What I’m into in December ’14


  • All things space-related. (But I still haven’t seen Interstellar. It’s on my list.) This week it’s all about NASA’s Orion spacecraft being launched by United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket (hubby works on this one). If all went well this morning, it’s on its way 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface (15 times farther than the Space Station). And if all goes really well, this will be manned one day for deep space journeys. I feel like we’re back in the excitement of the Apollo days!

  • Jigsaw puzzles. Particularly this one—Pieces of the Promise—that we’re doing during Advent. We put together one section of the puzzle for 16 nights and work through a short family devotional of scriptures surrounding Advent. It’s great for kids, but Jeff and I are enjoying it ourselves. Friends of ours from church (Mark and Buffi Young) created it so I’m glad it’s doing well!
  • Hospitality of the Benedictine Sisters. My friend Kay and I went to the Sacred Heart Monastery last Tuesday for a one-day Advent Retreat. The sisters there welcomed all of us, even though several of us aren’t Catholic. I’m now considering signing up for a 3-day Centering Prayer Retreat there in January.

  • 4 Corners. I love spending time with these life-long best friends every chance I get. This was an impromptu lunch at Applebee’s since everybody happened to be in town over Thanksgiving.



  • Favorite pin from Pinterest. From my sister Sandy’s board:

  • Favorite new app for iPhone. I’m using the Examine app every night this month as an Advent reflection at the end of the day to record what I’m thankful for, what’s drawn me closer to God, where I’ve failed, etc.

  • Favorite tweet on Twitter. We visited Church of the Highlands with Jenna over Thanksgiving break for their #AtTheMovies series. We heard great lessons from Pastor Chris, saw a good portion of the movie Captain Phillips, and got popcorn and coke.





  • Being finished with Christmas shopping (but not the actual shopping itself). If I could get everything online, I would.
  • Outdoor Church this Saturday. It’s always special to worship with our homeless friends at Manna House.
  • Kids being home for Christmas.
  • 2015 One Word. I’ve had my word for awhile; now I get to plan (from my end anyway) how to work it out over the next 12 months. God comes up with all the surprises.

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What are you looking forward to in December?  Leave a comment here.

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18 thoughts on “What I’m into in December ’14

  1. Loren Pinilis

    Your husband works with NASA? Awesome!
    Sounds like a great December. It’s silly but the biggest thing about my December so far has been getting some specialized shoes for lifting weights at the gym. They’re awesome – I feel like a kid at Christmas again.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My husband works for United Launch Alliance (ULA). They’re the contractor who built the Delta IV rocket that launched Orion. I’ve spent quite a few hours watching NASA TV today. ha.

      Weight-lifting shoes—hey, it’s sometimes the little things that can make us happy. 🙂 That is awesome.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Small world, huh? The last time I played the small world game with a blogger she had a sister in Huntsville, who we discovered I actually knew! We went to the same church. ha. So you never know. Maybe our paths will cross through in-laws some day. 🙂

  2. Jean Wise

    I usually do the examination of conscious as I go to sleep but wasn’t aware of the app for this. will get it. that is so cool. I grew up as a space age child – remember my brother taking me out to the back yard and pointing out sputnik. I think I must have been about 5 but have been fascinated since then. How neat to be a part of it. And I love exploring different retreat centers. We have some beautiful ones up in in NW Ohio but no Benedictine ones – wish we did.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      After doing the Examine app for several nights now, I’ve found it’s quite much! I’m already not being consistent with it. 🙁 So I think I’ll just type in 2 or 3 answers per night instead of trying to do them all every night. A “little” done consistently is better than “all” done rarely, right? (I have to play these games with myself. ha.)

  3. mary

    I will also have to check out the Examine app! And my husband and I were discussing the rocket launch last night…well, let’s say HE was discussing, I was listening. 🙂

    I love retreats at places like the monastery you mention. I hope you get to attend the prayer retreat in January!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I listened a lot more about the launch than I discussed too. My talking consists mainly of asking questions. 🙂

      I think I’ll register tomorrow for the retreat. Can’t find a good reason not to. ha.

  4. Jennifer Dougan

    Hi Lisa,

    How neat that your husband works on the rockets linked with NASA! Did they get off successfully then?

    It was fun to browse through your linked texts, posts, and book ideas here. I enjoyed smiling at the photo of you and your friends out at Applebee’s too, and reading about the prayer retreat. What grabbed your attention the most from the prayer retreat experience?

    Marry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, Jennifer, the test flight appeared to be almost flawless! I’m sure they’ll find a few anomalies once they get all the data back, but from the outside looking it, it was a big success.

      One of the things I enjoyed the most about the Advent Retreat was simply the time we each had in silence to meditate on thoughts from the previous session. Sometimes I rush from knowledge to knowledge without making time to sit with it and let it sink in.

  5. Betty Draper

    I love most space movies, Gravity was great, Intersteller was…entertaining but I was not awed by it. I am really in awe of your husband working for NASA…cool job. Gonna check out the Life Changing Majic of Tidying Up book for my daughter in law. Sweet post Lisa..

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I enjoyed Gravity too. I’m glad to hear your hesitation on Interstellar because that will curb my enthusiasm a tad. All I’ve heard is how wonderful it is (and maybe I’ll find it to be that!), but it’s probably best not to go into it with too high expectations. ha.

  6. June

    Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to some rest! Ever since you mentioned ‘one word’ I haven’t been able to get it of my mind. Is it really that time of year again? Thanks, Lisa!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Rest is a great thing to look forward to, June. 🙂 I look forward to it every evening myself. And once I get my Christmas gifts wrapped, I’ll immediately feel more rested.

      That time of the year comes around fast for another One Word, yes? I’ll look forward to what you’ll choose for 2015!

  7. Beth S.

    I love the puzzle thing you are doing. Sounds like December has been full of good things so far, and it’s only 12/10! I have not decided on a word yet for 2015. There have been a few times I thought God had given me my word but so far I haven’t felt as thought one has been THEY WORD. Waiting.
    Blessings to you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know what you mean about the one word. Last year I thought I had my word fairly early, but right at the end of December, God flooded me with so many things about “compassion” that he forced me to switch. 😉 Do let me know when you decide. I love hearing what people choose!

  8. Beverley

    I don’t have a iphone! What you don’t…have…a…i…phone (shock – horror :D)? No sorry! My phone is an android and it works very for me – but….i have been thinking about buying an ipad. My daughter was trying to convince me that i needed a tablet as it would work with my computer, which is windows, but i told her that no i knew what i needed it was a Mac ipad because all the weird Americans run everything on Mac including the church. I know my children think i am slow when it comes to technology, but really i’m not i just act dumb 😀

    Love the idea of one word, i shall look out for more explanations in the future.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Android, iPhone–they’re basically the same in my book. I still have a holdout in my family though who uses a BlackBerry and it’s not nearly as useful (as he’s able to use it anyway). 🙂

      I don’t have a tablet yet; I can’t justify a good use for it. But maybe one day I’ll think of a good excuse. ha. I still use a PC for my laptop, but my daughter bought a Mac and seems to really prefer it. I might consider switching over whenever my PC dies.

      You’ve got me thinking…maybe I’ll write a post about choosing a One Word….

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