Monday, October 31, 2011

today - the calm after the storm

Outside my window...there is a heavy blanket of snow! We got about 18 inches in a freak October nor'easter this weekend. Our big beautiful tree just could not tolerate all the weight.  I am hoping she will pull through to live on and bloom again - but only time will tell.  Once we cut and clear away her broken limbs it looks like she'll only be about half as big as she was before the storm.  Much foliage was still on the trees when this storm hit and the trees just could not bear up under the weight of their snow laden leaves so there's a lot of tree damage around these parts. 

I am thinking...that the bright spot in all of this is that my husband didn't have to go to work today (no power at his office) and Strike doesn't have school. Playmaker only had one we will enjoy a low key day together.

I am thankful...that we have electricity. 

In the kitchen...Husband is cooking breakfast. I think I'll make some beef stew in the crock pot. 

I am wearing...sweats, wool socks and fleece long underwear. ALL DAY :) Oh happy day!

I am creating...hmmm....nothing at the moment. Need to do something about that.

I am tidy up my house, do laundry  and I think I am going to try not to complain about anything at all today. 

I am wondering...If I will be successful at what I am going to try to do today. 

I am reading...In His Image (see previous post). It is fascinating. 

I am hoping...that this incredibly big and early winter storm doesn't mean that we're in for a loooong winter.  

I am hearing...eggs frying. 

I am pondering...what caused Playmaker to pass out in class the other day. I think it may have had something to do with a hospital scene in a movie they were watching in class that involved blood. She sure gave us a scare. We headed straight to the Urgent Care Center and the doctor there recommended we go to the E.R. for further evaluation, which we did -- but they could find nothing wrong and she's been fine ever since. 

One of my favorite things...Sundays. I try to "celebrate" them by slooowing waaaay down and/or by spending time outdoors.

A few plans for the rest of the week that I'm looking forward to: Strike is having a tie-dye party here at the house with friends from school. They are tie-dying shirts purple and gold to wear during their upcoming school spirit week. Should be fun! 

- and -
Strike is going to homecoming on Friday! We went shopping for a dress this weekend. Found a really pretty one. She loves to dress up but has few reasons to do it. I think that's what she's looking forward to most of all :) 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

...this was taken yesterday. We helped some friends dig out from the storm and the girls left this fella behind to keep them company :) 

Monday, October 24, 2011


Outside my window... Jack Frost visited for the first time of the season last night.

I am thinking ... about this: (click the image to enlarge it if needed)

I am thankful...for the warmth of the fire I'm sitting by as I type.

From the learning rooms...on Sunday nights we've been learning about grace for the past three weeks or so. Here's a glimpse of just some of my notes:

I love how the words on the surface of the page are given so much more depth when I learn their meanings in their original language and understand the customs and culture of the time and places in which they were written.

I'm hoping ...that someday, when I need it, someone will give me a magnifying glass strong enough for me to read the notes I've written on the pages of my Bible! :)

In the kitchen...I think I'll make some sort of egg/quiche/breakfast casserole for dinner.

I am wearing...My Uggs, Jeans & Red Sox sweatshirt -- and my long johns. 

I am creating my mind I'm creating a gift basket for a girlfriend who is 89 years young. 

I am wondering...where in the world I might get to explore next and when I will have another opportunity to travel.

I am reading... 

THE VOICE OF GOD IS A HEARTBEAT AWAY In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand revealed how God's voice is encoded in the very structure of our bodies. In His Image takes up where its predecessor left off, beckoning us once again inward and onward to fresh exploration and discovery. Yancey and Brand show how accurately and intricately the human body portrays the Body of Christ. In five sections---Image, Blood, Head, Spirit, and Pain---the acclaimed surgeon and the award-winning writer unlock the remarkable, living lessons contained in our physical makeup. This Gold Medallion Award-winning book will open your eyes to the complex miracle of the human body, and the even more compelling spiritual truths that it reflects. via

I am not  looking forward to...helping Strike with her homework because I know next to nothing about Beowulf. I even had to look up how to spell it for this post.

I am hearing... Strike trying on Playmaker's homecoming dress and Playmaker telling Strike how nice it looks on her.  -- 
And Playmaker is sniffing. A lot. As in enough already :( That's a nasty cold she has :/

Around the house...Strike has no school and Playmaker only had one class so it will be nice to have both of the girls home today. 

I am I think too often I make decisions out of fear rather than faith.

One of my favorite things ... is music.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Metamorphosis: The Beauty & Design of Butterflies


Every artist paints his own nature into his pictures.
 Henry Ward Beecher

The Greek word for “transformed” is MetamorphoĊ - to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure. From it we get metamorphosis ... 
With the understanding that God has revealed Himself to us both in His Word & His Works (creation), I’ve learned to try to figure out what God might have been wanting us to better understand when He created certain things ...  via

 via Henley the Great Dane Says "Boof!" (Thanks for sharing this amazing video, Bunny!)

I think butterflies, in particular, are a beauty-full illustration to help us understand, among other things perhaps:

2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  

2 Corinthians 3:17-18:  17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Romans 12:1 & 2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Outside my window... it's a crisp, cool, sunny, breezy, fall day. 

I am thinking...about the comment  Playmaker's professor wrote on the front of a paper she got back today:  "... 4.0 - vividly written - brilliant use of epistolary form for this all to probably true story. You did an amazing job setting up suspense. I "raced" through to find out the mystery. Great creativity here. You have much writing talent. It is an honor to teach you. Keep up the excellent work." ... and I'm considering the power inherent in words of encouragement and how the professor's words here made Playmaker's face light up :) 

I am thankful...that my whole family was all together in one place yesterday - and that the siblings exchanged "love yous"  before my son left to head back home this morning. And - that my son did get hired on full time where he was interning at! 

From the learning rooms ...I am still learning about amazing grace - and this quote pretty much sums up where I'm at in relation to it at this point: 

"I'm convinced that getting a better handle on grace will give me a better chance of recognizing where I fail to offer it and for that matter to receive it."

Enuma Okoro  
Author of Reluctant Pilgrim 

In the kitchen...I'm planning to make banana bread.

I am wearing...A sweater, jeans and my Ugg boots. I've owned my Uggs for about 10 years now & we're practically one for about 6 mos out of the year ;)

I am creating...well - yesterday we all sat around the kitchen table and created a-corny treats! 

I am make a to do list today just so I can enjoy the sense of accomplishment I know I'll feel while checking off things as I finish them ;)

I am my husband and I can be two so very different people from the two people who were front & center on our wedding day - and yet continually love each other more every day. 

I am reading...

L.L. Barkat invites us to chase spirituality in much the same way a child chases the tail of a finding the beautiful balance between what's just beyond reach and what's entirely ours for the taking. Her words are full of hope, joy, wonder. --Holley Gerth, Senior Writer and Editorial Director, Dayspring, and Co-Founder InCourage

I am looking forward weekend, already :)

I am hearing...a lawnmower (and am pleased that it's my lawn being mowed! - by my daughter :) 

Around the house... We have a new baby!. A grand baby! ... well - actually ... it's a baby grand ; )  My daughter adores it. I'm anxious to see what she decides to name it ... only then will I know for sure if it's a boy - or a girl :) 

I am hoping... when the owner of the baby grand visits this evening, she will just know how much her precious piano is loved here in our home and that she will enjoy hearing my daughter play it for her. -  And - that Playmaker's wound that she got when she swallowed and her jaw clicked & the dentist's drill slipped - will heal well :/  

I am pondering...what motivated my son to go back and make it right with the store when he went shopping with his sister this weekend and bought his i-Pad and he realized that the clerk forgot to charge him for the leather cover he got for it at the same time - - and how proud I am of him for doing that. 

One of my favorite things... Sundays. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Soccer games, Dentist Appt. 

Here is a picture for a thought I am sharing... 

Just a flashback to Strike when she was little (she's now 14!)
 & we lived in Oregon.
I hope she's having a good day at school today. 
I miss her.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

a-corny idea

Are these cute - or what?!

I gotta try this. 


For this and other ideas for things to do this weekend
click here.

or for just the "recipe" for these clever cookies?/candies?? 
click here.

Happy Fall! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

a match made in heaven

...hindsight gives the advantage of seeing "coincidence" upon "coincidence"
all adding up to be SO MUCH MORE than could ever be attributed to
simply coincidence!
 and it's for this reason
I believe these two are 
a match made in heaven! :)

Why Worship? Why Give?

Just posting a "devotional" in its entirety (but w/ my emphasis added in bold) that I read this morning via: Discovering God's Design.  Just made me think.

Why Worship? Why Give?

This week's reading: Genesis 28:16-22
Author Mark Allan Powell addresses the fundamental principle behind Biblical giving: "The patriarch Jacob experiences God's presence in a dream and, not knowing what else to do, sets up a stone and pours oil over the top of it (Ge 28:16-18)." Powell points out that early Old Testament people "who had been touched by the goodness of God wanted to worship God, and they did that by taking something that belonged to them and giving it to God in the only way they knew how." Later Powell discusses giving as it relates to those of us in the new covenant:
God may be pleased, indeed delighted, with us even if we are giving the wrong amount, even if [we] are giving to unworthy or inappropriate causes. As we learn more about stewardship, of course, we will want to grow in those respects. We can spend a lifetime trying to find better ways of fulfilling God's expectations. But, for starters, our principal concern in giving should not be where to give, or how to give, or how much to give. First, let us focus on the why. If we give with hearts full of devotion for the God who loves us, then the questions of where and how and how much will work themselves out in time.
I once served as a pastor in a congregation where the people wanted me to visit all of the "inactive members"...
All of the people I visited told me in one way or another that they had quit coming to church because they weren't "getting out of it" whatever it was that they thought they should...
This surprised me because when I was a child and my family went to church on Sunday morning, my mother used to tell us, "We are going to worship God"...
And now that I am (a lot) older, I have discovered something else. When people do this-when they come to church to worship God-something wonderful happens. They invariably discover that they are much more likely to get something out of the experience than if they had come for any other reason. I don't know why this is-maybe God just has a sense of irony. Or maybe the point is that one of our greatest needs is to worship God...
So, worship is essential to faith. But I have also said that sacrifice is essential to worship. Why is that? Because worship, almost by definition, is the opposite of self-centeredness. Doing this always involves some element of self-denial or sacrifice, giving up something that we value, giving up attention to our wants and our needs in order to focus on God...
When we give cheerfully as an act of worship, the very act of giving moves us to lose interest in ourselves and to devote ourselves to God.

Think About It

  • Why do you go to church?
  • How does your attitude affect your ability to worship God?
  • In your experience, how are worship and giving related?

Pray About It

Lord, search my heart. Show me any attitudes, thoughts, emotions or motives that need to change so that I may worship you in love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Yesterday a friend stopped by.  A friend that I've been more like two ships in the wind with for too long. When she arrived, I was in the midst of moving out of the corner of my world (even tho' I really needed to do laundry - which never did get done)  to make way for the piano - so my house was a mess. Something in my kitchen trash stunk - and she knew about our kitchen fire. My dog was crying like a BIG baby while we visited bc I had put him outside while she was here. And - did I say my house was a mess? :/  Oh well...the sweet thing is, she came to see me. Not my house. Well ... she may have been a bit curious to see the grease fire damage?! ;/ The ironic thing I was in the midst of cleaning out my corner, I came across a card she had given me quite a while back...a really sweet card that she had obviously taken some time to write - it was really more like a handwritten letter (remember those?). It meant a lot to me back then - enough that I tacked it to my wall in my corner and it's been there long enough that it became one of those things you see so often that you don't really see it anymore. Anyhow - as soon as I'd taken it down and re-read it after all this time, I emailed her to tell her about the treasure I had just re-disovered and how it reminded me of how much I missed her, etc. And - low and behold - within just a few minutes she showed up! The card was still sitting next to my laptop and she hadn't even seen that e-mail yet.  I had literally sent it just before she arrived with a sweet & thoughtful (and remarkably timely) gift in hand. 

God knows, I needed that. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Thought I'd give this Simple Woman's Daybook a try.  Maybe I can make it a regular Monday thing.  Hopefully it will serve as a window into my "everyday world" for anyone who reads it - and as a journal of sorts for me. 


Outside my window...Leaves are changing into their autumn best. I think we're about a week from Peak. 

I am thinking...about Spokes (my son) a lot today. He is supposedly going to be offered a full time job today in his area of expertise (Computer Science). He's excited....he thinks. I had great fun shopping w/ him yesterday for "Career/Professional Clothes!"  Dress pants, shirts, shoes and a handsome black metro overcoat! 

I am thankful...So thankful that we still have a house today. Last night I experienced my first ever grease (actually it was olive oil!) fire! Yikes!!! shot up SO FAST!!  The cabinet above the stove bubbled! And we need to repaint the ceiling :/  This thing was intense! I mean in pretty much consumed the whole area above our stove top to the ceiling!!So grateful my husband was home. I ran away .... as he ran toward it and took care of it. I shudder to think how things might have been so different if he wasn't home. Choosing to be thankful here bc I know it could have been SO MUCH worse. 

From the learning rooms...I assume this category is for homeschoolers but not sure. But since life is a classroom, I learned last night NOT to put water on a grease fire!! If you can, get the pan away from the flame - but don't put in water!!! Or - I also learned you can use baking soda to douse it. Or put a lid on the flame. Did I say DON'T put water on it?! 

In the kitchen...(see above what I'm thankful for!)

I am wearing...A black fleece top & jeans. I found stretch fleece Cuddle Duds this weekend. Bought a top. Looooove it. If only it never needed to be washed, then I could wear it every day.  

I am creating... a Thank You (Eucharisteo!) God for _____________ Journal in an attempt to list 1,000 things. Was inspired by the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. 

I am do laundry today! 

I am wondering ... - After Sunday evening's sermon, I am wondering why in the world God chose me?! 

I am reading...well, I just read Reluctant Pilgrim. Perhaps more on that later. Just ordered a book called God in the Yard.

I am hoping...that if my son gets this job, the company will compensate and treat him well. 

I am looking forward to...hopefully going for a walk in the fall foliage with my husband this evening.

I am hearing...My daughter's piano teacher teaching her in the other room. 

Around the house...there is much to be done today. 

I am pondering... Grace.

One of my favorite things...homemade bread

A few plans for the rest of the weekI need to paint in my kitchen and move out of my corner of the world to make room for a baby grande piano we're going to rent ... The owner needed to store her piano - and we were looking to buy or rent one - Just amazed(!) at how this all came together - & that this arrangement is going to be affordable for us - and mutually beneficial for both the owner and us - and how this seems to be a match made in heaven! Playmaker is SO excited!!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...No pic this time. Sorry. If I manage to take one today, I'll post it later. 


Friday, October 7, 2011

the emptiest day

As I was in the shower this morning, I asked God to make Himself real to me today - and to use me to make Himself real to someone else. And they came right to mind. 

Today they are saying good-bye to their young adult (only 30yrs old) son who just passed away. My heart aches for them.  I've been praying for them. We've been praying for them. I know them - but I don't know them very well. And I've been trying to think of something/anything more that I can do or say, other than just make finger sandwiches for the fellowship time after the funeral. I know some people think fresh cut flowers are frivolous...but - I think this is it. Yes. I think this is what I should do. God made Himself real to me in such a remarkable and personal way once - and He used sunflowers to do it. I've never ever forgotten it.  

I hope I can find a bouquet of sunflowers somewhere today. 

Dear God, 

Please help me find some sunflowers today. 

They need them.

"They say that I can find You in a flower
But I need You in the car."

Excerpt from The Emptiest Day - by Caedmon's Call


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

Thursday, October 6, 2011

some of mak's favorite words are ...

... "Wanna go for a ride?!" :)

My daughter took this pic. I love it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

my story - the edited version

edited (how could I not edit this one? :) 

Have you noticed I tend to edit my posts even after I've posted them? It's just what I do. I even have a "disclaimer" to that effect on my sidebar. If you read a post and come back later, chances are pretty good that you may notice it's been tweaked a bit since the last time you were here. Seems no matter how hard I try to wrap words tightly around my thoughts, I keep finding ways to do it better by saying less, or saying more, or saying something differently, etc. The beauty of that is the very reason I love blogging ... because this is my space and I can edit it as much as I want to - and in that process I get a better grip on what I believe. But given that freedom, and being the control freak that I am, I can get a bit obsessive trying so/too hard to "be perfect"

This place is where I share MYstory of HIStory. Essentially it's my testimony. I don't share everything here - but I share a lot and if you've read/followed my blog for any length of time, chances are you know me much better than I know you. The challenge, for me, is to keep it real because if I could manage to pull off "practically perfect" anywhere, it would be here (so tempting sometimes!)  

I once accepted a challenge to summarize my life story into six words. I thought it was gonna be tough but it wasn't so hard after all because - well because I believe I have a ReAlly good Editor and He's taken my story, much of which I've shared here and that's taken me 43 years so far to write - and, well - here....take a look. Can you believe what He's done with it?!:

Made perfect forever.  Being made holy.

I told you He is good! 

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever 
those who are being made holy.

Hebrews 10:14

P.S. If you need a good editor as much as I do, talk to mine.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


In August we procrastinated with our monthly 25th Anniversary celebration and before we knew it, it was the end of the month and Hurricane Irene foiled any attempt at throwing something together last minute. But - this month was a different story altogether. We took the whole family to see The Lion King in NYC!!  If you remember, my husband and I saw it back in January. It was our first Broadway show ever...and I knew my kids HAD to see it too! Had to!  The big difference this time was that my husband drove us into the city. Yikes! But it wasn't so bad - and we had a ton of fun!

 The m&m store is three stories tall! 

The Lion King gives me some inkling of an idea of how much FUN God must have had when He created the originals of all the things artists "re-created" for this show!!  --  such an AMAZING display of human creativity on so many levels!  

forever is composed of nows

Edited. Of course! Can't seem to let something go these days without tweaking it later - and then again - and again, etc.... ;) 

Church was full this past Sunday. We hadn't been in church in a while. We sat in the
second to the last row. And I wonder ... What in the world was everyone else doing while our Pastor stood up there and talked directly to me the whole time?!  (- ever feel that way??)  Truth be told, this seems to happen quite often when I'm in church and it's one, if not the reason I still go to church. 

October is the month that several ministries kick back into full swing at our church so it seems that's why our Pastor took time on this first Sunday of October to remind us that according to Revelation 3:1, 2 there is such a thing as dead ministry (my note: wasted time!) and that:

According to Jesus, it is possible to do much we might call Christian work or ministry which, in the end, amounts to nothing. 

If I was a bit more charismatic I might have shouted a hearty "AMEN!" right then and there. But I'm not. So I didn't. But I thought  "Did he read my blog/most recent post?!" Could he have possibly known that I was in the midst of wrestling with what he was speaking on?! 

With the understanding that it's not possible to spend too much time serving God and that God knows I'm only human, I've been wrestling with how and where to best "spend" my time. If you read my most recent post perhaps you sensed my frustration? After pondering Sunday's sermon it dawned on me that what I really want to do is invest my time wisely - in things that will have eternal value. 

Intentional is today's buzz word. You've got to be intentional if you want to get something/anything accomplished. To some degree I agree but I also believe the road to hell is paved with good intentions - and there have been times when I've had well planned and thought out "good" intentions and have even crammed them into boxes that weren't necessarily big enough on my calendar in an attempt to be intentional. If you judged my work by the volume of commitments on my calendar, you might be impressed by all the "ministry" I was involved in ... some of which took place in a much bigger box which, by the way, never seems big enough to me either (perhaps a subject for a future post)  - or full enough for that matter (aka: church). But if you judged my work the way God does (see sermon notes at the end of this post), by looking at my motives/attitude ... my heart,  it would be a much different story. A story too much about me and not enough about Him - and I shudder to think about all the opportunities for real ministry that I missed completely because I was SO busy preparing to go to a place I committed to being and doing things I committed to doing and sticking to an agenda that a lot of time and energy had gone into planning and preparing.  Please, don't hear something I'm not saying here. This post is going to be plenty long as it is without adding to it what I'm not saying. But let me just say here for the record:

I love my church - and the problem I am trying to address here ..well, that part of the story really IS all about me.  And I am involved in ministry at that I believe encourages relationship - but we're modifying it for various reasons, some of which are totally related to this post.   

Our Pastor also reminded us that ministry is worship and worship isn't something we are just called to do at church. It should be a way of life/living! 

Long story a little less long ... 

I'm at a place where I sense God is drawing me to.  

It is not away from church 

tho' for a bit I was beginning to wonder if it was.

But it is 


"Forever is composed of nows."

(Emily Dickenson said that long before I ever did :)

and for this reason

 I can't help but wonder

if I might actually serve, worship and honor God more consistently and effectively

if I don't schedule time to do it.   

What if instead I consistently

(faithfully - as a way of life/living - day by day & moment by moment - the way life is lived) 

try to be sensitive and attentive (listen) to 

what God wants me to do for Him


("now" being the key word here)

 that I'm not SO busy?


38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”


Sermon Notes - Sunday, October 2, 2011:

- motivated by self-glorification is dead. (It's not about me!) 
- motivated to fit comfort's demands is dead. (Take up your cross. Self Denial)
- managed w/o recourse to the Holy Spirit's involvement is dead.
- missing Divine authorization is dead.
- miserly performed is dead. 
- modeled on the world and not upon the Kingdom of God is dead.
- ministered without love is dead.
Ministry is worship - and should be a way of life/living. My thoughts: - I know this! If anyone knows this, I know this  - I even did a "Time for the Kids" about this and wrote a post about this... sooo... why can't I seem to figure out how to actually "do this"?!