Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three biographies you will not want to miss

Do you ever feel that computers have taken over your life? (sometimes, I do) 

I enjoyed my August blogging break and having more time to read ... three great (auto)biographies

1. Living on the Devil's Doorstep:The McClung Family Story by Floyd McClung

This is one of my favorite books on raising kids in a full-time ministry family. The McClungs lived in crazy places and did wild things ... and included their children. (wise parents) 

This book is also worth a read just to see what Floyd does when he feels God is calling him to move his family into the red light district in Amsterdam - and God has not told his wife ... yet. (wise husband)  


2. Steel in his Soul: The Dick Hillis Story by Jan Winebrenner

Dick Hillis founded the organization my parents served with in our Viet Nam years. Dick was a humble, amazing and godly guy.

Two things stood out to me this time:

          * God did some miracles for the Hillis 
             family. Jaw dropping, wild miracles.

          *They also really suffered.

It is good for me to learn more about this dichotomy.  I see it in Paul's life and others in Scripture. Dick Hillis' story in an encouragement to me in these uncertain days.

And, my parents are mentioned in the book. 

3. In the Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord (a protective pseudonym)

For five years, Kate worked for a non-profit organization in Afghanistan with the goal of helping Afghan women.

In simple, beautiful and winsome words, she shares the story of the women that became her friends.

Two things I really loved

          *Kate shares Jesus, not western culture

          *Kate reflects on how we become like
            the person we follow

I loved this book.
A little parenting note: Our children can learn so much from real stories. Read great biographies to your kids. Give great biographies as gifts. Take your children to hear people tell their stories. And when the rare opportunity arises, invite a hero to share dinner with your family.

Monday, September 24, 2012


While I was in Minneapolis, I spent an hour in my Panera, being "the fly on the wall." My cafe, where I worked for three years and trained every new employee.

It was fun, knowing every square inch of that place and sitting with my hazelnut coffee ... watching.

I was surprised that I recognized several customers and even remembered some names. (seven years later)   

Then I spotted the dyed red hair of one of the only customers that I could never win over to the light side, and believe me, I tried.

She came in everyday. And everyday she complained. All she ever ordered was coffee and a bagel with cream cheese ... yet she always found something she did not like.

That morning, I could hear her talking to a customer that sat near her. And you guessed it ... she was saying that she had just spoken to the manager about the coffee.

Seven years later, she was still complaining.

It is so easy to get stuck in the ugly habit of having a critical spirit. Stuck.

Hebrews 12:15 has a lot to say about this.

          See to it that no one fails to
          obtain the grace of God; that
          no root of bitterness springs up
          and causes trouble, and by it
          many become defiled.

This morning, I am praying for myself (and my red-headed friend) for new eyes to see God's grace all around me.

If I miss it ... I can expect trouble, for me and those I love.

Bitterness or grace? Today I choose grace
Linking to Jen and the lovely Soli Sisters, who help me choose grace.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Packing Maniac

I have been a packing maniac lately. First, I flew to Spokane to help dad and Dorothy move.

Then a lovely few weeks helping Jenny pack and settle in her new home.

And now, the joy of spending two day with my dear friend, Kate, in Minneapolis. We packed like crazy women ... and talked while we packed.

This was the first box I packed. Together we packed almost 90 boxes.
Kate is the creative artist that designed my blog caricature. Originally it was a picture of her and me. When I started blogging, I called and asked if she would mind redoing it ... without her! Now that is a sweet friend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why my husband take his vitamins every day and I often forget

I am an organized person ... in a very unorganized way. My house is clean, menu planned and laundry done.

I am not sure where my passport is and I can rarely find a receipt when I need it.
I often forget to take my vitamins (even though I mean to.)
My husband, on the other hand, knows where is stuff is AND takes his vitamins every day.
Dave is a smart (and cute) guy. He has told me how he does it -every day he links the things he wants to remember to do ... to the things he already does.
For example, every day while he waits for the tea kettle to boil, he does his back exercises and takes his vitamins. Every day. Every. single. day.
And me ...
I am in bed waiting for Dave to bring me my morning cup of tea. That is what I do. Every. single. day.
(I suspect that is why I often forget to take my vitamins.)

Linking to Soli Sisters, who I am sure take their vitamins every day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

I wish Anthropologie was a library

Sometimes, I still cannot believe that I really do live in Chicago. And one of those times it feels the most odd, is when I take the el downtown to visit my dentist. 

After my appointment, I was in the heart of the city, so I decided to pop into one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie. The beautifully stacked books caught my attention today. 

My favorite books at Anthropologie.

1. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

2. Creative Display by Geraldine James


 3. Interiors by Martyn Thompson

4. Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange

 5. Lunch in Paris by by Elizabeth Bard

6. Handmade Weddings by Moyle

7. Fresh and Easy by Jane Hornby

 8. The Perfect Start to Your Day by Tonia George

9. Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me by Lucie
van der Post

10. Things Good Mothers Know by Alexandra Stoddard

It would be so fun to have these books on my coffee table. What books are on your wish list right now?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Faster than a speeding bullet ... my month of August

It was a very odd feeling to take a month off from blogging. I missed you, more than I missed blogging.

My writing brain was in rest mode. But my ...

          *packing and sorting brain

          *hospitality brain

          *vacation brain, and

          *birthday celebration brain

... were in full swing.

Thanks to help from Jenny's friends, she is safely tucked into her beautiful new apartment. (that was a lot of boxes and a lot of stairs)

I prepared loads of summery food for multiple August occasions, including dad and Dorothy's eleven day visit.

We did fun Chicago bits - the jazz festival, Cubs game, our favorite breakfast place (Lou Mitchells) and all the tourist spots. (Dave is a quintessential tour guide)

We drank many cups of coffee and tea, which was accompanied with stories from my dad. I learned some new things about my cool dad. I will tell you the most amazing one later.

We also took a road trip to DuQuoin, Illinois, so dad could see where Dorothy was born (We were in a part of Illinois that is below St. Louis, Missouri.) Dad and Dot were fun travelling companions. We even stopped at Eastern Illinois University, so I could see where Dave attended college.

And to top it all off ... we celebrated Dave's 60th birthday yesterday. I love that man!

I am happy to be home and am slowly getting back to my normal routines ... which includes blogging.

How was your August? Are you looking forward to fall?


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