what’s going on

Well, it’s official: I’m a Florida resident again. We moved last weekend, and we’re both still recovering from the total chaos and exhaustion. My office is closed today, so I’m enjoying a day at home to put things in order. I can’t tell you how glad I am about that! When the nest is a mess, I can’t rest. 🙂

Paul and I are so very thankful that the move part is over. God graciously provided excellent weather (sunny and cool), and Paul’s son and three of his friends went above and beyond in heavy lifting and cheerful dispositions. As I shared on instagram, I walked about 9 miles inside my house on Saturday. I’m covered in bruises, and my hands and nails will take a while to recover from cleaning two houses.

But we’re in, even if we’re still digging out.

I’m still working in Thomasville (in a couple of months, I’ll begin working two days here in Tallahassee), so I have the best of both worlds. I’m looking forward to getting to know Tallahassee better, and Paul and I already have a list of restaurants we want to try.

So this Good Friday finds me very grateful — grateful for God’s lavish provision for me. He’s surrounded me with His people and shows me His loving care daily in countless ways, large and small. For me to ever utter a complaint shows me just how desperately my heart needs a Savior, and He has provided!

ephesiansI’ll leave you with this passage on Ephesians 2:4-7 from Sinclair Ferguson’s Let Study Ephesians! – a book I’m slowly working through:

The gospel truly reveals the deepest heartbeat of God towards us. Jesus’ work did not — nor did it need to — persuade an angry Father to love his wayward children. The atonement is not a form of inner-trinitarian blackmail. No: the Father loved us and did not spare his own Son for our salvation (Rom. 8:32); the Son loved us and ‘did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…’ (Phil 2:6); the Spirit loved us (Rom. 15:30) and is not ashamed to indwell and sanctify us.

Why should it be so important for Paul to emphasize this? Because we can misinterpret ‘the gospel’ message to mean that God loved us because Christ died for us, as if the sheer amount of suffering he experienced made the Father relent of his hatred towards us and now begin to love us and be kind to us.

Our spiritual forefathers used to speak about the way Christians ‘live below the level of their privileges’. This is a case in point. If only we would settle our hearts on what the apostle says here about the character of God! Think about these three statements – they merit a lifetime of meditation:

1. God is rich in mercy.

2. God has loved us with great love.

3. God has shown kindness to us which expresses the immeasurable (the word is the root of our word ‘hyperbole’) riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.

Grateful!
signature

saturday

Ahhh, the first Saturday of a new year! It’s a dreary, trying-to-rain kind of day — perfect for staying at home and getting some chores done.

jandt

We started off the morning with a delicious breakfast downtown and then drove around a little bit before making a Walmart run. The store was uncharacteristically quiet and calm, and our shopping was easy. I didn’t even have the urge to hurt someone!

ribs2

At home I got some ribs started in the slow cooker while Paul worked on cars with his son and a friend. Then I thoroughly cleaned our upstairs, organizing closets, and making a big pile of stuff to take to the consignment store. The washer and dryer worked the whole time. I found all kinds of old pictures, and if you’re a Facebook friend, you’ve probably seen them.

Oh, and while I was running errands, I saw a car full of sad football fans:

nolesbama

Now I’m happily parked on the sofa, trying to decide if I want to read or knit.

It’s a good day, y’all.

signature

saturday

Today has been a day to take dominion over our house and get some things done. Paul has his house in Tallahassee until the end of the month, and he hasn’t completely moved out yet. So today we got a late start to our day, and then he headed there to load up his truck and run some errands.  I cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned some more. I did laundry and ironed a mountain of clothes. Optimistically, I bought some mums for the front porch in hopes that fall will soon come. I also stopped by the grocery store, and then swung through the Sonic drive-thru for a big drink with yummy ice. I Face-timed with a faraway friend, too.

pinkiris

mums2

fallwreath

Now the table is set for supper with my husband. We’re having prime rib, mashed potatoes, and a Greek salad. The prime rib is leftover from my son’s rehearsal dinner. It’s been in the freezer, and I’m trying to clean out and use up some freezer and pantry items.

Oh, and we’ll watch some football. 🙂

I hope you’ve had a good Saturday, too.

signature

 

saturday

raindrops

Today is a rainy day, and I’m glad that I’d made no plans to leave home. Instead, I’m playing catch up on cleaning and office work. I’m getting ready for CAbi’s Spring Collection, and I’ve got some organization related to that.

So it’s a day for lots of coffee, leftover spaghetti, listening to Dennis Prager podcasts, and hopefully catching up on the latest episodes of Justified, Parenthood, and Downton Abbey (I couldn’t stay up for the end of that premier Sunday night).

Just a plain old Saturday to be at home. I’m so thankful!!!

Happy Saturday to you,

signature

i sure hope not

steallikeanartistSome of you may remember my recent posts about procrastinating (here and here) when I should be studying and writing papers. Well, in Steal Like an Artist, I came across this quote:

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” —Jessica Hische

Um, I sure hope not. I really hope the work I should be doing for the rest of my life is *not* scrubbing baseboards, organizing messes, pulling weeds, and doing laundry! Oh, I know it is work I’ll be doing for the rest of my life, but I hope it’s not my life’s work!

And yet, I still haven’t figured out what my life’s work is! I’m praying for clarity about that. Meanwhile, I’ll spend this afternoon doing laundry, organizing my desk, and cleaning my bathroom…

procrastination

I’m so glad to be home. Today I’ve been content to be back in my normal routine, beginning the work week, doing the next thing.

For the next couple of weeks, most of those “next things” include studying, research, and writing, but I’ll power through, looking forward to a break in September.

And sometimes the next thing doesn’t make a lot of sense. Tonight, for example, I need to be sitting down, focused on either history, science, or Latin. Instead, I’ve decided it’s the time for reorganizing my bookshelves. I have a great excuse: I never really organized them when I moved last month, so it has been hard to find what I’m looking for. Tonight is just right for hauling books from one room to another, sorting them into categories (theology: Bible study, devotional, biography, counseling, parenting, etc.), and rearranging shelves.

orgbooks

Now, a mess thoroughly made in my office (stacks of books on the floor and shelves in disarray), I’ll play with my books for a few more minutes, make a cup of coffee (decaf!) and tackle some history work.

orgbooks2

What about you?  Am I the only one who procrastinates by being productive in something totally unrelated to what I should be doing? Or who blogs about procrastinating?

Pressing on,

signature

saturday

Ahhhh. Today was a kind-of-sort-of normal Saturday, even though my body is still on Pacific time. I rose early to get ready to do a CAbi show at my sister’s house. That’s my new business, and it sure is fun to play with clothes! After the show, it was on to school work. Caroline & I parked at Grassroots, donned our reading glasses, and nerded out together.

The caffeine got me going again, and I came home to do laundry, go through mail, and organize my school and work stuff. Somehow I ended up scrubbing baseboards, and I’m not quite sure how that moved up so high on the priority list. Hey, it happens.

I caught up with a far-away friend via Skype, and that was a treat.

My office is back in order now, and my desk is cleaned off to make room for school work. I’m going to do some research for a science paper and try to go to bed on Georgia time instead of Idaho time.

I’m so glad to be home.

signature

miscellany

A collection of random links & thoughts on this Monday morning:

~ The always excellent Thomas Sowell on Shepherds and Sheep:

Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.

Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?

Think about the First World War, from which nations on both sides ended up worse off than before, after an unprecedented carnage that killed substantial fractions of whole younger generations and left millions starving amid the rubble of war.

Think about the Holocaust, and about other government slaughters of even more millions of innocent men, women and children under Communist governments in the Soviet Union and China.

Even in the United States, government policies in the 1930s led to crops being plowed under, thousands of little pigs being slaughtered and buried, and milk being poured down sewers, at a time when many Americans were suffering from hunger and diseases caused by malnutrition.

The Great Depression of the 1930s, in which millions of people were plunged into poverty in even the most prosperous nations, was needlessly prolonged by government policies now recognized in retrospect as foolish and irresponsible.

One of the key differences between mistakes that we make in our own lives and mistakes made by governments is that bad consequences force us to correct our own mistakes. But government officials cannot admit to making a mistake without jeopardizing their whole careers.

~ Cutest purses and Kindle covers ever! And I’d really love to have one of these iPhone charging stations.

~ A contrast in poems, in worldviews.

~ How Christians prepare for suffering — a peek: (Read the whole thing!)

In the 1992 sermon “Called to Suffer and Rejoice: That We Might Gain Christ,” John Piper unfolds the significance of Paul counting his gain as loss. Basically, the apostle took a long look at his life apart from Christ. All the things that he valued — his Jewish pedigree, his place in the upper echelon of religious society, his law-keeping — he took a long look at this list and wrote “LOSS” over it with a giant Sharpie.

And then he went a step further.

It wasn’t just the past values of his personal life. It wasn’t just “whatever gain he had.” Paul looks out into the future and declares everything as loss. Everything out there that could pass as positive. Everything good that he has yet to experience and everything which he will never experience. Compared to Jesus, everything is loss.

And lest we think this puts Paul on a pious pedestal, that he is at a spiritual level we’d never reach, Piper reminds us that this sort of reckoning is normal Christianity (Matthew 13:44; Luke 14:33). To consider Jesus better than everything else in the world is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian.

~ My photographer son recommends 500px instead of flickr, but I don’t know if I can muster up the energy to figure it all out. I’ve lost interest in flickr and haven’t posted there in ages. You can check out Will’s photos here.

~ ‘Tis the season to post this photo that never fails to crack me up:

chocolatebunnies

~ An excellent article on “culture creep”. Words matter.

~ Failure doesn’t have to be the last word.

~ I’m itching to do some spring cleaning, but now with a full time job and my master’s class, it’s going to look quite different than it usually does for me. I think I’m going to aim for do-able: one drawer or small area every day. That may well take me into summer before I’m finished, but that’s okay.

~ I love this quote Ali shared.

~ Lars Walker on diversity is worth a read. Here’s a bit:

If there’s any word that’s been abused in our time (and there are plenty) it’s “diversity.” Whenever a contemporary American hears the word diversity, he tenses up, figuring some bureaucrat is about to impose another form of uniformity on him. We’ve made diversity about race, and that’s just stupid.

Snatch up a dozen people from random spots around the world, and set them down together in a room. It’s my certain conviction that the least important thing about any person in that group will be his or her race (their views on race may have significance, though). Gender will matter. Politics and religion will matter, as will cultural tradition. I don’t know for a fact whether general racial traits actually exist in people (apart from physical appearance), but if there are such traits they will have little or no significance, except in terms of how people respond to them.

And yet we talk as if diversity were just about race. A university proudly points to its multi-racial faculty, calling it diverse, even though every single member of that faculty holds ideas and beliefs almost indistinguishable from any of the others.

~ I’ve told y’all how I’m drawn to old, weathered objects, so I really love these photos of verdigris.

~ Molly recently shared a great quote on teachability.

~ Kim writes on lessons from the dining room table.

May your week start — and finish — well!

signature