Thursday, January 31, 2013

Glory days

The wonder

"Isn't it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it? Do we truly stumble so blind that we must be affronted with blinding magnificence for our blurry soul-sight to recognize grandeur?  The very same surging magnificence that cascades over our every day here.  Who  has time or eyes to notice?"   Ann Voskamp,  from her book One Thousand Gifts

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mercer blue

Mercer blue
blue moon 
moon light
light house
house work
work day
day dream
dream fulfilled

It only took seven years to get the dining room painted.  Thanks to some incredible friends, my mom, and a couple of late nights, I'm now swimming in a beautiful sea of Mercer blue.


Thank you, Lord, for color.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Open eyes and open dialouge

"It all comes back to Genesis 1:26, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' We were made for God's beauty, and all beauty is God's beauty.  When we see hear or taste or smell one of the created reflections of God's beauty, we love it; and it creates wonder within us.  Then we become junkies.  A single rush of wonder is fantastic, but we quickly want more of it.  We take pictures to possess the moment and share the wonder with friends.  The sight of beauty makes us want to touch or taste.  This is why children lick strange things and 'Do Not Touch' signs clutter botanical gardens and museums... Creating and enjoying beauty provide the richest moments of our lives.  We crave such experiences; and when our senses bring the beauty into our consciousness, wonder fills our soul."  Steve DeWitt from Eyes Wide Open

Probably the best and most seamless way to dig deeper into who God is and to grow roots in Him is to stop compartmentalizing Him to stained glass at a cathedral or Sunday morning pews.  To recognize that His beauty is why you do so much of what you do is revolutionary.  You peer out the window to look at the full moon because it's awesome.  He made it and it reflects His beauty.  You stand up and cheer at that perfectly executed football play because it's awesome.  He made those players and he gave them their athletic talent and it reflects His beauty. Really.  A football game. You take a gazillion pictures of your kids because they're awesome.  God made them and they reflect His beauty.  You get the point.

If you don't gasp a little bit at a sunset or get chill bumps while your favorite song plays, I'm not sure what to tell you.  But if you do, just start to recognize that every single thing that your senses perceive as delicious or beautiful or soothing or amazing or awesome... that's part of God's beauty.  It's a dim reflection of his very essence.  When you do that, you can thank Him more often for who He is and for what He's done.

It makes it so that when you open up a blood orange, you're not just getting a snack.  You open up your eyes and you open up a dialogue...

"Wow.  Way cool, God...."  

Friday, January 25, 2013


The gifts of this full week:

1.  another seven days of marriage to my best friend who makes me laugh
2.  frantic clean up time that required me to ask my mom for help resulting in our spending some fun    time together with dryer lint and Windex
3.  homemade pizza and a surprise party with some of the most amazing friends a girl could have
4.  not just one, but several phone conversations with Lydia
5.  playing a ski jump video game with Zeke and laughing our heads off
6.  sitting in chapel with Anna Grace and listening to her sweet voice sing hymns
7.  our daily Cheerios bread
8.  a Wednesday workout with Meg that left me with a hurt that felt so good
9.  the accordion music I found at Goodwill for when we have Mexican food
10.  sharing mardi gras king cake ice cream with the Harpers
11.  the "coincidences" that happened that were more like whispers from the God who knows and hears the cries of my heart

I'm so grateful.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

A cast of characters

On a Saturday walk in the neighborhood, it struck me that our characters were playing their parts in such a typical way. Anna Grace and Zoe darted here and there and everywhere, Zeke paid careful attention to traffic and needed several pushes to get his bike up the hill, and Asher rode atop his dad's shoulders as he had changed his mind about his car-stroller and could not be dissuaded. They are a cast of characters.

With the kids home from school today, I tried to teach a little home lesson about Martin Luther King Jr. Zeke thought it was a super fun idea and Anna Grace not so much. The result was Asher walking around the house sing-saying "I have a dream" and our post-lesson quizzes being more comical than educational. I tried, right?

Also, king cake season has arrived and along with his dream, Asher has declared that "cake makes me feel better."

You just can't blame Anna Grace for snatching him up and making him her newest teddy bear.

They make me so tired and I feel so inadequate so often making sure they're loved and fed and disciplined and educated and trained up in the way they should go. Thank goodness there's grace among us as we coach these characters to play their parts with enthusiasm and great love. I'm afraid the plot would just crumble without it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Patmore and panache

If you're hooked on Downton Abbey like I am, then you'll know what I mean when I say that 364 days of the year, I mostly play the part of Mrs. Patmore the cook or Daisy the Kitchen Maid.  Sometimes I might be Mrs. Hughes the Housekeeper  or Anna the Housemaid, but one day out of the year, it's really fun to dress up like an aritstocratic Crawley girl. Fortunately, our second annual outing to the Krewe of Justinian Mardi Gras bal provided just such an opportunity.  I worked really hard on some Lady Edith-type 1920s finger wave curls but I was unsuccessful.  (How did they ever do it!?!!?!?)  
My consolation was a really handsome date.   

 Very handsome.  

 The feather was a bit consoling, too.  As my friend Lee called it, it was my panache.  

Come to think of it, who cares about finger curl waves when I have a hilarious and fun husband and fabulous friends to share life with.

For this one night, I was out of my yoga pants and t-shirt and the good times rolled.  

No wonder little girls love to dress up.  I still do.  

Friday, January 18, 2013


 Anna Grace's latest assignment at school was a book report for a biography.  Anna Grace's decision was an easy one- Pocahontas- so she and I read what turned out to be quite a substantial little book on the life of this Native American princess and - wow- it was fascinating.  

Anna Grace, not one to procrastinate (I have no idea where she gets that), turned in her project a week early and I expect she will do well.

It left me with so many thoughts that I feel the urge to write my own report.  I mean... I read the book, too.  I should report.  Actually, I've taken in the facts and kind of chewed on them for a while and have thoughts swirling around in my brain.  So for what it's worth, here is a little synopsis- what we know and what I think.

What we know:
-She was born in 1595 to one of Chief Powhatan's eight wives.
-After the English colonists settled in Jamestown, a meeting between John Smith and her father Powhatan ended in Pocahontas' throwing herself in between the murder weapon and John Smith's head.  She saved his life.
- She visited Jamestown often.
- She was eventually kidnapped by the English settlers but her father refused her ransom and was in this way betrayed
- After her kidnapping, she immersed herself in the English culture and took on the name Rebecca
- She converted to Christianity
- She married English industrialist John Rolfe
- She sailed to England and was entertained by high society in London
- She had a son named Thomas
- She died of tuberculosis at the age of 21

What I think:

I think she was brave.  Very brave.  She valued life. She saved a stranger's life which perhaps set the stage for her understanding of the atonement of the cross.  Even though she was betrayed by her father and ultimately John Smith with whom she had a very close relationship, it seems like she was strong and did not give way to fear or bitterness. She forged a wide gulf of cultural division and sought peace and life. And she did all if this in the span of 21 short years on planet Earth.

I can't wait to meet her.

post script: I'm so loving my little girl who is getting big but is still little enough. She is precious.

Top bunk toes

 Oh my goodness I love these little piggies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Butternut sunshine

When January's dreary grey blots out the light, you have to look for it elsewhere.  Yesterday, my light came in the beautiful orange hue of cubed butternut squash. It looks so cheddar cheesey, huh?  I admired the squash's beauty and then I tried out Pioneer Woman's butternut squash quesadillas which produced mixed reviews between me, Jack, and my mom, but the squash itself was de-li-cious.

So here's to you, you butternut goodness.  Thanks for reflecting bright orange light into my grey January Monday.

And Lord, I'm continually amazed at your creative genius in all the things you've made for us to enjoy. I wonder what goodness I'll discover next.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Singin's prayin'

"Singin's prayin' and prayin' singing.  There ain't no difference."  -Flora Mae DeMent

Duke Ellington at dinner, Paul Simon on a Friday afternoon, Peter and the Wolf on a weekday morning, Johnny Cash walking us through the Holy Land in our own dining room- these are the result of Jack's new turn table.

If singing is praying and praying, singing, we've been doing a lot of that around here lately.  When I was a kid, I remember sitting on the floor in front of my record player just listening and listening, turning that big black disc over, and listening again.  Thankfully (and kind of miraculously), my mom kept all our records and the sounds of Agapeland and Germs the Invisible Dog have been wafting through the air of my home once again.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Without excuse

Jack is great about finding awesome things for me to read, see, or hear.  I really believe he has a gift for playlists- matching the song to the moment.  Or in this case, he matched the book for the memory.  For Christmas, he gave me Steve DeWitt's book, Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything.  It was absolutely perfect for my transportation into the winter wonderland that was our vacation.  In the book, DeWitt writes:   "Beauty boomerangs from God into created beauty, then through the senses and soul of the image-bearer, and finally back to God with praise and glory."  He asserts that universe is filled with millions upon millions of refections of the glory of God.  I didn't have to go to Colorado to see it.  I can see it in the sparkle of Zeke's eyes.  I can hear it in Johnny Cash playing on the turn table.  I can feel it in Asher's hug.  I can taste it in my mom's homemade bread.  I can smell it in the mountain air.  Every good and perfect gift is from Him.  Everywhere we go, there are reflections of Him.

We are without excuse.

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."  Romans 1:20

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Rocky Mountain adventure

Christmas Day in Dallas

Granby, CO

tubing- Mom's favorite part!

Adventure Day!

Asher loved it

Jenny loved it

Mom skiing- look at that form!


our matching pj's thanks to Aunt Jenny