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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

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It's pretty gritty.

Grimy.
Filthy, even.
It's my silverware drawer.
The crazy thing is that I have opened up this drawer about 20 times per day for literally months without seeing what was literally right in front of me.


I told you it was nasty.

I'm embarrased that it took me one second of full clarity to see what I've allowed to happen in here...coffee grounds abound, crumbs that have fallen in from the counter above, and let's be honest...who knows what else lurked in there.

Our eyes lie...even if we have 20/20 vision. And actually, it's maybe not our eyes that lie, but our brain that does. I'm not sure if it tries to protect us and potentially shield us from becoming overwhelmed by so much that needs attention and adjusting. After all, seeing each and everything in all its state of gory (or glory) could be too much for a small human brain to take.

I don't know how or why it happens, but it does.

That's why I could take out (and infrequently put …

I Breathe You In: A Tribute to Larry Dimond

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This weekend, I'm grieving the earthly loss of a wonderful man of God (and just an all-around wonderful man), Larry Dimond, long-time missionary to Ireland and Zimbabwe, who passed from this world last night, Friday, October 21.

I know that Heaven is his gain and that Larry is lost in the glory of being in God's presence.

I know that.

I rejoice in that part.

But my heart aches for his beautiful wife, Ann, and his two adult children. Hannah and John Michael, and their spouses, Philip and Candace, and for his granddaughter, Haddie Ann. They are left behind (for now) to try to live a life without the man who was everything to their family.

That hurts my heart.

Yet, I know that Larry was not "everything," because their everything is really found in Jesus. I'm so grateful for this reality and that He can comfort them like no man can.

All I can offer to them is my profound sorrow and my profound joy.

It doesn't feel like it's enough.

But I know it's the on…

Caution: Women at Work!

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My children amuse me.

They come up with the funniest things.

Last night as I was walking down the hallway to my bedroom, I noticed a sign posted to my two daughters' door. They frequently tape things up there (pictures, signs, etc), but I could tell that this one was new. And it looked special.

So I took a closer look and recognized my nine-year-old's writing.


It made me chuckle as I pictured my nine and six year old girls hard at work in their bedrooms styling their Barbie dolls, listening to their iPods, trashing their room, etc.

As I got busy doing whatever I did in my bedroom, I started wondering, I wonder why on earth she thought to write and post "Women at Work!" of all things.

So I asked her.

She got an embarrassed look on her face and said, "well, you know...cuz we do stuff in our room. We work."

Fair enough. And though I pressed for a little more detail as to why that particular phrase or the reason for using that wording (as opposed to "Girls…

Easy Peasy Chocolate Spread

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I've had a long-standing love affair with chocolate.

However, my passion and appreciation for it soared to new heights when I lived in Belgium for 16 months after college. I was introduced to "real chocolate." Chocolate made without the wax we seem to use here for preservation. Chocolate with fresh ingredients -- no chemically inspired names. Chocolate so fresh that you had to eat in within a certain time frame or keep it in the refrigerator or it would spoil. Chocolate that was so decadent and luscious, you couldn't keep from moaning aloud when you consumed it.

I soon became accustomed to picking out one delectable piece when I would go down to the Grand Place in Brussels with my friends and enjoying it completely. You only need one when it's literally the best piece of chocolate you've ever had. You enjoy and savor it. It completes you...sorry....I was drooling.

One delightful Saturday, some of us went to a wonderful warm and charming restaurant/cafe calle…

Architecture and the Wrecking Ball

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Right now, my two sons' favorite toy is an Imaginarium marble play set that my husband bought in a stroke of both genius and madness one Christmas. Maybe you've seen one. Our looks like this.


As you can see it's a kid (and adult) magnet with it's bright cheery colors and various plastic marble "troughs" that you snap together along with some colored plastic "tubes" to create a fun marble-riffic good time. As my son, Declan, will demonstrate.



See...any child's dream toy. And it is....

However....you'll notice that earlier I said my husband bought it in a state of "madness."  Why madness? Well, for me, this toy is also the bane of my existence right now.

The plastic pieces are rarely nicely put away in their plastic bin. This is because Declan and his little brother want to play with it all throughout each and every day. They love to beg me to stop what I'm doing and come and build it for them -- which requires a lot of brain po…

Peace Like a River

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I have fond memories of being a kid in church. Does anyone else remember the song,
"I've got peace like a river,I've got peace like a river,I've got peace like a river,....in my soul"and how fun it was to belt it out at the top of our lungs at Kids Church or Kids Camp?

I do.

Although I vaguely understood the metaphor (didn't give much thought to it honestly...the song was so darn fun!), I haven't really pondered the greater depth of it until later in my adult years. I'm pretty sure that's usually the case. We get older. We go a little deeper. We gain a bit more understanding. (At least that's the hope.)

Hmm..."peace like a river."

When I think of rivers, I think of a continuous stream of water that comes out of a massive source that is simultaneously in a constant state of being filled and constantly filling its tributaries.

Dictionary.com defines River as:
1. a natural stream of water of fairly large size flowing in a definite course…

Seeing Through DIY Glasses

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I am obsessed with Pinterest.

There....I said it.

I have spent the last week or so poring over various "pins" and repinning them to my "boards." I have made three new recipes, and have bought materials to start on a couple of the craft projects I've pinned.

If you don't know what Pinterest is, you are missing out! For those of you who have heard about it, but aren't sure what it is, I'll sum it up briefly. Basically, it's a visual "bookmark" site -- where you can see photos that represent recipes/photos/designs/saying/projects/idea from internet sites. You can also see and pin stand-alone photos if the item is self-explanatory. However, you usually want to be able to click on the "pinned photo" on your board and be taken to the referenced website -- which will give further instruction on how to make/do/buy the item in question. You can also search through Pinterest to browse other "pins" people have added, and even…

Falling into fall

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Whew...fall finally fell in Fresno!

Sorry...I couldn't resist.

But, I'm so happy that it's true! Our summers are known for being pretty stinkin' hot. This summer started out mild, but picked up steam and ended up staying around for a long time to make up for it's sluggish start. Even a few days ago, we were in the 90s, and I wouldn't be shocked if this cool down (today it was 60s!) didn't last and summer tried to rear its head one more time.

I hope not, though.

Although I don't look forward to the fading of bright summer evenings -- filled with light and the earthy smell of my garden -- or the onset of shorter days that make you feel like you should crawl into bed, and then realize it's only 7:30 p.m., I do enjoy the crisp crackle in the air, being able to pull out my long sleeved shirts and sweaters and breaking out the pumpkin!

I'm an October baby, so I have fond memories of pumpkin pie and candy corn, of spiced apple cider, brilliant colored…

My "God Wink"

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God winked at me last Friday.

I don't know if your idea of God allows for Him to wink. But, I assure you that's exactly what happened.

A wink is delightful bit of fun. A wink can be conspiratorial, saucy, flirtatious, or just a way to say, "you know what? I like you!"

My amazing friend Tamara is a winker. I'm not even sure she's aware of the amount of winking that she does on a daily basis. The first time I met her, I think she winked at me at least three times in the first minute...okay I'm exaggerating. But, while I was at first taken by surprise at her visual gesture -- and with a stranger, no less. I quickly warmed to it and especially to her -- that she would be so friendly and open to said stranger with that spirited little eye communique. It made us...well, not strangers...really quickly.

But a "God wink?"

I first heard this fabulous expression from another friend, Patti -- one of my "other mothers." You know the type...general…

The Cross and the Ugly Cry

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I cried at church yesterday.

Not your typical "God is so awesome that I need to wipe this discreet tiny bit of moisture from the corner of my eye" type of crying.

I'm talking about full on wailing, gasping, snotting, keening crying.

It wasn't pretty.

As I mentioned last week in another post, I was given an amazing song to lead this Sunday during communion. After some initial bumps in the road, I am happy to say I had plenty of time to rehearse the song -- making sure I had the lyrics memorized and down, and all the high notes reached and tweaked.

(Sidenote: If you want to listen to the song, O the Blood, for reference to this next part, or mostly just because it's incredible, awesome, heartfelt, cleansing, etc., you can do so below.)


I even spent some quality time contemplating the weighty lyrics about Jesus' death on the cross and that "blood that is my victory." As I marinated in that truth, I did shed a tear or two (the dignified kind) and I fel…