“ooh, life..”

16 05 2011

Sometimes I just don’t get this thing called life.  Well, probably more often than sometimes.  I guess it’s just a more intense not-getting at some points than others.

It is 1 am.  I should be sleeping.  But instead, I’ve been in bed for an hour, wrestling with thoughts.  Thoughts of far away countries with some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met.  Thoughts of kids living on the streets because their parents kicked them out, in hopes that they would have a better life begging than they would living with them.  Thoughts of how incredible it is to be able to witness first-hand God’s love penetrating through any language barrier, and speaking louder than any words ever could.

Then there are thoughts of a neighborhood so broken.  Drugs.  Gangs.  Prostitution.  Gun shots.  A 42 year old single lady that needs more wine nights with her 23 year old neighbors.  The guys across the street who don’t know what it’s like to really be loved on.  The guy with green hair and the girl with big dogs that drink alot of beer and ride a mo-ped and intimidate me.  RAD houses, full of punk hipster bicycle gang boys.

And next, thoughts of a classroom.  MY VERY OWN classroom.  My kiddos to make learning fun for.  My kiddos to love on.  My kids to encourage; it could be the only encouragement they get all day.

Oh.  and then there’s the thoughts of the incredible thing called community that I’ve been so undeservingly blessed with.  Friends and family that are so incredible.  People to laugh with.  To be kicked in the butt by.  To give big hugs just when you need them.  To vent to.  To just BE.  People who I can really live this thing called life with.

And it’s these times that I really don’t get life.  Or what God has for it.  Because it can’t be everything at once.  It’s just impossible.  So how does that make sense?  No matter what I chase, my heart is missing something else.  At least for the time being.  Hmm..maybe that’s the beauty of it.  God blesses us with so much opportunity to love and live and be.  And sometimes He leads us to the precise place that He has for us. And sometimes He leaves it  up to us as to choose how and where we pursue that.

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ooh i love the bunny

23 04 2011

     As Easter Sunday draws near (okay, it’s tomorrow) i’ve been reflecting on this holiday in a way i haven’t in years previous. don’t get me wrong, i love egg hunts, easter baskets, and chocolate bunnies (did you catch the vegie tales reference in the title?) as much as the next guy.. er.. gal, but none of those things have anything to do with why we celebrate this day. besides, the Zaepfel family doesn’t do the whole Easter bunny thing anyway, we have an Easter chicken. yep, that’s right, chicken. he’s old, bald, and flaps around dropping treats from a vending machine. he’s my grandpa, in case you were about to question the sanity of the Zaepfel family. which you should maybe do anyway. however, getting back to the task at hand here, the cause of this musing (sorry, had to use it) was brought on by a sudden thought in my car the other day and then further encouragement from a friend who has no idea he spurred this post. the random thought in my car was “i’m so thankful for my friends”, which isn’t really that random in my life because i think that quite often. what was random about that particular thinking of this thought was what immediately followed. it wasn’t just “i’m so thankful for my friends” but “i’m so thankful for my friends, and i’m so thankful that Jesus died for them”.  unforutnately, this thought was almost immediately forgotten (probably because justin beiber came on the radio and i had to rock out).

However, last night i was texting a good friend of mine asking if he wanted to join a group of us at a bar we were headed to and he politely declined for the good reason of he was watching The Passion of the Christ. i read this text and was immediately ashamed. It was Good Friday.. and it never even crossed my mind to watch that, or read the biblical account, or do anything of that nature. Why not? Why did i let this week go by without giving what this week means more than 2 seconds in a car worth of thought? My only answer is i got busy. busy with life. it’s a terrible excuse and i’m ashamed to admit it, but i allowed what was going on around me to consume my thought life rather than focus on the last week of Jesus’ life. i thought i was doing so well this week trying to stay focused on the Lord and not let certain things around me lately distract me. FAIL. pride comes before a fall. there’s the evidence. bag it up and take it to the guys at CSI.

So for the past 24ish hours i’ve been thinking about why i’m grateful Jesus died for me this Easter (better late than never right?). and though there are a multitude of reasons, i’m gonna focus on 1. my friends. God has blessed me with unbelievable friends. when i think about the people in my life, the word that describes them is “quality”. i use that term quite often (product of Grove City College where that word is used A LOT). the people in my life that i am blessed to call my friends are the most wonderful, kind hearted, loving, Godly, quality people. who gets to have friends like we do as Christians? how many people have innumerable names come to mind to call upon when in tears and in need of prayer? who can gather with their friends and talk about life and the Lord and our purpose? The difference between my friendships with those who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and my friendships with those that do are so incredibly different. I know that i will be friends with these people forever and ever and to eternity and beyond. it amazes me that Jesus died, not only for me, but for all these amazing people in my life so that i will never have to say goodbye to them. God sent his son, not only for me, but for us. and that fact leaves me astounded.

So thank you to all of you who are my friends, i am thankful for your frienship more than i could ever say. and to my roommate, Steph, i cannot even begin to express in words how thankful i am that Jesus died for you. without you, i have no idea what my life would look like. You encourage me, share your wisdom with me, and are such a light in my life. I am so glad that God ordained us to be roommates long ago before we were even born. He had a plan, and i am so glad He did.

so maybe it didn’t occur to me to watch The Passion of the Christ… (which ironically i can’t watch due to a sensitivity to the crucifixion story which i’ve had since i was a child. picture me in a movie theater with my entire high school slumped unconscious in a seat and then being dragged out by 2 teachers and surrounded by more teachers freaking out because i wasn’t coming to)… but because of what Jesus did so many years ago, i have a friend who did.





A Tidbit For Your Thursday

14 04 2011

Ashley and I made a very dumb decision.  That decision was to register for a 5K, 5 days before it happens.  Meaning, as of Sunday, we had not done any running to prepare for this.  Some may say, “Oh, no big deal.  It’s only 3 miles.  You don’t need to train.”  For some people, that is 110% accurate.  However, for us folks who were not blessed with the running gene and who feel like there is a cow sitting on their chest after running ten feet, training is most definitely needed.  So we have run four times this week in hopes to lessen the death feeling just slightly.  Our goal Saturday is to just merely survive.  And jam out to some Beibs along the way for some motivation. 🙂

We are FINALLY getting a dining room table on Saturday! It’s one we’ve had our eye on at a local antique shop in Plaza Midwood.  Originally $800, got it for $75. That’s right! We never did take enough advantage of our large dining room without a dining room table for our awesome dance party (our last house was infamous for sporatic kitchen dance parties).  Oh well, we will have a place for 6 friends to come have dinner with us! And hey, I guess we still have two nights to get that dance party in.

I have taken it upon myself to start opening the mail of the guy who lived in our house before us.  Now, I know (esp by the warnings of my roomies) it is illegal to do so, and for awhile I resisted the urge.  However, good ol’ Brian gets more mail than Ashley, Kirstin and I combined.  So occasionally when I check the mail I get the whim and open his.  Nothing too exciting so far. Oh, an empty box from Direct TV. That’s the extent of excitement.  I have contemplated going online and changing his address to some random address, just so we aren’t stuck getting his junk anymore. I’m still contemplating…

That’s all for now.

-Steph





Charleston, SC. aka: forever 21

8 04 2011

a couple weeks ago, steph and i spent a weekend in Charleston, SC. One of the ladies i work for was in a wedding and asked me to come along in order to watch her daughter during the ceremony. It was her idea (best boss ever) for steph to come with me since i’d be there the whole weekend and only working 7 hours of it. So basically, steph and i got a completely free vacation. can it get better? well, if you throw in our fancy hotel room, money provided by the grandma for room service, and $100 for watching another kid who slept the whole time, then yes, yes it can. we spent our first night with Kate’s (the lady i work for) sister, her husband and 3 year old daughter Pippa. We were feeling a bit awkward walking up to the house to spend the night with people we didn’t know but were instantly put at ease when we were greeted with a beer and told that steaks were on the grill. We were wined and dined (literally.. our glasses magically refilled every time we finished them) and were thoroughly entertained by Pippa who informed us that she is stronger than Jesus. Saturday afternoon we ventured out into downtown Charleston. Now, i was particularly excited about this because i’ve heard great things about this city from practically everyone at Mosaic Church (mosaic was born out of seacoast church, so most of the staff moved from there). however (hate me if you must), the most exciting thing about Charleston was the GIANT forever 21. if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on tours and such (which we didn’t) there really isn’t much else to do other than shop on kings street. we did however go to the marina (by accident, we were actually trying to find the battery) and boarded a pirate ship. okay, it was actually a seamester (study abroad at sea) ship but we prefered to think of it as a pirate ship. i got a tour of the scaliwag clad (aka: counselors) vessel complete with made up uses for every part of the ship thanks to my imaginative roommate. i have no idea what each compartment was actually used for but i’m pretty sure steph’s version was much more entertaining than the real one. it didn’t hurt either that all the matteys aboard were really attractive. if i was still in college i would sign up for that trip uhmm tomorrow. 4 months at sea with handsome twenty something counselors? can you say ay ay captain? moving on.. we noticed that in order to live in Charleston you have to be dressed to the nines at all times. literally. every person there was in a dress and heals. it brought us great pleasure when we witnessed a skinny blonde in heels get caught in the cobblestone and totally bite it. so we won’t be calling Charleston home anytime soon due to the inability to go out to dairy queen in sweats and no make up at any time of night, which is one thing that brings us great joy in our lives. So other than wandering around looking for free parking (which only exists in a shady back ally that we did in fact park in), not getting to go out due the bar being packed with a wedding party (that we later found out was the weddnig we babysat for) and making 3 seperate trips into the amazing forever 21, we didn’t do much more than enjoy the crazy ramblings of Pippa and lay around for 3 hours on Sunday in our hotel watching Say Yes to the Dress. oh, and get a super cheap hotel breakfast compliments of our incredibly confused russian waiter who couldn’t understand why we were paying in cash and not charging it to our room. who i’m sure was further confused by our attire of bathing suits and cover ups when it was 60 degrees out and about to storm. but jacuzzi we did, without towells to boot. The food of Charleston was delicious though, thanks to the much missed from NoDa, the Mello Mushroom. All in all it was a really entertaining trip. not to mention it was free. did i mention it was free? hello. we apologize to all you avid Charleston lovers who enjoy the history and atmosphere that was completely wasted on us. but thank you for sending us to a place with a forever 21 worthy of 3 trips.

-Ashley





excuse us, we’re new, how do we change the background color?

28 03 2011

We’re sitting here in a coffee shop trying to figure out how to write this first blog. It’s taking a lot longer than is absolutely necessary but that’s what happens when you try to get two girls to focus on one thing for more than 30 seconds (ex: what to wear on a saturday night, where to go to dinner, or who’s a better child idol, Billy Gilman or Justin Beiber). We’re Steph and Ash. We’re roommates. We met in the 6th grade and have been friends ever since. For the last 10 years we have been talking about living together once we graduated from college. The dream came true this past August when we finally became roommates. We recently moved from suburbia to the big city (okay, we moved to just outside a rather moderately sized city) and are loving every crazy and diverse aspect of it. We both work full time, are actively involved in our churches, have friends outside of each other, family who live close by, and roughly 96 other committments a peice. Needless to say, we are busy gals, and on top of it all, we are working to furnish/fix up/decorate/ our house. Not everyone can be roommates with one of their best friends, but we love it and the crazy/insane/generally unbelievable things we get ourselves into. So there’s the purpose of this blog. To document our lives as roommates. We will be taking turns to post on this blog, but it will always be about the things we experience together. We leave you with a teaser for the next blog post that is in the works. two words. pirate ship.   – Ash and Steph