I read another book! It's a summer miracle.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I decided to read Lewis' The Great Divorce because I found this interesting series by a favorite author/teacher, Ken Boa.  
"It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between." — C.S. Lewis
When Lewis says "old," he is probably talking ancient.  This is stretching enough for me.  This little book from the 40's, written shortly after The Screwtape Letters.  

It is a fictional piece.  Don't take it literally, but there are true principles communicated within this fantasy.  It's about a group of "ghosts" who board a bus in Hell and go on a trip to visit Heaven.  It's about a collection of stories of individuals who are either choosing to move toward God or away from Him.  

I found it captivating.  I've probably told 5 people in my life so far they have to read it this summer.  I can be a little pushy at times. :)  I just found it that fascinating.

I was excited to read Ken Boa's guide alongside.  It helped me engage at a deeper level some of the spiritual truths in the story.  It reminded me of being in a book club, except it's with a crazy-smart christian professor (I'm fascinated by his degrees...Th.M., Ph.D., and D.Phil...what??).  I have read only a few classics since college/seminary.  I'll try to take Lewis' advice and throw in a classic here and there.  Books that are decades/hundreds of years old and are still in print seem to hold amazing value.  I hope my girls capture a love of reading too.  The "Taste of the Classics" series would be wonderful for them when they are in high school.  I'm tucking that idea away. :)

A few more links:
The Great Divorce :: free to read online (I found my copy easily at my library)
Ken Boa - The Great Divorce :: here is a book discussion you can listen to online, free

I like swim lessons!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


20 Roadtrip Memories :: Virginia

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This post is now from the archives.  It was from a year ago, but I never published it last year.  I guess I wanted to include more photos?  Don't remember.  It is still fun to share, even if it was a long time ago now.

From 6/17/10:

This post was a beast! It has taken me 3 months to even want to attack it. I took a ton of pictures. This was our big summer vacation where we drove to see my brother-in-law graduate law school in Virginia. I had to limit the many memories to 20.  Here is our roadtrip we took from May 11th - 20th of this year.

20.  Leaving for our first trekk across the country in our Eurovan!  This car was made for a roadtrip.  On the trip it officially became our 6th family member.  I've nicknamed it "Ike," short for Ikea because it looks just like the giant blue store. :)  We also call it "Brunson Burner" in honor of Adam's old van...still miss that thing.virginia trip-4261virginia trip-5058
19.  Driving all night to get to Atlanta the next morning.  That is so much harder at 31, than the last time I did that at 27.  But if you drive all night it means you get to see an amazing sunrise on the road - and it's all worth it!DSC_4285
18.  Visiting my aunt Lala in Atlanta.  We grabbed a hug, stretched our legs, ate some lunch...and then headed out for a fun excursion to Georgia's Aquarium.  Awwwee-some!!  (Just like Lala would say.)
17.  Next day - back in the car and drive to Virginia.  We pulled into the Great Wolf Lodge at 11pm and woke up the girls to show them the incredibly fun place their incrediby fun parents picked for a (one-night...it's expensive!) stay.
16.  Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg!!  Everybody loved it...almost...the baby did not know what to do with all the falling water.  We snuggled her all day (fun) and had a great day of water play!
15.  Playing in my sister's backyard.  Enjoying our stay at their Williamsburg home one last time.
14.  Breakfast out with the whole fam.  Seeing our daughter order peach pancakes that were bigger than her plate.
12.  We brought dress up for the girls from home.  Our oldest had her matching outfit to go with her Felicity doll that grandma GK made her.  She got stopped a lot!  People were taking her picture and asking where they could rent the costume like hers.  It was too fun.  She loved it!  Her American Girl doll, Felicity, is an historical character from Williamsburg.  So it became "Felicity day."
11.  Seeing Uncle Andrew graduate from Law School!  Yay!  They have had a great 3 years at William & Mary, but's it's time to bring them home!-
10.  Having fabulous meals cooked by family and gathering around Rachel's dining table...good times.  My sis and I snuck off to the outlet malls one night.  She found me an adorable beach hat.  We helped Rachel & Andrew pack up their house onto the moving truck.  I packed her kitchen...they have a lot of cups, I seem to remember. :)
9.  On to Charlottesville, VA...eating pizza at Crozet Pizza.  The quirky place reminded us of home.
8.  loved our visit to Monticello.  We are on our relaxing drive home now.
7.  Blue Ridge Parkway!  Enjoying the drive through the beautiful Appalachian mountains.  We loved our stop to explore a rambling creek and stretch our legs.
6.  Gatlinburg, TN
5.  swimming in the indoor pools at the hotels on the way home
4.  Seeing our little one in all her many moods...and working hard to keep her happy while strapped down in a car for so long.addie
3. I enjoyed long talks with my man. We love that about car trips.
2.  Goofing off in the car on the way home...trying not to go crazy!
1.  Milkshakes at Health Camp & driving through crazy Texas storms on the way home.  Home is home.  We love Texas.  And now that we've seen a lot of State Lines...Texas is by far the coolest...really!

our story :: part I

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I have wanted to write out our dating & marriage story for our kids for a long time.  Our 3 girls do what I remember doing as a little girl.  They adore love stories.  They already love to watch weddings and pretend they have a family.  It is often on my mind that I want them to collect as many godly, love stories as they can while growing up.  Stories of couples who depended on God to bring them a spouse in His perfect timing.

Adam and I have had an idea to make a little photo book that told our story of how we got married.  I'd love for it to be something we read and reread together over the years.  They can know everything they want to know about us.  My plan is to write out the journaling in little snipits here.  Hopefully, I can get this project done soon and share it when its complete. ;)

My little beginnings
My story started with a family and a church.  I grew up in a very loving home.  My parents had 2 daughters.  I was the oldest child and 4 1/2 years later my younger sister, Rachel, was born.  (I had to include my "Ms." picture...my mom loved that onesie).

When I was 8 years old, my parents started attending a new church.  This was when we began going to church as a family.  A year later, I put my faith in Christ after my 3rd grade Sunday school teacher taught me the gospel.  It was very clear to me that I needed a Savior and I made a decision to trust Him with my life & my future.  That day was the most significant day in my life, but that was just the first step for me in understanding how God would lead my life.

More for another day...

practical theology for women

Saturday, June 4, 2011

For me, during this season of life, I make a big deal about finishing a book.  It is no small thing for me and I love to read.  I just rarely finish books, because I'm always reading 5 books at one time.  I'm kind of a spaz like that.

I finished Practical Theology for Women late last night.   I committed to reading it with 2 friends from church.  We met for lunch today to discuss some of what we learned from it.

Wendy Alsup broke her book into 3 parts.  The first section has several chapters on faith.  The second part was discussing the character of God, and the last section dealt with communicating with God (studying His Word, the Spirit's role and prayer).  In her chapter titled, "What is Faith," I love what she writes to us as believers for when we face a loss or a struggle.

Wendy writes: "He doesn't ask the same things of any two people, and the struggles he allows into your life will be intensely personal.  But when they come, ask yourself, "What is it I believe about God?"  Do you believe that he is good?  Do you believe his promise to work hard things for good in your life?  Do your trust that he's acting consistently with his claims of love for you?  Simply put, do you believe him?  And in that dark moment, are you going to let your belief in his goodness or your despair over your struggle lead you?  Truly, those who lose their lives in the arms of God's grace are the ones who finally see what true living really is."

I love those questions that she poses there.  I had a favorite moment in each of the 3 sections of this book.  I spent several days thinking about what she wrote about Christ in Philippians 2.  Her exhortation about the Holy Spirit near the end of the book was another highlight for me.

This book was a wonderful read and gave my friends and I much to discuss.  I love theological discussions and books that have a deeper level of theology.  Like I mentioned, I have only so much time to read and it is precious to me.  I try not to waste that time, so I choose what I read carefully.  I would have shied away from this if it was self-help or shallow.  On the contrary, it dealt with core truths in our Christian faith and in a very sincere, encouraging way for women.  That is what I was hoping it would do.

When it comes to reading something that really challenges me, I have a few things I read every few years because they always impact my life so much.  I love reading a sermon by C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.  I also love A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy.  Practical Theology for Women reminded me of what I love in these two writings.  I love reading these things because they make me so hungry to read more of God's Word and remind me of all that He has done for me.

flying solo

Friday, June 3, 2011

Adam came home sick from work yesterday.  I felt for him because he had a fever and looked miserable.  Then about 4pm today (a day and a half later), I started feeling empathetic for myself.  Flying solo is hard work. :)  I had to pull out all my tricks.  Pizza and the sprinkler park.  And then some long, silent prayers that they would go to bed soon after.

Something about this one (below) that I just love.
I was playing around with our wide angle lens (24mm).  It is so much fun with kids.  And a little tricky at a splash park considering you have to get in close.  I think the moms where looking at me with my camera and thinking I was too crazy.  I say, "What else is a camera for?!"  They're waterproof, right?

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