Thursday, May 19, 2011

Los Favoritos

First up, these delicious, delectable, and delightful cookies. (I'm on an alliteration kick, lately) Please make these chocolate espresso shortbread cookies!  You won't be sorry... I take that back, your hips might be sorry. Anyhow, you can find the recipe here.  Easy to make and oh, so delicious.  (These were a find from a previous pregnancy.  My pregnant friend, E., reminded me of them.  We were pregnant together last time, but she's on her own with this one.  No babies for me! I'm not totally cold-hearted, though--I saved her a few cookies...)

Up next in this week's favorites is the clouds.  The clouds this week were incredible.  They were giant and white and fluffy.  Did I say huge?  They were huge!  I love those kinds of clouds.  Cumulus?

Then, Elliott: Elliott was a favorite this week with his "Newsies" costume and his maturity.  Hanging out with the big boys at our coffee spot, Elliott was discussing the finer points of App organization with Todd and was grilling him on his methods.  He was so delighted to have the same model as Todd.  [Elliott uses an old, crippled iPhone as an iPod touch (Todd's, however, is not crippled; his works fine.)]

And Caiden: beautiful Caiden is on my list, too.  I love the little details the last photograph captures of her lovely, long lashes (alliteration!) and her precious little fingers.  I noticed this week that her face is changing.  She is maturing and growing up.  This makes my heart skip a few beats.  It is exciting, but also kind of sad, too.  Caiden made us laugh a whole bunch this week, though, so it more than makes up for it!

Another favorite this week, for me, was the book 2 Corinthians.  It pretty much knocked me flat these last few days.  I felt like a thirsty tree, soaking it up!  I'm still processing it.  God is so good, speaking to me like He does.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."
2 Cor. 4:7-11

"He who has prepared us for this very thing, is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  So we are always of good courage.  We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.:
2 Cor. 5:5,6

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich."
2 Cor. 8:9

"The point is this; whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully, will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to  make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food wil supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God."
2 Cor. 9:6-11

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"
2 Cor. 9:15

Any favorites for you this week?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

His and Hers

A funny thing happened--it wasn't "On the Way to the Forum", but still I thought it noteworthy...  Two funny things, actually.  First of all, Dave got strep throat--not funny.  After the worst was over, he asked me to buy him a new tooth brush so as not to re-infect himself with his old one.  So, while at the grocery store, I remembered and spent quite some time deciding on the best toothbrush for my hubby, whom I love.  It wasn't until I presented it to him that I noticed its color--bright pink!  Okay, innocent mistake, kind of funny, but oh well.

Then another funny thing happened.  I got strep throat--again, not the funny part.  After MY bout with the wretched sickness, Hubby picked up a new toothbrush for ME.  Guess what color--blue.  I thought it was kind of ironic.  So now we have pink and blue toothbrushes and I always have to take a moment to process which one is mine before I brush my teeth.  Just keepin' it fresh, you know...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Photo

Dave spoke at a church near Napa, CA on Sunday.  After church, we brought some new friends to the Oxbow Public Market in Napa to introduce them to amazing coffee at Ritual Roasters.  I snagged a couple shots of the fam next to this sweet wall that my graphically minded husband pointed out to me.  Elliott took off his sweatshirt and one of our new friends commented, "Oh, Batman, huh? ... I didn't realize you were Batman today at church."

"Neither did we," I said, wryly.  Sneaky, little guy.  He totally broke the "no wearing pajamas out of the house" rule.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I've started an ongoing "Note" on my iPhone called "God is:".  Its a place where I notate things that God shows me about Himself that are of course biblical, and I may have already known about in my head, but are things that He reveals to me about Himself by teaching them to me through personal experience.  It has been an excellent practice and super encouraging to look back on later.

Every time I discover something "new" I put it in my "Notes" application on my phone and save it with the date and a scripture reference if I have one.

One of the main things that God has shown Himself to be to me this year is "my Home."  October 9, 2010 I wrote that down along with a reference to Psalm 90, which reads:

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.  You turn man to destruction, and say, 'Return, O children of men.' For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.  You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep.  In the morning they are like grass which grows up: in the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers.  For we have been consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath we are terrified. You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.  For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish our years like a sigh.  The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.  Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.  So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.  Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!  Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil.  Let your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children.  And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands."

It just struck me so strongly, in October, as we had already been praying for some time about moving to Berkeley to start a church and were uncertain of the future, that God alone is our dwelling place. 

Psalm 90 is so beautiful, especially due to the fact that it was "A Prayer of Moses the man of God."  Moses was the man in limbo: he was an Israelite by birth, although not really a Hebrew in the sense of life and practice having grown up as the Pharoah's (adopted) grandson, but not a true Egyptian either.  He was a man outcast in the desert, rejected by Israel, rejected by Egypt, left without a home.  So, he tends sheep for years in the wilderness and then later God sends Him back to Egypt to rescue the Israelites and lead that mutinous group through the desert, wandering for 40 years.  It must have been frustrating.  It must have been discouraging.  The man never had an earthly home or earthly security.  Yet it seems as though Moses understood something about God, something better than earthly security.  Moses knew God.  The Promised Land was not his true dwelling place, his ultimate goal; God was.  "Teach us to number our days," he prayed.  This life is but a vapor, nothing to be compared to eternity with Him.

Neither should finding a home in Berkeley be my ultimate goal, though of course we are trying to find a place for our family.  But like Moses testified, "[He] has been our dwelling place[...]" Finding a home in Berkeley is proving frustrating, difficult, and darn near impossible.  Scam artists galore offer false hope (and housing) at every turn.  Logistically and logically, it does not seem possible for this move to happen.  Often I think of the verse I wrote here yesterday, "[...]Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You," 2 Chronicles 20:12.  But, in reality, my truest difficulty has already been accomplished for me through Jesus Christ who beat sin and death for me to give me an eternal place with Him.  He alone satisfies me.  He is my home.  How then can I worry?  Berkeley?  I'll let Him deal with that...  But we sure could use your prayers!  Thanks, friends.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Greetings: Distracted

Hey friends, we're still here!  Just resting in the Lord and waiting on His timing to transition to Berkeley...  Life is a bit upside down lately and blogging has been hard.  But I took out my camera a few weeks ago and snagged a few cute photos of the kids while we were out at Costco. 

The kids are growing and learning how to live in a world that has... people in it!  Learning to think of others is hard work.  Learning to be compassionate and considerate can be tough.  Teaching it isn't cake either!  But these little moments like the one captured in this photograph make it all easier to bear.  These munchkins are a huge blessing!

"O our God, will You not judge them?
For we have no power against this multitude that is coming against us;
nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."
2 Chronicles 20:12