Pastor Leon giving verses in class and sharing stories of people who have come to know the Lord through him. In class, at a state university. Normally that is something unheard of (you never hear of getting Saved by Jesus in class and that is the way to Heaven or that only Christ can save you).

What is going on here? Why is this such a hard decision to make?


"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." I Pet 1:6-7

"Come now, you who say, "today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:13-17

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, annointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven." James 5:13 - 15

"And he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast of my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.



So here I am, still at an utter and complete loss, in so many different ways. There are so many things that I want to write about how I feel, but I will not write them here. Not on this blog.

Normally reading the Word and searching the Scriptures and writing out my thoughts helps me to clarify things in my life. That too, it seems, has been taken from me. Which leads to other thoughts . . . things taken. If the Lord is removing things from my life, here is a list of what has been removed and what remains (in no particular order).

Removed:
Nursing School
Health
Work
Strength (physical and emotional)
Clarity of mind? (I have a lot of memory problems and trouble concentrating)
Direction in life
Savings (to use while in school to pay for my truck)

Remains:
Mike
Thomas and family
Bible Study
Church
Home
Truck (to get around)

So the things not removed in my life are family and friends. Is the Lord trying to show me that those are the most important things in life? Am I so stubborn and proud that even my health must be removed to see this?

I have had a lot of things taken from me before in my life: loved ones, homes, material possessions, jobs ~ big things in life. I have not had my health removed from me before like this. To feel so utterly weak, physically weak. If you have not been here, it is hard to convey the despair (if that is the right word). I can not do the things that I want. I can't even walk as fast as I normally walk. (And those who know me know that I always just zip right along, wherever I go. I can't even do that.) I don't feel like me. To have the simplest thing removed. Even though I am only taking two classes now, it really wears me out to go to class. Just the drive alone is so tiring. The whole way back I have cruise control on and I'm just thinking to myself, okay, almost there, just a little further. I wonder when this will end . . . how long will I feel like this. I do know that I am getting better, it's just a very slow process.

I also know that the Lord does have a plan. I don't ask why I got sick. I know there is a why. I don't question the why. It's the what that I can't figure out. It's the what is it that I am supposed to be doing that I am not doing.

"Let your conduct be without covetousness: be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldy say: "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13: 5- 6

"Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11