Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Good List 1-29-14

10. Invincible. Pretty good flick. And I didn't realize it was Disney until we started watching it.
9. Ro-tel. It's kind of one of my favorite ingredients. Especially during soup/chili season. Put that deliciousness in every pot. So good.
8. 'Member this? It's still awesome.

7. Honest Toddler. It makes me giggle so much. Here are some of my favorite gems:

"Big Bird looks like Shaq and Tweety Bird had special time."

"I just did the math on sharing. No."

"How do you convince someone to stop pinning Lunch Ideas and start making Actual Lunch?"

"Thought I met the Mayor of Whoville, but it was just a toddler dressed head to toe in Etsy."

"You wanna see separation anxiety? Watch an adult realize they're out of wine."

"'There are starving kids who would love this meal.' Ok, so how do we get it to them?"

"She let pinterest talk her into making No Bake cookies. They taste like damp granola."

"I'm trying not to take it personally that the fastest I see you move all day is when you're getting me ready for bed."

6. Macy's bracelets and charms. She got a Rainbow Loom for Christmas, and she is figuring out how to make all kinds of adorableness.

5. The facebook page my sisters and I set up for my Dad during our recent Tennessee vacation. We posted on his behalf (and without his knowledge) for several days before we finally told him what we were doing. I'm still giggling about this. Actually, giggle is quite the understatement. Here are a few of my favorite entries:

(Note "Dad's" comment under this one:)

(It's possible he wrote us all out of his will after seeing this one:)


(Probably my favorite:)

(Amy's favorite:)

4. Old school sleds. So cool!

3. When Jared asks to use my photography in a project he's working on. Silly, but it makes me feel like I'm contributing a tiny bit to all of his good work. 'Cause Lord knows it will never be my (nonexistent) writing or teaching skills he will need. (and I am quite fine with that.)
2. Another clean brain scan for Matt Chandler. So grateful for his life and ministry.
1. Sisters. They make me happy. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Prayer Time 1-28-14

From The Valley of Vision:

"Truth in Jesus"

Life-Giving God,

Quicken me to call upon thy name,
     for my mind is ignorant,
     my thoughts vagrant,
     my affections earthly,
     my heart unbelieving,
   and only thy Spirit can help my infirmities.
I approach thee as Father and Friend,
   my portion for ever,
   my exceeding joy,
   my strength of heart.
I believe in thee as the God of nature,
   the ordainer of providence,
   the sender of Jesus my Saviour.
My guilty fears discourage an approach to thee,
   but I praise thee for the blessed news
     that Jesus reconciles thee to me.
May the truth that is in him
   illuminate in me all that is dark,
   establish in me all that is wavering,
   comfort in me all that is wretched,
   accomplish in me all that is of thy goodness,
   and glorify in me the name of Jesus.
I pass through a vale of tears
   but bless thee for the opening gate of glory
     at its end.
Enable me to realize as mine the better,
   heavenly country.
Prepare me for every part of my pilgrimage.
Uphold my steps by thy Word.
Let no iniquity dominate me.
Teach me that Christ cannot be the way
     if I am the end,
   that he cannot be Redeemer
     if I am my own saviour,
   that there can be no true union with him
     while the creature has my heart,
   that faith accepts him as Redeemer and Lord
     or not at all.


I will surely never in my life pray so eloquently, but I'm grateful that God hears me anyway. Please let me know how I might pray for you today by leaving your requests in the comments section. Comments on this post will not be published publicly for the sake of those concerned with privacy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Good List 1-22-14

10. Indi's hoodie. We put it on him right before the first play-off game, which the Patriots won more convincingly than we expected them to. (Surely it was the hoodie, right?) I guess not. It didn't work in the championship game. Oh well. Still cute.

9. Using zucchini strips in place of pasta. I couldn't find a spaghetti squash at the grocery store last week (my typical pasta alternative), so I did this instead. I think I liked it even better.

8. This crazy amazing rubber band gun. I will own it some day. Oh yes. It will be mine.

7. Winter. Yeah, it's stupid cold today. Not saying I love negative 11 degrees. I don't. I'm staying inside as much as possible today and drinking much more coffee than I normally would. But without winter, there would be none of this. So yeah. Winter.


6. Gracie's neverending creativity with her Legos. She is always building something. Always. I love that.

5. Gracie's recent Young Scholars project. They had to build structures from nothing but raw spaghetti noodles and marshmallows and see how strong they could make them. Grace's team won tallest structure and strongest structure (they loaded it up to 15 ounces before it collapsed). Pretty fun!

4. Macy got most of her mid-term grades back yesterday. All A's so far. So proud of the way she handled that new experience.
3. This beautiful, precious tribute video created by Anne's son, Mark for her memorial service last week. He is a treasure. She is a treasure. This is a treasure. It's perfect.
2. Jared's next book, The Storytelling God releases next month. Always exciting to see how God might use these offerings. (And I'm totally diggin' the cover.)

1. A GOOD NEWS follow-up yesterday to some scary news about my Dad last week. So grateful for God's answer to those prayers.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

An "Open Share" Regarding Anne Miserocchi

Yesterday we celebrated the beautiful life of Anne--her life here on earth through which she blessed so many, but even moreso her current life in glory. OH, TO BE WITH HER IN GLORY! I can't wait!

The service was perfect. Sweet and special, appropriately sad and reflective, but equally joyful and hopeful. And just like I know Anne would have wanted, she was honored, but Christ was honored even more. 

As with many memorial services, there was an open share time, and as with most memorial services, I did not share anything. Not because I didn't have anything to share, but because I can almost guarantee a microphone in my hand yesterday would have pretty much immediately transformed me into a puddle on the floor. No one really needs to see that. So to those who attended the service: you're welcome. :-)

But this is what I would have said if I thought I could have done so articulately (or even just in understandable English):

I could write a whole book of the many ways and reasons I love Anne. It's amazing how strongly and securely God knit our hearts together. She felt like home to me literally before I even moved to Vermont. That all by itself is a whole long story of blessing upon blessing. But my favorite thing about that precious lady is this:

Anne had a way of making me feel like I was the most amazing person she had ever met. BUT. (This is a big but, so don't miss it.....) She somehow did so in such a way that made it clear it had nothing at all to do with me and everything to do with Christ in me. Brilliant. Because: the end result of this is that she encouraged me to pursue Christ without ever telling me that's what I should be doing. She was all of grace and none of law. All encouragement; no guilt. All love; no demands. Her expectations of *me* were low, but she wanted more for me than what I could muster on my own. She wanted me to know Christ, to pursue Him, to chase after Him and let him transform and sanctify and redeem me. She wanted these things for me because she loved me. She knew that apart from Christ, I am nothing, but that the power of Christ in me is everything. What a rare and extraordinary friendship! Zero pressure. Infinite grace. Rock solid truth. Everyone needs a friend like that.

I can only imagine the times Anne in all her wisdom might have quietly shaken her head at much less wise me (although I like to imagine she did it with a smile on her face.) But she never told me about any of those times. Instead, she just found ways to continually point me to Christ and teach me daily how to focus more on Him. 

So in summary, this is what I want to share about Anne--  I love Christ more and better, deeper and stronger, more authentically, sincerely and intensely because of her. And I can't think of any better compliment than that.

Anne, you are an unforgettable treasure to me. You have shaped my life in ways I'm certain you didn't even realize, and I am forever grateful. I seriously cannot wait to party with you in the NEW HEAVENS and NEW EARTH when Habakkuk 2:14 finally comes to life and we are swept up in it for all eternity. OH, make it so, Lord! Make it so.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Servant in Battle

From The Valley of Vision:

The Servant in Battle

O Lord,

I bless thee that the issue of the battle
between thyself and Satan
has never been uncertain,
and will end in victory.
Calvary broke the dragon's head,
and I contend with a vanquished foe,
who with all his subtlety and strength
has already been overcome.
When I feel the serpent at my heel,
may I remember him whose heel was bruised,
but who, when bruised, broke the devil's head.

My soul with inward joy extols
the mighty conqueror.

Heal me of any wounds received
in the great conflict;
if I have gathered defilement,
if my faith has suffered damage,
if my hope is less than bright,
if my love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,
if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight.

O thou whose every promise is balm,
every touch life,
draw near to thy weary warrior,
refresh me, that I may rise again
to wage the strife,
and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.

Give me such fellowship with thee
that I may defy Satan,
unbelief, the flesh, the world,
with delight that comes not from a creature,
and which a creature cannot mar.

Give me a draught of the eternal fountain
that lieth in thy immutable, everlasting love
and decree.

Then shall my hand never weaken,
my feet never stumble,
my sword never rest,
my shield never rust,
my helmet never shatter,
my breastplate never fall,
as my strength rests in the power
of thy might.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Good List 1-15-14

10. Patriots are going to the finals! Good times.
9. How to Train Your Dragon 2 coming soon! Can't wait! The first one was one of my all-time favorites. Also: I want a pet dragon who can fly me through the air. :-)

8. The matching hat and scarf Macy made me for Christmas. Talented and resourceful, that one.

7. We get a long weekend this weekend. Macy is off Friday, and both girls are off Monday. This never makes me sad.
6. SheReadsTruth--a website my friend Lore tipped me to a few weeks ago. Helps me start every day with the right focus and perspective. Check it out, ladies.
5. Frozen. Super sweet and fun movie, and the soundtrack is boss. Love it! One of our favorite family "dates" in awhile.
4. My very own copy of The Valley of Vision that Jared put in my Christmas stocking. I love it.
3. Indi. This little dude is my shadow the whole time I'm home, and I love it. He's the sweetest dog ever.

2. Macy is having her first experience with mid-terms this week. She is handling it with great poise and responsibility. I'm so proud of her.
1. In just a few days, we will celebrate the life of this brilliant, beautiful lady. There will be sadness for sure. But I'm grateful that there will also be rejoicing as we celebrate the story of her life here on earth and even moreso her new ETERNAL life of experiencing the GLORY of Christ in every single moment from now on. Every second filled with his glory. Think of that. Oh man. I miss you so much, Anne, but this I know: you are not sad to have left. I'm grateful for that.