Monday, October 31, 2011

the Wells come to Bolivar

My best friend came to visit. She brought her best husband. Meet Dannon. They got married last year, and I told you about it in this post.

Together, they hauled along their best dog. Who, incidentally, if you take on a walk, will haul you along. Heel, Zeke, heel!

It was their first visit to our little home. We gave them a good time in Bolivar. If we lived in Chicago, or St. Louis, or even an artsy mountain town, we probably would have taken them to eat at an organic bakery, or a creperie, or a sushi bar. But we live in Bolivar, population 9,600, surrounded by farms and cows. So we took them to the best we've got.


Mickey D's has really stepped up their coffee game the last few years. It ain't half bad. We were more interested in talking than in drinking coffee anyway.

But wait. It gets better. We drove 20 miles west to Stockton to visit the Squeeze Inn, which has the distinction of having been featured on the Food Network. There isn't a better place for a juicy burger with melted cheese oozing out all sides. This is how the Ozarks rolls.

At home, we went through 8 sticks of butter in four days. We're really not quite sure how that happened.

Kyndel shares my love for a good flea market, so we went to some of my favorites. She couldn't believe how cheap things were compared to Coloradan venues. This is why we live in Bolivar. Because I would take cheap treasures over sushi any day.

Other highlights of the visit which we caught on camera included dinner at my mom and dad's house,

watching the Georgia Dawgs beat up on Florida (let's be honest, this was a highlight that Dannon appreciated the most),

watching Aaron perfect some new modeling moves,

and the general giddiness and glee that comes with seeing your best friend who lives 700 miles away.

Highlights not caught in picture but equally sweet: watching movies in our favorite PJ pants, having someone who loves fixing hair around to do my own, walking quiet streets to look at fall colors, warm mugs of wassail and tea glued to our hands.

We love the Wells! We loved our four days spent with them. It's always a little hard to return to real life after a mini-vacation with dearly loved friends.


Y'all come back soon now, you hear?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall 2011

Well, it's Aaron. It has been crazy around here. Crazy in a good way. Cannot believe it is our 3rd year doing K-Life and our 3rd fall Lara and I have been married. So here is a little update on life:

We've planted a sweet garden and the produce has be great. Thanks to the fam for watering during the drought days of summer. We covered our tomatoes during a couple nights of frost and now we have some really orange/red ones ready to pick in the next couple days. There is nothing like eating something you have seen start from seed and now producing fruit and getting to enjoy it.

We are having a beautiful fall. Lara and I went for a walk tonight. Windy but peaceful. There is something about the wind that reminds me of God's workings and ways. Loving the colors and weather.

Now here are some highlights of the past month or so...

Halloween Klub: We were the "Grapes of Wrath". Too bad none of our kids got it. What do they teach in school these days?

Lara inspiring Martha Stewart

Pumpkin Carving with our leaders

The pumpkin rally squirrel makes its appearance

Pumpkins galore

Lara will have to post some of here creations she has made.

Now we are getting ready to see Dannon and Kyndel... finally!

Monday, October 17, 2011

five things

My mom told me the other day that she checks my blog three times a day to she if I've written. I love you, Mom! Moms are great fans. If no one else is reading this little library of thoughts, Mom is.

That being said, I don't have glorious inspiration for this blog post. Just feel the urge to get something else up so all y'all who check three times a day have some new material. :) Aaron has a post in the works, but it's still in the works. Aaron? How's that coming?

Let's go with the number format today.

1. We are currently in the car driving home from Kansas. Is it not amazing that we can get internet in the car?

2. My little brother turned 22. He is awesome. He volunteers with K-Life, and I have it on good authority that at least 70% of the young girls with work with have major crushes on him. He's funny, handsome, polite, and godly. What a guy. Also. When your little bro who is five years younger than you turns 22, you realize you're not in college anymore. This realization is only now becoming clear to me.

3. I've been doing loads of fun fall baking. I made these, which I give a 7/10.

And this, which I give a 9.5/10.

And this, which I give a 8/10.

4. I got a job at the local tea shop. It's a sweet little place, and I work great hours that still allow me to be involved in K-Life. We are saving up all my wages for our World Tour 2012, which I'll have to devote a whole blog post to sometime. That brings me to number...

5. I miss these guys a ton.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

it's a three ring circus over here

I am up way past my bedtime.

Midnight has come and gone here in the CST, but I just can't stop. I made myself a headband, ironed some pillow shams, organized some papers, and unloaded the dishwasher.

Do have those days where you mull something over all day long, and whatever you're doing--sewing, check, ironing, check, organizing, check, unloading, check--that thought is constantly hoisting itself up over the windowsill and plopping onto your mind's floor?

I came across two things on the internet today that have sat down and stayed with me.

1) This video on Jon Acuff's blog, Stuff Christians Like. It's a famous atheist's reaction to being given a Bible, and it's not what you're expecting. I love the part where he says, "How much do you have to hate me to not proselytize me?" I've nearly cried thinking of those words a couple times today. This man had a five minute encounter with the love of Christ, and although I don't think he believes in Christ (yet!), there was something about that exchange that gripped him. The love of God is gripping, people. Do we believe that? Who have we thought too far gone for Love to reach? We speak; He saves. And yet we think we have the hard part...

Go watch the video and see if it doesn't change the way you think about sharing Christ.

2) The second thing was mournful for me. It just plain made me sad. While catching up on a blog I sometimes read, I found a post in which the author lambasted a popular Christian pastor. The issue of disagreement was poverty and how we as Christians are called to live in light of the world's extreme poverty. The post and the following comments were angry and sometimes, biting. Does poverty hurt the heart of God? Absolutely. But it is not the only thing that hurts His heart...

Aaron and I had a chance to have a great conversation about the issue, and out of that and some quiet time thinking tonight, I have a few concrete thoughts.

  • When we identify a problem in the church, we have to honestly ask: "How am I a part of this?" The temptation is to find someone else who is worse than us and then write off our own sin. Regarding poverty, we want to sidle a glance over at those rich people, you know, the ones with SUVs and mansions and huge bank accounts, and say, "Well, that's not me. I must be more on track with Jesus than they are." We're probably less on track, actually. Aaron and I live in a small house, but I struggle with materialism on a daily basis. I need the Holy Spirit to continually convict me of my sins of greed and idolatry. My heart can be just as messy or more messy than the millionaire's.
  • Others' sin should grieve us, not make us feel better about ourselves. When we do see sin in others' lives, it should hurt our hearts! Judgment breeds when we see another's sin and use it to congratulate ourselves on our good behavior.
  • In a disagreement with a believer, address the issue instead of attacking the man. We will disagree on doctrinal issues. When you look at the two millennia of church history, that's pretty much a given. But at the end of the day, that person with whom you've come to a theological roadblock is still your brother or sister.
  • In all things, love. No doctrine or practice is more important than love. Paul makes that pretty clear in the beginning of 1st Corinthians 13. Maybe you're right. And yet you win that battle and lose the only one that really matters.
It keeps me up late, but I love wrestling through stuff like this. At the end of theological struggles, my mantra is: It's all about Him. It's all about Him, and we are not the leading actors in this play.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Bucket List

I'm totally stealing this idea from one of the blogs I really enjoy, b*spoke. Bethany, the author of b*spoke, writes a bucket list for each season. I love her lists and her follow-up posts with stories and pictures.

A fall bucket list seems like a great idea to fully live this season, especially when my heart is not entirely present this season. I think my sister accidentally packed about half of it. (Um, sis, could you look around for it?) I want to be here. I want to breathe in and notice the breath. I want to magnify God as I experience His world. I want to show up for my life, not sit outside and wait for the right time to buy a ticket.

Here's the list, simple and full of small things, but He is in all the things; have you noticed?

Fall Bucket List - 2011
  • make pumpkin butter
  • play in leaves
  • go for country drive to look at colors
  • use our firepit once a week
  • take a friend for pumpkin spice lattes
  • write letters with pretty fall themes
  • host a soup party
  • go to a small-town fall festival
  • run another 1/2 marathon
  • make a fall memory book (inspired by this blogger)
  • pick apples