Archive for April, 2009

So THIS is Spring…

Last Saturday, Mike and I took Bailey down to the George Washington Parkway to walk the trail along the Potomac River and the pretty parkway. After my very first winter, I am experiencing my very first (actual) Spring. 

 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have NEVER appreciated Spring appropriately, nor have I been sufficiently grateful and relieved at the sight of green grass. What a contrast it is when you experience months on end of grey, freezing days where all you long for is a day without long-johns… to 80 degrees, sunny, and vibrant flowers blooming. And – I hadn’t even missed them consciously – but the birds are back! Wrens, robins, and small chirp-y birds are swooping and singing all around us. I didn’t even notice their absence until I noticed their return and bright cheer! Spring is here!

 

I took pictures, as Mike puts it, “every 10 feet.” I just had to try to capture the new life. I don’t know if my Fellow Florida friends will see the same immensity of beauty in these photos as I saw in person (they will, of course, see beauty, but will it be breathtaking to those who have not recently felt as though they were under the reign of the White Witch of Narnia??)… And, of course, I don’t think the pictures do justice – so those who have been in oppressed Narnia with me may also not see the beauty as I did. I hope you see some…

 

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Dandelions!

 

img_5503As Matt Gilbert from Care Group says, “There is no such thing as a weed… only a misplaced plant”

 

img_5498I wish I had a better camera… this picture has so much potential…

 

img_5504More “not-weeds”

 

img_5506One of my favorites! (If you click on the picture to make it larger, you’ll see more details… PS – it makes a great desktop wallpaper!)

 

img_5507Insert same comment as above… and this one IS my desktop wallpaper!

 

img_5511This loooong snake (see how he wraps all the way around back toward his head?) was lying in wait for innocent passers by like Bailey. Thankfully, a nice man warned us to walk far from the fence so that Bailey wouldn’t get bitten.

 

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Yes, he’s foaming at the mouth. No, he doesn’t have rabies… This is right before I decided to let him swim in the Potomac River (see background of photo). The Potomac is super-duper polluted. Eww…

 

img_5519Cool sculptures greeted as as we walked closer to Alexandria…

 

img_5520This sculpture was made to look like a broken work of art… I think it’s supposed to be a Greek God of something. See the spear in the background? It was really cool looking. As you can see, Bailey agreed. 

 

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img_5524I love this picture because of the bright colors. The blue, green, and pink all pop against one another. 

 

img_5525Green and pink… Glorious!

 

img_5527Grrr… dumb shadow. But you get the idea. Bright yellow, open petals, blooming flowers… prettyness. 🙂

 

img_5528Green grass has never looked so beautiful!

 

img_5529These colors were even more vibrant in real life!

 

img_5530I love the peace in this picture. I can’t explain it…

 

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img_5533Doesn’t this flower look fake? It looks like wax. But it was real, I promise.

 

img_5534I think these are just tulips that are really open. Grandpa, any input?

 

img_5538The trail, on our way back. We had walked a long time, walked into town (kind of) to get Tropical Smoothie and some tap water for Bailey, sat on a bench outside while enjoying our treats, and then headed back. The boardwalk was a nice last(ish) place to meander.

 

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Someone remind me to blog about today’s adventures later… Oh goodness.

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Quote of the Day

Mike:
“…and how often can you say you bought someone a pig for their wedding.”

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Investing During a Bad Economy

PRAISE GOD! Mike and I are now official members of Covenant Life Church. We attended our first care group a few weeks ago, and one of the couples had us over for dinner on the following Friday night, where we played “Settlers of Catan” – which is pretty much the coolest game ever. 

 

In our membership interview, our Pastor (his name is Eric Sheffer, but he goes by “Shef”) asked us questions about our understanding of the gospel, how it applies to our daily lives, how we both came to know Christ, and other questions like that. Much of the discussion led naturally to stories of Four Oaks and the Pastors there. We told Shef about how Four Oaks used Sovereign Grace Ministries small group bible study materials (Sovereign Grace was “born” out of Covenant Life), and how that informed much of our decision not only to move to DC (vs. Atlanta) but also to attend Covenant Life once we got here (though that process was interrupted… but that’s another (long) story…). In fact, we told how Josh Hughes boldly and gently exhorted us to consider not just finances and career paths, but also the availability of a good church in any prospective new hometown. So Covenant Life, and DC by association, was kind of a no-brainer.

 

Shef said something to us in the interview – several times, in fact – that hit me in a really profound way. He said (something like) “It’s evident that the two of you have been poured into, and that your pastors in Tallahassee were faithful in leading you in grace.” He said he was so grateful for our Pastors in Florida who had so clearly invested in us, and led us in sound doctrine and authentic faith and passion for God. 

 

Now, let me be clear: this moment could have been a perfect opportunity for pride. I could have thought, easily, “Wow, he’s right. Mike and I are super-Christians. Covenant Life Church is soooo lucky to have us.” See how twisted we can be? Ok, ok… see how twisted I can be??

 

I laugh as I write that, because I have had moments before that aren’t too far removed from that attitude.

 

But, by the grace of God, and as evidence of the work He has done in our lives through our faithful Pastors, I didn’t think that. Instead, I was humbled even more and thought “Wow. Shef is right. How little I deserve God’s saving grace, and even more to be led by such faithful Pastors as Erik, Scott, Josh, John, and Paul.” (Those are the Four Oaks Pastors with whom we had relationships – Josh most of all.)

 

Having done some church hopping up here for a little while (it’s amazing how long 6 days feels when you can’t wait for the next Sunday to come so you can try a new church in hopes that it will be “the one,” only to be disappointed again and go another 6 days feeling spiritually hungry), it’s clear that not all Pastors are of the same caliber of those I have had the honor of serving and loving.

 

I guess I just want to say that the Pastors at Four Oaks are humble servants of Christ. They invest in their flock with a tenacity that doesn’t make sense to unbelievers. In fact, I’d venture a guess that they sometimes wonder themselves how they continue to persevere as they lead a stubborn people in glorifying God.

 

Thank you, Four Oaks Pastors (especially Josh, our Fellowship Group leader!) for serving us honestly, humbly,  and transparently. Thank you for investing in Mike and me with Biblical teaching and leadership, and following God’s call on your lives so that Mike and I (and all the others you serve and lead) might be equipped to be in this world, but not of it. 

 

Mike and I miss you guys and pray for you (almost) daily. 🙂

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