Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a recommendation

This is a particularly fascinating read for me. You may have read in some of my older posts that I grew up in an extremely conservative, not very well-known branch of an Apostolic Lutheran church that originated in Finland. I have since left the church, and am very happy with my choice, but every once in a while, something trips my trigger and I am sucked back into looking at it all again. I learn something new about myself, and find a different way to look at certain things every time this happens.

Well, it's happening again. A gentleman who was also a member of the same church has published this book that examines many of the same questions I had when I was leaving, and many many more. He is more thorough and much less haphazard with his research than my random scribblings. I don't know if I would call it a memoir or a church history...some of each, I guess.

I am inching my way through this, and what I'm loving about it is that although it is a wonderful historical resource, this inquiry into his faith is not dry at all. It has life, and humor, and displays his very likeable human self throughout the whole piece.

An Examination of the Pearl is available here where there are links to read it for free. It is also available on Smashwords here or on Amazon for only 99 cents. Smashwords offers you several options: you can download a pdf when you purchase, or you can choose a mobile e-version if you have a Kindle or another e-reader. His intent is not to make money from this, but to share what he has experienced and learned. It's well worth the time.

It's nicely done, with links built in so you can go to the parts you are most interested in first, or if you're a methodical person, you could read straight through. I'm reading it straight through because I don't want to miss anything.

The thing I find refreshing is that it's not written in the form of a Bette Davis bashing free-for-all. Here's this guy who is trying to keep his faith, but has these niggling "what about this" questions clawing at him, and he's just trying to make sense out of it all. Boy, can I relate.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Only temporarily, I was missing in action! You know that old saying, "Of all the things I've lost, the one I miss the most is my mind"? Well, I think menopause does the same thing as pregnancy used to do. I am as spacey as Marvin Martian's little cousin. I was checking out the settings on the new interface that showed up on blogger, and didn't switch them back to what they originally were. Yikes!

I'm spending a quiet night at home--loving it!--babysitting Mr X and cleaning up the house. It got let go all week this week when classes started, and now it is crazy messy! So I have a little ragtime music going, little man is playing with his toys, and I have some dishes waiting for me in the sink! I'm simply going to enjoy the process of sprucing up my nest, slow dancing with the vacuum, splish splashing in the sink, scrub-a-dub-dubbing the crud off my tub, and when I get up in the morning, it's gonna be a great day! I love when my house is clean.

I have a book by Rob Bell waiting for me, and I'll put the coffee on, put my feet up, and enjoy the day.

Here's a great song to vacuum by...ya just hafta crank it up so you can hear it over the noise of it all. Yes, I know it's not ragtime, but you have to break it up a little with some variety. I listen to Scot Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag and the dishes get done in double-time!

And a little jazz to play you out...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

field trip finds

Last Friday we did one of my favorite things to do. We went to Barnes & Noble on the way home from work. My hubby received a B&N gift card for Christmas from one of the kids, and wanted to go see what he could find.

I picked up the most awesome book to look at. It's called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp...she is such a talented writer.  I have often read her blog over at a holy experience, and I always leave there inspired, thinking about the ways I can slow down and simplify, and just appreciate all the little moments that connect together to create each new day instead of rushing through them to get to the next thing I have to check off my to-do list.

Have yourself some tissue handy to blow your nose if you are going to read this.  It's not sappy, it's just that real and that intense and that deep.  I'm not going to say more than that, because she writes it so much better than I could paraphrase it.  I think her writing makes me slow down, slow down to soak in her words and her thoughts, slow down to breathe and to appreciate.

I didn't even know she had a book out until I picked that up at the bookstore.  You can read the first chapter here, right on your computer screen where no one can see you cry.  Be warned.  You will want more!

It makes me want to write more.  Writing pulls things out of me that I didn't even know were there.  Does it do that to you, too?  It makes me reflective, and I gain new understanding from that process.

Just look at the cover of her book...ah, it makes me smile and feel all peaceful inside all at the same time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

counting the days

The weekend ahead is a busy one!  Most of it has to do with family...babysitting for a few hours on Saturday, a Tupperware party on Sunday afternoon, and a dinner invite for Sunday evening.  I'm going to have to be careful with my time if I want to finish cleaning out my closet.

I started it last weekend, and cleaned a lot of junk out of it.  I did manage to find a few things that had gone missing a while ago.  It turns out that they fell down behind a bunch of other stuff and were laying innocently on the closet floor, waiting to be found.  It's almost like going shopping again when you find a shirt you haven't gotten to wear for a few months.  It feels like a new piece of clothing.  I wore the shirt today, and enjoyed every minute of it.  Especially when a co-worker asked me if I got a new top.  I laughed.  Nope, I said.  I just cleaned out the closet.  I don't know if she got it or if she just thinks I'm a bit off!  I like to keep people guessing.

Well, tomorrow is Friday, thank goodness.  I want to get to bed so I'm well rested and ready to work hard.  I have lots of things to finish up, so I wanna be in prime shape to get it all done.  I'll start out my day with a rousing rendition of Finally Friday with George Jones.  That'll do it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

good intentions

It never fails.

I always have such good intentions at the beginning of the week, and by the middle of the week, they have all flown out the window like chickens with the fox after them.

On the weekend, I get my kitchen cleaned up, things put away, cleaning done, laundry done, and resolve to keep it that way all week.

As you can see, the mess has begun again! Too much computer and not enough work, I guess. The time between getting home and going to bed flies much too quickly.

I vote for sleep tonight, and not for dishes. Tomorrow is another day.

And if I don't get them all done tomorrow, there's always...yes, you got it, there's always the weekend!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

this one was a page-turner

I just read this book tonight, Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo (what a name, huh? definitely unique).

My friend at work had it with her today and said her husband read it in a day. I asked if I could read it, and she sent it home with me. I promised to read it tonight and bring it back in the morning.

I wasn't sure if I would want to finish it or not, but I decided I would just bring it back in the morning whether I finished it or not. Well, I could not put it down. I finished it in just a couple of hours.

I have a new friend in my head: Colton Burpo. I am reliving the book as I think about what he said, the people he saw, and the things he described that he had no way of knowing.

It makes me think. It makes me wonder, and it makes me wish.

It makes me hear this song in my head.

Lord, open my eyes, the eyes of my heart. I really, really want to see You.

Monday, January 2, 2012

babies make the world go round

We had a bunch of the family over this afternoon. Erica will be sad she missed out on the fun. It was particularly fun to see kids/grandkids we hadn't seen for a while, and it was the first time seeing little Mr. Joshua, our youngest grand. Isn't he a sight for sore eyes? His sweet Auntie Meg is holding him.

The next oldest grandsweetie was there as well, little Mr JJ. He is so sleepy here. I think he spit up a little and mama hadn't noticed yet, but I had to get my picture first. Priorities, you know.

And Mr Wyatt was there in all his finery, with his Auntie Gail.

And then the boys had to have their wrestling match for old times' sake, but it was much less vigorous than it used to be. Thank goodness. Age has a way of sneaking up on you when you're not even looking. Hee hee! Oh, the day just flew by, and here it is bedtime, and my pillow is calling me. Well, so much for today. Tomorrow will be here soon enough!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year!

A toast! Wishing all my friends and family a happy, blessed new year.

This is one of my favorite beverages:

2 parts orange juice
2 parts Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist
1 part club soda
Lime wedge

Serve over ice.

Makes your mouth very happy!