What's in a Name?

Ecstasy (n)- 2. Excessive joy; rapture; a degree of delight that arrests the whole mind; joy may rise to ecstasy. (Websters 1828 Dictionary)
Doldrums (n)- A sate of inactivity or stagnation.(Dictionary.com)

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Happens When One Housesits

For all of those who are returning home from a stressful Black Friday shopping experience, I hope you will enjoy this goofy documentary...
Whilst Hannah and I were house sitting, we found ourselves bored one particular day. Knowing that fun things were within our grasp, we got out the faithful entertainer... Mr. Digital.
At first all of the shots were nice ones. Pleasant grins, teeth-bearing and dimpled delights....
... but then someone decided to make a new face....
...and a we invented a new game. The Face Game.

Oh the joys of experimenting with the millions of different expressions God created our faces to communicate!

All was well, until....
..a slight line was crossed....
...and then it was an "uh-oh!" Perhaps to much fun had been had. Perhaps the familiarity of living in a house with another person can be a bit tense. Perhaps this could be the end of a very nice friendship.....
Eh. The tension passed quickly and all eased back into the normal.
...as normal as...

..two bored young ladies...

... can generate.
Are you bored? Go grab your friend (or mom or sister or brother, ect) and start snapping away!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
~ 2 Corinthians 9:15

Isn't Thanksgiving Day a wonderful Holiday? We can all be thankful that Sarah Hale continued to request this day of President Lincoln, or we might not be able to enjoy all of the fun things that go along with it!

I've always loved this day of celebration. Not just because of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade or the turkey with all the "fixins" or the Rose Bowl (in fact, I'm not really thankful for that! haha) or the time of visiting with friends and relatives or reading all sorts of great history books on the Pilgrims, Squanto and the very first Thanksgiving Feast. All of those things are just part of the festivities. They've become part of the holiday that people just enjoy. Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate the very thing that all believers should be doing EVERY DAY. Being grateful to God for all of His blessings and being able to share those blessings with the folks around them. What our world needs is a whole lot of thankfulness to push out the greed and materialism that plagues it- specifically our nation.

I need to remind myself daily that the Pilgrims came to our country to be able to worship God freely. That is something I should be on my knees thanking God for every day! He has allowed me to live in a place where I am able to learn about Him, speak about Him and live for Him without the state trying to control my worship and tyrannize the faith. Praise God! And even if they take that privilege away, it shouldn't take my thankfulness away. God saved me and loves me and I don't deserve it one bit!

So this Thanksgiving, apart from being thankful for my loving family, faithful friends and the ways the Lord has provided for me, I am most thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the Redemption of my sins by His death and resurrection. Though unworthy, I am His. Thank you for that Jesus!

How about you? What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving Day?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Skin Deep or From the Heart?

Beauty. Such a simple, six-letter word with so many different perceptions. To some, beauty is found in physicality and appearance. Their heads are always turned by someone with stunning features and a good figure. To others, beauty is captured in the ordinary, daily events of life that bring joy and laughter and warmth of heart. And to a few, beauty is found in the actions and characters of the people around them- the people who inspire them to a better life, a life of giving rather than of taking.

When I was young, I always loved the story of sleeping beauty. A dazzling young maiden who was waiting for a prince to awaken her to love and happiness- well, actually I just liked the idea of riding on a pretty horse, wearing puffy princess dresses and getting to look like my older cousins, who were gorgeous. There is something about this faery story that rings true to all girls, but I'll save that for later!

Another of my favorite childhood (and even now) stories is Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Being fond of art as I am, I was attracted to this story because of the lovely pictures of the seaside and the lupines. In this story, Aunt Alice wants to do three things with her life and one of them is making the world a more beautiful place. To do that, she plants lupines all around her small corner of the world- and indeed the colorful, vibrant flowers add grace and charm to the already sparkling ocean town. This story also has some truth to it, to be explained later.

I've always enjoyed The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson. There's just something encouraging about a little, ugly gosling who goes through a lot being gawked at, whispered about and loneliness only to grow into a beautiful, elegant swan who is the prettiest of all. I guess I must have always hoped that it would be me someday. This is another story that has some truth in it.

I once happened upon a quote that read: "Beauty may be skin deep, but ugly goes straight to the bone!" Obviously that isn't referring to physical appearance, but character. Great quote! I'm surrounded by lovely, gorgeous young ladies. You take one look at them and you think, wow, aren't they blessed! They shine and glow with something that many girls their age don't have. It is a pure kind of beauty.

The Sleeping Beauty is like this pure beauty that my young sisters in Christ have. You see, they haven't been awakened to love yet. They are waiting. Waiting for God to send them their prince to awaken them with the kiss of true love. At the same time, they have already been roused to the Truest Love and have met the Prince who alone could make them beautiful. They know that the Prince came to rescue them and will one day bring them to His Kingdom and so they are forever grateful and the loveliness they have comes from this gratefulness.

As with the ugly duckling, their sin-stained homeliness was taken away by Christ and He is molding them into something completely different. They are all striving to become more like Him in character and by doing so, they radiate with an elegance that only those who are touched by Him can. It's a wonderful thing to behold the fingerprints of the Master on the lives of these young, fair maidens.

Like Miss Rumphius, my sisters are spreading beauty around the world- the beauty of the gospel of Christ. With their words, actions, characters and desire to serve they speak volumes of what true comeliness is. They touch the lives of those around them in ways that they don't even know. They don't do it in sparkling dresses or with airs of self-importance. They do these things to please God and to bless the people He has created. Some of them are encouragers- they say things to build others up. Others are good listeners, lending a soft and loving shoulder to cry on. Many of them sacrifice their time and their desires to help others- whether it be watching children, painting, cleaning, building things, baking food or making tons of phone calls for their father. A few of these ladies have packed up everything and journeyed to a different state, where they new hardly anyone, leaving the past 16 to 19 years of their lives behind. And they did this willingly. These are the things that show true beauty- a care for others' well-being and happiness above regard for themselves. This is Jesus' way.

Being the plain Jane that I am, there are times when I wish I had the physical beauty, the allure and the charm that is put on a pedestal by our world. I am then reminded that, while that kind of loveliness is part of what God created, it is not the beauty He desires most.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
~ Proverbs 31:30
Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
I don't think that these verses are condoning the neglect of appearance. We are to always remember that we are representing our Heavenly Father in the way we dress and arrange our hair, so I don't think a slovenly look would be very pleasing to the King of Kings (unless we had no other cloths or no way to comb our hair). There is a verse in the Psalms that talks of the daughters of God's people as being polished pillars, fashioned after the style of a palace. This verse is just reminding us not to spend too much time on our appearance. After all, it will only last a short time, but the good works we do with humility in the name of Jesus will have eternal effects! Doesn't that thought encourage you?
So, if you're feeling unstunning or unsightly, thank the Lord for the beauty He can give you and then get up and serve someone! And a woman who doesn't indulge in self-pity, but exercises self-sacrifice is truly a lovely thing to behold!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our Annual Move

Hello Everyone!

Just like last year, on Thanksgiving Day, we are moving again. Although, this time we'll be moving to the next town over, albeit only 2.6 miles away. I'm thankful that the Lord provided this new house for us and I'm looking forward to all of the new ministry opportunities we will have there. We were raking leaves last week and the lady across the street came over to introduce herself and we later met her husband. She was a sweet, older lady and I am looking forward to visiting with her. Also, while raking, a man drove by and then turned around and drove in the driveway. He asked if we were buying the house, congratulated us and then confessed that his dog went to the bathroom on our fence.... so he later brought him, Brady is the dog's name, over to meet us. Very friendly neighborhood.

We have also experienced a bit of wildlife excitement in our new abode. We walked in on Friday afternoon to do a bit of cleaning and Ethan walked into what will be mom and dad's room. He called us an and there, on the floor was a dead hawk, surrounded by shattered glass from the window in the bedroom. It must have been flying extremely hard and hit the glass at just the right angle, because it broke through two layers!! Incredible. Then, on Saturday, dad was checking out our Mt. Kilimanjaro leaf pile and he noticed a dead doe. Apparently she must have been trying to jump the fence behind our house and broke her neck. The sad part is that she was pregnant. : ( I hope those are all the dead animals that we'll find in our new residence, because I'm not too fond of deceased creatures. It makes one depressed.

All that said, I'll try to post some photos when we get all settled in. I've scheduled a few posts, but we won't be having Internet access from Turkey Day til Tuesday. So I hope you have a great thanksgiving and enjoy all the things God has blessed you with!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Observing the Penobscot Narrows

Our friends, the Wardwells, told us about this incredible observatory tower that they visited and Dad decided that it would be fun for us to make a trip there as well. So on Labor Day, we ventured out to Prospect and the Penobscot River region.

It really is an amazing bridge and tower. Here are some cool facts about it:
It is the first and only cable-stay bridge in Maine.

It's the only bridge with an Observatory tower in North and South America.

It is one of only three such bridges in the entire world (the other two are in Thailand and Slovakia).
In the background of this picture is the old bridge that was replaced with the cable-stay bridge.

331 miles of epoxy-covered strands make up the cables (roughly the distance from Portland to Fort Kent).

An innovative nitrogen gas protection and monitoring system eliminates the effects of moisture or other potentially corrosive elements on the cables.

There is enough concrete in the foundations to fill a football field 19 feet high.

Sorry about this photo- I had it all turned the right way in the folder, but somehow it came out this way!

Total weight of the reinforcing steel rods in the bridge piers and towers is 1.02 million pounds.

It took 373,000 hours of labor to complete the bridge.
Total bridge weight is about 10,500 African Elephants (roughly 126 million pounds)!

The observatory sits 42 stories above the river.
The observatory elevator is the tallest and fastest in the state of Maine.


The first thing the observatory worker said to us was, "Now, when you step out of the elevator, you'll feel the urge to look down. Don't!" If that's not enough to scare someone who's got a slight fear of heights......

If you're ever able to visit Maine or if you live in Maine and haven't seen all the sites- this is one I'd definitely recommend!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


"Come to Me...and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest. Never allow anything to remain in your life that is causing the unrest. Think of every detail of your life that is causing the disintegration as something to fight against, not as something you should allow to remain. Ask the Lord to put awareness of Himself in you, and your self-awareness with disappear. Then He will be your all in all. Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue, because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is satanic. Don't allow yourself to say, "Well, they have just misunderstood me, and this is something over which they should be apologizing to me; I'm sure I must have this cleared up with them already." Learn to leave others alone regarding this. Simply ask the Lord to give you Christ-awareness, and He will steady you until your completeness in Him is absolute.
A Complete life is the life of a child. When I am fully conscious of my awareness of Christ, there is something wrong. It is the sick person who really knows what health is. A child of God is not aware of the will of God because he is the will of God. When we have deviated even slightly from the will of God, we begin to ask, "Lord, what is your will?" A child of God never prays to be made aware of the fact that God answers prayer, because he is so restfully certain that God always answers prayer.

If we try to overcome our self-awareness through any of our own commonsense methods, we will only serve to strengthen our self-awareness tremendously. Jesus says, "Come to Me... and I will give you rest," that is, Christ-awareness will take the place of self-awareness. Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest- the rest of the completion of activity in our lives that is never aware of itself.
~ An excerpt of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, August 20

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On Our Way to the Tower....

In writing the above title, I realize that it sounds like the following post will be a tale of Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth Tudor. Rest assured, there will be no such story.
Maine continues to surprise me with its' various shops and towns. While on our way to the Penobscot Observation Tower, we stopped in Belfast for a picnic lunch. What a lovely little town! We didn't have much time to explore the quaint-looking shops, but we did enjoy our meal with an ocean view.
Simply beautiful blue sky, deep blue sea and lots of ships anchored in the harbor. If you get a chance to visit that area, make sure you take time to enjoy the scenery and the "town square."

The other place we stopped was Perry's Nut House. It was lots of fun. They had oodles of toys and treats- not to mention deeeelicious fudge! There was even a mummy on display. Apparently people from the U.S. would go over to Egypt and dig up tombs. They would bring back the mummies, raid them for their treasures and then burn their bodies as kindling. Rather morbid, don't you think. This particular mummy was saved from that ashy fate, though. You never know what interesting things you'll learn when you're out and about!

We enjoyed all the fun things- and my camera got its use!

If you ever wonder where I got my silliness.......

....well.... let's just say I think it's genetic!! (don't they look like oompa loompas!?)