Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our friend, Joe

As another day moves on in our lives, a very dear friend has moved on into his eternal resting place.

My heart aches as I come to terms with the death of this dear friend. I'm not often personally reminded of the brevity of life. As my heart aches, my heart also rejoices at the fond memories of his smile. The smile he would hand out when speaking of his late wife. And the smile he handed out at the arrival of each of our sweet babies. We looked forward to summer time when we would be drawn over to his porch in the late evenings for a chat, a cookie, and an occassional water gun fight with the little ones. His name and that of his dog, "Eli", were a two of the chosen first words out of our babies' mouths.

Lily serves Joe some "tea"

As I'm at a loss for the right words for his sweet family...I remember Trisha recently let me know that sometimes silence is the best thing because grieving hearts may not be comforted by the "buts" and the "words" I may have to share.

We will so very much miss our dear friend, Joe.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Duties of Marriage

A quote by Puritan Richard Baxter from A Christian Directory, cited by J.I. Packer in A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life.

“I pray you, next tell me my duty to my wife and hers to me.

The common duty of husband and wife is,

1. Entirely to love each other; and therefore choose one that is truly lovely…; and avoid all things that tend to quench your love.

2. To dwell together, and enjoy each other, and faithfully join as helpers in the education of their children, the government of the family, and the management of their worldly business.

3. Especially to be helpers of each other’s salvation: to stir up each other to faith, love, and obedience, and good works: to warn and help each other against sin, and all temptations; to join in God’s worship in the family, and in private: to prepare each other for the approach of death, and comfort each other in the hopes of life eternal.

4. To avoid all dissensions, and to bear with those infirmities in each other which you cannot cure: to assuage, and not provoke, unruly passions; and, in lawful things, to please each other.

5. To keep conjugal chastity and fidelity, and to avoid all unseemly and immodest carriage [conduct] with another, which may stir up jealousy; and yet to avoid all jealousy which is unjust.

6. To help one another to bear their burdens (and not by impatience to make them greater). In poverty, crosses, sickness, dangers, to comfort and support each other. And to be delightful companions in holy love, and heavenly hopes and duties, when all other outward comforts fail.”

A special Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law on their five year anniversary!

And a happy birthday to my own beloved…

Saturday, July 16, 2011

God's Blessings and Blueberries

I always find myself in awe when I see God's answer to specific prayers. Even the simple ones where we just call out and acknowledge His control over all circumstances. Like blueberry picking in July…July…in Tennessee.

As the little ones and I headed to the next county over for a day of blueberry picking, the rain beat against the windshield. I shout back to the kids, “We’re just gonna have to pray to God that He’ll stop this rain!” And He gave us even better. He gave us 66-degree temperatures and an occasional sprinkling shower to make it an experience we can treasure. And this momma made sure to praise God for such a perfect day under His sun...or clouds!

Sweet Aunt Vicky lending Momma help!

We enjoyed those blueberries this morning with some blueberry jam topping.

Blueberry Jam Topping

4 cups of blueberries
2 tbs of cornstarch
1 cup of water
½ cup of sugar

Mix water, cornstarch, and sugar in saucepan and stir until smooth. Pour in blueberries and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until mixture thickens.

You can “can” the topping by processing the mixture in and with the proper canning equipment in a hot water bath for ten minutes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 may not date our daughter.

This post was inspired by a recent post at Raising Arrows…because my creative brain is not being inspired on it’s own these days…

When my oldest child is two months from the age of four do I have the right to share my opinion on dating? I say yes, simply because…I have a child, three actually, that will one day cross this road. As everything else in my heart, my view on dating has changed over the years. God has a way of doing that you know. I also feel I can share my opinion because I was in the dating world for close to ten years before getting married and was smothered in the “boyfriend-girlfriend” way of life from a very early age.

The actual idea of courtship is very new to both Nate and me. We are still learning the basic idea and have a better understanding of why the traditional role of dating is not what we want for our children than why so-called courtship is the answer. I pray that we both grow on this issue as our children’s need for our guidance on this issue grows.

That being said, allow me to share with you a story that is rather eye opening from Voddie Baucham’s What He Must Be...if he wants to marry my daughter. I will attempt a paraphrase so as not to be too lengthy.

Jack sits by the fire with all the pieces of his gun cleaning kit lined up. Tonight, cleaning his gun has a dual purpose. One to clean his gun, two to scare the lights out of the sixteen year old about to arrive at his front door. Jack has been waiting for this day since the day he brought her home. He knew the day would arrive when the young men would come. At 6:59 the doorbell rang and Scott was at the front door. After a handshake, Scott enters. Jack sat down, picked up his two-tone Kimber Custom .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, and proceeded to field-strip and clean the weapon. He asked Scott, “Do you have any idea how much she means to me?” Scott could only manage a nod. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Do you remember what time I told you to have her back?” “Yes sir, 11:30. Don’t worry, sir. I’ll take good care of her and get her back long before that.”

Jack stood up, walked up stairs, and disappeared. Moments later he reappeared. This was the moment Jack had waited for. He could barely contain himself. Resolved he had done everything he could do to impress upon this young man the importance of taking great care and showing the utmost respect for his baby, Jack turned around, reached into his pocket, and handed the young man keys to his brand-new 6.5 liter, 12 cylinder All Wheel Drive, $354,000 Lamborghini Mucielago. “I want her back without as much as a scratch.”

Now, the point Bauchman is making? No man in his right mind would hand over the keys of this machine to a 16 year old young man? But Bauchman asks, is this car more valuable than a daughter? How many fathers are trusting their daughters with a young man that he would not trust with this same car?

This is where we have decided to prepare our children a little differently than the current culture. Lily and Anna’s father has set to mind to protect his precious treasures and not follow the same path that is typically taken. He supports Bauchman in his belief that “modern dating is no more than glorified divorce.”

We believe the decisions, words, and even thoughts we have now impact our young daughters and son. The different path we are choosing supports our daughters being modest in dress even at an early age. We encourage modesty in action. We have begun to encourage our son to always place women first, even his sister and especially his mother. We discourage the idea of “boyfriends” and “girlfriends.” I reinforce that Lily belongs to her father and he is her protector. We pray for our children’s purity and sometimes even for their spouses. (I’ve got two in particular I’ve been eyeballing but I’ll keep that to myself.)

In the future, we hope to encourage platonic interactions with the opposite sex that builds friendships and not intimate relationships. We pray that by God’s grace we can lead our children on a path that intimacy will not play a role in their lives until they are given over to their future mates.

With God’s grace and will working in our lives, we pray we walk against the grain and give our children and their future spouses the purity that is a rare jewel today. And we pray that, unlike us, the first person they are emotionally and physically given to…will be his and her last.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Guest in Becky's Kitchen

Want a yummy breakfast idea? I received this one from my dear friend, Lesli, and I've made at least one batch each week since she shared it with me. Becky is featuring the recipe at her beautiful blog today! Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins featured at