First Reading for the 19th Day of Lent

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Jer 7:23-28

Small=Okay with Me!

FaithButton
1) I have found a shorter, less congested better way home from Shelby’s school. Oh, it seems to ensure better gas mileage too.

2) We had an awesome playdate last Friday with our neighbor and her son. A five hour playdate! The kids had an awesome time, the mom’s had an awesome time. We’re going to do it again real soon.

3) I made a list of 100 things I love about my husband and emailed it to him at work last Friday which meant his week ended not only on the high note of a teacher workday but excited to come home even more than usual. It was a great start to our weekend.

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.~Danielle Bean

Thankful Thursday

1. Realizing God’s message the first time around

2. Wonderful friends who are answers to prayers

3. Wonderful playdates

4. People who show their grace by asking for prayer

5. Honesty

6. Smiles

7. Rain

8. Laughter

9. Little boys who say “bless you” when you sneeze

10. That Jonah Goldberg and I agree on the best cocktail nut…well, really the best nut hands down!

10 Facts About Me and My Better Half

The wonderful, beautiful, and sweet Betty Beguiles (who I am bummed I won’t get to meet soon because I’m not going to Mom’s Day Away) has asked her readers to share ten facts about them and their better halves. So….here we go:

1.

We prayed each other into our lives. Literally.

I was going through a rough time my freshman year in college and prayed God would send me a husband, not a boyfriend. After one disasterous clearly-not-husband-material guy I got a wrong number call one night in my dorm. Initially I thought I was talking to the aforementioned unmarriagable guy but a couple of minutes in realized it was not him. I did something totally uncharacteristic and kept talking to this guy on the phone as if I knew him. An hour and a half in he asked, “Who is this?” All of the numbers on campus started with the same prefix and he was one number off of the girl he intended to call. After two months of phone calls, we met face to face for the first time. Four years, one month, and four days after that first face to face meeting we were married. Normally I would have just hung up on a stranger I was talking to under presumed pretenses, embarrassed. But God uses mysterious ways sometimes and although I certainly didn’t think some random guy I was talking with on the phone was ever going to want to meet me, much less end up marrying me, something definitely said to stay on the line. I’m rather glad I did.

2.

Our first official date was to watch the sunset on the southend of Wrightsville Beach and then get dinner at the Oceanic Restaurant on Crystal Pier. He came up with it himself. Very romantic. We also got engaged, on Christmas Day, at sunrise on the southend of Wrightsville Beach.

3.

Our first dance song at our wedding was originally going to be To Make You Feel My Love the version by Garth Brooks in the movie Hope Floats. However, our dj could not find the cd so it ended up  being At Last sung by Etta James. Which was pretty perfect too.

4.

My husband is the second of four boys. I have three younger brothers. It was VERY controversial, particularly with his family, when we decided not to find out the sex of our first child. After years of infertility and a major surgery, we were just thrilled to be given the chance to be parents. My entire pregnancy all I heard was “All the Herretts are boys.” Between that and my personal knowledge of pregnancy typically resulting in a boy, I had ZERO expectations of having anything else. In fact, only my BFF (who was pregnant with her first and a girl at the same time) said I was going to have a girl. Anyway, when I heard him say, “it’s a girl!” in the OR, I didn’t believe him (or the OB or the nurses) until I changed her first diaper. Shocked, was I.

5.

The only more shocking thing to having a girl in my pregnancies/births was when my next child and oldest son was born. Coming out pale-skinned, blond haired and blue-eyed, I heard Jeff ask the OB, who is that child’s mother? That’s how I found out I have those recessive traits.

6.

Our oldest son, that little boy with pale skin, blond hair and blue eyes (can you tell 3 1/2 years later I am still in shock) is named  Joseph Patrick which I finally twisted Jeff’s arm into agreeing to which we finally came to an agreement on eight hours after he was born. Jeff insisted he get to pick the name because I changed Shelby’s name after I saw her. However, Jeff couldn’t make his mind up. I had named him when I was five months pregnant a week after the anantomy scan told us we were having a boy. We went into the OR with six boys names which were: Joseph Patrick, William Christopher, Noah Charles, Henry James, Nicholas Andrew and Leo Emory. After seeing Joey he narrowed it to Joseph Patrick and William Christopher. Finally he agreed to name this son Joseph Patrick and our next son William Christopher (which obviously did happen 20 months later).

7.

Jeff said he knew he would marry me when I said in a conversation early in our relationship that I loved Neil Young. According to Jeff, “No girls love Neil Young.” Well, no girls he had met to that point…

8.

For our first anniversary we went to dinner at a local brewery where they offer a “sampler plate” of their beers. I drank every drop of that beer, not because I loved it (some of it was great, some not for me) and Jeff said after that night he will never call me a light weight again.

9.

We’ve been to see Bruce Springsteen together 3 times. It would have been four, but I was scheduled to give birth to Will the day after that last concert. We opted to sleep at home rather than risk something happen to me and the baby on the road.

10.

Last year for Valentine’s Day we convinced my parents to babysit the kids while we took a weekend in Morehead City. Where is snowed seven inches. It never snows there. But it made it pretty special.

Yarn Along

For this week’s Yarn Along I decided to share a book I’ve owned for a few years but am finally getting around to reading Clyde Edgerton’s The Floatplane Notebooks. As I have mentioned before, Clyde was a professor I studied under in college. He also is a wonderful writer and captures things about the South some of us choose to overlook. Floatplane is the history of the fictional Copeland family of Listre, NC (a fictional town also used in Edgerton’s Raney said to be based on Buies Creek, NC). Clyde captures voice exceptionally well which is particularly evident in Floatplane as chapters are told by various characters including, a wisteria vine. I received this copy as a gift while I was in my senior seminar with Clyde and he was directing my senior thesis. He graciously offered to sign it for me. I’ve included a picture of the inscription he left.

It reads: For Kristen—Keep writing—keep observing—keep gathering material. In admiration of your commitment and talent—Clyde Edgerton. Those probably remain the most helpful, influential, and supportive words I have ever received and to get them from a giant of American fiction blows me away. While I do not write much fiction at this point (my characters voices started to get a bit quieter when my children’s voices started to get louder), I do think I am still doing what Clyde suggested. My bent is decidedly more non-fiction now and as Clyde would say all writing is exercising those literary muscles. Even blogging.

Check out Ginny and the other talented women and see what we are knitting, crocheting or reading for Yarn Along.

Gospel Reading for 20th Day of Lent (Halfway there!)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Mt 5: 17-19

Tiny Treasures Tuesday

William– Will has started to figure out how to “blame.” For example, “Who is poopy?” Will’s answer “Joey!” (Especially when it is him.) He’s  also learned about humor, ie when you point to him and ask him what his name is his answer: Joey. This baby is way to grown for me right now!

Joseph– Joey LOVES  being the boss…I may have mentioned it before, but just in case you missed it…ANYhow, he has been extra busy lately informing his brother to use his spoon, his sister to stay out of the refrigerator and the dogs to leave everyone at the dinner table alone.

Shelby– Miss Shelby had a fever this weekend…nothing major but it kept her away from the birthday part at Chuck E. Cheese because it was high enough and she was actually acting like she felt bad (not wanting to get out of the bed and putting herself down for a nap are not the norm for this child). She had lots of fun on Friday though during her teacher workday. We set up a playdate with a neighbor whose son goes to school with Shelby. We ended up being there almost five hours! All 4 of the kids (her son and my 3) had a blast.

Gospel Reading for 18th Day of Lent

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

Mt 18:21-35