April 30, 2009

Family Fun at Stone Mountain

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens - He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited
Isaiah 45:18

April 29, 2009

Exciting Day Out

We just had a very family fun filled day! After lunch, we ventured our way to Stone Mountain Park, I have never been and it had been a really long time for Jeramy since he's visited. It was such a beautiful, warm day! The skies were a beautiful blue with perfectly white clouds. We took pictures and walked around. Most everything was closed, so it was pretty quite and peaceful, apart from the occasional whine from Moriah, when the stroller stopped moving. I really enjoyed walking among the trees and seeing those big stones line the pathways. There are several trails to walk, lots of little shops, a sky lift or you could hike up to the top.

It's really amazing to see just this humongous giant big rock that juts out of the earth. I was fascinated by two things. First, that the face we approached (where the Lee, Jackson, Davis carving is) there is no incline up to the top - it's just this huge big wall that comes out of nowhere! Second, that there are trees coming out of the rock! It reminds me of when Moses encountered a few rocks and by a miracle of God, caused water to sping forth. It's as though those trees shouldn't be there, but they are! Isn't God creation marvelous, scarred with the Fall, but still we see His glory!

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth
and their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun
which is as a bridegroom coming out of His chamber;
it rejoices as a strong man to run its course.
It's rising is from the end of the heavens
and its circuit to the other end of them
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalm 19:1-6

Afterwards, we meandered our way back home. While Jeramy and the girls took a nap, I completely relaxed my hair and now it's straight and flowing with body! Maybe some might think this is trivial - but black women, in general, have a really hard time growing their hair to any length. It could take years to grow hair even to shoulder length because it breaks so easily when chemically treated. Many black women wear wigs, have braids or a weave sewn in, or like some middle-age women, have a short feminine afro. Not all that many have their own hair falling down to their shoulders and fewer past their shoulders. It is an envy among black women, I think. Previously I would texturize my hair and resist any heat applications, which would allow it to grow, but it didn't have the best appearance, and it still broke quite a bit. Hopefully now, I can keep the straight style, resisting heat, and have long hair all at the same time. At least, that's my hope.

Anyway, after my beautifying process we went out to dinner at Mega Taco on Beaver Ruin road, next to the Little Giant! This is a fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant and it is wonderful! The entrees cost very little, maybe $8 average, and you get two full meals because they're so huge! I ordered a chicken special burrito for $5.99 and got about 1 pound of wonderfully seasoned chicken in a 12 inch flour tortilla, covered in white cheese sauce, with rice and beans on the side. Tacos are only $1. Jeramy ordered a steak, carne asada, and got two big steaks for $8 with rice, beans, "salad," and two flour tortillas! It was so wonderful! Forget On the Border - go to Mega Taco on Beaver Ruin and Indian Trail. You'll pay a lot less and get A LOT more!

April 28, 2009

Hmm, Cloth Diapers

Thanks to my friend and advocate of cloth diapering, Erin, I have been able to try, for free, some methods of cloth diapering. Sunday, she brought several bags for me to test and I will have to say that the all-in-one cloth diapers are by far my favorite because their just like a disposable, except not disposable. They're all put together for you. All you have to do is rinse and wash. And their not as bulky as the other cloth diapers, especially those with the pre-folded ones. I like the snap-ez ones because you can really get a good fit around the waist and leg. And because they fasten with snaps, Moriah is less able to undo them. I wish they weren't so expensive. They average about $18-$20 a pop!

The pocket diapers can vary. Some have an absorbent layer built in, while others do not - you have to add all of the absorbent layers. You can choose to add absorbency with a pre-folded diaper, a towel or fleece, microfiber, etc.

Fitted diapers are a bit bulky, though all of the cloth diapers can tend to be. They're a little more cumbersome to secure with the water resistant cover over top. Moriah finds all the velcro quite tempting to unfasten if she's not wearing a onesie.

Erin is a big fan of the pre-folds with a diaper cover. These work very well in the daytime, though they are a little bulky in the rear. The pre-folded diapers, in general, are very bulky, but they're so cost effective. The other absorbent materials, microfleece, microfiber terry, hemp, etc. are much thinner, I would suppose, but they're so expensive.

I will have to admit that they're a lot more work than disposables. With disposables, you pay for the convenience and cleanliness for your hands. With cloth, you save money, a lot of money! if your willing to do the work. The part I really don't like about cloth is the rinse and wring in the toilet water. There are diaper sprayers, like a kitchen sink sprayer, that attaches onto the water valve behind the toilet. Perhaps one day, if we really invest in this, we'll get one, but the fact remains - your hands are in dirty water with poo and pee! I have considered disposable/flushable liners that would keep their bottoms dry and make poo more hands free.

Anyway, we have set an initial budget for this investment and perhaps later, we can pay a little more for ease and convenience. I keep trying and testing and we'll figure it out.

April 26, 2009

Grace in Trials

Father of mercies,
Hear me for Jesus' sake.
I am sinful even in my closest walk
with thee;
it is of thy mercy I died not long ago;
Thy grace has given me faith in the cross
by which thou hast reconciled thyself to me
and me to thee,
drawing me by thy great love,
reckoning me as innocent in Christ though
guilty in myself.
Giver of all graces,
I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me,
for it is hard to practise what I believe.
Strengthen me against temptations.
My heart is an unexhausted fountain of sin,
a river of corruption since childhood days,
flowing on in every pattern of behaviour;
Thou hast disarmed me of the means
in which I trusted,
and I have no strength but in thee.
Thou alone canst hold back my evil ways, 
but without thy grace to sustain me I fall.
Satan's darts quickly inflame me,
and the shield that should quench them
easily drops from my hand:
Empower me against his wiles and assaults.
Keep me sensible of my weakness,
and of my dependence upon thy strength.
Let every trial teach me more of thy peace,
more of thy love.
Thy Holy Spirit is given to increase thy graces,
and I cannot preserve or improve them
unless he works continually in me.
May he confirm my trust in thy promised help,
and let me walk humbly in dependence
upon thee,
for Jesus' sake.


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.  pp 310-311.)

April 25, 2009

Two Things, Real Quick

First: Today I went shopping and had to buy more disposable diapers for Lily.  After Jeramy's reaction to the cost, I've felt prompted to really look into cloth diapering and now, I'm convinced about the benefits.  I'm really excited to begin this new method of infant sanitation!  Maybe that's unusual.  I suppose the way I see it, this is another facet of our lives that can honor Christ as far as the stewardship we've been given is concerned.  Cloth diapering will be more cost effective in the long-run, i.e. financial stewardship, and it will help reduce the waste that is piling up in landfills and such, i.e. ecologically frugal.  Also I read somewhere that having cloth diapers helps in potty training because when they mess their pants, it's in cloth, like underwear.  Whoo hoo, cloth diapering!

Second: Let this video really hit home to you, in regards to my anti-abortion post yesterday.  If it were your very own life, would you not be as passionate about it?


O Thou that hearest prayer,
Teach me to pray.
I confess that in religious exercises
the language of my lips and the feelings 
of my heart have not always agreed,
that I have frequently taken carelessly upon
my tongue a name never pronounced above
without reverence and humility,
that I have often desired things which would
have injured me,
that I have depreciated some of my chief mercies,
that I have erred both on the side of my hopes
and also of my fears,
that I am unfit to choose for myself,
for it is not in me to direct my steps.
Let thy Spirit help my infirmities,
for I know not what to pray for as I ought.
Let him produce in me wise desires by which 
I may ask right things, 
then I shall know thou hearest me.
May I never be importunate for temporal blessings,
but always refer them to thy fatherly goodness,
for thou knowest what I need before I ask;
May I never think I prosper unless my soul prospers,
or that I am rich unless rich toward thee,
or that I am wise unless wise unto salvation.
May I seek first thy kingdom and its righteousness.
May I value things in relation to eternity,
May my spiritual welfare be my chief solicitude.
May I be poor, afflicted, despised and have 
thy blessing,
rather than be successful in enterprise,
or have more than my heart can wish,
or be admired by my fellow-men,
if thereby these things make me forget thee.
May I regard the world as dreams, lies, vanities,
vexation of spirit,
and desire to depart from it.
And may I seek my happiness in thy favour,
image, presence, service.


(The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Ed. Arthur Bennett.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975.  pp 194-195.)

April 24, 2009

The Wickedness of Obama


Be enraged!!  


Do something!!!!!!!!!

I will NEVER forget the godless, liberal, wicked, selfish words, 

"just one issue."

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,

And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue,

Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol,

behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,

If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,

And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,

And the light around me will be night,"

Even the darkness is not dark to You,

And the night is as bright as the day.

Darkness and light are alike to You.

For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother's womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully

and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.

O that You would slay the wicked, O God;

Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

For they speak against You wickedly,

And Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD?

I hate them with the utmost hatred;

They have become my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139

(The video is not graphic.)

April 23, 2009

Why Women Don't Stay Home

The more I stay home raising my children, the more I think about why most women don't stay home - it's hard.

Besides the everyday, day after day, household affairs that so quickly become mundane, there's the physically, mentally, spiritually demanding work of raising up the next generation.  To say that it's exhausting would be an understatement: chasing toddlers, breastfeeding, bathing, dressing, changing diapers, disciplining, potty training, homeschooling (in the future), laundry, and vacuuming peas and corn niblets off of the floor.  All of this work happens everyday, around the clock, 24/7, without regard to weekends, holidays or nights off.  It is impossible to do all of this and maintain some semblance of sanity without the grace of God.

What really makes it difficult for me personally is the consistent discipline when Moriah pushes her limits after receiving and understanding clear instructions that the action is displeasing and persists in disobedience.  Another facet to this behavior is the constant clamor that proceeds from her mouth in the form of whining, complaining, crying and shouting.  

Being a believer presents another difficulty - Moriah is already reflecting sinful behaviors that I'm currently fighting.  How convicting it is for any believing mother to watch her children mirror her own sin.

[Jesus] said to his disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble."  Luke 17:1-2

Through Christ, all the wrath against my sin has been fully and completely satisfied on the cross and there remains none left for me.  Praise God!!!  But the seriousness of passing stumbling blocks on to my children is a high priority for God, nonetheless.  

Staying home is really foreign to me.  Well, I'll admit that staying home is more convenient for me - being content to stay home, is my biggest struggle when I'm overwhelmed by the amount of work that it involves.  It would be so much easier to drop my babies off for someone else to take responsibility while I go do something totally unrelated for 8 or 10 hours and then return.  I wouldn't be accountable for training them up in the way they should go if I'm not with them the majority of their waking hours.  Children are most influenced by who they spend the majority of their time with - friends, teachers, classmates, daycare workers, etc.  At least if they're reflecting me, I know who is influencing them and how.  I know what sins they're exposed to.  And as I reflect the glory of Christ more and more as I'm sanctified, by God's grace I can discipline them further toward godliness as we grow together.  Yeah, this is not easy.  Sanctification is anything but easy, but there is joy in it, because we look increasingly more like Christ who redeemed us from the power, pleasure and vanity of sin.

Being a wife and a mother is the first divine, God-ordained role for women.  We are the only ones who can propagate the human race.  God has instilled within us the natural ability to nurture the next generation.  This is the purpose of our creation.  There is no greater aspiration that we can hope to achieve.  Before the rise of feminism, keeping the home was normative, now it is counter-cultural.  The joy comes from understanding and holding to the hope that it is divinely mandated.  Women who keep their home and do so with joy and contentment knowing that we are living in obedience to His Word and created order, bring glory to Christ.

God, please forgive me when I'm not content to stay at home.  Please forgive me for so easily becoming angered at my daily work load.  I know that I don't have near as much as others with more children and should therefore, be thankful.  Forgive me when I'm not thankful.  Forgive me when I'm not depending on Your grace to sustain my mind and body.  Please give me strength to take every thought captive to Christ and fight this spiritual battle within my four walls with the sword of the Spirit, that is Your Word.  I pray that you would encourage me daily in this fight and not to give up, knowing that Christ has won the battle and He has redeemed my soul.  Soften my heart that I might always desire after your holiness, glory and righteousness.  In Christ's name,

April 22, 2009

Sweet Sisters

How does Moriah get along with Lily?

At first, Moriah was hesitant and a little fearful, I think, to touch Lily or get near her.  But now she likes her very much.  She shows her affection and kisses her.  She tries to hug or hold her sometimes.  Often she'll point at her or her things and say, "baby!"  She goes with me to check on her while sleeping.  They take baths together.

How does Lily like her big sister?

Lily has become more and more interested in Moriah.  She likes to watch her play and eat and read.  She follows her as she runs and walks across the room.  She smiles at her and talks to her.  I think there's a little admiration going on.

April 21, 2009


One of my favorite sounds is to hear Moriah laughing, especially when she squeals.  Here are some recent pictures of her.  She will be 17 months on Sunday and more exciting than that, we'll start sitting on the potty chair!!!  Her interest in it has grown over the past month and I think she's ready to sit with no pressure to perform.  I think I'm more excited about potty - training than she is.  Check her out in her cute little girl pj's and bed head semi-contained.

April 20, 2009

Two Things, Real Quick

First, Jeramy has been working at his new job for a full two weeks now and he enjoys it.  He says it reminds him of being in the military, there's a similar mindset with the people he works with.  He's been able to have several conversations about spiritual things with his co-workers and he's busy memorizing signals, 10-codes and other codes for the job - there's 200 total.  He also says that there is a measure of peace involved because he knows that he's got a two-year commitment after the probationary period.  So, that relieves a bit of stress.  :-)

Second, my Mom has had a contract on her house for about 2 weeks and she'll be moving down to GA in June.  On Easter Sunday she told the family of how God had answered her prayers for a relatively quick, easy sale and He listened.  Of course there is excitement and added stress.  But one Scripture passage in particular comes to my mind when I think of the close vicinity in which my mother and I will live:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  
James 1:2-4

Pray for me, please.

April 19, 2009

Confessions of a Contentious Woman

I am a contentious woman. I am quick to become angry at the ones I am supposed to love most. I remember offenses all too easily. I fight bitterness daily and all too often give in to it's unforgiving spirit. As this sin festers inside my heart, as offenses increase, I become reclusive and cut off all but necessary communication. I nag my husband and, in forgetfulness, become ungrateful for the tasks he does willingly undertake. I am self-centered and selfish. I am strong-willed and stubborn. I am vain and proud. I am a glutton for the sweet and the salty, crunchy and soft. I want to be in control of everything that concerns me and be independent. Don't second-guess my decisions or actions and let me vindicate myself now.

Oh, how I hate this body of death! Lord Jesus, come and rescue me from it's presence and influence! Let me walk with You in Your glory, full of holiness and righteousness! I don't want any part of this woman any longer! She brings no joy, no hope, and no peace! I want to be a gracious woman but the flesh gives no power for heart transformation.

How could it be that God, before the beginning of time, could have chosen to save me - a completely helpless, rebellious, awful sinner?! Of all people, I am the least that deserves to be saved from His wrath. What humility this incurs.

The covenant love of God's foreknowledge seals my salvation from spiritual death by the kindness of His grace. The sacrifice of Christ applies His grace, from the first action of new birth to the last. Justification in Christ alone, declares that I'm not guilty of all this, my sin. Sanctification into the image of Christ brings me hope. The fellowship of godly, transparent, gracious women (of whom there are so few) encourages my spirit. The resurrection and glorification bring me hope of rescue from this body of death.

April 18, 2009

My Grandfather, John H. Jackson

God has placed me in a musical family. My Grandfather, John Jackson, was a Piedmont blues style guitarist. He played guitar, slide guitar and banjo. A few of my uncles and my Dad picked up the guitar also and continued in his steps. So, I'm not a foreigner to the string instrument family, having grown up listening to it all the time.My Mom's side of the family were all vocalists. Her Dad played the harmonica, better drunk she tells me, but my Grandmother sang constantly. I'm more comfortable playing violin, than I am piano or singing, simply because I've had more formal training on violin. But I thought I would share some of my roots with you.

Tonight I found my Grandpa on Youtube of all places! Enjoy this footage of him in action.

That Will Never Happen No More

John Henry

Rocks and Gravel

My Grandpa never made it a big deal whenever he would go somewhere to perform, whether it was locally or abroad. He was often on tour, away from his family - that's why I've never had aspirations of being famous. I was very much adverse to it because I considered, after seeing the effects down the generation, that family is a priority. Literally, as my husband says, your first ministry. But these links will take you to some resources that will tell you much of his life, some of which I saw, but much I didn't. I wish I knew him better personally, but I suppose it was never in God's will. However, that voice and style are forever embedded deep within me, whenever I arrange, accompany, freestyle, etc. I reflect the "busyness" of Piedmont blues.

Music Tree Artist Management

Blues World

Cascade Blues Association

I really enjoy playing very much and, for a time, I thought I might become a professional violinist in some orchestra somewhere. But the Lord did not permit me to remain on that path. What I'm doing now is much more rewarding than some short term musical nostalgia. I'm just a regular person with a visible and audible gift. I would gladly give it up to be able to walk in holiness with Christ, outside the presence of sin, for that is true joy. Amen!

April 17, 2009

Answered Prayer: Code Green

All are better in the Anderson household.  Lily is back to normal except for a mild cough.  Praise the Lord!!

Ditto for Moriah, back to normal except for a cough and light nose dripping.

Jeramy experienced some nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing today, but he's quickly on the road to recovery.  No migraine issues today - always a praise!

I have been completely back to total health yesterday and today!  Praise God!!!  I just need a little more sleep.

Thanks for prayin'.

April 16, 2009

Black History in the New Century

Two Sundays ago a cute little girl caught me and my daughter Lily in the bathroom at church.  After walking in she looked at me, then at the baby and asked me, "Are you taking care of someone else's baby or is that your baby?"

I smiled and replied, "That's my baby."

"Oh," she said.  "She doesn't look anything like me, does she?" I said, smiling.

"No." She said, then hesitated to say, "She has a light face and you have a brown face."

"Yeah, maybe she'll get darker later."  I said, still genuinely smiling.

Children can be very real without being malicious.  That's what makes them cute and special. :-)

It's interesting that so many African American things are happening right now, at the beginning of the turn of the century.  The United States National Slavery Museum opened in June 2006 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, not too far from where my Mom grew up.  Then in November 2006 there was a ground-breaking ceremony for a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, which hopes to be completed in 2010.  All are familiar with the events of this past election and subsequent January when Obama took the oath for the President of the United States.  Finally, I read yesterday in the NY Times that the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. has contracted a design team for a National Museum of African American History and Culture to be built just across 14th Street from the National Museum of American History.  This new museum is projected to be completed in 2015.  All this makes my head spin.

In light of these current events, one might hope that racism and prejudice in the U. S. have also died out but it is still present.  Jeramy and I had hopes of a leadership position in a church in Garland, Texas (near Dallas), but were rejected because the music minister's wife was racist and made threatening comments to the search committee.  That sin has been dealt with by their pastor and after they had repented and asked us back, it was too late for us to go - the ship had sailed.

Inter-ethnic marriages and families still turn heads in the southern states.  One day after Jeramy and I married, we stopped in Charleston, West Virginia to eat and the looks we got were a little condemning.  My American black friend and his white wife from the Czech Republic live in Alabama and are treated like second-class citizens.  She sent me a few msnbc videos about it.  A white couple I befriended in Seminary adopted a black child and live in DeSoto, Missouri.  They always get comments like, "Why adopt a black child?"  And this precious baby was originally destined for abortion, but the mother couldn't afford it.  Did you know that minority groups, black and latino, have the highest rates for abortions today?

The Bible is very clear that people of all tribes, nations, tongues, peoples and languages descended from two persons created in God's image with all the genetic variability needed to make what we see today.  When the language was confused at the Tower of Babel, environmental stresses brought about the distinct visual characteristics of ethnic groups.  The "Hamitic curse" only applied to his son, Canaan, which was wiped out when Israel took over the Promised Land.  And the Apostle Paul, as he preached on Mars Hill in Acts 17, proclaimed that God "made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation . . ."  Genetically speaking, differences in skin color, eye shape, etc. only amount to 0.012% of genetic variations.  (Ken Ham, et. al. One Blood, The Biblical Answer to Racism. Green Forest: Master Books, Inc., 1999. pp. 54. ISBN: 0-89051-276-0)

Answers in Genesis is an excellent resource ministry that scientifically combats evolutionary worldviews, such as racism, from a Biblical presupposition.  It is worth checking out.  

April 15, 2009

Answered Prayer: Lily's Well

I just came back from the pediatrician's office for a follow-up visit after the ER.  After listening to her lungs, checking her ears, color, breathing, smiles and kicks, the Dr. gave Lily a clean bill of health.  I will continue her breathing medicine until Saturday, but everything with her checks out okay.  Last night she slept 7 hours.  Praise the Lord!!!

Moriah still has nasal congestion with a nasty cough and some occasional fits of coughing.  But she does not have a fever and her color, appetite, disposition remain normal.  She'll be given a little Delsym and should fully recover soon.

Jeramy is still cold-free!  Praise God!!  Although he is fighting a migraine; it's not contagious but can be terrible.

My throat is no longer sore, but sinus congestion with cough and sneezing remain.  I have no fever and I think my disposition is normal, though I still, on occasion, nag my husband.  I'm allowed to take a few medications moderately while breast feeding.  I should be better in a day or two.

Thanks for praying.

April 14, 2009

Thy Mercy My God

This is a great hymn by John Stoker.  There is a lot of praise in this hymn for the encouragement of holding to the Doctrines of Grace.  Click on the link and enjoy the music.  The video is not really anything to watch but the music is performed by Caedmon's Call and is of excellent quality.

Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song, 
the joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue.
Thy free grace alone from the first to the last 
hath won my affection and bound my soul fast.

With out thy sweet mercy I could not live here;
Sin would reduce me to utter despair;
but through thy free goodness my spirits revive
and He that first made me still keeps me alive.

Thy mercy is more than a match for my heart
which wonders to feel its own hardness depart;
dissolved by thy goodness I fall to the ground
and weep for the praise of the mercy I've found.

Great Father of mercies thy goodness I own
and the covenant love of thy crucified Son;
all praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine.

All praise to the Spirit whose whisper divine
seals mercy and pardon and righteousness mine!

April 13, 2009

Update: A Little Improvement

Lily does not cough as often as she did, however when she does it's still pretty scary.  The cough is the only real indicator of her condition.  Her ears are healed and she'll finish out the antibiotic as prescribed.  She is still just as sweet and active.  I could just put her on a stick and lick her off!  :-)  Her appetite is normal and she maintains a normal body temperature.  The ER discharge papers indicated that the bronchiolitis virus could last up to a month!  I continue to pray for God's grace and healing.  

Moriah is coughing pretty scarily also and her nose runs off her face.  She no longer has a fever and has maintained a normal body temp for about two days.  She is just as active and her appetite is normal.  She is sleeping well, besides the nighttime coughing.

So far as I can tell, Jeramy does not have any hint of sickness.  Praise the Lord!  

As for myself, I have had a sore throat since Saturday and today I've started coughing and sneezing.  All else - sleeping, eating, etc. - is normal.  Sunday I was blessed with about 3 and 1/2 hours of afternoon nap time!  Praise God!! :-)  I understand that Lily's (and possibly Moriah's) condition will last a while and I'm in it for the long haul.

We really appreciate your prayers.  Thank you.

Four Types of Women

Charles Swindoll preached a series of sermons from the book of Proverbs entitled: You and Your Daughter.  (Click the link and scroll down.)  They're in two parts with two sermons each for a total of four sermons (Jan 13-14 and 15-16).  Today I listened to Part One and thought I would share my notes, but I definitely recommend listening to these 20 minute talks.  

The Foolish Woman is thick, dull, and sluggish to the things of God.  She is bent on destruction (14:1) and is in constant commotion and turbulence.  (9:13-18)  She maintains a negative attitude; is deceptive and insensitive to sin (mocks at sin).  (14:8-9)  She is argumentative.  (20:3)  The foolish woman is the product of the flesh (22:15) and is a disappointment to her parents.  (17:21)

The Wise Woman knows the value of wisdom.  (31:10)  She has a submissive, servant's spirit; she spends her time building up someone besides herself.  (31:11)  She is constructive.  (14:1)  She knows the value of skillful hands.  (31:13)  She handles money wisely (31:14-16) and knows the blessedness of hard work.  (31:17-25)

The Contentious Woman is one given to strife.  She is easily angered, habitually argumentative and quarrelsome by nature.  (21:9, 19)  She is a nag and is constantly discontent.  (19:13)  She has a strong, stubborn will.  (27:15-16)  Contentious moms raise contentious daughters.  When God brings calamity to break the will of the contentious woman, it is so disastrous there is no healing - only God can deal with her.  (6:12-15)

The Gracious Woman shows favor, consideration and acceptance in her lips, appearance and in response to authority.  She is a woman of appreciation and affection.  (Proverbs 11:16)

April 11, 2009

Off to the ER

After 48 hours, Lily's cough was still scary.  So I called the office, as instructed, to schedule a recheck.  However, upon speaking with the nurse on call, she directed me to take Lily to the Emergency Room.  Off we go, wildly driving to the ER at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.  Once the nurses and doctors check her, they tell me to continue caring for her as I have and there is nothing more that could be done unless her condition worsens.  She does, in fact, have bronchiolitis, which in older children simply acts as a cold (which is what Moriah now has).  Her sickness, I'm told, will just have to improve with the passing of time - her body will have to fight it.  I'm thankful that breastfeeding has gone well so that her immune system might combat it more effectively, compounded with the prayers of the saints, by the grace of God. 

After our brief visit, I calmly and carefully drive back home, somewhat relieved, but not totally.  I feel so out of control.  I can't do anything more than what I've done to make her better.  There's so much stress on my shoulders it is overwhelming.  Jeramy feels a little overcome also.  Read his blog post for today.  I have no idea how parents with more children handle it when all their kids are sick.  Please continue praying for us - for the healing of little bodies; wisdom to care for them; the trust, faith, and encouragement in the sovereignty of Christ and the strength of His arm.

April 10, 2009

Update: Success!

Lily has just taken her entire dose of antibiotic for the night!  Praise the Lord!!!  Laying down on her back on the sofa, I squeezed a drop at a time into her cheek with a medicine dropper.  I'm so thankful!  Lily remains smiling and pleasant.  Her cough is still scary and she still maintains somewhat of a temperature but she is eating and sleeping very well.

Moriah was seen by the pediatrician who thoroughly examined her and was not alarmed by her condition.  Her disposition, color, appetite, excretion are all normal.  Her ears and her lungs are both clear and healthy.  The Dr. said that her cough is probably just contained in her throat and gave us some suggestions, such as popsicles - courtesy of Kelly Carter.  She will be taking Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours and we will be watching for any major changes.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  This was Moriah's first time eating a whole popsicle by herself!

I really want to thank Kelly for taking her time and resources to drive us all to the doctor's office this afternoon.  Today was Jeramy's second day at his new job, Dispatch Officer for the Norcross City Police Dept, and we were unable to make it to the pediatrician without assistance.  I don't take lightly the sacrifices she's made today to help us out in Christian love.  It is a wonderful thing when the church body can take care of each other - the joy of Christ spreads.  Thank you so much again, Kelly.  I enjoyed all our conversation today.

April 9, 2009

Lily Update

Today Lily's appetite has returned and she's resumed her normal sweetness.  The morning was a bit difficult for her, but the majority of the day has been pleasant, considering.  She is avoiding her antibiotic for her ear infection like the plague.  Her coughs are still scary and she has a fever.  She takes her inhalant very well as she's not afraid of breathing in a mask.

Moriah has begun to experience more of the barking, wet, wheezing cough and tonight she had a fever.  I gave her some Tylenol and her fever was reduced, though not completely broken.  Her disposition is normal - jolly troublemaker.

At our church, the nursery volunteers always comment that Moriah is so well behaved.  I'm so glad - because she's not at home.  If anyone denies the Doctrine of Original Sin, let them keep a toddler for a day!  If you tell her, "No!" she will reach for it again, watching you to see your reaction.  She does this over and over and over again.  I think God gave us this beautiful little girl for the purpose of my sanctification, particularly in the areas of consistent discipline, patience and forbearance.

April 8, 2009

Sick Little Lily

Please pray for our little Lily.  Last night she was really congested and this morning her disposition was definitely opposite her normal sweetness.  The pediatrician checked her out and she has been diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears and possible RSV or bronchiolitis.  (Click to view info.)  After a few hours of her initial dose of medication she seems to be recovering a bit.  She has returned to smiling and talking, but her cough and congestion still give us a little scare sometimes.  We have specific orders from the doctor and she should show marked improvement within 48 hours.  I'll keep you posted.  Please pray also that this virus would not spread to anyone else.  We really appreciate your prayers.

April 7, 2009

The Contentious Woman

I have meditated and pondered what is the heart condition of contentious women (namely, myself primarily and others generally).  I considered that the sinful root of contention in women is the prideful desire for control.  I analyze my own sinful tendencies, particularly my thoughts, speech and anger.  What causes me to get angry, think sinful thoughts and lash out nagging comments?  The desire for control.  For example: I prefer to keep our home clean, neat and orderly - everything in it's place.  It aides in the ability for everyone to find what they need, when they need it.  When anyone or anything interferes - dirty dishes in the living room, clothes draped on the bed rails, crumbs on the kitchen counter, etc. - then immediately I have the tendency to get annoyed.  Perhaps I'll say something (nag) or not and keep all this bottled up inside.

The desire for control was part of the consequence of the Fall.  Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.  (Gen 3:16)  I always thought that this desire would look like idolatry, that the woman would desire the man.  But the real interpretation of this is that the woman would desire the man's position as head of the household.  She wants control.  How was it that Man fell into sin?  Satan went to the woman, not the man.  The woman first created to submit perfectly was now given the opportunity to lead in a way contrary to her divine role.

I recognize that the desire for me to be in control is sin.  Not only does it produce all kinds of anger and bitterness when circumstances do not happen my way, but I also struggle with anxiety over what I cannot control.  Nagging is the attempt to control other's actions by constant reminders, tone of voice, choice and timing of words.  Come to think of it, everyone hates to be nagged and when they are, they easily recognize it.  But when I nag, I don't recognize it so easy.

I have also realized, first in regards to childbearing, that the opposite of the controlling desire is the desire/ability to trust that God is in complete control.  And not only that He is omnipotent but completely and utterly trustworthy.  He upholds the universe, I think that He can take care of all the things I worry about and try to control that really aren't in my control.  I can't control whether or not I take my next breath.  I can't control whether my toddler throws food on the floor.  I can discipline her, but I can't make her stop doing it.

In the same vain I am responsible to be a good steward of the realm in which God commanded that we take dominion, but fully realizing that God is the owner, operator and complete controller of all things.  This balance is difficult to find and maintain, but I know that God's grace is sufficient for ALL things.  The strength will not come from me, it will come from Christ.  Believing is one thing, walking in this is another.  By God's grace alone . . . 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving  let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  
Philippians 4:6-8

April 6, 2009

The Mom Song

This is a funny video.  Prepare for a Nag-alanche!!

April 4, 2009

Sweet Little Lily

Lily is 3 months old today!

Isn't she beautiful! Two weeks ago she weighed in at 11 pounds 2 ounces. Breast feeding is still going great. She's never had a bottle. She is finally sleeping consistently through the night! Praise God!!! :-) She constantly smiles and coos at me. She waits patiently for feedings after she wakes from her naps. She doesn't whine; she rarely cries. She sucks her thumb while covering her nose. She's just the sweetest baby I've ever known! God has given me great joy by having her in my life, from the first moment until now! She is a wonderful blessing to me. Momma's little Lily! Yeah, there's a little favoritism.

April 3, 2009

Why God Saves

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  
Ephesians 2:4-7

Today I was meditating on this passage and considering the Doctrines of Grace.  I have often thought that it would have been easier for God to omit the creation of Man considering the fact that Man is now fallen and completely and utterly a hostile enemy towards Him.  Why bother sending Christ?  All of Mankind is doomed to Hell - it is all we deserve for our rebellion against His commands.  His holy justice deems that there is no other option for fallen Mankind.  In hell, we would have no one to blame but ourselves.  We chose, out of our own free will, to sin against God and incur eternal wrath on our heads.  He could have left us hardened in sin and saved no one.  

But He chose to save some.  

God was not obligated to save anyone.  We have no claims on salvation.  God could have been perfectly obliged to condemn all to Hell.  All we justly deserve is eternal wrath and punishment poured out upon us for rebelling against a holy and righteous God.  Why would He save any?  Each of us has the same sinful condition.  Each of us deserve nothing but eternal torture of which we would never be able to bear or withstand.  The fires would perpetually become more intense as the heat of God's anger and justice is fully unleashed on our immortal souls for all eternity.  Just as God is infinite and we are finite, we would never know the limits of His anger against our sin.  We cannot begin to comprehend the depths of His hatred of it.

But God chose to save some.

Why?  What purpose did God have in choosing to save any?  I thought a lot on this: so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  God did it to show just how amazing, just how infinitely rich His saving grace really is.  God is incredibly kind!  The richness of God's grace is all the more surpassing, just as the "greatness of His power" at work in believers is surpassing!  How awesome!    We cannot begin to comprehend the height and the depth of His grace toward us who believe!

Amazing grace!  how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, 
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!

Thro' many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace hath bro't me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.

When we've been there ten thousand years, 
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we first begun.

Answered Prayer!

Praise God!  Jeramy just got a call back from the Norcross City Police Department that he is hired and will begin working this coming Thursday!  To all of you who have been in prayer for us and this job opportunity, thank you so much for remembering us in your prayers.  Our prayers to God should never be considered or treated as a little thing and we're so grateful to you all who have spent time in prayer on our behalf!  

April 2, 2009

Funny Friday

You might be a nursing mother . . .
  • if you idolize sleep;
  • if you take 20 minute hot showers 5 times a day;
  • if you and the baby are fussy before a feeding and sleepy after;
  • if your baby and your husband have trouble maintaining eye contact with you;
  • if your nightmares consist of running, jumping, bending over and speed bumps;
  • if you're hesitant to hug people;
  • if you have trouble locating your arm pits;
  • if you do nothing but cross your arms in public;
  • if you adjust your bra straps 8 to 12 times a day;
  • if you now need assistance to reach top shelves;
  • if your walk resembles a body builder;
  • if the absorbent materials in your purse could stop a neighborhood flood;
  • if you consider the multi-purpose functions of Chapstick;
  • if you inadvertently say "moo" while pumping;
  • if you and your infant never part; and
  • if you wake your sleeping infant during the night.

April 1, 2009

The New Birth

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  
John 3:5-6

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Sprit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:6-8

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked, according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of the flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were, by nature, children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) . . . 
Ephesians 2:1-5

Have you ever watched a woman in childbirth?  I've not, but it must be a really awesome (and kind of gross) sight!  The infant is completely, helplessly being pushed out of the birth canal without contributing any effort to the woman's labor (though we might wish he would!).  Have you ever watched the Holy Spirit birth life into a person?  It is truly an awesome and exciting thing to watch!  Imagine . . . weeks, months and years praying, ministering, preaching to and living the gospel before a loved one who is completely opposed to the things of God suddenly show interest in reading God's Word, asking spiritual questions and awakened to the vanity of chasing after the wind to a desire to chase after Christ!!  

The Spirit is birthing one of our loved ones now and Jeramy and I continue to pray fervently for him that God would open His eyes to see the beauty of the holiness and righteousness of Christ and put off the world and pursue Christ, trusting in Him alone for salvation.  This spiritual birth comes as a work of the Holy Spirit in subjection to the will of God and not man.  No person can merely pray a prayer, walk an isle, sign a certificate or take a public bath (baptism) and receive spiritual life if the Holy Spirit has not breathed it into him/her.  There is no work a person can do in order to receive salvation in Christ.  Just as we are powerless over our physical birth, we cannot contribute anything to our spiritual birth.  Even our ability to believe is a gift of God's grace as a result of the new nature in Christ.  All the work of salvation - the new birth of regeneration, grace unto repentance, belief, justification, obedience, sanctification, perseverance, glorification - is ALL the work of God in those who walk according to the Spirit of Christ.  Realizing this makes watching the new birth all the more exciting!!!  And it makes our praise and worship of God all the more glorifying to Him!!!