Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Here and Now

Clicking the 'Compose' button. What a thrill. I'm so excited to write after a surprise period of time where I wrote nothing at all, anywhere. Work emails and small work projects aside, these are the first words to come out the end of my fingers in a long time. Writing became forced, and I couldn't do it. I had nothing to say, so I stopped.

I can't remember another time during my life with so much mental challenge crammed into a few months. They've all produced growth and change, and God is using each situation to wake me from my slumber and bring me into a world that needs more Christians who are useful and aren't just in it for the free ticket. The is is the new prayer for my life.

I bought a house on my birthday, April 17. It's an amazing story of God's goodness in the small details of my life, right down to the very neighborhood I thought might always just be a dream. Since that day, almost every interior surface has been changed -- and if it hasn't yet, it will be soon. My boyfriend is a creative and a builder extraordinaire, so I paint walls and envision and he does the rest. Home projects go much more smoothly with him a few blocks away than they did when he was in Texas, where he lived when we met.

Working for a wealth management firm was never in my plans, but it's been so rewarding. I even earned a certification (a low certification, but still, it required effort). Literally every day, I encounter something I have to figure out for the first time. When you see the world from behind the economic stage, things look very different than they do from the audience's perspective. It's been an education in politics, family dynamics, life goals, wise decisions, and the relationships that make the world go around.

God's grace has been most evident in my life through my friend Katie, who has met with me week after week since January to tell me what the gospel of Christ looks like in my life when I'm living like I believe it. Through her wisdom, I've seen how the way I think and what I choose to believe changes everything about my everyday life. If I believe that a mountain exists between God and me that I somehow have to move, I miss out on the whole reason Christ gave His life for me. I've learned that what I let myself silently think really matters. Truth and reality matter. Jesus matters, and my life matters because by God's grace, it doesn't have to be wasted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Bad Eye Taught Me Love

You may have heard of iritis. But probably not. It's an eye disease that creeps up out of nowhere, and you wake up one morning with a charming blind spot and an eye as red as fire. I'd post a photo, but...

This was my situation two weeks ago. It's nothing serious, except that if left untreated, you'll lose your eyesight completely. I didn't know this or I would have felt my way into the doctor's office much sooner.

I learned that, when considering a trip to the emergency room, my first thought should be who I'd call to take me there. Even when it's 2AM. I drove myself to the downtown emergency room in the middle of the night, with a bad eye. Upon walking in, I found the only other person in the waiting room to be a crazy man all huffy about receiving no service. When the security guard told him to fill out a form first, the expletives began, and he threw the clipboard and his wallet through the window at the nurse. Effective. Before I knew it, three armed guards surrounded him and the minute he reached for his pocket, they pinned him to the floor. He was escorted offsite...while his wallet remained on the other side of the window. Guess who had no wait?

The extra protection is not the only reason I should've called my family. My coworker asked me how I would respond if my mom had driven herself to the emergency room in the middle of the night when my dad was out of town, and she hadn't called me. I got hot just thinking about it. Just because I could make it there by myself isn't the point. Even though I was trying not to cause a scene by calling them, it communicated that I didn't need them or want their help.

Independence isn't always best, especially when it alienates you from people who love you and denies them the chance to do something meaningful for you. I realized that to let someone help isn't saying that I can't do it myself; it's telling them you want and need them there because it's them and you love them too.

Pardon this twisted Love Day post, but this is the kind of love I've been thinking about lately. And my eye is good as new (nothing a few steroids couldn't fix).

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today is January 22. That should be far enough past New Year's resolution time that you don't mistake this reappearance on the blog as a resolution. But I do hope it becomes a regular part of my life again. Going places and doing things entirely filled up the last few months and left little time for thinking, and even less time for writing. Pressure from friends -- not only to write again but to make it interesting... -- has made me want to blog and not want to blog. When it's been months, it's hard not to feel like your first time back has to be this epic thought or story. All that does is keep me away longer. Today is January 22 and I'm in the mountains for the second annual Grand Lake Getaway. My friend Lindsay's family owns a house right on the lake, and they're generous to let a couple handfuls of women stay for the weekend and cook, dance, consider jumping in the canal (but deciding against it) and meet our annual quota for lounging in front of the fire while snow falls outside. Today is January 22 and the year ahead is a blank slate. I can predict that I will stay happily with my company, that I will move sometime around April, that my social life will look a whole lot different than it did last year, and that... I don't know beyond that, and those are only predictions. One of the strongest and deepest women I've met in a long time has decided to befriend me and teach me more about Jesus Christ. No one has been in my face like she has about things in my heart that need to change. I'm excited for the upcoming months and what they hold. Unknown can be frightening but it is so filled with possibility. And I'm preparing myself to write about it here, and maybe even commit to making the blog a bit more personal -- including photos. Planning to be back here soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mossy, Stony, and Jonny...in Scotland

The wee Scottish lad dancing in the rain. 
I was giddy to be in a beautiful English-speaking country.

The Royal Mile, as seen during the madness of Fringe Festival.

An American singer in Glasgow.
Nothing to write home about.

Jonny is studying here for the semester and probably getting an unfair advantage --
simply existing on this campus makes a person smarter.

You're looking at the fish that should have lemon juice on it,
but the lemon juice squirted everywhere but on the fish,
including the faces of people at three of my surrounding tables.

Happy to be eating gluten-free food without cutting into retirement savings.

Castle at Edinburgh! We didn't tour, we just stood outside
and took this picture so it would look like we toured.

The dark and mysterious Glasgow.

The lovely Scottish horse of my dreams. We're soulmates.
He saw me coming and stopped eating -- yes, stopped eating -- to come say hello.

Our luxurious accommodations for the week. I got the bed. 

Jonny turned 21 in Glasgow, so I took him to the
Ubiquitous Chip for some out-of-this-world eats.

Ashton Lane, my favorite street in Glasgow,
full of fantastic restaurants.

Walking to Captain's Rest to see some good live music
 and thought this was purty.

So did he, so he posed for a picture.

He was very bold this night, testing out the world of gluten.
It turned out okay for him.

I went nuts when I saw this SAIL-THRU restaurant.
On the other side of that little rail is a canal, and
I considered buying a boat just so I could sail thru
and order some fish and chips.

Most of our marathon bike ride was along this canal.


This is the part of the bike ride where the flowers hide the canal.

These charming gents were having the time of their lives at the bowling club.

Biked 13 miles for this moment.
The view from our booth. This was at Grosvenor Cafe,
one of the restaurants on Ashton Lane.

The view of our booth from Grosvenor Cafe. 

The view of our meal at Grosvenor Cafe.
I loved that they served everything on wooden cutting boards.
I had a delicious cottage pie and Jonny had slimy mussels.
I'm glad I can eat gluten.

Blending right in to his environment at University of Glasgow.

Angels were singing.

Shouldn't this door lead to Narnia or something?

The chapel on campus. Not too shabby.

Cool church, and Jonny had to sneak his face into the corner of my shot.

Basically I liked the modern building next to all the old ones.

We hadn't been there three days and he'd already purchased some vintage Euro shorts.
It's a shame there aren't many sunny days in Scotland, because his
American thighs aren't quite accustomed to being out in public.
Or is it the public that isn't accustomed to his American thighs? 

As wonderful as he is, Jonny and I needed a little breather.
We spent an afternoon in separate cafes,
and as you can see, it was heavenly.

The best looking picnic table I've ever seen.
Ironically, it's also the one I'd least like to sit at. 

Loch Lomond 

Considering jumping into Loch Lomond
after the outrageous time we had getting there.

Moss looks a lot like carpet.

These are real-life taxis, and they make our
 big yellow taxis seem so...well...ordinary.

All in all, Scotland was grand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Picture-Perfect Switzerland

I've posted a hefty amount of photos here, and this only captures our week in Switzerland (Scotland photos to come!). But after my boo-hoo post about everything that went wrong, I figured it was only right to show a piece of all the amazing things we were able to see and experience. Enjoy!

Calvin's Cathedral

A little corner of Geneva.

I like this umbrella.

We booked our lodging in Switzerland through airbnb and THIS was our view from the apartment in Lucerne.
First dinner in Lucerne: feet dangling over the wall, looking across the water at Old Town.

Dinner was simple: meat, cheese, bread, wine. 
Swiss streetside cafe.
Pick me up for dinner at 7?

The view from the top of Mt. Pilatus. We boated across this lake and
took the cog railway up the mountain, past real mountain cows with real cowbells.

Yes, this is what you think it is. Sheets and sheets of Swiss chocolate.

Blue and blue and blue.




Alps and Siblings!
Our best views were always when we were moving. The Swiss Travel system is
spectacular, so we trained and boated everywhere we went.   
Mt. Pilatus, as seen from our boat.

Train window snap: steeple under the clouds.

Another from the train.

Switzerland = lakes and mountains. 
It was at the moment of taking this picture that Jonny and I developed our Indian accents. An Indian family of four was our only company in the rail car, and the little boy and girl said all sorts of adorable quotable things.
The girl said to her mom, "You can take as many pictures of me as you want any time." 

We spent an afternoon here and swam in the chilly mountain water with the locals.
And saw a lot of speedos.

Walking. Because we missed the bus.

Train home from Interlaken. One of my favorite rides.

Deep breath.

Glacier water looks like milk! Who knew?

Deep in the mountains on our way to the Matterhorn.

This makes me want to explore.

First glacier I've ever seen. It was so barren and untouchable...
I may have hung my jaw open. 

Is this not the most quintessential photo of Switzerland?

p.s. Lest you be duped into thinking Switzerland is budget-friendly, let me tell you the story of this coffee. This is not an espresso. This is a coffee. Jonny and I had 7.50 francs left (about $12.00) , and we were on our way to Scotland, so we figured we'd use our francs to buy breakfast. When I saw that all we could buy with it was two coffees, I ordered two coffees. I looked into the cup the barista handed me and saw exactly what you see in that photo: a cup of coffee one-quarter full. Right then and there I knew I belonged in America.