Monday, January 4, 2016

A Few Of My Favorite Things Blog Tag!!!

Gracious - long time no blog! Did you have a good Christmas? Happy 2016!! Life has continued to roll by with its changes and challenges, and I'll be sure to do a mini update-in-Sarah's-life soon.

However, in the meantime, I've been blog-tagged by Leslie from The Upstream Writer to do a Christmas (although she says it can be wintry, all things considered :p) Posting.

Rules: use the same title and top picture (check), answer the questions (of course!), and tag 5 fellow bloggers (mmm...problematic, since I don't know that I have that many compatriots, but we'll see).

So without further ado...

A Few of my Favorite Things Blog-Tag Questions-and-Answers

1. What are some of your favorite "Snuggle Weather" books?
Sadly, I don't have any books that I consistently read or gravitate to in Snuggle Weather. I blame this on the fact that there are always so many amazing, "new" books to read. That said, I really love The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (by Barbara Robinson) and Shepherds Abiding (by Jan Karon) as Christmas-time stories!


2. What is your favorite wintry snack?
Mmmm. Peppermint hot chocolate. (Yum!)

3. What are some of your favorite hot drinks?
Chai teas - always, peppermint hot chocolate - for special occasions, and peach tea lattes - for comfort. Oh yeah, I drink my fair share of coffee, too.

4. What are some of your favorite Christmas movies?
Favorite Christmas movies seem often to gain their titles for reasons of nostalgia. Imagine my dismay, therefore, in answering this question - because we rarely watched Christmas-themed movies while I was growing up! That's not to say we didn't watch any, it just isn't an essential part of my warm-and-fuzzy Christmas memories.

However, I find The Nativity a beautiful - and more honest than most - telling of the Christmas story.

5. What are some of your favorite holiday songs?
I love the songs in Michael Card's album The Promise, specifically "Joseph's Song," "We Will Find Him," "Thou The Promise," and "Jacob's Star."

6. Favorite snow day crafts?
*Ahem* Does reading count as a craft? Because that's my hands-down fav for snow days! Otherwise, I like knitting, crocheting, hand-sewing...anything that makes pretty things while not demanding my full attention (because if I'm not reading, I'm enjoying the people around me!).

7. Do you want to build a snowman?
Of course!!! Also...sometimes not. I didn't with our recent snowing, because I've developed a nasty cold and was being a stuffy old lady in attempts to not make it worse. But theoretically, yes- always.

And that wraps up the bloggy game! Lauren, Mikaela, or Elanee, if you feel like carrying on with posts of your own, please do! Otherwise, I would love to hear any- and every- one's answers to these questions in the comments!!


Thursday, October 29, 2015


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New textbooks, sharp pencils, blue markers, clean whiteboards -
A desk-studded bird cage for parrots, well-taught.
With rote recitation of ready responses
They mimic
Their teachers,
With words they know not.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday Smiles

It's late. The rest of the house is sleeping, but clearly not the rest of the world. Through my open bedroom window, I could hear the coyotes calling to each other a while ago, but they have long since hushed themselves to join me in eavesdropping on the nearby shindig. It's a rare occurrence to hear such a hullabaloo on a street inhabited exclusively by my family and retired couples; my best guess is that it's echoing down to our street from somewhere up the hill. If the music is any indication, they're re-shooting a saloon scene from an old western movie. The bass is plunking away with a tune I'm pretty sure is straight out of "Bonanza," and there is singing, shouting, and dogs barking. I can't help but smile at the sound.

But it's just been a smiling sort of Saturday! Other smiles were...

1. My new print from Kaytch, with C.S. Lewis' quote: "Courage, dear heart."

2. My wee rose bush! I thought I had totally killed it, and was so sad! But now, after a couple weeks of babying it, these tiny little leaves magically appeared. I'm ridiculously excited about them. Aren't they cute??

3. This new marking on my calendar! I get to go see my dear friend in 3 weeks!! She may have only been gone a short time so far, but I'm already missing her to pieces and glad to have a countdown!

4. The glorious warmth and sunshine today.

5. ...and getting to spend the lovely day with this wonderful girl!

What have your smiles been today?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reflections on a Mirror

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If your mum was anything like mine, you grew up with your stunning 5-year-old fashion sense
constantly being challenged. "Don't wear plaid with polka dots," "your socks need to match," "petticoats do not go on your head" (yeah, it was a phase...) - it seemed there were always rules about what did and did not constitute an outfit. Even in my attempts to comply, I was rather flummoxed in following the "Laws of Acceptable Fashion," soon learning that such a feat was harder than it seemed.

The most obvious way to be mom-approved (an incontestable requirement for 5-year-olds) was to run through the list of individual dos and don'ts. Was I wearing plaid with polka dots? Did my socks match? Were there petticoats on my head? Never mind that my socks were dirty, or that my plethora of colors clashed at every intersection - if I was within the Laws of Acceptable Fashion, the girl reflected in the mirror felt satisfied and savvy. Inevitably, when mum would catch a glimpse of the eyesore I called an outfit, she would be scandalized. "What are you wearing?!" And I, having felt confident in my compliance with the rules, would have no idea what she meant.

Clearly, simply focusing on the rules wasn't creating a classy style, so what was a girl to do? As I grew, I learned the key to a good outfit involved not merely evaluating individual pieces, but stepping back, outside of the "rules," to view my outfit as a whole. Does this shirt and skirt look good together? Do I match overall - from hair-bows to shoelaces? Carefully, I would head downstairs, keenly aware of my every accessory, and there await evaluation.

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"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was..."

What causes men and women to look in the mirror, walk away, and immediately forget what their style is? What attitude or perspective determines that one's appearance is not worth a single thought throughout the day? Could it be that mere "hearers", like the 5-year-old-fashionista, are so sure their reflections are flawless, following every "rule," that they simply can't be bothered to consider them again? Of course, as it concerns actual mirrors and styles, I think this approach preferable; but as it concerns my spiritual attitude, I find it convicting.

Are we like the rich young ruler, who looked at the the Laws of Acceptable Behavior and didn't even know what he was missing? Interestingly, the word "law" used in this passage of James means "parceling" - a breaking up of our King's character into smaller pieces: pieces our finite minds can understand. However, when I look into the mirror of the law and consider only the individual dos and don'ts, will I notice if my spiritual socks are dirty with discontentment? Will I be aware that I've given imbalanced attention to the petticoats of works by wearing them on my head?

Will I see my great need to be adorned by His great grace?

"...But he who looks in to the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does."
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To be perfect is to be complete. When we look at our reflections in the law, not as individual dos and don'ts, but as pieces that describe a complete Character so entirely infinite that it dazzles the comprehension, will we feel "satisfied and savvy" with the  faces looking back at us? Will we walk away and "immediately forget" what kind of men and women we are? Or will it cause us to continue there, studying the perfect One, being changed into His likeness, seeking His adornment?

How do you look in the mirror?

Monday, August 10, 2015

As If

He works "all things together for good," so we hear.
As if blessings were really the sequel to tears!

As if evil surroundings of culture and man,
Could be turned into goodness, if left in His hand!

As if pain could be growth, as if hate garnered love-
As if all of this hurting is used by above!

As if blatant defiance, once seen and confessed,
Can deserve to be useful in showing His best.

As if turning our backs doesn't mean it's the end,
But instead is the proving of Who is our Friend.

As if when we, like Rahab, His law, careless, break,
And consider it right- a "white lie" for His sake -

As if such filthy rags, which our vanity airs,
Could be glorious tapestries, treasured with care.

As if scrawls on ripped paper were great works of art!
As if He, somehow - truly - sees only the heart,

And loves me in spite of the rest.

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