Saturday, February 28, 2009

What we'll be singing tomorrow

Wilt thou forgive that sin, where I begun,
which is my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive those sins through which I run,
and do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou has done, thou has not done, for I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin, by which I won
others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
a year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When thou has done, thou hast not done, for I have more.

I have a sin of fear that when I’ve spun
my last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
Swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore.
And having done, that thou hast done, I fear no more.
-John Donne (1573-1631)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

A note of clarification
It occurred to me, after several days, that I ought to add a point of clarification to the second point of this post. Particularly, I wanted to clarify that I don't indulge in this vice in front of my children, indeed, I believe many of you were surprised that I might indulge in it at all. No, profanity is something I've coddled away to those quiet hours of the night, when, a cat on each side, a large cup of hot milk in hand, a novel on the cover before me, and a husband with an open ear, I say, rather easily, what I really think. The trouble is, its been too easy, in light of our current circumstances, and I feel that my command of the English language is diminishing and that I need to be more creative.

Hearty Lenten Pasta
cabbage, broccoli, onion, garlic, all in a pan with butter until melting and delicious, then add feta, cream and whole grain penne, cooked perfectly. Delicious.

A Compliment
Aloicious gazing at me lovingly from behind his milk, "Mommy, when you come get me from Tachees, and you get out of the car and smile, you look really nice."

A cat once lost, is found

Here is Bander the cat, pictured as he was in the old house. He looks exactly the same, and so does the pillow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Can anyone suggest to me how to get cat pee out of a mattress? Or is this the time to buy a new one?

A Day of Silent Prayer

I've completely lost my voice. I don't know that this has ever happened before. I really can't speak above a whisper. Its most disconcerting. I think what finally did me in was trying to sing the history song for CC (week 17, as those who care might want to know) which happens to be one of my favorites. I got excited and over extended myself.

Speaking instead of me is Gladys, who is currently singing (loudly) 'Yeasssss Jeeesss' and doing a hand motion that possibly looks like the one for Jesus. It occurs to me that she is trying to sing Jesus loves me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Having been pregnant for the last few lents and counted that alone as a discipline and trial enough, I thought I'd take this year as an opportunity to do three things

1. Give up sugar, because I'm starting to eat it all the time, something I never generally do, and I think its because I'm stressed, and so I'm going to stop it.
2. Give up swearing. Many of you perhaps don't know this small secret indulgence of mine. I think this is going to be the hardest.
3. Say Compline every evening that I reasonably can.

On that note, I'm going to go do that now, instead of anything else.

Monday, February 23, 2009

On the occason of havng our cat back or What's been So Amazng about you all

You can see that am typng on my lap top and have no ''s and no 's. went back and cut them all n t would tae hours, so 've only done a few.

So as you all now, we've been prayng for our cat rather desperately from the moment he went mssng. And we've gone back over the day and wee over and over n our mnds, tryng to fgure out what happened and what we ought to have done dfferently. We've worred, we've confessed our sns, and we've prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed for ths cat.

ts an nterestng exercse, prayer and belef. Of course, we now perfectly well that God can do whatever he wants, even and ncludng worng n the heart and mnd of a very scared and unreasonable anmal to move hm to do what he ought to do and go home. We see God's mracles all the tme around us, but when t comes down to the wre, ts been very hard for me to beleve that he would Want to brng my cat home, that he mght be worng out hs perfect wll and purpose n our lves every moment, not just sprtually, but n the smallest physcal detals of lfe.

ts very foolish of me to doubt and not believe. As consider the care God too n brngng us here, when we could not see one step n front of another; the way he used friends, Christan community, our circumstances-everything-to care for us, provide for us, show us hs love. t has felt every day that he was pourng us out le water or a drn offerng, that we were beng splled out of hs cup nto the world n a most sudden and dscomftng way. And Yet, the cup never empted out. We have been blessed over and above what we could even have magned.

The wee we paced up, every day surprsng numbers of peope came and dove n. The people who welcomed us to Good Sheperd when we frst came, came that Monday and carefully and methodcally paced up all our chna and crystal. Romulus' wonderful Manou came every day n the mornng and cleaned and paced and dd laundry. Another wonderful frend too our laundry away and brought t bac clean for two wees. Frends from CC brought meals, too the olderds to do revew, and were so helpful on the days we went to CC n the mdst of all the chaos. The two days we actually moved, most of the men's Bble study, and some sterlng men from the Shepherd's Bowl wored n unbeleveable btter cold cheerfully and gracously, and Quly. One wee exactly from loosng the sut, we slept n the new house. Meals have shown up on our doorstep unannounced. Frends have come and helped clean and unpac

Saturday, February 21, 2009

God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love

We found our kitty. He was hiding in the old house. Finally, by going at the basement wall a little, we were able to pet and coax him out. I'm so so grateful to God. And very grateful to the people with dio CNY who were gracious enough to call us and let us into the house and help us get him out. He is a little thin, and he is currently hiding somewhere in this house, but he's home. Thank you all so much for praying.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Seven Quick Takes, but not really

I'm in no way organized enough to actually do Jen's 7 quick takes and get in on all the linking, but I thought I'd do it anyway.

Romulus moved into the 'big boy' bottom bunk, and Aloisius moved into the 'big boy' top bunk and I got ALL the boxes empty and out of their room. They're so cute, with all their bears, grinning sheepishly. I'm practically suckered into having more of them. On one hand, four seems like So Many, and on the other hand, it doesn't seem like quite enough. Hmmm.
Gladys has a horrible cold and fever. I've been holding her all day. The brief moment I put her down, Romulus grabbed her hand, thrust his plastic sword into the air and said 'MY GLADYS'. Later he pointed his sword at Aloisius and said, 'MY MOMMY'. Even later he shouted at his own father and said 'MY WOMAN'. Arguments ensued each time.
Starting seriously to do school again after such a long break and so much chaos is really tough. The insane playing that seems to go on every day, the mad crazy high pitched manner in which my children engage to play with each other is very hard to tamp down and gather into focus. Plus they are So Wiggly which drives me crazy. However, we're starting to get back into the groove. A little more each day. Inch by inch. Blend by blend.
I really miss my (or rather, my mother's) cat and pray for him all day long.
I also wish One of our mothers would come visit us. Because then, I'm pretty sure, everything will fall into place and it will feel totally like home.
Doing the bulletin, in this very comfortable and cozy office, copier at my side, children sprawled all over the floor, thimbleful of wine in hand, makes me feel, frankly, euphoric.
Matt is going to make brusslesprouts this weekend. Nothing more needs to be said.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Uncommonly Cold, Uncommonly Tired

Due to Elphine being wonderful and having her picture on tv (which, unfortunately, seems not to be posted, boo), we visited the Discovery Center (Children's Museum) today with friends, and the rest of the town of Binghamton as well it seemed. A hyper pitched insanely wild good time was had by all. Its as if my chidlren never go anywhere and see no one (which is not true) they were so ecstatic. We had a long discussion about a 'thankful response' versus a 'whiney when can we go again' when it was all over.

Now I'm crashing into bed because they actually completely wore me out. Oh, and my blankity blank camera had some kind of 'issue' and refused to work, Even Though I had remembered to take it. So there are no pictures. You'll just have to imagine the fever pitch for yourselves.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Round and Round We Go

I've been seriously inhibited in doing the second part of this post, about how Wonderful and Amazing our friends, family and church family have been in the last month, by the fact that I've been actually trying to write proper thank you notes, and so have been conserving my writing energy to attend to that giant endeavor. Unfortunately, I' m not doing a good job. In fact, while I've written a few notes, I have not been able to seem to put addresses on them and send them. And then there's the long list, of course, that I haven't written. I'm caught in that awful place of not doing my duty on either side-writing here or writing there.

Which is really where I find myself so much of the time now. I flit from one thing to another, never finishing anything, starting a thousand things, unfocused, overwhelmed, and guilty. 'Oh' said Matt yesterday, 'You're that woman.'
'What woman?!'
'That woman I preached about three years ago. I thought it was someone else but it appears to be you.'
'What woman?!'
'That woman who starts to vacuum the house, looks up and sees that the laundry isn't done, stops vacuuming to do laundry, sees that the beds aren't made, stops doing laundry to make the beds, sees the bathrooms need to be cleaned, stops making beds to clean the bathrooms. So finally at the end of the day, the house is in more of a wreck than when she started.'
'You're right! I'm going in circles' I said.

I wasn't always this person. I've probably always tended toward it, but crisis brings out both the best and the worst in us, and in this case, we have So Much Stuff, and so many little things in life have piled up, and then I wrecked the car, and we're a touch behind in school (to make the understatement of the century), that I feel to myself that I'm going in circles.

I can vaguely see light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually spring will come and we'll be able to bear being out in the garage looking for all the things we want. And hopefully by then we will have lived without them so long we won't want them any more and will be able sell them, or give them away. And we're gradually falling into a routine. And I'm slowly beginning to feel comfy in this house. I'm not thinking constantly about the door handles in the old one, and the way the light would stream through the window in the morning, and that certain cobweb over the piano that I always meant to sweep down but never did. My minds eye has slowly been turning to imagine what color the dining room ought to be, and whether we should keep a lot of things in the hallway, or nothing at all. And just now the snow is seriously pouring heavily out of the sky, so I will go and have another whack at those notes, and help Elphine and Alouiscious think of possible clubs to start-a Castle Club, a Book Making Club, A Picnic Club, a Girls Club With No Boys Allowed, or a Coloring Club. I think those were the options. My suggestion of a Memory Work and Reading Club did not fly. Oh well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shameless Bragging

Elphine, to the delight of us all, has won a weather coloring contest. Her picture will be shown on the local channel 34 news on Thursday both in the early morning, 6:30, and in the evening, 6. What a triumph.

For those of you who might need it

I coerced Micah, our youth minister, into working out a song for John 1:1-7 in Latin as a help to us since we've been struggling with it. Feel free to make use of it as you need.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Download "" in MP3 format

Onwards and Upwards

Elphine is making all the beds and everybody else is whining, so I thought I would blog. But as usual, after a busy weekend and a busy week ahead, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything to write about. Basically we do so much of the same things over and over, I'm pretty sure eventually ya'll will get bored. And I'm not at a point, yet, in life, where I can read interesting things and write about them, which would be so edifying for all of us.

I will say that I'm Super Excited about how God has moved and all that he's done and about the new people that are coming to church weekly. It astounds me that we continue to have visitors (people just walking in off the street) in the midst of a big move. Yesterday was technically a 'low' Sunday, given that this week is a school holiday and a lot of people had gone out of town, and we still had 95. A year ago, if you had told me that a 'low' Sunday would involve 95 people bothering to get up and get dressed and come to church and then be cheerful about it, I would have seriously laughed and scoffed and said something unnecessarily sarcastic.

And on top of so much grace and blessing and good things, Matt's cousin, Anne (doesn't she have a beautiful name?) came to be with us for the weekend with her lovely dog, Meesha. I feel all ebullient and christian mushy about the good time we had so I'll spare you, otherwise it would be one long exclamation point. She's such an interesting person and we can't wait for her to come back. Especially Elphine, who wept and wept at her departure.

Alright, its 10am, I need to make some serious breakfast-probably eggs and toast and CC review. And then Matt and I will argue about Who ought to preach at the funeral tomorrow. I think it should definitely be him, and I invite your comments here in support of that thought.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Matt's been on my case to link these photos. Aren't they lovely? And he also wanted to know why I haven't been blogging. And the reason is.............there is no reason. I'm just So I'm going to bed. Good Night.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Little Fuel for a Fire

I really enjoyed this post this morning.

It brought to my attention how well Matt and I work together, and how much he depends on me for, well, lots. I'm not very good at the matching socks and ironed shirts part, but I am able to pick up the slack on pastoral care, when he needs it, or preaching, or liturgy-all, as you know, related to his job. And it IS true that an orderly home is easier for him for all of us. I know its totally counter cultural, but we can't all put ourselves first all the time, and so I highly recommend, for any woman considering it, putting your husband before yourself (after God, of course).

That's all, I'm really supposed to be working on my quarterly report.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Given that I don't have time for anything, and because I don't have speakers so I can't really play Geo Challenge on Facebook, I'm wasting my evening trying to twitter.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What's Been Amazing

As I said before, its been in my mind some time to write both about what's been really difficult and what's been amazing. Each day, depending on my mood at the time, I've vaguely dabbled at both, but so far today things look a little more cheerful, so that's the direction I'll head.

What's Been Amazing about God
He is Sovereign and his timing is perfect.
A year ago, about the time Gladys was born, God saw fit to put in order our distracted and messy finances. He did this so effectively and miraculously that we were able (by his sovereign grace) to go to Jerusalem in June. We were also able to afford to home school this year with CC which was provided some small structure in the midst of chaos.

This is a bitter and gracious pill to swallow. We've not been under any illusions about the nature of this battle. In 2003, sitting rosily and comfortably on the River Walk in San Antonio, reading with horror the events of GC2003, hitting refresh on T19 every few minutes, we knew clearly and unmistakably that it was the breakup of the church, even our own small corner church, and possibly the loss of our job. And each step that we've taken, sometimes in the dark, sometimes in waveringly dim light, the possibility of loss was as clear as the Gospel itself, bright and clear as the love of Jesus guarding us, moving us forward, protecting us.

I'll be honest, I've always been horribly afraid of this move. I've put all kinds of conditions around it-Please God, let me have this baby. Please God, let me get through the Easter Vigil. Please, God, let my kids be --this old. And finally, PLEASE GOD, let me just do this next 12 weeks of CC In This House, in this school room, in this light, in this order. My prayers became more fervent, every day, because I knew, in the depths of my soul, that God had the power to make me move any time, and that probably it was going to be in these 12 weeks. I don't know how I knew. I didn't have any proof. I just had a sneaking suspicion, one that proved to be Right On.

So my 'worst fears' were realized. But, God is gracious and sovereign and his timing is perfect. And in this case, it meant that we spent a beautiful fall seriously schooling and enjoying life. We went apple picking.

We went to the Opera to see the Three Little Pigs. We went often to the library.
We celebrated Gladys' birthday.

We went trick or treating.

We did hours of work around the kitchen table eating muffins and drinking tea all the time. And then we wrapped it all up with a lavish Thanksgiving Dinner and a week with Matt's parents who (and it still makes me cry to think about it) in amazing gracious generosity and love, gave us their car. The second night they were with us, Matt's dad handed Matt the keys and told us to put all our car seats in it. Matt, not understanding at all, went off to do it and then came back in amazement. The gift of this amazing car (which has heated seats, and which fits us all and is, yes, the car I crashed last week) allowed us to go all together to Chicago to see the birth of the new Province.

After Thanksgiving we took December off from formal school and played and practiced the Christmas Pageant and read books. And finally we celebrated a beautifully heartbreaking Christmas together.

And then, praying as you remember, all the time, I put my school room in order, started school, went to lunch with my friend, and came home to find that the ax was at the root of the tree and we had to get out, Now. So we did. And here we are, three weeks later, really only mourning our kitty, comfortable, warm, starting to pick back up to school, playing knights and princess, cooking, writing and getting back to life.
God is sovereign and his timing is perfect.

Later Part Two:
What's Been Amazing about our Friends and Family

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Superbowl Sunday

Matt rustled up a TV so we can watch the Superbowl. After kind of a rough few weeks, we're sitting here Very comfortably arguing about whether or not to leave said TV in the living room. Its one of our favorite arguments, and depending on the state of things, we frequently switch sides in the middle.

Adding to the warm glow was the gift of an Amazing Ham by a local nun. And when I say Amazing, I mean butter-like, bone in, perfect crust.

And 112 people came to church this morning! Had we not roped off fully half of the church, it would have felt disappointingly small (the church seats 400), but because everyone clustered up at the front, it felt packed, because it was.

Let's just be frank, its a Beautiful Church. The light is lovely, the wood work is lovely, the acoustics are lovely. God is so amazing.

In the coming days I hope to finally get to that long lost tag, and also to write two list like posts-one on What's been Really Tough, and one on What's Been Really Amazing.