April 30, 2010

A Dose of Encouragement

Day after day, you feel like it's the same thing. You get up, take care of the children, cook, clean, do laundry and the dishes. The next day, you do it all over again. Some days may not be as ordinary, repetitive and mundane: you might run errands, go to church and fellowship with other families and such. As wives and mothers we can easily feel like the tasks that occupy our time, day after day, caring for the needs of our families, goes unnoticed and unappreciated. It becomes especially discouraging when you see evidence that your work is taken for granted. You begin to doubt and ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Temptation comes to become bitter and listen to the lies of the devil, "You know that the burden outweighs the blessing. You should just give up."

And you get tired. Not just physically tired from the tasks of the day, but the kind of tiredness that carries over each day, more like a mental tiredness or exhaustion. You wake up the next morning still tired from the previous day's, week's and month's tasks, feeling unable to catch up in a way that you would be fully prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually to serve the needs of your family with joy. You cry out for an extended vacation or at least someone to help you bear your load.

Here is a little encouragement that I have received from God's Word.

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Genesis 2:18

Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
Genesis 3:20

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Mark 10:45

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against these things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
Ephesians 6:5-8

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands,so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
Titus 2:3-5

Women were created to be helpers as wives and to bear children. This is the will of God for all women (generally) because it is the reason we exist. This is the greatest way that we can glorify God, by taking up our created calling as wives and mothers.

In Christ we are able to put off the works of the flesh and to freely walk in the good deeds for which the grace of God was shown to us. In Christ, we now have the desire to do that which God wants us to do, to glorify God in Christ. His Word has revealed to us what those good works are which He prepared beforehand for us to practice.

Although slavery has been abolished many years ago, we can still feel like slaves to the daily work that we feel must be done. Our husbands are not holding us down, our Master is Christ. It is from Him that we must seek our approval. Although we may feel all our efforts are unappreciated and taken for granted, Christ sees them all. When we do them, we do them as unto Christ and not just for our families. Our families receive the benefits of our labor (read ministry), but in the end, if we remain faithful and gentle in our work, we will be rewarded in the end. Let our desire be to hear Christ speak these words as He looks us in the eye, "Well, done my good and faithful servant." And we may receive some of those awards even in the short-term when our children grow up considering it normal to serve, even desiring to serve others. Let's not grow weary of doing good, but let us persevere in hope. Before we know it these years will be gone and a new chapter of service will open up on our lives. Keep pressing on, looking to Christ.

April 29, 2010

Christmas in April! Part 2: Tupperware!

When Grandma Jane came up to watch the girls when Jeramy went to TX for a couple of days, she decided to give Jeramy and me our housewarming present: Tupperware! It was really funny how she approached me with it. She said that she didn't want to offend me (since our cabinets were in disarray) but asked if would I like to have some more organization in the kitchen. I said I was open to the idea, but I didn't know what would work to make it better. Then she said the magic word, "Tupperware". So I called Jennifer and she came over and spent about 3 hours with us gabbing in the kitchen and helping me to decide what items would work best. Let me tell you that it looks awesome! Notice how much more room there is available in our cabinets! I do confess that I was unwilling at this time to get rid of some of the boxes. :-)

My in-laws are so very generous. Through them I have learned more about how immeasurable the grace of God really is, because you can't even begin to pay back all the kindness you've received. It is the same with the Andersons. Thank you so much Mr. and Mrs. Anderson for your really awesome housewarming gift!!!

AIO Cloth Diaper Deal

Simple Wonders Diapers is having a great offer right now for you cloth diapering families. When you order $10 or more of any BumGenius, FLIP or Econobum product you will receive a free BumGenius All-in-One cloth diaper of your choice! The AIO BumGenius cloth diaper is valued at $15.95 on most cloth diaper websites. Click here to see the offer. The catch is in fine print, no matter how much you order, you will only receive ONE free AIO diaper per household. This deal is good through May 31st.

Great Deal @ ALDI

California strawberries are looking really good right now at ALDI - red, plump and healthy looking. Each 16 oz. container just as beautiful as the next from top to bottom and only $0.99 each! Grab one before they're all gone!

April 28, 2010

A Visit From Family

A few weeks ago my Aunt Phyllis, Uncle Temple and their grandsons Devon and Javon came to visit my Mom, escorted by my cousin Tracy and decided to stop by our new house to see it and the girls. Tracy lives locally here in the metro Atlanta area and her parents and nephews live in Charlotte, NC and King George, VA. Here are some pictures.

April 26, 2010

Just a Reminder . . .

Tim has gotten over 3 million hits for this song on YouTube!
Let's watch it again.

Multitude Monday

holy experience

Today I'm thankful for:
366. Over 1,000 miles of safe (read uneventful) highway traveling.
367. Memories of my Dad in my old VA house.
368. Meeting the new owners of my old VA house - really nice, hospitable folks.
369. An enjoyable visit with the staff from my church back home.
370. Moriah and Lily behaved well in church last Sunday morning.
371. Moriah and Lily didn't destroy anything in the house where we lodged.
372. The weather in N. VA was nice during our visit.
373. Less than three cumulative hours of crying in the car during our 24-hour round-trip. (Yes it was THAT long!)
374. Finally getting back home to Lawrenceville.
375. A MUCH shorter drive up to Louisville, KY with Jeramy (6 hours).
376. Very hospitable friends who allowed us to stay with them over night for free.
378. Visiting with other Seminary alumni whom we miss.
379. Hearing live organ music again.
380. Breathing the Seminary air again.
381. Seeing the KY green grass again.
382. I had no major reactions to cats in our host's home.
383. Being able to visit my professor in the hospital and pray with them.
384. A wonderful visit with our friend Channing, aka The Chan-Man.
385. A safe return home from Louisville.
386. Jeramy was well respected in his PhD interview.
387. Jeramy had no major migraine headaches during his interview.
388. Grandma Jane could care for the girls at home while Jeramy and I could travel.
389. The girls had a safe and fun time at home.
390. The girls really enjoyed the petting zoo.
391. That I'm still able to run while pregnant.
392. Pain-free running at 5.5 mph.
393. Tupperware upon my arrival back home!
394. The grace of God, opening my eyes to the beauty of Christ and enabling me to repent and turn to Him in faith for salvation!
395. Friends who've been married longer than I have.
396. Hugs.
397. Kisses.
398. Sound, pain-free sleep.
399. No major tornado events here.
400. Sanctification from anxiety.

What are you thankful for today?

April 24, 2010

Saturday Strings

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Midori Goto

performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
movment 1

April 21, 2010

On The Road, Again

Last Thursday, G'Wanda, the girls and I left for Northern VA for a brief visit. What is normally an 8 to 10 hour drive took about 12 hours. :-P I'm very pleased with how the girls behaved during the drive and the trip in general. Moriah didn't wear any diapers in the car and had no accidents! Lily didn't cry for hours on end and probably not even an hour total!

The girls were very well behaved in the home of our host (which has lots of expensive stuff everywhere within reach) and they didn't break anything or touch anything that would otherwise cause heart attacks. :-D They played well with Lenore, possibly the sweetest 7 year old in VA. The girls complained very little and slept as well as they do at home. I didn't take any pictures.

Tomorrow Jeramy and I head out for Louisville, KY back to our old stomping ground, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Friday morning Jeramy has a field essay as the final part of the application process for a PhD in Worldview Apologetics. Jeramy has had to read about 1300 pages of material over the past two weeks to prepare and he's completed it all! Wow.

The girls will be staying home with Grandma Jane and G'Wanda. I'm looking forward to this visit very much and especially the shorter drive. It's still about 8 to 10 hours driving, I think, but we won't have to stop near as often (Lord willing I don't get nauseous) and we will leave much earlier. We appreciate any prayers for our traveling safety as well as the success of Jeramy's essay.

April 17, 2010

Saturday Strings

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Pachelbel Canon in D Major

arranged by Sylvia Woods for the harp.

Unfortunately the performer's name is not given (DutchHarpist). Watching my Mom learn to play harp, it is easy to see why it is such a difficult instrument to play.

April 15, 2010

Strolling Along

Lily's actually losing her balance in this picture, but she does it gracefully. :-)

April 14, 2010

April 13, 2010

Christmas in April!

My Mother-in-Law came up this past weekend to help me take care of the girls while Jeramy flew to Texas to give a Creation Science seminar. At Christmas, outdoor toys are not in season, so they're unavailable in the stores. While Grandma Jane came up she took the girls to Toy's 'R Us and showered them with toys! They got a cute Lil Tikes picnic table, a sandbox and lots of sand and dirt toys, clothes, pool shoes and green rubber boots! The girls have had a ball playing in the sandbox! Lily wheels around the wheelbarrow like a pro!

Thanks Grandma Jane and GrandDaddy Dennis! We love you!

Update: Baby #3

Ladies and gentlemen,

presenting Baby #3!

We have another girl!

Praise the Lord!

I guess we'll be following after our friends, The Frick's. :-) Hopefully I won't be having any twins, though! :-D I know they're fun, but that's a little more than I can handle mentally at this point! :-D

Jeramy and I have chosen Shiphrah for her name. (Exodus 1) She stood against an evil dictator, choosing rather to fear God and preserve life. You go, girl! So many girls today are thrown in the trash or otherwise left for dead (especially in China). They might otherwise consider this girl a failure because she's our third girl in a row. Even in America where the policy is generally: none, one or two children and no more, and "a girl for me and a boy for you and thank the Lord, we're finally through!" We are not at all disappointed that we're having another girl! We're excited and thrilled! We've seen her face and we know her name. Her life is precious to us because God took the time to create her in His image.

April 12, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience
I'm thankful for:

356. The immeasurable greatness of God's power at work in me. Click here.
357. An earlier than expected visit from my Mother-in-Law.
358. The joy of watching my girls play with new toys.
359. Watching Moriah feed and share with Lily.
360. A run without shin-splints.
361. Tupperware for my kitchen! (i.e. organization)
362. More and more use of my right hand after surgery.
363. An opportunity to go back home to VA.
364. Beautiful sunny skies and warmer weather.
365. The grace to press on when discouraged.

What are you thankful for today?

I enjoy reading your lists of gratitude. Click on Multitude Mondays in the left sidebar to see the rest of my list and maybe consider joining the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience.

April 10, 2010

Saturday Strings

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Vanessa Mae

Performing the Bach Toccata & Fugue

arranged for solo violin, orchestra and organ.

All of her work typically adds rock/rhythmic beats to classical repertoire. I think that her music is an attempt to make classical music merge with the popular music culture.

April 8, 2010

The Dollar Tree

Can I just say how much I love the dollar store?! Not just any dollar store but the Dollar Tree, where everything is $1.00. The Dollar General is like Family Dollar, most things are more than just $1 and it's a little deceiving. I love to hit the dollar store for household cleaning products, especially bleach. A gallon of bleach at ALDI is $1.29. Great Value Bleach at Walmart is about the same price or a little more. But at the dollar store, it's only $1! I get scrubbing sponges there, 6 for $1! Similar Scotch-brite sponges at Walmart are way more expensive something like $1 or more for 1 or 2 sponges! Anti-bacterial soap, oven cleaner, greeting cards (2 for $1), seeds packets (4 for $1), batteries and easy scrub (soft scrub shower cleaner knock-off) are only $1! I love that easy scrub! There's a new store located at Sugarloaf Pkwy and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road (in the Walmart Shopping center) and I'm so excited that it's so much closer and easier to get to from my house. The other day I bought the girls some fun outdoor toys: a bucket with shovel and sidewalk chalk both for just $1! Yay Dollar Tree!

April 7, 2010

Planting With Daddy

This previous Saturday, Jeramy took Moriah to get some plants and they returned to plant them in the garden. Here are some pictures. They planted tomatoes, jalapenos, cayenne and yellow peppers, cilantro, basil, corn, squash, cucumber and I can't remember if he planted anything more. Moriah and I were out there raking the dead leaves away and she told me they were "Baby peppers." :-)

April 6, 2010

By Faith

Here is a new modern hymn by the Getty/Townsend duo recorded on their new CD entitled Awaken the Dawn. This is a great song. Enjoy.

By faith we see the hand of God
In the light of creation's grand design
In the lives of those who prove His faithfulness
Who walk by faith and not by sight

By faith our fathers roamed the earth
With the power of His promise in their hearts
Of a holy city built by God's own hand
A place where peace and justice reign

We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul's reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We'll walk by faith and not by sight

By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave

By faith the church was called to go
In the power of the Spirit to the lost
To deliver captives and to preach good news
In every corner of the earth


By faith this mountain shall be moved
And the power of the gospel shall prevail
For we know in Christ all things are possible
For all who call upon His name


April 5, 2010

Update: Baby #3

I'm very thankful to be feeling more movement from the baby. I was a little concerned last weekend because several days went by where I didn't feel anything. Currently I'm 20 weeks, at the half-way point! Weight gain tends to fluctuate but the last time I weighed myself I had gained 8.5 pounds during this pregnancy. My goal is not to gain more than 20 pounds overall by remaining physically active and watching the content of my diet. Remaining physically active helps curb discomfort, weight gain, emotional rollercoasters, etc. :-)

The larger my belly becomes, the more I feel that I'm becoming a spectacle in the gym. It's really funny because I waddle in, carefully step up to the treadmill, and after a warm-up and stretches, I run 2 miles at 6 mph before I cool down. And I have trouble bending down to touch the floor! :-D I hope to be able to continue running at this pace at least until I'm 24 weeks and I would like to continue running into the third trimester. My goals are flexible so that if running becomes uncomfortable or painful, I can slow down or stop without feeling like a failure. So far, so good. I'm thankful.

Last Sunday morning, as I laid in the bed I realized that when this child is born we will have three children under three years old! And none of them are twins. I thank God that I won't have to change three sets of diapers, though. Feeling overwhelmed?

Next Tuesday (13th) we have the ultrasound and find out the gender! Don't forget to vote in the left sidebar! The poll will close the day after.

Multitude Monday

holy experience

I'm so very thankful for the following:

341. Resurrection Sunday supper in our new house!
342. Gathering with the saints to worship on Resurrection Sunday!
343. Celebrating Passover with friends/brothers and sisters in Christ.
344. Movement in my belly.
345. An easier run this morning at normal performance.
346. That Christ found me.
347. Grace that does more than make me fit for salvation but makes it so.
348. Blooming flowers in our yard.
349. Beautiful days.
350. Hand-me-down clothes for Lily.
351. Air conditioning on hot nights.
352. Cool breezes through open windows and ceiling fans.
353. A double stroller for $10 at a garage sale.
354. The best haircut I've ever gotten.
355. Time to put my feet up.

What are you thankful for today?

April 3, 2010

Saturday Strings

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Isaac Stern

Performing The Introduction and Rondo
Capriccioso by Camille Saint-Saens

I love the ricochet bowing in this piece (the quick, almost unnoticed vertical movement of the bow for very distinct short staccato notes). The sudden changes in mood are typical in Saint-Saens violin works.

April 2, 2010

Moriah & Lily

Moriah is growing more and more each day. Her appetite has really picked up and is now fairly consistent with eating a larger quantity of food daily - which is great! She's grown her second set of molars and now has two on each side, top and bottom, as far as I can tell. She can put her socks on without any help and is learning how to use the potty by herself also. She still wears a diaper during her naps and at night, although she's been removing them sometimes. She really likes to boss Lily around and sometimes Jeramy, G'Wanda, and me too. Yes, G'Wanda is what she calls my Mom now. It sounds like, "Ga Wanda" or "Guh Wanda". She has definitely taken over her role as big sister. She'll be two and a half in just two more months. She's also started to help clear the table of her own plate and generally has a helpful attitude. :-)

Homeschool is going well. She will sit and read books for almost an hour. She loves to work on writing and recognizing written letters. She can count to 20 (minus "15") and she knows all the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.

Lily has finally gotten 3 molars and I think the fourth one is in the process of coming in now. She is definitely entering the toddler/2-year old stage where she wants to do things herself and doesn't want you to help in any way. Her whining and her understanding have increased. She helps Moriah clean up her toys and she's obeying regular commands without a whole lot of defiance! She does love to run from you when you tell her to, "Come here" but not every time. She likes to tease. :-) Her language is coming out more and she's added, "dog" to her vocab and "bath," I think. They sound more like, "doh" and "bah" but she says them every time she sees the associated object. She loves to pretend reading books and she also wants to be a helper.

They grow so fast. See new pictures from March in the right sidebar.

April 1, 2010

Got Dirt?

Tuesday Jeramy ordered some landscape mix dirt for our garden. This is the same mix that helped produce our huge deck garden last year. Our backyard garden palate is surrounded on all sides by tall trees which brings concern about adequate sunlight especially when the leaves come in fully, but we remain hopeful. We talked about planting tomatoes, squash, jalapenos, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, okra, and mustard greens. We have more than double the space we had last year, so if it does well, we could end up having this massive forest of vegetation. :-D

I also did a little bit of raking in the front yard to clear out the beautiful flowers that came in at the curb. Put off the old, put on the new . . .

Here is a pretty berry-bearing bush on the left of our driveway. I'm not sure what it is, but by the leaves (red and green) you can tell it's not a holly. Lily enjoys picking the berries and smashing them between her fingers.