Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet Friendship

The other highlight of last weekend was spending three full days with my best friend, Kristin, who currently lives in Bridgewater, Virginia. We roomed together all four years at Wheaton and have been able to connect relatively frequently over the past 11 years since college in spite of always living at least two time zones apart. Since the last time we got together, we've both had children and she's now seven months pregnant with her second. I knew it was going to be good to be together but I didn't realize just how good.
One night we stayed up until 2:30am talking. I cannot remember anything of my own volition keeping me up that late in years but I had no regrets the following morning when I had to get up at 6. We shared the highs and lows of life and laughed a lot. We remembered our ridiculously boy-crazy college days and dreamed of days ahead when our kids know each other. We ate amazing food and did some leisurely shopping at Reston Town Center, the convenient location of the conference. We ate late night take-out in our room, watched The Food Network and read to our heart's content. I was reminded of the things that drew us together in college even though we're both (I think, I hope!) thoroughly different people than we were then. The changes have strengthened our friendship rather than distanced us and that is a gift that is not always the case.
Of course I spaced out and did not take one photo. I can't seem to get it together in the way of capturing memories but if I'd taken a picture, it would have been of us sitting at Big Bowl, leaning over the table to talk like we used to for hours in our college cafeteria, sharing life and encouraging one other. I could not get enough, hence the 2:30am bedtime.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dramatic But True

Awake. Alive. Renewed. When I think about the long weekend (Wednesday - Sunday) I spent in Washington DC at Peacemaker Ministries' forgiveness-themed annual conference, these are the words that come to my mind. I finally completed the certification process and was honored with a group on Friday night. As I walked on stage and heard our commissioning prayer, tears streamed down my cheeks and I felt alive.
Let me backtrack a bit. In 2004 I started working at Creative Mediation and discovered a passion for conflict resolution. In 2005 I began learning about biblical conciliation and went through several training sessions to develop skills in this area. I ended up meeting God in a new way and my understanding of the gospel and its implications expanded. God spoke to my mind and into the depths of my soul through 2 Corinthians 5 and I will never be the same. Serving the body of Christ by coming alongside those in conflict became a regular occurrence and I saw the gospel come to light in people, in relationships and within organizations. Literally, I discovered that a key element of my purpose on this planet was to serve in this way and my intention was to honor God with these gifts in all aspects of life. Practically, I started a Masters in Theology distance learning program and served frequently, cutting my work schedule down to part-time in order to make space for reconciliation.
Then I had Wyatt in March of 2008 and life changed. The "space" I had before was absorbed with a baby and all of the pressing concerns associated with one. Given the challenges of my health and the daily and nightly energy required to care for a little one, I barely survived the first 18 months. The things that were near and dear to me pre-Wyatt became distant and dried up. Or at least that's how it felt. I grieved the loss of life before Wyatt. When I think back to the things I've blogged about these past two and a half years, I can't help but notice the lack of reconciliation-themed posts. It was not a conscious choice to ignore my heart for reconciliation but it's clear that something changed in me during these years.
And, in a moment, I woke up. My gratitude to God who has reconciled me to himself flooded my consciousness and I tasted joy in who I believe he made me to be. I don't know what exactly this means in terms of my day to day existence but I do know that God is alive and well as the God of reconciliation and I desire again to be part of his work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Montana de Oro

We took a walk and tried to find tide pools at Montana de Oro this morning. Wyatt's pretty lucky to have a friend who likes to get dirty and run around as much as he does.
As Wyatt and Abby pulled the large piece of seaweed down the beach, Wyatt chanted, "Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork," and I am certain he learned that at preschool.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We love Terrace Hill (and the Petersons)

Last night we ventured up the quick little path to Terrace Hill and enjoyed a beautiful evening hilltop. Here are the boys:
I love how this tiny hike is right around the corner from our house and am especially thankful that I can climb up it relatively easily even on days when my knees and ankles are aching. The night was capped with fish tacos with fish Garett caught on Sunday on his first ocean fishing trip with the boat. On our way down the hill Wyatt asked if Huck could come over to play which pleasantly turned into dinner. We continue to be thankful for good friends who are up for spontaneous activities and meals.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Clean(er) Teeth and a Hike

Wyatt took his first trip to the dentist last week and we were all very impressed with the whole thing. From televisions everywhere showing cartoons, to movies about monkeys getting their teeth cleaned, to the tiger colored cleaning tool that "growled" while it cleaned, to the treasure chest of toys explored at the end, the entire experience was remarkable.Wyatt took his first hike longer hike on Monday. We checked out Johnson Ranch, a leisurely two and a half mile trail, and I think Wyatt walked at least a mile and a half of it. He actually ran for most of that and said that he's a "trail runner". A few people on the trail commented on how brave we were bringing a two year old on this hike but really we just didn't know how long it was. Ignorance is bliss and a nice hike.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best Sandwich Ever

My folks gave us a good panini maker for Christmas last year and sandwiches have not been the same. While I was pregnant I developed an intense dislike for cold meat and the panini maker is a nice solution when all that sounds good is a sandwich. Here's the combo:

- Start with a nice crusty bread. I've been enjoying fresh Pugliese, which is a rustic bread from the south of Italy.

- A very thin slice of prosciutto. I prefer the Beretta prosciutto from Trader Joe's for its nice cost/quality ratio.

- Fresh Purple Mission figs sliced down the middle and flattened a bit. I load the sandwich with these because they are amazing with a little heat.

- A little crumbled Roquefort cheese on both sides of the fig.

That's it. The next time I make this I may add a little course ground mustard but it didn't really need it. The combination of flavors is exquisite and my mouth is watering a bit as I type. I wish I had a nice photo to go along with this post but it really didn't cross my mind to photograph until it was long gone.