Saturday, March 3, 2018

Saturday 3.3

Sunshine streaming in the windows
Plant shopping with Esther
Fresh ground coffee
Skyping with Sarah & Co.
Thai fried rice and coconut soup
Listening to the Psalms in Spanish
Faint scent of the lavender-lemon candle drifting through the house
Unexpected chance to chat with an out-of-state friend
Thought-provoking chapter in March's read
Plump, furry squirrel snacking in my tree
Fast-disappearing patches of snow
The last cranberry scone
Warm spot on the couch from the sun

Thursday, March 1, 2018

To March

I find it a tad difficult to believe it's March already, but here we are!

What started out as rain early this morning turned to snow...heavy, wet, sloppy snow.  My favorite kind to shovel.  (On opposite day.)


The flakes were like 5" in diameter and the branches are weighed down so much now it looks almost unreal.

Okay, so maybe they weren't quite 5".  But they were HUGE, let me tell ya.

- - -

Things I'm looking forward to or excited about this month -

A simple little wreath for the living room.  It was a fun project.

 The prospect of Skyping with these cuties this weekend

The start of my church's Community Bible Experience, or New Testament Challenge, as we're calling it.  We'll be reading through the entirety of the New Testament during the months of March and April and various small groups will be meeting in homes during the week to discuss the reading.

March's read, which I haven't started just yet: Jim & Casper Go to Church (a Christian and an atheist who go to various churches together and talk about their experiences and beliefs)

A Scripture writing plan (shared by Esther this morning).  This one has a verse or passage on kindness for each day of the month.  I also found a grace-themed one - maybe for next month?

What are YOU looking forward to this month?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Worn Truth

The sun is shining, the squirrels are out, the sap is running, and bulb flowers are starting to poke their little green heads up out of the soil.

Spring is so close, you can almost smell it!

- - -

This Monday, I'm thankful for truths that are like flannel.

It's good and necessary and exciting to dig in to God's Word, to study it deeply, to let it teach us new things.

But perhaps sometimes we don't need to learn something new as much as we need to be reminded of the truth we already know.

Do you have a favorite flannel shirt or old blanket that you reach for again and again?  It's soft, warm, and familiar.  Age and frequent use have made them particularly cozy, even comforting.

I think it can be much the same with passages of Scripture.  Last night I was feeling anxious and the thoughts swirling around in my head left me unsettled.  A cup of tea, a quiet evening at home, and nice, calm music weren't enough to do the trick.  But the Lord brought Psalm 23 to my mind - a Psalm I've known by heart for probably at least 20 years.

Over and over it I went line by line, just letting those well-worn truths settle me before bed.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I know the words themselves and have experienced the truths behind them many times over, yet they've lost none of their power through the testing of time.  In fact, they're even more meaningful and dear to me because I know them so well. 

So let's learn!  But let's not discount what God has already taught us.  Let's reach for those truths - like a favorite flannel - in times of need, tucking ourselves into the peace they offer.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday 2.24

Waking up to birds singing
A house full of friends, old and new
Sputtering of the coffee maker
A plate piled with fresh oatmeal cookies
Mugs all lined up on the counter
Windows open for glorious fresh air
A round of Uno that went on for an eternity
Two free pairs of jeans that fit (praise the Lord and hallelujah!)
Alstroemeria blooms
Tea in a china cup (because when you're watching Emma it just seems right)
Buttery, salty popcorn
A much re-watched video of little Avers walking

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Rut

I've often said, Give me a good rut and I'm happy.

I like routines and predictability and I'm even pretty okay with boring.

Perhaps two years in West Africa were enough adventure for a lifetime. ;)

Wednesday - good ol' middle-of-the-week Wednesday - means I work in the nursery instead of my office, snuggling babies so their moms can be in classes (or in the case of staff kids, be involved in ministry at the school).

It's my second semester doing this, and I'm quite happy with my "rut" - waking up every Wednesday knowing I get to hang out with sweet little ones like Jonah.

Some other things I'm thankful for in my little Wednesday rut -

2 Chronicles keeping me company while I got ready this morning
A let-up in the rain
Baby smiles and giggles
Homemade oatmeal cookies
Little interactions with students
Home Fires tonight with my friend Raylea
Heat that works - and that I can control! (unlike my third-floor apartment that was on the same heating system as the entire floor)
Encouraging email from a friend
Steaming mug of cranberry blood orange tea
Truth set to music
A kitchen restored to order

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Thoughts

There's something most delightful about turning off the office lights and locking the door on Friday afternoon.

It's a simple act that ushers in the weekend, all full of glorious anticipation.

First, it's dinner in the dining hall with the fam (and usually hanging out at their place afterward).

I told Ezra we should take a picture of his mohawk and send it to Kai (who - back in the day - was rarely seen without one).

Not entirely enchanted with the above face he gave me, I asked him to smile.

So he gave me his usual hilariously cheesy grin.

That kid.

- - -

Yesterday Angèle and I had a chat for the first time in nearly a month.  Sometimes I get off the phone and marvel just a little at how we - two women who grew up an ocean apart and who don't share the same mother tongue or culture - could somehow wind up being such close confidantes.  And yet we are.  It's a miracle, a gift of friendship and God's grace, something worth treasuring.

- - -

I made coffee in my french press this morning and then lost track of time.  When I walked back out to the kitchen, I could just hear my grandma saying, "That coffee is so strong it's going to walk right off the counter!"

The house got a thorough cleaning today - thorough meaning I dusted this time.  It's my least favorite household chore, but it must be done sometimes.  Somehow the job stretched on the entire day, in part because I decided (for once in my life) to steadfastly ignore the voice of hurry.

I pulled books off the shelf and paged through them while I was dusting.

The wind rattled bare branches and my neighbors' wind chimes.  I mentally noted one advantage of cloudy days - the windows look cleaner.

My friend sent me this article, which rolled around and around in my mind as I cleaned and sorted laundry and peeled carrots.

Clarity can be a nicer word for control.

Oh, how often I have begged God for clarity and answers...

Maybe I'm worshiping clarity rather than Christ.

Suppose, though I want answers, what can really satisfy me is Christ Himself?

Christ Himself, through the fog, the shadows, the forked roads, the silence.  Suppose He is actually enough for me this moment, tomorrow, and forever?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Of Drizzles and Drips

The kettle is on for tea.

Two days above freezing and everything is drip-drip-dripping.

The piles of snow are growing smaller (yay!) and the fearsome icicles on my neighbors' roof are gone.

Mud is everywhere.

(You take the bad with the good, I guess...)

Today was a colorless day if there ever was one - somewhere between drizzle and fog, the sun in hiding.

Here is playing on Pandora right now.

I'm still happily thinking of the latte I grabbed earlier with DeAnne.

- - -

Someone likes spaghetti. :)

Perfect little doll.  I miss her.