Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lenten Season Update

I was reading an article tonight from a church in Tulsa that was talking about their congregation's journey this Lenten season and one comment from the author stood out to me...He writes, "I think what I love about it the most is just how incredibly disruptive it is." I am experiencing similar sentiments as I observe Lent much more closely this year than in the past. Yet, the fasting & contemplation is not disruptive in massive ways, but in those small moments that make you think. For example, I'm fasting desserts & most sugar - which for me is a BIG deal. I never knew just how often I put a piece of chocolate into my mouth and I'm just now realizing how much of my social interaction has elements of dessert...When I started this, however, my prayer was, God, I want to simply realize every time that I willfully choose to say know to a dessert - that I need you.

Tonight for example, Josh went to get us food at Fazoli's and because there was a problem in the kitchen they brought him a to-go bag with not just our orders of baked spaghetti but with an additional 2 desserts - a turtle cheesecake & chocolate cake - you know, just to say sorry for the wait. It has been almost a month since I've had any chocolate & those pieces of dessert were mighty tempting...but as I took them out of the bag and placed them in the trash (yes, I placed them in the trash)...I had a moment that disrupted the normal rhythms of my life where I simply realized yet again standing in my kitchen that I need God.

I need Him for so many reasons...I love Him for so many reasons...and I am most definitely loving these small disruptions where I am choosing to meditate on that fact...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Madness I Tell You...

Thought I would give you all a glimpse into our Sunday afternoon. It is March Madness and my husband is a TRUE Tarheel fan - he has followed them since he was a little boy, and March Madness is his FAVORITE sporting season. What is madness to me, however, is the fact that he watches Tarheel games with a kitchen towel - ALWAYS!

He chews on the towel when he is nervous, wraps it around his head when he needs some comfort, swings it when he is happy, and hits it against the ground when they are not playing well. It is quite entertaining to watch! Today I decided that I needed to capture the many uses of the towel...hope you enjoy this glimpse into our lives!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I'm in lust...

Just saw these chairs on a blog...oh how they would be the PERFECT finishing touch to my "Project Happy Place" (my office make-over)...

But I went to the website - and a price isn't even listed...which I know is code for "you don't want to know"...hmmm...so here I sit lusting...

It wouldn't be so bad (I might even say that I'm in love with these chairs) but my pastor has been speaking on being wise with our finances...so I must be honest with myself - it's just lust, you will get over it...

Perhaps I can find a good bargain at a garage or estate sale on some chairs & then hopefully find some equally fabulous fabric...my mom could totally help me create something close to this fabulous...yes, that is a good plan :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Picture Recap!

Hi Blog Friends,

Sorry that I've been away for a bit - I'm sure many of you can relate...but every time I think about coming to blog I just don't know where to begin. So much to say, but are the things I have to say blog worthy? Anyways, I'm going to give up on trying to recap the last couple of weeks and just share a few pics for today!

First, here are a few pics from our family trip to Colorado. All of the skiing pictures are on my mom's camera so I don't have those to share, but here are fun pics with my nieces...these girls are ACTIVE & I discovered all the more just how much I love playing with them & then letting their parents take care of them - ha!

There was a playground next to our condo, and we found out that the girls LOVE to swing!

Look at Ava's face - priceless!


Always on the phone...even at the playground...

But Josh DID take a few minutes away from work to play with the girls...he especially liked challenging Tay...

Ava just had a taste of lemons!

Our newest addition - Molly Kate! Don't you love the hat?

My lovely sister, Leslie with her lovely baby girl!

Taylor wanted to take a picture of Jos & I...if you can tell, there was still snow on the ground, but it was a nice & warm day!

Here are a few pictures from Madison's (my niece) first birthday! I just want to say she had more people at her party than I think have ever come to a party for me! She is one popular girl!

Kelsey is such a wonderful mommy - here she is helping Madi open gifts...Plus, check out this cake & the decor - SO CUTE!

Before the cake eating began...and she is off - seriously, we found out that Madi loves her some cake!

The End Result!

A cut pic of me & Aves...people say we are alike...can you see the resemblance? (Although they usually are referring to our "strong" personalities)

Lastly, here are a few pictures from Jennifer Fortner's Baby Shower! If you don't know Jennifer I HIGHLY recommend that you read her blog - "Fabulous Fortners" from the last month...I'm so excited for my friend - they have a beautiful baby girl - Farrah!

The girls in my family. Aren't we cute?

Madison likes to eat (as was evidenced by the cake pictures)...apparently she is not always discerning about what is defined as food...and Abby...Abby just LOVES Madison - so much so that she was willing to jepordize her nose for the cuteness of this moment!

Tomi Calmes meets Farrah!

Jenifer Davidson teaches Madi to say she is ONE!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tips from Paige!

Thought I would share a few Paige thoughts today...

So, in my last blog I mentioned that I prefer the ESV (English Standard Version) of the Bible and a couple of people wanted to know why. Basically, I was won over to this version while in seminary...It is a newer translation & it came out after some older manuscripts were discovered...technically it is a good version that in seminary speak is a good mixture between formal & dynamic equivalence. Meaning it is a good translation that will get you close to the original language & intent of the authors but it is in words that are easy enough to understand.

Ultimately, what I tell my students is to find a translation that works for you! And if you are going to be preaching or teaching it is important to look at 2 or 3 translations to get a good feel for the passage of scripture.

On a completely different note...I have been quite saddened that my favorite magazine - Domino is no longer around - it got cut by Conde Nast last month. So, occasionally I have been looking at websites to still get creative ideas...and I found a super fun blog: www.madebygirl.blogspot.com

Some of you will not like the quirky style, but I'm digging it!

Speaking of style...here are a couple of pictures of my new office - these are the results of "Operation Happy Place"

Loving Pandora.com...you can create a radio station based off of one artist that you like. I've followed the advice of my amazing assistant - Hannah Reed - and I've been listening to Lenka radio & Ingrid Michaelson radio...LOVE it!

And I'm out!

Monday, March 9, 2009

your revelation is the tune I dance to

Taught my final Hermeneutics class of the quarter tonight (actually I just gave the final)...I was thinking about how AMAZING the Word of God is, and I was looking at my favorite passage on the Word - Psalm 119...found this Scripture & then decided to read it in The Message....not sure if I approve of it as a Hermeneutics teacher, but as a kid of my heavenly Father...it makes me happy!

Proper Hermeneutics version - the ESV (my recommendation)
Psalm 119:72-74
72 The law of your mouth is better to me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
73 Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.

The Version that made me smile: The Message
Psalm 119:73
With your very own hands you formed me;
now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.
When they see me waiting, expecting your Word,
those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
I can see now, God, that your decisions are right;
your testing has taught me what's true and right.
Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight!
just the way you promised.
Now comfort me so I can live, really live;
your revelation is the tune I dance to.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Where I am - 06 March 2009

It has been too long since I last blogged...here is where I am!

Where I am: For once I'm actually not on my couch, but I'm sitting in my bed. I'm about to get ready for the day & I think I'm headed to Sugar Brown's to go work on a project!

What I am listening to: At this moment I'm listening to This is Our God by Hillsong as well as a little bit of Jared Anderson. I'm on the lookout for some new good worship...let me know if you have any suggestions

What I am reading:
As of today - People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (a Terri Reed recommendation) & Runner's World Magazine (trying to get some motivation)

What I am watching:
I just need to briefly state - Yes, I did watch The Bachelor finale, and I even got sucked into the blog world beforehand (thank you Kelsey)...so I knew what was going to happen, but it did not soften the blow. I was literally sitting on my couch yelling at Jason while Josh sat next to me pretending to be reading the Wall Street Journal (I think he was watching with me)...Don't know what else to say about it except that I'm sorry Melissa - you are a Texas girl so you will be okay. You didn't really want to move to rainy Seattle anyways...

I also watched the Top Chef Season Finale - not sure if any of you out there watch Top Chef, but I love the show...the only bad thing is that I would LOVE to actually taste the food!

Josh & I are now on the Amazing Race bandwagon. We would dominate in that show (or so we like to think :))...

FYI - if you know me, you know I'm never home to actually watch these shows...they are provided for my by my DVR...

Moments that were Memorable:
In the last two weeks I have had some AMAZING moments, so I will try to be brief & perhaps follow up on them more later...here we go:

Ash Wednesday - In my last blog I mentioned that I was going to participate in the Season of Lent as I felt like God wanted me to so that I could find Him in some new ways. Last Wednesday I went to the Ash Wednesday service as Westminster Presbyterian Church, and it was BEAUTIFUL! Josh went with me, and as we left we talked about just how refreshing it was to worship God with such reverence. I LOVE my church and I love the way we worship God at COTR, but I also think it is healthy to get outside of our boxes from time to time & see Jesus in other "traditions."

I think I will write an entire blog about this later, but here is what stood out to me the most. As the congregation read aloud Joel 2:12-13 I was moved to tears & the Lord spoke to me so clearly that the American church is busy about "being happy" that we often don't stop and realize just how much we desperately need His son. Here is the passage of Scripture:

Joel 2:12-13
"Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.

I've done some research on Lent and regardless of directions it has taken over the course of history, the initial reason it was implemented was to be a time of reflection leading up to Easter. It is a call to reflect on our own lives and to realize that we are sinful and in need of a Savior. On Ash Wednesday people receive ashes on their foreheads as a reminder that they came from dust & they will return to dust - in and of ourselves we are nothing - as we reflect on this for 40 days, the resurrection of our Lord & Savior is more poignant! We are joyful that thankful that He came for us!

Lisa Bevere @ Momentum Conference - All I will say about this is that the Lord both spoke to me & I believe spoke through me at this conference. Lisa Bevere has been a hero in the faith for me for many years, and I was psyched to do a break-out session at a conference where she was the keynote speaker.

In her opening session she mentioned that she has 5 girls that travel with her...when I started my first session, Hannah Reed, Ashlee VanDeventer, & Deneille Golden sat on the front row & whispered to me, "we are your girls!" It made me smile & realize just how blessed I am to have so many amazing young women around my life that I get to do life with!

Mema Time - I was able to take my Mema to the doctor's office twice last week, and although the circumstances weren't pleasant, I so enjoyed just being in the presence of my grandmother. She is gracious, kind, and amazingly strong. We mostly talked about insignificant pieces of life, but afterwards I was just thankful that I got to be with her and help her...she is strong for so many people and has been for years, that it was nice to be strong for her.

Favorite Pictures Taken:
I took pictures of my niece Madison for her one-year birthday! She had on the most adorable tutu...Isn't she gorgeous!

During these past two weeks I also got to celebrate my friend's birthday. A group of us surprised her with dinner at Manna. Happy Birthday Katie!

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