Saturday, December 18, 2010

Revo Cup

You pull open the heavy door.  Hear the jingle of the bell announcing your presence.

It takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to the dimly lit room.  You can make out tables and chairs; a couple sofas.  You take a couple of steps into the room and feel the heat flood over your frozen body.  The wind is icy outside!  What a relief to have a warm place to relax.

There's a blonde boy/man with a mustache working the register and making the coffee.  Just another Saturday.  Nothing to write home about.  He looks up, smiles, keeps your eye contact for a moment.  But not too long, otherwise it would be socially awkward.  He goes back to making the coffee for the frumpy lady in front of you in line.  She turns, looks you up and down and you can tell she's labeling you in her mind.  Eh,  no big deal.  It's Saturday.  And you decided that it was going to be a good day.  She can't ruin your day.  Nobody can.  They can only ruin your day if you let them.

The frumpy lady goes on her way with her double shot mocha frappe deluxe with fat free milk half caffeinated chai americano latte.

The blonde boy/man makes eye contact, smiles, and asks, "What can I get for you today, miss?"  You crinkle your nose and think.  Decisions, decisions.  Maybe a mocha, or a hot chocolate!  Anything hot sounds wonderful.  No.  You take that back.  Today is most definitely a chai latte day.  Here's to hoping the blonde boy/man doesn't make a crappy one.  Even a crappy chai wouldn't ruin your day!

You pay the blonde boy/man, make chit chat, you can tell he thinks you're pretty.  Then he gives you your drink, apologizes for the nonexistent wait and waits for you to look away.

Now comes the hard part, choosing your seat.  This takes much thought.  You don't want to sit too near the door or you will be blasted with cold air every time a customer enters.  You can't sit too near the register so that the blonde boy/man doesn't think you are suggesting further conversation.  You don't want to sit at a large conference table, you'll feel all alone.  But the sofas and lounge chairs are suggestive that you want someone to sit and converse with you.  You decide upon a small table, three chairs, with room for your computer and a book.  Then you unpack.  You scope out the rest of the room; one old Indian man reading a paper.  That's it.  Light Christmas music is playing in the background.  Perfect.

You pull out Mary Poppins.  P.L. Travers was such a great guy.  The story comes alive in the depths of your imagination.  You can see Julie Andrews flying down the street, the constable giving you a tour of Cherry Tree Lane,  Jane and Michael in their dirty nursery, and Bert drawing chalk wonders on the side walk.

This is a good Saturday.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Humility? No problem.

So what's with all the humility talks lately?

Do they think college kids are too proud or something?

I went to Christian Challenge (a campus ministry) for the first time last week,  then to Faith Evangelical Free on Sunday morning.  I swear, all the pastors in Manhappenin' are conspiring together to talk about humility.  But really, who needs it?

Obviously, I'm being sarcastic.  The sermons have been really good; really convicting.

Christian Challenge had a talk I especially appreciated.  He discussed a true worshiper.  What a true worshiper looks like.  So check this out.  It's worth your time.

1. A true worshiper is humble.

Convicting right off the bat.  How bothersome.  Exodus 34:18 is the Lord talking about when He delivered the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt.  He is seeking to teach the Jews humility by remembering when He so graciously led them from captivity.  He rescued them.  They were stuck.  There was so exit.  He rescued them.  He commands them to remember that.

2. A humble worshiper grieves and confesses their sins and failures to God.

Exodus 33:4, the Lord sternly rebukes the Jews.  They show their grief by abstaining from wearing jewelry and fine clothes.  They confess to the Lord.  They spend time grieving their humanness to the Creator of the world.

3. A humble worshiper remembers his first love.  (Possibly the most convicting.  Watch out.)

Exodus 33:12-15.  I love this passage.  So much.  God tells the Israelites they will soon go to the Promised Land.  Moses inquires about who will lead them.  God tells Moses not to worry, the Lord will be with them.  Moses then has the balls to say, "If you don't personally go with us, don't make us leave this place."  Do I have that kind of courage?  Do I have the guts to say, if God isn't with me, I won't go.  Or I won't do this.  Or I won't marry this person.  The Lord is the only One that matters in the world, yet the hesitance I feel is my sin nature coming out.  Could I and would I straight up say to the Lord, "if you're not, I'm not."  That's what my namesake did.  Ruth was super kick-butt.  She was all like, "Naomi, monkey-see, monkey-do."  She chose God.  Ruth chose God.  I want to choose God.  I want you to choose God.

4. A humble worshiper looks to the needs of others.

Exodus 33:15.  Moses asked the Lord, well really, he pleaded with the Lord not to make the Israelites go if the Lord was not accompanying them.  Moses cried out from the depths of his heart and pleaded that the Lord not forsake them.  This might have been partly selfish on his part, but then again, can you blame him?  The man saw God's back.  The man shone with the radiance of God.  Moses looked to the needs of those around him when he pleaded with the Lord.

5. A humble worshiper values how others bring glory to God.

Exodus 33:16.  Now Moses starts playing lawyer.  He's convincing God to go with them.  He pretty makes a pros and cons list.  Brothers and sisters, we were created to bring glory to God.  We were created to praise His name.  We must hold each other accountable that our actions are pleasing and glorifying to Christ the King.  We must value the glory we as His people bring Him.  Father give us awareness.

6. A humble worshiper reflets the glory of God.

Exodus 34:29-30.  So this is crazy.  Moses comes down after a nice chat with God.  Is specifically says that he was unaware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.  Because of this, the Jews were afraid to come near him.  How crazy!  The Lord pretty much, rubbed some glory off on 'Ole Moses.  I pray that the Lord would bestow upon me a joy that shines and radiates the love of Christ.  I also pray that He would bestow the same joy to my fellow brothers and sisters.  I pray that He would make it evident to unbelievers that there is a difference about me.  The Holy Spirit lives in me!  I must live my life to honor Him!  Let us glorify the Lord and reflect His greatness!

I'm falling in love with Exodus.  And I might name one of my son's Moses.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Dear Husband,

Will you love all of the freckles that spring up on my face in the summer?
Will you love people as much as I do?
Will you be able to embrace my outbursts of musical renditions?
Will you help me to love the Lord more and more every day?
Will you wash my feet just to show me the Father's love?
Will you pray for me now, even before we've met?
Will you give me flowers just because it's a Tuesday?
Will you give me flowers just because it's a Tuesday, 35 years into our marriage?
Will you open your arms to the needy with me?
Will you stand side by side with me to further the Kingdom?
Will you love me even though I sweat more than any human being should?
Will you still think I'm beautiful even when I sweat that much?
Will you hold my hair back when I'm throwing up at three in the morning?
Will you hold me when I'm scared?
Will you help me love Jesus to the best of my ability?
Will you love Him more than me?
Will you be excited to face the future with me?
Will you be humble enough to admit you were wrong?
Will you help me be humble enough to admit when I'm wrong? (Don't worry, it won't happen much.)
Will you laugh at my quirks?
Will you know how I like my coffee?
Will you love every hair cut I have, even if I come home crying because I hate it?
Will you make dinner with me?
Will you go grocery shopping with me!?
Will you promise to help me laugh when I make the worst dinner in the history of the world and all I want to do is cry?
Will you let me buy 2% milk even if you like skim?
Will you smile and rub my back when I speak Spanish in my sleep?
Will you accept that I am not a morning person, but that I am in fact a night owl?
Will you watch infomercials with me at one in the morning when I can't sleep?
Will you love me despite my mistakes?
Will you sing songs with me?
Will you sing me to sleep when I can't stop crying?
Will you go on walks with me in the middle of the night!?
Will you make me mix CD's for my car rides to work?
Will you encourage me in all my endeavors to seek first the Lord?
Will you have nicknames for me?
Will you go to Guatemala with me and volunteer in an orphanage?
Will you take me out to jazz clubs and ballets and concerts?
Will you parade me around like a prize that you won?
Will you be SO proud that I am yours?
Will you go on adventures with me!?
Will you get pumped for Christmas with me!?
Will you know how I like my name spelled?
Will you know which flower is my favorite?
Will you buy me a Magic Bullet?
Will you laugh at my jokes even when they aren't funny?
Will you say forever and mean it?
Will you love me even when I'm the most stubborn women with whom you have to come in contact?
Will you make me hot tea, buy me the most chocolate ice cream you can find, plug in the heating pad for me, and watch Mary Poppins with me when I have horrible cramps?
Will you buy me tampons?
Will you know which tampons I like best and be able to pick them out with ease when I'm not there?
Will you love me to the best of your ability?
Will you stick with me through thick and thin?

Dearest, I'm waiting for you.  And although I'm not altogether pleased with God's timing, I am confident you are worth the wait.  I'm praying for you, love.  You will have my devotion and affection when you finally show up.  But until then, I must trust the Lord with my heart.  Look to Jesus, dearheart.  Wait for me.  And be a man like David.  I pray your heart is fashioned after God's.  I love you.  And I miss you.  I can't wait to be man and wife.

I love you.

Your wife,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weddings Shmeddings

July 4th 2010.
Carolyn and Matt got married and became Mr. and Mrs. Jensen.
I was a second photographer for their lovely wedding.
That day I held three cameras at one time, I pulled bobby pins out of my hair for the bride, I took tons of pictures, and I witnessed so much love.

I hope my wedding will be half as unique and amazing as Carolyn and Matt's.

These are some of my pictures from the beautiful day.

Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I hate doing laundry.

I hate doing my laundry.  It is one of the many indulgences I truly miss from being a child.  I miss the way your clothes just magically showed up in your drawers clean and then you played in the dirt with no cares that they would inevitably get dirty.  So here I am, sitting on the washing machine, missing the simplicities of childhood.

My dear friend Erin Niles sent me a lovely letter today.  In our handwritten correspondence, we ask each other questions.  For instance: "If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?" And, "If you ruled a country, which country would it be."  And now my favorite for which I will spend most of this blog discussing, "What does the perfect day look like for you?"

My perfect day?

I wake up at 7:00 perfectly rested and wide awake.  I take a shower.  Pull on a freshly dried pair of my favorite Gap jeans.  Fix my hair, put on my favorite Fossil t-shirt and yellow cardigan and head to work on my bicycle (which I made).  I show up to work on time and ready to go.  I start working as a barista, making coffee for the locals.  Oh, did I mention I'm in Guatemala, speaking Spanish fluently to all who enter?  Seeing as it's a pretty relaxed joint, I get to play whatever music I like.  Naturally, I play some Dave Bruebeck, Melody Gardot, Miles Davis, Jamie Cullum, Madeleine Peyroux.  You know, that jazzy stuff.  I then get off work around 2:30 and take a nice ride across town on my bike, to the orphanage(Or Boys and Girls club.  This part is subject to change).  I change into more fitting apparel and am greeted by dozens of children after school.  I then play until I'm joined by a handsome young man, who can't be much older than me.  He and I continue to play with the children until just after dinner time, all the while unabashedly flirting with each other.  We share dinner with them, tuck a few of the younger ones into bed, help the older ones with their homework and then proceed to leave the building.  We both get on our bicycles which are parked next to each other.  Then I take a nice, leisurely ride home with my husband; side by side, ready to take on the big adventures of the next day.

That's my perfect day.

So, as I sit here, waiting for my laundry to dry, I realize I have a horrid stomach ache and a hurting back.  But I was so lost in my make believe story of my perfect day, I quite lost track of time.

This blogging thing is really growing on me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Coffee Shop Night!

At the union there is this coffee shop called Caribou Cafe.  It's a sweet little place that's really popular during the day but not so popular at night when people actually have something to do.  So here I am with nothing to do, best friend on a date, and uninterested with my hallmates.

So I came to the coffee shop.  All day, it was just kind of a coffee shop day.  It just felt like a good night to go sit, write a blog, read my Bible, do some thinking and people watch like a total creep.  I think my brother would think that's a very trendy thing of me to do.  But I don't mind.  

And here I am.  I came to a few conclusions:

1.  People are weird.  There's an asian chick working the cash register and I swear she's apologized at least 5 times in the last 2 minutes.  She can't go through a full sentence without an apology.  Also, there is some sort of tai chi/dance class going on in the bottom half of the Union in the open area where there are normally chairs and tables.  The only annoyance I find is that their music is so loud it's competing with my head phones.  Also, there is a guy who has walked around the ground floor of the Union fourth times.  He is currently on his fifth go around.  What's weird about that?  Oh, maybe the fact that he's walking BACKWARDS.  He's probably my future husband.  That's his gym membership.

2.  I'm eating an apple fritter.  It's making the crappy things slightly better.

3.  Jill Chatfield sent me a letter in the mail.  I received it today.  I love getting mail.  Seriously, love it.  

4.  I'm sick of girls.  Not to say I don't love girls.  But I like on a wing full of them.  I would like to be around some males.  But not just any males.  I am longing to have guy friends who love Jesus and are dedicated to moral things.  And lovely things, noble things, righteous things.  I'm sick of douche bags.  Don't you dare misread what I'm saying.  I am not referring to how much I'd love to be married.  No.  I am only saying, "Good grief!  I miss hanging out with people who do stupid things just to see if they can and who hide in my trunk to scare me but then fail and who will have coffee with me and talk about Jesus and life."  Is that too much to ask for?  Apparently it is.

5. I saw a sign for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and got super excited.  It sounded so good and perfect for writing a blog about how excited I am that it's fall!  But they don't serve them until tomorrow.  I hate pre-advertisement.  So then I thought, hey, I'll get a Rooibos Lemonade.  Nope.  I won't.  They're all out.  Chai?  Oh good.  Something I like.

Also, I hate it when people ask me if I'm "going home after class."  I always say no.  Because I do not refer to the dorms as home.  I won't say it.

Jesus, please send me some friends that love you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's Wednesday. And I'm inspired to write.



That is TOO exciting!

Anyway, it's rainy here.  And I'm writing letters.  3 down, lots to go.

My blessed thought of the day:

"You are Christ's." - 1 Corinthians 3:23

What a crazy verse!  It is action packed in every sense of the phrase!  You belong to the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  He made me.  He knit you together.  He thinks about you.  He prays for you.  He loves you and you are His.  That is not light.  That is so precious and wonderful!  I can't even type that without smiling!

I want to strive to show the world that I am the servant, friend and bride of Jesus.  Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin.  Stand firm against sin saying to yourself, "I am Christ's."  I'm reading an amazing book, this is a little part of it:
        "Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing?  Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, 'No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's.  If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter.'"

Christian, your conduct should be so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Savior's recognizing in you His features of love and His countenance of holiness.

If I am tempted to smoke, drink, use foul language, think ungodly thoughts, look down on people I must stop myself and say, "I am Christ's!"

How honorable to be Christ's.  You are His bride.  And you are called to act as such.  Just like a child reflects the parent, so you reflect Christ.  Let it be evident:  YOU ARE CHRIST'S!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Your God prays for you.

My first week of classes was surreal.  I felt like I was at camp and I'd get to go home at the end of the week.

God was ridiculously gracious to me last week.  He showed me glimpses of His mercy and compassion and love for me on an hourly basis.  We serve a phenomenal God.  I cannot begin to fathom the love He feels for me.  

"I have prayed for thee."  - Luke 22:32

I can't get over the encouragement that is brought by this verse.  Our Redeemer.  Our Abba Father.  He prays for us.  He intercedes on our behalf.  Jesus doesn't say, "I have desired to pray for you."  Nope, He says, "I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made."  Oh Jesus, what a comfort it is that you have pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes.  This is a call for celebration.  A matter for joy, gratitude, hope and confidence.  

Also, I met a really cool girl today(Hannah) with a church called Vintage Faith.  So hipster right?  Well, I'll check it out this week.  And of course, you'll hear what I think of it.  I'm super stoked.  I feel like it'll be good, and I feel like it'll give me lots to think about.

God is good.  And He prays for you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Goodbye Olathe, Hello Manhattan.

Yesterday I moved out of my comfy, cozy room in Olathe, and moved into this ittybitty area they call a dorm room in Manhattan.

First off, let me just say, I didn't cry when my parents left!  I told them I wouldn't wave because I couldn't.  But I did have a fateful last look back....bad idea, Ruth!  Definitely teared up.  But, despite that, I came back to a room full of stuff that wasn't mine and a roommate and her family.  So my face turned into a smile and I was severely distracted.  It was kind of nice....

So right now, I'm sitting in my dorm room, listening to the chaos and havoc that is moving day.  Heavy footed people above, loud sweaty boys moving girls that have WAY too much stuff into their dorm rooms, screams and yells of reunions between friends. It's weird.  The things I hear, aren't the sounds of home.  Home is Mom singing a hymn, the laundry running, Sandy Patty and Dan Green keeping it real over our stereo from the 1800's.  I miss that.  I miss my Mom.  I miss Dad. I miss the comfort of home.  I miss the protection.  I feel so exposed and out in the open here.  I'm just one more freshman in the midst of 50 bajillion other freshman.  At least at home I had a voice and I had a purpose.  I had parents who loved me more than I can even begin understand.  I packed like a minimalist.  I did not bring NEAR as much as someone who happens to live in this area with me....not to name names.  But, I think my roommate brought all of her earthly possessions.  Here, I have a few items that hold immeasurable value for me.
-My Morning and Evening book from my mother.  What a gem.  My mom AND the book.
-My frame from my crazy cool sister-in-law, Colleen that reminds me, "A friend loves at all time. Proverbs 17:17."  Sometimes I really hate that frame.  But it's always a little sign from God.  Stop and remember to be a true friend; one that loves at all times.
-My Owl plaque and handmade book of pictures from my dear friend Jami.  Memories come back in floods when I look at the creative workings of this woman.  She is a true artist.  She is beautiful inside and out and the kind of friend one can only hope to grab!

This post has gotten WAY out of hand.  No real real direction....this isn't promising for future papers I'll have to write...

Today I will get out of my chair.  I will open the door with the crappiest lock in the entire world.  I will step into the hall and relock my door.  I will leave my dorm.  I will be brave.  I will have an adventure.