Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 12, 2009

So a couple of Fridays ago Adam and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Trying to figure out how to celebrate the day without spending a lot of money, I decided I would plan something. I wrote up clues and Adam & I went on a memory scavenger hunt. We drove to 4 places that meant something to us; our high school, the Morris Arboretum (sight of our reception), St. Matthew's Episcopal Church (where we had our wedding ceremony), and our house in Plymouth Meeting. Once home we ate a yummy meal, reminicent of our wedding "feast"; lobster ravioli, brushetta, and salad. It was a nice evening (even though our car started acting up along the way -- it figures).

An aside...We heard a John Piper Sermon called Sustained by Sovereign Grace: How to Endure to the End and I was convicted. We are a generation that does not endure. Our hearts wander, we give up when it gets hard. We struggle to endure hardships. It's too easy to give up and walk away. So part of the marriage commitment is a covenant, a promise, to endure all things with your partner. And although sometimes it's easier to give up than endure, God's sovereign grace will sustain us. His grace is not a promise for perpetual bliss without trouble or pain, but a promise that God won't give us anything that he won't enable us to endure (1 Corinthians 10).

I love you, Adam!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Flying Leap

So we're doing it. The decision has been made. Our son, Caleb, is going to 2nd grade at public school in the fall. For a couple who grew up public school all the way it should be a no brainer, right? I never knew any differently. When I was growing up I don't even think I knew there were Christian schools other than catholic school. But God led us to Penn Christian Academy in East Norriton, PA and Caleb attended for kindergarten and is now finishing 1st grade there. It's been a great experience. He has thrived there. And now, with a tear in my eye, we are counting down the days until his last day of school. And when he gears up for school in the fall, he will be going to our local public elementary school instead. It will be fine, I keep telling myself. Everyone walks a different path. What's right for one may not be right for the other and every child is different. Christian school is just so expensive and a choice had to be made.

Today Ellie and I went to a speech meet at his school. The 1st thru 5th graders had to memorize either a poem or scripture. There were suggestions and guidelines based on their ages, but they are expected to memorize something and then stand up front in the auditorium and speak their "speech" into the microphone, loud and clear. Amazing what we ask our kids to do! Anyway, these last few visits to the school have been emotional for me. I love that they pray before every activity. I love that they talk freely about God and that He is part of their day. I digress. I thought I'd share what Caleb memorized, learned, and recited this morning. I'm so proud of him! And I ask that you pray with me for my son as he bravely changes schools and leaves the "safety" of Penn Christian. I know this is the right thing. And I pray that this is the right time. Because all I ever want is to do what's best for my kids (even though I know I will fall short). And if I trust what God says, that He will be with us, that He will never leave us, then I have to know and trust that God will be with him no matter what school he goes to.

You may not understand. You may think, what's the big deal? But I want to protect my kids from this world for as long as I can. I want them to have their innocence because what's wrong with that? I don't want them to live in a bubble, but I know the world will invade eventually. We can't keep that from happening. And it's important to learn how to live and function in this world. It's just another trust thing, I guess. And just because I fear something doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Just because I was uncomfortable with heights didn't mean that I shouldn't work at an outdoor ropes course hanging in the trees (what was I thinking?). Our fears should not stop us from living. What a shame when our fears keep us from experiencing life to its fullest.

"Hello, my name is Caleb Willard and I will be saying Matthew 22:37-40. 'Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.' This scripture tells us two of God's most important rules, to love Him and to love each other."

Monday, June 1, 2009

20 Things You May (or May Not) Know About Me

Did you know?

1. I never had a permanent address until I got married. My Dad worked at the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, PA. As part of his job we got to stay in a house on the grounds. It was an awesome place to grow up! Every weekend, we drove to my grandparents house in Doylestown (about 30 minutes away). I pretty much did that my entire life until I got married. When my grandfather died in 1989, we split our time between the 2 places. There were even days I commuted to school at Springfield Township High School from Doylestown.

2. When I was a kid I...learned ballet & tap; took piano, clarinet, and flute lessons (in that order); stopped playing flute in the band & marching band to join the chorus in middle school; played field hockey, basketball, little league baseball, softball, and swimming; stopped playing sports my junior year of high school to participate in choir and drama; took voice lessons sophomore year of high school thru college; joined our high school's thespian troupe and acted in every play (except for one) freshman year thru senior year; have been called "narrator", "Hodel", "Nancy", and "Angel" (among other things)

3. I only worked one summer in high school at a summer day camp. I was a junior counselor with the oldest bunch of girls. I worked at the same camp 2 summers while in college, but in the Outdoor Challenge area. It was definitely a "guy job" hanging from ropes, climbing trees, jumping off high ledges. Did I mention I'm uncomfortable with heights? It was fun, though.

4. I had an internship the summer between my junior & senior year of college in the Public Affairs Department at WPVI Channel 6 ABC (the news station in Philadelphia).

5. My family went camping just about every summer growing up driving as far west as we could get in 2 weeks roundtrip. I have been to almost every state in the United States except for Alaska, Idaho, Washington state, Oregon, Louisiana, and Georgia. I have traveled to Ireland, Scotland, and England (twice). I have also been as far south as the Bahamas. My parents took us to Hawaii in 2007.

6. I was engaged to marry my high school sweetheart on 4/17/97, but we were not married until 6/12/99. I was 23 years-old. I first met my now husband in 1st grade. We stared dating exclusively in the fall of 1993 (our senior year of high school). We'll be married for 10 years next week.

7. My Grandmother, my mother, my daughter, and I all have the same middle name.

8. I have gone to church my entire life. I grew up attending an Episcopal Church. My husband was brought up in a Baptist Church. Since 2003, Adam & I have attended a non-denominational church called Faith Church of Worcester (it's evangelical and bible teaching). Although I have believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember, I began a true relationship with Jesus after we started attending Faith Church. My belief became my own and I started living for Him.

9. I have never smoked and I rarely drink alcohol. I don't really like the taste of alcohol and because I drink it so infrequently, I have no tolerance for it. It either puts me to sleep or makes me feel funny. You can tempt me, however, with a glass of Sangria filled with fruit. Yum!

10. I love to look at old pictures and home movies (even if I'm not in them). I'm not sure why. My kids like to watch home movies, too, so maybe it's a genetic thing.

11. I had the same roommate for all four years of college. And she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

12. I went to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA (about 3 hours away from home). My degree was in Broadcast Communications, although I really just wanted to work for a video production company (and I did). Most of my classes were in the basement of the library. The year after I graduated they built a new Communications building with a TV studio and everything.

13. I joined a sorority in college...a professional music one. Even though it was not a social sorority, we did have some "hazing". My good friend, Emma, was my "little sister". She's the best thing that came from joining!

14. I have never broken a bone. I only have one cavity that I got after the birth of my son.

15. I love tomatoes, fresh flowers, a clean & freshly made bed, flip-flops, road trips, the color pink, and the beach.

16. I used to scrapbook all the time until the birth of my daughter. Having 2 kids takes up all your time. I'm trying to get Ellie's baby book done before she's a teenager.

17. Our best friends just bought the house across the street from us.

18. I have started to realize that my worst fears are irrational. What is the actual fear anyway? If the worst thing happened, we would have to go on. We would have to figure out how to live. And if we're in a relationship with God, He promises to not give us more then we can handle. Whatever does happen has a divine purpose.

19. I am a very organized, detail-oriented, planner. I like to know what to expect so I can plan accordingly. I am pretty visual. Is that why I like lists so much?

20. Before kids, Adam & I loved riding rollercoasters and going to the movies for fun. Now we rent movies and stay home. Oh, how things change when you have kids.
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