Week 39 – Marble Falls

#269 Joy Worship

25 September 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Over two years ago, Deanna started telling me that she wanted to get involved with a worship music team. She’d never really done it before, except for a little stint with a college gospel choir. She just felt real strongly that it was something she was being pulled towards. When she told me this we just moved to Eugene and hadn’t even found a church up here yet.

On Sunday she supplied our church’s music team with some female vocals. It was basically Sister Act.

Sometimes, you know that you’re called to do something but then you have to wait a while. Don’t rush, don’t quit. Just stay ready

#270 Grad School: Last Round

26 September 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Today, I started my very last quarter of grad school. Ever feel restless with your current life? I do.

I wish I could say that I was a little more excited for the term. To be honest, though, I’m feeling pretty ready to be finished with school and ready to be working full time.

I look forward to have a job that involves helping people more directly- not to say you can’t through academics, but that’s so not the way I’m built. Lately, I’ve felt a bit like a bench warmer when hearing people describe their jobs- especially ones where they get to work directly with people. Even when I hear about their really stressful situations, I remember how restless I get with theories and theses and I get a pretty bad case of put-me-in-coach!

At the end of summer, I came super close to ending early to take a job I would have loved and given my all. And it didn’t quite work out, so now I’ve got an anticlimactic feeling going into the term. But I know the reminder I need.

The way to get to where you wanna be starts with giving the present your very best.

I have ten weeks to do as good of a job with my current work as I can possibly do. And even if it’s not an apparent high stakes situation, I’ll have students to help learn about the world… and who knows what any of them might do with that knowledge. These ten weeks are ones I’ll never get back once they’re finished, so I’d better make them count.

Contentment can be a challenge for me, but it’s important to learn. But if I can learn some things about it over the next ten weeks, then it’ll be time unwasted.

#271 Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish

27 September 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

This week’s challenge dinner was a little bit labor intensive. Prep took a bit longer than usual. I sacrificed a pepper grinder in the process. And it was all worth it.

These two items paired together beautifully. I don’t know which component I liked better, the tenderloin or the garlic horseradish. Considering that one’s a meat and the other’s a sauce, I guess that says a lot about how well slow roasted garlic and horseradish meld… not that this is any surprise to me. Those are two of my favorite tastes.

I didn’t really nail this dish. I slightly overcooked the tenderloin and reducing the cream for the sauce got really messy. But it was still so satisfying in spite of all its flaws, meaning it’ll be really worthwhile to gain some mastery of it.

#272 Short Haired Dee

28 September 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Deanna bet on the Ducks this weekend and had to cut her hair all off.


She did cut off about a foot though to donate. Stylish and charitable!

Deanna now looks the way she did when we started dating, and that’s the circle of life pretty much.

#273 Texas Sized Pregame

29 September 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Leave the dog at the sitter– check.

Pack up more books than you have days on this trip– check.

Phils cap to take care of morning hair– check.

Coffee, coffee, coffee– check.

Just had a fully loaded Thursday and still found some time to pack up the Osprey.

Onwards to Texas, amigos. Got a 2 AM start to the day’s journey!

#274 Marble Falls

30 September 2016 // Marble Falls, Texas

“That scene still haunts me. The explosion and then five minutes. If only I… If only I… and then the capsule hits the water, it’s all over. Then you realize it’s all the same– five minutes, five days, 50 years. It’s all the same, for it’s over before we realize…. It may be the last time… stop, appreciate the blessings you have. ‘If only I could’- you still can, you’ve got today.”

–Rabbi Berger

The New York Times ran a really interesting piece on Rabbi Kenneth Berger this week. The Rabbi gave a Yom Kippur sermon the year of the Challenger Explosion that contained the above quote, reflecting what it would be like to stare at death from five minutes away. Only a few years later, in 1989, the Rabbi and his wife experienced exactly what he preached about, being killed in a plane crash over the Midwest.

Time is a crazy thing. This year I’ve had to say goodbye to two family members who’ve lived very long and full lives, and yet they felt too short. I’ve had to wait and countdown the weeks until grad school is finished, and that feels like forever. And all while this is going on, I’ve got no idea how much time I’ve got left.

Something about life’s brevity and uncertainty gives it so much value, and it gives today so much value. There are nights where it’s tempting to want to go from one errand to the next, connecting the dots into the next day. You’ve only got so much time to do that before you don’t get to anymore. Not with the people around you right now. Not in the place you’re in right now.

#275 tIhde the Knot

01 October 2016 // Marble Falls, Texas

Congrats to Meghan & Brendan! Deanna and I had such a blast celebrating in Marble Falls- that was definitely a unique wedding experience.

Between your wedding and ours, every time we’ve seen you two together it’s been a really, really fun day.