Monday, October 31, 2011

Peace in the Scary

We've had vampires at our door tonight.  Frankenstein came and a couple of witches.  There was one cute little pink poodle!  And then I found these two phantom chicks on my front porch.  

It has been a pretty FRIGHTFUL night!

I'm really not a big fan of "scary".  In fact, those of you who know me well, know that I have some pretty ridiculous fear issues.  Just ask my husband.  My mind can go crazy with it.  Can anyone relate?

I know God is Sovereign.  I know He is in control.  I also know that He does as He pleases... that He is God, and I am not.  And to be quite honest and vulnerable.... sometimes that's kind of scary.  Can I say that?

This year God is teaching me to trust Him in the scary.  That I CAN trust Him in the scary.  That He is with me in the scary. That He is Lord over the scary.  That the scary has come straight through His hand.  And, because of that, there is PEACE in the scary. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The winter ended at last.

I just finished Charlotte's Web with my third graders.... for the eighth time.  It is not unusual for me to shed a tear as we finish up this book, no matter how many times I have read it.  So tender and sweet.   

All winter Wilbur watched over Charlotte's egg sac as though he were guarding his own children.  He had scooped out a special place in the manure for the sac, next to the board fence.  On very cold nights he lay so that his breath would warm it.  For Wilbur, nothing in life was so important as this small round object- nothing else mattered.  Patiently he awaited the end of winter and the coming of the little spiders.  Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.  The winter ended at last.

What great perspective E.B. White offered us through the eyes of a little pig...
Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.

Yeah... that part made me cry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Closed Doors, Open Eyes

Today, God decided to close a door that has been open for 16 years.  Tenderly, He chose to close the door slowly.  He took about 10 months to do it, but now it is shut and I feel sure He has tossed the key.  God knows the time we need to prepare for His "closed doors"....He is gentle that way.

Over the past 10 months God has also opened my eyes wider than ever to His abundant blessings.  In that time, I have recorded over 700 "gifts" of thanksgiving.  The writing down, the record, the recognizing has brought me to a sweet place of peace.... a peace that passes all understanding.  He is gentle that way.

He has opened my eyes to so many promises in Christ:

The privilege of rejoicing in each day.  (He even commands us to do it! Ps. 118:24)  

The privilege of resting in Him. (Ps. 62:1)  

The privilege not to worry. (Matt. 6:25)  

The privilege of being still. (Ps. 46:10)   

The privilege to fix my thoughts on Him (Hebrews 12:2)... to think about what is lovely, true and noble and right.(Phil. 4:8)  

The privilege to cast all of my worries/cares/anxieties on Him....because HE CARES FOR ME. (1 Peter 5:7)  

As He slowly closed the door, He opened my eyes wider than ever to how intimately acquainted He is with all my ways.(Ps. 139)

So, I am keeping my eyes wide opened and waiting in expectation for what He has around the corner.    Considering God's track record with me, one thing is for sure:

Anytime He has closed a door, He has always opened another...

...He is gentle that way.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Divine Appointments

Tonight I decided to make a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to get something framed.  It was getting close to their closing time and I had halfway decided not to make the trip, but decided last minute to go ahead and go.... always trying to get that last thing in before the end of the day.  

The sweet girl helping me was quiet.  She was at the end of her day... I was her last customer and I am sure she was tired.  While she worked on my frames, I began to interrogate strike up a conversation with her.  After a series of questions I learned that she was a recent graduate with a degree in English and is hoping for an opportunity soon to work in her field of study.  Just when I thought she might be ready for me to pipe down and move on.... I asked one last question.  "Do you have a blog?"

He face lit up!  She said "Yes! I do!"  It is called Be Thou My Vision.  ( I knew she was my "sister"!)  As I took my frames and said goodbye she said, "This was such a nice way to end my day."

It was a nice way to end mine too.

Thankful for:

670.  Divine appointments at Hobby Lobby

671.  Red chalkboard paint...who knew!

672.  Unexpected field trips and the privilege to drive a car full of 7th graders

673.  A pumpkin spice latte and a cool spot by the river

674.  A weekend full of family and  scrumptious food brought all the way (5 hours) from Nana's house for all of us to enjoy.

675.  Having company and not having to cook a meal.

676.  Les Mis, Les Mis, Les Mis.

677.  Andy's big strong hugs.

678.  Failure... because it drives me to You.

679.  "The things You've planned for us."  Ps. 40:5

680.  How the girls make Andy's lunch with joy and sneak little notes in it for him to discover.

681.  Caroline's delight in Your rain so she can wear her new rain boots.

682.  Racing and rushing to get out the door... their smiles and laughter as we climb into the car.

683.  New fresh veggies on the counter, ready to be steamed up for dinner.

684.  Packages that have been riding around in my car for over a week...finally mailed!  Yippee!!

685.  50 cent hymnal at Lifeway... with another church's name printed on the front.  A "mess- up" just for me.  

686.  Singing old hymns from my new hymnal.

687.  How Mr. Tom pulls our trashcan back every Monday afternoon.

688.  Neighborhood Pumpkin annual tradition.

689.  My "quilty" pumpkin.


690.  A minute to sit and reflect and be thankful.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caramel Apple Bites


Caroline and I just made these for our Neighborhood Pumpkin Party which is in about an hour and a half.  The problem is there may not be any left in an hour and a half.  (Caramel apples and I have a secret love affair.)  

We actually made them with the caramel apple wrap.  I just cut it into strips and wrapped it around the individual pieces and baked it in the oven at 200 for about 5 minutes....which equals a successful perfect bite of caramel apple goodness!  Delight.


Good thing we made these too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Smore Kits

My niece and Nana are here for the weekend.  The girls and I made Halloween Smore Kits for our neighbors while Nana made a scrumptious "Nana Breakfast"... everybody's favorite!
 I finally used one of my posted "Pinterest" ideas!  You should make them too!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mud Pits and "The Miserable"

While one of mine is playing in a mud pit on the Barrier Islands, the other is about to have opening night for the production of Les Miserables. Both... enjoying full and exciting lives.  And for that I am so thankful.  Daddy is enjoying a full and exciting life too... hunting.  And I am off to hear my oldest sing.  Would you believe I have NEVER seen Les Mis!  Me!  Who loves all things musical!  I can't wait!

"I will celebrate your abundant goodness..."  Ps 145:7

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Candy Corn Coaster

 Lying in the bed, just before I drift off to dream, are the moments I am the most creative.  
My mind races with ideas.  Sometimes I even get up and write them down...or better yet, start them!  
This one was "dreamed up" just this week and today it came to fruition.  
I think it is very necessary to have a candy corn coaster for my coffee cup.  Don't you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Blink.

People tried to tell us.  They tried to tell us how quickly it would pass.... to soak it up.  "They'll be grown before you know it," they'd say.  It was hard to believe in the midst of the changing diapers and the necessity for somebody's eyes to be watching at all times.  It was such a physical time... no rest for the weary.  Constant, constant, constant.  I was so excited for the night(s) when Andy let me go walk around Target by myself for an hour.  

Last night, Caroline and I were invited to celebrate that little cowboy's second birthday.  Caroline was delighted to be the "cowgirl assistant" for the happy occasion.  Line-Line (as he calls her) was so cute in her boots and braids.  I enjoyed watching her enjoy the little ones.  My little one.

There were so many squishy faces....

 And this little face...looking longingly at the absolutely precious.

His mommy said he waited all day to get his hands on that cow.

He said his favorite part was the "boons" on his back.

I LOVED being there..... watching new mommies and daddies be new mommies and daddies.  

This morning I walked into church and saw this little munchkin...

wearing one of Rebecca's dresses. 

My eyes filled up with tears.  I told an older gentleman how it tugged on my heart to see that.  I miss it.  He (whose two have already married and moved out) said, "Just be glad they still live under your roof!"  So true, and I am going to keep my eyes wide open and enjoy every minute of it.   

Happy Birthday Big Boy!  I'm so glad you were born!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Munchkins.... Who knew?

Andy and Rebecca are on an overnight camping trip with the youth group, so Caroline had an overnight play date with one of her many "besties", Annaleigh-leigh.   We went on our traditional "Pajama Donut Run" and the girls had their morning munchkins in the tree house.  I was particularly delighted that they have Pumpkin Munchkins.  All things pumpkin make me happy in the fall... as does this costumed munchkin box.
How cute is that?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kid Cocktails and Candles

Wednesday always means late night dinner... usually around 8ish.  Rebecca has Youth Group and so we just all wait for her.  Daddy didn't make it home til then either so we were all happy to enjoy some "end of day" fellowship with one another.  While Caroline and I waited on the rest to get home, we made up a scrumptious feast of our family favorite, Orzo with spinach, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes along with a pork tenderloin.  She thought we needed to eat in the dining room with candles and we whipped up some kid cocktails (orange juice and gingerale).  Then we used the last of our "apple pickin'" apples and made an apple crisp.

Life has been a bit difficult lately, and this day seem to feel particularly "weighty".  The early evening darkness doesn't help.  I wasn't feeling especially cheery just prior to dinner.  But at dinner, Rebecca began to share "The Word" that was shared at Youth tonight.... the lives of the 12 disciples, particularly Andrew (insert smiley face).  She went on to tell us about the lesson of Judah that her Bible teacher tenderly shared in class today.  As she shared, I noticed the "burden of the day" had lifted and I felt that "peace that passes understanding" that God so graciously allows His children to enjoy.  As we nourished our bodies, He nourished our souls.  Sweet.

"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, 
which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, 
but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."  Deut. 8:3

Saturday, October 1, 2011


 Applying make-up...

 Pinning corsages...

 Escorting her longtime friend and classmate (who uncannily looks like her daddy did at that age)...

 Sharing the experience with friends....

 It was a memorable night...

---and a nice way to celebrate our 16th anniversary and the life God has given us together.