Dec 17 2014

Impossibillions

Published by under Quotes,Reading

Imagine sticking your fingers on your pulse
and thanking God every time
He gave you another blood-driving, brain-powering thump.
We should.
And we shouldn’t,
because if we did,
we would never do anything else with our living;
we wouldn’t have the time to look at or savor
any of the other of our impossibillions of gifts.

~N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, p108~

 

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Dec 16 2014

Contemplations

I have been sitting here by the fire, by the tree, one toddler napping, two young boys creating desserts with playdough… and I have been contemplating many things. Including how different it would be if I had a little newborn here resting on my chest. Fidelis would have been born this week, presumably, and to continue moving forward through time continues to reopen so many hard corners. Yet at a Classical Christian school’s Christmas concert last night (we wanted to go fellowship with friends, and let the kids cheer on some of their friends on stage!), rather than sitting there wistfully thinking about how hard it is to have a small family when I have a big-family-heart (which is SO true in my life every single day), the Lord mercifully granted me the thought instead ~ how marvelous that our laps are full of these three amazing miracles and that God is giving all five of us SUCH JOY in this music and this night and this place and this fellowship! So God’s faithfulness continues to show up in many facets, with many nuances, in many different circumstances. My joys AND my sorrows are beautiful because they have been given to me by my Father.

Of course that doesn’t mean that my sorrows don’t make me cry just like my joys make me laugh.

It just means that I occasionally have the grace to recognize that my life is a masterpiece created by The Artist with skills that utilize both light and shadows for His glory. And sometimes He even gives me the eyes to see beauty from His perspective.

 

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Dec 16 2014

Leadership

Published by under Quotes

The right kind of hard man is hard for his wife. Soft men are hard on their wives. In the same way, hard men are hard for their people; soft men are hard on their people. As we deal with these perilous times, we need hard pastors — pastors who are hard for their congregations, not hard on their congregations.

We need Christian leadership, in short, that is meek and gentle in its responsiveness to the Word of God, and that absolutely refuses to budge whenever the world demands it. And that is something that I am afraid we do not currently have.

~Douglas Wilson, blog~

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Dec 01 2014

Preparing!

I got goosebumps when reading this post on Preparing Him Room, as we delve into the season of Advent.
And while I am a CREC girl at heart, attending an ACNA Anglican church now, it is really great to see some of the Advent nuances making an impression on my family. Yesterday the liturgy at church was different, it began with the lighting of the hope/prophecy candle, and the vestments had changed to a rich purple color which inspired my little Asher to gasp “the church changed its clothes!” when we walked into the sanctuary.

We had our first Advent feast this weekend, and had the joy of sharing it with my parents & grandparents. We also have little chocolates as a family each night, reminding the kids that Christmas is coming ~ Jesus has come and changed the world, and soon we will once again share in a glorious celebration of that, but we still also get to look ahead to when He comes again and anticipate the enormity of that feast and wedding!

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And we have a mite box to collect money to donate for well digging in needy countries. We are donating shoes to a local community center that provides for local needy families. We have activities and music and games and readings.
And we have decorated our home to remind us that this season of the year is special, set apart.

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So we’re in the midst of preparing and anticipating. And it’s a joyful thing. And boy oh boy, are we eagerly looking forward to the culmination of it all on Christmas day! Just ask my kids ~ they’re counting down. :)

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Nov 27 2014

My First Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Published by under Baking,Cooking,Quotes

And it was downright delicious.

We were created to eat!
The eating experience is as much a part of living as breathing.
The natural cycle is to eat, become satisfied, take a break—then eat to get satisfied again.
There’s no getting past it.
We are wired to get satisfied from food
~Trim Healthy Mama, p37~

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I love to eat.
And in my very honest moments, I have to admit that giving up food and wine felt like more than I could manage.
What I eat and what I drink are little moments of joy throughout the day—the things I think about, plan around, daydream about.
No one changes their life until the pain level is unmanageable, and in all sorts of ways for me, the pain level had reached the unmanageable point. …
I felt like I wasn’t living in the same world everyone else was living in.
It was like choosing to live with the volume turned all the way down, or going to the beach but not being able to put my feet in the ocean.
My senses were starving. …
There has to be a way to live with health and maturity and intention while still honoring the part of me that loves to eat, that sees food as a way to nurture and nourish both my body and my spirit.
~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p137~

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Nov 24 2014

The Bug Party

The pictures pretty much speak for themselves. We had a good celebration of a treasured little boy’s life!

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Nov 24 2014

Asher Timothy is 3

How it’s possible for this sweet boy to be three years old is beyond me. Yet everybody insists that he must have turned three long ago because he is rather mature for such a young guy. And thus it is, my little boy who brings happiness to everyone and seems to carry eternity in his eyes, he’s a timeless gift of blessedness. I am so humbled, delighted, privileged, and thankful that he is my son.

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This is perhaps the heart of parenting: despite my aching, desperate baby-love, it’s my job to help him into being a big boy.
It’s my job, my honor, to walk him, quite literally, from baby to toddler to boy to man.
~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p179~

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Nov 19 2014

Three Years of Home

Published by under Life,Our House,Quotes

Three years ago today, we left our first home and moved to our own home ~ one we designed ourselves, had built by a friend, and which was not complete when we moved in. But we have spent the last three years nurturing, training, and fellowshipping with one another in this home, and we have worked to finish some things in the house along the way. But the best part? That this house is a place we have made our home, by God’s grace and provision. We designed this house to be a place of hospitality ~ primarily for our family, specifically for our children ~ but also for friends, brethren, neighbors. Just last month we had thirty people from our new church over to eat and sing with us, and we’ve had four different families over for meals and a few playdates too. Just in the last month. Because the Lord is good! And because we have a home which we want to use for His service, blessing His people, and nurturing the people He has put in our care.

Home.
A place of rest while we are on this earth.
A safe place for our children.
A place to love and be loved.
A place that is beautiful.
A haven.
With enough money, anyone can create a pretty house.
But it takes intention to create a home.
~Myquillyn Smith, The Nesting Place, p181

THEN (2011):

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NOW (2014):

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One of my top priorities for my home is for it to be a place of beauty. Notice I didn’t say I want my home to be perfect. Also, I really don’t care for it to be expensive. Beauty is something altogether different. I’ve yet to meet a woman who wants her home to be ugly. Enjoying beautiful things is part of being human. It is how God made us.
~Myquillyn Smith, The Nesting Place, p68

Proverbs 14:1
The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.

If you stay anywhere long enough, it will start to accumulate some shadows.
And those shadows make it no less beautiful. It makes it something like home.
It anchors you there in ways that a steady diet of pleasantness never will.
~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p235

Proverbs 24:3-4
By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.

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Nov 07 2014

Life in Little Moments

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I realized with clarity that this—this pausing when the whole world keeps on going—is living.
~Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama, p23~

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There was no contest: looking into my children’s eyes beat staring at the screen of my smartphone. Hearing my loved ones’ laughter won hands down over the incessant ding of incoming emails. Seeing empty space in my calendar for laughing, playing, and relaxing soothed my depleted soul.
~Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama, p37~

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Nov 07 2014

Keeping our home, Together

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Do not sigh while you are washing the dishes. Do not have a pity party, and do not teach your children to act this way, because they will learn from your example. If you work cheerfully and use the time well, you will teach them to enjoy their work too!
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg215~

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Some find the idea of working with children impossible. This is a wrong perspective to have. Children do not need constant entertainment and play. They need to be learning from you. Even on big project days, they can and should be learning from you. With the right attitude from you, they will learn that work is satisfying and fun. You just need to plan carefully to make the process conducive to learning and fun.
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg291~

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Managing the kitchen well makes everyone’s time in the kitchen more productive and enjoyable. When the kitchen is well-kept, creativity flourishes.
~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics, pg282~

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Lower your expectations and realize that as long as we all choose to walk around clothed, the laundry will never really be finished. If we live fully in a home, there will be messes. Why does that surprise us and make us feel guilty? As long as we eat, walk, and need places to sit down, the kitchen sink will have a few dirty dishes in it and the living room will never be clutter-free for long.
~Myquillyn Smith, The Nesting Place, p50~

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