Sunday, September 25, 2016

Put off, put on.

I had complained to Ray that I was tired of picking up his shoes and socks. He didn't typically leave them all over the house, but he did leave them all over the bedroom and bathroom. I was often picking them up and putting them in the closet where they belong.  I didn't want them anywhere besides the closet because I'm clumsy and fall over them; and I'm busy and don't need anything else to pick up. But, the main reason I said anything is because I'm sinful and just don't want to pick up his socks and shoes.

Since I've complained to him, not only does he pick up his socks and shoes, I can't even find a stitch of his dirty clothes anywhere, except the hamper.

It isn't bad that I asked him to pick up his socks and shoes. Husbands and wives can ask questions like that of each other, gracefully. There could be a lesson in communication for me I'm sure.

What is bad is that I let it fester. By the end of many days, I was fuming over how many socks I had picked up. I would be counting and throwing them in the hamper myself, with force, I might add. His office is at home, he comes and goes, and often changes clothes for different tasks. So there might be several socks here and there.


The chapter in The Excellent Wife that the ladies are discussing this week discusses the "Biblical Process of Change". (It's by Martha Peace, page 24)

Ephesians 4:22-24
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Instead of me fuming about the socks, and becoming an angry Michael Jordan, I should have changed my thinking. I should have put off anger, ...

And I should have put on -
... then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, Colossians 3:12

Last year while we were in Oxford, England I wasn't thinking about picking up socks...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just Because My Grandchildren are Amazing!

Rachel had a birthday recently. I'm surprised she can be so old when I'm so young!

Susannah is the perfect granddaughter.

Every Friday morning Rachel's family gives away free coffee to passersby. They live immediately across from an elementary school.

This is just a tiny glimpse at the benefits to living so close to Rachel's family. I get to see them when they take walks. Caleb often falls asleep on the way back home. 

For Rachel's birthday we hiked to the Indian Seats in Cumming. Josiah made sure no bears attacked us.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Psalm 119:93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 

So, if you want life, keep the law of God.

This was the order that the verses fell in my devotional today.  I don't like to take a single verse here and there out of its context, but I could help notice the connection of these three.

I John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

And do not love this world. Because one who loves the world does not love God.

I needed this and in this order. God's Word never fails.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

She's Always Listening

This was overheard while Abigail was playing with her babies this week.

Abi- you don't want to go to hell.
Baby doll- why?
Abi- because hell is a place that doesn't love God. I hope we go to heaven.
Baby- I hope so too.
Abi- you can't because you're a toy.
Baby- but I talk.

During family Bible time while the scripture was read aloud, Abi reminded us at she's always listening. This is what was read. Yes, it's not easily understood at first, but she made it a little more entertaining.

In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it-at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet," and he did so, walking naked and barefoot. Then the LORD said, "As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, 'Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?'" - Isaiah 20:1-6

You probably already know that we heard the little girl giggle of a four year old, when she repeated "buttocks uncovered."

Another time Abigail responded to what she heard that wasn't so humorous to me -
She came running into the dining room looking excited and said, "Oh, you had a cheerful voice, I thought the Rinks must be here." That was convicting! I shouldn't have a cheerful voice only when my grandchildren are here.

She is taking to heart Psalm 78:1 -"Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth!"

Monday, September 05, 2016

The Epilogue

At least, I hope this is the epilogue to Sarah's broken finger.

After three weeks in a splint, she had the pins removed and was supposed to keep her fingers wrapped together and start physical therapy.

The next week she hit is on the car door and broke it again!

When the doctors tell kids not to run for a few weeks after getting a cast removed, this is what they mean. I had no idea it would be so fragile after four weeks.

Physical therapy has been stopped and her healing has been pushed back for three more weeks. I'm the mean mom now and won't let her go anywhere without the splint.
You can still see the marks from wearing the splint on her arm.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

It Wasn't the Worst Week Ever

...but it's pretty close to the top of the heap.

Goals for the second week of July were to increase my exercise time and weights and focus on Vacation Bible School.

Realities -
Monday, as I stepped across the street to start the extra distance in my walking, I rolled my ankle and fell in the road. I spent the rest of the week with a sore ankle and wrist, hiding a bruise on my face and searching for clothes to wear that didn't show my skinned knees or irritate them.

After I limped home, the washer flooded the laundry room.

Tuesday was as normal as possible with laundry piling up, then Bible School at night.

Wednesday, I washed clothes the entire day because some really great friends came over and fixed the washer problem (Tuesday night AFTER VBS).

Wednesday afternoon, I took Lydia to the pediatrician because of a suspicious spot on her stomach. Suspicions confirmed, she had MRSA. I left her at home for VBS and all was going to be okay.

Right before church, Mary or Hannah sent me text that a lot of people at camp had gotten food poisoning and was very sick. (It turned out to be a four hour, violent vomiting of 115 out of 150 people at camp. Terrible four hours but when it was over, it was over.)

Then at the last game of the night at VBS, Sarah joined a relay team of army crawling because they needed one more kid. Obviously, playing with the kids was a bad idea.

A friend phoned ahead and God cleared the path so that we weren't in the ER all night and were able to see the right person to get us on the quickest road to recovery. She ended up with two breaks and one joint completely misplaced. She had surgery on Friday morning. The result was three pins in her hand, she had to postpone National Registry testing for EMT class and she was scheduled go through physical therapy.

Yes, this Summer was eventful. This particular week was crazy. But we are able to laugh at it now. Isn't it great how time puts things in perspective?

You should thank me for not sharing the MRSA pictures.

Sunday, July 03, 2016


Well, we were down to one turtle and three cats.

At the height of of our family's pet ownership, at one time we had one horse, twenty-six chickens, five cats, one dog, two fish, and one turtle. I know the work that goes into pets. Pets come and go in most families and there is great value in that. They teach so much- responsibility, kindness, compassion, love.

It had become easy for me to have a romantic view of having pets. Our three outdoor cats and one turtle got fed once a day. Besides a monthly bowl and tank washing, there is nothing else that has to be done for them.

But then, I wanted a dog.

Because of changes in our neighborhood, we really felt like we can't have an outdoor dog. So our dog needed to fit specific criteria for our family - not too big for the house but not small and yappy, doesn't shed too much, and never ever be aggressive to children.

We've been in love with several breeds over the past year and convinced at one time or another that's the kind we should get. We've also committed to never get a dog if it has certain breeds. I was afraid to go to a shelter to look at dogs because I might have chosen one out of emotion.

The first week after Ray's graduation, he started looking at ads and making calls to shelters and dog adoption agencies. He searched high and low and made many calls to get the right one for us. Well he did the unthinkable. He stopped by the humane society.

Welcome Home
I knew when I started getting videos on my phone that he was hooked. It didn't matter that this dog was already fifty pounds at eleven months old. The workers at the shelter told him that the dog was a lab mix. So far every "expert" we've had look at him has said there's probably no lab at all, he may even be part German Shepherd.

There were a few days, okay a few weeks, that I didn't think we would make it. I told Ray more than once to take him back or call a friend who had offered to take him if we couldn't do it. (I forgot to mention that I've been afraid of dogs for most of my life, especially big ones, and Chihuahuas, and dogs that bite, and growl.)

But then I got hooked.

He came to us house trained - huge bonus! Our friend hired a trainer who comes to our house once a week for a few weeks - another bonus. We are figuring out how to keep his hair under control - much better help. And as of today, he would rather lay in his crate than anywhere else in the house - sold. I guess Gunner is a part of the family.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What is my Facebook About?

I looked back over what I had posted on Facebook in the past and it was clear that I'm all about my family. And that's true. But it shouldn't be.

It used to be said that you could look at a person's checkbook and see where their priorities are. Well, Facebook may be that way now. When people look at my Facebook, do they see Christ?  That's what they should see.

"...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

In general, people share a lot on social media. For the most part, people I know post positive, safe for the family type things. Occasionally, I'll see things pop up that reveal depression, irritations, and even serious sin. Social media is my main source for actual news. Lots of people post and share things about their churches, businesses or favorite causes. All of that's fine. That's what Facebook is about, whatever you want it to be.

But what is my life personally supposed to be?

"I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:12

I must be about the business of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. So that's what my Facebook page must be about. I want to be more proactive about what I post and share. I hope that no one will look at my posts and get the wrong idea of what my life is about. But rather, I hope they see Christ.

Maybe that'll bother someone. That's okay. I'll be fine if they want to "delete" me. Then I still won't know the tiniest fraction of what it means to suffer for Christ.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Day I Broke Up With Facebook

My Profile Picture
Unlike Scripture, Facebook can be whatever you want it to be.

Scripture is real, unchanging, sufficient, God's Holy Word. Facebook is not.

A few weeks ago, I found myself taking pictures of my beautiful family, thinking, "Oh, how this picture is going to look on Facebook!"

Facebook has invaded my thoughts way too much. It's not Facebook's fault, it's mine. I wonder why did that person say that, or what did they mean by that, or is that pointed at me, or why are they there, or what happened to them, or etc. I also spend more time than necessary trying to decide how I will say this or that, or which picture to post, or how many is too many, or will this make someone made, or I don't want to offend anyone but I should say, you get the idea.

See how much thought goes into Facebook?

I joined Facebook many years ago so that I could keep an eye on my kids and their friends. I wanted to be a part of what they were doing. In all those years, I've learned a lot! Sometimes, I learned way more than I wanted. But, for the most part, I have enjoyed seeing them do life, get jobs, get married, have babies, or just become adults.

I've also loved getting to see friends from my childhood. And the fact that I can stay informed about the lives of people that I don't get to interact with as often as I'd like is great too.

Cover Photo
It didn't take long for me to realize that other people on Facebook only let you see what they want you to see. No one on Facebook can possibly post everything about who they are. Most only post what they want others to see and that's fine. Facebook isn't real life and no one is required to post everything about their lives.  Nor would we want that.

I'm not one of those people who get tired of seeing pictures of someone's baby or dog and then block them, nor do I delete someone because they don't agree with me. I just scroll on by. I have a deleted a few because of vulgar words and pictures (I do have small children looking over my shoulder), but it takes a lot to get deleted from my Facebook.

Since I've started writing this post, I've had a few moments that I was bothered by what someone said. In my mind I had to deal with it. Would I say something or ignore it, would I let it stew in my thoughts too long?

I chose to remember why I'm on Facebook. It's a casual interaction with others. It's not meant to control my thinking or actions. (I actually did pray for that person.) If someone wants to promote their agenda on Facebook, that's fine. Facebook is the place for that.

But that agenda will not invade my thoughts so often. It will not keep my mind off of the real focus.

So here it is -

"Facebook, I'm breaking up with you. Consider us 'just friends' from now on. We can have the casual relationship that we might speak in passing, but I will not think about you anymore than that- in passing."
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8
I used the word Facebook for the sake of this article, but insert what ever social media that you use.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Homeschool Goals

I'm really trying to get homeschool planned for next year so that I'm not scrambling at the last minute. I have learned that I have to have my homeschooling vision and goals before me to keep moving forward. The logistics and curriculum take a lot of time and effort to plan successfully. But I think the vision and goals of homeschooling are more important.

I read over a lot of things that I had written in the past about homeschool. Some days it was funny, some days I wondered who those kids are that I teach. But I noticed a common theme, homeschooling is hard. I would like to place before my family the vision and goals for our family to keep us all focused to carry on.

Now if I can just figure out what they are...

But looking back at pictures, I realized that we did do a few good things.  Below are a few snapshots from our end of the year celebration.

All of our children had to memorize a major portion of scripture, song or written work. Mary read The Confessions of Augustine and wrote a paper to present to the families that gathered. Some of the other things presented were -

  • 10 Commandments
  • The Athanasian Creed
  • Proverbs 3
  • Come Thou Fount
  • And about a million (jk) verses from our unit studies

a newspaper by the writing class

I don't know if this was the cutest thing we did all year but it was pretty close to the top. These beautiful faces dressed up as forest friends and acted out the book Very Special Friends by Jane Chapman.

This is part of the Spanish class after acting out something about an elephant and a flight attendant. I'm not a Spanish speaker but what I understood was hilarious.

On the last day of classes, our favorite history teacher returned from a deployment to Jordan. All of the kids were surprised and lots of happy tears flowed.