Monday, February 21, 2011

Storytime with Cadence

When I went to get Cadie up from her "nap" yesterday, this is what I found. She had her animals in the glider and she was reading them a book. My librarian heart melted.
She's going to be a great big sister! Because, as I'm sure everyone who reads this already knows, we're getting a new baby late this summer!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


We got to go to the zoo yesterday and it was great. In fact, this morning, Cadie asked to go back again, even though we had to spend a total of 4 hours in the car there and back.

We were really proud of Cadence is the petting zoo. You can see her brushing a pig, goat, and sheep. She's such an hesitant
observant kid and easily scared, especially since the move last October. We totally expected her to freak out in this area, and were pleasantly surprised. Maybe because there are cows (large smelly mammals!) right outside our windows everyday she owned the petting zoo yard, even when the goats were kind of bumping everyone around.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day to You!

Here's hoping you have someone to snuggle with.
We celebrated by eating homemade heart shaped cookies, reading Little Mouse's Big Valentine by Hurd, and wearing red

Monday, February 07, 2011

All God’s grace is undeserved.

Some stories and situations and study* in recent days have led me to need to remind myself of this truth: All God’s grace is undeserved.

I’m afraid that in our churches and Christian circles we are inadvertantly preaching something different. We subtly say that we receive God’s favor and blessing by being good enough. But scripture says we can never be good enough. When things go wrong, when money is tight, when sickness prevails, when we lose things or people dear to us, we think disobedience is the culprit. (I know that sometimes our sin and irresponsibility does lead to dire situations in our lives, but that’s another sermon, right?) Beyond following God’s directives in scripture, we imply that jumping through these hoops or following these steps yields stellar marriages, obedient children, perfect health. And something less means we’re just not doing it right.

Doesn’t this devalue our relationship with Christ? In reality, faith is a lot messier than that. As Andrew Peterson has sung, “it is brave and bittersweet.” Psalm 34:17-19 promises, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” This passage basically guarantees trouble. But it also promises God’s steadfast grace during those troubles – and their eventual end.

Off the top of my head, I can point to righteous examples in scripture who had their share of undeserved troubles. Hannah birthed her precious Samuel, but didn’t get to raise him. The orphan Esther left her dear guardian to enter a political beauty pageant and hope to win favor with a king in his bedroom (to lead to the salvation of her people, but she didn’t know that going in). Jeremiah was prohibited from marrying or having children, imprisoned, and almost killed – and didn’t hesitate to express his anguish about the message he was charged with bringing. In obedience to the Lord, Hosea married a harlot who was unfaithful. Job lost almost all a man could lose, and when he questioned the Lord, he got more questions in response. I can only imagine that Mary endured years of gossipy neighbors doing the math of her marriage and her firstborn son’s birth, then saw that beloved son executed as a heinous criminal. How many years did Paul spend in jail?

So we – I – have got to stop pretending that closeness with Christ means fat bank accounts, healthy children, clean homes, the envy of our neighbors, great hair, and skinny jeans. He calls us to something so much deeper than that. “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5. Let’s do the hard work of sowing with tears and look forward to the songs of joy.

Let’s simply preach obedience.
Let’s preach and live God’s promises.
Let’s preach and live God’s generosity.
Let’s preach and live God’s grace.

For ALL God’s grace is undeserved.

*I’m studying Stepping Up: a journey through the Psalms of Ascent by Beth Moore with a group of ladies through my church.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Friday's Art Project: Fail

On my little weekly schedule, Friday is art project day with Cadie. Usually, this just means we get out a different art supply (stickers, paint, markers) and do some free art. Yesterday though, I had a plan. We were going to make handprint hearts (kind of like these) to get ready for Valentine's Day. As you can see from the pics, we were all set up, even had our sleeves rolled up, when Cadence said very adamantly that she did not want to do it.

We went to look in our holiday decorations box for Valentine's things instead. We found several "heart" bears.
They needed to be lined up in the hallway. To listen to the song "Bears" by Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson, from the album Slugs, Bugs, and Lullabies.

Then they had a dance party.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I'm surprised and a little annoyed...

that it's already February 2nd! What?!

Here's some things that we've been doing:

*Trying to go outside whenever the weather is decent. This weekend we were blessed with temps in the 60s. On Saturday we went to Tallulah Gorge State Park. Cadie loved it. Cried when we had to leave.

*Hosting playgroup yesterday. Only 2 friends attended but we had a blast.

*I've been doing a women's Bible study for the past few weeks - Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent by Beth Moore. I'm seriously enjoying it and being challenged. I realized, very sadly, that since we left the church Matt worked at last February, I hadn't been in a group Bible study until now. I really needed this.

*Matt and I watched a great movie Sunday night - Bella - a little movie that came out in 2006 about "how one day in New York City changed three people forever." It made me cry like a baby and made me really want some good Mexican food.

*Speaking of food, we've been eating super yummy pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting I made this weekend. I'm acting like they are pretty virtuous - I used real (not canned) pumpkin, half whole wheat flour, skimped on the recipe's recommended sugar, and used light cream cheese and light butter for the frosting. (By the way, I'm not a super cook, but I always make my own frosting. Have you looked at the ingredients in a can of frosting? Canned frosting is one of the few foods that is still packed with trans fats.) So since they are so healthy - and so yummy - I should go eat another one right now, right?