Sunday, March 17, 2013

currently reading: Learning To Love

Learning to Love: Passion, Compassion and the Essence of the Gospel is written by Heidi and Rolland Baker, the founders of Iris Ministries.  Heidi and Rolland have been missionaries for many years.  They are currently based in Mozambique where their work includes building churches, digging wells, evangelizing and running children's homes.

Throughout the book, the Bakers share many stories of God's miraculous provisions - healing from physical ailments, food supplied for many, safety in dangerous situations and thousands of people meeting Jesus.  It is clear that the Bakers take their work very seriously and that they care deeply for the people of Mozambique.

One theme that was seen throughout the book is the idea that "love looks like something".  For instance, at one point Heidi writes that "love looks like a new roof before the rainy season" (p. 74).  The Bakers are constantly looking for ways to make Jesus' love tangible to the people of Mozambique. This could be a challenge to many readers if they too decide that "love looks like something".  To use an example from my personal life, today love looked like taking a homemade meal to someone could use a little help.

Although I appreciated the stories and the passion that the Bakers possess, I will say that this book was a struggle to get through.  The stories were wonderful, but altogether the book felt disjointed.  I wondered many times if it was simply a series of blog entries that had been pieced together into book format.  It is divided into four parts, each with a different emphasis, but I doubt I would have picked up on that if it wasn't written out.  The writing and "blog entry" format of the book were both distractions for me.  I wish that these issues had been addressed before publishing so that I could give it a higher recommendation.

**I was given a copy of this book by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, March 16, 2013

the cereal aisle

It's always in the cereal aisle that it hits me.

There are too many options.  

Healthy or sugary?  Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs?  Cheapest or healthiest?  Granola with nut and fruit or plain?

I am surrounded by 100 different kinds of cold cereal, just one of many options I have for breakfast.

Psychologists have found that people are unhappier when they have too many options.  And that's exactly how I feel on the cereal aisle.  It takes about two minutes before I'm completely overwhelmed which has resulted in a new rule that my husband picks out all our cereal.

As I wait for him to grab a couple boxes, my mind starts racing.  I'm in a store devoted to food - there are literally stacks of food all around me.  Yet somewhere else in the world is a person who can't imagine having that much food available.  And somewhere else in my city is a person who can't imagine the luxury of buying a cart of groceries without worrying about the money to pay for it.

Is it really necessary to have 100 different choices for breakfast cereal?  Why is it that I was chosen to grow up in this land of overabundance instead of another person?  How can I keep a contented soul when my culture is constantly advertising the items I "need"?  As my son grows, will we remember to demonstrate that we can live simply and still live happily?  Or will he, too, get sucked into the cereal aisle and a culture demanding a myriad of choices.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Operation Homecoming - Knowing and Caring

This is a clip from the movie that I mentioned watching with my husband a few days ago.  The words of this man have been echoing in my head since we watched it (I'm referring to the man who speaks from about 1:05 - 1:40).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the base library

Today I finally went to our base library - I'm so glad I did!  Of course, libraries on Air Force bases aren't very big (at least not the ones I've encountered so far), but this one surprised me by being sweet and well-stocked.  We were only there for a few minutes so I just grabbed a book by a familiar author, but I'm looking forward to many days of browsing the shelves.  Is there anything nicer than stolen moments amidst books?  :)

"No possession can surpass, or even equal a good library, to the lover of books. Here are treasured up for his daily use and delectation, riches which increase by being consumed, and pleasures that never cloy." 
- John Alfred Landford (1823-1903)

"A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them." 
- Lemony Snicket

Sunday, March 10, 2013

post on family blog

Since we're still switching over to the new blog, I thought I would pop on here and let you now that I just posted on our family blog with some new pictures of Baby.

If you know us in real life, we're happy to give you access to the blog, but we'll need you to contact us with a gmail email address to add to the "approved" list.  Just let me know via comment, text or email and I'll add you (or FB Caleb, if you'd prefer).  :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

the saddest date night ever

Tonight my husband and I picked up Olive Garden, put the baby to bed and had a mini-date on the couch, eating dinner while watching Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.

He brought the DVD home a few days ago from the base library and asked if I would watch it with him.

Soliders from at least three different wars wrote representing three branches of the military.  Some were enlisted and some were officers.  Mixed throughout the stories were clips from interviews with the writers and quotes about war.

I felt more than ever that the world is grey.  That no matter how much we want them to be, right and wrong are not always so easily distinguishable.  Is doing the wrong thing for the right reasons still wrong?  Is doing the right thing for the wrong reason still right?  Right and wrong get twisted up together it seems and we have to somehow make sense of them and choose a course of action.  

It was sobering, this movie.

We both cried.

"Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." (hemingway)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

balance: busy vs lazy

I like caveats.

I like balance.

It seems like the Christian life especially is full of things to balance.  Speak the Truth, but speak it in love.  Live a humble yet bold life.  Let your actions speak

Here's another balance I've been thinking about lately.  Being busy vs lazy.

I love this quote.  As Americans, I think it's so easy to be busy all the time whether it is with activities or just with social media and overstimulation.  In college, especially, I remember people who were *always* running to an activity to the point that they made themselves sick and really couldn't do anything well.  That's not the way we were meant to live!

But this is where the caveat comes in.  It's easy to take this to the extreme which results in selfishness and acedia.  We need to live simple lives, but we also need to live intentional lives.  So if Caleb and I say "no" to a ministry at Church because we don't want a hectic, rushing life, we have to be careful to not simply waste that time.  

Ahh.  Balance.  It's so hard.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


It's that little orange button that sits at the top of the page while I write.

It's one ominous word.


One click takes my words from being private and personal to being accessible to anyone.  To everyone. To the world.

It's this button that has kept so many half-written posts from ever being completed.  It seems that the more I write and the older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know.  Or I realize that someone else has already said what I'm thinking and done it with much more eloquence.

A few weeks ago I was discussing this with someone and, when she mentioned this feeling, I urged to her simply do it.  Click the button.  Publish.  But then I admitted that I hadn't been writing for the same reason.

So today I'm doing it.  I'm pressing the button.

I may not having anything profound to say.  I may not say it perfectly.  But I'm not going to let my overanalyzing paralyze my writing tonight.

For the next two weeks I'm going to try to write something (anything!) each day just to get myself writing and overcome my hesitance.  We'll see if I actually make it!

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