"Saturday" Summary

A bit late on my "Saturday" summary! We were in Bluffton this weekend for New Baby's "Sprinkle" so not much time to write. Happy MLK Day!

1. Loving: My new "do".....er.... I think I do, anyway. Good to have something different, I suppose!

.2. Reading: Finished Before the Fall (January Book & a Bottle book club selection) Now on to one of my challenge books - A Book I Loved a Long Time Ago - Outlander

3. Listening: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Written and read by Maya Angelou. Some books inspire you to write. Some books just astound you at the author's talent. This book makes me NOT want to write because I think this author has used every word in every beautiful way possible so there's nothing else to be said! Marvelous to listen to her voice.)

4. Cooking: This week I've managed just some old standby's - Beef vegetable soup and shepherd's pie. One pie went to our life group kickoff Thursday. What a crowd!

5. Making: Hmmmm..... not much this week really. No progress on BuJo. No crochet although I have TWO important projects with deadlines for two sweet girls I have got to work on!! I did have a couple of hours with A & T making snowflakes! There was a LOT of paper cutting and gluing going on!

6. Happenings: Best Buddy S had her second surgery this week. Expanders out and implants in. Overall it went well. Still in recovery mode. Check out her blog post here. College applications are still being finished. Exciting times! Plus this week was E's 24th birthday!! We'll be going to Richmond soon for a post-birthday weekend celebration.  

7. Plus.... We spent most of the weekend in Bluffton for New Baby's "sprinkle." All five of us were together so that was good and these days doesn't happen too often with everyone going their own directions. So good to see L. The girl has loads of personality. Plus I had eight hours of driving/talking time with E which was very special. She had me laughing, laughing with blow-by-blow details of her recent trip to NYC with her boy Richie. Adventures!! 

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Yesterday was a very cold Sunday morning. Some ice and snow had stuck around from Saturday and temperatures dropped to the teens. This morning (Monday) we were at a cozy 10 at 7am. Things should start heating back up with temps at a high of 72 on Friday. Ha! Gotta love winters in North Carolina!

Mary and I decided to brave the roads (they were fine!) and drive to Raleigh to get some much-needed shopping done for her. S joined us after church and we had a very efficient and fun afternoon. The mall was closing at 5pm to make sure workers got home safely before dark so we had to be very strategic! 

The photo is from an hour or so I had after getting dressed and time to leave for church. Hubs had to attend both services so he was gone and Mary was puttering around, so things were quiet. Just me and my books, journal and drawing pad. I thought the sun slanting across the bed and warming my toes was lovely. My word for the year is "look", so I'm trying to pay attention to the small things... the little blessings I might find along the way if only I pay attention.... A warm sweater saved from Mary's Goodwill box, a thrifted blue-chenille bedspread, a oh-so-soft blanket from Best Buddy S.....  

All this reminded me of a line from a poem I read last week:

Just keep walking into whatever strange land God lays before me to gather his blessings like petals and stones, fallen dragonflies shimmering in the mud.
— Tania Runyan, "A Strange Land" in A Thousand Vessels

Gathering blessings like petals and stones and fallen dragonflies.... So lovely.

We are back into Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. The transition from Christmas began on Friday, January 6th, with Epiphany. I have to say, I'm really happy to see Ordinary Time come. Advent and Christmas, as wonderful as they are, can be tiring - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I've had trouble shifting gears.... my morning quiet time the most notable casualty. That plus some lingering (minor) health issues has gotten my energy level quite low. This morning, I determined not to (1) let anxiousness rush me out the door, (2) let laziness hit the snooze button one more time or (3) let blogs and books distract me from spending time reading God's Word and praying. I picked back up a commentary on Matthew I had been working through last year until seminary classes made me stay away from reading commentaries "just for fun." (That's a whole other post.) I'm in chapter 10 and the focus is missions. Specifically, today I read in Matthew 10:13-15 about Jesus teaching the disciples how to handle rejection of the Gospel - dust-shaking and peace-retrieving. Bruner quotes John Calvin as writing about this passage:

The passage also tells us how greatly the Lord values His own Gospel,... as... an incomparable treasure.... God is offended by no crime so much as by contempt for His Word: not for murder or adultery or for any other crime are we told to show detestation in so serious a rite.
— John Calvin as quoted by Frederick Dale Bruner in Matthew: A Commentary. Volume 1: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12

What has hit me as I write this post is that the greatest blessing in my photo above is the Book on the bottom of the stack.... His Word. It is an incomparable treasure, greater than any other blessing He has given me here on this earth. Lord, forgive me for this period of absence from soaking in the warmth of Your Word. Forgive my weakness and sin shown so clearly in my anxiety, laziness, and distraction.  


Saturday Summary


1. Loving: My new snazzy office clock. Christmas present to me! Found it on Etsy from Uncommon Handmade

.2. Reading: Before the Fall (January Book & a Bottle book club selection)

3. Listening: A Hillbilly Elegy (Just finished. So, so good! If you are from a state like West Virginia or Louisiana, there's probably a lot you can relate to even if you aren't a "hillbilly." The author narrated and did a fabulous job.)

4. Cooking: This week I've managed to cook a pot of "Mexican" soup (involves beans, chicken, and zucchini) and a family favorite - balsamic roast with "mushy" potatoes, green beans, and broccoli. 

5. Making: Inspired by Mary to make a bullet journal but still figuring out how to incorporate it into my morning/daily routine. Not sure if it will be for me or not. Also - doodled today a little wreath. : - )

6. Happening: Our grand-dog Annie went home last night. I'm afraid her mommy might find her a little heavier than she left her.... Grampy likes to give her treats. : - O 

7. ....and of course....have to include some kid pics!!


"My" Book Challenge 2017

My Buddy S challenged me to make my own 2017 book challenge, which I did. I started from her categories (you can read here) and then adapted them to suit me. I also gave myself the stipulation that I had to OWN the book in some form or another already. Read: I WILL NOT USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO AMASS (hoard??) EVEN MORE BOOKS! So here's my categories, my selections and the form in which I have them. 

1. Book I loved a long time ago - Outlander (I read this in my 20s.... at least twice!) (Paper, Kindle, Audio)
2. Prize-Winning book - Mrs. Kimble (Penn-Hemingway) (Paper)
3. Book I can't believe I haven't read - Harry Potter (Really, I haven't!) (Paper, Kindle, Audio)
4. Collection of essays - How the Universe Got It's Spots (Christmas present from Buddy S) (Paper)
5. Book someone gave me - Emily Alone (Surprise gift from neighbor L by an author I love) (Paper)
6. Book about books - End of Your Life Book Club (Heard so many good things about this) (Paper)
7. Book on a hard topic - The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimers (Paper)
8. Collection of short stories - Winesburg, Ohio (Highly recommended) (Kindle)
9. Book from a genre I don't usually read - The Sisters Brothers (Western) (Kindle)
10. Memoir - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (This is one I've had on my list for some time) (Paper, Audio)
11. Book about family generations - Home Going (This is on a lot of Best of 2016  lists) (Kindle)
12. Classic I've never read - The Grapes of Wrath (Paper)

I'm not sure which I will read first. I need to finish January's book club selection first. I'll keep you updated!