Suzanne's Second Estate

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Already Not Yet

A friend once told me he wasn't convinced of Christianity because he didn't see a very high success rate of victory in Christlike living. This statement bothered me. Why aren't Christians experiencing more "success" in doing the things God calls them to do? Part of the answer lies in the biblical concept of "Already Not Yet."

Josh preached a great sermon on the topic several months ago and gave me permission to swipe some (all) of his ideas for this article. (Thanks, Josh!)
After the words were out, I regretted them.

She had challenged me. My irritation had flared. And instead of choosing the path of love, I had put her in her place. It didn't feel as good as I thought it would. In fact, it felt horrible.

After the incident, I was ashamed. I wondered how I — someone who claims to desire to be like Christ — could react in such an ugly, selfish way. There was precedent, of course. This wasn't the first time I'd acted in a way that didn't exactly reflect the renewed mind.

Read more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So About My Cat...

Tomorrow I'm teaching a class on blogging.

As I was doing research, I discovered a tip for driving traffic to your blog.

"Never blog about your boyfriend, your children or your cat."

Oops. Too late.

But while we're on the topic of my cat...last week I was preparing for my trip, and I piled my bags—book bag, computer bag, tote bag—on one side of my bedroom. This created kind of a cat fort, which Mia took full advantage of. The funny part was, she would stay completely motionless in this position. I think she believed I couldn't see her.

Well, there you go...I can feel the blog traffic decreasing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Sights

As I've mentioned, my parents recently moved from Aberdeen, Wash. to Olympia. Olympia isn't foreign territory. It's the city where I went to the orthodontist and watched first-run movies. It was the nearest town with a decent mall (sorry, Aberdeen). And I've met Seattle friends here on occasion as a halfway point.

But here I am finishing up some preparation for the Oregon Christian Writers Conference. I'm sitting inside a Starbucks in downtown Olympia and thoroughly enjoying watching the Washingtonians walk by. Northwesterners have a distinctive style that varies a bit between the larger cities—Portland, Seattle and Olympia. In general, jackets, sweaters and sandals for the summer. Earth tones. Stocking caps. Messenger bags. They really love messenger bags.

Anyway, it's weird to come "home" to a new city. New house. New sights. New views. Olympia is nice, though.

Free Lunch

I told my coworker Jamie I'd post this picture. Wednesday was our company picnic. It was held at a Sky Sox baseball game and included a free lunch of a hotdog, bag of chips and soft drink. After returning to our seats with our lunches, Jamie opened hers up first.

"I got gypped!" she said. (It just hit me for the first time what the origin of that statement is.)

She only had about half of a hotdog in her bun. We laughed about it, and then I opened mine. Same thing! I briefly wondered if my company was trying to save money on the free lunches. We walked up toward the snack bar and showed a few of our friends.

Their consensus: "Take them back."

So we did. And I'm happy to say we both were given full-sized hotdogs. We checked them before we left the stand.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Lovin'

Because I've been slacking on blogging, and because summer is a great time for thinking about romance, I present a collection of relationship articles. I've written quite a few; these are my favorites and the ones that have received the most response.

"Not Your Buddy"
Close male-female friendships can be fun and engaging, but are women putting their emotions at risk?

Update: I received a flood of emails from guys saying that they have experienced the opposite—where a female friend has led them on. I guess it goes both ways.

"Confessions of a Relationship Consultant"
My experiences as a DTR consultant have taught me that the first relationship conversation can be more than an exercise — it can be the start of true love.

Note: Artist Mike Heath said he tried to pick a girl for the photo that looked a little like me. I was flattered.

"The Object of my Affection"
I know the One who should captivate my heart. Why then, am I so easily distracted?

Note: Turns out this is a very popular title. Google it and see.

"My Single Identity Baggage"
On the journey to finding a mate, it's best to travel light.

Note: Or more properly subtitled: "Is it just me or is this dating stuff getting harder?"

"Marry Her? But What About that Girl Over There?"
The Last Kiss portrays an anemic, yet all-too-common, view of marriage that needs to go.

Note: Love the article...the title, not so much.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jared and Suz on the Women's 5K

I was considering running the Women's Distance Festival 5K this Saturday but decided against it. The discussion that follows explains why.

Me (to Jared): I was just checking out the Web site for the women’s race you suggested. No bitterness here at all:
“The swifter women runners have an opportunity to actually lead a race, instead of chasing some guy with hairy legs. And the middle and back of the pack women runners don't have to be bothered with all the hustle and bustle and elbowing of a guy trying to make a big pass.”

You evil, evil man-person.

Jared (to me): Well, I at least thank you for still considering me a person. Instead of some evil, evil man-thing. Or evil, evil hairy leg monster. I do have quite a bit of hair, but there are some others out there that have me beat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Zippy and Dorf

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see Stick Horses Jeremy Badry and Lacey Maynard perform at the Colorado Renaissance Festival. They did a fantastic job putting on a two-man improv show as brother-sister duo "Zippy and Dorf." Improv is tricky with only two people, so I was impressed with how entertaining they were—all with Old English accents.

If you haven't been to the Renaissance Festival, you should check it out. Other highlights were the jousting competitions, the knife throw and Captain Jack Sparrow and his singing band of pirates. Plus, I got a lovely flower wreath, which I plan to donate to the Stick Horse prop box. Fare thee well!

[Photos by Alicia Shober]

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Failure to Accumulate

Adam makes me wish I read more.

[Extra credit if you know the source of the quote.]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

1. Elisa bursting into dance.

2. Sarah.

3. The Daily Durias.

4. Sonic peanut butter fudge shakes.

5. Orange Ginger Shampoo [Bath and Body Works].

6. Hugs.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Shuffle on Down the Road

This post will serve two purposes:

First, I need to praise again the benefits of Jared's training program. I am up to 8 miles on my long runs, 4 miles on my tempo runs (10-minute miles) and 2.5 on my sprints. I'm finding that my runs are getting easier all the time. August 9 is the date of my half-marathon, and I will be ready.

Second, I finally gave in and bought my first iPod. I've been using an older model that a friend gave me, but it's very clunky for running (and its tendency to tug on my waistband has nearly caused a wardrobe malfunction on several occasions). Because I'm looking for an exercise iPod, I went for the shuffle (which you can get at a 48 percent discount on I can't wait for it to arrive.

I am not a runner. Really. (Read my sweet sentiments on running here!) That's why I'm so thankful for Jared's help. All that to say: If I can run, anyone can!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


An engagement picture of Bekah and Ezra.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Mia's getting prepared for the Olympic trials.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hollywood Called

They want their accessories back.

Becky posted this first. She also thought to tuck in her price tag. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Farewell to the Childhood Phone Number

When I was about 13, my family moved to Aberdeen, Washington. My younger siblings were 11, 8 and 4. As a way to help us remember our new phone number, my mom taught us this jingle: "5-3-3-5-8-4-2. Wahoo! 5-8-4-2!" It worked. I can hardly think of that number apart from the jingle. But times change.

This past weekend my parents moved to Olympia. And with their move came the end of an era. Last four digits of the new number? 9-1-7-7. Dad says, "A piece of heaven, 9177."