Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Practically Perfect in Every Way

Last night I was able to go see Mary Poppins at the Civic Center.  It was really good.  It is a movie that I have loved for a long time, so it had a lot to live up to.  I'm not sure that I would say the play was better than the movie, but it was good.  New songs and revised old songs.  The highlight was definitely the song "Step in Time."  Excellent.  At one point during the song, Bert, with cables attached, walked up the side of the stage, upside down across the top of the stage, and then down the other side.  It was so cool!

I sat with Kari, Jan, and Kari's parents.  This was during intermission.  There were some technical difficulties that stopped the show twice.  It was not great, but it will make the memories last longer. :)  I was singing Mary Poppins songs throughout the day today.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chick-fil-a Take One; Chick-fil-a Take Two

Chick-fil-a opened in Peoria on Wednesday :). I don't know that you can comprehend my elation. Well, I guess if you think about a restaurant that you love that you can only have when you visit family because it is so far away. And then think about having that restaurant five minutes from your house. Comprehension! Here are photo memories of my Chick-fil-a experiences:
 This is a really bad picture of the day before they opened with some of the tents set up when people camped out for 24 hours to get a year of free food.
 Thursday morning of opening, I was getting ready for work and decided that I would surprise my coworkers with chicken biscuits.  Here I am at the drive through.
 There was only one car ahead of me.  In this picture I was trying to get the sign on the side of the building.  And I was trying to be quick about it so that I would have my money ready, although there wasn't anyone behind me, so I could have taken my time.
 The sign at the front of the building. :)
 Friday I was off of work, so I found some friends who could go for lunch.  At one point we had a kids table and an adult table, but then we felt guilty using up two tables, so we each had a kid on our laps.  In the background you can see all the people at the counter and the people who couldn't get in the door. It was crazy.  But the food was still good!  And the customer service was still amazing!
 Hudson was my table buddy.  One day we will get a picture with him smiling!
And for those of you wondering, I will not always be this excited about Chick-fil-a.  It is one of my favorite places to eat, but now that it is five minutes from my house, it will become just like any other place I like to eat at.  I won't talk about it all the time.  I won't be fixated on getting it when I go other places that have it.  You might never hear about it again.  :)  But I will still love it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Raise your hand if you locked your keys in your car yesterday!

 I did! I did! :) And what a comedy of errors it was...

Last night I went to a cookout at Kari's parent's house. I parked, put my keys in the console, got out of the car, took two steps, and realized that I had hit the lock button on the car door before I got out. And I left my cell phone in my car. It wasn't convenient, but it wasn't a huge deal either. I have a spare key in the apartment. But Emily was going to be gone until after 9. So I called her to see if she could go by the apartment before she went to dinner and leave the apartment unlocked. My plan was to have someone take me to the apartment to get my spare and take me back to my car. She said she would do that. (I know it wasn't ideal to leave the apartment unlocked but it was just what needed to be done). About 15 minutes later, Emily called Kari's phone to talk to me. She started by saying, "So...we have a little problem." She had left her apartment key on her desk at work in Bloomington 45 minutes away. So, we had to pay to have someone from the apartment come let us in. Kari's mom offered to drive me to my apartment to get my spare key, but sometime in the evening I realized that could borrow someone's car and go get my keys myself.  I borrowed Nancy's van and went and got my keys.  Halfway back to the house, I realized that I should have had someone drive me to get my keys because I didn't have my license.  Don't worry...I didn't get pulled over.  But could you imagine how that would have gone over if I had been pulled over?  "No, officer, this is not my van.  No, officer, I don't have my license.  Yes, officer, I will go down to the station with you."  Really, I would have tried to convince him to follow me to the house where he could have a hot dog! :)  I got to the house without incident and got home with my own car later.  Since there had been a bonfire at the house, I wanted to take a shower to wash the smoke smell out of my hair.  As I was shutting off the water, I realized I had locked the apartment door when I got home and if Emily had come home while I was in the shower, she couldn't get in!  I threw my towel on and ran for the door, grabbing my phone on the way.  Emily HAD gotten home and texted me and called me!  :)  Luckily, she had only been at the door for a minute or two!  But now we both have our keys...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Snakes in the bed.

Snakes under the table.  Snakes in the plants.  This is the dream I had last night.  I moved into a new apartment.  And one of the things the apartment furnished the apartment with was this long stick with a pokey thing at the end to grab the snakes and throw them outside.  I was NOT okay with this.  But, in the dream I also never considered finding a new apartment!  I would just freak out any time I saw a snake and make someone else use the stick to get rid of it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Where, O death, is your victory?

On Sundays at church, my pastor is going through a series on the life of David.  Today, he preached about the death of Saul and how David mourned for Saul.  He focused on lessons we can learn considering the subject of death.  A few months ago, I heard on the radio something about the average person reaching the peak of their beauty at the age of 32.  As a 33 year old, I thought, "Oh great, now I have nothing to look forward to!" :)  There are many days that I feel really old.  Now, I know that those of you in your 60s reading this are thinking, "33 isn't old at all!  Wait till she's 60!"  But isn't it all about perspective.  I'm the oldest I've ever been, so it feels old.  I can look at the high schoolers and think, "Man, they don't know anything about being in their 30s!"  And to the 60 year olds, don't you think the 80 year olds are laughing at you when you say you are old?  But here is what I learned today about getting old and about death. 
1.  We cannot avoid death.
2.  Whatever God requires of us as we approach the end of our lives, He will provide the grace to go through it.
3.  We need not fear the day He has ordained for our death because, as a believer, death serves to introduce us to heaven.
4.  Death never has the final word for the believer because Christ overcame death for us.
5.  Our best days are yet to come!  Even if I feel old and my temporary body is wasting away (since I've already reached my peak :)!), Jesus overcame death and secured eternal life for me.  Because Christ died and rose again, all those who are in Him will die and be raised again.  I have something much more eternal to look forward to!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How fall is a lot like an extended fireworks display

Two things I love that I get to compare today!  Fireworks and fall leaves on trees.

Every year during leaf changing season I see a certain color tree and think, "Oooh, that's my favorite!"  And I get really excited.  But for some reason, every year, I forget that leaves change in shifts.  So then the next tree starts to change color and I think, "Wait, no, that's my favorite!"  But then the other tree has already lost all it's leaves so I cannot do a true comparison. :)  It doesn't really matter because they are all beautiful and I enjoy the extended display.

The other day, I realized it is the same with fireworks.  Every year one explodes in the sky and I think, "Oooh, that's my favorite!"  But then the next one explodes after that and I get really excited and think, "Wait, no, that's my favorite!"  But then they never explode side by side for a comparison.  So, I just have to accept that I can like both of them for different reasons.

So, fall leaves are a lot like an extended fireworks display without the booms!

Happy Beautiful Fall Day!

Friday, October 19, 2012


Today was a good day!  Here are three reasons it was great:

1.  Friday was actually the best day I had at work (which is most interesting because I was originally going to take the day off and instead worked a full 8 hours).  It was a great end to a pretty stinky week.  Thanks everyone who prayed for me at Bible study last night.  Today was proof that prayer works!  I have been feeling like I have been overly pessimistic the last couple of weeks and shared in Bible study that I'd like to have a better attitude and be joyful and find the good things in a bad situation. 
2.  A relative of one of my clients likened me to the Antichrist.  Really it was my profession they likened to the Antichrist, but it made me laugh out loud!  And I feel like I'm going to use that for a good long time when I am feeling down at work.  My client defended me by saying, "She doesn't drink.  She doesn't cuss.  And I'm pretty sure she doesn't believe in premarital sex."  In other words, at least my client doesn't think I'm the Antichrist!
3.  I got to play with some great kids in the nursery at church while their parents attended the Creation Conference.  Nothing like a great group of 1-3 year olds who are willing to entertain themselves.  And sit in your lap to cuddle.  And have no accidents in their pants.  And make you laugh.  And say they want to stay and play instead of going home.  And didn't cry even though it was probably past everyone's bedtime before the conference was over.

And I don't even have any lowlights to share.  It was just a great day.  Take that pessimism!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I love fall! Today, as I left my apartment, I had to go back for my camera.  The early sun shining on the trees with the blue sky as the background inspired me.  Then, when my second client cancelled and I was driving back to my office frustrated, I happened to pass the bottom of Grand View Drive and decided to take a drive and take some pictures.  It was a great way to regroup.  And I got to play with my camera some more!

The tree below is actually right by our dumpster :).  It makes throwing away the trash a little more beautiful of a task!

The shot below is natural light.
And this next one is taken with the "pop" feature on my camera.  It makes all the colors pop (duh!)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Chair, Part 2

Here's two ways this post could go in order to best follow-up with yesterday's post:
Post #1:  Emily said, "Forget you!  I live here too and you can't tell me to put my chair outside!"  Because obviously, Emily and I yell at each other very emphatically all the time.

Post #2:  I relented and told her she could move her new chair in today, but only because it is raining outside.  Then it has to go back outside.

Reality is, Emily picked up her new chair yesterday, but they had just sprayed it with the protectant stuff.  They suggested she leave it outside for a little while to air it out.  The chair was only outside for about 45 minutes.  And I had nothing to do with it! :)  I wish I could have taken a video of Emily trying out her new chair last night.  We were both laughing at the seriousness with which she approached the responsibility of finding the perfect position to sit in her chair.  She loved her old chair, and this one will take a little getting used to, but I think she is going to like it!  And it is made specifically for shorter people.  I'm not really sure why she felt the need to get a chair made for short people.  I think it was because it would fit better in the apartment.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Living with a roommate

Emily got a new chair.  She brought it home.  I said, "No way!  You can't have a new chair!"  And I made her put it outside.

How do you define comfort?

Last weekend was the Singles' retreat at my church.  I almost didn't go.  I actually fought with myself about why I didn't want to go.  I was very assured in the fact that I'm getting too old for these things.  I like my own bed.  I don't like when I don't get enough sleep.  And I am kind of grouchy to be around when I don't get enough sleep.  And it lasts throughout the whole next week when I don't get enough sleep for two days in a row.  Plus, I have not been hanging out with the group as much and felt like it might be a little awkward.  I tried not to be reassured when I learned that many of my friends were going.  I tried not to be reassured when I started forming friendships with the newer people in the group now that I am attending Bible study with them.  I just didn't want to go.  I was  comfortable not going.

But, when my stubbornness is not kicking in, I am kind of a pushover.  So I got talked into going. Friday night came and I was still a little skeptical.  I was willing to go, but I didn't have to be super joyful about it!  Friday night I loaded into one of the church vans and headed to a camp about 45 minutes away to join around 40 other people.  We arrived at the camp at 8:30 and, to this old soul, it was already late.  But we had our first session that night.  And what did Dan start off talking about?

How do you define comfort?  Really, God?  Is this a joke?  Because I define comfort as laying on the couch with a good book or a good movie or a good TV show.  Not listening to a speaker at 9:00 at night.  And yet I was sucked in.  Yes, I find comfort in these things.  Plus a hooded sweatshirt on a cold night.  And hot chocolate.  And lazy Saturday mornings.  And family.  And bright sunshine on a clear day.  But do any of these things bring me lasting comfort?  The Bible clearly says no!  Only my relationship with Jesus Christ can bring me the kind of comfort that I crave.  Everything else will not last.  The cup of hot chocolate will get cold.  The book will end.  The sweatshirt will shrink or fade with age or it will get too hot and I won't be able to wear it.  The sun will set or it will rain.  None of these things can bring me lasting comfort. 

Over the course of the weekend, Dan spoke from the first four chapters of 2 Corinthians.  We talked about comfort in the midst of suffering.  I realized how easy it is for me to want to be delivered out of being uncomfortable instead of seeking comfort in the midst of a situation.  I learned that I am to be the aroma of Christ to an unbelieving generation.  I learned that I cannot know Christ if I am not seeking His promises and claiming them as my own.  I learned that I am like a jar of clay that should be clean, ready to be filled by Christ, and available for God's use. 

And to top it off, I got more sleep than I expected.  I was still tired and it was still a hard week.  But it was worth the things I learned.  It was worth it because I grew in my knowledge of who God is in my life.  I had great fellowship with friends in Christ.  I made new friends and reconnected with old friends.  I laughed until I cried on at least three occasions (and there were probably more).  I was humbled by my sin.  And I rejoiced that God has not given up on me yet.

How do you define comfort?  And how will you be challenged to define comfort different than you have in the past?