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.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Morning Time: Autumn Edition

We continue collecting our little grains of sand during this school year. It is one of the most gratifying parts of our day, a time that has enriched us, one that is well worth the minutes that are sown in exchange for the bounty that is reaped.

Morning Time currently looks something like this...

BIBLE READING
This year, we are reading the Epistles, beginning with the richness that is Romans.

BIBLE MEMORY
We are learning Psalm 91. I recently learned that this was a favorite passage of Ron’s grandfather, and that he could still quote it when he was in his nineties! I thought that it would be meaningful for the girls to have this connection with their great-grandfather. (Kristin and Ryan remember him well, but he passed away before Kati and Bekah were born.)
Bekah will continue to learn the books of the Old Testament.

SING A HYMN
We are singing “Amazing Grace”, per Bekah’s request, and may read a biography of John Newton.

POETRY RECITATION
Kati: “The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers” by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
Bekah: “The Ice-Cream Man” by Rachel Field
Mom: “Rum-Tum Tugger” by T. S. Elliot

POETRY EXPOSURE
We're enjoying selected poems by Christina Rossetti who wrote a wide variety of poems, from nursery rhymes to poems with deep spiritual themes.

LISTEN TO A PIECE OF CLASSICAL MUSICThis term we are listening to the music of Dvorak, a Czech composer (inspired by the fact that Kati worked with four people from the Czech Republic at her summer job).

ART APPRECIATIONWe are enjoying the pastoral art of Jean-Francois Millet.

Millet's The Gleaners, 1857
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For more reading about "Morning Time":

An introduction to our own "Morning Time"
What Is Morning Time? by Cindy Rollins
Cindy's Inspiration for Morning Time
Kathy's "Morning Stack"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Again, the Unexpected Delights


At a family gathering this weekend, my mom picked up a book of poetry by Christina Rossetti from our school stack, and thumbed through it.

Who knew that the baby shower for Alaine would turn into an impromtu poetry recitation? But that's exactly what happened. Maddie was excited about the poem she had learned this week and wanted to share it, so, right there in the kitchen, she flawlessly recited "Mice" by Rose Fyleman. (That poem is SO Maddie!) Then Owen wanted to say his poem, and our shy little Owen (who used to hide in a corner during extended family parties) came front and center and recited Robert Louis Stevenson's "Time to Rise." Next, Bekah got in on the act and shared "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear. So of course, we pressed Kati to recite "Paul Revere's Ride" and she complied.


Mom, not knowing that a poetry recitation would be happening (no one knew), still had her finger marking the Rossetti poem that had spoken to her. She said that, although she could not recite this poem that she had just discovered, she would like to read it to us. And what a gem it is!

Thank you, Mom, for finding this treasure...it will be our featured poem for a while!

Read it slowly...out loud even...several times...and let the ideas settle into your heart.

WHO SHALL DELIVER ME?
God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys

Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.


Yet One there is can curb myself,

Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Longing


I had been counting down the days. She would arrive home on the eighth of September, just one day short of three months since the day I had watched her walk beyond the gate where I could not come. Oh, how I had missed her. Missed her smile, missed our chats, missed making plans with her, missed her helpfulness...missed her sweet presence in our home.

Bekah had made a "Welcome Home, Kati!" banner and decorated it with birds. Appropriate, I thought, for our fledgling. There were freshly ironed sheets on her bed and ingredients for her favorite meals stocked the shelves.

At the airport, we checked the giant electronic board with all of the day's flights. Hers read "on time". We checked it again. "Landing." We stood staring at the board. "On Ground." How will she come out? At this gate? Through that door? Will she get her luggage first? Our eyes, all six of them, darted to and fro as we walked across the expanse of the too-large airport waiting area, longing to see her.

And there she was, and it was almost like a dream, but almost as if we'd never been apart.




Let's go home.



Is my longing to see His face as keen as my longing to see my daughter? Does He consume my thoughts? Do I want to live in His presence more than I want anything else?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Love When That Happens!

It has happened before. Bekah's copywork has captured my own thoughts, my own heart.

Yesterday, she copied a short poem by Charles Wesley from Copywork for Girls (published by Queen Homeschool Supplies). I had never read it before, but as I read the words Bekah had copied, I was moved by their power.

I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will, and quench the kindling fire.
As I read this, I made it my prayer, and determined to print it and display it where it would be seen often. (That prominent place is the antique washboard in my bathroom. Don't laugh! Over the years, many poems and hymns have been memorized after a time on the washboard!)

Later in the day, while the girls and I were running errands, I popped in a CD, Classic Songs from the Hymnal, a birthday gift from my dear friend Jan. This is a two-disc set, and I had not yet listened to all of the songs on the second disc. We sang along to "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," and "Arise, My Soul, Arise," and "Redeemed." Then came a song that I didn't know.

What?! Did that say, "I want a principle within...?"

(Click back to the beginning of the song. Have Kati look at the CD case and tell me what this song is.)

Yes! Here was a song that I had never heard in my fifty years...and I encounter it twice in one day!

I felt like saying along with Samuel, "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."

Oh, may I hear—truly hear, not with the ear, but with the heart—this prayer that was prayed over two hundred years ago by a fellow pilgrim. And may I say "Amen."

Would you like to pray it too?

I want a principle within of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will, and quench the kindling fire.

From thee that I no more may stray, no more thy goodness grieve,
Grant me the filial awe, I pray, the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye, O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh, and keep it still awake.

Almighty God of truth and love, to me thy power impart;
The mountain from my soul remove, the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain my reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again, which makes the wounded whole.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not Again!

As I breezed out of my back door yesterday, my mind was preoccupied with the errands I was running and the details of a game party the girls and I were hosting, but something off to my right caught my eye and stopped my dead in my tracks.

Do you see it?


Maybe if I zoom in a little, you can see what (who) it is.


Remember Grady?!
I introduced you to him last September...when he was an uninvited (and most unwelcome) guest who decided to live in my car.

Whether this is Grady who has finally made his way out of the car (which, incidentally, became Ron's car), or one of his relatives (Gray, Grayson, Grayce?)...well, he/she is still unwelcome.

Why doesn't Grady/Grayce/Whoever go and visit someone like my nature-y friend Kathy who would love him and show him to her children who would all admire him and sketch him in their nature journals?

Or why can't common gray tree frogs just live in...TREES?

Why must Grady insist on torturing me?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Autumn Is at the Door



The LORD shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even for evermore.
~ Psalm 121:8

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

And so ends the long summer.

It was a long one.

It was hot. (And I don’t like heat.)
The air conditioning in my vehicle was hit and miss. (And I don’t like heat.)
My sixteen-year-old daughter was away from home for the entire summer. (And I don’t like transitions.)

Today we begin our "formal" school year, even though my laundry room did not get cleaned out this summer, even though I still have a few loose ends to tie up with our school plans, even though I did not read all the books I hoped to read. But this is my comfort zone, and I am entirely happy to be back to "normal".

As we begin our twentieth year of homeschooling (and the last "first day" for Kati), I petition the Lord to guide us. I acknowledge that I can accomplish nothing without His blessing. The words of this hymn voice my plea.

GUIDE ME, O THOU GREAT JEHOVAH

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more;
Feed me till I want no more.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wasted Labor


On this Labor Day, I am pondering these thoughts...

"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."

~ Nate Saint, missionary pilot who (along with Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming) was killed in 1956 by the Waorani tribesmen they were trying to reach with the Gospel


For what are you laboring? On what are you expending your life?

Is any task too small if it is the Lord's work? If Jesus said that we would receive a reward even for giving a cup of cold water in His name (Matthew 10:42) ?

The fact is we are all "expending our lives" for something. Will we have something of eternal significance to show for it?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9


What Is Going On Here?!



A wake-up call at 6 am.


Lots of small-ish shoes lined up at my back door.

Reams of construction paper and gazundles of crayons on my kitchen table.

Double batches of Kraft macaroni and cheese.

Did you guess?


Yes, that's right! It was all due to the arrival of a baby blessing!


Grandchild #7: Alaine Claire


Here she is with her adoring Aunt Bekah.


And with her proud Papa.


And with her teary-eyed Gran.


A baby is never "old hat"!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3

Children's children are the crown of old men;
and the glory of children are their fathers.
Proverbs 17:6

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August in Review


Summer.

A time for...

...climbing trees

...visiting the ocean

...going to the zoo

...having tea parties with your niece-friend

...going to dance camp


...cooking hot dogs over the fire pit

...and just hanging out with your friends.

(Whew. I made it.)

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