I was trying to decide if my weekend was cool enough to post about. I guess we'll find out... :)
I'll start on Thursday. My friend, Heather, and I are mentors in a bible study for girls at the high school/early college age. I know I can speak for both of us when I say that we love it. It seems like just yesterday that I was that age and attending bible study with the "ICC girls," yet that was 4-5 years ago. Anyway, we have both had the pleasure of establishing relationships with these girls over the past 6 months through the Beth Moore study of Daniel. It was the most challenging study I have done yet. Beth takes you through a real adventure. I am not much for history and facts, but there is so much prophecy and end-times information packed into Daniel that I did not realize before. An in-depth study of all of the dates, names, events, and prophetic messages is essential in order to even scrape the surface of all that Daniel has to offer.
Back to how this has significance to Thursday: We meet every other Thursday evening for this bible study, and last week I hosted our very last session. Normally we are quite structured and on task, but this night was different. We opened up with prayer requests and ended up just talking for awhile. Then, we journeyed through the study, and normally after this is done we bring out the snacks and pop in the supplemental video to watch. However, we ended up sharing our hearts. It was very impromptu, but the night turned into a very powerful prayer session with all of us girls holding hands in a circle and each praying for someone near and dear to us who needed to either find Christ or continue to walk with Him. It was a very wonderful night of close connection and worship with some amazingly, godly girls! It excites me to think that these girls, at such a "young" age, have such passionate hearts. I was looking around on Thursday night just enjoying the uniqueness of each one of them. They are all beautiful in their own way; may the Lord bless them all for their individuality.
Friday was one of those days. Oh, Friday. At 10 am-- a walk with my friend. It was 65 degrees out and sunny, how could I not?? There is nothing that makes me happier than a heat wave, especially after a long, cold winter. Heather and I finished that walk an hour later and we were actually in a sweat!
At noon, I took a dear friend out to lunch for her birthday, and we sat outside. It was in the breezy shade, so it was a little cool, but we enjoyed the nice day nonetheless. We chatted for a couple of hours and ended up back at my house on the porch in the direct sunlight... I had pink cheeks that night to prove it! Crazy how March can bring about some power-packed rays. Anyway, I had a great time with Laura... she is one of my newly married friends, so it was nice to catch up with her. I miss her so much :) but am excited that she lives in Morton so that we can hang out this summer. There were a few summers past when Laura and I would roller blade every single night, and we plan on rekindling our roller blading skills in a few weeks as we actually now live closer to each other than before.
Friday night was one of those nights. I had a couple of different options for plans, but all of the sudden I looked at the clock at it was too late to do either. I was actually working, go figure... and all at once I was sitting there starving and without plans. My parents were headed to One World in Peoria for supper, so I accompanied them and then ended up coming back home and worked on some business items for awhile, assembling a couple of portfolios.
Saturday was nice; I worked part of it to make up for lost time on Thursday and Friday. I actually started the day in Washington at Blend. I love that place. I had never been there, but it's darling inside, very classy, and the drinks there are amazing! I ate this fantastic cinnamon roll for breakfast. The purpose of this was to meet with the girls from the Thursday night bible study to regroup and watch our last session video (we ended up running out of time Thursday night!) and discuss our next study.
When I got home, my brother came over to help set me up with a good back-up system for my external hard drives. At 1, I went and watched my nephew play in his basketball game. Let me just say that my 8-year-old nephew is better at basketball than me. There, it's said. :) He is a pretty athletic kid, though. For dinner, I hit up Ruby Tuesday's with my parents and a dear friend, Holly, and then Holly and I went to the invite-a-friend singing for my church. I was so glad she could come at the last minute, because I was feeling bad that I couldn't find any one of my friends who could come! It was a nice evening, though. The choir from our Peoria church came and sang, and they did a great job.
Let me make a side note here because this applies to last night. So, let it be known that when the women of my family get the stomach flu, it's no small thing. In fact, my sister, Tasha, almost met her death because of it not many years ago. For some reason, it gets us good. We feel completely awful and become dehydrated a lot quicker than the average person. My first experience with this was about 5 years ago. I became ill one evening and stayed that way until the next morning, when I still could not stop getting sick. It was terrible. Eventually, my mom drove me to the ER and they put my in a wheel chair, situating me RIGHT in front of a Dasani water bottle machine. I remember being so entirely thirsty but I couldn't drink anything without getting sick. I also remember just wanting to lie down; even sitting there a task. Once I got into a room, it took 3 IVs of fluid to "fill up my tank," as the doctor put it. I felt much better after that, but restoration would not have been so easy without that fix.
To make a long story short, this is exactly how both of my sisters get when they acquire the flu. In fact, we don't even mess around anymore. As soon as we get it, we just plan on an ER visit. It sounds so dramatic but it's what we have to do. So on Friday night, my sister, Tonya, came down w/the flu. After feeling awful and getting completely dehydrated within 4-5 hours, she went to the ER and at that point needed 4 bags of fluid to replenish. The very next (Saturday) night, my sister, Tasha, came down with the flu, and went through the same process. Since she is pregnant, her husband took her in shortly after it hit her and she also had 3-4 bags to replenish herself.
It is now Sunday night, and I am hoping and praying that I will not be visitng the ER tonight. :)
Let me tell you, though. It really is awful. I can't explain how terrible it is. Most people get sick a few times and then feel better, and although they are tired and weak, they are on their way to recovery. We get sick and feel worse. Our faces get sunken in, our lips turn blue, we shake, we thirst for water and can't drink it, we have terrible stomach cramps, and there is no end to the misery until medical attention is sought.
Needless to say, we had Tasha's kids on Saturday night and took a handful of them to church on Sunday (today). Church was nice and refreshing, although the day was a little cloudy and dark today. After church, Heather and I went to the symphony orechestra at Bradley and heard 2 girls that we know perform beautifully-- one on violin, and the other was a vocal. I love classical music and I felt like I was swept away into another world when I was listening to it; it was such a captivating experience. Anyway, these girls are both incredibly talented and I was blown away. After that, we grabbed some Avanti's for supper and then to Kade's to work on a creative project together.
Now I'm home... still as healthy as a lark and actually ready for a snack before I hit the sack. I'm incredibly tired. I also have this frustrating case of allergies that is plaguing my life currently... stuffy nose, lots of sneezing, and a heavy head. So I'm going to head in the direction of sleep and rest up for a full day tomorrow. I had a blonde moment today and left my phone in Peoria, so after breakfast w/friends tomorrow I'm going to pick that up and run some errands. I had a lot of other items to get accomplished tomorrow so I need to be well rested! And if resting means helping out my immune system to fight off this terrible flu that is going around, then I'm all for it.
Love you all!