Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Count your blessings

We are slaves God.

I will set you free.

We are thirsty God.

I will give you water.
We are hungry God.

I will give you manna.

We want meat God.

I will give you meat.

Why did you bring us here God?

Fine. I'm done. You're not getting all the blessings I had in store for you.

Ok, I'm paraphrasing here. But seriously, when you read about how much the Israelites complained after God freed them from slavery you think it's ridiculous.

Until I start comparing it to me.

It's too cold God. It's too hard God. Everything's not perfect God.

God also saved me from slavery, slavery to my sinful nature. Yet I complain all the time. And if I was in the Israelites' place I would have complained then too. When are we gonna get there? Why do we have all these rules?

I have it a lot better off than they do. I shouldn't ever have to complain.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's not all about me


I really suggest going to this link to watch the clip.

Remember it's not all about us.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leviticus and numbers...

I have been reading chronologically through the Bible. When you get to Leviticus and Numbers, you sometimes start to question why those books are in there.

All those censuses and laws don't really apply to us today. However God obviously wanted them in there for a reason.

When reading Leviticus, the thing I thought about most was how thankful we should be for Jesus that we don't have to make such sacrifices to take care of our sins. We are so blessed to have the Lamb that too away all our sin and made it so we can approach the God of the universe.

Numbers shows us some history, and I'm sure it has been used a lot to prove the legitimacy of the Bible through the years. I should be appreciative that this book is in the Bible even if it's not as interesting to read.

The Bible is so much fuller than we can imagine. I try to look for new things every time. What do you notice each time you read the Bible?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


As Nate and I start to go through this time of planning - I have 14 of 184 tasks completed in the wedding planning according to The Knot - I know that weddings are going to be on my mind a lot.

When I got my iPhone a couple of months ago, I downloaded a Bible-reading app and started a plan to read through the Bible chronologically through the next year. I was doing really great - until the weekend we got engaged. I have to admit I'm about a week and a half behind now.

Through this time of planning, I have to remember to keep my priorities, just like we have to remember priorities during all chaotic times in our lives - both good and bad.

God needs to be honored in Nate and my engagement and in our marriage, so that means we can't neglect spending time with God during this time. In fact, we should be focusing even more on God as we look to the future and seek his will for our lives as times begin to change.

Relationships, faith, cleaning - things seem to get put on hold when other tasks demand our attention. Sometimes we have to really make a concerted effort to make sure that our priorities are in the correct order at all times.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lessons to learn

I think I'm a bit spoiled.

OK, well maybe a lot spoiled.

I haven't had too many things go wrong in my life - from all of my grandparents still living to only ever having had one boyfriend to finding a job straight out of college.

Well now that I'm engaged, I kind of just thought that my planning nature would take over and everything would go perfectly smoothly. It seemed like it was going well, even with us getting our dream reception venue. Until that venue backed out yesterday and told us it couldn't happen.

I had a minor freak-out while Nate was sleeping and tried to figure out where else we could hold the reception.

I told Nate we were back to square one, but he said we were farther than that. It just took him to tell me that as I started to realize that we had done a lot in the past week - made plenty of decisions. We were not back at square one, we just had to take a different route.

It looks like there will be lots of room to grow when planning a big event, and I'm open to those lessons and whatever God wants to teach me during this time. Even if it means not everything being quite as perfect as I hope every moment.

I should say though that everything is perfect, because I get to marry the man that has exceeded all my dreams!

Friday, February 17, 2012

What I need, not what I want

I want answers when I want answers. I want situations to work out the way I want them to work out. I want certain things to happen at certain times.

However, sometimes God, and other people, know what I need rather than what I want.

Today, I was talking to Nate about how many people to invite to our wedding. I won't go into the boring details, but I wanted something and Nate wanted to look into it. Like much of our relationship, I wanted an answer right then and there and he wanted to check and see and go with the flow.

I just wanted him to agree with me. I just wanted a firm answer so I could have a firm budget to work off of. He wanted to go to the venue and measure and go from there.

Finally, he let me calm down for a second and said that something is going to go wrong with this wedding. Something always goes wrong, and we can't plan for everything.

Ugh. I hate that. I want to plan for each and every scenario. I want everything to go just as planned, because otherwise why plan?

But I knew he was right. I know we have to deal with things as they come. I should take one victory at a time - finding a reception place - and keep going from there. It will all get done.

What I think I want - an exact answer - is not always what I need - a realistic view and some support through it. That's what I appreciate about Nate. He's not a pushover who caves to my every whim, even when I want him to. (I'm not saying he won't give me what I want if I really want it, he will. However, he often shows me what I need isn't the first thing I think it is.) He is a strong man with a realistic view on life. I often need that to look to.

Oh dear. This wedding planning is really going to be a test on my worrying and trusting. I have gotten so much better at that. Let's see if I slip when tested!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What do you say?

When adults give kids something, their parents almost always have to remind them.

"What do you say?"

"Thank you."

I know that I pray about an awful lot of things, and I am always appreciative when the answers to my prayers are "Yes." (I know I should be appreciative when the answers are "No" as well, but I guess that's a different post for a different time.) However, I don't always remember to thank God for answering those prayers. I'm happy with life, and I just leave it at that.

When Nate and I got engaged, I was watching the band and realized that I needed to stop right then and there and say "Thank you God."

Not only did my prayers of getting engaged get answered, but more importantly my prayers from many years and my parents prayers from the time I was a little girl have been answered. God brought into my life a man who is honest, faithful, loving, generous, funny, carefree, fun, a leader and so much more. Best of all, we have been together so long that he knows exactly what he is getting into by marrying me, and he still wants to. What a man!

So thank you God for bringing the most wonderful man into my life. A man who has qualities that I didn't even know that I wanted in a man but that I now know that I couldn't live without. Thank you for parents who raised him right and for parents who encouraged us throughout our lives.

While we're on the subject, you know what else I'm thankful for? Two sets of parents in our lives who are not only still married after 30 years but who are still crazy about each other. We have two beautiful examples of loving relationships - relationships that have had ups and downs but have stayed strong through the years. We have examples of two marriages that work differently and have different dynamics but most importantly they are filled with love and passion. I can't express how thankful we are for that.

So what do I say?

"Thank you!"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best night of my life

O.A.R. posted their schedule for their 2012 spring tour late in 2011.

Nate's been going to the jam band's concerts for years, and it was a while ago that he sent me some of their music and got me hooked. However, the timing never worked out for me to tag along to a show.

When the tour dates came up though, one concert caught our eyes - Minneapolis. It wasn't too far from home and it was actually on a Saturday night, kind of unusual.

We quickly talked with some friends and booked seven tickets for the Feb. 11 show. I was really excited.


I woke up Saturday, Feb. 11, feeling much better than I had the night before. Somehow I picked up a cold the day before we left for our O.A.R. concert, and that Friday I felt awful. I actually ended up falling asleep in the hotel room while Nate and our friends played cards. I was bundled up in Nate's sweatshirt and even had my Under Armour on, but I still shivered.

Luckily though, I felt ready to go on Saturday morning. I got up, showered in the beautiful bathroom tiled in turquoise glass and put on my black skinny jeans with my Hawkeye yellow O.A.R. T-shirt.

We joined some friends and had lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Minneapolis, then headed back to the hotel before the show.

Two of Nate's friends, who were there from Colorado to attend the concert, asked me what song I really wanted to hear that night.

"Lay Down," I said. "That's kind of Nate's and my song."

"What percent chance do you think there is that they will play that?" Nate Weigle asked. "50?"

"I think more than that," I said, thinking that "Lay Down" was a pretty popular song. I knew that I would be disappointed if the one show I got to go to didn't play that song.

Unbeknownst to me, the guys were giggling on the inside at my questioning whether this song would be played.


After the opening act of Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, we got to go backstage to meet the band. It was neat, but I heard O.A.R. start their set list on stage and I itched to get back out to my seat - even if it was in the balcony.

When the stage manager led us back out to the entryway, we all filed quickly upstairs.

Weigle had been sitting in a free front row seat with some other friends of ours earlier, but now he followed us up to the balcony.

"You're not going to sit in the front?" I asked.

"No. I'd rather be with you guys," he said.

I was surprised he gave up such a great seat, but not surprised that he would rather sit with his close friends than people he didn't really know.

We made it up the marble stairs and across the red floral carpet to sit down in our seats at the State Theatre.

The lights were off, except for the brightly-colored atmospheric tones shining on O.A.R. on stage. The crowd was already cheering as the group played in the beautiful theatre.

Thankfully the theatre was small enough that even though we had balcony seats, we could see just fine.

I quickly got out my Canon Rebel camera, with my long-range lens, and started snapping some shots of the band amidst singing and swaying to the music.

As O.A.R. played, I felt so happy and content.

"Life is good," I said, and I said a quick silent prayer to thank God for the beautiful moment I was having with my boyfriend and friends.

A few numbers later, the lead singer of the group said, "This is a good song to dance to." He encouraged people to dance with someone next to them, but to make sure to ask permission first.

Nate leaned over and asked if I wanted to dance.

"Sure," I said.

We were two seats in from the aisle, but those seats were empty, because they were reserved for our friends who were sitting in the front. I thought we would dance a little in that space, but Nate nudged me out into the aisle. I didn't mind at all.

We started swaying to the music, in our matching shirts, me on my tiptoes so that I wasn't a full foot shorter than him in my black ballet flats.

He spoke in my ear, loud enough to be heard over the music.

"I love you so much."

"I love you too!"

A small pause and then he said, "You're the girl of my dreams."

I took my head from the place it was nestled against him and looked at him, "Yeah?"

"Yeah. Will you spend forever with me?"

"Yeah," I said.

Now Nate and I have done this plenty of times before. We have danced and dreamed about our future and proclaimed how much we love each other. It's always a beautiful moment, and "Lay Down" playing in the background made it even better.

"I love you so much," he said again.

Then as we turned around in the aisle, he stepped away from me and got down on one knee.

Tears hit the back of my eyes as I realized what was happening. However, the tears didn't flow out as the crowd all around us starting yelling and screaming as they saw what was happening.

I don't remember even looking Nate in the face as Shad passed over a gray box that was open with a diamond inside.

"Will you marry me?"

I put out my hand.

"Yes?" Nate asked.


He slipped the ring on my finger and stood up to wrap me in a big hug and for a kiss as the crowd around us screamed even more.

We danced a little more, with my arms grasping around Nate's waist as tight as possible. We didn't even say anything.

Near the end of the song, I once again went on my tippy toes and said "I love you" into his ear.

When the song ended, we slipped back into the aisle, and got congratulations from our friends. Shad scooped me up into a hugely tight, excited hug and held me there for a little bit. Then I got a big bear hug from Weigle.

As I went back to my spot, I tried to check out my ring in the darkness. I caught sight of a marquis cut and knew it was perfect, even though I couldn't really see it in the dark theatre.

Nate slipped his arm around my waist and we started singing and moving to another song.

I stood tall to tell him one more thing.

"Earlier tonight I was thinking how perfect life was. Now it's even more perfect."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Heart of a Soul Surfer"

Bethany Hamilton is such an inspiration to people.

I was watching "Heart of a Soul Surfer," a documentary about pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, whose arm was bitten off by a shark. The documentary is a special feature on the "Soul Surfer" DVD I bought.

I remember reading abut Bethany Hamilton's saga when it happened, when she was only 13 years old. I remember hearing about how strong a Christian she is, and her mainstream "Soul Surfer" movie even talks about her faith and includes a couple of church services.

The part of the documentary I found fascinating was that Bethany and her mom said that when Bethany turned 13, they started to pray about God's will for her life. She wanted to be used for God but wasn't sure how to go about it.

Bethany said it was only two weeks after they started praying that God answered their prayers - with her getting her arm bitten off.

You see, when Bethany's arm was bitten off she received gobs of media attention. Even through the years it hasn't left. That media attention meant that Bethany could talk about her faith in Jesus in all kinds of venues, and no one cut her down for it.

I was almost flabbergasted that Bethany said losing her arm was an answer to prayer. That was the most beautiful, positive statement I think I have ever heard.

God answers prayers, even in ways we don't expect. And more importantly, God has a plan for his children, and he works everything out for good.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Help

I loved the movie "The Help," when my mom and I saw it over Labor Day Weekend in the Twin Cities.

Although the best part may have been the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake we snuck in to eat inside the theatre, the film itself was great.

I saw another trailer on TV, because apparently it's back in theatres again. If you haven't seen it, I would definitely suggest going.

"The Help" teaches us a lot about acceptance. For most people today, this time period in history might seem crazy. I can't imagine ever treating someone horribly just because they have a different skin color. I can't imagine thinking they are less than me or making them my servant because they are of African descent.

Even though African Americans don't deal with as big of a race factor today - depending on the area I'm sure that changes - many people still deal with being accepted.

I did an interview recently with someone who works with people who have mental health problems. She said that those who have these kind of problems are often pushed away. There's others - the poor, single mothers, overweight people, pock-faced teenagers, shy personalities - who are also not accepted as easily in different groups.

We need to remember that God created everyone. Some people have problems of their own creation, and some people have problems that they cannot control. No matter what though, they are children of God and special creatures. We need to show love to them and not judge them by the way they look or the choices they have made in the past.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Make the time

In our busy lives, it is easy to overlook the people around us.

When I get busy the first thing I do is cut out time with my friends, because I want to spend my few free minutes doing chores, relaxing or hanging with Nate.

However, spending time with people is not at about me. It should be more about giving to my friends and making sure they know they are important to me.

I know when someone stops to call me or wants to hang out that I am wanted, and I want people in my life to feel wanted as well.

Friends are not a distraction or a waste of time, they are important. We should all make sure we make time for the people we care about.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Give thanks

"Give thanks, with a grateful heart.
Give thanks, to the holy one.
Give thanks, for he's given Jesus Christ, his son.

"And now, let the weak say I am strong.
Let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done, for us.
Give thanks."

I was thinking about things that I'm thankful for, and this song popped into my head. Isn't it amazing that songs we haven't heard in years stick with us so much?

What sparked it was thinking about the warm weather that we're having - that I really enjoy. I have loved having a mild winter after some terrible ones in the past few years. However, I am thankful for many different things.

1. Warm weather, for winter at least
2. My little puppy dog, now laying in her kennel because she just peed in the house for no reason.
3. Good friends
4. A healthy and beautiful baby for Erin and Phil - Nate's sister and her husband.
5. A healthy pregnancy for my sister-in-law.
6. Upcoming trips and vacation, what will be my first week off since I graduated from college almost three years ago.
7. My faith. Even though I sometimes take it for granted, I love that I have an almighty creator to turn.
8. A warm apartment. Although I want a house in the future, I love where I live now and it sure does it's job!
9. Throwback TV shows on Youtube. I've been watching "Boy Meets World" lately, and although it's really a terrible show it's fun to watch what I used to watch when I was a kid.
10. Last for today, but certainly not least, a wonderful boyfriend. I have seen over and over again recently how lucky I am to have him.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Getting over me

This morning, Novie wanted to go outside about 7:45. I so did not want to get up, when I had to get up in about 45 minutes anyway. I wanted to just chill in bed until I had to start working.

However, she had to go, and I had to be the one to let her out so I rolled out of bed.

I grabbed my sweatpants and tossed them at her, just to let her know I was not happy about her making me get up.

I thought about the people that I know who are pregnant or have recently had children, and how they have to get up even more than I do to take care of their children. I wonder if they are annoyed or if they just love their children so much that they don't mind.

I don't think I'm ready to have children. Other than the fact that I'm not married, which would definitely be the prerequisite for having kids, I think I am way too selfish.

I've always thought I was a pretty giving person. I like to give things away and buy things for people. However, when it comes to doing things I don't want to, I guess I am a little more selfish than I thought. When I'm tired, I want to sleep. When I'm crabby I want to be alone and not talk. When I'm stressed I want to just hole up. If someone wants me to do something other than that, I don't really want to, and I can kind of be a crab butt when I don't get my way.

When I was younger, I always thought that I would be married and have children by my age. I guess I can't really control that I haven't, but I don't think I would be ready to have kids even if I was married. I need to get over myself and the need to do whatever I want.

Who knew a puppy could be teaching me so much?