Saturday, December 31, 2011

Photo of the Year 2011

My photo of the year captures a moment with the whole family. Two children surprised their dad on Father's Day. We met at church, which is a central part of our lives. We are learning about who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and how that impacts everything we do.

My most-cited verse of the year is 1 Timothy 6:17, which reflects the focus of our hope. God is our faithful Provider.

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 30, 2011

Good-bye Christmas

Time to pack it up. Say good-bye. Send two of our children back to Bellingham. With a final road trip with dad and little sis. I can hold down the fort. Clean up. Reflect on good times over Christmas break.

Pictured: Sisters making chocolate truffles.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 ESV

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Blessings

We made the rounds this Christmas. Had time with my husband's family. Time at the farm with my sister's family. All with two of our adult children.

Pictured: My husband with our youngest niece.

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. Psalm 103:13 ESV

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Enjoy the Hike

I sent them with my love. Enjoy the hike without me. But take a photo or two. My husband and his brothers took the kids to Multnomah Falls.

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, December 27, 2011

Wave to Your Cousin

Pictured: My nieces waving to our oldest son in a cell phone picture.

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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Cousins

They are not little kids any more. We don't have to offer them crackers so they will sit still for a picture.

It's always good to have family time and cousin time.

Pictured: Seven out of the 12 cousins on my husband's side of the family. And no, that is not our oldest sitting on the left. That is our nephew.

Grace be with all of you. Hebrews 13:25 ESV

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to us all!

We are keeping with tradition. Stockings for Christmas morning. Thanks to my creative wool-artist friend. Yummy Christmas breakfast. Thanks to my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Now to enjoy family times later today!

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 2:11-12 ESV


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Memories

We had a full day. Wonderful turkey dinner with the grandparents. Family time with three out of four of our children. Christmas Eve service at a nearby church. And our family tradition, opening gifts Christmas Eve.

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. Luke 2:10 ESV

Friday, December 23, 2011

Time Saved Time Wasted

How much is your time worth? I talked to a guy at the grocery store who paid $3 more for dog food so he didn't have to make another stop. I paid 15 cents to make a photo copy at the store so I could use the drive-through at the bank. But then I wasted my afternoon trying to make business calls on the day before a holiday.

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Little Guys

We call them the "little guys." They are our friends' two foster boys. The good news is that they are going to be adopted. Along with their siblings that are with another foster family. But we are all going to miss them.

Pictured: The little guys sitting at our coffee table on Halloween. Along with my mom and friends from our community group.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16 ESV

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Wrappers

We don't always make our guests work so hard. But my daughter's friend had fun making cinnamon rolls. Then for dinner she helped wrap potstickers. I had the ground turkey and cabbage filling in the freezer. Ready for happy wrappers.

Pictured: My daughter and friend making cinnamon rolls.

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sleepover Friend

That's what I call win-win. A sleepover friend for my daughter, and the house cleaned in preparation for said friend. Now sweet laughter fills the home. Works for me.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thankful Every Day

I am thankful for the man I married. Not just for me. Also for our four children. They have a great dad! We are blessed!

Pictured: A father-daughter walk on the bridge during Thanksgiving break.

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:13 ESV

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Puppet Show Love

One week ago I made hand motions all the way home from church. Trying to get the hang of puppetry before our impromptu performance for the neighbor kids. I'm not very good at it. But I did it to the glory of God and to bless our neighbor kids.

Pictured: Three puppets with the puppeteers kneeling on the floor in our kitchen. Plus our musically-talented friends, Dan and Jotham on guitars.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mixed Emotions

It was a day of mixed emotions. Gathered with friends to remember a life devoted to family, children, and God's word. We weren't ready to say good-bye to our friend Mary, but God called her home.

Then we celebrated the one year birthday of our Community Group Baby. We love you, Timothy!

Pictured: Our daughter and the Birthday Boy.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 ESV

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Program

The little kids sang their hearts out. They recited the Christmas story in Luke. By heart. The middle schoolers, including my daughter, performed on the chimes, did a skit, and sang. Nicely done Mason County Christian School!

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. Luke 2:10 ESV

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Tree Love

I am always thankful for whatever we have. From straggly Charlie Brown trees to take-a-saw-and-make a-memory to amazing Christmas trees left at our front door.

This year's tree is a Fraser fir that friends picked out and delivered. It is full and beautiful. My husband and daughter decorated it with white lights and red and white balls. Simple elegance.

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, December 14, 2011

Nativity Lights

Everyone wants to know if I'm ready. Have all my shopping done? Gifts wrapped? Cookies baked? No, no, and no. Christmas letter written? Sorry. But we have lights. A beautiful tree. And Nativity lights in our front yard to remind us what Christmas is all about.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5 ESV

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Friends

This is one of my favorite pictures from our party.

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Use What You Have Game

I like to play a game called, "Use What You Have." When we ran out of room at our party, we used the hallway. My husband used what he had, painter's tape, to mark out numbers on the floor.

The kids marched around until our friend Dan stopped playing the guitar. My husband drew a number and whoever was standing on that number won a prize. Thanks to my parents and a friend who donated prizes for our party!

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, December 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Our community group worked as a team and pulled off a fun event. Children came from all corners of our loop. We hosted 16 children and 12 adults, including us. We had coloring sheets, a word search, stockings to decorate with glitter glue, a game, music, cake, and a special puppet show production (read: improv).

Each child went home with a stocking filled with goodies. And fun memories of a Happy Birthday Jesus party.

whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11 ESV

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Remember Mary

I will remember Mary surrounded by the children. She loved volunteering in my husband's first grade class when he taught at the Christian school.

I will miss seeing her sit at the back of Bible Study Fellowship.

She lost her courageous battle with leukemia and other infections today.

Pictured: Mary and first graders in 2010.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ESV

Friday, December 09, 2011

My Kind of Multi-Tasking

That's multi-tasking. Meet a friend for coffee in the grocery store. Share what God is teaching you. Encourage one another. Then grab your groceries and go about your day.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, Hebrews 10:24 ESV

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Good Conversations

I need to be ready. For those conversations about issues of the heart. And Jesus. Today I talked with someone who has a lot of questions about the Trinity. Another person asked me what happens when you die. Then tonight I met a woman at a choir concert. We had a good conversation about how God leads and guides.

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 ESV

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Community Group and Real Marriage

It took our whole community group. One person to pick up our daughter from school. One couple to host our daughter for the night. Another one in our group to give her a ride to school tomorrow. All so we can take a day trip to Bellevue to hear Pastor Mark Driscoll give two sermons on marriage. And hear from his wife Grace.

What a great way to spend our 26th wedding anniversary!

Pictured: The happily married couple on the ferry to Seattle today.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17 ESV

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Walk the Loop

I knocked on every door in my neighborhood. Around 60 homes. Met some new neighbors. And handed out invitations. Now to see how many children and parents or grandparents show up for our Happy Birthday Jesus party on Sunday.

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2 ESV

Monday, December 05, 2011

As I Pray

My cousin liked the book so much she ordered a case. And gave them away. I am almost finished reading Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear. It is that good.

Here's a quote:

"As I pray, I'll measure Your compassion by the cross and Your power by the resurrection."

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 ESV

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Iron Blessings

I thought I was helping a friend with a chore she couldn't do. Ironing dress shirts. But it was more than that. As I ironed, I thanked God for the friends who have helped me iron, fold laundry, and sort socks when I was in bed. I am grateful for better health right now.

But the best part of this chore was delivering the ironed shirts to my friend and having the chance to visit, read scripture, and pray together.

Pictured: Our curved shower curtain rod is a handy place to hang clothes.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35 ESV

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Parade Puppy

We bundled up. Even my friend's puppy. And marched in the parade. With kids, parents, and teachers from the Christian School.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 ESV

Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Comes to Town

Our little town knows how to celebrate Christmas. The main street was blocked off tonight. Shops were open late. Free hot cider. Bonfires. Live music. Including shivering angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary and Joseph. The kids from the Christian School did a great job.

Tomorrow is the parade.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:13-14 ESV

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Mercy and Grace

I thought it was a reasonable question. What next, Lord? But after a year and a half, we are no closer to knowing what that means for my husband. A couple job possibilities haven't panned out. Meanwhile, God faithfully provides for our needs. And gives us mercy and grace.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV