I am praying for… the strength to get through unpleasant things between now and Friday, for discernment, for the ability to forgive, and for various people.
I am going… to try and get my taxes done tomorrow.
I am wondering… what the heck is with Brian Wilson’s hair! He also totally blew the save tonight against San Diego! #BeatLA
I am reading…Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, S.J. (which is on hold for a couple days), A Season for the Spirit by Fr. Martin Smith, and assorted murder mysteries from the library that have been on hold for me. I finished Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke yesterday on the way down to San Jose and got partway into The Chocolate Book Bandit by Joanna Carl.
I am hoping… that either Daniel’s eye appointment or the PTM on Wednesday get cancelled and unable to be rescheduled because I’m not feeling like dealing with either one. I’m probably out of luck on both counts though.
I am looking forward to… Date Night on Saturday.
I am hearing the Roomba.
Around the house… dishes to do, laundry to do and fold, and a kitchen to clean.
A favorite quote for today… “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” — Douglas Adams One of my favorite things…
A few plans for the rest of the week: doing taxes tomorrow, eye appointment for Daniel on Tuesday, PTM on Wednesday, possibly Ladies’ Night Out on Thursday, counseling and (possibly) massage on Friday, and Date Night on Saturday. Oh yes… and ABA therapy every afternoon from Tuesday to Friday.
A peek into my day… When we were down with my parents yesterday, my mom asked me to hold on to Daniel so she could take something out of the oven and not have him get burned. I decided to hold him… upside down.
Posting later than usual. I usually have these written on Thursday night to post as soon as the link-up page goes up. (I’m on the West Coast so it’s 10 p.m. PDT for me.) Last night, however, my mind was a little too scattered so I decided to just skip this week. Then, I was awoken this morning by my clowder (the word for a collective of cats) who apparently can see the bottom of their food dish and felt that 5 a.m. was an appropriate time to tell me. (Cats, you are SOL. Go wake up the other adult human.) So… here we go!
Prayer request #1. I’ve been chosen to speak at the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in San Jose this year. (My fundraising page will be public soon.) They’d like to use my 5-7 minute spiel as a fundraising piece so I’m having to get it written by this weekend. Could y’all pray that I can do this? I have no fear of public speaking but I do need to get this written. Please and thank-you.
Prayer request #2. I know I’ve been really vague about my special intention for the last two weeks and I appreciate everyone who has been praying for it. Could you please continue praying for discernment for those involved, that I would be able to forgive, and that I would have consolation and peace in the midst of the waiting game that is going on? Thanks!
A good definition of ABA. For those who read my Simple Woman’s Daybook posts, you probably see me mention ABA therapy every week. This is a good explanation of what it is. For those who don’t have time to read the article, it’s a methodology for working with autistic kids where you achieve the behavior desired through reinforcing it and you modify the behavior by modifying the antecedent (what comes before the behavior).
I wrote this in June 2003 but I refer people to it enough that I thought it deserved to be re-posted.
In small group tonight, we were talking about prayer and witnessing before diving into the Book of Revelation. One of the contexts given was saying grace in a public place like a restaurant and it reminded me of this…
Since I embraced Christ at age 14, I’ve been fairly intentional about praying before I eat. I was subtle about it at first and got bolder as time went on. By the time I left for college at age 18, I was praying before meals regularly. I wasn’t obnoxious about it — I’d just bow my head for a few moments — but I was very conscious to do so. At first, this really puzzled the motley crew of non-Christian influences with whom I hung out in college and the joke became that I was “waiting for the Lactaid to kick in” if I was eating with Das Group. People knew to just hold off on conversating with me for however long my head was bowed and I didn’t make a huge deal out of it.
I was really focused on being inconspicuous at first because I thought I was shoving my faith in peoples’ faces but everyone was really OK with it and some people actually told me during some of the deeper one-on-one conversations we had that they really thought that it was cool. Others would bow their heads with me if we were all going out to eat and my friend Amy actually asked if we could say grace when we ate together in our apartment during our senior year. Granted, it was a silent prayer but it was a time to give credit to the One who made it possible to have the food on our plates. I’ve gotten lax about my quiet times lately and even praying before I fall asleep (I tend to fall asleep *while* praying a lot of the time) but I’m still very vigilant about saying grace. This puzzles me because I’m doing the little prayers instead of the big ones; but by the same token, I’m also acknowledging my gratefulness to the Lord for what I have and that I would not have it without Him.
Another thing that came of saying grace was that it taught my friends about how much my faith meant in my life. In November 1999, my life was in pieces (literally) and I came into the dining hall one morning in tears. I was eating alone and my friend Amy came and sat down with me and asked me what was wrong, which made me cry harder. She then said the most magical words I’ve ever heard, “Jen, do you want to pray about this?” The reason they were so magical was that Amy was a non-believer (at the time) and it was like “SHE UNDERSTANDS!!!” She offered her hand and I took it and we prayed silently for probably a good 10 minutes. I still get weepy thinking about it because I don’t know if Amy will ever understand how much it meant to me that she sat there and prayed with me. All I know is that she understood that prayer was important in my life at the time and she wanted to help me in a way that was meaningful to me. Other of my friends would ask me to pray with them (also non-believers at the time though some have come to Christ since our graduation) and though I’d be judicious in my wording, it was still an affirmation of my faith and in a way saying that they understood the power prayer could have. Saying grace was a way I could witness to people about my faith and it was an expression of my dependence on God for everything.
I heard a lot about being intentional and praying VERY audibly in restaurants as a way of witnessing. (By “VERY audibly”, I’m talking a voice level 3-4 times above normal.) I think that instead of praying so loudly that others DEFINITELY hear us (cf. Luke 18:9-14), we should pray as we normally do and let people notice us. Believe me… they WILL and I’ve gotten comments on it even when I’ve prayed silently to myself at $tarbuck$ (literally waiting for the Lactaid to kick in). I remember the impact it made on me as a newly-minted Christian to see two people praying over their bear claws at $tarbuck$ and I think that it can have similar impacts on other people.
I’ve been trying to find hymns on which I haven’t blogged but as this Lent is progressing, they’re getting more and more obscure. This is why I was happy to find that “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was mentioned on the list for the lectionary readings from Sunday. (For the two people who are wondering, I’m using Oremus for this.)
Here are the words:
Come, thou fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
here by thy great help I’ve come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.
Outside my window… dark. I’m writing this at midnight. I think it’s supposed to be 80F tomorrow. (Before you Midwesterners and East Coast peeps tar and feather me, I’d like to point out that we’re having severe drought conditions in California because all those storms you had completely missed us.)
I am thankful… for a fun time at Miwok Park in Elk Grove with Daniel.
In the kitchen… dishes to do. I just had some vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt.
I am wearing… charcoal v-neck shirt from Old Navy and navy/white-stripped pajama bottoms from Target.
I am praying for…Katie, discernment about some things in my personal life, for Daniel to develop speech, and for the grace to get through this week.
I am going… to hopefully fall asleep soon.
I am wondering… where the heck the parents were of the toddler who was aimlessly wandering around the playground when we were there with Daniel.
I am reading…Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, S.J. and I’m also reading A Season for the Spirit by Fr. Martin Smith as my Lenten discipline.
I am hoping… to get all my errands done tomorrow morning.
I am looking forward to… seeing my evil twin on Saturday. I haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving because he moved up to Washington with his wife.
I am hearing “Build Your Kingdom Here” by Rend Collective. I heard it on KLOVE today and fell in love with it.
Around the house… the Roomba finished vacuuming an hour ago.
I am pondering… too many things in my head.
A favorite quote for today… “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” — Romans 8:26-27 (I was quoting it to a friend as a way of explaining how to pray in the midst of a spiritual desert.
One of my favorite things… silly house panthers with glowing eyes.
A few plans for the rest of the week: errands on Monday, Daniel’s audiologist appointment on Wednesday, WIC and a meeting with one of Jon’s colleagues on Thursday, massage on Friday, and seeing my family on Saturday.
A peek into my day… An wedding picture as yesterday was my 12th wedding anniversary.
Back (L-R): my dad, my mom, my grandfather, and my evil twin.
Front (L-R): my grandma, me, and Jon
It’s my 12th wedding anniversary today (yes, I was a child bride) so I thought I’d list 12 things that I love about my husband Jon.
(And for those who are wondering, the height difference between us is 9 inches. Jon is 5’10” and I’m just a hair below 5’1″.)
01.) He is a totally involved daddy and goes on Daniel’s school field trips with him.
02.) He prays for me daily.
03.) He knows that cleaning the bathroom is the equivalent, in my love language, of getting me a dozen long-stemmed roses. (My house panther Edda eats flowers and my love language is “acts of service”.)
04.) He can (usually) make me laugh when I’m really having a hard time with life.
06.) He gets Daniel ready for school on days when I haven’t slept well.
07.) He puts up with my neurotic OCD tendencies even when he is tempted to roll his eyes. (OK… he doesn’t roll them too often.)
08.) He is almost always up for an adventure. So far in our marriage, we have had: one pastoral internship, five major moves, three parishes, four cats, and one incredibly cute kid.
09.) He sings/prays with Daniel at bedtime.
10.) He gives me complete control over the remote control and is content to watch DVD’s and stuff on his laptop instead of the big screen TV.
11.) He actually makes an effort to go visit shut-ins and parishioners in the hospital. While it might inconvenience me a little bit, it means the world to them and I’m glad he understands this.
12.) He can talk about just about anything with anyone. I’ve seen him take people who are hostile to Christianity and completely disarm them. He is the reason why I can talk to anyone about faith matters.
Darling, I love you and I can’t wait to see what the next twelve years will be like!