Annual Advent-ures

DSCN4235

Christmas 2012 with our Christmas bun in the oven!

Last year we were awaiting the arrival of Karis Joy, so I shamelessly did close to nothing for Advent (except for my Mary Monologue at a couple of holiday events.  I loved putting myself in her shoes while I was pregnant with my own Christmas baby…)

But it dawned on me a week before Thanksgiving that I was without excuse this year.  Since Advent calendars seem to be narrowing their themes to Santa and chocolate, I dared to go on Pinterest to look for a simple, yet significant way to make an Advent countdown for our family. Continue reading

Book Bites: Isaiah

“This is the one I esteem:  He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”  Isaiah 66:2b
WP_20130507_001

Women’s Bible Study Group 2012-2013

Along with a group of lovely women, I just completed a year’s study on the book of Isaiah.  (For a summary on this interesting book go here.)

Initially I was both intrigued and anxious about digging into such a deep, complex book of Scripture.  And it has proven to be just that and more.  It is an intense proclamation of judgment on the wicked, and yet full of promises of compassion and joy for the humble and righteous.  And there are SO many reminders of God’s heart of justice for the oppressed and our responsibility to care for them. (1:16b-17, 25:4-5, 58:6-12)

Continue reading

Frugal Beauty

etsy.com

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just went to a women’s spring luncheon (Thank you, Amy!) where the theme was “Beauty.” The fun beauty stations they had set up reminded me of all the inexpensive homemade beauty recipes that I’d been bookmarking over the years.  They include many simple ingredients that most of us probably already have.

Continue reading

BOOK BITES: Like Dew Your Youth

Product Details

First things first.

God bless Eugene Peterson for all he did for Christendom by writing The Message (among many other things), but his publishers need to repent for coming up with a horrible title for an excellent book.  It’s even worse when you are verbalizing it to people.  “Like… Do… What?”

It originates from the scripture “From the womb of the morning, like dew your youth will come to you.”  (Psalm 110:3)  If you think long and hard about it, you may eventually be able to read between the lines.  Still, not every Bible verse is book title material.  (And we won’t even mention the cover…)

Redeemably, there is a subtitle and it gives a much better idea of what the book is actually about:  Growing Up With Your Teenager. Continue reading

A Very Chocolate-y Lent


We began observing Lent as a family just a few years ago, having grown up in an evangelical background that didn’t acknowledge much of the liturgical calendar.  Though we don’t want to get all religious/legalistic about it, there is value in celebrating along with the universal and historical church.

In the past I would thoughtlessly give up a few of my favorite vices: TV, chocolate, Facebook, and Girl Scout cookies.  (Does anyone else think it’s odd that they come out during Lent each year?)  But I have recently felt encouraged to make Lent about more than just my trendy, superficial sacrifices.

Instead of giving up chocolate for Lent this year, we’re using it as a teaching tool with the kids.   Continue reading

Mary’s Monologue

Video

Here is my reflection on Mary’s perspective during her final stages of pregnancy. It has been a joy to be great with child during this Advent season. Merry Christmas to All!

“Blessed is she who believes that what the Lord has said will be accomplished.” Luke 1:45

Grieving Through Miscarriages

Since the 2nd miscarriage I’ve been doing surprisingly okay, I thought.

As soon as the first baby passed, I cried instantly.  It triggered a deep sobbing that lasted longer than I can remember ever crying.  But with the 2nd I seemed to feel more resigned to what was happening – not a lot of bitterness, questioning of God, etc.  After the first, God had spoken very clearly to me, “I am going to use this miscarriage for My glory.” And He has – in numerous ways.  And I believe that is still true with this one.

But the grieving has felt different.   Continue reading

The Boredom List

I like to make lists.  It’s not because I’m organized, but because I’m visual.  I have so much going on in my head that if I can’t look at a list of things that are specific to what I’m dealing with, then I won’t remember the great thoughts I once had about this particular circumstance.  Is this making sense?

Anywho, I decided to make “The Boredom List” for the moments when I’ve checked email/Facebook more than once within 10 minutes, or I’m looking around the house at all the things to do and get mentally paralyzed, or I am just straight motivation-less.

I knew I needed a list of things made by my “responsible self” to remind my “paralyzed, computer-numbed self” what is truly important before I fall into a time-sucking black hole. Continue reading

BOOK BITES: The Practice of the Presence of God

 I have lost too much of my attention span over the years to write a really succinct book review.  But because I can’t read without a pencil to mark up my tomes, I will periodically share a list of quotations or summations from whatever I am reading in hopes that it will be an encouragement to you.  This particular book is a wonderful example for those of us who spend a great majority of our lives doing simple, repetitive, unenviable tasks.  (Can I get a witness?!)

(Imagine peaceful picture of Bro Lawrence or his book which I can’t find anywhere for free without all these crazy copyrights.  Help?)  

       The Practice of the Presence of God

by Brother Lawrence 

Lord of all pots and pans and things, make me a saint

by getting meals and washing up the plates!

Continue reading