Throwback Thursday

I got my first real camera almost twenty years ago in 2001 and as best I can tell around 2007 friends started letting me take their pictures. It’s almost embarrassing to look back and see what I am sure, in that moment, I was so proud of. Almost but not really, because it’s really fun to see how I have grown in my skill but what I really love is looking back and seeing the people, my people, that we have walked a lot of life’s road with together. We’ve rejoiced, we’ve grieved, and done all of the mundane in between living alongside one another. Now, that is a blessing.

Not sure yet how my friends will enjoy seeing themselves immortalized through the years but…

This is not only one of my earliest efforts but it is also one of my first secretive sessions. I think I suggested we do it as a Mother’s Day surprise for my friend. The three girls are all grown with multiple children of their own and Jerry graduated from college this year. We should definitely recreate this is everyone if everybody is all home in Florida again!



More sweet friends from that same general time frame. This was right before they moved to Texas. They’re the kind of friends that stay with you when they come to town and it’s like you’ve never been a part.


Gaaaahhhh, this just makes me smile to consider how much their family has grown since we took family pictures for the first time. They’ve added two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and eight grandchildren!


I didn’t take this picture, obviously, but my dear friend Lori did. We look a bit of a mess but man, I love seeing my babies back when they were little people. Life was simpler then it seems, at least  in retrospect, but I am sure that, Lord willing, if I look back at pictures from today in twenty years I will probably feel the same.

Geez, there’s a crazy thought for you! It will be the year 2039. I cannot imagine that far ahead.



Gleanings from Galatians

Yesterday the Bible Reading Challenge had me reading the entire letter of Galatians which sounds like a lot but it’s six relatively short chapters that are just jammed packed with rich truth. As usual, no matter how many times I have read something before there is always something to glean…sometimes not even brand new truths but something that just adds to the fullness of my understanding. Here are a few gems and the ponderings they produced.

Chapter 1:15-16 ~

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult anyone.

Paul goes on to say he actually waited three years before returning to Jerusalem to meet Cephas and it would be another fourteen years before he would return and really get into the thick of things with the other Apostles and believers.

My take home was a gentle reminder to not blurt out every thought and rush off willy nilly and get busy but to take some time and stew on what God is doing and what He would have me do.

Chapter 2:11–14

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.  For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.  But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” 

Emphasis is mine and I cannot tell you how heavy that landed on me. If we are living lives that look no different than the unbelieving neighbor beside us then how can we dare ask them to live any differently and why should they?

Everything we do should be different because everything we do is done to the glory of God and with an eternal purpose. Our marriages, our child rearing, the way we are educated and educating, the life we live must be lived in such a way that Christ is revealed. I mean at first glance we may look the same but as we enter into relationships with people, as they get to know us, they ought to become curious about why we seem just a bit different, why there is something they may not quite be able to put their finger on but they know we aren’t the same. It will be something about the means to the end of disciplining our children, the way we love and honor each other, the way our Sabbath is enjoyed, the way we handle our money, the way we forgive, the way we deal with stress, the way we help others. There should be a thousand different ways we live out our ordinary lives that will show we believe Christ is King over all.

Chapter 4:9

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be know by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Just a good solid reminder to keep guard over my thoughts and not allow old habits and ways of thinking to creep in.

Chapter 5

Seriously, the whole chapter. But this little verse…

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Have you ever been out of step with someone you were supposed to be in step with? Stumbling around and so clumsy. It’s not easy to fix without coming to a complete stop and starting again. So that is my prayer; when I realize I am out of step then I want to stop what I am doing and get in step with the Spirit. I don’t want to fumble around tripping over myself trying to make our steps align. I just want to match my stride with His.

Chapter  6:1–3

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 

It is so very easy to have a higher opinion of ourselves than we ought, isn’t it? I don’t think we deliberately set out to think better of ourselves than other people but it is just so much easier to assess those over there, to make judgement calls on their behaviors and actions. Assumptions are second nature to us, assuming that we would never ever do what so and so has done but shifting their sins through our perspectives and coming to a conclusion that we know their story.

In I Corinthians 10 we are told take to heed when we think we are standing lest we fall and then moving in to chapter six of Galatians we are told to restore a fallen brother with a spirit of gentleness lest we be tempted. That spirit of gentleness only comes through the humility of understanding the darkness of our own sin, of using God’s perspective on sin as opposed to our own sliding scale of right and wrong.

For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Oh Lord may I put pride far from me!

Chapter 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 

And lastly, this little gem. Don’t give up but keep persevering in the faith, keep loving each other, keep doing the right thing even when it seems that no one else is or no one is benefitting from it or seems grateful for it.

Serve each other. Love one another. Seek forgiveness. Forgive each other. Encourage. Laugh with the one who laughs and weep with the one who weeps. Do all the things you can do for the good of those around you and don’t stop, keep loving them in thought and deed. God promises to grow something that gives an eternal harvest when we stay faithful in this way.

Chapter 6:16

And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 



Since We Talked About Wifery

Rob will also be speaking on children this weekend so I figured I might as well share something on parenting.

It’s really hard.

How’s that for parental wisdom worth sharing? I jest (Though it is true!) but I do have  some thoughts to offer on the topic. Back in May I shared a post on five gifts to give your children and I have thought of a few more gifts worth considering.

1.) The gift of denial.

Seriously, tell your child no. It won’t kill them. It will actually be good for them. You don’t even have to have a particularly great reason to say no, just do it. No one should always get whatever they want or ask for. It makes them think they deserve to have whatever they want just because they want it. I would even go so far as to say that delaying a yes to something they need is good for them too. They will appreciate having what they need a whole lot more if they understand on some level what it is to go without. I’m not saying deny them food, clothing, and shelter long term or anything. But it’s not going to hurt little Johnny to wait an extra 45 minutes for lunch if you have errands that need to happen beforehand. And denying the use of a dishwasher so that a child can learn the joys of washing, drying, and putting away dishes will make them way less whiny about having to load or unload one.

I get it though. We love these tiny little human beings and we want to make them happy and give them stuff and opportunities. But I promise that if your child sees you always moving heaven and earth to give them whatever they want or every opportunity to do something then you will be raising up ungrateful wretched adults who lack consideration for the wants and needs of those around them and they will have no idea how to work for something.

2.) The gift of exclusion.

This is kind of the cousin to the gift of no. Do not include your child in everything you do. There is a world of difference between child centered and child friendly. One caters to the immature whims of a child and the other teaches them how to participate in the life of community in a manner that is healthy and contributes to the wellbeing of others.

Do not directly include them in every celebration. If it is not his birthday then he really ought not get a gift because it is his sister’s birthday. Your child must learn how to function as a spectator sometimes because when he grows up the odds are he will not be asked to every party or event nor will every party and event be for him. It makes it incredibly difficult to truly learn how to rejoice with those who rejoice if he always has to be part of the spotlight. You do not want to cultivate in your child a need to always be made much of. It may seem kinda funny and cute as a preschooler but in older children, especially teenagers, it can lead to dangerous look at me behaviors that do not go anywhere good.

3.) The gift of ordinary.

This one can be hard because we have a tendency to think our child is the cutest, smartest, and greatest child to have ever been born. But do you know how many people have been born and lived just in the United States alone? Millions upon millions.

Do you know how many presidents we have had? 45

Do you know how many athletes competed for the US in the 2018 winter olympics? 244

How many Americans have received the Nobel Peace Prize? 21

I’m not saying your child can’t grow up to be president or cure cancer or win the superbowl. But I am saying the odds are rather significantly against the majority of us for such feats and heights of glory.

25731182937_a6aca7c0da_oWe need to stop trying to convince our children of how wonderful and special they are and focus on teaching them more about the amazing God who created everything out of nothing who knows their name. Who formed and shaped them in our wombs and knows down to the smallest detail who they are, how many hairs are on their head, and exactly how many times their heart will beat in their lifetime. The truth is that your kid is just a normal kid like mine is just a normal kid. But when we teach them, and show them how to love and honor the God who has poured out His extraordinary grace on His people, then they are transformed into glory givers that will literally change the world.

Ordinary is more than okay when it is surrendered in faithfulness and obedience and it is far more beautiful and glorious than any talent or skill or ability to make something. Praise the obedience. Praise the diligence to keep at the hard things. Encourage the pursuit of kindness. Nurture the attitude that looks to serve others, to befriend the lonely. Teach him to walk humbly with His God and understanding his smallness in relation to the greatness and bigness of God is the right way to cultivate humbleness.

Our children are special. But they are special because they bear the image of God. Raising kids that understand that, that really get it, prepares a heart, soul, and mind to love God with all of their heart, soul, and mind. An that is the greatest gift you can give your child.

Think On These Things

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

~Genesis 2:18–25



Wifery 101

38187377205_8368f89bbb_oNext weekend Rob will be speaking at a sister church on marriage, raising covenant children, and teenagers. I told him on that last one that he better not lie to those people and he should be sure to tell them it is h.a.r.d. But that is a post for a different day. Today’s post is on wifing though, and in no particular order here are some general thoughts and things I have gleaned over the years.

Being hospitable. You may be scratching your head over this one because it is not often that we hear this word applied to husbands and wives. However, I think we should not only use it but also cultivate it within our marriage relationship. The word hospitable means “promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” Would your husband say that he finds a generous welcome in you? Not just in a physical way, we’ll talk about that in a minute. But would he say that he finds in you a pleasant and sustaining environment for his thoughts, ideas, and dreams? Or do you play devil’s advocate or try to be practical? Are you critical to his suggestions and plans? Does he see pleasure on your face when you’ve been apart? Years and years ago I remember being out running errands and passing Rob and one of his workers on the road. This is back when he was a paint contractor and working long days. It was such a joyful and unexpected treat to see him even if we were just literally passing each other on the road. Later that night he hugged me and said I just looked so happy to see him. It meant something to him for me to respond that way. Look for ways to be hospitable toward your husband.

Do things that you expect to go unnoticed. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Recently I shared about how, instead of waiting to iron a shirt when he needed it, I had started just having Rob’s shirts ironed  and ready. He noticed that right away and was just so darn grateful and pleased by that simple act. These days that has become the norm and he doesn’t really comment on it. And that is a fabulous thing to me. Look at it this way…early in our marriage I would get so upset if he didn’t notice or comment when I had really cleaned or tidied something up. But then I realized I was expecting him to pat me on the head and give me an “Atta, girl” for just doing what I should have been doing. He shouldn’t have noticed because it was the way it ought to be. Obviously, it is easy to feel like the things we do in our homes are taken for granted and it is nice to have the work we put into something recognized, especially when we have done a little extra or gone above and beyond in some way. However, I think we would do well to learn to be content with doing what we do and letting it go unnoticed simply because we want our husbands and our children to find it commonplace to be loved and cared for by us. If we’re doing it in sporadic spurts and bursts to the point that it stands out and ought to be commented on then I say we’re perhaps neglecting things a bit. Let your delight be in having the work of a family to love and tend and not whether it (you) gets praised all the time.

Be playful. Seriously, have fun with your spouse. We used to have a little rubber frog from some game the kids had when they were little that we would hide in each other’s stuff. We took much delight in seeing who could come up with the best hiding spots. I won when I opened up a box of his soap, hid the frog inside and then glued it shut again. These days we look for ways to make the other one laugh. We text word puns or funny memes to each other. It is so easy to loose the spontaneity of playfulness in the everyday busy but try to make it a habit. Laughter is a wonderful mortar between the bricks of intimacy so challenge him to a thumb wrestling match. Play rock, paper, scissors. Text him a knock knock joke. Whatever you know will cause him to laugh. And being willing to respond to his playfulness is another way of practicing hospitality with your spouse.

Do little things that get noticed. Yes, I know I just did a whole paragraph on being content to do things that go unnoticed. But this is something altogether different. I’m talking about the sweet little things you can do that will remind him that you love him. Recently some friends introduced us to this snack stuff called Pub Mix and we really like it. Except for the pretzels. So one day I bought a container of it and went home and took out all of the pretzels without saying anything to Rob. He was so cute when he realized what I had done. Now, I have some friends who told me that I’m buying the wrong snack and gave me a list of the different parts of the snack that I could buy but where is the fun in that I ask you? I also pick off the green peppers from his frozen pizza too because I know he doesn’t like them.  Sometimes I will slip into his office at church, flip to an unused page in one of his note pads and leave a little love note for him to find one day. Find little meaningful ways to remind your love that he is indeed your love.

Sex. Honestly, I almost didn’t include this because it is a subject that can come with so much baggage but it is an area you do not want to neglect. The devil likes to make this area his playground and why would he not? The mystery of two becoming one in every way is the picture Scripture uses to describe Christ and His Bride so of course the enemy would seek to destroy and distort it’s earthly representation. But a blog post really isn’t the appropriate venue for a proper discussion on the subject. Not one of much real depth anyway. What I will say is that I believe that the marriage bed of a believing couple should be full of joy and delight. After all, who better to enjoy the gift of physical intimacy than those who serve and honor the giver of such a gift? There are lots of ways this gift can get off track though and in my experience the key to resolving issues is sometimes uncomfortable but direct conversations. The biggest piece of encouragement I have is not to assume anything. Sexual intimacy is not a one size fits all so magazines articles, blog posts, etc. aren’t necessarily helpful. Seeking godly counsel can be helpful when needed but treat the subject with discretion. It is a highly volatile area that can cause much harm but also has the power to bind a couple together in a strong and lasting way.

Marriage is as beautiful and complex as anything ever created. May we each desire to share in the goodness of God’s glory reflected in our love for our husbands.







Poured Out

Sometimes I have a hard time knowing how to start a post. I have a core thought but I’m not sure how to introduce it. Like that awkward moment in a conversation when you want to throw something out there but an opening just hasn’t presented itself.

Or, and this is more like real life, I have this on going conversation in my head and putting it out there can seem a bit like blurting out randomness. I do it all the time to Rob. I have half the conversation in my head before I say something out loud and he gets this play of emotions across his face…confusion, a look that clearly shows him mentally groping for a thread to grab hold of, and a kind of eye shrug that declares “I got nothing” before he says, “Huh?” or sometimes “Woman, what are you talking about?”

So, I apologize up front if you have a woman-what-are-you-talking-about moment while reading this post. Just know that I have been thinking about being content, prayer, doing whatever you do to the glory of God and not being idle and just go with it.

Specifically this morning  I was contemplating the idea of giving ourselves as a living sacrifice and what that means. Unless you are new to this blog, and me really, then you know this is not a new topic. Romans twelve is and has been a big part of my thoughts. I’ve blogged often about how that can look, the dying to self, in our lives as wives and mothers.

But this morning, because of the above mentioned topics, I zeroed in on the quantitative meaning. And it seems to me that I can be pretty good at sacrificing bits and pieces here and there but giving my whole self over, holding nothing back is something more than what I am used to.

I’m not sure I know what it means to continually empty myself out on behalf of the people around me. Instead of pouring myself out as a drink offering as Christ did I might be tossing a thimbleful out in places. Or maybe a whole cupful or even a bucketful if I feel a sense of urgency or weightiness to a need.

But to continually pour myself out completely? To utterly empty myself out into the world? I’m not sure I know what that even means much less how to do it


I think it can be easy to end up here. Lots of little demands and the busy-ness of being busy can do that. It wears you down and exhausts you and makes you feel like you are constantly being poured out, but how often have you really given completely over until there is nothing left?

This year is our youngest daughter’s first time on the school volleyball team. On the way to her first practice we were talking about playing hard and giving it all she has. I want her to see that she can play hard but still be holding back. And what her team needs (not just from her but from every player) is to leave it all on the court. To be completely focused and pulling from deep inside and putting everything she has into it.

We aren’t called to sacrifice a toe this day and maybe an arm some other day. Rather we are told to present our body as a living sacrifice. To give it all, everything, every day.

I wonder if we don’t live this way because we live such chopped up lives with so much going on? Or because we have believe we can’t be everything to everyone, we can’t do it all, and the biggie of big lies, you have to love and take care of yourself in order to love and take care of others? (Yes, I know there are times in Scripture where Jesus went off by himself to pray and be alone. But I really don’t think we can equate what He did with our version of mani-pedis and treat yo-self attitude. There is nothing wrong with finding alone time. Read a book, go get that mani-pedi or massage. But we should be careful not to over spiritualize it by thinking it is the same as quieting all of the day to day ruckus so that our heart and mind can find rest in God.)

We can’t be everything to everyone and we can’t do it all but the good news is that we aren’t called to be everything to everyone and to do it all. We look at our life and qualify it as everyone and everything and it simply is not so. We have the life and work that God has put us in and given to us and we are called to give ourselves completely and wholly to that. Do we over extend ourselves sometimes? Sure, but there are seasons and times of that and it will pass but we like to hold on to the feeling of it because in some way we get a sense of importance and self worth from it. If I feel like I am doing it all, or at least feel like I am expected to be doing it all, then I must be somebody; I must have meaning. But who is that making much of, me or God?

Maybe the reason we don’t really live emptied out like that is because we don’t understand what it really means. We have made it about actions and we can look around and declare with a certain amount of assurance, I just cannot physically do more.

It’s not just the physical work though, is it? I mean the action is part of it but it’s the whole faith without works thing…we can’t be poured out without, well, being poured out. It is the right combination of the physical with the right heart motivation and right focus that pulls it in line and turns what we are doing day to day into a life being spent in the name of Christ and for the glory of God.

As I finished my first draft of this post my husband sent out the Old Testament reading for our worship service this week. How kind is God to just tell us what it looks like to live poured out as an offering?

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?”

We over complicate the thing by over thinking it, maybe? Or we want to control it so that we can maintain a certain level of comfort that we have become accustomed to and we reduce it down to something we feel like we can manage?

But He lays it out so simply. Fear me and walk in my ways, love me, serve me with everything you’ve got, and be obedient. And get this, it’s all for our good. The following two verses from that passage in Deuteronomy should give us great courage to live life this way.

He goes on to say that the heavens of heaven itself and the entire earth belong to Him and He has set His heart in love upon our fathers and their offspring. We’re the offspring! Everything belongs to Him and He loves us.

Now we are to go and live like it.

Sharing with Fresh Market Friday.




He Thinks I am A RockStar

Seriously. He has been amazed by me lately and I feel a bit guilty because honestly, what he is noticing is really what should have been all along.

It started some time last week. Have you ever had one of those days where you are just burning through your to-do list? Yeah, it was like that only I didn’t have a list.

I was just being busy. Actually, I think that is the wrong word to use. We all know we can be busy, even really busy, and not actually be accomplishing much of anything.

I was being very purposeful. I was looking for things to do. I wasn’t trying to be productive but it happened.

Pssst, side bar. What you read and meditate on has a huge effect on your state of mind and attitude and that in turn has a huge effect on your life. Start reading about contentment. And start pondering prayer. Your life will change in a very quiet but solid way.

Here is what I learned. If idle hands are the devil’s playground then laziness is the fertilizer for discontentment. Not doing work leaves your mind free to wander and think about all the stuff you don’t have but wish you did. Too many breaks between chores and you have time to ruminate on how he doesn’t really love you the way you need to be loved. A pause in tending what needs tending will make it easy to tend the hurts and perceived insults and wounds you’ve suffered, to concentrate on how you just aren’t appreciated.

But maybe that isn’t what happens to you. I will be honest that those things might happen in my mind and heart upon occasion but not often. You know how it really shows up for me?

Apathy. I just don’t care much about those things that really ought to be cared about because it is more fun to daydream about the things that I decide ought to be cared about. And rarely are they things that you can look at on the surface and dismiss as not being important per se, but in reality it’s devoting a lot of time and thought to misty things. Things that aren’t super substantial or carry much weight.


It’s like cultivating a diet of fast food rather than a palate that desires fresh fruits and vegetables. You are indeed eating and taking in sustenance but we can all agree that it is not the healthiest way to live.

Rather than just giving stuff a cursory swipe of my attention I was paying real attention to whatever task my hand found to do. And amazingly enough I was getting a lot done. And I even felt more energetic to keep going. (Now, lest you think otherwise, I am a pretty good housekeeper for the most part. I had worked out a routine to keep things nice and tidy in such a way that you could drop in unannounced and it would not have caused a bit of panic. But, things like that have a way of becoming a way to gloss over something with no thought or real effort. Intermixed with contentment and prayer you should try a steady consideration of glorifying God in all that you do. That is a real game changer!)

Back to my rockstar status. I had been pretty productive but still had some time left in the day. Two things about that last sentence. First, when I say “time left in my day”  I am referring to time left before my love arrives home. Time  is measured and used differently when he is home and we’re all together. Not sure how to explain it but it’s a marked difference in the blocking out of our day.

Secondly, I cannot tell you how many times I have muttered, moaned, and groaned over the lack of enough time in my day. In hindsight there is no doubt that it is much more of focus and time management problem than an actual dearth of seconds, minutes, and hours. I have actually had more time to read, snap a picture or two, blog, and do all manner of things  while accomplishing so much other stuff like laundry and what have you.

So what did I do that day last week when I suddenly found myself with time on my hands and no desire or feeling to do nothing? I ironed his shirts. I know I am going to sound so spoiled right now but Rob’s main dress shirts go to the cleaners weekly. I haven’t had to do anything with them other than drop off and pick up for a few years now. If he needed a casual shirt (polo or short sleeve button up style) pressed he would pull it from the closet and I would happily iron. And I do mean happily because I fought that battle a long time ago to not whine or hate doing that task.

But see the gloss? I would do it when asked, even with a happy heart, but I didn’t invest the time to just go ahead and do it so that the shirts were hanging up waiting for him to need one. And I didn’t do it for any good reason other than I was “too busy” only the truth was I wasn’t busy doing anything other than looking busy.

Man, I sound ridiculous, don’t I? But what can I say? This is where I have been these days and what’s going on in my heart and mind.

This morning when he mentioned again how he was loving the shirts being ready in the closet and not knowing if I had turned over a new leaf or what,  I just told him it was my own way of stepping a little further into being a grown up.

That’s what it feels like really. As if I am maturing a bit…seeing myself a little more clearly, learning a little bit more about God and how he expects his people to be his people. Funny how that shows up in such mundane everyday things.

I will confess that today I decided to amp up the rockstar-ness in Rob’s eyes so I did two things. I made a trip to the cleaners (without him asking) to drop off the shirts because he had planned to do it and forgotten.

I also took our sixteen year old daughter driving. We are never in any hurry for our kids to get their permit or driver’s license according to when they legally can but we have really procrastinated teaching this particular child how to drive. (Probably because we have been too busy…ha!) For whatever reason it has been difficult for Rob and this daughter to uhhh, enjoy the father/daughter bonding over driving instruction. She makes him nervous which in turn makes her nervous and you can see how this cycle can break badly.

So, today I turned it up to eleven and took her driving.

Total rockstar.

Sharing with Candidly Christian.


Protect Them From Me

Have you ever read I Chronicles?  There are parts of it, the so and so’s son and his son and his son, that are easy to tune out if you aren’t careful. I remind myself that it’s in the Bible so it must be important and Rob says that the genealogies are meant to be studied. There is important information in there about, among other things, the lineage of Christ.  And I am always amazed at the sheer number of people who made up the children of Israel. Thousands upon thousands.

Toward the end of this book of history we find where those numbers got David into a wee bit of trouble with God. He (David) wanted to count the people and there are a couple of schools of thought as to why. Some think it was to assess his military might, in which case he was looking to rely on human strength for victory. Or it was pride pure and simple and he was counting as if what belonged to God was actually his. Either way we know God was not happy about this little accounting project of David’s.

God’s displeasure is made known and David agrees that, no matter the reason, he has sinned greatly and has acted foolishly. We aren’t told exactly how God communicated this displeasure but what we are told is that God struck Israel, not just David, but Israel. And then after he confesses his sin God tells David he basically could choose between three forms of discipline. A three years long famine, three months of defeat by his enemies, or three days of “…the sword of the LORD, pestilence on the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.”

Those are some serious consequences! And not just for David but for his people. Scripture goes on to tell us that seventy thousand men died and the pestilence came over the land and that was surely felt by all.

As I was reading this I noticed something about myself. I do not take my sin, and it’s possible consequences, serious enough. Not nearly serious enough. I may think I sin in a bubble and that it affects only myself but that really isn’t true. I may not have the Angel of the Lord poised over my house with a sword in His hand but my sin, the seed of my hidden nobody knows sin, will find soil in the minds and hearts of my children. It will be sown into the relationships I have with everyone. Selfishness, greed, ingratitude, pride…these are pestilence that we so easily pass along and share within our families and communities.

I really want to grab hold of this. I want it to be a road block to my sinfulness. And when I manage to scoot around it and do what I want anyway and then seek forgiveness when God prods me I want to be like David and fall on my face asking for mercy for the ones around me affected by my sin.

May God be gracious to answer and protect my people from me.


Summer Break

The first week of our summer break wraps up today and if it is any indication the next fifteen weeks or so will fly by. When I was a kid the summers seemed to last forever. Who am I kidding? When I was a kid time seemed to last forever! Now it just zips right along whether I am having trouble keeping up or not and the saying ‘the days are long and the years are short’ has taken on a deeper truth than ever before.

I always want our summers to have some substance to them. I don’t want our kiddos just vegging in front of the television because in my experience their brains turn to mush and it makes them cranky. It takes planning and preparing for that to not be the default though. And balance. We want them to be busy but not for the sake of just being busy. We want it to have purpose and hopefully be helpful to someone. But we also want to remember it is summer break. It needs to be fun and relaxing.

The other day a friend posted something about wanting less of a schedule and more of a rhythm to their summer and I thought, “Yes! That is it exactly.” The first week we usually keep pretty low key and let the girls sleep in. They’ve done pretty well on that front in the way that only teenagers can. We took the new ferry service around Pensacola Bay on Tuesday and that was a lot of fun. Sarah will move into her first apartment this month and Emily started a new job. Rob and Sam took a road trip to Texas and next week Rob and I will be heading to the ACCS conference. Abby and Claire both made the volleyball teams and practice will be starting up.

I’m excited about blogging again and after the conference next week I am sure I will have lots of thoughts to work through. I know it is a conference for classical schools and teachers but the overlap with parenting is always there. Plus, after hearing former Trinitas teacher and long time friend Josh Gibbs speak at our graduation last weekend I am already asking myself some pretty big questions. Mainly, if it’s not enough to just send your kid to a classical Christian school what does a classical family look like? How can we bring more harmony and connectedness between church, family and school life?

If you used to keep up with my former blogs you might remember something I liked to call Friday Funny. I think it will make the occasional appearance here and today is it inaugural debut.

IMG-7023We have two cats, Tom and Milo, that we dearly love. But Milo can be a bit, shall we say, needy? He loves to be in the back bedroom of the two oldest girls and will whiiiiiine until he is allowed in. Well Sarah is a nurse working nights so some days he just cannot be in there. But does he understand that? Of course not, so he drives the rest of us crazy carrying on trying to convince us to let him in. The other day Samuel had had enough and remembering that the cats hate the vacuum cleaner he went and parked it in the hallway by the girls’ room. Worked perfectly! That was some smart thinking.

Have a good weekend, y’all!