Our Love
Hello friends!! A quick post here...just making the most of the opportunity as I sit in Starbucks this relaxing Saturday evening. I really do mean to leave soon so I can go to the store and then go home and make some delicious tomato sauce! Thinking tonight sounds like a night for homemade sauce complete with Italian sausages, peppers and onions(and plenteous spices). Y'know. Delicious? Yes. I'm also thinking I might put on some Ben Hur for cooking accompaniment, but we shall see.

Anyways! Today has been a delightful Saturday, especially after a long and crazy week. This morning after a sweet reading and coffee time, went over to help Chase and Sarah move!! We had a good group of guys as manual labor(Jared! Peter! Donnie!) So the move was efficient and relatively pain free! Afterwards, came back and...well, I really meant to come here to Starbucks right away(needed to catch up on bill-paying, work emails...such fun!), but it's so gorgeous outside, I couldn't help myself. Ended up outside by the pool with my book(Lord of Chaos, book six of Wheel of Time!) enjoying the radiant sun and picturesque blue sky. God is good to me. Truly.

And now it's going on six o'clock, so I really should be off. Store to grab the necessary supplies, then dinner-making time.

Peace, my friends. Peace and love.

Orange Shades
A needle scratches
vinyl, loss of notes so warm,
a needle patches
ripped spot in his jeans well worn.

He smooths that charismatic carpet
and so
he crooks his elbow in sympathy
just so
and rests his head upon it
like so
and he ponders the stars
dancing across his eyelids
for so
he knows
a secret.

Away spins the music down the
alleyways of his most treasured
and yeah,
away spins his boot across the
vinyl, floor masquerading as
polished wood
and yeah,
away spins his thoughts upon
the streets of the true promised
and yeah,
away spins the weight of glory,
away spins the long told story,
away spins the
song of stars,
a mystery unfurled.

Song of stars and stars of light - what promises do you tell this night?
Remind me dear and draw me near - what sweet mysteries will blaze to life?
Veil of linen and veil of stars,
one to herald, one to hide!
One proclaiming and one declaiming,
One no longer shines with light.
One veil yet whispers, whispers
Whispers to that wistful sight.

The needle trembles, I stir,
Awake my soul.
Carpet smooth under my head,
Be still my soul.
Away spins the long promised song,
Arise my soul,
For so
I do desire a better country
Just so.
Just so.

Afternoon, friends!! I am writing a quick entry from here inside Starbucks...sadly, I came here to use some internet so I could write some work emails. Very very sad on a Sunday, I know. Oh well! Still, got some work done, and now almost time to go to the store and get some food(salad supplies and steak and potatoes!)...and then I'm thinking a beautiful idea would be to go out to my pool and soak in some sun!! I'm very much in a sun-enjoying mood, having spent most of yesterday having sweet beach time! It's Ernie's birthday today, so Mandy organised a little beach adventure...where me, Ernie, Mandy, Katie, Dakota and some others all had a smashing Saturday at the beach! After getting fueled up on coffee and donuts, we drove the hour down to the beach. The sun shone all day long and the water was positively bath-quality-warm and the sea breeze was perfectly fresh. Lunch time eventually came and due to Ernie's grill skills, we had plenty of hamburgers(slightly charred) and hotdogs(a bit more charred) to feast on. As the afternoon wore on and we all started to tire a bit(how does one get tired just swimming around in the Gulf? Don't ask me), we sat on the shore and just enjoyed being together. Gorgeous sun and sea, beautiful sand and surf...and dear friends and good chat. A good day was given me by my God and I thank Him!!

Now...it really is about time to go, but wanted to write a quote from a book I've been enjoying greatly lately. I really would have posted this sooner, but not having Internet at home is making my postings oh so much more sporadic. My apologies. Still. This quote. Just simply, wonderfully beautiful:

"So, then, this also is hid in Christ,-the great and unspeakable riches of the wisdom of God, in pardoning sin, saving sinners, satisfying justice, fulfilling the law, repairing his own honour, and providing for us a more exceeding weight of glory; and all this out of such a condition as wherein it was impossible that it should enter into the hearts of angels or men how ever the glory of God should be repaired, and one sinning creature delivered from everlasting ruin. Hence it is said, that at the last day God 'shall be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe,' 2 Thess 1:10. It shall be an admirable thing, and God shall be for ever glorious in it, even in the bringing of believers to himself. To save sinners through believing, shall be found to be a far more admirable work than to create the world of nothing.
-John Owen, Communion with God

Afternoon Sun
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Cinnamon Jump
Happy Saturday, y'all!!! I seriously am only going to write a few words, because my feet are tapping and I'm eager to get out in the bright sunshine...and leave Starbucks behind, where I've spent far too much time today(shocking, I know!). But - it has been a most productive morning...got lots of little online chores done(having no Internet at home means Saturday Starbucks is my best time for online tasks, naturally...). I also mostly got my community group lesson for next week done, which is a pleasant surprise as I didn't think I'd be able to complete it today. I probably will work on tightening it up a bit tomorrow...but it's in good shape so I am happy. Looking at prayer and Philippians 1:9-11. Good words. I really did want to write a little something beautiful...like a poem or something...but I've been here too long and since I'm getting antsy - my heart is not in the poem-writing mood. Alas.

Quickly, before I fly! Last night! Spent a marvelous night with friends - reminded again as always of how much I've been blessed. Went out north to the Woodlands for a concert(of course accompanied by a fine tex-mex pre-show meal at Chuy's...). Ernie, John, Michelle, Abby, Claire and Julie and I had such sweet times...talking, laughing, being silly...and then enjoying a quality rockin' show by The Avett Brothers - they're a folksy band that really knows how to rock!! I'd never heard them before, but not at all sorry I was there.

And oh I said I would only write a few words...how has it spilled to three paragraphs? Oops. Anyways, I'm going to leave and continue enjoying my Saturday. This is my last Saturday in Houston for a couple weeks...as next week, I'm going to be going on a fine Maryland adventure - return to my homeland indeed!! Will be some quality times with a quality friend...and I'm pretty psyched, cannot deny! Now I'm off for real. Need to do some shopping(thinking a fine dinner tonight of chicken, baked potatoes and homemade stuffing). But I can't end this without simply stating how thankful I am for the blessings of my God. He has blessed me much. Peace, my friends. Peace and love!!!

Hey friends!! A quick early morning post for me, before I officially start work...(and actually I take that back, because I've already been doing far too much work at far too early of an hour...oh early morning pressure tests - how I love thee). Anyway, I really don't have that much to say, but felt it was a waste to not at least write something! Last night, had small group...and I got to pick all four songs - majorly awesome! I got to pick some of my favorites(Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, Take My Life and Let it Be, Crown Him With Many Crowns and Holy, Holy, Holy..and I felt so privileged being able to sing praises to the God of the universe. A very special night, indeed.

And now...I'm still feeling a bit sleepy, but I have fresh coffee and a doughnut and I feel oh so blessed by God. And now as the clock has ticked past six, going to end this sleepy musing and do a bit of work. Peace friends!!!

The Wheel Turns
Hi friends!!! I have just realised that - shockingly - I have not posted here in over a month!! Terrible behaviour, simply terrible, I say. But I do have a good excuse. I have not(and still don't!) had Internet in my flat, so posting is just a little more difficult than it used to be. Could I post from my phone? Well, I guess I could...but I type so slowly on my phone and then I just couldn't be half as long-winded as is my wont. Couldn't have that now could we? But now I'm ensconced at the Starbucks a few minutes away from my apartment, enjoying my chocolate and cinnamon tinged coffee...and I actually do have a bit of time to write!

So I could write all about my new apartment and what it's like living alone again...or I could talk about my super hectic and crazy work life...or I could even talk about all the books I'm reading(Wheel of Time re-read - currently on The Dragon Reborn! Just started another John Owen book last night...Communion with God!!) or the TV shows I'm watching(Just finished watching Season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer last night...on to S2!!)...or I could talk about something even more awesome. Like...you know, Laura and Caisson getting married last weekend. Yeah. I think that wins.

So I don't think it's even possible to do last week justice. But I shall try to paint a picture, and even though it may be slightly dim and ill-formed...it'll at least give you an idea of the glorious week that was had as Laura and Caisson came together as husband and wife!! I flew to Tampa last Wednesday and then drove to Gainesville for the beginning of wedding week festivities! Bachelor party that night with Caisson and the gang(didn't know any of the other guys going into the week...but no worries, as expected - they were all awesome and most quality guys!). Thursday - woke up feeling a little tired(yes, I am apparently not in college anymore and not used to going to bed after 2AM...) but enjoyed a sweet brunch with all the guys and all of Laura's bridal party(Maryanne was one of the maids of honor, as is proper...and I knew some of the other girls too - all very top-notch ladies!!). Thursday afternoon involved disc golf played with none other than Rob G! And Laurie and Jonah. And Maryanne. And some of the rest of the wedding party. And after that...dinner at Outback with Aunt Bev and Aunt Linda and Mom and Dad and Maryanne and Laura and Caisson!! I feel like I'm just speeding through the events here, but trust me...if I don't, there is no way I'll get through everything!!! But seriously, sitting at Outback with the family, talking about life and being all together. Truly special. And speaking of special...after that dinner, got to go over and see Rob and Laurie and Dan and Betsy!!! It's been...wow, I don't even want to know how long since I've gotten to hang out with all of them. But we got some quality time over coffee and brownies and...again, truly....being with some of my best friends in the world, talking about all manner of things...really, just being together. Knowing them and being known by them. God has given me some amazing friends, y'all - and that night with them. Marvelous. And so of course, another late night(think I made it to bed by midnight though!). Then Friday. Got to hang out with Dad a bit and get food for our lunch at Maryanne's place...sweet lunch there with the whole extended fam!! Then afterwards, me and Maryanne got to go for a walk on her route(hurrah - now I finally know where she's at when we're talking on phone!)...afterwards...rehearsal and rehearsal dinner!! Again, I will make this brief - but it was a joyous time. Getting to hear the toasts and honor heaped upon Laura and Caisson by all of their dear friends and family. Wow. Oh so encouraging. Oh so wonderful!! Steve and Vickie arrived that night as well(and Steve's parents!!). And Uncle Jeff and Brittany!! And so all of us together...beautiful. And that night ended with much dancing and revelry and it was awesome and I got another late night...because I got home and did I go to bed straight away? Of course not. Me and Rob had ice cream and talked and talked and soon enough it was midnight. Oops.

Saturday. Wedding day. This day was a blur and even now almost can't believe it really happened. My baby sister's wedding day. And so I got to see Laura at various points in the day(got to pass her a journal from Caisson while everyone was getting ready!) and I eventually put on my tux, etc. And the day sped on, and all of us proceeded up the aisle and then up walked Laura on Dad's arm...and...yes. As is good and right and proper, Laura and Caisson were pronounced man and wife in a ceremony whose beauty shone oh so bright...and I'm not even going to attempt to properly describe it, but it was beautiful. Oh so beautiful. God our Father has bountifully blessed their union and I pray that He continue to bless their life as they adventure together in this crazy world. Oh thank you, God - for all the good that You have done!!! And afterwards? Why even bother? But it was more joy and laughter and fun....much dancing(I got to dance with Mom, hurrah!!) and talking and love and smiles and purest happiness!! And eventually Laura and Caisson left and we were all still rejoicing. Oh so much rejoicing! The family went back to Tampa, but me and Maryanne(being somewhat younger, maybe me not quite as young as Maryanne....) stayed in Gville to enjoy being with the rest of the bridal party(again, an awesome group! Love y'all - Maryanne, Ara, Emily, Jami, Taylor, Joel, Dan, Adrian, et. al....) a little longer. We went over to the apartment complex and played volleyball(Oh yes I love vball!! We also had the sweetest team ever, hi-fiving and yelling after every point, whether we'd won it or lost it...we were pretty hilarious, f'real). Then we ate pizza and sat by the pool and enjoyed the fading summer sun as we reflected over a beautiful day... But of course, it wasn't over because me and Maryanne still had to go back to Tampa! So we made our farewells, hugging everyone goodbye...then we left Gainesville. Fueled on sweet mocha, I drove the two hours back to Tampa and we made it to bed sometime a little after midnight.

And the next day...we may or may not have been pretty tired. Still went to Hope Bible for church and it was glorious! Worshiping God together with everyone and glorying in the goodness of our Lord and God and Savior! And then, after church...we were spent. Enjoyed some Best New York pizza for lunch with Dad and Mom and Maryanne...and we all rested. Soon enough, I had to leave for airport, but we won't dwell on that part. For me right now, as I sit in Starbucks in Houston...I reflect back on the events of a week ago and I smile. Smile for joy, smile for love. Oh Lord, my God - you have blessed me and my family so. And I can ne'er cease thanking You. You, my Lord - are all my hope and all my joy. My true and greatest love. Now and forever. My heart sings to You, my Father - my Lord and My God!

Amen and Amen.


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