Friday, September 28, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Grasp



How can I grasp onto time? How can I grasp the moments as they pass, to prolong those happy, wonderful, fleeting moments?

I cannot.

That's the truth of it.

There are precious few things we can grasp. Tiny hands grow into bigger hands, and soon those hands are holding a steering wheel, or a cell phone, or even someday, a boy's hand.

All we can do is appreciate each moment, enjoy it while we have it, and perhaps, if we're able, write it down for future memory.

Heavenly Father, help me to grasp the gravity of the moments I have with my girls while they're still in my care. In my home. Help me to grasp their hands and help turn their hearts towards Yours. I love you, and I thank you for the privilege of raising Your daughters in a home that loves and serves You. Make me equal to the task. Help me to overlook my own shortcomings and focus on You. Help me to grasp Your love for me, so that I can communicate that same Love to them. Amen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Felicities

Go to Becky's site if you would like to learn more.

It's been awhile since I did this...but I wanted to add my voice to the chorus today.

  • COFFEE--on tap today: French roast
  • oatmeal for breakfast on this fall morning
  • my Seattle: Starbucks Hometown mug that I got on our trip to Seattle/Tacoma last year for my ear surgery. It's huge. It's a reminder that we had a good Christmas away in spite of everything--and I had a surgery that potentially saved my life.
  • my youngest girl brought in her Student Council notecards for her campaign speech. I'm one very proud mama! She has her bullet points all ready and is not making crazy promises. I am so happy! Even if she doesn't make it, she already has "mad skillz" that will last her a lifetime.
  • gummy vitamin Ds. If I have to take Vitamin D, and I DO in this climate, may it be chewy and fun.

How Wide

WIDE--at Lisa Jo formerly Gypsy Mama
Ephesians 3: 17b-19

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

How wide is His love? Wide and long and high and deep.

How often do I think about this? Not often enough, apparently. Every time I read this verse, I'm bewildered and baffled. I look in the mirror and think, "How can anyone love this face? This body? This bruised and battered and selfish heart of mine?"

But He does. Oh, He does. And I will be forever grateful.

He loves me so much. Jesus died on the cross for me--and you--and my children--and my friends. Everyone. He loves us all this much.

I am a do-er, so I tend to focus on doing enough and getting things done, in order to be worthy of this wide and long and high and deep love of my Savior. What I'm re-learning is that there's never enough to be done. I will never catch up on the housework, or the schoolwork (grading never seems to end!), or the heart work. I strive and strive, and it's never enough to please myself or others.

When will I learn to rest in the wide, wide love of God? Hopefully soon. Because I'm one tired mama!

I wanted to concentrate on God's love for this devotional thought in five minutes, because otherwise I could make jokes about how wide my behind and my waist have gotten, or how truly wide the state of Alaska is. But really, let's not go there.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012

Year six!

For information about this wonderful challenge, click here.
Fall Into Reading Challenge History: 2007     2008     2009     2010     2011

My fall book list to read and/or finish:
  • Seven by Jen Hatmaker {begun, but set aside}
  • Letting Go of Perfect by Amy Spiegel {begun}
  • Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist {This book is not one I can read quickly--it must be read in small doses, an essay or two at a time.}
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
  • Wings of Glory trilogy by Sarah Sundin {need to reread the first two to make sense of the third}: A Distant Melody, A Memory Between Us, and Blue Skies Tomorrow
My list of other books I read but which are not on the original list--obviously, I have a problem committing to my list:

  • A Brew to a Kill - Cleo Coyle {I had about half of it finished before Saturday}
  • Full Disclosure - Dee Henderson
  • Vivaldi's Virgins - Barbara Quick
  • The Heart Remembers - Irene Hannon (for review)
  • Prom and Prejudice - Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Alaskan Hearts - Teri Wilson
  • Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Dicks
  • In the Shadow of Lions: A Novel of Anne Boleyn - Ginger Garrett
  • The Negotiator - Dee Henderson
  • Northern Lights - Nora Roberts
  • Psych: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read - William Rabkin
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows {comfort reread, well worth it}
  • At Every Turn - Anne Mateer
  • The Call of the Wild - Jack London
  • The Meryl Streep Movie Club - Mia March

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn Checklist

I had a summer checklist, mostly to keep myself accountable while my military husband was away on the shortest deployment ever (make no mistake, it was still a deployment--complete with angst, tears, and reintegration issues--and all that was ME!).

If you click on over, you'll see that my summer checklist remains unfinished. There are a few things that turned out to be too ambitious to complete. While I still believe in listmaking and goal-setting in general, sometimes if I get too specific with certain areas of my life, I feel nothing but failure when I do not succeed. This is why I am not blogging the 31 days in October, because my October calendar is already filling up at an alarming rate with my girls' show practices and performances. This is also why I'm not committing to NaNoWriMo 2012 until I have my follow-up ear surgery on the calendar.

All that to say, these are the things I would like to accomplish before December 21st, the day of the winter solstice.

  1. Get myself over to the Anchorage Museum. I have wanted to go since we first found out we were moving to Alaska, and it seems as if I'm the only one in my family who's interested. So I'll take myself there sometime.
  2. Complete the Fall Into Reading Challenge again this year. I have my list saved in drafts and it will pop up here at Fresh-Brewed Writer at the end of this week.
  3. Work with my friend Beth on the Wives of Faith Christmas Blog Carnival--I really need to have it set up before Thanksgiving. Preferably before Halloween, actually...
  4. Complete Christmas shopping by December 3rd so I can get the packages headed to the Lower 48 in the mail before the 10th.
Reasonable. Complete-able. Do-able.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

Today's post is a part of the CFBA blog tour for Unending Devotion, the latest by novelist Jody Hedlund.......

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Unending Devotion
Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2012)
Jody Hedlund


Jody has written novels for the last 20 years (with a hiatus when her children were young). After many years of writing and honing her skills, she finally garnered national attention with her double final in the Genesis Contest, a fiction-writing contest for unpublished writers through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Her first published book, The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers), became a best seller and has won multiple awards.

Her second book, The Doctor’s Lady, released in September of 2011, and her third book, Unending Devotion, is out now. She’s currently busy researching and writing another book!

Jody has been married for twenty years to her college sweetheart. Jody has five children ranging in ages from 15 to 6, with a set of twin daughters in the mix to make things more lively.


High-Stakes Drama Meets High-Tension Romance

In 1883 Michigan, Lily Young is on a mission to save her lost sister, or die trying. Heedless of the danger, her searches of logging camps lead her to Harrison and into the sights of Connell McCormick, a man doing his best to add to the hard-earned fortunes of his lumber baron father.

Posing during the day as a photographer's assistant, Lily can't understand why any God-fearing citizen would allow evil to persist and why men like Connell McCormick turn a blind eye to the crime rampant in the town. But Connell is boss-man of three of his father's lumber camps in the area, and like most of the other men, he's interested in clearing the pine and earning a profit. He figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters.

Lily challenges everything he thought he knew, and together they work not only to save her sister but to put an end to the corruption that's dominated Harrison for so long.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Unending Devotion, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

I enjoyed this book very  much. It has so many parallels to today's awareness among Christian women activists to pay attention to the sex slave trade--and do what we can to help women both here and in other countries to break free from having to sell their bodies for money--which takes on many forms in our country. {I say "women activists" because the women I read who discuss this with concern, are activists. So should we all be, in our own ways.}

I could understand Lily's struggle of her changing feelings for Connell, and being afraid of turning into a loose woman like the women she rescues. I think it's a struggle many modern women will also relate to--especially in our sex-pervasive culture.

Overall, a good read which I recommend to those who enjoy historical fiction with modern parallels.

I was given a copy of the novel from CFBA as a part of this tour, to offer my opinion about the book. I will now be donating my copy to a basket that will be a part of a silent auction to raise money for a snowmachine (that's a hearty Alaskan snowmobile) for a mission school in Galena, Alaska.

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...