For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Reading List

What's On Your Nightstand

(It's April so I thought pink was appropriate. :))

So, I learned a lot about my reading habits last month as a result of writing down the books I meant to read.

1) I am far more scattered these days than I thought. I'm more focused than I have been in the past, but I still need to work on it.

2) I should probably write down the books I'm reading on a piece of paper or some place I will be reminded. Unlike the old days when you could put a stack of books next to your bed, e-books are far more easily forgotten. I was almost through the month before I remembered that I was reading one or two of the books. :/

I finished Education Sonya Shafer. It was a nice, brief encouragement that encouraged creating an environment of learning for your child.  So far Smooth and Easy Days has been similar, but with more specific information on forming habits.

So the list will stay essentially the same. But there were some add-ons so I'm going to list it in order I would like to finish...

Smart Moves by Carla Hannaford. The violin teacher loaned this (and a few others) to me so I would like to finish and return it at least. This book has a lot of good things to say about child development that I think will be helpful for BC, and is making me reconsider some things I thought I'd do regarding his education.

The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels. This book came along after I made my list and did cut into my list quite a bit. But our church was doing a series on it so I started. Now I find that I really do want to finish it. Been very eye opening, maybe even therapeutic.

Smooth and Easy Days by Sonya Shafer. I'm almost done so it will be a boost to my mood to have one (hopefully) finished so soon. :)

The Fitting Room by Kelly Minter. I'm struggling through this. It's a good book but the part I'm in now really dredges up some negative , to put it lightly, feelings about something that I can't really explain here both because I'm not ready to discuss it in public and because I just don't know how to write it down in a way that will make sense. Anyway, I will attempt to push through this slough of reader's despond. ;)

I'm going to put the Sanger book "on the shelf" for this month. That will probably encourage me to read it more. :D Yes, I rebel against myself.

The other three are the same studies/devotionals.

Well, here's to actually finishing two this month. :)

PS Does it bug you that I cut off the top of the book in this picture? Coz it's annoying the heck out of me. :)

PPS Linking up with What's on Your Nightstand? at

PPPS I forgot to say that I *did* finish a few more books, but they were not on this list. I really do have a hard time staying on task. :D

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday--Broken

I wasn't going to do the FMF today, or yesterday either. ;D Each prompt since "Rest" has prompted me to think of something that I felt deserved more time than 5 min. But when I turned over the calendar this morning to March 30, the verse was too right. The following is a bit of what I've been thinking about writing more about.

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before Him. Psalm 18:20 The Message

Broken could certainly be used to describe how I felt by that fateful night in December of 2011. Maybe crushed, smashed, ground up and turned to dust would even be better because that is exactly how my soul felt. After a lifetime of abusive relationships, afflicted and afflicting, I had come to the end. There was nothing left. I lived in constant fear, though I couldn't have told you of what. I dreaded every single day, and every single night. I was in shambles. After 42 years, 3 mos, and 8 days (give or take a day) my entire world was about to come crashing down and shatter the lives of everyone around me as well. My children, my friends. And then, in one instant, it was over. In one instant I was made whole. In one instant the death in me was gone and I breathed for the very first time. It's hard to describe to people who have lived their lives as Christians or who are not Christians what conversion is like. I don't know if people can understand who have never gone from utter darkness into complete light. How can you explain what it's like to have every part of you fixed in one instantaneous moment. Oh, sure, there are still issues, but I am no longer broken. I am no longer in pieces. I placed all the pieces, the powder as it were, before Him, and He INSTANTANEOUSLY made me complete.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Home

(click for this weeks entries)

Home. I want to go there. The older I get the more I feel this desire to return. I left with the best of intentions, but without knowledge. I was young and full of my own ideas. I had no idea that one day I'd miss it even more than I did then. I want to breathe in the sweet mountain air. I want to wave at each of my neighbors, and strangers, as we drive past each other on the road. I want to feel the friendliness of the people in town. I want to leave the pettiness of the city behind. Each day brings more longing. And with it a struggle to remain content with where God has placed me at this time.

I can't help but wonder if this is just a precursor to how I will feel in another 40 years...even if I do make it home. A longing that will grow day by day as my body grows older and older. A desire to go to the Place I will forever call Home.

Both require a waiting on the Lord. The one, I do not know His plans. Will I ever return to my earthly home? The other I do know and have full trust that one day, when the work He has for me on this earth is finished, I *will* go Home.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2, 2013, The Day upon Which nothing Went quite As planned

So, when my alarm went off at 4:30 I wondered a couple things. 1) Why on earth did I leave it on? 2) How can a person have a cold on only one half of their face.

But, life goes on. Today, life should have included Braniac participating in the city's once a year Track & Field program, and Spock and Mr. Great-heart attending ballet class. At some point, if we had a minute or two, we'd stop into the farm and see how the berry bushes and pomegranate trees were coming along.

Not quite.

Got to the park with Braniac and, as we walked to the area where the Track & Field events should be, I saw a large soccer game. Not that I have anything against the sport (no, that's a lie, I hate it :D) but this was a bit disconcerting. My immediate thought was that I had, yet again, misread information. But I swore I'd read that flier 20 times because it was just such a weird park to have the meet at. There's just not enough parking. So I had dh call over to the CC there and find out what was happening while I drove to the park where I thought it might be. He got a hold of me while I was on the freeway and told me that it had been cancelled at the last minute. Um, great. Thanks a lot City of Ontario. *sigh* So I told Braniac (who probably does not understand that by "cancelled" I mean he will never get to do it again...this was his last year) and I said, "Let's go to the farm."

(click to see the hawk)

In the midst of planting blackberry bushes I get a call from dh saying that the ballet bags, with the slippers in them, are apparently in the trunk of the car I was driving. *double-sigh* So he could take Mr. Great-heart if he came and and picked them up, but there was no way he could get Spock there in time. They drove down and came over to the blackberry planting, and that's when MG decided he'd rather plant bushes & trees than dance today thank-you-very-much.


So, Spock, MG, and I ended up spending the whole day at the farm (with a break for lunch) because one of the other volunteers brought her step-son who is Spock's age and the three of them played whole-heartedly together all morning and afternoon, with a brief break for MG to plant a tree.

Well, no matter, I still got a sunburn and a bit of dehydration. :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

(click for other entries)

Ordinary. I don't think it exists. I think it's a word used by people trying to sell us their products. You are ordinary but if you buy our shampoo you'll be extraordinary. You are ordinary, but if you drive our car you'll be exceptional. Conversely, if you don't, you're a loser. The world wishes to relegate all things except the most extreme to ordinary. Death. Birth. Unless something exciting happens, they are ordinary. But nothing is really ordinary. Everything really is extraordinary. People are all really exceptional. If we believe everything and everyone was intricately created by a God who essentially runs the entire universe, we can't believe in ordinary. That we are here, that we have been given 24 hrs a day, that we live where we live, etc., it's all extraordinary. There is nothing mundane in God's creation. If we really believe He is the Creator, we cannot believe that mundane exists. Each moment we breathe, each new dawn, brings new opportunities to draw closer to Him by serving Him in whatever He has called us to do. And there is nothing ordinary about that.