Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to the ones I love soooo much! What a great day to celebrate our love for one another and especially God’s love for us.

We love this passage about love from 1 John 4 so much. It was even part of our wedding scripture!
 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Without God, we wouldn’t even know what love truly is. What a blessing to know this truth!

Of course, Valentine’s Day is also an excuse for me to make things! 



Early last week I was feeling pretty down. I must admit to you, my closest friends and family, that I don’t really care for living in Chicago all that much. We don’t live in a horrible neighborhood, but we live close enough to a rough one that I feel at least a bit on edge whenever I step out our door. Growing up in a village of about 700 people, I looked forward to seeing people on the street because I knew it would be a friend. Of course that is not the case in Chicago but I so quickly tire of avoiding eye contact with passers-by out of necessity. If I make eye contact with most of the people I see on the street, I know that I risk being asked for money or being catcalled. Ew. It gets so old and so tiring.

Thankfully, we border a very nice residential neighborhood to the south, and the gorgeous, peaceful harbor to the east. I also have the rest of Chicago to visit any time I want. I recently walked through the DePaul campus on the way to do some shopping, and it was so refreshing and gorgeous. It looked like what I imagine Oxford’s campus in England to look like, so quaint and well established. It also made me long to be back on a college campus.

In addition to my often uncomfortable surroundings, missing my friends was getting me down. After living with the best friends the world ever knew for the past two years, it is terribly hard to be separated from them and harder still to imagine ever finding such great friends again. We have found a great church here that we have been getting involved in and finding friends at, but friendships don’t really grow quickly when we only meet once or twice a week.

Work has been okay but I sometimes struggle to remember what I enjoy about the job. I have no passion for mass retail whatsoever, but I do have a passion for service and for bringing people joy. The possibility of a promotion is still being discussed and I continue to prepare for interviews, but the time frame of actually getting the promotion keeps on getting pushed back.

None of these things are horrible and truly, I have been blessed in more ways than I could ever count or even know! But early last week, the worst of everything had piled up on my heart for too long and I crumpled up under the weight. God noticed. He wiped away my weepy tears and filled the following days one joyous event after the next! What an incredible, uplifting weekend it was!

The first breath of fresh air came with a phone call from my very dear friend, Ashley. After an hour and a half on the phone with her, I remembered that I have no reason to miss my friends so terribly. All I have to do is call them!

I worked that night and the following morning and by 3:00 Friday afternoon, my weekend had arrived! As soon as I got home, I got started on lasagna and tidied up in preparation for the guests that would be arriving the next day. Hubby came home, we shared a great meal, donned our Friday night garb, and headed to Shakespeare Theater for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, my very favorite Shakespeare play! The play was fantastic! It was SO funny, unexpectedly so, and the actor’s were spot on. They had the audience exploding with laughter for most of the second half! It was amazing to see how a director can take a script that has been used and reused hundreds of thousands of times, and interpret it in a completely fresh, modern way. I can still hardly believe we had the opportunity to see such a well-done play.

The next morning we ran our 5k race! The air was frigid and the wind was biting. It must have been close to the coldest day this winter. We actually met one of hubby’s friends there unexpectedly! The race was very hard for both of us. The cold air really did a number on our lungs so that after the race, every laugh turned into a silly sounding hoarse cough. We had a great time though, and it was such an accomplishment for both of us! Hubby finished 30th and I finished 131st out of 568. I am surprised I even finished in the top half! My leg has been achy and the cold only makes it worse, but I must have rested enough before the race that it hardly bothered me. Or else I was just so distracted by all of the other pains that I hardly noticed my leg hurting!


Trying to stay warm at the starting line:

Not quite as cute as the first, but so much more accomplished! I love the shirts we got too!

It didn’t take long before we were cozied up again at home. We had to prepare for our guests! Hubby’s good friends David and Marit came to visit for the day! This was my first ever opportunity to meet hubby’s long-time friend Marit. What a treat! She and David were such great company. We visited at home for a while and then had dinner at Smoque, an excellent bbq restaurant in Chicago. We shared so many laughs and Marit and I were entertained by the guys’ very interesting conversations. They were here and gone so quickly, but I was all smiles for the rest of the night. I just LOVE having visitors!

Sunday was a perfect Sunday. The sermon at church was excellent and was followed by a great Bible study and news of a birth and an engagement in the congretation!! I didn’t have to work after church for the first time in months, so I took the opportunity to bake some bread, make a big pot of soup, and prepare veggies and granola for our lunches for the week. Life just feels so perfect when I’m at home in the kitchen and hubby is studying nearby with Theseus in his lap.

God is so great! It’s as though every single moment of the weekend was given to me to revive me. What a great Father!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Six Months of Bliss

We have been married for six months! These six months have been challenging (law school, moving to Chicago, new job, etc.) but SO joyful! I continue to be amazed by his thoughtfulness, our mutual need for one another, and the billions of ways the Lord has blessed us as a couple. 
Our lives have changed SO much from what they were six months ago and we miss a lot of what we used to have, making for some tough transitions. Nonetheless, we have gotten through exhausted only by an overload of pure joy! He is my strength and I am his support. Praise God!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thursday Morning - A Snapshot of Our World

Little bits and pieces of our life...

A happy Theseus
Last night's project after work
Paper clips turned ornament hooks turned kitchen lamp adornment
(does that remind you at all of the staples "embroidery" I did in school?)
and check out this incredible "Paperclip Carpet" by artist Gerry Stecca

New rings handmade by a missionary woman
Simple pleasures around the house