Thursday, December 10, 2009

I've Moved!

So, I'm not web savvy enough to figure out how to automatically redirect everyone to my new blogsite. I moved to wordpress because it seems to work better for me. And then my husband put a new domain name in my stocking for my, and then gave it to me early!! So I'm now at:

Come over for a visit!
Oh, and the comments actually work there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The ultimate career

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. "

— C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thou Fount

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; Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wonder, 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.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood;
Prone to wonder, 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.

O to grace how great a debter, Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, life 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.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


So far the weekend is off to a good start. Currently my husband is sorting out his garlic bulbs on the coffee table in preparation for planting them later (he's got quite the green thumb), and I'm trying not to watch the news, which I'm currently overloaded on.

Last night we had our community group (a bunch of medical residents and students and friends) over for a movie night. Usually we meet on Sunday nights and I make a huge dinner over which we discuss the mornings sermon and sunday school lesson. The church we attend is quite large (so different from the small churches my husband and I grew up in) and we need these smaller groups within it to foster true community and accountabilty.

So back to last night. We chose to watch the movie Shadowlands. Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis and the story of his marriage to Joy. I've watched the movie countless times, and even saw the play on stage in London last Febuary...and I love it. To counter the guys hestitation in watching a movie certain to invoke tears from all females in attendance, my husband suggested that they all bring pipes (despite the fact he's an oncologist?) and take a smoke on the porch afterwards in honor of ol' Jack.

Highlights from the movie are some of the words from Lewis' writings. I'll say that you can feel the awkwardness between Lewis and Joy at early points in the movie. Anyway some of the favorites:

"The pain now is part of the happiness then." -stated by cancer ridden Joy, as they sheltered in a barn in the golden valley during a rain.

"Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." -said by Jack (what Lewis went by since he hated his first name Clive) during several lecture he gave during the movie.

I loved the shots of Oxford. My husband and I went there while in England as well, and even tracked down the Eagle and Child pub where Lewis met with The Inklings, the little literary club he developed with friends like Tolkein. It was funny to walk through the pub to the back room. People were enjoying it with friends as a normal night at any English pub, and I wondered if they knew the conversations that had been carried on in that back room decades ago, and how far the ensuing stories and ideas now reached.

So anyway, that was our friday night. Also making friday day great was the fact that I finished the first draft of a large writing project I've been working on. More on that later. So other than my baby girl falling and scraping up her little cheek this morning, the rest of the weekend looks promising. See that photo at the top of this post? That's from Magnolia Gardens, one of the oldest gardens in the country. I live about 5 minutes from it and several other equally stunning southern plantations. Being a local and a member of the Artist's Guild here (I paint a lot) I have access to all these great places that make me feel like I'm either walking through time or Narnia or something like that. So perhaps later this weekend we'll do a little exploring...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review: Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain: Uncover the Hidden Potential in Life’s Most Common Struggles

By Paul Meier, MD and David L. Henderson, MD

This book is written by two Christian psychiatrists who are also on faculty at Dallas Theological Seminary, and throughout the book they draw on their experiences in biblical counseling and psychiatry to discuss the pain we all experience throughout life, digging for deeper meaning by looking for God’s purpose in it. They divide the book into seven sections about seven general types of pain, each with four chapters followed by discussion and application points. The sections are as follows: Injustice, Rejection, Loneliness, Loss, Discipline, Failure, and Death.

It is rare to find psychiatrists who are Christians, so to have this book from two of them is indeed something to appreciate. Their writing is clear and the examples they include drawn from their life as well as the people in scripture are compelling. I enjoyed their use of allegory in explaining some of the spiritual and emotional principles. For example, in the section on rejection they discuss people who tend to become too transparent early in relationship as being well-diggers, and people who remain guarded and superficial in relationship as building walls. They then applied biblical truth to these issues. I would recommend this book to people who are having a hard time understanding God’s purpose in the hardships they face, as well as anyone in a “ministry” position such as a bible study leader, pastor, missionary, as well as Christian doctors…really anyone who counsels people biblically and struggles with wanting to do it well.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Cranberry Challenge: Part 3...Cranberry Scones

I think this is my favorite cranberry recipe in this use-three-pounds-of-cranberries-while-they-are-fresh challenge. Scones are so great. They are comforting like my favorite southern breakfast food, buttermilk biscuits. But they are just a little more civilized and fancy. Scones bring back memories of my 29th birthday, when my husband and I were in London. He suprised me with high tea at the Ritz in the famous Palm Room. It was unreal--a once in a lifetime thing for a girl from the most rebellious state in the colonies (SC!). There were silver tea services and tiny tea sandwhiches which kept multiplying. The best birthday present: I found out that very morning I was pregnant with our first child, but had to give up caffeine all at once, meaning the withdrawal from my 6-cuppa day fix was just starting to kick in by the time I ordered my chamomille...But those scones...unreal and oh so london.

I think the key in making successful scones is using very cold butter. I've tried other versions of scones in the past without paying attention to the temperature of the butter, which turned out to be a terrible mistake, resulting in scones which were really more like slightly-less-sweet cookies. In any case, I found this scone recipe here. I changed it up a little, of course. Pecans are always my go-to nut in these recipes so I used those instead of walnuts. They turned out great. Of course I was glad I could enjoy them with coffee again, though the little cuddly toddler snuggling next to me made those caffeineless months well worth it!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Helping Africa

This morning, for several reasons, I was thinking about Africa. Perusing photos from a recent medical missions trip some friends of mine made, memories of my times on the contitent broke over me like waves. I almost smelled the wild sage as our jeep drove across parts of the Vendi region of South Africa, and remember the face of hospitality in a tiny hut on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Then I happened across Justin Taylor's blog and read some thoughts about why aid to africa isn't working, and it got me thinking.

I’ve gone to Africa with a stethascope and bags of medicine enough times to know that the current strategy of putting bandaids on a gaping wound isn’t going to cut it.

The thing about it is that whether you are there or here, the need is ever present. There it is in the form babies dying in front of me with cerebral malaria and adults thin as rails from aids. Here it is in the long, drawn out nightmare that is alzheimer’s and the painfully extended deaths we elicit in our hospitals while flogging our dying with tubing and painful procedures.

The thing about approaching all this as Christ would is we fight agaist it as hard as we can because He called us to, and we do it in his name, offering cups of water as we are equipped. But the thing about it is still the crux of the gospel itself: all our striving will never be enough. The day we think we can solve it ourselves is the day that we stop relying on Him to be glorified in the midst of all the mess we make with the gifts He’s given, despite ourselves.

So we lift up our heads in the midst of all the muck of the decay and pain around us, fixing our eyes on the prize set before us, on the face of the One who has called us to fight the good fight and finish this race.