Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Hymn I've Never Sung

I have never once sung or played this hymn, but Sunday as our congregation sang "Immortal, Invisible," my eyes scanned the following hymn and was immediately moved by the passion and depth of the words. I wanted to share it with you today.

Lord, with glowing heart I'd praise thee
For the bliss thy love bestows,
For the pard'ning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows;
Help, O God, my weak endeavor;
This dull soul to rapture raise;
Thou must light the flame, or never
Can my love be warmed to praise.

Praise, my soul, the God that sought thee,
Wretched wand'rer far astray;
Found thee lost, and kindly brought thee
From the paths of death away;
Praise, with love's devoutest feeling,
Him who saw thy guilt-born fear,
And, the light of hope revealing,
Bade the blood-stained cross appear.

Praise thy Saviour God that drew thee
To that cross, new life to give,
Held a blood-sealed pardon to thee,
Bade thee look to him and live;
Praise the grace whose threats alarmed thee,
Roused thee from thy fatal ease,
Praise the grace whose promise warmed thee,
Praise the grace that whispered peace.

Lord, this bosom's ardent feeling
Vainly would my lips express;
Low before thy footstool kneeling,
Deign thy suppliant's prayer to bless:
Let thy love, my soul's chief treasure,
Love's pure flame within me raise,
And, since words can never measure,
Let my life show forth thy praise.

~ Ripley

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Wedding Shower!

Two notes about this post: it's SUPER long and full of pictures, and all the pictures were taken by my sacrificial brother who was the only guy around a million girls almost all night. :P

Friday night, July 20th, my friends Meghan and Laura hosted my wedding shower at IBC. The only thing I knew about the shower beforehand was that the colors were pink, light blue, tan, and white. That was it. The rest was a complete surprise. And what a beautiful surprise it was! Here are some of the first things I saw when I came downstairs:

The colorfully decorated tables. (It was a beach theme - my fave!! In the center of each table was a vase with live goldfish in it, shells, and a picture of either Chris or myself when we were younger.)

The "I Do" flip-flops on the punch table. :)

The pink lanterns were suspended over each table.

Each place setting had the adorable plate and napkin, plus a favor (some Hershey kisses wrapped in light green tulle and tied with a shell).

The dessert table before the desserts. (I had to include the cute pic of my fiance. :D)

Many ladies brought scrumptious desserts.

Mrs. Smith gave a challenge to me to benefit my husband by being content in the Lord. I was so thankful she was willing to do this for me on such short notice!

After Mrs. Smith spoke, her daughter Bethany sang an Irish blessing and her sister accompanied on viola. It was so lovely. I struggled to not get choked up! Love you, Bethany!

And then I told Chris's and my story.

Here are pictures of the individual tables and the wonderful ladies who took time out of their evenings to show how much they care and love. They are all such a blessing!

And the family table. :)


My silly note-taker. :)

Meanwhile, my prince was arriving in his grand chariot led by 400 horses.

He didn't want to go downstairs... LOL

...but he made it. :)

With friends and family.

Many, many thanks to Meghan and Laura for putting so much time and thought into the beautiful shower. I LOVED it and am so humbled by the kindness and generosity everyone has shown to me and Chris.

Next big church event will be the WEDDING! Crazy! :)

completed reading

I'm back with another book list. How Rachael of me. :P Again, if you are reading or just finished reading something special, please share! :)

  • A Woman After God's Own Heart (Elizabeth George)
  • Becoming a Titus 2 Woman (Martha Peace)
  • The Ministry of Marriage (Jim Binney)
  • The Vow (Kim and Krickitt Carpenter)
I'm currently reading The Pursuit of God (Tozer) and a novel entitled Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge. The latter I know nothing about, so if anyone has read it or heard of it let me know! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Could it Be...Holy Ground?

It may be on a kitchen floor,
Or in a busy shopping store,
Or teaching, nursing, day by day,
Till limb and brain almost give way;
Yet if, just there, by Jesus thou art found,
The place thou standest on is Holy Ground.

~ M. Colley

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thank You, Mom!

Some have had kings in their lineage,
Some to whom honor was paid.
Not blest of my ancestors - but,
I have a mother who prays.

I have a mother who prays for me
And pleads with the Lord every day for me.
Oh what a difference it makes for me - 
I have a mother who prays.

Some have worldly success
And trust in riches they've made - 
This is my surest asset,
I have a mother who prays.

My mother's prayers cannot save me,
Only mine can avail;
But mother introduced me to Someone - 
Someone who never could fail.

Oh yes...I have a mother who prays for me
And pleads with the Lord every day for me.
O what a difference it makes for me - 
I have a mother who prays.

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 9

Last day today! I had my consultation right at 8 AM. Got to ask my teacher, Ann Smelser, a few questions I wanted answered for my own personal self. :) 

We had almost 4 hours of class this morning. Reviewed and reviewed and reviewed because we HAD to be in there for 4 hours. :P Our attention was dwindling like crazy. ;D Finally it was over and we got our certificates and I ate lunch and B. and I were all packed up and left. We were DONE!! 

All in all, the trip was great. I got SO many practical teaching ideas. My favorite part though honestly was the time I had with Bethany. :) We had such a nice time. I so enjoyed the laughter and good talks we had. So glad we got to go together! 

It was wonderful to be back in church again tonight. The church people are my family. :) And now I'm trying to clean up everything - my trip stuff as well as what has been neglected since I left. :P No idea when I'll blog next. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 8

All I want to do tonight is continually thank and praise God for the strength He gives when we ask Him. Bethany and I were pretty nervous this morning about giving our presentations, and He had both of them go really well. (We got to go first and second, so they were over with quickly! ;D) 

We all went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Yummy. :)

Class was very beneficial today. Lots of supplementary materials were discussed, as well as scheduling and pricing of lessons. 

After class was finished, Bethany and I joined a few other Christian girls in singing hymns to our Saviour. :) It was so refreshing after a week of little to no church to worship with other believers, albeit in an unsaved environment. 

Half a day left to go. I have my consultation in the morning and then four hours of class. And then I am coming H.O.M.E.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CANNOT wait. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 7

Only one and a half more days to go. :) Today again was the 2 hours of class and 2 hours of observation in the morning. Finished observing! Yay! Tomorrow is the nerve-wracking bit. I need to present a practice section to the entire class AND make it interactive. Oh dear. :P

This afternoon I went to the chamber concert. Many Suzuki students played in trios and quartets. Great program pieces, too. :)

And now I'm going to take a nap for real. Looking forward to a relaxed Friday night, even though I wish I could see my fiance. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 6

I ended up spending the night at my own house in my very own bed last night because the traffic was so bad. I might've gotten back to the dorm before midnight, but Chris would've gotten home around 1. :P As it was, the poor guy had to drive me back up here at 5:30 this morning. *gag*

So, today was the lightest day so far. I had 2 hours of class and 2 hours of observation in the morning and then was done. I had a scrumptious lunch (mostacchioli w/ sausage, chili, fries, cinnamon apples, choc. pudding, and snickerdoodles). I came back to the dorms and was in the bathroom washing my face when the power went out. I never knew a room could be so pitch black. :P Thankfully it came right back on, but the router was messed up, of course, much to my grief. 

Two phone calls and a thunderstorm later, I was up playing through Book 3 and reading the preface and emailing my teacher without any nap in me whatsoever. :P And now I'm going to dinner. I'm not even hungry. :P

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 5

Today I completed the Suzuki teacher training for Book 2. YAY! Four of our classmates weren't staying on for the next book, so we had to say bye to them this morning. :( We slowly started Book 3. Tonight I need to work like crazy to finish memorizing. AAAAH!

I led in class today. I led Boccherini's Minuet minus the repeats, thank goodness. I think it went okay. Now hopefully I don't have to lead tomorrow!!

I'm done with classes for the day. And my darling is coming to pick me up for church and fireworks tonight, so I had better start cramming my head full of revised music. Ugh. :P 

P.S. - Because I don't want to forget, I'm going to put down the names of all my Bk. 2 and 3 classmates: 

Carrie, Tallia, Caroline, Naomi, Liz, Lisa, Julie, Travis, Drew, Hope, Bethany, Debbie, another Carrie, Meredith, Cindy, George, and Geronimo. (THAT, by the way, is a FUN name.) Oh yes. A lady from Brazil named Tatiana. 

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 4

Just this morning I realized I completely skipped over yesterday on here. Yesterday was my last big full day before Saturday. I completed four more observations and had more class time. 

Last night my beloved fiance came and picked me and Bethany up and we went to Ravinia. (Yes, I realize I should've put 'my fiance came and picked up Bethany and me,' but that made me feel jealous. lol) We sat on the lawn and listened to an hour and a half of unaccompanied Bach for violin played by Midori. Oh it was lovely. Very relaxing, except for the moments of intonation issues where Bethany and I sat straight up and looked at each other like, "Whaaaa?!" :P I was so happy to be outside and calm and have nothing on my mind and be sitting next to the person who has swiftly and completely become my life and love. :)

That was yesterday. Now I'm going to post about today. :P

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 3

Today there were only 2 hours of class time. The rest was observation, which was great because we'll get done sooner if we cram these few days full. I got slightly nervous in class today because we were talking about a really relaxed bow wrist, and the teacher had me play to demonstrate. AAAH! One of those instances where you can't tell if she asked you because you AREN'T doing it or because you ARE. :P (I hope I was....) 

I won't bore you with details about the 5 observations I did today. Most of them were pretty boring, to tell the truth. One of them however was led by Robert Richardson, and oh my word he is a BLAST! He's a younger guy from Manitoba. He kept everyone laughing but working hard. So fun. :)

I decided to opt out of the faculty recital going on right this very minute because I am super tired and still need to do some more memorization. *groan* I seriously should've tried hard to get that all done before I came. :( Oh well. Now I'm waiting for Bethany to get tired so I can play. :P I'm finding I can't memorize well with another solo going on less than 2 ft. from me. :P

What went on with your day today?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Suzuki Chronicles 2: Day 2

Second day down. Less than a week to go! ;P Today, like yesterday, was very full of class time. We had six hours of class altogether. It did sort of feel like a lot, but again it was full of very good information. 

We completed our first observation today. We watched this adorable 8-yr-old girl receive a lesson from Ann Smelser, our teacher. I noticed several interesting things, but I struggled with the particular observation form I was filling out. I don't know why; it just wasn't as nice as the one I used last year. I think I'll switch tomorrow. 

In class we got to cover the first 3 pieces in Bk. 2. I took lots of notes in my own notebook as well as in the teachers' packet Ann handed to each of us at the start of the course. 

Dinner was fantastic tonight!! Chicken quesadillas, refried beans, broccoli cheddar soup and Goldfish, peaches, chips, and a brownie. Yummy in the tummy. :) I told Bethany I'm glad she's here, but I'm not glad she gets to see how much I eat when all the food options are good. :P

Tonight we went to a concert by the Lincoln Trio. They had a very lively program full of mostly contemporary pieces. It was nice to see my friend's teacher, Desiree Ruhstrat. :)

And now I'm wrapping it up for the day. I am TIRED. Didn't sleep too great last night. I took a pic this morning that I considered sharing with you, and then thought, "What am I THINKING?!" :P Bye.