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30 January 2016


At times it seems that the finest of lines divide complacent from content, but today I could honestly confess gratitude for place and people and circumstance.

My faithful barista and early morning latte delivery
As there is seriousness without sourness, so there is a cheerful liveliness without lightness. (Thomas Watson)
But God... (Ephesians 2:4)
morning run
morning prayer, even over the phone
unexpected phone calls
the blessing of a left, a left, a right, and down the road pick-up
doggy play date
chicken tortilla soup
easy lunch date fellowship
sunbeams on the car
parking lot real
a hug from my fave Sam's Club greeter
text that makes me laugh
a brew with my man
good dinner
confession and repentance and forgiveness
and the promise of tomorrow


on the Running Playlist today-
while there's breath in my lungs,
I will praise you, Lord.

(from "Joy of the Lord," by the Rend Collective)

29 January 2016


“In a world of diminishing mystery, the unknown persists.” 
― Jhumpa LahiriThe Lowland

28 January 2016


“Today is one of those excellent January partly cloudies in which light chooses an unexpected part of the landscape to trick out in gilt, and then the shadow sweeps it away. You know you’re alive. You take huge steps, trying to feel the planet’s roundness arc between your feet.”

- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Don't you hate it when you count 13 things in your basket, not "10 items or less, you're in express," and the lady in front of you really is buying her week's worth of groceries, and putting them on the counter


when the meter guy is so close, and yet, so far...

27 January 2016


We were away for worship this week, visiting one of our supporting churches who meet in an elementary school. Apparently, it was Kindness Week for the kindergardeners, and the art work was osum! (awesome!)

"Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarden" isn't really too far off. Thankfully, our spelling continues to improve...

10 Rules of Kindness (translated)
1. Be kind to people
2. Listen to the teacher
3. Sit down when you're told
4. Be quiet
5. Say thank you
6. Do not play with other people's stuff
7. Say hello


Gracious hospitality,
homemade breakfast tacos,
sitting around the table in the bright sun,
shopping with so many girls,
good food,
good company,
the smell of books (and two in hand),
smooth coffee,
wonders around every bend.


Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures...
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

24 January 2016


Head in the clouds.
I hope I never get over the wonder of flying.

21 January 2016


But the best part may have been the guy who waved for the camera...


Vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it.
- Robert Orben


How do you describe well the blessing of having history together, years of knowing and being known, of loving and being loved? How do you describe the blessing of the gift of time together, of slow mornings and long walks and constant talks? How do you describe the joy of sharing beauty together, of sunny skies, of delicious food, of painted sunset skies?

All is grace.

16 January 2016


Isn’t it plain that the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they want
about spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?
Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors to my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.
Every morning so far I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky – as though
all night they have thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined
their strong, thick wings.
Mary Oliver


Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
- "Great is Thy Faithfulness," Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923


View from the scorekeepers table.


winter comes to south Texas...

13 January 2016


There’s a way that seems right to a man
Until he’s in over head and he don’t understand
How the plans he made only led him astray

But every good gift comes down from above
From the Lord of light like a labor of love
Upon the child who waits for Him

Sometimes you’ll find what you’re waiting for
Was there all along just waiting for you
To turn around and reconcile

And it may be broken down
All the bridges burned like an old ghost town
But this my son can be made new

It’s gonna be alright
Shake it out and let back in the light
And joy will come
Like a bird in the morning sun
And all will be made well
And all will be made well
And all will be made well
Once again

- "Morning Light" by Josh Garrels


A day of checking of to-do lists, interspersed with surprise interruptions and change in plans, all in the nicest sense.

(& who knew that we could find a pretty good Hatch green chile burger in Harlingen?!)

10 January 2016


The truth is, you would think by this time in life we wouldn't struggle to get out the door on time. And yet, here we were on yet another Sunday morning, squabbling and getting all heart-bruised over last minute distractions. I needed a deep breath before I walked in that door. Everything fell into place as I saw the smile and wave of one my favorite girls, her eyes up and looking at this late-comer when everyone else had their head bowed. I slid into the couch next to her and inclined my head low and my pride lower.

Prone to wander, indeed. How thankful I am that He brings me quick to him. How thankful I am for forgiveness and assurance. And how thankful I am for dear friends, even of the 9 year old variety.  

(and how thankful I am for this season of a grapefruit a day, and friends that share generously!)

2016 Reading Challenge

I am taking the Challies 2016 Reading Challenge. And that is appropriate because for the last few years, I've been reading challenged! My goal is to complete the "Committed" list- 52 books. I will need suggestions! Stay tuned.

(meanwhile, I'll keep track of the list here...)

1. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a book about Christian living)
2. Run by Ann Patchett (a book with a one-word title)
3. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (a book written by someone of a different ethnicity than you)
4. All Things for Good by Thomas Watson (a book written by a Puritan)


An ordinary day at home, and yet, what grace.
Early two-handed coffee and lingering and meandering conversation and prayer, a car wash and free vacuum, the crossword while waiting on laundry cycles, items off the to-do list, dinner and devotions and progress on a book- to be back in daily rhythms and routines, to do nothing extraordinary, to crawl into a crumpled up bed at the end of the day next to the one I love, all a sweet mercy.

08 January 2016


The sun slipped slowly, closer and closer to the horizon, but I gambled on just enough time to take a run. I thought I'd go on the safe route, around neighborhood streets, past driveways and street signs. But I turned the corner and the sky pulled me north and west, past the wide open fields waiting to be planted yet again. I ran and I thought and I prayed. I met a dog and he ran with me too far, and I had to walk him home again. And I marveled at all this life holds.

In this first week, I am thankful for
home away from home,
early morning hot coffee and a quiet corner on the couch,
a place to serve,
brown-eyed kids who grab my heart,
young men singing four-part harmony,
relationships in unlikely places,
conversations on mini-van cart seats,
laughing deep,
text messaging,
kindness and humility,
stillness in prayer,
the cool of overcast and the hope of sunshine,
grace upon grace,
my peeps,


For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
- 1John 3:11 (ESV)


"Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and become something beautiful."
- unknown


"And he knew then that the ending of the The Story was going to be so great, it would make all the sadness and tears and everything seem like just a shadow that is chased away by the morning sun.

"I'm on my way," said Jesus. "I'll be there soon!"

John came to the end of his book. But he didn't write "The End." Because, of course, that's how stories finish. (And this one's not over yet.)

So instead, he wrote: "Come quickly, Jesus!"

We don't know all of the stories. But we do know that it is not over yet.

07 January 2016


First day with the Cart Team- so much to do, so much to soak in.


The sun came out and everything looked golden.


O Trinity of blessed light,
O Unity of princely might,
The fiery sun now goes his way;
Shed Thou within our hearts Thy ray.
To Thee our morning song of praise,
To Thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thy glory suppliant we adore
Forever and forevermore.
All laud to God the Father be;
All praise, Eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete
- O Lux beata Trinitas, a hymn of Ambrose

03 January 2016


Two movies in one day?

01 January 2016

thinking in type...

Starting anew in 2016...

more reading: this list from I'd like to get past Light and past Avid to Committed, but let's be honest, there's little chance of making it to Obsessed.

more Scripture memory: it's a discipline that I've added to my morning routine over the last couple years, and I want to continue in it. I've memorized complete chapters of Scripture, but never an entire book. Yet. (want some encouragement as to why? How 'bout this? or this?) ScriptureTyper has been a great help to me and my girls. But best of all is a partner to be held accountable with...

more photos: I was gifted a ReallyNeatLens for Christmas, and I am newly inspired. It's so easy to take pictures with my phone, but I am remembering how much I enjoy my camera, too.

more running: I logged just over 400 miles in 2015, but fell off the wagon in the last quarter of the year. I'm getting my shuffle back on.

less social media: I love aspects of being connected to far-away friends and family. But my OCD characteristics become too much so. And Panda Pop... (sheepish guilty grin)

less...?: 2015 was full, too full, I think. The hardest part is that there's nothing that stands out as "No more of this..." How to choose what to do less of?

Praying for wisdom and that "the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13) as this new chapter begins...


a sweet finish to a very full year.

But if there is so much blessing and joy even in a single encounter of brother with brother, how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God's will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians!
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together


almost ready.