Monday, March 26, 2007

A Load of Horse P**p?

Oh my goodness--it has been two whole weeks since I posted on this thing! I feel like I've been in high gear and didn't even realize how much time had past. When I stopped and thought about what had kept me so busy over the past few weeks, I thought it made for a pretty interesting list...
*Moved my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law (is that a word?) to Marshall from Jeffersonville, IN.
*Graded ninety-some "Works Cited" exercises from my students. (Ah...remember good ol' MLA documentation style, former students?)
*Tried to push blue spruce, douglas fir, and crown vetch on acquaintances to help the girls with a 4-H fundraiser (get your orders in now!).
*Packed up the family for a weekend getaway (which included the first item listed above).
*Filled out a THICK employment packet for my new job--okay, still workin' on that one.
*Enjoyed to the fullest extent Jen's posts about Cootie, Easter egg dying, and a heart-beatin' butt...(my sides still ache).
*Admired Missy's knack for keeping the men in her family closely cropped and clean-cut.
*Admired Missy's knack for keeping committed to a very difficult complaint fast.
*Enjoyed reading everyone's reactions and experiences while taking their own complaint fasts.
*Wondered why I'm not yet doing a complaint fast.
*Got all sentimental and nostalgic and wistful lookin' at the pictures on Gretchen's new blog.
*Made preparations for being out of town next week on vacation--okay, still workin' on that too.
*And last but not least, I helped Shane unload a truck bed full of horse poop onto our garden at 9:00 last night. No really. We did. The moon was beautiful. And we should have a bumper crop this summer. :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Number 12

Yesterday, my honey and I "celebrated" our twelfth anniversary. I use the term "celebrated" in sort of an unconventional way, though. We didn't go out to a nice restaurant, we didn't take a trip, and we didn't exchange gifts. But it was definitely a celebration. We didn't do any typical anniversary-type "stuff," maybe because it was Sunday and by the time we got home from church it was already 1:00. Or maybe because we had band practice in the evening. Or maybe because we'd celebrated Valentine's Day and both our birthdays in the last month. Or maybe because we didn't want to have to pay a sitter when we knew Shane's mom would be here later this week and she'd watch the kids for free...
Or maybe it was because after twelve years that have seen highs--new and exciting jobs, a housebuilding project, establishing a life in this community, growing spiritually, and having children--as well as lows--miscarriage, infertility, depression, and other hard knocks--we know that no card or special gift can even begin to capture what we know we share. Now, I like cards, and dinners out, and gifts. A lot. But trying to "fit them in" yesterday would've somehow felt like a forced celebration, ya know?

Oh, but it was a GRAND celebration...

In the afternoon we loaded up kids, canine, and bikes in the truck and went to Lincoln Trail for a nice family bike ride. It only lasted about a quarter mile though, because on the other side of the dam was a little pier. If you know our kids at all, you know that rocks, water, and potential treasure can occupy them for hours. And Penny, our chocolate lab (who is very strong) was kind of tough to manage on her leash from a moving bike. She was actually pulling Shane at one point! So at this little area, I soaked in the beauty of an early spring day and enjoyed the company of the people I love best. I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am and I'm tearing up even now just thinking about it.

The picture above relates to sort of an inside scoop that I'll letcha in on. When Shane was little, his family nicknamed him "Bug" because he crawled around so fast. The name stuck and his Dad still calls him that to this day. I guess that makes him my Love Bug. :-)

So on the day after our 12th Anniversary, please know how much I love you, Baby. God has paired us up for great purposes (three of which are already revealed!) and I'm so honored to be your wife. Happy Anniversary. I wouldn't have wanted to spend it any other way.

Monday, March 5, 2007

My Shining Star

Friday night I was on the way to church for Ladies Night Out. I was slated to give the devotional and I saw this as kind of a defining event. Some of you know that for the last year and a half or so, I've felt the call from God to do some sort of speaking/writing ministry, but lately it seems to have kind of stalled out.

(Ever been there? God shows in numerous ways that He wants you to do something, but when it doesn't happen in our way or our time, we begin to question whether we heard the call correctly? Or even at all?)

So anyway, I was just kind of nervous about the whole thing because without realizing it, I had begun to associate the outcome of this one devotion as the confirmation from God to continue on this path or not.

As I got to the south edge of town, with the western sky on my left, I noticed what a truly beautiful evening it was. It was crisp and completely cloudless. The sun was already below the horizon, but it left that lovely graduation of blazing orange, to pink, to purple, to blue, to deep vast nighttime sky. And in that deeper blue, there was one bright, glittering star. Now, I know that Jesus is the "morning" star (Isaiah 14:12, II Peter 1:19, Rev. 22:16), but when my eye was caught by that evening star in all its solitary splendor, I felt His presence wash over me, encouraging me that He was with me. I was reminded that everything (no matter the outcome!) will be alright. I just needed to give it to Him and all would be fine. He reminded me that I was obedient in the message I was sharing, that I'd prayed through the preparation and practice, and that the rest was up to Him. Ahh, Freedom! I was simply the messenger and His will would be done, even if I messed up. How truly liberating.
II Peter 1:19--And we have word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts...21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)