New Blog New Blog New Blog

Finally. Shannon reappears. It will take some time to rebuild a faithful readership... such is the nature of absence.

I am switching to Wordpress.com. I wanted to start an entirely new blog, so I decided to switch blogging machines too. It just didn't make sense to keep Grace Flows Down going. Grace Flows Down represents an entirely different period in my life, and time moves on.

So add my new blog to your reading list!



Shannon Schrage.

That is my name, for now and always.

Updates will be coming soon, as well as a new blog.

My husband has a blog. Read it and get to know him.


Among other things...

I miss blogging and soon, I shall return. Right now, however, I have wedding bells on the brain, and their ringing is all-together consuming me. I look forward to returning to a settled life (I hope) after wedding day and master's thesis are over. In anticipation of the summer, here are a few things I'm looking forward to...

Catching up on my "to read" list...
Reconciliation by Benazir Bhutto.

Spending time with my soon-to-be hubby...
Even if we're still playing online Scrabble.

Learning how to be a wife...
This website should come in handy.

Helping my soon-to-be hubby accomplish summer goals...
By memorizing together and going to synod.


Call Me Crazy

If planning a wedding isn't challenge enough, try adding making your own desserts and wedding cake! I love to bake and one of the things I really wanted to do for my wedding was to do my own baking. It was partly to save costs, but mostly because I am stubborn and I just wanted to do it myself. Saturday is the baking deadline so guess what's keeping me busy this week? One of the desserts is strawberry tartlets, the progresson of which is pictured. Unfortunately, the tarts lack the final flourish of mascarpone, cream cheese and strawberries. Yum! Today's unphotographed accomplishment was carrot cake and one enourmous mess in the kitchen.


Our First Wedding Gift

I had an unexpected surprise the other day: our first wedding gift from an unexepected giver. I walked into to the room where I teach piano lessons and there stood two sister students with five great big Macy's bags. My jaw dropped and tears welled. They have been upset by my leaving them as a teacher (one of the girls has cried in the last couple of lessons) and they demonstrated their love with the most generous and sincere gifts I've ever received. Their kindness was precious to me and I look forward to using such beautiful serving pieces. Each time I use them, I will definitely remember these dear students. The dishes will also serve as a reminder to me that you can never fully estimate the impact you might have on a life or the impact a life can have on yours. Thank you, dear, dear girls.


I Hear Birds Singing

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Jeff and I played on a windy day at Carmel Clay's West Park.

On the Silo Slide.

On top of Ol' Smokey.

A Monte Cristo from Patrick's Kitchen in Zionsville. YUM!

The Family. Jeff was very happy to be in the picture this time instead of being the photographer.

Kevin and his girls. I'm going to miss those blue eyes!

The Future Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Schrage. Hmm, someone looks different...

Meredith looking very Easter-y.


Family Spring Fling

Not the best quality images, but a fun representation of a fun weekend, at least...


Hello? Is she there?

Quick recap of the last few months:

Mono 1.0: Contamination source unknown. But honestly, who really believes it's passed from kissing anymore? The prefered culprit is a bad immune system. My mother blames it on immunization shots.

Mono 1.2: Finished, mid-February. No more kissing.

Job status 1.0: Apparently universities like to have healthy teachers, and prefer not to pass mono around. No kissing students.

Job status 2.0: The Registry, Indianapolis. It helps to know people who can get you a good reference. Thanks, Amy.

Job status 2.1: Apparently even temp agencies want longer term commitment...

Job status 3.0: "Good evening, thank you for calling Williams-Sonoma. How may I help you?" ... "No ma'am, we do not carry cute Kitchen Aid mixer covers."

Wedding 1.0: Decisions, decisions.

Wedding 1.1: 2:30, 3:30? Okay 3:30. NO WAIT, STOP THE PRESS! It's 2:30.

Wedding. 1.2: Blue dresses? Yes, blue. Maybe white dresses? No wait, I like black. Yes, black dresses.

Wedding 1.3: Decisions, decisions.


Definition of Mononucleosis

1. Mononucleosis, or "mono," is a contagious viral illness caused by the Epstein Barr virus that initially attacks the lymph nodes in the neck and throat.

2. My present state of being.


Linking Lives Together

Once upon a September evening, a girl named Shannon met a boy named Jeff. She teaches piano and he studies the Bible. He also is an intern and hopes to get a job after graduation and ordination. They quickly fell in love and are getting married. God is so good and faithful!



I was in Starbucks earlier this week and saw an amusing scenario. This guy was sitting at a cafe table, quietly drinking his beverage and reading the newspaper. As I observe him further, I realized he had the Starbucks non-fat milk "fixin's carafe" sitting on his table. He proceded to pour himself a cup of milk and continued to read his paper. Incredulous!

And then I found five dollars.


The providence of God continues to amaze and surprise me. He is good and I am reveling in His goodness.


Indianapolis received its first snowfall of the season! I love to see the cornfields spotted with white. So beautiful!


Any member of the Koons family who would like to email me their Christmas wish list, it would be really helpful. Thanks!


Sharing Obedience

I have wrestled greatly with obedience over the last year, especially this fall. God is good, and I am presently seeing the rewards of waiting and continuing in obedience. The following is a journal entry I wrote while proctoring an exam over a month ago. Even though it is personal and now past, but I wanted to share it because it is a good reminder that while we see the small parts in front of us, God has the big picture in His hand. Praise God for the ministry of His Spirit and for His work in our lives. I hope it is an encouragement to you.

24. Sept. 07

I'm sitting in class right now. The students are anxiously bent over their first exam. I think the pages are now wet with sweat. Mine too. I don't know what I'll do if they all fail it. Tragedy for them and me.

I've been thinking a lot about obedience lately. I never knew until taking this job how physical obedience can be. When you have to act on something where you heart is not, especially if you know it's right, even your body itself must obey. Even in an hour and half commute. I hate commuting -- I've done it all my life. My dream is to live somewhere where walking to and from is an option. I'm driving nearly three hours a day and I don't even have cruise control. It is surprising to feel the effects of obedience even by just pressing the gas pedal. It seems silly, but it is real to me. I'm tired and not sleeping well. I've been sick already this semester. The curse of sin is definitely felt in the body. For what purpose I am here in this room right now, I don't understand at all. But I know with some sense of peace that being here right now is where I should be and that I'd be outside of God's will to be anywhere else.

I've also thought that maybe God has me here simply to teach me this lesson of obedience. If we grow through pain then maybe the whole point of this is simply a test to see how I will respond and how I will grow because of it. If I don't truly understand this process in my own experience, how could God ever use me to minister and to encourage someone else?

I read this quote today in The Imitation of Christ. "Many are under obedience more out of necessity than of charity and they have great pain and easily murmur and complain; they will never have liberty or freedom of spirit until they submit themselves wholly to their superiors." And later Kempis says, "Dreaming of a change of place has deceived many a person in religion."

I think he might really be talking about his situation in a fourteenth century monastery, but the truth of obedience is the same. If we are obedient because we have to be, then there is no joy and we focus only on negatives. But if we are obedient because it is a response to our love for God and our trust in His sovereignty, then there really is freedom. I think that is freeing because then you don't have to defend yourself or who you are or why you're doing such and such. You just do it and pursue it one hundred percent and all the while, you are one hundred percent yourself. Obedience negates any reason to hide. Obedience lets you live in the open. I think that is freeing.


Bearing Your Father's Name

Has anyone kept up with the latest on Franky Schaeffer? Last week's World Magazine highlighted his new book, Crazy for God, in this article which is part review, part interview.

It is a sad state when the son of such influential parents feels the freedom to publish disdain while his mother is still living. The command to honor your parents is relevant no matter your age.

It is also a sad state when sin corrupts both a good work and a man hungry for something other than the pure gospel. Every story is two-sided and while it appears that Crazy for God gives only Franky's side, there has to be some truth to it. It is a humbling reminder that even in ministry, people stumble.

I read another article by nihilistic novelist Jane Smiley. She reviews Schaeffer's book with cynical enthusiasm -- cynical because of her distrust of conservative Christianity and enthusiasm for Franky's boldness.

I am saddened because I have great respect for Dr. and Mrs. Schaeffer. Both of their writings have had an impact on my life and my thinking. While I wouldn't change my opinion of them, it does illustrate both the importance of family over ministry and the temptation for it be otherwise.


At the Altar

Sometimes I feel a bit like Abraham. The things nearest my heart are sitting on a hunk of rock and I'm standing, poised with my knife. I keep glancing over my shoulder, listening for a bleeting squeak.

"C'mon God, where's my lamb? I'm getting tired of waiting and holding this heavy knife."

My frightened heart is looking back up at me, crying, "No! Please, don't!"

So I stay standing, in anguish. Torn between holding on to what I want and following through with obedience.

I am at that altar every single day.