Psalm 45:10-11, 13-15

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take heart to what I say. Forget your people and your homeland far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. [...] The bride, a princess, waits within her chambers, dressed in a gown woven with gold. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king, accompanied by her bridesmaids. What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Notes from My Bible

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

He called us into this fellowship with Himself (1 Cor. 1:9), and because he called us He is faithful and will complete His work (1 Th. 5:24).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday night we took our college ministry downtown to work alongside Horizon Urban Ministries to serve the homeless. We split off into three different teams:

Kitchen Crew cooked up a homemade dinner with dessert.

Prayer Walkers went to nearby Balboa Park to pray as they walked (hence the name) and invite people they met to come for a meal.

Table Crew decorated the tables, set-up dinnerware, and served the meal when the time came. (This was my crew.)

I'm always nervous in doing new things. Once it came time to serve I wasn't quite sure what to do. I knew what to do, but how should I interact with these people? What could I talk with them about? For a few minutes I wandered around the perimeter of the room, trying to figure out how I'd dive in.

I've seemed to adopt a policy to 1-2-3-Jump! Except if I give myself a 1-2-3, then I end up giving myself another countdown, so I've got to just jump. Like diving into a cold pool--you've just got to do it.

It was fun. I enjoyed myself and serving these people. I did spill water on a man and told him that's why I've never been a waitress. For all my hesitation you know what, it was easy.

On the ride home we were sharing our experiences, for myself I felt I was personal, but not "Hey, how are you doing? Let's talk" personal. I can really see areas the Lord is pushing me to grow toward--mostly making relationships with people.

When I came home I was prompted to pick up a book I had bought recently on Mother Teresa (Heart of Joy: The Transforming Power of Self-Giving) and it continued to open my eyes to the needs of these people and some of my own reactions. I wanted to share it, because I think you'd enjoy it (and partly so I don't leave what we did Sunday as a memory).

Here are some excerpts that spoke to me:

- There are thousands of people dying for a piece of bread. There are thousands upon thousands who die for a little bit of love, for a little bit of acknowledgment.

- I am convinced that the greatest of all sorrows is to feel alone, to feel unwanted, deprived of all affection. It consists in not having anyone, in having gotten to the point of forgetting what human contact is, what human love is, what it means to be wanted, to be loved, to have a family.

- Our poor do not need compassion or condescendence; what they need is love and aid. But we have to be aware that the poor are worthy of love, that they are great. This will lead us to love them and serve them.

- St. John says, "If anyone says 'My love if fixed on God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar" (1 Jn 4:20). Therefore, both you and I, let us turn our eyes to our families, since charity begins at home. Do we really understand the poverty of Christ, the poverty of our poor, of our home, of our communities? Sometimes it is hard for me to smile at my sisters. It is easier to smile at those outside than to smile at our own.

- We have thousands of lepers. They are wonderful, they are admirable, even though their flesh is disfigured. Every year we offer the lepers a Christmas party. Last Christmas I told them that they have a gift from God, that God has a special love for them, that they are very acceptable to God, that what they have is not a sin. An old man, who was completely disfigured, tried to get close to me. He said, "Say it again. That has been good for me. I have always heard that no one loves us. It is wonderful to know that God does love us. Say it again."


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cute Babyness

I just have to show you some of the adorable things we have
collected, made, and been given for Baby Joe. Enjoy!


Monday, July 28, 2008

In Preparation

This weekend we're moving out of our apartment and moving in with my father-in-law. preparation for that we've been busy the last few weeks. I've spent most of my time going through our junk and throwing stuff out, making trip(s) to the thrift store, cleaning the rooms we'll be living in at Chuck's, buying painting supplies, and painting. This week we're packing up our "mess" and moving it all over to our new place Friday/Saturday. Whew!

A showcase of our current project (the pictures are in a random order, because Blogger is weird):

Our new room

Little Joe's new room

All Done!

We cut off a pair of Joe's old jeans for him to paint in and
he thought the leftovers were useful to keep.

The Thrift Store Trip

The "Packed" Corner

Working away...


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baby Update

Last Thursday, we had our latest ultrasound/prenatal appointment. It was a good appointment. We had to do a third ultrasound, because at our last appointment little Joe's stomach wasn't very visible and he wants swallowing. But all is well. This time around his stomach was visible and a good size. We also got to see his brain and it's been reconfirmed that he definitely is a boy. As of now, he weighs about 1.25 lbs.

He's been moving around a lot more lately. Joey seems to be on a little bit of a schedule. He's moving around when I wake up between 5:30 and 6am. Then he's quiet until about 8:30ish (so he's moving around now!). Then again around mid-afternoon and evening. And last week was the first time I saw my belly actually move when he kicked! Joe felt him for the first time over the weekend.

But onto the pictures...

He's got his hand in his mouth.

Now, he's posing with his hand under his chin.

This is his little face.


Notes from My Bible

Ephesians 4:17-19

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

As Christians, our understanding is not darkened and we are not separated from the life of God, we are His children; therefore, we have no reason to live in ignorance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Notes from My Bible

2 Corinthians 4:15

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

vs. 15 - "all this," all that God brings me through is for my benefit and His glory

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works-for-Me Wednesday

For a Saturday breakfast any day of the week, one thing that works for me is to make it ahead of time. I prefer homemade pancakes, so when I make a batch I'll double the recipe and pour it into a pitcher.

We'll use the rest of the batter during the week. (You might want to enlarge the batch depending on the size of your family. It'll last 3-5 days, any longer and the batter gets yucky.) It makes for a quick, yummy breakfast.

For more WFMW tips, go here.

Let be and be still...

Lately, I've been struggling with feeling that I'm not doing enough. I'll plan my day and be very productive in the morning, but around one o'clock I begin to question myself.

Did I do enough? Did I spend too much time browsing blogs? Should I have organized my sewing mess or baked? Was I productive enough?

And so on...

I'm a very performance-based person. Do things right. Do them on time. Do them perfectly. It's something God has been working on with me, sometimes more forcefully than others. But as I'm making the transition from part-time teacher/wife/homemaker to full-time wife/homemaker (and mom) I've become more aware of how often I question how I spent my day and am seeing the danger in it as I approach this new season of life. If I continue to spend my mornings in productivity and my afternoons doubting if I did anything worthwhile I know I'll go crazy and dig myself into selfish despair.

But this week I found some encouragement amidst my blogs.

Girl Talk
has been doing a series on homemaking and two of their posts really spoke to me: Not Her Best and More Like Christ. Here's a little tidbit, but definitely read the full posts:

Twentieth century British author G.K. Chesterton has liberating insight for all homemakers who feel pressure to excel in something besides homemaking. In an essay entitled “The Emancipation of Domesticity” he observed that woman is a “general overseer” in the home, and as such, she must be able to do many things well—she shouldn't have to worry about being "the best" at something. Read here

Quoted from Noel Piper's Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God:

Perhaps the deepest underlying personal factor in Helen's tension was the need she felt to do her very best and, if possible, to be the very best. God called her to Africa where that was not possible. There were continuing lessons for her: learning to treat malaria by symptoms rather than with prescribed lab tests, having to operate without having been trained as a surgeon, needing to make bricks rather than spending the day with patients.

Perhaps that is an issue for some of us--struggling with the reality that God has called us to do less than we want to do or less than what we believe is best. [...] When God called Helen to less than she expected, he was helping her become like Christ, rather than like the best doctor or missionary she knew of. Who is it we want to be like?" (p. 172) Read here

And then, Simple Mom had a guest post from Small Notebook, and do you want to guess what it's about?

7 Benefits of Imperfection

Doesn't everyone need a little encouragement?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sharing the Blog Love

Two new blogs to my blogroll that I enjoy.

Creative. Helpful. Fun.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Vacation...all I ever wanted...

Vacation...had to get away...'s been about almost a week since I got back from our mini-East Coast tour, South Carolina and Tennessee (via North Carolina). It was fun. We headed up to Gatlinburg and did some cabin "camping" with our old friends from the Beaufort days--the Closterman's and the Patterson's.

It was the first time we've all been together in well, likely over fifteen years. Three retired Marines, their wives, and brood of youngins (minus one Amanda Patterson and her husband who couldn't make it from Florida and plus one Rachie's boyfriend). It seems everyone has stayed pretty close to home, except for the three oldest kids. Nicole's in Cincinnati, Amanda's in Florida, and we're, obviously, out here in San Diego. The big news in the group (besides us having a baby) is Matt (whom we still affectionately call MattMatt...he's the big guy in the green shirt) got a full scholarship to some SC state school as the kicker...and he'll be starting.

So...we spent most of our time hanging out, eating, playing putt-putt, and learning a few new card games. Great fun was had by all.

Once back in Rock Hill, Joe left Wednesday and us girls set to painting and redecorating Mom's sewing room amidst some thrift store shopping and What Not to Wear marathon watching.

Random shots from our tour:

Bird compliments of Joe

Bonding with our bellies
Maddie's all-time favorite picture

Joe talking to Junior with the little
finger puppets we'd just bought.


Roasting smores on the grill

Waiting at Hard Rock

Debating over which ice cream would be best.

Our cabin...just kidding.

The cat who took up residence at our cabin.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Notes from My Bible

2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.

5:7, Amplified---
For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Notes from My Bible

"The learning by heartbreaking experience of the utter sinfulness and reigning power of self in the everyday Christian life is the means whereby we come to know the Lord Jesus beyond the birth phase--as our Savior, on to the growth phase--as our Lord and Life."