What I did on my summer vacation

I went to my favorite place in the world.

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(view from the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park)

I spent some quality time with friends.

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(at Logan Pass, Glacier National Park)

I spent some quality time with my best friend.

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(from Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park)

 And I spent some quality time with Annie.

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I saw things bright and beautiful….

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(Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park)

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(Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park)

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(The Tetons)

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(White Cone Geyser, Yellowstone National Park) 

…and creatures great and small.

(Dan captured this awesome video at Fishercap Lake, Glacier National Park)

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(photo by Dan)

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(photo by Dan)

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(Photo by Dan) 

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(Photo by Rachel) 

Thankfully, we avoided this potential series of unfortunate events…

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But not this one:

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I went to church.

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(The Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park) 

I waited for geysers, listened to birds, ran through a thunderstorm, heard the ground hiss and roar and bubble, smelled sulfur, watched wildflowers, tracked Moose, dozed off in the sunshine, fiddled with maps, hiked trails, got off the internet, adjusted to the earth’s schedule for a change, drove to the sun, and found these words to be true:

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(from the Logan Pass visitor’s center, Glacier National Park)

I listened, and in the silence I felt God’s delight in all these wild things, and I felt God’s delight in me.

I am wiped out, yet refreshed, sore but energized.  I’m the best kind of tired there is.

Thanks for giving me the space to rest.

 

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Strong Enough to Be My Man - And Run My Web Site

It isn't easy being married to a strong-willed and outspoken woman. Looking back over nearly five years of marriage, I think my husband and I could have safely included in our wedding vows the promise to remain faithful through richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, through conservativism and liberalism, through orthodoxy and “heresy,” through hard work and harder work, in faith and in doubt. I’m living proof that the person you marry has a frightful tendency to change, and yet I've had the blessing of being loved and cherished through it all.

Despite the fact that we may boast conflicting bumper stickers this election year, Dan and I enjoy what I consider to be a good marriage. This says a lot for Dan, whose watched me evolve from a relatively conventional conservative evangelical to someone who reads Brian McLaren. 

Not only have I changed, but I’ve done so with my usual candidness and ambition. This means lengthy conversations with friends about biblical interpretation, the occasional unprovoked tirade against the Bush administration, long hours in front of the computer or behind a book, and the prospect of publishing a few of these crazy ideas for all to see. 

The thing about Dan is he’s got a remarkable ability to lead a person who doesn’t generally like being led. He isn’t threatened by my intelligence or emasculated by my drive to succeed. He doesn’t judge me when I’m struggling through difficult theological issues, or argue with me when he disagrees with the conclusions I reach. He leads by example, his measured wisdom and self-control reminding me to be patient, his encouragement and entrepreneurial spirit inspiring me to dream big. 

I know that some people may criticize him for not showing more “spiritual leadership” by keeping me reigned in and submissive, but Dan respects me enough to let me grow, and he trusts God enough to let Him guide. Dan’s one of those rare guys who can hold with open arms. 

On top of all of this, Dan essentially created this blog. He designed it, launched it, and continues to help me maintain it. So for all of you who enjoy the RSS feeds or appreciate the technical end of things, he’s the one to thank. 

Now, for all you independent women out there, I’ve got some advice. Look for a guy like Dan. Go for someone who is both strong and controlled, both inquisitive and confident, both humble and damn good at everything he does. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a guy who can write a little html.

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On a Lighter Note - How Unfair is This?

My husband Dan went in for a check-up the other day, and came back with strict instructions from his doctor to eat a bowl of ice cream before bed every night. 

Those who know Dan know that he’s a little on the thin side. This year he burned some extra calories fixing up and re-selling an old house in downtown Dayton, so he really needs to put on a few pounds. 

I have a hard time feeling sorry for him. 

Dan can eat an entire sleeve of Oreos in one sitting and wash them down with a giant glass of milk, and not gain an ounce. All I have to do is look at them and I’ll see the affects on my hips the next morning. With swimsuit season looming, I’ve just started my annual routine of running an extra mile in the afternoons, watching my caloric intake, and being perpetually cranky, all the while adding whole milk, bacon, sausage, pasta, ice cream, and peanut butter to my grocery list for Dan. 

I suggested that we go on Oprah to get advice from Dr. Oz, but Dan wasn’t crazy about the idea. 

Anyway, I have faith that our love…and a few bon bons…will get us through this difficult time. In the meantime, because I consider myself a bit of an expert on weight gain, I’ve compiled the following tips to help Dan out. If you can think of more, send me your comments! 

1. Don’t eat because you are hungry. Eat whenever you feel excited, antsy, depressed, angry, or bored. 

2. Graze. Leave open containers of potato chips and candy sitting around and just grab a handful at a time. 

3. The drive-through is your friend. 

4. Get second and third helpings of all my delicious meals…or grab a Hot Pocket out of the freezer when I’m not looking. 

5. Follow the time-honored Southern tradition of frying everything!

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No gay jokes please

The other day, a co-worker told a “joke” about physically hurting gay people. It was his third gay joke of the day, (he’d already cracked two about women), so I decided I ought to let him know it bothered me. 

No one else in the room objected to his remarks. 

I’ve found myself in this awkward position several times before, especially when working with my more conservative evangelical clients. It seems that among this group, gays are fair game. 

Now, I understand that there is much debate within the Church on the issue of homosexuality, and I respect people on both sides of it. I know that a lot of Christians consider homosexuality to be a particularly offensive sin. But does that somehow make a homophobic joke more acceptable than, say, a racist or sexist one?  

Maybe I’m way too sensitive about these things. I hate to be the “politically correct” killjoy.  And yet I somehow feel that saying nothing condones the notion that belittling gays is acceptable…and for me, it’s just not

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Second Honeymoon in LeGrange

Hello from LeGrange, Georgia! Never heard of it? Neither had we until we got stuck here in an attempt to avoid the hail, tornados, and flash floods plaguing Atlanta today.

On our way back from a conference with one of my clients at Calloway Gardens (about 70 miles south of the city), Dan and I got word of the weather and decided to call it a day. So we’re hanging out at the Hampton Inn in LaGrange, enjoying cable TV, room service, and (lucky me) free Wi-Fi. We haven’t even seen a drop of rain.

The funny thing is, after a crazy busy week, with both of us going 100-miles-per-hour in different directions, we’re really enjoying ourselves. I guess sometimes an unexpected delay can turn out to be a blessing...or at least a reminder that it never hurts to slow down for a few hours.

So, do not disturb. We’re vacationing in LaGrange!

(P.S. More posts about Hillary/Obama to come! Thanks for your interesting comments.

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