Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Slow Down You Move Too Fast

Slow down.

I went to Family Ministry Conversations last week. I left reminded of a few things, one of which was to slow down, so that ministry could happen, not just programs. Honestly, that's hard for me to do. My to do list is always playing in my head.

I'm reading a book, The Leader's Journey. It's talking about slowing down so that you can hear the Holy Spirit and experience personal transformation. It seems to be giving steps how to make that happen. And I am wrestling through, like I do with books and someone else's ideas, authenticating the new ideas as I go. I can be brutal in my scrutiny. There seems to be some rich truths in this read, but I am still testing some of the ideas.

The blog post If You are Rushing, Something is Wrong happened across my Facebook newsfeed yesterday. And it was incredible and made me take a deep breath and whisper "me too."

My kids randomly break into song, singing Simon and Garfunkel's "Feeling Groovy" thanks to an awesome public school music teacher. And when I do, both my mother and my mother-in-law's voices chime in, in my head, because when the kids start singing it, so do they.

Recently my pastor quoted C.S. Lewis' Screwtapes. Looking for the quote I stumbled on Screwtape Writes on Church Volunteers. I had to shift in my chair several times as I read.

Slow down.

My pastor, when teaching, reminds us that when something is repeated in God's Word we need to pay attention, God doesn't want us to miss what He is saying.

When I am moving more slowly I think before I speak (James 1:19).
When I am moving more slowly I look at people in the face.
When I am moving more slowly I remember what's most important.
When I am moving more slowly I hear His still quiet voice more clearly.

As we move into advent, I want to slow down and move more slowly.

Lord, help me to slow down.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Right Now I am Thankful For | Week Four

Right now I have loved linking up over at AngelaStrand.com, where she's hosting a thankful link party. Document your gratitude and then go link up too.

Right now I am thankful for...

A husband who is competent with a chainsaw and is able to safely fell our own trees.

Two girls who aren't embarrassed, but proud when all three of us put on black boots.

A little girl who loves to help with whatever project I'm working on.

My Silhouette Cameo.

Getting mistaken for a homeschooling momma at the local library.

A local farmer who raised beef and the local butcher that cut and wrapped the side of beef that filled up our freezer.

Good friends for my kids to play with on a day off from school.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Right Now I Am Thankful For | Week Three

I didn't post yesterday. I didn't have photos. I still don't. (I read somewhere once you needed to have a photo with every post and every since then I have a hard time posting without one. Words don't seem like enough.) But I do have lots and lots of thankful thoughts, so I am posting now, anyway. I really want to link up over at Angela Strand's blog. You can too. Go Here.

Right now I am thankful for...

A momma who prays with me on the phone when I tell her my feelings hurt. Then she comes running over so she can hug me and be with me.

Right now I am thankful for...

A God who extends lots of grace and mercy, heaping it on my head and covering over a multitude of sins and shortcomings and mess ups.

Right now I am thankful for...

Three precious children who seem to hug mommy tighter when I need it because I feel like a failure.

Right now I am thankful for...

Redeeming love that can make relationships beautiful, not because of perfect people, but because of imperfect people who God chooses to redeem anyway.

Right now I am thankful for...

The cleansing feeling of a cold hard fall wind that whips around you with so much speed and ferocity that you are reminded of your very small place in the world and the corresponding greatness that God loves me and would have sent His son to die, just for me.

Right now I am thankful for...

Music. Oh the sweet balm of music written to heal and inspire.

Right now I am thankful for...

The truth that His mercies are new every morning and that so many shadows are gone in morning light.

Right now I am thankful.

What about you?


Friday, November 7, 2014

Right Now I Am Thankful | Week Two

Right now I am thankful, so I am linking up over at Angela's blog.

Little girls that want their fingers and toes done with Mommy.

Property. Husband who has walked the property and already taken down any trees that could fall on the house and do damage. So when the winds come, I am not afraid.

There freedom right now to spend a morning taking off to shop and try on clothes without kids, even when I don't get much.

A boy who still loves Legos and plays for hours with them.

Flannel sheets. Oh how I love flannel sheets living in the Pacific Northwest.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Week In The Life 2014 | Saturday and Sunday Words & Photos

With the Week In The Life project at an end I'm a little sad and a little relieved. It's hard to focus on pictures and stories all week. Sometimes it feels like taking pictures gets in the way of just being. But I am always thankful and glad I did it.

I'm posting Saturday and Sunday's photos together to limit postings. I've posted more in the last week than I have posted in the last two months.

Saturday's Words and Photos

Saturday morning we slept in a bit. Then Eric encouraged the big kids to come outside and help rake up the leaves. They had fun and it was awesome to get some Fall photos of the big kids.

Mercy's coloring is perfect for Fall pictures.

Daniel worked diligently for a couple of hours. Halfway through Mercy came in and Gracie went out. Mercy was a cold emotional mess (we'd had a late night the night before and it affects her). So she and I snuggled under a couple of blankets on the couch. So no pictures of Gracie's hard work, but she did work about an hour outside too.

When they came in at lunch they had hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, a special treat.

While I cleaned up after lunch Eric sorted the mail. We're notorious for leaving our mail in the box for days. It's okay because we have one of those huge locked mailboxes, but it's always quite the sorting project when we get around to getting the mail.

After I cleaned up from lunch the kids went to a friend's house to play. Eric and I had three hours at home alone. Eric took a much needed nap. I spent time doing household chores. Real exciting, I know. But wonderful. I felt grateful for my friend who invited all three over at once.

Sunday's Words and Photos

Eric and I help with one of the children's programs at our church. The first Sunday of the month I have an awesome crew of volunteers that give Eric and I the week off. Love them. It was their Sunday. All I had to do was have the activities prepped.

The team said it went great. They had 18 kids this morning.

The Seahawks played this afternoon. We don't have TV so we've been making a habit of watching the games at Mom and Dad's, at least since last season when the Seahawks did well enough to make it to the Super Bowl. Eric is the only who really pays close attention to the game. The rest of us do other things, mostly just enjoying being together.

The kids all love going. Gracie is pretty selfish about time with Grandma and demands she sit with her. Grandma never seems to mind.

Mercy lefts to climb up at the kitchen counter and work with the art supplies. I love this picture. Uncle is hovering in the kitchen, giving her a hard time. She loves it. So does he.

Daniel us usually in an rout of the game. He wants to keep up on the score. But right now he's loving playing outside on Grandpa and Grandma's property, which has a great mix of trees and clearings where fort making can happen. He and Mercy spent a lot of time outside too.

This picture is nothing special, but I love the story it tells. My parents don't care about football at all. I don't think either has ever sat through a whole game. But they care about family and they really adore their son-in-law so they have us over and they even keep checking in on the game between doing activities with each of the grandkids. Love that. Love that they show love that way.

When we got home it was dinner time. Eric helped Gracie with her reading while I got some chicken caesar salad on the table for dinner. The kids got to bed by seven-thirty.

After the kids were down Eric and I sat at the table and talked about church stuff. I think that's one of my favorite things about Sunday evenings, verbally processing things with Eric. We talked about how we saw God working as evidence by some of the things we heard.

Eric called his mom and chatted. Then we headed back to the bedroom to watch a couple episodes of Alias before bed. Lately when we watch things we've tried to do it in the bedroom so that we aren't tempted to snack. I love to snack in the evenings and I'm really trying to cut back on it.

And there I have it, a Week In The Life. So thankful Ali Edwards inspires this kind of documenting because I would never have thought of it on my own.