Monday, April 26, 2010

keeping the perspective

This list is pretty much the ‘Baby Justin Edition’. My not-really-Amish-but-I-like-to-pretend-is-Amish-friend had a baby this weekend! What is that you say?? Didn’t I write a blog post less than a year ago about her wedding??? Mmmmhhhhhhmmmm. We won’t go into how the mathmatical equations matching that timing up works out. JUST KIDDING…I’m kidding, I kid. She’s a good little girl...the Amish just don't like to sit around wasting time. They need more hands to churn butter, cook red beet eggs, and plant an apple orchard.

Sorry…lack of sleep leads to pure blog silliness…

I think I should just get on with the list then…

150- getting off slightly early on Friday because of an unexpected snow day

151- fun Friday game night at church with friends

152- meeting precious Justin…just 24hrs after his world debut

153- holding and cuddling with him (life is truly just more peaceful when holding a newborn baby…well...ok…a non-hysterical newborn baby)

154- dinner with the new parents- including Wingstop (by Momma’s request) and “Happy Birth Day” pie

155- *Guest write-in by Baby Justin:Talking my Momma out of the Cajun flavored wings

156- the overwhelmingly amazing rhythmic cooing (or as those Pennsylvania Dutch peeps call it- Grexing ) from Justin…that lasted well over 30 minutes.

157- sharing in the amazement and awe of a tender-hearted 10 yr old boy meeting someone that’s only 1 day old…

158- watching the Amazing Race with friends and eating Japanese by Samurai Chef Renee'

OK...that’s it…short and sweet this week...but had to post something to keep my perspective positive. I'm in the middle of annoying emotions and large amounts of whirlwind activities. But excitement abounds…my friend Belinda from Australia is taking a Walkabout…and I’m her first stop. She shall be here in just mere hours…so I must be off preparing…

Every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

and the gift goes on...

All those that grew up in the church just busted out with some old school Sandi Patty didn't you??? Try getting THAT out of your head now. I said that phrase the other day...and it's been haunting me ever since. "(And the gift goes on)...The Father gave the son...(and the gift goes on)...The Son gave the Spirit...(and the gift goes on)...The Spirit gives us we can give the Gift of love...."

heeheheheheeehehehehehehee. Sorry.

And the gift goes on and on and on….

136- vulnerable and honest conversation with a friend as a result of the Jennifer Knapp stuff

137- sad and frustrated about not having time to stop for breakfast on the way to work…only to find that a co-worker brought bagels in that morning for everyone

138- finally getting to go to the Heart of Jerusalem café this week…and discovering the food was even better than I’d hope for

139- the smells of the Heart of Jerusalem café that reminded me of Israel. (I just kept holding the shawarma up to my nose… trying to take the whole experience in)

140- sitting for a long time and watching the people in the café…it fascinates me the vast differences of the people that eat in these kind of places…middle eastern of course…but also other nationalities…ditzy college students…and even a few gang bangers came through while we were there

141- the many convictions God has continually brought to my attention this week

142- the fact that several of my friends can so eloquently speak out the truth through their passionate hearts…and say exactly what needs to be said ever so perfectly (I try not to be jealous of them)

143- sharing in the ecstatic and tearful joy of a mother, who is in the process of reconnecting with her children, when she was chosen as the youngest one’s “favorite person” for a school project

144- finding time to squeeze in one more Indian curry date with a friend before she becomes a mom for the first time …any moment now

145- seeing answers to prayers the morning after our Selah Tuesday group had prayed for them

146- taking friends to my favorite Thai place…great conversations and interactions with each other and even the employees…and having them share in the love for this place too.

147- free shipping :-)

148- getting ready surprisingly fast this morning…allowing for extra moments of quietness with God before I had to head out the door

149- looking back over this particular list…laughing and thankful my friends and I appreciate the cultures of this world…as evident even through our dining choices…

Every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights

Monday, April 12, 2010

the chezi addition

So Holly's been off on a short business trip...which left her son Chezi and I to fend for ourselves for the last several days. And just fyi- for all the people who don't know/forget why I call him's because I read a story about a guy in Israel named Ezekiel- but of course in Israel was really Yechezkel or something like that...and his nickname was Chezi...and I loved it...and this Ezekiel tolerates me calling him win-win-WIN. Well, ok, I'm not sure what the 3rd Win would be...but because of Michael's the solution I always aim for irregardless. (my blog-my words) AND...for those who don't know/forget the overall connections...Holly and I were roommates before he came along...and then up until about 2ish. I got to be the 'live-in nanny' during those I always felt especially bonded to him when he was little...and I've been really looking forward to re-establishing that connection with him since they've moved up here.

My continued gifts...

121- the overall reconnecting with Chez this weekend

122- helping him set up the netbook he got last week...his uncontained excitement and constant hugs were THE moment of (re)connection I think...

123- getting to drop him off on his first day at a new school

124- praying with him on the way to school that morning

125- picking him up and hearing his stories about how great the day was

126- cooking and experimenting together in the kitchen

127- both of us agreeing that the best possible plan for our weekend together would be low key chillin at the house in our pj’s

128- him wanting to snuggle together when we first woke up on Saturday…special place in my heart because that’s how we spent a great majority of Saturday mornings during his first couple years...while his mom would be catching up on much needed sleep

129- Jenn and Chezi days going smoothly and better than imagined (course, I don’t know if he’d say that…but the fact that there were no severe injuries…and poison control didn’t have to be called this time like it has been in the past…more than once…I pretty much declare it a success)


130- coworkers sharing countless pictures of beautiful Indians from their trip to India for the 100 yr Celebration of the Gospel reaching the Hmar tribe (northeast India)

131- listening to the Passion for Jesus Conference (IHOP) archives while at work

132- fantastic new shirt that makes me feel quite adorable

133- new shoes

134- starting another new book that's been on my shelves waiting to be read for many many months now

135- listening to God talk to me...and then having it confirmed by another person just a few minutes later...

Every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights
holy experience

Thursday, April 8, 2010

passover contemplations

So Passover was last week. I LOOooOOoVE Passover. For SO many reasons-most of which are hard for me to put into adequate words. It’s such a time of holiness and awe. I have yet to make it through a Seder without tearing up because I’m overwhelmed by who God is. Passover represents the basic, foundational, all encompassing picture of the heart of God. Passover symbolizes Redemption...Faithfulness…Deliverance…Hope.

For those that don’t really know about the holiday…here’s the bare bone basics. Passover was when God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt. It’s when He had them sacrifice the lamb and put the blood on their doorposts to save them from death. During their escape, there was no time to allow the bread to rise…so God told them to make it without yeast. And of course, there’s always a spiritual connection to everything He does…so He declared that during this time-yeast was to be a picture of sin…and to not partake of it during the 8 days of Passover as a picture and reminder to keep sin out of your life. (ok, the 8 days are actually a couple of holidays combined…but I’m just keeping it super simple) Fyi- when He talked about Passover and its celebration…He declared it an everlasting concept… to be followed forever. You know…just thought I’d throw that out there...

Being an amazing sovereign God…the events of His timeline are interwoven and layered…not just random…sporadic...or one dimensional. Thousands of years later…Yeshua came to earth…and gave His life for us. Jesus was purposefully crucified at Passover. He came…TO DIE…AT Passover- during the moment people were remembering that God was Faithful and brought them Redemption…Deliverance…and Hope…by the blood of the innocent lamb. During the moment God was reminding them, in natural and tangible ways, the importance of removing sin from their lives…during the moment they remembered how their people had cried out for a Savior...and God answered.

This… is the beauty of Passover.

This… is the essence of who God is.

The picture of the Israelites coming out of bondage…freed from their captor…removing sin from their lives…was set into place to reveal the culmination of His plan…His heart for all mankind throughout the ages of time.

Did you know that from the time the lamb was sacrificed…until the time they arrived at the Red Sea…it was 3 days. Three. Days. On the third day…when they thought all hope was lost…when they thought the promises of God were not going to be fully fulfilled…God stepped outside the laws of nature...and gave them a redeeming miracle…while simultaneously annihilating the enemy that was pursing them. Victory belonged to them. Safety belonged to them. Deliverance belonged to them.
Salvation belonged to them.

Do you see the deep majestic beauty and power of our God?

It saddens me that generations of Christians miss out on this complete picture. We see these amazing stories in the Bible…and have no idea how much they are interwoven and complete... because we’ve separated them into categories of Old and New. As Christians, we aren't even aware of that there is a specific day we can celebrate the anniversary of God parting the Red Sea...let alone that it correlates with the most important moment of our existence.We only get a glimpse of the heart of God…but we don’t even begin to grasp its depths…because we choose to believe Old doesn’t pertain to us...and New is the only thing that matters. We run to embrace the concepts man created to try to understand God…while choosing to ignore the ones our Savior created to reveal Himself. And we do this under the guise of ‘grace’.

We miss out on so much. We get Him. But we don’t get Him enough.

You know…this isn’t the post I was originally going to write. I was just going to talk about the fun night I had celebrating the Seder with friends…and all the things God showed me this week while trying to keep yeast out of my life. But…this is what came out. And I hope you stop and contemplate it…even if for just a moment...

Monday, April 5, 2010

IHOP and the gifts

OK so since the cat was out of the bag at Christmas…you all know I’m not a big fan of the pagan based holidays. And I’ll just say that Christmas makes me frustrated, but Easter makes me angry. But no worries…this is not a rant of any kind…cause trust me…it would be a passionate spew of epic proportions…so we’ll just leave it at that. THIS…is only to share the happy moments of yesterday.

So 10ish years ago, my friends and I created our own Easter tradition. Basically…it consists of purposefully skipping church…NOT getting dressed up…and heading to IHOP (the pancake place, not the prayer place) for breakfast. Two of us didn’t want to go to church on principle…our other friend really just didn’t like the crowds, so would just choose to stand on our side of the cause for convenience.

I loved those moments. AND…you know…I heart IHOP and all…but you always come out there smellin of grease funk…so it was the perfect excuse to wake up…go looking rough…as a clear sign of non-participation of any sunrise services…and then come home to shower off the stank and then veg out the rest of the afternoon.

Moving to CO made this tradition hard to follow through on by myself. But now that Holly is up here…I looked forward to carrying on the tradition. Certain Sunday responsibilities required us to tweak it just a bit…but soon…we were heading to the IHOP.

Ok…so I haven’t been to the one near my house since it was built in the last year or so. I just assumed it was the cookie cutter restaurants I’ve been to hundreds of times. But nooooooo. Not this one. This one was an experience.

First- they don’t take your names for the wait list. Instead they hand you a card and tell you they’ll call that name when your table is ready. I looked at the card and it said…Will Ferrell. I then look around and saw the others...Brad Pitt…Zac Efron…Barbie. This in itself provided the entertainment we needed for our only 5 minute wait. (Unheard of for Easter mornings I tell you) AND- the "hostess" name tag actually described her as an Admin Assistant. It was like Bizarro World or something.

Then they walked us to our table…and it’s all fancy. Whole different color scheme than the other IHOPS...dim lights that make it feel cozy…actual separate tables of seating so you don’t feel like you’re having to share your meals and conversations with strangers.

AND THEN…the crème de la crème…

As I opened the menu to peruse my choices…I saw it. Heavenly choirs of angels started singing as I read it again, making sure my eyes were not deceiving me. Right there, as one of my choices of breakfast meats…were the words *Turkey Bacon* O.M.G. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve been able to order any kind of breakfast meat at a restaurant? 10 years! (w/the exception of the handful of Cracker Barrel visits where I can get turkey sausage) AND…I was slightly worried…cause unlike turkey sausage…turkey bacon can be a little persnickety. I’m uber picky about the brands and how it’s cooked. But…the bacon was fabulous. And it made my heart very. very. happy.

And now…on to the rest of Monday’s gift recap…

106- turkey bacon at IHOP

107- making it through the Olympic/Mardi Gras/Lent/Easter season without any emotional explosions in anyone’s face

108-111- celebrating Passover with friends- including new and experienced participants

112- 3 day weekend

113- afternoon naps

114- my bedroom actually starting to feel koselig*…after not being happy with it for years
*(koselig (koose-lee) was the first Norwegian word I was taught. The girls sat me down the first week I was there and informed me it was the most important word to know. Rough translation means ‘cozy, comfortable, inviting’. This is a deeply important concept in their culture…and I have adopted its importance into my own life…)

115- downloading the audio version of Stuff Christian’s Like for free (

116- finally seeing an end to the month long cold I’ve battled

117- strands of pearls

118- director liking an article I wrote and not making any changes

119- being able to touch my face again and not wincing in pain

120- being texted an ultrasound picture...and seeing the baby is now actually looking like a baby

Every good and perfect gift is from you, Father of Lights
holy experience