Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Links I Liked… while I wait

There’s been a lot of ‘white space’ in my blogging over the last few months.  I’m wrestling with my purpose on here, with my lack of creative inspiration and insecurities about my motives.  As I get my thoughts together and decide if this blogging thing is something I should even be doing, here are a whole bunch of things I’ve enjoyed that other people have written!

The Ministry of Funfetti
I used to read a couple of blogs, just for the fun of getting filled with rage. I can’t be alone in this addiction–the viscious cycles of self-rightousness, anger, and cynicism. All of the blogs that made me feel both superior and strangely sad were ones by women with beautiful houses, chevron typography, gorgeous home-cooked meals, and a belief that most troubles in your life would be solved by trying harder.


I’ve worn the same outfit as my husband for 35 years
'If we need a new outfit, we go to the fabric shop together
and pick out something we both like'

This says so much about this couple... I’m just not sure what.

21 Actual Analogies Used By High School Students in English Essays
Her eyes were like stars, not because they twinkle but because they were so far apart.

Keep Reading: It’s Not the End of the Book
The story isn’t over. Not your story. Not the story of your wandering child. Or your cancer-weary mama. Or this busted-up world. Or the story of God. That story? His story? Stretches out into forever. And there are things we cannot yet see.

Jen Hatmaker Ruined My Marriage
Mrs. Hatmaker authors a blog that is followed by roughly 9 billion of the 3.5 billion women on the planet. She’s a gifted speaker. She’s into adoption. She’s a pastor’s wife. And according to my wife, SHE’S SO FUNNY. Many a night I will be sitting in my chair in the living room, minding my own business, when I hear a snort of laughter explode from behind my bride’s laptop. 
“You…” she wheezes, “You just have to read Jen Hatmaker’s blog today. SHE IS SO FUNNY.”

Why We Humblebrag About Being Busy
We have a problem—and the odd thing is we not only know about it, we’re celebrating it. Just today, someone boasted to me that she was so busy she’s averaged four hours of sleep a night for the last two weeks. She wasn’t complaining; she was proud of the fact. She is not alone.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

On my nightstand

Oh, I sure do love a pile of good books!


The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown
I bought this book instead of checking it out at the library (as I normally do) because I want to pass it on to my oldest.  I really enjoyed it… perhaps because it’s a true story. Perhaps because it’s set in Seattle.  Perhaps because I enjoy stories from the early 20th century.  Perhaps because I have a daughter who rowed in college.  But mostly it’s because of excellent writing.  You’ll like it even if you have no interest in crew or rowing because the author writes a story that draws you into the character’s lives. I loved his descriptions of life in pre-WW2 America.  Loved it!

Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good by Jan Karon
Jan’s much-awaited Mitford book, the latest in the series, came out this month and I snapped up my copy the day it did.  (What’s happening to me, anyway?  I’m on a regular book-buying binge!)  I just started it last night and I’m already concerned about how Father Tim is handling his retirement – he seems a bit grumpy.  That might sound critical but it’s only because I love him so much.

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
This latest by Ortberg is still unread on my nightstand but I’m looking forward to it so much.  Since I can't give you a review yet, here’s the publisher’s blurb: 
When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul? The health of your soul isn't just a matter of saved or unsaved. It's the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It's the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith. In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries to buy its way to happiness, many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We've neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world—and not without consequence.

I am in the midst of two bible studies – not something I recommend at all but one started before the other was finished and it couldn't be helped. 

Restless by Jennie Allen
I’m doing this one with my group of 20-something girls.  After our first lesson this week, we all agreed Jennie did a great job talking about how our gifts, our circumstances, our relationships and even our struggles aren’t random.  They can be used by God to bring incredible meaning and significance to our lives.  What leaves us feeling restless, bored and unfulfilled is living in our own comfort zone and trying to stay in control of everything.  I’m looking forward to some great discussion time (excellent questions for discussion are included in the leader kit) this fall with young women who are seeking and who share honestly about their lives.

Daniel by Beth Moore
(I’m laughing because I just noticed the pic I grabbed from Google images is one of a workbook in Spanish)
This has been my third time doing this study. Don’t be impressed by that fact.  As I’m doing my homework, it’s as if I’ve never read any of it before!  In case you aren’t bilingual, the first half (vidas de integridad) of the study covers how to live with integrity in a self-absorbed culture (as you can imagine, the applications are endless) and the second half (palabras de profecía) delves into prophecy and the end times.  This is GOOD stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cinnamon Leaf Crisps {a re-post}

I'm making these today for my small group bible study girls who are coming over for a taco salad bar and our first meeting for our Fall bible study.  

Leaf Crisps ~ Have A Cup With Me

I was looking for a super easy treat to make with kids that would also count as a fall craft ~ something I could do with my two goofy nieces who love to ‘cook’ and ‘make stuff’ when they come over.  Bonus:  I had everything I needed in my kitchen!

All you need is flour tortillas, butter, cinnamon-sugar and some metal cookie-cutters.  Cut the shapes using the sharp edge of the cookie cutters, brush them with melted butter and dip in a bowl of cinnamon-sugar…

PicMonkey Collage

Bake for about 5 minutes in a 400° oven and…  yum!



Fall Leaf Cinnamon Crisps
(adapted from Pikadilly Charm)

leaf cookie cutters (metal works best)
flour tortillas
cinnamon/sugar mix:  1 tsp cinnamon & 2 Tbl sugar
6 Tbl melted butter

Preheat oven to 400°.  Cut leaf shapes out of tortillas.  Brush w/butter and dip in cinnamon/sugar.  Lay on cookie sheet.  Bake 4-6 min. until crisp!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome Fall!

autumn  haveacupwithme
It really is the MOST wonderful time of the year!  Pumpkin candles and fall décor coming out today.  Ahhh….

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Links I Liked

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our birthday girl

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am not sure about this hat thing.

But THAT sure looks good! 

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

This new book is enthralling!  These words are fascinating!

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

Spanning four generations

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

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

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


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The UNpublished Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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