I’ve missed this practice. I’ve missed this blog. No excuses… and no sense trying to fully catch up… I’m just really feeling grateful about a lot of things today and wanted to return here. I don’t want to limit myself by numbers, so dots it is…
- when what i preach turns out to be true- so, remember how I was organizing all my sermons awhile back? Well, I’ve always heard that most preachers have about a total of 3 sermons on which they preach variations of all through their careers. I can’t tell you precisely what my three are, but I have a better sense now that I’ve sifted through the manuscripts in my computer. One of mine is ‘There is enough. There’s always enough. By God’s grace there’s usually more than enough.” The abundance sermon. I’ve preached that in many variations. And this summer, as we’ve lived with less, and been much more conscious and intentional about the stewardship of the resources entrusted to us, I’ve learned- IT’S TRUE! We adopted a practice of no unnecessary spending. And we adopted a bare bones budget to which we’ve been very faithful. We did a lot of cutting back in various areas. And we tracked everything in and out. When we made the plan for the summer it seemed we were going to come within dollars of a zero balance in our account just in time for my first fellowship check of the new school year. This was scary, but we knew that if we were careful we’d get through the summer within our means and we stepped forward on trust. We tithed on every bit of occasional income that came our way. The pastor of congregation 2 has been pushing tithing and the quote that gets recited every week is “Trust God enough to tithe.” Or something like that. We’ve been tithers for awhile, but we’re so much more on top of our finances now that we KNOW for sure we’re tithing for REAL. And… it seems now that we are on track to end the summer with a very comfortable cushion in our account. We’re not exactly sure how that happened. But it feels very good. I LOVE IT! By God’s grace there is ALWAYS enough.
- the wonder of the internet- I feel this way so often… for so many reasons… most recently it is because sharing stories of my pumping issues on the other blog generated lots of helpful comments, a wonderful e-mail conversation with a friend who is SO wise, and… three packages sent to us (one is here, two are on the way) with resources to help with this continuing breastfeeding journey. FURTHER, the wonderful e-mail conversation nudged me to put a feeler out the mama discussion board for my area on which I’m typically a lurker to see if there would be a higher powered, dual pump I could borrow as I seek to build up our supply for the coming CRAZY fall… and within 24 hours I had an offer for one to borrow or buy really cheaply… exactly the model I was hoping for! And 24 hours after that I picked it up and it is in GREAT shape. 10-15 years ago (maybe even less time than that), to accomplish the same thing I would have had to take out a classified ad in a newspaper and hope someone saw it and called… how amazing the internet is… and the package I received from an internet friend this week?! Astonishingly generous and filled with things we really need. And in the packages I’m expecting more things I need, even things I never said I needed! Goodness, I sure love the internet.
- when sermons come quickly- I preached the last two weeks and for the first week I revised a beloved old sermon (it kind of fits into the “always enough” “abundance” category) and I wrote a new sermon on a previously well-studied text this past week and it came together astonishingly quickly. AND I actually liked it when I wrote it and when I preached it, save for some delivery bumps, I liked it too. LOVE THAT. And I’m preaching this coming week and brushed up a really old sermon for the occasion. The illustrations needed some updating, but not much because Lance Armstrong just happened to come out of retirement this year. Thanks, Lance. Love it.
- finding a GREAT quote- I’ve been sifting through ancient texts lately, reading a lot that is not especially helpful, but every now and then I find the PERFECT bit. Love this.
- an unusually wet summer- Now we’ve only been here a year, but we know that when we moved in a year ago the tree in our front yard didn’t have pretty white flowers on it; the rose bush didn’t have pink buds on it; the crepe myrtle was lovely, but, now we know, relatively scraggly. This year white flowers, a second bloom on the rose bush, and big full bright red crepe myrtle bushes. AND our first ever garden? Thriving with rare watering from us. Love it!
- stepping into the garden with Kevin- And watching him inhale deeply and hearing him declare “I LOVE the smell of tomato plants and I’m never going to stop saying that.” He says it EVERY TIME. And I love it every time.
- eating vine ripened fresh tomatoes- the cherry tomatoes taste like candy, the big tomatoes… heirlooms… oh my goodness… so delicious… and our vines are heavy with ripening tomatoes as I speak. Love it!
- enough zucchini for experiments- Only one of our zucchini plants made it, but it is being generous. Generous enough that I have been able to experiment with two gluten free zucchini bread recipes so far, and have two more lined up to try. And we experimented with it for Caroline’s dinner last night. She wasn’t impressed. We’ve spoiled her with mostly sweet solids thus far. Ah well. We’ll keep trying. LOVING this zucchini.
- confirmation of the value of the dietary changes made- So last Saturday was presbytery and I dished out the generous fee for lunch at presbytery. It turned out that virtually everything in the lunch had wheat in it. If I were to pick around it I would not have gotten enough nourishment for the several hours before I’d be home. And I paid for this lunch, so save for the nice looking dessert, I ate it. And within 24 hours I had an old-school headache. I took tylenol as soon as I could and rested as much as I could Sunday after church into Monday and it went away faster than my headaches used to go away, but still, it was one-sided, intense, familiar… and the first one I’ve had since my last accidental wheat eating on our trip to Kentucky in April. I don’t love the headache, but I love the confirmation it provides. I’m on the right track.
- seeing 160 on the scale- This has always felt like the right weight for me, but I’ve rarely been here. And I’m here now and have been for over a week. I’ll start working on a maintenance diet soon. I gave myself until Caroline’s 1st birthday to get here, and here she is not even 8 months yet and I’m here! And I love it! The timing of this is good as she’s eating more solids now so soon I’d need to back off my food intake as I’ll need to make less milk, but I get to increase food intake for maintenance, so… not much has to change… I think. We’ll see.
- a handy hubby- I got pulled over on Monday night, not far from home, even closer to church, because I had a brake light out. I could have gotten three tickets because I accidentally left my purse, and thus my license, at home. Because we haven’t registered our car in this state yet (didn’t know that was supposed to be done within 90 days of moving here and never got it done both because our registration from our previous state is good for another year and because we need our car title and we don’t think we’ve ever had a title for our car… got stumped a year ago and forgot to get back to it). And because of the brake light. Mercifully he just gave me a warning, about all three, scolded me a bit for being flaky… and went his way. Kev fixed the brake light the next morning. I thought we’d need to call the mechanic, but he fixed it quickly and handily. Love that. Now we just need to figure out the registration thing.
- when caroline sleeps- still an erratic thing… she’s sacked out on my lap at the moment. This is a lousy time for her to be napping, but she looks so peaceful and REALLY needs it… having fought naps all day and sleep most of last night. Ah… so if she’ll just keep sleeping… we’ll be good for the night.
- when caroline laughs- intoxicating, really. Love it.
and so much more… but i’m too tired… so that’s all for now… good to be back.