Word Filled Wednesday #2

By Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2 0

I’ve been listening to the Mars Hill Church series on Song of Solomon, Peasant Princess, on my commute to work. I have it on CD and I was getting tired of the radio, so I popped it in one day and said a quick prayer to the Lord to use it again to make me a better wife.

Always an interesting prayer to pray, no?

Proverbs 31

When Chris and I watched the series together, it was revolutionary for our marriage. I wholeheartedly recommend it, whether you’re engaged, newly-married, or… seasoned. I recommend it whether you’re happily married, roommates, or miserable.

Just let go of all your expectations, except those you have about God’s incredible ability to transform those He loves.

Please feel free to grab any and all graphics I put on this blog. Stupidly, I don’t have a desktop size version of the one above, but I will in the future.

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

By Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1 0

We got an informative email from the folks at ABWE this week, sharing some details about our upcoming candidate seminar. The seminar, which takes place in Harrisburg near the ABWE offices, is July 8-18. As usual, Chris and I will be occupied and away from home on our anniversary (we spent our 5 year anniversary on a plane home from Spain), but we consider this a worthwhile sacrifice!

I am writing again to ask for your prayers. We were reminded in this email that the enemy will undoubtedly wage a spiritual battle as we prepare to go to the seminar and share our testimonies, learn the ins and outs of missionary service, meet and pray with other candidates, and be tested on our knowledge and understanding of our doctrine and the scriptures.

Already, just yesterday, Chris and I began to feel some of that battle. The following scriptures will help us as we pray in faith that God has already answered our prayers for equipping:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Please pray specifically as we prepare our testimonies, which have to presented in 4 minutes (per person) and 5 minutes, before other candidates and the board.

To prepare for the oral exam, we have compiled a list of potential questions we think might be asked, and Chris and I plan to study and practice answering the questions orally. Please pray that we might memorize some of the most relevant scriptural references.

Keeping the Romance Alive: Surprise Date

By Sunday, March 7, 2010 4 0

I sent an evite to Chris a few weeks ago inviting him on a surprise date in Seattle. Thankfully, he accepted my invitation, because it wouldn’t have been much fun without him! Or surprising, for that matter…

Yesterday we took Seattle Food Tours’ Belltown Restaurant Tour. It was, in a word, excellent. And delicious. And interesting. I can’t describe it in one word. First, it was the perfect thing for us to do now that we’re considering leaving the country. We are, after a lifetime of living in Seattle (well, suburban Seattle), finally getting to know it a little better.

So, we met at the Hotel Andra, a fun, luxurious new hotel that boasts Tom Douglas‘ restaurant Lola. There, we tasted his handmade pita bread with three spreads – tzatziki, a North African chili spread, and hummus made from cauliflower. Yummm. The pita? It’s soaked in olive oil.

Next up was Txori. Chris and I were ecstatic to find this Spanish tapas bar with a menu full of our favorite finds from Spain. Many of you know we had some complaints about Spanish food – it was a little more, shall we say, bland, than we anticipated. But that doesn’t apply to the tapas – the taste and the experience are delightful. Txori (scroll over the adorable birdy for a pronunciation lesson) features tortilla Hispañola, boquerones, and calemares, to name a few of our favorites from Spain. We can’t wait to go back there!

Via Tribunali was the pizza stop on the tour, and delicious as always. Chris and I cannot say enough good things about Pizza Napolitana. The pizza we tried had no meat, but instead a type of smoked mozzarella made from buffalo meat that made it smell and taste like there was pepperoni. Oh yum.

Since true foodies always want sushi after their pizza, the next stop was Shiro’s. Now, Chris and I eat our fair share of sushi. We like it all, pretty much. Well, I am at least willing to try it all. I am NOT a fan of raw salmon. Tuna, on the other hand, I’ll eat pounds of. Raw, cooked, soaked in citrus, seared… please give it to me now. We tried a light and simple tuna piece with wasabi between the tuna and the rice. It was, to be frank, the BEST I HAVE EVER HAD. It needed no soy sauce, no get-over-the-squirmy-feeling-of-raw-fishiness, no… nothing. It was perfect. We also tried unagi, which is eel, and always a favorite. Chris, resident strong-flavor-lover, gushed over that. And drooled over the menu, which in true Pacific Northwest style, feature geoduck. For those of you reading who are not local, that’s pronounced gooey-duck. And it’s not gross, like it sounds. It’s a giant clam, basically. We can’t wait to try it!

Some frame of reference: When Bill Gates wants to have sushi at his house, he calls his friend chef Shiro. True story.

We enjoyed salmon crudo and heirloom beet salad with tarragon oil at Branzino, which boasted Bravo Top Chef contestant Ashley Merriman as its head chef. And by we, I mean I tasted it and Chris had twice as much. I did, however, learn why some people might occasionally partake of beets. Beets, in my opinion, taste like dirt. Not “dirt” the insult, but dirt the stuff you have in your garden. This beet salad was quite good though.

We finished up our tour with a brownie from Macrina, the best bakery in the world and the thing I miss most about working in Belltown, and a stop at a local wine bar. Now, Chris and I aren’t drinkers, so we were pleased to try a pinot noir grape juice cocktail. If you know me, you know that the only time I enjoy grape juice is in communion. I hate grape juice, but I love Jesus. But this cocktail was delicious, of course!

Have you noticed a trend? Good restaurants serve food I don’t like in ways I do like. This, my friends, is why I always try everything at least once. You really and truly never know.

Also at the wine bar, I stuffed my face with popcorn cooked in truffle oil and sprinkled with volcanic salt. The coolest part about that was experience the truffle flavor by breathing it in. Be warned: breathing popcorn may be hazardous to your health.

I totally recommend a Seattle Food Tour. An awesome way to experience your city, try new foods and have fun!

Never Too Late for Giving Thanks

By Sunday, November 29, 2009 0 0

We had a busy Thanksgiving week with a youth dinner Wednesday, Thanksgiving with my family Thursday, and traveling to Eugene on Friday for more with the other side of my family. I tell you, traveling on Friday and Saturday is the way to go. We made the trip without seeing any traffic at all.

This Thanksgiving I was really grateful for the blessing of being close to family. Some day we might forget about Thanksgiving, considering in Spain it’s just another Thursday, but while we’re here, we make family a priority on this day, if not every day. I am thankful that we are welcomed lovingly, that we can share a meal together without drama, and that we have much to share with each other because we are comfortable with each other.

Chris and I listed some things we are thankful for as we were falling asleep on Thursday night. Among them:

  • each other
  • our church
  • the opportunity to serve God in Spain
  • our jobs
  • our condo
  • that we have food on the table
  • being close to our families
  • Ryan, our adorable nephew
  • that we can have two cars
  • that we are debt free and the gifts that allowed to be so (we weren’t always)
  • our sweet cat and the ability to take him to the vet when we need to
  • that this world is not our home
  • the high school kids we serve
  • that we are entrusted with serving them
  • making love (you want to feel close to your spouse? Make love.)
  • our health
  • our health care
  • our vote
  • democracy and capitalism
  • the lessons we learned in the last year about money, priorities and God’s provision
  • our troops
  • that we don’t have to visit my dad in prison anymore
  • Angel Tree Ministries
  • our upcoming vacation to Alaska
  • Bible Study
  • that we are free to study the Bible
  • Jesus

Thanks for reading my list. What are you thankful for?

How it all began

By Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1 0

In 2008, Chris and I were in a weird transitional phase. We both felt like we were constantly in transition, although we had just bought a condo, but we didn’t know where we were headed. A series of events and conversations led us to explore an opportunity for Chris to go to flight school to learn to fly helicopters. He took a demo flight and loved it, and we applied for a student loan to attend the school.

A Quick Note About Finances.
We recently finished an element of the ABWE exam where we answer yes or no to a bunch of questions on different life subjects, including marriage. “If yes, please explain.” In other words, yes indicates a problem. I was so pleased and blessed to quickly and confidently answer ‘no’ to each question regarding finances. Fight we do, but not usually about money.

Back to it.
When applying for the flight school loan, Chris and I had a rule. We both felt that God had led us to this opportunity, but we didn’t necessarily sense a calling. We both agreed that God would affirm a call by providing all the needed money, even if via a loan. All being the key word; we wanted 100% of the loan. Our thinking was that if we accepted only a portion of the loan, and therefore finished only a portion of the schooling, we’d be out both thousand of dollars AND a useful education. Needless to say, we only got half. So back to square one. Except to me, it felt like back to square negative 543. I. Was. Crushed.

I wrote an email to our Pastor explaining my missionary dreams and how Chris didn’t seem to be on board. He wrote back an encouraging note with his own opinion that we were destined to be in ministry and the detail that his wife heard the call to ministry three full years before he did.

I shared The Email with Chris and he reiterated that he wasn’t on board for mission work. He wasn’t unwilling, he just didn’t hear the call.

My journaled response:

I wrote that I know God will reconcile my desire to be a missionary with however Chris interprets God’s call, even if it is just staying here and living my life for Jesus to the best of my ability. I wrote that. And sometimes I feel it, or I would not have written it.

But now that Chris and I talked about The Email, I feel defeated. Chris said he is afraid to disappoint me. He hasn’t disappointed… I feel utterly defeated. Crushed. Regretful. Lost. Disconnected from him in the worst possible way. At the very bottom of this pit is, “I wish I had not rushed into loving my man. I wish I had rushed into loving my God.” Instead, they happened at the same time; they were intertwined. And now, the consequences appear to be that I am growing in Christ alone now, rather than Chris and Christ, the way it used to be. This is a praise, in itself, but it makes me sad that I am learning this lesson almost 6 years after I decided to marry Chris. And I do not feel, most of the time, that we are growing in Christ as a unit. I feel that I am growing, and Chris is growing, but we aren’t on the same page and we don’t know how to get on a same page. To totally beat this analogy to the ground, our stories are written in different fonts. You read one, and then you read the other. So you know what’s going on in each story, and they’re related, because the two people live together and serve God together and sleep in the same bed together (although lately that is all that’s been happening in that bed…), but they aren’t sharing their stories.

The email says that Pastor fought it for 3 years. That’s a long time from now, a long time from the dawn of the 2012 vision. So I should not lose hope. I must confess these feelings to God; give them to Him. They aren’t right, they’re not true. He is writing our story, and He is writing it in the same font. It is meant to be read at the same time. God has perspective on the whole book, and I am living in a paragraph. I am really hammering this metaphor.

Now that I know that Chris does not feel the same way I do, nor that he anticipates that he will ever feel the same way, I just have to continue to pray more and more fervently that God would show us the way to fulfill His will and therefore the desires of our hearts. God can change Chris and God can change Rose.

Your will be done, God. I am just so tired of feeling let down, of feeling like a letdown.

Two weeks later, Rich and Cindy Brown, missionaries to Spain, came and spoke at our church, and Christ heard something. In my mind, he heard the answers to my prayers. That’s what I heard, anyway!