Monday, January 30, 2012

Beautiful Things

I'm reminded that no matter what I've done, God is making me beautiful.  This is a fact... no matter what your past holds, no matter what you've done or where you've been, God is making you new.  A beautiful creation.

Be encouraged today!
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Monday, January 16, 2012

..."I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

This inspires and humbles me every time I read it.  
So thankful to celebrate this man's life today.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nice Little Wednesday

Today I spent an absurd amount of time wiping down all the walls and doors in my whole house.  This fact both fascinates and repulses me.  It is truly a phenomenon that I was unaware of before having children.  All surfaces from three feet off the floor down is one of those dirty spots in the house that can easily be overlooked, much like baseboards and fan blade skuzz.  But then one day you notice it, and it's like OH MY WORD THAT IS SO FREAKING GROSS!  So I crawled on hands and knees around the house wiping all sorts of nastiness from walls, doors, kitchen cabinets.  How does this even happen?

And because I have the most thoughtful daughters ever... to celebrate our clean walls, they took the stack of magazines to be recycled and made confetti... then threw it at me when I was done.  Aren't they sweet?

I found these little felt heart Christmas ornaments on clearance for ten cents per pack of three.  I had the genius idea that we could do something amazing with them for homemade Valentines, but now I'm a little stumped.  Fresh out of spectacular ideas.  Help?

I went to the UPS store to mail a package and Presley kept pretending to give the UPS guy a high five, but then pulled her hand back at the last second a 'la "too slow Joe".  This happened about five times and the UPS guy fell for it every time.  She thought she was the funniest gal around.

It's naptime now for the littlest, and the middle and I are watching some Tangled... a nice little Wednesday indeed.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fresh Start

I'm finally motivated enough to begin taking down the Christmas decorations.  This is the very least enjoyable part of the Christmas season... packing away ornaments.  It is like unpacking and doing laundry after a vacation.  A necessary hassle.

Today, I got a little choked up putting away the tree.  I realized that I'm not sure when I'll get to see all these sentimental ornaments again.  Who knows where we'll be next Christmas, although I guess it is like that every year, for every one.  We don't know what our year will hold, what plan God has for the next year in our lives.  But for me, this year, it is certain that I really don't know where our family will be for Christmas 2012.  I don't know when we will have our own Christmas tree in our own home.  For how many years will these ornaments be in storage?  It's not the decorations themselves that I will miss so much, it is the comfort... the safety, the familiarity, the tradition of it all.

I'm not an adventure seeker by nature.  I don't thrive on spontaneity or uncertainty.  I am not a risk taker.  This whole "moving to Haiti" thing is totally and completely out of my comfort zone, a move totally orchestrated and designed by God... I'm willing to be along for the ride.  So in moments like this, packing up the decorations, sending many to the yard sale pile, I am reminded of this journey that God is preparing for us, and while I am excited, it also carries some sadness of letting go of the way my life has been, compared to what it will be from here on.
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Number One Fan

I love Hipsters.  Gary and I have great love for spotting them while we're out.  They provide us with hours of amazement.  We think our Mylie Mae is half hipster, based solely on her wack-a-doo fashion sense.  We have a healthy respect for it.

I think we may have spotted our most favorite Hipster to date.  Monday, while visiting the zoo we spotted him.  It was majestic, I wanted to follow him and just look at it.  Dressed in old-timey zoo keeper garb, accompanied by the prerequisite skinny jean, plus a mighty fine handle bar mustache... this guy was incredible.

Think a little bit of this...

And a whole lot of that...

With a dash of...

I really contemplated asking him to pose with the family for a picture, but I didn't want him to think I was:

a) a total nut job
b) mocking him
c) a total nut job

People really do make life more interesting.  I'm so glad we're not all the same!  Thank you Old-Timey Hipster Zookeeper... I am your number one fan.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Heard Around the House {December Edition}

"Can I help give Presley Toilet Lessons?"

"Mom, do you know why I like places that are way way way far away like in the country where there aren't very much people?  It's because you can drive and there's no speed limit.  Can six year olds drive out in the country far far away?"

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