Friday, July 31, 2009

Passionate Housewives

Okay, don't write this book off because of the slightly cheesy title. I've been wanting to read it for a while, and finally got a copy. I highly enjoyed it! The first half of the book is written by Stacy McDonald, and the second by Jennie Chancey. Both authors did a great job, but the first half of the book was especially encouraging. Here's a taste of what's inside:

A friend had alerted Jennie to yet another "me-ology" book--that's how we describe books that encourage women to "pamper" rather than "sanctify" their flesh. Page after page, the author told women it was okay to live for self--in fact, if you don't feel like your relationship with God is productive, perhaps it's your family's fault for distracting you from the "important" things you could be doing!

This self-centered philosophy is a fallacy that we as Christian women must guard against. If we find ourselves in a position where we feel that serving our families gets in the way of serving Christ's Kingdom, then we should fall on our faces and repent....

Serving our family is serving the Kingdom. Serving our husband and our little ones is serving Christ Himself--and neglecting them so that we can pursue self interests is neglecting the Kingdom of God--and Jesus Himself! "Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." (Matthew 24:45)

from pgs xxiii-xxiv of the preface

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Perfectly Vunerable

If I wanted to murder someone today, I could. I could get away with it scott-free, and even have willing accomplices who operate without fear in the light of day.

This strange and morbid thought came to me as I watched the perfect form of our little baby on an ultrasound screen yesterday. His tiny four-chambered heart was beating beautifully; perfectly-formed fingers clenched and opened; his little mouth opened and closed as he swallowed. My mind kept thinking that this amazing little person's life is not protected by law. I hold his fate, humanly speaking. I really could decide 'death' for him, and no one would say anything about it. I doubt an abortion at 17 weeks is even considered late-term.

There is something so wrong with our world that this is so. I feel so overwhelmed and powerless when I consider it.

Why, Lord? Why do You allow such evil to continue?

The kids saw a short video of the baby moving around that we brought home with us. We all crowded around the computer and marveled. Last night I was sitting on the couch with Joseph and he reached over and tenderly patted my tummy. He's only three, yet he automatically knows that his little brother or sister is in there. Not a blob of tissue or some kind of 'invader' taking over my body. A marvelously made miniature person, perfectly formed at only half a pound.

Lord, help us. Show us what to do to stem the tide of murder.

I recently read in a 'Christian' magazine that believers today are too focused on the issue of abortion. We should be concerned about the poor and social justice, it said. This author painted those 'two-issue' Christians (the other issue being one man, one woman marriage) as narrow and old-fashioned. This completely stuns me. It would be like living next door to a person who murdered people and chopped them up in the basement, knowing about it, doing nothing, and whistling on your way to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Don't get me wrong: of course we should strive to meet the needs of the poor and share the gospel with them meanwhile, but how can anyone say that any 'cause' is equal to abortion in urgency?

I've posted this link before, and this site has graphic content, so be warned. Let's renew our commitment to fervent prayer.

Lord, give me greater faith in Your power to change hearts and in Your sovereignty. Help me to trust You even though I don't understand.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Fun

We're enjoying my niece, nephew, and Mom-in-law this week. Lots of noise and activity around here--even more than usual! There are two kids missing in this picture: Keely, the photographer, and Annes, who was not in the mood to cooperate.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Red and Blue Flashing Lights

Last night we were talking with some friends in our living room when I noticed police lights flashing outside. I went out to the porch and saw four police cars, an ambulance, and a firetruck parked directly across the street from us on the far curb. There were policemen, firefighters, and paramedics everywhere. After talking with some neighbors, I found out that the woman who lives across the street was the one lying on the driveway, surrounded by medical workers. We could see them doing chest compressions, and this went on for at least twenty minutes. Finally, the men stood up and started milling away. It was quite surreal to see; was this really happening? This woman was fit and in her early 40's, I'm guessing. Not someone you'd expect to die suddenly.

Kevin and I were talking about it late last night, about how no one ever expects death to come suddenly and to the young. Will you please pray for our neighbor's 'partner' and for the others who live on our street? Please pray that God would use this tragedy to underscore the temporal nature of this life and the need to think about eternity. And pray that Kevin and I would have boldness to speak about the truth and hope that is found only in Christ.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gathered Links

I love it when other bloggers put together a list of links to various interesting articles. Here are a few I've found noteworthy lately.

  • A great article from Though geared to the single woman, lots of good stuff here. Are people your favorite idol?

  • John Piper's thoughts on video and drama during church services.

  • A window into Jenny Sanford's character.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Much Better!

Thanks to you who gave me some good product reviews and ideas about 'Space Bags' and wire shelving...Voila! Here's an 'after' picture. All the same things are still in the closet, except for a mismatched pillow sham I decided to chuck and a tablecloth that didn't belong there. Keels is modeling the new hiding spot that's been created.

Since the two oldest were at a birthday party all morning, the other kids and I made a Bed Bath and Beyond run. The box of Space Bags was about $40 for 7 large. I have two left over--roughly an $11 value--and I think I want to try a give-away here on the 'ol blog. Leave me a comment (yes, you can too, Mom) sharing your best organizing tip, and I will scientifically and fairly pick a winner by using my five-year-old's random number pick. Contest will close Saturday night at 9:00. Looking forward to all those great tips!

Thanks for your comments! Jenia is the winner of the drawing! I'll get those bags to you soon, Jenia!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Closet Crisis

Anyone ever tried those 'Space Bag' thingies? I need help with our linen/game closet, as you can see.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Socialism = Slavery

"One consequence of such politico-economic policies is a return to slavery. The more socialist a country, i.e., the more rigorously it is dedicated to fiat laws and money, the more marked the return to slavery. Slavery violates the fundamental premise of dominion work, responsibility. In slavery, an elite group orders work done. Personal motivation and purpose is replaced by social plans and goals. The elite assume more and more responsibility and freedom from control while placing all others under the slavery of a radically regulated and controlled society." ~ R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, p. 1049

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Here's another visualization that helps communicate the insanity known as Universal Health Care Coverage. (Shout-out to my son, Noah, who loves Legos. Love ya, Buddy!)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Just a Homemaker

When Kevin and I moved to a new town--new state!--as newlyweds, we were so glad to find a church pretty quickly. Little did we know that God had providentially placed us there so we would grow in that 'greenhouse' of sound teaching and loving Christian family.

This church surely had its problems and growing pains, but the vibrant Men's and Women's ministries were just what we needed. Friends. Christian friends, older and our age, who invested in us and taught us by their examples.
I think it was my first time attending the Ladies' Small Group Bible study that met weekly in the church basement, because I remember introducing myself. I was insecure because I was at home; not out 'working', and we didn't even have children at this point. (This was actually due more to the fact that we owned one car, and so working outside the home would have presented some transportation challenges.) Anyway, I told the other girls my name, where I was from, and how long Kevin and I had been married, which was about 18 months at that time. I sheepishly ended with, "And...I'm just a homemaker." I'll never forget their response: They all smiled and several said, "Just a homemaker?! We're homemakers, too, and we love it!"

These women continued over the following months and years to show by words and actions that they really did love their homes, and that they believed caring for one's husband, children and home was truly a high and holy calling.
The memory of those women is still sweet to me because they were my first friends, really, to exalt motherhood and homemaking as legitimate and vital. There is a movement in the church today to embrace 'feminism-lite' and devalue the God-given role of women. I've been reading a great book lately that deals some with this subject, so it's been on my mind. I'll tell you about it when I'm finished. Here's a quote I saw in my current read, as well as Feminine Appeal.

Much of the world would agree that being a housekeeper is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home; treating men with attentive devotion would also be right as long as the man is the boss in the office and not your husband; caring for children would even be deemed heroic service for which presidential awards could be given as long as the children are someone else's and not your own. --Dorothy Patterson

Friday, July 03, 2009

Feminine Appeal

My sweet friend Michelle, a.k.a. my 'library away from the library', loaned me a book recently and I was able to read it while we were on vacation. (See, those flat Kansas miles are good for something: You can keep your nose in a book, confident that you're not missing anything.) It's called Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney. I absolutely loved this book. I kept thinking of the Titus 2 exhortation for older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children and to be keepers at home. That's exactly what this book does, in a readable, warm style. I could almost imagine sitting down for coffee with Carolyn and having the 'conversation' with her. I was very encouraged in many ways, but a couple of specific reminders were especially welcome. Carolyn talks about taking the time to show affectionate and thoughtful love to your children, and I could definitely do better in this area. Another ever-needed encouragement I appreciated was to meet Kevin's needs first; before the kids, before the house. You'd think I would 'get' this by now, but somehow I keep forgetting it. Something about selfishness and a sin nature...?

Speaking of Titus 2 relationships with other women, I have been so blessed to have an 'older woman' meet with me twice a month, early in the morning, over coffee. This is a lady that I greatly respect and admire, and though she is a busy Mom of many herself, she didn't hesitate to agree when I asked her if she'd be willing to meet. It's pretty informal. We haven't done any kind of 'study' together; we just talk about our week and pray together. And during our times together, I get to glean from her experiences and wisdom and ask for her advice and thoughts. I have been so encouraged by this relationship!

Is there a woman in your life whom you could ask to invest in you, even just a couple of hours a month? Or maybe you are a lady whom younger women could learn from? God's Word says we need these kinds of friendships! In the midst of our fragmented and busy lives, maybe we need them now more than ever.