Tuesday, April 6, 2010

trying to keep the blog from dying

So I am beginning to feel that our blog has become a little bit lame. Mostly because it isn't updated very often so now that we are finally settled in somewhere for the forseeable future, we'll try to be better at it.

After a year of wandering and being dependent on the hospitality and grace of others (for which we are entirely grateful), we are finally home. We moved to Chicago three weeks ago and Dan started working at the ECC denominational offices in Church Growth and Evangelism (Congregational vitality to be more precise). He loves the work and is really enjoying the opportunity he has to assist churches and to be a resources to pastors. (I really am not very good at describing what exactly he does but suffice it to say, he is happy with this call). We found an apartment and have some great neighbors and love our new neighborhood. It still doesn't quite feel like this is for real or for the long term, but I think it will just take time. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

I'm working up in Gurnee for April and May but still on the hunt for real full time employment. This whole job search has been a source of discouragement and irritation for me throughout the past few years. Unfortunately, this discouragement doesn't generally translate to motivation for me but Dan has been great at encouraging me and providing that extra kick in the butt when I've needed it (though I haven't always wanted it).

After so long, I think we both finally feel at peace. At rest and contented with where we are. The last piece of the puzzle is that whole job thing but at least, I'm not totally unemployed. That helps. So life is pretty good right now.

And just for fun, here's a picture of us from Easter (yes, that is North Park in the background). We were invited to join the Cisneros family for their celebration and had a great time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I want answers!

I (annie) am a bibliophile. Reading is one of my favorite things to do and has been as far back as I can remember. I can lose myself in a good story, staying up way to late just to read one more chapter. But as much as I read, not everything deeply affects or changes me. There have certainly been a few times in my life where I have come to the end of a book and have had to pause just to say "wow, that was amazing." Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell), Roots (Alex Haley), East of Eden (John Steinbeck), Tess of the D'urbervilles (Thomas Hardy), and Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell) are a few such books I have encountered in my life. Books that have made me think, made me laugh, made me swoon. Books that have changed the way I view the world and which I either have already read more than once or plan to read again. Theology, however, is one area in which my reading has left me feeling a bit incomplete.

I recently finished reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Dan had been encouraging me to read it for quite awhile before I finally got around to picking it up and now, having finished it five months later I feel as though I am a better person for it. It is a very complex book that deals with some big ideas and issues, all revolving around the idea of heaven and the hope we as christians purport to hold. I do not feel equal to the task of writing a summary of the book so I am not going to do that but I will say that I feel like I got some answers. One of his main ideas is that every good thing we do here on earth helps to build the coming kingdom of God. It matters! And not just in a "do good because Christians are supposed to do good" kind of way. In a "I am a vital member of God's kingdom and the work I do here on earth is important" kind of way. I have struggled for years with not feeling like there were real, solid reasons behind the way I was supposed to live. This gives me hope. I feel like I am a part of something larger than myself and that gives me hope. It might sound kind of silly but it makes me feel more alive, more whole, more purposeful. And so I will keep on keeping on, now with something more solid to keep me motivated.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Ah, fall. A season of change and transition. More than summer or winter, fall (and spring) really have a transitory feel to them. The leaves change and eventually fall from the trees. The weather gets gradually colder (or as has been the case here in Chicago, just sort of goes up and down but mostly gets colder) and eventually the snow will start to fall, ushering in winter. And for us, it will bring other transitions. We have made the difficult decision to leave Chicago. We will be moving to Rockford (South Beloit, to be more exact) where we will stay with Dan's parents for the next month or so. This will be a time of gathering our wits, reorganizing our stuff, and saving money while continuing the job search/waiting process. We don't know exactly what will happen at the end of one or two months, but we are hoping for the best. As much as it will be hard for us to leave the city we love and people we love, we think this will be for the best. It has been very difficult to feel like our life is scattered all over the place with some stuff in one place, some in another, mail going to multiple addresses and all of this coupled with an uncertain future. Yesterday, a friend compared this move to punting which I feel is a very apt analogy. Not what you really want to do, but it is better than doing nothing. The game must go on. Just like life.

We won't be that far away and for those of you in Chicago, we are certainly up for coming back into the city to hang out. Who knows, maybe we will even come back. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, however, we will continue to wait and hope and trust God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Yes, for those of you who were unsure, we are still in Chicago. We're currently living up in Roger's Park in a lovely little studio apartment that we are subleasing until the end of October. After that, well, that still remains to be seen. It has been a crazy busy summer and it feels like fall has just snuck up on us. I mean, I like fall and everything but it came awfully quickly this year. Dan worked like a maniac all summer (for which I am exceedingly grateful) and I worked as well, though not quite as much. Now I'm back to subbing, which seemed like a great idea when I decided to do it but I'm realizing I should have stayed at my old job for a few more weeks to give CPS a chance to actually get rolling so teachers could take days off and need me to take their places. Oh well...I guess you live and learn. And I have indeed learned from it.

This whole summer seems to have been a time of learning for us. Dan has learned to embrace the title of "pastor" and I've learned that I want to be a librarian. So that's what we are pursuing. And even though it has been a very long time of waiting, it hasn't been completely awful. It's been fun to get to know new parts of the city and to experience living in Chicago away from North Park. And of course, someday when we have kids, we'll be able to tell them all about our days as nomads when we are convincing them they have nothing to complain about.

And that is pretty much where we are. I'm going to try to make an effort to post more often so this blog does not go the way of our xanga and myspace sites. here's hoping!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

tea for two...

Nearly two months after our last post, it seems like a good time to update again. In some ways, life has changed a lot since May. In other ways, it's pretty much the same. We are still living in Chicago but at a new location. We have been amazingly blessed by people willing to open up their homes to us as we sit at this particular juncture. That's a great thing. We are also both working, which is also great. Dan loves working at CRiCK again this summer and my job as a CNA has been going well enough.

Life is right now. It feels like we have been at a crossroads for some time now without much definite direction. It will come in time but it is increasingly difficult to continue to be patient. I think the hardest part of all of this is the lack of a definite time line. We have a tentative one planned out, but we can't hold too tightly to it because God has this funny way of changing our plans to something better.

As I look back at this post, I realize that it sounds fairly cryptic. I personally find it difficult to be concrete when so much is unknown. I told someone today that life is "okay". I think that is a good way to describe it. It is certainly not horrible but it is not the best it could be. It is okay. And that is okay for now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

recent photos

Maybe a month ago we went for a day hike to Starved Rock State Park. It was an overcast day, but some sun shone through at intermittent times. It was a great day to shoot in black and white.
Annie took the opportunity to practice her photo taking abilities. Here are some of her shots.

While it was a pretty muddy hike, we managed to stay relatively clean and mud-free. That is until the last 5 minutes of the hike when one misstep made a big difference.

All in all we had a great day at a great park. It was good for us to get some time away and have time to reflect on life and discern where we are headed next. We still do not have any details on that part and definitely post when we do.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

update, finally!

wow! It's been a bit since either one of us has posted anything. some of that is due to the site being blocked by my (annie's) workplace's filter. Not sure why I can access it now, but I'm not going to argue. It might be like that period of time when I could get to facebook from work--sometimes, around one o'clock, if I was lucky. anyway, as long as I'm here, I might as use the time wisely. [I work at a school, for those of you who don't know, which is why things like facebook are blocked]

So there isn't much new going on. We're still in Chicago, living with wonderful people who were gracious enough to let us stay with them. We're following roads as they are brought to our attention but nothing has led us far enough to settle in any place yet. It's okay. It's been a time of waiting. Of learning. We know God has a place for us and that when we get there, it will be fantastic. It's simply hard to wait for it sometimes.

I am still working in Gurnee, I finished my nursing assistant class at the end of February and will be taking the state certification test in May. It was supposed to be April but there were some miscommunications and I got bumped. It is what it is, I suppose.

Otherwise, we live and enjoy each day as it comes.