It’s a Love Story: Part VII (Honeymoon)

The next late-morning, family who was still around, a few friends, and Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I met at the Olson Farm for brunch. Delish. I like breakfast foods anytime of the day. Especially if there’s egg bake. Or bacon. Bacon is good. Anyway, Dr. Coyote and I opened our wedding gifts. We sent a bunch of bigger stuff with Jim and Karen as they headed back home, and we took a few things with us. The plan was that in two weeks, Jim, Karen, and Beth would come down to Pikeville with a U-Haul and the rest of our stuff. (And they did, in fact. It was great seeing them and hanging out with them, even though we were still in an un-scheduled, sleep-in type of rhythm at the time!)

Anyway, we hung out the whole day with family who was still there. I think most of them left that day, but maybe a few stayed? Anyway, Doug and I left the next morning to begin our honeymoon. We still had the Cottonwood bank account open, so we deposited all our wedding money (so we wouldn’t have to carry it around) and signed Dr. Coyote on for a joint account. We closed it later, but Dr. Coyote did all that stuff, because it was a joint account now. He was a math minor in undergrad. Yeah, he’s smart.

Rochester, MN
Rochester, MN
At a diner in Indianapolis.
At a diner in Indianapolis.
Drove past the speedway both to & from the diner.  Maybe I'll go back and watch a NASCAR race there someday?
Drove past the speedway both to & from the diner. Maybe I’ll go back and watch a NASCAR race there someday?

Anyhoo, our first night brought us to La Crosse. Dr. Coyote planned the trip so that there were things we could do on the way if we wanted to or just not. So we stopped in Rochester, MN on our way. La Crosse is his college town. Of course he knew the receptionist at the hotel, a college student a class or two under him. The next morning, we went to Fayze’s, AKA La Crosse’s best, especially for breakfast! The next night brought us to McFarland, WI. It wasn’t very far, but it left wiggle room for what we wanted to do that day. We stayed at “The Parsonage,” an adorable little bed & breakfast owned by an older gentleman and his wife. We visited with the owner at breakfast the next morning. His wife has ALS, and he looked at the B&B as his ministry. He was telling us about how he came to own the B&B, and just his story. It was awesome. We told him our story, as well! The room we stayed in had a hot tub in it! It was awesome, and I would definitely recommend The Parsonage B&B to anyone! The next night, I believe we made it all the way to Indianapolis. The B&B we stayed in that night was downtown and difficult to find with all the one ways and such. I think we were both a little crabby by time we found it. The next morning in conversation, the owner was like, “So, here is your halfway point? So perhaps I’ll see you again?” Yeah, maybe not. Downtown Indianapolis is a headache when you’re from a town of 1200. Anyhoo, we drove by the Indianapolis Speedway that day. Dr. Coyote asked if I wanted to stop there, and we could go on the tour, but I decided against it. It was at this time in the trip when exhaustion caught up with us. But we still had a ways to go! And our trip was not over yet!

Our new home state! (We were texting parentals each new state we got to!)
Our new home state! (We were texting parentals each new state we got to!)
Happy 4th from the Meyer's!
Happy 4th from the Meyer’s!

That night, we got to Lexington, KY. It was the weekend of July 4th! So we were going to spend two nights there. We asked a bunch of people where the fireworks were, and finally someone told us. But by time it was to leave to get a spot, I was just tired. So we ordered pizza and watched “The Wolverine.” (What? What did you do on the 4th?) Although we did drive around Lexington a bunch, I would almost guaranteed-ly get lost if I tried it without directions again. The next day, we made it to our new home in Pikeville, KY.

We tried a few southern diners, and made it most of the way on gift cards. We even had to do a midnight Wal-Mart run (they don’t have Target here, sadly) that night, and we had a gift card for there, too! When we got to our house and started unpacking what we had, we realized that the little we had brought….wasn’t gonna last us. Because although we had a bunch of necessities, we’d sent everything else with Jim & Karen. Like our sheets and blanket. Our awesome landlords tried to help, though! They left us some toilet paper and hand soap (much appreciated, Workmans!). Our midnight Wal-Mart run included sheets, blankets, pillows (because who remembers their pillow?), some command strips (because one thing we did have was most of our signs!), and food for the weekend, among other things I don’t remember but we needed.

The honeymoon was great, although I wouldn’t necessarily repeat it. All that driving and bed-hopping? Tiring. We did have a few weeks after we got to Pikeville before anything started, though, so we kind of used that time for relaxation and rejuvenation before life started in Pikeville. As I said, Jim, Karen, and Beth came down with a U-Haul about a week later, and Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I had all our stuff set up and tucked away before orientation started, one month after our wedding. We did forget a couple of things that were kind of needed, but looking back, I am surprised we didn’t forget more. Planning a wedding, a huge move across the states, and our new lives together? While I was living at home in Cottonwood and at my apartment in Sioux Falls and both Dr. Coyote and I were working? We are both so thankful for all the family support we have gotten, just figuring this all out.

And although this is the last post of this series, it is by no means the end of our love story. As is the case with weddings and such: this is just the beginning.

 

Anna E. Meyer

Prayer Really Is Powerful.

I have started reading this book that I received at one of my wedding showers from my aunt Sheryl. It is a book by Stormie Omartian called “The Power of a Praying Wife,” and I highly recommend it for any Christian wife, no matter her stage in life. Anyway, through it, God has been showing me the kind of wife that he wants me to be. He keeps leading me back to scripture, showing me what all exactly I am called to do to be Dr. Wile E. Coyote’s wife. “How can I be the wife of a med student?” I have been praying for a month now. “Everyone says I need to be his support, but I don’t know how to do it!” Fervently, I have prayed for his help. But, you know, I didn’t really know how he’d answer. OH MY GOODNESS. Ask God for something specifically and expect an answer, and HE WILL GIVE IT! All you have to do is give him the opportunity.

Last night, Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I were invited over for a game night with some other Christian med students and their wives/families. Scott and Tammy, we had met in church on Sunday. And then we also met Andy and Sarah, John and Leslie, as well as the adorable children of John and Leslie (John’s a fourth year) and Scott and Tammy (Scott’s a second year), who were already friends with each other. We were playing this game called “Bang!” and Doug asked, “So, what is the best and worst part of being married to a med student?” That is all he asked, and he told me the next day that he had no idea where that question came from. But, alas, it led to some amazing conversation and advice from the wives of those students! Who did some OMT on The First Year. J According to all the wives, being practiced on for OMT (which I think stands for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment? Correct me if I’m wrong) is one of the best things about being married to the student of an osteopathic med school. Especially this one! ‘Cuz they push OMT here in Pikeville a lot. And, it is a little known fact that KYCOM is one of the best schools for osteopathy. But boy, are they proud of it in this town! Plus, if you need a chiropractor or have pain in some muscle, there are a bunch of students who need practice, anyway.

God has specifically been answering so many prayers for this big faith step taken by Dr. Coyote and I. I just can’t get over it! I have a job, a great place to live, and FRIENDS. I have a purpose here in this town, and a reason for doing what I’m doing (being a teacher, the wife of a med student, etc). And here’s a prayer that wasn’t even prayed by us—John and Leslie dated long-distance, as well, so they were telling us how hard the first year was for them, because they never went through that “dating normally” stage. Like today, when Pre-Doc Wile E was looking everywhere for the scissors we used yesterday. I can misplace my phone after 45 seconds of being in the house. It’s one of those things that many couples get over while dating. It’s whatever.

Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I have been appreciating all of the prayers that have been coming our way. We are SO blessed to know all of you! We are getting plugged in here and acclimated to the culture that is so not like that of the Upper Midwest. Next week will be a transition week, as Dr. Coyote begins orientation and I do more at Sound House Music. I’ve already been meeting people (okay, one person) who wants their child to take lessons from me!

So blessed.

So thankful.

Praising God for his mercies and grace,

Anna

A Post about Prayer (it’s cool!)

Prayer.  It’s kind of normal to talk about in the Christian-sphere, but it goes a bit beyond our understanding.  We’ve been given the Lord’s prayer, by the Lord himself.  Some churches have prayers pre-written, some people like to come up with words of the top of their head.  Prayer isn’t about impressing God with our words and making sure you word things right so something else doesn’t happen.  There is no right and wrong way to pray.  We won’t change his mind, it’s already made up.  So why should we pray?  Pastor Jim talked about prayer on Sunday morning.  Don’t you think that God likes to hear what we think?  I journal a lot of my prayers and have plenty of talks at God.  He doesn’t mind.  But he tells us to listen, too (harder for me sometimes).  That’s what the Word is for.  What if prayer is for us?  In Genesis 18, God tells Abraham about the outcry against Sodom.  Abraham banters with God (not the joking-kind of banter, but the negotiating-kind of banter).  “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  If there were fifty righteous people, will you destroy it?”  God tells him that he won’t.  Proceed long bantering until Abraham brings the number down to ten.  Still, God won’t destroy it, he tells Abraham, if there are only ten righteous people with the wicked.  Did Abraham change God’s mind?  Perhaps.  Abraham was satisfied.  He had been heard by God, who took time to talk with him.  And God DID save the righteous in Sodom.  In Luke 11, after Jesus gives the disciples the Lord’s prayer (not on a notebook page so it can be remembered, but just talked and told, ‘cuz people could remember better back then than apparently I do), he compares our asking for something in prayer like a child asking his or her parent for something.  “Even the wicked give their children good gifts,” Jesus tells his listeners.  “Of course your Father in heaven will give so much more to those who ask him!”  I paraphrased a little, but you know what I’m saying, I hope.  The kicker is to ASK.  That’s the active part of the incredible relationship we have with the Creator of Everything.  But, you also have to thank for what you’ve already received.  We all know the person who asks and asks and asks and gets and gets and gets but keeps asking for more.  If we don’t, we can imagine the annoyance.  What if you ask a couple times (‘cuz we’re told to be persistent), and then THANK God what else he’s been doing?  I really love talking about what God’s been doing in someone else’s life.  I think that some people I know purposely skirt around that question because it’s just different.  But what if we all really looked at what God has done for us each day?  What joy we would find!  “Today, I made this mistake, but I didn’t die when I accidentally ran that light.  Thanks, God!”  That was vague.  ‘Cuz I’ve…never…ran…a light.  But seriously.  I try and look at the positives.  Maybe because I’m an optimist.  I went in the ditch and hit a pole in high school, but I didn’t total the car or die and my parents got the car fixed.  Or, I accidentally paid the wrong person August’s rent, but she didn’t do anything to it and I got it back right away to give to the correct roommate I hadn’t met yet.  Whoops.  I make a lot of mistakes, but they could be so much worse.

A few days ago, I was thinking about how blessed I am.  Seriously.  I live in America where we are not physically persecuted for our faith, and my entire family has such an amazing faith and I can talk about it with them.  In the post “God’s Summer School,” I kind of talked about what God has been doing for me this summer.  He really has done just as much for me since I can remember.  His hand has been protecting me.  The other day, I was reading about Hannah in 1 Samuel 1.  God let Hannah reach a point of desperation when she was weeping like crazy and crying out to him.  But then he answered her prayer.  Why did he wait until she reached the point of desperation?  Would she have known the significance of his hearing her prayer if he hadn’t?  We don’t notice little things, this is true.  But what if we looked for the little things?  I encourage you to pray for eyes to see those little things.  It really is transforming, and I don’t even see very much!  But I see more than nothing.

Last week I’m like, “Lord, what did I do to deserve all these blessings from you?”  And as soon as I said it, I’m like “Gah!” because we didn’t do ANYTHING.  The biggest blessing and gift of grace was Christ dying on the cross, that we can have eternal life with HIM.  We certainly didn’t do anything to deserve that.

This is getting to be a long post with a bunch of tangents, but I digress.  Prayer is such a big deal because the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  How crazy is it that we humans, flesh and bone, can just talk to the God of the Universe whenever?  And he LISTENS?  Not only that, but he promises:

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10

How cool is that!? (smiley face)

Anna

Beauty: The 7 Wonders of the World

Beauty is defined by dictionary.com as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”  To end the class I took for j-term, we looked at apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives.  We read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and watched Children of Men, among others.  The commonality in all the apocalyptic narratives is the lack of beauty; lack of hope.  The road is bleak and full of violence.  The narratives end in the death of an important character.  What do you find beautiful?  I have listed some things (because I love lists a lot) that I find beautiful.  These are what I consider the “Seven Wonders of the World.”  I also commented on them.

7. The human body:  It seems that people are always trying to improve their bodies.  And yes, they should be taken care of.  The body is a temple of God.  But can you pause a moment and wonder about its complexity and utter beauty?  God paid special attention to it when he created it, and breathed life into humankind, unlike every other creation.  Whoa!  And it’s just beautiful.  Some of my friends to use the excuse when they’re looking at somebody attractive that they’re just “admiring God’s creation.”

6. A smile and laughter: It is amazing how a simple smile can brighten a day.  Laughter, too, is something beautiful.  A real laugh, not just a polite laugh.  Both smiles and laughter are encouraged daily.  Find something to smile about every day!  They’re beautiful!

5. Art: Beauty can be found in the paintings and sculptures of artists.  A theater house, a cathedral, the pyramids?  Beautiful.  Beauty can be found in the art of creation.  A Midwest sunset or sunrise?  The Colorado Mountains?  Simply beautiful!

4. Words: I am quite taken with words.  They are simply a different medium that artists may use.  A poem, a novel, a journal– beautiful.  The most beautiful words ever are found in the Bible.  And if you don’t read directly from the Bible everyday but only read people’s comments about what is written in the Bible?  You should check it out!  Because, yes, beauty is found there.  (It’s the word of God!)

3. Music: Music can be found in many things, not just a college band playing great music (I say that as we leave for tour today).  The music of nature, the music of the soul, the music of praise to the creator of all.  I can’t even express in words the beauty of music.  It is found everywhere!  Sound in general, really.  God SPOKE the universe and everything else into creation.  Sound.  Music.  When a parent reads to their child before bedtime, music.  Spoken word; daily conversation.  Music.  Beautiful.

2. Love: Without love, I don’t think there would be beauty.  Love is beautiful and it ultimately points to the most beautiful being in the universe: God.  His love is infinite and beyond understanding.  And he gave us the ability to love, as well.  Love in relationships between a parent and child, relatives, friends, significant others, and so many more.  God’s greatest command is to love.  He has given us this beautiful gift.  What more can we do, but pass it on?

Beautiful Cross

1. Christ: Christ is the ultimate beauty and love and sacrifice.  All the other beautiful things are found in him.  Christ paid the penalty for our sins even as we were his enemies.  He loved us THAT MUCH. It blows my mind every day.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19)

Where do you find beauty?

Anna 🙂

 

What I See

I see Jesus, and I’m focused on HIM.  Though there is motion all about, His eyes stay locked with mine.  And He’s smiling.  When He sees me, He sees nothing and nobody else.  Jesus doesn’t GET distracted!   But even if I do, He’s patient and waits for me to look His way.  Sometimes, if I’m trying to look for Him in the crowd, He’ll cup my chin and assure me that He is there and isn’t going anywhere!

When I’m not sure where I’m going, I see the hand of my Lord, reaching for mine.  I take it, trusting in Him with my all, letting Him lead me.  He assures me that He’ll be with me always, in whatever I do and wherever I go.  So I trust.

I see my Heavenly Father, looking at the child He’s cradling in his arms with love and tenderness.  That child is me.  And you.  Even when we mess up or stray from Him, He has tenderness and loving compassion in his gaze toward us always.  It hurts Him when we look away, but He has no more anger toward the sins He’s forgiven.  In Christ Jesus, we ARE forgiven!  God is never surprised or disappointed when you do something, because surprise and disappointment both imply that one didn’t know about it beforehand.  But He already knows, and He has a wonderful plan to follow.  Sometimes the plan includes discipline, because our Heavenly Father is the perfect parent.  He knows what will make us better people, because God’s concern isn’t our comfort—it’s our character!

 

These are the images I see when I think of my Lord and Savior; my hero; my Heavenly Father.  They are recurring, and they are consistent with God’s character, so I know they’re from Him.  What do you see?

What is this “patience” you speak of?

Patience?  What is THAT?  I thought I’d been learning to be patient.  And I have been patient…in SOME areas of my life.  It’s funny how history repeats itself, isn’t it?  The history of the human heart?  Perhaps that is another reason the Bible is such a great how-to guide.  I’ve been writing “My Psalms” for a few years now (when I say a few, I mean, like, seven).  When I look back on some of them, I can’t believe how close they relate to a present situation.  Why write new ones when I said what I wanted to say well before?  I feel it’s getting that way with some of my blog posts, as well.

Therefore, let me re-blog to you, a post I wrote almost a year ago.  Let me catch you back up where I was then?  In Milwaukee, on a summer missions project.  God really got ahold of me there and spoke to me in areas I’d kind of been ignoring him in the past.  I worry, a lot.  I don’t always have much patience.  BUT, God is patient with me, and continues to remind me that I need to be patient and not worry so much about things that aren’t even in my control.

“Don’t Worry,” re-blog <– click on this.  You should.  ‘Cuz it’s why I wanted to write this “prologue” of sorts.

My sight is set on you, oh Lord, let nothing interfere.

I pray that you are all I seek, that nothing else appears.

You, Lord, make me happy, and I need nothing more.

I want you to help me find me, down to my core.

I trust in you, oh Lord my God, I pray that it is so.

Only you can comfort me, giving me peace where e’er I go.

Your word is my light, so I will never lose my way.

I look only to you for guidance, day after day.

Lord, I place all trust in you, you are my perfect God.

You are my lover, my father, my best friend—we’re like two peas in a pod.

God, I’ve said before that all I am is yours.

Help me to remember it, for in you life soars!

What looks impossible for us is just right for you.

Help me to find patience, Lord, and to keep hearing your words so true!

“He got this,” the minister said in church this morning; “He got wha’ chew need!”

I got you, God, and you are indeed ALL I need!

–Anna Olson, July 7, 2011

Smiling with a constant trust (even when I’m not sure where that’s coming from), Anna =)^2

My Abbreve Psalm

Written 3-27-12, Anna Olson

 

My God is strong and mighty to save.

Of all the peeps I talk with, he’s my fav.

My Heavenly Father answers me totes def.

Sometimes it’s a no, but sometimes it’s a yep.

The Spirit gives me patience to wait upon the Lord.

But even while I’m waiting, I’m def not bored!

My Jesus rocks my socks off with all his wondrous deeds.

He even promises in Philippians 4:19 to supply all my needs.

My Redeemer teaches me something new almost every day.

I dive into the Word to hear what he’s telling me today.

Sometimes I don’t hear him, but sometimes I totes do.

‘Cuz everything he tells me, is totes def true.

God’s perf. character is shown throughout scripture.

It’s def totes cool to get a supes awes picture.

My Refuge protects me, when inapprops I’m scared.

My King is the best ev; no one can compare.

My Comforter I run to when something’s totes wrong.

My Advocate I turn to as I rej in song!

My Lord, he def and always understands me.

Even in abbreves, this poem makes him happy.  =)

Victorious!

So this weekend, I started the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  I’ve seen them all before.  This time, though, I watched them with my sister who hadn’t seen them yet.  We watched the first two.  I know the ending—the battle for Middle Earth is won, and the ring destroyed.  But in all three movies, the Fellowship and other characters are faced again and again with hopeless situations.   Good thing I know the ending already—I might lose hope with the characters!

It is like in life.  Jesus Christ wins—he has already defeated evil, and one day, he promises that “he will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).  Already knowing the ending doesn’t let despair overcome us—it gives us the ability to talk to the TV when everyone thinks Frodo is dead: “Ha!  He’s not!  There’s still another two movies after this one!” (Ahem)

In Grace Walk, Steve McVey states: “Christ does not give us the victory; instead, he is our victory!” (96)  The Bible talks about victory a ton, as well.  Besides all of the Old Testament victories accomplished when God is with his people and his people are with him, the New Testament discusses exactly how this was and is accomplished.  1 Corinthians 15:57: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  2 Corinthians 2:14: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place.”  Romans 8:37: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  I think it is so awesome that God gives us this victory, this gift through Christ!  And the fact that we are always led in triumph, and that we are more than conquerors through him!  (McVey, 96-97)  And the secret to this victory?  “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, emphasis mine).  That’s it, that’s the key.  Abide in Christ!  “Christ’s life is the remedy for every temptation” (McVey, 100).

So today or tomorrow or whenever we got to it, my sister and I will watch Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and with the epic battle scene will come victory, even though there is despair, the ring will be destroyed, and Frodo and Sam still live!  Aragorn is crowned king, and there will be a party bigger than the screen had room for.  Kind of sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  “No longer will there be any curse.  There will be no more night.  They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.  And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 21:3A, 5).

Smiling Victorious, Anna =)^2

The Awesomeness of Christ

So lately, God has been showing me just what he did for us all through Jesus.  In “Don’t Waste Your Life,” John Piper says that for redeemed sinners, “every good thing—indeed every bad thing that God turns for good—was obtained for us by the cross of Christ….[it] is meant to magnify Christ and him crucified.”  Seriously.  We deserve hell.  That is all that God owes us.  But when we accepted Christ into our hearts, we let all of God’s wrath that was stored up for us be poured out on Jesus.  It is unfortunate that all those who don’t know Christ will have the wrath poured on them, even though it has been poured on Christ anyway.  And with the cross—Jesus bought everything for us.  Every breath we take, every pleasure in life, even the bad things that are turned to good—Jesus bought these things for us at the cross.  I am going through the book of Jeremiah right now, and God’s wrath is evident.  I heard someone say once (I’m sorry that I don’t remember who or where I heard it!) that for God, wrath is like a reflex to sin.  I also think it is SO AWESOME that God is no longer wrathful to those who have accepted Christ in their hearts.  You know why?  Because when God looks at us, all he sees is the righteousness that Jesus passed on to us.  Our sin is covered by Christ’s righteousness!  Does anybody else just want to jump for joy or shout to the heavens at how awesome this is!?

There is more to this awesomeness.  One of the “more” topics (there are many) is the simple fact that when we asked Christ into our heart, we not only had God’s wrath diverted from us, we were raised from the dead.  “But how can that be, Anna?  I’ve heard it elsewhere, but seriously.  What does that even mean?”  Well, thank you for asking.  It means that you are dead to the world, and the world is dead to you.  Steve McVey tells of a situation when a new Christian came to him and says that he still sinned, even though Jesus was living inside him now.  He was even doubting if he’d changed!  McVey asked him how he felt about smoking marijuana.  “Miserable,” the man said.  McVey asked him if he felt bad about smoking marijuana before he became a Christian.  “Not really,” the man replied.  “I wasn’t hurting anybody with it.”  Guess why he felt bad about it now?  Because he is a new person, alive in Christ!  Woo!  Sinning is not our nature anymore!  And who cares what the world thinks!?  Because it doesn’t care what you think!  Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Ahh!  It’s just so awesome.

And Christ lives in us now.  I’ve heard the analogy before: would you rather be coached by Michael Jordan, or have Michael Jordan play through you?  Yeah, that’s right.  We have God’s word (the Bible) to help us and coach us, and Jesus is living through us!  Sometimes I wish that I would have been with Jesus when he was walking the earth in his years of ministry, but I much prefer this.  And you predicted what I was going to say about that: it’s awesome!

So!  Because God loved us and didn’t want to keep punishing his people, he sent Jesus Christ to earth.  Then, on the cross, all of God’s wrath was poured out onto Jesus.  And now, because of that act of awesomeness, God doesn’t punish his people like he did in the Old Testament (before Jesus got to earth).  And now, we are new people, dead to the world.  And now, Christ lives (present tense!) in us.  It is amazing, astonishing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, breathtaking, exalted, grand, glorious, impressive, magnificent, majestic, mind-blowing, moving, overwhelming, something else, striking, stunning, wonderful, and wondrous!   (For this sentence you should thank Mr. Thesaurus.  Or Jesus, because you were able to read it and somebody else put the Thesaurus together.  It’s the little things, you know?)

Awe-filled at the aweomeness and smiling lots, Anna =)^2

A Thanksgiving Post

So. I know many people who start lisetening to Christmas music when Halloween is done.  “But, there IS no Thanksgiving-genre of music!” they say.  “Besides, Christmas music is like the best EVER, and most people only listen to it for a month!”  My retort, of course, is to change the words of any song that pops into my head to have something to do with Thanksgiving.   I mean, when there’s SNOW on the ground, I start singing songs to myself like, “Let It Snow” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  But there’s no SNOW on the ground!  (Although, I do confess to you, that I started singing related songs when I was walking across campus last night, changing the words to, “Where’s the snow, where’s the snow, where’s the snow..”  It worked.)

It is Thanksgiving when we acknowledge all that we’re thankful for.  What comes to mind is session from the Life Options conference I attended last weekend.  The story was of some big-shot with Campus Crusade who was flying in from Florida.  The guy who picks her up asks her how her flight was.  She starts telling of all the things that went wrong, being kicked off a flight, having complications having to do with that, turbulence, etc.  The guy who picked her up was like, “You deserve better than that!”  She stared at him and responded, “I deserve hell.”

I believe that, as mortal beings, we all deserve hell.  We are sinful to the core and I at least know I sin more times a day than I’m even aware of.  But Jesus came down to earth and gave us the GIFT of salvation.  Everything we have now?  It’s a GIFT!  So, I’d like to say thank you to the One who spoils me with such a great life.  I have my family, my extended family, and we are so close!  I love them all!  God has granted me with  many wonderful opportunities, from being able to even be at Augustana, to Project this summer and all the people I’ve met. There are so many gifts I haven’t even acknowledged as gifts from God, but they ARE!  I don’t notice; I take things for granted.  I love my life, and am so thankful for everybody and everything in it!

The point that was being driven home at the conference from that story is that we cling to things we think we deserve, when everything we have is a gift.  I have been trying so much this year to be able to let go of control, my firmest grasp, and let God take care of it.  Because I’d say he has done a spectacular job when I have.  I’ve been learning to let go of other things, as well, but I just want to shout a thank-you for EVERYTHING!  I’m thankful for you, my readers, and I’m thankful for people who help me out when they do.  Gah!  It just makes me so gosh-darn EXCITED!

Smiling through the not-yet snowy and still sunny weather, Anna =)^2

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Thanksgiving.  All the grass is brown.  It’s the color of fall, and through it all, I feel like break is…needed.”  … “Oh the weather outside is colder, and I feel I’m getting older.  But I don’t really know, so where’s the snow, where’s the snow, where’s the snow?”  …  “I really must leave.  Baby it’s cold outside.  Let me go, please. Why go and freeze outside.  But I’m wearing sleeves.  You’ll blow away, the wind is ice.  Through buildings I’ll cut through.  Staying here is nice.  I really gotta go, dude.  I don’t like your attitude.  Fine, I’m leaving already.  ‘Cuz baby it’s cold outside!”  … “Oh come, all ye turkeys, come and we will eat you!  Come, ye, you fat and wide, we’ll eat up your meat.  Come, don’t be scrawny, we will wait for you to fatten up.  O come, let us enjoy you.  O come, let us devour you.  O come, let us speak over your leftovers, because you’re the tradition.”  … I could go on.  I’ll stop.

**Also note that everytime I sing these songs, the words change.  Just fyi.  And no, I’m not crazy.  Much.