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.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
It was a big day for Bekah, because it was also the day of her summer piano recital!
Here is Bekah surrounded by her supportive family who came out in the blazing heat to hear her play.
Bekah left the recital with her big sister's family, after a quick smile and a wave (not even a hug, as she was already in the back seat of the van!)...and Ron and I left alone. Alone.
One of my favorite devotional books is Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. In the opening devotional, Elisabeth talks about keeping our hearts quiet, even when life is not. She says, "A quiet heart is content with what God gives. It is enough. All is grace."
I want my heart to remain quiet, even after my little chatterbox returns from her overnight adventure bubbling over with stories. I want my heart to remain quiet, even as my emotions are fragile with missing the company of my dear Kati. I want my heart to remain quiet, even when life brings sorrow or sickness or parting or confusion or disappointment or tragedy. I have shared this poem by Amy Carmichael before. But it is also in Keep a Quiet Heart and I was reminded of it again today.
Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,What matter beating wind and tossing billowIf only we are in the boat with Thee!
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minuteWhile Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
Father, keep my heart quiet.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Followup: I just realized how well these thoughts go along with what Kristin posted recently. Take a moment and visit her here.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
If you want to read some thrifty tips (or add one of your own!), head on over to Kristin's Thrifty Thursday!
What are your bargain stores?
Monday, June 21, 2010
GAVIN: Ben’s a dumpling.
GAVIN: Even better—Ben’s an apple pie.
OWEN: Ben’s a cherry pie.
GAVIN: No, because I don’t like cherry pie.
So sweet! (Pun intended.)
The brothers (L to R): Ben, Owen, Gavin
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
It was over twenty years ago. I was a very busy young father who was trying to make ends meet in every way that I could. I would often do side jobs to supplement our income, and spent most Saturdays away from home after working a full time job Monday through Friday. Therefore, it was my wife who got to spend all of the quality time with the children on Saturday activities.
One Saturday morning, my wife was on her way out the door to take my son, Ryan, who was about six-years-old, to a Royal Rangers scouting event...when I had that moment of epiphany. That little boy was following his mother out the door, when I realized that it should have been me that he was following. The moment is frozen in my memory. I can still see that little blond boy, dressed in his Royal Ranger uniform, with a comb sticking out of his back pocket.
Because of prior obligations, I could not go after him that day. But I promised myself that from then on, it would be me that he would be following, and it would be me who would be taking him to the events that would shape his life.
I kept that promise, and have always made it a priority to do the important things with my children. As fathers, we feel the pressure to provide financially for our families, but the moments that we spend with our children are far more important than that extra dollar we make.
Yes, that was over twenty years ago. I am now the father of two adult children and two still at home. I have realized how short the time is that we have with our children. Fathers, my advice to you is to do everything that you can with your children while they are with you. Don’t wait until it is too late to have your own moment of epiphany!
Enjoying last Father's Day with his children and grandchildren
Because Ron is their father,
Bekah, Kati, Ryan, Kristin
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
When Kristin announced their happy news on her blog a few months ago, a sweet commenter posted her response: "Such a privilege to be chosen again."
I was so moved by Angela's beautiful words. So often folks act as if it is our choice when a new family member is coming. But I agree with Angela that the parents have been chosen to do this work, to receive this blessing. If He does not give life, there is no life.
We are thanking the Lord for these new little ones who will bless our lives!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
It was a game-ish sort of weekend!
But sandwiched in between these two days was Owen's Special Day.
- Guess Who
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Cars Memory
- A Pooh matching game
- Five Little Monkeys
- I Spy card game
- Maisy Game
- Berenstain Bears card game
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Game
- Old Maid
Yes. And some of them twice. Or three times.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Bon voyage celebrations had been enjoyed...an ice cream party with Ron's side of the family, a farewell dinner with my parents, and Kristin, Brian, and family.
Gammy, Kati, and Gampy
Kati, Kristin, and Brian (back)
Gavin, Ben, Maddie, and Owen (front)
and my baby girl walked away, by herself.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Edited: The previously dark photo of Kati and her friends was lightened by my dear friend Frances who has amazing photo editing skills. If you don't believe me, check out her photography blog The Little Birds Are Urging Me! (Thank you, Frances!)
Monday, June 7, 2010
- Who is going to bake the summer birthday cakes?
- Who will be my wardrobe consultant?
- Who is going to turn over the calendar in your room?
- But you won’t be able to eat your favorite summer meal.
- But you will miss the family reunion.
- Who is going to help me clean and organize?
- You won't get any more homemade ice cream.
- What if you get homesick?
- What if I get homesick for you?
You see, when Ryan and Sarah invited Kati to spend the summer with them, it was January. It seemed like such a grand opportunity for her...to visit with her family, to spend time with the nieces she hardly knows, to see another part of the country, to be included in their summer travels to more new places. They wanted her to come; she wanted to go.
Now it is June, and my mother's heart is saying, Oh, wait! It is so far. You are so young. You will have to board an airplane alone. You have never been away from home before...you have never been away from me before.
But she is fledging...she is growing...she is going...she is spreading her wings. He (her Heavenly Father) will be with her. And she will return at summer's end, with stories to tell, new experiences to share, deeper love for her far-away family...and another step closer to leaving the nest. (Maybe that is why my mother's heart is wanting to cling.)
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.Numbers 6:24-26
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
So I wandered over to the giggling children to see this creature:
"It looks just like you!" says Gavin. "It has your hair and your lipstick!"
(And just in case you're wondering, Gavin and I are still friends.)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
- First corn-on-the-cob of the year. This was requested by Kati whose teeth, after two long years, have been freed from their metal encumbrances. Yep, no more braces. She quite enjoyed chomping down on that corn. ~smile~
- First homemade ice cream of the season. Chocolate. Yes, there are definitely good things about summer, even if you don't like the heat.
- First opportunity to use the new cotton tablecloth I snagged at Marshalls last fall for an amazing $3.oo. It was calling to me from the clearance rack, and it was saying "picnic table".
"Corn-on-the-cob, I have missed you!"
Brian and Ron churning the ice cream
Creamy chocolate goodness
A trampoline is the perfect place to eat ice cream!
Ron's mom and dad
I was all smiles when Benjamin decided to
climb up on the bench beside his Gran.
A joy ride on a golf cart is the best way to end an ice cream party.