Friday, July 27, 2012

Confessions


Here, I often paint a picture pretty of life.  My words create a hazy Monet, with light dappling and color bursting in all the right places.  But the truth: if you stare at the painting long and hard enough, you will find the imperfections.  My life is not perfect; is it not near museum-worthy.  This is a blog that I use to record life, and mostly, I look for the beautiful and happy strokes.  It helps me see my life as the amazing gift it is.  What I don't want, though, is to give you the illusion that I am bouncing along from one grand adventure to the next, with no mishaps along the way.

My heart is messy here.  Here where the landscape could be (and has been) the subject of a famous artist's brush, here where the sun shines and the ice-cream is abundant...here I bear still the earthen clay of a broken vessel.  

Working and living with people, seeing them every day for many hours, stirs the sins.  They bubble to the top of me, and they come out in ugly manifestations.

Competition.

Pride.

Envy.

Judgement.

This is where I am at.  This is where I fall to the bedside in a quiet, wood-paneled room and beg for mercy.  This is where I remember that I long for it to be not I who lives, but Christ in me.

It is good for the hammer to swing.  It is good for the pot to see itself truly, the shards on the ground, broken and tiny.  It is good for the branch to see the withered leaves when it has stripped itself off of the Vine.

I sat at the front of the shop a few days ago.  It was my turn to man the cash-register for the gifts section of the store.  It is a coveted position, for it provides a chance to sit and escape the endless line and the question one always has to ask: "Would you like that in a cup or a cone?"


I scribbled these thoughts on a notecard as I sat.

Be gracious to people
as you long to be shown grace
Lay down judgment
Quit being the elder son
Speak words of life, of genuine kindness
You do not have to be the best, the first
Off up your pride on the altar of death,
It does not need to be revived. 
Strive not for your own pleasure, comfort
Serve not to be served.
Love is not my language,
but I want for it to be.



This is not who Lara Weaver is on her own.  This is not a life I can eek out if I make a plan and stick to it.  This is only Christ.  This is me, surrendering minute by minute, each breath in and out asking for the Man who was God to live through me.

Christ, who is our life.

Christ, who is our life.

Oh Christ, come be my life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Day in the Life: San Juan Mountains Edition

So what does our life look like here in Colorado on a daily basis?  I thought it would be fun to photograph a typical day.  Most days here are a variation on this same theme, which is a monotony that carries none of the usual connotation of the word.  I love this schedule.  Simple, beautiful, and lots of space to breathe.

7:00 am
Wake up and trudge downstairs.  (We live with the couple that own the soda fountain where we work.  Two other girls live here as well.)  If I am the first girl awake, I put the morning coffee on, and then sit in the solarium (a fancy word for a room with lots of windows) for Jesus time.  This spot on the couch is my usual:


Can you tell that our host, Carol, really likes blue?  

8:00 am
Breakfast time!  This morning, I make granola.  Baking in Carol's kitchen is such a treat.  Our cozy little kitchen at home has one big downfall, and it is spelled s-p-a-c-e.  There's lots of room to spread out in this kitchen.  



There's enough counter space to lay down and take a nap! 

10:00 am
Take my book outside and read for a while.  The higher altitude means the sun's rays are more intense, which means I acquire a tan at an accelerated pace!   Doubletasking, done.   Summers in Lake City are my favorite time to read.  I consider it a patching of my college education.  (The holes are my fault, not the college's or faculty's...but more to come on that in a later post.) 


11:00 am
Come inside to get ready for the day.  I'm working the 1-9 shift today, hence, the leisurely morning.  Am greeted by this puppy dog inside, who is actually no longer a puppy but a sweet 12 year old dog who we are afraid is suffering from cancer.  She keeps getting skinnier and skinnier.  Poor pup.  Sierra has been mine and Aaron's faithful hiking companion in the past, and we were sad to find she can no longer keep up this year.   The whole house is giving her lots of treats and extra attention.  We're gonna make her last days enjoyable!


12:30 pm
Begin the walk to work.  It is 2 miles and usually takes about 30 minutes.  There is one section I call the "Good Samaritan hill" because its craggy rocks remind me of the road I always imagined in the parable of Jesus.  I am not afraid that marauders and thieves will leap out upon me, but I am a little afraid that I might someday meet a black bear or mountain lion.  This stretch is devoid of cabins, so I always sing at the top of my lungs.  Either the Doxology or This is My Father's World.  Just reminding those wild creatures who they belong to.


1:00 pm
Arrive at work.  May I introduce you to the San Juan Soda Company, purveyor of fine gifts and maker of old fashioned ice cream treats?  We still make chocolate sodas like they used to.  (I really have no idea what that is like, but our older guests assure us we're keeping the tradition alive.)

Inside the fountain, I find my handsome hubby, already hard at work on his shift.  The picture below was taken during a rare empty moment.  It's not uncommon in July to have lines out the door.  I'll spend the next eight hours mixing drinks and scooping ice-cream behind that counter.  Can you spot the green shake machine?  An explosion is bound to happen at some point, spraying flecks of ice-cream across my shirt and that of anyone who is within two or three feet.


9:15 pm
After closing down the shop, I drive home (car was already in town) and find our little household tucked into comfy spots, reading and talking.  We spend the nights chilling like this, playing games, or in the solarium watching a BBC movie.  Perfection.  :)


10:30 pm
We watched another 30 minutes of Great Expectations, but now eyes are getting droopy and it's time for bed.  We share the upstairs bathroom with the the girls, and we have taken to brushing and flossing every night together.  Now that is community!  A few last laughs among the toothpaste spits, and we're off to bed!  Another great day in the mountains.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The rhythm of rest



This is our third summer spent in Lake City, Colorado.  We call it our precious season of rest.  Our entire married life has been wrapped within the cover of K-Life, and we know no other rhythm.  Work hard for 9 months, rest for 3.   I think my posts in the spring sufficiently covered the burn-out of the work season.  Relational vocation wicks out the bottom reserve of one's emotional, spiritual, and even occasionally, physical strength.

Now let me give some air time to our rest season.  Lake City is our rest.  Rest from giving.  Rest to receive.  Rest to lie awake and night and just laugh, not to talk about a kid we worry over, or what the next week's Klub will look like.  God reveals Himself to us in these weeks.  In the swell and dip of the mountains.  In quiet mornings spent reading all the books that we wanted to read in the winter.  In walking, hand in hand, down dusty gravel roads.  He reminds of that He is.  Our God.  Our Provider.  Our Well.

And come every August, our souls are growing green again.  Ready to step back into a rhythm that sometimes seems the very antithesis of rest.  He does this for us, our Gracious Father God.  He fills us up so we are ready to be spilled.

We know He doesn't have to do it this way.  But we are so very grateful He does.


Some of the sweet girls we live and work with


Wahoo!  On top of the world!


Aaron's game face


Did I mention my best friend lives in Lake City?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Italy: Rome

Okay, dear readers, this is the last post about our trip!  Henceforward, thee ol' blog will return to real time.

Rome was the last stop of our trip, and although we knew it would be hot and crowded, we couldn't leave it off the itinerary.  It's ROME, and we weren't about to miss 2000 years of history.  We had two and a half days, and surprisingly, we were able to see everything we wanted to.  (I'm sure true historians are keeling over now.)   Of course, we walked about 10 miles each day to fit in all our stops, but we'd do it the same way if we ever return.  That way you don't feel so guilty about all the gelato, you know?

The dates happened to fall so that while in Rome, we celebrated our third anniversary. We laugh about it.  Year one, Colorado.  Year two, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Year three, Rome.  Uhh, we're not going to top that one for a while.  :)

I couldn't think of a better way to end our trip than celebrating with the man that God gifted me.  Oh we had our share of squabbles while traveling, but he is my favorite person, and I'd rather squabble with him than be perfectly polite and composed with anyone else.  I read a blog this week in which the author called her husband her "standard of rad", and I have to agree.  Aaron is totally--in every way--my standard of rad.

What a trip, what a guy to do it with.

And that's the best summary.

 

On our way to Rome, we had to make a pilgrimage to Pisa


Trevi Fountain - something like 3,000 dollars gets thrown into this fountain every day



The Pantheon - the single best preserved building of the Roman heyday 


Oh Pantheon, how I have always wanted to see you (return of the geek?)


Looking up at that famous dome which inspired Bruneschelli and Michelangelo


The spot where Julius Caesar was murdered


Remnants of a early Christian tombstone


St. Peter's Basilica


Michelangelo's Pieta inside the Basilica


Most famous scene of the Sistine Chapel ceiling - worth the wait


Last Judgement scene on the wall of the Sistine Chapel


Final day in Rome and our 3rd anniversary


Inside the Colosseum


Kind of ironic that we look so happy outside of a place that was not used for happy things


An anniversary dinner splurge 


Topped off with tiramisu 
 (Funny story - when we had tiramisu in Paris, Aaron took a bite and said with gusto, "This is the best tiramisu I've ever had!"  I looked at him and said, "Babe, I think the only other tiramisu you've had I made."  Whoopsie...)


On the plane home

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Italy: Cinque Terre



Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

-G.K. Chesterton


We arrived in Cinque Terre around lunchtime, and went straight to the guesthouse check-in office.  A short, older man who knew only a few words of English took us to our room.  Aaron and I grinned at each other as we tromped through a maze of back alleys and winding stairways.  It was moments like these that we never knew quite what to expect, but that was the half the fun!

Our little rooms -- a bathroom, bedroom, and sunny kitchen -- felt luxurious after the last couple nights of shared hostel bunks.   When I leaned out our bedroom window, this was the view that awaited:
  

Needless to say, we were thrilled to be in Cinque Terre, a little grouping of five towns along Italy's western coast.  I felt spoiled.  The beauty of our Father's world, and the grace of us being able to see it, gave me the thrill of wonder Chesterton penned in his poem above. 

We spent two and a half days here, sunning on rocks, exploring pastel-splashed streets, and hiking along the rugged coast.  It may have been our favorite...have I said that already?  :)



Aaron on the first day we went swimming.  The water wasn't too cold after the first plunge!



Wandering Riomaggiore, the first of the five villages and the one we stayed in


Watching the sunset from the cove and eating gelato



A look back at Riomaggiore from the rocks


On our 9 mile hike between all the villages


Looking down on the sea below during the hike


Don't you want to move here?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Italy: Florence

Florence, the seat of the Renaissance, wowed us with her art and architecture.  I took a class in college called Integrated Humanities, a year-long survey of art, literature, and philosophy from the Greeks to modern day.  It was really exciting for me to see in person everything that I poured over as a college sophomore, to stand in front of statues I had memorized for pop quizzes, to gaze at art we had analyzed, to walk where Michelangelo walked.   Geeky, but you have to embrace your inner geek in Florence.  


The Duomo Cathedral.  The cathedral was built without a dome -- as Europe emerged from the dark ages, they didn't have the technology to construct the dome, although from ancient examples such as the Pantheon, they knew it could be done.  So confident it would someday happen, they built the cathedral and left the dome spot empty.  In the 1400s, Bruneschelli made it happen!


Inside of the Duomo


Famous bronze doors of the Duomo's baptistry designed by Ghiberti.  


Rape of the Sabine Woman


Michelangelo's David - wow, so big in real life!


Aaron wanted a pic with this Renaissance rugby man 


Looking down on Florence as the sun set 


Gorgeous city of culture