Sunday, January 29, 2017

Memories and Waiting

      The other evening, Luke and I had dinner out at Steven and Bonnie's(Luke's parents). While we were there I took a picture of this sketch that I did back in 2010. It was a thank you note for letting us spend the weekend with them the 2nd time Jordan and I visited Bemidji, and it's been on the wall pretty much ever since.

       Jordan had needed to come up to get registered for school. At the time, I still had no intention of moving up here, but my friend Emily and I went along for the adventure. My friend Polly told us that we should stay with her family friends, the Williams while we were up here, so we did.
     That was the weekend when I met My Love, the Lovely Keren Ruth, my future in-laws and so many other people that have since become deeply important to my life. That weekend Luke and Keren gave us the tour of Bemidji as well as taking us to Itasca State Park where we went canoeing. It was a truly lovely weekend that made some pretty great memories. I do like how our story has happened and continues on.

At the Itasca fire tower. Jordan, Emily, Luke, Keren, and myself(the beginning of a great story)

     Back to the here and now. I am 35 weeks with 5 to go. The crib is set up, the car seat is ready, the hospital bag is packed, and yesterday Luke and I took a birth class at the hospital. So now we wait. 

Happy Sunday. 

"Today's moments are tomorrow's memories." ~Unknown

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Reverse Break-in

    The other day I returned home from school, I parked the car, walked into the house, turned the corner into the kitchen/dining room and noticed that something was different. Things were not as we had left them that morning. That's right, we had had a "break-in." But before you get all worried, let me assure you. It was a reverse break-in, instead of things missing, something had been added. It was the the type of "break-in" done by people you know and love, who just so happen to have a set of keys to your house.
    Long story short, there was a new dining room table left by Luke's parents, Steven and Bonnie. We have been talking about wanting a farm house table for quite some time. The table we currently had was very serviceable, but it was old and rather wobbly when we had all the leaves in. My dream had been to have a long, one piece(no leaves) rectangular table and there it was. Now when I say "new table" let me also clarify, this is not a new table. It is the table that Luke grew up with, the table that Steven made with wood from their land, and that has been sitting in their dining room for many many years. Steven and Bonnie had found a new table for their kitchen and thus decided to gift us theirs and we feel oh so blessed to get to own it.

    Thinking about "break-ins" reminded me of another time a year or so ago, when I wondered if perhaps someone had broken in to our house. I had decided that I wanted to slow roast a chicken for our dinner. So, one morning before work, I pulled out the roaster, placed the chicken in, got it all seasoned up and headed to work. When I returned home, the house no doubt smelled amazing as I walked in. I headed to the kitchen to check on my bird. I pulled the lid off and was instantly confused. There was a gaping hole where the breast should have been. I couldn't figure out who would have taken just the breast of our roasting chicken. When Luke got home I asked him and he laughed at me.  He then told me that he had noticed me putting the chicken in the roaster upside down and that the gaping hole was simply the back of the bird caved in on itself. Perhaps not my brightest moment but a funny one non-the-less.
    So there you have it, adventures that just keep coming. It's almost Friday my friends!

"Never go a day without laughing at least once." ~Unknown

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Birthdays, Shoes, and other Randomness

     Yesterday was My Love's birthday. The big 30. He spent a good chunk of the day working out in his shop, creating.

      This is the 7th birthday I have gotten to celebrate with him. The first one was his 24th when we were dating. He is such a good man. He has an unshakable faith, a gentle spirit, a kind heart, and an easy laugh. He works hard and he loves to learn. I am so blessed to be able to live life with him.
      He had requested spaghetti for his birthday supper and german chocolate cake(The only cake he has ever asked for on his birthday as long as I've been around). As I was cooking the topping, I had to smile to myself remembering the first time I made his birthday cake. The recipe calls for 6 egg yolks. Now my mother-in-law occasionally will just cut the amount of eggs and use the whole egg instead of the yolk or the white, because in some cases that is just fine. So I figured I would just go ahead and do that. Well, apparently german chocolate cake topping is not a recipe where this works. As I was stirring the cooking goo I noticed that the egg whites were beginning to "scramble." Scrambled egg and pecan frosting...YUM.  So yeah, I guess you live and learn. It turned out much better this time around.
     34 weeks and 6 to go! I was thinking the other day about how Baby Williams has already amassed a nice shoe collection. I guess it runs in the family, both Luke and I have a decent collection of shoes.
    Work boots for when he needs to go split wood with Daddy(from Uncle Peter and Aunt Holly) Red Converse for when he needs a little pizazz in his outfit(from Uncle Jordan) and tractor moccasins for all his toddling needs(From Uncle Travis, Aunt Anna, and cousins)

    On another note, here is some randomness that always makes me smile. I keep a running grocery list on the refrigerator. Occasionally, after the Lovely Keren Ruth has been for a visit, I notice that new and unusual items have been added to the list. Things like chocolate and polka dotted underwear have made it on there and most recently it was armpit diapers and an ear wax candle. I like that girl, she brings joy to my life. 

    January is closer to the end than the beginning and as I've been working on my goals of learning what it means to follow Jesus, change my perspective, and live a life that is not run by fear, I've begun to think about something. I do believe that I have an idol in my life and it needs to go. An idol is anything we set up in our lives that takes top billing over Jesus, and nothing and no one is supposed to do that. I think that in a lot of ways, I have set up "The idol of my own understanding," and I turn to it a lot.
      Fear has become such an ingrained habit in my life that I will all to often listen to every thought that pops into my head and believe that it is the truth, regardless of whether or not it lines up with what God's word says. Fear can be so strong that it convinces me that these thoughts are the truth and that I must follow them. But in doing this, I take what I think I know or what I feel(my own understanding) and raise it up to a place where it does not belong. 
     Proverbs 3:5-6 says, 
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean NOT on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
      Then Proverbs 28:25b-26 says, 
"But the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched. Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered."
    I don't want to trust in my own understanding anymore, clearly it's a foolish way to go. I want to learn how to lay aside what my own uncertain brain tells me and look to God's word for wisdom. I want to learn how to rest in peace when I don't understand something and trust that in time, God will show me what I need to know and lead me through, rather then let fear seep in and confuse the issue. The learning goes ever on. Happy Sunday. 

"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it." ~Unknown 

"You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind." ~Joyce Meyer 

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Chair

     My grandma has a chair, it is her spot. A big easy chair that has sat in pretty much the same spot in her and Grandpa's living room my entire life. Over the years the chair has occasionally changed, but the spot and the sentiment have not, that is Grandma's chair, and it is a good place.

Grandma, Lydia, and baby me 1989

Grandma, Lydia, and me 1999

Grandma, Baby Jordan, and me 1990

Grandma and me 1996ish

     I too am a creature of habit. Both Luke and I have spots that are "our spots" in our living room. I have a seat that I always sit at for staff meetings and teacher devotions at school. We have a spot at church and spots at the dinner table. It's nice.
     We all have our "spots." In a way, I think it may be a part of our desire for home, a place that is ours, where we are safe and comfortable. As I was thinking about this today, it occurred to me that in Jesus we find our spot. The One who designed us and our need for a safe space also designed the perfect safe space. A place where we can always rest in peace and security. In Jesus we can be confident that we are ok. In Jesus we can rest in peace. In Jesus we can relax, breath, and know that we are in the safest spot imaginable.
    Now in no way do I mean to imply that we can or should let our faith stagnate and remain unmoving. We should always be striving to grow deeper in our faith and our desire to know The One who created this life. But in that growth and forward movement we can remain ever steady in our "spot," that safe place that is Jesus. Rest in Him!

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."
~Maya Angelou

"God's mercy and grace give me hope, for myself, and for our world." ~Billy Graham  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

28 Degree Heat Wave...A Matter of Perspective

      Well, January is already half way through and as I mentioned before, my goal this year is to learn what it truly means to follow Christ and to start living my life from a new perspective. I decided that a good verse to sum up said goals would be,

Ephesians 1:17-18
"That the God of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." 

      This just says what I'm striving for this year. I want to seek wisdom, and learn some new things about The One who created me. I want the eyes of my heart to open up and start seeing things anew. I want to truly learn what it means to understand the hope that Jesus offers me each and every day. 
     After my last post on perspective, I've been thinking a lot about that concept and discussed it quite a bit with my students. I tend to turn lessons I'm working through in my own life into lessons for my students as well. A perfect example of perspective came today with the shift in the weather. 
     Last week was BITTERLY cold. Friday was cold enough(-31 actual temperatures) that they called school 2 hours late. They don't close or delay school for much up here. But today the sun has been shining with all its might and the mercury hit a balmy 28 degrees which felt downright blissful. Perspective!

So warm! 33 weeks and 3 days...Closer and closer!

Before Christmas, Luke made a purchase for his workshop that has brought him much joy. A metal lathe. I have been getting an education on the subject. It is an awesome blessing that fits into his dreams of a future in metal work. 

He has made a couple of little tops as he experimented with the lathe. They work pretty well and Ephraim thinks they are fun to stop once you get them going. 

      As this Sunday winds down, I hope that sun continues to shine in your hearts. Remember the Hope that The One who created today gives, and may your perspective be one of joy!

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." ~Camille Pissarro 

Monday, January 9, 2017


     Today we got our crib and it is a beauty. Baby Williams is going to be snoozing in style. There are about 2 months till my due date... A little less than 8 weeks... 53 days till March 3. WOWZERS!     Today I was thinking about the different ways I can measure the time until his arrival. Perspective is an interesting thing. 2 months seems like awhile, 53 days does not. 

      There are many things in life that can be seen from different perspectives. One area that I have decided I need to change my perspective is my faith. I realize that all to often, I view God and His word from a perspective of fear, and that needs to change. I have decided that this year is going to be a year to change(there will certainly be changes coming in more ways than one), but I am specifically thinking of change in my perspective. I desire to get to know God in a new way. To change some negative thoughts that have become deeply ingrained. To truly learn what it means to follow Christ, and most importantly to learn how to rest in peace, say no to fear, and start living my faith from a different perspective. Adventures ahead!

The assembly process, he is pretty handy.

Work in progress.

      I've been craving a double layer, chocolate, cake with chocolate frosting for a couple days(I guess I might as well blame Baby Williams, seeing as there are only 53 days left to blame my eating habits on him). My Love brought this home as a surprise tonight. It wasn't double layered but he is a thinker, so he bought a tub of frosting, cut the top of, slathered on a layer of frosting and neatly returned the top. Ta-da! a double layer cake. He is too good to me.

    A new week is well underway. May your evening be delightful and your tomorrow even better! Happy Monday. 

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

"The right perspective makes the impossible possible." ~Unknown