Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Books, books

I decided to take the challenge given at Pursue The Beauty blog given here: The challenge is to take a picture of the books you are currently reading as well as a picture of the books you would like to be reading. Sooo, here is what I am reading....

Hopefully you can see the picture clearly. I feel the need to qualify the statement "Here is what I am reading" with the explanation of "Here is what I am reading when I am not studying or checking up on my favorite blogs". My reading time is rather limited lately, so Evidence Not Seen and Womanly Dominion are currently being read snippets at a time. The first is a biography about a missionary to the jungles of New Guinea during WWII. Womanly Dominion (contrary to the initial first impression given by the title) is a fabulous explanation of what it means for a woman to fulfil her role within the command to "fill the earth and subdue it". I am reading Lies Women Believe and doing the accompanying study with my sister and a friend, so it is the one book in my stack apart from my Bible that is truly being read on a regular basis. Sadly, my diet of fictional works has been mostly famine lately. Just no time for fiction right now, but I did steal an hour yesterday to curl up with Longfellow's poems in front of the fireplace after a loooong study time. Such a delicious delight! With illustrations, the embossed cover, a yummy "old book" smell, and a publishing date of 1885, The Complete Works of Longfellow is one of the most treasured volumes in my little library. There at the bottom of my stack is my beloved Bible which I received as a graduation gift from my church. I am currently reading through Galations and some of my notes from that may eventually, possibly, maybe, make it into a blog post. We shall see.

The picture to the right is my "What I would like to be reading" stack. It was tough to decide what to put in this stack as the list of good books is ginormous, so I just tried to think what books I would grab if I had a guilt free chunk of time to read whatever I wanted. Meaning, no school reading or studying in my schedule. Not happening anytime soon though. As you can see, there is a considerable amount of fiction in this stack. To be honest I am craving fiction right now and the familiar volumes of Little Women and Christmas Carol begged to be read when I picked them up for this picture-op. But, I am restraining myself and they are staying in this stack. Spectacular Sins, written to explain how God is glorified in spite and through the existence of sin, has been on my shelf since I got home from the Resolved Conference this summer. Because it is such a heavy topic, I have left it on my shelf until I have time to read it through instead of just in spurts. That Hideous Strength is the last of C.S. Lewis's fictional books that I have not read and I am looking forward to finishing this last volume from his Space Trilogy. Seeking God and The Life and Diary of Daniel Brainard have been on my "To Be Read" shelf since dad got home from the Shepherd's Conference in March and it looks like they will be staying in that stack a bit longer for now. Perhaps I should have put Womanly Dominion into this stack as well since I would like to be reading it on a more consistent basis. I am thankful for the ability to do school, so I am not complaining about my lack of reading time, but I am definitely looking forward to the opportunity to read for fun a bit more once this degree is completed!

Friday, December 4, 2009

'Tis The Season

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. ~Galations 4:4-7

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. ~Ephesians 1:3~

Every spiritual blessing. And never deserved or earned by us. Wow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

So very thankful....

For a creative God who gave humans the ability to appreciate the beauty of what He has made. From the intricacy of snowflakes to the vastness of the starry universe, the Lord is glorified by the display of the immenseness of His creativity. I am thankful that He has given me eyes and enabled me to take delight in viewing the works of His hands. The splendor of creation exists for His glory alone, yet He still allows me to derive joy from being in it.

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:3-9

Saturday, November 14, 2009


...For a loving church committed to teaching Biblical truth
...For leadership committed to living truth as an example to those under their authority.
...For the unique peak that I am blessed to receive into the loving and laboring hearts of my Elders.
...For the love that I have received from individuals within the body.
...For the opportunity and ability to serve the church.
...For the accountability and encouragement that the body of Christ provides.
...For the Lord's faithful provision for our needs as a church and for making that provision very visible to us.
...For the way the Lord has used trials to sanctify individuals and use them as a testimony of his goodness.
...For the amazing grace of our Lord who chooses to use sinners to accomplish His purposes, thereby bringing glory to Himself alone.
...For the ability to go boldly into the throne room of grace to petition for our needs and requests and to know full well that the Lord will glorify Himself within His church.

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. ~Ephesians 2:19-21

P.S. Just wanted to comment on the odd phenomenon that the best way to begin to feel thankful when you don't feel thankful naturally is to start giving thanks. I tend to forget and instead put off blog posts on thankfulness because I am aware that I don't have a grateful attitude. When I just obey the command to give thanks by, you know, giving thanks, then I soon find my feelings have followed. Funny how that works.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lotsa writing goin' on

I am spending a great deal of this week preparing for an English composition test with essay. Never having had to do a timed essay before (yes, homeschooled, nope, mom never put a time limit on my writing assignments), I am discovering for the first time just how slowly I write. Fun, Fun, Fun. It isn't the kind of writing that makes for interesting blog posts either. My biggest frustration is being forced to fake knowledge and an informed opinion. No time to research. Here is topic, 45 minutes, go! Thankfully, I am pretty good at faking opinions, the knowledge...not so good. This is one of those skills that gets better with practice though, so I think I should survive.
In other news...Anyone notice it is under two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving? La! Happiness. Some of my bloggity friends are celebrating by posting daily (or almost daily) with something they are thankful for. I'd love to be a copy cat and join, but I am only going to do so if I am allowed to start out saying it definitely won't be a daily post. Not out of lack of gratefulness but rather out of lack of time to type out gratefulness and lack of desire to do so after spending a large amount typing in preparation for an English test. I will try for a couple time a week though, we shall see.
So to start out, I am very thankful for the ability to be studying for a degree in English. I am thankful for the Lord's provision in all the details of this process. I am thankful for the way my parents have been so good about putting up with the phrase "Can't, studying". I am thankful for the friend who is working on his degree as well and is willing to loan his books, further lowering my costs. I am thankful for the sweet sister who surprised me by cleaning my room last week because that job had fallen through the cracks in the midst of my other "stuff". I am thankful for the job that provides me with time to study and helps me to pay for it as well. I am thankful for the ability to utilize distance learning. I am thankful that, Lord willing, I should be able to graduate before Summer. And I am especially thankful that I can be certain that God will use this degree to His glory, even if I am not exactly sure of the "how" of that just yet.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Once Upon a Time...
There lived two sisters.

(Anna and Me at Grandma's house, 1994ish)

They were each others very first best friends. As the years passed, they remained each other's best girlfriends.

(Pajama Picture, Christmas Eve, 2005)

Mutual confidants and comforters...

(Spring 2007)

Sharers of countless memories and inside jokes.

(At the Resolved conference, Summer 2009)

Complete opposites in so many ways...
(Anna in camo, me is camping clothes. Fall 2007)

And yet kindred spirits.

(Coordinating Sweatshirts! Winter 2009)

"Some things were meant to be..."

(California, Oct. 2009)

Dear Anna, I am so very thankful that the Lord made us sisters, literally and spiritually. You are an enormous blessing to me and I treasure your friendship. Love ya lots!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I can hear it calling

Just in case you need suggestions for how to pass a Sunday afternoon, listening to your sister practice piano is a delightful option.

In addition to being the center of academic learning, our family's homeschool room is the location for Daddy's 100-ish year old upright piano. It has been part of my life since I was about four years old and each of my siblings and myself has spent time sitting on the bench plunking out keys for our own amusement while Daddy plays his repertoire of hymns and praise choruses. He didn't play very often because of a very busy schedule, but we all recognized the sound of the heavy lid rolling back into the piano as the cue to come dance around the living room and sing. Such is life with little girls.

Of the eight of us children, five have taken at least a year of piano lessons. Anna and Emma are the only ones who are currently sticking with that instrument, the rest of us are hoping to develop talent in other musical areas. Between two people who take lessons, the others who occasionally like to pretend they know how to play, and Daddy, Anna, and myself preparing for church worship music, the piano bench has been kept very warm over the last few years. It is still fun when Daddy plays, but Anna is our primary accompanist and resident soloist. She is the one of our family who is the most gifted when it comes to her particular instrument.

When Anna touches those keys, something wonderful happens. The rest of us sit down and read notes and a melody and that is all we play. Anna turns the notes into a living, breathing entity. Her fingers infuse the melody with emotion and make it into something memorable.

This afternoon, I was thumbing through one of her piano books and found an arrangement called "Longing" that came at out of George Winston's "Autumn" album. I hadn't heard the piece, but seeing as it fit our current time of the year, I asked if she'd try it. She wasn't familiar with it either, but still sight-read it beautifully. Wistfulness and poignancy began wafting through the air and I was again left wondering how music is capable of expressing and provoking emotion. What is it about mere notes and sounds that makes me so intoxicatingly happy in the present moment and yet makes me yearn for something else, something more?

C.S. Lewis accurately describes the emotion through the character of Psyche in "Till We Have Faces": "It was when I was happiest that I longed most. .. And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it. Everything seemed to be saying, Psyche, come! But I couldn't (not yet) come and I didn't know where I was to come to. It almost hurt me. I felt like a bird in a cage when the other birds of its kind are flying home."

Is it the longing for heaven? For home? For the beauty there that makes this world seem like a scanty reflection? For the joy that will be beyond anything I can know here? A reminder that I have not yet attained it? Is it the smallest taste of what is to come?

"For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:22-25

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Psalm 33

Shout for joy in the Lord,
O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to Him
with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to Him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright, and
all His work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
He puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world
stand in awe of Him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
He commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!
The Lord looks down from heaven;
He sees all the children of man;
from where He sits enthroned
He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.
the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in His steadfast love,
that He may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in Him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Two Three

Ashley (who blogs here: asked "What are three things that make you smile today?" I am playing along, so here are my three things.

1. Everything fell into place perfectly (or rather, was perfectly ordained and orchestrated by a Sovereign Hand) for my Daddy and my Pastor to make their connecting flight en route to Russia today despite lots of stressful cuircumstances and questions of whether or not they would be able to go. Missing them, still glad they can go. (If you want more details, go to their blog to see what they are up to:

2. I found a letter in my mailbox yesterday. It has kept me smiling all the way through today!

3. The sight of cars being chased by a trail of skipping, hopping, dancing leaves wherever they go is delightful. The cars apparently have no idea that they are being trailed. I don't think the leaves have any idea what they are going to do if they actually catch up with the cars either.

You know the funny thing about listing things you like or are thankful for? It is kinda hard to stop once you start. For instance: October is a gorgeous month, even it's name proclaims beauty. October. Joe (the two year old brother) has been doing this adorable thing lately of saying "Need Hug!" whenever I walk by and then proceeding to give me one. Nine and a half weeks till Christmas! I had a lovely chit-chat with my Mom earlier. Tonight, I get to study. (Trying to focus on the get part, forget that sometimes.) And a few more hours until my phone will ring this evening. Do you have a list you want to share?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How easy it is for me to mistakenly take for granted the many gifts that God has given me. Of course God gives me food, health, a loving family, a job, and a home! Why should he not? I am His child after all, I have dedicated my life to Him, doesn't that entitle me to receive my basic needs and a few of my wants thrown in on top? Isn't He just filling His half of the deal that we both signed when I became a Christian? Like a spoiled toddler, I act as though the world revolves around me, as if God ought to sovereignly orchestrate the world's events to suit my desires.

Now, do I ever conciously think those things? No, but my attitude betrays that this is my true mindset. Only when I realize that I deserve nothing but punishment am I able to be humbly grateful for what I have; blessings of redemption and beyond. Even though God, in His infinite mercy and apart from any merit on my part, chose to redeem me with the blood of His Son, He is under no contract to give me one more blessing. He could say "Look, you get to go to heaven once this life is over, that is the one and only thing you are going to receive from me." And that one and only thing ought to be enough to make me spend the rest of my days giving thanks without expectation of anything further.

Yet the Lord doesn't stop at redemption but continues to heap blessing upon blessing. And lately, the Lord has granted me things that I know beyond a doubt I don't deserve and which I could never have brought about by myself. This is the Lord's doing, it is marvelous in my eyes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I feel sorta kinda a wee bit guilty about not blogging for two months straight...

Sorta kinda guilty, but not really truly guilty because with all the other things that need attention, I stubbornly refuse to be slave to a blogging schedule. But I am still feeling mildly guilty, because I would like to actually stick to my goal of 1-2 blog posts a month. How do those people do it who blog on a daily basis??? My life is just not interesting enough to do that. On the other hand, do people who have time to blog every day actually have a real life? Questions to ponder.

In reality, my life has been interesting lately. At least, it has been in my opinion. So much so, that I haven't wanted to take the time away from enjoying life to blog about it. During the last week though, I have been preparing my Fall schedule. As I was writing lists of all the great things I intend to accomplish and that I want to squeeze into my schedule sideways, "Blog" suddenly appeared on one of the lists, and I realized that I had written it there. Blog? Oh yeah, I do have one of those, don't I? Hmmm, maybe I should go look at it sometime....

And look at me now! Typing away very diligently as though I was actually doing something productive. The best thing about to-do lists? They make procrastination oh so easy. I can feel like I am working because I put an activity on paper and then did it. What a sense of accomplishment to put a check next to: "Blog". Nevermind the fact that "Do Laundry" still has no check next to it.

Fall is such fun. It is like the mid-year New Year. Resolutions, planning, new schedules, to-do lists, anticipation. My organization side kicks in at this time of year with full force . Usually, I wait until August is over to proclaim it the end of Summer but this year I decided that my Summer officially ends on Monday. Yes, the 95 degree weather is mocking me and I have no intention of giving up my flip flops for at least another 4-6 weeks, but it is time for me to start focusing on getting things done. At the moment, my mood is even matching my resolve! We will see whether or not I am still this dedicated once I am done writing schedules and have to start living by them. Come Monday morning, I may decide I need one more week of to-do list writing before summer ends.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am HERE!

In sunny, windy Southern California to be exact. My family and my Pastor's family (who is also my family, but not by blood, by choice. Meaning, I choose to consider them family, and since God chose both of our families to be part of His Family, then we are technically family by God's choice. Oh, and I guess by blood too. Christ's blood though, not ours. K, I will stop murdering the grammar of the English language now. :)

As I was saying, my families and I are enjoying a relaxing vacation in Southern CA this week and part of next week. The exciting event of the trip begins tonight though, and I would like to invite you all to participate in it from wherever you may be! Come (in the figurative sense) and learn from Steve Lawson, John MacArthur, John Piper, Rick Holland, and CJ Mahaney as the conference is live streamed via the Internet. Go here for details:

EDITED 7/8 to say:
You can now dowload the sessions for free here ( and they are very worth taking the time to do so! If you listen to nothing else, check out John Piper's and Steve Lawson's sessions. It is so hard for me to pick a favorite as all the speakers are gifted, godly men, so I will just narrow it down to those four sessions by Piper and Lawson. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

From My Personal Dictionary:

Idaho: proper noun. Def: 1. Sprinklers at sunset 2. Home.

(click on the picture to see it bigger)

I am still working on my header by the way, so technically I probably should be working on that, but the sprinklers distracted me. Ahhh, happiness.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Potential Disaster Area: Enter At Your Own Risk

My friend Dori entered the blog world recently here and after envying her pretty layout for almost a full day, I found out where she got it! I am now being a shameful copycat and updating my blog with some of the stuff I am finding from Since my html knowledge is minimal at best, playing around on here is always dangerous. Hopefully, I won't end up deleting something important. Stick around! Constuction mode will be over shortly.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Taste and See

Maybe it is because the sun is shining and it feels like spring. Maybe it is because there is a sprig of honeysuckle in a vase above the kitchen sink. Maybe it is because I am wearing my favorite blue sweatshirt. Maybe it is because I am listening to the newest single by Jars of Clay. Maybe it is because...God is good.

I am in a happy mood today.

"And it feels like giving in, It feels like starting over, It feels like waking up, and you know it’s coming, It feels like a brand new day. Open your eyes." (Two Hands, Jars of Clay)

God is good. That phrase has been pasted on key chains, coffee cups, posters and refrigerator magnets. It has become a cliche associated with pictures of cuddly kittens and puppies. Yet somehow, the overuse of the phrase hasn't removed its truth. For me, the phrase encompasses the simplicity of God's love for mankind and for me. There are other bigger, prettier words that could be used to describe our Lord: righteous, just, omnipotent, long-suffering, eternal; and all of them are true and accurate. But it is His goodness, to me personally, that is standing out to me today. God is good. Is it really possible to say it too much?

I tend to be suspicious of happy times. When things are going well, I have an Eeyore-like response of "It will probably rain tomorrow". I know that God often uses trials for our sanctification and I know that trials are what we are told to expect from this world. So I am well aware that I shouldn't place too much stock in today's fleeting circumstances. But I am also learning that it is alright to enjoy the happy moments. Remember the Spurgeon quote I posted last? It ends with an encouragement to leave the results of today's work in God's hands and to expect a blessed issue. Knowing that God is going use today's events to sanctify me and to further His purposes, allows me to enjoy today. I forget to do that a lot of the time when I am too busy thinking ahead to see what He is doing now. God is good.

"Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise." James 5:13b
Photography by Rebekah :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Unoriginal Post

One of these days I will take the time to write a true article thingy to put on here, but for now I am appreciating other people's words. So instead of reading my ramblings today, read what Spurgeon has to say about Psalm 37:4-6. You can read his complete text here:

Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Psalm 37:4-6

"There is no room for fretting if we remember that God is ours, but there is every incentive to sacred enjoyment of the most elevated and ecstatic kind. Every name, attribute, word, or deed of Jehovah, should be delightful to us, and in meditating thereon our soul should be as glad as is the epicure who feeds delicately with a profound relish for his dainties. And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. A pleasant duty is here rewarded with another pleasure. Men who delight in God desire or ask for nothing but what will please God; hence it is safe to give them carte blanche. Their will is subdued to God's will, and now they may have what they will. Our innermost desires are here meant, not our casual wishes; there are many things which nature might desire which grace would never permit us to ask for; these deep, prayerful, asking desires are those to which the promise is made.
Commit thy way unto the Lord. Roll the whole burden of life upon the Lord. Leave with Jehovah not thy present fretfulness merely, but all thy cares; in fact, submit the whole tenor of thy way to him. Cast away anxiety, resign thy will, submit thy judgment, leave all with the God of all....The ploughman sows and harrows, and then leaves the harvest to God. What can he do else? He cannot cover the heavens with clouds, or command the rain, or bring forth the sun or create the dew. He does well to leave the whole matter with God; and so to all of us it is truest wisdom, having obediently trusted in God, to leave results in his hands and expect a blessed issue."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He lives!

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." ~Romans 8:1-4

I would love to be able to write something profound about Christ's resurrection, but what can I say that hasn't been said before? And what words can I use more glorious than these? I have no hope, except that Christ died for my sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. I trust that I will be raised with Him on the last day, when my faith is made sight and the work He began in me is finally completed. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have an obsession with words: big words, words that are not commonly used, words that imply a strong emotion or action, and words that roll off the tongue with a delightful feel. One such word is "undismayed". What a strong-sounding word, conveying steadfastness and security (two more great words right there). Here are a couple definitions of the word that I just found with the help of Professor Google.

"Undaunted; unshaken in purpose; hopeful and calm."

[I wonder if I am supposed to post sources for these? I don't know what the rules are... I suppose if you really want to know where I got this then you can google "undismayed" and look at the first few links that come up. I don't feel like tracking the links down at the moment 'cause my cut and paste feature is acting wonky and I am being lazy.]

Anyway, this word came to mind today 'cause I was a'pondering my worry problem. Yes, I am a worrier, always have been. Probably stems in part from my control-freakish, oldest child nature that wants to make sure the world is run correctly. Add to that an imagination that takes a morbid interest in making up stories to herself about all the possible awful outcomes of a situation and you get me: a chronic worrier. I was the child who seldom fell asleep during late night road trips because I felt that I needed to be able to wake my daddy up if he ever fell asleep at the wheel. I also remember making sure I knew where the phone was, just in case I couldn't yell loud enough to wake him, and I ended up needing to call 911. I would also check in my purse for band-aids, make sure all my siblings were wearing their seatbelts correctly, and calculate an exit strategy should the car spontaneously combust. By the way, none of this was a result of my thinking that my dad was a bad driver, or even because he was looking tired. I just knew that car accidents happen and I was going to be prepared. If I ever end up totally insane, you will all know that it didn't come on suddenly.

Soooo, to get back on topic, I was a'pondering this worry problem of mine and wondering why I struggle so much with worry. I know that our God is sovereign, I know that He will work out all things for good. My worry is a sin because it says that I have not truly believed everything God says about Himself and the promises He has made to me. Even though my current worries are slightly more plausible than my car spontaneously combusting, they are still fruitless and pointless. So why do I keep worrying? Why do I find myself confessing the same anxiety for the same things over and over and over? Even if I didn't have His promises to lean on, I have personal experience and memory of His provision and His care. It is not like I am being asked to trust someone Who has never done anything for me! Why do I find it so hard to fully rest in my Savior?

Whenever I think about worry, the words from one of my favorite hymns usually begins to run through my head at some point. One of the words in the first verses is "undaunted", the very opposite of fear. When I have given up my worry and I am at rest in trusting my Lord, then am I able to experience His peace. I just always seem to go about the process of letting go the hard way. I feel like I am stuck in the terrible threes; forever acting like a stubborn three year old. "Noooo!!! I want to take care of it myself!!! I am a big girl!!!! What if You don't do it right??? What if it isn't fun??? What if it hurts??? Just let me!!!"

Anywhoo... This song is so pretty. I don't know what the original arrangement of this song sounds like as I have only heard the Jars of Clay version (love their music!), but here are the words which were originally written by Paul Gerhardt and translated by John Wesley. My blog's title comes from the first line.

Give to the wind thy fears,
Hope and be undismayed.
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God will lift up thy head.

Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command.
Then shalt thou, wondering, own His way;
How wise, how strong His hand.

Far, far above thy thought,
His counsel shall appear
When fully He the work hath wrought
That caused thy needless fear.

Through waves and clouds and storms
He gently clears the way.
Wait thou His time and so shall this night
Soon end in joyous day.

So I am handing this worry over again, knowing that it will probably revisit me again later. Hopefully I will remember to offer it up sooner next time instead of hoisting it around and carrying it with me everywhere. Jesus is a much more capable burden bearer than I am and I have reached the point tonight where I am happy to have Him take it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Verses

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old. ~Micah 7:18-20

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. ~Ephesians 1:3-14

"Let us love and sing and wonder,
Let us praise the Savior's name.
He has hushed the law's loud thunder,
He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame.
He has washed us with His blood...
He has brought us nigh to God."

~John Newton

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On Moonlight

I adore starry nights with bright, full moons. I especially love it when the moonlight falls directly on my pillow. Makes me feel like a heroine in a delicious novel. Something about sleeping in a spotlight causes me to fall asleep with various lines of romantic poetry floating through my head and a serene smile on my face.

"The curfew tolls the knell of parting day...
...And leaves the world to darkness and to me."
"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
the moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas..."
"I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls..."
"...For she did not seem as dead,
But fast asleep, and lay as tho' she smiled..."
What did you say? Why yes, I am a ridiculously hopeless romantic. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My sister asked me the other day why I bothered to get a new blog if I am never going to update it. When I set this up I had the lofty goal of posting about every week; now I am thinking that if I aim for once every two weeks, then I will be doing pretty good. We will hope for more than once a month. I am in such a busy season of life right now (is there such a thing as an un-busy season?) and blog entries have a tendency to swirl in my head without ever making it into type.

Seasons, seasons, seasons. As hectic as it is, I really do love the season the Lord has me in right now. In school, at home, single. My contentment level varies on a daily basis but overall, I know this is a precious time and I want to savor it to the fullest. As the oldest in a large family, I am grateful for the ability to enjoy this time of us all being at home together. I think of my friends who are younger kids in big families, and the dynamics change once the older ones move out. I know that I get to experience this time more fully than my youngest siblings. We are all living at home together, and once we start to go our separate ways and begin our own families, this season will be finished and home will not mean quite the same thing it meant before. The changes are already beginning as my sister Anna and I have started to pursue various interests and ministries and so are not home as much as we used to be. But even still, when she and I refer to home, we mean the same place.

For now, home means three or more people trying to make dinner together in a tiny kitchen, late night talks and giggles until Daddy bellows "Go to sleep!", listening to looooong stories about bionicles, maneuvering for room at the bathroom mirror on Sunday mornings, studying for a college literature exam at the table with the 6yo who is learning his subtraction, chatting on facebook while sitting across the room from each other, eating meals in a hurry so that you can run to the next activity, two spelling tests being given at the same time while everybody else covers their ears, twenty cereal boxes adorning the top of the fridge, inside jokes and knowing looks, cleaning house while dancing to music that is turned all the way up, studying while a two year old brother plays with legos on your lap, "discussions" about who is wearing who's shoes, constant teasing and laughing, numerous loads of dishes and laundry, and celebration at every new phrase the baby says. Life is good and I truly love being home.
And yet... It amazes me how quickly my bubble of contentment is burst. All it takes is some person trying to make conversation asking "So, you're still living at home? Oh! Okaaay..." Then I suddenly feel very small; as though I need to offer an apologetic explaination. It slighty helps that I am studying for my B.A., but what am I supposed to say after I have my degree and am still living at home? I begin to realize that my contentment is based too strongly on my enjoyment of the present situation and on the good opinion of those around me rather than being grounded in the God who put me here.

Isn't it funny how we have our lives figured out during the years when we are 12 to 17? At least I did. I thought I had the perfect understanding of how a single young lady should live. She simply stays home and bakes bread until her Prince comes a-knockin'. Not until I turned eighteen and started to look single young-ladyhood in the face, did I begin to realize how little I understood. It is all very well to say that you are going to wait at home for Prince Charming, quite another to actually do so when he is nowhere in sight. What do you do with your time? What are your aims and goals? And what if, dare I say it, you don't marry until you are forty? What then?! Do you still plan on being at home?

As I have agonized over these questions to my parents, I have been reminded me of several things. First: God is not cruel. Second: There is no point in worrying over things I am not dealing with yet. In other words, we will worry about 40 on my 40th birthday. Third: This season is not a punishment. Fourth: Being single is not an excuse to be idle. Fifth: My purpose is no different than it has ever been; to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. By the way, just because I can list them does not mean I have learned them. I am still working on them and will undoubtedly be doing so for awhile.

My parents and I have been trying to understand what this season is going to look like. The truth is that the Bible doesn't lay out a clear cut plan for how single daughters are supposed to do things. We are given principles in the Word, and we are given wisdom to make decisions for how we are going to live them out. We are aware that the choices we make are not going to be the same that other families, or possibly even some of my siblings, may choose to make. I would personally be happy in a cookie-cutter world; one in which I could be certain of doing things right. But God in His wisdom hasn't made us cookie-cutters and is instead pleased to allow me to figure these things out through seeking Him and studying His Word. Not my way, but undoubtedly the better way.

So for this moment: I am at home, working on a degree in English that will hopefully make me better equipped to serve the Lord. In addition to the academic lessons I will be learning over the next year, I am certain that God has spiritual ones on the agenda as well. How greatful I am for His patience and for the certainty that He will glorify Himself as He works in me through this season and the many to follow.