Taste & See

One of our church elders wrote a song that we use while going forward for communion from time to time. It’s been greatly encouraging to me, and I wanted to record the words here:

You alone are worthy of delight
I don’t know why I look to other things
To satisfy the longing in my heart
I need your love, to receive your love

All you gave up to forgive us
We receive it, we believe in you

Taste and see the Lord is wholly good
His blood like wine, his body is true food
Break the bread, abide within his love
Take the cup, take the blood he offered up

All you’ve given we will take in
To remember, to proclaim ’til you come back again

— “Taste & See,” by Greg Stump 2008

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baby bumThat slow-motion, frame-by-frame tumble when a baby falls off the couch toward the floor… We experienced that today and my heart nearly stopped.

My little guy had just massively spit up, and since his sitting skills have been developing nicely, I propped him up in the corner of the couch where we were both sitting in order to get us cleaned up. Then I looked away for a moment, just a moment! I whipped my head back around upon hearing his squeal, however, and saw nothing but an upside down baby butt as he tumbled toward the ground. I grabbed at whatever part of him I could get to first, and managed to rescue the child with his head less than an inch from the ground.

Oh wow, that was too close of a call!

He cried for a while, a small, squealing whimper that I’ve never heard before. I think it’s his “scared” cry. So I held him close and walked around the house until we’d both calmed down.

Now I know why they say to always stay within arm’s length…

Swimming baby

Hey, here’s mah boy!

Christ Be In My Waking

I’m thankful for beautiful new music that reaches into my life and draws me closer to God… Lately at church we’ve been singing “Christ Be In My Waking” by Stuart Townend. Although this is a song of contrast and all of the lyrics speak about wanting Christ in my life at every circumstance, the “Christ be in my gladness” verse in particular jumps out for me. There is a contrast of joy and goodness to sorrow and darkness, yet so true how each of these is unpredictably and often simultaneously present in my life . The gladness isn’t diminished because of the darkness, and the sorrow doesn’t disappear just because of the goodness that is there … but in each situation, there is Christ. There is Christ.

Christ be in my waking, as the sun is rising,
In my day of working, with me every hour.
Christ be in my resting, as the day is ending,
Calming and refreshing, watching through the night.

Christ be in my thinking and my understanding,
Guarding me from evil, walking in the light.
Christ be in my speaking, every word a blessing,
Pure and not deceiving, grace to all who hear.

Jesus, this is my devotion,
All my life to know You,
Every day to walk with You.
Saviour, You’re my deepest longing,
You’re the One I live for,
Teach me, Lord, to walk with You.

Christ be in my gladness for the joy of living,
Thankful for the goodness of the Father’s hand.
Christ be in my sorrow, in my day of darkness,
Knowing that I follow in the steps He trod.

Christ when hope has faded, nothing left to cling to,
Every pleasure jaded, every well is dry.
Christ the loving Shepherd draws me with His kindness,
Leads me from the desert to the streams of life.

“The starting point for the song,” explains Stuart, “was the famous 16th century ‘God be in my head’ prayer, but I wanted to apply it in such a way that it helped us to recognise the closeness of God at every hour of the day, and every season of life – in the joys and the sorrows, in the process and the crisis – and I hope that both the song and the brilliant video help to bring this home.”

Everyday scenes play out as Stuart’s vocals call for a wider view of God, one that sees devotion in the simple act of walking with God, every day. The effect is compelling and beautifully articulates the message at the heart of the song: that whatever we find ourselves doing can become a conduit for our own devotion and service to God. There is no sacred/secular divide, and there are no invisible barriers that keep our faith and work separate. Christ can be in our working and walking just as much as he can in our worshipping and witnessing … and even, it seems, in our videos.

7.5 months pregnant

It feels like a strange thing to say, but I love my figure right now! This is what being 7.5 months pregnant looks like and feels like? Then sign me up to do it again. (In a few more years, of course.)

Aside from being extra tired and a few other usual symptoms, this is a great time. I feel like myself, just with a growth on the front of me. Sometimes I even forget I’m pregnant and then will suddenly be surprised upon passing a mirror, or trying to go through a door I haven’t opened all the way… Baby regularly reminds me of its presence by kicking and squirming and twisting its head back and forth, and sometimes that will also catch me by surprise and remind me that I’m pregnant. It’s a weird experience, all of it.

The other day I was in the bathroom peeing, and as I finished up, the baby squirmed itself right down into the place where my full bladder had just been. “No, Baby!” I told it. “I didn’t open up that space for you; it’s my space!” Unsurprisingly, Baby didn’t have a clue about what I was saying, so after washing up, I went into an abandoned conference room and propped myself upside-down for a while to jostle the little one out of that space.

Gerry takes a picture of me each week to chronicle my growth … when I look back at the beginning, it’s hard to believe that was me. Being the size of a small whale is my new “normal,” and I’m so used to it by now. Haha!

NeckThe strangest thing happened this morning when I woke up with physical marks on my neck from an awful dream in which I was fighting off an attacker. Yes! And the marks are still actually faintly visible … although not tender and sore any more. (I just snapped this picture of the marks with my phone, and can’t figure out for the life of me why I didn’t do it this morning when they were more prominent!)

The marks are where a person might normally have neck creases, except that I don’t have creases there. And the space between the lines, particularly toward the right of the picture above my index finger, is faintly colored in darker like a bruise, and was sore like a bruise.

What in the world was going on last night?!

In the dream, a shabby-looking guy who vaguely resembled Robert Carlyle (saw him in a TV episode last night before bed) was coming up behind me as I hiked a beautiful but solitary ocean cliffs location. As I sped up, so would he, until we were both running full tilt onto a sandy beach. He was screaming something about the Woman, the Beast, Revelation, the Whore of Babylon, and End-Time prophecies … he wanted me to stop so that he could tell me his theories, but I didn’t want to hear any of them. Besides, the level of creepiness was so high that somehow I knew he was going to to try to falsely “judge” me (kill me) as the Whore of Babylon after telling me his theories.

So we got to the sand, he tripped me, and we were tussling together as hard as we could. Motherly instinct kicked in and because I didn’t want him to hurt my baby, I was fighting back like a banshee. I even pulled the bobby pins out of my hair and was stabbing him so hard with them that they broke his skin.

At that point I woke up with my neck hurting.

Too bad that dream incident happened, because it really was a lovely dream location that otherwise I’d return to. But now it’s ruined with the memory of fighting with the guy…

One of Gerry’s contributions to the family that I appreciate most is his role as social coordinator. Sure, I like people, but I’m not the type to actually plan a get-together, and I often forget to check in with my friends and ask those simple little questions like, “How are you doing?” Gerry never has these problems.

Every few weeks, he’s been gathering half a dozen people at the house for dinner, and it’s a great thing to come home to! It’s always a great guest list … he’s got a knack for picking people who may not know each other yet, but are going to get along just fine.

Last night, we had over three of his coworkers (two are new to the team), two former youth group students, and our roommate. Gerry had cooked up some fantastic spinach/cheese ravioli, and he made sure that there was a serving left over for me. Odd fact: This was my first time to ever have ravioli for a meal. And it was deeeeeeeelicious! Why didn’t I know this stuff existed before?!

Later, after Gerry had gone to work for a late shift and I’d been in bed for a short while, the doorbell rang twice. After finally recognizing the sound, I rolled myself out of bed, threw on a bathrobe, and went to look out the peephole. Whoever had rung the bell was gone, but had left our screen door swinging open. And then, I heard some sounds on the porch, and then there was a guy opening up the screen door and putting his hands on the glass door! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

…good thing that I recognized our roommate’s fiance quickly. That boy nearly got himself shot!

Since it was him, I went and let him in from the porch. He had just come to check on her since she was feeling ill and had gone to bed early. I didn’t say much to him last night, but apparently our roommate gave him an earful this morning about not sneaking around on people’s porches at night. (Good for her!)