Lies, Reviews and Altered Plans

Remember when I said that we were leaving for Sacramento this morning?
I lied.

Turns out that we might be leaving tonight. Apparently we have some things to finish up before we go. Dad has a review to write for one of his employees; he has been experimenting with some winning lines from his repertoire of employee review jokes;

This employee is not so much of a "has-been" as a definite "won't-be".
His men would follow him anywhere....but only out of curiosity.
Since my last review, this employee has reached rock bottom...and has started to dig.

Just kidding; he actually is managing to write very good reviews for the employees; I would definitely want him to do an employee review for me if I ever had to have a review done!

Anyway, before we leave we also have to actually finish packing. Shocker, I know, but somehow I don't think it has "hit" any of us that we're actually leaving, with the notable exception of my sister Emily, who has been packed up and ready to go for a long time. I think that I'm packed up, but of course that is always subject to change.

If we get out of here by the time Sacramento starts we'll be doing well! :-)

Random Quote:
Emily: We know that Whitney is going to turn out just like Nic; we thought it before, but it was proved when her very first smile was at Jay.

A Typical Night

I used to think every night at home was different, but that was before I went to ALERT and found out just how atypical nights could actually be. Basically there were no two nights the same at ALERT; and not just with minor variations, but with major ones. And now I'm home, and I have such an appreciation for regular nights. Even nights right before vacation and Conference, like tonight is, are actually typical.

Right now we have all of the doors in the house open, and most of the windows. It's a cool night with breeze....just perfect. The little kids are hither, thither and yon doing all sorts of activities. The sun is just setting. I had a very enjoyable phone conversation a few minutes ago. Jay got off of the roof after working all day and looked like he had just come on a ship from Africa; he had black tar remnants all over him. We sat at dinner and ate a meal together and shared about our respective days, and now we're packing up and getting ready to leave for Sacramento tomorrow.

I love my life!

I'll end with a funny quote from my last week at ALERT.

Danae (riding shotgun while I was driving): Nicole, watch out; please don't hit that pavilion.
(Pause) Um, wait. I meant, pedestrian.

Speaking of funny quotes, I shipped my quote book home and I've been going through withdrawals because I beat my box home. And now I won't get it before we get back, so I'll have to keep trying to remember the funny quotes from vacationing with my family, which are sure to be numerous.

Pray for our safety; tomorrow we go to Yosemite (I think) and then onto Sacramento the next day. I lose track of what we're doing; it's been so long since I've been home that they've made all of the plans without me. Oh, well; I don't mind. This year, this time, I'm just along for the ride.

I'll try to update when I get back!


My flight was delayed due to weather, and some senior executives from American Airlines who had to fly on our flight. But it was an uneventful flight once it got started.

The sweetest sight in the world awaited me at the bottom of the escalator.
I'm now home.
With my baby sister, with my three-years-old-today sister, with Danny, with Em and Mom and Jay. Dad will be home soon. We're having a party in a few minutes.

I wouldn't trade it for the world.
It's good to be home.

Excuse me for not posting a longer post; I have months of catching up to do.


The sun'll come out tomorrow /
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow /
There'll be sun /

Just thinkin' about tomorrow /
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow /
'Til there's none /

When I'm stuck with a day, that's gray, and lonely /
I just stick out my chin, and grin, and say, ooh /

The sun'll come out tomorrow /
So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow /
Come what may /

Tomorrow, tomorrow.....
You're only a day away.


When I left, she was this size.
Now, she is this size.
Yes, I can't wait to actually see my little sister again.
Three more days.

The Best of Times / The Worst of Times

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
There is so much to tell about the last few days; so many good (and bad) things have happened. Tuesday was such a special day; I was working in the kitchen when the phone was for me and Hannah called to say that they were having a "little get-together" at their house that night at seven and asking if I would like to join them. I thought it sounded like fun, but I must not have been as sure as she wanted, because she finally told me, "Well, Nicole, I hope you come, because the party is for you." And so I found out that they were planning a goodbye party for me. It was so sweet. We played a hysterical game called, "Picture Telephone" which is basically the same as the game, "Telephone" except you use sentences and word pictures to describe what is going on. They played one round about me, and one round about Charity who is also leaving. Everyone would write down, "When I think of Nicole, I think of....." and then some sentence. The next person would try to draw the sentence, and then they'd fold the sentence away to where the next person could only see the picture and not the sentence. They'd try to recreate the sentence based on what they thought the picture was saying, and then so on. Some of the results were really funny, for instance, one was, "When I think of Nicole I think of escaping a tornado."
It was so much fun. We eventually did lots of fun things and after everyone else had left, Elaine, Hannah, Betsy, Lisa and I had a sleepover. It was so much fun.....I am so thankful to the Behrs for surprising me with it. Thank you!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday was quite different. I was off work (my only real day before Sunday to pack) and I was loading up all of my media mail objects. I needed to have a very dreaded conversation with one of my girls, and things came to a little bit of a head on Wednesday morning so I went to the kitchen and picked her up about a half hour before lunch. Betsy knew what we were doing and I think we all figured that the conversation would last maybe 10 minutes or so. I was dreading it, because I tend to be nonconfrontational anyway, and especially towards one of my girls....but what was being said had to be said. We ended up talking straight through lunch, straight through announcements, straight through cleanup. At the end of the hour and a half, I was a little exhausted emotionally, but I am very thankful to say that our conversation was very productive and that God worked through it. He is such a good God! I went home and kept packing while I talked on the phone for awhile, and then took a break to start a little note to Catherine who is out on deployment with STEP, and then called my mom, and then called Jay. That boy can always make me laugh so hard; all three of my phone conversations yesterday did such wonders for me. Finally it was dinnertime and I was talking to Jay and entirely uninterested in dinner so I just stayed home and right about then a flash flood came up; it was quite the terrific storm. The thunder kept jarring me so I finally went out in the living room where the shades were up and I could see what was going on, and after that the thunder didn't surprise me. Cassia came home and her cell phone had somehow malfunctioned, so she and I went to my office to call tech support (aka Mom, but after that didn't work we actually called Cingular cell support) and we spent the next hour and something in my office getting that issue resolved, talking to warranty representatives and getting a new phone on the way, and then eventually going home and having another prolonged conversation with other girls in the house. At 10:15 I had to go pick Charity up from the Switzer's house and when I got back from that I finished up some last-minute things. It had started out as a terrible day, especially with the whole "confrontation" issue, but I was thankful that God gave both of us grace and gave me a very nice rest-of-the-day.
Today has been the strange day. I got up this morning and Danae fixed my's very cute I might add...and I came waltzing into work to get some things done. I've been cleaning out stuff in my office so I took all of my personal documents from the last while and sent them to myself over email, so that I could keep them even after I've gone home and don't have my office computer with me. While the email was sending, it hit me----I had accidentally sent the documents to the email address I sent things to mostly, namely, the address to remotely post to my blog. Oops. I panicked. I called my mom asking her to rescue me from the dread position I'd gotten myself into, and thankfully she obliged. I then went downstairs and was getting Faculty ready for a meeting to be held there tomorrow....when I remembered that I'd been wanting to take out the trash at home, so I went down there to do it and......someone had left the garage door open, and so an animal had gotten in and our trash was, to put it nicely, strewn out all over the back yard. Strewn really is a nice word; it was more like catapulted around and then subjected to flash flooding and other elements which meant that it was covered in bugs and other things that I really don't feel like discussing over the world wide web. So I went out there with my trashbags and started cleaning the stuff up; our back grass hasn't been mowed in a long time so I felt like I was wading through a wheat field or me, it wasn't fun. I finally got the trash into the back of my trunk, and threw it away. Then I came back to the FH. Well, of course, it would be that we have these annoying little flies breeding in Faculty and the way to send them to the Happy Place for Flies is to put out red wine vinegar mixed with dishsoap, which will attract them and poison them once they partake. So not only was I basically covered in......junk but also Faculty smelled like the rich aroma of red wine vinegar which, trust me, was not pleasant to be around. I practically doused myself in some nice-smelling liquid to reverse the effects.
And then I went into the kitchen to talk to Betsy about something and she handed me a gift and said, "This is for you...." I thanked her and once I got out into the hallway I started to open the card. Today she'll be leaving and won't be back until after I'm gone; the tears came before I even read the words inside.
Dear Nicole,
"Nevertheless you have done well..." Phil. 4:14
Words cannot express what an incredible friend and godly woman you are. I'll miss you a lot. I'm also excited how the Lord will bless you in the days ahead as you serve your family. Thank you for always being there for me and filling in for us whenever we need it. Your joy and excitement for life exuberates to so many. I only wish I had half your energy. I love you very much.
Love in Christ,
I promptly lost it. It wasn't supposed to be this hard, I thought, as I vacuumed in Faculty and tried to see through my tears. I was supposed to be excited to go home---and I am---but I didn't know that it would be this hard. These people have loved me and have shaped my life for the last year, and it is so hard to imagine leaving them, possibly never to see them again.
I am determined not to think about it now. I'm glad that I'll be busy over the next few days, too busy to think about it. I will wait until I get home to feel the full ramifications, when my family is there to remind me afresh whenever I see them why I came home in the first place. But now, in these last moments, I realize that I will need extra grace, because leaving my life here behind me is one of the most difficult things I've done in a very long time. I am thankful for ALERT and I am very willing to go home at God's direct call, but it certainly isn't easy.
"In our progress toward...happiness my station is new;
and if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground.
There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter
be drawn into precedent." --George Washington
I got that quote by email this morning, and I want to keep it in mind. I want to lay the people I love and the life I have come to enjoy out before Him with open hands, trusting that what He has in store for me is far better than anything I could have asked for myself. And it is.
But oh, I will miss them.


You simply must see the pictures my mom took on Fathers' Day.
And anyone wonders why I can't wait to go home to my family......
When I saw the picture of Whitney I almost audibly gasped; she's getting so big.
I can't believe it!
Just six more days.........

Flood Stat

Number of gallons the lake got this weekend after flash flooding:
That's a lot of gallons of water.
Needless to say the dock and beach are completely submerged now.
The emergency siphoning system is going at full speed, but is still completely insufficient for the volume needing to be pumped out of the lake.

10 Random Reasons Why Mondays Were a Good Invention

1. I got up this morning and worked out in our new "work-out room" with Charity at 5:45. We then went to the airstrip and ran/walked on it (running at first, walking when our energy levels were a little lower. :-D)
2. I found out at 10:30 that we had 160 people coming to lunch. From a youth group. That I wasn't expecting. It was very exciting there for a little while as we were having to make plans for what we were actually going to feed all of them, et cetera. I love those unpredictable days where you feel like nothing is going the way you expected it to and yet is somehow all working out. It was great.
3. I had a very enjoyable phone conversation.
4. Cap. Smith told me today that, "without reflecting on anyone else who has been in the department, I think you are the best thing to happen to Hospitality in the years since I have come to ALERT and I am going to be very disappointed to see you go." He went on with numerous other things and, coming from Captain Smith, it was a very high praise indeed. I was speechless there for a little while.
5. I IM'd with Jay for a few minutes; something that I haven't done for much too long. With his very blunt style of using insulting language to actually be complimentary, he is so much fun to IM with, and I'd forgotten how much I missed it.
6. I'd gotten into a little "discussion" with someone regarding some work that I had referred to another department and which someone higher up thought actually belonged to me, and though I knew it didn't, I didn't know how to address it and was therefore going to just do the work and not worry about it. But today Stacey had the courage to confront me on it, saying that it wasn't just a project that was for me, but for future Hospitality people and that I should really address the issue and not let it dissolve into oblivion. It gave me the dose of boldness necessary to go to the person and explain the full situation, which I hope to do a little later on this week.
7. Lisa Richardson went to the library and brought back not just one, but two books for me. Yay!
8. I read Psalm 90, which was absolutely refreshing.
9. Today began the one-week countdown until I see my family!
10. Because God is really, really good.
Mondays are such a great invention. Aren't they?

Father's Day

About a year and a half ago I wrote an article directed towards fathers with daughters. On Father's Day today, I am revisiting it.


Question, men: what kind of man does your daughter want to marry? Before you go on, stop and ponder it a moment. Truly ask yourself, for each of your daughters, "What kind of man would she like to marry?"  

   Question two: What kind of man would you like her to marry? That should come a little easier for you; you're probably envisioning plenty right now. Polite, a gentleman, a good provider, an excellent father. A man who never once views any woman with passion but your daughter, that is "always ravished with her love". You hope for a man whose chief delight is serving God and his wife. A man who treats her with utmost respect. A man whose anger never oversteps his dignity. A man to whom you feel confident you can entrust whatever insecurities she may have, knowing that he, through the Lord's leading, will balance them out. You want a man who views your daughter as beautiful, both in body and spirit, and who cannot get enough of her insights into the Lord. You want a man who is committed to raising a godly family, who cherishes children. You want a man who honors your daughter and would never disrespect her to others. In short, you want a man who loves God above all others and your daughter more than himself.

   Proven fact: Girls marry guys like their dads. Time and again, studies have shown that the one greatest influence in a girl's romantic life is always her father. What he is, she (albeit often unknowingly) chooses in a mate. Flip back that page, guys, and read that list I made. Compare it to yourself. (Since it would take too space I won't write each question again). Big ones: do you ever disrespect her in public? Do you ever view her as a hassle? (If so, she'll marry a guy who wishes she would quit having kids). Do you hold her heart? Her insecurities? Does your anger ever overstep your dignity?

   You hold the key to your daughter's future marriage. The man she marries will be an expression of you.

   Challenge: be the man you would want your daughter to marry. You hold the fate of her love life in your hands. Do not dare to neglect such a sacred duty. Be proud for your little girl to marry a man just like her dad.


Last night I was at the Farr's house and Mrs. Farr and I were talking when she asked me a question that has prompted me to do a lot of thinking; she asked me, "What would you say the greatest lesson you've learned here while at ALERT has been?"
There are many lessons, and I'm sure I could go on for pages sapping bandwidth and relating the details of the incredible things God has taught me at ALERT, but when I opened my mouth to respond to her, I said the one that suddenly occurred to me as the most important to me. "I've learned to trust my dad," I said.
She wanted an explanation, and it took awhile, but I started from the beginning, from our relationship years ago and through the stages God has taken me through these last few years and especially the past months as I've learned what a great guy my dad is. Talking about it, I kept thinking of more and more reasons why I had learned to appreciate him, and how being 1900 miles and a world away had actually served to bring my dad and I closer together. We shared laughter and a few tears as we talked about my dad and what a great man he is, and I can think of no greater tribute for Father's Day than to publicly thank my dad for being the man that he is.
My dad is a man of integrity. Literally, I can't recall a time when my father has told an untruth or even a mistaken slip of the tongue when he has not come back to make it right. He cares so deeply about doing what is right, about bearing and living out a standard for the Lord, about representing Christ well in every single aspect of his life. When I think of my dad, I think of the most truthful and genuine man that I know.
My dad loves my mother and our family. We haven't always been perfect, but my dad has a great love for us even when we are not following exactly what we know. His love often manifests itself through a desire to see us restored to fellowship with the Lord, and he is tenacious in pushing, pulling, and shoving us to where we need to be. He is unafraid to tell us areas in which he feels we have fallen, and yet at the same time he is always there to pick us up when we fall. He loves my mother and has been unquestionably faithful to her as long as they have been married, relying on her as his satisfaction and resting in her for his love as Proverbs instructs a husband to do. He is an understanding father and great friend to all of us.
My dad is an excellent provider. He is one of the most hard-working men I have ever met, a challenge to my diligence at every level, and a great motivator. Sometimes, or should I say, most times, it is difficult to keep up with his spirited way of working, organizing, and accomplishing, but that is always our problem and not his. :-) During times when we have not been financially stable, I have been consistently impressed and thankful that my dad will equally work hard and rely on the Lord for the vision and direction that he needs to press forward. He has always pointed us to the God who provides, rather than taking matters into his own hands. Yes, we are well off. But even when we haven't been, God has been faithful, and my dad has been similarly faithful to point us to Him for our gratefulness.
My dad is a man of boldness. It always amazes me how many people my dad speaks to about the Lord. He talks to his coworkers openly, he will speak to anyone from a street bum to a mayor about his faith, without reserve and without timidity. He is quick to make decisions in any given situation, and will carry them out even if it means facing obstacles. I am very different from him in that I am a nonconfrontational person and would prefer to go along with a crowd, so my dad is always such an inspiration to me as he charges ahead even when it means that he will suffer for it.
My dad is a man to be trusted. This lesson has snapped into focus for me this last year as the Lord has shown me, and as I related to Mrs. Farr last night, what a man of honor my dad truly is. This year especially, while I've been at ALERT, I have found that the more I trust him, the more trustworthy he becomes in my eyes. I remember last fall being home for furlough from ALERT and the Lord laying something heavily on my heart that I felt I simply couldn't talk to my dad about, but that God wouldn't let me rest on until I did. We went to lunch and I remember being afraid of being vulnerable before him, of allowing him to see weakness in me, because as a person I tend to be very self-sufficient and even when I come to him it is usually with the attitude of letting him in on what the Lord is doing in my life instead of letting him be the tool that God uses. Even when I mess up, I tend to present this neat portfolio-style reckoning of exactly what I've done, how I plan to remedy the problem, and suggested disciplinary measures that he can take to ensure that I won't be guilty of further infractions. But God used this situation to begin to pry that mindset from me. I remember thinking of Mally, when she was first beginning to walk, and how it was our pleasure to watch her walk, and yes, to watch her fall and get up again and keep going. We were never disappointed when she fell, we were never discouraged or displeased at her, but rather encouraged when she would stand back up and keep toddling. God was asking me to view my father as he must have been when I was beginning to walk----rejoicing over me, pleased to be a part of my life, and thankful when I took steps, no matter how small and no matter how often I fell. I thank God for pursuing me until I was exhausted of resisting him, and last fall I remember finally just blurting a whole bunch of things out before I could chicken out, and then sitting there in this pregnant silence and waiting for him to say something.
He actually teared up, and said, "Nicole, I am so glad that you trust me with this."
In my journal I wrote,
>And I realized…..God, how mysterious is daughterhood. The
>thing that I felt sure would bring me his disappointment had only given me
>more of his trust. The thing I wanted to be perfect on had been something he
>never desired me to be perfect on. He wanted to trust that I trusted him. If
>he believed that I trusted him fully, he didn't care [about the situation]
>because he knew that whatever happened, I would trust
>him to do what was best.
Being imperfect was okay--as long
>as I was his trusting little daughter, mentally climbing up in his lap and
>resting in the place where I had so long ago climbed out of to make
>everything perfect before coming to him. He wanted me to be his little girl
>again, trusting in his decisions, resting in the fact that he would do what
>was best for me. He never wanted me to solve my own problems. He instead
>wanted me to believe in him and to trust him.
>Any dad can solve their daughter's problems. But it takes a special dad to be able
>to solve them well. When I trusted that my dad was big enough to do that,
>he became big enough to do that. I now not only respect and love my dad,
>but, above all, I trust him. And let me tell you, it is the greatest place
>that I can ever imagine being.
The months following that day have only proved more and more what a man of trust my dad is. I am astonished at every turn; the more I trust him, the more trustworthy he becomes. I am grieved when I think of the years that I have lost in not trusting him, and the times in the days to come when I will fall, but what a joy  to live my life now, knowing that I do trust him and that he can be trusted to do not only what is best in a situation, but to explain and guide me to come to a similar decision myself.
Earlier in this post, I copied an article I wrote with qualifications for a man who my father would want to marry his daughter.  Today I am thankful to give honor to a man who has met all of those qualifications and more. As II Thessalonians says, I ought to follow him, because he has acted honorably. I am proud of the man that my dad is. I am proud to call him my dad, and infinitely undeserving that Heaven should have allowed me to be born into the world at the hands of such a man of God.
Many girls must trust in their heavenly fathers when their earthly fathers have failed them, and many girls must look to a higher standard than the one that their fathers have set for them. Not me. I am blessed beyond description to have an earthly father who faithfully teaches me why I can trust and love my heavenly father.
I love you, dad.
Happy Father's Day.

Mercy and Grace

Many of you will remember last year when I wrote about Merritt and Gretchen Acheson after Merritt suffered an accident just three weeks into their marriage that could have easily claimed his life. (You can find an update on his injury here.) But even as I've rejoiced over the Lord's mercy in the months following the accident, I find myself more blessed by Gretchen's post this week.
Read it and thank God.

(Thankfully) Altered Plans

We were going to go swimming with Katie Farr last night down at the lake, but the amazing Texas weather prevented that in its entirety. Therefore, at dinner, we started scheming about some alternative that we could do. We thought of inviting Katie over to our house....but then it was decided that we would go to her house. I've never gone there for an evening before, just for a short visit, so I was excited. I recruited almost everyone in my house to go along and we went to their house where Maj. and Mrs. Farr were sitting out on the porch swing enjoying the actually breezy, drizzly weather and having a "date". It was so much fun to be at an actual family's house while they were living their everyday lives....I guess it really made me miss my family, and especially my mom and dad having porch "dates".
Then the fun began. We did all sorts of random things like the Grand Tour of the house for the three members of our party who had never been in it before, a video of the Nutcracker from when Katie had been in ballet years ago, baking cookies and talking, and watching a movie. It was the most interesting time of watching the movie, because we had very different personalities and our comments were therefore similarly diverse. And no, we were not sparing with our comments. Eventually Maj. and Mrs. came in and watched for a little while, then Maj. Farr when off to somewhere and Mrs. Farr stayed through the rest of the movie. They had made everything so nice with cookies and popcorn and iced-tea; it was very welcoming. Afterwards, we sat around and talked for a long time, and finally we all got up to get ready to leave and we were all standing in a circle continuing one conversation after another and finally Danae said, "You know what; let's just sit down again." So we all sat in a circle on the floor and kept talking for a long time.
Our conversations were, as it always is with girls I guess, all over the board. We somehow went from engagements to parents to authority to dancing to college to scholarships to crying to emotions in general to graduations to crying at graduations to brothers and back to engagements all in a matter of time.
It was such an enjoyable evening.
Thanks, Farrs.

ALERT Mornings

This morning has been one of those typical ALERT days (read: unpredictable).
I had been informed that I was to run the mailroom today, so I was getting ready to leave a little later than usual (because mailroom opens at 8:30, not 8) when I found out that some of my girls had stayed behind because they wanted to ride to work with me....and they had to be at work at 8.
Therefore, the next ten or so minutes were very hectic as I was trying to get everything ready to go. About halfway to the Field House I realized that I wasn't wearing my glasses....I'm already dangerous enough in a car with them, so I was trying to make sure that I drove cautiously without them. I dropped the girls off, went back and grabbed them, and several other things I'd accidentally left undone at the house, and went to the Mailroom where the next problem presented itself: I didn't have the mailroom keys. I have a C, so I could get into the inner sanctum, but I couldn't open the cashdrawer or get the outgoing mail from the boxes....oops.
This morning was Staff Dorm Cleaning so none of the staff were in their offices to call them and ask if they knew where the keys were.
About this time I was trying to change the date stamp on the meter machine and it almost turned out catastrophically. Things began to look up when Mrs. Pendergast showed up with the keys and the announcement that I was supposed to train her in the mailroom so that she could run it today.
So I, seasoned mailroom assistant that I am (as in, two days of working in the mailroom ever), tried to impart what little I knew and ended up having to run back and forth between my office and the mailroom before things got squared away.
My office phone rang right around that time and it was Col. Moulton, asking me if the Higher Ups had informed me about a meeting that I had to provide refreshments for....this morning. I had heard of no such meeting, so I was thenceforth busy running around trying to collect food and drinks and transfer them to Cadet hall.
I can only imagine what the rest of the afternoon will be like! :)


I just got two very exhausting pages done on The Controversial Article I'm writing and now I'm temporarily stymied.

It's usually when I'm most passionate about something that the words are most difficult to bring out.
So much for finishing tonight.
The hardest part, I think, is the fact that this article is in direct contradition to one I wrote six months ago on a subject I was equally convinced about then. I am exploring the subjects and how to state my updated views even while I'm writing every sentence, and sometimes putting the words on the page is more difficult than coming to the conclusions.

Would you believe that I've been trying to write this for nearly three months?

Wives, Waiting and Big Trucks

Remember this? It gets more relevant with time; I'm thankful for the lessons God uses Daniel to teach me.     
 We had to put our foot down on this one.


      It didn't take long to come to the conclusion in this situation; in fact, it presented itself and we completely took care of it all in under five seconds. 

      You see, my three-year-old little brother, Daniel, decided to get married. Just a few minutes ago he made the announcement. He's getting married and then he's getting a big truck (to cart his wife around in, presumably).

      Like I said, we shot down the idea without a second thought. "You're too young to get married," we told him. Apparently, he's also too young to contradict; he went back to his playthings after a quick amendment: "Okay, later."  

      I think that sometimes God wishes we took Him at His word like Daniel does. So often, we don't! We inform God of our plans and He knows better. Just like we know better than to let Daniel go pick a wife and buy her a "big truck", God sees beyond our aspirations and announcements to what is truly best for us. Daniel wouldn't even be happy in a marriage at this age! He needs a few decades to prefect the art of husbandry!… 

      What things are we asking of God that we're not ready to receive? It's not Daniel's fault that he isn't ready. He hasn't done anything wrong. There's no shame in not being ready to get married. He's three years old! That's the problem!  

      We do one of two things when God says no to our plans: we get bitter at him for telling us to wait 20 years, or we assume that something is wrong, that we're outside of His will, yada, yada, yada. Have we ever stopped to consider that perhaps we're not in the wrong, and yet also it's not time? Have we ever paused to heed God's call to "wait"?  

   Next time we inform God of big plans and He says no, let's remember Daniel. Let's remember that God truly does know better. He isn't denying us a good thing. He merely wants to wait until we're ready. So let's put aside our thoughts of marriage and big trucks, go back to playing, and rest in the judgment of Him who "doeth all things well" (Mark 7:37).

A Very Scattered Update

It seems like forever since I've updated; incidentally, it was less than 48 hours ago. Those 48 hours, however, have been quite busy. After the Cowboy Churching experience, I walked three miles while talking to Grace and Beth, and then came back home where, unfortunately, I couldn't fall asleep and didn't end up actually going to sleep fully until somewhere between 3 and 4 am. Oops.
Yesterday Elaine and I worked together for part of the day again and that night we sat around and talked and did fun things like watch a movie. Afterwards, we discussed a rather interesting question....if you were a wife, would you rather refer to your husband in public by his first name, or by a title and last name ( i.e. Jack or Col. Smith)? I said the latter, hands-down, because in my mind it seems to have more respect and plus, I have a weakness for all things heroic in the first place. But I realized that possibly the greatest influence on that was the fact that my dad calls my mom, "Mrs. Hearn", not because he can't call her Carol but just because he's excited that she actually is Mrs. Hearn. After twenty two years of being married that concept hasn't gotten old for him. My parents are such a sweet couple!!!
Today Elaine Kalina and I have been working together; it's been a lot of fun. I've so enjoyed getting to know her better. We've done so many trademark "Hospitality Jobs" today, e.g. riding around in a pickup truck with fake trees in the back. This time, though, we both rode in the cab of the truck although, like Lisa did with me when we were making the department-head-transition, I gave Elaine the duty of driving the truck. :)
I won't bore you with further details about the day. Hopefully I'll be able to actually get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight!
One of the highlights of today was getting all of the pictures from the ALERT Cadet Challenge in Nashville, which Richard burned onto a CD for me; I was so excited! If I get to somewhere where I can actually log onto my Multiply, I might post a few of my favorite pictures for you.
Just a few more weeks before Sacramento! I'm excited.
In closing, I've always wondered what it would be like to give birth to multiples; yesterday two twenty-something moms found out the answer to that less than 10 hours apart.

Remote Posting

And now I've even figured out how to do remote posting.

Procrastination and Followthrough

For a long time I've wanted to create a blog where I can actually post using ALERT-approved internet access. Since Google blogs are, at least for the time being, allowed on the network, I've decided to start this one.
No, it won't be my primary blog, which can instead be found at But I will maybe copy and paste my posts from my "real" blog over to here so that people can view my blog.
I've procrastinated long enough and am ready to follow through on this project.
Who knows if I'll actually keep track of it; many a blog of mine has faded into nothingness after I forgot about it.
We'll see.