Monthly Archives: January 2012

The worst storm of my life…

The worst storm of my life...

So the title of this blog is a lot deeper and more dramatic than the contents of this blog. However, In an effort to validate my extreme horror and despair yesterday on my commute from Wheaton to downtown Chicago, I write.

I drove from the city out to Elmhurst yesterday to have a lovely lunch with my sister on her break from teaching. The High School she teaches at is beautiful, and I had a great time. She gave me a beautiful purse and a hand-sewn eyemask filled with buckwheat to help me relax at the end of my yoga practices 🙂

I then ventured through the lightly falling snow a couple suburbs west to Wheaton, beloved Wheaton. Wheaton is beautiful and is filled with nostalgia from my college days. I got to see my dear friend, Aubrey, and visit with her for a couple hours before I decided it would be a good idea to beat the inbound Friday night traffic and head back to our downtown hotel. It was snowing all day, but I didn’t realize how much the snow had picked up.

I proceeded to move at an average pace of 6 miles per hour, making a 24 mile commute 4 HOURS. It was literally the most hellish experience I have ever had. I was alone, angry, and claustrophobic…stuck on an expressway with no way out. Bumper to bumper, the whole entire way back to my hotel.

My adrenaline and stress mechanisms were in full force, and I arrived at the hotel frazzled and frustrated. To add to the horror of this trip, I lost a new earring and a glove.

I think God gave me this experience to teach me that I would never survive in Chicago, or any city for that matter. I simply don’t have the patience on the road. So I will gladly go back to my “small town” tomorrow, and smile when my snowy commute only takes a couple extra minutes.

I called my mom, whining and freaking out about how I shouldn’t have tried to drive or visit friends on such a snowy day …and she said something that really made sense. “Hindsight vision is always 20/20.” That helped me breathe and just let go. This is so true, isn’t it?

God, I know I asked for you to teach me patience…but really?!?

Here’s to praying for a better drive on our way home tomorrow…praying and begging. Don’t use driving to teach me patience tomorrow!

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Imax: over the flipping top.

Imax: over the flipping top.

YOU KNOW HOW WHEN YOU READ THINGS IN ALL CAPS, YOU GET THE IDEA THAT THAT PERSON IS A LITTLE OVER THE TOP AND MAYBE ANGRY AND IT’S KINDA OVERWHELMING?!

Well, I would like to calmly tell you what is overwhelming-over-the-top-made-me-want-to-scream-thought-my-head-was-going-to-explode!

The imax.

Holy moley. We tried to go see Mission Impossible on our date night last night. 🙂 I am not an experienced movie-time-checker and failed to notice that the movie time I had picked was only available in the Imax theatre.

Since we were already at the movies (on time, which is rare for us) we decided that the $1.50 extra for the Imax might be a fun new experience!

How. Wrong. We. Were.

It was cool that it was big and still clear. I don’t know how they do that. However, our eardrums are probably ruined forever. We sat in the theatre through 25 minutes of previews and 5 minutes of the movie trying to decide if we could stand it.

We couldn’t. It was unnaturally loud. I think it must have been a mistake by RAVE theatres. SO, we ended up leaving the theatre and grabbing a shake (not a bad trade off) and coming back half an hour later for the regular theatre showing.

Wow. So much better!! Loved the movie. Loved that the starring actress was curvy-sexy instead of stick-thin 🙂 I will be back for MI-5 for sure. In the regular theatre, because I’m not going deaf yet, and I don’t want to be soon.

Thoughts?

60 minutes with God.

Does that sound like a long time to you?

It did to me. I signed up anyway for an hour slot in the Holy Yoga prayer vigil, lifting up ONENESS and unity in the global church and devoting ourselves and our ministries in prayer. I followed a guide that we were given as a resource. It broke the hour up into 12  5-minute sections.

It rocked my world. I signed up at 5am to get my butt committed to getting out of bed, and let me tell you…I have never loved 5am so much. That sounds sarcastic, but it’s not! I literally thought I wouldn’t be able to do it (ADD, fall asleep, start doing chores…) but I filled up my hour and even went over by a little bit. God is so gracious. I have been praying for that hour all week, that I would be able to focus and hear from God. The best part was that I had this big chunk of TIME blocked out in my life for God. I didn’t feel rushed. I felt calm and loved and peaceful. I wanted to share some of my insights…it was an emotional hour. One of the best times I have ever spent with God. So new and fresh, and I feel absolutely called to do it again. And again…

I’ll take you through the different “sections” of prayer, and share what I felt God speaking to me. For more details on how this works, read the QC Breathe Blog from yesterday.

1. Praise and Worship 

I didn’t feel like singing at 5am, but I listened to “I breathe you in, God.” by Brian and Katie Torwalt. Not available on Spotify…but it is on itunes. I sat in child’s pose and just entered in. The lyrics that spoke to me I journaled, “When I don’t understand, I will choose you.” Already crying. First 5 minutes. (this line stuck out to me because I don’t understand God, in good ways and some in confusing ways, but I trust and know that He is good.)

2. Waiting on the Lord 

This scripture came to me , “The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him. To those who rely on his unfailing love.” -Lamentations 3:25

3. Confession 

Need I say more? Humbling=5 minutes of uninterrupted confession and repentance. Turning away from my sin.

4. Praying Scripture 

Meditated on Lamentation 3:25, read aloud Psalm 68, “The righteous have reason to be GLAD before the Lord.” Happy and Joyful are his people in salvation.

5. Watching 6. Intercession 7. Petitions

“Devote yourselves in prayer, being watchful and thankful.” -Col 4:2

Just praying for what God brings into my mind and heart. Interceeding on behalf of others. Praying for the desires of my heart. Crying out to God. Pleading for the nations. Begging for God to call the lost to Himself.

8. Thanksgiving 

SO much to be thankful for.

9. Song 

I was running behind…so I didn’t go back and listen to another song. It was still too early to sing. 🙂

10. Meditation 

Meditation meaning “reflect on a section of scripture more deeply.” Sit and think about it. Let it sink in. I meditated on the creation and the fall. It was black outside still, and I thought of God creating light out of the deepest darkness. I meditated on the creation of animals, man and woman. Then I thought through the fall, and how it must have hurt God so deeply. We aren’t the only ones who have been hurt and betrayed. Yet God still provided for his children.

11. Listening 

Sitting in silence and listening for God’s voice. This was my favorite part. I heard him saying, “Do not fear. I will give you children. You are alive in me-walk in that alive-ness. Your children are safe. I am enough for them. I love you. Thank you for drawing near to me this morning.”

I didn’t audibly hear God, but I wrote those things down as they came into my mind. I was weeping, and it was a really precious time.

12. Praise 

 I just ended with a prayer of thanks, and a strong amen…wanting to come back for more soon.
I would challenge you to an hour of prayer. It’s WAY WAY WAY easier than you would think. It’s so cool. Jesus often withdrew to pray alone…even through the night. Jesus wept. I want to be like Jesus.
Peace.

Grandparents are awesome.

I just wanted to give a little shout out to all of our rockin grandparents. This year for Christmas, we  wrote letters to all of our grandparents and tell them how much they mean to us.

Why is this important? Because you never know how long the people you love are going to be in your life. We don’t tell our loved ones enough how loved they are, so we took the opportunity to do that this year for our grandparents. It felt SO GOOD! We got responses from of all of them that made us feel like it really was the best gift we could give them. It is also awesome that this amazing gift costs you: $0.00 =) I’m all about being thrifty.

Why are they awesome?

A) they bake and cook delicious things. From scratch.

B) They have STORIES. Awesome life stories that you can’t find at the store.

C) They have so much love to give.

D) They’re never in a rush.

E) They are WISE.

F) They give you things your parents don’t.

G) They send you mail. I LOVE GETTING MAIL!!

Don’t you love getting REAL handwritten mail? I don’t get it very often, but when I do it’s either from my super artsy fartsy sister, or a grandparent. I Love it…and just like I did when I was a kid, I RUSH to open it and cannot wait to see who it is from and what kind of a card it is. Cards are so my favorite. I wish I could write greeting cards. Okay…tangent….back to the grandparent thing:

I’m so thankful to still have grandparents who are still alive and kickin. Love yours while they’re still around…

This is a picture of Kevin and I (and his goofy older brother in the background) with his wonderful Grandma Judy who loves chocolate and pizza. She is so sweet. (except for the fact that she thinks our dog is ugly. He is NOT ugly. He is cute, at least we think. =) I have included a picture so you can see our sweet dog who makes my day every time I come home. I am thankful for him too. 

 

A little 2012 Planning Retreat!

A little 2012 Planning Retreat!

Call us dorky, but we like planning.

A couple nights ago we stayed at a local OLD hotel. (and by local I mean we could have literally walked there from our house if it wasn’t 30 degrees outside. =)

We bought a deal from the QC times half-off website and then paid an additional 10 dollars to get a suite! So that staircase leads up to the bedroom and then there is a sweet fire place that we kept burning pretty much the whole time we were awake!

The planning mostly consisted of planning our 2012 vacation (we decided on Breckenridge CO), planning our finances, and then setting out and reviewing our goals.

I know we don’t have kids yet, so you may think we’re crazy. But occasionally it’s nice to put yourself in a different environment…especially one that doesn’t have dishes and laundry screaming to be washed and put away. Word?

Here’s to a great 2012, friends. I am so thankful to have you in my life. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement throughout the difficult last couple years. Here’s to a year that, God willing, will be the best yet. Cheers!