Sunday, June 22, 2008

Praying for Piglet

The three-year-old was wailing from her bed this evening. I went up to inquire about the circumstances since she had just been down to visit me where I had prayed with her about her fear of "scawee bad dweams". I went up to give her a talking to, truth be told. But when I got there, she held up her stuffed cuddle, Piglet. "I prayed for you, remember? You will be fine. You need to go to sleep now." To which she sadly replied, "Yeah, mommy, but Pigwet's still scaaad. You need to pray for him too." Or maybe, sort of like Piglet says of Pooh, my little baby just wanted to be sure of me.

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.

"Yes, Piglet?"

"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you."

Do you think God's answers prayers for stuffed Piglets? Let's hope so. For the sake of three-year-olds.

A Three Book Weekend

Three books I am reading this weekend, with one quote from each:

"I don't know when the suspicion began for me, but for a while I've had a growing fear that my own life is small, when I crave bigness. I would like to make a grand contribution to the world to justify my existence and help define me. I don't want to be small. I want to be incredibly, unbelievably signifigant. (And yet could anyone accuse Jane of being insignificant?) I know that part of that is good and spiritual - this desire for a life not to be wasted - and yet it seems a great stroke of pride. I hope that somehow this proximity to Jane's life will help me understand my own"
From "A Walk With Jane Austen" by Lori Smith

"The essence of meditation is to think your way into the very mind of the inspired writers who were granted by inspiration to think the thoughts of God. Think and mull and ponder and chew until you see God (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:21) the way they see God - namely, as precious and valuable and beautiful and desirable. This is how the Word serves joy."
From "When I Don't Desire God" by John Piper

"For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore, be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience."
From "The Bible" Hebrews 4:10-11

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Today, while my daughter was drawing me a picture, she and her little sister started arguing. I had requested a picture of hearts and flowers and trees and rainbows, some of her best subjects. ;) She was doing an earnest job, adding lots of colors and taking her time. Often, because she is an artistic little person, she sees and does things differently. And her little sister decided to point out to her that what she was drawing didn't look like hearts at all. Of course, in typical little girl fashion, she started trying to convince her sister that indeed they were hearts. She tried explaining the shape of things, attempting to convince her of validity of hearts drawn in this fashion. Little sister, being the literal little 3 year old that she is, insisted that no, they were not hearts. After this disagreement, the older-sister-heart-artist wailed loudly to me that her baby sister was saying that "These are not hearts and they are, Mommy! See?!"

As I answered, I found myself not thinking much about what I was saying. Sometimes the mothering thing just takes over and the little axioms, etc. just fly out of one's mouth. But after I said what I had said to console her, I was prompted to stop and think about it. You see, my daughter sounded so very much What I told her was this, "Why are you worrying about what she thinks? You are drawing this masterpiece for me." Yes. Yes. Yes. How much time do I spend wondering what others think of my ideas, motives, character, instead of remembering that God is the recipient I want to be content with pleasing Him. When I am tempted to explain my behavior, or convince others of what God has spoken into my heart, or hope that my relationship with Him appears valid and real to those around me, that is faulty and unfruitful thinking. It's not necessarily bad, it just so misses the mark. He is the reason I live. He is the reason I create...and do...and am.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Beth Moore teachings about the Greek word poiema, which means masterpiece and is used in Ephesians 2:10 which states, "For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we could walk in them." In the teaching Beth says that the word translated into English as workmanship is poiema in Greek, and thus can mean masterpiece. I suppose it's hard to believe that He's creating me into a masterpiece, but indeed, He is an artist and it's true!

Nicole Nordeman penned a song a few years called Anyway. I'll end this little musing with the lyrics. It seems that they are quite appropriate when it comes to masterpieces.

Bless the days this restoration is complete
dirty, dusty, something must be underneath
So I scrape and I scuff
though it's never quite enough
I am starting to see me finally

A gallery of paintings new and paintings old
Guess its no suprise that I'm no michaelangelo
every layer of mine
hides a lovely design
Itit might take a little patience
it might take a little time

but you called me beautiful
when you saw my shame
and you palced me on the wall

you who have begun this work will someday see
A portrait of the holiness you meant for me
so I polish and shine till its easier to find
even an outline of mine

but you called me beautiful
when you saw my shame
and you palced me on the wall

It seems that even with all my imperfections, He is willing to call me beautiful, place me on a wall, and create me in His image to be a masterpiece. Sweet Jesus, may that ever and always be enough for me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Quote for the Homeschooling Mom

When I feel I should be doing "more", I need to remember that...

"More time with less people equals greater impact for the Kingdom."

--Dawson Trotman, founder of Navigators

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hero Worship

DS6: "Daddy, Tiger Woods is my favorite golfer on t.v."

Daddy: "Really?"

DS6: "But you're my favorite golfer for real."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Daughter Comments on My Hair

"Mom, is that a wig? 'Cause it looks good today!"

I do surmise that these little people are all about keeping us humble.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Favorite Quote...

...from the book "Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper"...

"Her days glitter, round and new, like gold coins in a huge jar, filled almost to the brim, her only worry how to spend them." --Harriet Scott Chessman

In the book, this is the way that the dying Lydia Cassatt, sister to the famous artist Mary, describes her sister. The language in this book is like chocolate --rich and sweet. Chessman, in describing the Paris impressionists scene and the relationship between two sisters, is a word artist, painting beautiful word pictures. The story of the sisters engages the reader with such tenderness. I loved this book and learned much more about Mary Cassatt in the process.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I took two of my kiddos to the doctor's office today for their yearly check-ups, the first they have had since we returned home from London. Their sister, who had her check-up about a month ago, had gotten 3 vaccinations at her appointment. Needless to say, that was the main question they had about going to the doctor themselves, "Will we have to get shots too?" I looked at both of their vaccination records and assured them that no, they should not be getting shots today at their appointment. But, guess what? I was wrong. Both needed one shot to get them up to date with healthiness! I felt really bad, as if I had purposely deceived them, when in reality, I hadn't. But they still looked at me as if I had while the nurse stuck their little legs!

I was thinking more about this today as I reflected on what I tell them everytime they get shots. When they ask, "But why do we have to get shots if they hurt so much and we're not sick?" I always tell them that the shots, even though they hurt for a few moments, can prevent them from getting very sick at some later date. Of course, being children, they are much more interested in the here and now. They don't want the shot. But, really, aren't grown-ups just kids with big bodies? Because sometimes I want to ask God the same things, mainly, "Why am I going through this?" And His answer is much like mine, "Because I have more information than you. I know what is best for you." I can also relate to my children's ideas: "But it hurts and all seems okay right now!"

Sometimes what I am going through at the time feels much bigger than the temporary pin-prick of a shot, but I am reminded of Paul's words, that our current experiences are "light and momentary troubles". And, maybe the Father, like me, knows that the "shot" will innoculate me in the end. I need these trials, these innoculations, against passivity and hard-heartedness. In the end, they increase my faith and remind me that growth in Christ is not painless. But pain is necessary for growth. Do you think God hands out stickers in heaven for those who endured their shots?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

Last weekend, I read "Burning Bright" by Tracy Chevalier. I was drawn to the book because it was historical fiction set in London during the time of the French Revolution. I found that I was easily drawn into the book and the lives of the characters, especially those of Jem and Maggie, the two characters around whom the book mostly centers. Having lived in London and done some travel in the English countryside, I was easily transported to the locales in the book.

Jem and his family have traveled to London from a very small town in mid-western England in order to heal wounds in their family and to make chairs for a famous circus owner, Richard Astley. As the story unfolds, it turns out that Jem's family moves in next door to the rather famous and not-so-popular (at the time) William Blake. Jem meets Maggie who is basically a city street rat whose brash and even dishonest ways irritate Jem's mother, but fascinate Jem. Maggie sets to work right away showing Jem the ropes city life. Jem and Maggie become fast friends and are often found talking with or following the Blakes. They are curious and fascinated by his lifestyle and by his courage in supporting the French Revolution. He is also interested in them, sharing poems with them and showing them his printing press.

The climax of the book is well-written, with Jem's father and Blake being ostracized in the neighborhood for their unwillingness to sign a petition supporting the crown of England. Jem and his family return home and Maggie is left behind caring for Maisie, Jem's sister, who has been taken in by the Blakes. Maggie and Jem are eventually reunited and the story ends away from London. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it for those interested in Blake, late 1700's England, or just a good summer read.