Monday, April 30, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 245

Thanking God this week for...

2958. a healthy and growing 18-month-old with no developmental concerns
2959. free samples of yummy food
2960. a picnic lunch at the park with friends
2961. baby ducklings
2962. after-supper walks

2963. an orange bandaid to match Elijah's orange shirt (and a blue bandaid for a blue shirt...)
2964. my name on the list to sing with the IWU Alumni Chorale at Homecoming!!!
2965. a quick and easy soaked oatmeal recipe
2966. thought-provoking and winsome books
2967. lunch and great conversation with a sweet friend

2968. an awesome, humble, wonderful email from my one-in-a-billion husband
2969. windshield wipers
2970. black trees silhouetted against late-night fog
2971. the riches of His Word
2972. the way a Sunday Sabbath points to Christ and the gospel

2973. the way Steve and I work so well together as a team
2974. Steve's trust in me
2975. grace to apologize to Elijah (again, and again, and again...)
2976. Elijah: "When I have a birfday, I will be five! An' I'll have five cicadas." Me: " mean candles?" Elijah: "Yeah. Five candles."
2977. this super encouraging blog post

2978. the sweet friend who sent it to me
2979. diapers hanging in the sun
2980. laughing so hard I was in serious pain
2981. chocolate fountains
2982. more roadside strawberries, resulting in...

2983. strawberry shortcake for dinner
2984. bamboo walking sticks
2985. His steadfast love
2986. having compassion on me and treading my iniquities underfoot
2987. delivering my life from the pit and casting all my sins behind His back

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Life: Week 4

Still behind on the My Life photography challenge, but doing my best to finish up this week! Last week included...

day 23: my happy place [boys down for simultaneous afternoon naps!]

day 24: my favorite outfit [not an absolute fave, but something I like to wear]

day 26: my friends [bridal shower for a dear friend]

day 28: my view [looking up from my seat on the back patio]

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Monday, April 23, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 244

"G.K. Chesterton had offered: ‘Thanks is the highest form of thought‘… And Romans 1 concurs and expresses how non-thanks is the lowest form of thought — of life: “When we don’t give Him all thanks, all our thinking become futile.

Thanks is the highest form of thought — precisely because it rightly orders everything: Us laid low. Before God on High. But refuse to give God thanks? God lets our very lives become refuse. Our thinking becomes futile and God on High lets us live low.

It would make a strange but right cross-stitch and I’d do well to stitch it into the fabric of me: A lack of doxology leads to depravity."
--Ann Voskamp
Thanking God this week for...

2932. walks on the greenway with Steve and with a friend
2933. boys throwing rocks in the creek
2934. "jumping on the numbers" with Elijah
2935. delicious leftovers for lunch and supper
2936. Elijah loving and freely forgiving me after I've yelled at him

2937. gently, freely forgiving and helping me, not blowing up in anger when I sin
2938. organizing and purging accomplished, even in small amounts
2939. lots of time outside before the bugs send us inside as hostages
2940. Jude pointing to his body parts
2941. the beautiful comforts of Isaiah 40-44

2942. boys with healthy appetites
2943. plenty of nutritious food to feed them
2944. jars of peonies
2945. the opportunity to bless a friend with a  bouquet
2946. our friends' baby girl captivated by Elijah

2947. early morning snuggles with Jude
2948. an unexpected phone call from a dear friend
2949. Jude learning to climb up the playset to go down the slide all by himself
2950. the fact that neck pain is not a daily part of my life
2951. funny stuff on the internet that makes me laugh out loud

2952. new recipes, even if the instructions are a bit fussy/pretentious
2953. the ministry of Compassion International
2954. the privilege of helping "change the story" for an Indonesian girl and a Kenyan boy
2955. the opportunity to share about Compassion at church on Compassion Sunday
2956. five families at our church who signed up to sponsor children yesterday

2957. His compassion for us
2958. Jesus, who though he was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that we by his poverty might become rich

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Life: Week 3

Still kind of straggling behind with the My Life photography challenge, but here are this week's attempts:

day 15: my lunch [tuna cornbread cakes and roasted cauliflower]

day 16: my guilty pleasure

day 17: my favorite stuff

day 19: my hobby [the only one I keep up with these days with any sort of regularity, at least]

day 20: my breakfast [almond butter, banana and honey sandwich] 

Week 1
Week 2

Monday, April 16, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 243

Thanking God (a little late) this week for...

2900. Steve off work last Tuesday
2901. a family day outside
2902. healthy, strong legs for long walks
2903. our stroller and Boba carrier
2904. the astounding variety in creation

2905. the simple pleasures of throwing rocks into water

2906. bridges, bridges and more bridges

2907. deep conversations with Steve
2908. the relief of sitting down after all that walking
2909. Steve taking me through a process of analyzing/planning that he learned at work

2910. a dozen forceful, unsolicited, hilarious kisses from Jude
2911. Jude's worst fat lip to date was not inflicted by Elijah and was easily soothed by nursing

2912. plane tickets to NYC purchased for a fall girls' weekend with my mom and aunt!!
2913. the ability to read while running on my elliptical
2914. first peonies off our bushes

2915. my sweet friend Jessie's wonderful care for our boys over the last couple of years

2916. inspiration to do a little creative writing
2917. clean bathrooms
2918. Steve's parents here for the weekend
2919. demolished bathroom

2920. Grandma reading to the boys

2921. Steve and his dad working hard on the house
2922. first strawberry shortcake of the year
2923. Steve's humility and willingness to take my concerns seriously
2924. coffee and gospel encouragement from a dear friend

2925. awareness of temptation and grace to fight it
2926. the way He always, always does what's best for every one of His children
2927. replacing my fear and anxiety with His peace
2928. the fact that I can already run faster and longer on the elliptical than a week ago
2929. the new study our church is doing during Sunday school

2930. the beautiful group of ladies I get to learn and discuss it with
2931. holding my family's health and future in His good hands

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Life: Week 2

I definitely lost momentum during week two of Paper Coterie's My Life photography challenge...just not feeling it. Sigh. Here are the shots I did manage to capture:

day 8: my sunday

day 10: my transportation

day 11: my space [keeping it real!]

day 13: my evening [the ONLY appropriate way to eat strawberry shortcake]

Still hoping to capture the missing shots before the month is out.

Week 1

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ten on Ten: April 2012

Today was the first time I've managed to do Ten on Ten since my first time participating last November. I had my camera out alllll day, but you know, it is really hard to get *good* shots hourly(ish)! Even when I stretch it to "taken within the 4-5 window" rather than more precisely on the hour. Most of my best pictures from today were taken in a two-hour window--so it's kind of annoying because I can only use a couple of those, and then I'm scrambling to take a picture of something stupid like chopped onions later in the day. Alas.

Steve had the day off after working all weekend, so we declared a family day. It was a perfectly gorgeous day for a six-mile walk!


Monday, April 09, 2012

Multitude Monday, Take 242

"...look for reasons to be thankful and encouraged. Instead of assuming you have missed life, look for signs of life. Instead of assuming that God is absent, look for his presence. Instead of assuming that God's promises have failed, look for signs of the good things he has promised. Celebrate life even when you don't see it, knowing that your problem isn't that God is absent or unfaithful, but that there are times when all of us simply don't see him very well." (Paul Tripp, Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It)

Thanking God this week for...

2860. the ability to type quickly
2861. the ability to think clearly and critically
2862. Steve fixing our cars much more cheaply than taking them somewhere
2863. clean sheets
2864. long walks through our beautiful neighborhood

2865. showy pink azaleas everywhere
2866. Elijah learning to clean up the messes he makes
2867. pansies all over reminding me of my grandmother
2868. Elijah's new favorite pastime of blowing/twirling dandelion seeds
2869. boys letting me sleep in after a late night

2870. a long phone chat with a dear friend
2871. conversations that sharpen me
2872. gorgeous weather to sit outside while the boys play
2873. opportunities to hash through theology with Steve
2874. ducks and turtles at the park

2875. Jude fearlessly going down the big slides on his belly (feet-first)
2876. the scent of grapefruit
2877. the sweet, fruity Riesling that Steve just finished brewing and bottling
2878. appliances that make life unimaginably easier
2879. the beautifully satisfying end to season 2 of Downton Abbey

2880. cloudless, crisp blue sky
2881. Elijah imagining that the honking geese were talking about his cornflakes
2882. lunch at Chick-Fil-A
2883. kid-sized carts at "Joe's"
2884. Elijah carefully arranging groceries in his

2885. happy bouquet of miniature tulips
2886. free, healthy kid treats at Whole Foods
2887. a free cinnamon dolce frappuccino
2888. time alone to journal, think, pray
2889. a phone conversation with my mentor

2890. her understanding and encouragement
2891. reminders of His unchanging love
2892. boys inhaling warm blueberry muffins
2893. trees of all sizes and shapes and shades of green
2894. Steve doesn't usually have to work on the weekends

2895. eyes to see my sin
2896. being given far more than I have given, even just in an earthly sense among humans
2897. Christ's sacrifice on the cross
2898. the separation from God that He endured so I wouldn't have to
2899. His tomb is empty and He lives!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

My Life: Week 1

This month I'm participating in Paper Coterie's My Life photography challenge. I've started these things at least two or three times in the last few months, but I've made it to day 7 this time, so I'm hopeful about completing the project!

The task is to document a different element of your life every day for the month of April. Some are simple to snap a quick photo; others require some thinking and choosing before you can even begin to compose a shot. I'm having fun so far--it's definitely good for me to have my camera out more--and thought I would do a weekly blog post with each week's collection of photos.

day 1: my home
day 2: my handwriting

day 3: my smile

day 4: my reflection

day 5: my favorite shoes

day 6: my morning

day 7: my town

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Really Amazing Thing

"I cry out to God Most High,
     to God who fulfills his purpose for me."
Psalm 57:2

Yet another version of that beautiful promise from Philippians 1:6 and Job 23:14 : God WILL complete the good work He began in me. His purpose is to conform me to the image of His Son, and it WILL be fulfilled! That's just who God is: "God-who-fulfills-his-purpose-for-me."

But notice the juxtaposition of these two lines: He is God Most High, subject to no one, unsurpassed in greatness, unmatched in the universe. He is glorious and mighty, exalted far above all. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Who am I? Just one of six billion people on the planet today; just one of countless millions who have lived since Eden. When  you consider all that this Most High God has to control and direct and keep track of--the universe of stars and planets, let alone the workings of our planet alone, the winds and waves, governments and kings, animals from the rhinoceros to the gnat, invisible viruses and is it that He even knows my name?

But He doesn't just know my name; He knows how many hairs are on my head! and He not only knows all about me, my every thought before I speak--He loves me. His is not a detached, clinical knowledge; it is a knowing and loving, knowing and choosing, knowing and adopting and redeeming and transforming. How is it that this Most High God could have a purpose for me, much less one so grand as to make me like His Son?

It seems to me that the really amazing thing isn't that God fulfills His purposes--that seems so obvious as to be self-evident. Of course He does; who could thwart the Most High? No, the incredible thing is that He has a purpose for me at all.

And yet it's true. Praise His name.

What He Desires, That He Does

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ 4.3.12

I was on a once-a-month kick with this for most of last year, but haven't done one of these since December. So, a little Simple Woman's Daybook for this afternoon, to come out of the recent blogging lull...

Outside my window...
abundant sunshine, and enough heat that we caved and turned on the air conditioner. On April 3. OY! In other news, we also have gotten our first mosquito bites already--in March. Are you kidding me? The neighborhood is beautiful, though--we enjoyed these sights on our morning walk:




I am thinking...
that I'm working on borrowed time; the boys will be up soon and there is still so much I wanted to accomplish today...

I am thankful for...
women who trust me with their hearts.

From the kitchen...
probably going to make salmon croquettes for dinner (doesn't that sound so much more sophisticated and delicious than "fried salmon patties"--ew--which is basically what they really are?). I'm pondering the possibility of making a traditional Passover meal on Thursday night--which means I need to get going with printing recipes and grocery shopping.

I am wearing...
too-small jean shorts (ugh...none of my favorite clothes fit!), a gray tank top and a pink t-shirt, plus the black Reef flip-flops that generally don't come off my feet from April-September. I have just about worn completely through the soles in one spot, so I may have to invest in a new pair this year.

I am creating...
that prayer guide for parents that I first mentioned the better part of a year ago--I really have been working on it. I also created some cards over the weekend for the first time in a long while. It feels good to get my supplies out and be creative...I need to make time for that kind of thing more often, and provide creative outlets for my children.

I am going...
to be joining a little "Biggest Loser" competition with some friends starting on Sunday. I don't have a ton to lose, just about ten extra pounds or so, but I definitely need to lose them so I don't have to buy a bunch of new clothes. This competition is just the motivation I need to get back in shape with exercising and eating better since my internal motivation seems to have gone missing.

I am reading...
a variety of books: just finished Treasured: Knowing God by the Things He Keeps and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5). I'm thinking and arguing my way through Doug Wilson's Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education (a bit frustrating at times since his tone makes it clear that the subtitle would more accurately read, "THE Approach"--but still very helpful and provocative). My Kindle switches back and forth between Reliving the Passion, a Lent devotional (only $3.99 for Kindle!), and Paul Tripp's Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It. And I've now picked up The Fellowship of the Ring, in an attempt to give the famed Lord of the Rings trilogy a fair trial. I haven't touched Tolkien since reading and hating The Hobbit in junior high, but I've discovered a few fantasy series I've loved since then, so we'll see.

Bible-wise, I'm in Isaiah and Psalms. Loving the reading plan I'm using, though struggles to get up early have left me a little behind recently.

I am hoping...
to book plane tickets for an exciting trip soon.

I am hearing...
the sounds of Elijah talking to and for his stuffed animals instead of napping :) Plus lots of bird songs, and loud trucks driving by.

Around the house...
laundry needing to be folded (Jude likes to "help")...

books scattered everywhere...

"hopscotch" squares on the patio...


...and the anticipation of progress on projects! Steve's parents are coming soon, which means he and his dad can work on the house. Yippee! My arbitrary goal for myself is to have the upstairs bathroom painted before they get here--which means I need to decide on a paint color...

One of my favorite things...
a shower at the end of a long, hot day and then climbing into bed with fresh, clean sheets.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
unlike the last few, this is a pretty low-key week. I'm looking forward to prayer with friends tonight, and hoping to take the boys downtown to run a couple of errands and enjoy Centennial Park later this week. Steve has to work all weekend, so I'm not looking forward to that--but the reward is extra vacation days, one of which we plan to use next week by checking out the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail. I've been told there's a huge railroad trestle bridge that Elijah will just love.

A picture thought I am sharing...
I think I've shared plenty of those already :) Happy Tuesday!