Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Good List 10-27-10

10. Homemade hashbrowns.
9. Parcheesi. I found an old school set in a thrift shop last weekend for just $1. Looks like it has hardly been used. Felt like my childhood climbed right out of the box when I opened it. :-D
8. Flurry. This is one of the best dogs I have ever seen.
7. When Macy and Grace burst into spontaneous song about how much they love me when we're all working together in the kitchen.
6. Chris Sligh's The Anatomy of Broken. Yes and amen. Excellent stuff.
5. Making pumpkin bread with Macy and Grace and our sweet Ms. Ann. She is such a treasure.
4. Quechee Gorge. Beautiful, undisturbed, refreshing. One of my new favorite spots for sure.
3. Watching kids in rain boots dance through every puddle they can find.
2. As Macy and Grace would say--"Little Person Hugs."
1. The Dickersons are here for a WHOLE WEEK!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

That Radiant Glow

Last weekend we went to Quechee Gorge for a little hiking/sightseeing. In typical fashion, I hauled my camera along so that I could take the infamous "about a billion" pictures that my girls seem to think accompany every activity we enjoy. (They're not really exaggerating that much, btw. What can I say?. . . . ;-) And as usual I was very glad to have my camera, because there was MUCH beauty to try to capture on film. I took all of the "normal" shots that just about everyone else in Quechee took that day--the aerial view of the gorge, the waterfalls, the rocky basin, etc.--but as most people were putting away their cameras to hike back up the mountain, I kept mine out. Here's why--

As we hiked down the mountain through a pretty thick covering of trees, I kept finding myself drawn to the one leaf in the midst of hundreds of others exactly like it that had a tiny ray of light squeezing through the trees to illuminate it and then burst through the other side. These leaves themselves weren't any different than the many unlit ones surrounding them, and yet they were so much more radiant and gorgeous than their neighbors in those moments of light.

I couldn't help but wonder if that same principal might apply to me. If I truly allow the ONE TRUE LIGHT to illuminate and then burst through me, will people be more drawn to me? Or more accurately, to Christ in me? I have to believe the answer is yes.

So I took pictures. LOTS of pictures. To remind me of the effects of LIGHT and how it stirred my affections and drew my attention to ordinary things.

This gives me hope. For I am quite ordinary. But Christ in me is radiant! Thank you, Jesus!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Good List 10-20-10

10. The fact that we didn't have to turn our heater on until just a couple days ago. (Yes, yes, I know what's coming--DON'T RUSH ME!!!)
9. The Rite Aid rewards program. If you have one near you, check into it. I walked out of there earlier this week with $70 worth of merchandise, but I only spent $29. PLUS I got $6 in store credits that I can use on anything in the store except a prescription next time I go. I'll take it!
8. Fantastic Mr. Fox. What an odd, interesting, sweet and hilariously random movie.
7. Titans Soft Knocks. Crackin' me up. "Hey, don't worry about it. That was society's fault. It'll be ok."
6. When I ask Jared if he would mind making me a cup of coffee, expecting a plain ol' cup of coffee, but he delivers unto me my favorite mocha flavored cup of joy complete with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkles. He's a keeper!
5. The Wilson pumpkin family our friend Rita left on our front steps one day last week while we were out. Easily the most awesome thing that has ever been left on our doorstep. Uncanny, don't you think? ;-)
4. No more school this week!
3. The huge Titans win on Monday Night Football this week! YEAH BUDDY!
2. The outstanding teacher conferences we just had with Macy and Grace's teachers. So proud of our girls! (and we LOVE their teachers!)
1. Jared's Gospel Wakefulness manuscript is finished! He sent it to the publisher last week. Hopefully they will like it as much as I did. :-D

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prayer Time 10-19-10

Same drill as usual. :-D If anyone has prayer requests, feel free to leave them in the comments thread. For those who are concerned about privacy, the comments on this post will not be published publicly.

It is my honor to pray for you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This is absolutely gorgeous and well worth your time. I promise.

(HT:Michael Kelley)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Good List 10-13-10

10. Bacon. I know, right?!?
9. Coupons.
8. Google Reader. I don't have time to peruse hundreds of websites. Just the one will do. Thanks!
7. Christmas Music!!! It's never too early for me. Pipe down, haters!!! :-P
6. Dark Chocolate Chex Mix. Oh my goodness, y'all. . . If you dig the whole salty/sweet situation as much as I do, this is your treat for sure. YUM! (I wonder if YUM is the most-used word on my entire blog. Is that sad? ;-)
5. ZipList ( I've only been using it for a couple weeks, but so far, I love it! Great for organizing schedules, recipes, grocery lists, etc. all in one place!
4. A freezer full of homemade goodness.
3. Always having something super fun on the calendar to look forward to. Next up: My youngest sister and her family are coming to visit later this month. I'm so excited!!!!
2. AWANA. Macy and Grace love it, and they're learning so much scripture! Awesome!
1. Paul the apostle. I really wish I could have hung out with him. One day. . .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prayer Time 10-12-10

If you have any prayer requests, please feel free to leave them in the comments thread. These comments will not be posted publicly for those who are concerned about privacy. It's my honor to pray for you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Oh, Glorious Day!

A few days ago for reasons I don't quite recall, I found myself in the midst of a pretty deep discussion with Grace about "the end of the world." Interestingly, she wasn't afraid or sad that the world would one day end--mostly just disappointed. ;-) Gracie really enjoys life, so she just doesn't want the party to end. Ever. (Enter Mom with the good news. :-D )

The end of the conversation went something like this:

Me: Actually, the last day of *this life* will be our best day ever, because that's when eternal life begins.

Gracie: Even if we don't die first?

Me: Well, most people will probably die in their earthly bodies at some point, but when Jesus comes back, He will take ALL of the people who know Him to heaven whether they're dead or alive on earth, and then we will all live FOREVER in HEAVEN. (Realizing this is a pretty grand concept to grasp, I try to get creative and reference a song we like to sing together, and this always involves some level of theatrics which Gracie really likes. ;-) Hey, Gracie--you know that song we like to sing together--Oh Glorious Day? Remember when it says "One day the trumpet will sound for His coming! One day the skies with His glory will shine. WONDERFUL DAY, My Beloved One, bringing My Savior, Jesus is mine!"? That's what that song is about. It's describing what will happen on the day that Jesus comes to get us. (I'm really getting into this. It's quite a production, and I'm fully expecting a deep, rich, ongoing conversation.)

Instead, quite simply. . . .

Gracie: (brief pause) Hmm. Well, I hope I stay alive until He comes to get me, 'cause I wanna hear that trumpet, and I wanna see that sky!!!

Yes indeed. And that will do for now. :-D

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oh, the Joy that Labor Pains Can Bring!

It just occurred to me today as I was reviewing some dates for my scrapbook that I arrived in Vermont exactly 9 months after my family left me in Nashville to move here ahead of me. I'm not sure why I never did the math before. I knew it was "about 9 months," but by the time I arrived, I was swept up in enough other activities not to bother with looking back at a calendar for review. At that point, I didn't really care anymore about how long it had been. I was just glad our time apart was over.

As I think about it now, I can't help but see something poetic and redemptive about the entire scenario. The other two significant 9-month waiting periods in my life (my full-term pregnancies) gave me Macy and Grace. And then I spent years mourning my time away from them each time I had to leave them for work.

This time my 9-month waiting period gave them back to me. And just like the pain of labor was well worth the beautiful miracle of holding my newborn babies, the pain of 9 months away from them (while it was MUCH worse than labor pains) was still worth the miracle that we are living now. Thank you, Jesus, for redeeming my time away from my babies and for using it to teach me just how valuable our time together is. I hope I never take it for granted. God designed my heart through and through for such a time as this, and I have never known such joy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Good List 10-6-10

10. Gusty wind. Especially in the fall when it makes pretty leaves swirl around everywhere.
9. The chicken stroganoff and roasted asparagus I made earlier this week for dinner. YUM! Even my kids liked it!
8. Making homemade playdough. Good, messy fun! (Totally worth the mess.)
7. The snuggliest blanket ever that David and Sarah gave me when they came to visit a couple weeks ago. It is like being hugged by a friendly bear. Awesome.
6. Having friends I know will always be in my life regardless of the challenges geography presents us with. :-D
5. Making homemade apple pies with apples we picked ourselves. I love that!
4. My friend Rachel's new blog that will tell you everything you need to know about Christian fiction. Plus she's adorable, so bonus!
3. Middletown Springs Community Church. Something special is happening there. I can't quite verbalize it, but OH how I feel it and love it!
2. Listening to Macy play Scarborough Fair on the piano.

Macy Playing "Scarborough Fair" from Jared Wilson on Vimeo.

1. Jared's message last Sunday. It was one of my recent favorites for sure. Yes, I'm sure I'm biased, but I promise it's really good, thought-provoking, potentially even life-changing stuff. Give it a listen here if you have time. Some of my favorite (slightly paraphrased) thoughts: "All Christians are either missionaries or disobedient." "We carry the same gospel within us as the apostle Paul, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, and Christ Himself. They may preach the gospel better, but they can't preach a better gospel."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prayer Time

Today is a good day to pray. :-D

Feel free to leave prayer requests in the comments field. As always, I will not publicly publish the comments on this post.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Endless Wonder

This morning as she was getting ready to leave for school, Gracie asked me a very simple question: "Mommy, can we make a special place in the attic for us to have a quiet spot to. . . . you know. . . . read about God and pray and stuff?" Macy thought this was a great idea, too, and they immediately started talking about where it should be, how it should be set up, etc.

Well. . . . Of course, I didn't even have to think about it for 10 seconds before immediately responding YES! But once they were at school and I was home alone in my quiet house, I did think about it. A LOT. And I cried. The happiest, proudest tears I have cried in a long time.

There are so many reasons this simple little question fills my heart to overflowing.

1. I LOVE Macy and Grace's imagination and sense of adventure. We live in a very, VERY old farmhouse. It is creaky and rickety and dark and worn. And we love it. BUT the attic, for the faint of heart--borders on creepy. ;-) To Macy and Grace, however, it is an endless adventure of discovery. They don't think it's creepy at all. They think it's "special" since most houses don't have that kind of attic. I love that.

2. Both of my girls love to read. I mean, they REALLY love it! And they are very "unpicky" about it, devouring everything from fiction and stories of adventure to their Bibles and Bible stories to biographies and even science books and almanacs, etc. This makes me very happy.

3. This thought was completely initiated by Grace. Jared and I do our best to encourage time with God and certainly try to exhibit the need/desire for it in our own lives. But we have never made a big deal of telling the girls to find a special place to do so or anything like that. We typically have our almost-nightly devotions on the couch in the living room. (I'd love to say "nightly" as in every night, but I have to admit that would be a lie.) Nothing super special about the couch. Just the most comfy place to all sit together for a few minutes. But in Gracie's mind, time with God is a special event that deserves a special location. Awesome.

4. My girls have a desire to know God. They are children, yes. I'm not saying that by any stretch they always choose Bible study over other activities. Of course not. Or that we never have to help them remember to actually apply what they have read about during times when their sinfulness is most evident. ;-) But they do enjoy reading their Bibles and learning about their Savior. It is not a daunting task for them like I must admit it has been for me at times. Their minds are full of wonder, and learning more about God is just one of the many ways they satisfy their longing for more knowledge. It's so uncomplicated to them. Not a task. Not a burden. Just something they do and actually enjoy. Oh that we could all keep our minds filled with wonder in every area of life--but most especially the gospel.

Now-- I'm off to find a special spot in the attic. . . .