Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
(A couple pics from a KC game a couple years ago - my Christmas gift from my wonderful fiance at the time!)
Anyway, after the game I treated myself to a nap, which was delightful. And just before I started typing this, I painted my fingernails...I figured why not keep this pampering thing going! All that to say, it's been a wonderful Sunday and now here I sit enjoying Christmas music, my pretty Christmas lights, and anticipating my trip HOME to Missouri later this week. Ahh, I can just about smell the wood stove and cinnamon rolls from here (hint, hint Mom!). There really is nothing quite like family at Christmas time, and I am so very grateful that I will soon be with mine.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
In other news, I got my Christmas decorations put up on Wednesday night since I didn't count on being up to it this weekend. Here's a few pics of our new apartment decor. Thanks for thinking of me today - say a little prayer for Dan as he continues to care for a fairly pathetic wife!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
(my first apple pie)
My dear husband doesn't quite understand the art of doing "nothing" (it really is something...), so I was grateful to have another Carroll around to partake in this delightful holiday tradition with me. Seriously, we can sit at the table for hours...of course we can keep munching, but it doesn't even have to involve food. Then we proceed to the couch, where we may continue a good conversation, or we may just doze off for awhile. Either is perfectly acceptable. Even cleaning up is more enjoyable with a sister around - I must say that her "helpfulness" has improve over the last couple of years. Kudos to Kels.
We also found time to do a little site-seeing here in Nashville. Though Kelsey & I have fond memories of a VERY brief visit to the Opry Land Hotel while on a family vacation (it was cut short by a more important Nashville destination...the Nashville Historical Museum), we decided to check it out again. It is currently all decked out for Christmas, and it really is beautiful. We had a great time just roaming through the various gardens and taking a few pictures here and there.
Dan was a great sport all weekend, playing chauffere on occassion, listening to our non-stop chatter, and getting a pretty good dose of the Carroll girls. He even dropped us off for probably one of the most incredible movies I've ever seen - Enchanted. I mean really, folks. If you haven't seen it yet, I suggest you head to the theater right away. It's pretty much everything that's wrong with the minds of girls who have grown up on the Disney Princess movies...and it's fabulous.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Dan's new rotation is going okay, it just is keeping him really busy. 2 days a week he works 7am-3pm, and the other 2 days he works 3pm-9pm. Initially I didn't think this would be that many hours, but add on the 30 min. drive (one way), and the days are a little longer than I anticipated. I'm glad he's here, though...after Christmas his rotation will take him to Sneedville, TN, which is about 4 hours from here. I realize it's just 6 weeks, but I can't say I'm really looking forward to the time apart. I kinda like having the guy around!
Today has been good, though. It was the birthday of one of my coworkers, so in honor of her and of the quickly approaching holiday, we had a Birthday/Thanksgiving feast at our office! It was great fun to prepare a table complete with fall decor and yummy Thanksgiving favorites, and then share it with my coworkers. Which reminds me - I am very thankful for my job and for my wonderful friends I have made here at GMA. The Lord truly does give good gifts to his children.
I want to leave you with a verse today I have posted beside my computer. It really has nothing to do with my post today, but it's always a good reminder to me:
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." ~Lamentations 2:22-24
Saturday, November 10, 2007
When bedtime came tonight, I sat at the foot of Grandma's bed while Aunt Lois read to her from the Psalms. I think Aunt Lois usually prays, but tonight I was nominated. We folded our hands, and as the words spilled from my mouth, my mind was meanwhile asking for the strength to get through this prayer without tears. As I finished and the "Amens" were said in agreement, Grandma squeezed my hand and in a quivery voice said, "These are precious times." All I could manage was a whispered "yes," and I was thankful that she couldn't see the tears spilling down my cheeks. These are precious times indeed.
As I finish this now, I hear the old grandfather clock chiming upstairs - yet another sure sign that I am at Grandma's house. I think the clock was given to my Great-Grandparents (Grandma's mother & father) as a wedding gift...if I'm remembering the story correctly. And now that clock will continue faithfully chiming on the hour (actually, it's every fifteen minutes) here at my Aunt Lois's as Grandma moves back to Sibley at the end of this month. She said to me today that she'd really like that to stay in the family for "a few more generations". Considering she had children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren roaming around this house today, I don't think that will be a problem!
I don't mean to spend so much time talking about an old clock, but somehow that clock has become a symbol to me of my heritage. Much like this clock will be faithfully wound, dusted, and cared for, the faith of my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents has been cultivated and protected over the years that it might be in good shape to be passed on to the next generation. I am eternally grateful for the legacy that has been passed on to me through my family, and especially Grandma Schoon. I pray that I may be a part of extending this same wealth of faith to yet another generation.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I am fortunate enough to be in the midwest right now - Minnesota to be exact. Yesterday I flew into Minneapolis in the morning and was greeted so warmly by my dear sister-in-law who is now a Freshman in college here. I got to spend some fabulous time with her, hanging out in the dorms, eating in the cafeteria, and even going to a few classes. I thought for a bit that I was going to be able to fit right in - after all, it hasn't been that long! But I soon realized how quickly my life has changed since college and that I can no longer truly be an "insider" in that world of Easy-Mac and pop quizes. I've since traded in my back-pack for a real purse, complete with lipstick and fingernail clippers just like a real adult. My jeans no longer drag the ground when I walk, which makes me feel slightly dorky, and my "work shoes" just don't get me around a campus like my trusty old tennis shoes used to. The occupied space on the ring finger of my left hand is yet another sign that I just don't quite fit like I used to...and I've learned to shower on a much more frequent basis!
But even with all of these changes, a part of me sort of slipped right back in. The chatter filling a girls' dorm, the late-night conversations, the freshness of Jewel as she excitedly relates to me how she is finding the redemptive work of Christ even in the pages of her Western Civ text book - all of it takes me back to a time and place in my life that has forever shaped who I am. A different dorm, and yet the same. Learning to think, to write, to communicate, to live...learning to learn.
And sometimes I wish I could still just wear my back-pack.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
My thoughts are sort of a jumble right now, but I really want to get in the habit of posting fairly regularly, so here I am. It's been a long day at work...actually, it's been a long week at work, with an event coming up on Monday. That tends to mean that the hours fill up far more quickly than normal, so I have less time and more to do. And sometimes I find myself staring at my computer screening just trying to collect my thoughts long enough to get a decent "To Do" list created so I don't miss any of the important details. By the time I'm able to get a couple crossed off, I've added 4 more, and so it goes. But the best part about working in event planning is that once the event is over, I get to cross everything off (even the things that didn't get done) and start over!
In all of this though, I find myself often becoming overwhelmed by the details of work - and of life - and missing the big picture in the process. I get worried about a seating chart and forget that an incredible musician is going to be honored for a lifetime of of allowing God to use them. Likewise, I get worried about getting my apartment picked up and the laundry done and forget about the whole reason why I'm having guests over anyway - to be the hands and feet of Christ. I've been doing a Bible study right now that's been just incredible, and in it I've been reminded a lot lately that peace & joy come from abiding in Christ AND allowing Christ to abide in me. There is so much rest in that! And so I am learning that whether I am overwhelmed by the details of an event, or just the details of life, if I can truly learn to abide in Christ, my perspective begins to change. When I allow God's Word to abide in me, by thoughts and my words change - "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45). Oh, how I long to have God's Word abide in me do deeply that my thoughts and my words become like His own!
I think that's about all for tonight - the NyQuil is starting to work its magic. Thanks for wrestling through these thoughts with me. Maybe I'll write a fun story like my dear sister sometime soon (you should check her blog out at http://kelseylynae.blogspot.com/). Sweet dreams!
Monday, October 22, 2007
What is it about joy that God wanted to make sure that we didn't miss? And does this mean that the pursuit of happiness is a bad thing? You could even go so far as to ask does God not want us to be happy? I'm beginning to realize, however, that when I focus on the happiness part, I miss the whole point. I think God truly wants us to be happy - to rejoice in Him - but He also knows how fleeting these feelings of happiness will be if we do not also have a deep and abiding joy which accompanies it. There is a peace and contentment that always goes along with joy, and that's the part we really don't want to miss out on! It's that abiding thing that sustains us when we have good reason not to be happy - but our joy can remain.
All of us are searching for something, whether we know the Lord or not. Now, I'm clearly no professional on the issue, but sometimes I wonder if this depression that is so rampant in our culture today isn't somehow attributed to the pursuit of happiness, a cheap and disappointing counterfeit for the pursuit of true joy. I certainly do not mean to make light of the issue of depression - I realize that there are so many different elements and I don't pretend to understand them all. All I'm saying is that I wonder how often we settle for something far less than what the Lord really wants to give us. Christ Jesus himself said this, "As the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love....These things I have spoken to you, that my JOY may be in you, and that your JOY may be full." (John 15:9-11)
Let me end with these words from someone much more intelligent than myself - Charles Spurgeon said this: ...It is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon Him for the music. O Thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune Thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving.
Just some food for thought - something that's been rolling around in my head lately. Wish I had a beautiful picture to go with it...but I guess the oreo at the top of the page might bring joy to some :)
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I must give some points to my husband though, who has increased the quality of my day tremendously. When I asked what he wanted for supper, his response was "Mexican." I'll brave any city traffic for that - thanks Dan! With a nice fully belly, I feel much more capable of conquering my next task...as long as it does not involve a parking battle.