I like…

Some fun things …

1) the runaway bunny i opted to fill kaya & hudson’s easter basket with books rather than candy this year. i bought this one on a whim and it has become a new favorite! if i’m going to read a book 48582939 times for kaya and another 9488503932 times for hudson, it’s got to be a good one! i even read it to nels last night…and he liked it too. ;) this book is adorable and oh-so-sweet. the illustrations are great too! get it.

2) good coffee. lately we’ve been drinking gevalia – traditional roast. it’s good stuff…relatively affordable, and you can get it pretty much anywhere. nels says its delicious because its from sweden.

3) good food. we have tried some great new recipes lately. this italian chicken soup  was so so good. i did make several changes (never can seem to stick precisely to a recipe–), including leaving out the jalapenos. next time i’m quadrupling this recipe so i can eat it every day for the rest of my life…or a week or so. ;P

4) this girl.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” – C.S. Lewis

i’m blessed to have just a few really great friends, and alyssa is one of them. i’m thankful for her, plus her prayers and love and…”well, what are your priorities?” straight-talkin’! and she’s perfectly adorable. obviously. she’s a godly woman and a real/honest person. just thinking of her and missing her makes me want to be more loving, more crafty (ha!) and more sold out for the Lord.

5) my love. a post of things i like just seemed incomplete without him, you know? we’re bffs fo life, yo! :) these are the kind of ridiculous things we say to each other in the privacy of our own home. :P

6) being reasonable. say whaaaa? no really, this is so simple but so completely necessary for me. i need reasonable daily to-do lists. REALISM, folks, is not my strong suit. at times i can be an over-achiever, but with two little ones in the house i need to be more focused on them and less on certain tasks, but if my list is miles long and i only cross off a few things, i feel like a failure! solution? being reasonable. i know, its genius. but really, trying to plot out reasonable goals is making the days (and thus the weeks) better.

…i also like SHOES and CRAFTING…

but more on that later this week. ;)

May the Lord bless you this beautiful April week!

<3 jc

i’m thankful for, i’m thankful for…{january edition}

when i was a little girl, my daddy made up a “game.” we would each take turns saying something that we were thankful for. the one rule? you had to start by saying “i’m thankful for, i’m thankful for…” of course! 

so here’s my “i’m thankful for, i’m thankful for”…january edition!

1. the gift of european coffee - my dear friend just returned from visiting her family in Poland for the holidays and while she was over there she picked up a few gifts for me – including this delicious bag of Italian coffee. ahh, Grazie, Monika!

2. a week-long class - glad i took it and i’m sure glad it’s over! i missed having a family and home life. i would have completely begrudged the hours away – except that this class was completely, totally worth it. i took “personal evangelism & discipleship” and got to share the gospel out in the community a lot this week. i was sharpened and so encouraged by our class of believers. what a time of refreshing from the Lord! this is perhaps the most inspired i have been since being in YWAM at Jacksonville five years ago (HAVE MERCY, has it been than long?!?!). Lord, grant me the faithfulness to continue in the things i’ve learned!

3. support from family - my husband and my mother so graciously rearranged their schedules this past week to care for the babies and enabled me to continue inching toward finishing my degree.

4. new laptop case! - i had ordered this adorable gem from an etsy shop and just about forgotten about it (didn’t realize it was shipping from overseas and it took a month to get here!). it was so fun to receive it in the mail this week. it is exactly what i was needing to protect my trusty ‘ol macbook. :)

5. suh-LEEP! our sweet baby boy has been sleeping so much better, waking up on average just once a night and oftentimes going to sleep if i give him a paci (no nursing means back to sleep quicker for me!). i never knew how much i needed sleep until suddenly it was GONE! its possible i love Hudson even more when i am well-rested. :) now if only he and Kaya could decide they like to nap at the same time!! lol

6. visit with K & D – Nels’ brother and sister in law are moving to Okinawa, Japan with the Navy next month, and we were delighted to get to see them last night before they leave. it was also their first time to meet Hudson! such a special time…

What are you thankful for today?

<3

jc

on a trip to starbucks

My dashing husband bought me a Starbucks giftcard for my birthday.

What a dear.

This week - the one week that I have two tests, two projects and a million things to do! of course – the baby girl has rebelled against nap time…leaving me a tired, stressed mommy.

But! Lucky me, my husband gets to come home for an hour at lunch. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the Lord! So after enjoying our sandwiches together, he stayed home with baby girl and I ran off to spend the remainder of my gift card at Starbucks, longing for a moment of sanity and rest and a warm mug in my hands.

Wonderful experience - but - 

1) Those lovely little tidbits of a cake pop – you know the super cute little pink party on a stick that look like a harmless, teensy afternoon-pick me up?

One delicious bite. And 170 calories.  I felt betrayed by my “good girl dessert bite”. Oh well, I forgive you dear birthday cake pop. My thighs might not. But you’re still my favorite.

2) Please everyone, stop staring at me because I’m pregnant and at Starbucks. For all you know I am drinking decaf! Or tea! And besides, even if I am drinking the real deal, my doctor said coffee is fine for baby and me in moderation. You are more than welcome to intervene if you see me lighting up in the parking lot or shooting something up into my arm…however, my afternoon half-caf with milk is not endangering anyone.

Alright, so it wasn’t really that eventful of a trip to Starbucks. Maybe I’m just a tired, moody pregnant woman who needs to rant and think about something other than the study guide for my test that I have been staring at for days…:) …and, uh, maybe when I finally ace that, we could go out for cake pops? …

<3 jc

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

This afternoon I am relaxing at LatteLand, sipping a Caramella Bliss with my sleeping baby beside me, studying the Word…could an afternoon get any better? I can’t imagine it.
I have been needing some serious soul refreshment. With Easter coming, it seemed appropriate to meditate on the resurrection of Jesus – the foundation of our faith, the source of my hope and joy. “No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like the scene on Calvary. Nowhere does the soul find such consolation as on that very spot…where agony reached its climax (C. H. Spurgeon).”

Mark Driscoll (can you tell I’m a fan? lol) had a great blog post about preparation for Easter (http://theresurgence.com/6_tips_for_easter) that I found to be very helpful. The following is a list of passages in the Bible that have something to do with the resurrection and I would challenge you to look them all up, journal your thoughts, meditate on them and prepare your heart for the celebration of Easter…I’ve been working through it and it’s been wonderful!
  • Genesis 22:13 and Hebrews 11:19 show how the story of Isaac is a type of the resurrection.
  • 2 Samuel 7:7–16 contains the Davidic Covenant, which promises that Jesus will rule over an everlasting kingdom, and Romans 1:3–4 shows the fulfillment as God the Father anointed God the Son as Davidic king at his resurrection.
  • Psalm 16:10 promises that Jesus would not be abandoned in the grave.
  • Isaiah 26:19 promises that the dead will rise.
  • Isaiah 52:13–53:12 is the entire prophetic promise of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection, with the resurrection emphasized in 53:10–12.
  • Ezekiel 37:1–10 gives an illustration of the resurrection of the dead.
  • Daniel 12:2 is one of the clearest Old Testament Scriptures on the bodily resurrection of believers and unbelievers.
  • Hosea 13:14 speaks of resurrection victory over death and is quoted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.
  • Jonah 1:17 and 2:10 and Matthew 12:40 speak of Jonah’s three days in the fish as a type of Jesus’ resurrection after three days in the grave.
  • Matthew 9:18–26 records Jesus resuscitating a young girl from death (unlike resurrection, in which the risen never dies again, resuscitation is followed by a second physical death). This passage could be used to show how one day Jesus will also cause believers to rise from death, despite mockery from the world as Jesus experienced at that event.
  • Matthew 11:1–6 records that, as evidence of his divinity for John the Baptizer, Jesus appealed to the fact that he could raise the dead.
  • Matthew 12:38–40Mark 8:319:3110:33–34; and John 2:18–22all reveal Jesus prophesying his resurrection in advance.
  • Matthew 22:23Luke 20:27; and Acts 23:8 all report that the Sadducees denied the resurrection in arguments with Jesus.
  • Matthew 28:9 and John 20:1720–28 all report that Jesus rose physically from death, not just spiritually.
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all close with large sections reporting the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from death, and any of them, or portions from them, could make a good Easter sermon.
  • Luke 14:12–14 is a parable Jesus told about the repayment that will come to the just at the resurrection.
  • John 5:19–29 records Jesus teaching that we will stand before him for final judgment and rise for eternal life or eternal death.
  • John 11:1–44 records the death of Lazarus and Jesus resuscitating him from death. Jesus also declares himself to be the resurrection and the life who can also raise us from death.
  • Twelve of the twenty-eight chapters in the book of Acts report that the continual refrain of the preaching in the early church was that Jesus had risen from death, and all or some of these sermon snippets could make a good Easter sermon.
  • Acts 9 reports the dramatic conversion of Saul—who had overseen the murder of the early church deacon Stephen—when he was confronted with the risen Jesus.
  • Acts 17:3223:6; and 24:11–15 report how belief in the resurrection can result in mockery and persecution.
  • Romans 4:25 connects Jesus’ resurrection and our justification.
  • Romans 6:5 says that we are united with Jesus by his resurrection.
  • Romans 8:1–11 speaks of the new power we have, through the Holy Spirit, to say no to sin and yes to God because of Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Romans 8:11 and 2 Corinthians 5:15 say that believers have the same power as Jesus did for his resurrection through God the Holy Spirit.
  • Romans 10:5–13 speaks of how to be saved through Jesus’ resurrection.
  • Romans 14:8–12 describes how Jesus is Lord of the dead and the living because he was dead and is now alive.
  • 1 Corinthians 15 is arguably the most comprehensive treatment of resurrection in all of Scripture. While one sermon on the entire chapter would likely be impossible, there are innumerable options that could be emphasized in an Easter sermon.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:1–10 teaches about the state between death and resurrection as well as the kind of body we will have after resurrection.
  • In Galatians 1:1–2, Paul declares that the resurrected Jesus Christ gave Paul his apostolic authority.
  • Ephesians 2:1–10 explains how we are dead in sin but made alive in Christ through his resurrection.
  • In Philippians 3:1–11, Paul teaches that the resurrection is infinitely better than religion.
  • Colossians 1:15–20 speaks of the preeminence of the risen Jesus over every created thing.
  • Colossians 2:6–15 and 3:1 say that we have been raised with Christ.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10 encourages Christians to wait patiently for the second coming of the risen Jesus.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:16 teaches us that at the second coming of Jesus Christ, the dead in Christ will rise like him to be with him.
  • 2 Timothy 2:1–13 reveals Paul using the resurrection of Jesus Christ as motivation for a life of faithful ministry in the midst of suffering and trial.
  • 2 Timothy 2:17–18 actually names false teachers who denied the resurrection, and Paul declares them to be heretics for doing so.
  • Hebrews 6:1–2 lists the doctrine of the resurrection among the most elemental and essential of Christian truths to learn.
  • Hebrews 13:20–21 reminds us that the same God who raised Jesus from death is faithful to keep his promises to his people as well.
  • 1 Peter 1:3–9 speaks of the inheritance that Jesus has purchased for us through his resurrection and how our suffering in this life reminds us of him until we rise in his kingdom.
  • 1 Peter 3:21–22 and Romans 6:5 explain how the Christian act of baptism shows us the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, which cleanses us from sin.
  • 1 John 3:2 says that a Christian’s resurrection body will be like Jesus’ risen body.
  • Revelation 1:17–18 reveals Jesus as the Alpha and Omega who was dead and is now alive.

ALL GLORY to HIM who defeated sin and death and brought us near to God.

Happy Easter <3

jchc

You just say, “Hi.”

I read this fantastic quote on a coffee cup today:

“I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.” – Augusten Burroughs

…and another that is a long time favorite of mine:

“Then the time came when the risk it took to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” - Anais Nin

 Boldness. Love for People. I need more of it. 

 Seeking to Know No Stranger,

 jch

I am utterly enchanted by…

- my morning cup of Caribou. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the Lord!

- the indescribable moment when my fear of vulnerability was abandoned and I could cry while my fiance kissed the tears off my cheeks. I could not ask for more.

- the wonderful Thai characters (which I cannot read) that are now adorning my computer screen. Somehow I switched the language on my computer from English to Thai –I’m not exactly sure how to switch it back, and I’m in no hurry to do so. Ohh, sweet Thailand.

- Death Cab for Cutie. Seriously. Bliss for the ears. The beauty of their music is entrancing, enchanting, enthralling. I love the imagery and emotion and longing. Songs like “Transatlanticism” and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” are absolutely magical. Lately I have especially enjoyed the “Narrow Stairs” album…many of the songs are deeply sad, but as a whole, the album seems to veer away from merely depressing anthems and really describes a depth of human emotions and experience in a lyrically and musically brilliant way. 

- Elisabeth Elliot. Her words and encouragement to surrender to the Lord and His will often ring very true…and yet they also grate against deep places of my selfish spirit like sandpaper. “A willing acceptance of all that God assigns and a glad surrender of all that I am and have constitute the key to receiving the gift of a quiet heart.” I pray that I will live in a way that is in accordance with His will.

- And I am NOT  so enchanted by the amount of homework setting on the table next to me – untouched…oh and the fact that I just found out I have another paper due this week. Bah! I am also not so enchanted by the fact that my brother and sister get to go to the NEBRASKA game in Lincoln without me tonight.

WELL…Go Big Red! 

A day in the life…

Getting ready for pre-marital counseling this morning…it’s gettin real!

Feeling rather accomplished – all my homework is finished for Christian Doctrine I this morning! I feel like such a scholar just carrying around my huge systematic theology book. It kind of inspires me to lifting weights as well.

Without my daily cup of coffee I feel like I’m operating at slightly sub-par. I really feel like 3/4 of a human being without that shot of “liquid bean caffeine”. You know what this means?? It’s probably time for a no-coffee fast. Argh. However – maybe it will help my “fidgetyness”. I really can’t sit still.

I am unbelievably blessed with great friends right now. From our couples’ lunch/prayer, to my stellar fiance, to my alto-singing buddy Monika, to sweet Rachel who is going as my moral support to my”woman appointment” tomorrow, to miss Amy who is all around loving and wonderful to me and is helping me stay on track with this wedding planning business…God has provided support, love, fun, accountability…thank you, Lord!

My mind is too busy. I told my mother the other day that I feel like an internet browser with about six tabs open. I keep popping back and forth and back and forth. This mental hyperactivity is annoying. Maybe it’s because I’m a full time student, working a crazy job, planning a mission trip, planning a wedding, etc. Or maybe I’m just ADHD or something. Whatever it is – I’d really like to feel like I’m all in one place sometime soon.

I feel a bit distant from the Lord. What to do but press in? Take it away, Abba. 

My big ole tumor on the back of my head turned out to be an infected lymph node (they think…) which means that (PRAISE GOD) I didn’t have to go under the knife yesterday. Oh joy…yet another round of antibiotics. 

Reading Ruth this morning. I am grateful for getting to see how even though Naomi felt that the Lord had dealt so bitterly with her that she came full circle and blessed the Lord and said (of Boaz) “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!”

Practiced my soon-to-be-new-signature the other day in class. Lots and lots. It’s going to be a rock star signature, for sure.

Oh dear…here goes another day. I pray that it is lived intentionally and not just survived.

jch

A Lovely Saturday

Saturdays are my favorite…free ones, at least. No to-do list’s (except that nagging one that is stored in the back of my mind), no agenda…just a Saturday. The first in August. The only free one this month. Mmmm…

What a beautiful day the Lord has given me. I awoke with a bitter taste in my mouth but he washed it away and replaced the sour with a sweetness from savoring his grace. Truly, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.

I drove 60 some odd miles in quietness. Silly, perhaps, considering the cost to fuel that trip without destination…but not purposeless. First time I have been alone in a while. It is refreshing to “Be still and know that I am God,” while traveling miles of gravel roads whose turns reveal more and more of the endless rolling prairie grasses. Sometimes it is nice to shut the radio off.

A cup of coffee sounded nice…but most of the coffeeshops I drove by looked too hectic this morning. I found a small one that had a great big chair just inside and read 1 Peter and parts of Isaiah and Hebrews while downing a delicious white chocolate mocha frappucino…:) Mmmm…Saturday!

After such a morning and early afternoon, even doing the dishes and folding laundry seems relaxing and enjoyable, especially when coupled with listening to a little Nickel Creek and dreaming up a beautiful wedding…

Did I just say wedding? Oh yes, oh YES! Nels and I got engaged on Tuesday night. :) More on that to come…

Thank you, Lord. 

I could spit on a stranger. ha. 

<3 JCH