Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is love...

Today is Valentine's Day.  We are celebrating around here... celebrating LOVE.  It isn't difficult to find lots of things to rejoice in when you're looking for them.  For the past week, since the Valentine's Day mantle went up, we've enjoyed a quiet, daily reminder to ponder the many facets, and types, of love.

No matter which holiday season we're enjoying, the Cross always stays there on the left... first on the mantle, and first in our hearts.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (NIV)

" a sacrifice to take away our sins." (NLT)

" die in our place to take away our sins." (NCV)

So we are always, first and foremost, remembering His great sacrifice for us.

Today and every day. 

But we're also celebrating each other today.
My eldest daughter--unbeknownst to me--stayed up last night after I'd gone to bed, preparing a breakfast casserole for this morning.  She arose early and prepared everything.  When I rounded the corner to report to family gathering, I was greeted with the sights and sounds of celebration... classical music, delicious aroma, flickering candles, a holiday table...

I am so thankful for children who are often thoughtful and self-sacrificing.  It isn't easy to rise early, and stay up late, to serve those around you.  Thank you, my sweet EV, for this gift to our family today.

I'm also so thankful for a faithful husband... for the promises made those many years ago--and kept.  Daily kept... through all the joy and through all the junk.  I am not always an easy person to live with.  And this man, this wonderful man, loves me well in the midst of everything I bring... the good, the bad, and the ugly...

"When I saw this, it reminded me of you," he said.  "I thought you'd like it."

Love and cherish, the bag says.  And he does.

I found the one my heart loves.  Song of Solomon 3:4.

And I have.

The gift bag contained matching mr. and mrs. mugs... 

...a thank you journal-- he writing in the black side, she writing in the white side...

...two halves of the same journal...

...two halves of one flesh...

I am keenly aware today of my many friends whose husbands haven't stayed true... whose wives have chosen to walk away...  It is the deepest of pains, because it is the deepest of violations, broken covenant. 

On this day, I rejoice that I was raised in the home of covenant keepers... that my parents are still married, after nearly fifty years... that my husband's parents stayed together--through thick and thin--"until death do us part." 

I rejoice that my children are being raised by parents who are committed to the promises they made.  That they are being raised by a mother and a father who have promised to stay together... promised to love each other... promised to love them... no matter what.  It is a rare thing in a society where over half of marriages fail.  I am grateful for the faithful love of a committed man.

Today, we also all celebrate our wonderful friends... those rare few who love us unconditionally, through all the muck, and extend us real grace.  You are a priceless treasure.  Today, especially, we recognize and honor you.  Thank you.

Twin Day!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I promised this post--about the amazing power of the human brain to decipher and read things--to my students.  Many of them haven't seen it before, and it really is an astonishing thing!

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.  Cnosdier the phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid!  

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are; the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.  The rset cna be a taotl mses and you can siltl raed it whotuit a pboerlm.  

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. 

Azanmig huh?  Yaeh, and yuo awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

7H15 M3554G3
53RV35 7O PR0V3
D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5--
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD, BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3,
R34D1NG 17
W17H0U7 3V3N
7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17.
C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
R3AD 7H15.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Goodbye R.P.E.!!

Hooray!  Today it is OFF with this evil contraption:

...and ON with the next one:

And here's to completely corrected jaw-alignment issues without surgery!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Non-birthday Cheesecake

On a lunch date this week with my sweet daughter:

She: "You know how PT tried to give up sugar this year, too?"
(Editor's note: Our family has given up soda together as a family goal this year.  My son decided to also cut way back on sugar, only allowing himself a sweet treat on a special occasion like a birthday.)

Me: "Yeah..."

She: "Well, I think he's having a hard time because we're not all doing it, too, and so there's always something yummy around."

Me: "Yeah..."

She: "So, I'm planning to give up sugar, too, for Lent, so that it'll be easier for him and he won't be doing it alone."

Me: "You know that means you'll be in the middle of giving up sugar during your birthday celebration, right?"
(Editor's note: She had already asked me to make her a cheesecake for her birthday.)

She: "Yep.  That's why we're here... so I can have my birthday cheesecake now!"

I told that story to our server while my daughter was up at the cheesecake counter, choosing her flavor.

She had gone to the bathroom when he returned to find out her choice.

"Plain.  The other stuff ruins it," I told him she had said.

When he brought it to her, this is what we saw:

I was so surprised and thrilled that he chose to decorate for her piece-of-birthday-cheesecake-not-on-her-birthday!  I had not even thought of that fun idea, so it was a neat surprise for both of us!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The heavens declare the glory of God!

Can you imagine waking up to this view every morning?

Me, neither, but my dear friend Tim sends out a lovely daily Scripture verse (beautiful words!) accompanied by whatever pictures he took that day on his morning walk.

Can you imagine this as your daily morning walk?!


The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
    In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.