Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kitchen organization.

Six and a half weeks until I get to marry this boy.

I am a little bit obsessed with the Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn blogs currently...

I just came across this post on The Kitchn:
"Discover the Kitchen Style for Your Meyers-Briggs Personality Type!"

Ben, ISTJ:

"You in a nutshell: Responsible, neat, and orderly. You love systems and rules. 

Your kitchen style is Restaurant-Inspired. You have no use for frivolous things in the kitchen. Everything should be totally functional, and if it doesn't serve a purpose, out it goes! Like this restaurant kitchen, you prefer stainless steel countertops, which are easy to clean, and everything within easy reach."

Emily, ENFP: 

"You in a nutshell: Curious, talkative, and aspirational. 

Your kitchen style is Bohemian. You have a strong artistic side, and love a cozy, carefree kitchen with plenty of colorful tea towels, throw rugs, fresh flowers, and artwork — whatever strikes your fancy! It's not clutter, it's personality!"

Ah, well. We'll compromise. 

Let the grand adventures begin!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When happiness and wonder meet.

doubled by

-G.K. Chesterton

to wonder...
to be filled with amazement, awe, or astonishment,
as at something surprising or extraordinary.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. By this recipe for gratitude, then I am the most grateful person ever,

because I've never been happier,
and I still can not believe it...
I'm in love with the kindest and best person I know, and he's in love with me,
and we're getting married and going to make a home and a family together.

Forgive the sappiness. It is written in full sincerity.

Right now is a very, very lovely and joyful time for me,

and I don't want to forget for one minute to be grateful for the wonder and happiness of this season.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

-psalm 126.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This momentary gift.

"Let it be heralded with joy:...

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically;
it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church.
Knowing Christ is more important than making a living.
Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children.
Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of marital success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity.

...Life is precarious, and even if it is long by human standards, it is short.
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1).

So it is with marriage.
It is a momentary gift.

It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon.
Either way, it is short.

It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds...
But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be,
no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way.
Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed.
The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.

Very soon the shadow will give way to Reality.
The partial will pass into the Perfect.
The foretaste will lead to the Banquet.
The troubled path will end in Paradise.
A hundred candle-lit evenings will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lamb. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life.

Christ will be all and in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete.

To that end may God give us eyes to see what matters most in this life...
And may that Treasure so satisfy our souls...
that the marriage-watching world be captivated by
the covenant-keeping love of Christ."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Advent is for waiting.

"Waiting is essential to the spiritual life.
But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting.
It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts
that makes already present what we wait for.
We are always waiting,
but we are waiting in the conviction
that we have already seen God's footsteps.

Waiting for God is an active, alert-
yes, joyful!-

When we wait in expectation,
our whole beings are open to be surprised by joy.

It is this joyful expectation of God's coming
that offers vitality to our lives."

-Henri Nouwen

This joyful expectation.

So much joy in these days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Costume Party.

This was my third fall sewing Halloween costumes for my friends' little ones (who are also my friends!)...

always a highlight of my year...

But this year had the extra help
of a most helpful, patient, and ever long-suffering model.

You know you have a keeper when.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

(*just begun and so not fully developed; imperfectly formed.)

"...The surgeon is... a grim man,
impatient with unlabeled brands of inchoate* faith.

In his view, a man should know his craft,
so that a smith should know his forge,
a farmer his plow, and a chaplain his creed.
He has made plain his disregard for me and my ministry.
The first time I preached to the company,
he observed that in his view a sermon that did not dwell on damnation
was scant service to men daily facing death,
and that if he wanted to hear a love poem
he would apply to his wife."

-from March, by Geraldine Brooks;
a book based on the unknown life at war of the father character from my beloved Little Women.

I found this description(-through-counterexample, I suppose)
of faith
provocative and resonant.

Inchoate faith...
faith that is not fully developed, still imperfectly formed.
Doesn't sound so terrible to me.
Lots of room for mystery and grace?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

.perhaps we know a dozen, maybe two.

"God does ten thousand things
in every deed.

Perhaps we know a dozen,
maybe two.

But not enough to judge before He's through."

-John Piper

i have mixed feelings about John Piper,
but ever since i first heard this quote,
i've loved it and seen the truth in it.

lately it has been echoing in my head and heart more true every day;

all the crazy ways things have been woven
that i never could have imagined,
making me laugh and marvel and repent and give thanks.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Aslan," said Lucy, "You're bigger."

"That is because you are, little one," answered He.

"Not because you are?"

"I am not.

But every year you grow, you will find Me bigger."


I love that reading aloud to each other has been a part of Ben's and my relationship since our very first date, the one neither of us was sure was a date. We're working our way through The Chronicles of Narnia, which to my shame I had never read past The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I can't get enough- I love every one more than the one before.


I have no idea why I haven't written much in months. It's been a rich season, for sure (see above), but I don't think that's why I haven't. I miss it, and the deeper reflecting writing can lead me to. I hope to do more this fall.


This is a way late update, but: Matt and Mitch got married. It was the best.

...loving Smitten Kitchen's pumpkin muffins (three times this fall so far);
I double the pumpkin pie spice and put in a full 15 oz can of pumpkin instead of just one cup. Especially amazing with a simple maple-cream cheese frosting.

my quote wall makes me happy.

what happens when you leave your car door unlocked in a small town:
you get back to find someone left you $20.

Saturday morning six-year-old soccer games.

She had a surprise for us. It was... her pink toothbrush!!




He is looking bigger to me, this year.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the trembling thought.

...for Thou hast stirred the trembling thought
that man is not alone.

-from this,

Monday, July 28, 2014

To affirm means to declare the truth of something, and to offer support and encouragement.

 My pastor and friend, Gregg Koskela, wrote and shared this on his blog this week. Of all of the millions of words written by Christians on gay marriage, I'm not sure I've read anything I love more.

It is good to name what we do affirm.

"We are in unity and we affirm our love for persons who identify as LGBTQ (both in and out of [our community].)

We are in unity and we affirm that all people, including those who identify as LGBTQ, are made in God’s image and can hear and respond to the Holy Spirit, the Light within.

We are in unity and we affirm that sexual intimacy is a gift of God, both for procreation and to build and sustain bonds of mutual love and respect between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship.

Where Friends are in disagreement is in our understanding of God’s direction for how sexual intimacy should be practiced outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Some among us believe the Bible and the historic church clearly teach celibacy for those who are not in a heterosexual marriage. Some among us believe the Spirit’s leading and the Bible allow sexual intimacy to be practiced in a committed marriage, regardless of gender.

We acknowledge the extreme difficulty of a life of celibacy, and affirm that it is possible only through God’s sustaining power.  We acknowledge the difficulty involved when a largely heterosexual group interprets God’s will for those in the sexual minority.

So as we wait for God’s Spirit to bring us to unity, we also wish to humble ourselves before God in confession and repentance.

We confess that in the past and the present, our words and actions have not always matched our professed love for persons who identify as LGBTQ. We repent of this, and we ask forgiveness from those who have been hurt.

We confess that we have not always upheld the value of the person as we have condemned certain sexual behaviors. We repent of this, and we ask forgiveness from those who have been hurt.

We confess that we have not always obeyed Jesus’ command to be like the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). We have walked on the other side of the road as LGBTQ persons have died of AIDS, been bullied, harassed, abused, murdered, and committed suicide. We repent of this, and we ask forgiveness.

Have mercy, Lord Jesus."

I chose not to bold anything because I wanted everyone who read it to notice what they would notice. Here are some of the statements that stood out to me the most:

"We are in unity and we affirm that all people, including those who identify as LGBTQ, are made in God’s image and can hear and respond to the Holy Spirit, the Light within."

"We acknowledge the difficulty involved when a largely heterosexual group interprets God’s will for those in the sexual minority."

"We also wish to humble ourselves before God." 

"We have walked on the other side of the road as LGBTQ persons have died of AIDS, been bullied, harassed, abused, murdered, and committed suicide." 

"Have mercy, Lord Jesus." 

(I wrote some on this here.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Set down here precisely.

all quotes from this.

"I praise each day splintered down,
splintered down and wrapped in time like a husk,
a husk of many colors spreading,
at dawn fast over the mountains split."

"If the Greeks had looked at Mount Baker all day,
their large and honest art would have broken,
and they would have gone fishing,
as these people do."

"'Teach me Thy ways, O Lord'
is, like all prayers,
a rash one..."

"All day long I feel created.
I can see the blown dust on the skin on the back of my hand,
the tiny trapezoids of chipped clay, moistened and breathed alive.
There are some created sheep in the pasture below me,
sheep set down here precisely,
just touching their blue shadows hoof to hoof on the grass.
Created gulls pock the air, rip great curved seams in the settled air;
I greet my created meal, amazed."

"Had she been new, or old?
Had she mated and laid her eggs,
had she done her work?"

"Of itself it is nothing,
but the view,
as they say,
is good."

"Is this the only final beauty:
the color of any skin in any light
and living, human eyes?"

"You spill your breath.
Nothing holds;
the whole show rolls."

"...all the landscape's occasions,
to all its weathers, colors and lights."

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.