Friday, March 30, 2007
On a totally different note, I can also cross off Bill Bryson's African Diary from my list. I actually read this aloud to Cale as we drove on Tuesday. It was good, but too short to be satisfying for me. It also brought back lots of memories from our time in Namibia and I hope to write about some of that stuff soon. I don't know much about the organization he was with, but from what Bryson highlights about CARE they seem to be fighting poverty in practical and sustainable ways.
I also started A Mother's Heart and that too is challenging me and my small vision as a mom. I've only read a few chapters thus far, but already have been convicted in some of my attitudes and thoughts and the way I view myself a stay-at-home mom. There will definitely be more to write about as I work through this book.
Okay, that's all the reading updates I've got for now. Haven's asleep so guess what I am going to go do?!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that my bad attitude was not limited to yesterday. I have been feeling that way a lot lately and have made the conscious choice to act it out, rather than choose to have a better attitude. And believe me, I am well aware that it is a choice that I make. It doesn't matter what the situation is or how the circumstances might have changed; I am responsible for my actions and I have had way too much to apologize for lately. In fact, I have probably not said I'm sorry enough to the right people (i.e. Cale!).
There is part of me that feels justified in my bad attitude to a certain degree. Which I realize is totally awful. We have had a lot going on lately that hasn't been that wonderful, but nor has it been that bad either. It's all about perspective. My eyes has been 100% focused on me and all the annoyances that seem to have come our way of late.
So all that to say that I am fed up with myself and my bad attitude and my self-focus and my sinful behavior. I've had enough and I can assure you that my husband and daughter have too. It's in light of all of this that I am so glad to have a change of scenery for the next few weeks. I know that that alone isn't going to do anything, it's my heart that needs to change. But I really feel like having time away from the normal business of life will help me refocus my eyes on the Only One That Matters. Like I wrote the other day, I need to take more time to just sit with my Father and let His love and peace and joy fill my heart.
"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45
Monday, March 26, 2007
Right now I am in the midst of packing and planning for a trip to VA for 2 weeks. Yes, we will be living in a hotel for the next 2 weeks. No, I am not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to a change of scenery. I feel like I am in desperate need of it. Time to clear my head and not be consumed with all the normal life things like laundry, cleaning and cooking. I know that this trip is coming just at the right time for me and Cale and despite all the effort to get ready to go, it will definitely be worth it.
I have several posts swirling around in my head, but seeing as how we are leaving at 6am Tuesday, I better get back to my packing. But, I'll be back soon, from Virginia!!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I reserve the right to add or subtract from this list at any time! I am always reading fiction, but want to commit to reading more non-fiction. I have several books that I have had around for awhile that I want to read and now that I've written it down, I'm committed to crossing them off my list. I'm surprised that I actually have more non-fiction than fiction on my list (ok, it's only one more, but that's still more!) and that they are all books I genuinely want to read. I have already started a few of them and will try to finish them up first.
Mockingbird by Charles J Shields -A biography of Nelle Harper Lee that I am halfway through, but had to return to the library. I'm waiting for the next copy to come available.
A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming- Highly recommended to me by another mom.
Teach them Diligently by Lou Priolo-A parenting book that talks about the necessity of incorporating scripture in all that we do.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen -I've heard good things about this, but don't really know what it's about.
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson- Her new book and I pretty much love everything she writes!
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn- I'm not usually into books like this, but our pastor did a series recently on men and women and used this as a resource, so I thought I would give it a shot.
Bill Bryson's African Diary by Bill Bryson- He makes me laugh and I'm sure this will be entertaining if nothing else.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory -This is a recommendation from Jess and she usually knows what she's talking about!
There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene- Another book that I have heard nothing but good things that's about one woman's desire to rescue children from Africa.
One Night with the King by Tommy Tenney- A friend told me this was better than the movie and I got it for Christmas but haven't gotten into it yet. And in case you don't know, it's a fictionalized account of Esther.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen- Can you believe I have never read this? I couldn't when I realized it the other day. So I am going to attempt to rectify that!
I'll let you know how it goes!
Hearing Haven scream and cry every morning when her daddy leaves. I know that sounds a bit twisted, but it really just warms my heart. She adores Cale almost as much as I do and is of an age where it's appropriate for her to yell and scream when he leaves. Believe me, there are some days when I want to do the same, but refrain because it doesn't seem like I would be as cute as she is doing it.
There is nothing that makes me smile and laugh more than when I watch the two of them playing, laughing and chasing each other. It is pure, unadulterated, mutual adoration. They simply delight in one another. Building towers, reading books, playing sea monster with Noah's ark- it doesn't matter what it is, Haven absolutely delights in her daddy's attention.
When Haven was a newborn, Cale and I would just sit and watch her and be completely enamored of her every gurgle and almost smile. She couldn't do anything for us and we certainly had a one sided relationship in the giving department it seemed. But it didn't matter, we just loved her because she was Haven.
The Lord showed me during that time that the way we felt about her is the way He always feels towards us. He doesn't love us more when I am doing lots of great things "for Him" or when I have consistent, quality quiet times. He loves me and delights in me just because I'm me, His child.
And in the gentle way that only He can do, the Lord is continuing that lesson in my heart today as I watched Haven cry when Cale left this morning. She longs to be with him, to be in his presence, to have his attention. She delights in it; she is full of joy and doesn't care what else is going on if she and daddy are playing.
I'm sure you can see where this is going. I know that the Lord delights in me, for me. But the question in my heart and mind today is am I delighting in Him? Do I long to be with Him and in His presence? Am I so caught up in Him that the rest of the world fades away- even if it's just for a few minutes a day?
Life is busy. It's hectic. There are a lot of demands for my time. But I want to feel the way Haven feels! I want to bask in the attention of my Heavenly Father. To soak in His love, His care, His appreciation, and His freedom to be myself.
So that's what's on my agenda for the day. To stop and take the time. I'm certain it will be the best part of my day.
Monday, March 19, 2007
I lived for basketball season and was happiest when we had an away Friday night game and we won. The bus ride home was always a party and sometimes we even got to stop at McDonald's! It was the simple things then...Now, if we lost, we had to be completely silent on the way home and stopping was completely out of the question. In those days, the only downside was if I, a high and mighty stat, had to sit with a cheerleader on the bus. There were only two cheerleaders who I could tolerate as they were good friends of mine, but we both understood that things were different when they donned their pleated skirts. Some of my absolute best memories from high school involve the boys from the team, my fellow stats and the overnight trips we got to go on each season. And as our season wound down at the end of February, I knew I had March Madness waiting for me, just around the corner.
I found myself planted on the couch for several hours this weekend, taking in one game after another. I haven't kept up with basketball of late, so I don't have a "team", but that doesn't mean I didn't have someone to cheer for. As each new game came on, I would run through a rather muddled set of criteria in my head and decide who to root for. More often than not, I would go with the underdog, but not always. Sometimes it would be decided by who I didn't want to win. I'm telling you it's a complicated process I go through choosing who should win or not. Let's just say that I have in the past cheered for a team because one of the players had a ridiculous last name and I liked saying it, so I hoped they would keep winning so I could keep watching and saying his name.
Despite being somewhat out of touch with the sport as a whole, there are still teams that I, well, despise. Take Duke for example- can't stand them. Don't know where the initial dislike came from, but it runs deep and I was so happy when they got out in the first round. Like, do a happy dance, happy. Which I did not do as we had company, but I did it in my heart.
The games were interrupted this weekend because good friends of ours were married on Saturday. But I wasted no time yesterday getting back into it. I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon getting my fill of the game, yelling at the TV and using all my best b-ball vocab like pick-and roll, double bonus and full court press. It was a great weekend with several really good games. Can't wait til next weekend when we get to do it all again, when the stakes are higher and the games will be even better!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
1. Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Don't really have a preference as long as all the pages are there.
2. Amazon or brick and mortar? I generally only use the aforementioned to get ideas of what I want to read, write down in my little notebook and then request it from my library.
3. Barnes & Noble or Borders? Either one, although B&N does treat you right on the discount tables from time to time.
4. Bookmark or dogear? I have a strange ability to remember the page number. I have done that for as long as I can remember. Seems like a waste of brain power, but it just comes so naturally to me.
5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? I may alphabetize my CDs, but my books, not a chance. Although they are loosely organized by subject/style, etc.
6. Keep, throw away, or sell? Who throws out books? That is an atrocity!! Send them to me if you don't want them!
7. Keep dustjacket or toss it? If a book has a dustjacket it probably doesn't belong to me, so I am going to go with keep it
8. Read with dustjacket or remove it? You mean the built-in bookmark?
9. Short story or novel? Novel
10. Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? Probably collection although neither rank high on my list
11. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Neither
12. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I really, really try to make it to a chapter break although this is somewhat futile when I have to go back and re-read a section because I can't remember what I read the night before.
13. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? I can't remember the last time I read a book that started with one of those...um, maybe never.
14. Buy or Borrow? Buy, but probably at Half-Price Books or half.com . Borrowing a book means I have to remember to return it and that poses a problem to me.
15. New or used? I think I have already covered my lack of preference on this one.
16. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? All of the above
17. Tidy ending or cliffhanger? I like a tidy, satisfying ending.
18. Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Afternoon and evening reading.
19. Stand-alone or series? Usually stand-alone
20. Favorite series? Crosswicks Journals by Madeleine L'Engle
21. Favorite children’s book? I am fully immersed in the world of Sandra Boynton and Goodnight Moon right now, but I remember loving all the Ramona Quimby books growing up.
22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Favorite books read last year? The Kite Runner, A Song I Knew By Heart
24. Favorite books of all time? Knowledge of the Holy, Two-Part Invention, Coming Home, A Separate Peace
25. Least favorite book you finished last year? The Glass Castle but only because it made my angry. It's beautifully written, but not a book I particularly enjoyed.
26. What are you reading right now? The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
27. What are you reading next? Whatever comes in first at the library!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Cale and I were left to make a decision and we did what we thought was the best thing for our family. Our decision was not met with understanding or further discussion, but total silence. Since then we have been debating about what to do and where to go from here. We don't want to break off relationship with this person, but aren't really sure how to move ahead.
Yesterday we learned of some news that brought it back to the forefront of my mind and I started to get really frustrated and realized how hurt I was by the whole thing. And in the midst of my thought process the Lord reminded me that I do not need to feel bad about doing what I thought was best for us just because someone else doesn't like it. Cale and I made a careful and prayerful decision and I will not feel bad about that.
The entire past year of our life has been filled with making unpopular decisions and apparently we aren't done with that lesson yet. Through it all Cale and I have tried to be obedient and to take a stand for the things that the Lord has wanted us to stand for- like our marriage and our family. The decision that we made to not do something that was asked of us was because we felt like it would take too much of my time. I am confident in my role as a wife and mom in knowing that Cale and Haven are my primary ministry and I will guard that with all that I am regardless of what other people think.
But it still stings to be misunderstood.
At the same time I am aware of all the lessons that the Lord is trying to teach us as we walk through this. And that there is a very real enemy that wants to destract us with confusion, hurt, lies and selfishness. My prayer is that, regardless of the circumstances, we will stand for what is right, we will fight back against the true enemy and we will always seek to be obedient to the only One who's opinion really matters.
Monday, March 12, 2007
1. Friday night was filled with friends. We met a few of Cale's co-workers for dinner at Abuelos. We had to get out of there pretty quickly as we had a birthday party to go to. All those weekends with no plans and then two social events in one night. We felt popular!
2. Saturday morning I woke up to a little lady moaning in the monitor. Not really asleep, not quite awake, just moaning. Cale, wonderful Cale told me to go back to sleep. So I did! An hour later he came back upstairs and served me breakfast in bed. Wonderful. And it just got better! Because he knows me so well, he told me to just lay in bed, read and relax. Who was I to argue? I spent another 45 minutes reading Mockingbird which is a biography of Nelle Harper Lee. I'm really enjoying it. So around 10:30 I think I finally made my way downstairs.
3. Unfortunately, the rest of the day wasn't quite as restful as Cale spent hours and I mean HOURS trying to install our new water softener. Cale is incredibly handy around the house, but plumbing frustrates him like nothing else. He didn't make it to bed until 4am Saturday night and he still had some leaks. ARgh. But on the plus side I spent several hours watching old Gilmore Girls episodes on DVD. Lorelai and Rory are always entertaining.
4. Sunday afternoon I was scheduled to do a mystery shop for a fine dining establishment in the area. We had a lovely brunch there and really great service. A free lunch is a good time any day of the week, but especially lovely on a beautiful Sunday. House church was good again tonight; it's always refreshing to be with the Body of Christ.
Tomorrow Cale is headed for Virginia for work so Haven and I are hitting the road as well. We are going to Cleveland to spend the day with Jess and to see my brother, sis-in-law and my niece and nephews. It was supposed to be a 2 day trip but because of illness I think that I'll be crazy and just go for the day. That's seven hours in the car alone with a one year old. Pray for me!
Seriously though, I am really looking forward to some quality time with Jess- it's been too long since we've had one-on-one time (well, one-on-one plus Haven!). See you tomorrow, Jess!!!
Friday, March 9, 2007
And that's what I am avoiding- the commitment of the written list. That's when everything that needs done will just be sitting there staring at me, daring me to cross it off. But oh how I love to cross things off lists. (That should be added to my list of my favorite things.)
As we were walking up to the house this morning we realized that the day lillies are starting to come up and we are reminded that we also have a TON of work to do outside. We bought our house almost 2 years ago and that first summer we did very little in the yard because I was in my first trimester and couldn't be far from the bathroom toilet at any time. Last summer we got a little bit more done out there, but again were limited because we had a newborn who had a keen sense of timing and would wake up anytime we were motivated to get outside.
This year will be different. At least that's what we are telling ourselves right now. The first thoughts of spring make our minds fill with all that we want to do and what we have to do to make our house presentable. And I really want this year to be different. I want to have a clean house inside and out, not because I am trying to impress anybody or anything, but because I want to be a good steward of what God has given us. This is His house and His yard and we haven't take the best care of it of late. I have settled for the bare minimum and the appearance of clean for the last few months and I am tired of it.
So I am going to spend some time this afternoon creating a master TO DO list for both inside and outside the house. And I will laugh in its face each time I cross something off it, knowing that I am honoring the Lord as I work!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
We had been planning our adventure for 2 days which is as spontaneous as you can get with a 1 year old when it involves overnight travel. It was perfect! We have family in Nashville so we had agreeable childcare and lodging all lined up. Free food, too. Does it get any better than that?
Only one small detail was missing- we didn't know what time the show started. After some failed attempts to find out this info on Monday, the efforts were intensified on Tuesday morning as our departure time of noon neared. As Cale was driving home to pick us up he finally got ahold of someone in the band's management office. He called me and asked if I wanted to hear the bad news or the bad news. Not good...the show had been cancelled two weeks ago. What?! Doesn't anybody ever update their webpages with pertinent information like shows being cancelled?!!!
We were disappointed to say the least. Our attempt to be spontaneous was dashed and as quick as the whole idea began, it fizzled out. No road trip (no 5 hours in the car!), no seeing family and no night out with my favorite boy.
But all was not lost!!! We now had a free afternoon and had to decide how to best utilize it. Since great minds think alike here at our house, Cale and I had the same idea. We had been given tickets to a nearby aquarium for Haven's birthday (a great gift idea!!). So off we went.
An hour drive, a few hours looking at all sorts of amazing examples of the creativity of God, some shark petting, a bit of shopping and a fabulous dinner with my two favorite people in the world. A girl can't ask for much more than that. We had a wonderful time together as a family and made me feel so blessed.
No, it wasn't the big adventure we had originally hoped for, but I know that it all worked out in the best possible way. So until we can plan to be spontaneous again, I will remember a happy day spent just being us, together.
(BTW- the band was called Future of Forestry. They are amazing and you should totally check them out!)
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
I am married to a wonderful, patient and servant-hearted man named Cale. We have the distinct pleasure of shepherding a sweet little girl named Haven. She just turned one and is best described as sassy. She makes us laugh and keeps us on the run. We wonder how long it will be until she is smarter than we are.
I am fortunate to be able to stay at home with Haven and really love being the keeper of our home. I love to cook for my appreciative husband and I love to have a clean house, but hate getting there most of the time. I take seriously my job as a stay-at-home mom and am thankful that my boss hasn't fired me yet for my less than stellar performance on certain days. I like to think that I am growing in my role as a wife and mom on a daily basis.
Some of my favs- reading a good book, date night with my favorite boy, spending quality time with friends, finding me a bargain, good music, road trips, movies, laughing, a good storm (rain or snow- I'm not picky), pizza, the color red, Thursdays, home decorating, ebay, Target, and back rubs
Some of my not so favorite things- broccoli, not getting enough sleep, gray snow that won't go away, Mondays, ebay snipers, credit card offers in the mail, improperly folded laundry, cats, and people who laugh at their own jokes (especially when that person is my husband)
I could go on and on, but I think that's enough mindless info for one post.
Welcome to the party- come back anytime!!!
We have had the privilege of leading this group for the past year and the people in it have truly become like family to us. We have loved having the chance to really be involved in people's lives, and them in ours, especially as they have loved on Haven. Leading has been a huge challenge for Cale and I, but it has been a major blessing, too. We have had a tough year and leading this group was not always something that we wanted to do, but as we have submitted ourselves to the Lord, He has always been faithful and we can't imagine not being a part of this group.
This past Sunday found Cale and I both exhausted. Neither of us felt prepared and we really wished we could just not go this week. That wasn't really an option as we had 15 people headed to our house expecting food, fellowship and some good discussion on John 12. I was less than hopeful about the evening. But we did what we had to do and waited for everyone to show up.
And you know what...the most important person showed up. The Lord was in our midst on Sunday night by His Spirit and we had a wonderful evening. We had a great meal and were able to welcome some new people who joined us this week. Our discussion on the passage was really good and I was encouraged and challenged as we talked about the way Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of OT prophecy.
But more than that (although that is pretty good), I was just convicted about my bad attitude. Yes, I did feel worn out from a long week and I didn't feel like having to entertain people in my house. The problem is that it really wasn't about me and my vision was very near-sighted. I forgot that I could choose to have a better attitude and trust that the Lord would meet us as we gathered in His name. Because that is exactly what He did this week.
As we closed the door behind the last people to leave, I didn't sigh with relief, I sighed with satisfaction after having spent a night with our HC family and because I felt uplifted and refreshed and ready for the week.
Hopefully I will remember that next week when Sunday afternoon rolls around and we are getting ready for everyone to come over. Hopefully I will choose to have a better attitude and prepare my heart for what the Lord wants to teach me rather than worry about my house or food or whatever else.
And I know that He'll show up, ready to meet with us.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
I spent the morning with my fellow deal hunter, Amber. We went to a huge sale this morning where over 100 moms were trying to sell their kids clothes and equipment. It was insane! There were so many people there that you had to stand in line to actually get up to the racks to look at clothes. But it was worth it! Good deals abounded for both of us.
Even better- we got to spend some time together without kids thanks to our fabulous husbands. We ate lunch in a restaurant and didn't have to have disjointed conversation because of trying to feed other little mouths- we only had to feed our own! It was delightful- and the food was good too. We rounded out our time together with a quick swoop of the Hobby Lobby and we both find some lovely, cheap treasures there as well.
While I love the good deal (like super cute Old Navy capris for Haven for 50 cents!!), I love having a good friend to spend time with who just so happens to love a deal as much as me. And if you are looking for some more reading material check out Amber's new blog here. She is just getting it up and running, but I assure you it will be a worthy read.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Good news is that my handy, handsome husband pulled through for me again. Yesterday I was out running a few errands which included going to the bank. I had to make a deposit, so found it necessary to roll my window down. Now keep in mind that I drive an old Jeep around and have manual windows, none of that fancy powered stuff for me! As I rolled it down I heard some bad cracking sounds. Well, those cracking sounds turned out to mean that the window would not roll up. At all.
So we drove home in the 30 degree weather with my window down. Poor Haven is in the back getting most of the breeze right in her face. I'm sure that did wonders for her runny nose and fever!! Thankfully, the bank is only about 3 miles from our house so we didn't freeze for too long! And I turned the heat on to full blast, but I think that had little effect.
All that to say that Cale in his wonderful handiness fixed the window for me in just a few minutes. I had already envisioned the car going to the garage, being gone for several days and winding up a few hundred dollars poorer. But oh, no! My husband fixed it right up and came back in the house reminding me to not roll it down that far again. Um, thanks....I think.