Sunday, November 28, 2010

this little light of mine...

dear emily,

don't you love "charlie brown's Christmas?"  charlie is moping
around for the true meaning of Christmas, and linus sums it up
quite nicely.

"there were shepherds abiding in the field . . ."

can you imagine a contemporary cartoon referring to the angel's
visitation of the shepherds?  it makes me very sad that children
have so few encounters with 'the babe' in our world.  the light
has grown very dim here.

that's why i'm so grateful to the hobby lobby and mardel stores
for purchasing an advertisement that still warms my heart.

john 1 says "the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has
not understood it."  we can make our homes illuminators to our
children's hearts by loving them, reading the scriptures to them,
and telling stories of His wonder in our lives.

psalm 104 says, "He wraps Himself in light as with a garment." i
would love to wrap that garment around my children and protect
them from all darkness.

...i'm gonna let it shine,

ps.  go to pj's to see some amazing lights!

Friday, November 26, 2010


i'm a coward, and that's why my heart is so stirred by heroism.
one of my favorite movies, "missing" with cate blanchett and 
tommy lee jones, is chock full of it.  

after her daughter is kidnapped by a depraved man and his gang 
of unmerry men, a desperate mother is forced to beg her 
estranged father for help.  the picture earns its "R" rating in a 
dozen ways but none of them can keep me from loving the 
timeless tale of courage,  devotion, and reconciliation.

when the indian grandfather is left for dead in the desert, he asks 
a hawk to guide him home.  does that seem silly?  

bruce olson, the motilone missionary, tells a story of being 
kidnapped and dragged into a south american jungle.   when he 
felt the most despair, God sent a bird to sing to him the entire 

in the final scene of "missing", the mother fiercely yells at the 
wicked men, "fuera!", which means "leave!" . . .or, "satan, i 
rebuke you in the name of Jesus!"  :)

you will have to watch the movie yourself to see if they do.


"even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for 
herself, where she may have her young--a place near Your altar."  
psalm 84:3

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

make a joyful noise!

my friend, lana from honeysuckle lane, has asked me to do a
guest post at her blog.  i know, what was she thinking?  she is
an incredibly talented artist, and i can't even draw a straight

would you, please, hop over there and say, "hello?"

happy thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

monday's mentoring mommy moment

dear emily,

it is terribly presumptuous of me to give you a thanksgiving craft
idea, since you are the master, but i couldn't resist.  these cards
are just so darn cute!

here's the link.

we also used to read every thanksgiving book i could get my
hands on.  here are a few you will love.

"squanto and the miracle of thanksgiving" by eric metaxas
"thanksgiving, a time to remember" by barbara rainey
"an old fashioned thanksgiving" by louisa may alcott

some great scriptures to memorize as we prepare our hearts for
thanksgiving are psalm 31:19, 95:1-6, and of course, psalm 100.
it's always an encouragement for mom and dad to tell what we
are thankful for, especially our precious children.  if the kids
want to  pipe in, that's even better.

many families forego their own meal to help serve dinner at the
homeless shelter.  i can't imagine anything to make a child's
thanksgiving richer or his heart more grateful than to help those
less fortunate.

i hope some of my friends will leave comments, because they
always have such wonderful ideas.

thankfully yours,

"how great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for
those who fear You, which You bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in You." psalm 31:19

Friday, November 19, 2010

hear no evil, speak no evil

when my son max was three or four and up to some orneriness, he
would say, "mommy, don't see me."

what a great illustration of how we try to hide our own ugliness.
unfortunately, "there is nothing concealed that will not be dis-
closed, or hidden that will not be made known.  what you have
said in the dark will be heard in the daylight and what you have
heard in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops."
(luke 12:2,3)

not exactly a refrigerator verse.  more of a rooftop one.

a true indicator of the state of our hearts is how we speak to our
husbands and children when no one else is listening . . . how
we talk about our friends when they aren't around . . . and how
we treat the least in the kingdom (the dog!)

Lord, have mercy!

i'm linking to spiritual sundays.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

headache at walmart

my daughter, shelby, gets fussy at me for spending so much money
at my neighborhood grocery store.  "mom, that chicken costs twice
as much as at walmart."  i know, but walmart's garish flourescent
lighting, the hard floors, loud noises, and crowds of people are
such an assault.

google image

monday, however, i mustered my courage to make the thanksgiving
supply run at the local walmart.  shelby would have been so proud
of my great attitude.  "this will be fun.  there will be so many good
deals, etc."

but, 20 steps into the store and i felt like everyone was yelling at
me, the lights hurt my eyes, i couldn't find the stuffing, and my
head was pounding.  i frowned looked at a sweet elderly man,
who said, "well, it's our church singer.  yvonne would be so glad
to see you!  she just thinks you're . . ."

i immediately thought of sonja's post on the dangers of putting
Christian bumper stickers on our cars.  people expect us to act like
Christians, if our cars are saved.  :)  well, the same is true of
sunday singers.  people expect us to be as cheerful on monday,
even at walmart.

speaking of cars, when i approached mine, i saw that the front left
tire had been shredded.

are you kidding me?


"let your gentleness be evident to all.  the Lord is near."  philippians 4:5

Sunday, November 14, 2010

crumbs from the table

when my children were quite young, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, i took
them to hear a famous preacher.  it was important to me that they
be exposed to as many of the Lord's treasures as possible.

unfortunately, upon arrival we were told that the chapel seats
were reserved for the college students.

"we will stand in back, then, and enjoy the crumbs from the

brazilian pastries

the preaching was inspiring, exhilarating really, and we hardly
noticed that we didn't have seats, when the man of God looked
back and said,

"are those children standing in the back?"

my heart dropped, because i thought we were going to be cast
out of the auditorium.  my little ones looked up at me with big

"bring them up here so that i may lay hands on them and  pray
for them."

brazilian prosciutto and cheese wheel

our crumbs turned into a feast.


"let the little children come to Me, and do nothing to hinder
them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
matthew 19:14

Friday, November 12, 2010

trials to glory

after an entire day of tears and pressing into the Lord with my
heartache, i felt like i had been to church.  i almost told someone,
"at church today . . ." but remembered i hadn't actually been in
the building.  why did it feel as if i had?  i think it is because
when we suffer and lean into Him, we feel very near to Him.

jp recently posted an inspiring quote from anne lamott at her
witty blog, seens from the back of my eyelids, which holds an
answer  to my question.  "when God is going to do something
wonderful, He always starts with a hardship; when God is going
to do something amazing, He start with an impossibility."

one of my heroes of the faith, richard wurmbrand, supplies his
perspective.  he was tortured in a communist prison during the
cold war for his faith.  after he was released from prison, he
frequently referred to those days of glory.


"in our darkest hours of torture, the Son of Man came to us,
making the prison walls shine like diamonds and filling the
cells with light."

that surpasses any church service i have attended, but oh, the
cost.  please pray for our brothers and sisters of the faith who
are being persecuted today from azerbaijan to yemen.


"then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to
death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me."
matthew 24:9

i'm linking to spiritual sundays!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

gifts from holland, canada, and texas!

when i returned from brazil, i had an intriguing package all the
way from holland!  sweet saskia sent me a lovely pink necklace
to commemorate breast cancer awareness month.  she also added
precious tiny ribbons and fun stickers.

what she doesn't know is that i have a small collection of delft
from the netherlands.  thank you, saskia!  i hope everyone will
visit her gorgeous blog, join my joy.

yesterday, another package arrived from canada!  i can't describe
how my life has been enriched by this lovely lady.  she has taught
me to see with eyes bent to beauty and to  express the Lord's love
with gracious sensitivity.  her gift is not only a generous gesture
but an expression of love, because  she sent me a treasure that
reminded her of me.

thank you, dear rosie!  you couldn't know that i have the absolute
twin bird roosting beneath the lamp in my powder bath.  i hope
everyone will visit your exquisite blog, roses and rutabagas, which
delights with every visit.

and believe it or not, i have also received another wonderful
gift all the way from the exotic country of texas!  my dear
friend, janette, from janette's sage, has enhanced my life with
her wisdom, inspiring stories, loving comments, . . . and a
spectacular handmade pillow!

when i told her it looked perfect in my kitchen, she said, "i'm not
sure what you will do with it in there."  :)

so i wanted her to know it also looks pretty in my family room!

well, it would if my family room wasn't on its side.


"if you then . . . know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask Him!"  luke 11:13

Monday, November 8, 2010

monday's mommy mentoring moment

dear emily,

i have a sweet younger friend, uncanny colleen, who has written
a precious letter to her five year old son.  how much will he
cherish an entire letter all about him?  i could imagine her reading
this to him at his rehearsal dinner in 20 years, even though he still
thinks he is going to  marry his mommy.

this reminded me that hans' dad wrote him a letter everyday of his
freshman year at college.  those sweet notes of encouragement are
bundled up next to the ones my grandma had written me.  if we
treasure them so, why don't we write more of them ourselves?

i now realize that my email encouragements to our five children
cannot replace a hand written letter.  a beautiful sheet of paper can
be taped to the bathroom mirror or cradled between the pages of
their bible.  emails are too easily deleted and forgotten.

when shelby was seven, we chuckled at a note she wrote hans in
her careful cursive.

"dear pappy,

we are so proud of the way
you  have led us through.


last Christmas, 17 years later,  she hand stitched it onto fabric on
which she had sewn perfectly straight lines to look like notebook


"simon peter, a servant and messenger of Jesus Christ, sends
this letter to  those who have been given a faith as valuable as
yours, in the righteousness of our God . . ." 2 peter 1:1

Thursday, November 4, 2010

autumn with adam and eve

as hans and i strolled beneath glorious autumn leaves, we crunched
the fallen crimson and yellow ones under our feet.   i love these
walks, because we talk about so many interesting subjects,  and
not always our children.  :)

this day we were discussing adam and eve.   hans maintained that
when God asked adam, "where are you?", he might not have been
referring to his location but to the state of his heart.  he might as
well have asked, "who are you now?"

adam replied, "i heard you in the garden, and i was afraid because
i was naked; so i hid."

"who told you that you were naked?"  their nakedness had never
been an issue before their disobedience, and hans wondered if
things might have gone better for them had adam answered, "we
disobeyed and were hiding because we felt ashamed."

instead he revealed that he considered himself unveiled and no
longer covered by God's good favor.  he also demonstrated his
fear of God just like the servant who "knew" Him as the hard
master and hid his talent.  (matthew 25:25)

moreover, adam seemed to consider himself "out", which, of
course, is exactly what the serpent intended.  one strike, and
you're out?


ps.  i am linking to joyce's at "i love pretty things"
      and to ginger and charlotte's at "spiritual sundays."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a pink bunny

my friend barbie was having her early morning devotions, when
she noticed her three year old granddaughter.  barbie invited her
to come pray with her, and the precious little one said she wanted
to ask God for a pink bunny just like her big sister's.

once they had finished praying, barbie said that they needed to
be still and listen if God had anything to say back to them.   after
a few seconds, her granddaughter tugged on her sleeve.

"He said, 'yes.' "

oh, to have the faith of a little one.


"therefore, whoever welcomes one such child in my name
welcomes me."  matthew 18:4

Monday, November 1, 2010

paul, barnabas, and timothy

dear emily,

i am going to try to harness myself to writing a weekly post
for young moms, "monday's mentoring mommy moment."
how's that for an alliteration?  it's my prayer that other older
moms will also chime in with their two cents  and bless your
socks off.

hans says that everyone needs a paul, barnabas, and timothy
in their life.

the view from my brazilian room
paul is that older, wiser one who has something to teach us.  i
lean on many older women who have set a fine example for me
to "love my husband and  children, to be self-controlled and
pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, etc." (titus 2:4)  they
encourage me, pray for me, and give me great advice.

barnabas is the friend who is basically in the same boat and has
children the same age.  my 'barnabases' have been my best
friends for over twenty years.  their kids call me by my first
name, and i hope their grandkids will too!  these are the ones i
complain to when hans has to go out of town again,  i blow it
with the kids, or i want to strangle a teacher.   

last, but not least, is timothy.  it's so sweet to have a younger
woman to pass along the privilege of raising children and a
husband.  :)  she will force us to really examine ourselves and
our relationships, which is good for us.  how can we tell an over
worked young thing to do something that we have never done?

you, sweet emily, are sandwiched in between me and my girls.
how precious is that?  we are paul, barnabas, and timothy.