Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I have been thinking about love recently, not romantic love but the love Christians should have one for another. 

What does this love look like?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." I Cor 13 : 4-7  NIV

 Something that stood out  to me was that Love keeps no record of wrongs, and is not self-seeking.  There is no one-upping anybody, no assuming the worst about someone's behavior,  no "did-you-see-what-she-was-wearing-??", no "does-he-ever-wash-his-car", no "what-a-control-freak", no "does-she-ever-say-no-??", no "does-he-ever-shut-up", no "she-never-says-anything" .  It also struck me how accepting Love is.   I think that this has it's roots in Christ.  Christ came to free us from the bondage of our sins.  And not just from our sins but also from the ties we have to the world.  The worry over how such and such will look to the neighbors or the fear that the people at church will think badly about us because of this or that.  Christ is only concerned with our relationship to Him.  In the place of our cares and silly worries, He offers us an easy yoke and a light burden.  Most of all, He offers us Love, unconditional and  free flowing.  A love that we, as the scum, bottom sucking, sin filled creatures have no right to,  expectation of, or way to earn. 

 Once we experience that Love, we should want to give it to others over and over again because we know that the more we give, the more Christ has to give to us.   This unconditional love makes us more accepting of others and where they are at because we know that Christ is at work within us, molding and shaping us to fit His idea of a Christian and our place in the body, and He will do the same with others.  It isn't our job to change other people to what we think they should be.  That is God's job.  All we have to do is Love them, pray for them, encourage them, and be long suffering with them, especially when they have hurt us, as in taking my feelings out and jumping  on them. We never fully achieve any of this, only strive for it.  Our love is a reflection of His.

And please don't think that I have it perfect.  I am still learning how to love.  How to love my sister when she gets bitey, how to love by controlling my temper when all I want to do is to break and throw and curse everything in sight, how to love the people I don't like or understand.   And I am still trying to figure out how loving people looks for me.  My natural inclination is to give everybody a present.  That is appropriate at times, but not very often!  But I know that all I have to do is wait.  God will show me where my gifts lie and how I can best use them for the building of His kingdom. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013



Have you ever stopped and thought about what makes life beautiful?  I think that it is the little things.  The warm, fuzzy body and soft purr of a kitten in the morning, the wonderful feeling of being clean after you have been really dirty or sweaty, the warm sun on your face or a cool breeze that smells of a storm, the first little flower in the spring after everything has been barren for so long.  Baby laughs and smiles, a good dinner, a really encouraging chit-chat with a friend or member of your family, the first hint of cool weather.  Or the wonderful tired feeling at the end of the day when you know that you have worked hard and gotten a lot accomplished.   There really is so much that God has given us. I guess we have to be like Pollyanna and look for things to thank Him for.

  'This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.' Psalm 118:24


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Strong and Capable


I have been doing a lot of reading in the last few months about women of the colonial period.  I have also be doing a fair bit of thinking (dangerous, I know!).  I have been wondering why Alexis de Tocqueville, (Democracy in America, published 1835), when he  visited in young United States in the early 1830's and said that American women were some of the most content.   What is it about their circumstances, worldview, or religion that made them so content.  Why did these women send their husbands, brothers, and sons to fight tyranny so willing?  They took on all the responsibilities of not only home but farm or business, freeing their male relations to fight, and then gave those responsibilities right back to the men without a second thought for the "freedom" they were giving up.  Compare that to the women of the Second World War, who also took on jobs that once belonged to men, and hated giving them back.  Why did the colonial women make their own fabric?  Why did they give up tea in favor of coffee or home-brewed concoctions ? There are stories about women from some of the most respectable families in a couple of counties in North Carolina that pledged to themselves that they would not receive the addresses of any man who had not served his country in her time of need.   Why? Why? Why???   

I think that these women, like the men in their lives, believed passionately in freedom and for them principles always came first.  They were willing to suffer any deprivation, bear any hardship necessary.  The word that always comes to mind when thinking about these women is 'strong' or 'capable'.  They realized how important the cause was and as they didn't think it was their place to fight the British in hand to hand combat or duke it out in the halls of Congress, they took the British on in their own way, in their own sphere.  They freely took on added burdens (I mean really, no one is going to volunteer to card their own wool, spin it into thread, weave their own fabric, and then make it into clothes for themselves, their families and neighbors when they could go down to the store and buy some unless they are really dedicated). Principles really were the most important and we can see that because they acted on them. 

One of the other things that I have noticed is that the men of the era would tell anyone who would stand still long enough how great their wives were in a way most men don't today.  Most men say yeah I've got a great wife and then spend the rest of the conversation talking about how they bought themselves a boat.  The men of the colonial era attribute almost all of their success to the up bringing their mothers gave them and the encouragement of their wives.  John Adams writes to his wife Abigail:

" I think I have sometimes observed to you in conversation, that upon examining the biography of illustrious men, you will generally find some female about them in the relation of mother,or wife, or sister, to whose instigation a great part of their merit is to be ascribed... I believe that the two Howes have not very great women for wives.  If they had, we should suffer more from their exertions than we do.  This is our good fortune.  A smart wife would have put Howe in possession of Philadelphia a long time ago."

Some else said " We cannot appeal in vain for what is good, to that sanctuary where all that is good has its proper home-the female bosom."

I believe that because these men praised and valued what their wives did for them, the wives were happy and contented knowing that they were doing something worth while.  They in turn submitted willingly to their husbands and encouraged them to keep fighting for right. That is why the women of the War for American Independence could give back the farm or business to their husbands and return to their normal work and Women of WWII couldn't.  The women of WWII had lost all belief in the value of what they were doing.

All of my reading and thinking has lead me to the question of what kind of a woman do I want to be. Do I want to be strong and capable, the kind of woman that my husband can trust, the one who challenges and encourages him to stand strong and be more Godly and receives the same? 

Forgive the length of this post but this is what I have been thinking and chewing on recently and I thought I would share it with you and see if it resonated with anyone else.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year in Review: 2012

2012 has been a great year for our family.  We have grown and changed, made new friends, and done new things .  One of the biggest things to happen to us this year is to add a new member of the family.  Twitch died in middle of January, after being with us for almost 12 years.  We weren't planning on adding another cat until one of the others kicked the the can, but as He so often does, God had other plans. 

At the end of June, while making a regular trip to our local Publix, we noticed a kitten run across a side road and into a storm cauldron.  Mom decided that a tiny kitten needed to be rescued and so thirty minutes, a half a can of wet cat food, and a lot of prayer later, we had a new cat.  At first while we played the it's-a-boy-it's-a-girl game, we called her Stormy since we found her in a storm drain and she is grey and white.  Once the vet confirmed that she is a girl "Stormy" didn't seem to fit.  We finally decided on "Milli", short for Millimeter since she was and is so small.  Later "Milli" changed to "Millie", short for "Millicent" although Jacqueline still insists on Millimeter.

This cat was from the first wild and crazy.  Don't believe us?  Here's the proof she inhaled to many car fumes... 

This one makes us giggle like crazy.

In this picture, Millie is playing with her tail while draped over the back of a chair.

The rest of the year has been full of smaller but still enjoyable things.

  In January, Ron Paul made a campaign stop 30 minutes from our house and we HAD to go.

   March meant an Aquarium trip.

 April saw all new windows in our house.

In September we spent several enjoyable days visiting Miss Laura and her kids. We also took a day trip to Madison and stopped at a local tea house.

All the other days are filled with friends, silliness, projects and just enjoying the time that God has given us with each other. We pray that next year will be another year of growth and enjoyment.