Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Way Back WHENsday

My friend, Nicki, posts old pictures on her blog for Way Back WHENsday, and I thought it would be fun to do the same. These are all fall baby pics of me, in honor of the arrival of my favorite season. Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My new additions

I welcomed two new highly-anticipated additions to my home last night - my very own (borrowed) washer and dryer! My friend Donald knew that I was looking for a washer & dryer, and he had one that he couldn't use because Seminary housing doesn't have hookups. So he offered to let me use them, and I very gratefully accepted. He delivered them last night, and I've already put them to use. I've never enjoyed doing laundry this much!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Animal Butts - a post for Amy :)

Amy has commented on more than one occasion about the fact that I have several photos of animal behinds, suggesting that I make a collage of them. =) This weekend at the Stockyards I added one more animal butt shot to my collection, so I decided to share the group of pics together.


LOL! I don't know why I always end up with this type of picture!!

My weekend in Fort Worth

I spent this past weekend hanging out with my friends in Fort Worth Amy and Amanda were kind enough to let me spend the night Saturday night since it was my last weekend to sing at Wedgwood and I had to be there really early on Sunday. They moved into their new house only a week before, so I spent some time helping them unpack and hang pictures on the walls (they helped me do the same a few weeks before).

Apparently Amanda needs to wear a cowboy hat to unpack. :)

We went to Babe's Chicken in Burleson for dinner Saturday night to celebrate a friend's birthday. The food at Babe's is SO good! Creamed corn, mashed potatos, green beans, biscuits and gravy, and tons of chicken - all served homestyle. And the atmosphere is a lot of fun too.

While waiting for our table, we went into the giftshop. They had these Jesus flashlights - the slogan on the box said "Let him light your way!" So bizarrely sacreligious! But we got a good laugh out of them.

Sunday morning I sang on praise team for the last time. It has been my privilege to sing with this group on Sunday mornings for the last year, and I hate to give that up, but I know that if I am going to make friends where I live now, it's time to move on. I think I handled my last Sunday at Wedgwood pretty well. I only had one teary moment, after the service when I was talking to Genny - we both had to head to the choir room for kleenex. I blame it on the fact that neither of us was feeling well. ;)

After church on Sunday, Amy, Amanda, and I ventured down to the Fort Worth Stockyards, since it was a gorgeous day. We had lunch at Riscky's Barbeque, found out my hat size, and took a few pics before heading back to unpack some more. All in all, it was a really fun weekend back in what still feels like home.

Friday, September 18, 2009

May We Never Forget

This past weekend Wedgwood Baptist Church devoted Sunday services to a memorial for the Wedgwood shooting which took place ten years ago on September 15, 1999. I had moved to Fort Worth less than a month ago, attended Wedgwood on my first Sunday in town, and immediately knew that I had found my church home. As a matter of fact, I told one of my co-workers earlier that evening that I planned to join Wedgwood on Sunday.

I remember the night of September 15 like it was yesterday. I had hoped to go to the youth Saw You at the Pole concert and rally that night, but ended up having to work at LifeWay Christian Store instead. That same co-worker came up to me that evening and said "Did you say you were planning to join Wedgwood on Sunday? There's a gunman in the church right now shooting!" Of course, I immediately became concerned about my new friends (I didn't know if they were there or not) and church family, and began calling my friends trying to find out if they were safe. This was before cell phones were so abundant, and it was quite a bit later that night before I was able to get in touch with all my friends. I remember also calling my parents and grandparents, knowing that if they heard about the shooting and realized it was my church, they would be frantic. That night after work I stayed up late watching the news reports, crying, and praying, and the next morning I saw Brother Al's news conference in which he told the world that we do not grieve without hope, because our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Over the next few days, I spent time grieving with friends - though I didn't know any of the victims, I was still quite impacted by the events, and many of my friends were much more personnally affected. Chapel at Southwestern was a sweet, precious time of prayer - one of the best chapel services I ever attended. I joined fellow church and community members at the church to clean up debris from the carpet removal (I clearly remember sweeping the choir loft, a place which would become my favorite spot in the church over the next 10 years). I gave a phone interview with my home church to be aired on Sunday morning, speaking about Ephesians 6:12. I attended Wedgwood's Sunday morning service and was struck by the two choir robes draped over chairs to memorialize the two choir members lost, and was emboldened as we sang "It Is Well With My Soul" and heard a sermon on Romans 8:28. I joined what felt like all of Fort Worth at the TCU stadium that afternoon for a community memorial service, where Brother Al proclaimed the Gospel in no uncertain terms, and Steven Curtis Chapman sang "Be Still and Know" and "With Hope." I fasted and prayed for good to come out of such tragedy, and for the Lord to receive Glory in spite of these events. The Wedgwood shooting was the defining moment of my first semester at Southwestern, and I know that I have grown spiritually in so many ways as a result of the shooting and the events which followed.

Jumping forward ten years - this Sunday was one of the most profound times of worship I have experienced in many years. The atmosphere in the sanctuary was so thick with the Lord's presence. The choir and congregation poured their hearts out in praise to the God who has been faithful in all circumstances.

We prayed

We worshipped

We lifted our hands to the heavens

We sang

We were blessed by a sermon on Choosing Joy

We laid stones of remembrance on the memorial

And we remembered those who have gone before us as a "great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1)

How blessed I am to be a part of such an amazing church family - to count such godly believers as my friends and family! May we never forget the price that has been paid - by martyrs such as the victims of the Wedgwood shooting but most especially by our Lord and Savior who gave His life so that we might live. And may we never forget to praise Him for His faithfulness... yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

(all photos except the top were taken by my friend Dave Hughling)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This Is My Life - Part 2: My New Apartment

Welcome to my new apartment! It's not completely set up yet, but I'm settled enough now that I'm willing to share with you where I live. First, walk with me through the front door into the entryway...
Next is the living room. This is my favorite room, so far anyway. I have a fireplace! (which I probably will never use unless someone visits and lights a fire for me), and sliding glass doors which look out into a grassy courtyard of sorts.

From the living room you can look through the "window" into the study/scrapbooking room. This room is the least complete thus far. I still have shelves and things to hang on the walls, but I'll get there eventually. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I want it set up. Right now all my paper is on the bookshelf on one wall, and my desk is across the room. Not exactly user-friendly, but until Genny comes up and helps me figure it all out, this will do. :)
Now the dining room and kitchen. The kitchen's not as big as at my last apartment, but since I don't have to put the table in it, that helps. And I have a dishwasher and garbage disposal - YAY!!!!
You can enter the bathroom through the hallway or the bedroom. The bathroom is a really nice size, with double sinks (not that I need that), and a window in the shower - now that's odd!
I can enter my bedroom from the hallway or the bathroom. The first pic is the view from the hallway. I have lots of windows, including a door onto a second balcony! The wall above my bed is quite bare right now, because it's waiting for my painting from Katherine - can't wait to get it!
Finally, my closet. Quite simply, it's huge! And that's good, because I don't have much inside storage other than it. There's no closet in the study, and only a very small coat closet in the entryway. There is a storage closet out on the main balcony, but it's packed full of Christmas stuff! Oh, check out the chair-rail of sorts I hung to hang my jewelry from. I think it turned out really neat.
So that's my apartment. It's actually starting to feel like a home now. I've lived here for nearly a month, and haven't yet met any neighbors, though, so that's a little disappointing. I did visit the pool a couple of times, but nobody else was there. Anyway, I guess I'll meet people eventually. But now you can kind of visualize where I live.

Friday, September 4, 2009

This Is My Life - Part 1: My CSD Office

I promised photos of my apartment and office once I got things set up. Well, my home is not yet settled - I still have tons of books in boxes, my scrapbook room is a DISASTER, I don't yet have a washer & dryer, and I have one more bookshelf to set up. So you'll have to wait for the pics of my home.

But yesterday I finally had the opportunity to hang my photos/diplomas in my office, and now they are out of my way and it's MUCH more functional! Here are a few pics of my small but inviting office (seriously, it measures 8' x 8.5' and used to be a storage closet!).

My bookshelf and Dr. Wolfe's chair
My filing system, overlooked by my "ego wall"
My desk area
And last but definitely not least, warming my toes by my lovely space heater, without which I was FREEZING! I got it yesterday, and I can already tell a huge difference. Never thought I would use a space heater in Texas in September, but it's definitely a blessing. Of course, that might mean that in the winter I will be wearing tanktops and running a fan. But we'll have to see...

There are still a few more modifications I need to make to my office. Notice the oddly placed outlet in the second bookshelf picture above (hint, look up!)? There's only one other outlet in the room, and it's on the opposite wall from my desk, so I have the cord from a power strip running along the wall, along with my network and phone cables. I need to get them tacked down. And Dr. Wolfe thinks we can add a keyboard tray to my desk, which will be FABULOUS because it will free up desk space and be more ergonomically correct. But for now, this room is actually the most settled room in my life - good, since I spend more time here than anywhere!
Stay tuned - "Part 2: My kitchen and living room" coming up soon...