Monday, February 28, 2011

Ten Pages A Day, Part Three

Part Three ~ Books on My Reading List To Be Started and Finished This Year

I'm continuing this small, and probably boring, series, on my reading goals for 2011. Perhaps I'll end the series (a couple of posts from now) with my reason for so many reading goals this year, but for now... Part Three.

Commentary on Galatians by Martin Luther. I ordered this book recently after Daddy's great series in Galatians.

Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray.
I've been looking forward to reading this one for a while. I've heard many great things about this book. Quotes coming soon.

There are many more "start and finish" goals, but they come under Part Four.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Notable Quotable on a Friday

“Our God being love, and mercy his delight, he would gladly show how well he could love creatures; he was most glad of the greatest opportunity to show it. Therefore he resolves upon this course, to reconcile enemies, whatever the cost — for the more they should cost him, the gladder should they be.

The making of a thousand new friends could not have expressed so much love as the reconciling of one enemy. To love and delight in friends, who had never wronged him, was too narrow, shallow, and slight a way. He had heights, depths, breadth of love , which nothing but the depths of our misery could have drawn out.” ~Thomas Goodwin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

100 Days List Amendment

A confession: Lily and I have been working on our 100 Days List for about 30 days now. It's so great to get to check off the boxes. I love it.

But I have a confession to make. We've made a slight change to the Ann-lady's rules. There are some days when reading 10 pages 1) doesn't get done, for example when I leave the house at 8 am and don't get home until a good 12 hours later or 2) gets done in the form of 10 pages of my anatomy text book.

Likewise, sometimes memorizing one verse a day means that I have to review the verse I mostly memorized yesterday.

So here are the Talk Time rules (almost as popular as the A Holy Experience rules, don't you think?): if we don't get everything on our list done for a day, then we don't get to check off anything for that day.

For example, if I take my vitamin but I only read 5 pages and I don't work on my memory work at all, then I don't get to check off anything, not even the vitamin. You see, this works out because we're still doing these things for 100 days, they're just not all in a row.

So recently, I have had some very busy days and not everything has gotten done (though I have taken my vitamin quite faithfully) so I haven't made any check marks recently. I have been getting back on track, though, and did all three things yesterday.

Off to do some reading and memorize some of Psalm 139...

Friday, February 18, 2011

2:50 pm

February 18, 2010: first smoothie day of the year!

It is 76 degrees outside. All our windows are open; the sun is shining and we had smoothies for a snack this afternoon! Spring is on the way!

Just a little update around here. Hope your Friday afternoon is going well.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I'm taking a short break from my series on Reading Goals for 2011 to write a short post on why I love Saturdays. Every week I forget that I love this about Saturdays. Usually on Friday I'm thinking, "Only one more day before Sunday. Only one more day before Sunday." But I wake up on Saturday and there's a completely different set of "to-dos" for that day. This is what I love about Saturdays: Everything in the day is getting ready for The Best Day.

Doing all the laundry so that we go to bed on Saturday night in clean sheets, and have a shower with clean towels in the morning. All our clothes are neatly folded and put in drawers; hung in the closet; ironed and laid out for the morning.

Gathering Bibles and notebooks; music and Sunday school lessons so that they're all ready to go in the morning.

Savory smells in the kitchen getting ready to feast the saints in our home tomorrow.

Cleaning bathrooms and dusting furniture.

Finishing up all the projects we started over the past six days.

Going to bed early so we can get up early and enjoy the day.

I love how on Saturday, every time we put our hand to something, it's with this in view: that the Lord's Day is almost here and we're getting ready for it, either by finishing our work in these "six days of labor" or by taking up new work to minister to the Lord's people on His day.

Just my Saturday ramblings this morning. With that in view...I've got some things to get done. The Lord's Day is on its way!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten Pages A Day, Part Two

Alrighty, it's time for Part Two. I have to finish this (very) small series quickly before I finish anymore books and out-date my last post.

This time under the topic of Reading Goals for 2011: Books I'm Reading Now and Hope to Finish This Year. Quotes from each coming as I finish them.

The Marvelous Riches of Savoring Christ. The Letters of Miss Ruth Bryan. This is honey out of the rock. I've been reading it for about the past two years because I don't want it to end, but I'm almost finished and selecting some quotes to post will be downright hard. This is one of those books that you never actually finish. I can see it sitting on my bedside table or desk for the rest of my life, and even though I've read and re-read it, I just keep picking it up every morning to read a letter from a dear sister. "Just tell me how it really is. What's really going on before I get into this day." I can't wait to meet Miss Bryan in heaven one day.

Mortification of Sin by Owen. It's quotes like this that are thrownin' me:
"Sin sets its strength against every act of holiness, and against every degree we grow to. Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies of his lusts. He who doth not kill sin in this way takes no steps towards his journey’s end. He who finds not opposition from it, and who sets not himself in every particular to its mortification, is at peace with it, not dying to it."
That's why I'm reading...

...Looking unto Jesus by Isaac the same time.

God's Passion for His Glory and The End For Which God Created the World by John Piper and Jonathan Edwards. This is my book club book with Lily which we have been reading together via Skype while sipping tea. Almost like the coffee-shop moments we wish we could have.

A New Biography: Jonathan Edwards by Iain Murray. I started this one a while ago and hope to finish it this year. I've been told I need to read this biography before I read anything, like, for real, by Edwards. So I'm hoping to finish it soon so I can get on to reading some things by Edwards, himself.

God's Way of Holiness by Horatius Bonar. This is the one I started reading while in New York and need to finish.

Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper by Keith A. Mathison.
Started this one, too, awhile ago but got side-tracked with Owen. Who wouldn't?

The Letters of Samuel Rutherford (when I finish the letters of Ruth Bryan).

There's Part Two. I'm off to read 10 pages of something....tonight, I think it will be Looking Unto Jesus.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ten Pages A Day, Part One

The first thing on each first blank for all those 100 days is "read 10 pages." Successfully checked it off 24 days in a row. So maybe, just perhaps, you want to know what my reading goals for 2011 are? I wouldn't be surprised if you don't care. But I always like to know what people are reading so in case you would love to know that about me, here are my goals (as usual, outrageously unattainable, but what would keep me going if I didn't have a goal that took grace?).

This is Part One, because I'm trying to make my blog posts less wordy and more picture-full. That doesn't mean I have any less to say, just that I break it up better.

Part One ~ Books I've Already Read This Year
Part Two ~ Books I'm Reading Now and Hope to Finish This Year
Part Three ~ Books on My Reading List To Be Started and Finished This Year
Part Four ~ The Ben Miller Goal For 2011

(This will definitely be the shortest post in the series because, after all, the year is only thirty-eight days old).

Of Communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost by John Owen. Okay, so I actually finished this on December 30th of 2010, but because I never wrote a post about it, I'm going to slip it in here. I think I can say that this book is no doubt the best book I've ever read. Here are a few quotes that did me in from Section Three on Communion with the Holy Ghost.
"On this account is He [the Spirit] said so often to come forth from the Father, because He comes in pursuit of His love, and to acquaint the hearts of beleivers therewith, that they may be comforted and established" (page 262).
"He willingly proceedeth or comes forth from the Father to be our comforter. He knew what we were, and what we could do, and what would be our dealings with Him,–He knew we would grieve Him, provoke Him, quench His motions, defile His dwelling-place; and yet He would come to be our comforter" (page 263).
And to conclude the whole work:
"If the Spirit dwell not in you, if He be not your Comforter, neither is God your Father, nor the Son your Advocate, nor have you any portion in the gospel" (page 274).
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. My sister gave me this book in January and I finished it about a week ago. Couldn't put it down. It was an easy way to get my 10 pages a day, done. It's not the normal type of book I read but today it's good.

Ten pages a day. I'm off to do some reading and check it off.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a poor tan jumper. The poor, old thing was so boring and worn that not even the homeschool mom, who undoubtedly donated her to the local Goodwill, could find a use for her. She was left hanging on the rack with all the other, once-loved, but now useless, jumpers, being sold for a meager $3.49. One day, a kind-hearted, jumper-loving, Goodwill-fanatic came across this poor, lonely jumper on one of her Goodwill rampages and took pity on the unloved thing.

And this is how the story went....

I have had this jumper sitting in my closet for about....oh....2 years. I really like it. It's so cute, but there's something about it that, every time I think about wearing it, makes me think, "No. There's just something not right about it." So, about eight months ago, I bought some fabric to see if I could fix the problem.

My two main clothing philosophies (these are broad strokes, folks. Aside from modesty, etc., etc., these are my clothing philosophies):

1. ruffles fix every problem. More is more when it comes to ruffles.
2. denim makes everything cuter.

Well, in the past eight months, I've used the fabric I bought for the poor old jumper....and I didn't use it on the jumper. I think I just didn't have a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with it. Uninspired, you might say.

But this past week, the inspiration suddenly came to me. I went to the fabric store. I was hoping to find some fabric which I LOVE from about a year ago, but they didn't have it anymore (to see the fabric, it's the top ruffle fabric from these skirts). So, I had to make do with something else. I found some fabric that was really cute but it had a stripe to it, which wasn't goin' places for me. But then I thought, "Hey, the stripe is wide enough. I can just use the part I like and leave off the part I'm not so keen on."

I also got some buttons, to replace the old buttons (three on the back and 2 for the straps). New buttons were all part of the inspiration.

(these are the old buttons)

So, late on Thursday night I started my project. I cut off the hem of the jumper and made a ruffle for the bottom.

I made a ruffle to adorn the top of the pocket on the front.

I made a little patch for the front, which is not a pocket, just a patch, because I've always thought that looked cute :) And I crosstitched it to the pocket, at the corners.

I made four ties (two for each strap) to tie the jumper closed instead of buttons.

And I sewed three buttons on the back.

I got all of that done and the ruffle on the bottom was cute, of's a ruffle, after all. But it had to be wide enough to make the jumper as long as I wanted which involved part of the stripe I wasn't wild about. So, the remedy? Another ruffle. (This is Philosophy One.) I cut out another ruffle, but this time only the flower part of the fabric. I hemmed the edges first (note to all you ruffle fanatics: this works much better than hemming it after you gather it.) and then pinned it on top of the other ruffle, closer to the top of the first ruffle, than the bottom. Then I sewed it down and took out the gathering stitches. The only problem is that the top of the ruffle is wanting to fall down and reveal that awful stripe that I was trying to hide, so I went around the top about every three inches or so, and made a little, tiny stitch to hold the top of the ruffle in place, but still leaving it free enough to be ruffely.

And, just so you know that my second clothing philosophy is still, "denim makes everything cuter": here's my outfit for tomorrow:

As I was taking these pictures Leah and I had this conversation:

"Do you really think anyone cares about your jumper?"
"It's not about my jumper. It's about my sewing projects. I always post about what I've been sewing. I mean, if no one wants to read it they don't have to. It's their choice whether they read the post or not."
"I guess that's true. But you might lose readers."
"Yeah, and we have so many of those. One of our main readers (at least who comments) is Brite and she would want to see this."

So in case no one else reads this post, Brite, I wrote it for you :)

The only problem is that those ruffles sure are troublesome to iron. But it's worth it. They are ruffles, you know?

Book Club ~ God's Passion For His Glory

I've been drafting a post on my reading goals for this year, but I'm not ready to post it so I'll do this post in the meantime. Lily and I have been doing our Book Club via Skype lately. We have our weekly chat on the phone and then we go downstairs and fix our cups of tea and call each other on Skype. We drink tea and read to each other for a little while. It's almost like the coffee shop moments we wish we could have all year 'round. This afternoon we were reading and twice Lily and I stopped our reading and said, "we need to post that quote." So, I'm posting a couple of quotes from our reading in God's Passion For His Glory, this afternoon.

"It appears that all that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as an ultimate end of God's works is included in that one phrase, the glory of God....In the creature's knowing, esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged; his fullness is received and returned. Here is both an emanation and remanation. The refulgence shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of God, and are refunded back again to their original. So that the whole is of God, and in God, and to God; and he is the beginning, and middle, and the end." ~Jonathan Edwards in The End For Which God Created the World

"Edwards describes the person with truly gracious affections like this:

'As he has more holy boldness, so he has less of self-confidence...and more modesty. As he is more sure than others of deliverance from hell, so he has more of a sense of the desert of it. He is less apt than others to be shaken in faith, but more apt than others to be moved with solemn warnings, and with God's frowns, and with the calamities of others. He has the firmest comfort, but the softest heart: richer than others, but poorest of all in spirit; the tallest and strongest saint, but the least and tenderest child among them." ~Jonathan Edwards in Religions Affections

Fifth Sunday

I have several posts I've been wanting to write but haven't found the time lately. So, I'm catching up on them right quick, before dinner, and I guess I'll start with last Sunday's menu. It was a Fifth Sunday. Did anyone notice?

I had my list of things to do on Friday night; Saturday; Sunday morning; Sunday afternoon (including the list of which food goes in which dish); my menu; and my list of sermons to listen to while I was preparing on Saturday. That sermon list was so helpful. I chose sermons (that I've listened to before) that would stimulate me to think about the Lord's Day (what a gift!) and the saints and the great privilege of allowing them to rest by laboring in love for them. It was a great weekend of getting things ready, and the Lord's Day was a blessing. Good food (the bread turned out so beautifully, if I do say so myself, after many times of making this bread and it failing every time) and the cake (which, I have never made a layer cake before) was gorgeous. Even Mama, a long-time cake expert, said it was beautiful. High praise, indeed. But even better, the fellowship was rich and sweet. What a precious way to spend the Lord's Day. Never out of sight of the Lord's people!

And, this particular Fifth Sunday was my dear friend, Cassie's, birthday. So, a bit on the late side:

Happy Birthday, Cassie!

(each list had a quote or verse on it, too, so that every time I looked at my list I was reminded of those things "of first importance." I would type them all out for you if I could remember them. As you can see, one of them was Psalm 103:2.)

(I've made this exact meal before so all the links are to the same post :)

Cayenne-rubbed Chicken With Avocado Salsa
Mashed Potatoes (not just any mashed potatoes, though. These are "Mrs. Sears' Mashed Potatoes" which are probably the most awesomest mashed potatoes I've ever had!)
Fruit Salad (bananas, kiwi, red grapes....made a nice color combination)
Avocado Salad (known as "THE Salad" around here)
Almost No-Knead Bread
Chips and Salsa (for appetizers, but then I move them into the kitchen when it's time to eat because the salsa goes really well with the avocado salsa on the chicken, and then it's really yummy to clean up all the left-overs with chips :)
Triple Layer Devil's Food Cake (know as THE Cake ever since I can remember)