Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of Riddles and Love

I never knew that 21 hours could be so amazing. Or how it could end so quickly.

After the end of the Oregon tour {which was great by the way} I flew down to Los Angeles Monday afternoon. It was like a dreamy event that went by in the blink of an eye.

Adam kept informing me the few days before I arrived that he was planning a special surprise date for us. I was super excited to see what he had concocted. Like I’ve said before, he surprises me over and over and over. And this was no exception.

If anyone reading cannot tolerate blissful sappiness, you might want to go on to whatever boring task you were doing just before opening this blog page. But if you think you can tolerate it, read on. Be awed. Ooo and ahh. And if any guys are reading this, you might want to take notes. ;)

After picking me up at the airport, we somehow managed to find our way back to the car; after lots of hugging and admiring looks at each other. {Readers should be awed by this feat. It took a lot of walking back and forth between parking garages, because a certain one of us gets easily distracted when trying to find his car. Super cute by the way!}

The date started by Adam pulling out a card from his pocket. And the story went something like this.

“This date will be a series of riddles that will lead us from one spot to the next. You have to figure out the riddles before moving to following location.”

The first was about cold, sweet treats… Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt. YUM! When we got there, Adam pulled me around the corner of the building and there hidden in a flowerpot was the next clue card.

Photobucket

With a stomach full of watermelon flavored frozen yogurt, Adam read me the next clue. As soon as I heard the bit about watching the setting sun, I knew we were headed for the beach. {Note: This guy is amazing. He did all of his homework, all the way down to checking the exact time the sun would set. No details were left undone. He’s just that good.}

Here’s one of the many things I love about Adam Neesby. He has a plethora of places around his home from coffee shops, to parks, to cliffs overlooking the ocean; where he goes to read the Word, pray and talk to me. I love when he lets me into his world and takes me to his ‘spots’.

Last night he took me to another spot I’d never seen before. A rocky cliff over looking the ocean. The grey waters and foam rushed into the small inlet far below. The next clue was hidden behind a sign that said something about flying model airplanes in the designated areas only. {I LOVE this guy’s attention to details.} By this point, I was already so giddy with love and respect for my man’s superbly romantic date; my spirits couldn’t be dashed by the sunset that was severely masked by thick fog.

Photobucket

That third clue led us to a seafood restaurant on the pier. The atmosphere was amazing; a dimly lit, fishing cove type building with an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the waves crashing on the pier. {My favorite thing about seafood restaurants is my lack of knowledge when it comes to the menu. Adam is my obliging translator.}

One side note on Adam and I at restaurants. We always like to sit on the same side of the table, with our chairs pulled as close as possible. As we sat in this fashion that night, whispering secrets in each other’s ear, our sweet old-lady waitress said, “Do you want to move over to a booth? You might be more comfortable there.” Needless to say, we tipped her well. ;)

We finished our night with a stroll along the pier. The last clue, which had been hidden under a park bench along our walk to dinner made me laugh and dance out loud.

While still in China, I had a dream one night about chocolate truffles. I told Adam and it became this huge joke about him trying to find me truffles in Kunming. He even said that one night he flew to Ecuador to search for them, but to no avail. I tease him occasionally about this unfulfilled dream. The last riddle said that because he is a man of his words, the truffles would be found, purchased and consumed.

Photobucket

And that is how the most amazing date ever ended. Then again, we never quit dating. It’s almost like our relationship is one constant, glorious date. The loving looks. The prayers from the heart. The laughter over crazy games and jokes. The tender care and love. The sharing of hearts. The bearing of souls. The dreams of our future together. The constant thanks to God for His unspeakable gifts. {And if what my married friends say, it can only get better.}


As I desperately hugged my Captain Awesome goodbye in the airport this morning and headed for that cursed security line, an older couple behind said these words. “This must be your first time away from each other?”

I sadly answered that we are apart most of the time. The man, looking back to where Adam was standing, said, “He looks lonely already.” And the wife laughingly stated her husband only drops her on the curb to say goodbye.

I realized again what a gift I have been given. The Bible talks about a man who finds a wife, finds a good thing. I wonder where the verse is that says a woman who finds a man who loves and tenderly cares for her, finds a very very good {and awesome} thing!

My plane is just beginning it’s descent into Des Moines, as Captain Awesome and I enter yet ANOTHER stretch of time away from each other. Sometimes I think I won’t make it. How can I manage to keep myself away from pure awesomeness?? But until I look into his blue eyes again, I’ll keep thanking Jesus for the incredible man he is… and I’ll live off those memories for a long time of our perfect 21 hours together.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fly a plane to Medford

Photobucket

I’m thousands of feet up in the air… on my way to Denver for the second time today. You wouldn’t even believe the story if I told you. In about an hour I will top over 12 hours of travel for today. I will {hopefully} arrive at my destination four hours later. It’s been my crazy {and so far} unsuccessful attempts at kicking off the 2010 Bring Me Hope tour.

My day started by the rude alarm at 5:25, which took a while to register with my sluggard brain. Grabbing my two grossly over-stuffed carry-ons {or rather what I was hoping would pass as carry-ons!}, I rushed through check-in and security and boarded my 6:28am flight in Des Moines. A short 80 minutes later, I landed in Denver.

Denver is really not that bad of an airport. I rather like it. Fossil imprints on the floor, great food selections like Jamba Juice and Starbucks, and not to mention free wireless Internet. Oh yes, how can I forget the sparrows that fly around in the food court area?! {Seriously scared the heck out of me the first time they swooped towards my table during a layover in April!}

I sat in the boarding area, waiting for my 8:30am flight to the next leg of my journey, Phoenix. {Which would be followed by a flight to San Francisco and finally on to my tour stop in Medford, Oregon.}

Over the loud speaker I heard the attendant asking for volunteers to give up their seats for $200 of free flight vouchers. Gathering my mountain of stuff, I volunteered my seat. SO LONG as I could catch my flight to Phoenix early in the afternoon. She said yes, clicked a few buttons on the computer and out came my new boarding passes with my {NOT $200} but $400 free travel vouchers! SCORE! Then she reseated me in rows 2-4 for the remaining flights.

Could life get better?! I submit that it could not… well, unless of course my Captain Awesome would have been also donating his seat with me. {Sigh} Moving on. I was pretty pumped. I killed the next two and a half hours with some Internet surfing and movies. I was feeling pretty good about my high life of traveling.

The flight to Phoenix was short and sweet. I had what felt like a million miles of legroom right behind first class. Even the looming two more flights couldn’t wreck my good spirits. After grabbing some lunch at the {surprising small and poor selection} in the Phoenix airport, I got ready to eat up the miles between me and San Francisco.


That’s when that next fateful message came over the loud speaker. “Ladies and gentleman, unfortunately due to weather delays in San Francisco, our flight has been delayed until we get clearance from the tower. We have an estimated time of wheels up at 3:58”

NOOOOOO!!!! With that flight being two hours, there was no way I would make my 5:15 boarding time for that last flight into Medford. Once again I gathered my million pounds of carry-on luggage and headed for that infamous counter.

To make this very long story short and to spare you the gory details {cuz it was very painful}, I decided to avoid the chance of spending the night in the San Francisco airport and take the next possible route to Medford.

Can you believe where they sent me?!

“Ma’am, you can catch the 1:50 flight to Denver and from there, catch a flight to Medford arriving at 8:15.”


Seriously? Denver again?? I don’t really love it that much. But somehow that appealed to me more than a hard airport seat for sleeping. {Sigh}

I feel like today has been a vivid picture of my life. Well, all of our lives, really. Exciting adventures and unexpected blessings. Only to be followed by set-backs, detours and disappointments. I have moments when I feel like my life is finally coming together. I finally have things figured out. I get a big break. I start dating the hottest guy around who loves Jesus so much and I get to feel that love overflow to me. I have a job where I get to travel the world. Finish my fourth year of summer camps. Hug what is probably the 100th orphan. Watched them scream and shout for joy in the pool for the first. Hug my friends who just got secretly baptized in a hotel hot tub. Life makes sense. God is good. His blessings are so real. His love so evident.

Then the next morning I wake up and it all seems to have fallen apart. I have an argument with someone I love. I let my parents down. My times in the Word seem dry and like I’m going nowhere. My heart gets hurt and I wonder how I can heal. Some friends loose the baby they are desperately trying to adopt. An email comes saying that Spring {one of the orphans who lived with us at the Ranch} is talking about committing suicide. Suddenly nothing makes sense anymore. The world closes in and I feel like I’m going nowhere. I cry. I burry my head in the proverbial sand and wish it would all go away. That life would just fall into place again.

What has changed? Nothing. The God who blessed me with $400 of free travel vouchers, is the same God who sovereignly allowed me to come back to Denver. I’ll be the first to admit, many of the things God does in my life don’t make sense. {Of course my strange detours don’t really have that much weight in my life} But for the things that do, I’m thankful that as I wrestle with the questions I ask God, He is always lovingly drawing me back to Himself. Reminding me that He alone sees the bigger picture. He will not forget me. He will not leave me alone. He will keep His promise to work all things for the good of those who love Him.

So yes. I will soon be landing in my beloved Denver airport. I will enjoy the free Internet. I’ll dance over the fossils in the floor. I will thank Jesus for loving me. Always remembering that He is up to something good. Something heavenly. Something that will, I pray, bring glory and honor to Him through my life.

PS. And when I finally get to Oregon, I’m gonna rock every minute. There’s gotta be something amazing there for ALL the trouble the journey has been! ;)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

one cool thing and a promise of more to come...

Ok guys. You gotta check out this awesome blog. They people at Vintage Pearl make the most beautiful necklaces out of silver. They are doing a great giveaway today... check it out here

In another vein, I've been thinking a lot about my muchly overlooked blog lately... I promise I will be back soon with lots of new stuff.

Hugs to you all!!