Tuesday, September 29, 2009
..that I read for the first time - today - & ended up buying for myself bc I enjoyed it so much. Even w/ so few words & such beautiful illustrations, there is more between its covers than meets the eye.
A review from Amazon.com:
Now ... based on the very(!) little I know about Thoreau & his approach to life after reading this VERY short story based on it, I find myself wanting to purchase & read his book Walden from which the author quoted in his notes at the end of the hardcover edition of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg that I read today.
When Henry and his friend agree to go to Fitchburg to see the country, they each choose very different methods of travel, based on their very different approaches to life. This charming little story illustrates through minimal text and fantastically stylized paintings the concepts Henry David Thoreau spent his life trying out. While Henry (the storybook Henry is a bear) collects flowers to press, strolls on stone walls, finds bird nests, and gathers blackberries, his friend toils and sweats to earn enough money for the train fare to Fitchburg. With subtle nods at Thoreau and his real-life pals Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne (Henry's friend cleans out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house, moves the bookcases in Mr. Emerson's study, and pulls weeds in Mr. Hawthorne's garden), D.B. Johnson cleverly introduces young readers to these important historical figures. No moralizing here, just a gentle, humorous look at the different paths each person may choose in life. Johnson chose a passage in Thoreau's Walden (the passage is included in the informative author's note) as inspiration for this delightful picture book, which Thoreau himself would probably be proud to read. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I'm curious --- have you read any of Thoreau's work - & if yes, what did you think of it?
I edited this after I originally posted it. I read more about Walden...& I think I'll stick w/ Henry Hikes to Fitchburg for now :)
.... what isn't said is heard just as loud & clear as what was said.
That's the case w/ this poem - which is why I wish I knew who said it so well - first.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
wanted to paint another one.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,'Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn't looking.'
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Rainy. Just really enjoyed staying home.
It's rare when our whole family is home together all day
Friday, September 25, 2009
"Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating."
they sing among the branches.
I can't help but wonder...
Is it possible... that those birds are composing just one small part of one magnificent & unprecedented grand finale? - for all heaven & nature to sing? - at the end of all time? & perhaps for all of eternity? - in the universal language (music!)?!
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
Just can't help it.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My favorite part? ... is when the "motley crew" comes in off the street :) - but there are several others that compete for a close second.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Cor 5:7
Sight is a gift I would not easily part with - but - sometimes it can be so distracting.
Yesterday, after reading Ps. 36 ... I journaled:
Hmm- I have seen SO much - TOO MUCH(!!) of some things ... & I've been thinking - the very first thing "B" ever sees - will likely be Jesus!
Perhaps "B" would naturally understand vs. 9 better than us. I’ve been finding myself trying to “see things thru’ her eyes” Even in God’s Word, He uses so much of His creation that we can see to illustrate His Word….& even in just this ch.: heavens, skies, mountains, the great deep, shadow, river, fountain, light... & I feel like "B" is at such a disadvantage…but then I realize that evenso, her faith probably much more resembles a mountain…& mine more resembles - a molecule – I think perhaps bc His strength is made perfect in weakness, mb I’m the one at a disadvantage … bc I’m able to see/do so much for myself that it causes my faith to pale in comparison.
The other night, as we were high on a hill yet way beneath a magnificent(!) star lit sky, on a hayride, we sang this:
Oh LORD my God, when I in awesome wonder...
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made.
I see the stars. I hear the rolling thunder.
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul
(my note: only after I've seen SO MUCH evidence!)
My Saviour God to Thee.
How great Thou art. How great Thou Art!
And LORD haste the day, when my faith shall be sight.
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound & the LORD shall descend.
Even so, it is well with my soul!...
Monday, September 21, 2009
Over the wknd we women naturally did a lot of talking - & I realized that much of that time we (myself included) spent complaining to some degree about something ... - but - now that all has been said & done, I don't remember "B" complaining even once! Somehow I managed to hear what she didn't say above everything else that was said ... & I really admire her because of it.
During the retreat, there was a drama/character portrayal (a last minute addition to the program bc the speakers realized they were expected to do an extra segment that they had not originally planned on) in which Mary, the mother of Jesus, poured her heart out to Elizabeth in a letter. At the end we were to identify ourselves as either a Mary, overwhelmed w/ grief &/or burdens - or as Elizabeth...one to whom others might turn to pour out their hearts & find some wisdom, encouragement & support. Elizabeths were also to think of a Mary to come alongside & help in some way. Naturally, because "B" was literally at my side so much of the wknd, I considered myself to be an Elizabeth & identified her as "my Mary" but I was stunned to learn that she - even w/ all her hardships & how dependent she is on others to survive each & every day, considered herself to be an Elizabeth(!)- & her primary care giver as "her Mary"! "That", was so precious to me..., it was the "souvenir" I chose to "bring home"!
My heart was not right to begin the wknd with & I knew it. I hoped/prayed God would change it. See, for some time, I've been so frustrated w/ how consumed people are w/ taking care of themselves & their own families & w/ running the church as an organization by serving on committees & running programs that require so much time & energy that it seems they're too busy to share the love of Christ to the loneliest & most needy of those whom God has so conveniently placed right in our midst. So - sadly, it was mostly out of sheer frustration that I determined to be the change I long to see by agreeing to be her guide for the wknd. Yet I knew that if somehow I could get past my frustration, my passion might then be converted to com-passion - & she & I would both be much more likely to be blessed this weekend.
Anyhow ... who knew that God would use "B", to open the eyes of my heart to see that change was much needed there - & then, over the course of the weekend, to guide my heart right to it(!) - to exactly the change that was needed ... as she led by such beautiful example.
10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
Friday, September 18, 2009
I'm heading out to a church women's retreat this wknd ...& honestly, I'm nervous - bc I'll be rooming w/ & assisting a blind woman all weekend. I've never done anything like this before - & - even more honestly ... my heart is not quite right. You see - when we were first considering who might assist this woman, I could tell - I just knew from experience - that trying to find someone to do it would end up being a long drawn out process - & I determined right then & there - out of anger & frustration (ok, now I'm being painfully honest - ouch!) to be the difference I wish to see more of in the church. Yet I also know from experience that if I'd been motivated more purely out of compassion & less out of an "I'm going to teach you a lesson!" mode - that I'd likely be much more eagerly anticipating (& less apprehensive about!) what this wknd has in store. I know this - bc in the past compassion has driven me to really WANT to do something - & there's a BIG difference in what I do when I want to do something as opposed to when I feel obligated...& the big difference is likely to be noticed most - by the person I am attempting to help (bless!).
So - as I attempt to be the change I long to see, I pray that somehow in the process, God will change me.
Edit/P.S. After I posted this, I noticed today's verse at the top of my sidebar. How timely. Ironic - & so "like God":
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Did you know that today is Constitution Day?!via
... a day to celebrate the creation of the U.S. Constitution,
signed on September 17, 1787.
***In 1787, shortly after the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, a woman interested in the proceedings approached Benjamin Franklin. "Well, doctor," she asked, "what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" The venerable champion of American liberty replied, "A republic, madame, if you can keep it."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."Patrick Henry
The Battle of Antietam
September 17 1862
& that ...
By the time the sun went down, both armies still held their ground, despite staggering combined casualties--nearly 23,000 of the 100,000 soldiers engaged, including almost 4,000 dead. .... On the morning of September 18, both sides gathered their wounded and buried their dead. That night, Lee turned his forces back to Virginia. His retreat gave President Lincoln the moment he had been waiting for to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, a historic document that turned the Union effort in the Civil War into a fight for the abolition of slavery.
"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Found these words over at It's Like Herding Cats - A pastor's life - & they made me think (some of my tho'ts are in green) - in fact, I've been thinking about them a lot - for several days now- & find it hard to stop - thinking about them, that is. Since this has been on my mind so much, I guess it's only natural that it would end up here:
“Live churches are constantly changing. (not necessarily what they teach/preach - but how they reach) Dead churches don’t have to.
Live churches have lots of noisy kids. (seems to me there should be lots of different colors of them too) Dead churches are fairly quiet.
Live churches move out in faith (allowing the Spirit to lead - which brings me back to my first tho't) . Dead churches operate totally by human sight.
Live churches focus on people. Dead churches focus on programs. (Amen!)
Live churches are filled with tithers. Dead churches are filled with tippers. (Ouch)
Live churches don’t have ‘can’t' in their dictionary (so they DO something). Dead churches have nothing but (so they talk the talk - a lot - but don't DO much of anything - other than what they've always done).
Live churches strategize about vital kingdom issues. Dead churches focus on the mundane. (Amen!, again)
Live churches evangelize. Dead churches fossilize.” (my tho'ts ... exactly)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My husband & I can't help but wonder what our life together might have been like if we'd done some things differently in the beginning. I was 15 when we met. He was 22 & I was just barely 18/smack out of highschool when we tied the knot just over 23 yrs ago. When I look at our wedding pic, I see two kids(!) - making a lifetime commitment!
... we've made some sacrifices doing things "our way" . But - What if ...we grew up first - instead of growing up together? The only possible advantages I can see are that we might have always had more than enough money & mb we'd have made less mistakes (there are some things we'd go back & do differently if we could) - but in them (the mistakes!) - is where we did so much growing up together! We've always had enough of everything but time together - & given that no matter how long we live, we could not possibly spend enough time together (I'm dreading being away this wknd bc I know how much I'll miss him!), I'm not so sure sacrificing any of it would have been in our best interest - & if I had it to do it all over again .... I would :)
Monday, September 14, 2009
- such a beautiful corner of creation.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Spent the morning at the a local fair. What fun!
Theses babies are 90% alpaca wool & so should
keep my piggies warm all winter long :) !
We watched them pull 9600lbs before leaving.
I wonder how much the winning team pulled?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld
from me your son, your only son."
- The other night a boy (sombody's son, brother, friend...) who went to Playmaker's school was shot/killed! right on the route Playmaker takes to get to school - apparently during an argument over a parking space at a party....
- Yesterday, one student leading the the Pledge of Allegiance (via the video monitors in the classrooms) left out the words "under God" & threw everyone off.
- Last yr when Playmaker had a major paper to do, she used the biblical account of David & Bathsheba as a past ex. of a timeless theme from Romeo & Juliet - but her teacher wasn't even familiar w/ the account & didn't seem impressed. What more familiar/magnificient/profound literature- historical (timeless!) record - could she have chosen an ex. from?!
When Playmaker was given an assignment to make a poster favoring the theory of evolution, she asked - & was given permission - to do one that exposed the holes in the theory of evolution as well - & in this case, her teacher seemed impressed.
I could go on & on listing examples that challenge Playmaker's faith at school day in and day out bc they fly in the face of the Almighty, the One we've placed our faith in & whom we love, serve & worship.
While all of this can be (is!) so unsettling to a (this!) mother's heart, the so-called "Hall of Faith" record in Hebrews 11 comes to mind & the thought occurs to me - that while the powers that be may be somewhat successful at removing God from textbooks, lessons, & the Pledge of Allegiance ... He promises never to leave her or forsake her. Wrapped in that promise (Hebrews 13:5) is the assurance that as long as she is there, He is too(!) - & I'm confident that w/ each step/choice she (key word here) takes/makes in faith, our faith .....becomes more her own.
each person you come into contact with is Christ."
by Francis Chan
w/ Danae Yankoski
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Who? What? When? Where? How? ... SO many choices/options!
I want to read this. In part bc I'm curious how other people do it. Decide, that is. And, in part, bc if someone asked me "What is the most difficult thing you've ever done?", I wouldn't have to think twice to answer. It was by far & absolutely making one VERY difficult decision. I've made lots of difficult decisions but "this one" took the cake. I can only hope and pray that God never requires anything like that of me again.
I recently rec'd an e-mail from a mom/friend who sent out a blanket message to several people asking what they thought about the swine flu vaccine. Should she & her family get it? So much controversy surrounds it & naturally she wants to do what's best. Hmm - I wonder what she'll decide - & how she'll decide - & why she'll decide what she decides. Will her decision be based on popular opinion? Or on the opinion of one person she trusts most? Or will it end up being a "gut feeling" - or fear - or faith that ultimately drives her to do whatever she decides to do - or not to do?! And once she decides -- how/when will she know if she made the "right" decision? Will she "just know" or will she never really know for certain?
... I suppose only time will tell.
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must
believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like
a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
Special Note: I found this video over at Henley the Great Dane Says "Boof!" Perhaps when you think of this post you'll keep her Daddy in prayer as she requested here.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Q. What do Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption & Disposal all have in common?
A. LOTS(!) of STUFF
Strike & I visited this website today & watched the video (aprx 21 minutes). Interesting stuff.
If you want, you can visit/watch too ... just click the pic above.
Last night while blogsurfing I landed & lingered here : http://captainquasi.blogspot.com/ & revisited again this morning. From there I followed links that led me to lots of interesting e-locations. Following are some bits & pieces I collected along the way that I thought to share. If you enjoy them as I did, stop over to captainquasi - let him know - & poke around there for awhile on your own :) I have NO IDEA who he is other than that he is self described as "an interesting fellow" & from what I gather...he is true to that form :)
If you've got a pencil perhaps you can do something like this...
using the artist's drawing tips. One thing you should know... much of her work takes 20 - 80 hours to complete! Her website art gallery is a must see.
No pencil?! .... Well then --- perhaps you have some crayons on hand? They'll do fine too.
by Don Marco - The Master Crayon Artist
JUST ADD WATER
White Water Rafting
Meeting Madame Butterfly
and patience is better than pride.
Monday, September 7, 2009
- He's around quite a bit these days :)
Friday, September 4, 2009
there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
~H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956
There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes;
the true, where he is free to do what he ought.
Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws
to take it away from themselves.
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must,
like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Freedom is never free.
quotes obtained via
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour,
if we will only tune in.
~George Washington Carver
a beautiful red dragonfly landed on Stike's hand...-
a magical moment
etched only in our memories
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Whatever happened... to the good 'ol golden rule days?!
edit...I gather now that this new rule wasn't quite as extreme as I originally tho't - but nonetheless it's sad when rules are instilled for our safety - & eventually there are so many rules that we are trapped - but safe...supposedly.
Seems there's a new rule at the high school. Students are no longer allowed to use the main entrance during school hours & instead, ALL must funnel thru' one narrower side entrance in order to "better monitor student traffic." As it is, every minute of their day is scheduled & most every move is monitored in some way shape or form & there's such a loooooong list of things they can not do that the "can do list" seems to pale in comparison. There are SO many rules...& yet you should see what the kids manage to get away with ... don't even get me started here. I just don't get it. But all the rules are obviously not working & so they are obviously not the answer to all the problems - & I cringe every time I hear of a new rule (or in society, a new law) bc I realize yet another precious piece of freedom has been sacrificed. Please don't get me wrong - I'm not an anarchist by any means - but nor am I in favor of Big Govt. aka Big Brother.
"All of this" bro't to mind a past post of mine that I polished up a bit & tho't to share below. Before I do tho' - you may be asking why I send one daughter to public school & homeschool the other. The short answer is that it's Playmaker's choice to go to public high school - & it requires a great deal of faith on both her part & ours. The long answer - which includes the "whys" behind her choice & our decision to support her, I'll plan to share in a future post ... but I will say, it is very interesting having one child in public school & another that's homeschooled. I'm certainly given a rather unique persepective on the advantages & disadvantages of both.
I underlined these words in one of my favorite books. In the "but some" lies personal conflict as I try to figure out which rules are essential. I tend to challenge rules by trying to find exceptions to &/or ways around them (ie. loopholes!). Seems each time I'm subject to a new rule/law I lose more of the freedom I enjoy so much!
Understanding that two-rules encompass all the good rules, I'm considering "K.I.S.S.ing" (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) most rules goodbye by attempting to follow just the two (commandments) that Jesus said were the greatest. When I'm conflicted, I know enough to check my motive (the why behind what I'm doing or not doing) & attempt do what Jesus would do. If I'm successful then no one will be able to fault me - unless the rules I break in that process are bad rules to begin with.
Matthew 22: 34 - 40 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Think about it. If everyone followed these two rules there would be no need for any others (aka freedom!!).
Given that Adam & Eve had only one rule to follow - & the rest is History (His Story!) causes me to consider that KISSing most rules good-bye might not be as easy at it seems it should be - given my tendency to push the very same envelope I'd like to seal w/ a 'K.I.S.S.'
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
How many school teachers do you know who bought their whole class coolattas to celebrate their first day of school!? :)
- You can do your schoolwork on the sofa ... or your bed - or at the kitchen table...or out on the patio - or at the park for that matter - which is where we may head for a bit today.
- You can wear your favorite Eeyore slippers!
and the list goes on & on & on....