Stirring The Waters

When I posted the other day about Voddie Baucham’s views on kids involved with sports, I rather expected some opposing comments. When all of the feedback came in on a positive note, I felt a little like Dash in The Incredibles, when someone catches the icicle Frozone makes before it drops, pouting, “I like it when it shatters.” See, I was hoping to hear from anyone with a different take on the issue, but nobody left comments like that.

Sara, however, has used the last few days to think things over, and has posted on her blog her thoughts concerning Voddie’s statements. I really enjoyed reading what she had to say, and think she made many good points. Some highlights:

I wish I could ask Mr. Baucham why sports, or any extra-curricular activities, can’t be used as a vehicle to re-enforce these Christian values? Can’t friendships be built on a ball field? Can’t you swing a bat with joy in your heart, even if you’re not good at it? And why, oh why, if God chose for us to live during an era where there is time and opportunity for evangelism, should we not take advantage of it?

Definitely head over there to read the whole post. I bring this up here more than just to spotlight Sara’s well- thought- out conclusions. There are many controversial issues these days, that many Christians think they need to be on one side or the other on, when there may be a middle ground, something apart from what either extremist could come up with.
My next post is near and dear to my heart, one of those very controversial subjects within born-again circles. I pray I can lay it out as carefully and sensibly as possible, for it is going to be a major portion of the testimony I am working on. LaHaye was saying in his Revelation study guide how a true testimony is simply speaking the Gospel. If I am to testify of the Gospel, and God’s work in my life, this one area of my life shines as an example of what God can do when I let go, as I die daily to self-preservation. Amy Carmichael’s biography couldn’t have come at a better time- it has given me more words to express what I have been needing to flesh out in my own worldview for a long while.
Anyhoo, just to warn you, more chances to argue duke it out respectfully disagree ahead.

I Really Don’t Like Cats

Yesterday we almost lost Kiki.
dsc02759.JPG Sometimes when the sliding glass door is left open, she wanders out onto the deck. Just before dinner, I saw her out there, and called her in. She wouldn’t come, and I had to shut the door and get on with my business, so I promptly forgot about her being out there.
Later, while we were watching home movies, we heard what sounded like the neighbor cats fighting on the deck. Luke went out there, shooed the cats off, and returned to the house.
Still later, we hear another cat fight, and I remember saying, “Those cats are really obnoxious sometimes,” while Luke breaks it up, this time with a broom.
Then, at bedtime, I notice that I haven’t seen Kiki around lately. I search Carol’s room, no cat. Basement- no cat. Then it hits me- I probably never let her back in from the deck, and those howls earlier were probably her getting her bell rung by the Caledonia Cat Gang! Luke and I both proceeded to call her, and look around the deck and surrounding flower beds for her. It was dark, though, and with no flashlights, this was not getting us anywhere. I remembered that the sound of her food bag being shaken often will bring her out of hiding. Kiki’s package of Meow Mix is as big as my five year old, so I decided to substitute a can of oats. I’m out there shaking this can, calling “Kiki! Kiki” and Luke comments, “Oh, so you really do like her!” I quickly responded that no, I do not like her, I just don’t want to be the person who goes down in history UNDER MUCH SUSPICION regarding her disappearance. Upcoming family gatherings would be fraught with whisperings about “who ‘forgot’ to let the cat in that night?” and “who never gave the cat any bowls of milk?” and I would never live it down. Sure, I’d like to see her go, but one of my (minor) goals in life is to not be responsible for her demise. I decided to leave out her food bowl and water, in the hopes these would draw her back.
While getting a drink of water later I thought I’d check one more time outside- and up the deck stairs saunters Kiki, tail high as ever, like she had just come home from the most enjoyable Fancy Feast with her friends. I would rather have her with her tail between her legs and an ear bit off- that would make this story more exciting. But there it is. She is back, safe and sound. Even ventured out again today- the nerve! We can’t let anything happen to her while Carol is away, so I’ll continue to swallow my pride and shoo her back in the house.

The Perfect Roll…

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…gone twenty seconds after I set it on this plate, before dinner even started. Maybe that was why I used paper.
I’m off on a baking- and sewing- weekend. After seeing cookie recipes like this and this, and kid pants like this, I am feeling all domestic and crafty, like the world can be had at my dough covered fingertips (but I’ll wash them before I sit down to sew).

I am looking for a Serger sewing machine, and any advice you might have would be appreciated. Should I bother shopping for a used one? What brands are most trustworthy? My regular sewing machine was a wedding gift, so I really have no clue. Now that I see all the wonderful things that can be made instead of bought, I would love to have those perfect, overlocked edges, too.

“Was Jesus In Little League?”

I’m not trying to say that it is necessarily wrong for children to play organized sports. My point is simply this: Being a member of an organized traveling baseball squad at age ten doesn’t add a single day to one’s life. In fact, many of these activities get in the way of much loftier pursuits. People turned boys into men and girls into women for most of recorded history without dragging them around town with their tongues hanging out in an effort to keep up with their overachieving, undereducated, theologically illiterate peers as they try to win trophies that will eventually gather dust in a basement somewhere.
If I teach my son to keep his eye on the ball but fail to teach him to keep his eyes on Christ, I have failed as a father. We must refuse to allow trivial, temporal pursuits to interfere with the main thing. Making the team is a tremendous achievement; however, it must be put in its proper perspective. No sports endeavor will ever be as important as becoming a man or woman of God. ~Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith, p.20

Whew! I can almost hear you all clicking over to the comment page! I completely agree with what Voddie is saying here. Because Luke and I think along the same lines on this, none of our kids have yet participated in organized sports. It will be a matter of their interest and talent in that particular area if they ever do. It will not just be a way for them to have social interaction. Big A has shown to possibly have a gift in dance; we are not ready for the expense of dance classes, but are considering it down the road. I was reading the Jeub family blog last night, and noticed they only do one extracurricular activity for the family at a time. Their one son, however, has shown real ability in gymnastics, so they have allowed him to get involved. I like this approach. So many times I see parents putting their kids in activities for other reasons than the child actually having potential in it. Maybe the parent wants a break, or, as Voddie put it on the previous page in this same chapter,

We believe that somehow we are depriving our children of experiences that will make them more liked, more respected, more normal. Hence we trade in the biblical standard for a cultural norm that hovers just below mediocrity.

That phrase “a cultural norm” stands out to me. The effect our culture has had on us as Christians has been on my mind lately. It would seem that I would do many things in life differently if I didn’t have the influence of my culture on me. So many controversies within our faith (birth control, obesity, finances, homeschooling, etc.) wouldn’t be issues at all if we got serious about what God’s word said about it. It is quite thought-provoking.

What do you think about Voddie’s position on sports? Too harsh? Too backward? Do you think the “cultural norm” is all that dangerous? I’d love to hear.

Book Love

dsc03202.JPG I have almost as much trouble with books as I do with the Internet. Keeping to nonfiction has helped somewhat; there isn’t so much the threat of ‘escaping’ into books about herbs or aprons. Today my mom brought me a couple of books I had been waiting for from her library, and I am so excited to get going on them. I started Family Driven Faith at naptime, and may just have to peek into the Amy Carmichael tonight. I know, I’m a wild one, reading books concurrently. Stay tuned for oodles of quotes, and my thoughts on those quotes.

Weekend Thoughts

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a yard-sale fairy? She swoops in on her labeling gun, makes all sorts of suggestions on things you can do without, and arranges and runs the whole sale! Every weekend, I think how I would love to assemble an impromptu yard sale, but have neither the energy nor the desire to actually go through with it. Maybe in a few weeks. I definitely want more stuff gone before we make the big (and hopefully final) move late this fall. A brand new, empty house is my goal. Clean slate.

Coming tomorrow: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 5:00 kitchen fairy?

Burton Funnies

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I was at the sink in Carol’s bathroom (also the laundry room), scrubbing out a stain with an old toothbrush. Big A comes up behind me and watches for a while.
“Mom, Grandma Carol wouldn’t like for you to use her toothbrush like that, would she?”
The way she said it, I figured it was somewhat rhetorical, so I said, “Probably not.”
I kept on scrubbing, and she kept on watching.
“Grandma Carol’s not going to like that you’re using her toothbrush, Mom!”
Whoops- let’s quickly show her Grandma’s toothbrush, hanging safely out of Mom’s reach.

Trim Pickin’s

Okay, faithful readers. The time has come to pick out the trim for the dress I am making. Here’s a picture:

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The white I would just sew on, but the greens each would need their own tutorial for me to learn how to add. I might try the knife pleat Cheytown did on the original shirt dress with the polka dot ribbon, and I would probably double over the green fabric and make a ruffled trim with it.
So, which one do you think would look the best? Please help a struggling seamstress out.

Tongue Taming

Mrs. Kelly was stout and gentle. She was like a large, anxious dove. She was different than Betsy’s mother who was slim and red-headed and gay. Betsy’s mother knew how to scold as well as laugh and sing. But Tacy’s mother never scolded.

“If I tried to scold eleven [children] I’d be scolding all the time,” she explained to Betsy one day.

~Betsy and Tacy, by Maud Hart Lovelace

I’ve been noticing my short fuse with the kids lately. It seems like every word that comes out of my mouth is in the form of a bark, or at least a little sharper than the offense dictates. I don’t want my children growing up remembering me as a tyrant, so in times of discipline I want to work on my delivery. 🙂 Though it is difficult to control one’s tongue, I am promised supernatural power at it, if I only ask for the Holy Spirit’s help:

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3