Friends painted and carved pumpkins with us. We roasted the seeds and handed out candy and all took turns taking our niece out trick-or-treating to a couple houses at a time. We slurped potato soup and grape jello and enjoyed cake donuts from my husband. Everybody was partaking and sharing, cooking and cleaning, like family. Community is great.

thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the heart to see them.


Today I am thankful for getting to work in my fleece at home, watching the snow twirl and fall and build.

I'm thankful for two different girlfriends who are so delighted in the snow, and chose to share their delight with me. A couple nights ago, a friend spoke about how it is sometimes scarier to reveal the best part of your heart, rather than the broken pieces. Because what if you share your best part, and it is not recognized, or is rejected? And so, I am grateful that friends are entrusting me with their best parts and delights, believing that I'll recognize that and rejoice with them. It is an honor to be a friend.

I am thankful that today is another chance to conquer the dishes.

I am warm, and cozy, and thankful.



October has almost come and gone, and where have I been? Not on this blog.

But much good has happened...

We got up to the mountains at what happened to be the peak of fall season. A week later, everything was bare. So thankful that I got to witness the beauty in the nick of time.

My good news from the last post has blossomed and settled in to my heart. When I shared the news with friends, their delight increased mine, and for that I am particularly thankful.

An old friend came to visit for a weekend, bringing happy memories and making new ones.

The snow from earlier this week didn't stay for too long, and so the leaves are still on the trees, red & yellow instead of frozen & brown.

A friend offered to take pictures of husband and me. We caught the last warm day of fall, and some lovely light with the mountains in the background.

I'm anticipating more good...

Getting to see those new pictures next week, for example.

And getting a pumpkin, to scoop out & roast the seeds. And then carve if I get around to it. But the seeds are the best part!

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


my week

Fair of Face
- Good, sort-of unexpected news
- A late night walk

Full of Grace
- The Melting Pot; dipping sauces are my favorite part.
- prayers at night
- family & friends enthusiastically supporting my organization

Full of Woe (nah, just full of autumn)
- thrift store fall skirt
- cooler weather for husband

Far to Go
- yes this will be true tomorrow

Loving & Giving
- we'll be with friends, heading toward an outdoor weekend

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


deep down

Tonight I'm simply thankful for a new gathering of people that fed us dessert and tea, spoke openly about their lives and marriages, and asked good questions. Earlier this week, at a retreat, I stood up and shared some things about the crappy state of my heart, and people acknowledged that and loved me...this is how I feel about the whole larger group of people we are getting to know:

"Deep down there was an understanding, not of the facts of our lives so much as of our essential natures." (May Sarton)

People here love broken people. Thank You God.

And after that thoughtful thought, I just have to add that my husband just walked in with a fart machine app on his new iPod, and I am in tears I am laughing so hard. Yeah. Almost nothing has made me laugh so hard in a long time, don't know what that says about me. But, Farting Preacher, anyone? Now that is some humor I am thankful for.


i say, you say, i wanna an icee juic-ay

1) My husband found a juicer at a garage sale, and got it for free! It is virtually brand new, and it is SO much fun watching newly pulverized & dehydrated beet/carrot/lemon/kale/apple fibers shoot out the back in bright colors. The juice that came out the front was, hmm, interesting. I think I'll leave the beet out next time. But check out the cool color:

UPDATE: Carrot/apple juice is much better. Next up, green lemonade.

2) Got to talk to three college friends in different states/countries this weekend. Beautiful.

3) Yesterday, I called in to my favorite radio program on the way to work, told a funny story about my neighbors, and won $100 in gift certificates! Sweeeet!! I don't think the neighbors heard, either, because we haven't had any angry knocks on the door yet. But really, who puts a unicorn in their front yard without expecting to get a few laughs?


right, here

Not even 70 out.
Windows open.
Grey autumn light from all sides, all windows.
Library books in a stack.
Steaming Mayan chocolate in a mug.
Garden zucchini re-warmed, reminiscent of its adventure with olive oil on the grill last night.
Sunday, with no place to be but right here.

This feeling reminds me of mornings in Peru or early noons at L'Abri. How life is supposed to be lived.


home things

Well, here I go posting about food again. Can't help it.

First, I'm thankful for the memory of sweet, farm-fresh creamed corn made by my great-aunt months ago. And thankful for the occasion to try to recreate it myself. My version went way overkill on salty butter tonight, but I can always try again.
Second, I'm thankful for the bread maker my husband picked up at the thrift store for $4.99! He's already found the manual on the net, and printed it out for us. First up, a simply honey whole wheat bread, assuming the machine really works. If it does, I'm sure I'll have a post on the warm, cozy result.
Third, I'm thankful for the motivation--whatever it may be, I haven't quite figured out--that is prompting me to actually wash the dishes after dinner every night. Who knew a clean(er) kitchen could bring such satisfaction? Not me, until now.

Thank You, God, for your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


fall is arriving...

and that is all I need to make me happy today.

Thank You, God, for the softer lighter and cooler air, and the senses to enjoy it all.


the other good things

The other good things from yesterday that I didn't get to mention:

- watching a movie outdoors with thousands of others, cheering and singing and booing at all the right parts. And glancing up every once in a while to see the stars clear overhead.

- the opportunity to win a VitaMix on Jessie Hawkins' blog. She has written a book on herbal medicines for the family, and has a great natural, holistic perspective on life. Green smoothies are my favorite way to get a full bag of spinach in my body--in one sitting, no less--so I'm really hoping to win!

- being almost finished with a big house project, just in time. And with that, the anticipation of a long-awaited relaxed weekend. Woohoo!


So I did.

Oh man, today was so great. I actually got some sleep last night, so I was ahead starting out! I woke up and got to hit the alarm a couple times while scooting closer to my husband and letting the sunlight wake up my eyes. I put on my work clothes that I reserve for meetings out of the office--actual professional ones--that I think help me get more work done in the office too. Something about feeling compelled to live up to my clothes, and happy to do my best at it.

During a daytrip for work, I followed a colleague up some back roads, through farm fields framed by mountains. The site sure put my soul at peace. And right near my work-destination, there was a honey shop that I've been wanting to check out. It was mmm-yummy smelling.

Now here is the best part.

On the way to the honey shop, I saw a field of sunflowers. Right past the field was a dirt drive, with a sign: "Sunflowers, $1. Come on in."

Well, nothing and nobody was at the end of the drive, except a VW van, and a sign that said pay a dollar through the van window, and go cut yourself a flower. So I did.

With bees buzzing and sun shining, and flowers reaching up in response, I took a pair of scissors and my fancy office shoes on a tromp through the sunflower field.

Then I carried my prize around with me for the rest of the day in a water bottle with the top cut off. It was beautiful. I was just smiling and singing in my car, holding on to that flower and looking into other car windows on the highway to see if anybody wanted to trade smiles with me, or check out the flower that was as big as my face.

Other good things happened today, too, but this story is enough for me, for now.

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


This past weekend, I got to travel to the wedding of a close girlfriend that I've known for most of my life. I got to reconnect with friends I hadn't seen in a decade. And I got to have my soul refreshed by Jesus through some of the most giving people I've ever met.

I approached the father of the groom after the rehearsal dinner, introducing myself and thanking him for his convicting-yet-encouraging words on marriage. We talked for a minute, and I could feel that my eyes were saying much more than my tongue.

The next evening, the wedding and reception were glorious, full with a God-infused sense of celebration. More than ordinary happiness, this place was joy-filled! And as we all headed out the door to send my friend and her groom on their way, I saw the father of the groom flagging me down. "Becs," he said, "I was praying for you this morning, and though some doors have been closed for you, this weekend marks a new start in your life. I pray you are refreshed this weekend. Some verses came to mind for you. Here you go." And he pressed into my hand a scrap of the wedding program, with three passages written down, just for me.

I was so humbled. I was FLOORED. Here, his son is about to walk out the door with his new bride, and this man is intent on loving me. I had never revealed any details about my life, yet God had spoken to him that I was in need, and so he had prayed for me on his son's wedding day, had spoken words of truth and encouragement to me--a stranger--at a moment most would be solely focused on themselves.

God, would you make me as intentional as the people I was surrounded by this weekend.

God, thank You for Your good gifts. Give me the eyes to see them and the heart to share them.


a single track

I just noticed that every single post so far, save the one that just quotes Psalms directly, either mentions food or is entirely about food. Ha. I think I am quite thankful for food.


I am so thankful for tea! I really really like tea.

Jasmine blended with tropical rooibos from teavana.com.
Passion and Zen from Tazo. Also Tazo's Calm.
Orange Ginger Mint from Republic of Tea.
Homemade ginger lime honey.

Oh man, do I like tea!

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the taste buds to enjoy them.


Some things making me happy this week:

Almond Joys


My husband liking peppers now!

Running with my sister-in-law

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them!


being known

The Weekend:
- talking & loving from the time we met to the time we left
- a shared joy in tea, and running
- gifts of books from one, necklaces from another, and great news from the third!
- contemplative questions & deep sharing; a prayerful perspective
- a hike in the rain
- apple cake for breakfast
- gratitude spoken and our retreat spot richly enjoyed
- funky wildflowers
- being known

Thank You, God, for Your really amazing gift of these three women, and the eyes to see them.


my granite hideout

"I love you, God--
You make me strong.

My God--the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.

I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.

God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

- parts of Psalm 18, from The Message translation

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.



We had so many blessings this weekend with friends, camping.

A hike, a rainstorm watched while playing cards in a dry cabin, "cowboy" foil packets for dinner of potatoes & onions, bell peppers (our new favorite!) and bbq chicken.

A revelation, a resolution, a new chapter.

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.



Tonight, I am thankful for:

- the fact that a falling mirror cut open my dad's nose rather than blinding his eye. I think we take for granted how closely God shepherds us.
- my first summer spotting of heat lightning. It looked just like when your flannel pajama's spark against your cotton sheets. Cool.
- homemade popcorn
- the anticipation of three--no, four--mini vacations, soon! all in state, all with different people, and all promising to leave me happily exhausted.

Which reminds me, time for bed.

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


the Good kind of macaroni and cheese

Last night, I was thankful for my new camera (a birthday present from my thoughtful husband). By the way, my birthday week did continue--much to my glee. I like being celebrated. Barbecue at the staff meeting, which wasn't specifically for me, but I felt like it was. Maybe like a little "I love you" from God. Lots of phone calls and cards on the day of. Lots of being reminded that I am loved.

Anyway, I was thankful for my new camera, so that I could take pictures of what else I'm thankful for. I thought I was going to be thankful for my fresh salad at dinner last night, so I took a picture. Romaine, feta, walnuts, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes. Usually yum.

But I ended up feeling not-at-all rabbit-like, and opted to eat a big bowl of macaroni & cheese instead. The Good kind. We got this huge pack of organic mac n cheese at CostCo, and while we were going through all 15 boxes, we convinced ourselves it was good.

It was not.

And now we are finally through with that pack, and so excited to have the good old Kraft back in the house. Mmm.

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them.


today i am thankful for morning hugs from my husband. also thankful for the prospect of sharing york peppermint patties with friends at the movies tonight.

Thank you, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them!


a birthday WEEK!

Today I am thankful for a Birthday Week. Usually I just have a birthday, but this year the celebration has expanded. I'm So blessed.

Friends came on Sunday bearing chocolate cheesecake and fun games and really good wine. The sky opened up with a great (in the fullest sense of the word) thunderstorm. And I was given a gift card to Barnes & Noble, which leaves me full of anticipation and ideas for how to stretch it to get the most delight for my money. (A future thankful: the B&N opening not-at-all-far from me very soon!)

On Monday, family came bearing cake and more presents and a really funny two-year old for entertainment. The sky opened up with an even bigger thunderstorm (lightning crashes! thunder you could practically see! driving rain!). We ate grilled pizza with a new sauce recipe I found, which was a hit. For good reason: it is awesome! Here are the links, because you are absolutely going to want to try this out (delights are always more delightful when shared, don't you think??):

How to Grill Pizza

Exquisite Pizza Sauce (although I left out the anchovy paste and red pepper flakes, and added more garlic, freshly minced and roasted)

This morning, I woke up dreaming of an old friend who has recently found a lot of peace in her life, which I am glad about...that means she's searching. My dream made me happy because in it, we began talking about the One who brings True Peace (which is not the peace she's found). It was a reflective sort of dream, and gives me hope for her and reminds me to pray for her.

And more is to come, I am sure, because my husband tells me it is so.

Thank You, God, for Your good gifts and the eyes to see them!


small holidays

I love some of these "small" holidays the very best. Perhaps it is because my mother taught me to approach them with GREAT joy and a sense of such fun! 

We dye all our food green on St. Patrick's day: milk, pudding, mashed potatoes...

And the First Day of Spring is quite possibly my favorite holiday of all. I always buy one bunch of daffodils to pass out that day. What joy & hope this day brings me! 



"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."

This is from the first chapter of James, in the Message translation of the Bible. And its the wisdom that we are following this year. I wrote earlier about being brave--depending on God--and more opportunities have since arisen for my "faith-life" to be built up...opportunities, that, if I accept them, will be used to form me into a more true woman of God. After hearing some bad news yesterday, I actually laughed out loud as I realized we are simply facing another gracious opportunity to rely on our Abba for His provision.

And His provision is so much more broad than my limited humanness first realized. He provides not just jobs and money, but richer gifts like faith and wisdom. Thank You, Abba, for knowing what I need and providing as I need it. I love You.



I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas last night, all in one sitting. The tale is so striking, and my mouth was agape for half the book. It is best to go on this journey at the same pace with the 9-year-old narrator, learning about his situation as he does, and so I couldn’t share the story with my husband as I read. (And you shouldn't try to find out anything about it prior to reading it, either! I will tell you that it is about a boy in 1940's Europe, and he discovers a fence, and it is very sad.)

By the time I finished the last page, I was so wishing I had been reading this as part of a book club, so I could explore my thoughts and feelings out loud, right away. (I’m making Husband read it later this week for that purpose.)

I still have a lot of processing to do (I dreamed I was in the story ALL night long last night!), but I'd love to hear comments from those of you who have read this. What was your initial reaction? What do you think about the juxtaposition of innocence and evil in the story? To which character do you most relate? For those of you who were alive in the 1940's, were you aware of the events that occurred during those years? Have you applied "the moral of the story" in your life & how? I'd be delighted & thankful for your feedback!


favorite movies

...in no particular order...

- The Village
- The Visitor
- Sleepless in Seattle
- Wait Until Dark
- Sabrina, both versions
- The Illusionist
- Molly
- Kolya (great Czech film!)
- Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility (I usually avoid books-turned-movies, because they ruin my imagination...like I don't want to see the Narnia movies, because the books are so wonderful! But I've never made it all the way through either of these, so I love the movies. Yet isn't it a shame about the books!)


that learning to be brave thing...

Last night, I couldn't go to sleep, so I stayed up and looked at a million blogs, and then, all of a sudden, I leapt right in to the temptation to check my work email account, even though it was a Saturday night. A situation had come up on Friday afternoon, right before I left work, and it was handled as best I could, and I went home grateful for a weekend. But I let that situation gnaw at me til I thought I just had to go and check my email, whereupon I learned that the situation is worse than I expected. So now, I am all day fighting the temptation to think about this hard thing before it is time (i.e. Monday morning!).

Why do we get caught up in the lie that our work never ends? God gave us weekends, and Sundays especially, to REST. To rest in HIM. Jesus, help me let go of my work, and the fears wrapped up in it, and give my whole heart to You today. Each day has enough trouble of its own, right?

Oh, so on to the learning to be brave thing. I am grateful for my job--I am grateful to have a job at all right now, and grateful for the ways God uses it to stretch me. Which is good, because boy am I stretched. There have been so many opportunities for me to be brave & bold & develop my conflict resolution skills over the past year--none of which comes naturally to me. But all of which I need more of in my life.

And so, slowly, I am learning to be brave. And am blessed to be learning always in the gracious sunlight of Jesus' hope in my life. Thank you, Jesus, for nurturing me and creating me to bloom.


So I've had all sorts of things lately to blog about but no blog.

Such as:

- The wonders of library movies. I love renting movies for Free at the library! Hooray!

- Does anyone else think that Starbucks new Berry Chai tastes exactly like a Christmas candle? (think cranberry potpourri). Not something you want to be drinking. :)

- The fact that where I live, it can be 70 degrees one day, and then 20 & snowing the next. Maybe this is normal for some people, but I think its crazy. And adventurous.