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gratituesday1

Since having a baby 6 and a half months ago, there seems to be conspicuously less time available for Red and Honey to go on romantic and adventurous dates.

Clearly, this is a tragedy.

Though not so much as one might think. Despite the ridiculously crazy foray into parenthood that has become our lives… we’ve more or less not minded that we’ve stayed home more.

Less spending money we don’t have on dates that are forgettable anyway, more sitting on the couch sipping tea and talking with one another or watching a favorite show together… has been quite nice, really.

Nonetheless, it is still nice to get away every once in a while. To dress up pretty, and eat fancy food. To have him open my car door for me. To eat filet mignon that’s perfectly tasty and completely free

Tonight we’re going to a fancy dinner for Honey’s work. Because my Honey does the audio and technical directing of the evening, I always get to tag along, and we have a free date.

This year, though, with the noticeable decline of fancy dinners and dates as of late, I am especially grateful that we get to go again this year. So today’s Gratituesday is this: I am grateful for (free!) dates with my amazing hubby!

I’ll hopefully show you a picture of us all spit-shined and fancied up on our big date. Stay tuned!

What are you grateful for? Write about it, or leave a comment below. Don’t forget to link up to Heavenly Homemakers too!

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gratituesday

Today I’m going to participate in my first ever blogging carnival. It’s called Gratituesday, and it’s hosted by Heavenly Homemakers. A blogging carnival is basically where people post on a certain theme, and then add their links to the host’s site. I think it sounds like fun, so here we go…

Something for which I am grateful… hmmm. I don’t have to think hard on this one. I may as well start out with the obvious. I am so grateful for my family. Yup, the classic “I love my family”. It might not sound very exciting, or original… but it’s absolutely true, and I can’t help but say it!

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I didn’t have a photo of all 3 of us available because hubby is fiddling with our home server right now… but here’s the world’s cutest baby, as mentioned in my 5m4mom party post. I’ve basically wanted this for as long as I can remember – a husband and children, that is – and sometimes it’s still surreal!

Grateful, I think, would be an understatment.

I’m so in love with my hubby and son!

Yeah, so I like alot of things. I am a strange yet lovable person, and I just want to be the best version of me that God created me to be.

I like artistic things and music and colors and sunshine.  The rain is also pretty amazing, but I like more sun than rain.  A good summer thunderstorm with lightning and thunder when I’m snuggled on the couch with Chris is just amazing.  But a sunny day in March after a long winter is equally delicious.

I love food alot.  I love sushi, and dill pickles, and nachos and salsa.  Actually pretty much all Mexican food.  And turkey dinners.  I look forward to those all year long.

I have an unexplained fear of revolving doors and avoid them at all costs. I think that’s weird.  I also really love my friends and family. They are awesome.  I haven’t always had close friends in my life, let alone a group of 6 of us that I call best friends.  So blessed. And my family isn’t too bad either. haha.

Oh yeah, I love cleaning too, but yet my house isn’t spotless. Explain that one!

Scrapbooking is a favorite hobby, but I wish I were better/more dedicated at it.  Same goes for photography.  And painting.  And drawing.  And writing… and.. and…

I want to go back to school and get my masters someday.  In between kids, after kids, ever… ? I don’t know. God knows.

Anyway, that’s enough of my talking about nothing.  I guess I was bored or something. Good night!

Oh one more thing… ok like 3… I love babies and am having one of my own!!!!!!!! I love Jesus & seek Him daily, and I just love LOVE.  Jesus’ love of his bride is the ultimate example for how I am supposed to love.

This Christmas I was reminded of a cheesy-but-true lesson – love is all you need.
Love Mug
I was also reminded how amazingly blessed I am.  The day after Christmas we saw one of the ladies in our townhouse complex that we know is a fellow Christian.  She’s a single mom to two young boys.  The only gift she was able to afford to give her youngest son was a Bible and a special case, and he absolutely loved it.  When one of the boys was asked by my husband what he got for Christmas, he said “Santa brought me a Nintendo Wii!  Chris replied with “cool! me too!”, which was met with a “but you’re old” expression on his face.  “Yeah,” the mom said in a lowered voice, “and I don’t have a clue who Santa is”.  Someone had given them a Nintendo Wii anonymously.  I realized in that moment how selfish and stuff-driven I can sometimes be.  I don’t want to be that way, and I am always asking God to keep my conscience sharp and attuned to his will for me.  I got alot of gifts this year, given to me by people who love me.  Nothing terribly extravagant, but far more than many people in this city, and especially around the world.  In the end, though, it’s just stuff, and I wouldn’t be sad if I lost it all tomorrow.  I have the love of my (two) families, my awesome friends, my incredible husband, and most importantly, the Almighty God who created me.
Really, love is all you need.

I love Christmas.  Who doesn’t?  (That’s a rhetorical question).  In honor of this super-duper holiday, I give you… my top ten best things of Christmasy Christmasness:

10. Lights (so pretty. too bad the LED money-saving ones are ugly. oh well, I sucked it up because I’m cheap frugal).

9. Turkey Dinner (nothing beats Mom’s Christmas turkey dinner with everything just right… East Coast style dressing, dill pickles, and all the vegetables you can eat!  Of all the moves and changes throughout my childhood, this is one very yummy thing that was constant every single year).

8. Snow (I remember looking out the window framed with Christmas lights and seeing the freshly fallen foot of snow sparkling in the light of the street lamp… along with the awesome snow fort I had built with my friends earlier that day).

7. The music (I start listening to my Christmas music on November 1st each year, and I NEVER get tired of it.  Favorite song is the Hallelujah Chorus.  I love them all, really.  Except the Christmas Shoes song which I hate so much it makes me want to scream).

6. Real Christmas trees (I’ve had a real one every year of my life.  One year, my Mom wanted to get a fake one, so they bought it, set it up, and it was so amazingly terribly ugly and wrong.  All 5 of us stood around it for about 6 seconds, then promptly jumped in the car and went and bought a real one.  The fake one was never seen again).

5. Giving gifts (I hate the commercialism associated with Christmas, but I have to say… it’s awesome getting a little something for someone I care about, and seeing them open it and be happy! I love it!  It’s especially sweet when you get unique gifts that you know they’ll totally love… like when I went to Kenya last month, and “may or may not have” bought some Christmas gifts there).

4. Candy Canes (my family is obsessed with “real” candy canes, with all the proper stripes, etc.  The fake ones are quite reprehensible, and frankly not worth the energy required to consume them, in our opinions).

3. Christmasy specials and movies (The cute ones like The Grinch and Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life, not the creepy/weird ones, except Elf, which is weird, but somehow heart-warming).

2. Family & Friends (predictable? Maybe, but I bet most people don’t really realize how fortunate they are to have family and friends… I don’t usually… but Christmas makes me remember and be thankful for the amazing gift that they are).

1. Jesus! (Of course you knew that I had to put Jesus, didn’t you.  I blame Sunday School. Honestly though, it’s true. It never ceases to amaze me that God loves me so much that he came to earth as love incarnate, just to pay my debt).

Merry Christmas!  May you know the joy and love that is our awesome God desiring a relationship with you and demonstrating His love to you with a baby in a manger 2007-ish years ago!

 

My experience thus far in Kenya (Nairobi, Kijabe, and Mukaa) has been sort of overwhelming. 

This is my fourth time to Africa, but I’m finding that it is the toughest to process so far in terms of “culture shock”.  Not because it’s so different, but rather because of the ways in which it is so similar to Western culture.  Of course there are contrasts- the poor and rural life & the slums… which contrast starkly with the 24-hour shopping malls and coffeehouses which would cause one to think that they had been transported back to North America while they were sleeping.  I am staying at an AIM guesthouse, which is all quite Western (yesterday it was pizza for supper and ice cream for dessert – made all from scratch by Kenyans to suit the multitude of Wazungu).  Today when we were in Mukaa, it was the first time on this trip that I got to have a “real” East African meal! It was really good- I found that I missed it! I came to Africa but had not yet really felt like I was in Africa! Nyama, wali, viazi, ndizi, na chapati… mmm!

A slight change in subject… I’ve been thinking alot lately about the (sometimes) seemingly elusive “will of God for my life”.  How does one KNOW God’s will for them? How do you know you are correct in what you THINK is God’s will for you? What if you are deceived? What if you don’t choose the right path, what if.. what if.. etc.  Well much to my angst these questions have been rolling about in my mind for quite a few years now, and it was only just last night that I was really able to fully realize them and vocalize them.  I was talking with Sam and Bonnie, and they offered alot of wisdom (I absolutely love them.. they are amazing).  Anyway- the good news is that I’ve come to a place of contentment in these things, after many years of vague confusion.  The 2 verses that really stand out in my mind that Bonnie reminded me of are these…

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”.  That is not to say that you will get whatever desire (fleshly/worldly or otherwise) you want, but rather it seems to be more of a reciprocity in which your desires are already aligned with God’s will for you because when you are delighting yourself in Him, you are becoming more like Christ, and less like the world.  He gives you the desires of your heart not BECAUSE you are delighting yourself in Him, but THROUGH your very act of delighting yourself in Him.  Delighting one’s self in the Lord is the desire of a righteous (through Christ) heart.  That is all to say that if I am *honestly* delighting myself in Him, and I seek to use wisdom in my decisions, then I can ask myself what the desires of my heart really are, which will guide me to discover God’s will for me.  What am I passionate about? What am I uniquely gifted for?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will direct your paths”.  Another good one.. I learned this one by heart in Pioneer Clubs as a kid.  Always a good verse to remember, always easy to forget.  Read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in!

Anway- it’s late here (we’re 8 hours ahead of Toronto time) and it’s time for bed. Good night!

So, here I am at Mayfield Guest House (the AIM guesthouse in Nairobi, Kenya).  It’s been only 2 (full) days.  I’ve experienced so much, met so many people, and loved it all.  I have so many stories to tell.  I saw Mt. Longonot and the Rift Valley, which was BEAUTIFUL! (Google it).  I’ve toured Kijabe Hospital, Moffat Bible College, and RVA… tomorrow we’re going to the Eastern Region Office and International Services, and AIM AIR (to take pictures for Chris!).

Having Sam and Bonnie show me around has been so much fun- they are so great (Bonnie gives me “Chris substitute” hugs”, and we been falling off of our chairs (literally) in laughter, on a regular basis!

Bonnie got stung in the night by the Nairobi fly, which leaves acidic burns on your skin.  Hopefully it will clear up soon without too much discomfort.

Today as I sat gazing out at Mt. Longonot, I praised God for his amazing creation, talking to Him, and thanking Him for everything.  I am so blessed… even in the hardships, He is faithful.  When I am weak, He is strong… and He is exalted!

Yikes! Too much pressure. What to say? Introducing… Beth Ricci.

I love Chris, Sushi, and Jesus. Not in that order. Actually I love a lot of things. I am a fiery redhead full of passion and spunk, and am always up for a good debate. I love to talk, write, read, and listen. I’m working at being a great listener. I am fiercely loyal, sometimes insecure, and always learning.

So I’m leaving Tyndale in less than two weeks. A strange feeling because I’ve been there since 2002, as a student, part-time bookstore staff, and most recently as full-time staff in the Admissions Office. It’s been an amazing opportunity, and I have grown so much. Now God is leading me to a brand-new place and job at the AIM Canadian Head Office, here in Toronto. I am so excited and can’t wait to start on August 30!

We’re also getting a new place to live (currently living with my parents in Pickering, just outside of Toronto) for September 1st. We’re renting a townhouse, and we are so excited. It will be so much space compared to what we’ve had in the past in small apartments. We are planning to stay for the next 5-7ish years, until we go on the mission field. Praise God!

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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