August 30, 2010


There are things to blog about, but the time to do so has been sparse. I've got some thoughts on running & staying fit (physically and spiritually), beginning a new homeschooling year, and would also like to share a little more about me - where I've come from. I hope I can get into a good posting routine once the school year begins next Tuesday. Two photos of our weekend activities:

Here's my sister (green) and me (pink) running the Regent Square 5K on Saturday.

Colin, Elizabeth, and I put these shelves together yesterday; we're in desperate need of storage around here!

August 25, 2010

JOHN by R.C. Sproul

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may remember this post where I discussed a new method of personal Bible study:
  1. read through a book of the Bible chapter by chapter
  2. read through it again with a companion commentary
  3. work through a Bible study on the book
I did this with the book of Joshua and at the beginning of 2010 started in John. (I don't study very fast, do I?! Quality not quantity is okay when it comes to the Word, don't you think?)

I had finished up reading John and needed a reliable commentary. My folks got me this one by R.C. Sproul (at my request - Amazon and CBD reviews are very helpful in researching good books) for my birthday in June. Friends, are you looking to be taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16)? This book is for you! This collection of sermons adapted to print will inspire your faith, lead you to repentance, and feed your soul and mind as you study the person of Jesus in John's gospel.

Some quotable quotes to whet your appetite:
  • Those of us who believe in Christ are His disciples. But like John [the Baptist], we need to see that we are not worthy in and of ourselves to untie His shoes, for we have sinned against God and despised His just rule. Despite that, Jesus gave Himself for us, to redeem us from our sin. May we never cease to give thanks for such a great salvation. p. 12
  • If you have in your heart today any affection for Christ at all, it is because God the Holy Spirit in His sweetness, in His power, in His mercy, and in His grace has been to the cemetery of your soul and has raised you from the dead. So you are now alive to the things of Christ and you rejoice in the kingdom into which He has brought you. p. 40
  • Christ came in the first place to reconcile us to the Father. ... We need to have the majesty of the Father, in all of His greatness, in our minds as we worship. p.64
  • The healing of the nobleman's son is just one more glimpse of the person of Christ, the person who, by His command, by His very word, brings life out of death, safety out of danger, healing out of disease, salvation out of lostness. This is our Jesus, in whom we believe. This is why we are called Christians. p. 74
And I conclude with a zinger in his commentary on John 5: 1-15.
  • We need to remind ourselves that if God never blessed us another moment for the rest of our lives, we would have no reason under heaven to do anything but glorify Him, adore Him, and be grateful to Him for the blessings we already have experienced. p. 81

August 20, 2010

Washington County Fair

On Wednesday afternoon we took in the sights, smells, and sunshine at the Washington County Fair: livestock, food, rides, sweets and a school bus demolition derby. Yes, it was a good time!

The buses were only allowed to hit one another in reverse;
it was a slow-motion good time!

August 18, 2010

MISSION MOMENT: Johnson Famly in Uganda

Getting ready for the school year, I added prayer for missionary friends and our Compassion child, Rocio, into our daily routine - because I need and want the accountability to pray for them, as well as teaching our kids to pray for those out in the field. Several days later, as we were cleaning out some boxes, I found a photo book (for babies to play with & chew on), full of outdated pictures, and our bag of photos and magnets that had been on our fridge in Boston. That baby toy now contains the missionary photos and will be our physical reminder to pray each day!

One family we pray for is the Johnsons (click to see a photo.) We met at church in Cambridge while Travis was pursuing a public health degree at Harvard. His wife, Amy, was in Bible study with us on Tuesday mornings. And their oldest, Lilli, is Elizabeth's age; they also have to little boys. They departed from the US at the beginning of the year to serve in Bundibugyo, Uganda.

They maintain a blog here and have been updating a lot recently. I thought some of you might enjoy hearing their stories and consider joining the many who pray for them and their work. Today's post about the many hats that Travis wears particularly moved me to prayer! And Amy's recent post about contentment has been on my mind, as well. The earthly battles they fight in a remote area of Uganda are quite different from my experience, but the spiritual battles raging around them and in their own hearts are quite the same.

My consistent prayer for our missionary friends has been that God would give them faith. Please join me in praying that today for the Johnsons: that God is able to provide for the many needs around them, that they will get the necessary visa, that God really did call them to Bundibugyo and will sustain them in that call.

August 16, 2010

What Pittsburgh Has To Offer

Last summer, Wednesday mornings were our weekly outing time; this summer it's been Thursdays. We do the circuit of what the city has to offer: children's museum, science museum, art museum, zoo, etc. In Pittsburgh there are so many kid-friendly attractions. Here's where we've been so far:*

Still to come this summer:
  • the other 1/2 of the zoo,
  • the art museum, &
  • the science center.

*The purpose of this post is to entice those of you who have never been to Pittsburgh to come and visit us. And, if you were wondering, the other little boy in some of the photos is my nephew. You can meet him if you come to Pittsburgh, too!

August 13, 2010

On Gentleness

If I were interviewing for a job and was asked to use three words to describe myself or my strengths, gentleness would not make the list ... probably not even in the top 50.
  • I am quick to speak & slow to listen.
  • I go from calm to crazy in -5 seconds, when the right buttons are pushed.
  • I hastily judge people, without giving them a chance.
Do you still want to be friends?!

Don't answer that.

So, my quiet time a few days ago led me into a word search on gentleness. I confessed to God how harsh I am with Elizabeth if (when?) she comes out of her room after bedtime - not to mention other times. Having been forgiven, the world gentleness came to mind.


I know, as perhaps do you, that it's part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). I wanted to know more, checking my concordance for some other verses that include the word gentle or gentleness. Here's what I found. (I've linked to the verses, to shorten the post.)
Prov 15:1 - gentle answer leads to good - harsh word leads to bad

Zec 9:9 & Matt 21:5 - Our Lord came gentle and riding a donkey when he entered Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion.

Matt 11: 28-30 - Jesus calls himself gentle and humble in heart and tells his hearers rest is found in Him.

I Pet 3:4 - The internal, unfading beauty, of a gentle and quiet spirit, is of great worth in God's sight.

Col 3:12 - God's people, chosen and loved, should clothe themselves in gentleness, among other things.

I Tim 6:11 - Paul exhorts Timothy to pursue gentleness in addition to big holy things like righteousness, godliness, faith, etc.

I Pet 3:15 - Believers must be ready to give an answer for their hope, but in gentleness and with respect.

Here are a few of my conclusions:
  1. Followers of Christ should grow in gentleness as they mature in faith; our Savior is gentle and we have His spirit in us to cultivate the fruit of gentleness.
  2. Gentleness is good for relationships. Others are blessed as we give gentle answers: our kids, our husbands, our neighbors, our enemies.
  3. Since a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight, I want to pursue gentleness. I love that it is an unfading beauty (see the I Peter 3:4 link). We're going to get older, saggier, and wrinklier, but we can invest ourselves in unfading, inner beauty that pleases God. Cool, huh?
I don't know exactly how I'm going to grow more in this gentleness thing, but since God brought it to mind, I have a *funny feeling* He'll provide me with plenty of opportunities to practice.

It will likely involve a lot of repentance.

Praise God, His grace never runs dry. Phew!

Any thoughts on gentleness you'd like to share with a fellow sojourner?

August 12, 2010

Answered Prayer

We pray.

Sometimes we wait

for an answer


Other times, we see God work quickly.

Yesterday was one of the latter here.

Two days ago, Elizabeth told me she wanted to "pack her bags and go back to Boston." I prayed for her little heart, that she would be encouraged. We already had a playdate scheduled with for the next morning. And God in his goodness put on her new friend's heart to invite Elizabeth to her birthday party.

In October!

Thank you, Lord.

Jesus loves the little children, doesn't He?

August 9, 2010

Time to Process & Let's Pray!

Wow, what a weekend!

My mind is swimming with all the information acquired. The short story is that we were all spurred on in Christ (spiritually filled and up-lifted) and also taught brilliant strategies for improving our speaking and writing.

Sally and Me

I have a better understanding of Sally Clarkson's goals and desires for MomHeart ministries and look forward to attending one of her conferences in the future. (The one closest to Pittsburgh is in NC in the spring - who's coming with me?! There are others in TX and CA. Contact me for more info.)

Our time together could not have been more bathed in prayer or better designed. Seriously. I'm sure they'll make improvements for future Leadership Intensive Trainings, but I was in no way disappointed!

Given that the weekend was so full and so beneficial, I need time to process my thoughts before I do anymore blogging about it. Right now I'm thinking about starting a series of posts about what was taught, who spoke, what I learned, etc. What do you think? Please post any specific questions in the comments.

For now, I need to go spend some time with or Good God. I feel a renewed energy to pray: for my kids, for our marriage, for my neighbors, and for old and new friends. Will you join me?

With God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26b

Let's see what our Great and Loving Father will do in, through, and around us. I'm pretty sure His plans are better than anything we can come up with, even on our best day!

August 6, 2010

An Intense Intensive!

We're about to head for dinner on on first full day here in Colorado for the MomHeart Leadership Intensive Training. It is certainly intense: packed schedule, great speakers, good training, dreams to dream. I'm a little tired, but still so glad to be here. Tonight the majority of the group with be sharing a written piece (3-minutes each) with the group for critique. I dream of someday being a speaker who encourages her hearers with the Word of God. I wonder what role this weekend will play in the trajectory of my life.
One thing is for sure in talking with women here: when you walk with God you never know what life will be like, but you can be sure that the Good Shepherd is walking with you every step of the way.

August 3, 2010

Reunion and Following

There's too much going on here to get to quality blogging. Colin left us at the end of the reunion to head to TX for a conference. He returns tomorrow evening and I leave the following morning for CO. During the reunion I don't feel like I saw him all that much. I'm excited about the up-coming conference, but also really looking forward to getting back to life-as-usual next week.

I've been crazy emotional and antsy these last couple of days. Tonight I am finally feeling back to normal. I was about to go nuts this afternoon, when Elizabeth suggested I tickle Brian and her for a while. Nothing like cackling kids to snap you back to focus on the beautiful things in life. The day really looked up from there. Dear child. I hope she can always be such a good influence on me!

It has occurred to me that perhaps the enemy is trying to steal my joy and pull be down as I prepare to attend a training conference this weekend. Sneaky little devil. that where that phrase came from?!

And now, more highlights from the reunion! (In no particular order, because I'm too tired.)

Hotel Pool

Cake Decorating:
Any more sugar anyone?!

My boy in "focused" mode.

My little fish

The hot cousins in the boat!

The husband preparing to take our reunion photo.

Petting zoo

We spent a lot of hours in the car.
The kids did so well!

I'll post more photos later. I have several from the day we spent in Kohler, WI, where Colin grew up. Sweet little place, perhaps where your toilet was made! Yep, that Kohler.

Good night, friends. This is all I can do for now.