Monday, April 26, 2010

musical monday

Seeing as how it's 9:00 on Monday night and I have yet to post (I had good intentions - I think I had the picture up at about 9:00 am!), I'm just going to share with you what our hymn of the month has been at our church, Elkin Valley.  It's one of my favorites and just a great reminder of our need to invite God to be at work in every aspect of our lives.  I don't know about you, but I am "prone to wander," and am so thankful for a Savior who is not just "prone to," but lavish in his grace each day!  What a reason to sing!

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

I was lost in utter darkness
Till you came and rescued me
I was bound by all my sin when
Your love came and set me free,
Now my soul has found a new song
Now my heart has found a home
Now Your grace is always with me
And I’ll never be alone

Here I raise mine Ebenezer
Hither by Thy help I’m come
And I hope by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like 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

To learn more about this hymn, go here!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

my paperless kitchen, optional title: Ode to Earth Day

I was inspired a few months ago, by my friend, Terra, to work toward a paperless kitchen.  I had been thinking about how much money we spend and how much waste we generate from napkins and paper towels and was wanting to make a change.  I have truly enjoyed using cloth diapers with Elijah, but I wasn't sure I was exactly up for extra laundry around here.  (And, fairly enough, Justin wasn't quite sure about me having an extra load of laundry either!)

I guess we have had a paperless kitchen for about 2 months now.  I already had a few cloth napkins on hand (for "special" occasions, which never seemed to call for cloth napkins anyway), so we started using those (now every day is a special occasion!) and I set out to find replacements for paper towels.  Wal-Mart was my store of choice, I guess, for finding some extra dish cloths, kitchen towels and reusable cloths.  I really didn't spend a lot of money to buy extra kitchen towels so I wouldn't easily feel the need to reach for a paper towel when all of my kitchen towels were dirty and I had yet to do laundry.  Also, I ran across a good deal on the Wal-Mart clearance aisle.  I bought several packages of reusable (6 count) Scott Scrub Cloths for 99 cents each.  These have been great.  They weren't what I expected, but were even better.  They actually have the feel of a thick paper towel, but have washed great and kept well so far.  I fold these and keep them in what used to be our (paper) napkin holder, right by the kitchen sink.

Honestly, the switch from paper has been easier and less of a change than I expected it to be.  It totally helped because Justin was completely on board from the beginning when I mentioned this possible change to him.  I just wash all the extra cloths with our towels, so I'm not actually doing any more laundry than I was before.  In fact, it's more of a full load now, so I feel like I'm not wasting any water on washing.  It does take a while to fold the extra cloths, but it's not too bad.  (Especially since we now have a TV in our living room, so I can be entertained while folding!)  We've kept the paper towels tucked away under the kitchen sink, only to be used for cleaning up after the dog or grease from cooking, etc.  Also, I added a bin under the sink that we already had so that I could just toss the dirty towels in there.

I would recommend going for a paperless kitchen!  As I'm typing this I did remember that tomorrow is Earth Day (duh - maybe these subliminal messages all day caused me to start writing this post!), so what better of a time to make a change!  The napkins were probably the easiest switch, but I would say that we save the most waste and money on switching from paper towels.

My next project...starting a compost bin.  Justin has been wanting to do this for a while and I wish we would have earlier so I could have some good compost for my garden.  Anyone already use a compost bin?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

beach trip!

Over spring break here, we were blessed to go with our youth group to Fort Caswell.  This was Elijah's first trip to the beach and we had a wonderful time.  The youth and chaperones worked hard during the day as they beautified Fort Caswell. Meanwhile, Jenifer (our youth minister's wife), her daughter, Abby, and Elijah and I explored and enjoyed the area.  Abby and Elijah are on completely opposite schedules, so they didn't get to hang out a lot, but one day Elijah skipped his first nap so we could hang out at the Fort Fisher Aquarium.  Here's a photo recap of our trip:

Fun in the sand!
Loves boats!
With Daddy
Sleeping in his new car seat!
Elijah & Abby
Jenifer & Abby
Watching for boats
Eating lots of sand
Checking out the fish
Crawling in the sand

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Post

Not an original title, but it had been SO LONG since I'd clicked on "new post," it just felt weird.  Wow...I've been out of the blogging habit, haven't I?  Over a month now...but here I am again...  I felt rejuvenated last night just thinking about blogging, with hopes to have a "catching up" week for you to read about.  Not doing too well when it's just now 9:00 at night when I'm sitting down to finally post today.  

Anyway, here's my "catching up" post for "Musical Monday!"

I don't know if you're familiar with Laura Story, but over the last year she has truly become one of my favorites!  Chris Tomlin made Indescribable popular, but it was written by Laura Story.  Laura Story also wrote Mighty to Save which is one of my FAVORITES! Laura Story (I don't feel like we're quite on a first name basis yet, though I hope to soon be!) also wrote a song named Immortal, Invisible that captured me the first time I heard it and continues to do so every time I listen to it.  I wanted to share it because it is just so well written.  God has obviously gifted Laura (Story) with words to point others to Him. Here's the old hymn lyrics to compare this new song to as well:

Immortal Invisible (The Hymn - Walter Chalmers Smith, 1824 - 1908)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.

Thou reignest in glory; Thou dwellest in light;
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
'Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee.

Immortal, Invisible (By Laura Story)

Immortal, You are not are like a man
That you change your mind
or change your plan
Invisible, our human eyes can't see
The Depths of your majesty

You're the God of forever and ever amen
The alpha, omega, beginning and end
We sing hallelujah
We worship in awe
Immortal, invisible God

Immortal, You are not bound by death
You're the living God, my very breath
Invisible you are not bound by space
But your glory is filling this place
Yes your glory is fill this place

Immortal yet you once died for me,
to pay my debt to set me free
Invisible you will not always be
Cause you’re coming to reign as our king
And the saints will fall down at your feet

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:12-17