29 May, 2011


I was talking to a friend earlier this evening and it started to make me think about what people want out of life. What do you want out of life? Are you content to live a life where all you get out of it is a job you don't hate, bills that are paid, and to be well taken care of until you die?

That's not enough for me.  In all seriousness, if I had believed that was all there was to life, I would have killed myself a few years ago. I struggled with years of depression when I was in college and if I had thought that would have ended all the pain, I think I would have done it.

What is the point of life? If there is no afterlife, then everything we do on this earth is futile. The riches I acquire will not come with me when I am gone. I may leave them to my children, but my children may squander them on pursuits of pleasure. What good is food and drink? It sustains the body and may provide momentary pleasure, but overindulgence just harms this feeble body I reside in. Is the pursuit of power most important? To trample my fellow human beings and gain prestige in a life that I cling to by a mere thread? What happens then when I die? My power goes to someone else who will then die. Will I even be remembered when I am gone?

Solomon addressed all these issues and more in the book of Ecclesiastes. He was one of the most affluent kings of all time. His power was great, his every whim met, he had a unique opportunity to pursue any and everything we place value on in this life. What his verdict when all is tried and assessed?

"Meaningless!" 35 times (give or take) the word appears in the book. It is all meaningless! We live and our life is fleeting.

What does have meaning?

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."

This life is not enough for me. Settling is not enough for me. I want nothing more than to love and please the Heavenly Father that loves me. That is the meaning of my life. He sent His Son to die for me that I might know eternal life in His presence. How glorious!

Do you believe in God? Do you know what will happen to you after you die? Are you satisfied with that?

I will be satisfied with nothing less than an eternity with my Father. I will be satisfied with nothing less than a life deserving of Him. I am not perfect. I will not always do what I want to do. But if I do not live for Him, then I do not live at all.

The rest is meaningless.

*I know that not all of you who read this blog believe this, but my goal is to serve food for thought.*

28 May, 2011

Why, yes, it HAS been over 3 months!

Hello everyone out there in Bloggerland!

First of all, let me extend our deepest apologies for not keeping you up to date. I was sick for a long time and by the time I felt well enough to write, it was an overwhelming mountain to try to communicate all that was going on to you.

I want to share with you all the illness have been suffering from for over three months now.

When we first arrived in North Carolina, we were exhausted! We had spent the week before packing up, moving out, saying goodbye, and traveling to CIT. It was wonderful to be somewhere that I knew was more stable, but there was still the grief of leaving our friends and family behind. I began to suffer very quickly from the introduction of new allergens into my immune system. Texas is bad enough in the spring, but at least my body is fairly used to it!

What were just obnoxious sniffles quickly developed into a full-blown sinus infection. The first I had suffered in four years. It was also the worst I had suffered in my entire life. To add on top of it, I was enjoying back pain and a rash that suddenly appeared one day on my chest and back. I was just a ball of joyfulness wrapped in a ribbon of ecstatic ;)

One day, the pain of the sinus pressure became too much. In the tiny little town we were staying, the doctors were not accepting new patients. There were not any emergency clinics either, so off we headed to the ER at the local hospital... for a sinus infection...

Once we got in to see a doctor, she diagnosed me with... a sinus infection. No surprise there. She could do nothing more, as the infection just had to run its course. However, I decided to show her the rash that I had written off as an allergic reaction or poison ivy. She took one look and said, "Oh, no, that's not an allergic reaction. It's shingles."

"What? Shingles?" I was very confused

"Have you been under any stress lately?" she asked in a slight Scottish accent.

I was about to answer no, but the words died on my tongue. I had just spent the past 3 months meeting with people, attending various social events, raising support, packing up our home, and saying goodbye to my family and close friends to travel almost 700 miles and begin attending the most emotionally challenging classes of my life.

Had I been under any stress?

I answered her in the only way I could.

I started bawling.

Once I finished, she wrote me a prescription for Acyclovir. She also told me to consume more chocolate and laugh more.

Chocolate and laughter. Now that's a prescription I can fill!

Ben then took me to the pharmacy (Sonic) and then took me home to rest.

The pain I thought was just back pain was actually nerve pain caused by the no longer dormant herpes zoster virus. The pain would begin to get worse in the ensuing days, but the doctor had also had prescribed vicodin. Now that was fun for all!

The day after we told our CIT crew of the diagnosis, someone left a grocery bag full of chocolate on our front doorstep (We met the most amazing people there and most have become like family to us).

Within a week of the ER visit, the rash began to clear up. As I write this, the marks can still be seen and the pain is still there, but it gets better everyday. It's something I can ignore most of the time with only occasional pangs of remembrance.

I hope this explains a little of why we have not updated in so long. Ben does an amazing job of keeping up with everyone on facebook, but I confess that is one of my shortcomings.

Thank you all for your prayers and continued support! We will be sending out a newsletter soon and hope to continue blogging on our experiences at training.