Remembering You
Steven Curtis Chapman


Patience & Pictures
March 29, 2008

Life really is about waiting, isn't it? And yet, when we focus on waiting, we never actually live, do we? It's like we're waiting to live. That's really something iNtuitives especially have to work on, cause we're always either thinking about the past or the future (right Nate, Jon C., Khendra, Josef, and countless others?). Unfortunately, I don't have any more dozing pictures, as we got 7 inches of rain last week (yes, 7). Over a week later I talked to Gabe and he goes, "Yep, it looks dry on the top, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. Underneath is another story. If I were to doze now it would take twice as long and cost you guys twice as much money." I actually wouldn't believe him if it wasn't for the fact that he's left his dozer on the property, so he's not off doing other work. In fact, we're the only work he has right now, and he wants to be out there as much as he can. So anyway, point is, I've been too anxious lately, waiting and waiting and overly focusing on waiting. Gotta live, Jordan! Spring is here, you're young, healthy, and engaged. Stop and smell the roses. So very much to be thankful for. Thank you, Lord.

Read a passage from Streams in the Desert recently that really spoke to me during this time ... how I think what's best vs. what God knows is best.

Many years ago there was a monk who needed olive oil, so he planted an olive tree sapling. After he finished planting it, he prayed, "Lord, my tree needs rain so its tender roots may drink and grow. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers. Then the monk prayed, "Lord, my tree needs sun. Please send it sun." And the sun shone, gilding the once-dripping clouds. "Now sent frost, dear Lord, to strengthen its branches," cried the monk. And soon the little tree was covered in sparkling frost, but by evening it had died.

Then the monk sought out a brother monk in his cell and told him of his strange experience. After hearing the story, the other monk said, "I also have planted a little tree. See how it is thriving! But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better than a man like me what it needs. I gave God no constraints or conditions, except to pray, 'Lord, sent what it needs - whether that be storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. You made it, and you know best what it needs.'"

Yes, leave it with Him,
The lilies all do,
And they grow -
They grow in the rain,
And they grow in the dew -
Yes, the grow:
They grow in the darkness, all hid in the night -
They grow in the sunshine, revealed by the light -
Still they grow.
Yes, leave it with Him,
It's more dear to His heart,
You will know,
Than the lilies that bloom,
Or the flowers that start
'Neath the snow:
Whatever you need, if you seek it in prayer,
You can leave it with Him - for you are His care.
You, you know.

Amen and amen.

In case you haven't counted down the days yet, our wedding will be on July 4th. Are we crazy? Yes, we are, but man am I never gonna forget my anniversary! Every time I look in the sky to see those fireworks I'll be wonderfully reminded. Course, that'll be pretty sad if it takes fireworks to remind me of my anniversary. Nope, that just ain't gonna happen (unless I get alzheimer's).

Ok I think that's it for now. Not an incredible post, but a little more interesting than last week. So glad you could make it. Have a seat, grab a kambucha, and enjoy.

This is Highway 60, the main drive that connects us with Springfield. Mind you also, this is like 4 days after the 7 inches of rain we had. Incredible, huh? Missouri was the hardest hit state in the midwest.

Jeremy and I dine at Momma Jeans. He looks exactly like he does on his drivers licence.

Those with weak stomachs please continue on. It's just kimchi with noodles. Ever had kimchi? Fermented vegetables? I actually didn't like it until about 8 months ago. It's a good thing too, cause my soul mate is a big fan. Seriously, kimchi breath could single handedly destroy a marriage.

Man, I saw this nice, wooden dining room table at a thrift store for $400, plus everything was 30% off that day (making it around $280). We had to go before I could make a decision, and then a few days later I found out that someone had bought it. GRRRRR.

At the Schraders home to visit dear Ann. That's Ann-Janel on the left there (Ann's daughter - ESTJ), John Mark (ISTJ), and his wife Vanessa (ISFP). Hadn't seen them for awhile, so it was a really special time (Ann-Janel's husband is a missionary in Brazil). I used to play ball with John Mark at the YMCA back when we first moved to Missouri.

Ann surrounded by Jen Schrader and my mother. We talked and prayed and cried together. She leaves for Rome on Monday to see a special doctor. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers. This really is their last hope on the horizon, and it pains me so much to say that. Oh, the comfort of serving a sovereign God! With Him there is always hope, whether it be to remain on this earth or leave it to forever be with Him.

Jen and Vanessa. Although I don't get to see her now as often, Jen has always been a second sister to me. We have that special introverted feeling connection. :-)

Marcus battles his son Andrew. Grief, take it easy.

Nathaniel, Ann-Janel's little boy.

Jenna, Marcus and Jen's oldest daughter (ENFJ).

Playing with the kiddies ... Funny how you can be in the middle of an intense game of tag when a 9 year old calls time out to ask you a question about your film career. Yep, nothing like the life of a star. And that little Lily in the beginning ... she is honestly one of the cutest little girls I have EVER seen!

Jer Dog and Jon, Marcus' older brother. They go WAY back. I hadn't seen Jon since before we moved to Missouri. He now lives in New York.

Yes, and the two big studs who go even further back. Always good to see you, Marky. Thanks for the marriage counseling. :-)

Oh my goodness ... oh man ... this stuff is so good. Ate just about the whole thing on the way home from Springfield. Funny thing is, a year ago I would have hurled this stuff back up had I taken a single bite. Serious, in just this past year I've come to like kimchi, coffee ice cream, and kambuchas. Now I've just gotta force myself to like tomatoes, cucumbers, and ... umm ... escargot.

"If we build it, she will come." Here's pop and I measuring the final creek before our field. Man, it was like 21 feet long. As of now we'll be building a rather larger bridge with two 4-foot wide culverts and concrete surroundings. Kinda tough on the pocket-book, but seemingly the only thing that'll work. Thanks, dad!

If only the world had more INFPs. ;-) Here mom and I are at Harlin House again (the building farther back). I have to make a confession ... I ordered a Butterfinger Cheesecake. Oh man, it was SOOO good! Anyway, lol, I was trying to pull mom over to get more into the picture, when we both literally almost fell down that slope. Actually, that would have really increased hits. Stink.

The real reason I go to the Harlin House is just to use their swank bathroom. Grief, Jordan, is nothing sacred? When it comes to my blog, no, to be honest.

Same lighting, but different time and place. The other week I was leaning over to turn off my fish light when I hit my head against my keyboard stand. HURT SO BAD. And look, right on the edge of my eye cavity. I felt just above my eyebrow and brought my hand down to see it literally covered in blood. So you took a picture? Yes. You're looking at the picture, aren't you? You're reading this, aren't you? Mission accomplished. In fact, you're still reading this, aren't you? You can't even stop, can you? As long as I keep typing you'll just keep reading. I have you totally in my control. There's nothing you can possibly do to stop reading everything I want you to ...

Ok I gotta go. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!


Spring Has Sprung
March 22, 2008

Another week has passed ... another 7 days that cannot be reclaimed. How was yours? Truly hope it was worthwhile. I have two people I'd really appreciate you praying for. The first, Ann Schrader, who has breast cancer, as I've shared before. She'll be going to Rome in a couple weeks to visit a special doctor who believes he can heal her. I saw Ann just the other week, and will see her again tomorrow, and although her strength is failing, her spirit is as alive as ever. She is such an incredible woman. The second person I'd appreciate prayer for is Tangerine's father, who also was recently diagnosed with cancer. The link to her blog is on my list. I've only met him once, but it was long enough to know what an incredibly kind and respectable man he really is. Anyway, thanks so much.

Ok, this blog entry is kinda boring, but it beats a sharp stick in the eye ... or stepping on bees. So, at this point, the choice is yours either to leave or continue on. You leave and I'll kill you. Enjoy!

Spring is here! Well, almost. The land is turning green, and oh how I doth love green. We'll still have freezes all the way till April, but the tide of weather has certainly turned for the better. March has been gorgeous so far, with temps averaging in the lower 60s.

Remember Candy? I love looking into the face of a donkey. They have such a sober, intelligent look in their eyes. I'm reminded of Balaam and, of course, Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself by becoming a man and, yes, riding one of these stubborn animals.

Guess what? We got 7 INCHES of rain in ONE day. Yes, ONE DAY. Jeremy's pond certainly filled up nicely. Course, it delayed any dozing work for about a week, but fortunately Gabe will be back Monday to finish the madness.

His work held up! Right here is where a low-level bridge will be built, and up there is the field.

This was taken on the infamous rainy day. I came out to walk with mom, when she handed me an umbrella. She looked at me and goes, "Boy, with those matching clothes and umbrella you look like one of those guys in a 'Lands End' magazine." I was like, "Really?" So I immediately sent this picture to their advertising department. I haven't heard back from them yet. They aren't returning my calls either.

Can't go a week without KK.

Gabe fortunately did get one day of work in before the rain, and finished half our driveway. Check it out! Where? On the left there. That'll wrap around the house when it's complete (which will be just to the right). Isn't that pretty cool? I think it'll be really picturesque a year or so after we've moved in and are able to do some nice landscaping (you know, with a cascading fountain, 20-foot bust statue of myself, etc).

From atop the half-done driveway, looking towards the field.

One more look. The house will be to the right, facing the open field.

The Jeremy/Danni estate is looking pretty quaint as of late.

Oh have mercy! The lower field has become inundated with cacti. I started digging and was like, "This is ludicrous." So I stopped and drove up to our field (where the house will be). Thankfully, I only found a few there to dig up. Gonna keep a CLOSE eye on it from now on. Years from now it'll be one of those things I'll pay my kids to do ... you know ... a quarter per cactus. Although with inflation, by then I'll probably be giving little Barney 50 bucks per cactus (you heard me right, Meliss. Barney).

The very definition of evil. Oh I hate this stuff. I know that's a strong word, but I don't care.

Wow, that's a great picture. Thanks. I call it, 'Boy in a field with a shovel looking for cactus to dig up.'

Ok, so Michael Thomas gave me the most awesome idea to get into Gabe's dozer while he's gone and take funny pictures of myself driving it. Man, I was so excited ... until I finally got the opportunity and, climbing up, realized it was one of those fancy enclosed ones and, yeah, the door was locked. So instead I just took a dejected picture of myself sitting on the front. It was exactly like when a kid gets a new remote control car and then realizes it doesn't come with batteries. So depressing.

Happy Spring to everyone! Thanks for stopping by!


Of Birthdays & Dozing
March 13, 2008

Greetings, friends and loved ones (well, I do love my friends too ... you know what I mean). Has been a fun and full week, for sure. On the 8th I celebrated my 26th birthday. Getting pretty up there, huh? I know. No really, I know. You wanna know something kinda erie? My grandfather was 26 when he got married, and his wife, my grandmother, was 22. Jeremy was 26 when he got married, and Danielle was 22. I'll be 26 when I get married, and Melissa ... yeah, 22. Isn't that kinda cool?

This post has quite a few various pics, so just tag along and have fun. DOZING HAS BEGUN! Praise God, I'm so excited, and I've included a few pics (he started just yesterday).

BTW, the song playing is the one Chapman wrote for Narnia. Love the words ... especially, "but really it was you who found me" (dodges tomatoes from Armenian friends ;-). Anyway, just sitting outside today watching everything unfold (the dozing), feeling the sunshine, hearing the birds ... the words of this song just hit at my heart like never before. Being there, watching my future unfold before my very eyes, how could I not but be remembering Him and all that He's done? Praise Him.

All right, here we go.

Driving to Springfield to pick up mom. Springfield had 8 inches just the night before, but fortunately most had melted by the time I got there. Anyway, I picked her up, and afterwards ...

... I've had it with thrift stores.

For a nice little treat we went to Olive Garden using Nathan Daher's generous gift card. Thanks, man! I had the most tastiest pasta.

Whelp, Jeremy and Danielle redid their floor. This is before it was stained. Really nice yellow pine. The stain they chose, however, didn't end up looking the way they wanted. Doesn't look terrible ... if you're fond of puke yellow.

Jeremy's lookin' pretty hip with those funky knee-pads.

My birthday! Yay! (nobody cheers) Jer and Danni made an awesome breakfast, and then later made me my most favorite meal of all for dinner ... cajun chicken pasta. Ate it for the next 3 days. I've seriously gained like 7 pounds in 2 weeks.

So what did you do on your birthday? Not much. Just played with monkey head for awhile.

What is it with kids when they get in that ... like ... tackle, hang-all-over-you mode. I have to ask myself, "Do I really want one of these?" ;-) Oh contraire, my friends. Kalea is the most unbelievable blessing in the world. I just love her.

Later that night. Thanks so much for such wonderful meals, you guys! (btw, that's Lynn Hertado, who you may recognize from the pontoon pictures of last year.)

The next morning I took mom out to Rockbridge for breakfast. It's a really quaint place about 30 minutes from our house with a nice restaurant and trout fishing and cabins and stuff.

Umm ... me eating my breakfast. French toast with hash browns.

The nearby river was SOOO clear! Look at that. Like Hawaii.

"If Robin Were Alive Today"

And here goes the dozing! This is the road leading up to our house.

I just had a blast watching. Amazing what a dozer can do in so little time.

"Watching The Future Unfold"

Kalea & Dozing ...

This is where our house will be built. Every once in awhile I'll take shots from this exact standpoint to show the progress.

And thanks to Nathan Daher for making some of these pictures possible. Look at this cool thing he got me ... it holds your camera and has legs to wrap around anything, so you can take pictures basically anywhere. Genius.

Just saw this the other day and couldn't help taking an artistic picture.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by, and for your prayers, and may you all have a great week!