Tuesday, September 29, 2009
But I have been reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I want to read it slowly because I feel like I really need to get all I can out of it. In recent years I just haven't felt the closeness with Christ that I used to. I feel dry and tired on the inside a good amount of time. I know the book can't give me refreshment back in my life, but I want to really practice what I read.
But I came across this quote today:
If we are to progress in the spiritual walk so that the disciplines are a blessing not a curse, we must come to the place in our lives where we can lay down the everlasting burden of always needing to manage others. This drive, more than any single thing, will lead us to turn the Spiritual Disciples into laws. Once we have made a law, we have an "externalism" by which we judge who is measuring up and who is not. With out laws the disciplines are primarily an internal work, and it is impossible to control an internal work. When we genuinely believe that inner transformation is God's work and not ours, we can cut to rest the passion to set others straight.
We must beware of how quickly we can latch onto this word or that word and turn it into law. The moment we do so we qualify for Jesus' stern pronouncement against the Pharisees: They bind heavy burdens on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger" (Matt. 23:4) In these matters we need the words of the apostle Paul embedded in our minds: "We deal not in the letter but in the spirit. The latter of the law leads to the death of the soul; the Spirit of God alone can give life to the soul." (2 Cor. 3:6 Phillips).
Oh isn't that so true! As soon as I tell one of my boys something the first thing they do is to say "Well, so and so did that." The last thing they want to do is address their own behavior! It's always so and so!
But the flip side of that is that we can also be on the receiving end of another person who feels like it is their ministry to set the rest of the world in order. They don't approve of your clothes, schedule, TV watching, standard of education, etc. etc. etc. And if you even maybe have two or three people in your life like that if you don't set yourself to protect yourself that can get very burdensome indeed. Especially if the advice conflicts!
Sometimes I feel like I walk around with one big guilt trip. But I feel like the Lord is telling me that the reason I feel guilty is because I haven't been spending enough time with Him. So He can speak to me about the things that aren't actually His will for me and also the things I really ought to feel guilty about. I need to spend more time with the Lord. That is just the bottom line. It is good to spend time with others, get work done, all of that, but with out His sweet presence we can work ourselves to a fury going in entirely the wrong direction. We can use our time of fellowship leading others in the wrong direction as well-maybe all the while thinking we are helping them get their life together! I need the Lord. I am looking forward to some time of quietness with Him.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
I love this hymn. I love to be reminded that God is behind all our circumstances. I want to look for the good He is doing in everything, even when I am tempted to think He is frowning at me. He is really smiling over us and wanting to bless His children. How much trouble we could spare ourselves if we could just trust Him and be happy!
From the Net Hymnal
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Well, all my chicks are home and under one roof again. Sigh of relief. They came home, happy to be back, with lots of presents to pass around and all the excitement of the younger siblings gathering round to hear about their adventures. Which really sound pretty mundane-they were visiting their great aunt after all. But they did get to go to Knottsberry farm which got good reviews. Other than that it sounds like they swam a lot and got a good dose of television (scary) and community fund raisers. They've been home a week and we are settling down into fall and routine and schoolwork and so forth. I like things mundane like that.
Shay and I have worked on revamping our household schedule. We got a bit sloppy over the summer, I must confess. I gave her the things we need to get done and she wrote it up. Which means I keep turning to her and asking "How long does cleaning time last?" and stuff like that. Roughly, this is how our day looks:
Get up at 6:00, get your coffee, tea, wash your face with cold water, whatever you need to do to come to family devotions AWAKE, please. :)
6:30-Family devotions. We are currently working on a Bible study that our church wrote for Sunday School on 1 John.
7:30-Breakfast preparations, clean up rooms, brush teeth, get dressed etc. Shay makes breakfast, I supervise the boys and the rest do their own jobs.
8:00-Breakfast-I also do the boys' catechism questions at breakfast. We are working on the "Catechism for young children" which is based on the Westminster, but more simply worded for children.
8:30-House cleaning time. Everyday we clean a different section of the house on rotation so the whole house (Theoretically speaking) gets cleaned each week.
10:00-School time. Shayleen is homeschooling my three middle girls and I am teaching the boys. But since the girls know what they are supposed to do, Shay doesn't have to be right there all day, so she stays downstairs with me for a little while. I keep one boy with me and we do phonics, practice reading and math. One little boy is at the table and he may color, play with clay, paint or be read to. And one little boy plays on the rug with Joseph, doing Lincoln Logs, blocks, Legos, etc. Joseph is being trained to have "rug time."
12:00-clean up, and Irene and Fiona make lunch.
12:30-eat. I read aloud at this time too. Right now I am reading Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson, about John Wycliffe.
1;00-clean up lunch mess
1:20-Quiet time-the older children have their own Bible time during this time and the little boys rest.
The time to eat dinner is tricky, my husband has a very sporadic schedule, being self employed. He could be home at 4:00 (though not often) or he could be out till nine. And I never know from day to day. Some days we wait dinner for him, and sometimes we just go ahead and eat. It just depends on how late he is and how well the little boys are holding up.
Evening time lately has mostly been reading aloud form Martin Rattler by R.M. Ballentyne. He's rather like Henty-a good boy adventure type book, but so far (and this is the first book we've read by him) we like him better. It seems like his characters are a little better developed and the story line less predictable. I will be getting more of his. This one is about a boy and his Irish sailor companion who are stranded in Brazil. The kids have really enjoyed the descriptions of the animals there. Though at one point he talks about Anacondas eating cows. Now could this really happen? He says the snakes can't swallow the horns so it sticks out of his throat until the horns fall off and then he finishes swallowing it. I have my doubts. A book we checked out about Anacondas said they are usually 10 feet long. Maybe someone can enlighten me.
I had an appointment with my midwife last week and my blood pressure had gone up 10 points. She said I'm stressing about the election (and the economic news as well) and I need to stop or else! *gulp*. She is also having me eat 150 grams of protein a day. Now that is A LOT of protein! I haven't made it yet I'm afraid, but I've been over 100 and it makes me feel so full. Rand is supposed to be bringing me home some protein powder so I can supplement with shakes. Hopefully that will be the ticket because I don't know how on earth I could make it otherwise-I feel like all I am eating is nuts, cheese, meat, cottage cheese, etc. But I will do it, because I want a nice, quiet, tame home birth like the Lord has blessed us with so many times before. So, I must, I must! I am also taking lots of calcium.
I have really been trying not to worry. Sometimes I do though. There is so much in our nation to be thankful for and I am thankful for the quiet little bits of home life and family the Lord has given us on this earth. Really He is so very good to give us the sweetness of babies, husbands, being able to take care of them and read them His word, mostly unhindered. We have taken so much for granted. Always grasping for more and not being content and joyful in what He provides. I pray many will turn from the grasping at the wind that all this financial chasing is and really turn to things that are real and eternal and make investments where they really matter-in the hearts of their families and neighbors and friends.. Maybe?
But one thing to remember-the news media profits off fear. Remember that.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I'm not saying that the fact that she has children doesn't give me pause. I'm just saying I don't buy some of what's being said.
It really does bother me, as I read some of what is being written, the snideness of some of the comments. Quoted from the Vision Forum website (who are in turn quoting Worldnet Daily, who is quoting a home school mother)in regards to Todd Palin..
In fact, he recently hosted a tea for former first ladies of the state at the governor’s mansion in Juneau. I wonder if he held his pinkie upright as he sipped from his demitasse cup.
Yeah right. How snide. And I have to wonder if you chuckled to yourself over the cleverness of your own comment when you wrote that.
The way I see it is this. There is a job opening coming up that must be filled. There are two applicants. And one is light years more qualified, more ready and more in line with how I believe the job should be done than the other. Neither were my first pick, but I didn't get my first pick (or second, or third, or fourth..) this time around. So I make the best decision with what I have and get on with it.
I get tired of being typed by some as compromises, sold out to the Republican party etc. I could not in good conscience let my vote sit idle and have Obama win without a fight. I just couldn't.
There also seems to me to be a bit of an arrogance in some of the arguments going around. As though the white and cleanness of one's own personal holiness is more important than getting dirty in the fight. For example. No, John McCain is not purely pro-life. But he would appoint more constitutional judges. I doubt he would go in for tax funded abortions. I doubt we would see abortion programs done in foreign countries as we did during the Clinton years. (At least with US backing) I'm quite certain that there would be less abortions under a McCain presidency than an Obama. But we have it said round about that if you're not "all pro-life, you're not pro-life at all, therefore I (being the speaker) can't vote for McCain. So tell that to the babies who would be at risk under an Obama presidency who wouldn't be as much so under a McCain. You couldn't get your hands dirty and vote for someone who didn't line up with everything you wanted? Your personal feeling of sanctity was more important? I don't buy that kind of sanctity.
And I don't buy the argument that things have to get worse in order to get better. Or maybe if things get really bad, people will wake up. I read one comment on one blog that said she'd rather have an Obama presidency and the church praying fervently for revival than a McCain presidency and everyone just going on with life as usual. But sin is deceptive. It doesn't always come that people wake up when things get worse and worse. Look at countries that lived under communism and how even still the people have a nostalgia for the old days. Look at countries that have fallen and sludged along in poverty for hundreds of years and still they don't turn in large wholesale repentance. One doesn't always follow the other. By the grace of God it may, but I don't think we better plan on that.
Besides, if you follow that line of reasoning, we should never work to make anything better, for ourselves or our children, because as soon things got better, the people's hearts get worse!
Well, for all that, there's some of my thoughts. And now I better go make dinner.
Mexican chicken over rice and salad. What are you having? :)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Boy I miss Shay. I didn't expect it. I knew it would be inconvenient to have them gone, because they are my two legal babysitters and all. But the first day they were gone I just moped and felt like crying all day. Elisa has been sweet, trying to step up and be the oldest daughter and all. It's been cute to watch her do that. She always tries to be helpful. But she is pretty soft spoken and the boys don't take her very seriously. Shay has more of an iron will about her that they obey her better. I guess being the oldest, she's had to. She's my comrade in arms in the war to keep order around here.
Yesterday my midwife came. When she listened to the heartbeat she said, "Sounds like a good strong boy!"
Today I'm feeling all tuckered out so I decided to spend the day sewing. I finished a pair of denim bloomers I had started for Fiona and now I'm trying to make a skirt for Elisa. I tried making it without a pattern because I didn't have the kind of pattern I wanted. I wanted it to be more of a circle skirt with swing to it but I didn't have enough fabric to do a full circle. So far it just isn't turning out right. Argh. I don't get those women who can sew without patterns. What is wrong with me that I can't do it too? Especially since I don't really follow them. I guess I'm that way with cooking too. I hardly follow the recipe right on, but I do like to have the frame work laid out.
As usual the house completely falls apart when I sew. Sometimes I wonder why I do it at all. It does seem like it would just be easier to go ahead and buy stuff. But that can be frustrating too, trying to find styles I like and things that will find my very slender daughters. So I guess both have their draw backs.
Well, back to the drawing.. err.. sewing machine..
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
In our media rich society, there are always these little sayings that go around that are supposed to convey some sort of truth, but really they are just the repeating of what someone else has said which some one else said, etc. Like "Well, if you raise those children strict like that, they'll rebel when they get older" or "Children need to learn socialization skills from other children". They aren't exactly cliches, because the wording changes, but they are this sort of widely accepted truth that people just tend to accept without really considering whether they are actually true or not.
One of the ones that goes around a lot in Christian political talk is that a vote for McCain is a vote "for the lesser of two evils". That just really, really sets my teeth on edge. Does the speaker repeating this HONESTLY believe that John McCain is evil? I mean truly in the accurate definition of the word? I disagree with McCain on some things, but I cannot believe anyone thinking clearly could call him a truly evil man. Hitler was truly evil. Stalin. Saddam Hussein. These are truly evil men. John McCain may have some political ideas that don't jive with me. And yes, I do think he's a bit self seeking and he is reported to have a bad temper. But would any of us want to be called EVIL on that basis? I know I can have some of those same faults myself from time to time.
We expect that kind of rhetoric from the left. The more extreme of their members see no problem going around blasting everyone with the label "Hitler" and "Nazi" My stars, if the world were really as full of Hitlers as they seem to think we would be in deep trouble indeed! But we are called to be more careful with our words. We should measure accurately what we say. We trivialize true evil when we just apply it all over with such a broad brush. But we say this with such ease, to call this man evil. So.. could we lay off this "lesser of two evils" thing? (At least in my hearing?) And stick to the real issues?
There, got that bee out of my bonnet.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"I have always been among those who believed that the greatest
freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking" Woodrow T. Wilson