Friday, January 06, 2017

The Countdown Has Begun...

On a whim last Saturday I decided to check how many days we had left until 6/30/17, Glenn's last day of residency. It just happened to be 181 days and that made me smile because I had an idea.

In the days before our wedding and the days before the match we we did a 150 day countdown reading backwards through the book of Psalms. It was fun to do back in the summer of 1999 and gave us a way to connect knowing that we were both reading the same thing each day that last summer we spent apart. It was comforting to read backwards through the Psalms in the unknown of looking ahead to the match in the winter of 2013 as we needed the reminder to keep trusting Him as we were awaiting the news of where we would spend the next 3-4 years of our lives in training.

This year, starting with 181 days before we finish this season of our lives we have started doing a countdown again. This time we get to read backwards through the book of Proverbs as well. I trust that as we read we will be encouraged and challenged and focused as we look forward to and prepare for what He has next for us.

It's been a while. Words are slow to come from my fingers. I looked back to see what I had said about Psalm countdowns in the past and I was so encouraged to read three blog posts from the months before the match that I needed to read today and they have reminded me that I really need to write more. Maybe I will.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Surrender


Humperdinck: Surrender!
Westley: You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.
Humperdinck: I give you full marks for bravery. Don’t make yourself a fool.
Westley: Ah, but how will you capture us? We know the secrets of the fire swamp. We can live there quite happily for some time, so whenever you feel like dying, feel free to visit.
Humperdinck: I tell you once again, surrender!
Westley: It will not happen.
Humperdinck: For the last time, surrender!
Westley: Death first!!
Buttercup: Will you promise not to hurt him?Humperdinck: What was that?
Westley: What was that?
Buttercup: If we surrender and I return with you, will you promise not to hurt this man 
Humperdinck: May I live a thousand years and never hunt again.... I swear it will be done.*

I, too, am asked to surrender.

At times I too want to make deals, like Buttercup, with the One asking me to surrender, "If I do surrender, will you promise that no harm will come to us? Will I always have my husband? Will my children always walk with You?" and so on...

The One asking me to surrender makes no such promise not to allow harm to come to us but instead He gives better promises like "In this world you will have trouble but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world" and "when you pass through the waters, I will be with you" and "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

And so I surrender. Not because I have confidence in myself, that I "know the secrets of the fire swamp," though I have been in the school of learning to be "content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want," but because I know the One who asks me to surrender. He is nothing like Prince Humperdink who has no intentions of keeping his promises. The One who asks me to surrender keeps His promises. I know that when I surrender all to Him whatever He allows to happen to us He will use for our good and His glory because He knows best.

He does not promise safety or ease but He does promise His presence, which is better by far. I know I can trust Him.

And so... I surrender.

* Quote from The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

5 Minutes in October: Paint

We don't paint much around here. Occasionally the girls will ask to paint and collect a bunch of old grocery flyers and head out to the back yard to paint a picture on a piece of paper but it doesn't happen often.

Confession: we've never painted a wall in any house we've ever lived in. I've often heard friends talk about needing to paint before moving into a place or seen the before and after pictures of the walls in their homes. I've helped others paint but I've never painted any of the 20-ish places we've lived. Most of our landlords would have been fine with it but I have always figured our time here is temporary and I can live with the white or ecru or random color from a previous tenant walls for the time we are here.

Whoever painted our house before we moved in did a poor job and even painted all of the windows closed (we figure it's a security feature along the busy sidewalk on the bedroom side of our house so we haven't pried them open.) There is definitely touch up work that needs done around here. I'm not sure if we'll get to it or just let the landlord repaint after we move out.

5 Minutes in October 2016: Walk

I've decided to try 31 days of 5 Minute free writes again this year. So, with my last few minutes of the 1st, here goes...


Sometime earlier in residency Glenn got a Fitbit through work. The band broke so he stopped wearing it for a while.

When we found bands at Goodwill we bought a couple but he still didn't start wearing it so he said I could and I did.

It was a good motivator for a while. For a few days I'd take a walk before bed to get my steps up but then the charger stopped working.

After buying a new charger my cousin invited me on some challenges. They have been a good motivation for me. I've never won but it's encouraged me to increase my steps. Most evenings you'll find me wandering my house reading Perspectives on my nook, getting more steps in, trying not to trip over the dog or the kids.

Today, ironically, is the first day I haven't gotten 10,000 steps. Yesterday was day 25 of my streak.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Collect


When I saw the word "collect" earlier today I thought of all of the things that we collect around here: books, papers, legos, games, legos, nerf guns, socks, legos, pens, cameras, flip flops, legos, bikes, light sabers, legos... you get the idea. We have a lot of collections. In the upcoming months we need to purge a lot of collections.

As I wrote the subject for this blog though the first thing I thought of was collect calls. Kids don't know what those are any more. A few weeks ago I tried to explain to them what a collect call was but they didn't really get it. There was a day when everyone didn't have a cell phone and when you needed to call home you hit "0" and asked the operator if you could make a collect call.

I haven't made a collect call in years. When I made them they were always to home. That 315 number forever ingrained in my mind that connected me to my mom and dad no matter where I was. I don't know who has that dear old number now. If I tried to call that 315 number collect today they would not accept the charges from "Sonja." Oh, how I miss calling that 315 number. I didn't do it nearly often enough.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Five

And for the real prompt for this week.... 5

Yesterday at our Thursday school we were reminded once again to sign up for a performance that a couple of the students from the school are performing in late in October. The tickets are only $5, the kids are friends of our kids, and I live the closest of anyone to the place where the performance is being held so I put down my name and contact information and the number 5.

When I had a free minute later in the day I texted Glenn asking what his schedule was going to be the day of the performance to make sure that he didn't randomly have the day off. He texted back, "Probably not. Clinic all day." I told him, "OK. I just put 5 anyway." Then he replied, "So you are saying we have met before?"

Yes. We've met before. I love the random days when we get to be 6 but, during residency, more often than not we are 5.

Five Minute Friday: Listen (Take 2)

We're finishing up week 4 of school for the year. School is going pretty well this year. There are still the sinful people reacting sinful when sinned against issues that come with living and learning with sinners but... overall things are going pretty well.

One of my favorite things that I've added to our school year this year is Friday one-on-ones with mom. They came out of a suggestion from a friend who meets with each of her kids on Fridays to talk over what their goals are for the next week.

I schedule appointments with them and they report to the back room and sit on the couch, eat a piece of chocolate, and tell me about what is going well, what isn't going to well, and what they would like to change. It has been such a privilege to just listen to them one-on-one with no interruptions and get a glimpse into their hearts.

The number of Friday afternoons I have left that to spend with these precious ones in my home is getting smaller and smaller and I'm so thankful for the encouragement to just sit with them and listen.