Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Since the meme is going around, thought I'd take a moment to fill it out about me and my love. Then, I had a better idea, and I sent it over to my dear friend who first wrote down the epic tale of our romance. Here are Madison's poetic (?) answers...

What are your middle names? Mine is Carrie Hope and Allan's is Christopher.

How long have you been together? We've been together for 3 months, married for 2.

How long did you know each other before you started dating? About a week of chasing each other out of their private reading spots

Who asked whom out? Kati asked Allan out because she felt guilty how she had treated him

How old are each of you? Kati is 22 and Allan is 25

Whose siblings do you see the most? They see Kati's family the most because Allan's are an Amish family that lives in Pennsylvania so....

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? Food. Allan simply hates asparagus and Kati, well let just say its her staple.

Did you go to the same school? No, not at all. Kati went to a Classical Christian Private school in Washington. Allan went to an Amish school through the eighth grade until his father decided that for his high school years, they needed to be spent on the farm; however, Allan schooled himself. They both now attend the UW.

Are you from the same home town? Again, no. Washington = Kati; Pennsylvania = Allan.

Who is smarter? Hmm...that is a tough one. However, due to Allan's agricultural skills alone, He pulls slightly ahead.

Who is the most sensitive? Kati is.

Where do you eat out most as a couple? For Kati--Purple. For Allan--Old Spaghetti Factory

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Pennsylvania was pretty far for their second wedding (Kati was in the ceremonial bonnet), but they did go to Dublin, Ireland for their honeymoon.

Who has the craziest exes? Neither. Kati and Allan both followed the road of courtship. However, Allan's parents did try to arrange a marriage for him with a woman twice his age.

Who has the worst temper? Allan. This is one of the few reasons why he did not make a good Amish man.

Who does the cooking? Kati--in Allan's culture, the men never cook, but that never stops Kati from enlisting his help.

Who is the neat-freak? Kati when it comes to the bed, but Allan when it comes to the garage.

Who is more stubborn? Allan would say he is because Kati is still trying to decide.

Who hogs the bed? Hmm...I can't say, but the fact that Allan is taller and broader than Kati can give a clue.

Who wakes up earlier? Kati does...she has a fascination with the sunrise and loves waking Allan up to see it.

I trust you laughed at least a third as much as I did :) Totally made my day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I had a fantastic day. I am a firm believer that 'wherever you are, be there.' In other words, if it is raining outside, go out and play in it- mud football, jump in puddles, stroll the streets with a classic umbrella and a latte. If it is sunny (or even over 60 degrees), I'm in a swimsuit, reading a book, washing my car, mowing the lawn, on a walk, or at the beach. If I'm at work, I'm writing or booking planes. If I'm in college, I'm studying and loving it. If I'm in class, I'm listening and talking, and usually laughing (or maybe arguing, you all know me too well for me to lie). If I'm with a friend, that is exactly where I want to be. And if I'm single, I am taking adventures and risks and being outrageous and dreaming and planning trips and loving every little moment! So enjoying Valentines day wasn't much of a decision for me today, I'm preconditioned ;) I know it is harder for some of you, legitimately, and I hope joy found you at special moments today and suprised and delighted you.

I've had a wonderful lazy day. Slept in, stayed in my pajamas till well after noon. I did my taxes (but didn't actually submit them yet) while I watched chick flicks. Tidied up my room and wrote a couple cards, and then just enjoyed laying on my bed...not sleeping, not working, hardly thinking. Aww. Surprise last minute sushi date with aimes and cam. And now I am back and catching up with one of my favorite bloggers.

Should have done some reading today definitely, but enjoyed not doing any homework. And the night is not done yet...

Happy Valentines Day!
You are loved.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I've been at a Microsoft show for the past week in downtown seattle (which has many stories in itself), but rather than blog about that I really want to share the notes I just read from small group on Thursday (which I missed due to the MS show). Amazing! God was just beginning to open my heart up to this very thing (and verses) yesterday. Today, I opened up the document and began to read and I felt so reassured of the Lord's heart and desires for me.

I want to please the Lord, and I am GOING to care more about my character (which HE sees) than my reputation (which others see, and to some degree can determine in their own eyes).

The Lord is soooo good, so faithful, adoring, and just. I'm glad I have Him near.

“Living to Please God”

• Fear of God vs. fear of man – Jeremiah 17:5-8. If you are living to please man you are under a curse. I want to talk tonight about really living to please God, and that being our number one priority. Making an idol out of performance or living to please man can prevent us from really living to please God. Isaiah 2:22 --- Why do you care about man? Of what account is he who has but a breath of lungs in his nostrils?

• I Thess. 4:1-8 --- We taught you how to live in order to please God as in fact you are living… Living to please God and living in obedience to Him is the big picture, and obeying and honoring authority is part of that. Honoring and obeying authority is encompassed in the larger/ overall mandate to live to please God. (Show a diagram of a big circle.) So, don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that you can just live for God and not worry about obeying your authorities. Quite the contrary – when you face the judgment seat, you will be judged on whether or not and how you honored and obeyed authority. But there is much more than that: God may ask you to do something that is above and beyond what your authority asks you to do.

• Matthew 10:28 --- When you die you will face God on His throne and not your Pastors, teachers, parents, etc.

• Be more concerned with your character (what God is interested in) than your reputation (what man is interested in) because your character is who you really are while your reputation is who other’s think you are… God sees the heart – God looks at the heart. He is staring at your heart. All of a man’s ways are laid bare before the Lord. Proverbs 16:2. Jeremiah 17:10 – I search the heart and examine the mind…and Matthew 10:28 tells us that we should really fear the One Who knows our hearts. Isaiah 29:13 – they honor Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.

• Performance: what do you guys think it is? Performance vs. obedience – performing in faith is obedience and that pleases God.

• Are your leaders your conscience or is the Holy Spirit your conscience? Do you ever repent of sin when you are convicted on your own without someone else confronting you? People in performance only repent after having been confronted. People who have a heart to please God have a sensitive conscience and are convictable. Are you convictable? Will you repent of sin only after someone confronts you or do you repent or ask forgiveness of someone on your own after being convicted by the Holy Spirit?

• If you were stranded on a desert island, all alone (no accountability), what would your relationship with the Lord look like? God is after the heart – He wants us to really desire Him and not just have TWTL or worship because it is a religious obligation: is it a “have to” or a “want to”? When I was a child I thought and reasoned like a child – the reasoning of a child is, “I better do this or that so that I don’t get into trouble.” The elementary mindset is utterly selfish. But as you mature, you get beyond that. You no longer only do things in order to not get in trouble. You do things with vision for it and seeing the heart behind it. “Not getting in trouble” does not mean you have pleased God.

• Just obeying your leaders is not good enough, though it is obviously a huge part of pleasing God (walking under authority and submission, etc.). We must obey God. What if God asks you to do something that is above and beyond what your authority asks of you? Are we so blinded by performance and fear of getting in trouble that we are not open to hearing God ask us to do something? So, we are required to go to prayer 2x/ month, but what if God asks me to go 4x/ month? (There was a season when He did ask us to do that.)

• 2x at Saturday night prayer per week – in my performance, I want Pastor Norm to see me at prayer. If he doesn’t see me at prayer, it is ok because God does. What is my heart motivation for going to prayer? Beatitudes --- Matthew 6:1-18

• Performance/ living to please man = you may not “get in trouble” but you may not be pleasing God. Not getting in trouble does not mean you have pleased God.

• Why are we so afraid of getting in trouble? If we were secure in the Lord and His delight and approval of us we would be more free. We would still fear the Lord and have respect and honor and reverence for our authorities, but we wouldn’t have an unhealthy fear that would lead to performance.
o There are a number of reasons, but part of the problem is that we are more afraid of our authorities than we are of God. This is not right. This is because man can dole out immanent consequences for our bad behavior/ performance, but God’s consequences are not always so immanent. But He deserves so much more fear and reverence than any man does!
o It is one thing to honor and revere your authority, but it is quite another to live in performance. Honor them and don’t be familiar, but don’t let your “fear” of them cause you to hide your sin or defend yourself when you are confronted. Remember that Jesus (Emmanuel – God with us – this year’s theme) is right there with you whatever you do and whatever you think. You are never alone with your thoughts. So, you may hide your sin from your authority but the Person Whose approval really matters sees everything we do and knows every evil thought we have.
o Self-righteousness vs. Grace Works – you are saved by grace and you will be sanctified by grace. But you can’t get grace if you won’t admit you are wrong. Galatians – if righteousness could be gained through the law then Christ died for nothing. So, when we make excuses for our sin, when we defend ourselves, when we are self-righteous (thinking too highly of yourself based on your performance), we are partnering with the spirit of the anti-Christ. The devil is a total legalist. But if we confess our sins…I John 1:9, 2:1. “Where are you, Adam?” Consider that every false religion on planet earth (throughout history/ anthropology confirms this) is a religion based on works rather than on grace and relationship: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, even humanism (man’s effort/ he is the measure of all things/ survival of the fittest). Isaiah 64:4. Don’t bear the Cross but deny its power by being self-righteous. Don’t call yourself a Christian and act like a Muslim.

• The key to all of this is learning to “live loved.” Receive His love, acceptance, approval, delight over you. He delights in us before we perform – then His delight in us motivates us to want to do what is right. He is after delight rather than duty.

• We need a “performance” review.