For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:6-8
As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Hmm...I wonder if this counts...
Marry a do-it-yourself-er.
Really. We have saved scads of money over the years due to the fact that my husband, Ron, is a jack-of-all-trades and is willing to try almost anything before hiring it done. We bought a fixer-upper house (although I have to admit that I was less than enthusiastic about the purchase), and spent many years turning it into a beloved home. Ron makes almost all household repairs, and many auto repairs, himself. He has crafted much of our furniture, changed the oil in our vehicles, put the siding on our house, painted inside and out, built our porches and his shop, and cleaned the chimney. (If he isn’t sure about something, he’ll ask someone who is.) I can’t imagine what the dollar value would be in savings over the years!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
On our way...
And a parting gift to end the day.
I wonder who enjoys Special Days more—the children, or Papa and Gran?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We have been reading The Yearling, written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in 1938. In this coming of age story, the Baxter family—Penny, Ora, and twelve-year-old Jody—live a hard life in the Florida scrub region at the turn of the century.
It is November, and the first frost has come to the scrub. The Baxters are in the “front room”, enjoying the first hearth-fire of the year, Penny smoking his pipe, Ora sewing, Jody lying on the floor in front of the fire, daydreaming.
Ma Baxter said, “Now throw a stick on the fire. I cain’t quite see to foller my seams.”
She had cut down a pair of Penny’s winter breeches for Jody.
She said, “Now take another notion to grow like you done this spring, and I’ll be cuttin’ down your breeches to fit your daddy.”
Jody laughed out loud and Penny pretended to be offended. Then his eyes twinkled in the firelight and his thin shoulders shook. Ma Baxter rocked complacently. They were all pleased whenever she made a joke. Her good nature made the same difference in the house as the hearth-fire had made in the chill of the evening.
There it was. That noble idea that inspired me. "Her good nature made the same difference in the house as the hearth-fire had made in the chill of the evening."
I am reminded that a woman's demeanor directly affects those who live in her home. I am reminded that a gentle spirit, encouraging words, an easy grace, a heart that is not easily offended, can warm the home and the hearts who live here. I need that reminder from time to time. I long to make my home a place of rest, a place of comfort, a place of peace, a place of light and warmth whenever possible.
So in another moment with living books, I am stirred.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
(Proverbs 25:24 NIV)
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Here’s a recent treasure uncovered while reading Genevieve Foster’s Abraham Lincoln’s World:
It was the mid 1830’s, and four Nez Perce Indians from Oregon had traveled eastward seeking the white man’s Book of Heaven. At the end of a 2000-mile journey, they came to St. Louis, where they were warmly received by General William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark expedition) and his men. They spent the winter there, and were lavishly “wined and dined”, so to speak,
...but they were disappointed. At the farewell dinner in the spring, one of the Nez Perce rose and addressed the company.
“I came to you over the trail of many moons from the setting sun. My people sent me to get the white man’s Book of Heaven. You took me to where you allow your women to dance, as we do not ours: and the Book was not there! You took me to where they worship the Great Spirit with candles and incense, and the Book was not there. You make my feet heavy with gifts, and yet the Book is not among them! I came with an eye partly open for my people who sit in darkness. How can I go back blind to my blind people? I have no more words.”
Isn’t that poignant?
"The book was not there."
We began by learning history; we discovered a treasure.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
- You shared with me your love for books, for words, for learning.
- You showed me that an orderly, well-kept home was a worthy goal, that a lovely table was worth the effort, that traditions mattered to children—that homemaking was important.
- You shared with me a love for God’s little furry creatures. (And some without fur, such as the spiders that you carefully escorted from our home on envelopes because you did not want to kill them.)
- But I am most grateful that you focused the lens for me to see Jesus. You showed me an “unfeigned faith” (II Timothy 1:5)...and that has made the difference in my life.
Me, Mom, and Linda--Mother's Day 2009
Thursday, May 6, 2010
As delighted as I was with my little treasure, I’ll never forget my feelings the night that we brought her home from the hospital. First of all, I felt completely overwhelming love. But a thought that kept coming to the surface was something like, “Now what?!” I had babysat occasionally and tended the church nursery now and then, but this baby was mine! She was my responsibility. There was no one there to supervise and make sure that I did everything right. There was not going to be a parent who would come to retrieve her in a few hours. HELP!
Yes, He did help. My heavenly Father helped me get through that first night. And the next. And the next. And through the toddler years. And through the addition of another treasure, Kristin’s brother Ryan. And eventually, through the addition of two more precious baby girls and the loss of another. And through the teen years. There were some financially lean years, and some years of heart wrenching decisions. There were times of illness and change. And, no (absolutely no!), I did not do everything right...but oh how great I have found His grace to be!
If I were to name some principles that have guided me as a mother, I would have to include these:
I suppose that sounds simplistic (although it is not)...but it really is KEY to raising children for the Lord.
I learned this from my own Godly mom. Her own family situation was less than ideal and they were not Christians, so her parenting skills were learned “from scratch”, so to speak. So at each decision, big and small, she went to the Lord for His guidance.
I have tried to make the same habit of praying about everything that concerns my children...from praying for their life mates to praying about specific curriculum choices...from seeking guidance on how to deal with a specific attitude to praying for general wisdom for my husband and myself. After all, doesn’t it make sense to trust the Lord of the universe, the One who created these children, for the wisdom we need in guiding them into His Kingdom?
- VALUE GOD'S PLAN FOR YOU AS A WOMAN
As much as I had longed to be a mother, I was not prepared for the possibility that other people would not see the value of that role. Most disappointing was that that attitude was also felt keenly in the church. And so I felt a type of peer pressure to fulfill “duties” that conflicted with my primary duty as my children’s mother. But the Lord brought several “older women” (as in Titus 2) into my life to teach me God’s value of Biblical womanhood...although I have never personally met either of them. They are authors of books and newsletters.
The first book that I read that opened my eyes to the grand scope of my role was The Way Home by Mary Pride. What a release I felt from “others’” opinions when I read the ideas in this book! I got a new vision for my role of wife and mother. Many myths of feminism (and many that the church has accepted) were diffused in my mind.
Another author who has “provoked [me] unto love and to good works’ (Hebrews 10:24) is Elisabeth Elliot. Although she is best known for her book Through Gates of Splendor (the biography of her husband, missionary Jim Elliot, who was martyred), she has written so many encouraging words for women. The Shaping of a Christian Family, Let Me Be a Woman, and Keep a Quiet Heart have all inspired me.
I “met” Helen Aardsma through her newsletter. The Mother's Companion was published six times each year, running from January 1995 through December 2003. I subscribed to it for several years, and even purchased some of the back issues, because these were packed full of wisdom that Helen, mother of 10, had gleaned over her years of serving the Lord. (You can visit her website, www.themotherscompanion.org, to read some sample issues, as well as to purchase back issues.)
Through God’s leading, and the teaching of these “Titus 2” women, I learned total contentment and fulfillment in His plan for me in my role as wife and mother.
- KEEP ON
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (KJV) I believe that those words are absolutely true...for the Christian in general, including the Christian mother. We cannot grow weary and let down our guard; we cannot faint. There is too much at stake. But how thrilling to know that He has promised that, if we do not grow weary, and if we do not faint, we shall reap! Keep praying and teaching and serving, Christian mother. The rewards are eternal.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
- We planted a weeping willow tree (named Wilma) in our backyard.
- We observed these delicate flowers.