Thursday, December 24, 2009

More on submission

This is the big topic on my mind lately. I am always thinking about the ways that feminism has poisoned our society and affected our thinking.

Recently through some reading I've been doing (Passionate Housewives Desperate for God is a Really Good Book), I feel I have come to a fuller understanding of what it means to submit to my husband. I think my initial understanding of this was very shallow - in the line of "when we disagree and can't work it out, Mark wins." True enough as far as it goes...which, really, isn't very far, is it?

I am enjoying exploring ways that I can honor him as the head of the house, ways that have nothing to do with conflict. Things that ruffle my pride - like actually taking suggestions on how he would like me to manage certain tasks like stocking the pantry, organizing DVD's. In these areas that I consider "mine," my knee-jerk reaction to criticism or suggestion is to be defensive, dismissive, or both. It should not be so. Is it not my goal to create a home for him that is a place of comfort and peace, personally tailored to help him be and do everything that God has for him? How better to do that than to pay attention to what is pleasing, what isn't, and work to make our environment as comfortable and effective as possible.

Anyway, that is what's on my mind. I am really thinking about these issues and learning so much that I should have known years ago. I am so thankful to be where I am!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christ and the church

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:22-33.


I am mesmerized by these verses and what they tell us about both the marriage relationship, and about the relationship of Christ and the church. What an amazing comparison! What a privilege, as a married couple, we have to reflect Christ and the church to the world. And how much there is to learn from our daily experiences.

A few months ago, Mark had to travel to Great Britain, on a trip that was long planned to include both of us. Because of circumstances beyond our control, I was unable to go, and was obliged to remain at home, going about all my usual tasks..but my mind was on my husband. When I awoke in the morning, or in the middle of the night, instantly I would calculate what the time was for him, think of his itinerary, imagine what he was doing. I would look up pictures on Wikipedia of where he was supposed to be. I looked forward to our daily phone call as the highlight of my day. I bought him a graduation present, and cleaned like a madwoman, preparing the house for his return. My household tasks did not seem heavy to me, but a joy, something I could do for him even while he was gone. And as I did all this, Ephesians 5 entered my mind, and it occurred to me that the intensity of my loneliness for my absent husband and my deep longing to be reunited was a picture of how we, as Christ's church, should pine for and prepare for His return. How much should we desire to order everything according to His stated will, so that we can be found pleasing on that day! How much should our work He has given us not be a burden, but a delight, a way given us to be pleasing to the one we should long to please!

But, we are human and life gets hard. What if our work just isn't a joy? It can't always be; we live in a fallen world, and we have a long road. That is where the true nature of love is revealed. As wives and mothers, we cook dinner on the nights when we honestly could not possibly care less about cooking dinner, as well as on the nights when it is a pleasure. Because, while there is great joy to be found in our labors, and joy to be found in doing one's duty, it's not always fun. (If we are honest, it frequently isn't!) It is then, when it really gets tough, that love is tested. And it's when we fail, as we always, inevitably, will, that we rest in the love and forgiveness that is showered upon us. The difference, of course, is that while a husband doesn't, and shouldn't, expect perfection, our Lord does, and He laid down His life for our faithlessness.


And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

Monday, December 14, 2009

Resurrecting my blog

Ok, Kathryn, here you go. ;) No pictures today, though.

Mom

Needle and thread
Soap and water
Books
Paper
Diapers and wipes.

Skillet and plate
Flour and spice
Email
Bills
Hugs and band-aids.

Science and math
History and art
Piano
Dancing
Bible and Latin.

Eggs and toast
Mac and cheese
Mess
Love
Story and bed.


Double Vision

Out the window
Trees rise tall
The sun is burning
Over all.
Then flaming past
This common sight
Another vision -
Different light
Stronger
Deeper
Truer light
Shining through
This brittle veil
As thinning mists
The moon reveal.
Or subtle glass
At once reflects
Yet clearly shows
What lies unseen
We now may know
Is far more real
Than tree
Or house
Or stone
Or me
Creation breathes
By Thy design
And opened eyes may see
Behind the fading glimmer
Thy purposes divine.


There. Now all the poems I have written (that I like, anyway!) are up. Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's A Boy!!!

I had my ultrasound today and we are having a boy!! That will even things out, a bit. :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seasons



I think one of the most important ideas to cross my mind in recent months is the fact of the seasonality (seasonalness? seasonishness?) of life. I think the young tend to feel like life is somewhat static...like it never really changes, and you have to grab everything now, because nothing will ever be different.

I'm not saying I'm old, because, well, I'm just not. But as I'm heading into my fourth decade, things feel different. Life comes in seasons, and those seasons need to be, 1) appreciated for what they are, 2) used for what they are meant for and for all that they can be, and 3) not forced to be something they are not.

My children are young; I am always busy, always tired. The house is noisy from 6:45 am until 9 pm (and those in between hours are always up for debate). Culturally we are prepared for that time to be brief, a few fleeting years. I have chosen another path, and I expect the house to be full of little children's clamor for years to come. There is precious little time for personal pursuits, so little time for quiet. It is not a quiet season for me; if life was static, I should have a balance of noise and quiet for my while life - but it isn't. Someday, if I live and the Lord tarries, I will drink my fill of quiet and long for the noise again; I do not doubt that the quiet and solitude that I crave now will become its own burden in its own season.

So I treasure the season that I am in; I (try) to treasure the noise, and the messes, and the exhaustion of this time. I (always!!!) treasure the glorious gift to me that my children are, how blessed I am to have them and to be home with them, to know them so well and be so connected. I don't want to waste this season longing for another, only to miss it when it is gone. I have done it too many times - not this time!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old Tree


The pale stem curls
Through the damp dark ground
Lifts its seeded head
Sheds its outgrown crown.

Seed leaves open
Stretch high to the sun
White roots grip the earth
A frail life begun.

Rain falls, sun shines
Storms rage and wane
Roots probe more deeply
Stem droops, pushes up again.

Young plant grows
Stem thickens, leaves thrive
Young sapling rejoices
Strong, healthy, alive.

Years come and go
Trials by fire and flood
Old tree is now scarr’d
Has wept its own blood.

Old tree is strong
Has seen and has heard
Has swung the old swing
Has cradled the bird.

Seeds in the wind
From old tree are cast
He whispers a blessing
To the first through the last:

“My strength will fade
My branches will fall
May your roots sink deep
May you grow very tall.

“Trials will come
May your heart be strong
May you bend and not break
May your days be long.”

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Eclipse



Pale disc of the moon
Pursues the bright sun
Flies before the flame
In one desperate run.

But moon doesn’t know
Her track was aligned
Forged in God’s purpose
Before there was time.

So seeking glory
Spurns her silver light
Leaves her perfect home
Illumines not the night.

Wanders into day
Meaning only ill
Tries to overthrow
Sun’s resplendent will.

Throws herself before
The brightest light she knows
She only hopes to see
Her own glory grow.

Out her light is snuffed
(It never was her own)
Silver shine revoked
Perfect plan undone.

Blinding fire blazes,
Frames her blackened form
She but darkly shows
The brightness of the sun.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gather up the fragments, that none should be lost...


Sarah Edwards,the wife of the philosopher and theologian Jonathan Edwards, used to say this a lot. She's rather a hero of mine, you know. (She really ought to have a Facebook fan group. I might create one for her).

Anyway, I have come across references to this in two different places recently, in addition, of course, to Jesus' original statement. I have been reading a biography of the Edwards' entitled Marriage to a Difficult Man. (I wouldn't recommend it, there are far better ones out there.) I also have been doing a lot of reading in More-with-Less, a Mennonite cookbook. They reference this phrase in every chapter, with a special section on how to "gather up the fragments."

Jesus fed thousands, miraculously multiplying the loaves. There was great abundance, bread heels all over the place, apparently. But in the face of this miraculous abundance of His own creation, Jesus instructed His disciples to gather up the fragments, that none should be lost. I wonder if the disciples wondered why they needed to do that - why not just leave it for the birds? There's so much! And, it seems, plenty where that came from.

It can be a temptation to be wasteful when times are good; tempting to throw away the scraps because there is another chicken in the fridge. But in Jesus we have our example; it doesn't do to be wasteful. It has come to my attention that I have been a very frugal shopper, but a rather wasteful cook. At the end of the day, I want to get my work done, so just scrape the plates in the trash. No one will eat the two spoonfuls of leftover veggies. Toss them! Or, save them in a tupperware container, only to toss them later. Ehh...MUCH later. Ew.

Of course, now for most of us times are not so good. It is a good time to reevaluate ourselves. I am catching myself from throwing away things in the kitchen that I can use. The bones can be broth. The leftover veggies can be tossed in the soup. My toddler's untouched dinner can be the baby's reheated lunch. The bread scraps will be bread crumbs, or toss with some oil and garlic, bake, and they are croutons. Today I made English muffins from scratch. It's not that hard.

My groceries are going further. And we've been eating hot homemade soups with hot homemade bread. Everytime I take a bite of bread hot out of the oven, I am grateful to God who has reserved special delights for us even in times of trouble. And, I am confident that in being faithful with the fragments, we are bringing glory to our Lord, who sees all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Day




If there was one day
Would I take it?
In one day I sigh for another
Thinking
One day…

If there were only one day
Would I use it?
Or waste it, wanting another
Dreaming
Someday…

There is only one day
Today - it’s time to live it.
There may never be another
Living, serving
Today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Gingerbread House

Here are some pictures of our gingerbread house that the girls and I made over Christmas. It was so much fun! We just used a template from allrecipes.com to cut the dough, and the dough and icing recipe from the same. Beware the icing, though - it resembles concrete more closely than one might expect! It definitely holds the house together, but it snapped a wooden spoon and almost ruined a hand mixer! It was totally delightful to make the whole thing from scratch.