May 29, 2012

Nineteen & Counting

I don't remember what thoughts rushed through my head as I prepared for the day. The ceremony is a blur. Memories of the reception have long ago faded into the recesses of my mind. I do know I spent a lot of time planning the perfect day, not thinking much about the years that would follow. 

How could I have known what this lifetime would bring?

For more than two decades, I've loved him. For 19, I've been blessed to be the wife of  a man who...

~has never - if memory serves me correctly - complained about dinner
~makes me laugh more than anyone I know
~is a true companion
~is humble, compassionate & faithful
~daily demonstrates his servant heart
~spoils me and our girl
~watches endless re-runs of M*A*S*H and The West Wing with me
~grills the best hamburger I've ever tasted
~appreciates my love of sports
~is a devoted father
~inspires me to be more caring
~holds me when I cry
~challenges me to do hard things
~encourages me to serve the Lord
~doesn't mind my reading habit
~works hard & sacrifices for our family
~embraces our differences
~loves me for who I am
~loves me too much to let me stay that way

Happy Anniversary to my man. I'm so thankful for our lifetime together. I pray our marriage has been a testimony of the Lord's goodness and grace.

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.
~Song of Solomon 6:3

May 22, 2012

What's On My Nightstand: May

What's On Your Nightstand

It's been a while since I've participated in What's On My Nightstand, but I've read so many good books lately that I wanted to share:


The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries). This is the first Miss Marple book, and it's a delight. I'd forgotten how sharp Agatha Christie's wit is.

Village School (The Fairacre Series #1). The first Miss Read book I've read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was disappointed to find my library doesn't have more of this series, but I hope to find them somehow. I'd love to visit Fairacre again.

I Capture the Castle. In a month of good books, this was probably my favorite. I loved this rich story of Cassandra and her family.

 Currently Reading:

The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World. Full of convicting truths, this book is a must-read for women - even those who think they don't struggle with discontentment.

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible. I'm reading this along with the Book Club at Desiring Virtue. I need a good introduction into theology.

Uncompromising: A Heart Claimed By a Radical Love. I'm using this as a basis for Sunday School lessons with my Jr. High girls.

The Distant Hours. I've seen a lot of bloggers talking about Kate Morton, and couldn't resist any longer.

Up Next:

A Woman's Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything. After reading rave reviews of this one, I knew I needed to read it.

The Thirteen Problems.The second book in the Miss Marple series, and it looks like fun.

Be sure to check out others' lists at 5 Minutes for Books.

May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This week, I've been particularly thankful for:

~My loving husband.  He's held me while I've cried and called me on negative attitudes.  More importantly, he made me defend my position on something because he doesn't want me to be swayed. I must admit, I didn't take that as gracefully as I should have, but in retrospect I'm very grateful that he cares that much for me.

~Friends near and far who prayed me through last weekend

~Grace upon grace

~An answered prayer

~Miss Marple.  I'd forgotten how much I adore her!

~The time, energy, and motivation to continue to simplify our home. The more I purge, the more I want to purge!

What are you thankful for this week?

May 10, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I look at the calendar and my first instinct is to run. Duck under the covers and sleep through the weekend. But I am reminded that even though Mama isn't here to celebrate her birthday or Mother's Day, I have much to be thankful for.  As I prepare for my parents' birthdays this weekend, I'm thankful for:

~The things Mama taught me, especially cooking. I can't help but smile when I look at the last of the green beans we canned together last summer.  I'm savoring them all the more.

~My parents' steadfast love and support.

~A father who chose to be my Dad.

~The love my parents have given not only to me, but to my man & my girl.

~That CJ was able to spend quality time with Mama on the day she got sick, and talk to her on the phone when she was on the road to recovery.

~The fact that CJ loves to go fishing with Daddy.

~The privilege of  being the first member of our family to know Mama, and being the last one to say goodbye. Very fitting indeed.

~The peace I have about Mama's passing, and her eternal home.

~The blessing of being my parents' daughter. It's something I've too often taken for granted. We've never been a perfect family, but the Lord in His sovereignty put us together. And for that, I'm truly grateful.

May 7, 2012

Monday Confession

They feed on the sin of my people;
    they are greedy for their iniquity.
~Hosea 3:8 

It's difficult to see yourself in Scripture. Sometimes it's more than I can bear, this blackness of my soul penned across the whisper thin pages.Yet it stares me in the face and conviction comes, relentless.  The Spirit, He loves me too much to give me a pass on this.

But it is hard - so very hard - to confess how I have tried to nourish myself with the sins of others.

Smirking when they fall

thinking myself above reproach

devouring juicy morsels to satiate my sin-sick soul,

rather than grieving over my own sin.

Am I the same woman who wanted to watch? The very one who prayed for a seared conscience?

How can it be that I have fed on entertainment news, social media and local gossip, circling like a vulture ready to pick apart a fresh carcass. I have dissected situations in my life and chewed on them until I am disgusted.

I have feasted on rotting, sinful flesh rather than the Bread of Life.

Have mercy on me,O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
     blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!
~Psalm 51:1-2

 Praising the Lord, most humbly, today for His new mercies and His unending grace.

May 1, 2012

Around the House: May

Turning the calendar page this morning, I am astonished that it's May. Really, truly astonished. Perhaps it's because I lost the month of March with Mama's sickness and passing. Perhaps it's because I went into shock when my girl brought home her high school registration. Perhaps it's because I'm just older. (I'm guessing it's a combination of all three.)

Somehow May is here, and I just can't fathom it. I find my soul is overcome with combination of deep sadness and indescribable joy.

In this last full month of Spring, I am:

~wishing I could fast-forward through Mother's Day weekend, which also includes both of my parents' birthdays

~praying for God's grace to see me through it

~excited to participate in The Book Club at Desiring Virtue.  I ordered my book the day Jessalyn announced it!

~enjoying fresh strawberries from a local farm (my current favorite accompaniment is plain yogurt with a drizzle of local honey...yum!)

~humbled to think that my man and I will be celebrating our 19th anniversary this month. The Lord, He is good!

~planning a quick get-away with my man to celebrate

~looking forward to my college girls coming home. We're already planning lunch dates and a Cary Grant movie night

~also looking forward to diving into this book

~savoring the last of the preserved fruit and vegetables

~eager to re-fill all the empty canning jars

~hoping the weather will cooperate to finally get our garden heading in the right direction this weekend

~learning much from the Book of Hosea

~pondering (once again) my relationship with technology and social media

~clinging to these verses, and the hope they give

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. - 1 Peter 1: 6-7 (ESV)