Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purple Ball Infatuation

Waaaaaay back at Abbie’s graduation, we decorated at her grad party with these purple topiaries…

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the purple topiaries were shoved in the basement…and then became decorations for the baby shower…

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And when the baby shower was over, they kind of just “hung” around for a while because we were too lazy to get the ladder out to take them down.  That’s when we realized it.

My granddaughter is infatuated with the purple balls.  Every time she sees them, she breaks into a huge grin.  She just LOVES them.

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It’s so sweet….

So, Haleigh and I decided to put them in her room.

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Bring on the constant joy of the purple balls!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Legend of the Guardians: my review

Friday night Shawn and I took Em and her friend Kelsey to the movie.

I remember when Emily was reading the book by Kathryn Lasky.  I asked her what it was about.  “Owls”.

I thought it sounded really dumb.  But, she promised it was SO NOT dumb. But, fantastic.

So, I was prepared for some pretty fantastic movie on Friday night.  Thanks to some spectacular animation by Warner Bros, I was not disappointed.

The Legend of the Guardians plot is something like this: Baby owls (I believe they are dubbed owlets) are stolen from their nest and taken captive by an evil owl and his followers…the Pure Ones. The plan of course is to corrupt the owlets and use them to exterminate the entire owl population so the Pure Ones can be in power. 

It’s your basic good vs. evil.

Soren and Kludd are owlet brothers.  Soren believes in the legends of old, as his father has told him the ancient stories…. and Kludd is a non-believer.

When they are kidnapped by the Pure Ones, we see the balance of good owls and bad owls…. who will win?

The animation was really awesome.  The color, the epic battle…. the weapons… the flights… they were superb.  My favorite part was when Soren found his way to REALLY fly… through the storm.  When he discovered what he was really made of.

If you get a chance to check it out, DO IT! You won’t be disappointed.

t0 change or not to change?

This is one of those times that I wish I had hundreds of readers on my blog. 

I want to switch my reader.

I used to use bloglines.  But, when I upgraded my computer to office 2007, I liked the ability to subscribe outlook to RSS feeds.  It was handy to have them all right there in my inbox each time I updated.

But recently, my RSS Feeds have been jacked up in outlook 2007.  Some of the sites I subscribe to end up sending me some of the same updates over and over and over again…. and I’m sure they aren’t repeating their posts. 

So, I’ve been considering whether I should change to a new source.  The ones I’m considering:

Squeet.

IntraVnews.

Awasu.

Sometimes I wonder where they get their names. ?

Anyway, this is why I wish I had a lot of followers.  I’d like your opinion.  So… if you EVER read my blog…even if you NEVER comment… I’m begging you… delurk and comment now. 

Answer these questions:

1. Do you use an RSS Feed reader?

2. Which one do you use?

3. Why do you use that one?

4. Are you satisfied with it?

5. What do you recommend?

Friday, September 24, 2010

random

 

 

… I will not let facebook and blogs get in the way of the work I have to get done today…. repeat this 100 times.

… my handle on my car door broke.  I can’t open it from the inside.  So in order to get out of the car, I have to roll down the window and reach out to the door handle.  Just in time for winter.  nice…..

… Lulu’s dedication this weekend means we have company coming from out of town.  Time to clean the house.  ick.

… I miss Abbie.

… working from home today. I did actually get dressed. Just decided not to do my hair or makeup. Hey… I’m allowed.

… I’m on my second cup of coffee. I’m going to need the whole pot today.

… We got our new garage door installed yesterday. Remember this?

… I think about and pray for Abbie and Josh and Mel and family all. the. time.  I’m like… stalking them on facebook and skype.

… tonight we’re going to see the “Legend of the Guardians” with Em and friend….after they work on their Canada project. 

… I still cry every day because I miss Abbie.  Don’t ask me about her. It sets me off and it’s not pretty.  Trust me on this one.

… woke up this morning. My air conditioning was still on from yesterday. But, it was cold out.  Didn’t see that coming.

… just a little reminder to pray for this girl…

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eily’s baby shower.

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the new “norm”

I remember when our kids were born.  Each time we would have a child, there was a big time of adjustment that came along with having a baby around again.  Sleeping habits, eating schedules, going out… it all changed.  Then, soon, the new changes became the norm. Until another change.  Then, that ushered in the new norm. Until another change…

That’s kind of how life evolves right? Norms change and become the new norms… until they’re not anymore.

2010 has been a year of constantly changing norms for us.  A wedding. A son in law. A granddaughter. A graduation. A job change. A new business. A missionary family living in our basement.

A daughter moving out of the country.

This week, we took our 18 year old to the airport and put her on a plane to Trinidad, where she will live for 10 months and learn what missionary life is like.

Which is a hard thing to do.

When other kids are heading to college, and meeting new roommates, and partying in dorms, and staying up late, and going out…. my daughter has chosen to move to a foreign land and live the life of a missionary.  It’s a bold move.

It’s a move that brings me to my knees daily.  Praying that God would give her strength, and health, and discernment, and safety. 

And now, it’s really really quiet around our house.  Right now, at this very moment, I’m home alone.  I can hear the fan on my computer.  I can hear the ice maker kick in.  I can hear the washing machine wash.  It’s quiet.

And this.  This is the new norm.  For now, I am called to pray for my kids… my daughter in another part of the state, my daughter and her husband that live in the basement here, my granddaughter, and my daughter in Trinidad, the missionary.  That God would do a work in all of their lives, and draw them closer to Him.

Some norms are easier than others.  This particular norm… this quiet one…. is going to take a little while to get used to.  This one… I will welcome the end and the transition to the next new norm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

encounter, community, and transformation

This morning we crossed another thing off our list.  Say goodbye to Abbie…the first time.

She left today for training for three days.  She’ll return on Saturday. On Sunday, we will leave for a service for her and then on Monday, put her on a plane.  So, I like to think today is a “practice goodbye”.

This morning, I started the new book that Ang and I are starting to read together.  It’s called “Shattered Dreams” by Larry Crabb.  I’ve read the introduction so far and I think I’m going to like this book.

One of the things Crabb talks about in the introduction is that God has instructed him to focus his life and ministry around three words: encounter, community, and transformation.

God wants him to encounter Him in a way that fills his soul with more joy than any other experience, and to lead others to experience a similar encounter.

God wants him to develop and participate in a community where no one remains unknown, unexplored, undiscovered, or untouched; where we discover our true selves; where we realize that we are really passionate followers of Jesus; where people become spiritual friends.

God wants him to better understand, practice, and teach the art of spiritual direction where deep transformation of the human personality occurs.

As I ponder these words, my heart turns toward Abbie.  Leaving for 10 months to missionary training school in another country.

As a mom, sometimes the words sting my heart.  I know what missionaries face. The heartbreak, the physical challenges, the persecution. Giving birth to her 18 years ago, I didn’t ask for this for her.

As a Christ-follower, the realization of who she is brings me great joy.  I know that girl. I know her. She is, always has been, a people lover.  And when people lover meets Christ follower, it equals a call on her life that she knows she cannot walk away from.

So, today, I’m praying for Abbie.  To encounter God in a way that fills her soul with more joy than any other experience, and to lead others to a similar encounter.  To participate in community where she does not remain unknown, unexplained, undiscovered, or untouched.  And to better understand, practice, and teach the art of spiritual direction where she will be forever transformed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

countdown

Abbie leaves home in 6 days…. and leaves the country in 10 days.

Earlier this week, we had a get together with some of her friends.  A great group of girls.  I love them all like they are my own daughters.

They’ve been friends for a long long time, growing up, sharing hopes, dreams. Sharing life.

For the past 18 years, we’ve done all we can to train and raise Abbie to be a God-fearing, people-loving follower of Christ. 

A baseball player isn’t really a baseball player, unless he plays baseball… a truck driver isn’t really a truck driver unless he drives truck.

And a Christian isn’t really a Christian unless he follows Christ.

It will be hard to see Abbie go a very long ways away this year.  But, she knows this is what she is called to do.  And, as scary as it is for a mom to see your daughter move across the world, I’d rather have her go to a foreign land and follow Christ, than stay in the comfort of her own home, and not.

 

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I heart post it notes

I have always loved post it notes.  Really just notes of all kinds.

Recently, I discovered post it notes for my laptop.

 

Love it.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Authenticity

It’s quiet around my house right now.  It 8:30am and everyone’s sleeping in on the holiday morning.

I woke up early and started laundry, started to clean the kitchen, started to organize the pantry… and then the coffee was done and was beckoning me to sit with it…

So, for the last few minutes, I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s sermon.

For the past few weeks, Pastor John has been talking about the DNA of our church body.  The first week it was “invitational”.  The second week it was “Bibliocentric”….although, I’m pretty sure that’s not a real word….but it makes it’s point.   This week it was “consistently authentic”.

Pastor John did a fabulous job of unwrapping two things from the Word.  First, we have to be authentic in our relationship with God.  He used the verse from Malachi 1:6-8 where basically the people were cheating God.  They were saying one thing and doing another.  As if God wouldn’t notice.  God notices.  He knows.  So, in my mind, I thought really…. when you aren’t authentic with God, it’s really that you aren’t honest and authentic with yourself.  Be real. Be who you are. Take off your mask. 

And second, he said we have to be authentic in relationships with people.  Here he used the verse in Mark 14:32-41 and pointed out that even Jesus wanted his three friends to watch and pray.  Jesus had some pretty authentic relationships. 

This is the hard stuff.  I haven’t been super open on my blog for a couple of years.  Our family has been through a lot in the last two years.  And to be truthful, this sermon on authenticity was good for me.  It was a heart check.

I’ve been authentic with God…in my relationship with God.  I’ve questioned God and I’ve asked God why certain things have been allowed and I’ve told Him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t sure He knew what He was doing.  Believe me…my relationship with God has been authentic.  And when the tears and the words, and the sorrow momentarily stop, I know that I can trust Him. That His word is true. That He loves me.  And that ultimately, the things He allows or chooses for me in my life are for my good, and His glory.

And for a long time, I felt like I hadn’t been authentic in my relationships with people.  But, this sermon has helped me with that.  Jesus didn’t invite all 12 of his disciples to watch and pray.  He went with three.

And yes, every single person I know doesn’t know me.  They don’t know my heart, my pain, my sorrow, my fears.  And for me, it’s difficult at times. Because I am a person who desires to be understood.  To be heard. To be validated. 

I find great comfort in the fact that the Lord knows.  He knows my heart.  He knows me.  I’ve not been fake with Him or myself or my close friends.  He knows. 

The last thing Pastor John talked about is that in order to be authentic, we have to sometimes agree with the devil. 

Yes, devil, you are right.  I don’t have what it takes to succeed in life.  You are right.  I am not smart enough, nice enough, good enough.

But Christ does.

You are right devil.  I can’t work hard enough to save myself or my family.  Jesus did it.

You’re right.  I can’t do it alone.  I can’t live my life to please God all the time.  And you know what else? I don’t have to. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret…a mystery.  Christ is in me.  He is my hope in glory.  (Col 1)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

life is fun with the 14 of us…

For a few weeks, we have some friends living with us.  They are moving to Trinidad to be missionaries, and needed to be out of their lease before they leave.  So, we were very excited to have them living with us!

The other day, Josh said “this is the closest thing to communal living I’ve ever experienced”.  It’s been so great!

I love to witness interactions between family members… and lifestyles of others.  It’s so great. 

For instance, Josh’s disciplining tools…

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Melanie is awesome and whipping up food in a hurry and having it ready early.  I need to take lessons in this department.

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Oli…well, he’s a monkey apparently.

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In all the excitement, our kitty Gucci just hides wherever she can.

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In a few weeks, this family will move to Trinidad.  All seven of them.  I’m going to miss them….