Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quality Control

I had a very interesting conversation with someone who recently lost their job. We had a very candid conversation about everything from the difficult job market to family values. He was asking me questions about Jaocb's decision to find work again and what that might look like.
It is amazing how much money you can really live on when you decide that quality of life matters most. (I realize however that everyone's definition of quality is different.) We don't go out
to movies anymore and as a matter of fact- we just cancelled our Netflix account too. (An extra $20 a month for groceries) We don't eat out unless it's a church-sponsored event. We drive two ten-year old, paid off cars. We don't frequent Broadway shows and rarely go to concerts or conventions. We don't subscribe to the New York Times or have a membership to any country club or yacht club. We don't travel to exotic places for vacations or drink Starbucks four times a week.

But what we do invest in is life. We love weekly strolls along the boardwalk at Jones Beach. Life-giving conversation and companionship is completely free. We enjoy cooking dinner together each night with the sounds of "Jeopardy" in the background. We go on long walks through our neighborhood -for it's one of the most beautiful places in the spring. The highlight of the night is bath time and the 4th reading of "Goodnight Moon" for our 9 month old. We love waking up to Aaron's laugh and the smell of freshly brewed coffee and bacon. I love that I come home for lunch every day and that I get to feed and rock my son to sleep before I go back. I love that we see each other at every meal and that we are teaching Aaron the blessing, "God is Great, God is Good...".

We may not have the same quality of life as a lot of people. And according to the rest of the world, we are incredibly rich. And that's just how we see it. Yes, the economy is in terrible shape. Yes, we don't have much retirement, savings, or stock. But, what we do have is priceless. You can't put a price tag on memories. You can't put a value on togetherness.

So today- in this economic climate-I choose to say, and with conviction, we are rich...filthy rich!!
Love- The Burgess Bunch

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sweet Dreams

I think we often forget how much a good night's sleep has to do with proper daily functioning. There is nothing like a great night's sleep to rejuvenate both the body and the soul. The Burgess household is discovering this very truth.

For months we have been complaining of our tired, uncomfortable mattress. Every morning we wake up with back aches, headaches and stiff muscles. It also doesn't help matters that we often sleep with a squirmy 8 month old and a 90 pound yellow lab (who likes to stretch from end to end). Oh and did I mention we have a Queen sized bed?!

On a recent unexpected trip home for my Grandmother's funeral- we found ourselves in a sleep-related dilemma. On our returning flight (through Priceline) we were booked on a 6AM flight-not by our choice of course. As many of you know, a 6AM flight out of Atlanta means checking in at the airport by 4AM.

We decided due to lack of finances as well as our inner adventurous spirit, we would just "rough it" for the night and catch some Z's at the airport. After about 10 minutes of blaring fluorescent lights, a crying baby (who happened to be ours) and the continual security message on a loop - we decided no amount of money was too much for a good four hours of restful sleep.

Forty-five minutes later we found ourselves at the Atlanta Airport Marriott-which is another blog entry all in itself.

When we finally pounced in the big fluffy king size bed of heaven and glory-suddenly credit card woes and climbing AMEX bills escaped our mind. We woke 4 and half hours later, rested, rejuvenated, relaxed and whole. We both agreed that morning that we had just experienced the most amazing sleep-possibly ever.

Half laughing, Jacob said to me, "Too bad we can't order us this exact bed, huh?!"

It's amazing how far a little research will go-Jacob called me at work the next day with the best news I had heard in awhile. As a matter of fact, you CAN order a Marriott bed-from their website and have it custom made for you! (And it was cheaper than any Sealy, Stearns and Foster or Posturpedic we were considering)

We found out today that our new Marriott bed will be arriving tomorrow-complete with mattress cover and frame. My mind is flooded with sweet dreams and relaxed slumbers to come!

Let us not forget the benefits of a good night's sleep. For those of you tossing and turning each night-it doesn't have to be that way. There's hope.

In the words of one of my favorite gospel tunes..."Help is on the way". Hallelujah. Today I praise God for comfy beds and restorative sleep. There's power in rest.

Did I mention we're getting a king?

Sweet Dreams,


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life is Messy

My strong need to be orderly and organized has recently flown the coup. Well, the need is still there; don't get me wrong. However, I'm realizing that perhaps there is untapped joy in the disorderly, the messy, and the unpredictable.

I come home to toys scattered about the house. There is usually a basket of unfolded clothes on the couch. Glancing around, I can usually spot at least five things that "need" to be done. The dishes need to be loaded. Dinner needs to be fixed. The dog needs a bath. Toys need to be put back in their basket. The trash needs to be collected. The list is endless.

During one of my rants regarding the messy house, I had to stop myself mid sentence. No one in the room was missing out on life because of a few dirty dishes. As a matter of fact, maybe I was the one missing out. Jacob was in the recliner with Aaron, making him laugh out loud hysterically. Just his laughter was enough to make me stop in my tracks. The dog ran to greet me with his new toy in his mouth, as if to say, "where have you been all day? Let's play!".
The room was overflowing with life.

I decided in that moment that I choose life over order. Memories over mess. The dishes can is fleeting. Today, I choose the ones before me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A picture paints a thousand words

Angels from the realm of "what are we supposed to be doing"? I love this picture. It captures so perfectly our Christmas Eve pageant. The pageant had Aaron making his debut appearance as Baby Jesus. Let me tell you..."Little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes", seemed to have rang true for us that night.
As I look at this picture, I am reminded of the chaos that was really taking place at the moment. Angels, not knowing when to say, "Peace on earth and good will to all people" - the Wise Men forgetting to place their gifts - the shepherds in their disheveled and mis-matched costumes.

Isn't life the same way though? Amidst our chaos, we seem to find sanctuary in the little things. A cooperative baby Jesus. A good laugh. A hot cup of coffee. An unexpected call from an old friend. We need some calm amidst our chaos these days.

I am reminded today, once again, that Emmanuel, God with in the midst. We have our ultimate calm in chaos of life. Thanks be to God!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Ordinary Days

Walking into the sanctuary this past Sunday was a bit of a let-down. The dozens of gorgeous poinsettias had been removed. In their place on the window seals, hung the regular church greenery. The enormous Christmas wreaths that covered the walls had been removed, revealing the new coat of white paint that had recently been applied. O Holy Night had been sung for the last time until next year. The red vestments that had decorated the communion table and lecterns had been changed to a new color.

On the Christian calendar, the days we have entered are referred to as "Ordinary Times". We discuss the ordinary days in the life of Christ. Even with the feel of Christmas let-down, I think ordinary days are where we find life's richness. It's in the ordinary days that we see the meaning in the small moments of faith and life.

In the Burgess home, I've captured some photos over the last week, that represent "ordinary days" in our life. Its in these moments that I find the most joy. These moments are pure, vulnerable, and rich. As we begin the new year, may we all capture ordinary moments, but always find their sweet message to us.

Peace on earth,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good Ole' Fashioned Family Christmas

This is my wonderful family. We look nice, don't we! Maybe it's because this Christmas, we all somehow avoided the hospitals and any type of horrible sickness floating around. This Christmas was perhaps the best ever.

My family flew in for 10 WHOLE days. I think it's the longest we've ever spent together...ever. And we all still love each other, even after the fact! And as a matter of fact...I miss them dearly.

Life just doesn't get much sweeter. We had great food all week- hats off to my mother' s homemade cooking, we played lot's of Taboo...I'm still the best at it...we played countless rounds of Canasta - the funnest game ever. It was what Chevy Chase might call...a good ole' fashioned Christmas! It wasn't really about the gifts...though I am LOVING my new Canon xsi. It wasn't about the tree...although we had a great tree. It was about the gift of presence this year...and that was the best present ever.

Thanks be to God for family. We are truly blessed.

Til' next time...

How was your Christmas?


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in New York

Well, we're officially back. It's been awhile since we've been in the blogosphere, so to speak. I just realized that the last time we posted, it was Novemember 2007, and it was under our old blog name. We have a new blog home, here at

What a difference a year makes! Since last we blogged, we welcomed our first born, Aaron into the world, this July. He is the absolute joy of our lives. We will never, ever be the same again. We are enjoying every new experience with him and soaking in this new little life.

I work daily on the balance between mother and minister. It's a chore...but I am getting the hang of it, I think. Life is really good.

It's one day away from Christmas Eve. My folks are in route to NY as we speak. I can't wait to their familiar faces and to share in this special time. I suppose I'll bake holiday treats tonight as I await their arrival at my door. The anticipation is just fabulous!

It's Christmastime! Do something special with the ones you love. Life is short.

Off to some last minute shopping...

Here's to Christmas. Here's to love and life.

Joy to the world...the Lord has come!