Friday, March 30, 2007

Nice Days

It's been a very nice week. No one was sick. The weather was pleasant. Ahhh. Finally. This is the kind of week I like, the kind where life gets into its groove.

The kids have been taking advantage of the playground across the street. Baseball is the big theme. After all, Harry got his uniform the other day, and the baseball parade, starting the season, is Saturday.

Yesterday, they got their dad to pitch to them for awhile before dinner. He needed a bit of convincing. But a good time was had by all.

And we're supposed to have a nice weekend too.

Trust me, I'm not taking this for granted. I am appreciating every minute of it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

For the LORD gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; He has counsel in store for the upright, he is the shield of those who walk honestly, Guarding the paths of justice, protecting the way of his pious ones. (Proverbs 2:6-8)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring has Sprung

And with it's advent last week, we also had a snow storm.

And colds. Bad colds - for me, and Pippi and Harry. My husband was spared.

But now the snow is melted, again, and except for Pippi's lingering cough, the colds are going away and we can get ready for Spring.

Ready for baseball - which starts next week.

Ready to plant the peas I should have planted last week.

Ready to start walking to and from school again and cleaning up the gardens and making the outside someplace I don't just see through a window - but a place to be.

And ready for allergy season.


I'm not ready for allergy season.

But I am ready for Spring.

A robin is scouting out our holly tree for nest possibilities again this year. My perennials are showing green. I've got tulips popping up in the Mary garden, and daffodils ready to burst into bloom.

Yes, I'm definitely ready for spring.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ask, Then Pay Attention so you Don't Miss The Answer

Once upon a time, many years ago, when I was young, I used to pray to God to send me the perfect boyfriend (and eventually husband, but you need to start somewhere.) I had people in mind and would hope that God would reveal to whatever boy had my interest at the time that he was perfect for me and should maybe notice me.

Things don't always work out the way we think they should.

Which is a good thing.

But God did send me the perfect boyfriend (and eventually husband.) It just took me awhile to realize it.

But one night in College, I was hanging out with a friend, a guy I'd known for a year and a half, -- we'd been talking more lately, getting to know each other a little bit -- when I found myself sitting on his lap, and our foreheads were an inch apart and it seemed like we might kiss.

But we didn't. And the spell was broken and we moved apart.

However, from that moment on we were able to look at each other as more than friends. That was twenty years ago today. We've been married for almost 13 years now. And on that night, so long ago, I feel that God pretty much gave me a little shove - right into my future husband's lap.
It's as if He was saying. "You've been praying for the perfect guy. And here he is, but you don't seem to be getting it - so Get A Little Closer Already."

I'm glad I took the hint.

Tuesday's Proverb

My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands, Turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding; Yes, if you call to intelligence, and to understanding raise your voice; If you seek her like silver, and like hidden treasures search her out: Then will you understand the fear of the LORD; the knowledge of God you will find. (Proverbs 2:1-5)

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Thought

In church, Saturday night. Harry noticed that a lot of the people there were older. He turned to me and asked. "Do old people believe in Jesus more than young people do?"

Something to think about.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Living Prayer

The Bible tells us we should pray without ceasing. Pray at all times.

Uh huh. Right.

Sounds a bit time consuming. A bit impossible to really pull off.

Nice idea though.

But I was thinking about this. I've long since come to my own private conclusion that this doesn't have to be formal prayer 24/7 - but rather a keeping Christ in mind throughout the day. (I'm not a theologian, and my interpretation may not be the right one, but it works for me.) (A bit of research found this sermon on the subject from 1872 - so it's not that my thoughts are unique here)

Last night, I realized something else though (it's funny how thoughts can hit you when you wake up in the middle of the night): We don't even have to be keeping God in mind. We should of course - but let's see if I can make my middle of the night revelation make any sense in the cold light of day.

When I say a formal prayer - for example an Our Father or Hail Mary - I assume that God is listening to me. If I silently pray to God to help someone or to give me strength - I assume that God is listening to me. Well, here's the thing. Doesn't He have to be listening all the time in order to notice when we are addressing him specifically? We don't only hear our children when they say "Mom" first - we are always tuned into them. And God is always tuned into each and every one of us.

So - following this to it's conclusion: God sees and hears everything we do. I know, we've been told this since we were children - but have you stopped to think about it lately? He doesn't just see us when we are on our knees at church. He sees us doing the laundry. He doesn't just hear us when we pray a formal prayer - or address Him directly - He hears us even when we are engaging in small talk with a friend.

And if prayer is our term for 'speaking to God' - then aren't we always 'speaking to Him' - or more specifically - isn't He always listening.

We pray without ceasing - because our lives are our prayer.

God sees how we live our lives - whether we are thinking about Him or not.

Everything we do and think is part of our prayer to God. Let's make it a good one.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday's Proverb

Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the open squares she raises her voice; Down the crowded ways she calls out, at the city gates she utters her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love inanity, how long will you turn away at my reproof? Lo! I will pour out to you my spirit, I will acquaint you with my words. Because I called and you refused, I extended my hand and no one took notice; Because you disdained all my counsel, and my reproof you ignored -- I, in my turn, will laugh at your doom; I will mock when terror overtakes you; When terror comes upon you like a storm, and your doom approaches like a whirlwind; when distress and anguish befall you. Then they call me, but I answer not; they seek me, but find me not; Because they hated knowledge, and chose not the fear of the LORD. They ignored my counsel, they spurned all my reproof; And in their arrogance they preferred arrogance, and like fools they hated knowledge: Now they must eat the fruit of their own way, and with their own devices be glutted. For the self-will of the simple kills them, the smugness of fools destroys them. But he who obeys me dwells in security, in peace, without fear of harm." (Proverbs 1:20-33)

Overall, not the most comforting of bible verses - until you get to the end. "He who obeys me dwells in security, in peace, without fear of harm." Now, that sounds good to me.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's Done

And the new bathroom is unveiled. To see the before pictures - go here. It took awhile - and honestly it was done a week and a half ago, I just didn't get around to posting a picture before then - but it was totally worth it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

But How did They Know Who They Were?

I've always liked the Gospel story of the Transfiguration. I like that the apostles fall asleep while waiting for Jesus to finish praying - it makes them seem very human. I like that Jesus was conversing with Moses and Elijah - the way that the Old and the New Testaments fit together and form a whole. I like that Peter's first inclination upon awaking and seeing the sight is to build three monuments (somehow I definitely think that if it happened in this day and age a monument would be built.) I like that God speaks to them from a cloud.


I've always had a question.

See, there was no photography back in the first century - or beyond, when Moses and Elijah would have been alive. And the Jews did not allow graven images - so it is unlikely there would have been any paintings or statues of the two men. So - what I've always wondered - is how did Peter, James and John immediately know that they were Moses and Elijah. Why didn't they think - "who are those old guys up there with Jesus? They didn't come up the mountain with us. "

I suppose the logical answer is that God granted them the knowledge.

May God grant us the knowledge we need in our own lives.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Giving Something Up for Lent

I suppose I should have posted this last week - but - oh, well.

Every year I make the kids give up candy for Lent. First of all - it's an easy thing for them to see and notice that they're doing. There have always been exceptions - if they go to a birthday party and get candy - they can have some (but the rest gets saved for the following Sunday.) And we don't keep candy in the house during Lent - that makes it easier too.

But this year, Harry decided that he wasn't going to give up candy for Lent (he still won't get much, because I won't have it in the house - but he feels free to scarf the candy from his birthday goodie bags whenever he feels like it - it will be gone soon). He decided to give up TV for Lent.

Now, I've mentioned before that my kids don't watch much TV. Pretty much just DVDs. And pretty much a DVD only gets watched if Harry puts it in. Pippi very seldom decides to watch anything without being prompted by her brother.

So, I made sure he realized that this meant no Harry Potter DVDs. He did. He was cool with that.

I figured this was fine - but I wouldn't give him a hard time if he lapsed. After all, he's just seven.

Pippi said she would give up TV too. I asked her if she would even think to watch TV if Harry didn't turn it on. She said no. I asked her if that was much of a sacrifice then. She said no. So she's giving up candy (which is a sacrifice for her) and striving to say more prayers at bedtime.

So, Ash Wednesday - we had someplace to be with Pippi and Harry couldn't come. We arranged for him to stay at a friend's house. I figured this would be it for no TV. Certainly the other little boy would watch and so would Harry.

But, No. We get to the house and Harry is busy reading - the family he's staying with is watching American Idol. But he told them that he was giving up TV and wasn't going to watch it. Hmm! I was impressed.

Then at school, his teacher wants to show a video about Abe Lincoln. Harry announces he gave up TV for Lent. His teacher lets him work on something else while the kids watch the video (oh, and his little friend announced that she gave up TV for Lent too, and did the other project with Harry - her mother, when asked, said that he daughter was NOT giving up TV for Lent). Okay. Now, this was impressive. But - um - watching video for school shouldn't really count as TV as far as I'm concerned. But you know what - I'm letting it go. He's making the sacrifice and I'm proud of him.

And as far as giving up things for Lent goes - our priest - at the Ash Wednesday service said that someone asked him if she should give up chocolate for Lent. He said, not if it's going to make you cranky. Give up being cranky instead. Wise words indeed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Poetry Friday - Cat in the Hat Edition

In honor of the anniversary of The Cat in the Hat - and Dr. Seuss's birthday - I present, for poetry Friday, the lines that I used to repeat to my son all the time - when he would say "Look at me!"
From The Cat in the Hat
by Dr. Seuss

Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me now.
It's fun to have fun,
But you have to know how!

Poetry Friday round up is at Big A, little a this week.