Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So much

There is so much to be thankful for.

Like friends who text out of the blue.

"Just thinking of you," they might say. "Praying for you. Believing for really good things for your marriage and your life. Proud of you. Lots of love."

And you think it another time even though you have thought it a thousand times that day.

There is so much to be thankful for.

And jobs where you have the freedom to organize everything you feel like organizing and take on projects that let you be both nerdy and creative. You get to feel smart and needed and yeah, even loved, because you work with a really great group of people and not everybody gets to say that.

And it will make you think.

There is so much to be thankful for.

Like husbands who help you cook and make you laugh so hard when you drop a bunch of cucumbers on the floor, because GOOD RIDDANCE, cucumbers! Those were gross anyway!

And you will argue that cucumbers are good and you like them quite a bit and as a result, somehow you get compared to Satan because cucumbers are actually evil, I guess?

And then he'll kiss you like he means it and, just like he always does, follow that kiss with a boyish smile and the phrase "that was a good one."

And you'll say "I knew you were going to say that!"

And one more time, you'll think about it again and know it's true.

There is so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So proud.

Oh, Jessica. You are such a rock star. I'll live my life, and yeah, I'm SURE you'll be busy living yours now!

"Ain't my friend" will be released on iTunes this week.

Here's the original viral video in case you missed it:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sometimes and always and oozing

Sometimes my friend loses her wallet.

And she freaks out and calls me and asks if it's on her desk but it's not, and it's not under it either or around it or in the drawers or anything.

So I go walking around outside where she thinks she lost it that afternoon.

And it's not there.

So I go inside a restaurant nearby on a whim (even though it's such a long shot because my friend didn't even go in there today), and I ask whether anybody possibly turned in a wallet.

And somebody had. All the credit cards and cash were there and everything.

Sometimes there is good in this world. And sometimes it's really nice to remember that.

And sometimes you get "kidnapped" by a sweet friend when you go to your karate school.

Or, at least, I do.

And she takes me to her house and makes me coffee and tells me her story and asks about mine, and as I listen I think "holy wow, this woman is incredible what with her raising her fantastic kids and volunteering with amazing organizations and just oozing with Christ's love."

Okay, I did not think the word "oozing." Now that I type the word "oozing," I am rethinking it. It's not a pretty word, "oozing." But if you're going to "ooze" anything, it might as well be Christ's love.

And sometimes I get sidetracked while I'm blogging and start to talk about the word "oozing," because it's 1 a.m. and I don't remember what I was trying to get at here.

Oozing. Oozing. Oozing.

Sometimes you forget the way you met your husband until somebody asks, and then all at once you remember that this story can sound weird if you tell it wrong, so you tread lightly.

Wait, that's me. I do that.

And sometimes I say "she loves you" when Jack and I are sitting in a room together.

And sometimes, he responds "he loves you too."

No, not sometimes.


He always responds "he loves you too."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A list of good things

  • Welp. My house is a mess. And that wouldn't belong on my "list of good things" except that the reason it's a mess is because there has been much relaxing and Jack and Mandy together-time and not a lot of cleaning time around here lately. We have The Happy.

  • I feel like I should clarify that that "Jack and Mandy together-time" I just wrote about in the previous bullet point wasn't supposed to sound dirty. Because, you know, if it was dirty, I wouldn't be writing about it on this here blog. Yeah. Moving on.

  • I slept until after noon today and yesterday. These are the kinds of things that make me really, really, really glad not to have kids right now.

  • And the reason I slept until after noon? Eric and Laura Baesel. They told us to watch Friday Night Lights on Netflix, because we never watched it while it was on. And oh jeez, I'm watching a show about football (!) and I just. can't. stop. And so we stay up all night watching "just one more episode." DARN YOU, BAESELS. Darn you.

  • Did you guys know that "The Guild" is on streaming Netflix now? Nerdy score!

  • I rode a bike yesterday. Seriously, can somebody just cure MS so I don't have to wear spandex anymore? At least the weather is beautiful, and my awesome neighbor helped me change my tube before the ride (I have been doing this ride for...uh... seven years now, I think? And I still don't know how to change a tube on my own. I mean, sheesh.)

  • Uh, THIS happened to my friend because she is brave and amazing and I can't even stand how excited I am for her:

    If you are as enchanted by this amazing girl as I always am, you can download that song for free here and "like" her music Facebook page here. I can't wait to see what God does with this video in her life. I'm so proud of you, Jess!!

  • We are going to Vegas for our anniversary in March! Wait. Back up. We are going to Vegas for a tournament! On our anniversary! But hey, I'll take it. Vegas isn't my very favorite place but they do have shows (Jersey Boys, here I come!) and fancy hotels and great food. So, happy anniversary to us!

  • Speaking of travel, we're also going skiing with my brother in Colorado this month. Jack has never skiied before so I fully expect the opportunity to laugh at him when he falls a lot. Because I am a loving and supporting wife and also I just hope I get it on video so you guys can see it too.

  • T-minus 3 months until my nephew arrives. Can I get a "SQUEEEEEEE?"

  • To answer your question, I picked the red dress. Wow, that was delayed, right?

  • We are moving offices at work this month. It will mean less space and sharing an office rather than having one to myself (how spoiled have I been anyway, my goodness), but it also saves the ministry lots of money and could mean that we'll be able to work from home more often, so I'm in. Plus, I work with quite a fantastic group and if we're all smushed a little closer together? That's probably okay. Also! The new place has ovens! OVENS! Freshly baked cookies. ANY TIME WE WANT.

  • I need to go clean my house now so that the next list of good things I write can include that.


Sunday, January 1, 2012


It's the new year!

Good riddance, 2011.

I'm completely aware that the fact that it is now a new year changes nothing about anything that happened in 2011, but still. Good riddance.

(It wasn't all bad. In fact, there were pretty great things about it.)

(At some point I'll write a year in review post. I have to finish journaling Project 365 first.)

(I'm working on July right now.)


Anyway, as most new year sermons normally go, this morning our pastor discussed new year's resolutions and goals.

I don't generally make new year's resolutions. I think because it's popular to do so, and I find any such activity silly.

Fastest thing to make me stop doing something? Make it trendy.

But today the pastor was talking about how we should have a new year's resolution to maintain better relationships with one another, "instead of just the relationships you keep up on Facebook and Twitter and things like that." FACE-TO-FACE IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE A FRIEND, YOU SEE.


I hear this so. very. often. Especially from pastors.

At what point will the Church learn that technology is not the enemy, and even if it was, it's not going away any time soon?

At what point with the Church start preaching that we should use social media for God's glory instead of fighting against it?

At what point will the Church learn that technology can add value to relationships??

I don't care how much theological training you have - you will never, ever convince me that technology is the enemy. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is. Those who think it is are ignorant, or are using it incorrectly.

My friend Eric told me that on his Friday night date with his lovely wife, Laura, they spent their time drinking wine and "iPadding" together, reading articles and generally relaxing.

I laughed and told him that Jack and I had done pretty much the same - sitting at a restaurant playing Words with Friends back and forth on our iPhones.

Neither couple was using technology to escape one another; we were using it as a tool for interaction.

Technology can add value to relationships.

I would not be nearly as close friends with several people if it weren't for blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. And actually, I wouldn't be friends with those people at all had it not been for the technology we have been blessed with, considering they're spread out from Iowa to New York City.

There are people who know all my secrets who I haven't seen face-to-face in years, or even ever. There are people who pray for me and care for me and love me from thousands of miles away, and vice versa.

These relationships are not superficial, fake, or shallow. In fact, they are some of the most intimate friendships I've ever known.

And they are maintained because of technology.

If we don't use the tools we are given in the time in which we live, we are being poor stewards.

Technology can add value to relationships.

Technology can be used for the glory of God.

I wonder how long it will be until the Church finally learns how to embrace this.