Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some Saturday Links

Judging Pop Culture - Stuff Christians Like

Why God Doesn't Fully Explain Pain - Desiring God

Springy Shells - The Pioneer Woman (I'm totally going to make this recipe. Did I just say 'totally?')

I'm Not A Doctor But I Play One On The Interweb - BooMama

Tribute to Michael Jackson - Big Mama

Dropcloth Drapes - The Lettered Cottage (Loved this idea! I'm cheap like that. I'm totally going to try these. Totally.)

Shopping In Your House - Nesting Place

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Teeny Bit OCD

For some summer entertainment, our family is watching 'Monk' checked out from the library. I had never seen the show on tv so it's been fun to start at Season 1. I love that guy. And I feel like I can relate to him in some frightening ways. He is a germ-o-phobe which I'm not and obsessed with order and neatness which I am to a certain extent.

For instance, I totally get why he can't pass the umbrella rack in the entry without turning all of the handles to face the same direction. If I eat M & M's (notice I said 'if'), I tend to group them in little like-color piles before eating them in order so that there are always the same number of each color left. It's scary even admitting that out loud. I used to count tiles on the floor and bricks on a path but I guess I'm making progress because I don't do that anymore. However, I do faithfully open the lid of the water compartment of my coffee maker to let it dry out each day - imagine the germs growing in that warm, wet environment!

The good thing is I know I'm not totally OCD because in all honesty, I like things to LOOK clean more than I care if they really ARE clean. Hence, the state of a few of my closets and cupboards.

My sweet mother was a neatnik to the 'nth' power. Her drawers each contained boxes or dividers for everything. The 'junk' drawer in the kitchen looked like something out of The Container Store - a box for gum, another for thumbtacks, another for playing cards, etc.. etc.. Her dresser drawer was divided neatly into separate compartments for nylons, footies, scarves and undies. She folded plastic bags into tidy squares and washed cans thoroughly before putting them in the recycling container. I admired her organizational tendancies but I know it also brought her a good bit of frustration when it came to keeping up with all of those habits - living in the real world with messy people tends to do that.

I remember as a young mother feeling extremely frustrated with keeping the house picked up and eventually decided that living with some chaos was better than becoming a grouchy, naggy mom. I recall the day I decided to let it go - and it felt good! Even my mom told me that when our family with three little girls had left their house after a weekend visit, she would leave the hand-prints on the sliding glass door just to enjoy the memory of those chubby little hands and grinning faces.

Now, things around the house stay pretty much picked up. But I have to be honest - I still have a few issues to address:

I told you I'm only a teeny bit OCD - this proves I'm healthy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Living on the Safe Side

Most of my life has been spent finding the people and circumstances with which I felt the most 'in control' and comfortable. I'm not proud of that fact but it's really true.

God has been challenging me to trust Him over the last couple of years, in ways that go right to the heart of my 'comfort and control' issue. Going to Ethiopia. Moving without a job. Letting go of each of my girls.

That's why I loved this post titled "Fear of Life" by Jennifer at Conversion Diary. She has an incredible gift of putting her big thoughts into very relatable words. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments here!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Give Up.

I've been anticipating two of my girls coming home from college this summer. I've been cleaning in their bedrooms, washing sheets and stocking the kitchen cupboards and fridge with lots of the things I know they love (crackers, nuts, cereal, fresh fruit, lemonade, iced tea, cookies, yada yada yada).

Today, when they first walked into the house (after unloading a van and a car full of stuff), one opened the pantry and stood there looking up and down at the shelves. The other walked up behind her, looked over her shoulder and asked, "Is there anything in there to eat?"

"Nope. Nothing."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Reading

One of my all time favorite activities is curling up with a good book. I remember when I was in elementary school that I loved to go to the library, especially in the summer when my time was all my own, to check out a whole stack of chapter books. I loved how they smelled, how their soft, worn pages felt and what places they took me.

I grew to love several authors - Elizabeth Enright, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Louisa May Alcott, Walt Morey, Beverly Cleary and Lucy Montgomery. I loved a good series! I'd re-read many many books because it felt so good to be taken back to a familiar story.

This summer, I'm going to re-read some of my childhood favorites! Books like...

How about you? What were your favorite chapter books as a kid?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Grace

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Come Thou Found of Every Blessing
John Wyeth and Robert Robertonson

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Totally Random

One thing I'm learning about blogging - it's really good to have something to say that all of your two readers might be interested in reading. But what about those days/weeks/months when everything you think of writing is about as interesting as vacuuming?

So... today you're going to read about what I've been doing, reading and pondering. Click on over to another website now if you're not up to the challenge!

I have one more week of this empty nest (how long do you call it that before it just becomes "the home of two people whose kids come home from college a lot on weekends?"). I will miss not really thinking about what to make for dinner (as I'm married to the most easy-going guy in the world in that department), having a bathroom all to myself and lots of time with that easy-going guy I love. I look forward to live-in girlfriends, long talks and the activity that comes along with having the girls in the house.

I'm starting 'The Patriarchs' bible study but have to do it without the dvds so I know I'm missing a lot. I finished 'Esther' last month and absolutely loved it. I would never want to call myself a Beth Moore groupie but I'm afraid I'm pretty close to being one. She did sit very close to me at a small gathering not long ago:

I am in one of the most wonderful times of my life right now. God has moved us from the desert back to the Northwest, clearly leading us to go without knowing where we'll work or what we'll do. In this economy and with the current unemployment rate, only God's blessing could account for the peace we feel. It's been a time of refreshing and renewing and both of us feel that God is up to something big - we're just not sure what it is! Last night at church we heard a message out of Deuteronomy about preparing for God to move us into something out of our comfort zone. While that could scare me to death - and has in the past - I know that His purposes are good and they're always for my best.

I am having lots of fun in the garden. We're living in the house I grew up in and I'm rediscovering all the things my mom planted in the yard that were designed to bloom at varying times of the spring and summer. Right now we have red poppies, pink peonies (I love peonies but how come no one ever told me you need to stake them? - mine are on the ground), roses and dahlias. I forgot about slugs. Slugs are a disgusting fact of life here and will eat everything you plant if you're not vigilant. I'm going to ask God - why slugs?

I'm reading mysteries at night. I always like to read something mindless at night before bed. I rarely find a really well-written mystery (any suggestions out there?). I'm getting ready to re-read the Mitford series, which is among my very favorite fiction and something I re-read every few years - it's that good.

I'm on the hunt for comfortable sandals for summer. Boy there are some cute and cruel sandals out there.

We just last month completed our first Ethiopian adoption with the Adoption Ministry I'm working for. I can't think of too many things I've had the privilege to be involved in that have brought more joy and satisfaction than this:

Okay, I will now end this post with a link to one I read today that I thought was a hoot and took me back to the time (just the other day, wasn't it?) when my own little ones were not fun to take to the grocery store: Going Krogering
If I can't write something clever, funny or interesting, the least I can do is refer you to someone who can. You're welcome.
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