Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Proud of Him

I am so proud of my husband.

Bobby is on a business trip in Arkansas this week. And, from the moment we heard about this trip, we weren't looking forward to it. The trip means a week of earlier mornings, later nights, lack of home-cooked meals, and sleeping in a strange bed. Not to mention, our being apart from each other. I'd say that part is especially rough.

But, he never complained. (I was probably complaining about it enough for the both of us.)

It's turned out to be an even-less-pleasant week for him than was expected. There have been a lot of work-related problems to deal with, and he's under a lot of pressure to get it all done. But, again, he hasn't complained. (Not even about the $30/night hotel room he's staying in, in order to avoid a long commute every morning. Use your own imagination about how awful that must be.) For that, I'm proud of him.

Bobby got this position a mere three weeks or so before our wedding. Until that point, we had no idea what was in store for us, and having a source of income when you get married is generally considered to be a good idea. It was a major blessing when he got this job. And, it still is! I think Bobby is mindful of that more than I tend to be. That's probably one of the reasons that he works so hard, and takes the good (having a job!) with the bad (sometimes having to be away from home). And, because of that, I'm proud of him.

Bobby has a "go-at-it-with-everything-you-have" attitude that he applies to just about everything he does. I admire it. I'm thankful for it. And, I'm thankful for him. He's teaching me a lot, and I doubt he knows it.

He'll be gone six nights, and this is the longest we've been apart since we became "Mr. and Mrs." We're on the downhill slope of this week, though, and I think we're going to make it. It is "Wine-Down Wednesday", after all, which we fully intend to participate in together, even from afar. So, that's bound to help a little bit.

I miss you, handsome. Hurry home! And, until you get here...hang in there.

A much more relaxed Bobby on a non-business trip of ours.
(Remember those days, babe?)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Faith and Suffering

My last post prompted an anonymous comment unlike one that I’ve received before, and although I’m hesitant to respond publicly, the topic is such that I think deserves a thoughtful response.

The comment dealt with God’s providing for my wants…in a world full of starvation. (Pretty heavy way to start a Saturday morning!) But, it’s a genuine thought and it has given me some things to think about as I begin my day.

I have faith that God can provide for our needs and wants. And, to quote author Lee Strobel, “only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist”. In my life, I have been blessed to have all of my needs met, and a lot of my wants, too! And, I have made the choice to try to recognize God’s involvement in my life, which includes seeing the things I receive (i.e. a new TV) as His doing. And, it’s made a difference in my Christian life to make an effort to acknowledge God’s constant work around me.

I understand this objection, though. God can provide, but He does allow suffering in the world (including starvation), which is a result of His gift of human free will. God’s answer to the suffering in the world was to come down to it, which is exactly what happened when Jesus was on the cross, dying for humanity’s sins. This response to suffering allowed for the promise of Heaven, where there will be no more suffering, no more starvation!

This is a challenging issue, one that I’ve wrestled with and one that I know I don’t have all the answers to. I learned a great deal from reading “The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel, though. This book explores several of the toughest objections to Christianity. (Chapter One is titled “Objection #1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, A Loving God Cannot”.) If one was interested, reading this book might provide some additional things to think about.

Perhaps this is more of a response than was expected or desired, but I’m glad to have had occasion to think through this today.

Difficult questions should not be avoided. Thank you, God, for giving me the conviction and confidence to acknowledge and explore this one…. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

26 Inches

Our apartment complex planned a social event for last weekend...a "Water Fun" day. Which made little sense to me, being that it is September, the weather is cooler, and everyone's pretty much "water-funned" out by now. Regardless, the drawing for the 26-inch flat screen TV sweetened the deal a bit, and Bobby and I decided, "why not?"

Now, although I would not have scheduled a water play day in late September, I was able to see what someone might have been thinking when they did. (Something for the residents to do on a Saturday afternoon....) Sure. But, I was very curious what they were thinking when this event was re-scheduled from its initial time slot of noon-2:00 9:00-11:00 a.m.

On a Saturday morning. In September.

I didn't get it.

Needless to say, Bobby and I were already thinking our chances of winning a TV were looking relatively good (these events aren't usually well-attended)...and once we learned of the time change, we thought "this looks promising! We'll go over there at 10:45 a.m., enter the drawing, and leave!" Couldn't hurt anything.

So, we walked the 50 feet from our apartment to the basketball courts, where we saw a bucket full of water balloons, some squirt guns, and one lone attendant hanging out, who asked "you guys live here, right? Do you want to enter a drawing for a free TV?" We looked at each other, casually acted as though we were shocked by this chance to win a TV (we were feeling a BIT lame at this point), and proceeded to BOTH write down our names on the sign-up sheet. (We were thinking SURELY we'd only get to sign once since we live in the same apartment. Wrong we were!)

Our two signatures made a total of five signatures on the sheet, and the "event" was scheduled to end 10 minutes later. This was shaping up to be even better than we'd imagined. (Only five signatures? Really?!)

I should point out that the girl there seemed genuinely surprised at the low turnout. "I guess everyone just wanted to sleep in", she said. You think? It's Saturday morning, in September, and you want them to come play water games? Figuring out the reason for the low attendance didn't seem all that complicated to me.

Oh, well. I really shouldn't criticize. They had good intentions. And, after all...

WE WON THE TELEVISION!!! Bobby got the call the next morning that he (yes, it was HIS name drawn...he likes to emphasize that point) had won the TV and it would be available to pick-up today. Yay! So, this morning I went to the office and brought it home.

A 26-inch TV isn't huge, I know, but it's our first flat screen, and poor Bobby has wanted one for SO LONG. (I'm too stubborn to get rid of our perfectly good "old school" least until we have room to put it elsewhere.) It seems everyone we know already has a snazzy flat screen.... (As do most people living in our apartment complex, I would guess, most likely contributing to their furthered lack of interest in coming to the event and entering the drawing...which worked out for us!) I'm sure we'll have another TV purchase in our future, but this will certainly get the job done for now!

It was such a fun surprise, and another reminder that we've got it pretty good these days. Our patience (okay, Bobby's patience) in not buying a new TV and being mindful of how we spend our money and being aware of what things we can live without has made this even more rewarding for me.

I like to think that this winning is another of God's reminders that He's looking out for us. A reminder that He takes care of our needs, and is more than able to provide for our wants, too.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Big Things

Big things on the "happening someday" list that I'm really starting to look forward to....

Buying a house
Decorating a house
DIY home improvement projects
Hosting engagement/bridal/holiday/baby/sports parties at said house
Buying baby clothes (which, by the way, I spent far too much time looking at while I wandered through the mall today)
Decorating a nursery
Being a mom

Big things on the "happening in the not-so-distant future" list that I'm really excited about....

Crossing things off of our "must do in St. Louis" list
Kelsey's October wedding
Fall festivities, followed closely by the holidays
Moving back to Springfield
Finding an apartment to call home for a while
A new job, I hope
Planning/hosting my sister's bridal shower
The 4 special weddings on the calendar for 2011...and 1 more that I'm hopeful for!
Buying a house
Decorating a house
DIY home improvement projects
Etc, etc.

"Little" things that I really need to focus on for the time being...patience and contentment.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome, September!

Bring on the fall! There is a lot of excitement ahead for the Phillips family, and I cannot wait for the transition as summer turns into autumn. Change is in the air! 

A look at how we spent September 1st (in St. Lucia) last year. (Absolutely magical...although with the hurricane lurking in the Caribbean at this time this year, I'm sort of glad we're not there right now.) 

Candlelit dinner by the beach. Not on; see waves above.