(If you want to hear the sound better, pause the music at the bottom of the blog first.)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
(If you want to hear the sound better, pause the music at the bottom of the blog first.)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
This year, I learned a new song called "Come, Emmanuel." Not the traditional one, which is also one of my favorites, but I realized that I love music that speaks of the incarnation... Emmanuel, God with us.
I've been studying the book of Joshua and recently read the account of the Israelites setting up Shiloh, as the site in the midst of the Promised Land, that would be set apart for the tabernacle. Shiloh is actually a word that refers to Messiah. I think it is such a beautiful foreshadowing and also speaks so much of a God who is not aloof, but wants to dwell with us, in the center of our existence. He communed with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening in the Garden, He was a covering by day and the light by night while the Israelites wandered through the wilderness, He dwelled among His people in the tabernacle... And then His very Word became flesh and dwelt among us, Yeshua the Christ.
As I sit typing, Sophie's warm little dog body is limp with sleep on my feet. And when I get up, my children will follow me as a walk to another room. Our hearts are wired for community, aren't they? We long to be with one another, to be known by one another. Our Creator has made us in His image, with the desire to commune.
In the midst of the Christmas hustle and bustle, I am reminding myself that I need to commune with Emmanuel, letting Him reign in me as I commune with others. I don't want to miss His presence, His glory, or His beauty. He is indeed, Emmanuel, God with us.
Do you have a favorite song, celebrating Emmanuel? I would love to hear about it!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Some thoughts on year 1...
I've savored processing my thoughts in this way.
I've remembered that I once really loved to write, and I'd forgotten that until now.
I've learned so much reading about other people's lives in "blogland."
I've enjoyed making new friends and keeping the old.
I've shared my heart and been encouraged by others who have shared their own.
I've accumulated about 10 gray hairs... but I think that may just be a coincidence and not blog related. I don't think it can be scientifically proven either way. :)
Year 2, here we go...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
(Patrick liked this photo... that's why I'm posting it. It was really hard not to smile.)
Patrick took me to dinner and to see Guys and Dolls. It was performed by a local theater troupe and they did quite a good job. Especially the actress who played Adelaide!! I love musicals... I am very grateful to have a husband that will take me to see them every so often. :)
(Don't we look like we're in a Hobbit house or something?? Like we're so much bigger than the door?? Forced perspective I guess... I'm only 5'5". And look at his bare feet... I think he would like to be a Hobbit, cause he hates shoes. )
I've typically had a difficult time on my birthday, because of... well, you can read it here.
This year went better... I prayed for my brother and his family every time I felt a wave of sadness hit. It was good to have purpose in my struggle and to feel as though God is redeeming the day for His glory.
Thanks to everyone who has prayed... your prayers are the most valuable gift I could ever imagine!!
Well, I'm off to work on "My Heart for the Unborn" again... I think I've got one more chapter in this head of mine.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Have you read any of "Beauty and the Beast?" Patrick has been chronicling our courtship story as of late. We met at 17 and 18 (he's older, by the way), 19 years ago this month.... woah!!! So it is teenage romance at its silliest. I think they are hilarious, but maybe that's because I was there.
On a drive to Malibu, my college pastor said something like, "I never used to get you two and now I do. Patrick thinks he's the funniest guy on earth, and you are his biggest fan!!"
"That's pretty much it!" I giggled.
I was uncontrollably laughing at the time 'cause Patrick (who went by Pat at the time... ) had made some crack involving the phrase "cornbread head." He knows how to tickle my funny bone, and after reading these accounts, he's still got it.
So, hope you enjoy! :)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
A daring derby driver...
Monday, November 3, 2008
A couple of Saturdays ago, I took the boys to the library and was pleasantly surprised to find a book sale in full swing. While I was considering a few titles, Miss Marion the Librarian announced that whatever would fit into a paper grocery bag could be taken home for only $2. Oh, now you are speaking my language, Miss Marion. So I loaded my bag up with a stack of biographies and a Grisham for Patrick.
Currently, I'm immersed in the life story of Naomi Judd. Her mother, Polly, had a love of language and words, inspiring her daughter to have an adept grasp of the English language. When the kids heard a word on the radio they were unfamiliar with, she would have them write it on an index card. They had to know how to spell the word, give its definition, and use it correctly in a sentence by the next evening's dinner. A phrase she would often repeat to Naomi was...
"Words are the clothes our thoughts wear, and I know you love to be well dressed!"
For the past few days, I've been dwelling on the spiritual implications of this little saying. Words are such powerful things, aren't they? Sometimes it's hard to even determine whether our thoughts are dressed with words or if the words in our society have dressed our thoughts. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Paul encourages us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience... forgiveness... and to put on love, which binds us together (Colossians 3). I think it's the chicken and the egg at the same time. These kinds of well dressed words spring forth from thoughts that are taken captive and made obedient to Christ and at the same time, words that we choose to clothe ourselves with.
I don't think I'll ever slip into a $200 pair of jeans or own a cashmere sweater, but everyday I have the opportunity to clothe myself in the beautiful clothes of the King.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
As a hobby, my hubby does movie reviews online.
So the UPS guy drops random movies on my doorstep.
Today he left these... oh yipee, I'm doing the happy dance right now!!
Tonight I'll be watching Audrey Hepburn featurettes until I can't keep my eyes open.
"At midnight, I'll turn into a pumpkin
and drive away in my glass slipper."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
I don't remember when I first began to develop a heart for the unborn. I suppose it was during elementary school. As a child, I remember wondering why mothers were taking their babies' lives... I suppose it was because I wasn't that many years removed from being a baby myself and I took it very personally. My mother had told me stories of the 3 miscarriages she had suffered between my brother and I. She held two of the tiny, perfectly formed babies, a girl and a boy, in the palm of her hand and wondered at all their beautifully developed features. Early on, I was told that my birth was a blessing and an unexpected miracle to her and my dad. As a result, it didn't make sense to me that a woman would want to purposely take her own child's life.
It wasn't long before I discoved that my beliefs about the sanctity of life in the womb were quite unpopular. In the eighth grade I prepared a speech on the topic of abortion, hoping that if fellow students understood the truths behind this procedure, surely they would be influenced to make good choices in the future. Many boys were curious to see the gory pictures (I think it was the shock value) and were surprised to actually be able to make out dismembered arms and legs. Several comments were uttered, such as, "Oh, I thought it was just a blob of tissue, but look that's an arm..."
Most of the girls didn't want to look. And then there were those who were visibly angered, and told me that what I had said was not true and that it wasn't any of my business what they wanted to do with their own bodies. For the next couple of days, I became the topic of conversation and the target of mean stares and embittered comments.
For many years, I made the pridefilled assumption that women who were pro-choice were either heartless or ignorant. College years and my twenties introduced me to about a dozen women, friends who had chosen to abort their babies. The issue took on a face and a life as I learned these women's stories and how they had arrived at their decisions. There were some who thought they were too young to mother a child and couldn't fathom any other option, others who had been convinced abortion was an acceptable form of birth control, others who were ashamed to tell their families, and most who had been told by Planned Parenthood representatives that they were making a good "choice."
All of the stories had a common conclusion. Each of the women struggled with tremendous guilt and pain spiritually and emotionally, and sometimes physically. Each woman deeply regretted the choice she had made and wished she could go back and do things differently. And each woman found forgiveness and healing through her Savior... Jesus Christ. In time, He diminished their pain and they laid their children in His hands.
During my college years, I also met a darling woman named Dene. Her husband was in my wedding, and was one of the first real friends Patrick had in his Christian journey. One weekend we went to Dene's house for a birthday party and a photo hanging on the wall caught my attention. It was a little girl shaking hands with the President... I believe it was Ronald Reagan. When I asked Dene about it, she told me about her adopted sister, Gianna, who had been aborted, but survived the saline procedure. Gianna has since become one of my heroes in the faith, not just because she is a pro-life advocate and the actual voice of the unborn, but because she has a deep compassion for the women who carry them. She unashamedly speaks of the grace of Jesus and asks us to consider our stance on the issue in light of what He speaks through her miraculous survival.
I hope you'll take the time to be blessed and challenged by her message...
(Note: Before you listen, please scroll down to the bottom of the blog and pause the music... then you'll be able to fully hear Gianna's voice!!)
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
My friend, Jamie, recently posted a beautiful collage she created at polyvore.com.
So I thought I'd try it since I'm stuck at home with a nasty illness.
It didn't make my throat feel any better, but...
I have to admit that it was pretty fun being girly.
It's kind of Audrey Hepburn meets Beatrix Potter...
Don't you think?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Four years ago, Patrick was layed off from a job where he'd only been gainfully employed for about a month. I felt as though someone had punched me in the gut, and then a general feeling of nausea persisted for the next few days. As we struggled to trust in God's sovreign plan, the nausea just didn't subside. One pregnancy test later, I confirmed that we were indeed jobless and expecting. We laughed at the ironic comedy of it all. God has amazing timing, doesn't He? This would surely be a lesson in believing that.
Unsure of how we should break the news to my folks, we did what any jobless, expecting couple would do... we told Josh to tell the big secret. My mom, in true form, cried tears of joy, and my dad smiled and said, "Well, finally, some good news!!" Their reaction was such a great encouragement to our hearts. The miracle of this new little life was a great gift in the midst of a trial...
It was cause for rejoicing and hope for the future.
The circumstances surrounding my pregnancy with Jason made for a very different prenatal care experience than I'd had with Josh. We filed for unemployment and Medi-Cal, as well, since we had no insurance, and no one wanted to insure a pregnant woman at a reasonable rate. This meant a change in my OBGYN and the office staff I was so familiar and comfortable with.
The new office was cold and clinical. The office assistant seemed devoid of emotion as she handed me a pile of paperwork to fill out. There were so many questions about whether I was using drugs or drinking. I felt as though they were assuming the worst of me.
My new doctor greeted me with professionalism, but no sense of warmth. I remember feeling as though I had done something wrong, and I fought feelings of shame. I desperately wanted her to congratulate me and show excitement for this new life, but instead she asked how I felt about the baby and whether or not it was even wanted.
"Yes it is wanted. We are so excited about this baby," I said as my face reddened and my eyes began to sting.
I tried not to allow the tears which were welling up in my eyes spill over onto my cheeks. As I left the office, I decided that the joy of the Lord would have to be my strength.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thanks to you friends who shared verses!!! I happened to have enough bookmarks left for all of you!! So Nicole, Colleen, Denise, Liz and Sarah M. .... you can email me your info at firstname.lastname@example.org , and I'll send you a lovely, laminated bookmark! Drea and Jen, I'll catch you two at church!! And by the way, Drea, your "Pleated Poppy" clips were very cute today!! Looking forward to hearing from you, friends!!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It was given to me by a friend my first year in college. I was scared and unsure... venturing into new territory. That verse became a part of me as I meditated on it. God used it to minister to my heart and challenge me to step out in faith.
God continues to speak to me through it almost 20 years later.
If so, I'd love to hear it and know why it is special to you.
And... I'd love to send a couple randomly selected commentors a bookmark... just because.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I live in a rather unique city. The old village area is home to several roosters who roam free and cock-a-doodle-doo to their hearts' content. I'm not sure how they came to reside there, but they have become mascots of sort.
One afternoon, the boys and I decided to go on a rooster hunt. We hunted over brick walls, under flags, through alleyways, around trash cans, across iron benches, and atop green grassy spots.
There were iron roosters and roosters made of twisted metal, a hay rooster, and a painted rooster. They peeked at us from store windows and perched themselves in pretty fenced yards. But not a one walked or doodle-dooed.
Oh, what's that up ahead? A hen house, or in this case, a rooster house?? Surely, we were getting closer!!!
And then Jason squealed and ran toward this big guy...And Josh ran toward this handsome boy...
And I noticed this stately fellow...
And we all chased the little one...
No, we never caught one... but it was sure fun trying!!!