Sunday, December 27, 2009

I am ready for 2010. Actually, more specifically, I am ready to leave 2009 behind. (And 2008, too).

And I don't love New Years' Resolutions... because I never seem to keep them and I don't know anyone who does, either. But, I think a new decade is a great time to think about moving forward. There are changes I want to make. I want to be more organized, be more productive in my home, etc. And this is a big one... Sarah (my trainer) got me out of bed this morning before church and we went for a walk/run. It was more "walk" than "run"... but considering I haven't done ANY sort of exercise in months... it was a very good thing. And then I had her take my picture and I cringe as I share it but sometimes it's good to put "my stuff" out there. So we'll call this a "Before" picture and maybe by next year at this time, I will have an awesome "After" picture to show. At least I can tell the doctor the next time I see him, "Yeah, I exercised!" :-)

So, "physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come". (I Timothy) It is harder to show you a picture of my heart, but I also hope to have an awesome "after" picture of that, too. I want in this coming year to know God more than I ever have. And to learn to trust him in ways I never have. Actually, TRUST seems to be a theme for me lately with God. And I mean the kind of TRUST where you really think one path would be easiest, but because you believe God's will is for another path, then you take God's path, submitting to his will (and repenting that you ever didn't), doing the next right thing, because regardless of how hard it is and how much pain you will experience (and already have), you TRUST God to know what is best.... that He is all you really need, anyway, and believing that so much that you welcome pain and find JOY on the hard path just because God is there. And you know He will use the pain to for your good, anyway. Even if it's just to draw you closer to Him. That's the kind of TRUST I want to have in God.

And I want to be like Aaron Shust when he says, "Everything I say and do, let it be all for You".

My plans for this:
-- Spend more time sitting with God and listening to him
-- Finish reading the bible this year
-- Memorizing Phillipians (I'm already in the process of this) and after that, memorizing more and more scripture.
-- Find a way to SERVE in the kingdom... something I have been very LAX about

So, WELCOME 2010 and whatever is ahead!

I wanted to share this Sara Groves song, as it resonates deeply with me lately:

Less Like Scars

It's been a hard year
But I'm climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle

But every day it's
Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands,
a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like Character

Less like a prison, more like my room
It's less like a casket,more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending

A little while ago I couldn't feel the power or the hope
I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing
Just a little while back I was desperate,
broken, laid out, hoping You would come
And I need you And I want you here
And I feel you And I know you're here

You can listen to it here.

God is Good! :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just a few pictures from our Christmas (now that Santa brought me a new camera!)...

Lots of love from friends......

This has been Jacob since he opened his PSP.....

Libby loves her Vera Bradley Purse....

Sarah loves her Ipod, but wouldn't go get it so I could take her picture with it... it looks like this....
Our annual "tradition" is to go to the home of some friends... Kelly sets such a lovely table... we get to eat on her Christmas China! Woohoo! And Bobby is our excellent chef for the evening. All of you who know of his culinary talents are jealous, I know! ;-)

And, because Kelly conveniently burned her fingers by touching a hot burner.... addition to eating on the Christmas China, I got the priviledge of washing the Christmas China!! Woo hoo!

Here we are with our annual paper crowns:

Jacob loved playing with his friend Garrett who he hasn't seen in about year...

Sweet little Riley in his Christmas PJs...

Kelly's beautiful mantle....

The Gorgeous(es) Emma and Sarah...

Somebody call 911! That (little) Shawty fire burning on the dance floor! Whoa!

We had a nice Christmas! I hope everyone else did, too!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Three Good Books

I have a theory that at least 1 in every 4 randomly selected books will be worth reading. Sometimes I put this theory to the test when I am at the library... and just pick up 4 or 5 books at random. Occasionally, I am wrong and none are worth reading. But the last time I went to the library... I went 5 for 5! One of those, I wouldn't admit to reading, so you will never know what it was. Here is one of the other four:
When Will There Be Good News? (Fiction) I liked this one just because this author is a gifted story-telling. I've never read anything quite like it. It's set in Scotland and is the story of several people and situations that intersect in unusual ways.... the story sort of "unravels" like a ball of yarn, as you anxiously wait to get to the center and figure out WHAT is going on. :-) I loved it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teacher Gifts

Inspired by an idea from my friend Deanna's Blog (not for the first time!), I went and bought some of this: And made these for gifts for two of my kids' teachers:

I loved the idea for giving school supplies because there was no state funding for such things this year and they are continually needing them. The pencil holders were made from washing out large tin cans and gluing on scrapbooking paper with Mod Podge. The bottles are hand sanitizer. (If you want to make some yourself... you might have better luck following Deanna's instructions!)

Thanks to Tim for the picture... my camera is not working at all now. (Hint, hint, Santa).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Light of the World

"I am the light of the world Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" John 8:12

There are over 31,000 verses in the bible. (I know because I googled, "How many verses are in the bible?". And btw, it didn't escape my notice that like 15 years ago BG (Before Google), if I wanted to know how many verses were in the bible, I would have had to count them. That would have taken a little longer... ;-))

Back to my point.... Can it be a "coincidence" when I just looked up John 8:12 yesterday afternoon for my Luminary post... and then a couple hours later, went to bed, picked up my "Sunset with God" devotional and found that same verse quoted in last night's thoughts?

Well, it could be... but it's not. It was just God's "hug goodnight", as I turned off my light to sleep, remembering that He is "light and in him is no darkness at all". (That one is from 1 John).

Just wanted to share.

Monday, December 14, 2009


"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" John 8:12

On an evening near Christmas every year, we line the streets in our neighborhood with LUMINARIES. It's sort-of fun to be out with our neighbors working on this project and helping each other by offering matches and suggestions.

This year, to bring The Light of the World into something that begs to include Him, I offered a silent prayer for someone (or a whole family) as I lit each candle.

I tried not to appear irritated when my neighbor from next door finished her luminaries and then offered to help me light mine. I wanted to say, ", thank you. I'll light them myself. Please go away. I'm busy praying.".... but instead I said, "Thank you, that would be nice!" I still offered a prayer for the four she lit.

The last prayer I said was to thank God for his gift of Jesus!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A New Favorite

My interest has been kindled in a new candle brand! WoodWick. They can be purchased at Hallmark (and probably elsewhere). I experienced my first one at my friend Sonja's house. The scent she had was Rum Raisin and you needn't worry about finding that fragrance at any Hallmark store in this area, as I have bought them all! :-) The scent is subtle, pleasing and fills the whole house. My favorite, favorite thing, though, is that because of the wood wick, they crackle as they burn! So cozy!! The next one I would like to try is called "Redwood".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

soul coughing

I had a strange awareness this morning in church of COUGHING and other such noises that our bodies make. Most of the time when we are in a group of people, we block out the background noise. Today, I became aware of it... not sure why or how... and I spent some time focusing on it. I guess if we have to cough, we have to cough and there's not much we can do about it. But... it really happens alot more than I realized.

To research this phenomenon, this morning I counted 41 coughs and/or throat clearings during the time it took the communion juice to be passed around. This doesn't count sneezes, sniffles, pews creaking, things being dropped and children screaming. Normally that is a "quiet" time in the assembly when I reflect on what Christ's blood means to me... but today I couldn't concentrate for hearing all the commotion.

Let's say it took approximately 5 minutes to pass the communion trays, and there were about 900 people in attendance. That's 5 percent of the congregation coughing in a 5 minute period. Now, I can't verify how many of those were repeat-coughers, but that's alot of coughing. That's about 8 per minute or one every 7 seconds... not really enough time to complete a thought before being interrupted again.

The question arose in my mind... why is it so hard to find QUIET? It's like our bodies themselves just can't be quiet.

So far, though, I didn't have any point with wanting to share this and was going to tell you not to bother to look for one.

What's interesting and where I started to see a "point" developing is that in looking for an appropriate image to share, I discovered an alternative-rock band from the 90s called .... Soul Coughing.

So was I hearding a bunch of soul coughing in church today?! Now, I don't recommend this band- I read some of their lyrics and listened to them on Youtube and they're just weird. But I like their name and it made me think about what a real "soul cough" would be.

First, what is a physical cough? I googled it and this was the first thing I got.... "Coughing is a reflex action...the resulting blast of air comes out at high speed, scrubbing and clearing the airway of dust, dirt or excessive secretions......The cough reflex is a vital part of the body's defence mechanisms. Normally, the lungs and the lower respiratory passages are sterile. If dust or dirt get into the lungs, they could become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause pneumonia or infection in the breathing tubes...

...Coughing usually means there is something in the respiratory passages that should not be there."

And I thought my wandering mind wasn't focusing on the blood of Christ during communion!.... what an awesome way to think about Christ's blood... it's like a Soul Cough... a way of cleansing out the things that shouldn't be there, the dust, dirt and excessive secretions.... leaving us healthy and preventing our hearts from becoming breeding grounds for the infection of sin.