Thursday, February 26, 2015

On my nightstand

Whether you're buried in snow, drowning in rain or enjoying a spring-like February as we are here in the NW, it's always good weather for a good book, isn't it?  Here are three I can recommend...

Home is Where My People Are
by Sophie Hudson
All I can say is this was a delightful read!  If you’ve visited Sophie’s blog you’ll have a feel for this book but her southern, down-home perspective is just refreshing and I love her stories.

The Third Target
by Joel Rosenberg
Joel’s books are easy to read, completely engrossing and I always learn a lot about the Middle East in the process.  His bible-based fiction is eerily prophetic in many ways.

The Trumpet of the Swan
by E.B. White
I somehow missed this one as a child… by the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.  So I decided I really ought to read it.  It’s a sweet story of love and friendship and coming to terms with a disability.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dear Grammy

I had fun at your house this last weekend.

Don’t be offended that I say ‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ and ‘Papa’ but I can’t quite say ‘Grammy’ yet .  Bet-ee is a good name for you.


Thank you for reading my favorite books with me.  I like all those ridiculous sounds you make.


And I do all those hand motions because it makes you smile.


I enjoyed learning a new instrument too!


Though I have my own way of holding it and favorite spot to write music...  Biscuit will just have to get used to it.

Where did you ever find a baby guitar, anyway? 


Ohhh, Papa is a genius!


I love my cousin cousins!  Would you please talk to my mommy and daddy about when I can get a phone too?


I know you will miss my help with your tv.  Don’t worry, I’ll come back.



I love to swing!


And that spinning thing was pretty great too.


You and Papa sure do smile a lot…


I know you think of me as a baby but I am a big girl.  I wear skinny jeans and I am going places.

But I will always be your favorite grandbaby, right?


And I promise I will never let anyone cut that curl that makes you sigh, okay?


Friday, February 13, 2015

Links I Liked –Valentine edition!

These actually have nothing at all to do with Valentine’s Day.  Except maybe the one with some excellent marriage advice! 

6cab7f41278d027f7ef7ef0f5026b013                                                          Want To Workout With Me?
Vintage fitness fun!
“hey honey… whatcha doing in there?”
“oh just riding the stationary bike in front of the sheer curtains at night in my bathing suit… don’t worry i am wearing my slippers for safety!”

What My 9 Year Old Taught Me About Being Willing to Follow God Into Uncomfortable Places
Pray that it could work out. Pray to Him because He is The Man that will help you in tough spots. Like in David and Goliath, He helped them in very tough spots.

4 Things That Can Save or Sink a Marriage
It’s usually not the big confessionals that end a marriage, it’s the little enemies
we overlook and ignore.

School Lunches Around the World
Let’s move to France!

Jerry Seinfeld on getting rid of our useless stuff...

This stressed me out to think someone actually DID this to his wife...

Golfing with Ida - "Not too shabby!"

Golfing With Ida from Dustin Cohen on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What I ‘learned’ in January

And by learned I don’t mean “aced the test so that the lesson is forever etched in my life.” 

I mean learned as in “had some real life stuff happen that gave me the chance to see God in action.”

  1. I don’t ever know what’s going to happen. 
    We all know this but the next two minutes can bring a situation that reveals exactly what we’ve been leaning on, counting on and trusting in.  I could be walking down the hall and suddenly my knee could pop and I could be unable to walk.  Or my parent could get sick and take a sudden turn for the worse, necessitating tough decisions and another difficult transition.  Or those two things could happen almost simultaneously.  This all gives ‘Build your house on the Rock’ the label of “Best Advice Ever.”  It’s too late to move your foundation in the middle of a storm.

  2. That Rock is completely dependable. 
    He will show Himself faithful in my weakest moments. I have seen God supply a wonderful new living/care situation for my dad along with His watchful attention to every detail of this new transition.  I found a great deal on a hospital bed on Cr**gslist and the kind sellers offered to deliver and help set it up.  What?  What stranger does that?

  3. Our completely full basement can actually hold even more stuff! 
    We moved my dad’s apartment furniture last week and wedged it all in to our brimming basement.  Now for my own Cr**gslist offerings.  I’m wondering if I should offer to deliver??

  4. I married the best guy in the world.  (I totally already knew this one.)
    Throughout everything that’s happened in the last month, he has been beside me 200% (as well as behind me pushing a wheelchair, above me helping me up and before me visiting Dad when I couldn’t).   Honestly, he is THE BEST.  (These are the times I wish I could write well because to keep repeating ‘the BEST’ somehow doesn’t convey what I’m trying to say.)

  5. God’s way of working things out are A-L-W-A-Y-S better than anything I could come up with.  Always.

  6. I have some of the BEST friends on the planet.  (I also already knew this but want to say it here.)
    Never underestimate the value and comfort of people who know you and ‘get’ you.
So this month I’m planning to:

a. Pray and trust what God has in store instead of figuring out what I think should happen and then giving God His assignment.

b. Enjoy time with my Valentines, including this little one…

c. Repeat this:
The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace! 
Romans 8:6

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Confession: I love coffee

Oh yes I do. 

I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee waiting for me in the kitchen when I get up. 

I love an iced latte in the afternoon as a pause from time at the computer.

I love a hot macchiato in a tiny cup in Ethiopia.

I love coffee shops, coffee-flavored ice cream, coffee beans and coffee breaks.  I even love a scoop of instant espresso powder in my hot cocoa.  Try it - you'll like it!

We grind our own beans and while it’s a bit of a hassle and sometimes a mess, it means we have fresh-tasting coffee.  Yes, we are coffee snobs.

And I’m always on the look-out for a great coffee mug.  




creative-cups-mugs-12-1 creative-cups-mugs-12-2


creative-cups-mugs-24-2 creative-cups-mugs-24-3 (1)




Brewing coffee in our Cuisinart coffee maker is great but it’s not the only way to enjoy good coffee.  A French press makes wonderfully strong and smooth coffee if you use a good roast.


Of course summer is the perfect time to enjoy iced coffee and The Pioneer Woman has a great recipe for the perfect iced brew…

And who wouldn’t love her take on a mocha frappuccino?

Homemade Frappuccino

I learned a few things watching this video so I'm sharing it with you in case you didn't know the 5 Ways You're Drinking Coffee Wrong:

And this was fun... coffee around the world!

Won't you have a cup with me?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

On my nightstand

I have three books to share this month – very different but I enjoyed them all!

Sensible Shoes by Sharon Brown
For me, this is one of those books that I read at just the right time.  If I had picked this one up when I was in a different place in my relationship with Christ I may not have finished it.  Four very different women rather reluctantly go to a spiritual retreat center and begin dealing with some of their brokenness (perfectionism, performance, bitterness, rejection, pride, shame) with the help of several spiritual disciplines.  I was surprised to find myself relating to each of the four fictional characters in some way and was drawn to the ways God used prayer, the Word and the Spirit to speak to their hearts.  I plan to spend some time looking into several of these spiritual formation practices. 

Not coincidentally - because God isn’t coincidental at all! – we got this new book:

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller
I so want intimacy with God.  I want to know Him and be close to Him.  I want to understand prayer for what it is, not as a duty or a way to see answers or as a means to an end.  I will be reading this one slowly and asking God to help give me a breakthrough in prayer.

Spiritual Misfit_cvr_all_r1.indd
Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRusha
Such honesty here!  Michelle writes of her own journey to faith, saying what we’ve probably all thought but wouldn’t ever voice.  She is an openly honest doubter.  And very funny.  I enjoyed her story a lot.

What are you reading?  Won't you leave a comment and tell us?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Half Empty {a repost)

Do you ever find yourself focusing on the wrong things?  Dwelling on problems?  Stressing about 'what if's'?

I really hate to admit it but I have always been one of the 'glass half empty' people in this world.  I typically see what's wrong much more quickly than what's great.  I have known this about myself for quite awhile but it's not a happy thing to fess up to.

If I take those personality profile tests, I come out as a melancholic.  A type "C".  Smalley and Trent label me a Beaver.  The definition of a melancholic is "one disposed to or affected with melancholy; gloomy."  Gloomy?  Now I don't think I'm gloomy but I guess you'd have to ask the ones who know me best. 

No wait - don't ask.

There are always strengths as well as weaknesses of any personality type.  For the melancholy person, strengths are listed as:  Analytical, self-disciplined, industrious, organized, aesthetic, sacrificing.  Not bad!

The weaknesses, however, sound incredibly horrible:  Moody, self-centered, touchy, negative, unsociable, critical, revengeful.

Whatever.  Leave me alone.
The thing is, I have never given a lot of credence to personality labels.  Sure, it's fun to take those tests - especially with friends and relatives who you can laugh with about the results.  

But I'm afraid if I bought into that whole label thing, I'd use it as an excuse.  You know - that's just the way I am.  I can't help it if I'm vengeful and hateful.

Nope, that doesn't fly.  Instead, I really believe that God is making me into someone I could never be apart from His Spirit at work in me.  Kinder.  More compassionate.  Generally BETTER!  I can't tell you how that fills me with hope!

Because the alternative is pretty depressing.  I'm left with my 'natural' tendency to be critical, self-righteous and works-oriented.

I love how Eugene Peterson rewords Galatians 2:19-21 in The Message.    

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

Trying hard to be different than I am doesn't work.  Instead, I can rely on Christ to make me new.  His personality type is only about strengths - no weaknesses at all.  I love that.

Recently I was encouraging someone (who knows me pretty well) to believe that God was going to do something wonderful in a difficult situation.  They told me how much it meant to them, especially because... well because such an encouraging word was coming from ME!  So you see, there is some progress being made in this old Beaver.  I am being changed.

Lord, live Your life in and through me.  I don't want to be half-empty.  Fill me up with You.

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