Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Marriage Hall of Fame

Following is my tribute...inadequate as it may these marriages that I have been blessed to witness within Micah's and my own families.

I have been so heartened and encouraged by these couples and what they have exemplified to me with their strong and happy marriages! No...not perfect marriages...but tended and cared for. When both partners commit to honor and care for their marriage and each other, they prosper exceedingly more than I'm sure I can imagine, until I have experienced many more years as Micah's wife.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Our Parents

Micah's Parents
They have been married for over thirty years, and have been Micah's inspiration for what marriage should be. As missionaries and church planters in Venezuela, Ohio and Arizona, they have always worked together in ministry and in raising their family. When I watch them together as a couple, I can tell that they love one another deeply and really truly enjoy spending time together. We have not been around Micah's family very much during our short marriage this far, but I look forward to spending more time in the future with his parents as we can. I owe them greatly...for their gift to me of a wonderful husband:o)

My parents, at their marriage in 1979
Twenty-six years and counting! My parents have a marriage that is worth emulating. It has been a great blessing to me and my sisters, and a great example for us to aspire to. My parents just love to be together. They have worked very hard during the past almost-three decades to always make time for each other, to always talk and make decisions together, and to show great respect for each other in everything. They always told us, "when we married, we decided that divorce was not an option." So if things weren't always going great? Well, they were stuck with each other, so they knew it would be in their best interest to work the problems out!
I owe my vision of marriage as a sacred blessing to my parents.

Our Grandparents

Micah's grandparents
They were farmers, and until within the last several months, lived together on the same farm in rural Ohio throughout their entire marriage. Micah's Grandpa is now in need of more care, and has had to be moved to a special home. It is very hard for them to be split up, but Grandma visits him as much as she can. They have been married for about 60 years.

These are my grandparents, Arlene, Bill, Linda and Bill.
They have been married for 51 years and 33 years respectively.
Bill and Arlene, on the left, were not living for Christ when they first married and began to raise their family. But when they turned to Him, their marriage became transformed. Today, my Grandma Arlene speaks at Christian Women's Clubs all over the country and shares her testimony with other women. My Grandpa travels with her and is her "manager." They love to travel together!
Bill and Linda, on the right, have had to overcome the difficulties brought on by the deaths of both of their first spouses, and by creating a mixed family of eight when they married each other. There was a lot to work through...but today they have a very strong marriage and are closer than ever. Grandpa makes the best apple pies in the world--and very good bread--and Grandma likes to cook everything else!

My Great-Grandparents

Arthur and Hettie (with my dad in the middle)...about 2000

Seventy-One Years

These were my great-grandparents, Arthur and Hettie, at the time of their marriage in 1929. They were married for seventy-one years before Great-Grandpa died. Great-Grandma died about a year and a half later. They were the most loving couple...inspiring to watch.

As farmers, they always worked hard as a team to keep things going. Great-Grandpa was the strong, silent type, so Great-Grandma did all the talking for both of them. She was as chipper and sweet as a little bird, and was a great story-teller. Near the end, she lovingly cared for him when his health began to decline and he had to be put on oxygen. When her own time came, she was very happy to be going to join the Lord and her beloved husband once more.

Life Happenings

I haven't written much about my personal life on this blog so far, but I now feel the need for a bit of an outlet. In the past week, we found and signed a lease on our new rental home, which we will be moving into in two weeks. I also was offered and accepted a job, and started work yesterday. It has been an extremely busy time, and I'm glad for this weekend to hopefully rest up a bit!

I have been without an full-time outside job for several months now, but extenuating financial circumstances are forcing me back into the work-place at least temporarily. Eventually, Micah and I want to begin a small business that I can run from home. But these things take time to start up. So in the meantime, I must tackle the dilemma of how to remain home-centered (which is my heart) and accomplish all of the domestic-y things I like to do, while I'm working away from home most of the day. I tried to do this before while at my last job and never quite figured it out. I suppose the answer is that this situation isn't ideal, and I cannot do everything I wish to do. But I must prioritize and do what I can. And pray that God will give me strength.

We are extremely excited about our new home, as we have been living in a temporary situation with most of our things in storage for about the past six months. A move, unemployment, and some financial difficulties have added a lot to our stresses during this time. But God has now provided my husband with a promising new job, and He has provided a way for me to help out while Micah is undergoing all the necessary training and certifications for his career, which is not yet earning anywhere close to its full potential. I think God is using these experiences to teach me patience, thankfulness and contentment. He knows these are some of my weakest virtues, and He knows how to induce me to practice them!

When Micah and I married almost two years ago, we promised that we would be here for each other "for richer or poorer" and "for better or worse." I can honestly say that these past several months have been for poorer and for worse, as far as our situation! But Micah has been there for his wife, no matter how stressed, moody, or whatever I have been. He has been way more loving than I have always deserved. We have both been beaten down by life recently, but Micah's spirit has not been crushed. And now I want to be standing there with him as we seek to pick up the pieces and work at building a beautiful life together. I sense that much more refining is still in the works for me! But if this past week is any indication, so are God's rich blessings. Thank you, God, for your provision...and help me to be what my husband needs during this time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I learned to read using phonics, not the "whole language" method or whatever they called it...but I still got this right away! Maybe I'm so used to reading now that the unique elements of all the common words are imprinted in my brain?

The phaonmneel pweor of the hmuan mnid: I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearcr at Cmagbride uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers of a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcsuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

From: Wild Blue Yonder, Aug. 05

Showing That It Can Be Done!

It saddens me that our culture does not do enough to celebrate and encourage the love that should exist between husband and wife. Most love stories in movies and books take place between unmarried couples and end with the wedding.

Depictions of marriage in popular culture often leave me feeling cold: infidelity, abuse, male chauvinism, female desperation, emotional distance, fighting, and "losing one's true self" are the focus. Shows such as "Desperate Housewives" capitalize on all these themes, and even self-help shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil overwhelmingly draw attention to the negatives of marriage in their attempts to "help." Maybe we could be "helped" more by seeing examples of what marriages should look like.

I was so blessed to grow up with the example of my parents' marriage. They aren't perfect, but they chose to work on their marriage, and it shows. Right before my marriage to Micah, I was working at a Dr's office where a lot of my coworkers were in sad family situations, including one woman with the most dysfunctional family I have ever heard of. She could have been on all the daytime talkshows and not run out of things to cry about. They all thought I was naive, because I expected to have a happy marriage, and was certain that my husband would not cheat on me or abuse me in some way. They told me over and over that "I would see." They warned me to watch out, because guys will not usually remain faithful, or remain the same person they seemed before the wedding.

At first I tried to laugh off my coworkers' concerns, but as their warnings became more adament, I realized that they were very serious. I begin to understand, from hearing their stories that they had probably never even seen a happy marriage, as I had been blessed to witness not only with my parents, but with many of our relatives and friends.

I hope that as Micah and I continue to gather the years together, we can establish one of those unions that makes people pause and say, "wow. marriage is a good thing." I hope that more older couples with strong marriages--built on a strong foundation--will make themselves more visible in our culture at large, providing hope and an encouraging model for those that come behind them.

Love Letters Between Husbands and Wives

Abigail Adams to John Adams, her husband. He became the second president of the United States. Written December 23, 1782:

My Dearest Friend,

...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.

Letter from a civil war surgeon to his wife:

Brandy Station,
Sunday night, Nov. 1 [1863]

My dear Mollie
I rcd a letter today from a very handsome lady to play cupid. Although not accompanied by her likeness yet her image was so indelibly impressed upon my mind that the likeness itself could not recall the features more vividly than they are impressed. I first met her in a village in Western Va when I was about 17 years old and she 8. I afterwards saw her frequently and occasionally was in her company, and nonwithstanding the disparity of our ages, I became so favorably impressed with her fair face and gentle manners that I frequently said to myself that I wished she was older or I younger.

In 3 to 4 years she had grown so much that the disparity in age seemed to grow less. Never did a lady witness the budding of a flower with more requisite pleasure than did I the budding of that pretty little girl into womanhood. She made much of my thoughts while in Mexico and more upon my return home. While at the University of Va., I not infrequently found my thoughts wandering from the dry textbook to contemplate by the aid of memory the features and form of this little girl.

After I completed my studies, I traveled in the west and expected to find a home in some western state, but not finding a place to suit me, together with the persuasions of that fair face, induced me to return.

I entered, as you know, actively into the pursuit of my profession with the determination to make at least a fair reputation and tried to withdraw my thought from everything else, but I found this little fairy constantly and pleasantly intruding into all my plans, whether of pleasure or interest. At this period she met me politely and respectfully but seemed to grow more distant, coy & reserved, so that I frequently thought that even the ordinary attentions of common politeness & courtesy were no special source of pleasure to her.

In a few instances when she has arrived at about the age of 15 this shyness and reserve seemed to be forgotten, and I would pass an hour or two in the enjoyment of her company with great pleasure to myself and I imagined with at least satisfaction, if not enjoyment, to her. I began to think that my happiness was identified with hers. I began to pay her special visits or at least seek opportunities by which I might be in her company. I sought her society on pleasure rides and thought it not a hardship to ride 65 miles in 24 hours if part of the time might be spent with her. She always exhibited or observed the decorum of modest reserve which might be construed into neither encouragement nor discouragement.

After the delibertation & reflection which I thought due to a matter which involved my happiness for life, I felt that her destiny and mine were probably intended to be united, and that all the adverse counsel which I could give myself could bring no objections. I felt that I ought both as a matter of duty and happiness give my whole life to her, who for 9 years had my attention and devotion, though concealed love.

After a few little billets and interviews, and with a full declaration of the love I desired to bestow, I received a measured and loving response and was made most happy in the anticipation of the celebration of the nuptials fixed at some 6 months hence. This time glided nicely & happily, though not too rapidly, away from me. The hours of leisure were spent with her and my visits were always welcomed with that cordial welcome, that maiden modesty, so much to be admired. Tis true that on one occasion she did rest her elbow upon my knee and look with confidential pleasure in my face and made me realize that indeed I had her whole heart.

Suffice it to say, the happy day of our marriage arrived and since then, hours, days, and years of time, confidence & happiness passed rapidly away, and only to make us feel that happy as were the hours of youthful days, they compare not with those of later years and perhaps even these may not be equal to that which is in reserve for us.

I dont know how much pleasure it affords you to go over these days of the past, but to me they will ever be remembered as days of felicity. And how happy the thought that years increase the affection & esteem we have for each other to love & be loved. May it ever be so, and may I ever be a husband worthy of your warmest affections. May I make you happy and in so doing be made happy in return. A sweet kiss and embrace to your greeting.

But maybe you will say it looks ridiculous to see a man getting grayhaired to be writing love letters, so I will use the remnant of my paper otherwise...
Yours affectionately H Black

Winston Churchill to his wife, January 23, 1935:

My darling Clemmie,
In your letter from Madras you wrote some words very dear to me, about my having enriched your life. I cannot tell you what pleasure this gave me, because I always feel so overwhelmingly in your debt, if there can be accounts in love.... What it has been to me to live all these years in your heart and companionship no phrases can convey.

Time passes swiftly, but is it not joyous to see how great and growing is the treasure we have gathered together, amid the storms and stresses of so many eventful and to millions tragic and terrible years?
Your loving husband

Ronald Reagan to Nancy, Aboard Air Force OneMarch 4 1983:

Dear First Lady
I know tradition has it that on this morning I place cards--Happy Anniversary cards--on your breakfast tray. But things are somewhat mixed up. I substituted a gift & delivered it a few weeks ago.

Still this is the day, the day that marks 31 years of such happiness as comes to few men. I told you once that it was like an adolescent's dream of what marriage should be like. That hasn't changed.

You know I love the ranch, but these last two days made it plain I only love it when you are there. Come to think of it that's true of every place & every time. When you aren't there I'm no place, just lost in time & space.

I more than love you, I'm not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone I'm waiting for you to return so I can start living again. Happy Anniversary & thank you for 31 wonderful years. I love you.
Your Grateful Husband

How Mothering Makes More of Us

I am not yet a mother, but I am really looking forward to the time when I will (God willing) experience the "refining fire" and joy of children. I cannot wait to see how God might use motherhood to strip away some of my selfishness and rough edges. Here is a great article about that I hope might encourage mothers and women looking forward to motherhood:o)

How Mothering Makes More of Us
By Jenny Schroedel

In the recent Boundless article “Motherhood on Trial,” Megan Basham shared the stories of women who are voluntarily childless (as well those who had children but regret it). Some of these women equated child-rearing with personal and professional obliteration: They feared it would strain their marriages, destroy their careers, and compromise their autonomy. Others claimed that the reality of parenting was so horrifying that no one who knew what it was like would go ahead with it.

As I read the article, I had to admit that, yes, there is an element of obliteration in motherhood. In order to make space for a new life much of your old life has to go. During pregnancy, your body transforms in miraculous yet alarming ways. In turn, you revel at the quickening child within you, and grit your teeth as you part with your pre-pregnancy jeans, your ability to sleep through the night, and your breakfast. In that first month, your baby may be smaller than a grain of rice, but she begins to make disproportionately large demands. Her presence reminds you that you’re going to have to rearrange your life in a big way.

This is especially true during the pregnancy and the postpartum months, when growing and caring for the child leaves little energy for much else. Becoming a mother is akin to being a grain of wheat thrust deep into the soil. There’s a sudden anonymity about your life: Much of your best work is now done behind closed doors. In tiny, concrete ways, like washing behind your baby’s ears and thinking up little ditties to make diaper changes fun, you participate in God’s love for your child. Time is no longer marked by the ticking clock, but by your baby’s needs.

To become mothers, many women drop out of the public eye, leaving careers or college so that they can give themselves to the work of growing a human being. They are pushed deep into the soil of motherhood, and like most seeds, they don’t look too remarkable in the eyes of the world. Nor do they always perceive their own growth.

When I was pregnant, I feared that I was shutting the door on all sorts of unexplored possibilities. When I admitted this to a friend she said, “I think this child is going to be part of your growth.”

When I was pregnant I just couldn’t believe her. I finally understood her words the night Anna was born, as I held her little burrito of a body and life opened to me in an infinitely fresh way.

* * *

In Gail Godwin’s novel Evensong, one of her characters defines a vocation as “a job that is always making more of you.” This is the best way I can describe the work of caring for a child, for both the mother and the father. Putting aside your own desires (like a good night’s sleep and an undisturbed cup of morning coffee) to tend to another person is intense enough that if you don’t change — and become more than you were to begin with — you won’t survive.

But mothering is also compatible with lots of other ventures that can expand your sense of self. When I was a kid, my mom took me with her to deliver meals to homebound elderly folks. She also volunteered one night a week at a local hospital while my dad watched my brother and me. I still remember watching her head out in her crisp uniform and thinking, “My mom does something really important!”

Two young mothers in the building next door study for their Medical Board exams while their babies sleep. Another gives piano lessons from home. Yet another has a radio program on a local station and has started a small organization to upgrade the local public library. For me, having a child has provided the impetus I needed to begin to write seriously.

For generations, stay-at-home mothers have been contributing to society. Some of them, like the Proverbs 31 woman, make money doing this. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night (31:18). She, like so many other women around the world, plunges into work of her own after her kids nod off.

Mothers need a sense of purpose separate from their offspring, because children grow up and move on. Mothers who have been cultivating their own gardens have flowers that will continue to bloom in wild and unexpected ways in the years to come.

* * *

I said before that becoming a mother is something like sinking into deep soil. But what fertile soil it is! Infinite opportunities for growth are hidden in that soil. The grain of wheat in John 12:24 must fall into the earth to die so that it can bear fruit. So too, many women choose to surrender much of their former lives so that they can be fruitful.

When I was at seminary my mentor explained to me that there are seasons of our lives where we are called upon to surrender things we hold dear. This occurs in a profound way when we marry and leave our parents to cleave to our spouses. I was happy to take my husband’s name when I married because I felt that the symbolism made sense. I was leaving one identity behind in order to espouse a new one — by becoming husband and wife, he and I both had to change and become more flexible. Sharing a name helped cement our commitment to become one from two. For a married couple to thrive, each spouse has to surrender certain aspects of their pre-married existence. During the cleaving phase, some pieces of their single identities have to go. But the best parts of ourselves always come back in a fuller, richer form, like the rose bushes you cut back one year only so they can burst into color the next.

This was equally true for us when we had our first child, and together, we surrendered some of the spontaneity and freedom we had as a childless couple, only to discover a deeper form of freedom.

I mentioned my mentor who spoke of surrender. He also described a hopeful pattern from his own life. “I have never surrendered anything that was really good that didn’t come back later on in a fuller and richer way,” he said. This is how it is, especially for mothers. We let go of our pre-baby identity only to find ourselves anew.

Frederick Buechner wrote that we discover our vocation at the intersection of our own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger. This is the place of the seed, the soil that grows a mother. This is the work that never stops making more of us, that begins to make even the impossible seem possible.


London, England ( -- A new study by British researchers finds that almost half of the unborn children who are born at 23 weeks into the pregnancy survive the premature birth. The results may prompt British lawmakers to move back limits on late-term abortions and could be used to strengthen laws in other countries.

The line between what makes a baby a human being or a "non-entity" is becoming harder and harder to defend for pro-abortion groups. See rest of article here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Health Tips

Thank you so much to the ladies who offered their health tips:o) I think my tendency is to go "all out" healthy at once, and it's good to have the reminder to take it easy, NOT NAG(!), and try to honor my husband's need for a gradual transition to healthier foods. I need to remember that whereas I am used to the way I like to cook, he is not.

I wanted to post your comments, because I think these are some very helpful ideas. I know I will be trying some of them!

"One thing you can do is add untoasted wheat germ and bran to baked goods, even mixes. It won't fix all the "evils" of the white flour and preservatives, but it will add something to them. And help develop a taste for the whole wheat. In baking from scratch you might add just a bit of whole wheat to start with, like 1/4 cup. Slowly increase the amount. I think this allows the taste buds to become accustomed to the heartier taste of the whole grain without totally shocking the whole system. I use wheat germ in a lot of my baking and you really can't tell the difference usually. Now the bran is a bit stronger and if I am baking for someone not used to whole wheat I go easy on the bran.
On the rice, we as kids thought that brown rice was gross. We really didn't like it. So, we made 2 pots of rice, one brown and one white. Then we would mix the two. At first the proportions were more white and less brown, and then gradually we used less and less white rice. Pretty soon we were eating plain brown rice and got to where we prefered it. We did the same thing with spaghetti, mixed the whole wheat and the white. Never really made the full switch on that one but...Anyway, hope that helps. Go slow and easy on him and he'll probably take to it okay! :-)"

"I have been married 25 husband does not care for 'healthy' food :o) But over the years I have seen changes. For instance we started out with whole milk! Imagine that! Now we drink 1%.My husband still loves white bread but I buy Brownberry Honey Wheat and he sure likes that toasted with butter :o)We have a little brown rice every once in a while too.So the changes are small and slow...But you have many years. It's important not to nag. Smoothies are good and full of fruit. Carrot Cake has some carrots :o) Ice Cream is nice with strawberries...and we always have applesause in the house."

"Hi Erin! I'm a new visitor to your site. I wanted to offer a few suggestions for cooking healthier and introducing better food for your husband. I was actually going to mention what Nichola said about adding a little whole wheat flour to your recipes for bread, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc. This is what my mom did when she introduced whole grain baking to us. Now she makes the truly whole grain baked goods. For the rice, I thought of a rice cooker. I received one as a gift this year from a friend. They are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Mine came from Target and cost around $20. The thing that's great about a rice cooker is that it makes the rice just the right consistency, softer and fluffier. I used a type of oriental white rice when I tried it out but I think you could use any variety of rice. The key is to rinse the rice under water many, many times to remove the polishing agents and bleach. You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff they add to rice these days! This makes the rice sticky, if your husband likes sticky rice. I think most the Asian groups rinse their rice before cooking. We westerners just aren't so savvy:) I prefer whole wheat pastas and pancakes over the white. I think they are so much heartier and are more flavorful. There are some things that I prefer being cooked with white flour such as biscuits, desserts, pastries and cakes just because it makes them softer and lighter. Hope these ideas help. Nice to meet a new fellow blogger!"

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Non-kooky Health Resources?

I would love to know if anyone has discovered some good health resources that discuss things like balanced nutrition, vitamins and herbal remedies and what they accomplish, etc, without getting into kooky science or advocating a "diet"?

Also, does anyone have any tips on transitioning a carb-loving husband off of white flour/processed type products without sacrificing his pleasure? My dear husband was raised on certain foods that I don't like to make all the time because of nutritional value...he claims, for instance, that brown rice just isn't the same as white. And he really likes boxed muffin and pancake mixes even better than the stuff I make out of whole grains. Oh dear:o{ I really want to cook things he'll like, but I also want to take care of his health. I would love any advice anyone might have on this topic!

Seventeen Minutes

Seventeen Minutes: It's the thoughts—ordinary, daily thoughts—that count

by Andree Seu, Jun 11, 2005

These are the thoughts of a woman driving home from the Stop 'N Shop on an ordinary day.
She conjures three comebacks she could've hurled at Ellen if she had not been caught off guard.
She spots the baby shower invitation on the dashboard and schemes a way to be out of town that weekend—then thinks better of it because she has a favor to ask the sender at a later date.
She sizes up a woman standing at the bus stop—and judges her.
She stews over a comment her brother made behind her back, and crafts a letter telling him off—and sounding righteous in the process.
She reviews the morning's argument with her husband, and plans the evening installment.
She imagines how life would have been if she had married X (a well-worn furrow, this).
She magnanimously lets a car merge into traffic, and then is ticked off when she doesn't get her wave.
She resolves to eat less chocolate starting today—well, tomorrow.

She replays memory tapes going back to the '60s, trying to change the endings.
Somebody rides up the road shoulder and budges to the head of a traffic jam, and she hates the driver with a perfect hatred.
She passes the house of the contractor who defrauded her and fantasizes blowing it to smithereens.
She passes Audrey working in her garden and waves—but thinks, "If Audrey has chronic fatigue syndrome, I'm a flying Wallenda."
She glares at a driver who runs a red light in front of her, forgetting that she did the same about a mile ago.
She checks her slightly crooked nose compulsively in the rearview mirror, and reassures herself it isn't too bad.
An inner voice tells her to turn off the radio and pray, but she decides that's the voice of legalism.
She brainstorms talking points for her upcoming woman's Bible study lecture on "Ephesians" and considers how she can improve it—and make it better than Alice's talk of last week.
She is angry at God because here she is a Christian and broke, while her good-for-nothing heathen of a brother is rolling in dough.
She thinks how much better her life would be if she were beautiful, and fantasizes all the bungee-jumping, maggot pizza–eating "fear factor" stunts she'd be willing to subject herself to to look like Gwyneth Paltrow.
She wonders how her parents will divvy up the inheritance—and how long she has to wait.
She rehearses two good reasons why her sister and not she should take care of the folks when they're too old. She thinks about her childhood and counts the ways her parents have screwed up her life.
The Johnsons drive by, and she recalls all the meals she made for them 10 years ago when Lydia had toxemia during pregnancy, and bets they don't even remember. Hmm, did they even send a thank-you card?
The word treachery flashes through her mind (Mr. Beaver's succinct epithet for Edmund in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) but leaves no footprints.
An SUV cuts her off, and she decides to punish it by tailgating.
Her heart smites her for this. So she determines to try harder to live righteously from now on. Who knows, God may reward her in some amazing way: Her husband may give her grounds for divorce, and God will lead her to the arms of Mr. Right.
She tries to pray but doesn't get past "Our Father."
There are lots of other people that the woman does not think of while driving home with groceries, people who are not important to her social status, or just not interesting.
She doesn't think about AIDS-ravaged Africa, she doesn't think about the death sentence dangling over millions in Sudan, she doesn't think about missionaries, she doesn't think about martyrs in Kim Jong-il's prisons, she doesn't think about ways she could encourage her children.
She pulls into her driveway. Total driving time: 17 minutes.
And if you were to ask the lady, as she rustles parcels from the car, what she has been thinking about on the drive from town, she would say, "Oh, nothing in particular." And she would not be lying.
Imagine believing that we don't need a Savior.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Clarification on my earlier post about education

Warning: a couple of paragraphs discuss sensitive topics
Sorry this turned out to be so long, but I just wanted to get it out:o)

Education is one of my favorite topics, and I do have pretty strong opinions about it! But, I just wanted to clarify a couple of things I posted earlier in "Wisdom and Education: Not Always the Same", that perhaps did not come out right:

I am not against higher education. I graduated from college myself, and am glad that I did. But I do think that college is not for everyone, and shouldn't be culturally mandated as the only way of preparing for a career or becoming further educated. So much wisdom can be gained by reading great books and discussing ideas with others. In fact, those are some of the things I most loved about college...the reading and the discussion...although I probably could have pursued them in another way if I had really tried.

My motivation for going to college was never to prepare for a big career. For the most part, I just wanted to learn and broaden my horizons. I wanted to improve my writing (thus I majored in English). I also wanted to improve my social skills, as I knew myself to be rather shy. I wanted to combine my studies with travel and see different parts of the world, so I studied abroad during my junior year and loved it! An unplanned (though not entirely unhoped for) benefit of college for me is that I met my now-husband there in September of 2001:o)

Because I was not just going to college to earn a piece of paper--I was going to actually learn--the quality of the education was very important to me. I wanted to gain wisdom, not just information. I did not want to spend four years being bombarded with opinions based upon a worldview that I did not believe.

Before college, I was home-educated all the way through high school. During high school, this meant that most of my education was obtained mainly through reading on my own and taking private classes or jr. college classes a few days a week. I took a couple English classes at the jr. college in order to get college credit for cheap (free tuition, actually), and was very disappointed with them. Instead of studying literature and really examining the issues and ideas there, we read nothing but politically and socially sanitized essays and discussed our "feelings" about this and that. Of course, everyone has different "feelings" so our many hours of discussion never progressed beyond a forum for relativism and learning tolerance. I remember thinking: of course, we should be tolerant of people who are different. But if secular education means that we can never state any idea as absolute truth--therefore, by necessity superior to other ideas--then what is the point? If all ideas are relative, and education is nothing but tolerance conditioning, there is no point.

I understand that what I stated above relates more heavily to the liberal arts. Most math professors, for instance, are willing to agree that there are absolutes within the study of math. Most science instructors admit that there are scientific absolutes, although there is some disagreement about what constitutes an absolute and what is merely a theory (ie, macro-evolution).

On the flip-side of what I experienced at the jr. college, many others who attend secular universities find that some liberal arts professors do infuse their lessons with absolutes, though they are often inconsistent or don't make sense or are just plain wrong, according to what God says (which to Christians, of course, reigns supreme over what man says). For example, my best friend signed up for a Western Literature class at a state school, and instead was treated to a class on "gay literature". Oh, it was still all the old classics...Dante, Shakespeare, etc...but apparently everybody was gay. Most of the authors were gay, most of the characters were gay, and most of the readings related to gay themes. Did you know that several hundred years ago, everybody was gay and all the writing was about being gay? A few more examples of absolutes often taught at secular universities: Capital punishment for murderers is inhumane. Abortion is about choice for the woman and is not inhumane ( the question of whether the fetus is a human being or not dependent on what it's mother thinks or wants?). Hitler was evil. War is wrong (including WWII?). We should be tolerant of everyone's ideas and seek to understand their motives. Christian ideas are dangerous and harmful to society. Is this consistency? I could give more examples, but this is getting long enough.

My main point here, is that for the Christian who believes in the absolutes which God has established, secular liberal arts education is probably not the most helpful option. Even an athiest or humanist would probably find a different type of educational model than what we mostly have in the US to be more which demands consistency. (I was very impressed with the Oxford University model--students meet individually with tutors and present their research--because it requires the students to really think and to support and defend their ideas.)

My own choices about education reflect all that I've shared here. When I graduated from high school, I selected a private university based upon a consistent Christian worldview. A good Christian school will not censor all material that goes against the tenets of Christianity, but will encourage students to examine it according to God's absolutes. We studied things like macro-evolution, culture, and various religions at my school. But we did it with the purpose of better understanding our world, what others believe, and why God says what He does about things. In ALL cases, I found my own faith confirmed even more when compared with the many ideas that go against it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My baby sister

Found out this evening that my youngest sister, Ashley, has agreed to pursue a relationship with a neat young man. We were kind of expecting it, but now it's official:o) I'm very happy for her, and can't wait to meet him. They are both in another state, where she is staying with my uncle's family and serving the high school girls at the church my uncle pastors. The young man is the youth pastor at the church. My parents met him on a visit up there about a year ago--before Ashley working there was even planned or thought of--and decided at the time that he seemed like the kind of guy they would like to see Ashley find when the time was right. When he called a few nights ago to ask my dad's permission, he was happy to say yes.

I don't know if I should say what I'm now predicting... ;o)

This is pretty funny:o)

Indulge me, I love Shakespeare...

*The Hokey Pokey*Original Lyrics
Put your left foot in,
Your left foot out,
Your left foot in,
And shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around
That's what it's all about.

*The Hokey Pokey*Shakespearean Style
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven's yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.

Why Am I Doing This?

I have been prompted to think about why I have begun this blog. I'm not sure that I have so much to teach anyone. Rather, I am learning myself. I think that's the point.

I think by writing. Maybe to the non-writerly types that doesn't make sense...but it's always been that way for me! From the time I knew how to hold a pencil, I have filled journals with thoughts and ideas. Writing things out always seems to bring a deeper clarity for me...whether it's about spiritual issues, cultural issues, or personal issues. Or perhaps I should say, it allows me to synthesize all the random thoughts in my head from things I have heard or read or believe to be true into something that flows and makes sense to me. While writing, I am obliged to support ideas with evidence. It's also a good way to weed out inconsistencies in my beliefs. When I see two different ideas that don't seem to mesh smack dab on the same page, I have to go back and re-examine the issue.

But I don't want my writing to be a me-centered venture. Writing is most valuable when done in the context of a community. If my writing were not informed by people, events and ideas outside of myself, I think it would be, at the best, quite dull. And if I do not offer my ideas back to the community hoping for additional perspectives and insights, there is a good chance that they could become stale and narrowly defined.

Writing, for me, is also a prayer. I'm not a very good "pray-er", and never have been. My mind drifts. I lose focus. I don't know what to say. Sometimes I resort to a litany of requests, and other times I find myself repeating cliched sentences in my head (probably lifted from a composite of all the public prayers I've ever heard in my life!). There is a prescribed "way to pray," and I'm no good at it. But when I write, I find that I can honestly pour out my heart to God. I am able to tell Him what I'm thinking without adopting formulaic "prayer patterns" that eventually become thoughtless. Writing takes more time and effort, and so forces me to reflect more as I'm doing it. I'm not saying that this type of praying is the best or only; just that it helps my little mind to focus. This is how how I'm wired.

I would be honored if my writing could someday help or teach someone else. I am also delighted whenever I hear that someone has been encouraged by something I have written, or simply feels the same way and is glad to discover a kindred spirit. But regardless, writing teaches me something new all the time: It forces me to think. And if my "community" (which is probably only a couple people and my dog, but that's OK;o) ever wants to assist me in this process, I would be indebted.

(By the husband often reads my blog! I like that, because I love for him to know what I'm thinking so I can get his input. I wish he had to write to think too, because this would cut down on the necessity of my learning to read the male mind. He's too smart for me and can do it all in his head! No, seriously...he's becoming more adept at (verbal) expression, and that works too:o)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Marriage Thought for the Day

Is a marriage of equality one in which we feel compelled to perform the exact same roles? Or one in which we seek to compliment each other's roles and work as a team of partners--equal in worth, each needing the other?

I think that the first choice tends to demean the roles of one of the partners, saying that--for instance--a woman's special nurturing gifts are not needed and should be laid aside so that she can try to fulfill the same exact role as her mate. The opposite situation would be just as demeaning to her husband. We are more free when we recognize our differences, celebrate them, and seek to carry out our complementary roles with as much joy and personal flair* as we can.

*more thoughts on this later:o)

Wisdom and Education: Not Always the Same

"...And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."
~Proverbs 2:3-6

"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is the tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. By wisdom the Lord laid the earth's foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck."
~Proverbs 3:13-22

"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day."
~Proverbs 4:18

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Doesn't the Bible contain some of the most beautiful language? I've always loved Proverbs 4:18, above. God sparks little glimmers of illumination within our hearts and lives, and then gradually makes our paths brighter and brighter until we will attain full understanding of His truth in Heaven.

As someone who has always wanted to understand everything--that is, the most frustrating thing on Earth to me is confusion--these verses on wisdom really convict my heart. It is very easy to be swayed by human reasoning, rather than base my beliefs and values on God's truths.

Secular Humanists like to believe that Christians are ignorant, and that they are the enlightened ones. Our country has established a behemoth structure known as "higher education" that supposedly dispels ignorance as it seeks to produce a homogeneous, politically and socially correct crop of graduates. And yet we are more logically and morally confused then ever. Could it be that listening only to ourselves, and relying only on human reasoning doesn't work?

Here are just a few things I don't understand apart from God's presence and determination:
  1. Who's to decide what's "right" and what's "wrong"? What is the idea of right and wrong even based upon?
  2. If all things are relative, then what's the point of believing any one position or holding to any value? It's not any better than the next person's idea.
  3. Can we ever truly know anything? How do we know that we know?
  4. What is my purpose?
  5. What are the meanings of life and of death?
  6. How did we even get here in the first place? (I've spent a lot of time studying the theory of evolution, and even if I wasn't a Christian I know I could never logically accept that theory's credibility!)
  7. How can we say that somebody like Hitler or Osama Bin Laden is wrong? They're just doing what they feel is right for themselves and their own people, right? Isn't that what survival of the fittest is all about?

I feel sorry for the students who spend years being indoctrinated with position statements, instead of learning how to ask the real questions. So much time is spent in schools and universities throwing theories at them, while the inconsistencies are largely ignored. Education must be firmly anchored to a consistent moral base, or else it is nothing but empty chatter.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Married Christians Discuss Birth Control

As a young married myself who has grappled with the issue of birth control, I found this post and comments on World Magazine Blog interesting. This is not always an issue that gets much discussion within many Christian circles.

Laura's Post stated:

Biblical Birth Control?
Here's a question from a newlywed to older Christians: How much research did you do, before marriage, on whether birth control pills cause abortion, and whether the pill is a biblically-consistent means of family planning? What advice did doctors, pre-marital counselors and parents offer you? What advice do you give teens and young adults? What evidence do you have that supports your decision?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Unfolding Moments

After a bit of deliberation, I have decided to change my blog's name from Unfolding Rose to Unfolding Moments. I was afraid that the former name makes it sound like I am referring to myself as a rose...but I know myself too well for that!;o) I am not sure if it is possible to also change my URL. I will try to check into that a little later.


It's late and I should be going to bed soon...but instead my husband is making me homemade popcorn and I'm going to finish off a big bowl. I got home a little bit ago from working all afternoon and evening babysitting for a family with eight children (that I've worked for ever since they only had two), and so I've certainly had a busy day. Popcorn is just the treat I need...what a Sweetie Micah is;o)

We eat popcorn at least once a week. Sometimes, if we're not too hungry, we make it our meal. There's nothing like popping it fresh on the stove in sizzling corn oil, then drizzling a little butter and sprinkling a little salt to perfection. I'm always amazed at how many people don't know it can be made this way. If you've never tried it, do! You'll never go back to the microwave stuff!

1. Pour kernals into large pot (with lid!), so that they just cover the bottom.

2. Add corn oil until, when you shake the pan, all the kernals become well-coated.
(It's rather an art to get just the right amt...too little oil and it will burn.)

3. Put lid on pot. Cook on stove over med-high heat, shaking constantly. I always use hot-pads and hold the lid on with my hands while I'm shaking. Cook until you hear the popping stop (or until the popped popcorn starts pushing the lid off your pan! This may be a sign to use less kernals the next time;o)

4. Sprinkle with butter (no margarine, it will make the popcorn soggy) and seasonings to taste. Mix well.

5. Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Why Does Traditional Marriage Matter?

Hubby and I clicked on the television the other night, and ended up watching a few minutes of a show called (I believe) "The Scholar." It was one of those reality-competition shows--in this case, between students competing for a college scholarship. My interest was piqued by this particular episode's challenge: Two groups of students had to debate whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry. The most interesting, and disturbing thing, was that the students who had to take the "con position" against gay marriage were absolutely horrified at the prospect. Apparently many of today's youth are so conditioned by the gay-rights agenda, that they believe that only bigots can hold the position that legalized homosexual marriage is undesirable for society.

During the debate, these students tried their best to imagine what those "bigoted opponents of gay marriage" must believe, and to sound convincing. But they failed miserably, in my opinion, to capture the true argument. They rattled off rhetoric about how marriage has always been between a man and a woman, and that the majority of Americans, especially "religious" ones want it to stay that way. "Do we want to abandon the religious beliefs of our forefathers?" they asked. While these things may be true, they are not in and of themselves a reason to deny marriage to gays. There must be compelling reasons to continue to define marriage as between one man and one woman, besides the fact that "it's always been done that way."

I believe that there are VERY compelling reasons, some of which I explained in my last post. I think Christians have a special obligation to know these reasons. "Because God says it" is not a good enough reason when talking to people who do not care what God says. When God establishes an ideal for us to aspire to, it's because He knows what will make our lives and our societies work the best. What is it about marriage between a man and a woman that benefits individuals and societies? Here is a good summary that helps clarify some reasons for why traditional marriage matters.

Legal Marriage: It's Not About Your "Special Relationship"

I am getting rather tired of hearing that legal marriage is something "deserved" by any two people who love each other.

Legal marriage is not a relationship. It's an institution. There is no requirement for one to even really know the person they are marrying. A single person could go to Las Vegas this weekend and legally marry an almost complete stranger. In many cultures, people routinely marry partners selected by parents and guardians, with little to no personal contact prior to the wedding.

The government does not carry the responsibility of validating relationships. Relationships are by nature, personal, and can only be validated by the understanding, feelings, and mutual commitment of the two individuals participating. The role of the government is to regulate legal arrangements, not dabble in personal matters. For instance, when a parent has a child, the government is obliged to use it's legal powers to see to it that the child is not neglected or abused, and receives all his or her basic needs. When two or more people enter into a business agreement, the government stands as a legal authority to make sure that legal obligations regarding economic interests, products, and services rendered are honored. But the government does not regulate or endorse personal relationships. It does not hand out legal certificates or endorsements to two friends, honoring the relationship that those friends have. What then, is government's interest in marriage?

One could say that the role of government in marriage is to oversee the legal matters of the partnership: making sure that partners do not abuse one another and that they maintain an equitable sharing of assets and property as agreed upon. But how is this any different than a business contract or the expectations placed upon all citizens, that abuse is not legally acceptable? There is only one key area, from a legal standpoint, that sets marriage apart: the possibility--indeed, liklihood--that children will be born to a union of a man with a woman.

Government has traditionally chosen to endorse marriage between a man and a woman as a legal arrangement, because it is the ideal situation for child-rearing. Not only is the union between the mother's egg and the father's sperm the only natural way to produce children, but no one without an alternative agenda would claim that children don't need both a nurturing mother and a protective father in their daily lives for their utmost health and well-being. Government has an interest in promoting marriage, as an endorsed legal institution, as the partnership that provides the safest and healthiest place for the nurture of our country's youngest citizens.

Legal marriage also provides special legal and financial rights for the spouse most responsible for childcare, usually the wife and mother. However, these benefits have unfortunately been somewhat reduced as a result of misguided feminist activism.

So why does all of this matter? Because, if the government is going to bestow the privilege of legal marriage upon any combination of individuals, it needs to justify the reason. Two people are not owed a marriage contract simply because they have a "special relationship." A "special relationship" does not--and should not--mean anything to the government. Legal marriage is only necessary and beneficial when granted to a man and a woman, whose union will most likely embrace the possibility of raising children, whether through natural birth, step-parenting, or adoption.

Why should the government not provide marital status to any possible combination of individuals that might raise children together? The simple answer, is because good laws must uphold the most desirable ideals for society, while either shunning or remaining neutral on--depending on the severity of societal consequences--the less desirable options. The question, in this case, is what is best for children and their parents? If less desirable situations for children are endorsed by special government recognition, they will only multiply. Why would we want to multiply the non-ideal? If the government has its citizens' best interests at heart, it will work to endorse societal ideals to the point where the non-ideal will seem pale and unappealing. It will not compromise our well-being by coating less advantageous "family arrangements" with a false luster.

Don't think this governmental distinction would condemn children and families already experiencing less than ideal situations. If we, as a society, can admit that some children are receiving less than they deserve, we will be more prepared to do everything we can to help them make up for their loss.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Beauty Tips" by actress Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anybody.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one is for helping yourself, the other is for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

-Audrey Hepburn

The Walking Habit

Micah and I are trying to establish a new routine: that of walking together every night. For the past two years, we've done this off and on...but we've always managed to slip out of the habit. This time we're making a valient effort, and have so far succeeded!

For those who haven't been to Texas, it's HOT at this time of year. We walk at dusk, and sometimes after dark with a flash light to minimize the oven-effect. (We bring the pooch along to scare off anything sinister for us!;o) We try to walk for at least 30-45 minutes. It's such a great time for conversation, not to mention helping us get more exercise.

We both come from a heritage of walkers. My parents have told me that when they were young marrieds, they used to walk every night. Sometimes for a special treat, they would walk to a nearby Arbys for a Jamocha milkshake (these are still around and are great, by the way, if you've never had one!) They didn't own a television by choice, and so they used their evenings to focus on getting to know one another.

When I was little, they continued the tradition. We would take "family walks" around the neighborhood, with the baby in the stroller and older girls on our bikes. People may have thought we looked funny all walking down the street (I think we were the only ones in our neighborhood who did that!), but I remember how much fun I thought those times were.

Micah's parents walk together every morning together at about 5am. I would never attempt such a feat, but I commend them for their discipline!

Just posting this is inspiring me to keep at it. Week two and counting!

Minnesota Munchers

While I'm at's another favorite cookie recipe. These won Taste of Home's cookie contest.

P.S. My husband sometimes thinks I'm a health nut because I try to use lean and whole foods most of the time...but when it comes to desserts--which we do try to limit--I don't quibble about fat content;o) What's the point of having dessert if the taste isn't worth every calorie?

Minnesota Munchers

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (or could use baking soda)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup English toffee bits (use more if desired)
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350*. Line cookie trays with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray). Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in milk chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, toffee bits and pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheets (Or you can spread dough out onto baking tray and bake as one large cookie...after tray cools a few minutes, use cookie cutter to make your favorite shape, such as hearts, etc.)
Bake 10-12 minutes in the preaheated oven. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to wire cooling rack. They are fantastic!

Best Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

I spent the afternoon with one of my sisters, and helped her bake cookies to take to work tonight (She's a waitress at a fancy-schmancy Italian restaraunt). We made this recipe we've been making since we were's actually from an old children's cookbook from the 60s. I think it was my mom's when she was little. Anyway, they're very basic, but they're almost fool-proof. They taste good and always turn out looking picture-perfect too!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heat oven to 375*

1. Mix thoroughly in bowl:

1/3 cup soft shortening
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

2. Stir together in another bowl:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Mix dry ingredients into shortening mixture.

4. Thoroughly work in:

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet (I always use a minature ice-cream scooper and spray my pan with cooking spray).

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Confessions of a Perfectionist

It’s time for True Confessions: I am an (almost) hopeless perfectionist. Now, this doesn’t mean that my house is always clean, my meals are always a gourmet success, and that my husband’s shirts are always ironed and hung neatly in the closet for when he needs them…I wish it did! No…the curse of perfectionism is that oftentimes I don’t even want to start anything until I know I will have the time and the resources to do it perfectly. I don’t want to start cleaning the kitchen until I think I will have the time not only to wash the dishes and wipe the counters, but also to clean out the refrigerator, wipe all the appliances, and sweep and mop the floor. I don’t want to pick up the bedroom until I also have time to organize the clothes and shoes in the closet. I’m getting better at my household management skills than I used to be, but only through a conscious effort to make myself do “what I can” and be OK with the fact that it won’t always be perfect. Organization is essential, but so is flexibility.

There’s an even darker side to perfectionism, and that’s in relation to God. It is so easy to become hopeless or apathetic about recurring sin, or when I “mess up” for what seems like the millionth time , because it seems that God could never be pleased with sorry little me. I struggle with this, even though I know that my sins are forgiven. For me it’s not a salvation issue so much as a relationship issue: Why keep trying to become more like Christ when it doesn’t seem to be working? Why keep approaching God in prayer, when all I have to lay before Him are failures?

Every day, my emotions tell me that my desire to be like Christ is futile. But just as I have a choice to “do what I can” when it comes to housework, I also have a choice to believe God or not. God has promised that I can come to Him with my problems because He cares for me and will never forsake me (1 Peter 5:7 and Hebrews 13:5). He says this, even though He knows I am flawed through and through. He doesn’t want me to run from His arms because I have sinned…He wants me to bring my pain to Him in confession. He wants me to come closer still, acknowledging that I am nothing without His grace and strength. If I do this, He has promised that I WILL be made more like Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5).

“The greater the perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent he will be on Divine Grace.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Unfolding the Rosebud

The inspiration for my blog's name came from the following poem I've had in one of my journals since I was in high school. Perhaps the language is a bit cheesy, but I couldn't resist the heart and spirit of these sentiments because I know them to be so true from my own life:

Unfolding the Rosebud

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I;
God opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands it fades and dies.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust Him for His leading
Each moment of every day;
I will look to Him for guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.