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Ten on Tuesday!

Wow, has it been a long time or what?

 

I haven’t really been writing much lately, but I really enjoyed Chelsea’s Ten on Tuesday questions today, so I thought I’d participate!

 

1. What’s your favorite television show  for each day of the week?

First, I need you to understand that I live in England and don’t have cable or any type of “live” tv. Everything I watch is from Hulu etc, so I may get my air-days mixed up. I’m sorry!

Sunday – Once Upon a Time
Monday – Teranova or House, I’m not sure yet and I don’t like decisions.
Tuesday – Ringer
Wednesday – Suburgatory
Thursday – Secret Circle
Friday – Grim
Saturday – I have no idea

2. How many times do you wear your jeans before you wash them?
This sort of depends. I’m at a weird stage right now where I mostly stay at home in my pjs unless I need to run an errand or go to an interview. So, it all depends on where I wore my jeans to, how long I wore them, and whether it was raining outside. (Raining = wet, gross pants legs, which = laundry time.) But generally, somewhere in the 1-3 times range.

3. What is your favorite pasta shape?
I like most any shape that isn’t spaghetti or angel hair. But spirals do make me pretty happy.

4. Do you read newspapers?
Nope. I probably should, though. I follow the WSJ on Twitter, does that count?

5. Do you sleep in socks?
Not really. Since it’s gotten cold I keep finding myself trying to sleep in socks, but I always end up taking them off before I fall asleep.

6. Favorite genre of movies?
This is hard. Maybe fantasy? Or romantic comedies. I don’t know

7. How do you feel about wrestling?
I don’t really get it.

8. Should men pluck their eyebrows?
Not in the way that girls do, but as upkeep, definitely. There is nothing attractive about a unibrow or a pair of furry caterpillars above your eyes.

9. Do you have dimples?
I don’t think so.

10. Do you like to camp?
In theory. However, I grew up in Texas, which means camping = sweating and bugs and trying to get ready in a sweltering camp “bathroom.” Maybe if it were in the mountains on a brisk, dry, fall morning it would be fun. I do love hobo meals!

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On Answered Prayer

I’m beginning to see the importance of writing out my prayers. Among other reasons, it’s a great way to look back and see how those prayers have been answered.

I do realize that, at first, this sounds silly. I would think that if something was important enough to me to pray about it, that I would recognize the answer, whatever it was, when it came. But I’m a human and I don’t have a perfect memory. I forget things easily.

Case in point:

In Cambridge, we narrowed our housing options down to three properties. Each had their good and bad qualities, none of them really outweighing the others. I thought to myself, “this decision is impossible! I have no idea how to choose which will be better for us. There are too many unknowns and I just can’t do this.” So I prayed that we wouldn’t have to make a choice. That two would get ruled out and we would be left with whichever place would be best for us.

Before we left England, two of the places were sold or leased to other people, leaving us with just one option.

Totally forgetting my previous prayer, we (mostly I) freaked out. What if this place wasn’t so great after all? What if we get there and realize that we can’t afford it? What if we ship our furniture to England and then realized we wished we hadn’t? And so on.

I’ve been delibarating since Monday night about what we should do. I spent hours looking for temporary housing in Cambridge for us to live in for the first month or two while we scouted out a more permanent place to live. We finally sent in the leasing application for the property yesterday, but with the understanding that we could still change our minds. I was so filled with uncertainty.

Until last night.

I was halfway through explaining our housing situation to some members of our community group when it hit me.

Isn’t this exactly what I had been praying for?

So then I had two choices. I could accept this as a pretty clear answer to my prayer, or I could hold out believing that it was just a convenient coincidence that looked like an answer to prayer.

If I’m being honest with myself, it’s so much easier to hold on to the coincidence theory and wallow in my anxiety. It’s more familiar and it’s pretty easy to do. But is that even really a viable choice? I asked God to show me what to do, and it sure seems like He did. If I really trust Him, I can’t very well respond with “Well that’s nice, but I don’t believe you, so thanks anyways but I’ll do my own thing.”

So, it looks like we’re pursuing this property full speed ahead. Who knows? It might not pan out in the end. But, I’m pretty sure this is at least the route He wants us to take to get wherever we need to be, so I have no business being anxious about our decision.

I wrote the following post yesterday afternoon after reading of the death of some of Gaddafi’s family members. I feel that it is all the more relevant today in light of the news of Osama’s murder that I awoke to this morning. In that regard, you can apply my arguments below to the death of Osama as well.

You do not have to agree with me, but please do me the courtesy of reading and prayerfully considering what I have to say in it’s entirety before you form an opinion as to where I stand on terrorism and “justice”.

 

This issue is heavy on my heart today. 

I have been keeping up with the events unfolding in the East, Libya in specific, and my heart is constantly broken for those people. The amount of daily unrest is unreal. The news source I follow on Twitter reports almost daily on the number of deaths occurring from these struggles. My thoughts and prayers are generally with the victims of the violence, praying first that God will protect them, but also that He will intervene to bring about a change in a nonviolent way. A change of heart among the rulers of those nations. An opportunity for mutual understanding and compromise. Peace. 

When various countries began to turn to military force to stop Gaddafi, I was conflicted. Yes, he needed to be stopped, but was this the right way to handle it? Possibly risking the lives of civilians in order to stop someone from further threatening those civilians’ lives seemed counter-productive. (As did fighting violence with violence.) But what other option did the leaders have? Negotiations had failed and people were continuing to die.

I don’t envy the job of the leaders of the various nations. If I had been in their place, I don’t know how I would have best handled the situation. It seems like there is no right course of action to be found. 

Saturday night, I read that a NATO strike had killed one of Gaddafi’s sons and three of his grandchildren. For those who are unaware, most of Gaddafi’s family, specifically his sons, support him and his political stance. In the eyes of the world, I would guess that this is a victory. 

But as I thought on this and shared it with my husband Sunday morning, my heart was as equally broken for these deaths as it had been for the deaths of the oppressed. I wept for the loss of life, regardless of the evil acts that have been committed.

These people were, in all likelihood, just as terrible as Gaddafi, a man most of the world agrees is a tyrannical murderer. But all of these people, Gaddafi included, are clearly lost and separated from the grace and love of God. They are people who were created in God’s image—just like me. And they were murdered on Saturday.

To what end? Do their deaths bring back the victims who were slain? Does killing them right the wrongs that have been done? Has any of the pain from their actions or their association with Gaddafi been erased in their death? Clearly no.

Am I denying that their actions were evil?

Honestly, I have no idea what they have specifically done, but in a nutshell, no.

Do I deny that there should be consequences for their actions?

No.

But, do I think that they should have died for their actions (or for their relation to and support of someone so cruel)?

Emphatically, no.

The point remains that it was God who created them and gave them life and it is He that should have the power to take that away. 

Have we forgotten the Sermon on the Mount?

Matthew 7 – 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

Or

Matthew 7 – 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Or maybe it is more clear in Romans 12.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I feel like that bears repeating at least once more:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

So my response to this is that while we should continue praying for the victims, we should also extend those prayers to the rulers. Right now it seems that the only way for the death and destruction in these nations to end is by killing the rulers, but this perpetuates the violence. Instead, let us pray for a supernatural change in their hearts and minds, for it is only then that there is a chance of peaceful reconciliation.

❤ LF

What a week

It has been such a rough week.

{Short recap: My mom was diagnosed with Shingles, my dog died, there was a false alarm with some health issues of another family member, and my grandmother had heart surgery.}

Maybe rough is an understatement? Last Sunday feels like it happened months ago.

But, through all this, God is good. My grandmother is recovering (slowly, but well overall) and the rest of us are all still here, at least for today.

Accomplishments of the week:

1. I may have found someone to replace me at work when I leave. Someone who I actually know, and who actually knows something about finance (unlike me)

2. By 2:00pm today, I had already made tonight’s and tomorrow night’s dinners. All that’s left is the cooking. (And, since there will be leftovers, those will get us through Wednesday night. Thursday night we have community group dinner, which means that the next meal I need to think about doesn’t happen until Friday.) A-mazing. I sense a new trend in the making.

3. Going hand-in-hand with no. 2, I touched raw meat. As in, raw red meat. Something that is generally completely out of the realm of possibility for me. But I did it today. And my husband is proud.

Tell me about your week(end)!

❤ LF

Heart = Breaking

On Tuesday evening, I had to make the decision about what to do with my sweet aging puppy. He is 16 years old and currently has joint issues, is both blind and deaf, and, as of last Sunday, has seizures. He also is at high risk of drowning since he can’t find my parents’ pool until after he’s fallen in.

If you’re not a pet-owner, you probably won’t understand, but can you imagine having to make the decision to put-down your best friend? Completely heart-wrenching. As a result, I cried a lot, drank chocolate milk, and watched All Dogs Go to Heaven. (It seemed appropriate at the time.)

Since my dog lives in Sugar Land, my husband and I spent the afternoon out there Sunday, photographing him, holding him for the last time, and helping him to enjoy his last day alive.

He was a stray when we adopted him and he turned out to be the sweetest puppy who ever lived.

 

Skidd(Mark) Bond {June 8, 1995 - April 11, 2011}

 

Sad

It’s starting to hit me that we’re moving in just over five months and probably never coming back.

My husband’s PhD program in Cambridge lasts for 3-4 years and then he will (God willing) begin a career as a professor. We may stay overseas for a few additional years if he secures a position there, or we may come back to America when his schooling is over. Either way, however, there are currently no plans for him to ever teach in Texas.

Translation = we are never coming back to Texas.

::excuse me while I go hide in my bed and cry::

It’s going to be okay great, and I am going to love it. And, to dispell any confusion on the matter, I am thrilled about our upcoming adventure. And it’s not like I really even like living in Texas all that much. (As a place on the map with some of the worst weather.)

But, despite my feelings towards the Texas heat, I love my life that’s in Texas. I love the people that I know in Texas. I love the sentimental places that are in Texas. This is my home.

But about five months is all I have left. FIVE MONTHS.

How do you wrap up 23 years of your life in five months?!?

Has anyone else done something similar before? I could use some advice. Or at least some encouragement.

❤ LF

Cake Advice

Okay internet, I need some advice.

Here’s the scoop:

When we ordered our wedding cake, part of the deal was that the bakery would make us an anniversary cake in the same flavor one year later, free of charge.

Pretty sweet idea since cake that’s been frozen for a year is generally not tasty.

Except, come to find out, our frozen cake actually was really tasty.

Also, for the sake of this story, you should know that we have several pieces of this tasty cake still in our freezer.

Back to the issue at hand:

There were some issues about getting our cake on our actual anniversary, so we postponed the deal to this past weekend.

I emailed back and forth with the bakery multiple times about the details and it was confirmed, more than once, that we would be picking up a spice cake with cream cheese icing.

So on Saturday evening, when we cut into our sweet little anniversary cake, imagine my surprise to find a plain vanilla wedding cake with really bad-tasting icing!

So here’s the question: Do I call and request a new cake? Or do I just forget it and move on with my life?

On the one hand, we have plenty of cake in the freezer that’s STILL good, so we don’t really NEED any more cake. But on the other hand, the happy wishes and dream hand, this was a major dissapointment.

{And, the topic of Chris and my original wedding cake is sort of a tragic story, (which you would know if I could ever get around to writing about it), so I sort of feel like I really need a happy ending to this wedding cake saga. }

But in the end, it’s still just cake.

What would you do?

❤ LF