Monday, March 31, 2008

Free ink refills for your printer...

...this Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at Walgreens. Just take your printer cartridge with you (color or black ink) and use the coupon from their weekly ad flyer (it was in Sunday's paper but they always have them in the store right inside the door). I missed it last time but am planning to definitely get in on the deal this time around!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy B-day Jules!!

My sister-in-law, Julie, was my friend long before I ever thought her brother would look my way with any interest in his heart. It has been so fun to experience all four of my pregnancies within relative proximity of hers. The picture above was taken last summer in the mountains of Montana with our latest two beautiful babes!

One of my fondest memories of Julie (and I have many, many) is the night we went on a double the men we would both one day marry. Robb and Jules were just getting back together and it was my first official date with Tom. The guys had really gone all out and planned a boat trip from the Bible college campus we attended in Florida to the restaurant we would eat at where we would dine outside and watch an electrical boat parade. Well, the plans went just a wee bit awry when Julie and I BOTH fell getting into the boat. We both scraped our legs up pretty bad on the cement dock....but acted like we were fine because we didn't want to go back. If memory serves me correctly Julie fell first....but I went down right after her with a loud exclaimed "ouch!" which she later told me she was so relieved to hear because she was hurting so bad but not wanting to look lame....I sorta covered the "lame" part for her! To make a long story short...the boat had problems, we had to turn around and go back, ended up going to a different restaurant after all...but the evening ended with a balmy walk along the intercoastals of Palm Beach (doing one of my still favorite things to do with my now husband) just talking about everything and anything.

Over 15 years later, we still have the scars to remind us of that crazy yet beautiful night. We now have 10 children added to our collective families, and the memories just keep growing with our expanding families.

Now it's your turn: I thought that some of you who went to school with Julie might enjoy sharing your favorite memory of Julie....or better yet, dig out the old pictures!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I know you've all been on pins and needles waiting to hear if I made it to the end...and what meaty thoughts I have to share from my reflections on it. Let me say that this was a "plow read" through and through. I never would have finished without the accountability of my reading group. I am glad I finished but still have trouble putting it all together.

I loved the quote on the back of the book by editor Rosalie De Rosset (lit prof, Moody), "Augustine never thought of God without thinking of his sin, nor of his sin without thinking of Christ." It is a daunting task to think of writing a spiritual biography in which you lay open an account of your sin for all to read. I can't imagine attempting to do so for public consumption...but that is just what his account is.

Our reading group found his relationship with his mother to be rather co-dependent, though certainly a beautiful picture of a mother's unrelenting hope for her child to be in Christ. His relationship with his concubine, his illegitimate child, his view of women in general, and his parents insistence on a "suitable" marriage our all such foreign concepts through our 21st century lenses.

His knowledge of Scripture and ability to quote it and weave it into his memoirs incessantly is nothing short of incredible. In books 1, 7 and 10 he talks about the nature of sin, how it is really just a perversion of the good that God has created...and ultimately seems to say that the cause of sin lies in free will. Augustine is a true seeker and in the end comes full circle to the saving faith his mother raised him in (from book 1, "I was sealed with the mark of His cross and seasoned with His salt"), and prayed over him fervently in all his years of wonderings.

"Too late loved I Thee, O Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever

new! Too late I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within me

and I was outside, and there I searched for Thee; deformed I,

rushing amid those beautiful forms, which Thou hadst made.

Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me

far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, would not exist

at all. Thou calledst and shoutest, and burstest, my deafness.

Thou flashest, shonest, and scatterest my blindness. Thou

breathes odours, and I drew in breath and pant for Thee.

I tasted and hunger and thirst. Thou touchest me, and I

burned for Thy peace."

Although my life is very different than Augustine's if you were looking at them from the outside in, you may be surprised to see the similarities...left to myself I would "darken" every affection (Romans 1:21) I set my eyes upon...but left to the God who calls, shouts, bursts through, and shines blinding light upon my darkness...this God I need...He is the air I water and peace.

Around the same time I was finishing Augustine, I received a copy of one of Selah's cd in the mail and I was moved to tears by the second song "There is a Fountain." The writer, William Cowper, struggled all his life to experience the assurance of God's love he penned so beautifully in these lyrics. He suffered a nervous breakdown, attempted suicide several times, and was even confined to an insane asylum for a time where he was straitjacketed for his own protection. It is said that on his deathbed, however, he looked upward with amazement on his face and said, "I am not shut out of Heaven after all."

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's vains
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day
And there may I, though vile as he
Wash all my sins away

E'er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme
And shall be till I die

And therein lies my journey mapped ever remember what I am saved from...but also to truly lose the guilt of my stains (by Christ's atoning work on the cross) and allow Love to redeem my life's song.


Last weekend I had the great privilege of traveling to Normal, Illinois to attend my 4th Hearts at Home Conference. Hearts is founded by Jill Savage, a pastor's wife and former teacher whose passion in life has become professionalizing motherhood (a title of one of her books) and affirming mothers in their decisions to pursuit their vocations with 110% of their being. Maybe later I will write more about what I learned this year...because there was a lot to glean. I was able to hook up with old friends from Michigan, my old pastor's wife and my old friend from church, Jill, who moved away last year, as well as travel down with some friends from here. I left feeling very encouraged that the "power of 15" effects so 15 seconds, an attitude snaps; in 15 minutes, you can tackle so many jobs and become a better time manager; in 15 years, the better part of your molding influence will be had...make these years count...for the best...while you have them.

Amy & Kim

Kim gave me a great resource while there called "Gather Round the Table." It is a Lenten devotional you can do with your families...very applicable for smaller children...purchased at for around a dollar. Next year I am buying them for all the kids I come in contact through childrens ministries.

Brooke & Laura (from Michigan)

Michelle, Melissa, Heidi (from up here),

& Jill (recently moved away)

"Good-bye" came too soon!

I John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us."