For my beautiful wife…

It was on one of the hottest days of the entire year of 2006 that my wife and I packed a small U-haul and left everything that made us comfortable behind; our friends, our family, our house, and our beloved little dog (Lucille 3)  to follow a dream. It was a difficult decision to make and the execution proved infinitely more difficult. So for the last two years we have lived in Chicago as I pursued a Master’s degree in Christian History.

These two years have been the hardest of our young marriage. We’ve struggled finding ourselves in this new world. We’ve faced tragedy unlike anything we’ve had to face yet as husband and wife; some of which we have yet to digest. We have cried. We have wept. We have doubted ourselves and our resolve to see this through.

But we never doubted the other. I have always known of my wife’s unfaltering selflessness. She is a profoundly beautiful example of God’s redeeming grace; a life rescued so that others might be blessed. And though I have doubted my abilities, my wife never did. She has been a constant source of support and encouragement.

This is not to say that there has been no joy in our lives in the last two years. We have made wonderful new friends. We have made many, many fond memories in this maddening city. We have, as we have always done, laughed a lot… a whole lot. But it has been difficult.  And through it all, my wife has stood by me; faithfully and proudly. I love her.

This for her. This if for my beautiful wife…


I don’t Twitter. But if I did, this is what Twittering my walk to Caribou would have been like today.

just witnessed a rather rotund woman manhandle the last “puff” from a shared joint from her husband.

her husband was half her size…looked scared…gave up the roach.

someone talked to me! someone in chicago actually engaged me in conversation. it was about the weather.

Diabetic Limb Salvage. Yikes!

nearly run over by a really nice Mercedes Benz… again.

saw a guy who once cut my hair. avoided eye contact. hastened walking pace.

In the library…

Directly in front of me are shelves of academic journals. The shelves are stacked six high and five wide. On each shelf there are three journals. So directly in front of me there are… oh crap math!…ninety journals. If the titles of the three journals per section are combined to form one title it usually results in a journal I would be more likely to read than each of the journals alone. At random…

The International Journal of Middle Eastern Plant Psychology

Iowa Review of Iraqi-Irish Biblical Studies

The Grassroots Development of Jewish Manhood & Womanhood Quarterly

The Journal of Democratic Cuneiform Development Studies

Just thought you should know.

Hoodies and crusty jugglers!

That which was building for nigh on a year has subsided in part. I took my Comps last Friday. It was intense, but is now over. I feel fairly good about how I did, but we’ll have to wait a while for the results. Following the test Abe and I celebrated by going to dinner and a showing of Simon Pegg’s new movie, Run Fatboy Run. I don’t know if it was the overwhelming emotion of the day, but that movie had a profound affect on me. I laughed (riotously), I cried (nearly), I was pleased (thoroughly).

Saturday we slept in, then jumped in the car and headed to my grandfather’s house for a belated Easter celebration with my family. It was good to see family and get out of the city for a while. We walked around the farm, ran and wrestled with toddlers and Lucy, and had some great conversations about life, the books we are reading, and nothing at all. It was great.

We returned to Chicago late last night and are now back to our respective business/busyness. Today the temperatures are comfortable (hoody weather!) and my spirits are high. It looks like its going to be a productive week.

Tired. So tired.

I have been going non-stop for a while now and it’s starting to wear me down. Much of my stress has been due to the looming monstrosity that is my Comprehensive Exam. Well, we’re under 24 hours now until it begins and I’m just ready for it to be over. After that I have two more research papers, two more book reviews, and that is about it. I am so ready to be done with all of this business/busyness. I’m ready to do some reading of my own choosing. Some reading that I won’t be tested on. Some reading that I won’t have to right a review on. Some reading that I don’t need to include in a research paper. So as a child waits for Christmas morning, I wait until I’m free from the bondage of Academia. I’m pretty sure I’ll miss it all after a while. But as of right now, I’m tired.

I was staring longingly at my bookshelf last night and I got really excited. The anticipation of emancipation gave me a boost of energy. So I’m making a plan for when I am finished. As of right now this is what May holds in store for me…

1. A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson

2. What is the What — Dave Eggers

3. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places — Eugene Peterson

4. The Good Earth — Pearl S. Buck

5. The Metaphysical Club — Louis Menand

Any other suggestions?

Spring Break

So it’s been Spring Break for a week now. Abbey’s been in Des Moines, then Lincoln (Nebraska), then Washington (Iowa). She’s been off, gallivanting around and as for me… I’ve been stuck here reading. My Comps exam is now only two weeks away. Yikes!

Anyway, I’ve been brushing up on the early church today and thought I would impart a little wisdom to you all.

Did you know… Santa Claus was present at the 1st Ecumenical Council. That’s right, St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia (modern southwestern Turkey) was there at the Council of Nicaea. So, a special thanks goes out to Santa (well… not just Santa, 229 other bishops helped) for creedalizing Jesus’ divinity.

I wonder if his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly at the demise of that scoundrel Arius.

Go homoousios!


Abe and I just thought it was time to spruce things up a bit. Our time here in the girls’ dorm is running out, so we decided to give it one last push before we head back to the Promised Land. Anyway… Jake and I, for a very, very short time (though I did make a failed attempt to revive it), did some work together on a WordPress blog and I really liked the look and feel of it. So, have a look around and tell us what you think.