My Week in Music

Monday - "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tuesday - "Anyway You Want It" by Journey
Wednesday - "Ambling Alp" by Yeasayer
Thursday - "Come Undone" by Duran Duran
Friday - "Illinois Loyalty" by The Marching Illini

Kyle and I are headed to Champaign for the weekend to attend an open house for the Speech and Hearing Science department. Pretty excited! I haven't set foot on campus in almost four years.


Feeling that "ugh"

Every Thursday afternoon, like clockwork, I feel the "ugh" set in. I get home from class around 4:30, and I feel tired, cranky, annoyed, and burnt-out. Why do I feel this way? Because every Thursday night I lead a Bible study at my house.

Now I should, I should, feel excited, joyous, eager, and the thrill of the anticipation that I will hear from God and share his word with other women. I should feel grateful about the opportunity to show hospitality to others. But I don't. Instead, I feel the weight of commitment, the obligation, the burden of wanting to do it "just right." The pressure of wanting to be a Mary and a Martha. It's the ugh.

So, every week, I begrudgingly sit down in front of my Bible, and open up to the chapter that we're studying that week to make my final preparations to lead discussion that night.

Every week, like clockwork, I open my Bible and pour over God's word. I read it. I study notes others have made about it. I search for last bits of wisdom and insight. What happens every week? I feel refreshed. I feel the ugh slip away. I feel joy taking over my sinful flesh that thinks watching reruns of the Real Housewives of Orange County (shameful, I know) is more fun than studying my Bible. My flesh was wrong. The ugh was my sin, my unwillingness to merely be obedient to what God has called me to do, study and teach his word to other women on Thursday nights.

Being obedient is the hardest part. That is to say, opening my Bible is the hardest part. Once it's there, and I begin to read it, the Holy Spirit does the rest. My stone heart is broken. God's word takes over, and joy replaces the ugh.

Maybe others who teach the Bible on a regular basis don't feel this way. Maybe I'm really messed up.  Something tells me, however, that I'm not the only one. When it comes to sin, you can always be sure that someone else is secretly down in that gutter with you. The beauty of Christianity is that we can admit our challenges to one another, and run arm-in-arm to the wondrous cross, where Jesus has already overcome it all.


Two BIG Giveaways

This weekend, I found out about two huge giveways from fellow bloggers.

The first is from MckMama. She is giving away a beautiful Kelly Moore camera bag - just what I need!

The second is from The Pioneer Woman. She is giving away two prize packages, complete with a KitchenAid Mixer

Any one of these prizes would be a fantastic win, but PW is going all-out for Valentine's day. 
Be sure to enter at MckMama, and The Pioneer Woman's blogs! 
Happy Valentine's Day.


Strange Dreams

I have strange dreams almost every night. Last night was a doozy! I don't remember the whole plot of this dream, but the bits and pieces I do remember are so strange, that I just had to share them.
  1. I was living in a dorm at a faceless university. I had two roommates just like I used to at Illinois, but I don't know who they were.
  2. Kyle, who was still my husband in the dream, woke up one morning to find that Henri Matisse had sneaked into our room overnight and left a work of art in our window.
  3. I went around the dorm telling everyone what had happened, but know one knew who Matisse was, so no one was excited.
  4. Finally, someone said she already knew about it, and that I was supposed to go downstairs and talk to someone because I was the grand prize winner.
  5. The next thing I remember is walking down the street of a town that looked a lot like Gatlinburg, TN. There was a group of people waiting to tell me that I'd won $1,000 cash and a Carnival cruise.
  6. After that, Kelly Clarkson appeared on the street with her boyfriend (does she really have one?), who looked like Derek Webb, and sang a song to me about locking down my pillow, and appreciating what a good man I have.
  7. I looked over and Kyle was sitting around a table with my cousin, Tyler, my old friend, Amy Miller, and a bunch of unknown faces, *taking shots. Oh, but they weren't just any shots. It was a trivia game. A trivia game in which the prizes were all from Anthropologie. The bartender would show the prize for that round, pour you a shot if you wanted to play, and ask the question. You drink, and then shout out the answer. The first person to answer correctly won. Let's just say Kyle was winning me some pretty sweet loot.
  8. The dream ended and I was awakened shortly after Amy requested they do a round of **peanut butter shots, in which you take a shot of peanut butter.
*To my knowledge, Kyle has never taken a shot, nor taken shots for prizes.
** To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a peanut butter shot.


Family in the News

One of Cousin Steph's boys recently made it in the news! Dylan chose to raise money for Haiti relief through the Red Cross for his birthday instead of a traditional 10-year-old birthday party. What a kid!

Dylan(Photo courtesy of Cousin Steph)

Please check out the story here: Boy Raises Money for Haiti

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Today, I'm giving glory to God for the work He is doing in you, Dylan!