Thursday, June 28, 2007 


This is Jones, my new dog. Isn't is WEIRD how much she looks like Daive??? I think it is. Ellie, one of the girls in the family I am living with/working for, got her, but it ends up now isn't a very good time for her to have a dog. So Jones is mine. Her and Daive get along very well. They are basically best friends. Jones has a lot of weird issues. For example, I took these pictures with my phone because (I'm SO not making this up) every time I pointed my digital camera at her, she slunk back all afraid and ran and hid under the bed. Bizarre. My dog is afraid of cameras. Whatever though, she's a great dog. I love her.

Monday, June 11, 2007 

The New Addition

Ellie got a dog. After much internet searching (and between the two of us, I do mean MUCH) and a few visits to the local animal shelter, we found THE dog for this family. I wish I could share a picture with you, but I unfortunately cannot. Why, you ask? Because the dog is literally afraid of cameras. I don't know if it is the fact that it is something silver and shiny pointed at the poor thing or what, but three times now I've tried to take a picture of her, and she immediately goes and hides under my bed. To describe her though, imagine Daive, put into a morphing machine. The frame of her body is compacted and her legs are made shorter, her entire frame is widened, and then made taller than Daive. Doesn't make any sense at all, does it? Trust me, if you saw her, you'd totally get it. However, at this juncture, it doesn't look like you'll be seeing her anytime soon. A few points of interest though - she somehow ended up at a local animal control center, pregnant. They took her puppies away from her and euthanized them all. She cried for three days straight. When one of the volunteers from the no-kill shelter where we got her from stopped by, the workers at animal control begged her to take the dog. She has such a sweet disposition, and obviously a tender little canine heart. So that is how she came to be at the no-kill shelter. She was a strong heartworm positive, so she was spayed and treated for heartworms. She is afraid of going down stairs (so very very afraid), afraid of being carried, and afraid of men. Oh yes, and afraid of cameras. She loves food, hiding under the bed, and occasionally romping with Daive (before she retreats back to being under the bed again). She is obviously rubbing off on Daive, because just now I couldn't find her, and she was asleep under the papasan chair.

Nonetheless, this dog is such a sweetheart. She has these big brown eyes and floppy ears. She's a jewel. I'll be sure to upload pictures as soon as I'm able to take any. That's all for now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 

This is what's been keeping me busy...

Well, not so much the pancakes - I mean more the cooking, shopping, trying to stay organized kind of thing. So I got a little creative when I was making dinner tonight. This little heart-shaped pancake turned out nearly perfect, but definitely good enough for me. It was like Rorschach pancake night - there was this one that looked like Mickey Mouse, if Mickey Mouse got one of his ears a little too close to a ceiling fan. Anyway, it obviously doesn't take much to impress me, as this pancake rocked my own socks off. I had eaten earlier, so I wasn't hungry. However, one can't just give one's pancake heart away indiscriminately. I ended up giving it to Jeremiah, as he seemed sufficiently impressed as to deserve said pancake heart.
This is our garden! Abi and I planted this a few weeks ago, and it is coming along quite nicely. I cannot tell you how amazed I was when I saw the first little sprouts! It was an awesome moment! I think this is the first thing I've ever tried to grow.

Close up of the cucumbers.
Close up of the sunflowers.


The Dunlaps sure do love their Daive!

Abi and Daive snuggling and taking something of a power nap.
Bethany, up close and personal, loving on Daive.
(Can anyone else believe that this is the same girl who resisted
being called "Aunt Bethany" in relation to the dog for almost a YEAR?!
But we have won her over, BWA HA HA...err, yeah.)

Daive would probably deny it if she could, because she's kind enough that she
wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I'm rather confident that Ellie is
her favorite Dunlap. And you can tell why in this picture. They relate. They
connect on some sort of inner feral level.

This is more of a "The Dunlaps love Teresa's room" picture, especially given that
the top picture of Abi was taken about ten minutes before this on was taken.
Regardless, Daive is definitely in there, loving on Ellie.

I think this is an awesome picture. Ellie and Daive. BFF.
Daive never misses an opportunity to make her presence known.
Poor Seth can't even play a video game without having to
accommodate the little princess.


A little lost

It's 3:10 AM and I'm still awake. How very unspiritual of me, at least that's what some would say.

It's been an interesting day. An interesting week, too. I'm sure I could go back even more than that, but it would sound overly cryptic and annoy even me.

I'm kind of at this point where I'm trying to figure out what is next. I've heard the famous quote, "Wherever you are, be all there." I'm trying to do that, while at the same time be responsible. The reality is that I am a 26 year old single female (with a really cute dog), a bachelor's degree with no foreseeable usefulness (unless I wanted to go back to Korea to teach again, which I do NOT see happening) but that I really don't regret in the slightest, no established career, and nothing to tie me down after I'm finished here. I'd love to work with animals. Maybe be a vet tech? But I'm really not sure if my stomach can handle gory open wounds. With my experience in Korea, I could probably find a job teaching. I'm just not sure that's what I want to do. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's NOT what I want to do. Like to know the direction I'm leaning at the moment? Medical transcription. I could take online classes, and in nine months have the skills to land a job. Not only a job, but eventually a job where I could even work from home. Then I could have a whole heap of dogs, maybe get connected with a rescue group and foster some dogs. The biggest thing is to get a job where I can make money and work on paying down my student loans. Perhaps by the time they are paid off (around when I retire? Don't laugh, it's a possibility), I can then fulfill what could be a God-given dream to go teach Dalit pastors in India.

Would you like to know the point of this post? It's to share simply that I am feeling a little lost. I don't know the direction of my life at all. And if we could all work hard to spare any trite cliches or advice, I'd appreciate it. I know they would all be offered/given out of love, but I can recite cliches to myself all day long. So far, it's not helping.

Any guidance or advice (that is entirely devoid of said irritating cliches) though, would be most welcome. I love you guys (you know who you are). Sorry for the tone of this post. It's annoying me, actually, but now it is 3:34 AM and I've taken two benadryl and I'm too tired/lazy to go change it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 

A quote from John Bunyan's book All Loves Excelling

O the length of the saving arm of God! As yet thou art within the reach thereof; do not thou go about to measure arms with God, as some good men are apt to do: I mean, do not thou conclude, that because thou canst not reach God by thy short stump, therefore he cannot reach thee with his long arm.

Love that.

Friday, May 11, 2007 

Fear of God

So this week I've started studying the fear of God. God has provided me with a wonderful spiritual family, and we meet once a week to fellowship and study the Word. Last week, we decided to study the fear of God and talk about it this week. So I started looking up verses on the fear of God, and started to see how very often it appeared, and yet how it seems to be so absent from Christianity today.

I've been struck by this in a way I'm having a very hard time putting into words. In college, when I went over to the "other side" and started calling myself reformed/a Calvinist, I noticed a quality or trait in quite a few of the people I looked up to that held the same beliefs (Stuart Swicegood, Mike Godfrey, Eric Most - to name a few). It was this intangible quality, that I couldn't put into words, but knew was good. It was this calm trust, this obvious faith, a kind of active resting in God. I remember Eric Most always used to talk about delighting in the sovereignty of God. That was totally his catchphrase. And it was what these people did. To me, it gave off a whole different picture of God. I know people joke about Presbyterians (who are generally reformed) being the "frozen chosen," and I see how that's an error one can slip into. But when there isn't any kind of apathy or laziness, it looks very different.

Having grown up in Baptist churches, the picture of God that I got from the actions of those around me was one of a busy, frazzled, overworked God. We had to work ourselves into the ground and plead for people to walk the aisle because it was dependent on us. I see that as kind of the opposite error of the "frozen chosen." The middle ground between them is what I saw exemplified in the life of those three guys listed above at school, then in the lives of Beth and Adam in Korea. It was a proactive rest and trust in God. It left a profound impact on me. Now, as I have been studying the fear of God, I think this formerly inexpressible quality is just that: the fear of God.

I have been reading all I can get my hands on about the fear of God, and one sermon I read last night said, "This means that in America today, as well as on the mission field, it won't do to simply present God as a caring loving God. The gospel will not be the gospel against that backdrop. It only makes sense against the backdrop of truth. God is holy and glorious. We have all sinned against him and fallen short of that glory. We are under his just wrath and without hope. But God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that whoever believes in him might be saved—saved from wrath (John 3:16, 36)." (It was actually in a Piper sermon, you can find it here.)

What was presented to me in church growing up was this God who loved ME so much that he sent his son to die for ME that I might have eternal life and I could be happy in eternity. Despite what I know were the good intentions of those in leadership, it was very man-centered. And that is what I love about reformed theology - that it is entirely God-centered. The point though, is that I think a big reason so much of American Christianity is man-centered today is because we focus on the love of God to the exclusion of other attributes, such as holiness, justice, and wrath. Focusing only on those last three would lead to other errors. The point is, I really think there must be a balance.

Another awesome quote from an article about the fear of God, "The reason why grace is so little appreciated in our days is that the transcendent majesty and sovereignty and holiness of God are so little appreciated, and we do not see much more than a half step between God and our sinful selves." I found this article to be the most profound, and it can be found here. Totally go read it.

The point of this blog is just to let out where I'm at with all of this. It's been one of the most productive things spiritually in quite some time, for me. I'd love it if anyone had some thoughts to share on the matter. What do you think it means to fear God? How does that fear play out in everyday life?

Sunday, April 29, 2007 

Save Darfur

Go here to find any events in your area.

Reading about this hurts my heart. It has literally kept me up tonight. I've been praying, or trying to pray, but I don't really know what to say.

But I know that feeling overwhelmed and doing nothing isn't the answer. So, however meager and tiny my actions may be, I'm going to figure out what I can actually do.

Friday, April 27, 2007 

Daive is fine, by the way. I'm sure you all figured that out by now, because if she wasn't, I wouldn't be, and you'd probably all know. It's the most remarkable thing, though! She doesn't have death breath anymore! It was just pathetic when I picked her up from the vet. She was still majorly drugged from the anesthesia, and spent the entire ride home fighting against her eyelids. Her dog instincts were instructing her to look out the window, but her body just could not keep her eyes open. When we got home, I set her down in the backyard so she could pee before I took her upstairs to sleep off the rest of the drugs, and the poor dog just had a rough go of things. Her back and front ends were trying to go in different directions. At one point she actually ran into one of the poles on the trampoline. I eventually had to send Seth out to pick her up and bring her to me.

Then maybe two nights ago I was talking to Ellie about how uncomfortable the bed in my room is. It made me feel horribly ungrateful, because the room I'm in was basically furnished for me. Anyway, she immediately volunteered to swap beds with me, to see if I might like hers more. I actually slept on hers when Bethany and I were here back in August. It's really comfortable, but sort of has this hammock-feel to it, because of something with the frame. So when you lay on it, you roll to the middle, and it sort of turns into this wonderful heavenly cocoon. Absolutely has changed my life. Never mind that it is almost impossible to get out of in the mornings, what with my brain being encompassed by a fog of grogginess. It's just awesome.

And I'm kind of sick right now. Mrs. Debbi had the same thing. It's like the flu, with the all over body aches, but I don't have a fever or a cold really. I'm coughing some, but I've been coughing some for weeks now. Anyway, I just feel gross. Gross, achy, sore, whiny, and kind of old (even though I know I'm not). Then, as I was trying to get out of the bath tub last night, I slipped. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it just reinforces this idea that, in some ways, times, and situations, I am my very own worst enemy. No...that's overstating it. I'm just clumsy. And Lord knows I come by that honest. (Ahem...cough, cough, JEN, cough, cough, ROLLER-SKATING, cough, ahem.)

Speaking of Jen, let me just tell you that I miss my sisters. Both of them. A lot. I need to come hang out, figure out some way to kidnap Val so I can actually spend some time with her, let us all laugh (until I gag - cause that's just how I roll), and then go get some nachos at McGuires. THAT...that would be awesome. It'd be even more awesome if we could go to McGuires when NO ONE has died. That would be a change for us, huh? Let's work on that, okay? I love you two.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 

I have separation anxiety.

So Daive is at the vet right now. She's having her teeth cleaned today. For those of you that don't know, that is in the category of surgery for animals, because it requires full anesthesia. I have her going to a Banfield (the same kind of vet I worked at over in Dothan) and I know they do a full panel of pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure the dog is healthy enough to handle the anesthesia. Still. I know she'll be fine. I know I'll be fine. But I'm still really rather looking forward to picking her up at 3:00.

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