Our Trip To Cleveland

Yesterday was our anniversary, but we actually went away to celebrate it last week. Luke booked us at the Hyatt at the Arcade in downtown Cleveland for Thursday night. He got pretty decent rates- waiting a day til the weekend, or a few days until NY’s would have made it much more expensive. But that isn’t what I am supposed to be talking about. We arrived in town, hoping to make the West Side Market our first stop. After walking all the way around the building and not finding any open doors, we were told by the cafe staff that the market was closed that day. “They do have the hours on the website, but it’s really tiny at the bottom.” Oh, well. We headed to our hotel to check in. This is what it looked like inside:071228_083719.jpg

It had me thinking I was on a huge ocean liner or something. Such opulence. The first floor is all shops, and we had some Greek for lunch in one of them. When he saw we were going to pay with a credit card, the owner said, “It’s broken. You can pay me later.” Luke says, “How about tomorrow?” He says, “It’ll be broken then, too. I write you I.O.U.” Such a cute Greek man. I had to cut my kebab into a zillion little pieces to eat it since my tongue was still pretty sore. When I took a bite of the pita I almost shed tears of joy- it was the softest, chewiest pita I have ever eaten, and very conveniently so. Luke had a salad with some really awesome olives on it. I’m not a big olive fan, but I can imagine his olive experience was as great as my pita experience.

Later, we went over to the Tower City Center to walk around, and see National Treasure. The movie was great, but it was very much the first movie with a few of the plot details tweaked. All the way back to the hotel we are talking like Ben- “There’s a button on this wall somewhere that will send this elevator flying, we just have to find it…”

Dinner afterward was at Houlihan’s, an establishment I am coming to respect. It is right up there with Max & Erma’s and Applebee’s anyday. Maybe it is the ‘s that keeps these chains alive, I don’t know. A little trivia: our first time at Houlihan’s was on our honeymoon, in Cancun. We also had, McD’s, BK, and Domino’s while there. That’s us, playing things safe with American chains. We did have some awesome, authentic Mexican during a drive out to Tulum. And we didn’t get sick. But I digress.

The next day we went to the library, since it was right across the street. I discovered how utterly out of shape I was when Luke wanted to climb yet another flight of stairs, exploring, and I found myself saying, “That’s okay, I’ll just wait here.” Unfortunately, I was stuck in the graphic novel section, and didn’t find anything to read until right when Luke returned I spied a ‘Gone With The Wind’ display. That would have been fun to look over. Jenny tells me that book is good- I might read it one of these days. But I digress.

On to the Market, now open, it being Friday. Heh, look- there are open doors around the whole thing today! Who knew?! We saw lots of goodies, not including the $1 pineapple a man was trying to sell Luke- “Hey, guy. You comere. Come try this.” I can get them for that price at Aldi some weeks, and I am not certain it wasn’t the pineapple that gave me my mouth sores, so we steer clear. Here are a couple pictures of the good, bad, and ugly we found:071228_111830.jpg


The center one is a picture of a dessert called a monk. It is, put simply, chocolate-filled chocolate wrapped in chocolate and dusted with chocolate. Ain’t nothing holy about these monks, though I imagine eating one could be a truly religious experience.
Luke took these pictures with his phone! Not too shabby, I think.
Our trip was a great success- veni, vidi, vemunchi. I came, I saw, I ate.

NYR#1: Get Serious About Servanthood

Joshua 1:1,2 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying,“Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

Notice any particular word repeated in the above passage? I put it in bold to help those visually-challenged among us. It appears terribly important to the author to make sure we identify the two people in these verses correctly. They were servants. Moses is called the LORD’s servant, then Joshua is called Moses’. But his faithful service to Moses puts him in the God-favored position to become the next leader of Israel, because he is ultimately serving the LORD. This repetition stands out to me because I am forced to conclude that nothing else matters about these people besides them being servants of the LORD. Joshua could have opened his book with a recap of his accomplishments, an overview of his abilities and talents. But, no. He wants us to know that serving God is his top priority.

And it should be mine. Oh, sure, I admire people like Mary, mother of Jesus, when she said, “I am the Lord’s servant,” and have even considered painting ‘handmaiden of the Lord’ over my kitchen sink. But if I am really honest, I have such a ways to go before I am anything like Moses, Joshua, or Mary.

Servanthood doesn’t just do the job willingly, it does the job without ever complaining during, drawing attention to self while doing, or tacking on conditions about doing it over and over again. To really serve my husband and my children, I must have no self-serving motive- and boy, is that difficult to do. But we read here in Joshua that this is the kind of person who is pleasing to God- the pure, humble servant.

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.  Isaiah 53:10-11