Friday, August 29, 2008

visit to the past

Last night I flew over the Las Vegas strip. It brings up many memories for me both good and sad. I first smiled as I flew past the hotel that Mike & I stayed at last. It was the nicest places we had ever stayed at. It was such a amazing couple of days with him, we talked most of the trip about our ministry at the church, the growth we were seeing in each of the GAP members lives, and talked through how we wanted to improve and invest more ourselves in them, because that is what is important. However the trip was not free of argument, when we first arrived I wanted to visit my friend Dawn & see her new house, Mike wanted me to watch the Cubs home opener, but I went to visit Dawn leaving him at the hotel by himself. He said that was fine, but I knew he wasn't happy and when I returned he showed it. I spent the afternoon trying to make it up to him going to places I thought he would like- ESPN Zone, wienersnitzle, and then after all these failed attempts just simply said I was wrong- a hard thing for me to do. We then had a great time making a frozen pizza in the hotel room and watching the final college basketball game(end of march madness). I loved watching sports with Mike. He got so into it, it made you want to be excited and he knew random facts which I love. I also just loved the way he would hold me and joke with me about how little I knew but always pretended to know more than I really did. I once shocked him at the house in Lomita, I got up early on Sunday and was ironing his shirt watching ESPN. As everyone knows they replay the same info. over and over, so by the time Mike came to the back room I had it memorized. He asked a question about some player and I rattled off some amazing statistic and was like wow how did you know that, about 10 minutes later he heard the same line on the TV. For a moment I was sport smart! Anyways back to vegas memories. The next day we hung out at the hotel and then went to BJs for lunch. I only knew where this was b/c there is an awesome resurant row by Dawn's house with several of our favorates (BJs, Olive Garden, ISlands, Costco, ect...) so we sat down and decided to try some new items not pizza, Mike had a meatball sandwhich, I had "chick food" salad. It was nice. We then hung out agian at the hotel, Mike took a nap, I got board and went for a walk around the hotel and priced massages, Mike said I should get one, but I thought it best to save money b/c we couldn't both get one and after one mistake of doing my visit to Dawn's solo I wasn't going to do anything without him on this trip. We then went to get our free voucher that came with the hotel while we were headed to the hilton cassino he got a call which was work related and he handled that while I got our money. I was amazed at how appologetic he was about that phone call, I didn't care, but he wanted those couple of days to be about us. We then went to his fave place for dinner, Outback- he had his usuall steak, mashed potatoes, baked potatoe meal (although he actually really liked the salad he couldn't decide between the two potatoes so I told him to get both) I had the ribs! I amazed him with my ability to eat the entire rack the first time we were in vegas for his cousins wedding. anyways we went back to the hotel and had a restful night. He slept in the next morning while I cleaned everything up and packed, we got on the road about 8 and after a quick stop at the McDonalds at the very edge of Vegas we were on our way back to reality. Our realities are very different now, he is expiernceing something that I try to imagine but can't really God's presence, and although I am too expeirencing His prescence it is on a very different level. I have learned so much during the last year. Ive read books Mike wanted me to read, I just am a very different person. Parts of me are so much better and he would be proud, other parts Im still working on and it will take time and patience. I have learned not to take things for granted and not to worry so much about little things for they won't matter in eternity. I miss mike more than words can describe that it physically hurts to think about him, but not as much as a year ago, so I think in time that will fade although not completely and that is alright. I am so blessed to have had Mike in my life, the good parts of him, and the not so good parts for that is what made him him. I can only hope that I find the passion that he had towards God's word, and the compasion and the desire to see people's lives changed by God. Mike was a great mentor to me and i miss his wisdom alot, I also miss his bear hugs, back slaps, smiles, and jokes. "Enjoy life Amy" I hear him in my head alot, and I am trying. One of the greatest priveleges in knowing mike was hearing him preach through ecclesiates and Habbackuk. when everything goes away what will you have? it is a question he had written in his sermon notes. something to think about. After a year of having my world taken away I know what I have... God's love, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His word and although I still struggle I know that God is with me and that for whatever reason he isn't finished with me. I pray that as He works on me I would be teachable and responsive with a soft heart. I don't understand his plan, but I am trying to trust him and his timing. It hurts, but I know that eternity with him is a lot longer than my vapor of a life here. So enjoy life for it is a gift from God!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Busy last day of summer!

Today is my last day of summer here in Carson before I go back to work & school & all the other real life things that I have ignored for the last month!! So very sad, but today I got stuff done!!! Today began with an hour and a half swim with my swimming pals John & Ed- it was a really tough workout and my body was sore from yesterdays biking adventure. I then returned home to give my boys baths- not an easy or quick task, but they now are soft and smell like coconut!! and best of all are not all dusty(that will last a day) I also sprayed the yard to elliminate or at least minimize the bugs(fleas) as to prevent iching on my babies.Then I was off to the gym, but along the way I pick up the boys advantage medicine(the extra good kind according to the vet and I handed him my credit card). then i worked out! It was tough but I feel good after many crunches, lunges, squats, overhead presses, pull ups and pushups. Yea for muscles! Anyways I then drove to the Doctors office to give my blood-yuk- then it was off to the chiropractor to pay my bill from the accident so agian I handed over my credit card and mentally took a deep breath. I then drove accross the street to the store and bought some popcycles Dryers all natural no sugar added- only 30 calories and taste really good!!! Not even counted as a cheat! Then I drove home, ate lunch, packed, and called Mikes ER doctor's office and agian handed over my credit card number and pain that bill finally. I had put all my accident bills on a shelf last year in hopes I think that they would disappear. Since that didn't happen I finally looked through them agian and dealt with them-I am reading a book on loss (one of many) and I am not ashamed of grieving it's just I dont like the feeling of it, so parts of it you don't face unless you have to. In the book it says that the length of time you grieve and the amount of pain you feel is directly related to the strength tied to what you lost. I guess I am still hurting becuase I loved him alot (in case any of you doubted this with are joking) So I guess I should expect to feel waves of pain here and there for a while longer even if I don't want to. In a few minutes I will head to the airport to go visit Dawn (pray for me & her) it will be a rough weekend as it is the weekend Mike proposed 6 years ago. We acctually celebrated that day every year. This year will hopefully be easier than last year. I put my engagement ring away last year and well I guess that was big step in realizing the reality that I am not married anymore, which is alright because it is part of God's plan whether I understand or not I need to trust and accept His will for my life. (thats not easy most days) So.........I am going on a jet plane and I will maybe be back on Monday with just enough time to prepare to go to The Beach..that is CSULB, and work. i just pray that this weekend will be fun and conversation will be good and that Christ would shine through me and Dawn and Matt would see HIM. So Happy long weekend to you all! I know this is going to be a difficult weekend for some of you and know that you are in my prayers. May God's will be done in your lives as well as mine, even when it doesn't make sense or feel good to us or those around us! Not sure I will have access to a computer so this maybe it until monday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Look! I'm joining the techy world too!

I am not sure about this blogging thing, since I am not very good at journaling we will see how long this lasts. But for now I thought I would try it, it might be good for me as Astrid tried to convince me on our day in La Jolla. (she did very well on the kayak by the way all 800 miles of our paddle). So today on my bike ride (yes I am preparing for a triathalon so I am trying to get used to riding on it) I thought I would let you know what I have been up to in my training both spiritual and personal. On the personal side, today I swam for an hour and 20 minutes with Ed and John who are two older men who swim in my lane who for whatever reason enjoy talking with me, I think I provide entertainment with my lack of skills, but they are friendly and encourage me. Then I went for a healthy breakfast- oatmeal(not a fan still) banana, and an egg(agian not a fan) to celebrate POPS birthday. Then I saddled up for a bike ride from Redondo Beach to Marina Del Rey. A pretty ride, then headed back the same route for fear that deviation from the path would get me lost and that would mean a longer ride. So about an hour and a half later I returned to my car and my arms not my butt or my legs were tired- go figure. Yea a swim and bike ride!! I did good on my diet today too! for those who are curious it was peach for a morning snack, chicken and salad for lunch, banana & peanut butter for snack, chicken & salad for dinner, and sorbet for dessert! pretty good although I missed one afternoon snack and need to drink a lot of water tonight to make up for my lack of drinking earlier in the day! Tonight I am going to get back into Phil. while I was in San Diego I was convicted while reading chapter 2 about many things-1st to do all things with proper motives which I have a lot to consider in this area, just why do I do things good and bad. 2nd- to do all things without grumbling or complaining! what a challenge my heart needs work lately well all the time but esspecially recently it seems so... 3rd- Paul writes workout your salvation, I got to thinking that I can jog at a 10 minute mile pace for an hour, but it is not a workout it is just going through the motions, to really work my muscles and make them stronger I need to sweat and sprint and dig deep, and so it is in our spiritual lives If I am just on cruise control going through the motions, I am not working out I am simply maintaining. I need to be digging deep into God's word and applying it. This working out means I will hurt, my muscles (namely my heart) will hurt and it might be hard, but it is the only way to really workout! So although I avoid it lately because it hurts and I am not happy with my life it is really the only way that I will be able to get happy or at least content and be able to do things without grumbling or complaining. This is really long so I will stop for now. Dig deep in God's word and give your spiritual life a real workout!