Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday--Compassion

I am very tired tonight--H&H haven't slept through the night all week, and being up for an hour or two in the night is just something I'm not up to right now. So I figured I'd go with Iris's theme for Thankful Thursday this week--compassion. Then I thought, no, I should make myself do the next chapter of Colossians...and lo and behold, compassion showed up there too!! Funny how God works that out... :)

Colossians 3:11-15

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Thanks that we live in a society that we don't even fully know what it means to be Greek or Jew, Scythian, slave or free.

Praise be to God that he doesn't discriminate based upon nationality, outward appearance, position in society. Thanks for my experiences in graduate school, living and working with a diverse group of people (ok, so we were all smart) so that I could learn how much skin color doesn't matter. Thanks for the research exchange to Korea, so I could learn what it means to be a stranger in a strange land.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Thanks for choosing us, God! Thanks for the compassion that Jesus modelled--he didn't just see need, but he had compassion, sending out his disciples to shepherd them, heal them, and fed them. Thanks for organizations such as Compassion International that raise our awareness of needs around the world and give us an opportunity to make a difference.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Thanks that you forgive us! The previous verse is so convicting--how many times have I not had compassion, been kind, shown humility, used gentle words, and been patient?? Too many to tell. Thank you for friendships that survive the years and the instances of forgiveness.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Thanks for Patrick and the rest of our extended family. Thanks that you loved us to send your Son, even when we didn't deserve it. Thanks for marriage, and the opportunity to show and receive that same kind of love, sometimes on a daily basis.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Thanks for peace amid the storm, the kind of peace that can only come from you. Thanks that our church distinguishes between the fundamentals of the faith and the things that Christians can disagree about, and promotes unity and peace in the body.

And be thankful.

Thanks for all the ways you've blessed us this week. Thanks for protection from the storm, a warm house, and provision beyond our needs. Thanks for working things out exactly as Patrick envisioned them for his job. Thanks for computers, and that I don't have to do our taxes by hand (I wish I could be thankful that they were done, but maybe next week!)

Wordless Wednesday--Henry's Lego creation

Yes, Henry (age 5) built this totally yourself...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Learning to play the game

Henry and Harmony got some new games for Christmas--Henry got Electronic Battleship, and Connect 4 (in a cool travel case) was a present for both of them.

They love both games. Henry was begging to play Battleship this morning, and again the instant we walked in the door. His favorite part is the exploding sound when you have a hit.

Unfortunately, they don't really know how to play either game. I need to do all the setup for the Battleship (which is more complicated than I expected), and he's not good at putting the pegs in the grid to mark where he's shot. He also likes to move his ships around, which isn't bad when you're playing a computer, but very confusing otherwise. Connect 4 is a similar story--so far they think the main objective is to fill the grid with the disks, and turn taking is a challenge.

Once again, I'm more like my kids than I'd like to admit. While spiritual life isn't a game, sometimes I think I've missed part of the point. The verse to consider in our devotional today is John 10:10: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." The accompanying passage in "Naturally Supernatural" talked about this--that somehow Christians have made Christianity about the future, "when we get to heaven."

But there is definitely Biblical support for God intervening in the here and now--He loves us just the way we are, but loves us enough to not just leave us where we are. The "abundantly" in the verse above is perissos, which means "over and above, more than is necessary; exceeding abundantly, supremely; superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon." I don't view God as a candy machine who will give us whatever we want if we just push the right buttons, but He is our loving Father who WANTS to give his kids good gifts, Matthew 7:9-11 makes it clear.

So one thing I'm learning is to act like those things are true--that our faith DOES make a difference in the here and now, and that God likes to answer his children's prayers.

God, grow our faith!

Bloggy Giveaway--$13 Starbucks gift card


Generosity is a great thing! Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a Bloggy Give-Away Carnival Until February 1st--so far there are over 500 participants, so there is probably a giveaway for you!

This giveaway is for a $13 Starbucks gift card. I'm not sure how it ended up being that amount--it was a gift, I don't drink coffee and there isn't a Starbucks in my town. So it just seems right to share the caffeine with someone else!

To enter the contest, post a comment on this thread and include an e-mail address if you don't have a blogger id. I'll use a random number generator on February 2nd to select the winner. This contest is limited to US residents--I can put an envelope in the mail, but I don't think I could figure out international postage!

So if you're feeling the need for caffeine, enter below!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eagles Wings

Today Henry and I went with some friends from church to an Eagle viewing day at a power plant about an hour away. Security was tight--there were police officers and trained dogs inspecting the cars. It was pretty cool--the American Eagle Foundation did a "Birds of Prey" show, and showed several different types of birds, including owls, vultures, falcons, hawks, and eagles. We got there shortly before the show started, but were lucky to get seats fairly far up. When they walked the birds through the aisles and had some of them fly from one trainer to the other, they went basically to our aisle and stopped, so we had a fairly good view. Afterwards, we took a bus ride to a viewing site, and saw a couple of eagles across the river, in a tree.

While it was fun to see the birds in their natural habitat, it was cold and unimpressive to a five year old--all they did was sit in the tree. They did have hot chocolate and cookies at the next bus stop, as well as reasonably priced (!) souvenirs. Henry really wanted a shirt, and I also got an stuffed animal eagle, initially for Harmony...but Henry has completely claimed it as his own. He brought it to his bath tonight(to hunt for fish in the tub) and made a nest for it out of an upside down pirate hat, lined with one of Harmony's baby blankets.

It got me thinking about the analogy between the eagles we saw today and our faith, especially in the context of our Life Group discussion on Thursday. The birds we got to see up close and personal were ones that couldn't make it in the wild--either they had been so permanently injured that they wouldn't survive (such as Oseola, who lost a wing due to a gunshot wound) or they had imprinted with humans and lost their ability to hunt and make wise decisions about people. The ones that were free and able to hunt were far off and distant--I couldn't see them with my naked eye or even the binoculars I borrowed from another friend, and even if I had, I'm not sure I would have known they were eagles. And Henry's eagle was just a toy, a plaything under the command of a five year old.

All those eagles can be where our spiritual life is. Are you wounded so badly that you're living in captivity? Have you been so strongly imprinted that although you're healthy, you're stuck? Does God seem far off and distant, or just a plaything?

Personally, I think I've recovered from a spiritual "gunshot" wound over the course of the last year, and have been released back into the wild. The question is, can I remember how to feed myself? Can I figure out how to fly with a different wing?

God wants us to soar! Isaiah 40:31 says, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." I think the key part of that is the first line--"those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." To soar, you need to have hope, and have it in the right thing, or person--God, not your spouse, your job, your kids, or your stuff. It's probably not an instantaneous process--it takes a while to heal from the spiritual equivalent of a gunshot wound, but that doesn't mean healing doesn't come. You can be freed from the imprinting of this world--Romans 12:2 makes that clear. And if God seems far off or that he's just using you as a plaything (or vice versa), there's no better way to learn about Him than an up close and personal encounter--seek that out.

Thanks, Lord, for making majestic creatures like eagles. Thank you that we can soar when we put our hope in you.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week our Life Group is starting “Naturally Supernatural” by Gary Best. There is an accompanying Bible study, and the passage we’re studying this week is John 14:9-12:

Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

What a challenging passage! But it gives me lots to be thankful for. So this week I’m thankful for:

--Our Life Group—that it’s a safe place for people to be known, to grow, to support each other and to be challenged. I pray for fruitful discussion tonight and the next six weeks, and similar discussions that are happening in other Life Groups.

--That Jesus came so that we could see the Father, not just with spiritual eyes but with physical ones. Thanks that he took on human flesh and knows our trials and weaknesses.

--That the Father is doing his work in us—that He loves us just as we are, yet remodels and shapes us if we’re willing and malleable.

--For real life miracles that do happen, both small and personal as well as big and global.

--That God chooses to use us to show himself to the world and as his change agents…if we’re willing to be the cracked vessels he shines through.

--Faith—what an amazing and awesome gift. May we grow in it through this study.

--That God’s promises are true—that He will continue to do amazing things in us and through us.

And thanks to Iris for hosting Thankful Thursday! What a joy it is to read how God has been working in everyone’s lives!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I have no idea what he's just what I found in the shower! Ask Henry, I guess...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday--Predictions for 2008

I got this in an e-mail...

Top Ten Predictions for 2008

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Melodic Mondays

Right now, the most common words I hear from my kids are "Play with me!" --usually both at the same time, while both telling me stories. While mind boggling at times, I love that they want to spend time with me--a few more years, and they'd rather be with their friends.

So the songs I've been singing this week is "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce...we sang it in high school choir (am I dating myself??). They're not a perfect fit, but I'd be saving up these days for later...

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Parenting insecurities

Today we had a guest preacher at church, Jim Egli (thanks, Jonell!). He gave a great sermon about the phases of life of a Christian, and challenged us to keep growing. It was a great sermon, and lots of people came up for prayer afterwards, including me.

He outlined the phases of life, including supporting scriptures to be:
-- Baby
-- Teenager
-- Parent
-- Grandparent

A "baby" is a new Christian, whose only job is to grow. A teenager's job is to start taking responsibility. If you find yourself saying, "I can do that better," then God is probably calling you to do it (better is another question). A parent's job is to reproduce--to nurture spiritual babies and teens into parenthood. And a grandparent's job is to lead the leaders of the church.

As someone in the parent phase of life, both literally and spiritually, all I can say is it's draining. I was having "life group insecurity" last night, saying how much I stink at it and how others in our group should be the ones of them has a "day job" of being a spriritual grandparent, and another couple were "parents" at another church. So our group is well past the age of bottles and diapers, which you'd think would be easier, but I think it leads to greater feelings of parental insecurity. But it's where God put us for now...if we manage to grow by a couple more couples, we may be ready to "multiply" next summer, and maybe those leaders will be leading. So until then, I'll keep to the task in front of us...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And you never know who God is gonna use

The chorus of one of my favorite Rich Mullins songs goes:
And you never know who God is gonna use
A princess or a baby
Or maybe even you or me

I was amazed to see that in action on my trip. I was traveling with a lapsed reformed Presbyterian and an atheist. You wouldn't expect God conversations to happen, but they did.

As we were driving there, we talked about the atheist's daughter choosing a college--she's chosen a Christian school and has been attending a non-denominational church with a friend! Praise God :) It was interesting to hear him describe the Holy Spirit at work without using that term--but it's easy to see in action.

Then the lapsed reformed Presbyterian said they had started going to an Episcopalian (sp?) church and was singing in the choir. I don't want to get into a big discussion about denominations, but I'm happy to hear that he's moving towards God.

Finally, the school we were visiting was named after a major player in the reformation. After seeing a statue of the guy, we had a long discussion about the Heidelberg Catechism...every time we were in the car. The reformed presbyterian was telling about the principles and things he had learned as a teen in Catechism--directed to the atheist, who was interested and asking questions. Too cool!

The amazing thing to me was that the only conversation I started was "so, has your daughter chosen a college?" Now, I don't know that I'd meet either of these colleagues in heaven if Jesus came back tomorrow, but it was encouraging to see God working in their lives, and with their families, especially since they're heavy hitting academic types.

Guess it totally reinforced the Veggie Tales movie we saw on Thursday!

Thanks, Lord, that you're moving in ways we don't even know about, and that someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

I give thanks for all the wonderful things we are IN CHRIST--read Collosians 2:6-13 and look for all the "in Christs".

I'm thankful for safe travel. The last two times I've traveled for this type of work I've had a missed miscarriage (the date the babies stopped developing) and a miscarriage. This time the only medical thing happening is a painful ingrown hair.

I'm thankful for my wonderful husband--Happy 40th birthday yesterday!

I'm thankful to be able to explore the administrative side of college life and how other institutions work.

I'm glad to be home.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday--the slumber party while we're gone

If you want to read more about their adventure, visit my amazing friend Jen. Thanks for the picture, Jen!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Top Ten Tuesdays--things I love and hate about traveling for work

So I'm cheating--I've got two lists today

10 things I love about traveling for work:
1. I get to take a long, relaxing bath...and someone else cleans the tub!
2. The chance to work with very bright people and learn from them
3. Cable TV--Harry Potter is on :)
4. The chance to eat foods not found in my town--Monday night was sushi and Korean food
5. Free frequent flyer miles
6. Time to process and pray
7. Opportunities to see how other schools work
8. Chances to network with like minded people
9. An uninterrupted night sleep
10. The chance to improve education for potentially thousands of students, not just the fifty or so I meet with in classes each semester

5 things I don't like about traveling for work:
1. Missing the kids and Patrick
2. Being the most junior person in the room, and wondering what exactly I bring to the table
3. Missing my classes, especially at the beginning of the semester
4. Having to ask others for help
5. Trying to figure out how to get the room to a comfortable temperature

Melodic Mondays--Tickle my toes by Justin Roberts

We've been singing this song a lot lately--we had morning snuggle/tickle fests both on Saturday and Sunday morning. It's from the Yellow Bus CD--we haven't found one of his CDs yet that hasn't been a hit! The lyrics and chords can be found at

Tickle My Toes
Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes
Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes

And don't play this little piggy went to that little town
While the other little piggies were just fooling around
This little piggy something to eat
That little piggy just a tickle just a tickle my feet

Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes
Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes

Don't tickle my tummy, nose my ankle my thigh
Momma don't ya tickle my ticklish eye
whatever you do watch the knee
and momma don't tickle my ticklish ticklish feet

Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes
Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes

And don't tickle me there
You know mama I think I've had my fair share
Why don't we give someone else a chance in the ticklish seat
Like let's say sis over there, you know she's got those really nice feet

Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes
Momma don't you tickle, don't you tickle my toes
Momma don't you tickle my ticklish toes

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Speeding warning

I got pulled over Saturday night--I was late for something, driving on an unfamiliar road, and both kids were talking at me while the radio was blaring. 49 in a 40...luckily the police officer gave me a warning.

I think we need a spiritual speeding warning--our life has been going too fast this weekend, and I definitely felt it on Saturday--thus the speeding. The kids had friends over Friday night (actually relaxing), then on Saturday we ran a bunch of errands (which took longer than planned), then made some meals at a friend's house, dropped Patrick off at a worship team get together while the kids and I went to another friends house (and got the speeding warning en route), and got home too late for needing to be at first service.

The question is always what should go?

Lord, help us give our calendar and to do lists to you for editing first...

Friday, January 11, 2008


Last night I made craisin white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for life group. One person in our group needs to be on a low fat diet, so I was going to substitute applesauce for half the butter. But...we didn't have any applesauce, so I used low fat cream cheese instead. Then I didn't have any oatmeal, so I used crushed cornflakes. And the white chocolate chips? Gone, so I used butterscotch chips instead.

The cookies turned out ok, but nothing like the recipe I was trying to make. If I had thought about it (or realized it before the craisins were already in) I could have used dried cherries and chocolate chips...then it would have been cherry chocolate chip cheesecake cookies :)

It made me wonder--are there places in my life where I'm substituting something for Jesus?

Lord, search me and show me any places where I'm substituting something worldly in your place.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Di Lehman from the Champaign Vineyard gave a really powerful powerful sermon at our church using Colossians. I had forgotten how much I love Colossians, so I picked it back up as the text I've been studying in depth. How rich it is! So Colossians 1:3-8 is the basis for my Thankful Thursday this week..

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—
Thanks for the prayer warriors who are out there, praying for me and I don't even know it. Thanks that faith and love go together--if we truly have faith, we will show it in our actions. And thanks for the friends who show this in amazing ways in our everyday lives--loving our kids like their own and being just awesome friends. The most amazing thing that's happened since we've been back from sabbatical is that we have friends--something we would have had a hard time saying five years ago, and especially ten years ago when we first moved here.

the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.
Thanks that you give us hope, and thanks for the amazing renewal of my spirit that has happened over the last three weeks. Thanks for pastors that speak your truth in love, proclaiming the gospel in ways we can understand. Thanks for Christian radio stations that enrich our travels and our days, and the Christian artists who dedicate their lives to praising you and leading us into worship.

All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[c] behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Thanks for the persecuted Church, and I pray for their protection tonight. Thanks that the darkness will not overcome your light. May seeds that have been sown be watered and take root in fertile soil. Thanks especially for our friends who are missionaries, both here and abroad, especially Carol, who was so instrumental in my learning to study the Word for myself and who is now in the Ukraine.

This week I am also especially thankful that school has started and I am back in the classroom! I had forgotten how much I love, love, love teaching--it is definitely a ministry, not a job, whereas the research I was doing last semester is not something I'm called to do (which God is making more and more obvious to me).

And thanks to Lynn at Spiritually Unequal Marriage for hosting this week! Please visit her to share your own thankfulness and to read other's.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I AM Bible study--Instrument of Wonders

The Preacher's Wife, Lisa, has an AWESOME Bible study for Women on the life of Moses called I AM. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do! I am (ha, ha, get it?) on lesson eight, Instrument of Wonders, which is looking at the beginning of Exodus 4.

Moses begins a litany of "yes buts"--but what if they don't believe me, but I'm not an eloquent speaker, PLEASE send someone one prone to yes-buts, I have complete sympathy for Moses. God met addressed his every concern, but by the end was losing patience. My favorite one is the first one--God tells Moses to throw down his staff. It turns into a serpent, a symbol of power in Egypt, and Moses runs away! From his OWN staff! God tells him to pick it up by the tail, and it turns back into a staff. Very cool. By not running away from his "problem", it goes back to being a plain ol' piece of wood.

It's also interesting to look at the progresion--first Moses says others won't accept him, then he says he isn't well enough equipped, and then he finally cuts to the chase and says, PLEASE choose someone else! Moses would rather continue herding sheep in the desert than do what the Lord God has equipped him to do--no wonder God's anger burns against him. One thing that shows me is that if God asks me to do it, He will take care of preparing other people's hearts and He will equip me--I just need to be willing to accept the assignment. Although I'm sure I'd be scared and nervous, I'd rather deal with people's reactions than with God's anger burning against me!

I bet part of Moses's unwillingness to go is that he had already tried to save his people--and was totally unsuccessful. Not only did he not succeed, he was rejected by the Israelites themselves. And now God was sending him right back, to the same place. That's a pretty big piece of humble pie to swallow. But God knew that--and I'm sure that contributed to Moses's humility, there was no mistaking that saving Israel was God's doing, not Moses'.

And God has not only empowered Moses to pick up the serpent (our old problems we'd rather run from than face), he's empowered us, too. 1 John 2:14 says, "I have written to you young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." That's pretty cool! I can't think of any situations I'm avoiding or running from, and I'm trying to be better about just saying "Yes, Lord" instead of "yes, but..." but this lesson was a good reminder of how God does use us, ESPECIALLY in our weaknesses and failures.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Top ten reasons I shouldn't have a cell phone...

I have a disposable cell phone, the $1/day you use it, $0.10/min to "non plan" people, free to other AT&T cellular users, kind. So if you don't have Cingular/AT&T, I probably won't call fact, I think I've called a grand total of three people on my cell phone, and two of them are Patrick and the preschool director.

Today confirmed that I shouldn't have a cell phone--even though there were two occasions when I could have used it wisely (traveling to Indy alone and going to the grocery store), I managed to do several things on this top ten one day!

So without further ado, the top 10 reasons I shouldn't have a cell phone:
10. I forget it at home.
9. When I bring it with me, it isn't charged.
8. I regularly lose the charger.
7. When it is charged, I forget to turn it on.
6. When it's on, it's on vibrate and I don't hear it in my purse.
5. When I put it in my pocket, I still don't feel it.
4. When I turn the ringer on, I can't find it.
3. When I do find it, it's already gone to voice mail...
2. Which I don't have set up or know how to get to.
1. And if I manage to do all of the above...there is no signal.

For a more substantial top 10 list, check out Jen's blog. If you have a top ten today, please post a link in the comments!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Day in the life...

Kathleen Marie is organizing "A Day in the Life" today, Monday January 7th. It can be a story about a day, or a typical day, or the blow by blow...I'm doing a typical Monday, since this Monday is a wierd one (school hasn't started yet and I have a doctor's appt). We'll need to be adjusting these times, since I'm teaching at 8 am on Tuesday/Thursday this semester, and preschool now starts at 8:30, not 9! But it is what Mondays will look like this semester...

7:30 alarm goes off; press snooze but the cat won't have it--even though she has plenty of food, she wants some pets by her bowl before she eats. Potty break and a few minutes to collect my head
7:45 Get Henry up--we usually snuggle for a few minutes before he gets out of bed. Help him get started on breakfast.
7:55 Repeat with Harmony.
8:10 Eat my breakfast while packing kids' and my lunches
8:25 Get myself dressed; encourage kids to dress themselves (clothes laid out the night before)
8:35 Brush my teeth; try to get Harmony to do her own, but I usually end up doing it.
8:45 Put on coats and head to the car...somehow this always takes longer than it should
9:00 drop off at preschool; hang out there for 15 minutes
9:15 park car at home; grab my lunch, gym bag and school stuff and head to work
9:30 check e-mail, read daily Bible reading and do memory verse
9:45 Work...write lectures, grade papers (usually doesn't happen at work), do research in lab (won't probably happen on Mondays this semester, but maybe Thursday afternoons), look for stuff, set up labs, write letters of recommendation, meet with students
11:10 teach class until 12:10
12:10 talk to students after class, drop my stuff back in my office (and hopefully file it appropriately!) and head to the gym; stop by office and check my mail on the way
12:30 Run
1:00 cool down; shower and head back to the office
1:20 inhale (I mean eat) lunch--usually a Lean Cuisine, leftovers, or whatever the kids are eating
1:45 Set up lab stuff for Tuesday's labs; office hours; grading papers; getting lecture ready for tommorow morning; committe work; advising students; meeting with speakers and/or faculty candidates
4:00 Every other Monday--go and pick up the kids; get them an "appetizer" (usually fruits or veggies); play outside or inside; start dinner
The other Mondays--Faculty meeting until 5:30; Patrick does pickup on these days
5:45 dinner (either out or leftovers on the weeks I have faculty meeting)
6:20 clean up kitchen
6:30 read mail, play with kids, meet a friend at the park or the gym with the kids
7:30 bathtime for the kids; one has a snack while the other is in the tub
8:00 bedtime snack for the kids; brush teeth and potty break too
8:15 story time
8:45 prayer time; lay with kids for a few minutes
9:00 Us leave room; Henry pops out to go potty and try to get "bonus time"
9:15 Patrick meet Charlie to walk, talk and pray; I talk to Jenn on the phone :) or grade papers, write lectures, and do all the stuff that generally doesn't done
10:00 Clean up from evening; lay out clothes for morning, other household errands
11:00 check e-mail and read blogs; post my own
12:00 head to bed

This is a "no extras" Monday--Patrick will have City Council meetings 2 of 4 Mondays per month, and I often have a committee meeting at 1:30 on Mondays (we'll see when it is this semester). Oh yea, and one of the 2 Mondays that Patrick doesn't have City Council, we have small group leader meeting, so that will wipe out the 6:00 to 8:45 time block.

One year later...

A year ago I found out I was pregnant. What a year! I've learned a lot and grown a lot, and I'm glad to say the "downs" aren't as far down as they were. I never imagined that a year later, I wouldn't have a new child in my life--even after the miscarriage I was pretty confident that I'd be pregnant again by my due date, or at least by the end of the year. I've grown into the idea that we might only have two kids in our family, that Emily's vision of God putting something that was too big for me into his giant dryer and shrinking it to be just right (at a time when I was wearing a pair of Patrick's jeans because mine were too small, the weekend before the first US where we found out things weren't going well), was probably about our family size. We've been blessed with two awesome kids, and I don't want to miss anything because I'm living in the land of "what could have beens".

But it stung last night when an unnamed friend told me she was pregnant and my period arrived within 10 minutes of each other. I can handle them separately, together, not so well. I'm glad I found out directly from the person, but I pretty much shut down the rest of the evening. So if you're that person, sorry if our conversation seemed surface-y. It somehow triggered this whole cascade of only-ifs...only if I hadn't fixed Harmony's broken butterfly wing on her ring holder and spilled superglue on my fingers, maybe I wouldn't have miscarried in October (even though I can find no link between superglue and miscarriage). Only name it. There's a point where you just have to rebuke that thinking, and say, no, God knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. I'm just feeling sympathy for Sarah, Hannah and Elizabeth...though I have the advantage of having two great living kids. (That's the other "get over yourself" reminder...I don't live in a society where my worth is decided by my reproductive prowess, and I HAVE two kids! Many people don't have any!)

So I don't know what those plans God has for us are, but I do know that He has them, and that they're supposed to give me hope, so I will put my hope in the Lord...and love and enjoy the great kids I already have.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday--New beginnings

From Psalm 90:14-17:
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Thank you, Lord, that your mercies are new every morning and that they do not fail. Thank you for the power of prayer; thanks that you were faithful to answer our prayers for renewed joy for me. Patrick mentioned earlier in the week that my mental health seems much better--and it is! Thanks, Summer, for praying with me--God totally answered that one!

Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.

Thank you for all the lessons you taught me this last year--about faith and prayer and trust and hope. Thanks for David and Job, and how they so elegantly expressed the range of emotions we feel.

May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

Thank you for your servants, especially those who willingly and happily serve others. Thanks for our children, and all the things they teach us about you.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

Thank you for the new year and all the great things you will do this year. Thank you for my job and the opportunities you give me to show you to others. Thanks for our Children's ministry and how its grown this last year. You have been so faithful in drawing families to you and raising up workers; we look forward what you'll do at RVC this year! Thanks for the opportunity to teach in Children's Church and help plan out the curriculum--I think I learn as much from Kid's Church as I do from the adult version!

And thanks to Iris for hosting Thankful Thursday this week! Visit her to read more or to share your own Thankful Thursday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm not big into resolutions, but I do have goals for the next year.

1. Corny, but the first one is the old Nike slogan--Just Do It. Instead of letting the mail pile up, deal with it when it comes in. Put away the laundry when its done, not when I need the baskets to do laundry again. Grade stuff as soon as it comes in, not later. Pray for or with someone at the moment when I first sense that I should, not later. In other words, just do it.

2. Take better care of me. Go to bed at a reasonable time (I'm pushing it tonight!), eat as healthy as my kids do, get exercise on a regular basis.

Nothing earth shattering, but hopefully doable!