Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mindy - Visit 3!

Our Mindy is such a special friend. Since I knew her from DBU, Camp Buckner and Heritage Baptist, we did a lot of life together! And, she's still not sick of me yet. Dustin and I both enjoy her visits so much. She has come each year to visit us. She's such an easy guest too, because she is up for anything and just loves hanging out casually. We always have a terrific time with her. We try hard each time to talk her into moving here. We both miss her when she leaves.

This past visit, we did a horrible job of taking pictures. But the ones I did snap were super cute! One afternoon, dear TX friends Kari, Sarah and sweet little Brooklyn came over to play Settlers. We LOVE Settlers of Cataan and always play games when Min visits. Mindy and Brooklyn are so photogenic!

We love you, Mindy! See you next year.
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Labor Day Weekend

Below, you'll find a few scenes from our new home around Labor Day weekend. Dustin's family gave us his grandfather's nice grill. We finally fired it up, and had grilled BBQ Chicken and grilled corn, thanks to Chef Dustin. Our friend Jeremy came for a visit and our buddy Dan came to hang out as well. You'll see that Dustin (although Texas-raised) LOVES Michigan, and really enjoys our new TV this time of year. He wore Michigan gear all weekend. There are many Saturdays where he grades while watching football. We've never had a TV before, so this is definitely a highlight for him and a fun way to relax. And sometimes I find him asleep down there, poor guy, working so hard... :)

"Down there" is referring to our basement (which finally dried out after recent flooding) which is Dustin's "Man Cave," and probably his favorite part of the casa. A perfect den for hanging out with the guys watching ball (even if they root for Ohio State, he lets them come hang out), or reading or whatnot. It still needs a lot of work, but it's getting there. His mom even made some really cool Michigan curtains (and some pretty ones for above the washer/dryer on the other side of the basement). I haven't taken a picture of those yet though.

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Design on a Dime

Over time, I've learned to embrace the fact that I'm not super crafty, and invite others to help me with my limited decorating skills. Like Dustin's mom painting the tree for the baby's room! One of my "nesting" projects listed was to re-do our bedroom. We loved our old bedspread, but it was formal, kind of dark, we were getting tired of it, it was falling apart (strings kept coming out), etc. We wanted to go lighter, and we didn't want to spend a lot of money. Also, our previous home had these great windows above the bed, so when we moved here, we realized we needed something to go over the bed. The bed wasn't made when I took this before picture, for extra effect (or I was just lazy that day). And yes, if you were wondering, that is a big body pillow in the shape of a C. I borrowed it from a friend for pregnancy sleep... love it.

So, there was also this huge, blank wall (whereas the old home also had windows) and I didn't know how to fill it. What to do, what to do. Looking at this wall every day was making me feel my need to get started on my project.

My friend Cindy helped me! She had this great idea of covering plywood with some padding (or did she say badding? batting?) and fabric. She even went to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot with me, and helped put it all together with Dustin's staple gun. It was significantly cheaper than most of the other things I'd been seeing at the stores, wall art and such. Dustin and I bought a new bed-in-a-bag on a major sale at Sears. And, I found the D/J letters for cheap at Kohls, although we want to change the 8X10 out with a different picture. We also got cheap curtains for the other wall (with windows!) that match really well, but we haven't put them up just yet. Need rods.

Anyway, the whole project was fun, and since I can't sleep right now, C pillow and all, I thought I'd catch up by way of pictures. Thanks again, Cindy!

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Question - Is anyone thinking it still needs one more big tan pillow or something like that? I welcome advice. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do these things have in common?

Question: What do the following groups of people have in common?
-Nursery workers
-New moms
-People who are traveling
-Those who have to work on Sundays sometimes
-Those who are ill

Answer: They have circumstances which may prevent them to be under the preaching of God's Word regularly.

Without realizing it lately, I had been really "drying up" not being under the preaching of God's Word. You can have your quiet times, read good books or have good conversations, but the preaching of God's Word, and sitting under it, is important. And for me anyway, those things (quiet times, good conversations, prayer) don't happen as consistently when I'm not under the preaching of God's Word. Between traveling and nursery needs, it seems like I've caught very few sermons lately. This is not to complain, and MANY people are in this boat, but I think it's good to take a hard look at it objectively and realize the dangers that may accompany such seasons. And, it's almost guaranteed that I WILL enter such a season in just a few months where I'll be either having to excuse myself from the service to go feed the baby, or I'll only be partially there mentally due to sleepless nights.

Of course, these things aren't sinful. But they can be spiritually dangerous, and if you are like me, you may not realize it until after the fact.

All of that said, one way to fight the dangers is to put yourself under preaching when you can. We live in a day and age where good sermons are plenteous online. I used to listen as I cleaned or worked or drove, and that's a good strategy, but today, I just wanted to sit and listen. Take notes. Be fed. It felt like a feast, and I didn't realize how starved I had made myself.

What a wonderful refreshment the sermon was that I listened to today on our MOUTHS. It was taken from Proverbs 10:11 - The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life!

Here are a few things that stuck out to me -
1. God cares about your mouth and what comes out of it.
2. A life-giving mouth is like a fountain (free-flowing) not a factory (work, work, work).
3. Wisdom is crucial to having a righteous mouth and the fear of the Lord is crucial to wisdom. In Proverbs, all 3 (righteous mouths, wisdom and the fear of the Lord) are said to be fountains of LIFE!
4. Becoming someone with a life-giving mouth means sinking your roots deeply into God, abiding in Him. Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks.
5. Righteousness is not a list of deeds to do or not to do - it is a trusting, resting, abiding in, and drawing abundance from God. Fearing Him - being afraid to forsake Him, staying close to Him who IS the Fountain of Life. Drawing our life from Him!

The application was really helpful as well -
1. Does your mouth usually feed (as opposed to starving with silence or empty words) others?
2. Does your mouth usually heal (as opposed to wound with harsh, sharp, unhelpful, etc words) others
3. Does your mouth usually protect and deliver others (as opposed to join in the attacks against them)?

Finally, in the close of the sermon, this phrase stuck out to me - we have very needy mouths. I feel this - in my friendships, marriage, phone calls, relationships with unbelievers, etc. This need, which we will probably first feel deeply discouraged over, shouldn't lead us to despair, but to draw near to the Father. To drink deeply from His Life, His words. We need Him to give us life. And to fill our hearts with life and joy that we may use our mouths for His glory.

Lots to think about. You can read or listen here. .

I highly recommend this sermon, and I highly recommend guarding against the dangers of weeks, those busy weeks we all have for various reasons, that shrivel your soul. Abide in the Fountain of Life, and as a result, may He use our mouths to bring His life to others.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Old Wives ARE Right! Well... 50% of the time. :)

I hope the belly picture doesn't weird anyone out and no, it's not my belly. However, bear with me, because I've been doing some thinking about this little kicking one the Lord is knitting together in there. Boy or girl, boy or girl...

As you know, we are waiting to find out the gender of Baby Butts (and putting our friends and family in suspense too...) I'll have to admit that it's been much more FUN lately than I originally imagined. Quite honestly, I used to be just sort of half-way on the "this is fun" bandwagon with Dustin, making clear (but with a smile) that this was his original idea, or making jokes about how I think this is fun, but I'm not so sure yet. As friend after pregnant friend found out "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" at Week 20, I wondered, at times, if I should have taken Dustin up on his sweet offer ("Of course, if you really want to find out, that's fine dear!")

But really, it has been more "fun" lately, for 2 main reasons I think (and only post-picking out names and nursery decor). 1 - When I worry or get a little anxious about labor and delivery, I have this smile-producing, consoling thought - Lord willing, the baby will be born and we will find out "It's a boy" or "It's a girl!" 2 - When I am feeling kind of restless or impatient with the pregnancy (Come on, November!), it's fun to wonder if it's a boy or a girl. In addition, it's fun to imagine Dustin in the delivery room, hopefully triumphantly having made it without fainting (he's a little queasy, my sweet guy) - smiling or perhaps even shedding a tear or two when the for-this-announcement-we've-waited, BOY or GIRL, Nate or Lucy.

Anyway. The POINT of this was supposed to be that lately, some of the fun had been taken away by my doctor. Boo! I like her well enough, but she has told me TWICE that she thinks the heartbeat is like that of a boy, if she were to make a guess. (Why is she guessing if we told her we didn't want to find out... ha!) Although she used the word GUESS, it's coming from a doctor, who said it not once, but twice, and who went to school for these kinds of things, right? I put a lot of stock into her educated, I-do-this-every-day guess, so in my mind, the baby must be a boy. Which would be fine. I'd love a boy. I'd love a girl. But, after all of this time, I'd love a surprise.

So I "researched" (okay, okay... googled) about it, and it seems that even the heartrate test (along with the how-you're-carrying-test and there's even a DRANO test) has not been proven by any medical studies. It's just a guess, just like she said. 50/50. So, I'm telling myself that it's still all a suprise at this point. (We've waited this long; I want to go all the way!) Only one person (on earth) knows our baby's gender; the doctor didn't even find out from the ultrasound. I think she thinks it's fun to wait it out with the few who choose to make it a surprise. So, it's only the sonographer lady. She knows.

I will admit though... there are days where I consider calling her up and inviting her to a baby shower. Is it cheating if we became friends, me and the sonographer, and she busts out with a blue or pink gift? I mean, honestly. :)

And if you are bored and curious, there's more info here and here, even about that DRANO test.