Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Shack - continued...

Went shopping w/ a friend yesterday & ended up discussing The Shack much of the time - just kept coming back to it over & over. And I've fielded comments on my blog re: my last post & via e-mail & phone - & even before I read the book it generated much discussion w/ others - esp. those in my book group -- as we agreed to read it next - but I kept procrastinating bc I wasn't sure I wanted to or should & I almost bailed on them - but now I'm looking forward to our next mtg :) I've not enjoyed this much "below the surface" dialogue w/ others in a long time - & given that Christianity is relationship(!) as opposed to religion - I think that's a good thing!

It's thought provoking
... but thoughts are exactly what need to be provoked before a conversation (relationship?!) can even begin. I wish(!) the Bible prompted this same level of interest & holy curiosity but perhaps it doesn't bc so many avoid it - as I did for a time w/ both the Bible & more recently w/ The Shack. One BIG difference I see between God's Word & The Shack is that God's Word is Truth! The Shack is fiction(!) that prompts its readers to consider things they'd typically avoid, intentionally or unintentionally, & in some cases...like the plague.

If those who haven't read the Bible would just read it(!) for themselves & if those who only read the Bible to "find God" would just try looking for Him in other places as well, I hafta think the world would be a much different/better place.

"You might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in Creation, or in your joy & sorrow. My ability to communicate is limitless, living & transforming, & it will always be tuned to Papa's goodness & love. And you will hear & see me in the Bible in fresh ways. Just don't look for rules and principles; look for relationship -- a way of coming to be with us."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Didn't want to or know if I should - but I did - read "this"

I didn't really want to - wasn't sure I should - based on all the controversy surrounding it - & only after several people read it who I admire a great deal, I did it -- I read The Shack. Now, I think the book is in worse shape than I am for it ... as I dog-eared pages, underlined things & noted questions it prompted, etc.

Some tho'ts: - First, it's fiction & clearly identified as such. Second, few stories have prompted me to think so deeply that midway thru I prayed for discernment to sense what was more accurately represented & what was not (
realize I should do this much more often! - Editorial note: & here is where I think perhaps/wonder if God may use this book to His glory - assuming it prompts others to do the same). I liked how it explained the concept of relationship vs. religion - but I'm left w/ some big issues that I'm wrestling with: First: I sensed the Trinity being represented at times as the absence of authority (or perhaps as the absence of the need for authority ....hard to explain!) - & perhaps this quote best sums up my overall concern: "You're not supposed to do anything. You're free to do whatever you like." - but I wrestled here (Legalism vs. Freedom in Christ) before I read the book too. And Third, while it addressed the freedom we each have to choose to pursue a personal relationship w/ God or not, it seemed to downplay the eternal consequences of ultimately choosing not to.

Following are some lines (some paraphrased) that prompted some really deep tho't:

I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature. ... For me to appear to you as a woman & suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.

He (Mack/main character) believed, in his head at least, that God was a Spirit, neither male nor female, but in spite of that he was embarrassed to admit to himself that all his visuals for God were very white & very male.

Does freedom mean that you are allowed to do whatever you want to do?

Freedom is a process that happens inside a relationship with him. Then all that stuff you feel churnin' around
inside will work its way out.

That is the wonder & adventure of exploration, a piece of what you call science - to discern & discover what we have hidden for you to find. .... Ask any person who has a passion to explore & discover & create. The choice to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift inside the process of life.

Pearls .... The only precious stone made by pain, suffering & - finally - death. (My note: this gave new insight to me re: the parable of the Pearl of great price)

Perhaps it was bc humans are so utterly lost & independent that we take what is simple & make it complex.

As well-intentioned as it might be, you know that religious machinery can chew up people!

I'm not too big on religion...not very fond of politics or economics either....They are the man-created trinity of terrors that ravages the earth.

...just bc I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. ... Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.

Faith does not grow in the house of certainty.

Give a man an inch & he thinks he's a ruler.

...reconciliation is a two way street, & I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way.

So, check your perception, & beyond that check the truthfulness of your paradigms - what you believe. Just bc you believe something firmly does't make it true. Be willing to reexamine what you believe. The more you live in the truth, the more your emotions will help you see clearly. But even then, you don't want to trust them more than me.

But you gotta admit, rules & principles are simpler than relationships.

You might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in Creation, or in your joy & sorrow. My ability to communicate is limitless, living & transforming, & it will always be tuned to Papa's goodness & love. And you will hear & see me in the Bible in fresh ways. ...

...verbs are what makes the universe alive.

The trouble w/ living by priorities ... is that it sees everything as a heirarchy......If you put God at the top .....how much is enough? How much time do you give me before you can go on about the rest of your day, the part that interests you so much more ...I don't just want a piece of you ......I want all of you....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sugarhouse Open house in VT

This weekend was maple sugarhouse open house for the entire state of VT. We took a Sunday drive to a 210 year old farm w/ a sugarhouse - enjoyed a tour. Learned a lot! Seemed like such a nice family - & a simple way of life this city girl would love the chance to try sometime! It was an overcast & rainy day - perfect for a long drive, a book, a nap & some fun w/ family - which is what we did. Am anxious try some new recipes we got & the goodies we bought ... pure cider jelly, cinnamon cider syrup (blend of boiled cider & pure maple syrup w/ a cinnamon stick inside each bottle!) & pure maple syrup!

If your mouth is watering...you can order some here: www.woodscidermill.com

p.s. thank you honey - for driving the whole time & a wonderful/fun/restful day!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Simple!! Homemade (sort of) Pickles

Claussen Pickles. YUM! ... When the originals were gone, I sliced up cucumbers & put them in the juice that was left & they're YUM too! Try it! :)

What (curriculum) goes around comes around

Strike chose this curriculum for next yr/7th grade (we're using it for Science, Math, Language Arts, History & Geography - but not Bible) We used this - Alpha Omega Lifepacs - when we first began homeschooling - in part bc back then, when I was doing the choosing, purchasing a prepackaged/all inclusive curriculum just seemed the easiest way to get started. As I learned more about what was available (& there's SO much!), I created more of a custom curriculum using different materials from different publishers for different subjects. This year it's a mix of DVD curriculum, cd's & texts. So - it seems kinda strange that after all we've learned together in 7yrs of of exploring our options by perusing annual conventions, websites, catalogues & from experience, - that in a sense we've come full circle & have ended up right back where we started using those same pre-packaged/all inclusive materials. The big difference this time around is that Strike chose it - for herself :)

I'm feeling so blessed - to enjoy the freedom to homeschool & the luxury of having so many options in that regard. Strike is already excited about next year bc the choice was hers & I'm excited too - bc the choice was hers & bc she chose an affordable & relatively simple option for me to administer even tho' she didn't choose it for those reasons. I purchased it today, was thrilled to get a good deal & free shipping on ebay & to be done w/ it - for now.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I miss this....

I guess you can tell from my recent posts - that I'm thinking a lot about how quickly my kids are growing up - feeling a bit pressured by it all - & rather reminiscent too. Strike will be 12 soon! This is one of my alltime favorite pics of her when we went cherry picking in OR - & she was so dressed up for the occasion! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

There's no time like the present to do "this"

As parents, one of our goals is to provide our kids w/ a well rounded knowledge & appreciation of the world around them & a solid foundation of necessary skills & understanding to navigate their way thru' it successfully, in due time.

.... it's in the "successfully & in due time" that I'm feeling more rushed w/ each passing day!

If preventing & solving problems are keys to success, then making the world a better place - as opposed to adding to the chaos - is success (for more on that see my last post :). So - I'm making a more (than ever!) concerted effort to encourage my kids to consistently leave wherever they are a better place than it was when they got there - & - in a similar but different sense, if someone needs something, I want my kids to do something(!) about it.

My kids are growing up - ( insert :) & :( tears here ) - & as much as I want them to need me, they really should be needing me less, relying on God more, & needing to be needed more themselves.

Since there's no time like the present to do what needs to be done now(!), I'm encouraging my kids to consistently do just that. If I'm successful, I'm convinced they will be too ... in due time :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Success = doing something - right!

Seems there's SO much complaining! & time spent trying to get someone else to "do something!!" Assuming the supply & demand principal applies here, there's a goldmine of opportunity in the plentiful supply of problems begging for solutions!

I want our children to be successful (who doesn't?!) so I'm encouraging them to buck the trend of creating problems & making things worse - by daring to be different & trying to make things better by solving problems! Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I think my time will best be spent (invested!) emphasizing preventing problems in the first place - which boils down to consistently making good choices. Yet, I know often the most valuable lessons are learned from mistakes & in having to deal w/ the consequences of poor choices.

I faithfully encourage my kids to make good choices - but am less consistent to allow them to suffer the consequences & work thru' the problems they create, when they don't - even tho' I know if they don't, they're likely to continue making similar poor choices w/ more & more serious consequences - & to create BIG problems for themselves & others to deal w/ in the future. Perhaps I struggle here bc:

1) I see my children as a reflection of me - so I tend to try to fix their problems/make it all better (what mom's do best - right?) ASAP. In my mind, each problem solved represents a feather in my cap (success!) & unsolved problems reflect poorly on me as a parent (failure?) - so are too often kept neatly under wraps (pride!). and,

2) I end up suffering too when I allow my kids to suffer the consequences of their poor choices. Dealing w/ defiance, laziness, etc. (discipline!) is time consuming, draining & downright unpleasant! -- all things I'd rather avoid by taking the path of least resistance (selfishness).

Given that the true measure of success is in becoming more like Christ & the extent to which Christ humbled & sacrificed Himself for us bc of how much He loves us, causes me to consider how poorly I reflect Him. So - it seems if I'm more consistent to let my kids deal w/ the consequences of their poor choices & to work thru' the problems they create - & if indeed they rise to the challenge to become problem solvers - it's likely their measure of success will be in direct proportion to how much time/energy, etc. I'm willing to sacrifice & how humbled I'm willing to be (ie. how much more like Christ I'm willing to become - & how much I love them!) - in the process. (yikes!) So - I can only hope I'm doing something - right(!) bc any measure of success my kids &/or I make in that regard is likely to enable us to more accurately reflect Christ - & so to be well worth all that's required toward that end.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I couldn't have taught her this...

Playmaker (age 14) drew this protrait of Carrie Underwood. She certainly didn't get this talent from me - nor could I have taught her to do this if I wanted to - & it causes me to consider how I've long known she likes to draw & that she draws well....but never really offered her much encouragement in that regard. Now that she's taking an Art class & is being challenged AND encouraged, as well as being given some direction/coaching, I'm stunned at what she's able to do - & grateful for the timely nudge this has given me in regards to her younger sister, Strike/Age 11 - who also enjoys & is good at drawing (she did the portrait of Nick Jonas) & could probably really benefit from both more encouragement & direction in the same regard. The encouragement I can & do intend to give her more of! The direction....well, I need to explore our options.

All of this has prompted me to consider not pushing my children so much to be & do what I want ... but to watch & look more closely at what they naturally do well & want to do better...& to encourage them more in those areas - bc chances are those are the very things God created them to do!

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party 4/15

Just tho't this was a clever concept (reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party?)

If you're "tea'd off" about taxes, consider yourself invited to...

the National TEA (Taxed Enough Already!) Party
on April 15, 2009

Learn more here: http://www.teapartyday.com/

Should you decide to protest publicly,
please use proper etiquette & mind your manners :)

P.S. Check out the National Debt Clock I added to my side bar...not sure how long I'll keep it there - bc it's depressing :(

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What happens twice in a millenium - on the same day?

...on July 8, 2009
at six seconds after 4:05AM & PM
the time & date will be:

04:05:06 07/08/09

I like math because....

....in math a statement is either true or it's not ... whether we choose to believe it or not - doesn't change that - & I wonder if that's, in part, what God wanted us to understand about Him - when He gave us math - which seems to me like a not so secret(!) code that when "cracked" --- leads/points directly to Him!

Back when I was discovering for myself the simple yet complex patterns found in math & beautifully displayed in nature, the best word I could find to describe them is elegant(!) - but it was only after I found that word that I learned mathematicians use it to describe an especially pleasing method of proof ...

"Geometry has two great treasures: One is the theorum of Pythagoras; the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of Gold; the second we may name a Precious jewel." - Kepler (1571-1630)

Proverbs 2:3-5 ...and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding , and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty .... without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." - Bertrand Russell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_beauty

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. ..."

consider this:

& this: (
wish I knew the original source of it - but it's all over the internet & as I see it, God is the source - & I gather whoever took the time to figure it out ended up realizing /concluding what I believe - which is likely why they were compelled to share :) Enjoy...

Beauty of Mathematics !!!!!!!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?
And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Now, take a look at this...


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:

What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help
answer these questions:


Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K

8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%


K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E

11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%


A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:

L-O-V-E- O-F- G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Piggyback post

Michael Card is SO good at story telling in his songs ... & this song makes a nice piggypack post to my last one....

Relationship(s) for Dummies?

Went to B&N the other night & saw quite the spread of yellow & black books - written specifically for dummies! - & I admit - I must be a dummy(!) bc I own the "ENGLISH GRAMMAR WORKBOOK for DUMMIES"! - & could probably stand to learn a lot from other books in the series! Yet - somehow I have managed to figure out..... that one stands to learn so much from & about others - by spending time w/ others ... talking w/ them & studying what they do ... writing, artwork, etc.

Given that God is both the Author AND Artist of His Word & Creation (Life!) - & that He has revealed Himself & how to live (eternally!) to us in both, I've been studying both His Word & His Works - together (key word here) - toward the "end" of knowing God better. Studying "this way", I realize creation provides beautiful illustrations of God's Word much like pictures illustrate a story - or an instruction manual - & it
reveals an elegant pattern (system of order & design!) - consistent & evident thru'out both God's Word & Creation - (microscopic to telescopic) & has allowed so much to make so much more sense - to me.

In addition to the sheer beauty inherent in all of creation, everything(!) God created serves a purpose by interacting to some degree w/ other aspects of His creation (relationship!). Given that "relationship" (w/ God & each other) is also the consistent theme of God's Word - causes me to consider: a.) that the Designer (God!) must be extremely intelligent - & b.) perhaps everything God created & inspired He did so in order to "communicate relationship".

James 4:8a Come near to God and He will come near to you.

It makes sense to me! - but trying to explain it so it makes sense to someone else continues to prove challenging - that's where Language Arts/English Grammar(!) comes in ...& I feel so inept! (perhaps I should read that yellow & black book of mine :) - but - understanding this:

Romans 1:19 & 20 ...since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

& this:

I Cor 1:18 (NIV)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

See John 3:16 - 21

...makes me kinda wish my Bible had a yellow & black cover! ... & gives me the freedom to humbly admit that by the grace of God(!) - I'm a "dummy"! ... yet, it seems I'm in good company (fellowship/relationships!) w/ others who are likeminded :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My "magic" coffee pot works... like a charm :)

During a recent ice storm we were w/o power for several days - but our gas stove worked, so we dug out a camping coffee pot, used it & learned that we really like perked coffee! - so much so that we ended up purchasing an old retro/70's type clear glass heavy(!) pyrex percolator (they don't make 'em like that anymore! :) -on e-bay. I was thrilled to get my hands on one where I could actually see the color of the coffee to help determine when it's done! But - as it turns out, that's not its best feature afterall! In fact.... it seems to have an almost magical quality...

Perhaps the magic is hidden somewhere in the extra time required in the brewing process - that, before the first cup is even poured, encourages (practically forces!) those eagerly awaiting their cuppa - to slow down(!) - to a pace much more reminiscient of the era my percolator was made in - prior to cell phones, laptops, IM, IPOD's, text messaging, etc - to a pace that encourages conversation - ...you know - that thing you do where you actually use your voice(!) & are able to look into the eyes & read the body language of the ones w/ whom you are speaking - for an extended period of time (it's really not as scary as it sounds...trust me).

Yesterday, rather last minute & after a crazy & busy week, we had a house full of friends over for dinner - & low & behold, our old fashioned percolator ended up in the midst of the adults once again - encouraging those surrounding it to slow down... to linger a little longer, to reminisce & to savor each sip - & the time spent w/ the people at hand. And so it seems.... one man's junk is now my (magical!) treasure! - & last night, yet again... it worked like a charm :)

Friday, March 13, 2009


The dolphins over HERE have a special treat for you! I love dolphins! One of the highpoints of my life was swimming w/ the dolphins in Tahiti (Thank you hubby...you've given me some amazing gifts!!) Strike is gonna love the treat too & it's timely bc she's studying Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.

I love toward the end when the guy says something to the effect ... just when you think you've seen/learned it all, something else comes up. -- It just seems so like my relationship w/ God ... & so I see His nature revealed/SO creatively (beautifully!) expressed in nature (creation!) ... yet again!

Enjoy the "show"! ...& thx for sharing, Bunny!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Light Kindled - The Story of Priscilla Mullins

I recently saw my bloodlines traced in the form of a family tree - all the way back to the 1600's! I'm reminded of the Pilgrims - & of a book report w/ a twist of drama (Character Portrayal - below) my girls & I have presented on various occasions - based on A Light Kindled - The Story of Priscilla Mullins by Tracy Leininger, a homeschool grad!

We who are citizens of the USA have inherited such an incredible legacy from those who have gone before us. Consider:

Priscilla Mullins (Character Portrayal Script)

I'm Priscilla Mullins. I traveled to the New World on the Mayflower when I was 18.

As I looked back toward my beloved England, my father turned me around & showed me a splendid sunset. He reminded me that tho' we were leaving much behind, we were heading to a new home in a land that God would establish ... where we could worship Him freely & raise our families to follow Christ. His vision filled me w/ wonder & expectation.

It will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways. Job 22:28

I helped out on the ship by sewing, cooking & watching the younger children.

About a month into our journey, the main beam of the ship cracked! The Mayflower shuddered! Elder Brewster told the families to call on the LORD for His protection! The ship's cooper, John Alden, suggested a large printing press screw on board be used to reinforce the beam. It worked!!

Fear not, for I have redeemed you' I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...Isaiah 43:1b-2a

Finally we spotted the new world we had dreamed for years! God led us to an ideal place to settle w/ a sheltered bay, fresh water & fertile soil! We thanked God for safe arrival.

Many were sick when we arrived. The men soon built a common house & the weakest were bro't there. I helped care for the sick but soon I became very ill. While I was sick I awoke to smoke & people screaming! The common house was on fire!! I prayed for strength to move barrels of gunpowder before they exploded. The LORD's grace was sufficient & His strength was made perfect in my weakness. Soon I was well but my Father, Mother & brother became ill & died. I was so sad & lonely.

The Brewsters welcomed me into their home & family. We endured a long, hard winter w/ very little food.
All but four of the women died that first winter at Plymouth Plantation. But spring came - at last!

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come...Song of Solomon 2:11-12a

The Mayflower sailed back to England. I could have sailed back too - but I chose to stay in the new world. In fact despite all the difficulties - hunger, illness, loneliness, & danger...ALL of the remaining pilgrims chose to remain at Plymouth.

After watching the Mayflower sail away, a glorious sunrise appeared.

So light will shine on your ways.

Soon John Alden & I were married. Over the next several years, Plymouth thrived - yet life in the New World was hard. But the LORD contined to prove faithful & I shared our story - & of God's faithfulness w/ our children.

The Aldens were blessed w/ 11 children who all embraced a personal faith in God - 69 grandchildren & nearly 500 great grandchildren! Today there are estimated to be over a million descendents from the Alden line - including author, Henry Wadsworh Longfellow, U.S. Presidents John Adams & John Quincy Adams - & former Vice President Dan Quayle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Dearest Friend

We just finished up watching all 7 episodes of the HBO John Adams (a personal favorite!) miniseries w/ friends - 17 of us! - enjoyed in each others homes...w/ food, fellowship & fun.

I'm honored to be able to trace personal ties w/ the Adams via (blood) lines on our family tree - & am a bit bewildered to realize how, despite time that spans two centuries(!) we remain connected also by a tendency to put pen to paper in order to record similar personal passions & convictions - & ... as John & Abigail were, - hubby and I are ... dearest friends. In fact, this past Valentines Day, I received a beautiful, eloquent, tender & passionate letter From:
my dearest friend (typically a man of few words...especially written words!) - addressed: To My Dearest Friend.

...While I would not want others to read much of the personal correspondence exchanged w/
my dearest friend, I admit - I can hardly wait ....to read theirs!

Monday, March 9, 2009

hit & run!

Strike rec'd an unexpected delivery tonight...via a hit (the doorbell) & run delivery from her secret sister! ... all the ingredients for some sweet fun w/ the person she most admires .....oooooh I (secretly!) hope she picks me!!! :)

Snow Cute!

Thought perhaps this guy in our front yard was either waving good-bye to winter - or hello to spring! ... but I'm pretty sure it's her (below) he's waving to....she is "snow" cute! :)

Sincerely, Martha

My yesterday (Sunday) went something like this... I knew I was having a house full of friends over. Got up early despite daylight savings time change!! - Cleaned my fridge(!), prepared food, tidied up the house...decided I'd be a bit late for church to get few more things done -- & the more I did, the more I saw that needed to be done!! - & I ended up missing AM church altogether ...tho my family went. But... I managed to make it in time for coffeetime afterwards bc hubby & I coordinate that & I was pretty sure the hosts would need some help (truth is they could've/would've done fine w/o me!) . On the way home I made sure my girls knew the laundry room was off limits(!!) for the day .... & ... we enjoyed a lovely time of food, fellowship & fun w/ our friends (& dear hubby took great delight in sarcastically showing off my nice clean fridge! - ugh...) Before we knew it some of us headed back to mtgs at church(!) ... before going to evening church. Are you exhausted yet? I was! So much so that I wished I'd stayed home!

"Funny" thing... the more I cleaned, the more frustrated I got w/ my family … wishing they cared more about the things I care about. I crave a sense of order – but realize the whole “control issue” is one I'd have been better to have handed over to God w/ the intent to manage my time better in the future.Also realize If I'd had my company - who is more like family(!) over, the way my house looked before I cleaned….I’d have been humbled to some degree … & that is probably why I should have just gone to church instead…(what better posture for worship than humility!? :)

I perplex myself … bc I also crave worship & rest - & even tho' opportunity for it is given on a silver (Sabbath) platter, I tend to decline it in the event that it competes w/ my reputation/control craving (Yikes - this is getting very personal!) By the end of the day, I knew I could not have gone wrong by choosing to rest & worship instead of to clean & cater - but - seems God wanted to drive home the point this AM as I read Nehemia 13 about how the nobles of Judah were rebuked for how they were desecrating the Sabbath. ... I tell ya - sometimes I feel so "set up!" ...but then... I also feel pretty special - to think that God cares enough about me - to take the time we spend together in the morning - to speak to me ... SO personally.

Praise God His strength is made perfect in my weakness....bc it's my only hope! :)



Saturday, March 7, 2009

I can only imagine...but, it brings me great joy!


Today...I'm going to be focusing more than usual on heaven...as I have a memorial service to attend for one who was held captive in her own body for SO long - & so... it is from her perspective that I'm trying to imagine what it must be like!.... & it's true --- I can only imagine... but it is bringing me such great joy :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

A favorite recipe

A lovely young lady is getting married soon. She's attending culinary school & has been practicing what she's learning - & blessing many others at the same time - by faithfully baking tasty treats .... which in & of themselves encourage people to linger & enjoy coffee & conversation (fellowship!) after church on Sunday mornings. So - it is w/ much appreciation & great joy that I look forward to sharing this recipe - which hubby & I have been testing & perfecting since 1986 - w/ her:

Happy Marriage

Combine two people who love only God more than they love each other.

Add the following fruits of the Spirit:









Self Control

Stir in commitment & communication

Sift out selfishness and any accounting of wrongs from daily life - but sprinkle in the rest to spice things up - according to your personal tastes.

Bake in for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health until death you part

Celebrate(!) when golden (50th anniversary)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"This" would more or less....ruin everything.

"She wrote in the mornings, organized the feelings that didn't make sense in any other way. Sometimes she wrote about what she'd seen or heard, a phrase or two; sometimes of her feelings, the emptiness & longing; she wrote of how Scripture nurtured in a distinctive way. Whatever it was, the very writing of a thing calmed her, gave her direction." Quote from All Together in One Place

Sometimes I'm curious about how often my blog is read & who is reading it & when. For a while I had a counter but I lost it & have no plans to replace it. I've considered a live traffic feed but if I knew a certain post attracted a lot of attention - or if I saw certain people here, I'd more likely find myself writing to please others/shying away from certain topics & less likely to write/share what's on my heart at any given time. Attempting to wrap words around my tho'ts to hopefully allow them to make sense to someone else is a challenge that somehow ends up allowing it all to make more sense to me! - & if someone is lingering here long enough to read what I have to say, it's more likely bc they want
to/less likely bc I'm forcing them - so it's more likely I'm encouraging/less likely, arguing - & so... my words are more likely to inspire/less likely to provoke - which means precious time (mine & my readers') is more likely invested/less likely wasted. Soo, - a counter of any sort -- would more or less (very likely!) ....ruin everything.

"Two" Cute!

This is "Two" Cute!! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A bold conclusion?!

Note: for the more concise version of this post, just read the bold text :)

In Nehemia 10, seven resolutions are listed that the people of Judah made to avoid making the same big mistakes again - & I wonder...

Q. What makes one more likely to "keep" a resolution/promise?

A. Seems the "key" is regrets -- & that confessing sin (admitting mistakes) & repenting (vowing not to make the same mistakes again) is where we're motivated/strengthened (forgiveness!) to be more like Christ (where His strength is made perfect in our weakness?!).

Soo....when I hear someone conclude that they have no regrets, I wonder....

- is that bc they've never made any mistakes (I don't think so) or bc they're just too proud (weak!) to admit they have (confess/repent/enjoy being forgiven)


- where's the peace in that?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

another winter visitor

Taken by strike (age 11) - today - Now that the storm has passed, it looks like this one's enjoying the sun - despite how very cold it is - but doesn't look like it is - in this pic.

He speaks to me....here

Word of God speak.
Would you pour down like rain?
...washing my eyes to see - Your majesty...
- excerpt from Word of God Speak by Mercy Me -

A few years ago now, I'd lay in bed asking (pleading w/!) God to speak to me (just once!) in such a way that I would unmistakably recognize as His voice...& to say something very specific. Looking back (they say hindsight is 20/20) , I can't help but wonder if this song, that He gave me right about that time - & that I played over & over & over - was a clue as to how He would go about answering my prayer - on
His terms, in His time, in His way - & perhaps it's why He speaks to me.... in the shower(!) - of all places! (can't say how often I've been inspired &/or convicted there!) ... perhaps bc in there, first thing in the morning, is so little else to focus on or distract me? or perhaps bc He knew the cry of my heart & so He used the symbolism inherent in washing as a means of purifying/renewing/regenerating - for a new day.

go ahead....call me crazy :)

For the record, He's never spoken to me in the way I hoped for back then - but when I tweaked my request a bit (based on the ex. set by a friend) & asked Him to make Himself real to me ... for whatever reason, it seems that is the prayer... He died to answer.

Monday, March 2, 2009


...photographed by Strike - today. That one (assuming it's the same one in all three pics) looks like he swallowed a yellow glowstick :)

"Blanket" of snow

Strike wrapped Malakai in blanket of snow this morning...& he seemed to enjoy it! :) Here he is...all snuggled up.