Wednesday, August 28, 2013

other good thoughts

Carol from her newer blog, A Living Pencil:  Song of Joy and Strength
Do you remember the flash mob videos in a shopping mall? It is always a delight to see a bystander perk up her ears, look around in wonderment and then settle in with a smile to see what happens. People stop talking, they stop walking, they stop shopping and they watch and listen. This is what your marriage will do when you are singing in tune, making a harmonious sound.  Your song will invite others to the Music.
Also her previous post: Given a New Life
So we have three boys and two parents that love this baby before she is born. Before we have held her, before we have looked into her big eyes, before we have seen her smile, before she can walk, before she can talk, before she can do anything that would earn our love—she has been loved.
A letter from Adoniram Judson to his children posted at The Andrew Fuller Center called: Determine to Stand by Christ found via Ray Van Neste's blog, The Children's Hour
Go on, my dear boys, and not rest until you have made your calling and election sure. I believe that you both and Abby Ann will become true Christians, and meet me in heaven; for I never pray without praying for your conversion, and I think I pray in faith. Go to school, attend to your studies, be good scholars, try to get a good education; but, O, heaven is all. Life, life, eternal life! Without this, without an interest in the Lord of life, you are lost, lost forever.
Lindsay from My Child, I Love You on being with her children: Time
I want to have raised my own children. I want to have been the one that was there day after day answering all of life's questions big and small. I want to be the one they see each day and hope they find security that mom is at her post waiting to help them, laugh with them, pray for them.

Brandy from Afterthoughts called: On Inconveniences in Homeschooling: Meltdowns and Other Messes
And all this sounds so great until someone turns on the water works and starts howling about math. Here's the deal: if education is about filling young minds full of facts, then a meltdown really is getting in the way. But if education is about formation--about becoming something other than we are--then meltdowns are an opportunity.

of flowers and foliage

Summer provides so very much to see and enjoy.  In looking over our picture folders from July and August, I realized I had accumulated so many photos in and out of our garden that they deserved their own post.  I marvel every time over God's beauty in creation and when you consider that the world is under the curse of sin and yet this much beauty remains, oh what will it be like when He restores all things! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

An open letter to my immature self

You are impatient with tending these littles and all the myriad needs they have and you are constantly planning for when you will have more uninterrupted time to pursue all those books, hobbies and interests that you can only dabble in right now.  You think that once they are grown, most of your work will be done and you will be satisfied.

You are wrong. Seriously wrong and very mistaken.  

You will long for one more time to help someone at the potty who is so busy chattering and gesturing with her beautiful little hands that she momentarily loses her balances as she struggles to pull up her underpants and shorts at the same time.  You will not sigh and bend down with impatience in your voice and eyes rolling on your face.  You will with delight on your face and joy in your voice, offer to help while listening with rapt attention to what she is describing.  And you will remember all those times when she responded to your hug and kiss and whispers of love with her own clearly pronounced, "I love you, Mommy," and a sweet smile that made you want to freeze that moment forever.

And when you remember all the times that you picked up her older sister from her crib and carried her all the way up the basement stairs because even though she was growing bigger at five and a half, she was still little for her age, you will remember you didn't really mind the extra lugging.  And you will be glad that she wanted to learn how to do things just like you, so now is the time to hold your tongue and not give way to the frustration over the extra time and work that her efforts will cause you.  She won't always be limited to five words and a few sounds.  She is listening and watching. Get it right before she proves how long she was learning and reminds you by her imitation of all the ways in which you failed to show kindness and gentleness.

Find ways to give them the time that you both need together.  Others are sending their babies off to college and bridal showers, you will have your turn to cry and wish them back.  Don't be so shortsighted, look ahead, listen to what others who are ahead of you are saying.  This does not last forever, it goes by too quick they all say and your exclusive time with them will be over.  

He will not always be available to read to; take full advantage of this time at home together. Others will be calling and wanting his time and soon it will be right for him to go whenever he wants.  Be generous with his faults, he can only grow up so much at a time.  Praise him and put your arms around him as often as he permits.  He needs to know that he is loved beyond his understanding. Enjoy the stories together and watch carefully the ones he chooses to read again and again.  Ask him to tell you his favorite parts.  And tell him yours.  Those will be the moments you can share again and again for as long as you both remember.

You will forget you thought this so I have written it down to remind you.  If you pay attention now, you will not regret the way you spent your time with them.  Trust me, you will not.  So grow up already, before they do and you will be glad that you did.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

for the pleasure

"Who are you making that for? it's very pretty, " asked David, who seemed to be in an inquiring frame of mind that day.
"Any one who wants. I only do it for the pleasure: I always liked pretty things; but, since I have lived among flowers and natural people, I seem to care more than ever for beauty of all kinds, and love to make it if I can without stopping for any reason but the satisfaction."
"'Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
"'Then beauty is its own excuse for being.'"

observed David, who a weakness for poetry, and, finding she liked his sort, quoted to Christie almost as freely as to himself.~Louisa May Alcott, Work
I've written about creating beauty before.  Here are two of the recent posts:
Pursuing creativity
Important work

Linking up with Cindy this week at Ordo Amoris.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

tight rein

While visiting my in-laws church several weeks ago, I heard that the book of James has sometimes been referred to as the "Proverbs of the New Testament" and I could see why it could be called that. Its words always speak very directly to my heart and convict me of sin.  These verses on the tongue and its speech are some of the most searing exhortations to my spirit. Read with me.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
And then consider these words in light of James' words.
Remember the punishment for unkind talk. Uncharitable talk should cause you deep concern. You need only think of God's judgment and the account that you will have to render on the observance of the eighth commandment. Remember our Lord's warning: 'On the Day of Judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter.'~Lawrence G. Lovasik, The Hidden Power of Kindness
Oh Lord, please help me to bring my tongue and it's capabilities into obedience to your Word.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14

river date

This mountain and the river and creeks that flow around it are in my husband's childhood town, so leaving the kids with his mom for a few hours, we rented a kayak and toured around these waters, passing by the beaver dams and water lilies in calm, reflective waters.  The river current at the base of the mountain gave us a workout, but also plenty of time to see bald eagles flying overhead and roosting in trees.
It is on this mountain that Shane unexpectedly proposed to me as we stood looking over this river and the islands and marsh that stand in its shadow.  It was a chilly November day and after slipping the diamond engagement ring on my finger, he urged me to put my mittens back on so that the ring had no chance of sliding off my cold hand. Years later we returned to climb this mountain when Seth was just a toddler and before we moved away to Ontario.  And now we have new memories of being together on the river and seeing our mountain from another view.