Suzanne's Second Estate

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Surprises: Gotta Love 'Em!

This weekend I pulled a big surprise.

For the past four years, I have spent Thanksgiving in Colorado. This year I got a free ticket while traveling and decided to use it to go home for Thanksgiving. When I told my sister Sarah my plan, she suggested we keep it a surprise from the rest of the family. Doing this required some creative wording in certain conversations. For example, this conversation took place over the phone two days before the holiday:

Dad: So you're spending Thanksgiving with the grandfolks?

Suz: Aunt Rhonda and Uncle John are cooking the Thanksgiving meal this year (true!). Aunt Rhonda called me yesterday and invited me (true!). I was really happy to be invited! (true! true!)

Misleading? A little. A lie? No! I used similar wording to throw off my brother when he text messaged me on Thanksgiving Day.

Matt: Enjoying that Broncos game? (My grandfather is a die-hard fan.)

Suz: Yeah. (The game was on! I just wasn't in Colorado.)

Matt: I'm sure Grandpa is.

Suz: Yep.

Although it was super fun to surprise my parents and sister Bekah, surprising Matt was the best. When he and Anna arrived on Friday, I hid in my parents' room. As greetings were taking place Matt lifted Ben up over his head and I scooted in under Matt's arm so my face was right next to his. When he looked down, he jumped. "Whoa! What are you doing here?" Then his next words, said with a smile: "You lied to me!"

No, Matt, it's called creative writing.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Dreams are fascinating things.

Wednesday night at my improv group's farewell to Anthony (my skydiving buddy), Anthony mentioned the deep theological discussions we had had when he first joined the group. I told him that after our first theological discussion, in which he voiced some doubts about Christianity, I had a dream he was leaving the faith and that I was trying to convince him not to. Like those dreams in college where you're writing a paper, I argued the merits of Christianity, in my mind, all night. Last night we laughed about it, but at the time, my subconscious was so worried (not knowing Anthony that well) that I processed it in a dream.

Another strange kind of dream I've had is the premonition dream. In college I had a long-distance break-up, and the guy completely dropped communication which was very hurtful. Three months after losing contact, I had pretty much moved on. Then at the six-month mark, I had a random dream. In the dream my ex called me and said he needed to ask for my forgiveness. Then, in the dream, there was a knock on the door and he stood there and repeated exactly what he had said on the phone. The next morning I told a friend about the strange dream. I hadn't even been thinking about this guy. I speculated that perhaps the dream demonstrated I had reached some kind of closure. After talking to my friend, I went to the computer lab. I was astonished to receive an e-mail from the guy with the statement, word for word, he had used in my dream (which I had repeated to my friend). Because of the dream, I was more than ready to forgive.

Then there's the humorous/troubling sort of dream. A few weeks before my brother's wedding, I dreamed that all my siblings were out visiting me and I had driven them to the top of Pike's Peak. As we're driving along the top in excellent spirits, my car suddenly slides off the road and over a cliff. As we begin to drop, my brother, a virgin on his wedding day, turns to me and says dryly, "Thanks a lot."

Speaking of marriages, I've had several marriage dreams (and this may be a girl thing), none of them good. In one, I was marrying an acquaintance and was shocked because though I was in my wedding dress on the day of, I could not recall him proposing or me accepting. I expressed my concern (panic) to my mother, who said, "Well, it's too late now!" (Thanks for the support, Mom.) And when one of the bridesmaids caught wind of my hesitation, she quickly piped up that she'd marry him instead.

Reminder dreams are another fun variety. For me, they are when I dream about a person I haven't seen in a long time. This happened recently when I dreamed of a girl I knew in high school but had lost touch with in college. I wrote her parents a letter and got her contact info. Turns out she's now an airplane mechanic, so she flew to Denver and we spent a fun-filled night on the town.

Yes, dreams are funny things. I wonder why God created them. Apart from the extremely strange or silly ones, which could be the result of Mexican food too close to bedtime, I think dreams help us process life, discover deeper feelings, prepare to make decisions and give us something to savor and smile about. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I think one of the saddest feelings in the world is driving away from an airport after dropping off someone — or someones — you love. No matter how much fun you had while you were together, there's always sadness at the parting. I dropped Matt, Anna and Ben off at the airport yesterday after a wonderful five-day visit.

It was a true joy to give my brother and his family a peek into my life in Colorado. Friday night my house was full of friends who came to meet Ben (and Matt and Anna). Saturday the fam visited my church where my drama team performed readers' theater. Sunday we trekked up to Parker where my grandparents and uncle met their great-grandson/nephew for the first time. And some of the best moments were just the quiet ones at home — watching movies, laughing, eating, talking.

I'm thankful God gives us families. These people know how to encourage us, challenge us, make us laugh. By bearing witness to our lives, they are evidence of God's work in us. Perhaps that's why it's so hard to say goodbye. Why — as you drive away from those you love — you feel so keenly you're leaving a part of yourself behind.

How glorious the day will be when we are reunited for all eternity.

For more pictures of Matt, Anna and Ben's visit, check out my photo blog.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Reflected Glory

On Wednesday night I picked up my brother, Matt, sister-in-law, Anna, and 4-month-old nephew, Ben at the Denver airport. I can’t believe how much Ben has grown since August! His head is huge. "I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik!” (Anyone know the quote?) But he is undeniably adorable.

Ben is content in new situations and around new people, which has allowed us to explore what Colorado Springs has to offer unhindered. And not to brag, but Ben LOVES his Aunty Suz. :) I look at him, and he gives me his old man grin — where he curves his top lip like an old man whose dentures are out and grins at the same time. It’s so cute! I hope to capture this expression on film for your enjoyment.

Yesterday the kids in my Good News Club got to meet Matt, Anna and Ben. The kids told me I should get points for bringing three friends to Club. Matt taught the memory verse, and one of my two boys asked hopefully, “Are you going to teach the whole club?” It was a treat for them to have a guy to interact with. (And great intro, Matt! ;)

This weekend we plan to see the sights and visit our grandparents up in Parker. Ben is their first great-grandchild, so they're looking forward to meeting him. I’m drinking a lot of coffee these days and a bit jealous that after staying up until midnight, Matt and Anna get to sleep in while I go to work. But sleep-deprivation is well worth the laughs and good conversations we've had ("Track, track!").

Later today Matt, Anna and Ben will visit Focus to see my office and meet my co-workers. I'm looking forward to showing off my nephew. One thing I’ve observed: you get a lot of reflected glory when you carry around a cute baby. :)

Monday, November 07, 2005


On Saturday I had an extravaganza. My friend Terah is a kindred spirit. It doesn't matter if we haven't seen each other for a year; our conversation flows just as though no time has passed. Terah was one of my first friends in Colorado Springs, and for two years (until she moved to Indiana), we developed a series of wonderful traditions: running (the picture is from my first 5K three years ago), ER on Thursday nights, shopping in Denver, breakfast at Cracker Barrel, chick flicks. At times these activities would be concentrated to a single day or weekend, and we began calling them "Terah Suz Extravaganzas."

Terah was in town this weekend, and Saturday we had an extravaganza — a daylong celebration of our friendship. We ate, we shopped, we talked, we laughed, we sang, we cried. I couldn't have asked for a better day. I felt refreshed and encouraged by soaking up the presence of a good friend. I think all friends should have extravaganzas! Friendship is worth celebrating.

Friday, November 04, 2005


I’ve been really tired this week. It’s mainly my own fault for burning the candle at both ends. But sometimes when I’m tired, I feel whiny and complainy and restless. I feel like my life isn’t exactly how I'd like it to be.

Yesterday at Good News Club I taught a lesson about Moses. We were in the part of the story where he was leaving the Midian desert and heading back to Egypt to free his people. Moses was a hesitant servant. From the start he was dragging his feet and making excuses. But finally after God pretty much blasts him with the “I AM GOD” speech, Moses reluctantly goes.

When Moses gets to Egypt, he does a few miracles, which get his own people on his side. Then he goes before Pharaoh. But instead of Pharaoh going along with “the plan” and letting the people go, he makes them work harder. He takes away their straw but demands they make the same amount of bricks.

You can imagine how popular this made Moses with his people. You can almost hear them: “Thanks a lot, Moses. Deliver us? Yeah, right. Why don’t you go back to the desert where you came from? We don’t want your 'savior complex' around here.”


Then Moses loses it. He says, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

You can read God’s response in Exodus 6, but basically He once again reminds Moses that He is God and has not forgotten his people. I encouraged the kids to trust God even when they don’t understand what He is doing.

Mackenzie raised her hand. “A boy in my class died on Monday," she said. I had heard that a third grade boy died after experiencing an allergic reaction to something he ate at the school Halloween party. When the kids quieted down, I told them that this was exactly the kind of situation that is hard to understand but God asks us to trust Him anyway. They wanted to pray about it, so we did. I was humbled — my petty grievances paled in comparison.

After Club I thought about this issue of trust. God easily could have made Pharoah say yes the first time Moses asked. But God wanted to challenge Moses and the people to really trust Him. He wanted to do things in a way that would leave no doubt of WHO got them out of Egypt. Sometimes I get down because it seems God’s timing is off or He’s putting a roadblock in the way of my plans, but this story forced me to consider that He may hold off on blessing my life or “delivering” me because He’s waiting for full trust and obedience. And, in truth, when I focus on trusting Him, the whiny, complainy, restless moments decrease.

It’s all about a proper perspective.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Look

New on Boundless: My Ugly Blind Spot. This one goes out to all my friends and family members who have ever experienced "the look." Thanks for loving me anyway!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Little Slugger

Ben suited up for the Candy Corn Carnival last night. Play Ball!