Wednesday, August 29, 2007

4!

No, the title of this post does not mean I'm excited about the number 4; I'm actually more excited about the number "four factorial," or 4 times 3 times 2 times 1 - written 4! in mathematical shorthand. 4! is 24, and there are only 24 more days left until September 22nd :-). In some ways that seems still a loooonnnngggg way away, but mostly now it is seeming really close! That's only a little more than 3 weeks. Wow!

So, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, contrary to popular opinion. And actually, my wedding planning workload severely decreased about 2 weeks ago (finally!), so I'm finally not living and breathing wedding details (until week after next, when last minute details will consume my time until the wedding). But I've also been babysitting a good deal, some days up to 10 hours, so I've still not found a whole lot of blogging time.

I actually think that I will be able to blog more once the wedding is past. Not having a long-distance relationship with Adrian (partly through e-mail and chat) will help me focus my online time more. We'll see, but I'm hopeful! Adrian and I will probably merge our blogs after we're married, but I'll make sure to announce that if/when it happens. We'll probably just use his blog, for ease of transfer, rather than establish a whole new blog. I may have to make his blog a bit more feminine, when he's away at work ;-). Do you think he'd notice if I changed the background to pink?

Update on books: I now only have about 5 books in my possession! *cries* All the other ones I kept out in July went up to Blacksburg a few weeks ago. I couldn't part with Jane Austen, so she stayed, as did my Bible and a few other books I hope to read in the coming weeks.

My dress is done!!! Wow, it's been a while since I updated on wedding plans, because my dress has been done for a while. Jessie came for 2 days in early July, and we had a fantastic time sewing and getting almost everything done in that time! Jessie is a wonderfully fast sewer, which helps :-). And she's great company! Oh, and we figured out that blood smears come out of my dress fabric better than. . . other things. (inside joke) I also made my veil a few weeks later. And my garter. And Jessie made the ringbearer's pillow and flower girl basket while she was here! Very cute. I'd post pictures, but the pillow uses my dress fabric ;-).

My parents and I had a good time in Blacksburg in July, carting up most of my belongings in a U-haul. We arrived to an apartment that was still in need of unpacking and organization, so we spent our 5-day visit mostly sorting through stuff and organizing. The apartment still needs a lot of help (tons of stuff not unpacked!), but at least one can navigate through the rooms now. I'll roll up my sleeves and dive in after the wedding :-). I can't wait to get the apartment organized and sew some curtains and such!

Hannah and I just visited Adrian again a few weekends ago and had a good time. Adrian's church gave us an engagement party, which was fun. Then Hannah gave me a bridal shower last weekend with women from our church. Fun, fun!

Things are coming together. I do feel like my life is sort of in limbo right now, though! A good kind of limbo, though. Hopefully when we're married and more settled, I'll be able to write more posts of substance. Until then, life updates are going to have to be the main event ;-).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tim Keller, on marriage

My pastor has given Adrian and me nine sermons on marriage to listen to; it's a series by Tim Keller, PCA pastor from New York City. We've been trying to listen to one or two a week, and then discuss them over the phone. I highly recommend them, and I think I speak for Adrian too when I say that :-).

Tim Keller defines deep marriage oneness as coming from the process of two people journeying to a common horizon. For the Christian, this common horizon is heaven, and the journey together sanctifies. The whole series just oozes grace, but I especially like what Keller has to say about the sanctifying effects of marriage. He talks about how focusing on this common horizon and on sanctification can give a married person a vision of what God wants his spouse to become, and what they will be someday without the shackles of sin. And we should want others to catch that same glimpse of the beauty of this person.

Keller talks about the "glory self" and the "dross" in a person. The glory self is the person deep inside, the potential that God will bring to fruition in glorification. We get glimpses of this glory self in others sometimes, just as we get glimpses of a covered mountain when a wind blows away the clouds of fog for a brief moment. The dross in a person is the sin, the filth that God will slowly burn away through trials - and one of the ways He purifies people in this is by marriage. Marriage is a very sanctifying experience.

Now comes the part of one of his sermons that particularly struck both Adrian and me. Keller is speaking about dross and says that a non-Christian (or any spouse that is not Christ-centered, since Christians are not immune to self-centeredness) will look at the dross, the filth in his spouse and become disillusioned and discontented by his spouse, and say "I can envision someone better." This is why marriages end; one spouse wants to seek for someone who is better.

A Christian should look at his spouse, and not ignore the dross blindly. And he should say, like the non-Christian, "I can envision someone better." But the Christian should be envisioning his spouse as that "better" person, purified and sanctified; he should want the perfection that his spouse will become - the glory self that has been glimpsed - not chase after someone else's perfection. And he has the privilege of helping his spouse grow into that person. Wow. That is the promise, the beauty of the Gospel.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Sister is Awesome :-)

Hannah has been up in Quebec for 6 weeks (getting back in 3 days) studying at a university there. Glad it's her and not me. French is a beautiful language, but I cannot speak it, and my reading comprehension of it is limited. Anyway, so my mom just e-mailed Hannah asking her how her money was holding out for the trip, and this was her response (shared with Hannah's permission):

Hehe... funny you should ask about the money. First of all, let`s start of by saying that Dr. Chesnut suggested that we bring about $300 for spending money. At a recent meeting of our group to get stuff straight about the flight home and everything, he asked how that was doing for everyone. Every other person said that they had needed way more than that... about $700. You wanna know how much poorer I am after this trip (okay, so not including the actual price of the trip!) - including having to buy a couple textbooks, going on a $25 shopping spree to a Goodwill-type store near here, buying some bus tickets, eating out a few times, buying a lock for a locker, paying $10 every week to be able to take my lunches to school with me, various other small expenses, etc? I changed $20 of American money into Canadian money when we first crossed over and I haven`t needed any more since. As a matter of fact, I was able to give about $200 of `leftover´ money to the churches here who have blessed me so much. How, you might ask, if I only changed $20 at the beginning of the trip? Well, for our lunches, Dr. Chesnut gave us $45/week to buy them. The first week I bought lunches, but then I realized that if I made my lunches like I do at home, I could save money there. Mme Robillard provided me with bread and carrots and fruit and such to made lunches and I paid her $10/week. Also, there were a few times I didn`t end up eating supper with my family because I was invited elsewhere at church or they were out of town or something, and most of those times Mme Robillard gave me $10 per meal when that happened since she didn`t have to prepare it. Plus Dr. Chesnut gave each student $45 to buy the bus pass for the month of August here, but thankfully I didn`t need the bus pass since I walk to school, so I just used some of that money to buy a few one-time bus tickets that I`ve needed and pocketed the rest. Ah, how I love saving money! Yes, yes, I know... all in all we spent a lot of money for this trip. Just burst my bubble.
And you probably didn`t want to know all those little details, but there you have them anyway. :-) So, yeah, my money is holding out just fine.


People think I'm careful with money, until they meet my sister :-). The funny thing is, she's been plenty social while she's been there too. It's not like she's been hiding in a closet. It just goes to show that you can have fun, with people, and do it cheaply :-D.