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

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fluffy's Frogs

Every evening when we let Fluffy (scroll down to see picture of her on left) outside, the first thing she does is to go sniffing for her frog friends. She discovered these little creatures for the first time a couple of months ago and is intrigued by them! Unfortunately, they are not so enamored of her.

Fluffy is becoming a good frog finder. She knows to always search around the flower pots and in the flower beds. When she finds one, she starts dancing around it trying to get it to play. The frog either sits frozen as a statue, or leaps straight into the nearest begonia plant. Never to be put off, Fluffs has maintained her high opinion of frogs, even though they snub her. She never stops trying to befriend the frog community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How we met (Warning: long!)

Tonight is a good night to write about how Micah and I met each other, because that day was exactly four years ago tomorrow:o) (Sept 28).

I like to think of this as God's special "orchestration"...something that almost didn't happen...but did.

Micah and I were both sophomores at the same university. Because this was a small university...about 3000 students, it still surprises me that we hadn't had any of our freshman core classes together, and really have no memory of each other from freshman year. I have one very vague memory from prior to our meeting: I saw Micah with some of his friends on the way to the cafeteria. It was just a glance. But I remember seeing his face, and thinking he was handsome. His eyes were beautiful.

My friend Leslie, who lived in my hall, was planning to have a get-together at her sister's house in town. She invited me, and of course I said I would go! Leslie was the kind of girl everybody wants as a friend: fun, outgoing, and she knew lots of great people. Leslie teasingly told me that she wanted to set me up with a guy she knew that would be at her party. I said I would be glad to meet him, but I didn't think I would be interested! I had a little crush on somebody else at the time.

The evening of the party came, and I suddenly realized that I hadn't yet asked Leslie for directions to her sister's house. When I went back to our hall, she was already gone and so was everyone else who was going to the party. I had missed out. Well, no sense moping around about it. A few of my other friends were going to hang out at an off-campus student's house, and so I decided to go with them. After staying there about an hour, everybody decided to go out for pizza. One of the girls needed to run back to the dorm first, so I went with her. As we walked through the parking lot, I heard my name being shouted. I looked around and saw Desi, one of the girls who was supposed to be at the party, sitting in her car. She had come back to the dorm for something as well.

"Where are you going? I thought you were coming to our party tonight!"
"I was, if I knew where to go!"

Desi gave me directions, and I said I might come by. As we walked back towards the pizza-going group, I started moaning about how I didn't want to walk to Leslie's sis' house in the dark by myself. "I just won't's not a big deal," I said. For whatever reason, my friends were insistent that I go. They offered to walk with me, so I consented.

So in I walked, about two hours late. Dinner had already been eaten. If you know my personality, it is certainly not desirous of making this type of "grand entrance"! Leslie was as gracious as ever, and introduced me around. She gave me a significant look as she introduced her friend that I was supposed to eventually fall in love with. But beyond his quick greeting, I don't remember seeing that guy again the rest of the evening.

I met a guy named Ben, we began talking, and I listened in fascination when I learned that he had grown up in Brazil. During this conversation, he had a friend sitting next to him who didn't really talk much. This friend (I found out later) had been persuaded to attend this function where he didn't know anybody because Ben didn't want to go alone. Ben hadn't really been invited either, but due to his great "admiration" for the hostess, had somehow managed to invite himself:o)

The friend spoke up a couple of times, and I learned that his name was Micah. He had grown up in Venezuela. Again, I noticed his eyes and how clear and blue and beautiful they were. But the party ended without any great revelations, I continued my normal life, and my crush on the other guy continued to give me pains because it didn't look like it was going to go anywhere.

One thing changed, however. I now began to see this guy, Micah, everywhere, when before I had somehow managed to live in almost complete unawareness of him. When we would pass on the sidewalk, he would always smile and say hi to me. I remembered him, but did not remember his name! It was that whole "!" thing:o) He remembered mine.

Sometime in November, I finally came to the bitter conclusion that the crush I had long pinned my hopes on was to be given up. I prayed about it long and hard and was finally able to release it to God. This milestone is marked simply in my journal at that time:

November 5, 2001
"The death of a hope is the cruelest kind of pain."

But it was OK. I finally felt at peace, and ready to allow God to do what He wanted with my life.

Sometime during the following week (I don't know the exact date), I was sitting studying in one of the lounges in the student life center. The guy with the beautiful eyes whose name I could not remember, suddenly showed up out of the blue and started talking to me. It was casual chit-chat, which lasted for probably 15 minutes before he had to head off to class. Afterwards, I told my friends: "You know, this is getting embarrasing that I can't remember this guy's name, and it's getting to be too late to ask him!" "The guy who always says hi to you? His name is Micah!" my friend Megan informed me. "No...if I heard it I would remember. It wasn't Micah!"

That afternoon, I checked my email to find one that said:

Hey Erin, this is Micah. I’m hoping this is the Erin I know, from Texas. I saw you today at [the cafeteria] at 11:00. I just wanted to ask if you wanted to eat with us someday? If you don’t normally eat then, that’s ok. Sorry about emailing you out of the blue!;o) Hope you have a great day.

Megan had her triumph. I had an offer to accept, and this was not difficult. From then on, there was no stopping the growing friendship that started with emails, lunches, phone calls and evening walks and ended up as a beautiful marriage. There's much more to say about our dating/courtship years, but that will wait for another time! Otherwise I might have to write a book in this one post.

Men, women, college and the workplace

This afternoon I heard an interesting segment on the Michael Medved show about women, men and college. It seems that we are almost to a place where there is a 60% /40% split between women and men in universities...women holding the distinct majority over men. Is this good for society? (For more details, read this article)

Surprisingly enough, many of these women are not planning on using their college advantage towards having a full-time career. More and more women wish to stay home with their children, for at least part of the time. A recent article by The New York Times author Louise Story--"Studying to be a mother: Ivy Leaguers say women can't have it all"-- about this phenomenon is very interesting.

I am one of those women who pursued my college education with a passion, and yet do not aspire to be a career-woman. I believe there are other reasons for going to college, and believe that my reasons were good ones. However, as I wrote in an earlier post, I advocate serious thought before jumping into this decision, and I definitely believe that debt should not be used to finance an education, especially when the woman does not wish to be tied into the workplace.

I am concerned that men--who need to be able to make good livings to support their families-- are being crowded out of universities by female-focused policies and emphases. Not to mention that the current public school system has become so feminized that men are at a disadvantage even before they attempt to apply to college. It looks as though we as a society need to rethink some things.

Stepping Heavenward

I have just finished reading this book for the first time, and found it to be wonderful! You can find it as a free ebook online, but I personally prefer curling up in a comfy chair with this type of book and so recommend looking for it at a library or ordering it online. This book is for all perfectionists, wives and mothers, and women who seek to please and know God even when it seems like we will never learn how. Below is a review by Elisabeth Elliot. Find additional reviews here and here.

Stepping Heavenward
Forward by Elizabeth Elliot (Feb. 1992)This charming journal of a nineteenth century girl takes us from her sixteenth birthday (“How dreadfully old I am getting!”) to her last entries when she was ill and in her forties, aware that she had very little time left. It is a story of the shaping of a soul - of her learning day by day, in the seemingly insignificant little events of an ordinary life, that deep happiness is found, nor in seeking fulfillment for oneself, but in a glad and free self-offering for the sake of others. We follow her maturing to womanhood, we learn of her narrow escape from commitment to the wrong man, and of her engagement and marriage to the right one. But there was not as much “honey” on the honeymoon as her dreams had predicted. She had had no practice in giving up her own preferences in a day-to-day relationship with a man. She says to herself, at one point in her journal, “I would like to know if there is any reason on earth why a woman should learn self-forgetfulness which does not also apply to a man?” When little Ernest is born she finds he has a passionate temper and a good deal of self-will, along with fine qualities. “I wish he had a better mother. I am so impatient with him when he is wayward and perverse!... Next to being a perfect wife I want to be a perfect mother. How mortifying, how dreadful in all things to come short of one’s standards!” Having in-laws living with the family is another opportunity to “step heavenward,” receiving grace to help as grace is continually needed. This book is a treasure of godly and womanly wisdom, told with disarming candor and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God. We need such intimate accounts, need them desperately when the word commitment is so little understood and so seldom practiced. We need to see that love for the Lord really does make a difference, not merely on Sunday, but from Monday through Saturday. We need to be able to enter this woman’s life, her home, her kitchen, and see, as she so generously and honestly lets us do, just what the crucial difference is. I have given a copy of Stepping Heavenward to my daughter and to a number of other young mothers. I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to try to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.
-Elizabeth Elliot - Magnolia, Mass.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Frank thoughts

Needless to say, the hurricane has been dominating my time and thoughts for the past several days! But it is now time to focus on some other things. Life is multi-faceted.

I have many other things on my mind--things that I have been meaning to write about for some time. But I must admit that I am stuck on something: My blog does not seem quite as cohesive as many others that I read. I guess it's a picture of my real life! My life is very divided between many interests and responsibilities at the present time. Most important to me are my relationships, with God, Micah, family, friends...there is nothing else that truly matters. My vocation as wife, homemaker and Micah's helper is my most heart-felt role. As I've mentioned before, it cannot be my full-time job at this time...though I wish it was! Much of my time is currently spent helping to bring in our income. The other roles that I care about, though do not yet carry, are those of motherhood and joint-entrepreneurship (with my husband). In addition to these main roles (and aspirations to roles) I have varying interests, and other responsibilities. How does one make such a life cohesive? There is much in life that is good...but each person only has one life to live, and must make choices about what to give their minutes and hours and days to. Am I reaching for the best? What is one to do, when "the best" does not always appear possible?

Hopefully these ramblings make sense to those who might read them!:o) I hope that I am not the only one who deals with or wonders about these things.

In relation to this blog, these questions must be asked when I think about what to write here. Yes...this blog is an outlet for me. But I hope that it can also be a ministry to others. Not because anything I write here is so profound, but because perhaps my life's lessons might be an encouragement, just the way that others' different lessons and experiences are to me.

I have been thinking, though, that perhaps my blog (and my life!) should become more purposefully directed. Perhaps we are meant to have just one (or a couple) main missions in life on which we focus and pour our energy. Each person has to wrestle with the question of, WHAT is that in my life? Why did God put me here? Yes...of glorify Himself. But taking into account all the different responsibilities and influences that can come to bear on a person's earthly can we arrange and prioritize these things so that God is most glorified and we are most representative of Him?

A Lesson from Katrina and Rita

"What is the way to the place where the lightening is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain and a path for the thunderstorm..."
Job 38:24-25
We really don't have as much power as we sometimes think we do. There is Someone much bigger than us, and much wiser, who holds all power.
"Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?"
Job 38:33


We've had an interesting past few days. Houston was essentially shut down--I've never before experienced anything quite like it.

Wednesday night, news reports were predicting that Hurricane Rita (then a cat 5!) was headed straight for us packing winds of 175 mph. Micah, me and my parents and sister decided to leave for Austin first thing Thursday morning to stay with friends there. Micah and I were worried about our little house. It's small, about twenty years old, and as we've only been renting it about a month, we're unsure of it's capacity to handle severe weather. It's only part brick, and the windows seem kind of flimsy. We virtually dismantled everything (that we had just recently gotten situated after the move, by the way!), putting everything fragile or expensive away in closets and moving everything away from the windows. We packed up the most important things, like pictures and some keepsakes, to take with us. At about 1 am, we drove to my parents house. It took us twice as long as usual to get there because the traffic was so congested.

By the time everybody was ready to go in the morning, all the roads out of town were parking lots. Nobody was getting anywhere. Several people we know who tried to leave ended up turning around and coming back. We decided we'd rather wait at home than out on the road burning up gas in 100 degree weather! Maybe you saw in the news what those poor people out on the roads were experiencing...they couldn't buy gas, and they had to keep their air conditioners off to conserve. Trips that should take about two hours were taking fifteen.

As the day wore on, the situation didn't improve much. It was starting to look like the storm was redirecting to the east of us, so we held off on leaving.

Long story short, we ended up staying put at my parents'. We were spared. We received the very outer bands of the storm, with only minor damage to our area. My house lost power for about a day, but that was the only real consequence. My parents lost part of a tree, but kept their power. Just miles away to the east, some people sustained a lot more severe damage, with trees slicing through their houses, etc.

When I see the footage of places like Beaumont, Lumberton, Lake Charles --the places directly in Rita's path, I just have to think, wow: that could have so easily been us. It's kind of sobering, and humbling.

Things are just now getting more back to normal. For the past few days, no stores or gas stations have been open. Micah and I drove around town a bit on Friday morning, and it was kind of weird. It was like a ghost town, though with plenty of cars on the road. People were driving around but their was no place to go! Everything was dark and boarded up. Today, a lot of places were open again, and by tomorrow I should think that most places will be. Things are getting back to normal...but not for everybody. Some people have endured extreme losses--some twice over--these past three weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Well, we're taking off. We haven't yet decided whether to go to Dallas or Austin, but we need to make that decision and leave sometime in the next several hours. We will probably try to take a nap, and leave really early in the morning (like 3 or 4 am). Traffic is so heavy right now, that if we wait till daylight, we may not actually get anywhere!

I better go get the rest of our stuff packed up. It may be a few days before I can blog again. Everybody take care!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rita's coming

Well, Micah and I went to Walmart tonight to stock up on some necessities. Get this: there was practically no bread, crackers, or cans of soup. There wasn't a single can of chicken or tuna. I think we found (after much searching) the last package of "C" batteries. They were about an hour away (according to one of the workers) from being completely out of bottled water. Not to mention that the store was PACKED.

I'm glad people are taking this seriously and preparing. If the storm grows as big as predicted, we won't have had anything even close to it since 1983. And even that wasn't a category 4, like they're saying this might be. I'm trying to imagine what all of our Louisiana transplants must be feeling. They've just escaped the worst storm of their lives, only to meet with another one three weeks later:o(

As far as we know right now, Galveston will be having a mandatory evacuation. We are just northwest of Houston, about an hour and half from the we don't have to worry about storm surge. But we are at least considering the possibility of evacuation if it looks like the storm will be bad enough. We would most definitely get pretty strong winds, and much of Houston could flood. We'll be watching it closely for the next couple days and see what happens.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Fun, Fun!

Micah has a month's free trial of a suite of programs we're saving up to buy...Macromedia Studio Eight. So we've been having fun playing around with the programs. You might have noticed that I made a few little changes to the title and pictures on my blog. So I'm not a graphic artist yet...but with programs like these, you almost don't have to be! The programs are great. Now I'm having visions of buying a digital camera, because we could do some great stuff with our pictures with these programs...

Why is it the more stuff you buy, the more stuff you think you need?

Friday, September 16, 2005

More on homeschooling and the entrepreneurial lifestyle

What do you mean by entrepreneurial lifestyle? I think homeschooling is very important. However, for highschool, I will seek out a Christian school for my son. It is important for Christians to keep up with the times and technology because our economy is becoming more and more tech oriented and less manufacturing. Christian men need to learn these skills to support their families and obtain steady jobs. I don't agree that homeschooling children are more conditoned to work in a specific area. My cousin is going to be a software programmer. He was homeschooled and was programming at age 10 in the C language. He has recently taught himself JAVA. My other cousin is in college studying to be an engineer. You can also have a very good family atmosphere by working outside of the home. My dad is a programmer and drove an hour to work everday. We had an excellent family life. My brother-in-law is a carpenter and he spends less time with his family than my dad did because of his workload. Times are changing and so are the jobs in this country. If homeschoolers are not prepared (which I don't think is true)for the job force that is a bad thing. My father would not have let me get involved with any man who was not able to support me or who had a dependable, reliable job. My husband has a job that takes him an hour away. He works in a cubicle and most of the people he works with are in California, Arizona, and India. The company's benefits are excellent and I don't have to earn any income on the side. I am very proud of my husband for providing so well. But, I am troubled that I see this kind of job discouraged by fellow homeschoolers. If homeschoolers truly lack the skills that will enable them to get good jobs as adults we have a serious problem. That is my thought. Maybe I didn't understand the post. BTW, I do wish that we lived off the land more and could spend more time with family. My father was a gentleman farmer and, I know, he would have loved to just farm. (He was raised on a dairy farm in Vt.)However, it is not the norm for families to have farms and live off them completely. The workforce has changed and we need to adapt. OK I'm done.-Zan

Zan, thanks for your comments! They made me realize, though, that perhaps I should clarify a few of my points.

For a couple years now, my husband and I have both been students of business and entrepreneurialism. We've read tons of books on the subjects, and researched into a whole bunch of different business models. In addition, my husband's college degree is in business management.

Entrepreneurialism--especially these days--does not just encompass farming and the trades as it once did. In fact, I believe that most entrepreneurs today fall into the information, techology and service sectors. Entrepreneurialism doesn't have to mean that there isn't a workplace away from the home--there might or might not be depending on the business.

Entrepreneurialism is a venture (starting your own business), but it is also a mindset. Entrepreneurs are a unique breed that love to be independent. They might feel stifled (me!:o) as an employee and feel the overwhelming motivation to work for themselves. They also might be drawn to the fact that when you work for yourself, you can better determine your own schedule (if you are disciplined to do so). Entreprenurialism can be very family-friendly if you pick the right business and maintain standards of "family first." My vision of owning a business is that my future children will be included in it to some about a worthy education!

My point about homeschoolers is, that most of us have been raised to be more independent workers, simply through the conditioning of our independent learning. We are natural entrepreneurs. It's not that we CAN'T join the traditional workforce and do well...we don't want to!

For those that enjoy working as employees, more power to them. There's nothing bad or second-class about that! My dad has been an employee with the same company for almost 30 years, and for the most part, likes his work. He does it well. He is also one who always made an effort to put his family first--even turning down promotions that would have interefered with his work-family balance. For me, however, working as an employee is not a long-term option because of my own disposition and aspirations, and I suspect that being homeschooled might have influenced that:o)

P.S. Interestingly enough, my dad told me a couple weeks ago that he has taken an entrepreneurial approach with his job and believes that's why he's been as successful as he is. He doesn't just sit around waiting to be told what to do! He manages his own career, for example: taking the initiative to get the new training and skills he believes might prove beneficial to him. So he is an excellent example of the entrepreneurial mindset, even though he works for a corporation.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rice doesn't have to be boring!

I was on some grocery stores' sites, hoping to find that they listed their weekly sales online. Sadly, they don't--at least not the stores I usually shop at:o( But I did find this great list of ideas for jazzing up plain rice on H-E-B's site! I've always wanted to learn how to be more creative with rice, and this is some good inspiration. Following are a few of the ideas. Go to their site for the full list.

To hot cooked rice, add:

1. butter, lime juice and chopped cilantro

2. wild mushrooms sautéed in butter, thawed frozen petite peas and Parmesan cheese

3. diced tomatoes and basil pesto

4. sliced green onions, salted cashews, toasted sesame seeds and rice vinegar

5. dried cranberries, chopped pecans, sliced green onions and Parmesan cheese

6. red beans, coconut milk and chopped cilantro

7. thawed frozen peas and chopped smoked ham

8. grilled chicken strips cut into bite-sized pieces, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto,
provolone cheese cubes and balsamic vinaigrette

9. chopped roasted chicken, toasted sliced almonds, sliced green onions and orange marmalade

10. black beans, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro

11. kidney beans, caramelized onions, sour cream and asiago cheese

12 smoked Gouda (cubed), smoked turkey breast cut into bite-size pieces, chopped tomatoes,
sliced red onion, ranch dressing and chopped cilantro

Talk Radio

I'm a "veteran" talk radio listener. I've listened to various programs ever since I was fifteen or sixteen years old, and have therefore developed a strong sense about what I appreciate and dislike in this medium!

I like to listen to talk shows sometimes while I'm driving or working (cleaning, cooking, etc) by myself, because they can be extremely mentally stimulating and interesting. Notice I said "can be." There is a wide variety in the value of these shows. Some of them absolutely bore me out of my mind!

Shows which focus solely on political repartee quickly become brain-numbingly dull. There's always going to be another somebody who said or did something outrageous that we need to rag on. Recycle the stories, change the minor details. A little bit of this is OK, I suppose, for the sake of non-ignorance. We need to know who the major players are and what they stand for. But these are not things that I need to build my political and cultural beliefs around. I believe that true understanding of our country's politics and culture reaches much deeper than politicians and their "talking points." (OK, rule out Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, and a host of others! Sorry guys, but I just can't take the tedium! Although I will give Michael Savage that he is sometimes crudely amusing if you can get past his bombastic manner. He's a good story-teller.)

My favorite programs are those that emerge from a framework of "worldview". There is night and day difference between worldview and politics! Politics is all about "so-and-so" and positions. Worldview is about life and core values. Dennis Prager has one of my favorite programs--perhaps my very favorite. He is thoughtful. He doesn't just throw around positions, he examines positions to determine their worth. He cuts past the argument and tries to really see what worldview his callers hold. He nudges out the presuppositions that flavor the argument. He's truly brilliant.

I'd love to hear about other programs that fellow talk-radio connoisseurs recommend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Moved in

Whew! What a job. All of our belongings are now (mostly) in their general designated places at our house. I still have a bit of organizing to do in the kitchen and bedroom, but at least things are very livable.

On Saturday we rented a u-haul and drove downtown to pick up our refrigerator. God provided a used fridge that is exactly what we needed and wanted...and even after we paid more than $100 for the truck it was still a bargain! (Anyone who's checked out fridge prices lately knows that they're not a cheap investment!) We found it on Craig's List...GREAT site for used appliances, furniture, whatever. The couple we bought it from had recently moved into a new house that had a refrigerator in it already, and so they didn't need their old one. It's in almost-perfect condition!

We were also able to use the u-haul to transport my piano to our house, so I'm very excited about that! The piano was another great blessing, as it was given to me at no cost. I'd been wanting one ever since I left home and could no longer play my parents'. It needs a good tuning, but is in great condition otherwise.

I've been having fun getting set up. My home is very important to me, and I'm a rather domestic-y type. I love to organize and decorate and make my home as homey and as "me and Micah" as possible, so you can imagine my current delight:o) I'm also looking forward to having everything in place, so that I can work on some other projects, like my photos, or baking a batch of bread. As my mom says, "a woman needs her things about her."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Crazy Week! :op

We are finally moving into the house, and should be able to spend tomorrow night there. Yay!:o) On top of this, we have been working, appliance shopping and trying to spend time with my sister who is in town for a short time. So I have been neglecting my blog just slightly. I will be back in a day or two when things settle down.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Maybe you shouldn't homeschool if... want your child to aspire towards participating in the traditional workforce! What I'm going to say here is simply my own opinion based on my own experience, and will probably include some amount of generalization. But if you think it through, it makes a lot of sense on a larger scale.

  1. The homeschooling method of education does not acclimate children to “busy work”. When the child is done studying for the day, he is free to go pursue his other interests. This does not happen in a traditional school setting, where kids must be corralled and contained.
  2. Successful homeschooling seeks to foster a sense of independence and personal responsibility within the child. Many homeschooling parents hold their child partially responsible for his own learning (though guidance/instruction is and certainly should be given)
  3. Homeschooled Children become used to operating within a family structure. Families work together and play together.
  4. What in homeschooling prepares the student for "office politics"?

Parents bringing their children up using to these "radical methods" should not expect them to thrive in an (in my opinion) unnatural environment, where everybody sits in little square boxes (my dad refers to his cubicle at work as his "anti-productivity pod":o), completely segregated from his or her family structure, and these days, surrounded by artificial substitutes for fellow human intelligence (computers and other technology...which I am not against at all BTW...unless it is used where actual human interaction should be present)

Now most homeschooled students will perform just fine--if not wonderfully--in the workplace. This is an issue of contentment, not abilities. Homeschooled students are simply not conditioned to be content with the traditional workplace. If you look closely at the way homeschooled children are typically raised, you'll see that they are overwhelmingly conditioned to become ENTREPRENEURS, especially of a type that seriously seeks to integrate family and work life. Look back through the centuries! This is how it has been for most of that time: Children were raised and educated within the home. Families worked together: husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. Is our culture's current model better--with every single person in the family spending hours a day traveling to a different location to pass the day in a segregated and unnatural (non-homey, I might add) environment? I'm sorry, I'm just not buying it.

I think, as the first-fruits of the modern homeschooling movement are beginning their own careers and families, we're going to see many of them gravitating toward an entrepreneurial lifestyle. I know that's what I want.

More than 3 dozen countries pledge help

See article here to find out which countries have offered us assistance (It is fairly brief).

Friday, September 02, 2005

Faith-based groups reach out

Here is a helpful list of churches offering shelter to hurricane refugees, compiled by a fellow blogger. I would love to see all the people staying at the Astrodome moved to smaller and more personal situations, and churches are much better in that respect! Of course, with a view to the long term, church sponsorship (as recommended by Janie Cheaney, below) of individual families would be ideal. Then family privacy and normalcy could be better established.

Also, here is an interesting site with links to articles about relief efforts being carried out by faith-based communities.

Great Idea

What do you think about this idea from World columnist Janie Cheaney: "With all the news about displaced persons, I'm wondering how practical it would be to send out a general call for churches across the USA to sponsor one person or one family (or more) for a period of six months, or as long as it takes for the individual or family to pick up their lives again. Churches could supply lodging and living expenses, perhaps in exchange for services--or not. If in God's providence there's no city to return to, the church might even help the victim(s) make a new start in their own community."


When the least becomes great

Night before last, the sweetest thing happened. Two little children--a boy and girl around eight or so years old--came to the door. They had a big tin can, decorated with colored paper and glitter; streamers hanging from it. The little boy said, "we're trying to collect money to give to the people that were in the hurricane." They were so cute and sincere, that I actually felt horrible that all I had to give was a dollar (I don't usually carry cash). I started to apologize that I didn't have more, but the little boy looked at me with a big smile as I handed him the bill. He didn't seem disappointed...he seemed excited that I was giving something. Even something so small. The kids thanked me, and I sensed their genuine gratefulness.

It got me thinking. It's not important how much we're able to give. It's only important that we give what we can. So what if I can't send $1000 to a charity, or donate a truckload of food. Maybe I can give a dollar. Maybe I can donate a few cans of soup from the sale-rack. Perhaps all those kids had was their markers and paper and a tin can. But they did something very unselfish and thoughtful with what they had. They blessed my heart, and I'm sure their gift will bless those who receive it.

Houston Tonight

The effects of Hurricane Katrina are starting to hit home with me. Tonight I went out to dinner with my sisters at a local barbeque place, and saw a crowd of people waiting at the take-out counter. They looked weary and bedraggled. For some reason, I instantly wondered if they were refugees from Louisiana. When we left, we saw three cars in a row in the parking lot with Louisiana license plates.

Houston is becoming a refuge for these many out of town guests. Thousands of people will be staying at the Astrodome downtown, and our hotels our filled with many thousands more. I have been encouraged at the number of local churches that have offered their buildings as shelters. And so many Houstonians have offered to help, that shelters have been turning helpers away because there are too many.

Watching the news, I am amazed at what some of these people have had to suffer. Life will never be the same for some of them. I can only hope that the rest of us can help make their transition back to normalcy a little easier. My time and resources are currently pretty limited, but I am praying that God will show me a good way to help. I think the biggest concern is for the long-term...once things settle down and people return to their own lives. That will be a good time for more of us to step in and continue the work that has been started.