Saturday, August 30, 2014

Links I Liked

How Your Biggest Questions Can Save Your Faith
“Mom?” she asks. “Why would God think it’s OK to kill Goliath? Isn’t all murder wrong?”

Going Back to School: The 1970s vs Today
If you could have been one of the kids in that picture, you might laugh with me at this one.  (There is some language in this post.)

23 Things You Need to Know About Oregon Before You Move There
#4 It rains but not as much as you think.

Sexuality and Christian Hope
Maybe the best message I’ve heard on this topic.  Listen online or download to listen later!
Christianity presents a revolutionary view of sex, singleness, and marriage that rejects both traditional and modern conceptions of the purpose of sex.

Soap Under the Sheets for Restless Legs
Have you heard of this?  I know people who swear it works for them.  I am a skeptic.

Long lost photos show what hasn't changed about motherhood in 50 years
The 83-year-old photographer found a box titled "Mothers," filled with beautiful images of women and their children.

More and better words for difficult kids
The biggest impression on children isn’t made by income, nutrition, or quality of education – as researchers had predicted. The most profound effect on a child’s development is made by words. The words of parents.Could this be applied to difficult people?

Tired of this song yet?  Made me laugh...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our birthday girl

Today is the day, just one year ago, that this little rascal came into the world...

We celebrated her birthday a bit early this month so that her auntie who has now moved to Montana could be at her party.  On that beautiful Sunday morning in Seattle, we started off the day at church where Hadley was dedicated to God.  She wore a fluffy pink dress and some sweet gold sandals…

The birthday girl had just woken up from a nap here so her cheeks are still rosy and her eyes a bit glazed from sleep!  I ask you... is that a cherub or what?

Proud Mommy and Daddy
Do you see that little dimple on the right cheek of both daddy and daughter?

I love this picture because it captures Biscuit's typical expression…
Why is everyone always fussing over this baby?  What about ME?
Biscuit is always right in the middle of everything, hoping against hope that someone will pay more attention to her.  (Don't worry, she gets LOTS of attention!)

So glad Nana (great-grandma) got to come with us!

I am not sure about this hat thing.

But THAT sure looks good! 

I always love to dig through a good handbag and now I have one of my very own!

This new book is enthralling!  These words are fascinating!

You might think I am sweetly kissing this new dolly but you would be wrong. 
I am trying to bite off the headband.

Spanning four generations

Haddykins is getting ready to walk any day now!  She loves to stand up and pound on anything flat.  Boxes make excellent drums and she is pretty proud of her percussion skills!

I’ll finish up with my favorite shot of the day…

When your tutu rides up and exposes your diaper, the chubby rolls on your legs divert attention.  Oh my heart!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The UNpublished Good

I just love all the video clips and articles that people are posting on FB, blogs and news sites about folks who do incredibly unselfish things for others.  The guy who gives a stranger his carThe one who spends every Sunday cutting hair for the homeless.  Or the 99 year old woman who sews dresses for little girls in Africa.

After all, it’s not hard for depression to set in if you watch the news very often.  But there are so many incredibly wonderful people in this world – and I need to remember that when I start thinking the whole world is only full of evil.

All of these great stories have me thinking that I need to be much more intentional about doing good.  Then my thoughts go something like…

What could I do that would make a big impact like some of the people in these stories? 
Who could I help in a big way? 
Surely there are more important things I could be doing.

As my mind wanders along those lines, God reminds me...  Doing good doesn’t have anything to do with making a BIG impact and it certainly isn’t about being recognized for it.  It doesn’t tend to be flashy or fancy or impressive.  In fact, doing good is most often mundane, ordinary and inconvenient

Please Help
In our digital age, it’s not unusual for someone’s good deed to be filmed and posted for everyone to see.  But God knows that anonymity is really best for us.  Doing things that are seen only by the Father is some of the highest, biggest, most important good we can ever do.

Here’s a quote I love from Hinds Feet on High Places (which I first read in 1978 so it’s a memory from my ancient past – time to reread this one!):

"The little wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach.  They offer themselves so sweetly, confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them... 

All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories and its most splendid achievements, are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.  Every inner response of the human heart to love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of love.  

Many a quiet, ordinary and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a place of delight where the King of love Himself walks and rejoices with His friends.  Some of My servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men.  But always, their greatest victories are like the wild flowers - those which no one knows about."
                                                                                          ~Hannah Hurnard

Like the guy who stopped to tie an elderly man’s shoe in the grocery store… he had no idea someone would take a picture of his kindness.

Lord, help me to love and give and do good and especially when no one but You will ever know.  Help me conquer my love for Self by quietly loving others.  Let my motivation be You and not the recognition or thanks I might get.  How amazing to think about my hidden life being a delight to You!  I want that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

God was showing off all weekend

Ps8 HaveACupWithMe
God’s creative power shows up all around me, everyday.  It’s in every sunrise.  It’s in the purple weed-flower poking up through a crack in the driveway.  It’s in the glimpse I get of my husband’s profile that makes me catch my breath to realize what God has done for me in my marriage. 

But sometimes when I get away from my ‘normal’ He overwhelms me. 

We were at the beach this last weekend and clouds were in the forecast.  That’s completely normal for the Oregon coast and it didn’t bother me one bit since our temps have been stuck in the 90’s for much of August.  It doesn’t matter that it’s cloudy if you’re at the ocean. 

But we had sunshine and blue skies every day!  We spent three nights sharing a cabin - The Glory Be - with our old friends.  We laughed, we ate, we did a jigsaw puzzle, we walked on the beach, we read, we reminisced, we shopped, we drank coffee, we told stories on each other, we played Zilch.  At night we made a campfire on the beach and made s’mores.

The darker it got, the more stars appeared in the heavens above us until there were a gazillion points of light.  The Milky Way washed across the sky from one end to the other.  It was absolutely stunning.  I don't have a picture but even if I did, it wouldn't do justice to what we witnessed as we tipped back in our chairs with our chins in the air and our mouths open. Sydney brought her guitar and we sang to the Creator under that incredible canopy of light.

It’s falling from the clouds, a strange and lovely sound
I hear it in the thunder and the rain
It’s ringing in the skies like cannons in the night
The music of the universe plays

Singing You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars declare who You are
I’m so unworthy but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are

Beautiful and free, the song of galaxies
Reaching far beyond the Milky Way
Let’s join in with the sound, come on let’s sing it out
As the music of the universe plays

All glory and power is Yours, Amen!
~Phil Wickham

Friday, August 15, 2014

On my nightstand

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
This was a re-read for me but so worth it!  It’s a sweet children’s story (but every adult should read it) about a china rabbit who has some pride issues and how his life experiences show him what real love is… loving others not loving Self so much.

What Happens When Women Say YES to God by Lysa TerKeurst
My new favorite book.  Simple obedience brings incredible joy, satisfaction, adventure and the ability to hear God’s voice.  I will be buying my own copy of this one!

Wonder by RJ Palacio
This is a young adult book but also a good read for old adults.  I almost didn’t stick with it but I’m so glad I did.  It’s about a boy, written mostly from his perspective, with severe physical deformities who goes to 5th grade in public school for the first time.  I thought it was fascinating to think about what that might be like and how a child would handle the pressure.  In the end, this boy absolutely shines!

I mentioned that I was going to read The Nesting Place in my last ‘Nightstand’ post and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  A book about decorating your home sounds like fluff but the whole premise is how to make your home warm, welcoming and a reflection of the call God has on your family.  LOVED it.

I am also now reading In the Land of Blue Burqas and enjoying it a lot!  Boy do women in Afghanistan live different and very difficult lives.  I like having my perspective stretched just a bit, don’t you?

We've been having baby dedications, early birthday parties, goodbyes and getaways with dear friends... I'll share more soon!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A few inspiring videos

This first one is just kind of fascinating...

Can you imagine doing this?  I wish I had.

One of many videos out lately about real beauty...

The change in this man simply by giving him music from his past is absolutely remarkable.

You have to try this if you haven't yet - it totally works and has changed my attitude toward corn on the cob.  Well worth 22 seconds of your time to save yourself from the dreaded 'shucking and cornsilk mess'.  It's kinda magical!

And we'll end with an old folks version of a popular music video.  Oh if only every retirement home contained a little bit of this!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Phone photos

Sometimes the photos on your phone can tell a story in themselves.

Or write a blog post for you.

Here are a few of mine in no particular order.  Except, first things first…

Aren’t binky smiles just adorable?  Along with arm and leg rolls, navy stripes and babies who can crawl but not run away (yet).  This was an impromptu picnic Lisa and Hadley met me for one day after working up in Puyallup.  SO FUN!

I took a photo of Biscuit’s paw because, well, look at it!  She is still growing into her feet.
She is enormous but her size is no indication of her maturity level.  She is all puppy.

This was a fun working weekend at our friends’ cabin – the boys put some steps into a grassy slope leading to the back door.  These dudes worked hard and us girls cooked their supper.  And dreamed about a jubilee trip to take to celebrate 40 years of friendship!

A wonderful Mother’s Day surprise – our youngest appeared unexpectedly on the front porch with a bouquet of lilies.  Best Mother’s Day in a long time!

Of course she brought her dog, Tala, and a foster dog, Moose.  Always an extra dog in tow.

Notice the deck surface, stripped of stain?  So that’s been another project for Jeff this summer.

All that’s left are the top railings!  It’s been very warm here the last several weeks (90°+) so this has meant a race against the sun before it starts shining on the deck.

Plus our front door is now looking clean and shiny and new, thanks to my detail-oriented husband.  If left to me, I would have painted it right where it hangs.  But not Jeff.  He carefully covered the doorway with plastic, took the door off the hinges and laid it on saw-horses, removed the hardware, taped and primed it like you're supposed to do THEN painted it black.  I’m so glad he’s not like me.  Most of the time.

I am loving the new dinner plate dahlias this year and love them in the house especially.

And lots of fruit!  Oh the joys of summer.  These are blackberries Jeff picked along a bike path.  They are crammed into our refrigerator with watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, grapes, cherries, and…

really sweet tomatoes from the garden.  These are eaten daily on sandwiches, in salads and just popped in your mouth for a burst of sweetness. 

The cherry tomato plant is thriving.

The heirloom?  Not so much.  I have no idea what’s wrong with it either.  Same basic location.  Same water and fertilizer.  It’s actually still producing fruit so I shouldn’t worry but boy does it look terrible.  No visible bugs or mildew.  Anyone?

These monsters have to be 9’ tall.  I’ve never grown sunflowers before and they are fun to watch.  But do you have to stake them?  Because this is happening…

Some are growing sideways then up.  Did I overcrowd them?  Should I have built supports?
What is the proper sunflower etiquette?

The last pic was taken a week ago at our Adoption Ministry of YWAM family picnic.  I love it because Jeff is showing a little boy - who he has taken many pictures of at our orphanage in Ethiopia - how to use his camera.  The joy of seeing this bright and happy guy with his sister, also adopted from Ethiopia through YWAM, is truly overwhelming.  I love God’s goodness in staging a photo op like this! 

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