Archive for December, 2009


Posted: December 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

I love New Year’s resolutions.  For me, they help with the Christmas letdown by focusing my attention on the good stuff ahead.  I don’t always keep the resolutions, but I think it’s better to shoot at something then nothing and so I make them every year.  Last year I posted this list and yesterday I evaluated it.  Actually, I wrote a post about it but it was remarkably boring so I decided to simply say:  I did well with some and not-so-well with others.  See how quickly things can be said?  I resolve to say things more quickly in 2010.

My first two resolutions are based on this scripture:

Overwork makes for restless sleep, overtalk shows you up as a fool.  -Ecclesiastes 5:3

  • Talk less.  This is a continuation from 2009, but I really loved the results and so I want to stick with this program.
  • Less busywork, more focus.  Americans work 500 hours more annually than other countries and are still less productive.  I’m increasingly disillusioned with the man made 9-5, fill-the-hours-because-that’s-what-we-do system and am determined to spend more time prioritizing and focusing on work during a confined number of hours, so that I can then spend more time enjoying my family, my life and dreaming for the future in the balance of the hours.
  • Oh wait!  That last resolution has sub-resolutions which include:  no checking work email at home (at least not more than once or twice) and no worrying about work stuff at home when there’s nothing I can do about it.  If these two don’t kill me, they’ll save my life.
  • More exercise.  Also a carryover from 2009 because I ended up loving this one.
  • Set clear and shorter deadlines.  I often blow it by giving myself too much time to finish projects and then nothing ever ends up being perfect enough to be called “complete”.
  • Master learn more about French cooking.
  • Figure out Ecclesiastes.
  • Make a new friend.
  • Love my husband better than ever.  There are sub-points to this one but I’m not telling because he reads my blog.  Hi Steve!
  • Help each of my children achieve or experience something they haven’t before.
  • Stay taller than Josiah (shout-out, Holly!)

That’s the gist of where I hope my year is headed.  What are your resolutions?

Looking for something clever to rhyme with 2010,



Merry Christmas, 2009

Posted: December 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

A famous Christmas story begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  I wouldn’t choose that exact sentence to describe our 2009, but I would steal a variation:  “It was the most unsettling of times, it was the bravest of times.”

2009 was undoubtedly one of our family’s most topsy-turvy years (second only to 1995 which takes the top award in many categories).  It was a year of transition, of wondering, of asking, of seeking, of launching, of pushing and pulling and working to hear God’s voice and know His heart.  It wasn’t bad, but it was sometimes barren and – in the end – beautiful.

Thanks for being a part of our lives.  Of our family.  Of our dreams.  The older we get, the more we know that relationships are the only things worth anything at all.

To those of you who read my blog but we have never met face-to-face: wow.  I thank you.  Your kind comments and emails and the fact that you kept coming back all year, thinking maybe you would find something worth seeing here is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.  I’m so excited for 2010 and all that lies ahead.  I have some fun projects in the works and a lot of plans for still more words…I know, it boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

This year, may you know the overwhelming love of Jesus.  May His dreams become your vision, His gospel your mission and His joy your strength.

Much warm love from my family to you and yours,



Posted: December 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

It’s Comin’ on Christmas

Santa Claus is comin’ to town

Come, they told me

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come all Ye Faithful

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, that man no more may die

Waiting for Christmas to come.  Josiah is waiting to open presents.  I am waiting for Tori to come home.  Steve is waiting for his last day of work before a long weekend.  Tess is waiting for the ugly sweater Christmas party.  The democrats are waiting for the vote on health care.  So much of life is spent longing for the arrival of something expected.

Jesus, may we watch and wait with anticipation for Your coming.  May we dream and hope and inspire others to know the beauty of Your visitation, Your friendship and Your redemption for our dying world.

O Come, let us adore Him,


2009: My favorite discoveries

Posted: December 22, 2009 in Uncategorized
  • This book and lectio divina.
  • Pirate’s Booty.  Yum.
  • The great emotional benefits of daily exercise.
  • Grandma jewelry.  Love it.
  • That uncertainty can be a synonym for either misery or adventure and the choice is mine to make.
  • This web site for fashion inspiration.
  • That for marriage to keep growing, you have to kill the autopilot button.
  • The Civil Wars.
  • Food Gawker.
  • That God is real and true and steady and faithful.  No matter what.  That’s a discovery I keep making.

I’d sure love to know – what did you discover this year?

Choosing adventure,


Hebrews 13:20+ May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please Him, make us into what gives Him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes.

This one is also so beautiful in the NLT:

NLT: Hebrews 13:20 Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with His blood— may He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen.

I love that this nametag is included in the very first line:  God of Peace.  He loves peace, works toward peace, brings us the things that make for our peace. And then He’s  also called the God of resurrection.  He is constantly in the business of making all things new.

The writer of Hebrews lays this groundwork for an important reason.   He knows that we need a solid understanding of who God is and how He works because of what we’re about to read. “May He put you together – provide you with everything you need to please Him…” If we understand the way God does what He does…that His character is good and unchanging whether He’s working on a sparrow, a lily or His own dear Son – then we can maybe begin to accept that when He turns His attention to us, it will also, always be good. When He begins to prod and probe and remove and refine and craft and build and fill and change and adjust and prune and plant and trim and tune, we can assume that every move He makes will be the right one. Every touch will be restorative. Every moment beneath the pressure of His hand will be worth it.

He is producing in me, through the power of Jesus, not just a calling or a ministry or even a destiny – but every good thing that is pleasing to Him. He is making me into the right version of myself, and Romans 8:29 tells me that the right Bo looks a lot like His son.

His care is grounded in His character.  I can take that to the bank.


Ah, Danny Kaye

Posted: December 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

Isn’t it amazing when  something has the power to stick from generation to generation unaltered?  I love Danny Kaye, my daughter loves Danny Kaye and I’m guessing her daughter will be just as irrationally obsessed.  Ah, legacy.  How I love it!  Here is one of DK’s most famous scenes.  I’ve  included, free of charge, my thoughts about this classic clip below…and oh, how I’d love to hear yours.

  • Has there ever been a better stage entrance?  I think not.  Just once in my life, I’d like the curtains to open right before I walk in somewhere, even if that somewhere is Target or Trader Joes.  And I’d like a skirt that swoops like those skirts swoop.
  • I know I’ll get pummeled for this but:  Danny Kaye is twice the talent Bing Crosby is.
  • Also, Vera Ellen is half the woman I am; look at her waist.
  • I would give my left arm for one of those outfits the ladies are wearing.  Actually, Vera Ellen’s would only fit my left arm so I’m suddenly very attracted to Rosemary Clooney’s gown.
  • Men – no matter how handsome – ought not wear sparkles.
  • I was surely meant to live in the 40’s.  In addition to my desire to stalk Danny Kaye, I am hopelessly jealous of every single dress I see in the crowd.   Don’t even get me started on the shoes.   And whatever happened to women dressing fancy?  Let’s bring that back, darnit!

Dreaming of a White Christmas and a dress to go with it,


Remembering Mimi

Posted: December 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Late in the evening on December 9, came the text: “Just gave birth.  We’re ready.”

Through the 9-degree night, through security, down a hospital hallway lined with adorable baby pictures,  I found them: Russ, Ruth and Mimi, spending a little time together before saying goodbye.  Mimi fit in the palm of Ruth’s hand but everything about her was dear and darling and gave glimpses of the future that could have been – a future that would now be spent running through the halls of  Heaven.

About a year ago, I had dedicated the Crawmer’s daughter, Macy, who just happens to be one of my favorite little girls of all time.  When they found out that baby Mimi had died, they called and asked if I would come when she was born and dedicate her as well.  “Honored” is not nearly a strong enough word to describe what I felt to be asked. There really is no appropriate word.

Together, we prayed and thanked Jesus that all of His purposes had been fulfilled for Mimi, that none of His words over her would fall to the ground, and we reminded ourselves that He is a good and faithful Father.  No matter what.  As much grace as it requires for Russ and Ruth to let me steal little Macy during a worship service at church,  imagine how lovely and generous they are (oh dear, crying unashamedly right now) to allow me some time holding this little beauty.  Those minutes you have with a baby you won’t be taking home are dear and precious and it’s only the truly selfless mom and dad who would give some of them up to a pastor.  But that’s Russ and Ruth.  That’s their life and their legacy…and it will certainly outlive them.

I spent some time holding baby Mimi and I just knew.  I can’t explain it, but I knew that – though she was with Jesus –  in my hands I held all the first days of school and first dates and the walk down the aisle on the arm of her dad.  I knew I was holding Disneyland and ballet lessons and Hello Kitty backpacks.  Though Mimi’s life had begun perfectly completed in the presence of Jesus, for her family, so much felt unfinished and unreal.  It was one of the most difficult and wonderful moments of my life, feeling sad to lose so much but also so connected to heaven.

If you think of it this holiday season, please pray for my friends as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  Pray for their hearts,  their children and their home.  They are strong and will do great, but maybe our prayers could help them feel great, you know?  For me, I am freshly reminded that life is real and valuable and worth protecting with  just about anything we have.

Loving the God who steals away the sting of death,