27 April 2015

116/365

94-feels-like-107 degrees calls for a snow cone. Maybe my summer goal will be to try a new snow cone stand every week...

25 April 2015

115/365

At some point during three of my four pregnancies, we moved. And by moved, I'm not talking "to a new house," or "down the street," or "across town." No, it was more the case of "from the Atlantic to the Pacific," or "halfway across the Pacific Ocean," or "from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest." BIG moves, strange places, brand new community.

Yet, in Every Single Place, a community of women gathered with me to celebrate new life. I can barely find words to describe well how much that meant to me- the church ladies who barely knew me and mine, throwing a party for us. They gifted us with much needed supplies, but they also gifted me with friendship and practical help and the advice that a mom far from her own mom didn't have close at hand.

And so, I love a Baby Shower. We ladies, we need each other! (and sometimes, just maybe, we need cake...) We need the friendship of ladies who have walked farther down this road than we have. We need their stories and their "this is just a season" wisdom. We need our Running-The-Race-Together mom peers, who know the latest and greatest of babyhood paraphernalia, who know the right struggles of long days and short nights and chores which never ever seem complete. We need our single friends, who are aunts to our kids, who love generously, who scoop up our little ones and give us themselves. We need our littlest sisters, the girls who delight in new babies and tiny clothes and no one watching them at the food table. We need sitting together and laughing together and taking time to know each other and taking time just to be.

Oh, I know, I've met those who are in the "this isn't her first pregnancy- no need for another shower" crowd. But not me. Yes- celebrate the miracle of a first pregnancy and celebrate the wonder of the 10th- together. What better to celebrate than a new baby, and who better to celebrate with than the sisterhood of community?
(thanks for today, friends. I'm not the one being showered, but I was blessed nonetheless.)

114/365

I thought about the day and what to write.

Would it be about the delight of young learners reciting their ABC's and playing a simple harmonica tune and telling about their studies of the world or even their favorite toy, or the beauty of young ladies "singing" in sign language?

Or maybe the words to try to express the deep peace of abiding in "be still" for even just a short portion of the day.

Or the experience of crossing the international bridge on a warm and windy Friday afternoon, of the women and children and disabled and perfectly-abled trying to hawk everything under the sun while the cars wait and move at a crawl.

Or how the Mexican vendor yelled at me for not moving along at the pace he thought correct UNTIL he found out that I have the SENTRI pass... and then how he cheerfully exclaimed, "I will help you!" in English and held the sticks down so that I could pass.

Or perhaps sharing some of the sweet comfort and rest that a night at home sitting around the table with those that know you best brings.

Or how the flash and crash and violent bursts of a quickly moving thunderstorm remind you of the very awesome power of our Creator God, and that even so, I am safe with Him.

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long
From this labor and this heartache, I have come
The skies will wear out, but you remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise your name.
- "Rock of Ages (When The Day Seems Long)," words by Sandra McCracken, music by Kevin Twit.

113/365

Cole slaw, anyone?

112/365

Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
for the Lord will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.
Proverbs 22:22-23 (ESV)

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
Psalm 112:4-9 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, because the gospel is true, we pray with confidence. "The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. Yes, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror." (Ps. 10:16-18 NIV)
- from "April 22, A Prayer about Holy Rage for Justice," in Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith

The themes running through today's morning readings, unplanned and yet so very coordinated, left me looking at everything through different lenses today...

22 April 2015

111/365

They started with the ribbons and colorful papers and sparkles and glitter back in the summertime. (there may have been a few callouses born of this project...) Finally, today, it all came together. Thankful for this lady, who brings vivid living color to our lives, who loves generously, who trusts and nurtures and encourages these girls in a manner that speaks volumes. We love you, Miss Peggy!

110/365

Five of seven have assented to the cultural norm. Perhaps my turn will come soon...

20 April 2015

109/365

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV)

108/365

Hang-head Bluebell,
Bending like Moses’ sister over Moses,
Full of a secret that thou dar’st not tell!
- George MacDonald

107/365

"I allow myself to imagine us in the palm of His hand. I imagine his tenderness as He numbered those hairs, I imagine His hand cupping my face as a Daddy cups the face of His daughter, and I imagine Him looking into these women’s eyes and smiling, delighted in His daughters. I close my eyes and in my mind I hear the voice of my husband as he sits on our bed and strums his guitar, “for mercy for comfort we wait on the Lord,” He sings.

Today I feel like we are just waiting. Today, hope is something we fight for."

16 April 2015

106/365

The home we owned in Omaha was constructed in 1924. When our family moved in to the house in 2004, we were surprised to learn that in those 80 years, only 3 other families had lived in the house before us. We loved that house, and we loved our neighborhood. We even knew of one lady down the street, Miss Alice, who was born and lived in the same house her entire life!

One year in Omaha around Christmas time, a kind lady we did not know knocked on our front door. When we opened the door, she rather apologized, but explained that she had grown up in the house, the daughter of the very first owners. She was visiting town for Christmas and wondered if she could look around. She was able to tell us about some of the changes that had been made over the years, and tell us what the neighborhood had been like when she grew up. It was a sweet visit that gave us a rare glimpse of the history of our home.

I run past the house in the photo frequently. Nearly always I wonder, "what stories would those walls tell?" And it always reminds me, no, this place is not our home. (Hebrews 13:14)


104/365

I scream;
You scream;
We all scream 
for ice cream.
- Howard Johnson, 1927

Welcome back, Blue Bell! We missed you!

14 April 2015

103/365

As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

- Psalm 103:15-19 (ESV)

13 April 2015

102/365

and oh the grace and blessing of an ordinary Sunday, beginning to end.

101/365

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” 
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit