Friday, July 11, 2003

The Spiritual Exercies of St. Ignatius
Last year Joe Boyd bought me a book called "Thirty Days on Retreat with the Exercises of St. Ignatius" by Paul Mariani. It's basically one man's journal of a 30-day spiritual retreat he did. After reading it, and being blown away, I says to meself, "One day I'll do that too." I found the book that has the exercises in it at for four bucks, so I ordered it a month or so ago. I started spending an hour on the exercises each morning this week (OK, the guy who wrote the book I read spent all day for a month, but I'm starting with an hour a day).

So far, after the first three days, I have learned one thing:

I am a shmuck.

Not sure if that is spelled right, but you get the idea. The first week is supposed to put you in touch with your own sin, and so far it is working! If I had to sum it up in "Matrix-speak", I would say I am more "plugged in" to this crazy world than I had thought. It takes a lot of time & reflection to even begin to understand how much so.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Flying Solo
Very early this morning I saw Rebekah & Tori off as they go to visit family & friends in the midwest. I'll join them later in the month. For now, I'm flying solo. As an introvert, this is somewhat exciting, though admittedly still a bit sad.

I'll be spending an hour or two every morning on the "Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius," kind of a contemplative spiritual retreat thing that I have wanted to do since I read a book about it last year. I figure now is the time to go for it -- it will take some time each day for about a month.

I plan to spend the afternoons doing "normal" stuff in the office, and then spend the evenings with people (visiting house churches, getting together with individuals, doing a wedding, etc.)

I'm excited about this alternate schedule for a few weeks: it will allow space for solitutde, space for "work", and space for community. Hopefully I'll even sell a house somewhere in the midst of it all.

But I'll also miss Rebekah and Tori the next few weeks. It's especially hard with Tori (no offence to the wife, but I figure we're going to be hanging out for another 40 years or so if we live a normal life expectancy). Tori's only four, but I realize that she won't be around our house forever, and with school looming only a year away, the real quality time with her is precious for sure. But then again, her grandparents have had much less time with her than normal, so this trip will help even that out a bit.

Enough rambling. I'm off to try my new summer life plan.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

8th of July, 2003
Another milestone date is today. Eight years ago on this date, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rebekah and I entered the journey of marriage together.

We both agree that marriage has brought some of the best times and some of the hardest times of our lives. It has been, in that regard, as advertised!

Saturday night we went out for our Anniversary Dinner. We played a game that we often play, remembering where we spent our anniversary each year. We figure if we do this every year, maybe we will be able to remember all of them even years from now.

So, for those who care, here's the rundown, at least as best as we can remember it.

1st Anniversary (July 1996): road trip from our home on Long Island to Niagra Falls. Scenery great; cake bad.

2nd Anniversary (July 1997): stayed on Long Island, overnight getaway to the Sheraton on the Fourth

3rd Anniversary (July 1998): our first every visit to Vegas! We spent our anniversary at the MGM, then spent a few days visiting friends. Rebekah was pregnant with Tori, which didn't mix well the July heat of Vegas.

4th Anniversary (July 1999): whirlwind trip to Colorado to see friends, see baseball, and attend a conference. Six-month-old Tori was with us. Spent our actual anniversary at the Holiday Inn in Grand Junction on the way home -- it was the day of the big flood here in Vegas. Not the most romantic anniversary for sure.

5th Anniversary (July 2000): three days on the coast of San Diego without Tori. Very nice.

6th Anniversary (July 2001): back to San Diego.

7th Anniversary (July 2002): Overnight getaway to the Paris (Las Vegas), free spa at Mandalay Bay, free gondola ride at the Venetian, a pretty good time.

8th Anniversary (2003): We're doing three days in Chicago in early August, which should be very nice. Tori will be with grandma.

So there you have it. For us, the getaways are always the best memories (kind of like a retreat with only two people attending), so here's to the anniversaries! May there be many more!