Wednesday, July 11, 2012

6 years a miracle

I wrote about Libby before-the story of before she got here. You can read it here; I won't go into that part much today. Because today is the day we celebrate the miracle that Libby is. [Now, Joe, if you ever read this, don't think you aren't just as miraculous. You were the wonderfully normal and easy pregnancy that produced a wonderfully "normal" and funny and cute kid. We love you! You completed our family in a way that only you could.]

The little girl that no one thought would be born turns 6 today. She is still tiny-a mere 35 pounds-but seems giant compared to the 2 pound 2 ounce little baby that made an appearance 6 years ago, and made out little family of 2 into a family of 3. Her life has not been the easiest-leg braces, physical therapy, and more surgeries than the rest of us combined. But you would never know it from her awesome disposition. She is just a wonderfully cool kid. She has a quirky sense of humor and a tender heart. The other night as I was putting them to bed, I heard her laughing in her room. I went in and asked her what she was laughing about. Her response is classic Libby. "Oh you know, I was being silly with God. I told him that verses come from cheese." And then she melted into one of her laughs and slapped her knee. And God probably was chuckling with her because you can't help but smile when she makes silly jokes (even if it is the same joke over and over).

She loves food, and can easily put away 3 pieces of pizza in a sitting. She will try anything-tofu, shrimp, spinach noodles. I have yet to put something in front of her that she won't at least try. Her favorite food-ribs. She loves school and reading-a quality of mine that I am so excited to share with her. She is a sponge! She loves wearing dresses and being fancy, but isn't afraid to get dirty. I've realized that the best thing I can do for her is to stay out of her way. She has made her own way from the very beginning. And I have no reason to doubt that she will continue to do that from here on out.

Happy Birthday Libby Lou Lally!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A lovely reminder

I found this image here when looking up images for Psalm 27. A twitter friend Amanda shared 27:14 yesterday and it is a verse that has a lot of meaning to me anyway. I took a look at it in several different  translations, and was struck by the Message (shh--don't tell any biblical scholars) "Stay with God. Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God!" And the reason that I can keep moving forward and have purpose and be confident is because of what God did for me. So I'll keep going - and not quit - and *try* not to worry. Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bar Prep is all-consuming

Thus my lack of posts.
We have actually been doing some really fun things. We went camping. Which surprisingly was not terrible. The kids loved being outside all the time. Our camp site was right next to the bathrooms and the park--VERY convenient! We trekked over to Blackwater Falls to enjoy the view on Saturday-which was great! The only downside was a pair of raccoons and a skunk that really wanted to be our friends.

Last weekend we had a fun Saturday spent at the farmers market, and then to a birthday party at some new friends (old in some ways since Corey graduated with Sam) house. Our kids jumped right into the festivities-nearly running over almost everyone at the party in the electric car, getting soaking wet with water balloons and ending the evening in the birthday boys clothes.  I'd give it an A+ for funness.

Sunday was Father's Day-which turned out to be a fun day despite the fact that I sliced my thumb pretty good and had to go to Urgent Care. My (very wonderful and understanding) husband took me, and shushed me every time I said I was sorry for ruining Father's Day.
Yesterday we celebrated Joe turning 4. OH MY GOODNESS MY BABY IS FOUR. Where have these years gone? He is such a fun kid. Corey let him spend some of his birthday money at our local toy store and then took him out to lunch. The whole family got for-yo after dinner! It was pretty laid back, but such a great day spent celebrating our little man.

The rest of my time is spent studying...and running....and cooking...and trying desperately to stay as sane as possible. I'm not off my rocker yet. But there is still a whole month to go...

Friday, June 8, 2012

WINNER! and other news

I am happy to announce that LAUREN is the winner of a free copy of Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden!! I can't wait to hear about the recipes that you try! For all you ladies that did not win-I HIGHLY recommend buying a copy for yourself here. You won't regret it. The other day I roasted a chicken per her instructions. Mind boggling good. AND I'm going to use the carcass for stock. AWESOME!

In other news, we are going camping this weekend. I am not a camper; I've been twice in my life-neither time was it very fun. But alas, the hubs has decided to be outdoorsy, so I am going along. Luckily we are going with another family, so the kids will have other kids to play with rather than bickering amongst themselves which has become their new favorite thing to do. In an effort to ensure that I at least eat really well, I made some yummy snacks for the trip.

I of course made Trina's bread for sandwiches-I really can't say enough about this bread. It's delic. I also grabbed a couple of recipes from themarathonmom. Specifically, the chocolate peanut granola bars and creamy jalapeno dip. This dip is sooooo good. Cilantro, jalapeno, ranch. Add some chips and I am in heaven-even with bugs and dirt. Finally, I made my black bean hummus (or paste if you are offended to use hummus in connection with anything but garbanzo beans). It is a nice change up from the regular stuff, and it has become a staple snack in our house for the last year or so.

I will certainly post how the trip goes. I'm hoping for lucky number 3 to be the one to change my view on the great outdoors.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pick your battles

Yesterday started off not great. Too little sleep + Corey getting called in + a 3 year old that can go from normal to ANGRY in a breath = exhaustion by 9 AM. Joe is tough sometimes. He is the sweetest kid in the world when he wants to be. He is the hardest kid in the world when he wants to be. And when he decides to be tough and irrational (can a 3 year old be irrational, I don't know) and stubborn, it WEARS ME OUT.

So yesterday we fought about clothing. We fought about breakfast. We fought about playing on my phone. So when we got in the car to go to church and Joe found his helmet and put it on, I had no more energy to fight with him. When he wanted to wear it into church, I let him. He wore it to the grocery store. He would have worn it to take a nap, but he had regained an ounce of logic by then and didn't fight me when I asked him to take it off.

Over the many years of my parenthood - I am oh so wise after 6 years of this thing :) - I have learned there is an art to picking battles. Some things matter. Some don't. But I forget to remember sometimes too. I forget that no one cares what Joe wears to church (certainly not Jesus). And it doesn't matter if he wants the exact same breakfast every single day. He's a stubborn kid; he's competitive; he has made me want to pull my hair out on more than one occasion. BUT he is mine. And I love every piece of him. Even when we meet out fight quota at 9 AM. Even when we battle.

PS--Don't forget to read my review of Trina Holden's Real {Fast} Food and leave a comment. You will be entered for a chance to win a copy of the book--and it is AWESOME!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 3? I have no idea what day it is...

I think I am just finishing up the third week of bar prep nonsense. The days kind of melt together. Did I watch that Evidence video on Tuesday or Wednesday? Was it both? By the end of the day my brain hurts from trying to stuff in all this information. Add into that a kind of crazy work schedule for Corey this last week and it was tough.  I think that is why I was so encouraged when I read Beth Moore's words a couple days ago.

It says "When we don't know what, when, where, or how, we can trust in who. We won't always find our answers, but we can always find our God when we seek Him with all our hearts. And He will love and comfort us until all other answers come." Sigh. I need to hear that all the time. That even when I don't understand what is going on, I can find comfort in what I DO KNOW. And I KNOW Him. I KNOW that God loved me so much that He sent his Son-Jesus-to die on a cross for my sin and in my place. I KNOW that Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. And I KNOW that by believing in Him, I have eternal life.

At the end of 1 John, there is are a couple verses that I love about what we KNOW. "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5: 19-20).

I may not know all about Evidence yet-or Conflicts-or Civil Procedure-or any of the other topics that I will need to know by July 24-25. But I can take comfort in what I do know-in WHO I know.

PS!--Don't forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy of Trina Holden's book Real {Fast} Food.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Real {Fast} Food-a book review & giveaway

I'm not sure how I found Trina Holden on twitter (@TrinaHolden), but I am OH SO GLAD that I did. Not only is she a goldmine of information on all things REAL food, she is also quirky and fun-she doesn't take herself to seriously, and she isn't pushy about her food revolution. She is genuinely happy to see people try things one step at a time so that more and more of us can feed ourselves and our children REAL food.

I received a copy of Trina's book-Real {Fast} Food-a couple months ago. I have put off writing the review mainly because I haven't done all or even half of the recipes or techniques. Then I realized that wasn't really the point. I am not here to rate every recipe-I'm here to tell you about the plan. And it is a GOOD ONE.

The thing I like best about Trina's book is that you can jump all in or you can test the waters and see what happens. Seeing as I am a mama of two young kids and studying for the bar exam, I opted for the latter. I had already begun my food revolution a few years ago when I realized that I didn't want to keep eating processed food. I made a few changes, got acquainted with my kitchen, and started feeling good about making my own food. Over time I have incorporated more and more recipes for things I used to buy without really thinking about it. The big one this year was bread. What a great decision! So when I saw Trina advertise her book on twitter, I was intrigued.

A photo to start--here is my first homemade hamburger bun. First attempt, complete success. The recipe is EASY and oh so good!

It has been an awesome addition to my life.

  • First of all-it is so DOABLE. I can incorporate one or two new things every week. See what works and what doesn't. Tweak it to my house and my schedule. For example. The book talks about bulk shopping once a month. Well, here we grocery shop weekly. I make a meal plan. We go Sunday after church. It works for us. Trina doesn't say you HAVE to go once a month. She just gives you tips and tricks so that you can make Real {fast} Food without feeling completely overwhelmed.
  • Second-she gives amazing tips and tricks to help you have a real life while you eat all this real food. She includes wonderful personal looks into her own life so that you can figure out what to do. She gives an in depth look at her baking day, and lots of info on how to reduce time in the kitchen without sacrificing anything in the food.
  • Third-it opened my eyes to a whole world of EASY ways to give my kids REAL food. Soaking and cooking and freezing my own beans for chilis and soups. Making my own cream of chicken soup, broths, seasoning mixes. 
  • Finally-she is honest. Some of the things are not easy-apparently yogurt is hard. But she encourages you to keep with it. I haven't ventured into my own dairy products yet, but I feel confident that armed with Trina's book, I could totally DO IT!
What I am saying is, it is worth a little time, a little prep, a little bit of unfamiliarity in the kitchen at first to give our kids and ourselves delicious, nutritious food. I'd encourage ANYBODY to go get Trina's book. You can find it here. And if you leave a comment you will be entered to WIN a copy of your own!! Make sure to include your name and email address so that I can send it to you!

(The giveaway will stay open until next Thursday at midnight. I'll pick the winner and post it on Friday!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

my messy shelf

When Corey and I first got married, we were both aware of the others quirks, or so we thought. But I was not prepared for the messy shelf. He would walk in, and empty his pockets on the shelf of the bookcase in our living room: wallet, coins, pens, whatever. It was plopped onto that shelf to remain until he needed it the next day, the next week, or never in some cases. There was also the area behind the TV in our bedroom. It was the depository for anything that didn't make it on the shelf downstairs.

It drove me nutso. I used to like to think that I was a very free-spirited person-do what you want-let's all get along. But no. I hate mess. I hate disorder. I hate clutter. I can't even decorate because it feels like clutter. So the messy shelf drove me insane. I tried to find a place for it. A drawer. A key-ring holder. A basket. But the mess always ended up on that shelf.

What is the point of this story? I have never given myself a messy shelf. I have never allowed a place of disorganization and chaos. Instead my very Type-A personality has always tried to make everything have place and purpose. I want things to fit into nice and neat little boxes. I keep my desk clean. I keep my side table clean. I keep my kitchen clean (unless I am cooking and then it is a mess).

Except here. And it has driven me crazy. I think about closing down shop-letting the "real" bloggers do this thing. Or revamping it to be a cooking blog? A Jesus blog? A blog of goals to meet? But it always ends up a mess of kids and food and adventures and church and friends. A mess of life.  And today I finally realized this little blog of thoughts and introspections and celebrations is my messy shelf. And I create it just like Corey created his--I lay down all the weights of the day-the passages, the funny quips, the recipes, and just leave them until the next day, or week, or never in some cases.  And it is okay if it doesn't make sense.
 loved this imae from currios. While I still like my house clean, a little mess is sometimes necessary.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bar Prep: Week One.

We had to create study plans for a Bar Prep class I was in last semester. I had written that I would wake up everyday at 6 AM to exercise, have a quiet time, shower and just generally get ready to face the day. Then I would work for 4 hours non-stop; eat lunch; another 4 hours; dinner; kids; another hour or so; bed. 

That plan has already been thrown out as inconceivable. 

First-I found that giving myself an afternoon break to workout and shower was WAY better for me than doing it all in the morning. I still get up at 6 and do multiple choice questions, but save the other stuff for later on. 

Second-I cannot work for 4 hours straight on anything. I can work really hard for a couple hours, but then I need a break. I have to take a minute or two to breath-mentally and physically. 

Third-I underestimated my need for other activities. I NEED to do other things. I need to have ice cream dates with the kids. I need to sit on the porch with Corey and drink coffee. So I've made time for those things too. I have even added a couple new activities. One of which is contributing to a blog called The City of Morgantown. It is run by a guy named Sam. It is photos and articles and other random stuff about this town written by people that are from here. It is a fun outlet to take my mind off the bar exam. Check it out if you have a spare moment.

Finally- Having a day off is going to be necessary. My original plan had all 7 days accounted for. But I need a day off. That might mean that I have to work harder and longer the other 6, but I am willing. I did not do that this week, so the rest of my afternoon has to be spent learning about Constitutional Law--BOO. I didn't like it the first time around. I like it less that I have to do it while the rest of my lot is having fun. 

No sure what this blog will look like this summer. I pre-apologize if you are not riveted by my dive into the bar exam. It's what is going on with me right now-at least for the next 10 weeks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the evolution of my career aspirations...

I am not one of those people who always wanted to be a lawyer. I don't think I actually wanted to be one until about 4 years ago when I took the LSAT and got accepted to law school. And last week as I was purging my house of clutter, I found some old school stuff (I am not a hoarder-except when it comes to school papers and notebooks and silly awards like "Citizenship" or "Never missing class" from 6th grade. For some reason I have kept all these momentos over the years.). In that stuff was evidence of all the different career aspirations that I had over the years. It is slightly comical to look at them in a timeline fashion

1995 (5th grade): Author
1997 (7th grade): French Teacher
1999 (9th grade): Still want to be a French teacher
2000 (10th grade): Aerospace Engineer (what?!?)
2001(11th grade): back to French teacher
2002 (12th grade): Mechanical Engineer...until I have to build a car in AP physics and I am absolutely terrible at it so instead I will go into Advertising (really?)...I am enrolled as a Journalism major at WVU for 3.2 seconds before realizing I am bad at art. SO...Math Teacher.
2003 (Freshman year): High School Math Teacher
2004 (Sophomore year): Oh Crap I don't like teaching. Switch to Math Major in hopes of being an Actuary (hahahahahaha).
2005(Junior/Senior year): Unemployed person apparently. I graduated with a Math degree with no idea what I would do with it.
2006 (First/last semester grad school): Math professor (maybe college students would be better than high school ones?)
2007: Stay at home mamma
2008: Oh my goodness staying at home is really hard. AND now there are two of them and I don't sleep. What do I want to be when I grow up?
2009: I will be a...Physical Therapist. NO. a Librarian. NO. a Lawyer. No. a Nurse (hahaha-if you know me you know why this is hilarious).
2010: LAWYER.
2011: Energy Lawyer
2012: I don't know! (JUST KIDDING!) Corey says it better be a Lawyer after racking up all this debt :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

this Diploma is brought to you by the following...

I feel like that is how I should start this day. It is my graduation day. I am finally finished. I get to wear a silly hat and ugly gown and get a doctorate degree.

But none of it would have been even remotely possible without the love, support, understanding, and willingness to help from those around me. I wish that I could throw all of you a big party to say "THANK YOU"--thank you for helping make my dreams a reality--thank you for helping me stay sane--thank you for all of it. But a blog post will have to suffice for now.

People ask me all the time how I got through law school with two small kids. And the truth is "I" didn't. I had an army of support from the first day....

Sooo...this diploma was made possible by the following...

My family
  • Of course Corey has made endless sacrifices for me to go to school full time. He has been my biggest fan and my rock through everything. 
  • Both sets of parents have also been instrumental. Babysitting weekly or overnight or allowing us to go on vacations that we needed for sanity sake. 
  • My extended family for being cheerleaders and encouragers!
All those that ever watched our children.
(this list is long, but I will include a few highlights)
  • Shawna-first year is dedicated to this woman. She watched my children (along with her two) 2-3 days a week (with little compensation). She let me bring them over when they were sick. She was awesome!
  • Becki-she has been watching Joe for us this year and he LOVES it. 
  • Alexis-our nanny for two summers! Oh my goodness, my children love her. She is ridiculous with them! She would bring crafts...she took pictures... she made working full time not so heart-wrenching.
  • Scads of friends have volunteered in a pinch-Lu, Brittany, Abby, Meghan, Lauren, Laura, Chelsy...

All those that were willing to study at my house or on my schedule
  • Lauren and Charlie definitely were champions of this category. Many a late night was spent around my dining room table doing flashcards or making outlines while the kiddos snoozed.
  • Brittany! She worked with me on my time. I don't think I would have gotten through Property, Payment Systems, Bus Org etc without her organizational skills!
  • The boys I bribed with food to study at my house...Jake, Drew, Nick, Noah, Aaron. Thank you! 
All those that kept being my friend even when I was whiny, or distant, or difficult.
(this list is also long. I am truly blessed to have so many people be my friend!)
  • Shawna-again. She is awesome. And has been my friend since high school-which says something about her staying-ability.
  • Danielle--far away but always constant. She has been my friend through all of this. Her and Scott have offered their home up many a time as a haven when school gets to be too much. 
  • Erin-who knew this gal would stick with me for so long. She was a constant reminder to keep going. It is fun to celebrate us both getting a doctorate! 
  • Becki-always quick to offer some coffee and conversation. Love her for that!
  • Abby--OH ABBY! You know. I'm not sure I could explain how important you are anyways :)
  • Ellen-being far apart has not stopped her from being an amazing friend to me. She has prayed and checked in and held me accountable despite the thousands of miles between us.
  • Meghan-as a fellow professional student, she has been an equally drained and exhausted friend. And oh so much fun from late night convos to spending two weeks in our spare room. I have loved this lady!
  • Lauren--my best friend in law school. We are so different in so many ways and so the same. She has stuck by me and encouraged me. We cook for fun. We reward with food (and beverage). She was so necessary!
  • Chelsy-I have never met someone as similar to me. She has kept me grounded when things got crazy. She has offered the Word to heal and encourage and love. 
I can't really do justice to any of you in a blog. But know that I thank God for you everyday. I would never get to walk across that stage without you. This diploma is for you :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Law school ended last Thursday for me. There was no fanfare or ticker-tape. After three years of dreaming for this day to come, it lacked any pomp or circumstance. It should have looked something like this.

Instead, I got in the car, picked up the kids and went to Walmart. How is that for glamorous endings? 

I've spent the last few days reflecting. And cleaning out closets. I've spent time with the kids. Read books. I feel like I am exhaling for the first time in a long time. I have given myself permission to unwind. I am at this moment, unshowered, sitting on our back deck with coffee and kiddos enjoying the morning sunshine. The grind will begin again soon enough-so I am trying to savor this rare opportunity to relax. 

In a few days, we will take a much needed mini-vacation to one of favorite destinations--Knoxville. I can't wait to celebrate birthdays, and graduation, and life with some of our favorite people. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

It is a week of lasts...

This marks my final week of classes. (unless you count bar-prep classes and I am obviously not. They are in a league all their own.) I already finished one class up last week. Two more will be over today. And I am not feeling particularly nostalgic--it will just be weird to not be here.

In a very short amount of time this place becomes your home away from home (especially first year). You eat here. You study here. You occasionally fall asleep on the couches in the student lounge. You make friends quickly. You pride yourself on finding the secret bathrooms. You fall into routines.

Second and third years, I wasn't here as much. But it is still part of my daily existence. I have identified myself as a law student for the last three years, and in a few short weeks I will be a graduate. In a few short months I will be an attorney (hopefully one that is licensed to practice). And the friends that I have made will scatter. The walls I am accustomed to will just be a part of the last chapter. It's weird. (ok so I guess I am being somewhat nostalgic--it will only get worse :) Endings bring it out in me...

PS-found these bookends on Pinterest and I LOVE 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I haven't done a "currently" post in a while. I like these posts because I can look back over them and remember all the stuff I've been doing in the periphery of real life.

Listening to... 
Andrew Bird's "Break it Yourself"

find the review here.  It is a really wonderful album! He is soooo talented. 

A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God

it's available free on the Kindle-I highly recommend grabbing it!

I am fine to admit that we watch too many shows that have very little redeeming qualities. Our evenings together generally consist of us both collapsing in recliners after the kids go to bed and watching TV for another hour or so.

The most exciting thing is that Mad Men started back up - and that is something I would recommend. Also just watched "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey"-a documentary about Kevin Clash. It was AWESOME. (It's on Netflix Instant, so go watch if you have a free hour)

Family Friendly dishes 

I also signed up to review a fellow-blogger's cookbook called Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden. You can find her blog here. I am so excited to be a part of it! Plus I get a free e-book for one of my readers--stay tuned for that! 

The most current thing I am doing is AVOIDING preparing for my oral argument this afternoon.  I am not an oral advocate. I stumble over my words. I get nervous. My feet shake. It is not pretty. So the thought of having to deliver a 15-20 minute argument this afternoon is enough to make me want to clean every bathroom all day rather than prepare. ALAS. I will have to get through it. And preparing is probably the best bet. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm starting to think this graduation thing is actually happening...

Today I picked up my cap and gown (and hood and tassel). It is sinking in that in a few short weeks, I will graduate. I am wrapping up all the loose ends of this semester now. I have an oral argument on Thursday and two final classes on Monday. All that is left after that is ONE final exam.
(I don't know why this bird looks so perturbed...but he is right. The tassel is worth the hassle!)
the pic is from pinterest

The last three years have been spent working toward this day and now it is so close...

It feels weird. 

It has been a long journey-and somehow it feels like a small blip on the radar of my life.  

And I want to finish strong. I started following some new people on the old Twitter, and one of them posted a photo that I really like (his handle is @jonacuff and he writes about Stuff Christians like. It's a lot of fun!).  It is a reminder as I go through the next few weeks...the long months of prepping for the bar exam...and the rest of my life.

It also makes me a little happy that other people also have terrible handwriting. If you can't read it, it says, "I dare you to launch the adventure of this week from the truth of knowing that your successes and failures will not determine how much God loves you."  I LOVE this idea--to launch into the adventures of this week--to believe that God's love for me is not determined by whether I succeed at a task or fail miserably. I only have a few more law school adventures, but I can't wait to see all that God has in store.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why this Friday is so Good...

I am not a theologian. I am far from a bible scholar. But I always thought that it was odd to call the day Jesus died "Good Friday."  Good doesn't seem to capture the amazing, awe-inspiring, gracious, precious, (insert applicable adjectives) that this day is. The day Jesus died on the cross for my sins and in my place; for the sins of the whole world; in the place of every person. But then I think back to Genesis.  When God created the world and everything in it, "He saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (Gen 1:31).  So I guess that it makes sense that the day His Son fulfilled the law and the prophets, we would call it good.

Last night at our group, we talked about James chapter 2. The second half of the chapter deals with faith and deeds. And I think that today, in light of the amazing sacrifice of my Savior, it is worth trying to articulate what has impacted me most. The sections begins, "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says that he has faith but does not have works?" (James 2:14).  I have heard that statement in my head so much this last week "What good is it??"  What good is it to say that Jesus died for my sins on this GOOD Friday if I don't live like it?

As mentioned in a previous post, I am reading A.W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God and he has this amazing chapter called "Removing the Veil". [Brief background: Jesus was arrested; handed over to Pontius Pilate; sentenced to crucifixation; beaten; hung on the cross. When he breathed his last, Matthew captured this moment in chapter 27 "Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom." (Matt 27: 50-51).  This curtain was what separated God from people. Only once a year could the high priest enter to offer sacrifices--and someone once told me that they tied a rope around his waist in case he died in there, they could drag him out without having to go in after him.  It separated the world from the "Holy of Holies."] Jesus death made a way for every person to enter into the presence of God--a real, intimate relationship with the Creator of the world. Tozer posed a question in his chapter "With the veil removed by the rending of Jesus' flesh, with nothing on God's side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without?"  His explanation is that we have a veil of SELF (self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love...) that keeps us from entering into his presence.

Going back to James--what good is it that Jesus died if I won't enter into the Holy of Holies? What good is it that he gave up everything for my sake if I am not willing to do the same for him?  Tozer continued the chapter talking about how we have to crucify the self-life. It is a veil that must be torn in two just like the one that was torn when Jesus died. "We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified."  He ends the chapter with this...

The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. 
It does not keep its victim hanging there forever.
There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies.
After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered into actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God.
I don't share any of this because I have it figured out. I share it because I hope it excites someone as much as it excited me. That I get to take part in this day. I can share in this Good Friday--crucifying this self-life that I have hid behind for so long. Enter into the Holy of Holies and experience the Presence of God more and more everyday.  I'll end with a couple verses from Hebrews 10 that I LOVE..."[S]ince we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart with full assurance of faith.." (Hebrews 10:19-22)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Countdown Begins

I am 21 days away from my last final....

I am 38 days away from graduation...

The next few weeks are full of finishing touches; I am wrapping up the last three years of my life. It has been an incredible ride. Law school is a unique experience--well for me it has been a unique experience. It is a stretching. I imagine the next month of the blog will likely be very intro/retrospective since I am finishing a chapter of my life--and I want to make it count.
(love this print I found on Pinterest--very appropriate for this post)

Also, I started reading A.W. Tozer's "The Pursuit of God"-it is incredible, and convicting, and amazing. So I imagine some of his words will pop up here too.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The day I love the best.

I love Sundays.

It is the day that I get to sleep in - and Corey gets up with the kiddos.

It is the day I get to plan our meals and get our grocery list all ready.

It is the day that I am privileged to go and worship with our Church and dig into the Word together.

It is the day that I prep for meals throughout the week.

I am currently listening to the new Andrew Bird album, making baked oatmeal muffins, and bread and hummus. Sundays are a day of rest. While it seems that my list of activities is anything but rest, I beg to differ. This is my rest. I can relax and knead the dough; the smells of the pumpkin oatmeal puts me in a happy place. Creating yummy and healthy food puts me at ease.  Rest can have all kinds of different manifestations. Mine are here in the kitchen.

In a bit I will have to bite the bullet and do school work, but for right now, I am in my element.

PS--this is an especially special Sunday. It is my dad's birthday. And while we won't be celebrating it until next weekend, I cannot leave him out of this post. Love you Dad!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A decade

A decade ago I met this guy and we went on our first date--to see Panic Room. It is a wonder we made it to a second date after that terrible movie! A decade later we are hanging out in recliners watching our kiddos play Wii, drinking coffee, and just generally enjoying one another's company. I think that is how I would describe us best--we just genuinely enjoy being around one another. I can't imagine my life without him.

We have been through a lot in our 10 years. We have grieved, mourned and wailed (with me doing most of the wailing-Corey isn't much of a crier). But we have also rejoiced. And laughed. We laugh A LOT.

We have changed over the years too. We've changed addresses; we've changed churches; we've changed hairstyles--the beard is the newest facial hairstyle for him :); The dreams we had when we first met have transformed into new dreams. But with every season, I am reminded that I love this guy-he is my best friend. I'm looking forward to another decade (by then we will have teenagers--pray for us!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's okay to not be okay

"It's okay to not be okay"  has been the motto of the women I am closest with for the last year or so.  And today while I was running, it was part of my conversation with God. You see I have been learning a lot lately-to the point of being slightly overwhelmed. 

We started a new study in our community group reading the book of James. So I am learning "be a DOER of the Word and not just a HEARER." And I have been doing a bible study with my friend Ellen about Paul. So I've been learning about being SPIRIT LED and SPIRIT FILLED. And at church we have been studying Mark-last week was very introspective-looking at what kind of people we are. Am I a hypocrite-an actor? Or am I LIVING OUT MY FAITH on a daily basis. And then I started reading Crazy Love, and I am wondering if I am "LUKEWARM."

So today while running I had a real honest conversation with God. And I laid it all out there. I've been a believer for the last 14 years. I know all the right phrases; I know all the right passages; I know all the cliches. But I don't have a clue how to DO any of them. What does it mean to "take up my cross daily"? How do I "die to myself"?  How do I know if I am "bearing good fruit" or doing "What Jesus would do" or "quenching the Spirit"? These phrases are ones that I am quick to say. But unless I DO THEM, what good is it? 

I have been reading a blog about Christian cliches by a lady named Addie Zierman. She writes about all the Christian cliches and tries to get to the bottom of their meaning and purpose and give a new perspective on old words that have lost a lot of their vigor. And as I read these posts, I realize that I have been stuck saying empty phrases that do no good because I don't live them out. I am like the man in James who "looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." (James 1:23-24). It seems ridiculous. But that is how James describes a person who looks into the Word and doesn't DO what it says.  

In case you are hoping for some amazing revelation that I had on my run, I will let you know now that I did not have one. But I do think I've figured out that the culmination of all these revelations is a real desire to figure this stuff out. I am tired of being okay with half-hearted explanations and trite responses like "I'll be praying for you." So I have to put my fear of the unknown aside and dig in.  I mentioned a couple posts ago that I have been avidly listening to the new David Crowder Band album, and one of the songs is particularly powerful to me. It is called "Sometimes" and the bridge is amazing. It says:

It's Your love that we adore 
It's like a sea without a shore
Don't be afraid
Just set your sails
and risk the ocean
it's only GRACE

Jumping into the Word--into prayer--into non-wishy-washy faith is scary. But I am convinced that a life with Jesus is life to the full (John 10:10). It's worth the risk.

PS I wrote this partly because I don't want to have this moment of clarity and then do nothing (again). I saw this on fb today and thought it was funny because it is so true (a movie, a book, a sermon etc)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Randomness of a Law Student with no Law things to do...

I have been trying to savor this LAST spring break. Not that I will never have a day off again, but I will no longer be a student in about a month. Which means no spring break, no week off at Thanksgiving, no month off at Christmas.  I will be in the grown up world for the first time ever (I went from undergrad to babies to law school, so I've never really been a nine-to-fiver).

So what have I been doing?

Cleaning, reading, cooking, watching TV, getting in the Word and spending some much needed time with those fine people I call my family. We have gone bike-riding, played lots of Wii (Joe is obsessed), read books, had special movie nights, baked and had lots of snuggle time.  I love these folks. Here are some photos that capture the absolute beauty of the last few days...

I have more to share - especially about some of the awesome truths God has been teaching me about living this crazy life of mine. But that requires more time than I have at this moment. So until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lovely weather...Lovely music

I am still in the throes of writing...and reading...and taking practice exams. HOWEVER, the weather has been lovely. (Today it is 78 and sunny-WHAT?).  It can completely change my mood and my productivity levels. Over the weekend, I was able to study some outside; soak up some Vitamin D; feel more human than hermit, hovering over my laptop 8-10 hours a day. (AND STILL GET 35 pages written). And it is only a few more days. Not that the remaining 5 weeks of school will be cake...but it will be BETTER. 

AND...I have been listening to some really wonderful music. If iTunes could wear out I think that I might have worn this song out on the new David Crowder Band Album --("Give Us Rest or (a requiem mass in c [the happiest of all keys]), and probably the song "Sometimes" as well (and "Oh My God" and "Sequence 4"). I am slightly obsessed....just go buy the album. It's worth it.

On that note, I must go and continue to pound the pavement--just keep swimming--run the good race. The weather and the music making the work that I have to do a little bit less painful.

Friday, March 2, 2012

the woes of writing

One of the reasons I have not posted lately is that writing is taking up ALL MY TIME. I write memos and complaints. I write loan documents and essays. I am writing all the time.

And I don't even really like writing.  I was a MATH MAJOR. While I think I write well, it takes forever. It is draining. So thinking of writing on the blog after all the hours of painful legal writing is just no fun.

BUT tomorrow is Barristers Ball, and my friend Lu and I are going to spend the day making food and hanging out. NOT WRITING. NO WRITING. (except probably in the morning when I have to work on my App Ad brief). So I will certainly post photos of us in our lovely dresses-and our men in their fine clothes. It should be a blast-and our last one to boot. I look forward to blogging that.
In the meantime...I will be over here-writing <sigh>

Friday, February 17, 2012

What if I can't find my big girl panties?

It's been one of those weeks. After a great weekend away with no stress and no work, I got slammed. Some things I had planned for, but others--not so much.
  • The car registration is almost expired--Where is the tax receipt? Ummm--have to go to the courthouse to get one...
  • Pre-school registration is Monday--do we have Joe's immunization records? Nope--have to go to Ruby to get those.
  • It's my weekend to do kids at church--did I remember? Nope--luckily I have the best friend in Becki who volunteered to take it after the horrific look on my face yesterday.
  • Add to that list of unexpected-the 3 papers I have had to write in the last 4 days and the App Ad paper that is looming somewhere in the near future.

I needed the days to slow down to a snail's pace so that I could get everything done. But alas, time moves at its own speed, and it's Friday. I wish I could say that now that everything is checked off, I am stress free. But that is not the case. I got my butt-kicked by this week.

Amazingly, it has been a really good week for me and the Word. God has been pouring truth and grace into my life everyday, knowing how much I would need it. Cause while I realize that it sounds like I am whining (okay, I am whining), I'm amazed at what God is able to do in the midst of stress and frustration. I've been reading 1 Peter--and I needed this reminder!

Trials are a part of life. Things do not always go smoothly. And somehow we start to think if the going gets tough, it must not be the right direction. But I have not found that to be true. Rather, I have found that when we have to fight and work and not everything is peachy-keen, those are the times we grow the most. And JOY is ahead.

In addition to the wonderful words I have been reading, I have been really blessed by the friends in my life who have come beside me to bear the burden. Corey was on call this week, and with all my evening classes, it can be a problem. I don't like missing class, and he has to be at work. So Monday we did the Great Child Swap. I picked up Libby from school, took her and Joe to the law school where the wonderful Chelsy threw them in her mini-Cooper. She took them back to our house, fed them, and played with them until Abby Quinn Lilly could get there to relieve her. Corey got home eventually. Wednesday, Lauren happily volunteered to watch Libby so I could go to a meeting-Corey ended up getting out of work on time, but it is so nice to know I have people. Today, while I attempt to get work done, Becki is watching Joe (along with her two little girls). Having a community like this one - it's priceless. Especially on days (or weeks) that I can't find my big girl panties.