Thursday, July 22, 2010

Status Bar

Whenever I start up my computer and I watch windows load, I always wish it had a status bar telling me how far along it was in loading (and frankly, how long I have left to wait).  I like to track things, especially when I'm looking forward to the end of my wait.  So, without further ado, here's what I'm tracking:

Summer Internship
Total number of days in office:  50
Completed days: 44
Percent complete:  88.0%

Bag of Rice Provided by Smurthwaite Kitchen
Total number of cups given:  3
Number of cups eaten:  2.75
Percent complete: 91.6%

Summer Break
Total number of days off of school:   99
School-free days so far:  68
Percent complete:  68.7%

Box of Thank You's
Total number of thank you's purchased:  50
Remaining (estimate):  ~19
Percent used (estimate):  62.0% 

Total number of days to be engaged:  224
Number of days engaged so far:  208
Percent complete:  92.9% (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

A photo from 0% completion of our engagement!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Window

In my apartment this summer we have this great big window in the kitchen/dining room.  Sometimes I don't even turn on the kitchen light so that the sun can flood in.

In college, we barely had windows in our rooms (and we kept them covered so the creepers next door couldn't see in).  I missed the soft glow in the mornings and evenings.

Last weekend while driving home, I decided to stop at the new home and garden store.  I came home with a purple sage plant, the prettiest herb I could find, since I wanted it to be functional as well as beautiful.  Unfortunately, I forgot the little guy at home, so our big, welcoming window is bare for another week.

Some days I get the urge to create something and to try to do something a different way than it's been done before.  Sipping my hot tea and gazing out of our window this morning, I got an idea.  I've made sun tea before.  In fact, my roommate has made it a couple of times already this summer, out on the front porch.

I don't have any big containers, but staring out that window, I got the idea to try and make little jars of sun tea.  It looked so pretty on the window that I decided to share it with you.  And, when I added a little ice, it was delicious. 

The best part is... there's still another glass for tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brave New World

One of my favorite things about breaks from classes is extra time for reading.  For a while now, I've chosen a famous novel to conquer each break, and this past Christmas I read "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, and it has been itching my brain ever since. 

"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the over-compensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand."
- Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 16

What if your lot in life is to be normal?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Engagement is Like Junior High

Hi blog world!  Today marks one month (31 days!!!) until Nathan and I’s wedding!  It seems like yesterday the countdown said 220 days, and I thought I’d never make it—the months have flown by.  So many wonderful, beautiful things have happened since then.  Friends married, friends engaged, friends pregnant…  And there have been some hard things as well, but they’re overshadowed by blessings.

I have been basking in the glow of the “in love” feeling that intensifies every day, hour, and minute.  I recently purchased a computer with a webcam, so I can now talk “face-to-face” with Nathan… which is easier and harder on my heart at the same time (the distance dichotomy).  In some ways, engagement is like junior high—you just get through it and keep your eyes on the horizon (high school).  But I’ll be honest, I don’t like to live my life like that.  I don’t want to “just get through” any part, because that attitude ignores the gift of each day that God gives.  I don’t believe God gives us any season that is meant for one to simply grin and bear it, waiting only for it to be over.  I have tried to keep my eyes open for the blessings, so that I am not like the wicked that the prophet describes (Jeremiah 17:5-8).

Patience, waiting, and trust.  If I could use a search feature on my journal, these would probably have the most hits from recent months.  I have learned that it is not beyond the goodness of God to teach me to wait, nor to teach me to be patient.  It takes an incredible amount of trust (actually a divine amount) to believe God when my heart is telling me something else.  And daily I’ve been reminded that my heart, above all else, is deceitful (Jer. 17:9).

Love is incredible.  And to be loved is the best feeling in the world.  Part of my testimony is my struggle to walk in the love of God, but being in this relationship with Nathan has done so much to teach me to accept love.  His love for me gives me a glimpse of God’s love for me.  It is strong, it is sincere and safe.  It is like 1 Corinthians says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (v.4-7)"  Nathan’s love for me reminds me that God does not hold up a list of the times I’ve offended him when I come to God for mercy.  Instead, God draws me close and wipes the tears from my eyes.

Reflecting on these things reminds me that no time is unfruitful—even being engaged—if I am willing to search for the blessings and ask God to teach me.