Monday, December 24, 2007

quiz result

Which Disney Princess Are You?

You are Belle. You are strong, deep, and you are not a slave to petty superficial things. You are independent and allow yourself to see inner beauty without sacrificing your values. You are almost too good of a person.
Find Your Character @

This was funny. "Strong, deep, ... Almost too good of a person." Yup. That's me. (HAH!) But I was quite flattered to be compared to Belle. After all, she is my favorite princess (and if anyone wants to get me a really great Christmas present, Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful idea ...).

Which Famous Artist Are You?

You are Ansel Adams. Your artistic tool of choice is the camera, but you've got lots of other skills as well. Spoiled when you were young, you grew up to be a loving person and you have a deep affinity for nature and all things black and white.
Find Your Character @

Once again, I was flattered. I mean, really, Ansel Adams. Wow. But, "spoiled when I was young"? Hmm. Maybe I should find something better to waste my time on ...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What Christmas Is All About

Date Night

Friday, December 21, 2008

We picked up my wedding band, finished our Christmas shopping, and went out to eat at Chipotle. It was a lovely evening!!! Anna went with us, and we had an "adventure" on the way home.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Rememberances and Micah

I am still reading my way through the Old Testament, very slowly. This morning I was reading in Micah:

"Though all the peoples walk
Each in the name of its god,
As for us, we will walk
In the name of the LORD our God forever and ever."

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity."

"With what shall I come to the LORD
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings ... ?
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?"

As I come to this Christmas season, I am remembering just how great, how awesome, how amazing, and just how merciful and good He has been to me.
Last Christmas John and I had just begun our courtship. This Christmas we are engaged, and Anna and I are spending the season with the Smillie family. I have come to know a joy that I had heard existed, but never knew it was possible that it would actually come to me.
This year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, one where God's magnificent provision has been made very obvious. Dad lost his job in June, and we have learned first hand (over and over) that our God is the One who owns "the cattle on a thousand hills."
I have known times of incredible spiritual dryness this year, but through them have come to know God in a deeper and fuller way.
There has been sorrow and pain this year, accompanied with uncertainty and grieving. One of my friends is spending this Christmas in Heaven, and, even though I am glad that she is no longer suffering, the place she left here on Earth is full of ache. It still brings tears.

God has been faithful. He has been extravagantly good.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."
-Jose in the movie Bella

Anna, Mom, some friends and I went to go see Bella on Monday night. It's a good movie, a very good movie. It is a movie about despair about hope, about joy, love, about life. It is about grace. It is a movie that you should definitely consider seeing.

What plans have you made? Has God laughed?

" say, 'Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, ... yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. ... You ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.'"
-James 4:13-15

What plans have I made? Have I considered that the result of "my" plans is ultimately in the Lord's hands? The movie gave me things to ponder, to think about. For example, the idea that a tragedy doesn't have to end as a tragedy, but can become a source of beauty. It can become bella.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Family Christmas

milk for Santa

Santa was here!

Christmas cocoa

Daniel, reading the description of Amahl and the Night Visitors (Dad's gift)

Anna's present

Ben got a truck and a headlamp and a ....

*post to be finished later ...


The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they're so glad in your presence!
Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon's old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He'll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.

Isaiah 9:2-7

tears and joy

Tonight I realized again how much it hurts me when those I love are hurting. I also remembered the joy I feel when those I love experience joy and beauty.
There are so many wonderful things happening right now. So many things that bring joy. But I - and those around me - are also learning some painful, yet valuable, lessons. I am learning what it means to hope, really hope. Not in those around me, situations, or what "might be", but in the true constant. God never fails us, never lets us down, never disappoints, because He is the only One that truly is perfect.
When I see or feel that the ones I love are hurting, I want to take away that pain, remove their sorrow. I want them to have joy again. But I am learning that joy comes through sorrow, comes through enduring the pain. I am learning that joy comes from a closer walk with our Father. So, if I truly love them, will I try to remove their pain?
Oh, I want them to experience beauty, experience that utter joy! Nothing make my heart skip more than sharing in someone's joy. I want to be able to experience that beauty with them.

I wanna start it over
I wanna start again
I want a new a new beginning
One without any end
I feel it inside
Calling out to me

It's a voice that whispers my name
It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something beautiful

I've heard it in the silence
Seen it on a face
I've felt it in a long hour
Like a sweet embrace
I know this is true
It's calling out to me

It's a voice that whispers my name
It's a kiss without any shame
Something beautiful
Like a song that stirs in my head
Singing love will take us where
Something beautiful

It's the child on her wedding day
It's the daddy that gives her away--Father
Something beautiful
When we laugh so hard we cry
It's the love between you and I
Something beautiful
-the newsboys, 'something beautiful"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 12:5,6

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Brief - but important - Announcement

John has posted something on "our" blog, jSe. It is so exciting! You might want to head over there and check it out. But, of course you don't have to. I will just leave you in suspense .......... :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

Ah, yes. My" snoogy woogy." Mmmm ............ !

Friday, November 30, 2007

a boy and a train

At The Christmas Tree Farm

Sisters and Friends

Anna, Lizzie, and Leitha

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

learning from my sister

Sometimes you learn the most from the one you used to teach. Last night Anna - my little sister - wrote about hope. She expressed wonderfully some of the things that I have been feeling, but unable to say. Her words also brought conviction:

"When my desires are disappointed, it becomes apparent that the fault does not lie in others, but in my own heart."

When have my desires been disappointed recently? Oh, yesterday (or was it this morning?). The root of that disappointment was in my own heart. My own childish and immature heart.

"When I place heavy expectations on others to satisfy my needs, not only do I wrong them, but I also starve myself of what God desires to freely give." She is right. God designed me to be satisfied in Him, Him alone. Nothing else even comes close, and that is very, very good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Little things

This afternoon I was in the car, coming home from a long day of classes. We took a back road instead of the main one, and it was a bit quieter, a little more peaceful, and definitely more beautiful.
We were heading towards the sun that was just starting to think of setting, and the light was filtering through the trees. Annadale (the road we took) has some stone-fruit orchards along it, as well a few cow pastures well dotted with oak trees. As the sunlight struck the orchards at a twenty degree angle they turned gold, but only as we were looking through them. If we turned to look back, the orchard had resumed its normal dusky late fall appearance.

The semester is drawing to a close, and my biology professor has only one major subject to cover before we prepare for the final: how we got here. We have covered the entire body, tip to toe, from before conception to after death, and all the wonder of it. Now we get to try to understand how such a marvel could evolve. Somehow, I just can't wrap my mind around it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Learning A Little Bit More

Oh, the past few days/weeks have been full of decisions about the wedding. And I have been learning a bit more. Surprised? I was.

It has been absolutely wonderful to see the things that I have dreamed about for years come into being. It has also been like getting a pail of ice water being dumped on my head. Why? Because I have had to come face-to-face with the fact that dreams are not reality. There have been some rather tear-filled days, and other days of apathy. I had a very childish attitude, and am still trying to get over it. I had the whole "if I can't have it my way, then nothing matters" attitude, as well as the "but it has to be perfect!!! Why can't it be perfect?!!".
But you know what? I have been learning that God really does have something special going on here, and that something has much more to do with a woman, a couple, and marriage that rely on Him for their strength and give Him glory than it has to do with a "perfect" day.

He wants us to have joy, but most of all He wants us to delight in Him as we delight in each other.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What mattered it though the world were gray and wintry? We walked the golden road and carried springtime in our hearts ...

-L. M. Montgomery, The Golden Road, chp VII

Oh, the way things change!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Everything To Me

I was listening to a message by Beth Moore this morning, and as she was praising God in prayer she said: "God, you are everything to us."

It triggered some serious thought. Is He everything to me? Everything? Really?

No glib answers will suffice here. Is Christ everything to me?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a day spent shopping

street shot, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

Shopping, in the lovely autumn weather. Oh, there are few things as lovely!!!! Except, maybe, shopping in the springtime, or the crisp winter............ :)

Oh, fall is glorious!

Mom and I went looking for fabric for the wedding. We found a little tiny shop in Los Altos called Thai Silks that had amazing prices, and ........... we found some really gorgeous material.
Now, to start sewing.

*for all interested in progress regarding the wedding plans: Mom and I also bought the flower girl dresses.

p.s. Some pictures to get started:
Wedding Preparations

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

a bit of wisdom

"If ya wanna kiss the sky/ Ya better learn how to kneel"
- U2

from the mouth of Ben

Ben and I were working on his math homework yesterday when I heard him mutter to himself, "Now that is just vulgar."
What?!!! Since when does an eight year old boy know words like "vulgar"? Hmm. I do not think he knows what it means, but I am curious to know how it got into that little noggin of his.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

the firmament declares

the firmament declares, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea
Creation's revealing your majesty
From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring
Every creature unique in the song that it sings
All exclaiming

You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go?
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow?
Who imagined the sun and gives source to it's light,
Yet conceals it to brings us the coolness of night?
None can fathom

You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

You are amazing God

- Chris Tomlin, "Indescribable"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This I Know

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

- Anna B. Warner, 1860, "Jesus Loves Me"

Jesus loves me, this I know. He does love. He has loved. He always will, for longer than always, for eternity.
Christ's love for me, imperfect and riddled with scars from sin, should never cease to amaze me. Yet, sometimes it does. Sometimes Christ's love seems as expected, ordinary and commonplace as having milk in the refrigerator. But it isn't. It is a miracle.
The love of God is what salvation hinges on.
It is unmerited.
Full of grace.
Freely bestowed.
Abundant and overflowing, overwhelming.
Never ceasing, even when I turn away.

Jesus loves me, this I know ...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grandma Jacobsen's Cookies

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1 ½ cups Sugar

1 ½ cups Shortening (melted) use white Crisco (do NOT substitute oil)

½ cup Molasses (black strap)

2 Eggs

4 cups Flour

4 tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Cloves

1 tsp Ginger

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Salt

Melt shortening (Crisco) and add molasses and sugar. Cool – then add eggs.

Sift spices, soda, and salt in with flour and mix thoroughly.

Combine flour and shortening mixtures.

Roll in balls and dip in sugar before placing on baking sheet.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 375.

Bake less time if you like them chewy.

An October Birthday

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Yesterday was Daniel's birthday! He turned 23.
We celebrated with a family dinner and cake, with presents, of course. :)


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At last they turned into their bunks in the cart; and Toad, kicking out his legs, sleepily said, "Well, good night you fellows! This is the real life for a gentleman! Talk about your old river!" "I don't talk about my river," replied the patient Rat. "You know I don't, Toad. But I think about it," he added ... in a lower tone. "I think about it - all the time!"
- The Wind In The Willows, chp 2 "The Open Road", by Kenneth Grahame
I may not talk about the things that are on my heart, but I think about them. Oh, I think about them!
Just because you may not hear about it does not mean that I do not care. I probably care more than you ever dreamed or realized. Remember, the surface of the river may appear to be smooth and still, but underneath there are strong and powerful currents.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Learning - to trust and obey

2007-10-22 fall leaf, silver maple, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

 When we walk with the Lord 
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
-John H. Sammis (1846-1919), "Trust and Obey"

I have been learning - and re-learning - to "trust and obey" recently. Learning through tears, through pain, through joy and laughter, and everything in between. I used to sing this song rather glibly, hardly paying attention to the lyrics I was singing. But I heard it again the other night, and pondered it.
All on the altar we lay.
I desperately want to see my plans happen, or at least solidified. But each time I try to finalize a certain project, it gets foiled. This project is very dear to my heart, and I have shed many tears over it. Finally, I gave it to Him. Finally, I relinquished my control and trusted.
What will happen? I do not know. But I am learning to trust and obey. Trusting when there seems no hope seems foolish. But I am learning.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Subtracting and Adding

Know therefore that the LORD your GOD, He is GOD, the faithful God, Who keeps His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.
-Deuteronomy 7:9

Give to the wind your fear
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up, God will lift up, lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
Lift up your head
Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command
Then shall we wandering on His way
Know how wise and how strong
How wise and how strong
How strong is His hand
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
God will lift up your head
Lift up your head
Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way
Wait because in His time, so shall this night
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
Soon end in joy, soon end in joy
God will lift up your head
(Soon end in joy)
God will lift up your head
(Soon end in joy)
-"god will lift up your head", by jars of clay

Sometimes it seems as if God is only ever taking away, never blessing. Those times are when you are overwhelmed by sorrow, and cannot see His hand. But He is there, He does see your tears, and He will come through. He always takes away before He gives. There must be a need before He can fill it.

Sunday He took a friend Home.
I went to that man's funeral today. And grieved. Grieved for the man's wife, his children, his grandchildren. Grieved for all the hundreds of people who had lost a dear friend. That included me.
God will lift up your head.
I know.
I know.
But I still grieve.
It seems as if this year has been one of extreme emotion, swinging from joy to sorrow to joy and back to sorrow again.
God has been subtracting.
I am ready for Him to add.
Maybe He already is.

In the meantime, I will trust.
He has hitherto been faithful, and I know that He will continue to be so.
Even though my eyes are blinded by tears and I can hardly see my way, I will trust Him.

For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;

He will guide us until death.
-Psalm 48:14
yet even death cannot part us from Him or His love (Romans 8:38-39).

So I trust.


The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Or empress wore, in Egypt's ancient line,
October, feasting 'neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!

Helen Hunt Jackson

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Way I See It #273

All children need a laptop.


Not a computer, but a human laptop.
Moms, dads, grannies and grandpas, aunts, uncles - someone to hold them, read to them, teach them.
Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals and knowledge of a hundred previous generations.
Loved ones who will pass to the next generation their expectation of them, their hopes, and their dreams.

- General Colin L. Powell
Founder of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Bit Of Time Together (away from home)

Lake Tahoe Vacation

Daniel, Anna, Leitha (a friend), and I went up to Lake Tahoe on Friday. We met the rest of the family at a friend's cabin, and spent two very wonderful days with them. It was a short break from the normal routine of work, school, ministry, work, school, ..................
I only wish it had been longer!

Sisters @ Tahoe

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Thursday, October 11, 2007


Anna, Twirling

I am convinced that there is something unique to girls that causes them to long to be beautiful. They dress up when they they are little (and when they are grown) and want to know "how they look".
Little girls want others to appreciate the effort that they have gone through to "be pretty". They need you to notice their daisy crown and the washable marker on their fingernails. Even if they are prancing around in shoes that are too big, an outfit that doesn't match, and have grass in their hair from a quick tumble, little girls need you to look at them with wonder. They need to be the beautiful princess, need to know that there is a prince somewhere who sees their beauty and will fight to protect it.

Little girls are precious and precocious things. They need to be taken seriously and treated gently. Telling her she is beautiful makes her day. Asking her out on a "date" makes her week. And if you want her to open her heart to you? Open your heart to her.
And they twirl (remember Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail?). There is something very feminine and joyful about twirling. Maybe it has to do with wearing a full and swishy skirt, or the way it makes you feel as if you are a dancing princess, and a beautiful one at that. Maybe it is just pure joy. But whatever it is, every little girl has done it, and any truthful woman will admit to twirling occasionally herself.
How do I know? Because I was a little girl not too long ago, and yes, I still twirl.

Dancing Slippers

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

an evening by the lake

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psalm 139

Lord you read my very heart
You who know the least thing
You who see me from afar
Sleeping or arising
Lord before me and behind
Infinite and ageless
Such a knowledge is too high
I cannot attain it

If to heaven I would fly
You would be beside me
If in Sheol I would lie
Even there You'd find me
If I fled on morning wings
Far beyond the gray sea
Even there Your hand would lead
Your right hand would guide me

In the secret of the womb
I was formed and molded
By Your skillful hand alone
Wonderfully woven
You have numbered all my days
Long before You gave them
In the pages of Your book
They have all been written

High and wondrous are Your thoughts
Vast beyond all telling
If I count them they grow more
I can never grasp them
Search me God and know my heart
Let evil never find me
Lead me on Your righteous path
Sure and everlasting

-"Psalm 139", by Fernando Ortega

Saturday, October 06, 2007

More Than Gold

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
-Psalm 19:9-10

More desirable than gold ...
Think about it.
What have people done in their pursuit of gold?
They have changed their careers, their lifestyles. They have become fanatics, only caring about the "color" that might be in the stream, the mountain, or under their feet.
Prospectors left their wives and families for years at time - sometimes indefinitely - all in pursuit of gold. Many died before they were able to return home.
Men have panned rivers, monitored away entire mountains, dug miles of tunnels, and spent the best years of their lives in their search for that precious metal.

People have done stupid stunts and endured mind numbing monotony.
They have learned patience and acted rashly.
They have gone to extremes.

Gold seems to have the ability to draw people after it. It ignites a passion in them, and they lust after it. Gold occupies all of their thoughts, their dreams. A person with "gold fever" will not let anything stand in their way in their pursuit of it.

Does any of their passion, their desire, characterize the way I follow after God and His words and ways?

Something to ponder.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Lazy, Rainy Day

Daniel and Anna and I are going up to Pilot Lake for the weekend.
So I made some pies to take with us: a pumpkin, a banana cream, and two apple (with lattice tops).

It snowed 8-10" there last night. Enough to completely change the prospective schedule!

Today I have been doing laundry and getting caught up on things around the house.
Right now I am listening to the rain through the open window. It is 64 degrees outside, with intermittent showers. When we are between showers, the sky is a brilliant blue, and all the colors of the trees are extremely vivid. I found out that the pears are almost ripe, and a few early ones had fallen. When we get back we will have pears for breakfast!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wonder ... in everything

P4230013i, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

"Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame.
I asked for wonder,
and He gave it to me.

- Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

time is marching on ...

and mid-terms are coming up, the leaves are starting to fall, ....... which means Thanksgiving, and then Christmas (!) will be here soon! I have eight weeks of school under my belt, which means that there are only ten left, which means that I am almost halfway done.

Friday, September 28, 2007

A Boy & A Longsuffering (& Clowinsh) Cat

Apparently, yesterday was portrait time for Ben. Mom allowed him to grab the nearest prop he could find, Anna's Kittie. Some rather humorous pictures were the result!

*note: Kittie actually enjoyed the pictured activity. She was purring the whole time.

Beauty, Out Of Ugly Things

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she's got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She's got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
-U2, "Grace"

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