Monday, November 16, 2009
I AM THANKFUL....
1. ... that God saw fit to save me. He didn't have to, but He did. Not only has He saved me from Hell, He also walks with me and talks with me. How amazing to have the Creator of the Universe hang out with you?
2. ...for the beauty around me. I think I might be able to buy evolution except for beauty. Why is the world around beautiful? Why do we find it majestic and beautiful? Why does my heart swell with glorious emotion at lovely sunsets, breath-taking rainbows and the rippling of a brook?
3. ...for my husband. I am thankful for the bad times as well as the good. I am so grateful that today I got to wake up next to my best friend. It has not always been so, but I hope and pray that the bad times keep us both doing our best to keep the friendship alive during easy and hard times.
4. ....for my children. They all have their moments when I think the gypsies sound like a tempting option for them (as I am sure they would gladly trade their mama for a better model at times:). Still I would characterize them as happy and fun. I love them all and couldn't imagine life without a single one.
5. ...that I get to stay home. Far from being a hateful drudgery, it is a blessing to be able to be a "home-maker." There are aspects of the job that I don't like. Still I get to spend my day doing what I like the best for and with the folks I like the best. I get paid dividends that far exceed monetary compensation for an outside job.
6. ...to be healthy.
7. ...to have my mom around.
8. ...that I have good friends.
9. ....that I have a great church. Though the church should be many things, it often times is not. I am thankful that my church family might not always be what they should be, but they are willing to die trying.
10. ...that this list could go on and on. Now that I have started I am thinking of all the wonderful things in my life and I have a better attitude.
Now back to work.
Monday, November 09, 2009
The only lunch number my children need to know is whether they want 1 or 2 sandwiches, 2, 3 or 4 apples slices. Yes, we do need to work on quieter voices. It would probably help if the teacher would refrain from throwing food or spitting water from time to time. Why, oh why could they not simply say, "Only touch your food?" I took these pictures at the Harvest Party. I thought they were pretty funny.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
And I wanna jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who aren't afraid to love
This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could want and nothing that I need
This world is making me drunk on the spirits of fear.
So when he says who will go, I am nowhere near.
And the least of these look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street
This world has held my hand and has led me into intolerance
But now I'm waking up, but now I'm breaking up
But now I'm making up for lost time
Often times the lyrics from a Caedmon's Call song encapsulates where I am in my walk with the Lord. I feel as if I have returned to the garden where I used to walk with the Lord. There has been fear and pain and learning. As I walk I see the overgrown patches. I see the places where the walkway has been crumbled by plants growing up through it. There are many repairs to be made. Yet I touch those places and it is like the years fly away. Here I am again where hope is young and among a people not afraid to love. Together with the Lord we will make a garden that folks can come and sit and have their souls drink in healing and peace.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Look at all of them! We have this same picture from 6 years ago and there are only three of them in it. They are also much smaller.
I maybe in a shark jaw, but I am with a really handsome fella!
Monkeys have escaped from their cages!
I knew he really was a snail!
Here is our recent trip to the Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. We all had a really good time. We packed a picnic lunch and had free tickets (thanks to the library's summer reading program) so it only cost us gas and two adult tickets. We all rode the carousel at the end of the day-twice!
Friday, June 05, 2009
My eleven year old remarked the other day that it was sad that no one seemed to be doing the weblogs anymore just Facebook. Many of our friends have been on vacation and we have been busy finishing up the school year. I do love to be able to peruse different weblogs of my friends as well as the creative writing outlet that it affords me. I am thankful, however, that I seem to have hit paydirt when it comes to former team members from YWAM here recently. It is a fun kind of reunion. It also came at a time when I had some time to spend frittering away on the computer. I need to get back to routine in our house though. We Heaths perish without routine or at least would get buried under a pile of laundry. Here are some pictures of what we have been up to recently.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
World wide we have christian brothers and sisters that face incredible challenges in order to meet together with other believers. They face long hard walks. They face the chance of being arrested and tortured like this man. Many face physical attacks personally or to their family. Many have risked their lives or have been martyred because they choose their christian family over old tribal feuds. The list goes on and on.
I am at the point that if I hear one more lazy christian quote the verse about where two or three are gathered in my name in order to make the point that they do not have to go to church...I am seriously tempted to lay hands on them...you know three ways: hard, fast and continuously. Now I truly understand that is a waste of time and effort in a fruitless way.
Instead I sit here and write. May we all honor our brothers and sisters in Christ that long to meet together with fellow believers as we have the freedom to do. It honors them if we meet together and then remember to pray for them. Let us lift them up before the Lord and let us do it together. Can you imagine one of these dear saints asking you why you didn't go to church? I can and some of my answers are shameful.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
The reason it is soooooo annoying is that my children all love it and do a great job of copying it. It sticks in your head. The worst part is that on church on Sunday I found myself walking down the hall singing ding, ding, ding to myself. ARRRRRRGGGHHHH!
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
If money were no object this is what I would like for my birthday. I will be thankful for whatever I get, as long as it isn't fireworks:) It is still nice to dream every once and a while. There is also a cruise that I would get TODR for his birthday, if we had the money as well. It involves a Ligonier Conference and Alaska. Maybe one day we will be able to afford these things. For now I am looking forward to time with TODR-just him-even if we are grocery shopping. My kids can dress up and we will go to The Big Bottom Blast on July 4. I guess I could dress up too. Most folks look at us funny anyway...
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Many are familiar with the story told in Facing the Giants about preparing for rain. Here in the Pacific Northwest we are always prepared for rain. The sunshine is iffy. So here we are....
We have a work party we have planned at my mom's house. Hosting it and providing the food is our gift to her for her birthday that was in April (back when it was still SNOWING regularly). The weekend looked promising with the weather. Now we have put out the invitation, folks are planning on helping, plants are purchased and food is planned. The weather is predicting sunny for Friday and partly cloudy for Saturday. We are praying for sun. My faith is kind of shakey at this point. I find myself in that situation again of thinking that God wanted me to do something and now I hear the question: Did God REALLY say?....And my answer is I DON'T KNOW!
On another front I am looking at the reality of camping with our family this summer. Due to past issues (read bad attitudes on the part of many) I am seriously torn. I remember camping as a child. It was one of those rare and happy memories for me. I also remember the "camp conditions" of my mission teams and the happy comraderie that those times forged in us. I know there have been many changes for the good in everyone in our house. There are just some fronts that I am not willing to give up on. And I just don't know if those are hills to die on or my sinful selfishness taking over and they need need to die....I JUST DON'T KNOW. We need to get some more things for camping. We have some basics, but we need some more decent sleeping bags and cots/mattresses/soft things for kiddos to sleep in. We have one air mattress and 4 real sleeping bags. That is real as compared to the $14.00 ones we purchased a few years ago not at CABELA'S. The supposed down is now in horrible clumps in non-warming areas of the bag. They make great tents in the living room though. We do have friends that are "serious as a heart-attack" to help us get going camping since our kids absolutely love it.
I am trying to prepare for the sun. I just don't WANNA. So if you WANNA...be praying for sun.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I was reading an article written by a very gracious lady. She talked about becoming a "deliberate family." That struck my husband and me. The dictionary defines deliberate in three ways; Planned or intended, careful and slow, or (as a verb) to consider something carefully. In this day and age family is under attack more and more.
I don't think it matters if you come from a "traditional," home or a "fractured" one, or some where in between. We all feel the tug to be selfish. We are reminded daily, in our culture, that it is all about YOU. The wise pastor that did our premarital counseling said that he believed 95% of divorce and marital problems stemmed from selfishness. (You might ask what the 5% was...good question...I don't remember.) He also said that if marriage didn't bring your selfishness to the surface, children would! How true!
Gary Ezzo said, "In our home, family ties were never optional for our children. They were a mandate based on God's genius...Each member knows the team is counting on all the others to stay committed to the code of ethics that represents the family."
It is amazing how much a family is like a military unit. The hard part is changing our mind set from civilian to military thinking. Do you remember that children's song? I may never march in the infantry, ride in the calvary, shoot the artillery. I may never fly over the enemy, but I'm in the Lord's army-yes, SIR! There is some great doctrine in some of those oldies (Jesus Loves Me is another example).
The captain of the Heath family is deliberately leading us to be a deliberate family. The funny thing is...I don't really remember what it was like to be a civilian.
May God bless us with wisdom to be a deliberate family. It makes me question; Where am I being selfish? How am I not deliberately following where the Lord would have me go? Unfortunately, the answers are very obvious. Maybe it is a blessing that they are obvious. It means He is working. What is God asking you to deliberate on doing deliberately?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
-It was finally warm enough for some water sporting at our house. The second son washed Oma's car and the girls found a hole in the hose. They all put on their bathing suits and danced and ran through the water, even the smallest fry. Here is a picture of our bathing beauties.
-Number 2 son has decided to study Greek. He has me making worksheets for him and he has been wandering around singing the Greek alphabet song. He is a funny duck, but very fun.
-Our pastor was making a point Sunday. The point was being sold out completely to God and not "trying God" like He was some kind of a shoe to try on. The pastor remarked that he was going to get arrested at Walmart one day because he had a razor blade and he was going to take those "Try God" bumper stickers off of folks' cars. He said he would leave all the other stickers there. Now most of us knew he was not serious, but our oldest boy obviously didn't. He offered to go with him when he did it. Now I am not too sure if we should be proud that our son is on board enough to back his pastor's play or if we have some talking to be doing:)
We Heaths may be strange, but we have never been accused of being boring.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
So we did some research...
It comes from the Latin word "Mandatem." We get our English word mandate from it. The term was coined in the early church to refer to the last supper when the Lord modeled communion for us. He gave us an old/new thing to observe. A new mandate, if you will. It was old in that it was from the traditional Passover meal that he drew from to institute communion. It was new because it represents the new covenant in His blood and body.
Our church celebrates communion every Sunday after not celebrating it at all for so long. There was a fear that familiarity might breed contempt or apathy. There is always that factor to consider when we do something often. It has become such a vital part of our church. I saw that the one Sunday our pastor took a much needed rest. We didn't have communion prepared. It was so vital to those there that we all jumped into getting done.
As I raced home to mix up some communion bread I was overwhelmed with the thought of Passover. That is why the Israelites didn't use leaven! It took me 30 minutes from racing home, mixing ingredients and a finished product. If it was "normal" bread it is a 1 and 1/2 to 2 hour process. They were to get ready. They were to eat and go. They were not to leave anything, even burning the leftover meat. They were to use the blood to paint their doorposts so the Angel of Death would PASS OVER them.
Now every communion preperation is not that dramatic. I see the symbolism in marriage though. We are intimate with our spouse on a regular basis. If we aren't we need to address the reasons why. It usually means something is wrong or there are bitter feelings on one or both sides. The same way-we have communion-it is an intimacy with our Bridegroom as well as an intimacy enjoyed with other members of the Bride.
We are coming up on a BIG celebration: RESURRECTION SUNDAY. This Easter we will go to church and enjoy communion as well as a potluck put on by the menfolk (they even have a theme-I am afraid, very afraid:). Just like in our married life we often times make a big deal out of our anniversaries. Just like in our married life we consummate our marriage again. Let us have these temporal things point towards heaven as we taste again the bittersweet beauty of our Lord's death and resurrection on Sunday. We should celebrate it every day, every moment, and every time we get a chance to celebrate our love. It is extra special this Sunday as we remember what Christ did for us. We also may celebrate that this is just the beginning. One day we will feast forever. This is just a foretaste. Let us enjoy every moment of it. I, for one, am looking forward to Sunday with eager anticipation.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
We went for a walk the other day. I even remembered to bring the camera. Our oldest girl patiently helped her two sisters ride her big girl bike home. Here is the picture I snapped of the three girls while they were unsuspecting. Sometimes when they are bickering and fighting I despair, but at times like these I know that they are on the road to true friendship.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
This dear, sweet friend has been through some heart-rending things. She was due 9 days ago. Yes, I know that feeling. It is no fun. I felt for her. I had been praying for her. I pray for her and her family every day. Last night, though, I was genuinely worried about her and her baby. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit. My sweet, sweet oldest daughter prayed, we prayed as a family and I prayed every time I got up last night. I wondered why my kids all seemed to have problems. I was up several times dealing with nightmares, potty accidents....I prayed every time. I get up earlier than the kids so I can have some time with the Lord in the mornings. I prayed...
Then this morning as I was fixing breakfast I got the wonderful call! That precious BIG baby finally arrived this morning. Everyone is doing well. I am excited. Excited that my friend has a beautiful (I haven't seen him yet, but I know he is) healthy baby. Excited that she is on the other side of labor and doing well. Excited that my children and I got to see God's immediate answer to prayer. Excited that getting up with my children not only spoke to them about God's love for them and His comfort, but was a fruitful time of prayer. I usually can be grumbley (is that a word?) after too many ups in the middle of the night. I am learning to pray when ever I have the opportunity.
What a wonderful, exciting way to start the day. Now I get to call some folks and pass on the blessing:)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Our pastor seems to be stuck in the idea of "all we have is today." It is a good way to live, a good place to be stuck. The Bible tells us that we should be taught to number our days. I am learning more that all I have is now. Do I really want to waste in on busyness with no purpose (yes, that is busy-ness, not business:) ? The idea is not, live life to the hilt fore tomorrow we die. It is to appreciate every season, every moment God has us in. I only have this moment to savor. Everything changes. Yet when we stop and savor we hear the echoes of the future. The future when we will hear the whole compostion instead of just catching strains of it throught the veil.
Monday, March 09, 2009
This song is really wonderful. I want to dedicate it this morning to my husband first of all. I know you love this part of the movie. Stay fighting the good fight, you are doing it. Remember when you fall off the horse get back on!
It is also for my lovely sisters that are waiting in the Lord through some tough stuff. For Bucca and for Sharon. Remember that you are loved and prayed for constantly.
Monday, March 02, 2009
I used to wonder about the Bible telling us to magnify God. It seemed strange to be told to magnify something that is huge. I listened to John Piper on this subject and he shed some light on it. We are not to magnify God as in a microscope looking at something small. The concept is like a telescope magnifying something in space or in essence bringing something huge and seemingly distant close. Many seem to think that God is distant and out there somewhere. Not accessible. The Bible is clear that God is all around us, just outside the physical.
God uses the created realm to whisper the truths of the spiritual. Many have worshiped the sun as a god. It is not a god, yet its existance points to the real God. God may appear to be small and distant. The truth about the sun is that it is perfectly positioned for life on this planet. The sun is huge. Something like a million earths could fit inside of the sun. The heat from the sun would incinerate us if we got too close. The same way God is huge. His holiness would leave our sinful selves writhing in agony if we got too close.
He has positioned himself close enough to us in the physical for us to draw comfort from Him. Like a cat curling up in the warm comfort of a sunbeam we can seek His comforting warmth. He gives us life and sustains us exactly as we need. He hands us a telescope of prayer. So often I use the telescope to examine my tiny little problems. They seem huge and overwhelming. The telescope is meant to magnify God. When I focus on Him and see how huge He is my problems seems very small. The thing I am learning is to recognize the sunbeams and to warm myself in them. I am learning to trust. There may be droughts and crop failures, but the sun has never failed to rise. How much more so the Creator that made such things to point to Him?
This concept is something that I need to practice. It is, by nature, foreign to me. I am a first-born people pleaser with a tendency towards perfectionism. Not only that I am a born sinner. God, however, is bigger than those odds. It is probably why he had me get married and have seven children. They are doing much to peal away those things that are truly not worth wasting my time on. I am reminded that as my husband and I age, we have to savor the time together as it is getting shorter. My children are enthralled with sunbeams and other miracles of creation that I take for granted. My husband and children in and of themselves are miracles. God is at work. We just need to look.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I do love the snow when it settles in its pristine, white, glittering beauty across my lawn. It covers all the ugliness of the muddy, yucky mess out there. I am reminded how God makes our sins, that were as scarlet, white as snow. Then the children want to go out and play in it. They need to get bundled. We have to find matching gloves, or at least gloves that are the same size if not color. Then we have to find matching socks, or at least ones that are the same size. We get everyone ready to go outside. Then the little ones play for 5 minutes only to come back in saying they're cold. Then we take everything off and hang it up around the fire place to dry. All the while I am reminding myself that this time IS fleeting. My baby is 14 months old today. I try to remember that it seemed like yesterday when my oldest was that age. I would like to say that I am winning the battle against the demon of discontent, but alas and alack I am irritated at the snow and extra work it means. I am grumbling...I need another cup of coffee...I am wondering if it is not too out of line to eat chocolate and put a video on for the children...
Actually...I will get my act together, get the house warm, get school done and get dressed and all that stuff. My handsome, hard-working hubby will be home about 11:30 and I do want him to come home to a snug, inviting home. So here goes....
Friday, February 13, 2009
I think most folks choose McDonald's because they don't know it can be different. After you have experienced the royal treatment, you certainly don't want to go any other way. Trust me, fast food is hard to return to.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I have my daughter tell me that my hair looks really pretty with the gray on that side and the darker on the other side. I gave her a sweet, motherly response...to which she replied, "No it is because you are really getting old mom."
OR I run across an article like from Douglas Wilson at Credenda Agenda:
Life Between the Sexes
As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.
- Thomas Adams
First, he must choose his love, and then he must love his choice.
- Henry Smith
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
- Hebrews 13:4
A gracious wife satisfieth a good husband, and silenceth a bad one.
- George Swinnock
If thou art a man of holiness, thou must look more for a portion of grace in thy wife, than a portion of gold with a wife; thou must look more after righteousness than riches; more after piety than money; more after the inheritance she hath in heaven, than the inheritance she hath on earth; more at her being new born, than at her being high born.
- Thomas Brooks
When Adam was away, Eve was made a prey.
- Henry Smith
People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on "being in love" for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to a change - not realising that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one...Let the thrill go - let it die away - go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow - and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life...It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.
- C.S. Lewis
I look back with delight on every step, every circumstance, in that whole design of providential love. I rejoice with grateful joy at our blessed union, and feel my obligations to every person instrumental therein. Above all, I desire to thank my great Benefactor for giving you to my bosom, and to fulfil his gracious end by leading you to the marriage of the Lamb.
- Charles Wesley (in a letter to his wife in 1755)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also the loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water through the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
- Ephesians 5:25-27
In reality, however, Eros, having made his gigantic promise and shown you in glimpses what its performance would be like, has "done his stuff." He, like a godparent, makes the vows; it is we who must keep them. It is we who must labor to bring our daily life into even closer accordance with what the glimpses have revealed. We must do the works of Eros when Eros is not present. This all good lovers know, though those who are not reflective or articulate will be able to express it only in a few conventional phrases about "taking the rough along with the smooth," not "expecting too much," having a little common sense," and the like. And all good Christian lovers know that this programme, modest as it sounds, will not be carried out except by humility, charity and divine grace; that it is indeed the whole Christian life seen from one particular angle.
- C.S. Lewis
Life Between the Sexes
By Douglas Wilson
My wife and I had finally decided to call our pastor for help. Our marriage was not going well despite our desire to make it work. Martin and Susan responded by inviting us to their home.
"Why don't we begin by discussing the difficulty you had which made you seek help." Martin and his wife Susan were sitting in their living room. The small talk was over, we all had our coffee, and the kids were in bed.
I looked at my wife, who looked back at me helplessly.
"You tell them," she said.
I cleared my throat. "Part of the problem is that we have trouble agreeing on what the problem is. Kris thinks there is something wrong with everything, and I think there are a few problems with some things."
"How long have you been married?"
"And how serious are the problems? If one were marital bliss, and ten meant that one of you were going to file for divorce tomorrow, where would your marriage be?"
"Oh," I said, "about a six."
"Nine," Kris said.
Martin didn't exactly smile, but there was still a smile somewhere inside him.
"And is one of your problems communication?"
I shook my head, while Kris nodded.
"How often do you fight?"
"We used to fight about once a week. Now everything has just gone cold. We don't fight at all anymore. We don't do anything anymore."
"When you used to fight, how did you resolve the fights?"
Kris and I looked at each other. "We didn't," I said. "They just blew over."
Martin smiled. "I don't think they really did, but we will talk about that in a minute. Just one more question. How long have you been Christians?"
"We were both seniors in high school. About ten years ago."
Martin sat back in his chair and was silent for a moment. I shifted anxiously in my seat. Kris did the same.
"Do you know what I think the problem is? It is not really mysterious. Your marriage has a bad case of unconfessed sin."
Well, that brought me up short. Kris and I
had been to a number of counselors before this, and none of them had said anything about sin. Everything they said sounded good, but it was a little blurry around the edges, and it didn't help us out at home.
"It is not a disease, or a syndrome, or anything else like that. It is simply old-fashioned self-centeredness."
"What do you do about it?" Kris asked.
Susan spoke for the first time. "You acknowledge the sin to God as sin, and thank Him for His forgiveness. If your sin has harmed anyone else, like your husband or wife, you make restitution through specific apology."
"Can you give us an example?" Kris was looking at Susan, so she continued.
"Have you ever yelled at your husband?"
Kris looked at the floor. "Many times."
"Have you ever asked his forgiveness?"
"No." She looked up. "But what about all the things he does which provoke me?"
I was thinking that it was usually the things I didn't do which provoked her, but I thought I'd better keep quiet. Martin was looking at her, somewhat sternly.
"What we are saying here, we are saying to both of you. Each of you can confess the other person's sins all day and your joy will not be restored. You must confess your own, and you both must do it."
We both sat quietly for a moment.
"What sins must we confess?" I said.
"Well I wasn't there, so I can only give you some likely candidates."
"Speaking to her harshly, lusting after other women, spending money irresponsibly, not exercising spiritual leadship, and spending too much time in front of the TV."
Kris was staring at him as though he were psychic. I knew I was guilty of all these. Susan then turned to Kris.
"And you need to confess a critical and nagging spirit, the disrespect you have shown to him in public, the absence of respect and obedience in the home, and your attempts to be the spiritual leader in the home."
I asked, "How do you confess sin like this?"
"Simple. You sit down with a purpose to be specific. Every instance you remember, lift it before God and call it by the proper name. Lust is lust, malice is malice, and so forth. Where it has affected the other person, you aplogize for your sin only."
"I think I understand," I said. "I'll do this as soon as we get home."
Kris looked up. "But this doesn't change anything. What is to keep us from doing the same thing again?"
Martin smiled. "Confession of sin simply brings your account current. You will avoid this problem in the future when you learn to keep short accounts."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Picture two women, each with four children. One has a home which is immaculate, while the other home is bombed. What is the difference between the two homes?"
"I don't follow you."
"The difference is not in how many things are spilled, dropped, knocked over, and so forth. The difference between the two homes lies in how many things are picked up, and when they are picked up."
"So by `keeping short accounts' you mean confessing and making the appropriate restitution right away?"
"You've got it."
Kris interjected, "But it can't be as simple as all that!"
Martin's wife looked at him knowingly. "Maybe we should go over our rules."
He nodded. "Early in our marriage, Susan and I implemented certain basic rules which are designed to help us keep short accounts."
Kris and I spoke at the same time. "What were they?"
"If we had what we called a `bump,' we had already agreed that there were certain things we would and would not do. The first was - Never split up until things are resolved."
"How do you mean?"
"You stay together. You don't go to work, you don't go shopping, you fix it now."
"I'd be late for work every day," I muttered.
"Not really. You can get in fellowship as quickly as you get out of it. All it requires is an admittance you were wrong, not an insincere `sorry.' Now if the `bump' was over the checkbook, you don't have to balance it before you go anywhere, but you do have to confess the sin."
"What was the second rule?" I asked.
"If you are in mid-bump, and someone comes to the door, don't answer the door until you are back in fellowship."
"What if it is raining?" Kris smiled.
"Then get back in fellowship fast. So the second rule is - Never let anyone into your home when there is no harmony there.
"And the third rule?"
"Never go anywhere else when you are out of fellowship. If you have a bump on the way to church, fix it in the car before you go in. If you have a bump on the way to a friend's house, don't go in, until things are right."
"I'm beginning to get the idea," Kris said. "What is the next rule?"
"Have you ever been with friends, and one of you says something which upsets the other?"
We both nodded.
"Now if the sin was obvious to all, then the restitution should be made in the presence of all. But many times, married couples can get out of fellowship with one another without the other people there knowing about it. The explosion happens in the car on the way home."
"So what's the rule?" I asked.
"When a problem happens around others, Susan and I have a hand signal which means `I apologize.' Never wait until later to fix things, even when you are surrounded by others."
"Is there anything else?" I said.
"One more. Never have sexual relations when you are out of step with one another. Don't turn what God intended as a unifying and wonderful thing into a hypocrisy."
Kris and I looked at each other. I looked back at Martin and Susan. "We'll do all this," I said, and Kris nodded. "But can we see you in the next week or so? We'll certainly have questions."
"Of course. But before you go, I want you to understand the impact this will have on your relationship with your friends and family."
"What do you mean?"
"Right now you have problems, and all your friends and family know it. Correct?"
We both nodded.
"If you put this into practice, no one will ever see you, together or individually, when there is not harmony. God wants the two of you to function as one in the world, and this will enable you to do so. It is not hypocrisy, because you really are in fellowship. You still do your laundry, but not in the front yard. And these rules help to keep it from accumulating."
"Well, thank you," I said. I was amazed at how straightforward and simple it all seemed.
Kris nodded. "Thank you very much."
Martin and Susan both smiled. "You are very welcome. It is a real pleasure to see these biblical principles put into practice. See you next week?"
"Right. Next week."
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
- Proverbs 31:10-11
Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife, for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.
- Westminster Confession
Since marriage should be God-centered, not me-centered, our main care must be to honor God's holy Name and to fulfill his holy purpose. A lax attitude toward divorce comes from putting the feelings of sinners before the feelings of God. God created marriage not first and foremost to meet our wishes, but to advance His kingdom.
- Mary Pride
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- Colossians 2:20
It is a mercy to have a faithful friend that loveth you entirely...to whom you may open your mind and communicate your affairs...And it is a mercy to have so near a friend to be a helper to your soul and...to stir up in you the grace of God.
- Richard Baxter
There is no society more near, more entire, more needful, more kindly, more delightful, more comfortable, more constant, more continual, than the society of man and wife, the main root, source, and original of all other societies.
- Thomas Gataker
Wisest Solomon among his gravest Proverbs countenances a kind of ravishment...in the entertainment of wedded leisures; and in the Song of Songs...sings of a thousand raptures between those two lovely ones far on the hither side of carnal enjoyment. By these instances, and more which might be brought, we may imagine how indulgently God provided against man's loneliness.
- John Milton
Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
- Song of Solomon 4:11
Hail wedded love, mysterious law,
Of human offspring, sole propriety
In Paradise of all things common else.
By thee adulterous lust was driven from men
Among the bestial herds to range, by thee
Founded in reason, loyal, just and pure,
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother first were known.
Far be it, that I should write thee sin
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets,
Whose bed is undefiled and chaste
- John Milton
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Not to mention my devotional this morning about not being selfish and waiting on the Lord.
I am off now to go be a less selfish and self-righteous daughter, wife, mother and friend. At least I am going to try.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
2. I met my husband at his baptism in Ventura, CA.
3. My favorite color is purple, but I don't like it on furniture or as color for houses.
4. I have 7 children, two boys and five girls.
5. 6 of my children were born at home.
6. I spent my sixteenth birthday in Florida at Teen Missions' Boot Camp.
7. I visited the German town that my mom spent a few years of her childhood in and we have the same picture of a church steeple. I didn't know that until after I got home and showed my mom the pictures.
8. Doug Croucher was the one that led me tothe Lord when I was 14.
9. I have become a snob in some areas. I buy water when we go to the city because I can't drink that foul, chlorinated stuff. We only buy name brand ice cream and I like the expensive, good chocolate.
10. I had my gallbladder taken out five years ago.
11. I hate hospitals.
12. I am like the McGyver of first aid stuff.
13. My first aid kit seriously contains superglue.
14. I still can't stand lima beans although I can stomache other vegetables I hated as a child.
15. I was a vegetarian when I got married.
16. I love all kinds of pork products now (except sausages).
17. I think I am married to the best looking man anywhere.
18. My husband makes me feel cherished and loved when he tells me how beautiful I am. He does it spontaneously not just when I am decked out ready for a date.
19. My husband and I have seen quite a few Pixar movies as dates without the children and thoroughly enjoyed them.
20. I love Jane Austen's books and many of the movies that have come from them. Mostly the older ones.
21. I love having my feet rubbed and my hair washed.
22. I don't wear necklaces much, but I do wear toe rings and ankelets.
23. Roses are my favorite flower-I prefer the ones out of a garden because they smell so lovely.
24. I look good in red, but not in brown.
25. I have a hard time getting pizza, italian food or mexican food out because I cook them really well. I love ordering chinese because I suck at making it and it isn't that expensive to order.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to
The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I stood in silent wonder. When I felt the
spray of Niagara Falls against my face, I did the same. I will never forget that
crystal clear night in the Sierras when the stars looked like powdered sugar. I
was breathless with wonder. Today's verse describes wonder well - it's a powerful
emotional response which literally overwhelms us with amazement and delight.
It's a fine line between wonder at God and worship of God. That he would bless
us with eternal pleasures when he could easily char us like burnt toast is a wonderful
thing. His grace and goodness make us stand breathless. It's why Isaiah 9:6 calls
Charles Spurgeon wrote, "Holy wonder will lead you to grateful worship and heartfelt
thanksgiving. It will cause within you godly watchfulness; you will be afraid to
sin against such a love as this. Feeling the presence of the mighty God in the
gift of His dear Son, you will put off your shoes from your feet, because the place
whereon you stand is holy ground. You will be moved at the same time to glorious
hope. If Jesus has done such marvelous things on your behalf, you will feel that
heaven itself is not too great for your expectation. Who can be astonished at anything,
when he has once been astonished at the manger and the cross? What is there wonderful
left after one has seen the Savior?"
* * * * * * *
It is the desire of the Holy Spirit to show you how full of wonder Jesus truly is.
In preparation for Sunday worship this week, ask the Spirit to reveal fresh, new
insights into the gracious character of Christ. Ask him to overwhelm you with a
sense of wonder so that your adoration of God overflows with amazement and delight.
Jesus, you are the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. I love you!-Joni Eareckson Tada
I got to witness the birth of a baby yesterday. It was the first time I was not on the pushing side of things. I had the privilege of catching him and placing him on my sister's chest. It was so incredibly wonderful. It was an awe-filled experience.
I have long felt that our society has stolen, killed and destroyed true womanhood in its quest to empower women. We say right along with Eve that God is holding out on us. He is trying to keep us down. Men are trying to keep us subserveant baby machines. We want jobs, respect and power. There is nothing inheirantly wrong with any of those. Even the power when used with our legitimate authority is a good thing. We just want to go about it the wrong way. We want abortion on demand so we can have sex anytime with anyone without "consequences."
We choose death instead of our God-given capacity to bring life. When we as women choose to do it God's way, the way we were designed, it brings Him glory and we feel wonderfilled. Watching a baby born naturally is more awe-inspiring than the Grand Canyon. We, as women, have options. We can embrace our womanhood and be part of bringing about life or we can go about it the wrong way and grasp for our rights by bringing about death. I want to gasp at the grandeur and give praise to God over the Grand Canyon rather than stand over the open grave of the babies we have slain pretending that "we have come a long way." God has given us miraculous signs of His glory they are just a heartbeat away on the other side of the veil.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year. I promised the kids some kind of party. I am trying to think of some fun, economic ways to show ALL those we love that they are loved and appreciated. I remember hating Valentine's Day when I was single. It was always hard to be reminded that I wasn't part of a couple. The holiday seems to be geared towards marketing for COUPLES. We, as the body of Christ, are called to show love to all of those in the body. Hmmmm... does anyone have any ideas?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
It has come to my attention of how easy it is to look good via the media. It is so easy to even make my shortcomings (READ GLARING SIN) look pretty good while making myself look so transparent. I can write about things happening in my life and I even appear to be learning from my mistakes.
I am slowly learning to make a habit of respect for my husband. I am learning to let him lead and to tell him how proud I am of him. I am learning to give my children more leeway in important areas and tighten up in necessary one. I am making some progress. Still I am inheirantly prone to want people's good opinion as opposed to God's. I fight (sometimes not very hard) coveting things. I so easily depend on my husband's paycheck every two weeks and what is in our bank account more than I rest in God's provision for me. I would really rather be surfing the internet, reading a book (usually not the Bible) or out doing something for me rather than taking care of my family. I haven't even mentioned the fact that I can be very shrewish if those around me don't appreciate me like I think they should.
It is easy to sugar coat these things on the internet or such. I truly wish to be the kind of person that is patient and kind inside as well as outside. I hope to practice enough that I don't need much editing. Okay, I need to go take care of things that cannot be neglected. Hopefully, I can do it with a good attitude.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today I am reminded that we need to keep our new president in our prayers. I did not vote for President Obama. I disagree strongly with many of his positions. I think we might see some major attacks on things we hold dear in our family. Still the Lord is the one that directs the heart of the ruler of our nation. God is our King and He is still on the thrown. He directs us in His Word to pray for those in authority over us. So I pray that the Lord would touch President Obama's heart. That he would become a man of honor and a true statesman. Hey, if the God of heaven can create this world out of nothing in six days, become incarnate, and save sinners (and those are just a few of the biggies), He can do anything. Let us put our faith in the Sovereign God that never waivers instead of being afraid of a man that is only president for 4 years, 8 on the outside.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
I was kind of getting a good routine down with Saturday being a day designated for preperation for Sunday. Then I had surgery. That kind of put a, "Woa! in my Giddyup," as TODR would say. It is a good thing. It got me to kind of take a look at my heart. I tend towards being a list kind of person. When I cross it all off, I can sit down and relax. If I am testy and cranky getting ready to celebrate the Lord's day maybe I am not going about it the proper way. Maybe my heart needs looking at.
I do not have the luxury of sitting around navel gazing too much. I have husband and children. It is kind of like living on a farm. The animals need to get fed, the cows milked and manure shoveled. Otherwise it all piles up. I also know that the devil loves to watch us try to be religious with a complaining heart. So our flesh and the devil are on the prowl, I think, whenever we try to cultivate a happy heart.
Yesterday was my first day back trying to do a preperation day. I still am operating at about 75% I am learning to sit down and relax when I need to. I had plans for the more muscular in our house while I started up my new and improved preperation day routine. It kind of got shot. If it had been before I might have been irritated had how much didn't get done. As it is I am so thankful for what was accomplished. I also have had a wonderful day of rest. Tomorrow is a new day and we can do laundry tomorrow too.
What happened yesterday:
We got up and made breakfast. We were getting children on chores. We were taking stock of what needed to be done. During that time a dear friend called and said he needed help. He is incapacitated right now. The friend on chore duty that morning had noticed the hay steaming. That is bad! Hay can and does spontaneously burst into flame under the right circumstances. A whole work crew including TODR and our boys got the hay all taken care of. The bad stuff out and the other stuff moved. All before dark. I was so impressed.
I am not able to help by lifting things. I ran out to the farm because TODR had my purse in his van (cause we did chores together and he took me out to dinner the night before:). I got my purse and then brought back some snacks and some water. At least I could help out that way. Then I took the girls to buy fish. We got naps in. I managed to make some muffins, boil eggs, and make some soup for the crock pot. When the work crew got back, we had a good meal of quesadillas and coleslaw. I even had a good attitude. There were some instances that could have blown up, but we chose to praise the Lord and He made it great. We had a good night and we had a good morning. The dishes still aren't done and we have extra clutter, but our attitude is good. I think it works. Now I just need to remember this lesson next Saturday.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
This is Our John surrounded by a bunch of princesses.
Here is our Busy Bee making good use of the snow. This is his Wall.E creation.
Here is our latest model. She just turned one the day after Christmas.
It has been a little bit since I have posted anything. I thought it high time since it is a new year.
It has been a wild, hard year. We have learned a bunch and are hopefully closer as a family. God truly has been good to us. May the God of Peace touch all of us this coming year.