This is the land that Luke bought.

This is the house we might build
on the land that Luke bought.These are the children that will live in the house
(look at them poking their wee lil’ heads out
to say “hello”)
that we might build on the land that Luke bought.

…yeah, I’m kind of a whiz at photo editing…

Motherhood Swipes Brain Cells!

Let’s see- it is 10 o’clock now, and the last hour has left me quite bewildered. See if you can figure out at what point I left my brain in the fridge, or back on my pillow, or laid by my toothbrush:

9:00 am I clean up breakfast dishes, put some eggs on to hard-boil

9:05 am Caleb is crying, I go in and get him changed and dressed for the day

9:10 am I decide I’ll check my email while I am nursing him

9:30 am While reading an interesting looking tuna salad recipe from my friend Jenny that calls for hard-boiled eggs, I suddenly remember mine, boiling away in the kitchen

9:33 am While draining the very-hard-boiled eggs and still holding the baby, I nearly burn his foot on the stovetop, and his mustard-filled diaper leaks onto my shirt.

9:45 am Caleb finally cleaned and changed, I come out to a kitchen littered with children’s cups and puddles of water. Abbie was here!

9:50 am Abbie, now outside and grass-covered, is begging to go down for her overdue morning nap (she is our sleeper!). I put her down, grass and all. She doesn’t seem to mind

10:00 am Caleb finally gets to finish nursing as I type this one-handed

Yes, these children are contributing to my already-flighty nature, and robbing me of any sense I thought I had of intelligence!
But, I am choosing today to think about the many, many things they give back.

The Goal Of Our Instruction

We are homeschooling our two oldest this year, using K12 curriculum through a virtual academy (that, incidentally, employs Luke). I am not even sure how I am going to guide two kids through the lessons yet- I felt barely with it last year just teaching A-Major. Any helpful hints as to teaching more than one would be welcome. The first day we could begin work was yesterday, and I was hoping to be able to get started then. But realistically, I need to have the house in better order before I think about school, so next week will be back to school for us.
I came across what will be a wonderful life-verse for this year of homeschooling- something to keep us all on track as to what is really important that we learn, and keep on learning:
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
There are great terms in that little verse that lend themselves to deeper thought and further study- love, purity, good vs. evil, sincerity, faith. I want my kids to be successful at academics, but it is far more important they be successful at life.
May this school year be a blessing to us all.

Flurry Of Activity

I think it is interesting that, during busier weeks, this blog looks as if there is nothing going on. Unfortunately, this week might be yet another one of those. Rest assured that I will get on here and talk about it when I can.
Today, we close on our house. It has been a long wait, and we are looking forward to having that done with.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a wonderful book I am reading right now, called What Is A Family? by Edith Schaeffer:
Somebody has to get up early, stay up late, do more than the others, if the human garden is to be a thing of beauty.”

Weekend Thoughts

We are meant to be witnesses for God–people who have seen and known Him and are willing to speak of what they see and know. Sometimes there is danger for such people–as in Russia, where it can mean forced labor, banishment, death.
In China in the early 1930s a missionary couple, John and Betty Stam, were captured by Chinese Communists and marched through the streets of the village to a chopping block where each was beheaded. If they had been willing to recant their Christian faith, their lives would have been spared. Given their commitment to Christ, such a choice was unthinkable. They placed not only their lives but the life of their baby, Helen Priscilla, in the hands of God, confident that God could protect them if He chose, and, if He chose not to, it was safer to be in those hands than anywhere else in the universe. Like thousands of Christians before them, they preferred the sword to disobedience, believing that the danger of not knowing God is infinitely greater than any other danger.
Lord, be our Sun and Shield. Shine on us, protect us as we seek to live and witness to your truth. Forgive us (especially those of us who have never faced lions, fire, or sword because of our faith) for our fears of petty loss. Remind us that it is in losing ourselves that we find You.
~Elisabeth Elliot

Commands Of Christ

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope…1 Timothy 1:1
I’m starting through 1 Timothy in my daily Bible reading- what rich stuff. I was stopped at the first verse for some time, meditating on that word, command. So much of what is going on right now leaves me feeling out of control, when I really should have a better handle on it. There are circumstances (illness, moving, postpartum) that I could freely use to excuse the fact that some things aren’t up to par. However, the reality is that I am not being obedient to God’s commands, pure and simple. Until I get back on track following Christ’s orders, I will not feel secure, because I am trying to live outside His set boundaries for me.
Of the many, these commands from the Bible come to mind for me personally to remember and follow today, and every day:
Joshua 1:6-9 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Now this is the commandment… that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you… that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I Stand Corrected

That last post was, you know, just a test, to see if you all had enough appreciation for our fair city. Woo wee, I didn’t know some of us had such a passion for Marion. Sara T. would be an awesome tour guide, don’t you think?
Thanks for all the ideas; once I am feeling up to it, we’ll have to have some field trips this fall to see the sights. I’ll be sure to take pictures and post about them. Meet me at the mysterious moving ball, everyone!

What’s Marion Got To Offer?

I’ve been spending time at Scribbit, a blog by Michelle in Alaska (see sidebar for link). One of her posts recently was pictures she took of artistic structures found around Anchorage. I got to thinking I should do a post on neat things to see and do around Marion, and… well, I, uh, am having a little trouble with this. I mean, the library isn’t even that spectacular here- they just let you borrow books for free, borrow movies for a bit less than Blockbuster, and once in a while they manage not to lose books and blame you for it.

So, any of you out there who are Marion natives, fill me in on what I am missing in this town- any pieces of art? Any neato events? I’d really like to know. Of course, we hope to only be here for a short while longer, and where we hope to move, I could write volumes on all there is to see and do. But, in an attempt to be content, and bloom where I am planted, right here is what I want to enjoy for now. So far all that is coming to mind is the pretty fountain in front of the hospital, my most recent stay away from home.

That’s One Way To Exhaust A Box Of Tissues

Ahhh- I am experiencing the blessing and pure joy of breathing again. We moved most of our belongings to Carol’s on Wednesday, then I got a good day of work in on Thursday. But when I went to bed that night, I had…..a sore, scratchy throat. Telltale sign of impending doom for me. It really stinks, because I just had a cold, and spent plenty of time complaining here about that one, that I shouldn’t even mention this one. I will say that this one was Niagara Falls, and the one three weeks ago was only our old leaky bathtub faucet, as colds go. This is the first day of feeling halfway normal again.
Today’s Elisabeth Elliot devotional was just the encouragement I needed. I hope you all are signed up to get these; they often speak to our very circumstances.

What weakness are you feeling today? The inability to manage circumstances that cry out to be changed? Helplessness in the face of another’s deep need, or of evil you have to watch perpetrated on others you love? A sense of inadequacy for some task laid upon you? Physical weakness or pain? The need for power to forgive an injury or keep silence about unjust accusations against you?
Christ has been there before you. Every form of human limitation He knew, and out of that utter poverty we have been made strong. Yet, again and again, in the life of each disciple, comes the experience of weakness in order that we may live His life for others.
“We who share His weakness shall by the power of God live with Him in your service” (2 Cor 13:4 NEB).
This sharing of His weakness is one aspect of the death of the cross, one of the conditions of our discipleship, and hence cause for joy rather than bitterness. For we walk the road, not alone, but with Christ, “well content to be weak at any time if only you are strong” (2 Cor 13:9 NEB). The mystery is constantly being worked out–strength out of weakness, life out of death.