Monday, April 26, 2010

Oh Boy...

We are in a season of birthdays here, with two boys' birthdays in a week and another coming three weeks after.  (And no, we didn't plan it that way!)  It's a fun time, though often hard on the diet (more cake and celebrating than we're used to).  This year we decided it was a good time to buy a group gift, for all five kids, a trampoline!  Yesterday afternoon was spent putting it together (after worship and a nice Sunday feast), which was just enough inspiration to get the four out of five kids who were sick off of the couch.

We each had a short turn jumping on it, and finished the construction phase just in time for those of us who were able to get to evening worship (a bit late).  So now it begins - we have a trampoline in the back yard.  It's a bit scary to me, although I personally have always wanted a trampoline.  I do find myself wondering who will break a bone first.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

For everything there is a season...

What a week in the life of one small congregation!  One family lost a dear little one far too soon; another is rejoicing in the birth of a healthy baby, after a similar loss not two years ago.  All that following an Easter celebration coinciding with the anniversary of yet another loss of little ones.   God gives and God takes. We rejoice and we mourn.

And really, when you look around, you see that this goes on all the time, all around us. Some are sick and some are well. Some are too anxious to deal with life, while others are moving along happily, even if the two lives are not that different from an objective point of view. Some are too busy to rest; others are bored and desperate for work to do. One person begs God for something, while the next begs Him for the opposite. Only God knows which prayers to answer. Only He knows how those answers will mold us and shape us into His will for us. 

God does all His holy will for His own glory.  The sovereignty of God is what comforts me.  I am sure I do not know what I would do without that knowledge.  God has taken care of me all the days of my life, even the ones that rank as the worst.  He has given to me and taken from me.  And joy really does come in its time.  When I have gone through hard things it has seemed that life will never settle, will never be happy.  Yet time passes, and God's plan marches on.  The hard things are not forgotten, but our view changes over time. 

God has given me joy, and for that I  am so grateful.  But looking back over hard times I see that He was giving me joy then, too.  I have been blessed to have the joys and sorrows mingled in such a way that this many years later I can look back with joy.  Not everyone handles grief in the same way.  To some a much harder road is given.  We don't know why; only God knows His reasons.  But we know that He loves His children.  And I know that He loves me because of the way He has taken care of me, moving me along both in joy and in sorrow. 

To God be the glory!

What He Must Be...

We have enjoyed the book, now you can win a DVD of the conference!

What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie T. Baucham Jr. is good for parents of girls, but also ones with boys. The boys will, afterall, have to be fit to marry a nice young lady one of these days, and we have to raise them. And it's never to early to start thinking about what kind of young men and women we want our children to be!

Jasmine Baucham is the oldest daughter of the author, and blogs at I enjoy reading it. Click on the links to have a look around and enter the contest!

Joyfully At Home: Next Tuesday

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ain't no valley low enough...

It seems like it has been a while since I have written a real blog post. And I am running out of old stuff to fill in with! Life is moving along; the grass is green, even if the trees are not yet. We had no snow in March. NO SNOW IN MARCH! Some of you can’t imagine what a difference that makes, but it is huge. Last year we had no snow in April and I was very excited about that. This year, spring came early, with temperatures in the 50’s, 60’s, and even the truly rare 70’s. Amazing. After the highest snow piles we had seen in a while here this winter, I was very grateful for an early end to it. It appears there is no more winter in sight, with each successive ten day forecast filled with 60’s and 70’s. I’m pretty sure it won’t snow again if we get to May. I guess this is the week I can safely clean out the coat closet, and wash and put away the snow things.

If there is one thing I have learned over the last 12 or so years of living in Minnesota (Let’s not mention all the moving in and out, shall we?), it’s that the weather affects my attitude. It never seemed to before, and I have wondered why. Here’s why: I lived in Alabama and Florida before, where the weather is nice most of the time. I happen to like hot weather, so that didn’t make me depressed. And when the cold weather came it seemed like a novelty and then moved on quickly. But not here. Here we get a beautiful fall that is in full swing in early October, and then a few weeks of brown. This would be extremely depressing if it were not leading up to Thanksgiving, with the hope of Christmas right after.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Story About the Tadpole, Part Two

I don't want to move the link to vote for my friend, Julie B, too far down the page!  Here it is: Progresso Souper You .  Please vote daily through April 12.

And now, back to the tadpole story...

If you haven't already seen it, you should read Part One first...

Tadpole number two arrived one day in May, and it was not 30 degrees! This one was much larger and came in a plastic bag instead of a tiny test tube. I also ordered Tadpole Bites with this one, so we were now ready to be more responsible tadpole owners. We named him Taddeous II. He swam and swam but did not grow. We watched him carefully, and he did not “slosh” over the side. After a couple of months of swimming without a single hint of leg-sprouting, I determined it was too cold in our house for a cold-blooded animal to thrive. We moved the tadpole habitat outside to the screened porch and placed him carefully where the direct sunlight would not boil him in his tiny amount of water. Lo and behold, he sprouted legs about a week later! Taddeous II thrived in his new, warmer environment and soon he had four legs and a shrinking tail. We were going to be the proud owners of a frog!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Souper Contest

My dear friend, Julie B., is currently in the top three of the "Progresso Souper You" makeover contest.  The contestants who receive the top three number of votes win a trip for two to New York City!  She is almost there!

Julie is a sweet, Christian, homeschooling mom of two beautiful girls.  You can read a short bit about her on the voting site.  She would be so blessed by this time away with her husband!

Will you please click on this link and vote for her once daily through April 12?

****UPDATE!  Julie won!  She and her husband won a trip to New York City and she gets a make-over.  How fun!  I am so happy for her!  Thank you for voting!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Story About the Tadpole, Part One

Well, it's that time of year again, spring!  There are actually buds on some trees, and there is no ice on the pond.  There is a bowl on the screened porch that has a luna moth cocoon in it, and we are cheering it on.  We thought Gigantor (some of you will remember him) {Click the link for an update on Gigantor!} would come out last summer, but, apparently, he decided to overwinter in one of my favorite bowls.  Either that or there's a dead partially-formed luna moth inside.  We will give it some time, but at some point we will cut into it to find out what is there.  At least then I can get my bowl back; that is, if I am not too disgusted to use it again.

All this possibly-failed metamorphosis reminded me of the old tadpole story, which I think deserves a spot here in my blog.  Some of you have already read this...

Once upon a time Edwin's parents gave the kids a nice tadpole, frog, and/or bug habitat for Christmas. It came with a coupon for a free tadpole. Even the folks in the warm south do not have a supply of tadpoles to ship until spring, apparently, so I filed away the coupon and waited for spring to come, at least in the warm place where they breed the tadpoles.

Fast-forward to April. Surely it must be spring somewhere! So I ordered the tadpole, free, plus $7.99 for "shipping." And then I should have gone right out to buy the food and special water for the tadpole. But I did not. I promptly forgot that I had ordered the tadpole.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)