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A Sun and Shield

08/14/2014

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“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

PSALM 84:11

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“God doesn’t call us to be comfortable…”

07/01/2014

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we’ll be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” — Francis Chan from Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

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(You’re welcome to share, pin, use this graphic but please keep the tiny watermark in the corner that credits the creator of the graphic.)

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To Love is to Risk

06/11/2014

I haven’t read Orphan Justice yet but I love this quote:

“To love is to risk. Opening your home to a foster kid will be emotionally difficult. It’s inconvenient. It’s hard. It’s messy. It’s exhausting. I guarantee it.

But all too often, selfishness keeps us from taking care of these children. Somewhere along the way, in our concern for an easy, happy, comfortable life, we may be missing the heart of the gospel — to seek and save the lost, to reach out to the forgotten and the oppressed, to love sacrificially, and to pour our lives out so that others can catch a glimpse of Jesus.

If the only reason we refuse to get involved in foster care is because ‘it is too hard emotionally’ or ‘we can’t handle saying goodbye,’ we may need to repent of self-absorption. We must ask ourselves the question: Do we truly love our neighbor as we love ourselves? What if a foster child is the ‘neighbor’ that God has brought into our path to love?” —Johnny Carr, Orphan Justice

People who consider foster parenting are often concerned about “getting too attached” to their foster children. But what is the alternative? To only half-love them? I’m already head over heels for our new foster son. I’m not afraid of getting too attached. I’m a grown up; I can survive having my heart broken. He’s an innocent, precious treasure; he needs and deserves to be loved with abandon.

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Pain is No Measure of His Faithfulness

06/09/2014

"Pain is no measure of His faithfulness / He withholds no good thing from us" - "Open My Hands" by Sara Groves

When I was struggling with anger, grief and justice recently, a thoughtful friend shared an encouraging note along with this song “Open My Hands” by Sara Groves. It spoke deeply to my soul, especially the two lines above. I hope it encourages you. Psalm 84:11 says For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

“Open My Hands” by Sara Groves

I believe in a blessing I don’t understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I’ve thirsted and didn’t have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me
No good thing from us
No good thing from us
He withholds no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

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A Day in the Laundry

04/07/2014

a day in the laundry

A reader challenged me to write a day in the life post. (Hi, Gabrielle!) I started thinking about Tuesdays, one of my two work-from-home days, when I do all of my laundry between working and parenting. A lot of people despise laundry but I really don’t mind it. In fact, I kind of like doing it… I thought I could share some ways I make it efficient so it doesn’t consume too much of my life.

Pick One Day
I do all of my laundry on one day for the most part. Exceptions are a load of towels or sheets thrown in at a random time during the week. Other than that, I follow my mom’s tradition of Tuesday being laundry day. I typically do 3 loads on a Tuesday: light, dark and extra-dirty OR light, bright and dark. I put the first load in around 8:00 in the morning. By mid-morning, I shift the first wet load into the dryer and the second load goes into the washer. After lunch it’s time for the first load to come out of the dryer, the second load goes into the dryer and the third load goes into the washer. Mid-afternoon the second load comes out of the dryer and the third/final load goes into the dryer. By evening the last load is dry and folded and everything is put away, typically before dinner.

Pre-Sort
Jason and I have two laundry baskets in our closet: one for dark clothes and one for light clothes. When I pull out our two baskets and Ali’s one basket on Tuesday mornings, it’s pretty quick to sort hers into ours. If I have more than two loads worth, I’ll split out a brights load. Extra-dirty stuff is in a separate basket in the laundry room. (Examples: Lucy’s dog crate blanket, Jason’s outdoor work clothes, muddy things, baby bibs, wash rags, toddler accident clothes)

Unload-Fold-Sort
I fold the clothes immediately after taking them out of the dryer and sort them as much as possible right then, too. The clothes never leave the laundry room until they’re taken to be put away. Each time the clothes move it adds more time. (You will never find laundry piled up in my living room or in folded stacks on my kitchen table—it’s either in our bedrooms or it’s in the laundry room.) The first load is folded while the second load is drying and the third is being washed. It takes 10-15 minutes. Since Jason and I have two baskets that go to our room, I put all of his clothes into one and mine into the other to speed up the putting away process. Ali’s clothes are small enough that I can make three piles in her basket as I’m folding her clothes: one for pjs, one for tops and one for bottoms—these coordinate with the three drawers in her dresser, making putting away her clothes take less than 5 minutes.

Helper
Ali loves to be my laundry helper. Sometimes her “help” slows me down but I realize I’m sowing seeds for the future so I never turn away her assistance . She’s good at helping me move the loads from washer to dryer. She also likes “the matching game” which is simply finding sock matches. Her folding, sorting and putting away skills are not there yet.

Breakdown:
First thing: colors sorted, first load in the washer (5 min.)
Mid-morning: first load into dryer, second load into washer (2 min.)
After lunch: first load out of dryer, second load into dryer, third load into washer. Fold and semi-sort the first load. (15 min.)
Mid-afternoon: second load out of dryer, third load into the dryer. Fold and semi-sort the second load. (15 min.)
Evening: last load out of dryer, folded and sorted. All laundry put away. (15-30 minutes)

There you have it. I do three loads of laundry in one day and it takes less than an hour. I admit, we have a few factors that make it easier on us. There are only 3 of us (for the moment). When we had two little girls it took much longer to sort through all their similar size and color little things. Also, Jason and I are not very big people so we can probably fit more of our clothes into a load than bigger people. And lastly, we re-wear a lot of clothes multiple times before washing, especially larger and heavier items like pants and sweaters. Oh, also, I very rarely iron anything.


June

06/19/2013

Why I Love June:

warmth
longer days of sunshine
fireflies
swimming
our anniversary (10 this year!)
father’s day
my birthday (29 today!)
popsicles
eating outside
flip flops
painted toenails
watermelon
strawberries
sweet tea
being outside
sundresses


Hellohellohello…

06/28/2012

Can anybody hear me? I’m down in this cave…

Just kidding.

Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth—er, blogsphere—this week. Time has gotten away from me. I have several things I was planning to share this week…projects, house build update, Precious’ baby dedication at our church…but they will show up here next week instead. Between the above mentioned activities, I’ve also been on deadline at work the past few days.

We’re housesitting for friends this week. My parents are super great but it’s nice to have some space—a lot of space, actually—for just the three of us. Jason currently has Precious with him down at our home build—in the air conditioned Silver Bullet I imagine, since it’s almost to the triple digit temps out there. Our foundation block started going in this morning. Yay! Meanwhile, I’m working away in a very quiet, peaceful house. I looked out the window this morning and spotted this deer grazing in the backyard:

I’ll be back soon!