Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday #4


I made it to Easter vacation!!! WOO HOO. My kids don't have school until Monday, April 5th, and I don't go back until the 6th. 

This weekend we spring ahead (I never understand why the whole world doesn't do this at the same time,  but they didn't ask me!) It usually seems to happen on a weekend when I can least afford to lose an hour sleep, so I'm really happy that this year it happens over vacation!!! :)


On Thursday, our church leaves for our annual Easter Retreat. I can't wait. It is always a great time of getting away together and really "sitting" with Easter. Love it. The kids are super excited as well, which I love :)


It's the first day of Easter vacation, and the dog barked to get out of her crate at 7:30 am. Nice, Lexi. Now she's asleep at the other end of the couch. She tried to sleep on my pillow, which I brought out,of my room but I kicked her off!


We just got our copy of this Bible in the mail today. I'm really glad we found it. We'll be using it for family devotions. It's arranged according to the church calendar, which we follow both as a church and a family You can find out more about it here.


For the first time since I think we have been living in Madrid, we missed Ben & Jerry's free cone day. :( It has typically been in April, and maybe we have been eating too much of their ice cream, because this year they snuck it in this past Tuesday. We are all very sad :(

This is the "fluffy" version of Quick Takes, because of the apparent lack of depth in my life :) That is all. Thank you for playing along!

Click on the photo above to visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God's love breaks through

Troy and I have a lot of dreams of what our future could look like. Obviously, I am a little biased, but I think they are good dreams. They are however, not "mainstream" dreams, and I often feel like those dreams will be misunderstood. I realized that I have been feeling apologetic about those dreams, which is a bit ridiculous since I believe they are dreams God has planted in us.

I realized that as we wait to see what God is going to do with our future, especially job-wise, I have unconsciously felt like we are awaiting judgment. I realize that deep in my heart, I have been waiting for validation of our dreams, and at the same time I have been afraid that instead of validation there will be rejection.

So I have found myself struggling with our dreams, feeling like maybe I don't deserve them, maybe they are selfish, maybe it's all my own desires. But then I look at them, and I see that they are dreams to further God's kingdom, to live simply, to show the love of Christ to those around me, to be incarnational, missional, to fight the encroachment of STUFF in our lives. Dreams to give generously. There is so much burning deep in me that I have felt apologetic about.

And in feeling that I should be apologetic for these dreams, it has paved the way to that perhaps I can't count on provision. If I had the dreams that others have, THEN I would be deserving. THEN I could count on God to provide a job, a good home, a good school.

This morning, in the car on the way to school, God broke through to me so powerfully that I cannot type this without weeping. It began with me having a mental conversation with God, struggling to really put down our future and truly be willing to do WHATEVER He wants. I felt like I got somewhere in truly surrendering my will to His.

And then BAM, this song came on, and I was undone. Tear literally streamed down my face as I drove. I experienced God love for me, and my dreams, in a deeply powerful way.

You Are Being Loved
So you think love is only for the good enough
And one thing you're never gonna be worthy of
But there's a song being sung over you
By the One who breathes life into you

You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now at this very moment
You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now, you are being loved, loved, loved
You are being loved, loved
You are

You ought to see the smile you're bringing to your father's face
You ought to hear Him sing His version of Amazing Grace
Cause that's the song being sung over you
By the God who breathes life into you

You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now at this very moment
You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now, you are being loved, loved, loved
You are being loved, loved
You are

With every breath that you're taking
And every beat of your heart
Even while even this song is playing
Whatever you do, wherever you are
There's a song being sung over you

You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now at this very moment
You are being loved
You are being loved
Right now, you are being loved, loved, loved
You are being loved, loved
You are

You are loved, loved, loved
You are being loved, loved
You are

You are being, you are being
You are being loved
You are being, you are being
You are being loved right now

There's a song being sung over you
There's a song being sung over you
There's a song being sung over you
There's a song being sung over you

You are being loved
You are being loved
You are being loved
You are being loved

Whatever happens in our future, whether we leave Madrid with a job lined up or not, I KNOW that God loves me, and He gave me these dreams.

Amen and amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jury rigged

mulit color bungee, originally uploaded by frankieleon.
I have been praying that our 16-year-old Ford Escort, (affectionately known as "Ford" in our family) will last until June, when we can scrap it. Awhile back, the driver's side door stopped latching properly, but I found that if I rolled down my window, held the door closed tightly and locked it from the inside, it would lock and stay latched. When I got out, I could lean on the door and lock it with a key.

Yesterday I decided to wash the grime off the car, which was apparently a bad idea. Several times on the way to pick up the kids, the door popped open. I thought I hadn't closed it properly, but soon realized that it was temporarily broken just not planning on staying closed. Ever. Again.

I managed to tie the door closed enough to get home safely, and Troy and I spent some 90 minutes trying to fix it. He took the door panel apart and tried about 43 different things.

Um, yeah. The door is now held closed with a strap around my seat. To enter and exit car, I have to pry myself out of my seat, (and my seat is ALLLLLL the way forward so I can clutch properly), climb over the gearshift and emergency break brake(I apparently have lost all spelling ability since I spend all day try to get kids to say Spain instead of ehSpain) and get out any other door.

I am too cheap too pay to have the dang thing fixed since we only need it through the beginning of June.

**Alternate titles for this post include:
We're so ghetto
Pass the duct tape
Seriously? I mean, REALLY?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The counting

holy experience

I notice this idea over at Ann's blog. Often, I am impetuous.I rush in willy-nilly, pell-mell, grasping. I truly desire to go deeper with God, every day, a little more. I take note of my own will, my tendency to use trappings and systems in place of plain, old-fashioned discipline. I sit. I wait. I mull. I tuck a small notebook in my purse. But I don't write. Not yet.

I giggle with my spiritual director about the to-do list I set for myself during Lent. Truth be told, I leave the stack of books mostly stacked. I print some photos for my prayer book, but I don't necessarily pray more. No journaling yet. 

I am sometimes aimless, jittery as we wait. Wait for word of our future. I try to sit quietly, my hands still, with Abba. But my mind, oh my mind, how it races and bounces.

But today is the day to begin counting. Today, the beginning of a count to 1000, and beyond.

1. Cooking dinner with Meg and jamming to worship music together.
2. Nic sidling quietly up beside me, to lean in for a hug and a cuddle.
3. Spending a quiet, rainy day with my hubby. Filled with mundane things, but we are together in the journey.
4. Walking by my daughter's room in the morning before school and hearing her pray out loud about something. And seeing her carry her Bible to her Dad, asking about something she has been reading.
5. Worshiping at church, full of gratitude for what my church community means to me, even while I grieve its impending loss. be continued. You can read about Ann's Thousand Gifts here.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I'm as giddy as a school-girl. Today I get to spend the whole day with my hubby, just the two of us. That is something that has not happened in quite awhile! We're going to buy some groceries, buy the man a new pair of slippers (so he'll stop wearing KJ3's old, too-big, orange slippers with the flower on them), eat some lunch and observe Nic's educational therapy session.

Then tonight, we're hanging out with friends. Yay for date Friday!

I'll be back later with 7 Quick Takes...if I can tear myself away from all the merriment ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Braid, originally uploaded by sweeetcaroline.

Meg has really thick hair. Since we have both been growing ours out to donate to Locks for Love, she has a lot of hair to deal with.

To keep it from developing really bad snarls, we have developed a nightly ritual. Meg brings me her brush and a hairband. We sit on the couch, and I brush her hair through and braid it in a big fat braid, so it´s not such a mess in the morning.

I will miss that when she gets her hair cut off this summer!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


~ You Are My Sunshine ~, originally uploaded by suesue2.
The sun has been out for several days in a row now and we've had beautiful blue skies with nary a cloud to be seen.

I can feel the difference it's making in my heart, seeding hope.

The long, rambling, hysterical giggling infused phone conversation I had with my spiritual director last night was also sunshine to my soul.

As is the fact that my hubby is picking up immigration paperwork for me at the American embassy this morning, and that nobody seems to be saying things like "You may not ever enter our country." Because you, that's my very realistic expectation of what could happen.

Still no certain job or income in the bag, but hope springs eternal.

P.S. Happy St. Patrick's Day. In its honor, a wee joke :)
"Irish Blessing

May those that love us, love us.

And those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts.

But, if He can't turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we will know them by their limping.
via GCFL

Friday, March 12, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday #3

Lent has been a harder season for me this year than in the past 3 years. Being off facebook has made me feel disconnected in an uncomfortable way, not in a peaceful, quiet way. I think it probably has most to do with being in transition. I feel a bit aimless. 

However, I know that the difficulty makes it worth it, so I am struggling to embrace the discomfort and using it to grow.


That said, my friend and coworker Amy and I decided to keep each other accountable so that we could get on fb once a week during staff meeting for a short period of time. We actually use fb quite a bit for "work" (events being planned and held, new people at our church looking to get connected etc.) so this seemed like a good way to do it.
More than once this week, as I read the news about yet another earthquake, I thought about Jesus saying this in Luke 21:
 10-11He went on, "Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You'll think at times that the very sky is falling.
We're having another cold wave. It was snowing a little bit on the way back from dropping the kids off at school this week. I am longing for spring; I need to do something in the way of exercise. It would be great to at least be able to go for a walk.


I have been wishing this week that carrot sticks seemed like comfort food to me. Instead, I have been fighting the urge almost every day to eat a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. I have resisted, but I seem to be reacting to transition with the desire to eat large quantities of junk food 24/7.


Yesterday I shared a blog I found recently, Holy Experience. I have really wanted to get back into journaling but have been having a hard time with it. Ann has beautiful posts and photos about journaling. They feel like God's gift to me, and I am soaking them up slowly, instead of just setting forth unreasonable expectations for myself.


We use Godly Play at church for the kids, and this Advent/Lent wreath that Ann's son Caleb makes resonated with both Troy and I. Such a cool idea!


To visit Jennifer (host of 7 Quick Takes) click on the logo at the top of the post!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Holy Experience

holy experience

I recently discovered a new blog that has been speaking to my heart so I thought I would share it with you. I have only begun to explore it, but I have been moved and inspired in many ways already. I hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hysteria and putting the devil on notice

Troy and I crawled into bed with our fleece Natura blankets like overtired toddlers who just wanted some comfort. As we processed everything we are dealing with right now, both in ministry, and in our own transition, we started to giggle helplessly. It all seemed just a bit ludicrous :) So we giggled a bit and then felt better.

"What if we waited too long for my green card and they won't let me in the country? I'll have to fly to Canada and wait there." More giggling.

"It's because Satan doesn't want us to finish well" I said. "He wants us to leave Madrid with our tails between our legs."

That made us both a little bit fiery.

So then, we are putting the devil on notice. He can darn well expect a lot of interference from us.

We will not go quietly into the night.

So there!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


TETHERED, originally uploaded by evankok.

When I lay me down to sleep
The buffeting winds
of the day
have me teetering
on the edge

Your arm,
strong around my waist
keeps me
from falling off

I grasp this tender tether
with clutching fingers
knowing that with you
holding on
I won't
fall off.

For Troy

Monday, March 8, 2010

Drama, Drama, Drama

50th Woking Drama Festival 2008, originally uploaded by PTMoore.
I am ready for a break from drama. Understand, I am married to a thespian (and in our son he has a mini-me) so drama comes daily.

But oh, the drama that comes with ministry; I am ready for a break.

The drama that comes from people saying things they shouldn't.

The drama that comes from people not saying things they should.

Snits, spats, snarks, snides, suspicions.

When the buck stops with you, you are a drama magnet. Everyone's drama,uniquely theirs, becomes collectively yours.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Love on a plate

Fried Egg, originally uploaded by hypomaniq.

In an attempt to eat less carbs, most mornings we eat eggs. Troy makes awesome fried eggs, without fail and without complaint.

That's love!

Friday, March 5, 2010


~ Ice Drop Shadows ~
Originally uploaded by ViaMoi

My emotions have been all over the place, and I find my eyes leaking tears at moments when I least expect it and really don't feel like dealing with them.

This morning though, I was happy to shed a tear.

Troy performed a monologue in chapel at our kids' school this morning. I have seen it probably a dozen times, but every time, it makes me cry.

This line:
"There was Jesus, sitting in the middle of the room, eating a plate of fish."

Seems like a weird line to make one cry. But the story is about how Jesus appeared to His followers on the road to Emmaus, vanishes, and then later shows up in Jerusalem with His disciples. You can read the whole story here.

I find it oddly comforting to think of Jesus, sitting calmly, eating fish. It reminds me to trust in times of stress and chaos.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


tired, originally uploaded by JKönig.
It all seems a bit much today...both Troy and I are worn down. Thoughts of finding a place to live, finding jobs (keeping our options open) blah blah blah.

We'd appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Vertigo, originally uploaded by Xerones.

Here I am still waiting for how long I don’t know
It’s a long way back from where I’ve been
But there’s nowhere else to go

So I’ll stand with my face to the wind
And my back to the world, I’ll follow You
And I’ll go where you tell me to go
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid

I feel your wind is moving, I’m not sure where it’s going
But I’ll let it carry me away
Cause I’m not staying in this place

And I won’t turn around
No, I won’t turn around

This worship song by Jason Wade (you can listen to my favorite version of it here) is what God used to start whispering to my heart about being willing to move back to the US.

As He continued to speak to me about taking risks, my mental imagery of this song changed. It went from standing in a beautiful meadow, where a gentle breeze blew softly, to standing on the edge of a cliff, with gale force winds buffeting me.

We don't know where exactly we'll be, or what jobs we'll have one year from now. All I know is that we are standing at the edge of the precipice, and we're doing our best to repeat these words, with all our hearts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Canada, baby!

Happy Canada Day!, originally uploaded by Ian Muttoo.
I was very happy to extend my condolences to my hubby this morning when I found out that the Canadian men's hockey team beat the U.S. team.

I am proud of Canada for winning more gold medals in these games than any other country. (Alas, I did not get to see a single event! :( )

I also loved how they poked fun at themselves during the closing ceremony about the whole Olympic flame contraption not working correctly.

Oh Canada, I wish I could toast you with a butter tart tonight!
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