Monday, May 17, 2010

Gratitude #317-344

317. Ikea on a rainy morn
318. Jen for telling me about Ikea...seriously, I had never been there.
319. Children's toys assembled and ready to play with
320. Dish towels for 49 cents
321. God blessing me with patience to go to Costco, realize I forgot my checkbook (after filling my cart with stuff), go home, go back to Costco (after looking for a checkbook I never found for 30 minutes,) negotiating with a finicky ATM for 20 minutes, seeing Jen who gave me $80, saying goodbye to Jen, trying the ATM one more time only to have it spit $100.00 at me with ease, running through Costco, re-fill my cart, come home only to find that I had forgotten butter...and I think I switched verb tenses in this sentence somewhere...did I switch back?
322. Friends who forgive my sad grammar inconsistencies
323. That poor grammar does not affect my salvation
324. Ezekiel 37:1-14
325. That dry bones can come to life with the breath of God
326. an almost ripe tomato on my tomato vine
327. spell checker, which always helps me spell tomato and potato properly, even though I always try to add an "e" at the end.
328. That my salvation does not depend on how much I accomplished today (because let me tell you, between Ikea and Costco, it was not a lot...)
329. My house is filthy and I have yet to pack my stuff for our upcoming move, but I am still swathed in the riches of grace
330. A good conversation with my husband in the car
331. A 2.5 year old who really entertains herself these days
332. Annie who can now "read" Brown Bear Brown Bear cover-to-cover
333. Leah, who babysat very last minute and somewhat inconveniently for us Sat
334. That even when we're so wrong, we can go before the throne of grace in prayer...and it really really "works."
335. That God is changing me, even these old, dry, breathless bones
336. That bags of stuff leave my house every day and will never come back!
337. The anticipation that comes with seeing family soon!
338. Tuesday nights
339. watching lame tv shows on Hulu with Jonathan
340. Lily can play independently for 20 minutes...
341. ...but she still loves to cuddle with her mommy
342. one clean toilet
343. one messy porch
344. one full life

Sunday, May 16, 2010

and since we're celebrating Jonathan...

I so appreciate his commitment to our family, in addition to his passion for the Kingdom

I can never get enough of this wonderful stuff....

The Day

May 11, 2010
While J hasn't been ordained officially , it is official that he is ordain-able.
After a written exam, oral exam before an appointed examining committee and a time of questioning before our presbytery, they have approved him to be ordained.
The service will be May 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm.
You are all invited.
Jonathan will be embarrassed by this post, but I am so
thankful it is over,
blessed by the process,
proud of my husband
and grateful to God, most of all, for His grace,
without which we REALLY REALLY couldn't have made it.

Sara-Beth watched the girls (along with her own)
so that I could go to the presbytery meeting for an hour to watch J.

Post-examination and approval

I think Annie is just overwhelmed that it's all over...or maybe she is intentionally thwarting my dreams of the perfect family photo. Probably the latter.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gratitude #286-316

286. Godly men who go before us
287. Godly men who guard God's service
288. Godly men who decided today that Jonathan is ordain-able
289. The end of long, arduous processes.
290. The fruit of much labor
291. The deep humility I see in my husband
292. That Annie and Lily had no idea today was such a big day
293. That the list of new books I want to read never seems to end!
295. a day with Noll girls
296. A-Say-A who watched my crazy girls while I got to watch Jonathan finish what he's been working toward for a loooong time.
297. Ruth's Chris
298. a peace lily about to blossom
299. a perfect Mother's Day card
300. a perfect Mother's Day
301. Annie knows her name begins with "A."
302. Lily's first steps, taken tentatively on Wednesday May 5, 2010
303. Annie is so aware when people are "so sad."
304. Cousins who did pretty darn well at sharing today.
305. are we already at 305?
306. that was fast.
307. purging our house of stuff.
308. the ability to be shed of most* of our earthly possessions
309. changes of heart
310. a wonderful mother
311. a wonderful mother-in-law
312. wonderful daughters
313. weeds that look like flowers
314. a tender heart
315. powerful prayers
316. Much to celebrate in coming days

Monday, May 03, 2010

Gratitude #281-285

I preface this post with a preamble of sorts, only because I fear I may have misrepresented myself with all of this gratitude. First, while I try not to be too schmaltzy or ongoingly confessional in this forum, I have to make space for a confession here: I am not a thankful person.

I am not a joyful person these days, to the point where sometimes I wonder whether the Holy Spirit has control over my little life because I am trying so darned hard to be joyful and yet I find I do not change and most days, I slump into a haze around nap-time when Annie and I begin our daily battle for nap/quiet time, a.k.a.-Annie-please-just-stay-in-bed-for-one-hour-heck-just-30-minutes-hey-I'll-settle-for-20-minutes-nevermind-what-about-10-no?-okay-time.

But I digress.

I just want say that I do this gratitude thing because it helps me combat the malaise and ugly realities of my selfishness, my entitlement (i.e. I am entitled to Annie's long-gone two hour nap time where I get lots of stuff done and thus feel a sense of satisfied accomplishment at the end of the day, gosh darn it!), my thanklessness, my joylessness, my failure to recognize the gift each day is, because it is a "good and perfect gift [that] comes from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows"*

Seriously, I really fail miserably. Like one of my friends says often: "We have the best job in the world." I know that. I really do believe that. And while I know that this is the best job in the world, that the years are short and I should enjoy them joyfully, I also know I'm not very good at this job and I think it's really hard. And I don't like doing things I'm not very good at. And as soon as I start to feel really good about it, something humbles me (oh, blessed humilty) and I am on my knees again, which really is where I ought to be anyway. Regarding these holy mysteries of every day ho hum miracles and young motherhood, I am not an expert or a natural. I have to look actively for the beautiful because too often I am "Mother, among the dust bins." But on Mondays, the hardest day of the week, I get to stop, be grateful, and remember...

281.* James 1:17
282. Laundry on the line
283. him
284. them

285. And for me, today, that's enough.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

(There are two peppers up there, I just focused on the leaves...woops!)

and of course, because if you know me, you know my preoccupation with the grotesque:

"We have descended into the garden and caught three hundred slugs. How I love the mixture of the beautiful and the squalid in gardening. It makes it so lifelike." ~Evelyn Underhill, Letters

Saturday, May 01, 2010


What a blessing it is to live less than an hour from the coast.