Monday, November 30, 2009

Lotsa Links

Bake at 350: Christmas cookies that look impossibly gorgeous. I WISH I had the time and whatever else it takes to create something so beautiful! I like this kiwi green.

Handmade Christmas Tags - These are made by a mother of five so I have no excuses. Love these! (Note the same green - is there a pattern here?)

Lights on Display - Click on any of the video years to see a pretty awesome show.

The Once Toxic Coffee Table - Would you have purchased this table at Goodwill?
You will not believe the 'after' picture.

Seeing Your Pastor in the Wild - I got a good chuckle out of this one, then I sent it to my pastor.

And two from a favorite blog writer of mine, Antique Mommy, because she says what so many of us feel:

The Red Sofa - Getting perspective on our 'stuff'

Big Things - Planning what goes under the tree this Christmas

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for...

The LORD is my strength and my shield.
My heart trusts in Him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.

Psalm 28:7

Today I'm thankful to God for:

  • all of my girls home for the weekend - our nest is full again!

  • being able to have everybody in the family over for Thanksgiving dinner

  • the start of the Christmas season (now I don't have to hide the fact that I'm listening to Christmas music)

  • an awesome church that makes giving a priority and a pastor who God uses to speak to me

  • precious friendships that span many years

  • my job - I can't believe I get to be a part of something big God is doing in Ethiopia

  • the auto-start timer on my coffee maker

  • the book of Isaiah

  • eyes that see, ears that hear, limbs that move!

  • the real, living, accomplishing Word of God

    How about you? What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gettin' Ready

Hey there! Jeff and I are trying to get this place in some sort of shape for all the family coming for turkey on Thursday. Jeff's been working on the broken garbage disposal (he's always been very resourceful with tools) and I'm in charge of baking and decorating. You like my apron?
Am I the only one who drives myself crazy over this kind of stuff? Raise your hand if your name could be Martha (and I don't mean Stewart). I start one project - like dusting the bedrooms - then I think "I should hang some Christmas lights in here so it feels homey and cozy for the girls!" So I start digging through the Christmas boxes where I find a wreath that needs a new ribbon. So I go to the box in the garage where my ribbon is and I see the rake I left out to finish the pile of leaves I started gathering...

You see where this is going. Nowhere. Fast.
I want to enjoy having my girls home, my dad, mother-in-law, brother and family here. And I know I won't if I'm stressed about things being 'just so' and my back is killing me. I've done it WAY too many times in the past and I hope I'm learning from my mistakes.
So... I'm writing a blog post instead of doing anything to get ready. Hey, I got the Christmas lights up in the bedrooms! It will all get done. And in the end, it won't matter if everything isn't perfect. I'm so glad! I hope you're enjoying this holiday - even the gettin' ready part!
Happy Thanksgiving!

"Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell
The Saturday Evening Post 1943

Thursday, November 19, 2009

As the Rudes Get Ruder, the Scolds Get Scoldier

In this morning's Oregonian, there was a NY Times article titled "Battle lines blur over irksome behavior in public" written by Douglas Quenqua. Here's how it started:

Amy Alkon, a syndicated advice columnist and self-described “manners psycho,” recently encountered “Barry,” a loud cell phone talker at a Starbucks in Santa Monica, Calif.

“He just blatantly took over the whole place with his conversation, streaming his dull life into everybody’s brain,” Ms. Alkon recalled in a telephone interview. Among the personal details Barry shared that day — errands to run, plans for the evening — was his phone number, which Ms. Alkon jotted down. “I called him that night and said, ‘Just calling to let you know, Barry, that if you’d like your private life to remain private, you might want to be a little more considerate next time,’ “ she said.

So there.

The gist of the article is that while people are fed up with rude cell phone users, isn't it just as rude to exact revenge or deliver a public scolding? Some examples:

  • A McDonalds patron, irritated with another customer's loud cell phone chat, placed a small recording device on the table next to the offender. When asked what he was doing, he responded "Well, since you obviously want me to hear your conversation, I’d better keep a copy of it."
  • A woman riding on a commuter train recently had to listen to a stranger complain loudly by cell phone about his group therapy. The next time she saw him, about a week later, she asked how the therapy was going.
  • Ms. Alkon has a blog where she often posts the personal information shared by loud cell phone talkers.

I'll admit I've been shocked by how clueless people seem to be when they're talking on a cell phone. In public. I've had a conversation or two in my head with those folks and believe me, I got my point across.

But in reality, I lean more towards the solution offered by a company that makes cards you can hand to strangers with sayings like, "Can you please take your conversation elsewhere?" These cards come in a cute little drawstring bag and they cover a few different scenarios such as: inappropriate ringtones, talking too loudly and volume set on 'stun.' Their website says they "offer a gentle way to let the guy in the elevator who’s having an affair or the woman in the next cube who’s checking in with her therapist know that everyone is getting an earful. It's a wake-up call with humor and tact."

Some would call that a more passive-aggressive way to shame someone into being considerate of others. But I keep thinking about some of the thoughtless things I've done - in public - and of how thankful I am that no one turned a spotlight on me.

So I'm going to try to be less scoldier - even in my head.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Twenty-five years ago today I married you, the love of my life. But it was eleven years before that when I spotted you across the field at Young Life weekend camp. I was seventeen, insecure and shy. You were funny, confident and so handsome. I remember I couldn’t stop watching you, with your camera around your neck and your thrift store hat. Eventually that weekend, we talked to each other and the rest is history.

By the time we met at the end of that church aisle to make our vows, we knew each other really well. God had been faithfully working in both of us - preparing, shaping and ‘setting us up’ for life together. The night you asked me to marry you, He reminded me of how He'd been in all the details and the timing:
O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago!
Isaiah 25:1

Hasn’t our life been proof over and over of
God’s perfect faithfulness?

God knew I needed a composed, common-sense man who carefully thinks through every decision; a rational, steady and wise man to balance my impulsive decisions and tendency to react before thinking. A father to our three beautiful girls who looked at things logically in the sea of emotion that could easily have sunk a lesser man!

You are strong in conviction and unwavering in faith. You are the real deal – a genuinely humble man who doesn’t act one way in public and another in private. You're kind - I never hear you speak critical or ugly words. Even when I’ve wanted you to complain with me, you wisely kept quiet! You are steady and strong. And you have more integrity than anyone I know.

We’ve walked through a few tests and trials. We’ve experienced some pretty miraculous times of God’s provision. We’ve been SO blessed.

You know what? I am still in shock that you married me! You are mine and I am yours! There is NO ONE who I’d rather share this journey with. Thank you for these 25 (but really 36) years – I really do believe that the BEST is yet to be.
I love you, sweetheart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things we did not expect

For when You did awesome things that we did not expect,
You came down and the mountains trembled before You.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived, no eye has seen
any God besides You,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
Isaiah 64:3-4

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You For Your Sacrifice

Happy Veteran's Day. I'm thankful to all the men and women who serve and have served our country with their lives and many in their deaths. And to the spouses and families who sacrificially give loved ones to our country's service. The freedom I enjoy living here and too often take for granted comes with a price. I don't ever want to forget that. I am very grateful.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Carmelized Onions: A recipe and lots of yummy uses.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks: Because this appeals to the teacher in me.

Fall Nesting Tips: Creating some family traditions centered around the kitchen. (This Country Living pie is just to illustrate "fall" and "kitchens" and in no way implies that any of us will ever go to the trouble to roll our "decorative" berries and "hand-made" cookies in "sanding sugar.")

Peppermint Bark: I really want to try making this!

When I Grow Up: On becoming a woman like the ones we admire.

The Money Jar: Logical consequences and learning from our kids.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


There is Love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner’s cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious

Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me

You are stronger! You are stronger!
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all

No beginning and no end
You’re my hope and my defense
You came to seek and save the lost
You paid it all upon the cross

So let Your Name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher Be lifted higher
So let Your Name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher Be lifted higher

Words & Music by Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding
from Hillsong - This Is Our God

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This morning in Isaiah 26:8 I read:

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.

I have to ask myself - Is the desire of my heart that God will be well-known in my life? If it really is, then I can wait for Him. If I can't wait and instead try to manipulate my circumstances or explain them away from my perspective, then it's more about ME looking good than about His renown.

Waiting reveals who I desire to look good.

How I wait is crucial. Am I keeping my mind steadfast, checking my thought-life to be sure I'm trusting in Him and what He's doing? Am I rehearsing what I can see with my eyes more than what God has promised?

Waiting can be a humbling thing. Waiting on God doesn't usually bring a lot of glory to SELF. People wonder what you're doing. I can wonder what I'm doing!

But if I'm 'walking in the way of His laws,' I can wait knowing He's the one who will get the credit and attention and much-deserved glory. And that's a good thing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Your Browsing Pleasure...

In case you'd like a little help finding some good stuff to read on the world wide web, here are a few of my suggestions this week:

Smile Is Everywhere: Capturing all of the random smiles in the world!

20 Things I Learned in a Week Without My Computer: A challenge to unplug and plug in to life!

The Doubting Self: For the woman who walks silently into a crowded room and stands alone hoping that someone will notice her.

My Parents Were Awesome: I just found this site where readers submit pictures of their parents. It is awesome!

Comebacks: Who doesn't love a comeback story?

Gut Honest Look at Love: What will it offer me?

And also from Lysa... Ruined for Good: But God...

Delicious Baked Acorn Squash: Nobody takes photos of their cooking steps quite like The Pioneer Woman!

Give Thanks: Countdown calendar idea. Only 24 days until Thanksgiving!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...