Saturday, April 07, 2012

hiatus . . . maybe

My husband loves to read. He loves to study too, he gets refreshed by studying the bible. He even bought a book last summer that would help him learn Greek. Just so that he could better know God's word. It really challenges me, who after an hour of study I can't do it anymore and need a break.

John also loves to read books, mostly books that help him understand and relate to God. He challenged Amy and I to make a goal for reading before the summer got here. We have oodles of books in our office. I have tons to choose from, any topic from trusting God to biblical femininity to prayer to leadership. I have started books upon books upon books. So picking another one didn't seem right. So I asked John to pick one out for me. John is my husband, but also my coworker, really my boss and my best friend. If anyone knows what would really be good for me, knowing my past, present and the one who has to live with me forever, it is him. He had full reign to give me a book on being a better wife, or on leading a team in ministry (a new season that is upon us) or a cookbook for that matter. But after thinking about it for a minute, and getting pretty energetic at the idea. He ran into his office and came out with a book we had picked up at a thrift store. It was a book published in 1645, titled The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.

Let me tell you. It has been good. There is something refreshing about learning from people who lived in a completely different time. Their relationships with God were deeply real and also simple.

This is an area I need growth in for sure. Who doesn't? But it's a deep need of mine in this season of my life. And I am learning that no matter my circumstances, I will struggle with contentment. So right now, today I need to pursue it despite my circumstances.

Something that I have been thinking through lately to apply this is to see sources of discontentment in my life. Where do I loose sight of God's goodness? What sucks my time away from what's actually happening in my life? I seem to be attached to my phone or iPad. In the in between times of my day I am browsing Facebook, reading my favorite blogs, posting or looking at pics on Instagram, or pining on pinterest. All of these things are good. In and of themselves can be used for great things relationally, creatively, even spiritually. But for me, the this time, it's almost the opposite. I wish that knowing exactly what others doing would lead me to rejoicing for them. That reading a strangers blog would make me a better person, or looking at ideas would make me create. And it has, our favorite music has come from reading a blog, I have great recipes from pinterest. I am challenged when people use their blogs for great purposes. But often it leaves me feeling less, that my life is less, my story is less, what I do is less. And that is my fault, a twist in perspective for me. As much as I have ignored it and kept updating, perusing and pining, I am not getting better. My heart might just be sinking more.

I was sharing some of these thoughts with John and he mentioned a specific chapter in a book from one of his favorite authors, A. W. Tozer. He has a chapter about the great god of entertainment in his book The Root of the Righteous. He quotes a German philosopher who said, "that the more a man had in his own heart, the less he will require from the outside; excessive need for support from without is proof of the bankruptcy of the inner man."


That is where I am. I search, even subconsciously, to be filled by reading up on the latest from someone cool on their blog. And the other side of it, my own blog, I spend too much energy hoping that I present myself and my life as desirable. Or even in my discontentment I will log on to Facebook, knowing it will exasperate the problem. Rather than running to truth, scripture about God and His plan for me. I pin things on pinterest that I will never own, or try or make or be, how is that supposed to lead me to contentment?

I see others turn these things into such tools of encouragement. I see people cheer others on. I see people "like" it all and be a virtual thumbs up or pat on the back or prayer warrior. So great. I would love that to be my response. But I wonder if I need to grow in order to get there. And grow away from my blog, away from other blogs, away from updates and pins. I need to fill up the bank of my inner man on God's word. I need to focus on the people right in front of me. I need to be thankful for my story. And I can't do it while focusing on everyone else's. I am like Eve in the garden. I have pleasures galore at my fingertips and instead I can't take my eyes off of the one tree, that season of life, motherhood, finished projects, perfect hair, I could go on and on. So I am removing the tree from my vision. Temporarily, who knows. But at last until I can look at it with compassion and joyful eyes rather than greed or longing.

And it's a fearful thing for this little heart. I worry about missing out. I worry about being forgotten. Silly I know. Sad even? But true. I care more about my image than I would like you to believe. But there it is. Beans are all over the place.

So for now, I am going on a virtual diet. I am cutting down the dead trees. I am doing a time wasting cleanse. In the hope that when I am going through withdrawals, I turn to the people around me. That I pick up a real project that I have left alone. I will pray to the One who will never forget me. I will read the truth. I will fill up my inner man. I will learn this art of contentment.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carrots, onions, lettuces, bok choy, Swiss chard, beets, tomatoes, spinach, cilantro and radishes oh my. Love my CSA, and sad its ending next month. :(

Saturday, March 10, 2012

new specs

I have been wearing an old prescription on my glasses for almost 5 years now. Which is why I hardly ever wore them. But I found out that you can get cheaper sweet glasses online. So here is what me and the old world wide web came up with.

Monday, March 05, 2012


On Friday Amy and I went to Savannah for the day to enjoy the nice weather, sunny skies, Paula Dean's fried chicken, leisurely bike rides through mossy oak lined roads, parks and gardens, coffee breaks and a fun day with funny memories. So great! I love that town.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

time in Tennessee

We took a last minute trip to Tennessee in February to see some of the Teten siblings. We went hiking in the smokies, ate yummy BBQ, shopped around and couldn't keep our eyes off of little Charlotte Sue. We love these people.


We had family come visit for a whole week in February. We ate delicious seafood, played on the beach, went bowling, played games and enjoyed watching cute Noelle and Sophia. Thanks for the visit Maschhoffs!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

homemade laundry detergent

It seemed like a good idea everytime I saw someone blog or pinterest homemade laundry detergent. Since we were out of the big store-bought jug, I thought it was time to try. It is just one cup of Borax, one cup of washing soda and a grated bar of laundry soap mixed really well (like in a food processor would be awesome) and then stored for use. Just one to two tablespoons of this number and your clothes are good to go in the wash. I will let you know how the tougher wash comes out, but so far our everyday laundy has come out so fresh.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

my 9-5 . . . Or 10-10, 11, sometimes 12

My job is so simple, yet so rewarding and often very challenging. I walk side by side with college girls who are asking who God is, what Jesus did, and what it means for them.

This weekend I had the privilege of being part of two freshman girls who saw their need for Christ and committed to following God. It was beautiful to watch them tell everyone, for their Facebook status' to reflect their changed life, and to see them tear up at the reality of being adopted into God's family and know that He wants them to share this news with the world.

I then watched them return to regular old life and not be the same. They are telling their families, they are reading their new bibles, they are anxious to share their new faith with peers on campus. It's surreal, it's contagious.

I just spent an hour with them reading through the first chapters of the gospel of Mark. They asked questions, they answered mine. The smiled ear to ear as they thought of Jesus living among the lost.

They are a living example of the power of Christ when the Holy Spirit dwells in someone. They are hungry, hungrier than most, to taste and see who God is and to be in relationship with Him. I am shocked that my job means spending hours with them, teaching older girls how to do what I do, sitting at a coffee shop preparing bible study, cooking a snack for game night on a Friday night, swinging by campus on our way to church to pick up some students, praying with them for patience to wait for God's best. This is what I do with my time. And it's a delight.