Friday, January 30, 2009

Humbling Things

Just when I think I have my act together...

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 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?"
"Five years."
"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 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 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 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,
true source
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 blame,
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

25 Random Things about Me

. I am 35 years old and I have been married for13 and a half of those years.

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

Wonderful, Awe-full!!!!

This was my devotional this morning:
As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to
greet him.
--Mark 9:15

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
him "Wonderful."
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

Shifting Sand

This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands. It reminds me of Who truly is in charge.

My favorite cartoon.

I love this cartoon. I even copied it, colored it and put it on my fridge to remind me that no one is a perfect homeschool mom. I think I am going to do it again and laminate it this time.

Love is in the Air

Picture of valentines day candy hearts.Link to copyright.
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

Editing my life

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

Remember to Pray

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

Lurching towards preperation.

I long wanted to have lazy Sunday afternoons. I believe taking a day off is Biblical. It isn't something to be followed slavishly. God makes it apparent that He desires an obedient, willing heart as opposed to pharisaical laws that drive folks away from the kingdom of God. So I have tried for a little while to implement some tools that would make it attainable to have a Sabbath day as a family.

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

Happy New Year

Here is our Samboy ready to defend us with his bare fists!

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.