Thursday, August 28, 2008

Run Down on Routine

I am a creature of routine to the extreme.

I eat the same foods at the same time everyday… Monday- Friday Breakfast (7:15 am): 6 egg whites, black coffee, lunch (1 pm) can of Campbell’s Healthy Request soup, afternoon snack (3 pm) Weight Watcher’s yogurt with grapenuts, second afternoon snack (5:30 pm) bannana, apple, or carrots, dinner (7:30 pm) turkey burger or tuna sandwich, dessert (9 pm) bowl of whole grain cereal with skim milk or whatever 100 calorie snack cakes we have in the pantry that week. On the weekends it’s a little more exciting as I generally make an elaborate dinner, or we have plans with others where food is served. But breakfast is still egg whites and coffee, lunch is a tuna sandwich, dinner is a change, and then we generally have a Barnes and Noble date so I have a green tea and bakery pastry… (see even the treats become routine).

I do the same things at the same time every day (pretty much anyway, every now and then other plans throw things off). Monday- Friday… get up at 6 am, leave for work at 7:30. Work till noon. Take my lunch break at the beach where I read, journal, pray, and reflect. Go back to work at 1, eat lunch. Get off at 5, check blogs, write blogs. Exercise. Eat dinner. Read, make crafts, talk to my hubby or veg and watch TV if I am particularly worn out. Now every Monday night I have class, every Wednesday morning I have class. Every Friday night I have church. Every Saturday morning I get together with the girls for coffee. Every Saturday and Sunday Jeremy and I go for about an hour walk on the beach. Almost every Saturday and Sunday Jeremy and I enjoy an evening Barnes and Noble date unless we have plans with others. Somewhere in the extra free time on weekends I squeeze in reading, crafting, grocery shopping, cooking, whatever cleaning really NEEDS to be done that week and time to goof off, talk, snuggle and be silly with my hubby. So there’s a little fluff, but mostly routine, routine routine.

I think that I subconciously crave routine and gravitate towards it without even realizing what I’m doing. I like to know what I’m going to do and when. I like to know what I’m going to eat without having too much fuss over menus, shopping, preparation etc (at least after a long day of work). Not to mention having a routine keeps my eating much more healthy than I feel it would be without a routine. I like to know that I have a working way of getting in the things that I’ve prioritized should really be done each week, that are imporatant to me. Having a routine ensures that happens (generally). I like the security I find in routine. The comfort. I am a planner naturally, but when I have regular routines it means less planning that I need to worry over when these things just seem to flow naturally and regularly on their own.

Within the past few days I’ve been questioning if all of this routine is encouraging me to be a better disciple of Jesus or inhibiting it. I don’t have an answer yet, but here are some of the questions that I’ve been asking myself.

Does routine stifle the Lord and His promptings out of my day? Do I get so consumed in my routine that I don’t hear His voice? Do I get so rooted in my routine that I’m not open to changes in it, or that those (unexpected) changes may even illicit an adverse reaction out of me? (I’m hearing a lot of I’s and Me’s here… my routine seems to be all about me and my comfort and I know that having a “me” centered approach is not submitting myself to the Lord)… huh… I don’t even know where to go on that one… my brain is about to explode!

What does my day completely surrendered to the Lord look like?... Okay bad question, I can’t plan out what that will look like, that defeats the purpose (I think anway). What does my day fully surrendered to the Lord feel like?

Am I finding security and comfort in routine that I should otherwise be finding in Jesus?

Does the discipline of routine help me in devoting time to prayer, the Word, and sitting in the Lord’s presence? Could this time be more full, or more frequent without routine, but if it was more of a spontaneous desire for His presence? Does routine cause this time to become a ritual (something I do moreso out of obligation, or the action of it) rather than an expression of my love and desire?

Like I said, I LOVE routine (this is not an attempt to bash it in anyway). I’m just exploring the questioning of whether it is really best for my walk with the Lord or not. Of whether it can tend to cause a staleness in my relationship with Him. It’s good to question things. It’s good to seek the Lord and see if He gives me peace on routine, or encourages me to be a little more flexible. So I set out on an endeavor to know His heart more… Guide me Lord. Mold me, I am your clay. Thank you for your freedom and your grace as I stumble through life desiring to know you more.


Friday, August 22, 2008

1 Year Married!!!!!... (well almost)

This Monday, August 25, is our 1 year anniversary!!!!!! Jeremy and I are off to stay at a borrowed condo in Pawley's Island for the next several days to celebrate. We're going to spend the next several days connecting, celebrating, relaxing, and just enjoying each other.

In light of the festivities, for all interested here's a link to our wedding pics. You'll need to select "view proofs", then use username: "shannon_judy" and password: "082507".

A year ago I was walking down the aisle, grinning ear to ear, to the sound of a woman's voice singing "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty...", and staring at my dashingly handsome groom. It was beautiful!

This was the script for our ceremony:

Jeremy and Shannon today is an exciting day of celebration, joy and a bit of stress. Marriage is designed by God to provide a safe place of love, comfort and adventure.

Eclesiastes 4:12
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Genesis 2:24
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Today, two individuals are becoming one. Jeremy
and Shannon are entering a covenant of marriage saying, “We are walking this path together. Divorce is not an option. We are committed to God and each other.”

Ruth 1:16
But Ruth replied, "Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

Earthly marriage is a great prelude to the main event of history. Human love and marriage provide us a picture of a future event. One day, Jesus Christ promised that he would return for His bride “the church.” Through a relationship with Jesus you receive not only an invitation to the wedding but a reception dinner that is truly other-worldly.

Paul in the book of Ephesians blends his conversation about marriage and the church.

Ephesians 5:22-33
You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.

And we are his body. As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Jeremy, Paul’s words here give you a clue to a happy, meaningful marriage. Love your wife the way Christ loved the church…selflessly. Shannon, you are not off the hook. You are to respect your husband. Women need to be loved. Men need to be respected. Couples that forget this, endure marriage they do not enjoy it.

Love and Respect.

Exchange of Vows

The vows affirm the covenant relationship between a husband and a wife.
Jeremy, repeat after me: I, Jeremy, take you Shannon, to be my wife, my friend and my life-partner for the rest of our lives. Before God, family and friends I pledge to you my life. I will be faithful to you in sickness and in health, in good and bad times, in times of joy and well as in times of sorrow. I promise to love you as Christ loves His church.

Shannon, repeat after me: I, Shannon, take you Jeremy, to be my husband, my friend and my life-partner for the rest of our lives. Before God, family and friends I pledge to you my life. I will be faithful to you in sickness and in health, in good and bad times, in times of joy and well as in times of sorrow. I promise to respect you and follow your lead.

In the church, baptism is the outward sign of an inward commitment to Christ. In the marriage, the ring is an outward symbol of fidelity. The rings do not make you married. They let others know that you are.

Do you, Jeremy, give this ring to Shannon, as a visible symbol of your fidelity to her.


Jeremy, repeat after me:
Shannon, I give you this ring, as a promise of my fidelity and as an expression of my love.


Do you, Shannon, give this ring to Jeremy, as a visible symbol of your fidelity to him?


Shannon, repeat after me: Jeremy, I give this ring to you as a promise of my fidelity and as an expression of my respect for you.

I now pronounce you husband and wife before God, family and friends.

Jeremy, you may now kiss your wife.

I present to you Mr. And Mrs. Jeremy Mangerchine.

Now, one year later, I love Jeremy more than ever. Each day I love him more and more. My love for him changes over time, it matures, but it continues to grow. I love the man God has made him. I love the woman he makes me. I love the couple that we are together. I love our life that we've made together. I love the way God uses us to speak to each other, the way He uses us together as a team in ministry to others, the way He bonds us as one. I love having a partner, teammate and best friend to share everything in life with. There have been ups and downs this year (way more ups than downs though). We've had our share of arguments, selfish moments, frustrations etc., but we have a marriage centered on and submitted to the Lord, which gets us through all of those rough times. I love how our marriage has been a chance to realize the inner selfishness that I can be capable of and other sins that I could easily hide in my single life. I love how through marriage God has brought those things to the surface, and allowed me to experience his unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness in whole new ways. I love how I experience those through Jeremy regularly when I'm not acting quite so lovable. I love how I have regular opportunities to allow the Spirit to work through me as well and show Jeremy the same unconditional love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. I love having a husband who is a gifted leader, and can lead me, our marriage and our future children. I love having someone to snuggle with all of the time. I love having someone to laugh with, cut up with, that I can do anything and everything around and know that he accepts me just the way I am, as I do him. I love the way that Jeremy and I becoming one has morphed me into a different person than I was before.

Baby, I love the amazing man that you are! I believe in you, I'm proud of you, I'm your biggest fan! I love you so much!!!!!

Lord, thank you for the amazing husband that you've given me. Thank you for the day we met at Refuge. Thank you for Jeremy's character and heart for you. Thank you for making him into a man capable of leading me and our marriage and keeping our home centered on You. God, I ask that you grow me in the areas that I am weak, make me into the woman that Jeremy needs me to be. Give me a heart that joyfully serves him, joyfully puts him before myself. Continue to fill us with grace, mercy, patience, passion, sacrificial love, and forgiveness for each other. Continue to keep us centered on you Lord. As our wedding ceremony stated let us be a triple braided cord with you Lord. Let our union be an example of you and your love to the world.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ohio Trip

We made it back from Ohio in one piece. Our nephew, Blake, is precious! We had a great time with family and enjoying the Columbus character, amenities and weather. Now we have a short work week this week and then off on vacation again to stay at a friends condo in Pawley's Island for 4 days to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! Woohoo!!!

Some of the highlights from our Columbus trip included enjoying the brisk (well compared to Myrtle Beach anyway) Columbus air, time spent talking hanging out and praying with family, trips to a local rummage sale used bookstore and consignment shop where we scored many great finds, a trip to Bryan and Meegan's church that we love, a walk around some cute Victorian neighborhoods and part of Ohio State's campus, a lunch date for me and J at Mongolian Barbeque (my first time, it was delicious!!!!), lots of great food- mom's banana bread, butter beans and corn, Meegan's grandma's 3 layer bars, Meegan's mom's brownies and Bryan's award winning "Slow Ride (Take it Easy) Chili", and games of Yahtzee and Phase 10. The trip was a blast, including the long car ride each way where Jeremy and I got to talk and listen to a books on CD. Here's some of our pics from the trip...

The baby that brought us all to Ohio for this trip, Blake Michael Mangerchine, born August 1, 2008

The glowing mother Meegan

Uncle Jeremy holding his new nephew

Dad serenading us

Family picture. Front row: Mom, Lisa (Jeremy's sister), Dad, and Ellie the Visla/ dog. Back row: Me and Jeremy on left, Bryan, Blake and Meegan on right.

Another to add to my collection of Dad sleeping. :)

Blake apparently likes to suck noses, here he's enjoying Jeremy's. No breast milk in there Blake.

Ellie napping

Bryan napping on the couch while Meegan and Blake pose for the picture. In this one post alone I've managed to include pictures of 3 Mangerchine men napping... Jeremy, you're my next victim, I know where you sleep!

The happy parents

Me and Jeremy enjoying the swing

My poker face during Phase 10... I actually won that game, so you can just call me champion until we meet again and have a re-match!

Thanks Bryan and Meegan for your hospitality during our visit, for opening up your home to us so graciously in the chaos of having a new baby and allowing us to share in the joy with you. Thanks mom, dad and Lisa for all of the time we had together in Ohio and everything that you do for us! It was great to be together, celebrate the gift of Blake that God has given us, and come together as a family to pray over him. We love you all, will be praying for you, and look forward to see you all again!


Monday, August 11, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

From time to time I like to post these daybook entries inspired by this site. Here's one more for my collection.

FOR TODAY August 11, 2008...

Outside My Window... A parking lot. Sunshine.

I am thinking... What do I need to pack for Ohio? Our condo is cluttered, what can I get rid of? I’ve got one bag of clothes and shoes ready to donate, what can I add to it?

I am thankful for... Jeremy’s deal closing. Being out of debt. Having a little spending money to buy a few things. Time with mom last night and her treating Jeremy and I to some yummy Ethiopian food. Much needed vacation this week and the chance to spend time with the Mangerchine family. Lunch breaks.

From the kitchen... Turkey burgers on whole wheat buns with all the fixings, carrots and ranch dressing.

I am wearing...
Work clothes… brown sandals, tan slacks, pale pink polo shirt layered under a rose colored cable knit short sleeve sweater. I can’t wait to change into something more comfy though.

I am creating... Order. This weekend I used my creative time to clean out my car, make a dent in our junk room, and designate some clothes for donation. This is a project that is much bigger than one weekend as I journey to remove the clutter and unnecessary items from our home.

I am going... No where tonight. A night at home to exercise, eat, read, do laundry and enjoy my hubby. Making preparations for our trip on Thursday.

I am reading... Obadiah, Jonah and Micah for church and A New Kind of Christian for recreation.

I am hoping... For safe travel to Ohio, meaningful time with family, some good finds at the enormous used bookstore in Columbus and time in general to slow down, relax, relate and enjoy the people I’m with.

I am hearing...
Nothing. (I’ve been doing this a lot more lately, just sitting in silence. I’ve stopped listening to anything on my way to work and I use the quiet time to reflect, prepare, pray and listen. I don’t know how long this silent season will last, but I am enjoying it and the encouragement that it gives me to slow down and relax.)

Around the house...
Laundry to be put away or packed, snacks for the car ride to Ohio, and dry cleaning to be dropped off.

One of my favorite things... This season of transformation… Over the past several years I continue to see myself shed off layers of who I was before (in bondage) as an inner me begins to shine through. In this season I can see former desires for newer homes, furniture, matching decorations, dishes etc. all start to drift away as I lean towards appreciating the character of things that are worn, imperfect, that are mismatched and hodge podged. I see value in items that bring back old memories, or that belonged to loved ones. I see the warmth these things add to an environment. And it helps that I’m frugal and love to save money and that owning or purchasing older items does that. I have a growing appreciation for simple things and simple living. I see the Lord beginning to change so much about the way that I relate to others and encourage them. Basically this is a season of MAJOR transformation. As I’ve undergone several of these in the past few years, each is unique in it’s own ways. I’m particularly enjoying this one, and having a husband who is my best friend, partner and teammate to discuss my thoughts and feelings with each step of the way.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Laundry, pack, lots of driving and RELAX and ENJOY.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This was too funny not to share. On Sunday I decided to re-polish my chipping and rugged looking toe nails. I couldn’t find my foam toe separators and improvised with everything within my reach. I didn't feel like looking for my nail scissors and grabbed the large household orange handled scissors to lob some of the length off of my witch length nails. Jeremy got a kick out of it and decided to have a photo shoot while I was incapacitated.

I hope that gave you a good laugh for the day!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

If You Came to My House

I just saw this post on Aimee's blog and decided to join in the fun once again.

If You Came to My House....

(we're the upper left unit)

You Would See:

A 950 square foot condo that is bursting at the seams and crammed full with stuff… Weights and an exercise bike in the middle of our living room/ dining room combo and the dining table pushed into the corner (we move the bike into our “junk” room when we have company over so that we can bring the table out and eat at it). A cozy, u shaped mocha colored microfiber couch with a couple of throw blankets sprawled out on it, just calling your name to sit and stretch out. Bookshelves packed full of books. A kitchen counter with a few too many appliances on it… george forman grill, coffee maker, rice cooker, blender (and those are just the ones we’ve used this week, not to mention the extras in the closet). Tooth picks scattered in random places after Jeremy has discarded them for the day. Dishes on the counter needing to be loaded into the dish washer. The dish washer ajar and airing out from the smell of burnt plastic from a spoon that fell off the rack and melted in it this weekend. A junk room bursting at the seams with stuff, from crafting supplies, to guitar accessories, to clothes and an oversized desk. (our winter project is to purge as much junk as possible and de-clutter)

We Would Probably Feed You:

On a weekday, nothing extravagant… definitely turkey burgers. Either chopped up and put in a salad, or mixed in like a burrito bowl with rice, beans, salsa and sour cream. Our week night meals are all about simplicity in time, ingredients that we already have around the house, and being light and healthy. On weekends I do the more elaborate cooking.

We Would Undoubtedly Ask You If You Have Read:

The Shack by William Young. I read it about a month ago and Jeremy is just finishing it right now. There are numerous points of view on the book; it has been labeled as controversial by some, but seems to be the “hot” thing right now in some Christian circles. A lot of people we know have read it, or are reading it currently. I gleaned several delightful tidbits from the book and love hearing what others got out of it and what their outlook on it has been.

We Would Play This Music For You:

Hillsong. We absolutely love Hillsong and it’s one of the few bands that we agree upon. Their music is a worshipful masterpiece!!!!

We Would Want To Tell You The Latest About:

Jeremy’s deal just closing about a week ago, our nephew just born last week and our upcoming trip to Ohio to see family.

We Would Probably Suggest A Game Of:

Phase 10. Ever since we played this in New Orleans in March with the Mangerchines we’ve been hooked. Every time that we have people over we try to lure them into a 4 four Phase 10 event.

We Might Show Off:

Our wedding album that I made on that has captions, our vows and Scripture that was used in the ceremony. Photos from any of the trips that we’ve taken this year… New Orleans, Matthews, or The Coblentz wedding.

We Might Get On The Computer And Show You:

We have dial-up, we wouldn’t put guests through the frustration of enduring that with us.

If It Was A Long Enough Visit, We Might Watch:

In the fall football, when Top Chef is on that, right now we’re pretty disenchanted with the shows on TV though and mostly read.

What Would A Visit To Our House Be Like?

Warm and inviting (hopefully). Filled with laughter, conversation, coffee, and food. We try to make our home a place that others can feel comfortable, where they can come over in sweats if they want, put their feet up on the coffee table, look through our fridge and grab anything that they desire. We want our guests to come and feel at home, we want them to leave feeling refreshed and loved.

What would a visit to your house be like?