Monday, September 29, 2008

1st Anniversary

I was looking through the pics on my phone and realized that we never updated you all about our 1st Anniversary trip!

We left after church on Sunday, August 17 and headed north to Traverse City! Thanks to Dan & Sonya Richards, we had a free night at the Hampton Inn there. After checking in to the hotel and driving around for a little while, we found a fun place to eat that overlooked the bay called Scott's Harbor Grill.

Jenny had a little trouble keeping her food from running away!

But it was a great, relaxing anniversary dinner. Amazing salmon and catfish!

We followed dinner with a round of put-put, stopping under the waterfall for a romantic 5 seconds, then went back to the hotel and hit the sack.

On Monday, we took our time getting going, spent some time on the beach, watched the Olympics in the hotel room, and headed up the peninsula to another neat local restaurant called The Bowery. The Bowery is a very old restaurant with a legend of the ghost Genevieve. After dinner, we drove around the peninsula admiring its solitude and exploring the lighthouse and "Old Mission," the site of the first Christian mission to the area.

That evening, we headed home and watched the Olympics some more from our hotel room and drifted off to sleep...

Until the fire alarm went off at about 12:45am!!! Jen BOLTED out of bed and we grabbed our essentials (her purse and my computer) and went outside. The fire trucks showed up a speedy 30 MINUTES after the alarms started going off (it's a good thing there wasn't actually a fire) and we eventually learned that someone had knocked the head off of a sprinkler in their room.

The fire chief at first said he wasn't going to let anyone stay at that hotel. Since Jen and I had been planning on getting up early and leaving Traverse City around 6am, we decided we might as well take off and drive through the night. We barely made it home, crawled into our own bed, thanked God for fun and safety, and dozed off to sleep.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Here's a link to a great article about our soon-to-be brother-in-law who's the Sports Information ("SI") Director @ Hillsdale College near Jakson, Michigan:

It ends with a really neat quote from Brad, one that I think describes him well:
"I don't like to be in the spotlight... I like to be the one operating the spotlight.

A Life Of Worship

We had a really cool Gathering at church today. We've been in a series called "What If" during which Jon (our lead pastor) has taken one of our six core values each week and broken it down, saying "Jesus lived like this - what if we did?"

This week Jon talked about worship and used some neat illustrations. He talked about how God dares us: "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8) And that we worship out of a hunger for God - the more we taste, the more we want. And inevitably, when we hunger and actually take a taste of something, that leads to an intense thirst - in this case, a thirst for righteousness and connection with God.

We entered the Gathering room this week to the smell (and sound) of popcorn! It was 10 minutes into theGathering before Jon had the ushers pass out bags of popcorn to everyone. They loved it! Then, as he began to talk some more, you could tell another sensation was filling the room - thirst. Intense thirst. Look-around-the-room-and-wish-you-hadn't-eaten-that-popcorn thirst. And then it came - Journey Church First Impressions Team to the rescue! The ushers passed out a bottle of water to each of us. WHAT A VIVID PICTURE of how important a lifestyle of worshiping God is.

Later in theGathering, Jon had us each take a piece of clay and form either what it is that compels us to worship or what it is that inhibits our worship of God (in which case we were invited to resolutely smash it up). I could tell that it was a really meaningful experience for some people.

So next time you have thoroughly enjoyed a salty snack and find yourself parched and desperate for water, remember that when you give God a chance (NOT church or religion or ritual, but GOD) to do something new in your life, that small taste will not disappoint you.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fuel 4 ur Journey

The youth group @ Journey Church is sweet.

These kids are so much fun, and so creative. There's got to be some kind of award for how awesome they are at whatever it is they are doing. Last night, Journey invaded the Caledonia High School Homecoming game and worked the concession stand, gave out the first 1000 hot dogs for free, and the youth group (Fuel) picked up trash - ALL the trash! Afterwards (to celebrate) they decided they had done such a great job they deserved cheerleaders just as much as the football team!

Fuel's got spirit, yes they do! Fuel's got spirit, how 'bout YOU!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our slightly-less-humble abode

Well, we're all settled in to our new apartment in Caledonia - complete with wireless internet that we're actually paying for! We owe a huge thanks to those who helped us move: Todd, Teresa, Mark, Nathan, and Erick. And another huge thanks to those who helped us settle in and "warm" our house: Justin, Liz, Ben, Sharon, Jon, Erica, and Sydney and Makenzie.

(Todd hard at work.)

It feels like we have twice as much space now, and we're paying the same price we were before! (though we did forfeit our convenient in-unit washer and dryer).

If you were ever in our old apartment, you can see that the bedroom is HUGE compared to the old one, and we never used to have hallways!

The layout turned out to be great for all of our stuff. See, it even looks like there's something on-purpose about our living room!

Probably the best part - we have an extra room to use as an office/guest bedroom! We're taking reservations now!

As you can see, Jen has done a great job decorating and accessorizing (does that word work there?) and she's very happy with her new kitchen!

Needless to say, we're very happy with our new home. Besides the space itself, it's just great to be so close to work and (most importantly) friends. In fact, I roller-bladed to the staff leadership discussion this morning! It was great exercise, and a great way to get the blood pumping. Anyways, we hope to make our home a peaceful, inviting place where people know they can relax and be themselves.

For those of you who want the new address:
217 Maple St SE Apt B304
Caledonia, MI 49316

Phone numbers are still the same.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, and get ready for the beautiful colors of fall!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Katie, my sister-in-law, had a GREAT post called "Reality." Read it here.

After all, why DO we so often tag reality as a bad thing?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Potter 1

I knew there was a reason I married Potter 2! ;-P

following up..

After reading Marks blog I just wanted to follow up and say that I do think we tend to read books from the great and often I think we see the side that succeeds and not the side that has stuggeled and been challenged to get there.

Mark is quite a left brainer. He gags at the thought of structure and discipline. Me on the other hand gets excited about structure and trying to be disciplined. I have a lot of left brainer in me and never will my morning "quiet times" look exactly the same everyday. I am always having to change location, change activity and change time of day. But I love the thought of being disciplined and making myself better day after day. But I think what Mark and I are constantly trying to grab a hold of beleive and live is that God made each of different. God did not intend all of us to live our days the same each day. And no where in the bible does it say you must get up at 5 am to have "quiet time" and run for 3 hours everyday. We just know that we must take strides to meet with God on a daily basis, take care of our bodies, our minds and our lives. But God being the creative God he is made each of us different and none of us should feel that in order to be as amazing as Beth Moore we must do our life exactly as she does. I don't think that is what God wants.

Well now you have input from Potter 1 and Potter 2 :)


I enjoy reading. I also really don't like reading. Here's why.

I think I tend to read from a pretty good book list. I've got people in my life who have read LOTS and they generally know what to recommend - really good stuff. I've read some books with some GREAT content, stuff that really is life-changing. The problem? Generally, it's the authors.

For the most part, the people who write books are the ones who have mastered a certain skill, discipline, or art. Often it was a long learning process for them, but noneless - they mastered whatever it is they're writing about. I'll cite Donald Miller as an exception, and move on.

Beth Moore has done great things for women all over the globe. I've yet to meet someone who DOESN'T like her material, man and woman alike. She writes "Get Out of That Pit!" and women everywhere are inspired. Unfortunately, however, few women are as spunky and assertive as Beth is. The "just do it" mentality really only works in advertising.

John Maxwell has done some great things for leadership. He's considered an exemplary leader and has shared everything he knows through numerous books. But John Maxwell has filed away thoughts on leadership EVERY DAY since he was 17 year old (he's now 60). Also, John Maxwell enjoys getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning to read, write, and reflect. When I was 17, I rolled out of bed 5 minutes before my last possible chance to leave for school (I haven't changed much yet!) and finished my homework as fast as possible so I could play basketball with friends or surf the web (remember Napster? iTunes now has me honest).

John Eldredge has done great things for Christians' souls. He has brought many a man and woman to life with his books Wild At Heart and Captivating. But when he gets into The Journey Of Desire or The Sacred Romance, we learn just how disciplined he is, how consistently he works out, how much time he actually spends sitting pondering life, and how nutritious his diet is. He of course suggests that we all aspire to most of these traits, and he may be right in saying so. But how many of us really achieve consistent patterns of discipline and feel alive?

I'm not offering any solutions to any problems here. I'm really not even complaining. I just find myself often wondering: It seems like all of the books I read portray such a 'perfect,' structured, disciplined life. It works great for all of them. But it's nothing like me. And God is way too creative for me to believe that the same formula works for everybody.

I would say that someone like me should write a book, but it would take way too much time sitting in one place for that to ever happen. Maybe someone like me who has conquered the challenges I face should pick a spot at a coffee shop somewhere where he can show up at some point in the later hours of most Wednesdays when he thinks of it, and other people like me can go chat with him and pick his brain.

Sorry so long. Any thoughts? Anyone else have similar feelings?

-Mark- +

Monday, September 15, 2008

moving... part 2

In case anyone is available to help, we plan on beginning our move at 9AM this Saturday (9.20) at the Kentwood apartment (email us for directions) and we expect to arrive at the Caledonia apartment between 11 and noon. We would appreciate the help!

A bizillion thanks to Todd Wandell for offering to bring his 20-foot enclosed trailer to help us. Todd, we are always SO thankful for your friendship and how much you care about others. Thanks man!


Yay to my hubby for making our blog sweet :) And yay to him for just being a sweet hubby!

new look

We're updating our blog to be more functional and pleasing to the eye. This post is a test of the new "Subscribe" feature in the left sidebar. Enter your email address, and receive new blog posts via email!

Keeping in touch,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


As I stated in our last blog Mark and I are finally moving into Caledonia and we are so thankful. We have been praying for some time for this and in most aspects are really exciting. I have only actually moved twice in my life (not counting dorm moves because your home is still the same). Surprisingly this moves feels a little emotional. The apartment we are in now has become a big box of memories of our first year or marriage. As I look back over the years this apartment has held some of our best memories and many first. It was our first home that we shared together, it was the first place I cooked a "real" meal, the first time we had friends over, it was where we celebrated our first Christmas together and set up our first Christmas tree, and the list could go on and on. I'm not sure that I expected to feel this weird nostalgic feeling when thinking about moving. It has only been a year right? Unlike my first move when I was 15 and was leaving the house I had grown up and experienced so much in. It just reminds me how special this last year has been...good, bad and ugly it was a special year. I am so thankful for what Mark and I have shared together and a little bit sad that we have passed the one year mark. There was something fun and exciting about having been married less than a year.

In all of this though I am thankful that a home really isn't the walls that surround you. Mark and I said once that our home is where we are together and the place where God lives. It can be anywhere. Our houses are just the walls that surround us and our homes are where we make memories, love, laugh and cry. And all of that we will take to us to our new house and make it into our new home.
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