Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter Adventure

We thought we moved to the south. But amazingly enough, the sort of storm that came through Kentucky on Monday night is much worse than the sort I've seen living in all the northern states I've lived in, including Montana and Wisconsin! Clearly, we didn't get FEET of snow, but the amount of ice and sleet we got over the next couple days were enough to knock out the power of hundreds of thousands of people!

Including us.

I kept thinking about last fall and the power
outage we had then, and the lessons I learned in the dark. It's different this time, because it's scarier and COLD, and whole trees are still breaking because of the ice and wind. The fierceness of the stark cold outdoors reminds me of Narnia frozen by the White Witch's spell.

But I am also reminded of the awesome power of God. Here are a few pictures Josh took one morning after he walked me to work (this is before the power went out).

I also had a battle in my heart being envious of others who got days off work and school, sitting at home in their warm homes. Doesn't winter weather make you such a homebody? But I had to battle against that familiar sin, once again, remembering my rich blessings in Christ and cherishing the warm evening at home with Josh making cookies, watching a movie and watching the snow fall. Give me the grace to be content, Lord!

*** Edit: Power came back Sunday evening! We are moved back home, and I've gone back to work! It's amazing how nice it is to get back to routine. That tree in the picture above is now green and standing straight up. Louisville weather is so weird.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saving Money

So three weeks into this coupon-clipping thing and tonight I actually felt like it was worth it! You old pros will scoff at my minor savings, but in my book it was substantial enough to make it worth it. We actually got Diet Coke and kept the grocery spending under my limit! I actually figured in my head almost EXACTLY what it was going to cost before we went to the store. I showed Josh my reciept and my list with my estimated total and it was the same!

Here we are in the dairy section of Meijer:

Me: "Ooooooooooooh, I KNEW it! All the Sargento cheese is gone. It was too good of a deal." (it was on sale plus I had a coupon).

Josh: refuses to accept it's all gone. Scavenges through all the cheeses laying haphazardly in the case while I vainly reread the sale ad. "What about this? Does this count? Here's 8 oz Mozzerella."

Me: "You're my hero! YES! That counts! Okay, we need another one, because the coupon is good on 2."

We are eventually successful because a reduced fat bag has been ignored by the early-shopping hyenas because of it's lack of sale tag. HAHA! It's ours!

Here's the thing about the coupon thing. There are only 2 of us and our apartment is tiny. So there IS a limit to how much this can help, because buying in bulk is mostly unhelpful to us. If I were feeding 8 kids, then the amount I COULD spend would be huge, and the amount I COULD save would be far more. So maybe if I learn how to do this a little better, someday it will be even more useful.

Anyway, this is not about to become one of those blogs that lists all the sale prices and coupons for every grocery store in the area (others do that well and I certainly would not). HOWEVER, I do want to point out a new blog I've linked to on my sidebar, hikingfool. My friend Jason pointed his blog out, and he does a good job of pulling together lots of savings blogs in a sort of streamlined way (maybe because he's a guy, I don't know). So thanks, hikingfool, for doing some of the groundwork for me, and saving me the time I don't have surfing through all the sites I don't have time to read to pass along the best.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just Another Day at Work?

Well, not so much.

But I have a fun story I have to tell. Today the T4G guys were on campus meeting with Dr. Mohler. I was opening the door for my co-oworker who was taking out the trash and John Piper walked by me in a black stocking cap. It sort of dawned on me when I saw he was followed by the rest of the team, apparently walking over from the Legacy Center to Dr. Mohler's office.

So that was that.

10 minutes before we closed, they all came into the bookstore. This is the first time Piper has been in since I started working there, but the other guys have come in lots, so I'm used to their joviality and cheerful friendliness. Hoping Piper would be in the same sort of mood, I went back to my desk and pulled down a shelf flag (which is what you put on the shelf to tell about a book, or to show it's on sale) that I've had up by my desk since July of '07. Every month or so, we get new signs to put out to show the new sales. Every once in a while there is a typo on the price or something, but THIS time, the typo was in the title. It was advertising a sale price on the "new book by John Piper": What Jesus Demands of the Woman.

Clearly this was supposed to mean What Jesus Demands of the World. I thought it was funny, so I put it on my magnet board.

I brought it out and asked Dr. Piper when we might expect that new work to be released. He laughed loudly and said "It's WORLD! That should be WORLD! This has to be a joke."

I said "no, it's a misprint. But I think it would make a great title. Maybe your wife could pen a book with this title."

He smiled and said "can I keep this? I'm going to FRAME it."

So that's why I can't show you the shelf flag. I gave it to John Piper.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Seeing Pink and Other Sundry Matters

On Tuesday, I had my first ultrasound and found out that we are having a girl! It was amazing and sweet to be able to see the child inside me. I am 20 weeks along -- halfway! In one sense, I can't believe I'm that far along already, in another, I do feel like I've been baby-stepping along each day. Besides the sickness of the first 17 weeks (praise the Lord that has really subsided!), I have found myself stumbling along in dependence on the Lord's grace -- one day desperately aware of how much I need Him -- how weak and frail I am -- and the next day so confident in myself, that I trip again and stumble into the godlessness that manifests itself in ungratefulness, complaining and discontent. Several of you have told me that you also struggle with discontent and comparing yourself with others. Do not think I have finally beat this sin just because I blogged about it! I continue to churn in my mind -- battling the sin day after day. Your words have been encouraging to me -- we need our brothers and sisters in Christ to spur us on!

Here are some other, lighthearted pregnancy-related things I wanted to share with you (hence, other sundry matters). First, check out my friend Carrie's new blog! Hers is fun to check every day to see what she's linking to -- sort of like reading a quick magazine. Today she links to something I really need!

Wednesday night, Caitlin and Chelsea, 2 girls from my church, brought me my first gift for my baby girl -- a newborn sleeper! This is the first clothes I have for my little darling. I know girl clothes are so fun to buy (as everyone has mentioned), but I'm fighting the urge to even browse right now! I appreciate so much the kindness of the Murray girls. I can't wait until she's here so I can put it on her! I posed the picture of this sweet gift with the picture of my baby -- they gave us this little frame when we went to get our ultrasound.

I'm reading my first book on babies, and thinking about the whole issue of scheduling. Since I will be going back to work after my maternity leave, it's a MUST! My First 300 Babies is really old and pretty old-fashioned, but I like it already. I decided to read this first, and then read Babywise, which everyone tells me I should at least read "like a recipe" and take out what you want. :) Elisabeth Elliot recommends 300 Babies in her book Shaping of a Christian Family, and I'll have to let you know my final thoughts on it after I finish it off. It's pretty short, so it shouldn't take too long.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Prayer for Jill

This morning I read Psalm 42 and penned this prayer for my dear friend Jill who recently had a miscarriage. It's my prayer for my other sisters in Christ who are hurting, whose hopes have been deferred.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God."

May she preach to her own soul and find hope in th
e gospel. Give her hope in You, her Rock.

"all your breakers and your waves have gone over me."

May unspeakable peace come over her like a wave of the ocean. Surround her on every side with your love and faithfulness.

"By day the Lord commands his steadfast love
and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life."

May she be upheld by Your steadfast love all day, and may you give her Your song in the night. Sing over her with salvation. Renew her heart day by day with the blessed knowledge of your forgiveness and promised hope for the future.

Love you, friend.

Friday, January 09, 2009

My post on Genderblog!

Hey, friends, check out my post I wrote for the CBMW blog, called "Genderblog". You can find my post on books for girls (from yesterday) by clicking here. Please give the editors feedback if you have anything to say about the post -- I would really appreciate it, and so would they! Thanks so much for checking it out!

In connection with this, I'm adding a link to the post I put up in the fall of '07, when I wrote about recommended books for girls. I wrote the post for CBMW from that lengthy article. Here is the full-length version (for Elaine, I hope it helps).

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Being Discontent

For years, my biggest sin struggle has been discontentment. Mentally, I could boil it down to mainly being discontent because I was not a mom, or had to work full time, or whatever (you know and I know that the problem is not my circumstances, but stick with me here). This sin would manifest itself in my comparing myself with others, jealousy and complaining (sometimes just inside). So, imagine my foolish heart thinking that NOW that I have a baby on the way, this sin would just evaporate! You are now all saying what I've realized myself: "Yeah, RIGHT!"

Now I have NEW things to compare, NEW things to be jealous over. It's the age-old sin, with new room to breathe and new problems to encounter. I can now compare myself to other pregnant women who weren't sick, yet gained hardly any weight during their first trimester (how do you puke your guts out and GAIN 10 pounds?), or those who are farther along in their pregnancy, or those looking forward to staying at home. The green monster rears his ugly head again, and I see that killing this sin will be a life-long battle. It is certainly not over just because my circumstances have changed.

The Lord graciously reminded me of how ungrateful I have been, and how quickly I can take His blessing for granted. Tuesday night I had a very vivid bad dream. In my dream I was crying out to God and asking Him to help me trust Him. When I woke up yesterday morning, I was so shaken by my dream, and relieved that it was not real, it drove me to my quiet time with Him, where He fed and comforted my soul with His Word. It's amazing how a different Psalm each day can reflect how you are feeling!

So I see that this sin I have let lie dormant is quite alive, and I need now to re-engage in the battle. What a mental battle it is! Oh Lord, You are my portion forever, may I delight in Your will.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Great Quote

“No offence to those of you who buy all your books online, but whenever anyone asks why I invariably prefer to purchase my reading matter in a bricks-and-mortar establishment, I have one simple answer: Because I don’t want to live in a world without bookstores…”

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Years Goals

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity -- going back to work, and lots of celebrations and gatherings in the evenings and weekends, so I've just now begun to think through my goals for the new year. I finished off 2008 with relative ease and simplicity, allowing myself more sleep and ease than normal, and I think it's time I considered a few goals for 2009, to try to keep myself on track! Here is what I've come up with:

1. Thoughtfully reading through the New Testament (not straight through, but alternating epistles and narratives), reading the Psalm of the Day and spending time meditating and journaling for my daily Spiritual Discipline. I've decided not to try to do the whole Bible this year, but I think I still need some structure and an overall goal. If I finish the New Testament early, then I'll consider what to do next.

2. Choosing Carefully what books I want to read. I think I will have less time for reading as a whole this year, so I want to be very purposeful about what I read. I've just started making my list, and I'm including some parenting/child care books in there. I'm woefully behind in that category! Keeping in mind that I'm a new mom, are there any books you'd say are essential for me to read in that category?

3. Blogging once a week minimum. I've been bad about forgetting to post, or being too lazy to put together a whole idea into a post. Partly it's because I haven't read as much in the past months, so I have fewer books to write about.

4. Exersizing as often as my daily schedule allows. I know I'm too busy to find time every day, but I do really want to plan to go to the pool or for a walk as often as I can find time. Now that I'm feeling better, I've REALLY enjoyed excercising!

That's pretty much it! I know that this year is going to be full of changes and learning new things and adjusting a LOT, so I don't want to burden myself with huge goals that I'll never be able to meet. But I think these should help me keep things balanced, and not just clicking around on Facebook aimlessly. :)

Do you have goals for 2009 that you'd like to share?