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Archive for the ‘Chris’ Category

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.

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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

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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

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Answered Prayer!

Tonight we got the official word that Chris has been accepted to Cambridge!!!!!!!

We are so thrilled!!!!

 

It’s a conditional offer, dependent on funding, his final GPA, and acceptance to an individual college (think the Harry Potter houses), but we’re fairly confident that those things will all work out.

 

On that note, however, we would appreciate your prayers for scholarships!

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I can hardly believe the new year is already here.

A year ago today was my two-week wedding “weekiversary” and I was planning out everything I wanted (needed!) to do with my last week of freedom before the start of my public accounting career.

My goals for 2010 were pretty simple: Take and pass all four sections of the CPA exam, enjoy my first year of marriage, and don’t get fired.

2010 is over, and while I didn’t take all of my exam, I still think I did a pretty good job at meeting my other goals. Chris and I happily celebrated our one-year anniversary two weeks ago (post coming soon!), and I didn’t get fired from my impossible job (I fired THEM!).

In addition to meeting my self-proclaimed goals, we also accomplished some great things. We found a new church in Houston that we LOVE, I quit my very financially-necessary but terrible job and relied on God to provide a new path for us, we spontaneously went to Hawaii, I got a new job (i.e. God provided me with a new job), and Chris applied to Cambridge.

In 2011 Chris and I are looking forward to a whole new set of adventures, the biggest being us learning whether we will be moving to Cambridge this fall. I will also hopefully be finally finishing my exam once and for all and (for the first time in…years?) I will get to experience the glorious thing that is true free time.

In addition to our larger, more long-term goals, I have a few smaller, internet related, goals that I’d like to share with you.

First, I would like to complete my 101 in 1001 goals list so that I can share it here. I am currently stuck at 83 and I’m having a hard time thinking of more. Some of my more specific, real-life goals for this year and beyond are contained here, so I can’t wait to finish this list and start crossing things off.

Second, I would like to re-evaluate my 365 Photo Project. I had some trouble with Flickr awhile back, so the last photo I uploaded was from 9/20. I had been keeping up with taking photos and only missing a day here and there, but then Christmas happened. Now I think I have a lot of missing days. I’m not sure what to do about that.

Third, I would like to successfully complete the Thirty-day Challenge on Tumblr. This goal is a little more obtainable than the 365 Photo Project, so I have high hopes of completing it.

Fourth, I would like to finally finally finally figure out a way to share some of my favorite recipes with you in a way that the perfectionist side of me can live with. (As I was writing this goal I thought of a new possible solution, so this may be even more easily achieved than I thought!)

Do you have anything big that you are looking forward to in 2011? Do you have any goals that you hope to achieve? Do you have any ideas of how to better meet my goals? I want to hear about them!

Happy 2011!

❤ LF


 

 

 

 

 

{images from here and here}

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Christmas 2010

I love Christmas. I am aware that I already told you that Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday, and it still might be, but Christmas is at least a close tie.

That said, this year a few more ups and downs than usual. I’ll start with the downs to get them out of the way. You can skip that part if you just want to be cheery.

Down:
Growing up, my family traditions involved a few key events, the most important of which (to me) occurred on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve this year, while still wonderful, was a little more of a “down” than usual.

Every year, we would celebrate with my maternal grandparents on Christmas Eve. They would pick up barbeque brisket and sausage from a favorite local place, and we would eat barbeque sandwiches around the dining room table at my house. When we’d all eaten more than our fill, we would transition into the living room where we would exchange presents. We would start out slowly taking turns opening them, but by the end it would become a sort of free-for-all as my grandfather would begin opening presents as soon as they were handed to him, ignoring our requests for him to wait until we were watching. After presents, we would transition to the kitchen for dessert as my mom and grandmother put away the food and packaged up leftovers for my grandparents to take home. Soon, (around 8 or 8:30) my grandparents would realize just how late it had gotten and take their leave of the celebrations.

Christmas Eve was a magical time in my house.

This year was still magical, but in a bittersweet sort of way as my grandmother, my mom, and I processed celebrating this important holiday for the first time without my grandfather. While we missed him dearly, we were, thankfully, able to keep at least most of the accompanying sadness from the forefront of our minds as we celebrated Jesus’ birth and enjoyed time with the rest of the family.

Ups:
Now that Chris and I are married, we are beginning to develop some of our own traditions. One of these traditions involved deciding when we would open gifts from each other. This year we decided to do it when we got back home on Christmas Eve, and it was such a treat. (An unforeseen “up”!)

My husband completely surprised me with some of his thoughtfulness. For instance, for Christmas this year I had asked for some items I had found on Etsy. When my husband went to the website to purchase them, he decided to take some time to look around at what else the site had to offer. Guys, my husband searched through the mass amount of pages on Etsy and picked out some of the most beautiful and perfect-for-me pieces of jewelry. He picked out a beautiful pearl and amazonite* bracelet, some dainty silver and sea-glass earrings, and a gorgeous calia lily necklace. I am so blessed to have such a sweet and thoughtful husband! (Pictures to come later!)

*If you don’t know what amazonite is, you’re not alone, I hadn’t heard of it before either. It’s a green stone that is really neat. More info here!

Another one of our new traditions this year included incorporating some worship songs into our Christmas Eve and Christmas morning celebrations. The idea was for Chris and me to sing advent-themed songs of longing for the coming Christ on Christmas Eve and then celebration and rejoiceful songs on Christmas morning to celebrate His birth. Extenuating circumstances prevented us from getting to do the Christmas Eve part of this tradition, but we did get to celebrate on Christmas morning and it was wonderful! One of my favorite songs for this is Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (the Charlie Hall version) sung and played by my husband. The song is such energetic celebration of Christ. Perfect for Christmas morning.

After our own celebrations, we began our long day of flip-flopping between our parents’ houses (a combined “up” and “down”). It was great to get to see everyone and participate in all of the family traditions from both sides of the family, but I don’t think I ever want to go through it again. It was a little too stressful for me (especially when you add in that we were leaving town for several days on the 26th!!)

On Sunday night we arrived at Chris’s grandmother’s house in Emporia, Virginia, where the whole town was blanketed in snow. This was a completely unexpected “up”. (Well, let’s be honest, it was unexpected as of a week before Christmas. That’s when I started checking the forecast for Emporia every day to see if it would be snowing!)

So, while the down was a pretty big down, the ups were numerous and each one was pretty great. I would say that overall it was a wonderful Christmas.

How was yours? What surprised you this year? Have you gotten to have a white Christmas recently?

❤ LF

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I realized last night that I hadn’t blogged in over a week. Oops! I realize that maybe a list doesn’t quite count as a post, but all the cool kids are doing it (see here and here), so I think it will be okay.

1. This Sunday is mine and Chris’s first anniversary! I can hardly believe it’s been a year. Sometimes, it feels like our wedding happened last week. One of these days, I will actually write about our wedding and the ridiculous year leading up to it, but today is not that day. (Tomorrow or Sunday won’t be either.) We have a wedding to attend tomorrow, but then, we’re free to celebrate!!

2. I love my job and I am so grateful that I’ve been blessed with it. Yes, it still has its little frustrations, but what job doesn’t? No, my bosses aren’t perfect, but who is? No, my paycheck doesn’t hold a candle to what big D was paying me, but, I’m actually happy here and with life in general, and who can put a price on that kind of happiness? I haven’t even looked at my CPA review materials since my last exam, not because I’ve been working around the clock, but because I have been spending time with my husband! And with my friends! What a concept! Such things were hardly even possible to think about with my former job. I know I’ve said it a lot, but God has been so good to us in this.

3. Have you heard of Andrew Peterson and his Behold the Lamb of God tour? No? Go here. Right now. I was able to see the live performance a few years ago and it was spectacular. It’s a wonderful, amazingly artistic, “song cycle” of the coming of Christ. This year, we decided to get the album for multiple people on our Christmas list, and when the cds arrived in the mail, we found a pleasant surprise! Included in the package was an untitled cd with a small collection (4-5 songs) of Andrew Peterson’s music. I listened to it for the first time today and fell in LOVE. It was such a moving cd. Do your self a favor this Christmas and get your hands on some of his music. Behold the Lamb of God is obviously amazing, but I know the rest is just as great. (The songs on our free cd came from Resurrection Letters, Vol. II and The Far Country)

Have a great weekend! When I come back, I’ll have been married for a whole year!

❤ LF

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