Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quotes from Notes...

I have blogged before about Wilson's Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl (Wide-eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World).

I have been mulling over the thoughts of shadow and light since the beginning of the year. E. asked me last night, "Honey, you ever going to finish that book?" Me- "I can't process more than just a section, it will be awhile."   Billy Sunday was a master at the one liners - but I think  N.Wilson has some pretty good ones.  True wit is an admirable thing.

Some of my favorites quotes from Notes:

"Bruises heal, but stories are forever." p.94

"An infinite God is I AM, and all else must be measured in terms of His nature, His love and His Loathing." p.95

"Spring is as much about the death of death as it is about new life." p.114

"In the end, when your life is of a different sort, your first flesh will be dust, and of your grief, not one grain of ash will remain." p.115

"We are a world of lottery winners."p.41

"Infinite reaches all the way up inot the transcendent epics of the stars, and all the way down into the ant hill where one loyal worker spends his life toiling, from its first day after the larval stage to its noble end, killed by a ladybug while defending teh colony's venerable herd of aphids." p.30

"Are you able to be just one snowflake in the blizzard of this reality?" p. 49

"There is a crushing joy that crackles in every corner of this world. I am tiny yet I am here." p.50

All these thoughts give perspective.  Somehow in my mind I always want it to be about me. (Ouch!!! - it's true-Yikes!) BTW- it's probably true for everyone. J and I always laugh about it and say to eachother - in a very exagerrated manner "Oh, you mean it's not all about me?" as we discuss the shadows and lights of marraige, kiddos, calling and the like.

I guess reading stuff like this, journals, writings of and about giants past is a type of brain noise.  It's the defense that wells up when my me-ism threatens to undo me.  God is faithful to minister to me with His Spirit through these things.

One more thing.  I really like that N. uses a capital when he writes the pronoun of God.  I love that.  I don't think that it is grammatically recognized as correct but it should be.  He is truly the only I in this place.

I've  pondered God's Mercy and Justice showing equally his character for a few years.  That was an issue brought up by some young believers that I had never dwelt on.  Generally, I thought, God I am so glad that you have chosen to show me mercy.   The idea of why is there evil?

Notes p. 110 -
"The shadows exist in the painting, the dark corners of grief and trials and wickedness all exist so that He might step inside them, so we could see how low He can stoop.  In this story, the Author became flesh and wondered the stage with Hamlet, offering His own life.  In this story, the Author heaped all that He loathed, all that displeased Him, all the wrongness of the world, onto Himself.  Evil exists so that He might be demeaned, insulted, so that the depth of His love and sacrifice could be expressed as much as possible in the smaller frame of history."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Laughable and Lighthearted Union

I ran up the door,  opened the stairs, said my pajamas, and put on my prayers- turned off my bed, tumbled into my light and all because he kissed me goodnight.  -- Author Unknown

In trying to get our own way, we should remember that kisses are sweeter than whine.  -- Author Unknown

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with it open.  -- George Bernard Shaw

The Christian faith is not true because it works, it works because it's true.  -- Os Guinness

If God keeps tabs on every sparrow, than he surely keeps special tabs on you. --Joni Erickson Tada

God is never in a hurry. --Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Providential Love by the dozen

It has been an interesting week. Rarely do I see shadow and light so intertwined, most often I am left with the faith in Christ that He does all well.
I am ever mindful of God's providence this week as I had a little picture (knowledge - experience) of "shadow transforming to light". Taste and see that the Lord, he is good.

I must explain the shadow and light thing - in "Notes from the Tilt A Whirl" N. Wilson describes God as a sort of Divine Director who tells a story using the shadows (sin and difficulties of this world} to contrast light{HIS}- truth, beauty and goodness.

"In this story , Winter can never hold back the Spring. ... There is a rustling of impatience. Anticipation. Creation creaks and groans, tired of shadow, tired of Winter. ... The sun warms me, reminds me. Be grateful, it says. I have broken the Winter." (Tilt A Whirl,88,89)

So my story began earlier this week when my daughter's head collided with the windshield after I slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me who had stopped suddenly.
Light- my daughter has a hard head and was absolutely fine. I was ever SO thankful then enter Shadow -windshields cost $ - it's tax time, we're tight and the windshield must be replaced.

After calling around -the best deal in town, a little shop a few minutes from our house.

1) The accident - my sin of going to fast for the conditions, K. thoughtlessness of forgetting her seatbelt and leaning forward in the front seat to do homework.

2)Finding this particular shop and Feeling utterly compelled beyond reason to go to the shop in the middle of the day - which was nonsense as I broke up my most productive time - and had no transportation back to the house for over an hour. I was telling myself - this is wasteful.

3) The owner of the shop spoke the language and was named for the city Asian I lived in for 6 years.

4) My earnest prayer for a language partner over the past several months as we prepare to return to Asia.

5) This man's wife sitting in national clothes in the lobby of his shop at that particular time.

6) She needing to finish an assignment with an American friend due later that afternoon.

7) An hour and one half of non stop talking in 2 languages and both of us so glad to find each other and chat ( It's a lady truth)

8) Budding friendship and language partnership

9) Invitations to Parties both ways

10) I walk into my house and tell E. the whole story in rapid fire. He says, "Praise God, I am so glad you broke the window."

11) Me realizing - Wow, and all because I was going too fast, - Wait, No! All because He is providential, divine, loving and full of goodness.
12) Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. We are made to see His goodness.
"For God who said. 'Let the light shine in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay toshow that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 Cor. 4

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am planting my herb garden this morning. I am excited to see what actually makes it.  I will definately be day dreamin' of huge basil and rosemary plants. These are by far the herbs most used at this little house.  Rosemary butter and Capresi Salad.  Can't beat 'em for homey touches.   My friend J. encouraged me to add lavendar to my herb pots.  I think I must.  I am not sure if lavendar is a perennial.  I will be looking that up. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Each One Amazing

I sat in a meeting with seven other women for five hours. We shared our current struggles, our hopes, our fears with eachother. We talked about shame. We talked about kids. We talked about the normal stuff- like proms and tragedy - like disease and sicknesses.

We prayed and laid hands on one another. At times, some of us cried, and we all laughed. Each lady left lighter knowing she had a safe place to "be" not the expected - but "vunerable and free to speak without judgement".
As I looked around the room the personality and gifts of each woman made me shake my head. I wanted to scream, "Do you know how great you are, and do YOU know how great you are? How about you? How do you smile, when wave after wave rolls over you? It is unbelievable."

Each woman walks a path of Grace and Goodness in her own right, has a family, is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend - a caretaker of hearts. Each is so different, so amazing, so endearingly and specially quirky. It is sureal.

It makes me wonder - Does God's head hurt to understand us each so fully and love the lovable only he can place in each of us?

But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God's wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done.
You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.
God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are.
- Ephesians 2:4-10

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Finding Him in the Garden

I just love gardening. You probably couldn't tell by looking at my yard - but I do. It reveals God's goodness and grace - I weed, plant, water and think.
Spiritual truths come to me in funny little stories of the garden.
Yesterday, after I finished some of my "list" I headed to the yard. I had yet to touch the flowerbeds, and they with the wonderful weather were sprouting all sorts of ugliness everywhere. So I started with my favorite bed and worked my way down to the least favorite.
My favorite was the first planted 3 years ago, it is the easiest weeded because it has lots of mulch and is full of the little perinnels my neighbor bestows on me. After it I moved onto my hosta plot. I love all the variety in hostas - it reminds me of God's gratuitiousness in creation. I finished those beds in less than 30 minutes.
My next two plots were a mess and took over two hours - but the weather was perfect -the breeze gave me energy and I happily continued.
As I rounded the front of the house to grab my new weeder - I saw a huge dandleion in the middle of the first bed hidden to my eyes during its weeding. I laughed at the humor of missing it. And the Lord reminded me of how he's cleans out my mess and just when I think it is good and I am ready to rest,relax and enjoy - he in his grace says, "Just this one last thing we'll need to be addressing"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Really Love your Kid

Hey There- Happy Saturday,
I am reading How to really parent ...by Dr. Ross Campbell. I taught his grandson last year and they are the sweetest family. Truly. I just love them. Anyway, Dr. Campbell spoke at St. B's and I was impressed by a few of his statements about mercy and parenting.
He gave 1 John 3:16, 18 as a reference,
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Dear children, let us not love in words or tongue but with actions and truth.

He states the 2 keys in the passage - TRUTH and LAID DOWN LIFE.

He goes on to say how we all as parents get that and ( this is my interpretation) we all feel and want to translate that.
However, he points out that so many adults state that they did not feel loved as a child.
Why is this?

Having loved his own, who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1

Attention: TIme : Interaction

He goes on to quote Romans *:38-39 - NOthing can separate us from Christ's love.

He says we display love in 3 ways:
Focused Attention, Eye Contact, and Physical Touch. (This is me- It's like a making a choice to fall in love with your child - I mean in the parental way. ) We do this in our marriages but I have never really thought of it in terms of children. So much of the time the love and addoration comes so naturally. However, I can see that this is natural. We get down on there level, use expressive language, give hugs.

I am often scattered - so I really have a hard time giving focused attention. I am truly trying to work on this. I need to just do it - not work on it. I AM the Parent.

K's love language is complete and undivided attention. The car is great for this. She and I rock out to 80's music and she tells all her stuff. I find myself wishing I could drive her around forever and that this stage would never end.

Anyway, if you're reading this post kiddo. You're the best KID ever. LOL&L (lots of love and laughs)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Middle Eastern Hummus, Babaganoush and Pita Chips

E says my Hummus is the best - of course, he's biased, I hope he stays that way forever. I just never get tired of that.
Here it is:
DISCLAIMER: I hate to measure - it takes all the art out of cooking. I am not a measure kinda girl - so the amount are a somewhat educated guess. BTW - my little doublet (twin sister), me not measuring is part of my charm so don't be too mad at me - remember - we get it from our Momma:) Bless her sweet lit'hands.

1 can garbonzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup Tahini - you can get it on Amazon - did ya know that??
salt - 1-2 tsp
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ( is 2 tbsp = 1/8 cup - I hate to measure)
1-3 cloves garlic ( we go for 3 - but we are garlic lovers)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ( this is spicy - use a little less if you're a lightweight)

This will make 1-2 cups. (double it easy - if you want to do more - fo it in batches of 2 or 3 - otherwise it gets over blended)

Throw the incgredients in a food processor/ blender/ Bullet.
I keep it a bit chunky because the texture adds dimension - besides E & K likes it better that way.

Toast your pitas. Quarter and serve.

Making pita chips :split the pitas - Cut them up (this is a kitchen scissor job - sooooo quick) add a little olive oil cooking spray and sea salt - Bake them at 350o for 10 minutes
- You can also add garlic powder or red pepper to the chips for a bit of kick

THIS is a great way to save $$$ - pita chips are so expensive and really the regular $4 bag- is less than a 6 pack of pitas you get at the Middle Eastern store for $1.25.
AND Homemade chips really DO taste better.
It's one of those special things you can add on - with a roasted Kroger (Safeway of the South) chicken and a salad WHALA- Hospitality in a hurry - one of my favorite things for the chronic overscheduler. (AHEM! Wouldn't run in the fam - now would it???)

On to Babaganoush!

It is the exact same recipe - to your taste of course, with one exception.
Substitute the garbozo beans with Oven Baked Eggplant.
Oven bake Eggplant - Split the Eggplant (1very large or 2 medium) - sprinkle with sea salt - bake at 350o for 20-35 minutes. ( I do this as I'm making my pita chips) The eggplant should be soft and peel right out of the skin. Let it cool a bit.

OK - there it is Basketball girlie. Thanks for being my first follower.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where Did Dancing Come from?

We had a great message in church today. Carter, our pastor, encouraged us to experience freedom and dance. Let me back up. He mentioned Nietzche who stated something to the effect that he could not believe in a God who couldn't dance and to christians without joy (loose paraphrase). I started thinking about dancing. I love to dance, I dance with my husband, I dance with my daughter, I dance by myself in the kitchen, with the music as LOUD as it can go. Christian, Country, Rock, anything that has some redemptive thing in it. It sets my spirit free in a kind of way that very few other things do. I think dancing in the kitchen must be universal. We ladies don't really talk about it, but we must all do it. I know my husband, (husbands in general, probably) love walking into a kitchen filled with the joy and energy of a unihibited dancing wife. When he walks in - I blush a little and simmer way down - but when its just the Lord and me - I feel free and thankful and good music reminds me of all the many blessings in my life. As far as Nietzche goes, I am sorry that he never understood the blessings of a God full of goodness. I also know that the joy and thankful expressed while dancing in front of Jesus - is one of the times I feel his freedom and glory. Some of my favs- John Micheal - Canticle of the Bride, Celebration, Canticle of the Groom, Alan Jackson- There might be a little dust on the bottle Joe Nichols- Give me that Girl Chris Rice - Anamanic ( the whole Past the Edges CD is great) Nathan Clark George- You Make me Smile Nathan Clark George- Little Trees DC Talk - God is Doing a New Thing Garth Brooks - The Dance Carlise - Butterfly Kisses James Taylor- Something in the way she moves. (He has several good songs on his Live album)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He passed us over. BLESSED BE HIS NAME

Wow! I'm thinking this year has been quite crazy. It is Easter weekend. It remindeds me afresh of just how sweet and all inclusive the love of the Lord is. He is truly all that I need. I don't need my family, my work, my community of friends, yet He has ordained them all for beauty and trials and brokeness of life for bitterness. The idea of sweet and bitter all mixed in together like like the charoset in the passover meal.
I love put the headcoverings on and recounting the story of God's delieverance - it is so fun to have the little ones around. They are so intent on throwing the yeast as farrrrrrrrrrrrr as they can from the house door. Upon finishing the Passover feast - they ran out and kept throwing the yeast out to see who could throw it all the way down the hill in our front yard.
The yeast of course represents the sin is present in all of us being that we are broken. The tossing away reminds us yet again that our sin is truly no more. Living in the inbetween stage of what is not yet and what IS (yet we do not see trapped in this timeline of events).