Friday, August 12, 2011

Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
Five and a half years old
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love

Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nugget Alert!!

Teachers use the word "nugget" a lot. Or maybe just the ones I worked with. Or maybe just me. Hmmm. Anyway, I love to find nuggets. I loved to be able to teach a nugget to a student. And nuggets were NEVER math -related. In fact, they weren't scholastic at all. They were other-worldly--only existing in the heart to shine out the eyes.

I stumbled across this blog. Oh, heck. You and I both know that's not true. The Spirit of God LED me to this blog. I know this because it touched me like nothing else has this morning during my quiet time. It shook my heart from its moors and let it drift. I call that a pretty big nugget. And I am thankful. So here is a teaser--a taste. The author of this blog (her name is Ann Voscamp--as she says--"a plain Ann without even the fanciful "e") wrote what she believes. Her creed, so to speak. I am pasting it here straight from the blog to entice you. If you don't find some time to go check her blog today (or soon), you will be missing out.

What I Believe (by Ann Voscamp)

I believe in Jehovah God who created the whirling galaxies, the birds soaring in the sky overhead, the endless crashing waves and all that dances within them. I believe in Father of all who knits together life, made in His very own image, in the secret quiet of our beings.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the One with no earthly Father, with the dust of this earth between His toes, and with our names etched onto the palm of His hands, right beneath the nail scars…Who now sits at the Father’s right hand making endless intercession on our behalf. I believe in the stone rolled away, in the Body being raised, in the first fruits of the dead…and us all following soon, very soon.

I believe in the Cross as our only Hope, our only Claim, and our only Foundation. I believe that in the pounding surf of life we have only one thing to cling to: the feet of our Lord, hanging on that tree, His lifeblood flowing down, washing us whiter than snow.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, moving, whispering, indwelling our very skin. I believe in living by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, and producing fruit in the Spirit…in the Spirit who helps us in our weakness with groanings that can’t be expressed in words.

I believe in the infallibility of the Bible, God’s Word – a sure Word, a pure Word, the only secure Word. I believe the words on those pages are breathed from the very throne room of heaven, are the love letter penned from the heart of the Lover of our souls; a beacon of light for stumbling feet to find sure footing on a dark path.

I believe there is more than believing. There is living what I believe.

So go there now. The blog is

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ladies Day

Our church recently had a Ladies Day. My mom was the key note speaker. It was such a huge blessing to hear her speak. She has spoken at many retreats and functions, but I have never been to hear her. Until now. I wrote a reflection for the newsletter about my thoughts I had that day and thought I would post it as a blog:


(Not So) Great Expectations

I wasn’t surprised by the numbers. Out of a church of hundreds of women, 30 came the Ladies Day. I had been expecting this. The multitude I desired to praise God with—the need for a stage or a microphone—wasn’t going to happen. Don’t think I hadn’t prayed. I had prayed that God would bring who He wanted there, that He would open hearts to His truth. But I prayed these things with not-so-great expectations. Like a child asking for bread but receiving a stone, I obediently began to raise the rock to my lips. I guess we’re eating gravel again, I thought. Do you ever do that? Does God hand you precious, life-giving bread and you look down and see a handful of dirty rubble? I seem to put on glasses of self-importance, low expectations or pessimism when I stop trusting God. They color how I see His gifts, His path for me, and even His people.

Well, I got my glasses knocked off on Saturday, praise Jesus!!

I sat in my chair literally God-smacked as I listened to precious women from our very own congregation testify to the Lord’s grace in their lives. The theme was discovering your God-given gifts and having the courage to use them in the church body. These women… they spoke openly about their journeys. They revealed weakness and fear and stumbling. They were transparent and relatable. I was feasting—my cup was being filled to overflowing.

And it didn’t stop there. The key note speaker was my own mom, Cindy Burden. Her story of salvation is so closely tied to my own. In fact, my earthly tent had been a home for the Holy Spirit a few years before He took up residence in my mom. Do you know the meaning of the word “Namaste”? It sort of means, “the spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you.” It’s a common form of greeting in India. But have you ever experienced it with another Christian? It’s as if you just know what they are and Who’s they are. I was awed by the sudden sameness I began to see between my mom and I. What had never been there before was suddenly glowing between us and reflecting light off of everything. Our relationship became something I had never allowed myself to hope for in the past. It became filled with love. And not just any love, but the supernatural kind—beyond feelings or obligations. There is nothing common about it. It was then that I truly believed God works miracles today—not just the garden variety of healing or the saving of a life, but the greatest kind there is—the saving of a soul. And as she spoke, I was swept up in a wave of thankfulness that I was there to hear it. When my mother’s words drew our gaze back to the point on her path when dark became light, I remembered how bright my own walk had become.

So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:30-35)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Camping is like childbirth. Somehow you forget the pain and lack of sleep and do it again in a year. We always leave a camping situation thinking "not again". But there we were a few weeks ago. It actually was a great time for the kids. We adults enjoyed most everything but the sleeping. And rather than going into the details, I will just show pictures of our two favorite things from the trip.

The first was the beach. Well, it wasn't technically a beach, but it was a swimming area at the lake. Jack loved playing in the water. We spent most of a day there.

The second funnest camping event was definitely the campfire. Lots of marshmallows and hot dogs. Some friends of ours came and their kids and ours spent all their time setting things on fire.

It was short. It was sweet (not really). It was local. And I think summer would not be summer without a good camping trip.

You Cut WHAT???

My parents were in town and we were all hanging out in the living room when Tessa came in with only one pigtail. Her hair was left so chopped up that we knew we couldn't "save" it. So we went to get it cut. This is Tessa before:

And this is after:
I think she was a little concerned about the change, so we went out for ice cream after getting it done. This girl likes her options, let me tell you.
I must say, the shorter hair just goes better with her personality. It's got more pizzaz.
Here's to you and your 'do, Tessa.

Summer is OVER!!

Today was Tessa's first day of Kindergarten. And it was also the last day of summer vacation for us. No more pal-ing around for the three of us--we three muskateers. We must save our unlived adventures for Fall break. I wanted to get a few pictures of Tessa all ready to go to school. She couldn't help but pose. And Jack spent the morning trying to just be a part of the things unfolding around him.

We walked to school. What a blessing to live so close! I love this little neighborhood. And it was a nice morning, too.

But we were so excited to get there that we left waaaaaaay too early. That just meant we had to kill time on the way. And if we hadn't stopped to enjoy our walk, we might have missed....

This fellow! The kids were thoroughly charmed by this crawdad. And there were two of them--bonus!

After we (reluctantly) left our pinchered friends, we spied a baby beaver swimming in the lake.

Jack says, "Baby....EEEver! Awwwwwwww Cute!"

When we finally approached the school building, there was a crowd of parents and kids. Tessa thought it was weird and said so. I think she was just nervous.

Soon she got into line and stood stoically watching the others. Except when I called to her to wave.

She was really brave today.

And then they waved goodbye and headed away into the building. It was so moving....even Jack thought he should go: