Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holy Sonnet

I prayed some of these lines for a non-believer today.

This was my prayer: "Batter her heart, three-personed God. Take her to you, imprison her, for she, except you enthrall her never shall be free, nor ever chaste, except you ravish her."

I love this sonnet.

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mom in a Day

I think this is just as funny, every single time I've seen it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Timing is Off

This clock was a wedding gift, and I just noticed it's error - 14 years later.

Christmas for Real

There's nothing like Neil Diamond singing "Joy to the World".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guardians of Time

Here is a thought-provoking, challenging and extremely helpful post on guarding our children's time and raising them to be worshippers of God. Thanks to the husband for forwarding this one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Excerpts: The Autobiography of Mark Twain

"When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it."

Chapter 1, The Autobiography of Mark Twain, edited by Charles Neider

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Excerpts: Surprised By Joy

"You may add that in the hive and in the anthill we see fully realized the two things that some of us most dread for our own species -- the dominance of the female and the dominance of the collective."

Surprised By Joy, chapter 1, C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Which Word?

I had to choose tonight between 2 words:

Hullaballoo and Brouhaha

It was a tough choice.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Finished: The Sea of Monsters

John? When's the next one coming? John? Hello? Are you out there? I want to keep reading.

The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finished: Surprised By Joy

I actually found this book difficult to read, with all of the literary allusions and philosophical meanderings. I did enjoy it, however, but would only commend it to a certain type of person.

I did like the picture of being pulled into God...such irresistible grace.

Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, C.S. Lewis

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Are 4 pieces of bacon too many to put on my salad? If so, I can just eat one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nutty Bars

Those Little Debbie Nutty Bars I bought on a whim at BJ's? What was I thinking? They are TERRIBLE for you! I can't give them to the kids as a treat. I'll just have to eat them myself.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Finished: Robinson Crusoe

I know this book has wonderful insights and value to it, but here are my two thoughts:

1. What!? No chapter breaks?

2. I thought his guy Friday was a main character. He doesn't show up until over half the book is through!

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finished: The Lightning Thief

A terrific middle school book by Rick Riordan, this has just the right mix of Greek mythology and modern day life to make a good read. John - pass on the rest of the series to me, will you?

This is much better than the movie (of course). Percy Jackson and the Olympians are seemingly challenged, ADHD, dyslexic kids who are actually offspring of gods and mortals. An interesting way to explain dyslexia...their brains are hard-wired for Greek, which they can read just fine.

I know my son will like these books when he gets a bit older.

The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Great Physician

One stanza of a myriad, by George Herbert.

Now heal thyself, Physician; now come down.
Alas! I do so, when I left my crown
And Father's smile for you, to feel his frown:
Was ever grief like mine?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just For Laughs

This is the kind of thing I find hysterical! Catalog Living.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Talk to the Man

When you're in the grocery store, make sure you stop and chat with the Herrs' man if he's stocking the shelves. He's got coupons in his pocket!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On My Towel

Always looking for good reading material in the bathroom, I resorted to reading the tag on the hand towel. I thought I'd pass along the very interesting information that it contained.

"Machine Wash Warm. Tumble Dry. Wash Dark Colors Separately and Before Using. Do Not Bleach. Avoid Contact With Medication Containing Benzoyl Peroxide."

Friday, August 20, 2010


It's really hard to find a used car these days. Everything is pre-owned.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finished: The Wrecker

True to Clive Cussler, The Wrecker was Tom Clancy on sedatives. I say that because while Clive is somewhat enjoyable as a story-teller, and knows his "train talk", he doesn't compare in his ability to come up with as complicated and marvelous of a plot.

An easy read.

The Wrecker, Clive Cussler

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finished: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

A far cry from the other book I just finished!

This was highly recommended to me by someone who doesn't know me well and referred to me to form an opinion by someone who does.


And that's all I have to say about it.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finished: Anne Bradstreet Pilgrim and Poet

It is always an encouragement and a discouragement to me to read of godly women, their trials, and their response.

Anne Bradstreet is no exception.

Bearing severe trials, she constantly put her eyes back onto Christ. I want to be that way. I desire to have nothing but a God-ward look when I am pressed to disbelieve or despair. But in reading her life and her poetry, I realize that her godliness is not separate from her sin. She is so real about her struggles and temptations. Similar to King David, she lays out her fears and through her pen-song, is brought to an ever-increasing trust in her Saviour.

A pilgrim I, on earth perplexed
with sins, with cares, with sorrows vexed,
by age and pains brought to decay,
and my clay house mould'ring away.
Oh, how I long to be at rest,
and soar on high among the blest!

Mine eyes no more shall ever weep,
no fainting fits shall me assail,
nor grinding pains my body frail;
with cares and fears ne'er cumbered be
nor losses know, nor sorrows see.

And when a few years shall be gone,
this mortal shall be clothed upon...
in weakness and dishonour sown,
in power 'tis raised by Christ alone.

Lord, make me ready for that day,
Then come, dear Bridegroom, come away.

Anne Bradstreet: Pilgrim and Poet, Faith Cook

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Target Practice

I guess this product is why Target is called Target.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finished: Our Mutual Friend

You know, if you give a character the name Eugene and make him dispicable, it doesn't really matter what happens in the end, does it?

This is a definite read-again, as I believe all Dickens are. Love the characters, love to hate the characters, love to see how they carry on together or destroy one another...

Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Forecast

I suppose if you're from Mercury, 87 degrees may be considered colder.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finished: Fahrenheit 451

A good point made in this novel...

Toward the end, the main character is told he is Ecclesiastes. In other words, he is the one that carries it around in his head, so he is classified as the carrier of that book. Aren't we, as Christians, to become the words that we read in Scripture? If we carry God's Word in our heads and in our hearts, then they should change us. We should become known by the Word imprinted upon us.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Excerpts: Seeing With New Eyes

"Those you counsel must know that God is gracious. They must receive and depend on real grace. No one can truly change who does not know and rely on gifts from the hand of the Lord. Since Christ is both Giver and Gift, attempts to change without grace are barren of the very purpose, power, and Person that change is about. Self-manufactured changes do not dislodge almighty me from the center of my tiny self-manufactured universe. Still in the futility of my mind and the hardness of my heart, I only act a bit different. Successful living without grace describes mere self-reformation: get your act together, save your marriage, get off your duff and get a job. Failure in living describes failed self-efforts: when you can't get a grip, you despair. Christless, grace-less attempts at change conclude either with the praise of your own glory or with your shame."

Seeing With New Eyes, David Powlison, Chapter 2, p 48

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Successful Parenting

Ed Welch of CCEF posted this the other day, and I found it encouraging. Well, as encouraging as something can be when you realize that you haven't "arrived".

I was challenged in contemplating the question, "What are you learning about Jesus?"

What am I learning about Jesus?

And if I can't come up with something, then get in the Word!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finished: Pudd'nhead Wilson

Entertaining Mark Twain. Wouldn't read it again, but glad I read it once. I'll hang on to it.

Pudd'nhead Wilson, Mark Twain

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finished: Moll Flanders

Weird. A book purporting to be against immorality by revealing the (successful!) life of an immoral woman and her supposed redemption.

Interesting. Not really worth an additional read.

Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Word Derivation

While I know that nettoyant pour le corps means body wash (it says so on the bottle), I can't help thinking every time I see it that it means soap for dead people.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finished: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

You know, I always thought that 20,000 leagues was a measurement of depth, but through my (third!) reading of the book, I realized that it is the measurement of distance travelled under the sea.

I really, really like this book: the time it was written coupled with the technology foreseen...add to that the remembrance of the DisneyWorld ride when I was in 5th grade, and the mysterious Captain Nemo, and add to that the compelling plot, the mysteries of the deep...

I'll keep picking this up every few years and reading it again.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bird Song

Normally background noise with their twitters, cheeps and chirps, I understood the birds I sat outside while dawn broke this Resurrection morning.

Alto started, Cardinal constant in Cheerfulness. Bass resonated, Dove full of Sorrow, unmatched in his Grief. Soprano joined with her descant, Chickadee with reminders of Hope. Tenor, it seemed, had forgotten his part.

It was fully morning. The dawn had broken. The birds went back to their twittering.

Yet Tenor had not forgotten, was not late, as Owl, when all was silent for a moment, reverberated his part, declaring Truth.

The choir was joined by a part not written, a rogue line in the music, Flicker mocking.

Then all was silent.

I waited for Owl to reverberate Truth. I waited, knowing that Truth was the answer, the next line. But Owl was silent.

Instead, after the mocker, Grief came again, Dove resonating.

And they began their song anew.

Joy. Sorrow. Hope. Truth.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Search Me, O God

In self-righteousness, I protest, "But what about all those other things that I do?"

This in response to, "Why didn't you remember to do this? And how could you forget to do that? And that other thing...I can't believe you didn't do it!"

The bottom line is that those things that I have been "called out on"...the things I didn't do...I should have done. Self-righteousness has no place protesting against neglecting to exhibit love and gratitude. While I recognize that I cannot do it all, surely there are things that I overlook or neglect that are to my shame when I do not do them.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. " Psalm 139:23-24

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Timely Link

In the midst of conversations about contentment, paying for children's college educations and adoption, this post covers it all. Even boob jobs. (Her words, not mine.)

Please read it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Brilliant Marketing Campaign?

"A Chicago area urology practice is promoting vasectomies by informing potential patients that if they get the procedure done right before March Madness, that they’ll be able to stay at home for a few days to recover and watch some of the games uninterrupted reports the Southtown Star." (read more)

So, is this a strategic marketing campaign? After all, most men don't require an excuse to sit down and watch a series of games on TV. This just gives them an added incentive to be able to do so under doctor's orders. And on the surface, I think it sounds like an absolutely brilliant marketing campaign.

But is there a hidden agenda? Is it an attempt to sterilize our male population? I mean, can a guy just walk into the doctor, say "Hey, sign me up" and there's no further discussion about it? Are there any questions asked, protocols followed other than a few waivers and consents signed? I am sure the answer to this question varies by doctor.

And the procedure is reversible. In that sense, it isn't a permanent sterilization, should someone change his mind. But does the procedure enable more activity with less consequences? Would mass sterilization of our male population actually be of benefit, or would we find it leading to even further depths of immorality? Does marketing vasectomies in this manner trivialize the procedure into something to be done on a whim, with no consideration of the consequences?

You know, there are times when I should ask myself, "Is the kitchen clean yet?" And then I should go clean it. This may be one of those times.

Check This Out!

My sister opened an Etsy shop, that you simply must visit, just because it looks so nice!

Go see kassiescreations.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Glad I Read That

The back of my deodorant container caught my eye this morning.

Directions: Put on underarms only.

I was just getting ready to smear some on my head. Good thing I can read.

Monday, February 22, 2010

For My Own Contemplation

I was interested in this article in Newsweek about antidepressants, that poses an interesting dilemma. Posting it here for contemplation.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Andree Seu has some great thoughts on integrity today at Here's a taste:

"I want to be a person of “integrity,” not of spare parts hanging out all over the place that need to be constantly tucked back in, like Scarecrow stuffing his shirt in The Wizard of Oz."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'll Show You My High Beams!

It was a dark, dark night. I was driving home from church. The car coming toward me had the audacity to flash his high beams at me.

"You wanna see high beams? I"ll show you high beams." And I flicked my lights back at him.

I pulled up to the traffic light, wondering why people felt it so important to flash beams at people when they were annoyed by the intensity of the lights. I mean, can't we just let things go? So you had a moment of discomfort when my bright lights hit your eyes.

Then the light struck me. There were no beams coming from my car. My headlights weren't on.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Excerpts: A Quest for More

"It is possible for us to profess allegiance to the big kingdom and yet, in our daily choices, be fighting for the success of the kingdom of one.

...there is grace for this battle! In the person and work of Jesus Christ, God has made ample provision for you and me as we live with kingdoms in conflict. His grace blows a hole in your self-contained kingdom, and in his redemptive love he reaches in and pulls you our, again and again."

A Quest for More, Paul David Tripp, pp 66, 68

I just love that visual. God's grace blowing a hole in my self-constructed wall and His great arm of mercy reaching in and plucking me out!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finished: Debt of Honor

I picked this up at a book sale, not realizing that it was already in my basement and I had already read it. No matter. Enjoyed it again. (How could you not enjoy espionage, national security and "Get me the President!"?)

Spoiler: Jack-boy becomes president. Didn't we know that from the very first Clancy book?

Debt of Honor, Tom Clancy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Finished: The Possessed

What a terribly depressing book! I loved it! However, because pretty much everyone dies in the end, I've decided to not rename my children things like "Kirilov" and "Stepan Verkhovensky". The back cover sums up the book quite well: "...the young men...combine fanaticism, treachery and self-contradiction to incite an entire town to pillage, arson and slaughter." Premise: man creates chaos to match his tortured soul.

Thank God (literally) for Christ.

The Possessed, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Friday, January 22, 2010

So Cavalier About Sin?

There are two bakeries that I pass relatively frequently: Sinfully Delicious and Sinful Delights. I find the names distracting. They do not entice me to purchase their goods at all.

The names' purposes are to allure and get you into the shop and purchase supposedly delicious baked goods. It is ok to name the stores this because it's a lie? It isn't really a sin to eat them, therefore, you can call it sinful? But then, isn't the lie a sin?

Why aren't casinos named things like "Spending in Sin" and whorehouses named "Sin and Stuff"? Why do baked goods qualify to have sin in their titles, and it's ok?

This is more a random thought...perhaps I'm overreacting a bit. But there should be great caution in how we utilize the English language. How many times (and I hear it over and over again) have you heard the phrase, "That's such a sin", but it's not referring to sin at all?

Our world does not recoginize the evil and destructive nature of the sin that dwells in us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Tongue

I was encouraged, edified and admonished (sorry, couldn't come up with another "e" word) by this post this morning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Beating Heart

As I draw closer to my midwife appointment, more and more anxiety sets in. I say to myself, "If only I could just hear the heart beat again. Then my fears will be stilled."

It occurs to me that the same thing occurs when feelings of doubt and questioning rise up within me about my spiritual life. If only I could sense that my heart was right...if only I could hear my heart beat.

Doubt and anxiety are rebellious irrational things. They rise up out of our hearts when logic defies them.

So this is why I can sing:

I lay my wants on Jesus; all fulness dwells in him;
he heals all my diseases, he doth my soul redeem:
I lay my griefs on Jesus, my burdens and my cares;
he from them all releases, he all my sorrows shares.

I rest my soul on Jesus, this weary soul of mine;
his right hand me embraces, I on his breast recline.
I love the name of Jesus, Immanuel, Christ the Lord;
like fragrance on the breezes his name abroad is poured.

stanzas 2 and 3, I Lay My Sins On Jesus, Horatius Bonar

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cultivating Thankfulness

As we teach our children to pray, we begin with simple thoughts of thanks. "Thank you for food. Thank you for dad. Thank you for peanut butter sandwiches."

I've noticed a habit in both of my older children that they continue to pray in thanks for requests. "We thank you that you would get Aunt Kristen home safely." "We thank you that you would help me sleep without a bad dream."

Perhaps it isn't quite intentional on their part, but I've learned a bit of anticipating the goodness of God in requests when they pray like that.