Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I don’t usually make official New Year’s resolutions. The end of the year and beginning of a new year is, however, not a bad time to reflect on things. I find myself doing that this week. I also find that this is probably not a good time for me to be making any major decisions since I’m feeling kind of depressed. I don’t know why exactly, but I can think of a few things that may be working there, but I don’t really need to share them here. Probably shouldn't blog when I'm feeling this way, either.... Funny how dates on a calendar can make you think about things you don't usually think about on a daily basis and can make you feel a little sad for no other reason.
Though I’m not making resolutions per se, there are some things I’m pondering here. First of all, I may need to blog and Facebook less in the new year. I’ve been thinking about blogging and what an odd thing it is. In some ways very personal, sharing my thoughts in my little space here, but in others by necessity not personal at all, being out here on the web and read by people who don’t really know me. In recent months I’ve found more and more that I wrote a post, published it and then decided to take it down. I’m finding that I really need to examine my motives in publishing posts. Sometimes it’s better to give a thought time before writing in the heat of emotion and hitting publish before giving that thought time to settle out. Sometimes the thought should not be published at all. I’ve toyed around with ending the blog altogether, but I’m not sure I’m really ready to do that.
I wrote a rather longish paragraph in the earlier version of this post but again, I deleted it. Another one of those thoughts that maybe didn't need to be published, except to maybe sum up more generally and say that you sometimes need a thick skin when blogging, too, and I haven't always been very skilled with that. That and the fact that blogging and Facebook can just eat up too much wasted time if you let them, too. I’m not so sure that what I’ve been writing is anything anyone else would care about reading, and therefore, what’s the point? If sitemeter has anything to say about it, it's not like many people are even reading anymore, anyhow. I guess I need to be more careful about what I blog.
Something else I’ve been thinking about is my personal time in God’s Word. Leslie wrote recently about how it’s hard to really reflect on what she was reading when she had 6 chapters to get through each day in a strict reading plan. I can relate to that. For the past several years I’ve made it a practice to read through the Bible in a year. It has been very good for me in that I don’t think I had ever read the Bible all the way through and chronologically before that, and it has very much helped me to see the Bible as a whole. But there were times when it became more about getting the daily reading done (check that box) than about knowing Jesus and really thinking about what I’d read that day. I think this year I’m going to slow it down and not be so concerned with getting through a reading plan and focus in on a book at a time and study it. I’m also wanting to focus on memorizing some passages of scripture and really hiding God’s Word in my heart. A few years ago when I was working in Awana at a church where we were members, the leadership challenged us leaders to memorize several scripture passages. I have always intended to work through that list, but I've not yet done it. I'm starting on Isaiah 53 now.
Just a couple of things I’m pondering as we wind down 2010 and get ready for 2011.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
My husband is not perfect. Seventeen years ago, he did not marry a perfect wife, either. But he is the perfect mate for me, by the kindness of God. As I look back at the day seventeen years ago today that we said our vows, I marvel today at how young and naive I was, at how much I did not yet know about life. But one thing we both knew was that we were committed to Jesus Christ, we were committing to each other, and not only to each other, we were committed to marriage, as a covenant.
I met my husband at church. All those people who felt the need to repeatedly give me their dire warnings about how I would lose my way if I went off to that ‘brothel’ called the University of Florida, by God’s grace, and only by His grace, you were wrong. God is bigger than the party school every one feared, and He keeps His own. It may not have been love at first sight when I met Drew, but that’s only because I was too stupid to see it. We did grow into a friendship that deepened into love, and really, that’s a good thing. Because today he is still my best friend.
Much of who I am today has been shaped by the fact that God graciously allowed my path to cross paths with Drew that January evening at a small Baptist church in Gainesville, FL. I am so thankful that God has taken these two imperfect people, and by His grace, in spite of our naivete at the time, caused us to grow together and toward Him over these seventeen years.
I love my husband. He works hard to support our family, and he is very good at what he does. His coworkers respect him, and as his wife I know that their respect is well-placed. He laughs with me, cries with me, plays with me, learns with me, prays with me. He is my biggest encourager and best understander of some of my closest held dreams and fears. He knows me better than pretty much anyone else I know, and loves me much more than I deserve. In fact, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post today had he not encouraged me to overcome my fear and start this blog a few years ago. It was his idea! He thought I needed a place to write out the things I shared with him that I think about. He was right. I did need this place.
He shares the secret grief, and he understands why a song or a word or a date on the calendar may bring sudden and unexpected tears to my eyes even when no one else in the room has any idea.
He has shared the joyful tears and laughter when our children were born and as we’ve gone through ups and downs of learning this whole parenting thing together. He is such a good dad, and I’m honored to get to parent alongside him.
God gave mankind a good and wonderful gift when He gave us marriage. In a shadow picture, my husband is able to demonstrate just a glimpse of Christ’s love for His Church. I am not an easy person to live with, but Drew loves me, and I’m thankful.
Happy anniversary, Drew. I love you.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Has it occurred to anyone how ironic it is that the shop and splurge orgy of discontent called ‘Black Friday’ occurs the day after the day we supposedly set aside to think about thankfulness? Americans don’t know how to do contentment. Though I stay away from ‘Black Friday’ madness - really there is nothing I want or need that is worth getting up in the wee hours of the morning or camping out in the cold to buy, I still need to learn to practice being content better, too.
Just a thought as I was mopping the floor this afternoon and listening to Alistair Begg preach. Carry on.....
Monday, December 06, 2010
My friend Lisa dreamed up a wonderful blog format when she started doing her status reports. Once again I’m borrowing it.
Sitting...in my kitchen where my computer resides.
Feeling...a little chilly. It was a cold one today. May need to move to the living room soon and enjoy the gas fireplace which is keeping the thermostat warm enough that the heat isn’t coming on in the rest of the house, which is why the kitchen is a little chilly right now.
Drinking...the giant diet Coke my husband was so sweet to pick up for me on his way home from work. Yes, he does love me.
Waiting....for my cup of chocolate hazelnut decaf tea to finish steeping. Second one of the afternoon/evening. Yes, it is that good.
Enjoyed....meatloaf for dinner. Aren’t you jealous?
Decided...to drink less coffee. I don’t like it black, so I have to add creamer, lots of flavored creamer, and Sweet-N-Low, which I like, but the creamer adds fat and calories. Gotta cut back somewhere.
Loving....the Go Fish Christmas CD. Especially their arrangement of “Mary Did You Know.”
Reading....Harry Potter out loud with the boys. We’re on book 1. We’ve all read the series, but it’s just fun to read out loud together. They always want one more chapter, no matter how many I’ve already read.
Glad....the boys aren’t yet too old or too cool to enjoy reading out loud together.
Thankful...for grandparents. This is the first year ever that the ONE thing the boys wanted was something that I could not get for them for Christmas. Every single store was sold out as well as all the online sources - either sold out or charging exorbitant prices or backordered until Jan/Feb. When I mentioned this to my parents, they hung up the phone and went to their local store and found just the thing. Yea, Mom & Dad! Now they will also get to enjoy the boys’ excitement when they see them open their gifts in a few weeks. My mom & dad were also glad to hear I'm finally, finally going to take my old Barbie doll house out of their garage where it has lived for more years than I care to count right now. It will pass on to my little girl this year. Oh joy.
Also reading....a book by Ruth Rendell called Portobello. Just as creepy as all her other books.
Liked....the surprise snow we had this morning and early afternoon. Weather people had predicted 0% precipitation. They were not correct. I got to do my Christmas shopping in the snow. It was nice. Enough to be pretty, not enough to hinder things.
Very glad...to be done with the Christmas shopping. And without spending too much, that was nice, too. I’m sure there may be a few odds and ends still, but it’s done and wrapped for the most part. I think the kids are going to be surprised. I found something else I wanted to get them for a great price. I’d tell you what it was, but I never know who might read over my shoulder. The computer is out here in the kitchen, after all.
Feeling....better than I have in a very long time. Glad my doctor was willing to listen to my symptoms and see the whole picture rather than only going by the numbers and was willing to try a low-dose medication that is already making a big difference. Starting to feel like me again instead of the tired-all-the-time slug I’ve been for longer than I care to remember.
Thinking....Facebook is a blessing and a curse. Anyone who uses it probably knows what I mean.
Liked....this video that’s going around. I thought it was very cool when I saw it last week. If only all these people really understood the worship and praise these words mean! Such glorious words to sing!!
Time...to go enjoy my tea. Cheers!
Friday, December 03, 2010
My oldest boy is in the band at school. This is his first year, and he plays trumpet. I love it.
His first concert was Wednesday. There is something almost magical about the way a middle school band director can take a large group of 6th graders, most of whom have never played an instrument and certainly not the instrument they are taking up now, and teach them to make music in a relatively short amount of time. Granted, that first concert isn’t so much about making beautiful music, but the fact that they can play notes in unison and even in harmony after only a few months of working with the band director is really incredible. That first concert is so full of potential. I love it.
It brought back nice memories of my first years in band - and later years, too.
Because after the 6th grade played, we got to hear the 7th grade. Incredible difference, and again I think it’s almost magical how the middle school band director can teach the brass and woodwinds and percussion to make a decent sound together. More complex than that first 6th grade offering, it was really enjoyable, and reminded me again of the potential I heard in my son’s 6th grade group.
And then came the 8th grade. Wow! Quite impressed by now, we enjoyed the band director’s sense of humor as he donned a black robe, wand for baton, and led the 8th grade band in playing highlights from Harry Potter. Because, really, I think you must have a sense of humor to be a middle school band director. And they appreciate him. You could tell by the whoops and cheers as he played the part and got into costume. The final number from the 8th grade band, they were accompanied by the Heartland Brass Quintet. Guess what my son’s public school band played in a Dixie-land, New Orleans jazz style? “Just a Closer Walk With Thee.”
I love band. I’m so glad I have years of band concerts and marching band parenting ahead of me. I sure hope his brother and sister will choose to follow in his footsteps and afford his dad and me even more years of band to anticipate. And can I say again how much I appreciate the middle school band director?