Wednesday, June 30, 2010

hard to know

It's been a pleasant surprise how much encouragement we've received from the Lord since we've been in Japan.  I feel like prayers are being answered... and possibly even prayers I didn't know I needed answered but God is fulfilling just the same.

The best part about Japan is the relationships we've started fresh from scratch and the friendships we have continued from where we've left off.

The hardest part about Japan has been the confrontation I've had with my own self.  I think in America I can ignore my faults and "respectable sins" more easily because I'm not constantly fighting off blasting humidity, cultural difference, food choices that I'm not used to anymore, people not knowing who I am, me not knowing people.... etc. etc.  All the things you've heard about life overseas.  But alas, it's not the things that truly bother me.  It's who I become when they bother me.  Super whiny! Super uptight (ew) and majoring on minors.  It's enough to make a grown girl puke!  All this to say... the hardest part of Japan is realizing that I don't respond to "uncomfort" in the best possible way.  It's been a battle raging within my heart to win for Jesus because usually I can just ignore my issues.  But here in a foreign country they flare up more. 
Feeling like a baby at 27 is humbling.  Telling students I'm 27 is humbling. But the encouraging thing about all of this is that God does not want us to remain where we are at.  I have sin.  I've been getting uptight more often (which is SO sad for me because deep down I don't care about the issue. I just make it a bigger issue because I'm in a different place).
*sigh* Don't you wish you could have those cool "hidden sins"? Where everyone thinks you have it all together?  Sometimes I think this way but then I realize that if I thought I had it all together, I would believe I have it all together then I wouldn't believe I have a need for Jesus to work in me.  So knowing your issues can be good.  Knowing your issues can mean knowing you have issues which means you have a need for mercy.  And Someone to be able to give you mercy who isn't full of issues themselves. So don't keep things hidden.  Let God work it out through whatever circumstance He has ordained whether it be spouse, foreign culture, co-workers, friends, traffic etc. and for God's sake (literally) don't ignore it.
Face your issues or guess what?
They'll come back to bite you!

Thank you Lord that you don't let us stay in our own self-centeredness. Thank You for the reminder that You are and always will be everything.  Sustainer. Provider.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

REALLY belated father's day

Dear dad,  I thought of you the other day.  Mikey and I were flying over northern California and there was something...

something outside our window... that made me think of you.

I can't quite put my finger on what it was.  But it was father's day and perhaps that's why you were on my mind.

Nevertheless, I love you and I'm honored to be your daughter.  You're the best Dad ever!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

a nook to call my own

If you read my blog regularly you know that one thing I have been lamenting over has been the absence of my own personal space.  I have been wishing for a desk or a table or just something to call my very own.  Somewhere to put my mail, projects, bottom so that I could sit and be in my zone.
So a month or so ago our friend Ken made me my very own, made-for-me desk and chair.  The chair is perfect because I can sit with my back against the back of the chair and my feet still touch the floor...
laugh all you want but that is somewhat of a luxury for a 5' girl.
I recently stained my desk and chair and turned it into a little sewing nook. Hooray!
As you can see, it really is a "nook" and maybe that is pushing it because it's really a squeeze between two couches and a china cabinet.  But oh, it's beautiful and glorious and wonderful because it is all mine.  And in my sewing nook I can create fun new projects....
I started these curtains at my parents place on my mother's machine but then I finished them in my own nook.  So technically a portion of them was made in my own nook.
Here's a close-up of my curtain fabric.  I love having curtains.  There is something so "owning" to have fabric up on your walls? It's as if I actually live here and yes, I know that sounds funny but seriously, I have trouble "dwelling" in my present situations.  I'm usually daydreaming about the future and all the endless possibilities it holds but alas, these curtains bring me back to the present and remind me to sip my coffee and enjoy the kitchen I am in.

Another great thing about doing your own curtains is that you get to pick the fabric that expresses you... and if you've known me for five seconds you've probably noticed I am a blue and green girl.  Occasionally like at my wedding, I threw in some hot pink and crazy accent colors, but I always come back to green and blue.  I go coo coo for cocoa puffs for blue or green glass jars/bottles these days.  Love love LOVE them!!

But now, my sweet little readers. Do not fret about my desire for space to throw my creativity into drive, I now for reals have a nook to call my own. *sigh* I love my little nook!
Where do you go to let your creativity run wild? Do you wish you could change your place?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

i can't stand an empty pot

I've realized something about myself.
I like to garden. I genuinely like to get my hands in the dirt, prepare the soil for something new and then either transplant the plant (transplant the plant...hmmm) or put in the seed.  I rarely do seeds so I cannot take full credit for being that cool but I can tell you I dearly love to garden.
It's lifegiving.  It brings me joy and is quite refreshing to sit on my patio and be surrounded by greens and pinks and well, life! 

 That is why, when we went to Denver and I saw this...

and this. I told Mikey, "uh uh! no way! we are not leaving here with Rochelle's pots like this. ew!" So we went on an adventure to fill Rochelle's pots with life... and we even let Waveland pick out her own little plant to take care of.

and so the planting began.  We had so much fun getting our hands dirty and transporting the flowers from one little pot to bigger pots where they can flourish. Waveland learns how to pot from Uncle Mikey.

First, put in some soil.

Then plant!

And nurture and feed and water and enjoy! 

Don't forget to water the flowers, Waveland!!

I think we did a pretty good job!!

Gardening is so much fun and especially when you can share the experience!! It was a blast to have Waveland pick out her own flower (a red geranium) and to teach her how to care for the plants while we were there.  
Mikey and I are officially addicted to gardening.  We just picked up three rose bushes and are excited to see if we can care for them to bring forth blossoms.  Wish us luck...
actually, wish Lauren luck! She's the girl who's taking care of our house and garden while we're away. :)  Good luck Lauren! You're going to do great with the garden!!

Monday, June 07, 2010

too much to blog about...

I've been gone. From my blog. and I apologize. I also apologize for the incomplete sentences that usually fill up this space and probably make my english major friends dry heave.
I'm in a mood.
Aren't I always?
I'm feeling kind of lazy because I have tons to tell you and no desire to do so.
I'm mean.
Anyway, I thought I would post up pictures that highlight the last 2 1/2 weeks of our time in Denver and then Illinois.  Needless to say, it was refreshing, wonderful, awesome, crazy and a much-needed family time for me.  My family cup runneth over!
First and foremost, the whole reason for our Denver trip was to welcome this little lambie into the world!  Cadence Danger Schupbach....
Cadence for the musical term,
Danger so that when someone says, "Wait, that's dangerous." Cadence can reply, "Danger's my middle name."
(admit it, you're jealous!)
Cadence was born May 21st and we welcomed him into the world with cupcakes and parties.  Both of which he was too little to enjoy fully.  But we had a ton of fun.

Mikey and I got to play with and watch over Waveland while J & R were in the hospital.  I had the most fun with this little rascal.  She is too much and you can't help but drag your tired butt off the couch and play with her when she asks because she's so precious!  We were both tired after our week and a half play date with Waveland but it was totally worth it.  In this picture she is "flying" with the help of Uncle Mikey.

And here is Uncle Mikey taking Edwin for a stroll/run down Idaho Springs main street.  Mikey is a really awesome uncle. He's playful and really good about "entering into their domain" with our nieces and nephews.  What I mean by that is, he'll play what they're playing or even risk looking silly all for the sake of making the kids laugh and have fun.
Talk about tugging on the ol' heart strings!
My husband rocks! I love him so much.  He's so great about adjusting to my crazy family.  He just jumps in and has really embraced everyone.  It's been cool to see my family, in turn, embrace and really make him a part of the group.  It's been quick and fairly seamless.  Praise God! I couldn't ask for a better husband or family!

Strolling down Idaho Springs main street again, Waveland shows Edwin all the historical sights of this old mining town.

A major bonus of being in CO to see family is borrowing the family jeep... it's the family jeep, right Jordan? As in, our jeep?! ha ha Well, okay, not really but Jordan and Rochelle are really generous about letting Mikey and I borrow it.  We always had our windows down and the air blowing in our hair.  One of my favorite things!!

 After the time in Denver, we headed to Illinois and enjoyed a week of sewing, reading, biking, walking and refreshing ourselves in the company of my Mom, Dad and brother Jonah.  Words can't express the oasis my home in Illinois can be for me.  God really blessed me with a wonderful 2 1/2 weeks of beauty, fun, craziness and rest.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

May 2010

June 1st. What a day.  I have always loved June.  There's the sweet old-fashioned belief of June Brides... there are summer days to be filled with laying about and doing whatever you want to do. June is just a really pleasant month to me. Not too hot (hopefully) and just the sweet innocent days of summer.  However, you can't get to June without going through May. So let's recap shall we?

I accomplished some major goals.  I finished two sewing projects for my mom and mother-in-law.  What a blast.  I tried really hard to be sneaky but also had to ask my mom several pattern questions but I seriously loved sewing.  It was a highlight of my May.  Perusing the fabric shops, fingering samples, looking at all the patterns... the possibilities are seemingly endless which is why *fingers crossed* I'm hoping I won't get bored with this hobby.  Lord love me and He does, but I have the terrible personality trait of getting bored easily.  Growing up I did things in stages of years.  Every year I worked a different job because I was bored and ready to move on after the summer.  And I realized this... in college, I don't think I ever quit a job. I just didn't show up after the summer. Oops! Needless to say, I regret not sticking with things.  I know this is a quality from the Lord and He made me to be flexible and easily adaptable but sometimes I just sigh, look at all my long-lost hobbies and want to cry.  However, with sewing I'm hoping I won't get bored because there are so MANY options with one hobby. Curtains, pillows, handbags, toys, clothes, etc. etc.  Pray for Mikey, I'm sure in nine months of marriage he's already seen about 32 hobbies cycle through our house.

One love I have that I hope never fades away is cooking.  I successfully made and canned strawberry jam this month.  Joni was the overly ecstatic winner of my jam in my first blog giveaway and along with jam I discovered a bread recipe that even Mikey loves.  Now that is something!

Speaking of Mikey... he celebrated his 27th birthday with tons of friends, a Mexican feast and games! We had such a fun time and it reminds me of how blessed we are to have so many people who love and support us.  Happy May Birthday, baby! I love you!

May is also a time in collegiate ministry to say goodbye to our graduates.  I got the immense pleasure of not only helping with the last party but helping with flower arrangements.  I'm pretty sure this love was started with Amy Taylor's wedding.  Well, no, I'll take that back.  I've always had a love of flowers and green things but never knew much about them.  I tried to grow asparagus once and grew weeds instead.... but little bit by little bit I'm learning more about plants and gardening and realizing that I actually love this sort of thing.  Well, with the last party I was thrilled to do some centerpiece table arrangements and corsages/boutonnieres for the graduating seniors.  It was so lifegiving to me. I seriously felt like I was on cloud 9 the rest of the week.  I think I could work in a flower shop the rest of my life and be happy forever.

After we said goodbye to the seniors, we headed out to Denver and said hello to my family.  We stayed a week and a half helping watch over Waveland (my niece) while my brother and his wife had their second baby, little Cadence Danger.
Really we didn't do much but help Waveland keep a semi-normal day and then have lots of fun.  We sat 2nd row, kiddy corner from 3rd base at a Rockies game, we toured Idaho Springs (fave place), went to REI's garage sale (scored me a gardening hat, a dress and hiking boots~ woo hoo!), rode bikes, ate a lot of great food and most importantly we spent time with family.  I'm so blessed by my family.

With all the sewing, cooking and traveling I managed to finish two books... all fiction but two books just the same.
The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

and What Difference Do It Make by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. The sequel to Same Kind of Different As Me.

Both books were fabulous and had me sitting in my place until I was finished.I'm planning a more extensive review on the latter book once I've finished my thoughts on it. So if you're interested, be sure to check back later.

Now, June 1st has me sitting in my parent's living room, in my pajamas, enjoying the refreshing pace of life here.  I love coming back to my roots.  So sorry poor little blog but I may not have time to tend to you for another week.
Oh, and crazy thought that I will be writing my next month update in Japan.