Showing posts from September, 2010

Keeping Priorities, Part 2

Balancing ministry and family is a phrase I hear quite often.
"How do you do it?" is the BIG question. My answer, for a long time, was…I don’t.
I just do whatever comes my way, saying "yes" to everything.
Isn’t that what a good pastor’s wife does?
Well, this philosophy led me to be overwhelmed,
overburdened, and burn out.
Seen it, done it, don’t want to do it again.
It took me 9 years to understand the wise advice from a dear pastor’s wife,
(thanks Pam, I finally get you!)
who said simply,
"I am my husband’s wife, regardless of whether he is a truck driver, mill worker or pastor, 
my job is still the be his help-meet. 
To help raise his children, to help make him great." Somehow, when our husbands are in full time ministry,
we think we need to become “Super Spiritual Woman -
able to leap small buildings and tackle huge life problems for all who come our way.”

My Biblical job, as I now understand it, is to keep my priorities my priorities. God first.

More than Devotions

Sharla Roby Jost sings a song on her album,  "Be Still" titled, "I see the Lord." It is a gentle, beautiful chorus with the words of Isaiah the Prophet. " I see the Lord,
high and lifted up,  seated on the throne, of my life.   And He is Holy, Holy, Holy,  seated on the throne of my life."
When I awake each morning, my first thoughts, before I am even out of bed, are directed toward the Lord.  Suddenly, my mind is restless with the thoughts of the day ahead.  In years past, I would quickly read my Bible, say a few prayers,  and check that off my to do list, getting on with my day.  Recently, this precious time has become more
than just a devotional few minutes.
  I am learning to relax and enjoy my Heavenly Father. So while I sip a cup of my husband's incredible coffee,  I let my restless mind ramble.   After about 10 minutes, my mind slows down  and I can focus on thinking about WHO God is.   See the Holy sitting on the throne of my life,  and myself bowed down at Hi…

Menu and Table Matters

I am away from home today, so I am re-posting a favorite oldie.  Enjoy.
A house becomes a home when each room is clothed in peace,
       each wall is covered in laughter, and each heart is filled with love.
Of all the domestic activities a mother partakes, one in particular that I savor is preparing a nourishing and delicious meal for my family, then presenting it in a lovely manner that conveys my esteem for them.   A beautifully set table, candles, cloth napkins, pretty serving dishes, prayer, singing, laughter and conversation are important aspects of everyday dinner at Providence Lodge.  Not just for company, or for “special,“ for what could be more exceptional than sitting down with your beloved family every evening? 

Our home life began to take on shape, order, ease, and beauty as I implemented a simple menu scheme  that our family enjoyed.  Over the years, we have altered it from time to time,  but it is still basically the same.  Monday is pasta.  For each day, I have four favorite dishes…

Keeping Priorities, Part 1

Several years ago I was teaching a ladies Bible Study  on The Excellent Wife to a small group in our church.  The idea of being a Help Meet was a new concept, and we explored what that may look like.  From the very beginning in Genesis, God himself defines a woman’s role as being a helper suitable for he husband.
 Stop.  Think that one through.
When I awake each morning is that one of the first thoughts that goes though my head?
  Next to being a child of God, this is the second Biblical priority in a wife’s life.   Helping and serving my husband should be the second most important  thought throughout my day.
  I am sure I can think of several ways to help my husband on my own, but, since he is the God given spiritual head and leader, shouldn’t I ask him what would be a help?
We sat down for a nice chat, where I asked him some very pointed questions, and he was pleased as punch to answer.  This marked a dramatic change in our relationship.   After several years of marriage, I was for the…

Organizing Your Home With Baskets

Welcome to our practical Saturday post for large family living. 
This is when and where we share hints and solutions to living with a large family,
things we wish we would have known years ago when I was struggling to adjust to a bigger household,
like around child #5.
This next week I will be speaking to a group of young moms. One thing they asked me to share was how to keep order in the home, so I thought we would talk about that today. Years ago, a friend went to a women's meeting where a mother of 10 was speaking.  My friend came home inspired.  I asked her what the best advise she learned there was, and she said, "Baskets!" I have since taken this thought on to nearly obsessive levels.  Baskets can gather a collection of anything and keep it in a small confined space, be handy and still look attractive.  I use them everywhere, for everything.  I wonder how I could keep an attractively clean home  that contains many children and their stuff without them.

I do believe…

The Wife's Part

Every wife and Mother celebrates great joys in life as well as facing challenges of every kind and size.   Often times, no sooner does every thing come together, than everything seems to fall apart,  and you find yourself at ground zero...again.   Some days you may just get tired of picking up the pieces, and feel like running away.   Such was my story for years.   When my hard working husband did finally get home,  I was ready to throw the children at him and disappear for a good long while.   I hated that fact, but it was real and I did not know how to get past it,  until an honest friend came along and told me what the problem was.   It wasn't that I had my hands too full,  or that my husband expected too much,  or that I wasn't capable of raising children and homeschooling,  it was just that there was way too much of ME going on and way too little of Jesus.  
About this time I read a quote in an Above Rubies Magazine that has stuck with me like a burr,  yes, a painful burr.   Serene Alli…

We Go Camping

Every fall we go camping at the state park on the reservoir.  The quaint little cabin does not even come close to housing all of us,  so we pack tents for boys and girls.

The deer come in close, curiously watching us and hoping for apples.  They have gleaned all the ones they can reach off the trees, so the children climb and shake the trees, filling up a box so that when the deer come in, they can roll apples to them, like bowling balls, across the meadow to the waiting deer.

Skiing and tubing on the water in a friend’s boat is a highlight,  as well as swimming and hide and seek at night.  There is always the delight of mud to play in, for all the redneck types, and plenty of marshmallows and cocoa to sugar glaze all the children.

On Sunday we celebrate the Lord’s day together with friends around  the campfire with scripture and song, flannel shirts and dirty fingernails.  I find it all very appealing and romantic.

Ben has been begging to go “pluming.”  There are plenty of blackberr…

simply lovely

Rose has an eye for the simply lovely things in life. She captures them with her lens,  delighting us,  enriching our memories.

Photography by our daughter, Rose,  age 15.

Passing On Convictions to Your Children

We have been abundantly blessed as together  we work our way though Kevin Swanson’s Proverbs Family Bible Study Series. It is our core curriculum. I have come to believe that the study of Proverbs should be a standard requirement for God-fearing parents.  It is so good, like real chocolate cream pie good. Why?  Because Proverbs is the book of wisdom.   It explains the why’s of our foundational beliefs.  This is surely the optimum way to teach our children our convictions.
Recently, we were in Proverbs 3:21-26,  and I was so awestruck by the repetitive message king Solomon used  to teach his son.  Such a godly, wise example, right from Scripture, and I have never used it before in all our years of homeschooling.  Oh the time and wisdom that has been lost.  May God be merciful.   Forever more, the study of Proverbs will be a standard practice in our home, in our school.

“My son, let not them depart from your eyes; keep sound wisdom and discretion:  So shall they be life unto your soul, and grace to your…

Apron Femeninity

I am very fond of my apron. 

As my tummy extends, my apron is ever more and more necessary.   Mine is a classic farm cut that we found the pattern for in Mary Jane’s Farm magazine, Dec/Jan 20009.  I had been looking for just such an apron for quite some time,  and the girls and I promptly bought fabric and made three of them up.
 However, they were not form fitting enough to suit the young ladies tastes,  but covered my poochy frame nicely. 
I altered the pattern slightly for the girls, taking seams in on the front, added some cute pockets, and lengthened the back, making it three buttons instead of the one on the original pattern.   We are not expert seamstresses, so this was actually quite an easy task if you have a bit of ingenuity.  The end result is a romantic “Sarah Plain and Tall”  apron which Anna adores.

We found the cutest pattern book for all kinds of fun designs that had the girls in the sewing room for days on end.   We highly recommend it.

Even little Bethany wants to …