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29 August 2008

Mom of 5 and...

Who knew that a mom of 5 could generate so much excitement?


A day after I almost gave up the idea of voting, my interest has been renewed...

25 August 2008

Peace Like a River

Just finished Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. What an entrancing story!

To tease...

"Let me say something about that word: miracle. For too long it's been used to characterize things or events that, though pleasant, are entirely normal. Peeping chicks at Easter time, spring generally, a clear sunrise after an overcast week- a miracle, people say, as if they've been educated from greeting cards. I'm sorry, but nope. Such things are worth our notice every day of the week, but to call them miracles evaporates the strength of the word.

Real miracles bother people, like strange sudden pains unknown in medical literature. It's true: They rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. Lazarus obeying orders and climbing up out of the grave- now there's a real miracle, and you can bet it upset a lot of folks who were standing around at the time. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A miracle contradicts the will of earth.

My sister, Swede, who often sees to the nub, offered this: People fear miracles because they fear being changed- though ignoring them will change you also. Swede said another thing, too, and it rang in me like a bell: No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here's what I saw. Here's how it went. Make of it what you will."

New Website

My church has launched a new website. Go visit. Or even better, come visit!

24 August 2008

A Glorious God

What a wonderful reminder of why we worship on this Sabbath day...

Sing to the LORD a new song;
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
Psalm 96:1-3

"God extends grace to broken people for His own glory. God is glorified when He is treasured above all, when He is your greatest prize, when He is your fountain of delight."
Tedd Tripp, Instructing a Child's Heart

23 August 2008

Power Washed

I do believe that the power washer is the most miraculous of outdoor tools. Talk about Instant Gratification! The power washer gives it. I adore it!

I woke up deciding that Today Was The Day to clean and paint my front porch. Oh sad front porch. It was most recently green, but since the snow scrapings of winter, you can see the gray that it once was, and the cement that was it's genesis.

We have owned a power washer, a little sort of hand held pressure washer, that remains miraculous in it's performance. But, it has been out of commission for a while, for reasons I did not remember except that it didn't work. That changed today. Motivated by my waking desire to clean and paint, T. fixed it. And it worked it's charm. It blasted that chipping paint off. It blasted the dirt and grime and webs and leaves. It cleaned that porch. And then I painted it, with an oil-based glossy dark green cement paint, and it looks quite clean and shiny and new.

So as I stood, blasting away, oh so cheerfully blasting away (did I mention, I adore! the pressure washer?), I thought about all that dirt...

Truthfully, I can't think about cleaning away dirt without thinking about this.

What can wash away my sin
What can make me whole again
For my pardon this I see

For my cleansing this my plea

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus

Nothing can for sin atone
Not of good that I have done
This is all my hope and peace
This is all my righteousness

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
And no other fount I know
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus

Now by this I'll overcome
Now by this I'll reach my home
Glory, glory, this I see
All my praise for this I bring
All my praise for this I bring
All my praise for this I bring

Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus

Even better than a power washer...

Great Quotes

Oh! I enjoy this! I hope you might, also.


(thanks to Rocks in My Dryer for the link!)

21 August 2008

Award?!

Surprise! My good Internet mom-creative at all things scrapping-Uppercase Living rep extraordinaire-friend, Julie, has presented me with my first blogging award. There are blogging awards? Go figure! But I'll certainly keep the accolades going!

The rules for receiving this award are as follows:
1. Only 5 people allowed.
2. 4 have to be dedicated followers of your blog
3. one has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. you must link back to whoever gave you the award.

4 "dedicated followers" of my blog? Are there 4? I think Julie might have taken my four readers when she gave also gave the award to Michelle, Tina, Val and Karen!

I have to send out the first award to Sperlonga, who was my blogging inspiration. I figured if she could do it, so could I. (which, really, is completely ridiculous because there are SO MANY things that she can do that I can't, including sing an incredible tune, and this, probably while singing!)

And, gotta send out an award to my folks, who in their travels in their RV, blog from all over the country! Right now they are in upstate New York, loving on family, and blogging all about it.

To satisfy #3, I'm sending out the award to Palm Tree Pundit, who lives in Hawaii, which seems just about as far from where I sit as anywhere! But besides satisfying the geographical qualification, I do so look forward to her musings and reflections, which seem to so often mirror my own.

And finally, I present the award to Not Dark Yet, who will probably spit out her morning dark roast from laughing out loud when she reads this! I really cannot imagine the Gold Card image on her blog, but I send it out sincerely, friend! Your blog is the closest thing I get to hanging out with you, besides in wedding pews with silly and extraordinarily cute little girls in fancy dresses and cut up slips! I love your writing and your links and you!

20 August 2008

Motive

from Sojourners Verse and Voice, August 12, 2008-

We should not serve the poor like they were Jesus. We should serve the poor because they are Jesus.
- Mother Teresa
In My Own Words

19 August 2008

One Word MeMe

This MeMe comes from This One's For the Girls who is the sister of Half Pint House who is a friend of not dark yet. And so am I, a friend of ndy that is. How's that for degrees of separation?

The rules are these are one word answers. In one word, tricky!
You try!

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair? Straight
4. What you’re not? Blond
5. Your spouse? Hoarse
6. Your favorite thing? Quiet
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Hebrews 12:1-2
9. The room you’re in? Diningroom
10. Your hobby? Hobby?
11. Your fear? bigtree+wind
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Serving
13. Where were you last night? Home!
14. What you’re not? Bored
15. One of your wish list items? Order
16. Where you grew up? Albuquerque
17. The last thing you did? Lunched
18. What are you wearing? Sandals
20. Your pet? Neurotic
21. Your computer? Laptop
22. Your mood? Determined
23. Missing someone? S.
24. Your car? Van
25. Something you’re not wearing? Makeup
26. Your summer? Complete
28. Love someone? Family
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. Last time you laughed? Earlier
31. Last time you cried? Sunday
32. Your church? Home
33. How many sisters? One
34. How many brothers? None
35. How many children? Five
36. Your favorite drink? Limeade
37. Your TV? Dusty
38. Your life? Full
39. Favorite store? Books
40. Who will repost this? You?

17 August 2008

Bibliophile's Delight!

School time!

Here's 31 inches of academic richness!

And that doesn't include the instructor guides, the lab manuals, the DVDs, and the books and curriculum that we already own.

We LOVE new books!

This year's topics: Bible, American history and literature, Physical Science, Electricity, Magnetism and Astronomy, Algebra, Pre-Algebra, Fractions and Division, Spanish and Latin.

We're excited. We hope you are, too.

Ten Truths

from Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp:

"Truths to impress upon our children:
  • Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. It is not found in new jeans, a new iPod, a car, one's abilities, or exciting, heart-pounding experiences.
  • We need to walk in wisdom, submit to the goodness of God's way, and turn away from our own agendas.
  • A life of prayer and godly counsel is our desire.
  • Choices that are principled rather than popular, foregoing immediate gratification for the sake of eternal reward, are the goal.
  • God's authority structures are a blessing.
  • Loving parents are a blessing from God. Loyalty to parental instruction is an expression of gratitude to God. The majority culture offers a fraudulent counterfeit by encouraging young people to be loyal to their peers rather than their parents.
  • The heart is the wellspring of life. The things children give their hearts to- the hopes, ambitions, desires, dreams, joys, and concerns- will set the course of life.
  • Our hearts cannot be trusted (Jer. 17:9). Our hearts will lie to us. Children (and their parents) are easily entrapped and need to be accessible to others for counsel, instruction, and nurture.
  • Friendships are for the purpose of glorifying God, encouraging others, showing love and compassion, and gaining encouragement to do what is right.
  • There is a sowing and reaping in the Bible and we need to develop a harvest mentality. Children who trust and obey God find their heads crowned with wonderful blessings. Of course, this truth cuts both ways. The ten-year-old boy who is lazy about his chores will reap what he is sowing because God will not be mocked."

16 August 2008

Wedding!

A wedding celebration! We had a terrific Friday evening celebrating the marriage of A&T! Su was the wedding bell ringer, so she was able to take part in all the activities. The rest of us just enjoyed dancing the night away! But the pictures say it all, so enjoy!

12 August 2008

Folks

"No, everybody's gotta learn, nobody's born knowin'. That Walter's as smart as he can be, he just gets held back sometimes becuase he has to stay out and help his daddy. Nothin's wrong with him. Naw, Jem, I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Leave it

"Arise, cry aloud in the night at the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him."
Lamentations 2:19

from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible:
"Prayer is a salve for every sore, even the sorest, a remedy for every malady, even the most griveous. Our business in prayer is to refer our case to the Lord, and leave it with Him. His will be done."

I love the picture that forms from this verse, of crying aloud in the night, pouring out prayer like water, lifting up my hands to Him. And then Henry reminds, I am not to offer solutions. I am not to go out on my own. Mine is to "leave it with Him."

And our promise comes just a chapter later, in Lamentations 3:25-26:
"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord."

Your will be done, O Lord.

08 August 2008

Friday Five- The Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

Five reasons I'm excited about the Olympics starting today:

1. No one does fireworks like China.

2. Watching sports we play in the backyard, like badminton and table tennis, only completely different.

Quote:
"I've got respect for the game."-- Basketball player Michael Redd, on why he doesn't call table tennis, "ping pong."

3. Stories of courage, like this one.

4. The National Anthem, and the medals.

5. I've BEEN TO CHINA!!! Seeing all these places that I've been to- very very neat!

06 August 2008

The Loot

One more thing...
my family gifted me richly. My kids blessed me, and made me smile, with the careful deliberation and exuberant enthusiasm they used in picking out the perfect gifts. And they did well! Even if the secrets were hard to keep... :-)

I have a new pair of sneaks, to replace my beloved Felony Flyers I splattered with paint in Laredo, a coffee mug I've been covetting the entire summer, the same notebook I bought for a friend earlier in the summer that K knew I really wanted for myself, and a candle to make the house tropical mango fresh. And, lots of handmade card art to enjoy too.

Thanks fam! You all are my treasure!

Party

I mentioned earlier that I was celebrating a birthday around this time. And others have celebrated with me. A group of some of my favorite ladies were able to gather at a favorite sweet spot for birthday dessert. What a delight- yes, the sweets, but especially, the sweetness of fellowship! Thanks girls, young and, ahem, older! :-) Here's some pics of the party:

05 August 2008

The Lofty Will Be Felled

See, the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
will lop off the boughs with great power.
The lofty trees will be felled,
the tall ones will be brought low.
Isaiah 10:33

And today the lofty tree at our house was felled, too. This was the tree that suffered so much damage back during our big June storm, and that once broken, was shown to be rotten to the core. The city marked it to come down with a big orange X, and today, a crew from Kansas showed up to take it down, one piece at a time.

It was kind of sad, how quickly that big ol' tree came down, in really just 30 or so minutes, considering the decades it took to grow. But, it was fun to watch. We called our neighborhood buddies and gathered a crowd to watch. The bucket operator offered rides for $5, but there were no takers.
I'll miss the tree, but I won't miss having one less tree to worry about in the next severe storm!

Slide Show

This is the slide show that T & I put together to show as part of the Summer Missions Wrap Up at church last weekend. Photo credits go to my family, and one sweet 5 year old girl, Princesa, who adored my digital camera and actually, got some pretty good shots. Music credit to Salvador for Alegria and to Phil Wickham for Divine Romance. As a warning, it is 7:20 (seven minutes, that is...)
video

04 August 2008

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

This hymn was part of our worship service yesterday- oh the comfort and truth in those lyrics! It was written by Anne Steele in the mid-1700's, and yet, is incredibly relevant today, as we experience similar suffering, trials and tears. I'm thankful for that mercy seat offered to us, even today; for Christ Himself, our atonement.

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul
1. Dear refuge of my weary soul,
On Thee, when sorrows rise
On Thee, when waves of trouble roll,
My fainting hope relies
To Thee I tell each rising grief,
For Thou alone canst heal
Thy Word can bring a sweet relief,
For every pain I feel

2. But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail,
I fear to call Thee mine
The springs of comfort seem to fail,
And all my hopes decline
Yet gracious God, where shall I flee?
Thou art my only trust
And still my soul would cleave to Thee
Though prostrate in the dust

3. Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face,
And shall I seek in vain?
And can the ear of sovereign grace,
Be deaf when I complain?
No still the ear of sovereign grace,
Attends the mourner's prayer
Oh may I ever find access,
To breathe my sorrows there

4. Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet,
Thy mercy seat is open still,
Here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will,
And wait beneath Thy feet
©1998, Kevin Twit Music. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

03 August 2008

Lessons Learned

I'm soon celebrating a birthday, though out of respect to my always security conscious husband, I won't tell you when. (though I will remind him that his fears about ProneToWander have never been realized)

So, as I was spouting off yet another K-ism to my children the other day, I thought, what a perfect blog post idea, lessons learned this far, in no particular order:


  • If you can't be nice, be quiet.
  • With your ice cream cone, lick and turn.
  • Never hold your take-out cup by the lid.
  • Treat others better than you want to be treated.
  • If in doubt, go with your gut. (though now I know that's the Spirit's leading...)
  • Humility goes farther than pride.
  • Going to bed later does not mean children sleep longer in the morning.
  • Three girls playing together is iffy (though this rule is generally broken with my twins...)
  • Dark coffee, dark chocolate, dark beer.
  • Black fine tip ink, sharp pencils, new crayons.
  • Early in the Word is always better.
  • First things first.
  • Pray first.
  • "Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Mt.6:34)
  • The book is always better than the movie.
  • Wear layers.
  • Make the bed right after you wake up.
  • A smile goes a long way.
  • Good shoes are worth it.
  • Think before you speak, then, think again.
  • It's ok to cry.
  • Friends that you can cry with, and that cry with you, are priceless.
  • You never stop learning.
  • There's always another book to read.
  • Men and women think differently. That's ok.
  • Boys and girls play differently. That's ok too.
  • Know your limits.
  • Fresh is better than frozen.
  • If you learn only one word in another language, make it "thank you".
  • Always take a book to the doctor's appointment.
  • "Do all things without grumbling or disputing." (Phil. 2:14)
  • Life doesn't always make sense; but God does.
  • Moderation.
  • If you wouldn't do it in front of your mom, you probably shouldn't do it.
  • "Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be." (Matt. 6:21)
  • Wear black when travelling.
  • If there is a restroom, it's always best to try.
  • Saying sorry does not mean that you are guilty.
  • You do not have to answer the phone when it rings.
  • "Rejoice in the Lord always..." (Phil 4:4)

I bet you all have others...

01 August 2008

"Conversation"

This short piece, written by Andree Seu, originally appeared in the World Magazine blog, July 15, 2008. I understand this voice. In a very real sense, it is mine. It reflects my delight in being in conversation with God. It shadows my path of really learning how to pray over the last 20 years. It echoes my wonder at the union we have with the Holy Spirit. And it shares my humility in acknowleging that I still have so much to learn.

Do others of you wrestle similarly?
I think that wrestle is good. I hope that I am never content, in the sense of being complacent, in the sense of it is "good enough."
Lord, keep me longing to know you more.

Conversation is an art. Even with God. When I first set myself to seeking Him with all my heart, my prayers were awkward, like a person on a first date.

Over time I have noticed a change I did not expect. My prayers begin to resemble those recorded in the Bible. I find myself lingering long over sentiments about God’s awesomeness, holiness, mercy, great deeds — and similar things I used to pass over quickly in Paul or Ezekiel as the obligatory, overly pious, and slightly boring prolegomena to the interesting bits in prayer.

More of my dog-walking time than ever is taken up thanking Him. And I didn’t realize how many things He has done for me until I started “counting them one by one,” as the old hymn goes. If thanksgiving is pleasing to God, it is energizing to me. It’s not for His sake but for ours, turns out, that He bids us “enter His gates with thanksgiving.”

Like Moses and Daniel, I find myself wrestling more on the basis of God’s Name (His glory or reputation). I am also thus emboldened to ask more vehemently, because I stand on better footing. The contents of my prayers has changed too. I like the joke about the 6th grader who handed in his completed geography test, praying, “Dear God, please make Chicago be the capital of Illinois!” But I don’t ask for those things so much anymore because I know better, being a parent myself.

The most interesting change in my prayer life is, unfortunately, ineffable. It is as if the Holy Spirit takes over at some point and does the praying. This is my favorite part, because I still don’t know how to pray as I ought.

Return

I'm dipping my toes back in the blogwater, slowly but surely. My fingers are increasingly itchy to tap out some new thoughts.

I started a new place while away from ProneToWander...
QuiverFull is where the happenings of the H family will be kept up to date.

Around these parts we're
enjoying the end of summer,
prepping for school,
eager for a wedding,
waiting on 3 H birthdays,
"doing nothing," says the restless teens.

Stay tuned...