Friday, December 24, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I don't really know what to say. My friends and I have been here several times before. Our hearts have been broken time and time again by death. Why our friends? I don't know. So, I write tonight with a heavy heart, consumed by this all-too-familiar feeling of helplessness and brokenness. 1 Corinthians 15:26 says that "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." Death is our ultimate enemy... separation from those we love. There can be no greater pain. No, surely, nothing else can compare.

I am praying peace tonight over the Riggan family. Anthony Riggan was a blessing to all, and his life was a testament to his faith in Jesus Christ. While selfishly, we wish we had him longer, we know that God's timing is not our timing.

1 Corinthians goes on to say, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" While we may feel it's sting for a time, death has no victory. Our victory is found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is thy faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not ready for 23

I am not ready to turn 23. Evidence from my last days as a 22 year old:

- Worked on a puzzle that I've done every Christmas since I was a child
- Ate lunch at Great Wraps where there is a self-serve soda machine... seriously considered making a "suicide"
- Spent multiple hours in Barnes & Noble, like I was still in high school
- Drank coffee in the children's section of B & N
- Showed my friends the Dicken's Village that I spent hours setting up. Mom later explained that she thought it was like "Johanna's version of playing 'house'." Which it absolutely is.
- Watched the Polar Express and sang along to the "Hot Chocolate" song
- Cried at the end of Polar Express
- Ate a bowl of ice cream with peaches grown by my granddad
- My 23rd birthday will be spent the exact same way it has since I turned 16... Holiday/birthday get together at my house.

However, let it be known that I am blogging from my beautiful new MacBook! "Happy birthday/Merry Christmas/ congratulations on graduating in May/ Merry Christmas next year " to me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Valley of Tomorrow

Needtobreathe - "Valley of Tomorrow" acoustic set. All in all, this was an incredible show and a great way to celebrate the end of the semester. As Becca put it (ever so eloquently), Needtobreathe is her "Soul Band"... Meaning (I think) that Needtobreathe encompasses everything she loves about music. That being the case, I have to agree. The lead singer has some major pipes (and great hair), the band plays all the instruments I love, and they love Jesus. Three keys to a great band, if you ask me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

At least we're not trying to win this thing

6:45 am: Dallas, TX... Excitement rising. Obviously delirious.

7:00 - 7:25 am: Standstill traffic. Excitement over. We were still 8 miles away from the starting line. Keeping in mind that the race starts at 8:00 am and that we had moved 1/4 of a mile in 20 minutes, Carla and I took matters into our own hands. Rather than staying in this mess of cars and going East, we took the interstate going West and got off on the first exit. I'd also like to take this moment to point out that we saw a man get out of a car on the interstate and begin jogging to the race while we were still 8 miles away... I hope he had fun with that. All I have to say is God bless the iphone navigation system and the ability to see the little blue dot moving toward your destination. We essentially weaved our way through Dallas back roads and trusted that this dot was moving in the right direction. It was.

7:55 am: We made it to the race and parked the car. We were still about half a mile away from the starting line, so we broke into a jog. I looked at Carla and exclaimed, "well, lucky for the other runners, we are late." To which she replied, "yeah, at least we're not trying to win this thing." We were trying to ignore the fact that we are now running more like 14 miles, rather than just the required 13.1.

8:00 am: We hear the National Anthem end and the gun shot to start the race as we arrived at our respective corral... warm from our unnecessary half-mile jog, but un-stretched and still in a state of panic and shock that we actually made it. Fortunately, about 15 minutes passed before our corral reached the start line, so we had time to stretch and get a grip.

And the rest is history. We finished the race in 2 hours and 10 minutes, crushing our time from our first race. Other than struggling to walk today, I feel pretty good about it!