Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finding Contentment

I’ve always done best when I have a project. My mom shared this observation with me a while ago, and in the past several weeks of having little to do, I have had a lot of time to reflect and recognize that she is absolutely right. (Mom usually is.)

College is over, the wedding planning is through, the apartment is as organized and decorated as it can be (for now), and I am unemployed…and bored. I’m ready for another project! A job…a house…a baby. (Okay, I’m not quite ready for that last one.)

Mom also pointed out that for the past 23 years, I have been “going”. For me to find myself in this period of feeling as though I’m not, well, “going” anywhere is difficult.

I’m struggling to find contentment.

And, I’ve struggled before. I spent a lot of my childhood wanting to be “grown-up”, and during that time I think I may have missed some of the fun parts that come along with growing up. I don’t regret my childhood (or acting like a thirty-something in middle school), but I do recognize that my discontent with being young may not have allowed me to fully enjoy the youthful season I was in.

And, I know from experience that a lot of good can come from being content and finding beauty in the present. Although it was difficult at times to wait so long to marry Bobby, we enjoyed our five-plus years of dating and patiently anticipating the “big day”. We valued that time, and learned a lot about ourselves and each other and what it means to love during those years. Being content with that season made being engaged (and now, being married) that much more special when it finally came along.

I need to remind myself that I am still “going”. I’m going to have a job. I’m going to have a house. I’m going to have a baby. (Someday. Not now. I truly hope this sentence doesn’t get taken out of context.) I’ve been told that this season of my life is likely to be short-lived, and that I will look back on this time wishing for it again. I don’t doubt it. My “job” right now, I’m convinced, is to learn to be content and enjoy this “in-between” season for the blessing that it is. That might be a big enough project in itself.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Romans 1:20

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities
-his eternal power and divine nature-
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse."
Romans 1:20

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Glowing, Glowing...Gone

Friday night was the first opportunity that Bobby and I have had to explore St. Louis and go out on the town. So, we prepared ourselves for a fun evening at Forest Park, taking in the festivities of the “balloon glow” to be held that evening, an aspect of the famous hot air balloon race to take place the following day. That evening, the balloons were to be lit and inflated for spectators to see; it sounded like a good idea to be among them.

We were not the only ones with this idea. We left our apartment at 7:10 p.m. for what we thought was to be a 25-minute drive to the park. We did not get out of our cars until 8:40 p.m., after driving ever so slowly for miles and miles, and finally navigating our way to a parking spot at the festival. Mind you, the balloons were only to be lit until 8:30 p.m. By this point, we were overwhelmed by the traffic and frustrated for missing it all, thinking, “maybe we’ll at least make it in time for the fireworks at 9:00 p.m.”.

The park was swarming with people headed in every direction. It was dark. We had no idea where we should have been heading and didn’t see any signage for this particular event. Although we had wanted to quit the little adventure we were having far earlier, we had come too far to turn around.

We spotted a group of people who looked like they knew where they were going. Off we went, following closely behind this group along a dark forest path, the little boy ahead of us lighting the way with his glowing light saber. About 7 minutes later we realized that they did know where they were going. They knew exactly how to get to…their cars. The little boy said to his dad, “I want to go home”, to which his dad replied, “we are”. Bobby and I stopped simultaneously, turned toward each other, and realized that we had to turn around, in the midst of all these people, and go back the other way. What a night. It was comedic, really! We should have known. Most people don’t carry souvenir glow sticks INTO an event.

We kept walking, and did find the balloon glow, although by 8:57 p.m. there was little glow left. We sat down just in time to enjoy the brief, albeit beautiful, fireworks display.

We were back in our cars by 9:17 p.m., a mere 37 minutes after arriving. Traffic was like nothing we’d ever seen, and we crawled, if moving at all, for 43 minutes, just trying to get out of the park. It was 11:00 p.m., 1 hour and 43 minutes later, when we pulled into our driveway.

It wasn’t the evening we expected. Although we DID get to do some good people-watching, we DID learn about navigating St. Louis traffic, we DID somehow find ourselves in the middle of the Delmar Loop on our way home (an area we’d wanted to explore), and we DID get to spend a LOT of uninterrupted time together. And, we CAN say that we went to the balloon glow!

I imagine that we will venture out onto the St. Louis social scene again sometime soon. There is much more to see and do, and surely we can find activities that aren’t quite so appealing to the masses. The balloon glow looked like a fun time and we may try it again next year. Or, then again, maybe not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My blogging hiatus has come to an end. The busyness of the past four months proved too much to handle, I suppose, thus the lack of writing. There are a number of events from recent weeks that I could discuss, but one has to start somewhere. Reflecting on the honeymoon has led to this post; we’ll see where it goes from here!

I had never been out the country before, and what a way to start! St. Lucia and the Caribbean were absolutely beautiful, and I could not have asked for a more perfect place to celebrate with Bobby. The surprising part, though, was how much we were ready to come home to the United States after our time abroad. Of course, we both knew we loved our country, but to be so looking forward to coming back to American soil was an unexpected, wonderful, feeling.

As we were in the air, flying back to Miami, I couldn’t help but think about how blessed we were to be heading back to a country that we are so happy to call home. I don’t imagine everyone being so lucky.

I was certainly in awe after seeing the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, and the lush, palm tree-rich rainforests of St. Lucia. Yet, now that we’re back, I find myself recognizing “America the Beautiful” in a new way.

As Bobby and I drove to Springfield last weekend, I was admiring the scenery along I-44…hardly one of America’s “must-see” landscapes. Still, I was thinking about the natural wonders we’re afforded living here. The citizens of St. Lucia don’t get the joy of a white winter, and the Caribbean travel brochures don’t include a section on the brilliant colors of fall that we enjoy. We have beaches, mountains, forests, deserts, and the freedom to explore them all.

I’m confident that the Phillips family has more international traveling ahead. There is a lot of world left to see and experience! But, we will certainly continue to enjoy the blessings and beauty of America, too, and will always happily and proudly call this country “home”.