Friday, August 27, 2010

The Joys of Living on Campus

I really love living and working on campus.

Two days ago I was walking to get the mail and passed 7 people I know. Yesterday I was walking to our apartment and two friends poked their head out their window to cheer for me. Random, sweet and made me feel so good. This morning, as I walked to my office a little before 8 am, I got to walk with all the students who have 8 am classes. I ended up walking with two friends, one who has an 8am class and one who just likes to get up early. Some day this week I went to the caf to eat breakfast and expected to get a to go box and eat in my office. Instead, right behind me walks in Phil Mullins, a senior and a friend of mine. Instead of breakfast alone in my office, I got to have breakfast with Phil. What a pleasure. I see people I know and care about all the time. I enjoy my friendships with the students, faculty and staff.

I love that my home is a 5 minute walk from my office. It helps when I forget something that I can stroll over, get it, and get back to work really quick.

I talk about wanting to live communally one day. I am doing it now in many ways. I live on a campus of about 1300 people. I have relationships with people older than me, my age, and younger than me. I have the ability to both be mentored by and to mentor others in the ecommunity. And that is what I feel like I have here, community. It fills a deep longing of the soul to be in community.

I am so lucky that I work here and live here. If it was just one or the other, it would still be great. But having both, its just a dream. I have a sweet thing going here. It might seem weird to some that I live on a college campus again, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The House of Aaron

You know that verse, "Choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"? It is a good one. Have you every thought about your house in a real sense? I don't think I have in a long time and I definitely haven't ever thought of it in the generational sense. Today I did. I was reading in Psalms and came across these verses:

115:10 "O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD - he is their help and shield"
115:12 "The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, He will bless the house of Aaron, He will bless those who fear the LORD - small and great alike."
118:3 "Let the house of Aaron say, 'His love endures forever.' "

So, I know the context of this, that the house of Aaron is another way of saying God's people, specifically the priests in Israel, but when I read this it felt more personal.

"O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD"..."Let the house of Aaron say, 'His love endures forever.'" This is my hope for my children. That "my house", my children, my generational line will trust in the LORD.

This picture is of the children and grandchildren of Delane and Joanna Wilkinson. You could call it the "House of Delane."Help me LORD to put my trust in you, to say at all times that your love endures forever. Help me to be the example that will lead "the house of Aaron" to trust you, love you, obey you, seek after you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am gonna be a dad

So if you haven't already heard via facebook, twitter, or from looking at my previous post which included pictures from our home (crib included), my wife Abby is pregnant and I am going to be a dad. I am super excited. Before Abby got pregnant I could legitimately say I did not feel the need to be a father. Some people do feel this need. If they do not become a parent they will feel incomplete. Not me. I think I would have been content my whole life to be an adult and do whatever I wanted. I mean, seriously, I didn't even want to get a dog because I didn't want to worry about caring for someone else's needs. Taking care of me and Abby was enough. I might have at one point or another looked back and wondered "what if" and maybe some day in the future I would have been sad that I did not ever have a child of my own, but that feeling would have passed and I would have been fine.

Now that Abby is pregnant, I am just so excited. I love this tiny unborn kid inside her more than should be possible. I can't wait to hold it, to raise it, to teach it, to love it. To show it love. To help it understand the love of God. (I keep saying "it" because we don't know the gender yet). At this point, I still think I can say I would not feel unfulfilled if I never had a child. However, I do think my life will be more full now that a child is coming into it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our New Apt

This is a post I have wanted to make for a long time. Pictures of our apartment. Here is the lowdown: our apartment is 4 rooms, each one the size of a dorm room. There is a living room, a kicthen, and 2 bedrooms with a bathroom between them. We were able to have it painted the colors we chose and they laid new floors for us (the old floors were ugly, dirty carpet). The new floors and paint have really made the place feel like home. As have Abby's decorating. Have a look.

Living room


Is that a crib?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


This has been a good weekend of rest. And boy did I need it. Haven't had a real weekend in a while. You know, a weekend where you do whatever you want, where there are no expectations. My last three weekends were not that way. Thankfully this one was.

Friday night I went to bed at 10pm. I did not wake up Saturday until 10 am. On the dot no less. 12 hours of sleep. Deep sleep. It was fantastic. Went and ran 1 errand in Lexington and then accomplished one large task before 1230 and then had lunch with abby's parents. Hung out a bit and then went to the sat night church service. We got qdoba for dinner and watched a bunch of avatar: the last airbender. (I love how into it Abby has gotten). We went to bed at midnight and I slept in till 10 again. Abby had left early for church (she had to sing in the 2 morning services) and I had made a list the night before of things I wanted to do on sunday. Between 10 and 5 today I washed the dishes, swept the floor, cleaned the bathroom, read the bible, read The Shack, and got all the laundry done (and watched more avatar with abby). That may not sound like a day of rest, but it feels so good to have those important tasks done. A weight off my mind. And anytime I get to read the bible and for pleasure in the same day is good.

This weekend at church the pastor spoke about rest. He spoke about us retraining ourselves to have too much time instead of never having enough. We feel like if we don't have every hour planned then we aren't being productive. Productivity seems to be the goal now-a-days. If we aren't being productive then we are being lazy. That just isn't true. Most people are not constantly productive. They are just constantly busy. Those are 2 different things. Resting is productive. Resting is one of the ten commandments. We fear to rest, to give time to god. We feel we need that time to stay productive. But pastor Kevin said something that really struck home this week. He said many of us have experienced the miracle of tithing, where we give 10% to god and god helps us do more with 90 than we could have done with 100. So why don't we trust him to do the same with our time? Why not give him 30 minutes of our day and trust him to help us do more with less? I love the idea. It is one I hope to begin living by more regularly.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Lord Provides

When Abby was offered the job as RD of Kresge, one of the largest difficulties I knew we would face would be finding people to rent our house. Not difficulty in finding people who wanted to rent, but people we were comfortable renting to. Quickly a favorable situation presented itself: my friend Ryan Kennedy was looking for a new place to live. "Great!," I thought. "A friend who I trust. Our need meets his need. Perfect. And when I go hang out with Ryan, I will get to hang out at my own house." Soon we had other guys lined up to rent with Ryan. All seemed good.

Then I got a call. For reasons I will not disclose, Ryan returning to Kentucky had become a hardships for him. He couldn't rent the house. Crap. Then a second member of the renting trio dropped out. Double crap. Now what do we do?

Well, the Lord provided. Out of nowhere come three girls, all graduates of Asbury with full-time jobs, need a house to rent. They came as a trio as they were already renting a duplex together. GREAT! We signed a lease with them last Saturday. They are in, the utilities are changed over and we have our place rented for a year. YEAH!

This is only one of many ways the Lord has provided for us and those around us lately. (Lately? How about the last 2 years! How about my whole life?) Abby's mom got a sweet job at Indiana Wesleyan University a while back and that required the family to sell their house and move to Indiana. I don't know if you have noticed, but we are in an economic recession. Realtors are having trouble because not a ton of people are buying homes and a ton of people are trying to sell. This creates a buyer's market where buyers get great deal, barter their way down to the lowest price possible, etc. So Abby's parents put their house on the market and the first person who looks at it buy it. FOR THE LISTING PRICE! Are you kidding me? That is crazy! The Lord provides.

Praise God.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Raised Bed #2

While I was in Florida I gave my younger brother (Matthew) 3 days. On those 3 days we would do anything and everything he asked. On one of those days, Matthew decided he wanted to build a fire pit or raised bed garden for a friend (they had mentioned wanting to do both at some point). So we headed out to my Dad's office to try and find some leftover stone from another project some family member had done to build the fire pit. While doing so we ran into our uncle who mentioned he had hundreds of Ytong blocks (ytong is a lightweight alternative to concrete) out on his property that he was trying to get rid of. So we headed out there to get a truck load of them to build the fire pit. We stopped back by the office and our uncle said, "Is that all you got? You could have had all you wanted." We explained that we got more than we thought we needed for the fire pit but were back to look for wood for a raised bed garden. "Why don't you use the ytong blocks for the garden?" he asks. Great idea uncle. No cutting or drilling needed.

We got to Matthew's friend's house and began to plot out the garden. We decided to do one long row along a chain link fence. This would allow them to use the fence for climber plants and would all plants easily accessible via one row. So we got to it. It took about four hours for the three of us to dig out the sod (and tough tough roots), and then lay the blocks. It turned out that we only had enough blocks for the first row (the garden would need two) but it was still a good day's work and the hard part was done.

I am proud to say that I have now been a part of two raised bed garden builds and that neither of them have cost a penny. Not one cent. I just think that is so cool. We used an old fence for the first one and leftover ytong blocks for the second, stuff people were literally trying to get rid of. I filled the first one with horse manure, again, stuff people were trying to get rid of. I love it.

Also, on Sunday I ate the first harvest from our garden. A juicy cherry tomato. Praise God.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fun at the Thrift Store

Since I was in high school I have really enjoyed thrift stores. I like the idea of finding fun, funny clothes (for a themed party) or nice clothes (like khakis and a polo for work) or books, records, CDs all for cheap. Honestly, half of my book collection and almost my entire record collection has come from the thrift store.

I could go on about why I like thrift stores for a while, so I will just cut to the point of the post. Last year during the white elephant party Abby had for her Ambassadors I put Mere Christianity in as my gift. It is a classic and I found it at a thrift store for 50 cents. It went over well, being stolen a few times, ending with a person who did not have a copy of it. So I said, "Next year I am going to bring an entire set of the Harry Potter books to one of these." So far, so good.

(I don't know why the picture is sideways...tried to fix it many times)

Yesterday, as I was thinking about how easy this has been, how I have 4 of the 7 Potter books and have only spent $2.50, I started thinking about what other book collections I could acquire full sets of and then give away. I think I am going to attempt the Narnia collection and the LOTR collection. Those would be fun gifts right?

Also, I have already begun trying to build a full set of the Narnia books with the old numbering. You know, where The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is listed as book 1 and The Magicians Nephew is book 6. If any of you come across one of these old books (they stopped printing them in this order in the 70s or 80s I think) and want to donate it to my collection, it would be much appreciated.

Addendum 1:
I went to the thrift store the evening after I wrote this post and found and old version of The Last Battle. It is an adventure, a treasure hunt every time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Family History

While I was in Florida last week, I spent two days videotaping my paternal grandfather (Papa) tell stories. All my life I have enjoyed listening to Papa tell stories of his family back in Alabama and all the trouble they got into. Rough and tumble people who did what they had to do to survive, people who broke the law and got away with it, people who protected their land and family at all costs. They were also people who knew how to have fun. I left Florida with about 6 1/2 hours of tape that I hope to use in some way. I have a couple of ideas:

1. A simple book of stories. No running theme or story, just chapter after chapter of crazy stories.
2. A more comprehensive book that would act as a family history include family tree and a breakdown with stories about each person.
3. A DVD of Papa telling stories. Would require some serious editing but would be worth it.

I need more stories to do either. I thankfully got all of my favorite stories told and recorded so that I can correctly re-tell them. Here is just a small taste:

Papa's brother Saxson attended a small technical college where he was learning trade of making corrective lenses. This technical college had a basketball team. Saxson told the coach about how good Papa was and they asked him to play. So papa went down, registered for classes, and began playing with the team. The funny part is that Papa never went to a single day of classes. He worked full time and only showed up to practice and play games. Other coaches would dispute that Papa was enrolled but the coach brought the papers proving Papa was enrolled to every game to prove it. So, he played a whole season of basketball at a college that he never actually attended. Is that wrong? Yep. Do I love the story? Absolutely.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stuck in the airport

So I am stuck in the Orlando airport. My flight is supposed to be delayed 2 hours. This is crap. This I the 4th flight in a row that has been delayed for me an Abby. In may we came an had tickets to an Orlando Magic game. We got in 2 hour late and did not get to the game until half time. Coming in this time we arrived 6 hours late. Abby was delayed on the way home and now here I am delayed. All these flights have been through Allegiant Air. We fly them because they are cheap. But I guess you get what you pay for. Seriously, I am done with them. The annoyance is not worth the money saved. And they have no rewards system. I should be home with Abby at 7, enjoying our evening together and resting up before work tomorrow. Now I will get in at 9 or later and have barely a few hours to catch up with my wife who I haven't seen in a week before bed.

Allegiant Air, I am breaking up with you. It's not me, it's you.