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sanity day

so I took today off. I'm not really sick or anything; I just needed a day. a day to rest. a day to "de-crabbify", as Matt would say. I've been really crabby all week, and it was in the opinion of both Matt & I that I needed some time to myself. yes, it's true - even extroverts need introvert days. very rarely, but it does happen.
so here I am. I've been reading the last in a series of 5 amazing books and watching too many episodes of "The Office". oh, and eating chocolate. mmmm..... chocolate...

I should talk a little about the books I'm reading. my favorite genre by far is historical fiction, and that's what these are. they were written in the 1980's by Bodie Thoene. they're called the Zion Chronicles. they're written about the time in Jerusalem between World War II and statehood for Israel. and they're incredible! the first book took my about 250 pages to get into, but what do expect from a series of 5 books that are about 400 pages each? I did get into it, and I haven't been able to put it down since.

I think one of my favorite themes through the whole books deals with Jew finding their Messiah in Yeshua. I never realized how much hatred their ones in the hearts of Jews towards Christians and towards those who claim Jesus as Messiah. I also never understood why. these books are helping me to realize their justification in the way they feel, and why it is so difficult for a Jew to accept Jesus as Messiah. so many horrible things have been done in His name. evidently, even the Nazis did much of what they did to the Jews, calling them "Christ-killers". what people from the church have done to the Jewish people is horrible to look at. and it grieves my heart.
these books look at the lives of several Jewish people, from peasants to scholars to military leaders, who see past all of that and find their Messiah. it's really quite powerful. I think in another year or so, I'll be reading these books again! I now understand why these are my sister's favorite books, and why she's read through them all 5 times.

another happy thing about these books is that it doesn't end here. Bodie Thoene wrote several sets of 5 books set around different time in Jewish history. I've just hit the tip of the iceberg, and I'm excited to dive deeper!


the color green

I love this time of year. my favorite color has changed to green over the last few years because of my growing love for spring. I love how everything that's been brown and grey and drab for so many months turns to a vivid green, sometimes seemingly overnight! it speaks to me of new life and new chances and hope. I love it.

I had the most amazing weekend. Matt mentioned the marriage conference - I won't use his words, but I will say that it was amazing!! I would recommend any married couple to attend when they do it again. we learned a lot of new stuff, and hearing things for the second or third or fourth time was a great reminder! we had all kinds of wonderful speakers. LeAnn Fraley spoke on the foundations of marriage (Tommy was there, but he had just had surgery and was drugged up - it was quite entertaining hearing some of his drug-induced interjections!) then Ty & Terri Schenzel - anyone who knows them knows how much fun and inspiring it is to hear them speak on anything.
Saturday morning was a session on finances by Justin & Traci Reeves, then Craig & Jan Fischer on communication. personally, this was my favorite. Jan is hysterical - who knew? and watching them together is a blessing and encouragement. they've been married for 37 years, and they are so obviously in love. it hasn't always been easy - they were in the middle of a divorce after 6 years of marriage when they found the Lord. He redeemed their marriage and has made it into something beautiful!
the last session was Matthew & Amanda talking about the ever-elusive (at least it's elusive in most church circles) subject of S_X. I write it that way because that's how Matthew wrote it - maybe you had to be there, but we all thought that was hilarious! :) it was fun listening to Amanda and watching Matthew squirm and turn bright red. ah, good times.

the rest of my weekend was filled with family. my cousin and wife and toddler came in town, mostly to visit my very ill grandma. (the story about Grandma is for a different blog). I got to spend a lot of time with my "cousin-in-law", Amy. she went to church with me Sunday morning - I asked her to go because I heard the Lord say He had something He wanted to tell her. and He did! we talked a lot on Sunday about her relationship with the Lord, her struggles, frustrations, and how the morning had encouraged her (and what the Lord had spoken to her heart). it blessed my heart so much to talk with her about that. I'm excited to talk more about it with her, and hopefully be an encouragement! Amy, if you're reading this, I love you!! I'm so glad you married my cousin. :)
the four of us (cousin Chris, Amy, Matt & I) hung out the rest of the day. I love seeing my family bond with my husband. we had a great time eating Zio's and Coldstone (not to mention the heartburn that followed) and talking about life. I wish they lived closer!

I have so much more to say, but I'll save it for another blog. I realize that I haven't posted about my trip to Chicago - I will! it was an amazing time. I'm still processing some of the things the Lord did in me.
Until later, much love and many hugs to everyone reading.


Flower time.

Spring time is almost here! It hasn't felt like it until today, with all that crappy rain last week. (Okay, maybe some people like it). That means we're going to get some flowers for our little apartment deck garden. I wasn't quite into the idea a couple years ago, but now if feels like a Spring thing that Sarah and I can do together, almost a tradition. I also think it's sweet that she's into flowers. :)

We attended a butt-kickingly awesome marriage seminar at Waypoint this weekend. A lot of it we've heard before, but it was nice to hear again. Some things we hadn't heard before, and we'll add them to our knowledge base. It was especially nice to hear couples who've been married a long time to share things they've struggled with. It's really encouraging to me to see couples that have been married over 30 years and are not only happy, but care enough to share that with younger generations.

We're looking forward to another week, but hopefully one with more seasonally appropriate weather. Sarah has only a few (5, 6?) weeks of school left and she'll then officially become a stay-at-home mom. (Or is that title not applicable until the baby is actually born?) I look forward to her planting flowers and getting some time to relax before he/she is born. Happy Spring....



The baby....

Sarah and I were shocked and amazed at our most recent ultrasound! I can't believe how the "bean" has been growing! It's nice to see this and think THAT is why my wife has been feeling so crappy! I can't believe it, it's a little person. Hopefully you can see the spine on the right and the head, face tilted down, and hand right under the face. It makes me realize even more that there is a person there. It is amazing...

On another and less miraculous note, I'm a bachelor until Tuesday night. Sarah went to Chicago this morning to visit Stephanie A. and her sister. She'll then spend some time in Michigan and be back home by Sat. night. Tonight is the first night in almost two and a half years of marriage that we'll be apart! It's good for us, but I miss her. :)