26 years of John: 11.30.12

Today is John’s 26th birthday! He has no choice now but to admit that his “early twenties” are really, truly over. Since we can’t be together today to celebrate, we’ll have to make up for it in a few weeks. But for now, to mark the occasion, 26 blessings: 
1. I’m thankful for the parents who raised him. I’m thankful for their patience, their sacrifice and their love that helped to shape John into the man he is today. 
2. I’m thankful that we share a love for the beach. I’m sure that was on my criteria list somewhere…
3. I’m thankful for the relationships John has with his siblings. I really enjoy his family! 

4. John is an excellent breakfast maker. Seriously, I almost never make breakfast because he does it so well! 
5. John also makes the best chocolate lava cakes EVER. 
6. John is a great pianist. I love that our home will always be filled with music. 
7. John is a kid magnet. I love watching him interact with our friends’ children and imagining the type of father he’ll be one day. 

8. John opens the door for me. Always. 

9. John makes the bed even if I was the last one out of it. He helps out around the house all the time.
10. John is interested in everything. He pushes me to broaden my perspectives. 

11. John makes me coffee even though he hates it. We’re working on that…

12. John loves my family. I appreciate his effort to invest in my sisters. 

Enjoying Muir Woods
Dinner at our place in LA, August 2012
11. John loves to explore nature and I love experiencing it with him. We’ve been blessed to have the chance to do so much of this in the past year! 
12. John is very articulate and willing to stand up for his convictions, even when they may be unpopular. He is passionate. 

13. He loves to surprise me! 

A surprise parasailing trip to celebrate my birthday, March 2012

13. John keeps me grounded. He helps me to organize my thoughts, no matter how jumbled they are. He reasons with me even when I am most unreasonable. 

14. John is a great provider. He organizes our finances and plans responsibly for our future. He also takes care of our car, which is a huge deal. 

15. He is spontaneous. I love that he’ll agree to drive up the coast at midnight to watch the stars or to chase the sunset, just because. 

16. John is very thoughtful. All the time. 

17. He has a pretty cool job! I appreciate John’s willingness to serve his country. I also love that John is able to share the joy of flying with other people. 

Enjoying clear, summer skies in Santa Monica, July 2012

18. John always seeks to put God first. He challenges me spiritually. 

19. He’s pretty handsome, if I do say so myself. Also an excellent rock skipper. 

Enjoying the Oregon Coast, October 2012
19. John is very intelligent. He’s also a great procrastinator. 😉  I love to see John succeed and I’m so proud of everything he’s accomplished, seemingly against all odds, in the past year. 

Commencement for John’s Masters. We hope to travel back to LA in 2014 to celebrate his PhD
(the ceremony is only held every two years).
20. He let me run away to Africa. Twice. He also came with me once.
Saying goodbye at the airport, October 2012

21. He makes me feel beautiful. 

22. He’s not too old or too cool to dig giant sand pits or watch Disney movies. 

24. He’s my handyman. Hanging pictures, reupholstering chairs, fixing clogged sink drains, helping me with an assortment of items I trash picked… the list can only grow. 

25. John is committed to continue learning about me. The pursuit doesn’t end in marriage. 
26. He’s made the last year and a half of my life the most exciting, adventurous, fun one yet. I think we’ve learned a ton, both about one another and about the Lord. Apart from salvation, John is God’s greatest gift to me. 

Happy Birthday! 

thankful: November 26-29

1. Two great hours of Bible study with Carlene.

2. A productive afternoon of school work.

3. Rest. Much needed rest.

1. Tutoring resumed today! So happy to spend time with the kids again!

2. Making upcycled Christmas cards and playing outside to celebrate the end of term.

3. Butternut soup with Amy.

4. Planning for Choose to Wait next week. It’s good to get the ball rolling, however slowly.

5. An unexpected opportunity to talk to John for a few minutes.

1. An absolutely gorgeous day. I’m so much happier, energetic and productive when the sun is shining!

2. Assembly this morning and the chance to share these truths: I have value; you have value; sex has value.

3. The ability to simply laugh when tutoring is canceled yet again because the students are not coming to school.

3. Taco night with guests.

1. Themba’s Camp Zion t-shirt–it put a huge smile on my face.

2. “What to do with your Thanksgiving”, an excellent sermon from Rankin Wilborne at Pacific Crossroads, our church in Los Angeles. You can (and should!) check it out here.

3. That Sunbury’s internet is capable of downloading a podcast, period! Living alone in a quiet house, I’ve been listening to many, many sermons.

4. This soup for dinner. After a smoothie and nuts and fruit all day, tonight called for a get-every-pan-in-the-kitchen-dirty sort of meal. So worth it!

Check out the recipe here at 101cookbooks.com. I’ve never been disappointed by anything on this site. 

5. That God is for me!

thankful: 11.12.11

Today’s thanks:

1. A great night’s sleep that ended with the sunrise. 
2. The constant song of birds. 
3. Morning tea with Carlene. I’m thankful for the wonderful friendship we’ve been able to share.  
4. That the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. I appreciated this reminder from Ann Voskamp: 
“God’s mercies are new every morning–not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you. It’s right there in the sky every morning: Every sunrise proves the burn of His passionate heart. 
The car can fail today and the kids and the dog and the fire detector and the dishwasher and the doctor and the whole free democratic world and its entire economic system but the mercies of God cannot and will not fail and His faithfulness is not merely great–it is unwavering. 
And the God who so loved this cracked world that He gave, He hasn’t ever stopped giving, and He won’t stop giving today and it’s His very mercy that gets us from one moment to the next and we’re all walking around in an atmosphere of brazen affection.” 
5. The sweet smell of beeswax candles. 
6. Monkeys that didn’t make it into my house! I heard their distinct grunting and rounded the corner of my living room to meet a pair of curious eyes staring right back at me through my open window. Mind you, the windows here don’t have screens or bars. Thirty seconds more and I’m convinced he would’ve been waltzing into my kitchen or through my open front door, for that matter.
7. That time is passing quickly. I’m not eager to leave South Africa, but I am ready to wake up next to my husband each morning and cook meals for more than one. 
8. That we, most likely, have a place to make our home in Mississippi. 
9. Connections that John has already made in Mississippi. We’ve been praying for solid Christian friends who share our life situation and it seems God is already answering that prayer!