Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back from blogging sabbatical!

WOW! So much going on since my last post.

We are both fully recovered from the longest cold ever. Thank goodness. And neither of us have swine flu, AND despite the fact that our street flooded in a major way like I have never seen before during all the rain earlier this week, it did not get in the house, did not get in our cars, and receded nicely for us to get to work on time the next day. (Ok, so the last part's a bummer, but we are very glad we had no damage/flooding to speak of.) I will post pictures of the flooding we had in our street LAST week, and then you can just imagine it being twice as bad this week. Literally. Plus, Chris and Leslie lost power, so Leslie had to come hang out in our air conditioned house and give up her attempts at reading by candlelight. :-) So that was also good times.

Patrick and I are doing some serious vacation planning, and I am beside myself with excitement! Ideally, there will be a trip to Disney/the beach in July, and a trip to Baltimore in August. Patrick has to go to Philadelphia for work at the end of August, and since his plane tickets are paid for, I figured I would tag along to see the family! So excited.

Also, Leslie helped us paint the downstairs of our house. (Pictures to come!) She is amazing. Patrick and I don't love painting, and last time we painted we did not like each other at the end quite as much as we had at the beginning. :-) But this time was painless, and the color (with Leslie's recommendation) looks great. We love it! The next order of business was our bedroom, accomplished sans Leslie this week. Let's just say, the color looks amazing, and next time we will wait on Leslie. :-)

This weekend is Mother's Day and and then my mom's birthday right after that. I pretty much finished everything Mother's Day related today at lunch, which is being very on top of things for me.

Tonight was a date night. We did Panera and then tried out Fresco, a new frozen yogurt place by our semi new HEB. It was SO yummy! Different, but yummy. And not cheap. But yummy. And with really short chairs. But yummy.

I will start a countdown to vacation soon, no worries! Did I mention I can't wait??? Oh, and my birthday is in 14 days. :-) We can go ahead and start that one now.

Time to take a bath, read some Twilight, and then cuddle!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Glorious lack of stuffiness!

We are FINALLY recovering from this cold Patrick and I have been passing to each other for giong on 2 weeks. Thank goodness.We keep alternating days of one of us feeling better than the other, so at least usually one of us is able to keep the house from being a complete disaster. (As long as a complete disaster doesn't include kleenex strewn all over the house. Well ok, toilet paper. We don't have any kleenex and going to the store hasn't been on my list of priorities since the illness occurred.)

We have quite the weekend upon us. My parents are on a little mini vacation, so they left town this morning and we have my sister until tomorrow when we take her to Disciple Now. So tonight will entail a little bit of shopping that I need to do, going to Lowe's to pick out paint colors (we both absolutely hate painting so that should be good times), finding some dinner, and going to get the dog. (We get the dog for the weekend too.) Then tomorrow is work, get Anjela from school, take her home to do homework, back to work, back home, possible wii time with Levi, taking Anjela to Disciple Now, waiting 2 hours, driving 10th grade girls to the Yaws for Disciple Now, and possibly spending the night at my parents because Libby (dog) doens't do so hot at our house overnight. Saturday is Jeni's baby shower (yay!), possibly painting, more Disciple Now transportation, possible Miller Outdoor Theater. And Sunday we have more Disciple Now transportation, church, maybe more painting, and small group (which is themed kosher/miracle/biblical/Middle Eastern foods including a passover meal). Should be interesting!

I stayed home from work sick on Monday and listened to three of Mark Driscoll's sermons. Mark and I don't quite see eye-to-eye on everything, but in general I enjoyed some of it. I will say he often has an interesting choice of clothes. He's a fan of patchy jeans and the Avril Lavigne wristband/bracelet type things. But anyway. It worked for me laying in bed until 1:30.

The main point of this post is that we are feeling better and really excited!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter.

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him Who sits on Heaven's mercy seat

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything, and I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
To You, the only wise King

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything, and I will adore You

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is power, breath and living water, such a marvelous mystery

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything, and I will adore You

-Revelation Song by Gateway Worship
(I strongly strongly suggest you listen to the song if you haven't heard it for yourself.)

**Update: the song is on my playlist now as you can all tell, so the comment about listening to it yourself can be disregarded. I still suggest you listen, but right here is good. :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I (Patrick) haven't been feeling too great these last two days. That's tough for me to admit.
I came home from work today and crashed. I just got in my recliner and could not keep my eyes open. I took a nap. And woke up to dinner my wife had made. Simply, that was the best nap ever.

I'm such a lucky guy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ethan Allen on an Ebay budget

You know how there are times when you really want something (a tangible something), and you think about it and think you really should have it, and then you see someone who has lost something that REALLY matters and all of a sudden the thing you wanted is meaningless? I (Becky) had one of those moments this week. The details of the story really don't matter, except that I keep reminding myself "In ten years, when I am (hopefully) wiping noses and all that, will I really care if I had ? Nope." "If I found out tomorrow that Patrick had terminal cancer, would I care if we could buy a house with a fireplace? Nope." Phew.

It's Easter week. Tonight in youth, there was a presentation of the time leading up to Jesus' death and what he chose to do with his time, and a point was made that I found really intriguing. If I knew that I had a day to live, I would not choose to go off to a quiet place by myself and pray. I would soak up every remaining moment with my husband and family and friends. I would see life completely differently, of course, but it would not once cross my mind to get away by myself. I would immerse myself in people. How human of me is that?? I don't really have anywhere else to go with that.

If you don't ever listen to Ben Stuart's Breakaway podcasts, I truly believe you are missing out.

I would like to share with you something that God has done for us. I have honestly typed this numerous times and erased it because it feels like bragging. But that's not my intention. Patrick and I, as you all know if you have read our earlier blogs, took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class before (and a couple weeks after) we got married. We decided to really try to make wise decisions with our money. Since that decision, God has seriously guarded our money. It is absolutely crazy. One of our first purchases was a kitchen butcher block type thing. We invited our whole small group over, and we absolutely did not have nearly enough counter space to put food for 14 people. So we decided to buy this butcher block, went to the store to buy it, they didn't have it. We didn't have time to shop around, and I was actually really disappointed because people were coming over!!! Then we found the exact same one for half the price, basically unused, on Craigslist.

When we started looking to rent or buy, things miraculously fell into place. I kid you not, miraculously. We intended to look to rent, and then this place to buy fell into our laps. It was this dirt cheap place, needed some fixing up, and we absolutely fell in love with it. We left, took about an hour (yeah... only an hour... dumb.) to think about it, and decided we actually really might want to make an offer. We called our real estate agent, and (you are not going to believe this) the place had been on the market for I think like 8 months. Between the hour that we looked at it and decided to start talking about an offer, a person went in and offered cash and bought the place. Whoa. We were like "ok, I think that's a definite sign" and looking back it was a huge blessing. We did not need that house, and if we had bought it we would be stuck in it right now. Also, when negotiating the rent for the townhouse we live in, we planned to only rent for 6 months and then buy. (I don't know why we were in SUCH a hurry.) So we went through the whole contract with the lady and said 6 months, and then like 3 days before we were supposed to start moving stuff in, she said forget it I'll only do a year. WHAT a blessing! She lowered the price even more to do it for a year, and now that it's been a year we still need more time!

Our most recent example is another blows-me-away type. Patrick has wanted a desk for awhile. He wants a 'man room' and that was our guest bedroom/office. But the sparse furniture in there really didn't quite give off an office vibe. The "desk" was super tiny, so we started looking around. He found one that he wanted at Ikea, and I went and looked at it. He had gone before me with the intention to buy it. I said I really just wasn't comfortable buying it right then, and we left. I found the desk for less than half the price on Craigslist, listed with a bookshelf. Patrick emailed the guy, and he said he would sell it without the bookshelf but wouldn't lower the price. We said no thanks. A few months ago, a friend of our parents had mentioned getting rid of some (very nice, expensive) furniture. We didn't give it much though because we really hadn't budgeted to even spend the Craigslist price of this kind of furniture. We didn't think we could offer them anything close to what the furniture was worth. Well then a couple weeks ago, they said they would give it to us. Yes, you read that right... GIVE it to us. This amazing, beautiful desk... given to us.

It just continues to amaze me that the more patient we are, the more blessed. The more we remind ourselves that we don't really HAVE to have these things, the more we are blessed. Again, I don't want you to read this and think "well woo hoo, lucky you. you have stuff." That's not the point. We are so very thankful for the blessings we have received from being so diligent with our decision to make wise financial choices.

Happy Easter week! I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon and get off work early on Friday so I don't have any more full days of work this week and I am pumped.

Love you! Seriously, though. Love you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm a change hater and a coffee smell lover.

I (Becky) really wish I liked coffee. I absolutely love the way it smells. Patrick is a coffee-lover, so he always gives me his to smell. I could probably go to Starubucks and sit and smell coffee for a long time.

I have been reading scripture on Bible gateway lately. I used to be somewhat against this for no apparent reason other than I am completely 100% against change of any kind, and Bible gateway scripture reading is not my traditional way of reading scripture, so it must be wrong. Apparently not. (Do you see me as a strict rule-follower? I am. I also refuse to make guesses when it comes to measuring things for cooking. Everything must be measured. Except for milk in macaroni and cheese. I don't know what it is about mac and cheese, but I'm ok with guessing.)

Anyway, today, the reference started in Hebrews 12. The first three verses of Hebrews 12 happen to be some of my absolute favorite.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Let us run witih perseverance the race marked out for us. Hm. This reminds me of another thing I have been pondering lately. I was reading something earlier today that intrigued me. It was a discussion of how when a child obeys without being asked, it is so much more meaningful than after being told what to do a hundred times. And how similar it is with God. When we just walk forward without having to be shown the way over and over, and without the knowledge that everything is going to be ok (the way WE see "ok"), and without constant worry about whether or not a step of faith means we're going to drown. Those times of obedience are so much more meaningful than that times that we labor over whether ot not we are willing to make the decision to follow, more meaningful than the times that we question for hours if God is REALLY going to come through. And I think that obviously the ability to step out in faith comes with practice. And comes with many experiences where we believe without seeing and God prevails.

But we love to worry, don't we? We love to weigh the 'worst case scenario.' I'm sure God loves that. I'm sure he loves that we think "Well I COULD trust God with the decision of whether or not to buy a house and quit worrying about it, but what if that means we totally miss this great opportunity in the market and we miss the great interest rates and we wind up not being able to afford anything because we waited too long and prices went up and now we have to rent until ETERNITY and our children will never have a home or we will have to buy cheap and wind up in a neighborhood that's not a good investment in the long run and therefore we are wasting our money!' Now that's faith, right? How much more meaningful would it be if, immediately upon being faced with the decision of whether to extend our lease, I said "God will take care of this and it will turn out exactly how it's supposed to. We will pray about it and be at peace with a decision." Phew. And how much less stressed I would personally be.

Speaking of wasting "our" money, our pastor has been doing a wonderful financial series lately about "our money" not ever being "ours" anyway. I am not at all a spender. It physically hurts me to spend large amounts of money. Don't get me wrong... I don't have problems with giving money. I love to give. I mostly love to give presents, but I am also very content to give money. We are so very very grateful to be able to give money to our church and several other ministries that we believe in. But I think that I would worry less (do you see a trend here?) about money if I remembered more often that it wasn't my money to begin with. If we gave every penny we had to our church, the rent would somehow get paid. We would still eat and drink. The jars of oil would overflow, and we would be content. I don't know exactly how it would work out, but we would be taken care of. God has actually made some financial decisions without us already up to this point. We have tried to go one direction... he shut the door in our faces... and his door had WAY better things behind it. More of that to come.

Would you think I was a weirdo if I said that I would like to sit in Starbucks, drink vanilla chai (actually I prefer the brownie frappuccino but they don't make those anymore for some ridiculous reason and they keep me up all night no matter what time of day I drink them) and blog for a living? Weirdo or not, I'd take it.

Sorry for the major amount of rambling I have been doing lately. But I love you all.