Joshua and I had been planning on making a trip to Chicago for St. Patty's day for awhile. We wanted to be there to see the Green River and part of the parade. We also wanted to visit Joshua's old college roommate, Ben, and his wife Hannah. On Friday, March 13th we made our way down to Ben and Hannah's and spent the evening dining on delicious Pizano's pizza and hanging out at their house.
Saturday morning we all got up and ate mounds of yummy oatmeal :) then headed out to pick up another college buddy of Josh's, Paul. We made our way downtown, parked at Moody, then walked to the river. The weather was very deceiving that day- because at the car it was warm and sunny but once we found our spot on the bridge- it quickly turned out to be, in the words of Paul..."cold as death". We waited for a long time, but realized that it was going to take a LONG time for the dye to reach the part of the river we were viewing. So in attempts to keep all our fingers, toes and ears- we headed to a very packed Corner Bakery to spend a few minutes warming up. Up to this point I had asked Josh many times if he was okay- because he just didnt seem like himself. He kept telling me he was fine and was just cold. Once we had warmed up- sort of- we headed back out to a different part of the river that had been completely colorized and it was beautiful! The river was vibrant and enticing- one thing I recommend you all see at some point in time in your life- but trust me you dont need to be there when they dye it, you can show up hours later and still see its true beauty!
After viewing the river we headed over to the Inter Continental Hotel for a bathroom break. I have made many bathroom stops at this hotel- it is one of many main attractions for Moody students...anyways...there were tables in the back part of the hotels by the bathroom so we decided to chill out for awhile, snack on some Irish Soda bread I had made, and again warm up!
We started making our way over to view the parade. To get to the parade street we walked through Millennium park and saw the outdoor venue and the ever popular bean. And let me tell you it was very popular that day- we had never seen so many people gathered around that giant reflective bean- you would have thought they were giving something away. As we walked by it- Josh kept mentioning how crowded it was and seemed very concerned with all the people- I found that interesting... :)
We made it through that thousands of people only to find that we were standing behind about eight rows of people in efforts to view the parade. We couldnt see much, but we did see our first giant balloon of a lepercon holding a pot of gold and a mushroom (which we still dont understand why a mushroom) so that was pretty cool- and we could hear the bands. We only stayed for a short while until we decided to head back to what I thought was going to be lunch at Portillos.
As we were walking back by the bean Josh said to me, "want to see how close we can get?" and said sure- even though I was thinking I'm pretty sure we can make it through the crowd to the bean, it can't be that difficult! The five of us made it through the crowds of mainly young people and walked under the bean so that we were on the side facing the ice skating rink. It was calmer on the other side of the bean but there were a few joker looking punks that had definitly had too much of something. We just stood in a circle for awhile not really saying anything- Josh would make comments about how he wanted this certain group of joker kids to leave- while when he said that I was thinking...."well we arent really doing anything here so we could just leave" but I wasnt going to complain, and I did have more suspicisions since we had just been standing there awhile- I didnt feel like I should suggest we leave. The punks had moved on and we still continued to stand there then Paul said- hey lets go look at the skaters. Paul, Ben and Hannah go to look at the skaters, I move to go with them but then Josh steps in front of me and blocks my path. Once he did that he started into saying this:
The word ‘love’ is not one that has found it’s way into my vocabulary for years, other than referring to family. Sometimes when really feeling a particular song, or discovering a new truth, and even upon the purchase of my new car, I would be drawn to the phrase, “Oh I just l___ it!”. But I knew that the phrase meant so much more than describing my appreciation for a particular thing. With you, Shell, there have been plenty of times when I wanted speak those three little, yet incredibly powerful words.
As you know, the biblical book Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems, which celebrates the love between a husband and wife as God intends. Having previously studied the book, I was given a new outlook on what love is, and what it means to apply it to a relationship. Looking at 8: 6-7, I found that love is exclusive, love is as strong as death, love is enduring, and love is expensive.
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.”
Love is Exclusive.
The woman encourages the man to set a unique seal on his heart (inward), and on his arm (outward); figuratively that he would claim her, declaring how important she was to him.
Love is as Strong as Death.
A simply powerful statement!
Love is Enduring.
Love doesn’t quit, give in, give out or give up. Paul also tells us in 1st Corinthians 13 that “love never fails.”
Love is Expensive.
More valuable than any riches, a demanding investment with the highest return.
The entire time we’ve been together (over 4 years), we’ve never said those words to each other. We chose to tell instead of our ‘like’ for one another. I do not agree with the premises associated with “falling in it,” because it is a choice; a conscious commitment. To say “love,” implies a lifelong sacredness that cannot be for sure until a Christian marriage is initiated; one that keeps Christ the focus, center, and aim- for His glory, for the encouragement of each other and that as an influence others around would also put their hope and trust in Him.
Shelley, I understand the importance of this word, and I have talked to your parents about this, and I believe we are ready to apply it to our relationship…
This is where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!
All of this was followed by a group hug with Ben, Hannah, Paul, Josh and I- then it was off to Caribou to make some phone calls! We did finally make it to Portillo's for a late lunch- then back to Ben and Hannah's for a fun chill night of left over pizza, delicious popcorn and Farkle!
Don't worry folks- this was all captured digitally and the photos should be posted soon!