I got this idea out of a magazine. I love it because it displays the kids artwork and school projects in a way that contributes to the decor of the room. To make one you need an antique ladder (lots of them are out there)and shower curtain rings with clips on them (these are from Target). I also mount most of their art on some type of colored construction paper. (I need a fourth rung on the ladder now that Maggie has joined the ranks!).
“…the climax of that prayer came with these words, ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because you loved Me before the foundation of the world’ (Jn. 17:24). Why would the most loving man who ever lived, at the most loving hour of His life, pray that we would be able to spend eternity seeing His glory? The answer is not hard: this will satisfy our hearts and glorify His worth. That is what it means to be loved by Christ.”
-John Piper from his book When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, pg. 67
Jesus Heals The Blind
Spit on the dirt, once again
And cause me to behold
New facets of You, of the cross,
And Your glory from of old.
Lay Your hand upon my eyes
That I would truly see,
Not men as walking trees,
But lives of those in need.
Simply speak a Word
And my blind eyes will gaze
Upon the works You are doing
And evidences of Your grace.
The fog of the world,
The dark of night,
The nearsightedness of sin;
That lure the eyes
All seek to keep hidden,
Who You are, and who I am
And where You’re at work
In my fellow man.
But I take hope
That blind men came
To the One
Who knows my name
They left You
Able to see,
So now I ask,
Lay hands on me.
This recipe is from the kitchen of Judy Phillips. If you know her, you will go to the kitchen right now and make these delicious muffins! Every recipe I have from her kitchen is a prized possession.
-Combine in medium bowl:
- 1 egg
- ½ cup pumpkin
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ tsp. vanilla
-In another bowl combine:
- ½ sugar
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ginger
-Stir dry ingredients into liquid just until moistened.
-Fold in ½ cup of raisins – optional.
-Sprinkle top with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
-Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
“When guilt feelings keep us self-absorbed, destroy our motivation, and make us discouraged, guilt has become a parking lot – not a good thing. But when guilt reminds us that we are insufficient, and when this insufficiency points us to God – His forgiveness, His empowering Spirit, and His provision of grace – then guilt becomes a spiritual car wash. You don’t camp out in a car wash; you just go there to get clean. You drive through the car wash and come out on the other end with an entirely new outlook. That’s one of the healthy roles that guilt can play for parents: pointing us and our children to God.” – Gary L. Thomas from his book Sacred Parenting pg. 47
My twins turned eight this weekend! I can hardly believe that this time eight years ago I was probably on my way home from the hospital, scared and weepy. I had been a hero of sorts in the maternity ward (at least they made me feel like one), and now I was headed into real life. No lactation experts to help me latch them on. No nursery to send them to for a few hours of sleep. No laying in bed all day having things brought to me on a tray. I remember some of the emotions so vividly.
So, here we are eight years later, and we all survived! I remember Alistair Begg saying in passing that on his birthday every year he recounts the ways God’s goodness and mercy have been following him all of his days. I adopted his ritual for myself, and this year I want to do it for my twins.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in that they were born into a Christian home where they would be able to hear the message of the gospel from parents who, though greatly flawed, understand their need for a Savior.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in that they are surrounded by godly men as role models. Their father, uncle Jimmy, and Papu are all godly pastors leading the church well. Their Uncle Dan models gentleness, as well as diligence in the workplace. Their Uncle Chris is a servant and diligent school teacher. Their Abuelo is a compassionate man and a meticulous electrician. All of these men are not only believers, but live nearby and are members in the same local church.
I see the goodness of God in giving them such a good father. In a time when most dads are aloof and indifferent, this is a huge evidence of goodness to Joshua and Caleb. Jason is not only a strong leader, but he is a humble leader. This is such a unique combination. His humility is demonstrated in how he serves in our home, as well as how quickly he responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. His orderliness and diligence are other qualities that God in His goodness has provided for my sons to observe. This diligence translates in other aspects of Jason’s training of his sons. For example, he regularly reads God’s Word and other books to them. He takes them out to breakfast or lunch regularly to build relationships with them as individuals. And perhaps most important, he plays with them. Whether it’s football, wiffle ball, or family wrestle, Daddy is on their level to enjoy and invest in what will be a continuing evidence of the Lord’s goodness and mercy in their lives.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in giving them brothers to provide a furnace for sin to come to the surface in obvious ways. I don’t always appreciate this as good or merciful, I have to admit, but the wisdom of God is not the wisdom of man. In our family it is impossible to keep a veneer of godliness. The boys love each other dearly, but they are the primary means for exposing sin in each other. We have many opportunities to understand how much we need a Savior in the Reyes house. This, indeed, is the mercy of God to all of us.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in giving my twins such unique personalities and gifts. Caleb is compassionate and artistic, as well as a strong leader (the coordinator of all activities imaginative). Joshua loves hard work, is athletic and diligent. He seeks to be good at everything he puts his hand to. They rub off on each other. Caleb likes sports because of Josh’s influence. Joshua likes art because of Caleb’s influence. This is such a “good” thing for them.
I stand in awe that the Creator of the Universe fixes his gaze on my boys and extends goodness and mercy to them in these and so many more ways. How it builds my faith as a mom to think upon these things God has done for my boys. If their salvation depended on me being a faithful mom, we would be doomed indeed. But He is faithful even when I am faithless. I pray this year my boys would increasingly grasp not only how “goodness and mercy shall follow them all of the days of their lives” but why. How I pray they will understand, by the Holy Spirit’s illumination, that they receive the kindness of God, because Jesus received the wrath of God on their behalf.
Psalms 23:6 (ESV) 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I’ve decided to feature a “few of my favorite things” on Fridays. This week I am featuring my housekeeping journal. I have trie fancier ways to manage the home including a PDA and an elaborate organizer, but I always come back to my chubby little notepad. I divide it into four sections: Daily To-do List (the most pages go in this section), Running To-Do List (a list of items I want to get done eventually), Miscellaneous (contains notes for a poem, book titles I want to read, list to get done for a birthday party, window measurements, etc.), and finally a Menu/Grocery List (self explanatory).
“Great thoughts go best with common duties. Whatever therefore may be your office regard it as a fragrant in an immeasurable ministry of love.”
–Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott (as quoted in Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot, pg. 84)
I love how this applies to housework. I have found that in the potentially mindless duties of folding clothes, scrubbing floors, vacuuming, etc., I can call to mind whatever I was reading in the morning in my devotions. It might not be the deepest meditations, but indeed it is possible for great thoughts to go with common duties.
Nothing stays done. Just after you finish unloading that final laundry basket of clean clothes, a pair of dirty socks mocks you in the hamper. The dishwasher that you unloaded needs to be loaded again. The diaper that you just changed is already foul. You clean up breakfast knowing that the lunch mess is around the corner. The dust you wiped off the piano yesterday is already showing its pale face. There is no paycheck. No time card. No summer vacation. No promotions available for a job well done. If this describes you, you’re probably a homemaker like me. The challenge is, how do you stay motivated to do what keeps getting undone? There have been many times when the futility of housework made me feel like I was going crazy. God has been so gracious to change my perspective.
Romans 12:1 has been key in helping me have a godly attitude toward housework. Paul writes, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” So this morning, when I get up from the computer and go to put on a load of whites, I can do it as an act of worship, and God accepts it as such. Isn’t it wonderful that God takes the mundane and adds the potential of the extraordinary? By taking the opportunity to offer myself as a living sacrifice in my home today, I am not just making meatloaf, I am worshiping God. It is profound and mysterious.
I would love to know what God uses to help keep you motivated. Post, post, post.