Wednesday July 9, 2008

Colossians 3:23-24
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”


As I’ve been going about my busy day of keeping our home –cleaning the house, stocking the cupboards, tending the baby– I have been challenging myself to work for the Lord & because of the Lord. Not for myself. Not even for my husband or son. Simply for the Lord. Purely for His glory.

“—being a full-time wife and mother—is not a destructive drought of
usefulness but an overflowing oasis of opportunity; it is not a dreary
cell to contain one’s talents and skills but a brilliant catalyst to
channel creativity and energies into meaningful work; it is not a rope
for binding one’s productivity in the marketplace, but reins for guiding
one’s posterity in the home; it is not oppressive restraint of
intellectual prowess for the community, but a release of wise
instruction to your own household; it is not the bitter assignment of
inferiority to your person, but the bright assurance of of the ingenuity
of God’s plan for the complementarity of the sexes, especially as worked
out in God’s plan for marriage; it is neither limitation of gifts
available nor stinginess in distributing the benefits of those gifts,
but rather the multiplication of a mother’s legacy to the generations to
come and the generous bestowal of all God meant a mother to give to
those He entrusted to her care.”
–Dorothy Patterson


Today I praise the Lord for giving me such a glorious calling — that of a helpmeet, homemaker, & mommy.

Saturday July 5, 2008

Pics of a few summer events…

Baby Shower for us! Even Great Grandma (from CA) and Grandma (from NC) made it! 

 Gabriel’s baptism, praise the Lord!

We had a family celebration and Baptismal Feast, with lots of family pictures!

My little firecracker enjoyed his first 4th of July! Lots of decorations, colorful clothes, yummy food, & lots of croquet.

This is my very American little boy… and his super-adorable “Weebok” sandals!
  

Friday July 4, 2008

I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing, celebrating day!
This morning I have been thinking about my freedoms, but primarily my freedom in Christ.
Here are some passages that I read, contemplating “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” which is mine!

Romans 8:18-25
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:1, 13
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery… For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

1 Peter 2:16-17
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

Monday June 30, 2008

Baptismal Hymn
by Martin Luther

1. To Jordan came our Lord, the Christ,
To do God's pleasure willing,
And there was by Saint John baptized,
All righteousness fulfilling;
There did He consecrate a bath
To wash away transgression
And quench the bitterness of death
By His own blood and Passion,
He would a new life give us.

2. So hear ye all and well perceive
What God doth call a Baptism
And what a Christian should believe
Who error shuns and schism:
That we should water use the Lord
Declareth is His pleasure,
Not simple water, but the Word
And Spirit without measure;-
He is the true Baptizer.

3. To show us this, He hath His Word
With signs and symbols given;
On Jordan's banks was plainly heard
The Father's voice from heaven:
"This is My well-beloved Son,
In whom My soul delighteth;
Hear Him!" Yea, hear Him, every one,
Whom He Himself inviteth;
Hear and obey His teaching!

4. In tender manhood God the Son
In Jordan's water standeth;
The Holy Ghost from heaven's throne
In dovelike form descendeth;
That thus the truth be not denied,
Nor should our faith e'er waver,
That all three Persons do preside
At Baptism's holy laver
And dwell with the believer.

5. Thus Jesus His disciples sent:
Go, teach ye every nation,
That, lost in sin, they must repent
And flee from condemnation.
He that believes and is baptized
Shall thereby have salvation,
A new-born man he is in Christ,
From death free and damnation,
He shall inherit heaven.

6. Who in this mercy hath not faith
Nor aught therein discerneth,
Is yet in sin, condemned to death
And fire that ever burneth;
His holiness avails him not,
Nor aught which he is doing;
His inborn sin brings all to naught
And maketh sure his ruin;
Himself he cannot succor.

7. The eye of sense alone is dim
And nothing sees but water;
Faith sees Christ Jesus and in Him
The Lamb ordained for slaughter;
It sees the cleansing fountain, red
With the dear blood of Jesus,
Which from the sins, inherited
From fallen Adam, frees us
And from our own misdoings.

Monday June 30, 2008

While I don’t have pictures of Gabriel’s actual baptism yet, I do have a few pictures from our celebration yesterday afternoon. What a glorious feast and time of rejoicing. There were four generations together, proving God’s generational faithfulness to our family. Praise be to the Lord!

Gabriel David with his loving parents.

Here is my sweet little boy with his grandmama, who lovingly made his handsome baptismal gown.

Thursday June 26, 2008

Yesterday we took Gabriel’s paternal grandparents up to his maternal grandparents’ home for a visit, hike, and dinner. We had fun with some of the cows that are in the pasture this year — they kept staring at my dog… not sure who was more shy of whom. 🙂

I love this picture of Gabriel David with his Grandpapa David

Look at that SMILE!!!!!!

And here is Gabriel with his trusty pup, Dilly. They decided to chill out together while Mommy did laundry.

Monday June 23, 2008

Look at these pictures of our sweet baby boy… Gabriel David is a whole month old today!! So we took some family shots tonight, just for fun. 🙂

Wednesday June 18, 2008

“How Organized are Your Closets?”
by Nancy Wilson at femina.reformedblogs.com

Where do we get this notion that being organized is next to godliness? I’m pretty sure we get it from magazines and ads in those magazines. And though they really may be great magazines full of super recipes and ideas that inspire us, they can also set us up to start laying guilt trips on ourselves. Something like this: “If I was really together, my closets would look like those featured in Martha’s Living, where stacks of sheets are tied with color-coded ribbons.” Just a little reminder here: Martha has fleets of housekeepers who wash and iron those sheets and keep them tied up with ribbons. You, on the other hand, do not.

Now I do not begrudge her. My hat’s off to her for all she has done to restore the honor due to the fine arts of domesticity. She obviously has a gift of organization, I really appreciate her creativity, and I read her magazine. But I’m just saying that my closets are not photogenic, and I don’t think I need to feel too crummy about it. Do you? Now, I do regularly try to rearrange them and tidy them up by making a run to Goodwill. But I feel pretty fantastic if all the sheets are washed and back on the beds. Ribbons? Hardly.

Christian women tend to be pretty hard on themselves in these areas of organization. I sometimes slip back into thinking that if only I could be more organized, then I would truly be holy (or rather, I would feel pretty holy). I remember telling my husband something like this years ago, and he replied with profundity: “What makes you think I would want to be married to you if you were more organized?” Now this made me think.

Typically, those women with an over-zealous organizational streak can make life pretty miserable for everyone else. Maybe that is what he was hinting at. Either way, it did make me feel a little more comfortable with my “disorganization.” And I don’t want to be a fusser. A fusser is always fussing around about stuff and fussing at everyone else about the stuff. Nipping at their heels. (Lewis somewhere mentions the woman who lives for others, and you can tell who they are by that hunted expression.) So if we can be organized and not be fussers, then that is good. But if by being organized we become tyrannical, then it would be better to send all our tidy little bins to the bad place.

Now I am not advocating bedlam in our homes. Certainly not. But I think we tend to be either too easy on ourselves or too hard on ourselves. The women with closets that won’t shut unless they run at them with their shoulder down are probably too easy on themselves. But maybe not. It depends on what else they are doing. The women who have things pretty well together, but not perfectly together, are probably too hard on themselves. We all know over-achievers who make the rest of us look like slouches. Well that’s okay. Let them! It is their gift. Some women are better homemakers than others. Some are way ahead on the learning scale; some are playing catchup. But the goal is never perfection (remember the ribbons). The goal is joy overflowing, even into our closets and out our drawers and cupboards.

So the item of first importance is doing the duties God has given us with a cheerful, hardworking spirit that does not look sideways and feel disheartened, is neither lazy nor driven, but strikes a joyful balance.

When the kids were little, I baked bread weekly and loved every minute of it. When I began teaching part-time, the bread baking fell behind. If you are a homeschooling mom, you can’t do everything. If you are a non-homeschooling mom, you can’t do everything. If you are not a mom, you can’t do everything. Important announcement: You are not omnipotent. Rejoice in that!

So, we do what is set before us cheerfully unto the Lord. That pleases Him. And if the closets get discombobulated from time to time, so much the better for our souls. We don’t want to become fussers. If the snapshots are not yet organized into albums, don’t beat yourself up about it. There may come a day (probably a rainy one) when you delight in organizing them all, and then you won’t be the proud owner of guilt-motivated scrapbooks.

A house that has every cubby organized and every square inch gleaming probably has no one living in it. “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean; but much increase is by the strength of the ox” (Prov. 14:4). I think God prefers a happy, productive untidiness to a joyless organization. Though I love getting my house cleaned up, that is no great achievement. When I really attain to godliness, I will take joy in seeing it get messed up. When I get there, I will be sure to whoop loudly!


Wednesday June 18, 2008

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss, here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me.
Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, Welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her lifelong prayers!
Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

Stepping Heavenward, Elisabeth Prentiss