Monthly Archives: December 2009

knit-fit

Our dad’s house is a little short of easy chairs, so when we watch movies as a family, someone ends up in a kitchen chair or on the floor.  Today K and I remedied that by going out and each buying an exercise ball (the stay-put, anti-burst variety).    I just thought it was amusing enough to mention that instead of sitting and watching an episode of Numb3rs idly in a lazy-boy recliner, I decided to sit on the newly acquired ball and knit.

So now I have converted the glorious task of knitting, aerobic previously to only fingers and hands (perhaps arms too, if you consider some of the winding/switching actions), to one of fitness significance…however smally.

Errand running in wintery slop is no good, just in case you didn’t know.

Peace!

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roasted potatoes

Today is Christmas (although I suspect wordpress will forward the date because of a time-zone confusion…an hour and 10 minutes remain as I begin writing).  It has been the most pleasant sort of Christmas I could have hoped to have had–it snowed most of the day and we, as a family, were not inclined so much as to shovel the driveway.  First off because it hadn’t really concluded snowing, and secondly because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do outside of our house.  It was glorious to stay in my pajamas and enjoy the happy company of my family.

In the habit I have picked up since going to England of talking and reminiscing about England (perhaps too much), I decided to bring an English flavor to our Christmas meal.  Instead of the usual baked or mashed potatoes, I took some adorable gold potatoes (roughly the size of red, but far superior in flavor and texture) and par-boiled them with carrots, coated them with seasoning and oil, and put them in the oven to roast alongside the meat already in the oven.  It was a culinary success, even for my limited cooking experience, and I look forward to eating roasted vegetables even without meat later on this spring.  They take a bit of time and make a bit of a mess, but they are so delectable.  I love vegetables raw, cooked without seasoning, and in other dishes, but these stand out marvelously.

As I write this I am struck with the luxury my family enjoys…not only do we have a meaningful Christmas dinner with special fixings like roasted vegetables and cuts of meat, we have food to spare, heat, literacy, water, beds, etc.  I heard the other day that the difference between poverty and not is the ability to read.  Actually, I might have read that in a Bible Study I am doing written by Beth Moore.  I cannot fathom life without reading for pleasure, let alone for necessity, and I certainly take education and its status in America for granted.  I am confident that kids slip through the cracks and don’t learn to read, but I have never met someone that cannot read.  Kids and adults with reading disabilities, sure.  But at all?  Not once in my life.

At the mass we went to for Christmas Eve last night, we were challenged to regard everyone as made in the image of God and let that special value determine how we treat people, ignoring the “value” assigned to them by the world.  That’s well and good; I agree.  Our equality in the likeness of God is to be celebrated (and is stinkin’ cool–He sent His son Jesus to be human…which means Jesus, fully God, shared the “in-the-image” likeness literally with us as fully human).  This time of year is marked with generosity and charity by people who don’t even know what the holiday is for, but something I asked my middle school students earlier is sticking out in light of the reflections of the past day:  why such an influx this time of year only to dry up until the “holidays” strike again in November?

It’s fruitless to wax on and on about it on a blog.  I think proper action needs to take place, and yet I’ll probably still spend half the night being cozy and reading a pleasurable book.  So apologies for no conclusion or resolution to the dilemma of poverty, but a call for prayer and generous hearts to be opened yearlong.

oh happy day

Lately waking up early has been impossible.  It’s a combination of going to bed too late, the glorious mountain of covers and flannel sheets enveloping me in bed, and the prospect of going outside just to start the coffee.  Today I tackled it though–got up early and got moving early!  I was, in fact, ready to go by 6:45 and headed to the office to get some stuff done before heading to Ankeny for the morning.

Between yesterday afternoon and today God has been on the move in my life…not that He ever stops, but His encouragement and lessons are so clearly timed.  If I didn’t know better, I’d chalk it up to coincidence, but that’s just it–I do know better.  God’s hand is in this week, and He’s to be glorified even more.

I’m in the process of making a “ridiculous gift” for a gift exchange.  It’s really exciting because I have the perfect ridiculous gift (if I can finish it in time, which is seriously questionable at this rate of only having cast on and knit an inch and a half).  I won’t divulge the glorious secret here, just in case, but I’ll try to add a picture when I am finished because it’s a grandaddy of a project.

Hymns and Starfield have been flooding my mind lately.  I wish I had more hymn material (or a piano so I could work out the unfamiliar ones in my hymnal more easily than chord-find note-chord-find note-sight sing-chord-disaster.  The lyrics are so artfully composed and the truth within so vital.  I am continually blessed when we sing old stuff at contemporary style worship services.  Let’s not lose solid, God-honoring worship works in favor of the easy-to-sing and zone-out popular stuff.  Not to say all new music is like that, of course.  Starfield has been rocking my car CD player and my computer, too.    There are others.

I’m amazed at God’s provision today.  After reading about Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 this morning, I am even blessing the name of the Lord for the way He humbles us.  Note (if you’ll turn to it) that ol’ Neb was given a warning and 12 months to repent, but God’s patience had a limit and when Neb gave himself all the glory and might for having “created” such a fantastic city (Babylon), God pulled the plug and removed him from every part of his kingdom.  He stayed this way for 7 years (times…which may mean 7 cycles of the seasons) until he repented and recognized the Lord of the Heavens for who He is.  I’m taking from Beth Moore’s study here, but in his dream he saw a great tree (himself) and then someone came and chopped it down to a stump, but then the stump was protected from being destroyed.  Even though God humbled him totally, he didn’t allow him to be destroyed.  When we’re humbled, we’re protected.  Our brokenness isn’t total because God still has us.  I love that about God.  We can be totally consumed with ourselves and exceed his limit of patience, but He doesn’t let that remove us from his care (Romans 8:38-39).

I hope, for your sake, that you can meet a really sweet barista  today at Starbucks who makes you a custom french pressed Christmas Blend in the afternoon because you don’t really like Pike Place, which is all they serve after 12 pm (wretched, too).  And then asks what you’re knitting, and when you mention it (ridiculous white elephant gift), she is delighted.

Peace to you!

flawed

i’ve heard someone say before that if things are going really well that maybe you’re overlooking some stuff that isn’t so great (not to be pessimistic…i’m sure i’ve butchered what they actually said).  lately i think that’s been the truth.  i spend time with God and i spend time desiring Him and His will, His plan for my life, and yet i consider myself to be pretty top notch.

when challenged to ponder our shortcomings and the lies we believe or the truths we have difficulty believing (or connecting heart and head knowledge), the realization that grace is an every day, hour, minute, second need is overwhelming. the free offering of that grace is grace in itself.  i was encouraged while re-reading a book called the fuel and the flame by Steve Shadrach (great name, huh) this morning:

“You may be struggling right now, feeling like you just don’t measure up because you see so many areas of your life where you fall short.  If you’ll commit to view yourself like God views you, it will produce in you a healthy confidence and self-esteem.  Most of us look at ourselves as sinners.  Yet the Bible calls us saints, holy ones, or righteous ones 240 times, while at the same time it refers to unbelievers as sinners over 330 times.  When we joined God’s family we were completely forgiven of our sins, and we stand holy and blameless in God’s sight because the Father only sees the righteous blood of Jesus when He looks at us.  We are truly saints (who occasionally sin!) in His eyes, rather than sinners.” (29)

That’s a long quote, but it encouraged me.  occasionally sin…well, that’s just flattering, but knowing that God looks on us lovingly and with pleasure…that is humbling.

i should probably fit some lunch into my lunch hour…but hope that you are well.

jotd

(joys of the day)

LBW hymnal and playing hymns from it
planning a meal for connection group time
having plans
watching videos we made at work that were totally fun
coffee
guitar
more emails from people than stores
baking bread soon
grocery shopping last night (admittedly…yesterday…but still good for today)
NUMB3Rs like the good ol’ days with knitting and friends
wearing sweats to the office (and having someone come to camp and knock on the office door…oops)
quiet time
The entire book of Ezekiel (see 18:32, 33:10-11…these were things I had assumed but never found references for)

that’s it.  Life is good, God is GREAT!

hip hip hip high

Blizzard conditions all day today have prevented me from working.  That has made this a really interesting “work week” as I took Monday off, had Tuesday off, and am unable to access my work email to do any work there.  My attempt to work today so far has consisted of hiking to the dining hall (the office was too far) in really deep snow drifts to use the Internet.  I’m planning a hasty return to Trinity House soon.

When I went to the kitchen area to make coffee this morning, I stayed for an hour and watched an IPTV show about Origami.  It was fascinating.  I came back to find that my door had blown open into my room, allowing snow to blow in big time.  This was not a good thing to come back to because I’m realizing that my door is having difficulty staying shut.  I can put something in front of it while I’m there, but when I’m gone (now) I can’t do anything about it.

Today, with email being down at church, I have a great opportunity to do some “knee” work.  I think that is what my afternoon will consist of (or even this morning if I can make it back to TH before noon 🙂 ).  Should be beautiful!

And, as this blog is a “knitting” blog, I’ll report that I’m close to finishing a scarf I cast on about 2 years ago…it was hibernating for the bulk of that time…just didn’t know what to do with it or who to give it to.  With the current weather, I’m contemplating keeping it, but likely won’t because what I would really want to wear would be a green wool scarf (which I coincidentally have the yarn for…).

Peace to you, and my apologies if you are reading this and finding disappointment for such a scattered and surface-level post.

patty

exhaustion

Today was my first day of physical labor since…recharges?  We were getting ready for the big retreat here this weekend, so we moved 40 mattresses into cabins (heavy), set up tables and chairs in the dining hall (all that we had), set up the chapel (nearly all we had, but all we had room for), set up Christmas trees in the office, dh, and retreat center, and  how could I almost forget that we wrestled with the “doors” from the recharges in order to get them out of the chapel, try to get them into the outpost, and end up just driving them to the old maintenance shop.  They’re big and awkward.  Anyway, I am tired…almost too tired to muster the gumption to walk up to TH…but I should do that because it’s dinner time.

It snowed today.  It stuck a little bit, but not much.  I enjoy the act of snow falling, but I am nervous about driving in it so often.  I’ll figure it out, I suppose.  Have to…

Okie doke.  I’m going to poke up to the cabin.