Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The latest little family news

John just got his wisdom teeth out, something we've been waiting awhile to do, and I have never seen anything like it: no nausea, next to no swelling, not even any pain meds aside from the ibuprofen to keep down the swelling. Such an answer to prayer (and a little sick for those of us who barfed or chipmunk-faced our way through it). We feel so blessed in so many little things, you know?!

Corinne is sitting up and eating Cheerios! Baden has just started to get the hang of how letters work, identifying the first letter of a word and tracing his name. It is so fun. Will is also getting hilariously articulate--in the library, it was, "Sorry for shrieking, Mama"! Will's big 2 birthday was last week, which was so much fun! I love their birthdays because it's this excuse to have everyone celebrate them. ;)

I also went to the Magnet School Fair at the mall last Saturday and was really encouraged. I think there are some great public schools that might work. We'll just keep praying for wisdom. God knows where he wants Baden to go.

Outside of Karma

Thinking about grace lately--the biblical kind, but also how that translates into my interactions with people. The words of the U2 song deeply move me. They make me want to be this person.

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

(Lyrics: Bono)

(FYI, in the words of a critic, Nichole Nordeman's rendition of "Grace" makes the song sound as if it had been written for her to sing.)

I guess I've been thinking about that lately as I deal with hurt: hurt I've encountered or hurt I unfortunately dole out. I'm learning experientially that grace is not pretending that wrong isn't there; instead, it starts with forgiveness, where the person who didn't do the wrong absorbs its consequences (think of the priest looking the sin sacrifice in the eyes before taking its life). Then it takes forgiveness further by returning an insult with a blessing, as Christ did. Whoa. That alone will keep me busy until I die! I can understand why "he who has been forgiven much loves much." Hope I can experience the giving of that grace as much as I do the receiving.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things I am into right now (besides the more obvious):

It's easy bein' green. I have started making my own laundry detergent and fabric softener (thanks, Anna!), which brings me weird satisfaction, and have made my own household cleansers for awhile now. I would recommend viewing An Inconvenient Truth ( even if you are decidedly not an Al Gore fan (I would fall into this category).

Recipes for environmentally responsible cleansers (very inexpensive--much more so than store-bought; prevents development of superviruses), taken from Martha Stewart Living and
All Purpose Cleanser
2 c water
2 T liquid dish soap
several drops tea tree (melaleuca) oil, available at Wal-Mart and most drugstores
Mix in a spray bottle.

Mold Reducer, Toilet Bowl Deodorizer
2 w water
2 t tea tree oil
Mix in a spray bottle. Spray liberally and leave 20 min. before flushing.

Window Cleaner
2 c water
1/4 c vinegar
Mix in a spray bottle.

Laundry Detergent
1 bar Fels Naptha, grated (I use my cheese grater!)
1 c washing soda
1 c Borax
Mix together. Use 1 T per load; 2 T for large or heavily soiled loads (definitely my family).

Fabric Softener
white vinegar
20-30 drops essential oil (we love lavender!)

Kids' educational stuff. I am a hopeless addict. Sites I (and my kids) like right now:,,, even for creative fun with them. (And I wouldn't do Baden justice without mentioning Where would he be without Lightning McQueen?) My not-so-aha! recent find was Mardel, with all the guilty pleasures an education-loving mother could find.

Correspondence. I love sending/receiving handwritten notes! Of course, writing in general makes me sigh with contentment.

Reading. I have to keep this under control! I read because I like to read and because I like to write. Do not miss: Desiring God, Sacred Marriage, The Poisonwood Bible. John would add Safely Home.

Ceramics. This is a new thing, partially because of this little local pottery studio I found that really has phenomenal prices and a godly owner. If you live in Little Rock and want to paint/make some pottery, check out JFF Ceramics in Alexander.

Anything creative, including cooking, calligraphy, making cards, frosting the perfect birthday cake for my children.

Not dropping the ball. With this many kids and this little time, I have to really focus on being responsible! Aaah! (There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...) People who succeed in my stage of life, besides having God carry them (!), are often creative and administrative.

Here goes nothin'.

This blog thing makes me seem a lot more technologically savvy than I am or have time to be (and it's definitely more hip than I am!).

But it's fun to be able to communicate with people that would otherwise be left behind by our crazy season of life: three (awesome!) kids three and under, serving at FamilyLife and elsewhere, developing ministry partners, and all that jazz. We are tired, but man, we are happy! Thank you, God, for such full lives (see John 10:10 for details). Following His lead is rockin' our world.