Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Good List 1-30-13

10. My Mom is addicted to the game Stupid Zombies (and Stupid Zombies 2!!!) on her Nook. This makes me giggle every time I think about it.
9. These yummy little delights. Just 70 calories for 3 crisps. Add a 35 calorie Laughing Cow treat or 25 calories worth of artichoke/tomato bruschetta for a super delicious and healthy snack. The topping possibilities are endless!

8. Mary Kay's Satin Hands treatment. I found some when I was cleaning out my bathroom over the weekend, and I was reminded how magical it is. :-D
7. Customized yonana bowls. Everyone tried something different, but they were ALL delicious!

6. Finally contract discussions are underway for Jared's first novel, which is also the very first book he ever wrote--14 years ago! I think he thought fiction would never happen for him. So exciting!
5. Brand new Baby Peter born to our friends Steve and Denise Rahn and his THREE big sisters a couple weeks ago. :-D

4. Our church voted unanimously on Sunday to add the wonderfully special Russell Merrill to our elder board. He and his wife Susan are some of the most humble and servant-hearted people I've ever met. So grateful for them!
3. Nate Carr brought the GOSPEL on Sunday in Jared's absence. So thankful for his teaching and leadership within our church and community.
2. I have another nephew!!! Luke Oren McLemore. Can't wait to snuggle him in March!

1. My man is HOME. All is right with the world. :-D

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prayer Time 1-29-13

Today I'm praying for my husband's safe return home. He was teaching in Bowie, TX over the weekend and flew back into Albany, NY last night, but the drive from there to here in the snow was just too much for our old, rear wheel drive Suburban to handle. He stopped at a motel for the night, and we're both hoping the roads are clear this morning for him to get home to us. By God's grace, I'm not usually a huge worrier (or at least I don't *think* I am), but I have to admit I'm really ready for him to be here and know for sure the drive was safe instead of wondering what he might encounter on the way home.

What are the things on your heart today? I'd love to pray with you about them. Feel free to leave requests in the comments section of this post, and as always with my prayer request posts, comments will not be published publicly for the sake of those concerned with privacy. 

May we all boldly approach the throne today!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Good List 1-23-13

Last week I traveled to Texas to surprise my Mom during her 65th birthday celebration. It was one of the sweetest and most special weekends ever. This list is brought to you by that experience. :-D

10. Finding Community Coffee (the best coffee in the world in my opinion) now available in flavored grounds. YUM! I got some French Vanilla and Pecan Praline to bring home with me.

9. My brother-in-law overheard me talking to my Dad about how sad I was that I took for granted (when I was little) all those pecan trees on the property I grew up on in Louisiana. (What I wouldn't give these days to be able to pick a pound of pecans right out of my yard.) BUT Mickey pulled a huge bag out of his freezer for me and said he could get more from his Dad's property. THANKS, MICK!
8. Mexican food. Or more accurately, Tex-Mex. You just can't get that kind of food in the Northeast. (but I still don't want to leave here :-D)
7. Having a Plants vs. Zombies tournament with Ty during our road trip to Lake Charles. Good times.
6. Pedicures with my sisters. (Vick was there too. She took the picture.)

5. Watching football and having a cup of coffee with my Dad. Doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like, but I'm grateful when it does.
4. I "just happened" to be there right when one of my sisters needed me most. Some would say coincidence. I say divine intervention. Love you, A!

3. Seeing some of my cousins and an aunt and uncle that I hadn't hugged in years. So fun!

2. Giggling with my family to the point of tears over and over and over again. Best feeling ever.

1. TOTALLY surprising my Mom. She had no clue whatsoever we were showing up. (I had talked to her on the phone the night before.) She cried and cried and announced in a voice that made her seem like an 8-year-old at Disneyworld, "This is my best birthday ever!" Awesome to make her feel so loved when she spends her whole life making sure everyone else is loved. Precious memories.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Maturing into Child-like Wonder

A few weeks ago, Gracie and I were having one of our spirited, silly arguments about who was the most excited about an upcoming adventure. She finally trumped me when she ended the conversation by saying something like, "Mom, you know everything looks and feels bigger and more exciting when you're a little kid." She won. I had no argument for that. 

Immediately my mind filled with images of my childhood home. Today my adult mind will guess that it was likely no more than around 1400 square feet, but as a child, I recall that it felt ENORMOUS! It was a simple house. Kitchen, dining and living room all sorta lumped together into a big square, and then a hallway with 2 rooms on either side (bedrooms on the left, one bedroom and a bathroom on the right) and then Mom and Dad's room at the very end of the hall. Also there was a sliding door closet on the right. I doubt it was any more than about 16 feet long and 3 feet wide, but in my mind's eye, I can still see that hallway as vastly long and fraught with adventurous possibility. My sisters and I played every kind of game imaginable tracking back and forth through that hallway. Sometimes we played "mail" by hanging bags on each door knob and dropping notes into each other's bags every few minutes, setting up meetings and tea parties for later in the day. Sometimes we played Red Light, Green Light or Mother, May I?, running up and down for hours at a time. Many times we played hide and seek, during which the sliding door closet was a favorite spot to cozy up on a high shelf under some blankets. (I can't imagine how many times my Mom refolded linens.) Some of my favorite times were when my oldest sister would set up elaborate play days for us "littles," and each room would be a different adventure. One might have games and puzzles set up everywhere. Another might have crazy music and lights for a dance party. Sometimes there would be a "quiet room" for reading. Maybe a craft room or a Weeble village (anyone else remember those? MAN! We loved those things!) There were so many options. Which door shall we choose today? Adventure awaits!

I love those memories. And I'm sad that I'm suddenly aware that if I walked back into that house now, it would probably feel small to me. What a shame. But I guess that's just a reality of growing up and seeing from a different perspective.


I have some exciting news!!! 

It seems to me the Gospel is exactly the OPPOSITE of that! Ohhhhhh. That makes me happy. As an immature believer, it was so easy for me to compartmentalize my faith. I could file away everything I knew about the Bible and God and Jesus (which admittedly was not much) and then pull it back out as needed. There was no adventure, no mystery, no fun about it. It was utilitarian at best. Just one small closet with a few drawers of information. BUT the older I get and more importantly, the more mature I become in my faith, the GRANDER and more EXCITING and more EXQUISITE all of this Gospel gorgeousness becomes to me. No hallway exists in this world that is long enough to hold the many doors it would take to tuck away rooms and rooms full of adventure and discovery and wonder. Narnia is just that plain ol' pre-Lucy, boxed in wardrobe compared to the glory of the Gospel. Oh, what fun to mature into child-like wonder again! The hallway keeps getting longer and longer. Which door shall I choose today? Or more accurately, which door will God swing open as I walk by? Adventure awaits! Let the journey begin!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Good List 1-9-13

10. The lemon ginger honey tea I've had to drink almost every single day of 2013 so far. I'm told it's super healthy. I'd like to think that's true, but that is just a bonus. My favorite thing about it is that it's magically delicious and smells like heaven while I'm preparing it. :-D
9. My new arsenal of homemade cleaning supplies. I've dabbled in this for awhile, but I was newly inspired by my friend Erin this week. You wouldn't believe how CHEAP all of this stuff is to make, and most of it works BETTER than the expensive store-bought stuff. Laundry detergent is coming soon, but I need better containers for it first.

8. This. So fascinating and gorgeous.
7. Getting back into a good workout routine. One of these years I will find a way to stay more disciplined *during* the holidays, but alas, this was not the year. Glad to be back on track though. 
6. The home brewed hard cider my friend Richard delivered to me Sunday. The perfect accompaniment to playoff football. YUM!
5. Holding my new Mixbook in my hands. I love seeing the images online, but it's not the same as looking at the finished, printed book. Such a treasure to me. 

4. When Macy and Grace giggle freely with each other. Sweetest sound ever.
3. A surprise mini-retreat this weekend. We have a friend a little over an hour away who is moving to Michigan soon, so we're going to his going away party. Rather than make the drive back home late Friday night, Jared booked us a hotel nearby. I treasure these together times so much.
2. There are 3 special ladies on my mind as I type who are expecting sweet babies this month. Lots of prayers going up over the next few weeks for each of those families.
1. John 1:16: "For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."  So amazing.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Good List 1-2-13

10. My Yonanas frozen treat maker. I'm typically pretty skeptical about such things, but I got a firsthand recommendation from a good friend on this one, and I couldn't agree more. It's a miracle! This thing turns pure fresh fruit into the most wonderful treats that are the exact consistency and creaminess of soft serve frozen yogurt. YAY for the healthiest "ice cream" ever in 2013 and beyond! :-D
9. It recently occurred to me that I haven't worn a watch since I moved to Vermont a little over 2-1/2 years ago, and it hasn't been a problem. Of course that doesn't mean I never have anywhere to be or anything to do at specific times, but let's just say that most of my appointments these days are much less "urgent," and I like it.
8. All the "best of" lists people post on their blogs this time of year. Gives me a great list of books and movies and recipes, etc. to try in 2013. :-D
7. My resourceful and creative kiddos. Macy came into the living room with 6 sheets of my scrapbook paper the other night and asked if she could use them. I told her sure. Just a few minutes later, she showed me this. WOW! So cool!

6. A few days ago, my sweet friend Gail approached me with a huge envelope of clippings that she had gathered from all of the local papers regarding the Annie production Macy was in a few weeks ago. (She must know I'm a freakish scrapbooker.) What a treasure!
5. A new job for my big sis. Closer to home and with a much more "normal" schedule. So glad to know she will get some time back instead of spending so much of her life commuting and juggling ever-changing schedules.
4. This picture of Macy, which I'm certain will make me giggle for years to come. 

3. Before Christmas, Macy scoured sale papers for weeks, then gathered up all of her allowance and asked me to take her shopping for her cousins and her family. The very first thing she bought was this gift to me. A Charlie Brown Christmas tree. What a special memory this will be when I pull out all of my Christmas decorations every year! So sweet.

2. Getting to live with my favorite people in the whole wide world. THANK YOU for my family, Lord!

1. Reflecting on 2012 and being struck by the thought that the theme seemed to be, "God is near." There were exciting and thrilling highs. There were painful and scary lows. Mostly there were lots of experiences somewhere in between. But through it all, God was near. And to be clear, he always has been. I know that. But last year I ran to him and reached for him and recognized him far more quickly than I have in the past. For that I am grateful. Praying for an even greater shaping of my heart in that direction during 2013.