October 25, 2016
So many things we should talk about. When you haven’t blogged since May (seriously, May? I am such a slacker), so many things have come up like: Theo almost being a year old, our new favorite drama “This Is Us,” our new least favorite drama The Presidential Election, me going back to work next week, all my opinions on everything, and the fact that I am now a permanent resident of Canada!
We better get started.
So, this guy. What a fella.
Theo is 11 months old and will be walking very soon. He is smiley and funny and very often joyful. He’s a little too needy at times (aren’t we all), and he has a bad habit of throwing all of the food I try to feed him onto the floor, but other than that, he’s the cat’s pajamas. He has about five-ish teeth and enjoys using them to bite me on the hand or leg. He has been known to say Mama and Dada and Achoo when he feels like it. He loves waving, although lately his wave has turned into more of a salute (not in a good way — think Germany in the 30s. Just because he’s blue-eyed and has become blonde, his views have apparently gone wonky).
As many of you probably know, being a mom is weird. It is wonderful and hard and dumb and the best and terrible and beautiful all in about five minutes. I love Theo in a very different and more powerful way than I have ever loved anybody — my instinct is to protect him and care for him and comfort him. But sometimes he also bores me to death because I can only read that book about driving boats and combines across Canada so many times.
I am going back to work on Monday after my year of maternity leave. Seriously, I so appreciate this about Canada. I couldn’t have imagined going back to work when Theo was 6 weeks. I probably would have just stayed home with him, but I know not everyone has that luxury. But after a year, we are so much more settled, and I’m so much more confident in him, and it’ll be good. And to make it even better, I am only working mornings, and Andrew is only working afternoons this year. So we don’t have to do any daycare, we each get to spend quality time with Theo, and we each get to do some things we enjoy at work! I am very grateful for how this has turned out!
Speaking of gratefulness, I became a Canadian permanent resident this month!
We were expecting to have to wait at least another 6 months, but we got approved early. So, just to explain: I am still an American citizen. I am not a Canadian citizen. I am a permanent resident/landed immigrant/have a green card. This means that I am allowed to live and work anywhere in Canada, I have permanent healthcare, I have a normal social security number, etc. I basically can do everything except vote in Canadian elections. I am so happy that this process is done (it took two years and lots of money), but now I am settled and don’t have to stress when I go through customs!
So, I can’t vote in Canadian elections, but I do still get to vote in American ones. Goody. Just a couple of words on the thing we are over: the election. Over it.
I have been pretty vocal on Facebook about my dislike of Trump. I also dislike Clinton and will not vote for her. I don’t trust her, I think she’s a Shady McShadester, and I also hate her position on abortion. The reason I’ve been harsher about Trump is very related to my faith. Many of the Christians I am Facebook friends with are not considering voting for Clinton. But they might consider voting for Trump. I’ve just been so discouraged and frustrated with some leaders in the Christian community who have supported Trump when, if he were a Democrat, they would use every single thing about him (his multiple divorces, his affairs, his language, his bigotry, his sexist behavior, his flip-flopping) as reasons to denounce voting for him. But because they hate Clinton, ignoring all those things or calling them old news (although apparently Bill’s decades-old affairs aren’t old news), seems to be just fine. The hypocrisy astounds me. But, the argument goes, Clinton has done this and that and this as an elected official! True. Don’t vote for her. Trump probably will do this and that and this as an elected official as well. He’s never been one. Don’t give him a chance.
In my mind, both Trump and Clinton go against anything the Bible might have to say about leaders, wisdom, integrity or righteousness in any sense of the word. We are not electing a pastor, but we are electing a leader and can I really trust either of these people to stay true to any of their promises, lead with integrity or represent America well? Answer: no. Now, I know one of them will win. But I honestly don’t see a lesser of two evils here. And I also refuse to vote out of fear. I have been reading through the prophets in the Bible lately, and there is so much about poor leadership, but most importantly, about my responsibility to live a righteous life with the help of the Lord, no matter what the culture around me is doing. He is the one whose holiness I fear. So, I will send in my absentee ballot, and I will choose a presidential candidate, but you better believe it will not be Clinton or Trump. End scene.
Moving on to something that brings us joy instead of gloom: This Is Us!
Is this everyone’s new favorite drama in replacement of Parenthood? If not, it needs to be. As I watched the first episode, I was loving it anyway, but then I got to the end and my mind was blown, and you know how I love me some episodes that remind me (even in the smallest sense) of Lost. It’s just the best of both worlds. Please get to watching.
Well someone is standing up in his crib and acting like it’s the end of the world. (He was sweetly asleep one second ago.) I had better get going.
How are all of you? I will try to blog again before the Ivanka/Chelsea election of 2024.
Love you all!!
May 2, 2016
Theo just cried for ________ (it’s best not to give you the amount of time so you don’t judge me quite as much for being a terrible mother) while going down for his nap, which made me cry a bunch, so we’re just over here crying. It’s Monday, everyone.
Theo has become THE WORST sleeper lately. He’s never been good, but it has gotten out of control the past two weeks. Last night he was up for an hour and a half (from 2-3:30 AM) and then up a bunch of times after that too. At some point in the night, I think I stomped around and threw my phone on the floor (wise) and kicked a chair and ignored all of Andrew’s attempts to calm me. Or something. Who knows — it’s hard to remember things that happen at 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I’m going insane.
I’ve tried the pacificer, I’ve tried letting him cry, I’ve tried singing, I’ve tried promising him that I’ll pay for his college education, but nothing works. Help! Maybe it’s time to introduce solids — he’s nearing 6 months. Or I think he may be in some kind of regression or developmental leap or he just has a deal with the devil. No one knows.
Please give me some advice or heavy sleeping pills so I don’t hear him. Either one.
In other news, my mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago! She hadn’t seen Theo in awhile, so it was the best and so fun and I miss her. We shopped and chatted, and she loved Theo so much, and we went to Banff and ate terribly, and we watched TLC, and it was great. Come back, Jilly Bean.
In even other news, I got to go to brunch and shopping with friends yesterday! That has happened never times in the past few months, so that was a fun treat!
I seriously have nothing funny to say today. The sleep deprivation and crying dehydration have taken everything out of me.
The high today is 79, so Canada is showing off its heat skills. (Who knew?!) Theo is wearing shorts pulled up real high on his belly like an old man, so maybe that’s why he was crying.
I get to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks! Woo hoo — besties and mountains and meeting new babies and my favorite restaurants and Target (yes, I will be shopping there).
I am doing a little talk at my church’s denominational gathering tomorrow. I’ll do the usual on some of the Jewishness of the Bible, and then I’m going to talk a bit about the Kingdom of God that Jesus talks so much about in the Bible. In the Jewish mind, the Kingdom is at hand (or here) when 1. God shows up in power, 2. He is declared to reign, and 3. We obey.
In the Exodus text, after the parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites sing a song to God and declare that He is reigning and will reign! I loved being reminded of that these past couple of days. No matter what is going on — in our nation, in our homes, in the world — God is on the throne. He is reigning. He already reigns whether or not we’re willing to acknowledge it. And one day, everyone will. And so now, I need the Lord to reign in my life. In my thoughts, in my words, and in my actions. I want and need to surrender all to Him. My sin, my selfish desires, my hopes, my all. (Even my sleep?)
OK, I have to go. My brain function is at minimal capacity, which is probably why I’m about to go see what Bravo has to offer.
Sweet dreams tonight — I’ll be thinking of you while I’m up all night long.
March 23, 2016
How was everyone’s weekend? (I just realized that it’s Wednesday, so it’s really not a relevant question anymore, but whatever. Days of the week have no meaning when you still have to get up at 5 a.m. on Saturdays because your baby is feeling chatty.) Anyway, happy hump day?
This past weekend we went out to Vancouver Island. For those of you who are not Canadian, Vancouver is not on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on the mainland. The island is a 12-minute plane ride from Vancouver and it is beautiful and filled with fresh ocean air. (Andrew talked about his love of the island air no less than 16 billions of times this past weekend. #marrytheislandairalready) Also, talking about the island reminds me of The Island and Sawyer and The Dharma Initiative. Those were good times.
Anyway, Andrew’s brother-in-law and sister pastor a church on the island and they asked me to come out to lead a Passover Seder to start out Easter week. So we quickly packed up our stroller, Ergo carrier, car seat, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, pacifiers, toys, blankets, video monitor, breast pump, bottles, sleep sack (oh, and Theo) and headed out. We had super late flights on the way out and the way back because they were such great deals. This was awesome except for the fact that Theo had no idea it was time for sleep and decided to stay awake way past his bedtime. But he was a pretty cheerful fellow, so it wasn’t too bad.
He was a bit off sleepwise for the rest of the weekend, which meant we got to hang out lots in the middle of the night. It apparently also threw off his bowels because he decided to poop on my sister-in-law’s bed as a “thanks for having us” gift. Luckily he’s a pretty fun guy, which made up for the middle-of-the-night-peeing-on-mom-while-she-changed-him fiasco. (Keep in mind that this was separate from the poop incident.)
Anyhoo, Passover! I have celebrated Passover seders for about ten years now, which means that I’m old. It also means that I’ve had ten chances to experience this amazing holiday that has taught me so much about Jesus and the Last Supper and the deep meaning and significance behind the bread and the cup.
One of my favorite parts of the seder is after supper, the kids go search for a hidden piece of matzoh bread called the afikoman. Once found, the child brings the afikoman back to the leader, but will only give it back for a ransom, usually a piece of candy. The afikoman must be redeemed for a price. How significant that Jesus, after supper, takes the bread (the afikoman) and says that it is His body, broken for us. How amazing! There is so much to learn from celebrating the holidays that God asked His people to remember every year. Most of us Christians don’t know much about the holidays of the Old Testament, but I believe that we should! They show us so much about God and His amazing character and redemption. If you ever have the chance to attend a Passover seder, do it! (If you’re in Red Deer, I’m doing one tomorrow at CrossRoads Church and there’s still room for you to join!)
Speaking of Passover and Old Testament things, if we were to take some time to explore questions and topics in the OT, what would you like to see discussed? Leave a comment with your suggestions!
Do you all have big Easter plans? We will be Passovering and then spending time at church on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And Andrew’s spring break starts tomorrow! Next week we’re going out to Fairmont which means relaxing, hot springs, winter wonderland, and probably more poop incidents.
Anyway, if we don’t chat again before Easter, have an amazing day and take time to honor, praise, glorify and laud the One who paid the price for our sins and then proved that He was God by defeating death!
Speaking of paying the price, Andrew and Theo spent some time humming “Jesus Paid it All” recently. (As you’ll see, I was praising with my eyes closed.)
I love this song and its truths. Oh praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead! (Here it is with more words and less of me snoring.)
Happy Easter, friends! He is risen indeed!
March 15, 2016
What is up, my dawgs?
Here’s what’s up in my house: me. At night. With a baby.
March Madness starts this week!! Theo and I will be watching the nonstop upsets of this beautiful tournament starting on Thursday. He can’t wait.
This weekend we are going out to Vancouver Island to visit Andrew’s sister and her family and enjoy the warm weather. I’m scared to travel with Theo — he’s older now and antsy and bigger and louder. At least he’s not on the move yet. Also, how does a tiny baby have so much stuff? I now have to drag around strollers and car seats and sleepsacks and tiny socks and wipes and thousands of pacifiers. Babies are high maintenance.
How is everyone feeling about Ben the Bachelor’s choice? I feel good about it. Know what I did not feel good about? Jo Jo’s final rose dress color. The cut was amazing, but the color was Peptorific.
OK, here’s a warning. I have a rant coming. I just want to warn you, because it’s kind of long and boring. But I’ll intersperse it with pictures of my baby, so maybe that will help? Probs not. It’s pretty boring.
Over on the Facebooks lately, you know the best place for thoughtful political and theological discussions, I’ve noticed a few statements that I find interesting. I’ve seen, in a few different discussions about different things, people saying that the best way to be a Christian is to focus solely on what Jesus said and either ignore, throw out or redefine the Old Testament. So, for example, to be a Christian one must love God and love your neighbor because that’s what Jesus said are the most important commandments. Or Christians would be better off focusing on just the New Testament (or even just Jesus’ words) and getting rid of the Old Testament altogether. I have a couple of thoughts. (Surprised?) Here they are (after this pic of Theo):
Now, as we all know, I love me some Shema. Jesus said to love God and love your neighbor — the law is summed up in these commandments. Love it. However, I do not believe that Jesus was saying that those commands were the only important ones or that the rest of the Scriptures were not important. (Keep in mind that the Scriptures at this time were solely the Old Testament, and solely what Jesus draws on in His teachings, prayer life, synagogue time, etc.) Jesus, first of all, is weighing in on an argument that was going on around Him — was the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor or to observe the Sabbath? Jesus says, love your neighbor. In saying this, He is affirming that as His followers thought about, interpreted and obeyed every aspect of God’s law, they should do it through that filter. Not ignore it or condemn it or fight against it. In the Jewish culture Jesus was a part of, if He had gone around not following the law or obeying God’s instructions in the Old Testament, no one would have listened to Him for more than a second.
Speaking of culture, I think that’s where a lot of misunderstanding comes in. The Old Testament is hard for us to grapple with. There’s a lot that seems harsh and weird and mean. There are really difficult things to understand in the Old Testament. However, just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean we should ignore it or call it irrelevant. It may be easier to dismiss something that is confusing, but that might just make us lazy. There’s actually a lot that can be explained and understood when we look into the culture of the time — I have been amazed by the compassion, evangelism, love and purpose in the Old Testament as I began to understand it better. (This is not to say that it’s still not hard or confusing sometimes!)
This focusing solely on what Jesus said as a way to live out Christianity is nothing new. Marcion, a heretic in early Christianity, believed the same thing. He liked Jesus but disliked Yahweh in the Old Testament, and thought they were not compatible. So, he rejected the Old Testament, found one of the Gospels that he liked and patched in a few of Paul’s letters (all with his editing, of course). This, he said, was the acceptable way to be a Christian — by cutting and pasting and making the Bible fit what you want to believe about God.
What makes me sad about this resurgence of Marcionism is that it takes so much away from the big story God is telling about Himself all throughout Scripture. The New Testament doesn’t mean much without the Old. The Old Testament needs the New to bring about its full meaning. There are not two different Gods in these Scriptures — there’s a God full of compassion and justice in the Old and New Testaments. There are reasons for the things God does in the Old Testament and there are ways of understanding what Jesus said or didn’t say in the New. This big story is about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is all necessary to understand Him, praise Him and trust Him. The Scripture gives us a beautiful story that leads to repentance and salvation. It compels us to worship this great, mysterious, loving, powerful, just God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus. We need to understand, believe, and follow all of it. (I know there are lots of details and questions and and nitpicking about what that looks like or how we do it or what we do or don’t still practice, etc. Maybe I will do an OT series about some of those difficulties and questions someday soon. Maybe I can call it, “OT with the OT.” (I’m in a March Madness mood.)
OK, rant done.
Sorry this post wasn’t very funny or filled with my usual fascinating updates on our flu symptoms. (Although, I got some new xylitol (a sugar substitute) and after eating some last night I can tell you that it did not agree with my stomach.) There, now you have an update on my episodes, so you may go in peace.
March 7, 2016
I meant to blog last week, but I was too busy dying. Of vomit. And other things. Other. Things.
Oh, you guys. Last Monday night, a couple of hours after dinner, I told Andrew my stomach felt weird. So I went into the bathroom and had a small episode. Then ten minutes later, Andrew had an episode. Then we spent the rest of the night having episodes from every orifice in our bodies. It was the absolute worst. Andrew threw up at least ten times and his eyes are still bloodshot (a week later) to prove it. I didn’t throw up as many times, but I had a terrible fever and did things like almost vomit on my baby while nursing him. It was a classy night.
The next day Andrew’s mom had to come and hang out with Theo while we limped around, took naps, and nibbled on crackers. We’re still not sure what it was — we thought it was food poisoning, but I also got a cold and terrible cough out of the deal, so maybe it was a flu bug? Either way, it was awful and I haven’t been that sick in a long time. I am still recovering and I’m even missing strollercize, and we all know how I hate to miss a good workout.
So, basically, March came in like a lion in the Snyder household.
My work visa expires in a month, which means that unless the Canadian government hurries up and grants me the extension I applied for four months ago, I will no longer have healthcare or be able to work or leave the country. So, pretty please, Canada?!
Guys, I miss Target. Oh Joy has all these cute new baby clothes that I don’t have access to. And in April, Marimekko is doing a special line at Target and I won’t even get to see it! My life is hard.
Oh boy. Here’s a thing we need to discuss: Trump and Hilary winning Super Tuesday. Way to be crappy, America. I don’t get this Trump thing. I literally know of no one who is supporting him, but apparently tons of insane people are. Does everyone understand that he basically wants to be a dictator and silence those who disagree with him? You know, like people who lead in North Korea and the Middle East. And he says pretty awful sexist and racist things? And he has no actual plans for running a country besides saying a lot of loudmouth things? And the KKK loves him? And his rise to power looks and sounds eerily similar to a guy in Europe in the 30s? I doubt any of you wise blog readers support Trump, but if you have a friend or family member who does, I actually implore you to talk to them and explain that they should rethink all of it. ASAP. Especially if they claim to be Christians. I honestly believe that anyone who votes for Trump would be elevating nationalism above their faith and that is no bueno.
Speaking of Trump, our sermon at church was so very good yesterday. Our pastor started out by asking if anyone was following the election cycle in the States. (This drew a loud chuckle from the crowd because, America, you are a huge international laughingstock with this ridiculous election. Be proud.) Anyway, our pastor pointed out that of all the ridiculous things Trump has said, the one with eternal consequences is when he said that he has never asked God for forgiveness. (You know, because he doesn’t need it.)
We’re doing a short sermon series on some of the lament Psalms in the Bible. Psalms of lament are actually a huge chunk of the Psalms, and they often ask questions of God or cry out to Him. Yesterday we looked at Psalm 130 — a lament over sin. The Psalmist knows that if God kept a record of sin, no one would be able to stand before Him. But thankfully, with God there is forgiveness of sin when we confess and repent. The sermon was so good — a reminder of our sin, of God’s great grace, of His Gospel, and of the hope we have in the God who will Himself, through Jesus, redeem Israel of its sins. Seriously, if you have a few minutes, watch this sermon — it will convict and refresh you!
Theo just peed all over the floor and then whined loudly while I took a 2.5 minute shower. #keepingitreal
Would anyone like to come stuff these cloth diapers for me? I’d rather watch Netflix. #keepingitrealer
Speaking of Netflix, we watched Fuller House. It was terrible, obviously, but so was the original Full House. So they stayed true to themselves. I did love the nostalgia, though, and they had some funny moments. Also, that Max kid. I’m not going to lie — he cracked me up.
OK, I feel that’s all I have to report on. I lost the last week of my life, so I’m going to try to catch up today by thinking about maybe making supper tonight. I have goals.
Have a great week!
November 21, 2014
Well, I’m drinking coffee, looking through the Target catalog and getting ready to watch last night’s Parenthood (I have to prepare and hydrate for Parenthood because of all the thousands of tears.). I am feeling cozy and warm and nostalgic, which brought me back to the good old days. The days of Friday Listday. Shall we?
1. I feel like we need to start this post off the right way. My cousin Emily just posted this video on Facebook. The title is “Baby Bouncing” but the reality is 4,000 times better than that. Because it is actually a tiny monkey. In a snowsuit. Bouncing around. In the snow. He’s wearing a scarf. You. Are. Welcome.
2. So, Andrew owned a beautiful condo before we got married. Then when we got married he let me move into it. I have begun making a few “tweaks” to his decorating style. Andrew might interpret “tweaks” as a “completely unrecognizable home.” Potato/potato. (I pronounced both of those in my head as po-tay-to. So there.) Anyhoo, we’ve been doing some redecorating. We bought a dining room table the other day, but no chairs. Because who needs chairs? Except then we realized that we need chairs. So we started looking around, and why is a single dining room chair $200? Actually? Why? Me and my cheapness were not having it.
But then we experienced a festivus miracle. We had a couple days off and we decided to spend a night in Banff. It’s just we do, you guys. Off to the mountains for a spa day. (There was no spa.) Anyway, our hotel had just remodeled and they had a million dining room chairs in their parking garage. So we casually asked the hotel manager what they were going to do with all those chairs, whatever we don’t even care. He said we could take them for free!! Unfortunately, my SUV was already full, so we spent the next eighty years packing and unpacking and jerry-rigging chairs to the top of my car. FREE chairs!
Yay! I’m going to paint them and re-cover the seats. Which leads me to my next dilemma. There are a million fabrics out there and I want them all. I’m going for a mid-century modern look, and there are so many funky, fun prints. Here are a few examples…
Don’t even venture toward my Pinterest page. It is flooded with my indecision in various shades, colors and prints.
3. I have lots of videos today. Including this little gem.
4. Update: I watched Parenthood. I cried.
5. Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Deuteronomy and I am loving it. Why do I love the Old Testament so much? I just do, guys. It’s so beautiful. I’ve been blogging about each week because there’s some really cool stuff over in Deuteronomy. Check it out.
6. Umm, I have another video. I didn’t even know they were re-doing Cinderella until every single person on Facebook began posting the trailer for the new Cinderella movie coming out in March. So you’ve probably already seen it. But maybe you want to watch it again. I don’t know your life. Here it is. (Also, remember Gus in the cartoon Cinderella? I love him, but I hate mice. Very conflicting.)
7. Guys, I’m an immigrant now. Like actually. So that’s weird. We’ve been working on my permanent residency application — it’s so much paperwork, and it’s really hard to figure out. We have to provide tons of info on me, on Andrew and his job, and on our relationship history. We had to make a chart of every single visit we had while we were dating — the dates, the number of days we spent together and what we did. We have to provide all of our flight records and pictures. I have to send my fingerprints to the FBI and I have to get a physical. It’s a lot of work, but it’s obviously worth it.
But what I’ve been thinking about as an official immigrant is how hard it would be to go through this process if English weren’t my first language. In theory, I’m good at English. I make my career out of stringing together English words. But there are so many things on this application I don’t understand. I also would have such a hard time going through this process if Andrew and I didn’t have good jobs. In order for me to get a credit card and build my credit history in Canada, we had to put into a saving account the amount of money we want my credit limit at. So, it’s not even really a credit card, but it’s a way to build credit for me so that I can get a normal card in a couple of years. If I was an immigrant working a minimum wage job, it would be so hard for me to set aside a big chunk of money so that I could begin building credit in this country.
Anyway, through this process I am feeling way more empathy for immigrants. It’s a hard process and it would be tough to do without money or knowledge of the language. Which of course reminds me of Deuteronomy, which of course reminds me of how often God talks to the Israelites about loving the foreigner because they know what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt.
OK, end of Listday! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Wedding, Courtney!!!
Denise Ruth Morris Snyder
October 24, 2014
Guess what I am supposed to be doing? (The answer is “not blogging.”) I should be writing a freelance lesson. But yesterday was my Jaci’s birthday and her one request was a new blog post, and I aim to please. (Also, I aim to procrastinate.)
You guys! Hi! Last time I wrote a blog post was more than two months ago! I’ve had a whole wedding since then. And moved. And bought a couch. I’m an old married woman now. A matron, if you will.
Umm, I would like to interrupt this post to show you something. I’m at a coffee shop, and the guy behind the counter keeps doing something back there with his leg. It just pokes out from behind this post and bounces around. When a customer comes in, he’ll go serve them, and then he comes right back here to do this. What do we think is going on? No one knows.
I guess I should give some updates because you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to know the daily details of my life. (No you haven’t.)
* Andrew and I love married life! Like, I love it so much more than I thought I would. I mean, I assumed I’d like it and everything, but it’s really just been the best. Something changed once we got married. I’m so much more comfortable and peaceful and content. It’s just really, really nice to know that Andrew is here for me no matter what, and vice versa. (I have a lot of married wisdom to offer because it’s been a whole two months, so I’m clearly an expert.) All that to say, I don’t regret or want to wish away the years that I was single, because those were really great times too, but I’m enjoying this new stage of life a lot. Also, when you are married, you have someone who will tell you that all of your decorations and clothes have flowers on them, even though you didn’t think of yourself as a flower person, but apparently you are.
If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram (denise_ruth) then you’ve seen enough of my wedding pictures to make you wish I had never discovered Pinterest. So, I won’t post any more here.
Except maybe just one.
* As I mentioned, it was Jaci’s birthday yesterday. And my mom just reminded me that it is my Grandma Betty’s birthday today. Betty Kay, hope you have a good day. (That was birthday poem, guys.) Jaci was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and I hadn’t seen her in literal years, so it was so fun to get to reconnect. She should move to Canada. So should all these other girls.
*I’m not counting that above picture as a wedding picture. It’s a friend picture. I’ll stop now.
* Leg update — he’s still at it.
* My friend Suzanne just wrote a book, you guys! So, if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, you should definitely buy her book because she’s a great writer and has three little kids, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also doing a giveaway for a free iPad, so you should definitely enter!
I wanted to pin the giveaway on my Pinterest page, but I figured if I did that no one would read the text and they would assume that I’m preggers, which I’m not. And then I’d have to write a whole blog post about how I’m not preggers, but my friend wrote a good book, and I just wanted everyone to know about it, and how when I am preggers in the future our baby will be nameless because Andrew and I will not be able to agree on a name, so little “Buster Brown” (that’s what we’ll have to call him until we agree on a name) will grow up to be socially inept because his parents could never agree on what to call him, and we’ll have to write our own book about parenting and how not to do it, and how important it is to name your children, and it would’ve wasted a lot of time and space to have to write all that… Where were we? Oh yes, get Suzanne’s book. And enter the drawing.
* In other need-to-know news, I tried on this jacket today. Do I need it? (It looks better in person. And, also, what should we do with my hair? I don’t like it.)
* So Andrew and I are leading a small group, and we’re all reading through the New Testament together this fall. We’re using this Books of Bible, which is the New Testament without chapter and verse markings.
Andrew and I have been reading it aloud to each other, and it’s been amazing, for the following reasons: 1. It’s God’s Word, and therefore it is sweet. 2. This study encourages us to read the books of the New Testament in big chunks, like it was written. So, when we read one of Paul’s letters, we read the whole letter at once. It is how the original listeners would have read it, and we are noticing all kinds of new things. 3. Andrew and I are constantly thinking about and discussing the Bible together, which is so cool. 4. We have great discussion with our small group and learn a lot together. 5. This version of the Bible reads like a book, and it is cool to see the whole of God’s story this way. 6. God’s word is always useful and worth it. It shows us who He is — full of mercy and grace. Anyway, it’s great. Jesus is great. The end.
* Leg update — he was doing both legs at the same time for a minute. Fancy.
OK, I have to go. This lesson is calling my name. (Or a nap is calling my name. Who’s louder — that’s the question.)
Have a good weekend, friendsies!
March 17, 2014
How’s work going for everyone? Wearing running pants all day is going well for me. (Don’t worry. I haven’t been doing any actual running.)
So, it’s #noworrieslent everyone. I’ve been posting pics over on Instagram (denise_ruth), but in case you aren’t cool enough for Instagram, I thought I’d re-post some here for a little pictorial essay time. Let’s call it “Hakuna Matata: A Filtered Picture a Day Keeps the Worries Away.”
I eavesdropped on these ladies at Starbucks a couple of weeks ago. One of them was talking about getting a visa for her Canadian fiance! Mr. Ponytail and I both felt her pain.
These really don’t have anything to do with No Worries Lent, but I had to capture them on camera, obviously. Because these are some shorts you can buy at Express right now. Apparently to wear. In public.
Guess who came to visit me last week? (Hint: it was not that guy in the sweatpants and red sweatshirt.)
Andrew’s visit helped a lot with No Worries Lent. It was so fun to see him and show him the wedding venue and hang out. We also took engagement pics! Actually Matthew John Photography took engagement pics — if you want to get specific. We can’t wait to see them!
Anyhoos. We had a lot of fun! I miss that guy. We should try living in the same country someday.
How can you worry when you’re hiking around Garden of the Gods on a sunny day? Answer: you can’t.
OK, here’s a thing: Ashley has been so kind and generous and wonderful to me the last few months. She has given me a room at the famed Boyer B&B, and has let me sit on her couch a lot. It is probably annoying to have a whiny, waiting girl living in your home, but Ashley has put up with me like a trooper. My only complaint is that when I make her delicious (not delicious) sugar-free treats, she shuns them.
Diana and I went to brunch yesterday. None of this was sugar-free or fat-free or calorie-free. But it was delicious. If you are in Colorado, you must visit Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs. It is my favorite.
This really has nothing to do with worry, but look at the vintage windows I got this weekend! We went to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, and I loved it. Have you ever been to one? People donate doors and cupboards and light fixtures and furniture. And cute windows you can use to decorate your wedding!
Umm, we went to a thrift store and found this sign. If you get hurt, they are not reliable. Don’t depend on them. For reliability. (Or, I’m guessing, liability either.)
Saturday night the Jewish holiday of Purim started. Purim celebrates what happened in the book of Esther when the Jewish people were saved from total destruction at the hands of a mean guy named Haman. People usually celebrate Purim with a masquerade party. They do this because Esther is the only book of the Bible in which the name of God is never mentioned. Not once. Weird, right? But if you look at the story — a Jewish woman becoming queen, the plotting of Haman, the wisdom of Mordecai, the strength of Esther, the tables being turned on Haman, and the surprising triumph of the Jewish people — it is clear that, although God’s name isn’t mentioned, he is clearly at work behind the scenes. So people wear masks as a reminder that we cannot always see or feel God, but he is always there, guiding and working.
My friends and I read the story of Esther on Saturday night. We talked about ways we hope God is at work behind the scenes in our lives right now. We talked about how important it is to look back and remember and celebrate the things God has already done for us — because in the here and now, it is easy to forget and complain. It was a good night for No Worries Lent because it reminded me that God is never absent, even when he is not obvious.
Okey dokey. I best let you get on with your day. Have a good one — no worries!!!
March 5, 2014
Lent starts today, guys. (I made paleo pancakes last night because I just happened to be hungry for pancakes, and also it was Fat Tuesday, and also I can’t eat fattening foods because I would like my white dress to fit this summer. p.s. Paleo pancakes are not as good as delicious, normal pancakes.)
I like Lent. I like it because the date of Easter changes every year, and during Lent I am so aware that it is coming — that the death and resurrection that brings restoration is on its way! I like that in giving something up, I am reminded of the One who emptied himself for my sake. I like it because it makes Easter Sunday so, so joyful!
So as I thought about Lent this season, I thought of my past year. Ugh. It has been and continues to be hard. The past week has been rough — I have felt sad and mad and listless at times. It has been hard for me to see bright spots. I have thought of every worst-case scenario for the next ten years.
Because of all this, I have decided to give up my favorite pastime for Lent — worry.
I’m worried about how it will go.
(See what I did there?)
I’m not quite sure how to go about giving up worry. Most of the time I don’t even know I’m doing it until I suddenly realize I’m thinking about how I will have to work on a ranch in Montana so I can live close to the Canadian border so that Andrew can come see me and our future children on weekends. Or something equally as reasonable.
But it’s dumb, you guys. I read this post by someone else who gave up worry for Lent one year, and it described exactly what I do:
Suddenly, it became crystal clear to me why I worry so much. Somewhere along the line, I’d convinced myself that worrying prevented bad things from happening, or at least, mitigated the damage when the worst occurred. Worrying helped me prepare a mental emergency first aid kit, and if I could manifest that preparation, like the gray tub of survival supplies in the garage, all the better.
I try to control everything by worrying. If I’ve imagined the worst, I won’t be surprised. If I’ve thought of all the horrible options, I won’t be caught off guard. It’s really dumb and not helpful. And most of all, it shows that I am not trusting God’s control. I am not trusting his character and plans.
So, what I am going to try to do for the next 40 days (and hopefully beyond) is redirect my thoughts when I realize I’m worrying. I will pray about whatever I’m worrying about. I will read my Bible. I will remind myself that worrying doesn’t work — what’s the point? I will pray for someone else. I will try to notice something in that moment to be thankful for. I will ask God to help me to trust him more and more each day.
If you want, you can do it too or help me out. I am going to Instagram a picture a day under #noworrieslent. You can Instagram along with me (my username is denise_ruth) and share your own ways you are trusting the Lord instead of worrying.
So that’s my plan. Sometimes I will blog about it; sometimes I won’t. (I like to be unpredictable. Like John Travolta’s name pronunciations.)
Anyhoos. Thoughts on Lent? Giving something up? (I recommend giving up paleo pancakes for Lent.) No? Love Lent? Hate it? Leave me a comment!
Have a good day! Don’t worry!