Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Things I Learned in February


1.  The older old friendships get, the more comfortable and enjoyable they become.  I had a Jubilee weekend here in Portland with my two oldest and dearest friends.  Thank you, K and Lee, for another wonderful time together!  I love you!

2.  I am missing the back of my lower molars when brushing.  Fixing this requires a few more calisthenics than I’m used to at the sink.  Be sure you aren’t missing yours.


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3.  I am also missing something else.  Apparently, I need to remember to wear my glasses when cleaning the bathroom.  I ‘accidentally’ wore them in there right after cleaning and was APPALLED at the hair and dust still on the counter.  Now I wonder how many times people have gone in my bathroom and gasped.


4.  We should NEVER assume we know what other people are thinking.  This is what Paul calls ‘vain imaginations’ (2 Cor 10:5) and it is a waste of time and it is sin.  This month I’ve been proven completely wrong several times when I thought I knew what someone was probably thinking about me. 


Anita
5.  God introduced me to someone completely out of my ‘normal’ sphere of relationships.  I get to spend time with Anita, a wonderful young woman from Bhutan who loves Christ in the most simple, powerful way.  I need her perspective.  I’m already challenged to think about life differently because of her faith.  I LOVE that.


btas
6.  In Bhutan, the church has been ‘underground’ until just very recently.  It is still illegal to build a Christian place of worship or to promote conversion from Buddhism to Christianity.  Yet many people are hearing the gospel and making Christ their Lord through the faithful witness of believers there, often after witnessing miraculous healings.


free coffee ladies
7.  I love having coffee with people.  {Technically, this isn’t something I learned in February but something I was reminded of many times this month.}  I gave my blog this name because meeting people for coffee has always been my favorite way of connecting with friends, old and new.

8.  I need to ask my brother to meet me for coffee more often.  He is a good guy.

9.  People don’t generally meet for coffee in Bhutan.  Anita may have wondered why we were getting coffee.  You see, she wasn’t thirsty.


Elephant's
10.  My favorite person to have coffee with is my husband.  {I didn’t just learn this either but now you have.}  We love to go to Elephant’s Deli in NW Portland and have Stumptown Hairbender coffee.  We just recently went for a very belated Valentine date.  With a giant peanut butter cookie and a chocolate croissant.

I’m linking up with Emily for her monthly “Things I Learned” party.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Links I Liked


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Map: How Much Snow It Typically Takes to Cancel School in the U.S.
@theatlantic
Before this map gives Midwesterners a superiority complex, it's worth remembering: School closures say more about an area's infrastructure than the toughness of its citizens.


To the Ticket Agent at the Delta Counter
@huff post parents
Forgiveness is a gift of love, an act of beauty that benefits not only the person being asked by way of reconciliation, but also the person requesting it, by way of redemption.



I Just Might Have the Answer to All Your Problems
@weareTHATfamily
Could it be that the cure for some of our problems is serving someone who has more problems than we do?



nailed-it-cookie-dough-bowl
20 People Who Tried Things On Pinterest and Totally NAILED IT
@smosh
The people were trying for the type of food perfection you see on Pinterest or Tumblr, and although they WERE NOT EVEN CLOSE to getting it right, they did their best.



smart_seatbelt2
Charger On The Seat
@yankodesign
I’m pretty sure this is still in the design phase for use on public transportation.  I love the description – an obvious but characteristically rough translation from Korean:  Seat Belt is Save and Need!!!



Your husband doesn’t have to earn your respect
@mattwalshblog
Great perspective and a good reminder for wives like me.



And can we ever get enough stories that remind us there are some really great folks out there?  Sometimes they are hiding behind a tough exterior!



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trust

Ps33-4 HaveACupWithMe

Maybe you need to remember this is true today like I do. 

At the very moment we’re staring at difficulty, disappointment, weakness, still unanswered prayer… right in the midst of it before anything changes, we can trust what God is doing.  Because He is doing something! 

Lord, You will do what You’ve said You will do.  Every. Single. Time.  There is not one situation I face that You are not at work in, making it conform to Your plans. 

I can be 100% confident in Your power and Your wisdom and Your goodness because You are absolutely trustworthy.   Your promises are firm, steadfast and solid when nothing else is.

I am trusting You today. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pride goeth before a cold

I have shared the miracle-working powers of Zicam with you on the blog here and about how it has absolutely stopped my colds dead in their tracks.  Well, not always I guess.  Despite faithfully popping a fast-melt tablet in my mouth when I first started feeling sniffley, I fell headlong into a sore throat, headache and that thick feeling in your chest.  Hmphh.  Serves me right for being so self-righteous about my natural remedies.

Perhaps it’s the antihistamine or too much tv but I have some questions...

Burton-Team-USA-Olympic-Snowboard-Uniform-2006-Turin-Torino
First, does anyone but me wonder why snow-boarders and trick-skiers wear the baggiest clothes on the slopes, when most Olympic athletes wear incredibly aerodynamic suits to compete in downhill skiing, speed-skating or luge?  It surely can’t help your performance when your jacket is super long, your pants sag and your crotch is at your knees, can it?  What am I missing?  Dude!  I know… it must be all about the whole vibe that surrounds extreme sports but can’t you imagine the freedom in the air they’d experience if they were wearing, say, what the ice skaters wear?

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2014-02-14T193158Z_27419666_LR2EA2E1I8ZF2_RTRMADP_3_OLYMPICS-FIGURESKATING-thumb-609x416-126391

Are you tired of the same commercials over and over and over as much as I am?  This one is the worst.

Is Downton Abby getting too soap-opera-y for anyone but me?  I sort of enjoyed it at first but not so much anymore.  I may have to see what happens to Bates but I’m counting the weeks until Call the Midwife Season 3.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

On my nightstand

Iamsecond
If you haven’t yet visited the “I Am Second” website, you’ll want to set aside some time to watch the videos posted there.  This movement is about putting God and then others ahead of yourself.  The book is wonderful… full of the personal stories of how a whole variety of people, famous and otherwise, came to the saving realization that God is first.  They had to face up to pride,brokenness and total inability to make life work on their own. I was really encouraged by these stories of transformation and hope in Christ.  Although I’m a library girl, this is a book I’d like to have to give away.



fables of fortune
I heard about this book via Shaun Groves’ blog… his description plus a few quotes intrigued me.  The subtitle is “What rich people have that you don’t want.”  It’s a fascinating look at the high cost of wealth in terms of relationships.  Another book I’d like to own.



hwc
I’ve only just started this one but it’s an interesting idea.  Have you heard of the Happy Wives Club?  It was started by a woman who was tired of hearing so much negativity about marriage and thought she would search for women all over the world who are happily married.  Because I am very happily married and love hearing about others who are, I am curious to know what she discovered. 




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This isn’t a book but it IS on my nightstand.  I got a new alarm clock for Christmas.  The display, even on the dimmest setting, is so bright that it’s like having a computer monitor on my nightstand.  I love the clock because I can use it as a speaker/charger for my ipod but I had to do something about that glare.  For a while I covered the whole clock with a pair of black tights (classy!).  Then I got what I think is a brilliant idea… I ordered a vinyl sunshade (originally intended for use in the car to keep baby from squinting) and cut a square just the right size to fit over the display on the clock.  Then I cut another one to put on top of that.  And because it came in a two-pack, Hadley won’t have to wear sunglasses in the car this summer!  


What’s on your nightstand?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

True love

love

Happy day before Valentine’s Day!  I hope your expectations aren’t in roses and chocolate and glittery cards.  Loving and being loved really don’t have anything to do with those, do they?  I used to have my feelings hurt if my husband didn’t somehow guess what would mean a lot to me.  Sheesh – how ridiculous is that? 

Here’s a story I think about every year in February.  For our first Valentine’s Day after we were engaged, my fiancĂ©e gave me a pretty wrapped box and inside was a used down vest from the thrift store.  I’m telling you that not to shame him but to share something I’ve learned… Jeff gave me that vest because 1) he wasn’t really skilled at the whole gift-giving thing (yet), 2) it was full of high quality down which he thought I would appreciate for cross-country skiing and 3) because he got such a great deal on a name-brand vest.  Great deals are my husband’s love language.  (I need to write Gary Chapman and tell him there are six languages not five).  At the time, I was sooooo disappointed and hurt and even offended.  But I was looking at that gift from the perspective of all the florist shop/jewelry store/Hallmark ads instead of as an expression of his love. 

PS - Jeff has never given me a used gift since and his gift-giving skillz are much-improved.  And I don’t really want him to spend money on Valentine’s gifts.  I’d much prefer doing something fun together.  Oh, and dark chocolate is nice.  The end.

Let’s vow to make this holiday about looking for ways to GIVE love not to receive it.  We already have the over-the-top love of our God.  If only we could experience and KNOW His love that is too great to fully understand!

On a completely unrelated note, we almost completely missed the great snow and ice storm of 2014 in Portland.   As we drove out of town on the morning of the 6th, snowflakes were just starting to fall.  We were up near Port Townsend, WA for a ministry staff retreat.  It was COLD there (in the teens and low 20’s) but no snow.  We watched the storm in Oregon via cell phone updates and knew the city was virtually shut down.  After the retreat we spent the night in Seattle where a couple of inches of snow fell.  We loved time with our kids and grandbaby and new grand-puppy.  Meet Biscuit...

biscuit

Despite my disproportionate fear of driving in inclement weather, we decided to head home on Sunday even though conditions in Portland were still pretty iffy.  The main roads had been cleared but side roads were still treacherous and temps were below freezing.  We had no problems at all and only slipped a teensy bit when we got on our street.  Schools were closed again on Monday and I almost landed on my bom bom in the grocery store parking lot.  Now?  Everything is melted and it’s almost 60°.   I missed the stay-in-the-house-drinking-cocoa-and-watching-the-snow-fall part but not the fear-of-driving part.

I hope you have a great Valentine’s day and a good weekend.  We’re having friends spend the night with us and I’ll make something chocolate for dessert.  Because every Valentine’s day should be celebrated with chocolate!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

June

This one touched me today on so many levels.

Sacrifice.
Adoption.
A mother's love.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

PS... get a kleenex!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Some Links I Liked


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@pixtale.net
These photos just floored me.  Take your time, please.



@maryannemorganblog
The gray days do come, but we have a God who rescues and heals, encourages and protects.



@aholyexperience
A man drove a stretch of highway past this tattered cardboard sign that read: “Honk if you’re happy.” And who doesn’t roll his eyes at such naivete?  
You need to read this post!



@Christianity Today
I love seeing what the body of Christ is doing in our city!



@Bake at 350
Cookies?  Really?  These are too much!  Only I know I could never have passed a note like this when I was in junior high.  Never.



@Joel C Rosenberg
As Christians, we know the Lord is sovereign — and this sovereign God commands us in the Scriptures to pray for our leaders.

This was written for me.



@Boo Mama
I think that during the first four or five years that we were married, I would have taken great offense to the fact that D didn’t react or respond to that whole situation exactly like I did. Now, of course, I can recognize that it was because I’d convinced myself that we needed to be essentially the same person, and I cried MANY A TEAR in those early years because we didn’t see everything the exact same way.

Loved this post on marriage… and can’t wait to get this book too.  Have you read Melanie’s first one?  How about Sophie’s?  I loved them both!
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