Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Girl's Weekend

Freshman year of college was rough for a whole host of reasons. Over the summer I spent a lot of time thinking, praying and planning changes. Sophomore year started totally differently when a new group on campus started up, Campus Crusade for Christ. I jumped right in and as they say, the rest is history! For me cru was all about people, lots of them. We had the most incredible community and 4 years later, the bonds are strong.

Last weekend I got together with my college girlfriends, 10 of them. We've made a pact, every fall we take a weekend away, whoever can and reconnect. The first year we went to Chicago, the second to Traverse City and this year to Muskegon. 

We laughed, talked, danced to 90's boy band music, ate a ton of food, walked on the beach, painted nails, shared hopes and dreams and stories of life. These girls know me, get me, love me. 
Over the years our conversations have changed slightly. Before we talked about homework and test assignments, internships, job hunts, and boyfriends. Now we still talk about boyfriends but it's also husbands, marriage, parenting, health insurance, home ownership, breast feeding, jobs and promotions.

Right before the weekend I read this post  about having wild and free relationships that speak to your soul, encourage and exhort you. That's what I want, therefore that's what I want to be.

I hope that in 20 years when we're talking about retirement, menopause, adult children and I don't even know what we'll be talking about then that our friendships are still real, strong, wild and free. It's worth it. People are worth it.

Do you have wild and free friends? How do you invest and grow together?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day Tripping: Chicago

 I live in the country surrounded by asparagus fields, livestock and single lane roads. I love it but when I find myself driving through Chicago on the way to a wedding with a free day after, you better believe I'm heading into the city of pavement, cars, energy and people! There's something about exploring, finding new things around every corner and people watching that makes me excited. Chicago has been my go-to city for most of my life; shows at the theaters, weekend getaways, school field trips and lots museum visits! However, it was the first time to hit the Windy City with my hubs. We only had a few hours so we bypassed the museums and opted for a day on foot.

We started at Navy Pier and rode the Ferris wheel for the first time! It was a beautiful day and there were views for miles. After exploring the pier we walked into the city and strolled the Magnificent Mile, shopping (hello H&M and Forever 21!), sipping coffee and chatting.

You gotta grab Chicago style pizza so we tried out Lou Malnati's for some cheesy, gooey pizza. Apparently it was so good I didn't even take pictures!

We ended our day by walking down to the Bean and doing the typical touristy thing, taking pictures and making faces. After that we jumped a water taxi and rode back to Navy Pier, another first!

 I'm not an expert but here's a few things I've learned from my Chicago explorations if it's your first time!
  • Check out the Food Court in the Water Tower Place mall for a lot of fresh options and choices. I even met a Backstreet Boy there once :) 
  • Don't miss Chicago style pizza! We did Lou Malnati's this time but I like Gino's and Giordano's better. 
  • Stop into the Ghiradelli chocolate store, they are always passing out free samples. 
  • The water taxi was fun and pretty cheap but don't take the last one of the night, we got dropped off early. 
  • Look for fun statues and hidden gems, you never know what you may see!  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Walk In The Woods

A walk in the woods
and my soul breathes.
I feel a release,
an unfolding of awareness.

My mind wanders and pushes through
the fog of to do lists, daily urges
and dives into the heart matter,
to what really matters.

I see differently.

I notice water droplets on colored leaves,
the antics of 2 black squirrels.

The quietness of my soul is refreshing.

He is meeting me here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The God Who Comes

Today my sweet friend, Katie asked me to write a guest post for her 31 Days Blog Series on Isaiah 40. Katie has spent countless hours pouring into my life, speaking truth, asking hard questions, encouraging and loving me so it's an honor and a thrill to be a part of what God is doing in her life!

Click on over to read some of my ponderings on Isaiah 40:3.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Canoes And The Sunrise

A whole weekend stretched ahead of us. We aren't quite used to those yet, stretching back to 2 days off instead of 1.

I wanted adventure, I wanted excitement, I wanted memorable but what I had was my home and my limited budget.

So at 6:20am on Saturday (crazy, I tell ya!) we woke up. Sleepy-eyed and tousled hair we packed a thermos of hot coffee and some blueberry muffins and headed to the water in our sweatpants and flannel shirts. It was still dark as we pulled our canoe off the racks and loaded in lifejackets, blankets and our supplies. Paddles to the water breaking the smooth calm of the lake as we traveled.

It got lighter and lighter and we talked, laughed and ate our muffins and coffee. We only brought one cup and passing it back and forth in the canoe made us wobble and giggle. There were threats and maybe even a little splashing. And then, the sunrise. The first that hubby has ever intentionally watched.

The moment wasn't as magical as I'd hoped, until we paddled beyond the break of the trees. And then it was magic and majestic all at once. My God makes good things. There's just something about being there when God wakes up his earth and says today is a new day and it is a gift for you.

We paddled back to shore and got home just as our neighborhood was beginning to stir. I crawled back into the warm covers for a morning nap, just as the rain began to fall. And that too was magic and majestic.

I'm probably not going to make sunrises a habit but next time I'm lacking wonder and need a reminder of who He is I may just pull my weary head up and look to the morning sky.