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Showing posts from 2011

The List Grows

I’ve missed writing.I took a week’s vacation, worked hard this week, and I’ll be out of commission again next week.So, I’m squeezing in a post before I go to my Internet-free home for a week.I’m also successfully procrastinating doing some financial data entry that I’ve put off all week.Maybe I’ll get to it at 4:50 p.m. I literally have a list of things I want to write about from spiritual experiences, to reflections on worship and prayer, to more word study poems I hope to write, to my thoughts on reading Hebrews, to Sabbath.But, I don’t have time to go after any of those topics right now. So, here are more additions to the list of things I’m thankful for.This particular list is largely about my husband and our marriage.Like many couples, we have differences that cause frustration, lack of understanding, and outright anger at times.But, recently we got to spend some time together as his Christmas present.I got us tickets to see Seinfeld do stand-up comedy at a theatre in town.I also g…

Unexpected Advent Reading

As I prepare for Christmas, I’m reading some Scripture.Pretty good idea I think.But I’m not reading in Matthew or Luke.I’m in Hebrews.It is turning out to be much more fitting for Advent than I anticipated. First, there’s a lot of talk about angels in chapter one, and I’ve never really studied angels in the Bible before.I highly recommend reading Hebrews 1 in conjunction with the angel stories in the Christmas narrative (Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 2:19, Luke 1:11-20, 1:26-38, 2:8-15).Sometimes angels appear in dreams, sometimes in holy places like the temple, and sometimes in everyday places—like a field where shepherds watch their sheep.Sometimes angels appear to “holy” people like Zechariah (and Elijah, Abraham, Peter, and of course, Jesus).Sometimes they appear to “regular” people like shepherds and Mary, and even idiots like Balaam.This gives me hope.Often, angels announce births, especially unexpected ones, like pregnancies for old, barren women, and of course, for a virgin named Mary.  …

Blue Suede Shoes

I have a pair of blue-fake-suede shoes.They’re 9-years-old.They’re still in my closet.No, I’m not a hoarder; there’s a reason I still have these shoes.These shoes represent part of what I love the most about my husband.He makes me have fun.He makes me put aside the ultra-responsible Angie that sometimes appears.He makes me stop—stop cleaning, stop rushing, stop talking, stop working, stop fretting—stop missing out on some of the best parts of life. On a Friday afternoon in the fall of 2002, I drove for two hours and fifteen minutes from my college to his, Virginia Tech.I’d remembered to pack my Shakespeare book.I’d forgotten to pack comfortable shoes.This shows my priorities. I was a senior English major taking the required senior-level Shakespeare course.We had to read a Shakespeare play a week.When you were a high school freshman, you probably spent an entire nine weeks on Romeo and Juliet.You probably spent four weeks on a Mid-summer Night’s Dream or Hamlet as a sophomore, and maybe …

Self-Denial

I’m cranky about denying myself.Self-denial is for the birds.Of course, it’s also commanded for Christ followers, so I guess I’d better learn how to fly, build a nest, and regurgitate food for my babies. There are two things I’ve been denying myself intentionally.One is unhealthy food.Two is spending money.I’ve been inconsistent at best with #1.I’m doing well with #2.I’m angry about both, and they’re related, and I’m mad about that, too. The first issue—the diet.That’s a four-letter word I’ve never used before.But, a week or so ago, I stepped on the scales.I suspected they’d tell me I weighed as much as I ever have (non-prego).What they told me was much more difficult—I weigh FIVE POUNDS MORE than I’ve ever weighed before.Now some of you are sneering at the “five pounds,” but I ask—Are you 5’2” with a tiny bone structure?There’s not much room for five pounds to hide, and they’re not hiding very well.I cried when I looked at the scale.I knew I hadn’t been to the gym in a while (They mist…

Haven't Stopped Hammering Nails

As a reminder, I'm driving out nails of discontent and replacing them with nails of thanksgiving.  Last night, I got some 9th and 10th graders in on the action--literally.  They selected a nail for each thing they're discontent about, and then they hammered them into wood, thinking of something they were thankful for instead.  (I learned that prior to this summer's mission trips, we will teach them how to hammer nails.)
 56.For a sizable student ministry, because then different ages and social groups can find their places.I take this for granted. 57.For gingerbread 58.And pumpkin 59.And cinnamon 60.And apple 61.And caramel 62.And vanilla 63.And pecan…my favorite scents and flavors, and they’re everywhere right now! 64.For some women who are sharing this journey of “female youth pastor” with me. 65.That I get to teach my son how to pray and to hear his precious words of thanksgiving and requests for help. 66.That my son thanks God for me every night; I know this won’t last forever. 67.…

"I Am" student version

I am not what I do, how much I do, or how well I do it. I am not how pretty I am, how young I am, or how fit I am. I am not my GPA, my SAT score, my weight, my complexion, or my teeth. I am not my phone, my profile pic, or my Facebook status. I am not drum line, football, dance, track, or show choir. I am not my failures or successes, my weaknesses or strengths, my regrets or dreams.
I am a child of God, created by Him, in His image, to do His good works. I am a sinner made into a new creation, free and forgiven, if I confess and turn away. I am part of the body of Christ, and my body is His temple. I am salt, preserving the weak, adding flavor to the bland. I am light, showing others the goodness of God, that they may praise Him. I am loved despite life and death, good and evil, present and future, mountains and canyons, power and weakness;

"I am"

Time for more poetry:)  The second half comes from Scripture.

"I Am"

I am not what I do, how much I do, or how well I do it. I am not how pretty I am, how old I am, or how fit I am. I am not my IQ, my kids, my home, my salary, or my education. I am not my failures or successes, my weaknesses or strengths, my regrets or dreams.

I am a child of God, created by Him, in His image, to do His good works. I am a sinner made into a new creation, free and forgiven, if I confess and turn away. I am part of the body of Christ, and my body is His temple, His dwelling place, where He is revered. I am salt, sustaining the fragile, giving life to the lifeless. I am light, showing others the goodness of God, that they may praise Him. I am loved despite life and death, good and evil, present and future, mountains and canyons, power and weakness; I am loved.

A Notable Week

Last week was notable.  I should've posted about it before now, seeing as how this week is winding down, but that's the pace of life. 

First on the agenda last week was Halloween.  I talk a lot about being a mom on this blog; I think it's time to show you.
As I've already mentioned, last week marked 14 years since my husband and I started dating.  I don't have a problem being 30; I've felt the responsibility of adulthood in my head and heart for a while.  But it is hard to believe that WE are 30.  WE were 16 and stupid and gushy romantic and attached at the hip and idealistic about our future together.  WE are still together.  WE are different.  I'm thankful I'm still part of WE.

Finally, but probably most anticipated, last week marked my baby girl's 1st birthday!  Wow, time goes so much faster with the second one!  Lily was a blast, and all the grandparents behaved at her party.  She is precious, loving, fiesty, stubborn, dramatic, loud, and an abso…

Written Words

Like anyone who’s been educated in the Western world in recent history, I’ve been surrounded by written words my whole life.We work hard to teach our children how to form letters and words and how to read those words, because those skills are essential for our society.My son is three.He can spell his name and “Mom,” “Dad,” and “STOP.”We start this process early. I volunteered for double and triple doses of these written words when I pursued an undergraduate degree in English, a minor in history, and a Masters of Divinity degree.I’ve read.I’ve written.A LOT!Trust me on this one. Probably since I’ve been so engulfed with written words, I’ve taken them for granted and failed to recognize their power.So, I’m reflecting and remembering. I remember my freshman year of college and how my long-distance boyfriend and I wrote each other EVERY DAY.Yes, really.This was before Skype and Facebook (although he wouldn’t have been on it), even before every student had a cell phone and communicated consta…

Haiku

This morning Jackie devoted us.  She made us write haiku.  All of them were very good.  Some were funny.  Some were deep.  Some were practical.  Here's mine:

Worthy

To break seals and chains,
Of praise, glory, and honor,
Sharing worth with us.

Processing Preaching

This summer I preached at my church for the first time in about three-and-a-half years.That was months ago, and I’m still processing: First, I enjoy writing.So, I enjoyed writing my message.I practiced it in front of other preachers at my church, and they made suggestions.I also had my own gut instincts.So I did something I’ve never done before—I edited, extensively.I re-wrote, and then re-wrote again, although the feedback over my practice run through was quite good.Now, as a student, I always finished writing papers the morning they were due.I planned to finish 2-3 hours before the paper was due.I’d finish.I’d nap for an hour or two, and then I’d get up and turn in said paper.I never proofread, much less edited.I knew there’d be some typos and maybe wrong words, but I also knew those mistakes would be too few to drop my grade.So, I had never really edited anything I’d written before.It was a good experience. Second, I enjoy being on stage, but I’d forgotten that.I danced a lot as a h…

Still Hammering...

43.  For college football.
44.  For memories of growing up at a little league football field.
45.  For hot apple cider.
46.For Kleenex; I’d hate to imagine my last week with only handkerchiefs.
47.  For the brisk smell and chill of autumn; they make me happy and contemplative.
48.  For a skill and ability to cook and to bake.Yum!
49.  For time with Angie Sposa, Erik Edwards, and Mandy James; they make me better.
50.  For pajama pants.I think the shift from sweatpants to pj pants happened around 1999, and I’m grateful.
51.  For a sure way to go to sleep—reading a college history text.
52.  For a warm bed, a firm pillow, and a hot shower.These are givens, but sinus issues make me appreciate them more.
53.  That my husband will be home with me and our kids tonight.
54.  That my family will buy anything my kids need—shoes, clothes, formula, diapers—with generous spirits, without my asking.
55.  For the joy of a baby’s first, second….seventh, eighth steps.

Yes, more nails...

Not feeling particularly discontent or thankful today, but I have much to be thankful for.  So, it's time to be disciplined and thoughtful and thankful:

33.  That I sometimes get to eat out for lunch, and I remember teachers who never get to do that. 34. That days and weeks do end. 35. For sleep. 36. For novels that take me to other places, inside other heads, and feeling with others’ hearts. 37. For opportunities to “hear” some friends through their blogs. 38. For leftovers, because they mean more time with my kids. 39. For pillow talk with Tristan. 40. For my passion for teenagers. 41. That God gives others passion for babies, preschoolers, and kids. 42.  For the sense of security having a cell phone provides.

...More Nails...

22.That I live a mile from church. 23.That I get to see my sister every Sunday. 24.That Daniel Hughes makes hours 3 & 4 at church fun for my son. 25.For people who will walk with my baby girl when I think my back will break. 26.For a husband who responds with grace when a long-overdue date night is interrupted and ruined by work. 27.For baby “kisses”—loving, violent attempts to bite my face Hannibal-style. 28.For opportunities to listen to people and to hear their pain. 29.For a church that says it supports women in ministry—and actually does. 30.For take-out at home with family 31.That family will come eat with me, when I’m disheveled, ugly, and cranky. 32.For a Nana who does laundry—my laundry.  No, I'm not sharing.

More Nails

Hammering more nails, but thankfully not with the flushed face this time, just with a desire to be thankful:

11.For pasta.Haven’t met one I didn’t like. 12.For opportunities to fall asleep on the couch. 13.For TV shows that make this uptight girl laugh, like “Modern Family.” 14.For high school students who willingly spend 90 minutes a week with me. 15.For a natural gift for writing discussion questions that help me learn about students and help them learn about themselves. 16.For drowsy, morning cuddles with any of my three family members. 17.That I look like my mom…more and more the older I get. 18.For my fingernails; yes, I’m vain; see former posts. 19.That I took “Keyboarding” in high school. 20.For a little boy who says, “Don’t take a shower!Cuddle with me for a long time!” 21.That my son is able to speak.

1,000 Nails

Today my friend Lindsay led our weekly staff devotional.  It was very good!  One of the things she shared is from a woman, Ann Voskamp, who found herself quite discontent with life, particuarly its busyness.  She decided to do something about her spirit of discontent.  She decided to drive out nails of discontent and to replace them with nails of thanksgiving.  We all know that you can't stop a habit; you must replace it.

A few hours after this devotional, I had that flushed face, knot in the gut, discontent feeling.  I'd vented to my husband, who both has my back and tells me the truth.  I gained a lot of clarity from that 10-minute venting session.  But I still had the knot and flushed face.

So, I started my list of 1,000 nails:  (I'll probably never complete the list; I'm really good at not finishing projects.)

I am thankful: 1.For a husband and sister who hear my venting and love me anyway 2.For big, blue eyes full of love 3.For a baby’s giggle 4.For a Nana whom I trust t…