Friday, December 31, 2010

How To Do Chores

It was one of those mornings, we were expecting family at 11:00 and so many things were not yet done.  I turn into a crazy lady at times like that.  First I started out using guilt "Daddy and I have to do EVERYTHING around here!"  That didn't work.  So, we started in on "the quests".  First, there was "the quest of the broom".  (The living room had to be swept).  Next there was "the quest of the cheese" (arranging the cheeses onto a platter).  There was also "The quest of the bathroom", "The dishes quest" and "The Hoover Quest".  Once the quests were accomplished the kids could eat breakfast.  (Yes, I made them do quests before breakfast!).
It worked well!  Mary Poppins was right!  "In ev'ry job that must be done,There is an element of fun. 
You find the fun and snap! The job's a game!"  Problem is, I'll have to come up with another game for next time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Word Will You Give This Year?

I was inspired by a fellow blogger and pastor's wife (thanks, Alida!) to think of a word for this coming year.  There are many words that come to mind (debt-free would be one, but that's really two words;  fat-free... also two words, etc.) but the one word that comes to the fore-front of my mind is "RESTORATION". 

If anyone has read my blog for any length of time you will know that things over the past few years have been pretty rough.  This past year was one of watching the dust settle, so to speak.  We had a lot of changes from summer of 2009 to now... tensions, fightings, and numerous deaths, and have finally (pretty much) adjusted to a "new normal".  However,  we still long for healing and restoration.  Some verses come to mind as I think about this word.

"He restores my soul"
"He will restore the years the locust have eaten"
"He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age"
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and uphold me with a willing spirit."

So this is my word for 2011, RESTORATION.  I'll be pondering this word more over the next days, weeks, and months. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This is something I think about a LOT.... really a lot.  I just read this article on living a simple life and found it resonating very much with me.  Now, to actually get down to it and unclutter my life! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ignorantia juris non excusat

I didn't know!  Honest!
 Scrabble is a nice family game.  The way we played growing up was that you could add letters to words all over the board.  I never looked at the rules. Then there was last night.  We were playing last night and got into a "friendly discussion" about this.  Finally, the rules were consulted...

"The second player, and then each in turn, adds one or more letters to those already played to form new words. All letters played on a turn must be placed in one row across or down the board, to form at least one complete word. If, at the same time, they touch others letters in adjacent rows, those must also form complete words, crossword fashion, with all such letters."

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Only one candle left!  One of our family traditions has been to read together each night of Advent .  We begin four weeks before Christmas on a Sunday and read a portion of a story.  We've been reading through some books by Arnold Ytreeide.  This year we are reading "Bartholomew's Passage" .  We have one more night of reading before the final story on Christmas morning.  We've so enjoyed these books, they really do help us re-focus more on the meaning of Christmas and get away, for a short time, from the commercialism that we see and hear everywhere. 
Another fun family tradition is to get on our pajamas, pop popcorn, climb into the car and drive around to look at Christmas lights.  We love to listen to Adventures in Odysee  "Gifts for Madge and Guy".  It's a funny take off on "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry.  Still, the lessons are wonderful and we treasure these fun and meaningful family times.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, shopping is done, and we have a Christmas Eve service tomorrow night.  Christmas morning is the last reading.  We light our final candle, the white one... the Christ Candle.  We pray and thank God for His best gift to us. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What, Me Worry?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; 
or about your body, what you will wear. 
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not much more valuable than they?  
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"      
Matthew 6:25-27

For the past several days we've been watching these little yellow birds in our Birch tree outside our front window.  They are dozens of them, with 5 or 6 of them altogether on one branch eating parts of the tree that hang down.  I love watching them and am reminded every time that God feeds them.  I watch as other birds of varying sizes and colors perch in other trees or dig for worms in the lawn.  I once saw a larger bird (crow) bring an acorn he must have gotten or found somewhere and poke it into the lawn with his beak (her beak? I don't know).  It's fascinating!  God designed his creation this way!  What a wonderful visual reminder for me at times when I tend to worry. 
But God showed us very vividly recently how He cares for us in some unexpected gifts we received.  How thankful and humbled we are!  So, maybe it's good to be a "bird brain"! :)
Why worry?  God takes care of me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome to Our World

"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home
Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world"
-Chris Rice

Sunday, December 12, 2010

20 Years

This past week we celebrated 20 years of marriage!  I can't believe how quickly it's gone.  We've been through lots of things, good and bad, but they've all helped to draw us closer together. 
We've been through moves, births (that was so fun!), deaths, trials, arguments, making-up, it's all helped to make us who we are.  Here's to another 30-40 more! (at least!)  Happy Anniversary to us!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Wonder

 I wonder....
Yeah, it's been more than one year but still we wonder and struggle with "why's" and "what if's".  Why did this happen to us and to our church?  Why didn't we get the second chance we'd asked for and the grace that should have accompanied it?  What if we had nipped criticisms and gossip in the bud?  What if we had just stayed?

I just found this article online, which raised more questions than it answered.  There was no moral or ethical failure.  We tried to fight for reconciliation.  We wanted to work at the relationships but there was almost no willingness to do that.  In so many ways it was so wrong. 

But we are learning and know that, for whatever reason, God allowed this.  We are more sensitive to other pastors, as well as "normal" people who suffer disappointment and unexpected loss.  We are sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (I Peter 2:23).  God knows.

I'm reminded, now at Christmas time, that Jesus didn't come into a world full of good people in the midst of celebrations, presents and caroling.  He came to save us, to redeem us, to die for us because we couldn't and can't save ourselves.  We are mean people and live among mean people.  That's why Jesus came! "I wonder as I wander, out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come for to die.  For poor on'ry people like you and like I; I wonder as I wander out under the sky"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Love Song

  Music has incredible power to evoke all kinds of emotions.  I already posted "Betelehemu" on here.  That's one of the pieces we are doing for our Christmas show (last night and tonight).  Here is another one.  At first glance/listen you would think it's a "regular" love song.  This is a love song, but not a regular one.  I love the words and the music.  The music adds the joy to the words.  Jesus did everything for us so that we could join Him in His "dance".   The song is "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day".

"The verses of the hymn progress through the story of Jesus told in his own voice. An innovative feature of the telling is that Jesus' life is repeatedly characterized as a dance."

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
This have I done for my true love.

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man's nature
To call my true love to my dance.

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
This have I done for my true love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Seven Random Facts About the Number 17

It takes 17 muscles to produce a smile.

17 is the smallest number (non-negative integer) that is written in French as a compound word: dix-sept. 

The Neuschwanstein Castle took 17 years to build. 

The Parthenon is 17 columns long.

"Stalag 17" is a classic Prisoner Of War film.

The middle verse in the New Testament is Acts 17:17. 

The 17-year locust has the longest cycle of development of any known insect. 

And one more....
Joseph comes home in 17 days!