Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Less is More--Looking Back and Looking Forward

Happy New Year's Eve!
How was your Christmas?
We had a lovely week here, and I'm blown away at how fast Christmas break is flying by.
I will not talk about going back to school.
I will talk about words for the year.

Last year, I didn't pick a word.  
If I picked one now for 2013, it might be waiting.
Waiting for change I knew somehow was coming. 
Poised on the edge of something--something (or many things) I still can't name exactly except that I know they are there.


I gained.  I lost.


Yet, for this year, in record time and with no discussion, God gave me a word.
Less.

The God of Abundance gave me the word less and made me excited about it.

It will, as words always do, mean something else by the end of the year than I am thinking it means now.

Here's what I do know: it means less stuff, and it means less worry, and it means less baggage.
It means less of me and more of Him.

Less means lightness, freedom, release.

Less is an open door to more of what really matters.  
This is a lessoning so that abundance can come.

Happy New Year,
Ginger

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Grace Enough

I had some posts all planned...deep thoughts on grace given through the holidays, the love-hate relationship some of us have with December, etc, etc,
but then the flu hit, and that's all she wrote.
So today, I'll just share a song that's been on repeat at my house even though it's not a Christmas song per se.
It is the message of Christmas, however; 
because Christ came, there is grace enough for the Lord to cover my sin, call me daughter, wrap me in His endless wonder.
Grace enough to give up a throne for a manger.
Grace enough to die on a cross.
Grace enough to satisfy both righteous wrath and righteous love.
Merry Christmas.
To bring this world to life
To heal this heart of mine
Your grace enough
Your grace enough
To mend this world in need
To break the chains in me
Your grace enough
Now this means love
The weight of all our sin upon
His shoulders
That we should all be called
Your sons and daughters
Tab from: http://www.guitaretab.com/h/hillsong-united/266201.html ]
Father
Heaven and earth collide
In the endless wonder
Of Your love upon the cross
We will follow
And offer this life forever
To see Your love unfold
Adopted as Your own
Alive to make You known
this means love
This means love
For the lost and for the broken
For the slave and for the orphan
For everyone to realize Your love
From the famous to the faceless
From the beggar to the king
For everyone to realize Your love
You restore the broken-hearted
You bring freedom to the captive
For one and all

forever this means love
All Your children come together
All Your sons and all Your daughters
Your grace enough
Forever this means love Singing

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Noel

In his book Stories of Christmas Carols, Ernest Emurian writes of the obscure origins of the word "noel".  There is apparently much scholarly debate about Latin root words, but the most likely story rests in the English propensity to abbreviate phrases.  
For example, "Good be with you" condensed to "goodbye", "fare thee well", "farewell".
So  it is highly possible that lazy tongues also produced the word "nowell" from an old Christmas morning greeting, "Now all is well."
Now all is well.
In a world run rampant with troubles, a Savior has been born!
Now all is well!
Except
all is not well.
Or so it seems in circumstances.
Ugly divorces, pressure from every direction, disease that robs young and old.
The general unloveliness of people.
All, indeed, is not well.
If my eyes are focused on my surroundings, I risk living, as Anne Voskamp writes, as though Christmas is a myth. 
I risk living joyless, hopeless.
Part of the problem, I think, is that even we who profess Christ have made Christmas about us.
In one way, of course, it was about us. 
Christ came to earth, our Emmanuel, to rescue His people, those on whom His favor rests.
Yet we miss the first part of the story that says, "Glory to God in the Highest!"
The great and glorious and highest God has made this thing happen--

He is mighty to save,
loving in all His ways,
the Redeemer and Rescuer of His people.
The Hero of the story is not the princess in the tower;
it's the Prince of Peace.
He's here.
Now all is well.
He's coming again.
And all will be well.
Following,
Ginger
Linking here and here and here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creating a Heirloom

Quilting purists, avert your eyes.
I chopped up a quilt.
In my defense, it saved a quilt from near disintergration; had it been in terrifc shape I wouldn't have done it.
As it is, one pitiful quilt is now several heirlooms--and that's good!
We think this quilt was made by my great grandmother.
The pattern is "Drunkard's Path", but my mother--who was a quilter--and picky about this sort of thing--says that the pattern wasn't put together correctly.
I haven't a clue.
I loved that quilt, though, and it's been on my couch for quite a few years.
 A while back, however, I noticed that age was leaving it close to tatters in spot, and it needed to be salvaged before it came completely apart.
Answer: Christmas stocking for all the great-great grandkids.
(And the long-suffering, would-be seamstress, but I digress.)
Stockings are an easy-peasy project for non-sewing sewers such as myself.
Trace a pattern,
cut it out.
Right sides together.
Add a hanger from bias tape.
Ta-da!
New, old heirlooms.
For the record, OCD daughter who detests all change with a purple passion
loves having the stocking but does not want us to use them 
because they are not the old ones we've always used.
Sigh.
Since she is a senior, she gets her way.
What are some of your must-use decorations?
Anything new?
Following,
Ginger




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Glory Revealed

Popping in briefly today--
home with my annual chest cold and laryngitis
 (and probably back at school tomorrow with said problem if no subs materialize soon.
  Pain in the patootie.)  
Between tea and naps, I thought I'd share our simple but sweet mantel.
 It got a few lights to make it twinkle at night.


In Isaiah,  
the glory of the LORD was a future promise.
In the gospels, 
it became the promised reality.
Today,
it is past, present, and future.
The glory revealed 
in the manger
on the cross
in the empty tomb
will be revealed in my today,
and we await His coming again
when all will see
the glory of the LORD revealed.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Door Decor

'Tis the season to copy great ideas! 
 The Christmas decorating here is simple.  
And done.
That last part is key.
There are a few new things in the mix, and I'm sharing one of them today, our version of the copycat Anthropologie yarn wreath.
One tutorial and about 5 rolls of yarn later, 
and here it is:
 Isn't it fun?
Every time I walk past it, I think,
"It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!!"
(Don't tell my kids I added that!  They'll die!)
Following,
Ginger

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Begins

It's a yucky weather day in the neighborhood, but the soup pot's on and so are the Christmas tree lights!

It's time to keep counting:
105. sun through my window this weekend
106. the shadow of bird wings across the porch
107. the smell of mustard and rosemary on a roasting turkey
108. cinnamon and cardamon
109. and nutmeg
110. bare tree limbs
111. my mother's voice on the phone
112. knowing my sister is one of my best friends
113. knowing my niece missed my rolls on Thanksgiving
114. a plan for the Christmas mantel
115. Christmas music
116. seeing DD#2 develop as a writer who makes me cry
117. students who were really, really good on this first day back after break
118. soup in the crock pot
119. simple Christmas decorations
120. ornaments with a story to tell
121. visiting a church Sunday and not crying through the service--a change from the last two weeks!
122. a good word from the Word
123. a new phone
124. Christmas shopping done!
125. Advent devotionals
126. time to be creative

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Boundless



I am a struggling recovering perfectionist.  Even after  years of little victories, I have to guard my heart vigilantly to keep from sliding into that pit again and again.
Psalm 119:96 reminds me this morning that all perfection has limits except Christ.
His Word (and He is the Word made flesh) is boundless.
His perfection shatters my weak version of it.
What I've desired in its watered-down earth version, He offers through His righteousness,
completed in my final Home.
There it will be pure and untainted with pride or frustration.
There it will be my worship that is boundless.
Following,
Ginger
Linking at Still Saturday,Sunday Community, and Scripture and a Snapshot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Reaching 100 Blessings for Thanksgiving

This will be an unusual Thanksgiving at the 'House
--if for no other reason than we will actually be at our house.  
The weather this week has sunk our travel plans, 
and much to the the OCD teens' disappointment
 (and their mom's and their granny's), 
there will be no North Carolina celebration.
So, in this time of adjustment--heck, that's been our whole year--I'm reaching for 100 blessings and beyond.
From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
----
92. a Christmas project I can't wait to share!
93. chalk pens and black wrapping paper
94. snow flurries
95. listening to wind outside while lying in a warm bed
96. kneading bread dough
97. mittens
98. Christmas shopping
99. the smell of furniture polish
100. candlelight
101. homemade laundry detergent
102. bloggers who say what I'm thinking
103. organization--when I can manage it
104. watching figure skaters
Following,
Ginger

Monday, November 25, 2013

In Which I am Thankful for Cat Litter

One of my gift-counting goals is to learn to look at the flip-side of things to see the blessing.
That's sounds Pollyannaish (Look on the bright side!), but I don't mean it that way.
I want to see through the eyes of the sovereignty of the mighty and good God Who really does do all things well.
I want to major on majors and quit letting minors eat my lunch.
Take, for example, when an entire Chic-Fil-A mocha milkshake spilled under my car seat.
I'm thankful for the grace to stay calm.
I'm thankful I was on the phone with my sister, and her brilliant mind went into action.
She suggested cat litter (it absorbs liquid and odors), and I'm thankful I still had some in the basement.
I'm thankful I'm not the teen who needs money and therefore will be stuck outside in the cold today vacuuming it up.
*wink*
Following,
Ginger
-------
84. Christmas music at the end of this week
85. updating my phone this week also--hopefully no more daily battery issues
86. warm house
87. baking
88. finding some gluten-free recipes that will help me feel a bit less left out
89. a week at home!  I love being at home.
90. secret Christmas crafting
91. Thanksgiving--my favorite

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Scripture and a Snapshot: Bragging on God

I love that when we brag on the Lord, He writes it down.
When we speak to one another--in real life, in Blog-land, wherever--about the glories of God,
His mercy,
His faithfulness,
His holiness,
His righteousness,
we announce our regard for His Name.
We fear and esteem Him
as One of inestimable worth.
Following,
Ginger
Linking to here, here, and here

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's Not Missing

For the last year and a half, I've not spoken to a group of women about the Word.
(And that's my passion.)
For the past 11 months, I've not taught a Sunday School class.
For the past two Sundays, I've not attended the church where we've worshipped for eight years because we believe, for a host of reasons, that it was time to leave.
 (May I mention here that this has never-like, ever-happened to us?  
We've never left a congregation unless we've also left the town.) 
So this Sunday, at another church, listening to people I don't know leading worship, 
I realized that it would be a long time, if ever, that I had the privilege to do that again either.
We sang a song about the cost of following.
I'm surrendering my all; I surrender to the King.
I thought, I've surrendered everything I am in the church.
Then He spoke, 
in the swift and sure way that He will. 
that all is given away-
except
who I really am:
Beloved Daughter.
In the church (little c), I am without a place,
but in the Church (big C),
the Body,
the Kingdom,
I am who Christ paid for me  to be,
and I rest secure there because He promised. 
Let the sons and the daughters sing.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Psalm 25: Old News

Psalm 25:6-7 reads:
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,

    for they have been from of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
 This morning, I saw the contrast of young and old.
Lord, Your love--ancient, Alpha, without-beginning-or-ending--
stretches so far beyond the limit of my "young" sins 
that it's unfathomable.
The vastness of Your cleansing mercy 
contained in the crimson blood of Christ 
shed for me
covers my past, present, and future sin.
I am undone.
--------
74. early Christmas shopping with a plan!
75. pleasant time with teens
76. reading a whole book
77. Ann Voskamp's new book for Advent
78. a new exercise DVD that's leaving me ridiculously sore
79. fuzzy socks
80. a manicure
81. fun items for a care package
82. The Lord guiding me in new paths
Following,
Ginger




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sola Gratis

I tried to take a photo of the moon.

Tried--and failed.
In my photo ignorance, I didn't capture it, 
not the raw beauty of the night-
nor the wind with ice in it,
nor the rattling of leaves under my feet.
My camera missed the burn of cold in my fingers,
and steam from hot chai when I came inside,
and the warmth of laughter around the table.
My skill is inadequate,
my words feeble,
my heart full.
-----
68. warm coats on cold nights
69. clear skies and moonlight
70. bare tree limbs against a darkening sky
71. the sound of wind from inside a warm house
72. pork chops and broccoli
73. biscuits and maple syrup

Following,
Ginger

Monday, November 11, 2013

Multitude Monday: Still Counting

In a season of transition, 
I know the response of my flesh is panic, clinging to what is familiar with my fingernails. 
 I get angry
 and lash out
 and feel the tears rising--
which is why this response shouldn't surprise me in my teen.  
It came to me yesterday in a moment of conflict that I need this infusion of gratitude
 because I need to model something different 
than what I have taught in my weakness. 
 I  want my children to respond in thanks to the myriad of graces.
  So must I.
----
51. Saturday sunrises
52. a true cold snap
53. air in my lungs as I walk
54. frost
55. sapphire sky
56. orange leaves and light reflected on water
57. a good word from the Word
58. our house
59. early oranges
60. gluten-free pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins that make me happy
61. a whole Saturday at home
62. a productive day at home
63. boots
64. a mustard yellow scarf
65. going to work
66. a good, free, online commentary of the Bible
67. knowing He fills my hunger 
Following,
Ginger

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Gifts

This morning I woke up earlier than expected.
Out my window, as the sky burned orange over the pond, I suddenly knew I was looking my gift in the face.
Halfway through stripping off sheets, I abandoned the task.  I pulled on a sweatshirt, stuffed my husband's stocking cap over morning-damp curls, and pounded down the gravel drive.  
Snapping away in frosty morning air, my camera records the blessing, the moment He dreamed up in His infinite wonder and imagination to delight me, to lavish love on me.

I lap the pond once--my hands are freezing
--but with each step, I am thankful, thankful for the healing I can anticipate in the counting,
in the noticing, in the Presence Who always has been there,
even when I've refused to see. 
Following,
Ginger
Linking up at Still Saturday

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gratitude List: Little Things that Add Up

Jumping right in because there are 28 writer's notebooks awaiting my attention: (I'm not counting the 75 other still at school; there's only so much I can carry home.):
35. DD#1 okay  (Moms of Teenage Drivers need free therapy--not.kidding.)
36. golden sunrise through copper leaves
37. sunset (yes, I like those, too) bordered by the black silhouettes of mountains
38. peppermint mocha
39. a colleague okay after a serious heart attack
40. It. is. Friday.  That is all.
41. lost exercise routine almost redeemed by Friday afternoon grocery routine--hooray for Saturday at home!
42. when the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word
43. awesome teaching ideas to steal borrow
44. a few pounds gone
45. apple season
46. clean laundry
47. lying in my warm bed while the wind howls around the house
48. a vehicle that works
49. an unexpected, spontaneous hug from a student when he finally got a positive behavior report 
(This was a moment I needed to see this kid as a broken-hearted boy--not a just a punk. Truth.)
50. new wine--in a new wineskin

What's on your list today?
Following,
Ginger

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gratitide Project, Part 2

This post is brought to you by a lump in the throat, the one where I am swallowing down what's over and done but I'm a long way from the shiny new.

Yesterday, I was reading in Luke 5:
Now on one of those days, while he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem), and the power of the Lord was with him to heal.18 Just then some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus.19 But since they found no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down on the stretcher through the roof tiles right in front of Jesus.20 When Jesus saw their faith he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” 21 Then the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to think to themselves, “Who is this man who is uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their hostile thoughts, he said to them, “Why are you raising objections within yourselves?23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralyzed man—“I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up before them, picked up the stretcher he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26 Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God. They were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen incredible things today.” 
As I read it, I wonder,
Am I the Pharisee who doesn't know I'm sick, who misses that Jesus was there with the power to heal me? 
 Am I one of the guys on the roof, clawing at clay and straw, ripping away tiles, all to bring my friend to Jesus, the One I know can heal him? 
 Or am I the man on the mat with my conspicious need,  my greater need hidden from all eyes but His?  Do I hear Him speak the Word into that secret place first and feel the release of grace,
 my soul flying,
 even with my unchanged circumstances?
Then do I see the blessing for me that is the blessing for others,
 the outward sign that shouts His authority to do an inward work in me?
Some days I am one, then the other.
some days I am all three all at once.
Following,
Ginger
--------------
28.  a phone call full of love and grace
29. a small group of believers gathered together
30. first cup of coffee in a dark house (this one might show a lot; it's high on my list of favorite things)
31. Luke's gospel
32. a good  pen (pilot G2 07--if you're looking for one, too)
33.a thrift-store chair, soft and large enough for Big Red and I to squeeze in together, or for a teen and I to peruse Pinterest side-by-side
34. the library
35.$1.50 for three paperbacks--which might be less than some of my library fines

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Gratitude Project

At just the right time--which is like, years behind the rest of the known world, I am reading One Thousand Gifts.  
It is eating my lunch.
Now that I, today, have said and done the absolute last thing I can say or do about some hard things,
 it is time for me to move on to some serious joy.
May I admit something?
This year I was a gift-counting drop-out.  And a scripture-memory team drop-out. 
 I made it through March on the first one and into June with the second.  
(Long about the time things slammed the wall around here, but that's neither here nor there.)
It's been intense.  I am tired.  
I need an IV--intravenous gratitude, a blood-level reboot that infuses my heart, soul, and mind.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
I need to think on these things.
--------------
1.trees along the fence line
2. walking
3. trees with all three colors of leaves
4. fall blue sky
5.dates with Big Red
6. watching a teen become more thankful and more thoughtful
7. being able to restore relationship with a prickly teen
8. Saturday morning
9. money for groceries
10. money to give away
11. woodsy, piney rosemary
12. spinach in the garden
13. baby broccoli heads
14. garden beds
15.eyes to see
16. ears to hear
17. a heart to understand
18. a Savior willing to heal me.
20. words--poesm, songs, alliteration--how lovely that all that is possible
21. six-word autobiographies
22.blogs and blog friends
23. dishwashers
24. coffee makers
25.food to prep into make-ahead meals
26.a few more weeks of sunrises thanks to the time change
27.planning for Christmas
Following,
Ginger

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In My Business

Today I read in Luke 5:
 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and werewashing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying,“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
I love that the crowd was pressing in to hear the Word of God.  Am I? Do you?  I want to press in closely and really hear what Jesus is saying.
Simon is listening from his boat, finishing the work of the night.  
At some point, Jesus climbs aboard and tells Simon to go fishing again. 
 A carpenter telling a fisherman how to fish.  
I doubt that hit Simon well at first,
 but, as little as he knows Jesus at this point,
 he understands enough by now to take Jesus's word for things. 
The nets explode.
The catch is mind-blowing.
Simon Peter falls at the feet of Jesus at the sight of it.
I wonder want it was about this miracle, this moment that opened Peter's eyes to Christ's Lordship?
Luke says Jesus had been healing folks all over town by now.
Peter had, no doubt, seen that, 
or he wouldn't have paid any attention to Jesus and His fishing advice.
I wonder is it's not a questions of how many miracles but whose.
When the miracle was Peter's, it took his breath away.
Jesus took his breath away.
He saw his sin; he saw Jesus as Lord.
When Jesus messes with my life, I will see my sin and His perfection.  
I'll get that He's Lord.
Following,
Ginger


Thursday, October 31, 2013

20 Days

I'm eleven days short of my goal.
 It's okay, though, because this month was full.
In October, I have:
-watched the world turn from green to
brown and yellow and red and orange;
-finished a multi-year commitment nothing to show for it but tears;
-felt my heart be heavy, light, and heavy again;
-excercised too little and ate too much
 (Though, as much as I need my 5 a.m. routine back, an afternoon walk in open air saved my sanity more than once.);
-lost, won, and lost again at Mom of the Year
-finally started reading One Thousand Gifts, proving again that late by some standards can be exactly on time by others;
-focused and followed,
 which was, after all, the point.
Following,
Ginger

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 27:Your Nearness

DD#2 and I stayed home from church today, 
both of us battling fall sinus headaches that simply won't quit.
Secretly I was glad--because I am battling a heartache that simply won't quit, either.
I need courage--
the courage to be excited about the future.
My best friend and my husband were talking of these things last night, 
and I heard in their voices a growing excitement about what God was doing,
 their turmoil tempered by a secret joy,
 an anticipation of the goodness of God.
With my head on the pillow last night, I thought--
I am not excited for the new. 
 I am grieving the old.
So this morning, DD#2 and I  talked,
 and I probably gave a teen too much information.
In the end, it was a good conversation.
She told me I was brave.
I will do a lot of hard things for my child to see me be brave.
So I will have courage.
The courage to be, one day, excited about the future
 because the future is Jesus.
At the end of things, He's what I want--
and I want the courage to really mean it.
Right now, I want to know He's near--
that His nearness is my good.
Not clever solutions or easy decisions.
His nearness.

Psalm 73:28

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God myrefuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seeing

Sometimes focus

is a matter of seeing what's in front of you.
Following,
Ginger

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24: Blogging Imitates Life

I'm multi-tasking again.
That's always dangerous for me.  (Note to self: wipe chicken salad off computer screen before anyone else sees it.)
I remember when I discovered that about myself--the moment it dawned on me that I can't do many things well simultaneously.
It was freeing, really.
I learned am learning when to keep and when to jettison activity, at least to the point I can control it.
All this is not to say that I am dropping out of 31 Days, even if it will be 20 Somethingish Days instead.
I say to let myself breathe and be happy that I've blogged more this month than I have in a long time.
Most days I've actually had something to say!
Today I say only that things are busy, in good ways, and things are busy, in not-so-good ways, 
and I haven't much choice on what to throw away.
Some days I've followed well through the mess.
Other days, not so much.
Lately I'm clinging to the small but significant blessing that I've been able to call a halt to the chaos in time to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
And all the middle-aged women said, "Amen."
The Lord has sent sleep and song to sustain me.
He sends love songs to me, and I sing them back to Him.
Following,
Ginger 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21: An Open Letter to My Student

Dear Student,
  Just so you know,  I really do believe what I do is important.  It does matter, in the long run, that you can string five words together into a logical, grammatically-correct thought;
 it's a skill that's infinitely satisfying and useful. 
 I think the books we read together are worth your time.
 I want you to hear the elegant language, laugh in all the right places, think deep thoughts about theme.
  Don't tell anyone,
 but it's my sneaky way to interject 
 some things about life and people and sorrow and hope
 that maybe, just maybe, you'll remember one day.
   But here's what I know
 every day.
  I know that you need a lot more than a book and an expository essay to make it through life.
I know that lots of things about your life stink, that you have no good reason to trust adults,
 that you desparately want boundaries, even if you pretend you don't.
I know that all the character ed, "positive interventions", and success awards in the world won't heal your heart,
give you purpose,
save your life.
Every day I know that I can give you commas and sentence structures and vocabulary words,
 but I can't give you the One you need.
You don't need another anti-bullying campaign or cyber-manners course.
You need Jesus,
just like I need Jesus.
What I can do is pray for you.
When I grade your paper or monitor the hallway,
 or even when I wish the bell would ring (and you do, too),
 I can lift you up before my Father, 
and ask that His mercy, grace, and love
 become your greatest life lessons.
(signed)
Your Teacher

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Days 19-20: I Would Be the One You Find

Did I tell you?
I covered the basement door with chalkboard paint. I've loved all the chalkboard accent walls floating around the web, but lacking a suitable wall in my house, I opted for the door.
It sat, black and blank, for a few months.
Then a song captured my heart, and I wanted to keep the lyrics in front of my face so they stayed in my thinking.

Shane and Shane have a new album called, "Bring Your Nothing".  It's got some heavy theology and some neat music.  My very favorite song from it is "The One You Find", which is one song from the album that you won't find on youtube.
It's based on 2 Chronicles 16:9:





Your eyes are searching the earth
The Groom’s eyes are searching for her
You’re looking for hearts’ eyes 
To see what You’re worth
The treasure of the universe
Find me in this holy thirst


And I will love You
And I will love You
And I will love You
That I would be the one You’d find

Your eyes are burning with fire
The Groom’s eyes they burn with desire
For a lover who’s waiting for the Love of her life 
That I would I would be the one You’d find 
O God Who’s merciful and kind 

Find me here
Find me now
Find me when I can’t find myself

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 18: Small Good Things

Today was a day of big driving and big, looming decisions.  Because DD#1 and I just.don't.want.to.think.about. college anymore (she had an interview/application today--eek!), I'm just going to think about the small good things that God sprinkled through our day.
Fog clearing into a gorgeous day.
Leaves. On mountains. That's all I have to say.
12 Bones BBQ.  Although truth be told, we voted to just have doubles of the corn pudding or jalepeno grits next and skip the meat.
Lunch and a long conversation with my mom.
A five-minute micro-nap on her bed that she insisted I take--because she's still my mother.
A shoe-shopping score.
A cloud show where God just showed off big time.  I kept asking DD#1 to take pictures on her phone. Mocha-orange frappacino and an Oreo-peanut butter-dark chocolate thingy. Epic.
Hot showers.
PJs.
It was a good day.
Following,
Ginger



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Day 16: Deep Breath

Another computer-napping left me postless yesterday--again.   In an effort to not lose my focus (or my blogging mojo),  I'm offering a deep breath of gratitude.
1.  This sunshine

2.  Clouds 
3.  Turning leaves and cooler temperatures
4.  A chocolate cheesecake sitting in my freezer
5.  Decaf
6.  Friends who've rolled with it through these tumultuous weeks months
7.  Worship music
8.  A new Beth Moore devotional
9.  The book of Mark
10. A day off Friday to drive DD#1 to a college interview
11. Crockpots
12. A word fitly spoken
13. Prayer for the will of God, the glory of God
There, a baker's dozen of blessings; like tea and cookies, they are a pause that refreshes in this midweek.
What's in your "deep breath" this week?
Following,
Ginger

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 14: Monday Melody

Teen with huge book project due dibs the computer yesterday, so maybe we should consider this "As many days as possible".  It's the best I can do; roll with it if you will!
I woke up this dark Monday with an old hymn on my heart, one I haven't heard in years.  I used to sing it to my girls as a lullaby, and it came unbidden to my memory as I pray for a week more full of love and joy in Christ than this past one.

There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.


Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.


All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.


Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ’neath His sheltering wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.


Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.


Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.


Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.

Today I want to feast on the riches of His grace.
Following,
Ginger