Sunday, June 27, 2010

So Far, So Good!

Our little tadpoles have legs! There are about 20-25 of them. Pretty soon our back yard will feel like a plague of frogs, but it is fun watching them "grow up." :-D

Friday, June 25, 2010

Asking for Prayer--and Lots of it!

Since the very first day our house was listed on RealTracs (actually probably a few days before even), my biggest prayer was (and continues to be) that God would send a buyer who would see the house as a blessing and a huge need met. Almost a year later, we still own our house, but we are still trusting to the best of our ability that it is because that one person who really needs it just hasn't seen it yet.

Yesterday we got a message from our realtor saying that a lady just a few miles down the road from where we live lost her home in the recent flood and needs a new place as quickly as possible. We're told our house is "in her top 2" and that she may be looking at it again tomorrow to make a final decision.

Please pray with us that she will decide to make an offer, and please pray with us as always that if she does, our house will indeed be a blessing to her and meet a huge need in her life during what must be a very difficult time for her. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Good List 6-23-10

***in no particular order
10. All You Magazine
9. Family Game Night. So fun!
8. Gigantic hydrangea blooms.
7. Wasting much less food and finding much less mold/rot in my kitchen now that I have a little more time to manage the grocery list/fridge/pantry situation.
6. Twitch on SYTYCD.
5. Vibrant, happy old ladies.
4. My weekly phone call with my sweet Trish. Love that girl!
3. Grace's eyelashes.
2. Macy's freckles.
1. Grace + Forgiveness + Reconciliation. So gorgeous to see.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today's Agenda Brought to you by Macy and Grace Wilson

Grace just enthusiastically declared today the best day ever. And Macy wholeheartedly agreed. This makes me happy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that today really wasn't that "spectacular" by most standards. We didn't even leave our house. But it was indeed a fabulous day.

We flew a kite, planted flowers, redecorated Webkinz houses, did art projects for Father's Day, painted nails, snuggled in the hammock, read our books, tended our veggie garden, played the piano, cooked and baked and just generally played together. It was awesome. And then we happily enjoyed slow-cooked brisket, braised red cabbage, rosemary bread with balsamic dipping sauce and cherry almond chocolate clusters. YUM! The fruit of our earlier work. :-D Now we are watching a movie together.

Sweet and uncomplicated, and I love everything about it. Don't get me wrong. I'm certainly not opposed to exquisite adventures sometimes too. I love Disneyworld and visiting New England castles as much as anyone. But since those things don't happen every day (or even every year necessarily), it's special to see my kids finding joy in the simple days. Awesome.

Toy Story 3--Gigantic Yes!

I remember seeing Toy Story in the theater. It's kinda crazy how long ago that was. I loved it.

About 5ish years later (I think?), I enjoyed Toy Story 2 even more.

Yesterday Jared and I took the girls to see Toy Story 3 (in 3D), and it was easily my favorite of the 3. Fantastic movie! Funny, sweet, action-packed, entertaining, well-cast, well-written and beautifully illustrated. Thoroughly enjoyable for kids of all ages! ;-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zach Anner--I would totally watch this guy's show

So apparently Oprah is hosting some sort of contest at the end of which she will give someone their own television show. I have no idea who else has submitted proposals, but I would totally watch this guy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Schoooooool's Out. For. Summer!

I am absolutely positive this will be the most amazing summer of my entire life. It's my first summer at home with my girls, and we have quite the list of adventures and activities to explore. Here is just a glimpse:

--hikes to waterfalls and mountaintops
--bike rides and picnics in every park we can find
--discovering new recipes
--cooking and baking all day long
--lots of puzzles, games and crafts
--taking care of our veggie garden
--watching tadpoles turn to frogs ;-)
--planning special surprises for Dad
--reading books in the hammock
--movie marathon slumber parties


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Good List 6-9-10

***in no particular order
10. The Smoked Salmon Dip I've made twice in the last 2 weeks. Let me know if you want the recipe. Yum!
9. The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. Excellent read.
8. Growing fresh veggies. The sight of the first produce makes me a special kind of happy.
7. The smell of breakfast cooking on Saturday morning.
6. The sound of the old wooden floors in the house my family is living in. It's weird how much I love that.
5. Super colorful stained glass.
4. Jared's hammock (early Father's Day gift)
3. Online Canasta nights with my Mom and sisters. It's much more about the conversation than the game. :-D Good times.
2. Macy and Grace's freshly organized playroom.
1. My first ever summer at home with my girls starts in 2 days. I am giddy like a child!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Prayer Time

Wednesday has been hijacked! :-D Extended prayer time will take place on Thursday this week. Leave your requests in the comments field any time between now and Thursday morning, and I gotcha covered. As always, I will not publish these comments publicly, just in case that is an issue for anyone. Honored to lift you up, my friends!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The News is (So Much Better Than) Good

Yesterday Jared delivered a powerful message on just how "good" the news of the gospel really is. It was one of my recent favorites. (You can listen to the entire message here if you're so inclined.) In typical Jared-style, he fully focused on the remarkable power of the gospel and the grace that Christ offers in bringing us the full gospel despite the fact that we don't deserve the smallest fraction of it. This is his heart's cry. All of Christ for all of me despite all of my sin. I love hearing it over and over again. The gospel. Every time he addresses our congregation. The gospel. Old Testament passage? The promise of the gospel. New Testament passage? The gospel alive in flesh. Relationship series? How the gospel affects relationships. Etc., etc., etc. It's always about the gospel. The infinitely fascinating gospel.

My favorite moment yesterday was when he quoted Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." We've all heard that verse dozens--maybe even hundreds or thousands--of times. But we tend to make it about what will happen next here on earth. Life will get better. God promises that, right? Make no mistake. This isn't about the meager riches/promotions/relationships/better homes/happier times/whatever we hope for here on earth. This is so much grander and more remarkable than any of that will ever be. This is about our final homeland. This is about eternity. This is about living every day as though the gospel is the only thing that matters, because in the end, it really is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Good List 6-2-10

***In no particular order
10. The sound of the rain through the open windows while I do my chores
9. Old architecture. Specifically stone buildings built in the 1800s
8. Mixbook
7. Claire Danes in Temple Grandin. Brilliant.
6. The transformations in The Biggest Loser contestants. There is something so stirring about seeing hope restored to people who thought they had none. Makes me cry every time.
5. Old School general stores.
4. The fact that my kids go to school on School House Road. I don't know why, but I think that's a special kind of awesome.
3. Small town America Memorial Day Parades.
2. The sound of my kids laughing hysterically with each other.
1. Christo's Pizza picnics with my baby.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Does Your Garden/Tadpole Grow?

So I've told you people before that I'm nowhere near as smart or as prolific as my husband, the writer/speaker/pastor. I never will be. I'm perfectly fine with that. Just don't make fun of me when my thought processes/analogies, etc. are far more simplistic and much less profound than his, k? Deal? ;-)

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how much so many people (including myself) struggle with developing stronger spiritual discipline EVEN WHEN it is something that we truly desire. We have been talking about this quite a bit in our small group lately, with several attendees voicing that they really want to love the gospel and get to know it better. But how? Why is it so hard? Why can't it be a routine, habitual practice instead of a daunting, difficult task? I'm guessing there are at least a thousand different valid answers to that question, dependent upon a million different factors. But God has been speaking to me about this through several different situations over the last couple weeks, and this is where I've landed (at least for now. ;-)

I think the biggest factor is that many of us don't do a good enough job of giving our souls/hearts the correct conditions they need for optimum growth. Here is what I mean--

Matt Chandler states in his study on Philippians that "no one accidentally stumbles into Godliness." Similarly, D.A. Carson writes that "people do not drift toward holiness." So true. We have a sin nature that is incapable of anything close to Godliness or holiness outside of the spirit of Christ living in us. So what does this mean? Well, many things actually. But for the purpose of this post, let's focus on what we can do to move toward those things even though every fiber of our natural being is set against them. I think the key to doing that is understanding what conditions set us up best for maximum growth potential.

Recently, our family "rescued" a bucket of tadpoles who would have otherwise shriveled into oblivion in a shrinking mud puddle in our back yard. We read about what it would take to keep them alive and help them grow into healthy little frogs, and we followed those instructions to the best of our ability.

Yesterday, we laid the groundwork for what will soon become our vegetable garden. It was hard work to dig up rocks and till the soil and prepare the area for the plants we will put into it this week. But without that preparation, it would have been ridiculous to expect healthy vegetables to grow.

In both of these instances, it was necessary to do initial preparation in order to set up our tadpoles and veggies for healthy growth. But we cannot stop there. It will also be necessary to continue to tend to them regularly.

I think our souls/hearts require similar care, but many of us fail to understand what conditions we need, and/or we fail to work toward setting up those conditions. We expect that it will "just happen" somehow. But this just isn't so. It is imperative that we learn what stirs our affections for Christ the most and find ways to put ourselves into those situations.

For some of us, it might mean finding complete quiet for a few minutes a day. For others, maybe a conversation with a mentor/friend does the trick. Still others might find that God speaks to them best through nature. Or reading. Or discussion groups/Bible studies. Worship music maybe.

Doesn't really matter which scenario speaks to you best. The important part is discovering for yourself which one(s) works best for you and making sure you create that scenario in your life as often as possible. And once conditions are established and maintained, fresh veggies and healthy little frogs will be abundant! ;-) It's a daily journey requiring regular maintenance, but it is a journey well worth beginning/continuing.

Prayer Time

I'm planning another extended prayer time for tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 6/2). Please feel free to leave your prayer requests in the comments field. These will NOT be published for the sake of privacy in case that is an issue for anyone. Happy to intercede for you if you'd like.