One happy thing this past month was that we celebrated our 2 year (or 730 day) anniversary! It is hard to believe that we have been married for 2 years, in some ways it seems like a lot longer and in other ways it has really flown by.
This month we also went to Columbia for Dad's play and then to Clemson for Bethany's birthday, and over that weekend found out that Christy and Matt Knarr's baby, Haley Elizabeth was born! Congrats to the Knarr family! The following weekend we made it Raleigh and had lunch with Sarah, Jon's cousin, and then spent time with some of Jon's NCSU crew, Josh and Kami Johnson and we got to meet their adorable son Silas! We really enjoyed it and hope that it is not two years before we see them again! In other news, the Moore family is moving :o( :o) (rather bittersweet) in the coming week. So big changes there.
Next month we're planning to head to the Clemson vs. VT game in Clemson! Go Tigers!! But other than that we are staying put Lord willing!
Resting on top of the (clean) laundry
While I won't divulge the details here to the world, we've been dealing with some challenging stuff lately. And when hard things happen it makes it easy for us to jump to asking questions, wanting to know the "why, God?" behind the struggles in life. The answer to that question is always before us though... because in some way, this challenge, this trial, this grief will give God the most glory.
We heard John Piper speak once about this and he explained it in the sense of a tapestry. Here on earth we are on the underside of the tapestry and while we may see some semblance of a pattern or a design, what is most evident to us now are the strings and knots and loose ends... in other words, we see the problems and snarls of life. However, once we are on the other side of eternity, looking back at this tapestry we will see that God has used all of life's events, both good and bad, to create the most beautiful design possible, the pattern and picture that brings Himself the most glory. (at least I think this is what Piper meant by this, I don't mean to attribute something to someone if it's not what they intended to say... but that's what we got out of it at least!)
We praise God for His goodness and grace in our lives!
- had some fun dinners with folks from church
- I (emily) have stated attending a women's summer study with church
- visited Yadkinville for a few days
- took a few days off here at home just to catch up and relax
This weekend starts the transition between summer session 1 and 2... meaning... Jon has to work :o( But... the good news is that we leave Monday night for Columbia!! We are both looking forward to visiting since it was Easter the last time Jon was there, and was May at graduation since I've been. It'll be fun to see where things are on the new house and to spend some time on the lake!
Hopefully we'll have some pictures to post from that soon.
And here he is with his latest hobby- classical guitar. True musicians may recognize that the guitar he is playing is in fact acoustic.... however, he's learning classical style and if things go well we may be in the market. He's doing great so far! All those years of piano and band have definitely paid off (though he just said... and I quote, "This is very difficult!"-- he's practicing right now)
And... last but not least... what you've all been waiting for-- updates on Finn. First of all the cat is a mess! During Jon's last guitar lesson he was all over the place... being so naughty... inside Jon's teacher's guitar case, on the refrigerator, running back and forth like a crazy man! It was too funny. We also just last night purchased a mat to place outside his litterbox to catch any litter that's on his paws so he won't track it in the house. Well, we were confused b/c there was still litter being tracked, so just a bit ago we heard him in the litterbox and went to see what happened. Finn finished his business and then ever so carefully stepped out to the side of the mat and walked all the way around it without touching it! He's one smart kitty!
Here is Finn sitting dutifully by the door watching Jon in the hallway of our building.
And here is Finn inside a box with packing paper in it. He loves his boxes!
Me, Christy, Meredith, Ashley, Mollie
Meredith and John
The main thing I got from it is the idea that our sorrow exists within the context of the past and the future. We look back to God's grace and mercy in redemptive history and in our history and we see how He has worked even through tragedy. Then we look forward to the hope of heaven when all tragedy will be overcome. And between those two realities is how we understand what we're presently going through.
He compared it to playing a game with his daughter, where she'll be on the couch and he'll throw a blanket over her and she'll just start laughing. At the time her reality is dark (b/c the blanket is over her) but... she knows that when he has done this in the past he always pulls the blanket off and tickles her! And she is expecting and looking to the future that he is going to do that again... and that's what brings her laughter. I thought that was such a beautiful picture!
So even while we grieve and are sorrowful we do it within that context. The hard part is that SO MANY can't even begin to grasp that b/c they don't know Christ. And that is the piece that is really overwhelming.
We both worked at the convocation today, directing students and providing information about counseling services. Later we made rounds in some of the residence halls directly involved in this case trying to make sure reporters are being kept out of the buildings. They(media) keep trying to follow students into the reshalls (they are on card access right now) in order to interview students.
We were planning to go to the vigil tonight but have both been on our feet since 11:30am this morning and just couldn't make it. So instead we're hanging around our apartment with the door open (a bit of a challenge with a cat that keeps trying to run out). It's been good though as students and RAs stop by.
Again, thanks for all your prayers and concern!
- Emily's office is near Norris Hall and was quickly locked down. She was evacuated at 12:30 and was able to make it home to Pritchard.
- Jon was in his office all day, many students and RAs were stopping by to talk, watch the news and discuss what there thoughts and plans were.
- We have certainly felt your prayers. I've talked to several of you who couldn't sleep and prayed through the night... perhaps because of that we were actually both able to get some rest last night.
- Emily is off work for the day and will go back tomorrow. She is keeping up with emails and staying in the apt. for calls/students/RAs coming by.
- Jon is currently in a meeting where he is hopefully getting more info. When he returns we'll walk the halls to try to get a feel of what's going on. Our sense is that many students are leaving campus to go home now that the university has cancelled classes for the week.
What's Going On-
- The reshalls and our side of campus have been eerily quiet this morning. It's strange to see all the action and people on the news and the busyness on the other side of campus.
- There is a convocation this afternoon at 2pm which we will attend as well as a candlelight vigil at 8pm.
In so many ways this still seems unreal. When we look at the news and think about the events of the past 24-48 hours this could be anywhere... Blacksburg is Clemson and Raleigh and every other town across this country that has a university or college campus central to it's community. We think why here... why now... and simply turn and trust in the good that we believe God can bring from a situation even as horrific as this.
We'll post more as things happen... as for now keep praying...
It's Spring Break at VT right now which is sooooo nice! We hate that we didn't get to go down to MS again this year, but the time in the office without students is perfect for catching back up on a lot of work and having quiet time in the evenings. Tomorrow night we've got our home group from church coming over for a game night and then on Friday night we're hosting a Settlers of Catan game night. We're hoping to have about 2-3 games going at the same time, not sure who all is coming yet though and if that will happen. Shout out to Dad Wylie's amazing pineapple cheeseball which we will be making for the Settlers extravaganza!
Crochet has been my big thing as of late and I'll try and post some pictures soon of things I've been working on (though some of them are birthday gifts that I'll have to wait until after birthdays to post!). I love crocheting and think I am finally improving! Sunday afternoon I think I went for about 4 hours straight while Jon watched the race, a very much-needed relaxing afternoon. I've been trying to figure out if I could crochet full-time... but i think my hands might fall off, so I'll just stick to it as a hobby for now. If you want to comission me for anything though, let me know!!
Spring Break is coming up next week here at VT which means... no fire alarms, no door opening and closing all the time, no bass coming from above when we're trying to sleep, no traffic, no parking issues, *sigh* this will be a nice break. We will still be working but Spring Break is always a good time to catch up on all that "office stuff" that so easily get's put off when classes are in session.
Guess that's as good an update as any for now.
Funny story... We went to get pizzas a DXpress. Well while they were in the pizza oven smoke started coming out of it. So someone takes a fire extinguisher and sprays it all up into the oven (there was no fire... not smart!) and the dust from the extinguisher sets the alarm off for the WHOLE dining hall! We are told no pizzas for us and decide to go pick up a sandwich at West End for dinner. As we're walking back from picking up our food there are still a ton of students outside b/c of the fire alarm. Jon laughs about how funny it is that we actually saw the whole fiasco take place and were there when it started. I correct him by saying... not only were we there... it was our pizzas that started the whole thing in the first place!! He gets a big kick out of that one. Rather ironic given all the alarms we've had in our building in the middle of the night...Ahh, campus life....
- teaching him to use the people toilet
- him getting sick from trying to learn to use the toilet
- failing the toilet and going happily back to the litter box
- getting eletrocuted by chewing on the Christmas tree lights
- finally (after a looong time) proving Emily right that I do like my kitty bed
- having some fish friends move into the apartment
- learning about the dryer
- practicing walking on a leash
- getting scared by the ducks
- getting lots of squirts from the water bottle for climbing on the counter
- sleeping in the kitchen sink
- amazement that anyone would ever willingly climb into a tub of water
- playing with special friends Killer and Belle
- lots of trips in the car (most successful)
- escaping to a students room where Finn was petted, given some milk and cuddled by a roomful of students
- playing with lots of fun toys
- and of course the traditional activities of eating, sleeping and playing!
I'll try to post some pics later on...
each other. family. finn. our jobs. reading. budgeting. 24. pink sparkly markers. washing dishes. virginia tech. nc state. clemson. gcpc. crochet. ultimate. settlers. smiling. jesus. home group. cooking. working out. huckleberry trail. friends. hugs. enchilada casserole. traveling. nascar. snow. sun. chacos. stratego. movies. homemade chocolate brownie frappucinos. kisses. scrapbooking. totinos pizza. fish. vacuuming. a cappella. a weekend without fire alarms. house flipping. xbox. snail mail. pictures. christmas. big candles. blogs. piper. cnn.com. march. july. annual leave. cream soda. shopping. chris rice. 4 door vehicles. mountains. fall. sweet tea. honesty. towels from the dryer. coffee. building things. strawberries. egg and cheese sandwiches. recycling. and there's plenty more...
Jon and Bek xboxing in Columbia.
Jon and Em in Yadkinville on Christmas Day.