Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Good List 9-29-10

10. Tyler Florence
9. The CLEAN air filter that did NOT have to be replaced last time I had my oil changed. That has never happened to me before! I guess the air really is cleaner up here without all that city traffic. Bonus!
8. Gigantic Willow trees.
7. The huge stack of beautiful, warm coats and clothes my sweet friend Ann gave me because she was sure my wardrobe wasn't quite ready for a Vermont winter. :-D
6. "Dancing in the Minefields." Fantastic song by Andrew Peterson.
5. Apple picking.
4. My Tuesday morning ladies' Bible study group. Lovely ladies who love the Lord and each other.
3. My Pumbah t-shirt!!! Fabulous.
2. The song that Macy wrote and composed all by herself! Her music teacher (who also happens to be a dear friend) recorded it and let us listen to it. Sweet.
1. The awesome, Awesome, AWESOME visit we just had with David and Sarah McLemore and Tyrone PUMBAH Arnold. The only way it could have been better would have been if it were longer. So blessed to know and love and be loved by these special people.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Good List 9-22-10

10. Extra Dessert Delights Mint Chocolate Chip gum. 5 scrumptious calories.
9. Sitting in the vault at Clem's. This place was a bank a long time ago. Now there is a table in what used to be the vault where you can cozily enjoy your coffee. I really wish these walls could talk. . . .
8. Thrift Stores.
7. Friday night volleyball with a motley crew from our church. Good times.
6. Destiny African Children's Choir. Just amazing.
5. When Grace says, "Yahoo!" and throws her arms up. I'm pretty sure she's the only person I know who actually uses that word as an exclamation of joy.
4. Watching/hearing Macy sing with the worship team on Sunday. Precious.
3. When leftovers turn into a happy adventure. Yesterday's deliciousness started with plain ol' brown rice. I threw in some caramelized onions and peppers and then diced up leftover rosemary balsamic pork tenderloin. THEN--some diced pineapple and pineapple juice. Yep. You heard me. Sauteed it all together and then sprinkled on some Tony Chachere's seasoning and snipped some green onions on top. YUM!!!
2. Seeing a huge smile spread across Macy and Grace's faces before they even open their eyes in the morning when I wrap a warm robe around them to wake them up. Makes my whole day.
1. Jared's message this past Sunday on despair. One of my favorite points: We are dime-store piggy banks holding the Hope Diamond (the gospel). Only when we are broken do we reveal with certainty what we hold inside. I love that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prayer Time 9-21-10

Prayer Time. You know the drill. Requests welcome in the comments field. Comments on this post will not be published for the sake of those with personal requests. Love y'all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Calling All Nashville Area Helpers

We have decided that it's time for our belongings to live with us. Our house is still for sale, and we wanted to keep it "staged" as long as we could, but we really miss our beds. And our couch. And my winter clothes. ;-) So we have decided that it is time to empty the house and trust that God can sell it empty when His timing is right. (which we do pray will be very soon)

Jared will be making a trip to Nashville during the first week of November (11/4-6) to pack up our "stuff" and leave the house ready for the next owners. He is bringing 2 or 3 guys with him, but ANY AND ALL HELP will be greatly appreciated. Here are some of the things he will need help with. If you (or anyone you know) is available even for just an hour or two during this time, please let us know. We will be forever grateful for any and all help, from providing a few boxes to packing and loading the truck. Help needed will be as follows:

--Boxes. We had originally saved some that he would have brought with him, but we determined that it was smarter to fly down and drive back in the rental truck rather than driving both ways. Most of the house is packed, but we do still have quite a few books, some decorations, and pretty much all of the garage that will need to be packed, so we need a few more good boxes.
--Packers. These will be people who can pack boxes while the Vermont team begins loading the truck with the large furniture, etc.
--Loaders. Of course everything will have to make it onto the truck at some point, so. . . . yeah.
--Haulers. We have a convenience center just a few miles from our house which I'm sure will need to be visited a few times throughout this process to unload trash and/or unwanted items, but each vehicle can only visit once per day, so if anyone is willing to carry a load in the event that it takes more than one load per day, that would be very helpful.
--Cleaners. It is entirely possible (and in fact very likely) that this will be the last time either of us is in the house, so it will be important to leave it as clean and "move-in ready" as possible. If anyone is available to help clean rooms as they are emptied, that would be extremely helpful.

If you are available during this time, please let me know so I can help coordinate and make sure everyone knows what's up. I will not be making the trip, but I want to help as much as I can from afar. Thank you in advance to anyone who can help, and even if you can't, I probably still love you anyway, so no worries. :-D

Pray for us. This is a big step, but we believe it's the right thing to do at this point. Still praying for a contract SOON. Feel free to join us in that prayer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Good List 9-15-10

10. That "Challenge" show on the food network. (Hey! I already told you I'm a nerd like that.) Especially when they build amazing works of art out of dozens of pounds of chocolate. Have mercy!
9. The smell of fresh corn roasting in the oven.
8. The yellow first down line. Brilliant.
7. Getting in the "A" group on Southwest Airlines.
6. Almond Meringue Bark. YUM! Bonus: It's only 5 ingredients and pretty much guiltless unless you eat the entire recipe all by yourself (which you will definitely be tempted to do.)
5. A good, sharp chef's knife. It makes cooking so much more fun.
4. The caramel sea salt truffles that my friend Leticia's Mom makes at The Cocoa Tree in Nashville. Oh. My. Word.
3. Arriving home from my trip last weekend to find a huge team of people from our church working in our yard. I don't know why these people love us so much, but I hope they know how OVERWHELMED we are by the many ways they love us so well.
2. Watching football on the couch with Jared this year instead of from 6 states away.
1. Ticia and Drew are married!!!! Awesome.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prayer Time

Feel free to leave your requests in the comments field. These will not be published publicly, so no worries if they are personal.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Good List 9-8-10

10. Iron Chef America. (Yes, I'm a nerd like that.)
9. Sun-dried tomato and parmesan Sun Chips. Thank you, Subway, for introducing me to this deliciousness.
8. Long weekends. (More snuggle time with my babies.)
7. Chocolate Velvet coffee. Or as I like to call it, Happiness in a Cup.
6. Clem's Cafe. Cool atmosphere, good coffee, free wifi, and lots of outlets. :-D
5. Flying kites.
4. A scrapbook my friend Deitra let me borrow that was made in the mid-1800's. It is one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen.
3. Seeing Macy and Grace get experience with real instruments like guitar and dulcimer (among others) in their music classes at school. I had to play the recorder and the finger cymbals when I was their age. ;-)
2. Getting to proofread Jared's manuscripts. (Working on Gospel Wakefulness now.) How lucky am I?!?
1. Watching the sunrise over the mountains. I hope I never stop being stunned by that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prayer and Share Time

So. . . School is back in session. Which makes me a little sad. I will miss my sweet Macy and Grace during the day. But this does mean that my extended prayer times can start happening again. Please send me your requests if there is anything you'd like me to pray about on your behalf. For the sake of privacy, I will not publish comments on this post, so if your requests are personal, rest assured they will not be made public.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So What's the Difference?

The Lord has been carrying me through a realization process over the last year or two that has taken me quite a while to recognize. I suppose it started well before I understood what He was doing, and I'm sure it will continue throughout the rest of my life. In my limited vocabulary and ability to write/convey my thoughts, here is the best way I can explain it-- Maybe you can relate.

I have discovered that there is quite a massive chasm between trusting God to DO and trusting God to BE. So what's the difference? Well. . . Let's see if I can explain it this way. Let's suppose you are an employer. You have 2 employees. One is excellent at follow-through, but only if you give a list of your expectations and a fully detailed description as to how to carry out each task. When you do this, your employee gets the job done each time, and you are happy with their performance. This is someone who will always DO what you need them to do. BUT--you wouldn't dare leave them to their own devices, because without your input, you're just not sure they could handle the job.

The second employee offers a much different scenario. This is a person you fully trust to get the job done with or without your help. You know that this person understands your needs and takes full responsibility for making sure those needs are met. You don't always fully agree with this employee, but because you know they have your best interest at heart, you allow them the freedom to make their own decisions because you trust their motivation. This is someone you are fully comfortable leaving in control while you go on vacation, etc. This is someone who will BE who you need them to be so that they don't need your list.

Which do you suppose more closely resembles your relationship with God? For me, for way too long, it was the first. I "believed" that God would always fulfill His promises; the problem was that I was limiting those promises to my incredibly skewed human interpretation of what they should mean. And I figured he needed my list to know what to do and when to do it. So foolish. . .

So what does all of this look like in real life? Well, for me it has been a very gradual adjustment, but certainly not an insignificant one. The most obvious evidence of this adjustment is in the way I pray. Many of my prayers have changed from "Lord, please do/give/help......" to "Lord, thank you for BEING fully in control of every millisecond of my life. Please help ME to trust YOU completely in every detail." Or more specifically, instead of "Lord, please sell my house by ____ date," I finally learned to say, "Lord, please do your will in regards to my house and help me to trust your provision while we wait." I'm not saying this means I don't still hope it happens soon, and I'm not saying I understand why He hasn't intervened to bring a buyer by now, but I can honestly say that I don't worry about it like I did before. It is beyond my control and fully surrendered to Yahweh Jireh ("The Lord will provide"). I have done all that I believe He asked me to do and left the rest in His hands. And I sleep at night. Better than I have in years.

I'm not suggesting that we should never pray more specifically than that--not at all. But I know my heart and my inward bent toward wanting to control the outcome of my life. And this is where the discipline should make itself evident. Praying for specific situations out of a pure heart that is fully trusting God to do His will is not only healthy, but I think God delights in it. However, praying with a list of demands for which you are only willing to accept your desired response from God--not so much. Do you really want Him to just DO what you've asked Him to do, or do you want Him to BE your Abba Father, Alpha and Omega, Bread of Life, King of kings, Great High Priest, Shepherd of our Souls, Comforter, Provider, Light of the World, Bridegroom, Immanuel, Messiah, Savior, Eternal Hope, Deliverer, Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Living Water, Prince of Peace, etc. and do so in whatever way He sees fit whether or not it matches your expectations? I choose the latter. I hope He will continue to teach me how to truly make HIM the desire of my heart and not just what He can do for me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Good List 9-1-10

Wait. What?!? September? That can't be right. . . . I'll edit the title once I figure out what's wrong with my calendar. . . ;-)

10. The warm air on my toes from the best-Christmas-present-ever space heater that my Trish gave me 'cause I could never get warm in my office. Now I need it in my house since it seems like my body temperature is set at about 20 degrees below that of the rest of my family. :-D
9. Fantasy Football. I'm pretty much addicted--it might be time for an intervention. . .
8. Build your own salad luncheons. If I had a fresh salad bar in my kitchen, I would probably eat salad every day. But I like variety, so I rarely have on hand or want to buy the long list of items I like. Which is why I love this idea. Everyone brings 1 or 2 ingredients (mostly stuff fresh from their gardens), and we have our own salad bar. Such a great idea!
7. My friend Tydna and the fun Words with Friends games we play even though several states separate us. Gotta love technology! (There you go, buddy! And I mean it, too! :-D)
6. Discovering new healthy recipes that my kids love to eat. Macy's latest favorite is a frozen banana chopped up in the food processor until it looks like Dippin' Dots. Drizzle just a tiny bit of chocolate over it, and voila! Healthy treat after school.
5. Kung Fu Panda 2!!! Coming in June 2011! I LOVED the first one!
4. Full Moons. Gorgeous, majestic, romantic, and a little mysterious and spooky all at the same time.
3. Macy and Grace's super easy transition back into school. They both have the same teacher they had last year, so that was a piece of cake. And so far, no whining about getting up early. ;-)
2. Jared
1. My devotion time with the girls each night. We are going through a book called God and Me: Devotions for Girls Ages 6-9, Vol. 2. The same book exists for ages 2-5 and 10-12 and obviously there is a Volume 1 version of all three as well. I highly recommend them. They're short but not insignificant and a great way to end the day and send the kids to bed with the right thoughts in their little heads.