Saturday, March 29, 2014

Learned in March

Today I'm linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky who hosts a monthly 'Let's share what we've learned' party.  I love this idea!  So here are a few of the things I've learned this month...


1       It’s a good thing to break out of your routine and try a new coffee spot. 

That desire inside of me to run my own life and be my own god will never change.  It can’t be trained.  It won’t get better.  It can’t even be starved into submission.  But here’s the thing I’ve been thinking about and am still trying to grasp… 

You are not controlled by your sinful nature.  You are controlled
by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you…
therefore you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do!
Romans 8:9,12


A text picture a day helps shorten the miles between a grammy and her little one.  (I don’t quite get one a day but almost!)  I got these three earlier this month.

Even though you love the freedom of being able to leave home without the responsibility of having a dog, it’s fun to enjoy your grand-dogs.  (I have three.)  Biscuit seems to double in size every month.

Be as careful as you like but someone can still steal your identity.  I am one of almost a million people so far this year who are victims of tax return identity theft.  Even the police officer who came to my house to interview me said his wife’s SS# was used to file a fake return.  From The Examiner:  “While the exact numbers of fraudulent tax returns reported vary from source to source, identity thieves are exploiting a system in which the IRS does not process the W-2s and 1099s it receives for taxpayers until long after a refund is issued... All a fraudster needs is a name and Social Security number, a new address, a bank account or debit card number, and they are in business.”  So incredibly frustrating and annoying and time-consuming.  Grrr.  What I haven’t learned?  Where someone got my number and how it’s going to be used in the future. 

6      Some people really believe in vampires and werewolves, including the 20-something girls in my life group.  I did not know this.  I’m sure it is a direct result of all the movies they've watched.  They even told me 'It's in the bible somewhere, isn't it?'  I haven’t seen any of these movies so I don’t know what the message is but I do know that almost all of them struggle with bad dreams as a result.

There are lots of people who are as concerned as I am about the prospect of getting mugged when selling or buying something from a stranger on Craigslist and who are willing to meet you in a public place to make the exchange.  Here’s what we just bought in the parking lot of a motorcycle dealership:


What did you learn?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I need a counselor

{a re-post}

velvet chair on white background

For most of spring 2012, I spent time in the mornings trying to wrap my brain around the fact that God Himself lives in me and what that should actually look like in my life.  After all, if almighty, all-powerful God has chosen to make my life His earthly tent, I think I ought to be radically different than if He didn’t.

What an amazing time it has been in God’s word – chasing down as many references to the Holy Spirit as I could find and grouping them into categories so that I could see exactly what God promises to us in His Spirit.

One of the first things I did was to find as many names for and jobs of God’s Spirit as I could.  I’m sure there are lots of wonderful books that have been written doing that very thing but the joy of discovering these for myself was worth the effort.   Here are just a few:

Spirit of truth
Spirit of wisdom and understanding
Spirit of power
Spirit of knowledge
Spirit of adoption

I hope to come back to several of these in future posts but today I thought I’d share what I learned about the Counselor.

I started by making a list of things I need counsel in.  These could be all the things you’d ask God for advice about – from major life decisions to what to say to someone with questions about life to how to spend your money to how to be a better mom.  My list got longer and longer as I began to write.

Then I wrote out some of the verses I found where the Holy Spirit is described as a Counselor.

  • He promises to guide us when we need to know our next steps.  Daily!  Psalm 73:24 
  • He is not just an average counselor but He’s wonderfully wise and knows the right thing for us to do.  Isaiah 28:29
  • This Counselor will be with us forever – always available, always eager to direct us.  John 14:16
  • The Counselor living in us will tell others about God through our lives.  That's His job.  John 15:26
  • He even counsels us at night when many of us need it the most.  This is a big one to me.  Psalm 16:7

To know that this Wonderful Counselor has my very best interests in mind all the time and in every decision brings incredible peace.  I can trust Him.  He lines me up with God’s purposes and keeps from from blindly stumbling after my own - something I'm quite good at. 

Maybe you’re thinking of something right now in which you desperately need God’s direction or His perspective.  The situation seems impossible or completely overwhelming.  If you could sit with Him for 30 minutes face-to-face to get His advice, you would do it in a heartbeat. 

Could it be that He is already sitting and waiting for You?   His Spirit is eager to give you the very best counseling available.  He's always saying, "Come to Me."

Nothing and no one can help us like God’s Spirit.

God, open our eyes and help us understand this limitless resource of Your Spirit alive in us.  Help us go to You first.  Help us hear Your voice over our feelings.  Give us the desire to say ‘yes’ to what You tell us to do.

I will praise the Lord who counsels me.  Psalm 16:7

I hope you love this song as much as I do.  It says what I'm trying to say much better than I can.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Selfless love

This video, A Father's Sacrifice, is about the Vander Woude family and a father who gave his life to save his son.  Most fathers would do the same, I know.  But apparently this man lived his entire life with that same kind of selflessness and of course it had a big impact on his children.  

One of his seven sons says of his dad, "His legacy is selfless love." 

The impact this man had on his boys showed up last year when one of these young men, a priest, was counseling a couple who found out their in utero baby had Down Syndrome and planned an abortion.  He took it upon himself to find a family to adopt the baby before the scheduled abortion the next day.  You can read the story here.

I want to remember there are many people living out the two commandments Christ gave us - loving God and loving others as ourselves.  In a world that seems to be full of self-serving attitudes (mine foremost), I needed this reminder today of what every day is all about.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Links I Liked

earrings_vaneethaThere are more important things in life than walking
As I see the twisted gold shimmering, I am amazed at the beauty from what has been battered.

Let Go of the Lie
Because the Word is the only Life Hack that will hack up the lies from the pit and let you live free.

Margin for the Middle-Aged Mama
Although my actions don’t always reflect it, my heart wants to save my best for the four other people who share my home.

That Could Be Dangerous!
Maybe only children who grew up in or before the 70's can understand the absurdity of this.  We're the kids, who were kept from flying out the windshield by our mother's arm.  We're the kids, who crammed the metal seatbelts down into the seats because they were so hot, they'd permanently brand GM on your leg if you sat on them.

Dear Mom on the iPhone
I pictured your tiny girl spinning in her pretty dress as you completely ignored her, staring transfixed at your phone. What an image, right? An image I think was meant to bring you guilt and shame, written into a "kind" letter under the guise of giving you a gentle reminder that your kids won't be small forever.

The Uncomfortable (Wonderful) Truth About Doing What God Tells Us
My first thought was to respond that the hospital was 45 minutes away, that I am really an introvert and terrible in these situations, that I am overwhelmed…

Life is Too Short to do What You Hate
A German job-hunting website came up with a very clever ad campaign.  Their ads, placed on vending machines, gas pumps and ATMs feature unhappy employees crammed inside the device you are currently using.  Pretty clever!

Friday, March 14, 2014

I am Grammy

I am sure enjoying my new identity.  And it seems I have a new set of behaviors as well!

  1. I can spot another grandparent a mile away. 

  2. I am willing to drive clear across town to purchase a pack n play I found on Craigslist.

  3. My trip around the perimeter of the Tarjay aisles to check on clearance deals now always includes a tour through the baby section to see what’s new.  I have a big old drawer dedicated to what I find there (and anywhere else).

  4. I’ve always chuckled to myself when others brag about how smart their little grandson Wyatt is.  But I can honestly tell you that Hadley is very advanced.  

  5. 20140308_151832

    I would never brag though…
    she is only on the first book in this series for emergent readers.

  6. When we visit our kids I now have to be careful not to cruise right past my own daughters to greet that baby with a big kiss.  I’ve done it several times already… Yikes.

  7. It’s complete joy to watch my girls LOVE being aunties…

  8. Pinterest has morphed into a place to pin children’s books and toddler activities. 

  9. I think about how much fun it would have been to have Facetime with my mom when we lived so far away from her and the girls were little.  I act like a complete doofus in front of that computer monitor trying to get Hadley to smile.  I have no shame.

  10. I confess to extreme waves of jealousy over anyone who gets to see her more than I do.

  11. I have an excuse to put out bunnies and chicks again without any embarrassment.

  12. I am forever forwarding links to new mommy blog posts to my daughter.  “I thought you’d be interested in this step-by-step guide to making a bunting for the baby’s room.” ~or~  “Here’s one about getting your baby to sleep through the night.”  I’m sure she rolls her eyes but she always thanks me anyway because she is nice.

  13. There is nothing like watching the man you love being ‘Papa’. 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Baby time

We got to have Haddy-kins here this last weekend!  Six months old is such a fun age.

You can take baths in the kitchen.  You have the most kissable cheeks in the world.  You might stare at your great-grandma but you still let her hold you.


You are just starting to enjoy rice cereal and applesauce and squash.  You don’t quite have the hang of a spoon yet so your lunch tends to squirt every time you chomp down on the spoon.


You are completely fascinated by screens of any kind.


And because someone is always pointing a camera at you, you barely have a private moment!


{It is way too much fun to be a Grammy!}

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On my nightstand

Aren’t we all looking for something great to read?  We just want a book to LOVE.  

For whatever reason I have been enjoying a wonderful season of good books.  Here are a few more of my most recent…  Click on the image for a link to the book on Amazon.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Francis Chan writes about the Holy Spirit in a way that’s understandable and desirable and convicting all at once.  "My hunch is that most of you reading this book have basic knowledge about the Holy Spirit; but when it comes to experiencing the Spirit in your life, it's a different story.  Take a moment and ask yourself this question: When was the last time I undeniably saw the Spirit at work in or around me?"

Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale
Because of the work YWAM does in Ethiopia, this book was fascinating to me!  God is at work in miraculous ways.

killing lincoln
Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly
A great historical read and a gripping account of the days leading up to the assassination of the president.

love in the driest season
Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
This memoir of a reporter on assignment in Zimbabwe in the late nineties was a good and difficult story to read.  I related much of it to life in Ethiopia, especially the work ethic of the government agencies.  It was a bit agonizing for me to read about this couple trying to complete a private adoption without any licensed agency involvement – never, ever recommended.  I thought Tucker did a great job covering the political turmoil, the government bureaucracy and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic all within the context of his own softening heart toward an abandoned child.

one came home
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
I like to read the Newberry Honor books and this is one of the latest contenders.  This book and the next would both fall into the category of young adult fiction – often some of the best fiction out there, in my humble opinion.  This was an exciting, page-turning story about a girl living in the late 1800’s who refuses to believe that her older sister has been killed and who sets out to follow the evidence and find her alive. 

Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Set in the south in 1959, this story of an 11-year-old boy who takes over his friend’s paper route for a month in July draws you in from the start.  Although he can barely say a word without stuttering, he bravely forces himself to communicate. From the kind man who helps him so much to the lonely housewife with a drinking problem to his devoted housekeeper, these characters are each the kind that I love to get to know in a book.

Giving thanks today for the library in our town.  I have a whole lineup of books on the reserve list and I'll share the ones I think you might like too!  For others I've shared here on the blog, do a search using the word 'nightstand' in the search box up near the top.

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