top 5

i've been to a few extraordinary weddings. this one definitely sits right up there with the lot of them. erik and lauren are officially the zillens now.

it was an awesome ceremony, but even more so, an awesome weekend all around. we spent a lot of time up at hidden hollow this weekend with the family and friends of both lauren and erik, got to know some new people, make some new friends, and celebrate.

it was the perfect mix of things. a lot of work, a lot of fun, a little crying here and there, a lot of laughter, not enough sleep, plenty of wine, a little craziness now and then, lots of beautiful conversation, good food, wonderful company, all which culminated in a marriage. this was, as i said before, an extraordinary wedding weekend.


from a to z

the arnold-zilen wedding weekend officially kicked off last night. bachelorette happenings last night were both fun and meaningful. love that girl, lauren! that's her on the left in the picture with char and i. lots of good talks and laughter all around, not to mention the good vino...


finally, some pics

so our celebration weekend has come and gone. it has not been without it's intensely stressful moments. but all in all, it was a fantastic time. we had many people come from out of town plus our awesome chattanooga crew to celebrate our 6 month old marriage with us. tons of people jumped in and helped make the whole thing happen. i think at around 4pm on sunday i kept repeating to myself, "i'm insane, i'm insane. where do i get these ideas? i must be crazy!" but it all came together beautifully! it was everything ben and i hoped it would be.

this image, however, is actually from the wedding ceremony itself which happened back in january. i have finally uploaded a few images from that onto flickr. hope you enjoy...


upguppy paused

quick note: ben informed me two days ago that upguppy has slapped a general password onto their website. which means it cannot be accessed. by anyone. they are still in the development phase and are not ready to release it or have the general public using its functions. i guess its kind of like building a house. you don't move in when just the frame is up. you have to wait until atleast the walls and roof have been put on as well. although some of our friends might dispute that (ahem, monty).

that all being said, i just wanted to let you peeps know in case you click on the upguppy links that i posted AWHILE ago.


the summer went really well at camp glad. i have been challenged greatly in certain areas, such as perseverance and objectivity when faced with conflict. i have felt a great deal of grace from the Lord many, many times.

getting up extremely early in the morning is not one of my strong points. me and 5:30am don't get along so well. ben was so encouraging, getting up with me and making me coffee while i was in the shower. i'd drop him off at work and then head out for the church.

it was a struggle to put a smile on my face as the kids started to roll in the door, but i realized very quickly that it was up to ME to set the tone for the morning in the kitchen. so i'd bury my face in my coffee cup and then come up for air with hopefully a greeting that was loving and welcoming. there was 'great success' often, but not always. something that gurney said very early on about not just teaching the kids but also learning from them was frequently in the forefront of my thoughts.

i was challenged in this every day. to be the "adult" voice in conflict gave me cause to reflect upon myself in many ways. i am generally, and especially in this camp glad environment, prone to think i am always right. it is often difficult for me to see that i might actually be wrong, and even more than that, that is not about being right or wrong. it is about the relationship, the communication, the love and grace that the Lord has shown us that i must give as well as receive in relating with the kids. it is an intangible doing that only makes sense in the actuation, the letting go of my own pride and sense of justice and instead asking for and allowing reconciliation and love to be the only thing i want. and there is no recipe for that. it is simply a doing.

as i am thinking about this, it has struck me that it makes so much sense why when God's Word became flesh, it was not as a thing, but rather a person, Jesus Christ. it would be so much easier for me to grasp in my brain a list of rules, but an impossibility to fulfill. truth only really happens in relationship with another person. the Lord has chosen to have his justice make sense in a person who has in turn chosen to reveal himself in truth to us through relationship with us. and it makes really good sense.

relating to another person well... i'm not even sure what that means only that it is kind of addicting now that i've gotten a taste of it.

all this working with kids? well, it is just hand in hand with all the other life stuff that the Lord has given me, such as learning to know and love my husband better, my family, my various relationships. it's all the same thing. the varying degrees of how much energy put where and into which relationship is an important thing to be aware of, but it doesn't make the doing in those relationships any different.