Thursday, March 26, 2009

Facing My Fears

I just got into Ted Dekker's books a few weeks ago, and I am on my fifth one now. I'm not sure if I'll make it through this one, though. It's about a serial killer, and so far it's got me on edge. Skin. That's a pretty creepy title. Or at least a pretty creepy-looking cover. Look at the red lettering...and the face that looks like it's sinking into the sand. Ew.

I like suspense and scary stories, but I have started reading while I ride the exercise bike at home. It's motivation to get me reading, especially with the recent page turners I have devoured. However, living in the middle of the country and riding the bike in the basement of our large house/church when I'm alone...I'm just not sure how I feel about finishing this one under such conditions. I already moved the bike so that I face the basement while riding. There is NO possible way anyone could sneak up behind me. This morning when my time was up, my heart was beating a little faster as I rounded the corner to fill my water bottle and return it to the refrigerator. When I ride tonight, hopefully it will be less fear-inducing. Maybe Matt will be home by then. I'm about 120 pages into the story, so I am wavering between finishing it and finding out what happens or quitting now and moving onto something less...murderous.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Beginnings

I was trying to find a picture from when I moved to Waverly. This one (me in the middle of my sisters Steph and Beth) is dated from January 2001. I moved in February 2002, but this is as close as I'm able to get. It's amazing to think about how much has changed in seven years. How much I have changed.

I scarcely recognize myself. I'm not talking about physically, although I have definitely changed there. I'm talking about the steps I have taken in the journey to the woman God has called me to be. This seven years (almost one-quarter of my life!) has brought challenges I never anticipated, pain I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It has also brought deeper joy and greater love than I had ever experienced.

So in this time of transition from the ministry that brought me here to the unknown future that lies ahead of me, I reflect on God's goodness. I rejoice in God's grace and love. I am amazed at the joy that comes from knowing Him. Even though the next seven years will likely bring more change than I can comprehend today, I eagerly anticipate knowing Him more and seeing Him revealed in each moment of each day that lies ahead.

"If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." Psalm 37:25-26 (NIV)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Matt's birthday surprise

I kept a birthday secret for Matt this year. I kept it for a VERY long time. It was probably close to two months, and I am not good at deception, so this was quite a challenge. He turned 30 on Sunday, so I thought this year should be special. I found this B&B, and I knew he would like the room. They also have a home theater in the basement. We were the only guests that evening, so we had the place to ourselves! It was great; the theater seats were insanely comfortable, and we watched "Trans-Siberian" (too scary for me; I don't necessarily recommend it unless you like being afraid for your life). We followed up with parts of "The Transporter" since it's difficult to end the evening on a super scary note.

On Saturday, I took him to House on the Rock. He loves that place. I tolerate it, so I knew that he would appreciate the gift of going there and me going with him. I brought a book that I happened to check out at the library on Friday. It was great; I am SO glad that I thought to grab it and throw it in the camera bag. I read the whole thing! (It's about 100 pages long.) I moved from light source to light source devouring my new book as Matt took pictures of, well, everything. From every possible angle. I resisted the impulse to hurry him along. This was his birthday gift; I was determined to let him enjoy it. And he did enjoy it very much.

On Sunday, the day of his birthday, we had some friends over for snacks and games and hanging out. Wow, did they bring some incredible food. We need to have friends over more often. Banana bars with cream cheese frosting, homemade guacamole, spinach/cheese dip, smokies wrapped in bacon, brownies with ice cream and hot fudge...are you hungry yet? It was a wonderful way to celebrate Matt's birthday.

He took the camera to work, so I'll try to get it back and post a few B&B pictures and maybe a House on the Rock one. :-) Whew - I am so glad the secret's out!