Tuesday, March 30, 2010
- MARCH MADNESS did NOT disappoint. It is the best sporting event of the year, and this year was very dramatic. I was up late a few too many nights, but it was worth it (hello, double overtime K State/Xavier game!!!!!!!!!).
- The SUN! I. love. daylight. savings. spring. forward.
- The WARM-UP! This is the first year in history (or since records were kept) that we did not get any snow in March. It is 70 degrees out right now!! Most of the snow has been gone for weeks. I really love it.
- I didn't travel this March, but that was one of my favorite things, since I did SO much traveling at the start of this year. I really needed to do some "nesting" and "grounding", which I feel that I did, so I'm pleased.
Monday, March 29, 2010
- Half marathon training: My race is completely sneaking up on me, and I have been HORRIBLE with my training. I'll never be ready for it unless I take the 4 nights a week, an hour each night (at this point), that I need for running. Boring, but I gotta do it.
- Nutrition: I'm taking a nutrition class for six weeks (more on that some other post) which dominates one otherwise-free night of my week, but it is also taking a lot more of my time in grocery shopping (which we all know I NEVER did, but now I have to go every couple of days to get more fresh food) and cooking.
- Dog-sitting: I will be dog-sitting three days this week, and four-days next week, so that always takes a little bit more of my time
Thursday, March 25, 2010
- a tissue box as a plastic bag dispenser
- a dryer sheet as a pan cleaner (put it in the bottom of an especially hard-to-clean pan, fill it with warm water, let it sit overnight)
- a tea strainer as a sugar duster for bars, etc.
- a toothbrush as a corn on the cob cleaner
- a ketchup bottle as a pancake-batter dispenser
- a toothpick as a sewing aid (put it between the button and your clothing to create the right space - not too tight, not too loose)
"Understanding the difference between hope and expectations is critical if we are to allow our future to be shaped by God. Hope longs for good but is able to be flexible about how that good might appear. Expectation grasps at solutions and becomes easily attached to outcomes. When we are hopeful, our imagination and creativity flourish. But when we are locked in expectations, it is easy to turn our picture of the possible future into an idol." (page 87)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Mark 11:22-24 : 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
SplashYou're gonna splashWherever you goYou're gonna crashLike a wave'Cause you're a party getting startedEverywhere you goBound to be broken-heartedAnd make angels in the snowBound to loveBound to hateBound to give andBound to takeBound to make a splashYou're such a beautiful tornadoYou could blow the century downAnd still deserve a standing OFor any beauty you had foundYou're bound to be someone whoPeople promise big things toYou're bound to cryBound to crashBound to make a splash
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I have really grown in my patience over the last few years, but I still have a long way to go. I got a good reminder of why I need to grow my patience this last week at Bible study: because the Lord is extremely patience with us, and I need to strive to be more like God.
The Lord’s patience is what really stood out to me while learning about Gideon. When Gideon was told he needed to save Israel from the Midianites, he doubted he was able to. So the Lord reassured him. But Gideon was still skeptical. So he tested the Lord. Gideon asked him to make his fleece wet and the ground around it dry. You start to think “ummm..Gideon. This is the Lord. You probably shouldn’t test him. You should probably trust Him.” But the Lord made the fleece wet and that was that. OR NOT. Gideon tests the Lord AGAIN. This is the part of the story where I start shaking my head and saying “nononononononononono, Gideon….Don’t test the Lord again! Just go with it! He will equip you!” This time Gideon wanted the fleece dry and the ground wet, and the Lord proved again that He would do as He promised.
This story also caused me to think about what things in my life I feel like I need God to prove for me (i.e. what do I feel like I need to lay a fleece out for). What things has God asked me to do but I have politely ignored him, thinking “that must not be right”. Or thinking “well, THAT’S impossible….I’ll wait for a sign.”
So, as I was thinking about the patience I’ve accrued in the last few years, it mostly has to do with day-to-day stuff. I’m used to waiting in lines, waiting in traffic, etc, thanks to my job, so things like that don’t raise my blood pressure anymore and I don’t (always) operate very sinfully when my minute-to-minute patience is being tested. But…..big picture things are another story. As my friends celebrate their fifth (!) wedding anniversaries and as I attend their children’s first and second birthday parties, I realize how impatient I am with my singleness. I see how patiently the Lord has delt with Gideon, and with Israel in general (for crying out loud), and with me (for goodness sake), so I will continue to strive for more and more patience. And trust, even though I have no fleece to lay out.
My sisters both switched to Macs at some point last year, and I have been a little jealous of them ever since. I decided I had to save my pennies until I could buy it with cash, and that moment came at the end of January…..until I had to cover the emergency dog expenses while my roommate was out of the country. She’s reimbursed me, so I dropped off my PC at the Apple Store for a data transfer while I was on vacation, and I’m currently fully entrenched in the tasks of switching from PC to Mac. I have absolutely no idea how a few things work, but I just have to be patient (not easy for someone who wants everything in its proper place RIGHT NOW) and figure it out little by little. I am THRILLED to have a computer with a battery life of longer than 7 minutes, and I’m excited about finally being able to conveniently Skype! If you’re a Mac user, you should comment on what your favorite features are so I can figure them out!
*This title comes from an inside joke that I’m not even a part of (my sister is), but I like the play on words, so I stole it. And the joke would be "lost in translation", so I won't even try.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I've been back from my trip for a week (seems like longer than that, what with the crazy busy week at work and a weekend in Duluth with sisters and friends....) so I thought I'd write down some highlights from Lithuania/Latvia/brief stop in Finland:
- The travel: AWESOME flights – personal TVs with a selection of 25 movies, 10 TV shows, video games, etc. Problem: never slept on the nine hour flights, which didn’t help with the jet lag. Also, the bus we took to Latvia was sweet – it had a coffee/cappuccino machine, restroom, TVs (that played creepy music videos), tables, comfortable enough seats for sleeping, etc. I didn't have any bad travel experiences during our nine days, except for a bit of fear in the sleeper train from Klaipeda to Vilinus (I kept thinking I was going to fall from the top bed).
- The food: There is no better way to travel than with people who REALLY know the area where you are traveling, especially when it comes to the food. Steve and Laura knew exactly what restaurants to take us to and exactly what to order at those restaurants. I would say my favorite restaurant was Stora Antis: it was like going down into a cave - very quaint and very amazing food. We tried Saltibarsciai, a traditional Lithuanian soup (cold beet soup), and Kepta Duana, a traditional Lithuanian appetizer (fried garlic bread covered in some kind of cheese). Both were AMAZING and I could have eaten them every day! We had some yummy desserts during the week, but my favorite was the peanut flavored gelato (you could even have Coca-Cola or Red Bull flavors!). I was also SO impressed with the food we ate at Steve and Laura's home. I learned that when you live in a foreign country, you become a very "flexible" cook. When I make pizza "from scratch" in America, it means I buy the pizza sauce, toppings, crust, etc, and throw together a pizza. In Lithuania, it means that you even make the pizza sauce from scratch! You can't even buy sausage there, so we decided to use hamburger for our pizza, but Steve made sausage from scratch later on in the week for an egg bake recipe. I was very inspired by their improvisation and the tasty food they treated us to in their home. OH - we also ate at a GREAT Mexican restaurant in Vilinus. YUM. Mexican is my favorite!!
- The sights: RIGA was my favorite city that we went to. Even though it was a snowy and cloudy day, I loved walking through Old Town and seeing the cool buildings. The Occupation Museum there was very educational, and we ate at the strangest restaurant, Hospitalis, that was very Hospital-themed with beautiful, delicious desserts. In Klaipeda (where Steve and Laura live) we saw the Baltic, Old Town, went shoe shopping, and toured LCC (the school where they work). Helsinki was a VERY short visit for us, since it was on a lay-over and also because it was FREEZING cold and we could hardly stand walking around for a minute more. We did see the Church in the Rock there (a church build entirely within a rock) which was very cool. Vilinus was another historical and beautiful city. I loved seeing the Genocide museum, which was in an old Soviet prison (CRAZY things happened there....). Again, the buildings were gorgeous and it was fun to walk around the city and see historical sights. We all made a wish (a Lithuanian tradition) on the Stebuklas (the "Miracle Block") - the place where 2 million people started a chain that stretch 650km to Tallinn as a peaceful protest of Soviet rule in 1989. Trakai is a city just outside of Vilinus where there is a castle that has been restored and now is basically a museum. It was AWESOME! The castle itself was quite the sight to see, and the tour was very informative and interesting. Needless to say, I learned a TON in all of the cities we went to about the culture and history.
- The company: As I said, Steve and Laura were the BEST tour guides EVER. In addition to that, I loved catching up on their lives, having good conversations, playing games, etc. We also enjoyed meeting Steve's student leaders and playing Pass-It-Pictionary and Fill or Bust with them. All of our walking and chatting and sight-seeing was wonderful, but it was also great to relax in front of the Olympics in the evenings (even though it was in Lithuanian, and even though the US hockey team lost on our last night in Lithuania).