pink

~ pink cotton yarn
pink-cotton

~ sweet K in pink
k-reading

~ an Easter long, long ago
azaleas

~ a rose in downtown Thomasville, the City of Roses
broad-rose

~ an old book I’ve never read
jack-and-jill

crowds

From Jonah Goldberg:

I don’t like crowds, personally or philosophically. I don’t care if they are right-wing or left-wing, young or old. They are the idea of “strength in numbers” made flesh. Like any other kind of show of force, they can be good or bad depending on the cause that animates them. But I start from the premise that they are to be viewed skeptically.

and here:

I guess my point is that I don’t like crowds. I don’t trust them. Good things rarely come from them. Not all crowds are mobs, but all mobs start as crowds, and I’m a little allergic to the vibrations within in them. The heroic unit in the American political tradition is the individual, not the mob. The crowd is what makes the cult of personality a thing. Without the crowd, it’s just a person.

Yep.

monday miscellany

From hither and yon:

~ The best makeup you can buy at the drugstore. I concur on the Wet & Wild foundation, although it’s tough to find.

~ I made this cheesecake again recently. And I still love it.

~ Internet trolls in church clothing. Here’s the ouch (part of a list of questions to ask before posting a comment):

  • Am I speaking from a soul satisfied in God or from my discontent?

~ There is much wisdom in this wedding sermon (and so neat – I went to church with Micaiah and her family when we lived in Hawaii!). A peek:

What I am saying is that this marriage, if it is to be successful, must be a marriage of the Book. You must love and respect one another, and you do that by relating to your wife, or to your husband directly. But if you want to check on how you are doing in that relating, you don’t look to them, and you don’t look at the world, and you don’t look into your own heart. Rather, you hold the Word up, and you look at your relationship to your spouse as it is reflected there. The Scriptures are not just a compendium of divine information. The Word is light, it is food, it is conviction, it is a perfect mirror, and it is living wisdom. There is no better way to see the back of your own head.

~ A very sad story of addiction – My broken heart

~ I’m cranking out dishcloths these days because I’ve discovered I like using them better than sponges. I basically use this pattern and knit until 28 stitches before I start decreasing. That is the size I like using best so far.

Happy Monday!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

[From 2013, but still true! Happy Birthday, Mom!]

mom

Let me tell you a little about my mom: My stubbornness and hers often bumped into each other when I was younger, but I have a fuller appreciation for her (and the stubbornness!) as I get older. She has always been there for me. She was with me for Lamaze classes when I was expecting Will and his dad was deployed, and she helped me through a traumatic experience giving birth to him. She was there for me when Caroline was born and her dad was deployed. She’s been with me through all of Caroline’s surgeries, my wisdom teeth removal when I was thirty and home alone with two little ones, and my recent move back to Georgia. She’s calm in a crisis and never lets me feel sorry for myself. (That has irritated me a time or two, but it has been a gift.) She has a gift for serving in practical ways. She loves Jesus and her family. She makes things lovely.

She hates having her picture taken, so it's hard to find any of her.

She hates having her picture taken, so it’s hard to find any of her.

She loves my children well. She has always been interested in the details of their lives — knowing who their friends are, their activities, their interests. She and my dad have traveled around the world to see us and know their grandchildren. They’ve missed lots of the daily things because we were far away, but they have tried hard to be there for the big ones. And as Will has been at college in Georgia while we were living in Europe, they’ve gone up for his birthday every year to take him out to dinner. Efforts like that make a family a family.

I love my mom more than I can say, and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

[This time I’m adding one of my favorite photos of her, taken a couple of months before I was born.]

mom-table

Happy Birthday, Mom!

 

aaaachoooo!

claritin
Spring has sprung, and my eyes and nose have sprung a leak. It’s too much for a daily dose of Claritin to handle.

Every surface of our front porch is covered in pollen, and we’re tracking it inside onto our dark wood floors. My car is a dusty yellow, when it should be charcoal gray.

weather-channel

A light rain has been falling this morning, and I’m hoping it will turn into a heavier shower and rinse everything off.

And yet, my daily commute is lovely, and spring green is such a cheerful color. Those old-fashioned formosa azaleas are putting on a show, and dogwood trees are still in bloom. The hydrangeas on my front porch get prettier every day.

front-porch-hydrangeas

I remember enduring long winters years ago when we were stationed in Maine. One year, it snowed on my birthday – at the end of April! I knew that my home state was enjoying a beautiful spring while we were still stuck inside, looking out at barren trees and muddy slush. I truly understood seasonal affective disorder.

But I was allergy free!

You know what? I’ll take the sniffing and nose-blowing and watery eyes in exchange for green and pink and sunshine and no snow. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m glad to live where I live. (Until July.)

Happy spring y’all!

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random thoughts

~ Parents, people do not think your child is cute when you give them the mini-shopping cart at Publix and let them wreak havoc down the aisles. Please keep an eye on them and the other shoppers around you.

~ If you’re trying to sell someone essential oils, skincare, etc., and they say no, please just respect that and don’t continue to email/text/DM. I know that the motivational speakers at your conferences tell you otherwise, but it really just puts people – often your friends – in a very uncomfortable position. Some of us don’t like saying “PLEASE DON’T EVER ASK ME THAT AGAIN!”

~ Spring has sprung here, and the dogwood trees in snow white bloom remain my favorite.

~ The canopy roads in these parts are spectacularly green:

canopy-road

~ Roses are blooming in Thomasville, the City of Roses:

mar-rose

~ I’ve got 5 knitting projects in various stages of completion, and I have 4 books in progress. It’s time to power through some of these and move on.

~ By the time this post appears, I’ll likely have finished Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, and it’s really good. I love reading about people who pursue a vocation with excellence, and this one fits the bill.

Happy Thursday y’all,

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“I tend to think of it as an escape into reality.”

death-comesFrom Death Comes For the Deconstructionist by Daniel Taylor:

And so I do what I often do in this situation. I decide to read. Books were an early lifeline, and I turn to them regularly with a certain desperate hopefulness. People talk about reading as an escape from reality—I tend to think of it as an escape into reality. Books aren’t an escape from trouble. There’s more trouble in novels—and most other books—than anywhere else. Books aren’t even an escape from your own particular troubles, because a good book always makes you think about your own life while it pretends to distract you from it. It’s just that books suggest the possibility that trouble can be survived, if you know what I mean. Or at least named. Books are more real for me than the rest of my life because they light up more parts of me than the rest of my life ever has.

 

monday miscellany

From here and there:

~ A photographer’s ode to the long leaf pine – slide 15 is from Thomas County, Georgia, where I spend a lot of time. My high school’s (in Thomas County) alma mater begins “Mid the pines there stands an emblem of the noble, true, and right…”

~ Your body is a temple, not an idol

~ Cultivating praise in marriage

~ ‘Mindfulness’: Corporate America’s Strange New Gospel

~ A dose of nature: Doctors prescribe a day in the park for anxiety

~ For you fellow This is Us fans: The head of Jack Pearson’s family

Happy Monday y’all!

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“…the peace of God is not the absence of negative thoughts…”

[a repost from March 2014]
walkingwithgodFrom Tim Keller’s Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering:

Today, when you read books or websites on overcoming anxiety and handling fear, they usually talk about removing thoughts. They say: Do not think about that; do not think those negative thoughts. Control your thoughts, expel the negative ones. But here we see the peace of God is not the absence of negative thoughts, it is the presence of God himself. “The God of peace will be with you” (Phil 4:9).

Christian peace does not start with the ousting of negative thinking. If you do that, you may simply be refusing to face how bad things are. That is one way to calm yourself–by refusing to admit the facts. But it will be a short-lived peace! Christian peace doesn’t start that way. It is not that you stop facing the facts, but you get a living power that comes into your life and enables you to face those realities, something that lifts you up over and through them.

Many believers have experienced this peace of God. It is not just positive thinking or willpower. It is a sense that no matter what happens, everything will ultimately be all right, even though it may not be at all right at the moment. In my experience, people usually break through to this kind of peace only in tragic situations, often in the valley of the shadow of death. Here is a metaphor for it. If you have ever been on a coast in a storm and seen the waves come in and hit the rocks, sometimes the waves are so large that they cover a particular rock, and you think, ‘That is the end of that rock.’ But when the waves recede, there it is still. It hasn’t budged an inch. A person who feels the ‘peace that passes understanding; is like that. No matter what is thrown at you, you know it will not make you lose your footing. Paul of course is the classic example. He is beaten; he is stoned; he is flogged; he is shipwrecked; he is betrayed; his enemies are trying to kill him. There is wave after wave, and yet–there he is still. ‘I have found a way to be completely poised under any and all circumstances,’ he said. All the waves of life could not break him. And he says it isn’t a natural talent of his–you and I can learn this.

That is the character of Christian peace. It is an inner calm and equilibrium but also a sense of God’s presence and an almost reason-transcending sense of his protection.