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31 January 2010

"The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made." Emma Woodhouse

In case you were wondering...  :-)
my match for the Bachelors of Highbury quiz is... 

Mr. George Knightley

"You might not see one in a hundred with gentleman so plainly written as in Mr. Knightley."

You're looking for the complete package: a man with brains, good looks, a great job, perfect manners and a sizeable fortune to boot. Well, today's your lucky day.

As Highbury's wealthiest landowner and all-around great guy, Mr. Knightley is what your mother meant by "a good catch." He's a "sensible man" with a "cheerful manner" who loves his family and friends and has no patience for vanity or drama. Direct, down-to-earth and happily duty-bound, he proves time and again that chivalry is alive and well. He's a reluctant dancer but an astute judge of character and a trustworthy confidant. Overt displays of emotion or affection aren't exactly his thing, but you couldn't ask for a more caring or thoughtful friend.

No one's perfect, so you'll have to work through disagreements now and then (usually over something you've said or done). But, if you can get over his being right most of the time, you two should enjoy a fine life together indeed.

Thank goodness it wasn't creepy Mr. Elton!

hidden away on a Sunday afternoon...

I can barely hear the voices playing Wii two floors below.  I hear the hum of the computer, the ticking of the old ship's clock, and my old house creak and groan.  It's chilly in here, but a hot mug to hold warms the hands.  Outside the colors are muted, in anticipation of the next storm to come, I lament.  But I am sequestered, self-sequestered, and it is good. Sunday afternoon silence.  Ahhh.

A new look for the blog.  It took only a few clicks. (and I was so worried!)  Nothing fancy.  We are in a simplifying mode around our house.  Simple here on the blog, too, I suppose.

Look!  Here's a picture of a chickadee on my porch.  Being a nature photographer is more difficult than you might expect it to be.  Still haven't caught Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, except for a blur.  And I'm not at all satisfied with this photo.  But I took it through a dirty window, two dirty windows when you count the storm window, and I confess, I wasn't about to commit to sitting very still on the porch on a very cold day, so for now, this is as good as it gets.  Well, in all truth, it's a bit better than it gets, because thanks to "color enhance" on the GIMP software, it actually looks like there was blue sky on Friday afternoon.  There wasn't. 

Went on a date in the next-door-'hood for pizza last night- to Pitch.  Dee-lish.  It's a hip and new place, much more hip than I am (but not more hip than my date, of course...), and it was crazy crowded.  But there were only the two of us, not the usual "table for 7," so we squeezed into a little space in front of the front window.  We feasted on a beet and butternut squash salad that was Amazing.  And a Blanco pizza with onions and prosciutto and argula on top of coal-fired crusty goodness, accompanied by a beer with "a bright flavor and lively, citrus hop character remind us that the warm days of spring are just a few weeks away" for the guy and a glass o' vino for me.  Not to mention, of course, the company of my beloved- a good night.

And finally.  This morning I read from Psalm 27-
One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
Oh the glory of worship, of being in His house, of singing unto Him, of confession and assurance, of teaching that challenges and encourages, of being with His people.  It is a marvelous gift.


25 January 2010

Citizen's Arrest!

WORLD magazine photographer James Allen Walker posted this shot on his blog today, one of Barney Fife's squad car in Mt. Airy, NC...

which reminds me of one of my all-time favorite scenes from the Andy Griffith show... 
(or go here for the longer version...)

love Mayberry.

22 January 2010

No words can sufficiently set forth...

God has engaged the breadth, and the length and depth, and the height of the love, the wisdom, the power, and truth that is in himself, for us; and Christ has loved us with a love that passeth knowledge.  We may well say, 'Who is like thee, O Lord, among the gods?' (Exod. 15:11). Or, as another prophet has it, 'Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?  he retaineth not his anger for ever; because he delighteth in mercy' (Micah 7:18).  Yea, no words can sufficiently set forth the greatness of this love of God and his Son to us poor miserable sinners.
- John Bunyan, All Loves Excelling (1692)

21 January 2010

3 Things Thursday

There is a cardinal and his mate that frequently visit the pine tree that is near a window in our dining room.  One of my girls insists that they nest in the pine, but I am not so sure.  Nevertheless, catching that flash of red out of the corner of my eye never ceases to surpise and delight me.  Today we put out food, special songbird food especially for cardinals, to lure him more frequently.  We'll see.  My great hope is to take a photo of him.  Meanwhile, you'll get the idea with an oil from etsy. 

Found a couple of new blogs to visit.  One is simple, quiet, and sort of entrances me- Habit.  It updates daily but takes just a moment to check.  The other inspires- Urban Sketchers.  Folks from around the globe contribute posts from their sketchbooks.  I love the idea of a sketchbook, and I'm not just saying that because of my on-going love affair with these...  When I was in college and spent a summer in Mexico, we had to keep a journal and it is filled with sketches, mostly from various street corners in central Mexico.  We spent a lot of time waiting that summer...

We delivered meals today, for the first time in nearly a month.  One of our regular ladies is in the hospital.  One lady had people visiting, most likely relatives, that we had never ever seen before.  The toothless Chihuahua didn't try to attack us.  The sweet little old lady was still sweet, and little!  We delivered to a new man, very kind, who kept trying to talk to us even though he was supposed to be doing a breathing treatment for COPD.  He cuts out the menu from the newspaper every Wednesday and informed us that we were delivering sausage and onions.  That explains the bun and mustard...  And yes, someone asked my helper, "why aren't you in school?!" only to hear, "We homeschool and delivering this meal to you is part of our day today."  That softened the questioner considerably!

(art credit:  Winter Cardinal by edunklee

20 January 2010

Wordful Wednesday- Winter


I grew up in Albuquerque.
In Albuquerque, you don't really think about the weather.  It just is.  It is usually nice.  And if it's not, it will be soon. 

And then I married someone from the Midwest.  My in-laws talked about the weather all the time.  I did not understand their obsession.  We lived by the water and in beautiful places with moderate conditions.  Weather was still basically a non-event.  In Hawaii, you wake up expecting sunshine, and if it is not sunny, you are surprised.  In the Puget Sound region, for at least a good part of the year, you wake up expecting clouds, and if there are none, you are suprised.  But weather was rarely an event

Until we moved to Omaha.
Weather is most decidedly an event in Omaha.  In the spring, severe storms bring wind sheers and sudden torrential rainfall and tornado watches and warnings.  In the summer, heat and humidity create that still air that completely stifles.  With fall arrives that lovely but ever so brief lull until winter.  And then, there is winter.

This winter, we have experienced two blizzards, record-breaking low temperatures, a solid week of fog, and then, today, ice.  I was to meet a friend for breakfast early this morning.  I slipped off my front steps and then proceeded to slide over the glazed sidewalks to my driveway.  Once at the foot of the driveway, I considered how would I could possibly make it up that tiny but VERY steep incline into the car.  There was nothing to hold on to.  There was nothing to grip.  The audience watching the hidden camera of my life was surely laughing at my baby steps, my inability to move forward, to even stay upright.  Thankfully, there was yet a border of snowpack that provided cold, but solid, footing.  Once in the car, I dare not get back out to scrape the ice off the windows.  I slid the car down the driveway, popped it into four-wheel-drive, turned on the defrost, and got out to scrape, while fervently hoping the emergency brake would hold and the car would not start sliding backwards while I chipped away at the windshield.

Walking outside my house this morning, you can audibly hear the ice on the trees and wires, creaking and cracking.  I wonder how long branches, heavy with ice, already stressed by earlier snows, will hold before snapping under the added weight of their glossy coatings.  I wonder how much longer the creaking and cracking of my soul will hold before the thaw and promise of spring arrives.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1  That is the promise that keeps my footing sure even on icy ground.

For more Wordful Wednesday, be sure to visit Seven Clown Circus!

18 January 2010

Simple- Monday, January 18, 2010

FOR TODAY, Monday, January 18, 2010...

Outside my window, it is foggy.  Shades of gray seem to fill our color pallette for the last few days, making for a pretty subdued pallette...
I am thinking, a little bit of sun and blue sky would be nice.
I am thankful for modern appliances.  The thought of chicken over the fireplace, laundry in the stream and beating the rugs completely exhausts me!  I am also thankful to be feeling much better than I have been...
From the learning rooms, book summaries, finding the radius of a circle, spelling lists...
From the kitchen, chicken boiling for enchiladas.
I am wearing, a plummy sweater, black t-shirt, blue jeans.
I am remembering how much I disliked spelling!  (shhh... don't tell my girls!)
I am creating thank you notes, prayer lists, an ESL calendar, dinner, clean laundry...
I am going to the Bahamas!  (HA!  only in my mind...  it's so sunny there...)
I am reading War and Peace (yes! finished vol. 1, part 1 and moving on...), Andy Catlett, and All Loves Excelling.
I am listening to a new-to-me download from Sara Groves, Fireflies and Songs.
I am hearing a math lesson downstairs, lunch prep in the kitchen, dog tags jingle on the collar, whistling from the girl next to me.
I am hoping peace, order and relief come to Haiti, even today.
Pondering these words... In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11)
One of my favorite things, the smell and warmth of laundry coming out of the dryer in the winter.
A few plans for the rest of the week- the usual.  I'm thankful for routine.

Here is picture I am sharing... a self-portrait taken in front of my washing machine...

For more Simple, visit the Simple Woman's Daybook.

16 January 2010


Friday morning- we walked out to find that the ghostly fog that haunted the pre-dawn had left its prickly, icy mark on all the trees of the neighborhood...

(photo credit- me)

15 January 2010


"These people have nowhere else to go," Anne Wanlund said as she picked pieces of concrete out of a woman's head wound. 

Picking pieces of concrete out of a woman's head.

Reading about the tragedy,
the devastation,
the suffering,
the chaos,
in Haiti sucks my breath away.

I can't really get my mind around the reality of walking through a street morgue, looking for loved ones.
Or waiting for water and food, when the airport is "overburdened," and the seaport is "thought to be too damaged to accept cargo ships."
Or of the smell of death, a smell that permeates the air.

I am praying for Haiti.
For relief from suffering.
For order in chaos. 
For God's abundant mercy to comfort the people of Haiti.

Two groups that our family is personally involved with are collecting funds for Haiti relief efforts, and are worthy of your consideration.
MTW is working with local pastors and church partners and is working to send Disaster Response Teams as soon as possible.  They are accepting funds through the Minutemen for Missions.
Compassion International works with local churches to assist children and families.  Funds collected for Haiti Earthquake Relief will be used to immediately provide for Compassion-assisted children and families.
(photo credit to the London Telegraph)

12 January 2010

34 good minutes

Kudos to friends here and here, both of whom directed me here- to the Michael Horton White Horse Inn interview with Marilynne Robinson.  Robinson wrote both Gilead and Home, two of my most favorite reads over the last couple of years.  The 34 minute discussion mesmerized me.  I couldn't take notes quickly enough, so I listened twice.  That good, those 34 minutes..

Some intriguing thoughts, stuff to really chew on for a while...
Robinson on Darwinism and reductionism- "Science cannot serve the place of religion... because it cannot generate ethics or morality."
On "parascience"- which "makes an argument look scientific but has nothing to do with how something is thought of scientifically." 
On Robinson's interest in Calvin- who had "such an incredibly high sense of who human beings are."
On living as Christians- "In every moment, God challenges us, asks difficult things of us, and our obligation is always to other people."(v. to self)  And, "act not in  your own interest... but in a desire to know God."
On grace- "Grace really is divine.  People struggle with forgiveness, but God is highly capable of grace."
On good fiction- "A good book almost reinvents what it is to be a good book; it makes its own case.  If it is generous, if it is offered in good faith, it will be a book of serious quality."

And more.
Now, The Death of Adam has been officially added to my list...

(art credit:  The Death of Adam by Piero Della Francesca, c. 1446)

10 January 2010

thinking about...

Well, I guess my recent bloggage indicates that, mostly, we're homesteading lately...

I'm pondering...

the positive qualities of snow and cold...
- when the windows are frosted, you don't have to worry about closing the shades at night...
- no need to hurry home from grocery shopping.  The ice cream is in no danger of melting.
- and if your refrigerator is crowded, just put the milk on the back porch.
- mittens and scarves, the perfect accessories!
- when your ice maker breaks, just get snow from the yard.
- when -24 is predicted, 0 seems downright balmy.

"I thought we had always been the best of company.  To one another, at the very least!" 
Matty Jenkyns in Return to Cranford
We H girls are fans of Masterpiece Classic.  We've spent the last couple of days catching up on Cranford online, in preparation for the beginning of Return to Cranford tonight.  PBS has a promising line-up for this season of Classic, including a brand new Emma and The Diary of Anne Frank.

"Beyond that, though, the idea that we should settle for “harm reduction” belies the possibility of redemption. “It’s rather absurd,” said VarnHagen. “They’re not going to use clean needles. They need to be instructed not to use any kind of needle.”
from "NY Journal: True harm reduction,"
Redemption.  And hope.  I'm thankful that some in New York City, and elsewhere, still look towards them.

“We are to love the people of God, although they have many weak infirmities; shew me the man that is perfect, and let him throw the first stone, even the best."  Thomas Watson, via Femina.
Oh it's easy to love those who are easy to love, no?  This little passage I first read last week (do read the entire piece!) is a good reminder that to love is not optional.  That idea was reinforced in our sermon today, on this passage.  I'm thankful for the reminders.

Today my husband fixed a broken drawer AND is cooking up a pot of vegetable beef soup. 
He's a keeper.

(art credit:  Cardinal by studiotuesday at

A Challenge, Take 2

'Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try again.
- Thomas H. Palmer (1782 - 1861) Teacher's Manual (1840)

"If the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy." Issac Babel

A classic.  An epic.  A mammoth work.  Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

We started last year, and now, we are try, trying again.
It has to be a "we" project, because left to myself, it would never get done.  That's what friends are for, right?

So, my most dear friend and exceedingly logical partner in this project has mapped out a reading plan and we start this week.  More or less, a mere 100 pages a week, bite-sized chunks from a literary feast.  We have help.  We might even have questions, and discussion!

Want to join us?!

white as wool, thick as ashes

"The snow has turned to freezing rain now, and the trees bend with the weight of the ice which forms on their branches.  Every twig is glazed; every frond of evergreen is cut crystal.  I hope my pink dogwood and my two poor little peach trees, so wounded by last year's storms, will not be done in by this one.  A small hope and a trivial fear by comparison with my hopes and fears for this beloved country of ours, but I bring both kinds to Him who alone can do something about weather and human nature.  Psalm 147 is a song of praise:

He showers down snow, white as wool, and sprinkles hoar-frost thick as ashes;
crystals of ice he scatters like breadcrumbs;
He utters His word, and the ice is melted.
O praise the Lord.

Ice, hoarfrost, snow.  The earth, its realms, its cities.  The wounds and broken spirits of His people.  All of these subject to His command, affected by the word.  He who heals and binds up, who brings peace and sends His command, who scatters crystals of ice like breadcrumbs and then speaks to melt them- He is still in charge.

-Elisabeth Elliot, "A Convention, A Winter Storm, and A Wedding," Love Has A Price Tag

(photo credit:  Sunday morning sunrise, from my bedroom window)

08 January 2010

Friday random this and that

Mmmm.  The simplicity of a Wild Cherry Lifesaver...

    So, let me tell you, it's more difficult to snowblow than it looks!  Easier than shoveling, yes, but no walk in the proverbial park.  The beast came out in the negative temps today.  Got that bad boy started up.  Probably used up my lifetime of carbon credits.  Pounded through the drifts.  Widened the path.  Literally.  Made our little corner of the 'hood ped friendly.  K snuck out and captured the moment so you'll know that I'm not just making this entire story up. 
    Still love Half Price Books.  Today I found a new book I've had an eye on for at, well, half price.  Cheaper than the coupon I had for Borders.  Cheaper than Costco.  Same as Amazon, but no shipping fees.  Ok, not as cheap as the library, but no waiting list...  And this one too, hardcover, for just $3.98.  I guess that's enough retail therapy for a girl who has been virtually snowbound all week...
and that's also enough this and that for a Friday.

07 January 2010

Three Things Thursday

Three things that have absolutely nothing to do with snow!

1.  Wee Brie and Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits.  mmmmmm.  (and even better when the wee brie is on sale for less than half price at the local grocery...!)

2.  Snuggled, five girls on a bed last night, we watched two men, Man v. Food and Man v. Wild.  Both gross us out, in entirely different ways.  Humans are really a wacky folk, no?

3.  In the Craftiness department- two friends are offering their goods online.  My former neighbor Trish (oh how we adore & miss being neighbors of Trish and her men!) has opened Knits by Trish on Facebook.  So cute!  And my bloggy buddy, Megan at HalfPintHouse, is creating these nifty little zippy bags just in time for your Valentine's sweeties.  Check them out!

deep freeze

It continues to be a deep freeze here in O-ville.  It snowed about 5 inches yesterday, and this morning, those five inches blow gustily into white drifts and dunes.  The dawn shows itself blue-gray cold out the window, and the forecast promises only more of the same, only colder if such is possible.  It's difficult to imagine more cold than zero, but such is the prediction of the temperature to come in the next couple of days.  Friday's high is predicted to be -2, with the low at -23, before the windchill is factored in. 

Functioning in the cold is full of inconvenience.  Inconvenience such as frost on the windows inside the car!  Here's a shot from the interior of the car on Monday mid-day.  Those snowflakes- frost on the inside of the windshield.  The passenger door lock froze on Monday, so the girls had to crawl in through the drivers side, and by the time they did, the drivers doorlatch froze and wouldn't shut.  A few bangs and the latch would finally engage.  Yesterday I parked the van in our very narrow drive, and opened the door to get out.  At that point, the van slid, and the open door dredged up a mound of snow.  So, I had to dig the door out just to close it. 

I guess in this weather, it's good to keep a sense of humor, be thankful for boots and mittens, and look forward to warmer days ahead!

06 January 2010

Whirling, swirling

They sang Ma's favorite, "There is a Happy Land Far, Far Away."  And just before Pa laid the fiddle in its box becasue the time had come when he must get tot he stable and take care of the stock, he played a gallant, challenging tune that brought them all to their feet, and they all sang lustily,

"Then let the hurricane roar!
It will the sooner be o'er.
We'll weather the blast
And land at last
On Canaan's happy shore!"

The hurricane was roaring, the icy snow was hard as buckshot and fine as sand was whirling, swirling, beating upon the house."

Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

04 January 2010

Simple- January 4

FOR TODAY... Monday, January 4, 2010

Outside my window... COLD (currently the kitchen thermometer reads -8.7) and very dark. 

I am thankful for... a warm house, a quiet house, the promise of the new day ahead.

I am wearing... flannel pajama bottoms and a Benson baseball hoodie.  (but not for long, I promise!)

I am remembering... what a very good weekend we had, restful, sweet fellowship with dear friends, being home for worship.

I am going... to deliver a couple of piano students to lessons and to the grocery store for a much needed restock this afternoon, and then to ESL classes this evening.

I am currently reading... All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan in the morning, and 'Til We Have Faces by CS Lewis.

I am hoping... for a peaceful week, for sunny skies, to make a huge dent in the mountain of laundry that awaits me today.

On my mind... resuming ESL classes this evening after a two week break for Christmas.

Noticing that... clutter and mess sure builds up more quickly than order does!

Pondering these words... “In the time of trouble and calamity, yet still it is well with the righteous, because God doth cover his people in the time of trouble, he hides them in the storm; God hath a care to hide his jewels, and will not let them be carried away.” Thomas Watson, via Nancy Wilson at Femina.

From the kitchen... chili, salad and cornbread on the menu for this evening- easy and warm for when our family is to be scattered on a cold evening- some to church for ESL, some to soccer practice...

Around the house... clean up, laundry, resuming schoolwork.

One of my favorite things... walking into church, greeting friends after being away, the familiarity and comfort of worship.

From my picture journal... our walk as we arrived home last Thursday late afternoon.  So thankful for our neighbor boy who shoveled snow for us while we were away!

For more Simple entries, check out the Simple Woman's Daybook.

03 January 2010

End of 2009 Reading Meme

Here is a (mostly) book meme, courtesy of PalmTreePundit, courtesy of others before her.  It's a wrap up of reading for 2009.

I fell short of the goals I set for reading through 2009.  My bookshelves are bigger than my reading time, I guess.  And, in truth, I waste time when I could be reading.  (damn Bejeweled!)

I still read more non-fiction than fiction.  That's been true since I learned to read.  (my first love- the biography shelf at Mark Twain Elementary School...) 
I'm still working on War and Peace.  (I think I can, I think I can...)
I'm starting my list for 2010.
How many books read in 2009?
How many fiction and non fiction?
Male/Female author ratio?
Favourite book of 2009?
Hannah Coulter, Towards Jerusalem, Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
Least favourite?
(besides the ones I never finished...?) Don't Sleep, There are Snakes
Oldest book read?
Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
Longest and shortest book titles?
Kabul 24 & Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together
Longest and shortest books?
War and Peace (which I am not even CLOSE to finishing! sigh.) & Letter to My Daughter
Any re-reads? 
I read All Things for Good twice
Favourite character of the year?

Ruth from Housekeeping (in a haunting sort of way), Brother Yun from The Heavenly Man (absolutely unwavering faith through horrendous persecution)
Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?
Sarah's Key (thanks Shannon!)
Which author was new to you in 2009 that you now want to read the entire works of?
Wendell Berry
Did you read any books you have always been meaning to read?
I started War and Peace, but haven't yet finished it.
Did you learn anything about yourself and blogging this year?
- my constant challenge in writing on the blog is how to tell the stories that really impress me day by day without compromising the trust of the people in them.
- I still worry about how my posts are interpreted, by both those who know me and those who don't.
- there is so much to think about!  so much to do!  so many places to go and people to meet. I am not very tolerant of people who say they are bored! 
- I enjoy writing on the blog so much more than writing on Facebook.  I never know what to say on Facebook.  My status seems so stupid when I look at it.
- I want to change my blog template, but I'm chicken that I'll just mess it all up.  Like the Cowardly Lion, perhaps I need a bit of Courage...
Pressing on in 2010!

(photo- that's the bookshelf next to my bed.  Yes- my mom, and my dad, both taught me better!  Don't think less of them because of my example!)

Book List 2009

To keep track of what I've read (including reading through the Bible) in 2009, a list, updated monthly:

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life by Kathleen Norris
Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

Terrify No More by Gary A. Haugen
All Things for Good by Thomas Watson
(and about 4 books that I started and didn't finish... )

1&2 Corinthians
As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda by Catherine Larson
The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins
Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R.

A Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America's Best High Schools by Alec Klein
Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew, with John & Elizabeth Sherrill

Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Langauage in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel L. Everett
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Song of Solomon
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy

Housekeeping: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
1&2 Peter
1,2,3 John
The Brothers K by David James Duncan
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

The Places In Between by Rory Stewart
The Way of Ignorance by Wendell Berry
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Toward Jerusalem by Amy Carmichael
Damsels in Distress by Martha Peace

The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun with Paul Hathaway
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
Torches of Joy by John Dekker with Lois Neely

The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Patterson
Kabul 24 by Ben Pearson and Henry O. Arnold
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

1&2 Thessalonians
1&2 Timothy
My Life in France by Julia Child & Alex Prud'homme

1,2,&3 John
The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert DeJong
The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

(photo credit to YourSecretAdmiral at Esty)

01 January 2010


New Year's Resolutions.
I've never really made them. 
Therefore, I've never really kept them.
But I found these written by Jonathan Edwards today, and despite the 18th century English, I nod my head.

1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, To be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the forementioned things.

3. Resolved, If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.

5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, Never to do any thing which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

and more.
Mr. Edwards wrote those seven when he was 19 years old.
Perhaps I need to be resolving more...