(hold it for a sec...)
Finally I have a moment and the prerequisite clarity of mind to sit down and summarize the last few weeks. Sheesh... Guess it's been a month since I last posted... It's kind of all been a blur, really. I've had a few notes from friends asking, "Are you okay? You haven't blogged in a while!" That kind of makes me laugh a bit, but it's also kind of shocking that so much time has passed since I've had much of an opportunity to do reflect in this venue. I did sit down once or twice to type, just to be interrupted or to run out of time (or the aforementioned clarity of mind) before I could finish the thread of thought. It's just been a crazy month since my last post. Here are some "news briefs" to summarize.
- The "Sisters By Heart" event on May 1 was an amazing experience. I'm pretty comfortable in front of a "crowd", typically-- I lead worship almost weekly at my church, I've "performed" in bands and various groups on stage, and the high school sports in which I participated were a pretty big deal in the community I grew up in, always drawing a crowd. I even spoke at my high school graduation. But delivering a "message" is a completely different ballgame, and it was quite an eye-opening experience for me. (Props to Ronn and my other pastor-friends who do this on a regular basis!) The study, prayer, and meditation in preparation was great for my mind, and the night of the event was good for my heart. After stuttering and stumbling through the first thirty seconds or so, I got into my groove (and my outline) and just shared what was on my heart-- what God has been teaching me. I know some of the ladies who were there read this blog, so to them I say a great big, "thanks again! It was a truly awesome time!" I got a little long-winded (I know... BIG shocker!), and went about 15 minutes over my "target" time during the message... and the Q & A was a lot more A than Q. (Ronn even warned me about this in his little "pep talk" he gave me while I was preparing.) But overall, I was just humbled and encouraged by the discussion that went on. And of course, the objective was met-- that is, God was glorified. Here's a link to the audio of the message and the Q & A. Well over an hour in total, just to warn you. (Feel free to skip the stumbling and stuttering first 30 seconds.) :) That evening, as it turns out, was just the beginning of an action-packed weekend that kicked off this crazy bunch of weeks... (And that's what they call in the Industry, "foreshadowing")...
- We wrapped things up in Ohio about 11pm that Friday night, and before 7am on Saturday I was at the starting line for the Indy 500 Festival Half-Marathon (downtown Indianapolis-- 3+ hours away from Wauseon, OH). I'd never done THAT before, either. A weekend of firsts, I guess. I did pretty well, considering my lack of talent, experience, and sleep the night before. Beat my "goal". (I'm not much of a goal-setter, but in this case, I was quite pleased with myself.) I'm not sure if it's actually physically possible for a person to run his or her legs off-- like, actually so they detach from the body-- but I met up in Indy with 34,999 other crazy people on May 2 to try to give it the ol' college try. What an experience! I even got to kiss the "Brick Yard" (finish line at the Motor Speedway), which marked the half-way point of the 13.1 mile course.
- So, with our legs barely attached, on Sunday Katie (who also ran the "Mini") and I met up with her sisters, bro's-in-law, and some friends at her townhouse in Broad Ripple. In the weeks leading up to the Mini, Katie had been busy landing a job in St. Charles, IL... and then an apartment in Aurora (only 15 minutes from TJ and me)... And on Sunday we packed all of her earthly possessions into a moving van and relocated her to the greater Chicagoland area. She's a local now!
- The last couple of weeks has been a "settling in" process for us all. Katie's got a 40 minute commute to/from her new job, sans traffic. So in addition to "the daily grind", she's trying to figure out a routine that allows for exercise, regular "bonding" time with TJ and me (dinner, evenings, whenever we can get it in), keeping an apartment, and some occasional socializing and relationship building with some new friends. (Thank you women of CrossTown for reaching out and loving her the way you have these past weeks!) This is a HUGE move for her-- new work, a new home, a new city, new friends... And of course, this process of growing into a "new life" with TJ and me. I mentioned at the top that I tried to blog once or twice these last several weeks. Well, I did manage to patchwork together one post, written in several installments, in which I reflect a little bit more on this "process". It needs to be updated a bit, but I will post it soon. We're just being taught so much each day, as we seek God's will in our relationship. Whew... more on that in weeks to come...
- On top of all that, work has been "active" for me, too. Work is going very well-- business is coming along nicely. We just moved our local offices from Schaumburg to Itasca in the past few weeks, which is quite a process in and of itself. Meanwhile, I've been traveling a bit more than normal, lately, which is always stressful on things at home. Things seem to be calming down a bit now-- or at least settling into some sort of "equilibrium"-- but these are all just things that add to the "blur" of the past month.
- Oh. And my fridge blew up. 100% food loss. (including the frozen goods.) So that took some time cleaning up... Upside is that I got a GREAT deal on my SWEET replacement, which is being delivered tonight.
- Oh. And my air conditioner broke. Just got fixed this afternoon. (Total damages this week, right around... well... more than I want to remember right now...)
- Oh. And it's yardwork season again. The rainy spring has made for some beautiful green lawns... that need frequent mowing. And my fence needs repairing. And my landscaping needs cleaning up. And so-on.
So there you go. That's what I've "been up to". There's my excuse for my absence from this blogspot, these past weeks. There is so much I'm learning, so much worthy of some time and effort to try to wrap some words around the truth that God is revealing these days... The love He's pouring into me. So, take a deep breath with me. Ahhhhhh.... And stay tuned!