Monday, January 28, 2013


What do you do with a loaf of bread that is unarguably stale? Maybe even moldy? Or what do you do with bananas getting obviously black, or tomatoes beginning to rot and start a fly farm right on your counter? What do you do when you accidentally put a rotten berry in your mouth? 

The reaction is quick, isn't it? You grimace and toss everything into the garbage. You scream and spit it out. 

So why don't I respond that way to my stale and rotten spiritual life? It's moldering right there in front of me and I leave it on the counter. In fact, I keep coming back to it and using it again and again with no repulsion at its state of decay. What in the world?

I read of those involved in idol worship or polytheism (the worship of many gods) and it seems so far from my Christianity, my religious life. I'd never include myself with them ever. You'd think idolatry would be easy to spot, but often it's subtle. It creeps up on you without you being aware. Before you know it your priorities have all shifted. What was important before now has been given 2nd place, maybe even 3rd, 4th, or 5th. 

Not only are my priorities out of whack, my prayer life is dusty. To use terms going around in church right now, it's "casual" and "apathetic." It feels more out of duty than out of love and utter devotion to my Savior. He gave everything for me, and yet I groan to give him 30 minutes of my time in prayer? I don't even crave conversation with Him? Really? 

And when it comes down to it, I'm a hypocrite, not unlike the Pharisees of the Matthew 23:27 passage: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones [very unclean], and of all uncleanness." Who cares what I look like and what I do on the outside. If the inside is legalistic, critical, unthankful, etc., that is what I truly am. I expect of others what I don't even have going on myself. 

I want a change. I'm tired of my distracted, moldy spiritual life. I want another taste so I can see that my Lord is good. I need a clean heart and a renewed spirit. 

I often feel like I'm talking to a wall on here :), but it's an outlet, and if you have the time or think of it, I'd appreciate your prayer that I'd have some sort of revival in my life. An awakening of what really matters and what I really need to do and make first priority. 

Have a blessed Monday! :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Come in, come in...

You've seen some pictures of the outside of our house; now you can see some of the inside. ;)

Looking into the kitchen and mud room from the living room.

The rest of the kitchen. :)

My GORGEOUS bathroom...

...and mirror and vanity.

In a corner of the living room, Chris built this bookshelf to hold all the beautiful Lamplighter books I got as a gift from Chris's family. 

Looking into the living room from the bedroom (which you aren't allowed to see yet). 

Game Time!

The little pouty must've just been beaten by his little wifey. :D

when it's not so good to shut up

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Quiet World

And, I see it as my duty to introduce you to one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read: "The Quiet World" by Jeffrey McDaniel.

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred   
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear   
without saying hello. In the restaurant   
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,   
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.   
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,   
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line   
and listen to each other breathe.

{"The Quiet World" by Jeffrey McDaniel}

just one of those unimportant updates

Haven't blogged in a while, so I'm just throwing up some "currents" to keep you...uh...current.

Reading: My Bible, mainly, and in my spare time, John Adams by David McCullough
Listening to: The 1985 original Broadway cast recording of Les Miserables
Baking: Trying three new recipes this week of banana bread, brownies, and mini meatloaves.
Loving: My husband, my home, going through all my books, starting with the symphony again...
Excited about: Getting one of our wedding pictures published in the annual Cantigny Gardens wedding guide!!

So. What's new with you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012: full of change, grace, smiles, and growth

2012. I never knew a year could hold so much. When I think back to where I was in January of last year, it's hard to believe I am where I am right now, and that it only happened within a year's time! I'm going to blog a summary of the 365 days that were some of the best days of my whole life. :)

January 3rd - Chris and I went on our very first date. We went to Clara's, my favorite Italian restaurant.

January 14th - Chris and I went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. 

February - Mom, Chris, and I traveled down to SC and then GA for Chris's TKD tournament. That was a first for me. ;P Also, Aimee came to live with us for a while. :)

April 21st - Chris and I went canoeing on the Fox River. It was my first time, and it was lovely. :)

May 3rd - We all drove down to SC for a friend's wedding.

May 4th - Chris and I got engaged! :)

(The day after getting engaged, his nieces and nephews enjoyed putting flowers in our hair. :D)

May 15 - God miraculously provides me with the perfect wedding dress just in time. 

June 12th - Chris and I have our engagement pictures taken by Jolene Torvinen.

June 14th - My family travels to Rock Cut State Park, where we camped for a few days. It was my first time camping. :)

July - I go with my friend Bethany to Deerfield where we receive Suzuki teacher training for 10 days.

July 20th - Some of my best friends host my wedding shower.

July 26th - Our Sunday school heads out to the Quad Cities for a few days of camping.

September 8th - Chris and I GET MARRIED!!!

September 9th-19th - Chris and I honeymooned in Sanibel, FL; Greenville, SC; and Asheville, NC.

September 20th-22nd - My family, Chris, and I travel up to MN for Claire's wedding.

October 26th - Chris and I host our first party ever at our house. :)

November 16th - We host our second party, this time with my dad's side of the family.

December 1st - We attend IBC's annual adult Christmas party. Chris and I, along with our other teammates, win both contests: the gingerbread house, and the puzzle.

December 3rd - God answers a life-long prayer that I'd find a symphony that didn't practice or perform on church days. I joined the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and began rehearsals. 

December 21st-29th - Chris and I travel up to MN and SD to visit family over Christmas. 

Well, there's the summary! As usual, I shall list the books I read this year. I sure didn't get a lot of reading done this past year, as almost all of it was spent on wedding planning and then starting our new home. But I did read the following books, which I may or may not recommend (:P): The Pursuit of God (Tozer), A Woman After God's Own Heart (George), Princess Academy: Palace of Stone (Hale), The Soloist (Lopez), and Les Miserables (Hugo). 

I did a lot of music this year, as usual, including four concerts and two cantatas. I had a lot of fun this year kind of transitioning from mainly just a violin player to a violin teacher and piano accompanist. (<-- FAVE!!) I am also teaching in a local music academy which is a new experience and a blessing. 

This year God especially showed to me how He is Jehovah-jireh, the One who provides. Countless times along the wedding process we were stretched, whether it were financially, physically, creatively, etc., and God always provided what we needed. He provided so many things for our house. I just look around in each room and it's all God's doing. Everything I have is by His grace, and the dear love of my Christian family. He provided energy when we thought we had run out. He made days stretch longer just so we could finish the last detail or the last list. He gave strength to say sorry, and to face faults unflinchingly. He renewed my love for His Word. I seriously cannot explain how much I love reading the Bible!! I am so thankful to have my thirst for that renewed. He opened new doors for us and promises to never leave or forsake us. 

Like the subject of this post says, 2012 was a year of change, surely, but it was a year rich with grace. As David said, "My cup runneth over." I am thankful to God for giving me a year of such joy, and I'm thankful to those of you who made it a year of smiles by showing me your consistent love and friendship.

Happy 2013! :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Three Musketeers!

I was blessed to be able to bring in the new year with two of my very best friends, Laura and Meghan. We've been friends for over 19 years! Love you guys! :)