Friday, February 27, 2015

High Five for Friday

It's darn near the last Friday in February. I know it's a short month, but that went way too fast. But the good thing about Februray ending, is March beginning. And the good thing about March beginning is Spring.

1. This week has actually gone by really quickly for me since I took Monday off. I didn't do much, hung around home and ran some errands. But it was nice to have the day off work.

2. I went to visit my girlfriend on Friday night and had a great time with her and her friends. We went to a delicious Mexican restaurant (have I mentioned Mexican is my favorite?) and had some drinks. On Saturday we tried on bridesmaids dresses and got them all ordered. Bring on August!

3. I'm trying to read more this year (playing part in some of my goals for this year), and am going for a book a month. So far so good. Last month I read Tina Fey's Bossy Pants (I didn't love it) and this week I finished up Francine Rivers Redeeming Love (loved it). So now I'm on the search to find a new one. Any suggestions? I'm heading to the library this weekend to hopefully score a new one.

4. I felt some serious love this week for my birthdya this past weekend. Adam got me an awesome induction cooktop to use while our kitchen is non-exhistant. It's been a pretty exciting week, being able to cook again. As Adam says , "You don't even need a kitchen now!". For the record, that's not true.

5. It's been serveral weeks of H54F and not many updates. Well, we haven't got much to share. We're waiting for two more letters, a recommendation letter from our pastor and a recommendation letter from our accountant, before we can send in our paperwork to be state sealed by the State of Iowa. I'll be able to give an update once we get to that point!

Happy second to the last day of February! Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, February 20, 2015

High Five for Friday

Funny thing about Fridays, they come every week. Thank goodness. Some come quicker than others (or so it seems), this week, it felt like it took three weeks to get to Friday. But we're there (in my best Lloyd Christmas voice).

1. Adam was working out of town Sunday and Monday of this week. A few days before, he asked me if it wold be okay if he left on Sunday instead of Monday monring (in order to get home sooner). This was perfectly fine with me because there was a special, two-day airing of The Bachelor on Sunday and Monday. I was lucky enough to get Mkini sucked into the drama, so we watched it together. It was actually pretty cool because the girls were in Des Monies. Sort of a "Hey, I've been there!" type of thing.

2. Adam and I received a gift card for our favorite Mexican restaurant a few weeks ago, so we went there for this weeks date night and it was so good. I'm still dreaming about it. If I could go there every day, I think I would.

3. This past weekend Adam's parents were in town and we spent Valentine's day at an Iowa State basketball game, followed by pizza and wine at their hotel room. Adam and I don't really get into Valentine's day, so the fact that we actually did something was exciting enough. Plus the Cyclones won.

Tammy with Cy (photobomed by Rob)
4. Adam's been working on our upstairs bathroom when he's not working on other jobs, and it's really coming along nicely. It's fully drywalled, and we should be able to start painting in a couple days (he's got a few built-in cabinets to do first). This excites me a lot. It really hasn't been hard sharing a bathroom between three people, but the excitement for another part of our house to be complete is definitely there.

5. This weekend I'm heading out of town to see my best friend and bride-to-be, Sarah and join the fellow bridesmaids to try on dresses for their upcoming nuptials. I'll be coming home on Saturday to spend some time with Adam as I approach 24 (my birthday is on Sunday). And I took Monday off so I could keep the weekend going as long as possible.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 6, 2015

High Five for Friday

TGIF. amigos. It was a pretty easy going week, and it seemed to go by pretty fast, which is always a plus.

1.  We had a mega-storm over the weekend and received about 13 inches of snow. Holy snow. Church was cancelled. How does that happen?! Fortunately it's supposed to be in the 40's again this weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again: bring on Spring.

2. My future sister-in-law moved out to Indiana this last weekend and has spent her first week as an Indianian Hoosier (I googled that). We're already planning trips to go see her (including, but not limited to, a Women of Faith conference) but I will miss her. At least we have our Monday nights.

3. We're still checking things off of our Dossier list, and we're just waiting on a few more items to be returned for us. Slowly, but surely, we'll get it sent off!

4. Saturday Adam and I were planning on going down to Des Moines to run some errands and have lunch with a friend and her parents (and their friends) because they were going to Kinky Boots. They had an extra ticket and offered it to me! I had heard of it and definitely wanted to go. My friend, Sarah, and I got to sit really close (we're talking, I-could-see-the-sweat-dripping-close). It was awesome. And the extra time with a friend who doesn't live close, was awesome. 

5.  A couple we know from church is currently adopting from Uganda and are there right now for their court trip. They had court earlier this week and will be coming home on Sunday. Please pray for safe travels for them, and a favorable court ruling!

How was your week?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The One That's Hard to Write

It has been seven years since my mom pasted away. It's so hard to believe that much time has come and gone by. What has happened over the past seven years?

I met Adam. I graduated high school. I started college. I traveled across the world. I got engaged. I got married. I graduated college. Adam and I bought a house. And now we're on this journey to find our child. So many times, I've wanted to pick up the phone and tell her about it all.

It feels like it was just yesterday. I came home after school to find my mom and her boyfriend of 12 years, dead. It was a murder-suicide. That day and the days following were some of the most difficult of my life. It made it even harder eight months later when my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer.

But the most important and life-changing thing that happened in the last seven years?  I found Christ. I knew who Jesus was prior to my mom's death, but didn't understand the steadfast love that He has for us. When I look back on those days, it is so evident that God was working in my life, even though I wasn't even seeking Him out.

We're working our way through the book of Genesis at church. This past Sunday, our pastor had to quickly cover chapters 40-45. He talked about how Joseph goes through many trials—including being sold into slavery by his own brothers and thrown into jail for a false accusation, and then suddenly becomes part ruler of Egypt. Through and through, Joseph continues to keep his faith in God.

Joseph wasn't wallowing about his problems or cursing God. He looked at his situation and saw value, because God put him there. He was divinely put in the spot as a recipient of grace.

When somethings bad happens in our lives, it's so easy to ask God why. Why did this happen to me? This isn't fair. Why her? 

Praising God and the situations He puts us in gives purpose to the suffering. As humans, we're sinners. And selfish. We think this story and this life is all about us. We try to find meaning in these hard times but putting the events into a story. The easiest story is that we are the victims. We make God and others (typically, those who have what we don't have), perpetrators of the crime. We become angry with God for putting us in the situation. We become angry with others who have what we lost. And we're okay with being angry. Because we're victims. 

Another story is that we are the hero. We're able to jump over the hurdle and defeat the enemies by an amazing amount of strength that we have. All on our own.

Or we can understand that we are recipients of God's grace. Instead of trying to cast yourself in the main role as a victim or hero, cast yourself aside as an extra. The one who has received the grace to even be apart of this story. Wake up every day and thank God for allowing you to be apart of His day and His story. See value exactly where are you, knowing that is where God wants you.

I miss my mom terribly every day. And some days more than others. It would be amazing if I got to see her and talk to her when ever I wanted. But losing my mom has allowed me to see and understand God's perfect grace. God worked in me in ways that I can't even come close to understanding. But I am so thankful that He did. 
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