Meat and Venetian Night.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yesterday marked the end of an era.

Ok, that's being a little dramatic. It was a big day for me, though, as it ended my 15 month stint as a vegetarian. I really enjoyed being meat-free for that time, but my body finally told me to stop. After these last few months of health issues, a friend clued us in to blood type diets and when we looked up the foods recommended for my blood type, we immediately saw, "Vegetarianism for Type O individuals is detrimental." Great. As it turns out, people with different blood types have different stomach enzymes which process food differently. For Type O, meat is processed very well and is integral to maintain health. All that to say, I don't think this is the entire problem - but if it helps at all, I'm willing to give it a try.

So last night, Shawn and I decided to make an event of it. I dressed in black (it was, afterall, a funeral for Vegetarian Whitney) but we celebrated my newly expanded diet! He let me choose wherever I felt comfortable eating meat for the first time in a while, and I chose P.F. Changs.

Just before leaving for our meat date (self-timer pic)

First on the menu: chicken lettuce wraps. I know the chicken is mashed up and disguised in all of the chopped up veggies, but hey, it was a start! To give myself credit, I did eat lots of orange peel chicken (delicious!) and a bite of Shawn's lamb.

I'm praising God that the transition was as easy as that. Again, I know this seems dramatic, but after not touching meat for over a year I had to be psychologically ready to attempt it again. I prayed that it would be an enjoyable experience, and it really was!

After that, I met up with my sweet friend Kirra for Venetian Night on the lake. Neither of us had ever been, but had heard about it and wanted to see what all the hype was about. It's basically a parade of boats with lights on them and it seemed charming.


We followed the masses - literally thousands upon thousands of people all headed for the same small spot along the lake.

It became less charming as time went on.

Kirra, following the crowds. Look at all the people and traffic!

What are we really doing here? :)

The tiny space where thousands of people stood to see a few boats parade by.

Once we finally weasled our way into the crowd and tried standing on our toes to see the boats, we got smashed between people on all sides and quickly decided this just wasn't worth it. We did see one boat:

They were doing the Thriller dance, dressed like Michael Jackson and his dancers. :) Overall, I'm glad we attempted it - and we did see some beautiful fireworks on our way back. It ended up being a fun city walk with a precious friend and good fellowship. So thankful for that!



Update: I wrote this post last night but didn't post it. This morning I woke up at 3:45am with severe symptoms of what I've been dealing with for the past 3 months or so. I'll be seeing another doctor as soon as possible, hopefully for some more specific tests. This just isn't getting better - even as hard as I try with diet and exercise - so it's time for another opinion. We would so appreciate your prayers for wisdom, peace, and healing.

Sweet sacrifices.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If Shawn ever doubts my sacrificial love for him, he need only look at this photo:

To some, this may look mouthwateringly appealing. To others (like me), not so desirable. I dug through a chicken carcass - which I will not post a photo of - to rip off the meat and bake it into a chicken tetrazzini casserole for my sweet husband. He told me I shouldn't view it as a "carcass," but all I can picture is a National Geographic scene where the vulture descends on its prey and tears through the animal as I did tonight.

Ok, ok... enough.

It's probably pretty apparent why I'm a vegetarian. That type of image enters my head whenever I think about eating meat. For some reason, it always has. Mom reminded me that once when I was 10 or 11 years old, we went to a cook-your-own-steak restaurant in Colorado and as soon as I entered and saw all the heads mounted on the wall, I began to cry. She was so confused - no one had ever taught me this!

All that to say, I don't mind cooking meat, but I haven't made it on a consistent basis because I just don't think about it. Shawn has adapted well to downing so many veggies and tries to eat meat whenever he eats out, but still, I'm trying harder to cook it for him. And because of my recent health issues, the time may be coming soon that I will also be eating meat again. I'm seriously going to pray that these images miraculously vanish, because otherwise, I just can't do it.

Back to sacrificial love. If I ever doubt Shawn's for me, I need only to look at our stunningly clean kitchen floors that he vacuumed and scrubbed last night. This is better than candy or flowers in my book! With all of my cooking and baking, the kitchen floor gets dirty in about 30 seconds. It had been bothering me, but I didn't have time to clean it before heading to work last night. Shawn picked me up late from work (another display of sacrificial love, considering his 4:20am wake up call!) and when we got home, the kitchen floor was spotless. Thank you, sweetie. You know exactly how to make my day.

Though we've only been married less than 6 months, there have been many small instances already that have required us to sacrifice for the other person.

I'm reading "The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis right now, and in it he argues that in Christianity, self-denial should not be an end in and of itself but a means to an end. I couldn't agree more. The end, for us, is the inevitable joy of our spouse. That makes the self-denial - the scrubbing floors, cooking meat, and giving up sleep - so worth it and even enjoyable.

While Shawn and I were dating and engaged, there wasn't much sacrifice that had to happen. (Ok, except for that giant diamond on my hand....) But because we weren't living together, we could be totally "on" when we were together. We could have our alone time, have time with friends, do our studying, but when we got together, we were fully present. There weren't many things we could do for each other that required sacrifice. Our time together was like one big long date. Still in college, we had no bills and the money we made from our jobs went into savings and the rest just to "play." Oh, how things have changed. :)

Just after getting married, close friends of mine would inevitably ask, "What's the best part of being married? What's the hardest part?" To both questions, my answer was the same: "Seeing him all the time." I couldn't possibly keep a happy face 24/7. I had to get used to him seeing me with no makeup and glasses. I had to adjust to less alone time and not get irritable in the process. We had to learn to serve each other by cooking, cleaning, laundry - all the really fun things. We had to re-learn each other as husband and wife because we really knew nothing about what it would be like to live together. There was no more pretending, no more "show."

I remember my Mom joking and saying that when she and Dad said their vows on their wedding night, they really had no clue what they were saying. I now see what she means. That sacred, beautiful December night, I promised things like, "I will put your needs and desires above my own." "I will pursue you always." In reality, there is no way I could possibly live up to any of this. Not only could I never be the perfect wife on my own, I couldn't even be a halfway decent one. It has become more and more apparent through these last 6 months my constant need for my Savior, the Lover of my soul. It is Him through me that can put Shawn's desires above my own. It is Him through me that will pursue Shawn's heart in the way he needs to be pursued. I cannot and will not take credit.

So though it's only been six short months, I have seen our love evolve and sweeten in ways I never could have imagined. I could not have foreseen being romanced by a clean kitchen floor six months ago. And sure, there is always room for unexpected flowers or slow dancing to jazz music on our hardwood floor. But our love and its manifestations are only growing deeper, developing roots that will last forever.

Good to have goals.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Having a wallet stolen is no fun. I'm not concerned with the money I lost or the gift cards - God has kept me in perfect peace about those things - but I am most sad about losing my life goals list that has found its home in my wallet for many years.

As hard as I may try, there's no way I can totally replace the list. I just can't remember all 40+ goals! So I've decided I'm going to remember as many as I can and add on to make up for the rest. And I'll keep the list somewhere other than my wallet.

FYI: I realize by putting these out here, I'm pretty much committing to them (or at least committing to attempt them!). That's ok with me.

Climb Mt. Whitney.
Hold a monkey. [check]
Speak at a funeral. [check]
Get married. [check]
Read Les Miserables.
Walk 10 miles without seeing anyone.
Go sky diving.
Adopt a child.
Write a good song.
Ice skate at Rockefeller Center. [CHECK]
Win a contest drawing. [check... kind of. I won a drawing contest. So, in effect, I won a contest, drawing. Haven't won anything in a drawing yet.]
Run a marathon.
See Josh Groban in concert. [check]
Become fluent in American Sign Language.
Meet Marcos Witt.
Fly over fireworks on July 4.
Establish residency in a foreign country.
Never retire.

Last but not least, memorize the book of Philippians. I have two chapters down and two to go. But I'm wondering, does anyone have any memorization tips? I tend to keep going back to the passages I like and "working on" those, even though I have them down pat. But then when it comes to the transitional type passages like, "I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche..." I lose track and lose motivation. Please let me know if you have any ideas of how to keep it going!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, restful weekend!

Commuting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Some days I really love the city.

Then there are days like today.

To be fair, I had a wonderful day overall and enjoyed gorgeous weather in the morning and early afternoon. But this evening's commute from work back home was eventful, and as I see it, those aren't the best kind of commutes. I work about a mile and a half from home, so I usually walk to and from work. But this afternoon, I was carrying quite a bit, so I decided to walk about a quarter mile then take the bus.

I'm walking along, and I feel a few raindrops. It's not bad at first, even without an umbrella. I try convincing myself that it feels "refreshing." Then, all of a sudden, it begins to come in torrents. If you've ever experienced true Chicago rain, it's almost as if it's raining horizontally. Even if I'd had an umbrella, it wouldn't have helped much.

I pick up my pace, and soon I'm running for cover under the bus stop awning. Thankfully, I see there's only one man there waiting, so there's plenty of room to join him. Except this guy is smoking like there's no tomorrow. Can anyone tell me why smokers have to blow the smoke out as far as possible, making sure everyone can inhale it? I'm sure that's not exactly what they're trying to do, but it was so strong and nauseating. I tried to crane my neck out of the bus stop to breathe the "fresh" city air, but then I was getting soaked. So I chose the second-hand smoke.

A few minutes later, the bus finally arrives and I feel so relieved. I gather all my stuff, looking like a bag lady, and sit down in the first empty seat, only to soon discover why it was empty. The man next to me immediately turns to me, and in a voice you might use at a football game, yells, "We're in Chicago. Chicago, Illinoissss. Chicago is in the state of Illinoissss," spit coming out as he mispronounces our state. I smell his rank, boozy breath. 

"Uhh... yes, we are," I replied, hoping this conversation could end.

He continues, still at a deafening volume, "We're in Chicago. We're not in Hollywood. That's in the state of California."

I wish I could say that at this point, I completely engaged with him in conversation and asked him how his day was going, but I just wasn't in the mood. I tried to look away, and each way I turned, I saw someone staring in my direction. Some gave me that "I'm so sorry" look; others snickered. The man continued talking/screaming, asking me if I know Matt (?) until he decided it might be a good idea to sneeze right on my arm and on my purse. Could this commute get any better?

As we pulled up to the bus stop, my hero Shawn came to my rescue with a huge umbrella to walk me home. And he had even made dinner! My evening went from a 2 to a 10 instantly.

I'm sure whenever it is that we don't live in this city, we'll look back and laugh hysterically about moments like these. But in the mean time, I'm going to go sanitize my bag.

:)

Another morning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


There's nothing like a rainy morning.

This morning, I woke up to thunder and lightning outside my window and wished I could stay in our cozy bed all day.

Mornings are my favorite part of the day. God has made everything new and there is a sacred peace in the morning that can't be found in daytime or evening hours.

Unfortunately for me, I can't share this part of day with my sweet husband as he is already out the door just after 5:00am.

But when I come out of my warm bed and into our kitchen, the only thing lit is the lamp on the table and it's as if Jesus himself is sitting at our table, welcoming me to another day.

I'm thankful for a peaceful home, even in the heart of the city. My mom taught me, by example, the importance of your home being a true sanctuary - a place that you and others can come to rest. I'm not totally there yet, but I love when people comment, "I feel so relaxed here." That's exactly what we hope for.

On a typical morning, I'll turn on some Fernando Ortega music, boil tea, grab a piece of whatever is on the cake plate, light a candle, and open my Bible. It's one of the only ways I can start my day out right.


This morning, I read Revelation 21, one of my favorite passages, in the Message. It is so encouraging to remember the end of the story - that victory will come, though it seems far off and unlikely at times.
I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.

I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.

I heard a voice from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down - each word dependable and accurate." - Revelation 21:1-5, The Message
I hope and pray your morning has been one of peace.


Yummy, easy soup.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We had this for dinner last night and oh my... it was good.

I've tried 3 or 4 recipes for French Onion Soup now, and this one tops them all (and it only takes 30 minutes!):

Robin Miller's Classic Onion Soup

You can easily substitute another kind of cheese (and it can be sliced or shredded) for the Gruyere and it turns out just as well. I wouldn't suggest substituting the Parmesan rind in the soup, though. It adds a lot.

Today's test.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This morning, I woke up, grabbed my blueberry tea, and groggily headed to the comfy red chair in our living room to read a bit from my favorite devotional. If you're in the market for a daily devotional, I highly recommend this one. It's a classic called Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. My copy is beaten up after years of use, but that makes it even better in my opinion. It has astounded me, through the years, to see how timely the devotions are for exactly what I'm going through on any given day.

I flipped to today's devotion:

"He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." - Job 23:10

As soon as I read that verse, I teared up. That exact verse had meant so much to me in high school that I actually had it on the front of my graduation invitation. And now, with the past few months of health issues, death, finances, and the uncertainty of the future... it was exactly the reminder God knew I needed that, indeed, He knows. What a comfort it is that He knows every trial I'm facing.

Each part of the devotion for today continued to be encouraging.
"The strongest trees are found not in the thick shelter of the forest but out in the open, where winds from every direction bear down upon them. The fierce winds bend and twist them until they become giant in stature. These are the trees that toolmakers seek for handles for their tools, because of the woods great strength."
The spiritual world is no different, and in the storms that we've been through these past several months, He is only making us stronger. Hallelujah!

As I wrapped up my time with the Lord, I remembered something I needed to pay for online, so I went to grab my wallet from my purse. It wasn't there. Not quite alarmed at this point, I began retracing my steps from yesterday. We spent much of the day with our friends the Poricks, and before that, I had been at Argo Tea for the afternoon. I knew for a fact that was the last place I had pulled out my wallet. I called Argo - no wallet.

I told Shawn and we decided not to worry about it until after church, when we would keep looking around. As soon as I got home, I checked our online bank statements only to quickly notice a couple large purchases on both my debit and my credit card which were made while we were with our friends. My premonition had been confirmed - my wallet had been stolen.

I called to cancel my cards immediately, at which point I found out that almost $5,000 had been charged to one of my credit cards, but the security alert from the bank didn't allow it to go through. All of the unauthorized purchases were credited back to me and all my accounts were closed. Thank you, Chase Bank.

As soon as I finished with them, I had a light bulb moment and told Shawn, "I know who stole my wallet." I remembered that as I was working on my computer at Argo, a homeless looking woman with a large bag sat directly behind me. At one point, she spilled all the contents of her bag onto the floor and I got down on my hands and knees picking them up and returning them to her bag. Meanwhile, she must have grabbed my wallet out of my purse which was hanging (closed) from the back of my chair. Looking back, the whole thing was very plotted. These kind of people know exactly what they're doing, I guess. She left very quickly and my bank statements show that within 20 minutes, she was making purchases across the street at Macy's.

All of this to say, it was so sweet of God to begin my day with that verse. "He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." This was surely a test. How would I react to being violated? How would I respond to all of my bank cards, cash, driver's license, and gift cards being taken?

Honestly, all I can say is that God's peace that surpasses all understanding has guarded me throughout the day. Not once have I even felt that bothered by it. Shawn and I even prayed this morning that the gift cards (some were for area restaurants) would bless this woman if she even kept them. (We did also pray that the wallet would be miraculously returned and still believe it could be.)

I must also give credit where credit is due. My husband amazes me in these kinds of situations. He never showed one sign of being flustered or angry. He just looked at me and said, "Only what's part of God's will ever happens, so if your wallet being stolen is God's will, then we should be thankful for it." Can't say I'm thankful for the hassle of replacing all these cards, but I am surely thankful that God is so passionately interested in the growing of my faith.

Dear Shawn...

Saturday, July 11, 2009


You have swept me


off

my
feet.

I love you.

Homemade salsa recipe.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Last night our good friend Ilene was over and we caught up over chips and homemade salsa. She asked how I made it, and until then, I hadn't even really thought it was a recipe. I had just chopped some things up and put them in a bowl. But so that I can replicate what I did and so you can try it if you want, here it is:

1 large tomato (or 2 if you want)
2 jalapeƱos
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 large white or spanish onion
1 bunch cilantro (add as much as you like)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt to taste

Just dice all of these ingredients - or chop them even finer, depending on how you like it. It can be anywhere from a chunky pico de gallo to a more saucy consistency. Mix together and you're done!

I'll admit, it's kind of a lot of chopping, but I was able to do it in under half an hour (and I'm not very fast). I have a food processor on my wish list, which would make this so much faster! I could eat this stuff with every meal (and apparently I do... I just had some at 7:30 this morning).

The other night when Kels and Zach were over for Fourth of July dinner, and we had a Chipotle-style meal and made our own burritos. I asked Kels to finish chopping some tomatoes for the salsa and we were remembering that one summer during middle school (or maybe elementary school?) Kels decided to sell homemade salsa. At first, we had planted a "salsa garden" in one large pot with some tomatoes and peppers and cilantro. But because we needed that and more to make even one jar of salsa, Mom bought all of the ingredients. Kels bought the jars and spent most of the summer at the cutting board. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. She used one of Mom's recipes (because she doesn't even like salsa in the first place) and sold the jars for $2 each, making hardly any profit for all that chopping. Oh, Kels. You've been an entrepreneur from the beginning. :)

Pie prayers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have discovered the recipe for a happy husband. It's right here. Throw on an apron, open the windows to let the air in, and bake away. Oh, and some Taylor Swift music doesn't hurt.

For my husband (and probably yours), anything sweet and baked brings a smile. It's a good thing I figured this out early on. I bake at least every other day because it completely relaxes me, but also because I love the look on Shawn's face when he takes the first bite. Sheer joy.

Yesterday afternoon, as I was kneading the pie dough, I was reminded of the first pie I baked on my own. It was during the summer sometime in middle school and I was really into baking. For whatever reason, I decided one day to make a pie similar to the one I made last night. It was a more challenging recipe, for sure, but I eagerly anticipated the delicate lattice and the aroma seeping from the oven.

As I was working, my mom came into the kitchen and asked who I was making the pie for.

"Uhh... I don't know," was my very teenage response. The thought hadn't even entered my mind.

Perhaps we could just keep it, I thought, except for the fact that a.) I don't like eating pies and neither does most of my family or b.) we already had quite the spread of baked goods, thanks to my recent phase.

After trying to think of someone to bake this pie for, Mom offered a suggestion. "Let's pray for the pie. Let's ask God who it's for."

So right there in the kitchen, I clasped my floury hands as we prayed for the pie. I have to admit, it seemed a little silly at the time.

A few hours later, the pie was cooling on the counter and still had no home. I sat on the kitchen counter beside it and, just out the window, noticed a moving truck pulling in to our neighbor's driveway. The house had sat empty for a while, and today, we get new neighbors. I knew immediately who was supposed to have that pie.

As our new neighbors hauled goods into their home, Mom and I packed up the still warm pie and headed off to meet and greet. As I handed the woman the pie and told her it was for her family, she looked surprised. She smiled wide and said, "Just today, I was thinking that Southern hospitality was dead... but then you bring a pie! Thank you so much."

My heart was bursting at the seams with excitement. My new neighbor might as well have been the mouthpiece of God! Little did she know what an impact she had made by simply accepting my gift.

I did hear God speak that day. He reminded me, ever so gently, "I hear your prayers. Even the ones about pies."



PS - Thank you, favorite brother-in-law Erik, for fixing my blog! It's exactly what I was wanting. Thank you thank you!

Travels on a clipper ship.

Friday, July 3, 2009

While I sit here on a gray day in Chicago, I can't help but think of where my parents are... Istanbul. They are headed for a trip of a lifetime on a clipper ship, retracing the journeys of Paul.

Tomorrow, they'll board this:

And in the next ten days, these are a few of the stops they'll make:
Ancient Troy
Philippi
Ephesus
Patmos
Corinth
Athens

Oh, and did I mention that Erwin Lutzer and Dr. Mark Bailey (president of Dallas Theological Seminary) would be teaching them along the way?

Wow.

I may be a little jealous (ok, a LOT jealous!) but more than that, I'm so excited for what they'll learn and can't wait to hear all about the trip when they get back!

Waitin' on a Woman

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shawn and I just watched this video of a song we really like and it was just a sweet reminder that love gets better with time.


PS - The place with the twinkle lights in this video is the Factory in Franklin, where we were married. Makes it even more special. :)

Jetsetting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This week has been a whirlwind.

With a 4-day trip to Texas, then 2 days back in Chicago, then 3 days in Nashville, I'm back in Chicago now and thankful for a few days to recover. At the same time, it was an incredible week! I was able to see about 90% of my extended family as well as all three of the places I've ever lived (this just occurred to me!).


Me and Pastor Oliver at GNL - what a precious man!

First stop: Waco, Texas. My best friend Jess picked me up from the airport in Ft. Worth so we could spend the weekend together before my Grams' funeral on Monday. It was so good seeing you, precious friend! Jess is always so inspiring to me and I love how we can get together after months of not seeing each other and pick up where we left off. After getting her Masters' in Social Work, Jessica is now working with Mental Health in Waco and has her own office, about 85 clients, and I know she is the perfect person for her job. I couldn't picture anyone better - she is sensitive, compassionate, and has the biggest heart. We had a fun, relaxing weekend which included snow cones, trips to Walmart, going to Greater New Light on Sunday, watching HGTV, and we even ended up as extras in a Baylor commercial. :) And to Nate, Tiffany, Charity, Corey, Tim, Eunice, and others - it was great to see you guys too! Thanks for always making me feel so welcome.

LOVING the Texas heat!

On Sunday night, I met up with Mom, Todd, Julie, Abby, Hallie, and Missy and on Monday evening was Grams' memorial service (Dad got there just in time from Rhode Island). It was a beautiful service in every way. It was held at her little, packed church in Southlake and I know all of her family was encouraged to see so many people who really loved her. I only wish she could have been there in person because it was so her - she would've loved every minute. I have a good feeling she saw it from a much better place.

Speaking of Grams, Mom set up a memorial website for her that you can see here. There are pictures and guest book entries and fun stories. And my very favorite... a personal note from (my favorite) Mike Huckabee!! They were ministry friends years ago.


Jess under I-35 bridge... part of our typical photo shoot. :)


Flowers I brought home from Grams' memorial.

On Saturday and Sunday, Kels had her third and fourth bridal showers. [Pictures of all of this coming soon. Promise.] It's almost surreal as it was only about 6 months ago that we saw these sweet women at my own bridal shower! Her third shower was at our house (given by Mom, me, aunt Missy, & Grandma) and the fourth was in Columbia and was given by the pastors' and staff wives at First Baptist. They have continued to bless our family in so many ways. Kels got soo many wonderful gifts and I know she and Zach will have will have a blast unpacking and nesting in their new home in southern Oregon. Is it really just a month til the wedding?! Wow.

As we arrived in Chicago a couple nights ago, we were bombarded by the reality of the city as soon as we got there. When we were switching trains to head home, a man was sitting on a trash can talking loudly to himself, complaining (with plenty of colorful language) about how high CTA fares have gotten, and ending every phrase with "It's crazy, man... just crazy." Then having to push through drunk, scantily clad girls to get into our apartment door... a lovely welcome indeed.

Being spoiled by the South, it's sometimes pretty difficult to return to the city, even though we do love it most of the time. You really just can't get Southern hospitality anywhere else! We always feel so relaxed in Nashville. It was refreshing to hear nothing as we fell asleep in my parents' house, refreshing to be welcomed at church and given about 3,248 hugs, refreshing to see so many people smile. Oh yeah, and refreshing to breathe Hobby Lobby air. I miss that place! All that said, we're pretty convinced that our next move will be a southern one. We feel out of place here a lot of the time. Someone at church (in Chicago) even told us that we don't really fit in here because we're too happy (not sure how to interpret that?). Until then, though, we're thankful for the summer which makes Chicago a much more livable place!

Thank you, amazing family, for an incredible 10 days! I love you all.

PS - Some of you may be wondering about how I fared on four flights in one week. The United Express flight I took to Dallas/Ft. Worth was a small plane. When I saw it, my stomach dropped. The heat made it a bit turbulent, but honestly, God overwhelmed me with his peace despite the bumps. And by my 4th flight of the week last night, I wasn't bothered by the rough skies a bit. This really is a miracle. Prayers answered!

Yes.

You are the God who is simple, direct, clear with us and for us.
You have committed yourself to us.
You have said yes to us in creation,
yes to us in our birth,
yes to us in our baptism,
yes to us in our awakening this day.

But we are of another kind,
more accustomed to "perhaps, maybe, we'll see,"
left in wonderment and ambiguity.

We live our lives not back to your yes,
but out of our endless "perhaps."

So we pray for your mercy this day that we may live yes back to you,
yes with our time,
yes with our money,
yes with our sexuality,
yes with our strength and with our weakness,
yes to our neighbor,
yes and no longer "perhaps."

In the name of your enfleshed yes to us,
even Jesus who is our yes into your future. Amen.

- A prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth

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