two wonderful days

I really shouldn't limit wonderful days to two, but space and time can only contain so many thoughts.

Yesterday was amazing. The day was pretty normal as far as days go, except that I decided to do without coffee - don't ask me why. My sister was like, "Of all days to give up your caffeine routine you chose your birthday?" I don't really know why, I just went for the tea bag instead of the coffee pot when I got to work and I never switched over. Needless to say, my energy level was quite a bit lower than normal:) ... But I accomplished a lot at work and had a chance to get to know another intern (who took me out to LUNCH at a great Thai place!)

As I was waiting for the bus, I fleshed out an analogy I'd been thinking on for awhile about our lives and how we plan. I've had the darndest time figuring out how to plan around public transportation. The thing is: I'm going to get there, wherever it is. I leave at the same time every morning and I go to the Red Line el(subway). It usually comes at the same time, but I never know. Then I rendezvous to the Blue Line, where I may have to wait 5 or 15 minutes, then I finally get to the transit center where I hope to catch the 7:40 bus. Even if I don't make all my connections (like the day we had to evacuate the el and take shuttles because a car had landed on the tracks) I still get there. Is it just me or is that divinely applicable?

I have always liked to know... micromanaging seems like the best way to make sure I get things done and the way they should be. But, I canNOT control the public transportation system - I'm merely one person in its wider maze. I can plan to catch the 3:47 bus, but leave at 4:15. My plans don't carry any weight... and I've come to see the beauty in that. It's not about me, it's not up to me, and it doesn't depend on me. Isn't this like my life?

(on to more blessed stories)
I met one of my bus friends both in the morning and afternoon and he was so kind and genuine. He sang me the "shorty it's your birthday song," which brought a smile. He also said something that will stick for a long time. It was after I had told him what book I was reading (Desiring God by John Piper) and where I went to church that he said, "Well, I knew you had faith the first time I saw you. Riding the bus... you just get observant about people and you got this thing about you." Wow. Glory to God for His light - He is recognized by His creation!

I also was delightfully surprised by a couple of friends who left gifts on my bed before they left for the weekend. People are so thoughtful and it makes life beautiful!

So... then I met my friends Jenna and Lis at Jenna's apartment downtown. How beautiful and blessed I am to know these girls. I seriously can not explain God's power in bringing us together and allowing us to be so close in such a short time. We made fajitas (which turned out amazing, I might add) and had the most memorable celebration! We had a chance to bond and share about our lives, struggles, and dreams. They both have such special gifts... they are people the Lord will use! I could go on and on about them, but I have to hurry or I'll lose steam!

Okay, so then today I got to spend with a family from my hometown. It felt so great to be around people who know me and my roots!! This refreshing day came just at the right time - I had so much fun talking, laughing, and fellowshipping. We did a lot of things I still hadn't done since I came - Navy Pier, Sears Tower, Hershey's store, lunch at Buca di Beppo's, pictures at the bean. We sure walked a lot, but any of my friends would tell you that's how I like it! :)

I'm reading in Acts right now for college group about the first church and I am feeling the blessed community even now. Breaking bread, sharing, and living with grateful hearts was huge today - I had to much to give praise for! It was so neat to talk to each of them and hear/give updates. People are beautiful! I hate to think that I'm using that word too often, but God's beauty is evident in His children!
The long story (short version) is: we started at 10 and went til 7. We really saw Chicago and I was blessed til my calves ached and toes hurt and I loved every single moment.

one last thing I have to add: I felt love from home like a giant wave!! On Thursday I got packages from my parents and grandparents - so happy! And my mom somehow found exactly the right hostess outfit - cute, funky, and classy all rolled into one! But - no there was more - a FOOT MASSAGER! I know - I'm about to go hook it up right now! And my grandparents are just as thoughtful - sugar free candies (my favorite - in moderation... that's a whole other story!), wonderful coffee drink mixes, and some super khakis. I feel so blessed! Along with calls from loved ones, I don't know how my days could have been sweeter.