Friday, March 25, 2011

Anna Lee is born...

Anna Lee...


"sheltered from the storm"

Born March 23, 2011
8 lbs 13 oz., 20 3/4 inches

One cloud remains that by thy birth
Thou enterest a ruined earth,
My little one.

But thou shalt find with sweet surprise
Earth but a pathway to the skies,
My little one.

Such is our trust, for, Lord, we give
Thy gift to Thee, O then receive
Our little one.

Receive her, Lord, and let her be
Thine own to all eternity...
Thy little one.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: From the Library of A.W. Tozer

Compiled by James Stuart Bell

I was initially disappointed when receiving this book for review. I was in such a hurry when I “grabbed it up” because I saw “Tozer.” I naturally assumed it would be a winner. I thought I was receiving a compilation of Tozer’s writings. My disappointment did not last long when I realized the compilation of writings were from spectacular men and women of the past…some of the men who already had a place in our home library.

The book is divided into eight main sections: (1) Worship: The Chief End of Man, (2) Prayer and Contemplation, (3) Exhortations and Prophetic Words, (4) Our Counselor: The Holy Spirit, (5) Jesus Christ: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King, (6) Practicing the Presence of God, (7) On Christian Doctrine, and (8) On Living the Christian Life.

The chapters in each section were short and would provide a good accompaniment to a daily devotion time. Excerpts from the writings of men such as St. Augustine, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Samuel Rutherford, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Milton, and of course, John Calvin. This is to name of few of the thirty-five writers whose writings were included in this book. I was a bit hesitant as many of the writers seemed to have connections or be a part of the Catholic Church. However, I was, again, not disappointed by the specific selections in the book. The selections appeared to be doctrinally sound and very thought provoking.

One of my favorite excerpts included was from Teresa of Avila, The Life of Saint Teresa of Jesus, “So, then, going from pastime to pastime, from vanity to vanity, from one occasion of sin to another, I began to expose myself exceedingly to the very greatest of dangers: my soul was so distracted by many vanities that I was ashamed to draw near unto God in an act of such special friendship as that of prayer…” And it continues on.

I would highly recommend this to those who love the taste of wisdom from the historical writers of Christianity. I’m a lover of quotes and so this book suited me very well and will remain a jewel on our shelf.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review of the book. There is no obligation for a good review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Lucky Love Day

If I were one to believe in luck over God’s Providence…this would be one of those times. What better day to experience the Luck o’ the Irish than on St. Patrick’s Day? Eight years ago today, I met my love for the first time. I often go back to that meeting and sit in awe of God’s handy work.

Just the other morning when my alarm went off, I heard this song for the first time. Rather than rolling over and hitting the “off” button, I just stayed there and listened because it really did take me back to that place, to that time, to those first few weeks and months.

I’ve  explained our story. I’ve explained that the week Nate and I met was the same week doctors found he had a brain tumor… in a place where even a biopsy would’ve been risky. He opted for me to “get out now” but I wouldn’t go that easy. Within days, God was molding us to be a part of each other forever. I would not go.

We would be going to MRIs, CTs, and doctor visit after doctor visit. And then…it was gone. Just like that, no more tumor. No chemo, no operation, not even the risky biopsy. Just when the CT was being completed to figure out how they were going to go in…it was gone.

The next several months were spent following up. The next several years were spent dealing with the fears. He would often wake me up at night because he felt a knot on his body or something just was not right. I wish I could go back and be more sympathetic because I can’t imagine the things that he went through…the fear he had when his life was almost over and then suddenly he miraculously had it back?

God eventually gave him peace about his anxieties. And Nate showed me he wouldn’t let go either. Through heart break after heart break and through one of the most emotionally draining times of my life, he stood by my side. He held me when I couldn’t stand and led me when I thought one of the most important people in my life was on the verge of death. He continues to hold me and walk by me through heart break, through stressed days, through not being enough… and at the end of the day, in some small way he assures me I am enough.

Happy “Day We Met” Anniversary, to my love…

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homeschooling: Bible and Repetition

I’m not sure why I didn’t learn what I needed to know several months ago. The day when I decided I was going to teach Lily The Lord’s Prayer. We had already been using breakfast time to read God’s Word aloud and a time to open our day with prayer. But Mommy had the good idea of working on some scripture memorization. What better place to begin than the Lord’s Prayer? So, I sat her down on the couch, explained what we were going to do, and said, “Repeat after me…”

Our Father which art in heaven…” Awaiting her answer back…and then she didn’t repeat after me, she said… “Hallowed be thy name.” We continued the rest of the prayer this way. I closed my Bible and thought that was easy enough. Lily had been hearing the Lord’s Prayer for almost a year each Sunday morning during church. Little did I know she was not only listening…but learning!

We continued on with our regular routine until about six weeks ago when Mommy again had a great idea! I will teach her a commandment a week during breakfast time. So off we went reading Exodus 20:1-17 each morning and eventually added a chapter from Leading Little One’s to God. Week 1, I would emphasize Commandment 1…and so on.

She was doing well learning the commandments until about week 5 or 6. She started “stubbing up” and not wanting to answer my questions when I would ask. I knew she knew who the commandments were given to and how many commandments there were and each commandment we had learned. Why was she refusing to answer? One afternoon we decided to address the issue with Daddy.

We started going through our basic questions and as we got to “You shall not murder.” She continued… “You shall not commit adultery.” I glanced at him with a look of amazement and a bit of confusion. We had not learned that yet! And then I decided to try something…we went through the entire scripture of Exodus 20:1-17 that we had read each morning for the past few weeks. I would leave out words and even phrases and she would fill in the blanks! My three year old nearly had the entire passage of the Ten Commandments memorized by hearing me read them!

All of this time I had been fretting that she wasn’t learning the way I wanted her to. She wasn’t answering the questions that I wanted her to answer. But behind the scenes, at least as far as I could see, God was doing His work. She was learning through her own eyes and experiencing His Word for herself the way He wanted her to. And while doing so, He was showing me my worries and anxieties of not being enough would be met by Him. Again, I needed to quite relying on myself and trust that He will equip me for what He has called me to do.

“What is required of us is, that we should implant a love of the Word; that the most delightful moments of the child’s day should be those in which his mother reads for him, with sweet sympathy and holy gladness in voice and eyes, the beautiful stories of the Bible” ~Charlotte Mason