Wednesday, October 31, 2007

two prayers

This first prayer is from "The Valley of Vision", written by a Puritan in the 18th century.
The second prayer is a re-write by Friend #7. The flame of her writing gift needed only a little fanning to get these results. (Poetic license was not only permitted, but encouraged!)
I share it with the notion that forgiveness is easier obtained than permission.


O Lord, Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me, nor prove obstacles to the progress of Thy cause. Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall, no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments. May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own. Permit me not to labour at work which Thou wilt not bless, that I may serve thee without disgrace or debt. Let me dwell in Thy most secret place under thy shadow, where is safe impenetrable protection from the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the strife of tongues, the malice of ill-will, the hurt of unkind talk, the snares of company, the perils of youth, the temptations of middle life, the moumings of old age, the fear of death. I am entirely dependent upon Thee for support, counsel, consolation. Uphold me by Thy free Spirit, and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may I always go forward, always abounding in the work Thou givest me to do. Strengthen me by Thy Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life. All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in Theemy name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end. Take them, they are Thine, and I am thine, now and for ever.

Lord, with your neverending might and neverfailing knowledge
change things so I may freely move, and so you may freely move me.
Keep me from seeing places of anger, from tasting evil,
from allowing contamination to steal what you have given me, shown me, held before me.
Could necessity be my guide and nothing less than Your needs be my service?
Keep me from wasting breath on things You Yourself won't breathe on,
that all my tasks might point to your authorship.

hide me down far down, secretly and away, always behind You--
leading me with your shadow--that being the protection from all earthly snarls--
the archer's weapon
the nighttime fears
the angry words
the intentions of evil
the pain of misintentions
the companion of fools
the pits of childishness
the wanderings of now
the melancholy of then
even death.

It's all held in You, Your support, Your words before and Your words after.
But--Please--bind me in your holiness and your gift, your promise to me
(Keeping me mindful that my going forward is hinged on keeping you at the helm and the horizon)
But--Please--give me strength to remember that always.

All my riches, worldly and heavenly, are kept by you (for you)
my creation, being new
my person and all that entails
my finishings, my lover, my offspring, my companions, my endeavors
my now, my then, my death

They are all stolen by you, given to you, by me, all of me--
in this moment and, God help me, the next.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"that will do it"

In Pilgrim's Progress, Prudence questions Christian about conquering his former way of thinking:

Prudence: Do you not find sometimes, as if those things (i.e. inward and carnal thoughts) were vanquished, which at other times are your perplexity?
Yes, but that is seldom; but they are to me golden hours in which such things happen to me.
Prudence: Can you remember by what means you find your annoyance at times, as if they were vanquished?
Yes, when I think what I saw at the Cross, that will do it; and when I look upon my broidered Coat, that will do it; also when I look into the Roll that I carry in my bosom, that will do it; and when my thoughts wax warm about whither I am going, that will do it.

These words are more than an allegory; they are powerful medicine. If we are to vanquish the little foxes of our thought-life, we do well to employ Christian's strategy. Setting our mind on things above isn't just good advice, but rather the way to run the race. I don't know 'bout y'all. but this here pilgrim is looking for some progress!

The Cross: "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:13-15)

The Broidered Coat: "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels." (Isaiah 61:10)

The Roll: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Our Heavenly Home: "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'
He who was seated on the throne said,' I am making everything new!'" (Revelation 21:3-5a)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday dinner

We grilled today; two platters of boneless chicken.
We made a large bowl of whole-wheat ziti tossed with sauteed garlic, green pepper, and a diced tomato. Oh, let's not forget the generous bowlful of freshly grated parmesan for sprinkling.
Friends #44a and #44b joined us at the table. I gave them a quick lesson in "getting a word in edgewise" around here. (Clue: dive in confidently and override any interruptions with added volume and emphasis. It's a necessary survival technique.)
For dessert, we divvied up the remains of last night's birthday cake and ice cream. After the bowls were distributed, #1 Son came to the table with an giant chunk of cake covered with ice cream. His mother (myself) reprimanded him for super-sizing himself while others were nursing thin yet equitable slices.
"That's the last piece! You should've asked if anyone wanted more before you took it."
"But I did, mom. While on the other side of the kitchen, I said:
"would anyone else like some more cake?"

Saturday, October 27, 2007


My fingers played Strauss today. Also Handel, Debussy, Mozart, and Donezetti, among others. But they mostly loved the Strauss: big, thick pianistic chords, chromatic finger-busting passages that beg to be moistened with pedal, and melodic octaves chock-full of drama and passion. Pianists salivate for such music, but oft times we must settle for orchestral reductions. (I am not a violin; I can't vibrate. Nor a flute; I can't support with my breath. I can't blare like a trumpet or rumble like a timpani. Neither can ten fingers do any of these things simultaneously. BUT. That is what we pianists are requested to do with an orchestral reduction, for goodness sakes.
Rant over. I promise.)

My fingers played Strauss today. A singer that can really sing carried the soaring melody, and we told a tale together. Many years ago, the poet told Strauss. Then Strauss wrote the music for us. We learned it together, and then told the audience. They listened and our tale was complete. For what is a tale if only shouted into the empty dark?

My fingers played Strauss today. Now the music has returned to the shelf and the audience has gone out to dinner. They are listening to other things now, like the clink of dishes in a low-lit cafe. Or the tumble of laundry in the dryer. Or cars whishing by on the highway. But I? I slip under the cool cotton sheets of my bed and still hear Strauss.

Friday, October 26, 2007

deposit: one hour

North Country sky on the Raquette
Late autumn Shrubbery
Last Time Out?
The Last Stragglers
Warm Cove
Burnished Gold
Willow Stand

Each time I have yanked my kayak through the grass and plunked it into the water this month, I have thought,"Surely, this may be the last trip of the season...." A North Country winter looms large before me with its dark mornings, dark late afternoons, plummeting temperatures, and heart-stopping blasts of arctic air.
Nary a sign yet of what is coming, though. The river water is chilly, but the air above it is balmy. The leaves are finally past their splendor, but remnants of faded glory still cling to the trees and grassy banks of the Raquette. As my tiny craft courses upstream, I keenly aware that I am floating on borrowed time.
If I could bank an hour and withdraw it in mid-February, it would be an hour like I had today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


"All the years that have passed have not dimmed my memory of that first glorious autumn. The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution, when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seed as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had the sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Fuchs's story, but insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom."

"I used to love to drift along the pale yellow cornfields, looking for the damp spots one sometimes found at their edges, where the smartweed soon turned a rich copper color and the narrow brown leaves hung curled like cocoons about the swollen joints of the stem. Sometimes I went south to visit our German neighbors and to admire their catalpa grove, or to see the big elm tree that grew up out of a deep crack in the earth and had a hawk's nest in its branches. Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons. It must have been the scarcity of detail in that tawny landscape that made detail so precious."

"All those fall afternoons were the same, but I never got used to them. As far as we could see, the miles of copper-red grass were drenched in sunlight that was stronger and fiercer than at any other time of the day. The blond cornfields were red gold, the haystacks turned rosy and threw long shadows. The whole prairie was like the bush that burned with fire and was not consumed. That hour always had the exultation of victory, of triumphant ending, like a hero's death — heroes who died young and gloriously. It was a sudden transfiguration, a lifting-up of day."
-excerpts from My Antonia by Willa Cather

Good writing gets appreciated around here. (At least by me, Friend #7, and Friend #12.) Willa Cather stands tall in my book; I never tire of her honest style. When I see through her eyes, I know I am looking straight at a thing. What brought her to mind today was a song I am learning composed by Libby Larsen called "Bright Rails". The lyrics are culled from Willa Cather's writing. The writing is simple yet compelling; it lulls me into dreaming I am dressed in nineteenth-century garb, dozing on a passenger train while it sings over the prairie.

How smoothly the train runs beyond the Missouri;
even in my sleep I know when I have crossed the river.
They run like running water,
like youth running away...
They spin... along their bright rails singing and humming,
singing and humming, humming.
They run remembering.
They run rejoicing, as if they too were going home.
How smoothly the train runs beyond the Missouri.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

such a day

Somebody, please rake the front steps....
Warm Colors
Forest Floor
The Maple Grove

Another day of outrageous Indian Summer. Under my calm exterior is a rising desperation to keep October going, and so not slide into the dark months of winter.
I grabbed my camera to accompany me on my morning walk with high hopes. None of the above will win any photography awards, but they begin to capture the feel of such a day for me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


-With Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice behind us. we began The Pilgrim's Progress today. Friend #7 kindly presented a brief introduction of this literary masterpiece to the Hull Homeschool Academy this morning whilst garbed in her pajamas. Her bare feet were propped up on the back of a couch and her toes twiddled constantly. This is not a recommended teaching mode, but it worked for us.

-Venison stew is steeping in the crock pot. I cloaked the cubed meat in onion and garlic and doused the whole thing liberally with red wine.

-I must pick up a stack of vocal music from Crane today. (Or tomorrow at latest!) Why? Because, dear folks, I am working this weekend. In a weak moment this summer, I agreed to accompany the NATS competition. I don't even know what NATS stands for. But I'll get paid handsomely, and for this girl, that's what counts right now.

-This lovely rainy day will find us at the Little Yellow House. #1 Daughter and I will entertain three lively children while their parents (and their newborn) are out. I am looking forward to "playing house" over there. Why is it always more inviting to do someone else's chores? (Besides the Blessing Factor, that is.)

-Sometime soon I would like to capsulize what I learned over the weekend. The Freedom in Christ Seminar was life-changing. Dr. Neil Anderson's teaching was rich and challenging. The entire four days was a soaking-time! I'll have to mention the snacks, too, as just when I thought I couldn't take in any more info, it was snack time. That, and the free coffee, really got me through. Northside Baptist demonstrated a spirit of hospitality and excellence that really impacted me.

-Gotta go. I miss sitting at the computer and downloading my thoughts!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


We are here attending a conference with Neil Anderson, renowned author and teacher. There are well over 400 in attendance at the Living Free in Christ Conference. As for us, we are soaking it up. Good, good stuff.
If you are familiar with his best-selling books (Victory Over Darkness, The Bondage Breaker), then you know what I mean.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who take away sins of world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy on us.

Agnus Dei, qui tolis peccata mundi,

Lamb of God, who take away sins of world,

dona nobis pacem.

grant us peace.

My soul was weary tonight. As I approached the piano for a bit of refreshing, my eyes alighted on a choral score that I supremely cherish: The Faure Requiem. As I positioned the book on the music rack, the oft-used pages opened to the Agnus Dei. Ahh. Water for my parched soul. Twice through and my thirst was quenched completely.
We have been reading the Gospel of John, where John the Baptist identifies Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world." How I love that title! Our dear pastor shared an amazing message this past Sunday in which he pointed out the weave of the Gospel message throughout the Old Testament. "God will provide the lamb," declared Abraham to his son Isaac as they prepared the sacrificial fire. It was true in this way: God provided a ram whose antlers were caught in the thicket. It was true in this way, too: God provided a Lamb, Jesus, who was sacrificed in our stead.

Aren't you glad?

Monday, October 15, 2007


Being the lending-type, I am bereft of a car today.
Typically, having a set of wheels at one's disposal is empowering and the lack of such is generally frustrating (ask Friend #7. No. Wait. Don't ask Friend #7). But during my morning walk (one hour in length, up the hill and through the maple grove, past the yellow farmhouse, and on to the grazing cattle which see me as an intruder), I decided to revel in my temporary Amish status. No car? Fine. Good excuse to pack in a full day of school, catch up on curriculum and maybe yard work, and make dinner from odds and ends in the pantry.
Another "freeing" predicament? My chest cold has landed with a thud in my throat, resulting in an overtired voice. All of me is feeling much better, just don't ask me to talk about it.
Consequently, when the phone rings, I say (to myself) "what phone?" and go about my business undisturbed.
Here is what I cobbled together for dinner. I don't know how it tastes yet, but it looks promising.

2 packages of boneless pork chops
marinade of oil, vinegar, soy sauce, dried mustard, dried turkish red pepper, and parsley.
(to be grilled)

a casserole of:
sauteed sweet red pepper, onion, hot pepper, and garlic
leftover enchilada sauce
chopped steamed broccoli
sharp cheese
fresh cilantro

Sunday, October 14, 2007

three unconvincing cheers for venison

Hubby just dragged home a four-point buck. Outwardly I expressed my happiness for him. Inwardly I shudder and say, "ugh".


The mornings are dark now. White, sharp fingerlings of clouds etch the horizon, a perfect visual companion to the patches of frost that coat the lawn. The gourds that grace our front porch are sitting lower and lower, hunkering down from the cold, evidence that it is high time to toss them.
It is quite early when I pad down the stairs in my pajamas. I glide into the kitchen on cat's feet, mindful that there is a sleepy girl (Friend #7) in the guest room. From the cabinets, I gingerly slip out a soup pot and lid and a cutting board. From the fridge slides a whole chicken, two ribs of celery, one gigantic carrot, and one half of sweet onion. Despite my careful attention, the morning quiet is shattered by shifting cookware, crackling cellophane, and the magnified noise of chopping a carrot. I breathe carefully, too. No sense stirring up that tickley cough that kept my hubby awake last night.
Soon the steam of simmered chicken and vegetables fill the room, marking the edges of the windowpanes with soft swabs of moisture. I adjust the dimmer light over the kitchen table in order to read my Bible. The filtered light of an autumn morning surreptitiously fills the house.
Today is Sunday, Day of Rest. Morning of Word and Song and Togetherness. Afternoon of Chicken Soup and Hanging Out with some friends. Evening of Re-charging and Relaxation.
May you be blessed today!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

extra, extra, hear all about it

As jam-packed as our days are, I have added a few extras to my week this semester. I regret none of them. They are as follows:

Monday evenings: #1 Son and I joined the Potsdam Community Chorus. He sings tenor (and is a section leader!) and I sing lowly alto. I also got snagged to accompany the men's sectional rehearsal each week during regular rehearsals. #1 Son is learning a significant violin solo that will be featured in our November concert, which will be a great opportunity for him. On top of all this, we are thoroughly enjoying the talents and capers of Dr. Joshua Oppenheim, our conductor.

Thursday evenings: my dear pastor has been presenting a series on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood at the College Life Center. 1.5 hours of riveting, challenging, and life-changing stuff. Next Thursday is the last session. As McDonald's says, "I'm lovin' it."

Friday afternoons: don't laugh. I am a bonafide member of the Early Music Ensemble at Crane. There are four of us and we play recorders. It's a blast, I'm not very good at it, its a low pressure situation, and no, we don't have any performances on the docket. So don't ask when you can come hear us.

Friday evenings, as schedules permit: an inductive Bible study of First Peter. Break out the graph paper and colored sharpies. Get ready to furrow your brows, squint intensely, and
sharpen your study skills. You can join us if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

under the fig tree

At the risk of sounding like a schoolgirl at recess on the playground, let me tell you something. This is how big my God is: He knows everything about everyone, including every single secret of the heart. He hears the vows whose syllables will never hit the light of day, rumblings and mumblings of the slightest seismic measure, and prenatal attitudes (some pleasing, others not so) that are too young to have a detectable heartbeat. But they are alive as soon as they are conceived and each heart is a nursery full of them. And He is intimately familiar with each one.
We began the Gospel of John this morning. The magnetic person of Jesus shouts boisterously to me from the first chapter, saying, "Come, follow me!" I almost rose from my reclining chair in response. Once you know the One who issues the invitation, it's a no-brainer. Really. But these first disciples didn't know Him yet. They knew John the Baptist though, and hung on to his every word. When Jesus passed by them, John said:
"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
That's quite a statement, and coupled with the compelling Presence of True Light, it was enough to make men adjust their life-paths. Unquestioningly, they followed Him. They left their nets; their very livelihoods. Their lives were never the same.
I love, love, love the exchange between Jesus and Nathanael.

"The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me."
Philip, like Andrew and Peter was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote -Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
"Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked.
"Come and see!" said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false."
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were under the fig tree before Philip called you."
Then Nathanael declared,"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Jesus said, "You believe because I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that."

So , what was Philip doing under the fig tree? Jesus never says. I believe that the Knower of Every Heart, the Living Word that was in Existence before Time Began, read Nathanael's mail. The best news of all? Nathanael's mental rumblings pleased Him greatly. As for Nathanael, major revelation was in store as a result of God's pleasure in him.
What encourages me is simply that God knows everything about me. And although I displease Him often enough, He continues to love me. Then to boot, for the glorious (and possibly rare) instances that my secret thoughts please Him, He reveals Himself to me for who He really is. The more I grasp His essence, the more I want to follow Him. I won't fret that fig trees are hard to find around these here parts; I'll carve a thinking-niche in a traffic jam if need be.
Especially if it means that He will find me there.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

the junkman cometh

Friend #7 bought a new car yesterday. It needs, shall we say, a little work. And a little inspection sticker. But it is a lovely hue of sage green, which will tide her over emotionally until the actual car is road-ready. Her old car with its blazing red paint, dented driver's side door, and caved in hood, has been decorating our driveway for a few weeks. It is now headed for the junkyard. Earlier today, this verbal exchange was overheard in the kitchen:
Friend #7: "So, I need to clean out my old car. Should I vacuum it, too?
Hubby: "Nah. They're gonna crush it."

Monday, October 08, 2007

three homes

Our first house was a fixer-upper. It was a one-family home which sat apologetically among two-family homes, all of which were stolid and well-kept, on a residential city street. It was built before 1920; a Sears "kit" type of cottage with a modest front porch, clapboard siding on the first story and wooden shingles on the second. It came replete with a little yard and a dilapidated garage which shared a driveway with our back neighbors. I loved the stained glass window in the living room; a "piano-window" I was told. I loved the row of double-hung windows that graced the front of the house. I loved the endless projects: wallpapering the kitchen, stenciling the front rooms, choosing the paint colors, scrubbing the hopelessly dated bathroom. Mostly, I loved that it was ours. We lived there for about two years.
Our second house was every wife's dream. Hubby built it himself. It was a two-story colonial farmhouse with a wrap-around porch. It sat at the end of a long drive on ten acres of private country field and woods. A sizeable creek ran behind it that provided us with seasonal swimming, fishing, and waterfall-lounging. It boasted an open dining room that we used a lot. It had wide-board pine floors throughout, and enough room for two Christmas trees, four kids, a grandma, and a bevy of guests at any given time. We lived there for over thirteen years.
Now we reside in our third home. We have lived here for over five years. It is an old brick farmhouse that we remodeled into something I have grown to love the best. It is very company-friendly as it has a large kitchen island, a guest room, a large living room which can host family concerts, and a family room that happens to be soundproof from the rest of the house. (Every house should have one of these. It comes in handy when some people want to go to bed while others want to make noise.)
Homes are what you make them. I often wonder about the people that lived in our homes after us. I heard that one couple got a divorce, which astounded me. Now the husband lives there alone. How sad!
Perhaps I chose to write about this today because it is a rainy day and I had time to reminisce.
Also, this afternoon I am washing curtains and windows and that always makes me think of my first little home and the many windows I had to polish.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


under his feet was the earthen core
acres of quiet fire which lapped up water
and gases and breath itself.
tethered, he was, to it.
yet from heaven a golden lasso achingly unrolled
slung from a pillar of marble and glass, securely fastened to something eternal
from which all of him hung languidly.
in the expanse betwixt heaven and earth
was the music.

pressed from his blood
streaming from his arms
reeling from the polished bell
spilling from some inner teetering vat
which quaked when he breathed.

and when the vat was emptied of an army of liquid notes
and their unbolted sound had sprung from wall to wall
threshing the chaff of unquiet from the tingling air
he shook his sleeves of molten dust
and bade us goodnight.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the bigger me answers a question

John Piper writes:

"When was the last time someone asked you about 'the reason for the hope that is in you'? That's what Peter said we should always be ready to give an answer for: 'Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you' (1 Peter 3:15). Why don't people ask us about our hope? The answer is probably that we look as if we hope in the same things they do. Our lives don't look as if they are on the Calvary road, stripped down for sacrificial love, serving others with the sweet assurance that we don't need to be rewarded in this life. Our reward is great in heaven (Matthew 5:12)! 'You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just' (Luke 14:14). If we believed this more deeply, others might see the worth of God and find Him in their gladness." (Don't Waste Your Life, pp.108-109)

This book has been digging in some areas of my soul marked "no trespassing". It has poked into some boxes stuffed under the attic eaves. It has rummaged around the cobwebbed chambers of my heart, much to my discomfort and dismay. The hand that picks up this book, the eyes that feast on the next chapter, the voice that reads select passages aloud to the kids, all betray me.
Well, not the bigger me, obviously. The bigger me seems to cave in to the loving invitation, cloaked in the comforting voice of the Helper, to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
Last night, my favorite family hosted four university students for dinner and hang-out time. Despite the disinclination of the "smaller me", I invited the freshman who sits beside me in Monday night's community chorus over for dinner. An invitation for one turned into an invitation for two. Two morphed into three, and three into four. I found out later that four could've easily turned into five. (Remember, this party-list is an add-on to the four that share our last name and the three that share our phone number and address. And bathrooms.) This sort of perpetual party seems to follow me around, me--the person who daydreams about quiet, classical music, and activities that require reflection and self-communication.
No matter. It was an evening full of home-cooked food, earnest talk, music, and friendliness. The topic of God came up in conversation like dumplings in a stew. (Sorry, food metaphors abound in my writing.) The four girls seemed reluctant to leave. Goodbye hugs were genuine and even bear-like.
"Can we come again sometime?" they entreated us as they lingered in the driveway under the sparkling autumn stars.
"Certainly," I assured them as I beat back my selfish smaller-self. "We would love to have you."
And I meant it. Because, after all, sometimes it takes a few conversations to voice that question. It might be worded in any number of ways, but I am on the lookout for it.
Between John Piper and the Apostle Peter, I'll be ready with an answer.