Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

30 December 2008

Winter Flowers!

Aren't they beautiful?!

And as I pulled into our driveway this morning, I noticed the first camelia to open on our bush...

24 December 2008

Celebrating the Savior!

A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

"You shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins."
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken
by the Lord through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son,
and they shall call His name Immanuel,"
which translated means, "God with us."
(Matthew 1:21-23)

Read more of the story here, here, and here.

18 December 2008

She's growing up!

Contrast December 2006 with December 2008...

17 December 2008

Home, sweet home!

It’s a cool, drizzly day in the Upstate – 57 degrees F, according to the weather icon on my Google homepage. The berries on the tree in front of the bathroom window have droplets of water on them that form and fall, form and fall, form and fall...

It’s nap time for the little one... And for me, it’s the perfect time of day to sit on the couch, listening to Handel’s Messiah, as I try to make progress on coupon clipping and organizing – glancing up now and then to enjoy the happy little Christmas tree lights...

16 December 2008

"Out of the mouth of babes..."

(and almost-3-year-olds!)

Our pastor has been encouraging us and working with us as a church on memorizing the following passage from the prophecy of Habakkuk:

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
(Habakkuk 3:16-19)

On a Wednesday evening about a month ago, our pastor asked if anyone had come up with any creative ideas as memory aids, etc. It occurred to me to try to get Elizabeth to start memorizing the passage by making a rebus, with picture cues for key words, etc. Well, I haven't gotten that far yet... But I have started quoting parts of the passage to her while we're driving – partly as an effort to "redeem the time" on my part.

On the way to "school" yesterday, we again worked on the passage. But instead of quoting the entire passage, I started with: “The LORD God is my strength.” I paused to see if Elizabeth could supply the last word. I forget what she said but since she didn’t get it right, she got a little frustrated. (She already tends to be a perfectionist – very intense!) But I moved on to the previous phrase anyway: “I will rejoice in the God of my…” and she said: /vation/ (The last time I’d worked with her on the passage was sometime last week!) After repeating those two phrases multiple times, I added the phrase previous to them: “I will exult in the LORD.” I repeated all three phrases, stopping for her to complete the last two with “salvation” and “strength” – and since she had been successful in remembering /vation/ and since she was being successful in consistently completing the two phrases, she was very excited (doing her little shivers of joy, little giggle, etc.) As we were approaching Piney Mountain Rd., I finished going through the three phrases and paused, concentrating on traffic, etc. A little voice from the back seat said: “ high places…” Precious little memory! We hadn't even said those verses since last week sometime. So we added the end of the passage. She was very, very excited – enjoying her successes! And then last night, working on the passage with Daddy, she completed the entire last line of one of the verses. (If I'm remembering correctly, it was: "...the God of my salvation.")

I am both rebuked and encouraged by the privilege and responsibility that is mine as a Christian parent and teacher – to redeem the time and teach my child to memorize the Word of God. (And it makes me have to work harder at memorizing, too – I'm finding that it's not as easy as it used to be!)

11 December 2008

thankful for – a break from the norm

We took a break last week to enjoy the beauty of God's creation and life as a family! I'd forgotten how much fun building sand castles, blowing bubbles, and feeding seagulls can be...

(And now I must get back to the "vacation recovery program" – cleaning house, putting things away, etc., ETC!)

A Mother's Prayer

Lord, give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
Give me patient and smiling eyes;
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
Let not weariness, confusion, or noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So, when in years to come, my home is still
Only happy mem'ries, its rooms may fill.

A good reminder, hanging on a wall in Elizabeth's room, this poem was given to me framed by my assistant pastor's wife at a church baby shower for Elizabeth and me. It seemed a good follow-up to yesterday's post.

It occurs to me that it may also represent a mind-set needed in discipleship of people of any age...

10 December 2008

thankful for – hand-made decorations (and what they mean)

The Lord God has been exceedingly good to us!
(Notice the paper bag pumpkin on the right.)

There was a time in the not-too-distant past, when I seriously doubted whether I would ever have the joy of hand-made school projects and decorations. Looking at the precious Thanksgiving projects, brought home from K-2 and propped up on our desk as decorations, has literally brought tears – of unspeakable joy – to this Mommy's eyes!

The daily demands and incessant pressures of being a Mommy to a little person can cloud and crowd out the moments of joy (quite often found in routine and seemingly mundane tasks of daily life). I could have lived my entire life without the privilege of wiping this precious little face and these grubby little hands! But instead – what a privilege and calling! God – in His goodness – sends moments like these, with precious tangible reminders, to correct our thinking...

Having had – in the goodness of God's plan for our life – to long and wait for a blessing that can so easily be taken for granted, we are constantly rejoicing in God's goodness to us in sending us our precious little girl...

And now I can hardly wait to see what Christmas decorations will come home!

thankful for – cheap gas

Take a look!

Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!
Blessings large AND small!