Friday, December 31, 2010

Hopes, Dreams, and Wishes for the New year...and Blessings from the Last

Blessings in 2010:
*Marriage- July 31st..What a journey it is to discover so much about the one you love, and yourself. Andrew has been such an amazing part of my life and continues to be a healing presence in my life. It has taught both of us so much in the short time we've been married. In 5 months, God can show you so much and grow you in so many areas.
 *Family- Without them, I don't know how Andrew and I could do this. Marriage, school, and work, super insane, but we are so blessed to have wonderfully supportive and amazing families! Not to mention the new family I gained this year. What wonderful people to have surround us with support and love.
*Friends- We would not be where we are without the wonderful people we are blessed to call friends. My girlfriends specifically have just been an amazing blessing in my life. I love you all and appreciate each of our friendships I know Andrew appreciates that I can be completely girly with you guys, so I don't overwhelm him with my giddiness and love of Chick-Flicks/Disney Movies. Not to mention, I am a verbal processor, and one husband can only handle so much :)
*Our Jobs- I am extremely blessed to work for the Berger family. They are some of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. Being away from my family is hard, but it helps to feel like i am a part of their family. The girls bring so much joy in my life and remind me what simple faith looks like and what true joy does as well.
Andrew and I will both praise the day that he no longer has to work at Jimmy Johns, but we are extremely thankful for it now. Andrew has been blessed to be a shift manager and has also been trusted enough to be the main shift manager at night. He is a hard worker and is very trustworthy, and his boss knows it, which is a ture blessing.
*Our Home- We live in a little apartment Downtown Chicago, and absolutely LOVE it. It's small, but so are we, so it fits us just right. It feels like home. We have so enjoyed just getting to spend time with each other relaxing at our own place. No money spending, no walking in crazy Chicago weather. What a blessing to have a couch to cozy up on and movies to watch. :)
*Ministry-We are working with the Harvest Baptist Youth Group, and its wonderful. It is a weekly reminder of why we are doing what we're doing and that it will all be worth it. The main girls I work with have been growing so much this last year, and I am so proud of them. The whole youth group has seen a lot of growth and change and it is so neat to see God work.

There have been many other little blessings, and God has been so faithful to us in 2010. He is an amazing provider, and it is such a blessing to trust in His sovereignty.

Hopes, Dreams, and Wishes for 2011:
* Graduate: I will, Lord willing, graduate in May, and Andrew will graduate in December. 4 years of college has tested our limits, our faith, and our minds, and has been a great blessing in our lives. With this being said, when I walk across that stage, and get my diploma, I am going to celebrate like I never have. :)
*My Internship- This summer I will be doing my internship that is required for graduation. I am very excited about it! It will be a peek into what my future could hold. As of now, I will most likely be doing this at New Life, and it will be such a great opportunity!
*Grow- In my relationship to the Lord, my marriage, and even my cooking skills. I know the Lord will lead me where he wants me, and that also means some hard times that force growth and change, but i also know that He will be there through everything. Our marriage is new and we have far to go, and its a journey, and it will be an exciting journey ahead. Cooking will come with time and work. I will praise the day when frozen pizza and Mac N' Cheese are no longer staples in our home. Here's to hoping that when I actually have the time, I use it and work hard to expand my cooking skills.

We have no idea where we will be and what we will be doing a year from now. That is scary and exciting. We trust the Lord to lead us, and it will be fun to see where we end up. Thank you all for your support and prayers. We love you!!

P.S. I am going to think and pray these next few days for a verse and a word for 2011. I've seen a lot of people do this, and I think it is a challenging and encouraging thing to do. I'll keep you posted.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Dreams, and Desires for Life after Moody

1. No More Mac N' Cheese, Frozen Pizza, and Chicken Nuggets/Fries as complete staple foods. We have had our fill

2. Learn to Sew

3.Read for Fun (I really love to read and miss doing it for fun)

4. More time, for everything (friends, family,etc.)

5. No More HOMEWORK!!!!!!!! (papers, studying, etc.)

6. No more twitching eye! (when at my most stressed my eye twitches, bleh, no fun)

7. Get really connected to a church (small group, bible study, etc)

Now I will get a taste of some of these things in 13 days, 12 hours and 38 minutes for winter break which will be fabulous!

I really appreciate Moody and the wonderful times, but I am looking forward to the next stage in life

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Week in the Life of a Wife, Student, Nanny

Romans Class 11-11:50.Then home to make and have lunch with my hubby. Decided to take a cut in my two afternoon classes to relax and spend time with Andrew before we had to work. I left at 3:15...then a 45 minute bus ride, complete with an I-Pod, and some reading material. I got to work right on time to spend the evening with my favorite girly girls Alicia and Allison. We pumpkin-carved and got ready for the weekend's Halloween activities. When I got home at about 10, I occupied myself by hanging out in Stars Hallow with Lorelei and Rory Gilmore, while Andrew was having some "man-time" on his old floor.

I got up, hung out, made some lunch and then Andrew had to leave for work. I then showered, cleaned up and left for work myself. The plan: trick or treating!! Alicia was Fleicity (the American Girl character not TV show), and Allison was a Candy corn. Too fun! Their parents were gone for most of the night. So what did we do? First, put on Mary Poppins and made dinner. Pot Roast (from the freezer), mashed potatoes (from a box), stuffing (from a box), broccoli and cranberry sauce, YUM! We then had a tea party and watched Cinderella, (which I loved as much as the girls).

Andrew had to work, so no church for us. We did get to have a quick 3 month anniversary date at Chili's, (YUM!!!)We got back in time for Andrew to change and run to work. After he left, I got changed and hunkered down to homework.  After working for a few more hours, I wanted to die. Terribly long, confusing paper. I heated leftovers for dinner and then had my ex-Roomie Sarah over for some homework. So we were homeworking, and remember, me dying a slow death by this paper. So I worked on it and somehow let myself consider the possibility of NOT doing the paper. This.was.a.BAD.idea.By the time Andrew got home from work, I was convinced that I needed to "drop" the class. This meant taking an F. Did I say bad idea already?? Cause it was a VERY bad idea. SO I was a mess. Sleep deprived, bawling, hating school, and miserable! It was not a fun night in the Swed household.

Monday: Classes Romans, Message Preparation for Women (listening to Sermons), and then my last class was canceled. So I went home and got a few things done (clean up a little, make out the check for Rent, etc) Then I went to catch the bus for work. While I was on my way,  I realized, after having some sleep the night before, that I had made a VERY bad decision about my class. So I was thinking about it all day, and decided to rough through my paper the next day.

Tuesday: The day of death, by papers. First of all, I had to write a book review. Not a huge deal, but annoying just the same. So I met my wonderful husband at the dungeon (Library), put on Pandora, and got to work. Got my first paper done by 6. We then went home for dinner and a break. We were back to the library by 7:30 and starting back on my huge exegetical paper of death. I looked through lots of scary books, joked around with my hubby on Skype chat, and was in the "dungeon" until about midnight when it closed. We went home to keep working. Meanwhile, after more Pandora and scary books, at 3:30 my paper was done. It was 1.5 pages short, but it was done. Andrew stayed up to, mostly because he couldn't sleep.

Wednesday: In the wee hours of the morning, after finishing my paper, I flopped into bed and slept. My very sweet honey woke me up before he left for class, and told me to get some more sleep and not worry about getting up for chapel. He also texted me to wake me up to make sure I woke up and got ready for my class to turn in my paper. So I got to class, sat through it, and turned in my paper, while apologizing to my prof. He was gracious and wonderful, and is going to try to get me some kind of extra credit assignment,again he is wonderful.
I went home to make lunch and eat with Andrew. Then I went to my 1 o clock class, and met with my prof afterwords just to talk. (She is an amazingly wise woman) Then I went home and relaxed a little, talked to a couple of the girls from youth group, study for my test in my night class, make dinner and go to class. In class, I just had to hand in my paper, take the test, and go, happppy! I got home and Andrew went to his night class, after finishing his paper. While I was waiting for him to get home, I had some really refreshing and just awesome time with God. I also cleaned up, and did dishes.
When he got home we still had to work on a little homework. But after about 45 minutes, we were done and got to watch Toy Story 3! hehe SUCH a good movie. Then we finally got some good sleep.

Woke up at 11, watched Gilmore Girls with hubby, and then he made lunch while I got ready for class. I do NOT like my Apologetics class, but it is a requirement, so I get through it. After that, I waited for him on campus and ran into my friend Julie. (really good to see her!) Andrew got to campus and we left for the suburbs to work with the Youth Group, and GET MY HAIRCUT!!! ( I was excited, and so was my hair :) ) So I got my haircut by my mom and made plans with my parents for next Thursday to go out to dinner before Youth Group. After that, we got ourselves to youth group. It was Turkey Bowl. A.K.A COLD!! But it was pretty fun. Got to see the girls and catch up with them in person. We went home (and hour drive is a little annoying but it gives us some good talk time and its worth it), and had some Ramen soup to warm ourselves up before going to sleep.

Well, that's a week in my life. Sorry this was long. I love you all. Buh-bye :)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Return to Modesty

I just finished reading A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit and sit in shock and disbelief at our culture, especially when faced with it in black and white.

Normal life for a girl growing up in our culture:

Elementary School- Sex Ed where we are taught to not be embarrassed about things that are clearly embarrassing, especially in front of boys. We are taught that we're expected to have sex, so we may as well do it safely. We get teased by the boys, and other girls about what we learning. We now begin to be teased about our bodies, starting more innocently.

Junior High- "Going out" We like someone,they like us back, two weeks later we don't like each other anymore. Boys get even more cruel in their teasing, as do girls. We now know that we need to like someone, anyone, at all times. It is the source of entertainment and drama. In some circles, virginity is lost, and we are now taught more than just the mechanics by our friends and even strangers.We find out there is more than just sex itself...the teasing about our bodies and comments about our bodies are no longer innocent.

High School- Because we can start driving, we date. Now, if you date for more than a few months, it is expected that you've had sex. At least to most people. If not sex,one is expected to do a number of other things. We are now expected, to look a certain way. If we don't we are teased. We start to feel that there is something wrong with us because we don't look like the other girls in this way or that. Girlfriends are either great, or cruel. We are closer to our friends than our families, and suffer for it. We care more about our reputation than what our family thinks of us. We are now taught that we are over-sensitive. If we cry because so and so talked about us behind our backs, we are cry babies. We are taught to be more and more like "one of the guys." We learn that to be a girl, is wrong. It is too vulnerable, to sensitive. In christian cultures, we learn that we need to dress modestly as to help these poor boys out who "just can't help themselves." (While I agree in part that we need to have respect for the men around us, it is our respect for ourselves that should cause us to be modest.)

Now this is how the typical girl grows up in today's world. We leave her unprotected, alone and laugh at her dreams of romance and think her silly for her girlishness. We strive for sameness with men, rather than equality with them. We are taught that we are the same as men. Well, last time I checked, there was a difference, quite a few in fact. We are expected to view sex as men do. We are expected to think how men think. We can be anything we want today, except to be a woman.

There was a time, that a woman's femininity was not only respected, but cherished. Girls were raised to be women, and women of modesty. Boys were raised to be men of honor, and to cherish and protect the women around him. I am not saying this was a time of perfection, but it was certainly a time of less fear. A woman would not fear walking down the street because she was not met with stares, or crude comments. A woman did not fear rape as one does today. The society was one of propriety where to hold someone's hand was thought to be scandalous.

This book opened my eyes to what is going on in our society today. Our girls are miserable and dying, and they have no sympathetic ears to hear their cries. Now I was blessed to grow up in a christian culture that was not as severe as the world around us, but I fear for the girls today, and for our future daughters.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I am feeling extremely ispired. Ever get like that?

Right now, I want to:
*change/save the world (a nice tiara and pink silk cape will do just fine)
*Have adventures (camping, hiking, traveling)

Pretty much just DO something. There are so many people doing so many amazing things and I want to be one of them. I am so selfish and whine and complain and am just plain unmotivated many days. But God is doing great things and there are amazing people serving him and just amazing things happening and I want to be a part of it.

that is all


Monday, September 27, 2010

Be Thou My vision

"Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all."

There are many days when I struggle with discontentment and having joy. I am always looking forward and am not content with where I am at. I am always longing for the next stage in my life (college, marriage, graduating), while ignoring the joys in the place where God has me. I have found, there are always things to complain or whine about if we are looking for them (which I do often). I like to think of myself as an optimist, a joyful person, but many days I am not. I forget the joy of the Lord's presence. I do not hold time with Him as the priority that it should be. Sure I make excuses, which I can always find. ( "I am too busy today, this week, etc." "Well right now I am not in a place to give God my best"" I am too tired"...and so on). The Lord is the only one who can give us joy in this depraved world. We are to be discontent in this world, but we are to find our contentment in Him. I fail to keep the Lord as first in my heart. I fail to remember that I am always to keep the Lord as first in my life. My relationship with him is where I should find joy.

"Be thou my vision" What a beautiful reminder to always keep the Lord as our first priority. When all else fails. Whatever my complaints, they fail in comparison to the hope and joy that is in the Lord.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Thing At a Time

I have a tendency towards an all or nothing attitude. Most of the time that has meant I saved a homework assignment until I could do it all at once (including big papers). This is a very dangerous thing to do. I have written very crummy papers because of it. I started to do better with doing bigger homework things a little at a time. 

However, now that I have much more responsibility, I am needing to remember this again. For instance, I probably cannot have the entire apartment cleaned and have all of my homework done. Something has to give sometimes. Meaning, maybe I have the apartment picked up, but wait until the weekend to clean it. This is hard for me sometimes, but I am learning.

I am learning about priorities. My professor tells us to make sure to think of our "big-rocks". The "big rocks" of our lives are the things that are most important to us. Than there are other things that need to fit in our lives after that. My marriage is the biggest rock in my life right now, and school, work and housework need to take a back seat sometimes. 

I am blessed to have Andrew with me. He is great at reminding me that I am not called to be "super-woman". He is patient with me, and is a constant reminder of God's grace and love to me. 

The Lord is faithful, marriage is a huge blessing, and very busy :)

Psalm 86:15 

  But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
       slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Blog as Mrs. Swed!

So, R.I.P old blog, it died. That's what happens when you don't update for over 2 months (oops!). So, I will try to keep this one alive. 

So things going on in my life right now :

1. Andrew and I have been married for 25 days now. It has been great! Lots of new responsibilities go with being a wife. The cleaning/decorating/organizing/cooking/laundry type things. Luckily, I am blessed with a very patient and gracious husband. So I have not felt overwhelmed. Doing 7 loads of laundry was a little much, but add in watching Sense and Sensibility and I can do anything! 

2. School. I am a senior at Moody Bible Institute and I am a Women's Ministry Major. I do love school but it really can stress me out. God has really worked in my life through school. Through the classes, the professors and even, dare I say it, through homework. God has really blessed me with going to a wonderful school. With school I am taking my first preaching class (yipes!) so nervous, but excited. I am excited for my other classes too (Romans, Apologetics, European Reformation, and Ministry Leadership and Staff Relations) School will be very different not living on campus, but I'm excited about it. 

3. Family. I am blessed with such a great family. They rock. So it will be making plans to visit with them. I have a new family too which is super fun. My extended family is crazy and loud and SO SO much fun. I know family is very important to Andrew and I and we re going to do our best to keep very close with everyone.

4. Friends. THE best. I have such great friends. It is going to take more conscious effort to see them, not living as close to a few of them. Friends will also change being married and hanging with some new people as well. My friends are my sanity. You guys keep me grounded, encourage me when I need it and give me a kick in the butt if I need that. So thanks, you all are a true blessing. 

5. Youth Group. Andrew and I have been working with Harvest Baptist Church for 2 years and we LOVE it. I am so in love and blessed by the students there. For me, working with the girls is such an encouragement. They are all so sweet and beautiful. So we go there every Thursday evening for Youth Group and do other events as we can. We LOVE it. 

6. Work. I am a nanny for a family (the Bergers) in the city. The two girls names are Alicia (6) and Allison (4) . This family is truly a blessing to work for. Marianne and Richard (the parents) are two of the kindest and generous people that I know. Along with nannying, I am starting to do some personal-assistant type things. It's fun to switch it up and to have more responsibility. Nannying for the Bergers has never felt like a job. It's hard work, 6 and 4 year olds have their moments, but it is such a blessing. The girls are super sweet and can always put a smile on my face. 

Well, this is my life as of now. It is busy, it is crazy, but I love it. Well, I am going to try to blog at least once a week, so here we go!