Thursday, December 31, 2009

All's Well That Ends Well

The year ends in typical fashion. Projects on the dining room table. Handy man on the job. (Hooray for the brand new porcelain!) Reorganizing bedrooms with overflow in the living room. Unexpected food delivered for lunch. (Stir fry rice noodles from neighbor). My parents stopping by just in time to share the good food. Running errands in town. Baking team in kitchen. (Husband and daughter making chocolate kiss pretzels). Lots of happy noise. Spending New Year's Eve with family and friends. All's well that ends well.

Happy New Year to us all!

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 106:1 ESV

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Second Printing

Where did my master copy go? Oh well. I can print another one and ask the family to sign it. Again. And make another trip to the copy shop. Twenty five miles away. But at the copy shop I found a water spot on my new master. Ruining the family photo. But wait. Is there any chance I left my first master at the copy shop? Sure enough. We're good to print. The second batch of our Christmas letter coming right up.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cookie Love

It was a bake-off. My husband made gingerbread cookies. He used a Family Fun recipe that turned out great. Even with a midnight run for more molasses. I made Pennsylvania Dutch light ginger cookies. I like my recipe because you don't have to chill the dough. I mixed up frosting of different colors and bought candies. And we had cookies to decorate at Christmas with my husband's family and with my sister and three little girls. Next time we'll include some sugar cookies.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Monday, December 28, 2009

Enjoy!

My daughter writes "Enjoy!" on her notes and gifts. She pooled resources with my husband and bought me a new, as in brand new, food processor. I will enjoy it. And savor the memory of an excited nine-year-old who couldn't wait to surprise me on Christmas Eve.

I think God has the same idea. He gives us good gifts and waits for us to open them and enjoy. Family. Friendships. Our beautiful world. A relationship with His Son.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32 ESV

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Three Days Full

We packed a lot in three days. Spent Christmas and the day after with my husband's family. Then traveled up to my sister's farm and spent the night. Joined them for a special Christmas and communion service at their church. Good family times and safe travels. Doesn't get much better than that.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hot and Cold

We alternated hot and cold. Roasted chestnuts on an open fire last night. Literally. Came in and warmed up in my brother-in-law's home. This morning some of the family went to the "windy place," otherwise known as Crown Point in Portland. Three out of five siblings and a delegation met up for coffee. Should have done that after we had frozen yogurt at Yo Cream. Good family times.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3 NIV

Friday, December 25, 2009

First Recipients

Who would be first? Sometimes it's the person at the copy shop. If that person seems interested. Or the first friend I run into. This year the first recipient of our family newsletter, hot off the press, was my daughter's guitar teacher. Followed shortly by a friend with sons getting piano lessons. Now to print labels and stuff envelopes. And buy stamps.

It's interesting to think about the first recipients of the news of Jesus' birth. Shepherds working the night shift. The Creator of the Universe cares about the ordinary person just doing his or her job. And I'm grateful that He cares enough about me to send His Son. Merry Christmas to us all!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:8-10 NIV

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Light Candles Together

I'm glad we took the time to go. There's something special about joining other families for a candlelight Christmas Eve service. Filling the pews. Lighting candles together.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 ESV

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day In Day Out

I talked to one today. One yesterday. Caregivers. Those who lovingly care for someone. Day in. Day out. A husband faithfully caring for his wife with Parkinson's disease. Learning how to communicate with simple yes or no questions. A woman making room for her mother-in-law. Responsible for remembering everything her mother-in-law can't anymore.

That's just two examples. There are many more around us. I pray a special blessing on the caregivers.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Whittled

How do you select just a couple pictures for the Christmas letter? You do it in stages. Whittle it down. Take input. Move some in, and some out. This one didn't make the cut. But it's one of my favorites.

Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. Proverbs 23:25 ESV

Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Times

I sound like my dad. I remember how he always said, "I just like having the family together." In fact, he still says that.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sign Me Up

I have favorite bits and pieces. But I don't understand how the whole book goes together. Today the pastor shared some of the familiar Isaiah 7 passage with the prophecy of Jesus' birth. It makes me look forward to next year's Bible Study Fellowship. They are adding a yearlong study of the book of Isaiah. Sign me up.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 ESV

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bring on the Grace

If I know anything about parenting it's this: I don't have all the answers. I was just getting used to being the parent of three teenagers. Plus a toddler. Now I'm the parent of three adults. And a grade schooler. When did that happen? But God is good and He provides the grace we all need.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Program

One year ago we had to cancel. But tonight we just had rain. No snow. So the school Christmas program went on as scheduled. The kindergarteners were so cute in their shepherd costumes. The grade schoolers and middle schoolers sang with gusto. The instrumentalists were all students. And they all quoted whole passages of Scripture by memory. Another great Christmas program put on by our local Christian school.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:14 ESV

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Wheels

There is no magic formula. I can't make it happen by wishing or positive thinking. But if I pray and seek God's provision, He will take care of our needs in His perfect timing. I didn't know how or when my husband would find more reliable transportation. But this week we saw a pickup for sale locally and worked out the details. It's a beautiful blue Ford Ranger pickup with two extra jump seats. It's a '94 but has low miles. Automatic, so anyone can drive it. And starts every time.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wash Up

No more scrounging quarters. Although I will say that those super capacity washers hold a lot of dirty clothes. The repair man came today. But he didn't need to. Our front load washer thawed out and healed itself. Praise the Lord! And let's switch the loads.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home Decorating

It helps to know a caterer. One of the moms from my husband's first grade class offered to bake gingerbread houses and make frosting. Others contributed candy and edible supplies like pretzels. The first graders went to town decorating their houses. As a bonus my daughters were given a house to decorate too.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sand Together

We can't help every needy child in our community. But we can team up with others in our small group Bible study to build five bed frames to go with donated mattresses. What a great way for a father and daughter to spend a Saturday morning.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Supper

It's a good plan. If I start soon enough. It's nice to have something going for Sunday supper. This afternoon I put chicken, salsa, tomatoes, black beans and corn in the slow cooker. Only it wasn't done when I got up from my nap. So I transferred it to the stove top and made quick work of it. Sunday slow cooker suppers it is.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not Me

I don't remember it being this difficult. How many do overs does it take to get it right? For all six of us. But we will keep drawing names until no one has their own name. Now to remember our final pick. And find the perfect gift for our person.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 ESV

Friday, December 11, 2009

Could Be Worse

It's time for another round of, "It Could be Worse." The washing machine malfunction could have flooded the house, instead of the garage. The pipes could be frozen instead of just the puddle on the garage floor. The dryer works, so we can use it after we haul our clothes somewhere to wash. My husband and I added a memory for the "Remember When" game. We can look back to the time we worked side by side scooping water in the freezing cold garage. And now back to the "Wait and See" game. Will our front-loader latch work after it warms up?

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Cheer

Now that's Christmas cheer. The fourth and fifth graders at my daughter's school sang at a nursing home today. They sang the songs they are rehearsing for the Christmas program. And took requests for favorite carols. But my favorite part was when the students went around and shook hands with the residents and wished them a merry Christmas.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:10-12 ESV

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Remember Why

I'm just going to stop. Stop thinking about how I could do better. It's too late to plan ahead for this Christmas season. We're here. Now. I want to make the most of what I do have. Enjoy the time. Make it meaningful. Remember why we celebrate this time of year. God loves me so much He sent His Son.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13 ESV

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bring it By

She made good on her offer. My friend said she had the perfect wrap and coat to go with my new black dress. And strappy black heels that are my size. She dropped them off on my porch while I was gone yesterday. Too bad it was too cold to think about wearing a dress on my date with my husband last night. But I love how she thought of me. And took the time to bring it by.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Monday, December 07, 2009

Twenty-Four and Counting

We counted them up. We've lived in ten homes. That's counting house-sitting gigs, apartments, rental homes, and the house my husband built. We had four children born in three cities. We've hosted six open houses. One when we moved into our new home, one for my husband's completion of his Masters in Teaching degree, my 40th birthday, and three high school graduations. We've packed a lot in to 24 years of marriage. Happy Anniversary to us!

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 ESV

Sunday, December 06, 2009

GOOD JOB

The custom license plate said GOODJOB. Was the car a reward for a job well done? Or is the driver known for letting people know what they do well? I try to do that. I acknowledge good service at grocery stores and restaurants. I can take it a step further and write more thank you notes.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 ESV

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Non-Fat Mary Who?

The manager asked me what my last name is. They only know me as Mary. Or Non-fat Mary. As in, the kind of milk I put in my coffee. Turns out they drew my card in the new weekly give-away. I won a free bagel sandwich of my choice. If I redeemed it on a Sunday I could get a free cup of coffee to go with it.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Friday, December 04, 2009

Dressed Up

Too bad my daughter wasn't here to do my make-up. All the rest came together. I found two black retro polyester dresses at a rummage sale a couple months ago. Fifty cents each. One dress fit perfectly. The other didn't work but had two diamond-studded balls at the neck. Perfect for earrings. My crafty friend made quick work of that. All I needed was somewhere to go. Then a friend invited me to the women's Christmas dinner at church. I dressed up and had a great time with the ladies.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tis the Season

We're heading into that season. There are whispers of snow in the forecast. We need to corral the winter gear before there is a mad dash. And stock up on hot chocolate.

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 ESV

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Always Learning

I am learning a lot. From my youngest. I don't remember studying so much about plants and birds in fourth grade. And I know I have gaps in American history from being transplanted to a British primary school in Hong Kong. Now I can learn what I missed.

Pictured: A history lesson with Grandma on Thanksgiving

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Add Our Prayers

Our little town has flags at half-mast in honor of the four slain police officers. One of them attended our high school. Our nine-year-old doesn't need to watch the news. We can share current events with her. And pray together.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27 ESV

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back in Town

I can watch for the little white car now. It might be in the first aisle at the grocery store. Or on the way to church. Or in my driveway. My parents returned from their trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan. I'm thankful for their safe travels and a good time with co-workers and friends.

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 1:7 ESV

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coffee Break

I love how she does that. She flies in. Blesses my grandparents. And takes time out for coffee with my daughters and me. That my cousin. The captain in the Marines.


We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, Colossians 1:3-4 ESV

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Tribute

I heard lots of stories. Fond memories. With Scripture woven throughout. That's what you would expect at a memorial service of a faithful saint. It was a celebration of nine decades of life lived to the full. With quiet service backed by a strong faith in God. It was a tribute to a family that has impacted the whole community by their selfless care for each other and others. I appreciated the reminder to think about legacy. What am I passing on to the next generation?

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 ESV

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Matters

Doing everything was off the table. I had to select two out of three. I was tempted to get up early and shop. I could skip my nap and go bowling with the family. Or join friends for game night. The words of Jesus in John 6 helped me decide. What really matters? What is the food that perishes and food that endures? Shop for stuff or spend time with my family? Relationships matter. So I napped in the morning. After I did my Bible study homework. Good choice. And it worked out that I had time for a quick trip to my thrift store to check out their half price sale.

Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." John 6:27 ESV

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just Us

It's not what we usually do. But our quiet stay-at-home Thanksgiving was good. Just my husband's parents and us. My mother-in-law did her best to recreate my sister-in-law's mashed potatoes. And brought a winner fruit salad and awesome sweet potatoes. I tried my hand at my mom's one-hour bran rolls since she isn't back from their trip to Asia. I made a ton of stuffing as usual. My husband was in charge of defrosting and roasting the 22-pound turkey. "That turkey has my compliments." High praise from a nine-year-old.

We give thanks to God for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Number One Answer

I would have answered differently two months ago. Today the Bible study leader asked us to tell our neighbor what we were thankful for. I have the typical list. Family and friends. Faith. God's blessings. But first on my list? Jesus. Thanks to my study in the book of John. My neighbor had the same answer.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2 ESV

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Banner Night

Get out the welcome mat. A homemade banner will do. Two are on their way home from college. Pray for safe travels. Make sure beds are cleared and made. Stock favorite cereals. Buy milk. Don't wake up Little Sister. It's a school night for her. But only a half day tomorrow for our fourth grader. We can all spend the afternoon and the next few days together. Hooray!

May the God who gives you endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5 ESV

Monday, November 23, 2009

Frame Love

Talk about sticker shock. We priced custom mats for some artwork. Scratch that idea. Let's reuse some frames with existing mats. My husband used black spray paint for a whole new look. I love how my father-in-law's watercolors look in their new frames. You might check out my internet friend Meredith's advice for spray paint.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Filled with Love

We were like kids in a toy store. Each person grabbed a clear box, walked around the room, and filled it with items for either a boy or a girl. Our Sunday School class packed around fifty shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child today. Our friend collects toys and goodies all year long and organizes this collaborative project. Members of our class contributed toys, toiletries, and miscellaneous supplies to bless needy children around the world. I wonder what little girl will open the box my daughter packed with a doll, jump rope, pencils, sharpener, and a few other little treats. We send our love and prayers too.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14 ESV

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mingle for a Good Cause

That was a blast. From the past. We went to a local school bazaar fundraiser today. We saw friends from our former church and present church. My husband saw former students and co-workers from his educational assistant and substitute teaching days. I caught up with some of my children's former teachers and a soccer coach. And met one favorite secretary's "maternity leave." For the record, I did not partake of the donut fundraiser. But I bought my friend one.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extended Grace

I reached the end of line. Technical support couldn't help me. If the problem had surfaced three weeks sooner I could have gotten help for free. The real kicker was that if I had know about potential problems, I could have downloaded a preventive patch. So armed with my research and buoyed by the prayers of my small group Bible study, I made my case. I handed over my malfunctioning laptop computer. And received a full refund.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Buckle Up

I'm the official picker-upper. Starting today. For my three-year-old neighbor. So he can attend preschool. His parents are at work and can't give him a ride home. The grandparents don't drive. His first day went well. I'm glad I only have to wrestle his car seat two days a week.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Kind of Duty

I didn't really want to volunteer. But my friend said why not. We arrive early for our weekly Bible study anyway. So I got called up for duty. Today was my turn to watch half a dozen little ones while the children's leaders gather to pray. It wasn't hard. Cute little kids. Reading children's books for 15 minutes. I should pop a few favorite read-alouds in my bag for next time.

but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How do you spell that?

I have one next to my bed. The office is full of them. But when my nine-year-old wanted to look up a word, she had trouble finding the right dictionary. The first one was from my husband's seminary days. I don't think a dictionary of theology has the word avocado. The second try was a rhyming dictionary. Domino? Incognito? I need to find her a good dictionary she can keep in her room. Next to her bed.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sew Not Me

I paused. Turned the package over. Then came to my senses. I did not buy the skirt pattern even though it was my size and really cute. I am not going to be sewing any time soon. Following pattern instructions is not my strong suit. Despite home ec and the best tutors you could ask for. I can't do everything. And I'm okay with that.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; Romans 12:4-6 ESV

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Little Things

I thank God for the little things. The little reminders that He cares about me. Like providing the perfect shoes. It helps when there are bigger concerns. Like a malfunctioning computer. Or a truck that may or may not start. I can keep praying. And trusting.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quiet please, I'm on the phone

Is your computer making a funny sound? No. That's just background noise. And so I spent 90 minutes talking to technical support. And asked him to ignore the garbage disposal, chop saw in the garage, nail gun, dog barking, laughing child, child banging on metal lid, pots clanging, oven timer dinging, and so on. Is my computer problem resolved? Not yet. I have some more phone calls to make.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Friday, November 13, 2009

Man in Blue

I never hugged someone wearing a bullet-proof vest. Until today. We are very proud of Oregon's newest police officer. My brother-in-law just completed 16 weeks of intensive training. We took the day off and drove down for his graduation ceremony. Congrats, Officer!

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Technical Support

I have enough difficulties. Of the technical variety. A wireless printer that is not wireless. May or may not print under pressure. Now my laptop computer is going dark. The screen that is. Open and shut the case, wake it up. Take a deep breath and continue what I was doing. But I can't blame all problems on machinery. I cause enough of my own. My procrastination. Lack of personal organization. I can persevere. Keep clearing the clutter. And allow more margins for those technical difficulties.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You for Your Service

It's been a while since I took my grandfather to school for show and tell. I've always been proud of his service to our country. He served in the Navy in World War 2. That's when he started writing poems to pass the time. My grandma is a hero too. She held down the fort at home. Then and now.

On this day I'm also thankful for my two cousins' safe return to the US after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They continue to serve our country as a captain in the Marines and as a deputy sheriff.

May God bless them on this Veteran's Day.

Photo credit: My aunt's photo of my cousin, my grandparents, and my uncle.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Psalm 138:7 ESV

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

His Own Words

I'm glad I have a red letter Bible. Especially while I'm studying the book of John this year. It's filled with the words of Jesus. Words of life.

that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:23-24 ESV

Monday, November 09, 2009

Good Men

I could introduce her to a few. Many, in fact. The woman at the store said she did not know any good men. She doesn't believe they exist. I have been surrounded by good men my whole life. Godly men of character. My dad, my grandfathers, uncles. Friends of the family. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband of almost 24 years. And I'm proud of the two young men I've watched grow up. I am blessed.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 1 John 2:13 ESV

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Keen Love

Pick me up off the floor. These aren't just sandals. My friend at church said she had some sandals that didn't work for her. Maybe they would fit me. So when I saw the Keens of my dreams, I just about fell over. They are perfect.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One Week at a Time

I thought everyone did that. Take life's challenges or joys one day at at time. Today a mom of five boys, all ten and younger, told me she takes it one week at a time. If she gets behind one day, she can catch up on another. She comes from a homeschooling perspective. But that could work for me. Set goals. Plan out the week. Get it done. Little by little. One week at a time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:17 ESV

Friday, November 06, 2009

Roll up my Sleeves

I know what to do. Skip breakfast. Drink up. Lots and lots of water. Roll up my sleeves and let them try to find a vein. Pray for a successful blood draw. When the first try didn't work this morning I tried something new. I prayed for the technician. And she was in. Got what she needed and I was done. I'm good for six months.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Spring For It

I thought it was toast. Time for a new screen door. Or go without. But my handy husband just bought a new spring for a couple bucks. Installed it in minutes. Now it closes better than it ever did. I love how he does that.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 1 Timothy 6:18 ESV

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

On a Jet Plane

Too bad my passport is expired. I wish I could go with my parents today. They are traveling to Taiwan and Hong Kong to see old friends and attend the 20th anniversary of a church they helped start. Some day I'd like to take my children to see where our second son was born.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 ESV

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Start With Dinner

It started with my dinner plan. I can use up the sourdough bread and make French toast. Why not bake some potatoes this afternoon? Grate a couple for hashbrowns. The rest will keep for another breakfast or meal.

Since the oven is hot, why not bake something? And send a care package to my college kids. I haven't made applesauce cake in a while. But my applesauce is frozen. Why not substitute pumpkin? And make muffins and small loaves. Add a dash of ground coriander to the powdered sugar glaze. Cool, glaze, pack and run to the post office. Come home and fix dinner. How about French toast?

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Monday, November 02, 2009

Needs to Be Said

I appreciate how he is willing to say what needs to be said. Thoughtfully. With a biblical basis. Without delving into too much detail. It's worth reading Tim Challies' five articles in a series aimed at young men. Even if you aren't a young man.

Part One: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-i-pornifying-the-marriage-bed.php

Part Two: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-ii-breaking-free.php

Part Three: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-ii-a-theology-of-sex.php

Part Four: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-iv-detoxification.php

Part Five: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-v.php

His recommended resources: http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/sexual-detox-recommended-resources.php

For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. Proverbs 5:21-22 ESV

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Perfect Timing

That was perfect timing. Not too late and not too early. Even with daylight savings. We stopped by my in-laws' home tonight. Without warning. Just in time for soup and hot biscuits. Thanks for adding four to the table!

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9 ESV

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Princess for a Night

What are you going to do? Turn off the lights and hide out? Leave and spend the evening at a school or church-sponsored harvest festival? Or stock up on candy and greet the kiddies and parents that come to your door? We've done variations on all of the above.

Tonight we stayed home and saw just how popular our loop is. There must have been a couple hundred men, women, children and babies out there. Our youngest had fun dressing up as a princess and handing out candy. Until we ran out. Then she went around the neighborhood with her older brother. That's what we did tonight.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 ESV

Friday, October 30, 2009

Skate Happy

It's a school tradition. Rent out the rollerskating rink a couple times a year. Caravan to the next town. Watch the kids and a few brave adults skate, race, and do the hokey pokey. My youngest is finally confident enough to leave the carpet and go out on the rink. Good for her.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Between Here and There

I got the call about the case of the missing lunch. Yes, I could make a run to the school. But wait, where is it? Not in the fridge, on the counter, or in the living room. On the porch? No. How about in her chauffeur's truck? The chauffeur, otherwise known as "dad" left his first grade classroom to search his vehicle. No sign of it. If nothing else, I could take her the brown bag lunch I made for myself yesterday and forgot in the fridge.

But wait, what is in the driveway? It must have fallen out of her backpack. Case closed.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No Studio Necessary

We were talking about family portraits. And church directories. Do you try to wear matching clothes? My friend echoed our family sentiment. Try not to clash. I think some of the favorite family photos are unplanned. But it does help to have a camera in your pocket or purse.

Pictured: A summer memory.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jazz it Up

I am always in a rush to get things done. So I throw things together. Grab and go. But I can kick it up a notch. Like my mother-in-law's cut and paste detail on her gift bag. I can take a moment. Jazz it up.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Monday, October 26, 2009

Warm Heart

I looked out the kitchen window and saw two girls jumping on the trampoline. The older sister said to her younger sister, "We're warming Mom's heart." They know me well. It was great to have my older daughter home for the weekend.

Thanks to my daughter for this cell phone picture.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12 ESV

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks for the Birth Day

I should give them a card. A thank you card. But a birthday meal in honor of my husband will have to do. Nice to have my husband's parents and my parents join us today.

Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, Proverbs 1:8 ESV

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Dinner

That's my husband. Easy to please. Flexible. Plan C for dinner is fine. His birthday dinner, no less. We can get a late teriyaki dinner tonight. Postpone the family dinner with both sets of parents until tomorrow after church.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

It's great to have our older daughter home from college for the weekend.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18 ESV

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moms Have Homework Too

I post occasionally on the blog for my husband and daughter's Christian School. You can read it at:

http://aroundmccs.blogspot.com/2009/10/moms-have-homework-too.html

not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 ESV

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mary Jane Love

The hunt is officially over. I can stop looking for two small black buttons. No more inspecting button collections. Like my grandma's, organized by size and color. Or contemplating clothing buttonectomy. I hereby withdraw my plan to repair my favorite Dansko Mary Janes. Today I found a beautiful pair of shoes at the thrift store. Fit perfectly. Excellent condition. A sweetheart of a deal at $4.99.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sink In

It is starting to sink in. My older daughter really is away at college. And not walking through the door at any moment. I miss her. Talking, laughing, drinking coffee. Running errands together. And the happy noise of sisters laughing.

I wanted to be more faithful at sending mail and packages. In the meantime I send emails and photos. I know she will get a kick out of my attempts at self-portraits. I can work on sending more snail mail.

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, Colossians 2:2 ESV

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That Went Well

It was a full day for her. Fourth grade oral report presentation first thing this morning. First of three this year. Then a dentist appointment right after school. Both went well. Mother and daughter are relieved.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stay the Course

It's a routine. Sub plans for my husband. Check. Arrangements for our youngest. Check. Charge the cell phone. Check. Pack snacks and water. Check. Hand carry my latest MRI scan. Check. And see my neurologist in Portland for my annual visit. Done. While in the Portland area, rendezvous with my sister and three girls. Always good.

By the way, the MRI of my brain looks good. My Multiple Sclerosis seems to be holding steady for now. I will continue the weekly injections, side effects and all.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7 ESV

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Truck Prowl

What was that woman up to? She peered in the window of the green pickup. Then walked over to the next driveway and looked in the window of the blue pickup. She paused and walked over to the neighbors. Looked in their brown pickup. Tried the door and found it unlocked. She removed a package and walked back to her house. My house. It was a drop-off plan gone awry.

I told my friend she could leave a package in our truck if we weren't home when she stopped by. Only she forgot which house and truck were ours. She left the package in my neighbor's truck. But not to worry. I safely retrieved the package. Baked goods for me to deliver to her son in Portland when I visit tomorrow.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Summer Sleepover

My parents converted their garage into a beautiful house. Which means their old cabin is perfect for sleepovers with the cousins. Here is a photo of them watching the movie Kit Kittridge this summer. Thanks to my daughter for sending me this photo.

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kit was a Hit

I finally watched the movie with my daughter. She watched it this summer with her cousins and other family members. I loved Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Movie. The main character is a ten-year-old girl living during the Depression. I love her pluck and persistence. And is there a word for compassionate that starts with P? I am proud of my daughter for not divulging any plot twists. I may watch it again before we send it back.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV

Thursday, October 15, 2009

To Stir Fry with Love

I wasn't sure what tack to take. I could go stealth. See if anyone noticed tofu in the stir fry. I opted for full disclosure. And enlisted my youngest's help with dinner preparation. She cubed the tofu and cut green onions. Measured soy sauce. I modified my mom's recipe for Kung Pao Tofu with the addition of grated broccoli and red bell pepper. It was a hit. Five out of four loved it. (I sent a plate over for my neighbor to try.)

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Mom's Kung Pao Tofu

1 pound firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tbs. soy sauce (divided)
2 Tbs. sherry, beef broth or more soy sauce (divided)
1 Tbs. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup beef or vegetable broth or 1 cup water plus 1 tsp. bouillon
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 tsp. sesame oil (divided)
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped, or garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. finely chopped ginger root or ginger powder
a few whole dried chili peppers or a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 cup chopped onion* I used some green onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots* I used half a bag of broccoli slaw
1 cup thinly sliced celery, optional
1 cup chopped green bell pepper* I used red bell pepper and recommend it.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

1. Place drained and cubed tofu in small bowl. Combine 1 Tbs. of soy sauce and 1 Tbs. of sherry and spoon over tofu. Mix gently and set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes.
2. In small bowl, combine remaining soy sauce and sherry, vinegar, sugar, pepper, broth, and cornstarch. Stir to dissolve cornstarch. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tsp. sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, until tofu cubes are lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet, place in a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
4. Return skillet to heat and add remaining sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger root and cook for 10 seconds or until sizzling. Add onion, bell pepper, and peanuts. Cook and stir, for a few minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp.
5. Return tofu to skillet. Stir sauce and pour over tofu and vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
6. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Throw it Together

I had a free pass. I could stay home from our small group Bible study and dinner. I wasn't sure if I had enough energy to go, let alone cook something to take. But then again, it wouldn't be that hard to peel some apples and bake a crisp. Send my son to the store for whipped cream. I have spaghetti sauce in the freezer. Boil some water and cook linguine. Throw it together. Let's go!

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13 ESV

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shop and Listen

People think I'm a savvy bargain hunter. Sure, I find a few treasures and good deals. But I'm not that efficient. I don't move very fast. I like to talk to fellow shoppers and sellers. Find out their stories. Last weekend I could have cased the garage sale and left in two minutes. Instead I admired a wooden sculpture lamp and heard the story of the seller's mom ordering it over fifty years ago. The mom couldn't wait for it to arrive. But then she died shortly after. Or today I learned about a fellow thrift store shopper's online business. And where she donates profits. I can shop and listen. Works for me.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yearly MRI

That wasn't so bad. I think I even fell asleep. Not easy to do when you are strapped on a board and lying in metal tube with annoying alarm clocks and woodpeckers hammering in your ears. My plan for staying calm during the MRI was to have friends pray for me. I was going to use the time to pray, but I only got through two of my children before the sedative kicked in. It was nice to have my dad as my driver. We stopped and had a father-daughter date at our favorite Asian Deli.

I leave the results in God's hands. I will find out more next week at my neurologist appointment.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to Respond

I wanted to hear the guest speaker. So my husband went to our regular Sunday school class and I went to the Chinese church. I was able to remember enough Chinese to follow along with the songs. The guest speaker gave a sermon in English and someone translated into Chinese. The topic was how to respond to anxiety based on Philippians 4:4-13. I'm glad I went. I always learn something when my dad preaches.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wedding Crashers

We didn't know the bride or the groom. Or anyone else in the wedding party or family. But we didn't drive two hours just for the free food. A friend of ours wanted to attend the wedding of her old chum. But wasn't up to driving that far. So my husband, daughter, and I put on church clothes and went on a road trip with our friend. It was worth it to see the beautiful bride and our friend hug at the reception.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 ESV

Friday, October 09, 2009

God Bless

All I did was offer a bottle of sports drink. God bless me? That's what he said. I am richly blessed. He was the one on the street corner. Hungry. But I can share what I have.

For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:41 ESV

Thursday, October 08, 2009

No Metal

I expected the phone call. It happens every year about this time. I was ready with my "no, no, no, and no." As in, no, I don't have any metal devices implanted. And gave my current height and weight. All for the upcoming brain MRI appointment on Monday. I will skip the eye makeup on Monday as requested--not that I use any. But I am free to apply deodorant.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cup Up

It doesn't need to be complicated. Just have an easy way to know if the dishwasher is clean or dirty. We implemented the cup up cue. Leave one cup face-up until you're ready to run the dishwasher. Then flip it over and push start. Works for us.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Learning how to Toss

Tossers don't ponder. Play musical piles. They just give it the heave ho. Done. Thankfully I am married to a Tosser with a heart. He patiently works with this Saver. I am learning how to toss. Slowly. With help from authors Dorothy Lehmkuhl and Dolores Lamping and their book, Organizing for the Creative Person.

They address the fear that if you get rid of something, you will invariably need it soon after. They say it's worth making two mistakes out of one hundred such decisions if you are freed of the other ninety-eight!

And they suggest "people often want something they've just disposed of simply because it's fresh on their minds." That makes sense.

Just let it go.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Monday, October 05, 2009

New Assistant

My youngest is amazingly savvy for a nine-year-old. She has innate problem-solving skills plus the advantage of growing up with older siblings. She is my new tech support. She helped me program the new universal remote. For both the tv and the dvd player. Tonight she took a turn painting the living room.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Restless for the Rest

Today's morning prayer was a good one. From the fourth day in A Diary of Private Prayer:

Yet hast Thou made me restless for the rest that is in Thee.
Yet has Thou planted within me a hunger and thirst that make me dissatisfied with all the joys of earth.

And:

I bless Thee for Thy hand upon my life, and for the sure knowledge that, however I may falter and fail, yet underneath are Thine everlasting arms.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11 ESV

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Let Them Eat Beans

It's great to have friends. With bountiful gardens. We got a second batch of green beans. Fresh picked and delivered to our front door. Tonight it was all hands on deck. Washing, trimming, and cutting. No pressure cooker canning operation. I blanched the beans for the freezer. We'll be eating good for some time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Friday, October 02, 2009

Oysterfest Kid's Day

I was with the white mussels. That was my daughter's group at the Oysterfest Kid's Day event sponsored by the Skookum Rotary Club. They run a great program for local 4th graders. We learned about water quality, shell fish, water safety, recycling and more. With hands-on activities fun for fourth graders and parents alike.

So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21 ESV

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nutmeg Delight

I don't recall any spice talk. In all our conversation over coffee last visit, I don't think I mentioned how much I love nutmeg. But my cousin remembered how we talked about baking and preparing lunches for my fourth-grader. So she popped a little care package in the mail with some cookies. Nutmeg delight cookies. Indeed.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 ESV

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Family Name Game

I didn't have much hope for my friend. Those radio call-in contests are hard to win. But it was her daughter's name coming up at 9 am. We sat in her van with our cell phones ready to dial. Busy. Then she got through. And won theater tickets and dinner! The perfect mother-daughter outing, just in time for her daughter's birthday next month. Then we got to listen to the recording of the phone call on the radio. And marvel at how poised and articulate my friend was.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ice Cream for Dinner

She is one tough little cookie. Brave. Didn't flinch at the dentist today. Even though she had a couple shots in the mouth. And four baby teeth removed. They have been loose for a while, but didn't want to budge. So mashed potatoes and ice cream for dinner it is.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Monday, September 28, 2009

No More Disappearing Ink

The words start out crisp and sharp. Sometimes in fancy cursive. Then they fade. And the letters I write in my head disappear altogether. I want to write more letters and notes. On paper. With real ink. In my own italic handwriting. Before I forget my good thoughts and intentions.

So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 2 Corinthians 8:11 ESV

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the Middle

He's been there for everyone. Younger brother and companion to my oldest. Older brother and friendly rival to my older daughter. Big brother and pal for my youngest, eleven years his junior. Consultant and co-laborer on many projects with my husband. My on-call tech support. And friend.

I am especially thankful he is there with my daughter away at college.

Happy 20th birthday, Son!

Pictured: When my three children were four, two, and one day old.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bring it Out

I found evidence in the garage. Buried. I used to have organizational systems in place. The bins in the garage are labeled from the days when I had the children's clothes sorted by size. But they no longer hold clothing. And there are no two-year-olds here. The art supplies bin actually has arts and craft supplies. I know this because today we did a clean sweep in the garage. Hauled everything out to the driveway. Sorted and consolidated. Hauled a load to the thrift store. Found the missing DVD player. And Mom, I think I found your missing music stand from when we borrowed your keyboard.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art Love

I said I would know it when I saw it. It had to be horizontal. Big and dramatic. With the right colors. Maybe abstract. But not too weird. Fit our budget. As in cheap. And there it was at a garage sale. Only five bucks. Perfect for the new accent wall in our bedroom.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Laters Allowed

I've said it for years. I want a clean, streamlined look in our house. Be careful what you hope for. Someone may take you seriously. My son is on a mission to help me go through stuff, declutter, and organize. And he is relentless. No laters allowed. As in, "I'll take care of that later." Deal with it. Move it out. Load up the car. Drop off donations. That reminds me. I better deal with today's mail. Now.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work at Home

I had a personal trainer. But I had to let her go. To college. I can stay in touch by phone and email. She will be happy to know I am adding fruit and veggies to my diet. Meanwhile, I'm trying out a home organizer. He is a Peter Walsh (if you've ever watched Clean Sweep) without the British accent. Getting all the stuff out of drawers and corners. Asking tough questions. Pushing me to get rid of stuff. So far so good. We've made it through most of the kitchen, pantry, and front closet. If he doesn't get another job, I'll let my son help me tackle the office.

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Day After

I changed my schedule. Monday is the new Tuesday. Also known as shot night. That means Tuesday is now the day after my weekly MS shot. That frees me to attend Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday morning without a headache. Works for me.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today is the Day

I said someday. He said how about today. And he meant it. My oldest hasn't found a job yet so he is tackling projects around home. Starting with cleaning out the fridge. I love how he designated a shelf for leftovers. Then he moved on to the pantry. Sorted and arranged. Kept a running inventory of the supplies. Next thing I knew he had removed all the spices and miscellaneous items from the cupboard by the fridge. Transplanted a wire shelf from the pantry. Perfect. He left to help in his dad's first grade class while I put the spices back in order. I wonder what we'll tackle tomorrow.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, Colossians 3:23 ESV

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Jobs

We all have our little jobs. The things we do. I made chocolate oatmeal muffins for the road trip. My mom cleaned pitch off our car windshield. My mother-in-law helped my daughter and suite-mate figure out the shower. And got wet in the process. My husband made a grocery run before we left our son and daughter. And brought back a bouquet of sunflowers for our daughter's new dorm room. I love how he does little things in a big way.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Two Away

I can be sad later. Go ahead and enjoy the family day today. Starting with a circle of prayer in our driveway. Both sets of grandparents were part of the send off. My parents came to say good-bye and my husband's parents were part of the convoy. We had safe travels and a smooth move-in. Times two. Son in his dorm room in Stack Six. Daughter in her dorm room in Stack Ten. We shared dinner, met some of our son's friends, and drove 3 hours home. We can regroup later. And figure out what life looks like with two away.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Friday, September 18, 2009

That's How we Roll

Some things never change. We are always running behind. Playing catch-up on the clean-up before we can set-up. But the family pulls together. Divides and conquers. And throws a great party. For 9 fourth-graders today. With our trademark guessing jar game. My son found a great container for the entries.

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14 ESV

Thursday, September 17, 2009

From a Hill of Beans

To 14 quarts of canned green beans. Thanks to produce from a friend's farm and my mom's help today.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. Proverbs 31:14 ESV

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get in the Word

Somehow I missed out. Maybe it was because I was out of the country. No, it's international. Or because of my health struggles. Or because no one asked me to go. Until now. And my friend offered me a ride. So today I went to my first Bible Study Fellowship meeting. I have the orientation out of the way. Next week I can join my discussion group. I think I am going to love it.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recycled Birthday

We call them our bookends. Our birthday buddies. First and last child born on the same day, thirteen years apart. My friend said I recycled a birthday. That too.

Twenty-two years ago we welcomed our first-born son into the world. Nine years ago it was a baby sister for three kids, ages nine, eleven, and thirteen. Tonight it was a family dinner and dessert. With all four children and both sets of grandparents.

A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1 ESV