Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Father and Son

A very nice shot of Matt and Ben.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Community Theater at its Finest

I told you I'd talk more about my trip to Aberdeen at the beginning of this month, so here it is. Approximately 9 hours of my trip was dedicated to watching "West Side Story." I saw it three times. Before you decide I have a problem, let me say in my defense that not only were my sisters, Sarah and Bekah (pictured below), in the show, but my Dad played Officer Krupke, and Sarah's college roommate, Amy (who is almost like family) played Maria.

The show was incredible. It was a youth version, so most of the actors were 22-years-old or younger (not Dad obviously). They performed the original choreography, and the acting was top-notch. After seeing the show three times, I definitely had a few of the songs stuck in my head, including "I Feel Pretty," "Officer Krupke" and "Cool."

Good times were had by all. Check out these photos to see more of the drama!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Meeting Marilyn

I never thought I’d listen to Marilyn Manson.

Last night I did.

It happened while I was driving my friend Lena to her house. Lena is a high school senior and 10 years younger than me, but we’re still friends.

I didn’t set out to disciple someone, but when I met Lena five years ago something clicked. God put her on my heart. We get together once a week and go to Starbucks. Over white chocolate mochas, we talk about school, friends, family — and God.

Lena believes in God. But she’s not ready to follow Him completely. She’s afraid doing that would be the end of her fun and exciting life. We can talk about youth group and God’s love, but when we start talking about obedience, Lena squirms and says she has to use the bathroom.

I am a classic goody-goody. Christian family. More than one Bible. Home schooled. As a teen, my worst sins consisted of lying to my parents, lashing out at siblings and sneaking ice cream from the outside freezer. Of course, I was always very repentant.

Lena, on the other hand, does things I never would have even thought about doing — things discouraged by youth leaders everywhere. Lena was adopted into a Christian family when she was 7. Her parents divorced several years later and her dad remarried. She’s a survivor — independent and stubborn.

At first I thought Lena just needed to grow in her faith, so we did a Bible study on the basics of the Christian life: reading the Bible, praying, witnessing. I soon realized it wasn’t that she was uneducated in the basics, she just didn’t want to do them.

Now we just talk about God. Lena asks me questions, and I answer them the best I can, using my pocket Bible when I get stuck.

Sometimes I get discouraged. I don’t know how I can help someone so different from me. How can I be relevant to her life when I never experienced what she’s going through?

Satan wants me to feel inadequate and give up.

God wants me to feel inadequate and run to Him for power. When I do, I think He smiles, rolls up his sleeves and goes straight to work. Who’s to say that He didn’t choose me, in my relative wholeness, to model for Lena a life she’s never known but desperately wants — a life only found in Jesus Christ.

This is an exerpt from "Daring Discipleship." Read the rest at Boundless.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ben's Grumpy Face

All of Ben's faces are cute...but I especially like his "grumpy" face. I don't know why, but he looks most like Matt when he makes this face. Hmm....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations

On Saturday, eight of us read through these books, straight through, beginning to end.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about Bible marathons, a growing craze at Multnomah. Since then, I had wanted to try it out for myself, so a group of friends and I gave it a try.

We started at 8 a.m. with Isaiah. We experienced Isaiah's "Holy, Holy, Holy" moment, heard his prophecies concerning the Messiah and saw how hard-hearted God's people were despite His unfailing love for them. Convicting. Every couple hours, we took a break and spent a few minutes discussing the previous chapters. Some of our observations on Isaiah: God brings Salvation near, even when we don't deserve it; He is superior over nations and false gods; He never fails.

After a lunch of taco soup, we launched into Jeremiah. A massive hailstorm soon commenced. One marathoner commented, "This is OK, but if the frogs come, I'm out of here!" In Jeremiah, we witnessed God's faithfulness to an unfaithful people. They asked Jeremiah what the Lord said about something and when he told them, they accused him of lying! They only wanted to hear good news. Poor Jeremiah! He was thrown into a cistern, beaten, spit on, nearly murdered and went barefoot for three years! He was an emotional guy, too (known as the "weeping prophet"). At one point, he was so disgruntled with his position as prophet to a hardened people, that he severely cursed the man who brought his father the news of his birth! (What did that poor guy ever do to you?)

Lamentations contained poetic funeral dirges: a response to Jerusalem's fall and subsequent exile to Babylon, which we read about (in great detail) in Jeremiah. Just as we were feeling very depressed, we read these words in Lamentations 3:21-26.

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my porion; therefore I will wait for him.' The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him."

A great promise to end a day in God's Word.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Home, Sweet, Townhome!

I bought a townhouse in May. I love my new home! Unfortunately, when I took these photos, it was a stormy day. Take a look inside, and tell me what you think! I'm sure you'll want to come visit. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Me 'n' Ben

This was taken a week ago when I visited the Vancouver Hadleys. Doesn't Ben look so thrilled to be with me? I love my nephew!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Happy Horses

My improv group, the Stick Horses in Pants, just hangin' out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Jiffy Lube That Treated Me Like A Queen

Please excuse the very long title.

Today I went to Jiffy Lube. The oil men (and women) there are always very polite, and today was no exception. After I had been waiting only 10 minutes, a boy with beautiful eyes called me to the register. After helping me locate my Jiffy Lube discount card from the slough of cards I produced from my wallet, Justin explained their "topping off" policy. The policy allows you to bring your car in anytime before your next oil change to get its fluids topped off (duh).

I've known about this policy for sometime, but nothing ever runs out. So I asked Justin, avoiding looking too deeply into his eyes, if people sometimes brought their vehicles in to get them "topped off" before fluids ran out. By this time I feared that it might seem like I was flirting, so I tried to not seem overly interested in his explanation...or his eyes. He encouraged me to bring in my car (it would only take one minute) to experience the joys of fluid topping for myself. I thanked him kindly and told him I would.

I walked out to my car, thinking how nice, and attractive, Jiffy Lube employees are. But when I opened my car door, alas, an oil rag had been left on my seat! I asked the nearest oil man if he wanted it back. He smiled, took the rag and said, "Let me get that door for you."

I went to Jiffy Lube a common girl, seeking an oil change; I left a queen. Service and a smile.

[Disclaimer: The Jiffy Lube employee pictured is an illustration; he is not actually Justin.]

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Benny Boo, Boo, Boo!

This picture was on Anna's blog, and I love it. More coming soon.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hug a Logger

I just returned from a wonderfully refreshing time in Aberdeen, Washington (more details and pictures to come). On the drive up from Portland, I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Hug a logger; you'll never go back to trees." I found it entertaining. I wanted to honk at the bandana-wearing, Willie Nelson lookalike, but I was in the back seat. The sticker makes a good point: people are more important that trees...and more fun to hug, too.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I Am Not Skilled To Understand

I am not skilled to understand
What God hath willed, what God hath planned;
I only know that at His right hand
Is One Who is my Savior!

I take Him at His word indeed;
“Christ died for sinners”—this I read;
For in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior!

That He should leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die,
You count it strange? So once did I,
Before I knew my Savior!

And oh, that He fulfilled may see
The travail of His soul in me,
And with His work contented be,
As I with my dear Savior!

Yea, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this Spring;
That He Who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior!

— Dora Greenwell, 1873

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oh, the Insanity - Part 2

I ran my 10K on Saturday.

Last year I finished in 60:31. This year I finished in 1:04:38.

I love the atmosphere at a race. Hundreds of runners swarming around — pinning on numbers, warming up, waiting in lines for the porta-potties. It's fabulous. I ran the race with my friend Jen. We started out running together, but about half a mile into the race Jen pulled ahead and disappeared in a sea of runners. She told me later she didn't even realize I wasn't with her for another quarter mile. I settled into a good pace and quickly passed mile markers one and two.

That's when it happened. "Hhhaaa-hhhaaa, Hhhaaa-hhhaa." It sounded like Darth Vader was behind me. The owner of the strange breathing technique tailed me for a couple minutes, making me increasingly nervous. Finally I slowed to let her pass. Bad idea. As I slowed, I became more aware of the burn in my legs, the blister forming on my right foot and the uncomfortable feeling in my side. Suddenly each little obstacle discouraged me. A slight hill, the intensity of the sun, running on gravel — every hinderance made me conclude I couldn't keep running.

Between miles 3 and 5, I stopped to walk four times. At first I was miffed by my lack of endurance and determination. As Nike slogans danced through my head, I reworded them: "Just DON'T do it" and "Defeat is ALWAYS an option." I suffered the humiliation of old ladies and 12-year-olds passing me. Then I remembered the saying, "To thine ownself be true." Being true to myself was admitting that I'm not a top-notch runner. Being true to myself was being willing to walk (and enjoying it) when I couldn't run. Being true to myself was feeling satisfaction not for setting a new record but for finishing the race.

At mile five I determined to run the remaining 1.2 miles without stopping to walk. As I ran into the park where the race would finish, I saw a fox leaping through a grassy area. "Good thing we're back here," a woman said cheerfully. "Or we would have missed that." A flow of runners were now passing us coming from the other direction and they cheered us on. "You're almost there!" "Quarter of a mile!" "Looking good." I smiled, remembering why I like races.

As I entered the home stretch, my friend Holly was waiting (she'd finished in 44:44). "Way to go, Suz!" she yelled. The encouragement gave me a surge of energy. I rounded the final turn at a dead run, and finished just 4:08 off last year's time. Jen was waiting on the other side.

"That was fun," she said.

I smiled. "Yeah, we should do it again next year."