Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The nice thing about not having many family heirlooms is that it means you haven't lost that many people that mean a lot to you. My maternal grandad got to know me for 6 months before he passed. My Mom says he loved me and thought I was fun to laugh at. This table was built by my Mom's Dad at least 40 years ago from either a hickory or walnut tree in the yard. The stories have been conflicting on which type of tree. We started refinishing our table back in January. Well we've been busy with being out of town and family projects (like building a barn because my 8 year old niece bought a horse) and haven't had a chance to refinish it yet. It has been in our garage waiting for a finishing sanding and repolying. Here it is halfway through the first coat of poly last night. Hopefully we will have time to sand and apply the 2nd coat of poly before my Mom's bday this Sunday! It would be nice to have a table to sit at :) Isn't the wood grain gorgeous!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

P.S. I finished them

Ok because so many people are reading these books I didn't want to post much about them. I will update you that I did finish the Hunger Games series (a while back). They were so good that it was hard to put it down. I loved the story, but won't go in to details.

So read them already!

Then I got my kindle (thank you wonderful husband) and read Bossypants by Tina Fey, and I'm currently working on the Scarlet Letter. I'm enjoying it, but it's slow going. I'm not so good with the thees and thous. I will start reading faster and then realize I'm not comprehending any of it. It may take a while, especially since it's such a challenge to my impoverished vocabulary. My goal is to read through some of the classics that I never had to in high school. I feel kind of dumb when people make references to the many books I've never read. Also, I believe I've grown a lot in the way of enjoying literature...must be a God growing me up thing, because I used to HATE to read.

Yeah, Yeah...we get it already.

First a little History...I don't remember what we learned in school about Valentine's day. I do remember making homemade shoe boxes decorated with doilies and glitter hearts. I remember passing out "Valentine's" with disgusting candy attached. I remember my sister told me that red and pink do not go together and somehow I still follow that fashion advice. So when I don't remember the story of things, I look it up.

I have found very back and forth information on St. Valentine. I've read and and followed other links for more background information. Most sources seem to think that there were at least three Valentine/Valentinus', and they were martyrs. I tried to look for a "reformed" view on this and didn't come up with much. So please any reformers with knowledge on the subject put in your opinion. One view is that St. Valentine was alive around the 260s AD and that he was trying to help "Christians" by performing marriages that were illegal due to the reign of Claudius II. However, if you look up Claudius II, they talk mostly about his battles for the Roman Empire and little about his beliefs or desire to not allow marriage.

What is known is that Geoffrey Chaucer is one of the reasons the holiday is highly associate with romantic love. This occurred in the 14th century. So for six hundred years February 14th has been celebrated for "lovers", take that word loosely.

As a believer in Christ, I acknowledge that God is love. That I fall short daily in loving my God, family, friends, community, and the world. I recognize that part of my sinfulness is forgetting to do what I ought. That the calendar does remind me to celebrate the love I've been given. To remember Easter, my saviors' rise from death and all that he conquerred in that act. At Christmas, we remember His birth and the sacrifice Christ made to become human and put on this humiliating form. That there were many believers who have lived and fought for the faith. St. Pattrick and his enlightened idea that a Shamrock shows us how the trinity is three persons yet One God. Saint Nicholas and his fight for Christ's deity at the council of Nicea and caring for poor and needy in his community.

Should I remember daily that God is love (1 John 4:16), showed us what love looks like in Christ, and that I should do the same? No question, may it always be. But to be honest, I do not remember everyday. I do remember some days, even ones that aren't special occasions, but will I like the Puritans do away with the calendar holidays? No. the Puritans believed in only celebrating two things: the Day of Humiliation and Fasting and the Day of Thanksgiving and Praise. These days were not scheduled but celebrated whenever they felt God had bestowed "good gifts." Well shouldn't that be every day, or what if you forgot for a decade?? (I'm not trying to hate on the Puritans, they like anybody had strengths and weaknesses) I recognize my sinfulness and my inability to live perfectly just now. One day I will be as I ought, but I'm not there yet. I hope to decrease as Christ increases in me, and do what I ought more and more. Bottom line is, we believers will be known by our love (John 13:35). I choose to (by relying on God) be a part of redeeming this holiday and everything else our culture tries to drain the meaning out of. Mark Driscoll's idea of redeeming holidays reminds me of the scripture that says Christ came not to abolish the law, but fulfill it (Matt 5:17). Instead of casting it aside lets remember how it can point us to Love.

I will celebrate the truth on V day: that the history of the day is sketchy at best, but has become a symbol of love. Believers know the Author of love. We know that we can love each other only because we have been loved first. I'll end with C.S. Lewis, "God lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think; He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

V day

A friend wrote this post on Valentine's day. You know in the past I've posted about my feelings toward the "shallow" holiday. Well I thought I'd take the time to ask how you all feel about Valentine's day. This is my 7th year as a Valentine's convert because of what my mom told me. One of our college pastors posted this article from Mark Driscoll at Christmastime, and I believe that it is applicable to all of our holidays turned secular.

This year Andrew and I celebrated V day by him making me promise not to give him any gifts and making me agree it was in the budget for him to get me something. I mean really, sure twist my arm! He was so sweet, and gave me a Kindle reader and a rain jacket. The rain jacket is this gorgeous shade of teal (i think it might literally be the exact shade as my KitchenAid mixer haha). So far I've read Bossypants by Tina Fey and have started reading The Scarlet Letter. I am going to try and read some classics, you know to expand my vocabulary. So far, I've had to look up around 12 words per page in the Scarlett Letter. This is acceptable, because the Kindle has that awesome ability to look up the words right there on the same screen (did I mention I have an amazing husband who gives the best gifts). I ended up getting Andrew a funny card and a bag of twizzlers, which is a true gift because I hate twizzlers. We grilled steaks, had salad, baked potatoes, and enjoyed a relaxing evening. It was nice since we knew we'd spend the weekend hanging out with fun and crazy highschoolers.

Anyway, I love having discussions about this kind of stuff. I think it's good for our brains and hearts to hear different peoples perspectives on things. I love that Rose is wrestling through this, and I know that I have. I'll probably wrestle through these issues a few more times in my lifetime. It's important that we engage our minds and not simply blatantly accept or reject our culture. Please share how you feel about Valentine's Day or any holiday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting by

I haven't been blogging much lately. Life has been super busy. I'm sure other people are super busy and blog, but for me that is the first thing to go. Anyway, I am very aware that exercise and good nutrition are important. I'm the kind of person who has a really hard time not eating yummy things, which means exercise is all the more important. ( I am good about eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains, it's just cutting out homemade desserts and ice cream is oh so difficult) Knowing you should do something doesn't make it easier, does it? Well it doesn't for me. I recently downloaded an app called imapmyrun and love it. I can track my trails and see how far and fast I'm going. I have always known we have a big yard but I didn't know how big. I mapped out my walk and it's about 5 laps for a mile. This evening is also another busy evening (grocery store, start dinner, walk/play with Gage, finish dinner, prepare Bible study, spend time as a family) so while boiling chicken and rice I spent 20 minutes doing laps around the yard. No it's not optimal, but I was moving. That's what my mom always says just get moving, something is better than nothing. Like the post says this is just getting by. Soon it will be light outside longer and I can have my trail back, but for now this is a good solution. If you need a track head on over; it even comes complete with built in hills!