Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A stack of goodness

I love to read. I always have, even from a young age. My favorite thing to do on summer vacation was go and get a stack of books 20 high and read them all in the two weeks before they were due back. Time doesn't allow such reading habits anymore, but the love for it is still there. People who know me well know this about me evidenced by the stack of books I received as Christmas and birthday gifts.

So here's a look at what I'm currently reading or will be reading soon... (from the top)
-Jesus Lives by Sarah Young : I already mentioned how much I am enjoying this book and that hasn't changed in the last few weeks. Great encouragement/conviction daily.

-The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson : I loved Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood and I'm sure that this will be equally as good. Thanks, Jenny!

-This Momentary Marriage by John Piper : It's been awhile since I've read any books by Piper and I've been missing out I think! This book is thick and rich (of course, it's Piper!), but so readable and applicable to my marriage. I'm halfway through and already planning a re-read!

-Ten P's in a Pod by Arnold Pent III : A family's story of their life as they travelled across the country with their eight children in tow. Should be a fascinating read. Thanks, Julie!

-Adopted for Life by Russell Moore : I have heard nothing but great things about this book. Obviously God has already opened our hearts about adoption, but I'm excited to read this book about how the church can be the church in caring for orphans.

-The Used World by Haven Kimmel : I found this little gem perusing the clearance rack at the cheap bookstore and was beyond delighted with the find. I've been a fan of Kimmel's since reading her first book A Girl Named Zippy several years ago. And yes, it is where I first heard the name Haven and filed it away until it was needed. I started it last night and am thoroughly engaged 30 pages in.

Other things I'm reading include my five magazine subscriptions, our home group books (there's two), Ramona the Brave with Haven (plus 10 others a day!), and of course, the Bible. And I love all of it! Give me a few spare minutes and you'll likely find me with a book in hand.

What are you reading?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Six months

Six months ago today I held my son for the first time. We saw him through the window and before we knew it he was in our arms. I don't even recognize this boy anymore.

He was a sad, quiet baby.

Now I've got an active, animated toddler.

Amazing what love can do, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'll never look at a chocolate donut the same way again

On Saturday morning, Cale made a run to get me one of my favorite breakfasts. He also got the kids some donut holes which are always a big hit with them. Haven prefers the chocolate glazed kind and Mati's never met a donut he didn't like. As Cale was feeding the kids he was trying to get Mati interested in some fruit or yogurt and to slow down on his donut hole consumption. Haven, always ready to interject when it comes to Mati, told him, "Buddy, slow down on those donuts or you'll turn even more brown!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy day

Today is my birthday. I'm thirty-one years old if you're keeping score at home. It's been quite a year. Cale asked me the other day how I'd like to spend my birthday. I told him in seclusion with a good book (and probably an Iced Capp!). That's not going to happen today. There are little mouths to feed, bottoms to wipe, arguments to referee, dishes to wash and a house to care for.

But that's okay. If I were all alone today I wouldn't have sticky fingers brushing my hair off my face to see if I looked different since it's my birthday. I wouldn't have gotten an extended cuddle time with a diaper clad boy in bed this morning. I wouldn't get to listen to "Happy Birthday" being sung 10 times over by an enthusiastic preschooler. I wouldn't get to sit and read books about mittens and play games. There'd be no little boy to teach body parts to or get sweet kisses from.
So I'll take a day with these sweet hooligans and remember that they are a dream come true for this girl. A happy day to me, indeed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Healthed-up Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I came across a recipe for these muffins last week, and as I'm prone to do, changed it quite a bit. Here's the original recipe if you're interested. Below is my "healthed- up" version. Haven ate three that afternoon and asked for more but I cut her off.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes about 16)

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat. Have you tried this? It's amazing!)
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl combine egg, oil, applesauce, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in mashed bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing. Finish cooling on wire rack. Enjoy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rough start

The first week of the new year hasn't been that great; it's actually kind of stunk. I had high hopes, but instead went to bed almost every night feeling discouraged, disheartened and defeated. Thankfully that's a place I don't have to stay and God used an amazing little book I got as a Christmas gift to encourage my weary heart. Here are a few snippets from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young that have hit me right where I'm at this week. I pray that you are encouraged, too!

-Rejoice in Me always. This is a moment-by-moment choice.

-In My Presence you have infinite approval...You are indeed a slave when you try to measure yourself through any perspective but Mine.

-Your problems feel so heavy because you have given them too much power. Every time you focus on them and forget about Me, you empower them a bit more.

Hoping for a weekend of resting in Him and realigning my mind!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new year

I firmly believe that God's mercies are new each morning. I don't need a new year, or a new month or a new week to have a fresh start. But that doesn't mean I'm not immune to the pull of the calendar turning to a new page. So here I sit on the first evening on the first day of a new year and think about goals and resolutions and plans. I don't have a list to share because it can all be summed up in one word: balance. That works itself out in various ways, but it all comes back to finding balance in every area of my life.

I feel like I made great headway in finding balance in several areas of my life in the past year; other areas still need a lot of work. But that's when I come back to the truth that His mercies are new every morning. I don't have to get it all together tomorrow. Or the day after that. His grace is sufficient for each new day. And I truly believe that as I seek Him, which is always a "goal", the rest will come. With His help, I can be the wife and mom I'm supposed to be. I can use my time wisely. I can get up earlier so I can get important things taken care of before little people need me. I can learn something new and read to expand my mind. I can be more engaged in the world around me. I can use the resources He's given to us with greater care and thought.

And my greatest hope is that on the first night of the first day of our next new year, I can say that I know Him more. Here's to a new year!