Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Raquel!

In these birthday posts I usually try to focus on one thing about the birthday boy/girl that I appreciate. I think the thing that I appreciate the most about Raquel is her writing. Since there are a few hundred miles separating us, we aren't actively involved in each other's lives, but (thanks to the internet) we know each other through writing.
In particular I enjoy her haiku. I've never met anyone else with such a knack for creating deep, intricate feelings using only a very few words.

Raquel, your haiku are like a little bright spot in the world. You may never become a rich and famous writer, but you've added beauty to my world and I'm a different me now because of you. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your art with us.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm a Winning Loser

Yesterday I had the good fortune to be in a few arguments over money with various siblings of mine. Yes, I do think that was a good thing because, you see, they were niceness fights.

Elizabeth thought she owed me money, but I was sure she had paid me back already so we argued about it for a bit. And then I had a similar fight with Jonathan over the phone later. The upshot of it is that I lost both fights and I'm now richer for it. Not a bad resolution to the problems, if you ask me.
So anyone else want to fight me?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

On this day, some (cough, ahem) years ago a great man was born. Maybe you know this man and maybe you don’t, for although he is a great man he is not well known throughout the world. The things this man has done have never been recorded in history books nor has there ever been a newspaper article written about him. Most people who pass him on the street don’t even give him a second glance. This man isn’t famous or powerful.

So what is it about this man that makes him great?

He was husband to a godly wife and he raised five God-fearing children. He preaches in a small, largely unknown church where he teaches his flock, through his words and actions, what it means to love Jesus.

That is what makes him a great man. And not only do I have the privilege to call this man my father, he is also my friend.

Happy Birthday, Dad!
I love you!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lord's Day Quote

"Teach me that Christ cannot be the the way if I am the end,
that He cannot be redeemer if I am my own saviour,
that there can be no true union with Him while the creature has my heart,
that faith accepts Him as redeemer and Lord or not at all."

---from The Valley of Vision

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

About Saying Goodbye

I suppose it’s all about saying goodbye
And that feeling in your throat when you have to cry
Big brother moved away- farther than I’d known
Even with the six of us I still felt so alone
I remember when Mom’s dad was sick and so weak
I can still feel where the tears ran on my cheek
We were snuggled on Mom’s bed when she told us he would die
I asked a lot of questions, all of them wondering “why?”
My grandma also early left this gray place
Dad collapsed in Mom’s arms, grief etched on his face
Nieces and nephews never born, never met
The grief then captured us like a twisting invisible net
Then came the day my mommy’s heart stopped beating
She lay in bed where the machines kept her breathing
I was at home when the call came: “Come say goodbye.”
The prayers I prayed then- desperate- did my God deny
Every time I feel the sting of Death’s sharp knife
I think I can’t take much more before it claims my own life
I’ll never forget mourning the death of my baby- the one I’d never hold
“It gets easier. You’ll laugh again.” that’s what I was told
It’s true that I laugh now and feel joy once again
But I’ll never in this life be rid of the pain
The pain of conquered death so real, so real
The pain of a broken heart, too scarred to fully heal
My hope is sure, I know my hope will come to be
My hope is of a perfect life- a life that was bought for me
There will be no more goodbyes in the land of my king
My tears will be gone then and I’ll forever sing
But I’m not there yet and it hurts to be here
As I continue to lose all that I hold dear
So for now I suppose it’s all about saying goodbye
And that feeling in your throat when you have to cry

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

A Christian Jew singing about delighting in the Sabbath- with a techno beat. Check it out here.

Yeah, I've heard better techno music, but Aviad Cohen (the artist formerly known as 50 Shekel) still ranks pretty high on my spiffyness meter just for doing what he does.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Angels Shop at Wal-Mart

I am convinced that even though Wal-Mart may have certain Babylonian tendencies, God enjoys using it as a teaching place for me. On many occasions I have been struck with some thought or experience of God during my shopping excursions to Wal-Mart. I’d like to share a few of these with you.

When I was pregnant with Evangeline I mostly got my “morning” sickness in the evenings. So there I was, doing our grocery shopping and feeling like I was going to either pass out or throw up- whichever came first- in the cereal aisle and I was trying to find a cereal that I could stomach. I usually live on cereal when I’m pregnant so this was an important food to me at the time. I felt daunted by the varieties of cereals (and let’s not forget the feeling of impending puking) so I desperately prayed, “God, show me which cereal to get!” Immediately, my eyes fell on a green box of Chex cereal. I grabbed it, thanked God, and continued with my shopping. I knew in that moment that God is intimately concerned with even the most seemingly mundane details of my life. He knew how miserable I felt and how overwhelmed I was by the simple chore of picking out a cereal so He divinely picked out a cereal for me and in that way, He showed me that He loves me.

Usually when I shop at Wal-Mart, I feel tense because I’m trying to not spend too much money while still getting good things for my family. I’m constantly feeling tempted by all the racks of clothing I shouldn’t buy, the special foods that don’t fit in our budget, the cute toys I know the kids would enjoy, etc. I feel the temptations of the world bombarding me as I shop at Wal-Mart. And even if the temptations aren’t obvious to me at the time, I know they are always there. Until I step into the parking lot, that is. Wal-Mart’s parking lot is big enough to build an entire neighborhood on and the sky over it is as big as Montana. As soon as I step out of the store the beauty and breadth of the sky takes my breath away and I am reminded that life is not shopping and buying and attaining things, but rather it is glorifying the Creator of so awesome a sight. I can feel the glory of God as His artwork hangs over the Wal-Mart parking lot.

Since I recognize the many temptations that face me at Wal-Mart, I try to pray each time that I prepare to go to that store. One evening, as I was walking from my van to the store I was praying when I felt a sudden jolt in my spirit. I felt like my eyes were opened and as I looked at the other people about to enter the store with me, I realized that I was different from them. I realized that I am not just another shopper at Wal-Mart. I am a child of Yahweh. I felt like I should be glowing for all the glory that lives inside me. I looked at the other shoppers and I wanted them to have this glory, too.

Now, maybe these stories seem a little odd to you. Maybe you think I’m seeing too much into things and making a big deal out of nothing. I suppose that’s possible except for this- I know my God the way I do because of what He shows me when I shop at Wal-Mart. Of course, He speaks more fully in the preaching of the Word and in Bible reading. If this was the only place I ever listened to God then I’d have some serious problems, indeed! But for some reason God chose Wal-Mart, of all places, to show me how real He is and to impress certain truths on my heart. Now when I’m having a frustrating time trying to get dinner on the table or some such thing I remember that God helped me pick out some breakfast cereal so surely He cares about each and every detail and He can even help me get dinner on the table.

How does all this work? Is it Jesus who walks with me as I push my cart? Or does He send an angel or two with me every time I go to Wal-Mart? I don’t know how this works, but I don’t need to know. All I need is to know and understand that the God I serve is so big that He can reveal Himself to His people using the most unlikely tools. He can even use Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Spidey!

Yesterday was dubbed Spider-man's birthday in at our house. We had a lovely party for him. He really enjoyed seeing himself on the birthday banner and having his own birthday cake. He was so excited that he needed help blowing out the candles.
Apparently, the excitement was too much for him since he couldn't even eat his cake. He did like looking at it, though.
Happy Birthday, Spider-man!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lord's Day Quote

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say, “I am this dark world’s Light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise, and all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found in Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk, till traveling days are done.

Hymn by Horatius Bonar

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Onward and Upward

I recently posted this over at and I thought I'd pull a Seth cheater move and get two posts for the price of one.

I think everyone here at Moving Truth agrees that as Christians we have the great privilege and responsibility to mimic our Creator by being creative and sharing that creativity with the world. What I have been recently struck with is the thought that it is also our responsibility to improve our efforts in our art. God never wants anything to stagnate. If we are to be growing in our knowledge and love for Him doesn’t it follow that we are to grow in our creativity, too? I’m not saying that we should all join a class or buy a stack of instructional books and attempt to reach impossible standards , but rather that we should avoid becoming lazy and complacent in our art. I feel that I all too often settle for doing something half-hearted. “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” are usually my excuses. While it’s true that a busy life does leave a limited time frame for working and experimenting with one’s art , it should never be an excuse for laziness.

I am a wife, a homemaker and a mommy to three adorable, but rambunctious little kids so, yeah, my time is not my own. But I am also an artist. If God has seen fit to bless me with my talents then I will strive to do my best to use these talents to bring glory to Him and to further His kingdom. I do not have the time, resources, or knowledge that some have to pursue art, but I will not let that be an excuse to bury my talents in the ground.

I’m certainly not saying that anyone here is guilty of this. Everything I’ve seen of this site shows quite the opposite, in fact. But I figured that since complacency is a temptation for me that other artists may struggle with it, too. This responsibility to improve in our creative arts is great, but if we are faithful with what God has entrusted to us then we will reap many, many blessings.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My New Photo Blog

I know, I know, yet another blog is exactly what this world doesn't need, but while I do enjoy writing about life and laundry and posting it on the pinkness, I really wanted to display my artwork on a more subdued background. Hence, the new blog. I don't expect to be do much writing on that blog (if any) so at least I'm not adding one more thing for you all to read. Whenever you have a moment just meander on over to Captured Light and see a little bit of what I see.