What are we talking about today?

Normal topics suspended for the A to Z Challenge. It's all books from April 1-30.

If you're here from the A to Z Challenge hoping I'll comment back if you comment first: Sorry to disappoint, but that probably won't happen. I work full-time and I grad school full-time, so I can't give the time to blog commenting that I would like. I'll visit after the end of the semester, I hope.

22 October 2007

A 5K on a Hill...

This is another one of those times when I have too many things in my head, and not enough time to empty them all into my blog. :)

So on Saturday we ran a 5K, this one involving hills. That was something new for me.

18 October 2007

Did it!!

I just ran 6 miles without stopping for the first time. So now I'm feeling triumphant, tired, and confident that I could run a 10K if I wanted to.

Also, I have that strange "breathed in too much cold air" feeling in my lungs. I may have to start running indoors. Where, I don't know.

16 October 2007

It is pretty neat.

So I was talking to a friend yesterday, and the conversation turned to cycling and walking-- both of which I do with alarming regularity. She said, "You have such a neat life."

And she's right! I do. I live near enough to my work to ride my bike. I can go for a walk in a park every day at my lunch break. We walk to the supermarket. Most of the stores I like to go to (Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.) are within cycling distance. And so is the church, as a matter of fact.

But it's more that that. We are quite blessed with friends. We both have good jobs. We manage to be content with what we have. So, yeah, we have a neat life.

14 October 2007

Missed my 200th post.

This is # 202. I think.

So about an hour before we had to leave for house group, I remembered that Rebecca was bringing food, so I phoned her to offer to bring some cookies. (Casseroles and dessert are all I am good for when it comes to food.) Then I asked Chad what he wanted, thinking no-bakes or something. Well, he wanted chocolate chip cookie bars.

Which brings me to the point of this whole exercise... Why, oh why, do cakes, brownies and so on require you to grease and flour the pan?

13 October 2007

Ooh, look! It's new!

So Sparquay made some comments about contentment and wanting new stuff the other day.

Which, of course, set me thinking. I think I have the opposite struggle than a lot of other people. Our culture lends itself to wanting more and striving after stuff that is newer, faster, better, shinier, etc. I am (gratefully) pretty much free of that kind of want. I mean, I like new stuff, but growing up in a low-income home has taught me the difference between needs and wants. If I need something, then that is a priority. If I want something, well, that's different. How much does it cost? What will I use it for? Will I really use it? Will it fit in my house? Do I really like it enough to spend my money on it? And so on. And after all that, if it is still something I want, then I have to save up to buy it. That's just the way things work in my life.

Unfortunately, this opens me up to a different temptation: smugness. I struggle with being proud of my budget-keeping ability. I sneer at your iPod Nano, because I bought the much more sensible iPod Shuffle. My car is 10 years old and makes funny noises, and half the time I walk or cycle anyway, so don't bother me with your shiny late-model whatever. No, I don't want to go out to eat, thank you; we eat at home.

Paul said godliness with contentment is great gain. What is arrogance with contentment, then?

12 October 2007

It's all shiny

I spent an hour or so crawling around on my living room floor last night, making a poster for the ladies' brunch tomorrow. And now, we have bonus glitter in our living room carpet. Also in the car, and also on the church floor, because glitter likes to spread itself around.

And I had to dig out our Christmas tree and some decorations, since we are advertising for the Christmas tea. Ruth volunteered to make the flyers and the bookmarks for the prayer group, which is a good thing, because instead of boring paper with boring words printed on, we are handing out nice, decorative flyers and pretty bookmarks that people might actually want to look at.

Our table doesn't have any candy, though. We are relying on our charming personalities to draw people to us.

Fed Ex

So I had to send 25 tubes of medication to a patient today, and the biggest struggle was finding a box the correct size.

Boxes 1 & 2 were too large. Box 3 was too small. I dumped everything back out of box 3, then decided to give it another go. On the second try I managed to get it all into box 3, but then I decided that box 3 was too flimsy (to call that material cardstock would be generous). So I broke box 2 back down, and carried box 3 and the contents back to my desk. Then I went to look for a padded envelope. I found one, but it was one of those specialty envelopes that is only for express shipments. So I went back to box 2, put it back together, and then found some crumpled paper to stick on top. And to think I was afraid I wouldn't have anything to do this afternoon.

11 October 2007

Me? Wrong?

So after writing a long post a few days ago about why I don't think God intended me to spend all my prayer time on people who are sick or travelling, I spent most of my prayer time today on people who are sick or travelling. (And at least one who is probably sick of travelling.)

Funny how often I have to eat my words. Funny how often I prove myself wrong, just by living a few more days. Funny how God sometimes allows me enough proverbial rope to proverbially hang myself.

Jerrod Shelton has become a minor celebrity around here. He is in surgery as I type, a surgery which started at noon and will continue until at least midnight. I prayed for all sorts of surgical things for him today.

The Lubbock Christian School football team (and the band, and some sponsors (I hope), and some fans) is going to be playing near Dallas tomorrow evening. They'll leave Lubbock after chapel tomorrow morning, and won't be back until 3 or 4 am on Saturday. There are a lot of people I care about who will be travelling a long way tomorrow. So I gave them a lot of my prayer time this afternoon.

People matter to God. So I bring before him the people who matter to me. Even if all they have going on right now is a football game.

"Never" is a long time.

So we were around some of the aim students last week when Alex was in town, and in the course of the hour or so Chad heard one of them say, "I would love to go to Scotland, so God will never send me there."

How sad. I wonder what sort of experiences this person has had, to make him (or her; I'll just stick with him because I don't know) think that God's purpose is to deny him the things that he wants. We do, of course, often want things that aren't good for us, and God naturally keeps those things away if we are following his will. But to think God would say "No," only because you want it? Is that how this student's parents treat him?

I have wondered from time to time, these past few weeks, whether God really wants to use us in Scotland. Is it because we like Scotland so much that we've convinced ourselves of this? But then I remember that God gave me my desires in the first place; he created me with likes and dislikes; he knows me better than I know me. And besides that, there are very few people who move somewhere new, for any reason, without some degree of liking the place they are going. Certainly that is as true for missionaries as it is of MBAs.

Plus, I don't believe that God is some sort of bizarro Santa Claus, who finds out what I like and then sends me the opposite. I believe he has called me to serve him, and that he will use me wherever I am.

Even if it is my favourite place on earth.

09 October 2007

Wow, it is October.

So this morning, I went to a long-sleeved shirt and jeans while cycling to work. Forgot the gloves, though; a mistake I won't be making tomorrow.

But I do still have to cart my closet around with me, because it is too hot at 5 for my cool-morning gear. So I have three entire outfits with me at work now. But, I do have some consolation in the fact that soon it will be too cold for shorts and t-shirts at any time of day.

And once again, all intelligent thoughts have deserted me. Maybe tomorrow.

08 October 2007

Praying for You

That's a phrase I use a lot. Mostly because I have become lazy in my speech, and tend to leave off unnecessary pronouns like "I".

So last night in house group, we read Paul's prayer for the Ephesians and the comment was made that we do not pray for others in the same way that Paul did. He prayed for the eyes of their hearts to be enlightened, for them to have a spirit of wisdom, for them to understand the power of God. I'm afraid that most of the prayers that we hear these days hang around in the health and safety end of the pool.

However, I had thought (perhaps naively) that this phenomenon was limited to public prayers, and had just supposed that every one's private prayers are kind of like mine-- at a different point on the maturity scale, sure, but still similar in types of things we pray for. I've been praying for deeper relationships between the brethren at South Plains. I've prayed that we stop being satisfied with a whitewashed version of normal American life, and seek for lives following Christ more closely every day. I pray that we stop being afraid to be different from the world. I usually don't pray for people who are travelling, because I usually can't remember who is travelling. And unless it is either a serious illness or it is someone close to me, I generally can't remember to pray for those who are sick, either.

I don't think that God intended us to discuss the travel plans and sniffles of everyone we know when he gave us this gift of prayer. At least, not exclusively. I want to talk to God about things that actually matter to me. And as I grow in my walk with Christ, I want to talk to him about things that matter to him.

This is how time goes by...

So I've spent the past 2 1/2 hours reading up on all the blogs I've been neglecting lately. What a ridiculous amount of time to spend on the internet. And yet, it has been brilliant to "catch up" with people who I haven't seen in real life for a very long time. Even the most recent real-life encounter has been a few months ago now, when I saw Angie, Lisa, Sarah, Denyce, and Kristi all in one go. (And some other people, too, but I haven't seen their blogs.)

However, I still refuse to join Facebook.

06 October 2007

Red Raider Road Race

Today we ran the first of our three October 5Ks, and our second West Texas Running Club race.

I ran the first couple of miles at my normal pace, then sped up just a bit once we finished the second mile. I thought I was about to die during mile 3, only to be pleasantly surprised when I approached the finish line that the clock was still ticking through minute 34! The combination of surprise and tiredness meant that I forgot to speed up until I was almost at the finish chute, but I still managed a time of 34:43. Chad finished a minute ahead of me.

My goal was the same as last time (37:12), but my super-incredible only-if-its-my-best-day-ever goal was 36:00. So I felt a bit triumphant when I saw my result posted.

Unfortunately, this really sets the bar pretty high for next week. Or low. Whichever way you look at it, I have to run faster next time.

05 October 2007

The Haircut

So, if you haven't seen me in a while, my hair has gotten kind of long:


I wear it up when it is hot.








Combing it out before I went to get it cut.








From this angle, I could well be Amanda. But I'm not. (I think our hair waves in different spots.)










The last long-hair shot.











And this week I decided that doing my hair half-a-dozen times a day was just too much, and it was time to go back to a length that doesn't require taking it all down just because I want to ride my bike, and then up again if I want to do anything else. And while I was at it, I decided a new colour was in order.

So here we have the new hair:


Sticking out in all directions (something new for me)!








Still waves in the same spot...








And I think this is the only one in which the colour is really visible.
I went to bed later than usual the past two nights, got up early yesterday morning, and yet I woke up at a very unheard-of hour this morning. This happens every year about this time; I get into an insomiatic (don't even know if that is a word!) pattern and enjoy a few weeks of long days and short nights. I suppose I should be grateful.

So we're running another 5K tomorrow morning. Should be nice weather for it; I'm pretty excited. My goal is the same as last time, because since the Komen races are for a different purpose than your average road race, they aren't timed very well and I'm not even sure how well-measured the course was. I mean, it probably wasn't US Track & Field certified or anything. Now watch, some Komen organiser will wander on here and leave me an angry comment. :)

04 October 2007

Children + Puppets = Bad Idea

So we had a rough time convincing the children that there would really be no puppets left if they tore up the ones we have. But we got there in the end.

Today is Chad's birthday, and we're celebrating by eating as much junk food as possible. Good thing we have a race this weekend.

I can never remember the interesting things I was going to share once I acutally sit down at the computer. So, I suppose that's it for today.

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